Thursday, 7 May 2015

Lemon Tart

Hey all!

I haven't been posting much (what with all this stress) recently although I have been baking quite a bit. I just realized - I haven't shared a recipe in so long! Just guitar tabs and basically apologies... sorry.

It's pretty widely known that the most preferred flavor in the world is chocolate. I will have to admit, I'm not a huge fan. I love a moderate amount, but unless it's 85% cocoa - no thank you. Vanilla is next, followed by strawberry and - you guessed it - lemon. It's a lovely, refreshing flavor, tangy and sweet. In most lemon recipes such as lemon meringue pie or lemon squares, you must first make a lemon curd, a thick custard made with egg yolk, flour, sugar, and lemon juice as its key ingredients. The same thing applies to this rich, decadent lemon tart.


For the lemon curd:
Juice of 3 lemons
Grated rind of 1 lemon
5 tbsp cornflour
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter

For the shortbread crust:
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour


To make the curd:
  1. Blend the lemon juice and cornflour with a small whisk. Pour into a saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil, stirring with a whisk until thickened.
  2. Remove from the heat and beat in the sugar, lemon rind and egg yolks. Blend in the butter. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.
To make the crust:
  1. Combine butter, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer; mix ingredients thoroughly with a paddle attachment. Mix flour into butter mixture to make a smooth dough. Press dough into a 9-inch tart pan; refrigerate crust for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Bake crust until light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
To assemble:
  1. Pour the lemon curd into the pie case. 
  2. Bake at the same temperature for about 20 minutes or until the filling is set. Let cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.

Have fun!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

My April Fool's Day Pranks!

Hey all!

As I said I would yesterday, I have pranked, pranked, and pranked! I swear it was hilarious. None of my pranks failed their purposes, and I also got pranked once by my friends and supervisor that I was getting detention... and there was also an emotional moment between me and my 'sister'* Mahnoor C. (Beauty) which I really don't want to reenact. We also planned on making camp in the girls' bathrooms, which was a disgusting conversation.

Well, that escalated quickly.

Anyway, here are top five the pranks me and my friends played today from minor to major!

5. Yes, That Was A Lame Card
In this prank I made April Fools cards for Imran and Anusha with the most random things written in them.
This was Anusha's:
(you obviously love Oreos.)

And Imran's:

If you're reading this, you're spitting at a 
gorilla's face and getting engaged to a 
pineapple coconut. Merry Christmas and 
happy 91st anniversary! 

I have absolutely no regrets.

4. Holy Crap!
Allow me to go Honor style. last night, I ripped up an empty cardboard toilet paper roll and squashed it into a poo shape (am I keeping it G-rated?), and today put it on Anusha's chair. Apparently someone told her, and she put on my chair. I threw it at her, and Hammad grabbed the remains, shaped them, and chucked it under Sheryar's desk. Everyone believed it was real poo!

Entire class: *Laughs heads off*
Ranea: LOL.
Hammad: It's flying poo of the gods!
Zoya: It's holy crap!!
Hammad: *snorts*

Ahh, good times...

3. Has My Seat Changed?!
Oh, no, it hasn't - but your face has.
On our seating plans, we have our names under a picture of us in a specific place showing our seat positions. I didn't want to go so far as to actually change the positions, but...

I swear me and Rubab spent three days on this. 

And... don't ask what I am... (Zeus with a Katniss face...)

2. Ripped.
I was really looking forward to doing this one, and even though my family thought it wouldn't work, we pulled it off beautifully. For this trick, you might have to refer to the seating plan above to see how we put everything in order.
All you need for this is a piece of fabric and a rupee bill. I'll tell you the whole story...

Since April Fool's Day was on Wednesday, we were in luck because we had two days to get everything ready and inform everyone - except Sheryar. I told the girls and Hammad, who passed it on to the boys, and even got suggestions from some of them. On Wednesday, I came to school early, slipped the seating plan into place, and planned out the rest.

We were to give the piece of fabric to Imran, who sat behind Sheryar (refer to seating plan), and drop a 100 rupee bill on the floor next to his desk. Someone would say, "I think I dropped my money on the floor... does anyone see it?" and Sheryar being stupid as Sheryar would bend down to pick it up - and Imran would rip the fabric. Everyone behind him would laugh, and when he would say,"What happened?" they would yell, "Sheryar ripped his pants!"

What really happened? Sheryar started shadow teaching.

