Around two months ago I wrote a post about a mix of things that were a source of satisfaction in my life at that point in time. I really enjoyed writing it and after that, I started looking at everyday objects in a different light. I created a list on my phone to record more things that made my life easier or simply made me happy and decided to put them in a new blog post once I had enough. These are ideas, recommendations and suggestions to anyone who would care to take them. In other words, these are the things that are making me happy these days:
- BabyZ’s room:
My daughter’s room was a project I started before she was born and it had been a work in progress since then. I wasn’t too focused on finishing it because for nearly 8 months, she woke up for a late feed in the middle of the night and it was convenient for me to have her in my bedroom. I finally finished furnishing her room and got it to look as close to the images on my Pinterest board as possible. We started by playing in her room during the day and by putting her for her two daytime naps there. It was honestly, liberating, to have my bedroom and en suite back. And finally, a few days after BabyZ’s first birthday, I let her sleep in her room for the first time at night. The Husband protested and demanded a few more days for himself to get prepared for this big change, but I did not accede. Granted, we did not sleep very well the first few nights, but there was a great deal of satisfaction in not having to whisper in our room at night. My daughter loves her room, it is very baby friendly, she knows exactly where all her toys and books are and it is really amusing to watch her exploring bins and boxes and re-discovering long forgotten toys. We spend a major portion of our day in her room which means that the rest of the house remains somewhat tidy. She has so much fun there that I regret not having her room furnished earlier.
My daughter’s room
- Uncluttered Closet:
After I gained back the control of my room, I had a major closet clean out and organization spree. I spent days trying out clothes and separating them into piles of “definitely, maybe and no way!” In short, anything that didn’t look good on me or made me happy, no matter what its price or sentimental value, was removed from my closet. The resulting pile of clothes was half of what I had started with but every item suited my style. This also allowed me to see some gaps in my wardrobe in terms of essential pieces that I was missing and that could be paired with other items I had. I happily bought those and organized my wardrobe by color and functionality. I must say, I am immensely happy with this entire exercise. Not only is my closet uncluttered, I now wear every item of clothing that I own and the clothes that were hanging unused in my closet are probably being worn by someone who enjoys them.
My uncluttered closet
- Meatballs and Pasta:
I have made this recipe for dinner a few times and it is a great favorite in our home now. Not only do The Husband and I enjoy it a lot, my daughter and our pet, Tutu also love this pasta sauce with spaghetti. I have modified Rachel Ray’s meatball recipe to suit our own taste and the marinara sauce is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe.
Spaghetti and meatballs
- ½ kg or 1 pound minced beef/veal/chicken
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
Mix all the ingredients and shape into balls (This recipe makes 13 to 14 meatballs). Bake the meatballs in the oven at 180⁰C for 15 minutes or cook them on the stove top in a non-stick pan until no longer pink inside. Alternatively, bake them in the Airfryer for 14 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Note: This quantity is enough for 4 persons.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of parsley
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
- Add the chopped onions to the oil and cook until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, salt and red chilli and ¼ cup of water.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- In the last few minutes of cooking, add the parsley and oregano.
Note: This amount of sauce is enough for 2 adults (plus a baby and a parrot)
Boil wholegrain or regular spaghetti as per package instructions. Serve the spaghetti with meatballs and cover with sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top for additional flavor and satisfaction.
