Category Archives: Uncategorized

Closing the year

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Before I go right ahead to making New Year’s resolutions, I want to take some time to review my 2015 and be grateful for the wonderful year I leave behind, because it’s been phenomenal and I’ve grown so much since last year.

I travelled. I’ve been both in Belgium and Holland for the first time in my life. I’ve seen so many things, I’ve taken pictures and I’ve made memories. Above all, I got to see them all with my soulmate, my best friend in the world and that tops it all.

I finished high school. I aced my final exams and got into the college I wanted. It was hard work, no doubt, but it was worth it. I had a prom to die for, I was dressed in a dress made of dreams and got one night as a princess. I even rode a limo to prom! With friends I’ve known since I was 4 years old! These last weeks of high school were probably the most precious weeks of my life so far. I’ve learned friendship and goodbyes and happiness. We laughed through our years of school and we laughed now, even if deep inside we were already missing these moments.

I got a summer job. And not just summer job. I got the one I’ve been dreaming of since I was 15, working for three weeks in southern France. It’s been the most enjoyable experience I could ever wish for. I met some of the most amazing people, whom I could never forget, I’ve spend nights on the beach admiring a star crossed sky and listening to waves mixed with laughs. I finally understood that I can be a teacher and more than this, I understood that I would be a good one. I have some unbelievable memories, the kinds I always thought would only ever appear in movies. And! I finally got to practice my French!

I’ve been on a trip with my best friends in Greece. We’ve seen sunsets and sunrises, we’ve danced until our feet were sore and we’ve laughed until our stomachs hurt. We’ve had a taste of the sweet, sweet life and indeed, you can never have too much of a good thing.

I lost and got a dog. I lost my first dog and it broke me. My little Margo died along with all my dreams of taking her on road trips, of introducing her, some day, to my kids, of loving her for more than a decade. It’s been tough and  dark period, but the universe has a tendency to pay back sorrow. Although Margo will never be replaced ( and she’s found her place in my heart and on my hand, in the form of my first tattoo ), neither will Foxy, a little pup that was send to me completely by accident, my little angel that managed to glue my heart back together.

Now, at the end of the year, I’ve been a little down, so this is me getting back on track, choosing happiness over misery. I knew that reviewing my year would definitely help, because we always tend to forget how lucky we are. We tend to let sadness and anger creep into our lives and it’s such a shame. Yes, I’ve lost a few things along the way and for a while, I let them drag be back. My dog, a friendship that turned into an acquaintance, a hope for something more. But, balancing things, it definitely turns out that I’m one lucky girl. So this is me being cheerful again. Being optimistic again. Being kind again. This is me being me again.

Cooking tuesdays : Wookie Cookies

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Cooking tuesdays : Wookie Cookies

My dearly beloved reader, the Cooking Tuesdays are back! That’s right, the wonderful ‘tradition’ of posting a recipe every Tuesday has finally returned! And, as you can see, I’m coming back strong, with apologies and a wonderful, amazing, delicious and geeky recipe for the Star Wars fans in your life (because everyone of us knows at least one Yoda/Darth Vader/ Han Solo obsessed person out there. Or Jabba-obsessed for that matter; no judging ). So, to celebrate the upcoming movie I present you the easy and delicious Wookie cookies! I was thinking about some amazing, stylish Vader brownies or Yoda cupcakes, to be honest, but found them waay to complicated for some of us (aham, me), and because I had no time to buy cookie shapes and you are probably just as busy, we’re going to do a very easy recipe, but tasty and good-looking, nonetheless. ( + they are actually healthy! )

What you need:

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients ; flour, sugars, cinnamon salt, baking soda, and oats.
  3. Add the butter, beaten egg, and vanilla. Stir until the dough is combined.
  4. Chill the dough. You can either chill the entire bowl in the fridge for atleast an hour or if you are short on time…Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheets in the freezer until firm, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown all over
  6. The cookies will still be soft to the touch. Judge their readiness by color, not firmness. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until firm (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once completely cool decorate the cookies with chocolate frosting and white chocolate pieces to look like Wookies.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Recipe taken from here

 

 

Slipping

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I’ve been off, lately. You wouldn’t say, if you didn’t know me. No one really noticed much.

