It has been a good solid month since I last baked the Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies. As I was scrolling through YouTube and clicking on random videos, I came across Tanya Burr’s Lemon Drizzle Cake collaboration video with Zoella. And immediately the eagerness to whip up something the kitchen came rushing in.
It is a Friday night and I had no plans, so I thought why not try brush up on some baking skills and bake a simple cake! I noted down the ingredients from the video and went home to check what was missing from the list that I needed to head down to the grocery store to get. When at home, I realised that the recipe was also in Love, Tanya book that just came in the mail a few days ago. With that, I headed down to the store.
The ingredients needed were:
- 3 eggs
- 170g of Self-Raising Flour
- 170g of Caster Sugar
- 170g of Butter
- 1 tsp of Baking Powder
- 110g of Icing Sugar
- 2 lemons
When I got back, I started taking out all the equipment I needed and that included:
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoons
- Non-Stick Tray for Loaf
- Mixing Bowl
After gathering all the ingredients and equipment I needed, everything else was pretty simple. I just mixed the butter, flour, eggs, caster sugar and lemon zest together, place them in the tray and pop it into the oven at 180° for 40 minutes. While the cake was baking in the oven, I mixed the icing sugar and the juice from the two lemons that I got the zest from and merely poured them on top of the cake when it was done and still hot. But before doing so, I used a knife to poke holes into the cake just so the drizzle is able to soak into the cake.
Viola! It’s done 🙂
I cut a slice of the cake and accompanied it with some sliced bananas and a cup of green tea and proceeded to putting on a film to enjoy it with. My kind of Friday nights!
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
That’s a pretty standard question isn’t it? We have been asked this question ever since we understood what the words “growing up” meant. Being the imaginative, young-minded kids we were then, we probably answered “a princess”, “an astronaut”, “a fireman”, “a soccer player” etc. As time wore on, our answers soon changed and we started giving answers like “a doctor”, “a lawyer”, “a banker”, “a veterinarian”.
Our answers continue to change as our lives evolved and start to take shape, either through the environment in which we live in, the grades in which we obtain or in some cases, the circumstance of our financial abilities. We no longer posses the mindset that we could achieve anything we set our mind to. Instead, we were restraint either by the belief that “where my interests lay and the career that I want to pursue will not allow me to make enough money to sustain a living” or “that such a career is only for the lucky and the few”. Whilst there are certain restraints that cannot be avoided like should your grades not enable you to pursue the degree that you want or that it is difficult to further discover that field of work due to finances. More often than not, it is often the lack of belief in ourselves that we can do what we love as a living.
During my earlier teen days I often responded to this question with three words “I don’t know”. It was either that or a typical profession that most adults would expect to hear from a kid at that age. Something common but yet has believed to be something that would enable you to earn enough to support yourself. An answer that became a stereotype that we must pursue a career along those lines because it was the norm. As I grew older and started my Diploma course, my answer changed again. Tailored to be one that was in-line with the Diploma I was pursuing. Thinking to myself “well, it’s an alright diploma and I guess a degree in this field would not be too bad. It will still get me to places, a decent job and if I am lucky, I may start to like it”.
Now, as I near graduation, my answer has changed once again. Over the past six months, I started to understand more about myself. Realize where my interests lay and thinking more out of the box. One day, I was having tea with a friend and we were talking about where I was deciding to go after graduating. Which Universities I was interested in applying for and the usual stuff. We conversed about mutual friends and their ambitions alongside their ability to achieve them. It dawned on me that well, we are actually all growing up. We are making decisions that will determine the rest of our lives (of course if you realize that there were other career paths you would like to pursue in the future, it is definitely still possible). The answers that we gave were no longer just for fun or just to provide an answer and move on to the next topic of conversation. But I realized that these answers were starting to become real paths that we were choosing, and I saw many people I knew settling for something they knew they did not love but were just making do with it. And that in itself scared me.
The society we lived in no longer promoted the idea of “do what you love” but rather, “do what you know will sustain you and settle for it because this is probably as good as it gets”.
I looked at some of the choices I made, the courses I have applied for and whilst I am certain that I will be able to do something with my life with that degree, I knew that it was not what I wanted. I wanted to do more, something I had an interest in. I do not want work to be a dread. I do not want to get by each day with the mindset of “I cannot wait for the day to end and go back home”. I would love to be able to think “I love what I am doing and it does not matter what time I am going to go home as long as it is done perfectly”.
It is definitely much easier said than done. Many people are not able to achieve their dreams for reasons that cannot be helped. But the main point of me expressing this is that it does not matter how outrages or impossible what you think your dream is to be when you grow up (unless it is to just to stay home and do nothing then I definitely encourage finding a hobby that would interest you), as long as you try to do whatever you can to achieve them. At the end of the day, you may or may not have achieved it but at least you cannot say you did not try. (With that said, definitely still have a back-up plan. It never hurts to be careful.)
So if you have read up to this point and hopefully my burst of personal opinion did not scare you away, then this is what I promise myself to do and encourage people to do the same. I am at a point in my life where I have limitless number of opportunities and chances to take. Not all doors may be opened for me and it may take a long, arduous and tiring route filled with set-backs to achieve what I aim to. I am not sure how, when, where, who or what I am going to do. But I know one thing, and that is why. Because ultimately, when I grow old, I want to be able to tell myself that I definitely tried my hardest and gave it my best.
What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be happy and doing the things I love.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2015 has been a rollercoaster ride but I’m excited for what 2016 has in store. I’m about to enter a new phase of my life, hit the big 2-0 and plenty of changes are coming my way.
