Pittsburgh Boutique Giveaway

Recently I stumbled across a lovely Pittsburgh boutique The Picket Fence and thought I'd share it with you.. you can get in some early holiday shopping or treat yourself.

 How cute is this Birthday Boy T-shirt and cape set!

With the weather we've been having we all need to pull out of rain gear.. and I am loving this yellow and red firetruck rain coat.

There is just something about tulle that brings out the girly girl in me..

OMG.. so cute!

This pretty dress makes me want to go back to summer..

But then I see this and I say farwell to summer.. bring it on fall.

This cake plate and fork set is so pretty.. how about start a new tradition.. a plate for the birthday boy or girl.. to make that moment and that piece of cake all the more special.

Which is your favorite?

I am giving away a $50 OFF code to go on your very on shopping spree at The Picket Fence. All you have to do is enter below!

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Friday Photography

Scribbled Art - It was the juxtaposition that caught my eye, the graffiti wall and the old fashioned lamp post. The bright blues and oranges contrasting the stark blackness of the light. This photograph was taken in Amsterdam.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.
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The Summer of '17

Knowing that we weren't going to get to spend the summer with the boys this year.. we tried to do as much as we could with them before we left.       

One of M's colleagues took us out on his boat :)  

Enjoyed some 59c pancakes :)

Tried to use our imagination.

Played a lot of Battleship.. a lot! 

Tried to rollerskate

Visited the High Line Park.. one of my favorite places in the city

Went biking.. D managed to go 4 miles.. we were very impressed.

A baby visited. My brother's son.. it was great to see the boys bond.

and then the grandparents arrived. They did a wonderful job taking
 care of the kids while we were gone. For which we are very thankful.
In fact I think the boys were a little disappointed to see us return and them go.

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We're Back!

Hello everyone! We are back from our trip.. we got back a few weeks ago and have been recovering from the journey and playing catch up with all the things we had left behind. It was an exhausting journey but spiritually enlightening.. I wish I could share more but in all honesty I wouldn't even know where to begin.

The last few days I had been thinking about what I should write about in my first post back.. and while my initial intent was of course to keep it lighthearted unfortunately we don't live in a lighthearted world anymore. I'm not going to start talking politics but I do want to share two little stories.

While we were away my parents took the boys to Target. The lady at checkout was of Indian descent and when she noticed my family being of a similar background she spoke to my mother in her mother tongue asking my mother where she was from. What could have been a friendly exchange quickly turned into something ugly when the white lady behind my mom started to raise her voice at the Target employee, she yelled at her to speak in English and then of course the cliched 'Go back to your own country!' My parents not wanting to create a spectacle with the boys in tow stayed quiet and left. I feel anger, outraged in fact. How about that woman go back to her country? She can't claim.. no one can claim that America is their's except for the Native American. Everyone, everyone came from somewhere else.. England, Ireland, China, India, Mexico.. it is.. or at least was our diversity, our acceptance of others that made us so special, it made us The Land of Dreams.

A few days after I came back my 7 year old asked me a question.. my 7 year old needed confirmation.. he asked me 'Mummy I am American right?' 'HELL YES!' and how dare someone imply otherwise.

Another instance:
Just last week M and I along with the boys stopped to get gas. The white gas attendant asked my husband where he was from. 'Here' my husband answered. The simple question.. 'Where are you from?' is no longer simple.. for us colored folk it's a scary question. The man continued to push.. 'but which country are you from?' 'America' was our answer. 'I'm a citizen' my husband felt the need to add, we were starting to get uncomfortable.. but the man didn't seem to notice or care. He continued, 'Are you Muslim?' to which my husband responded 'Yes.' The gas attendant simply replied 'assalamualaikum' which is an Islamic greeting meaning 'peace be with you' and we sighed in relief.

The simple exchange should not have been so frightening.. it turned out to be harmless but it has stuck with me. I just can't shake it. So I am sharing it with you..

Next week I promise to go back to being a fun happy blog. Hope you all had a great summer.. are you ready for the fall? I sure am.

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A Pilgrimage

I will be going away for a while.. 
We will be going away for a while..
We are going on a pilgrimage.. the boys will be home with family.
I don't know what to tell you because I don't really know how to describe it.. 
You can read a bit more about it here 

I hope to be back to blogging by the end of September.. 

Enjoy the rest of your summers.. and pray for our safe journey and return.
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20 Questions with D

1. What is your favorite color? Gold
2. What is your favorite toy/game? Trouble
3. What is your favorite fruit? Raspberries 
4. What is your favorite food? Pizza
5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Blue Ribbon Strawberry
7a. What is your favorite tv show? Odd Squad
7b. Favorite Movie Captain Underpants
8. What is your favorite animal? Rabbit
9.What is your favorite city/country? Myrtle Beach
10. What is your favorite song? All About the Bass - Megan Trainer (lol)
11. What is your favorite book? Curious George - Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
12. Who is your best friend? Hussein C and AQ
13. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Playing Tennis
14. What do you want to be when you grow up? Astronaut
15. What is your favorite thing to do with mummy? Playing board games
16. What is your favorite thing to do with baba? Playing board games
17. What is your favorite thing to do with H? playing
18. What makes you feel sad? When a toy gets lost
19. What makes you feel happy? When I get a lollipop
20. What was your favorite thing about your birthday? Watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway

To take a look back here are
20 Questions with D at 4
20 Questions with D at 5
20 Questions with D at 6
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

D's Birthday wasn't the only thing we were celebrating this summer. Just days after school ended we were informed that D had been selected for a gifted program in school! Letting the proud mama moment soak in for a bit :)

Earlier in the year D had completed his first big chapter book 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' all by himself and when we discovered that Willy Wonka was coming to Broadway we knew we had to go see it. It was his reward for working so hard throughout the school year and doing so well. But before we went to see the show we took a trip down to Hershey's Chocolate Factory in Pennsylvania to make some chocolate. M's sister had come to visit with her husband and kids and it was a fun way to spend the day. Though I do think they went a little crazy with the hairnet requirements.

and then earlier this month we took D to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. 

It was a fantastic show.. a great first experience for D. I couldn't have imagined a better way to introduce him to the magic of theater. He sat at the edge of his seat, the performances magnificent. I was a little unsure of how they would translate the book in terms of book design and surprisingly they went with a very minimalistic approach and yet it worked perfectly. 

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D's High Flying 7th Birthday

For the last 2 years D has wanted to go parasailing.. the first year he was to small and the last it was too windy and our trip got canceled. So when his birthday came around we decided to take him along with two of his best friends parasailing.

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I haven't blogged in a bit. Since the summer vacations started things have been busier that I had expected. Ramadan ended and we let off some steam by having friends and family over, then being invited by friends.

Also pretty much immediately started D's crash course swim class.. he hadn't been making much progress with all the years of classes he has taken so when someone recommended a crash course they claimed worked wonders with their child I signed him up.. it was a bit of a drive which meant I lost 3 hours every morning but D learnt how to swim.. So I am a believer and we will be doing this crash course every summer. 

We have been trying our hand at growing a few things this year.. my mother in law is growing mint and coriander while I'm growing strawberries. It has been an inconsistent crop.. we get like two red strawberries every few days and most have so far been consumed by H so we can't be sure if they even taste sweet.  

D turned 7 and more post about that will follow. He requested a homemade confetti cake with orange frosting.

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Friday Photography

Saved - In the Vatican City, inside St. Peter’s Basilica among the extravagantly ornate ceilings, the statues and paintings, above the Throne of St. Peter was a stained glass window with a dove also known as Bernini's 'Holy Spirit'. Simple by comparison but stunning none the less.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.

Love this print but don't think your wall is ready just yet.. how about this print on other things?! Check these beauties out.

redbubble throw pillow wall clock travel make up pouch
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Washington DC

The 10 hour drive from Myrtle Beach to home seemed far too long especially at the end of a trip when crankiness starts to emerge. So we decided to stop a night in DC before heading home. We left Myrtle Beach early in the morning grabbing breakfast on the go and we were in DC by the late afternoon. We spent an hour driving around pointing things out to the in laws.. making a stop here or there. Having already been to DC twice we were not as inclined to do a more a detail tour of the National Mall.

After settling in at the hotel we walked towards dinner.. we have a Nando's back home and my taste buds have such fond memories of the chicken.. when I found out DC had a Nando's and it was a three minute walk away from our hotel I knew we had to go and it did not disappoint. nom nom.. sorry no pictures.. too busy devouring it all.

The next morning we packed up and were ready to hit the road.. with just a detour or two first. When in DC breakfast must be done at Founding Farmers.. we love the place and tell everyone about it. Unfortunately they were booked solid that Easter Sunday :( and we had to make other plans. Instead we stopped by Busboys and Poets love the name! 

Eggs Benedict with Crab Meat 

Our second stop was the Air Space Museum. I wish we had time to do more museums but we barely had enough time to fully explore one if we wanted to get back home at a reasonable hour.

and then home sweet home. 

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Myrtle Beach

From Charlotte to Savannah and then to Charleston, finally we found ourselves in Myrtle Beach. With the way the weather has been we weren't sure how warm it would be so I tried to find a resort the had enough indoor activities in case it was too cold outside. With two indoor water parks Dunes Village seemed to fit the bill. While through out the trip the 6 of us for making it work in a single room with double beds here we were finally able to enjoy an apartment style room with two bedroom and two baths.. !! :) 

The Water Park

The Beach.. we got amazing weather :)

We had lunch at Rooster's in Broadway at the Beach, a boardwalk style promenade with shops and rides. For dinner we had Shawarma Company delivered to our room.. there is something so satisfying about being freshly showered eating in your pj's after a day of fun. The next morning we ate the breakfast buffet at the hotel.. seriously lacking in all departments but very convenient. We ate lunch at the hotel as well.. at the Captain's Cafe.. surprisingly so much better than breakfast. For dinner we thought about exploring the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.. so sketchy! We couldn't get out of there fast enough.. but we did find a great little thai place, Thai Lao.. so it wasn't a complete loss. 

We had a great time.. the boys loved it..

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Friday Photography


Rippled Road - Inside the intriguing Howe Caverns, in Upstate New York. A sepia toned photograph of the narrow winding caves. To read more about our trip click here

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.

Love this print but don't think your wall is ready just yet.. how about this print on other things?! Check these beauties out.

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