Spicy Latin Playlist Numero Uno.

Cuba1 collageI wrote this post a long time ago and have had it saved in my drafts, but in light of the news that the United States has normalized relations with Cuba, I figured no better time than now to share this!  You better start dancing so you’ll be ready for your upcoming trips to CUBA!

This news has been a long time coming and while it will likely take some time to go into effect, it will mean HUGE things for the Cuban people.  I feel like I was able to see a big, secret place that so many people will never get to experience, and for that I am very lucky.  But it’s time that the Cuban people have some of the privileges and freedoms that people around the world experience every day.  I’m looking forward to seeing the changes and improvements to come.

See you soon, Cuba!cuba2 collage

My favorite songs have the *Latin Playlist

Here are links to all of the songs:

Contigo Quiero Bailar

La Pregunta


Sexo, Sudor y Calor

Heart Attack

Danza Kuduro


Moviendo Caderas

6 AM

Vivir La Vida


Algo Me Gusta De Ti

Que Viva la Vida

And if you’re interested in reading about my last trip to Cuba, see the following posts!

Day 1-Meet and Greets

Day 2-La Habana Libre

Day 3 and Day 3 Part II- Adventures in La Habana Vieja

Day 4, 5, 6-Varadero (The beach)

Day 7- Cienfuegos

Day 8-Trinidad

Day 9-Taking it Easy

Day 10-Another Trip to La Habana Vieja and The Malecon

Day 11-Meeting Family

Day 12-Heading Home




Breakfast of Champions


A delicious breakfast in less than 5 minutes!


  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • A few handfuls of kale
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooked potatoes
  • Cheese of choice


1. Saute onion and/or garlic in the olive oil

2. Add the kale and cook it until soft.  I added water to steam it a bit

3. Remove kale to a plate

4. Scramble two eggs with potatoes and add cheese when almost cooked

5. Put all of that on top of the kale

6.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Cross Country Alumni Race 2014

For the first time since graduation, I wasn’t busy the day of the Cheltenham Cross Country Alumni Race! The race is usually held at the end of the summer, which is when I was always on vacation or at RA training (and ain’t nobody got time fo dat)

So this year, it was held over Thanksgiving weekend and I was home!run2

Russ and my dad came to cheer us on and creepily stand behind trees and take pictures (I’m not exaggerating- it’s exactly what they did!)  But I’m glad they came :)

5 years later and I was STILL nervous for this cross country race!  Which is so silly because this race didn’t count for anything!  I think 12 girls ran (6 current students, 6 alumni) and I placed 5th overall.  Which is pretty good for me :)  I ran the course in 24.07 minutes and was huffing and puffing over hills and through the snow the entire time.Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 143Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 135

This was a laid-back race for everyone and they all did an amazing job!!  I know some people took it easier than others, because I definitely should have been almost last ;)

Actually, for the first time EVER, the alumni team won the race!!  Great job, girls :) runThanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 173 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 170

Besides the actual race, I loved catching up with the other girls and Hasty, our coach.  Every time we all get together, I miss cross country so much more.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- cross country was, without a doubt, the BEST part of high school.  Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 180

And of course, the donuts and dogs, too :) Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 176 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 177

Looking forward to a winter pasta party and spring beer mile!  I better start practicing ;)

Friendsgiving 1 & 2, Thanksgiving 1 & 2

This weekend (and last!) was full of food, drinks, and friends, family, and Rass.  Just the way it should be.Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 126

Friendsgiving #1

Last Friday was a busy go-go-go day because I had school, then tried to get some homework done, then rushed home like a chicken with my head cut off to make food before a post-bac Friendsgiving party.  I didn’t know what to make and I went back and forth doing my usual undecisive dance (I do it often, and I do it well).  Eventually, I decided to go the healthy route because if no one ate it, at least I could eat leftovers ;)

I made The Ultimate Fall Wheatberry Salad from Kath Eats.  It had wheatberries, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, arugula, roasted squash, and a mustard-maple dressing.  I liked it a lot, but I also love rabbit food on the daily so..wheatberry

