Recipe: Rumchata Ice Cream

Last year I was introduced to my new favorite summer treat—Rumchata ice cream. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet, tasty, alcoholic, and refreshing. Because this is my most requested recipe from my friends, I’ve decided to be nice and share the recipe with you all. It’s super, super simple and extremely delicious.

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Ingredients
1 cup of milk
1 cup of Rumchata or rum liqueur
1 box of instant chocolate or vanilla instant pudding
1 8oz. container of whipped topping

Add the milk, Rumchata, and instant pudding together in a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is a pudding consistency. Fold the whole container of whipped topping with the other ingredients until all of it is mixed together. Scoop the mixture into a new container or multiple cups. Freeze.

That’s it. So simple, but so delicious. If you want to mix it up a bit, add some bananas and pineapple to the bottom of the cups before scooping the mixture on top.

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Dear June // A Timecapsule

My very first vlog is up online for the whole world to see and judge me quite harshly on. I’ve never done any type of videos before, so it’s not very good at all. But, I enjoyed making it and trying something different that I can hopefully get better at.

Dear June,

So far this month, I have painted my nails thirty-one times. I haven’t brushed my hair. I ate six pints of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. And only cried twenty-two times. Mostly during TV shows, four times during HeyClaire’s video to her mom.

I started off the month by falling out of love and hiding it quite intensely. I didn’t realize it would take me three months and not responding to texts to finally get over someone. But, I stopped answering phone calls and text messages and left things to the last minute before canceling again. It’s still something I’m continuing to work on, but not very well.

June is always lonely for me. I used to love the summer as a kid, but the older I get the more I long for the Fall and new beginnings instead of the excessive heat of summer and my clothes sticking to the backs of my legs. Yet, this month was about rain, and more rain, and the continuous monotonous rain.

But then it became about the starts of projects and songs and books and movies and TV shows and candles and lots and lots of candles and friends. Actual friends. Which is strange for me to not have everyone I want to hang out with spread across the globe, but a small group I can call and go to a movie and dinner with. It became about learning new things and juggling three jobs and slowly trying not to lose my mind in the process.

June, you’ve been about learning to take chances and not be so scared to take the next step. I have been so scared lately. Scared to make the wrong step and ruin my life forever, but JK Rowling didn’t have her life figured out by 23 and I’ll figure it out one day. I hope. Maybe in July.

*went off on a different course whilst speaking, but this was the main idea.

Long Distance Friendship

For as long as I can remember, I have been the friend that loses touch with people. I’m the worst at texting back. I’m the worst at remembering to call. I’m the best at flaking. I’m the best at rescheduling only to flake once more. I can’t say for sure why I am like this, it just happens. I say I’ll call and text and write letters and send cards, but in reality, I tend to forget to do all these things and suddenly it is months, even years later, and I’m wondering what that person is up to.

A couple of years ago, all the friends that I had that lived by me, suddenly weren’t coming back home from college in the summer. They were finding jobs in this new town away from me and I never realized how alone I started to feel when I couldn’t call someone to see if they wanted to meet up for coffee, lunch, dinner, or go shopping on a random Tuesday afternoon.

This was the start of me needing to start to reach out to people so we could stay in each other’s lives. I didn’t realize how much work goes into a friendship if you want that friendship to stay. I realized how selfish I was for constantly flaking (which I still happen to do, but I’m working on it!) and that I would actually have to start texting people first if I wanted to talk to them.

When I lived in London for a short period of time, I met some wonderful, amazing people. People that lived all over the world and when we parted ways, communication still needed to exist if I wanted to still be apart of their lives.

Long distance friendship. It’s a bitch. Some days you can go all day without talking and fear that you’re drifting apart and write a long email at 3 in the morning, crying about how you don’t want to lose their friendship. What are they doing? Why haven’t you talked in two days? Is something wrong? Some days you just want to call them up and complain about something that is happening in your life, but there is a time zone difference and they are three or six or twelve hours ahead of you and there is no possible way that you can talk at the exact moment you want to. Some days you just want to lay in bed and watch About Time with them, eating popcorn and Phish Food Ben and Jerry’s ice cream complaining about everything, yet they are in Ohio and you are in Missouri.

The best thing, possibly the only thing, I have learned about making these types of friendships work is constant communication. Reaching out to them through Facebook posts, text messages, e-mails, snail mail, Skype, Facetime, Instagram, and smoke signals. Anything to show that you are still in each other’s lives. It helps. The friendship is maintained.

My best friend visited me last summer for a week and this summer it is my turn to visit her. Long distance friendship is great. You get to visit new places and no matter how long you are apart, it’s good to know that you’re still the best of friends.

Dear March

  
Dear March,
 
Happy Birthday, me. I’m 23 now and if you had asked 16 year old me, or even 18 year old me where I’d be right now, it wouldn’t be here. In the same old place. Yet, as stuck as I thought I’d might feel, I feel surprisingly secure. Perhaps it’s the graduation cap and gown that are now sitting on my desk, waiting for me to put on in two months time, but suddenly, I feel like anything can happen. Sorry for the cliché. Even though I haven’t gotten a call back from a single employer and have had countless “we regret to inform you” letters delivered to my inbox on the daily, that doesn’t stop me from trying. I hope to finally get somewhere. Be the person that I imagined myself to be one day. Add more pins to my world map. Be the adventurer I think I am. 
 
