THE ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND SURPRISE

If you regularly follow Ashar and me, you’ve already noticed that we’ve been away for a while, like for 2 weeks, if I’m not wrong. Believe me or not, we’ve remembered posting every single day and missed writing as well. Still, the situation isn’t always the same.

They say every day is new, so here I am back writing on my desktop with my mind’s ideas. To communicate with you and share what my husband and I were up to!

Today was one of the lazy days that I’d prefer not to have around in the future. You know those days when nothing feels good, the brain is in a sleeping mode, and all our body wants is to stretch on the bed for the whole day. But this is the rare day. In the end, I cooked yummy dinner and writing as one of the kids is calmly snoring while the other just jumping around.

Not all days are the same in life, right? We had today, but we had SATURDAY as well that I ADORE entirely! You’re thinking, what was so special? Well, if you read the title, I’m telling you about my birthday celebration in this post. YAYY!!

This happened last Saturday though my birthday was on Sunday. All the credit goes to my adorable husband. Our original plan was to celebrate on Sunday, but our Sunday was a mess. In some other post, I’ll tell you what actually happened to us on Sunday that the celebration did not go as planned.

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My birthday celebration was not extravagant in terms of spending money. We invited no one on my birthday. Instead, we celebrated at home, just at 12 AM on Saturday night to Sunday morning. Just me, hubby and our son blowing candles (that we already had from before) and a home-made cake that I originally made for my son. My husband did not buy me anything but care and time. Though there was something more that I wasn’t aware of on the Saturday afternoon. Don’t worry, you’ll get to know soon; just keep reading.

A week before, my husband asked me, ‘What would you like for your birthday?’ And I’m like, ‘Nothing much, just some fine dine out.’ Obviously, I wasn’t interested in cooking the same food at home. Yes, I love cooking, and my original plan was to bake a Chicken Lasagne at home, but soon I realized that my husband and I must avoid Cheese and Fat for now.

Coming back to the gift, so he asked me to tell him something other than the food, and I go, ‘The only thing I adore is to eat out. Yes, I’m a foody’. I told him to take me to THAILAND.

What? No, don’t get me wrong! I asked him to go to ‘Thailand Restaurant,’ a unique Thai restaurant in our suburb, not overseas!

My hubby noted my request and said, ‘means I have to get something for you I won’t tell you.’ And I go, ‘But I really don’t want anything. I always get the pocket money from you and spends with my wish; why would I bother asking you something special?’. But he’s a good man. He kept what he wanted to surprise me within his mind.

On Saturday, he asked me to go somewhere I was unaware of. He lied that he needs to buy himself shoes. I’m like, ‘but why I’m going, mate!’ He did not answer. I ran up and got ready instantly. I’ve never been that prompt before!

We finally arrived at the Mall, and I asked him at the entrance, ‘Where are we going? The Adidas Store is on the right, not straight’. And he asked me to keep moving. I was quite familiar with the Shopping Centre, so I started getting a vibe of what was going on. Guess what? He was taking me to the HAIR SALON!

YAY YAY! I was waiting for the moment he reveals because I was extraordinarily happy within, but I wanted to be sure. And my guess was RIGHT!

Do you get enough time for self-care? Especially if you’re a Mom, and you take care of the family. Is it hard, right? Due to the COVID-19, I did not have hair color and trimmed done for the past 6 months from the Salon. Though I was dying my hair and trimmed at home every 2 months. But it doesn’t give as finished look as it does with a Salon Dye. So, I had foils plus hairstyling and blew dry. The whole process was so relaxing!

Gifts from the Family

For me, it does not matter how much he spent on my hair foils or whether or not he bought me a designer dress and a branded jewelery. Being his life partner, I’m most proud that he clearly understands my needs without telling him. He knew what I was planning to do for long, and he simply surprised me. This was a sweet little gesture that I could not thank him enough. But this wasn’t the only one; we still had a dine out at my favorite restaurant the next day!

To my husband: 

“I’m so proud of you. I just wanted to tell you in case no one has”.

