As excited as I am about finally jet-setting off into the world again, I’m equally as nervous and anxious and have been all in my feels about it the past few weeks just trying to mentally prepare for this trip.

Travel and the world have always been my thing you know lol the thing I was good at and could/would do on my terms always and the way I wanted to. Staying in dingy hostels, accepting rides from strangers and trusting the universe and kindness of people, trying new foods without the fear of getting sick, relying on public transport because I want to do it like the locals do it, the list goes on lol but this time is already faring to be quite different.

This time I’m travelling as a mama. A mama of a baby who is still very much so new to the world and has completely changed, transformed, distorted, my life. Yes a million times for the better alhamdulillah always, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let that change creep into this part of my life. Not that I’m not ready, but I don’t want it to. I don’t want it to infringe on my happy-place negatively in fear of it being yet another part of me that needs to be on pause or temporarily ‘let-go’ of just because I’m a mama. If that makes any sense at all lol?!

I’m not complaining I promise, nor am I ungrateful for even the opportunity to be able to alhamdulillah travel with my little family because that in its own is privilege alhamdulillah, but if you’ve been here for a while I think (hope!) you’ll kinda sorta get me xx I also think it’s going to be one of those things maybe only mamas (or babas) will get too solely based on the fact that you’ve lived it/are living it, and have experienced that shift of identity once you’ve had a baby x

It won’t be the same. It’s not just me myself and I versus the world anymore. I don’t just answer to myself (and mama!) anymore. I, we, as mama and baba, need to make sure we have enough diapers for the day. And snacks. And extra clothes. And what if she gets sick and we can’t go see that thing we were so excited to travel so far to come see?! I don’t think Bilal will struggle with this as much as I will lol and obviously in that aforementioned scenario my baby comes first lol but I know I’ll subconsciously feel that feel and I’m not quite sure what to do with it when the time comes.

There isn’t really a point to this post, just some inner ramblings like we used to do lol but I’ve been trying to go through it and prepare mentally and emotionally that this is going to be different. Its own experience. Maybe a slower paced one. Maybe a less adventurous one where we think twice about riding scooters with strangers. One where every golden hour doesn’t necessarily warrant an Instagram outfit photo lol. I might be baby-wearing and won’t be able to crouch low to get ‘the-shot’ of someone praying, and I need to be okay with it.

The thought has crossed my mind that if I knew the last time was going to be the last time, void of any responsibility etc., would I have done something different?! Maybe commemorated it somehow, or spent a little while longer watching the sunset on my own, or, or, or… I don’t know the answer to that question. Maybe yes, maybe no, but in the depths of my heart I know I did my best to embody #noregrets in whatever capacity within my means no matter where I was, and that brings me some peace x That, and believing in the concept of ‘maktub’. That it’s already been written to happen exactly the way it’s supposed to by means way beyond us, and so nothing different really could have happened because if it was meant to it would have lol but it played out the way it did for a reason, and so there’s contentment in that alhamdulillah xx

If you’ve made it this far, yay lol thank you for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you, and thank you for being on this journey with me. I was always unsure about myself when I would just sit and write and post on the blog, but as of late I’m finding it to be a source of reflection and it’s because of you x I’m forever grateful to you for engaging with me, my postings, my thoughts, all of it lol and subconsciously encouraging me to continue sharing x I’ve always made a point to say that even if one person likes a post or a share or is inspired, it was more than enough for me and that I’d keep doing it for that one person (who was initially just my mama lol) but alhamdulillah for those of you who are in addition to mama xxx love you longtime xoxo

I can’t believe how fast time has actually flown by! 6 of the most intense, emotionally overwhelming, no-idea-what I’m doing months I’ve ever experienced, yet now it literally feels as though I blinked and we’re here.

I half-heartedly believed everyone during that first month when they said it got better and easier lol the first milestone to reach was the 6 week mark. “it gets better at 6 weeks, then you’re in the clear. Your body heals and you build a routine”, then it was the 3 month mark, “isn’t it so much better now?!” and now the 6 month mark “that’s it, she’s grown. It’s not that bad is it?!” ufft.

