Sunday, April 14, 2013

Since I was a girl
You were my shining star
And when things got dark
You went very far

The place you hold in my heart
Can never be replaced
But sometimes the hurt you inflict
Won't leave without a trace

All my life I struggled to be heard
To find a voice of my own
Now I am flustered
Ugly unknowledgeable barely even grown

Every day I struggle to be someone
Who can one day be respected
But as I grow more and more
I only feel neglected

Who am I, I don't even know anymore
I have turned into something ugly
Once I had spirits high and beautiful
Now I feel unworthy

Who am I in this large picture of life
Once I was your daughter
Now I am a woman, a wife
Now I am a mother.

I have no idea how to take care of myself
I don't know why God held me so high
He lifted my wings
And told me to fly in stride

I'm losing this battle
Of constantly trying to win
To stay on the right path
Without falling into sin

Saturday, February 2, 2013

step by step

We're already a month into the new year! Did anyone make any New Year's Resolutions? Are they already broken? If you're like me, they probably are long gone and forgotten. I don't take them seriously anyways and rarely make resolutions, but I do tend to set long term goals throughout the year that I don't follow through with.

One way to keep track of goals is to make small term ones that will help you make the necessary steps in the future, thus attaining long term goals. For example: write down the steps necessary to reach a big goal. Now, turn each step into a mini, short term goal. Do one step at a time. The path to the ultimate goal won't look too bad. Do things little by little until you get the hang of it.

If your goal is to organize the house and have a system going, it'll be hard to do right off the bat. Tackle each room at a time, create a binder, get rid of clutter, step by step.

If your goal is to become fit, start off small by walking and light weight exercise and work your way up. There is no way your house will become like Martha Stewarts or you'll look like a body builder over night. Small, consistent steps are the key.

Muhammad, Peace and Blessings be Upon him said, "The deeds most loved by God are those done regularly, even if they are small."*

This I can see apply to everyday life in the sense that you see a change in yourself when you do small things regularly, rather than a ton of good things a few times a year. Good habits are formed by repetition and consistency. So make small changes and move on after you have implemented that change into your everyday life. 

I should use that advice for this blog. :) This is choppy, I had a thought in my head and wanted it get it out there before I forgot, but time isn't permitting me to go into details. I just wanted to make sure I didn't forget it later on. Have a good weekend!

*Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

Monday, January 21, 2013

Frog Eggs {Chi Seeds}

Chia seeds are pretty popular in drinks in India. I always avoided them because I'd think of them as frog or fish eggs growing up. I imagine the texture to be slimy and thick as it goes down my throat. Eek! I don't even know how they taste. A few people I am subscribed to on YouTube have recently begun drinking chia drinks. I googled chia seeds a few minutes ago to find out that these are the same "fish eggs" my mom has been trying to get us to drink for years.

The photo on the left are the dry seeds. On the right is what they become after soaking in water. They seem to grow or develop a gelatinous membrane around them.

I think it's funny when healthy things become "trendy" when in many cultures, people have been doing the same things for centuries. Although I haven't taken advantage of chia seeds in the past, I did some research and don't mind giving it a try. However, I won't be running out to whole foods to buy the expensive drinks or seeds. They can be easily found at your local Indian/Pakistani store for cheaper.  The Mamma Chia drinks on the left are pretty popular, I guess. Because that's what first came up when I googles "chia seeds". They're pretty pricey per bottle, too.

My mom has been trying to get us to try them for more than two decades. Now that I see people on YouTube getting into it, so will I. Lame, right? I can see my mom rolling her eyes already haha. I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, but I only became interested after finding out that this is what I've seen growing up. And I didn't realize it had so many health benefits. So I will give it a shot. :)

I'm going to list some health benefits of Chia seeds I found on a website. Click here to read the details.

  1. Lose weight without starving
  2. Balance blood sugar levels
  3. Prevent diverticulosis/diverticulitis, especially in the elderly
  4. great source of Omega-3
  5. great source of anti-oxidants
  6. use as substitutes on baking and cooking
  7. control food cravings
And HERE are other ways to incorporate Chia seeds into your life. You can even use it as an egg substitute for baking! Apparently this works like Tofu - it's pretty tasteless and takes on the flavor and even enhances the flavor of whatever you put it in. 

Now, I'm not sure when or how I'll be using Chia seeds. But I thought it was interesting that things my Indian Culture has been using for centuries is only now becoming a trend. Same as Turmeric and other Indian spices and foods. 