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WALK OF LIFE # 6: THE ULTIMATE TWO-DAY PERISHER VALLEY TRIP VIA CANBERRA

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Since the news announcement by the authorities in NSW (New South Wales, a state of Australia), was made for lifting holiday travel restrictions within NSW, we’re looking forward to a much-needed break. It’s relatively positive to see Australia coming back to life, and people planning their long-pending travels. As exciting for everyone else, we’re too pretty excited about our next trip, and that’s why we dedicated this week to Travelling and Tourism.

In today’s Walk of Life, we’d like to share one of our trips to Perisher Valley, Kosciuszko National Park in NSW (New South Wales, Australia). Yes, you read it correctly: One of our trips. Because we’ve been to the Snowy Mountains once every year. Why? We’ll answer you later in this post, but let’s first know a bit about Perisher Valley.

REPOPENING OF THE VALLEY

Perisher Valley is reopening for skiing and snowboarding on 24th June 2020 for NSW residents. If you’re planning for a snow-covered adventurous holiday, knock off your bucket list with this place! Perisher Ski Resort is famous for its tourism because there’s a lot to offer. From skiing and boarding to chairlift, the tourists never get disappointed with their exploration.

TRAVEL TIME

We previously visited Perisher Valley in 2018. Our trip was super-fun, exciting for kids, and entertaining. Our total travel time by car (from Sydney West to Perisher Valley) was 6 hours. What comes along the way is the National Capital of Australia, Canberra. We stayed there overnight before continuing our way towards the valley, since the travel was long enough to exhaust ourselves and the kids.

WHAT TO PACK?

A single day trip to Perisher Valley is usually enough to explore the sightseeing. We packed a few clothes and snacks for the kids. The essential garments to take along were the Jackets, Sweaters, Mufflers, Gloves (the ski equipment is available on site for hire).

We woke up early, at 5 AM, and transiting towards Canberra by 7 AM. We rented a Mazda CX9, a super-smooth car, and perfect for the family since it allows ample space inside.

DRIVE TO PERISHER VIA CANBERRA

We saw Kangaroos, horses, and other farm animals on the way. The road trip was splendid. On the roads of Canberra, we enjoyed the nightlife and food (we’ll write a separate post on our tour to Canberra).

The next morning, we left Canberra early to arrive at the Perisher car park (As always; we continued to wake up early in the morning for a trip) to explore the place thoroughly. We arrived at 9 AM, while the kids were still asleep in the SUV!

Parliament House, Canberra

THE WEATHER

Given the time of the year, it was quite surprising to experience relatively warmer temperatures (15 degrees if we remember it correctly). We brought sweaters and jackets with us, but eventually had to keep them in the car’s boot, since a single layer of clothes was enough!

THE ACTIVITIES

We heard that Perisher is great for newbies for learning to ski, since the slopes across all four resorts are suitable for beginners. We traveled in July, typically considering a desirable season for skiing. We didn’t opt to learn to ski so far as there were a lot more incredible things to do beyond skiing at Perisher Valley. We enjoyed building a snowman and rode on the chairlift.

TOTAL TRIP COST

The trip to Perisher Valley is generally expensive if you choose to hire ski and snow gear. But since we didn’t ski, the entire two-day trip added up a little under $1000 for our family of four. That included meals, car rental (you can travel by your car too), chair lift tickets and accommodation (Finding how to travel with a low budget is easy, here is our post to guide you).

WRAPPING UP

Traveling is a lifetime experience, and quite frankly, you’ll regret the missed opportunity to pay a visit to Perisher Valley on your tour to Australia. Our latest trip to the Perisher Valley was both exciting and thrilling. People covered in round helmets, neck warmer, and reflective goggles are also the kindest from inside. The culture and spirit of Perisher inspires us on every visit.

We hope you loved reading Walk of life today.

Are you ready to learn to ski for your next snowy vacation? Let us know in the comments below.