It’s definitely been a lot, a lot of the best and a lot of the not-so-best, but I wouldn’t change it for the world alhamdulillah! She has quickly taken over our hearts and our lives and we are so so in love with her xxx literally last night we both sat staring at her as she fell asleep on my chest and just talking about how scary it is to be a parent because your heart is literally beating outside your chest and you never ever want this part of you to experience pain or sadness or to have their feelings hurt. (the heart beating outside your chest thing as a parent is probably the most truest thing ever. I used to think it was a cheesy line but nope, very true!) and then I started crying because I realized one day she won’t need us or rely on us for things and she’ll be too big to sleep on my chest and questioned if she would ever remember these precious moments and how much we adore her xxx and then it made me think about how once upon a time our parents felt the exact same way about us and then we grew up and what that must have felt like for them and they wanted to keep us safe and protected but we were in a hurry to grow up too and ufft, it was an in-your-feels evening haha xx

I’ve learnt a lot in 6 months, and tried and tested a lot in 6 months, so wanted to share some of these learnings and experiences with you! Going to post this in two parts so it doesn’t get super long for you to read! As always, these musings are solely based on our experience and our bubba so feel free to take what you want, but also remember everyone and every baby is different and not everything and every tip will work for you and your family and that’s completely okay!

6 things I’ve learnt post-partum

1. Stop weighing yourself – I was doing this at the start and feeling super discouraged every time the number refused to change, especially if I felt I had a good couple days of walking and no sugar etc. It just so happened that our battery died in the scale and we never replaced it haha but it helped me stop weighing myself and obsessing with that number! Because if I was consciously doing small things to make myself feel ‘healthier’ and active and I felt better about myself, why was I counting on a number to confirm if I was allowed to feel good or not?! This obviously took some time, but I’m learning to focus on the small wins and choices we make each day xx

2. Those that get-it, get it, and those that don’t, don’t. and that’s okay! – this has taken some time and is still a work in progress, but #sorrynotsorry those friends and people in your circle who either don’t have little kids or have not been around children don’t get that your life is now different. And it’s kind of lame and sucks a lot of the time and the dynamic in your friendships and relationships is going to change a bit, but I guess that’s just how it is..(I don’t have a solution or the right answer for this lol) I have to be mindful of what times I leave the house now, prepare mentally for whether I have to feed before I leave or when I get home, or while I’m outside, and whether there will be space for me to feed and change diapers or will I have to put up a cover and feed in the car, and do I have enough diapers with me, have I run out of wipes, is the place stroller accessible, are babies even allowed, will there be parking close by etc etc etc. and even if you plan for everything in advance, you can expect a massive blowout which will throw you completely off course and you’ll realize you’ve packed everything in your suitcase of a diaper bag except for an extra pair of clothes lol and the thing is, only your other mom/dad friends will get it!

 I’m learning to be okay with people not getting it, which is hard because you presume your friends of all people would get it, and some will and some won’t but it’s okay and it doesn’t mean they love you any less, but their lives are still carrying on as is yours, it’s just a little different and that’s okay! I literally reply to some of my heart peoples messages a month later apologizing for the delay and there’s no love lost because I know they understand lol

3. Lower your expectations – this is a work in progress also and I need to be reminded of this every so often lol but don’t expect anything so you won’t be disappointed. It’s easy to feel a certain way because you feel some things are just the norm and that you would treat situations differently, but people are different and show they care in different ways, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you stop feeling some type of way about certain issues. This goes for family too, I think I presumed and expected that just because people were family they would naturally and/or instinctively help with baby and diapers and be okay with getting milk spilt on them, or soothing my crying baby, but it’s not always the case (which I’ve had to learn lol) Knowing who your support circle is and who you can rely on and trust to just take the initiative and help you when needed without being asked, and being content with that circle, is something I’m learning to be okay with!

4. Live in the moment – maybe it’s because I’m a first-time parent lol but I’m loving being a mama xxx enjoying all the small things and changes and firsts she’s doing and experiencing and I keep reminding myself that she isn’t going to be this small forever and to just take it all in as it happens and I love it xxx especially being on maternity leave from work, I keep reminding myself that there’s no rush, that the purpose of being on leave is to enjoy my baby and spend time with her so why am I antsy to do that and then some?!

5. Be gracious with your spouse/partner – this has been a little difficult, especially at the start when I realized that my life had changed way more than his did. He could still go out with friends as he did before and didn’t have to think about feedings (as much), and one he was back to work and meetings etc. it truly felt like I got handed the short end of the stick with this entire parenthood thing. Finding that balance that works for both of you and your new little family definitely takes time, and lots of communication in order to avoid that buildup and then the outburst when your cup is full (we’ve had some of those lol) but alhamdulillah we’re getting better at it and finding a groove which works for us! I try to see it from his point of view too in terms of he doesn’t get the chance to spend every second with Nunu and bond with her in the way I do and get all the smiles and giggles because he has to work and that he’s doing it all for us and our family. When you think about it logically it 100% makes sense lol but finding the time to think about it logically is a whole other thing! Just remember you’re both in this together and trying to navigate parenthood so be patient and gracious with both yourself and with each other.

