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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Big Forgive

As I look back on a blessed 2011 and look forward to all the opportunity that awaits me in 2012, I have decided to end the year by shedding a bit of baggage.  I am preparing myself to forgive a BURNING injustice that was inflicted upon me...by my best friend.

 Here we are getting ready to walk 60K in a quest to combat breast cancer.  Don't we look so happy?

If you know my bestie, you probably recognize this cute, adventurous face. This boy who can eat 10,000 calories and never gain a pound. This fun loving fellow who always makes you laugh and even lets you laugh at him.

He is always challenging himself physically.  Here he is cycling from Toronto to Montreal in support of the Friends for Life Bike Rally.  Look at him waving to the camera.  Such a dogooder right?

Bestie is an artist and a creative caring soul drawn to colour and emotion and all forms of expression.  Despite all of this we do have a fiery blemish upon our relationship. A dark time. A time of hurt and pain. A time that I am finally ready to forgive.

Let me set the scene...take a look at my bestie below.  Only a face like this could have inflicted such evil on...ME!

It was 1997.  My last year as a teen.  My first year as a university student.  I was home for the Christmas holidays and so happy to be spending time with my friends and family.  Shafik and I went to mosque one Saturday evening and then proceeded to one of our favourite 90's hangouts, the Movenpick Marche.  We used to go there for the free parking and for $10 we could get a four cheese wood oven baked pizza and a tasty plate of shoe string fries!  We could also linger there as long as we liked.  It was the perfect place for students on a budget.

This particular night, I had a craving for ice cream.  As I returned to the table with my scoop of white chocolate chip ice cream, bestie started talking about how yummy his mint ice cream was.  I remember him saying, "Look how creamy it looks and how bright green it is. It's sooooo minty.  Do you want to try a bite?"  I looked trustingly into his bright, big, beautiful brown eyes and said, "Sure!"  Bestie spoon fed me a bite of his alleged mint ice cream with a huge grin.  I accepted with a smile anticipating a cool minty treat!

AND THEN...FIRE!  HOT! THE SWEATS! TEARS DOWN MY FACE!

This, friends, is how I was introduced to wasabi!  Not mint ice cream!  I looked over at bestie and he was roaring with laughter.  I really don't remember much after that. Somehow the night ended on a good note.  I think, like the heat in my nostrils, I rose above it and succumbed to being punked although my eyes still kind of water when I think about that time.

Shafik, Zohra and I had sushi for lunch yesterday and the bright green wasabi on our plates brought this memory back.  Shafik confessed that he went on a bit of a crime spree and I was not the only person he did this too.  Funny enough, every other victim he mentioned still remains close to him to this day.  I told bestie that I would forgive him and let it go.  So here's to you Shafik!  Now that I've let the rest of the world know about your evil ways, I'd like to thank you for a terrific 2011!  Thank you for the memories, the road trips, the soul chats and hugs.  Looking forward to all we have planned for 2012!  I love you!

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 30, 2011

An Everyday Celebrity

People like this make me feel so good about the world and the hands that it is in...all of ours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Useful Things To Know...Really!

Here are some pretty cool tips to make your day a little easier.  I love this kind of stuff!  Now I can't take credit for any of these ideas.  I got them through an email forward from my co-worker and had to share. (I guess this is my way of forwarding that same email!)

In the kitchen

Make breakfast in bed a little spicier with this amazing heart shaped egg tutorial. Love this!
 
Hull your strawberries using a straw. 
I love the way they end up looking plump, fresh and ready to devour.

Stop cut apples from browning by keeping them together with a clean rubber band.

Turn your muffin pan upside down and use cookie dough to create dessert bowls for ice cream, pudding or fruit. So fun!


Bake cupcakes into an ice cream cone.  How fun would these be? 

  Around and about

Search for lost earrings and small treasures by placing a pair of your stockings over the vacuum cleaner tube.

Amplify your tunes by placing your iPhone or iPod into a round bowl.