I ushered in the New Year with my family and best friend, spending a night in at home with delicious home-cooked meal that tasted divine, a couple of drinks and good movies. This year was a much more laid-back New Year’s Eve celebration in comparison to the previous years like watching and getting hit by the fireworks in Berlin or getting soaked by the snow in Finland. Nonetheless, it was a great night.
A New Year is never complete without making some New Year Resolutions. But let’s be honest, there is a 90% chance these resolutions will be the same ones I am going to make in 2017. At least, I tried haha. I have never been one to make resolutions but this year, I thought I would give it a shot. As such, some of my new year resolutions are:
1. Read more books
Growing up, I have never been an avid reader. In fact, my parents had to force a book into my hands. As I grew older, I started enjoying reading more. It was not until last year, I understood the beauty of reading. I read plenty of books last year. Those included The Maze Runner series (BEST. SERIES. EVER), Where Rainbows End, Paper Towns, The Girl On The Train and Hello Life! to name a few. This year, I intend to indulge in even more books. I just ordered a tons of books from Book Depository and I cannot wait for them to arrive!!
2. Take More Pictures/ Videos
As 2015 came to an end, I found a new interest in photography and videography. I started bringing my DSLR out more, especially on days when I did things a little out of my usual daily routines. Snapping anything and everything. After which, seeing what I could do with what I caught on camera. They are definitely not the most artistic shots or tumblr-worthy, but I like it all the same. It’s just a hobby and something I love to do. Hopefully with more practice I will get better at it. With the new Olympus Pen I got for Christmas, I am all the more fueled up and excited to take even more pictures and videos.
3. Live in UK/ Australia
Having mentioned earlier, I am about to start University life soon. That means that I am currently in the midst of applying to schools both locally and abroad. To be honest, I have always wanted to study overseas. Hence, a hopeful New Year’s Resolutions is to either live in UK/ Australia. This is something you will not usually find on everyone’s resolution list, but fingers-crossed, I am able to venture beyond this Red Dot.
4. Pray more
In all honesty, I have never been the most prayerful person. More often than not, I find myself having fallen asleep when I am supposed to say my prayer before bed or having rushed out of the house before having to say my morning prayer. Perhaps not many people can relate, but I definitely want to change that bad habit, this year.
5. Learn to cook a new dish, every week
In relation to resolution number 3, if I were to go overseas, I definitely need to learn how to cook. Can’t possibly be having take out every day and I would miss my home-cooked meals as well. As such, it is a resolution to learn a new dish each week. And if I manage to nail it, I will definitely be sharing about it here.
6. Adopt a healthier lifestyle
If any of you know me, I am the literal definition of a couch potato. Getting me to step out of the door to run is near impossible and the closest I get to exercising is doing Marcus Butler’s routine sets in my bedroom (though to be honest, those are some pretty tough work out as well). This is one resolution I make a mental note of each year but failing to ever succeed. Hopefully, by writing it down it may affect a change in outcome. Whether it is eating cleaner or visiting the gym more often or even just doing sets in my room, I definitely want to try to adopt this healthier lifestyle.
7. Do More Of What Makes Me Happy
Just doing more of the things I love, basically!
8. Travel To New Places
If I could only choose to do one thing for a lifetime, it would be to travel. I’m so excited for the places I am going to visit, the people that I will meet and the food I will eat. There are so many places on my list I wish to see but at the top would be Italy & Greece.
So there you have it! Some of my New Year Resolutions. I am sure there will be more I want to add when I think of it, but these are a few right off the back of my head.
Starting off the year with some goals and clear mindsets, I am ready to take on 2016.
I am probably a little late on the Christmas post but with all the celebrations and chill time with family and friends, I basically did not have much time till now. It’s been a wonderful Christmas-filled week with plenty of eating, opening of presents and just spending some great time with the people I love.
Not going to get down into the nitty-gritty of what I have done over the past few days but instead I just wanted to share a couple of my favourite parts about Christmas.
Firstly, (and I hope I am not the only one) but the amount of food I get to eat during Christmas is simply the best. I have had turkey, ham, Shepard’s pie, roasted chicken and all other kind of food that you would usually find in a Christmas meal. Let’s not forget all the deserts I have had ranging from macaroons, tiramisu, christmas pudding and best of all, the Chocolate Tart from Laurent Bernard. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE OF MINE. I wait a good 365 days to indulge in it every 25th of December.
Next, the giving and receiving of presents. I am always super excited to open my presents, and I am the type of girl who would literally wait till Christmas day to open them even if I received it in the earlier days of December. I have received so many presents this year and I am so thankful for the thought that went into each and every one of them no matter how big or small they are. But I have to say the top three gifts have got to be the Olympus Pen E-PL7, the Audio Technica Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable and the Dior Addict Lipstick.
Whilst I received lovely gifts, I also gave a couple of gifts that I was really excited to get for my family and friends. I got a couple of them online from ASOS which was a really worth-it buy. Those included, the Ted Baker clutch and a watch. Then I went out to buy a few more presents, like the Cherry Japanese Blossom Body Mist from The Body Shop, a Picard Wallet and few more items like Victoria Secret Set etc. It was quite exciting for me to see the reactions of my loved ones as I was never really the one to go out and get gifts. I usually let my mom handle the presents. But this year I thought I tried something a little different, and since I have been working I thought why not spend a little money for the people I love. I really thought through what I think the person may want or need and got their present accordingly. So to see their happy faces was certainly heart-warming.
Last but not least, the best part of Christmas had got to be the time I got to spend with the people I love. Whether it may be sitting around the table playing Heads-up, having a Secret Santa gift exchange, staying in watching movies together or going out for a nice meal. I loved every second spent with them and I only wish Christmas could last for a longer period of time.