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Love Is A Believing Creature

All photos by Soroosh:
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(Lake Tekapo)
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(Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown)
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Okay, this one’s by me hehe (notice the Dr. Pepper? #Merica)
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(Millenium Hotel, Queenstown)Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Hyde Park, Sydney)
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(Castle Hill Koala Sanctuary, Sydney)
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(City Centre, Queenstown)
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(Skyline, Queenstown)
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Celebrating our one year anniversary at Strawberry Fare, Christchurch, followed by a hilarious night at Scared Scriptless.

What Do You Treasure?

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I was SO nervous!
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Finally in Christchurch *love heart eyes*
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First stop, Black & White Coffee Cartel where a little printed sign advised us there’d be no avocado (two words which should never be together) this season. Alas, our bagels were delicious and S particularly liked the NZ bacon nomnom.
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Next, one for the bucket-list. Though rather simple, I had always dreamt of visiting the Riccarton Farmers’ Market with bae. It is truly one of my most favourite places in Christchurch.
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If tea is a hug in a cup, porridge is a cuddle in a bowl, I say. Alll better. Full tummies and grateful hearts. I got the rsf, V, and df option and S ordered the spiced apple, toffee sauce, and walnut crumble porridge.
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When S sent the above photo to his family group chat, his brother asked if that was an egg atop my porridge…Hehe nope! Just honey and yoghurt.
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Things have been pretty surreal, neither of us can actually believe S is finally here. Last night we dined at Tutto Bene. The food was good and the company even greater. We had a lovely French waitress and S mentioned the wonderful paradox of having a French waitress, working at an Italian restaurant in New Zealand serving a table of Persian, Kiwi, and American diners. How beautiful is that? Unity in diversity.
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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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To Be Creative Means To Be In Love With Life

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Stewed Black Boy Peaches are one of my most favorite foods and they’re truly perfect for crumble.

Filling:
10-12 Black Boy Peaches, peeled and chopped random
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pure vanilla essence
2 tbsp runny honey

Crumble:
1 cup gluten-free jumbo oats
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of chopped raw nuts of choice
1/2 cup of raw seeds of choice
1 tbsp cinnamon
a pinch of each ginger powder, nutmeg and cardamom
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup or runny honey
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Place the filling ingredients in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water and cook on medium heat with the lid on. Once the peaches have softened remove the lid to allow the liquid to reduce – we want a fairly thick consistency – I believe the secret to a crunchy crumble is a relatively “dry” filling so that’s what we’re aiming for.

Once ready, transfer the peach mixture to a deep oven-proof dish.

In a large bowl, combine all crumble ingredients together until nice and sticky then assemble on top of stewed peaches.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Enjoy!
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A super easy rainy day craft idea for little monsters featuring the fatal potato (far left).
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Clever little zine I came across on my lunch-break at work.
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Happiness is picking up your library requested books! Thanks for the book suggestion Rick, already LOVING Deep Work. Image-1
Oh my sister and I were so naughty today. We went to Le Panier Boulangerie !
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Another kids fun activity idea: we made wands from felt pipe cleaners and used detergent to blow bubbles.
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Yummy healthy snack idea. Raw chocolate energy balls. Recipe HERE.
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Do you know what this is? Check out my new Savvy Tokyo article HERE to find out more.

Figure Out Who You Are Then Do It On Purpose

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See! We and Prince of Persia really DO share the same tablecloth! PS if there’s one advice I can give for making perfect pancakes, it is using a non-stick crepe maker. THIS one in specific. It has been and continues to be, my most prized possession – after the yellow rose Soroosh gave me on our first date. image-5
My dear friend and follower, Randy yesterday commented to say she misses Akiko, Lifa and Ozzy. Well, lookie here! Look who is thinking of me! Thanks guys, my heart is bursting.
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The Origin (95 Westminster Street) is a new entirely vegan CHCH eatery. And, it is hands-down, nothing short of amazing! The food and the coffee, oh my. You’ve been warned. I can’t wait to go again. In fact, I’m gonna go today. image-6
image-1-1Bet you’ve never taken a #muffinselfie. Or have you?
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Oopsie. Must use bigger oven. Of course, my mother told me off for this. I did not try to argue that it was her who suggested and by suggested I mean forced me to use the toaster oven for my baking experiments in hope of using less electricity in the first place.
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Combine the following in a large mixing bowl, 3 free-range eggs, 1/4 cup runny honey, 1/2 cup natural yoghurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 ripe banana, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. Mix well, then gently sift in 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup almond meal, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp baking soda, a large handful of chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, then mix thoroughly. Drop the mixture in to 12 greased muffin tins. Bake at 180 C for about 15 minutes or, until an inserted fork inserted comes out clean. Yummy yummy.

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.

Deep In My Soul I Know That I’m Your Destiny

Illustrations from Puuung.

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Happiness [is] only real when shared. (Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild)

I look at you and a sense of wonder takes me. (Homer, translated by Robert Fagles)

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What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary. (George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life)

He was my North, my South, my East and West, my working week and my Sunday rest. (W.H. Auden, Stop All the Clocks)

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It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita)

I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.  (Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood)

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Because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you and I’m home. (Dory, Finding Nemo)

Deep in my soul I know that I’m your destiny. (Mulan, Mulan)

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We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright. (Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast)

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird. (Noah, The Notebook)

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I wish I’d done everything on earth with you. (Daisy, The Great Gatsby)

But the heart’s not like a box that gets filled up. It expands in size the more you love. (Samantha, Her)

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You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die. (Will, Shakespeare in Love)

I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. (Harry Burns, When Harry Met Sally)

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Whatever Happened To…?

Yasu:
Inspired by the Japanese minimalistic movement, I decided to tackle my post-Ohara travels with only a single carry-on. This meant letting go of A LOT of my stuff. One of these belongings was this pair of kawaii (cute) bunny slippers bought for me by my dear mama. I decided they belonged with Yasu (my unexpected friend) seeing as she loves bunny rabbits so much (image below drawn by her). Yasu decided they better suited her mom whom apparently now wears them all-the-time. My heart. Oh my heart.

Also, I may or may not have influenced Yasu to go against her entire country/upbringing… for just a week ago, Yasu got not one but TWO tattoos by the same guy who inked the tulip on my arm. Talk about bad influence (hehe). Ha-ha I joke, I joke! Not to boast my own trumpet or anything, but I totally feel I opened her eyes. As in, challenging the norm, thinking for her own and taking pride in being different to everyone else! Next, she has promised to travel out of Japan to visit me sometime: “wherever you go” she says.

Watch this space people!
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Yuko:
My dear Japanese momma who’d invite me to her house and cook me all sorts of delicious food, that Yuko. She, her husband and her teenage daughter, Juri will be visiting and staying with my family in New Zealand this December. The funny thing is, I won’t actually be there. Now that’s some friendship! I promise to ask my sister to take many a nice pictures for me to post here.

PS can you tell which is Juri and which Yuko?! Goodness, I NEED Japanese genes.
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Lifa, Akiko and Oz:
These guys message me all of the time. Always asking if I’m okay and/or if they can help me in anyway. They’re the sweetest family there ever was. I look up to them and wish to have a beautiful family like theirs one day. Soon, they’re off on holiday to Haifa, Israel (Lifa’s hometown). They’ve promised me to eat mounds of falafel and tahini on all of our behalves.
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Michiyo:
Mi-chan is the lovely girl who let me wear her Yukata for my going away dinner. A beginner yoga instructor, she has promised to visit me in Yoga capital India. Her dream is to travel far and wide. Here, we are eating a vegan lunch, a term many Japanese countryside dwellers have never even heard of.
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