Category: A few of my favourite things

High Heel Envy

By , October 3, 2011 11:59 am

I pose to you a very simple question, yet which has perplexed me for a long time: How do women walk in high heels?

I see them rushing to work at the tube stations in them. I see them standing for hours at parties in them. And now to make all of us mere mortals feel even more incompetent, apparently they even carry around babies in 7 inch heels!

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I remember rushing for a presentation in uni and was almost in tears after my 15 minutes’ walk. Another time I ended up walking barefoot in the supermarket when I couldn’t take the pain any more (the supermarket was a detour on the way to a restaurant, in case you think I wear heels for grocery shopping). And it doesn’t matter what brand I buy. They all KILL my feet. Sometimes I think I need to woman up and bear the pain, but really there’s too much other pain to bear as it is. So yeah I think I’ll pass on this.

I reserve heel wearing to the most formal of occasions: weddings, parties and celebratory dinners. But I love heels and hence, envy all women who carry them off so effortlessly.

These days my eyes are set on these gorgeous nude patent leather platforms. It seems like nude is the new black: it’s super versatile and goes with almost anything.

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Ok I have to admit: it was after seeing Kate Middleton’s Canada tour pics that I fell in love with them. No surprise that LK Bennett’s website says they are no longer in stock.

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Seeing Victoria Beckam tottering about in 7 inch Christian Louboutin nude platforms while carrying her baby sort of ruined it for me (sour grapes?).

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So I’ve decided to settle for the next best thing: tan moccasins. Just a slight substitute.

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Falooda

By , May 17, 2011 10:22 am

Last night we had Falooda at Gifto’s in Southall and it was yummy. I think it is a bit of an acquired taste- it’s interesting how the things we love have some sort of pleasant childhood memory associated with them.

I remember having falooda the first time as a child when I was 9 I think. More than the taste, I loved that it was so colourful and served in a tall glass with a spoon. And I’m not talking about the boring kulfi falooda which consists of just the vermicelli noodles and kulfi (a rich Pakistani ice cream) mostly sold in Islamabad- I mean the full deal with the kulfi, vermicelli, tukhmalanga, milk, red syrup and chopped nuts on top. I think the first one I ever had also had jelly in it. I don’t think a lot of places in Pindi and Islamabad do it. I was asking my mom today where it was that I’d first had it and she said it was probably in Karachi or Sargodha.

This is a perfect summer drink as it is served chilled either with kulfi or vanilla ice cream and with tukhmalanga aka tukmari (google tells me they are sweet basil seeds!) which are known for their cooling properties. They are very similar to tapioca seeds: you soak them in water and they become soft and jelly-like.

Here’s an easy recipe I found online- will be trying it out soon.

Recipe

Ingredients: serves 2

Milk: 2 cups
Falooda vermicelli: handful
Rose syrup or Rooh Afza : 2-3 tbsp
Tukhmalanga seeds: 1 tbsp
Vanilla ice cream: 2 scoops

Boil the vermicelli in water for about 20 min, drain the excess water and let it cool. Soak the tukhmalanga seeds, they will puff up and double in size in about 15 min.

In a glass add cooked vermicelli (cool), and soaked tukhmalanga and rose syrup, pour in cold milk and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy! :)

 

Courtesy: http://turmericnspice.blogspot.com

 

A great day :)

By , July 4, 2010 3:39 pm

Yesterday was a great day. It was bright and sunny but with a cool breeze. As Asim was watering the plants, I made breakfast and we had it outside in the garden. With the breeze blowing, it was one of the most calming feelings in the world. I realize I sound like I’m 50 when I admit that, but I’ve always been an old soul :)

Later we went for a run (ahem: more like a jog cum brisk walk) and I came home absolutely red in the face but feeling great. In the afternoon, we went for an introduction to the Landmark Forum that Asim had organized as part of a course he’s doing (I drove!) and then met up with our respective circle of friends (I met up with two friends from my work who I did my internship with and Asim met up with two university friends one of whom is visiting from Paksitan!). We first sat outside for an hour or so just gossiping and catching up with our iced frappes and coffees and then moved indoors to a nearby Nando’s and continued chatting (with loads of leg-pulling and crazy laughter) over dinner! I don’t think I had laughed so much in weeks! :D

After I got home (it was about 11), I still had the energy to tidy up my room and kitchen. When the house is clean, especially my room, my mind feels relaxed and uncluttered (hmm somebody wise said that not too long ago and I absolutely agree..lol). With flowers by my bedside and fresh clean sheets smelling of lavender, I fell asleep in seconds completely at peace with myself and life! :)

Great days come in all shapes and sizes. It really depends on what you need at the time. It could be a day spent in bed watching a movie; or laughing with friends and cleaning your home! I realize that the weather usually, not always, plays a huge part in it too. Make the most of the summer sunshine (or in Pakistan’s case the monsoons) while we have it!

