Monday, October 28, 2013

An outfit post and some gorgeous weather.


Hi lovelies, it is absolutely beautiful outside these days. I’m a spring person mostly as it signifies bluer skies specially this side of the world but there is something about this fall that I am particularly enjoying. We wake up to foggy mornings with the slightest hint of sun rays streaming through and as the day goes by they turn into these bright sunshine filled evenings of the prettiest type. And not forgetting the beautiful shades of yellows, orange and gold everywhere. Sigh.

For once I am actually excited about all things cozy and signifying winters. Coats and sweaters and boots and scarves and sipping hot tea as it snows outside. Beautiful. I cant wait!


Anya wears: Sweater from Old Navy, Jeans from Osh Kosh, Shoes from Old Soles via MyHabit.

I wear: Shirt (also worn here and here) and Cardigan from Gap, Jeans from Old Navy, Boots by Bear Paw from TJMaxx 


How is fall like in your corner of the world? Are you excited about anything in particular as the days get colder?

Thank you so much for reading and stopping by.


The photos with both of us in them taken by my sweet friend Nabila.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I hope.

‘I hope they will remember our home as a refuge where they are completely loved. I hope they remember our home as a beautiful place to be and play and dream. I love a clean house, but it cannot always be. There is brownie batter on my floor. There is spilled paint on my patio. There are grass clippings on my welcome mat. I hope someday I walk into my daughters’ homes and find just enough mess to prove they are enjoying life, and just enough organization to prove they’ve got their lives together.’ via here


Just something I read and felt like sharing.

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tips for travelling to Pakistan with a baby

Good morning sweet people. So most of my readers happen to be from Pakistan and if you’re an immigrant like us, and have family back home, you probably visit them quite often. I have been back home to visit my family twice in her two years and even though I have yet to experience summers with her there, I have had a bit of experience in Pakistani winters. Its funny how when you prepare to leave from here, there is so much you worry about as a parent - their health, their safety, everything. But once you're there and welcomed with open arms and hearts by people that love you and your little ones more than themselves, in just a few weeks those fears that were so real move in a further corner of your mind.

A friend of mine is visiting Pakistan for the first time in many many years and the very first time with her little toddler and I have been giving her little pieces of advice from my own experiences. I thought I would compile those into a post for any other moms that feel like they need these tips. Of course these are all my own experiences and others might have had different ones, so I would love to hear your thoughts too.

tips for travelling to pakistan with a baby image

- Do take a travel appointment with a travel clinic or your kid’s doctor if possible. They'll make sure your kid is up to date on vaccinations and they might recommend a malaria medicine. I have chosen to avoid it both times as it has to be taken throughout your trip for it to work. I might have used it if I had visited in the summers. Do make sure to keep a baby-safe insect repellent and use it when your baby is going to be exposed to the outdoors after dusk. (We used this one whenever we needed to and avoid baby’s hands if they put them in the mouth a lot).

- Don’t worry about diapers and wipes as they are available everywhere. Pampers are the most popular brand there and we used these ones which I thought were great for sensitive skin too. They were sold almost everywhere so only take as much as you'll need for the journey and the first few days. Unscented wipes are a bit hard to find so if that is important to you, you might want to keep those. Otherwise I used whichever ones I could find, mostly Johnsons and Pampers. 

- Water, water, water is the main cause of many illnesses there. So only use bottled water and try to stick to Nestle or if you cant find that, Aquafina. Some people also boil the bottled water and then use it, but I haven't had to do that for Anya yet. My mom boils filtered water so I would use that to wash bottles etc. but otherwise I would suggest using bottled water to wash those too. 

- Wash your baby's (and your own) hands a lot! Regular soap and water will do. When you don’t have access to water, use wipes to clean their hands after being in any public places. This one tip I have seen helps a lot specially for babies that put their hands in their mouth all the time.

- Baby foods are also available in the bigger cities. Make sure to check expiry dates. I used some by Cow's Gate mostly and a couple by Heinz on my first trip. You can also try the locally produced Nestle's Cerelac specially the wheat one. Anya enjoyed having it for breakfast. I would suggest not taking much snacks as I took too much both times. They will love the cookies/chips etc. they find there along with fruits and yogurts should be enough. 

-Local Pediatrician Keep a local pediatrician’s number handy for emergencies just in case. You can ask around relatives or friends with young kids for a recommendation. Make sure to save this in your phone.

- In the car. Even though there is no law on car seats I did take my infant car seat both times. We used it for longer journeys and whenever there was enough space in the car for that. However sometimes you might not be able to use it because of space issues or there might not be seat belts in the backseat(!). Make sure to keep your kid only in the backseat and tightly in yours or someone else's lap. I wouldn't let her roam around in the back or stand on the seat in a moving car. Try to keep some entertainment for them or involve them in something so they are less likely to be bored and wiggle around. If possible, put your own seatbelt on and then keep both hands on them in your lap.

