future heirlooms

sitting here in my NYC apartment, listening to the rain fall outside my window and feeling so damn grateful for where life has taken me. the lighting, because of the storm, was gorgeous today so it was a great opportunity to finally do this shoot for my collaboration with east//west gem co. and filles box.

my journey to my ‘dream ring’ is honestly a hilarious one. when hubs proposed in january of 2014, i wasn’t in loooooove with the ring he proposed with but didn’t want to say anything because i was afraid of hurting his feelings or upsetting him. this story makes us, especially me, laugh so much now because of course he wouldn’t have been offended. he simply wanted me to have something that i loved. so, a lesson from early in our relationship: trust what you know about your partner.

fun fact: when hubs asked my dad permission to propose (our families had already met and we’d already decided to get married) he literally had no idea what hubs was talking about. we were all at a dinner celebrating my med school acceptance that night (yes, it really was the most incredible and life changing week of my life alhumdulilah) and my dad pulled me aside to try to clarify so i actually had a heads up on what was about to go down, for which i’m grateful because i got to do my nails lol! shout out to my old roomie nashra for the assist and her fake errands at target ha.

by the time i was finally honest with hubs about how i felt about the ring, it was too late to return it. just a couple months after our wedding i started medical school so it wasn’t really a priority anymore. most of the time i was just wearing only my wedding band anyway so it wasn’t really on my radar. then at the end of my second year, after i failed a block exam, i was devastated and needed a distraction. i started casually looking at wedding sets to pass the time and find a little joy in my life.

during the random conversations we had over the years, hubs shared his discomfort with the idea of natural and mined diamonds. once i learned of the social and economic repercussions and manipulations involved in the industry, i knew i definitely didn’t want to participate in such an industry so i started looking at simulated diamonds and moissanites. in addition to being more friendly to mother earth and her inhabitants, i loved that the styles i liked were actually affordable for us. no shade to folks who choose to spend more but it just did not make financial sense for us, especially so early in our lives together.

i had a brief two year stint with this gorgeous set (which is for sale!) but, once again, i’d settled for something that i didn’t truly love. as i started coming into my own with my style, i realized that it was too traditional for my taste. we’d also had a rough patch in our marriage during this time and i was looking for something fresh that did not bring back that hurt. of course, rings have absolutely nothing to do with the strength of a partnership. and, until recently, it felt like i had to choose between fighting for justice or indulging in the little things life has to offer but i’m learning that living fully is also an act of resistance.

while studying for finals earlier this year i started perusing instagram and was falling in love with vintage designs, especially with old cut diamonds, and that’s when i stumbled upon east//west. i quickly fell head over heels in love with their harlow setting, one that reminded me of a vintage design i’d been lusting after for years. after finding out the company worked primarily with moisannites and was owned/run by a woman, i was sold.

collaborating with them was an absolute dream. i was nervous about making this type of purchase online but i couldn’t have found a better company to work with. they checked in every step of the way and gave me something to be excited about while i was studying for step 2 ck.

during my search for my dream ring, i also stumbled upon these gorgeous vintage inspired ring boxes by filles box, another woman owned and run company! this mauve color is absolutely stunning and i love the contrast it provides.

i’ve paired my engagement ring with the a band by kay jewelers that is also vintage inspired. we finally were able to trade in the original ring hubs got me for this and another gold baguette band i wear daily as well. i wish i could’ve avoided mined diamonds altogether but that wasn’t an option with the exchange. now, every day, i get to look down at my hands and, when it feels like the rest of my world may be crumbling, remember how loved i am – that there is in one constant in a life that is always in flux.

so here’s a video of this gorgeous future heirloom that i get to wear every day. hopefully this will be the end of the ring hunting for some time. i joke with hubs that he should be glad that my commitment issues are only with jewelry and not our relationship ha.


honestly, i feel strange spending all this time writing about something seemingly frivolous like jewelry but as i mentioned earlier, sometimes self care is allowing myself to occasionally indulge in sparkly things. i realize i am privileged, to be able to spend money on something like this. i’m still grappling with the consumerism of it all and want to reiterate that the value of a partnership can never be defined by a material object. and i also don’t want anyone reading this to think that a ring, or even the partnership that comes along with it, is the only thing to aspire to because there is so much more to this life.

love and light.

