This past week has been such an inspiring and happy one despite the snow storms hitting the east coast. I’ve been involved with promoting Changemakers Week at Rutgers which is one week to inspire students to be the change they wish to see in the world. It started with 4 amazing speakers, Bobby Bailey (film-makers of Invisible Children, Ellen Gustafson (co-founder of FEED Project), James Marshall Reilley (author of Shake the World) & Janne Kouri (founder of NextStep Fitness). Even though they all came from different backgrounds and started various social movements, they all had one common purpose: to make the world a better place. Each speaker spoke about failure, education, and story-telling. Their stories and advice were engaging, realistic, and inspiring to me. Here is what I tweeted from the event: “Know that you are confident in teaching yourself and be proud of your #education!”
My lesson from these speakers is to be confident in my knowledge, be educated about my passion, and to not wait. To me, the just do it part can seem the hardest because of my fear of failing, doing it correctly, and what resources are at my dispense. However, it’s my determination and perseverance that will help me through everything and to NOT give up!
Another event from Changemakers Week was Random Acts of Changemaking where students did random acts of kindness such as giving free hugs, candy, goodie bags, flowers, and inspirational quotes. I truly believe these small gestures can make a difference! I took photos of sorority members giving hugs and free candy to random Rutgers students/employees. Then, a long time Rutgers employee got a group hug from the girls and said, “I’ve been working at Rutgers for a long time and I appreciate this!” This moment made me really happy and reflect upon my kindness towards others. These acts of kindness reminded me to do what makes me happy because my happiness is what I should control and not others. I choose which people to engage with, what I eat, which classes to take, and what opportunities to take.
Now I think about this past week and more to come, it gives me hope that the world will be kinder, compassionate, and more inspirational for others. Despite the obstacles and perils of life, hope reconnects individuals to happiness and kindness. Thus, Changemakers Week has given me hope and inspiration to keep on learning, achieving my dream and bake more wonderful/delicious desserts in order to bring a smile to everyone’s day.
As Valentine’s Day arrives, I’ll leave you with a quote- “Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is activity.”
–What makes you happy?–
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 TBsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch (not flour)
- 1 /2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthum gum
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 9X13 baking pan or 8″ round baking pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray
2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix well until all ingredients are blended.
4. To measure out the flour and starch, use the spoon and level method. Separately spoon the flour and starch into designated measuring cups and use a flat edge (back of butter knife) to scrape excess flour/starch across measuring cup & level it off.
Sift the sorghum flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthum gum together into mixing bowl.
5. Blend the mixture well until the dough forms.
6. Sprinkle and fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture turns light brown. Stick a toothpick in middle and make sure it comes out clean (the blondies are ready to be eaten!)
8. Immediately remove blondies from pan and let them cool off on a plate. Recommended: Drizzle melted white chocolate onto blondies.