Amigurumi for Beginners

“it’s easy to start a new hobby”

I told myself this at the beginning of the year along with my new motto “Comfort is the Enemy of Progress” I wanted to feel the validation that I’m being productive, I want to create something. I’ve done crochet before back in school days, I made a couple of table mats since they are basic and easy to do. I decided to try amigurumi since it appealed to me and looked interesting to do.

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ, lit. “crocheted or knitted stuffed toy”) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The word is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ami, meaning “crocheted or knitted”, and nuigurumi, meaning “stuffed doll”. Amigurumi vary in size and there are no restrictions about size or look.

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My first attempt was this cute jellyfish, I didn’t have any safety eyes so I used embroidery thread. It looked easy to make and I followed this video.

The yarn I used is not as chunky as the video so my jellyfish look too small compared to the one in the video.  I had fun creating it, and my son loved it so much even if it was too tiny.

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The next amigurumi that I created is this cute cactus.

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I felt more confident creating it and I’m proud of it. Again, because of the lack of safety eyes, I used thread to sew the eyes into a sleeping expression.

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I had these two videos as a reference to create the cactus.

I think I’m ready to try more complicated patterns and of course finally order safety eyes to make the faces look better. It was a relaxing experience and a great way to keep myself occupied and busy, except for the part that I have to count while stitching so I thank stitch markers for existing.

5 Things You Need To Know About Hair Extensions

According to my mom, our hair is our crown. Being a teenager back then I enjoyed going against her and I managed to destroy her heart when I cut my hair one day which once upon a time reached my hips, all the way above my shoulder. She was devastated and I remember that she didn’t speak to me for a couple of days, she took care of my hair for so long and I ended it all in one impulse moment. Till this day, she repeats how I managed to ruin my hair that easy. Now that I’m older, I’ve kept my hair controlled always above my shoulder just so I don’t become my mom’s favorite Rapunzel.

After giving birth, my temporary luscious hair began to wither and fall out faster than leaves in autumn and I made the decision to cut it all. I did miss having longer hair after all these years so I started researching about hair extensions just so I have the required knowledge before actually getting them. I eventually chose to have keratin-bonded extensions because I felt more comfortable when I read about them.

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I found a well-reviewed hairdresser who has experience in hair extensions for 5 years in Iran, so I went to the salon and did it. It’s been almost two months now since I’ve had them and it’s definitely one the best decision of my life. I love having the long hair feeling, I missed it but I don’t miss the amount of time I spend in washing it. Here are the things I learned during this two months having extensions :

  • Use sulfate-free hair products

Now this point is something I’ve been doing before I even had extentions, I think sulfate-free hair products are better and a healthier choice for your hair.

  • Comb your hair twice a day

Because the extentions are longer than your actual hair, they tangle easily and you might tug it hard on a knot and the strand will fall out.

  • Keep your hair in a braid when you sleep

As I mentioned the hair tangle easily so keeping it in a braid when you sleep makes it managable the next day.

  • Dry your hair instantly after washing it

This point annoyed me because I’m used to air-dry my hair after I wash it, water breaks the keratin bonds faster so you have to blow dry your hair whenever you wash it. I normally just dry the roots where the bonds are and leave the rest to air dry, it gives my hair the natural waves as it dry. Also avoid keeping the blow dryer heat on the bonds as it breaks the bonds faster as well

  • Uneven hair

With time, hair strands starts to fall out and it begins to show how your hair shape is changing and somewhat thinning.  Also your hair grow out with time and the growth shows where your real hair ends and where the extentions are. it’s annoying but can be managed with certain hair styles top blend your real hair and the extensions .

Books, New Hobbies and OMG I Actually Cooked

Dear Blog,

I know you’re upset that I neglected you but I have a perfect explanation for it … I couldn’t write anymore. I felt like I needed a break before I traumatize you with low traffic and ratings during the infamous DA update, I took a break for a couple of months. Hopefully, I’ll keep the motive and energy to keep posting because I really missed blogging.

In my previous post, I talked about trying new things to break my comfort zone and that’s what I’ve been doing in the past couple of months. I’ve been reading (and listening) to a lot of books, currently sitting on 49 books out of the 100 I challenged myself to finish this year.

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I have to say that buying Kindle was a trigger in unleashing my hidden bookworm. I’ve been reading most of my limited free time as being a mom has a lot of time restrictions so I switch from reading and listening. I’m planning to post reviews on the blog, I started it in a couple of posts before. I’m also trying to be more critical when it comes to reviews, I honestly feel horrible when I think about giving a low rating to certain books because I feel that I am personally hurting the author’s feelings (I hope I’m not the only one thinking that way)

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I’ve been trying to get into new hobbies, to be more specific “Gardening”. My husband tends this small garden which has various types of trees, flowers and of course his beloved Jasmines.

