Flare Up

Today’s mood: Contemplative.

One of my favorite memories of growing up – I was a bit of a rebellious as a teen and my Pakistani parents felt the only way to straighten me up was to send me back to Pakistan to finish up high school. I was so upset – protested as much as I could without success, and my friends and I cried our goodbyes promising to keep in touch regularly.

I fell in love with Pakistan immediately. I felt right at home with all of the people welcoming the “American” with so much warmth and hospitality. I was free to be myself and didn’t have to defend my beliefs or explain my traditions like I did at my old school, and my own American-ness was never judged or questioned by anyone there.

I am always grateful for that trip for showing me another side of my own heritage that I could never have imagined existed. I was changed forever by the music, art, and poetry I witnessed – especially when I visited Bhit Shah, the shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.

I had worried it would be boring because, you know, it was a Muslim country and all, and I had this perception of what that was, but I think I had more fun partying there than I ever did at home. So, it was a sad moment when the decision was made to bring me home after only a few months. Pakistani standards of education were much higher – a 10th grade student is required to have completed both Physics and Chemistry, and my parents were not going to put me back in 8th grade again, so it was back to California I went.

This is what Islam is to me, what i actually witnessed in real-life, and not something I just read somewhere on the internet. So when I am saddened by the things going on in the world, and the hate and the lies that are being spread about Muslims by people who don’t care to understand them, I remember these memories and feel a bit hopeful.

An excerpt from “Peace”

The Echo and the call are the same,

if you sound’s secret knew -They both were one, but two

became only when ‘hearing’ came

– Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai

Flare_Pants_Striped_Top Loft_HM_Zadig_Tory_Burch Striped_Top_Flare_Trouser Zadig_Voltaire_Denim_Jacket

FlaresJacket: Zadig & VoltaireSimilar Style | Top: H&M – Similar Style| Pants: Loft  | Shoes: Isabel Marant – Similar Style | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunnies: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Gift from Morocco (Thanks to my sis Rania!)


Follow Me! @zahra_sandberg


Last week we took a quick trip to escape the snow for some sunshine in Key Largo, Florida☀️ We spent every moment possible outside, Tom and Adam got their Scuba Diver PADI certification (yay!) while Sophia and I spent our days either swimming or drawing marine life and landscapes. This was my first trip after my sister passed last November, and even though I look so happy here, there were so many moments I felt the grief and sadness, as if it happened just yesterday. I am still figuring out how I want to show up in this space, as I have changed so much as a person since the loss. I just don’t feel called to post some of the things I shared before. Maybe that will change someday, or maybe it will just naturally evolve into something new. I think I will take this year to just process it all. (Even the idea of taking an entire year to think through something is a huge shift for my usually hyperactive type A personality) My focus at the moment is just living in the moment with my family and friends, spending time doing things that make me happy and healthy. I hope to share some of that journey here with you ~ thanks for following along ❤️
I had planned to shoot this outfit in collaboration with @lenacoutureofficial right before my dear sister passed away. Saba, the designer, was more than understanding if I didn’t want to anymore - but after thinking on it for a while I decided I wanted to - in my sister’s honor 💗 She was always my biggest hype woman. When i would feel like I’m not good enough or that I should quit (which was often) she would tell me I was unique and great and to keep it up. When I think of my sister, beauty and love is all that she embodied in her being. She expressed that on the outside also - as she loved to wear everything glam, bright & colorful, and full of bling. Hair done, nails done, everything did - that was Nusrat. For this shoot I took the time to get glam after a long hiatus - and makeup and hair took so long because I think I forgot how to do it, but afterwards I was surprised how I felt transformed. When I wore this gorgeous outfit that I know was designed with such love and incredible attention to detail by @lenacoutureofficial, I felt all of that beauty - like a walking piece of art, and very much at peace. Thank you so much to @divmophoto for capturing the feeling so well 💕
Ski weekend with my favorites ❄️❄️ So proud of Sophia for skiing on her own for the first time!
There are some trees with seeds that only grow after a fire. Their seeds are completely sealed with a resin that have to be physically melted off by a great fire in order to propagate. So to do we as humans, gain wisdom only after great pain and suffering.*
A month ago (and one day) I lost my sister and best friend to cancer. I am still completely gutted and broken. But, I’m also so so grateful to have had felt the love that now brings me so much heartbreak. ❤️ I am so inspired by her - and I will forever live my life to honor her memory. Miss you sis ❤️
Classic outfit combo: oversized blazer + denim 🖤fendi mules @shoeslutz
Just a mom who loves mums 🌸 🪴
Cozy for a coffee date ☕️
French. Toast. Egg. Bake. Save this recipe for a weekend or holiday brunch - it’s SO good and fool-proof! I’m not even a sweet person and I love it. The pecans are a non-negotiable IMO - I get honey bourbon vanilla pecans for this and it is just heavenly. Enjoy!