Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you..
For the greatest secrets and most beautiful happenings are often in the smallest or most unmanifest of places..
The path of a honeybee, the unrestrained drooling giggle of a child, or the sequential masterpiece the sun leaves in its wake each night..
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it…
xXx ~ Saira
Cutting one’s own hair is a life-changing event.
Not the absent-minded snip-snipping of stray fly-aways or split ends we did all through high school with our pencil-case scissors when a certain physics lesson got particularly boring…
No. I mean the premeditated disposal of locks. It’s scary. And sad.
But, in a sense, it can be quite liberating. You choose your own cut, you watch it develop and you get to skip the annoying hairdresser who insists SHE knows what you want without you even getting to vocalise your opinion! (I have a few stories, but don’t get me started!)
Often-times, its just plain brutal. Chop. Blunt. Hack. And soon, you’re surrounded by a pile of glossy tendrils all curling in on themselves, fetal-like, as they reach the floor, defenceless and unwanted. It’s enough to make you feel like you’re choking on a hairball..
But sometimes, no matter how well you condition, treat, lovingly brush and style this flurry of strands.. some day, like all things in this world, it is time for them to depart.. And you know, because its beginning to resemble the matted straw where an elephant just sat, or - quelle horreur - extension removal gone wrong..
And since I’ve always been the type of girl whose dreamt of naturally lengthy, lustrous locks (I mean, just cast a glance at that picture…), I’m hard-pressed finding the motivation to pick up the hair-killing scissors in the first place!
So here I am with neither of the two aftorementioned hair disasters, armed with the knowledge that … “in order to have long lustrous locks, they must be kept healthy… In order to be healthy and strong, they need regular trims.. blah blah..”
Okay. Hair combed and flattened pristinely like a falling halo around my head, check. The scissors slide gracefully across the bottom two inches, find their mark, and.. Chop. The thick gilded-chocolate tendril falls to the floor, and curls itself around my toe. And my vision gets all cloudy.
An intervention is in order. STAT. And then I recall Phoebe (you know, Madame Buffay, from the all-time greatest ha-ha show, Friends?). Yes, I though you might. :) And just like she does, I stroke my flattened mane, and whisper to the strands.. “Now some of you are going to get cut, and some of you aren’t.. But I promise you, none of you will feel a thing…”
The tendril around my toe uncurls, and just like that, I raise my scissors, ready to let go.. It’s going to be fabulous…
xXx ~ Saira
Running around on a promotional day in retail leaves you gasping for air, water, sanity and somewhere to place your weary derriere and release your rouge-painted twinkle-toes from their gorgeous luxury-patent-leather-Chanel-esque-vintage-bow-topped-ballet-flats! Just quietly… “50% off today! Few sizes left!’
My thirty-minuter has arrived and after downing sufficent water to quench the Sahara’s centurion-thirst, I happily nestle into the chair-out-back and release my tootsies from their gorgeous prison.. Around me, I’ve scattered everything my tastebuds and tummy desire… An assortment of nuts (almonds, macadamias, pecans and cashews), fresh fruitsalad topped with berries and vanilla yoghurt, two sushi rolls acquired just seconds prior from the gourmet joint located just below our buzzing city-store (how lucky am I?), coconut water and a little box of the-best-money-can-buy delectable dark Valrhona chocolates.. When it comes to chocolates, only the best is good enough.. :)
As I’m snacking my way through the smorgasbord, I notice the latest Grazia lingering nearby, and decide to flick through. Absently, I come across the ‘Angelina-latest’: did you know she’s apparently trying to gain weight!?!?! Or Brad wants her to, pre-wedding. Groomzilla, alright. My instantaneous dubiousness is threefold: 1) TRY to gain.. I mean, really, who has to TRY?; 2) Angelina sells magazines. Truth or not.. So what can we believe? and 3) Really… trying to gain weight? I’m still not sold. 50% ON or not!!!! ;)
But right there, smack bang down the side of the article, is a ‘highly-qualified’ (yet also unnamed!) nutritionist’s suggested ‘weighs’ of gaining said-Brad-desired-pre-marital-weight… For curves, in all the right places! Carb-load with rice during the day, snack on lots of nuts, fruits, yoghurt, flavoured waters and good quality dark chocolate…
I look around at my snacks, tick each one of mine off the desperation ‘Ange-gain-weight’ list, and let out an audible sigh..
My colleague sashays past, all scurried looking for a shoe (I did say they were 50% off, today only!, right? *winks*) and comments “yummy lunch!” I turn, unabashed, and say, “I think they should just put me in the magazine as a how-to… Turns out I’m just a chubbier Angelina!”
At least as far as weighty issues go.. ;)
I down my last gourmet chokkie-bite, squish my aching tootsies back into my flatties and with newfound determination, don a smile and head back onto the chaotic sales floor.. Apparently, I need to work off my luncheons!
