Thursday, 29 December 2011

Bookshelf Porn

Here's a blog I have stumbled upon during my travels through cyberspace, a blog after my own heart. Bookshelves galore! Have a look here.


I have discovered this absolutely lovely website called Pinterest. It's an online pinboard where you can "pin" images you like all in one place. I so totally love it. It's all I've been doing this past hour.I love stuff like this - it's alike a list but in photos! I wish I had thought of it!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Adopting Abroad and Edhi

I just finished watching Saira's Story about adopting a baby girl who was abandoned outside the Edhi orphanage in Karachi. Some people at work were talking about it at the lunch table and I had seen it on the tv guide last night but had just missed it. BBC's iplayer is just brilliant for instances like that.

It was such a touching story and I'm so happy that after everything she went through, Saira finally managed to adopt a baby girl. There was something at the end that she said which she articulated so much better than I could have. And it's something I feel when I'm in either Pakistan or the Philippines. Like Saira, I struggle with my conscience. I'm from a working class family but compared to the majority if the population in Pakistan I live a life many privileges. And she was right, if you are poor here you have the welfare service and benefits system. Yes, the government is changing it and making cuts but we're still so much better off. If you experience domestic violence, you have somewhere to go. Thank God for people like Abdul Sattar Edhi.

The world needs more people like him. He started off by picking up dead bodies in the streets of Karachi and burying them and has gone on to having the largest voluntary ambulance service as well as looking after abandoned children. May Allah bless
him. After hearing about all the evil that goes on in the world, it's knowing about people like Edhi that soothes my soul. I haven't been able to completely express what I've been feeling since I finished watching the programme but I needed to write about it. I've been through choking back the tears to smiling like a crazy woman in that past hour. And I swear, after becoming a mother I seem to feel everything so much more intensely.

More information about Edhi can be found at

Friday, 19 August 2011

Another craft blog...

...I found this blog, Craftaholics Anonymous, via the Mollie Makes website and it came with some warnings i.e that it would leave you in total awe, would result in blog envy and want to start crafting. So true...

I want to make this:

Check the website above for the tutorial or click here.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Creative Juices

The creative bug has bitten yet again and I'm on a bit of a creative frenzy - not that i've had much time to make anything. I'm almost finished with a granny square baby blanket I started making back in July. I haven't even finished that and my eyes are on this one by Nicki Trench. I worked out the cost to make it in using the same yarn and I use can't afford it.

Other things that have made my creative juices flowing are two magazines I have come across. The first is Mollie Makes which caught my eye when I was leaving Asda one day.

Each magazine comes with a little gift that you can make. I have yet to make any of mine but am really looking forward to it. I love flipping through the pages and looking at all the pretty pretty things. You can check out their website here. The other is called Making. I just want to make everything that is featured in it too, the origami light shade in particular which can be found in Issue 4. The magazine itself is divided into different sections: Making for Living, for the bathroom, for the kitchen, fort the wardrobe and for the garden. Both are definitely worth having a look at it. You'll find yourself struck with craft envy and a very strong desire to try your hand at crafting.

Blog After My Heart

I thought that being on holiday for the summer would mean that I'd have lots of time to clear up my bedroom, my bookshelves and my cupboard. Who was I kidding? I have no idea where the time has gone but it hasn't gone into clearing anything up. And so imagine my delight at finding this blog called Perfectly's a blog after my own heart. It's all the inspiration I need to get myself organised. Go take a look.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Being a book-lover, I have always been very anti-e-readers. Nothing, for me, could ever replace the weight and feel of a book in my hands. Plus, I'm one of those readers who likes to flick to the end before she's finished reading just to make sure all ends well. And so I found myself making my whole "nothing can ever replace a book" spiel when I found myself chatting to a friend of a friend while waiting for said friend to arrive at her own birthday dinner. The friend of my friend, L, was adamant she has also been anti-Kindle until she actually tried one. We talked about Kindle vs. the Kindle app on the iPad, discussing important issues such a the back-light on the iPad not allowing for proper reading in daylight etc. All the while, I still maintained my anti-e-readerness. Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets. But for me, a book is a book.

Three weeks later, I was still thinking about my conversation with L. I did my research. I went to look at demos of the Kindle in my local Curry's store. I caved. I bought one. I love my new Kindle.

