Sister Weekend

Whenever I don’t have any travel plans or visitors (read: Cameron comes to town) for the weekend, I head home after my classes on Thursday. I think that has been the absolute best part of transferring to Houston; I’m a 40 minute drive from home and I can spend time with my family, Chip, and a shower that actually gets hot water. (Only downside about my Airbnb.)

This weekend, the parental units were actually out of town for business, so I was to fulfill my role as eldest sister and make sure everyone got up, ate, and went to school. Also, people ask all the time how many sisters I have, and the short answer is that I have 3. 1 biological, 2 “sisters-from-anotha-mister”. (And you can tell which is my biological sister because we look like straight up twins. More on that later.)

Thursday

So anyway, when Clara got home from school (Clara = youngest sister who is definitely not my twin because she is blonde and way smarter than me even though she’s 13) we went to the gym for a bit. We had the gym to ourselves and did cardio while watching Friends really loud on the TV’s.

We then decided the best dinner option was to go to the Chinese restaurant where our sister Caroline (my twin who is not really my twin) works as a hostess, so we could be loud and embarrass her. (Our favorite past time.)

After dinner, Clara and I went home to wait for Caroline to get off work, so we could all paint nails together! Classic sister weekend stuff.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the fourth sister is, the answer to that would be “studying hard at school and being an awesome President of rowing club”. Maddie is also not my twin, but we are the same age, so maybe we could lie and say we are fraternal twins. She is pretty, smart, loyal, and makes really good guacamole.

Over nail painting, Clara, Caroline, and I decided to attempt smoothie bowls for breakfast the next morning. The catch was that we needed to get up super early because Caroline (who’s a senior in high school) needed to leave for school by 6:45 a.m.

Friday

So the next day, I woke up at 6:15 and once we all were downstairs, we threw together some pretty liquidy smoothie bowls, but they tasted great! (We just put too much water, haha.)

We did bananas, strawberries, mango, ice, and water and then topped it with more fruit and my new favorite granola: the Bear Naked (Gluten Free) Toasted Coconut Almond granola! 

Once the girls left for school, I was super lonely and totally knew how parents must feel when their babies go to school for the first time. Haha!

Later that night, Clara’s dad took her and I to a pho place we hadn’t tried yet. (Fun fact: my family LOVES pho! I think we’ve been to maybe 4 or 5 different pho places just to try out every one we can!) We had a lot of fun and huge bowls of noodle soup, so it was definitely my ideal Friday night.

Saturday

Saturday morning, Caroline (twin) and I went to the gym together. We always see the same faces at the gym since it’s our neighborhood gym and for residents only. There’s one sweet woman who always says hi to us, and we saw her there again that morning. She came up to us, completely flabbergasted, and asked, “Are you guys TWINS?!”

We gave our normal explanation of how no, we weren’t twins. We are 2 years apart. I am older. Caroline looks older. And yes, we get that a lot. The woman was like, “I didn’t ever realize there were two of you! I thought you were the same person!”

I sometimes don’t really see how people think we’re twins, but then Caroline and I went over to the mirror to do weighted lunges and we were doing them simultaneously while both wearing black leggings, a white long sleeve, and having our hair (that’s the same length pretty much) pulled back. I couldn’t stop giggling because I could finally see what people were talking about! 

After the gym, Caroline and I made vegan pancakes. The recipe I follow is just 1 cup of oats (I used gluten free rolled oats), 3/4 a cup of almond milk, and one banana blended up to use as batter. And then plenty of maple syrup because that’s the best part!

After that, Caroline and I had a study date at my favorite local coffee shop! It’s so near and dear to my heart because it was really the first place I ever spent “alone time”. I feel like as a teenager, I hated eating alone or going on errands alone, but I think God was really preparing me for this season of my life when I would live on my own.

 

For my senior year, I transferred to private school, but Caroline was going to be going to the public school. I had to drive her to school, but her school started a full hour before mine, so I found this little coffee shop to study in after dropping her off. I remember sipping soy vanilla lattes while reading my Bible, enjoying banana bread while I tried to understand AP Calc, and even coming in on Tuesday’s on my off-campus lunch hour for the best veggie sandwich ever! So yeah that’s a random, long story, but I just love coming here when I’m in town. I can’t believe that was almost 4 years ago! 

When Caroline and I had studied our brains out, we went home to have a picnic with Clara. Unfortunately, it was raining, so we moved the picnic inside and ended up in our media room watching Bride Wars with a bag of Skinny Pop and a lot of chips and hummus. Caroline and I always show Clara the BEST movies (in our opinion) that were kinda before her time. It’s hard to believe Clara was a baby when Mean Girls came out! (Don’t worry, we’ve shown her that one.) 

After that, Clara had to work on a project, so Caroline and I went to go get manicures. Since everyone already thought we were twins, we decided to match manicures too. I’ve been obsessed with white nail polish lately! I just want warm, sunny days so badly, so having white nail polish on my fingers and toes brings brightness to any day.

Caroline had plans for the evening, so Clara and I went to Zoe’s for salads. Zoe’s Kitchen is oddly one of my favorite restaurants. (Cam and I end up there at least once when he comes and visits me for the weekend. Even with all the cool places in Houston – we just love our usuals at Zoe’s!)

