The Great and Small Things I Learned {Sophomore Semester II}

My legs are ombre.

They’re pale on top, medium-shade at the knee, and dark at the bottom. And then I have a sexy ankle sock tan. #aeriereal

Besides my tan lines signaling the start of summer, the end of spring semester also signals the bittersweet time when everyone in college parts and goes their separate ways for a few months (or longer if you’re a senior or if you’re studying abroad like I am).

I am so grateful to be spending this week in Boston with my friends without any studying required of us. Rachel and I have checked off a few food bucket list places, the sun has been shining, and I’ve been SLEEPING. Oh, sweet sleep.

On Monday, Rachel and I walked over to Jugos in the morning for acai bowls (from our bucket list). I felt so Californian and trendy.

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growing their own wheatgrass of course

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“Sao Paolo” for Rachel + “Los Verdes” for me

In my hipster-wannabe pride, it pains me to say that acai bowls do indeed live up to the hype. They were fantastic. BUT I do feel like I could make them at home. They’re pricey, but we were very full for a while after these, and it was lovely to have something so fresh.

We enjoyed a leisurely walk back to campus since it was such a gorgeous day and it wasn’t like we had any studying to do (!!!).

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Monday night involved going to a fancy playground with friends, ungodly amounts of white cheddar popcorn, chocolate pudding eaten with a plastic knife, and Psych.

Solid.

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Tuesday included another bucket list place— Emack & Bolio’s for their cereal cone (basically a rice krispie treat wrapped around the cone). The cereal cone was a cool concept, but Rachel and I agreed that the ice cream was just average. But it was still ice cream, which is delicious, and I thought the cone was good!

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“beantown crunch” with a cocoa pebbles cereal cone for Rachel + maple walnut with a rice krispie cereal cone for me

Followed by hours of girl talk.

Yesterday I helped my brother move out of his apartment, ate lunch with him and my mom, played outside for a bit (perfect weather), and helped cook a dinner at the Catholic Center for the graduating seniors (and they let me join in on the feast!).
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Grateful.

As with all my previous semesters here (I, II, III) at college, I have learned many lessons— some beautiful, some painful, all gifts.

the great and small

Lunch dessert is fabulous.

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I don’t have to go to the gym most days of the week, and I’ll be okay. I can still stay active and do challenging things without a gym.

Working out with friends outside might be one of my favorite things.

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We cannot attach ourselves to people. We can only attach ourselves to God. (via my friend Rachel via our friend Sarah)

Pride is probably my biggest vice and the root of all my internal struggles.

Social media can be pretty toxic for me. I need to take regular breaks from it.

I am an abstainer, not a moderator.

I don’t need to eat as much protein as I thought, and I feel best with a more carb-heavy diet.

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I cannot be complacent with my faith. I need to address my doubts, as little as they may be, and actively seek truth. (appreciate Julia’s honesty on this topic)

It is so painful to see good friends move away, but God has a beautiful plan for each of us and we need to trust Him.

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Walking is such an amazing human mechanism (thanks, biomechanics!).

I hold a lot of tension in my head and neck when I dance.

Electroswing music is a thing, and it. is. ART. (shoutout to my girl Lauren for introducing me to it)

I like plain yogurt better than cottage cheese these days.

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I can track my calories/macros objectively without restricting.

I am definitely an emotional eater.

Boston weather is more mercurial than Donald Trump’s words.

Writing at least one thing for which I am thankful in my planner every day before going to bed was a game-changer for my perspective.

Going without makeup for a while ain’t so bad.

I am at a pretty good place regarding my body image, but I am not immune to hard times and temptations to restrict.

My best friend and I have the same brain sometimes, and it’s freaking weird.

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It is improbable that we’ve had the friends, experiences, and circumstances that we’ve had.

God can show you very clearly that He is near. Sometimes He won’t make it clear though, but that doesn’t mean He’s not near.

Talking out loud to myself is the best form of studying for me. I need to hear it said.

I should be aware of my face in lecture, or else the professor might call me out with a laser pointer in front of my classmates.

I embarrass my friends sometimes/often/always.