6. The rule of ‘one’ – this is so important to remember and my sister had to constantly remind me of this: one activity at a time, one chore at a time, one day at a time. Mama (or Baba), you will not get to everything every single day and that is 100% okay! The faster you learn to accept this, the less pressure you’ll put on yourself to be Wonderwoman/Wonderman and the less disappointed you’ll be at not completing all your tasks!

I was literally trying to do the most with Noura at the beginning and then feeling so burnt out every evening from feeling like I had to do everything in one day or else everything would fall apart. Laundry and cooking dinner and vacuuming and grocery shopping and going to a baby class and taking a walk and writing a blogpost and and and and ufffft! I know most of it was for myself and to make myself feel like I could still do everything plus look after a newborn, but the reality is that you’re still healing. Mentally, emotionally, physically, it’s all different and trying to get back in sync whilst you have to constantly attend to the needs of this little human who yes, at the beginning literally sucks the life out of you. Take. It. Easy. If you give baby a bath, that’s your activity for the day. Dressing him/her up to take a cutesy monthly photo, that’s your activity for the day. Doctors appointment, taking a walk with bubba, one load of laundry, going grocery shopping, one event/activity for the day until you’re ready to make it two. Remember, there’s no real award for best mom/best dad ever. You burning yourself out isn’t going to benefit anyone, especially yourself and baby so take it slow!

There you have it, 6-for-6 xx check back for part 2 where we share 6 things we’ve love loved for Noura over these past 6 months! I

Anything you’d like to add or that you found as a new parents?! Share your sharings in the comments below as I love hearing from you! xoxo

Ramadan Kareem friends!

Ramadan is one of my favorite times of the year and I’ve honestly loved practicing it in a Muslim country, in my own space where I can decorate and practice in peace and quiet lol alhamdulillah I’ve been able to jet home just in time for Eid, but this’ll be the first in ages from start to finish with the entire famalam! definitely a lot more people, noise, and meal requests lol but looking forward to it nonetheless!

If you’re unfamiliar with Ramadan, here’s a quick run-down – also my 5 goals from a couple years ago in the event you’re interested in having a read!

With only a few days before the holy month, which is bound to be different for the entire ummah this year, thought we’d suggest a few ideas on how to make the most of this time at home. Easy suggestions that I’ll personally be trying to implement, but just because the world is cancelled atm, doesn’t meant Ramadan has to be!

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  1. I’m a big believer that Ramadan (and Eid) is all about the atmosphere you create in your space and within yourself. Create a space in your bedroom which is free from any distractions and can act as your little place of solace. Prayer mat, prayer beads, maybe some fairy lights (Ramadan lantern lights lol) somewhere you can retreat to at the end of the day to just sit and connect with God. – Would also suggest this in your common space/living room at home; since everyones at home, why not make that a little prayer hub gathering space for reading quran and praying!

 

  1. On the talk of prayer, lets all unmute that adhan app lel no more fumbling to turn it off as it it plays on loudspeaker on the train. Since we’re all home we can make more of an effort to actually pray every salah on time AND in jamat with everyone which is a win! (all about getting them god-points in!)

 

  1. Set up a playlist of Islamic lecturers and Quran reciters you’d like to listen to during the month, while you cook etc.; some of my faves are Sulaiman Moola, Mufti Menk, and Omar Suleiman for their lectures, and Omar Hisham Al Arabi for Quran (also if you have other suggestions please let your girl know!)

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  1. Set up a swear jar/bad word jar; this has always been a favorite of mine with friends and family lol any bad words you say means you’ve got to put in a dollar or two into jar. Just an easy and fun reminder to watch what comes out of our mouths, especially in this month; at the end of Ramadan donate the money to your favorite charity!

 

  1. Set a goal to memorize a new surah; obviously speaking to myself before I speak for anyone else, but I always make this intention and somehow never seem to find the time. We’ve got nothing but time now lol

 

  1. Having a grateful journal, notepad, anything to write in really; something you can keep by your bedside and jot in at the end of each day or each week. Ramadan is all about improving your character and the inside stuff, so keep track of the small things you’ve consciously done to achieve this. Maybe you stayed patient in a situation, maybe you didn’t raise you voice at annoying siblings, maybe you were about to say something unkind but stopped yourself; the more you’re consciously aware of these small changes, the easier it’ll hopefully be to continue practicing them after Ramadan!

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  1. Plan zoom iftars/futoors with your family/friends! Breaking fast with people and that sense of togetherness is another highlight we’ll all be longing for this month but we can try to make do as best as possible. Dress up, sit together, keep the virtual gang close, once adhan is called and everyone makes dua and opens fast together, I’m sure it’ll be just as special x

 

  1. Try and walk everyday! We do this with my family, especially after fajr which I love and it’s a grand way to get some exercise in instead of sitting after a meal and feeling blah. We’re so accustomed to going straight to bed after fajr or even tarawih because we’ve got to get up for work the next morning, but not anymore!