Storage and organization

Use some wire to store wrapping paper on the closet ceiling. 
An eye catching, easy solution that allows you to take a quick visual inventory too.

Use magnetic strips on the back of your vanity door to keep track of things like bobby pins, tweezers and nail clippers.

Use bread tags to label computer cords!

I only use fitted sheets and love using this technique to keep them folded in a neat and tidy way.

 Tuck your bed linen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match. Brilliant!

I have lots of trips planned for 2012 and I always take too many  enough shoes when I pack.  Storing them inside of a shower cap is a great way to protect your clothes from any of the dirt you might have picked up along the way.

TGIF Friends!  Safe travels to those of you heading out to visit friends and family over the holidays.  Wishing you a peaceful season wherever you may be.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Great Minds!

One of my favourite things about work is my colleague Donna.  When I think about my relationship with Donna, I am reminded that no matter how different or at odds we are as human beings, there is something that connects every single one of us to each other.

Donna and I could not be more different. She's 905 and I'm 416. We are generation apart in age. Our upbringings are vastly different.  I just celebrated my grandma's 90th and she recently celebrated her momma's 90th. I greet her in the morning with a "Hello!" She says with a flair, "Hey Girl!"

Today I was pleasantly reminded that Donna and I have a lot in common.  We exchanged Christmas gifts today and wouldn't you know it, we got each the same gift.  Great minds think alike!

 
Lucky for me great minds also think together.  I am so lucky to have a great team member in Donna!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why Today Rocks...

Ever go to bed with sore cheeks?  Sore from smiling?  That's me tonight and here's why...

I caught a new subway train on the way to work...

Played and won two games of Spider.  Anyone else playing this addictive game?

Stopped and listened to my favourtie subway musician Ronny on the way to work.

Giggling at my boss' ridiculously big umbrella-ella-ella...

Christmas crackers with paper hats and cheesy jokes shared with cheerful co-workers.(Cheesy jokes like, "Why did the chicken say baa, oink, moo and bow-wow? He was studying foreign languages.

Discovering hidden talents. My co-worker has a fascinating way of putting milk into her coffee.  Fascinating.

Funny signage on the way into a comedy show.

All this before the stand up even started!  Thankful for a terrific day!

Mom's Spinach and Potatos


Another delicious recipe from my Mom.  Perfect for the vegetarian in your life...or in the mirror.

In a saucepan add:
1tbsp of oil
2 300g packs of spinach
2 potatos, skinned, cut up and diced
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of tumeric
 1 1/2 tsp of dhanna jeeru (coriander and cumin mix)
1 tsp of giner and garlic
1/4 tsp of green chili (optional)

Stir it up and then add:
3 tbsp tomoto paste
1/3 cup dried onions
1/2 cup of water

Cover and leave on low heat for 20 minutes and then YUM!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meditation for your Monday

"How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment
to improve the world."
Anne Frank


In 1985, the United Nations declared December 5th to be 
International Volunteer Day. 
Thanking every single one of you who makes your community a better place to live with your gifts of time and love.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sleeping Beauty...

I think it is a clear sign that Movember is coming to an end when it starts seeping into your subconcious.  I woke up with a start this morning after dreaming (was it a nightmare?) that I was being chased (or was I playing hard to get?) by moustached men! It was all very confusing.

First there was this fellow from my childhood who sported a healthy fu manchu in my dream and chased after me with his platinum blonde 'stache.

I also seemed to be running away from this dreamboat who used to occupy our TV after school every Monday to Friday from 4-5pm. (I know that Marianne and Claire would call being chased by this furry specimen a wet dream.)

I think where it all went wrong was when this man starting chasing me.  Sorry Geraldo.  I am sure you are a kind man with good intentions for the world but you sort of freaked me out and I had to wake up and start my day!

Shout out to all my man friends participating in Movember! 
Looking forward to seeing your upper lips on December 1st!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wake Up!

I sure did!  This morning my clock radio went off to this "ballad."



I resisted the urge to snooze and listened for a few minutes.  The guitar bridge at 4:09 was the perfect time to jump out of bed and air guitar my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth and greet today!

