A Day in Boston, Massachusetts with Me- It’s a Date!

My favorite spots in Boston to eat, drink, and enjoy ☁️

It is hard to imagine that my first time visiting Boston was only six years ago, considering how much I regard the city as a second home. I have spent a considerable amount of time in Boston during my four years of college and many memories have been made sitting with friends in a cafe, seeing a late night movie, or walking through the Boston Commons on a Spring day. I finally sat down to think about my favorite places in the city and it was so hard to pick just a few for each category. When it comes to fun things to do and great places to eat, Boston definitely has a surplus. I was able to narrow it down by consulting a trusted Boston expert to come up with this list. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend checking out at least one of these spots… or all of them… just sayin’.


Favorite place for breakfast

Tatte

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Photo taken from Tatte’s Instagram

If you are ever hungry- or not hungry but you just need something to keep your teeth company- this is the place for you. Not a bad choice can be made at Tatte that is for sure! My favorites are the pistachio cherry tart, any of their iced drinks, anything with avocado or a poached egg on top, or basically…anything. You CAN’T go wrong here. Also, the quaint café vibes in here are not to be missed. 

Favorite places for lunch

KAVA neo-taverna

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Photo taken from Kava neo-taverna’s Instagram 

When I first went to Kava neo-taverna I fell in love. Everything about this restaurant is so special, from the hand painted wall art and nautical, Greek decor to the incredible food and friendly staff. This restaurant is so adored by me and my family that one time, when in restaurant was so full, we sat outside despite it being winter. The zucchini chips, mousaka, keftedes, desserts are to die for. But, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, so I just order one of everything. (You think I’m joking)

Pho Pasteur

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Located in Chinatown, Pho Pasteur is one classic Vietnamese restaurant that everyone must go to at least once. The food is super yummy and inexpensive, a perfect meal for when the Boston winds are forcing you indoors for a hot meal. Although the servers mean business, it’s a great, casual place to enjoy a meal before popping into one of Chinatown’s famous bubble tea places to top off. 

Favorite places for dinner

Trattoria Il Panino

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Photo taken from Trattoria Il Panino’s Instagram 

Being Italian gives me full authority to say that Trattoria Il Panino should not be missed in Boston’s North End. The restaurant has some of the best lasagna I have ever tasted and, if your stomach is up for it, some indulgent carbonara. Whether you are looking for a romantic date spot or a place to host a large birthday party, Il Panino fits the bill. You won’t be sorry when you ask for the dessert menu too. 

Barcelona Wine Bar

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Photo taken from Barcelona Wine Bar’s Instagram 

Barcelona Wine Bar is more than a restaurant, it’s an experience. The bar tenders and servers are some of the nicest I have ever encountered and are incredibly hospitable, willing to offer suggestions on their favorite wines on the list. If you end up going, you have to order a pitcher of their red or white sangria, which is a perfect share for two people. Some of my favorite menu items include the fried brussels sprouts with sherry and pickled onions, and patatas bravas, and hanger steak with truffle vinaigrette. Eating at Barcelona is like walking into a warm hug- you leave wanting another. 

Empire

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Photo taken from Empire’s Instagram

This Asian restaurant and lounge in Boston’s Seaport district is a go-to on a Friday night for sure. Empire has a wide selection of really delicious food in a luxurious atmosphere. Did I also mention they have great music? I had a surprise birthday party here and it was one of the best birthdays I can recall in recent times. The sushi is amazing and so is everything else on the menu.  

Favorite place for coffee

George Howell Coffee

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Photo taken from George Howell’s Instagram 

There are so many things that make George Howell unique. First, their coffee is some of the best in the city, with every coffee type available to order. Did you say an iced red eye with almond milk? Yeah, they have that. Coffee sangria? They have that too. The coffee shop is also connected to the beautiful The Godfrey Hotel, where you can sit and enjoy your coffee if the café gets too packed. With a delicious selection of food also on their menu, is there any reason to leave?

Favorite tourist destination

Boston Commons & the Public park

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If you are visiting Boston, you have to go to the Boston Commons and Public Park. Whether it be Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, the Boston Commons is the perfect place to take in the changing foliage and fresh air. Strolling through the park is also a great way to cut across the city, while still taking in some great sights. Grab a croissant and a coffee and park yourself on a bench- the park is yours!

Favorite day-time outings

Ice skating on the Frog Pong

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Photo Courtesy of Boston Magazine

I don’t know if it is just me, but ice skating during the Fall and Winter months is just such a fun and exciting outdoor activity. It definitely get’s the adrenaline pumping for sure! Located inside of the Boston Commons, the ice skating on this rink is a great way to spend an afternoon without breaking the bank either.

Kayaking on the Charles

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Photo Courtesy of Boston Magazine

Kayaking on the Charles River is another seasonal activity in Boston that has to be taken advantage of. The Charles River separates Boston and Cambridge, and kayaking along the river provides excellent views of both cities. This activity is a great one to participate in with friends, so rally the troops and hit the water!

Favorite night-time outing

Bars and Bowling

When it comes to nightlife in Boston, there are tons of things to do, from seeing a movie to Late Nites at the MFA and everything in between. Some of my favorite nights in Boston, however, have been bar hopping and bowling- two activities that are especially fun for a date night or night out on the town with friends. 

Lucky Strike

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Photo taken from their website

In terms of bowling spots, Lucky Strike is the place to go! Located in an iconic landmark building in Fenway, Lucky Strike has a full arcade, bowling lanes, a restaurant, and a bar. It’s a one stop shop for fun!  

Earl’s, Citrus and Salt, Lolitas

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Photo taken from their Earl’s website 

There are so many fun bars in Boston to go to, so it was hard to narrow it down to just three. Earl’s , Citrus and Salt, and Lolitas are top of the list, however, because of their delicious menus, beautiful ambiance, and yummy drinks. Earl’s is especially one of my favorites because of its open-air rooftop! You can’t go wrong with any bar in Boston, but you especially cannot go wrong with stopping by these three!

Everyone can’t leave Boston without buying….

A ticket to a Red Sox, Celtics, or Bruins game. 

