Year of Firsts: So behind

I’ve been completely absent minded about keeping up with my Year of Firsts posts, but I’m still trucking. So here goes nothing…

August 11th

img_5690

Giving this new Bevespi inhaler a try.

12th

img_5686

Never been able to buy this in NJ until now.

13th

img_5683

Not quite like our family recipe, but still a good deal.

14th

img_5682

Sobiyet plus baclava. Enlightening.

15th

img_5681

Halal Chinese food from China Pagoda in Paterson, NJ. Good stuff.

16th

img_5678

It was a legendary experience.

17th

img_5677

Turkish pastry shop with the essential group of elderly men sitting out front socializing.

18th

img_5676

A hair salon named after Palestine.

19th

img_5651

Not usually a fan of croissants but these weren’t bad.

20th

img_5649

It’s not easy being green but it was tasty.

21st

img_56481

I never win, but only play to see if I can beat my previous time.

22nd

img_5632

Rainbow bagels are strange. The green dough just takes over and gets all stuck in your smile.

23rd

img_5625

People want to talk to me about work and I have no idea what to say.

24th

img_5626

Just trying to get money for spending money.

25th

img_5627

Gave it a try. It’s not a bad collection.

26th

img_5617

I will try anything to help with this asthma. However, this was a failure and did nothing.

27th

img_5602

Trader Joe’s has these labelled as “teeny tiny potatoes.” Teeny tiny potatoes with lots of flavors.

28th

img_5601

This is the day I realized that all cards should be pop-up cards.

29th

img_5589

This is a really good book. I’m glad I picked it up.

30th

img_5569

I don’t make a habit of reading food labels, but this made me laugh. First I’ve seen of this Good Stuff.

31st

img_5559

Monstress is an interesting book, to say the least.

September 1st

img_5538

Now I know what my eyes would look like on a thumb.

2nd

img_5544

First time paying my phone bill with change.

3rd

img_5512

This lemon zinger cake was disgustingly sweet. I’ll pass.

4th

img_5478

Got a free jade roller. Can’t really see what the big deal is.

5th

img_56591

Trying to sniff the stress away. Why not?

6th

img_5581

Adding this to my list of favs.

7th

img_5468

This is probably the only time I’ve ever been able to read a graphic novel in its entirety in one sitting. I’d highly suggest this to anyone and everyone.

8th

img_5454

Sahara in Manville, NJ makes their own bread. It’s perfect.

9th

img_5416

Give a new hairstyle a try.

10th

img_5410

Poke bowl for the win! Okie Pokie is an amazing restaurant.

11th

img_5375

This is the day I learned that rabbits can be litter trained. Who knew?

12th

img_5387

Now I know why I never buy sandwiches at Wawa. So disappointing.

13th

img_5425

The freshest berry cake ever.

14th

96b80868-963e-4f86-b19d-3cf3ca6379bf

First time I’ve ever seen anyone pray for a hurricane. I think you’re supposed to pray to be safe from the hurricane or something but you don’t usually pray for one. Nice try.

15th

img_5624

Trying to keep track of my asthma symptoms. It’s like a full-time job.

16th

img_5674

First time seeing a pulmonologist. Let’s hope this leads somewhere.

17th

149d02ef-3c70-4e68-a37d-df9c458344c3

I’ve never felt like a job description was meant for me until now. I can sweep and mope, easily.

18th

img_5636

Usually, I can coax these hairs to chill out with product, but not this time. They were too excited to sit down.

19th

img_5386

A blended pumpkin spice latte. How have I never had it blended before?

20th

img_5434

Gave the perky pigtails a go and now I wish I had a gold beard.

Well, that was a fun catch up. Can’t believe the year is almost over. Where did the time go?

Anyways, until next time…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

Advertisements

Year of Firsts: Lazy

Hello Friends. I  haven’t forgotten about you and I hope you haven’t forgotten about me. This is a long post and mostly because I have been lazy. Shame on me. Here it goes…

July 18thimg_5098

5/5 Stars. Would drink again.

July 19thimg_51551img_51531 Found these gems. I’m not sure if I would buy it again, but it was delightful. I’d certainly recommend you giving it a try if you find them in stores.

