Thursday, 8 December 2011

"I Wish I Wasn't Your Daughter"


First things first: I love my mama! Like most people, I think she's the best mother in the world. So the title of this post is definitley not me. Its the absurd, far-too-long name of a new Pakistani drama on TV here at the moment! Props to the producers for making a drama that for once  is moving quite fast... In just a few weeks, the story has unfolded quite a lot. BUT it just gets more and more ridiculous and horrifying. I had to sit down and write about it. Its like I need therapy because I've watched this!

The main character: a girl called Khushi (happiness) and her nickname is Pagli (madness). And she's very... well, happy and mad.

The storyline: Khushi comes from a super poor family. When she was a kid, she had a male best friend who she loved like a fat kid loves cake. Drowning in ever increasing poverty, her parents sell her (yes SELL her) to a super rich family. The oldest son is happily married but his wife can't have children, so they buy (yes BUY) Khushi for a year. She'll have his baby (which will have to be a boy, of course) and then her "husband" will divorce her and send her back home. Upon doing so, her family will get some more money.

Why does Khushi do it? She has no idea whats going on, the dumb twat. She thinks she's marrying her  childhood BFF that's just come mysteriously turned up again. She doesn't even mind that he's already married. True love, eh?

In short, she makes her new hubby fall in love with her, probably because of her "happiness" and "madness" one can only guess. And as luck would have it, she's pregnant now too. So what does her husband do? Illegally obtains miscarriage-inducing pills, spikes her orange juice with them, and gives them to her. He tries to abort their baby so that she can stay with them longer! Otherwise, she'd have the baby and have to leave!

At this point, I made a decision: I am stepping out of the room when this show it on. Disturbing on SO many levels!

What ever happened to simple love stories? You know... like she's super poor, her childhood BFF comes back, marries her, they both work hard, pull her family out of poverty and hey presto! Happiness all around?

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Pakistani Tea Party: Some Point to Note


Tea is huge part of the Pakistani culture. So much so, that if you say "I don't drink tea" you get something similar to the reaction of Toula's aunt in My Big Fat Greek Wedding to her fionce not eating meat: "you don't eat MEAT?!?!" Shocking.

You see, a cup of tea with your family, curled up on the sofa, watching tv at the end of long day can be the best thing in the world. But serving tea to aunties you havn't seen in months and have little in common with, while your tea-serving standards are ruthlessly scrutinised  = not so fun.

It goes something like this, and if you are Pakistani/South-Asian/live in an area with a large population of Asians, chances are you can relate to at least one of the points below:

  1. First thing to note, Pakistani "tea guests" will rarely call before coming over. If you do get some notice, it'll be an hours notice max. More likely is a call to ask "are you home? because we've just pulled into your street!"

  2. A minimum of three-four snacks to accompany the tea are expected. No way around this. You only have one thing to serve? Just biscuits? Well forget it. Forget the tea altogether. Thats just insulting. Its an insult to the tea itself! Your going to be cussed much less for not offering ANY tea than you are for a half-full table of accompaniments.

  3. There should be at least one deep-fried snack. Acceptable are: kebabs, samosas, pakoras, spring rolls and cutlets. Not acceptable is anything healthy. What is this brown bread, low fat, sandwich? Or sugar-free rusks? Conclusion: too cheap to buy enough oil to serve proper (ie. fried) food.

  4. You must, I repeat MUST, offer your guests everything at least 5 times. Do a count in your head. If you fall short, they are going to call you inhospitable. And if you really want to impress them, use different words each time. Forget the normal "would you like some cake?" You've got to mix it up with a bit of "I made this cake especially for you" (ie. I was saving this to eat whilst watching Glee later, dammit) with some pushy "have some more." Simulatenously shoving a slice on their already full plate helps too.

  5. And finally... if your guests don't leave an inch wider around the waist and fuller than if they'd had dinner with you instead, then its all over for you.

Disclaimer: All of the above is true. All characters appearing in this post are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely the truth.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Birthday Honours!


Happy Birthday to NR and IR, the two mummies, correction: YUMMY mummies of our group! Our go-to ladies for all queries on happy homemaking ;-)

Last month NR turned.... we'll just say late 20's! And today, its IR's birthday! In her honour, the rest of us want to share our favourite birthday memory of her:

JN: for IR, I'll always remember her bday at the restaurant with the belly-dancer! That was nice, but even better was the year we took her to a Sainsbury's carpark in the middle of nowhere, put her in a shopping trolley and bombed her with water baloons...! She was completely soaked!!!

SK: I second that, water bombing her in the middle of a car park on a freezing November night!

And in honour of NR, here's where we see her in 10 years time: 

SK: babysitting our kids because her own will be too old and she'll be feeling broody but her husband will say no more kids, babysit ur friends! OR she will be a supercool mum who will become a personal shopper for babies on the side, making them dress up in designer wear!

To two of our most beautiful (inside and out) friends, from all of us: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Why Comfort Eating is Overrated and Banana Cupcakes Recipe


For reasons I'll explain in my next post, I am feeling DE-pressed right now. Majorly. So I'm on the dangerous slope that is Comfort Eating. I finished the box of chocolates I treated myself to less than two weeks ago and as the store that sells imported chocolates is a bit far from home, I've taken to baking. It all started off with an innocent enough Zuchinni/Courgette Cake and pretty much went downhill from there. Chocolate cupcakes, orange yoghurt cake, trifle, chocolate mousse... I've made them all in the last couple of weeks alone! *gulp*

My family, on the other hand, must be loving this little "phase" I'm going through. Like yesterday, when my husband was full from dinner and then I bought out a tray of banana cupcakes, he was so pleasantly surprised that for a split second I thought "hey, maybe this won't be just a phase. I should do this everyday!"

