I’m a proud momma when I hear my kids using the proper name for things and not, “that thing over there!” Or “that thingy…”. I’m a proud momma when I hear my kids explaining things more clearly. It makes me feel like I’m actually a good parent when others can understand them.
It’s amazing how smart kids can be if they just open their ears and brains a bit. I’m not saying my kids are stupid. Noooo!!!!! I love my kids. And when their vocabulary increases, it puts a smile on my face.
When they can articulate why they liked something or not; when they can tell an interesting story using adjectives galore. (Still don’t understand how their English teacher says they need to improve more.) Vocabulary is great when we are playing Scattergories (name, place, animal, thing, game we all used to play).
I am a proud momma when my kids talk about their day at school and all the interesting things they learned. I’m all open ears for this. It just puts a smile on my face. It’s a lot better than hearing them say that they are through with school and studying and how they just want to stay home like me! (Hello!! I graduated college with Honours!! …. before I stayed at home all the time) Hmmm….
BUT an increase in vocabulary can be annoying too. Especially when one says how her pancreas and kidneys were hurting her all day at school, and how her femur bone might be broken. And how the food I prepared for them wasn’t settling well or how the gasteric juices weren’t digesting the food therefore the food wasn’t all that great. (Smack!)
Vocabulary is great. Just not when I’m tired and need peace and quiet.
I have been meaning to start gardening for as long as I can now remember. God only knows how many Pinterest boards (of course secret!) I have at the moment, that are related to gardening. One day I will, I might, or at least I’ll try (fingers crossed) but for now, let’s do what we can.
I came across my sister-in-law’s Instagram pictures the other day and I couldn’t help but ogle at the heaven she has managed to build up on the rooftop of her house. I mean, it’s absolutely magnificent, what she has managed in just under a couple of months!
Maasi is Trying talked to Mehreen Hussain to find out how to set up a cactus selection, if we are to do such a thing, with no experience whatsoever.
If a cactus garden features heavily in on your future gardening plans, then the following step by step guide by Mehreen Hussain will be more than useful to you guys!
MIT: Where does one get the cactus plants from in Lahore?
MH: I got the cactus plants from a nursery situated in Model-Town near F-block. These people have one of the largest ranges of cactus plants in Lahore as they import it from Thailand.
MIT: How difficult is it to get hold of these things for someone who has no exposure to gardening whatsoever?
MH: It will be difficult for someone who has little to no exposure but if you know what you want and want it bad enough, you will be able to do it. Of course, following this guide is a must.
MIT: Are there any things that you will need to get from the local market?
MH: Yeah definitely, I got pebbles, terracotta pots and marble crush from the local market to make cacti soil.
MIT: Okay, so now please tell us all on how to go about it!
MH: Well, to start off, get some old terracotta clay pots (anything will do), crush them into fine pieces, add coir and compost (khaad). Now mix to get the cacti soil. Remember, the mixture should be finely crushed.
Sand/ fine marble crush (Any close by marble shop will guide you from where you can get marble crush).
Mix these ingredients up to get some beautiful cacti soil.
You have to now get a glass pot and arrange layers of colourful marble, activated charcoal and cacti soil.
At the bottom of the glass jar, spread a layer of some colourful marble crush (gravel), it will make your jar look aesthetically strong. But make sure you don’t over do it.
Some people like topping it with activated charcoal as well. Both of these things are purely for decoration purposes. You can avoid both if you’re using a terracota pot.
Top layer should be of the cacti soil we made eaelier.
When you’re done layering, start arranging your cactus plants (that you got earlier from the nursery) in a way that they balance with each other, while using taller plants at the back and then gradually arranging shorter plants accordingly.
You can add any small characters it in order to make it look more pleasing . In the end just add fine marble crush or sand to give it a complete look of a cactus garden.
MIT: How often should cacti be watered?
MH: Cacti famously survive on little water, but if you want them to grow and flower they should actually be watered regularly during the growing season. Watering them thoroughly will help the roots make good contact with the new soil, and eventually will help them grow well.
Cactus and succulents are the plant which required very low maintenance. You just need to water them once a week to keep them healthy. But please do make sure you water the roots of plants only to avoid messing up your sand and composition.
Okay ladies, so we do hope this little guide helps you in your quest of getting a beautiful cactus garden up and running!
It’s been long, we know. Just checked our last post and it was published almost a year back. Yikes. Well, we have no excuse for abandoning our blog, just got extremely busy with our lives and unfortunately this little labour of love had to suffer.
But we have decided that the show must go on, for our readers sake. And we may have been out of sight but the blog has never been out of our minds. Hence, we are here again, and this time we are not going anywhere (fingers crossed).
For the time being it’s going to be Maasi Wajo and Maasi Saba who will be managing the blog mostly, since the other Maasis have a lot on their hands at the moment. That doesn’t mean you guys wont be seeing them at all, it’s just that it might be less frequent than you’d like.
