Month: April 2013

Double Whammy!

OMG OMG OMG…okay cutting the drama!

 I am writing this post from a cloud. They call it Cloud no. 9! Thank you Salvatore Vionito for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award and thank you Petrel41 for awarding me Liebster Award!!!

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lliebester-awardI am deeply touched, honored and humbly accept these accolades. 😀

And now I shall begin my ‘speech’ *Drum Roll*

I would like to thank God, my mom, dad, cat (if I had one I would give her a cookie today), Neighbours, Teachers, Teachers families, Sorry I forgot to mention my grandparents earlier, my laptop, office desktop, my fish (yes! I did have a goldfish but she now rests in peace), my siblings, friends, foes,my children and their children (they are not born yet but I am pretty sure they would complain if I miss them)…..Am i missing out anyone? 😉

I just want to thank my blog family, my 774 followers who patiently listen to me  and bless me with their love, support and motivation. Thanks for listening to my ramblings and letting me be a part of your life.

I cannot nominate 15 blogs because I think each one of those blogs are unique and special in their own way. I would like to give it to everyone in my blogging circle.

You guys rock! Shine bright…like a star.

xxx

I remember it well…

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I saw you walking towards me

Getting closer and closer

With each swift stride

Plummeting the distance between us in seconds

That was the first time I saw you

I remember it well

I saw you sitting next to me

In a majestic Chapel

With stained glass windows and stone carvings

You watched me as my camera flashed

Capturing that moment

I remember it well

I saw you lying on the lush grass

While I sat by your side on a sun-kissed afternoon

Watching time go by, slowly and gradually

Under the calming shade of a tree

I remember it well

I saw you walking with me

In sun, rain and snow

Across different cities

Arms entwined

Steps synchronised

I remember it well

Days, months and years passed

I stopped seeing the same glint in your eyes

The glint that matched my own

It had gradually vanished followed by an immediate realisation

Making me question myself, of my value

In those gleaming eyes and your life

I remember it well

I still see you around albeit in my thoughts

Walking, sitting and lying beside me

Like parallel lines, you and I

Near or far – but never intersecting

Each going resilient in its own universe

In a different domain, estranged to the other

And I am going to remember it well...

Green Tea – Myth or Reality?

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My Green Tea Time!!! 😉

Green tea originated in China and is extremely popular in the contemporary world. Chinese have been drinking Green Tea for thousands of years due to the drink’s  innumerable healing and  health benefits.

So what does green tea do?

  • Burns Fat

Ever since I can remember I have been hearing stories about how green tea burns fats and slims you down. It affected me so much that I started drinking 2 cups until I was told, 1 cup has the same effect has multiple!

A study of overweight men in US reported that men with same diet routines and exercise regimes burnt 200 more calories per day after they started consuming green day and also increased their energy levels.

  •  Fights Cancer

Oxidation damages healthy cells of the body and have been associated to illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and strokes.The antioxidants present in green tea help fight against cancerous cells.

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde found that, delivered to skin cancer tumours in concentrated doses in a laboratory test, EGCG (antioxidant present in green tea) eradicated 40 per cent of them, while an additional 30 per cent were reduced in size.

  • Healthy Teeth

Green tea helps clean the teeth because of the presence of fluoride. Fluroide kills bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque and cavities. As a result, green tea is beneficial in maintaining healthy teeth and oral hygiene. It also helps in curing bad breath as it has high levels of an antioxidant, called polyphenols. Polyphenols attack bad breath by deactivating sulphur compounds produced by the bacteria.

  • Lowers Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance called a lipid, made in the liver. High cholesterol leads to a lot of other illnesses. Drinking green tea frequently can benefit people with high cholesterol levels as it lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and prevent the accumulation of blood clots in the body.

The Peking Union Medical College in Beijing analysed the results of 14 random trials in which participants drank green tea ranging from three to 12 months. The study found that on average, green tea was shown to reduce total cholesterol by 7.2 milligrams.

 

Pukka-tea
My fav green/herbal/min tea brand!

three_green_311x321_p258What are you waiting for? Want a cuppa green tea? GO ON THEN! xx

Pretty in Pink

Pink is ever-green! Always in fashion and personifying femininity and innocence since time immemorial.  However, having said that, we have come far ahead of the times when Pink only symbolized a gender stereotype. Today, many men rock pink with equal panache and flamboyance.

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Valentino Backstage

Powder pink, baby pink, shocking pink, fuchsia, magenta, carnation pink etc are the must haves for any wardrobe especially spring and summer. What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring in sun-starved London than to don a hot pink outfit and stride in the sun?

