Archive | November, 2010

Do it. Whatever it is.

21 Nov

“Do it. Whatever it is. If you a dream, go ahead, take the risks, make whatever sacrifices you possibly can.” – Robin Black

As I was reading O Magazine today, I came across that quote, and it spoke to me. As I’m preparing to leave the world of education, and enter the job market, it gets scarier everyday. I have never been one of those people who knows what I want to do “when I grow up.”

When I was seven, I thought I was going to be a famous singer.

Although I taught myself to play guitar, and have sung for many years, I know not everyone can be Taylor Swift.

When I was in junior high, I thought I was going to be a pharmacist. I lasted a semester in pre-pharmacy school and called home crying nearly every night.

When I was in high school, I thought I would be a dance teacher. I did keep all the shoes…

Last semester, I thought I would be an elementary school teacher. Although deep down, I always knew it would never make me happy. It is funny how life works out, things change, and you learn to go with your gut.

My family always thought I would be a writer.

Last semester I decided teaching did not make me happy, and I switched my major back to Communicaton Studies, where I have much more freedom in my career decisions upon graduating. I’m happy I made the decision I did. I’m even happy I’m not one of those people who “just knows” what I want to do.

In most areas of my life, I’m a perfectionist. (Just look at the title of the blog). Being a perfectionist is not always (well, really never) fun. I think that not knowing what I want to do after college, is God’s little way of telling me, “Lose the perfectionist act, Emily, take a risk, have fun.”

 

Yep, that’s what he’s telling me.

A simple poem for the simply tired

17 Nov

My hair is wet, my nose is cold. I miss my boyfriend. Doesn’t he know?

Perhaps if we fast forward to Christmas, everything would be better. Or perhaps, we could lose the matching gray sweaters.

It’s been one of those days, it’s been one of the those weeks, everything I do makes me feel like a…freak.

I lash out for no reason, I leave homework behind. Sometimes I drive home from school and just cry.

Yes, I’m okay; it’s just that time of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas, and final exams, are almost here.

I think to myself, the summer would do. Yes, the summer, where everything seemed simply fresh, and new.

I got along with my friends, I got along with my job. Being a camp counselor beats ‘homeworking’ like a dog.

Perhaps I could lose the negative attitude. It’s time to go to bed. With this poem I may accused of being…in a bad mood.

You could say the accusation would be right, my boyfriend’s working second shift and I want to put up a fight. I haven’t seen him in a few days, you see, but I’m just too exhausted, spending time with him is not an option tonight.

Much like my expression in this photo from my good ‘ol camp days, right now I am not feeling very inspired, as I am just way too tired.

Feels like fall

14 Nov

I am writing this from the comfort of my own bed. Pajamas, blanket and all. It’s beginning to feel like fall again; I can feel the cold air through my window. I can’t decide if I like this or not.

It’s one of those mornings where I feel like a hot bowl of oatmeal and a warm cup of tea. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, our kitchen is currently in the process of being remodeled, and to get to the stove, I would have to squish between the fridge and counter, as everything is now out of place. It looks like I will have to settle on a bagel that my sister brought home from work (she works a little bagel shop, which means free food after hours 🙂 ).

This afternoon I will be heading to my friend’s house to have an early ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ with some girls from college. We began this tradition last year, and I’m looking forward to it. However, I should have thought things out a little more. Since our kitchen is currently in the process of being torn apart, I’m not exactly sure how I am going to make the dish that I offered to bring. It looks like I may have to get creative…even if that means squeezing between the oven and the counter to get my side dish in the oven (my dad may not like this idea, as he will be finishing the floor in there..hmm..).

On a positive note, I woke up anxiously pondering this little problem at the crack of dawn, and now I have some time to think about it. I shall go toast a bagel and think some more… happy Sunday 🙂

Wrong side of the bed

12 Nov

Today does not feel like a Friday to me. It definitely feels like a Saturday. So perhaps this is why my mood is thrown off today; I don’t know.

My morning started off fine. I went downstairs to make my oatmeal, and… “the kitchen was full.” AKA, living at home with mom and dad means that, sometimes, everyone happens to be home on the same day, in the kitchen at the same time. That was this morning. Have I ever mentioned that I enjoy my alone time in the morning? This pretty much sums up that feeling:

My boyfriend actually calls me “Grumpy Bear.” I wonder why…? 😉 The rest of the day was not too bad, after I got over the fact that I would not be having any alone time in the kitchen today. For lunch, Jordan took me to Panera to “lift my spirits,” and it worked. I enjoyed a generous helping of Greek salad, my favorite. Nothing like some black olives and feta cheese to turn the day around.