If any of you have tried Chia Seeds, leave a comment below and let me know how you like it. Maybe that'll get some courage in me to try it. :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Product reviews

I bought two body shop products the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They has a 3 for $30 sale, so I took that as an opportunity to try out their skin care products. I didn't want to spend a lot initially, since I've never tried it out before. So I saved $10 a product which is half off. Not bad at all.  Actually, select body butters are now on sale for $8, if you're interested.

I bought the Macadamia nut deep Repair Masque at Ulta. I've heard great things about it and since my hair is pretty dry, I thought I'd give it a go. I've been using these for a while now and can safely say that I love them! Let's get started on the reviews.

Warning - like my Hunger Games book review earlier, I cannot talk about something for so long haha. I'll just give you my own opinion on the product. For details, please see the links provided. :)

Shea Body Butter 
It's very thick and moisturizing. The consistency resembles cold butter. The first time I tried it I felt like I wasn't able to pick up enough of the body butter and get enough on my skin, but a little goes a long way. I chose the Shea butter, because this one was for extremely dry skin. It smells good. It doesn't feel greasy after putting it on. I usually apply this at night because I don't like how it feels under my clothes when I wear any sort of moisturizer during the day. My skin is soft the next day. I don't do it every night because I forget, but my skin stays moisturized for days after. It's great for dry areas like the elbows.

Hemp Hand Protector
This is by far my favorite! I love this product so much. Some people don't like the smell. I personally don't mind it at all. This is also for very dry to extremely dry skin. My hands don't feel greasy after applying this. Which is very important to me, because one of the reasons I avoid moisturizing is because my hands become slippery. This I can apply during the day and do whatever it is that I am doing.

Macadamia Natural Oil - Deep Repair Masque
This is nice and I did see an improvement in my dry hair. Actually, the top of my head is fine, but the ends tend to dry out and look damaged without serum. What I do is the day after I wash my hair I damp the ends in the sink and put this on. I wait a while, at least 7 minutes then shower, rinsing the product out without using any other hair products. The reason why I do this is because it says to apply it to clean, wet hair. Do you know how long I'd be in the shower for? A long time. Ain't nobody got time for that! And I must have the water running, so it would be a waste of so much water. That is my only "con". If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way. Over all, it smells so good and my hair feels and looks better. It says to not use more than twice a week, which I have not. I feel like I don't need to. I don't think my hair feels greasy at all after. You might feel that if you put too much in, though. For which you might want to use a TINY amount of shampoo to get the excess out. Bon't don't do a full lather because it strips your hair of the oil. My beef with this product is that it says Macadamia Oil, but the first couple ingredients isn't it! Next time I am going to buy plain pure Macadamia Oil and see how it works out. If your scalp isn't dry, I don't suggest putting it all over. Just apply it where needed. My hair really does look shiny without extra serum, though so I'm happy with the results.

I'm in search of a face mask for dry skin that is NOT cucumber melon. I might have to try making my own. Again, if anyone knows of one for dry skin, let me know!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Banana Bread

You will hate me because this is going to make you gain unnecessary weight and make you unhealthy, but happy. So maybe you won't hate me. I do not have a photo, because I forgot to take one and a few hours later, there wasn't much to take a picture of. It is that good. My mom gave me this recipe, I'm not sure where she got it from, but she's been making it since I was little. And she gets an A+ every time.

I have to hide my fresh Bananas in a brown bag in the pantry for about a week. Less, if I find some browning one's at the grocery store. Otherwise they finish before they can properly ripen for this bread. You want it to get to the point where the peel is mostly brown/black. but not too bad that it's ready to throw out. I'm not sure if that's safe, but definitely not appetizing. I wait until it's black on the outside, and the bananas still hold their shape but are soft. You don't want pretty, yellow bananas. As they ripen, they become sweeter and more delicious.

