Tag Archives: inspiration

2016 Came to Town, Riding on a Pony ;)

hiding behind curtainMe: *peeks out from behind curtain* “Hey guys!” *awkward smile*

Audience Member: *glares* “You missed 3 weeks!” *whispers* “Plus a day!” *throws tomato*



Merry belated Christmas!!! ūüôā¬†merry xmas.jpgI know, I know, it’s been three weeks. I missed three weeks!¬†But I feel bad and I’m sorry. I know, excuses are lame¬†but hear me out.

Or… read me out? *shakes head* I don’t know what I just did.


i can't remember anything.jpgIf you’re in high school, or even in middle school, you can understand the stress that comes with exams. And in my case, it was exams¬†and an audition.

I was uber stressed out and had no room in my overflowing brain for a blog post, nor did I really have the motivation or time to write even half a post.I'm sorry.jpg

So I’m sorry, and I hope this¬†blog post will compensate¬†for the past three weeks. Before I get into this post however, let me remind you of a very important fact…

2016 is in 2 days.

Let that sink in.

2016 is in 2 days!

Let’s be real, are most of us even ready for this? Did we fulfill everything we planned since¬†January, when we came up with our 2015 resolutions? (Seriously, where has the time gone?)

It’s unreal how quickly¬†this year has gone by, leaving nothing in its path¬†except for uncompleted resolutions. Personally, I feel as though I’ve accomplished nothing this year.

Zip. Zero. Nada.


However, when I went back to review and looked at my 2015 resolutions, I realized I actually accomplished a lot. My list consisted of only 5 things.

  1. Audition at least 3 times.
  2. Write 5 good songs.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Be more caring and responsible.
  5. Be a better daughter.

audition for all the shows.jpgNumber 1 (auditioning) was something I was scared of doing, but I did it. I faced that fear.

Number 2 (writing songs) was something I didn’t see happening when I initially wrote this down. But¬†guess what? I didn’t write 5 good songs. I wrote¬†13 amazing songs!

Number 3 (write a book) was something I could’ve accomplished, but didn’t. Instead, I fished for ideas day in and day out. I started one storyline, deleted it and switched to another. Finally over the summer, I came up with the best storyline yet and presently¬†I’m working on chapter 6. So no, I didn’t finish a book, but at least I started it!

Number 4 (be more caring and responsible)… I’d like to say that I have been all that number 4 asked of me this entire¬†year, but I’m trying to be an honest person. I’ve definitely made tons of effort to be caring towards my younger sister, but as a newfound middle schooler, she finds my attempts annoying and they most always end in a disagreement of some sort.

(Whatever… she’s annoying too) ūüėČ

Responsibility is something I’ve tampered with. I’ve been responsible when asked to help¬†my sister, I’ve taken on the task of making dinner numerous¬†times, I’ve been trusted with using my electronic devices at¬†school (per mom’s designated times and rules). I wouldn’t say it’s been this way the whole year though. Therefore I consider number 4 incomplete. But I’m working on it.

Number 5 (be a better daughter) is something difficult to explain. I’d rate¬†myself a 50% on this one. While many people have told me otherwise, I personally feel as though I could strive to be a better daughter. So the journey continues with number 5.

I may have only checked off two items on my list with satisfaction, but those resolutions aren’t the only verdict of how my 2015 went.

survived first semester.jpgJust because I didn’t do everything on that list doesn’t mean I didn’t do other stuff.

I started a blog, for one, and it’s been a pretty amazing experience so far!

I started high school, and I’m¬†surviving it! And…

I’ve become¬†stronger!

As a teen, I’m learning to love myself and to define healthy boundaries. I’m learning to take better care of myself and to put myself first in regards to my personal needs, goals and dreams.

So now, I’m feeling inspired¬†and striving to create achievable¬†resolutions for 2016. My list consists of the following:new years resolutions.jpg

  1. Finish the book.
  2. Learn guitar (play at least two songs).
  3. Strive for all A’s and B’s¬†by¬†the end of the school year.
  4. Audition for at least 3 things.
  5. Have more self confidence.
  6. Remember to smile.
  7. Be more responsible.
  8. Never miss a blog post (what did I just do).
  9. Take care of my body (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest).
  10. Stay strong.

Make sure you hold me to number 8… ūüėČ

Now it’s your turn. What are your resolutions for the new year?¬†Comment below and share some of the things you’d like to accomplish. I would love to hear all about it!

happy new year 2016.jpgHappy New Year everyone! ūüôā

Until 2016,

~Rina Raj




Selena, Demi, Lilly + Q? Who inspires YOU?!

inspiration 2What inspires you? Actually, who inspires you? Think about that for a moment. Does something, or someone, come to mind?

