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New in CHCH: Prince of Persia

My dad is good at a lot of things but I’d say he’s most well-known for his kebab. He lives and breathes it. Seriously, the guy loves kebab so much, if he could, he’d marry it (sorry mom). For this reason, he knows all the “Persian” eateries in Christchurch like the back of his hands. I use quotation marks here because most of these restaurants are a fusion of Persian and Turkish. Newly opened Prince of Persia is actually authentically Persian. Their kebabs identical to the kebab restaurants of our motherland. Their tablecloths the same as the ones in our dining area. The food comparison by the way, comes from my mother, AKA the queen of complaints. This woman complains everywhere. Too salty, not hot enough, too little this, too much that. But at Prince of Persia she LOVES, and I mean licksherplate loves everything. So I highly recommend it. Persian food at its best.

As well as Persian-mom-approved food (try the ghormesabzi, it’s unreal!), Prince of Persia is affordable (starting from $13…), spacious and child-friendly. Visit their website HERE for more info.
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Reviews

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I’m not ashamed to say that one of my favorite hangouts is the supermarket. And that on Pay Days it’s the first place I go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a glutton, I’m just…a lover of health-foods. So, I tried this pourable organic bush-honey yoghurt (though it doesn’t state that it’s pourable, it just is) and I loved it. It’s sorta expensive but I think it’s worth it. Yay for local food.
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Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places was the second book I read for my A Book A Week New Year’s resolution. Described by The Guardian as the new The Fault in Our Stars, the last chapters had me bawling! It is a teenage love-story about suicide. 4.2/5
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Speaking of bawling, LION had the entire theatre in tears. What a touching film! I definitely recommend it. To anybody and everybody. Did you know that in India alone, over 80,000 children go missing each year? I don’t know about you but my mind can’t even begin to fathom such statistics. Watching Lion helps put a small part of this catastrophe in perspective. At the end of the film, I was overtaken with a lot of thoughts and emotions but mainly that, children truly are the light of the world and that, we all have a role and an obligation in the bigger picture.image-8My handsome and cool boyfriend suggested I take it easy for week 3 (mainly because I was running behind) and read a children’s book. Margaret Mahy (NZ represent) is a genius. Here’s a little treasure for you, too:

My  Sister
My sister’s remarkably light,
She can float to a fabulous height.
It’s a troublesome thing,
But we tie her with a string,
And we use her instead of a kite.
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My daddy has an Afghani friend with a traditional bread oven. He usually makes white bread but my dad requests unsalted wholemeal. Since he’s the only customer of this sort of bread, daddy has to buy the entire batch in bulk. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you daddy’s friend’s details because I don’t even know but I thought you’d appreciate the photos and that smile anyhow. image-1

Healthy Recipes And Precious Times Spent With My Momma

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Spent my day off hangin’ with my momma. I made her breakfast, took her grocery shopping, bought her cold-pressed juice and prepared her lunch. Can you tell how much I love her? I love my daddy too he’s just super annoying to hang out with that’s all (haha). By the way, he wanted me to mention him in my blog “tell them his name is Sirous,” he said. Crazy. Anyways, here are the recipes for you. I miss you all so much by the way! Auntie Pouneh, Laura, Randy, Jose and family, Hiromi and Olivier, Akiko and Lifa, Mr. and Mrs. MacLean, Dave and Maria etc. etc. all of ya!

Turmeric, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins (vegetarian, can be gf, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free):
2 free range eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
full 1/2 cup of grated carrots
full 1/2 cup of grated zucchini
1 cup almond flour
1/3 self-rising flour (use a GF alternative here to make muffins GF)
1/4 cup oat milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
handful of raisins
big pinch of salt, pepper, red chilli powder and turmeric (little more turmeric won’t hurt)
small bunch of torn italian parsley

Mix everything together, pour into a greased muffin tin, bake at 160 degrees for 20 or so minutes. Muffins ready when golden on top and fork comes out clean. Let cool before nomnom.
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Beetroot Energy Salad (raw, vegan, gf, hipster):
2 large beetroot, peeled and grated
handful of raw pumpkin seeds
handful of raw sunflower seeds
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix together and enjoy – das it!

Our Japanese Guests’ Last Day

Breakfast at Strawberry Fare, walk at Taylor’s Mistake and afternoon relaxing at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. And just like that, we said sayonara.
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Has the owners of Strawberry Fare changed? It wasnt as good as I remembered it…
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One of Juri’s 10000 selfies.image-1-1image-2
My brother in law living on the edge. image-1-4image-1-5
They said this pig reminded them of the Studio Ghibli animation, Spirited Away.image-1-3Monkey love.

Holiday Updates

So Ozzy turned four!!!! And the reason he has 5 candles is because Lifa reckons you’re supposed to put the age +1 for the next year ?? Crazy man. I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. So much so that I’m putting it on the blog!! Aha. I love you guys. Is it also OK if I say Aki is due soon?! Forgive me but I cannot wait to see my niece! Auntie Anisa is waiting. Are you going to name her Anisa? Oh man, you are, aren’t you? :P 15590631_10208368554160604_7537979040880994346_n
Remember Yuko and her family? She’s the lovely Japanese lady who was constantly cooking for me. Well, in less than a week, she and her family will be visiting. Yes, all the way from JAPON! Can you believe it? I sure can’t! God, I love humanity. What a blessing. I hope we can be good hosts and show them everything. I’m also excited for YOU to enjoy along with me.
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What else?
I watched Paterson the movie. And I watched it only because of its female lead: Golshifteh Farahani. You guessed it, she’s a Persian lady and one heck of an actress, I believe. Unfortunately, the movie was hella boring (to put politely). It did however, inspire me to restart writing poetry.
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I was telling a friend about the age difference
Between me and my lover
Feeling insecure about
Well
Basically being old
When I saw a young girl scurry past
She was one maybe two years old
And we were wearing the exact same jelly shoes
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I had been asking my mother to accompany me to The Berry Shop for quite some time
When today of all the days she suggested it herself
It was cold and rainy and my outsides were freezing
But still we sat and ate ice-cream
and we talked
or rather she talked and I listened
and slowly slowly
my insides were warming.
Strawberry cake on white background
Last but not least, my latest Savvy Tokyo piece on Japanese Christmas Cake HERE.

