7 reasons why I’m loving Lahore!

1. Winters!!

The cold weather, lots of chaye and mom phali ( peanuts) ! Heater in the living room and sweaters! Yes this is the best time of the year!

2. Helpers!!

Literally Yes very literally since I have come I am lazying like a princess. Theres a girl to wash clothes, a cook, a cleaner, a watchman and one more helper! Ma sha Alah! And nayel loves all of them- so I’m not even picking him up! Hayeee Pakistan k shashkkay ( blessings of Pakistan)!

3. Halwa Poori Nashta (desi breakfast)!

It’s a must when we’re in Lahore. Ghalib Market’s halwa pori. We sit outside on the small side street and hot puris with channa and halwa are served. On sides, methi lassi ( sweet yogurt drink) and fresh orange juice! Beautiful sunshine , chilly weather and hot puris ! Nothing can beat that!

4. Spas and Parlour:

Since I have come, I have had three trips to Parlours and I guess many more to come. Long due manicures and pedicure, haircut , massage and treatments! It’s way cheaper and better than Dubai. Atleast I have help at home for Nayel, so I’m enjoying the little pampering blessings to the core.

5. Home cooked food:

That feeling when you don’t have to worry about groceries and cooking! The best 😍🙈 – guilty much but can’t deny. Each meal is cooked, presented well and served with garm gher k roti right in front of me. And not to forget the yummy taste! Hayeee- maza he ajata hai! ❤️

6. Star and May:

So star is our dog and May is our cat, and they’re super part of our family! Kids and us everyone loves them. Star is my mamu’s dog but since they are now settled in Korea, she stays in Lahore at mama’s home. And May is our own rescued cat. One is in the other one out – and life’s beautiful with them 💕

7. Family Reunions:

After a long time my entire family is getting together for a week all in one house! Big fat cousin party and lots of fun planned inshAllah! Stay tuned for more updates on my blog☺️

Aren’t mummy’s home the best place ever! What do you love the most with mummmies??

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Exploring Jabel Jais – through my eyes.

This week was a very hectic yet super fun kind. Nayel’s daddy had taken off the entire week so we had a good relaxing family time! Alhamdullilah!


So on Tuesday we picked Nayel’s grand parents and drove all the way up to Jabel Jais. 

For those who don’t know what it is- Jabel Jais is the highest mountain in the UAE which is about 1,925 m or 6,315 feet. Jebel Jais is located in the mountain ranges of the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, near the UAE-Oman Border.

Luckily we got our jackets and a warm cap for N as it was 19 degrees up there! 

The drive was super beautiful and very peaceful! Thank god we went on a weekday. Weekends are super packed and jammed as everyone wants to drive there for views, bbq and family get togethers.


On our way up there, we stopped by a small mosque in the mountains for Asr namaz. It was so nice and soul- refreshing to pray in between mountains. 


We did keep Nayel’s car seat in Dada abu’s car otherwise its too hard to handle him! And dangerous too. Chit chating and munching on to some Mc donalds fries on our way made the drive very enjoyable.

The drive up to the peak is stunning. Especially in day light with rugged desert mountains on sides and breath taking views of mountains around.The road there is said to be one of the best one in the UAE to drive on! So if you want to drive your new car or have some romantic time 😉 – this is where you should be!

It might be a bit of a challenge if you are traveling at night or in early morning because there are no road lights along the way. Numerous animal crossing signs can also be found – so better be careful.

Reaching right up to the top my body started looking and craving a good hot chaye and guess what! I was so happy to find a local cafeteria for garam garam chaye! 😍😍. For 5 dhs a cup, our trip got even more worthwhile! 😉

Nayel ran around and played in the area which is covered with fences and is pretty safe. You would find washrooms quiet easily around up there so its an excellent spot of camping! 

Washrooms up there. Neat ones !

We set up our chairs and a small table , bought some popcorns from the chaye shop and enjoyed the stunning views around.