Hammad: (mouthing) NOW WHAT?!
Zoya: (also mouthing) I DON'T KNOW! GET SOMEONE ELSE TO TEACH?
Rubab: (still mouthing) WE CAN'T, BUT ZOYA CAN! SHE'S THE TEACHER'S PET!
Hammad: EXACTLY!
Zoya: *groans and raises hand*

That was our mouthing conversation.
I told Mrs. Hassan about the prank - and she agreed! I don't know how, but she did! She asked Sheryar to sit down and Anusha started teaching instead.

When Sheryar sat down, the rest was up to Imran. Then I remembered, we didn't tell anyone to say that they had dropped the money! Imran, however, knew exactly what he had to do and tapped Sheryar on the shoulder and said, pointing to the money next to Sheryar's desk, "Sheryar, I dropped my money there, can you pick it up?"
"Sure," Sheryar said, bending over, and-
Imran ripped the fabric.

I swear Sheryar believed his pants were actually ripped for the whole period. I was also called a genius by many classmates.
Credit for the money goes to Mahnoor C.
Credit for improvising goes to Imran.

1. "I'm a Pretty Fairy Princess!"
Oh no. Oh heck, no. This was THE prank, the one of revenge.

I hadn't planned this one beforehand, but it was definitely good fortune that I shoved a small phial of silver glitter into my prank bag before running out the house that morning. In the first break, I asked Imran to fill Hammad's French books with the glitter even though a) French was the last period and b) I wasn't in his French class.

I also put a glitter bomb on his desk when nobody was looking, and he was stupid enough to open it.

I mean, it's April 1st, you get a package on your desk and you're like, "Oh, hey, what's this? Maybe it's candy!" and then open the damned thing. Let's hear the applause!

So apparently he opened the bomb and the French books both in his break, and got covered with glitter. We saw him running around completely wet and covered with glitter. He tried to take it off!

I didn't stop there, though... I may or may not have put MORE glitter in his French books... and his teacher may or may not have told him to open the exact same page... *evil laugh*

There you have them - my top five pranks for April Fools! Hope you enjoyed them!

Zoya <3

*Mahnoor C, my 'sister'; we both took the demigod quiz and I got Zeus and Apollo (weirdest combination ever) and she got Apollo. Also, recall that in last year's English Drama, I was Honor and Mahnoor was Honor's sister, Beauty. Fate much?!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Oh HI!

Hey all!

So I'm at school right now, planning jokes with my best friends for tomorrow - April 1st! I can't wait! Happy April Fool's eve, and I'll post all my 13 tricks tomorrow!

Stay awesome <3
Zoya :)
Choueifat is life <3

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

What's On My Playlist?

Hey all!

You guys all know how much I love music so much! I can't live without music, I have to have it every day or I'll just die. I play the guitar (and am going to larn the piano too! Yay!) and love to replicate any song I can with my electric and acoustic, be the song pop, rock, country (favorite: pop-country <3), or anything else and I always share new tabs with you.

One of my favorite things to do during the stress of the exam season is to go upstairs, lock the door to my room, open up my algebra book and notebook, and turn on some of my favorite songs. This helps steady and calm my train of thought and solving those equations come easy to me. I use quiet music when I need to memorize something, medium-loud studying math ONLY, and loud during study breaks.

Today I'm sharing with you some - not all, because that'd take four hours - of my playlist and how to order them if you're studying these days like me. You'll find your results going up in no time!
Also, if you don't like this type of music, try finding something similar. Everyone has their own
choice, after all!

1. I Want You To Know (ft. Selena Gomez) by Zedd

I love this song so much! It was released on the 23rd of Februrary this year and my whole family fell in love with it instantly (which is rare). I love Selena, and Zedd, and Zeddlena!
Another thing I admire about this song is the cover image; it's beautiful, artistic, and dramatic.

2. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

This one is just beautiful. It's kind of serious, but I still love it. I don't think there's much more to say. It's simple, sweet, casual, and all in all beautiful.

3. How You Get The Girl by Taylor Swift

1989 is forever! Personally, I think this one, Style, Welcome to New York, and Wildest Dreams are the best ones on the album. The whole thing is so different from her other songs, it's kinda surprising. The Polaroid covers are the best part tho :)

4. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's

This one may be old, but it's still amazing. Old is gold, right?

5. Enchanted by Taylor Swift

I couldn't live with myself without listing at least ONE of T-Swift's oldies, especially this one. The lines in this are so cliché, just like Love Story, Mine, or If This Was A Movie, but they're... well... enchanting!

6. Black Widow (ft. Rita Ora) by Iggy Azalea

"I'm gonna love ya
Gonna love ya
Gonna love ya
Gonna love ya
Like a black widow, baby"

I'm sorry, but I had to do that. It's so catchy! I love it!