- Eating. Try to give them mostly home cooked food as that is the safest for them to eat. Anya loves fruit and Pakistani fruit is just so amazing, so she would eat a lot of that too. Try to give them fruit that can be peeled like bananas, apples, guavas, oranges etc. Avoid fruits like grapes/strawberries etc. or make sure to wash them a couple times in bottled water.

- Avoid yogurt/salads/water when eating out. Steer very clear of yogurt/salad/water specially when you eat out whatever the place might be. Remember to avoid unobvious sources of water like ice/concentrated juice squashes etc.

- Probiotics Anya’s doctor recommended Culturrelle for my first trip as I was going to be taking Anya with me to the hospital where my dad was and I was worried about her getting sick. It is a natural probiotic that is great for digestive health and I ended up using it on both trips and thank God she did not get any too major tummy troubles in part because of this, I believe. It comes in different forms and I used the powder form that I would add to her milk bottle but there are chewable ones for toddlers. It also comes in tablet form for adults.

Also give them a lot of yogurt. My daughter loves yogurt and enjoyed the Nestle yogurt there a lot. It is great too for any tummy troubles.

- Sterilization. I have used a microwave sterilizer like this as well as these sterilizing bags by Medela. I would usually wash the bottles just with bottled water and every night or so sterilize everything. I did have the problem of the sterilizer not fitting in some microwaves so the bags were better in that sense. Just a couple of them will last you a long time as they can be reused for a number of times. I forgot to take these the second time and just washed the bottles in boiled or bottled water instead and that worked okay too. 

- Listen to your own mom instinct and do what feels right to you. You will probably hear a lot of 'we have also raised kids', 'we do it like this' etc. but do what feels comfortable to you and find a polite way to let others around you know if there's any particular things/foods/you want your kid to stay away from.

- In Winters If you're going in winters, even though the temperatures might seem like it wont be that cold, but the brick/cement houses make it freezing in places like Islamabad. The energy crisis also adds to it so make sure to keep warm clothes and specially for the night. I swear by the footed fleece pjs by Carters. Do keep warm sweaters and jackets as they’ll be keeping them on in the house too most of the time.

- Try to avoid very crowded spaces or rush hours. Be aware of the surroundings and make a mental note of exits wherever you are. Keep an eye on the news so you know the situation in your city. Even though it sounds scary, if you're there for your family and loved ones, it will all seem worth it. People are living and also enjoying their lives there and you will too. It is just a different way to live and somehow you worry more when you go with your kids.

- Enjoy Don’t stress out too much and just make sure to enjoy the extra attention, the extra help, the home-cooked tasty meals and everything that is a part of life there. Remember that even though life might seem a bit different to you, millions call it their home and raise their kids there. You will be fine and so will your kids be IA. In fact I realized my trip to Pakistan during her first year was crucial as it made me reevaluate all the things I think I cant live without in taking care of and raising a baby. We really don’t need much to raise happy babies=)

If you have any other tips, please do share in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 18, 2013

LITTLE STYLE: The beginning of Fall.


Cant believe its Friday already. This week just flew by, mainly because of Eid and we are looking forward to a weekend of some Eid celebrations! Sharing some early fall baby style today. We took these pictures a couple weeks ago on a warmer than usual October afternoon.




Anya wears: Dress from Nordstrom (on sale and worn earlier here too), TShirt from RUUM, Leggings from Gap, Rain Boots from Western Chief, Hair Bow from Claires


Thanks for stopping by.

Be back next week with regular posting. Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eid-ul-Azha Mubarak


Image found via Pinterest

Eid-ul-Adha Mubarak1 to all my Muslim readers. May the best of His blessings come your family’s way and may this day remind us to live our lives the way we should.

Hope yours was lovely. Be back soon.


1Eid ul Adha or Eid ul Azha (as us from Pakistanis pronounce it), is the second of the two Eids celebrated by Muslims all over the world. Read about its significance here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Inspiring me lately.

Hello Monday. Hello sweet people. Thought I’d give your week an inspiring start with some of the beautiful stuff I have been pinning.


Live Better


On Marriage


Found via Pinterest.

Baby Style


(Top row) Little oxfords. Osh Kosh also has two adorable ones I’ve had my eye on, a metallic beige one, and this blue dotted one. 

(Bottom row) These toddler sunglasses <3 and beautiful sequin dress by Boden (also available at Nordstrom)

Raising Kids.


(Top row) How to expose your kids to different cultures.

(Middle row) And why to read multicultural books to your kids.

