An article on Pinterest

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I’ve recently been approached by the editor of The Woman magazine in Oman and asked to write an article on Pinterest for the June edition. Since the magazine has already hit the shelves I thought I would share this online too! I first wrote about pinterest a while back but it’s a good topic to revisit since it has absolutely engulfed me recently!

Here is the article:

Many of us have flipped through magazines and came to find quotes that inspire us, images of places we wish to travel to or clothes we wish to purchase. Often these eyecandy shots are carefully cut out and saved in a notebook or hung on a wall for all to see. Others take it further and create pin boards or entire mind maps of images that are motivating, delicious and even sacred.

This scrapbooking practice has been taken a step further and is now widely available on the internet in the form of an absolutely addictive website- Pinterest. In an age when everyone is ‘on line’ creating a pin board that allows users to pin likeable images on the internet has become inevitable and even crucial. If you are one of those people who constantly save images found online in various folders on your computer in havoc and complete randomness then Pinterest might just be your savior.

The charm of the website is in its simple user friendly design and the straightforward purpose- to gather ideas and images. Every saved image has a link that takes you back to the website where it was found whether it’s a recipe or a DIY holiday project. The ability attribute images to dedicated boards helps users to keep their images classified and organized under different topics such as “Projects”, “Wardrobe” or “Quotations”. Other users can be invited to a board once it has been created which is a neat idea if you are looking for your friends help you plan a party or for other to contribute to your collection of pictures. Moreover the Pinterest account can be linked to a Facebook account or a Twitter around for all to see what you have been pinning!

Pinterest is a helpful tool for those:

Redecorating their home: your home is a blank canvas that is awaiting for you to fill it with tidbits, colors and patterns that reflect your personality to the core. To find inspiration to decorate and advice on “how” simply create a board and pin the images that catch your eyes. These can be anything from wallpaper patters to the dishwasher you wish to have. Seeing all these images on the monitor in front of you will give you a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t, which colors you should avoid and which textiles will go perfectly with the ambiance. This tool works for both, homes that are currently being decorated and those that for now are mere products of the imagination.

Planning a wedding: the bride and the groom can save themselves many hours of browsing and negotiating by creating a shared pinboard filled with their ideas and favorite images. Inspirations for bridal bouquets or wedding photography which can be later referred to make this magical day absolutely perfect. Moreover, Pinterest allows users to leave comments below each image so family and friends can advise the couple on their choices of venues, decorations, cakes, flowers and clothing.

Venturing on an adventure: there is nothing more pleasant than day dreaming of a vacation you may soon embark on. If the destination has already been decided on go ahead and create a board unto which you can save all the places you wish to see, the cuisine you would like to try, the activities you mustn’t miss out on and the people you wish to meet! Whether it’s a romantic sunset set on the beach, an elephant ride or a tantalizing pastry – save each image to make sure you don’t miss out on what you wanted to try!

Putting together a new wardrobe: cutting out that cute dress and carrying the crammed image in your walled while you go shopping is no longer necessary! Pinterest can help you put together entire outfits for separate occasions! Create a board and make it “My Style” and pin away the skirts, heels, bags and scarves that you wish to someone become the proud owner of! Take it a step further and collect images of hairstyles and make up trends that are hot and happening to make sure you are always looking your best!

There are countless other ways Pinterest can be used and enjoyed, I have personally used it to help me plan my babyshower, to collect recipes of canapés, to fantasize about my dream home and to put together my perfect “imaginery” wardrobe. Everyone will find something on Pinterest that they will enjoy- go on and give it a try! A picture is worth a thousand words but a pinned picture will save you a thousand words!


12 hours in the life of Alisa…Part 1 & 2

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I’ve been wanting to document Alisa’s daily routine for a while now. Somehow the routine always gets in the way of me doing so. I am thrilled I finally found the time to do this…I am obsessed with remembering every single detail and each moment that takes my breath away. This is what her schedule is like now at 4 months old.

Enjoy her story…

It’s time to wake up! I heard the birds are up! What’s that mommy? It’s a weekend? You would like to sleep a little longer? But mommy the birds are up!!!

I’ve been tricked into getting more sleep! How could I resist when I got to snooze next to daddy??? My sock however wondered off…

Fancy a snack? I like to have something in between all the milk mommy makes me drink, I call this my “vegetable patch”! Butternut squash…yum….my favourite!

Now that I’ve eaten its time to play with my favourite toy “The Monkey”. I’ve grown very attached to her mostly because we have the same ginger hair color and also because of her huge smile…which I love to copy! And look mommy found my sock!!!

Nap time is rolling around so mommy makes me a bottle of yummy milk. I’ve developed a habbit of eating in my sleep…Sleep tight now!

