M.A.C. Lipsticks for Winter 2014

Hi Ladies,

I like to buy my makeup according to the weather and then use them throughout the entire season. Recently, I bought 4 beautiful winter lipstick shades from MAC cosmetics. These shades go very well with my winter outfits and add the perfect pop of color much needed during the winter months. The shades that I fell in love with Damn Glamorous, Fashion Revival, Pander Me, and Chili.

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A Girlfriend’s Guide to New York II

My friends and I decided to visit New York again (of course). One of my friends had made an itinerary and it was all set to explore the Financial District and Ground Zero for the day.  By the time we got to the city, our plans changed completely. Or maybe somewhat…

We decided to go to Broadway and 30th St. to look at jewelry. All of a sudden, I felt as if I had no jewelry whatsoever and I was about to buy the entire store! My friends and I went cray cray at the store and each of us bought an average of $100 worth of jewelry. The rings, bracelets, necklaces, oh my! They were all beautiful and most stylish too. I found jewelry that I’ve been oogling over on Instagram forever. We spent a bulk of our time on Broadway and 30th:)

After being dazzled by all the jewelry, we thought it’d be best if we started walking towards the Financial District where our decided lunch would be. While walking down 5th Ave, we see the Flatiron building. And on our right we pass by Eataly. We stop, turn back, and enter Eataly.

I really thought Eataly was this tiny Gelato place that also sold espressos and lattes. But boy was I wrong! It had everything and anything Italian. Inside, it was huge…there were Italian chocolates, freshly made pasta, fresh cut meat, and even an exhibition from the Duomo in Milan. I couldn’t believe that by entering those two doors I would be entering a mini town from Italy.

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Wherever she goes, he goes…

As the story goes, Sarah and Shabaz continued going to college every day. Sarah tried her best not to make any contact with anyone of the opposite gender. She made sure she would walk the other way if she saw boys down the corridor. She would always go to college with a group of friends and never alone. She was just so scared all the time. What if someone stops her? Or tries to talk to her? She was deathly afraid of her male college mates, senior or not. There was a reason for that. Sarah had seen senior college members with these long rifles on their backs. On the second day of college, there was a shooting on campus. Someone had got hurt and had to go to the hospital. Later Sarah found out that there were these two political parties at school. These two student political parties were constantly fighting. That’s just how it was. They would then try to get the young first year students to join their respective parties. Possibly a big adrenaline rush for the boys but for the girls, it was like walking into a trap everyday.

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Palpitations of hearts young…

This is a true story of a girl (Sarah) who was born and raised in the US. Her parents had immigrated from Pakistan and were keen on maintaining the religion and culture while raising their girls. They did a very good job with their girls and had successfully raised respectful, conscientious girls. She had a very comfortable life and after high school, she went to Pakistan to attend medical school. The last time she went to Pakistan was when she was 9 years old. She was 18 now. It was a new country and new world for her. She thanked her parents for enforcing the Urdu language while growing up because that helped her adjust to her new environment. Her father wanted her to get admission to the college in the town where her relatives lived but eventually she got admission to a medical college in a more remote area. She had to live in a hostel (dorm) with other girls. She still remembers the first day of college. There were no rooms available and the warden was having difficulty placing the girls in rooms. Then there was the news for all first year students. Fooling, run, hide! Fooling is when seniors would round up the first year students and ask them to do silly things or just pick on them. Nice. New place, new girls, new everything and now to deal with the fact that girls are out to embarrass you publicly. Hostel life is another story to tell.

Eventually, the girl was placed in a room with 2 other girls. The room was big enough for just one girl. But the young girl managed. Everything was happening so quickly for her. The next day was the first day of college. She woke up, went to the mess to eat breakfast, and walked to college with these random new friends she quietly made. Once at the college campus, she met her worst fear…Boys. They were everywhere, and worse than that was the fact that boys did fooling of the girls too. The innocent girl kept her eyes down, face down. She didn’t want to be seen nor heard. She just wanted to be invisible. Eventually, she reached her Lecture Hall and sat down with her friends. All the guys sat in the front and the girls sat in the back. That’s just how it was then.

In that same lecture hall was a young,18 year old guy (Shabaz) who happened to sit with his newly made friends. One of his friends told him to turn around and check out a girl sitting on the third row in the back. Instead of placing his eyes on the respective girl his friend was pointing to, his eyes fell on the girl next to her. She was the same girl from the beginning of this story. And according to him, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. And that’s when it happened. He was 18 years old, a first year medical student, on the first day of college looking at the love of his life.

