Exploring Japanese Food

Who doesn’t love sushi?

I hope you didn’t raise your hand.

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My family and I have a Japanese friend who brought the ingredients over to make this. He told us that most of what he brought was straight from Japan and that we couldn’t get it in the States. Sad.

Soo I’m not going to lie- before we befriended him, the only Japanese food I knew about was sushi. But did you know that there’s actually Japanese pizza? (Picture below)

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This Japanese pizza is called Okonomiyaki. Technically it’s a pancake, but to me it looks like a pizza. So flavorful. There’s fish, onion, Japanese mayonnaise, and cabbage in here among other things. Love.

Being eager to learn more about Japan, I went to the Obon Festival that takes place in St. Paul annually. Definitely go if you haven’t. They do floating lanterns when it gets dark, teach you how to make origami, and have rows of food stands.

Here is what I got while I was there:

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This is called Takoyaki. They are snacks that are filled with octopus, tempura, pickled ginger, and green onion. To me, they taste similar to the Okonomiyaki, but I could just be naive. They definitely have similar ingredients though.

Anyways, after all this, I think I should take a trip to Japan soon.

Plus I’ve been obsessed with the song “Lost in Japan” by Shawn Mendes.

A sign? I think so.

Thanks for reading!

Why You Need to Do More Story-Telling

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Okay funny story- are you ready?

I used to work at an elementary school- and boy if you don’t know what roasting is you will learn a thing or two while working there- okay that’s besides the point.

So, do you remember being in elementary school and always trying to act cooler or more mature than you were? Yes you do- don’t lie.

Anyways, in the classroom we had a book shelf filled with books that I never once saw a kid touch. Very sad, I know. One day, I decided to pull out a few of my childhood favorites and read them out loud. I just sat at a table by myself and began. No fair -warning- nothing.

At first, the kids were all snickering. “Why is ms. Coco just reading out loud randomly?” They started making jokes about the books, but then something funny happened.

Within five minutes of me reading, half of the classroom was sitting by me. They began to truly listen. No jokes- just engaged fourth and fifth graders. While the other half wasn’t gathered around, they were still listening as well and would occasionally run over to look at some pages as I told the stories.

Funny right? I think so at least. It’s because we all love a good story.

What teachers did you like the best? The ones that made connections through story-telling or the ones who just read off the bullet points and left you wondering “what’s the point”? I think it’s a pretty easy question to answer, right?

Story-telling draws people in! That’s why we love movies, hearing other people’s experiences, etc. It connects us to one another.

They also help us remember things better. I am much more likely to remember new information if it’s told in story form versus just having to memorize words and definitions.

Tell more stories! It makes people want to listen more and it makes it easier to connect with others.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk LOL.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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3 Restaurants in the Twin Cities that you Need to Try: Part III

The Lynhall

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This place is actually so cute. They have the prettiest pastries and the whole place is just aesthetically pleasing. It would be a cute place for a photoshoot. I thin they also have a private room you can use for an event. Their food is great. They have fun coffee flavors as well.

Foxy Falafel

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OMG. That box on the left has honey cheese curds. Get. Them. They are the perfect cheese curd. Inside Foxy is cute, very small, but they have some fun art in there.

Spitz (my absolute favorite)

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My favorite food is definitely mediterranean and this place, let me tell you, just amazing. I love everything I have ever gotten there. I always get the waffle fries because they come with this tasty chipotle sauce. They also have really good sangria. Did I mention that they have games?

Happy Eating!

XO,

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3 Restaurants in the Twin Cities that you Need to Try: Part I

Karta Thai

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This is their red chicken curry. It is phenomenal. So creamy and comes with so much that  I always leave with left overs! It’s a win win. They have great deals and it’s a fun little place.

 

Mim’s Cafe

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This is my all time favorite place to go. My go-to. The staff there is unreal. They are incredibly friendly and welcoming and not to mention they make amazing and authentic food. This picture is of their Shawarma Platter. I always get this (and the falafels on occasion)

 

Restaurant Alma

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You see that thing with a knife sticking in it? That is ricotta cheese that will change your life. I literally would eat that whole thing no questions asked. That is their cheese board and underneath are their wet chips (I think that’s that they’re called) which are great. They taste like buffalo wings. Alma is cute and the servers are very attentive. It’s also a good place to study.

Thanks for reading!

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The Power of a Phone Call

Ever since middle school, I have been obsessed with talking on the phone.

Throwback to the days when you would memorize all of your friend’s numbers because you called through your house phone. LOL. I remember being paranoid that my parents would hit the intercom to listen to my convos. I’m sure my conversations were super juicy.

