Monday, September 30, 2013

The last of the warm days in an outfit post.


Happy Monday morning you guys. Hope your weekend was lovely. We have been getting the first of the winter storms and the winds and the rains on the weekend reminded us that it is time to get ready for the cold weather. These pictures here seem like months ago already, even though they are just from a couple weeks ago. Sigh. Time to brace up for the cold weather. Here is a little outfit share for today.


Anya wears: Top from Zara, Lace Skirt from RUUM, Ballet pumps from Target, Hair Bow from Target.

Mama wears: Top from H&M, Pants from Gap, Pumps from Target

I had my eye on these pants for a while until I saw them on a sale too good to resist and had to buy them. Have to say I’m loving the printed pants trend and hope it stays for a bit. Also Anya’s top and skirt were both purchased online and turned out to be great buys. It is my new favorite way to shop, specially over shopping with a toddler in tow (How do others manage, seriously!). I subscribe to emails from stores I like to shop at and make use of any free shipping promotions.

Hope you have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sad week.

My heart hurts for the lives lost this past week in Pakistan. The bombing on the church in Peshawer were just devastating. I hate that these people malign the name of Islam every time they do something like this, yet they in some disturbed way think they’re doing it for their religion. Like someone pointed out in her writing, a country that was made for the Muslim minority of the Indian subcontinent, cannot protect the rights of its own minorities! And then the terrible earthquake that took so many lives in Baluchistan.

I’m heartbroken for all those lives that changed, for the ones that lost their family members, for all the pain caused. Please remember those affected, in your prayers and for a better, safer, more peaceful world for our kids.

Be blessed and make the most of every moment with your loved ones.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LITTLE STYLE: Story times at the library.


One of my favorite things about life in the States is the many morning activities available for stay-at-home moms to do with the kids all through out the year and specially during the summer. I especially love taking Anya for the story times at our local library. I started taking her when I returned from Pakistan after my father passed away and in those early months when I didn't feel like meeting many people or doing what I used to do before, I regularly started going to these. Anya was just discovering the world around and she wasn’t even walking when we started going. These became a little distraction and a reason to get out of the house in those early sad and grey months. Now, our trips are not that regular but we still love going to them whenever we can.



Anya wears: Lace Dress from Outfitters Junior, Hair Pin and Boots (seen earlier here) from Old Navy.

Outfitters Junior is a Pakistani kids line that has super adorable baby/kids fashion at affordable prices. Check out their Facebook page here. And if you haven’t shopped there yet, make sure to do on your next visit. Unfortunately,these are only available right now in their outlets in Pakistan. (The yellow coat Anya wore in this post is also from them.)

Also I think dresses look so much better when dressed down with boots! Please tell me you think so too? :)


Thanks for reading. Hope your week is going awesome.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Around Seattle: Music Together Classes


So I think I mentioned these music classes that I take Anya to. She is a little over 2.5 right now and isn't going to any preschool yet, just because I hope to keep her home with me for another year or so. But I realized that she needed some regular interaction with kids in a group so I looked around and ended up taking her to these music classes that I absolutely love now. Ever since she was a baby, she has been very into music and even started humming to her favorite poems before she could say many words. With my husband being a talented closet guitarist and our common love for music, I would love for Anya to grow up to appreciate and enjoy good music. And the Music Together classes at the Seashell Music Academy are perfect for us.

These classes have been around since 1987 and the program is world renowned. The program has nine song collections that they divide into different semesters, so even if you take a couple of semesters, it doesn't get boring, even for the parent. In fact, of all the song/poem collections Anya has gone through, these ones are our favorite as even I don’t mind listening to these over and over again at all.

Here’s a little about this program via their website.
Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age 7. By emphasizing actual music experiences rather than concepts about music, Music Together introduces children to the pleasures of making music instead of passively receiving it from CDs or TV.
Go here to visit the Music Together website.






If you live in the Seattle area and are interested, there are classes all over the area including Redmond, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Seattle, Bothell, Snoqualmie, Duvall. Go here to find a class near you. Classes start this week and if you are interested you can check if they will let you try out a class.


This is not a sponsored post and I am not being paid by Music Together for this post :)

Thanks for stopping by. Much love.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Keeping it real.


I know I usually like to talk on the blog about happy and inspiring things, but as much as I wish our lives were always like that, I know that is not really possible. Those days are inevitable for a mommy, when it all gets too overwhelming and you’re just plain tired and have no stamina whatsoever for anything and specially for toddler tantrums. This past week was like that. Between trying to manage the home and food and laundry, and making time for my family across the world, trying to keep Anya involved and happy, trying to catch up on editing and blogging with a toddler going mama, mama, mama non-stop, I was just beyond overwhelmed by the end of more days than I’d like to admit. Things seemed out of control and in trying to get everything to be perfect, nothing was even close to that. I could barely keep my head up by the end of the day, and had no stamina for Anya’s longer by the day bedtimes. Patience is not one of my best traits and in my frustrated and overwhelmed mode, I am more prone to losing my temper and yelling at Anya over our daily struggles. And that leads to guilt and even more frustration. Not a good cycle to get stuck in.

