Out With the Old and In With the New!

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

 As the earth spins, days pass, and as we evolve and progress, one of the most difficult parts of life is accepting and adapting to change. Change is inevitable and healthy, albeit quite intimidating. We tend to fall into comfortable patterns and we cling to what we know, sometimes rejecting beneficial changes. We all have those friends- the ones that call with desperation in their voices,sharing tales of woe about how they fight consistently with their boyfriend or girlfriend and worry that the relationship is weakening. We supportively tell our friend that maybe they’re hanging on to what their relationship used to be and that maybe it’s time to consider moving on. They seem to listen intently, ingesting every pearl of wisdom you have to share until the next day when the happy couple returns to the status quo. We can plan to repeat this same routine next week.

We place a lot of importance on history and shared experiences, but just because we have fond memories with someone or we’ve shared special times with them, does not mean that the relationship we have with that person will never change. In fact, it’s likely that it will. As individuals, we constantly evolve, and our evolutions as individuals inevitably impact our relationships with others.

Fearing change is natural and organic and sharing memories and experiences can absolutely be a means of bonding to other people. We also need to be willing to accept that having shared memories and experiences does not mean that we should hang onto a bond that is not what it once was. We cannot pretend that nothing has changed. When a relationship begins to do more harm than good, we must be willing to let go.

Admittedly, there are so many times that I wonder, “How did I get here so fast?” I am so often amazed at how quickly my life seems to progress. I vividly remember my eighth grade commencement, my various involvements in high school, my high school graduation, and crying as I watched my parents drive away after helping me move into my college dorm. There is never a time that I take for granted how gracefully my life has evolved. None of these changes have been easy and each has incited great fear and apprehension. In review, there are some people that have been in my life since the very beginning, from kindergarten until this day, but there are some that were once so important, yet we’ve drifted. This change is okay and I’ve accepted it. By no means have the memories and experiences I shared with these people faded in importance. They are still very much a part of me, but as I’ve grown as an individual, change and evolution have allowed me to mature from them.

I’ve focused on change a lot in this blog, and it’s a topic that never lessens in importance. Shared histories and experiences are so very significant- they help us to grow into our full selves, but clinging to the past because of fear and apprehension of the unknown is unproductive and harmful. A willingness to evolve and learning to let go allows us to look ahead to our bright and beautiful futures.

I think at the start of a new year, this idea of accepting change is so valuable. Of course I’ve made resolutions to get in shape and work hard, but I’ve also resolved to do my best to “go with the flow.” I need to be flexible and adaptable and I know that 2012 is the year to learn to do just that!

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Have you had any significant changes in your life that have shaped you? 

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M.I.A.

Hey, all! Sorry I’ve been missing in action- school, illness, and other personal stuff has consumed me lately. I am very much looking forward to getting back to blogging, though! Because I’ve been so overwhelmed, I haven’t had the time to write a formal entry to I’m just going to share some cool things!

First… I went “pumpkin patching” with my roommates and I have to show you what I picked out!

Yeah, that’s me on the right, falling over (and laughing hysterically)! That’s not the pumpkin I took home, but I DID carve this baby…

Second… I read these and loved them, so I’m passing them along!

Have you done anything fun in the fall spirit? What inspires you?

The “Pros” and “Cons” of School

The start of another semester of college lends itself to being a consistent whirlwind, and as a result, my blog has sat untouched and neglected. In honor of the semester having officially begun, I’ve made a list of all of the things a new school year entails and I’m listing the pros and cons of each! Here we go!

1. The new school year means new classes.

Pro: New people and new, interesting information (hopefully!).

Con: Schoolwork and studying=social life killers!

2. New textbooks.

Pro: The smell of new books (Am I the only one that likes this, because if I am, this is really embarrassing!)

Con: The exorbitant cost incurred by having to get new textbooks.

3. Back to school parties.

Pro: It’s so much fun to be reunited with friends you haven’t seen all summer.

Con: I can’t think of any… can you?

4. Fall sports.

Pro: Lots of school spirit and lots of fun!

Con: The rare occasion when your team loses. 😦

5. Reunions with friends.

Pro: The whole gang is back together again!

Con: Um, nothing!!!

6. Being back in my apartment.

Pro: Being in my own space.

Con: The whole college food situation. I could really go for some home cookin’ by mom and dad!

Okay, so my list isn’t very extensive or very good, but, as timing would have it, I have to get back to my schoolwork! I’ll blog again as soon as possible!

College and the Quarter-Life: Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot 101

With the start of a new school year comes a lot of possibilities and, sometimes, a lot of anxiety! You’ll fall into a comfortable routine before you know it and another wonderful school year will be under way! In the meantime, here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Let’s get excited for the commencement of what is sure to be another great school year!

1) Figure out how you will balance your social life with your academic responsibilities.

