Virtual Breakfast Date

Hey, hi, hello, let’s meet and eat.

virtual breakfast date

…I would {obviously} peek at what you’re having for breakfast. Here’s what I’m having this morning:

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To wipe that disgusted/confused look off some of your faces, I’d explain that it’s an overnight oat smoothie blended with greens this morning and topped with the crunchiest purple corn flakes (I just attempted to find which brand it was, because we threw out the box, but I’m not sure which one it is!). I would assure you that it tastes delicious. Wanna try a bite?

…I would say never mind, don’t have a bite. I came down with a fever a few days ago and I feel 95% recovered, but my throat still hurts a bit, so don’t take your chances.

…I would attribute my sickness to two days in a row of theme parks in less-than-ideal weather. But with an ideal theme park companion by my side! My dear friend, Lauren (fellow air saxophone and groovy tune enthusiast), visited us in Florida for a few days after New Years, and we had a grand ol’ time.

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The night she arrived, Madre and I (poor Pop was the first to get a fever that night) took her to Disney Springs for dinner and perusing. We shared so many hysterical laughs at the silliest things, and it was the best.

…I would exclaim that dinner at Paddlefish was STELLAR. They started us off with the fluffiest bread with honey cinnamon butter, and now I think honey cinnamon butter should be on every table across the nation. Lauren got the mahi-mahi special, which had a macadamia nut crust and sat on top of crab fried rice. Madre got the fish and chips, which came with two giant pieces of perfectly crispy fried cod and sweet potato fries (her absolute favorite). And I got the scallops with bacon, crispy brussels sprouts, and cauliflower puree. We all shared bites of each other’s dishes, and everything was blissful.

We finished the meal with their “charred carrot cake,” which was three times larger than I was expecting. It came with excellent vanilla ice cream, shortbread crumbles and little fried carrots *jaw drops*. We took most of it home.

…I would stop drooling over my past meal and continue the story of our fun evening. Following dinner, we walked around and admired the charm of overpriced Disney merchandise.

mom: “kiss the Lego girl!” *obey* mom: “alison you need to be closer” 🤭

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THEN WE DANCED…and participated in a lip synch competition that was 20 minutes longer than we were expecting. I posted some of the craziness on Instagram:

I was l i v i n g. This is basically what I do in my room by myself when I’m bored, except this time I was less loser status and actually had an audience! Having Lauren there was extra fun, because she’s often my groove buddy.

…I would tell you that we went to Universal Studios and Disney’s Magic Kingdom the next two days. It was rainy and chilly on Universal day, so some of the rides were down unfortunately.

after v. before the rain at universal studios #hunchbacksofharrypotterworld

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Lauren and I managed to have a nice time at Harry Potter World though, sipping warm Butterbeer, eating delicious ice cream from Florean Fontescue, and remarking at how Diagon Alley = diagonally, and Knockturn Alley = nocturnally. But the Revenge of the Mummy ride outside of HP World was our favorite. We went twice.

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Magic Kingdom was…fine. Mistake #1 was arriving at 11am, which is way too late for a theme park like Disney. It was utterly packed that day (the wait for Space Mountain kept teetering between 2.5 to 4 hours lol), and also utterly FREEZING for Florida. I was quite underdressed and just miserable by the end of the day, but it was still fun hanging out with Lauren all day and even meeting up with our friend Domenica and her cousins sometime in there (bottom middle photo)!

…I would say that Lauren really made the theme parks fun. If it weren’t for her humor and both of our “well…we’ll work with what we got” personalities, it would have been a rather disappointing two days. But anything can be a great time if you let it be.

…I would wish you warmth! As we road-tripped home from FL to NY this weekend, it felt like the movie The Day After Tomorrow when the ice was invading the city like a wave. Just coldness creeping and increasing with every pit stop. I’m such a baby when it comes to the cold. You’d think I’d be okay with it living in the Northeast for 12 years, but nah.

…I would say that I’ve been eating ohhhhh so well this winter break. But I’m sure you’ve noticed.

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Yes, we did go to Popeyes on our road trip. It was one of the greasiest most delicious things I’ve ever put into my mouth. Other things have included desserts from my brother and his girlfriend (she got me banana pudding from Magnolia bakery!), sushi (I think NY has the best sushi in the northeast), and mom’s homemade food (*angels singing*).

…I would laugh at how I had coffee date with a friend in a heated train station yesterday. My friend who I met abroad in Ireland, Cristen, and I got hot beverages and muffins from The Black Cow yesterday, but there were no seats left in the tiny coffee shop. Thus, I asked the cashier if she knew any place nearby where we could just sit and chat, and she suggested the train station… So we went.

