Who’s excited for the weekend? This gal definitely is! Unlike most Americans who luckily get to enjoy a three day weekend starting tomorrow, I will be serving the coffee to frantic party-hosting people who have a million tasks to complete before their barbecues and fireworks displays. It’s okay though because many of our customers are kind and friendly. I’m positive that we will be EXTRA busy because we work in the same plaza as a package store. Everyone will be running out to grab their alcohol for the big weekend and need their coffee to stay focused.
Busy days at work equal cookie therapy. Isn’t that the truth?
“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more.”
As most of you beautiful people know, this week has been one of celebration as well as grief. As I am preparing for a wonderful night with good friends and jam band music, this specific Dave Matthews Band quotation comes to mind. Despite the fact that I have seen sadness in it’s rawest form this week, I have also made room for laughter at the sight of my cousin’s daughter shrieking with pure joy and the union of my step sister and her lovely other half, Joe.
I was not a Dave Matthews Band fan in high school. I listened to a lot of musicals and Christian pop music. Although I still do listen to musicals and am currently fangirling over how perfect the “Fun Home” soundtrack is, I have expanded my listening choices over the years. My friends have had a huge influence on my new favorite bands.
I’m going to take my apron off today and talk to you about my travels in the past few months. Is that okay with everyone? Hopefully it is! I promise I’ll be back to share with you some super exciting recipes in the next few days.
Let me first start by saying that I have never been outside of the United States of America. My one regret in college was that I was not able to travel abroad. Instead, I lived vicariously through my amazing friends who traveled to Paris, Ghana, Belize, and India (just to name a few amazing locations around the globe).
Do you ever have those days when you want to eat everything in sight? I’m describing the yesterday version of myself. I was ravenous. There is no explanation to why I wanted to eat like a pac-man. Sometimes, I just have to let my hunger run it’s course; this occurrence happens maybe once every few months.
The morning after I fill up on croissants, pretzels, and stuffed shells, I resort to nourishing my body with healthy and sustaining foods. I try not to shame myself for the binging that occurred during the previous day. I learn to forgive myself, start over, and grow (not in the waistline).
With the weather getting warmer, I am always looking for beverages that will cool me down and really satisfy my taste buds. I tend to stray away from sugary fruit punches and cavity-inducing sodas. In fact, when I want something ice cold and refreshing, I aim straight for water. If I veer off of the beaten path, I will end up in unsweetened iced coffee or tea territory.
Okay, so I’m a plain jane when it comes to my beverages…until now.
Remember that time that I made strawberry jalapeño soda? If you don’t, check it out. It’s delicious and not overly sweet or spicy.
As a teacher, I have learned a great deal over the course of three years. One of the most important lessons that I have experienced has been the power of listening. Lending an ear to a frustrated teenager who just had an argument with her best friend or a student who just found out that his mother has cancer has been crucial to the rapport I have with these adolescents. They genuinely care about me because I take the time to listen and give advice when necessary.
I really cannot see myself on any other career path. My boyfriend is an accountant and he enjoys sitting at a desk from nine to five. I give him a lot of credit because I would not be able to do that in a million years. While I do sit at a desk, collect data, do paperwork, and enter assessment into an online grade book, I have the privilege of being on my feet and moving around, interacting with students from all over the world, and connecting the stories we read and the essays we write to the world in which we live.
I have a confession. I’m not a mayonnaise fan. Once upon a time, when I ate salami and American cheese sandwiches, I enjoyed a healthy layer of mayonnaise. I also used to listen to S Club 7 on my walkman and performed in musicals on stage with no fear.
The person I am now is quite different from that salami lovin’, fearless actress. My affinity towards S Club 7 has not changed if you are curious. I actually made my boyfriend and sister listen to their self-titled album just a few weeks ago. So the inner-child in me has not completely died.
Good morning! How is it already Monday? I feel like this weekend disappeared before my eyes.
If any of you follow me on Instagram, you might have discovered that I took a trip to the winery with my mother and grandmother, Toppy. I wanted to do something different with them and figured that a wine tasting would be just the thing! After we tasted several of Digrazia’s wines, we purchased a bottle and were able to enjoy it out on a patio that had a lovely waterfall and grapevines hanging above us.
I recently attended a wedding rehearsal dinner at one of the most gorgeous wineries that I’ve ever been to in Clinton, Connecticut. While I haven’t been to Italy or Spain or even Napa, New England wineries have their own charm and uniqueness.
The rehearsal dinner was on the winery’s grounds within a renovated barn that lay only a few feet from a beautiful pond and grape vines stretching for acres. I instantly fell in love with the ambiance. My first thought was, “I want to live here.” My second thought, “Where’s the wine?”
There were no assigned seats at the dinner, so I chose to sit with my old friends from Starbucks and a few friends-of-friends. Out of all of these baristas, I am the only one who still works at our store. I could not be happier for all of these beautiful people who have moved across the country, gotten married, started families, and found their callings. During the meal, a mutual friend turned me to and said, “Hey, aren’t you the one who takes the pictures of the food? All of your Instagram photos are great!”
My face lit up like a stop light and I began to sweat. Shouldn’t I be proud of my hard work and blog?
Of course I am. It’s just that I was caught off guard.
So, I definitely am not the biggest fan of being the center of attention. When I was younger, I was a total leading lady. I enjoyed performing in plays and was calm and clearheaded during public speaking events. Now, I can’t even talk about my little blog without blushing.
What’s wrong with me?
I proceeded to respond to my friend sitting across the table about the writing process and the happiness that I have discovered since starting this blog in January. It surprised me that she was curious and attentive during our discussion.
One weakness of mine is having difficulty being the center of attention, but I’m working each day on finding confidence and expressing pride in my work.
This is when I channel my inner Olivia Pope. If you know anything about Scandal, then you know that Olivia Pope is bold, courageous, and extremely confident. She trusts her gut and embraces who she is even if it means leaving behind beautiful, topical islands with fancy wines that I could never afford.
Today’s recipe is Olivia Pope inspired. I think this woman runs on popcorn and Gettysburger. I don’t know how she keeps her slender figure.
Anyways, today is the finale of Season 4, which means I will be glued to the television set at 9 PM holding my breath and hoping Shonda Rymes doesn’t kill off my homeboy, Huck. I’ll also be eating this popcorn because it’s amazing.
Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that really brighten my day and make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
A card in the mail from a friend, a hug from Joshua after a long day of work, or a new vinyl record to play in my room. Currently, I’ve been playing Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”. Everything sounds better on vinyl in my opinion, but maybe it’s just my inner-hipster talking.