A to Z!

Love this blogging trend… and it makes me think hard!

The A to Z of Brie!  (look, I rhyme.)

A – Airplanes.  I spend a good portion of life on them (or so I feel like), and the funny thing is that I’m really not the biggest fan.  I used to be deathly afraid, and with my hip issues I’m always uncomfortable, but I know that they always take me to a place that is wonderful.

B – Bread.  My favorite thing.. what I always crave.. and the bane of my self control.  So many things in one!  My favorite types are sourdough and spongy oat/wheat combinations, and I really love making homemade bread.

C – Coxing.  I mean, let’s be real, how could this NOT be my “c”?

D – Dessert.  I always crave something sweet after finishing lunch and dinner.  Oftentimes, a great yogurt or fruit hits the spot, but sometimes you just need that spoonful of marshmallow fluff.  Yum.

E – England & Europe.  The place where my heart lies, and where my body will soon follow!  Come September, I’ll be settling in merry ole England to study at Cambridge.

F – Family.  My parents have supported me through everything, and I can’t wait for them to hop the pond to visit!

G – Gates.  As in, Mr. Gates himself.  The Gates Cambridge Trust is paying for my entire PhD at Cambridge (living costs included), and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this network.  I’m looking forward to meeting wonderful, world-changing individuals, and having the opportunity to expand my knowledge at, arguably, the greatest university in the world.

H – Hard-boiled eggs.  I might regret using my “h” for this later, but right now, I’m obsessed with hard-boiled eggs.  Sometimes I medium-boil them (so that the yellow is solid but delightfully fluffy), and sometimes I soft-boiled them so that they split open on my salad or toast.  Now I’m craving one.. crap.

I – Ice cream.  The thing that hates my stomach, but that I love most.  My favorite flavors include Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and recently, Ben and Jerry’s Greek Yogurt varieties.  I just did recently did a product review of Blueberry Vanilla Graham.

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J – Joking.  About 95% of what I say is sarcastic or humorous.  Don’t take life too seriously!

K – Kitchen.  The best place in any home.  I have no idea how I lived without a kitchen in my immediate vicinity in college for two years.  Seriously, I feel like I practically live there.

L – Long books.  Whenever I walk into a bookstore, I ignore any book that appears to be shorter than 300 pages.  I don’t know why – I just gravitate to the longer novels, etc.  It’s something that I’ve always done.. as if I judge quality by length?

M – Music. I have a downright huge range of musical loves, ranging from classic rock to bluegrass, and with a raging love of rap.  Some of my workout playlists should be rated R.

N – Neuroscience.  What I will pursue for my PhD – specifically, stroke rehabilitation.  It’s such a cool, growing discipline, and I can’t wait to learn more!

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O – Opportunities. I’ve had so many wonderful ones, thanks to school, Red Cross, etc., and I can’t speak enough to people about making the leap.  Go for things even if you have a hesitation.  The worst that could happen would be for something to not work out – but how would you know if you don’t try?

P – Pumpkin.  My favorite fall flavor.  I love pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin mousse, pumpkin muffins… no, really, just feed me pumpkin.

Q – Quirky.  Me.

R – Red Cross.  I’ve volunteered for these guys for almost 7 years, and have loved every minute.  Their mission is incredible, and they treat their volunteers with immense respect.

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Meeting with South American Red Cross societies in Barranquilla, Colombia.

S – Sammy.  My cockapoo (cocker spaniel + poodle) mix, who isn’t the brightest creature on the planet, but is certainly the most kind hearted… and darn cute.

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I also have a few more animals in my household…. (minus my cat)

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T – Thanksgiving. Most say Christmas is their favorite holiday, but I prefer Thanksgiving because of the family and the food!

U – University.  I like to think I’ll be in University, somehow, for the rest of my life.  My brain flourishes in this setting, so hopefully I’ll be a research Professor as a career!

V – Volunteering. Love the rush it gives me, and love meeting new people.

W – Working Out.  Ah, the obligatory “fitness” shout-out.  I’m trying to figure out the best way to get a good workout with my hip limitations.

X – X-ray.  I get so many of them!

Y – Ya’ll.  A hilariously Southern phrase that I think is hilarious, and probably overuse.

Z – Zoo-school.  I went to a special program during my junior year of high school that sent me half-day to the Columbus Zoo to study the drill monkeys.  By far one of the coolest experiences of my life!

Home at last!

Sorry for no post yesterday – I was en route from DC back to my home in Ohio!  Now that my 10-week internship is done, I have roughly 5 weeks to get my things in order to MOVE TO ENGLAND.

So excited.

Anyhow, let’s rewind!  Friday was the closing ceremony for our internship, meaning great food and great people all in the same place!

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The buffet was incredible.

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I filled my plate with veggies first (huge tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots), then went for the meat (salmon, chicken, flank steak), followed by a small scoop or orzo pasta salad, a strawberry and grapes.

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I did indeed have seconds, which consisted of more tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken and the black beans that marinated the chicken.  Delicious.

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Can’t believe it’s over so soon!  As I was leaving, I snapped one final picture of my home for the last 10-weeks…

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And how beautiful it is.  You can see words inscribed on the ground (which are the seven ‘parts’ of our mission) – a very beautiful lobby.

After having my flight delayed for two hours in Reagan Airport, and having had a long conversation with one of the top ranking officials in Global Development from the White House, I made it home to Ohio!  It was my parents’ 40th anniversary yesterday, so of course we headed to our favorite place: Joe’s Crab Shack!

I apologize for the picture quality – my camera was buried in my luggage, but I couldn’t miss this moment!  I had snow crab, scallops and mussels in white wine.  Holy cow was it delicious.

So, now that I’m home, I have a huge to-do list, which includes exercising, getting back to my “comfortable” coxswain weight, figuring out the small annoying details of moving internationally for an unknown period of time… and seeing/loving friends and family!

Please enjoy the small workout I did this morning to kick start my day:

Jumping Jacks

60 reps

Raised push-ups

15 reps

Wall-sit

45 seconds

Step-back lunges

10 reps each leg

Butt-kicks

50 reps

Plank

60 seconds

Leg drop w/ reverse crunch

2 x 10 reps

Didn’t have me breathing too hard, but I needed something to kick-start my day before my gym membership gets up-and-running for the month I’m home!

Happy Sunday!