Thursday, March 21, 2013

Congrats To My Hubby

My hubby just defended his thesis yesterday and he passed (with flying colors if I do say so myself).  I'm extremely proud of him.  It was a hard struggle for so so soooo many reasons, but he did it, he passed, and they were impressed.  I'm a very proud wifey :)  We got him a small cake to celebrate last night, and we are planning more celebrations to come; yes Mr. Hubby, it's spoilage time! :)

I have family visiting from out of town these next few days, my hubby has a nice long weekend break and I will be busy having fun :D I'll be back to post more next week.  Hope everyone has a great weekend to come!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Iranian New Year!!

Today is the start of the Iranian new year and the first day of spring.  YAY!  Happy Nowruz! It actually started at 4am this morning our time (vernal equinox as it is also called).  I wrote a post last on year on what it all means and the significance of each item that we place out on our table spread, but I listed it here again.

This year our little haftsin got a bit bigger, not sure why, but of course it still had to go where Fishi is, given she is one of the most important parts of it (as I was telling her to get her all excited and explain why there was a huge mirror blocking her view of the world).  I also added lights this year as I was feeling extra festive (take that school housing!).  My family is coming into town this weekend and my brother-in-law and his three munchkins are also visiting, so it's officially a large family renuion.  I love family gatherings, it's like Christmas but for us Persians...except this year it sucks because Nowruz fell right in the middle of the week :(   

So here is a list of the items included in the haftsin:

    - Sir (Garlic), symbolizes health and medicine
    - Samanu (Wheat germ pudding), symbolizes affluence
    - Senjed (Dried fruit from the Oleaster tree), symbolizes love
    - Sabzeh (Wheat, lentil or barley sprouted in a dish), symbolizes birth
    - Somaq (Dried sumac berries), symbolizes the color of sunrise
    - Sib (Apple), symbolizes beauty
    - Serkeh (Vinegar), symbolizes age and patience
    - Sekkeh (Coins), symbolizing wealth
    - Sonbol (Hyacinth plant), symbolizing the coming of spring (or tulips)
    - Holy Book (Quran), symbolizing wisdom
    - Ayneh (Mirror), symbolizing clarity
    - Sham (Candles), symbolizing enlightenment and happiness
    - Tokhmeh Morgeh Rangi (Colored eggs), symbolizing fertility
    - Bowl of goldfish in water, symbolizing life within life (fish within water)
    - Yummy and delicious Iranian pastries as well as nuts and dried fruit are 
       sometimes also included.

 Yes, you can see my camera, yes I tried very hard not to get it in the picture, no I don't care because you needed to see the haftsin from this angle :D

These are some beautiful tulips.  When I bought them, I thought they were going to be pink, but they are a mix of yellow and pink and are just amazingly beautiful.  I got lucky :)


My glittered eggs from last year.  I'm probably supposed to put fresh eggs every year, but ya...I like my glittered eggs :D 

Sekeh (Iranian coins)

 Sib (green apple), Samanu (the brown pudding) and Senjed (sumaq berries)

The Holy Quran

Garlic and Apple cider vinegar :D 
My huasband asked me why we don't have "normal" vinegar, and I said it's because this smells better, but to be honest, it's what we had and I was really lazy to go buy some. 



Happy Nowruz!
Eid-e-Nowruz Mubarak! :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Friday

First and foremost, thank God it's Friday.  Secondly, I have found a new lab to join and I'm secretly super excited, or not so secretly, hehe.  I hope I've made the right decision and I hope that it works out in the long run.  Grant money is super tight so as of next year, things might be up in the air with funding, but I hope from now until then, I will get a good project, get LOTS of data, find a fellowship of some sort and/or boss gets his grant re-funded.  This is me being uber optimistic.  But, we'll see what happens.  For now, a small weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can take a minute to breath.  I have to get into gear for a long haul of hard work, so I hope this excitement lasts (or as my hubby put better!).

I have tons to do this weekend for prepping for Noruz, and I have presents to wrap and some baking to do...and tons of non-school related :D  

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Apple Slicer

Omg, I have found the coolest little gadget for slicing apples. Welcome the Progressive Thin Apple Slicer. I was a bit skeptical, given my previous experience with cool looking things, but it's PERFECT. I am so excited...sliced apples in one second! I'm clearly lazy...yes!

16 beautiful, evenly cut slices :)

I totally recommend this product.  It came in two sizes, larger slices and smaller slices.  I went for the smaller one.  I think it's perfect.  The blade is really sharp though, so you definitely need to use it carefully and on a cutting board so you don't scratch anything.  But, overall, totally recommend.  I'm so excited :D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Flowers in My Garden

I wish I had more pots to plant flowers in, actually I wish I had a small patch of land to call my own, but more pots means more care and more hassle and more pruning and more cleaning.  I barely have time for the little garden that I have. 