7. Uptown Funk! (ft. Bruno Mars) by Mark Ronson

THIS SONG. I absolutely, positively, from the deepest chasms of my heart. HATE Bruno Mars - but I absolutely, positively, from the deepest chasms of my heart, LOVE this song. It's so catchy and the beat is amazing and reminds me more of 1989 than T.S. 1989. Honestly! Personal opinion! Don't believe me, just watch...

8. Firework by Katy Perry.

This song is beautiful, inspiring, and lifts my spirits. Had a bad day at school? Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/ drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Perry contradicts bad feelings, regrets, doubts, and hard times with baby, you're a firework!/ C'mon show 'em what you're worth!/ I love it and have loved it for years.

9. Yellow by Coldplay

Me and my mother differ on many things, but not on this! We both love the poetic lyrics and dreamy music in the song and it will forever be in our playlists.

10. Sick of You by Selena Gomez

Oh Selena, what have you done to us?! Why are you giving us such relatable and fun songs to be our go-to's every day? I am officially obsessed with this one, even if it's just because of how much I can relate!

11. My Dilemma by Selena Gomez

"Queen Selena," I quote from my friend Serena (Serena, Selena, huh). The queen strikes yet again with a number bound to turn you upside down, as it did me and Serena. Also recommended my the two of us: I Promise You, also a gift from the queen.

12. A Little Bit of Your Heart by Ariana Grande

I swear I've been quoting this song for the past three days. It's almost as relatable as SG, and Ariana's voice is so powerful and filled with emotion it makes your heart vibrate - at least for me and Serena.

13. Boom Clap (from The Fault In Our Stars) by Charli XCX

This one is another favorite of le Serena, as she is obsessed with TFIOS. I haven't seen it or read the book, but the plot seems pretty interesting and I might read it after I finish Allegient and Heroes of Olympus so... yeah.

14. Find You (ft. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant) by Zedd

Here goes my love for Zedd's music yet again. This one is a Divergent soundtrack -  I mean, Zedd + Divergent = a happy me. I fell in love instantly with the books (even though I'll admit, Tris made me a little quite frustrated... not gonna spoil it for you though..); I love the plot, the difference, and the 'Hunger Games-yness', so to speak, and this song is a perfect description of Four to Tris -  it's just amazing.

15. Clarity (ft. Foxes) by Zedd

Zedd again! Clarity is quite a popular song, and I can understand why - the electonic music contrasts with the powerful voice and creates a perfect, clear (ha) melody that sticks in your mind and makes you wonder around the lyrics and the very meaning of the song. Another thing I love is the song cover - it uses my favorite colors! <3

16. Royals by Lorde

This is one of those songs me and my friend Mahnoor C. (previously Beauty, if you recall) have singalongs to randomly in class, attracting weird looks from our seat partners and the occasional laugh of a teacher. I like that the music is simple, and concentrates more on the layers of choir versus actual instruments. It's catchy, and also kinda retro.

17. Perfect Together by Rosanna Pansino & Kurt Schneider

This one isn't really very well-known, but it's so cute! YouTuber Rosanna Pansino, host of Nerdy Nummies, has an amazing voice and a talent for, well, putting food into music.

18. Charmer by Kings of Leon

I grew up in a Kings of Leon house. No, really! The only music was my mom's old tunes and my sisters' metal/rock, neither of which I could really grow into. As a result, I became a Selenator, a Katycat and a Zedd fan. Electronic and pop are my main styles, along with pop-country (thank you, Taylor) and a bit of alternative. This song, however, is one I grew rather close to, and remains on my playlist.

19. The Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez

What the <3 wants, of course! I think we all know the queen wrote this for Justin Bieber (ugh), and then - 'boom, gone/yeah we move on (Love Will Remember)' - she's with Zedd! #Zeddlena is life!

20. Chandelier by Sia

I'm gonna swiiiiiiiiing from the chandelieeeeer, from the chandeliiiiiiieeeeeeer!

Need I say more?

I hope this playlist gave you some song suggestions. Have fun!

Zoya <3

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

DIY Dry Shampoo

Hey all!

With the exam season going on, I'd bet you guys will be so busy studying, studying, and studying every second of the day you can spare, and for us girls with hair that's past shoulder-length (I'm so sorry for those girls with waist-length hair!), it's hell with not enough time to shampoo, condition, blow-dry, and fine-comb just to keep it manageable and out of your face when your study goal is 8 to 12 hours of cram time (at least for me). If you're like me, you'll positively despise oily, gritty locks sticking to the sides of your face especially when you have bangs or acne (or both... yikes!).

