Things That Made Me Chuckle in 2018

I’m sure many of you have heard the quote “laughter is the best medicine”. Whether or not you believe that it cures all, it definitely helped me through the rough patches of 2018. My old roommates and I would initiate a “5 things that made me chuckle” circle at the end of each week (maybe the end of the day? I forget), and it was a great tool for reflection and positivity. Here are some things that made me chuckle this year.

  1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- I watched this movie for the first time this year…Ferris’s personality and childish antics killed me.
  2. Noah Centineo’s tweets (@noahcent)- Unfortunately, the beautiful Peter Kavinsky of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, does not have beautiful tweets. They’re more sad boi/ I’m trying to not “lose my soul” in Hollywood tweets. A couple of my favorites: “If you can get me out of my feels then you’ll have me in my feels forever” and ‘”Can I sit here? No sorry, I’m in Love” -Sarah Bahbah’. Incredible.
  3. A Simple Favor– Described as a “black comedy”, a mommy blogger named Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is enthralled by glamorous Emily (Blake Lively) and they hang out for like a day and become BFFs. Then Emily goes missing and the plot gets crazier and the dialogue gets funnier and you are left shocked and appalled that this script succeeded through the pitching phase.
  4. The Yee Haw meme- 🤠🤠🤠 Enough said.
  5. Elon Musk- Started dating emo singer Grimes. Smoked a blunt live. What more does it take to chuckle at a tech billionaire?
  6. The Show Ponies- Okay so, long story short, my friends and I went to a Mowgli’s concert and The Show Ponies were their opening act. We didn’t know what we were in for- and chuckled at the folksy-bluegrass (🤠) music. Also, it was their last show which was kind of sad. (No hate to The Show Ponies + fans, just not my thing)
  7. Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony- Obviously, selling data is horrible and all, but the questions that Congress asked were ridiculous, i.e. asking how Facebook made money, bringing up floppy disks, “is Twitter the same as what you do?”, etc. Comedy gold for us, and gold for Mark as he realized most of Congress doesn’t understand how the Internet works and he can still get away with a lot.
  8. Riverdale- Every small town has big secrets, and this goes for Riverdale as well. Add in a groovy diner, characters named Jughead who say things like “I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in, and I don’t want to fit in…” and weird parent-child dynamics, and this show is a perfect recipe for guffaws.
  9. @OverheardLA- This Instagram/Twitter account will make me laugh any year, but 2018 especially since I was away from LA most of the year for school. Overheard conversations about veganism, crystals, oat milk, and the new coffee shop in Silverlake with $8 matcha lattes in the best city in the world garnered both laughter and homesickness.
  10. Realizing a lot of people still listen to One Direction- Mostly from looking at people’s Spotifys’. And also realizing you still remember most of the lyrics to their songs too. #NeverForget

As you can see, many of these are pop culture/ media based but I can assure you my family and friends are comedic as well. I hope some of these made you look back at 2018’s absurdities and chuckle as much as I did!

XO,
F

 

Spa Night

With all of the stress, work, and everything going on in our busy lives, it is important for us to occasionally RELAX. I mean put down our phones , turn off its notifications,and spend a couple of hours devoting some time to doing what we love and DE-STRESSING ourselves both mentally and physically.

To me a spa night consists of my best friends , some yoga,  a luxurious Bubble bath, some baking , and tons of LAUGHTER and a good Old Hollywood movie to watch at night ( Breakfast at Tiffany’s and How to Steal a Million are some of my favs ) .And thats what I did this past Sunday. It truly made all the difference and has helped me clear my head and gave me amazing vibes. I swear vibes are everything.

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Bubble Bath Essentials:

A good bubble bath NEEDS

  • dark chocolate ( Godiva has the best)
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Pink Grapefruit Italian Soda Cocktail ( its virgin) with a splash of orange juice, ginger ale, Pink grapefruit Italian soda,  and fresh fruit (sliced strawberries and tangerines)  + mint & plenty of ICE
  • A good body scrub
  • Candles
  • Classical or Relaxing Spa music (pandora has some good stations)

 

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The ultimate comforting dessert is PECAN PIE and since baking is like the most therapeutic thing EVER to me, I had a lot of fun making it and devouring it with tons of whipped cream

 

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This is the opening scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Your Fifth Avenue outfit cannot get any cuter than this ? It can if Hubert de Givenchy was your designer and stylist. 

