🌵🍉Goodbye Summer 2019 ••• It’s been a love hate relationship ••• While I loved picking unique blooms 🌺 for container gardening, the wasp and hornet 🐝 invasion that followed really cracked my nerves ••• The inflatable pool bashes in the backyard with the kids were fun but the pool cleanup sessions 🦠 broke my back and gifted me chronic muscle strain ••• Overall the adventures have been memorable! ••• 🍧 Snow cones, S’mores 🍡, a new cactus 🌵 (named it Grindelwald), Starbucks lemon 🍋 and strawberry 🍓 cake pops, a Hydrangea plant (named her Nymphadora Tonks), Ramadan 🌙, BBQs 🍖, Potterific July ⚡️ ••• It’s been a crazy summer!
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Oooooooooh! July of insane temperatures! Gone --- Goodbye --- See you! --- I really could have used Falcor the Luck Dragon somewhere in the middle! --- I welcomed new blooms and deadheaded Nymphadora Tonks (my hydrangea). So, that's great news, I am not killing it so far and keeping 'em well-drained from thunderstorms! I hoisted the Star Spangled Banner to jumpstart July. A full day was hijacked by my mother and I was taken to the garden center to help book a red cedar mulch delivery for landscaping the nieces' playground area in the backyard. Also, to pickup some flowers for her outdoors decor. Bagged some Celosia Intenz and they are quite the show so far. The Fourth was a grand affair at Abbiesville. Pools were inflated (applaud the Intex 10 ft adult pool!), a unicorn, a mermaid, and an airplane float made it to the water! Some very happy, splashing nieces! --- Ah, there is always BBQ isn't it? --- While thunderstorms made the entire neighborhood hide indoors, the Madhous sneaked a quick BBQ on the Fourth --- It was a festive tale of S'mores (so American! seriously enjoyed the Hersheys S'mores kit!), pasta, salsa, skewered kababs and tikkas ----- My back was in pieces at the end of the day but as long as you get to float on a unicorn, you shouldn't complain! ---- The only regret, I still have to clean the BBQ grill grates and a month has gone by! Vinegar and baking soda await! ------ The Fourth ended with me watching the President's controversial speech event on TV. He'd conjured up a Marines dhow of airplanes and warcrafts --- I may not favor the politics ATM but I loved the show --- I live close to DC so the Marine aircrafts and choppers were seen flying overhead when we were splashing and backyard bashing in the late afternoon --- So proud and happy to be American!
I finalized my Summer Adventure Board --- broke into my new unicorn and llamas rainbow pajamas --- and went around enjoying the Instagram Stories feature (yes! I recently discovered the filming bliss that it is!) --- I've been showing the world my chores and mores --- Potterific July was in full swing on Instagram, hosted by Sara --- Showed some serious Potterhead Pride there --- I can't wait to be back at Hogwarts! ----- Made Summer magnets out of Llama and Cactus luggage tags got from the Dollar Tree! ---
Lots of cooking as usual --- no new recipes though --- same old, same old --- lots of watermelon being eaten --- Summers! ---
I kind of did overcome my pet down in the dumps feeling that had been hanging for a very long time --- It has a lot to do with re-connecting with my madness and opening up about it --- no hiding, no hiding! ----- The mundane daily grind was also one of the contributors but now that I'm sharing the daily grind with the world, it feels good ---- Lit some Dragonblood incense, sang some old songs, and got over with most of the low feels --- I call my car the Black Pearl and myself the Prisoner of Azkaban --- that gets me through --- All's well that ends with a cup of Chai ---
Midway through July we had a problem --- the inflatable pool turned green with major, stinking, algae growth --- cleanup was a dread! --- The stink registered in the brain and was felt for another week just psychologically ---
Sara actually got to see Aladdin for the second time! --- I skipped --- We all go a little mad sometimes --- It was a balloon dancing kind of mental state --- I dined with my ol' lady at Red Robin instead and helped her pick a yet new load of formals for my brother ---
Aunt Life was at its best as usual --- Ludo Wars! I was convicted of cheating (I'm a smooooooooth criminal) ---- Mannee has developed a taste for my brains, she's been feeding on 'em --- We are talking concerts of self-made songs, and aimless wanderings about the house looking for prohibited items to eat --- At the end of the day when the two dinosaurs depart the house is like the ending of Jurassic Park! ---
Making myself feel good about the full moon in my bathroom window and bagging a motorized toothbrush on Amazon Prime day! --- cleanups continued as per usual --- Madhouse works do not give thought to human needs of rest! --- The bloody sunroom door glass is broken! That's what happens when people keep banging it! --- The neverending grocery runs could have killed me had it not been for the Costco samples entertaining my taste buds! ---
Best part about July ---- Hot Topic and Box Lunch merch began arriving at our doorstep --- Early Christmas like feels! --- Aladdin's Funko Pop showed up --- love! ---
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
It won't be wrong to say my mid summer state of mind was like one of those inflatable balloons waving frantically outside shops! Things have been pretty crazy at Abbiesville. Chores have been the usual ---
A Red Robin luncheon concluded July for me. Later, of course the awesomeness of the Banzai burger thinned away as I was tortured in the JCPenney men's section. This was my mother buying clothes yet again for my brother.
