Monday, April 29, 2013


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Sometimes when I look at all the injustices that surround us, when I think of how unfair this world can be, when I see good people go bad, when I see the cruelty that can hide inside a person, when I see insensitivity and people taking advantage of the weak.

Sometimes when I see men treating women like they own them , in cultures that flaunt their egos, and when I see women being objectified in the name of feminism in other places - I worry about raising a daughter and all that she and us, her parents, might have to face.

And then I think of the hereafter and the God that mentions time and again how justice will prevail on that day when we all are gathered.

‘And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer - those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed.’ -Quran 4:124

‘And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged.’ –Quran 39:69

And I find peace in the fact that whatever life brings, the unfair and the unjust can not prevail forever, and that this life is temporary and we all have to return to the God above us who is always watching, and who knows us and our intentions better than anyone ever could.

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I will teach my baby to be the best she can be, I will teach her to be kind, to respect herself and others, to not be afraid to speak the truth, even when no one around her is doing that, to believe in the difference between right and wrong and to be the person that God intended her to be. But that when life and people seem to be unfair, to remember, that this life was never intended to be perfect. There will be injustice, there will be cruelty, not everyone will be with you when you need them to be, and some days all we can do is depend on our God and the day when the truth will finally be revealed.

Thanks for reading and for stopping by!

Sarah, Zoya and Mahera – Mama Mini Style

Happy Monday you guys. So excited to have another beautiful mom-mini style post today. Sarah is one of the sweetest people and kindest moms I know here in Seattle. She asked me if she could be a part of this series and I was so excited to be able to take pictures of them and share their everyday style with you guys.

Say hello to this beautiful mom and her girls.

Zoya: 2 and Mahera: 6 mo

Location: Factoria Mall in Bellevue, WA


Every time I am having a hard day with my little toddler, I think of this mom who has two babies younger than mine and who is so patient. Her babies are the sweetest ever too, just look at those faces!


Sarah wears: Top by BCBG, Jeans by The Limited, Sweater by Trio, Shoes by Burberry

Zoya wears: Dress by Camilla, Cardigan by Janie and Jack, Shoes by Baby Gap

Mahera wears: Dress by Burberry, Cardigan by Janie and Jack

Thanks for being a part of this series, beautiful girls!

To see more in this series, go here.


If you’d like to be featured email me at nataliyanajibAThotmailDOTcom

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunshine and an outfit post

The sun is out again and and we’re venturing out in our backyard a little more every time. Anya loves being there and honestly I don’t think she’d ever get bored of it. I always have to find an excuse (or a little bribery… :D) to get her back inside. 

Just for fun, I thought I’ll share share bits and pieces of what we wear sometimes.  



Sweatshirt: Target, Jeans: Gap, Rainboots: BearPaw from TJMaxx, Bangles: My moms’ 

If you are a mom, how has your style changed since you had kids? Do you still take time out for yourself? I would love to know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 22, 2013

One full year and a recap

It has been one full year since I returned to blogging and I’m so thankful for the connections made through this space and for all of you who take the time to read this space. I hope you will continue to stop by. Since most of you started following at different parts during this journey, I thought I'd do a little recap of some favorites posts from the year, incase you missed some of these.



Last March I returned to blogging with this post, celebrated our baby girl’s 1st birthday with a little celebration.

I talked about making everyday a celebration.

I shared some Ramadan memories from back home, our celebration for Eid-ul-Fitr, and EID UL AZHA.

Did a Celebrating Eid guest series and had some beautiful moms share their thoughts here, here and here

I blogged about celebrating the holidays when you don’t officially celebrate them.

I decorated for Valentines and shared that here

I shared ideas on celebrating special occasions the long distance way.

I shared Anya’s 2nd birthday celebrations.

And just last week I shared my thoughts on turning the big 30 :)


I shared my inspirations behind BLOGGING

I started sharing some bits and pieces from letters I write to my baby

I talked about this imperfectly perfect life and how blogging can seem to show a ‘perfect’ life.

I shared some memories of my father, and ramblings on being our parents legacy.

I shared some New Year wishes.

Last year, I finally shared the story of how we lost our father.


Shared some DIY ideas I tried like this bird mobile in Anya’s baby room, this wall hanging for a little friend, these onesies i decorated for Anya, this wreath, a simple art idea, chalkboard for the kitchen and these bauble necklaces I made for my sisters.  

My sister Waliya shared a couple of DIY ideas, including this journal, and this art for her room.


Shared some must reads for moms.

Shared our favorite toddler books.  

Shared some toddler activities I tried with Anya like this sensory activity, this homemade pull toy, outdoor sensory tub , homemade paints and some others.

Started a new series to share some Mom-Kiddies style and just started featuring some beautiful mommies and their babies, starting with Sobia and Sabina, and Syda and Ammad.


I shared tips on loving our homes.

I shared Anya’s nursery and glimpses from her new room (Still haven’t blogged her full room )

Shared a couple of house/room tours like Waliya’s inspiring bedroom, Nyel’s colorful room and glimpses from a few other houses. Am so excited to share many more.

I shared a glimpse of our messy house but one that is a reminder that baby lives here.


I blogged about Across the miles, a photo project I started with my sister.

Shared one from some of lovely people I took pictures of last year. (Note to self: Share more this year)


This year I took a trip back home to visit my family. I blogged about being with loved ones, the bookshops of Islamabad, shared some Anya-khala style.

On returning I shared random memories from our trip, from Islamabad and then Bahawalpur.


I started sharing inspirations from the online world in this series.


Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be back soon with some exciting posts. Xoxo.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The big 3-0 and a birthday photo shoot


I wrote the following on my birthday.

