Michelle Obama's documentary “Becoming” on Netflix was such an enjoyable experience. I admit that even though I have the book, I never got past the first chapter. Not because the book was actually bad, it was the opposite. However, as a graduate student with a lot of paper to write / read, I couldn't shake the guilt and self-admonishment that came with reading an unrelated book. So for me to get a glimpse of his story through the 84 minute documentary was awesome !. In those 84 minutes, I left motivated and inspired and I share some lessons I learned with you
Question who you become
Self-reflection is an important part of growth. It is crucial that at all stages of life we take a deep and honest look at ourselves and ask ourselves whether we are becoming who we really want to be. Are you someone you love? Are you someone you can respect? And if the answer is yes, then stick with that decision, become more comfortable being that person and standing up for what you believe in.
Be your own cheerleader
A common theme in the documentary was the importance of believing in yourself and believing in the value of your dreams regardless of outside validation. Michelle Obama remembers a story where she wanted to go to Princeton and her guidance counselor said she was not Princeton material. Knowing what we know now, it was not only material from Princeton but also Harvard. What this shows is the importance of being your own cheerleader and believing in yourself and your skills when others don't.
See yourself first and see yourself as deserving
While in a black college room, she mentions that as black women we can't wait until the world is equal to start feeling seen. Often times, women, especially women of color, feel less. This is evident in the way we have witnessed impostor syndrome within this demographic. Michelle Obama mentions that the way to overcome feeling less than seeing yourself first and seeing yourself as deserving. It is important to answer the question "why me?" question and realize why not you? Especially when you've been hired for that job or position. It is important to focus on yourself and your skills and to see yourself as deserving.
Focus on your story and share your story
Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of defining yourself before everyone else. You define yourself by telling your own story and being vulnerable. Like someone who share women's stories, I know there is power in sharing and owning your story. You can define yourself as more than your GPA or your job title. It's important (especially if you're a woman of color) to see yourself as more than a statistic and focus on what is important to you and what brings you joy.
The realities of being an ambitious woman
Finally, one of the things that I really liked and that she touched on was the reality of being an ambitious woman and the sacrifices that women are often expected to make. I know there is the notion of being a "super woman" and "the handyman". This idea of femininity is neither sustainable nor realistic. In fact, it's often the fast track to burnout and burnout. The reality of being an ambitious woman and having a family sometimes means struggling and making decisions that could slow the pace of your career. However, in light of all of this, she mentions that it's important to make sure that your happiness doesn't depend on your partner or children and to make sure that you take the time to take care of yourself and your children. dreams and make sure your happiness comes from you.
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A little time put into preparation makes for an enjoyable evening. Drinking cocktails should be a fun and relaxing experience, so take a while to think about ingredients in advance, to avoid any rushing around last minute.
One of the foundations of many cocktails is sugar syrup. This can be prepared in advance. Here’s my tip for easy to prepare simple syrup : Add 200 gm white sugar to 200 ml boiling water. Stir till sugar is dissolved, and liquid is clear. Allow to cool then bottle
If you mix lemon juice 50 : 50 with simple syrup, you should have a solid mid-line sweet-sour balance. But remember, every palate is different. to find your own point of balance, mix 15ml fresh lemon juice with 15ml simple syrup, and then dilute the mix with up to 90ml water. Congratulations, you’ve just made fresh lemonade ! If this tastes too sweet or too sour, adjust by adding a little more citrus or syrup. Using this method of calibration, you can adjust any petit cocktail recipe to suit your own palate.
Ice is the solo most over-looked ingredient at any home bar - you’ll be surprised how much you can go through. Cocktails need ice like baking needs ovens. If popping to the boutiques for ice isn’t an option right now, keeping a freezer bag topped up with ice will ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly. For best quality home-made ice, try using a silicone ice tray with a lid, to prevent your ice from absorbing unpleasant odours. And wash your ice tray after each use.
Where possible always go for premium spirits, the freshest herbs, and the best juices you can get your hands on. For instance, the taste difference between cheap juice and pressed juice is more than worth the small extra expense.
Try to use glassware appropriate to your drinks. It’s entirely possible to drink a martini from an old coffee mug, but that misses the point of drinking a martini !
If you can make a Whiskey Sour, you can make a Daiquiri. If you make a mean Negroni, you can riff on a Boulevardier. Once you’ve mastered the Manhattan, have some fun in Brooklyn on your way to Martinez. Cocktails exist in family trees. Once you are comfortable the basics of each category the world is your oyster !
You can pre-mix punches in advance - an old trick from the godfathers of bartending in the 19th century. You can bottle punch and store it in the fridge, ready to use on the day, or later that week. If done properly, quality and consistency are assured. If your punch has a fizzy ingredient, such as champagne, only add this your glass just before serving.
If you follow the Punch Ratio, you can’t go far wrong : 1 part sour ( citrus ) 2 parts sweet ( simple syrup ) 3 parts strong ( spirit ) 4 parts weak ( juices etc ) And don’t shy away from warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace, to make that punch really sing. Don’t have those spices to hand ? No problem, a few dashes of Angostura bitters will do the trick.
We all have a few unloved ingredients lying around that need using up. For instance, that last bit of red wine in the bottle ? Try drizzling it over your Whisky Sour, and voila, you’ve got yourself a delicious New York Sour ! Do you have some nice but neglected spice mix in the kitchen ? Try mixing a teaspoon or two into your simple syrup as it cools to give your next petit cocktail an added dimension. Seasonal fresh herbs make a wonderful aromatic petit cocktail garnish.
So now, you’ve hit your stride and you’re getting creative in your home bar. Great ! Our top tip for petit cocktail creation ? Write down the exact specifications as you are making it. It’s not always easy to perfectly recall the recipe for that killer cocktail the next day !
If all this sounds like a bit of a chore, then keep an eye open for delivery services available from many local cocktail parcs. After all, with the finer things in life, it’s nice to sit back, relax and let the professionals do all the work.