From what I gather, we all have role models and people we look up to. Most teens look up to celebrities and imitate their clothing and hairstyles. Some, even their personalities!

But many are more drawn to their life choices. Whether it’s battling an addiction, helping the needy or inspiring others to be a better person, we all have someone we look up to as we strive to find our purpose in life.

Whether you are inspired by a celebrity, a family member or a close friend, inspiration is a big part of life and impacts the person you are.

When I was younger, I was inspired by celebrities like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato simply because they were famous. It took a while before I understood the true meaning of inspiration. I didn’t realize how a celebrity could possibly inspire me until I was asked to write an essay on inspiration last year.

I saved my essay and today I would like to share it with you.

Qurrat Ann Kadwani, May 2013
Qurrat Ann Kadwani, May 2013

I was a very shy and self-conscious person during the summer before I entered 7th grade. I wasn’t sure of myself and I felt that I would never change. One of my friends who had just graduated middle school, informed me that this school year I would have to make a big decision. A decision that would impact me very soon.

I was going to have to choose my career.

It was something I had thought about, but they were only dreams that I felt could never be fulfilled.

I think my mother saw one of them. She listened outside my door almost every day as I read aloud the script to The Little Mermaid, changing my voice to fit each of the characters.

Shortly¬†after I started this daily ordeal, she decided to take me to see a play.they call me q¬†It was the¬†first play I had ever been to, and I was convinced that it was going to be a snooze fest because I didn’t know what to expect.

It was a one woman show. That’s right, one woman. ¬†One woman acting 13 different roles.

Most of the one woman shows I had¬†seen on YouTube consisted of a lady attempting to have a conversation with herself (and I sure didn’t¬†want to sit through something like that).

We took our seats in the front row of the dimly lit auditorium and waited for the actress to take the stage.

As we waited, I decided to read up on¬†the play. The name of the play was¬†‚ÄúThey Call Me Q‚ÄĚ and underneath the title was her name,¬†Qurrat Ann Kadwani.

qurratMoments later a girl with long, brown and definitely Indian hair took the stage. Her hair framed her caramel colored face perfectly and her beautiful brown eyes brightened as she smiled, lighting up the room.

She soon began her play starting with a piece about her name. She told of how people called her Q-RAT, but didn’t share¬†the correct pronunciation of her name (yet).

different charactersI watched in awe how Qurrat connected with the audience as she slipped through the various roles in her story. The bullies that created her horrid nickname, her brothers who helped her get through many hard times in life, and her mom who always pushed her to do her best.

At the end of the play, she finally revealed her name saying ‚ÄúYou may call me Q-RAT, but I will always be Qurrat.‚ÄĚ At¬†this point, many people in the audience were crying and laughing, but I remained just as I had before. Simply in awe!

After the show, we met up with Qurrat for dinner and she shared with me how long it had taken her to compose this play and how ecstatic she was to finally perform it. It had taken her 5 years to compose it!

inspiraion 1My mom mentioned to her how I loved to act, and Qurrat smiled that gorgeous smile saying that was great. That’s when I realized it. My career choice. I wanted to be able to do the same thing Qurrat did.

I wanted to be able to put a smile on other people’s faces, to have them leave the room with something to hold on to, something that inspires them or a message that would change their life.

Qurrat made me realize that my dream could indeed become a reality. She gave me the inspiration I needed to choose a career path that I was interested in, and that inspiration has never faded.

In fact, if it weren’t for Qurrat, I would still be wondering, still be unsure of myself.

Qurrat’s show has sold out in many places (she performed at universities and film festivals in addition to Off-Broadway in NYC) and she’s been so busy on the road to fame that we haven’t seen her since the show.

But even so, I see her in myself every time I perform and get one step closer to my dream.

selena gomezAfter writing an essay about inspiration, I realized that celebrities aren’t there just because they’re famous. I believe they exist to inspire us.

I’m not completely obsessed with Selena Gomez just because she killed it in Monte Carlo (though that is part of the reason). I’m a Selenator because she is passionate about acting and she inspires me to continue learning.demi lovato

I don’t have an infatuation with Demi Lovato simply because I’ve watched Camp Rock a gazillion times. I’m a Lovatic because she was strong enough to get back on her feet after depression and keep making beautiful music, and she inspires me to continue writing songs even when I feel discouraged.

lilly singhI definitely don’t stalk Lilly Singh on a daily basis due to the fact that her YouTube channel currently has 6,925,757 subscribers, I’m part of #TeamSuper because Lilly’s goal is to make people smile and laugh and feel good about themselves. Despite experiencing severe depression, she was able to overcome this and inspire others to love themselves. In this case, she inspires me to be comfortable in my own skin.