So far this year, I’ve done a handful of things that took me slightly out of my comfort zone which is needed. I went to an event where I knew hardly anyone and made myself talk to new people. I interacted. I was social. I shook hands and was handed business cards. I acted like a normal human being for once, and that’s always a step in the right direction. 
 
I went to New York, which isn’t out of my comfort zone because cities are very much my comfort zone, but I met new people and exchanged information with more new people. I’m meeting people! Who knew that after five years of having friends that live far away from me, I can actually interact with humans standing right in front of me? Strange.
 
I joined the Francophone Society of St. Louis so I can embarrass myself in front of strangers with my French. I must say, though, I have really improved. Ask the man at La Bonne Bouchée, he knows. Le homme est trés patient avec moi quand je choissis quelque chose manger avant la classe. 
 
I have stopped, well I’ve been getting better at not spending my money on stupid, unnecessary things. Which is really hard.
 
March, it’s been grand. I feel good about this year. More than I did at the start of it. I’ve decided to give up my biggest comfort of all which I’m going to be okay with at some point in the future. I know it will. But that’s a piece for another time. Until then, I’ll see you forever in my dreams.
 
Now, I’ll patiently wait for April.
 
Mackenzie 

A Day at Loufest

A Day at Loufest

JARED

Photo by Jarred Gastreich. PLEASE check out his epicness here.

Last weekend was Loufest here in St. Louis, and as Arctic Monkeys are my all time favorite band, it was imperative for me to go. I went on Saturday with the one day pass and arrived early in fear that I wouldn’t find a parking space later on in the day.

People were milling around towards the entrance of the festival in the beautiful Forest Park. There were golfers out on the course and you could hear music pulsating through the air.

It was kinda magical.

As I arrived, there were only a couple hundred people in the area sectioned off for the festival. The early bands playing were enthusiastic, trying to draw people to their stages while the sky drizzled rain. The smell of food wafted in the air where the line up of some of the best St. Louis restaurants had stations set up on the right side of the entrance. There was a large array of food that festival goers had a selection of: barbecue, gyros, Chinese, Mexican, ice cream, coffee, popcorn, etc. The list goes on and on. Sugarfire Barbecue was in attendance, and anyone who knows me, knows that their sauce and pulled pork is some of my favorite. However, I went against my gut reaction and headed towards the gyros.

I love gyros. I don’t know whether it’s the moments that I’ve eaten them that have been so good, which made the food taste just as great, or what it is, but gyros are my go-to food when it’s in my presence. The gyro that I had at Loufest was no different. Unfortunately for me, the thing was so messy and full, it instantly fell apart and all over my raincoat. The sauce went everywhere as well as the lamb, but those few bites that I managed to shove in my mouth were well worth the $6.

Many of the bands that were playing in the morning, I knew nothing about. Scandal. I haven’t been keeping up with researching new music, which was something I’ve always been fond of doing back in high school. It seems that lately, however, I’m more prone to trying to hang out with friends, when I’m not at school or work. The only time when new music is introduced to me is through people telling me to listen to a song, or through Spotify Radio.

One of the first bands that I saw was Washed Out at the Bud Light Stage. Their music fit the setting of the day. Very dreamy, a day that I haven’t experienced in a long time. When I’m listening to bands that I don’t know at festivals, I always tend to look at the crowds reaction. There were couples holding hands and swaying to the sounds. There were friends chatting and taking photos. Probably to upload to Instagram or Facebook later to claim what a wonderful time they were having. I watched as these very drunk men took Snapchats and yelled into their phone. People are very strange, I thought, as I stood under the heat of the sun watching blazed out teens making up dances in the grass.

By the time The 1975 started to play, the sun was out in full force and the crowds were starting to press in, making my claustrophobia flare up for an instance. (Yeah, I’m that weirdo who loves concerts, but hates being in large crowds of people. It can be an issue.) The lead singer, Matt Healy, had girls falling over themselves screaming as he released his lions mane from his pony tail. He really does have nice hair. The crowd was loud and dancing, fully engaged in the British band dressed all in black. I watched this boy to the side of me as he sprouted out in his Welsh accent, “bloody wankers” and proceeded to give them a V with his fingers. I watched him, laughing, with all these young girls screaming at Matt Healy to “fuck them.” It was barbaric.

As the night drew dark, I started to get antsy for Arctic Monkeys. They have been my favorite band since I saw them at the age of 16 at Lollapalooza. Loufest was the 8th time I’ve seen the band and each time, I believe they are better and better. Festivals can have strange crowds, and since Arctic Monkeys just now got big in the United States, there are going to be a number of people that don’t know any of their work before “AM.” That’s how this crowd was. Most people sung along to “Do I Wanna Know?” “Arabella,” and “Knee Socks,” but epic songs like “505” and “Old Yellow Bricks” people only nodded along to.

As they closed up their set and Alex Turner blew kisses to the audience, I walked happily away with other parts of the crowd toward the exit as “With a Little Help From My Friends” played throughout the park. And that’s a great song to end the day with because the people in the festival become a part of your world for a small moment. I met some great people and danced along to the songs of my favorite band with new friends.

So, thank you Loufest for an epic Saturday.

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