If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. ~ Robert Brault

I’ve been into succulents and cactus for the longest time, and I thought it’s time for me to channel this fixation in getting a cactus. It’s the cutest Bunny Ears cactus I’ve ever seen (You’re not allowed to tell me otherwise) of course I’m planning in growing more succulents and cactuses, probably create one of those small stairs that has pots on them that I keep seeing on Pinterest which I’m sure will never look as aesthetic as the pictures. At least I’ll try and my effort will be valued by my currently non-existent potted plants.

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Last month was Ramadhan and let me tell you the greatest achievement of my life, in my twenty-something years on this earth I’ve finally cooked something and fortunately didn’t burn the house down. I would consider myself privileged as I’ve been used to having maids around me that serve, cook, clean and do the laundry for me. When I got married, I wanted to do those chores on my own and it felt refreshing to be able to do all this except for cooking. I was intimidated by the idea that one day I’ll have to cook for my family when I’m clearly bad and inexperienced so this ramadhan I decided to try using the app Tasty, which was a blessing for me and it helped me a lot.

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Now that we are up-to-date, I’m happy to be back blogging ❤

 

Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties – Book Review

Following the previous oh-so-long ago post, I’ll start posting reviews of each book I read for the 2019 reading challenge individually because I need to convince myself that I can still blog.

At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.

Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

 I once read that the recipe for a good life had but three ingredients: something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.

This would be my second book to read from the author Camille Pagán and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the first one (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences). I absolutely love her writing style, it screams ‘relatable’ to me because the words bleed from how vulnerable the main character is and how she unravels layer by layer as the story progresses. Her personality, what made me like the book even more, as a mom of two myself I find myself giving my all to my family, I put their happiness and well-being before mine and I think it’s quite common between us moms since we are naturally considered the “fixers” or the “nurtures”.

The book is narrated by my favorite narrator Amy McFadden, her voice brought Maggie’s personality in a more elaborate tone and rounded the character development from invisible and vulnerable to confident by the ending. I could say it’s almost the same as “Eat Pray Love” and “The Bridget Jones Diaries” in terms of self-discovery. I would recommend it even though some would consider it as a Chick Lit, it’s very entertaining and I love Camille’s way of injecting humor in her books.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

2019 Reading Challenge

Before I start this post, let’s address the elephant in the … blogging community. If you are a blogger you already know all about SEO, Moz and other alphabetical terms I’m sure I’m supposed to know. Recently Moz Domain Authority algorithms got updated and we all dropped and I honestly felt quite discouraged to continue blogging. It’s heartbreaking to see your two years worth of word vomit -Posts Rei, it’s called posts- not really going anywhere. I took some time away from my blog, and I was thinking to delete my whole blog and restart. The idea is still there but for now, I’ll try to slowly return to blogging, and for this so-called comeback I chose my favorite topic “Books”

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By the end of last year, I bought a Kindle and it’s been my favorite device. It immensely increased my time spent in reading which I’ve been doing in work, in a salon, even while breastfeeding. I’ve set the number 20 as my reading challenge goal for 2019 and I’ve read 18 so far, so I’m almost there which feels great of course.

Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist – but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live – and love – a little longer?

The first book I finished would be Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán. I remember getting this book on my Kindle because it was free by that time and I wanted a light read (It’s still free for Kindle). Not sure if I would consider “cancer” as a light material for a book but it gave some explanation to the behavior of the characters, while I would say the story seem a bit predictable. I was listening to this book on my way to work and I have to say the narrator (Amy McFadden) made it very enjoyable, she portrayed the main character (Libby) attitude in talking and thinking perfectly. The writing style is very raw and it’s injected with humor which the author is known for, I did enjoy the book but I thought some parts didn’t make sense to me like how she was dealing with her husband when he was clearly going through a lot already.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

“Because she knew a secret: there were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.”

Our Dark Duet is the sequel and conclusion of the first book “This Savage Song” which I got a couple of years ago in OwlCrate. I absolutely loved the first book so I was very excited to read the second, it was much lengthier and I loved every minute of it. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions with these two books, the ending left me breathless and I want to say not fair but I could understand why it happened. I’m definitely calling this story as my favorite and it made the author Victoria Schwab my favorite as well, I would love to read more of her books.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more―and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about―maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

I didn’t think I would enjoy the second book more than the first one, and it’s like the previous book I mentioned, I got the first book in OwlCrate before and I liked it to the point I purchased the second book. I loved Tella’s personality more than Scarlett’s and as reckless as she is, she actually makes better decisions than her sister – In the first book, I meant. One of my guilty pleasures is the description of the gowns and dresses they’ve been wearing, I would love to see them in real life and probably wear some – definitely all, not some-. I instantly pre-ordered the third book the moment I finished reading it and I can’t wait to see how the ending will play out, quite literally.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote such a long post, it feels great to return to blogging. I’ll stop with three books in this post and I’ll write three more in the upcoming posts for sure. Let me know what are your favorite books you’ve been reading lately.