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I need to make sure I bring enough snacks to work.

My friends are like my personal trainers, except spiritually. They push me outside of my comfort zone to become a better human.

Cycling is HARD.

VO2max test equipment is really flattering.

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I’m over trying so hard to impress boys. OVER IT.

^^^I will tell myself that I am over it, but still fall into that trap. C’est la vie.

It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers/advice for someone. Being a good listener can be what exactly someone needs.

Tori Kelly continues to slay with her music that describes my life.

Tears are truly a gift from the Holy Spirit.

God continues to show how much He loves us, and it is the most beautiful, amazing, heart-wrenching, humbling thing ever.


I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud today! I’ve missed this party!

Thinking-Out-Loud

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday ♥︎

So tell me:

If you are a college student: Lesson(s) you learned this semester/year.

If you are not a college student: Lesson(s) you learned since the beginning of 2016.

Have you ever tried/do you like acai bowls? 

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Overwhelmed with Goodness

So much to tell you. SO LITTLE TIME.

How in the world is it the last week of classes this semester? I can’t deal. I can barely deal with this weekend. I went to work on Friday, and two things stood out to me while I was working:

  1. I set off the fire alarm making steak (this is the second time I’ve done that now, but that steak was PERFECT).
  2. My boss told me I have “a look of wellbeing.”

I was very flattered and humbled by that comment. Part of me was thinking, “Really? This is the face of one tired lady.” But another part of me was thinking, “Well, I think I know why.”

If I do indeed have a look of wellbeing, it’s because God has filled overflowed my life with nothing but love. He always has filled my life with love, but I think I have learned to better appreciate and focus on His love, rather than sulk in my insecurities, trials, doubts, guilt, and fears.

Basically, I am overwhelmed by the goodness around me. Sometimes I feel unworthy. Sometimes I squander the gifts I’ve been given. Sometimes I’m afraid it will all disappear. But that’s humanity. We’re not worthy, we do fall, and the world will pass away. That’s why I need God. Like, NEEEEEEEED.

And yeah, this got religious real quick, but even if we don’t share faith, I hope that you can relate to this sense of gratitude and awesomeness (in the truest sense of the word) in your life.

So what’s all this goodness then? Time for show-and-tell!

-People who genuinely care about your life.

-People who wait 3 more seconds to hold open the door for you.

-Laughter, even when studying is stressing you out.

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me trying to figure out if respiration is hindered when lying supine

-Good conversations with people who I’ve just met.

-Really good hugs and high-fives.

-Running with your best friend, even though you didn’t really want to at first.

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-The wonder and beauty of the human body and being able to learn about it in depth.

-Soul talk. It’s fun talking about food, fitness, the latest party, and Justin Bieber’s comeback, but nothing is as satisfying and fulfilling as talking about, well, what truly satisfies, fulfills, and challenges our souls.

-Seeing and experiencing the beauty of God with and through other people.

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-Sharing food and fellowship.

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Mike & Patty’s for our food bucket list!

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“Egg Fancy” = two fried eggs, avocado, bacon, cheddar, and house mayo (OMG) on multigrain

That was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.

My lab partner/friend/fellow foodie, Christina (go follow her on Instagram @foodietunes!), have been on many food adventures this weekend…

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breakfast before lab

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Indian night in the d-hall

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distracted by cupcakes during our walk on Saturday

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split a pumpkin gingerbread spice cupcake— OH WOW.

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grand opening promo event at Sweetgreen yesterday

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free {healthy} food? yes, please.

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One of my friends just came home after studying abroad in Australia for the past four months, and he gave me a Tim Tam to try! Very tasty.

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thinking about you, Arman

-People who affirm and encourage you constantly. It’s easy to be self-conscious or upset about your body, personality, or achievements. However, having people who truly believe that you are beautiful and who push you to be the best version of yourself— that helps you live a little more fully and confidently every day.

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So to YOU, I say: There will be many lies and doubts (both internal and external) holding you back from being the best version of yourself. It’s tempting to sit in grief until you feel good enough to finally do something great. This time of feeling weak and useless is the perfect time to start giving. In giving, you will receive so much. Give your smile, your thoughts, your talents, your love.

