Category Archives: Thoughts

Activities in Barbados

Some of you have asked me to give you details on the activities we did, so here is a detailed list!

As you know, our main aim of this trip was to sit back and relax. We really just wanted to unwind from the wedding mayhem. However, it’s safe to say that Nouman and I like to have fun and definitely planned on doing some fun activities. Instead of pre-purchasing some sort of package, we opted to “go with the flow” and decide our activities upon arrival.

The first 2 days were all about relaxation. We spent the first 2 days exploring the resort, lounging in our room/patio/pool and soaking in some alot of sun.  We stocked up on snacks, watched movies and pretty much bummed out as much as possible. Oh yes, I also spent about an hour each day doing my hair – Nouman hadn’t seen it in around 7 years! By the end of the second day, we felt rejuvenated and were ready to start booking all of our adventures!

Lounging around

Our first expedition was to the city’s capital, Bridgetown. A shuttle took around 15 of us from the resort and dropped us off at the heart of Bridgetown. I’ll be honest, I was a little scared – I had no idea how safe (if at all) Barbados was. I get just as scared when I travel to Pakistan; the uncertainty and general fear of safety is pretty high. Sooo naturally, when Nouman and I got dropped off, we stuck to the crowded streets. We checked out some malls, the parliament buildings, and haggled (very poorly) for souvenirs.

Parliament Building

We felt comfortable and safe a few hours into our trip (we talked to ALOT of locals) so we decided to venture out into one of the alleyways that we had initially avoided. Upon entering the alley, I was taken by surprise. There was colour and life bursting from every nook of the street! We were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a busy street – full of people buying, selling, haggling or just looking around. The main street was very different to this little area; where the main street was laid back and polished, the inside street was full of character. We also had one of our best meals in the city – we went into a small shack and had yummy fish and definitely THE yummiest drinks ever.

The alleyway

Our lunch spot!

On Friday, we went to Oistins Fish Fry. Basically, locals and tourists gather for a night of fun socializing – vendors sell fresh fish meals, arts and crafts, and lots of music and dancing. It was similar to a big street party. This is where Nouman and I had the fish meal that tasted like chicken. It was a fun night 🙂


The next day we went on a Catamaran Cruise. This was the highlight of our trip. Surrounded by gorgeous turquoise water, we were on the boat for most of the day. We swam with sea turtles (they are so cute!!), snorkeled next to a ship wreck, jet skii’d, ate yummy Bajan food for lunch on the boat, and had a dance battle with another cruise ship. It was ahhhmazing.

Did I mention that sea turtles are cute? At first I was a little scared – they aren’t exactly tiny you know. But once I swam around them for a few seconds, I couldn’t get over their cuteness! One of the crew members had become quite friendly with me (post coming about that soon) so he kept luring the sea turtles towards me with food. Fun! I also got to touch a wild plant near the shipwreck – that was cool.

The boat we had a dance off with

Checking around to see where the turtles are

Just touched one!

It’s a tuwtuwl. Excuse the quality – we bought a $20 underwater camera just before we boarded the boat

Nouman caught in the middle of a school of fish! One of the crew gave me a piece of bread to attract the fish… but I didn’t want so many of them rushing at me all at once. So I gave the bread to Nouman. That’s what marriage is all about.

Snorkeling with my buddy.

Nouman gave me the camera for a second and this is what I came up with. A school of fish that went right through us, a sea turtle, and my hand touching the turtle. Oh yes, and my other hand is taking the picture. Whoa, that’s a whole lot of commotion for one picture

On the last full day of our stay, we went to see Harrison’s Cave. I’ve never been inside a cave (does a makeshift cave under your desk count?) so I was wow’d. Nouman and I couldn’t stop taking everything in. It was beyond cool. We saw stalagmite and stalactite and learned alot about the history of Barbados. Pretty darn cool.

This was amazingly clear water. We got to touch it

One of the cave openings

Other than those activities, we relaxed at the beach and in our suite. I even fell asleep on the beach a few times. I wish I could go back! 🙂

The end.


Happy Birthday Blog: Giveaway!

I know some of you love Monday’s Munchies, but I had to change it up today because it’s my blog’s 1st birthday today! YEAY!

I can’t believe it’s been 1 year – at times it feels like I just started this blog and yet sometimes it feels like I’ve been writing forever. When I started this blog, I could not have imagined the overwhelming love I’ve received from everyone.  Whether you’re someone I’ve known my entire life or a complete stranger blogging from halfway around the world (shoutout to Sippingchai), I am SO thankful that you have made me a part of your routine. Your support means the world to me!

Since I’m a number-cruncher, some stats for you:

  • The blog went from zero followers to over 200
  • We are 3 months into the start of this year and Alhamdulilah, I have already had more than half of my entire viewership of last year.
  • From March 2011 to February 2012, there has been nearly a 2000% increase in my monthly views! What the heck?! Is that even possible?! YEAY!

