Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, (which I seriously cannot believe is already upon us) so why not bid it farewell with some summery-drink inspired cupcakes? Making minis gives the appearance that there are more and they tend to go a little farther, that’s my little party trick when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to double my recipe. I also learned a new party trick this weekend – that bringing mini cupcakes to a pool party keeps you from being picked last for team games! I, of course, couldn’t resist the little American flag and lime toppers! Shoutout to my bestie for making those flags while I was recovering from our 7 mile run which kicked my butt!
Per usual, I used this basic white cake recipe for my base but changed it up quite a bit so be sure to follow these 4 steps to make sure you get the perfect mojito flavor and to gather the extras you need for the recipe:
Substitute 1 tsp of the vanilla extract for mint extract. It gives the cupcakes a super minty flavor which really represents a mojito well!
Add the zest of one lime, or approximately 1 TBSP lime zest to the batter after the addition of eggs and vanilla.
When measuring the milk, fill your measuring cup to just below the 4oz (1/2 cup) line, add white rum until the liquid reaches the 4oz line. It should be approximately 2 TBSP of rum. We only had coconut milk in the house so that is what I used, and I think it gave a little extra oomph to the flavor combo!
With minis you don’t need to bake for so long, only 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when pressed lightly with one finger. That is my trick for testing doneness instead of using a toothpick!
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1.5 TBSP white rum
1 TBSP lime juice (juice of one lime)
1 tsp vanilla
Beat butter until creamy. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in rum, lime juice and vanilla. Frost your cupcakes and add decorations if desired.
Mini lime wedges
It only took about 2 limes to get enough for the cupcakes after I cut them into about 32nds, we’re talking tiny lime wedges here. If you add the lime wedges you definitely want to refrigerate these little guys.
American flag toothpicks
I couldn’t help myself with these for Labor Day weekend. I just searched for printable American flags used a glue stick to secure them to toothpicks. Simple and adorable!
Now sit back and savor this bittersweet long holiday weekend that wraps up the season with a few mini mojito cupcakes.
And if we’re being honest, a few real mojitos too! 😉
Somehow I got to age 24 without ever having to take a trip completely by myself. When I found out orientation for my dietetic internship was going to be out of town for 10 days, I freaked a little. I couldn’t stop thinking about the multitude of things that could go wrong because of who I am as a person and how uncomfortable I am being alone as a woman. By the time my departure date rolled around, the excitement for starting this new opportunity outweighed the negative thought processes so I headed out a really happy girl.
Indulging one morning with a biscuit sandwich and a donut which was pretty painful to do as a dietetic intern, but so worth it!
The four and a half hour drive wasn’t too grueling. I didn’t get stuck in any traffic and only got lost for a hot second trying to find a Starbucks to refuel. I checked in and lugged my massive suit case up to my room. I checked the closet, behind the shower curtain, under the bed and behind the window curtains for anybody waiting to kidnap or kill me. Once I realized the coast was clear I was pretty thrilled by my set up. I had a decently-sized kitchen to get me through my stay. Everything seemed clean and there were free paper towels and dish soap which made me pretty happy considering I’m a jobless twenty something.
I remembered reading in an orientation email that there was a Whole Foods nearby so I set out to grab groceries for the week. Coming from my hotel trying to get back onto the highway I encountered three left-hand turn lanes and realized I may have made a monumental mistake staying here because I am not an aggressive/even kinda good driver and was so intimidated by this place. I should probably add that I’ve never seriously shopped at a Whole Foods before which meant I spent about 40 mins weaving in and out of aisles trying to locate all my needs. It also took an excessive amount of time for me to try and fight for a spot at the hot foods bar. I really needed some of that mac & cheese that I wasn’t quite aggressive enough to make it known to the what seemed like millions of others getting their foods first. I ended up maneuvering my cart out of everyone’s way like a weirdo pretending like I was perusing the refrigerated ready-to-eat foods, but I was really waiting for people to clear out. Checking out was the worst. The trip ended with me gawking at my grand total of $171 wondering how in the world the amount of items I’d selected added up to what my boyfriend and I spend for 2 people to eat for 2 weeks. I got back in my car and almost burst into tears.
How was I going to become a real professional if shopping at Whole Foods in the capital of North Carolina felt like such a huge feat?
