Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Today is such a beautiful day, one of those days that lifts the spirits. It's too bad I'm down with a chest cold otherwise I would have spent more time outside on the balcony (even though it's a tad bit chilly)

Honey the cat is really enjoying it though, she keeps sitting in front of the sliding door waiting to be let out, and if she isn't doing that then she wants to be brushed to get rid of any excess hair before the hot weather.

Here are some photos I took yesterday when she followed me to my room to sit in the sun then as I knelt down she decided to jump onto my knee and demand a scratch/brushing.

"Are you looking at me?!"

She decided to jump up on my knee




Thursday, March 22, 2007

Upcoming projects

The weather has been changing a lot lately, this morning it rained, then we had some sun in the afternoon and the evening was a bit chilly and windy. I decided to go outside on the balcony and see what I can do with an incense stick. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time but really had no idea how it worked.

I've discovered that it's definitely easier than I thought! Just wave the stick around against the night sky and take a photo (my sisters camera seemed to do a better job than mine, I have yet to figure out the settings on mine)

It's quite fun though the night was a bit windy, may have to try to find a calm night and do some more experimenting.

The latest pictures from my artifact collection have been uploaded to flickr, I'm quite pleased with how the photo of the gold piece came out, it's an interesting unique piece but I must admit it was hard to photograph, in the end it looked good against a turquoise sheer fabric.

Below are some photos of several pieces, some made of stone, others appear to be metal or copper, and some are carved out of a reddish smooth stone. All these pieces come from the Mesopotamian region, I do not have much more details but if you do please do feel free to leave me a note, also regarding any tips to make my upcoming projects.

Ancient gold ..

long rolling seal

Interesting rock pendant.

brooches and arrows

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mineral Makeup tutorial

Youtube has been good to me today, I'm so pleased. Spent the day uploading a few videos that my sister and I made earlier (yes, she's the camera person and deserves credit as well ; ))

I'm very happy that mineral makeup is gaining popularity out there, though I'm still a beginner and experimenting I'd love to offer any help if needed with application tips, and of course I'm open to advice and ideas from everyone who has something to share.

Thanks to a flickr member who had a few questions after ordering her first kit I decided to make this video to better illustrate what I tried to describe to her in text.

The following are two parts, mini instructional videos about how generally to apply mineral makeup. It's quite different than other brands out there because with minerals it's all loose.

I'm using two brands, Bare Escentuals (bare minerals) and Everyday Minerals.
BareEscentuals comes with a special vitamin cream called "bare vitamins" and this is applied before using the foundation. I find that this brand tends to sparkle slightly, also it doesn't feel as "fine" as the other. Some people have mentioned to me that it doesn't stick to their skin well even with the cream, some have had breakouts so please try it on a small portion of your skin first to test.

Everyday Minerals is the latest brand I've tried, it's very well priced and can be ordered from the website unlike the other which is usually available at Sephora here in Canada. I love everyday minerals, they're smooth, matte, very fine, and stick to the skin even without a cream. Normally I apply my normal organic moisturizer though about half an hour before using it.

Bottom line the technique is the same when applying - "less is more" and feel free to try a few coats and see what suits you best. I would highly recommend the Everyday Minerals concealers, they're excellent if used very sparingly.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Today I decided to share the cinnamon roll recipe in my entry since it was such a huge success on flickr : D

Thanks everyone for the sweet comments!!

I'm not sure where the recipe came from but who cares, right? It must be either from the net or from my bread bakers apprentice cookbook. So.. here it goes:



3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk
3-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour (using dip-and-sweep method of measuring)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins or toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Icing: (optional)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces confectioners’ sugar

To make dough, microwave butter and milk until warm, about 120 to 130 degrees.
Add 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and egg. Beat for three minutes. Stir in remaining flour. Knead until smooth and elastic, about eight to ten minutes. Place in covered bowl to proof until double in size.

Position oven-rack at center of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 8”or 9" square or round pans. To make filling, combine sugar and cinnamon (and raisins or pecans, if using). Roll dough flat into rectangle. Spread and press filling evenly into dough. Taking care not to roll too tightly, roll up from longer edge of dough, and seal by pinching dough edge along length of roll. Cut cross-wise into 18 slices. Place rolls in pans. Cover and let rise until double in size. (Or, if baking the next morning for breakfast, cover and refrigerate overnight, and proof until double in size before baking.) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until tops are golden-brown.