July 20thimg_51611img_51601.jpg

I love mochi and admittedly picked these up bc they’re cute, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. They weren’t very pink and the strawberry flavour was lacking.

July 21stimg_5138

First time taking a Snapchat selfie.

July 22ndimg_5120

Went into Wawa for an iced coffee and this is the first time I have been left confused by a coffee machine. How does this thing work? There were no buttons or tabs or anything. There were nozzles for the coffee to come out but no way of getting the coffee out. Help!

July 23rdimg_51031

First time trying watermelon flavoured frozen yoghurt. It had a very Italian ices texture to it. Totally worth it.

July 24thimg_5137

Didn’t even know lavender melon was an option.

July 25thimg_5099

I’m not too sure how to feel about these. The first few taste kind of funny. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but then my tastebuds got used to it.

July 26thimg_5094

It’s the season for watermelon flavoured everything and I’m not complaining.

July 27thimg_5089.jpg

Who knew you could buy banana bread without walnuts? I like it more with walnuts but this was still pretty tasty.

July 28thimg_5079

I love kombucha and love this new green flavour I found at Trader Joe’s.

July 29thimg_5072img_5074

This was a massive disappointment. I followed the directions exactly. The cookie part didn’t spread out so well. The brownie part was super thin. The flavour was lacking. It didn’t taste good and it smelled weird while baking. Strong pass.

July 30thimg_5066

I didn’t realize how much I loved peanut butter filled pretzels until now.

July 31stimg_5053img_5054

I know that juices and smoothies are packed with sugar and while this is nice to have as a treat, this sugar content is insane!

August 1stimg_5037

This is one of those things that end up in your house but no one is quite sure how it got there. Not my cup of tea, let’s say.

August 2ndimg_5039

Eurotart is officially my favourite frozen yoghurt flavour ever.

August 3rdimg_4972

This is the first time that I’ve been in a public restroom that has an enforced time limit. The world is crazy.

August 4thimg_4979

This is the first time I’ve knowingly committed a fashion crime. Socks and sandals! I know, I know, it goes against everything I believe in. I have an excuse, but it’s not a good one. I was on a train and their compression socks and it was a long ride and my toes were cold and… I’m sorry.

August 5thf17b6945-fce2-4922-8a54-bf3cad52ca0f

I’ve officially watched all the Leprechaun films. They’re quite special.

August 6thimg_5010

This is the first time I’ve gotten words of encouragement from money. Thanks, I think.

August 7thimg_4987

Whole Foods really missed the mark on this. First, the burrito was mostly rice and second, whoever cooked this batch of rice has clearly never made rice before. The rice was not cooked and was rock solid.

August 8thimg_4988

First time having Easter chocolate this late in the year. It’s still ok, right?

August 9thimg_5157

First time visiting the Bridgewater Mall. They have this Lolli & Pops store. It’s candy heaven.

August 10thimg_5174

 

This is the first time tracking my cell phone screen time. Interesting findings.

 

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

Year of Firsts: Running out of ideas

This global heatwave has been limiting my desire to leave the house and hence narrowing my Year of Firsts options. With that said, here it goes:

28th

img_4880

This was the first time my Shams has seen a bug he couldn’t get to, but this isn’t just a first for him, it was a first for me too because Shams lost his footing and I had to catch him from falling. He gave me a real scare and I hugged him as long as he would allow. I love my little adventurous guy.

29th

img_4866

I saw a recipe for pineapple lemonade and since we had a ton of pineapple that we couldn’t eat before going bad, we blended a bunch of pineapples and fresh lemon juice together. Super yummy and would totally make again.

30th

img_4875

I was slightly confused by the concept of a cookie brownie. It’s not quite a cookie and it’s not quite brownie but it is quite yummy. 10/10 would eat again.

1st

img_4850

I LOVE watermelons! And anytime I find a new watermelon flavoured anything, I need to have it. Picked this wonder up at my local ALDI and my only regret is not buying more.

2nd

img_4848

Don’t ask me how, but I’ve never had a Snickers ice cream cone. I’ve had the bars both the ice cream variety and the room temperature kind, but I tend to not enjoy cone based ice creams, with the exception of these. I love Snickers… Total comfort food.

