Book Review: Love Hate & Other Filters {16/52}

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed is book 16 in my 2018 reading challenge, and my first official Young Adult read. (I had incorrectly labelled Step-Up To the Plate Maria Singh as YA, but it was more of a kids novel). This book centres around the life of Maya Aziz, the daughter of an Indian Muslim couple that immigrated to the United States. Her life experiences are similar to those of any first generation desi being raised in North America, and she is a constant pull between the life she wants to create for herself, and the one that her parents this is best for her. I found Maya to be a very endearing character, in fact, I saw a lot of my 17 year old self in her. I wanted to be an art major, she wants to study films, but both of our parents think professional designations like accounting, engineering, or medicine are the way to go. Maya’s life has all the classic teenage desi girl drama. Her parents want her to marry a good Muslim boy, she has a crush on the totally off-limits white guy, she isn’t allowed to go to any of the cool parties her friends to to, and she wants to move to all the way to New York for school. It’s pretty much your classic brown girl high school drama, except, Maya lives in a small town without many other Muslims, and her life is shaken up when a bomb…

Armstrong BC: Travel Guide

I pretty much have my heart set on living in BC forever, and most likely in the Lower Mainland. However, if I ever decide to move it might be to Armstrong BC. I visited the town a couple of weeks ago, and I’m smitten. You don’t have to pack up and move to Armstrong, but it is definitely worth adding to your must see in BC list. We visited so many amazing places on our trip, and it would be impossible to share all of them in one post, so today I’m going to give you the breakdown of how to get to Armstrong, where to stay, and a few of my favourite experiences. ARMSTRONG BC | TRAVEL GUIDE Getting There: The drive from Surrey to Armstrong is about 5 hours, and like most BC drives it was beautiful. We drove the Kamloops route because we were stopping in Enderby for the night, but you can also go through Kelowna.

The Best Piece of Clothing I Bought This Year

We all have pieces of clothing in our wardrobe that we keep going back to. No matter how many times we’ve worn them, or how many other options we have these ‘hall of fame’ pieces are always our first pick. My wardrobe MVP’s are usually dresses or button up shirts. Once I find a print and a fit that works in either, I can’t stop wearing them.  This year though, my best wardrobe purchase was this jumpsuit/coverall/fancy adult onsie thing from Old Navy. Before this I’ve mostly avoided jumpsuits. Since my body is kind of pear shaped {smaller on top and wider at the hips} they don’t usually work for me. This jumpsuit though fits so well, is super comfy, and I love the colour.  To be perfectly honest, I was unsure about wearing this look at first. I thought I looked bigger than usual in it, and it seemed to be calling attention to my tush. Thankfully, I was shopping with Zara the day I bought this piece and she is my eternal cheerleader & totally saw the potential in this look.  The exact colour I bought isn’t available on the site anymore, but this slighter lighter blue version is on sale right now. Plus if you spend $50 at oldnavy.ca/com shipping is free – so go ahead, buy two things! These pics are a couple of weeks old from my trip to Armstrong when it was just a bit colder, so I’m wearing ankle boots. My plan for…

These Lines of Mehendi: {14/52}

This week’s read is These Lines of Mehendi by Sumeetha Manikandan. This book is actually a novella and only 148 pages. I think the only the other novella I have read is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s just not a style of writing I tend to pick up. My go to is usually longer novels that I can get into and really soak up the characters.  The main characters of These Lines of Mehendi are Lalita, a young widow who is trying to keep her struggling beauty parlour running, and Srikant, a self-proclaimed bachelor for life being forced into marriage by his invalid mother. The story is kind of ‘filmy’, following Lalita and Shrikant as they are sort of forced into a marriage of convenience by societal and parental pressure. They decide to live together as “just friends” for various reasons, and then of course, things happen, their relationship dynamics change, and the arrangement starts to change.  It’s a quick and easy read. Perfect if you are short on time but want to read something with a bit of a desi flair to it. I believe it comes as double header with another book, or you can buy it on it’s own for your e-reader like I did.  VIDEO REVIEW:

Enderby Treehouse a BC Adventure: Detour

Hey guys…starting a new series today called ‘Detour’. While travelling I’m forever searching for off-the beaten track destinations, little known restaurants, and unexpected treasures. More often than not, these experiences become my absolute favourite travel stories, and these gems are found because I took an unexpected detour. Just like my stay at the Enderby Treehouse that I’ll share today, the first of many happy detours! Enderby Treehouse – A Happy Accident & A Detour Years ago I watched a movie called Mr & Mrs Sen and the lead hero describes a treehouse located in some deep forest in South India where you can hear the sap falling from trees while you sleep, and the raindrops make music as they fall – for some unknown reason, this fantasy location that I don’t think actually exists (I’ve googled it to the end of time), stuck with me. It became the basis for my treehouse dreams, but I never really took them very seriously.  I’m not a super outdoorsy girl, don’t go camping, and have a need for indoor plumbing & shower systems – so the treehouse life doesn’t seem like an instant fit. But as luck would have it, a few weeks ago I was heading to Armstrong BC for a trip, and a moment of serendipity connected me with an old friend on Facebook who, get this …. now lives in Enderby {20 minutes from Armstrong}, and built a treehouse in her backyard that she rents out! I could go on…