Good morning!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meditation for your Monday

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wake up every morning rejoicing that I'm still here with the opportunity to begin again and be better.”
Oprah

 Maji at 90.

I love this quote and think about it often, usually in the mornings.  After celebrating Maji's 90th birthday yesterday with my family, all my aunts, uncles, cousins and their gorgeous kids, this meaning has deepened for me.  
Wishing you a week of opportunities! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simple Pleasure - L.A. Reid's Facial Expressions

Who's watching X Factor?  
I watch every single week hoping the camera will pan over to L.A. Reid while he is rhythm deep in watching a performance. 
It's written all over his face!

Love it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Confessions from Barney Live: Barney's Birthday Bash!

On Sunday, I stepped out in style with a trio of little people to catch a most exciting musical extravaganza.  Yes my friends, I went to see Barney!  Live!  The premise of the show was basically the excitement and planning for Barney's birthday followed by THE.ACTUAL.BIRTHDAY.PARTY! I'm not going to lie, I had no expectations for this show other than spending quality time with my cousin Tasneem, her husband Rahim and their two gorgeous kids Sophia and Zane.  My Kahzmir and I were delighted to be invited to spend a few hours with them.  The show did not disappoint.  I had a such a great time!  Hold your horses, I'm not buying the Barney record or liking his Facebook page but I did have a blast!

Barney and his pals deep in party planning mode.

A valuable lesson is shared...Barney doesn't need birthday gifts with friends like Baby Bop, her big brother BJ and their cousin Riff. (Yeah, I'm name dropping here... Just in case you were wondering who the other dinosaurs were.)

All he wants is a birthday card (with a picture of himself on it!)  Listen up parents of the world, this means there is no need to get your kids any of the latest Barney paraphenalia.  He just got you off the hook!

Sophia gets on top of her seat to get a closer look.

The best part of the show was seeing how excited all the kids were.  I looked around me and felt like I was at a New Kids on the Block concert!  Kids were dancing, screaming, clapping and yelling out "Barney! BJ! Baby Bop! Riff!"   Some of the kids closer to the stage were losing their minds whenever Barney came close.

 
Thankful to the Samjis for the invite and a spectacular show!  

My cousin Tasneem had a great time too.  I loved seeing her sing all the songs...and perform all the actions!  At one point she turned to me and said, "Yup!  This is my favourite Barney song of all time!" I love that she has a favourite Barney song!  Thankful for this chance to let go and look at life the way I did when I was a kid.  To sing out loud, dance a silly dance and tell the people around me that I love them was worth it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mom's Potatoes and Peas

My Mom came by last night and dropped of some of her scrumptious Fish Pie and some Shepard's Pie too.   I'm having her Fish Pie for lunch right now and it feels like I am getting a big and loving hug from her too.  My Mom got rear ended on the way home from dropping her treats off to me.  Please send her a big hug along with me.

My Mom is an amazing cook.  Here is a recipe her Potatoes and Peas.  I love to eat them on their own, with some naan or rotli or even some rice and yogurt. YUM!

This what your dish will look like if you add coriander as a garnish.
Photo via
Mom's Potatoes and Peas
In a saucepan add:
1 tsp of oil
1 tsp of cumin
Curry leaves (Just a couple.)

Heat the above for one minute until you hear popping.

Next add:
2 tbsp of tomato paste
3 potatos diced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1 pack of pigeon peas

Heat on low for about 20 minutes.  Stir and serve.

It's as simple as that!  Potatoes and peas....yes please!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Awareness

I had the good fortune of attending an amazing Diversity and Social Inclusion Leadership Learning Forum at work this week.  Our facilitator Tabish showed us this great video during an exercise exploring the importance of self awareness.



Brilliant marketing for cyclists and road safety but the broader message is even more important.  Sometimes even with the best of intentions and focus we can miss out on something fabulous, like a moonwalking bear.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

90!

