Friday, December 28, 2012

It's Wedding Season; revisited

I wrote a post on weddings in Hyderabad, India a while ago. While I was writing it I felt like I was doing it half-heartedly and in a hurry. That post haunts me to this day. I literally shudder when I think about it. So I'd like to rewrite this post, give it another shot and hopefully be satisfied with this one. Since wedding season is here {summer and winter}, I thought this would be a good time to do it. Indian weddings have a LOT of parties leading up to the wedding and after the wedding. I'm covering the actual wedding reception itself. The Nikah, or wedding ceremony is simply. There is a small speech about marriage followed by agreement of the bride and groom.

I used to be a punctual person. Until I moved to India. When there was a wedding I'd force my sister to rush getting ready and scramble into the car. Traffic in Hyderabad was never light, except for the odd hours of the night. It would take at least an hour to get to the wedding hall with traffic, fifteen minutes without. After arriving to the venue, we'd find that we are extremely early, despite being half and hour to 45 minutes later than the time given on the invitation.

The stage is beautifully decorated with flowers hanging on string to create a backdrop, as well as large flower arrangements near the area the bride is to sit. It's either a velvet chair or couch, or the traditional way is to sit on the floor on a velvet cloth with gold thread in an uncomfortable pose. In front of the stage are chairs arranged facing the stage. Usually the first few rows are fancy chairs or benches that closer members of the bride and grooms family sit. Behind them are plastic chairs everybody else sits on. This I have seen at the most extravagant weddings as well. Now that I think of it, it might be due to lack of storage space, or low maintenance, as Indian weddings are pretty big. I've been to a wedding where a couple thousand people have been invited! Oh, and men and women are seated in separate areas, as per religious requirements.

In India, the stages look something along the lines of this:

This is the more traditional way of sitting. The bride is supposed to be "shy" and look down, not speak. Meh. WHO CARES? A lot of older people do. It's the happiest day of your life, but you can't look it! Culture is weird.

In America, stages look more like this:

After what seems hours of waiting or so, the hall fills up with many, many people. Everyone is invited to weddings in India. Sometimes you never even met the bride or the family, you just are a coworker or friend of someone related to the wedding party. The mailman, the tailor, the neighbors, drivers, maids. Teachers, classmates, co-workers. Parents' friends, co-workers. The jeweler. The bride and grooms friends' cousins, siblings families and friends. The list is pretty exhausting.

If we're lucky dinner will be served by 10:30 PM.  There is a separate area where dinner is served. Usually, they have rounds for eating, as not everyone can fit into the hall. There are tons of people, after all. You're best bet, and in my case, my only chance of having a shot at dinner is at the first sitting. During the second sitting, drinking glasses and napkins are not provided. The plates are rewashed and wet, sometimes dirty. The serving spoons have oil on them, as Indians eat with their hands. And the food is not brand new. Meaning that they will take the left overs from the first sitting and serve them in the next rounds. Which is OK, I mean don't waste food. But I'd like clean serving spoons.

Because of the advantages of the first round, there is a mad dash when dinner is served. I probably was unlucky one or two times. I sit near the entrance to the dining hall, I walk fast, but don't run. I am a lady, after all. I know it does seem rather barbaric, but once you sit in the second or third round, you do not want to make that mistake again. Another reason for the rush is that Indian weddings are so late! They start as late as 10 pm, sometimes the bride doesn't show up until 10:30. It's kind of ridiculous if you ask me. I learned to eat a light meal  or snack before the wedding.

The food usually does not disappoint. Because I am a girly girl, I love it when they serve naan - an Indian flat bread - in the shape of a HEART. So romantic. Usually there is soup with meat in it to start with along with shrimp, lamb kabobs, chicken kabobs, fish. At a Muslim wedding there will definitely be a meat overload. This is served with different types of bread, the naan, as I've mentioned as well as some more oily or buttery breads. Following this huge amount of appetizers come the star of the meal, the biryani (rice) along with the accompanying gravies and yogurt. Followed by dessert which is Indian or ice cream served on cake with dried fruit and nuts.

