An Intimate Surprise 10th Anniversary Party

It's been ages since I posted on this blog. With motherhood, INKMADE, and my photography work, it's difficult to find time to write and photograph just for fun! So much has happened since the last time I posted Alhamdulilah. Amira turned one. We moved into our first home together. And we just hosted a surprise 10th anniversary party for my sister and brother-in-law! 

My sister and brother-in-law got married young, had a simple wedding, have three beautiful children, and work day and night as a pharmacist and podiatrist. They go out of their way to make sure their kids are happy, as well as the rest of their family and friends. Even after my sister comes home after a long day, she offers to watch Amira, help out with INKMADE, and just lend a hand whenever I have a lot to get done. My brother-in-law also has a crazy work schedule, but he still takes time to help us move, hang out after a long day, and just be there whenever we need him. They are both my role models for having such a balanced, loving marriage. That's why I had to work with our friends and family to throw an amazing surprise anniversary party for them! 

We decided to host it at our house, which motivated us to unpack and get our place tidy quickly. (It's been taking forever with a toddler running around!) I told them that we were hosting a housewarming party, so they had no idea it was going to be their anniversary party! I started by creating a Pinterest board to find inspiration for the table setting. My sister, mom, and I share decor for parties that we have collected over time after hosting so many bridal showers, baby showers, and other events. I reused some of those pieces for the decor for this party and bought a few more to complete the look. Our friends and family helped out with the food and I baked the cake. There's no way this party would have been a success without our amazing friends and family. I feel so grateful to have such wonderful people who took so much time out to make sure this party was a success! Check out a glimpse of the party below:

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May Allah (swt) bless these two with nothing but love, happiness, and success always. Ameen! 


Table Decor Details:

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 help—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. 

Summer Clothing Swap Party | Decor Inspiration

Summer, so far, has been pretty great. The weather has been nice in Chicago and Afroz and I have had a wonderful time hanging out with our family and friends. The sad part is that with every great summer comes a moment when you have to accept that the season of BBQs, beach trips, bike rides, and warm weather has to come to an end eventually. Soon, we'll bid farewell to summer and celebrate the start of fall, which has its own beautiful charm. 

I've been thinking about hosting a little get together with a few friends, just to wrap up the summer. I haven't thought of the menu yet, but I've been looking at some images to get inspiration for the decor. I usually don't decorate the apartment when friends come over, but I wanted to change it up this time around. I'm hoping to also add a new element to this party. I've read about clothing swaps and also attended a scarf swap party in the past. Basically, each guest brought in scarves they didn't want anymore and everyone shopped around and took home any scarves they liked. It's a fun, free, and sustainable way to shop around with your friends. It's a wonderful way to get new additions to your wardrobe and it also promotes ethical and sustainable fashion. The average American throws away 65 pounds of textiles each year (source). By swapping clothes instead of buying new, we're reducing that waste.

Here are some images that are on my mind as I plan this clothing swap party:

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