Bake a rainbow cake

If you haven’t tried it- you’re missing out! This has been the coolest thing so far that I have ever cooked/baked in my life. I love baking cupcakes but this rainbow cake was something else. I looked up a couple of recipes that people have posted online, and found one that I was extremely curious about: using Sprite (yes, the soda) to substitute for the eggs,water, etc. At my first try at this, I decided to go for this recipe, assuming it would come out great. After the cake was complete, it was not what I expected it to look like (needless to say, this is why I will NOT post a picture of it on here, lol). Therefor, I recommend for anyone trying to bake a rainbow cake to please follow the regular instructions if you are not a pro baker!

I finally accomplished the rainbow cake on my second try at it and I was pretty pleased with myself. Make sure to get your friends or family involved while the process is still ongoing because it makes it more fun (I’m all about getting others involved in the projects that I accomplish) and you might even motivate them to try other things on their own.

Here are a few tips when preparing for the baking process:

  • Make sure to purchase a flat pan ( that way the batter comes out evenly and smoothly unto the pan and the colors are spread out)
  • Purchase food coloring, any food coloring
  • Purchase the WHITE CAKE mix (not vanilla, not funfetti)
  • Follow the directions with the food coloring
  • Make sure to pour the batter in each cup EVENLY
  • Try purchasing a really fun bright colored icing to make the cake pop even more (they’ve got a hot pink vanilla icing at Target)

HAVE FUN!!

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Enjoy my vacation in Bermuda with my best friend and family ♥

Departure from: Bayonne, New Jersey

Estimated Arrival: Wednesday, 8:30 a.m., Bermuda

So our family vacation was a success! We boarded Celebrity Summit, a very different cruise line that took some adjustment because we were so used to the Carnival cruise lines, but we survived! The two days out at sea were a bit of a drag, but I’m thankful my best friend joined me on the journey because it gave us a chance to bond and include my mother on the fun activities the ship had to offer (it was also her first time on a cruise).

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Bermuda was such an incredible experience. We arrived on Wednesday morning and were scheduled to leave Friday afternoon, giving us plenty of time to explore the island. The first day we took a bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach, where I was able to play in the pink sand and soak up some of the sun. Jenn, my mother, and I ventured off to different areas of the beach, discovering caves and sharp cliffs. The greatest moment of that day was watching my mother climb a cliff and jump straight into the salty teal water. Never have I encountered my mother conquer a fear of hers (she was afraid of heights and anything that had to do with water, as she did not know how to swim very well). But as she jumped a second time from the cliff, I sat there, astonished at the fact that I was more chicken to jump from it than she was.

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We walked back to shore to lie out and admire the ocean view. As I lay next to my mother, Jenn asked, “What has gotten into you? Never have I once imagined you jumping off a cliff! And yet you jumped off and it took Beatrice and I awhile to do it!” I agreed with Jenn and added that she was also afraid of many things, especially roller coasters (it’s the height issue). “After everything I’ve been through this past year with breast cancer, lumpectomy operation and radiation sessions, I’ve decided to conquer my fears. When I head back home, they need to find what the lump in my right breast is, so I figured what the hell- I might have to undergo another operation for it and my time is now, I want to do things I’ve never imagined myself doing,” my mother said.

She didn’t notice, but tears trickled down my face as she spoke, because it was at that moment where I was just SO PROUD of her! I was watching my mother rise from her own ashes, like a phoenix, and become such a courageous, fearless person. I had a feeling deep down that Nick Nikias, an old friend who passed away from cancer just a year ago, had something to do with this. Nikias was edging her on to jump off the cliff, to face her fears and guide her towards happiness. I truly thank Nikias for that.