My superman who does it all! While I stroll around taking pictures for my blog 😉

The weather was chilly and windy. And at sunset time- spectacular views. 

After enjoying our chaye  snacks, and taking nice pictures, we drove back down, stopped by the little beautiful mosque again for maghrib namaz and then back home. 

A day very well spend!  

Some important to – do’s for you if you’re planning a trip up there.

1. Wear comfortable shoes to explore mountains around.

2. You can easily camp, bbq and have a nice picnic up there! Be extremely careful of the garbage disposal as there are hefty fines for making a mess.

3. Toilets are easily accessible.

4. If you’re planning to travel hassle free, you will find local 2-3 shops up there for tea and snacks. A little costly though.

5. Carry warm wear for kids and yourself too as it gets chilly up there.

6. Charge your camers! Be ready for photography 💕

7. Signals are easily accessible in most areas, so your phones will work.

Use the winter time in the UAE to explire Jabel Jais. I’m sure you will love it. 

Do share your experiences and any more tips that could help others! x

7 things under 20 dirhams that I love in the UAE 🇦🇪 


Disclaimer- Please do not think this as a usual tourism blog as I will be sharing my utimate favorite things I love as an expat here in the UAE!

I have been living in the UAE for about 8 years now- a little break in between though’, and its my home- a place I simply love for so so many good reasons. But this blog is a pick of few unusual things that are so worth while to try here ! Check them out :

1. Lgaimat :


These are swet dumplings coated with date syrup ! A traditional Emirati sweet. It’s an Arabic word that means ‘bite sized’. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft and airy from the inside. You guys have to try these if you’re youre in Dubai-  the best place nowadays is Global Village!

Here’s one easy to try recipe: https://www.google.ae/amp/s/tasteofemarat.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/lgeimat/amp/

Also if I’m craving them too much, I just use this dumpling mix and make them at home. 😋

2. Shawarmas! 
All time favorite and a must. A good good shawarma. Mine needs to be oozing with lots of garlic, fries and mukhalal on side( pickle) yum!! I’m finding it hard to get a good shwarma in Dubai besides Automatic. In Sharjah however there are plenty option; you have to try Laffah, Mazzrah Cafeteria ( near Rolla Shj) – basically nywhere 🤪. For just 5-8 aed 💕💕 a good tummy-faction!

3. Arabian Henna! No Eid or special occasion is incomplete without this! I loveeee the traditional Arabic Henna patters as they’re bold and beautiful. You will always find a lady applying this for you in a mall or a desert safari camp! Global village, Saloons, Bastakiya- plenty option. I also had a black henna once, but wouldn’t recommend it as it’s very harmful. The red/brown one is the best.


4. Karak Chaye:

Cafeterias on the roadside sells a nerve kicking cup of karak chai for 1 aed. Actually in Jumeirah for 10 aed 😂. That’s why I love Northern emirates of UAE😋. All our long drives, beach walks, stop overs and sisters day out – this is a super must. They also have green tea and Sulemani Chai which we take on after-dinner drives.



6. Twisted Fries on stick!

Okay I might sound a little silly but I first had them at Qasba in Sharjah at a fun fair. They insert a grilling stick in a potato and cut it making a spiral kind of shape and deep fry until golden! Then you choose a flavour masala to be sprinkled over and yum yum enjoy! ( almost salivating and 🤤)

7. Harees:

A must in Ramadan here in the UAE, a hot porridge kind- blend of ground wheat and meat. It’s not spicy at all but so so healthy and yummy!

Taken from google. I didn’t have a nice one!
Which one is your favorite from these? Please leave me a comment and tell me what am I missing here in the UAE. Would love to try!


This post is part of the UAE Mom Bloggers Blog Hop for UAE’s National Day on December 2.