In the end, people ate it plus all of the other food that was there. SO MUCH FOOD!  Turkey, sweet potato casserole (or is it yam?!  We will never know…), gravy, salad, green bean casserole, stuffing, empenadas, and the desserts…oreo ice cream something and peanut butter brownie cheese cake.  I was stuffed, to say the least.003

And of course, lots of drinks and friends and games that had me cracking up.  Eventually, we went to a couple bars to end the night.045 047020

Friendsgiving #2

Friendsgiving 2.0!  Except there was no food :)  We didn’t get things into gear quickly enough, but we haven’t gotten together as a group since we went roller skating (haha) so we decided just to hang out and have drinks.  They ate wings, I drank beer and we had fun.  We played pool (I’m awful) and went driving via mario cart.  I’m always happy when I get to see my West Chester buddies :) photo 2-001 photo 1-003

Once I got home, I shoveled food into my mouth and went sleep.

The end.

Thanksgiving #1

Like every year, we did Thanksgiving at Helena’s house in Delaware.  This year, we brought Russ AND Teddy, which was a double treat.  Oh!  And one of them vomited all over my legs and it wasn’t Russ.  So what ha happened wuz that Russ and I kept passing Teddy back every 10 minutes, or so.  Teddy has a pretty bad track record with the car and is known to get a little motion sick.  He was drooling a lot and went from looking all cute and innocent with Russphoto 1-004


photo 2(8) photo 3(6)

Boo. But besides that, everything was great!Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 019 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 044

Mom did the thriller…Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 017

and after eating myself into a food coma, I took a nap on the floor. :) Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 033 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 040 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 027

Thanksgiving #2

The reason Russ was able to join us on Thursday was because his family had Thanksgiving on Friday and we were able to join them!Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 101 We had our two families + Tevin + Teddy, as well!  Speaking of those two, I think they make great friends, no?

Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 054Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 068Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 060

It was so interesting to see what other people eat on Thanksgiving because he says what his family eats is “normal TG food” and I think what we eat is “normal!”Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 091

Russ’ Uncle Scott was the mastermind behind all of the delicious food and there was definitely no lack in creativity or flavor!Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 083 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 085

Turkey // Sweet potato casserole // brussel sprouts with truffle oil and Himalayan salt // Cole slaw // chicken sausage-wild rice stuffing //  another bread-based stuffing // mac and cheese // apple sauce // cranberry sauce // gravy // dinner rolls.

EVERYTHING was incredible.

And for dessert, there wasn’t a shortage of choices.Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 100

brownies // cookies and cream ice cream // pumpkin cheesecake // chocolate ice cream // pecan pie.

I loved the cheesecake and probably went back for a 4th serving.  Russ’ mom made it!

And for the requisite photo shoot:Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 105 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 106 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 107 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 114 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 115 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 112 Thanksgiving, Cross Country Alumni 117

That is all!  Four Thanksgivings later and I am still stuffed, but feeling so thankful for all of these people in my life!  I don’t want to see another piece of turkey for an entire year.


How to: Not Get to the Point of Uncomfortable Food Baby on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving might be one of the best days of the year…the stuffing…the pies…the mac & cheese…football…drinks…family (sometimes), but nothing NOTHING is worse than that food baby that makes you so uncomfortable you want to vomit.  You know you’ve been there and you know you vow every year not to get to THAT point.  Right before that point is A-ok, but that food toddler point is just too much.

With that being said, here are my ways for avoiding that point.  I made a conscious effort to put these into effect last year and I will do the same this year.  These aren’t intended for any other reason that avoiding being SO uncomfortable.

1. Exercise before the big meal! 

Trust me, this is a big one.  Not only does it get your metabolism going, but it releases endorphins that leave you feeling high and mighty and less likely to completely wreck yourself.  In the past, I’ve done turkey trots with the whole family, as well as just gone to the gym for a quick workout.  If you’re in the Philadelphia area, here are some Turkey Trots you can participate in: Face to Face Turkey Trot // Fairmount Park Turkey Trot //  Abington YMCA Gobble Wobble  PLUS you get to dress like a turkey!


