Things Won’t Go to Plan and It’s Ok

I’m an A-type, planning, to-do list writing woman. On my 20th birthday, I came up with a ten-year plan. The plan would dictate my life from when I would finish college, start law school, get married, and have kids. Not only did I create the plan to ensure a sense of control in my life, it was there to guide me from year to year and life event to life event.

Today I’m 24, things won’t be going according to plan and for once, I am okay with that.

Here is the breakdown of what my plan was supposed to be and how it went:

  • At 20, I would graduate university one year early. ☑
  • At 22, I would apply to law school. ☑
  • At 23, I would start law school. ☑
  • At 24, I would be engaged. ⍰
  • At 25, I would be married. ⍰
  • At 26, I would be graduating law school and taking the bar. ⍰
  • At 28, I would start a family. ⍰

Do I sound crazy yet?

Keep in mind, I wouldn’t stick to the plan exactly, but it was a good way to guide where I was going in life.

Was I behind?

Was I ahead?

It didn’t matter.

At least I knew where I was in my life plan.

Here’s the thing – I’m 24 and nowhere near to getting engaged, married, or having kids. It’s not that I don’t want to be at that place, it’s just that certain things haven’t happened for me to be at there. A year or two ago, this would have driven me crazy. My close friends tried to reason with me and they were completely right – things will happen when they are supposed to happen. While it is wonderful that I know what I want in life, I cannot control things like I attempted to.

Turning 24 has been bittersweet for me. I acknowledge my accomplishments thus far – I graduated university a year early, worked at a top law firm for two years, started attending a law school that is ranked top 10 for IP, and didn’t get cut from law school. This all due to the support, encouragement, love, and solace from my phenomenal family and friends along with blood, sweat, and many tears on my part.

For someone who is A-type, plans to the minute, and makes to-do lists for everything, it has been hard to let go of my plan. The more I held onto it, the more upset I got. It wasn’t until I completely stopped focussing on when I wanted things to happen that I was truly happy.

Some days, it gets to me that there is a possibility that I’ll get married after 30 (I want to get married on the younger side, but that’s for another blog post) but that’s ok. Reaffirmation with my faith has taught me that it’s ok. God has a plan, not me. Things will happen when they are meant to happen. Until then, I will live life to its fullest and enjoy all the cake I get to eat today.

Things won’t go to plan and it’s ok.

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Swing Alert: Kirby Cove with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, CA) 

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I don’t know about you, but I’m completely obsessed with swings! They take you back to our worry free days. So many people have been asking me about the swing at Kirby Cove so here is a guide of how to get there and general tips & tricks. *Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see more! @kaval.sultana*

Step 1: Battery Spencer

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Getting to Battery Spencer is as easy as typing it into your GPS. The route takes you across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. The directions will take you straight to a road where you can (attempt) to find parking in the limited spaces. We got lucky and found a spot a short distance from the path to Kirby Cove and another look out point.

**UPDATE 2/20/17** I went to this area on Feb 20th and the parking was barricaded. I don’t know why so I didn’t attempt to visit Kirby Cove. There is a parking lot at the bottom of the road (right before you can get on the road to go back over the bridge). Apparently you can access Kirby Cove from this lot – through the white gates and down to the Kirby Cove Campground.

The path we took to Kirby Cove Camp Ground was on the right of a shabby looking building. If you follow the people going to the shabby building, you will get to an awesome look out point of the bridge.

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Step 2: Kirby Cove Camp Ground

The walk to the camp ground was a 1.1 miles downhill through many beautiful trees. I didn’t plan accordingly so I wore heeled booties… Don’t be like me – wear comfortable shoes. Change into cute shoes for the picture if it’s really that important! After walking for about 20 minutes, you get to a campground that leads to the beach. Once you are on the beach, you’ll see a beautiful tree on the left with a swing hanging from it.

**Disclaimer*** The swing isn’t always there. Sometimes it is taken down and sometimes its available for use. I would recommend checking if anyone has posted on Yelp about the status of the swing or on IG (via the places search option). You don’t want to go all the way over there not to have the swing. The views are beautiful but a swing is a swing!

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Step 3: Getting on the Swing

When I went, the swing was a little too high for me to reach. Thats saying a lot since I’m pretty tall. My friend had to boost me up to the swing and give me a little push to get me swinging. Luckily, I was with one of my amazing photographer friends. While we were waiting in the line to use the swing, he was finding the perfect angle to take a good shot (visit his Instagram @prezbigdeli). Its worth taking someone who knows how to take pictures! Remember people come from far to visit San Francisco so don’t hog the swing. Use it for a little bit and if you really don’t like your shots, get back in line. The line wasn’t more than ten minutes for us.

After you’re done with the swing, spend some time on the beach. Its beautiful!

 

I hope you have as much fun visiting the swing as I did! If you know about more swings in California, I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy!

 

*Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see more! @kaval.sultana* 

Adventure Time: Catalina Island, California [Places to Visit in California]

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Catalina Island is a small getaway off the coast of Southern California. It was my first time there and I would definitely recommend it as a short trip! We stayed in Avalon which is a popular destination on the island.

