Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My week in pictures

Maybe the title is false advertising, actually.

this post is really about what I've been up over the last few weeks.
Since I finished Uni last week I've been doing something pretty much every single day!
What I'm looking forward to is a day where I have absolutely nothing planned, so I can just sit in my jammies in front of the TV and just watch a bunch of movies on LoveFilm :D

Friday 18th
I have so many weddings to attend over the next few weeks it's ridiculous.
I spent the afternoon/evening with my lovely mates Sam (who i've referred to as 'Choti' in previous posts) and Annie.

Now Sam is getting married in July, and Annies brother is getting married in a few weeks.
In this older post, I briefly outline how loooonnnnggg Pakistani weddings last.  The celebrations usually last around a week, and really are exhausting! But they are so much fun :D

So if you've read the above post I referred to (there's a funny video at the go look at it!) Then you'll have a rough idea of what the Mehndi night is.  It's basically a night before the wedding where the bride or groom to be invite close family and friends to basically sing, dance and generally be merry!

Annie had this brill idea to decorate some candles with mehndi (henna) designs! And since Sam is amaaaazing at doing mehndi (she does it professionally for brides or parties, and also does canvases and stuff), we took some candles to Sam's to see if she could decorate it, and here's the end result:

Ta daaaaa
Some Mehndi put on moi by Sam
So the plan is to have a few candles decorated with henna as decoration on the Mehndi night!

If you're creative you should try it yourself! All she used was some gold craft paint, put into a cone she made herself from cellofane, and then free hand design whatever you want on whatever you want!

but the crafts paint would not be suitable to apply on your skin! 
you need the other type of henna for that (easily gotten from stores, ebay or online)

Monday 21st

Was a day trip to Leicester with mum.  She had to go down for the day for work so I accompanied her as it's a long drive from Manchester (about two and a half hours).

While mum was going about her business for work, I was practicing for the presentations I had the tuesday and thursday after, and then we went to this AMAZING place called Tinseltown for lunch.  It's an American diner style restaurant, and it does the best milkshakes I've ever had!

I first tried Tinseltown a few years ago when I stayed in London with my cousin Tee for the weekend, and our cousin Ashi who was living there at the time introduced us (well me, Tee had been before) to Tinseltown.  There are about 5 branches in London alone, and 1 in Birmingham and Leicester, so If you're local to any of those and you've never tried it, I highly recommend it!

So I got a cajun burger with fries with a black forest Oreo milkshake, and mum got a beef steak with mushroom sauce and fries with a mixed fruit milkshake.

I would attempt to describe how amazing the food tasted....but the adjectives I would use would do no justice to it what so take a look for yourself!

Friday 25th

So I had a group presentation on tuesday, and a solo presentation about my dissertation on thursday.  I think they went pretty well.

When I was walking to Uni on thursday, it hit me, this would be the last time that I would walk to in my campus, ever.
Then I realised 'Oh no, I still have to come back to graduate!'
So technically not the last time ever, but the last time I'd be walking in as an undergraduate!

Quite a bittersweet feeling.  I love Leeds uni.  The campus is great, the student union is amazing, and my lecturers are pretty darn sweet.

My degree was a very small degree in comparison to most university courses.  There were only 20 of us in our course, so we all pretty much knew each other, and as there were so few of us, it meant we got to know the lecturers pretty well as well!

So friday we had a kind of 'leaving meal' where all the students and lecturers went out for a meal afterwards.  It was a really lovely time, but the downside, which is always the downside when you go out in large groups, was that you couldn't really have a chat with everyone that was there.  You where confined to make conversation with whoever was around you, which I didn't mind, as most of the people I were sitting with were lovely, but there's only so much dinner table conversation you can make with the same people for the whole night!

I don't drink, so I said my final farewells and gave my final hugs to everyone after the meal whilst the rest of the gang went of to a few bars to drink the night away! So the few of us that didn't drink walked back to our cars, reminiscing of our first day of Uni, and talking about our first impressions of each other!

I lied to them.  My real first impressions would probably make them cry....

The conversation probably would've gone something like this......
Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Monday 28th

These were verryyyyy foody days.
My mum treated me to lunch on saturday as a little 'well done for finishing uni' kinda thing.  We went to this pretty posh place in the city centre, the kind of place you must make a booking with to be seated.

