On Graduating

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As I sit here studying for my very last exam in a subject that I care very little about, I feel frustrated. I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about graduating and, well, to be honest I feel very underwhelmed about the whole university process I’ve just undergone. It goes like this: When you go on holidays, I bet you visit those little markets designed for tourists – you know, the ones overflowing with gaudy souvenirs and trinkets. At the stalls, those handmade treasures look so beautiful, so unique, so worth the price! So, you gather a few souvenirs and make your way over to the stall vendor, bartering them down to what you think is a reasonable price. Finally, you two settle on a fair exchange and part ways. Some months later, once you’ve returned home and your bank account measures significantly lower than it did pre-trip, you look back at those souvenirs and think, huh, those hand-woven placemats looked a lot nicer when I was buying them. Boom, there it is. Once you’re removed from the process and your goggles have come off, things start to look a lot less rosy.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I feel like my goggles have just been torn off as I assess the final product of my efforts. University is hard. It’s time consuming, it’s demanding, and, sometimes, it’s just plain boring. I guess right now the accomplishment of the whole process has lost its lustre. I’ve loved most of the experiences I’ve had here for the past four years and I’ve met some wonderful people, but right at this very moment, I feel like I’ve just gone through a very rigours test and been spit out on the other side with a semi-meaningless piece of paper clutched in my hand. Can I get a job with my International Development degree? Maybe. Do I want a job related to my degree?  YES! Yes, definitely. But, where do I find such a job that will hire me with no graduate degree? Right now, I’m hoping that my hard work will pay off, but it’s tough to look ahead with positivity when I’ve not a clue what I’d like to be, where I’d like to live, or what my life is going to be like. Mostly, I’m hoping that this education wasn’t a waste and that I find opportunities to put it to good use – that it still looks good and is appreciated once I leave.

Moo

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Prepare yourself, the word ‘cow’ is used extensively throughout this post!

Our room in Kenya was at the back of the house, right by the animal pens. Every morning we would wake up to the bright Kenyan sun and the lowing of the farm cows. Little Brown Cow (or Smith) was only a few weeks old when we arrived; he was the sweetest little cow and I just loved him to bits. It hurts my heart a little bit to look at these pictures of him. I know it’s a little bit odd, but I think cows are some of the most beautiful animals – even the mean ones! It’s safe to say that my future dream home definitely involves a dairy cow or two!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my portfolio! I’m available for hire :)

22!

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Yesterday Mr. Connor turned 22 years old and, to be honest, I think I was more excited about his birthday than he was. So far, I’ve gotten to celebrate 3 birthday’s with Connor and each year is more fun than the last! He likes to celebrate his birthday quietly in a low-key way, just like me. This year we went out for dinner, just him and I, and shared a bottle of Argentinean malbec when we got home. I got him 7 little gifts so that he could open them throughout the day and we celebrated with a teeny-tiny cake and some birthday cookies. I love having a day just to celebrate him! He’s turning out to be such a wonderful person, so smart and caring and creative. Happy Birthday, love, I just can’t wait to see what the next year brings you!
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P.S. This year, Connor made a little movie about his birthday and it turned out awesome! Click on over here to see it… :)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These cookies are good, really good. If you love chewy, peanut-buttery cookies, make these. You won’t be sorry.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 C. dark brown sugar, slightly packed
  • 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 T. honey
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 C. all-purpose flour – use the ‘fluff and scoop’ method 
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Blend butter and peanut butter together with a hand or stand mixer until well combined. Add sugars and blend until smooth. Mix in honey, egg + egg yolk, vanilla, and EVOO.
  • Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Add slowly in 1/2 C. increments. Mix until streaks of flour disappear. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and let dough chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Cover baking tray with parchment paper and place slightly packed balls of dough onto tray. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cookies will look underdone in the centre, but they will continue to set up as they cool. Quickly slide parchment paper with cookies onto counter and allow to cool.
Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.