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  1. Don’t forget about charity! Ramadan is a month where any charity you give is doubled and gets you even more god-points than the usual. Totally aware that there are some people whose financial situation is a little grim at the moment given the current situation, but if you’ve got the ability to do, give as much as you can. Even if you know of a family who’s maybe been affected by the crisis or laid off and need a helping hand, that counts as charity! Offer to help, or leave a Ramadan care package at the door anonymously, we’ve all got to do our part where we can x There are also going to be loads of accounts on Instagram fundraising for projects both at home and abroad which are also great avenues to donate to; I always try and diversify my charity and give a little to various places, but a little goes a long way friends trust me! (even if it’s $1; that’s a meal for someone in some parts of the world) – “Charity never decreases wealth. Rather, it increases it, it increases it, it increases it.

 

  1. This is one which I’ve promise myself to practice at least once a week. Make the effort to show up for yourself! Again, this’ll be a first of no getting dressed up for futoor or suhoor tents, no wearing your favorite abaya and oud for tarawih, or new clothes for jumah etc etc etc. but still do it! It’ll obviously be tempting to stay in pyjamas or a dara3a/bati all day, but pls don’t do it. Change your clothes for futoor/iftar, still wear your nice abaya, and if you can’t do it every day, at least on Friday for house-juma! I’m spending this weekend getting out and organizing my dara3s, abayas and Ramadan smells because they’re also some of my favorite parts about this month. Again, it’s all about the atmosphere you create in order for it to ‘feel’ like Ramadan!

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and that’s that! Would love to hear some of the ways you’re getting into the Ramadan feels at your place x comment below or lets chat on the gram!

Wishing you and your families a very blessed Ramadan inshallah x endless love, duas, and hugs from this end xoxo

 

Ramadan Kareem to you and yours from me and me! From the bottom of my heart I wish you all a super blessed month filled with lots of ease, peace, and prayer inshallah x

Quick rundown of Ramadan: the 9th month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims all over the world abstain from food and drink to commemorate the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. It’s a time where friends and families gather in remembrance of God and goodness so as to come closer to the faith itself. As kids we were told we fast to feel what others in the world feel on the daily to remind ourselves how blessed we are so we can be grateful for everything which I think still stands; the gates of heaven are also open tenfold this month as shaytaan (satan) is kinda sorta locked up for the month so any good deeds you do are multiplied. I could go on lol but essentially a special month for us and one which most of us look forward to every year to gain as many blessings and goodness as we can and I suppose reflect on every conscious and subconscious thought and action; if shaytaan is locked up and I’ve still got bad thoughts and can’t blame him, that means its just me init?! dun dun dunn lol you get the jist yea?!

-Yesterday

Right after Maghrib your girl went to make dua #standard, and this wave of excitement came over me like the night before Christmas (joke, I don’t do Christmas lol) but just this Ramadan giddiness at the fact it was that time of year again and how blessed to be alive to witness and partake in it, and I suppose be granted another chance to revive my heart&soul. Ironed my abaya, ready to head to the masjid for the first tarawih of the month only to learn it was a false alarm and that we’ve got one more day haha so I’m taking it as a sign to sit down and reflect on things I might want to work on this month inshallah; thought I’d share some of them, not to contend for Muslim-of-the-year or any of that [in fact I think faith is a personal thing between you and God but let’s leave that be] but I enjoy reading and reflecting on other people’s [general] goals and visions and aspirations and at times they inspire me to keep that light at the end of the tunnel aglow or add them to my list of growth, and Ramadan is a month of sharing and reflecting so why not add to that realm of potential pintrest inspo lol

so, here are 5 of a few more things I’d personally like to work on or get better at this month and I hope they might resonate with some of you as well!x

  • Pray on time regardless of where I may be

I might be lame for this one, granted I’m currently living in a Muslim country and there are always places to stop and pray, but I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes if I’m out or at work and adhan goes, I’ll talk myself into making it up later when I get home (which I do alhamdulillah), but yea, no excuses this month inshallah! I know I can’t be the only one who does this lol and if I am, oops, but hopefully if it becomes routine it’ll naturally develop into a habit – the good kind!

  • Say or do something kind for someone everyday

I think I try to do this regularly, but when you train your mind to be conscious of what it’s saying or doing, it’s pretty amazing how you’re subconsciously keeping track of what it is you’ve set out to do. If that makes sense?! Whether it’s paying someone a compliment, holding the door open, or making dua in your heart for that persons wellbeing, the small things will hopefully add up and not only put a smile on the other person’s face but inshallah on me heart as well!