3rd

img_48511

Speaking of chocolate, I usually walk past the chocolate section of the grocery store with my head down because I want it all. This time I decided to indulge a bit and try this German hazelnut chocolate bar and I think I’m going to have to work extra hard to avoid the chocolate section next time.

4th

img_4871

First time hearing this song and I’m not ashamed to say I really like it.

5th

img_4833

This is freaky. I uploaded my picture to this beauty cam type of app. They have an automatic button which is supposed to automate multiple features to be their optimal prettiest and this is what I got. Enough said.

6th

img_4864

This is the first time I caught a picture and a glimpse of my cat looking all jealous while I hug my other cat. It broke my heart. I love my Qamar.

7th

img_4766

French style yoghurt is a new favourite of mine and I tend to love anything lemon flavoured. I do wish they’d make a lower sugar version though.

8th

img_4862

My Shams found a new toy. This is the day I realized that I didn’t have to buy him fancy toys and that he was happier playing and hanging out in a paper bag than any other toy I could possibly give him.

Well, that’s all for now folks.

Until next time…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

Year of Firsts: Business As Usual

Hello friends! My Year of Firsts continues. Let’s keep this short, sweet and to the point.

 

June 22nd

IMG_4748

This is the first time I’ve had plantain chips that were thin and wonderful. Most other varieties I have tried have thicker cuts.

23rd

IMG_4751

First time I’ve had the Trader Joe’s variety of carrot juice. Fresh and yumm.

24th

img_4759.jpg

Do you know how long I’ve been looking for lemon Larabar’s. I can find every other flavour but this has been the most exciting to try.

25th

IMG_4765

Seasonal flavours of kombucha are fun. It was surprisingly low in sugar in comparison to other flavours.

26th

IMG_4743.jpg

I’m not sure if this is a typo or a reference to the Turkish spelling and quite frankly, I do not care. It was good stuff.

27th

I didn’t take a pic for this one but I bought a money order at the post office. It doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it was certainly an experience I have never had before.

 

With all that said and done…

xoxo

Peace and Pistachios!

 

Year of Firsts: A month of procrastination

Yeah, I know. I said I would stay on top of things, but I clearly haven’t. I have procrastinated so long on this year of firsts posts and really the reason I’m getting it now is that I’m using this as a method to procrastinate doing another task I need to get done. Because I’m the worst and don’t want to put anyone through an encyclopedic blog post, this post is simply going to be a picture post. I still held and continue to hold true to my new daily experiences though.

2/25/18

2/26

IMG_2928.jpg

2/27

IMG_3125.jpg

2/28

3/1

3/2

IMG_2949.jpg

3/3

IMG_2968.jpg

3/4

IMG_2997.jpg

3/5

IMG_3002.jpg

3/6

3/7

IMG_3085.png

3/8

IMG_3086.jpg

3/9

IMG_3115.jpg

3/10

IMG_3124.jpg

3/11

IMG_3146.jpg

3/13

IMG_3171.jpg

3/14

 

3/15

IMG_3191.jpg

3/16

IMG_3192.jpg

3/17

IMG_3203.png

 

Have you all been able to guess what I’ve been up to? I really need to stay up to date on this more frequently. I know that when 2019 comes around, I may or may not achieved all I wanted, but I’ll know that I kept my New Year’s Resolution and it will all be worth it.

Until next time… Hopefully sooner rather than later…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

Year of Firsts: So Behind

I have been away from my Year of Firsts updates for so long. Just because I haven’t been updating doesn’t mean that I broke my New Year’s Resolution. Recap for those of you who haven’t been here, I made a NYE Resolution to have one new experience a day for the entire of 2018. No matter how big or small the experience, it all still counts.

pexels-photo-775779.jpeg

I’m going to jump right into it and hopefully catch you up to where I am now while explaining why I’ve been away.