And then I ate three of the cupcakes and actually felt my clothes slowly yet surely get snugger around my waist and almost burst into tears.

Comfort eating is not supposed to have guilt attached to it at the end! Whats that about? So I go to all that effort to feel better (comforted!) only to end up feeling tired and guilty AS WELL AS still upset?! Well thats crap. I need a new comfort plan.

Comfort painting?
Comfort cleaning?!
Comfort movie fests??!

Anyway, whenever you feel guilty after eating something, it generally means it turned out good. Really good. So I'm going to spread the guilt a little and share the recipe!

Banana Cupcakes with Pastry Cream Topping
(Makes about 15)
Recipe inspired by and adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup ripe, mashed bananas
1/4 cup yoghurt 

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius (320 fahrenheit).

Meanwhile, put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and using a hand whisk, stir them together. Or you can sift them together but this takes longer and you can achieve the same goal (ie. combining them all evenly) but just stirring together with a whisk too.

Then, put the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla in a seperate bowl and using an electornic whisk, mix it all up. Add your flour in two additions, alternating with the yoghurt. So you would add some of the flour, whisk, add some yoghurt, whisk, etc. Don't over whisk at this stage; a couple of seconds is enough. You just want the flour to be incorporated without ruining the texture of the batter by over mixing.

Finally, stir in your mashed bananas and thats your batter done! Pour into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 mins. Of course, this will vary from oven to oven so just keep an eye on it from 15 mins onwards.

For the topping,  Brown Eyed Baker suggested pastry cream goes well with this, instead of traditional icing. I've never made pastry cream before. In fact, I wasn't even sure what it was!! A bit of reading up told me I do know this actually: its used to fill eclairs and also known as crème patisserie. I was super excited about making this because I love, love, LOVE ecalirs, profiteroles, etc! To be honest, I was a teeny bit disappointed as it was more from the custard family than it was from the cream family. But I persevered and piped some onto my cupcakes anyway and am glad I did. It goes really well with these particular cupcakes. Alone, the banana taste in this might be too rich, but this gives it a really nice balance without the heaviness of icing.

I used Joy of Baking's pastry cream recipe, because there was a video with it too. Note. you need to make and refrigerate this for a couple of hours before using, all explained in the video.

I didn't take any photos myself because my camera was upstairs and I was being lazy! So you'll just have to trust that they looked exactly as the original creator's did:

Taken from Brown Eyed Baker's blog. Links above!

Friday, 11 November 2011


Posted By IR

This is probably one of the things that ticks me off the most. If I've ever said this to anyone, please forgive me for being a complete dog.

I hate it when random people tell me I should be planning my next baby now. Worse still...that I should have had my next one by now. Or even worse....that I need a boy next. Just ssshhhh will you people. I'll plan my next baby when I want.

My daughter is turning two this i'll wait another year or more to start planning no 2. So what! I want to enjoy my time with her. I want to work. I want to concentrate on myself. I want 'me time'.

Please read NR's post on 'Me Time' and you'll understand why I dont want to rush! That Blog post is enough to make anyone stop, think and sit in the bath before there's no bloody time!!!

But i'll tell you what makes me go doolally; when my husband, who knows, and is happy about the plan of waiting, decides to push my psycho button. I was telling him how before daughter, I made 4 roti's instead of the now 5. (I promise this conversation sounded interesting to me at the time....but for those of you who aren't married yet....this is as exciting as breakfast gets when you're married). So he says:

..... 'so love, ain't it 'bout time we made 6 roti's instead of 5?'


If you thought the above was me being psycho, you're wrong. I then got the margerine knife and stabbed his toast....with force.....

I dont think he'll forget 'The Plan' now.......

The Local Library

Posted by IR

So I went to my local library last week as I needed some books on teaching. Before I could get any books out, I needed a library card. I hadn't been to this library in 11 years! So here's how the story went:

IR: I need a library card please. (Sweet smile...all is good)

Librarian: Have you been to this library before?

IR: Yes, but many years ago.

Librarian: Ok i'll have to look at the records.

She took my name and address.

Librarian: You already have a card here. And you have two books outstanding on the card from 11 years ago. Do you have these books at home as you need to pay a fine.

I'm thinking you what! You want me to pay a fine from 11 years ago. And would I have these books at home....of course not! I obviously don't have the books.

IR: How much is this fine?

Librarian: Well if you don't have the books, you've got to replace them so the fine is £16.

Well I thought what the hell again. I'm not paying £16 for Jane Austens study guide and a chemistry book that I havnt used in 11 years. I sound so aggressive in this blog. And I suppose I am a bit fierce when I think to myself and then I speak and am ten notches calmer! So I told her I'd get back to her as I wanted to still see if there were any books on teaching. But she wouldn't leave me alone.

Librarian: Can you look for these books at home?

I couldn't possibly have these books you see as you should know that in the last 11 years I moved out to uni for 3 years. Moved back home. Got married and moved out again. Had a child. And in all that time never ever came across my Jane Austen study guide.

IR: I really don't have these books.

Librarian: But maybe you should look for them.

IR: I havn't got them...really I havn't. (cool as a cucumber)

She looks like a typical librarian...Glasses. Knee length pencil skirt. Grey hair. And then she tuts!

IR: So anyway. Can you help me to look for the books that I've come here for?

And her reply just made me laugh out loud!

Librarian: The can I help you to look for the books...they're in your house!!!

Ughhhhhhhhhhh. Silly woman! Why would I ask you to help me to look for my books in my house? Why?

That feeling of wanting to hit my head against a brick wall was so overwhelming.