No, it doesn't replace a book. I will still buy books. However, I am now a Kindle convert and currently reading a teen book called Portal on it. Now I'm looking for crochet patterns to make myself a cover for my beloved Kindle. I have totally taken myself by surprise. Who would have thought? Me and my Kindle.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


A few weeks ago, I finally got to go to Broadway Market with F and S, some family friends. I had always wanted to go when S first told me about it but never got around to asking her what it was called or where it was. I just knew it was a food market and that you could get samosa chaat from there. Now having been there, I keep berating myself for not finding out sooner.

The very first stall we came across was a smoked sun-dried tomato one. I happen to love sun-dried tomatoes and these ones tasted not dissimilar to smoked mackerel. Of course, I bought myself a pot. Not too long after the tomato stall, came the churros and hot chocolate stall. After seeing churros at the Columbia Flower Market and not being able to have any because they ran out just as I got to the front of the queue, I had been craving them. F and S were both so good in that they were going to go past all the stalls before deciding on what they were going to get. I, on the other hand, was like a child let loose in a sweet shop with a fistful of pocket money. I had to get some there and then in case, like last time, they would run out. The three of us found a bit of kerb to sit on as we ate our churros dipped into hot chocolate, watching the world go by. I love the hustle and bustle of markets and there's so much you miss if you don't stop to actually look.

With my tummy reasonably satisfied, we ambled on. Our thirst was quenched by freshly pressed apple juice and then after the rounds of the stalls had been made and some brinjal pickle taste-tested and bought, we finally settled on getting some food for our little picnic in the park from the Russian food stall. I'm not entirely sure if all the food sold at that stall was indeed Russian but the Salad Olivier definitely was. And if you have never tried aubergine with pomegranate before, then you really must.

With our food safely tucked under our arms and another bottle of freshly squeezed apple juice bought, we made our way to London Fields across the road. We sat, munched, talked, people watched and read the paper. It was an absolutely lovely morning.

Greenwich Market tomorrow, I hope. I planned to go the last two Saturdays but I ended up catching a cold and not being able to go. Can't wait to see what it's like. It's an arts and crafts market and food market all rolled into one, I hear.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


...and so it has a name! Ever felt like you might be the only person in the world who feels a certain emotion or has a particular thought? Well, for a while, I thought I might be the only woman in the world who was petrified of giving birth! I used to wake up in the middle of the night and then wake up my husband because the thought of giving birth scared me that much. The bigger my bump got, the more scared I became. I kept trying to tell myself that so many women had done it before me so therefore I could too but it never worked. And then on Monday, after taking the little one for a swim, I picked up the latest Mother and Baby magazine and there it was - tokophobia. It has a name! And a whole article about it.

Ahwoo 10

The little one still says "Ahwoo" instead of "Love you". I asked him the other day how much he loved his Mama. He thought about it and then said "Ahwoo 5". I then asked him how much he loved his Daddy. He answer was almost immediate "Ahwoo 10!"

I wasn't having any of that.

Now he loves us both Ahwoo 10.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Afternoon Ritual

For the last two afternoons when I've gotten home from work, my little one has joined me in what I hope will become an afternoon ritual. During my lunch break on Thursday, I went out with a friend for lunch. On the way back to school we stopped off at Waitrose where I picked up a cherry and geranium cupcake which had been reduced because it was going to go past its sell by date that day. At home that afternoon, the little one and I sat at the kitchen counter on our high stools, him with his little mug of milk and me with a cup of steaming hot chai and we shared the cupcake. It was absolutely lovely.

The following day was Red Nose Day and the Year 6s were holding a cake sale at the end of the day. My classroom is strategically placed in that it leads directly to the staffroom outside which the girls were setting up their stall. Before I had even let the kids go, I opened my door, beckoned one for the girls to me and bought a blueberry muffin and a slice of Victoria sponge cake from her. I managed not to scoff them both before I got home. As I was making my chai, the little one asked me to pick him up and put him on his stool. He then asked for his "meek" (milk) and cake. And so we spent another afternoon sharing a cupcake over a cup of tea and a cup of milk.

Nothing beats coming home and having some cake and tea with my son.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Leisurely Sunday

Sundays have become my favourite day of the week. As a little girl, I used to hate it. I always thought it was so boring. Shops used to be closed. There was nothing interesting to watch on TV. Sundays just dragged on and on and on. Sundays now usually means a day out with the hubby and little one. We don't always have anything planned but we almost always go out.

Last Sunday, for instance, saw us at the Columbia Flower Market. Whenever we drove to Central London we would always see people with their arms laden with bunches of flowers. And, every time we would see them, the hubby and I agreed we would make our way down there one day and check it out for ourselves. It always seemed like the market were giving the flowers away for free from the sheer number of people walking down the road with their arms full.

