Category Archives: Thoughts

Vacation

For the next three weeks, I will be away from the blog since I am going on vacation. I am SUPER excited and cannot wait until our adventures begin. Nouman and I spent the entire weekend buying last minute things we need, loading up gifts and packing.

I will (hopefully) be giving all of you updates via Facebook and Twitter – so follow me on those if you want to see what I’m upto.

I have been working on featuring our wedding day while I am on vacation, so make sure you come back to check out that feature! You can also subscribe to the blog (enter your email in the space on your left side bar) if you want to receive notification of my new post.

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See you in March!

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30 Shades of Me

Um, yeah. About the title – Nouman came up with it.

Some of you have contacted me telling me that we are so alike and that you can hear me talking when I write. To give you guys a deeper understanding of who I am, I’ve been meaning to write a FAQ post. I’ll be honest though, I’ve been totally stumped – What should I include? What do you guys want to know? Am I sharing too much? I shared these thoughts with a co-worker and fellow blogger, Julianna Yu, and she suggested I post interesting facts about myself. I was a little hesitant at first but once I started writing, I was having way too much fun to stop!

If you’re a regular reader, here are 30 facts that you should probably know about me. If you’re new, you might want to read the list below before you decide to embark on this relationship with me.

Jus sayin.

  1. I can be the biggest pessimist – especially when it’s about me. I always tell my family and friends that I prepare for the worst so that I’m always pleasantly surprised
  2. I am a bookworm. Give me a good book and we can be best friends. I like reading so much that I read all my shampoo bottles, lotions, etc
  3. My idea of fun is to be in my PJs, curled up on the couch with a good book, green tea, a piece of chocolate and TV playing in the background. I just made myself sound like a boring old lady, didn’t I?
  4. I secretly wished I was a real-life princess for a looong time. Heck, I still hope that someone will come knocking on my door and invite me back to their my royal family
  5. I come across as a confident lady (which I am) but I am also a worry wart – I overthink everything.
  6. I’ve always wanted a baby elephant. No rush to get me one for my birthday guys
  7. I can get annoyed pretty fast – something I’m trying to work on. My tolerance for BS is non-existent.
  8. I used to be able to sleep for 14 hours straight
  9. I can eat more than most guys I know (but you already knew this, right?)
  10. I get grossed out by most foods that are white in colour – cream, yoghurt, cheese (except in pizza and lasagna), chicken, Kheer (Pakistani rice pudding), etc
  11. I am really crabby when I’m tired
  12. I am a pre-planner: I like to plan things way in advance and don’t like random outings sprung on me (Nouman is the complete opposite – it drives me nuts)
  13. I love babies
  14. I can wiggle my ears without touching them. I know you’re trying to do it now. Stop it.
  15. I wish I could express myself without crying when I’m really angry, frustrated or upset
  16. I can’t stand being late – Nouman on the other hand is always late
  17. I iron everything – even my pajamas
  18. Besides all the other foods I love, I am addicted to diet coke (this has reduced substantially since I’ve gotten married – I have maybe 2 cans/weeks. Before the wedding, it was almost 1/day)
  19. I have really flimsy arms; people often think they might break (really?!). Sometimes I flap them around to gross out my sisters and Nouman
  20. I am very social but I don’t make close friends easily. You know the girls who have 10,000 best friends? Yeah, I’m not one of them. I’m much happier with 4 close friends than 10.
  21. I am a good judge of character
  22. I sometimes suffer from middle child syndrome – although this has lessened after marriage
  23. I love Oprah – I used to schedule my evenings around her shows
  24. I wrote my first book when I was in grade 5
  25. I can’t freestyle when I’m dancing and am mortified whenever people put me on the spot (I don’t understand why people don’t take no for an answer). Nouman, on the other hand, is a great dancer.
  26. Even though the above is true, I love to make up random dances around the house. I can make up a silly dance to just about anything that comes out of your mouth and parade around until we’re both having a laughing fit
  27. I knew I was in trouble from the second Nouman and I started talking
  28. I love flowers
  29. Summer is my favourite time of the year: dresses, icecream and heat – what’s not to love?
  30. I want to travel and explore as many cultures as I can. My ideal job would include travelling and writing

Me, in a nutshell.
Photography by Big Al Studios

Now, tell me one thing about yourself!

 

Happy Birthday Blog: Giveaway!

I know some of you love Monday’s Munchies, but I had to change it up today because it’s my blog’s 1st birthday today! YEAY!

