Have A Lovely Weekend

Have A Lovely Weekend

Good morning caffeinated nation — it’s morning somewhere in the world. I hope your weekend is wonderful thus far! Today we wanted to share a dash of positivity by sharing our morning.

Full disclosure, I am not sure that I subscribe to karma (a concept that can be summarized with “what goes around comes around“). But I am a firm believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.

At the same time, I think it’s a good idea to add positivity into the world, without expecting anything in return. It’s just a better way of life. As such, this morning Wife was the recipient of this weekend’s first random act of kindness.

After a long week at work, we were happy to sleep in today. But our four-legged feline had other plans. She jumped ferociously across the bed waking us up to serve her breakfast, which wife generously took care of — that’s when inspiration struck.

It occurred to me to brighten Wife’s day with some flapjacks for breakfast! She loves it when I cook them for her, and today was not the exception. Kodiak Cakes’ 100% whole grain mix, milk, and an egg mixed and cooked in a buttered griddle, yielded the delicious breakfast above.

I was happy to see Wife happy. Now we venture into our weekend thankful for each other. Quick appreciation note, I love the “Hubby” coffee mug (pictured) that she surprised me with earlier this week. Thank you amazing, loving, thoughtful wife!

Tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? Do you like to sleep in, or wake up early to seize the day? What is your favorite topping on flapjacks?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

Story time! A few years ago I left my native Los Angeles to move to New York. Most people would probably love that opportunity; in fact, most people would likely jump on that boat in a heartbeat. I however, reluctantly accepted a job in Manhattan, took a one-way flight, and started a new life in the East Coast.

Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps, I quickly realized that I hated it. Not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity, but it is known that Angelinos tend to hate New York, and New Yorkers tend to hate Los Angeles. Having had lived long enough in both cities, I can absolutely understand why, the lifestyles are vastly different. But that’s a story for another time.

So there I was, a young urban professional in the city that people would kill to be in — and all I wanted to do was leave. Sure, I wanted to make things work, but I was also ready to move back to LA in an instant. With that in mind, I sat down to think, why do people want to move to New York?

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It was a serious question. I had never had any desire to even visit New York, let alone move there. So why then, are so many people obsessed with that city? I thought that if I could answer that question, I could take advantage of my stay for as long as it lasted. Google search after google search, I began to learn just how much New York had to offer. That’s when I realized how ignorant I really was. Museums, parks, landmarks, cuisine, and of course, Broadway. New York had it all — except for Walmart.

Equipped with a new mindset, I set out to make the most of my time in New York. It was challenging at first, specially given my socioeconomic status at the time — I did not know anyone and I could barely afford to eat. But with perseverance and some resourcefulness, I quickly turned things around. I could write a book about my years in New York, but for now I’ll just say that: I set myself the goal of going to Broadway once a month for as long as I lived in New York (after all, I thought I may only be there for a month or two); I saw over 40 Broadway musicals and plays.

I loved New York. I still do! I just don’t live there anymore. But that mentality of taking advantage of my stay because it may not last forever, truly enabled me to make the most of my time in New York.

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By contrast, at some point along the way I realized that prior to New York, I had missed out on all of the fun things to do in LA — because I took it for granted. At the time, I thought that since I was not a tourist, I would always have access to everything LA has to offer. But then suddenly, I didn’t.

Thankfully, the love of my life brought me back to the best coast, I mean, West Coast. Now, I intend to utilize the lesson I learned in New York here in Los Angeles, which effectively boils down to one thing — to live my best life. As such, I look forward to all of the touristy LA things that people come to the city of angels for and more.

Tell me, would you be interested in learning what are the best things to do in LA? Perhaps the best things to do in LA for couples? Or maybe even the best things to do in LA for locals?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Igorelick)

The Pizza Cookery

The Pizza Cookery

After securing the pizza ingredients, it was time to channel my inner Master Chef. I feel confident with this challenge, I have been perfecting this dish for over a decade. That said, you do not win Master Chef by playing it safe, so I decided to try a few new things such as garlic salt to stand out from the competition — I can hear Gordon Ramsay asking me in his British accent “Why on earth would you choose to try something you’ve never done before on such a crucial night?

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for me, today’s dish will not be evaluated by our standard judges; but rather, by the most important person on earth, my stunning wife. She has flown all the way from the living room to be in this Master Chef kitchen with us tonight. I feel privileged and honored to be cooking for such a distinguished guest tonight.