During baking, make icing by stirring together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar. Remove rolls from oven. Turn out in one piece onto serving plate. Ice rolls while hot. Serve at once. Makes 18 rolls.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snack time!

Snack time!
Originally uploaded by Adventuress Heart.
Gorgeous day outside! One of those days I just love "looking at" though it's still chilly so I wouldn't dare go out just yet. Snow appears to be melting though.
My sisters have now caught the flu, one by one everyone rotates. Funny how every year it goes like this, mom, third sister, me, youngest sister and then my second sister who usually says she can "fight" the symptoms, and it's pretty much true since the longest she's ever caught a regular flu is around a day.

Doing some baking, cinnamon rolls are one of my favourite "bready" desserts. The other day mom made kunafa, not one of my favourites but as long as it doesn't have any nuts inside then I don't mind eating a little piece. Most arabic sweets are very sweet, submerged into the sweet sugary rose water syrup. Some desi sweets as well like gulab jamun and the popular zalabiya which is also popular in arab countries. Luqmat al Qadi a yeasty doughnut like blog known as "judge's mouthful" which is also submerged in syrup once it comes out of the hot oil is another one of my childhood favourites, now though I can't seem to tolerate it too much.

Basbousa though until today holds a special place in my heart, it's one of my all time favourite desserts, the sticky sweet samolina cake decorated with almonds is just heavenly.

Below are detailed photos of the cinnamon rolls I made earlier before and after baking. And of course at tea time!

Tea time!

Rising rolls infinity


Out of the oven..

Cinnamon rolls on tray

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Relaxing peaceful day..


The day went so fast I hadn't even noticed but when I did it was already Asr time (later afternoon)
Spent most of the day in my room, on the laptop and occassionally catching a glimps of the oustide world through the window on my right. It rained, and there were beautiful little beads scattered all over the outside of my window, it feels like spring is here but my sister argues that the weather man warned that more snow will be falling later this week *hopes not*

Rain reminds me of the occassional rain fall in San'aa, Yemen, unlike here the streets would turn into mud (which made it harder for me to leave the house) but at the same time once the sun came out the earth would dry up pretty quickly which was a great blessing. And I enjoyed the rain because it would cool down the place.

I've been having some pretty weird dreams lately.. maybe it's because I've go the flu which usually causes some mild hallucinations. Dreams are such a huge topic of interest, I've always found them fascinating as well ... sometimes they can distort reality though, sometimes they can be contradictory too.

To flickr news: I'm happy that the awareness photo I posted has done very well, so many people joined by adding their support and lighting a candle, I only pray that it will make a difference for the cause.

Light a candle for a cause

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring and the birds

Originally uploaded by Adventuress Heart.
I guess spring is almost here, the birds have appeared on the balcony for the first time. It's great to see little sparrows carrying thing pieces of twins and grass to begin construction on their nests.
This is our first spring since we moved to the condo, so it's very exciting, however I'm sure we wont' have as many birds visiting the balcony as we did in our old place, plus we're above the 10th floor now unlike being on the street leveled 4th floor at our other place.

Dont' feel like eating, or cooking or anything.. so I roatate between watching Tv, browsing the net, journaling and just taking it easy.

Honey is behaving very strange as well, no naps anymore and she wants to spend all her days around us, she loves the birds too.. the other day she noticed them for the first time and it was a heartbreaking scene somewhat because I know how much she used to love watching the birds at our old place where they would visit all year round, but here she hasnt' seen any in months. They began chirping and she started speaking with them from behind the screened sliding door, meowing over and over as they chirped, but the funny thing was that it sounded like a baby lamb.. a meow that sounded like a baahh.. hilarious!!
She's very funny, just when we think we know everything about her she does something unexpected :D


Monday, March 12, 2007

Flu Season

Chai Pakistani style
Originally uploaded by Adventuress Heart.
After my sister got the flu a few days ago it finally caught up with me!

Scratchy throat, difficulty swallowing, slight throbbing in the head and knees.. *ahhhhhhh, it's awful*

Thankfully this morning I made myself a huge jug of nice tea which really helped, the stuff is amazing and I feel totally normal now.

