Tag Archives: lifestyle

Wonderful Wellies

I’ve had my heart set on a pair of Hunters, but since they tend to be pricier I’ve been waiting for that perfect discount/ sale moment when suddenly they will be within my reach. Hasn’t happened yet, but it doesn’t cost anything to think about them now, does it? So here’s the pair I have my heart set on at the moment. I so love these wellies. I’m not at all a high heel wearing sort, with wedges being the only occasional exception. These seem like such fun, good grip for all the usual country pursuits and UK weather, but also perfectly acceptable to wear out, or so I’m told. I do love shoes and clothing that promise warmth and dryness, *sigh*. I expect when Gore-Tex takes to the runway, fashion will finally begin to interest me more. Oh, come to me wellies, puddles await.

 


Flyweight Travels II

Apparently there’s more, and it’s minimal!

 

It’s waterproof, featherweight and “ten times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float on water, and versatile enough to stuff into a pocket.” Click through the photo for details.


Looking Up

How fantastic was Pixar’s ‘Up’? Even my man, with not one romantic bone in his gruff body, was unable to resist acknowledging its awesomeness. Apparently some folks in Utah found it so fantastic they built a replica of the house where Carl and Ellie lived. According to the Guardian piece, “It was built by designer Adam Bangerter and features every possible detail from the movie, including a blue kitchen complete with retro fridge, microwave and oven.” Fun!

The adorable Lisa and Geoff from Sacramento had the pleasure of having a super-cute photoshoot for their anniversary there and you can see their photos by clicking through on the photo above. It’ll make you smile.


A Room of One’s Own

I have my eye on this little lamp from Ikea for my desk. Since I reclaimed this little studio of mine from its previous life (don’t even ask, a lot of wildlife and plant matter had to be dislodged), I have been trying to steadily save up for all the little odds and ends to furnish it as a little office for myself. I am currently in search of a reasonably priced floor lamp so the ghastly tube-light can be done away with – I prefer to sit in the darkness come evening!Soon, I hope to share with you the story of the house itself, and some of the little make-over projects I keep planning that I hope will start to gain momentum


Home Cookin’ – ‘Andaazay Sey’

Since I moved to the UK I have had to cook far more regularly than ever before. Prior to this my only kitchen experience was in ‘Food & Nutrition’ class during school days (a long, long time ago) and some dabbling while in graduate school. Fortunately, I have access to a brilliant panel of cooks, my mom, aunts and cousins, who pass on their recipes to me and other displaced family members across the world.

These are recipes passed around orally and usually with vague instructions regarding quantities and methodology i.e. ‘just enough chilli powder’, ‘wait until it’s cooking happily’. I have attempted to put some of them in writing, on scraps of paper littered about the house, and keep planning to make little recipe cards to print out and laminate for easy reference in the kitchen.

Since I have the first 4 recipes down, after much procrastination, I thought I’d share them here. Do experiment and adjust to taste as you go, as there are no hard and fast rules with these and every household seems to create its own unique flavour, which is kinda cool. At the bottom I’ve placed a link to a downloadable PDF file so you can print out all four on a sheet of A4 paper, cut and laminate for easy reference in the kitchen.

Download A4 sized PDF of all four recipes here.

I can be pretty vague myself, so if you find anything that needs clarification or correction, do let me know. And if you end up with variations of you own do share!

This post goes out dedicated to my wonderful mother Fauzia, my forever young aunt Shaz and my beautiful Maasi (who’s cooking will remain unmatched). Love you!


Sit a While

I love, love, love this chair from Bojka, a Beirut based company run by Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri. And I so wish I were a little more handy, the man is still holding on to the couches he bought twenty years ago, how I’d love to do them over!

‘Shabby chic’ has become its own little style I suppose, but just looking around, it seems a fine line between whimsically quaint and ‘tat’, as the man would describe it. I see some similar items in the UK online stores, but so far haven’t really been impressed by any that don’t carry a price tag to rival our mortgage (as is the case with most things here). And somehow, maybe its the desi in me, but I just don’t feel some of these price tags (i.e.£3,000 for a similar chair in London) are worth it for something that you should be able to drag out of the closet and make a labour of love out of for yourself. Hmm….

 

 


Garden Visitors of the Bird Kind

Since I moved to the British countryside I have learned to appreciate the wealth of wildlife that surrounds us here. I never (ever) expected that whole afternoons would be spent watching the flutterings of our little friends, listening to the variety of birdsong in the garden and talking about the latest happenings with the bird families that have made our garden their home. My husband, an avid ‘twitcher’ (the very British term for birdwatcher) is much to blame for this state of affairs. He spends a lot of time, come rain, snow or sun, making sure his feathered friends are well fed and happy. This involves many trips to the garden centre for bird food, and related paraphernalia, as well as the construction of bird houses dotted around the garden and the maintenance of the trees and the hedges. In winter he makes sure their water bowls have warm water, refreshed multiple times a day.

