Incredible Things

There are some incredible things as of late that are noteworthy:

It’s incredible that Thanksgiving is this week. That means finals are coming, which means the semester is almost over, which means I’m almost halfway done with sophomore year of college, which means my senior friends are almost done with college, which means I need to shut the freak up before I go insane.

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dining hall thanksgiving dinner {that cornbread stuffing}

It’s incredible how kind people can be, despite the fact that you’ve only met in person once (or not at all). My blogger friends near and far have been nothing but kind and loving to me and to other fellow bloggers, often for no particular reason. Sweet prayers and messages from Julia and Hayley. Kind words by Emily. Heavy care packages from a certain no-bake king. All of YOU who choose to read about what goes on in my brain. God bless you.

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spoiled

The power of a 10 minute nap is incredible. I was in desperate need of a nap the morning/afternoon before my exam on Thursday. I could have studied straight through until 3:30 pm, but my friends forced me to take a nap. SO BENEFICIAL. My brain could actually function. Who ‘da thunk?

It’s incredible how talented humans are. Besides people like Michael Phelps, Mother Theresa, and Beyonce, there are some darn talented people around you! Including you. I was reminded of that at my friends’ a cappella concert on Friday night.

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It’s incredible how God shows so much love through people. It’s truly life-changing to have friends and family who seek to love as Christ loves.

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It’s incredible how much work I have to do over Thanksgiving. I’m just complaining for the sake of it, which is not model behavior, but… I have two exams and two essays due next week. It’s always a good time to be thankful for a great education, but this is REALLY a good time for that, eh?

It’s incredible that it’s still pretty warm outside in late November. Not that I’m complaining!

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It’s incredible that Justin Bieber made it onto my Spotify playlist. It’s his song “Sorry“. I’m sorry I like it. UGH.

The power of patience and prayer is incredible. Because guess what this girl got this weekend!!! Let’s just say I might not need another gynecology appointment. More on this later.

Find something to smile about at every hour of the day. When in doubt, nap it out.

So tell me:

Something incredible in your life right now.

Thanksgiving plans for my fellow Americans? I’m going back to New York to see the much-missed fam and COOK!

A Very Blogger-esque Weekend

Ermahgersh.

That has been my catch phrase of the weekend, because everyone and everything that I encountered deserved such a remark. Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start!

Friday

I took the day off from my {unpaid} physical therapy internship to spend the day in NYC. First of all, can I just tell you about how I had to run to catch my train? Running (literally) late left me shaking due to a lack of high intensity exercise recently. I was late for no reason other than the fact that I’m terrible at managing my time and I get distracted too easily. Working on it.

First stop in the city was to meet my dad for lunch! He took me out to one of his favorite spots called Dig Inn, which is such a healthy living blogger eatery. Just look at this sign— made of wood, says “seasonal market”. Fits all the criteria already.

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lentil salad with upstate apples // roasted sweet potatoes // bulgur with wild salmon salad

It was kinda like a full service version of Whole Foods hot bar, but even fresher and more delicious.

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This is me with the Brooklyn Bridge and the city air that left soot in my nose.

Then I saw this kangaroo sausage lover!

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Arman from The Big Man’s World! Upon meeting, he immediately boosted my ego saying, “I thought you were going to be tinier (shorter)!” That was an exciting compliment!

But seriously, Arman is such a cool and genuine dude. It was an honor walking and talking with the Australian no-bake master in person. He even brought me a batch of his newest strawberries and cream bars, which are not only me-approved, but Pop-approved. Go make them!

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The sunshine, heat, walking, talking, and less-than-ideal amount of sleep during the week left me royally pooped at the end of the day. I didn’t even have the energy to take a shower before going to bed, which is nasty but I did not care.

Saturday

I started the day inspired by Arman’s creations with this strawberries and cream “oatmeal pudding” based on his cake batter oatmeal.

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The rest of the day involved chores, handstands, bodyweight leg exercises, church, and experimenting in the kitchen.

I found turkey bacon in our freezer, resulting in the strong urge to wrap it around chicken. So I searched Pinterest, found this recipe for cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken, and made it for dinner. I just used turkey bacon and garlic herb cheddar instead of real bacon and regular cheddar.

