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Tag Archives: Family

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week 2012: Elan

It’s time to indulge our eyes with bridal fashion. YEAY! I’ll post a roundup of the highlights from the show but for now, here is one of my favourite new designers. I have come to love Elan’s collection.

Love the colours on this one

Pretty colours but I’m not loving the neckline – a little unflattering

How hot is the back? Too bad it’s way revealing for me!

Intricate! The colours and kaam remind me a little of Sana Safinaz

Simply elegant

*All the above images are via Fashion Central*

Love it or seen the same thing too many times? Tell me what you think!

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Friday’s Feature: Sara Baig Designs

Over the past few weeks, I have featured numerous couples on Friday. I thought I’d switch gears and highlight a multi-talented individual today!

While searching for a decorator for my wedding, I came across Sara Baig Designs. Sara Baig does design and event planning – be it a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, anniversary, birthday or any other special moment.

Although I did like SBD’s work online, I really fell in love when I saw her work at a family friends wedding. Her work exudes beautiful simplicity, elegance and modern chic. I have seen Sara Baig’s work numerous times now and I have always been blown away by the classiness.

I had the opportunity to meet Sara Baig at the Civilized Bride Show  – she is sweet, down to earth, and easy to talk to. Her personal style reflected that of her work – simple, elegant and oh-so-polished.

*All the above images are via Sara Baig Designs Facebook page*


Monday’s Munchies: Mickey’s Pizza

I am so excited to share this amazing pizza place with you guys. My mom, sisters, Nouman and I love pizza – it’s my all time favourite thing to eat.

A few years ago, I had deep dish pizza in the Middle East. Since then, the only other time I’ve had deep dish was in Chicago this summer. I love deep dish and have been on a mission to find it in Toronto. For those who don’t know, deep dish pizza is different from regular pizza because the crust is thick and deep (hence the name!).

Guess what? I found a place and it is heavenly! Those of you who eat Halal, they have Halal chicken options.

Mickey’s Pizza is a small pizza joint in Mississauga – it can seat about 10 people in the summer and probably 5-7 in the winter. There isn’t alot of space inside the place but it is screaming of character. Surprisingly, for a small place, they have a very extensive menu. There are options for meat lovers, chicken fanatics and even vegetarians like me!

We got one of the combo specials – 3 deep dish pizza’s for $45. 2 of our pizza’s were vegetarian and the other one had chicken. We ordered The Cheesy Beast, Spinach King and Mango Tango.

  • Crust: Buttery but not greasy, thick but not heavy and overall just perfect.
  • Sauce: I love that the pizza isn’t dripping with sauce but isn’t dry either. The balance of sauce and cheese is just right

Menu

I love it when I can see some of the cooking/baking

2 of our 3 pizza’s – $45 for 3 deep dish pizza

The Cheesy Beast

  • Mozzarella, Goat, Feta, Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan & Monterey Jack Cheese
  • This pizza is a cheese-lovers dream. I’m not a huge fan of ooey-gooey-cheesey things so this was a bit much for me but overall, I still really liked it. Even for someone who doesn’t love cheese, I still liked the pizza – it just wasn’t my favourite. Of the 2 veggie pizza’s, my mom and Nouman labelled this as their favourite

The Cheesy Beast

Spinach King

  • Sauteed Spinach with Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan & Monterey Jack
  • This was my favourite – it was very flavourful and all the ingredients complimented each other remarkably.

Mango Tango

  •  Chicken, Carmelized Onion, Mango, Hot Peppers and sprinkled with Garam Masala
  • I can’t say much about this since I didn’t have it. The overall consensus was that this was the best of the 3 – probably because most people like meat

Mango Tango

Chicken Slice

Spinach King Slice

I would absolutely recommend this joint for all deep dish lovers. Comparing this to Chicago, I think Mickey’s Pizza just might be 0.01 better!

Note: If you eat Halal, make sure you check with them each time you go there as their supplier could change anytime.


Behind The Scenes: Mehendi Day

The day of the Mehendi, for me, started out pretty calm. My mom, sisters and I had set aside everything that we needed to wear or take with us a few days before the Mehendi. I made a checklist that included every small item that we might need just incase we forgot the day of. Yes, there was some running around that day but it was mostly for everyone else but me. My uncles went to pick up flowers and my sisters/brother-in-law went to the venue to set up the dholki area.