Aunt life's been buzzing as usual! Kids are quite a handful --- little bundles of high energy! I was playing Paw Patrol Ludo (getting blamed for cheating!), listening to Mannee yelling away on her microphone live in concert, reading aloud as she ate her lunch, making her cheesy egg sandwich and Maggie noodles on the weekend, and getting her to have fun while we did chores. She was our Roomba cleaning robot as we vacuumed. The nieces have turned my brains into a rainbow and unicorns hot sauce. At my dentist's I found myself looking for Nemo in their aquarium!
Potterific July rolled by and I loved participating. Sara was the Boss Lady this year again, second in a row! And she has an army of Potterheads following the challenge on Instagram now!
Heat advisory was on! Insane, soaring temperatures as high as 96 degrees and beyond! I got out the summer dresses so I could roam around all breezy for a while! Yet, always to return home for a piping cuppa tea! The inflatable octopus lays faint --- Summer should die now please.
Quite a few great buys this month. Got a motorized toothbrush on Amazon Prime day! I am calling it Jughead! Yes, I name my gadgets. There was my Harry Potter merch coming in --- a gorgeous Gryffindor journal and a Weasley's Wizard Wheezes shop themed coin purse (I am using it to hold my candy!). I also got my Aladdin Funko Pop! Adorable little thing! The detailing on the Pops is incredible!
On the kitchen front I made chicken chili, pineapple fried rice, and Baisan ki Kadhi this month for some change of flavor. Cookings are always followed by cleaning! You cook you clean! Even Mannee the niece was making pizza for the baby (her baby sister). S'mores at the BBQ came as a throwback from July Fourth BBQ. Gotta have more s'mores.
I don't know what's worst --- chores upon chores or pool cleaning! --- Well, nothing comes out of pool cleaning except that unfriendly croaking frog scaring the daylights out of me. Also, my gluteal muscles are gone! Chores get me Costco samples. I am talking Peach Cider! That's what I pretended to get drunk on!
On another crappy note a door glass shattered! Impact! This is what people do at the Madhouse. Door feels stuck due to loose hinges so lets slam it like trolls until a double paned glass shatters! This is why horror movies come off as comedy to me. Speaking of horror movies, The Boy was our pick this month and I was seriously disappointed!
July ended with drowning my troubles away in a deathly Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Deathly cheers!
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Potterific July is hosted by my sister & Butterbeer buddy @saraallie ••• The photo challenge is open to all wizards, witches, and Muggles! Enjoy Potterific July and do visit Sara’s profile for her mind blowing photos! Use #potterificjuly to get featured and follow the hashtag to enjoy photos from the Potterhead family all over the planet! Fun magical discussions are also happening in Sara’s Stories everyday!
Day 1 “I’m A Potterhead”
••• No doubt about it! ••• I live the Potterhead Pride ••• I share the magic with my sister and bestie for life, Sara Ali @saraallie ••• We raise our wands together and we are Butterbeer buddies ••• We live for the thrill of the Wizarding World and Potter merch! ••• We believe in the Harry Potter universe (good vs evil, patience and forbearance, sacrifice and power of love, and friendship beyond all relationships!). Enjoy Potterific July and do visit Sara’s profile for her mind blowing photos!
Day 2 “House Pride”
••• I’m unmistakably Gryffindor. Yes! I’d be able to pull Gryffindor’s sword from the Sorting Hat! Featured today is a shot of my pin board dedicated to my Wizarding World trips where I stay at the Cabana Bay resort and spend a week of unbelievable dreamlike awesomeness.
Day 3 “Journey to Hogwarts”
••• Did a little scene setup in my shelf. That’s Harry headed to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express.
Day 4 “Wingardium Leviosa”
••• A little Swish and Flick action this morning.
Day 5 “Fav. Ship”
••• My favorite witch and wizard couple! I chose to get their student version Funko Pops because that’s where Ron needed the MOST rescue 😂 and despite the threats and scolding, Hermione was ALWAYS at his side!
Day 6 “Monster Book of Monsters”
••• 👀 I keep mine extra tied up!
Day 7 “Dementors”
••• 💀 Avoid the kiss ••• Keep a chocolate and happy thoughts handy.
Day 8 “Divination”
••• 🔮 ✨ Fair Fortune Be Yours
Day 9 “The Chosen One”
••• Mina Lima art has got to be the most visually stunning aspect of the real world Harry Potter planet!