  • Don’t waste food

We all do this and its pretty shite. Most of us at least, especially in this month and its terrible. I know sometimes you end up cooking too much and there’s only so many days you can go eating the same thing, but share or pack, or don’t go OTT in the kitchen lol sort out a schedule with your mates so instead of 5 of you preparing munch individually, have 1host per night. Nothing fancy or an Instagram iftar, just a standard ‘let’s not waste food’ type of iftar lol also pack up leftovers and share them with coworkers the next day or distribute it to the homeless, or feed the cats outside your building, anything other than that tsk and muttering of ‘astagfirallah’ we give ourselves before chucking food into the trash. This’ll be my second Ramadan alone and coming from a big family it’s natural to just prepare futoor for 5+ people lol so definitely going to try and cut it to 2-3 people and have mates over and anything left will inshallah be packed for coworkers!

  • #nobadwords

Last year a friend and I had a swear jar where we kept tabs on what came out of each others mouths, and any profanity resulted in a certain amount being placed in the jar. At the end of the month we had accumulated quite a bit lol (oops) and gave it to one of the workers in our building which I suppose is kind of like turning your bad deeds into something good for someone else lol so I think that’s something I want to continue this year. Granted the point is to watch what actually comes out of me mouth and be conscious of particular word choices, but in the likely event something slips out, inshallah it’s for a good cause right?!

  • Consistently content

This sounds odd, and I know we all aspire to come out changed for the better and our faith strengthened a tad more than how we entered the month, but give it a week or so and all them old habits tend to make their way back into everyday life which kinda sorta sucks.

I think I want to get to this point inshallah where I’m just good and okay with everything, the bad and the good and the unexpected, and have my heart and soul content with knowing that everything happens for a reason; I know I’ve gotten better at this over the years alhamdulillah but just strengthening that faith and maybe learning some new duas that speak to tawakkul (concept of reliance on God aka ‘God’s Plan’ as Drake so eloquently put it lol) and having it be a consistent constant is something I’d like to work on! If you’ve got any duas or hadiths you love that speak to this, def send them my way please and thank you!x

And there you have it lol 5 of a few other goals this month but these hit more of the surface layer; might seem quite simple and easy peasy but they’re ones I want to get better at and which inshallah I think and hope are realistically attainable this month! If you’ve got a couple of your own that you’re willing to share, comment below or on instagram as I’d love to hear them!x As always, lots of love and light and prayers sent your way, even more so in this super special month xx

If you’re new here, welcome! (big hugs sent your way), and if you’re not new, you still get hugs, but you’re probably slightly more familiar with my end of year reflective postings and know that I kinda sorta love them! ( re: 2016, 2015)

I figured I’d do things a little different this year and instead of sticking to my usual written brief, I googled one of them pre-made reflective question lists lol and going to use that to help me recap this whirlwind of a year! (there are 50 questions; is that a lot?)

 

 

Here it goes:

  1. The most important goal that I achieved this year was:

I graduated! 2 years later whilst being abroad and working full time and going through life madness and still being able to do really well makes me proud of myself!

  1. My biggest fitness accomplishment was:

Probably running in Ramadan! Joining a running club last year in Kuwait definitely upped my fitness and I surprised myself with timings and distances I thought I was too old for haha although the fitness and running took a massively sharp decline since September lol running in Ramadan, both in Kuwait in the heat and in Canada was yay! mostly because I’d always had the mindset that people who do that are crazy and why would anyone do that to themselves, but woop!

  1. My biggest career accomplishment was:

leaving my old school to work at one of the top schools in Kuwait which is a tad more ‘professional’ I suppose. Not really a big deal lol but I could’ve easily stayed at my old place where I was comfortable and complacent in terms of what was expected of me and what I was giving versus now where I feel more overwhelmed at times and like super duper working but I feel better about myself and my profession whilst I’m doing it if that makes sense..!

  1. My biggest relationship accomplishment was:

not holding back I suppose; in terms of expressing feelings be they positive or negative at times. life too short and we’re all going to die soon so if you love someone tell them you love them, if they make you happy or inspire you or annoy you, just tell them x friends, family, strangers, what’s the worse thats going to happen?

  1. These are the skills I acquired this year:

-I taught myself a teeny bit of photoshop and lightroom lolol (it still counts!)