And it is here, the birthday I have been dreading the last few ones. I am 30. Sitting here as the clock turns past 12. Rocking my baby back to sleep, after she just woke up a couple hours after I put her to bed. Her silky black hair slightly damp from her bath, her hand clutching on tight around my neck so I don’t leave her, her baby face on my chest with that sweet little mouth a tad bit open. And I think about what it means to leave the 20's behind and enter this new decade of my life.

In a weird way, I always feared this birthday, but as it settles in, I am realizing, I am blessed. The past few years have taught me so much about priorities and life, and I'm so thankful for the lessons. The 20's started with me being in university, confused about my career path, about what I wanted from life, about myself and just life I guess. I got married, I moved countries, I had a baby, I lost my dad, I learned how important family and friends are, and I had to reevaluate all I knew about life.

And as the 20's end now, I am inspired, to be better, to live better, to write, to create, to inspire, to make good of this life, to grow, to learn, to tell my story, to listen to people's stories. I am just inspired to live this life. I am thankful and in a good place, MA. And despite what my sisters keep calling me:p, I really don’t feel old. I feel more confident than ever before, from the way I dress to what I believe in, I have never felt this comfortable in my skin before. I am true to myself, to my values, and for the most part, I am who I want myself to be. 

I have learned the importance of family and mine will always remain my first priority. I have learned that the only unconditional love is the love your parents have for you. I have learned that it is important to tell our loved ones that we love them, or it might be too late. I am learning that it is important to invest in your friendships, even when life seems too busy even for a phone call. I am learning that imperfection is beautiful. I am learning that being right at the cost of your relationships is never the better option. I am learning that it is easy to judge but so important to keep an open heart and mind. I am learning that kindness is really a virtue and something that we need to focus a lot on. I am learning that people will hurt you and sometimes to move on we really have to forgive.

I also think of 30 years ago, the day I entered this world and changed my parents status from a couple to a family, and all that they have done for me. I pray for them who dedicated their lives to me and my sisters. This day is not about me, it is actually about them, my mom who bore me through the worst of pains, and went on to dedicate her whole life to us and my dad who spent his life working to give me and my sisters better futures and who in an email to me wrote how if he was to be called Abu Nataliya (Arabic traditions to be named after your first born), 'it would be the most beautiful title I would adorn'. May Allah bless them always, and reward them multi folds for everything they did, for any little good that I have ever done or ever do, comes from them and what they taught me and continue to teach me. Without my mama and papa, for my parents, I would just not be the same. As you read this, please say a little prayer for my parents.

Thank you for all the sweet messages and love for my birthday.


This birthday deserved a little photo shoot celebration:)

Thank you so much for reading and for stopping by.


PS: I know some of my friends are going to laughing at me as they read this. Because they knew how scared I was of turning 30;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

These are troubled times


I had another post planned, but then this tragedy happened this morning and I was reminded again of what this world has come to. The cruelties that hide inside human souls are unimaginable. To attack innocent people, not even caring if little kids get killed, is truly disturbing. Being from Pakistan, I know too well, the horror, fear and insecurity that comes out of an incident like this (In the past year alone, more than 200 terrorist attacks have taken place in various parts of Pakistan).

My heart goes out to all the people affected by this tragedy. May they find strength to get through this difficult time. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims. May we live to see peaceful times.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Memories from Pakistan–Part Two

I started sharing some photo memories from our vacation and here are some more random memories from our time in Bahawalpur (a desert city in the southern part of Pakistan), the city where my husband grew up and where most of his family lives.

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I still am getting used to roses that don’t have a fragrance, because the roses back in Pakistan, always smell like heaven.

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The Pakistani Rikhshaw, that these cities would be incomplete without. These colorfully decorated ones are a popular mode of transport in Pakistani towns, mainly used for travelling short distances within cities.

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Roadside fruit stalls that sell fruit so amazing in taste. Pakistani fruit, specially oranges and mangoes, is exported across the world and is famous for its rich flavor.

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Probably what I miss most, after my family (of course), is the food. Notoriously many here attend some events only for the food! Haha. And it hardly ever disappoints!

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The most beautiful glass bangles I have ever seen while shopping with my sister-in-law. These were from Hyderabad (The one in Pakistan)

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Watching the sun go down in the Cholistan Desert nearby, with this lovely couple.

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Here clothes are still line dried and freshly laundered clothes smell like grass and fresh air

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Shopping with my sister-in-law (Top) The famous hand painted Multani blue pottery. Read more about it here. (Bottom) Beautifully carved wood furniture from Sargodha and Chiniot.

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Exploring the new art bazaar in the city, where Bilal’s brother-in-law had just opened his own boutique.

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Bahawalpur is famous for its exquisite hand embroideries.

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After many years I was finally able to visit this treasure of a place (thanks to my sweet sister-in-law and her husband:) The exquisite Noor Mahal belonged to the Nawab of Bahawalpur during the British Rule.  It is believed that Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV got it built for his wife who spent just one night in this palace. It was a treat to walk inside this beautiful place and imagine what it must’ve been like.

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I finally experienced the magic of rain in Bahawalpur. In Pakistan rainy days are a cause of celebration, done best with Pakoras and Tea.

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Sunday Brunches are the best, specially when they consist of Halwa Puri (my most favorite menu ever) lovingly made by a sweet girl and enjoyed with family and followed by tea.

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Chocolate Cheesecake cupcakes creatively decorated with flowers from the garden, made by my husband’s talented niece.

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And this is how handmade cloth is woven. Taking a behind the scenes tour of this incredible project started by Bilal’s brother-in-law. Khadi or Khaddar is the name commonly used for handmade, handspun and hand-woven cotton fabric made by skilled artisans.

And that is all in this little taste of Bahawalpur.

For Part One in this series go here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

FYI: I have linked up sources to names/places/words that might be hard to understand for some of you.