Weekend Confessions

weekend confessions

It’s been a while since I confessed to you all (because I don’t already bare my innermost thoughts to you on a weekly basis already).

So some confessions from the weekend:

Confession #1: I watched Me Before You with Daliza on Friday night, and I was crying my eyes out with all the other middle school girls in the theater. In my defense, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room except for Daliza’s. She was laughing at the rest of us.

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Confession #2: I loved and hated the movie. Loved because it was a very sweet romance (I’m a sucker). Plus, British accents. Hated because I have some qualms about the ending.

Confession #3: After the movie, I went home for a really cute baking date at home with a British guy ❤

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Cookie & Kate’s banana bread in muffin form

That guy would be Jamie Oliver. On Youtube. It was like a Skype cooking date, except we were cooking different things and he has no idea I exist.

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fresh out of the oven with a big smear of cinnamon raisin peanut butter from Stowe + glass o’ milk!

Confession #4: Dad’s birthday was on Saturday, but he did more work and service than I (and many people) did that day. He’s a star.

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Saturday’s breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, banana muffin, and almond butter

Confession #5: Mom and I bought so much {rather expensive} food at the farmers’ market on Saturday with the reasoning that “we are supporting the locals.”

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I’m sorry, how many dollars?

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foraging in my natural habitat

I love special nut butters, but there are very few times I am willing to drop $13 for a standard jar.

Confession #6: I totally snacked my way through lunch at the farmers’ market. I love how you never fail to get excessive amounts of carbs and cheese at farmers’ markets.

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side confession: this fresh apple waffle was probably the best waffle I’ve EVER eaten — so doughy!

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this apple strudel is legit

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side confession: this tasted no different from chocolate cow milk, but that’s not a bad thing

Confession #7: I may never get tired of tacos.

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one carne enchilada + one chicken taco

Pop chose a local Mexican restaurant for his birthday dinner, and Mom and I could not be more pleased with his decision 😉

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he got a huge frozen margarita for his special day — atta boy

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chicken and pork chilaquiles as an appetizer to share

Confession #8: I always forget how wonderful one-on-one walks are. Pop and I took a late night walk through our humid and dark neighborhood. Good convo with a great man.

Confession #9: I indulged in more sweets on Pop’s birthday than on my own birthday. The farmers’ market lured Madre and I into buying many baked goods, sooooo, like, you gotta eat some while they’re fresh, right?

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a slice of apple strudel a la mode + a piece of this gluten/dairy/grain/everything-free blueberry scone

Confession # 10: I play eenie-meenie-miney-mo (sp?) for a lot of my trivial life decisions. Example: yesterday’s breakfast was a toss-up between three of Amanda’s recipes: oatmeal cookie dough smoothie, banana oat french toast bake, and chunky monkey pancakes.

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banana oat french toast bake won – topped with cinnamon raisin pb + glass o’ milk

Confession #11: I put Greek yogurt on my beef yesterday.

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LISTEN. It’s like sour cream if it’s full fat Greek yogurt (I’m saying this mostly to defend myself from my non-blogger friends, who think that even peanut butter with yogurt is weird).

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also had a hunk of a huge cheese biscuit…from the farmers’ market

Confession #12: The workout I did on Saturday left me quiiiiiite sore on Sunday. It was:

5 rounds of 10 Bulgarian split squats each leg + 3 wall walks. Then…

3 rounds (30 sec work, 10 sec rest):

  • burpees
  • alternating split lunges with 10# DB
  • toe touch + split sit-up
  • push-up with knee tap
  • high knees
  • heel tap burpees

I’m sorry. Half of those exercises probably mean NOTHING to you, because they are not conventional exercises that have real names.

Confession #13: When I did this 60 minute vinyasa yoga with Leigha Butler yesterday, I spent about 25% of the time staring at her doing poses beyond my anatomical capacity.

Confession #14: When I went on a walk with Madre yesterday, I was walking at maybe 2 mph because my butt was so sore.

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a slow incline that felt like a mountain – but look at how mystical this is!

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Confession #15: We secretly live near a rainforest.

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…that happens to have evergreens

Confession #16: I decided to watch home videos with mom last night because all I wanted were warm fuzzies.

Confession #17: Dinner last night was pita bread and veggies with hummus, these baked zucchini, and desserts…from the farmers’ market.

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Hope you all have a fantastic week! Support local businesses 🙂

So tell me:

What is your experience with farmers’ markets? Do you get giddy like I do? Do you give in to buying more expensive things than you normally would to #SupportLocal?

Do you ever play eenie-meenie-miney-mo to make life decisions?

Two fun things you did this weekend!

What do you think of Me Before You if you read/saw it?

Simple Phrases That Make All the Difference

Greetings from New York!