The food was yummmm.
The portions were quite small, but they were actually very filling!  We had an extremely posh fish butty, and some asparagus or artichoke tart, served on mash with some chips.  I was apprehensive to try this dish, as I'm not neither familiar with asparagus or artichoke or whatever it was, but it was scrummy!
The moral of that story for me was: no matter how grose you might think something sounds, try everything once! it may just surprise you with how edible it actually is!

Then on sunday I had a good catch up with my besty Fizz.  I've been so busy with uni and she's been so busy with work and re-decorating her room, so it was nice to chill out and have a good catch up with her.  Fizz, her hubby Frazzle and I went to Cafe Istanbul for dinner, a turkish restaurant.  I love Turkish/Mediterranean cuisine, so was very happy to be eating here!

Cheese board and fish butty from lunch with mum, and the main and starter from Cafe Istanbul

Then on Monday, we decided to BBQ in the park since the weather was so gorgeous!
We got one of the small, disposable BBQs from Asda, some chicken (tikka, and peri peri), burgers and Iron Bru, and headed to the park!

We were a bit apprehensive about starting a BBQ in the park, as we wern't sure if it was allowed, and if other people would kick up a fuss, but when we arrived three other BBQs where going! So we just smiled and carried on!

I've never had a BBQ before, so I was ridiculously excited!! After a few minor setbacks (not having skewers for the chicken, no tongues to flip/turn the food) we got everything sorted and went ahead with the cooking.

My first thought after eating the food was;
'why has no one every taken me to a BBQ before!?!'

The BBQ'd burger was the best burger I've ever tasted!  I am sooooo gunna BBQ more often!

Dessert! Cheesecake and fruit
And the fun doesn't stop there!

My good friends from Uni Amy and Anj are coming to manchester tomorrow for a day out, and Anj is staying the night so we can have a slumber party!

So that's what I've been up to as of late!
Hope you guys have had some lovely food also ;)


Sunday, 27 May 2012

There are 50 of you!?!


I have 50 followers?!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay *happy dance*

Thanks you guys :D
Blogging was something I've wanted to do for a looooooooong time, but I was always a bit self-conscious about it for some reason.  But I'm so glad I started! I've been introduced to a whole new community of cyber-geniuses!

Seriously, all the blogs I follow, and even some of the ones I don't, but am meaning to when I have more time to commit to blogging (which is about now I suppose!), leave me in awe and inspire me for my blogging!
So round of applause and pat on t'back for you guys! *Applause*

A few months ago, I was thinking that I need to go around and visit all of my followers blogs and go explore some new blogs to broaden my blogging horizons, but I was struggling to keep up with the blogs I regularly follow due to university work, but now that uni's over I am completely free to browse and explore to my hearts content!

So if you guys think there are some blogs out there that are up my alley, then please do recommend!

My last day of Uni was this thursday just gone, and I'm so relieved!
Finally,  the hard graft is over and done with!

I will definitely miss Leeds, it's such a brilliant city, and an amazing university to study at (driving in the city centre, however, is a completely different story! one way systems everywhere!!)
And I'm really gunna miss my friends.  I've made some friends at uni who I will certainly know for the rest of my life (I hope!).  In fact my best mate from uni, Panjy, is coming over to stay at mine sometime next week :D

But the timing is perfect! I'm sure all my non UK followers will have read on other british blogs that the weather has been amazing! It's like being on bloody holiday!

In Manchester we've had highs of 28 degrees C! (I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit... 80 something?)
But I tan So quicklyyyyy It's annoying! And I don't tan very elegantly.  I'm brown already, so when I tan, I just go even browner, but like dirty it looks like I've not washed my face or something :/
It isn't exactly a fabulous look......

Ok I don't look that scary.......

But yes, I have lots of plans for what I want to do now that I'm free in summer including:

  1. Strawberry picking (it's cheap and cheerful :D and the fresh berries taste amazinggg)
  2. get a pedicure (cuz fugly feet do not look good in summer sandals)
  3. go skydiving/bungee jumping (this is not realistic as I am beyond skint)
  4. ride in a hot air balloon (this is slightly more realistic, as we booked this last year sometime, but it's been cancelled about 3/4 times as the weathers always been poops)
  5. visit a bird and/or animal sanctuary (I wanna capture these lovely creatures in their natural element)
  6. Visit as many beautiful parks/beaches as I can in the nice weather (beaches are tough due to where I'm located, the nearest beach is Blackpool, and I'm tired of visiting that dirty, tired excuse for a beach! recommendations are welcome :D)
  7. Bake and cook more
Those are just a few things I can think of from the top of my noggin.  You guys got anything good planned for summer? 


