My Baby Shower

As my due date comes closer, I keep thinking about how time flew by so quickly Alhamdulilah. My pregnancy has had its ups and downs, but I'm so grateful for every moment. With every kick, cramp, moment of nausea and fatigue, comes the reminder that I'll soon be a mother to a beautiful little girl inshaAllah. I honestly can't wait. Afroz has been immensely supportive and my parents, siblings, and friends have also been a tremendous helpโ€”from taking me out to fulfill my many random cravings to sharing helpful advice, I can't be thankful enough. And as if that wasn't enough, my wonderful family and friends threw me an absolutely beautiful baby shower during the weekend.

From the decor to the activities, to the food and the dessert, and especially the amazing company, everything was perfect Alhamdulilah. I'm amazed by how everything came together so beautifully. The shower made me forget about my cramps and back pains, which was just wonderful. Our little girl has already been showered with so much love and we're so grateful for it all Alhamdulilah. A huge thank you to my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and wonderful friends who worked together to plan my shower! I thought I'd share a few photos my friend and one of the amazing hosts, Mushira, took during the shower.

The cake was made by Scrumptious by Hira. It was absolutely beautiful and so delicious! The desserts were all made by the extremely talented hosts of the baby shower :)

The dessert table was filled with cupcakes, brownies, chocolates, fruit, tiramisu, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, Oreo cake pops, Oreo cheesecake bites, and more! Such a beautiful and tasty joint effort in prepping and baking the desserts by the most talented ladies I know!

The theme was a combination of adventure, travel, and nature. I loved how they combined the themes and used my interests as the inspiration for the shower. The floral accents were so elegant and the travel themed guestbook map, favors, and activities were too cute! 

Everyone signed the map with sweet messages. I'm planning on getting the map framed, so we can cherish the thoughtful notes shared by our friends and family. There was also a "Baggage Claim" to pick up the favors, which were these beautiful boxes of chocolates covered with maps. 

The center pieces included baby photos of Afroz and me, fresh flowers, mason jars, and wood slices. I really loved how simple and chic they were.

The activities consisted of a photo booth, writing words of encouragement on diapers, decorating onesies, decorating wooden baby blocks, and creating little Play-Doh babies. They had me choose a winner for each category and the winner was given a prize (a cute little succulent from IKEA). The diapers turned out to be hilarious messages and the onesies were also pretty clever. And the wooden blocks were all so colorful and well done! Everyone was so creative with each activity, it was difficult to choose a winner!

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Some of my friends painted some really nice blocks. They really thought deeply into the design of the block and they turned out so beautifully! 

I loved the activities they chose, because they turned out to be perfect for both adults and kids. It was so much fun watching everyone make their own creations for our little girl. I'm especially excited to put on the onesies with funny messages, along with the diapers. I think it'll be a nice thing to see when we're up late changing our little girl after a long day :)

It was such a fun event and I just had to share photos from my shower here on the blog, because my lovely friends and family were so creative with planning it all! I'm beyond grateful for all of the hard work they put in to make sure everything was perfect. 

The Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I have a complicated relationship with winter.

I see the first snowfall and immediately fall in love with the beauty of the season: the fresh snow, the refreshing air, and the site of little snowmen in front yards around the neighborhood. I forgive it for all of its flawsโ€”for getting my car stuck in the snow, for traffic, for making my skin dry, and for making me feel like I'm never prepared with the right amount of layers for the temperature. But right when I get a bad cold or get stuck with the flu, I take back all of the exceptions I made and just want winter to be over.

Both Afroz and I became sick last week. We had runny noses, really bad congestion, and sore throats. It was tough for me, since I didn't want to take any medicine while pregnant. I soon developed an intense craving for chicken noodle soup and thought it would be good for the both of us to have some hot and healthy soup. I've made chicken noodle soup in the past, but it was never remarkably tasty enough for me to want to repeat the recipe. I opened my favorite recipe app, Yummly, and searched for a recipe that looked and sounded good. Eventually, I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and the soup turned out to be really delicious! The dill adds such a nice flavor to the soup and the broth tastes so good with the carrots, parsnips, celery, chicken, and noodles. I highly recommend you try this recipe for the next time you're at home sick with a cold. You won't regret getting up to make it!

I save most of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and Yummly, but the ones I use repeatedly go in my recipe journal from Moleskine.

I save most of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and Yummly, but the ones I use repeatedly go in my recipe journal from Moleskine.

I love the site of freshly cut, colorful vegetables. This was actually my first time trying parsnips!

I love the site of freshly cut, colorful vegetables. This was actually my first time trying parsnips!

Ta-da! At first, I forgot to add the dill and it tasted pretty good without it, but when I added the dill, it had so much more flavor! Don't forget the dill, folks.

Ta-da! At first, I forgot to add the dill and it tasted pretty good without it, but when I added the dill, it had so much more flavor! Don't forget the dill, folks.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-pound chicken, in parts or 3 pounds chicken pieces of your choice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, diced (1/3-inch)
  • 1 medium parsnip, diced (1/3-inch) (optional)
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced (1/3-inch)
  • 3 ounces dried egg noodles, I prefer wide ones
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

View the full recipe here.

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