-creating sick websites and presentations for uni projects that I was proud of

-Arabic! Learning Arabic and recently taking lessons to pick up vocab has been a massive skill for me lol

-putting on falsies in 5 minutes. practice makes perfect

-[how to apply eyeshadow. lol]

 

  1. A big mistake that I made this year—and the lesson that I learned as a result—was:

-checking flight times. Lucy and I missed our flight to Nepal because I read the time wrong and OBVIOUSLY no ones that thick so you’re not going to get insurance so that was a waste and had to get a new flight

-Also nearly missed my flight to Istanbul for the Reyhanli deployment and if it wasn’t for Qes texting me to have a safe flight in the morning, I wouldn’t have gone. Lesson learned: triple check flight times and tell your friends so they can remind you or wake you up in case you fall asleep (because that has also happened to me. smh.)

-in terms of life stuff, I learned and came to accept that I’m not responsible for how people behave or their actions/reactions and that everyone, including me, has a choice which we consciously make to do whatever it is we want to or don’t want to do. If you want the apple, eat the apple, you want to hang out with mates, go, but then don’t say you were coerced into doing something you really didn’t want to do. You had a choice, you made your choice, simple as lol

  1. An obstacle or a challenge that I overcame this year:-I think being afraid of the unknown. I’ve grown to not be as much of a scaredy cat as I think I was before.-Also my final project for uni. jeez.

8. This year, I learned the following about myself:

I am beyond blessed alhamdulillah. I have my health, a family that loves me, a roof over my head, and God. I am more than good. Anything and everything else is extra and I feel as though I am so much more consciously aware of this that I’ve ever been. I don’t stress myself out as much as I might have done in the past about life, and plans etc. inshallah everything’s going to work out the way its supposed to and there’s a time for everything. We plan, and he plans, and so far it’s worked out okay right, so he knows what he’s doing lol it sounds really loosy I know lol and its not easy to do, but if you consciously continue to remind yourself to just chill out and let things flow naturally, it becomes a natural mindset. Just smile to yourself and say alhamdulillah I’m good! (do it now I promise you’ll feel it!)

  1. Here’s something I learned about other people:

they suck sometimes. but sometimes they are the most beautiful, warm hearted, genuine freaking human beings on the planet and they deserve your love and energy and support. and you know what, so do the sucky people because love really does make the world go round and life is too short not to spread light and goodness x you do it because thats the kind of person you are and don’t let their personality or disingenuousness cloud your judgment or question your reasoning. you do you because its what you believe in. leave the rest to God x

  1. This made me laugh the hardest this year:

I laugh a lot so it’s hard to choose lol

-in India when Amani asked the waiter if they had Hummus. DEAD.

-when the plane landed and I survived ( refer to#26)

-my sister dancing

-mamas jokes

-Hashmat always

  1. The most fun I had all year was:

I try and have fun everyday..!

  1. My best memory of the year was:

-returning to Nepal 7 years later and walking those same streets I did at 19. Being recognized by the neighbours who I was staying with and my heart just wanting to freaking explode with this burning love and happiness and contentness for life and these beautiful people x

-Reyhanli deployment with SKT. That’s probably going to be one of the best memories of my life and I hope and pray it’s changed me as a person, as a human, for the better x

  1. My biggest regret of the year was:

This may sound very cliche but I have no regrets. I’ve been sat here thinking and going through the months of the year to reflect on something I really wanted to do or somewhere I wanted to go or anything that I didn’t do which I now regret but I can’t think of anything. I’ve come to a point alhamdulillah which I’m consciously aware of the ‘big’ decisions I make for myself and in life so as to not have any regrets and later on wish I chose another route or did something differently..

When the Reyhanli dates were set they were right in the middle of back-to-school and orientation at the new place and visas and paperwork which would guarantee owed salaries etc.  I didn’t want to make a bad impression at the new school or lose my hard earned money for the past few years but also no way in the world did I want to miss out on Reyhanli! Thought about it for a while, like the entire summer lol and concluded that whatever, I’d miss out on pay and learning the ropes of the new school and making friends with newbies, etc etc but if I didn’t go I would SO regret it for the rest of my life and I didn’t want to look back thinking ‘what if’. I could always make the money back, and again if you know me I have this love/hate relationship with money, and I didn’t want bloody money of all things to be the reason I missed out on the opportunity. So I chose and I don’t regret my decision one bit! wallah if I didn’t go I would’ve kicked meself in the backside for being a massive dumb!

-I had been wanting to go back to Nepal for ages, more so when I moved to Kuwait because it was so close, and I had mentioned it to Lucy before. She said lets go in April and I had booked and changed a Eurotrip to Prague/Vienna/Budapest legit like 3 times like  an idiot, but then took it as a sign it wasn’t meant to be at this very moment in life so cancelled it, lost me ticket x3 and booked Nepal and it was such an epic time alhamdulillah x

be conscious of your choices and listen to what your heart and soul wants. #noregrets

  1. My biggest disappointment of the year was:

-Donald Trump

-people; in terms of humanity

-not getting this relief work job I was so stoked about but its okay everything happens for a reason

-samosas in India! I was so excited because samosas are my favorite and I figured duh India has the best, but nope. Nepal takes the cake for best samosas ever.

