Going wild while decorating!

Something like what we used to have!

As a kid, I shared a room with my younger brother. When a room became available, I was given my separate room but never had the autonomy to make any changes to it.

My first experience of decorating my space was after I got married. I had full control over what I deemed right within the budget. I took the input from my husband but majority decisions were mine. And I went quite overboard with it.

It’s not that I spent a lot of money, but I the décor I chose was very elaborate and over the top. Three layers of curtains, pelmets and whatnots! I also bought a lot of decoration pieces, wall hangings, etc. it was quite a busy space.

I remember how excited I felt when someone visited and showed them proudly my interior decorations. I guess it was excusable as it was my first attempt at it.

It’s gradually that I have downsized my home to something more reasonable. Now I feel less is more and something elegant is better than something ostentatious.

I wish I had photos to share with you of the contrast from then to now.

This week’s prompt is: Decorating Your Space

Written for Throwback Thursday- Decorating your space, hosted by Lauren

#Keepitalive

#TBTMemory

Hillside abode

Islamabad, where I am currently living is right next to Margalla hills. It’s one of the beautiful features of this city. There are a few restaurants on the top of the hills which provide the onlookers with a beautiful view of the city, specially at night.

Islamabad at night

The road up is pretty steep and has a high gradient so only a driver who is expert at hillside driving should attempt it. It takes around half an hour to go the 9-10 kilometers but the view is very much worth the drive. And of course there is food. One Resturant that is the oldest there serve all types of food, catering to all sorts of palates.

Anyone who visits Islamabad should visit these hills. And sample the food at various eateries here.

Sue W and GC are the hosts of Weekly Prompts

“It’s easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Hillside from SueW and GC.

This week partner GC and I have chosen Hillside as our challenge for the weekend.

Collections that I collected!

Lauren and Maggie are the hosts of Throwback Thursday

This week’s prompt is: Collections – Take this prompt wherever it leads you.

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I remember collecting many things as a child but the nature of collection changed very often. Some days it was beads that I collected so that I could make small pieces of jewelry from them, and then I would switch over to paper dolls and their dresses. But the only permanent collection was of books.

I started with Enid Blyton and at one time I had all of her books available in the stores. It included old books shops, in fact these shops were the major source of my books.

As I grew, the titles of the books that I collected changed too. I fell in love with historical romances writing very cleverly by British author, Georgette Heyer. Then there was Barbra Cartland, Conan Doyal, Victor Canning, Alister MacLean, and many more. I could afford to buy their books second hand and had quite a big collection.

Over the years I added to this library and when my kids grew up, they added their own favorites. Until a few years ago, we had many bookcases filled with our beloved books. But when we moved 4- 5 years back to our latest homes, we decided to down-scale our library. Now we have two smallish book shelves and have given away many books.

The scarcity of space is one factor. Another is the ease of carrying and reading ebooks. Perhaps it’s the need of time to downsize personal possessions.

I can say that I’ve enjoyed my book collection for many years and I hope those books are still giving joy to someone out there.

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#Keepitalive

#TBTMemory

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge – Preserving Food

Sue W and GC are the hosts of Weekly Prompts

“I feel blessed to have had such a background, where animals, food raising, harvesting and canning were a natural part of life.” – — Trina Paulus

Wednesday Challenge – Preserving Food From GC and SueW.

This week, my partner Susan and I invite you to write about PRESERVING FOOD.

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When I was growing up, my paternal grandmother was around a lot. She was a woman who never wasted anything, least of all food. So whatever food was in excess at home or cheaply available in the market, she would preserve it to be used later.

Her forte was jams and jellies. Apple, apricot, and guava were made into jams and distributed among the family. She was a wonderful cook and anything she made, tasted great. I would assist her as all of that chopping had to be done by hand. And she was obsessed with cleanliness so either she did it herself or I was allowed to do it. I remember my fingers getting discolored when I would cut apples.

I learned the process by watching her. She wasn’t a very literate woman so she followed her own recipes. And they always turned out so well. When tomatoes were cheap we would make tomato ketchup and at the beginning of summer, we would pickle green mangoes with limes and chilies in mustard oil. This pickle, known locally as “achar” is such a yummy treat that it makes the blandest of food heavenly.

When I was a young mom, I made lots of jams and jellies. Strawberry jam was the easiest and the yummiest one. Now I am either too lazy or too old to do it.

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#Keepitalive

#WeeklyPrompts

5 Things- My favorite cold remedies

Tanya is the host of 5 Things

Today Tanya asks us for our favorite 5 home remedies for the common cold.

• Honey;

I believe honey to be very effective in fighting a cold and scratchy throat. Either by itself or in warm milk does wonders for the cold.

• Hot beverages;

Tea, coffee, green tea are all helpful when under the weather from cold. They warm up the body and elevate the mood pulled down by being sick.

• Soup;

Even the doctors recommend soup when we are not well. Any soup would do as long as it’s not too spicy. But tomato soup and chicken soup are specially good.

• Vitamin C;

I find vit-c lozenges useful in cold. Oranges and orange juice are excellent source of vitamin C as well.

• Turmeric and ginger tea;

This is not my favorite but it is very effective. Boil ginger root in water for about 10 minutes and add a bit of turmeric to it. Add honey to make it drinkable. Both ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory and give relief in cold or cough.

These are my go to remedies for the common cold. What are yours?

#Keepitalive

#5Things

Friday Flashback- Do’s and don’t’s of ketogenic diet

I am sharing this post from 23 October 2018 as a part of Fandango Friday Flashback

Most people who try to follow Keto diet are confused as to what they should eat and what to avoid. Here I have compiled A list of dos and don’ts of Keto diet.

In one of my previous post, you can read it here, I gave an outline of my initial daily food intake.

Now I want to help people who have started Keto diet and haven’t much information about how to go about it.

1. Meals and their timings:

It is a vital part of Keto diet to eat your meals according to a fixed schedule. Now don’t get the idea that this would tie you to an unreasonable routine. By a schedule, I mean that the time between each meal should be around the same, daily. Now if you have breakfast early in the morning, you don’t have to have it at the same time every day, but make sure that the time difference between dinner and breakfast stays (almost )the same. And apply the same principle to lunch and dinner.

2. If you are not hungry at mealtime, don’t eat. The idea of 3 meals a day or short frequent meals is not good for health. Frequent eating releases Insulin, which will hinder your weight loss and can make you Insulin resistant.

3. Appetite management:

It is natural to feel hungry initially when you start on Keto. The Macros of Keto as I explained in my previous post are:

FAT:70%

PROTEIN 25%

CARBS 5% 

You can add non-starchy vegetables to this.

Vegetables allowed on Keto: 

Eat as much as you want:

Green leafy vegetables like ;

Spinach, Iceberg, Rocket( Arugula), Mustard greens, Collard greens, Kale. Lettuce

Cruciferous vegetables like;

Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts.

High water content vegetables like;

Squash ( all types), Peppers( all types ), Cucumbers, Eggplant, Turnips, Zucchini, Celery, Asparagus. Mushrooms, Olives

Eat less of these:

Tomatoes, onions, green beans, okra, carrots

These vegetables will not only fill up your tummy but will also provide essential nutrients like Potassium, iron vitamins, especially vitamins B and C. 

Start your meal with a large plate of salad. The daily recommended amount of vegetables/salad per day is around 7-10 cups. Divide it into two servings one with lunch and the other with dinner. If you find it difficult to eat that many vegetables, then you can try a veggie smoothie.

     Avoid completely

Potato, peas, lentils, beets, yams, corn.

All the products made out of potatoes and corn also must be avoided.

4. No snacking:

This is a difficult habit to stick to, especially in the beginning. But to get your body into ketosis, you must stick to this important rule. If you feel hungry in between meals:

a. Increase your intake of fat in your meals

b. Have a glass full of water with a tablespoon full of Apple cider vinegar in it. You can also add some lemon juice to it. It will lower your urge to eat.

Hope that these tips will make it easy for you to follow Keto Diet.

I will follow up with another post of foods allowed on keto!

Thanks for visiting.

Please let me know how you like my post.

#Keepitalive

#FFF

#KetogenicDiet

#KetoDiet

#Weightloss

Friday Flashback – Chasing happiness

I am sharing this post from September 2018 as a part of Fandango Friday Flashback.