 

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A little yoga with a watermelon lemonade candle from Bath & Body Works burning on the side, is the perfect duo and the best way to get some relaxing exercise into your Spa Night. I love the after feeling of yoga, my body and mind feel rejuvenated. 

 

I hope my version of a Spa Night has inspired you to have your own. Good vibes only.

XOXO,

SHIZA

New Year, Healthier Me

Although I believe that New Year’s Resolutions do not EVER work, I do believe that it is a good time for self- reflections and perhaps a new mindset. I am not saying that your resolutions won’t work, I am just saying you would rather use it to contemplate on where you are at your life and find ways to make achievable, positive changes. Nothing too crazy or dramatic, because just because the calendar year changes, that doesn’t mean you have too, too. With that being said, I am going to share with you guys some healthy breakfast and drink ideas which will have you feeling great both inside and out. I have been enjoying eating healthier since the start of this New Year because with my cousin’s Big Fat Indian Wedding this past December, I was tired of eating rich and spicy Indian food.

Breakfast- Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowls are all the rage right now and what’s great about them is that they are an easy to make breakfast for your busy mornings. You can even make the smoothie the night before and top it right before eating. It makes for a refreshing and satisfying breakfast that will give you the energy boost that you need to kickstart your day!

You can literally use any fruits that you want in the smoothie bowl, blend the fruits (ex: strawberries , blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, kiwi) up with about a 1/4 cup of greek yogurt, a splash of orange juice, and a drizzle of agave nectar or honey for some sweetness and you have yourself a delicious smoothie. Make sure you put in more yogurt than juice so that the smoothie is thick and can be eaten with a spoon. I literally eyeball it. No need to be really specific , the possibilities are endless. Each smoothie that I make has its own unique flavor and taste.

frutas

A very berry smoothie

MANGO

A mango, strawberry, & raspberry smoothie

acai bowl

The mango, strawberry, raspberry one blended.

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Toppings:

  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Chia Seeds
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Granola
  • Dates
  • Drizzle of Honey or Agave Nectar
  • Coconut Shavings
  • Kiwi
  • Chocolate Chips

Hydrate- Coconut Water

I absolutely adore coconut water , especially from a fresh coconut. Although, I do enjoy vita coconut water or the Taste Nirvana Real Thai coconut water with pulp that come in green bottles from the store year-round when I can’t find Thai Coconuts. Coconut water has more potassium than a 4 bananas and is packed with electrolytes and tons of other health benefits.

 

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Hydrate-Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

I love to drink pressed orange juice throughout the day. Orange juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a great thing to drink as a snack that keeps you refreshed and satisfied. I go through several bottles of these a week. If you own a juicer you can juice your own oranges and make freshly squeezed orange juice at home. You can even make your own fresh oj blends using other citrus such as blood oranges, grapefruit, or tangerines. It will take a few extra minutes but it is definitely worth it and can easily spruce up breakfast on the weekends.

 

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  Eat – Salads

Salads are a great way to stay in shape especially when they are packed with wholesome ingredients and fruits and vegetables that you enjoy to it and are served with light, homeade dressings that are not packed with calories and fat because store bought dressings can LITERALLY KILL your salad. I shared a scrumptious salad recipe on another blog post titled “Summer Salad Recipe” so check it out if you are interested in making a healthy homemade salad packed with flavor .

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My homemade Summer Salad from the blog 

 

These are a few ideas on healthy eating, stay fit and well both on the inside and out. SO sorry this post is a month late (I drafted it but never go to actually completing and posting it) , but i hope the New Years Resolutions you made in January apply to your life today .

XOXO

Shiza

 

 

January Favs!

As January comes to an end, here are a couple of my favorites from this weird and hectic (for me, anyway) month!

Food: 

My first try of Paradise Bowls acai in Manhattan Beach! Really refreshing and pseudo-healthy but quite $$. Will def try the other flavors in the future.

Jams: 

Finals week = chillaxing music to study to, aka John Mayer. I listened to probably all his albums which had me reminiscing, but Room for Squares definitely caught my attention. Specifically,

No Such Thing – John Mayer

Why Georgia – John Mayer

83 – John Mayer

Neon – John Mayer

Style:

Copped these new periwinkle blue Converse in like November but decided to finally try them out for the new semester. A nice dash of spring during these chilly winter months.

Places:

I went by the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles for the Japanese new year. It’s such an informative and interesting; it digs deep into the Japanese internment camps on the West coast and the dark side of American history. It also has some super cool Japanese art!

 A total must if you’re in the area.

Reads:

See How They Run, the sequel of All Fall Down by Ally Carter came out recently! It’s about a teenage girl named Grace who lives in an American embassy in a small coastal European country filled with scandalous secrets, which is also the place where her mother was targeted and killed. I read some of it at the bookstore but forgot my money but I’m definitely going back to buy it! It was so gripping and had incredible imagery; I can’t wait to finish it.

Miscellaneous:

We got new moon jellies at the aquarium and they look absolutely incredible when the lights are off that I had to share!! Visit your local aquarium if you’re bored one weekend.

Another thing I’ve started in January was a social media cleanse. I deleted my Instagram and Twitter apps from my phone last week. It’s been kind of lonely and you have a crazy amount of time to think, but I think it has helped me focus on me more than what some people did over the weekend. I encourage you all to test it out even for a day.

Hope you enjoyed all my favorites for January and try them out in February!

Always,
Firda

Through One Lens & Another: A Series 

So hey- I was scrolling through my photos and found some gems I took at the Hermosa Festival during Labor Day through the lens of my sparkly phone & sunglasses. Just a simple beach day with the fam- sissy featured.  I don’t know what I was trying to accomplish that day; I think I was inspired by Shelby Hamiltons ‘s blog and how she did some cool photos with her sunglasses but I sure am glad I did. Also, I think I was trying to see Hermosa through the lens of someone from a distant time with vintage-y photos. It’s weird thinking about past intentions. I call this work “Through One Lens and Another”. Enjoy and please tell me what you think!

Xo- Firda

 

Sitting, waiting, wishing

 

Sparkly vanilla cones

 

The flowers (?) reminded me of my old house when one time we used them to make a stew and then a cat peed in it. Don’t know the name of this plant to this day..

Labor day beach mob

I want a boat

 

Would never get tired of this view

 

A perfect imperfection

 

All smiles

 

Pier people

 

http://travelaway.me/reykjavik-the-stunning-capital-of-iceland/

Daydreaming- Iceland

Lush green mountains, black sand beaches, and relaxing hot springs- what more could you want from a beautiful island vacation? I was always mesmerized by Iceland’s beauty from photos on Tumblr and Instagram, but Justin Bieber’s music video for his new single I’ll Show You really took the cake. Basically, it’s him frolicking through Iceland’s gorgeous green hills and rock formations, gazing at waterfalls, and dipping into it’s hot springs. Goals. But since not all of us are pop stars and can’t hop on a plane to Iceland right at this moment (although someone told me there was a Groupon for it), let these doodled photos take you into the daydream that is Iceland (which actually means island in Icelandic- the more you know..).


Reykjavik-the pretty capital is filled with museums about Vikings, the rotating Perlan glass dome, and the über cool (or should I say warm;) geothermal Blue Lagoon spa.


The Blue Lagoon spa- shout out to volcanos man!


In Vík í Myrdal, has a long stretch of black basalt beaches, and another shoutout to volcanoes.


Gullfoss Waterfall- This waterfall produces rainbows all the time..ok.


The blue ice caves of Skaftafell- How it would look if you were in a blue bubble, probably.

These are only some of the amazing snapshots of Iceland- waiting for the day I can see these in real life and not daydreams!