The first day of orientation was SO overwhelming. I had forgotten that I wrote “Dani” on my name tag and kept introducing myself as Danielle which probably confused my peers and director/coordinator. We got bombarded with a ton of info and it was incredibly hot and humid that day. Trying to maintain my composure on top of the outside conditions had me sweating profusely all day. I contemplated checking myself into the nearby hospital to have studies done on why my sweat glands couldn’t take the hint to cut it out. Somehow I managed to survive the day and make a few friends.
As I went to make dinner for myself that evening, I discovered the pans in the drawer were covered in a mildewy substance and had to go ask the front desk for more. While I was at it, I borrowed a corkscrew to open a cheap bottle of wine. By the time the front desk man brought me up new pans I realized I didn’t know how to use the corkscrew and asked him to open my wine while standing as far away from the door as I could, propping it open with my foot praying he wouldn’t take that as some kind of seductress invite to enjoy the bottle with me.
I’ve never been the kind of person who is comfortable with inviting people I’ve just met to hang out. Probably some kind of inward fear of rejection. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be invited out for sushi with some of my peers when Friday rolled around. The place ended up having BOGO sushi and $3 Coronas so basically between that small detail and being surrounded by a bunch of dietetic interns happy to have made it to the weekend had me feeling alright.
By day five of my travels I had successfully slept alone in a hotel for four nights, shopped at a fancy grocery store, driven in traffic with 3 left-hand turn lanes and made friends all while avoiding being murdered. Adulting.
A large part of our Saturday was spent trying to find a pool to swim in and I was so amazed when one of the girls in our internship let us use her apartment complex’s pool as well as open boxes she had yet to unpack to find us enough beach towels to use to swim. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!
We went out Saturday night for Mexican food where I was super impressed by my friend’s gutsiness to order and pick up food from a restaurant across the street when the restaurant couldn’t provide her with anything 100% gluten free. I am usually so worried about what others might think of me that I don’t always do what is best for me and I thought that was a pretty kick-ass take charge kind of move, as simple as it was.
We visited a roof-top bar where we learned that summers in Raleigh provide zero relief from the heat. Last stop was dancing. We just so happened to pick a place where a wedding party was after-partying and I got groped by the groom while our group of girls danced in a circle, cause girls just wanna have fun.
My wonderful boyfriend came to visit for a few days and we had a blast. We did some touristy stuff like visiting the art museum but mostly spent a lot of that time eating AMAZING food. If you ever visit Raleigh (or any other location that has one) you have to go to the Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. We had “burgushi” and it was life-changing. I ate entirely too much and didn’t regret it for a second.
The last night we were all together, about 20 of us went out for one last social event before we parted ways. We ended up at an Irish rooftop bar where our waitress happened to be an Irish student visiting for a summer. Authentic. I was the planned DD for me and another intern but as the night continued I was convinced I should drink more and catch an Uber home. I asked the bartender how early I had to come back for my car the next morning (which turned out to be an hour too late as evidenced by my $30 parking ticket.) As much as I liked my new friends I was a little nervous to rely on them to get me back to my car in time to pack it up and make it to 9am orientation for our very last day. But for as much as I was nervous I felt even weirder about requesting an Uber at 7 am to pick up my car in the streets of Raleigh. Luckily she came through and we got ourselves together on time!
It was a bitter-sweet moment to part ways with such a tremendous group of women (and one gentleman) who I had just experienced orientation and started building friendships with. I truly felt that these people, the city and my solo traveling helped me grow as a person – realizing my ability to be a little more independent and to try and not be so uptight and pessimistic about so many things.
I don’t know if I will ever find myself there again, but I will always have truly fond memories of Raleigh and know better than to try and order tequila and grapefruit juice in that city 3x, thinking the next place would have one that tasted better than the last.
About a month ago, I left my job with WIC to go back to school as a dietetic intern. I could seriously write a novel about my first job experience but I’d like to share some positives I took away from it; the things that will continually impact my future career and attitude.
~Insert cliché sunset quote.~
. . . . . . .
1) Sometimes you just need to let it go.