Even today, a good phone call does so much. Sadly, so many of my loved ones are super far away. Scheduling time to talk or getting random calls from them is one of the jewels in my life.

It’s a great feeling to connect with my favorite people. In my busy day to day life, I forget about the deep connections I have with my life-long friends and family.

They are my motivation. They bring me so much energy and happiness. I wish nothing but the best for them and it’s a great feeling catching up and hearing what’s going on in their worlds:

future goals, travel plans, what they are facing day to day,

then we laugh at silly memories, reminisce, .

I am truly blessed and if you feel the same way about people in your life. Schedule time to talk to them now.

With physical distance, it’s so important to check on your loved ones. Make sure they are good.

A good phone call goes a long way. Especially when you are running low on motivation and are losing sight of purpose.

Hearing the voice of a loved one is good for the soul!

Make more phone calls.

Not texts.

 

Thanks for reading 🙂 This post was inspired by a phone call with my brother- I love you.

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Stop Making Excuses Today – Here’s How

I want to travel but..

I want to go back to school but..

I want to become a ____ but..

Delete the “but” from these phrases and change them with “and here’s how”

To stop making excuses you must:

One: Make a decision. How many conflicting goals do you have? You can write a million goals, but at the end of the day it’s only realistic to work on a few a day. Decide on the top 3-5 that will make you the happiest and most fulfilled. Then, make a plan as to how you will work up to them into your daily routine.

Two: Prioritize. You say you want to travel, but you don’t have the money. What about the new purse you bought last week? Your actions everyday reflect your priorities. What’s more important to you traveling or spending money on purses? Now figure out what habits and routines you need to change.

Three: Really want it. You can say you want to save money, but do you actually or do you get more satisfaction by spending your entire paycheck whenever it comes? What do you really want instant gratification or discipline and sustained happiness?

Four: DO SOMETHING! Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start now. You will never have the perfect conditions to begin something so just go do it. You have to do more than just plan to get you there.

On Following your Dreams

You have pages and pages of things you want to do, places you want to see, and goals you want to achieve. It’s all so exciting and awesome, but then at the end of the day, you realize you have done nothing to get there. Your words and thoughts don’t align with your actions and routine. Months pass and you realize all these things will only ever be dreams because you don’t have the time, money, resources, etc.

Does this sound like you?

Almost everyone I’ve met has been here-including myself. In conversation, you talk about your passions and all the ideas you have and at the end of it all you go home to do things that don’t align with your words what-so-ever and wonder why you are unsatisfied.

“words mean nothing when your actions contradict”

You can talk about how in-shape you want to get, how many friends you want to make, and how much money you want to in your bank account, but if you never actually do anything to get there how can anything actually happen?

I used to have a habit of saying all the things I wanted to do, but made every excuse under the sun at to why it wasn’t the right time.

What made me change this habit?

Having Role Models. I began to observe people who I wanted to become like. This is huge! Who’s success do I admire? What do they do differently than myself? How do they carry themselves? Why do I admire this person? How can I learn from this person?

– take this person for coffee

– do research on this person

– reach out to them online

What have I learned after talking to my role models? They aren’t smarter or luckier than me (like I had previously thought), they just spend their time differently. This made working towards my dreams less scary.

Remember that you are enough- you probably just don’t have enough information yet on how to get to where you want to be- that’s why learning from someone else is so important.

Whoever you want to learn from will be flattered that you are inspired by them, so don’t be nervous to reach out!

Surrounding myself with other dreamers. Similar to having role models- surround yourself with people who have similar goals and a growth mindset. These people will change your outlook on life and success, but make sure you are returning that energy back as well.

Friendship is a two-way street- be the friend you want to have.

1-Hour. It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to perfect something. If you’re not willing to dedicate AT LEAST an hour a day to get yourself closer to your goals, are you really invested in achieving them?

Alone time. I used to be so scared of being alone that I would make sure I never was. I would plan to spend time with my friends every single minute until I was ready for bed. Every activity from grocery shopping, homework, to working out- I had to have someone with me. It’s healthy to be social, but not to the point where you don’t know who you are when you’re alone.

Now, I make sure I give myself alone time to reconnect with myself, remember my goals, and plan what I will do to make sure I can get to where I want to be.

Picturing my ideal self. This past weekend, when I was talking to a close friend, she shared with me how someone she knew passed away recently. She said: “during her memorial, her friends said that she was the type of person to always follow through on her word. It made me think that I need to be more conscious of my effect on others and it made me question what kind of energy I want to project onto this world”.

What do you want to be known for? How will you put it into existence?

 

Are there any habits you have embedded in your daily routine that have helped you achieve your goals? I would love to hear them. Thanks!