Xo- Firda

*Not my photos, just my edits*

Photo Credits:

Reykjavik
Blue Lagoon Spa
Black Sand Beach
Gullfoss Waterfall
Blue Ice Caves

Summer Retreat: Mammoth Lakes, CA

Hey y’all! So between summer camp counseling, my online history class, and hanging out with friends, a nice, spontaneous camping trip was much needed! Location: the absolutely gorgeous and popular skiing spot Mammoth Lakes, California or what most people call it, Mammoth. I’ve heard a lot about the place from friends and family, but it going there for real was spectacular. Unfortunately, I was a little sick but it was still great! With the fresh air, mounting trees, cutest chipmunks, stunning lakes, and a beautiful waterfall, it was definitely the best summer trip yet!

On the road: Passed by grape vines, cornfields, ranches, and many cows. Also, first time at the Mojave Desert! It had some eerie ghost towns and some cute old towns that brought us back about 50 years.

 Almost there!! You don’t see this many trees in LA + peep the lake. So gorgeous.


After the usual setting up/eating part, we decided to take some pictures around the campsite.

Hammock view;)


“Summer” nights: Absolutely freezing- I wore an ultra chic ensemble of 2 sweaters, pants and fluffy pj pants, and my dad’s leather jacket. Also a story for the books: me, my sister, parents, and their friends were casually sitting by the fire, eating and enjoying the stars when my sister calmly whispers, “There’s a bear..” And there it was. A huge one even on it’s paw, casually opening our bear free storage locker that we hadn’t closed and locked yet. Rookie mistake. We watched quietly as the beat devoured my Hawaiian bread. Of course, no one listened to me that we were supposed to make loud noises, but I suppose I was too scared to do so. Also, it was kind of funny. Some guy was taking a video. Then we snuck to a tent where I started laughing and sister proceeded to tell me to be quiet. I texted my friend who would appreciate this kind of situation. Eventually, after trying to scare it away using the car alarm, it walked off toward the lake, which, coincidentally was where my tent site was. #fantastico


Although, waking up to this wasn’t all that bad. I had a major cold so after a breakfast of half frozen Nutella on a tortilla, I grabbed my cup of tangerine flavored Emergen-C, and observed the serene and freaking perfect Twin Lakes. Then an impromptu kayak ride was a must. Definitely felt like a ~part~ of nature.


Soo serene. I might even like lakes more than the ocean…maybe.

Free trolley rides to the top of the mountain are so worthwhile. Probably heaven on earth…

  

Morning hike to the bottom & halfway up a waterfall!!

  

Takin the road less traveled. After that, it was time to pack (or more like reading Mango Shaped Space and soaking in the last of the beauty and fresh air). Overall, it was a trip to remember! I definitely recommend going here- even if you’re super sick. On our way home, we went through Yosemite- another great excursion for another post.

Hope you all enjoyed, xo

Firda

South Coast Botanical Garden 🌐

The South Coast Botanical Garden on the edge of Palos Verdes is truly a gem! One of the best places I’ve ever been in LA so far this summer! Since it was a free day (3rd Tuesday of every month), I decided to stop by with some family and friends. 87 lush acres of trees, flowers, gardens, trails, animals, and other wildlife. Walking in, we were greeted with a quaint Japanese garden, one full of cacti, a children’s garden, a gorgeous rose garden with a stunning fountain, and tons more. I didn’t get to explore the whole place; you best believe I’ll be there again soon. Everyone needs a little flora and fauna in their day. This’ll be a photo blog, cause I want the pictures to do the talking. 

Xxx- Firda

 Pink fuchsias!🌷

Can’t go wrong with a cute koi pond!🐟

 

So picturesque.📷

  

Weeping bottlebrush.😢

  

Hungry caterpillar🐛🌸

  

Love these!!😋

  

The trees were great on this sunny day.🌳

  

The Wild West for a hot sec🌵

  

Kinda, sorta hiking? Wear comfy shoes.👟

  

Adorable bridge that’s supposed to be over a stream but y’know that drought situation.💦

  

“A rose by any other name would smell such as sweet..”🌹

  

Signs if you get lost which is bound to happen- it’s huge!🚩

  

A great place for cheeky photoshoots😜

  

Nice place to sit and chat.💺

  

Not the Trevi but it’s close enough🌀

  

