Tag Archive | icecream

Friday Confessions

Hi friends! Happy Friday. Another week almost over…sheesh! I am not sure where June is going but I want summer to slowww down.  Why does the best time of the year always have to go by the fastest? Why why why? Well, I truly haven’t had a chance to write since my last post, so I wanted to try and squeeze a quick post in before the weekend, I have lots to share!

1)Post-wedding depression is a real thing.
I’ve heard about the post-wedding blues before but I never thought much of them. Now I totally get it. I wasn’t even the bride and my sister’s wedding being over and done with has seriously depressed me. I think it’s the long-awaited anticipation and build-up of such a fun, life-changing event suddenly being over that’s the culprit of it all. The day after the wedding, we all had the post-wedding wedding blues, that’s for sure. In the last couple weeks though, one thing that’s helped cheer us all up is catching some glimpses of  the professional wedding photos. (This is just a Facebook peek, but it’s so cute) LOVE!
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2)I’m beginning to think I have a serious ice-cream problem.
Last week, I ate ice cream for dinner twice, and this week I’ve had a cone every day for the last four days; whoops. I wish I could say I was sorry but…I’m not.
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3)I am 100% positive my hair has never been this long.
Originally I was growing my hair out for the wedding, but now that it’s over, I’m not sure what to do. Keep it long? Chop it off? I’m liking it long but goodness gracious it’s a pain in the heat. Suggestions welcome!
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4) Everyday is a gift
I’m trying to remember this each and every day, especially when I’m feeling down about something or defeated. One of my closest friends was recently in a horrible car accident and although she was injured and suffered a terrible wrist-break among other things, she is thankfully on the road to recovery and is SO optimistic and up-beat. Having dinner with her this week put it all in perspective.  Everyday is truly a gift. I love you, Tiff!
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5)These are the best cookies ever.
No joke, I made a gluten-free Almond Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookie recipe last week and the entire batch was gone in 2.5 days (thanks mostly in part to me). I’ll share the recipe next week!
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6) Whenever I am feeling unmotivated to work out, new clothes always help.
I’ve been loving outdoor running over the last month, but lately it has been feeling harder and harder  to get motivated in the morning. A new top and new sneakers did the trick. (Thanks to my love for the shoes, and to Nike outlet for an amazing deal!)
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7) I just love my Dad( s )
Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dad’s out there this weekend, especially mine.  I am so grateful for you each and everyday. And to my second Dad, too! I am so blessed to have you in my life!
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Have a great weekend, friends : –)

Ever suffered from the post-wedding blues? How did you cure them?

What should I do with my hair?!

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Now and then

In the last few weeks amongst unpacking, working, schooling, exercising, and trying to settle back into as much of a ‘normal routine’ as possible, I’ve had a lot of reminders of how different my life is now compared to then; then being the past— whether it’s a month ago, a year ago, ten years ago, just the past.  These reminders have stemmed from old pictures I’ve found, familiar faces I’ve seen in public, and comforting voices I’ve recognized on the phone. All of these reminders got me to thinking…sheesh my life has changed.

From being a fully employed city-girl one year, to an international exchange student the next, and now currently a full-time student/ rural-America girl in the present, I’ve sure had my fair share of change. But I guess change is what makes life exciting, right? I tend to think so.  I haven’t had a single second to be bored this past year, and while I truly don’t regret a second of it, I have to admit, after all of the excitement of moving to Australia and the mixed emotions of both sadness/joy over moving home, it does feel peaceful to be in one-place, unpacked, and at home for awhile. So when I got to thinking about just how different my life is now from then, I had to get it out on paper (or in this case, on the blog).

