love zahra

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

20 Facts

A few days ago I was tagged by Asma of Haute Muslimah, to share 20 things about me. It took me longer than I thought - 20 things are a lot of things! 

Hope you enjoy getting to know me a little bit better! 

  1. In 2009 I got into a snowmobile accident that left me in a coma for three days, with a hematoma in my head, and a shattered collar bone. As a result, I now have a metal plate in my right collarbone (you might notice it in pictures - it looks a little freaky). I also have a new appreciation for life, and I am so much more grateful and positive than I was before.
  2. I can’t eat calamari because I am still traumatized from when I was in sixth grade, our class dissected a squid and then our teacher fried it up for us to eat.
  3. I have three tattoos that I got on a whim when I was still in high school, and I managed to keep them a secret until one day returning from college, I forgot about them and mom found out.
  4. I wore hijab for a little over a year while I was in college, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me.
  5. I have a degree in History and Religious Studies. I love reading and analyzing historical text.
  6. I am the fourth out of five children, 3 girls and 2 boys.
  7.  I’m also the family therapist because everyone comes to me for advice on everything from relationships to fashion! I actually love it :)
  8. I believe my husband Tom is the most genuine, funny, humble, caring man in the world and I am so lucky to be his wifey.
  9. I absolutely love Karaoke but I have a horrible singing voice. 
  10.  I love cooking, and my favorite thing to do is create my own dish out of whatever we happen to have in the kitchen. I take it on as a personal challenge.
  11. My parents are from Pakistan, they both are from Sindh, but they met here in the U.S. and had a ‘love marriage’. They lived near each other, and my dad would wait outside of his apartment when he knew she was coming home, just to chat with her. 
  12. I speak English and Sindhi, but my Urdu is terrible. 
  13. I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Sunny California, lived in New York for college, and now reside in Chicago.
  14. I love gardening and growing my own vegetables and herbs. 
  15. After having my son Adam, I gained a new sense of confidence that I never had before. The old me never would have felt comfortable putting my pictures online and subjecting myself to criticism. I wish all girls could learn to be confident and love themselves - it feels amazing!
  16. It may seem like I am always on the go because I get to do a lot of fun stuff with the blog like attend fabulous parties, but ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a total homebody. I love being at home in my backyard listening to music and hanging with my family better than anything in the world.
  17. I was a total bookworm growing up, and I love reading, but rarely get a chance to do it at all anymore.
  18. I am a true girl’s girl and I despise cattiness amongst women. #girlpower
  19. I dabble in photography and I have to say I am pretty good! I’m considering sharing some of it on my blog…
  20. I am always cold. Always. My husband is like my personal heater - i warm up my cold feet by putting them on his when we sleep.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Normie Style

There's nothing like spending a week with your immediate family in close quarters to help you "get" the whole normcore phenomenon. When it is just you and the people who knew you when you still wet the bed and constantly tried to sing like Ariel from The Little Mermaid at the top of your lungs - to everyones horror - you almost need to ditch the makeup and coordinated clothing in order to fit in and avoid judgement. (i.e. Really? Bronzer?)

It is a bit of a relief and at the same time a comfort then, to focus all of your energy on conversation, food, nostalgia - life really - rather than your self and your sartorial choices. No one is going to judge my Chicago Cubs t-shirt, air-dried hair, or mascara-free eyes in this house. My jeans and t-shirt and ponytail are just fine, as am I. I think I could get used to this!

Jerry Seinfield may cringe at the thought that he is the poster child for this 'normal clothes' trend, but in this instance it is very fitting to quote him when he said "And that's when I realized, when you're a kid you don't need a costume, you ARE superman." 

Now if we could all figure out how to believe that as adults, we'd have uncovered the secret to happiness. 

Till then...

Have a fun and safe Labor Day holiday weekend! And don't forget to hit up my favorite labor day sales!

In alphabetical order: (I'm Virgo like that)

Shoes: Gap Similar Style (less than $30) | Pants: Wayf Similar Style | Top: JCP Similar Style | Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Similar Style (Less than $30) | Bracelets: Lia Sophia | Watch: Michael Kors | Ring: David Yurman | Scarf: Gap | Sunnies: Gucci | 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Navy and Black

Usually when my family visits me from California, it is during the holidays when it is too cold for them to even venture outdoors. Partly because they are ill equipped to bear the elements with their light jackets and lack of proper winter footwear, but also because people from California are just so spoiled by the constant perfect climate, that when they go anywhere else they can't stop complaining and comparing. I've been in Chicago for so long, I've built a thick skin and I actually enjoy the cooler temps. 

Side note - Fall is actually my favorite of all seasons for a few reasons: My birthday (and Stella McCartney's - Hooray for Virgos!), The September Issue, marshmallows with hot chocolate (in that order), crisp air, chunky sweaters, falling leaves, and the exciting prospect of a new school year. I'm nerdy like that.

So of course this time my family visits and the weather is extremely hot and humid - and we are once again stuck indoors for most of their stay. We do venture out for food, and today's look is what I wore out to lunch at Mago, my absolute favorite Mexican restaurant. I really wanted to be comfortable, so I wore these pants by MNG by Mango, Mango's line for JCP - which is actually really great and worth checking out. I paired with one of my favorite basics, this H&M Conscious Collection tank, and a lightweight blazer by Theory, that I picked up on major sale at Nordstrom Rack.

 As the heat wave continues, try wearing a pair of soft pants layered with a tissue thin tank, and blazer for a cool look. (...literally!) 

Jacket: Theory Similar Style | Pants: MNG | Bag: Chanel Similar Style | Tank: H&M | Shoes: Charles David Similar Style | Bracelets: Lia Sophia | Watch: Michele | Necklace: Anthropologie | Bracelet: Thanks to Chelsea Charles

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