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If there is one thing that Boston can be prideful of it is their sports. I have been fortunate enough to attend a Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins game and I have never been disappointed. The fans are proud and heartwarming, the stadiums are well taken care of, and the odds of a Boston team winning are definitely in your favor. If you are looking for a true Boston experience, attending a sports game is the way to go! 

My Favorite Holiday Recipes

The food they serve in heaven.

Let’s face it, there is a special place in heaven for holiday foods. Cookies, cakes, filet mignon, creamy mashed potatoes, a cheese plate… you get the idea. Every year, I look forward to the food that fills our holiday plates- it only comes once a year! Here, I have provided the recipes to some of my favorite foods to make during the season so that you can recreate some of them in your own home. Maybe, some of these recipes will make it into your holiday rotation. If they do, make sure to send me a photo!

1. Bûche de Noël Recipe (Yule Log Cake)

Courtesy of Mon Petit Four

This Yule Log cake is one that I make every year. The cake is light, fluffy, and the perfect canvas for decorating and making festive. I like to cut up marshmallows and add them as “mushrooms” as well as adorn the cake with bay leaves, which look like tree leaves. The possibilities for this cute creation are endless!

2. Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Courtesy of Handmade Charlotte

These cookies are a cross between a vanilla sugar cookie and a brownie all wrapped up in one. Soft and chewy, with a little crunch, this chocolate sugar cookie recipe is a holiday go-to! The rolled sugar on the outside also adds a beautiful sparkle, making it a beautiful addition to any dessert table. 

3. Roladen 

Courtesy of Lecker 

A German staple during the holidays, Roladen is a great recipe to add some variety to your dinner rotation. This meat dish is packed with flavor and definitely an indulgent meal to impress any guest. My family likes to pair our Roladen with potato pancakes, and red cabbage… did I mention I was German. 

4. Russian Tea Cookies

A Dedekind Family Recipe

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This family recipe is one that we make every year that never fails to surprise and delight. These nutty cookies are the perfect side to any cup of tea or hot chocolate. It’s hard to mess these cookies up! So, even if you would not consider baking your strong suit, give these a try- they are basically fool proof!

5. Scalloped Potatoes

Courtesy of Chocolate Moosey

If you are concerned about calories, maybe skip on this dish. If you are up for a decadent holiday treat, you have to make this dish. Packed with cream, cheese, and all the good stuff, if you are looking for a yummy side dish, you have got to try this delicious scalloped potato recipe. 

6. Pancakes 

Courtesy of Like Mother Like Daughter

Whether it is the holidays or not, this pancake recipe is a go-to. If you think you have a fluffy and tasty pancake recipe, I would try this one anyways- I bet you it will give yours a run for its money. Add chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas, or anything you’d like, but make sure to pour over some maple syrup for a guaranteed yummy brunch.  

7. Chocolate cake

Courtesy of Add a Pinch

If you are unsure of what holiday dessert will be a crowd pleaser, it is never a bad idea to go with a chocolate cake. This cake I make for birthdays, holidays, and “just cause it’s Monday” and it never fails to delight. The chocolate flavoring really comes out strongly, given the added espresso, and the coordinating icing recipe makes for a match made in heaven! 

10 Gift Ideas for the Holidays Under $100

It’s that time of year again. But no stress, we’ve got you covered.

Oh the joys of the holidays, where all is merry and bright! This holiday season is extra important, given that we could all use some comfort and joy in 2020 (gospel choir singing “yes”). When it comes to buying gifts this season, let me help you de-stress even further by providing my budget friendly holiday gift ideas for you and your loved ones. Gift giving is one of my favorite things during any holiday- Birthdays, Christmas, Housewarming- you name it! To me, a gift symbolizes, in a tangible form, the care and attention that you pay to your relationship. It shows that you see them, you appreciate them, and you have taken the time to really think of them. So, let’s show some love this holiday season for those we care about. You never know how much those around you might need it.

Stationary

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Stationary is truly the gift that keeps on giving. I love sending letters through the mail and always find that some unique and fun stationary can make your note even more memorable. This stationary I chose is from Papier and is even customizable to include the gift receiver’s first and last name. Who doesn’t love a customized gift for just over $20?! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to receive a thank you note on this stationary too!

Ugg Slippers

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These slippers were the first thing on my Christmas list (just dropping a subtle hint here). They are so comfy, so cozy, and, let’s be honest, when we are working from home we need something to brighten the day. At just $100 I think these slippers are a worthy investment in your wardrobe for the stormy winter to come. 

Virtual Cooking Class

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Ok, hear me out. This virtual cooking class is one that you HAVE to take with the lovely Marcella Ansaldo. I took cooking classes with Marcella in Florence many times, one more enjoyable than the next. When I found out that she was doing classes online, I knew I had to seize the opportunity to see her again. Marcella incorporates expert Italian food history into all of her courses and makes the virtual cooking experience one that almost mimics that of an in-person class. 10/10 for me!

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub 

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This body scrub really does it for me. It smells amazing and leaves your skin silky smooth because the coffee grinds, which act as an exfoliant. The company Frank Body has a large assortment of fun products that you should also check out, in addition to their original scrub, which the company became famous for. Coffee + Skincare = Happiness

Glossier You Perfume

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When I first smelled Glossier’s You perfume I was skeptical. I was used to enjoying floral and sugary sweet scents. However, after using a sample of You and smelling the scent after it mixed in with my skin I was hooked. This perfume is one of my all time favorites, with such lovely mild, peppery notes. It was also The Fragrance Foundation’s Fragrance of the Year winner in 2018. Although it is a bit pricier ($60 for the bottle) it’s Ursula approved to be worth it.  

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea book

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If you love business, entrepreneurship, and media as much as I do, then this is the book for you. Written by the Co-Founder and First CEO of Netflix Marc Randolph himself, this book documents Netflix’s journey from CD sharing start-up to public company. If you know everything about business or nothing at all, there is something for you to take-away and learn from. Bottom line: you never know an idea won’t work until you try it.  

Abercrombie Puffer 

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If you ever spotted me last winter, you would have probably seen me either wearing this coat or its furry cream sister. I am completely obsessed with this puffer from Abercromie, which keeps me so much warmer than a lot of my more expensive coats. It fits right at the waist and can be buttoned all the way up to the chin. When I am wearing a coat I prefer to be swaddled in soft fabric, where you can barely see my eyeballs I am so snuggle. This coat does just that. 