This is dessert served in a clay pot. It's like full fat ice cream. So delicious. I put so many pictures of food, the best part!

Here, Muslim brides wear something called a Khada Dupatta. It's pretty much worn specifically in the region/city of India I am from. It's basically wearing a long top and pants and then being wrapped up in 6 meters of fabric. I used to hate it but now I love it. Even though I find it difficult to walk in. Only royalty used to wear these dresses, and I like to think of myself as such. Seriously, though, with jewelry, and if you wear it right, it looks grand. The first photos is a really simple, non-bridal one. The second is a bridal one. But the brides here wear heavier ones this is also pretty simple in comparison and I can't find a heavier one online and I don't want to post photos of my friends up here for religious reasons as they aren't covered up properly.

The bride also has henna on her hands and feet. Usually up to the elbows and a mid-calf. It costs about 100-200 dollars when you convert the currency. Which is nothing! In America, I got a quote for $1000. But I got lucky and found a super skilled Henna Artist who did it for much less.

After or during dinner the bride will her her photo shoot with the groom. And since it's so late, the guests will get ready to go. There is no dancing at the Muslim weddings. The dancing is done on the days leading up to the wedding. Sometimes there is entertainment. But I don't find it entertaining. Mostly it's old guys singing old school songs. haha. In America, there are dances, speeches, slideshows, entertainment, etc. But I'm mostly discussing how it's done "back home".

Anyways, when it's finally time for the bride and groom to leave, the bride and her parents and family cry because she is leaving the nest. So emotional. Waah waah waah. 

I tried to cry. But I didn't. My parents were like, "Peace out!" haha. Good thing, or else my makeup would have been all over the place. It was kind of like this. "Bye, girl, see you tomorrow!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I came across this tweet and took this screen shot. Although technology definitely has it's perks, I think it's sad the effect it has on relationships. Friends, families, spouses; many prefer communicating through  screen, rather than face to face.

My husband and I decided to put our phones away when we are together. If the hospital needs him, they page him. It works out, no harm done and, I'm glad we decided to do this before it turned into a problem where we wouldn't be able to speak to one another without pressing buttons on a device. Before it became awkward. I also hope we can carry this on to our children and be one of those families that actually enjoys spending times with each other and not with each others' mobile devices and iPads.

Think about the last time you met up with someone face-to-face. Were you able to give them your undivided attention? Or were you always checking your facebook, twitter, instagram, twitter, etc? Multitasking isn't always a good thing.

I feel that it's leading to a lot of people developing something along the lines of Attention Deficit Syndrome. I have a longer post post dedicated to this written up, I'll be posting more about that later.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Hunger Games books and movie reviews

Warning: this is not a proper book review, mostly my own thoughts. I also am not organized here, because I hate when people ruin books/movies/tv shows for me before I get a chance to read or watch them. So in my effort to minimize giving away too much information, I became pretty choppy. But it's a decent review, in my opinion, given that the last book review I did was in elementary school.

I took it a bit slowly reading The Hunger Games, mainly because I was not used to sitting around reading all day. Every now and then I'd get up, thinking I had something to do, but realize that I don't. But then I would remember that I have a husband who I haven't seen in a while and probably should hang out with. Just kidding! He is my number one superstar. So husband  > books any day. We had fun. We ate Mexican food, and talked, studied, walked and got fat together. Beautiful, really.

Oh, the book! Right, well I cried in the beginning when Katniss volunteered in place of her sister. I am not going to be giving away much, don't worry. But I get emotional during these family moments. I think that's all I felt bad about. I'm not really emotional otherwise.

Okay, so this book takes place somewhere in the future, in my mind it's in the United States, but it could very well be the whole world. There are 12 districts. Each year one male and one female from each district is selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games. The game is a fight to death, with only one victor left standing. It sounds gory and full of action, but it isn't too bad, promise. The Hunger Games is a way the government reminds the districts who is in charge. That they can and will take your children to fight to the death each year, and celebrate it.

