Blogging - Taking me away from the dark side of life.


Can I just put a disclaimer first? Blogging is not just rainbows and butterflies like many people think. We don't just get to sit home and write, take pictures and use free products. Well we do. But there is hard work involved. Background pictures, investing in backgrounds, good lightening, taking pictures, building your website, interacting with other bloggers, finish off meetings and lots more! And if you are a parent blogger, you need to juggle the children, their food, their tantrums, playing with them and doing your work on the side that sods off till they are in bed. And while I am typing, my little one is wiping his nose with my shirt and demanding that I let him drink my RedBull.

So since my blog turns a year old this month, I can not contain my happiness. With blogging, as cliched as it sounds, I have re-discovered myself and I know what to make a career out of. I never really got to work before my marriage. Right off from my university to marriage. And being a housewife although majorly my choice, I wanted financial freedom. I tried getting into a few makeup classes so i could purse a career as a makeup artist. but well, that went down the drain. Thought of taking up teaching, but then I had my own child to handle.

A whole year later, after battling post-partum depression on my own and continuously fighting with my husband, I decided to start my blog as a hobby. To keep me away from evil thoughts all the time. But because I was travelling so much and I never knew about blogger support groups and the know how of blogging, that got left in between. Come 2016, I decided to take blogging seriously. I knew if I could stick to blogging, I wouldn't worry about other things as much.

So I took things slowly. And although I initially started my blog as a parenting blog, my first post up was a fashion haul. Just a quick reality check: VERY few people from your friends and family are going to support you because they do not see blogging as a full time job. They think that you just have to sit down and write. So you have to stick up for yourself and do what you love. Slowly and gradually I started gathering readers. Even if there were only 10 views a month, I had faith in myself.

I never stuck to one single niche on my blog. I know many bloggers tell you to stick to one niche but I was never that kind of person. I wanted to do everything on my own! So my blog covers everything. From beauty, fashion, lifestyle, parenting and food. Do what you like and do what you want. Also, when I first started blogging, I used to compare myself to SO many bloggers. Literally, me, a newbie, used to compare myself to bloggers that have been working since a minimum of three years. Don't ever do that if you plan to take up blogging. You are only going to ruin your day and your faith in the work you do.

Blogging has truly built up my confidence. I look at myself as a completely new person. It has taken away half of my anxious state and I am more aware of how to approach people and brands. I have an open mind. I know how to juggle family and work. I have my own financial independence, even though its literally compared to nothing but at least I have those few pounds in my hands. My husband looks at me in a different light. He knows that I don't sit and laze around the house all day. There is a new found respect in our relationship. Blogging has helped me with my anxiety so much. I used to stutter with nervousness while talking to strangers and friends and it has all but gone away.

So this year, I thank the Lord for blessing me with the idea of blogging. For helping me to find a way out when I was on the edge to call blogging quits. This year, cheers to blogging and to all the bloggers that have helped me reach where I am. Thank you.

Identify your toxic relationship and let go.

I have been meaning to write this down since such a long time but I just could not find the emotional strength to put it down.

What exactly is a toxic relationship? People have been in abusive relationships. Mental, physical, verbal and emotional abuse. And if any kind of abuse takes over a relationship it becomes toxic. Please note that I am not trying to be insensitive to any one here. Toxic relationships are not just identified with women in general. Men are also forced to stay in such liaisons. 

When you are in a relationship where physical abuse hoovers, you HAVE to get out of that relationship. It wrecks you in every kind of way. But there are so many people who don't realise that they are in a toxic relationship just because physical abuse is not present. Mental and emotional torture is as much a part of a toxic relationship than physical abuse. 

So how do you identify toxicity in a relationship?

POWER.

This is the most common form. If your partner is asserting power on you and your daily lifestyle, then this is it. That power is misused to break relationships with friends and family so that you have no one to rely on except your own partner which in turn gives them more power. You are not allowed to talk on the phone during a certain time of the day, talk to certain people, not allowed to go out and have a breather. And then there is a constant fear of them trying to prove that you were cheating on them, even if that was not the case. 