2. Eat breakfast and a light lunch before actual Thanksgiving.

If you are on the “I don’t eat all day and then STUFF myself with food” wagon, you are definitely setting yourself up for disaster.  You’re probably better with a normal-sized breakfast and a light lunch to hold you over until the feast.  That will also help curb your desire to eat every appetizer in sight and then be full before you get to dinner…

Which brings me to…

3. Don’t go nuts over the appetizers.

I only say this because I do it every year and it ruins dinner.  You will most likely (definitely) go all out with everything during the main meal, so why fill up on appetizers.  Don’t completely resist them, but you’ve probably had Ritz crackers and cheese before and you know what they taste like.  Am I right?


4. Stick to lighter drinks.

Ah the drinks.  Nothing more fun than drunk family members!  Bhuuut, they also really, really fill you up, and for me- I get super bloated and full.  I might have one drink before dinner and then drink during and after dinner.

5.  A sample instead of a serving.

So many sides!  So many new dishes!  So much to choose from!  I love Thanksgiving because there is so much good food, but I also have a habit of taking extra large portions of everything because it all looks so good and then….I can’t finish it all.  Just take a little bit of everything and go back for more if you still want it.


6.  Take a walk between dinner and dessert.

This one helps so much!  We always have dogs at Thanksgiving, so a couple times during the night, my dad and I will take a walk with the dogs and get moving.  It feels good to lie down on the couch and loosen the top button on your pants, but walking also helps move some of that food around.

And if all else fails, remember; wear stretchy pants, lie on the couch, and suffer in peace.

Am I missing anything?

All About Keratin Hair Treatments.

Hair Collage

I know, I know.  I look excellent in all of those pictures, particularly the first one with my Frankensmile and the bottom left one with my “Teddy stop putting your tongue in my mouth” face.  I just wanted you to be able to see my transformation.  If I had planned for this, I could have shown you a #throwbackthursday pic of “the poof” (my hair) way back in the day.  Anyway, for the last 9 years, I’ve been getting my hair treated with keratin ~1x each year.  The top left picture is what my hair usually looks like before I get it done, and the other 3 photos are what it looks like immediately following the treatment.  My hair is extremely curly and frizzy, so it doesn’t stay perfectly straight, but is wavy and relaxed each time I get out of the shower.  I prefer it wavy, so it’s fine by me!

If you’ve ever been interested in knowing more about keratin treatments, here are a few questions and answers I’ve put together.  Of course, I’m not a stylist or anything so this is all from my own point of view.

What is a keratin treatment and how does it work?

  • What Is Keratin? It’s a protein that’s naturally in your hair.
  • How It Works: A stylist applies a keratin hair-straightening product to your hair and then uses the heat of a flat iron to seal it in. The process takes about 90 minutes or longer, depending on your hair’s length. Salon keratin products include Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola, Global Keratin Complex, the La-Brasiliana treatment, Brazilian Keratin Treatment, the Brazilian Blowout, and Brazilian Hair Straightening. 

What do they do at the salon? 

I’ve had this process done at two different salons.  At one salon, they comb my hair (dry) and then apply the product, bit by bit, until my entire head is covered.  Each piece is smoothed down to my head.  Once my head is covered, they leave it on for about a half hour and then it is washed out.  Once my hair is washed, it looks completely straight, like FLAT on my head.  The stylist cuts it, blow drys it, and uses a flat-iron to lock it into the hair.

At the second location, they washed my hair when I arrived and washed it 3 times!  Not sure why.  Then they applied a different product, but again, it was piece by piece.  The product was left on for 20 minutes and then it was immediately blow dried and flat ironed.  With this newer product, my hair didn’t look as straight immediately following the application, but it had the same overall effect.

Does it hurt or is it uncomfortable?  