At school, I’m as good as ever, even more sociable than before. I have good grades, I have friends, I have teachers who like me. I do my work, I answer, I read. But I don’t feel it there anymore.

Out, I am fun to hang around it. I hear it often, because my girlfriends call me every weekend. I’m the one they like to get drunk with. I am the one they want to go out to dance with, because when I go out, I’m almost the old me again. I shout a little too loud, I’m excited a bit too much, I take way too many pictures and I laugh with all my heart. I sing along to the music, but this time around, I look at my best friend with a smile playing on my mouth and pain in my eyes. She knows. She understands. This time, the lyrics break my heart, little by little, while I try to keep dancing to the beat. It’s all fun, because it goes away for a few hours, that annoying feeling in my chest. I’m excited again, about nothing in particular, but I am. And yet… I don’t feel it there anymore.

At home, my mom got the hang of it. I am writing again and being silent again. I write and read and write and read and do homework due for the next semester till late hours in the night. I draw mindlessly, constantly listening to a band she knows too well. I smile and I sit next to her when she watches her series and I hope she doesn’t notice. But tonight she told me I should live in the present and I understood she understood. It’s the words I can’t pay attention to anymore, it’s the lingering, the staring, the waiting, the nervousness, the always talking about the same subject, the nonchalance I play so badly. It’s the constant going out, the nervous eating, the always finding something to do. The constant talking about the future or about the past, as if I’m living there.

And yet, I still count days and hope for a brighter moment in the here and now.

 

Who am I, after all ?

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A question I’ve had to answer for my psychology class and one that I probably shouldn’t answer myself. I don’t know who I am, not really, not yet. 

I am maybe a sum. The sum of all things I love and hate, the sum of the songs I find myself into, of the books I’ve worshipped and the paintings that moved me to tears. A sum of all the people I’ve ever met and whose traits I’ve tried to borrow, or, quite on the contrary, I’ve been mocking merciless. A sum of all the friends I’ve chosen and who stayed, but also the sum of my parents. Yes, I am mostly the sum of my parents: shy, but always determined in my actions, as dreamy as persevering, rational yet always wishful. I am a sum of the decisions I keep on taking, ever since I’ve had the power to choose and up until this day, of the opportunities I’ve had and of my luck, a sum of my destiny’s favours. A sum of the wishes that drive me, of my dreams and of my ambition, which I need to keep on growing. None of all these defines me more or less than the other. I am one ordinary human, but unique in my own way. Unique, just like everyone else.

Maybe I am a huge contradiction. A contradiction between the stars, to which I will always aspire and the earth that I am bound to. Between the optimism that characterises me and the pessimism that takes me by surprise sometimes, between the wish to fast-forward my life and catch up on all the good that I hope to find in the future and the lingering nostalgia of past memories. An infinite contradiction  between right and left, that doesn’t define only me, but rather all of us: between my mind, my thoughts, that scream at me to make sense of what I feel and my spirit, who whispers softly to stop analysing life; and who usually whispers louder than any scream.

The only thing that I am sure of is that I am always-changing: a mirror’s reflection for the strangers, who pass me by on the sidewalk; a quiet girl for those, who watch me from afar, with no intention to befriend me; a loving mother to my little puppy; the most special, beautiful and intelligent daughter they could’ve wished for to my parents; a quirky girl yet always ready to sacrifice herself for her friends. Who am I to me? I am all this girls, all these adjectives, all these words put together and bound with the thoughts that flow each second through my mind, never stopping.

I am someone. But I still need a little more time to define who this someone really is. I just need a lifetime. 

