Preparing for Transition

So, what’s next?

A question that can evoke so much emotion: both negative and positive. There are times when the idea of “what’s next” is thrilling. Limitless possibilities. While other times we ask the question and feel intense unease. What if I make the wrong decisions? What if it doesn’t work out? What if, What if, What if…

The uncertainty of what’s next can cause us to over analyze and hyper plan to re-gain some certainty in our lives. Change can be terrifying and confusing.

Having felt the aches of not being able to decide what’s next, I have searched for many ways to cope with the feeling. Here’s what I have decided to do: reflect, learn and give back.

Reflection: What do you value and what gives you energy and fulfillment? No matter where you are in life, you need to make sure that you are staying true to these two things. In my case, I love attending events. Creating. Encouraging others. I value honesty, loyalty, and kindness. I know that no matter where I go, I will carry these values with me. I will continue to search for meaningful experiences and events in my community.

Learning and Giving Back: We crave to grow. That’s the human experience. Just sit back and think of how much you have left to learn in this world. There is so much that has been unexplored. So many ideas that you haven’t even been introduced to yet. I walk through the public library in my city and think of all the books I have yet to touch. Learn from people. Listen to their stories. What has their experience been like? How can you help them? What can you do to improve the environment around you? Your community?

Focus on what you can do today to be true to yourself and to enjoy the present moment whether that be by reading a self-help book with a classmate, finding a new self-care routine, or by going for a long walk. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. You only have today and right now. Don’t be so busy planning for the next chapter that you forget to enjoy and appreciate what you have in this moment.

Thanks for reading,

XO coco

This Advice Has Changed My Life

About a week ago, I had a conversation with my mother. I told her that I had been feeling unfulfilled for days.

I believe we share our feelings with people for two reasons: either we just need someone to listen or we hope they will give us a perspective that might change us.

A week ago my mother said this:

“In life, we need to see things as rituals. From the moment we wake up and make our beds to the moment we shut our eyes at night. Make doing the dishes and folding your laundry a ritual even getting dressed in the morning. Make these things sacred to you.”

You know when someone says something to you and you feel sparks? This was one of those moments.

So often we get caught up in worrying about our future or beating ourselves up about the past that we forget to be in the present moment.

We resort to thinking happiness can only be found in large achievements or in the compliments we receive when really we can find it in combing our hair or taking the time to make our beds.

I believe this is why people get addicted to working out. Exercise is a great tool to help us focus. Thats why people call it “being in the zone.” That “zone” is the place where you are truly in the present.

Since you might be wondering, here’s how my life has changed since I received this piece of advice:

I’ve been much more aware and intentional. I find happiness in folding my favorite shirt or in packing my lunch for the day with foods that will nourish my body.

I’ve been less frustrated, anxious, and angry. I will be the first to admit I have terrible road range and can’t stand when people ask me to repeat myself because they didn’t hear what I said. Since I am only here right now, why would I perceive this moment as in my way or annoying when I can see it for what it is and just breathe? There is no real hurry and even if there was, our anxious mental state would not make it any better. Approach situations with a grateful heart.

I’ve added a new ritual. I exercise in the morning. It is now built in my schedule for an hour. It starts my day out with intention and brings me into a focused mindset. I pack my gym clothes the night before and plan my outfit. I lay them side by side so that when I wake up, I am ready to go and I am thankful.

I’m continuing to learn more. Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast has a series right now with Eckart Tolle who preaches about this idea of being in the moment. I highly recommend you take a listen.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know your thoughts.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Cinnamon Roll Cake or Coffee Cake?

What’s your favorite dessert?

If you asked me: Coffee cake. Or cookies. Or chocolate…. Okay I just like dessert.

Am I the only one who finds it funny that people consider coffee cake a breakfast food? I’m thinking because it has coffee in the name. Enough excuse for me to eat a dessert for breakfast!

So, I came across this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been meaning to make for months: “Cinnamon Roll Cake.”

There are many variations to this recipe, but I chose the pin that had the best picture.

Initial thoughts: SO MUCH BUTTER.

Mid-creation thoughts: This recipe is actually super easy. Although the prep time said it would be 8 minutes, I ended up taking around 15, but it wasn’t labor intensive by any means.

Photos:

Cake Batter

Cake Topping

UH OH: Okay… I prepared this part of the blog before I checked on the cake in the oven. It’s a disaster. The topping is melted into the center and the sides are starting to burn. I swear I followed the recipe. I will check back in in 5 minutes.

5 minutes later: Now I know why the recipe is called cinnamon roll cake. This looks nothing like a coffee cake and most definitely like a cinnamon roll in cake form.

Picture:

Um… why does my stuff never look like the pictures?? 😭

Well, the recipe does call for me to add icing on top.. I don’t think I will though. I just wanted a coffee cake.

The taste: worth it! I came to my kitchen to sample my first piece, and half of the cake was all gone. It is gewey and cakey and cinnamon rolly. Will consider making again but only if I can give it away because I might eat the whole thing.

Have any of you tried cinnamon roll cake before? What do you think?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Where Do You Belong?

What’s your identity?

Is it defined by the books you read or the clothes you wear? Or maybe the people you surround yourself with?