Katniss, the main character, goes with her male counterpart, Peeta. Peeta confesses his love for Katniss in front of the country during the interview before the games. And now they have to fight to the death, basically. She encounters a little girl from district 11, Rue, with whom she becomes allies with. The story goes into how she survives in terms of hunting and gathering food, escaping death a few times, and killing a few people.

That's all I am going to say. But it was a good read. The problem with me is that I don't like endings very much. I always predict the end and end up right. Or the ending is dumb. Well I thought it was fabulous up until the end. I felt it was too unfinished.

Which is why there is a sequel, duh.
Then I felt the same way about the second book, Catching Fire. Which is why there's another book, duh again.

All I have to say about Catching Fire, without giving away too much of the first is that IT IS SO GOOD. *POSSIBLE SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY* There's a sequel so obviously Katniss survives in the first book. But the president is not happy with her and there's a lot of drama and she has to play in the Hunger Games AGAIN. *END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER* And the ending was amazing and it just ends...leaving me begging to know what happens next. unfortunately my sister has the third book with her and I'll have to wait like a patient princess. Except I am not patient and not a princess.

I cannot wait to read the third. I don't even know what it's called...Mocking Jay?

As far as the movie goes, I will say this. I am weird. I always read the book first then watch the movie. Then get disappointed in the movie. It's a vicious cycle. I did this with Harry Potter and the first movie and didn't watch another until the 7th book.I did this with My Sister's Keeper. But the movie was dumb all on it's own, even if I didn't read the book. Everything looks so perfect and awesome in my head. The movie ruins it. So from now on I'll do the opposite. A lot of people who read the book also loved the movie. To be honest with you, I don't watch TV and movies much, so to sit there for 2 hours and do nothing but watch it made me a little apprehensive. It did pretty much follow the book, with minor changes here and there. And the time frame seemed much longer in the book than it did the movie. Over all, it was pretty accurate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Outfit Of The Day

To show you more of my lifestyle, I guess I'll be posting more outfits and food and everyday photos here as well. Maybe not of my face, but little tidbits of my life here and there. :) The above photo is what I wore to a dinner a few weeks ago.

If you are new o this blog, you may not recall the post regarding the Muslim women's dress code. If you are interested in the requirements and how we stay stylish while covered up, click here to read all about it!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jiggly Puff

Muslims don't celebrate Christmas, but it's hard to avoid holiday parties and dinners. And the fact that many out there get a break from work to gather with friends and family usually means heavy, comfort food. It's hard walking by a bakery or the bakery section of the grocery store and not be tempted to buy the many cakes and goodies.

So what it comes down to it - wether you have a special holiday or occasion to celebrate or not, the end of the year is always a danger zone for feasting on unhealthy things and slacking on exercise. I need a motivational boost every now and then.

So I'm posting here, and letting you know it's not easy! But I'm still trying. If I can't run, I walk. I'll try to go for herbal tea instead of coffee with creamer and sugar or tea with evaporated milk and sugar. Something healthy is always better than nothing.

If you start your day with unhealthy food, don't let that discourage you and allow yourself a full fat day. One unhealthy thing won't kill you, but one day can turn into one week and so on. So if anyone out there reads this and is struggling, I just want to let you know you're not alone. I'm trying, too :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Living out of a suitcase

I'm sitting in a hotel after a not so hot "hot" breakfast. The eggs contained bacon residue because I think  they cooked it on the same stove. Muslims can not eat pig or pig products, in case you were wondering. The potatoes were cold and hard, my plastic fork could not stab them. My toast popped out of the toaster and landed on some spilled juice on the counter. #firstworldproblems But at least I have food. So I will stop 

I have been doing a bit of traveling lately. While I do like going to various places, I have not had a chance to relax and do my own thing. I want to spend a quiet day or two at home. One thing I don't enjoy about traveling is living out of a suitcase. Packing light hasn't been one of my strong points. Unpacking after returning is an even bigger hurdle. 

Packing for a wedding is much worse! Fancy Indian clothes are not light. Then there's the jewelry, shoes and makeup. It is impossible to go for a weekend with a carry on bag. Indians have parties the days before and days after the actual wedding. So we have to pack clothes, shoes jewelry and makeup for all those events. It's ridiculous, if you ask me. But it's also fun and tiring. But if I could ever travel without going to an Indian event, count me in!

I haven't been going to any weddings or events lately. These trips are strictly for business. It's been pretty relaxed and care free. But there's no place like home. I want to spend a day curled up in bed with a good book and periodic naps in between. Like a cat, maybe with more reading than napping. But knowing me, only one of those days is enough! I start to feel unproductive and need to do something that makes me feel accomplished. I guess it's good that I chose the profession that I did. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I've been sick for the past few days. I am down with something viral and it's not just the 24 hour bug. I don't mind, only because I don't have deadlines or anything crazy coming up. I'm just glad I wasn't feeling well enough to hold all the babies I've been around the past few days.

Stay safe, get your flu shot if you haven't already and are okay with he idea of vaccines - it's not too late in the season. :) I hope everyone out there is doing well! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

Since I've had more free time these past few days I have been busy reading. And running. And reading. And sleeping. And reading and reading. Oh, and more reading. The result? I've been staying up too late reading, getting up too late, my run is about 4 hours later than it should be. Everything is later. The days are ending sooner so by 5 pm it feels as though I have done nothing all day, which I have not.

The problem with me is that everything looked so tempting to me before I had all this time on my hands. I made a list of things I wanted to do. I had a plan and it was to be awesome. Now that I found my books, aka my friends, I am holed up in my bedroom reading until the book's finished. I do not care for TV or movies, I do not care to eat out or cook. I'm not depressed, I just don't see the hype anymore. All these things I have been itching to do when I could not, do not look like they're worth the scratch. What does look tempting is studying. I am crazy. I know.

I've been reading The Hunger Games. I'm not good at book reviews, but I'll give you guys my opinion of the books and the movie in a post soon. Once I finished The Hunger Games I moved on to Catching Fire. I finished it in a day. I let it consume me until I finished it.

Reading is good. Everything can be good in moderation. But in excess it can be not so good. I guess that's my nature. I obsess over things until they are done. I obsessed over studying until I was completely done. I didn't go out and enjoy myself. I didn't enjoy life. I obsess over reading, until there's nothing left to read. I like to completely immerse myself in projects until they are completed. I clean until there's nothing else to clean. I seem to have an obsessive personality.

Despite me plowing forward until completion, I do not feel productive. To me, the way to feel so is to check things off my to-do list. This is also wrong. I jump from one extreme to the other. I guess I am going to be a workaholic when I get a job. But I don't want to be. I want to be able to enjoy my life at the same time. I need to step back, take in a breath of fresh air and enjoy the view, the big picture.

Maybe I should make a to-do list of things like "relax", "Call a friend", "bake something" and "take a walk outside". Things that feed my soul more than my mind. That way I can relax my obsessive mind by checking off things as well as nourishing my soul.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy Italian Chicken with Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad



You cannot fail with this recipe. Cannot. Cannot. Even if you wanted to.

My husband wanted to start eating baked or grilled chicken for lunch, rather than eating something fried, oily and unhealthy from the cafeteria at his workplace. So I needed something with a lot of flavor,  that wasn't fattening and easy to eat. Something healthy and filling.

I found this Italian chicken recipe and it was like child's play. And delicious, too! I cooked it the night before and stuck it in a storage container in the fridge along with the marinade I cooked it in, so it could absorb more moisture while it sat in the fridge overnight. The result? Very juicy chicken, despite baking for an hour in the oven. I also spooned the marinade over the chicken halfway through baking time.

But a chicken breast was not enough. Instead of adding pasta or turning it into a sandwich I paired this with this Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad. I messed with the measurements a little but it turned out great. And since the flavors were similar, I sliced up the chicken and stuck all of it in one box.