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This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all week! Is that sad? I say nay, because this was freaking fantastic. I served it with sautéed onions and mushrooms, and steamed veggie medley.

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Dad asked what I would name the chicken dish (besides “cheddar and pepper stuffed bacon wrapped chicken”). I said that it kinda looks like a race car, so he said it should be Chicken Lamborghini.

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Close one eye and envision the Chicken Lamborghini. Close the other eye if needed.

For dessert I baked peanut butter cookies (for a belated National Peanut Butter Cookie Day celebration) and prepared a new mango banana chia pudding recipe that I’ll be sharing later!

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Sunday

It’s always fun when we get to make Sunday a pancake day! Strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes from Smitten Kitchen to be exact.

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The crisp of the cornmeal will get you out of bed

I am a major cornbread fan, so any opportunity to make cornbread in breakfast form is an opportunity to snatch.

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buttah, baby

And because I wanted peanut butter, I ate a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, and a big spoonful of pb alongside my griddle cakes.

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More blogger interaction took place in the afternoon. In addition to texting Alison and Hayley throughout the weekend, I FaceTimed the beautiful Julia from Lord Still Loves Me! Despite some crappy wifi connection, we managed to have a lovely conversation. She is such a sweet and genuine lady— I adore her!

I’m starstruck from this weekend.

I also baked this banana bread baked oatmeal, which I’m saying is for my dad, but we’ll see how much actually gets to his mouth before it gets to mine.

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So yes— a very blogger-esque weekend. Meeting bloggers, cooking, eating, blogging… I think I’m going to continue the trend and get my yoga on right now.

Hope you all have a joyous day!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

What would you name the cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken?

Which bloggers would you love to meet in person (I’m not looking for myself as an answer, promise!)?

New Hair, New Finds, New Best Friend

Thinking-Out-Loud

click on the button to learn more!

1) Remember when my brother and I plunged a few hundred feet head first into a canyon in Colorado? And I promised a Go-Pro video of our faces? Well, I posted said video on Youtube but have since forgotten to share it with you!

You can see me praying and making the sign of the cross before the ride starts at 1:16. (P.S. brace yourself for the scream.)

2) When I was at my PT internship the other day, one of physical therapists said, “Wow, you really cut your hair off.” Then the patient said, “Boys like long hair.” She then confirmed this with the physical therapist, a man.

…Oh.

Well I like my new short hair, dangit!

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3) I still love my PT internship though. In fact, one of the PTs gave me all the digital versions of his textbooks, and one of them is about exercise form called Becoming a Supple Leopard. If becoming a supple leopard is not a fitness goal, I don’t know what is.

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4) I came across this travel blog the other day called The Everywhereist. Have you heard of it? If you’ve read this article on PopSugar called “I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything,” that’s the blogger, Geraldine. She is absolutely hilariousThere is no blogger that makes me laugh out loud as much as she does.

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Like I said, Geraldine runs a travel blog, but in the interest of us healthy living peeps, here’s her latest post called, “If the Exercise Class Descriptions From My Gym Were Honest.” Grab some tissues, you’ll probably cry of laughter.

5) Last week I told you guys that I wanted to cut down on social media when I came home from work. In all honesty, that has not happened. I realized that I can’t just say I’ll do something; I have to actually cut something out (taking Hayley’s advice!). Thus, I’m going to try logging out of my blog reader. I’m not as hardcore as Hayley, since I’m not deleting it, but I just need to spend less time reading the 100+ blogs that I follow. Hopefully this helps and gives me more time to read books! And sleep.

6) I saw more high school friends last night!

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The “Core Four” getting ice cream, just like old times. You know you’re great friends when you can still laugh until you almost pee after a year apart from each other. Also, that’s blueberry cheesecake ice cream I ate. YEAH.

7) Guess who I’m seeing tomorrow!? His name rhymes with Garmin and his blog is the opposite of The Little Woman’s World. (Spoiler: this guy!)

Who knows what kind of trouble we’ll get into. It’s been so fun getting to know bloggers more in person, outside of blog/social media comments. I was serious when I said I want to FaceTime with you guys!