So basically the main focus of our blog has always been on helping our desi stay at home moms find some sanity in this insane world. However, we do write about other mommy related stuff as well, from time to time.
We will be posting every Sunday starting from this week. We have officially launched our Instagram account as well, by the name @maasiistrying.
Please do go and follow it, it’s pretty cool!
So let’s sit back, relax and have fun again. The Maasis are back (once again) but hopefully (ahem) they are here to stay!
This is a little getting-in-touch post! As some of you might recall, we started Maasi is Trying last year in April and well, it has come a long long way since then. And it is you, our readers that we’re immensely thankful to, for giving our little brainchild a chance. So thank you! 🙂 We couldn’t have done anything without y’all! Also, we couldn’t manage to write anything on the day of our blogiversary, because life! 🙂
But we’re here now to pay our little gratitude to you, our lovely readers!
PS: You must have noticed the things that have started happening on the page… after being silent for a couple of months or so (our bad!). We have a brand new profile picture for starters! Which is a tiny reminder of all the changes we have in store for you. Maasi is trying is in for a big time revamp. We’re aiming to give you more fashion news/tips, parenting tips/stories, life saving hacks, product/online store reviews, regular giveaways and a little insight on decor trends around the world. So a lot of exciting things in pipeline for you all. There’s a lot happening at the headquarters of Maasi is Trying!
All you have to do is bear with us and stay tuned! 🙂
It was a hectic day today. I did feel a little too off all through the day due to my health which is downright adamant on not coming back to its usual chirpy state.
By the by, for all those who might not be familiar with this rather significant piece of news, yours truly just gave birth to a baby boy this April, who has been keeping her quite busy of late 🙂
[Now being busy or not- for that matter- does have a most complicated relationship with the heart. For if your heart desires to accomplish something; it will find a way and no amount of lack of time will matter. For there is no such thing as a lack of time as far as my (amateur) study of the matter is concerned. There is however a severe lack of discipline in my life though, the presence of which might very well be the eventual demise of all my dreams. If the demise hasn’t already happened that is. Which could be the case since I am usually not aware of most of the happenings related to my being. And most of the things come to my attention after the damage has already been done; by me or by someone else. Sigh. BUT BUT BUT I wont go into the details of why this happens here because this has been happening for quite some time now and well; reasons are for the foolish (or the lazy in may case)]
Crux of the story is, the little guy just doesn’t let me brood over the vanity of my life anymore (that I was bent upon doing for the last couple of years or so), which was something I gravely needed but didn’t quite realize before.
He keeps me busy yes, but in a way, this little person has (sort of) renewed my sense of existence in life. My discipline situation has vastly improved (it hasn’t completely gone away I assure you, but yes, it has become better). I care about the sanctity of time now. Or perhaps I’ve started caring about it much more than I ever cared about it before. The joy and love this little being brings to my life is something I can’t even begin to describe here since there are no appropriate words to portray the many emotions he has brought out in me.
Perhaps it is true what they say about babies that are born later in life; that you do appreciate them more. I’ll also add another thing here however. I think when you have these kids, you actually are in need of them— in order to take you back to the self that you’ve somehow lost somewhere. You need them to regain some confidence in the prospect of hope, of that much-touted ray of light at the end of the tunnel, again.
Kids are amazing. Alhumdulillah. They make you smile, they make you laugh, and then they make fun of you and laugh at you. Out of love, of course!
The other day, I was watching the movie “Burnt,” starring Bradley Cooper. (It was an okay movie. Watch it if you have spare time.) It was about a washed out chef trying to make his comeback and earn a 3rd Michelin Star. As I was watching the movie, my little one came and sat along side me. Thank goodness in that scene no foul language was spoken. The scene she watched was where they were preparing a meal for their restaurant. They made it look so easy. Cutting up vegetables with such precision. My little one, may Allah swt always protect her, says, “Momma, they are cooking just like you!” I stopped breathing for a few seconds, and remembered she wasn’t making fun of me, but felt that we cooked the same. Little does she know I’m just a mediocre cook. She said it twice with a smile. It made me feel so happy. Then a waitress was serving either green tea or coffee and again she said, “Look momma, they make keva just like you!” I gave her a kiss and said thank you and she she gave me a hug. Such sweet children we have. Their compliments are so much better then mens’!