Bose Speaker 

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This Bose speaker does everything a good speaker should. One charge lasts an incredibly long time, the sound quality is clear and crisp, it’s Bluetooth, and the volume spans a pretty nice range. Even better? It’s just under $70! I have had my speaker for over four years and it has lasted me through college and beyond. A perfect gift I’d say for a college or high school student who needs to tune out the world. 

Sugarfina Candy Box

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I know what you are thinking. She wants me to purchase candy for adults? Ummm…. yeah I do! I have received one of Sugarfina’s candy boxes as a Christmas gift before and, let me tell you, this is a gift that does not disappoint! But, then again I am a sugar-holic. My favorites from Sugarfina include the champagne bears and peach bellini hearts (the matcha bears also look 🔥). Everyone needs a bit of sweetness in their life, wouldn’t you agree? 

A Subscription to my Newsletter

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[Enter shameless plug] If you haven’t already, go sign up for my weekly newsletter! My newsletter comes out every Sunday and contains a link to every article you might have missed throughout the week as well as some exclusive new content! Best part? It’s free! 

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Uma on Type 1 Diabetes and Recipes for Success

Uma on living with Type 1 Diabetes and the recipes she loves the most.

When I first learned about diabetes it was through my seventh grade English teacher Mr. Murray. On the first day of class he explained to all of us that he suffered from diabetes and that if he ever started slurring his speech that we should remind him to go and drink some of the apple juice he stored in his desk. I had never heard of the disease before, yet, as I grew up, I met more and more people with the condition. When I recently heard about my friend Uma’s new website T1Buddies, a recipe sharing platform aiming to help those with Type 1, I knew that it was a resource that I had to share with you all. Uma is a complete inspiration and I am so honored to share her story on the blog. Also, head to T1Buddies to share a recipe of your own or to try and spot my homemade tomato sauce recipe if you’re feeling in the mood to cook!


Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 6.19.32 PMUma! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m Uma, I’m 17, and I currently live in Singapore. I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for about 4 years, but in spite of this I’m still a big foodie, and I’m almost always craving bubble tea.

When did you first find out that you have Type 1 Diabetes and what was your reaction to the news?

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in my freshman year of high school, so I was 14 years old at the time. It was an incredibly unexpected situation for me and my family, so once I was finally able to begin processing the news, it was quite disorienting, to put it mildly. And before I could fully acknowledge the diagnosis, I was being bombarded with more information, so overall it was a very confusing time. 

What has been the most challenging part about managing your Type 1 Diabetes?

When I was first diagnosed, the most difficult part was not the physical management of the condition, but rather taking care of my mental health. I had just become a teenager, ready for a “normal” high school experience – one that didn’t include needles and carb counting. The mental hurdles took a lot of patience and effort to overcome, but thankfully, I’ve reached a place where it’s not the hardest part of diabetes management anymore. Now, the most challenging thing is keeping my blood sugar stable while stressing over my college applications. 

What do you wish more people knew about Type 1 Diabetes?

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Where do I begin? Just kidding, the list is not long. The main thing I wish more people knew is that Type 1 Diabetes isn’t caused by a person’s diet or an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle. In reality, no one actually knows the cause of Type 1, and there isn’t a way to prevent it. I remember a time when I told a friend about my condition, and he assumed I got it because I “ate too much sugar.” I knew after the fact that he wasn’t trying to call me unhealthy, and that he just didn’t know much about Type 1, but it still felt like an accusation at the moment. I hope that in the future, people will be more aware of Type 1 diabetes, and understand that it is not the person’s fault for having it. 

How has Type 1 Diabetes changed your perspective on life, health, and food?

My condition changed more of my perspective than I could’ve imagined 3 years ago. First, I’ve become a lot more knowledgeable about my physical health, and the science of diabetes. If you asked me what I knew about diabetes in middle school, I would’ve responded: “That’s what happens when you eat too much sugar…?” 

Type 1 Diabetes has also made me realize that it’s better to teach people about the condition instead of becoming angry at comments or questions that seem ignorant. In the story above, I was pretty upset at the comment, but since then, I’ve tried to educate my friends and relatives if they have questions.

Finally, the most important change: food. Being diagnosed at 14 was already a challenge that was amplified by the fact that teenagers eat out often. At first, I was disheartened when I watched my friends buy sugar-heavy bubble teas, or order off of restaurant menus without a care. But, with practice and patience, I learned how to enjoy myself and food in spite of my condition, which will be very helpful when I head off to college.

Overall, Type 1 taught me how to take care of myself without restricting every part of my life. Plus, I am no longer afraid of needles and blood, which is a helpful side effect. 

What are some of your favorite recipes to make?Screen_Shot_2020-11-09_at_11.21.16_PM-removebg-preview

A recipe that I recently discovered is oyako donburi: a Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl. Its literal meaning is “parent (chicken) and child (egg) rice bowl” which I thought was an amazing name. Oyakodon is now one of my favorites because it is relatively healthy (lots of protein) but is still really delicious. I’m also a big fan of pancakes – not a complicated or fancy dish, but that’s kind of why I love them. When I have the time, I spend probably way too much effort decorating plates of pancakes like a food artist, and they are very Instagrammable. 

 

Tell us all about your new website T1Buddies!

T1Buddies is an online collaborative cookbook for the Type 1 Diabetes community. (T1BudDies… get it? Anyway…) All of the recipes are submitted by Type 1 diabetics and friends/relatives, and the collection is continuously growing. I started this project because I realized that there are not a lot of resources and support for Type 1 in Singapore, and that the group of people affected by T1D is quite scattered here. T1Buddies is a way to unite the community both in Singapore and around the world by connecting through food – which is also a personal passion of mine. Before I developed T1 Buddies, I started an Instagram account for personal recipes, which was additional inspiration for this website.

What is your hope for the future of the Type 1 Diabetes community?