Needless to say I didn't find the books I wanted at the library and didn't even attempt to pay the fine. Kind of legged it out the library like I was committing a crime.

Oh and guess what my label is now:

biblioklept, biblioclept
1. A book thief or someone who steals books.
2. Besides the direct biblioklept there is the indirect thief who borrows and never returns books to their proper owners (including a library).

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

An Ode to Take-Out!


You know those days when just the thought of the kitchen makes you feel like hiding under the bed? When that whole "Happy Housewife" malarkey feels like a distant concept as understandable as Sanskrit (or as NK would say, something a Man probably came up with)! Well the morning after Eid felt exactly like that. After slaving away in the kitchen till 1am the night before, the number of total dishes served alongside MIL's cooking turned out to be such a ridiculously large amount that no-one really noticed the velvety texture of my chocolate mousse, the creaminess of the béchamel in my moussaka or even the six layers in my trifle! The next day, the thought of even looking in the direction of the kitchen made me want to puke.

God bless my Husband for occasionally saying the totally and completely right thing at the right time. Times like that a wife is suddenly flooded with the "yes-thats-why-I-married-him!" feeling, which (if you are super lucky) lasts ALL the way till he next speaks ;-)

What were these golden words of his? "Don't cook. We'll get take-out."

I swear I actually heard that operatic "Hallelujia!"

Its become a sort of weekly thing for us, getting take-out. It might be more or less in your houses, but how often do we stop and really appreciate the possibility of picking up the phone and ordering food to come to you? My god, in Pakistan you can even order a milkshake from McDonalds to be delivered to you if you really want! (I've done this... Ultimate definition of "a moment on the lips, two years on the hips").

Anyway, so this particular occasion, we went for BBQ Tonight, a favourite of ours. We always get the "charga" (a full chicken, barbequed with Pakistani spices) and then add things to it, like pilao or a karahi. There was even some charga left over for me to shred and chuck into an omlette for breakfast this morning! Dee-lish.

I love how despite the fact that in many ways, moving to Pakistan has meant leaving behind a lot of "luxuries," there are things I can do here that I couldn't do in London, like:

  • have any and every restaurant deliver to me, including the internationals like Nandos, Chicken Cottage, McD's etc;
  • eat freshly barbequed food as if it was just bought in from my back garden, without doing any of the hard work myself; and
  • marvel at the delivery boxes! None of the standard cardboard affair for BBQ Tonight my friends... Their food comes in those sturdy, microwave-safe, plastic storage boxes you can stuff your leftovers in, which I'm pretty sure I have about 10 of now! (I guess the not-cooking was as far as I could leave behind the Housewife in me).

Incase You Were Wondering What Muslims Do at Parties...


So this Eid we played Eid games:
 >      Pin the Sahaba on the Kaaba
 >      Musical Tawaaf statues
 >      Races between Safa Marwa
Then loads of fireworks. One went into a tree and set it alight. My mum and aunties panicked and started running to the kitchen to fill handis (bowls) with water. Luckily, hose pipe was ready and we caught it in time before the fence set alight! But 999 was also on the ready. So much fun.

Friday, 4 November 2011

'Me' Time


Time: 2pm 
Location: My Car
Situation: Little One (a.k.a Tiny Terror) FINALLY asleep in her car seat. I am parked right in front of my house. Will need to collect her big sis in an hour.
Quite simply I need to get out of the car as I mindlessly do many times a day, go around to the back of the car, open door, unbuckle car seat, pick her up, hug "ssh there there, sleepy sleepy, it's okay", lock car, down the path to the front door, unlock door, into the house put her down on the sofa, try to take coat off without waking her, cover her with blanky, gently turn away...."MAMA...waaaaa"....
Nope! Can't face it, not today, not right now. 
SO instead I lean further back into my car seat close my eyes and take in the silence. 
A potential hour to myself, one whole hour to do whatever I please...well as much as can be done when one is confined to their car. 
Where to begin, look in wipes...old tissues....aha my MAC

Group e-mail to friends:

NR: IR and HA I just want to say I don't know how you do it all and so well. 
HA: What u talking abt woman ur the one who has two babies, a hubby, a house to look after, in laws and own family nearby to keep on top of, PLUS u just helped ur sister with her new baby AND u help ur mum with lots, plus school run, plus cooking and last but not least, u manage to look like a hot mama while ur at all of it!!!
HA: By the way I washed and ironed all of hubby's white dress shirts yest, about 6 in total, only for him to tell me this morning he wants to wear a blue one. Its like something out of a sitcom. Its almost 12 hours later and I still can't believe it!
NR: Lol see you do everything so well, I can't even iron a shirt.
But I am sitting in the car applying a bright new lipgloss and about to repaint nails. Haha. Baby sleeping in the back. 
Half an hour left, enough time to draft my well overdue 'being us' blog and as HA managed to sum up my life so far there's not much left to write...except that the hot mama bit is debatable.
Oh shoot old lady from across the road has been staring at me probably wondering why I still haven't left my car. She normally comes over whenever I get out and has a LONG chat about people today,sentences begin "no offence" all the while offending me of course. Time to drive to the other end of my road. After all it is still 'ME' Time and I'll take it any way I can get it!!!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Men and Food: As Straight Forward As We Think?


The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right?

Who the heck even came up with that?! Ok, I know some people think men are "simple" creatures (note. from the sentiments towards them you'll have read in NK's posts, clearly we are not those people) but SO simple that a good meal is enough to win them over totally and completely?! And if that is true, where are these men?

