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.

Interview with a Gamer

I know virtually nothing about video-gaming. The other day I tried on a VR headset for the first time and was instantly in awe. I became eager to learn more about what gaming means to people who play often. So, what’s better than interviewing someone I know who is an avid gamer? With out further ado- interview with a gamer.

How long have you been playing video games, when did you start, and why?

I was like 3 when I first started playing video games. I remember playing in my basement at my house in rhode island. I would play Wii bowling and tennis. Then when I moved to Minnesota, I had an experience where I rented a game from blockbuster called call of duty 2 for the wii. It was a three day rental and I accidentally forgot to tell my parents that it was over due. So I had the game for 5 days, but when we came to return it the place was closed. Basically, I got to keep the game so thats really what started gaming for me. Yup thats where it all started it was a big mistake.

After playing call of duty 2, what kept you playing video games? why do you like it?

I kept playing video games after because mostly I found it very interesting with story lines and characters and I like beating games, saving people; its like a movie where you are in control. After a while of having the wii, I got a second-hand xbox 360.. that really started my gaming addiction! It was a kinnect also.

How long would you say it took you to get good and used to the new controllers?

For a while, it was just confusing to me. I would say I caught on quickly though. After 3 or 4 months. I began to understand the controls. Playing with friends made it easier too. By the end of 1 or 2 years, I would say I could play with the controller behind my head.

So now you have been playing with VR, how would you say that experience has been for you?

It’s been very interesting. There’s been hard points like fixing things. We’ve had lots of technical issues with the model I use- the htc vive original. A big part of liking technology is having to fix technology. So we’ve had to fix the controllers and headsets. Both of their warranties are over. If the parts are seriously broken we’re going to have to pay to fix them. Other than that though I think I’ve made good friends through VR which makes it worth it.

What advice would you give to new gamers?

The only advice is if you want to get better.. you gotta put a lot of hours into that game, man. Just keep practicing. If you want to get good, you got to put the time into it. Trying to go semi-pro isn’t easy but it would be a fun way to make money.

On that note, what are your short and long-term goals for video gaming, if you have any?

My short-term goal is to hopefully get better at a game called PubG and to get better with my team for tournaments and stuff. My long-term goal is to get into professional tournaments and stream full-time.

Who are your favorite gamers? What makes a good gamer?

Good question.. my favorite gamer would be people who stream on Twitch a lot of them were professional at one point. My two favorite would be Shroud and Choco Taco- very strange names I know. I like them cause they’re fun and they’re always in a good mood. Not to mention that they’re good! What makes a good gamer is having the ability not to get angry. Not even when you lose. Just be chill.

What’s the most challenging part of gaming?

The most challenging part, if you do online gaming, is overcoming better players, adapting to new environments, and getting a sense for things. Communication is super important with others and yourself. You need to notice things around you. Having a sharp mind is super important in remembering where things are.

What do you think the future of gaming is? Any trends you see?

I see AR becoming a huge thing because I’ve tried it in progress and its ridiculous. You can reach out and truly experience things. Just ridiculous! I feel like first person shooters won’t be a thing anymore there’s a big trend of survival games like “Rust” I would say theres millions of people playing. The servers get up to the thousands.

Are there any computer games you enjoy or see popularity in outside of controller games?

Yes, definitely competitive style games. I don’t think you see as many on xbox or controller games. Like counter strike “CSGO”, PubG, FortNite are very popular. There’s some also some top-down games like World of War Craft. Call of Duty and Halo are on both Xbox and computer but are also pretty popular. There’s money to be made in competitive gaming.. a lot.. and fame!

I hope you enjoyed this interview- I know I learned a lot 🙂

Oh and follow this gamer’s twitch account: RebootFailed