The Type 1 community has already come so far, both scientifically and socially. The advancements in medical technology alone are remarkable, and the community in the US is quite strong. My hope is that this unity will expand outside of the USA because, a bit unfortunately, the network of Type 1 diabetics is very much global. I also hope that awareness of the condition improves around the world. In Singapore, advocacy for Type 1 is overshadowed by the more prevalent Type 2 diabetes. In the States, although Type 1 is more common than in Singapore, there are still incorrect assumptions and a gap of knowledge about the condition. I’m confident that the T1D community will advance in the future, and I’m excited to see where the medical and technological research takes us next.

A Day in Kuwait City, Kuwait with Fay Al Bader

Ever wonder what it is like to live in Kuwait City, Kuwait? Good thing I know someone who does- my bestie Fay!

In my first post of this series, my dear friend Divya, who is originally from New Dehli, India, but has grown up in Nigeria shared her favorite places to go and things to do in a day in Lagos. Next up is my bestie Fay Al Bader. Through hearing Fay talk about Kuwait since we met, it has always been top on my list for places to visit. Fay is my very first- and by no means last- Middle Eastern friend. In knowing Fay, I learned all about the Muslim faith, tasted Arabic coffee for the first time, and introduced more than one Arabic word into my vocabulary (habibi being a personal favorite). Fay’s enthusiasm for the Middle East even motivated me to participate in my college’s Dubai Elective Abroad program, where I traveled to The United Arab Emirates for ten days over Thanksgiving break. Without Fay, there are so many things that would be unknown to me, one of the many reasons that I cherish our relationship and am honored to call her one of my closest friends. Fay was kind enough to “virtually” show us around her home city, so without further ado, Fay take it away!


Kuwait… The Pearl of the Gulf… A land that I am honored to call my home. If anyone has been to Kuwait or met anyone from here, they will undoubtedly know how much love its people have for their country. It may be small to those looking at it from the outside, but to me it is my world and it will always be the most beautiful place in my eyes. One of the things I admire the most about Kuwait is that you still find a deep sense of culture and traditions embedded in many aspects of our daily lives and within many homes, which is something I believe is very rare to find in other parts of the world in our present day. Regardless of how far we progress and embrace change, you will always find Kuwaiti families that are determined to keep our culture alive and to stay loyal to our traditions, traditions that our late grandfathers and grandmothers have instilled in all of us. 

I can go on and on about why I have such a deep love for Kuwait, from its unique culture, its phenomenal food to its hospitable people but I will leave it at that. I hope everyone gets the chance to visit my beautiful country and experience all that I have with your own eyes. I sure do love every bit of it, down to the last grain of its fine sand.

Favorite place for breakfast

Madison & Heig

Photos taken from Madison & Heig’s Instagram 

They have a lovely selection of dishes, freshly baked pastries and drinks that always uphold to a high level of quality. Their staff and service are excellent. The place also has a great vibe and is decorated with such simple but beautiful elements. It also has floor to ceiling windows so it brings in so much sunlight (which I love to see especially in the morning) and you can see the waterfront because it is located on one of Kuwait’s main roads, the Arabiain Gulf Road, which overlooks the ocean.

Favorite places for lunch

Habra

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Photo taken from Habra’s Instagram 

The Peacock

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Photo taken from the following website

Aside from the fact that both these places have delicious food, they also hold so many memories. I often go to both these restaurants with my family and we always order the same dishes, if not more food every time we go. One is more fancy than the other but they both have the friendless staff and maintain an exceptionally high level of quality. Both are also family friendly which I love.

Favorite places for dinner

White Robata

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Photo taken from White Robata’s Instagram

Both these places have exquisite food that is prepared so well. I also like that you find a combination of young couples, families and group of friends at all times so it is nice to be around. In addition, they are not too loud which I really appreciate because I don’t like being in a place with music so loud that you have to constantly scream. Again the staff is extremely friendly and attentive to detail.

Ora

Photos taken from Ora’s Instagram

White Robata in particular is located in Jaber Al Ahmed Cultural Center (a.k.a JACC), which is one of the newer complexes that houses multiple restaurants and a beautiful Opera House which hosts many concerts throughout the year. Moreover, the restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating areas and in the winter, I enjoy sitting outside because it overlooks the dancing fountain, which always plays many national and/or famous songs that everyone always enjoys. It is so heartwarming to watch  families and friends gather around the fountain and enjoy the beautiful show, especially the young children who end up singing and dancing along.

Favorite place for coffee

Toby’s Estate

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Photo taken from Toby’s Estate’s Instagram 

I would say this is my favorite coffee place for multiple reasons. For starters, their selection of coffee and pastries are great. There are also multiple branches that are conveniently located around Kuwait so you can easily find one to stop by. Each branch is uniquely decorated and has so much open space. Again, you always find a mix of younger couples, families and friends, which isn’t the case with many of the other coffee shops. I particularly enjoy this because I feel more comfortable around this mix as opposed to just younger group of friends.

Favorite tourist destinations

Shaheed Park

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Photo taken from Shaheed Park’s Instagram

It is dedicated to all the martyrs who lose their lives within the Iraqi Invasion (1990-1991). The park has multiple phases, one of which is still under construction, and includes a few restaurants, tracks for running & walking, an atrium-like stadium (which hosts multiple concerts) and last but not least, a wall that displays the names and pictures of all the martyrs. 

Souk Al Mubarakiya (The Old Souk)

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Photo taken from the Souk’s Instagram 

This is probably the place that encompasses the greatest amount of Kuwaiti culture, which I found is the most beautiful part about it. You can find everything from traditional clothing, food, sweets, jewelery and so much more as you roam around this historical landmark. More importantly, this place embodies so much of Kuwait’s history of Kuwait and will definitely find a few stores that have been there since Al Mubarkiya was built, many passed multiple generations.

Favorite day-time outing

Either going to a mall or going out for coffee

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Photo taken from Toby’s Estate’s Instagram 

I like going to a mall for family lunch or to do some random shopping. I prefer going in the morning at times just to avoid heavy crowds but sometime I like being around a lot of people because it feels lively. I also like going out for coffee during the day with my family or friends because it is always very natural and chill and you get to sit down for a while and get to enjoy each other’s company after a long and tiring week.