Weekly Edit

It’s feeling like summer here in Surrey and I could not be happier! As much as I’ve learned to take rainy days in stride as a West Coast Girl, sunny days are my favourite. I’ve also always loved the feeling of renewal and change that comes with new seasons – clear out your closet for spring, pull out the BBQ and patio plates for summer, I love seasonal rituals.   Are you are seasonal person? How do you feel about summer – please don’t say that it’s too hot, I want to be your friend 🙂 This week I have a pretty full list of things to do, eat, and watch – are you ready for it? Let’s do this! #Summer2018 is gong to be the greatest! {Apparently the onset of summer causes me to behave like a 12 year old too} The Weekly Edit: June 18, 2018 Do: It’s the time of year when all the local festivals and outdoor events are starting to pop up, and I want to make sure that we attend as many as we can with the kids this year. Over the weekend we went to the Surrey Greek Festival and they loved it. This week I’m planning on working on our family SUMMER BUCKET LIST, and I’ll definitely add a lot outdoor festivals and events.

Turkey Haleem Recipe {Eid Eats 2018}

For the last few years I’ve been participating in the annual Eid Eats link-up, sharing recipe ideas for Ramzan and Eid get togethers. Till now, I’ve always done a fusion dessert, but this year I wanted to try my hand at a more traditional Eid recipe.  After a bit of research, I decided to try making haleem – a traditional meat & wheat dish served in a lot of Middle Eastern countries. Of course, since it’s Eid Eats and I always make something fusion, my recipe is for turkey haleem! Traditionally haleem is made with mutton, beef, or lamb, but I wanted to put a unique and healthy spin on this classic dish so I chose to make it with turkey. Turkey is a quality protein and a nutritional powerhouse. Unlike other meats, the white and dark meat are considered lower in fat. I’m not sure why we aren’t using it in more desi dishes – maybe it’s just a lack familiarity? I’ve started cooking with turkey a lot more over the last year, and it’s quite flavourful, easy to cook, and pairs well with Indian spices. In the case of this haleem, I used bone in turkey (breast & drumstick) to add a meaty flavour to the dish and have bone broth for cooking the actual stew. As I was prepping for this recipe, I saw so many different techniques and ingredient lists, I quickly realized that haleem is one of those dishes that everyone’s mom makes just a…

GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER {13/52}

Girls Burn Brighter by Shoba Rao was a novel that I could not wait to read. In fact, this was the first time in the entire reading challenge that I did not wait for a book to become available at the library and instead ordered my own copy. It is extremely rare for me to order a book in hard copy because of the cost, and also I’m running out of storage space at home, but I bent the rule this time.  The reason I was so keen to read the book was in part due to the advanced praise and recommendations, but mostly because of a short story I had read by the author called Kavitha and Mustafa. Unfortunately, this book did not hit the mark for me, it was a big disappointment. It’s a story about two girls – Poornima and Savitha. The story follows their friendship from a small village in India, through numerous tragedies and unthinkable abuse, finally ending in Seattle. While it starts out strong, by about a quarter of the way in the story starts to fall apart. There are so many conflicting plot lines, unbelievable (not in a good way) coincidences, and the ending was one of the biggest let downs ever for me in a book.  Guys, I hate sharing this review with you. It’s been my policy not to share negative reviews on the blog ever, but because I’ve made a commitment to share a review of every book in the…

The Weekly Edit

For a few months now I’ve been playing around with idea of a new series. A place to share all the little things I bookmark as fun to try, the articles I love, Netflix movies I can’t stop gushing over – but I wasn’t sure how to put it together. Last week I finally had a bit of time to think about it while I was away, and the Weekly Edit was born. The name is not original, I’ve seen it used on quite a few sites, and the format probably exists somewhere too, but I’ll try my best to keep the content original. Do: PLAN A SMALL TOWN ROAD TRIP FOR THE SUMMER // There’s just a few weeks left in the school year, so it’s time to get serious about planning for the summer holidays. I just did a media trip to Armstrong BC last week and loved the slow pace and stress free driving. We’ll definitely be planning another summer roadtrip. SCOUR ONLINE SALES FOR A FEW SUMMER DRESSES // Adding 2 or 3 inexpensive summer dresses in fun colours and prints to your wardrobe is the perfect way to start the season! I recently bought this tee shirt dress, and this fun floral one from Old Navy. Can’t wait to put them into rotation. The last week was hard for many of us. That is why I think it’s important we all try to UNDERSTAND THE SIGNS OF DEPRESSION. Read up on it, check on your…

WHAT LIES BETWEEN US: BOOK REVIEW {12/52}

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera is one of the most gripping books I have every read. It’s dark & gritty, and more than once I thought ‘I should stop reading this’, but I had to finish it. Before you pick up this book though, I have to tell you there might be a number of triggers for readers that have dealt with sexual abuse or postpartum depression in the book.  The book follows the heroine of the story from her childhood in Sri Lanka, to navigating life as a teenager in America, and then dealing with her childhood traumas that resurface when she becomes a mother. It was a hard read for me because I have dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety so connecting with the dark possibilities of being in that place was gut wrenching. That being said, I also felt like it was strangely therapeutic to read about someone else being in that place and being a much “worse” mother than me. It was reading this book that brought me to write this post about my struggles embracing motherhood.  I am so impressed with Nayomi Munaweera’s writing and the way she kept me hooked. I will definitely read more from her in the future, and she might actually be one of the best writers that I’ve come across in the reading challenge.  VIDEO REVIEW: