Why I Watch Football….

I have, on occasion, been asked, “Why do you watch football?” or “When did you start watching football?”. If you guys did not know, yes I do watch football although I do not advertise it as much. I currently support Chelsea FC despite all the comments and reactions that I get whenever I declare that. The Chelsea boys are my babies.

But I digress.

My father loves football. Absolutely loves it. Everyone as daughters know how hard it is for us to bond with our fathers. Fathers have completely different interests than our mothers. Which is why, daughters are much closer to their mothers due to the fact that they share the same interests.

I used to hate football with a passion, I found it boring. But as I grew older, I watched how my father would cackle with glee when his favourite club (Chelsea FC) would win matches or how he would yell at the television when some of the players would act stupidly. He would watch all these football matches alone, sometimes in the wee hours (because English football matches are held at 12midnight or 0345am our time). I remembered thinking to myself that I do not have much in common with my own father and that it is actually kinda sad.

So as time flew, I would sometimes accompany him while he watched. I would ask endless questions (sometimes stupid ones) about what is happening on the pitch. And he would answer me with never ending patience as he did when I was younger (apparently I talked a lot when I was a toddler). I now watch every single football match (no matter the time) with my father, no matter English Football, Euro Cup or the World Cup. I would wake him up for every single match that we are scheduled to watch. I would engage my dad in football banter all the time, mostly about his favourite team. We would talk about the transfer seasons and joke about some players. If you could see how his face would light up when he talks about football, it’s so wonderful for me to see. I know how happy football makes him sometimes.

So, this is my answer. This is why I watch football, to bond with my father.

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To my wonderful father, this day is for you! Thank you for your wisdom that you have imparted to me over the years. For the countless advices that you have given to me, no matter what situation. For disciplining me so that I would not grow up without manners. For giving me whatever I wanted, although it means you have to sacrifice things of your own. For your sense of humour so that it would keep me entertained (I also grew up to be a wise ass). For believing that I could do anything that I wanted.

Fathers are the silent heroes, always working hard to provide for the family. Thank you for everything Abah, I love you beyond words.

Food Friday: Soba Noodle Chicken Salad

I came across soba noodles so many times in the supermarket and have always considered picking them up. The problem is, I had no idea what to do with them. That’s when I started researching on what I could incorporate soba noodles into. I stalked Pinterest and found this soba noodle salad recipe. I decided to give it a go and also tweaked the recipe a little bit to my liking and taste.

soba noodle chicken salad

Ingredients:

3 boneless chicken breast, poached and shredded roughly
2 bunches of organic soba noodles
1 whole carrot, grated
1/2 red cabbage, sliced thinly
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I used red & green bell peppers)

Dressing Ingredients:

4 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/2 cup light sesame oil
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (or more)

If you want the dressing to be spicy, you may add 2 tablespoons of sriracha

Directions

  1. Start off by poaching the chicken breasts. Put the chicken breasts in a pot and fill up with water until it covers the chicken breasts completely. Turn on the heat and when the water starts to boil, place the cover on top, kill the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Shred the chicken using either your hands or two forks.
  2. Cook the soba noodles by putting in the noodles when the water has started boiling. Wait for 4-5 minutes before removing it from the heat and dunking it in an ice bath.
  3. Combine soba noodles, chicken and vegetables in a huge bowl.
  4. For the dressing, mix everything together with a whisk until it combines. Pour over the salad ingredients and mix together. Top it off with toasted sesame seeds and salt & pepper to taste (I did not find the need to add salt and pepper).

This was such an easy recipe for me and I whipped it up in a matter of minutes! It helps if you have prepared the ingredients beforehand so you do not need to waste time on the shredding and stuff. The best thing about this recipe is, you can add whatever vegetable you like. Off the top of my head, edamame, enoki mushrooms…. I like to put it in the fridge and eat it cold, I feel that it tastes better!

I hope you guys give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think. Also, I’m kind of contemplating on making this “Food Friday” a thing where I either share my favourite local/Western food or even some easy recipes that I make for my meals. I’ll see how it goes!

Versatile Blogger Award!