- Batiste Dry Shampoo
My hair quality is extremely unforgiving. If I don’t wash my hair for one day, my roots become so greasy and disgusting that it seems as if I haven’t showered for days. I didn’t mind shampooing every day in the humid weather of Dubai, where I lived before. But after moving to the dry, desert climate of Riyadh, I saw that shampooing everyday was taking its toll on my hair. My roots remained greasy but the ends of my hair were getting terribly dry and brittle. I tried a number of dry shampoos but none of them did a good job of absorbing the oil from my scalp and then there was that un-appealing white cast that dry shampoos leave behind. When I tried the Batiste dry shampoo, I saw that it worked very well in the oil absorption department but the white residue was very prominent. I did some research and discovered that the best way to use Batiste dry shampoo is to use it the night before and to let the powder work all night. I tried this and voila! Clean, fresh roots on day two that can be extended to the third day as well. I love this product, it is inexpensive and does what it promises to do. My hair routine now is to wash my hair in the morning, dry it and style it. Before going to bed at night, I generously spray the dry shampoo in my roots, massage it in gently and go to sleep. The next day I shower with my hair in a shower cap and then let down my already clean, styled hair. This helps me save at least 15 to 20 minutes every alternate day and prevents my ends from getting dry. I am very happy about it.
Batiste dry shampoo
- Michael Kors Tri-stack Bangles
These bangles were a gift from The Husband a few months ago. I mean I chose them and The Husband payed (that’s what a gift means in our household). And I think I have worn them every single day since then. I find that since I got these, accessorizing any outfit is a no-brainer. They literally go with everything I wear and look great. The bangles are very dainty and the three different colors make them easy to be styled with any watch or jewelry piece. Also, they are holding up really well, considering how many times I have washed my baby’s bum and face wearing these. I am thoroughly enjoying wearing them and I don’t think I will get over them anytime soon.
Michael Kors tri-stack bangles
- Melissa and Doug Shape Sorter
A shape sorter is a great toy. Not only does it help with developing a child’s fine motor skills, it also helps to teach them about shapes, colors and numbers. And if you are lucky, it can hold your child’s attention for a good ten minutes. The Melissa and Doug shape sorter is newish to our home and since it belongs to my daughter, I asked her for a review and in reply she threw a few of the shapes in the air. I am assuming it meant she loves it. This is the toy she mostly reaches for when there are a few scattered around her on the floor. It is a very well made, wooden toy with twelve different shapes and four colors. At 13 months, I feel BabyZ is a bit young for this shape sorter and she needs help to play with it, but I don’t mind. I like to see her closely observe each shape and then get frustrated when she can’t fit it through the right hole. But when she manages to do it, the ensuing smile on her face and the claps are priceless. It challenges her in the best way possible and I think she is learning about cause and effect by playing with this. Also, it looks great on top of her dresser.
Melissa and Doug shape sorter
- Lindt “A touch of Sea Salt” Chocolate
Chocolate is one of the things I thoroughly enjoy and when I find a good chocolate, I do not hesitate from appreciating it as it deserves, which means buying, hoarding and eating it as much as my brain will allow. And let me tell you, this isn’t your usual, run of the mill chocolate. Ok, it is Lindt and I don’t know if this is a new flavor or if it is just new to me, but it is extremely special. The first time I bought it, I was just intrigued by the idea of tasting salt in a chocolate. But when I tasted it, I thought, why not? This makes perfect sense to my palate, sweet with a hint of salty in every bite. The fact that the sea salt is not evenly distributed throughout the chocolate makes it even more enjoyable. Describing it would not do justice to it, so I highly recommend that you try it.
Lindt “A touch of sea salt” Dark Chocolate
- Stranger Things
Stranger Things is the newest show from Netflix to take the world by storm and if you have been living under a rock and have not heard of it, I suggest you give it a watch. It is set in a small town in America in the 1980s and it all starts when a boy goes missing one night. Strange things start to unveil in the lives of all those involved and an extraordinarily unusual little girls appears out of nowhere. The show stars Winona Ryder (my favorite actress growing up) and a bunch of kids, who are the real starts of the show. Being on Netflix means that you don’t have to wait a week for the episode, but let me warn you that there will be some late nights because you can’t just watch one episode and you might also get some weird dreams. I have watched the entire season and the ending was very satisfying. I will definitely watch the second season when it comes out but I am not sitting biting my nails and wondering what will happen next. A must watch!
I hope this list was as fun for you to read as it was for me to compile and write. Thanks for reading.