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Comparison is the thief of joy

Lately I've been feeling really disconnected from the world.

Everyone around me seems to be running ahead, having the time of their life, whilst I feel like I'm stuck in the same position, my feet firmly cemented in the ground, left hoping people will wait for me to finish what I'm doing so I can free my feet and catch up to them!

I hate feeling as if I'm not quite as good/funny/pretty/clever/(fill_in_the_blank) as other people, but I sometimes find myself comparing myself to others, wondering If i'm making the right life choices, why am I not doing the same things? Why don't I look like that, why don't I think like that etc. etc.

Then I saw this wonderful quote and remembered, I'm only human;

Teddy Roosevelt, who knew he was so deep?

 It's normal for us all to have those moments where we wonder why we're not having the same success or lifestyle or whatever as another person.  

But where will comparing yourself to another person get you? Absolutely NOWHERE!

Every individual is exactly that, individual.  No two people on this earth will be exactly  the same.  I mean, even identical twins will have some differences in their likes/dislikes and lifestyles, right!?

Therefore we should stop comparing ourselves to other people, because they are nothing like us, and thats the brilliant thing!

We should just be happy with ourselves, and I truly, wholeheartedly believe that you can not expect another human being to love you, until you learn to love yourself.....
(in a non-egotistical way, mind.  Let's not get all Kanye)

But yeah, give yourselves a biiiiiiigggg huggggggg...
now deep breath.........and release


Remember I told you I had a job interview at Liverpool hospital? Well I didn't get the initial full time Audiology position, but I got a phone call this morning from the lady who interviewed me, and she offered me another position!

She said that I didn't get the full time job purely because I didn't have as much experience as the successful candidate*
but one of the Audiologists will be leaving to have a baby in sept, so I've been offered her maternity cover!


I is happy that I's gots a job! Even if it's temporary, monies is monies, and experience is experience! But it wont start until after I graduate (July).

*I hate when they say you didn't get the job because of lack of experience.  What kind of vicious circle is this!? How can I get experience if you won't give me the chance to earn any!?!

Have any of you guys got any exciting job prospects coming up? pray do tell!


Friday, 11 May 2012

Lazy post

I know a post is long overdue, but I've got an exam and two presentations coming up so have been busy coming back and forth from uni and revising etc. etc.

So I hate to do this, cuz it's extreeeeemly lazaaay, but It's just some music that has been helping me through this stressful time!

So Ryan Leslie is, in my opinion, one of the best and underrated RnB artists of our time.  He's currently unsigned, but produces some of the best beats I've heard, EVER! 

excuse his flashy exterior in the video.  Everything seems to be about 'swag' as of late, so I suppose Ryans gotta showcase his! 

The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony.  Brilliant video, even better song.  I don't know why I find this song so uplifting! I feel kinda pumped after listening too it.  the line 'your a slave to the money the you dieeeee' shouldn't really motivate me to get my university work over and done with, seeing as i'll just probably fall into the same boring routine of work, eat sleep, but does! 

Now I know this song is pretty much everywhere at the moment, TV, radio, but there's something about Alex Clare's voice that makes me not give a shite about how overhyped and nonsensical most mainstream music is today.  And it has just the right amount of dubstep in it, not too much of the crazy screeching! 

so again, massive apologies for the laziness! But once this is all over I can be back on track with some semi-decent drivel that has happend to moi.
And I promise I will get around to everyones blogs soon! Apologies for the lack of commenting.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

I'm a healthy eater! And other lies....

I'm trying to eat more healthily.  I need to shed a few pounds.
Don't worry, this won't turn into a weight watchers blog where I update you on how much I've lost (or put on, in my case!).

I'm not obese or anything, just a teeny tiny bit over weight. I joined the gym last october-ish, and since then, I've lost 3lbs. yaaaaay for me!
But wait...(or weight....if you like, bwahaha), when I returned to uni last week after being on placement at Dewsbury for 5 weeks, one of my friends Sal looked noticeably trimmer, and I was all like 

'gurlllll you look good! you've lost so much weight!' 
and she was like 
'Thanks :D I've lost a stone!'
and then I was like 
'WHUT!?! :O How did you lose a stone in 5 weeks? I lost 3lbs in 6 months :/'
and then she was like
'just through dieting and cutting out all the bad food I used to eat'

and then I was like DARN IT! 
Those of you who've been following me for a while know that I regularly post pictures of food!  But that's my biggest problem, my darn will power! And I think that's what a lot of people struggle with.  I'm pretty regular with exercise, and I know myself that I probably would shed a lot more weight If i eat more sensibly, but darn it, how do you expect me to have a cup of tea without some jaffa cakes!?! 

