Remember the plums I foraged with my friends Willem and Unity? Well, the genius that is Mandy from @Utopia Ice turned them into a deliciously mouthwatering, finger licking, summer-perfect Plum & Earl Grey sorbet. Ohh yeah.
Merry Christmas y’all! You know, my family and I never used to celebrate Christmas (for various reasons like not being Christian and just never having done so whilst growing up in Iran) but ever since my sister married a ChristmasCelebratingKiwi, we have had a lot of fun with it – mostly as an opportunity to
eat get together.
Here are pictures from our flat dinner – so beautifully decorated by even more beautiful Ashleigh.
*Love heart eyes*
This is a $45 lamb from Pedro’s House of Lamb “perfect for two” (crazy right?) Actually it fed four, and we had leftovers! I totally recommend it especially for a lazy cooking day. Also, because it’s like no1 on TripAdvisor!
Next, the family lunch. Here is my contribution: a healthier ambrosia. It’s very easy, simply mix two pottles of organic yoghurt (one boysenberry, one plain), fresh berries (blueberry, strawberry, boysenberry), chopped pineapple, a cheeky handful of chopped marshmallows and broken dark chocolate, and 1 can of drained boysenberries in juice not syrup. That’s it! Refrigerate for an hour or three to serve cold.
Mama and papa to be!
My Christmas presents from the family: a grapefruit, a pug fridge magnet (I’d like to take this opportunity to say I loved pugs before everyone else did), and melon hand cream. I am blessed!
Do you know these suckers are $7.99 per kg here? Just ridiculous.
Here are my beautiful parents. My mama is actually wearing my dress – gifted by kind-hearted Mandy of Utopia Ice. Just so much love all around! All I am is a concoction of the love I receive!
We cooked turkey for the first time, it was dry. My sister made Persian salad Olivieh (far right). HERE is my healthier version – no offence sis.
Last but not least, some well deserved me time. Have you tried Dubba Dubba Moroccan cuisine? It’s right down the road from me (Bush Inn). This is their chicken salad. I was actually surprised by how good it was! Good being healthy, filling, and yum. Definitely returning.
And, the best part of Christmas. Receiving such love from my students. Anisa sensei is very happy today.
Except for the fact that my heart aches for this stupid smile everyday. Honestly, life is too short and too unpredictable to be separated from your lover. God please never again. 5 weeks left…
It has been 3 weeks since S has left to the States to witness his charming older brother marry an angel of a woman, and spend some much awaited time with his loving family. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy for me. But you know what? So far, it hasn’t been impossible either. I’ve kept busy (I’ll keep busy), and I’ve taken it one day at a time (I’ll take it one day at a time).
A month ago, daddy making a Kiwi speciality: whitebait fritters, for S.
Can anything beat breakfasting with your love?
Forced S to hike Rapaki with me. He said the view was almost worth the pain.
“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizons. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.” ~Ethel Barrymore (Shoutout to the lovely lady customer who said she reads my blog!)
Great fun making my famous pikelets with my kiddies (1 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 free-range egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup milk – mix until smooth then cook tablespoon-full amounts in a good quality non stick frying pan or with a little oil in a not so good quality one – about a minute each side)
The night of S’s bitter departure sweetened by dessert from The Villas.
Wearing my boyfriends sweater. (“I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer)
You are powerful beyond what you imagine. Just let your light glow.
Cheater cheater pumpkin eater!
Japan is that you?! (If you haven’t already, I totes recommend checking out newly opened Japan Mart at Riccarton Westfield.)
Self empowerment no53279 buying flowers (and cacti) for yourself.
Reason 437698 I LOVE my job: so many 5 year old birthdays!
Robot art by Jella, age 5.
So incredibly proud of Mandy and Sebastian for working crazy hard to make their dream a reality! Utopia Ice is officially opening shop in Sumner village next week!