February 5th-

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with a sizeable yet benign myofibroma in the roof of my mouth. It was an active tumour and was growing. It was eating away at my bone and am told that I was close to developing a fistula, as it was growing into my nose. February 5th was my surgery date. I was so nervous. I’ve had surgery before, but nothing this extreme. Moments before the operation, I was in a room with medical staff running here and there. It was super busy and others were getting surgery and it’s hectic. So hectic that it contributed to my anxiety. My blood pressure was through the roof, so they opted to give me some Valium before the surgery to chill me out. It was weird. I felt that drug hit me within minutes, it was administered via IV so that’s not surprising. But still, I felt like a drunk person. It was so weird.  I remember being wheeled into the operating room and there was an entire wall of shelves with what I imagine was supplies. After they put me on the bed, I don’t remember anything. I was out. Next thing I knew, the anaesthesia was wearing off and they were preparing to take me out of the operating room. They had these blood pressure sleeves on my calves and as they were taking them off, I told them, “No leave them on, It feels like a massage.” Everyone laughed. For next couple of hours, I felt in and out of consciousness, I guess. Strangely though, by the time it was for me to get home, I really felt good enough to drive myself home. I don’t know if it was the morphine or what, but I didn’t feel pain. I wasn’t dizzy. I just felt pretty normal. When I got home, I was normal. I was sitting around and talking as though nothing happened. The only thing that was really different was that I have a huge chunk of my head missing, mostly in the maxilla region and that meant I couldn’t eat.

pexels-photo-236380.jpeg

February 6th-

Which brings me to the 6th. Sleeping was kind of tough and the pain was manageable at this point. But what was the most interesting as it was my first time being on a strictly liquid diet. Before surgery, I had prepped by buying a lot of meal replacement drinks, protein drinks, juices, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc. They only foods I could have were yoghurt and ice cream.  So I had tons of that around. I don’t want to jinx it, but I thought that I’d get really hungry not being able to eat, but I have to say these meal replacement drinks work. The weird thing was that my mouth was starting to miss the actual physical action of chewing.

IMG_2602.jpg

February 7th-

Now, this First was not happy. This is the day where the pain and shock really set it. I don’t know if maybe the anaesthesia and morphine took a while to wear off and maybe the whole experience didn’t feel so real, so now is when it all became real. I can’t even explain to you the pain. Putting anything in my mouth, including water was so painful. So the 7th was the day that I got serious about keeping track of my meds to ensure I don’t miss a dose. But the sort of fun part of that was that I had ice cream all day. I’ve never done that before. A whole day of ice cream. So good!

February 8th-

The 8th was when the boredom really started to set in. I became really familiar with the app store and started downloading apps like crazy. Most of the apps I tried were pretty thumbs down. But it gave me something to do. It was the first time I tried a role-playing game. I didn’t really get too into it. The storyline I was given was bland, but I imagine there are better ones out there. I’m open to suggestions.

February 9th-

Because I’m still on the liquid diet lifestyle, I had someone make a trip to Arlee’s and pick me up some green juice. Up until now, most of my liquids have been on the sweeter side, so I needed something green to break up all that sugar. Good stuff. It burned a little, but what doesn’t burn my mouth at this point?

IMG_2675.jpg

February 10th-

Our house has been kettleless, since the last relatively new kettle we bought, was forgotten on the lit stove and burnt to a crisp. So now we get to try and have tea from a ceramic kettle. I’ve never had a ceramic kettle before.

February 11th-

I was introduced to clove tea for the first time. I’ve had cloves in many other ways, in cooking and in my toothpaste, but never on its own as a tea. It was miraculous in my mouth. With a little honey, I drank the cup in no time. It had the power to numb my entire mouth. I felt no pain. It was beautiful!

IMG_2707.jpg

February 12th-

Even though I’m supposed to be on a liquid diet, I started craving food. Not out of hunger, but out of the desire to chew something. I thought about it and decided maybe a frittata was a good way to eat something, but have it be soft enough. Let me tell you, it is tough to eat without the roof of your mouth. I have no hard palate, so the food falls into this grand canyon that exists in my mouth. And when that bite of food finally met the bottom of the canyon, man, it hurt. I figured it was worth a try though.