I had to refrain from making that greeting ALL CAPS because I’m beyond excited right now! As soon as my eyes fluttered open this morning, I noticed that:

a) I wasn’t in my dorm and I felt a little discombobulated.

b) I smelled something delicious cooking (Madre at work ♥ )

c) It’s snowing!!!

I ran downstairs like an excited 5-year-old on Christmas to say good morning to my mom. I am now watching The Price is Right while eating overnight oats. The finer things in life.

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It looks like there is a blizzard outside, but that’s only because I had to lighten this picture, like, 10 times.

We arrived home from Boston via car at around 1:30 AM this morning (hence me sleeping in and this post going up super late). The Thanksgiving traffic coming out of Boston added a hefty two hours to our commute, so we were drained and ready for bed by the time we got home.

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But being me, I was hungry and I wanted a snack, so I reached for something I had missed dearly

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Almond butter!

And then I made sure to prepare the overnight oats that I am currently eating because it has been way too long since I had my fave. I was literally quasi-yelling, “Oh my gosh YAAAAASSS,” while  was making them. Thankful to be home indeed.

Simple Phrases That Make All the Difference

Speaking of being thankful, tomorrow is the day for such thankfulness for us Americans, huh? I was reflecting on how I wanted to bring together my thoughts of thanksgiving in a blog post, but I was stuck for a while because I didn’t really want to start the inexhaustible list of things for which I am grateful.

Instead, I noticed that one thing I’ve been hearing and saying more often than ever recently is, “You’re beautiful,” or, “You’re awesome,” or, “You’re wonderful.”

Many times I’ll be passing by a friend on the sidewalk and saying hello with a warm hug, and then we would exchange at least one of these simple phrases. They don’t deserve a prize for unique compliment of the year by any means, but when you think about what beautiful, awesome, and wonderful mean, you can’t help but smile.

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via my friend Rachel’s Instagram

If I want to be sappy and honest, hearing and saying these words so often has made me more thankful for the companionships in my life. I get that some people might say, “You’re awesome,” as a quick, colloquial compliment when you don’t know what else to say, and maybe that’s the case for other people and I’m just being a mushy blob of feels right now. But my friends at Boston University definitely give me a sense of genuineness every time they say one of those phrases. I certainly mean it if I say them to you!

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Breakfast date with my freshmen friends. That would be a wheat waffle with pb, banana, and honey. Mhmm.

Words are powerful. I guess that’s why I like to blog (even though my words are a bunch of crazy foodie talk half the time). We can throw words out there without thinking about what we are actually saying, or we can use our gift of language and communication to tell others how much we love them. We do both of these things at the appropriate times (hopefully), but when it comes to the latter, there is something so special about a simple, friendly phrase.

When I hear or say, “You’re beautiful,” I don’t think about aesthetic beauty (although, I have some good-lookin’ friends, don’t get me wrong). I think of how beautiful their spirits are— how they are humble, faithful, and charitable.

When I hear or say, “You’re awesome,” I think about how strong and resilient people are. Everyone has their trials that we may or may not be able to see, but people still have the ability to smile, do well, and help others.

When I hear or say, “You’re wonderful,” I think about how we are all children of God. That’s wonderful enough in and of itself.

So I tell you now in this season of Thanksgiving: You’re beautiful. You’re awesome. You’re wonderful.

And lastly, thank you.

I hope you all have a joyous, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving!

So tell me:

What is one simple phrase that resonates with you?

What are you doing today?

Half of my day is gone thanks to sleeping in, but I’m planning on going to the nail salon, doing some homework (ew, I know), and maybe seeing friends!

 

Mall + Disney World

Hi there!

I didn’t post anything yesterday, but it feels as if I haven’t blogged in a week or something. Is that some magic Disney World time warp conundrum? Or is that just vacation? I actually told my friends that Disney is oddly scary because it’s this utopian world that is obnoxiously clean, constantly happy, frighteningly systematic, and meticulously attentive to detail. Sounds like an evil empire to me.  The happiest place on Earth!

I’ll shut up now and go right ahead into filling you all in on these past couple of days which included a trip to the Mall at Millennia, Gaylord Palms Resort (#why choose that name for a resort?), and the elusive Disney World!

Mall at Millennia

This is a beautiful mall in Orlando that my family loves to visit whenever we’re down here. For me, it’s not even the shopping; I just like to look at the place. There are palm trees inside the mall. INSIDE.

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After shopping and walking around for a bit, we walked across the street to the Elephant Bar restaurant for a super late lunch (3:30 PM— we were late risers and had breakfast at 11 AM). I ate the Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and some other Asian-y spiced sauce. Delicious!

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Gaylord Palms

Next we headed to the Gaylord Palms Resort (none of us could say that with a straight face…we’re mature), which is another beautiful place with some restaurants, shops, and gator/fish ponds.