(It’s one of my early posts. I think you will see a difference in the style of writing. I made no changes!)

Who doesn’t want to be happy? We all do! But what exactly is happiness? Happiness is described as a state of being happy!!! And then again, what is being happy? Happy is equivalent to a state of joy or pleasure

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So now that we know what is the emotion that is happiness, how to achieve it? And why do we have to attain this state of mind?

The usual expectation people have about a good life is, that it is a happy life. I agree with you and so would about 99% of people in this world. But what makes a person happy is a big variable. If riches are one person’s idea of a happy life, a good home/ marriage would be another ‘s. A great and fulfilling job can be the ideal happy life for someone else. And so on and so forth.

We usually base our expectations of being happy on certain conditions and circumstances in life. Nobody would expect to be happy just because he/ she felt like it. Except for a CHILD!!! And here lies the difference which is between adults and children. We are gradually programmed to co-relate the happiness with other things in life, like success, money, a good home, or a congenial environment. This conditioning changes our perception of joy and pleasure. A child can be happy for no reason other than he/ she is feeling buoyant. Children have not yet learned that they need certain conditions to make them happy. I guess what I really want to say that the pure unadulterated feeling of joy or happiness need not be an elusive phantom to be chased all our lives. Joy can be found in everything around us, we just need to perceive it. A beautiful vista, a bird’s song, the laughter of a child, or a loved one can bring us untold joy, only if we open our hearts and minds to it.

The onus of being happy should lie on our own shoulders. ( Or in our own perceptions). Don’t give others this job. Decide to be a person who can look for joy and pleasure in little things in life. Don’t wait for earth-shattering events to experience the highs of pleasure. Find your happiness in the little day-to-day event. For example:

1. Getting up at time in the morning

2. Finishing your daily chore on time

3. Having a good meal

4. Listening to your favorite song

5. Reading an inspiring book

6. Seeing a good movie

7. And my favorite, have a good talk with your bestie!

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These are a few of the things, ( I am sure, once you start thinking on these lines, you can find many more) and situations where joy and happiness are just waiting for you to find it!

Another thing much ignored in today’s life is the feeling of contentment! It is much more valuable than transitory happiness. Contentment or peace can bring never-ending happiness as it means that we are satisfied with our lives. We are now at that place in life where little disappointments have no power to disturb us. We have done a good job and are proud of it!

Wishing happiness and joy to you all.

Please comment and say what you think of my post.

Like and comment.

#Findinghappiness

#keepitalive

#happiness

#FFF

The real me # 6 -Again?

Rory is the host of The Really you

A Guy Called Bloke Banner The Really You JPEG

The Really You!

Season 1 – Game 06

Question Fun Directory

So I thought that one I answered last week was the sixth one. But here’s another #6! I guess I didn’t count properly.

What relaxes you more – a hot shower or a hot bath?

With my artificial knees, I don’t take the risk of slipping in the bathtub. So it is always a shower. Besides I like my warm/hot showers. It also saves on time and water.

If you are looking for immediate satisfaction in the stimulation department, what is your go-to? [Answer how you see fit]

Food brings instant satisfaction. When tired, getting into my own bed is also relaxing. A good book or a stolen piece of chocolate would do the trick too.

What exercise do you take on a fairly regular basis?

I have written about it so often that I think everyone now knows that I like to walk. I won’t say that I love walking, that would be stretching the truth a bit far. But I am now addicted to walking. If I don’t get my 12000- 13000 steps daily, I feel bad. Like I have been naughty. So I contrive one way or the other to walk.

My Fitbit helps me in keeping a track of my steps, calories burned and heart rate, etc. It is a good help towards maintaining my health.

#Keepitalive

#AboutMe

MLMM- Tale Weaver – # 250 – Cup of Coffee – 21st November

Michael is the host of Tale Weaver.

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Taking a cup of coffee I walked carefully as not to spill it anywhere. As usual I had filled it to the brim. My OCD kicking in as always. Things have to be a certain way for me. Not in everything but somethings have to be done in a way that I like them to be.