I am the kind of person who gets hung up on the principle of the matter. In other words I need things to be “right” and if someone doesn’t seem to understand where I’m coming from or even remotely thinks I intentionally did something I wasn’t supposed to I have to explain away. Growing up I always wondered why people in movies didn’t explain themselves when something appeared to be wrong and they weren’t at fault. It seemed silly to me to play the martyr. However, I realize now that sometimes things happen and you don’t need to explain yourself, just learn from it and move on. I’ve felt a natural pause in my thought process urging me that maybe I should keep my mouth shut but I kept on going until one specific experience made me feel like a big dummy and now I get it. A lot of the time a simple, “sorry, it won’t happen again” is all people need to hear because you can’t always be right and you can’t be everyone’s favorite person.
2) Kill ’em with kindness.
*Starts whistling Selena’s song.*
I worked in a field where sometimes I got treated like absolute garbage for no reason and it was extremely difficult not to give in and give it back. One afternoon I got threatened by someone because we had a misunderstanding and things on their end escalated very quickly. I defended my ground on the subject when I should have just kindly agreed and let it go. Was I right? Yes. Do I deserve to let people walk all over me every day? No. But did I sign up for that? Unfortunately. The world doesn’t work the way it should and dishing negativity back to a negative person does zero good. The longest I had to interact with a client in my office was an hour and in the grand scheme of things it’s never worth letting someone get the best of you, especially for that short amount of time. I had a quote posted in my office, “be so happy that when others see you they become happy too.” It isn’t going to work every time but keeping my chin up and my dignity intact with clients is always the best route. There are tons of methods of redirecting the situation or getting help if you need it without ever stooping to their level. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes not budging from a (genuinely) positive attitude no matter what is said or done really does make you feel better even if that person’s demeanor never changes.
3) Workplace gossip is no bueno.
I was hoping that the gossip and cattiness would end the day I threw my cap in the air at my high school graduation. I hate to admit that I still take part in it. For me it comes from a place of not being able to keep anything to myself and needing to talk things out in order to calm down/move on, not because I build myself up from putting others down. Still, that doesn’t make it any better because I’m guessing if my self esteem was 100% and I never doubted myself, I wouldn’t feel the need to talk these things out. Most likely it’s just human nature but I think it’s a terrible way to be because if we put all the effort we spend being negative into something worthwhile this world would be a better place and I would be a better human being. It’s something I’m actively working on every day because if I found out that anyone I’ve ever talked crap about said a single bad thing about me I would probably be heart broken and that’s a crazy double standard to hold.
4) You’re going to do stupid things.
And you just have to brush it off.
Seriously though, when you’ve got expectations to see an average of 20 clients/day (each going to have unique barriers and issues), have to speak 2 different languages and keep up with the 1,000 other unknown tasks that pop up out of nowhere, it’s hard not to mess up. Sometimes it’s genuinely embarrassing and if I had known some of the mistakes I would have make, times I wouldn’t catch on to something right away, or times I would have cry in front of coworkers prior to taking that job, I would have seriously reconsidered it for my pride. Nobody likes looking like an idiot or messing up but each day can be taken as a learning experience to lessen the pain of goofing up the next day.
5) Being the workplace “baby” makes everything different.
Respect-wise, acknowledgment-wise and helpfulness-wise – being the youngest person working in your district has a clear impact on how you are regarded by coworkers and clients. Most of the time I liked it, I felt like I was being looked out for and cared for a little extra but at the same time I felt there was a low level of respect given to me based on my appearance and it being evident that I was fresh out of school. Based on the fact that I have a baby face and have had people continue to guess I am 13 years old for the past 10 years, regardless of my age, my appearance is going to continue to make people hesitant of whether or not I am capable and credible to do my job. It has really made me realize how much I need to step up my game with credentials, continuing education and the way I carry myself so that I can demand respect of others no matter how much younger than 24 I actually look.
. . . . . . .
Regardless of the fact that I left my first job after a short 21 months, I feel like I gained 3x that in nutritional knowledge, self-respect and maturity. I regret making it known that I didn’t like my job at the level that I did but I’m proud of myself for owning that something wasn’t for me and moving on to something that makes my heart flutter with excitement each time I realize that I made it to becoming a dietetic intern and all that my future holds. My heart is full of gratefulness for each person that treated me so kindly and for each person who challenged me to a breaking point and in turn helped me in my journey to being the best me.