As much as we hate to admit it, we often struggle with who we are.

I must be a fit person because I work out everyday.. but what if you don’t work out for a month? Would your identity change?

My identity must be defined by my family. What if your family comes from all over? You identify with everyone but at the same time with no one fully.

What if we could choose our identities? If we decided where we belonged and what we spent our time on. If our habits became our identity. If we could shape and change them daily.

How are your perspectives and attitudes shaping your identity?

Thanks for reading.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Kitchen Disasters: Crepes

Background Information: Crepes originated in a western part France. Henri Charpentier, a master chef from Monaco, played a big role in the growth in popularity of crepes. Today, February 2nd is France’s dedicated day to celebrate crepes also known as le jour des crêpes. Read more here.

The Recipe: I found the recipe for these crepes on allrecipes.com – It was the first one that came up on the search.

Issues/ Lessons:

  1. Make sure you have all the ingredients.. I didn’t have regular milk so I used soy milk (which is a replacement anyways but definitely changed the flavor of the recipe)
  2. The batter, when I measured out the ingredients according to the recipe, was very thick. Because I have made them before, I know this isn’t the consistency I wanted it to be- so I added another egg and poured in more soy milk without measuring it out until the bater looked to be a liquid consistency
  3. Look at other platings and topping ideas for inspiration. I’ve always loved banana and Nutella on my crepes, but it’s more fun to branch out and try something new. I also stacked the crepes and it made them too thick when I prefer them thin.

The Final Product:

My brother always says: “Coco, your food always tastes better than it looks.” He’s 100% right. Truthfully these crepes were just O.K. though they were a bit dry and too eggy. Because I am impatient when it comes to making food, I don’t think my dishes come out as good as they would if I didn’t skip steps.

Pinterest Inspiration:

Check out my Pinterest Board dedicated to crepes. There are so many good looking savory recipes which I will have to try next time.

Question:

As I am new to baking/ cooking I would like to ask: have any experienced cooks also experienced being impatient while cooking and how do you overcome it?

If You’re Bad at Remembering History, Read This.

You can teach me about the same war twenty times and a day later I will have already forgotten about it.

Does this sound like you?

Yesterday I was at the airport waiting to board when a woman across from me asked: “so where are you traveling to?” Quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I had an early flight that morning and this was my connecting one. Regardless, I told her and we began to chat about our travels. She was around her mid 40s – early 50s. Her shortish golden hair reminded me of my grandmother’s.

After around ten minutes, the plane began to board. Turns out, I was sitting behind her. We talked about how she met her husband on a beach in Spain years ago. She described how they are still madly in love even after having three kids. Although that is nowhere near where my life is at right now, I felt as though we were very similar.

When we got off of the plane, we were going through airport security and she began to tell me about some Dutch history. Before she went any further, I had to tell her: “I’m going to be honest I love history. I think it’s fascinating.. but I never remember it. I’ve seen several castles and battle grounds in Ireland and I couldn’t tell you one fact about them.” She laughed at me. I felt a bit embarrassed. Then she said this:

“I’m bad at remembering history too!”

“Really, so how do you know all of these facts?”

“I read children’s books”

“Do they actually help?”

” Yes, because it’s more important to understand the big picture before trying to remember the small details. I read a children’s book called the history of France before I went there. My friend and I brought the book with us and matched the illustrated pictures to the things we saw while we were there.”

“Where have you been my whole life! Haha”

“Also there’s a lot of movies that can help with that too.”

Our conversation went further, but I had never thought of doing this. Children’s books have to explain things in simple terms. Only once you get something in simple terms can you dive deeper and learn more.

This advice has really and truly changed my life. Time to go buy some children’s books.

Have you tried this before?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Why You Need to Stop This Mindset

If I lose 20 pounds then I’ll be happy

If I get a promotion then I’ll be successful

If I get this job then I’ll be good enough

If I get 10k followers then I will feel pretty

STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!

Stop placing your worth, happiness, and success in the achievement of something in the future. When we do this, we basically tell ourselves that we cannot be happy until we get these things.

Think back to when you were a child. You’re in a grocery store trying to convince your parents to buy you a toy. You tell yourself that there is no possible way you will be happy unless they agree to buy you the thing. You have already decided that you will throw a fit if you don’t get what you want. This time you’re lucky- your parents agree to buy you it! Now you feel so happy… for a moment…. but it doesn’t last.

How many times have you placed your happiness on getting something that you look back on now and have to laugh? Turns out the American Girl Doll wasn’t the secret to our lasting happiness after all. Just like getting that new designer purse isn’t either.

How happy you are now is likely to determine how happy you will be in the future. It is fine to look forward to something. In fact, it’s totally healthy, but this is different than deciding you won’t be happy until something happens for you.

We aren’t the best at predicting what will happen in the future. Think about it. Who did you want to become when you were younger? What did you think you’d be doing right now 5 years ago? I can speak for myself and say that these are two very different things.

So decide today that you will be happy. Not when you get that new car or those new shoes. This only lasts so long until you are lusting over the next new thing.

Decide to be happy because you have goals and values that guide what you do. Be happy because you are in this moment right now and have made it this far. Be happy to be authentically you. And be happy that you are on a mission to change your life and the lives of others too.