All you lovely people, looking pretty in pink does not entail being a Pink Panther from head to toe 😉

Even a pink scarf, pink lipstick, pink shoes, pink hair band, pink top or a pink skirt would do. Its how you use the color and brighten up your outfit!

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Its time time to THINK PINK!!!

Donna Karan 2013
Donna Karan 2013

Here are some fav PINK looks for men, women as well as animals (ENJOY!)

*Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton looking marvelous in PINK

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*Pink dominated Fall Runways in London and Milan. And now its dominating the spring trends worldwide! 

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Designers featured above, upper left and clockwise; Emilio Pucci, Luisa Beccaria, Gucci, Eley Kishimoto, Giles, Sinha Stanic, Armand Basi, Marni)

*Pink was the most popular lip colour in Oscars 2013, hello pinkys!

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Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, Anne Hathaway all donning pink..

*Heidi Klum looks extremely fresh and lovely in the pink top matched with orange trousers. She pulls off this risky combination with sheer perfection! And FYI this was her grocery shopping look!

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*Men’s Pink Spring/Summer Lookbook Inspiration – I’m lovin’ it!

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Do you have it in you to carry the colour PINK? 😀

*Pink Jackets – Spring 2013 Runway Trend: Hot Pink Jackets – instantly brightening up any outfit

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L-R: Phillip Lim, Chado Ralph Rucci, Oscar de la Renta
*PINK MOI 😉 – pink sweater and pink converse!
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* Pink Accessories

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*Pink Pets – My favorite Pink Pets Fashion

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What are you waiting for? Its time to add some pink lovin’ in your wardrobes people!!!

Hope you enjoyed! xx

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Perfectly Pink..

Kiev, Ukraine.

404018_10150974648420843_1131980578_nLast year I went to Kiev with my parents. No, you didnt get that right, it was not to watch the final of Euro Cup 2012! :p

It was a short and sweet trip  to see family members living there and add a new place to my travelling portfolio.

Wizz Air flies directly from London to Ukraine and my ticket costed around a £100 – booked it a month before! Cheapest air ticket till date…

While checking in, my mother’s hand carry trolley was said to be higher than the allowed size…but how? we measured it at home! ‘Its the wheels!’ the guys at the counter snapped. Eventually, after paying £50 we were on our way to Kiev – my father ten seats behind me on the left, my mother fifteen side ahead of me on the right, Cheers budget airlines! Lets wizz through the air now.

Upon reaching the immigration counter in Kiev, three ‘green’ passports caused a high level alert in the least busy airport I have been to in my entire travelling history. And I have traveled quite a lot! The person at the counter took our passports to some room behind him. He stayed there for 2 hours while we waited…We were told they were being photo-copied (lazy machine I guess) as Pakistan was on the list of most dangerous countries in Kiev.

Finally we were allowed to enter Ukraine! Yayyy…

Kiev is a city of gardens, cathedrals, museums and and and beautiful women. Seriously, an average woman in Kiev is around 5’8 and watching their slender legs as they walked around was one of the highlights of my trip – in a very clean, non-sleazy way.

Below are some memories from Kiev and the places I highly recommend to visit

1.Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – Caves Monastery

This was built by Kiev monks back in 1051. It is considered as a holy place and many monks are buried in these caves.

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2.Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum

Something very unique and different. Art is depicted on strands of hair, needle, grain of rice etc. Microscopes help to see these novelties.

Unfortunately, I could not take any photos of miniature drawings and cravings done by Ukrainian artists! But here are some images of the museum that I found online

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3. St. Michael’s Cathedral

A lovely, small church with a lot of history. There is no entry fee for this.

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4.Great Patriotic War Museum

Depicts vast collections of world war 2 artifacts, photos and vehicles. If you do not speak Russian/Ukrainian try and take a language translator or some translation device with you. Entry is very cheap and this museum is definitely worth a visit! DO GO!

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5. Khreshchatyk Street

It is refereed to as the Ukrainian version of  ‘Shanzelize’ street in Paris, France. Surrounded by shopping centers, banks, restaurants, it serves as a great commercial hub for both tourists and locals. It just never sleeps…lights, people, cars keeping moving from one end to another – bustling with life!

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wefff

6. Rodina Mat (Motherland)

Please do go to the top of the statue! Elevators, walks and after taking a couple of street laders, you finally get to the top. The view from here is spectacular!

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7.Kiev Funicular

Made available to the public on 7th May 1905 (constructed between 1902 and 1905), the Kyiv Funicular connects Uppertown and the lower commercial area of Kiev. The ticket is $0.20 one way!