Or maybe you want your hair to stay clean 24/7, and are therefore washing it every morning. In this case, stop now. 
Your scalp produces natural oils over time, which the hair soaks up and makes it oily and look coarse and dirty. Every time you wash your hair, you strip it of all natural oils and clean it - but if you was it too often, your body thinks there's an abnormality going on and sends a heavy flow of oils - that means the more you wash it, the oilier it gets.

But did you know there's a solution, a simple, cheap, quick way to forgo tiring out your arms and wasting time? The magic is dry shampoo! The ingredients in it soak up the natural oils, making your hair shiny and silky without killing the hair or taking hours and hours.

I know you can find cheap aerosol spray cans at your local supermarket, but this DIY recipe has only two ingredients (one if you're blonde) and is super easy.

DIY Dry Shampoo

For auburn to blue-black hair:

2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional if you want a bit more fragrance)

For caramel-blonde to sandy:

3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (again, optional)

For sandy to platinum:
Note: If you have platinum hair, firstly, I applaud you for this feat, and secondly, make sure you DO NOT mix absolutely anything into the cornstarch; this will make your hair look speckled and uneven. If your hair is a lighter sandy, a) I am jealous and b) you can use more or less cocoa, but make sure it matches your shade.

3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cocoa powder (SEE NOTE)
(Sorry, no cinnamon here - but you can sub it for the cocoa (SEE NOTE))

Combine all ingredients and make sure everything is well combined using a small whisk.
Dust some of your solution throughout your hair and brush well (best done in sections).
Make sure that the powder has all been combined throughout your hair and hidden.
Style as usual!

Have fun!

Zoya <3

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Love Story Chords - Taylor Swift

Hey all!

Okay, sorry, sorry, sorry, SORRY I haven't posted in two months! I know, I'm ridiculous. ^_^
So busy with school (the regular excuse...) and home events I've been going crazy! My sister's wedding, my Year Seven semester finals (my average was 93!), and the fact that the Internet router and the computer hacking on and off and on and off turn by turn are molding a madman out of me...

So, Valentine's Day is coming up and for us at school it's the ones who do ze pranks and the ones who be such mozzarella-cheesy that it's sarcastic. If you know how two-faced I am, you'll know that I am both at alternative. As a result, a) me, my best friend, and Hammad (a friend/classmate) have started to make life hell for Sheryar (one word for this guy: UGH) by sending him prank notes thanks to another guy, Azan and b) me and another friend, Ranea, have started learning these cheesy love songs on guitar. She does the Urdu, i do the English. One of these was an extremely cliché Taylor Swift number, 'Love Story'. It's so - y'know... cliché!

The chords to this song is a simple progression with nothing much fancy. Here you go!

Love Story

Artist: Taylor Swift
Tuning: Standard, capo 2
Metronome BPM: 119 (4/4)
(Note: I had a bit of difficulty with deciphering the beat as it was quite a bit faster than Taylor's other songs - I tried 115 and 120; the latter to fast and the former too slow, however 120 was very close. After a bit of experimenting, I came to the conclusion that the beat is NOT 120, but 119. Surprising it's such a specific number, but you'll determine it later as the song progresses. Also, my go-to guitar app is GuitarTuna; it has a tuner, a chord library, metronome, and guitar games!)

Intro: C  G  Am  F

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes and the flashback starts
                    Am                              F
I'm standing there on a balcony of summer air

See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns
I see you make your way through the crowd
You say hello
Little did I know

           F                                       G
That you were Romeo you were throwing pebbles
               Am                                     C
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
  G                                    Am   C
Begging you please don't go,      and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
 F                      G                       C
Its a love story baby just say yes

So i sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they know
So close your eyes
Escape this town for a little while
            F                                       G
Cause you were Romeo I was a scarlet letter
             Am                                       C
and my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
            G                                 Am   C
I was begging you please don't   go   and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
 F                      G                       C
Its a love story baby just say yes

Romeo save me, try to tell me how to feel
This love is difficult, but its real,
Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess
 F                      G 
Its a love story baby just say yes

Solo: C  G  Am  F

                      Am      F                      C                                   G
I got tired of waiting,   wondering if you were ever coming around
                            Am      F
My faith in you was fading
             C                                         G
Then I met you on the outskirts of town and i said
Romeo save me I've been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head, I don't know what to think
      F                                   G
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said
Marry me Juliet you'll never have to be alone
I love you and thats all I really know
I talked to your dad go pick out a white dress
 G                      A                D
Its a love story baby just say yes

Outro: D   A   Bm
                                           G                D*(single strum)
We were both young when I first saw you

Have fun!

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Hey all! Again, I'm SO SO SO SORRY about that absence for another month... but here's what happened!

  • This blog turned 1! On October 24th, this blog celebrated its first birthday! Hopefully there will be many more to come!