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[source]

I know I am currently living at a time of peak physical and social nourishment, so I understand that everything in my eyes seems like rainbows and unicorns. I have nothing to truly complain about. Maybe I’m naive and in a bubble. But I know for sure that “to whom much is given, much will be expected,” and I pray that I can just give from the overwhelming amount of goodness I am given.

Phew. Hope you all have a wonderful week 🙂 “Let us begin.”

So tell me:

The best thing you ate this weekend.

Three good things from last week/this weekend.

About the last time you set off the fire alarm (if ever).

Letter to My Future Husband

If you’ve been reading my blog for a couple months, you might know that I’m a huge fan of Tori Kelly and her song Dear No One especially.

It’s basically about not having a significant other at the moment, but knowing that, in time, that perfect someone will walk into your life. My favorite line from the song:

But I’d love to have a soulmate, and God will give him to me someday, and I know it’ll be worth the wait.

Believe it or not, I have a hopeless romantic side.am a normal seventeen-year-old. I currently do not have a boyfriend (Mom and Dad are happy about that), and the reasons are that a) I’m going to college soon, b) I’m way too busy, and c) I personally think high school is early for dating. I just believe in very meaningful, committed relationships, which I really don’t think I can find right now  in my lil’ high school. No offense, dudes. However, I do have many friends that have boyfriends now, and sometimes things do work out splendidly. Prime example: Kylie and her husband who met in their high school calculus class.

The point of all this? In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this Friday and all them single ladies out there (holla!), I wanted to write some sort of “Dear No One” letter to my future husband. Maybe I’ll even get to show this to him one day 😉

Dear Future Husband,

How ya doin’?

I don’t really know our age difference, but I’m guessing you’re in high school or college working hard, praying hard, and playing *outside* hard. (Don’t worry, I’ll try not to be chopper wife.) If you’re procrastinating a bit, that’s understandable. I struggle with that too. And a bunch of other things such as crying over Facebook story videos, so I hope you’re ready.

Let’s ponder the possibilities of how we will meet, shall we? Perhaps I will admire you from afar as you walk through the university cafeteria day after day, getting the same sub sandwich. I may or may not memorize your order down to the last slice of havarti cheese. I’ll probably tell you that I love havarti cheese also, and then we’ll bond over our appreciation for some really delicious dairy products.

Perhaps we’ll be at some student club potluck dinner, but this time YOU will be trying to get my attention by loudly overemphasizing how much you love the mac and cheese dish I brought. Because I added havarti of course. I’ll try to play hard-to-get and pretend I don’t notice your compliments, but that won’t last long and I’ll go over to you to share the recipe.

Or maybe we will always sit next to each other at Mass on Sundays, never fully realizing that God destines us to be together.

Whatever happens, I’ll be thrilled to have found you! No more solo Super Bowl Sundays. 😀

I’ve never had a boyfriend throughout high school because who has time for those anyway? I also want to leave a lot of room in my heart for you— I am one of those people that believes that true love waits. I pray that you’re a respectful gentleman, treating us ladies with dignity, loving us not just for our looks but for our inner beauty primarily. If you have a girlfriend right now, that’s cool beans. But guard her like you would guard your wife (me!), because she will be someone else’s wife one day too.*

You may or may not be a man of faith right now, but by the time I start dating you, you will be 😉 If there is one thing I could ask my future husband to do, it would be to pray every day. Your relationship with God will help you find where you need to be in order to serve Him and serve others. And…I dunno…maybe He can help you find your soulmate. Just thrown’ that out there.

I’m curious as to what your interests are. Music? Sports? Computers? Gardening? Whatever you do, I hope you love it! If you like fitness, that’s AWESOME. We can be that cute couple doing mud runs together, having burpee contests, hiking up beautiful mountains, and giving each other stinky, sweaty hugs. If you like healthy food, that’s a double bonus! But if not, that’s alright. I have a bunch of blogger friends that can help ME help YOU love healthy food.