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These chairs were actually attached to the floor because they were more like art pieces, I think. But it was heated in there, sort of. I had to push a button every 20 minutes that said, “PRESS IF YOU WANT HEAT.” YES WE WANT HEAT.

Cristen and I are up for anything though, and we had a lovely time catching up on life. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I had the steamed milk and honey (loved it) and a morning glory muffin.

Soul warmed by conversation and esophagus warmed by hot beverages.

…I would shut up now because this post is so long and ask you:

What are you eating for breakfast?

Have you ever had a less-than-ideal theme park experience?

Tell me about an odd situation you’ve experienced recently.

How was your first week of 2018?

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Family Influence on Fitness

Hi!

Okay, even though she bullies me to tears sometimes, I am having Daliza withdrawals. She left with her family yesterday, and I can’t say “I guess so” without getting slightly emotional. I’ll see her back in New York soon, but she’s like my sister, and I want her to come back!

Thankfully, I still have my cousin, aunt, uncle, and parents here. {What am I gonna do with myself in college?} We all had a chill day yesterday, which I loved.

I slept in and came downstairs for another one of my peanut butter banana brown rice bowls (those are too good). I made Daliza some hot mango-peach-banana oatmeal on her last morning with us, since she never had my hot oats before.

Daliza: Hates pizza and pasta. Loves oatmeal.

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Daliza’s family came over for a short time and then we said goodbye to all of them. Afterwards, my uncle, cousin, and I were in the mood to get in some stretching and core work. Random?

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{Thanks for the picture, Uncle G!}

Stunned that I can still do that after a couple weeks without truly stretching

My uncle, aunt, and cousin are super healthy and fit people that are as passionate about exercise and healthy eating as I am. They do wushu kung fu together as a family, and they are legit. Amy (my cousin, pictured above) also dances and can do things like aerials, L-sits, and one handed handstands on the wall. TEACH ME.

The best part about hanging out with them is that I can gush over all things fitness without feeling like that health nut that no one really wants to listen to. (<— I hate ending on a preposition, but the proper sentence sounded snobby.)

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Look at all that fruit.

{photo credit to Uncle G again}

My immediate family is definitely interested in healthy living, so I can talk to them about it often, but these relatives bring it to a whole new level. I believe that having close family members that are passionate about— or at least interested in— fitness and health makes obtaining a healthy lifestyle much more fun and enjoyable.

This family appreciates every bit of movement they can get, even if that means walking farther or using the stairs instead of the escalator. That kinda makes me want to jump for joy. But they also know the importance of rest and treating yourself, which relieves me. I’m not about to give up ice cream. No no no.

We all went to Universal CityWalk in the evening for dinner, and we chose a Mexican restaurant called Antojito’s.

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antojito's

The food was really tasty (especially the guac)! I came in famished and left filled to the brim.

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But not filled enough to decline frozen yogurt. 🙂

It’s all about balance, moving often, and eating frozen desserts.

So tell me:

Is your family into health and fitness?

Do you find it easier/harder when they are/are not interested in health and fitness?

 

Behind the Scenes #26: Harry Potter World

Hey, it’s another vacation recap! Crap.

I know I said I wasn’t going to do these the rest of the time I’m in Florida, but there is just too much I want to tell you all about our adventures… At least there was a vlog to break things up a bit on Wednesday?

I’ll keep this post as short and sweet as possible by doing it Thinking Out Loud style (i.e. a numbered list)!

1) A few days ago, coming back from the outlet mall, we came across this little guy struggling on the side of the road in our neighborhood:

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I’ll name him Squirt in honor of Finding Nemo.

We pulled over to take a picture of him, but we didn’t know what to do with him. Then a dude in sunglasses drove up, picked up the turtle, and put him back into the lake without saying anything, even though we were trying to ask questions. Then he drove back to where he came from. #iGuessSo.

2) Daliza and I went mini-golfing on Wednesday evening!

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I won, but that’s not saying too much since that was Daliza’s first time playing. I’ve even played at this course before and I got a double bogey (two more strokes than par) on the FIRST HOLE.

I also fell on my butt somewhere, somehow during our game, but that’s not important…

3) Wednesday night was lovely and relaxing with a dinner of pork/veggie spring rolls made by mom and movie night. Daliza and I watched Heaven is For Real (the movie based off of my favorite book) finally, and it was pretty good! The book was better though, of course.

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Parcels of goodness

4) Daliza and I spent a whopping 13 hours in Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure yesterday. My feet hated me. But we knocked out more than 12 rides and attractions, I believe! Go hard or go home (literally). Now, for all you Harry Potter fans (ARMAN):

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Hogwarts

diagon alley

Diagon Alley

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Surprisingly very delicious ice cream in Diagon Alley! I had strawberries and peanut butter + sticky toffee pudding. Daliza had butterbeer soft serve!