If you decide to make this, enjoy!

ps - I apologize for the quality of the photos, I took them with my phone.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Housewife Life - episode 1 "Dryer Woes"

I've picked a few fights with my laundry dryer in the past few months. I end up feeding it the wrong things. And I'm not a ditz that I don't know how to work a dryer. One occurred out of 100% pure laziness and the other was unintentional. Either way, the dryer decided to fight back.

My husband has a habit of not emptying his pockets. Ever. So anytime I have to put his pants or jeans in the washing machine I stand over the garbage can throwing away handfuls of tissues and receipts or putting dollar bills and coins on the night stand.

I do this pretty religiously, because I don't like the rest of the laundry to go bad or an important receipt to get destroyed. One time I was so unfortunate to miss an inky pen. A pen! Who misses a pen? I do. I've found a pen or two in the past. But usually no damage has been done. But this time there was ink all over the dryer. Surprisingly and thankfully, none of the clothes got stained, despite it being a load of whites.

Since the clothes were not affected, I didn't learn my lesson. Of course not.

Another item that frequently gets missed is a stick of chewing gum. Normally nothing happens, except the gum comes out really soft. My husband sometimes eats only half. I noticed a lot of people do this and my question is why? It's so little it's hard to chew it, let alone find it in your mouth. I tried it once and I kept thinking that I'd miss the gum and bite down on my cheek or tongue instead.

This time I knew there was gum in his pants. I could smell the stick of Juicy Fruit all the way across the room. I was lazy and in a hurry to get the laundry done. Thinking that it's no big deal I tossed it into the washing machine. Then the dryer. As I was removing the clothes I noticed white junk all over the dark shirts and pants. This can't be good. I also noticed the strong smell of Juicy Fruit all over the clothes. I looked inside the walls of the dryer and there was sticky gum all over it, all over the clothes. I guess it was half a stick of gum, so it would be easier for the gum to escape onto everything. It didn't look pretty there with all the black ink from the previous incident.

At least the clothes smelled fruity.

I had to scrub the gum off with a metal sponge and goo gone, which worked like a charm. If you haven't heard of it, buy it! It's amazing and a life saver. Only I was scared the goo gone would catch flame the next time I tried to dry something because of the warning label, which is on everything, really, on the back. So I had to wipe it down really good to make sure it would be ok. And that it wouldn't ruin the next load going in.

Did I learn my lesson? Probably not.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving and thanking

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, and I do hope everyone has a happy holiday. I'd like everyone out there, who is feasting or not, to remember that there are many without food, shelter or water. Remember that there are many without families, love and happiness. Remember that they don't know when their next meal will be.

So please don't waste the food. And if your budget will allow, please donate money to feed a child or family for a day, few days, whatever you can. I have been blessed with too much. I'd say I have been spoiled rotten. And I am not thankful enough for the clothes on my back & food in my stomach. Only now am I realizing that it is God who has given me this. But I also have a responsibility to make sure my neighbor doesn't go hungry. That I give a party of myself and time helping those in need.  And it's our job to remind each other of our many many blessings we have been gifted and to help those who are less fortunate.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Muffin Top

You know how I got pumped up a few weeks ago and decided to work towards a healthier lifestyle?

Complete. Fail.

Well, not completely. I was good for a few weeks. But I have completely stopped everything and have been doing the exact opposite of what I was supposed to do. Stress makes me do crazy things. And makes me gain weight and eat more red velvet cake complete with cream cheese frosting, resulting in more weight gain. It's a vicious cycle and I'm the only one suffering. I now have a certified muffin top. In case you're not familiar with the term, a muffin top is when one's abdominal fat hangs over one's jeans. Either because there is too much fat or the jeans are too tight. People who aren't fat can also have a muffin top if their jeans are too small for them.