Sorry for the radio silence my friends. I have been working on a children’s story! It is one from my childhood and named after my dear mother. I am in the process of having my manuscript assessed before sending it to a publisher so please please pray for me! Worst case scenario, I’ll publish it on my blog for y’all to read.
Much much much love,
Hi dear dear friends from around the world, how are you all doing? I’m sorry I am no longer religiously blogging… Do you miss me? (hehe). I miss you, that’s for sure! Things have changed in my world. In short, I am now working as a full-time preschool teacher, soon to be starting my postgraduate diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. This means, I am busy busy (like the rest of you) working, and soon also studying (eek!). It is literally mind-blowing to look back and see how God has confirmed me in every step of my life leading to this very opportunity. I am so lucky. There is a Sufi poem which goes: ““God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now,” -this could not be more true for me (or you, for that matter). I have always adored spending time with young children, and if I may say so, I think they also like being around me. Sometimes I feel sad thinking that by going down this path I will be giving up on my writing but then I remind myself that everything in our universe is interconnected and that this too shall lead onto something. All in all, I am incredibly thankful. Of course, nervous – the job is definitely not easy, but grateful for the opportunity to grow both in my career and as a person. As for my love life (wink wink) things are going smoothly. You know, S is another reason why I’m not regularly blogging. I used to be this maniac (sometime I still am) who wanted to do absolutely everything and I had to keep reminding myself: Anisa, you can do anything but you can’t do everything! Being around S is changing me. He is an incredibly relaxed being. I’m not going to lie, at first this drove me a little crazy – I needed him/us/me to always be doing something! Overtime though, I have come to appreciate his way of doing things. Like my brother-in-law once said, true, life is short but life can be very long also. In other words, it’s okay to unwind once (or twice) awhile (yes, this means you too!) xx
This is funny. So, I always prefer homemade muesli (for every meal if I could actually). But here is S forcing some of his famous scrambled eggs on me. The picture above is last week and the picture below, from my time in Nashville 6 months ago.
Major touristing at Christchurch Museum.
After a warm coffee at Sign of The Kiwi Cafe, we are not cold, we swear!
Waiting for the food…
My number one supporters in every single decision I have ever made. You know what I think is good parenting? Trusting. Mum and dad, I love you both with my entire being.
An Indian friend of ours once said Corianders is the best Indian restaurant in Christchurch, and we agree!Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
~Japanese Proverb (Sunrise at work)
I had the loveliest Saturday with my also lovely friend, Sam last weekend. We went to the Saturday Farmers’ Market for a Posh Porridge breakfast but when we saw that they weren’t there and on holiday, we had Bacon Brothers instead. Yep, I ate bacon. And not just any bacon but NZ bacon in say over 4 years of not having eaten it and oh my was it delicious. And, I’m not kidding you, I was full for 1.5 days. Rick, I can’t wait for you to try it. NZ bacon > American bacon.
Super easy Easter crafts. Top, chooks made with pom-poms and egg cartons. Bottom, a carrot made with an empty yarn cone donated by a student’s thoughtful mother.
Sorry mom, forgot to move the towels (again). #PUGLIFE
Making tissue paper flowers for the upcoming Ridvan celebration at Bahai Children’s Classes.
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” ~Alfred Mercier
Below, what I sent S for his birthday (ie. a present also for myself): a Sydney weekend getaway! EEEE we are so blessed. And how about you my dear followers? Is someone getting the best of you?
I couldn’t yell it at my Japanese co-workers so I’m gonna write it here: people don’t learn a language through tests! I say this from experience. English is my second language. Until the age of 8.5 I could not speak a word of it. In fact, I loathed the damn gibberish I couldn’t decrypt. So much so, that I remember crying to my mother, to take me out of NZ and back to our home in Iran where were my close friends. And, look at me now! I run this silly blog where I write in English! I hold a University degree in English literature, and I spent a year and a half teaching the very language in Japan to hundreds of students. The secret? Learning through action. Through doing. Through activities and through games. Through entertainment! Through watching the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. No one wants to practice grammar! Ain’t nobody got time for that (or the patience)! People want to converse, to do, and to connect. Which is why I LOVE this book right here. I’m writing a post because I want to personally recommend it to all of my friends. And no, I am not on commission.