The product used at the first salon itches a little while it’s left on my head for the 40 minutes, but once it’s washed out, it feels fine.  The conditioner that they use at the first salon also feels really cold and makes me laugh uncontrollably.  Other than that- no pain!  At the second salon, the product didn’t burn, but while it was being blow-dried, it did irritate my eyes and nose a lot.  I closed my eyes and that worked like a charm.  In general, the only thing that really hurts…is my wallet.  ;)

How long does it last?  

They say these treatments last 2-4 months, but that’s really when your roots will start being noticeable.  I get this done once a year because a) I’m poor and b) I don’t think my roots are that awful until it starts looking like that above picture.  Many people have it done every few months and if I had more money to spare, I probably would too.

How much time do you spend in the salon?  

At the first salon, it would take anywhere from 2-4 hours because the stylist would work slowly to coat each strand and also cut my hair.  At the second salon, it took 2.5 hours with no haircut.

How much does it cost?  

Every salon is different in their pricing.  The salon I used to go to charged $370 the last time I went (which is why I am no longer going), but before that, it used to be in the $200s.  They said their prices have gone up because they use a new product.  The salon I went to more recently charged $150 as the base price, plus an additional $30 because my hair is longer and they needed more product.  Again, that price did not include a haircut.

What does it look like after you shower? 

Like I said before, it’s not poker straight after showering, but I prefer it to have some wave.  If I were to blow-dry it, I could easily flat-iron it, as well, but I find that my hair pulls out easily, so I let it dry naturally.Hair2 Collage

Do you have to do anything between treatments?  What kind of upkeep is involved?

The only thing that they recommend you do to make the treatment last longer is not wash your hair often and when you do, use Sulfate-free shampoo.  I use Loreal’s version and I don’t love it, but it doesn’t strip my hair of the treatment.  Also, you can use products like Organix Keratin Therapy as an at-home treatment.  It works, but not super well.

That’s everything I can think of.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!


Weekend: Curry, Philly, Study-Collage Style

Hi!  How was your weekend?  I’m starting this post as a break from studying physics on Sunday night, but something tells me I won’t actually be finishing and posting this until Wednesday at the earliest.  That’s just because I have a lot of pictures to share!

Edited:  I hate physics and I’m bad at it so instead of studying, I’m going to post this.

This weekend was a good one-I feel like I did a lot of things, but I also didn’t completely neglect physics, which is hanging over my head.  I really, really, REALLY cannot wait for this exam to be over on Wednesday.  Once it’s over, we will be done with tests until finals!!!! (All of those exclamation points were necessary.  Actually, here are a few more so I really get my point across: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Margaritas, anyone?

So, weekend.



I spent all of Friday afternoon in the library studying for thou that shall not be named.  And then after I was so hungry that my eyes were crossing, I took the train home and ate cold oatmeal that was left on the stove and then went with my dad and Russ to the Korean market for some Asian goodies and the ingredients for coconut chicken curry.  I’ve been meaning to make this for awhile and it worked out since Friday was Antartica-ish.  photo 3(3)

I subbed in all different vegetables and used tofu instead of chicken, but…same idea.  Twas delicious, but that photo looks disgusting.

After dinner, Russ and I watched tv and then watched more TV. That’s it.

Basil seed mucus, anyone?photo 2(6)


Saturday was really fun and it was a day I’ve been waiting to have!  I got the idea in my head a few weeks ago that I wanted to go into Philadelphia and walk around and see other parts of Philly besides Market Street, 10th street. and Jefferson’s campus.276274(Side note: WHY do some photos come out with that orange dot?!  How do I make it stop?)