Now…Occupation
Year: 2nd half of 2013
Age: 27
Occupation: Student  + ice-cream shop/mini-golf/ bbq manager (Loving it btw!)
State & Country: Maine, USA

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Then
Year:1st half 2013
Age: 26
Occupation: student/barista/gelato scooper
State & country: QLD, Australia
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Now: Favorite Exercise
Running (check out the sheep behind me! #maineliving)
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Then:
Basketball
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Can you guess which one is me?  Winking smile

Now: Favorite Pizza
Veggie with cauliflower crust,  who would have thought?!
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Then:
Deep-dish cheese from UNO’s please 
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Now: Favorite Accessory:
Chunky necklaces
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Then:
Visor sunglasses (#soembarrassing)
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Now: Favorite ice-cream
Red Raspberry Chip with sprinkles (or anything with sprinkles!)
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Then:
Mint Chocolate Chip
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Source

Now: Favorite Breakfast
Oats, oats, oats!  (And Greek yogurt with fruit)
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Then:
Cereal combo
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Now: Best Friend
My twin sister
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Then:
My twin sister
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Guess some things never change <3

You tell me, what’s a fun fact about you, now versus “then”?

sometimes the hardest thing is the right thing

Hey friends! I truly did not intend to take a leave-of-absence from blogging while I was home, but somehow that’s what happened. However,  I can say I truly enjoyed every single second I spent with my family and friends, and sometimes stepping away from technology is necessary to make sure that happens. I must admit I am VERY behind on blog-reading, so to some my favorite bloggers out-there (Meghan, Charlotte, Leslee, Monique, Rachel, Elizabeth, Brooke, Kristy, Kelly, Cori, Kristina, Lillian, Bek, just to name a few) I am still a devoted reader, promise! Smile

Anyway, in five short weeks home, I think it’s safe to say I fit a lot in. It all started with a visit from my twin, which was full of:
– fun dinners:
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-puppy cuddles:
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-…and ice-cream dates:
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This visit was followed by a week-long trip to Cape Cod where we:
-mini-golfed:
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-went bowling (where the best part of the bowling alley was the bar!):
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-relaxed, exercised,  and ate loads of frozen yogurt:
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-had a fantastic dinner with some of my closest girlfriends and family (hi Laura, Peter, and Lauren!):
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…and dined out:
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(To.die.for. Lobster salad at the Poppenessett Inn)

Our Cape trip was followed by a wedding dress shopping weekend with my sister, Mom, and best friend Sarah. Can I just say that I’m OBSESSED with dress shopping? Love love love. We also squeezed in  a girls night at Mohegan Sun, and a visit to Kimmie’s wedding venue in Newport, Rhode Island:
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(We are standing on the exact location Kim and Jim will be married next year!)

-Mohegan Sun girls night:
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-Plus I got to see my dear friend Michelle for lunch, too:IMG_3567

In my last few weeks home, I worked most days (Hi Mr. Shaw!), but fit in some pool time, a Boston visit, and quality family-and-friend-time too:
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So after a whirlwind trip, I’m back in Australia! It feels wonderful to be back with Brandon after a month of being apart. I don’t think long distance relationships get any easier, no matter how much experience you have with them. But as good as it is to be back,  I do have a confession: I’m not back for long. After countless hours of research, pro/con lists, deep discussions and many tears, I’ve decided to move home in order to continue pursuing my second degree back in America. As hard as it is to admit, sometimes the hardest decision is the right decision, and this is one of those times.
 
Would I rather stay in the same place as Brandon? Yes.
Do I love living in a tropical paradise? Yes.
Do I feel that moving to Australia was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Yes.
Would it be easier to stay here and continue doing what I’ve been doing? Yes.

However, the adult me asks:
Education wise, does the university here offer what I need for courses? No.
Does it make more sense to take my pre-requisite classes somewhere more affordable? Yes.
Do I want to be done with school as soon as possible and start my new career? Yes.
Will staying in Australia enable me to do this? No.
Will I have more opportunities to work while attending classes at home? Yes.
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And so, with Brandon’s support and our families support, I’ll be moving back to the U.S.A. at the end of August, immediately starting classes in Maine at that time. 
I’m extremely grateful that I can continue my dream of achieving my masters degree of nutrition at home, but it deeply saddens me to leave Brandon, the life we created together here, and the friendships I’ve cultivated this past year. Sometimes the hardest decision is the right decision, and I’m praying that this one is the right one for us.

Thank you always for your on-going support and for reading,

Meredith

P.S. Brandon’s parents are en-route to Australia tomorrow and we are anxiously awaiting their arrival. Travel safe, Brad and Sue. We love you!