So now I'm gunna start eating healthier :D
Now I know from experience, things like this should be done in moderation and slowly.  If I was to give up caffeine, stope eating sugary snacks, avoid take-aways and not have any crisps all at once, I would be an emotional wreck, throw ridiculous hissy fits and break down after...hmmmm..let me think......36 hours :'(

Ok, maybe not 36 hours, but still, I'd just end up giving up and binging on all of the oh so good, but oh so bad for you fooooooooodz.

My usual conversation with food

So my first step is giving up caffeine.  Caffein in moderation is not really a bad thing, but if you become dependent on it it and have it in excess then it can increase your blood sugar levels, act as a diuretic, making you wee a lot more but retain water less, and can decrease your iron levels. But the biggie for me is that I read (I can't remember where, maybe in the metro or something?) that dependancy on caffeine increase fat storage, especially around the stomach area.

Now switching from regular coffee to decaff isn't really a big deal for me.  I'm not a big coffee drinker to be honest.
My problem lies with that beautiful hot drink, made up by those three sweet letters........
*swoon*, I'm getting all hot and bothered just thinking about the delicious beverage!
It's times like this I'm annoyed with my cultural identity.  I'm British Pakistani, so it's like a double tea whammy, as both cultures are obsessed with tea.
(It's a generalisation.  Not all brits and paks love tea, shocking, I know.)

So the first step was finding an alternative hot beverage.  My mums joining me on this quest of healthy eating, and she is even more obsessed with tea than I am.  I'm an amateur in the tea drinking stakes in comparison to mother dearest.  She must have between 5-8 cups a day.  So giving up caffeine was a big blow to my mum! But worry not dearests, we found amazing tea substitutes:

sorry, instagram-ing had to be just HAD to!

so theres peppermint tea which is lovely with fresh mint leaves also

green tea, which tastes dissgrossting (disgusting+gross=disgrossting, courtesy of GM for thinking of that geniusnes), but makes me feel less guilty if I drink one after a greasy take-away

Apple and Cinnamon which is very refreshing, and suprisingly, it's purple!

Decaf tea so we can enjoy a normal brew minus the caffeine

and Redbush, which my mum could not stop making immature jokes about (I'm sure you can work them out for yourself!).  Now I like this, but my mum thinks it's nasty.  It's not exactly savoury, but it has that kind of smell, and is quite different from a normal cuppa.  Lovely though, in my opinion!

is this not the coolest tea set you've ever seen!?
from laughingsquid

We've also been eating a lot more spinach and other leafy greens.  We generally have a lot of fruit and veg in our diet anyway.  We have a curry pretty much everyday (as you'd expect in an asian household), and most of the time its either chicken, or aubergine, cauliflower, kidney beans, lentils (dhaal) etc. etc. but the downside to a curry is that it's quite oily and salty etc. and with veggies, it's the general rule of the longer you cook them, the less minerals and nutrients they have.

so yes.  lets see how long this lasts!

By the by....

did you lot vote in the elections today??
I hope you did! I take voting so seriously.  I honestly believe that every vote counts and really does make a difference.  I know sooooo many people who go on like
'bah, I'm not voting cuz I don't believe in any of the political parties.  They're all poops'
Duhhhhh! We all know every political parties chats crap and are full of false promises and  what not.  Just do what I do and vote for the person you hate the least!

I mean, we take the fact the we have the privilege to vote so lightly.  Remember 100's of years ago when only the top of society had the right to vote? and remember the suffragettes who jumped in front of horses to get the point of women's rights across!? (I'm pretty sure someone jumped in front of a horse!).  

Look at Saudi, women can't even bloody vote there!!! (arghhhh, that's a rant for another post), and look at the arab spring.  People are dying, dying for a democratic government! 

So don't take it for granted and go and vote for the person you hate the bloody least!!
(I'm aware that this may be too late as voting finished at 10pm! but remember this for next time :P)