I can’t believe it’s been 1 year – at times it feels like I just started this blog and yet sometimes it feels like I’ve been writing forever. When I started this blog, I could not have imagined the overwhelming love I’ve received from everyone.  Whether you’re someone I’ve known my entire life or a complete stranger blogging from halfway around the world (shoutout to Sippingchai), I am SO thankful that you have made me a part of your routine. Your support means the world to me!

Since I’m a number-cruncher, some stats for you:

  • The blog went from zero followers to over 200
  • We are 3 months into the start of this year and Alhamdulilah, I have already had more than half of my entire viewership of last year.
  • From March 2011 to February 2012, there has been nearly a 2000% increase in my monthly views! What the heck?! Is that even possible?! YEAY!

Nerdy fact about me: I still get just as excited as I did the first time one of you left a comment on my blog. Sometimes your comments/email make me smile all day :)

I would like to thank you by hosting my first giveaway!

How To Enter & Rules:

  • Leave a comment below telling me what you favourite post is and why
  • You must be a follower of my blog
  • This giveaway is limited to residents of Canada only – my international readers, share some love and leave a comment anyway! :)
  • The giveaway closes on Sunday, March 25th at 9pm EDT
  • For extra entries, go crazy with social networking – Tweet about this (include me in the tweet @Shazasscrapbook); share my Facebook page (tag @ShazasScrapbook) or link back to this post if you blog about it!

Up for grabs is this pretty necklace. I loved it so much that I bought one for myself too!

p.s. You don’t want to miss tomorrow’s post – eye candy galore!

Birthday Fun

I’m not feeling too well today – seriously bad cramps – so I’m not going to write much. I’m sharing some pictures from my birthday below! :)

Who doesn't love presents? :p

Yummm... Chocolate Cake

Burday Flowers - purple this time!

I’m going to be posting more shopping-related posts soon!

Burkhini: Muslim Swimming Gear

Guess what people?

I went swimming on the weekend! I love swimming and have been swimming since I was a little kid – whenever people ask me if I’m into any sport, I always say, “nope… except I love swimming!” (THERE Nouman – I will bring some sportiness into this relationship :p)

I associate swimming with my childhood since us sisters have always been into swimming. My memories of weekends and summer holidays are swamped with us swimming for hours, coming home to eat chips as our bodies feel sore, and our nanna telling us that every summer we come to Pakistan looking darker. Haha.

I don’t go very often ever since I have “grown up” mainly because of Hijab issues – I need to go somewhere where either there are no men around or I wear a Burkhini.

So anyway, I decided to go swimming on Sunday – I whatsapp’d Nouman to tell him and this is what he said:

Me: Guess what?
*I wait patiently for him to excitedly type, “WHAT?!?!??!!“*
*I am greeted by silence so I continue with my story*
Me: I’m going swimming today!!!
Him: How :O
Me [thinking Nouman must be having a slow day]: Umm… I’m going swimming…
Him: Hair? Skin?
*It clicks to me what he’s concerned about*
Me: I have a full suit :p haha
Him: Haha :p ok scuba diver :p

Burkhini’s actually do look like a wet suit except that it’s made of swimsuit material rather than rubber. I wore one when I went swimming on Sunday!

If I’m being completely honest, I was a little uncomfortable embarrassed to wear it – what would people think?! Thankfully though, once I put it on all my worries were laid to rest – I felt just like I did when I was a kid… happy to go swimming! They are just like regular swimsuits except that they are longer… add a swimming cap and you’re good to go! :)

Even though I’m comfortable enough to wear a Burkhini on a regular day, I’m not sure if I’d want to bust one out on my honeymoon. I think I would attract way more attention than the girls wearing itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bathing suits… Jus sayinnnn!

Electric blue and turquoise - what was mumma thinking when she got these?!

p.s. I’m thinking of embarrassing Nouman on the honeymoon by bringing it along – the look on his face will be priceless :) hahaha


Karachi: Once the City of Lights

I’ve been meaning to write this post ever since I came back from Pakistan. As usual, I got side tracked with work, my social life, and blogging about everything wedding!

Prior to my trip, I was downright scared of going to Pakistan – I was sure that something was going to go wrong. I’m pretty sure that on my last work day, when one of my co-workers said, “See you when you get back!,” I nervously said, “If I come back…heh-heh (nervous chuckle).” Can you really blame me? In the media, Pakistan is only associated with 3 things – fear, corruption and violence.

