How I Stay Thankful

We are in California right now visiting my family for Thanksgiving. Upon arrival, I was immediately confronted by this intense smell of smoke, like we were at camp and the fire had been burning a little too long. The fires that have ravaged Butte county and Los Angeles County are the worst I remember seeing in my lifetime, with over 800 people still unaccounted for. My sister went to Chico volunteering and giving out supplies to people in need, but there is still so much work to do. The rain that is expected to come is supposed to help with the fires that are still burning, but now we think that may cause mudslides which could be even worse.

This Thanksgiving I’m extra grateful, being safe at home with my family. Yet another reminder that nothing is ever guaranteed in life, and we need to appreciate everything we have, because it could always be worse.

It is easy to feel grateful during times of crisis, but not so much in the thick of mundane everyday life. I have a motto that keeps me on my toes though. It is:

Live life, but make it cute.

I learned this from watching my kids and how they turn every situation in to an opportunity to play and imagine. Kids instinctively know the secret to happiness.  As human beings we all have to do the same things – eat, work, sleep, repeat. But instead of just going through the motions or complaining every step of the way, I like to make every thing I do ‘cute’, or in other words- just a little extra special. Doing this takes a little practice and effort, but it is so worth it.

Some examples of what I do to make life cute:

When Tom asks me for a favor, I say – ‘Anything for you, the love of my life!’ or when Adam asks me for another meal, even after he just ate – I answer with, ‘It would be my pleasure, my first born son!’ I may just be extra excited to welcome home my family members by showering them with hugs and kisses like I haven’t seen them in years. Even if I am not actually feeling it, just acting that way tricks my subconscious brain to make me actually start to feel that way. Then comes the ripple effect – after I put out all that good energy towards the ones I love, I get it back and then some.

For dinners, I like to try out new recipes all the time, and experiment with new flavors – it makes cooking and eating dinner way more fun for me. When I get dressed, I pretend like I am in a boutique and shop my closet for pieces I haven’t worn in a while, mixing and matching accessories and even DIY’ing when I feel extra creative. When I am doing my own makeup or hair, I’ll pretend like I’m a professional artist and I’ll give myself a tutorial on my look.

When I shop, I like to imagine I am styling a client that has unlimited funds (a trick I picked up from Immaculate Wardrobe Stylist, Sophia Hyacinthe) I go to my some of my favorite online retailers like Shopbop, (which is currently having their big annual sale!) and I start favoriting items I love. You can get emails when those items go on sale, and I always take advantage of that feature! These boots were my latest sale purchase and I am obsessed with them.

Moral of the story, it is easy to stay grateful and appreciate & enjoy your life – you just have to make it cute!

  PantsBoots (similar) | Blouse (similar) | Trench (similar) | Hat (thanks to Tenth Street Hats) | Pants and Top thrifted from Material World |

 

 

Follow Zahra_Sandberg on Instagram!

  • In case you guys have been wondering what’s going on with me, I’m sharing it all today on the Of Woman Nature podcast! (Available wherever you get podcasts) Talking about my plans for 2019, my journey to living a more conscious lifestyle, and discussing why I quit Fashion blogging. I love listening to podcasts because I feel like I get to know people on such a deeper level - and so I’m honored that @thedemureist gave me the opportunity to share my story. Please take a listen! Image is from the sublime @sarahraskeyfineart studio ❤️
  • Finally got my swab kit from @bethematch! In case you haven’t seen any of my previous Insta stories about Liyna, she is an amazing person who, at only 29, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. She needs a stem cell donor immediately and has not matched with anyone in her family, nor anyone of the 19 million people in the registry database. It is much more likely to match with someone of your own ethnicity, and South Asians make up only 2% of the donor registry. Swipe ➡️ to see how simple it is to register to potentially SAVE A LIFE! To order your swab kit, text SWABFORLIYNA to 61474 or go to be the match.org/swabforliyna  Let’s all do this! thank you guys! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 #teamliyna #swabforliyna
  • Meant to post this sooner but I was too busy ‘weekending’ whoops! (sorry not sorry 🙈)To make Monday a little sweeter, @shopkynah is offering a special for you guys - use my code Zahra10 for 10% off your order! I just LOVE their vibe and their commitment to sustainable fashion.  #styleinspo #indianfashion #pakistanstreetstyle
  • This morning on @thejamtvshow ~ we discuss mom stuff like - should you discipline other people’s kids? And should parents have a dress code? in regards to a Tennessee law proposed to enforce a dress code for parents dropping off their kids (because apparently they were too scantily clad) watch the full segment by clicking the link in my profile - Also why do we look like grown up teletubbies? 🌈
  • Stay cozy friends 💕 some words that have been inspiring me lately (particularly interesting for the soul searchers like me out there): “If there is nothing new under the sun, at least the sun itself is always new, always re-creating itself out of its own inexhaustible fire.” Michael Sims, Apollo’s Fire
  • Who else agrees that when it comes to fashion - South Asia has the rest of the world beat?? I mean...I’m obviously biased 😜 For my first collaboration of 2019, I want to introduce you all to @shopkynah. Kynah means ‘woman leader’ - check them out for gorgeous sustainable desi clothes made to order. See a little behind the scenes of this shoot in my stories - we couldn’t do my initial vision because it was raining outside (and cold AF) today - so I got creative and had some fun finding things around the house - do you think I did this outfit justice?! I mean, sometimes you gotta work with what you got! #sundayfunday #desiclothes #kynah
  • Here’s the thing. I used to hella *envy* the stay at home moms - for Adam’s first 4 years of life I worked full-time and found it very frustrating- I was stuck in a cubicle (away from my baby from 7am-6pm) I would come home exhausted and get dinner going and have very little time to spend with him before he went to bed - and one day I just thought - what the hell am I doing? I finally quit my job - after realizing we could cut out a lot of stuff (mostly my shopping) and live without my income. But I  quickly realized the other side is just as difficult, if not more. Babies don’t allow for a water cooler break, smoke break - or even a bathroom break if we’re being real. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had time to do all of the stuff that I want to do in life (as if my kids are the ones keeping me from being the next Oprah) but I realize that kids are only kids for a short time, and I’m going to be old for (hopefully) a long time - so I should really just relish this time ❤️ here’s a pic of me makeup free to shake up our ultra filtered IG world! #nofilter #momsofinstagram #wordsofwisdom #tgif
  • Staying warm inside by playing around with acrylics today - inspired by @barij and her beautiful floral art 🌸 (I obviously don’t know how to paint - don’t judge haha) also listening to a beautiful audiobook about Nur Jehan (by Ruby Lal) In the kitchen so the kids wouldn’t realize what I’m doing and want to join in but alas I can’t get away with anything - swipe to see what happened when I gave Sophia some markers and paper and snacks to keep her busy 😂 see my painting progress on stories... #snowday #momswithcameras #artsy
  • I’ve been slacking this year! To be long-winded but very honest... I have been feeling a little uninspired, maybe I would call it burnout, about my blog and my place in this ever growing world of ‘influence’. When I started style blogging wayyy back in 2012 I wanted to see people who looked like me in fashion and media - and I also wanted to write and share my personal experiences - at the time there was only ONE brown girl blogger I knew of - @asmaqp - she was literally the only ONE! There were a few beauty YouTubers but that was it. but just let that fact sink in for a minute...yeah so
Im SO grateful the space is way more diverse now and I’ve always encouraged every poc friend I had to start a blog too. I guess I am questioning my end goal in all of this...sometimes I cringe at the crap I see on IG (promoting materialism, blind consumerism, unrealistic body and beauty standards) and that itself makes me want to either quit completely OR create content to combat it. And sometimes creating content for the sake of creating content  and making every lunch, dinner, vacation, into a photo shoot can be such a BORE and I just want to go back to when I could live life without making it look cute - because real life is NOT that cute. The thing that keeps me here is wanting to be creative and get better at photography and also connect with people - I LOVE when someone follows me and sends a legit message to me - because then I know they aren’t just a bot that will unfollow me in a few weeks but a real freaking PERSON. I’ve made countless real friends here and I’ve seen real world disruption for the better start here and I’m sort of still a dreamer at heart so I hope I can create something worthwhile. If you are still reading you are a superstar in my mind - and I guess this conversation will be continued as I discover more! ❤️ (pic is one of the shots that didn’t make the cut from my collab with @vasanticosmetics )

Follow Me!