Lastly, our families. I’m sure they’ll get along quite well. My mom will want to take pictures with all your folks and post them on Instagram, my dad will want to have nice long chats with them, and my brother might be a little protective…But you’re my future husband, so they obviously love you. 🙂

Well, I guess Ill sign off now! I thoroughly enjoyed writing to you, future husband. I can’t wait to meet you.

Love,

Alison, your future wife.

P.S. If you don’t exist and I become a nun, I’ll be Jesus’ bride, so that’s okay too.

Notes: My second and third scenarios for how I might meet my future husband are based off of what really happened to my aunts and uncles when they met 🙂

*More on this idea starting at 2:52 of this video

So tell me:

Anything sweet and awesome about YOUR significant other…

…OR Something you want to tell your future loved one!

Fascinating Friday Links #3

Here we are with the third edition of…

fascinating friday

!!!

Honestly, I’m not sure how often these will show up in the next few months because of school, but I hope to do as many as possible. Either way, I hope you find some of today’s links helpful, enticing, meaningful, or funny!

Challenge Yourself (I’m trying both of these!)

[Commit to good form in these functional movements every day] The 100’s Challenge via Blonde Ponytail

#100challenge

[Sometimes we just need to stop and smell the roses] The Slow Down Challenge via Jeff Goins, Writer

#slowdownchallenge

Fitness

[Are you happy when you exercise?] The Smile Test via Holistic Simplicity

[Another 1000 rep workout!] Back To School At Home 1000 Rep Super Star Workout via Peachy Palate

[Love her strength + cardio workouts] Leg Workout and S’mores Coffee via Peanut Butter Fingers

[Looks like such an intense but awesome competition] Moxie Madness {My First CrossFit Competition} via Julianna Bananna

[Agree with most. Guilty of a couple. It’s a learning process.] 16 Gym Etiquette Rules That People Often Break via Livestrong.com

Who’s ready for football season?! (I don’t even watch football.)

[A workout to burn off all the tailgating food 😉 ] Gamecocks + Football Game Workout via Run Pretty

[All the classics with some gourmet twists] Top 25 Recipes for Football Season via Eat, Live, Run

[I mean how could you go wrong?] Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits via Spoon Fork Bacon

[A healthier, but delicious-looking option] Healthy Game Day: Red Pepper and Bacon Sweet Potato Skins via Undressed Skeleton

[Just look at her pictures and you’ll want to make it ALL] Football Food! {135 Recipes for Football Season} via How Sweet It Is

Healthy stuff

[Because dried figs and swirly things rock] Fig Newton Pancake via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[For smoothie lovers] 31 Healthy Smoothie Recipes via Itz Linz

[How I TRY to eat] What Is Real Food? via Kath Eats Real Food

[Little changes can make a difference] Making a Meal or Recipe Healthier via The Fitnessista and Fannetastic Food

Sweet sweets

[So simple and scrumptious] Chocolate Ripple Coconut Ice Cream with Raspberries via GI 365

[Absolutely doing this. SOON.] The World’s Greatest PB & J via Family Fresh Cooking and Weelicious

[Jaw-dropping] Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cake via Steph’s Bite by Bite

For the recipe innovators

[Any good game day recipes?] Game Day Food Recipe Contest via Undressed Skeleton

[Make breakfast with California avocados] Wake Up with California Avocados via Cookin’ Canuck

Miscellaneous

[For those that love chain restaurants’ signature dishes] 25 Copycat Recipes via Bake Your Day

[For luscious locks, food matters!] Beauty School: 5 Foods for Beautiful Hair via MichellePhan.com

[A beautiful story and concept] The Pledge Card via The Chastity Project

[We need Africa more than they need us. Wonderful perspective.] I Need Africa 2.0 via Eat, Live Run

[Cutest little boy who knows the good stuff] CHOBANI! video via Twopeasandpod on Instagram

[So hilarious and accurate!] What If Disney Princesses Had Instagram? via Mashable

[Typical Kitty Purry] 17 Completely Absurd Moments From Katy Perry’s “Roar” Video via BuzzFeed

Happy Friday!

So tell me: Which links did ya like?