I am looking at my fresh basil, succulent Roma tomato, and spicy jalapeno, and I feel good about what’s in my metaphorical basket. I am ready when suddenly, in an unprecedented turn of events, a new judge emerges from behind the scenes, right in the middle of the competition — a first in Master Chef. Introducing for the first time, our beloved third member of the family, Bagheera.

Bagheera, or Baggsy as I like to call her, is an even tougher judge. She’s been in the eating business for 3 years, and has an insatiable desire to eat all the cat food worldwide. Now, she’s looking for the one person good enough to become America’s first, Baggsy Chef. Just look at her intently evaluating the freshness of the basil. With 90 minutes on the clock, the competition begins, now!

Graham Elliot approaches my station and asks me why pizza. “As an American of partial Italian descent, pizza is very close to my heart” I reply while focusing on adding the right amount of salt to my flour. “What’s the most important thing to do right now for your dish?” he asks. “The dough, I need to make sure it has enough time to rise” I respond as I begin to knead the dough. “Will you have enough time to let the dough rise?” he follows up. “Yes Chef” I assure him. “Good luck!” he says with skeptical undertones. “Thank you Chef” I conclude the conversation as I move on to the sauce.

With just enough time for the pizza to bake, I place it in the oven and hope that the risks pay off. I stare at my pie through the oven window as the crusts begin to turn golden brown. The clock keeps ticking. I look at the pie, then at the clock, and back to the pie. We are down to the last few minutes. I open the oven door, confirm it is cooked, and take the pie out. “60 seconds remaining,” I hear the judges say. I briefly let the pizza cool down before plating. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hands up!” they shout.

It came down to the last second, but I did it! Feeling accomplished, the judges ask me to come up. Joe Bastianich makes his way to me, “describe your plate” he commands. I imagine him throwing my plate in the trash, then snap out of it. “Today I present an American rendition of a traditional Margherita pie composed of fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes instead of San Marzano, and organic basil, drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil.” He looks at my plate, then at me. We make eye contact when, enter our guest judges, wife and Baggsy.

The wife is pleased and the Baggsy is satisfied just sniffing. I exhale a sigh of relief! That was an intense challenge, one that ultimately was worth it just to see my gorgeous wife smile.

Tell me, have you ever made pizza from scratch? Do you enjoy cooking, or do you prefer take-out? What is your favorite dish to cook?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Comfortable With Change

Comfortable With Change

Said no one ever — not truthful at least. I hear you in the front row, yes, you with the unwavering confidence of youth. I see the refutation in your eyes, and I politely ask you to hear me out first.

I know what you’re thinking, “I can take on any challenge. Nothing can stop me. Bring it!” And maybe that’s true, but it does not mean it will be smooth sailing. In fact, it more than likely won’t be, and that’s because of the unfamiliar, the unforeseeable, and the curve balls that come out of nowhere — change.

As humans, we yearn for homeostasis, our bodies literally react to our environments (against our wills) to reach a state of comfort. This is one of the few things I remember from my science courses in undergrad, but it does not take a degree to acknowledge that if it’s too hot we seek shade, it it’s too cold we seek shelter, and if it’s too different, we seek the known. That is to say, as humans, we reject change.

We naturally gravitate to the comfortable, that which does not challenge us, but rather keeps us in a metaphorical room from which stepping out of is tedious at best, and nearly impossible at worst. This is our comfort zone.

“Change is the only constant in life.”

Heraclitus

For all that we do, consciously and subconsciously to remain in this comfort zone by avoiding change, our efforts are futile. That is because, if there is one guarantee in this life besides death, it is that sooner or later we will face some degree of change — ironically, it is the only constant in life.

Think about it. Growing up every year you experienced different teachers, different subjects, and likely different classmates. If your family moved, you had different homes. Eventually you move out of your parents’ home, join the workforce, and if you’re lucky, you find someone who you get to build a family with — your life is filled with changes.

So why then, resist it? Why not expect it and welcome it with open arms? Why not embrace it? To that end, returning to the young soul in the front row, I am here to tell you that you’re right. You can accomplish your goals. You can overcome that adversity. You can do it. I just want you to know one thing.

It won’t be easy, nothing in life worth doing ever has been. Whatever goal you may have, whether it be getting in shape, climbing out of a hole, or even meeting new people, it will require change — and thus discomfort. And there may be times when it will feel like too much, when you will want to give up, when you will want to return to your comfort zone. It is then, when you will need to remember that, there will always be change, and it may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it.

Tell me, how do you feel about change? Do you resist it, or do you embrace it? When was the last time you faced it, and how did you approach it?

