Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What I Ate Wednesday: June 2017

WIAW, or What I Ate Wednesday is this cool deal where bloggers post about what they ate on a particular day. Over the past couple months I've really enjoyed reading others bloggers recap their day of eats so I decided to give it a try myself! Linking up with

Uninteresting but necessary disclaimer: this is simply what I had to eat on one particular day and it may or be reminiscent of my typical diet. What works for me may not work for you! Please bare that in mind. :)

This is what I had to eat last Friday, a summer day where I was off from work (so I had more time to cook), did a strength/plyometric work out, went to a 2 hour dance class, and took our dog on a quick walk.

Half Pita bread with egg + veggies, half with pb and strawberries
Breakfast! My absolute favorite meal. Basically the only meal where I have motivation to do more than throw food on a plate. After I took our beloved dog Molly on a quick walk I made a mixed it up a little bit for breakfast. I fried an egg with some mixed baby greens, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers and put it into 1/2 of an Ezekiel bread pita pocket. In the other half I put some peanut butter and strawberries. I could've tried to take a better picture, but hey, I was hungry. I also had some tea with a little milk and sugar, which I normally have at breakfast.






Swiss cheese with triscuits + hummus with tomato, carrot, and bell pepper + cantaloupe and grapes
Lunch time! I was very hungry after an intense strength and plyometric work out so I basically threw a bunch of stuff on a plate and called it lunch. I had some cheese, crackers, fruit, hummus, and veggies.

For a snack after dance class I had a small Fuji apple with some cinnamon sprinkled on top and 1/2 serving of (not pictured) tomato basil lentil snaps.
Apple + cinnamon and unpictured lentil snaps

My mom made dinner. It was baked spaghetti and salad. This spaghetti tasted absolutely divine to me. I haven't been eating a ton of pasta lately because I've been trying to eat so healthy for Nationals, so this pasta was SO satisfying. #CARBS

Late night snack/dessert was some freshly baked blueberry Greek yogurt bread (BEST THING EVER!!!) and some (not pictured) strawberries and cantaloupe. Oh, and some tea!
Blueberry Greek yogurt bread + fruit (not pictured) + tea

Hopefully you enjoyed seeing what I eat in a day! I don't know how often I'll do this, I'm usually too hungry to take the time to take pictures of my food but I'd like to occasionally feature a day of eats. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Linking up with WIAW!

Mary Grace



Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend Recap--Blueberries, Graduations, and Fathers' Day, Oh My!

And...it's Monday again! Funny how that happens.

I went into the weekend expecting it to be relaxing. Ha. While I did a get a little bit of time to rest this weekend, it was ultimately busier than I expected! But hey, sometimes that's life!

Friday

Friday evening after dinner, I wanted to bake. I started out following this recipe for lemon blueberry greek yogurt bread, but due to the fact we were missing some things I ended up altering it somewhat. I plan to post exactly what I made later this week! I think this bread may be the best darn thing I've ever made in my life.


Saturday

I started the day with this fabulous post sprint workout breakfast (pardon the kid plate from Ikea)
tea, strawberry greek yogurt with banana and strawberries, blueberry lemon bread, and some fruit


I had dance class at 11am and it was shorter than usual because my dance teacher's daughter was graduating! My dance teacher and her family are both awesome and very close to my family so we went to the mass where the graduates were honored and the actual graduation later that evening.
Snapchat pic ;)

Congrats to this special lady! We've been friends for a long time and oftentimes many people have thought we were twins! Can you see it?

Sunday
Since we attended mass Saturday evening, I got to sleep in a little longer which was nice! For Fathers' Day my dad wanted to go see Wonder Woman as a family. IT ROCKED. LOVED IT. Ever since I was little I've had a special fondness for Wonder Woman thanks to those old Justice League cartoons. My siblings and I all used to watch those all the time and we each chose a different character to "be." I was always Wonder Woman! I'll have to do a separate post on the movie because it just blew me away.

The rest of Sunday was spent helping prepare a nice Father's Day  dinner as well as just relaxing, and hanging out with my family. I love my dad, he is such a wonderful, hard working example to me! I hope he enjoyed his day.
What did you all do this weekend?