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After slaving volunteering to paint my house’s front door, front gate as well as the storeroom door, I got the most exciting news of my life ever since I decided to become a more active participant in blogging. I got nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award (italicised and bolded for my usual dramatic effect). To be honest, I never expected to be nominated because you know, my blog is still in its foetus stage and it is still not quite up to par. But nevertheless, it is still very exciting for me.

A huge thanks to Ray from justafellowhumanray, for nominating me! You can click here to go to his blog for cutely drawn robots along with his random thoughts for the day.

I wasn’t really sure what I had to do for my post but I googled it (yes, I google everything) and found out that I have to write seven things about myself as well as nominate 15 other blogs for this award. Well, here goes nothing:

  1. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. Okay, maybe not a little bit. I am a perfectionist, I also sometimes think that I have OCD due to my need to have everything in place, cleaned, etc.
  2. I love reading. I can finish a storybook in 2 days flat if I am not interrupted at all. This habit was instilled in me from the day I learned how to read.
  3. I am a crazy rabbit lady. I actually love all animals, not only rabbits, and would like to open up my own farm.
  4. One time after my exams, I went on a quest for the scariest Western horror film. Still haven’t found it.
  5. I used to hate exercising when I was younger, I would even go to the doctor to ask for excuse letters all the time. I love exercising now, even running!
  6. I am a grammar nazi, like I will mutter under my breath and literally cringe when I read horrible English (not proud of this but…yeah).
  7. My dream job is to be an Editor In Chief of a magazine or newspaper. Thanks to The Devil Wears Prada.

My nominations for this would be (drumroll please):

  1. http://travelswithchoppy.com/
  2. https://quotationsidiomsproverbs.wordpress.com/
  3. https://christinapictures.wordpress.com/
  4. https://preppyandfunny.wordpress.com/
  5. https://consciousandbreathing.wordpress.com/
  6. https://ichasyahfa.wordpress.com/
  7. https://justafellowhumanray.wordpress.com
  8. https://foodtouristconfessions.wordpress.com/
  9. http://www.tulleandtrinkets.com/
  10. http://truthandcake.com/
  11. https://aginggracefullymyass.wordpress.com/
  12. http://twinfamy.com/
  13. http://laughupmysleeve.com/
  14. https://primitiveentertainment.wordpress.com/
  15. https://postliminy.wordpress.com/

I really do enjoy reading these blogs as they allow me to see little snippets of a complete stranger’s life as well as their thoughts. You guys should check them out! This post took me awhile to type out. Mainly because I was, you know, procrastinating as per usual. I also was trying to scrub off paint from my arms and moaning at the fact that I am hungry. I am going to go cook myself some instant noodles (it’s bad, I know) and I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Good luck to the fellow nominees on your blogging journey, thanks for reading my long ass post everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My furry little baby

I find that pets are often capable of filling up that void you never knew you had in your heart. They come into your life and boom! They got you wrapped around their finger (or paw). I own a rabbit, a French Angora rabbit to be exact.

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Hello everyone, meet Brownie. My sassy bunny who has tons of attitude and is also too smart for her own good.

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Brownie does yoga with me. 

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She takes her naps very seriously.

IMG_3903 IMG_2743She wants whatever I’m eating even though she knows that she can’t have them.

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She occasionally sleeps with her favourite ball (it has a bell inside).

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She is a stylish bunny, here she is rocking a green ribbon.

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She sometimes wait for us to come home like a cat or a puppy.

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But most of all, she has filled a huge void in my life by just being there. Brownie just turned 4 on the 1st of April and in the 4 years that I have spent raising her from just a tiny baby to what she is now, I have learnt a lot. I learned to love, to be patient and to identify with what she wants by just looking at her body language. Some might not understand the bond a person has with their pets until they get one of their own. It is a bond so sacred and where pure love is being radiated from both sides. Brownie has saved me a thousand times and I am thankful for her.