Three Things Thursday: A Balancing Act

Hey friends, happy almost-weekend! We are in the home stretch and it sure does feel good! I’ve had a busy week of studying and work, so I am ready for a day or two of relaxing.  I truly can’t believe I’ll be taking my final exams in 3 weeks. Where did this semester go? I am already starting to experience those familiar anxious feelings I vividly remember having near the end of every semester at Bryant University when completing my business degree.  You know the nervous, heart palpitations, exhausted, anxious feelings, and the “how am I ever going to remember all of this stuff” thoughts?  I fear those may become a daily occurrence around here, but I’m going to try my best to not let that happen.
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(I loved that quote!) Source
Now that I’m 4 years older (and wiser, I like to thinkWinking smile) this time around back in school, my goal is to continue to maintain balance throughout my days, even while studying and during finals. During my years at Bryant, I was terrible at keeping a balance within my life. If I had an exam, I would lock myself in the library and simply study for days and days. I look back now and cringe because I know I wasn’t eating properly or sleeping enough, which are both very important factors in preparing for exams! Now that I understand the importance of taking study breaks, fueling  properly, getting enough sleep, continuing to exercise, and just ‘living’ in general, it’s very important to me that I keep-up with a good balance. That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it!

Anyway, to help me achieve my goal, I thought I’d turn ‘Three Things Thursday’  into three things that have helped me maintain a balance each week until finals are over. So, here it goes! This week:

1) I cooked a casserole:
I attribute this week’s balancing act success to a great meal I made on Tuesday night: Taco-Inspired Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.
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I always seem to forget about casseroles and their benefits. Most of them create meals you can eat for multiple days that are perfect for leftovers and reheating, they taste better as the days go on, and for the most part they can be relatively inexpensive to make. This was simple and delicious, a major hit in this household!   I’ll post the recipe soon : –)IMG_2833

2) I squeezed in exercise when I could:
I don’t know about you, but exercise is my outlet. It clears my head, makes me feel ‘up’ when I’m down, and is just something I enjoy. Although I consider myself to be a 100% morning exerciser, my new schedule with work and studying just doesn’t allow me the time I used to have to work-out when I want to most mornings, but that’s okay. I am listening to my body, sleeping later when I know I need to, and just fitting  in exercise when I can. It surprised me, but I’ve really enjoyed all of the evening runs I’ve taken. I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets!
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3)I made time to laugh..and eat ice-cream:
When I’m stressed, I really have to remind myself to take a chill-pill, and then I talk to my twin sister. Last year she made a career change and went back to school for a nursing degree, so she’s gone through all of the classes I’ve taken and had the similar stresses I’m having now. She lets me vent and our conversations always end with a smile. Plus, the pictures we send each other never cease to make me laugh, either!
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(We really miss each other…but her dogs always help cheer us up!)
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Oh, and a soft-serve cone always helps too : – )
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What’s your favorite casserole to make?
What are your tips for maintaining a balance in your life when you get too busy?
If you’re a student or you’ve been a student, what did you do to stay healthy during finals?
I always try to get 8 hours of sleep per night during exams, stay hydrated, and eat nutritious meals. Your brain needs lots of fuel for all of that knowledge!

When homesickness hits

I have to admit, being so far away from home is not easy. It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions all the time. Up and down, up and down, it’s never-ending. Some weeks are better than others and this week wasn’t one of them. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t shake it this week. I feel like this:

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Since I figure I’m probably not the only person who struggles with missing home, I thought I’d share some tips of things that I do when homesickness hits.
When homesickness hits I:

1) Skype and/or Face-time , text message, and email with family and friends: Technology has been my saving grace these last few months. Actually being able to see AND hear the people you love does wonders for helping with homesickness. Starting my day with a text from my Mom, or a video message from a friend makes me so happy.
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yes, I Face-time with my sister’s dogs!

2) Send cards home: I adore receiving mail, and I love sending it, too. Writing is therapeutic for me, so I like to send cards to the people I’m thinking about. In some ways, it makes me feel like I’m talking to them!
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3) Keep busy: Being bored just increases homesickness. I’m thankful classes keep me super busy because it helps keep my mind off of how far away I am.  If I don’t have class or studying to do, I’ll clean the house, get a pedicure, or go for a run. Whatever you do, just keep busy!