Thought this was a great opportunity to share some of my family recipes for the flu, colds, sore throats and chest colds. They're pretty good and my mom swears by them.

For chest colds:
-My grandma back in Iraq used to recommend adding some ground black pepper to a cup of hot milk, drink and even though it may feel a bit "hot" it really helps with the cough.

- Roasted onion, placing a whole onion with the peel on a foil and tray then baking it in the oven until it's totally softened, peel off outter skins and eat the tender roasted onion, great for chest colds!

Cold, flu and more:

- Herbal tea: Mix ground ginger (or fresh), cinnamon sticks (and ground if you don't mind it), whole black seeds, licorice root (if available), add boiled water to the mixture and sweeten with honey. Drink throughout the day. *I love this stuff!!!!!!!*

For sore throats: Believe it or not ice cream soothes it, stay away from hot stuff as it can make the throat feel more inflammed. So cold beverages, natural popcicles and more.

Other beneficial herbs and remedies and immune system boosters are lemon, garlic, ginger, black seed, honey.

Let's not forget the fluids, soups and lots of rest..

If you have any homeopathic recipes of your own, feel free to share, I love hearing about traditional and helpful natural remedies!!

And now I go back to sipping my tea ... *slurp*



Here are a few pieces from my family collection. Most of the artifacts as I'm told come from the Mesopotamian region of Iraq. I'm not sure of their dates or exactly how old they are but they sure are interesting. Several pieces have oxadized, some are stone, the jewelley pieces have some gem like stones and beautiful carvings. I will be adding more soon, like cape brooches and mini arrow heads.
There is one green glass pot, I've seen a few similar pieces in the museum, perhaps more deliate as they were Roman. This pot is very heavy and thick, a beautiful piece of art in itself!

One of the rings has a carving on the stone and when used as a stamp creates this lovely tulip, check it out below.

Last but not least the coin have arabic and Islamic texts on them and therefore they aren't as old as the other pieces.

Lion I think.

Ancient ring with stone and tulip engraving

Ancient ring with seal

Large heavy coin


And as always... more pictures on flickr!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March Break

Spring like weather has arrived, it's so beautiful and sunny outside (a bit chilly but so what). March break is also here and several canadians make trips to the US, some even go as far as europe. WOW, I can't imagine travelling to europe for a week, by time I get there and adjust to the time difference it will take about two days, then how many days do I have to enjoy myself before praparing to go back so that I can again adjust before school??? STRESS!

*ohh well, that's just me*

Another example of spring's arrival is my cat, who's driving us all insane by acting crazy. She won't fall sleep like usual during the day and makes us follow her around by despirately meowing for attention. *she is spayed if that's what you're wondering*

Did some cleanup in my room, I actually enjoy cleaning my room believe it or not, well, I actually should have added that to my last post about weird, odd and unusual habits. Again if I think about it I've got loads of weird habits that would probably top 1000 points. lol
Come to think of another habit, I'm sure you've heard the term "using food to medicate oneself" that can't be good from the sound of it, however it's a common symptom amongst us humans during depression and several other psychologically disturbed times.
In my case I tend to use that form of therapy a lot, but with a bit of a twist, instead of eating the food I prepare it, loads of it, first courses, appetizers, main courses, desserts, foods marinating in the fridge for the next couple of days. It's like I've got a whole schedule and I can spend hours and hours in the kitchen but when it comes to eating it I just can't... however it's very stress relieving for me, maybe it's about feeling in control? who knows but my family sure love it, it's like having a personal chief right here at home! *ohh they'll probably be the ones gaining the weight* ; P

Well enough of my oddities..

I'm working on a new flickr project, perhaps creating a new set with natural looking day to day snapshots, I've got a few already in my albums, some already taken but I plan to expand them into a seperate section.
Also I've got several new ideas for my next video cooking projects.

So here I am watching my sisters play Star Wars battle front on Xbox360 .. since we're on the subject of star wars, here are some youtube clips that my sister brought to my attention, they're hilarious (I laughed so hard :D)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tagged by Kytheria

The Rules: “Each player of this game starts off with ten weird things, habits or little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged must write in a blog of their own ten weird things, habits or little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you must choose six people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks!”