Favorite night time outing

Movie

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Photo from the Cinescape Kuwait Instagram 

There is something about getting a warm bucket of popcorn and a side of nachos to share and enjoy with family and friends that is so comforting to me. It was also a tradition for my family and I to go out and enjoy a movie together every Friday night so I hope it is something we start doing again. Whether it a comedy or a thriller, I will always prefer going to a movie at night then getting dressed up for another dinner.

Everyone can’t leave Kuwait without buying….

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bakhoor, a dara’a, and local sweets 

Each and every one of these represents local culture and something special to Kuwait. You can find these items in essentially all other Gulf countries but they will also have distinct variations that are unique to every country.

Bakhoor – Essence

Dara’a – a local piece of clothing that is typically worn with Ramadan and family gatherings. They range from very casual, light designs to beautiful and lavish pieces that take your breath away with the amount of detail it holds.

Local sweets – first of all they are delicious and you never seem to have enough. Second of all, they contain local ingredients and are made from recipes that have been passed down from generations of families. (Of course every family makes it differently and has their own touch, which I love).

Lance Svendsen on Beginner Running Tips

You’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the run of your life!

Lance, tell us about your background in running!

I started really running in 2012 after my Uncle Roy passed away because I was determined to run the NYC marathon in his memory. But I was always a solid runner. I ran a bunch of 5k’s for fun and did some tough mudders and spartan races when they were first introduced. I like the self competition the most, like how you can run the same distance on different courses and it’s a completely different race. I was always trying to beat my own times and push myself to the next mile marker or the next lower minute. It always always helped that I was the fastest kid I knew. That helped keep my interest 🙂

What is some advice you would give someone that is a beginner and thinking about starting to do some long distance running?

It’s almost annoying for beginners to hear from someone who has run in a 50 mile race but literally the way you start is to just start. Everyone can run, you just have to find if you actually want to do it. And the want can be either out of need or frustration. What I mean by that is some people need to run and work out for health so they will do it to get or stay fit. And then there are those who decide I’m done not hitting myself goals and starting now, I am doing what it takes. I was that second group. I always wanted to run a marathon but would come up with excuses. Then I decided enough is enough and I’m going to do it. I went out for that first long run and it was terrible and exhausting and I could taste blood I was so tired. But I realized I was in a new place that I’ve never been. I was a distance runner – not a good one yet – but I knew I could do it. 

What advice would you give beginner runners who think that they are too old, out of shape, or “not built” for running? 

I would say to someone who says one of those excuses that unless running causes you pain that would hurt you over the long term, then all the other things are just excuses. God built us to run.

Any of those excuses are because they are comparing themselves to other people. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yourself last week. I bet if you train this week, you’ll be a better version of yourself next week. 

What is some advice you would give a beginner who has just started their running training?

Do not confuse being in pain and an injury. Injuries are one thing and if you have one, you stop running and recover. But pain, pain is something you feel when you are pushing yourself beyond what you are currently capable of. Pain is something you can push through and be better on the other side. Weak people stop when they feel the slightest bit of pain and it’s a mistake. 

What sneakers, clothing, or accessories do you recommend beginner runners purchase to help in their running journey?

Screen Shot 2020-10-04 at 4.03.26 PMThe main thing is train in whatever you are going to race in. It’s almost cute when a beginning runner will try something new on race day. It’s like “Oh no, that time has passed.” Don’t do anything new on race day. You’re training your running habits along with your legs and lungs. For purchases, I like running shorts with a lining and pockets. I always use the pocket for my phone. It’s just easier than fumbling with a runner belt for the phone, when you use it to change songs or select the next podcast. But in the longer runs I do wear a runners belt for the gels and snacks. I like to bring along pretzels and gummy bears. You can use money on performance snacks but if you look up the active ingredients, the same stuff is in rold gold pretzels and haribo gummy bears. And personally I choose Asics. Always Asics.

What are some good stretches or exercises that you do to help your body perform well on runs and prevent injury?

For me I have to make sure my achilles are being taken care of. After longer runs they feel almost crunchy which is as painful as it is gross sounding. And oddly enough I found my shoulders can get tired on runs so I like to make sure I move them a lot before and then while running relax them every few miles so they don’t tighten up. 

How would you advise beginner runners to set goals or milestones to track their journey?

Find out what motivates you. If it’s time or miles or weight lose or beating someone else’s time, then do that. Don’t try to motivate you by someone else’s standards, that’s not fun and won’t get you excited. But if you choose it and get excited by it then you will keep wanting to go out and pursue it. 

What foods do you recommend runners incorporate in their diet for optimal running?

Chia Seeds. Those things are amazing. They retain water in your body. And water is no joke, it’s so important. I put chia seeds in smoothies mostly. Also, it’s actually way more important the things you don’t eat than the things you do eat. If you can eliminate something potentially bad from your diet and don’t really miss it then do it that way. I’ve found that has helped me more than adding things that I know could be good for me. Like get rid of things that are obviously bad for you like soda and bacon, and then limit the things you really want to small portions like french fries and ice cream. Unless you’re training for an ultra, then you can eat pretty much anything. I’ve eating pizza while training for an ultra as I was running. There’s a saying, “If you run the engine hot enough, it will burn anything.” But again that’s at high miles over hours. 

What advice would you give beginner runners who feel discouraged in their progress or running outcomes?

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Running is something to be enjoyed so find ways to enjoy it. You’re most likely discouraged because you set an unrealistic goal for yourself and missed it. Setting small reasonable goals, although may not seem as exciting, are way better for you mentally. There’s something about being able to celebrate an accomplishment, that will keep you going for longer. Also, find a running mate. Someone to go on runs with and/or talk about running with. Some of my favorite training runs are the shorter ones where the goal is to talk the whole time, which works the lungs and gets you used to being uncomfortable and happy at the same time.

A Day in Lagos, Nigeria with Divya Ramchandani

Ever wonder what it is like to live in Lagos, Nigeria? Good thing I know someone who does- my good friend Divya!

