Great Things, With Love

Great Things, With Love

Friday, February 28, 2014

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts. They just sound bad. I was one of the lucky kids that never had to eat them growing up. My  mom never made them and I was happy because I always heard how horrible they were from kids in school. As an adult I was intrigued to give them a try. They looked really cool and I always saw them being served at Whole Foods. Seriously, how bad could they be? Finally gave them a try and immediately loved them. They are mini cabbages, and I happen to love cabbage. Can't believe I went so long without eating them. This vegetable is so good for you. It's filled with vitamin A, vitamin C (way more than an orange), vitamin K, and also folic acid, beta carotene (great for skin and eye health), iron, and fiber. Good stuff. I knew I had to incorporate this awesome veggie into my families diet. But remembering all those horrible rumors about the poor vegetable made it a challenge for me to make my family like it. Here's how I kept Brussel sprouts on our weekly menu.

Garlic and Sesame Baked Brussel Sprouts 

Brussel sprouts
Garlic and ginger paste
Sea salt
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Soy Sauce
Chili powder
Olive oil


Wash and cut off ends of Brussel sprouts. Remove any bad looking leaves. 

Combine all ingredients based on how much your taste buds desire. Liquid ingredients should be enough to coat a nice sauce over the Brussel sprouts before and during cooking. The sauce may dry up once sprouts are broiled. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and broil until caramelized and crispy on top ( 1-2 minutes keeping an eye on them, they burn fast).
Serve as a side dish or even on its own as a great snack. 

As good as they looked, I was still nervous to see if Brussel sprouts would be a winner with my family. Surely enough, they were a hit. Their favorite part? The crispy layers. Definitely give this nutritious vegetable a try. Trust me, they aren't anything close to those nasty rumors. ;) 


♡ Nausheen

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Laundry List

Laundry, my most hated chore. As many of my friends know, I am the queen of putting off laundry for as long as I can. I have baskets full of dirty clothes neatly stacked in my closet, and sometimes you'll even find a basket or two with folded clean clothes that just never got put away. Maybe it's the kids distracting me, or the day just not having enough hours in it, or maybe it's that habit of procrastination that lingered with me from high school. Except now I use it on laundry rather than writing my essay papers for English class. Whatever the case may be, I'm horrible at keeping up with it. I know many tricks and tips to tackle the chore and remove the most toughest stains ... but when it comes to keeping up with it, I'm probably the worst.
No problem, the new year calls for new habits. A great time to make good changes in your life.  I've researched great ways for us all to get this dreaded chore done and get it done right. This year will be the year I keep up with laundry!

Tips To An Organized Laundry Experience

Tip #1:  Separate clothes not only by colors, but by fabric. Also, by how much the article is soiled. Heavily soiled items should be washed separately.  All delicate items should be divided into two washes. All undergarments in one wash, and all other delicate items such as; sheer blouses, skirts, and wool cardigans etc. in another. I suggest hand washing color bleeding fabrics in the sink with cold water and mild detergent. Towels should be washed in it's own load as well as bedding. Remember to color sort just like with clothing.
Tip #2:  Make sure to zip up any open zippers and button up buttons. This will help keep other items from getting damaged in the wash.  Also, make sure to tie any drawstrings securely so you won't have to worry about it winding around the washing machine and the clothes.
Tip #3:  It's a good idea to wash children's clothing in hot water rather than cold water. I know that sounds crazy, because everyone knows that hot water tends to shrink clothing. But research shows that hot water kills bacteria and germs and those two things linger around kids especially around flu season. When infants soil their clothing with vomit or poop, its probably smartest to use the hot water setting to get rid of any germs.
Tip #4: Never over stuff a washing machine or dryer. This may seem like it will get the job done faster, but truth is, your clothes probably aren't getting washed properly. You have to make sure there is enough space in the washing machine for all of the clothes to toss and tumble and get the soap and water in between to get them as clean as possible. Same goes for the dryer. Hot air needs to be able to get through all those clothes for them to dry, so you need to give room for the clothes to tumble around.
Tip #5: Never wash less than 7 to 10 articles of clothing in your washing machine. If you have one or two things to wash, use the bathroom sink and a little bit of detergent. Not having enough clothing in the washing machine can really set the balance off and effect the spin, causing the machine problems in the long run. There needs to be enough weight in the machine for the spin cycle to work properly. Plus, what a waste of electricity and water.
Tip #6:  It's a good idea to keep a list of common stain removers and the products you need to remove them, hung up in your laundry room so you can treat the stain before washing. Having an organized and fully stocked laundry room calls for an easy laundry experience. 
Tip #7: (Got this one online and loved it.) Keep a dry erase marker in the laundry room so you can keep track of clothing that needs to be hung dry, so you remember not to throw it in the dryer with everything else. Simply write it on top of the washing machine when you put the load in, and wipe it right off once your done. No more shrinking your favorite blouse! 
Tip # 8: Don't use too much laundry detergent. You would think that the more you use the better it will clean. Not true. Using too much laundry detergent causes build up on your clothes leaving a film. It can also cause skin irritation. Not to mention, it will also build up in your machine and cause it problems.  Less is more when it comes to detergent. Same goes for fabric softener.  Ever take towels out of the dryer and they have sort of a filmy feel? that's from using too much product.
Tip #9: Fold your clothes right when they come out of the dryer. (this is a tough one ...especially for me.) If you wait too long to fold, the wrinkles will set and you will have to iron them.  Take the basket in the living room and put a movie on for the kids while you fold away. The key is, not to put it off ... or it'll never get done. I know we can do this!! ;) Also, keep an iron and ironing board in the laundry room so you can iron anything that needs to be ironed right then and there.
Tip #10: Put the clothes, sheets, and anything you washed and dried away right when you are done folding them. Leaving them folded in the baskets until later will probably keep them there for a long time. Plus this leaves a greater chance for one of the kids to get into them and mess up all your hard work. This last step of laundry is the most crucial because it will complete the whole chore.

