Archive | July, 2013

Ramadan’s Food For Thought

19 Jul

Muslim-Woman-Praying-Malaysia

 

Every year, I put together a post for Ramadan.  I’m going to keep this year’s post as brief as possible.  So here it is!

Every Ramadan, I look forward to the time where I can drain out all excess noise & drama from life.  This month serves as a spiritual and physical detox.

Another thing I enjoy- during the late night, with dim lights, listening to a beautiful recitation of the Quran. Oh, and another thing, congregating with family and friends while enjoying food and each other’s presence.

This year, I’m trying something new.  I’ve asked a dear friend of mine to encourage me to read a surah’s  (chapters of the Quran) translation every night, and draw up a personal interpretation.  So far, so good.  Although, I’m beginning to finally realize how complicated the Quran is.  It’s sort of like putting together a puzzle and analyzing why certain stories and points are placed in the chapters that they are in, or why a number of surahs begin with the Arabic letters “alif, laam, meem”. As a result,  I find myself being spiritually challenged, being charged with curiosity and interest.   Amidst all the questions, I find myself impressed by the amount of wisdom found in just a couple of ayahs (lines). If anything, this has definitely encouraged me to learn more about World Religions… There is endless wisdom and knowledge around us!  That’s another take-away point of Ramadan :D.

On that note, I hope everyone’s enjoying there Ramadan!

 

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Zen~ Salle de Bain

18 Jul

It use to only take me 20 minutes to get ready in the morning.  These days, I find myself taking up to 45 minutes in the bathroom.  40 of those 45 minutes is spent taking a shower.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, those 40 minutes are spent under hot water, relaxing.  I savor those 45 minutes like I savor prayer! There’s something special  about feeling the natural element of water, clean and refresh the body.  I like to keep my windows open, allowing the natural air & light to set the mood.  The feeling I get is natural and rejuvenating, a perfect way to start the day.

I have a strong appreciation for Eco, French & Eastern inspired bathroom interiors.  Light colors, a mystical yet natural feel, that’s what sets a zen like mood.  Check out some of the examples!

The Girls of Riyadh

18 Jul

My sister  had bought this book a few years back.  It was constantly in my book que , but I never seemed to have got to it till… Now.

Sex and City For the East

Released in 2005 in Arabic, this book quickly gained attention and was translated in other languages including English.  If you could imagine  an Eastern version of “Sex and the City”, this would be it.   The book observes the Saudi singles scene in Riyadh.  Four young women who are on the verge of discovering what love is through commitment, rebellion,  successes and disappointments.    At the crossroads of their lives, they find themselves torn by Western and Eastern expectations.  The girls find themselves figuratively and literally in between the West and the East.

Attack of the Culture Clash

I have a deep appreciation for this book simply because,  in this time of era, most women of strong bi-cultural backgrounds find themselves torn between cultures.  Being a young woman we are pressured to be vessels of purity… Yet, we live in a world of corruption, deceit, and illusion. In a sense, our traditional, religious/cultural root values ground us from our desires… However, the world teaches us, in order to gain appreciation for the values that define our faith, we must hit the ground, get hurt, be deceived.

Reality Sweeps Fairytale Off Her Feet

The four girls in this book identify four different personalities all who share the common hopes of being accepted, feeling love, and being happy.  As these character develop, they start to recognize the essence of life and its participants. Amidst their confusion,  sorrow, insecurities, a seed of wisdom is planted.

Food For Thought

This book definitely serves as a good food for thought.  When it comes towards our own set of “Great Expectations”, why is it that life often unravels in unexpected ways that challenge these expectations?  As one who has experienced many trivial moments, I have learnt that each experience has helped mold my perspective on this world and our purpose.  At this point, I welcome  moments that shift direction in my journey… And this book captures the essence of those trivial moments.

Girls of Riyadh

Art Inspired Fashion- Part Deux

8 Jul

Although I’m all for decency and professionalism, I’ve never been one to conform to corporate fashion.  While maintaing  professionalism and decency, I like to stay true to my personality and add a dash of art & creativity  to what I wear.

Here are a few ways to mix a design print-tee, from business casual to pure casual.

Look for these tees to go on sale along with my art work by Fall 2013.

Enjoy!

one shirt, two ways

Art Inspired Fashion

5 Jul

Recently, my sister’s husband inspired me to transfer my design towards clothes.  I was a bit hesitant, because  I use to think (with a few exceptions) graphic-tees were boarder-line tacky. What I discovered, graphic-tees can be fun and go great with layers.  Whether it’s Fall or Summer, graphic-tees are wearable.  Plus, a graphic-tote is a  handy and fashionable way to carry magazines, books, and creative supplies.  Here are some examples.

Influenced by Experience

4 Jul

I’m a definite believer that a place, journey, experience, can inspire you to create something new in your life…

After being in tropical awe, I decided to paint something blue (it’s still in the works) and create a beach inspired sink top in our bathroom.

Natural Wonders Meet Contemporary Charm- Gems of Lahore

4 Jul

Regardless of the political situation, Pakistan is home to a culture inspired by art, food, and intrinsic architectural design.

If you ever find yourself in the city of Lahore, aka the city of food, the capital city  of the Sikh empire, home to the Badshahi Mosque, and Mughal gardens… Be sure to visit a nice cozy nest in the midst of it all. My aunt is renting out the Ivy Cottage for events, stay, etc. Like her page on  FB:  The Ivy Cottage.

Check out some of the pictures… The Ivy Cottage combines natural beauty  embellished with contemporary charm.