1- I love tea, green tea specifically and so when I prepare some it begins like so: taking two mugs out of the cupboard, adding some loose chinese green tea leaves in both, filling both cups up to the top with hot boiled water then bring down two more mugs, spilling half from each mug into a new mug until all four are equally filled with tea. Now I head over to the fridge and grab a cold water bottle and fill each with a quarter cup. These tea cups will be placed in different areas of the house so wherever I am I have tea accessable. *I know, I'm crazy!!*

2- I'm right handed so when I brush my teeth I must place my left hand behind my back gracefully and stand up straight or bend slightly in this position, quite odd.

3- I hate winter, ice, snow, everything about it. I tend to sweat when someone opens the window opposed to sweating in the summer heat.

4- I find diaries and journals creepy, never been able to keep one myself because I'm too paranoid someone will find it so 90% of keeping a diary for me would be trying to hide it/make sure no one finds it and moving it from place to place which would be way too stressful. I like blogging but to me personal feelings and thoughts should just stay in my head where no one can get to them. Which brings me to point #5.

5- I'm terrified of hallucinating, it happens quite often when I have a fever. Having to go into surgery and be put under anesthetics freaks me out because I fear I'll say things that I'm unaware of saying and "spill the beans"

6- I'm basically a loner or hermit without any friends other than a handful of online friends across the world : )

7- I'd rather watch the movie than read the book - when it comes to reading I prefer self help, true stories/experiences, criminology/profiling books to novels : D

8- I have mild OCD and hate touching door knobs, buttons and anything in public specifically.

9- Believe it or not parties are not about the food for me, neither are they about the dancing, fun and entertainment, meeting friends and family, gathering with people or just loosening up. They're about one thing - fashion!

10- I like blowing bubbles during snow storms. Making up my mind to do things out of the norm once in a while allow me to feel very free and in control. Most people don't know this about me but I've experienced the feelings of freedom being taken away, and so ever since then I promised myself to enjoy every moment. If you've gone through a similar experience you'll understand precisely the feelings.

I guess the first 6 people with blogs who read this are tagged..............

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Deep fried what?

Well it's Cadbury Creme egg season, no matter where I go the topic comes up, and on every single forum I visit there is a huge thread with people raving about how much they love them, and how great the easter season is because of them.

In my opinion (no offence to anyone) but I find them disgusting, and so does my whole family. I can not even get myself to try it, the commercials totally turn me off and it just looks so weird for a candy (must be overly sweet as well from what I hear)
I love eggs, particularly hard boiled eggs, but a chocolate made to look like the inside of a raw egg *shudder*

So what does deep frying have to do with it? .. Ok, so let me explain. I was on flickr earlier searching for something interesting and I came upon a photo of a deep fried Cadbury Creme Egg.
I've heard of the Mars Bar, I've tried the Ice cream and it was pretty good. After a bit of searching I found some really weird fried things that were just so unbelievable.
From Oreo and chocolate chip cookies to pizza, to cheese burgers, battered pickles and even turkey stuffing (filled with mashed potato) Hilarious!!

I'm thinking to myself what do they NOT deep fry?

Below are some photos of various deep fried foods ... the above photo is of a deep fried cheese burger and thanks to flickr members for the photos, they're not mine but I simply borrowed them :) Ohh and if anyone knows of any more interesting deep fried foods feel free to leave a comment and let us know about it.

Photo credits in order from above: 1: Sarah and Jason 2: thisismecl 3: obscene_pickle 4: -karryn- 5: vidiot 6: Sassylittlepunkin 7: Slice

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Making Spinach Pies

Filling ingredients:
1 Onion
2 packages frozen spinach - thawed and squeezed out well.
Sumaq (sumac berries)
Citric Acid (or lemon/lime juice)
Olive Oil

Whole wheat or white all purpose flour
Warm water
Sugar (or honey)
Vegetable Oil


Monday, March 5, 2007


I'm really excited about my new project, in the past few weeks I've developed some mini cooking instructional videos for just basic recipes that I commonly make, the down side was that they were too large and therefore they weren't able to be uploaded online.
Now I've done smaller ones, two minutes or so and they seem to be working so hopefully I can put them up soon.
My first project was spinach pies. One of my favourite foods as snack, appetizer, meal with a salad or great packing food for picnics!