  • My birthday! Well, that was yesterday... but hey! We're having a party at school on Monday to celebrate with my BFFs, though we took some pictures yesterday and had loads of fun :). Plus, me and a guy in my class, Hammad, along with Anusha, are setting up some pranks for Shehryar Sohail involving a water balloon on a chair and a tabasco and toothpaste cupcake... MWA HA HA HA!

  • Have any of you played Super Smash Flash 2? It is THE BEST game on the planet! You can play as your favorite video game characters (ex. Pikachu, Zelda, Naruto, Samus, Captain Falcon, etc.) and brawl! Here's the link.

  • My final exams start on the 20th :(. But the topics are easy, so I'm pretty confident.

  • We had a new outdoor kitten named September, but he got sick and ran away... we found him dead in our storage room... STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN OVER THAT. He was the most precious thing ever! :'(

Bye! Hope you have a great day, and I'll post a recipe soon enough ;) (or maybe guitar tab...)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

A Year Without Rain Chords by Selena Gomez

Hey all! So sorry about my absence for the past three weeks, I have waaaaay too much stuff to do, and I was only able to sneak onto the computer twice including this, the first time being a lucky password-guess but THE STUPID INTERNET ROUTER DECIDED TO MALFUNCTION. Lucky, ain't I? Well, this time, being out sick has its advantages ;) (and disadvantages x_x).

Anyway, this song is among my favorites, and Selena Gomez's most famous album was given the title A Year Without Rain and released in September 2010 by Hollywood Records. The album contains 10 songs, playing a total of about 36 minutes. The album went gold in Brazil, Canada, and the United States, and platinum in Poland. The song itself is one of the two singles, the other being Round & Round.

Moving on.

A Year Without Rain - Selena Gomez & The Scene

Tuning: Standard, capo on 3rd fret
Beat: about 130 BPM

 A           Em           Bm    D
 Ooh ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh ooh

(Verse 1):
A                       Em                                   Bm
 Can you feel me,  when I think about you
 With every breath I take
 A                  Em                         Bm
 Every minute,   no matter what I do
 My world is an empty place

A                                              Em              Bm                   D
 Like I've been wandering the desert, for a thousand days
A                             Em                            Bm            D
 Don't know if it's a mirage, but I always see your face,  baby

A                                     Em
 I'm missing you so much,  can't help it I'm in love
Bm                       D
 A day without is like a year without rain
A                                 Em
 I need you by my side,  don't know how I'll survive
Bm                              D
 A day without you is like a year without
A         Em    Bm         D 
 Ra-a-a-a-a-a-ain, oh oh oh
                A             Em             Bm
 Woa-oh-oh  oh-oh-oh  oh-wo-oh

(Verse 2):
A                              Em                                      Bm
 The stars are burning,  I hear your voice in my mind
 Can't you hear me calling
A                                              Em                        Bm
 My heart is yearning, like the ocean that's running dry
 Catch me I'm falling

A                                  Em                    Bm                D
 It's like the ground is crumbling underneath my feet (won't you save me)
A                                    Em                         Bm               D
 There's gonna be a monsoon when you get back to me, oh baby

A                                     Em
 I'm missing you so much,  can't help it I'm in love
Bm                       D
 A day without is like a year without rain
A                                 Em
 I need you by my side,  don't know how I'll survive
Bm                              D
 A day without you is like a year without
A         Em    Bm         D 
 Ra-a-a-a-a-a-ain, oh oh oh
                A             Em             Bm
 Woa-oh-oh  oh-oh-oh  oh-wo-oh

      G                                A
 So let this drought come to an end
         D/F#                  Bm
 And make this desert flower again
I'm so glad you found me
Stick around me
D/F#                      Bm
Baby, baby, baby, ooh
         G                                A
It's a world of wonder with you in my life
     D/F#                     Bm
So hurry, baby, don't waste no more time
            G                         A
  And I need you here, I can't explain
           D/F#              Bm
 But a day without you, is like a year without
A          Em     Bm         D 
 Ra-a-a-a-a-a-ain, oh oh oh

A                                     Em
 I'm missing you so much,  can't help it I'm in love
Bm                       D
 A day without is like a year without rain
A                                 Em
 I need you by my side,  don't know how I'll survive
Bm                              D
 A day without you is like a year without
A         Em    Bm         D 
 Ra-a-a-a-a-a-ain, oh oh oh
                A             Em             Bm
 Woa-oh-oh  oh-oh-oh  oh-wo-oh

 A            Em           Bm
 Ooh ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh ooh

*          *          *          *          *          *          * 

Zoya <3