(Featured Image by: Kristian Design)

The Pizza Ingredients

The Pizza Ingredients

The wife and I have been watching Master Chef lately — a famous cooking competition show that we had somehow managed to unintentionally evade since its inception a decade ago. It was originally intended to be background noise as we took care of chores such as folding laundry or washing dishes. But with time, we started to pay attention. Before we knew it, we were invested. Now, I am inspired to cook.

I, like most people, have passionately loved pizza since, well, since I can remember. For that reason, 13 years ago I decided to try making my own, from scratch. Long story short, it was disgusting. The dough was under-cooked, the sauce was unbearably salty, and the toppings were sub-par — the memory still haunts me. Over a decade later, through perseverance and multiple, multiple attempts, I have perfected The Ramdolfi Pizza™ (not actually trademarked).

Master Chef in mind and inspiration in heart, we drove to the grocery store to acquire the freshest of ingredients for the freshest of pizzas. Admittedly, Mrs. Ramdolfi is vastly more talented in selecting the perfect fruits, including tomatoes — and yes, they are technically considered fruits. For that reason, the stunning wife pictured above helped me pick the perfect tomato for this pie.

Ready to create the perfect pizza sauce with the perfect tomatoes, I proceeded to inspect the store’s basil for freshness, as pictured above. Satisfied with their selection, we moved on to the garlic, mozzarella, and other secret ingredients. It’s actually a rather simple recipe, but it is one that I’ve been developing since the mid 2000’s.

Fun fact: The wife enjoys riding the ends of shopping carts — up until I decide to take pictures, then she is just unamused. I like to give her a hard time, but the truth is that I think it’s adorable, which is why I also tend to encourage it.

Back to Master Chef. Upon securing the most delicious ingredients, I spotted some items that beckoned me with their tempting convenience…

I entertained them for an instant, and even lifted them just to confirm what I instinctively knew, they were but a mockery of Italian cuisine. Could they make a decent pie? Maybe. But would I have to turn in my Italian card? Absolutely. Unamused by these Americanized ingredients, we headed straight to the self-checkout stations, and on to our Master Chef challenge at home.

Tell me, do you like to have shows playing as background noise? Do you pronounce it tomato or to-mah-to? Would you rather buy premade meals or make your own from scratch?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

It’Sugar Candy Store

It’Sugar Candy Store

Spider-Man: Far From Home was awesome! But our date was far from over. Universal CityWalk still had much to offer. As we wandered around, we stumbled upon some interesting shops, including It’Sugar — and no, that’s not a typo.

The Ramdolfis wandering around CityWalk for fun

It’Sugar is a large candy store that offers specialty sweets, some of which I had never even heard of before. The wife spotted the store and quickly led me into it. I was initially reluctant to follow, but she was so excited! It’s difficult to say no to an excited wife.

The thing about candy is that it’s delicious, but unless you have Mrs. Ramdolfi’s metabolism, you are certain to pay the price. If you’re like me, you were not blessed with the genetic material required to consume sweets and process them like they’re veggies. As such, I was not amused by the plethora of colorful temptations surrounding me — but wife was.

Mr. Ramdolfi unamused with the plethora of sweets tempting him to make poor decisions

The truth is that I have actively been trying to get back in shape for the last few months, so partaking in any of these treats would be counterproductive to say the least — even if they do have all sorts of Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors including Krispy Kreme!

It’Sugar was a fun stop, but ultimately we chose to be responsible adults, with aging bodies that prefer nutrition over tasty empty calories, and leave before we changed our minds.

Tell me, do you have a sweet tooth? What is your favorite candy? Are you still able to consume sugar confections without gaining a pound, or have you reached the age of conscious eating?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Never Give Up

Never Give Up

From time to time we all need some motivation, a reminder of why we do what we do… About a decade ago, a Canadian prodigy preached to the world about the importance of never saying never — yeah, you know the song. I propose an amendment to this gospel, to accept “never give up.”

Often we find ourselves doubting ourselves, thinking it was not meant to be, cutting our losses, and giving up. And sometimes that is ok! Sometimes the wise thing to do is indeed to know when to stop and move on. But I believe that most times success is but one last try away.

Sure, it is easier said than done. I do not argue that, at all. I do however firmly stand by my conviction that most impossible things are actually possible. Difficult yes, and perhaps not probable, but definitely possible. The rest depends on you.

Success stems directly from your ability to fail and try again. Success is a matter of what you are willing to do (and cease to do) to accomplish it. Success is less about skill and more about character. The question then becomes: Is your success worth the sacrifice?

With this in mind I leave you with a quote from a man whose wisdom echos across the centuries: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Pixabay)