Author: anisakazemi

To Be Human Is A Powerful, Profound Thing That Deserves A Lot Of Patience.

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This sweet card was made by my even sweeter five year old student. Did you lovely people have a memorable Mother’s Day? This year I decided not to make a big Facebook announcement for my mama, instead I wrote this (incase you and I aren’t Facebook friends):

I don’t want to post a generic message about how I love my mum and how lucky I am to have her (which I do and which I am) this Mother’s Day. Instead, I want to acknowledge all of my friends who either live far away from their mothers (I know from first-hand experience how hard that is) and those whose mothers are no longer with us. I wish you calmness and strength <3
Image (3)Mum’s breakfast at Untouched World – a lovely modern cafe with high-quality ingredients and a romantic fire.
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Absolutely in love with my Dr. Seuss preschool teacher uniforms because I absolutely love him! Who is/was your favourite childhood author? (A question posed to me by Soroosh the other day to which I actually replied Paul Jennings).
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Kids say write the darndest things!
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“Stained glass” butterflies made with black cardboard paper, coloured tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Super easy, are instructions needed?
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New favourite CHCH eatery! This $12 split pea soup (topped with caramelised onions) served alongside Bellbird bread and carrot butter from Gatherings was 10/10.

It Looked Like The World Was Covered In A Cobbler Crust Of Brown Sugar And Cinnamon.

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2 ripe bananas
2 free-range eggs
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup broken walnut pieces
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 180oC
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, pour into a silicon muffin tray, and top with some sesame seeds (for extra pizzaz). Bake until nice and golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 littlies. (Mom’s recipe BTW)
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What is it they say? Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life! HASHTAGblessed. Image (10)
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Playing pizza pretend at work.Image-1 (1)
For my next DYKWTI (Do You Know What This Is?) Savvy Tokyo article: kinako smoothie bowl – stay tuned! Image-2
Every guy thinks that every girl’s dream is to find a perfect man…WRONG, every girl’s dream is to eat anything she wants without getting fat!
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Guess what? Mandy says vegan waffles coming to Utopia Hot (Christchurch Farmer’s Market) very soon! Though these regular organic waffles were the shizz as well – served with Black Boy peach and blueberry compote, whipped coconut cream, caramelized walnuts, and melted dark chocolate – yes, I may or may not have requested everythang.
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Mona Vale is so beautiful. Thanks to my amazing brother-in-law for suggesting we walk it after the market. So lovely. So autumnal. So romantic. Image-6Image-3
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Speaking of Autumnal, here’s a super easy seasonal activity for your little munchkins: collect leaves, decorate! Image-1 (4)
And for Mother’s Day? An easy peasy tea-riffic (see what I did there?) 3D tea cup card made from a corner piece of a round egg carton and a curled pipe-cleaner. Image (7)
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” (Washington Irving)

Little By Little, A Little Becomes A Lot – Tanzanian Proverb

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“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” (Maya Angelou)Image-1 (2)
Eating organic fruit be like…Image (7)Image (8)Image (4)
Winter ready! (Mum will be proud to see I removed the towels this time! lol)Image-1 (1)
Mandy continues to amaze me. Here is a woman who puts her entire heart into her work. She is hardworking. She is creative. And she is passionate. All of the good things. Pictured is Belgian dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut ice-cream, baked apple and cinnamon roll ice-cream, spiced Black Boy Peach sorbet, blackcurrant coconut nice-cream, and last but not least, fejoia sorbet. Have you non-Kiwi’s tried fejoia fruit before? It’s a NZ speciality and saaaahhh goood.Image (2)
Self love.
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CHCH has been having some epic skies as of late…I wonder, how are the skies where you are?
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I got to go out for dinner with my one and only sister the other night and it was nothing but lovely. I am so grateful to have her in my life. In the words of Toni Morrison, “Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.”

PS that’s “ceviche” AKA Latin American sashimi in coconut milk and lime from Mexicanos Christchurch. 

A Kindly Tongue Is The Lodestone Of The Hearts Of Men.

…It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding… ~Bahá’u’lláhImage (11)
Ham, cheese, and slaw buns with steamed corn, corn chips, and cookies for a picnic at beautiful Ashley Gorge – can’t believe I’d never been here before. So so beautiful. Definitely taking oosh. Image-1 (4)
“When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.” ~’Abdu’l-Bahá Image (12)
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Some of the tutors, participants, and wannabe chefs.
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The day I made nachos, I got a lot of moans and groans on first glance from the boys for it being vegetarian. However, once they’d tasted it, they kept coming back for more (yay!).Image (2)Really super weird handling raw chicken but I think I did good. Oven curry (is that a thing? Or am I just super clever?) with chicken drumsticks (duh), carrot, kumara, and red potato.
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Beautiful NZ.