I live in a house with four other men: my husband, his two younger brothers and my father-in-law. That's a lot of testosterone for anyone but can you imagine what its like for me, the only child that lived with her mother and no other male for 25 years? I often see them do things that are probably SO normal to people used to being around guys, but I'm like *jaw-dropped*

For example, all the nudging to each other when an ad with Katrina Kaif in it is on tv, and then the no-blink stares at her. I'm uselessly yelling, "these kind of ads objectify women! Imagine if that was your sister that random men are oggling at! We should be united in our war against portrayals of women as marketing tools! This is beyond sexist!"

Yes. I am way over the top sometimes.

Ok I may be not be big fan of hers (ie. slightly jealous) but even I can't resist a London photoshoot!

Anyway, point of this post being that before I came here, and even during the years I was engaged to my Husband, I had only the standard male stereotypes to guide me on what living with men would be like... and now I'm wondering why has no-one corrected these? They are not (that) true....

Take dinner time. Prior to getting married, I honestly thought that you feed a man an AMAZING meal and hey presto! He's so grateful/impressed you can pretty much he's like "Katrina who?" *Ba Dum Chhh* so off I ventured into the kitchen to produce these extravagent dinners: curries with fresh cream, homemade sauces, breads in every shape and flavour, roasts, casseroles, humungous sandwiches and desserts to die for!

Only for my awesome Husband to politley inform me he is the least fussiest eater in the world. I needn't kill myself; he'll eat "whatever!" Can I just point out here I am actually grateful he's like this (in SHARP contrast to his brothers... the abuse over food their poor mother deals with!) and its not like I'm trying to win him over or anything, we are very happily married! BUT now I'm actually an okay cook. And everytime I make dinner, theres a secret part of me that wants him to make those ridiculous "mmmm" noises on the first bite and exclaim "you are just amazing! best.wife.ever!"

Such self-absorbance, I know.

Funnily, its actually my girl friends that are super impressed with a fancy meal! NK practically begins her day with a message to me asking what I'm cooking today (eternally grateful for her support in my self-absorbance) so maybe we have all the stereotypes the wrong way round?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My Wedding...Your Wedding...Our Wedding.....Who's Wedding!!


That all special day, your Wedding Day; does the bride actually get a say, like a proper say, in how her day goes??

Me and HA were talking about weddings, when it just occurred to me, weddings really aren't much about what the bride and groom want. Everyone wants their opinion accounted for during the wedding period.

> Friends want that all important Henna party, so they can live out some weird dancing fantasy of theirs, and have a legitimate reason to ignore their children

> Parents want a very big Party, so all of their family members and family friends can join in. Mostly people we hardly talk too and probably really don't even get on with, but have to invite to keep face

> Auntys want a big wedding, so they can put on their latest outfits to show off, and then gossip about how bad everything was

> And uncles.....well they just want food!

All of this reminds me of my sisters wedding, she did not have a clue (exceptional case, most brides are very involved in their wedding). All she wanted was her outfits! I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown, organising everything, and thought it can't any worse then this, until my dad announced he's going to make a speech at the wedding. At that moment, my mums face started to turn red, and before she exploded I quickly and calmly commented, 'aww that's nice dad, so how long is it?', my dad smiled back innocently like this is the most normal thing to say, '10 pages front and back'. That was it: Armageddon in my house, I obviously allowed my mum to go crazy! Ten pages!!! I mean heelllloooo, this is not an opportunity for you to shine dad!!!

But the big day came, and somehow my dad did get hold of the mike, and out came his autobiography. You would think I'm exaggerating but No, from the day he was born, to his wedding, to all of our births (his kids), his different jobs, his hobbies, ample jokes, to one last sentence of congratulating the bride and groom!

Forks really should be sharper, every time I tried stabbing myself it just didn't work!

Soooo, I've decided to have my wedding at my house, mainly because of the fear of  'The Speech'!! I do want a nice small intimate wedding....but I guess we'll have to see what happens! Will keep you all updated!

Back to men;

Mens preparation for their wedding day:

  1. Get into a suit
  2. Gel their hair
  3. Get into the car

Ukhhhh!! Do they know what we have to go through??! The whole preparation for the venue, the decor, the outfits, the hair, the make up and last but not least, pack up your whole life and move, to start a new one!!! I mean do they even understand, even a tiny teeny bit, of how hard this could be??!!!

If they weren't so self absorbed, maybe they would realise why we have schizophrenia in the first couple of months of marriage......

I feel another I Hate Men book coming along....

Dial A Shisha???


So I was just sitting around listening to some music, suddenly a leaflet came through the door. I thought it was the standard takeaway delivery/charity unwanted clothes leaflet so was just about to throw it in the bin when something caught my eye: Dial A Shisha???!!! i couldn't believe it, now we are having shisha delivered to our houses!

At first I was like wow thats a good idea but then I thought isn't the whole fun of shisha sitting somewhere with my friends fighting over the shisha pipe and listening to arabic music u can't understand???? Although i do understand with the cold hitting the UK having a shisha delivered indoors where there is no smoking ban you can enjoy it more. Personally I'd buy my own cos it would cost the same.

Now we have shisha being delivered to us what's next, dial a cigarette service??? I think I'm gonna start it up!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

What To Do With a Courgette... Or Two


We call them courgettes in England... My family in North America says we are totally wrong and they are actually called zucchini. And then I come to Pakistan where my mother-in-law politley informs me this is, in fact, "maaroo."

I don't see these green yummies that much here, so bought a kilo worth when I was out this week, only to find all the boys in my house (Husband, his brothers and father-in-law) flick pieces of courgette from my big roast veg tray to the side of their plates. I was really hurt on behalf of the poor courgettes.

