Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moments of impact


If you have had those moments when life has felt like a struggle, when it has felt like you are fighting against the tide, when you have questioned your existence and everything around. If you have had a moment that has defined your life and broken into your core. If you have had a big or small moment of impact that has formed the before and after of your life, this one is for you.

I believe that these moments happen for a reason, these moments happen to remind us of the reality of this world. These moments are supposed to teach us something. I also believe that if these moments of impact don't change us in a better way, if they don’t make us look at life differently, if we’re not forced to analyze ourselves and our lives, then we wasted these moments. Then, they did nothing to us and our lives and its just like they didn't happen. Its like these moments went to waste.

These moments of impact, whether you lost a loved one, an important relationship or a career, or suffered any other kind of unexpected circumstance or situation, will only make sense if you learn from it. If you don’t just forget and try to move on, but instead become a better person because of it. Think of it as a little check from God, to redirect your path.

Because only then, these losses, these moments of impact, will have happened for a reason and not just in vain.

Just a random thought I felt like sharing this morning. Wishing you a lovely day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tragic times

I don’t know if its just me or this world just seems to be full of tragedies all around. The London attack was beyond imagination. My heart goes out to the man killed so brutally and his family. I cant just cant seem to get past how cruelly he was killed by those deranged killers. And of course saddened that they used Islam to justify it. If you haven’t already, read this piece by Russell Brand. I loved how he ended with the following words.

‘Let’s look beyond our superficial and fleeting differences. The murderers want angry patriots to desecrate mosques and perpetuate violence. How futile their actions seem if we instead leave flowers at each other’s places of worship. Let us reach out in the spirit of love and humanity and connect to one another. Perhaps we will then see what is really behind this conflict, this division, this hatred — and make that our focus.’

Image: Mohsin Raza/Reuters

And then on Thursday, this tragedy in Pakistan left 17 children and a teacher dead and it was just heartbreaking to imagine the loss. Praying for the families of those little kids and hoping that others learn from this tragedy and standards are enforced there so an event like this does not happen again. 

Hoping for a better, safer world for our children but know that all of us, you and I, will have to do something about it if that dream were to become a reality.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WHAT WE WORE Uninspired and a quick outfit post

I have been a bit lazy the past week or so, finding excuses to not leave the house and just hang out and do something at home. Which would be awesome if I attempted the millions of things that need to be done and tried all those recipes, projects and toddler activities I have been pinning, but seems like I’m not in the mood for those too these days. Hoping this phase is short lived and the inspiration returns super soon.

Sharing a little outfit post meanwhile, hope your weekend was awesome.



Anya wears: Dress made by her phupo, Shoes from her khala from London, Cardigan and Hair Clip from Target.

Mama wears: Chambray buttoned shirt and Jeans from Gap, Cardigan from LOFT, Shoes by Steve Madden

And while you’re here, would you be kind enough to share some ideas? What inspires you? :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Here’s to friendships and the nights that turned into mornings


Over the weekend, an old friend of mine visited with her family and it was as amazing as I had hoped it would be. We only had a night together but we made the most of it. We talked all night, about the good old days and the rest of our friends, about motherhood and the challenges we face, about careers and dreams, about celebrating the lives of the loved ones we lost - my father and her grandfather, about marriage and how to make sure we don’t take our husbands for granted, about politics, about life in the States and Canada (where she is from) and Pakistan, about our favorite TV shows and dramas1. And I don’t think there was one moment of silence in those 5-6 hours of the night we got to ourselves.

We were meeting after a gap of almost 7 years (except when she came to see me and my family when my father passed away, which I will never ever forget) and it felt like nothing had changed and we were the same girls from our university days. We were the same girls that listened to EP and Atif Aslam2 in our car on the almost hour long commute, over and over again. We were the same girls that spent those long nights studying and doing projects together. We were the same girls that kept each other’s secrets. We were the same girls that planned our weddings together, that went wedding shopping together, that danced at each others weddings. We were the same. Now married and moms of little ones, but still the same. In completely different places in our lives, but together we were still the same. And that is the beauty of old friends, how you can start exactly where you left off and time just seems to have stopped.