The next two days we stayed close to the ship and shopped around for souvenirs and speak with the locals at Snorkel Bay beach. We experienced a beach party with Bermudians as well! Everyone was so friendly and so caring; the weather was perfect- I did not want to leave! After boarding the ship Friday afternoon, we watched the ship move away from Bermuda on the top deck. Here, we all took time to reflect on everything we accomplished throughout the week: we partook in zumba for a cause, where the proceeds went to The Breast Cancer Foundation, we danced each and every night at the club to the point where guests of the ship would recognize us and compliment us all on our dancing skills, we were even grateful to view a couple of Broadway shows the ship had scheduled for us.

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Caribbean’s, I will be seeing you next summer ❤

With Love,

Beatrice Rivera

 

Color Me RU (a.k.a. The Color Run of Rutgers)

Last Friday I was able to cross off “The Color Run” experience from my bucket list. Rutgers University has taught me through this event that they truly do provide so much for their students, especially if you’re interested in getting involved. I figured it was time to start experiencing what the university offers me before I graduate. Looking back on this day, I knew this was something I knew I had to attend again- but with my family and friends.

We started off with registration, where we received vibrant shades to cover our eyes from the colored cornstarch and a neat bandana. Once registering, there was an open field for the students, families and friends that offered free refreshments (fried Oreos, ice cream and our very own KnightWagon- YUM!), a tie-dye station, live performances, inflatable obstacle courses, and a photo-booth to take pictures with our mascot, the Scarlet Knight. The run started shortly after where everyone lined up in a sea of white tee’s. There were volunteers along the way that motivated us to keep running as well as five different color stations (my favorite color stations had to be blue and purple)!

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We started off in white and ended the run in so much color (and an after party)! As I ran, I saw so many contagious smiles on students faces and thought: This was the best way to end the semester. I had a tough transfer year at Rutgers and have not been doing my best because I had a difficult time adjusting (I’m going through transfer shock), but this has inspired me to start off the next semester doing great things. This was the first time the university created an event like this but I hope they continue it as I deem it a successful experience.

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I am now registering a team for The Color Run in August with my friends and family. If you haven’t experienced this- you must do so as soon as possible! Especially if you want to experience a surrounding filled with nothing but positivity! If you’re interested for more information on The Color Run, go to http://www.thecolorrun.com and view the videos- they will convince you to attend, trust me!

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Spring clean my room away

It took me awhile after moving all of my things from the apartment at Rutgers back into my own room at home, but I finally cleaned my room! I know I make it sound as if I’m a hoarder or I don’t clean very often, but I do. I am obsessed with reorganizing my room and dusting every Friday. I even like going through my closets to see if there is anything I can give away. This year, I’m able to give away a lot of things. After cleaning my room thoroughly and rearranging my furniture, I feel less cluttered and and more organized than ever before. As I went through so many of my old clothes, papers, and collectibles, nostalgia hit- trying to convince me to keep everything I was hesitant on letting go. But I cleared my thoughts and kept telling myself that LESS is MORE and that I no longer wished to keep things I grew out of (let’s just say I had enough in my room to create a small thrift shop, I know…sad). Besides, if I’m able to give these things away, others can benefit from it.

Now it’s time to pick out some paint and give my room a big girl personality!

 

Prolific Poetry

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I had written an article about a local author I know in the area I live in for the newspaper/magazine at Rutgers University. I was so excited to put the word out for Esham, he is such an inspirational person, especially for those of us who come from very difficult backgrounds. I finally was able to grab a dozen newspapers (a couple for Esham and his family and a couple for myself) but was not impressed with the way the editor had edited my paper or how she did not credit me for the interview. What ultimately pissed me off though, was the fact that they did not bother posting a picture of the book with the interview I conducted after contacting them plenty of times to do so.Yes, my article was posted in the newspaper but it was just an interview- it was not able to provide an entire story being that the photo of the book was not included. So I’ve decided to post a cover of the book, to paint a picture for my future blog readers, and the interview that had taken place early April. I hope you enjoy the interview, but most of all, I hope you give this author a chance and check out his first book. If you do, read it with an open mind, every person has a story and this is how he chose to tell it! “Prolific Poetry” is available through paperback and e-book. Get your copy today and support local authors, artists, and people who have dreams. ♥