OVER EXPECTATIONS.


Your partner has so much control over you and yet they expect you do something that isn't in your hands. They keep expecting you to reach to the bar they think they have set but you always fail miserably. Emotional and verbal abuse follows. Fighting resumes and in the end, you're the only one frantically trying to worry yourself to reach their expectations.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FEEL.

Your partner likes seeing you suffer. You are only allowed to feel what they feel and then nothing else. If you want to let your feelings flow, they become defensive and pressurise you into keeping your feelings within you. They constantly try to make you feel what they feel without realising that you need to have your own emotions. Emotional blackmailing and getting infuriated when you have your own burst of emotional breakout, spreads more toxicity in the relationship.

ALWAYS BEING CAUTIOUS

You are ALWAYS walking on eggshells around them, not knowing what might trigger their mood. You constantly have to distance yourself from them to avoid upsetting them. You just don't know what to do when they are around just incase verbal diarrhoea is thrown at you.

NOT KNOWING HOW TO APPROACH THEM.

Speaking from personal experience, when you are in a toxic relationship, you start having anxiety before you need to address your problem with them. Any problem or topic you bring up with them, they get infuriated over useless things. You have to think about it a hundred times before you bring it up with them. There will always be something that will trigger them to become abusive all over again.

Learn how to identify the toxicity in your relationship and gather up your courage and self confidence, and WALK OUT. You do not need someone to demean you and constantly put you down just because the way you are. You are amazing. You are strong. You are confident. It may not be easy to walk out but you need to hold on and go ahead. Lean on a family member. Take someone into confidence so that they can perk you up when you think that you will not be able to walk away. Do not let one rotten relationship ruin your present and your future. You are so much more than being someones punch bag. 

Karan Johar's An Unsuitable Boy - Worth it or not?


When you first start reading the book, the initial thought that comes to mind is, was it seriously written by a 15-year-old going through issues with their high school teen life? The first chapter was a bit too much for me. I thought, man is he trying to gain sympathy from the readers? I literally put the book down for three days. Maybe my expectation level was a bit high?

When I finally started reading again, I slowly took the words into perspective. Then I realised that this book was supposed to be personal. The book speaks like, its talking to someone close to you. Like an old friend confiding in you after a really long time. You don’t need heavy words to talk to your friends, you just confide.

The first chapter of the book describes everything that happened in his childhood. From the good to the bad and from the bad to the good. You might start thinking that why is he talking about his friends who live in his building and why does he really need to speak about it? Further on, you catch on that this book, if anything else, gives an insight into his private life.

I got this book, thinking it might have some Bollywood masala kind of news, but as you slowly get absorbed into it, you know the background of everything that happens in the movie making business. You will be able to relate to the book a lot more if you have been watching Koffee with Karan since the beginning!


He tells us about how his transition, from getting into his father’s business to becoming a director, came along. And how he had decided that would become a costume designer! He gets personal about his friends, Aditya Chopra, Apoorva and others. He speaks about his first funny encounter with Shahrukh Khan and how he wasn’t a big a fan of his before he first met him and started talking to him.

Although he was not a big Bollywood fan and he got into the movie industry with quiet an ease, he struggled to find his place. He gets extremely raw about his father’s death in the book and that was one time when I did have goosebumps on my arms and you do get a soft corner for him! He hasn’t held back certain details about his life and his struggle and comes out to the readers ready to be judged. But on the other hand, he has kept his readers in an anxious state about other details with his friends and family. The rift with Kajol was such. He went ahead and wrote about the reason the fall out happened but he hasn’t elaborated it.

What I did notice is that, his father’s personality and upbringing has certainly rubbed off him. He speaks about how his father let others take him for granted in the beginning and how he was ready to do everyone’s work. When you get through 3/4th of the book, you realise that he does have some of his father’s qualities. He is ready to help people out, he is grounded with his goals. He clearly tells his readers that people think that he is a snooty rich boy and he is not afraid to admit it. He likes spending on luxury items and knows that he has worked for it.