Bridge over a koi pond in the children’s garden🌈

 Lavender love💜 

One of A Kind Study Tips 

May. It’s that time of year again; the dreaded month filled with finals, standardized tests, and AP’s. Studying is on the top of your ‘To Do’ list. I for one am not a fan, and probably, neither are you. Here are some un-cliché tips that I have used for studying: 

1. Delete apps on your phone. Instead of doing the turn off your phone or putting your phone in a different room drill, try deleting apps instead. I listen to music while I study on my phone so turning it off is not an option. Also, texting classmates about the material definitely helps. I delete social media apps, such as Instagram and Twitter. If a texting friend is a distraction, block their number for a bit, your grade will thank you 😉

2. Keep a glass of water besides you.

This is one idea that I discovered last year. Instead of grabbing my phone, I would grab my glass of water instead. It definitely helped. Additionally, the water replenishes your cells which keeps you energized and awake. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated. Lastly, the bathroom breaks and refills will keep your legs moving. 

3. Set alarms

This is a great way to keep yourself from procrastinating and not sleeping too late. Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes to study algebra and when it rings, take a break or move on to a different subject. It will keep you accountable.

4. Make it fun!

Can’t stand reading the chapters in yor history book? Find quizzes and games online (quizlet.com is great) that will make studying more interesting and won’t make you fall asleep. I also find images of concepts I am studying which also helps because I am a visual learner. And if you don’t get off topic easily with a friend, get a study buddy (do this with caution). 

5. Create a schedule. 

Don’t know where to start? Create a schedule based on the day the test is, the rigor, how important the class is to your grade (don’t study 2 hours if you have a high A), and the amount of material you need to study. This will relieve your stress and keep you accountable and organized. Keep it where you can see it everyday, such as your mirror or on your phone.

Hope these tips helped & good luck my friends!❤️

XO, FS

Summer Salad Recipe

Aloha ❤️Today I am sharing with you guys a mouthwatering summer salad recipe. This recipe is super healthy and flavorful. It is like eating California in a bite. With local ingredients and lovely flavors, you will forget that you are eating a salad!!

Ingredients:
– 1 Box of Spring Mix Greens
– 1 Tomato , thinly slices
– 1 Persian Cucumber, sliced
– 1 Lime
– 1 Avacado, sliced
– Handful of Blackberries
– 1 Fuji Apple , thinly sliced with a squirt of lime juice to prevent it from browning
– Handful of fresh mint and basil
– Pinch of Red Chilli Flakes
– 1 tsp. Red Chilli Powder (optional)
– Handful of Walnuts, chopped
– 1 clove of fresh Garlic, minced
– dash of lemon pepper
– dash of Italian Seasoning
– dash of Mediterranean seasoning salt
– Salt & Pepper, to taste
– drizzle of Olive Oil, for sautée
– leftover roasted/baked chicken

Directions:
Part 1: Cook Chicken
Drizzle some olive oil into a pan on medium high heat. Add minced garlic. Allow the garlic to infuse into the oil for a minute. Then, add the chicken.
Allow the chicken to warm through and get slightly browned. This adds flavor. After, add the spices ( lemon pepper, seasoned salt, chilli powder & flakes, italian seasoning) . Stir the chicken on low heat. In the end, add a handful of chopped basil ( about 1/4 cup or so). The basil adds an earthy and fragrant flavor to the chicken. Voilà , your chicken is ready! Set aside.

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Part 2:
Wash all of the fruits and vegetables needed for the salad. In two bowls add some of the spring mix. This is the base layer of the salad. Next, add the sliced avacado on both salads. Squeeze a bit of lime on the avacado so that it doesn’t go brown. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to flavor it. Next, neatly arrange the cucumbers, tomatoes, blackberries, apples, and mint on top of the salad. Afterwards, add the chopped walnuts. Lastly, place the chicken on to the salad.

Tips:
Add the same amounts of fruit/vegetables to both salads. Arrange in a pattern for a pretty presentation.

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Variation: You can leave out the chicken for a vegan salad. It will taste just as good!

Bon Appetit
Xx,
Shiza