And another great read for the stay-at-home mom that is having a bad day, How to turn it around in these simple ways.

Home and Décor


(Top row) Left Loving the large prints displayed on a wire. Right Great idea, making a guest room cart for when you have friends/family staying in.

(Bottom row) Crushing on Beni Ourain rugs. Here are some resources for every price range, if you are looking for one.



Left Silk tapered pants. Right I think its finally time to get myself some fringed Minnetonkas.



Love these adorable and so creative handmade Halloween costumes for her kids. Make sure to check out the rest of her blog for creative seasonal décor and DIY ideas  



(Top Row) After the church attacks, Muslims stand up for their Christian friends in Pakistan.

(Bottom Row) Pakistan’s newest super hero, and lessons Disney could learn from her.

In the news


Why it is best that Malala did not win the Nobel Peace Prize. These are exactly my thoughts on the situation and also If you listened to this yet, you should right now. Malala Yousufzai on Daily Show with Jon Stewart

None of the images above are mine. Clicking on them will take you to original sources.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How to keep your baby connected to your families the long distance way.


If you have been following this blog for a while, you probably know that our little family lives an ocean away from our extended families. And that we miss them a lot specially since Anya came to our world. It is important for us that Anya grows up loving this extended family of hers who love her like she’s their own. Because of this, since the start, I have been trying to find ways to keep Anya connected with them.

Here are some ways that have helped.


We always used to videocall/Skype, but it was only once Anya was born that it became a routine in our lives. She started responding to their voices very early on and 6 month onwards she even had silly head nodding games she would play with them on it. For babies and young kids, being regular is the key. I hear a lot how some kids don’t like to talk on Skype, but don’t give up so easily. Do it often and slowly I’m sure you’ll notice them opening up. Of course this also doesn’t mean that they will always respond, there will be times they wont want to talk and that is totally okay.

Anya talks to her nani, dadi, khalas, phupos, taya1 and cousins regularly on Skype. Now as she is almost 2.5 years old, my sisters can literally ‘baby-sit' her online, while I get something else done. It is a routine for her to open Skype and click on each of our loved ones that she routinely talks to, and decide who she wants to talk to on that particular day. Right now as I type, Anya is 'playing' with one of her khalas1 on Skype :)

Talking about your families with them.

Anya was a little shy of 2 years old on our last trip to Pakistan so when we came back I would repeatedly remind her of the things that our loved ones used to say, those special ways they would use to talk/connect with her. Repetition works a lot with younger kids. As kids grow older you can tell them their stories, your memories of them, any funny or interesting stories about them. Or even include their characters in their favorite stories. This is also a great way to tell them about family members that have passed away and gives them a chance to still know them. Bilal tells her stories of her dada1 sometimes, and shows her pictures with it. And my heart swells up when Anya recognizes my dad in pictures and immediately says Nana1.

I also always point out when Anya wears something given to her by one of our families or even friends actually, or when she plays with one of the toys that were gifted by them. I hope it will be another way to know they love her and to feel connected to them. Anya, now loves to tell me that any dress she is wearing phupo ne diya hai, ‘Phupo1 gave this.’


If you haven’t made a family picture display wall yet, I say now is the time :). Even though we don’t have a proper photo wall yet, we have a slideshow of pictures of our families running on a digital frame in our living area and Anya loves standing by it and pointing out the names of everyone she sees.

You can also make photo albums or photo books of your times with them and make an activity of going through them on a lazy weekend. I also put up some pictures of Anya with our families on a wall in her room, so she can look at them whenever she wants to.

I have a habit of making videos and editing them with a simple soundtrack. So I put these on for Anya sometimes, specially the ones from our trips to Pakistan (They’re also a good break from the endless cartoons they can watch) Even if you don’t do that, I’m sure you make lots of cellphone videos and that can serve the same purpose. Kids love to watch the same videos over and over again.  


Here are a few other ideas,

  • Celebrate their birthdays/special days even from far. Telling your kids what you’re celebrating and maybe even celebrating with your own little cupcake? I shared about long distance celebrations once before, Check that out here.
  • Involve your kids in gift shopping for them/writing cards/making packages for them.
  • Remember each of your loved ones by name, when you say duas or prayers at bedtime with your kid.


Cellphone pictures from our last trip to visit family. Edited in Pixlr.

Do you have any other interesting ways to keep your kids connected with loved ones that live far away? I would love for you to share your ideas.

Thank you so much for reading.


Urdu has specific words for both maternal and paternal side of relations. Nani: Maternal grandmother, Nana: Maternal grandfather, Dadi: Paternal grandmother, Dada: Paternal grandfather, Phupo: Dad’s sister, Khala: Mom’s sister, Taya: Dad’s elder brother.