To ease my stress some more,  I set out for a two mile walk/run later in the afternoon. Apparently my stress levels still weren’t back to “normal”, because after the two miles, I decided to do a pilates video at home. I may be feeling it tomorrow :/.

Fortunately, the exercise did its magic; I felt much better later in the day. I treated myself by going to Starbucks, setting up a ‘homework station’, complete with laptop and books,  devouring a soy chai latte and a chocolate chip cookie, while simultaneously cranking out a three page paper in 45 minutes. Not too shabby.

Since Jordan is still at work, it looks like I will be spending another night without him; On the plus side, I am going to bed earlier, which means more sleep. For the sake of Jordan and my family, hopefully tomorrow I will wake up on the right side of the bed.

If only I were waking up this bed. This was my room for the duration of my South Carolina vacation in July. My roommate was six, hence The Little Mermaid pillowcase. Although I have to admit, the teddy bear, a gift from Jordan, is mine :).

Cupcakes, continued

10 Nov

I promised I would share the recipe of the cupcakes that I made yesterday. So here I am, ready to share; I don’t break my promises.

Recipe courtesy of: http://ohsheglows.com/2010/10/01/pumpkin-pie-brownie-cupcakes/

Pumpkin Pie Brownie ‘Cupcakes’

Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Brownie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3/4 cup white kamut flour (or white)
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
  • Shaved chocolate, for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin.

2. For brownie layer: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and place in muffin tin. Wet fingers and spread around evenly so it is smooth.

3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add approx 1.5-2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of each brownie in the pan. Garnish with grated chocolate.

4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and then move to the fridge to chill for 1.5 hours.

5. Serves approx 8-10. (I was able to fill a muffin tin with 12 medium sized cupcakes)

So, there you go, the recipe for the wonderful cupcakes. I have to stay, I probably could have eaten the entire bowl of the brownie portion raw, but I stopped myself so I’d have enough to bake; my family thanks me. I did not have coconut oil at home, so I used canola oil instead, and it worked just fine. Instead of grated chocolate on top, I made use of the Ghirardelli chocolate chips that were already in the cupboard, and sprinkled a few on top of each cupcake.

After eating some of the batter (remember, no eggs, so at least I could do it safely!), I made my way to the gym, smelling of pumpkin and chocolate, to burn off some batter with 40 minutes of cardio. After the gym, I came back to try a finished cupcake… and I was able to stop after one, knowing that I had just come from the gym :). Although I have not yet splurged on another one, I have a strong feeling that I will make it my after lunch treat today. Okay, so it’s already packed in my lunchbox and ready to go.  Every girl needs a sweet treat to get through the day :).

The cupcake moment

9 Nov

I did as I said I would. I came home from school, grabbed some lunch as fast as I could, and then started in on my cupcakes. I will have to describe that experience tomorrow, as tonight I had to stay up (too) late finishing homework, perhaps due to the baking delay this afternoon, and it is now past my bedtime. In the meantime, here’s a little preview of the cupcakes, which have been favored around my house already:

 

Please excuse the photo quality, as my camera batteries were dying, and I quickly grabbed my phone to capture the cupcake moment. They may look like muffins, but don’t be deceived. I normally don’t even consider myself a ‘cupcake person’. Yep, they are that good. More info. on the recipe coming tomorrow.

Yum.

Pumpkin, baking, blogging

9 Nov

My sister recently introduced me to two food blogs, which I have been obsessing over daily. I have been trying to figure out how to combine my passions of baking, exercising, and writing into some sort of a career, and I now feel that it may actually be possible, thank you to the advanced technology of blogging.

However, at the moment, my obsession is slightly taking over my homework time, which should be more important right now, as I am in the process of completing my schooling in order to start this blogging business. Yet, here I am, taking time out of my “homework time” to write about blogging and baking.

One of the food blogs that I have been reading has been introducing a variety of pumpkin recipes for the fall season. One of my favorite fall ingredients is pumpkin, which explains my latest obsession with food blogs that also obsess over pumpkin. Lucky for me, tomorrow night just happens to be the celebration of a friend’s birthday. Which just gives me an even better excuse to bake a yummy batch of chocolate pumpkin brownies :). Did I mention I also made a batch of pumpkin oatmeal this morning? I did…and it was wonderful.

Since I am sitting in the library at school, taking up a computer that could otherwise be used for doing homework, I better get back to reading my Communication Theory. I’ll let you know how the chocolate pumpkin cupcakes turn out…they are first on my to-do list when I get home from class (due to senioritis, baking trumps homework these days).