The stumbling awkwardness of my first big-girl job has come to a close and I’m still standing. So that’s something to rejoice in and of itself.
I was kind of confused when this trend became popular because I didn’t understand why anyone would want to eat their smoothie out of a bowl when they could just suck it down with a perfectly good straw out of a cup per usual. However my instagram feed inspired me to try something new this morning so I transformed our usual smoothie recipe into a bowl.
Was it better? Yes! Why? The TOPPINGS!!
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup mixed frozen berries
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth 😉
drizzle of almond butter
granola (we just picked up some cocao and cashew butter granola by Bear Naked and it’s a perfect match for this bowl!)
This past weekend we celebrated the Third Annual Beer Olympics and two of our best friends’ birthdays. What is Beer Olympics? The most fun weekend of the year where we test our abilities to drink beer and complete games the fastest, take a quick break for dinner and changing and then we get picked up to go out to Seacrets in Ocean City, MD. Fun fact, my boyfriend and I didn’t win a single game despite our most intense efforts but it was still a super fun day!
Snacking during the day is essential to survival and you know I always bring dessert. I updated an older recipe to meet the request of not-so-much coconut and got some decorating ideas from Martha Stewart’s book “CUPCAKES” since our theme this year was “under the sea.”
Basic White Cake
I doubled a basic white cake recipe (makes 12 each.) Once the cupcakes cooled I used a paring knife to remove a small circle from the center ( I forgot my tool to do this with at home.)
Drunken Mango Filling
2 mangos diced
enough Mango Malibu liquor to cover mango
Soak overnight for full flavor then fill cooled and hollowed cupcakes with drained mango.
2 sticks butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk
6 TBSP Malibu
2 tsp vanilla extract
Extras For Decorating
blue food coloring
paper drink umbrellas
blue construction paper cut into shark fins
Beat butter until creamy, then add sugar one cup at a time until well combined. Add milk, rum, and vanilla. A little bit extra powdered sugar may be necessary at the end to get the right consistency. Divide frosting into two bowls. Add blue food coloring to one until it resembles ocean water. I forgot mine and had to use blue melting chocolate to tint the frosting. Pipe half of cupcakes with a dollop of blue frosting and then spread to resemble waves. Add blue sprinkles and top each one with a shark fin.
Crush graham crackers to resemble sand, pipe the non-tinted frosting to spread evenly and dip the cupcakes into a shallow bowl to cover in the cracker crumbs. Top with an umbrella.
I didn’t refrigerate these, just kept them at room temperature and they kept really well!
I’m sitting in my apartment by myself and just broke out into a genuine smile because I love puns that much.
photo-op on the Cliff Walk
My boyfriend and I decided to adult and take a vacation together. We started planning this thing approximately 7.5 months prior to the main event. What can I say, making plans to travel is my favorite. It started out as a road trip to Maine with some stops in states along the way to get in Boston, Bar Harbor, Newport and Waterbury (Ben and Jerry’s Factory) just to name a few. A ton of financial changes occurred that were not in our favor leading up to said vacation, so we decided to make it a trip where we stay with family. I’ll admit free lodging was a factor, cause you’d figure that one out even if I didn’t disclose.
I tend to have a lot of enlightening moments when I’m traveling. Here are some highlights/life-lessons from our Newport Rhode Island Road Trip Adventure:
Monday morning we already had plans to check out Mystic Aquarium in CT, but in between listening to new albums on Spotify, the topic arose and we decided to go to Mystic Pizza because neither of us had seen the movie but who doesn’t love Julia Roberts? I am sad to report it tastes exactly like Pizza Hut but the adventure of a spur of the moment stop to get pizza at a movie-famous location in the cutest town makes it fonder, that and the jalapeños and sour cream that our pizza was smothered in. There are few things better than new experiences with someone you love. This stood out in particular because I literally had an itinerary written out for the trip and we added something fun on top which made me feel like a super care-free, fun girl. Like the kind you’ve seen in ads with wind-blown hair, hands in the air riding in a convertible. I guess you can really be anyone you want to be.