I asked every single one of my friends if they wanted to join me (all 4? of them) but for various excuses reasons, no one could come.  So when in doubt, bully mom into going.  She wanted to clean the house and get some things done, but I pulled the “you’ll be sitting in your nursing home thinking about all those days you were able to clean the house….” and she agreed.  Daughter of the year award, coming my way!270 photo 4(3)

We actually had a really fun day, which started on the Boardwalk/ walkway that was built along the Schuylkill River.  (Want to know how I spelled that before looking it up?  Skukyl.)Walking It was crisp and fall-ish and sunny, and b-e-a-youtiful.trees We eventually meandered our way down Race Street and picked out condos my parents should buy (one day…). saw some interesting things, and stopped at the farmers market for ‘shrooms.homeswhat market

This actually used to be my mom’s apartment- right off of Rittenhouse Square! 325

And then when I could no longer feel my fingers, I suggested we stop for coffee, which turned into lunch.  We stopped at Parc, which looks out on Rittenhouse Square.Rittenhouse I was wearing leggings and running shoes and there were a bunch of girls (ladies who lunch-esque) sitting nearby and I couldn’t help but stare and think of all the ways that they were (not really) judging my horrendous style.  ANYWAY.  That burger was perfect and my mom had mushroom soup which might have been the best I’ve ever had.  We snagged a window seat and vowed to go back next week for brunch.

After lunch, we walked and talked and gawked more and then took the train home.


I watched Gilmore Girls and did ab exercises and then played pinochle (spelled: Peanuckle- before Google helped me) with Russ and Dad.  They were very into it and I was into beating them even though it was my first time.  Such is life, suckas…


I woke up early to start my physics slavery.  After a couple hours, I took a break to go with Russ and help his mom with a sale she was doing for all of her beautifully sewn goods.  It didn’t take too long, so I headed to the gym for a leg workout and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to walk tomorrow.  I’ll report back.

Edited: I can’t sit down unassisted

After el gymnasio, I lunched, showered, studied…all day.  Well, until my parents let the dog out and we all went looking for him like crazy people.

Til next time Philly/ weekend/ fun.344

And in case you’re wondering: Teddy is back, safe and sound and asleep and if he ever runs off like that again….!



Better late than never for this post, right?photo 1(2)

It’s been a hot second since I’ve done a weekend post and this past weekend I not only did fun things, bhuuuuut I also took pictures.  The stars aligned for this post, huh?


I played hooky :)  I went to the gym with Russ bright and early for jogging/sprints and abs.  Then I did some bio, took a nice, long cozy nap, went to the library and the bank, and then went out to dinner with ma and pa and Roos.

We went to Pho and Beyond for pho (are you glad I clarified that???).  I ended up getting curry, my dad and Russ had pho, and my mom got lemongrass chicken.  Of course, I only took pictures of our tofu spring roll appetizers and my mom’s food because I was starving and #badblogger.photo 2(2) photo 3(2)  Todo fue bien and that chicken was bangin’


I fell asleep reading one of the books from la biblioteca at around 10 pm Friday and woke up to sunlight the next morning, but whateva, I was up early for a 4 mile run with April (we go all the way back to our high school cross country days).  We also did Alpha Abs!  She loved it ;)

Then, let’s see….Russ and I cleaned out my closet (aka got rid of his stuff that was taking over my floor) and I can actually WALK in there again.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.  In the process, I found these atrocious things.photo(35)

No one with a conscious mind should EVER own these, and..alas, Russ does.  He said I could get rid of anything I wanted except for these monsters.  At least he doesn’t ever wear them or else…bye.  After that, we ate and took selfies with Teddy and Russ was trying to be a model, obviously:photo 5(2) weekend and then went to Villanova to watch Russ’ mentee (from last year) compete in the Special Olympics and he did great!photo 4(2)  Their team won and are going on to champs! Go Tevin :)

Then I did more studying, ate too much quiche, and babysat Saturday night.  Fun stuff right there!


Hmmm, let’s see.  I went to the gym and did a sub-par workout.  I really wasn’t feeling it, but something is better than nothing! Then I tried to do more studying before Russ and I had every girl’s dream date night, or as I explained to Russ, the type of thing a girl would say:  “I just really want a boyfriend that will make homemade pizza with me and watch Mean Girls!”…and that’s exactly what we did.  Even better, it was all Russ’ idea.  A real winner!  :)  photo 1(4)

But actually, it was really fun and we demolished that mac and cheese pizza without a problem…and another pizza.  And cookies for dessert because we were low on carbs.photo 2(4)

So that’s it I think!  It was a laid back weekend and I got a lot of work done, but it was a good weekend, too :)  I’ll try to keep posting the weekend posts.