The thing is I am partly to blame. I want to organize my days better. I want to learn to let go of some things. I want to sleep better. I want to enjoy the moment more and live in the present. I guess it is all a balancing act, some days we may seem like we have it all under control, but then days like these remind us that we don’t in fact. It is good to reevaluate and realize what is working for you and what is not. Hopefully that is the first step to some welcome changes. To all the moms reading this (including all the moms in my life, specially my own mom), whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom or a working mom. You are awesome, and my respect for you grows as my baby grows.


Anya wears: Dress from Target (A gift from a sweet friend of mine), Tights from Carters, Sneakers from Target, Hair Bow from Claire's

Mama wears: T Shirt from Urban Outfitters (also worn here), Dress from Old Navy, Scarf from Charlotte Russe, Pumps from Target.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To Peace and all the lives lost.

Just like most others, I remember exactly where I was on that September 11th, 12 years ago. At our house in Islamabad, my family was busy with our own evening routines. Our TV was not working so we had no idea until my grandfather called up and told us we needed to watch the news. As we huddled up in front of the little TV in our parents bedroom, watching the towers come down and the events that followed in shock. In that moment, I think we did not realize the enormity of what had happened and how much that incident will change this world we live in. But truly, in the instant that it happened, it all changed, even for us that lived right across the world from where the towers were hit. I had recently started my first year of university and was usually the last person to be interested in politics or news stories but suddenly these were main topics of discussion even in our lectures.

As I remember that day, I am praying for the lives that were lost that morning, and the millions that have lost their lives as a result of that day since then. In the wars, in the drone attacks, in hate crimes, in the terror attacks in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, UK, US and just all over the world. And while this day was terrible, I wish that it had brought the world closer and not more fearful of each other. I wish that we had learned from it, that instead of responding with hate for each other, we had only tried to understand and open our hearts.

But it did open a dialogue, it opened our eyes to a world beyond our own. For those in the west, it showed how their governments’ involvement in other countries across the world, can affect their own world. It showed us Muslims how terror has found a place within us and that it needs thought and action on our part to change things. Those of us living alongside other religions have the additional responsibility now to live better and negate what these fundamentalists are depicting Islam to be, to learn more about our own religion, and to be able to answer questions that people around us have.

The sad part is this. 12 years later terrorism continues to grow despite the efforts done to counter it. How much longer will this work? How many more wars, how many security lapses will it take for us to change the way we fight it? Because whether we are able to see it or not, we are further away from a safer world than we were before 9-11. It is easy to point fingers and attack. It is harder to evaluate our own selves and our actions. But maybe it is time for just that. If for nothing else but for our kids and a better world for them.

Source: Unknown.

I want to share what Kelle Hampton wrote a few years ago,

“Something happened between that fateful day ten years ago and today's memorial that has changed the way I look at the events and effects of September 11. I had children. And everything--everything seems to matter so much more. I don't know how to make sense of it all, and it's difficult to weigh the importance of the safety of our children and our country with the greater principle of changing the world to a place of compassion and peace. I've shielded Lainey's eyes this week from the memorable images of that day--protecting her from things her little 4-year-old mind doesn't need to know quite yet. And yet I want her to know someday because it's important.

And what will I tell her? I don't know. I hope that her world and the world of her children will be so much better than ours. And when my mind stretches and trails off dangerously to a future that overwhelms me, I rein it in to the comfortable, focused task of today. You teach compassion and love. You live compassion and love. I can handle that today.”

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Displaying Photos in Jars.


Happy Monday morning you guys :) Some of you noticed our little photo display from the post on Bilal’s birthday and I thought I’d share more of that today. I am always on the lookout for ideas to display the gazillions of pictures I take and the many that I have printed out. This idea has been around for a while and recently when a friend mentioned it, I finally made a photo jar display on the mantle. I love that it is a super simple idea and looks so pretty.


You can make your own version of this to display photo memories for a specific occasion or use it to decorate a corner. I find it looks best when you have a variety of sizes for the jars.

Elsie Larson also did a version of this here and do check out the other amazing ideas to display the photos you take.

(The jars I used are from various items like used up candles, peanuts jars, juices, cream cheese, pasta sauce. You can soak the jars in warm soapy water to get the stubborn labels off.)


Thanks for reading and hope your day is amazing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My favorite coffee table books.

2013-01-28 Back home 099

2013-01-28 Back home 101

We are in the middle of redoing our living-dining area and I’m loving how open and bright it is looking already. This time I am making sure that we have areas to display the growing number of beautiful coffee table books we keep buying. I loveeeee books and even though I am increasingly switching to the kindle versions for most of my current reads, I can never stop buying these large, hardcover, picture pretty ones.  I love that just through the titles of these books, you can tell your story, where you come from, what interests you.

If any space of yours feels like it is missing something, consider displaying some coffee table books on a table, in a basket next to a couch, on a mantle; pretty much any space can come alive with just this little addition.