I have to admit I was slow to come around to ‘twitching’ but I have been won over and now prowl about happily trying to capture these frequent visitors on film. I apologize for the graininess of some of the shots, having been taken at a distance and through glass to avoid disturbing the birds, but I hope you’ll enjoy them.

The Thrush

The Pied Wagtail

The Chaffinch

The Robin

A Starling and a Blue Tit

A Starling fledgling and some sparring Starlings

A Wren and a Thrush

We are indebted to the RSPB’s ‘Bird Identifier‘and I am indebted to my twitchy husband for bringing this little wondrous world to my attention. And in case you missed it – here’s the data from the 2011 Big Garden Birdwatch.


Blogging a Beginning?

Blogging is quite new to me and I’m wondering if it’s something I could start doing a little more regularly as a personal project. On one hand I feel that it may be a bit too ‘out there’ for me since I have a very erratic relationship with public/privacy issues. But, on the other hand, I finally have the time and the space at this point in life to take on some new and interesting challenges.

As always, a little background research doesn’t hurt, so that is Step 1.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there and as many subjects to focus on – so initially one has to figure out where to fall in the scope. My areas of ‘expertise’ (and I use the term loosely) would be things like internal communications, literature, creative writing and design to some extent I suppose, but do I want to focus on any one of these in particular? Could I offer anything new? In a virtual world with millions of voices don’t we need more people to just listen? Why would I want to blog at all in fact? Who do I think I am? Some questions to ponder over for the next installment methinks…

When I googled for blogs by British women I got quite a motley selection of articles (mostly out of date), like:

Which Women Bloggers are Worth a Look in the Guardian from July 2008 (meh…not too enlightening).

Some scholarly articles, but nothing earth shattering here either – unless the fact that the UK trend started way later than the British and American women dominate the blogosphere is news to you.

Finally, (in a more meandering sort of way) I came across Tea For Joy, where Lynne has collected a blogroll of the best of British, which I will now spend some time digging  through. At the tail end of the blogroll she has links to features she’s written about bloggers in Britain, so if you’d like to do your own digging that as good a place as any to begin.

My personal inspiration for any blog related creative burst has to be, without a doubt, the fabulous Amy Clark of Mom Advice. Here’s an interview with her on Blog Coach regarding her journey. Amy started off small, but even way back when, you knew she had the passion and the drive to Make Things Happen. You knew that when life gave Amy lemons she would not only make lemonade but create an international lemonade franchise, and she has done pretty much exactly that!

Here’s her advice on that very key factor, that may well prove the Achilles heel: self promotion.

So I’m off now, to look into this a little more and contemplate the whos, whys and wherefores. To be continued.


Shabby Chic

Loving the ‘shabby chic’ look – have the shabby down, just need some chic in life.

And explaining it all is Emily Peck, Editor, ACHICALiving.com – check it out and see all the lovely photos!


You Call This Hot?

Ah yes – the globe is warming up – it’s incredibly hot in the homeworld, with soaring temperatures draining the life out of everyone. There’s a drought here in the UK as well, and my husband has mastered the Urdu words – ‘bohut garmi hai – itni thori baarish!’ (it’s so hot – such little rain!) in order to be able to discuss the weather (another English pastime) with the desis at work .

But me – I got chilblains a few weeks ago (caused by poor circulation, together with temp. fluctuations). My hands and feet (and nose) are perpetually frozen. I don’t get dressed in the morning so much as throw on everything I have and top it off with a big ol’ housecoat. So fashion is far away and the flip-flops, the linen kurtis and the flowy skirts of yesteryear are sadly no longer applicable as standard uniform.

Of course opening the door in my gear is always a bit embarrassing – usually for anyone on the other side. And my best friend thinks I have developed a marked resemblance to some homeless folks she’s chanced upon – but really, what is a popsicle to do?

Its hard to find anything that a) fits me at all b) isn’t hideous or hideously uncomfortable or c) warm enough for me here. But this post by Jo Klima at August Empress was inspiring, do I decided to look around a bit to see if I could still be salvaged! So today’s virtual-window-shopping time was spent on trying to dig up ways to stay warm while maintaining some sort of dignity for my friends and family. It wasn’t super successful (and I’ll whinge and whine about this at length given the chance), but I did find a couple of potential wardrobe warmers.

Like these – fair trade and fleece-lined wrist-warmers from Ethic Trade.

And this (apparently super-soft) sweatshirt from Joules.

And some snug shoes from Aldo‘s clearance sale:

Also saw these cute sandals there – but unless wearing them with thick socks suddenly becomes acceptable in polite society, its not going to happen.

*Sigh*

I want to walk around barefoot again.