The only reason why I did stop was because I became stressed and felt that I had to dedicate all my time towards academia. Within a few days I felt to unhealthy and sad. I felt like a muddy, gray colored blob. That's a pretty weird yet accurate description of my feelings regards to my health. When I run it makes me feel good. I feel too heathy and happy to eat heavy, high calorie foods. I'm ready to start feeling like that again. It's time to dust myself off and try again. Third times a charm. It'll be the Same routine, since I was able to stick to it for so long without falling apart. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I guess I am back a lot quicker than I thought. I am sitting here wondering what I should do with myself now. I need a hobby. I want to try my hand at knitting and want to make myself a few scarves for winter. But I'll shut up about that because lately I don't follow through with what I want to do because of other priorities like school, family events and the fact that I want to do all of them at once. So I end up with a bunch of half finished projects. I had compiled a list of things I wanted to do after my exams were over. Now that they are, I don't know where to start. I am so fickle and indecisive. Well, a few things have to wait because now that I am free, my husband has to study. I told ya, it happens. It's okay, it's life.

Anyways, I was looking through my bookmarks and blogs I follow and was pretty sad to see many deleted or haven't been updated in a while - like this one. And now I need to go out and find blogs to read since I love reading blogs as much as I love reading books.

If you have any suggestions or want to list your favorite blogs, please do. Actually, I am begging you to! You can even self promote your own blog here. There's no shame in that. ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Out with the Old

I am a changed woman! I love to throw things away. I used to be sentimental about stuff, but over the years I have learned to toss out unnecessary items that I know I will never look at again and won't care to. For example, things my classmates signed for me back in middle school. We had this phase where we had everyone sign everything. I had poster boards, Tshirts, caps, notebooks, etc. All signed by the same people, half of whom I no longer am in touch with either. I threw out everything except a small baseball cap. Which I think I ended up tossing out because I can't find it anywhere. There weren't any personal messages on there, just generic "Keep in touch!" Stuff. So that went away.

I do hang on to cards and letters. I think they are a little more personal to me, so I keep those. Old shirts, socks, binders from my classes, notebooks, gone! I attribute this to having lived in India. That was the first time in my life I moved anywhere and I couldn't take everything with me. While in India we moved house 4 times! It was so annoying and even more annoying with so much stuff. It was amazing how much junk one can collect over the years.

A year and a half of moving back to America I got married and had to move again. So all this moving in such a short amount of time definitely did me some good in the clutter department! It wasn't easy to part with things people would find sentimental, but I got over it. Now I can't wait to throw things out. I've crated a list of things that help me get my life organized.

1. If I didn't look at it on over a year {in my case, many many years}, I shouldn't keep it. It's not worth it. Yes, some of my stuff is from my childhood, but I have memories and photos and that's enough for me. Everything else just makes my space look unorganized.

2. Clothes, shoes and accessories: Torn, discolored, or worn out items need to be tossed out. If you were to - God forbid - be in a car accident and needed strangers to help you get out, would you be embarrassed by what you were wearing? If the answer is yes, then get rid of it. Clothes that don't fit right and have not over the past year should go. Anything you can't style in a way that you like should also go. If you MUST keep old clothing, store it in a box or suitcase, throw a box of mothballs in there and put it in the basement or other storage area. Ideally, give it away. Accessories and shoes you would not be caught dead in should also go. If it STILL has the receipt on it, you haven't worn it because you love it but it doesn't look right on you yet, just return it. Places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls will give you store credit, no matter how old the item. Buy something else that fits well  and flatters your body and chances are you'll wear it a lot more.

3. Minimalism is key. Why do I need 3 deodorant sticks? I don't. I also don't need 298 pens and highlighters cluttering my desk. Yes, I am a student but I don't need that much. Give them to a doctor friend. Do you know how quickly some of them lose pens on a daily basis? A lot.

4. Think about how nice and organized everything will look once all the junk it gone. Every few months I de-clutter and I go through at least one large garbage bag every time. Stuff adds up. For  receipts, bills, etc buy an accordion folder with tabs in it. That way you can keep all your important papers in one place and know exactly where it is when you need it.