One of my favorite aspects of college was getting to know people from all over the world. I have spent hours picking my friend’s brains about anything and everything, from what local dishes are their favorite to what subjects they learned in primary school. Those I meet provide a window into new places and lifestyles that I might not know much about. These individuals have helped me understand that the world is so vast and that there is so much to learn, experience, and uncover. Despite this awareness being overwhelming to many, it excites me, as future possibilities seem so great. I hope to visit all of my friends in their native countries at some point, in the meantime I have recruited some of them to offer their insights on the places they love the most. First is my dear friend Divya, who is originally from New Dehli, India, but has grown up in Lagos, Nigeria. Divya has incredible insights on economics, international business, and vegan baking, but today I have enlisted her to share about her life in Lagos.


When Ursula asked me what it feels like to live in Lagos, it was hard to explain the emotion. I have lived here all my life and yet sometimes feels like I’m new here. There’s constant changes happening around the city, but the core and feel of being home in Lagos remains the same. The hustle and frustrations of the city comes in direct comparison with the amazing food and never ending adventures. No matter where I go, I always end up missing Lagos and all of its beaches, and it’ll always be home.

Favorite place for breakfast

Flowershop Cafe

Photo taken from the Flowershop Cafe’s Instagram 

A relatively newer addition to Lagos’ every busy food scene. They have a good mix of international breakfast options along with some local delicacies, that is sure to satisfy everyone’s cravings. The fresh roses and plants spread across the store is an added plus that’s impossible to miss!

Favorite place for lunch

La Veranda

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Photo taken from La Veranda’s Instagram

Hands down some of the best Italian food I’ve ever tasted in my life. Their gnocchi is a regular in my dreams and worth every carb. La Veranda has been around for about 10 years now and continues to have a loyal customer base with some of the best Italian food in Lagos.

Favorite place for dinner

Salma’s Lebanese Cuisine

Photos taken from Salma’s Instagram

Located by the water, Salma’s has some of the best mediterranean food in the city with a beautiful ambiance. Their falafels and kebabs were definitely something I craved the most when I was away from home. End your meal with an authentic coffee and rose ice cream that will keep you satisfied for days!

Favorite place for coffee

Jazzhole

Photos taken from Jazzhole’s Instagram

It’s a small cafe/book store/music record store that’s been around for years and you can pretty much find any book that you name here. The first time I was here, I spent over an hour walking around, taking the store in. For me, Jazzhole is the definition of calm amidst the chaos and the coffee and delicious cakes is just the cherry on top!

Favorite spot tourist hot spot

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Lagos is known for its beaches, and you really could not go wrong with any of the beaches here. My favorite is a beach about 30 minutes away by boat that keeps you away from the hustle of the city with the fresh breeze and strong water currents that leave you wanting for more. Cool yourself down with some fresh coconut water and Atlantic ocean waves to complete the day. 

Favorite day-time outing

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The constant heat and humidity makes it impossible to be out under the sun for extended periods, but there are several cafes and bars that combine the best of both worlds and are always packed on the weekends during the day. One such place is Moist Beach Club that provides a wide variety of food, drinks, seating options and quick access to the beach. Easily one of the favorites of the millennial crowd in Lagos and for good reason, Moist is always bustling on the weekdays and their Sunday sundowners provide the best excuse for a break before starting the work week.

Favorite local shops

Lekki Arts and Craft Market

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The home to a wide array of local paintings, sculptures, furniture and everything you can imagine in between showcasing the diversity of expression and cultures from all over Nigeria. It’s a must visit for anyone looking to indulge in local artifacts at a fraction of the price as compared to the mainstream city boutiques!

Favorite night time outing

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Take from the W Bar Instagram 

Lagos is home to several fun bars and lounges that make the most of the coastal city’s open and fresh breeze and are always packed starting Thursday evenings. W bar is a new favorite amongst the younger generation so be ready to wait for some time before you can get some space to sit or your drinks.

Everyone can’t leave Lagos with buying…

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Everyone can’t leave Lagos without buying some local artifacts, which could be as simple as some precious beaded necklaces or a local small sculpture. For food enthusiasts, suya powder is a must which is a peanut and chilli powder that could be used over pretty much any meat or vegetables and adds a yum spicy tang, it’s definitely something I’ve always taken with me when I was away!

Advice on a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul during Quarantine with Christine Porr (Part II)

Self-care is important, which is why Christine and I have brought you our favorite ways to navigate the challenges of quarantine.

Yes, we are back with Part II and, yes, I got out of my pajamas. I hope everyone was inspired by last week’s post to go purchase a puzzle or read a new book! In this week’s post, Christine and I explore fun and interesting ways to stay active during this time when we are working from home, overwhelmed by the job search, or binging on Netflix. Mental, physical, and emotional health are so important, which is why we have shared some helpful tips to shake the off those quarantine blues using an infusion of endorphins. Before it gets too cold outside, make sure to prioritize that difficult venture from your comfy bed to your front door and get outside! Your body will thank you. Trust me, you’ll sleep better I promise. (Stay tuned for next week’s post on maintaining a healthy soul, our last of this three part series)

Body

Christine

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Take free virtual fitness classes to keep your body moving. I kept a pretty boring workout routine prior to quarantine but it’s been fun to switch it up and have someone else motivating me to stay fit.

    • Chrissy Stanley – LOVE the Barre and Abs classes! You will work up a sweat in 5 min (free on YouTube)
    • Bar Method Online – So many classes to try, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes in length. (14-day free trial)
    • Pure Barre GO – Kaitlyn is my favorite instructor! (7-day free trial)
    • Peloton Online Classes – I am obsessed with Kristin McGee’s yoga classes, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. (30-day free trial)

Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Take a 10-minute break in between work calls to stretch your legs on a short walk, or go on a longer walk with family/friends after dinner- preferably with ice cream as your end destination ;). Make running fun by setting distance goals- 5K, 5 miles, half marathon, etc. You can even sign up for a virtual race with friends as accountability partners for training. Pull that bike out of the garage and find a nice neighborhood or scenic path to explore. Go on a social distancing hike with a picnic lunch. 