On a rainy day during our trip we toured the Vanderbilt’s mansion, the Breakers. They had the whole headphone self-tour setup so we were walking room to room making a game out of pressing the play button at the same time so we were hearing the same things. Per usual we were the people laughing and showing expression unlike everyone else zombie-ing around (whenever I go to a movie-theatre, show, etc. me and the people I surround myself with are usually the ones laughing the loudest/most often.) It was so incredible to see and hear a little more about the lives of people we learned about in history books growing up. There was a room with these details painted on the walls with platinum. “Oh yes, this is the room I sit in for an hour on Sunday mornings, I needed the walls to be embellished with a precious metal that will never tarnish. Isn’t it devine, darling?” I pretended for a few seconds that that was my life…
A trip just wouldn’t be normal without at least one minor incident. We were playing paddle ball on the beach one afternoon and to set this situation up, I get pretty into paddle ball. If you can call it a sport, it’s my favorite one to play. I was going low for the ball but somehow smacked my ankle instead. It made the loudest cracking sound but I tried really hard to play it off cause I’m in my bikini trying to be athletic here. I didn’t fool anyone. Matt asked me if I was okay and I stopped jogging after the ball to look down at my by-then purple ankle. He had to help me limp back to our beach towels where I moaned and groaned for a bit concerned I was going to be stranded alone on the beach with one leg out of commission while he walked back to the house to get the car and come pick me up. But in twenty minutes or so I stood up and was fine, crisis averted.
We went on a boat tour of some lighthouses and got served mimosas while we cruised the harbor. Each time I’ve told this story not a single person was surprised that our boat was filled with old people. I still don’t get it. It was really fun and entertaining. I learned some history about lighthouses and pirates and an old lady who broke the windows out of this house in the middle of the harbor to survive a hurricane. I think I’m made for the boat life filled with bottomless mimosas….and apparently also for being old. Another majorly touristy thing we did was go on the Cliff Walk, in between the water and the mansions. After we got to the halfway point where we planned to turn around, curiosity got the most of us and we ended up walking 6.5 miles before we were back to the house. The views in New Port >>>
Right before we left for the trip, the idea was expressed to me by some friends that my boyfriend may be using this trip to propose to me. I know that is in our future, but not our immediate future so I tried not to let the thought excite me too much. I do want a sparkly diamond, so how could I not entertain the thought just for a bit? A little over forty eight hours into it, I had to get the reassurance that I could forget about it and enjoy our trip proposal-pondering free. He told me not this time and that was that. Until we got to dinner. We went to this fancy place on the water, all dressed up. The venue wasn’t what alarmed me, it was the fact that we got seated completely by ourselves where we could romantically enjoy our dinner. I couldn’t stop thinking it was gonna happen. I was shaking and practically chugging my gin drink that tasted way too similar to toothpaste. I got breadcrumbs all over the table ( don’t worry I blew some towards him so the waitress wouldn’t just think it was me being a mess) and dropped my knife, oh wait that’s normal behavior for me. Anyway we had a decadent meal and got a little drunk. The next day I bought myself an Alex and Ani ring because I really wanted a pretty piece of jewelry. I was almost too embarrassed to admit this happened to me for fear of sounding crazy, but I had an epiphany that I am secure in my relationship where we openly talk about our future together so there is no need for worry. Secondly, I do not need a man to validate my self-worth by putting a ring on my finger. I think the translation of what that really means gets lost sometimes in the culture of big over-the-top weddings most girls dream of from the day they receive their first Barbie in a wedding dress. Either way, I’m happily in love and for $28, have the cutest little starfish ring to admire all summer long.
Meeting new family is always terrifying, but my boyfriend’s aunt and uncle welcomed me so graciously. I got to hear a lot of stories about him as a younger kid and even some about his dad. Sometimes life gets busy and you forget how truly important spending time with family is.
. . . . . . .
This was a super budget trip where we got treated to clam chowder, lobster rolls and savory seafood donuts. Win, win. The scenery was seriously magical and we came home with full hearts feeling really refreshed after some much needed time off of work. I finally even gained enough trust that my boyfriend let me drive his car on the way back home!!
It never ceases to amaze me how much I grow as a person when I travel and for that reason alone I’m never going to stop. And I’m extra happy to be in a place where I have my best friend to share these new experiences with.