With lightning streaking across the sky and a little thunder rumbling in the air, we made our way to Columbia Road. We were not disappointed. The atmosphere was wonderful...stall sellers shouting out unbelievable bargains; crowds of people just leisurely walking down the road and the flowers - the beautiful, beautiful flowers. Even the little quaint shops with their quirky names lining the street added to the charm of the place.

The little one was in his element, he being a lover of flowers. I got myself a bunch of mixed flowers (I regret not getting some roses) and a little pot of Snowdrops. After umming and ahhing over what flowers to buy, taking dozens of pictures and overcoming our disappointment at missing out on churros and hot chocolate, we made our way across the road to Hackney City Farm.

The Boogster, who was so much more braver over the summer when I took him, no longer felt the need the chase the chickens and even though he was fascinated by the moo-moo didn't get half as close as the other children.

It was a lovely weekend. I wonder what this Sunday brings.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Growing up, I always wanted a sister. My twin brothers had one another. I had them too but it was different. It wasn't just that they were twins, they were brothers. Some of my closest friends have sisters and seeing them together makes me wish I had someone I could always have a laugh with, confide in, borrow handbags and shoes from. I've been asked on occasion what it's like being an only girl. I don't really know any different. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a sister.

And oh, sometimes even now at 34 years old, I wish I had a sister.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My "need-to-finish-this -soon" list

1. My son's second scrapbook
2. My best friend's scarf which has been on my knitting needles for almost 4 years
3. The crochet shopping bag I was making out of green parcel string
4. The children's book I haven't even started yet
5. Re-string the necklace the above mentioned best friend gave me when I last saw her (it snapped whilst I was picking up my bags to leave for work)

Love this idea...

Baraka from Rickshaw Diaries is collaborating with a friend to publish a book called Love, Inshallah. Check out the details here.


Weekends, I find, always see to zoom by in a flash. Blink and you miss it. The same has just happened with this one. All I had planned to do was to meet up with two friends at Pizza Express with my little one on Saturday and then just laze around today. Lunch with the friends was lovely. The Boogster stayed in his high chair the whole time and gave me no trouble at all except when it came to getting back into his car seat. (And trouble before we left has he has developed an intense aversion to changing his clothes).

Then this morning, whilst doing some dusting, my brother announced he was going to Covent Garden. I love Covent Garden. And so hubby, Boogster, brother and myself packed ourselves into the car and headed to central London. I made a bee-line for Bare Escentuals, a cosmetic company which sells mineral make-up, had a little make-over and ended up spending far too much on the Getting Started Kit. Then, to feed my stationery obsession, I browsed in Artbox. On the way back to car we all stopped off at Scoop for some fine Italian ice-cream. That went down well with everyone as the ice-cream was absolutely lovely. Will be visiting it again next time to try out some of the other flavours.

As a child, there were two places my parents used to take us for a treat: one was an little ice-cream parlour in Goodge Street (we'd wait in the car while my dad got us ice-cream and we'd have it while driving round London at night) and the other was a place called Bloom's which sold wonderful kosher beef sandwiches. I've always wanted to do the same with my kids as I have fond memories of those times. I've found the ice-cream all I need is a Bloom's substitute.

The evening was spent watching Tangled at Cineworld. Ammi and I were supposed to watch it on our own but the hubby and Boogster tagged along. I'm impressed that he watched the entire cartoon without a peep. I had to keep checking to see if he was awake. I had envisaged him making a racket and having to be carried out by the hubby.

It was an all in all lovely weekend. Work tomorrow. Bring on next weekend!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


One of the perks of being a teacher is that I get the holidays off which in turn means I get to spend lots of time with the little one. The downside to being a teacher though is that during every holiday, I catch the flu (or a very bad cold). I spent the first week of my holiday in bed with the flu: aches and pains; the chills; a hacking cough and vomiting too. the second week was spent trying to recover. It's almost time to go back to work and I'm still coughing! Getting ill in the holidays is such a pain! I missed seeing one of my oldest friends who was over from Norway (she succumbed to the flu herself); I missed the first couple days of the sales and I didn't get to spend the first week with my son much as we tried to avoid him catching it from me.

All that said though, it's been good to have a break. My son has turned into a right little chatterbox. We still don't understand 80% of what he says but he's so earnest when he talks we pretend to understand him. Sometimes I look at him and I still find it hard to believe I've become a mother. Other times I wonder where time has flown. He's already 2. How did that happen? That's why having the holidays off is great. I work full time and often feel like I'm missing out on so much. This gives me time to spend with him and I enjoy every minute.