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8.National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is among the oldest universities in kiev, Ukraine. Fuunded  in 1834, the University has made a commendable contribution to the education in Ukraine.

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9. Touristy Shops

There are plenty of touristy shops with lots of souvenir around the main city center. Loved them!

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10. Founder’s Monument

The monument is sculptures of 4 siblings: 3 Princes and one Princess, who was founded city at 6th centuries AD. Many people believe it is more of a myth than reality.

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3 brothers and 1 sister!
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Every ribbon represent a wish of somebody…

11. Eternal Glory Park

This is dedicated to the  soldiers of the nation in the “Great Patriotic War” and the actual complex is 9.5 hectares. The fire burns here, day and night…eternally!

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Other than these, YOU’VE GOT TO SEE places, below are some sites and places I discovered while walking and driving around the historic city of Kiev! Some of favourite sights…

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Kiev was the host of Euro Cup 2012

 

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View from the apartment I was staying at.
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Ukraine: Kiev – Famine Memorial
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Says everything…
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Awesome view from the founder’s park
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Newly married couple getting their photo-session done
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Upside down tree…whoa!
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Random street concert in Ukranian haha….was free!
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Best Chocolate shop ever! Lviv handmade chocolates.
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Johnny Depp follows me everywhere…
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Traditional Attire
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One sunny afternoon…
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River Cruise!!!
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Arch of friendship
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Walking Walking…
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Extremely friendly people. Made more friends in 4 days in Ukraine than I did in 4 years in London! FACT.
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Cold coffee cravings…

I would have taken more food photos if i knew I would blog about it one day! 😉

Hope you enjoyed xx

The ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’!!!

Thank you living with healthy outlook  and Motivationaltalks for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! It is my FIRST blog award and firsts are always special!!! 🙂

I am extremely honored, humbled and deeply touched by your kind nomination and I definitely accept it.

Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

7 interesting things about myself.

1. I either fly high or lie below. Nowhere in the middle!

2. I wished to have weak eye-sight and a fractured bone while I was young. Since then, I have had both.

3. I have fallen in 3 gutters till date including a street gutter. My father’s friend pulled me out.

4. I scratched the attendant on my first day at school. So much so that she started bleeding and had bruise marks on her face. I was only 4 and thought she was kidnapping me away from my mother.

5. I love travelling anywhere and everywhere. New destinations and different cultures deeply fascinate me.

6. I aspire to run a charity one day and work for the underprivileged. Its my biggest dream after being a source of pride for my parents.

7. I am a people’s person. Nobody and Nothing is more important than my family and friends. Period.

Here are the Blogs I nominate because I find them awesome!

  1. Harsh Reality
  2. Paul Davis
  3. In a different place
  4. Good Times Stories
  5. Miss Scarlett teaches and learns
  6. Silvia Writes
  7. Yas Blogs
  8. Kooky Miss Match
  9. Maiden Aunt
  10. Golden Cage
  11. Everything Else Thrown in
  12. This is your best year
  13. Coco Michelle’s Lifestyle Blog!
  14. Bucket List Publications
  15. Wonderland by Tatu

Here are the official rules of acceptance:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Keep Smiling! 🙂

xxx

Happy Birthday Papa!!!


bbbWhen I was in grade 8, I failed Mathematics mid-term exam. To be specific, my marks were 32/100.

It did not matter if I had scored over 80% in the remaining subjects. The red line on my report card came as a lightening thunder for my Father. We were at a dinner when he was told and immediately his face went expressionless. A smile replaced by a grim, sour line across his mouth. Like, he was in utter shock. In denial. He did not say anything and yet conveyed his sorrow. Emphatically.

It was the worst thing to experience as a 12 year old especially when your father is your biggest source of motivation. I remember that feeling.  He was hurt and I felt like an amateur criminal, guilty as charged!

My father’s entire universe revolved around his children and continues to do so. He would never spend a penny on himself but ensured his children attended best schools, ate at the most famous restaurants  and gained international exposure through frequent travelling.

So….what did I do to make up? I went to school from 8 am till 2 pm and then took private maths tuition which lasted from 4 pm till 9 pm. I would sit in the tuition academy and practice every single Maths question – text books, past papers…everywhere!  I did this for the next half term.

Exhausted brain, aching finger joints, blurred vision, constant yawning were now my new best friends.

I kept pushing myself and reminding myself that life indeed begins outside your comfort zone. My final exam result was 90/100. Even till today I am baffled where did the remaining 10 marks go 🙂 but oh well…Thank God!