Now it’s your turn.¬†What inspires you? Who inspires you? And most importantly,¬†what drives that inspiration?

Share in the comments below and let’s discuss.

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj

It’s Raining Cupcakes! (Includes Recipe) :D

Hi everyone! ūüôā¬†We all have hobbies and things we do to express ourselves.¬†my favorite thing to do is sleep

Some people are really creative and like to draw or paint.

Some people put all they’ve got into a sport.

Some people play video games.

Some people like to capture precious moments through photography.

And some people pour their hearts into words and write! ūüėČ

Regardless of your hobby, if you have one, it is a definite part of who you are.

Although I have many hobbies, one of my favorites is baking.

keep calm and bake onI love to bake cupcakes! ūüėÄ

My obsession over cupcakes didn’t begin¬†until I had finished reading practically all of the books I owned (one¬†of my hobbies also includes reading).

By the time I entered into the 8th grade, I had read the¬†Harry Potter series a total of 28 times (and then proceeded to read it again¬†4 more times for a total of 32 times¬†ūüôā ), finished The Hunger Games trilogy, the Divergent trilogy, the Percy Jackson series and more. I was running out of things to read, and this was a huge problem that no one really understood.

One night – after I had debated about reading Harry Potter again – I wound up grabbing the first book I saw and reading it just because.

It was called It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder. After reading this book, I was inspired and decided to try baking my own cupcakes.

I had baked before, but not without the help of my grandmother or mom, so the experience of doing this alone was new to me.

After my first batch of cupcakes came out a success, I kept experimenting when stressed and in doubt, cupcake it outwith cupcakes and creating my own unique flavors, just like in the book.

I made cinnamon-raisin cupcakes, strawberry-lemonade cupcakes, apple-pie cupcakes, and candy-cane cupcakes (which I handed out for Christmas gifts that year).

Cupcakes became my ground for a while.

you only live once lick the bowlIf I was bullied at school, I’d bake.

If I got a poor grade on my test, I’d bake.

If I won a contest, I’d bake.

It was like throwing a bunch of random ingredients into a bowl, attempting to create a flavor and getting an awesome result. It showed me that even though something may be a mess for a while, eventually that mess will result in something wonderful.

After Christmas with my candy-cane cupcakes (which took a total of 4 days to perfect by the way), I took a break from¬†baking. This past week was the first time I’ve baked in almost a year!

Due to the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving are approaching, I noticed how everything has recently become pumpkin flavored. I’ve seen pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spaghetti sauce, pumpkin soups, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies and so on.¬†tis the season for pumpkin everything

However, there was something missing. Where were those pumpkin cupcakes?

I decided to create my very own Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes! ūüôā

I created this¬†recipe from scratch (literally adlibbed it on the spot) and was very impressed and¬†baking = loveproud of my results! I shared a few cupcakes with my¬†friends and everyone has loved them! ūüôā

So if you’re feeling like pumpkin, and feeling like cupcakes, I suggest you give this recipe a try! ¬†Let me know how it turns out for you!

image (1)

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1/2 cup pure cane sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tspn vanilla extract

2 tspn pumpkin spice

1 tspn cinnamon

1/2 tspn nutmeg

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 tspn baking powder

1/2 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the sugars together and then cream with the butter (you can use a electric beater but I just used a spoon and mixed it very well).

Add the applesauce and pumpkin and mix well. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Then, add it to the wet ingredients and stir.

Add the almond milk and mix until the batter is smooth (aim for no lumps).

Pour batter into a greased cupcake pan (or use cupcake liners), making sure to distribute the batter evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

This recipe will make one dozen (12) cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tspn vanilla extract

2 tspn pumpkin spice

1 tspn cinnamon

4 cups powdered sugar

Using an electric beater, mix the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating slowly and mixing well.

This will make more than enough to frost all 12 cupcakes.

Creative Tip: If you would like to¬†get “fancy” and decorate your cupcakes, try frosting them with white frosting, and then adding some yellow or orange food coloring to the remaining¬†frosting. Add little dollops of icing on top of¬†the white frosting. Also (if you have the patience ūüėČ ), you can try putting edible pearls on each dollop of colored icing.

“We’re throwing stuff in a bowl, and yeah, it’s a big mess for a while. But we’ll keep stirring, and we’ll cross our fingers, and we’ll hope that when we pull the batch out of the oven, it will be something wonderful.”–¬†It’s Raining Cupcakes¬†by Lisa Schroeder¬†

Until next time!

~ Rina Raj