Anyway I had two leftover and was stuck on how to use them up when I cam across this recipe.*

My excitement at making this was more about whether or not anyone would figure out there is a vegetable in it than eating a delicious chocolate bread, which is exactly what it was. So moist and so light! Chocolate anything is usually quite heavy, but this was lovely which is probably why I had three slices (nothing compared to Husband's five I guess, *gulp*)

Also, I didn't have a loaf pan and just used my mother-in-law's oval cake tin.

*I've only ever tried one more recipe from this site: eggplant wrapped kebabs, which was yummy. Next, I'm trying the Greek stuffed tomatoes/peppers!

OH and not one person figured out there was "maaroo" in this! Husband did eventually but only when I narrowed it down and said "I'll give you a hint: green veg you didn't like!"

And now its ALL finished :-)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011



The mortification of waking up having drooled on Mr Husband’s arm was too much. I had to write about it. As I’m still cringing hours later, I’m hoping this will be therapeutic for me. 

This (and other “human” behaviours) may not be a big deal in some marriages. Who knows, maybe 10 years down the line it won’t be to me either! But for the moment, I think we’re still in that relatively composed phase. I mean I would not burp/belch in front of him (ever… not 10, 100, or even 1,000 years down the line!) and he doesn’t do your typical disgusting manly things in front of me either (like fart, ew. I’m not uptight I promise. I just have major issues with public gassy exchanges, as well as other uncomposed behaviours).

So when I discovered I had drooled on him last night… what can I say, I’ve been very disturbed since! As with all other disturbing instances in life, I turned to my friends immediately. A quick email later, I discovered that IR has been there, done that (sorry for outing you IR by the way). And I’m wondering, what other weirdo uncontrollable behaviours are we doing in our sleep that we don’t even realise?! 

I know I used to grind my teeth! I don’t anymore, thank God. But when I used to share a room with my mum many moons ago, I remember once she got up, walked over to my bed and SLAPPED me in my sleep to make me stop! By the way, my mum is a super gentle person, so the slapping just goes to show how bad the grinding was. Needless to say, we stopped sharing a room soon afterwards.

But apart from that (and the common embarrassing sleep problem: snoring—which I don’t do…yet), what other sleep “disorders” are there out there? (And how many are my friends guilty of? That’s what I’m curious about!) 

I Wikipedia’d this:
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (oh my god this one may be less embarrassing more useful to use if your partner annoys u… a karate-chop or strategic kick in bed could be followed by “oh I’m so sorry, I think I suffer from PLMD!!!” You see why this post is important?)
  • Somniphobia (fear of sleep) I’m going to be suffering from that soon, if I have even one more drooling incident! 
  • Sleep walking. You know what, I’ve never really taken this one THAT seriously before but apparently, people have been acquitted of murdering their wives, mistresses, even mothers-in-law using the “sleepwalking defence!”
Anyway, back to my drooling problem, I am going to sleep with my hand forever tucked under my cheek from now, so I can catch any unwanted saliva in future! Alternatively, I’m going to see if there are any hypnotherapists near me and ask them to hypnotize my mouth into never, ever misbehaving and embarrassing me like that again.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Pencil, Curl and Gloss!

Posted by NK
Waking up in the morning and crawling out of bed, with the mirror right infront of my bed is not such a good idea....
 Isn’t it always the case, that one eye takes longer to open up and the other looks like its been punched.  Your mouth is sooo dry like your saliva’s been sucked out your mouth.  Your hair looks like its had a really bad hairdresser back comb and curl it, and you’ve also been electrocuted repatedly!!! 
Soooooo who praises the creators of MAKE UP!! Meeeeeeeee!!!!
I’ve always been a fan of make up and trying it out from a young age got rid of those initial mistakes you learn from, like:
Ø  Not penciling your eyebrows and looking bald
Ø  Not curling your eyelashes  and looking tired and depressed
Ø  Too much eyeshadow all over ur eyes, so you look like an art piece
Ø  No blusher, so looking drained
Ø  And too much foundaton,  so you loolk like cake mixture
Since then, me and my friends have come a long way and make up has been our best friend.  From Maxfactor being our HEAD foundation, we’ve moved over to MAC and bare minerals (mostly MAC). I remember the first year of uni spending many days with IR in her room painting lots of different colours on our eyelids, and using the liquid eyeliner pretty much all over our face, thinking we are the next HOT thing  - until ofcourse we took pics and realised how simlar we looked to Drag Queens! 

Just yesterday  I lost my liquid eyeliner and obviously freaked out because my outfit needed liquid eyeliner (does that make sense), like sometimes you wear an outfit that needs a specific make up piece?? Soooo, I decided to use the blacktrack liquid eyeliner from MAC with a brush and wowza, how smooth,  pointed and BLACK, was my top eyeliner!! I looked like a rock queen! I then used the same in my eye instead of my pencil eyeliner and again WOWZA, it lasted AND looked awesome AND did not smudge!!!!
So my make-up must do’s are:
Ø  Curl eyelashes
Ø  Pencil eyebrows
Ø  Mascara
Ø  Blusher
Ø  And glossy lips!
As long as you have these basics you can look “natural” or just remain looking like an Ogre!! 
Lets go back to my anger against they even realise and appreciate what we have to go through??? I mean its perfectly fine for them not to wear any make-up (well some) and to be hairy, sometimes being even more hairy is more attractive to women! But for us we need to be all primed and princess like, eyebrows done,  facial hair removed and make up on!  I sometimes think we should be a bit more like the elder auntys with their furry moustaches and overgrown eyebrows going back into their head!!
The most men do is wash their face and jump into jeans and THATS IT!
Where women, lets not even list the things we need to go through to walk out that door. Even though saying that, me and the girls did break this mould at university going to the service station at ridiculous times in our pj’s and the security guard questioning if I was a girl or a boy??!!! Also going to edgeware road in flowery asian suits and furry slippers with a smacked face with smudged make-up!
Soo I guess its down to us, give in to the princess lady look or the grizzly ogre look....which one are you, Ogre or Princess??

