When Life Gives You Lemons...
Take them, because hey, free lemons.
SO, I was recently sent a video of my nephew eating a spoon full of lemon sorbet (he will be 8 months old in just 3 days). He opens wide thinking "mommy always gives me yummy food" just to find out he's been deceived by the smiling faces of my brother and his mommy. The squint on his face after he has spit out most of the sorbet is absolutely priceless (and adorable). He did NOT cry though. He kept exploring the taste in his mouth with an intrigued look on his face as he stared at my brother filming. He slightly raises his eyebrows like "seriously dude?" and makes a face that says he's ready for the next spoonful. (videos at the end of this post).
So lemons aren't so bad after all, right? They are useful to teach us valuable lessons: to make sure you get priceless videos of your babies eating them so you can get a good laugh and have something to smile about for days. Ok maybe not. On a serious note, Santino's first lemon experience may not have been a memorable lesson for him but there will be more to come.
We're all given lemons in life and yes, sometimes they're really good and we make lemonade. Other times they're not so good. For example, too much tequila is almost always a bad idea.
I've been M.I.A. for a couple months. You could say I've been slacking a little bit in the blogging department, dealing with some bad lemons, haha. Ok I'm done with the lemons. My point is, there are times when I feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and desperate all at once. Whatever obstacle comes my way I always try to overcome it. Lately however, there's been so much going on in my mind that I'm having trouble even writing this post.
Since my last update I have done quite a bit of traveling and would like to continue to share my experiences with all of you. I went to Amsterdam then Nantes to visit my most favorite (only) nephew, and after I attended the specialty coffee convention in Bogota, Colombia with mi mami.
In Amsterdam I enjoyed the company of my parents as we walked down the canals and admired the beautiful architecture and history of the city. On a rainy day we found ourselves in a corner book store where I bought a couple of books and postcards. I have a collection of nicknacks from all my trips that I hope to display one day in M.A.S. Café. I try to take in as much culture from every place I visit. My idea is to be able to connect with anyone and everyone that may stumble upon M.A.S. Café. It was my 3rd time visiting and exploring Amsterdam, each time it gets more and more beautiful and the coffee gets better, too.
In Nantes, I got the chance to hang out with Santino, my nephew, who is the most handsome baby boy I've ever seen (and no not just because he's my newphew, see pictures below). I also got to hang out with my big brother, my mom and the big sister that I finally have and always wanted. We all like to hang out in our pijamas, drink coffee out of mustache mugs, eat Norwegian chocolate, and watch movies. Also, I must always visit a special café everywhere I go so I always drag them all along with me. We end up discussing what we like about it, what ideas are inspiring, taste the pastries, and evaluate the service. My family always gives me feedback and ideas on cafes or restaurants they visit and I try to put everything together in my mind to bring out the best of every concept. Originality comes from inspirations, in my opinion. I like to be original but I owe it to all my experiences from traveling to different places and admiring ingenuity.
NEXT stop. Expo Especiales: Bogota, Colombia. I attended the coffee convention and national barista competition in Bogota with my lovely business partner and life consultant -my mother (what would we do without mothers?) My plan for attending all these conferences and conventions is to learn, network, and enjoy the world of coffee. I met a lot of people, established relationships with potential clients, witnessed the barista competition, and drank an abundance of delicious Colombian specialty coffee. I returned home MAS caffeinated, MAS motivated, and MAS proud to continue building out my dream.
Sometimes it can be bitter-sweet when lemons are thrown my way. For example, when I run into people, old friends, new friends, those who I know but don't talk to often and well they are all doing their thing, you know. Making money, lunch breaks, happy hours, and maybe some are still in school. Me? I'm here, exploring cafes, writing up a menu for the millionth time, practicing latte art and pour overs, in and out of antique shops and fortunately traveling to and from origin. Overwhelming frustration happens and maybe I don't give myself enough credit, but I'm learning to. These people ask me all the time:
-"When is your café opening?"
-"Have you opened the cafe yet?"
-"Are you still doing the coffee thing?"
-"What do you do?" "Where are you working?"
I used to reply "It's kind of at a stand still right now and that I am still trying to figure it out."
But now I say, "It's going good, it's happening. I work at it every day. It's going to be so awesome and I can't wait for you to experience M.A.S. Café."
Their reply? "I can't wait either."
And that's all I need to hear.
Everything I do, I consider it to be a learning experience, I take what's given to me and try to make something more of it. Some days I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything and others I feel like throwing in the towel. There will always be set backs, unapproved loans, permits, tough decisions, but most days all I need is my family's support, pictures of Santino to get me by, and an excellent cup of coffee (or five) to remain on track, persistently working towards my goal each and every day, a little at a time...
WELP, that's pretty much where I'm at right now: Making lemonade.
In the meantime, enjoy these videos. :)
Remember to stay posted, follow the days in the life of M.A.S. Cafe, and let's be friends.