Picnicking Through a Pandemic

Journal Thoughts

(In the safest way possible.)

Close your eyes and think back to your last trip to a restaurant. You and your closest friends all squeeze together, practically on top of each other inside a cozy booth, as menus are passed around the table. The options seem endless. You have no idea what you’re in the mood for, though, your stomach is teased by the juicy scent of a meat-lovers’ pizza crisping in the oven. The restaurant is bustling with people laughing and chatting. You look around to see what others have ordered: gooey garlic bread; heaping mounds of buttery, twisted pasta; a sizzling slightly-pink steak. Your stomach grumbles in its empty state. Flash forward and its past dinnertime. Your bellies are slightly rounder and filled with carbs, but now your tastebuds crave sweetness. You stand in line outside on this warm spring evening, waiting for your mint ice cream to be handed to you. Couples and giddy children huddle beside you underneath the light of the shack, as they share chocolatey licks of their cones and spread ice cream around their lips. 

Now, forget everything you have just imagined. Picture the opposite. Picture restaurants with giant “CLOSED” signs dangling in their windows in the middle of the day. Picture vacant parking lots and barren streets. Instead of bumping into neighbors and sharing friendly conversations at your local supermarket, you’re now rushing down the aisles in hopes of avoiding all contact. The shelves look as if they were ravaged through by animals. Bread and eggs have suddenly become a scarcity. People’s faces are draped with tight surgical masks, bandanas, old scarves, or anything else they could find to cover their mouths. Bare hands are a rarity, and instead they’re now hidden behind rubber barriers. This is the current state of the world that we’re living in today, and it feels like a scene straight out of a horror movie. 

A Word On Optimism And How Bad Days Make Things Better

Journal Thoughts

Because the glass isn’t half-empty, you’re just more hydrated now.

Darling Darla (Obviously not pictured on the beautiful 60 degree day.)

It is the middle of January in New England, yet it was a balmy 60 degrees the other day. Although this is a sure sign of climate change, I took advantage of the warming Earth and went walking with my dogs.

It was when I was walking my big lug of a Bernese Mountain Dog, Darla, that I seemed to have a moment with myself. I suddenly had felt the urge to stop in the middle of the road and close my eyes. I’m not sure if it was the sun beaming onto my face or the wind’s warm gusts, but in that moment, everything felt at peace.

Measure Your Happiness, Not Your Waist-Size

Self-Care

This past summer, my body was in the absolute best shape that it has ever been in. I was exercising regularly, eating well, and just giving my body some much-needed attention. It was definitely the definition of a self-care summer.

So, to no surprise, I spent the summer taking a record-winning number of mirror selfies. And, not just any mirror selfies. I had my (almost) abs exposed and my leg muscles flexed. I felt good, baby! During those months, I actually enjoyed wearing crop tops and never passed up the opportunity to take photos at the beach.

Seeing genuine evidence of my personal growth made me feel incredible.

The Secret Behind Aesthetic Smoothie Bowls

Good Eats
It may not look super pretty, but it definitely was super yummy :’)

I don’t know about you, but I always see these BEAUTIFUL photos of smoothie/acai bowls plastered all over my Instagram explore page. (Then again, maybe that’s just because I’m obsessed with stalking through food accounts.)

I always used to make smoothie bowls at my friend’s house after we got back from the gym. Well… I suppose I truly wasn’t the one making them. My friend would simply give me an assortment of ingredients to choose from, and then mix up the creation herself. The bowls always turned out tasting, and looking, amazing.

However, when I moved back to school (away from my smoothie goddess of a friend) and tried to recreate these bowls myself, my first few attempts were absolute failures. Even with the same ingredients that we used, I still always ended up with too thin of a consistency or too chalky of a texture.

That is, until a few days ago.

We All Have Emotions, So Why Not Embrace Them?

Self-Care
This was taken at the beautiful “Path of Life Garden” in Windsor, Vermont.

I miss my mom every second of every day.

I feel it most at night, when I’m laying awake by myself. There are only so many things that can distract your mind when you’re in the silence of a darkened room.

It happens with long car rides too. Car rides can actually be the worst. I have an hour and a half drive from my university to my hometown, and doing it alone is enough to drive me mad some days. Podcasts aren’t so effective if your brain chooses to ignore them, no matter how hard you try to listen.

How To Make The Perfect Overnight Oats

Good Eats
Because, no, oatmeal doesn’t always have to be gross.

When I was little, I remember trying really hard to like oatmeal. My mom had it for breakfast almost every morning, and of course, I wanted to be like her. Yet, no matter how much brown sugar and cinnamon I dumped onto my bowl, I still could never understand her love for it.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and a friend of mine was now raving over this new-to-me creation called “overnight oats.” I was oh-so excited to try out her recipe, until I actually tasted it… then the excitement went away completely. I figured I was out of luck- it was just meant for me to dislike oatmeal. That is, until a few days ago.