Thursday, March 28, 2013

Featured on AT. Would you please vote?

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Good morning, all you pretty people. Just wanted to write a quick post and tell you of some exciting stuff. Anya’s 2nd birthday was featured on Apartment Therapy last week. Check it out here.

And yesterday, my sister Waliya’s room went up in the Bedroom Retreat contest, the only one from Pakistan. Check it out here and if you like it, could you take the time to vote for it? Thank you so much.

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I took the pictures for her on my trip, and now that you have seen a peek, I will be posting a room tour very soon. Keep checking back:)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Memories from our trip to Pakistan. Part One

As I write, it is exactly 2 months since we returned from our time with family in Pakistan. Time truly flies. I thought it was finally time to share some very random Pakistan memories, in a little photo journey.

Come, relax and drown in a little touch of Pakistan?

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A must visit on every trip, Saidpur village is believed to be a Mughal era village near Islamabad and is now a popular spot for everyone. I love just everything about this place, from the architecture, to the food, to the art and the artists.

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Reminds me of all the countless evenings, returning from university and later on from work with my mom/dad or my dad’s driver. This golden glow will never lose its magic.

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The emphasis on food, the cooking, the entertaining, the endless dinners. Once your taste buds have tasted authentic Pakistani cuisine, its hard to get used to food elsewhere. Also nothing like mom’s cooking:)

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The memories of my dad that live in each and every corner of this land and all the places we go.

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The bargaining, the deals, the shopkeepers. Nothing as exciting as shopping here in Pakistan from the most expensive to prices so cheap, you have to ask again to make sure you have heard it right!

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What an honor it was to meet this real life artist couple, Hajra Mansoor and Mansoor Rahi. Truly legends in their own way. 

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Cricket is just so much more exciting when seen with a crowd, even if we ended up losing the match.

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Some things are so Pakistani. A monkey show in our front yard for Anya.

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One of our fondest childhood memories are of my nana taking us to the Lahore Zoo and it was so beautiful to see the cycle continue as my mom took Anya to the zoo in Islamabad. Papa you were so missed on this too just like so many other days. 

Looking through the pictures makes me smile every time as I remember the feelings, the thoughts and being surrounded by all that love. And just reminds me that there is so much more to life in Pakistan than what we see in the news, and what we hear about.

Yes, there is ugliness (I have first hand experienced things I probably wouldn’t have in many other places), but every place, every person, every thing has flaws. As much as I wish for change, and a better future, I don’t want to forget the many magical things about this culture and this land.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

FYI: Nana is for maternal grandfather, Nani for maternal grandmother.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Introduce yourself?

Hey all of you lovely people, Its going to be one full year since I returned to blogging and I cant thank you enough for all the support, the encouragement and the beautiful messages you all have showered me with in this time. Whether people are reading this space or not, I believe I will still be writing, because I have this strong urge to put my feelings and thoughts into words. But again thanks again. You all are awesome!

Of the ones that stop by here, many leave regular comments, many send me private messages and I know there are many who silently follow this space. I was thinking that I would love to know more about you. Yes, you who are reading. Because blogging is a lot about community too and also because I’m curious like that!

Whether you just started reading or have been following for a while, I would love for you to please leave me a little comment below and introduce yourself. I really want to get to know my readers better :)


Be blessed and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

because baby lives here.

I remember when I didn’t have a baby, I used to notice how baby stuff takes over people’s houses. And I used to say ours would never become like that. I had this image in my head of how I would make sure there were not too many signs of baby around here, except for the nursery of course. 

And while I still have issues over some types of baby products and toys, and with her stuff taking over our house, I don’t feel as passionate about this issue anymore. Quite the opposite, even. All these toys and baby stuff, they mean a little baby lives here, and why would that be a bad thing?

Today and pretty most days by noon, this is what our little house looks like at least half of our day.





Yeah, that last picture would make a great ‘Spot the object’ picture because if you look closely there isn’t much you wont find.

All these ‘imperfections’ are reminders of a little girl that happens to share this house with us. A reminder of a day many years from now, when our home may not be this messy, and it might be so much easier to keep it clean, but she wont live in it anymore. It will feel empty just like our hearts will probably feel that day when she packs her bags to leave her home as she knew it.

And I really don’t know what it will feel like then, because without this baby in it, I don’t remember what home felt like.

So just for today, will you look at the mess and the endless toys taking over your house differently?


Thanks so much for stopping by!

PS: This post also makes up for the messy house post I said I’d do someday, remember? Most welcome ;)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Too-easy paper envelope DIY

I will always love paper crafts. Something so relaxing about cutting and pasting all those pretty papers. That is why I have the tendency to be a serious paper hoarder. I have had a problem being able to throw any packaging, tags, catalogs and even advertisements that look good to the eye. Sigh. ANYWAYS :p

In fact all those décor and fashion catalogs are perfect for so many paper crafts. Here’s a quick and easy idea for pretty paper envelopes to use for anything. It is common sense actually but since I had never thought of it till I read it somewhere, I thought I would share for those who are like me.

This would also make a great craft for kids.


I was inspired by this little paper flap that the Anthro member card came in. And this Madewell catalog that just arrived in the mail this week.