This time around, I decided to be brave and buy something that most probably will take over my balcony if I don't watch it; a small jasmine plant.  I just couldn't resist the smell and wanted something different this time around.  Something tall and something pretty :) It's really beautiful, and I can only hope that it survives! 

My tomato plant is already budding with flowers :) Yay!
I also spent a good couple of hours cleaning the balcony with some 20+ buckets of water.  There was so much dust and dirt everywhere (not from the planting, but from the rains and wind) and we don't have a garden hose or water outlet, so Fishi's bucket to the rescue (thank you for sharing Fishi).  Although I considered buying a really long garden hose and hooking it up to the kitchen sink...but then I would have to store the hose on my balcony that already has no space.  And then I considered borrowing my in-laws garden hose, but then I realized that I would have to bring it over here, carry it up to the second floor, put down plastic everywhere so that the hose wouldn't get my kitchen and living room dirty and then...ya, no thank you! Too much work.  So, broom, mop, old hubby's t-shirts and bare we go.  I will spare you the details, but it was messy and I was exhausted.  But, now it's so clean I could lick the floor.  I mean, not really lick, but you get the idea.  My poor neighbors down stairs didn't say anything, even with a waterfall going over their balcony.  I really should bake them some sweets and take it down there.  I would hate to be a neighbor to me. annoying! Kill your plants already will ya!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bag in Flour/Sugar Dispenser

I've been looking for a practical way to store my sugar and flour so that they are safe from (guess...ants!) and that are easy to pour when you need them, without the mess.  You know, when you're trying to pour flour or sugar from the bag, you usually end up getting stuff all over least I do.  I was super excited when I saw this plastic dispenser that could be used for flour or sugar and that was designed so that you could pour with a spout straight out of the bag.  Sounds too good to be true huh?

A 5lb bag fits right into the container.

Just cut the paper bag flush with the outer rim of the plastic container.

Put the lid on, so that it fits inside the paper bag...

And, voila! Flour straight out of the bag...without the mess...

NOT! Yup, too good to be true.  The lid doesn't sit on the container tight enough, and as I was trying to get the flour out of the spout with a tapping action, this is what happened! It's a brilliant idea, but needs some major work!  AHHHHHHHH!  

Man...the clean up was a pain. I should have put my ice cube tray somewhere else while I was testing this thing.  Arg!

So, here is my review of this product.  Buy at your own risk, haha!

1. You don't have to pour the flour or sugar out of their bag, as it does hold the bag inside it pretty well.
2.  As long as you don't try to pour using the lid, it's a great container for storing flour...I suppose.
3.  It's great for sugar, as sugar pours out of the spout easily, but I would hold the lid just to be safe.
4.  It's easy to clean.

1.  The flour doesn't pour out of the spout whatsoever. You either need to take the lid off, or use the larger opening to scoop flour out.
2.  It only fits a 5lb bag of flour or sugar, anything smaller or bigger will cause problems. So, Costco're screwed!
3.  The lid doesn't sit on tightly or securely. You need to hold the lid down with your hand if you're going to attempt to use this product as it's intended.
4.  You can't stack these containers on top of each other, so they do take up a lot of space.
5.  If you don't cut the bag opening correctly, the lid will sit on even worse than before and then you're going to have problems.

I would return them, but for now I'm just going to keep it and use them as storage containers. They work as just that.   

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Weekend

I spent the weekend running errands, "cleaning" the house, doing laundry, and shopping :D of course! I mean, it wouldn't be a MY weekend if there wasn't shopping involved.  This time it was for my balcony.  Time for my mini garden to be spruced up in time for Nooruz (you know, Persian new year...first day of spring).

I did a complete overhaul of my flowers in some of the pots after a seriously disgusting infestation of ants. They had built a nest in my flower pot. I mean, the nerve! Who do they think they are and how dare they take over my soil and flowers!!!  It was so bad, there was a line of them from one side of the balcony to the pots and when I would water the pots, they would overflow out...and ya, well, you get the picture. YUCK! are some pix from my weekend, and balcony pictures to come soon :)

So eeny mini cute!

Oh the blue was so beautiful...I would have/should have bought them all!!

 Amazing colors for a snapdragon.

So, we had crazy rain storm the night before that pretty much came out of nowhere.  Typical SoCal weather.  So, when I saw these flowers, I was amazed.  They always say that the first rain after a while is very acidic, but here is the proof!  See the discoloration on these morning glory's? The yellow tinge is the effect of acid rain.  Biology in action!

Babies are seat belted in :) and ready to come home! Yay!
This was the cutest perfume bottle.  Smell was okay :S

  If you've never had these, you are missing out.  Get to Costco now!


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