How I deal or cope with stress (or finals week)

I’m currently on term break. My deadlines for school assignments went by, not peacefully, I might add. My finals week came and went, leaving a whole lot of brain damage incurred to me and my fellow Uni mates. My last 2-3 weeks of the school trimester consisted of sleepless nights, plain coffee (because I couldn’t take in sugar) and anxiety. People usually do a whole lot of celebrating after their last paper for the trimester, they go out for dinner or they go on a partying frenzy. But not me. Me and my friend went home straight to sleep. Yes, sleep. You see, for the last 2-3 weeks of the school trimester, I have fallen asleep on my desk, on the floor or halfway off the bed and usually only for less than 4 hours. I’m still suffering from the side effects that those weeks have brought onto me. Bad skin, reversed sleeping schedule to name a few. But my family and friends were quite surprised at my calm exterior, of course that is just a facade. They know nothing about the bubbling turmoil underneath. Anyway, these are the few methods that I use to deal/cope with stress during these periods.

1. I take excessive naps. Look, I know I have a deadline to rush for, but my bed is much more enticing.

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2. I cry excessively in the middle of the night. Crying helps take the pain away, sometimes.

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3. I decide that binge-watching a Netflix series is best done when you do it before an assignment deadline.

4. Of course I will find other things to be more fun than studying or getting some work done. Like for example, doing laundry or cleaning my room.

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5. I also sometimes stare out of my window to relieve stress and also wonder what the hell have I done to myself.

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But you know, all in all, I can safely say that I survived finals week. I also have a few more other finals week to go through before I’m really done. The path of education may be a hazardous path to some but hey,

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In the end, we will all graduate and achieve our dreams. And that is what I am aiming for!
PS: This is how I deal with my own stress based on my own experiences.

All gifs via this link right here.

Skills for Days.

Recently, I have become the designated person to fix any problem that happens in the house. WiFi connection is going nuts? Yes, I can fix it. Your laptop going crazy? Okay bring that to me, I’ll figure it out. The TV isn’t working? Okay let me take a look. The lightbulb has exploded? Why don’t I risk my eyeballs and change that for you. I don’t know when I became in charge of fixing the household items, but I was suddenly the designated one. I’m not complaining, I actually do enjoy doing these even though it will bring a bout of stress while I try to figure something out. The satisfaction I get when I manage to get things going again is indescribable!

I am THE ONE that can fix all your problems (God I sound like a bad advertisement)!  

I have discussed this with my father a few times about what skill would be useful for me to possess and add on to my arsenal of other skills that are already in my repertoire. And that is:

CAR MECHANICS (boldened and italicized for dramatic effect)

Why would a girl like me, be interested in getting greasy? HEY IT’S A MAN’S JOB! Lay off meninists, I can do whatever I want, if I put my mind to it. Actually, everyone can do any job, if they put their mind to it. That is the key. Anyway, I digress. The reason I would like to learn car mechanics is simple. Mechanics will be unable to misquote me should I send my car in for repairs, I want to learn how to take a car apart and put it back together and I would actually be able to figure out what the hell is going on with the car.

I feel that car mechanics is actually a good skill for all girls to have. I enjoy following my father to the mechanics whenever we send the car in for it’s monthly maintenance or to even to figure out why the car is making a weird noise. I enjoy seeing mechanics with their torchlights peering into the car’s hood, having a quick discussion and then quickly changing the spoilt part. I want to know what makes a car tick.

I can feel all the girls sighing as they read this, “What a manly skill to have!”. Hey, if I already do the electrical wiring, network configuring, carpentry jobs and etc at home, what’s wrong with adding this skill to my arsenal?

30 unsweetened days.

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30 days ago, I decided to undertake the most challenging thing for myself. Everybody who is in close contact with me knows that I have a penchant for sweet things. Not just moderate sweet, but sickeningly sweet things. I can eat several types of cakes, candies, pastries in a whole day. And I realized that it was reaching the point of unhealthy after I noticed that I had been eating chocolate bars, every single day for almost 2 weeks straight. I knew I had to do something about it. So that was when I decided that,

“I must go processed sugar free for a month.”