8) I have a new best friend. He’s loyal, quiet yet unassuming, he makes my house smell really good, and he cooks me dinner while I’m at work.

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His name is CrockPot. Not a sexy name, but names don’t matter.

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Before work, I threw in some chicken breasts, spicy Italian sausage, a large visalia onion, marinara sauce, and some water. Then Mr. CrockPot worked his magic low and slow for about 6 hours. After work, my house smelled like an Italian restaurant and the chicken shredded with ease.

If no boy will take me out to dinner because of my short hair, at least I have the CrockPot to make me dinner.

10) I might have to take a flight to LA just to go to this place: Spread PB, A Peanut Butter Bar. It’s a peanut butter BAR. Go drool over their menu (and if you’re allergic to pb, pretend it’s almond butter).

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Hope you all have a fantastic day! Rock your hair, no matter what anyone says.

So tell me:

Do the guys in your life prefer long hair?

Have you come across any new blogs that you love?

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

One thing you’re excited for!

Last Colorado Things

We are back to the mother ship!

But first, one more picture from Blend thanks to mom, who showed up as the guest photographer.

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After traveling from Boston to New York, New York to Colorado, Colorado to New York, I am done wandering for a while. (My mom and bro are still trekking along to Florida for my brother’s internship!)

Blend swag made travel snacking so easy.

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Madre loves these Quest protein chips. Look at that protein!

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Colorado was an epic vacation with my mom and brother, but I’m also happy to be home with my dad. Poor guy was eating leftovers from the fridge all week while we were eating fresh new foods in Colorado (and then posting them on social media where he could see). I’m also excited to be all domestic again this summer— mostly for the cooking, not as much for the cleaning and errands… Such is life.

Domesticity started early this morning with dropping off Pop at the train station, going grocery shopping (at 6AM when I can pace the aisles freely without judgement), and breakfast.

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Arman’s cake batter oatmeal is life-changing // sprinkles just because it’s “cake batter”

We left Colorado with a bang by going to Flagstaff House for a super splurge dinner on Sunday night. My mom insisted on taking me out to an early birthday dinner, since she and Ben would be away for my real birthday. I definitely didn’t need a fancy dinner, but I think my mom really wanted dinner with a view to treat me to something special. It’s not like it was difficult to accept either. 😉

The meal was rich (food-wise and moolah-wise), but we savored every bite, as well as the unbeatable mountain view.

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The service was excellent, and the food was outstanding. They even served complimentary amuse bouche  and palate cleansers throughout the meal.

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bottom left is our appetizer order: yellowfin tuna tartare and steak tartare with brioche toasts

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my entree: New Zealand salmon (cooked medium rare, OMG) with lump crab meat // Ben’s: pork tenderloin // Mom’s: natural Colorado chicken breast

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desserts: chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream // trio of vanilla bean, vegan vanilla bean, and salted caramel house-spun ice cream // tiny complimentary French toast with vanilla creme anglaise and candied pecans

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early birthday complimentary dessert platter

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complimentary mini blueberry poppyseed loaves to take home!

Incredible all around. The value is awesome when you account for the view, service, quality and taste of food, and amount of complimentary food!

I got some moves in at the hotel before we headed to the airport yesterday, and it was probably the last intense workout I’ll be doing in a while. (I’ll talk more about all that another day.) It was a good one though!

  • dynamic warmup
  • circuit workout // 3 rounds of each
    • 15 weighted step-ups each leg // 20 squat jumps
    • 5 reps of 5 bent over row+ 5 frog plank jumps // 15 leg lift crunches
    • 20 hamstring ball curls // 10 burpee tuck jumps
    • 12 sit-ups to shoulder press // 20 spiderman planks
  • tabata // 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x8
    • burpees
    • high knees

I’m not a workout selfie person, but I thought my last gym workout for a while warranted one.

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Hashtag grind, hashtag muscles, hashtag gym. Did I nail it?

I followed it up with more Blend swag food: half a Quest bar + a sweet potato with a chocolate Nuttzo sample packet and a power fuel Nuttzo sample packet.

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And then an Asian chicken salad later in the afternoon.