Do Not Be Content With Showing Friendship In Words Alone…

…let your heart burn with loving-kindness for all who may cross your path. ~’Abdu’l-Bahá

Hey lovely people! Sorry for the radio silence. I was away camping. Well, sort of – I had volunteered to cook for a Ruhi intensive camp located about 20 minutes west? I think, west of Rangiora. And though the work wasn’t easy, I felt immense joy to be there. I learnt A LOT, I felt/still feel spiritually uplifted, and the weather, the material, and the participants were all spectacular. Here are some of the not-so-artsy photo evidence:
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Moo! I mean, boo!
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First night, I made Shepherd’s Pie and steamed vegetables. In an attempt to make a substantial filling, I added diced carrots and red kidney beans to the mince. Plus, turmeric – couldn’t resist adding a Persian touch to a British dish. Image-1 (1)
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Carrot and white and red cabbage slaw with home-sprouted mung beans. I sent this pic to oosh and he said he hopes I’m feeding them something other than bird-food, too. Whatever mate.
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Happy oosh? Here, meat. Bangers and Mash. Not sure why I was on a British roll…
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Banana cake topped with Nutella or peanut butter and fresh banana slices.
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“God is the helper of those souls whose aim is to serve humanity and whose efforts are endeavors are devoted to the good and betterment of all mankind.” ~’Abdu’l-Bahá

Use The Power Of Intent To Clear A Path For Yourself

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As you may have heard, NZ received a lot of rain as of late. My prayers and sympathetic thoughts to those whose lives were greatly affected. Fortunately for us, our household just further glimmered. My parents and I spent even more time than usual together and I made “healthy” French toast for them. It’s actually very simple! For the three of us, I soaked 6 pieces of gluten free bread in a beaten mixture of 3 free-ranges, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon, then fried them in a hot pan with a little coconut oil until nice and golden. Last, I topped them with fresh fruit, honey, and plain yoghurt (not pictured). Image-1 (1)
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Never enough herbs in a Persian woman’s garden.
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Can you see what I see? On the last day of term, we made an Easter egg hunt for the little munchkins. Image (12)Image (13)
And… one for the big munchkin who really shouldn’t be having one in the first place.
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Another day, another green smoothie. These are also super easy to make. Simply blitz together in a high-powered blender: 2 frozen bananas (frozen bananas make your smoothies colder and creamier), 2 large handfuls of spinach (stalks and all), a big dollop of natural yoghurt, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Top with favourites.
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I found out the hard way that jandals were not appropriate wear for yesterday’s Saturday Farmers’ Market. As I walked into a muddy puddle and splashed gunk all over myself, I overheard a father telling his little girl not to worry about getting dirty as she, in her pink gumboots, was appropriately dressed – I couldn’t help but take his comment as a personal dig to my existence.
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Giant delicious organic apple from the organic apple people at the Saturday Farmers’ Market (sorry I don’t know your company name). Image (8)
For as long as I have been coming to Sumner, I have been in mad-love with that itsy bitsy yellow house bursting with character. I sent this photo to Soroosh expressing this, and he replies: “I like the modern house next to it.” BLAH Image (1)
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Almost finished writing back to my Japanese students ^.^
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Mojgan joon, I wish you were here to accompany me on my walking adventures. Alas, I think of you always – the coming Autumn leaves further remind me of my unforgettable time with your beautiful family in beautiful Nashville. Image-1 (6)
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Last but not least, a picture sent to me by my dear mentor and friend. AKA Soroosh’s father. Guys, I am so impressed and inspired by him. Rick is a man of so many talents. But most of all, he is joyful, he is understanding, and he is compassionate. Also, big-ups for food-presentation and food-photography, and your recently written article HERE.

Is Someone Getting The Best Of You?

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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.
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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. Image (2)Image (3)
Sorry mom, forgot to move the towels (again). #PUGLIFE
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Making tissue paper flowers for the upcoming Ridvan celebration at Bahai Children’s Classes.
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“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” ~Alfred MercierImage (1)
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?
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There’s Nothing New Under The Sun. It’s Never What You Do But How It’s Done.

Dear Ashida Sensei,
This one’s for you!
Thank you for reading my blogs. I miss you and I miss Japan very very much, too!