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As we were walking, we came across a man casually reclining in his chair carving amazing fruit sculptures. He allowed me to take a picture of his works and told us that he carved fruits for Ivanka Trump’s and Kim Kardashian’s wedding! Hit him up if you want some profesh fruit faces at your Florida party!

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Frozen yogurt also happened. Peanut butter + cookies and cream to be exact.

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After we got back home in the evening, my aunt, Daliza and I walked over to these food trucks parked in our neighborhood. Apparently they come once a month, but I’d never seen them in past summers. We didn’t buy anything, but it was cool to visit!

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Disney World

I wouldn’t be surprised if you skipped to this portion of my blog post. Disney does that to people.

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Hitchin’ to the castle. Stay classy.

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As you can tell (if you’re familiar with Disney World), we visited the Magic Kingdom park with the iconic Cinderella Castle as the centerpiece. Daliza and I ventured to each of the “lands” in the park and managed to hop on quite a few rides throughout the day (we were there from 10 AM until 11:30 PM). Splash mountain was probably my favorite because it was the only one that was remotely thrilling with the big drop and splash (obviously) at the end. I got soaked.

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In my most romantic princess attire.

Daliza and I also tried the famous Disney Dole Whip! I had the pineapple-vanilla twist, which was good, but I liked Daliza’s orange-vanilla one better. The pineapple-vanilla was more icy, while the orange-vanilla one was creamier.

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Brought our own lunches to save SOME money from Disney’s black hole of revenue.

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“It’s a small world” ride! It had been 14 years since I went on this. It used to be my FAVORITE ride when I was a nugget.

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Daliza met her Peter Pan/her hero/her future husband.

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Dinner at “Columbia Harbour House” in Frontierland. This grilled salmon with couscous and steamed broccoli was surprisingly very delicious and satisfying!

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Evening festivities

After this electric parade, we watched the big shows at the Castle, which were easily my favorite parts of the whole day at Disney.

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And Tinker Bell 🙂

My feet were crying since we probably only sat down for a total of one hour in the whole day, but it was a blast. Amusement parks are 100 times less stressful when you’re not 5 years old.

Today? We already had a nice, big breakfast, and now we’re headed to the BEACH…”each, let’s go get away..”

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Have a fabulous weekend, friends!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Disney World?

Who is your favorite Disney character?

Do you like amusement parks?

WIAW: Taste Evolves (+ Chocolate PB Banana Protein Smoothie)

Hey-lo! (Hybrid of hey + hello. I’m trying to mix it up, ok?)

I think one of my favorite parts about blogging is participating in Jenn’s ingenious What I Ate Wednesday party. I used to spend who-knows-how-many hours clicking on every link in the WIAW linkup to see what everyone was noshing on. That’s how I found so many of the blogs that I still love reading today! So without further ado, here’s what I ate yesterday:

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Breakfast

If you saw my post about waffles and pancakes yesterday, you already know what I ate for breakfast, but here it is again in all its deliciousness:

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Shortstacks Oatmeal Raisin Cookie waffle and pancake topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Glass o’ milk on the side.

Workout Snacks

I had an unpictured banana before my workout, and then some bites of each of these mid-circuit:

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Some cashews and a cinnamon brown sugar BelVita biscuit

I keep these in my gym bag in case I start to slump and need a boost of energy. I’ve definitely had instances in which I feel depleted and start flailing dumbbells instead of lifting them, if ya know what I mean. Therefore, I take snacks everywhere like I’m 5 years old. You can ask any of my friends–I’m ALWAYS snacking during school, dance, whenever. I’ve learned to deal with the stares 😉

Lunch

Looked the same as all my other lunches…

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Chicken, avocado, spinach sandwich with some more of my creamy sriracha dip

The other day, my mom was surprised at how I’ve recently been adding a considerable amount of sriracha hot sauce to many of my meals. I’ve always liked a wee bit o’ spice, but I never liked anything too spicy because then I would complain that it overpowers the flavor of my food. I think I also just didn’t like the taste of sriracha. My parents and brother would say, “You don’t know what you’re missing!” and I would reply “Hahahaha have fun burning your tongues!” Can someone say catty?? Well now they get to say “I told you so.” *Kicking myself in the butt*

Now it seems like something is missing if I don’t add a little bit of the unnaturally bright red sauce to my savory foods. My tastebuds have definitely evolved as I’ve gotten older. Here are some other things that I claimed I would never like (or didn’t think I liked) that I now love or at least eat quite often:

  • Wasabi–I would CRY if the tiniest particle of this stuff would get into my mouth (sorry to my friends and family who had to deal with my dramatic reaction). I hated the taste and the nasal spiciness of wasabi. I have no idea why or when I decided to try it with my sushi, but now I enjoy a nice dab of it on each piece. Never thought this day would come.
  • Raw carrots–I never used to like the earthy flavor. I still prefer them with hummus, but I often eat them by themselves now too.
  • Avocado— I KNOW. I have no explanation as to why I didn’t like it. What a shame.
  • Mustard–The taste always turned me off because it has that strong wasabi-like flavor. Now I love it in my burgers, especially the strong whole grain stuff!
  • Raw tomatoes–The thought of raw tomatoes used to make me gag. I’ve always been okay with cooked tomatoes, but now I even eat other peoples’ raw tomatoes if they don’t want them…Extra lycopene!
  • Watermelon–It’s still not my favorite fruit ever, but I do love the refreshing taste during summer. I used to never eat it.
  • Chocolate–Yep. I used to not like chocolate. I actually DID like it when I was a baby/toddler, but then something weird happened and I stopped liking it. It’s still not my sweet treat/flavor of choice, but I enjoy brownies, some chocolate candies (Reese’s to be exact), and occasionally chocolate cake and frosting. It really just depends on how I’m feeling.

There are probably a lot more, but those are just the ones that stand out in my mind right now. It’s fun to think about how much taste can change. I want to know how your tastebuds have changed too!

Snack

One of my favorites:

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Dried figs (I had another one after the picture was taken!) and plain Greek yogurt

I actually dip the dried figs in the yogurt and eat it that way. Does that sound weird? It’s like the figs sweeten the plain yogurt, and the yogurt adds protein and creaminess.

Dinner

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Some chips and our favorite salsa from Stop and Shop

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Salmon and salsa over spinach + corn on the cob (x2)

Colorful and flavorful! That corn was so swwwweet!

Late Night Snack 

You know how I love my late snacks!

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Chocolate peanut butter banana protein smoothie

This was AMAZING. Not overly-chocolatey 🙂 I didn’t want it to end! I don’t have an exact recipe since I sorta just threw a bunch of things into the blender, but to the best of my memory:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2 if you want it to be lighter)
  • 1/2 frozen medium-large banana
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • (if you want an extra chocolate punch, I’m sure 1 tbsp of cocoa powder would do the trick!)

Definitely a nice way to end the night. Have a great Wednesday!

So tell me: What are some foods that you used to not like that you love now? Recent yummy eats? 

Waffles or Pancakes?

Mornin’!

Yesterday ended up being very blah because I couldn’t even fall asleep for a good nap. Ah well. I had to fall asleep to the sound of the TV last night, and ended up getting more sleep. Here’s to the new day– praise God!

Dinner 

My mom makes some mean grilled salmon. It’s very common to ask for medium rare steak, but have you ever had medium-rare salmon? That’s just how we like it in our household, because the fish just melts in your mouth, and it basically transports you to a 5-star seafood restaurant. That fabulous. She cooks it on the indoor grill for about 1.5-3 minutes per side, or until you can see just a super thin line of darker, uncooked meat in the the center. Then she’ll grill the fish on its sides for about 30-60 seconds to finish it off. And voila–perfect salmon! We seasoned it with Bone Suckin’ sauce and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

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See that slightly darker pink in the middle? That’s the money-shot (as Guy Fieri would say).

You know I had to have some of that for dinner last night!

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Wild/brown/black rice mix with salmon + spinach with hummus (random, but good!)

We discovered another package from Groupon (what can I say, my mom loves their deals) that was at our door, which contained this awesome thing:

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It’s a Waring waffle/pancake/omelet(!) maker! Breakfast just got a whole lot more efficient.

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Pancake/omelet iron on one side

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Waffle iron on the other

My mom and I wanted to test it out right away, so we decided on a little breakfast for dessert. We used yet another Groupon purchase as our mix (I promise they are NOT sponsoring this post. But we could definitely be there spokespeople):

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Shortstacks organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie mix

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We both agreed that we like the waffles better because they got nice and crispy all over the edges. The pancakes still worked out well though! The batter itself wasn’t too sweet and didn’t really taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie at all. I’m sure a little maple syrup would have given it some more pizzazz, but I was just in the mood to have a few bites.

My mom bulked hers up with some chocolate protein powder though!

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Look at her bein’ all fancy!

The protein powder sweetened it nicely for her, and you could barely taste the chocolate after it was cooked. We can’t wait to use our new toy some more! We’ll be using the waffle side the most probably. The crispiness just can’t be beat! However, I feel like there’s something about the stackability of pancakes that’s also appealing. It’s hard to decide….

Breakfast

…So I had one of each this morning 😀

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Topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup

This was so delicious!

I have yet another doc appointment today 😦 But then I have another meetup with a dance friend! And then hopefully a workout. Have a great day!

So tell me: Have you ever had medium-rare salmon? Waffles or pancakes and why? 🙂