The fear did not leave me even while I was in Pakistan – whenever mumma and I would go out, I would silently pray in my head until we reached our destination, I made sure I always stuck close to mumma (and her purse!), and I always checked my back whenever we were on our way home (incase someone was following us). Okay, so maybe I’ve seen one too many episodes of Criminal Minds (my FAVOURITEST show guys!!) but I don’t think my fear was unjustified.

Throughout  my trip, I was saddened by how rundown, unkepmt and broken Karachi had become. I did remember Pakistan like this – broken – but I felt that as I had been advancing in my life, Pakistan was going further away into darkness.

You’re probably all thinking, “OMG, I am SO not going to Pakistan. EVER.” Right?

I hope not. Here’s why:

  • Gratitude: By living in countries like Canada, we easily forget how privileged we are. And privileged we definitely are. We take everything, and I mean everything, for granted. When was the last time you worried about not having water to drink (forget clean water, I’m talking about just plain water)? Heck, when was the last time you went home not sure if you would even have a roof above your head? Alhamdulilah, most of us have never had to worry about that but people in Pakistan do. Visiting a country like Pakistan makes you so thankful for what you do have, that you stop worrying about buying those Louboutins you’ve been wanting – you probably don’t even want them anymore.
  • Sympathy: I felt really bad for people there. No, not for the corrupt, barely-doing-anything-with-my-life lofters but for the hardworking poor and average people. In this part of the world, if you put in hard work you generally have a comfortable life. However, in Pakistan, I saw people working for 10-15 hours in the scorching heat and still not even making enough money to buy 1 meal for their family.
  • Patience: The lack of basic necessities in Pakistan brings out the worst in people – being out all day in the sun and coming home to no electricity drove me insane and I was only there for 3ish weeks. Comparing yourself to those who don’t even have something as basic as water makes you so, so, so much more patient towards them. When I walk to work, I am always surprised at how desensitized everyone us – seriously, why are we so impatient? (I’m asking myself the same question)
  • Happiness: Your family is always genuinely happy to see you – seriously. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel special, every single day. My nanni (grandmother) would have pomegranate ready for me every morning before breakfast; she would note things that I liked to eat and then buy/make that in every variety; my family (khala, mamoo/mami, chachi’s/chachoo’s and cousins) making time for us and making me feel like a bride (I LOVE gajray Sehrish :) ) – if I ever made the mistake of asking where I could buy something, it was bought and handed to me the very next day (Tasneem nani :) ). Everyone I met was actually happy to see me – how rare is that?! Jokes aside, I was so taken aback when my dad introduced me to a group of people and they all seemed shocked and happy/proud that I remembered who they were.

I visited Pakistan not even 3 years before this trip and I was so surprised at how quickly I had forgotten all the hardships people face over there. We all get so caught up in our lives that we don’t remember that the majority of the world has so little compared to us.

Be thankful people – for your health, your family, your home, and whatever else makes you happy.

Alhamdulilah.

Meetha Paan - because I had weird cravings for meetha paan on this trip. Must be my inner desi coming out!

As for the City of Lights, I still have hopes that the city (and country) will pull itself together.

Friday’s Feature: Shaza’s Scrapbook

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to feature today. Should I showcase the top weddings of 2011? my favourite outfits? the #1 shoe on my wish list? the bestest “real” wedding of 2011? my favourite restaurant? … you get the picture – the list is endless. Each time I came up with an idea, I shot it down because it sounded just like every other lame blog showcasing a top 11 (for 2011), top 5, top of the tops (seriously?!), or any other “looking back at 2011′s top….”. My ideas were all lame – a fact that my sisters were quick to point out.

So, as the last post of 2011 (can you believe it?), I’m featuring this blog – Shaza’s Scrapbook – and everything it entails: me, my wedding, my food, my life/opinions, and ofcourse, YOU.

I guess you can say this is a reflection of sorts, but it’s really not. This post is more of a celebration – a celebration of an amazing year and hopefully an even better one coming up InshAllah. Not just for me, for all of us.