Laundry used to be easy when it was just mine and my husbands. Even adding an extra load from our first born was not that bad. But now, adding extra loads from my other two little ones, plus sheets and towels makes it pretty tough for me to keep up with it. But now that I've blogged about it, I guess it's sort of a promise to you and me to make this new change in my life.  Wish me luck my readers! ;) And I hope these tips help you next time you have a load or two to do! ;)

♡ Nausheen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Perfect Accessory

I recently found this beautiful necklace at Francesca's. When I saw it I was in awe at the beautiful beading and elegant design. The fact that it had all my favorite colors in it had me in love. It reminded me of Indian royalty. This necklace was definitely coming  home with me. 

Rich colors that work well with almost anything. I see myself wearing this piece all year round, day or evening. 

A perfect accessory for any plain top. 

Necklace: Francesca's
High- Lo Top: Gabriella Rocha

♥ Nausheen

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Recipe for Comfort

Lately all we've been dealing with is freezing weather. I don't mind it too much because freezing weather calls for cozy blankets and comforting food. Fried chicken, one of my favorites of the comfort food category.  I put a twist on it not too long ago and my family was begging for more. Try this recipe next time the weather is cold and you're in the mood for comforting food. Cozy up on the couch and enjoy it while watching a good movie. Winter nights just got better. ;)

Shake N' Bake Fried Chicken

Follow the Kraft Shake N' Bake recipe for bone in chicken. I usually season my chicken with a little salt, chili powder, garlic ginger paste, and turmeric powder. But you can leave the chicken unseasoned if you would like. The mix is tasty as it is, but I like extra flavor. After baking the chicken as the box says, heat a good amount of oil in a pan. You can also use a deep fryer. Drop a few pieces of chicken in the heated oil at a time and fry until golden brown and crispy. Let the chicken sit on a plate lined with paper towel until the chicken has stopped cooking and most of the oil is absorbed by the towel. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy! 

♥ Nausheen

Friday, February 7, 2014

Outfit of the Week

Online shopping. How amazing is this tool? So convenient, so easy, and kind of addicting. Being able to shop in the comfort of your home is just brilliant. And the feeling of receiving packages at your doorstep is something I just can't explain. I love everything about the whole online shopping experience. I just ordered a really cute shirt dress and I can't wait until it gets here so I can pair it with the things I already have at home. It's still too cold outside for this ensemble, so I might have to wait to actually wear it.