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I went to bed late and woke up early this morning, so I’m about to take a nap before my eye doc appointment and then my first day at physical therapy internship!

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Take weird selfies today.

So tell me:

Have you gone to a splurge restaurant that was totally worth it?

What do you like to eat on airplanes?

Do you like gym selfies (seeing them or taking them)? I don’t mind seeing others’ gym selfies every once in a while, but I don’t really like taking them myself.

What are you doing today?

My Questions For the World

Well, we’re done with high school.

Should I be crying? Because I’m actually so ecstatic that it’s over! I’m gonna miss my friends and teachers of course, but let’s be real…we’re DONE!

I guess you could say we ended our year with a bang, but our dysfunctional grade also almost messed things up again. Some people tried to have a balloon fight in school in an effort to squeeze in a senior prank, but that fell through when the principal found out first thing in the morning. Bravo, children.

We did have the water balloon  fight after school in the lot, which was {legal} and kinda fun. More fun was this big ice cream mess in business calculus! I’ve told you time and again— that class is about food more than anything.

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I had this ice cream at 10:30 AM, and I was off the walls. Insanely hyper.

Anyway, I got to sleep in today, which was wonderful in every way. So now I’m gonna answer some wild and crazy survey questions created by yours truly! Arman kindly asked me (yes, kindly can you believe it?) to come up with this week’s Spill It Sunday questions, so of course I said yes. I love me some survey questions! I also like Arman when he isn’t threatening to chuck things at me.

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I’m answering these on Tuesday, but the link up will be Sunday! Obvi.

1) What is your happy place?

The summit of a hike. I haven’t even gone anywhere that amazing, but nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment and peace.

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2) What are you wearing right now?

A t-shirt and shorts (aka my pajamas).
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What a color combo, eh?

3) Cookies or cake?

Why did I ask this question?! This is a toughie. I feel like I eat cake more often, but I prefer cookies. Favorites include oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter (betcha didn’t guess that last one).
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Like Kylie’s Almond Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies…I could go for some right now.

4) Which chore/errand do you despise the most?

Vacuuming. Even though dad does it most of the time, I’m not a fan of it when I do vacuum. Moving all the furniture, the loud noise, lugging the thing up and down the stairs, maneuvering around the wire… On the bright side, it definitely counts as some daily moves!

5) What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

I haven’t done anything super crazy, but the one thing that comes to mind is when I went Peppercorn helmet diving in Bermuda.
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The helmet dive was different from scuba diving in that you didn’t wear a suit and you basically just walked on the ocean floor (we were in a fairly shallow part of the ocean). Air was pushed into the helmet at however many miles per hour to keep the water out, and the heavy helmet just sat on your shoulders. I, being maybe 10 years old at the time, was FREAKED OUT when the guide first took me down. I started screaming in my helmet so he took me back up to the boat until I was ready to not be a chicken anymore. I wish I could find the pictures because my face is the picture of terror.

6) Brag and tell us one thing you love about yourself!

I love my public speaking ability. I definitely give credit to my dad for teaching me the tricks of the trade.

7) Now tell us one embarrassing fact about yourself.

I used to pretend to be Hannah Montana all the time. I would film myself singing her songs, pretend to be giving out autographs, try to write original songs, and make my brother take pictures of me dressed like Miley Cyrus (of the past). I don’t know why, I really don’t.

8) Name three things on your nightstand.

My prayer book, a squishy stress ball brain, and a container of cocoa butter (body butter).
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9) You can ask a famous person one (and only one) question. Who is it and what is your question?

 Mother Teresa: Who was the most influential person in your life?

10) Would you rather live in the breathtaking mountains or on a gorgeous tropical beach?

As much as I love a tropical beach, I would have to say I’d rather live in the mountains (hello, happy place!). To be honest, I’m thinking of Jo right now. I wanna live where she lives, because it looks like this:

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Yes, please.

Have a great day, friends! If you have a blog, try out these questions and link up with Arman on Sunday! If you do not have a blog, answer some of the questions in the comments below!

So tell me:

Cookies or cake?

Beach or mountains?

Your answer to any of the other questions!