Shop snow gear from Amazon:

WALK OF LIFE # 5: OUR SON’S BIRTHDAY

Do you know that as parents, you’re likely to be the most significant influencer in your child’s life? Kids demand time, love, affection, and uninterrupted attention from their parents, and when they lack that attention, they can lose self-confidence and social interaction in the long run.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children,”. Charles R. Swindoll

As parents, we’re responsible for our children’s training and teaching. We believe that we’re quite successful in doing that. Within our over-occupied schedule, we regularly attempt to make our kids feel special and loved. However, there are rare times when we feel guilty of neglecting our kids, too, such as during exams or with additional home/work consignments.

Children demands attention in routine days, and when it’s their birthday, their urge for our time rises even more! Our son hoped to visit the Taronga Zoo on his birthday since last year, right after returning from the opulent tour of GoldCoast. Though we’ve seen other zoos all around Sydney, visiting Taronga Zoo is still on our travel wish list.

You may have heard about the famous Taronga Zoo before. It’s the largest zoo in Australia and is located at a height, offering breathtaking views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge at its highest point. We can imagine the splendid sights already, even without visiting.

Though sadly, we haven’t been lucky enough to make a trip to Taronga Zoo yet, because of the lockdown situation. The zoo is closed until further notice, so we’re waiting till it opens again. But since our son’s big day was arriving this week, we’ve chosen to make a mouth-watering, home-made Mud cake for him for the first time! (Our sons can go nuts for a mud cake!). A minor effort to make him feel special on his birthday.

The delicious, double-chocolate layer Mud Cake. Made by Mummy and Daddy.

Our younger son, Ayaan, turned seven this month! It’s so exciting for us to see him grow and developing maturity as the years pass by. Our son is an intelligent and talented, 1st-grade student. He’s working to building his channel ‘Ayaan’s Fun World‘ on YouTube. Please read the full story of initiating his YouTube channel Here.

We made the Double-chocolate layer mud cake with Green’s Cake Mix‘ in Chocolate Mud (we’ll review the cake in our upcoming posts). We celebrated his birthday at home, keeping the social distancing rules in mind. 

We’re pleased to see that our son enjoyed mixing, decorating and serving the cake, specially made for him by his Mum and Dad! He was full of the joys of spring. He showed his gratitude later in the night.

Cupcakes by Ayaan’s Aunt

Final words

As parents, there should be no excuse to neglect our kids even in the lockdown. What’s the big deal? If we can’t take them to the outdoors, park, play area, attractions or for sports. What matters most for your kids is your time, attention, care, involvement, and communication. Expressing your prudence by simple things such as cooking their favourite food, playing a board game, or watching their favourite movie, can be a real game-changer for your journey of parenting.

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WALK OF LIFE # 4: MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.”  Edward Smith-Stanley  

Hi there, I’m Ashar, father of two boys and a fitness freak. Ever since I lost 121 pounds, I’m tremendously attentive towards my weight, diet, and fitness. I want to share my weight loss journey with you through this blog to drive you for a healthier living. Here’s my story:

You’ve probably read my bio there and wondering, “If that figure is even real?” I know why you’re thinking this way, because, with that amount of weight, someone would look like this:

Now look back at my bio image. You’re correct if you’re thinking, “Well, the bio-picture is filtered.” Yes! It’s brightened enough to post here, though quite frankly, the filter didn’t cut the fat on my cheeks, chins, neck, and body. Otherwise, I’d be the happiest person in this world.
I was overweight since I was a child, and I used to weigh 298 pounds (135 kgs) two years back. I’m not even joking!

Watch this video to get to know how to maintain your weight by just staying at home.

Weight transformation 2014 vs 2018

I was blessed with love…

I was bulky back in my teenage, though I was an active, lively, and energetic personality. I traveled often, and I loved eating. I got genuine love from my parents, siblings, and cousins, and I had generous friends.

I was ambitious…

Like several youngsters, I was an ambitious guy, and I worked with a major firm in my home country where many dreams to get employed. Though I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I strived to get that dream job as life is all about hardships. I studied my postgraduate course at the same time I was working since I was 16.