5. That's all I can think of that works for me. When I'm bored I like to look up organization tips or watch videos on YouTube. That really gets me inspired to make a move. After all the stuff is gone, you can work on the best part. For me, at least. Decorating!! Making it all pretty/fun/pleasing to the eyes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mini Hiatus

Hi, guys,

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be MIA over the next week. I will be back and probably more involved in the blogging world than I am now when I do return. But before I can do that, I need to go away for a while. :) I'm not sure how long, but probably not more that a week. If I can I'll be schedule some blog posts in advance. Actually, this post is a scheduled post, to be honest. And if I don't post, you'll know why. :)

Falling Up

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

If you planned on voting, don't forget to do so today!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Now that I am almost done with my exams, quite a few people are asking me when I am going to "give them good news" as they say it in my Indian culture. I have been married for only 18 months and people are already asking me when I am going to have kids. I was engaged for a long time; but living with someone is completely different, irregardless of how long or how well a couple knew each other from before. It's a big adjustment. Babies complicate things and I don't think it's wise to have kids if you are still getting to know and get used to one another.  Unless you have lived together before the marriage. But this isn't permissible in Islam, so that doesn't work here.

I realize that not everyone reading this will know where I am coming from. Time to go off on a mini tangent. Modern day dating in Islam is not allowed. Old school courtship, maybe. But there must be a chaperone. This interaction of getting to know one another is allowed with the intention of marriage. Get to know one's goals, values, see if you're on the same wavelength of faith, etc. It is not an arranged marriage. You can read more about gender relations on our blog here, here and here. Now, I'm not saying that Muslims don't date, it's just not allowed in the religion. Just like there are varying levels of practicing people in any religion, people are on different levels of faith in Islam.

Back to babies.

Soon after our wedding, my husband started residency and I have been studying for my boards. All of them. Both of us have a lot going on and haven't had proper time to enjoy each others company without thinking of all the studying and work that has to be done. There is always something at the back of our minds that has to be done. When I finish an exam and take a break, he has to study or has a busy rotation at the hospital. When he has a rare weekend off {like this one, sigh}, I have to study and we can't just get up and get away for a while. Alhamdulillah, I could not ask for a better marriage and a better husband, but we want to be able to enjoy that time before we have kids. Kids change everything, in a good way. But this phase where we can be selfish and enjoy each others company will never come back once we have kids.

Having children is a very personal thing and I think it's rude to ask someone that question. Yes, children are encouraged in Islam, but it's not a sin to not have them right away. And it certainly is not an obligation to pester someone to have children. What if the couple already had a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages? Or if they can't conceive? Or they are about to split up? Or maybe they are in a rocky relationship and right now is not a good time for children. People constantly asking them is also going to be a constant reminder that they lost a baby/babies or that they cannot have them. And they don't have to announce to everyone they cannot have a baby. They don't need to answer to these people, nor does anyone have a right to ask.

I know it is the "norm" in many cultures to ask this of married couples, but I think it needs to stop. It's their life, let them live it. It's nosy, too. If a couple doesn't have kids, people start speculating that something's going on or something's very wrong. Rumors start to fly. It's totally unnecessary. Some people don't mean it in a bad way, but it sure gets annoying.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

mid-week pick me up

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are my blah days and I'm sure most of you can agree. Ironically, I do not mind Mondays. They encourage me to work herder. A new week, new beginnings, new chance to do good.  

But today is not Monday and the weather has been devoid of sun for the past week or two. I have turned into a fat hermit. Eating my feelings and all. I googled cupcakes this morning to get me started today and this is what I found! I love how neat some of these are, but I'm sure I wouldn't like to taste the fondant. I always try it and always end up not eating it. But it makes everything look clean and polished! Have a happy hump day and there's a new REAL blog post coming soon! haha :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eid Ul-Adha

Friday was a Muslim holiday, Eid ul-Adha, which basically is celebrated at the end of the holy pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It also celebrates the story of Abraham and Ishmael. The last few days have been quite hectic, which is why I haven't been able to update or even schedule blog posts. But I hope anyone celebrating this had a wonderful Eid and if you don't celebrate Eid I hope your weekend is going fabulous!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mid-week Pick me up

I am very intrigued by finger art. Some of these people got super creative! I'll let the photos speak for themselves. :) {edit} Scrolling through them, I realized a lot are kind of gory or gross. But they were more creative then the lovey dovey ones. Haha. {/edit}