Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Day I Decided to Quit Law School

After more than five years of working as a paralegal, one day, I decided to go to law school. I did not know how I was going to do it or what I had to do to make this happen, all I knew is that I was going to take a leap of faith and jump! As I began the journey in Fall of 2012, there were many times, I felt defeated, devastated, exhausted, and unable to give anymore of myself, yet somehow I persevered. The most memorable moment was the day I decided to quit law school. I had started attending law school in a part time evening program that would allow me to continue to work full time. My week days consisted of waking up at 6am everyday, dressing and preparing my three boys  ages, 12, 9 and 6 for school everyday. Later, the commute to downtown Miami to my full time job as a paralegal in a boutique law firm would follow. My schedule was from 9am through 5pm. Thereafter I would drive North 30 miles into a neighboring county to attend law school from 6pm to 10pm at night. I would then return home only to begin again. During one of these days, I was at the end of my rope. I felt I could no longer give anymore of myself. I was empty, tired, overextended in every way possible. On this night, I decided to quit law school. I drove home in tears, devastated to be in this position and to feel this way. What was I doing with my life? Taking time from my kids and family, taking out student loans to pay for law school, wasting needed resources and feeling drained everyday of my life. It no longer made sense to continue in this path. Drowning in tears and driving through the dark highway, I came to peace with this decision. It was ok to fail and quit law school as it would have been worse to not have tried at all.

What happened in the next moments was unexpected. As I  arrived home in tears and bid farewell to the babysitter watching my boys that night, I lay down my purse and heavy books, took off my heels and walked into my room, finally at peace, away from the noise of the world. I was perplexed as I looked at the wall next to my bed. There were various pieces of paper on the wall with writing on them. Confused as to what this could be, I looked closer. What I found brought even more tears to my eyes, but strength to my soul. The wall was filled with writings by my 9 year old son, middle child. The first writing said “Be the Change  you with to be – Gahndi.” The second writing said “Heros are Not Forgotten Legends never Die – Babe Ruth.” The last piece of paper was a list of goals I had written myself. The last goal written on the bottom of that list was “Finish law school.” There was something different about this list, at the bottom there was an added message from my son, which read “Keep Going MA, love You From: Chris J.” The tears took over and there I was overwhelmed with emotion. The day I had made up my mind to quit and move on from law school, was the day I was faced with this message to keep on keeping on. There was no doubt in my mind that this message was heaven sent from greater powers. What would compel a nine year old to paste writings on a wall for his mom on that very day? Only a greater power could do that. In that moment, I knew that despite the turmoil, despite the exhaustion, I had to keep going, keep going to fulfill my purpose and end goal and that is what I did. Today, I am a practicing attorney, and I owe it in great part to my son.

The writings from my son. I will cherish these always and forever for they made me who I am today and continue to become. 
As a way of giving back and helping single moms in this same position, this New Year, we are launching the "Moms in Law School Program" campaign through the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Children First Foundation USA, to provide scholarships to single moms in Florida law schools to help pay for tuition, books, living expenses, and child care. The application period will open in August 2018 and awards will be made by a selection committee in January 2019. Make a DONATION by clicking here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

France in Miami: Delices de France

Take a drive to the area of Palmetto Bay where you will find an unsuspecting French Bakery in a modest strip mall.

You may or may have not heard of Delices de France. This is my favorite French Boulangerie in Miami. Boulangerie means a bakery that specializes in baking and selling bread. They are also a patisserie and cafe. A patisserie is a place where French pastries and cakes are sold. The bakery is a little piece of authentic France in the outskirts of Miami. I have yet to find a bakery that compares to Delices de France anywhere in Miami. I have to say it is even better than some of the boulangeries and patisseries I have visited in France. Everything is high quality, fresh and utterly delicious! Even the least popular food item will taste good. 

You will usually find a line in the mornings as a testimony to the amazing croissants, sandwiches, pastries, desserts and coffee they sell. Here are some of my favorite things which I highly recommend:

1. Dalmations - These are mini croissants that melt in your mouth. A regular croissant with black seeds with a moist center coated with a sweet sugary clear glaze.