Such a windy day today, my windows were shaking all morning. Sometimes they shake so hard I'm afraid they'll break but thank God nothing like that happened and I pray it doesn't, I mean the building has been here for years and years and it's pretty strong compaired to other condo buildings I've seen so hopefully it will be ok. Also our window replacement schedule has been delayed again into the late summer, well, at least I don't have to put up with all the mess anytime soon. It's actually great that we're getting new living room windows/sliding door as well, I'm quite excited about that! Ohh and maybe by that time my dad will be here for a visit : )

To entertainment news: Prison break was totally shocking, my sister swears this show gives people ulcers. Gosh the suspense, I can't believe I'm hooked to it, it's definately not my type of show but it is now and it's great. I wonder how many more episodes left in the season if any at all after tonight's.
Amazing race All star yesterday night: Another one of those shows I wish they'd finish with, honestly the only reason I'm watching this season is because of Charla and Mirna, they're so annoying but it's so funny to watch them, I'm definately not rooting for them yet at the same time want them to stay on as long as possible because there isn't anything left to look forward if it wasn't for their quirks.

Dubai photos are finally up!

Originally uploaded by Adventuress Heart.
After sorting through literally hundreds of pictures on my sisters laptop I managed to upload them to a new album on flickr. Wow, seeing them again was so exciting, this particular photo was taken I believe at Jumeirah, either the hotel or something. At the time I wasn't there since I left my dad and sisters and headed to Yemen. Later I visited Jumeirah on my way back in July, it was night and dad, myself, step mom and her mum were headed to the Shaku Maku Moroccan restaurant.

I was surprised to find most of the pictures about food, gosh we spent like two weeks there and my sisters documented our every move, especially every single thing we consumed.

Anyway, another weekend goes by without my notice, maybe because I've still got the "Foodies" spending my days in the kitchen cooking like there is no tomorrow, lol.

It's so weird actually, last year at this exact time I was really ill and developed aspiration pneumonia due to the leakage of some gas in a taxi that I was was riding in. Today while having lunch I got a rice stuck in my windpipe, I could feel it travel to my right lung and all afternoon it was pretty irritating, I hope it's not too serious as I can still feel it there.
My mom said a friend of hers mentioned how her husband got a watermelon seed stuck in his lung once and after years he sneezed it up. Well thankfully a rice grain is much smaller and as I've read usually aspirated food is broken down and absorbed back into the body.

As for other news, next week daylight saving +1 hr begins. Thinking back now I wonder if this goes on the middle east as well, I don't remember it at all in Yemen, however in Iraq I think we used to do it.

I haven't gone out in a while and have no intention to as they're saying it's really cold *sigh* All I've got is hope, looking back on the old summer pictures and keeping myself occupied with anything I can find.
Yesterday night I did a bit of Henna since my mom made a bunch for her hair. It's actually the very first time that the henna came out very dark in my skin, wooooooohooooo!! I'm really excited about it.
I began with a small pattern at like 11 PM while the news was on then it just grew so I decided to sleep with it after covering it all up with a plastic bag, it wasn't that comfortable but at dawn I found myself awake and then washed it off. I'm loving it!

On friday another totally weird thing happened, I ordered a package earlier last week and it arrived last friday or so, now the funny thing is that this week I wasn't expecting anything and yet my sister came up with a package that had my name on it. It appears the online shop sent me two of the same item by mistake so I had it sent back, simple mistake but quite funny. Somehow I had a feeling that would happen when I placed the order and emailed two persons to make sure my order went through, both packaged and shipped out a seperate item and mentioned to me so, yet I didn't want to question anything or cause any confussion, turns out what I suspected would happen actually came true ; )

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Staying cozy during the snow storm

The picture says it all..

After 1:00 PM today the blizzard began so I curled up on my bed with the laptop some hot tea, earphones and a few sunflower seeds.
It seems my mom and sister also have a slight headache - the weather is usually the cause - overall it's been a pretty relaxing day.
Another one of my mom's little kiddy clients was over today, such a cutie, then we had the little girl in the evening.

My dad also called which was great, seems he's really busy these days.

The little ones will probably be here tomorrow as the snow storm is predicted to continue so mom is staying over tonight.