I woke up with a big smile on my face and some butterflies in my stomach. The first thing I did was yank my hands out of my covers to see my mehendi. Overall, I felt pretty good that morning. I had moments where my nerves took over – my hands became ice-cold – but I was pretty calm for the most part. Before I showered, I made mehendi to put on the mehendi trays and was about to start cutting fruits (instead of having mithai, we asked to be fed fruits) but my mom made a big deal and refused to let me cut them. Privileges of being a bride. The few minutes of panick I had were when my sisters were late and their makeup artist was about to be home any second. I’m pretty sure I called them and told them to drop whatever they were doing and get back asap. Thankfully, they made it back before the makeup artist came. YEAY!

I showered, blow dried my hair and then got my hair done. For the Mehendi day, I decided to do my own makeup and dupatta setting. I got my hair put up in a bun so it could hold my dupatta (it was a little heavy). While I was getting my hair done, I was pretty calm – even the makeup artist commented on it.

Once my hair was completed, I finished my makeup – besides my bright pink lips, I kept my makeup pretty minimal: foundation, green eyeliner, mascara and blush. Needless to say, I applied my makeup really fast. Once my sister and mom helped me pin my dupatta, I put on my remaining accessories: colourful matching chooriyan on one hand, 6 gold with white stone bangles on the other hand and a big ornate green ring. My makeup artist had put on my teeka and earrings when she did my hair. I put on my shoes and we were all set to go!

My sister putting on my chooriyan

The car ride to our venue is a bit hazy to me – I remember reading lots of dua’s, smiling, feeling a little nervous, anxious to get to the venue before anyone see’s me (my brother-in-law was speeding), and excited to get the party started. I just called my sister and she said I was a little quiet and seemed nervous. Once at the banquet hall, I went to see everything inside and meet with my vendors. We then decided to take pictures and videos of my family and I – the whole time, I remember feeling giddy and hoping that Nouman doesn’t see me. When we were almost done our photo-shoot, Nouman’s car pulled up and my sisters rushed to cover me. We hadn’t seen each other for 1 month, I wasn’t going to let him have a look at me just like that! Thankfully, I was standing (surrounded by my family) quite far and to the side of where he came in so he didn’t get a peek. Once he was inside, I rushed into the bridal room – my videographer/photographer making sure that Nouman wasn’t around.

The bridal room marked the beginning of a long wait. The bridal room was my safe haven and also a torture chamber. I would get excited when my friends/family came inside and any moment I had to myself was spent fixing my makeup/dupatta/posture. One of my closest friends, who lives in England, could not attend the wedding so I promised her that I would send pictures. While waiting, I took a picture and accidentally sent it to Nouman instead of her! Geez. Miraculously, I realized my error as soon as I hit SEND and then proceeded sending him a billion messages telling him not to scroll up. Tempted as he was, he listened.

You might be wondering why I put tape on my list. Well, while I was hanging out in the bridal room with some friends, my ring broke! The entire ring separated from the band! Obviously, this sent everyone in the room into panic mode. Girls were calling out solutions all over the place: tape, glue, needle and thread, chewing gum – yup, we heard it all. Since I knew we didn’t have tape or needle/thread, I was willing to use gum just as long as my ring stuck together. Anything in the name of fashion, right? Someone in the room went to check if they had eyelash glue in their purse – nope. Luckily, one of the girls found tape (I keep thinking we used band-aid) and everyone forced the ring to stick together. YEAY!

The ring that broke

While Nouman’s family was assembling for his entrance, I was trying to get a peek at him from my room. It didn’t work. I saw the top of his head at one point, major flips happened in my stomach at this point, but that was all. I could hear all the laughter, yelling and crazyness and that made me excited.

My family/friends receiving Nouman’s side

When it was finally time for my side to gather in the lobby, I touched up my makeup, straightened my duppatta, put on my shoes, read dua and was starting to wonder if I could walk out of the bridal room (I didn’t know if the main doors to the hall were closed or not), when I heard my younger sister say, “Oh! Someone should probably get Shaza!!” I smiled when I heard everyone laugh. YEAY! It was time!! As I walked to the staircase, all my “peoples” started cheering – I sure felt special.

The walk in was a little nerve wrecking – I was praying I don’t trip, excited to see Nouman, and hoping that I don’t walk too fast or too slow. I walked in under a pink dupatta that my mother-in-law had draped on me at my baat pakki – with my 3 uncles and brother-in-law holding each corner up. As we entered, I remember seeing my mother-in-law, one of Nouman’s aunts, 1 cousin and alot of light. I don’t recall any faces other than those 3 although I know I waved at everyone that was receiving me. At one point, the men holding my dupatta stopped – for what seemed like 100 years (it was probably 5 seconds in reality) – and I just wanted to get on stage.

Getting ready to walk in

Once I was on the stage, I felt relieved to see Nouman. The walk had been nerve wrecking and I felt at ease as soon as we were side-by-side.

I’ll share moments from the rest of the night once I get my pictures!


Monday’s Munchies: Food At CNE

Every year, for the 18 days leading upto Labour Day, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE or The Ex) takes place at the Exhibition place in Toronto. In simple words, it’s Canada’s largest fair. There are games, rides, international pavilions, exhibits, shows, a casino and ofcourse, food.

Oh yeah, lots and lots of food. Not just any type of food – there are unique types of food that you have only imagined, never tasted. Yup, I go to The Ex for food.

2 summers ago, deep-fried butter made its debut and the crowd went wild for it. Since then, The Ex has all sorts of deep-fried goodies: Mars, Snickers, Twinkies, Twix, Oreo Cookies, Coke, Colossal Onion and even Mac & Cheese. Last year, debuted the Krispy Kreme Burger: a meat patty and cheese sandwiched between two glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts. What. The. Heck.

In addition to more heart-attack-enducing foods, The Ex also added some variety to the mix

  • Thyme & Olives: a Halal Lebanese bakery selling yummy pies – spinach, cheese, cheese and zataar, meat, and turkey
  • Far East Tacos: A twist on traditional taco’s – you can choose from a variety of Korean inspired toppings
  • Vie Raw Food: For the health conscious, The Ex welcomed raw food this year

Here’s what Nouman and I tried new this time:

  • Steak & Cheese Factory: Nouman loves meat so he tried a sandwich from the Steak & Cheese Factory. He ordered an 8″ chicken and cheese sub but they gave him an 8″ steak and cheese sandwich instead. The line was super long but Nouman didn’t love his sub

 

 

  • Thyme & Olives: We heard that the Turkey and Cheese pie was really good so Nouman’s family tried that. Everyone really liked it

The Turkey pie on the right side

  • Deep Fried Oreos: The concept seems yummy but it wasn’t too great. I would’ve liked it better if there was still a slight crunch to the cookie but there wasn’t. The inside was surprisingly very soft. I’m not a fan of the batter either – it’s too thick and gooey for my liking. Overall, it was just meh.

3 for $5. What a ripoff

A look inside

  • Deep Fried Snickers: We decided to get the snickers bar with icecream and chocolate sauce on top. This was much better than the Oreo. I liked the crunchiness of the peanuts and the stickyness of the caramel. The icecream was also a good idea – the lightness of the icecream balanced the thickness of the batter.

  • Just Cone It: I love pizza and so I had to try this. I opted for the pizza flavour minus the pepperoni – the server even got me a new bowl and spoon since the previous ones all had pepperoni mixed in. While the concept is great, the flavour was definitely lacking.

A closer look

  • Swiss Waffle: Topped with soft serve vanilla icecream and fresh strawberries. We got our waffle dipped in chocolate aswell. Ofcourse. Contrary to the Belgian waffle, the Swiss waffle is crispy which makes it fun to eat.

 

I think next year I’ll try the Kimchi Taco from Far East Taco!

 


Tips and Tricks From A Desi Bride

There are lots of tips for non-desi brides out there but not alot for us South Asian brides. I know that many of you will be getting married in the weeks following Eid so here are some tips that will help.

  • Organized Packing: Packing up your life and moving to a new home can be overwhelming. I recommend packing sensibly to make your life easier for you. When I was packing, I made sure I packed in an organized way. If you have your belongings organized in suitcases, it will help you greatly. once you have moved. The basics:
    Overnight Bag: These are your essentials – toiletries, undergarments, nightsuits, makeup, 1 extra outfit, etc
    Honeymoon Bag: If you’re travelling soon after the wedding, it’s best if you have a separate suitcase with all your honeymoon things.
    Everyday Clothes: These suitcases will include clothes you might wear until the last day before your wedding. This also include Hijabs, purses/clutches and shoes
    Off Season: Since we got married in the summer, I put my winter clothes in one suitcase so I could store it away easily. This suitcase can also include other items that you might not need in your immediate future

Packing my life in suitcases.

  • Quiet Time: Having some quiet time the day(s) before your wedding is so important. A wedding house is ablaze with craziness and it’s easy to get caught up in that. To help calm your nerves, you should really enjoy some down time – do something you love or do nothing at all. I loved all the maddness that was going in our house but I am so thankful to the peace aswell. My mom made sure that my room was off-limits to any craziness so that could be my safe haven incase I needed it.
  • Check List: Make sure you have a checklist detailing everything that needs to be done on your days.
  • Reminders: Set reminders on your phone for the most important things. For example, Nouman set a reminder for my ring and I set one for his.
  • Picture List: Desi weddings have huge guestlists and everyone wants to take pictures with the bride and groom. At the end of a wedding there are always family shots that have been missed, relatives are offended that they weren’t asked to be in a picture or you have endless stories to share about some family hogging the stage. A pre-made picutre list, detailing the sequence of group shots, will limit all of that. This is the one thing I forgot to do! I did give my photographer a list of pictures I HAD to have but I think they forgot it on all 3 days. I wish they would have asked me because I had 3 additional copies at each event (minus the valima).

1/2 a page of a 4 page list for our photographer

  • Itinerary: Prior to your events, give each days itinerary to your  vendors. This will help them have an idea of when they’ll be most needed and where. It’s good to keep everyone in the loop!
  • Plan Ahead: I can’t stress this enough – if you plan ahead, you will not be stressed out in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Create a schedule for yourself if you need to – do whatever it takes to have things done early.

Boxes of chooriyan waiting to get sorted for mehendi favours. We were done these around 1 month before the wedding

Goodies assembled, in groups of 10, and ready to be put inside wedding favour boxes. These were also completed and set aside around a month before the wedding

  • Responsible Helpers: If you don’t have a wedding planner (I didn’t), appoint either 1 person or 2 people to be in charge. These are the go-to people for all your vendors and your guests. I have often seen that family/friends pull vendors in different directions: you have a nagging aunty wanting pictures of her all night, one uncle tells the caterer to serve dinner but another one asks it to be delayed – who the heck is your vendor supposed to listen to? Do yourself and your vendors a favour and have responsible go-to people. Nouman and I gave each vendor the names and contact information of my sisters and his brother – these were the only people they were allowed to listen to. We included this information on our itinerary.
  • Payments: In the mahem of wedding, you might forget to pay your vendors or might not pay them correctly. Therefore, set aside the balance due to each vendor in envelopes marked with their names
  • Beauty Regiments: Whatever beauty treatments you want to do, you should start atleast 3 months before the wedding. The 3 months leading up to your wedding should not include any new skin care or dietary routines – you want to avoid any reactions your skin/body might have. Ideally, starting 6 months prior to your wedding is the best idea. This includes skin care, hair, diet, contraception, waxing, etc.
  • Don’t Sit On Your Dupatta: Not sure why this piece of advice has always stuck in my head but I agree. Make sure you don’t sit on your dupatta or else you’ll be uncomfortably trying to squirm off it without drawing any attention to yourself.
  • Tape: Based on my own personal experience, make sure you keep double-sided or duct tape with you! Sounds weird, but incase something breaks or snaps, you’ll need it. Trust me. Wait for my Mehendi “Behind The Scenes” post to find out why!
  • Let Go: The best and hardest advice is learning to let go. Around a month before the wedding, I let go of everything. I knew that I had done everything I could and everything else was upto chance. Starting around 3 months before my wedding, I started telling myself that things will not go exactly as I planned but I must not let it get to me. You don’t want to be the bride that is tense and worried about how the event unfolds – it shows on your face and it doesn’t look good! Instead, accept that hiccups will happen so you can relax and enjoy the day(s)!


