For almost eight months, hot yoga has become a part of my life. At the end of every class, the instructor repeats this line:
“Taking the time to honor the needs of your body is taking the time to honor the needs of your soul.”
I have never been much of a religious or spiritual person, but somehow this resonantes deep inside of me every time I hear it.
I realize that I’ve been missing in action for awhile, but I make no apologies to anyone but myself. The truth is that I’m exhausted and I have been exhausted for a very long time. I have not given myself a break in four years. I have always been either in school and working, during the week, at night, and on weekends. I feel like there hasn’t been a moment other than my brief stint in NYC during freshman year that I have not had to consider planning weeks in advance to have a weekend off or to plan a vacation. I don’t think I’ve even taken a real vacation in two or three years.
The cumulation of this exhaustion finally lead me to quit my second part time job that I have worked at the past four years. It has been something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile, and it was finally the right moment in my life to do it. And now, I’m left working a regular nine-to-five job forty hours a week… yet somehow I feel like I’m on a vacation I don’t deserve. The idea of having nights and weekends to do whatever I want, whenever I want is rather unsettling. To know that I’m free to bake or cook whenever I want, to know that I can go do something fun on a weekend without worrying about getting the day off from work, to know that I can come home after my job and sit on the couch all night if I want to… its absolutely petrifying in so many ways.
I thought about blogging frequently the past two months, but I never could find the right words to say. I baked but somehow it felt like a chore. Then this weekend, I made cupcakes for mothers day without having to rush or plan around a shift at work and I felt like everything made sense and was complete.
I know that might sound stupid, but I treasure this free time I have right now yet at the same time, it is extremely unsettling.
I don’t know how often I’ll blog, maybe I’ll post many times a week, maybe I’ll post once a month. The only thing that matters is I feel like I’m finally taking care of myself.
Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe from Sweet Tooth
For the lemon cupcakes:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 30 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the lemon zest and vanilla and mix well.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternatively add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick, but don’t panic!
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For whipped cream cheese frosting, use the recipe found here.
Follow the Sweet Tooth link above for sunflower tutorial. I actually did mine directly on the cupcakes and instead of using an oreo, I use brown food gel and did dots in the center of the flowers!