  1. The books I read this year were:

-Sofia Khan is not Obliged (first and second one)

-Secret Daughter

-bone.

-HER

–seeds planted in concrete

(do uni books count?!)

  1. My favorite movie of the year was:

nothings really sticking out atm…Moana was pretty cool lol (I don’t know..!)

17. A TV show I really enjoyed watching this year was:

-Our Girl

-The Apprentice UK

-Doctor Foster

  1. I really enjoyed this live performance (concert, play, musical, or dance performance):

-Seeing the Kite Runner in London was my favorite!

-K’naan on Canada Day was super cool too!

  1. Here’s a song I listened to over and over again this year:

Zina-Babylone

Too Good at Goodbyes – Sam Smith

Big Picture – London Grammar

Happier – Ed Sheeran

Same Drugs – Chance the Rapper

20. This is something I wish I hadn’t bought this year:

probably clothes I either haven’t worn yet or old wore once. just a dumb waste lol but it’s one of the things I want to get better at next year in terms of just not buying stuff, clothes especially, and if I do, 10 items go for that one piece.

  1. This is the best thing I bought all year:

-my Gucci bum bag (boob bag as mama calls it!) It’s so practical and functional for me and I already feel as though its been rinsed but definitely making the most of it so yay!

-Also I think my phone was bought this year and that’s definitely a best. Not sure if many of you know but I only use my iPhone to take photos and love love it!

-The oversized ripped denim jacket from Zara that everyone has lol I absolutely love it and chuck it on with everything and it shall continue to be rinsed!

  1. Someone I really enjoyed spending time with this year was:

really weird, but my instagram friends! This was the year I physically met people who I’ve followed and chatted with via social media, and being able to spend real quality time with them, and even travel with, was so enlightening and inspiring for my soul. Halima, Qes, and Mariah. There’s good people, then there are golden people who God put in this world for a reason x love you guys and I’m so glad to have you in my life! xx

  1. I adopted this new positive habit:

consciously looking for the good even in the worst of times. I’ve been working on this for a couple years and I want to get to a stage where it becomes second nature. Focusing on the positive instead of the negative is such a breath of fresh air and makes you appreciate life and situations and realize what’s truly important in the here and now.

24. I dropped this negative habit:

catching feelings – in terms of blaming myself for other people’s behaviors or actions (still a work in progress but getting better at it lol) Sometimes it’s not you and you’ve got to cut yourself some slack. Still reflect and if you’re in the wrong own up to it and apologize and try and fix it if its worth fixing, but if it’s not reciprocated don’t beat yourself up for it. You tried and did whatever because that’s who you are as a person and you’ve got no reason to apologize for that.  Remember, you’re not responsible for how other people’s actions. How you react to a situation tells more about yourself than the other person.

25. One time I stood up for myself this year was:

I think internally just being able to let things and people go and not take it to heart; accepting that things change, as do people, and that its unhealthy dwelling on the ‘whys’ and working yourself up over it all the time. Standing up for my heart and peace of mind I’d say lol and knowing when to leave things and people be, simply because it is what it is.

26. The scariest thing I went through this year was:

wallah I thought I was going to die on the way to Nepal. We were caught in a massive storm and turbulence was unbelievable; literally the sky was lighting up all around us with the thunder and the airport was closed so we couldn’t land and I just lost it. Ive never ever ever cried as much as I did on a plane. I sent voice notes to my family telling them I loved them, made promises to myself incase I survived etc etc. I was flying with my friend Lucy and just praying so hard for the both of us and telling her I loved her and glad I was dying with her lolololol laughing at myself now but jeez. definitely the scariest!

  1. A really cool thing I created this year was:

the current vibe in my new flat. Just a clean white open space with lots of light that feels like home and ‘my space’ when I walk in the door.

  1. My most common mental state this year was:

“we’re all going to die soon anyways” – is that even a mental state? Say what you want to say, do what you want to do, #noregrets

29. Here’s how I grew emotionally this year:

I cried when I wanted to cry but then also knew when to stop and pick meself up and get on with it.

30. Here’s how I grew spiritually this year: 

-consciously made an effort to pray 5 times a day

-consciously put all my eggs into God’s basket and even though things might not have gone my way, put my trust and faith into the fact that it wasn’t meant to be because that’s not what he wanted for me and that’s cool! And it sounds really simple but it’s a constant struggle to get to that point of full conviction and faith and hope (for me anyways), but I feel myself getting better at it alhamdulillah

31. The best gift I received this year was:

life. waking up every morning when not everyone was as blessed. alhamdulillah x

32. The nicest thing someone did for me this year was:

-probably comfort me and tell me its going to be okay.