2. Almond Croissant - This croissant has a nice moist center that is filled with a rich almond paste and sprinkled with white powdered sugar. It is also available as a mini croissant.

3. Panomelette - This is a simple egg sandwich that is not on the menu. It is plain eggs in a circular shape as a small omelette on fresh bread. This item usually sells out in the mornings. Make sure to get there early if you would like to try this.

4. Chocolate Mousse - The mini chocolate mousse is spectacular. It is a scrumptious and delectable chocolate mousse encapsulated by a chocolate dome with a spongy layer cake on the bottom. This is also available in large cake sizes. 

5. Mozzarella Platter - This is fresh mozzarella served with Roma tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil and a roll.

6. Mochaccinno - This is a capuccino with Belgian chocolate that is melted into the coffee. You can choose soy milk and almond milk in lieu of regular milk.

7. Noisette - The traditional coffee with cream just as in France is also available and it is delicious. Much like a Miami cortadito, but with a French twist. Instead of milk, cream is used and mixed with the coffee.

They have many croissants and pastries to choose from. They also have amazing holiday logs and cakes available. If you want to impress at your holiday party, be sure to buy a dessert from here!


They are located at 14453 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33176. Their hours are Monday thru Friday from 7am - 6pm and from 7am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to pay them a visit. You will not regret it!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

O’Bistrot de Tom: Mingle and Eat Among Locals in Paris

Take a stroll from the Champs Elysees, through the Jardins du Champs Elysees, to the Grand Palais and and you will stumble upon O'Bistrot de Tom, located at 59 rue d'Anjou 75008 Paris. This bistro is in a local neighborhood and a good distance from touristy restaurants. It offers a great ambience, positive vibes, a low key bar and amazing food. As soon as you sit down, they will offer the menu, water and a small bowl of peanuts and pretzels. 

The menu has a wonderful variety of foods. A great selection of salads, appetizers, main entrees, wines and desserts. Pictured here is the Chèvre Chaud (Warm Goat Cheese) listed under the Appetizers section "Pour Commencer."

The cozy bar is a great place to mingle among locals. The dishes are authentic French cuisine with a great variety and reasonable prices. Excellent and delicious flavors mixed with the Parisian vibe. The service is also excellent. 

A must visit if you are in Paris! Here are some more photos.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Baroque & Opera: Magic in Venice

A must see performance in Venice. It takes place in the Salone Capitolare of Scuola Grande di San Teodoro. I met some fellow travelers by chance. This beautiful couple left me with a brochure from I Musici Veneziani. My eyes lit up as I read Baroque and Opera was the performance set to take place the next evening. I booked my ticket online at

There are two options, Category A (39 Euros) and Category B (29 Euros). The first category is for first and front row seating. The second category is for middle row seating and beyond. Reduced prices are offered. Grab an early dinner as no food or beverages are offered at the venue. You can also pick up a calzone or a pomodoro e mozzarella sandwich for just 5 euros on the way there. 

The ambience is relaxed. People arrived in jeans, just as they arrived in slacks and winter dresses. You may present a paper or electronic version of your ticket. Seating begins at 8:00 p.m. Arrive early, seating is on a first come, first serve basis. If you arrive before 8:00 p.m. you will wait in the general area until 8:00 p.m. when the doors open. You will go up  stairs to the performance area. The seats are very simple. The performances begin at 8:30 p.m.

The performance began subtly with variations of instrumental baroque music and opera. All the orchestra members and opera singers were dressed in Baroque style costumes. It was like time travel into the era of Mozart and other great composers. As the opera duets begin, the voices penetrate the entire venue. Emotive verses mixed with natural gestures cause pleasing chills. This was real Venice. You become one of the Venetians, immersed in the culture, the magic, of everything that is Venice.  Next performance is on December 9th. Be there!

A view of the intimate and cozy stage

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