Saturday, September 26

Right now, I’m sitting at Starbucks (the one my boyfriend is working at, actually,) enjoying a pumpkin cream cold brew and trying to get some work done. I don’t know if other people feel this way, too, but I find it easier to work when I’m not in my own house. If I try to work in bed, for example, I either end up napping or scrolling through my phone. So coming to Starbucks seemed like a good idea for today; I got to see Buck, reload some money on my Charlie Card, and get some work done! And coffee, of course. I get a horrid migraine if I don’t have my caffeine. 

As you can see from the title, yes, I did sprain my wrist this week. I’m actually not exactly sure how I did it, but it was almost definitely caused by work. I have to do a lot of heavy lifting, so it makes sense that one wrong move or strain on my wrist could cause me to get a grade I sprain. It’s not too bad, but for the past few days I haven’t been able to put any pressure on that wrist without feeling a shooting pain. So I’ve been doing most things with my left hand, which has been tricky, but going alright. I also currently can’t really afford to buy a cast or a splint right now, so I’m sure that’s going to slow down my healing as well.

Anyway, work was quite stressful this week and physically taxing (mostly due to my injury,) so I’m really happy to have a few days off to catch up on other things and have some self-care time. On Tuesday, I had a lovely dinner with my co-workers, and we decided that we’re going to continue to have weekly dinners and rotate whose house we go to. Next week, we’re going to have fancy ramen at my friend Luke’s house which I’m really looking forward to. Obviously we talk about what’s going on at work, but we also talk about our relationships, our lives in Boston, being queer, etc. It’s really nice to know that I’ve made some solid friends for life since moving to Boston.

Then, on Wednesday, Buck came to visit me at work and ended up just hanging around until the end of my shift. We got some pizza afterwards, which was so lovely of him to treat me to, and then he ended up coming back home with me and staying the night. It’s nice to have someone to sleep next to and then wake up with; somehow, it makes the day ahead feel more bearable and comforting, knowing you are starting your morning on a note of love and safety.

Besides seeing him and my friends this week, I haven’t really been up to too much! I did buy some new bedding, which I’m currently loving a lot. Besides that tiny new update, really nothing in my life has changed. I’m just having a good time enjoying my life, spending time with my loved ones, and getting blogging done in-between. Next weekend is Buck’s sister’s wedding, which we will obviously be attending, and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys all about that! Stay safe this week and remember to take care of yourselves.

I actually had an entirely different article planned for today, but you know what? Bread ended up happening instead. As many of you probably know, I am undertaking a newfound hobby of baking and my goal is to bake a different kind of bread each week. This week, I decided to make pumpkin bread!

As with last week’s bread, I found this recipe on pinterest and will link it here. I was drawn to it because it claims to be a “Starbucks copycat”- I’ll be the one to judge that, as a Starbucks employee and connoisseur. Find out at the end how this recipe measured up to the Starbucks pumpkin loaf!

I already had most of the ingredients; the only things I had to go out of my way to buy was the pumpkin puree (and a can opener for the said puree.) The rest of the items were just your basic kitchen staples- flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. First I mixed together the dry ingredients- the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking sugar, and salt. I only added half a teaspoon of cinnamon because I didn’t want it to be *too* overpowering, but you can definitely add another teaspoon of cinnamon if you want an extra kick.

Next, I mixed together the wet ingredients. I was a little bit nervous about “whipping up” the sugar and the butter because I don’t have a mixer, as the recipe instructs, but honestly, just using a regular ‘ole pastry spatula worked fine for me. I mixed the sugar and the butter until it was as light and fluffy as possible, and then I added in the pumpkin puree, eggs, and almond milk. After that was mixed adequately, I slowly added in bits of the dry ingredients until I had a very thick batter. I was expecting it to be less chunky, but again, I don’t have a mixer, so that probably affected the consistency a little bit.

I then poured the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper (easier cleanup for me) and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 75 minutes. The recipe only calls for 50-60 minutes, but my bread actually wasn’t quite done for an additional fifteen minutes. Make sure you test out your bread with a toothpick or a fork to make sure it’s cooked all the way through! By the way, this bread smells AMAZING while it’s baking. It’s a perfectly sweet and subtle pumpkin scent, and it made my entire kitchen smell like fall. 

I waited until Nathaniel got here to cut into it, so we could both try it at the same time (he also works at Starbucks and was ready to compare it to our pumpkin loaf.) I personally think the bread came out absolutely delicious, soft, and so perfectly sweet. I also think it had the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor and tasted preeeetyy darn similar to the actual Starbucks version (minus the fact that this recipe doesn’t have the nuts on top.) Nathaniel thought the bread was delicious, too, but he didn’t think it tasted “pumpkiny enough.” I’m gonna have to disagree with him there, I think the notes of pumpkin really came through and it didn’t need any alterations. Overall, this recipe was a huge success, and I’m excited to bake this bread for my family! Maybe for Thanksgiving this is what I’ll be bringing to the table.