I decided that for a start, I’m going to stay away from chocolate bars, candy, Nutella/Ovomaltine/peanut butter spreads (cries internally), cakes, pastries, doughnuts, biscuits or cookies any sort of fizzy drinks or just sweet drinks in general. Any coffee or tea that I buy must be plain with no sugar. The thought of coffee without any form of sweetener repulses me but I came to accept it as the days go by. That was just the basic rules that I had set for myself before I went through with it. I read up online before that some people completely cut out white bread and white rice from their diets because those contain sugar too. But I wasn’t ready to part with these 2 staples yet so I just decided to start with the ones that I have been consuming uncontrollably for the past few weeks, or months even. I did my thorough research before I undertook this, like, will I be facing any side effects or what is going to happen to my body. I learnt that it takes 14 days for your body to completely get rid of the sugar in your body. So my body will be going through a sugar withdrawal process. I might feel grumpy, I might feel more tired than usual…. The things listed weren’t music to my ears but I decided to just soldier on because I know that this is one bad habit that I must get rid of for my own sake.

I started my challenge on the 16th of March, the day after I bought 2 packs of green tea Kit Kat (smart) and a bottle of Ovomaltine spread (smart as hell, I never got to taste it and now all of it is gone). My first week of no processed sugars was not pleasant to me. Everyone around me were eating chocolate, drinking milo or even milkshakes! I was miserable, I got to admit. I was also so exhausted all the time (I don’t know if this had anything to do with me not consuming my usual sugary food). All I had was my plain water. I kicked myself internally for starting on this challenge. 2 weeks in, I became even more miserable, there were times where I just wanted to eat chocolate but I knew I shouldn’t. So what did I do? I decided to turn to fruits. Fruits have natural sugar in them and it’s much better for the body! So 2nd week onwards, every time I had the craving for something sweet, I would grab an apple or a banana or even strawberries. I made sure I kept an abundance of fruits in my bedroom to avoid from looking into the fridge and seeing an unhealthy processed sugar option. I was glad to say that my method worked and I even formed a habit of eating fruits all the time. After 2 weeks was over, I was no longer craving for sweets or chocolate! Hey, the guy was right! I guess my sugar withdrawal process was done and now my body had formed the habit of not eating any processed sugar.

My biggest challenge was going to McCafe with my father one day and looking at all the cheesecakes on display. I then decided to look at their drinks menu and realized that the only acceptable drink I could find was tea, or even coffee without sugar. I decided to buy unsweetened coffee and to this day, I am fine with it. Albeit I don’t drink coffee that much, I am trying to turn to tea now instead of coffee.

Today is my 30th day without processed sugar and I’m very glad to have supportive parents and friends who understood why I’m doing this. I remember my best friend and my uni mate who would tell me to walk away when I stare at the dessert case for too long, or even my uni mate (who was formerly a barista) that would help me order unsweetened coffee and lattes because her knowledge of these things far bypasses mine. My boyfriend would encourage me all the time about how great I was doing with my personal challenge. I event started carting around my 1 litre Nalgene bottle wherever I went! I decided to only disclose this to only 6 people in my life because I did not want anybody else to know until I succeeded. And today, I am so proud of myself that I decided to write a post about it. Because I know how hard this challenge was for myself.

“So what’s next after this? Are you going to binge eat sugar until you puke?”

No, I’m still going to stay off processed sugar, and might gradually upgrade to cutting out white bread and white rice out of my life. I know that is going to be harder for me but the least I can do is to try. I had my first taste of bread and jam today after what seemed like forever and let me tell you, halfway into it, I felt like puking and I started having a terrible headache. I guess my body doesn’t need processed sugar anymore. My message is that, if someone like me who loves sugar so much, can do this, everyone else could do it too. Sure you have to go through hurdles but like I said, the least you could do is to try. My next challenge after this would be to cut out fast food for a month and I’m starting it on Monday (I like to start things on Mondays). I will let you guys know what happens!

PS: Not everyone’s reactions to cutting out sugar will be the same as mine, make sure to monitor yourself every single day if you decide to do the same thing as me! Also, my facts may not be right as I’m not a nutritionist. All of these are from my own experience.