Vendor Review: Sonia’s Henna Art

You might recall how excited I was to find a mehendi person for our wedding – I love mehendi so I wanted it to be nice. I’m not sure where to start with this review so I’m going to cut straight into it:

I was disappointed with Sonia.

About 2 weeks before my wedding, I received a message from a previous client of Sonia warning me not to use her. The clients experience was not good because Sonia was late and had rushed the bride and her family. After hearing that, I was a little nervous but thought I’d give her a try anyway. We had another lady coming to do Mehendi for my family, so the worst case scenario would be to rely on the backup person.

The day before my Mehendi, Sonia was scheduled to be at my house for 7pm – this gave me enough time to get home from my nail appointment, change my clothes and eat. However, as I walked in the door at 6:30pm, we received a call that Sonia was here. I thought, wow… a desi person, who’s EARLY? That’s awesome! When Sonia entered, she thought my appointment was scheduled for 6pm and that she was late – not a good sign if my appointment been for 6pm. Anyway, I told her I’d be about 15-20 minutes as I needed to change. As soon as I said this, she asked if I could be ready in 10 minutes since she needed to get back home. Ummm… what?! A little annoyed, I let it go because she seemed somewhat flustered.

I changed super fast, didn’t bother eating and rushed to get started with the mehendi. I’d rather that she take her time than charge through our mehendi session. I sat down, told her the style I wanted (not heavy and very bareek/traditional mehendi) and we got on our way.

For about 2 seconds, that is.

Almost as soon as we started, she received a call from one of her friends. Without getting too negative this is what happened: The entire time Sonia did my first hand, she kept getting calls – she would swear at receiving the call, ATTEND the call, hang up and then apologize to me. This happened 3 or 4 times and it was really distracting.

When she finished my hand, I told her I didn’t like it and that it wasn’t what I had asked for. She started apologizing and telling me that she doesn’t like it either and that she ruined my hand. She even went on to say that if people ask, I shouldn’t give out her name – she might have been joking about that. I must have looked upset because she said something along the lines of: “You’re not going to cry, are you?” Apparently, another bride had cried because she didn’t like her mehendi design.

As she started my second hand, the mehendi artist for my family came in. Once Sonia saw the second mehendi artist, she started getting visibly nervous. She kept saying that the other lady is “so good” and “so much better” and that I should have just gotten it done from her instead.

Definitely not something a client wants to hear!

Long story short, she ended up only doing the insides of my hand and I got the outside done by the second mehendi person. As she was leaving, she said she got nervous because of the second mehendi person and that’s why she couldn’t do a good job.

Below are the major setbacks:

  • Lack of Professionalism: Attending personal phone calls and swearing around your clients is just not acceptable.
  • Disregard for Time: In my case, Sonia was early but that was a fluke; she had thought she was late. Similar thing happened to the blog reader who messaged me – coincidence? I hope so. In addition, if you have booked an appointment with someone, the last thing they want to hear is that you need to leave soon
  • Inability to Follow Client’s Request: I might be an isolated incident but I felt as if I wasn’t heard. Maybe it was because she was distracted/nervous, but she had a hard time delivering the type of design I wanted
  • Colour: Bluntly put, the colour of Sonia’s mehendi was bad. Since Sonia doesn’t make her own mehendi (which she tells everyone upfront), she relies on someone else to supply them to her. I have seen the mehendi of the supplier on numerous people (including myself) and it is always very light. Sonia told me that if I take care of my hands (she gave me instructions), that the colour would come… but it didn’t.

As an aside note, I did think that the “party” mehendi she applied was okay. The designs weren’t the greatest – they were pretty average – but definitely nothing that warrants a negative review.

The first hand – Nice design but completely not what I had asked for

Second hand

“Party” Mehendi Design – the hand on the left, palm facing you, is by Sonia.

Overall, I was disappointed with Sonia because she didn’t give me what I wanted and lacked professionalism. I did think her design was nice, just not what I had asked. Based on my experience, I would not recommend her. Sonia does have potential but there is alot of room for improvement. She has a long way to go if she wants to excel in this competitive industry.