What makes a day ‘great’ for you? :)

Mesmerizing music

By , June 12, 2010 10:24 am

Coke Studio is one of the best things that has happened to the Pakistani music scene in a while. Yes, I’m even willing to overlook the overt commercialization/branding that goes with a multinational like Coke. The music Rohail Hayat has produced has been absolutely phenomenal. The fusion of folk and western forms of music has worked so well. And it’s not even ‘fusion’ as we’re used to. It takes fusion to a completely new level. It almost sounds like a cliche but this really is mesmerizing music.

I’m in love with this new song ‘Alif Allah Chambey di Booti’…have been listening to it on repeat. Was a bit skeptical of Meesha Shafi’s vocal talents, but she hasn’t done bad. Arif Lohar has gained new-found respect. We grew up watching him with his funny bright satin shiny clothes and the quintessential ‘chimta’. The beauty of Coke Studio is that it makes you appreciate folk singers and their art without thinking it’s comical or out of place. Wonderful stuff! Enjoy!

A few of my favourite things…

By , May 29, 2010 2:37 pm

I know it’s terribly frivolous and self-indulgent, but I’m introducing a new category on the blog called ‘A Few of My Favourite Things’. These are things that have got me excited and I want to rave about them to others.

Here’s a pick of a few that I’m currently gushing over:

Victoria Sandwich Cake

I love love LOVE M&S Victoria Sandwich Cake. It’s a soft buttery sponge cake layered with vanilla buttercream and strawberry conserve, dusted with icing sugar. Need I say more? :)

Lemon Yellow Colour

For someone who refused to wear yellow on her mehndi or mayoun (because I was sick of seeing everyone else wearing it), I have recently fallen in love with yellow. Especially a fresh summery shade of lemon yellow. I love my yellow cardigan and my sweet lemon body butter from the Body Shop.

Oh and I reminisce about my yellow Top Shop sandals that my sister Zunu expropriated on a previous trip to Pakistan!

Mr Muscle Oven

Last but not least I am in awe of Mr Muscle Oven cleaner. No, this is not a joke. I’m serious. It deserves a mention because it absolutely works magic.

This is nothing to be proud of but my microwave oven was absolutely filthy (umm just imagine a few months worth of grease and grime and you’ll get the picture) and I was dreading having to clean it. Previously I’d used dishwashing detergent and a sponge to do the job and what a misery that had been. I decided to give Mr Muscle a try…I sprayed it on, shut the microwave door and left it for about 15-20 minutes as instructed…and voila, all I had to do was WIPE it clean. No scrubbing, huffing or puffing. I was left with a spotless shiny microwave and was laughing like a delirious madwoman for a few minutes afterwards!

Springgg :)

By , April 12, 2010 6:55 pm

It’s amazing what a difference the weather makes to one’s spirits. The past couple of days, the weather in London has been gorgeous. The sun has been shining (thanks to daylight saving, there’s sun till almost 8pm), there are flowers every where, in the daytime you don’t have to wear your coat any more (finally!), kids are playing in the street and people are having BBQs! Spring is here!

I caught up with friends for lunch a few days ago and later we decided to walk down to Hyde Park. We lazed around in the sun and then Aisha suggested we try Lola’s cupcakes in the Selfridges food court– the cupcakes were yummy. While Aisha and Madiha settled for the minis, Leena and I couldn’t resist the regular sized fat ones (later I wish I’d chosen the mini too; Leena couldn’t finish hers. And that’s saying a lot).

Its a shame that I didn’t take Fatima (my cupcake obsessed friend) to this place when she was visiting me. Fati, I’m sure you would’ve loved it :)

Dior had a beautiful flower display– nothing says spring better than PINK FLOWERS (even if they are fake)! The new fragrance was a bit too sugary sweet for my taste but who cares I loved the display.

On my way to work every morning, I cross the Wembley park and its landscaped sprawling lawns always look so beautiful and inviting, I think on my way back from work I’ll stop in the park for a bit. But by then, either its raining or I’m hungry or its no longer sunny. Something I really want to do one of these days though is to take my book to the park and read sitting on the grass (we’re reading White Mughals for a book club and I’m not even half way through the 500 pages).

So finally this Sunday, I dragged Asim and Leena to the park and we had a great time. It was lovely just to sit outdoors without freezing our bums off! We ended up going to Wembley High Road for some samosas, kebabs and paratha afterwards (quite a healthy finish to a walk in the park!). You see the trend here, don’t you? A trip to the park is always followed by stuffing our faces with food! :P

Talking of food, we also had our first BBQ of the year!

Ps. I’m going to try and take my camera around with me, coz these phone uploads really don’t do justice.

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