Do check out other posts from our bloggers:
Oatmeal, Carrot and Apple Muffins – Thoughts Over Chai
Popsicle Stick Flag Craft – Stars In The Desert
The Spirit of the Nation – Explored by Mafaza
UAE Flag Paper Pinwheel – Mumzy Notebook
UAE Keepsake Box – Sand In My Toes
UAE Flag Colors Lunch Box – Cuddles & Crumbs

    Handmade with Felt and lots of Love..


    When buying from a handmaker, you’re buying more than just an object. You’re buying 100’s of hours of failure and experimention. You’re buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments or pure joy! You aren’t buying a thing, you’re buying a piece of heart, part of soul and a moment of someone’s life. 

    If you ask me three reasons why should someone buy handmade? I’d say: 
    💜Handmade is made with love.
    💜Handmade is made with care.
    💜Handmade is made just for you 

    My new inspirational mummy is Aarti from @Megan’s world- A mum to two ,juggling motherhood and her dreams by running her small hand-made personalized felt books and toys business from home.

    She sent me a few goodies for Nayel and my niece Haya and I am totally aww-ing over those!! 


    They’re made out of felt, super neat and made with so much effort! The colors are vibrant and each detail is creatively done. 

    Read all about her and Megan’s world right here! 

    1) Can you tell us something about yourself?

     I moved to Dubai in 2008, and have made Dubai my home since then, I am happily married and blessed with two adorable girls. They are my inspiration like most other crafty moms ! I have always loved craft. As a child, I would love spending time in craft stores, buying colourful paper and paints even before knowing what I was going to do with it. Imagine the expense!😊 But then, life took over. I got busy with studies and a career I have worked in the Oil and Gas Industry as an HR Specialist for over 8 years. I am now a stay-at home mum who enjoys juggling between kids and crafting. I constantly make attempts to do something new everyday, whether it is just research, crafting or finding new activities to keep my little toddlers busy through the day!

    Gorgeous Aarti with her cute daughter Megan❤️❤️

    2) What is Megan’s World all about?

     Megan’s world is all about handmade personalized toys, books and nursery décor. I am very passionate about every little thing I create. I look forward to the smiles of my little clients and encouraging feedback from their parents and friends. Todays kids have modern day distractions – TV , IPads, Smart phones etc. I wanted to find different crafty and fun ways to keep kids busy. There is a lot of variety of toys and books in the market today. But when it is handmade and personalized, it becomes a keepsake and stays special, at least to me!

    3) How do you manage your amazing work with home and your kids?

    Motherhood is all about learning that things don’t go as planned. Its realizing that the only control we have in our life is over our own reactions and nothing else. Its realizing that we cannot control our kids or force them to do anything they really don’t want to do. Its learning to let go. Motherhood is a mess and I choose to embrace it. Juggling between crafting and feeds and diaper changes isn’t easy! Since my work is really time consuming with needles and sharp tools around, I choose to work during nap times 😊


    4) What made you start your little project/ Megan’s World?

    Transaction from the corporate world to a stay-at-home mum wasn’t easy. Other than taking care of my kids (which is a task in itself), I wanted to create something new, something colourful that my kids would love. That’s when I went right back to craft! I love making things with felt! It is available in such gorgeous colours, it is durable, easy to sow on and I could make a variety of toys and nursery décor! That’s when Megan’s World was born. I began with a small project for my daughter Megan, and some of my friends saw it and loved it so much, they suggested I should try and sell it! It took off really well and I am so thrilled about it!


    5) What are some of the products you design? How are they different?

    I make personalized toys, books and nursery décor. What makes it different is that its handmade, durable and safe for kids. Its a very interesting way for pre-schoolers to learn basic stuff like numbers, shapes, hand eye coordination activities. Since they are personalized, they become excellent keepsakes, and unique gifts for birthdays, christening, new parents. the list goes on!


    6) What message would you like to give to other fellow mums?

    Lets embrace every moment because before we know it, our little brats will soon be adults making choices of their own!