21 Days to go

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Taking advantage of my last sips of the delicious Caramel Machiatto I decided to write a bit. I just came back from doing some shopping for St. Nicholas. I bought lots and lots of sweets, tea cups and warm socks for my parents and for my grandmother. I’m very excited about this Christmas. Actually, no, I’m excited about Christmas in general, to be honest. I know, I know, it’s “over commercialized” and so on. I’ve heard this side of the story, too, because one my friends is a very cynical soul ( so am I in general, up to a point ). 

i just can’t help it, that warm feeling inside once December starts. I love everything about it. I get so excited when the first Coca-Cola commercial with Santa comes up in the cinemas, or when Starbucks change their cups to red. I love listening to carols on the radio, all of them! ( Last Christmas was once my favourite song, so yeah…). I enjoy the slight taste of cinnamon in every food and I actually always wanted to have one of those ridiculous red-reindeer jumpers. I can’t wait to walk with my best friend around the shops and buy all kinds of stupid things for the relatives or help her choose a gift for her mum. Or, walking under the lights in city centre, taking pictures. What about those cute Christmas-markets, where they sell mulled wine and ginger bread?

 I mean, how can anyone really hate Christmas?

I agree that the world doesn’t get better for a month, that people don’t change just because they see some lights on the streets and drink more hot chocolate. But it does send a positive message, to spread joy, make people smile. It should be more about that than about buying huge presents, I agree. And, like it or not, I actually think it brings a bit of warmth in this cold months.

 

 My favourite seasonal songs (that you probably never even heard) to cheer up all the grumpy cats out there:

Inspirational board on war

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I have for my literature class a very interesting essay: The importance of militating for peace.
While I could probably talk hours and hours about this subject, it seems hard to put my ideas on a page, so I’m going to use this post as an ‘inspirational board’ and expose my thoughts on the subject.
Why is peace important?
Because it lets our society develop beautifully, in a background where harmony and happiness reign and not terror. For that is what war means, right? It means cruelty and death and hate more than any mind can imagine. It means destroying worlds and cultures. It means promoting something wrong, promoting an ugly world.
People weren’t born soldiers. People were born out of love, to create, to think, to share ideas, spread intelligence. People were born lovers, musicians, discoverers. They were made curious and always wondering and turning them into weapons is where the tragedy starts.
Leading men towards men is nothing to be proud of, is nothing honorable.

I could talk, and talk but we all know what there is to say here. War doesn’t belong to this world and should never again be part of it.

Love, M.

P.S. Leave your own thoughts and opinions and help me write a decent essay 😀

Cooking Tuesday: Red wine soaked pears with raspberry sauce

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For aujourd’hui I prepared a most special dessert that will get you intoxicated with pleasure : Red wine soaked pears with raspberry sauce. It sounds sofisticated, sweet, glamorous but I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s not even that hard to make! So pick up that bottle of delicious Pinot noir because … I just love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in my food!

What you need:

4 ripe pears, peeled
About 4 cups dry red wine (we used pinot noir)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
About 8 scoops of ice cream (we used chocolate Arctic Zero)

About 3 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine sauce (reserved from pears)

What to do:
Combine the sugars, red wine and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and then reduce to low. Add the pears and drizzle with red wine sauce.
Cover mixture with a cover. Poach pears for about 10 more minutes, or until soft. Using a slotted spoon, move the pears to a bowl. Pour the sauce over the pears and let mixture come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Turn the pears every few minutes to ensure the color is a deep red.
Meanwhile, make the raspberry sauce by heating the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup of the red wine reduction from the pears. Cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and thick. Using a potato masher, mash the raspberries to make a thick sauce.
Serve the pears over 2-3 scoops of ice cream. Drizzle with raspberry sauce and serve.

Can you believe it is this easy to create such a special dessert? Try it yourself and tell me how much you loved it 🙂

Love, M.

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Recipe take from here