Happy Wenzdai

Friday Favorites 11/7/2014

HI.  I hope your week flew by as quickly as mine did.  Having Mondays off from school makes the week zip on by and here we are…FRIDAY!  I don’t have any major plans for the weekend, though.  Russ and I are hoping to get dinner somewhere tonight because its been a hot minute since we’ve gone out (unless you count Boston Market…and you should because it’s DELICIOUS.  #gourmet)  Other than that, babysitting on Saturday night, going to see Tevin’s basketball game during the day Saturday, hoping to go downtown and walk around (still looking for friends to join…) and….maybe studying for my bio exam.  That’s a big fat maybe.

Anywho, here are some of my favorite things this week.

1. Nike Training Club Alpha Abs Workoutalphaabs

A few weeks back, my friend Hannah showed be this 15 minute ab workout KILLER and I haven’t looked back.  I do this 15 minute set almost every time I workout and it’s done wonders for my ab (yes, singular ab.  I have one that peeks through on my left side and it’s my baby.  I l0o0o0o0ve it.)  It’s under the “get focused” section if you want to try it.  It works both lower AND upper abs so you can feel all types of burn.  [If you want to know more about Nike Training Club, I wrote a post about it here.]

2. Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate Pudding pudding

So last night, during one of our usual “let’s go to Trader Joe’s and spend too much money on things we’ve never heard of trips”, my dad and I found this pudding. [Very serious business]photo 5

I was all “eh” how good can it be…it’s pudding (don’t get me wrong I love pudding with a passion).  But this is not pudding.  This, THIS, is chocolate icing disguised as pudding and not nearly as sweet.  It is so thick and SO GOOD.  We ate almost the entire container in one sitting and every bit of intestinal backlash was worth it.  TRUST ME.

3. Microwave Eggs    Eggs

Clockwise from top left: Perfect eggs with turkey loaf; oatmeal with egg, cheese and pepper; just egg; egg, cheese and pepper jelly sandwich.

It may or may not be an addiction.  Don’t knock it til ya try it!  Just be sure to put a few holes in the yoke or else…well, I’ll let you figure it out.  And be on standby so when you hear popping noises in the microwave, you can take it out and give it a nice stir.  But, other than those precautions, microwave eggs are so good and are ready to eat in under a minute and no pan cleaning so you can spend more time eating your eggs.  You’re weeeellllcome!

4.  Fall + Fall Runningphoto 1-2 photo 3-1

Since I haven’t been basic enough for one post, let me just take up the basic b*tch level here and say that the trees and the cool, crisp air are my favoooorite.  Running is great……and so is pumpkin coffee.  Ok, basicness over.

5.  Um…Random

I really don’t have a 5th one (sad??) so let’s go with the fact that I’m skipping school and still wearing pajamas and drinking coffee.  Pretty good start to the weekend, if I do say so myself.

Also, random things- Thanksgiving is in 3 weeks, my mom is talking about going to Cuba again, Teddy hasn’t pooped in the house in WEEKS, and…I’m getting my hair did some time next week.

Have a great weekend my loyal fans!

Lately 2.0

Too long, too long since any sort of “life update”.  I swear, the days and weeks have never gone by so fast in my entire life, but it’s also FUN!  School is a lot of work, but it’s balanced out.  Surprisingly enough, my favorite class (or the class that makes most sense) is orgo, then bio, then physics, which is AWFUL.

Anyways, here is the happening as of late:

Teddy.  Crazy from the moment my alarm goes off at 6:00 am.  And he loves to chew my fingers.  It’s wonderful.photo 3

Speaking of Teddy, he had his first bath which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Obviously.137 159 172

And…Halloween!  These photos are from a school party that was so much fun and a little bit crazy.  For some of us at least.205-001 195-001 177-001

And lastly, Boston Market macaroni and cheese is as delicious as it is radioactive.  We loved it.  #datenightphoto 4