Currently In The US

I'm currently in the US visiting family for a whole month and the blog will be on & off posting during this entire time (or maybe none #suspense). You can check in on my Facebook or Instagram though cos I'm doing daily updates there or just join me on Snapchat (ID: shehzeen-r) for some very uncultured action.

I hope our relationship can handle this short-term absence (I'm very open to miss-you messages right now so feel free to express yourselves) and we can be back full-time in each others lives on March 6. See you.

Fridays

I'm FINALLY shutting down my laptop to end the crazy, mad month I've had. I'm terribly exhausted but also terribly excited to be packing this weekend for my US trip this coming Monday (I'm going to Baltimore, Maryland!). I'll be taking off the entire coming week while I settle into my temporary home for a month. After that, I'll be posting on & off during February, but primarily I'll take most of the time to just hang out with the family. Hope you'll enjoy the sporadic posting; I'll be on Snapchat though full-time so lets hang out there until I get back to Dubai.


"Water bedroom plant". Sending Nabeel calendar invites like these, lulz. Fingers crossed the plant is still alive by the time I'm back.


Woke up this morning to this surprise breakfast ordered in by Nabeel (in his head he's doing small celebrations for my birthday next week). Ate way too much but the lassi compromised my brain function so I'm having trouble feeling any regrets.


Packed gifts this morning to take with me on my trip. Did an intense bout of gift shopping yesterday evening with Shehla (she's a rockstar, FYI). Feet are broken but heart is happy because the gifts are great.


This bag that currently has my heart. A lot of you asked about it when it sneakily showed up in one of my Snaps (it was lying in some corner) so I thought I'd give it some coverage. It's from Aldo's new collection.

If anything brightened your week or there's something you're looking forward to for the weekend, I'd love to know. Have a great weekend, you guys.

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+ The winner of the Babel Alchemy Beard Kit is Noureen Altaf. Congratulations! Please get in touch with me on thedesiwonderwoman@gmail.com or inbox me on Facebook with your address details so I can ship it you super fast.

Online Store For Innerwear In Pakistan

Getting your hands on good innerwear for women in Pakistan is almost like trying to get a brain surgery with a butter knife. The last time I wrote about tips for finding the perfect innerwear, a TON of you messaged to ask me how to get your hands on good undergarments in Pakistan. And I had no answer. But today, I come bearing solutions to this critical issue afflicting the nation.

Monrostudio is an online store carrying a selection of undergarments for women who promise to solve our problems, but before I tell you about them, here's a tiny backstory. So I got a box of a few things from them last night and I had absolutely no plans of checking them out until two weeks later (I'm majorly swamped these days, everything's queued up) so I planned on unboxing them in a couple of days, packing them into my suitcase for the US and trying them out sometime in the future. But last night around midnight I was impatiently waiting for a file to upload on my pc and so I just randomly opened their box on the side and totally loved what I saw. Good quality, good looks.


I immediately tried the stuff on and loved everything about it. I was so excited to finally get my hands on such good undergarments in Pakistan that I immediately decided to cancel my scheduled post for today (because I'm traveling next week and I didn't want to delay this super find) and here I am.

I'm going to make it short and sweet; discuss my experience with the products and what I loved about them. Mostly, my comments are going to be about the bra since that's always the most difficult to find.


1. Great fit. The bra in particular fits perfectly. SO perfectly. Sits right everywhere (now I know what to check based on the bra fit basics in this post). It's exactly on level with Victoria's Secret, which I love. When I sent them my size, I was a tad doubtful about what they'd send and if it would even fit (because I've tried on some duds in my life and now a thorough professional at spotting duds), but it was a perfect match. I was SO impressed. Also, I tried it on under a thin fabric as well and it sat very well under my clothes and the seams did not show.


2. Comfortable. Super, super comfortable. This is obviously thanks to the good fit but during my innerwear-scouting times in Pakistan, I've even tried on bras that were the right size in theory but strangely uncomfortable because of poor construction. I tried mine on for a good 8 hours to see how it lasts through the day and it was perfect.

New Morning Routines

Sometime in December, Nabeel and I very randomly made a plan with our friends, Shehla and Faraz to start an early morning walk/jog routine. All of us regularly talk about losing weight, trying to work out and always failing, then trash talking each other for being lazy and making excuses (super healthy relationship dynamics, as you can see). We've been having this conversation with each other for years now and none of us has really lost any weight.

This time, we started during the Christmas week when most people were on holiday so life was slow and we just woke up one morning, got to the park and walked. And then much to our surprise/shock/looming-identity-crisis we kept doing this everyday. Before we knew it, all four of us were hooked.

Though we started this because of our long-term frustration with our own bad eating habits and wanting to drop some pounds, it just naturally morphed into a healthy thing we were doing without focusing on the weight aspect. We weren't eating super clean, we weren't counting calories or checking our weight - we were just stepping out for some physical exercise before beginning our day. It felt real good.

