The end of the year is near, and my last post was exactly 3 months ago! I’ve thought about blogging lots of time, I even penned one or two drafts of posts but then never got around to posting them.
To be honest, I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to this blog. I started this blog in the summer of 2011, more than 7 years ago (!!!!) as an assignment for one of my classes in my book publishing program. It followed me on my journey to my internship, working at Chapters, year at teacher’s college, and then the first few years when I got married. The focus has been pretty much the same, with a few slight deviations: writing, books, recipes, and general musings.
But after becoming a mom, is this blog supposed to morph into a mom blog? ‘Mom blogs’ have a bad reputation on the internet and are often mocked, and so I’ve struggled with writing too many ‘mom’ related posts. Who wants to hear about how my toddler still doesn’t sleep through the night for the millionth time? No one, probably.
This is one of the reasons why I’ve stayed away. My life consists of temper tantrums, a daily routine of meals and a nap, bath time, visits to the library, and poopy diapers. Gone are the days where I had time to make and photograph new recipes to share with you guys, or even read a book in a timely manner and post a review. I’m so tired most days that my brain feels fried by the end. I barely read anymore and have to admit that I have become someone who zones out in front of the Netflix screen before finally passing out ten minutes later. Who have I become?
With that being said, mom life is definitely not very glamorous or even Instagramable. But this blog has followed me along so many different stages of my life, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t now. I’m not going to call it a mom blog, but it’s a blog about me, and I’m a mom. So that’s that.
The main reason I haven’t been able to blog is because I’ve been doing writing of a different kind for the past 3 months. I’ve started writing a new story! I’ve been working on it roughly for the past year and a half, since Emaan was born (more off than on), but back in September I made some goals to start working on it seriously. I’m proud to say that I’ve been keeping up with my goal of writing 1000 words a day.
My original goal for this story was 60,000 words, just to see how long it would take me to get there and I made it to 60k in 3 months, alhamdulilah. Of course I’m actually nowhere near done, and will probably need to go to 100,000 or even 110,000 before the story is complete. It sounds like a lot, but it’s just my process. I write and write and write, and get all my ideas out, and then I edit and cut it down. I did the same with Aisha; it was also around 110k, and then I cut it down to 80k, so my hope is that I’m able to do the same for this one.
It’s been 3 crazy months of pumping out words, and I’ve been able to go on for so long because I haven’t let myself think about things too much. Every afternoon, when my daughter goes down for her nap, I literally just pump out as many words as I can, forcing myself not to stop and think too much. The more I think, the more I get bogged down by my thoughts and that’s when writer’s block takes over in full force. It’s been hard though because my daughter isn’t a good sleeper (never has been). She’s down to one nap in the day, and it’s the time when I sit down to write. But since she wakes up multiple times, there have been days where I haven’t gotten much done and the day feels like a waste. But then there are days I have been feeling so inspired that I’ve pumped out 2000 words in 45 minutes. Each day is different.
I’ve been writing like crazy for the past 3 months that now my brain feels fried out. In the beginning, I was super motivated and would write in both the afternoon and then at night too. But then, my sleepless nights started catching up with me and my tiredness took over. Now, I feel like I don’t have any creativity or energy left to give at the end of the day. But that tiredness at night has transferred to the day time and it feels like my words have dried up. So I’m in a bit of a writing slump right now, which is why I decided to do some writing of a different kind, in hopes that I’ll feel inspired soon.
So in other news, I’ve been on a crazy diet for the past month and a bit. I’ve been dieting on and off ever since Emaan was born but recently my weight spiralled out of control as I started stress eating again. Sleepless nights started taking a toll on me and I ate my feelings in the form of cookies, brownies, cake, ice cream, French toast for breakfast and everything in between. So I decided to go on a strict diet and cut out sugar and carbs completely.
To be honest, I was hoping for a more dramatic weight loss but so far I’ve only lost 5 pounds. It’s definitely been a struggle because when I get stressed out and tired, I still want to reach for that cookie or chocolate but I have to try so hard not to. My goal of losing 20 lbs is greater than my desire for any dessert these days and that’s what’s keeping me going so far.
I’m not going to lie, I have slipped up a few times but not as crazily as I used to in the past. I tighten my resolve and keep going, even if I slipped up. My new goal is not to eat any sugar or carbs until my next cheat day which will be at the end of December, I’ve decided.
But with such a crazy diet, it was obvious that I was going to miss baking since it’s a therapeutic activity for me. The first few weeks, I abandoned it completely but then couldn’t resist any longer. So basically I decided to torture myself as I tried out some new recipes but told myself I couldn’t have them.
So these days I only bake for occasions. Like I made these Spritz butter cookies for my husband’s work as an end of year treat. I’ve been seeing Spritz cookies all over the internet for years but never knew how they got their shape! I invested in a cookie press a few months ago and finally got around to learning how to use it and I have to say it is so easy! The first time around I made them plain and dipped some in chocolate and sprinkles. But this time I tried out a bunch of holiday shapes and will be doing some chocolate and sprinkles again. If only all cookies were this easy to make!
When my uncle came over one day, I made these cream puffs aka choux pastry. I can’t wait to share the recipe with you! I also made eclairs, which are cream puffs’ sister (in my mind since they’re made from the same choux pastry), but they didn’t puff as much as they were suppose to. Definitely going to try those again soon!
Lastly, I made these Oreo bottom cheesecake cupcakes. I followed the same recipe as my regular mini cheesecakes, except I was feeling lazy and stuck an Oreo cookie at the bottom for the crust. 😛 I was feeling creative so I whipped up a small batch of chocolate ganache and poured it on top of the cooled cheesecakes and let them set for the required time. The result was amazing. The chocolate definitely added another level of richness onto the plain cheesecakes. The cheesecakes had sunk a little bit in the centre so when I poured the ganache, it pooled in the centre and created a thick layer of chocolate in the centre that looked so delicious.
I’ve been having a lot of fun trying new recipes. I haven’t had a chance to photograph most of them, but I’m still having fun making them. Hopefully I’ll become better at making them and can photograph them at some point in the future when my toddler isn’t so wild. 😀
Speaking of my toddler, Emaan will be 20 months at the end of this month. As soon as the new year hits, it’ll be 4 more months till she’s 2! I can’t believe she’ll be 2 next year, it seems so wild, like something I’m daydreaming about. I know it sounds cliche but it honestly feels like she was just born yesterday, and now she’s almost 2. Where is time going?
These days, Miss Emaan is picking up words at the speed of light! We say something once and she repeats it right away. She doesn’t always repeat them after that, but she definitely tries the word out and says it right away, especially if it’s a new word. I’ve been trying to teach her the alphabet but it’s been tricky.
She has always been a rambunctious baby, but she’s an even more rambunctious toddler! Emaan doesn’t like to sit still (and rarely does). She’s a bit of a daredevil the way she climbs up on furniture fearlessly, with no care for the consequences. She loves playing with water, wants to see what’s happening at adult level and demands to be picked up. She loves books and being read to, and asks for her favourites to be reread by saying ‘Mo?’ aka more. She wasn’t affectionate before, but now has become super affectionate as she loves coming up to me and hugging my legs and kissing me. The past 2 mornings I’ve woken up to kisses on my face. it’s the sweetest thing ever! I hope this affectionate phase never ends. <3
Anyway, that’s a little update on what I’ve been up to. This post has become longer than necessary so I better end it here!
Hope you’re all well!
Thanks for reading,