So here’s the thing. Did you know that you can turn any paper envelope, bag, cover into a template and make your own just like that? Just some pretty paper, scissors and glue is all you need. Take a look?

just for the information, those scissors are for Anya’s Play Dough and were not used to cut this. They just looked cute ;)

Just carefully unglue and unfold the paper you want to copy and lay it on the one you want to make yours with. Trace it and cut it, being careful about which side will be visible and which will fold inside. And then you just use your template as a guide to fold and glue and you’re all done.

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Please excuse the terrible quality. I used my cellphone for this one.

You can use this to make literally anything from envelopes to gift bags to cd covers even.

Here is the end result. Not sure how I am planning to use this yet.

It could be a place to keep all my pictures organized in my wallet.

Nadiya, I need a picture of you. And what kind of a mom am i  who doesn’t have her daughter’s picture in her wallet! lol

Or a place to keep all those gift cards/rewards cards etc that keep taking over my wallet


Or just add a flower to it and it would make a great way to give a gift card.


So easy and too simple to make for a real DIY post but well. Let me know if you make your own. For Anya’s birthday last year, I used this method to make little gift bags for the favors.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your weekend is awesome!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our favorite books for baby

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On my baby shower, a friend gave us some Dr Seuss board books and so began Anya’s little book collection. Since then, her little book shelf is almost full with a sweet collection of books.

I thought it would be a good idea to post about some of Anya’s (and mom dad’s, as we’re the ones that end up reading them over and over again:p) favorite books to read over these two years.

Dr Seuss classics

Like I said, a friend who is a mother of three, gave us our first Dr Seuss books. And I’m so glad she did because I have to admit I might not myself have purchased them. I remember going through one at someone’s once long before Anya, and thinking how silly it was! But was I wrong! There is something magical about these books, I tell you. Anya has probably loved each of the ones we have at one point.

In fact, her first favorite book ever happened to be Mr. Brown Can Moo when she was barely 10 months old. From there on, we have had phases of loving their ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book, A Fly Went By, Are You My Mother (my personal favorite I think), and probably one of her all time favorites, Put Me in the Zoo.

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(Shehwar, if you happen to be reading this, thank you so much for introducing us to Dr Seuss.)

Sandra Boynton books

Bilal discovered this one book that became an instant favorite, Moo, Baa, La La La. Because she loved it so much, we went out and bought some more by Sandra Boynton. 1, 2, 3 is another current favorite and she also likes From Horns to Toes and in between.

The funny little characters, the simple rhyming stories make these short little books an instant favorite for us. 

Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit book

My husband loves the original classic and it was only mandatory that we own this baby version of it when we saw it. I love the concept behind this series to introduce your baby to the world of classic literature in such a fashionable way. The bright colors, beautiful design makes this very loveable for both Anya and her design loving mama.

They also have Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights and many more classics in this series.

Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell

This was a great find at TJMaxx (They happen to have a great collection of kids books) and is one of those books that is more mom’s favorite than Anya’s right now but I think she will grow into it. It is about a little kitty with a heart as big as the earth he so loves. I haven’t seen a sweet-er toddler book than this one. The adorable illustrations add to the charm of this lovely find. 

This is one of those books that I actually enjoy reading to her again and again.

My first Mother Goose

Another choice by my husband. He wanted to introduce her to Mother Goose when she starting humming along to poems and we found this one at Barnes and Nobles. It was a regular read for Anya for many a bedtimes and now she pretty much knows it by heart and loves going through it while singing the poems.

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The Runaway Bunny

Anya got a little collection of books that her phupo had kept for her (They were her cousin’s). One of these was this classic and Anya and I both loved it instantly. Sweetest little book about a mother bunny’s love for her baby which resonates with our love for our babies.

I always enjoy reading this to her.

Do you have any favorite books for toddlers? I would love to know about them.

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Thanks so much for stopping by.

FYI: Phupo is the word for Paternal aunt in Urdu

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just give baby some socks.



So did you know that sometimes socks can occupy toddlers like nothing can? Neither did I! But this weekend, completely out of ideas to entertain baby at home, I suddenly thought…


So Anya color sorts things these days, and loves putting her socks on and off endlessly, OMG, I know what would make a great activity for her!

I emptied out all her socks on the floor and mixed up the pairs so she could find them before she could put on/take off socks endlessly. And baby had a blast. It was like a mini shoe store, except these weren’t shoes, these were socks. Baby girl is too cute, mA and I think I am quite enjoying this age of hers!


Now this is truly what you call a lazy mom’s way to keep her baby busy;)

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

To love and be loved

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Hello lovelies, hope your weekend’s off to a beautiful start. Seattle has been extra beautiful the last two days, giving us nice warm sunshine to refresh ourselves and we are totally loving it.

Going through my pictures folder I realized I totally forgot to share these pictures from our mid February celebration (Can we give a different name to Valentines day?). I know there are so many opinions about this day. But I think, what’s so bad about a day to celebrate the ones you love? True, we should express our love every day instead. But sometimes in the ho-hum of life, we tend to forget and it is a good reminder, this silly little, what has become so commercial, Valentines Day.

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Maybe next year, we can come up with our little secret day to celebrate love? Just so it doesn’t feel so forced and commercial? Lol. That might be fun.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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