Meeting her just reinforced what I have learned through losing. That it is so important to invest in our friendships, to make time for our friends however busy our lives might get, to show them that they’re important to us and that we love them, to forgive them also when they break our hearts. I have come to believe, that if we don’t make time for them in good days, they wont be there for us in our bad days. And without these friends, this journey would be even harder. Without them our dark days would be even darker.

Our babies trying to be friends over cheerios.

Let us not forget to take time out for our friends.

Thank you Sahrash for your visit and for giving Anya her first camera:)

Thanks for stopping by!

FYI: 1.Pakistani television serials are commonly called dramas and followed by many of us all over. The beautiful stories, acting and direction lately has made them increasingly popular in the last few years.  2. EP or Entity Paradigm was a rock band that made thought provoking songs and we were one of the few girls that followed the band:D and Atif Aslam is a world renowned singer from Pakistan.


My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected in Oklahoma and all those who lost loved ones. It is especially heartbreaking that so many kids lost their lives, and I cant begin to imagine what their parents are going through.

AP photo

Go here to read a personal account by a mom and also for ways you can help.

It is also a reminder for all of us that our lives can be changed in the next instant. Whatever comes our way, we can never take our loved ones for granted. Even though it is hard, sometimes it is important that we let our hearts go there and feel the pain that these people are feeling.

As you watch this story, don’t forget to feel and pray and to remember how fortunate you are.

Much love. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

WHAT WE WORE You and I and sunny evenings.

April onward, Seattle starts showing its beautiful side that makes the thought of moving from here so hard. It has been beautiful outside and our evenings are usually spent outdoors these days.

Whatever is going in your personal life, there is just something peaceful about being outdoors with your little ones that makes you feel at least a little better.




Anya wears: Tunic from Baby Gap (Gift from a sweet friend), Tights from Old Navy, Hair flower from Gymboree, Shoes found at Marshalls.

I wear: Chambray buttoned shirt from Gap, Tshirt Maxi Dress from Old Navy, Folding Wayfarer by RayBan

Thanks for stopping by!


PS: Anya wore the same outfit with a slight variation in this little feature on Heart and Habit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Will you know how much I loved you?


Sometimes I wonder that if something happens to me will you ever know the extent of my love for you?

Will you ever know how you completed me and my life.

Will you know that when you go to sleep in my arms every night I just stare at you and kiss your sweet face over and over again.

Will you ever know that being hugged by you makes me the happiest I have ever been in my life.

Will you ever know that I love to stare at you as you're busy with something to memorize the curl of your lashes and pout of your little lips.


Will you ever know that even though I want you to sleep in your room, sometimes I just make excuses to bring you into our bed. 

Will you ever know that sleeping cuddled up next to you fills up the emptiness from inside.

Will you ever know all the dreams and wishes and prayers I have for you.

Will you ever know the happiness my heart feels at the sound of your giggles and your sweet voice.

Will you ever know that I love you way and beyond anything I have ever felt before.

Will you ever know that right now, in this moment of time, you are everything to me?


Monday, May 13, 2013

What have you learned from your mother?

Happy Mother’s day to all of you beautiful moms and daughters out here. I read this somewhere and thought it was so true that we all carry pieces of our moms in us wherever we might be in our lives. So many parts of us, our personalities, our thoughts, are our mother’s, that is how much influence motherhood gives us. To be loved unconditionally by your mom and then to pass it on to your kids is the biggest privilege and blessing. We are lucky, I tell you:)

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I thought it is the perfect time to talk about my mom who is one of the most important people in my life. She has loved us beyond anything since the day we were born and has never been shy in expressing it too. In words, in hugs and kisses. And her love, her faith, her passion has made us who we are today. We always knew that we were first in her life and nothing else was more important to her right up till we were in college. I learn so much from her and thought I’d share some of this here today.