-give me hugs

-also Qes for inviting me to join deployment; will always be grateful for you x

-Mariah for meeting me once and offering me to bunk with her. what a freaking gem x

-my brother and sister for being my support system sometimes and telling me nice things about myself at times I wasn’t feeling the greatest x

33. The nicest thing I did for someone else this year was: 

I hope I did nice things for people this year! I don’t believe in keeping track of things you do for others; you do them from the heart because you want to and then its over and done with x


34. I showed real gumption this year when I: 

when I was able to bake brownies without any eggs or butter! coconut oil is surprisingly quite good for a lot of things!

35. If I could change one thing about this year it would be:                          

 nothing. everything had to happen the way it did to get me to this very moment and its all good alhamdulillah x

36. A new food/dish I tried this year was: 

figs in Reyhanli – I’d always been apprehensive about trying them lol

37. This year my physical health was:

alright actually alhamdulillah x no accidents or blood or broken bone incidents so alhamdulillah xx

38. Here’s a new friend I made this year:

Mohib! #tyler

  1. This year I traveled to:

-Dubai, Istanbul, Reyhanli, America, London, Nepal, Mumbai, Toronto (but that never counts) (legit ugh-ing myself rn like is that it?!)

  1. Here’s one adventure I had this year:

If you know me you’ll know I consider taking an alternate route on the way home is an adventure, so I have many lol

-in Nepal trying to find my spring roll place from 7 years ago (they no longer had them and it broke my heart)

-rooftop with Qes in Reyhanli. so sick.

-walking and talking around Knightsbridge for hours with a random (Adz) who helped me at Harrods and now were mates!

-going for dinner with a random group of girls after one of the fashion shows in London. They said they liked my turban and we ended up at dindin!

-scaling buildings to get on the roof with Hashmat in Istanbul. SO freaking worth it and the most beautiful view of Istanbul

  1. One contribution I made to my community was: 

(is it terrible that I feel this doesn’t apply to me because I don’t feel like I’ve got one in Kuwait like I did in Canada?!)


42. This year I spent a lot of time here:

-the rooftop pool lounge bit at my old building

-prayer mat

-airplanes

-mamas house

-on my laptop

  1. This year I broke out of my comfort zone by:

-wearing my glasses a lot! it sounds silly lol but I used to have a love-hate relationship with my glasses and only wore them when I took my contacts out and never to work or in public etc. Not too bothered now really lol sticking the contacts in seems to be more of an effort these days haha

-(also just chatting to strangers, eating on my own, making myself my best friend and enjoying my own company etc.)

  1. A hobby I loved spending time on this year was:

reading, traveling, editing photos, creating content. it makes me happy.

  1. This year I practiced self-care by:

breathing, praying, face masking. doing what makes me happy.

  1. My biggest time waster this year was:

[a boy who didn’t want to marry me] – I was planning to keep that as is, but a really good friend made mention that its very unlike me to see things as a waste of time and not look at the benefit or good that’s come from a situation. And I thought about and I know she’s right. Although a part of me wants to say it was a waste of my time, it was also a learning opportunity and I’m not ungrateful for having said person in my life because we’re still kinda sorta best friends but it is what it is I suppose x

  1. Here’s a great time-saving hack I learned this year:

making lists.. if I ever felt like I had a lot to get done and just super overwhelmed with it all, making a list and being able to physical see and refer back to it and cross off things that were completed def helped me not waste time and stay on track. Daily lists, monthly lists, I like lists lol

  1. What I am most grateful for this year is:

my family. the boy who didn’t want to marry me. my friends. the opportunities I’ve been blessed with and all the amazing people I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with as a result; who I’ve hopefully been able to be nice to and love, or who have loved me, inspired me, or taught me something x

  1. Here are three words that would sum up this year: 

blessed, reflective, surprising

50. If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, here’s some advice I would give myself:

-no you don’t need to buy that.

-save some money for a rainy day.

-order burgers if you want to eat burgers.

-tell her you love her. tell him you love him.

-don’t worry too much, it’ll get sorted xx

There you have it lol kudos if you managed to get through all 50! I’d love to know some of the goals and aspirations you might have set for yourselves in the new year so please share below! How do you plan on achieving them because that’s always the hard part lol

I’m about to make a final cuppa for the year and watch the BFG because I was supposed to watch it with a mate about a year ago but they flopped and I don’t wish to carry that burden into the new year haha x Wishing you a beautiful 365 days ahead filled with love and kindness, and perhaps a year in which you finally put your heart and own happiness first xoxo