Archive | September, 2013

Cupcakes!

30 Sep

… And my fascination with baking from scratch continues.   These simple vanilla and nutella filled cupcakes took over 20 minutes to bake (from scratch)!

Later this week, I’m going to play around with Halloween and Thanksgiving inspired deserts.

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Fall Inspiration-2013

23 Sep

True style is unique and simple.  It doesn’t require a big budget nor does it require many rules.  On that note, a fashion icon I can relate to would have to be Angelina Jolie’s effortless grace.  I like how she keeps it modest, simple, yet edgy and glamorous.

With Autumn approaching, one of my recent clothing fav’s would have to be skirts. However, I’ve always been a bit reluctant because most skirts tend to ride-up and not leave much to the imagination.  Luckily, I found a solution with pencil skirts.  So far, I have a few reliable pencil skirts that are great at keeping that area covered,  not constraining yet put-together.

Here are some basics that I’m keeping in my closet … As a side note, a great way to play with basics would be a to add a splash of colour via a scarf, bangle, or even lip colour:

amna'sfall

The Little Sweet Things that Make a Big Difference

8 Sep

Earlier this weekend, I spent it organizing some meetings and running some errands for my family.  I did make sure to spend the other half just for myself, relaxing with my new read and touring a local art gallery.  Sometimes, it’s the little sweet things that make a big difference.  Here were some highlights:

Fear Vs. Respect

8 Sep

Amidst all the challenges of everyday life, the trivial brunt of work, family, personal, social life, it’s always refreshing to shift perspective towards a greater picture.

Some of the many things I appreciate about studying faith is the emphasis placed on life, purpose, self-improvement, beauty, compassion, and appreciation of a greater Entity.  As of late, I’ve made it a point to study some of the Quran and read up on sermons from Najul Balagha, a book of sermons from Imam Ali.  He was known not just as the cousin and son-in law of Prophet Muhammed, but also as a character of strong spirituality, conduct in society,  education, and understanding of the universe.   After reading a chapter and sermon, I literally felt my mind broaden…

As I was experiencing the subtle ecstasy in reading through sermons,  something peculiar stood out,  I noticed that the English word, “fear” is often used in translations with regards to our relationship to God.   Do we ever question what this kind of fear means?  In my opinion, I feel as though “fear” has been the wrong choice of word to use in our relationship with God.  For how compassionate and merciful God is, our relationship shouldn’t have a negative connotation.   We should live in constant awareness of a greater Entity, Allah, God, the Creator, the Ultimate Energy.  There is a life after this life, and in order to peacefully follow through, we need to follow guidelines built to save our soul from internal destruction.  Positive habits, gestures, and routine prayers provide people with a sense of purpose, generosity, love, and a sound state of mind.  Instead of fear, we should live in constant “respect” and “awareness” of our Creator.

Here are some additional inspirational and wise excerpts I have come across:

He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes
perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruination. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices
and make his bad actions appear handsome. – Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

During civil disturbance adopt such an attitude that people do not attach any importance to you – they neither burden you with complicated affairs, nor try to derive any advantage out of you. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

… patience is a kind of bravery; to sever attachments with the wicked world is the greatest wealth; piety is the best weapon of defense.- Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

Submission to Allah’s will is the best companion; wisdom is the noblest heritage; theoretical and practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction; deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets; cheerfulness is the key to friendship; patience and forbearance will conceal many defects. -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

Man is a wonderful creature; he sees through the layers of fat (eyes), hears through a bone (ears) and speaks through a lump of flesh (tongue). -Najul Balagha, Imam Ali

Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company. – Najul Balagha,

If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being able to subdue him. – Najul Balagha

Gallery Browsing

3 Sep

We spent Labor Day browsing the local art galleries at the trendy hot spot of Boston- Newbury Street.    First stop was Axelle Fine Arts and Galerie D’Orday.  There were a variety of different pieces from Van Gaugh and Phillip Charles  Jaquet.  Out of all the pieces we were most intrigued by the abstract landscapes of Jaquet.  We ended our gallery tour at  RH Interior Design Gallery.  It was such a treat to browse through the French/English/Romanesque inspired set-up.  I have to say, I was definitely taking mental notes for my future house.