Good Art Is Not What It Looks Like, But What It Does To Us.

Apologies for the spamming of posts – especially to my new daily growing followers (big thank you!!) but I needed to free up the storage on my phone.
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Hey Rick, if candy-filled streets aren’t enough to lure you to my homeland, I don’t know what are!
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I’ve always said we are so lucky to have Hagley <3
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This one’s for you Randy!image-png-32
Ducks chilaxing cos ’tis the season. image-1-png-20image-png-33
Bircher bowls from Posh Porridge for breakfast with my darling sister. image-1-png-21
Takeaway healthy salads from BearLion Foods for lunch at home with my annoying parents <3

There Is Mushroom In My Heart For You

Getting mushy. Why not.
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Distance is annihilated and prevents not the close and intimate association of two souls that are closely attached in heart even though they may be in two different countries.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)image-1-png-11
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Guess who made what? ;)
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And last but not least, the single worst picture you will ever see. Are you ready?
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Love. What Is More Important?

Hi friends! I’m requesting prayers and positive energy for my family and friends back home (NZ) please. In saying that, I myself am not frightened of returning. Because tragedies can happen anywhere. If it’s not earthquakes, it’s storms, or fires or bombings or shootings. Life is to be lived not feared.
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A beautiful day at Radnor Lake.image-6-png-4image-5-png-3image-1-png-3
Beaver attacks! :O
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Vegetarian burger: quinoa and black bean pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado and jalapeños from Burger Up.image-2-png-8How we do “His and Hers” (hehe) AKA meat vs veg.

Some Updates

Guys, I bought a ticket. After what seems like forever I am returning to my favourite place on earth this December. I am so excited for a NZ summer! Road-trips, Kapiti ice-cream, hikes, waterfalls, P.Y.O berries… ah, the list is endless. I also can’t wait to simply kiss my family to death. I told my mom, I said, I’m just gonna take the first three months to sit next to you in some beautiful park on some probably-graffitied bench and just breathe and enjoy the moments.

So, I’ll be home in December. And that’s all I know of my future at this stage. And I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it one bit because I like the possibilities such openness of plans brings. I’m grateful and I’m excited. If travelling has taught me anything, it’s that the world has SO much to offer and that I am by far in the top top top wealthy and fortunate. So, not only is it my dire obligation to really live but my calling to make the most of it.

Some updates: 
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These cuties recently arrived back from their epic holiday in Israel to their mountain-side home in Japan, but here are some of the pics Lifa sent me last. Sabich is an Iraqi and Israeli sandwich, consisting of a pita bread stuffed with deep-fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, salad, tahini, amba (mango pickle) and spice. Lifa says this is healthy street food at its best. Oh man. What a tease. Me want now.
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Pics from Jose (father of the munchkins I looked after in Spain) of the kids and their mother making brownies and biscuits. I miss Spain and I miss Jose’s delicious and healthy dishes. Of course I miss you too, Bea! Are you still eating my homemade muesli for breakfast?
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Yasu, my unexpected friend is still making healthy smoothies like I taught her and spending me pictures of them. I can’t wait to see her again. Also, her middle sister recently got married and oh my, the pics are gorgeous!
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As for me, I was recently taken to a really fun and delicious Mexican restaurant, one like I’ve never experienced and I LOVED it. I can’t say enough. I wish NZ had something like this. First off, everyone is given complimentary chips and dip. Then throughout the night, if you wish, your chips are topped up again and again by the wait-staff walking around with literal shovelfuls of chips – in the same manner coffee cups are refilled here. Anyways these chips, they’re not like your regular over-salted thick Dorito crips. Instead, they’re really thin and light and crispy and unsalted. So good. Okay and the food, cheap as chips (as Kiwi’s say and of course, suitable in this context) fresh, and flavoursome. I had vegetarian enchiladas and he had something called a Chicka Chicka Bang Bang. Or was it Boom Boom (hehe)? I can’t remember.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check out my latest Savvy Article featuring baby potatoes and I use “baby” in the strongest sense of the word here, by clicking THIS.

I’m Youth I’m Joy

“Pan, who and what art thou?” he cried huskily.
“I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answered at a venture, “I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.” ~J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Not your typical he surprised me by making me a romantic breakfast picture. He made me breakfast because it’s been one hell of a challenging time figuring out our lives together and how we’re going to make this work with all the crazy distance – which made it that much more delicious. There’s always two sides to everything, and to a picture. I hope we can all rise above the tests and difficulties we encounter and to keep strong our faith. On a lighter note, he is the sweetest.
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Outfit of the day: green-stone necklace form NZ, top, skirt and bag from Osaka, Japan. $8 shoes from H&M in Nashville, USA because my regular sandals had given me super painful blisters. Ring from a chain clothing store in France and watch from my sister and brother-in-law (NZ) as a thank-you gift for having hosted them in Japan last year. image-2-png-5
Sunflower Cafe.
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Such a delicious burger! I love vegetarian.
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It’s a small world. This is the epic Persian (and vegetarian) food spread lovingly prepared by my father’s first cousin who happened to read here that I am in Nashville and invited me and my host-family over for dinner. I am so happy I was able to meet her, her husband and her beautiful daughter.
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Pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate sea-salt. Worth every single calorie. From Five Daughters Bakery.