Backless Sweater and Bomber Jacket

Last night Tom reminded me of a time when I was so upset about the fact that I didn’t have any hobbies. My life was basically work and then just socializing. Before any kids, I had tons of free time but I didn’t really fill it with anything worthwhile. Tom on the other hand, has always had many interests, including maintaining a salt water fish tank, building a koi pond in our backyard, building and fixing things for the home, and also working out and lifting weights.

Shortly after Adam was born I found my passion for writing and sharing my love for fashion and interior design via this blog. It quickly became my obsession and permeated every aspect of my life.

Ever since I started my blog in 2012, I’ve taught myself everything about blogging along the way – first by doing my research, and then by much (I repeat, MUCH) trial and error. Figuring out how to run a website, html coding, learning digital photography, and then of course photo and video editing, have been some of my biggest challenges – all skills that I am still working really hard to improve upon right now. Then there is the Fashion Industry aspect of blogging, coming from a corporate background I had no clue nor did I have any contacts – learning how it all works, how to get invited to fashion shows, and how to properly utilize social media to grow my personal brand as a fashion influencer has been a huge undertaking.

Sometimes that feeling of running into a brick wall with something new I’m trying to do can be so frustrating, I just want to cry, quit, and lay on the couch and eat a whole chocolate cake instead.

But what I’ve learned is that all of that work I put in to understanding concepts that were once completely foreign to me, makes me feel such a huge sense of accomplishment. I can truly appreciate some of the amazing opportunities I’ve been given, from hosting tv segments and meeting celebrities at New York Fashion Week, to all of the incredible people I’ve been lucky to meet and become real friends with along the way.

I didn’t catapult to success in terms of straight numbers, and I see a lot of newer bloggers come on to the scene and surpass my stats fairly quickly. (However, I do know the followers I have are probably the smartest, most thoughtful, and most loyal people in the world- thank you all)! 

I definitely still sometimes question where all my years of effort creating this space will eventually take me. That’s the risk you take when you take on a non-traditional career path I suppose. But what I do know is that I put my heart into everything I do, and I trust that my instincts are pointing me in the right direction. Basically what I’m saying is I’ve realized it is ok to not have a five year plan, or even a one year plan. Wherever you are in life, in love or career, is just where you should be at the moment. So instead of wasting time worrying about things out of your control, spend it appreciating the blessings you do have and continue working on you.  One day looking back everything will all make perfect sense.
nordstrom-backless-sweater-glamorous-bomber-jacket- quay-sunglasses-bomber-jacket-acne-jensen Nordstrom-backless-sweater-bomber-jacket

Sweater: Thanks to Nordstrom Bomber Jacket | Maternity Denim thanks to Pink Blush Maternity |  Non-Maternity Distressed Denim |Acne Booties | Similar Booties | Sunnies: Quay

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  • I was looking all over for a 2009 photo to do my 10 year thing - and I finally realized why I don’t have any! Some of you may already know this, but in the beginning of 2009 I got into a bad snowmobile accident where I had to be airlifted to a hospital and ended up in a coma for 3 days and ended up having a huge hematoma in my head (thankfully it healed on its own) and I had to get surgery on my broken collarbone m that is now metal plated! You may have noticed I have one bumpy collarbone - that’s the one haha. That near death experience set in motion so many things that would change my life. Most importantly I started living life for myself, I thought about all the things I would have regretted if I actually died that day. I (first broke up with but then) got married to my love @tom_sandberg, started practicing yoga regularly, tried a lot of new hobbies including horseback riding, I had a baby, started my blog, quit my job, had another baby, and now I’m at this really weird point of life - trying to decide what’s next. Now that Sophia’s getting older I have slightly more time to invest in my career, and I’m still trying to figure out where exactly I want to put my energy. 2019 is my year of exploration ~ anyone else at a similar turning point??
  • Throwback to Sophia’s first birthday! She turns two soon and I’m at a loss for ideas...(Bahamian beach party isn’t in the cards this year) I’m a theme kinda girl so please share your ideas! #birthdaygirl #tropicalparty #bahamas
  • Notes on being an American born of Pakistani immigrants...
Thanks to @urdumom for the q’s - check my highlights for expanded answers
1. Were you ever labeled an ABCD? What did you feel about that? 
Ha! Yes - I would still consider myself an 'ABCD' (American born confused Desi) although I think 'intersectional' is what the kids are calling it these days. As a kid it was difficult navigating both cultures, simultaneously being both and neither. I still struggle with it, to be honest, but I'm just now beginning to see that it is such a blessing to be sort of an outsider. It ultimately made me much more emotionally intelligent, and also broadened my perspective. 
2. Did you get to travel to Pakistan with your parents as a kid? How was the experience? 
Yes! We traveled often - almost every year - and I absolutely loved it. As a kid it was fun playing with the goats and chickens in my dads village, or shopping in the huge maze of bazaars in the city. When I was in tenth grade, my parents even sent me to Pakistan because they thought I was getting too 'wild'. Long story short, they are so advanced in education in Pakistan, we realized me going to school there meant I had to go back two grade levels, so they gave up on that plan and the whole trip became an extended vacation. I was SO resentful that I had to come back to America! I LOVED Pakistan so much. But I also knew my parents were now out of major punishment options - so I fulfilled their prophecy and became pretty wild 😜 
3. Did you face bullying at school for being different? 
sure! My first name Itrat was something kids really liked to tease me about. 'It's a rat' was a fan favorite. Kids would laugh at me and say that my dad worked at the gas station while imitating an Indian accent like Apu from The Simpsons, and they would ask me why I'm not wearing a red dot. I remember once arguing with a girl who then called me a rag head, and I thought she meant my hair was raggedy, but my older brother filled me in that she was referencing our Muslim heritage. 
4. How did your parents keep your Pakistani roots alive at home? 
My parents are both from Pakistan, so we had the food, language, music, books
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  • Northern Cali folks, my sister Rania will be teaching a Spring course called Global Islam: Culture and Civilization - at American River College in (my hometown) Sacramento! The course is introductory but covers a wide breadth of topics including the origins of Islam, the Prophetic traditions, Arts and Literature, and modern concepts as well. There are still a couple of open spots so I wanted to spread the word in case anyone was interested! Swipe left for even more detail. Save this post, share it, spread the word! (Also side note: this is a throwback way back from Sophia’s baby shower - the most recent pic we have together because I was not about to post a flyer on the feed 💁🏾‍♀️)
  • All I need in this life of sin...p.s. a bunch of old guys kept asking us where we are ‘from’ (because obvs we couldn’t be from here 🙃) - and they couldn’t believe it was Pakistan either - im going to just say outer space next time...👽 #girlfriends #ladiesnight #gno
  • SO glad I forced myself to go out tonight with my girls, sometimes we forget how much we love each other’s company 💕 #gno #chicago #girls
  • She won’t even take a bite out of something she doesn’t like - I learn lessons from this QUEEN every damn day! 🙏🏾💕 👑 👧🏻
  • When you always think the song is about you 🎶 (Queen + Adam Lambert tour here we come!)
Also going to do more stand up comedy this year because, well - being a wife and mom - no one listens to me any more and I need my validation so...yeah
Also: wearing this coat all winter long because I’m a proud outfit repeater 👊🏽 (Also because I’m an old coat kind of girl  don’t @ me) ~
  • 1) hanging with my sister Nusrat who has been here visiting since New Year’s Eve - we are 13 months apart so basically we’re twins 👯 except when it comes to our personalities we are polar opposites ☯️ she has always been the one person who constantly humbled me  whenever I thought I was too cool (which was often) she would put me in my place (whether I liked it or not) and now as an adult I really appreciate that 
2) me doing Nusrat’s makeup as I’ve always been the resident makeup/hair/stylist in the family
 3) Sophia’s lewk 😍 
2019 is starting off pretty great I’d say!

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