We’re running out of days to get things done before vacation and one of these tasks includes a giant homework assignment for my internship. I haven’t been in the medical nutrition therapy zone for two years now so while some things look familiar, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been getting kind of frustrated with myself lately because I have so many things to do yet I find the time to check instagram and facebook about 30 times a day and my checklists aren’t being completed. So yesterday I decided to not login to any social media to accomplish more and this is what happened.
I was happier. I have been on a mission to boost my self-esteem for the last several years and while I have truly done a 180, there are some days when I can’t stop focusing on the x number of flaws I find with my body and or who I am as a person. Constantly seeing other girls’ fitness, beauty and just everyday life posts on instagram sometimes really makes it hard for me to face my own self in the mirror. I am in shape and a size zero. I’m a nice person and think my face is pretty decent once I cover up the dark under-eye circles but I compare myself to other flawless women with hundreds or thousands of likes and sometimes that makes me not like myself. I’m also a perfectionist and rarely ever content with anything. Yesterday I felt beautiful and confident because I was not comparing myself to anyone, and I know I’ve written about it before but comparison is truly the thief of joy.
I opened my instagram app without thought. I’m so in the habit of checking my email, facebook, instagram and snapchat when I’m bored or waiting around or just need a mental tap-out from reality. I was standing in line at a local coffee shop waiting for my one-pump vanilla soy latte and all the sudden I’m looking at instagram. There was never a thought process of oh let’s check this out while I’m standing in line, I just zoned out and opened it and then was like what the f*%! I’m not supposed to be getting on this today! This leads me to the conclusion that checking instagram has become as much of an unconscious part of my daily routine as breathing….and that’s terrifying.
I had less anxiety. I get nervous anytime I ever post anything on social media. I guess it’s my inward fear of people not liking or accepting me. The instant gratification we receive from people “liking” our posts really creates a direct sense of self-worth every time a post gains popularity. Personally most of the things I post are meant to be humorous or uplifting because I like to make other people happy. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I just want to show off how I look or feel or what I did that day – and I want other people to think I’m cool. Social media creates a platform for us to be our best, most filtered and edited selves so if others don’t like that, how will they like the real me?? It’s such a ludicrous thought process and that’s where half of my anxiety stems from; I don’t like that I care but I can’t stop caring. I also had less anxiety because I wasn’t getting worked up over the stupid things people post on social media.
I had FOMO. Aka fear of missing out. I was legitimately concerned I was going to miss something important or juicy, which is rather silly. If something truly important happens I will hear about it from people I communicate with outside of social media. It’s hard to be outside of the loop though, especially when most of your friends and family don’t live close by, you wanna know what’s going on and social media is a perfect way to stay connected.
I participated more in the world around me. When your face isn’t glued to your phone or computer screen, there are a lot of other things happening in the world to enjoy and observe. I actually almost forgot my phone this morning on the way to work because I felt disconnected from it for the first time since I got a new phone after my 5 week phone-free stint in Spain (it got stolen and there was no method of replacement.)
Turns out I didn’t get anything more accomplished because we were slammed at work and I was busy with other stuff all night when I got home.
I’m not sure that there will ever come a day when I will stop using social media because I find the positives to outweigh the negatives, and that isn’t even the point of this post. But it’s cool to be kinda-sorta unplugged every once in a while and to learn that the world does actually continue without obsessive social media usage. I always enjoy learning things about myself and striving do be better at being happy and this was a big eye-opener for me. Love yourself!
And yes, the irony of where I’m sharing my post did not escape me. Ha!
How do you solve the dilemma of wanting a brunch-y beverage but having to work? Mimosa Cupcakes!
We said goodbye to another fabulous staff member on Friday and had a delicious work breakfast to send her off. I went with mini cupcakes this time around because they’re cuter and with less calories and sugar, are a more appropriate morning indulgence.
I’ve made this recipe before, but I messed up with my frosting and it turned out yummy but runny which is no bueno for frosting. I ditched the cream cheese (sad, I know) and went with a mimosa buttercream instead and it came out perfectly!
I followed this recipe. Since they were minis it only took about 10 minutes to bake and made SO MINI! 😉
6 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 TBSP prosecco or champagne
2 TBSP OJ
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat butter until creamy, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add your liquids, mix and say cheers!
