Be Certain That You Do Not Die Without Having Done Something Wonderful For Humanity.

Week four’s book is A Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou. It is short, it is easy to read, and it is brimming with learned wisdom; the kind which often springs from old people. And though I did not find every chapter relatable, I did find every chapter, useful. image-1-1
My mother’s precious hands, holding an almond milk cappuccino at recently opened Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters.
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I’ve blogged THIS drink before. My momma doesn’t like it but I sure do! Traditionally used to soothe the stomach, Kawakawa leaves are known to be an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic. Kawakawa tonic was traditionally used to aid digestion. To further this function AOTEA Native Tonics brew Kawakawa leaves with herbs and tea leaves that are also understood to help with digestion. So it’s good for you, too. image-1-3
“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.”

(Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter)image-1-4
Who’s sniffing who?
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Recently I attended my friends, Kate and Rory’s engagement party. My mother insisted on taking a picture of me before I left home. Since then, she has, bless her soul, posted this picture on every single one of her social media platforms.
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Zen Sushi & Dumplings. Go get some. PS this is salmon and avocado with brown rice.
imageLast night my momma kept entering the kitchen and interfering in my business that I threatened her I’d never cook again (hehe). So, here it is: oven baked gurnard fillets rubbed with tangerine slices, chopped tomatoes, Kalamata olives, fresh garlic, olive oil, paprika, pepper, salt, and garden mint for The Last Supper. #cookyourowndamnfish

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

You Live To Do Good And To Bring Happiness To Others -Abdu’l-Bahá

Recently, I had the pleasure of catering for about 40 hungry (and enlightened) individuals partaking in a global process of learning referred to as The Ruhi Institute. Click HERE to learn more.
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Camp Lona, Oamaru.image-6
Chicken, sausage and mushroom pasta bake – my first time making bulk food. image-1-6
The boys!
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This place was so serene and beautiful. And remote! So I wondered what would passerby’s think if they knew of the sincerity, love and commitment taking place amongst these children and youth.image-3
Morning tea: cut fruit and boiled corn.
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Breakfast: Indian-inspired frittata by dear Taraneh and fruit salad and scrambled eggs by me. image-4
Gourmet camp food.
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THIS recipe but with chicken pieces.
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How many trolls can you see? #NZ

Every Fear Contains A Wish

Follow your fear. Do the work. This is where you will find big magic. -Cheryl Strayed
image-1-1image-14Made breakfast for mom and I (daddy is still in bed from working late and always sacrificing for us). It’s simple, entirely plant-based and yum. Why don’t you try it as well? Simply blend: 1 banana, 1 small mango (pitted), 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, and a large handful of spinach leaves then top with fresh fruit and all-natural granola.image-15
Vegan pasta made from authentic ingredients from the Mediterranean Food Company.
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That night CHCH had the most incredible sunset!
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Self love is teddy bear toast.
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Mama’s delicious Persian food: a chicken dish and rice flipped from a rice cooker. Also, leftovers of my pasta. And, the torso of mom’s cooking’s no1 fan: my brother-in-law, Andy.
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Bought myself a new top to interview in. I especially like the flower pattern.

Trust That All You Did Not Receive, All You Need Will Come To You In Time.

Dear readers, I apologise for my absence. I’ve been busy. Mostly catching up with old friends, helping out here and there and working on articles, job applications, short-stories and poetry! Gosh, I get myself so busy. And you? What’s new? Won’t you write to me? I’m getting sick of my own writing!
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Look who it is!!! Come to visit their one and only beautiful daughter (Anita not me hehe). image-1
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Mediterranean Food Company. If you haven’t been you’re missing out. The pizza is GOOD here and also the Mediterranean groceries! Including a large variety of sweets and gherkins from Turkey and of course, everything your stomach desires from Italy: fresh and dry pasta, olives, cheese, tomato sauces, and much more. image-3
Mmm salted chocolate and pistachio torte.
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Walking in Victoria Park with my bestie.image-4
Why she is my bestie.
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Taking photos of Christchurch’s new Adventure Parkimage-6
More to come once I sort my shizz.

Updates

Figuring out that being an adult and living the “adult life” isn’t easy. Or rather, when we reach a certain age, we tend to begin complicating things. Life is simple. Why do I allow myself to become so attached to society’s expectations of me? In the short space of a little over a month that I’ve returned, I’ve tried to do everything including: returning/creating a normal/non-traveller lifestyle, finding my dream job and planning for my future. Okay, so our visitors and our planned family-holiday in the mix were out of my say but everything else, I have personally cultivated. Don’t get me wrong, productivity is great but in the thick Persian accent of my mother, “mo-de-ration iz im-portant.” Life is percious and life is fleeting but like my brother-in-law once said, life is actually really long, too (if we’re lucky). Which means, I don’t have to find my dream job before a certain age. I don’t have to justify my life decisions. And making memories with my family and friends, looking after my well-being  and enjoying the day to day is what comes first. Currently trying to calm the frick down and do what makes my heart sing. Some of which include, baking delicious muffins, writing for Savvy Tokyo (new article HERE), and pursuing my “book a week” challenge.
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image-12 free range eggs
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp sugar-free Barker’s apricot jam
1 cup almond flour
1 cup self rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Handful of raw walnuts, chopped small
Some dark chocolate, chopped small
4-5 small apricots, chopped small

Mix everything together, pour slightly thick mixture into a greased muffin tray and bake at 160 degrees until fork comes out clean (about 25 min)image-1
Book two, week two!

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!

Let’s Love Loud

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Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
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Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
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Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
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Guys, this is Queenstown in NZ and it is one of my absolute favourites. True, it’s super touristy today but it’s so so lovely always. Thank you Delaram and Andy for organising this trip. image-1
My 2017 resolution (gosh can’t even write “2017” without thinking “wtf”) is to read a book a week. Apparently that’s 52 books in total. Today i finished A Crack In Forever by Jeannie Brewer, a love story: honestly sad, truly sweet, overly sexy and incredibly hard to forget.image-5
What A Crack In Forever taught me during its last tear-gushing chapters is to seriously appreciate each and every moment for a loved one can be taken away at any moment.

Redefine Yourself

It has officially been one month since I’ve returned from my around-the-world adventures and I.am.missing.it. Lucky for me, every new day is an adventure. If we let it.
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In addition to the yearly skinny-me resolutions, I’ve decided to read a book a week this year. Starting with the little bit sexy, Crack in Forever.
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Got me a full-time job at NZ’s best cafe.
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Nothin’ beats mama’s homemade muesli. Recipe HERE.
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Somewhere between Lake Tekapo and Queenstown.
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Probably the most touristy NZ location eva.
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Central otago cherries, organic kiwifruit and homemade muesli for dinner. Chur!

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.