Hello TPT blog readers! I know it’s been a while since we wrote anything in the blog. I am sad that we neglected our first love and went the “fast and easy” route of social media to bring information and share our adventures. Nothing wrong with that, but The Pink Tarha website has been our first avenue in the world wide web and even though I made it a resolution a couple of times to be more active here, it didn’t happen. And then COVID-19 came along and we were asked to work from home. You’d think that spending most of our time at home will make us write in the blog more but no, our days were occupied with stressing about things, watching Netflix, and just sleeping. There’s no right or wrong on how you’re spending your days, by the way. You do you and there’s no explanation needed. This pandemic is changing our life and we should proceed with caution from now on.
With that said, I’m just going to pick up right where we left the site… lifestyle topics in Saudi Arabia. I’m here to write about my top 5 favorite things as of the moment. Even though worries occupy my time, I would like to think of good things and positivity (not from the virus) these days so I look at beautiful moments and things. I know, mababaw ba? Haha. We all need some time to just chill.
1. FOOD: Instant Ramen + Juices
Because I’ve been staying at home for most of the time since March, I got hooked on some Korean drama. Watching them occupied my time and I love their crime/suspense/mystery thrillers. If you’ve watched enough Korean series, you’ll notice that most of the characters EAT A LOT. And I would crave for the instant noodles they’re always eating in scenes. Therefore, I am thankful for the small Korean groceries in Riyadh that provide these food products. I love the different flavors of instant ramen/noodles that are available. Most of them are spicy but are very flavorful; they’re also very easy to prepare and cook. I love that it’s also very versatile. I can put whatever leftover I have like veggies and dumplings and egg to improve the instant ramen. So good!
I love iced cold drinks and when I’m not drinking soda, I’m drinking Almarai’s newest juice flavor: Pineapple, Orange and Grape. Personally, it’s my favorite now after they phased out Mixed Apple. It’s just very tasty; the mix of fruits in this drink is very good. I also discovered the Harvest Coconut Water in Aljazeera Supermarket one day. I’m so impressed that its flavor is clean and refreshing and without the after taste of some coconut water available in groceries here in Riyadh. The watermelon flavor is an added bonus because I love watermelon in general. Of course, I love these drinks with ICE. My husband and I go to Tamimi just to buy ice. Haha.
2. THINGS: Hobonichi Planner + Tombow Dual Brush Pens
I know that planners are probably the most useless thing that one can have this year. I mean, the virus threw all our plans into a loop and so what’s to plan for? Haha. But I am still thankful that I started a creative planner this year and that’s the Hobonichi Planner. I am not using it as a “planner” now but more of a creative journal where I unleash the creativity in me sometimes. I also pour my thoughts in my journal from time to time and it’s a great venue for me to just let all my thoughts out. The #TPTplannerlove in Instagram is a project I started in February and I am not that active in doing the IG TV for stuff that I use in my journal there now but hopefully, I’ll continue. I have some creative pages that I want to share and hopefully, some of you are also interested in sharing your pages.
I needed some materials for my planner and that’s when I discovered the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. I bought mine from Curio Art Supplies and I instantly fell in love with the pen and its different colors. The dual-end brush pen has a brush tip and a fine tip on another end. The brush tip works like a paintbrush while the fine tip gives consistent lines. They’re super blendable and easy-to-use. You’ll feel like an artist even though you’re just starting when you use them. I love how vivid the colors are and how I can use them to make my lettering more interesting. The colorless blender that is available from the line also helps in shading. You’ll see the Tombow in most of my journal pages.
3. APPS: Food Delivery Apps
Food delivery apps like Jahez, Hunger Station and The Chefz have been lifesavers for me and my husband during this pandemic. We haven’t gone out for the most part of our stay at home phase and my main worry during the first few weeks was what to eat, haha. I mean I cook from time to time but I haven’t cooked every day. I’m not the best cook and I only use recipes I find in the internet. Most of the dishes I do are edible and my husband eats them (forced to eat, more like it, haha). So on some days, I resort to food delivery apps to get our favorite fast food. Sometimes, I also use them to discover new restaurants, which I miss doing for The Pink Tarha. Through the app, we’ve tried dishes from Smokey Q Beard (soft, tender ribs yum!), Okto (Greek place in The Zone), Amai Bakery (Japanese bread) and more. The best part is we don’t have to go out. Of course we take precautions when receiving these packages. We haven’t had any major problems or delays in using these apps. You can also check out our column for DQ Living Magazine that talks about these apps further.
4. LIFESTYLE: Sleep Help
My sleeping pattern is whacked for four months now. I normally sleep between 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM, even during weekends. But when the pandemic started and we stayed at home, a pattern in my sleep became non-existent. Sometimes, I would sleep at dawn and then wake up at noon rendering most of my mornings useless and unproductive. Sometimes, I sleep around 6:00 PM and wake up at 10:00 PM. It came to a point that I just sleep when I feel like sleeping, whatever time it is. I was really having a hard time sleeping fast and so I resorted to 3 things: sound baths, aromatherapy oil, and room fragrance. Did they help? Yes, they did but by how much? I’m not sure. I use all three when I want to really force myself to sleep. Currently, I just find sound bath videos in Youtube. Then I use the Aura Cacia Relaxing Roll-On Oil (bought from iHerb) in my temples and wrists and Bath & Body Works’ Sleep Pillow Mist from their Aromatherapy line.
5. PLACE: Lakes Park
We recently discovered Lakes Park, a recently renovated park that is 45 minutes away from Riyadh center. Much like the wadi parks one can find in Riyadh, it features a man-made lake and picnic spaces. The lake has small waterfalls and the water is teeming with catfishes. They’re so huge and long! While the water appears to be murky, it must be good for the fishes. Haha. Having been copped up inside the house for 4 months already, I needed something that will refresh my thoughts and keep me calm. I’ve been dreading going out these days but I braved the road trip with my husband and our 2 friends and their child and it was worth it. The park is huge so there’s definitely social distancing there. And we had most of our spot to ourselves. There were some families having picnics too. The rushing sound of the water was good for my senses. However, because it’s summer, I suggest going there in the morning (like 5:00 AM) and leave by 8:00 AM or in the afternoon (4:30 PM) and leave by sunset.
So there you go, my favorites for the past few months. There are more, of course, but those are for another post, another time. It’s great to be here in the website again, Riyadhizens!