Stumbling out of bed this morning, after a ridiculously cold night that sent me reaching at 2am for all the doonas, blankets, stuffed toys and anything nondescript that remotely resembled ‘thickness’, ‘softness’ or ‘warmth’ that I could find, I literally looked like a teddy bear: round, covered in fluffy-down and unabashedly uncoordinated.
I won’t show you a picture of my bed, 1. As it reveals how much of a big little baby I am and 2. Because it looks like someone put the entire cast (plus blankets) of the collective ABC Kids programs — plus a few more ‘Big Teds’ — and had a slumber party where pillow fights were the order of the day, or night…
Having had spent the entire night re-writing a niggling story in my head, I needed a MASSIVE double-strength-anything caffeine hit to commence the writing/re-writing/editing process…
So this morning, this is me….
Today is going to be fabulous!
Keep smiling, I will! After all, I’m a teddy bear today… :)
~ S xx
My family knows I have vehemently vowed “never to eat peanut butter, if it were the only food left on the planet”… I absolutely have detested it for my entire life…
Yet, here I am purposefully striding into the pantry to select nothing else but peanut butter and willfully engulf teaspoons of the stuff… What’s going on?
A close friend thinks I finally have discovered the ‘crunchy’ version, which whilst momentarily appealing and igniting a crunchy vs smooth debate (followed swiftly by taste-test — YES crunchy is indeed oodles yummier — WHO would eat smooth? Ewwwous), still doesn’t account for the fact that my usual, normal, SANE self would, at this stage of the night, only have eyes for nutella! My brother thinks I just want salt.. And my father is triumphantly touting about the house, “I knew she’d develop taste buds one day!” Im staring at him, roll my eyes, and get back to my next teaspoon…
Who knows, but for the moment, I will just enjoy my temporary (it can’t be anything more can it?) love for the nutter-butter…
Celery dunks anyone? Or even better, peanut-butter-fingers!
I’m sitting here, with nothing but the prospect of failing this mammoth assignment that I have yet to write, and I’m finding myself reflecting on treats, desserts, and baked munching delectables..
Given, I have the most amazingly-thick hot chocolate in-hand, and a half-devoured chocolate-chip-cookie in the other.
And as I take each gooey, rich bite I have to acknowledge there is just something about chocolate chip cookies (note the use of the plural).
These seemingly humble creations are so much more than a simple baked goodie, they are tenderly made with butter and love. And chocolate! And when joined together, their ingredients form something magical that is beyond the culinary: a beacon, a symbol, a home.
Think about it. What smell makes you feel more at ease and comforted than that of fresh-baked cookies, betwixt all the melted chocolate and warmed butter? They evoke emotions of warmth, security, family times, childhood, bring back memories, give you ‘those’ fuzzy feelings in your toes and your tummy, and even in times of trouble, remind you that there is still some good in the world.. In the form of bumpy-dotty-baked-softness…
So, I’m going to share the cookie-love… :)
These cookies are made of vanilla, butter and love.. and will not just make your mouth water, but your heart melt!
Saira’s Soft-and-Homey Chocolate Chip Cookies
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp raw sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp vanilla
1 ¾ cups self-raising flour
1 ½ cups deluxe chocolate chips (or your favourite chocolate bar cut up)
Preheat cookie-maker to 145°C. Cream butter with the sugars until smooth and fluffy. Take care not to overbeat, else the poor little dears with be sullen and flat. And we want to raise them all happy and perky!
Mix in the egg and vanilla for 30 seconds until gooey. Add flour, beating until all signs of white have disappeared, leaving a warm butter-yellow mixture of doughy consistency. Stir in chocolate chips tenderly, until well interspersed.
Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of the dough onto greased cookie sheets about 3cm apart – they need room to grow! Gently press their tops to smooth them out, ensuring there are no peaks on the dough balls. Place trays in oven.
Allow house to fill with the sweet aroma of melted chocolate, vanilla and warm butter! Bake for 21 mins for a softer, gooey cookie, or for 27 mins for a chunkier, crispy variety. Remove trays and let cookies sit for 4-5 mins (if you can wait that long) to form a slight outer crust.
Note: Best shared with warm milk and a warm smile! Yes! - Even for those of us, aka myself, who like to keep stashes of delectable treats all to themselves, and often experience the case of the ‘disappearing’ cookie! ;) I promise, though, these cookies only get yummier when shared!
Enjoy! And share the cookie love..
Remember, a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand, and more to share..
- S xxx
… make yours both beautiful and altruistic ..
And if you can leave only a single mark, one mere small symbol to pass on, what could be more beautiful than kindness with a smile..?
Touch and beautify the day-to-day lives of those around you.
Scatter joy and wonderment wherever you go: In the way you move, the things you think, feel and say, the way you treat each moment, each person…
It all leaves a mark. Make one that’s passionately you and makes a difference…
~ Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty ~
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life…” ~ Jessica Hische
Carpe Diem. Sieze the day. Have the courage to make a change — to make your days magical. And love the way you live each one…
x - S