4) Exercise: Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights or taking a fitness class, exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy (thanks Legally Blonde!) I always feel 100% better after exercising, and it keeps my mind off of missing home.
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5) Do something you love: Doing things you love help you to smile, right? Things on the top of my list involve anything with baking, shopping, walking, exercising, reading, or going to the beach.
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6) Surround yourself with people: Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly helps me. Being surrounded by girlfriends instantly lifts my spirits. I’ve even found going to a group exercise class helps because of the social element.
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7) Watch your favorite show or movie: I know I have an addiction, but I make it a point to not miss an episode of the Real Housewives of  Beverly Hills (or Atlanta, Miami, NYC, etc). Watching them makes me feel right at home!

8) Put up pictures of your loved ones and “reminders” of home: I have covered our apartment with pictures, magnets, and things to make it feel more home-y.
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9) Don’t keep it in: I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions bottled up inside, which isn’t a good thing! Talking about who you miss or what you miss will help. You might shed a tear or two, but you’ll more than likely feel better after. Hugs help, too!

10) Get an ice-cream cone: Alright, this one might just apply to me, but I’m sticking with it. Ice-cream is my go-to remedy. Ice cream=smiles, always!

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Does anyone else have any homesick remedies? Please share!

P.S. My twin sister got engaged today!!! I have NEVER been more excited for two people in my life! I love this beautiful couple, and I’m obsessed with her gorgeous ring. Love you guys!!
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Australia Loving…March Edition

Hello, hello! Happy Sunday in the states/Monday in Australia : – )

May I just say, holy WOW time flies. The last “favorites” post I did was over a month ago! Based on the number of pictures I’ve taken on my phone in the last 30 days, I’d say it’s about that time I share some new things I’m loving in Australia. To me, one of the most exciting things about living in a different country is discovering new things on a daily basis. Anything from new foods, different product packaging, a new walking path, a coffee shop, a restaurant; the possibilities are endless, and it makes every day exciting. Plus, I’m very hopeful that maybe, just maybe, some of my dear friends and family will read these posts and be inspired to come visit us and see these things, too : – ) 
A girl can dream!

Anyway, here’s what I’m loving so far in March:

1) Seeing cruise ships from the treadmill: Yes, you read that right, cruise ships from the treadmill.  That’s just one of the benefits of joining a gym that overlooks the ocean I suppose! I was that weird girl taking pictures on the treadmill but I didn’t care. I have a slight obsession with cruises.cruise

2) New cereal boxes: I’m honestly age 26 going on 6… I think the marketing here on cereals is the cutest thing! The prices, however, are another story. $8 for Nutri-Grain…yuck!
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3) Boost Juice Bar Smoothies: A few weeks ago Brandon and I went to the mall and I was craving a smoothie more than anything, but I’ve struggled to find healthy options here. Boost Juice Bar offered a large variety of healthier options (such as low-fat yogurt and skim milk) for a decent price, too.  I’ll be going back!
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4) Sunsets and sunrises on the ocean: I will never, ever, ever get tired of looking at these!
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5) Ciabatta Restaurant: A few weeks ago I had my favorite meal thus-far in Australia: Macadamia Crusted Wild Baramunndi  (a white fish, similar to Cod) served over a bed of butternut pumpkin, peas, pine-nuts and pan-fried gnocchi, all in a sage and butter sauce. Best.thing.ever.
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6) A new-to-me Pink Moscato Wine: this beauty is only $6 and absolutely delicious.  I felt like I was at Trader Joes when I bought it…$6 for wine?!! Such a deal.IMG_1428

7) Pretty coffee: This has been in my favorites before, but really, I don’t think I’ll never get sick of “latte art”. One of my goals in the next couple of months is to take a coffee-making class so I can learn how to do this.
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8) Running in the sunshine: Still loving it!
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9) Australia celebrating Easter: Many of the holidays we celebrate in the U.S.A. aren’t celebrated here as much, so I was PSYCHED when I spotted chocolate Easter bunnies and Cadbury eggs!
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10) Icecream and fro-yo trips: Obviously, Australia has ice-cream, but anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE soft-serve, waffle cones, and cookie dough icecream. I had my first scoop of cookie dough and my first waffle cone here yesterday at Baskin Robbins, and it was glorious! The perfect Sunday treat.

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What are you loving lately?