Nerdy fact about me: I still get just as excited as I did the first time one of you left a comment on my blog. Sometimes your comments/email make me smile all day 🙂

I would like to thank you by hosting my first giveaway!

How To Enter & Rules:

  • Leave a comment below telling me what you favourite post is and why
  • You must be a follower of my blog
  • This giveaway is limited to residents of Canada only – my international readers, share some love and leave a comment anyway! 🙂
  • The giveaway closes on Sunday, March 25th at 9pm EDT
  • For extra entries, go crazy with social networking – Tweet about this (include me in the tweet @Shazasscrapbook); share my Facebook page (tag @ShazasScrapbook) or link back to this post if you blog about it!

Up for grabs is this pretty necklace. I loved it so much that I bought one for myself too!

p.s. You don’t want to miss tomorrow’s post – eye candy galore!

Birthday Fun

I’m not feeling too well today – seriously bad cramps – so I’m not going to write much. I’m sharing some pictures from my birthday below! 🙂

Who doesn't love presents? :p

Yummm... Chocolate Cake

Burday Flowers - purple this time!

I’m going to be posting more shopping-related posts soon!

Burkhini: Muslim Swimming Gear

Guess what people?

I went swimming on the weekend! I love swimming and have been swimming since I was a little kid – whenever people ask me if I’m into any sport, I always say, “nope… except I love swimming!” (THERE Nouman – I will bring some sportiness into this relationship :p)

I associate swimming with my childhood since us sisters have always been into swimming. My memories of weekends and summer holidays are swamped with us swimming for hours, coming home to eat chips as our bodies feel sore, and our nanna telling us that every summer we come to Pakistan looking darker. Haha.

I don’t go very often ever since I have “grown up” mainly because of Hijab issues – I need to go somewhere where either there are no men around or I wear a Burkhini.

So anyway, I decided to go swimming on Sunday – I whatsapp’d Nouman to tell him and this is what he said:

Me: Guess what?
*I wait patiently for him to excitedly type, “WHAT?!?!??!!“*
*I am greeted by silence so I continue with my story*
Me: I’m going swimming today!!!
Him: How :O
Me [thinking Nouman must be having a slow day]: Umm… I’m going swimming…
Him: Hair? Skin?
*It clicks to me what he’s concerned about*
Me: I have a full suit :p haha
Him: Haha :p ok scuba diver :p

Burkhini’s actually do look like a wet suit except that it’s made of swimsuit material rather than rubber. I wore one when I went swimming on Sunday!

If I’m being completely honest, I was a little uncomfortable embarrassed to wear it – what would people think?! Thankfully though, once I put it on all my worries were laid to rest – I felt just like I did when I was a kid… happy to go swimming! They are just like regular swimsuits except that they are longer… add a swimming cap and you’re good to go! 🙂

Even though I’m comfortable enough to wear a Burkhini on a regular day, I’m not sure if I’d want to bust one out on my honeymoon. I think I would attract way more attention than the girls wearing itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bathing suits… Jus sayinnnn!

Electric blue and turquoise - what was mumma thinking when she got these?!

p.s. I’m thinking of embarrassing Nouman on the honeymoon by bringing it along – the look on his face will be priceless 🙂 hahaha

Karachi: Once the City of Lights

I’ve been meaning to write this post ever since I came back from Pakistan. As usual, I got side tracked with work, my social life, and blogging about everything wedding!

Prior to my trip, I was downright scared of going to Pakistan – I was sure that something was going to go wrong. I’m pretty sure that on my last work day, when one of my co-workers said, “See you when you get back!,” I nervously said, “If I come back…heh-heh (nervous chuckle).” Can you really blame me? In the media, Pakistan is only associated with 3 things – fear, corruption and violence.

The fear did not leave me even while I was in Pakistan – whenever mumma and I would go out, I would silently pray in my head until we reached our destination, I made sure I always stuck close to mumma (and her purse!), and I always checked my back whenever we were on our way home (incase someone was following us). Okay, so maybe I’ve seen one too many episodes of Criminal Minds (my FAVOURITEST show guys!!) but I don’t think my fear was unjustified.

Throughout  my trip, I was saddened by how rundown, unkepmt and broken Karachi had become. I did remember Pakistan like this – broken – but I felt that as I had been advancing in my life, Pakistan was going further away into darkness.

You’re probably all thinking, “OMG, I am SO not going to Pakistan. EVER.” Right?