It's now been about a month and I've had the most chaotic work situation I've ever had since starting the blog and somehow this new morning routine just puts everything in order and makes it all okay. My whole body feels alive and my mind feels completely sorted.

I didn't share/snap a whole lot of it when I started because I wanted to give it some time and see if it became a little permanent. Now that it feels more like 'home' and not a personal demon I'm trying to fight, I'm sharing with you three simple things I'm doing to start off my day fresh and happy. It just happened to coincide with the turn of the year, so it feels all kinds of awesome that I started the new year on such a fantastic note.


1. Early morning workout. I've transformed into a morning person over the years so waking up early gets me all kinds of high. To fit in our morning walk though, I had to wake up earlier than usual. All four of us now wake up around 6 in the morning, change into our workout clothes and meet at the park. Some days we walk/jog together, some days each one of us does it at our own pace. We try to alternate a 100m walk with a 100m jog but we let it depend on how our bodies are feeling; no pressure. It's still dark out when we're getting started and the day is just breaking and it feels incredible. The weather has been extra kind these days so it's been dewy and foggy and so chilly and it feels fabulous. (On Fridays, we have chai paratha afterwards too, woohoo)

Our trust levels were massively low in each other before we started doing this but since it was the first time we were doing something like this together as a group, I think the push from each other helped us sustain (I think we all know how easy it is to feed an excuse to your spouse, one who's already ready to accept that excuse and say, 'Sure, let's quit')

Just being outside, that early in the morning and breathing in the fresh, fresh air - it now feels like there's no better way to begin your day.


2. Diffusing. Once we're done with the park, we drive back home to get ready for work.  I used to keep my diffuser for evening use only because our mornings used to be pretty rushed earlier with various levels of acrobatics and a quick 2 minute breakfast. Now that we have time, I get home and shower, then turn on the diffuser for 10-15 mins while I do breakfast preps. It creates SUCH an ambience, you guys. My diffuser is from Organic Aromas, you can read the full post I did on it here.



My current favorite smell is Hammam Secret by Rituals which is HEAVENLY. I haven't loved a fragrance more (till now, the future is unknown).



3. Calm audio with tea. Not really music, but I love the sound of the rain and since that's not going to happen here in Dubai, I turn on these rain sounds (there are so many on the internet and on various apps, you can choose whatever you like) and have some herbal tea while I make breakfast (the diffuser is going strong in parallel, don't forget). Feels like a brain massage. Nabeel and I then have a relaxed breakfast with some chai and toast and butter and eggs and then officially begin our work day.

These three simple things have turned things around for me so much. I haven't lost any weight (in fact possibly gained since I'm eating bad comfort food while working on some projects way too much) but this is the first time in my life, my weight has not been my focus. I want to develop some habits for my personal health and wellness and slowly take it from there. Mentally my head feels so sorted and majorly relaxed and I'm really hoping to carry these simple things down to the rest of the year.

Until next time.

Entryway Makeover: The 'Before'

HEY, it's almost time for a makeover post from my place! Woohooo? 

I'm going to be showing you guys, my apartment entryway + corridor which has currently been functioning as a part-time dungeon/haunted hallway. We practically ignored this space for a gazillion years, all the time throwing discriminatory slurs at it, comparing it to our other thoughtfully decorated spaces. But then we felt it had been victimized enough and so last month Nabeel and I started working on this section of our home with our full hearts.

It's almost ready and you should be seeing it soon (once I'm in the US, though) but for fun and to create some low-quality suspense, I'm showing you guys some of the 'before' shots, of what the space looked like before we got started on it.

Now these pictures are in 1) Terrible lighting (because fixing the lighting is part of the makeover) and 2) With random crap from our home and the neighborhood thrown around. So basically, the day I planned on taking the 'before' shots, Nabeel already laid out ground for painting the walls (as you can see) and I didn't have the energy to pick everything up and take a clean shot so this is what you get. (If you're one of those people who say that the 'After' looks good (hopefully) only because the 'Before' is extra messy, here's a brain-cell regenerating cookie. I'm not trying to manipulate you, I'm just lazy about spending effort on things that don't matter).

Anyhoo. Here's the corridor, with a view from the living room.


And here's the corridor, with a view from the main door when you enter the apartment.


Right when you enter the apartment, there's a V-shaped section on each side of the corridor (originally designed by the architect to make life more complicated).  


And finally, this is the corridor with everything cleared out and the walls painted a bright, bright white (earlier it was a yellowish white which I DETEST). Since the area is already super dark, painting it white has lifted the light levels majorly (even makes the floor tiles look less yellow).

So that's what it looked like before we got started on it. Can't wait to show you guys the final product soon.