Yesterday, I received a jam-packed envelope containing letters from my ex Junior High School students in Japan. Ashida Sensei, thank you for initiating them. I have always admired you. You once told me that you teach because you feel an obligation to open your student’s minds to the outside world. At the time, I thought your statement was beautiful. Today, with the heartbreaking circumstances of our world, I understand it as incredibly necessary, too. Thank you for selflessly shaping our future. Funnily enough, lately I have been receiving some negative opinions (and unfortunately from those dear to me) about my work. The education of children is not adequately valued in our society. These attitudes have left me unhappy, thinking that perhaps I should have studied something different, something more reputable like medicine or law. Fortunately, other positive forces in my life have rescued me from the quicksand of such negative thoughts. One beautiful lady in particular pointed me to the following quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith:

Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children… It is, however, very difficult to undertake this service, even harder to succeed in it. I hope that thou wilt acquit thyself well in this most important of tasks, and successfully carry the day, and become an ensign of God’s abounding Grace; that these children, reared one and all in the holy Teachings, will develop natures like unto the sweet airs that blow across the gardens of the All- Glorious, and will waft their fragrance around the world. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. pp. 133-134)

So, “the education and training of children” is not only the greatest service of all time but also one that is very difficult to do and to succeed in. Don’t get me wrong, I am not tooting my own horn. Rather, I wish to acknowledge the true importance of a teacher’s work.

I would like to finish with my favourite Japanese Proverb:

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
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When A Woman Becomes Her Own Best Friend Life Is Easier

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Except my momma is my best-friend. Here’s a lovely green-smoothie bowl recipe I made for her and I earlier this week: simply blend 1 banana, 1 kiwifruit, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt and 1 tsp cinnamon until smooth then top with favourite toppings. When I sent this photo to Soroosh, as I often do of my random daily snaps, he said: “tell your momma the days of smoothie-bowls are over, I’m coming for it!” Yep, don’t blame him. Twas delish.
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In addition to purelyinstagramworthyflowers, I topped them with my homemade gluten-free muesli which is basically a concoction of mixed nuts and seeds, buckwheat puffs, brown rice puffs and quinoa flakes – all individually bought and mixed together.
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Posted this fatty on Instagram. My friend Chris commented: “Garfield, is that you?”
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If you haven’t read Flow magazine, you’re missing something big. So lovely, so delicate, and so inspiring. Image-1 (2)
BearLion Foods have the best salads in Christchurch. This is a fact. Pictured is a mix of two wholesome vegetarian salads bought on my to work from the Riccarton Bush Saturday Market and enjoyed on my lunch-break in sunny Sumner. Image-1
When it comes to organic food stores, I lack serious self-control. I want to buy everything. The trouble is, I can hardly afford one thing! I think this was $6 something. ARGH why so expensive? Alas, it was heavenly. So good that I recreated it myself the next day ;) Simply warm 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, and some orange zest in a small pot on medium heat. Once hot, stir in 1-2 tsp of honey or coconut sugar.
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Heaven is a place on earth. UTOPIA ICE is simply the best. I mean come on, where else can you get 5+ vegan options including: passionfruit coconut ice-cream and raspberry and saffron sorbet?!
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Sorry for the copyright Flow Magazine but I just couldn’t agree more! “Coming out of  a period of scarcity, we have now reached a point where we have too many things, and it’s damaging our health.” True dat. Image-1 (1)Pad Thai selfie from my family’s all-time favourite: Zab Thai.
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In case you missed my infamous bathroom selfies with the glorious towel backgrounds.

Spoiler Alert: Love is worth everything, everything.

To help me cope with missing Soroosh, I started a NZ Bucket List for us to work through come June. Some of the options are luckily local and frequent. Like, the Saturday Farmers’ Market which I have always been in love with.
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Nothing but organic.
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My dad ordered something from the Bacon Brothers which came with a hug as well! LOL you should’ve seen his face! Such a character, this guy!
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Mmmm! Remember Mandy, my ice-cream queen? Well, her and her partner don’t just make ice-cream – they make heaven: gluten-free waffles with coconut whipped cream, strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate drizzle.
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You know you’re cheap/on-a-diet when you share one waffle between 3 hehe >.<
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Sunday morning Baha’i children’s classes.
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Today’s virtue was “justice”. Above, equality is demonstrated with a popcorn filled “scale”. And below, one “life-raft” for all. Image (6)
Last but not least, the rest of my brother-in-law’s grandmother’s Black Boy peaches stewed for alongside my ritual morning muesli.
Image-1Happy week y’all! <3