Ursula

BC29D0ED-4995-49D3-B38B-F96B61096346Like Christine, I have taken advantage of this newfound time to take a break during the day to go on long walks, bike rides, and runs. I find that going outside for an hour a day can really refresh my mind and provide a boost in my day. Although, I have found online workouts a bit intimidating, I have fell in love with 30 Day Ab. With this app, consistency is definitely key, but it only requires about 10-15 minutes per day- sometimes even less if you are feeling extra motivated- and I have seen pretty incredible results. I have also found that incorporating fun outdoor activities like badminton, which my family was obsessed with at one point, volleyball, and swimming can alleviate stress, promote some family bonding, and provide an equal amount of exercise to an online class or strict workout. 

Christine

Since many of us are eating out less than we normally would, this is a great opportunity to try out some new recipes (both healthy and indulgent because everyone needs a treat now and then).

Ursula

I have always loved cooking, however, over the course of quarantine I have felt less inspired to create in the kitchen. That being said, instead of trying new recipes out, I have stuck to making some of my tried and true favorites, which has helped me focus on being creative and productive.  

Christine’s Favorite Food Blogs

Ursula’s Favorite Quarantine Recipes

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Christine has shared a recipe of her own!


Christine’s Smoked Salmon Poached Egg Ciabatta Toast with Everything Bagel Spice Recipe

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or to taste) + for topping
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Everything bagel spice
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T. white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Stir together mascarpone cheese, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice
  2. Cut 4 slices of tomato
  3. Cut 2 slices of red onion
  4. Put each egg in a small bowl of water horizontally
  5. Cut ciabatta rolls in half
  6. Toast rolls under broiler for 3 minutes
  7. Bring two pots of water to soft boil
  8. Add 1 T. white vinegar to each pot
  9. Slowly pour two eggs into the center of each pot and cook for 3 minutes
  10. While the eggs are cooking, spread mascarpone cheese on rolls
  11. Add 1 slice of tomato to each roll half
  12. Add 1 oz smoked salmon to each roll half
  13. Add red onion to taste
  14. Lift eggs out of pots using slotted spoon and put on top of rolls
  15. Add everything bagel spice and dill to taste
  16. Enjoy!

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on in this post are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this post.  If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or the Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), both of which are staffed by certified crisis response professionals, or call 911.

All About Coffee with Tim Braatz

Coffee, coffee beans, coffee shops! Tim shares his knowledge on all things coffee and his future plans to open a café of his own.

Tim has been a long time friend of mine, who has been obsessed with coffee ever since I have known him. Having traveled the world to experience and taste all the coffee there is to offer, Tim has accumulated a depth of knowledge around the café experience, barista techniques, bean roasting, and coffee quality. Tim has also worked as both a dishwasher and a barista, acquiring that much needed experience “in the field,” working hard to learn about how to run a successful business. After years of exploration and long hours spent in the café, Tim is finally opening his own coffee place next year- congratulations Tim! When I return to Hamburg, I cannot wait to pop in for a delicious cup of coffee and I hope you’ll join me in supporting Tim very soon!


Hallo Tim! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m 23 years old and was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Besides my passion for coffee, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and family, traveling, especially to the US, driving and reading about cars, and learning more about nutrition and the plant based lifestyle.

 How long have you been interested in coffee and what has sparked this passion?

Believe it or not, my parents always tell me that I had my first coffee at the age of five. My first job in coffee was working as a dishwasher for a bigger local roastery and café. This is where my passion for specialty coffee really took off. After graduating from school, I visited different states on the east and west coast of the United States and explored different concepts and business ideas. After many years of refining my idea of what I want to achieve with my concept and writing a business plan, I finally signed a lease for a space to open my own café in the heart of Hamburg in Spring / Summer of 2021.

 What are your favorite coffees and coffee chains or shops and why?

Funny enough, most of them are in the U.S.! Heart Coffee in Portland, Oregon is probably my favorite coffee shop because the staff is very knowledgeable and the drinks are consistently high quality. I’ve had some of my bests coffees there. I also enjoy going to the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries because the interior design and aesthetics are mind blowing and the coffee is decent too. Coffee-wise, I prefer washed coffee from Africa. Kenyan coffees are usually very sweet and juicy. 

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I know you are opening your own coffee shop next year (how exciting and congratulations). Tell us a little bit about this new venture and what will set it apart from other coffee shops?

Thank you! I have always wanted to open my own café because most of the ones I’ve been to lack the basics of what makes a good experience to me. I think if you can provide consistently great service and high quality products in a beautiful and clean environment people will come back. Every decision I have made considers all of the above and we-my father co-owns the company- have put  a lot of thought into the design process of the space. I can guarantee you it will be like nothing else in Hamburg.

To you, what makes a good coffee shop experience?

Like I said, people want a great product, served with a smile, and fast. It’s really hard to consistently achieve this level of service, but the whole concept is built around these three factors. 

How has your previous experience as a barista helped you in building your new business?

Over the years, I was fortunate enough to gain many insights relating to the processes, finances, staff, regulations and of running a coffee shop, simply by learning from others peoples’ mistakes. I wouldn’t be as confident as I’m today without my experience as a barista. I’m convinced you can only be a great entrepreneur and employer if you’ve worked through the ranks.

What is one challenge that you have faced in starting your new coffee shop?

Convincing the banks it’s not just another coffee shop. Specialty coffee is still relatively unknown in Germany and it’s hard to convince people of something they’ve never tried themselves before. Also, finding the right space that checks all the boxes. It took me four years from starting to look for a space to signing the lease.

If I have learned one thing from this process: never give up and follow your dreams!

Last question, what do you think the future of coffee consumption looks like?

Due to climate change, the world will have 50% less land available to grow coffee by 2050 than we have today. This will hopefully bring the price of commodity coffee up so farmers can make a sustainable living from their work. Also, I think the consumer will make more informed buying decisions and especially look for high quality coffee. I’m definitely excited what the future holds for specialty coffee!

A Summer Farming with Ivan Perez

Some summers are meant for reflection, some for rest, this summer was meant for adventure. Ivan’s adventure.

Undoubtably, this past summer has been an unconventional one. For me, it was a time for rest, searching for new opportunities, and reflecting on what I desire for my future. As a result, I have had time to create and design my blog, work on new business ideas, read a slew of books, and dream up new, exciting projects for the future- stay tuned for some more exciting blog content coming soon! For my dear friend Ivan, this summer was about diving into something new: farming. When Ivan thought about what he wanted his summer to look like, amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, he reflected upon simpler times, when life was full of the peace and magic that the outdoors can often instill within us.