While reading the book, you do feel that he tried to find the respect that was given to senior directors and to those people who have kept their aura as mystique and unapproachable. But what he doesn’t acknowledge is that people like him for what he is. He knows the low down of his generation and as well as the younger generation. People want him to communicate and so he has and he wants the same from other members of the fraternity.

This book is fun and filled with anecdotes about his life. If he has gone way too raw and personal with his life, he also has kept it private at a certain extent. I also feel that he has tried to fix certain fallouts and explained them through his book. Another thing that I really liked about him in his book is that he has appreciated and acknowledged the people responsible for bringing him from his days of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
to the influence, he has created in the industry today.

All in all, it is a fun read if you keep your expectations in a normal range during the beginning of the book.



Dating your partner after having children.


We all have come to terms with the fact that parenting is a full time job and there is literally no tracing your steps back. What people do not realise is that, it is perfectly normal to crave freedom and trying to get out for a while and there is absolutely no shame in trying to spice things up with your partner. Parents literally have zero time on their hands to actually get work done so let alone trying to fit in a quick date with your significant other.

So after the days work and with the kids asleep, all you want to do is get under the duvet and dose off as soon as your close your eyes. But we often forget that it is important to give each other your time and relax so maintain a healthy relationship and a general happy atmosphere in the house.

My husband and I haven't gone on a date in AGES. I can not even remember the last time we went to the cinema to watch a movie together. But we do take out time for doing little things that is just our alone time and get more comfortable in each others lives.

1. Breakfast dates.

I know, I know that breakfast is a rushed situation in most households but it literally is the most important meal and time that your spend with your family. My husband usually drops my son to school and then goes off to work. But every once in a while, he will go in late just to take me out for breakfast. We drop our little man to school and then go to a nearby cafe to catch a quick breakfast. It is literally the only time, I am not worrying about my son spilling tea all over. So once your child(ren) are in school, go on and grab a quick breakfast together!

2. Family help/Baby sitter.

So this one is a little tricky. I do not have any family here  in London and I am generally very very scared to get a babysitter so this one does not apply to me! But I am quiet excited for family to come visit me here so my husband and I can sneak out for a date night with nothing to worry about. But if you have family around and you are more comfortable with the idea of hiring a baby sitter, then seriously, what is stopping you from occasionally going out on a date? Dress up and have fun! 

3. Movie Nights.

I love love love movie nights with the husband! I seriously look forward to them every single week! We sometimes have them twice a week and it is just the most favourite time of the week for me! Since we can not go out to the cinema, we bring the cinema home! I plan ahead for movie nights. So I skip nap time for my son during the day and he goes to bed early after dinner. The husband and I have ample time to finish a movie, snack on literally everything and generally have fun! Sometimes we watch an old Indian movie or we stream a new movie that has hit the charts! Switch off all the lights and have some popcorn, tortilla chips, soda and lots of sweets to munch on!

4. Family dates.

I love family dates! And we literally have the best time ever! If your child is a bit older, then you can go bowling as a family. Maybe go to the zoo on a sunny day and make a picnic out of it! Even if you don't want to go out and want to stay in the house, make a small picnic in the backyard! Put in some activities like water balloons, paint fights, a small cricket or football match will just do the trick and bring you way closer in as a family. And the laughing fits that escalate after, are the best thing ever!

5. Child friendly restaurants.

Skip the regular dinner nights that end up in burger joints or pizza places. Look for fine dining options that have a child friendly atmosphere. A lot of restaurants are combining fine dining with being child friendly. And I seriously can not thank them enough. As much as we love our kids, we do love going out and indulging in good food without worrying about other people harassing us about bringing our kids for fine dining. Feed your kid from home if they are a bit too small to eat themselves. So you do not have to worry about feeding them and then focusing on your food. Happy tummies also lead to a joyful time, in my case.

These are some of the ideas that you can use to rekindle the love in your relationship. To experience a healthy relationship is very very important to create a general happy atmosphere in the house. The children witness love and etch it in their memory and they grow up respecting their own relationships. If you have a bit of saving, then you can also go for a staycation as a family. The children can relax with the activities and you do not have to worry about the stress of always hawking them out.