What happened to the girl in the beginning of this story? Well, she was that same girl of course. It was during a Biochemistry tutorial class that she saw him for the first time. The young man and his friends had forgotten to bring their lab coats for class and as a punishment the professor had sent them to attend the lecture with the girls. The girl still remembers first seeing him as a blur with blue green brilliant eyes. She tilted her chair back a little to see him a bit clearly. Not a ladylike thing to do but she still did it anyways. Their eyes met and she immediately looked away. She had traveled thousands of miles away from her family only to become a doctor. Nothing else and nothing more.

To be continued…

A Girlfriend’s Guide to A Day in New York I

Hey Everyone! Just in case you don’t know this about me, I’d like to take the moment to tell you how much I LOVE New York City. There’s always something new to do there, something new to eat, something new to try. I grew up in North New Jersey where the Lincoln Tunnel was a 20 min ride for us. I remember our Dad taking us on major holidays or at least twice a month. I would always be in awe of the Macy’s holiday windows, the Rockefeller tree, and Central Park! Flash forward to now…kids, husband, family, and girlfriends…

Whenever we get the chance, my friends and I make plans to go to the city and just do things that American Muslim moms can possibly do. The following is how our day went. Please note, we had to make sure our kids were dropped off at school AND be back by the time they got off from school. But we live in Central Jersey, so how bad could it be right?

We planned to meet at 8 am at the school parking lot. It’s 7:30 am and my daughter decides to tell me that she didn’t finish her project from last night. I howl but kept it under control. I am now putting tape on her poster board while trying to put my boots on. Definitely running late, I text my friends telling them I’ll be 25 min late. Out of fear, I don’t check my phone again if they replied. So this is how the day was planned, basically.

8 am: Meet up and leave for the city (1 hour 20 min ride)

9:45 and: Appointments for hair at The Dry Bar (hair salon)

10:45 am: Reservations at Sarabeth’s for Brunch

Then later, go sightseeing at Rockefeller and visit “Broadway Bites” (food festival between Broadway and 34th st.)

And be back at the school by 3 pm.

Back to when I was running late, I reach my girls at 8:30 and we leave. I call the Dry Bar and move our appointments up by 15 minutes and now we have the 10 am time slot. We reach the Parking garage by 9:40 am and decide to park the car on 42nd St. and run our way upto 56th St., thinking we would reach our 10 am appointments. So what happened next, you ask?

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“Scarf and Belt” trend to follow this Fall…

Ladies! This new Fall trend is something to try. Simply pull the scarf from behind your neck so both ends come in the front. Next, tie a belt around your mid waist and Voila! You’ve just achieved a street style that’s up and coming. I personally saw this style in Manhattan yesterday and fell in love. Very decent and chic. Please check out the link below for more inspirations.

http://www.whowhatwear.com/belted-scarf-trend-how-to-style-fall-2014?ps=home

The Genius New Way to Wear a Scarf This Fall

The Genius New Way to Wear a Scarf This FallLe 21eme

“There’s nothing we love more than finding a brand new way of styling something we already own. That’s why we’re enamored with Burberry’s F/W 14 runway show, which featured models wearing scarves draped over their necks with the crossed or uncrossed ends belted at the waist. As if we needed further convincing to try this easy-to-achieve styling trick, the look was quickly embraced by the likes of Olivia Palermo.”

Click here for source of articlehttp://www.whowhatwear.com/belted-scarf-trend-how-to-style-fall-2014/

Autumn in Central Park, New York City

Hi everyone! Today was a beautiful day to spend outdoors with my sisters in Central Park, New York. Since it’s officially Fall, I decided to take out my favorite Fall boots, and pair them with a dress, a faux fur vest. Fall foliage at the park didn’t seem like it was at its peak but the scenery was still splendid and heartwarming. The sound of children playing and the birds chirping was music to my ears. And I know that the warmth of the sun kissed trees surrounding me will be gone soon enough. For now I will give thanks to have spent such a gorgeous day outdoors!

Sharing some of the best shots of the day…Enjoy!

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Central Park, New York City 

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Restaurant Review: Serendipity 3, New York City

It was an unusually warm day in November, here in New Jersey. My sisters and I decided to go New York City and bathe in the warm sun. Lunch was decided to be eaten in Serendipity 3 (http://www.serendipity3.com). Back in 2001, my sisters and I watched Serendipity the movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240890/) and decided to go there one day. That day came after 13 years but that’s ok. We can scratch that off our bucket list.