I think learning to find a balance is the greatest difficulty college students face with the onset of a new semester. Of course, being social and staying on the ball with schoolwork are both very important. However, what’s more important than either of those collegiate necessities, is figuring out how managing to do both will work for you.

2) Be health conscious.

Caring for yourself and your well-being is of the utmost importance. Eating right, exercising, and catching enough zzz’s are necessities that you need to be able to fit into your schedule. If you aren’t staying healthy, than all of the other elements of your life will fall by the wayside, which of course, will certainly not help you to start the school year off on the right foot.

3) Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

Hitting the snooze button is so easy and so tempting, but I assure you, getting up and out will be a huge stress reliever. Missing class will not help you adjust to your new school year routine! Also, you’ll find that waking up early will give you so much more time, which will certainly cut down on the rush and stress many people feel at the beginning of a new school year.

4) Organization is key!

Being organized will keep you free of stress and will help you to avoid the new school year frenzy that many students experience. Buy a planner and become an avid note-taker. Write down everything from social engagements to due dates on assignments. Also, buy folders and notebooks and store them in a specific place so that you fall into a routine of keeping your school supplies organized and accessible.

5) Be positive!

The start of a new school year is the start of a year that holds so many opportunities and possibilities! Expect to make new friends, have new experiences, succeed academically, fall into a comfortable routine, get healthy, and reach new heights! There’s so much in store and so much to be excited for!

How do you plan to start the school year off on the right foot?

Heaven on a Plate

Have you ever had one of those meals that was so delicious that you literally thought you were in love at first bite? Well, I hope you’ve had the pleasure because this “falling in love with my food” situation recently happened to me and, holy cow, I thought I was in food heaven.

I recently planned a day trip to Miami with a couple of my girlfriends and one of them, who happened to know the area quite well, said she had to take us to this chic espresso bar for lunch. She said it was called Aroma. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. (I have to put in this small tidbit: Most of my friends would call me enthusiastic and quite excitable.) This tidbit applies here because when I heard that we were going to the Aroma Espresso Bar I thought I might just keel over with excitement. I had been to Aroma a few times when I had spent some time in Israel, but I thought that Aroma was only located in Israel. I had no idea that they had any locations in America (I’ve now learned they have four American locations- three in New York and the one I went to in Miami.).

This was the best meal. Ever. I had a combo meal. Half of my lunch was a goat cheese, tomato, and basil sandwich on a thick piece of whole wheat bread. The other half of my meal was a sweet potato and lentil salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Seriously, this meal was heaven on a plate. Alongside that hefty meal, I ordered an Ice Aroma. An Ice Aroma is kind of like a coffee smoothie, but it has such a rich taste and creamy texture. They serve it with a little chocolate on the lid and truly, this drink was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! Best. Meal. Ever.

When I went to Aroma in Israel, I loved the food, but I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have it again for such a long time because my trips to Israel are few and far between. Eating at Aroma was great in more ways than one. I, of course, loved the food, but eating there also brought back a flood of memories from my time in Israel- memories I hold very dear. As soon as I stepped into the beautiful, large, chic, minimalistic and familiar espresso bar, I was greeted with so many memories and the anticipation of biting into the food I loved while I was overseas.

This meal was the start to an awesome day in Miami. My girlfriends and I ate, shopped, and sunbathed! What a perfect day. It really couldn’t have gotten much better than that!

What’s your perfect meal? Does it bring back memories for you?

Sarah’s Key

As we all find ourselves trying to escape the scorching summer heat, I’ve found myself enrapt by a book, Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay. While most of my girlfriends have headed toward the romance novel section of the bookstore, I’m addicted to this fictional tale that recounts a very dark time in the history of the human race. The book intertwines the story of the fate of a young French Jewish girl as well as other French Jews at the start of the Holocaust, with the story of a young American journalist living and working in present day France.

The Holocaust is widely chronicled, but the treatment of the Jews by the French during this time is not. Thousands of Jewish families were rounded up by French policemen, held in the Velodrome d’Hiver (a huge arena), and transported to concentration camps. Most of these French Jews were exterminated along with   millions of other Jews that perished in concentration camps. This novel is a gut-wrenching account of the French treatment of the Jews, an event that is unknown by many and that shames France.

Sarah’s Key has all of the marks of an excellent book- it entertains, informs, and captures and deserves unwavering attention from its reader. This book packs a powerful punch and I certainly recommend that you put this book on your list of future reads.

The Cupcakes I Made

Last month my sister and I visited our friend Shira at her home in Atlanta. Unfortunately, due to distance, school, and time, our visits are few and far between. Luckily for me, though, Shira and her mom, Debra, have come down to Florida for vacation and they were able to join my family and me for Friday night dinner. In honor of their visit, Jessie (my sister) and I made red velvet cupcakes. We used a boxed mix for the cake but made a really simple cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

The cupcakes were delicious and a hit with my friends and family! I think there’s something very powerful about food. Obviously, we need it for nourishment, but food also seems to be a kind of glue. I truly think we bond over food!