Sunday

Sunday morning, all three sisters hit the gym. Our cousin, Carlos, had gotten home from a trip the night before, so he ended up coming too!

For a while, I’ve been feeling really uninspired with working out. I think I ran so much I just tired myself out! But this past weekend, I did a lot of weight circuits with my sisters, and that was a refreshing (and challenging) change. I also forgot how fun it is to work out with other people! 

For breakfast, we made my mango green smoothies. (One banana for each person, big handful of mango chunks, big handful of spinach, and almond milk!) Also, the reason I make so many smoothies/smoothie bowls when I’m home is because I don’t have my blender with me at my Airbnb! I packed it and stored it at home because my Airbnb doesn’t have a freezer, so I knew I wouldn’t make that many smoothies anyway without ice or frozen fruit.

After that, I finally did all my chores that I had been meaning to do. I did laundry, cleaned, cleaned my room, showered, put on a face mask, and just finally felt like not such a mess. Sundays are my favorite for “getting my ish together” and sometimes just washing your hair and putting on lotion can actually make you feel like you have it together, haha!

Clara and I spent most of the afternoon sitting in her bed doing homework and watching Pretty Little Liars. I watched the show when I was Clara’s age. I always tell her how every Saturday morning, I’d get up early, make myself breakfast, and watch that week’s episode from my DVR. (I was a dancer in high school and always had practice after school, so I took my weekend time of rest veryyyy seriously.) It’s just fun to watch the series over again with Clara and see her reaction to all the drama and suspense!

Speaking of drama and suspense…

My one instruction this weekend was to make sure Clara did her laundry, so after 4 episodes of PLL, we went to fold her clothes and as I was folding, my promise ring slipped off.

Now, my ring has slipped off plenty of times in the past few months. Cam gave it to me when I was 17 and I have never taken it off. But, I’m actually a little slimmer than I was back then, so it has become pretty loose. It’s fallen off in the freezer when I was scooping ice, in the dog treat’s box when I was grabbing one out for Gracie (yup) and just fallen on the floor at random times, but I always SEE it fall and pick it up right away.

This time, I heard it fall but couldn’t see it for the life of me! Clara was such a good sister and jumped behind the dryer, getting her black leggings covered in dust to look for it. After 15 minutes or so of hard-core searching, I needed a break and went to Facetime Cameron. I couldn’t hide how disappointed I was about potentially never seeing it again, but Cam was sweet, patient, and supportive, as per usual. He pointed out that if I really missed it, I could wear one of my old ones for a while.

Yes, you heard that right. Old ones. I had two other promise rings before my current one. 🙈🙈 I, a needy 17 year old hopelessly in love with her high school boyfriend, hinted up a storm that I really wanted to upgrade my James Avery band with the imprinted hearts for one with an *actual* diamond. So I still have my old one and a pearl ring that Cam gave me one Christmas 🙂 heehee!!!!

I managed to not go into a downward spiral of hopelessness, which for my dramatic, anxiety-ridden self was a huge accomplishment that Sunday afternoon. Cam was very encouraging and thoughtful (like I said, as always) and he assured me that if I didn’t find it, I wouldn’t necessarily be without a promise ring. But more than talk about rings and material things, Cam commended me on how good I did at changing my attitude about the situation. “You’re a different person at the end of our phone call then you were when you first called me.” And he was right! I almost gave into my anxiety and hurt, but I realized how incredibly silly it was to get upset over a ring that was merely symbolic of something so much greater!

With a renewed spirit, I decided to look for the ring again. This time I was calm and played the new Ed Sheeran album for moral support. As I grew tired of shaking out every single shirt Clara and I had just folded, I decided to scoop the entire pile up in my arms from the bin and see if I heard a ring fall. Sure enough, I heard the sweet, sweet sound of sterling silver hitting the bottom of the laundry bin. YES!!!!!

Clara and I celebrated with salads and sandwiches at Newks, more Ed Sheeran, and then more PLL!

I love my weekends in Cypress and getting to have sister time. It’s something I totally took for granted when I was in high school, and now I wish my sisters were my roomies all the time! At least I’m never too far away 😉

Let me know what your favorite thing to do with your fam is and what your favorite song off the new Ed Sheeran album is! 

X,

Cristina

 

  • I have the same problem with my promise ring from my boyfriend so I know how scary that is! I have a little dish I put it in when I do the dishes or am cooking because I’m afraid it’s going to slip into some hot dish I’m cooking (and one time it did, into chili). But that is definitely my favorite thing to do with family! We cook while listening to old Sonny & Cher albums.

    • Cristina Mandujano

      Oh I should totally get a cute little dish to put it in while I do work around the house – thanks for the idea!! 🙂 And that’s so awesome; cooking a good meal with your family is soooo good for the soul! Thanks for reading!

  • I’m constantly having panic attacks because I always forget my ring somewhere! Whether it’s me doing dishes, washing my hands, or just something completely random I always go full-on panic mode so I can totallllllly relate to your laundry/ring fiasco. So glad you found it! Its super cute 🙂

    p.s. I think Dive might be my new fave Ed Sheeran song from his new album

    • Cristina Mandujano

      Ahhh yes I love Dive! And Perfect, Barcelona, Galway Girl, and Eraser. And pretty much every song. Ahh!!!!