 

dainty sparkle

I get asked a lot about where I purchase my jewelry and I pick up most of my pieces along my travels. I’m a huge fan of ‘wearable’ souvenirs because they don’t just sit on a shelf and I love when fond memories of whatever trip I was on come rushing back whenever I wear them.

But when I stumbled upon Favor Jewelry on Instagram, I knew that it was a company I wanted to work with. In addition to having some of the cutest and daintiest pieces of jewelry I’ve come across, the Portland based company is so mindful about how they source their materials and recycle all scraps. You can read about their process here.

In addition to that, they donate part of their proceeds to organizations like UNICEF, women’s shelters and the Natural Resources Defense Council. I can definitely get behind a company that puts its money where its mouth is.

I’ve had three of their pieces for a few months now and am absolutely loving them. When I was choosing from their collection, I was the least excited about the necklace but it ended up being my favorite piece. I don’t think I’ve taken it off since I received it.

I don’t always find the dainty and simple pieces in my travels that I can wear daily. But because of their high ethical standards and their contributions to their community, I still feel that my pieces by Favor are meaningful. I hope you check them out!

All pieces pictured are c/o Favor Jewelry.

fred & far

 

Many of us who aspire to be care givers tend to be exactly that: givers. And as we continue through our rigorous career paths, we often push aside our own needs and continue to give and give until we have nothing left for ourselves. I’ve been guilty of this for most of my life. I used to think this was a noble, unselfish way to live. That I was living the way God would want me to – by continually putting the needs of others before my own. And up until I started medical school I did alright living my life this way but as soon as school started I began suffering. It took me months before I realized that living my life in this way was not sustainable, was actually detrimental to my own health and inhibited my ability to succeed in school.

For the first time in my life, I began to consider what I needed and it was a very strange feeling. There was a lot of unlearning that had to take place about what it meant to be a ‘good friend’ or ‘good daughter’ or ‘good wife.’ I learned my limits and realized that I was of no use to anyone – not my family, my friends, my patients – unless I was good on my own. I started incorporating self care into my daily routine through various means like journaling, yoga, exercising regularly, evening strolls, writing & sharing my struggles, and learning the word no (& being able to say it without feeling guilty).

I’ve always loved the idea of wearing jewelry that’s meaningful in some way. I wear mantra bands that say ‘be you, love you. all ways, always.’ and ‘SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD SO SHE DID.’ Other pieces I’ve collected in my travels. So when I stumbled upon Fred + Far’s Instagram account, I was immediately intrigued. Self love is a work in progress and I can constantly sense myself falling back into old patterns so having a ring that reminded me, every day, to prioritize my own well being has been wonderful.

When I first started wearing the ring, it felt too big or too flashy for a ring that’s meant to be an expression of self love. I felt guilty for spending so much money on something for myself. But as with prioritizing self care in my life the past two years, it started to feel as natural as wearing my wedding set every day. If I’m ever so blessed as to raise a daughter, I hope that I can pass this ring onto her. This life can be stressful and beautiful and heartbreaking but I know that as long as I’m in my own corner, I can get through it all.

You can visit Fred + Far’s website here to learn more about their story and products.

flow & bling 

It’s been a while since I did an outfit post! Part of it is frustration when I can’t link exact pieces for you all to find and I also haven’t really been dressing up all that often since I’ve been spending most of my day cooped up at home studying. But last night one of my best friend’s got engaged and I celebrated another one of my best friend’s birthday! So I took the night off from studying and got a lil’ dressed up.

I picked up this dress at TJ Maxx a few summers ago to wear to my high school best friend’s wedding and decided to pull it out from the depths of my closet. I wore this long blue top from Zara over it to dress it down a bit because I didn’t want it to be too formal. I usually wear this top buttoned up as a formal top for clinic, etc. but it went well with the dress. Kohl was having way too much fun playing with the tassels on the dress while I was doing my make up heh.

I recently purchased the Southport Avenue Small Jenny by Kate Spade in black during their 25% off sale a few weeks ago. This was only my second time using but I really like it! It’s great for more formal events and I love that it’s really structured, unlike all my other bags. It’s a really great size – big enough to fit everything I need but small enough that I can’t just stuff everything in the world in it. The zip goes down the side a bit too so I can open it up and find things easily.