I hope not. Here’s why:

  • Gratitude: By living in countries like Canada, we easily forget how privileged we are. And privileged we definitely are. We take everything, and I mean everything, for granted. When was the last time you worried about not having water to drink (forget clean water, I’m talking about just plain water)? Heck, when was the last time you went home not sure if you would even have a roof above your head? Alhamdulilah, most of us have never had to worry about that but people in Pakistan do. Visiting a country like Pakistan makes you so thankful for what you do have, that you stop worrying about buying those Louboutins you’ve been wanting – you probably don’t even want them anymore.
  • Sympathy: I felt really bad for people there. No, not for the corrupt, barely-doing-anything-with-my-life lofters but for the hardworking poor and average people. In this part of the world, if you put in hard work you generally have a comfortable life. However, in Pakistan, I saw people working for 10-15 hours in the scorching heat and still not even making enough money to buy 1 meal for their family.
  • Patience: The lack of basic necessities in Pakistan brings out the worst in people – being out all day in the sun and coming home to no electricity drove me insane and I was only there for 3ish weeks. Comparing yourself to those who don’t even have something as basic as water makes you so, so, so much more patient towards them. When I walk to work, I am always surprised at how desensitized everyone us – seriously, why are we so impatient? (I’m asking myself the same question)
  • Happiness: Your family is always genuinely happy to see you – seriously. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel special, every single day. My nanni (grandmother) would have pomegranate ready for me every morning before breakfast; she would note things that I liked to eat and then buy/make that in every variety; my family (khala, mamoo/mami, chachi’s/chachoo’s and cousins) making time for us and making me feel like a bride (I LOVE gajray Sehrish :)) – if I ever made the mistake of asking where I could buy something, it was bought and handed to me the very next day (Tasneem nani :)). Everyone I met was actually happy to see me – how rare is that?! Jokes aside, I was so taken aback when my dad introduced me to a group of people and they all seemed shocked and happy/proud that I remembered who they were.

I visited Pakistan not even 3 years before this trip and I was so surprised at how quickly I had forgotten all the hardships people face over there. We all get so caught up in our lives that we don’t remember that the majority of the world has so little compared to us.

Be thankful people – for your health, your family, your home, and whatever else makes you happy.


Meetha Paan - because I had weird cravings for meetha paan on this trip. Must be my inner desi coming out!

As for the City of Lights, I still have hopes that the city (and country) will pull itself together.

Friday’s Feature: Shaza’s Scrapbook

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to feature today. Should I showcase the top weddings of 2011? my favourite outfits? the #1 shoe on my wish list? the bestest “real” wedding of 2011? my favourite restaurant? … you get the picture – the list is endless. Each time I came up with an idea, I shot it down because it sounded just like every other lame blog showcasing a top 11 (for 2011), top 5, top of the tops (seriously?!), or any other “looking back at 2011’s top….”. My ideas were all lame – a fact that my sisters were quick to point out.

So, as the last post of 2011 (can you believe it?), I’m featuring this blog – Shaza’s Scrapbook – and everything it entails: me, my wedding, my food, my life/opinions, and ofcourse, YOU.

I guess you can say this is a reflection of sorts, but it’s really not. This post is more of a celebration – a celebration of an amazing year and hopefully an even better one coming up InshAllah. Not just for me, for all of us.

Some major “stuffs” that happened over the course of last year that I want to share with everyone:

  • Shaza’s Scrapbook – when I started this blog, I had never imagined that I would reach out to so many of you. My main purpose was to organize my thoughts and have an outlet for all my (crazy) thoughts… and since I’ve always loved to write, this seemed like the perfect medium. I am SO thankful that all of you invest your time on this blog and have made me a part of your daily/weekly routine. Thank you for all the comments and emails – you guys are awesome! 🙂
  • Engaged: Even though Nouman and I had our baat pakki in 2010, I finally got my ring this year! Alhamdulilah. The most surprising part? The fact that Nouman proposed! I totally wasn’t expecting it – even though I had been playfully asking him if he was going to. I didn’t think he actually would propose… although my sisters were right all along 🙂 Some of you emailed to ask how he did it… all I’ll say is that it was very US. We’re extremely laid back and it involved our favourite burger joint (every birthday, we have “Birthday Burgers” for lunch – yup, we’re lame :)), roses (red roses yes, but also pink – because it’s our thing), and 2 fake rings that Nouman remembered I liked. Pictures below!
  • Chachi (Aunt): In November, I became a chachi (aunt) to my brother/sister-in-laws baby! YEAY. I haven’t been able to see the munchkin much but I’m hoping to see lots more of him in the new year
  • Trip to Pakistan: I met all my extended family and bought my wedding dresses – along with other things such as invitations, etc

I’m excited to see what next year brings – wishing everyone a year full of happiness, love, success and health!

Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to get married InshAllah!

Chachi avec beeebeee

Comb, glasses/contacts, snacks, my handy-dandy notebook and medication... all set to go!

The fake rings before he surprised me with the real one

Flowers - red and our fav; pink!

Our engagement with the families

Wishing you and your loved ones an awesome New Year! 🙂

Machar Magnet

I was too tired last night to continue with my Shopping in Karachi posts. So I’m going to keep this post short and light!

If you’re on my Facebook friends list, you probably saw my numerous updates about machars (mosquitos)! From the day I arrived in Karachi, I was a machar magnet. I could be wearing full sleeves, covered in mosquito repellent or living under a rock, I was (and would be) still be covered in mosquito bites.

I even got bit on my eye – making me look just like Quasimodo (Hunch Back of Notre Dame anyone?!).

Snake Bite?? :p