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
••• JULY •••
Barbecues, Fourth of July, pool parties, blazing heat, and Potterific July (hosted by @saraallie ) is here! FYI I figured my sunblock is ruining my day look by dulling complexion. Toss! ••• I’m working on a backyard bash for the nieces to kickoff July ••• Next up, some serious heavy trash has been scheduled for pickup! Brother’s punching bag and boxing 🥊 gloves need to go! ••• Perhaps I’ll visit my dentist too! ••• Hopefully I’d sell a property this month as well. Profits of course will earn me some Harry Potter merch from the Wizarding World! ••• I am also going to get my hands dirty and attempt repotting my Hydrangea, and my tiny Moon Cactus 🌵 ••• Some new recipes I’m trying would make it to the blog ••• Annnnnd I’d have landscaping and home repairs taken care of before the end of this month InshaAllah (God Willing) •••
Friday, June 14, 2019
*IT'S SHOWTIME* (SPOILER ALERT!)
It was somewhere past the mid of Ramadan season when Aladdin (2019) hit theatres. I was fasting and there's no joy in being at the movies without popcorn, okay! So, I waited --- waited patiently ---
As soon as I was done celebrating the Eid festival, I rushed with Magic Carpet speed to the theatre to feast my eyes on this sensational Disney phenomenon that had taken the world by a storm.
The universe was split between critics (I seriously feel they need to get themselves medical attention!) and fans going insane. There had been wild speculation whether Will Smith would do the genie better than Robin Williams? There were doubts if the Egyptian newbie actor Mena Massoud would fit the Disney bill. And, if Naomi Scott would do justice to the strong-willed Jasmine.
I was going MAD looking at the premiere festivities. I had followed the cast on social media and promotions were driving me nuts by the hour. Twitter was breaking! While the majority was loving it --- there were seriously weird comments circulating. Jaffar and the Sultan are invisible, no distinctive acting. Abu and the Magic Carpet were said to be falling short of character. My brains were a mess!
My opinion? --- I could NOT stop smiling for one second through this movie. From the instant it began, there was no dull moment. Thrill, drama, suspense, comedy, music, dance, romance --- one after another so much unfolded on screen before me! I was sucked into the parallel Disney universe as usual.
One minute I was jumping through the streets and alleys of Agrabah with Aladdin and Jasmine, and the next minute I was flying through the landscapes with them on the Magic Carpet. One minute I was spellbound by the Cave of Wonders, and the next minute I was moved to giggles by the Genie of the Lamp. One instance I was despising the bond between the Sultan and Jaffar; they shamed down Jasmine and her strong opinion, and the next instance I fell in love with Prince Ali / Aladdin who gave her the wings to fly.
Everything's been so perfectly recreated and improved to fit modern day demands of cultural and cinematic diversity! There's so much color to this movie, so much emotion, and so much meaning than the cartoon version.
Aladdin, to begin with, is costume and personality wise much better crafted. He's a smooth criminal! The acting is more believable, more strong on an emotional level. Mena Massoud has brought some seriously good acting to the Disney screen, let me tell you that. He's got this intense Bollywood feel going on about him.
Naomi Scott's work as Princess Jasmine is super brilliant. She's broken all standards of comparison if you ask me. Unlike the cartoon character, Princess Jasmine of the movie Aladdin (2019) has a mission and vision not just to get married for love but to rule Agrabah as a wise, just Sultan. Yes! This girl wants to be queen for all the right reasons.
🧞♂️✨👑 Disney hangover! And @MenaMassoud was the perfect Aladdin & a magnificent Prince Ali! The movie is definitely a Number 1 with a superstar cast! Will Smith! Best genie ever! Naomi Scott Jasmine girlpower for the win. If there’s anyone saying otherwise #GetYourOwnJam pic.twitter.com/yxZbqTPUIl— The Abbie (@theabbies) June 11, 2019
OMG! Jafar, the royal vizier, has got to be one of my fav Disney villains. Marwan Kenzari is an amazing psychotic, power-obsessed Jafar! Wait till he starts becoming a total badass in the movie! Also, the Cobra staff is to die for! He is a lot more big in the movie than the cartoon original. This guy is planning wars and mass evil.
Another aspect is the relationship between Jasmine and her Baba, the Sultan of Agrabah. There's a lot of good, wholesome conversation going on beyond the "when will you choose a suitor". Jasmin is into the politics and welfare of the people. She's brought more perspective from her visit to the marketplace than just meeting a boy from the market. She speaks about the people.
Aladdin (2019) is pure joy from the start to the finish. The Disney parade and Bollywood / Arabic fusion of dances and sequences will keep you spellbound. Keep moving your eyes around the screen to look at everything! Lanterns, carafes and kettles, ottomans and poufs, carpets with tassels, feathers and silk, color and glitter. There is so much going on. When they said "visually stunning" they really meant it.
I am not a fan of any of the Disney princes but I have brought back the fandom for Prince Ali! Majestic, stylish, intense, smooth, and incredibly goofy ... this guy takes away the limelight for sure.
Catch this wonder on screen while it lasts!