Some major “stuffs” that happened over the course of last year that I want to share with everyone:

  • Shaza’s Scrapbook – when I started this blog, I had never imagined that I would reach out to so many of you. My main purpose was to organize my thoughts and have an outlet for all my (crazy) thoughts… and since I’ve always loved to write, this seemed like the perfect medium. I am SO thankful that all of you invest your time on this blog and have made me a part of your daily/weekly routine. Thank you for all the comments and emails – you guys are awesome! :)
  • Engaged: Even though Nouman and I had our baat pakki in 2010, I finally got my ring this year! Alhamdulilah. The most surprising part? The fact that Nouman proposed! I totally wasn’t expecting it – even though I had been playfully asking him if he was going to. I didn’t think he actually would propose… although my sisters were right all along :) Some of you emailed to ask how he did it… all I’ll say is that it was very US. We’re extremely laid back and it involved our favourite burger joint (every birthday, we have “Birthday Burgers” for lunch – yup, we’re lame :) ), roses (red roses yes, but also pink – because it’s our thing), and 2 fake rings that Nouman remembered I liked. Pictures below!
  • Chachi (Aunt): In November, I became a chachi (aunt) to my brother/sister-in-laws baby! YEAY. I haven’t been able to see the munchkin much but I’m hoping to see lots more of him in the new year
  • Trip to Pakistan: I met all my extended family and bought my wedding dresses – along with other things such as invitations, etc

I’m excited to see what next year brings – wishing everyone a year full of happiness, love, success and health!

Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to get married InshAllah!

Chachi avec beeebeee

Comb, glasses/contacts, snacks, my handy-dandy notebook and medication... all set to go!

The fake rings before he surprised me with the real one

Flowers - red and our fav; pink!

Our engagement with the families

Wishing you and your loved ones an awesome New Year! :)

Machar Magnet

I was too tired last night to continue with my Shopping in Karachi posts. So I’m going to keep this post short and light!

If you’re on my Facebook friends list, you probably saw my numerous updates about machars (mosquitos)! From the day I arrived in Karachi, I was a machar magnet. I could be wearing full sleeves, covered in mosquito repellent or living under a rock, I was (and would be) still be covered in mosquito bites.

I even got bit on my eye – making me look just like Quasimodo (Hunch Back of Notre Dame anyone?!).

Snake Bite?? :p

Quasimodo!!

Quasimodo!!!!!

Friday’s Feature: My Fiance

It’s the Mister’s birthday this weekend and I’m not there to celebrate!! So, here’s to my fiance (can’t say that title for too long now)…

Happy Birthday to the most wonderfulest guy. Ever. I’m not just saying that because I’m getting married to him in less than 7 months InshAllah – although I’m sure I’m slightly biased because of it :) .

I can’t believe that I’m not there for your birthday this year! :( Looking forward to a lifetime of birthdays together, InshAllah.

So what can I say about the Mister? He’s super awesome. During this whole wedding planning process, you have been such a big support – I know I’ve driven you insane with my back and forth, but you have truly been so patient with me (okay, maybe not SO patient… but hey, I drive myself crazy sometimes!). I can’t even count the number of times I have been told by vendors that I am really lucky to have someone who cares about me so much. Alhamdulilah. I love that you understand who I am better than most people and that you have been such a strong support in my life. I love that you teach me new things (okay, maybe not when I have to admit I’m wrong) and push me to be adventurous.  I love that through my craziness, you are always calm. I love that you love my family. Alhamdulilah.

Can’t wait to start our life together InshAllah – less than 7 months left until we’re stuck together for lifeeee InshAllah!

We buy him flowers. Because we love them.

We get cake...

Annddd... we embarass him!

Happy Birthday Bum!!

Food Fanatics!

I was going to upload some pictures for all of you… but I’m having technical issues sooo maybe another day!

A quick update – remember how I was trying to lose the weight I had gained during Ramadan? Well, I managed to lose most of it (I was 1.5 pounds away from my goal – and no, it wasn’t “water weight”) but I’ve been gaining weight while on vacation.

Food is a MAJOR part of our culture and turning down food is extremelyyyyyy offensive… soo I stuff myself and say “aur nahi” (no more) a million times, but nobody listens. I eat oily food 3 times a day plus fried snacks… unhealthy but SO yummy! I’ve had chanay (chick peas) and naan for breakfast twice – yup, NAAN!

Ooh and one thing I find hilarious: meat is a big part of Pakistani culture. Being a pescetarian or vegetarian is almost unheard of in our culture – people just don’t get it. Naturally, when I tell people that I don’t eat meat, they think I’m crazy. I’ve come to the realization that everyone keeps says I don’t eat food because food = meat in the Pakistani culture. Vegetables are considered a “side dish,” so everyone has concluded that I don’t eat khana (meal).

I thought I was a food fanatic until I got here. Everyone loves to feed others and be well fed!

Anyway, enough of an update for now – will keep you guys posted!!! :)