My dream marriage…

In the late 20s, I was lucky enough to marry the girl with a heart of gold, Sana. Her family gave me an abundance of love and respect, and with the blessings of Almighty, I became the father of two adorable children. Not to forget that I even traveled to Australia and thoroughly explored it. I was on cloud nine.

On the whole, I had everything that I could ask for (and still have), and sometimes I feel like I’m living in a fantasy world. Though, I always felt bothered and distressed.

I was suffering…

I imagine you’re probably thinking about why I was suffering this entire time. I’ll come to that in a while, but first, I want to ask you: “Can you remind of something that ever triggered you to adopt a good habit?” Well, I can undoubtedly recall the incidents that prompted my weight loss journey, which I’ll tell you later; otherwise, this post will never end.

So, I was stressed out because I was Obese. I lacked confidence because I was chubby. I couldn’t do skydiving because I was overweight.

Weight transformation 2016 vs 2020

My Goal

By this point, you’re thinking of why am I telling you about my journey? Because I want to create value for your health, your life, and your well-being. I want to motivate you for better and even happier you!

I’ve been able to shed 55 kgs of fat along with a full-time job and kids. So why can’t you?
In the later posts, I’ll share my experience, tips, and tricks for losing weight, maintaining your body and adapting to a healthy lifestyle. You can check some tips we’ve shared a while ago, to stay healthy Here.

Leave a comment below if you relate to my story and share it as much as you can.

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WALK OF LIFE # 3: HOW WE MET

Last Sunday, just after we ate our evening snacks, we comfortably lied on the couch and watching an entertaining Pakistani TV show. At the same time, the song ‘Hona Tha Pyar’ (‘There had to be love’ in English), from the movie ‘Bol’ (meaning ‘Speak up’) came across that delighted us!

We met 9 years ago, now happily married with 2 adorable kids. In today’s Walk of Life, we’re sharing our story to you, of how we first met each other. Want to know more of our journey? We’ll share our tips for a healthy relationship in the upcoming blog on Wednesday.

Bringing back memories

We imagine you’re trying to figure out “Why are we telling you about the song in the beginning of this post?” We’ll answer that shortly, but first answer this: Have you ever listened to a song or watched a film, even an old TV show that took you back in the good old days?

This song did precisely the same thing to us.

We later watched our wedding video once again. It’s enchanting and beautiful. It brought back tons of memories when back in the days we used to be younger, vibrant and carefree (though we still are!).

Looking different? Yes, we lost 55 kgs recently. Coming up in detail soon 🙂

Yes! The couple posing in that picture is us on the day of engagement ceremony! Do we look different back then? The truth is that since the past couple of years, we worked days and nights to make the ends meet but at the same time, made immense effort to groom ourselves, personal growth and development.

Love at first sight

Do you believe in love at first sight? When you meet someone at first, you could get attracted instantly, and you probably see a potential to fall for that soul. Your heart and mind speak your feelings. But hold on! That didn’t happen to us straightaway. In fact, our feelings grew by time, as we were getting to know one another.

We met through parents

Our story was pretty straight. Our marriage was arranged by our parents. If we don’t have someone else already in mind, part of our convention is that the parents jump in and choose the prospective spouse for us. It’s even favorable for them.

Meeting one another for the first time at our parents’ home was an entirely unique experience for us. Our parents were distant relatives to each other. Both families accepted each other, but now it was our time for further communication to understand each other.

‘YES!’ We said to each other, and we got engaged just after one week, in October 2010. Our engagement lasted about a year, which was enough time for both of us to get along, especially as we first met only a week ago. We later got married in November 2011.

Best part

We met over 9 years ago and together since then, we’re still learning about each other. And the more we discover, the better we communicate. To be honest, exploring each other’s passions, dreams, and personality is the most exciting part of a marriage.

We hope you enjoyed reading our “Walk of Life” post today.

Don’t forget to learn keys for a joyful marriage in our blog on Wednesday.