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  • Travel:
    • We traveled to the island by boat. The Catalina Express from the Long Beach port to Avalon was easy to book and very comfortable. For those who get seasick, I recommend taking nausea medicine before you get on the boat. I only felt a little “off” when I decided to read during the short ride.
  • Stay:
    • We stayed at the Hermosa Hotel. The island is limited in hotel space so it would be best to book as early as possible. By the time we had booked, there were only a few hotels left to choose from.
      • Cute little hotel that is less than a five-minute walk from the beach
      • We stayed in a suite that had three bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen
  • Eats:
  • Activities:
    • Enjoy the beach – or what little of it there is! There are a couple of beaches that you can relax at. There is limited space at the beach so get there early or go later in the evening when people are getting ready for dinner.
      • South Beach
        • Access to water
      • Step Beach
        • No access to water
      • **Tips**
        • Get to the beach early, there is limited beach in the area
        • You can rent umbrellas and beach gear from Green Pleasure Pier
    • Snorkeling
      • Snorkeling was so much fun here. I usually don’t like going into the ocean for the most part because the water isn’t clear but I made an exception this time. The water around Catalina is clear and beautiful! We rented snorkeling gear locally from a little shop along the main road. I didn’t get a wetsuit since the water is warmer in the summer (in the low 70s). The fish were beautiful! My favorite was the Garibaldi – the state fish. It’s essentially a giant gold-fish! Can’t go wrong with that.
      • Locations to snorkel:
        • Lover’s Cove
          • I loved snorkeling here since there was a pebble beach to set your stuff on and it was easy to get into the water
          • There were fewer people here
          • Be wary of the pebble beach. The pebbles can start to hurt your feet and getting out of the water means waves will push you against them. I had a few bruises on my legs from that.
        • Casino Point Dive Park
          • I didn’t snorkel here because there were a lot of people and the concrete steps went straight into the ocean
          • There was no beach leading into the water
        • **Tips**
          • Buy a bag of frozen peas to feed the beautiful fish
            • Locals told us that the fish are accustomed to being fed
            • I swam out with a handful of peas and the fish were not shy at all!

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Overall, Catalina Island was a cute place to explore for a couple of days. Personally, I would not have stayed more than four days because there are only so many places for you to go. The island is a great way to feel like you are vacationing far away but only a short distance off the coast of California.

How to Plan a Tea Party

I love a good tea party! Having a strong connection to the U.K. has made me appreciate the fun of a tea party with my friends. This year I opted out of a typical birthday dinner and planned a tea party for my closest friends. While planning and preparing a tea party seems like a lot of work, it’s actually quite easy.

  1. Set a date and time (I recommend 2-3pm after everyone has lunch)
  2. Plan the menu
    1. Sweets
      1. Chateau Blanc Authentic French Macarons (42 ct.) from Sam’s Club
        1. Costco has them too! They are frozen so you can pick them up ahead of time. Macarons are expensive but these were so reasonable! 42 macarons can easily cost $100 on average. I paid about $20 for the pack and they were delicious.
      2. Mini Cheese Cakes from Trader Joes
        1. TJ’s has a great variety of frozen sweets to choose for the tea party. I picked up mini cheesecake squares the week before and stored them in the freezer.
      3. Cake
        1. I usually keep most foods at a tea party in “fun” sizes except for one, the cake. For my birthday tea party, I had a homemade funfetti cake with strawberry filling and homemade icing. Not only was it beautiful to look at, it was delicious too! (Shout out to Mom for helping me with the icing and sprinkles)
    2. Savory
      1.  Sandwiches
        1. Cheese with Cucumber on Wheat Bread
        2. Cream Cheese with Cucumber on White Bread
          1. I always cut the skin off the cucumbers and dab the slices with paper towel so the sandwiches aren’t soggy. I prepare them about an hour before the tea party so they are fresh! Cut into triangle halves or quarters.
          2. You can always make jam sandwiches or lox sandwiches. Any variation can work as long as they are simple, delicious, and bite size.
      2. Mini Chana Samosas
        1. Where East meets West… I love these samosas. They are so delicious and I can probably eat a whole packet in one sitting. You can find them at any Indian grocery store in the frozen section. Making fresh samosas is time-consuming so these are always a great alternative. Fry them right before you guests arrive so they are hot!
      3. Deviled Eggs
        1. Again easy to make in the morning before your tea party and its hard to go wrong with them!
    3. Tea
      1. Can’t mess this up… Boil water to put in your tea-pot and use black tea bags (I like Typhoo or Tetley brands). Keep milk and sugar separate.
    4. Apple Cider/Lemonade
      1. A good host provides a little bit of everything! For those who didn’t want to drink tea or were done with tea, I provided apple cider in cute champagne glasses.
  3. Presentation
    1. Tea Set
      1. If you don’t have a tea set, you can find inexpensive ones at the thrift store or department store. I used my Mom’s wedding set for my birthday. It had matching tea cups, saucers, plates, teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, and napkin rings. Theres a recent trend of having mismatched tea sets which is absolutely adorable if you can pull it off! I kept to the traditional matching set.
    2. Cake Stands/Trays
      1. As you can see from the pictures above I had a variety of cake stands and trays to present the food on. Having different shapes and heights adds dimension to the table. For small cakes and bites, I put them in cupcake liners for presentation and easy handling.
  4. Decor
    1. Table Runner or Table Cloth
      1. I used a gold table runner for my tea party ,as you can see above, but a tablecloth will do too! It’s amazing how a simple piece of cloth can really bring a table together
    2. Vases/Flowers
      1. In the pictures above, there are two different flower arrangements and uses. In one tea party, I use a summer arrangement with fresh lavender in a large vase and smaller vases. In the other tea party, I have roses and palm fronds in the vases and use fresh rose petals as decoration for the food.
    3. Candles
      1. As you can see, I used candles in one of the tea parties to match the roses. The look we had for that party was more romantic. They are optional but definitely can change the vibe of a tea party.

I hope my tips and suggestions for an easy tea party are helpful! I had so much fun at my tea party and didn’t have any stress beforehand due to the planning and use of ready-made and easy foods.

Enjoy!

xoxo, Kaval