Banana Bread

2-3 ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup olive oil, you can probably use any vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of chopped walnuts

1. preheat oven to 375 F
2. grease a loaf pan
3. Mix together dry ingredients, except walnuts
4. in another bowl mix together wet ingredients, inclusing bananas. You can mix this until the bananas get mashed, with chunks in it. But don't go as far as to make a puree.
5. mix the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until it is JUST mixed. Do not over mix.
6. fold in walnuts.
7. Pour batter in loaf pan. if you aren't going to sit around and lick the bowl, scrape of every bit. I hate how they leave so much mix in the bowl on cooking shows.
8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or when toothpick comes out clean.

note: my oven cooked the top quickly but the inside was still mush. What I did was cover the bread in foil at this point, to prevent further browning and  possible burning. I lowered the temperature to 350 F and checked it every 10 minutes until the toothpick came out clean. If you like the center to be super soft, then you can take it out a little earlier. Next time I am going to try baking it at 350 F, since my oven seems to cook things in half the time, not allowing the inside to cook much.

Friday, January 4, 2013

On Facebook and Cell Phones

I deactivated my facebook about two months ago. I had a little over 600 friends and, surprisingly, I knew every one of them. I also am using my phone less. I still keep in touch with friends, but I'd rather do it in a phone call or meet up. Texting is so impersonal. I still have my twitter, which I like because I feel like I'm talking to a wall. And I like my instagram because I can see outfits and food ideas.

But how do I keep in touch with people!? There was life before Facebook. Just like there was life before cell phones. Sometimes I wonder how people functioned before cell phones. But it was so simple. You're going out, you tell your parents, call via pay phone when you get there saying you're ok.  In my case I had to get dropped off because I was young. If I needed a ride home they would call my friends house or I'd call them and they'd come get me. The end.

These days, if I don't pick up my phone my mom gets worried and thinks something's wrong. We're just so used to being able to contact people at our disposal. It makes us impatient and go crazy inside. When we had to meet up with someone back in the day, we'd mention the place and time. Wait 15 minutes and be ok. Now, I {and I am guessing many people out there} can not wait 5 minutes without sending a text saying, "I'm here." or "Where are you?"

I think know this is where cell phones have made me lazy. If I'm running late I can shoot someone a text and take my time, because they KNOW I'm running late. If I couldn't tell a person that before I met them I'd sure as heck do whatever it takes to be on time!

My close friends are not on Facebook or are extremely inactive. But they have as much fun in their lives as people on facebook appear to have. I do, too! I take photos of my food and trips I have taken. I Just don't put them up for everyone to see. If I would like to share things, I share it with my friends and family who I'd want to see anyways, most of whom are not on facebook. Or who I'd contact through, phone, text or email anyways.

I have to admit, although I was not active on Facebook I still went on multiple times per day hour to see if anyone posted anything new. When I deactivated it it was a habit to get on my laptop and go straight to facebook, even though that was not what I was going on my laptop in the first place. It took about a week to get out of that habit. And I didn't have major withdrawals. I think it was easier for me because I was blessed with many friends and family who don't care for updating their timelines.

This applies to social media as a whole. But it isn't limited to only social media, either. Anything that will consume all of your time like fire consumes dry wood will obviously not be good for you. The key is balance. I am not a good at that, so it's more damaging that I continue to use it, rather than deactivate it altogether.

Since I've made these minor changes, I don't use my laptop as often. I don't feel "busy" all the time, or that I have so much to do I don't know how I'm going to do it. Those few minutes on facebook and social networking sites at a time really add up and one can easily waste hours every day. In fact, I feel as though I have a lot of extra time on my hands. I feel like I enjoy things more now that I'm not thinking of "putting it up on Facebook".

PS - These are my two cents. I am not condemning or looking down on anyone who uses facebook, as I do know it is a great, easy and quick way to share and keep in touch with important people in your life. It's so useful for quickly spreading news and information about events and businesses. I am merely stating how it was a waste in my life as the important people in my life were not on it, or inactive. Anything can be used positively or negatively, and in my case, it was just a waste of time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't let yourself go

Once in a while I will receive a comment about already having a man and there's no point in dressing up. I'm not a fashionista, but I like to dress up/look nice/decent when I go out or even stay in. I think it's just as important to make an attempt at keeping fit, healthy and nice after marriage as it is before.

The first thing a person notices about someone is their appearance. That's all it takes for anyone to form an opinion about anything or anyone. In most cases physical attraction makes people want to get to know them better. That's what they found beautiful. And now that you're married, it's okay to put on weight, wear scrubs all the time and tie your hair up in a bun because you're too lazy to brush it {ladies} or put on a clean shirt {men}? 

Dress in a manner your spouse likes to see you. It softens the heart, is easy on their eyes and pay off. It allows that feeling they initially felt when they first saw you last longer. :)