Changed, fed and down for my afternoon nap. Whenever I have my hand in a fist mommy knows I am sleepy…

Well that was a quick nap! My cat nap! Before they even knew it I was up and ready to play! Dress me in a pretty dress and take me out for lunch somewhere fancy!

Here I am sitting in my car seat, looking around, mommy is having a Ceasar salad and daddy is eating a hamburger but all I got was my milk again! One of these days I will definetly sneak a taste! I bet it will taste good!

Looking at everyone around me enjoying their lunch completely tired me out, mommy rocked my pushchair back and forth and some fifteen minutes later I started to snooze. Might as well take a little nap, it doesn’t seem like we are going home anytime soon!

My evening snacks, I like to have a little something light right before I have my evening formula! Today I enjoyed a mango and banana blend and washed it down with some camomile tea! I am a big fan of eating healthy! In just an hour I will be taking my bath and then its bedtime!

Eat, Sleep, Play repeat…

We don’t have a baby. It’s pretty obvious that the baby has us!

You, my dear are not a princess

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It’s 1am and you’ve been asleep for hours. Softly snoring in your pretty pink crip. Arms thrown to either sides over your head, blanket kicked right off and a soft toy or two scattered around you. Such a big girl. 

I try to close my eyes and fall asleep…after all I will be up in a few hours to feed you. Thoughts are racing through my head but one particular one keeps on going around in circles…”You are not a princess”. I wonder what that’s about? I try to concentrate on this phrase and squeeze all the juices out of it. Where did this come from now?

You are not a princess.

Then I realize that…how do I phrase this…I will do my utmost not to raise you to be a little princess. In your heart of hearts you will grow up believing that you are a little woman not a princess. This thought kept me up for a while. It’s so easy to go wrong. One pink tutu dress too many and too few scraped knees might just be reason enough for you to grow up fragile. 

Princesses live in castles whilst you live in a warm, loving home which is both your playground and your shelter. A home that both of your parents worked very hard to make as comfortable and secure for you as possible.

Princesses are daughters of kings and queens whilst you have an ordinary mommy and daddy who love you to the moon and back and who wake up every single day with the sheer intention of giving you everything (in moderation) to make you into a happy, kind, well rounded human being. 

Princesses wear crowns whilst I want you to wear your heart on your sleeve and never ever raise above anybody else. I want you to be fair. 

Little one, you are not a princess. You are an artist. An explorer. A giver. A genius. A trouble maker.You are a million different things…

Image

Little sleeping beauty at 10 days old.

 

Finding the time

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A mother lives from one milestone to the next. The first smile. The very first giggle. The first time her child held an object or focused at her image on the mirror. This little person you have created from scratch is absorbing information like a sponge. Their small victories (such as being able to catch their foot with their hand) are of epic proportions in the eyes of a mother. They are such a big deal. The weight of the responsibility that lies heavy  on the shoulders of new parents. We have to teach our little ones everything and become their sole companions during this learning process.

I catch myself thinking “we really take for granted how much we can do”. We were born a blank page that eventually became filled with skills, information, education, talents and knowledge. If I had a penny for every time time my husband exclaimed “Look at what Alisa learned to do today…”. You catch my drift. These daily accomplishments are so important and yet they are so easily lost in the blur of the day.  I am not keeping up. I am not stopping to smell the roses because I have a hundred worries at the back of my mind about how the roses are growing, if they are getting enough food or how well developed they are in comparison to other roses. And I am missing out.

I have a baby book that is lying almost empty with a few hurried notes here and there. But not the important stuff. I vow to find the time…to note more down, to stop and smell my little happy rose while she is eagerly blossoming…I have managed to do a few things (better late than never) that she will someday appreciate to have. These little tokens are my personal reminder that no matter how hectic everyday is there won’t be another one like it and she will not be like this ever again…

More of where that came from. I just need to find the time.

 

Her daddy is a biker…

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Journaling your life

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When I first started this blog I intended to document every possible aspect of our wedding preparations and the actual“day”. Blogging turned out to be a lot more addictive than I expected and long after the wedding posts were done and dusted I was still blogging. I enjoyed scripting our lives and noting down details that I would otherwise not remember (bad case of goldfish memory here people). Three years down the line I read the posts in utter bewilderment. Being able to reflect on how we progressed from being a couple and then to being married and now to have a child…there is really nothing like it.

I was recently approached by a leading women’s magazine in Oman with the request to write a page on “Wedding Blogs” simply because I have one. However my “Wedding Blog” evolved over the years to become something of a totem of our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly. My best friend always warns people that I am the worst person to talk to about being married because I tell it as it is. All of it. You would probably never hear me say the cliché phrases of “I am married to my best friend” or “I am so glad I found my soulmate” because quite frankly none of that relates to us. I am more likely to tell a bride-to-be that it’s a really long, tough road that will test your patience, courage, love and temper. That there are days when everything hangs on by a thread and there are nights where you don’t even think you will make it till the morning. Marriage is hard work people. You have to work hard to make it work. I agree that three and half years of holy matrimony doesn’t exactly make me an expert and maybe the odds and statistics are against us (every second marriage ends in divorce, seriously!) but I also think the hardest part is behind us and the ride will be a little smoother from now on.