Missing Broody Gene?


So I went to see my cousin yesterday who had a baby boy. He's gorgeous and tiny and has so much jet black hair!

But I didn't feel broody at all! All my sisters went to see the baby too and they came back broody as hell!

So is there something wrong with me?

Could be because the baby just cried and cried whilst I was there and all I was thinking was thank god that's not me on that bed! Also when I got to hospital, my cousin (bless her) was crying and said "I haven't slept for two days, he doesn't stop crying, I just wanna go home..." So I was trying to console her and make the baby stop crying. At the same time, I was like Thank God Thank God Thank God lol!

So am I missing the broody gene?!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Welcome To The Play-Doh Mansion



1. It's rubbed into my beige carpet.

2. It's been plonked into my hot cuppa tea!

3. All the different colours have been mixed together and it now looks like a heap of poo.

4. It's stuck in little one's hair.

5. It's stuck to my work trousers which I noticed while kids went into assembly. So I scraped it off and it's left a dirty mark.

6. There's lots of little pieces under my dining table...I'm leaving them there for a few days so it dries up and it's easier to Hoover. Hoping MIL (mother in law) doesn't see it and think I'm gandi (dirty!).

If you want a play-doh mansion of your own, this is how you can make play-doh:

1 cup plain flour
1 cup water
2 tblsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
2tblsp oil
food colouring

Mix the dry ingrdients in a saucepan then add water, mix until smooth, add food colouring (i do this last so the spoons don't stain) then add the oil, & cook on medium heat, keep stiring til dough leaves sides. I mix in food colouring to different pieces of play-doh.

To store, I put each colour (I'd they stay separate) into a food bag and it stores in the fridge for AGES!

If you've already got a play-doh mansion up and running please feel free to add to the list of mansion mishaps! 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Curse of Working!


I totally agree with NK when did it get too hard?

I remember our time in uni, during the 3 years it was all about making depressing movies funny. During that particular instance in our room me NK IR and JN started of watching the movie, as usual JN and IR fell asleep and me and NK were waiting with tissues for a reason to cry. Suddenly, everything in the movie became funny especially the dances!

Those days were the days! It consisted of smoking shisha at breakfast, getting our student loans and  becoming rich overnight, spending it all on shopping, sleeping till 4pm, making our friend SS wake up at 3am to go get us kebab rolls cos we were hungry, annoying our neighbours Bob & Eileen, endless water fights and house parties!

How times have changed  6 years on from uni my routine is getting up at 7am work like a dog till 4pm, come home fit my exercises in the evening and spend some time with hubby. At the same time try and study for the ACCA which, should be renamed Association of Cruel and Confused Accountancy. Its cruel cos it has 14 exams and its confused cos no one gets it!

Its the curse of working peeps just when you think your saved from it, it comes and bites you in the backside!

I don't think anyone enjoys work those that do have no life! Bring back the days of laughing at sad movies and sleeping till 4pm!

It's Too Hard!!


So just as you think life can't get any worse,  it does..............

A brief background on me:

I'm the single one in our group
Working like a D O G
A bit mental  - like chicken oriental
and the good looking one ;)

Soooo is it just me or is everyone stuck in a dead end job, working like a freak, having serious issues in their personal life, hating on men ( so understanding lesbianism) and constantly thinking,  life is a BIYATCH!

The crapness all started with sitting in SK's room in the first year of uni, and we were contemplating, should we watch a depressing movie or attend tomorrows lecture, obviously the latter was decided upon and we ended up laughing like hyenas throughout.  From then we were never serious, well I was never serious about anything and have moved on to be in a crappy job, stressed out me face,  when I was supposed to be a married woman getting fat!!!

So now I'm in a job where I am so fed up, that I will clearly tell my manager I am sick to death with this and am looking for another job, all the time.  He's pretty transparent with me and tells me how he's doing the same, amazingness!!  Now SK has finally got me to book my F3 exam (accountancy) next month!!!!!! I'm not sure why I'm telling everyone this because you'll all want to know the results, even though no one's following us yet - whatever that means!!

That's my career, well lack of. Moving onto the single life where all aunt’s look at you at every party and think you're this choosy, high maintenance, bitch of a woman, so therefore not married. When actually they need to realise a few things.... well one thing:
Men are dogs!!
Based on this I wanted to start writing some books,  some of the titles I have come up with:

> Men make women lesbians
> Man is never understood because he's a Mental Anal Nutcase
> Selfish Selfish dog men!

(By the way I don't mean the word dog literally - its just you know for weird, crapness, freakish behaviour ....basically anyting bad)

So I hate the way men just don't get us.  We are made differently, is it so hard for them to understand that.  Change is hard for a man and adapting to things around him is difficult too, saying that if you do find the right man, and he's a sweetheart, hold on to him.

I am a very confused person just like HA (she is VERY confused) but life is just so unpredicatable and you've got to roll with it, so I guess our opinions and views on things do change.  I have a million thoughts going through my head all the time, like at the moment I’m thinking I need to make tea after this!

At the moment I do have a lovely man in my life but like always things aren't as clear cut as they should be. I may tell the story later but let's leave that for another day.  The starting to this blog will make a lot more sense then too.

Love you followers.  I'd like to call you initialuettes!  As you're following our initials :)

Shopping in Islamabad


Islamabad FINALLY has bigger shops, more variety, and better fashion. Hallelujia! If you've ever been to Islo, you'll know how terribly it compares to Lahore and Karachi, but something is happening here nowadays. It seems like all the bigger brands have suddenly noticed our tiny capital and an influx has taken place in the last year alone.