    You can find her on Facebook and instagram by @Megan’s world. They aren’t very costly and are done with utmost love. Support local. Support handmade ❤️

    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/megansworldstore/

    Instagram: 

    http://instagram.com/megansworlddubai
    I hope you’re enjoying my inspirational mums series and are getting inspired too! Nothing is impossble. Everyone starts from some where. So could you. I’d really appreciate your feedback and comments so please leave me one to show your love 💕. Until next time with another amazing and inspiring mum! 

    Friday

    I missed writing Last Friday as I published my ‘Inspirational Mums’ blog instead. But I’m back this Friday with some chit chats!

    First things first. Do you know we had our first official rain in Dubai last night! Yes!! When it rains in Dubai we celebrate big big time!

    We sat outdoors , getting a little wet in the beautiful drizzle and enjoyed the bursting flavours of Thai food. One of the best Tom Yum soup and Pad Thai in Dubai at @eatFuchsia , in Business Bay Dubai. We ended on a sweet note with Coconut icecream. Okay this all sounds so nice and romantic- but what really was happening around :

    -Nayel screaming and crying to his fullest as he didn’t want Haya to watch from his ipad.

    – Huzaifa, bajiapa( my sis) and I taking turns to deal with Nayel’s tantrums one by one so the other one could eat.

    – Haya kept ordering white rice as thats the only thing she enjoyed 😂

    – I kept trying to click a nice picture of food but Nayel kept pulling and hitting me – therefore I failed.

    That’s pretty much what Motherhood, Parenthood or khalahood is😳

    We’re enjoying the Lamer beach in Jumeirah. My favorite part of the beach- Rain showers in changing room!!😍😍 and those buckets with ropes to pull and splash! Aaaaa!! I need those in my home!

    This beautiful coffee shot was taken by Nayel’s khala and we kept wondering how nicely it’s presented. Ahh how much we wish we were served morning coffee every single day like this on our beds !! 😍😍😍

    Nayel dada abu is very fond of plants. He has an entire garden setup inside his living room. Full of fresh green pots and plants of every kind. Today a beautiful white flower is blossoming in here- looks so beautiful!

    Have a splendidly relaxing weekend! Till next week!

    A picture says a thousand words..


    I can’t tell you guys how much I’m enjoying my current blog series to feature amazing inspirational mums here in the UAE! So my 3rd one is the very talented ‘Scheherazade Safwan’ – A mum to two year old little girl. 

    Last week, I met her at the La mer beach- the new beautiful and happening area in Dubai for a small photo shoot. One thing that I learnt about her – she is extremely good with kids and super patient as Nayel made her run after him all over the place! 😝😬 Despite him being a typical toddler, Scheherazade clicked beautiful pictures of him and some for us together too !! 



    So I interviewed her for you guys to learn more on who she is what she offers.


    1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

    I’ve always been the creative type and wanted to study architecture, but an ‘istikhara’ sealed my fate and I ended up being an engineer, ha! After graduation, I got interested in DSLRs and photography, and when I got a job I bought my very first camera, a Canon 40D. A couple of years, lots of self-study and loads of bad photos later, I finally felt I was good enough to start my Facebook page and charge money for my photos! It has been an uphill battle since then but mashallah all the hard work is now paying off! 

    2. Why Photography?

    My friend got a DSLR and the quality of photos her camera was taking blew me away (she is an amazing street photographer!). So for me, initially photography meant striving to take good quality photos and learning as much as I could about my camera. Google was great for this but I also took a few classes to round up my knowledge. 
    I started a 1 object, 365 days project where I had a toy figure, lovingly called ‘The Creep’, lol, and I would take 1 photo of this toy for 365 consecutive days!! It was tough coming up with new ideas every day and I quit after 62 days but it was the best thing ever in terms of learning the rules of photography. I would come home from office, tired, but ready for another chapter in Creep’s life! The storytelling part was fun too. 
    I decided to start a 52 weeks project on Facebook after that (www.facebook.com/52weeksproject), where I would take 1 photo every week for a whole year, which was definitely much less demanding on my time. This was my first ‘page’ and I loved watching other photographers participate. Ultimately the page grew to 2000+ people and mashallah we are now in our 6th year and going strong!
    ‘100 Strangers’ was another project that I started way back in 2011. For this, I had to approach random strangers and ask them if I could take their portraits and chitchat with them about their life. This was very interesting for two reasons. One, I was and still am an introvert but the project helped me to be more comfortable in the company of strangers. Two, it showed me the kind of photography I wanted to do and excel at, which was portrait and family. 
    So I believe what started as a mere hobby, shaped into a freelance career that I thoroughly enjoy because of the projects I took up in my early years!