IMG_2711.jpg

February 13th-

Since my tumour removal was in my hard palate and nose and that whole area in between, the tumour had also grown into my bones and around my teeth. That being said, after removing the tumour, the doctor warned me that my teeth were going to be super sensitive. Oh my God, was he right. I felt like my teeth were and still are pounding all the time. ALL THE TIME. That being said, brushing my teeth is super tough. Sometimes I have to put some Orajel on my teeth just so I could brush them. Even then, commercial toothpaste was way too harsh on my wounds. Because my surgery was done through my hard palate, there were no stitches because there was nothing to stitch it too, so my entire wound/incision was cauterized. That being, my entire mouth was burnt. Imagine putting your regular everyday toothpaste on a burn. You wouldn’t. So I did some research and found this natural toothpaste. It seems to clean my teeth well without irritating my wound.

February 14th-

Singles Awareness Day, one of my favourite days of the year. It’s the day I buy myself a gift and tell myself how incredibly amazing I am. LOL. Because I’m amazing, I thought I’d give another go at eating. Tried out these broccoli-cheese tots. Their gooey texture made it a bit easier for my mouth to handle. Everything still gets lost in there and I felt a bit icky eating the entire tray, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t so bad.

IMG_2739.jpgIMG_2687.jpg

February 15th-

I went to a follow-up appointment with my surgeon. He said things were looking good. Knock on wood. Thank God. Don’t jinx me, please. At this point, I was in way too much pain. I hadn’t been able to drink water for over 12 hours. I thought maybe I had pushed my mouth too far the day before by trying to eat because my mouth was so irritated. to my dismay, when I asked the doctor when things will start to feel better, he said they really won’t. And by that, he continued to say that it will take 3-6 months to fully heal, but in the meantime, it is going to hurt and it is going to be very painful. What really got me upset was when I asked why the pain was getting worse and not better, he told me that there will be no consistency. Some days will be good, other days will be bad. It’s not like any other type of surgery where with time things get better. It’s very possible things could get progressively worse. And that my friends is a serious bummer. In the meantime, he gave me this thing called Magic Mouthwash. You read correctly. Magic Mouthwash. Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, my insurance doesn’t cover this mouthwash “because it’s a compound.” I don’t even know what that means or what that has to to with me. It costs $50, so I had to make some phone calls and ask for money for others, which I HATE to do. I’m unemployed and certainly didn’t plan on getting ill in this way. It’s absurd that insurance doesn’t cover it. Anyways, this Magic Mouthwash is supposed to be magic. It’s typically used for cancer patients that experience mouth sores due to radiation. It’s made up of Maalox, Benadryl, Lidocaine, antacid, antihistamine and anaesthetic. It really was like magic. I’d just swish it in my mouth and my entire mouth was numb. It was a miracle. The prescription says I can only use it four times a day, but I really wish I could use it every second of the day.

pexels-photo-632722.jpeg

February 16th-

This day’s First was scary. Super scary. I was in bed after getting ready for bed. It must have been around 11 PM. I tasted something super salty in my mouth and had no idea what it was. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My mouth was full of dark blood. When I spit, I spit out nasty and huge blood clots. The clots I assume were responsible for my cauterised mouth. I rinsed my mouth with water and didn’t think much of it. The doctor said there would be blood, maybe this is what he meant. A couple of hours later, I felt that salty taste in my mouth again. I went to the bathroom and was bleeding from my mouth, much like a bloody nose, but from my mouth. Because of where the blood was coming from in my mouth, putting pressure on it with just my mouth wasn’t working. So I got an ice cold glass of water and kept the water in my mouth as long as I could and then would spit out. Put the water in my mouth again, spit out. Again and again and again until I got the blood to stop. I didn’t know what else to do or what I was supposed to do, so I went back to bed. A couple of hours later [again] I felt the salty taste in my mouth again. This time was different because, by the time I got to the bathroom, the blood was pouring out of me. I looked like a Carrie doomsday horror movie vampire fountain. Blood was shooting out of me as though I turned on a sink faucet on high. It was scary. I started to shake and felt so weak. I had some gauze and put it in my mouth, trying to put pressure on it with my tongue. In less than 10 minutes, I went through more than 10 pieces of gauze. The gauze wasn’t just soaked, it was swimming in a pool of blood. It was crazy. I went to the ER, it took more than a half hour to stop the blood. At the ER they applied some lidocaine and epinephrine to my mouth. Apparently, epinephrine acts as some sort of vascular restrictor? Or so the physician’s assistant told me. By the time I was discharged and got home, It was around 6 am. I got in bed and hoped that nothing like this will happen again. Positive vibes everyone. Positive vibes.