I first noticed this when Zahra Ahmed came to Islo. I'd previously only been to the store in Lahore and found it to be a fun and more unique ready-made store than your standard Generation, etc. Soon after, I noticed a sign go up on an empty building saying Gul Ahmed Opening Soon! This was super exciting for me because my weak spot is cushions and bedding. Strange weak spot, I know. But how some people feel when they walk into a shoe store is how I feel when I see a beautifully made-up bed in a department store. The cushions, oh the cushions... Cushions are a genius invention: providing comfort as well as extra beauty!

ANYWAY, point being that whereas Gul Ahmed clothing is available at various stores in Islo, a Gul Ahmed store is a different affair: three floors of mens clothing as well as womens, handbags, shoes, stitched clothes as well as unstitched including kurtas, and lots of bedding, curtains, towels, etc! In the last few months, not one but TWO Gul Ahmed stores have opened up here.

And as if that was not exciting enough, right next to one of them, Nishat Linen have opened up their third Islamabad store, called a Nisha Boutique. The boutiques carry a wider range of ready-made clothes than the normal Nishat Linen stores. Just last year there was only one Nishat Linen here!

I also noticed yesterday that Cotton Ginny is opening here soon too. And stores I'd previously only seen in Lahore can also be found, such as Threads & Motifs, and Needle Impressions. Plus a lot of existing stores have opened up more outlets, like Kayseria and Bareeze. So all of these add to Khaadi, Cynosure, Chen One, Junaid Jamshed, etc, and Islamabad being so small and easy to navigate around means we finally have some decent shopping to offer.

Contrary to the excited tone of this post, I don't actually go shopping that much here... There's usually only one of the following reasons I do:
1) someone has asked me to (such as family abroad or a friend visiting);
2) I'm buying a present; or
3) its summer/winter and time for a wardrobe injection!

It was No.3 that took me to the streets of Islo yest and I was so pleasantly surprised at how much the shopping scene is improving here that I've sat down to write a blog post about it! With so much political turmoil, inflation, instability and security tensions here, it sometimes feels like everything will come to a grinding halt soon. Its so nice for the opposite to happen in reality :-)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Joys of Exercise!

In the effort to lose weight this year i have decided to take up exercise with full force! January arrived, me and IR (and another friend A) all decided to take up badminton. It was badminton less, catching up on the general week more! We would get continious shouts from the recieptionist "would you just shut up and play!" Like all normal human beings we would ignore and carry on talking!

Then one of my other very good friend recomended zumba and it was the best workout for me, it combined one of my passions, dancing, with exercise! I have been going to zumba for 10 months now, bar one month of Ramadan and absolutley love it. the teacher is so fantastic, it feels like dance more than exercise!

for the past two weeks the normal teacher has been on holiday so we had a replacement who in this case was a guy. Now the guy started with, "ladies wear sports bras otherwise you will be all over the place!" my mouth was open and i thought, shit time to invest in one. It then got worse. in the middle of the class he took off his shirt, obviously to show his six pack abs and did i mention that his shorts were half way down his arse?!

But the absolute highlight of last weeks class was this 50 year old guy with his dancing shoes right next to me, dancing away almost pushing me next to the wall, i seriously reconsidered going again today!

But my friend S blackmailed me again saying she has no one to go with so go with her so i went. the same teacher with new lines, the best being "im gonna make you get your hours worth and make sure you go home wet dripping wet!"

the funniest thing which happened in todays class was the backdoor of the hall is open to let air in and suddenly we realised we had an audience! It was just a bunch of kids and my favourite song came on the bollywood one, as soon as we started the kids started dancing too! i couldnt keep a straight face i was laughing so much i forgot the steps and was laughing and snorting at the same time, the instructor kept looking at me but i couldnt stop laughing at all! i could see in the dark was a little boys beautiful blond mop going crazy in the dance!

then the last dance came so the instructor faced them, took his shirt off, the boys took their shirts off and they started dancing away at this point, i was nearly on the floor rolling in laughter because the kids were full into it as the instructor!

i also started spinning four weeks ago and although my friend D said to me she sweats just looking at people who do spinning, i actually really enjoy it! Although the class is very good, i constantly get scared by the instructor when in the middle of cycling like a maniac he shouts GO! my friend S fell of her bike the last time he did that lol! The highlight came last week when he said who has had a chocolate today raise your hands, me my friend S and N raised our hands. Then, who had crisps today raise your hands, we all raised our hands he then screamed cycle faster you have got more calories to burn! i never cycled so fast in my life just out of pure fear i could feel his eyes burning on me and my friends so we continued to cycle like maniacs!

who says exercise isnt fun?! if yours isnt you should come to my classes they are pure entertainment!

Recipe: Biscuit Pie


Before moving to Pakistan, dessert-making almost always meant a trip to the Sainsbury’s to buy something very specific to that treat: mascarpone, blanched hazelnuts, this type of flour, that type of sugar, etc! And then I moved to this side of the world, where I could still get these things at special stores (at imported prices!) but the nearest “market” behind my house only humbly sells the basics of life… certainly not mascarpone *sob*

Thats the story of every market near every Pakistani housewife here I guess. So the array of cooking shows (tens of channels dedicated to nothing but cooking!) are majorly welcome, because they make a point of using ingredients easily available to all here. But instead of compromising on the quality of the recipe by simply skipping ingredients, these clever trevor chefs teach you relatively easy ways to substitute them, so now I can make ingredients from scratch that I really would never have bothered with living a stone’s throw from my much-missed local Sainsbury’s in London…

I’m going to share the latest recipe I tried last night… Biscuit Pie! However, Mr Husband tells me its more a Biscuit Pudding than a pie, so we’ll just call it Yummy Easy Dessert :-)

Got this recipe from a very popular morning chef here called Shireen Anwer. Here’s the link to the video (but it is in Urdu and and to save you the time watching it, I’m writing it up anyway):

Yummy Easy Dessert(easily serves 6-8)
Two cups Marie* biscuits, crushed in a food processor
4tbsp melted butter
1 cup curd cheese**
2 eggs
Half cup double cream
1tsp cornflour
1tbsp Orange Tang***
Half tin condensed milk

*You can use any biscuits you want really, such as Digestive, but just make sure they don’t have a taste too overpowering or it will interfere with the filling. The closest equivalent to Marie biscuits in the UK would probably be Rich Tea?