40-year-old Newark native Esham Abdul Giles is a self-published author and entrepreneur. He founded publishing company, Focus Write Inspire, and released his first book during the summer of 2012. With a book of quotes, titled “Quote Me,” released April 19th, and a semi-autobiographical novel entitled “Eyes Closed, Mind Open,” due out this fall, Giles continues to pursue his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Giles has given me the opportunity to interview him about his first book, “Prolific Poetry,” a collection of poems that articulate Giles’ story and his positive outlook on life:

Beatrice: How many copies of “Prolific Poetry” have you sold so far?

 Esham Abdul Giles: 620 paperback copies. I just formatted it to be purchased as an e-book through iTunes and other secondary sources.

Beatrice: Who or what inspired you to write “Prolific Poetry”?

Giles: Rumi, I read a lot of poetry from him. Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite of mine. Langston Hughes is another. But, what truly inspired me to put the book out was the death of my friends.

Beatrice: It’s great that you were able to turn that loss into something positive. How did it affect you and your writing?

Giles: At one point in my life I thought we were all cursed because someone I knew was dying one year after the other. I lost five friends. One was sick; one died in a car accident; two were shot. It was a lot to deal with but their deaths helped mold me into the person I am today. With each experience of dealing with their deaths, it changed how I dealt with the world, specifically the area I lived in. I made sure I did not put myself into certain situations that I knew would probably lead me into trouble. I stopped hanging out and focused more on my writing and exploring this side of myself that I kept hidden. I wrote for therapeutic reasons, just to get it off my chest.

Beatrice: How did you go about putting “Prolific Poetry” together?

Giles: I did my research on how to put a book together. I also spoke with someone about the cover design. I took all of my poetry, sat down and asked myself: “what do I want to put out?” I went to an editor who assisted me in picking out certain ones. I didn’t want the book to be completely dark or just focus on one thing, I wanted to show my readers that I could write about a lot of different topis, such as politics, family, friends, gain, and loss. I also did not want to base my work as urban; I wanted my poetry to touch everyone!

Beatrice: Were you embarrassed to display this private side of yourself?

Giles: Yes, because I was opening myself up. I’m a serious person, and that’s the way most people see me. They often forget that I’m not just a stern person and that I have feelings as well. The day I got the book published and had to press the button to release it, I was scared. I asked myself “Do I really want to open myself up?” because if I do this, there is no turning back. But I did it and it’s going well! Managers and co-workers purchased the book at both of my jobs and they love it. The book is going to move to New York soon. I have my fingers crossed!

Beatrice: Did you fear how people would view you after reading about your past experiences?

Giles: Yes I did! I was afraid people would judge me. I wrote about some dark experiences and wasn’t sure how the book would be received. But, I did my best to try and turn each of those bad experiences into something positive. So although I wrote about some dark events that took place in my life, I’ve had people approaching me, telling me that it was a positive book. I’ve inspired people to write their own stories or do the things they’ve always wanted to do, they’re not afraid to take the risk anymore because I stepped out on faith and took the risk.

Beatrice: What advice do you have out there for students who want to publish their own books or jump into the publishing industry?

Giles: Take your time and do your research! Read as much as you can about the publishing industry and about people who have self-published their books like I have. Try not to get stuck in just one area. Remember to copyright all of your work! If you’re creating your own publishing company like I have with Focus Write Inspire, make sure to create a company name or logo to brand yourself because in the end you may not just be publishing your own books, you may end up publishing someone else’s.

My First Entry!

So after reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t necessarily need to make yearly resolutions- I find that they just don’t work out very well for me and I usually give up after the second week of working on them. Monthly, or even weekly resolutions are much more realistic and reachable. Monthly resolutions can help cross things off from your bucket list or can turn dreams into reality (for me, at least). So here goes to creating my very first blog (and most likely to not keeping it very updated, harharhar)!