Halal Goodies - Changing the luxury world one halal box at a time.

You know that feeling when you are out of town and a relative has to receive your parcels and you just literally can not wait to go back and rip open the parcels for sweet joy? Yep. I was in Pakistan when the Halal Goodies Celebration box was delivered for me and I literally went over straight from the airport to pick up this gorgeous beauty of a box!

The box was seriously HUGE which was making me even more excited! Its so spacious that I have well fitted all my other skin care goodies in the box. 

As soon as you open the box, a really really soft aroma greets you that confirms that it really is a luxury box filled with pure organic products. 

There is a small JazakAllah (May Allah reward you with Goodness) card and I instantly fell in love with the blush pink colour. This is the kind of personalisation people should try and achieve. I love how some brands personalise the packages accordingly and it instantly makes you loyal towards the brand.

Further on, there is a monthly magazine SISTERS MAGAZINE that helps you cultivate your faith and be a better person. 

As I dug in, I came across this beautifully packaged envelope and as soon as I opened it, I was surprise to see FIVE prints that would you go perfect with my living room decor. They're beautiful prints that do nothing but make you smile every time you see them!

There is also a small notebook included which says love notes on the cover and has small adorable detailing in the inside that just makes the inner muslimah smile! 

Coming to the actual goodies, the first thing you see is a gorgeous cotton viscose scarf from NABIILA BEE. If you don't know who she is, check out her Instagram page. She is an amazing modest fashion icon and a You-tuber in the Muslim world and has inspired a lot of women to be who they are and accept it with love. The colour is described as a Honeysuckle shade on her website and its perfect for adding that pop of colour to your outfit.

Then there are two soaps by ALL NATURAL SOAP CO. One is a HUGE bar of an oatmeal soother and there other is a small soap. And I just can't bring myself to use it because I know the shape is going to get ruined! Its just so tiny and beautifully crafted! The company makes 100% natural soaps that are SLS and paragon free! 

Of course you can not have a subscription box with a lip product and theres a full sized AKAMUTI ruby fruits lip balm. I have been using it for three days now and I love how soft it has made my chapped lips feel. I think it might be my new favourite, leaving the Body Shop hemp lip balm behind.

The next product I was pretty excited to try, as with all masks haha! It is the ORGANIC SURGE deep cleansing mask. I have used it twice and it made my skin look so radiant! And it is such a cool mask that you don't have to paste it all over your skin. Just massage it onto cleansed skin and wash it after 15 minutes! The results are realllllly good! 

A samples are also included my NOURISH and EVOLVE beauty. And I am pretty excited to try these out and buy their full sized products! 

Even though this box is marketed towards the Muslim community, I feel that the Halal Goodies box is not just for the Muslimah in the UK. If you love organic, pure, handmade, cruelty free products, then this box definitely is for everyone! Just log on to their website and indulge in to the world of luxury amazingness! 

Things Parents Of Toddlers do


You can spot parents of toddlers from afar. They do not look as dishevelled as parents of new born do and neither do they look too up beat as parents of pre-schoolers.


If you have a toddler or have been a part of the toddler life, then I am sure you can totally relate to these! And if you are still a new parent, its best you start taking notes! Ha-ha!

1. You are probably more excited for the first day of school than the child themselves. Everyone has their new clothes on. Makeup is definitely fleeking and breakfast is difficult to digest. The child definitely doesn't like being dragged out of bed and quickly changed in to new clothes but your spirits are way too high.

2. You have made plans for breakfast with your friends, catch up on chores or pamper yourself when school starts but you end up missing your child and hawk the clock till its time to pick them up.

3. You know the fear of toilet training is real. You've scoured the internet, read books on it and have taken tips from all the parents and yet you are not ready. You know you have to take the plunge and just go cold turkey but the fear remains.

4. You know pressurising your child to hurry up for something is futile. Children are way too sharp for anything. They catch on our anxiety and stall everything they can. The more you tell your child to hurry up, the more they will slow down everything. So relax, and let them work in their own pace.