Carefully I placed the cup of coffee on the table and grabbed my iPad to check on my blog. So engrossed I became in the blog that I forgot all about my coffee. It sat there getting cold. As I looked up I saw now almost chilled coffee and thought about getting up to get a fresh cup. But then the blog called me again and I just downed the cold coffee in one long gulp.

Putting my cup down I wondered for a moment that I was so particular about getting my coffee just the way I like it and then practically ruined it by neglecting it. Is this true for our life too?

We get so worked up about the things we want in life, how we want them and when we want them. But once we get them, we often ignore the hard-won prize! It is there. It is done, accomplished. Now we look something else to see our sights upon. When will enough be enough? When will we stop and enjoy all that we have worked hard for? Or we will spend all our lives in quests after quests, just living for the next goal?

As someone wise said to stop and smell the roses. We should take a break and enjoy what we have achieved in life. We should re-assess the goals we have set for our life so that we don’t die with the regret that we didn’t get to enjoy all that we had worked so hard for.

Take a break and have a hot cup of coffee!

The Prompt;

This week create a story in which the word ‘cup’ features. What associations do you have with it?

#Keepitalive

#TaleWeaver

Working on us # 24- Managing Your Mental health during Holidays

Beckie is hosting this series to create awareness about mental health,

Working On Us

Hello, All! Welcome back to “Working on Us” – A series that represents people with mental health illnesses/disorders. 

Topic: Managing Good Mental Health During The Holiday Season:

Question Prompt:

1. Do you have a stable relationship with your family and/or friends during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?  If your answer is (YES), please give us an example of what the holidays are like with family and/or friends?  If you answered (NO), Please explain to us why not?

2. Do the holidays trigger certain memories of people, places, and things?

3. Do you have a favorite holiday, if so which one and why?  (Note: This does not have to be based on the current holidays coming up either).

4. If you stress out during the holidays, what is the best way that you handle stressors?

5. Do holidays tend to make you melancholy?  If so why? and how do you go about dealing with the depression that takes place?

6. This is a question that anyone can answer if they feel so inclined… Do you think that the holidays are shoved down our throats every year a little quicker with each passing year?  (Meaning, Halloween finished October 31st, and Christmas stuff was on the shelves October 15th), Does this trigger an emotion in you too early?

7. Does your family/friends show understanding and compassion during a moment that might be hard to handle on your own?

8. Do you even bother celebrating the holidays with family/friends?  If you answered this question (NO), what is it that you do during the holiday?  (If you answer, I try to sleep through it… It’s a fair answer).

9. Do you avoid holiday music and TV specials during this time?

Prompt #2

If you don’t feel comfortable answering these questions, you can write a narrative of your favorite holiday memory and the worse, but please explain why?

Rules:

• Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.

• There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything, and/or narrative).

• You can do one or all prompts.

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I really admire how Beckie is promoting mental health awareness and has opened up a discussion on many taboo subjects.

Holidays are always tough for most people, for those who are and those who aren’t suffering from any mental illness.

Holidays mean getting together of family.

Family members are often at odds with each other.

Family members who haven’t met each other for a long time.

And lastly, family members who have expectations from others, which are not likely to be met.

This is a recipe for stress if not outright disaster.

In the past, I would always invite my family and my husband’s family on holidays to have dinner together. But though I have an okay relationship with my brother and his family, the siblings of my husband were not so congenial. The dinner itself would be stressful but the gathering of so many people would invariably result in ruffled feathers of one or more people. There would be perceived slights to which either the older generation or their children would react. This went on until my father and my husband’s parents were alive. They expected us to host this dinner annually. After their passing away I gradually tapered off this tradition and now we just get together with our kids, with no pressure on them to come if they are busy elsewhere. Life has become so much easier this way!

The problem with family is that we expect too much. And too many people means too many egos. So I have fixed this problem by making the meal totally informal and just close family invited.

As for the commercialization of holidays and celebrations, this is such a sore point for me, as I am sure it is for a lot of us. They literally shove the days down our throats and want to make money by selling us stuff that we neither want nor need.

Someone, please make them stop!!!

I hope that in this narrative, I have answered most of the questions of prompt # 1.

Thanks, Beckie for another good topic.

#Keepitalive

#WorkingOnUs

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