For details, I had on this necklace by Tiny Universe. I wore it out of the shop when we were in Pasadena and literally have not taken it off since – yay for gold filled jewelry that doesn’t rust! I also took off my fitbit for the night (which felt very strange) and wore my Jacqueline Brown Leather watch by Fossil.

For my shoes, I wore my Mari Perforated Wedges by Comfort Plus at Payless.  I absolutely looooove this brand. Their shoes are so incredibly comfortable in comparison to similar styles by other brands. I got mine in ‘wide’ and nude – they only have the black ones online. I have oxford pumps by this same brand that I wore through all my med school interviews and still wear to various formal events.

And now some of my favorite photos from Sara and Nasir‘s engagement yesterday! I have so much love for this couple. You know when you see two people together and just know that the universe would have found a way to bring them together no matter what because they’re just so perfect for each other. They’re both pursuing medicine and are very passionate about health justice and social justice in general – can you say power couple?

Silly times with the bride before she made her entrance! Her dress was so, so gorgeous – and it had pockets! Perfection.

My favorite shots from weddings/engagements are always ones where I catch the groom looking at his partner with so much love – got so many of these shots of Nasir yesterday. You can just see how much he loves and respects her and it just makes my heart so happy.

The dessert table was so cute! Loved the flowers on the cake.


How cute are they!? Still riding this wave of happiness because one of my best friends is spending the rest of her life with this wonderful guy and I can’t wait to see where life takes them. My heart is so happy. Please send some good vibes their way and prayers up for them as they start this journey together!

You can follow their journey through medicine and their life together:

back to me

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done an outfit post and quite a few things have changed: I chopped my hair & got highlights and got new specs! A big part of why I haven’t done any outfit posts is that I was feeling stuck in a rut with my looks. Choosing outfits has always been a means for me to express myself and use my right brain in a life that’s often very left-brain-focused. At the risk of sounding obnoxious and pretentious: to me, fashion is art.

I looked in the mirror after getting dressed and just didn’t feel very ‘me’ so I made some changes! And I’m so so glad that I did.

So back to this outfit, since it’s been relatively warm the past couple days I finally got a chance to wear one of my favorite pieces: this mustard midi skirt (also seen here). I paired it with a sleeveless collared floral blouse with a thin gray-blue sweater over.

I’ve gushed about Ladies Who Lunch,the cutest online vintage clothing store, in previous posts and I’m not stopping now! It’s run by one of my good friends and she finds all these one of a kind pieces herself and sells them at such affordable prices! I’m all about supporting small businesses and Ladies Who Lunch is definitely one of my favorites. Hafsa does a phenomenal job finding pieces for women of all sizes and styles. You can also check out their Instagram here for more regular updates on all new pieces. I’m currently gushing over all their incoming denim!

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#sharkandrhymes

All this time off from school has really got me slackin’ on my blogging game, probably because most of my days lacked structure and I kind of just went with it. Blogging is a creative outlet for me so I don’t like to set hard deadlines for myself because I don’t want this to stop being fun. That said, there should be quite a few posts coming through in the next few weeks with updates on what I’ve been up to and some things regarding school. For more regular updates, follow along on Instagram!

So this past weekend one of my best friends from college got married!! It was a hectic, fun, laugh-filled, celebratory weekend. South Asian weddings can have a lot of different parts so I thought it would be cool to break down the events and share a bit about my culture!

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attitude of gratitude


Hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! To those of you who may not be able to celebrate surrounded by love, for whatever reason, know that you’re in my thoughts and I’m sending so much love your way.

While we’re celebrating this day with delicious food and surrounded by love, I hope that we can decolonize the tradition of Thanksgiving by remembering the Native Americans who lost their homes and their lives. Thanksgiving was actually declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln as an effort to bring the country together during the tensions of the civil war. The story of the ‘Indians and the Pilgrims’ was not associated with the holiday until the 1890s. And the story of them eating together peacefully and celebrating this newfound friendship is completely false – the Native Americans living on this land were displaced and killed (either directly or by the European diseases the pilgrims brought with them). This video by MTV does a pretty great job of summarizing the issues with the ‘history’ of Thanksgiving. And if you’d like more details about how this tradition came about and would like to see facts to debunk the stories that we’re told in grade school, this article does a pretty rad job. So while we celebrate and think about what we’re grateful for this year, let’s keep those who suffered at the hands of the European immigrants in our thoughts and prayers and remember to be grateful for their sacrifice.

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