So. Whether you’re a legit ESL teacher, a part-time tutor or a helpful friend wanting to teach your helpful friend some England, this light and thus easily carried book is full of fun games and activities to spice up your lessons. For more info click HERE or HERE.
A picture story.
My darling students,
I want you to know that anything is possible. Until I was 9 years old, I couldn’t speak a single world of the English language. Now, I am standing before you as your English teacher, delivering my goodbye speech in English. There is no better proof than this.
I also want you to know that the world is a big big place. There is so much to see and do out there. I promise you that if you persevere, you can experience things you’ve never even imagined. Believe me, I am speaking from experience.
PS the third picture, is my face carved out of an ERASER! Can you believe that? My goodness. I am officially a super sensei. Today was hard. Though I have been ready to move on for a while now, I am not heartless. I will remember these guys and the sweet memories we shared forever. My only wish is that I positively impacted their lives in some way, just as my own teachers, for me, did.
Actually, my favorite teacher was Mr. Payne. I remember wanting so bad to be his favorite student and getting super jealous when he paid other students attention! That’s how much I loved him! I remember the day we ate McDonalds together whilst running an errand, and I remember the day he told me he knew that at High School I would become Head Girl or if not, that I’d be successful in whatever I did. Some 15 years later, and his belief in me is still one of my sources of encouragement.
“Those of the Elven-race that lived still in Middle-earth waned and faded, and Men usurped the sunlight. Then the Quendi wandered in the lonely places of the great lands and the isles, and took to the moonlight and the starlight, and to the woods and caves, becoming as shadows and memories, save those who ever and anon set sail into the West and vanished from Middle-earth.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
When I was a child, I believed anything was possible. That I was invincible and that anything I wanted would happen. As I grew older, my view of the world began to change. Doors closed in my face and life proved difficult to manage. But my parents and my faith pushed me to preserve. I chose not to give up. I crawled through the pain.
Today, I stand before you as your English teacher, delivering my goodbye speech in English. To think I once knew not a single word of the language proves in big capital alphabet that MIRACLES really can happen. And do. Over and over again. But here’s the catch. We must actively seek them. But where?
In the words of my favorite poet. “Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”
I am so glad I was your teacher. Please don’t forget me. I know that I will remember you all with fond memories forever. Believe me when I say, I love each and every one of you with my whole spirit.
Until right now, only my immediate family has known this. Because I live super rural with no cafes, restaurants or humans around, I usually have nothing to do in the week-day evenings. As in, really nothing. When it isn’t raining I can go for a bike ride but after the sun sets about 7pm it becomes too dangerous to stay outside (bears).
Also, using my computer isn’t much fun. This is because I’ve been on the damn thing and on my ass all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I do teach (sometimes) but it’s usually 2-3 classes which are only about 45 minutes long. Leaving me a good 6 hours of Facebook time. Joking, I mean research. Educational stuff. As for Japanese TV, I don’t understand it much. Also, it’s really weird (to me).
So back to the thing you don’t know and my parents do, for the past 7 or so months, I have been going to bed at 8.30 and waking up at 5. This has been my mechanism to stop myself from getting even more homesick during the lonely and quiet nights. As for the mornings, I always go for an hour or two walk or bike ride which is where I take these naturey photographs.
So, there you have it. From one direction, it is definitely a somewhat lonely life (though sometimes I do get invited to stuff) but from the other, a direction I’ve chosen to peep from, I am living the life. I mean, when else can I have a Persian-style breakfast for dinner at 5pm and wake up at 5am, blending a green-smoothie on super loud? Totes not when future hubby or future babas come around. Am I right? Or am I insane?