But, there are other times, when they aren’t so sweet. Sometimes, this is because of age, experience, hormones, I don’t know. If you recall, I wasn’t brought up in Pakistan. Therefore my reading and writing skills of the Urdu language are next to nill. I can get by…sometimes. I was learning with my kids up until grade 1. Then too many toddlers in the house and too many distractions and I fell behind. With each kid! Khair, now they ra in middle school and I don’t understand most of their stories, poems, and homework for urdu class. Now I have to constantly hear, “You don’t know what that means?!,” or “I can’t believe you don’t know this word!” It’s frankly embarrassing. All my fault for not trying to learn my native tongue sooner. And the kids telling me I don’t know simple things! Those innocent faces have a way to insult those who carried them for 9 months, went through pains to bring them into this world, and have been dealing with sleepless nights, vomiting, tantrums, etc. As Stephanie Tanner would say, “How Rude!”
The reality is, they are right. I don’t know the urdu language well. Therefore I can not help them with their urdu homework. (Has its perks! One less subject for me to worry about.)
I guess it’s an awesome feeling to know something your parent’s don’t, and to know it with ease. I should be a good mother and just be happy and brush it off and let them have the moment. I should, shouldn’t i?….hmmm… I’ll think about it…for next time.
I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I am also a firm believer in this quote, “Whenever you do not understand what’s happening in your life, just close your eyes, take a deep breath and say, ‘Ya Allah, I know this is your plan, just help me through it.’” I’m always praying for something. Usually wanting something or not wanting something to happen. Scholars say that when we are making dua, we are directly speaking with Allah swt, meaning prayer is a direct link between our Creator and us, his creation. He and us. He and me. Just the two of us. There is no reason for anyone to go in between us and pray for us, while we sit back and relax. I remember listing to a lecture by Mufti Menk. He was talking about how his little daughter would beg and beg for something she wanted. He had said that that was how we were supposed to pray. Allah is the one and only one who can either give us what we want, or not give us what we don’t want. Mufti Mehnk said to pray like you were a toddler; when they really want something, they cry, they are asking (or screaming in a toddler’s case) with all their heart. All because they really, really, want it. We should try to pray with our heart and mind together. With kids always calling for us, and chores to be done, sometimes our prayers and duas are just said automatically, with no feeling. We need to take a few minutes for ourselves. This will take time.
From my past experiences, I have learned a few things. There was once something that I didn’t want to happen. Everyone else was happy with it, but i had a tornado running inside me. I prayed and prayed for Allah swt to put it in everyones hearts that this wasn’t a good decision. I think weeks went by like this. Then one day, I felt I was being greedy and started praying that if this was good for me, to put it in my heart, and if this was bad for me, to put it in my parents heart. This went on for a few more weeks. Then one day, I just prayed for everything to go smoothly. I can honestly say, that that particular day, my heart felt at ease. I came to realize this was what was meant to be for me. I’ll share with you something. At that moment, when i cam to that realization, my brain was still screaming, “NO!, NO!” but my heart was saying, “be happy, this is good for you.” An ayah from the Quran comes to mind here. I can’t recall which one, but I remember a bit about the translation. It went something like this: Listen to your heart. It speaks subtly, softly. Your heart tells you what I want for you. It always will lead you to the right path. My path. Your heart is not influenced by anything, but me. Listen to it. Your brain is always influenced by society, culture, peer pressure. It will scream at you and confuse you. Your heart will not.
The thing is, one doesn’t usually pay much attention to the heart tugging at you to make a certain decision. We usually ignore it, for a while at times. It’s not easy, but we just have to be patient and one day, we will hear what Allah swt wants. We will feel it. It’s like weight being lifted from your shoulders. Sometimes it will be what you were praying for all along. And sometimes, it will be what you were praying to not happen. That’s my case 90% of the time. So far, whatever I was praying for was not meant to be for me. I guess I don’t know what is good for me yet. But it’s okay. I am learning over time. Allah swt knows what is good for me, so I’m in good hands.
Pray with your herat. Pray for it whenever it pops in your head. Just pray, say a few words to Him, it will bring some relief to your heart. Things will fall into place, and your heart will be at ease, and your brain will eventually stop screaming at your for thinking the worst.
What is best will always happen. We just need to be open to it and we will understand it and be okay with it. Inshallah.
Its that time of year where we are lurking around the corner to see who has the best lawn suit, unstitched or stitched. Pakistan has come a long way in the retail business. So many different brands, so many different colors, but, they seem to be all copying each other. I love the digital prints, but everyones designs seem to be blending together. They almost all look the same. Then you have the “zoo” obsession as one of my close friends from New York stated a few days ago in our whatsapp chat. I like many others, prefer not to wear anything with eyes on it. Some of the kurtas look amazing.
I’ve almost stopped breathing because I’m so excited to have found an amazing kurta, when low and behold, my eyes start to focus again, and there butterflies, flamingos, oriental people, parrots, birds, beetles, etc on it. Then I put it back with a heavy heart because I won’t wear anything that won’t allow me to pray wearing it. That means, “NO FACES PEOPLE!!!” They are everywhere! One has to be very careful in thoroughly searching the ENTIRE kurta/loose material, because you may not see it at first, but more than 75% of the time, SOMETHING IS LOOKING BACK AT YOU! I feel its best to bring someone along, since at first glance you over look it and get excited. You need someone to burst that bubble and bring you back to reality.