Mama, this one’s for you, specially for today. Thank you so much for being the perfect mom to us. Love you always!

What I have learned or want to learn from my Mother.

  1. Family is the most important thing in the world for us and that it is important to sit together with each other for sometime every day.
  2. To always love our homes and that even the ugliest of house can be made a home when done up with love.
  3. Motherhood. Specially in the brand new days, everything I needed to know about changing a little baby’s clothes, bathing her to big things today, like always enjoying her, making time for her, capturing her childhoods with words, pictures and videos I have learned from her. Also how she was very strict with us but was a friend to us at the same time.
  4. To love the handmade life. I remember how she would make paintings for our friends as gifts to give for birthday parties. She has always gifted her art to her loved ones.  I remember once when she took classes for silk painting and then made beautiful silk scarves for all her friends.
  5. Creativity. We always found her making time for her own art. My mom definitely has the most creative mind I have ever seen.
  6. Love for art and architecture. However much we fussed (Yes, we were so unappreciative!), she made it a point to regularly drag us to museums, art galleries and historic places.
  7. To not be afraid to express our love. My mom is probably one of the most expressive people I have seen. We were always hugged and kissed and in our house we never went out of the house, or to bed, without a kiss and a hug.
  8. Taking care of our parents. Being an only child, my grandparents’ responsibility falls on her and she loves them with all her heart. Even during all the problems of the last two years, she makes it a point to do their grocery shopping and errands and to spend time with them.
  9. Time management and work simplification. My mom is the queen of these two things. She has always used an organizer and plans her days and weeks. We make fun of her organizer, because she is always needing it to write one thing or another, but that is how she is able to do so much in her days.
  10. Love for books and bookshops. Even when she comes to visit me, most of her shopping is for books and she goes back with a box full of them.
  11. Food and cooking. My mom loves cooking for us, and has the biggest smile on her face when she’s in the kitchen making us breakfast or one of our favorite dishes. Even though we were terrible in our eating habits, she always told us how important a balanced diet was and despite our complaining never stopped putting healthy options in front of us.
  12. Strength. That even when life feels intolerable, how to find happiness in the littlest of things, especially books, cooking and our homes.
  13. Loving nature. She has always reminded us to notice the views around us. She loves bringing flowers from outside to put in vases. She loves using branches and found objects from nature to decorate her home.
  14. She has always told us that It is an honor if someone invites us to their house and one should make never go without a little gift for the host. Also the importance of little etiquettes like calling to say ‘Thank You’ a day after.
  15. To never lose one’s excitement for life. Even now, my mom’s face lights up when she talks about her love of studying, travelling, new friends, anything.
  16. Kindness and going out of our way to help those not as fortunate as us. She has many times stopped the car for bystanders, like poor old people and women and children and taken them to their destinations much out of her way, despite security issues, terrorism threats, and us repeatedly telling her that it was unsafe.
  17. Loving with all our hearts and that love should expand our hearts, never limit it.
  18. To not limit our interests to clothes and shoes and the likes that is so common in Pakistani women. And that spending on art and culture and books is much better than constantly adding to our closets.

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With my mom at Pakistan National Council of Arts on my visit to my family in 2010

What have you learned from your mother? What would you pass on to your kids that you got from her?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A broken heart but one that still hopes


I don’t usually talk about politics here. However, it was election time in Pakistan over the weekend and what started as a day full of hope for a better future for this country, ended with corruption and a broken heart. However, it also ended with countless stories of people standing in polling lines for up to even 8 hours in 100 degree weather, of people standing up to gunmen in Karachi and saying they will not leave without voting, of people who refused to remain silent. Hope is not lost and change is imminent.