Hello Ivan, tell the people who you are and a little bit about yourself.

I am currently a Senior at Babson College studying entrepreneurship and business strategy. I’m a cancer sun and gemini moon which really describes me (moodiness included). I live my life knowing that I am incredibly lucky to be alive, lucky to have supportive friends, and have selfless parents that help ground me. In anything I do, I try to seek discomfort, and try not to make life more complicated than it has to be. However, I can be a very restless person and, as a result, you might see me take on random projects. Maybe it’s ADHD, maybe it’s an internal fear of being stuck doing something forever, but I love jumping around learning as much as I can from everything!

Why farming and why this summer?

As a kid I love gardening with my mom and dad. From the ages of 6 to 12 I remember going to Lowe’s every Saturday because they had free workshops to build random things. I still have birdhouses that me and my dad built from when I was 10. While my dad and I were building things in a random corner of Lowe’s, my mom would always be in the garden section with a cart full of plants and flowers. I loved Saturdays because I was either at Lowe’s or spending time with my mom planting flowers outside. Till this day it’s one of my favorite childhood memories

During quarantine, I was stuck. I felt hopeless every time I opened Instagram- I felt like the world was going to shit, and grew frustrated that I wasn’t doing anything meaningful to make things better. So, I decided to do something that would be meaningful and make me happy. That was farming for me.

How did you convince your parents to let you go live on a farm for a month?

I live my life dedicated to seeking discomfort and trying to push boundaries in everything I do. For me this meant, packing up my backpack and living on an organic farm in the middle of nowhere Texas. I won’t self-incriminate myself, but I’ve had to tell one too many white lies to my parents to convince them to let me do things. I really believe that if you care about something, no matter the obstacles, you will find a way to get it done! This is something that I remind myself often.

What are some things you have learned about farming?

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READ, READ,READ. Get informed! Know where your food is coming from, who is the person that is farming your food, are they good people, and they are trying their best to be sustainable, do they use insecticides, do they use pesticides/fertilizers that contaminate run-off water? Learn as much as you can about the things you are putting into your body.

Most organic farmers are not actually organic. There are big loopholes in organic regulations. There is an inherent conflict of interest built into the organic certification system. The very agencies that inspect organic farmers and processors, and certify their products, are paid by the farmers they certify. Also, just to get nerdy with you, there are three types of organic classifications: 

  1. ‘100% organic’ is the highest level, for packaged foods and produce.
  2. ‘Organic’ products contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
  3. ‘Made with organic ingredients’ contains at least 70% organic ingredients.

Most times in grocery stores, nothing is 100% organic, even at places like Whole Foods, most things are organic and not 100% organic. Customers are oftentimes misled and no one really cares to double check things. However, I’m optimistic that things are changing and that starts by voting for officials that care about the environment, that will ensure fair regulations, and have a willingness to advocate transparency in every sector of life. 

What are some things you have learned about yourself?

If you don’t know what you are passionate about, try new things. I loved farming, but am I passionate about it to do it for the rest of my life? I don’t think so. Farming can be very lonely. I was out in the field with 106 Fahrenheit (41 Celsius) degree weather everyday. I was waking up before most people even have their first dream, and it’s only you, the fields, and the livestock. It was very lonely most days, which was hard for me because I enjoy talking to people. But, back to something I learned, you don’t know something until you have tried it. So I challenge myself and you, to try something new, deviate a bit from the norm, and learn to push yourself!

What is one piece of advice you wish you knew at the beginning of this farm-adventure?

Patience. Nothing happens overnight. The plants we were germinating in July weren’t going to be harvested until 4-5 months later. The soil we were growing on had taken 28 years for it to be nutrient rich and the farm itself started over 30 years ago.

Paul, the main farmer and owner, who is 74 probably, will never live to sit under the shade of the trees he planted. These pear trees planted will probably outlive me. 

Yet, I watered them everyday because I knew that nothing in this world is mine, that my time here is limited, and sometimes we will never see the fruits of our own labor, but that doesn’t mean we give up! If anything, it motivated me to wake up grateful for everything I had around me. Also, drink tons of water and wear sunscreen! 

What do you wish more people knew about farming and where their food comes from?

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Behind every farm, is the dream to make the world a better place. If you have the ability to shop directly from a farmer please do so. Google local farmers near you, call your local community garden, ask how you can get involved, volunteer your time to help out if you can

Also, I wish people had the confidence to start small, have patience, and slowly become more self-sufficient. The best way to know how something is grown is by growing it yourself! Buy that basil plant you always wanted to buy or, better yet, get the seeds and watch it grow! It might not seem like you are making a difference, but every small thing matters!

 

Would you recommend this experience to other people and, if so, why?

YESSS! Please, please, please! It should be on everyone’s bucket list to work on a farm, preferably an organic farm! Before you die, you have to visit a farm, you have to volunteer at a farm, or, better yet, become a farmer! Nothing compares to being able to see something grow, to literally go from the soil to your table. It’s like watching a baby grow right before your eyes, it’s so rewarding! It helps you appreciate all the hard work that goes into growing and making the food we all eat. Please put it on your bucket list to work at a farm and hopefully you think of me when you’re out in the fields picking weeds.

How has this experience changed your perspective and what will you do differently going forward because of this experience?

My parents immigrated to the United States when they were teenagers almost 30+ years ago. My mom’s first job was when she was 13 years old at a tomato farm where she earned less than $1 per hour. As of 2019, the average Mexcian farmer makes 3,200 pesos ($165) a month.  Many people around the world and in places not so far from us are struggling. They are exploited, they are underpaid, have no access to healthcare, suffer from diseases caused by extreme sun exposure, and barely have enough money to make ends meet. This is the reality that most people live, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Therefore, it is our responsibility as people to try to fix these injustices by not only voting for people that care about these issues, but also involving ourselves in solving these injustices.

There are big problems in the world and not enough people that care enough to solve them. I challenge myself, and you reading this, to have the courage to find something you care about and make it better! We all have it in us to make the world a better place, all we have to do is start!