Maths and I had never been on good terms until my father came along. Everybody was astounded by my spectacular performance and there were accolades coming in from everywhere including friends, teachers….but I just remember one expression, the smile on my father’s face which glistened with pride for me. The smile was back.

A girl who couldn’t even solve a simple maths problem, ended up taking Additional Mathematics in O’levels (grade 9,10,11)  along with normal Maths and eventually scored A’s in both.

That’s how my father inspires me. He has taught me time and again, things worth having in life don’t come easy. If they were easy, then their worth would erode away, simply evaporate! And yes, failure is the first step towards success. Literally in my case! 😉

Happy Birthday Papa!

10th April 2013

Mornings

Sun_and_misty_mornings_by_Buble

Mornings are not my cup of tea

If it were in my control, I would just flee

Somewhere far away

Without a piercing ray

Enjoying my pacific sleep

Away from the alarms infuriating beep

Lost profoundly in blissful silence

Distant from clatters of morning violins

Free from the shackles of senses

Climbing over rusted fences

Into a different place

Breathing, at my own pace

Where sedated owls tranquilly sleep

In murky forests, thick and deep

Listen to your heart-beat, like a mother’s lullaby

Never losing out its rhythm even as time goes by

Shhh! Just close your eyes

Till the throbbing morning flies…

~~~

9.04.13

Patogh – Scrumptious Iranian Cuisine!

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Biggest Bread Ever!

I have never been to Iran physically but I feel I have traveled to Tehran and beyond owing to my obsession for Iranian food.

Recently, I discovered Patogh after a sudden pang of craving for chicken kebabs and tender lamb curry. Located on Crawford Road, London, it is just a few minutes’ walks from Marble Arch tube station – Patogh is by far the best Persian cuisine I have eaten in London.

Patogh is a small and compact place with a  limited seating. There is no fancy decoration and please forget fine-dining when you decide to pay the restaurant a visit. Tables are shared, mocha walls are decorated with old Persian paintings and antique red lanterns. The moment I entered, it felt like I had stepped into an abandoned Persian  kingdom which had lost it glory and grandeur in a long forgotten battle, hundreds of years back. As my growling stomach pulled me back to reality, I desperately hoped that the food would be good and YES! It exceeded my expectations! 🙂

Food is the main highlight of Patogh. It is prepared in front of you as you order. Specialties include: gigantic bread sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with mint yogurt ( I can bet you wouldn’t have seen a BIGGER bread than this!), Hummus, Chicken/Beef Skewers and Kebabs served with Saffron Rice with a slice of butter on top ..YUMMM!

Me and my friend shared a lamb curry with chick peas , cooked in delicious Iranian spices and tastefully garnished with ginger and a chicken Kebab  which comprised of 2 huge Kebabs and served with saffron rice, boiled tomatoes and salad. We also tried their mint yogurt drink which is quite similar to lassi (yogurt-based drink which originated in the Punjab region in Subcontinent. It is made by blending yogurt with water and spices).

At a quick glance, Patogh is definitely worth a visit! They have:

– Huge Portions

– Mouth-Watering Food

– Economical (we ordered 2 mains, 2 starters, 3 drinks, pot of mint tea  and our bill was only £26!!!)

– Efficient and friendly Service

They don’t accept payment by card so get some cash out from the nearest cash point before you get set to relish some juicy kebabs 😉

Highly recommended, make sure you go with an appetite! Definitely a journey that made me feel like I was in a food street in Iran, munching on greedily…Oh the joy!

LIVE Cookin' :)
LIVE Cooking!
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Heavenly Hummus!
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Lamb with chick peas
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YUM YUM Chicken Kebabs with Saffron Rice! nomm nomm nomm
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Sauces and Oils

xx

Waves

The sun is about to set
Like a rule laid down in a bet

I stand on the shore
While my heart is painfully tore

The wind blows and whistles
While moving dexterously through my hair

Like a mother’s hand
Like a baby’s touch

Sky dips in flames
Notwithstanding any new games

Far across the distance, a sea-gull glides
From the shadows of the night it hides

The waves ferociously roar
Shaking my soul, to the very core

Washing the sand away
Of the past and the present

Bringing with them a gift
In the form of a new commencement

I examine my feet anew
Exactly like flowers sparkle at dawn, full of dew

For now when I hear the waves coming
I find myself lost in their tune, involuntarily humming

Eastbourne, 2009.
Eastbourne, 2009.

~~~
14th Sept 2009