Last picture collage of pictures taken by my sister in Imran Khan’s rally in Islamabad last Thursday.

Will write more about this soon, because its time we raise more political awareness and stop keeping quiet about things.

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, May 6, 2013

And this is why I take pictures


A little while ago, I was asked to give an interview for a Pakistan based website, Le Spectra, you can read it here. This was the first type of interview I have ever given and I had a great time answering the questions. It was also good to be able to think and express in words, what photography means to me. This post is a continuation of that thought process.


I take pictures because my pictures tell my story.

I take pictures because when seen through that viewfinder, the ordinary is beautiful, everything is magical.

I take pictures because I know the magic of having your childhood captured to the minutest of details and I want to pass on that gift that my parents gave to me, to my kids too. I want my daughter to be able to look at herself through my eyes.

I take pictures because it is a connection between us and our families that live far away. Though not here in person, they’re able to enjoy Anya’s growth with us.

I take pictures because this world we live in, is breathtaking, and sometimes we forget to notice.

I take pictures because our memories can get clouded and I want to remember the little details that make up our lives right now.

I take pictures because this life is uncertain, it can change in the blink of an eye and photography helps us keep a piece of it even when bits of our lives are taken away.

I take pictures because happy people are beautiful, crooked smiles are pretty, relationships are magical, and because I believe there is beauty in imperfection.

I take pictures because sometimes silence speaks much louder than words, and pictures have a way of doing that, of speaking without words.

I take pictures because it challenges you sometimes to look at the same thing with a different eye, and that is something we all need more of in our lives.

I take pictures because I want to tell stories, my own, peoples’. Because our stories need to be told.


Pictures taken by my talented sister Waliya during my visit to Pakistan. The vintage beauties were borrowed by a sweet friend, Maha, who is a lucky girl. I wish I could keep each one of these!

Hope your weekend was lovely. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blog Love: Enjoying the Small Things

Hey guys, i know its been kind of quiet here for some time. Going through a bit of an uninspired phase for a while and finding it hard to complete posts I start. I have wanted to share some favorite blogs for a while and I think now would be a good time to finally do it. It is amazing how huge the blogging world has become. It is honestly so inspiring and there are so many amazing voices out there.  Hope you will enjoy discovering these blogs I share just as much as I do.

For today, I wanted to share one of my favorites, Enjoying the small things by Kelle Hampton.


I don’t know how I discovered her blog, but it was around the time that Anya was just a couple of months old. When my life revolved around nursing every two hours and holding her as she napped in between. In this early motherhood glow, when I discovered her blog, I just couldn’t stop reading. I was completely taken in by her love for her babies. If you have just heard about her, you should start with this post. It is the story of the birth of her second daughter and the shock of finding out she was born with Down Syndrome. I cry every time I read this post. It is raw and just beautiful.

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Her little babies are just too sweet! Her blog is about loving the unexpected, making the most of what we are given and just enjoying our babies every second of the day. I absolutely love her honesty and not to forget how beautiful the pictures she takes are. A must-read blog for every mother, and every one that has any kind of a tragedy or unexpected event change their world. This blog makes you want to pick up your pieces, hug your babies tight, and just go out and make the most of your day.


Kelle also wrote Bloom that I wrote about here. and these words from her book describe it best,

‘The thing is, we don’t really know what the future looks like. And that thought takes my breath away just as much as it calms me into a place where I am forced to enjoy this very moment. Part of facing your fears is going there. You have to go there - to the deepest pain of what you fear. You have to feel it - to hold the hot potato of hurt and know that even if life takes you to that place, you will get through it. And knowing that not only allows you to let the fear go but it fuels you with a passion to make the best out of what you have, to grab the reins and purposefully steer yourself where you want to go.’


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all pictures taken from Kelle Hampton’s beautiful blog.

Beautiful words right? Hope you stop by at her blog and enjoy what you’ll find there.

Thanks for stopping here and Happy Saturday:)