5) Daliza was totally awe-inspired by the Harry Potter sections of the parks, and I thought it was pretty fantastic too. But I’ve never read Harry Potter, and I’ve only watched a couple of the movies, so I wasn’t quite as ecstatic as she was. This is why:

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Is he not so scary?

6) There was never a moment in the day during which I didn’t feel soaked. It was either water from a ride or just plain sweat. So nasty. It’s all a part of the experience though, right?

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7) The lines were not terribly long! Glad we didn’t waste $100 on an express pass. Oof.

8) I was in a breakfast rut during this vacation until this morning. I was in the mood for some doughy, creamy grains, but I didn’t make overnight oats last night. So I used the brown rice mom had made earlier this week for a peanut butter banana rice pudding of sorts.

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Hallelujah!!!

Wow, it was delicious. I hadn’t made a breakfast rice bowl like this in a while. I tweaked this recipe a bit:

  • ¾ cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 huge tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 baby banana/half a banana

Put all these ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes. Mix well until the peanut butter and banana are combined with the rice and the milk is absorbed. Top with dollops of plain Greek yogurt and maple syrup. DIG IN.

Do it, please.

9) We’re going to a concert tonight! It’s a husband and wife duo called Us The Duo. Daliza actually introduced me to the group just two days ago, but I’ve been doing my job as a fangirl by listening to their music nonstop. If you like Colbie Caillat, Tori Kelly, Ingrid Michaelson or any other singer-songwriters like that, you’ll love these two. They’re adorable.

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10) I think I’m gonna do some yoga now. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

So tell me:

Are you good at mini-golf?

Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Ever eaten rice for breakfast?

Ever heard of Us The Duo?

 

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Hello!

So you know how we had a “10 out of 10” day on Sunday? Well….we finally got a “bad” day yesterday, which I have decided to rank a 4 out of 10. Meep.

It was still a fun day spent with family and friends, but the moody Florida weather killed some of our evening plans. We did get to experience a close (almost too close) thunderstorm though! So close that I thought the thunder actually cut through my soul.

The day started with a good ol’ oatmeal cookie dough smoothie that I hadn’t had in a while since I never wanted to wake up any of the guests with the obnoxious blender.

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Daliza and I stayed home with my little cousins while the other adults picked up my dad from the airport (I’m so happy he’s here now!). I made them waffles and scrambled eggs, and I got a taste (literally) of what it’s like the be the human garbage disposal. They didn’t finish some of their waffles and eggs so I ate them to prevent wasting the food. Domesticity at best.

Mom took me to get the iPhone 5S since my contract was ready for an upgrade! The guy at the store was super nice, but he was pushing really hard for us to buy a case and screen protector from them. He was young and trying to be all smooth and funny, but my mom sweet-talked her way out of his sweet-talking salesmanship. $40 case? Nah. I got this nice purple one from Ross for $6.

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Once that business was finished, I made a quick lunch to-go as we headed to a town called Celebration. It’s a little town owned by Disney (they’re ruling the world) with boutique shops and restaurants. It’s scary clean. Scary cute. Scary perfect.

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Salad with chicken and avocado toast

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We were there for a grand total of 30 minutes (which involved eating ice cream for some of us) before becoming bored. Our plans were to go to Downtown Disney for the rest of the evening, but it started pouring she we were almost there. So we detoured to Universal CityWalk, but then it started storming there too.

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We huddled under a hut for a little while before the lightning started getting closer and the thunder started cracking through the air more loudly. Once it felt like a lightning bolt nearly hit the hut, we ran inside the hotel. What to do? Eat dinner at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop.

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Appetizers

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Hawaiian style snapper

Everything was quite tasty! No dessert for me yesterday though. I’ve had ice cream every day of this trip so far, so I decided to take a brief break. Brief is the key word 😉

And that was basically it for the day. The ladies did shop at Ross for a bit on the way home. I decided to spend more money there than at the outlet mall today. I’m not into the designer stuff because I lose things, and losing a $12 pair of sunglasses is a lot better than losing a $200 pair of sunglasses. Word? Word.

I just want to say that I’m thankful for absolutely everything and everyone throughout this vacation. It has been filled with more blessings than I can ever deserve. I’m so spoiled, I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself in college. The friends and the family are really what have make this trip so special. I can’t believe I’m still here for another 2 weeks! I promise I won’t be just posting recaps every single day. I’ll get to more meaningful, conversational things soon!

Hope you all have a great day!

So tell me:

What did you eat for breakfast yesterday?

Are you suspicious of Disney like I am?

Do you like to spend a lot of money on clothes?