My post this week is about the lawn exhibitions. The private launches, the pre-launches. I feel depressed about this whole trend that seems to have caught on to every designer/textile house. When did it become okay to make us women act like animals grabbing suits like there was no tomorrow? When did it become okay to make us crazy with anticipation on getting to the shop early so we could run in and take hold of an outfit that we will happily wear only 1 season. What happened to printing out suits for the masses. We all wore them. Gul Ahmed, Al-Karam! They printed a design, sometimes in a few colours. One would be able go to Saleem Fabrics and decide which color and bring it home to shrink it and decide on how to get it stitched. You see, back then, we could have had the same design, but we always got it stitched differently. We were unique.
Now, the designs are printed once in bulk, laces, and millions of pieces are sold with it, but there is a catch. If you want to look amazing, you will have to put all those pieces together to copy the picture on the packet. We all look like copies of one another. Where is the fun in that. To top that off, they are costing a ridiculously steep price. Most women in Pakistan won’t be caught dead wearing it the following spring/summer season. It usually ends up going to the maid or worn when doing household chores that make you sweat.
I wish the designers would stop making us look like fools. They say we do it to ourselves. Yes, we do. But we are not only to blame. Everyone wants a nice outfit, everyone wants something different. The long lines at pre-launches is embarrassing. The salesmen won’t even show you the booklet until it’s your turn to buy. If you are going to the launch, most of the designers, friends of designers, bloggers, fashionistas and magazine reporters all are wearing their outfits of choice.
While the rest are waiting in line to get their fingers on one as well. I wish they would stop making us feel like if we don’t have that particular designer’s lawn outfit our wardrobe is not complete for the season. Abroad, its only couture which is not mass produced, which people hardly buy everyday. People are civilized when they are shopping for the new season. But here, it’s a different story.
I spend a lot of time with my daughters, which is an added perk of working from home. That said, most of these days what I don’t realize is that time is just passing by, I am there with them, but I am really not there. I am either watching TV (I’m a sucker for good TV shows.. sigh), or reading a book or (the worst) on my phone. Since they both are now more or less independent (one is 12 and the other one is 8) and don’t really need my company as such, I have also stepped aside and have started doing my thing. In a nutshell, I am usually only acting as their supervisor (telling them when to eat, do their homework, brush their teeth, etc.) and not really “in” the moment with them. Though when I really start thinking about it, what’s absolutely baffling is how fast time is passing me by!!
How these girls who don’t need their mommy to do most of their stuff now, were completely dependent on me at one point in their life! Don’t get me wrong, I do feel happy for this, and wish them all the happiness and success in the world… but at times, I also miss all those little moments when they were small. Cute times which are now a part of the past and well, no matter how much I want everything to freeze, time will go on and it should too! 🙂
It’s just that we being the forgetful human beings that we are usually don’t realize the speed of time when it’s silently going by us. And often suddenly get aware of the fact that we have wasted most of it caught up in a mind numbing daily routine. We get a glimpse of it each year at the New Year’s Eve when we realize how fast the year flies by us—and so we make new resolutions all over again which are then generally packed off for the next year, after a month or so. We don’t realize this most of the times, but we spend our lives exactly in the way that we spend most of our individual days. If there is something we cannot do today, chances are we won’t find the will to do it the next day as well. And sooner than we know, we are fifty and we don’t know where all our life went.
So keeping this in view, one of my New Year resolutions for this year was to spend some quality time with my girls on a daily basis— be it going on shopping with them or going to out to eat together. Things that we have just stopped doing together for reasons I don’t remember now. Perhaps we got a little too busy with life. I haven’t been doing as much as I would like to and a month has already passed, but hey, we still have the whole year ahead of us, don’t we! Keeping my fingers crossed.
I’ll definitely give you all a lowdown on how to spend some quality time with your kids once I figure out some sort of formula myself, but for the most part I’m sure it needs to come from the heart and it needs to be worked on. Keep watching this space for more!
So I know I published a post yesterday but just came across this amazing skin care routine that I thought i’d share with all you ladies out there. Seriously, it’s like a go to grid to attain that perfect skin that you’ve always wanted. Do check it out and if you can, try to stick as close to it as you can. I know I will! At least I’ll try. I hope.
I don’t know about you all, but I have been really negligent as far as proper skin care is concerned. And a good, healthy skin is all one needs. I don’t really care much about the hype around looking young, it’s looking healthy that counts the most I believe and a good skin regimen goes a long way in assuring that.
I’m sure we’ll be able to get most of the prescribed things from any major store around here. But even if we can’t find a couple out of all these, i’m sure the few that we will end up getting will be better than the nothing we usually use.