pexels-photo-673862.jpeg

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

IMG_2880.jpg

A Year of Firsts: The Nut House

I’m still keeping true to my New Year’s Resolution to do one new thing a day. Have one new experience, every single day of the year.

Yesterday, I made the trip up to good ‘ol Paterson, NJ. I made the usual rounds, bought the groceries, ate the kebab and indulged in overly sweet sweets. But really, the entire trip there was for one real reason: The Nut House.

IMG_2871

I had seen the signs of this establishment many times and always giggled to myself because it’s such a fitting name and place for me to be. I’ve been in a maHmus in Jordan, but I’d never been to one in America… Is there even a good translation of the word maHmus? A Google Translate translation says it all, I suppose…

mahmus

I guess Nut House is as good as any name.

IMG_2872

Anyways, the last time I was in a maHmus, I was in Amman on the way home from class. I dipped into the shop to pick up some toasted almonds– a fav craving of mine. As I was browsing the selection, a little girl came into the shop trying to sell me some gum. The shop owner was really mean to her and shooed her away. This upset me so I bought a knockoff chiclet package even though I’m not a gum fan. The show owner yelled and then mumbled all these things about beggars in his shop being bad business. That put a damper on the experience and made me upset about the whole dynamics of poverty.

This, however, as previously stated, was my first experience in a maHmus in America. I didn’t really know what to expect but had I had expectations, they were more than met. First of all, they’re open from 10 AM to 10 PM. If I lived closer, this would be my spot.

Everything was so tempting…

IMG_2874

And so pretty…

IMG_2873

I wanted it all! Like ALL OF IT. I still want it all, but I left with my fav…

IMG_2880

Anytime I get to have pistachios is a great time. One day, I will have tons of money and go back and buy a little of everything… and subsequently fall into some sort of food coma. But until then, I’d encourage any and all to visit The Nut House. They ship nationally, the selection is insane and it’s a little slice of heaven.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

A Year of Firsts: 2018

And so begins my years of firsts. As previously stated, my New Year’s Resolution is to have one new experience a day- no matter how large or small.

I decided that my first day of 2018 firsts was to be tasked with drinking 12 glasses of water. It seemed like a good way to start the year and it wasn’t anything too dramatic…

But DAMN! Drinking 12 glasses of water is tough. I feel like a balloon. I did it, which feels good to keep a promise to myself, but I don’t think I could keep this 12 glass thing up every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a massive fan of water and plan to drink a bunch more on the regular. But I might drink a couple of glasses less. *bloated shrugs*IMG_2865

Stay tuned to find out what my year of firsts brings tomorrow.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

New Year, New You?

Salutations!

Image-1

2017 is almost up– Thank GOD! And boy was it a rough year. As some of you may know, my life has been at a standstill for quite some time. I have gone through Plan A, B, C, D all the way through Z.

How many times can I do the same thing over and over again without seeing results? That’s the definition of crazy, right? And I can’t do this craziness anymore. Every time I have broken out of a rut, it was because I took an extreme chance that others perceived to be pretty questionable. But ultimately, it worked out somehow.

Seeing as funds are lower than ever, I’ve decided to make my New Year’s Resolution simple and more open-ended than the average resolution.

As 2018 approaches, I hope it brings about new opportunities and to inch that motion forward. I’ve decided my New Year’s Resolution is to do one new thing a day.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or costly. It could be as simple as trying a new workout, cooking a new recipe, walking a different route, giving a new diet plan a go, a new hairstyle, signing up for a new class or reading a new book.

The list could go on and on, but the important part is that something new has to happen everyday. Every single day.

I need new. Anything new. 2018 is the year of NEW.

Image-2

I have to at least give it a try.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba