Tag Archives: Culture

Friday’s Feature: Sisters Dance at Our Mehendi

My sisters did a gorgeous dance at our mehendi and I just have to share it with you guys. A little background information:

  • The first song, Jahan Main Jaati Hoon, is copied from a dance that an Indian actress did at an award show. My sisters and I stumbled upon it years ago and loved it. We always talked about learning this dance but we always failed. Needless to say, I was taken away by my sisters’ selection and performance on this song.
  • The second and third last songs – Yeah by Usher and Amplifier by Imran Khan – were a jab at Nouman. He has danced to both of these songs and my sisters were poking fun at him and telling him that they can do it better.
  • My sisters threw in the last song, Dola Re Dola, last minute. Again, for Nouman. Both of our families have always been surrounded by music; our parents dragged us to their musical parties (my dad loves to sing!) when we were kids. At one such party, when Devdas had been newly released, Nouman and another family friend busted out dancing to Dola Re Dola. Since that day, Nouman has danced to Dola Re Dola numerous times – and quite well might I add. Obviously, it had been atleast 5-6 years since Nouman danced to this song, so my sisters threw in this song. It was so last minute that the four of us didn’t even practice together. I called Nouman the night before the mehendi and described what we would do… and then we did!

*Note: I would suggest that you watch the video at its highest quality. I like the setting at 1080p HD*

To get details on their clothes, click here.

Have a great weekend!


Family of The Bride

Several of you have asked me to send pictures of my sisters’ outfits from the mehendi. Instead of replying to each one individually, I am sharing pictures on the blog. This post highlights their outfits, hair, makeup and jewellery.

Since my outfit was emerald-green with hints of magenta and navy blue, I wanted my sisters to wear the reverse of me: mainly magenta with accents of emerald-green and navy blue. My purpose in making them wear the reverse of me was so that we all stood out from one another but also looked cohesive.

My sisters and I wanted flowy gowns for their mehendi look so I used chiffon. The fabric was dyed to match the magenta in my outfit and I had “chun” added to their entire outfits. I added one strip of green and one strip of blue banarsi to the bottom of their shirts to tie all the colours together. I totally love chooridar sleeves so I took a risk and used jamawar for their sleeves. To slightly differentiate the sisters looks, I added blue and green stripes to the sides of one of the outfits. The kaam around their neck was also slightly different.


As you can see, my sister on the left has green and blue stripes on the sides of her outfit. They both have green and blue borders on the bottom of their shirts


Hair, Makeup and Jewellery
For my sisters’ jewellery, we decided to keep everything mainly gold with a little bit of green for a pop of colour. The green would also stand out better against their magenta shirts. The older sister wore drop earrings and the younger sister wore more traditional, circular earrings.

I love, love, love, messy braids so I knew that I was going to ask them to get that done for the mehendi. Both of them had messy side braids with side bangs. For their makeup, we wanted something modern and funky. That’s literally what we told the makeup artist and she worked her magic!

A closer look at their hair and outfits

A closer look at their hair and outfits


A closeup of the jewellery

And lastly, My Parents:
My dad wore a navy blue kurta from with a turquoise dupatta and white shalwar. I can’t remember the name of the store we purchased his kurta from but it was at Kurta Gali on Tariq Road. My brother-in-law also wore the same ensemble.

I made a navy blue gharara for my mom with a magenta shirt. Her shirt was made of raw silk and had gold chun with some gold embroidery on it. The gharara and dupatta were navy blue jamawar (dupatta was chiffon jamawar) with gold detailing. To offset the darkness of the navy blue, we had magenta borders around the dupatta and the gharara.

My gorgeous family MashAllah

My gorgeous family MashAllah

Outfits: Mohsin & Sons, Karachi
My Makeup: DIY
Hair & Makeup of Sisters: Fero GlamourStudio
Photography: Big Al Studios

p.s. Check out their dance on the mehendi!



Friday’s Feature: Nouman & Shaza’s Mehendi

Finally, it’s time! I am so happy to be able to share these pictures with all of you. It has been hard selecting pictures since there are so many but I finally sat down to do it. Our mehendi was so much fun – I wish I could go back! Without further ado, check out the pictures below that were taken by our photographer,  Big Al Studios.

For the decor, I wanted to keep everything simple. I am in love with tents so that is all that I had wanted for the stage.

My outfit was mainly emerald green with accents of magenta and navy blue. My parents and sisters wore the reverse colours of me – mainly magenta or navy blue. Both the males and females on my side wore navy blue – the men were provided with turquoise dupatta’s. Nouman’s family gave beige kurta’s to all the boys and turquoise dupatta’s aswell. Nouman’s male cousins all wore white. Nouman wore a brown kurta with a beige shalwar and dupatta.

Therefore, the decor matched the above colours. The tent was mainly green with panels of navy blue, turquoise and magenta. I did not want an overtly pink look – I preferred to have the blue’s and greens more prominent. The tablecloth and chair covers were gold with turquoise overlays for the tables and navy/royal blue napkins.

Some of the hors d'oeuvre and appetizers

Some of the hors d’oeuvre and appetizers



Signing the graffiti wall

Signing the graffiti wall

Mehendi Thaals:
Nouman’s family had cute trays and candles that they had decorated with flowers and pearl necklaces. I bought most of my stuff from the dollar store – with the exception of a few pieces from Pakistan. My side had: flower baskets, lanterns, colourful candleholders, a tray with small bowls filled with mehendi, ubtan and toothpicks (from Pakistan), a decorated mehendi plate from Pakistan with 2 paans (leaves) that my mom had attached gota to, velvet paisley and glitter trays, 2 trays of chooriyan covered with velvet fabric, a green coloured platter from Pakistan full of fruits, a basket full of nuts from the Middle East and a tray with Nouman’s flower haar (garland).

I bought flower baskets and the lantern for my cousins

Flower baskets and lanterns for my cousins – Dollar Store. We filled the baskets with rose petals

Mehendi thaals before our entrances

With the exception of the candleholders (top right), everything is from Nouman’s side. I bought the candleholders from the Dollar Store

My mom, sisters and I (mainly my mom) made the velvet paisley trays. I couldn't find fans when I went to Pakistan. My mom's mami saved the day and bought the fans for me

My mom, sisters and I (mainly my mom) made the velvet paisley trays. I couldn’t find fans when I went to Pakistan. My mom’s mami saved the day and bought the fans for me. The 2 green trays (bottom left) are full of chooriyan – my moms friend made the velvet covers. The tray in the middle has Nouman’s haar.

Nouman’s Entrance:
As he entered behind the girls, the music cut to Brooklyn Go Hard by Jay-Z ft. Santogold. Nouman donned a “NY” hat at the entrance of the hall and then walked to the stage.

Nouman getting ready to make his entrance

Nouman getting ready to make his entrance

Nouman's entrance

The guys dancing

My Entrance:
The doors opened to the first beat of Peer Manava (Black and White). As I walked, I was nervous and excited.

Nouman's family ready to receive me

Nouman’s family ready to receive me

Making my entrance

Making my entrance

Peeking through my mamoo's arm

Peeking through my mamoo’s arm

My nerves captured on camera

My nerves captured on camera (by the way, look – my nails did grow! Thank you all for the tips)

I had learned from my baat pakki and kept fruits instead of mithai for our feeding. As a result, even though we had a long lineup of people feeding us, I didn’t feel sick.


Top to Bottom: Nouman’s mom tying gajray (flower bracelets) on my hands, Mehendi (henna) on our leaf, the fruit tray that we were fed from

Nouman's mom

Nouman’s mom putting the mehendi on my leaf

Trying to get in a few words to each other amidst all the chaos

Trying to get in a few words to each other amidst all the chaos

Our Photoshoot:
Most of the pictures below were taken separately before we saw each other. The photoshoot we had of us during dinner was mainly a couples shoot (duh!). The last two pictures in this section are from out photoshoot together.

Nouman's "getting ready" shots

Nouman’s “getting ready” shots

My turn

My turn


Hiding behind my ghoonghat

Hiding behind my ghoonghat




Striking a pose and being silly

Striking a pose and being silly

Stuffing my face with cotton candy!

Stuffing my face with cotton candy!


Dholki and Dances:
The most enteratining portion of the night – everybody did a fantastic job. We had seven dances in total – each roughly around 4-5 minutes. My sisters dance was 9 minutes long! Dances were done by: My family friends – Shahab Brothers, Family Friend Girls, Family Friend Boys, My Sisters, Nouman’s brother and sister-in-law, Nouman’s cousin and Nouman and the boys. With the exception of the last dance, all of them used a medley of songs – surprisingly, not a single song overlapped!

The ladies having a blast on the dhol

The ladies having a blast on the dhol

Nouman's cousin

Nouman’s cousin


Clockwise from Top Left: Girls dance, Shahab brothers, brother and sister-in-law’s and my sisters!

Nouman and the guys dancing to Kolaveri Di

Nouman and the guys dancing to Kolaveri Di

Dancing the night away

Open dance floor


Dancing the night away

The end.

Looks like we maintained good posture

Looks like we maintained good posture

*All the images used in this post are courtesy of Big Al Studios.*

To read about the Mehendi Day, check out my posts: Mehendi Day – Part 1 and Mehendi Day – Part 2. For information on my makeup, check out my tips for a DIY Mehendi Look.

p.s. If you have not been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have been surprised at the blog’s new look. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think – I want to hear your feedback!


Friday’s Feature: I Alam Photo

This past weekend, Nouman and I went to our final wedding of 2012 – yup, final wedding on the final weekend of 2012. If anyone is keeping count, this was our 12th wedding of the year – most with multiple events. It was Nouman’s friends wedding and we had a great time. This wedding was where we met the subject of today’s feature – an up and coming photographer, Iftekhar Alam aka I Alam Photography.

While the bride and groom were doing their photoshoot, Nouman and I (okay, I dragged him into it) started taking pictures in the lobby too. We were travelling back in time to our wedding day since we were at the same hall as our shaadi. Anyway, Nouman and I were watching the photographer (creepers, yes) and we loved his energy and the style of pictures he was taking. At one point during the night, I was standing next to the photographer while taking pictures of people on stage. As you know, I am pretty outgoing so I struck up a conversation with him. Turns out, he is a very sweet person; I think I saw him smiling the entire time through all three events. He was easy to talk to and sounded genuinely enthusiastic about his work.

On the reception day, we viewed the pictures he took on the wedding day and I LOVED everything. The few teasers I have seen from the reception day seem to be even better.

*All the below images belong to I Alam Photography*

Love the rawness of this picture - 2 friends acting all demure and then shove

Love the rawness of this picture – 2 friends acting all demure and then pushing each other for the bouquet.




Love this shot!

Love this shot!


This picture perfectly captures the anticipation of everyone as the bride makes her entrance

This picture perfectly captures the anticipation of everyone as the bride makes her entrance. I also love the expression on the bride






Look at all the angles and lines



You know I have a thing for dark pictures

And now, on to my favourite pictures:




My absolute favourite - this is regal, classy and oh-so-sophisticated

My absolute favourite – this is regal, classy and oh-so-sophisticated

If I were a competitor, I’d keep an eye out.

Have a great weekend!


Friday’s Feature: Nadia D Photography

I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of photographers. There is something about pictures that speaks volumes to me – it’s a glimpse into another persons life from the eyes of someone else.

I recently came across a photographer that made me want to stare at their work – not in a creepy way guys, geez. Nadia D Photography caught my attention because the work is unique and oh-so-captivating. I love everything about these pictures. The darkness, the softness and the perfect lighting – I’m in love!

You know I have an obsession with dark pictures



Love this



Um.. LOVE!



How can a couple near lampost and on a bench look so amazing?


Boss picture

 *All the above images are via Nadia D Photography*

Have a great weekend!



Behind The Scenes: The Wedding Day – Part 1

The morning of the wedding felt surreal. Surprisingly, I woke up well-rested (I love my sleep come rain or shine) but with knots in my stomach. It’s one of the most important days of your life and yet your emotions vary by the second. The best way I can explain how I felt is by saying this: I was truly happy and at peace (Alhamdulilah) but I could not stop the internal shaking in my stomach (and no, it wasn’t my gut shaking). I was lying in bed and thinking about my room, my family, my current home and the new life I was going to lead. I could not believe the day was here.

Unlike many brides (and grooms), I slept in that day. I had been awake (and crying) for around 15 minutes by the time my family came inside my room to check on me. My family is big on hugging and kissing so as soon as they saw that I was awake, they all jumped into bed with me. I cried, we laughed and then finally I got out of bed.

It was a very calm and peaceful day. It was Jummah (Friday) so all the men went for namaaz and I showered, prayed Jummah (Friday prayers) followed by Salatul Hajaat. The makeup artist for my family came around 1:30 so all my aunts and sisters started getting their hair/makeup done while I just hung around in a daze. My mom ordered pizza so we all munched on that (I definitely wasn’t a non-eating bride; I had 2 slices but had to stop because I didn’t want to be bloated). My mamoo’s (uncles) had picked up the flowers and dropped off my favours/receiving table things at the venue so I was very relaxed and carefree.

Besides how peaceful everything felt, the one emotion I remember strongly is the amount of crying I did. I cried in bed, I cried in the shower, I cried while praying… I cried all over the place. As my family’s makeup artist was finishing up,  I sat on the couch next to my mom and tears started flooding out (again). Neither one of us said anything but she held me in her arms and let me cry. I remember the makeup artist and her mom saying “Awww” but I couldn’t stop. Finally, when my makeup artist (Shirley Wu) buzzed from downstairs, I stopped crying and went to put on my wedding shirt.

Putting on my wedding clothes felt surreal. I remember trembling as I slipped into my shirt – this was really happening. I changed and went back outside to get dolled up! Once I was outside, I had my first small panic attack – my photographer was still not here. As Shirley started doing my hair, I kept thinking that she was so fast and that my photographer had better not miss this. Finally, we placed a call to the photographer who assured us that they were minutes away. Obviously, they know better when to come so that they don’t capture the ugliness pre-makeup. Once my photographer came, they took my getting ready shots (the pictures came out amazing but I can’t share most of them due to my wearing Hijab) and pictures of all my accessories.

Photography by Big Al Studios

While I got my hair/makeup done, I was also on Skype with my khala (aunt) and nani (grandmother). Unfortunately, they couldn’t attend but they were with us the entire day via Skype. My khala is a joker and she kept cracking jokes. Initially, my khala had no idea that Shirley can speak/understand Urdu – she cracked a joke about the makeup and Shirley responded in Urdu. It was pretty funny.

Photography by Big Al Studios

Once my hair and makeup was done, Shirley asked me to put on my Gharara and get my dupatta. She put on my jewellery, did my dupatta setting and I was ready! By the way, when Shirley finished my hair/makeup, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t stop smiling. I looked like a bride!

Photography by Big Al Studios

By the time the short photo session was done, we were running around 15 minutes off schedule and we rushed to get out of the house. My parents, younger sister and I were in one car and my sister and brother-in-law were in a second car. I remember reading lots of dua (prayers) and my mom reading lots of dua’s as we left the home.

When we arrived at the venue, my dad helped me out of the car and we walked inside the hall. As I entered my wedding hall, I was blown away. I fell in love with my venue all over again. I quickly said hi to my videographer and the venue’s coordinator and made my way back into the lobby. At this point, we took some more pictures and then I rushed upstairs to hide in the bridal room.

In the bridal room, I waited – to finally be a Mrs.

Photography by Big Al Studios

Want more Behind The Scenes moments? Check these posts: The Day Before the Mehendi Day, Mehendi Day – Part 1, Mehendi Day – Part 2 and Bridal Room Shenanigans.



Monday’s Munchies: Weekend Leftovers

When I first started cooking after Nouman’s mom left, I had a hard time figuring out quantities. I still sometimes do. I would often make so much food that it could feed a family of 4 for 2 days. Regardless of the quantity, I think we all sometimes have leftover foods that nobody wants to eat by the end of the week. Right?

Well, one day, I had made so much keemay and aloo walay chawal (rice with ground meat and potatoes) that it seemed like it would never end. Out of desperation, I decided to make a casserole. It turned out really yummy so now I do this every few weeks.

This past weekend, we had numerous odd leftovers: aloo ki tarkari (potato curry), refried beans (I had made these 1 week ago hoping to make nachos but we didn’t get time), ground chicken, plain white rice (we had been eating this batch for 6 days) and 1 pack of mushrooms that would have gone bad if I didn’t use it asap. In order to somehow finish everything before the end of the weekend, I shoved everything into a casserole!

So what do I normally do?

  • Heat up some oil in a pot
  • Dump 1/2 a chopped onion and saute it until its translucent. Now, either add some ginger/garlic paste or a few cloves of garlic (yeay I’m desi!)
  • Salt to taste (if I’m making a casserole with cheese, I usually put 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)
  • Add in any raw veggies – i.e. mushrooms this weekend
  • Put any other outstanding items – ground chicken and beans
  • Since the rice will get dry when it’s baked, I add in a sauce. This week, I had some leftover pasta sauce so I included that. I have also used cream of mushroom soup – it tastes so good!
  • Add the rice and any herbs you want to use (I generally use parsley or oregano)
  • Let it simmer for 2 minutes
  • Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish
  • Bake on 400 degrees F until the cheese melts and browns at the top


I took this picture at the halfway point – the cheese has started to melt but hasn’t fully melted nor has it browned


I took this picture after I put it in my plate. Notice the cheese browned and melted in the back? Oooh yeah, everything tastes better with cheese.


What do you do with your leftovers?

Friday’s Feature: Alineh and Rafi

Today’s feature is a cute and endearing video by Desi Vibe Studios. I love how sweet the couple is with each other – somebody say AWWWW already!


Photography by Talha Siddiqi

Photography by Talha Siddiqi


Photography by Talha Siddiqi

Alineh and Rafi – Highlights from DesiVibe Studios on Vimeo.


Have a good weekend :)

DIY: Mehendi Makeup

Prior to the wedding, I was debating on doing my own mehendi makeup versus getting it done professionally. The closer we got to the day of the wedding, the more sure I was that I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to keep my makeup simple but also stand out just enough that I didn’t look washed out in pictures. Here’s what I did:

  • Moisturizer: I don’t use a moisturizer, instead I use grapeseed oil for my face. Hence, as usual, I moisturized my face using my grapeseed oil. Whatever you do, don’t try out something new on your wedding day – you don’t know how your skin will react to it. NOW Grapeseed Oil ~ $6.99
  • Primer: I don’t use primer often but I figured my mehendi day is one day I should. I had a free sample from Smashbox so I used that on the mehendi (retails for $44) but Rimmel is my go-to primer ~ $10
  • Foundation: I had wanted to test out a different foundation prior to the wedding but I didn’t get a chance. I had decided to finalize all my makeup/skin regimes 3 months prior to the wedding – that way my skin would not be experiencing anything new too close to the wedding. So, I stuck to my Revlon Colourstay foundation ~ $14.99
  • Eyeliner: I wore a green outfit and a green eyeliner to compliment it. I love green and blue eyeliners! Rimmel Kohl ~ $2ish at Walmart. I also used a gold eyeshadow just over my lid but I don’t remember the brand. It might have been Sephora.
  • Blush: Pink Cheek Glow by NYC Colour Wheel ~ $4.97
  • Lipstick: Schiap by NARS for a pop of colour ~ $25



Would you consider DIY makeup for your big day(s)?


Monday’s Munchies: Birthday Eatings

Remember my claim that I would start eating healthy? Well, at that time, I forgot that it was Nouman’s birthday the coming week. So yes, I flew off the bandwagon even before I really had a chance to start.

Nouman and I both had Thursday off (US Thanksgiving) so we took off Friday and Monday aswell – yeay to extra long weekends! On Tuesday, we finalized our plans to head off to Niagara falls and on Thursday, we were off on our adventure! I like to pre-plan ages in advance, but we both decided to be spontaneous and to go with the flow – I can’t believe how good it felt. On Thursday, we (by we I mean mainly Nouman) did a little bit of shopping on the Canadian side of Niagara falls (ate at Burger King), checked into our hotel in the evening and then vegged out in our room for a few hours. Did you guys know that I LOVE hotel rooms? Especially when they have a king sized bed and a jacuzzi? After resting for a few hours, we went out for dinner to a Halal Middle-Eastern restaurant called Casablanca. Casablanca has all the Arabian delights – shawarma, falafel, shish tawouk, etc – and also an area that has sheesha, fresh juices/shakes and a wood-oven pizza’s!

Service: Attentive. The owner was hands-on and everyone jived together. We had no complaints. It took around 15 minutes for our food to be ready
Pretty good. The falafel was average – nothing spectacular but definitely better than Villa Madina. Nouman liked his chicken shawarma too
Portion Size: Huge. Comparable to Paramount
Price: On the pricier side – Chicken Shawarma plate was $15.99 and the falafel sandwich was $7.99. The pizza’s (12 inch) ranged from $7.99 to $11.99

Nouman got the chicken shawarma plate and I had the falafel sandwich

After dinner, we had fun at Clifton Hill (my sisters and I call it “Fun Street”) and looked around the casino at our hotel before finally returning to our suite around 1:30am. I had wanted to surprise Nouman with breakfast at the Fallsview Restaurant at our hotel (it has amazing views of the falls) but we were both too tired to get up early in the morning. After checking out, we headed to Denny’s for brunch.

We ordered the vegetarian omelet with fries and rye toast and a custom order of 2 eggs (sunnyside up), 2 English Muffins, hashbrowns and 2 buttermilk pancakes. We took this picture after we had halved our meals

After our yummy brunch, we walked around the falls, checked out the second casino (Casino Niagara) and then randomly decided to cross the border to eat at the Cheesecake Factory! We had thought that the border would be packed because of Black Friday, but we had been viewing the border from out hotel and it was completely deserted.


Mine: Nachos
Nouman: Shrimp Jambalaya
… and free bread, ofcourse!


Oreo Cheesecake

Did I tell you that I completely overpacked the snacks for our trip? A list of all the food/drink items I took:

  • Ruffles: Sour Cream & Onion (brought it back unopened)
  • Ruffles: All Dressed (we ate almost the entire bag)
  • A container full of assorted nuts – cashews, almonds, salted and limed almonds, walnuts, etc
  • Honey roasted peanuts
  • Bag of sour and sweet twizzlers (I finished this off pretty much on my own)
  • Swedish berries (we had half of the bag)
  • Dairy milk chocolate bar (untouched)
  • Twix – pack of 4 (unopened)
  • Celebration cookies (again, untouched)
  • 4 diet coke cans (I had one)
  • 2 coke cans (Nouman had 1)
  • 1 ginger ale
  • Handful of water bottles (useful)
  • A chocolate cupcake that I surprised Nouman with to kick off his birthday celebrations (we had this the morning after we got back home)

On Saturday, we went to Pizza Hut where we had pizza and a yummy cake! Thankfully, I was able to control myself at Pizza Hut and stopped at 3 slices – after all the overeating, I could resist pizza… a first for me!

I was hoping to eat clean on Sunday but I went over to my parents place and indulged in delicious sushi and spinach pie. FYI, I haven’t had sushi in a LONG time – it was delicious and I definitely overate.


And today, Nouman and I both took the day off and are going to indulge in something again. I think I might just go for a salad if we go out somewhere – totally don’t feel like eating anything greasy or fried! Although Birthday Burgers are a tradition, I don’t know if I feel like having it – maybe we’ll share one for old times sake ;)