Monday, June 12, 2017

Some Monday Motivation

Alas it is Monday. I'm feeling the effects of this weekend, as I arrived home from Austin yesterday evening after a two day Irish dance competition. The competition went fairly well, it was my first time competing in a year and I was mostly happy with how I danced. My competition is insanely difficult so I wasn't expecting to place very high. But now it's back to real life. I have three weeks before Nationals in New Orleans!

Anyway, in case you too and in need of a little motivation this week, enjoy these quotes!






Thursday, June 8, 2017

Currently--6/8/17 (Thinking Out Loud #2)

Before I begin this post, I want to thank everyone who read my previous post and offered me prayers and support. It means more to me than I can say! I am blessed with so many supportive family members and friends! Thank you! And keep the prayers coming. :)



Current book: I've been reading like it's my job this summer to make up for the lack of time I had for pleasure reading during the school year. I'm a big fan of historical fiction; I finished reading Radio Girls a couple days ago and it was really interesting to learn about the beginnings of radio and the BBC. Great read! I started Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson. I'm loving it so far! It's very Downton Abbey-esque. During my prayer time, I've also reading Imitation of Christ and I highly recommend it. Mind blowing.

gotta love that pizza ad;)
Current music: I'll admit I'm not a huge music person. I love music but I'm not the type to swear undying allegiance to bands and all that. Lately, however, I've been working out to the Imagine Dragons station on Pandora and I've found some great music that way! Some of my favorite songs right now are by The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons.

Current guilty (or non-guilty) pleasure: Hmm...I don't know if this counts as guilty but I've been started to take naps! My awesome roommate will tell you that I am normally awful at taking naps (she is basically a professional napper) but since I've had to adjust to getting up really early for work I've started to take pleasure in a quick 30-45 minute afternoon nap!

Current food: ALL THE BERRIES. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries...They are the best.

Current obsession: I'm really loving this lavender earl grey tea. I've been trying to drink less caffeine (not that I drink a ton anyways) but this tea is the best.

Current procrastination: I'm taking two online classes this summer and I really need to get started on my math class...it's self-paced so it's been a struggle to find the motivation to begin!

Current need: I need a reusable ice pack. Sounds random, right? Since I'm training for Nationals I've been on a strenuous work out and dancing schedule and add that to my new job which requires me to be on my feet for long periods of time and my feet are TIRED. We used to have some reusable ice packs but they disappeared into oblivion. I'm tired of plastic baggies spilling ice all over me.

Current confession: I haven't been eating as much chocolate lately. Gasp! I've been eating pretty healthy lately and while I do have the occasional amount of dark chocolate I just haven't been craving any candy or anything. Weird, but I guess it's good? Who knows.

Current excitement: I'm competing for the first time in a year this weekend! I'm heading to Austin tomorrow with my mom and sisters for my first dance competition since I competed at Nationals last year! I'm very nervous but excited! My goal is to simply dance the way I've been dancing in class and hopefully get a couple of good scores.

Current mood: Nervous. Tired. Excited! What can I say, I'm a mixed bag.


Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday





Monday, June 5, 2017

A Different Kind of Summer Job

This past week, I started an internship. I am an intern for the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and I am working as a sidewalk counselor this summer. My job is essentially to provide support, help, and options, for women entering abortion clinics. The goal is obviously to save the life of the baby and help the women and their families through whatever difficulties they are facing.

I have been Catholic and Pro-Life for as long as I can remember. It was how I was raised. I always knew abortion was wrong because it takes an innocent life. It hurts the woman, it kills the baby. However, I also knew that the women who turn towards abortion often do so out of desperation. I always felt empathy for these people.

However, after working two days this week, I realized that being aware of abortion and its heartbreaking effects and seeing it with my own eyes were two different things.

It's honestly so hard, watching the women walk into the clinic. I imagine the circumstances which lead them to this decision and it breaks my heart. My job, along with the other sidewalk counselors, is to try to make them aware that they don't have to do this. There is other help (in the form of crisis pregnancy centers) which can offer them whatever they need for no cost. My job is to attempt to save the life of the unborn.