Anyways, I got carried away, forgive me. Here is the article that was published this month:

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Wedding mementos are traditionally kept in the form of sacred vows, entertaining videos and heartfelt portraits.  As time passes more details begin to slip through the fingers until only the brightest and most memorable events of the day can be recalled. This is where journaling has come in to save the day for modern brides and grooms.  Documenting a wedding experience through an online diary or blog has become the new favorite way to recollect and more importantly share the wedding experience with others.

The desire to hang on to every sweet detail is primary reason for the creation of my person wedding blog- Happily Married to a Biker.  The engagement, the bittersweet preparations, the chaotic errands and the thrilling emotions that enveloped the most important day of our lives are all documented in this online journal. Creating a blog helped to cast in stone thousands of details that separately did not seem at all exciting.

A white wedding filled with family and friends and topped with a delicious cake is a direct result of very hard work, hundreds of hours of planning and the unlimited effort many people. It is equally important to remember how the bride’s dress came to be, who helped the groom write his speech, who picked out the invitations and what was on the menu. After all, months of planning go into one single day – the most important day of the couple’s lives.

Whilst planning the wedding I eagerly browsed the internet in search for tips and tricks to everything; from trendy napkin colors to the most fashionable shoes and I was pleased to discover many bloggers who generously shared their wedding experience with anyone willing to spare some time. Reading about the challenges and following the advice of couples who have already gone through a similar experience and learning from their mistakes has in many aspects helped us to make our wedding a success.

Three and half years have passed since the day we said our “I Do’s” and we have just recently become parents to a perfect baby girl. Many years from now when she hungrily analyzes our wedding album and bombards me with questions and I will probably be able to answer every single one of them- because I will remember. When she is old enough she will browse the blog and read entry after entry that will in detail show her how her parents fell in love, how they planned the wedding and every single anecdote of that day. She will not have to listen to me vaguely recall the events of the day or patiently wait for me to remember what flavor the wedding cake was because it will all be right there for her to read.

The actual wedding party is just the icing on the cake. I can boldly claim that we had more fun bringing the puzzle pieces together over the course of three months than we did during the actual wedding day. The wedding was extraordinary and absolutely picture perfect. Wedding pictures may be worth a thousand words but how the picture came to be is worth a million. I strongly recommend couples to document their wedding experience through a blog but they should remember to share both the good and the bad because everything that happened along the way contributed to the beginning of their brand new life together.

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Houston, we have a problem!

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We were never oblivious to how difficult a newborn could be. We were ready to put in the effort and do the sleepless nights and the long days. Little did we know that soon I would be thankful for any spare moment that the baby was willing to allow me to enjoy. I literally held her in my arms for a month, except nights when she slept- well, like a baby. Between 8am and 10pm however, Alisa was being carried, held, rocked…you name it. 

She didn’t want to be put down. As soon as she fell asleep and anyone attempted to put her into her bed she would momentarily be wide awake and stay like that for another hour. Hands were a different matter. She could sleep for hours just as long as you are holding her. Ridiculous. 

I was counting down the days until my mother-in-law would arrive to stay with us for a whole 3 months! Bliss. I was looking forward to having extra hands and dreaming of all the things I would be able to do while my mother-in-law held the baby, such as take a hot shower or enjoy a hot cup of coffee for a change. I was also looking forward to giving my mom a break from coming over two times a day to help me with my bundle of joy.

Alisa however had other plans.

Her grandmother arrived full of joy, hope and ambition. Alisa is her first grandchild. That is huge. She dots on her and loves her to the moon and back. But they did not get off to a good start. Alisa used to scream bloody murder when I handed her over to her grandmother. If she was fast asleep in my arms and I put her into her grandmother’s arms…she would instantly wake up. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had exactly a week to make things right before I went back to work. Otherwise how could I leave my 7 weeks old at home if she is constantly awake and fussy?

I don’t know how or when I got her so attached to me but she is literally not leaving my arms.  Alisa is still working on her relationship with her grandmother and the air is a little thick around the house. When she cries she wants no one but mommy and daddy to hold her and its the same deal for when she is falling asleep. I have no idea what could be the cause of her discomfort and in my efforts to fix the situation I have even once asked my mother-in-law to wear my T-Shirt, maybe if she smelled like me Alisa would be fooled.

She wasn’t by the way.

Not even for a minute.

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