The first thing that struck me was the tiny door on 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022. On the door, there was a sign saying “No Strollers or Carriages Inside”. So that was the first blow…my sister had brought her 1 month old baby. But we decided it’s ok, we will keep the stroller outside. After waiting for 20 minutes, we go inside just to find ourselves CRAMPED! No space between the tables or chairs. I thought to myself, “Oh great, this is the Serendipity we have waited all this time for?” I looked at my sisters and they looked back at me. Frankly, I felt claustrophobic. Still i didn’t want to be a buzzkill and put on a brave face. We were handed these HUGE menus and finally decided to try the “Lemon Sole with asparagus, lemon butter and a Serendib Salad”, “Salmon A La Garden of Allah” (Allah??), and the “Ftatateeta’s Toast, a french toasted cream cheese sandwich topped with fresh strawberries and apricot preserves”. For dessert, we settled for the “Coward’s Portion” of the Outrageous Banana Split. The Salmon was not up to par but the rest of the food quite delicious.  

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Back to the ambience of Serendipity 3…funky decor, chairs hanging from the ceiling, definitely not toddler friendly. Overall the first floor of the restaurant was definitely disappointing. There was just no room to move around even for the servers. It was a pain to see them maneuver the plates of food between the tables. I only wonder how they manage to do it all day. Just a few pictures I took from my iPhone…

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I really loved the movie Serendipity and the romance that came with it. But the restaurant, not so much. I’m sorry but I wish I had a better experience.

zLifeExperience: Living a Double Life…East and West

I’ve been wanting to write about this for sometime. As Pakistanis born and/or raised in Western countries, I feel there’s just alot we need to keep up with. We have the American culture we see whenever we go outside and then Pakistani culture we see at home.  To find the balance bewteen the two is not only challenging for our parents but it’s also overwhelming for us growing up. Then when we get married and have kids of our own then it’s whoah….now what do we do?

Some people tend to get away with the Pakistani culture all together. They stop speaking Urdu, they stop wearing Shalwar kameez, and they stop cooking Pakistani food. Its fair to say that they may seem pretty content.  But there will always be those big family weddings where you feel you need too wear Pakistani designer clothes. Or that Aunt or Uncle who’s visiting from Pakistan and and ask you, “Beta, bachon ko Urdu nahi sikhayee?”. Or those Pakistani families who come to visit you and expect “ghar ke bane huwe”  shami kababs, samosas, and spring rolls. Ummm, yeah.

Then there are those whose parents instilled the Pakistani culture so adamantly that they tend to keep it that way. These people grow up and can speak/read the perfect Urdu (maybe even Punjabi), cook the most complicated Paki dishes (Nargisi kofte, anyone?), and don’t mind wearing shalwar kameez to Target.  When you go to visit them, they will serve you dinner in the most impeccable way.  You can’t help but wonder if they are possibly the Pakistani Martha Stewart.

Then there are people like me.  Just too much of both cultures. When I go American, I go all out. I want the Jimmy Choos, Prada glasses, Louis Vuitton bags, and shop for jeans and tops from Nordstrom.  I want to cook all the recipes that are on the Food Network. BUT…at the same time I want to wear Sana Safinaz, Asim Jofa, and Elan outfits. I want to cook (and eat) Chicken Makhni, Qeema Aloo, Daal, and of course  Ras Malai! I want my kids to know and speak Urdu fluently.  I want to speak slang Urdu with my friends and watch Pakistani dramas. I want my jewellry box to hold my jhumars and tikkas, AND my Tory Burch and Michael Kors.

This is how bipolar my lifestyle can get…But I love it. I may never have enough room in my closet for all my Paki and American clothes,  boxes of Tory Burch and Stylo (a Pakistani shoe store) shoes may be popping from under my bed, and my kitchen cabinets may be stuffed with both Shaan masalas and Italian seasonings but it’s how I choose to live.

Living a double life as an American Pakistani can be challenging and not quite pocket friendly. But oh well, it’s the life I’d like to live and have the freedom to live. Yes, I do my groceries from Stop & Shop AND  Paki stores. And yes I talk to my kids in English then Urdu if they dont listen. And yes I love my pizza and bihari kababs.  I  just love being a true blooded American Pakistani.

zFitness: ‘Tis the Season for T25…tra…la…laa

T25

I’ve had my Focus T25 by Shaun T DVD’s for quite some time now. Did I lose any weight? Did I get toned? Do I have a body like  Tanya (the modifier)? Nope, not really.

Weight loss is always a struggle. Period. Unless you are driven by passion, ambition, or desire. The irony is that I’m also driven by those three things except they last only for a few days.  So now that I’m done studying, I have hope of being consistent with my fitness routine. I plan to master the Alpha Focus T25 in 3 months. Knock on wood?

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