So, that summarizes this week’s adventure in baking! I think next week I’ll switch back to a savory recipe, so let me know if you have any ideas or recommendations for me. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 4

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week and you’re enjoying the weekend ahead. I’m doing pretty well here in Boston, and there honestly isn’t too much going on! If anything, my life is at a place that feels very under-control and placid. I’m not worrying about food or finances, my relationships with others are all very good, and my new job is finally starting to feel comfortable and familiar. I honestly was worried for a while that I could never get the whole barista thing down, but of course, all I needed was some practice. I surprised even myself when I did great on bar this week, and I’m looking forward to more time on bar next week, rather than thinking about it with dread.

I’m also really looking forward to next week because Nathaniel is coming back to Boston for school, and I will be able to see him a lot more often! Hooray for no more long distance (for now.) Who knows how long he’ll be at school until COVID forces everyone home again, but I have a feeling everyone will be sent home by Thanksgiving if students aren’t extra careful. And really, with a group of 18-22 year-olds, you have to know that things are probably not going to end very well. But anyway, my fingers are really crossed that he gets to stay in Boston and maintain his safety at the same time. After he graduates in May and my lease is up in July, we’d like to move in together and possibly end up in Vermont. But honestly, who knows where we’ll go? As long as I’ve got him, that’s all I need.

Sunday, September 6

It’s been a pretty quiet weekend, I’m happy with that. My goals for the rest of the day are to finish next week’s articles, and maybe do a workout if I can find the motivation. I’m actually really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, even though the early mornings are gruelling, because I miss my lovely coworkers and the regulars who come into our shop. As you can probably imagine, I’ve been making a lot of pumpkin spice lattes.

Get a load of this dog I ran into the other day!

I’m also probably going to see Buck tomorrow, because he’s moving back into school and he and his family may swing by to see me at work. It will surely be lovely to see them all again, and of course, lovely to have Buck so close by.

Tuesday, July 21

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week, I’m doing much better today than I had been in previous days. Change makes anyone nervous, for sure, and for me, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping in the days leading up to my first day of work on Monday. The night before, I didn’t sleep at all, and then my uber canceled and I was late, but besides that, my training was great and a lot of fun! Obviously it was stressful, but it was actually more comprehensive than I expected. However, the second I stepped outside and plopped down onto the nearest bench, I just burst into tears. I was exhausted, I was stressed, and I had just received a fairly rude text message from a good friend. I probably looked a bit strange crying by myself on a bench in a shopping plaza, but I honestly really needed that cry. I got home, chugged some water, and actually managed to take a one-hour nap. And I really felt better after that, especially after I called Buck and told him about my day. Hearing his voice and him strumming the guitar actually made me calm and sleepy, too, so I was able to fall asleep last night and sleep for a FULL NIGHT! I was so overjoyed when I woke up this morning and realized I felt great. And since my shift started at 7:00 instead of 5:30, I was able to catch the first morning train instead of relying on uber. 

Work itself has been really interesting and intensive, but in the best way. It’s complex and fast-paced, like I knew it would be, but I thrive in those environments. I’ve already learned so much in a two day span, and I’m looking forward to work tomorrow! 

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Sunday, July 26

Hey guys, I’m happy to report that my sleep schedule has definitely returned to normal and I’m feeling much less stressed about work. I do have another 5:30 shift tomorrow, but my coworker is very kindly going to give me a ride so I don’t have to worry about finding an uber or walking at 4:30. I’m also going to have Nathaniel go over some drinks with me tonight, even though we’re technically not supposed to “work off the clock.” I have really high processing skills but really low memory skills, so when I am trying to learn a new routine or sequence, I need a LOT of practice!

My mood has been predominantly fine, but also a bit of a rollercoaster. Sometimes I wake up feeling bright and cheery, and other times I feel like my eyes are going to roll out of my head every time someone annoys me. I’ve been missing Nathaniel a lot lately because I haven’t seen him in more than two weeks, and that definitely affects my mood. However, we are both working really hard to plan something out this week. I know it doesn’t do any good to think/feel this way, but whenever I see pictures of him having fun and hanging out with his other friends, it makes me feel…bad? Not in a sense that I don’t want him to have friends or anything- of course I do- but I guess I just feel bad that I’m not them. When I want to see my boyfriend, we have to basically plan out an entire operation of when and where we’re going to see each other. We don’t get to just casually “hang out” whenever we want, and I sort of envy the people who do. Like I said, I know that could easily become a toxic sentiment that evoles into “Maybe if I was a little bit better, X…”, so I’m trying to talk myself out of it whenever I feel that way. I’m sure a lot of people in “long distance” relationships can relate to that burning feeling of missing someone. 

Anyway, after I publish this article I’m going to go to Starbucks to get an Iced Guava Passion Fruit drink (highly recommend,) and then I’m going to work on Tuesday’s article, get some cleaning done, and practice learning drinks. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead of you!