**This chef uses curd cheese as an equivalent to cream cheese quite a bit. Either go for cream cheese instead, or to make curd cheese, take a thin piece of cloth (like muslin, though I confess I tore some off an old shirt I no longer wanted!) and place it in a sieve with a bowl under the sieve. Now pour about 1.5 cups of natural-set yoghurt onto the cloth and leave it all in the fridge for a good few hours (I left it overnight). All the watery whey will drain into the bowl under the sieve leaving you with 1 cup of thick, delicious curd cheese.

***Again, this is a Pakistani thing. Tang is basically powdered flavour you add water to for an instant squash. Skip this altogether if your not fussed about the orange flavouring. Alternatively, add a couple of drops of vanilla essence instead for a different but equally nice flavouring.

To make the biscuit base, preheat your oven at 180 degrees and generously butter your pie dish. Put the crushed biscuit crumbs inside. Now pour in the melted butter and gently rub with your fingertips till all crumbs are coated. Press the mixture down into the dish evenly, making sure to raise it along the sides too. Then pop it in the oven for about 3-5 mins. Lets go with 4.

Take it out and let it cool. Meanwhile, throw everything else into your blender and blend. And thats your pudding filling done! Pour it onto the biscuit base and pop it back into the over, this time for 20mins. Take it out, let it cool down and put it in the fridge (this is a serve-cold dessert).

This is great to make-ahead. I made mine around noon to have after dinner. I would definitley use this for tea instead of after dinner next time though. Reason being, its quite rich, so if you’ve had a heavy dinner (in Pakistan, lets face it, every dinner is a heavy dinner!) then it can be a bit much… But saying that, 6 of us devoured this last night and there were no leftovers!!

Hmmm, should’ve taken a photo really. Next time!

Why Some Women Should Be Exempt From Fasting


It all started in Ramadan when I forgot to put a nappy on my 1 ½ yr old daughter and she ended up tasting the contents of her nappy. Bad times! Fasting, married life, a toddler, lack of sleep are not a good mix. Did I learn my lesson?….NO!

So I decided to not waste this Autumn/Winter and to use the shorter days to make up many of my missed fasts. Day 1 was difficult but luckily I didn’t interact with any humans apart from my daughter and husband. By the end of Day 1, I felt so proud of myself for fasting when others were not. So on we went to Day 2. Day 2 was a human interaction day with my in laws. All was going well. The fast was easy.

As I sat there in a room full of people, holding my sister in law’s baby, I sat thinking how natural and at home I felt with my in laws. A lovely feeling right? So anyway, this baby in my lap then pulled the brooch that was holding my hijaab in place. This was dangerous as I didn’t want the pin to go into his eye… sensible I sound.

That’s when it happened. My mind went blank. I forgot the name for ‘brooch’???? So I shouted across the room to my poor husband to pick up his nephew; “Husband, take the baby because my bra’s fallen down!”
MY BRA….MY BRA????? Why bra???? I didn’t know what had happened til I saw my Husband’s face looking down at me shocked and i’m stumbling with my words. “I mean…I mean…ummm….badge…my badge is falling down….hmmm”.

I’ll never forget the name for brooch again. Eyes down, cheeks red, bra intact…..I said my goodbyes and decided to take a few days break from my fasts.

Who, What, Where, When!

It all started off when JN’s phone had once again, flopped big time. Luckily, free solutions are always provided in our little circle. For example:

NK: You need to place your phone on the floor and then move directly above it and start jumping on it like a crazy lunatic, then walk into phones4u and buy a blackberry ok!!!
IR: I think JN needs a simple Nokia, or she needs liposuction to decrease her fat fingers so she touches the right letters on the touch screen.
SK: Hahaha. Points to NK: 1, Points to IR: 1. Anyone else want to add to this?

And so the idea that was born and discussed months ago was firmly stamped into our minds and all we needed to do was figure out a name!

IR: A name for our group that’s catchy and shows who we are… Independent Floozies!!!
NK: Bum Fluffs!
SK: Na, I prefer Independent Floozies to Bum Fluff!
IR: No way. We are not floozies. I was joking!! Something integrating the fact that we’re independent, Pakistani, hijabis, Muslim, beautiful, cultured, shisha-smoking (bar me), professionals!
HA: IR that’s a perfect name!!! But too long lol. So here’s my suggestions:
- Seven Sisters!
- Being Us!
- Our initials in an Acronym
SK: Being Us!
NK: I agree, love “Being Us!”

So, WELCOME TO OUR BLOG: BEING US!  We are seven friends that have been through living together, studying (or lack thereof) together, supporting each other’s careers, teaching each other to cook, organizing each other’s weddings, playing with each other’s babies, persuading those without babies to have babies! And so much more. including, migrations, holidays and emailing all day instead of working/being a housewife! After all this time, we finally decided to document our lives more so people can read and join in the mayhem, happiness, discoveries, funny stories and love :-)
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