It broke my heart when an young couple who initially came in on Thursday and seemed like they would reconsider their decision to terminate the pregnancy ended up coming back to have the abortion on Friday. The girl was young and was being pressured by her parents who felt she wasn't ready to have a child.

This job is going to be more challenging than I could have ever believed possible. I have the opportunity to save lives. You never know the impact your words can have on someone. I pray that God will grant me the strength and the courage to help these women and their babies. My Grandma is source of inspiration to me, she was a sidewalk counselor for many years. She is a remarkable woman and I am so proud to be able to follow in her footsteps.

 I am so grateful for the opportunity to make a difference. Please pray for me this summer!
(Images taken from here)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Why did I want to start a blog?

Just a quickie post today, outlining several reasons why I decided to start this blog. :)



1.
I wanted to practice writing. Since I ended up switching to an English major (more on this later) I wanted to get into the practice of writing regularly. I enjoy writing but sometimes struggle with the motivation.

2. I wanted to share my faith. I wanted to illustrate my life as a Catholic college student and hopefully inspire others to live out their faith with confidence.

3. I wanted a place to share my love of health. I'm kind of a health/fitness nerd and love reading others' blogs on nutrition tips, workouts, recipes, etc...I wanted in on that community!
4. I wanted an outlet for my thoughts and ideas. I'm always thinking up new ideas and I wanted a place to share them. Crafts, recipes, book reviews, you name it!


5.
I wanted a place to share my love of Irish dance as I feel that many do not realize the fascination of the world of dance in general and Irish dance in particular.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Random Collection of Thoughts--Banana Bread, Rest, Foam Rolling

I returned from my freshman year of college the first week of May and since both my internship and the two online summer classes I'm taking don't start until the first week of June I was gifted with a few weeks of down time. I have been so grateful for this transition period!

However, I have managed to keep busy! I am competing at the North American Irish Dance Championships in July and while I did try to keep up with my training while I was at school, I have really picked up the intensity since I've been at home, attending 4 dance classes a week as well as working out and practicing 6 days a week. But I've still managed to take some time to rest! I thought I'd share some of my activities from this weekend!

Friday, I woke up early went for a run, came back ate breakfast, and then practiced dance. I wanted to get my training in early today because I had plans with friends later! I got to hang out with some of my good friends in the afternoon which was great. The highlight of my Friday night was foam rolling while watching Gilmore Girls reruns. My body was really tired after a hard week of dancing and working out!


Yesterday, Saturday, was a pretty calm day. I had dance class at 11 and when I got home I ate lunch and then made banana bread! I've been itching to make banana bread for a while now, I just had to be patient and wait for the bananas to ripen. I used this recipe  by Running with Spoons. I've been trying to eat really healthy lately in preparation for Nationals and this banana bread totally fits in with my goals! It's oil-free and instead uses Greek yogurt. It's also primarily sweetened with maple syrup.  I actually doubled the recipe but used 1/2 the amount of brown sugar listed and my banana bread was plenty sweet, I probably could've gone without using any sugar, but I wanted to make sure it was sweet enough to please the sometimes picky eaters in my house! I added some strawberry slices to the top of one of the loaves (I would've added more, but again, I have picky siblings) and I loved the taste the strawberries added! Next time I probably won't bake the bread quite as long, I baked it for 30 minutes, which is less than the time listed in the recipe but left the bread just a tiny bit dry. Still yummy though. The rest of my Saturday was pretty uneventful. I took our dog, Molly, for a walk and basically got to relax the rest of the day!

So far today (Sunday), I went to mass this morning, came back and had a cup of tea and some banana bread, and have been relaxing since. I started watching Mr. Selfridge on Amazon Prime a couple weeks ago and I'm addicted. It's kind of similar to Downton Abbey. The show centers around American, Harry Selfridge, who opens a department store in London. Since I like to have my Sundays as rest days, I plan on simply relaxing for the majority of the day. I'll probably try to get some stretching and foam rolling in and I may take Molly for a walk. I might head to the library as well! I need some new reading material.

I'm not planning on anything crazy for Memorial Day. I'll probably get my training done in the morning, I may go to a special Memorial Day Mass as well. Some swimming and grilling may happen as well. :)

Hope everyone manages to have get some rest on this lovely three day weekend!
Mary Grace