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Hey guys! Sorry I was a little late with today’s article; I started work this week and things have just been crazy. Yesterday I spent most of the day just playing catch-up with chores and groceries, so today is really my first opportunity to sit down, relax, and get some writing done. I had a different article planned for today, but I decided to switch it up at the last minute and give you guys a scoop on what my average day is like. It definitely differs from day to day, but on average, this is what my usual routine pans out to be on a workday. On days off, there is really no order in which I do things.

5:00am: Because I work morning shifts, it’s not uncommon for me to wake up between 4:00am and 6:00am. On a typical day, I start at 7:00, which means I have to get up about two hours beforehand. The first hour is for getting ready, and the second hour is for commuting. I don’t spend too much time messing with my hair or makeup; I just take a quick shower, shovel down a quick (but filling) breakfast, and throw my hair up into a ponytail or a hat. And I don’t have to worry about getting a coffee, because I work at Starbucks!

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6:00am: The first lightrail of the morning gets to my stop at 6:08 or so, so that’s always the train I will take if I’m working for 7:00. Even if the train is a few minutes late or if there is a delay, I will have to really hustle (and possibly run) to compensate for it. I take the train inbound for 4 stops, switch to another line (about a ten minute walk,) ride the other train for one stop, and then walk for about 25 minutes until I get to work. It’s not as bad as it sounds, especially if it’s the early morning and it’s still cool outside. It’s leaving work and doing the commute all over again that really kills my legs, especially since I’m standing and running around all day in between! Sometimes I will opt for uber or try to get a ride, but that’s only if the weather is ridiculous.

7:00am: Like I said, most days I will get to work around this time, permitting on the shift. I get my coffee, tie on my apron, and get ready for a day of work. 

9:30am: If I am working under six hours, I will get one ten minute break around mid morning. Obviously ten minutes doesn’t give me time to do much, so I’ll usually just take a bathroom break, chug some water, and check my text messages. Then it’s back to work for a few more hours! 

12:30pm: A 5.5 hour shift means I’m technically finished at 12:30 on the dot, but I rarely ever leave right at that time. Like I said earlier, my legs are usually not prepared for the gruelling walk, so most days I’ll order lunch from work, find a shady little bench, and park myself there for 10-20 minutes while I eat. This gives me time to get some food in my system, and it also gives my legs an opportunity to recharge. Then I’ll do my commute again, except the opposite order: get the walking out of the way first, and then ride the train for the last stretch. 

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Not loving the summer heat, I have to say.

2:00pm: Once I get home, the first thing I do is kick off my shoes and flop down onto my chair/bed for a few minutes. This is usually when I take a few minutes (or a lot of minutes) to scroll through social media, call my friends, or watch a couple of YouTube videos. Then, I take a look at my to-do list and knock out anything vital. If I have to go to the pharmacy or get groceries, I’ll do that first, and then I’ll get a few chores done, such as mopping, paying bills, putting away dishes, or doing a load of laundry. The only “chore” I won’t do is my workout; I only do those on my off days. 

5:30pm: Around 5 or 6, I will prepare my dinner or order takeout, depending on what day it is. My favorite things to prepare for dinner are salads, skillet meals, or if I’m feeling lazy, macaroni and cheese or soup. I like to eat in my room because my housemates are usually home by this time and I’m not always feeling very social after being surrounded by people all day. My room is definitely my safe haven.

7:00pm: I take the rest of the evening to just unwind and have some fun, such as by playing The Sims or pouring over novels in bed. Lately, however, I’ve been on a huge Sims binge and I’ve been playing for hours and hours. I can’t help it, I’m just so obsessed with the game. You can ask anyone- it’s the #1 thing I do in my free time.

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We stan a good, healthy skillet meal. And yes, that’s veggie chicken!

10:00pm: This is usually the standard time I begin my nighttime routine. I take off my makeup, which is usually just eyebrow pencil on a work day, brush my teeth, take my medications and melatonin, and change into my pajamas. Most nights I call Nathaniel before bed so I can tell him about my day, and I can hear about his day as well. He’s been practicing guitar quite a bit lately, so I can hear him strumming cords in the background while we chat. The combination of his deep voice, him playing, and the melatonin setting in is usually what makes me sleepy. I try to have the lights out and the AC on by 11:00pm at the latest on a weeknight. If I have the next day off, well, I’ll probably stay up another hour or two.  The last thing I do before falling asleep is to put on a Vsauce playlist, because that’s what I like to listen to when I fall asleep. And then I’m out like a light!

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Look at this mans. Putting up with talking to ME every single night. A true hero. 

I hope you guys found this article interesting! I know it may not seem very exciting, but it is a busy day for me, and I usually feel proud of myself by the time I hit the pillow at night for getting so much done. Particularly with coronavirus, it’s important to me to stay busy so that I feel like I am being productive and making positive changes in my life.