This shirt dress is a perfect piece for the Spring season that's coming up. And it will transition into Summer with ease. I  just love the sheer fabric and the vibrant colors , and that's exactly what warm weather is all about. The bow tie collar is the perfect touch of elegance. You can wear this so many ways; jeans, leggings, with heels, or flats. Dress it up or down. This is going to be a great piece to add to my wardrobe. I'm waiting anxiously for it's arrival. ;) 

Although, the shirt dress is a dress, I'm planning to pair it with these dark washed flare jeans. I love the length of this jean and also the pocket detailing on the front. If you've been following my blog, you know most of the jeans I wear are from New York & Company. I'm a big fan of their jeans. Not only are they comfortable, but they fit really well and it's easy to find your size. To make them even better, they are very affordable and if you sign up for their emails, you'll always receive great deals. 

I don't know what it is with me and pink/magenta shoes. You should have seen my face when I saw these Joan & David heels. Love the little flower on top and the suede leather material.  As fabulous as these shoes are, I can only wear them for two hours max. But that's ok, I still love them. And they are a must in my closet. 

Shirt dress: Freeway
Flare jeans: New York & Company
Shoes: Joan & David 

Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend. 

♡ Nausheen

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The 100 Calorie Burn

I don't know about you guys, but I rarely get a chance to hit the gym. Even putting on a workout DVD is a tough job for me. It's pretty hard for me to keep up with long workout routines while the kids are awake. And once they are in bed and I finally have the time, I just don't have the energy. It's important to keep your body active and get your heart rate pumping. Not only does a workout out burn those unwanted calories, but it also releases those feel good endorphins we need to conquer our days. If I didn't cherish sleep, I'd try and hit the gym as early as 6am before my kids woke up. But I don't think I'll ever be one of those people. I try to get in spurts of exercise where I can throughout my day. Whether it's squats while blow drying my hair, or lifting my youngest up and down 20 times to workout my arms, or sets of 100 jumping jacks randomly throughout the day. As silly as that sounds, it truly helps, because believe it or not, those small spurts of workouts gets my heart rate going and gives me the energy I need. A very close friend of mine recently texted me a very helpful tool that I'm adding to my silly workout routine. Its a quick way to  burn 100 calories. All you need to do is this simple workout once throughout your day and you'll be set. I'm certain it will give me the energy I need and burn the calories I don't, until I find the time to go to a gym for a traditional workout. Try it out if your having trouble finding the time to workout. Remember, a little exercise is better than no exercise.

♥ Nausheen 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Perfect Snack

Some of my most tastiest dishes get created when I can't find anything to eat. That sounds crazy, but it's true. It was the late afternoon and I was hungry for a snack, something Indian. Here's what I did with a can of garbanzo beans and half a package of paneer (Indian style cheese, similar to tofu) I happened to find in my kitchen. 

Thawed paneer cut in large cubes
1 can of garbanzo beans drained
Salt -as desired
Chili powder -as desired
Shaan Chaana Masala Spice Mix  (available at any Indian grocery store) -1/2 teaspoon
Garlic and ginger paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon juice - half a cap full
Cilantro - half cup chopped
Oil enough to fry

In a large bowl combine paneer with salt, chili powder, and garlic ginger paste. Gently mix without breaking  the paneer.  In a separate bowl, combine drained garbanzo beans, lemon juice, salt, chili powder, and the Shaan masala spice. Mix well. Heat a large frying pan with oil. When oil is hot, slowly add paneer and fry until golden brown, then add the garbanzo beans. Fry until beans are a dark golden brown. Add in chopped cilantro and stir until everything is well combined. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let most of the oil soak up in the towel. Then remove to a different dish when you are ready to serve.

This was a quick, simple, and tasty snack that was very satisfying. It is the perfect Indian snack to have anytime of the day.


♥ Nausheen

Outfit of the Week

Date night. Seems like such a rare and special occasion once you have kids. My husband and I would go out all the time before we had three. Now, we usually prefer ordering a movie and watching it on our couch while sharing ice cream. Nothing like the comfort of your own home. Especially when it's finally quiet because the kids are fast asleep. But sometimes it's nice to dress up and go somewhere fancy, or just catch a movie on the big screen. Here's what I wore on our date night.

We were going out for dinner and a movie, so I was going for the night time casual look. Black jeggings, and a white fitted t-shirt under a dressy sweater felt right. I paired the look with black leather booties and a black leather purse and I was all set.

Micheal Kors leather purse, Nine West wedged booties

White t-shirt -Target, sweater- H&M

Hope you all had a wonderful Friday night.

<3 Nausheen