Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Part 1, Complete!

*Warning! I realized after writing this that it has tons of food references so if you're fasting, you should probably avoid this post until after Iftaar :)*

Ramadan Mubarak! :) The first third of summer is done and the second third will now be full of fasting, family, and other activities. Normally my summer is about 2 months long, but this year with the transition to university I'm looking at about 2 months still left in my vacation!

The first month or so that has passed could probably be classified as relaxing and full of family time. I got to spend lots of time with my sister's son. I *think* he likes me :p It's fun because he's only 8-9 months old so he's slowly learning to do things like crawl, stand up, and walk soon Inshallah! Seeing his skill set grow is very cool. He also makes the cutest faces that can brighten up anyones day!

He didn't own any shoes until recently so I convinced my sister to buy these! Aren't they adorable? He's not always a fan of wearing them but at least he doesn't have to be barefoot in formal events now :p
Along with hanging out with the baby nephew, I've obviously been spending a lot of time with my sister who is here for a while. We went shopping a few times, as well as eating out or just grabbing a McDonald's Mocha Frappe on our way back from something. It was funny because the days before Ramadan my sister really wanted to make sure we enjoyed our last few days of eating out for a while, so we had Taco Bell and pizza and Mocha Frappes! :)

My favorite Pesto Cavatappi from Noodles and Company! We discovered this day that the Green Fanta is REALLY good. :)

So much starbucks! I'm not actually a huge Starbucks fan, but this is from when I went to Orientation for college and all of us group of friends got some Starbucks.

The fun thing about summer is that you can experiment and have fun with home eating too. I've been drinking TONS of Tapal Jasmine Green Tea! I don't know why I became a Green Tea fan but I'm pretty sure I've had more of it this summer than just plain chai.
Mango Milkshake/Lassi sorta! First time making it so it wasn't amazing (very cold!) but still pretty good.
One thing we've done for years now is make Strawberry Banana smoothies whenever strawberries come into season. I think we started doing that because we got a blender which came with a ton of smoothie recipes so we thought we'd try one and this one really clicked. We've perfected the recipe for our tastes over the years so it normally is really good!

Two big cups of halved strawberries, 2 bananas, milk covering the two, 2-3 generous scoops of vanilla or strawberry ice cream, a cup of ice, 2+ big spoons of sugar, and you have a really good Strawberry Banana smoothie!

I also remembered a few weeks ago that there was still Almond Bark in the closet from when I made Oreo Cookie balls. So I melted a piece and had chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, and apples! It was sooo good :) Who needs a chocolate fountain? haha

This June also had TONS of weddings. My sister was joking that there were no unmarried people left in or our state. :P We went to several of the weddings and had fun seeing the different combinations of American and South Asian traditions. I feel like every desi wedding here has at least some American wedding part in it, whether it was 'bridesmaids' or assigned seats. It's also a lot harder to maintain some simple traditions, like rose necklaces (which have to be made by hand; most people just sew together roses instead of rose petals). But in the end getting to see months of planning being put together is always fun. :)
Pretty centerpieces!

One of the weddings was my best friend's sister. So my sister did her sister's henna, and I did my friend's! (This is one of the designs I did)

My sister's amazing henna/mehndi! 

The thing we've done least this summer is take walks around our neighborhood. But the weather has still been quite beautiful so when one of the parties we went to was at our local community center/mosque, my sister and I took a bit to go outside and swing on their swingsets. :P
Swinging awayyy :)
There's kind of this joke among my family because when I was younger I really wanted a swing set. But my dad refused because he said I'd only use it for a few years before growing out of it. Plus all my siblings were way past swingset age so it wasn't like I had younger siblings who would use it. But now I always joke that I would *still* use the swingset and I still love swinging. :) Which is true...I'd be fine with an "adult" porch swing too though :p

Silverware dispenser at my college that I was very amused by :p

And that's been my summer so far! :) I had Orientation last week so the past week has been a lot trying to tweak my fall class schedule and not drive my crazy over it.

Listing out med school requirements, major requirements, AP class credits

I wish the following month of Ramadan is full of blessings for all of you! Inshallah may we all find peace and guidance in this month. I also hope all your fasts are easy yet rewarding during the hot summer months! :)

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