5. You know you have coughed as loud as possible when you've secretly opened a soda can or a junk food wrapper.

6. You've moaned about co-sleeping all your parent life and when they finally move to their own bed, you become desperate for a snuggle from them.

7. You've let them entertain a guest or a family member while you run to the loo and pee in peace without anyone sticking a hand from under the door.

8. You've secretly laughed at people who think they have real life problems. Problems for you include:

*  Deciding what to make for dinner that can be made before you have to clean the house all over again and food that wont be thrown on the ceiling.

*Deciding whether to let your child dress themselves and make a day out of it or to fight a tornado of clothes and legos and dress your child up.

*To change the diaper or let the father come home and do it and act like they've pooped right before the other half walked in.

*Whether to take your toddler out to the mall and drown your sorrows in a coffee while your child screams bloody murder all over or just sit down with hot chocolate and order online.


9. You have hidden behind doors and in rooms and eat that piece of cheesecake which your child has been told about gone all mouldy.

10. You have to act way to careful about what you say in front of your child because, one, they will keep it on repeat and tell every stranger about it or, two, rat it out to your family members that might want you to dig up a whole and jump in.

Review: Placenta on my face?!


So a few weeks back, I received a package from Cozynyummy, which is a recent start up business and deals in health and beauty. 

I have been loving my skin these days because of a major skin care routine change. I realised how important it is to look after your skin and give it all the best you can. 
These came in a small pink organza bag! How adorable is it?
I received a few Korean sheet masks. Now, Korean skin care is something that one should definitely try. HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR SKIN?! Its like a smooth canvas of skin. I am absolutely in love with the Korean skincare and their mask sheets. You don't just have the regular products. They come up with the most unique ingredients ever.

So coming back to CozynYummy, they have their own website and an amazon shop too incase you want to make sure where you are spending your money. 

1. Fresh Fruit and Cucumber mask.

You have an important event coming up. But your skin refuses to behave. These masks are going to save you from all the skin disasters. Honey is known for its toxic extraction properties. And what is better than to put a sheet mask on your face full of honey goodness and give your skin a treat?! I used the mask a few hours before our regular date night and my skin was literally glowing. Although you have to use these masks twice a week for a better result, but one application gave me such an amazing result.

Cucumber is known for its soothing properties and for years, people have been using cucumber juice and pulp to make the skin feel more soothed and more elastic. The cucumber mask although didn't make a huge difference, it did give my skin a small spa retreat from all the make up that I have been slapping on.

2. Whitening smart mask & Platinum Essential Mask.

You might think that I am joking but the whitening smart mask from MediHeal was BOMB on my skin! I am not joking. It has a two step process. A mask base which is a gel that needs to be applied and patted in to the skin and then the mask application. This mask has to be used twice a week for a month to see the ultimate results but SERIOUSLY. 

My skin GLOWED! Its not a whitening mask as such that it will change your skin colour (LOL) but it did improve my skins texture and reduce the dullness! The Platinum Essential mask is also from MediHeal and is amazing for fine lines and wrinkles! It did give my skin that elastic loving which only lasted for 48 hours.

3. Placenta and EGF mask.

Can I just take a moment and thank the Lord for 3D masks? They are the MOST well fitting masks EVER. These masks have a small stitching going down in the middle with such a well fit under the chin. Like these masks STAY. They don't slip down AT ALL. 
When in doubt, snapchat filter it. Also, see what I meant by the stitching going through the middle?
Okay so coming back to the workings, the mask have a thick gel essence. Like you can see thick pieces of gel attached to the mask and it made sure that my mask stayed on! 
Obviously with one application, you won't see drastic results, but I can definitely see a little bit of difference! 
I was so scared to put the placenta mask on, but once it was on, it felt like another normal mask! After I took it off, my skin felt SO SO good. I think i am going to order a few more of these and use them more often! 

The EGF or the Epidermal Growth Factor mask is also going in my shopping basket! This mask is meant to repair your skin from acne marks, acne scars and little acne dents in the skin. It heals your skin and restores its properties. And so it did even with one application! I am truly amazed! SO if you are having doubts about buying these, go ahead and BUY them! They work amazingly well!