Saturday, 30 January 2016

Back In Brisbane

Salam guys! Hope you're all smiling because it's the weekend again!

Alhamdulillah I'm beyond happy to be back in Brisbane with my sister Huda and the kiddos that I've been missing every single day ever since they flew back here. Been wanting to come visit months ago but work along with everything else back home just didn't permit till now. Just when I thought things couldn't get better here, out of nowhere Kim walks into the front door with my sister early this morning! I thought my sister went out to get groceries or something, but turns out she went to pick Kim up at the airport to surprise me. Best surprise ever!!!

She's just here for the weekend, so I'm glad I managed to bring her to three of my favourite places today. Love her and my sister so much for making this happen. InshaAllah we're off to another fun adventure tomorrow! I hope you guys have something exciting planned too for this weekend. :)

South bank . City steps . The Cornfield

Photos by Yours Truly and My Nephew Luqman

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sunset at Tribeca

Love To Dress dress / dUCk scarf Chloé bag

It was our last evening in New York, and it ended way too beautifully alhamdulillah

Just before having an early dinner at Sarabeth's here in Tribeca with some close friends, we found ourselves at the end of the street overlooking the calm water and mesmerizing sunset as the boats that parked there sway left and right ever so calmly. Quite the contrast to the chaos we saw earlier that day in Chinatown as we braved through the stampede of tourists and never ending gift shops haggling for our I NYC t-shirts (I made all my niece and nephews wear it on the day I got back home, hahaa, what a sight). It was totally worth the sweat and long walk there!

Okay, so back to lower Manhattan, Tribeca. This was a place that resonated more with me. The cobbled stone streets felt cozy, adorned with one good eatery after the other, it's where you'll stumble upon ridiculously gorgeous interior shops that'll make you want to move in there, and boutiques of many home grown New York fashion labels. A heads up though, the price tags on most of those things aren't exactly recession friendly, so make sure you go to get inspired only and not to actually shop, hahaa. 

Nevertheless, I fell in love with Tribeca the first time I'd set my eyes on her, and knew this was exactly where I wanted to spend our last evening; wondering about as we soak in the city skyline, painted with the calm sunset.

Praise and glory to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Photos by Kim L.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A New Year

Salam everyone, and Happy New Yearrrrr!!! (yes I'm well aware how delayed this new year wish is, but then again, when is my blog ever not delayed, hahaa) As usual, I can't believe I'm short of a few days from letting this space go quiet for a whole month. Nevertheless, I hope all of you are in the best of health and iman, and having a good long weekend.

 Before I jump into what I want to share today, I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who have been ever so kind to share with me your beautiful dua's and kind emails. Can't believe I've been at this blog thingy about four years now. It's something I never thought I would do because I'm actually such a closed off person (your regular introvert mostly). But I recall the first ever Surah in the Quran, in fact my first proper encounter with this Book, that I listened to its explanation and the teacher concluded that each and every one of us were created uniquely and purposely different. Naturally this meant we're all good at different things, and in our own special way. And what will we do with that special thing God gave us? I didn't know. I didn't think I had a talent. But I knew for a fact I had passion for somethings more than others.

The human mind and body are marvelous God given structures. And we have all been gifted with an amazing intellect.

It was that conclusion four years ago that inspired me to get into the things I am doing now, with Allah opening ways for me to do so of course. 

I wanted to start this first post for this year with you all, sharing what I was reminded of a few years ago, and that is to find what your passion is, because most likely, that is where your talent lies as well. You may or may not be able to turn that into your career path, and that's okay. What we want is to find it, and be creative in ways we can use our God given talent to firstly beauty our relationship with the One who gave it to us in the first place, and then find ways in which we can use that special thing we have, to benefit others around us. 

Perhaps you're good at photography, have an undeniable love for animals, you're great at graphic design, love to write, love to teach, love to speak, love reaching out to those who are less fortunate, just love being around children or was born to be an entrepreneur. Whatever it is, know that there isn't one thing that is better than the other, as many times mentioned in the Quran, we are all created differently and unique so that we bloom in different fields and directions.

 I personally and so positively think we're all super humans in our own way. We really do have the ability to do amazing things. Reach inside yourself for the talent you've been given and ask Allah to let that be the thing that elevates you, not in the sight of people but in His eyes and in the hereafter. 

So here's to another new year for us to embrace our passion and talent so we can do wonders with it! And to get you started, I found this really useful article to read to help you. InshaAllah you'll be on your way to being that superhuman that you are!

Salam and Love,


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Strolling in Raeesa

Love To Dress dress / dUCk scarf / Hello Parry sunglasses

Oh man, this is hard. There's so much I want to share about that afternoon in Brooklyn, but it's late and tomorrow's a work day for you and me. So let's keep it short.

Okay here goes. A subway stop away from our Brooklyn home that week, we had a picturesque street all to ourselves. It was as calm and serene as you'd imagine it to be. The sound of neighborhood chatter, ice-cream van tunes and cars zooming by was the background music that afternoon. Kim and I happily parked ourselves on the steps of this classic brownstone neighborhood because it was just too welcoming not to (I'm so sure the owners of these homes get randoms like us sitting on their steps all the time right?). Oh God we had so much fun here, as I'm writing this I really don't remember what we did after we left, hahaa. What I vividly remember was that we had our coconut shake from Coconut Rob in one hand, and the other snapping away. We acted like kids that day. Jumping on crispy autumn leaves. Twirling about not caring who saw us. And having delightful conversations with total strangers (even though no candy was offered).

Okay, I remember now what we did afterwards! We went to Target and bought all sorts of things we may or may have not needed to bring back home. Told you it was a fun day! Who doesn't love getting lost in Target! Totally side tracked, hahaa, which means it's time to call it night. Let's just say I'm so so glad I have this memory of me strolling in my Raeesa dress in such a charming neighborhood with Kim, on a handsome autumn afternoon.

Good night guys! :)

 Photos by Kim L.

Weekend Reads

Salam everyone! Hope this long weekend has been treating you well.

A miracle happened last week because I actually managed to finish a book! (for those who don't know me, I simply grew up with the inability of being able to finish a book due to the fact that my mind just shuts down and sleeps at the sight of JUST WORDS) I've only ever finished one other book (although I'm not quite sure if it would be fair to label the Quran as a book huh), so this would be the second. A friend gave this book to my mum and I as a gift, and I didn't pick it up till a few months of it dusting away on the shelf. I'm not quite sure what prompted me to give it a shot. Perhaps it was the fact that the writer speaks from a non-Muslim eye. I am on the journey of learning about the Quran, so I was so curious what she learnt from her studies of the Quran with Sheikh Mohammed Akram Nadwi, a scholar of Islam, and longtime friend of hers.

I can't thank my friend enough for sharing this with me and others in her life, so I'd like to share this with you guys.

If nothing is certain, I asked, then "how can you prove that God actually exists?".
"You can't, not one hundred percent, offer a proof of God," said Akram. "Just as you cant offer one hundred percent proof that He doesn't exist."

For Akram, the signs were all there. That we were here talking about it at all was proof. So were sunsets and skin cells, gnats and Niagra Falls. "Allah has created enough signs for all the arguments," he said. Believers are meant to be readers of these signs: the Angel Gabriel's first word to Muhammad had been "Read".

"If Allah had wanted to make all people Muslim, he could have," explained the Sheikh. "But instead, he sent guidance. He wants people to think."

When I asked the Sheikh how I could deepen my understanding his answer invariably echoed the command that Muhammad heard: "Read." Keep reading the Quran, he told me at our last lesson. Read it, and read it again. Return