Today, I thought I would share some favorites.



Young House Love by the famous husband-wife duo of the blog by the same name. Great to inspire DIY projects of all types and sizes. It is written in their same humorous voice which is my favorite part. Of course besides being a home décor DIY book, it is total eye candy and inspiring. You’ll love it if you have been following their blog, if you love home décor, if you just got your own place or if you love DIYing.

Design Sponge at home. One of my absolute favorites and probably the most popular one on this list here. If you follow the blog Design Sponge by Grace Bonney, you must be familiar with the sneak peeks she shares of real homes every Monday. This book is a collection of some of those along with DIYs and other tips. I love this book and browsing through it always inspires me. You’ll love it if you are a fan of the blog, if you are inspired by real homes, if home décor is your thing.

Nate Berkus: Things that matter is the latest book by the interior design celebrity and such a treat to read. It is all about filling our houses up with things that mean something to us, that have a story. It contains spaces he has decorated, the people and their prized possessions and the stories behind them. You will love it if you are into home décor, if you are a fan of Nate Berkus, if you get attached to things and objects around you.

The perfectly imperfect home. Lovely little book on decorating your space that covers pretty much everything décor related from furniture to entertaining in your home. What sets this apart is the beautiful illustrations instead of photographs. I also love the many little practical tips this contains to make our houses feel like a home. You’ll love it if you’re just starting to decorate your space, if you love art and illustrations and if you’re a home décor junkie. 


Kate Spade: Things we love.. It is hard not to fall in love with this book just by the looks of it. Gold edged paper and a hot pink hardcover behind the dust jacket, and I was in love. You’ll love it if you love Kate Spade and their colorful style, if you’re inspired by the vintage and of course if you’re a fashionista.


Journey through Pakistan. I have grown up seeing an earlier edition of this book in our house as my mother had a copy. So I was very excited to find a latest edition of it on a trip back home. It is a beautiful journey into Pakistan that surveys the history, depicts the culture of its people, and portrays the variety of the terrain of the country. You’ll love it if you’re from Pakistan or ever lived in Pakistan, if you’re into travelling or if you’d like to see another side to life in this much misrepresented country.

To God Belong the Names Most Beautiful. I saw this at someone’s house on our trip to the bay area with my parents and sisters some years ago and it stayed with me. I was excited when I found it at a bookshop in Islamabad. Beautiful calligraphy of the names of Allah along with poetry on each name in English by the author. You’ll love it if you’re Muslim, if you are a student of world religions, if you are inspired by beautiful calligraphy, if you are inspired by spirituality and if poetry is your thing.


Bloom: Finding beauty in the unexpected. I have talked about this book a few times before too and as a mom it is one of my favorite books to be inspired by just like her blog. This hardcover version of the book is full of Kelle’s beautiful photography portraying simple joys and the beauty of childhood and being a mom. You’ll love this if you are a mom, if you have a special needs person in your family, if you love photography and believe in enjoying the small things.


America at home. I discovered this book at HPB’s and picked up a few copies straightaway. This is the collection of photographs from an interesting online photo project in 2007 to depict what life in America means to the millions that make up its population. The book captures home life and what it means to different people, the distinctive rituals, ceremonies, traditions, intimate moments. I love how it captures the feel of America and its multicultural culture. You’ll love it if you’re an American or live in the United States, if you are into photography and its role in documenting our daily lives.


A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea book. just came out a couple of weeks ago and being a fan of the blog and Elsie Larson, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It is full of beautiful pictures and so many ideas to inspire your photography. I love that it covers so many different areas of photography and gives specific tips for each, including self portraits, taking pictures of your house, outfit pictures, product photography and so much more. It also has  a section on the different ways to display your photography in your space. You’ll love it if you are a fan of their blog, if you love taking pictures and would love to be inspired, if you’re a professional photographer and need inspiration for those uninspired days.




Hope this inspires you to go out buy (or order online) some pretty books or browse through the ones you already own while sipping a cup of hot tea or coffee. Do you have any favorites/recommendations you’d like to share? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WHAT WE WORE Plaids and stripes and an outfit post with a view.

Hello lovely people, I’m back. Sorry about that unannounced break, I just got caught up with a few things going on and blogging got pushed out of the scene. Some days it does get a bit hard trying to do this blogging thing regularly, even though I feel so passionate about continuing with it. But anyways, sharing an outfit post today from a few weeks ago when we went camping. The view from up here was breathless and sometimes it just hits me more than others what a beautiful part of the world we live in. This was one of those moments.



Location: Mt Constitution in Orcas Island, WA

Anya wears Dress from Osh Kosh (Here's another time that she wore this dress), Leggings by Circo from Target, Boots from Old Navy, Hair Bow from Target, Yellow cardigan from Old Navy.

Mama wears Shirt from Target, Jeans from Gap, Sneakers by Keds from Nordstrom Rack.


The pictures with both of us in them, taken by my good friend, Nabila.

Hope you enjoy this little peek and will be back on Friday with a post on some favorite coffee table books.

Thanks so much for reading and checking back.