Happy 90th Birthday Maji!
Thank you for putting up with our waking you up at midnight so we could say happy birthday!

For indulging us in throwing you a party and showering you with you love, hugs, 

prayers and...

...kisses!

I love you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I love my job because...

These are my coworkers and this is how we celebrated someone's birthday today.  
I hope he felt like the superhero he is! 
Happy Birthday Jamie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meditation for your Monday

Friday, September 9, 2011

It would be so cool...

I woke up to Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" on the radio this morning and I thought...


It would be so cool to be a back up singer for Cee Loo Green for the song "Forget You!"    Check the lyrics below that the back up singer gets to sing in red...

I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love
And I'm like, forget you (oo oo oo)
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
I'm like, forget you and forget her too!

Said, if I was richer I'd still be with ya
Huh, now ain't that some shit? (Ain't that some shit?)
Now although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best
With a.. Forget you! (Oo oo oo!)

Yeah I'm sorry, I can't afford a Ferrari
But that don't mean I can't get you there
I guess he's an Xbox and I'm more Atari
Hmm, but the way you play your game ain't fair

I pity fool that falls in love with you
(Watch out she's a gold digger, just thought you should know n*gga )
Ooo Ooo, I got some news for you
Yeah! Go run and tell your little boyfriend

I see you drivin' 'round town with the gir I love
And I'm like, forget you (oo oo oo)
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
I'm like, forget you and forget her too

Said, if I was richer I'd still be with ya
Now ain't that some shit? (Ain't that some shit?)
Now though there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best
With a.. Forget you!

Now I know, that I had to borrow
Beg and steal and lie and cheat
Tryin' to keep ya, Tryin' to please ya
'Cause being in love with your ass ain't cheap

I pity fool that falls in love with you
(Watch out she's a gold digger, just thought you should know n*gga. )
Ooo ooo, I got some news for you
Oh, I really hate you right now

I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love
And I'm like, forget you
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
I'm like, forget you and forget her too

Said, if I was richer I'd still be with ya
Huh, now ain't that some shit? (Ain't that some shit?)
Now although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best
With a.. Forget you!

Now baby, baby, baby why'd you wanna, wanna hurt me so bad (so bad)
so bad (so bad)
I tried to tell my momma but she told me this is one for your dad (your dad, your dad)
Yes she did, Yes she did

(Ooh) WHY?
(Ooh) WHY?
(Ooh) WHY? BABY?
(Ooh!) I love you! I still do! (oo oo oo)

I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love
And I'm like, forget you (forget you, oo oo oo)
I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
I'm like, forget you and forget him too
Said, if I was richer I'd still be with ya
Huh, now ain't that some shit? (Ain't that some shit?)
Although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best (wish you the best)
With a.. Forget you! (Oo oo oo) 

Now for your listening and viewing pleasure:

Thanks for indulging me. As you were.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Eve!

I cannot welcome September without telling you about a wonderful milestone my family celebrated in August.  My adorable nephew Isaac celebrated his first birthday!  Isaac and his Mom and Dad were in Canada for a two week visit which culminated in a baseball themed birthday party the day after Isaac's first Toronto Blue Jays game.  (Jays won 11-2!)
 
Isaac's party had all the perfect ingredients including
- family and lots of cousins and their gorgeous kids
- friends who were kind enough not to eat Isaac up
- butter chicken and naan for the adults, hot dogs and popcorn for the kiddies
- blue freezies...because they are the tastiest
- and last but not least...
...a delicious birthday cake!  
Minaz always picks the best cakes and this one was so fun to look at and even more fun to eat.  YUM!

My Mom and Dad with their grandkids. 
I totally don't mind being their favourite child after these two delights!

Aneez, Vanessa and my monkey. 
Also known as Mom, Dad and Isaac.

Proud Dad and Isaac.
The banner reads "Happy Birthday Isaac!  You're a Grand Slam of joy in our hearts."

All right, bring it on September!  You are giving me a long weekend, a dear friend's wedding and Maji's 90th birthday.  Can't wait to see you tomorrow!