    3. How do you manage your amazing work with home and your daughter?
    Oh, that’s easy! I’m able to manage it all because of my incredible husband who never shies away from taking care of our daughter and supports me in every possible way. That’s how it should be and that’s how it is 😀 

    4. What are some of the packages that you offer?

    I am currently taking bookings for all kinds of family shoots including wedding, anniversary, birthday, newborn, maternity, cake smash etc. I also dabble in fashion photography and model portfolio shoots and am open to collaborations with makeup artists, models and designers as well. Clients can contact me directly on call/WhatsApp at +971-553632979.
    5.  What message would you like to give to other fellow mums?
    I’d say, I know first hand the laziness and apathy a mum can experience after childbirth and how difficult it is to take out time for your interests, and how easy it is to just complain about how you don’t have time to do anything other than raising good, God-fearing children. But there’s lots of time! Let your house be a bit messy occasionally and utilize the free time to pursue something that makes you truly happy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that would earn you money. It just has to make you proud of yourself! And of course, a happy mum means she’s not going to be nagging at the kids and the husband all day long…or is she hmmm? Haha! 


    Thank you so much Scheherzade for such beautiful captures!!

    For anyone who is interested to book her- please contact her directly on her number mentioned above . She is super reasonable as compared to many in Dubai! You can also find her on instagram and facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/scheherazadephotoservices/
    http://instagram.com/scheherazadephotography
    Happy snapping and preserving memories!!

    Until next time with another amazing mum!!

    ❤️

    Fridays

    After a week long of events and activities it’s Friday finally to relax and rewind. Though , I do have one place to visit today- one of favorite spots as a reading mama-‘ Sharjah Book festival’ at the expo centre today !inshAllah! Will keep you with me via instastories. 


    It was Pink October – breast cancer awarness month, hence all events were mainly based on that theme. We were invited over for scrumptious breakfast and goodies , informative doctor sessions and lovely mum meet ups. I’m kind of enjoying ‘blogger mama’ life! Alhamdullilah!

    The highlight of the week was definitely Nayel’s play date with my school friends’s son- Shaan! Both are 2 weeks apart and super similar. It was such a fun play time for them as they enjoyed running around and most of all playing with kitchen pans!

    This Ipad loving toddler that you see down here was the super model at mama’s event. Can’t wait to share some of his model posing clicks! – P.S – please don’t judge me, ipad saves my life on every single event and date with his daddy. Because of those cartoons and rhymes in there, we get to spend some ‘us time’ and socialize a little bit 😂- I might forget my handbag now, but never ever his blue friend( the ipad☺️)

    A new thing that I have learnt and have started implementing: I take away every single piece of bread that is a left over on our table when we eat out. I bring it home and feed my birdies! ( so many wait for a three course meal every day! 😍😍) Otherwise it’s usually dumped away by the restaurant. This helps me feel better and happy for not wasting it atleast 🙂 


    We visited this new beach in Dubai called La mer, and oh my god! If you’re in Dubai, you have to go here! More to follow soon on my next blog! It was a beautiful evening, mummy and Nayel enjoyed so much! We ate some lemon and almond cake with hot mugs ( yes 2) of cappuccino by the beach 🏖. A must place to visit with kids as they get to run around and explore some swings nearby ❤️


    Have a great chilax Friday people!!