While I’ve lived away from home in a dorm room, an apartment, a townhouse and even a beach house, during and after college, I always ended up back at home. Today marks one and a half weeks since I’ve officially moved out, and in, with my boyfriend. My heart is so full of joy. I’ve found myself walking around wondering what is going wrong that I’m forgetting about, but nothing is. I’m really not trying to brag here, just getting across how I do not know how to be still and let things be good. And it took me quite a while to reach this place.
some of our new decor curtesy of target
Hesitancy. When he first moved to Virginia about eight months after we got back together, I thought we had to move in with each other immediately. I didn’t think it would be reasonable for me to ask him to move here just to date me. As his job hunt ensued, I started to get a little bit nervous. What if I was making the biggest mistake of my life? I did not want to be the girl who made herself so incredibly vulnerable with such a big risk of having my heart broken. We could live happily ever after, but we could also break up. Or, even worse, I could go to hell for being a heathen. When I told him how I was feeling I expected the worst but he respected my decision and moved into his own apartment, instead of in with me. It took me six months to feel comfortable enough to seriously reconsider the idea. The first week into April, after many heartfelt conversations, I knew I was ready. I can’t say I’ve done very many things in my life at a time when I truly could handle it; this feels so meant to be.
Overwhelming Emotions. It was pretty terrifying to surrender having my own space and then to tell people about it. I’ve always been one to care about what others think, more than I should. I didn’t want to be judged and risk losing respect or love from people close to me. I also didn’t want to make God angry. I’m really not an overly religious person anymore, but it is a scary thought, to tick off the creator of the universe. I’m not going to go any deeper into my thought process on this specific topic, but I came to terms with my decision and truly do not believe cohabitation with the person I want to spend my life with is wrong. I so badly want to justify my reasoning, but for once I am going to keep my mouth shut on that one. I’m trying to teach myself that it is okay to have people be disappointed in you or not agree with your decisions. I wake up every day and put my best self forward (if I slip up, said cohabitator makes me take a step back.) I was genuinely surprised by the excitement most friends and family shared with us, as well as my own lack of panic. This is a giant step in our relationship and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!
Responsibility. It kind of felt like getting washed under a big wave that crashed into me unexpectedly when I thought about the financial burden I was undertaking right at the time I’m going back to school. You know that feeling? I’m a freak in the ocean, so it may just be me. I could have stayed at home but the commute and minimal time with my boyfriend were not things I was willing to carry over into my new chapter. I’m also going to miss things being taken care of, regardless of if I do them, which is probably the most beautiful thing that occurs while living under your parents’ roof. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend is very responsible and pretty neat for a boy, so I’m not too worried, but there are a lot of every day tasks that I was not doing and am now in charge of again. I suppose that is an inevitable part of growing up.
Organization. With the apartment already being fully furnished, the largest thing I had to bring was my desk. For three straight weeks I pestered people to help me tote bins and shopping bags to and from my car. I think it took about 10 car loads… and I scaled down. By some kind of miracle, all my stuff fit in his closet that he so graciously reorganized to give me 75% of space. It has been so much fun/comical trying to figure out how to blend our styles together to decorate our place. I donated most of my pink belongings to my brother’s girlfriend and he has promised (politely been forced) to keep the Marvel items to a minimum. I think things are going very nicely.
Contentment. We are settled in and love having a place we call our own. Hosting people is so much more exciting now too! I can’t forget to add that we have a pool now. I have been wanting a pool for my whole life and I cannot wait to stroll several feet out the back door in my bikini where relaxation is waiting for me. I’m ready to soak up the sun and enjoy every second of summer!!
It’s obviously too soon to tell if moving in together was the “right” decision. I’m feeling pretty optimistic though. Of course the step before moving in, that I was raised to understand as normal, does cross my mind but that wasn’t it for us a) because he’s in charge of the ring-giving and b) because we’re two broke twenty-somethings who are still in school. That has been established as happening in our future, which I’m of course thrilled for, but I’m actively focusing on the wonderful present. As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent way too much time wishing my days away.
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This is in no way me saying go move in with your significant other or that it will be great. This is me saying, follow your heart and do not let what others think of you keep you from finding your own way.