Leave a comment if you can relate our story to yourself 🙂

WALK OF LIFE # 2: A SURPRISE LAUNCH, SON’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Last week was full of initiatives for us. Yes, you read it correctly, an initiative with ‘s’. Though we’d like to keep our other plans secret, for now, we promise they won’t remain suspense for much longer. We have heaps to share with you in our upcoming posts that we can’t wait to reveal!

As you’re aware that we started blogging a month ago, and undoubtedly we’re learning and flooding with new information every day! Read our experience blogging to find out more.

We’ve been keeping ourselves occupied while lockdown at least to prevent ourselves from oversleeping, fatigue, and anxiety. But above all, we’re shaping our long-pending projects. One of those was to publish our son’s playful activities on YouTube.

BACKGROUND

A couple of years back, our son, Ayaan, asked us: “Mom, Dad! It’s great to see Ryan every day, and I enjoy watching him so much! Please make my video today”. Ryan, a YouTube star kid who plays along with his family, play with the toys, and publishes a video each day on his channel ‘Ryan’s World’. He inspired Ayaan. That’s when we realized his feelings, and soon after that, we started filming his videos.

THE TWIST

Though, it took a while to start the channel officially. Because he was anxious at the beginning, we felt that he was fearful because he was shy. He was afraid of being watched by many, other than just the immediate family. As parents, we could ultimately make sense of it, although he needed to confront his nervousness. Because he could be successful in life only if he masters to challenge his fear.

OVERCOMING FEAR

Soon we learned that despite getting nervous, Ayaan didn’t ask to turn off the camera (thank God!). Oh, boy! He enjoyed the filming experience! And what’s even more exciting? He felt confident and even more motivated for his next video shoot. Now, we publish his video every Monday on his channel ‘Ayaan’s Fun World.’ on YouTube. Watch his latest videos:

OUR THOUGHTS

To make a long story short, we’re sharing our thoughts with you in this post because we’ve successfully overcome his fear of facing a camera. We’re hopeful, we’re happy, and we’re thrilled with experimenting. We’ve been able to manage our kids’ fears in various other ways that we’ll share with you sometime.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Let us know in the comments box, how do you manage your child’s fear of anything?

WALK OF LIFE # 1: OUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR

As it has been almost 3 weeks since we published our first blog, we thought there’s no better time to update you on our experience with the blogging so far. After the exact 6 days from today, we’ll celebrate our 1-month anniversary blogging! We’re so pleased to make it till here, we’re blooming!

We were afraid

The idea of starting a blog was somehow intimidating to us, especially the view of sharing our life to you and many! Although we didn’t select this move right away, and to be honest with you, it took incredible effort and dozens of hours on researching the questions in our mind: ‘What should we talk about and for what reason? Is it going to be helpful in any way?’

We were doubtful

At first, we were uncertain whether anyone’s going to relate itself or not, or if many people care about what we’re writing. We kept dwelling for many hours and we reviewed our thoughts often, though the other side of us was passionate about writing, sharing and communicating. Let us tell you our little personality trait: We’re ‘optimistic souls’. So, in the end (though it was the beginning, you know!), we thought: ‘Really! do we care? Isn’t that natural for us? Nah forget all the fearful thoughts and let’s begin what we desire! Hence, putting all the anxiety aside we finally stepped up.

We’re working hard

While you get to see the reflection of our life every week, we’ve been putting enormous effort every day into our blog to give it a great shape. No pain, no gain!

We’re learning

Blogging is a journey, a learning process we must say! Every day, we do heaps of research, we get to understand the needs of individuals to learn about our niche. We already knew what we want to address, yet we were unaware of a specific niche. Considering we were going to talk about topics like lifestyle, health & fitness, wellness, travel & tourism, parenting, homemaking, family, self-care, even our hobbies, foods and beauty, on our blog. We called it ‘lifestyle blog’. Special thanks to Erin Gobler‘s helpful post that cleared our doubts.

So this is our journey so far. I hope you stay safe, take care and lots of love 🙂