Blog Update

Hey Everyone!

Hope you are doing well!

Three years ago, as a final year university student, I started this blog with very high hopes and aspirations. I truly dreamed that, after graduation, this blog would be my career and more importantly each and every post would include a wide breadth of information on that particular topic and I would spend hours and hours working to create such well-researched, helpful and informative posts.

As much as we humans can dream and plan, life has a funny way of creating situations that force us to change our plans.

Without going into too much detail, after graduation my fathers health took a turn for the worse and my primary responsibility since then has been to be a helping hand to him. This is definitely not something that I resent doing, rather I feel that it is my moral responsibility to do so because he truly is an amazing father and during my childhood he took incredibly great care of me and was and continues to be an all-around very loving and caring father to my siblings and I.

This responsibility has left me with very little time to blog in the way that I initially wanted to. However, I most definitely do not want to give up on this blog because my main purpose, from the very beginning, was simply to be a source of help to my dear readers.

This is why I have decided to continue blogging about a wide range of lifestyle topics in fairly short posts that will cover the topic from a very basic surface level. When it comes to the health and wellness posts, I will try to be as accurate as possible but please remember that my advice, and much of the health advice found on the internet, cannot replace the information provided by a medical professional.

I am also interested in posting more personal opinion lifestyle posts as well.

As of now, I cannot make any promises about how much or how often I post but nevertheless I hope that you will join me on my blogging journey!

With Love,

Yasmin

 

 

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Life a Bit Better

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well!

Spring is officially here and in a number of cultures around the world the coming of spring is celebrated as an opportunity for new beginnings.

In the spirit of Spring, or new beginnings, here are a few random tips to help make your life a bit better:

Prioritize Social Connections:

Countless research studies have shown that having strong and meaningful social connections with friends and family is one of the secrets to a long and healthy life. Of course, this is referring to in person face to face connections.

As cliché as this is, its important to remember that it is not about quantity rather it is about quality. Having just one person that you are close enough to is more than enough. Whenever possible try to prioritize your social connections with those nearest and dearest to you because life is simply so unpredictable.

Just recently a friend of mine lost her cousin whom she loved like a brother due to a tragic traffic accident. A week before this tragic incident my friend and this cousin of hers had planned to go to lunch together but my friend cancelled last minute because she felt that she was too busy. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way and we simply don’t have time to socialize but her tragic story reminded me that we really should reevaluate our priorities every once in a while.

Volunteer:

Research has shown that volunteering for a cause that you care about has health benefits for yourself as well. The results of one recent study showed that those who volunteered were as healthy as non-volunteers who were five years younger than them. You can volunteer at your local library, hospital, animal shelter, nursing home or anywhere else you would like. If you have a computer you can even volunteer virtually visit volunteermatch.org for a wide range of opportunities.

Consider a Clinical Trial:

As many of you already know, clinical trials are basically like scientific experiments to test the effectiveness of a particular medication or method of treatment. Of course, in order for clinical trial to be conducted people need to volunteer to participate in the clinical trial. Currently, in the United States there are about 61,000 open clinical trials but very few people actually participate in these trials. By participating in these trials you will definitely be doing something that is for the greater good. However, there is also a chance that you will also reap the benefits of whatever treatment or medication that they are testing in the trial.

Just Say No:

Honestly, this is probably one of the most difficult things for many people, including myself, to say. Many of us have difficulty saying “No” and as a result we tend to take on much more than we can handle. Of course, taking on too many things at once can lead to heightened levels of stress and overtime excessive stress can lead to a wide range of other health concerns such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, etc. I truly believe that saying “No” not only has health benefits for you but also for the other person because realistically if we have too much on our plates its impossible for us to give our full time and attention to any task.

Best Rest:

Sometimes life gets so busy and hectic that we forget to take a moment to truly relax. Also, another issue is that some people spend their downtime doing tasks that are not truly relaxing for them. If you feel that this is the case for you, be sure to take some time to find what are some of the most relaxing things for you and be sure to incorporate those activities into your days.

With Love,

Yasmin

My Experience with A Pet Cockatiel

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well!

I know that I haven’t mentioned this before but I have a pet bird, a cockatiel, and her name is Laily! This week marks one year since we brought her into our home. This past year, Laily has brought us so much joy and happiness so I wanted to create this post to share some of my personal tips and experiences of living with a pet cockatiel.

One of Laily’s first pictures!

Please remember that I am not an expert on cockatiels, these are just some of the things that I have learned over the course of this past year. If you are thinking of buying a cockatiel please do your own research first to determine if a cockatiel is a good pet for you.

Why a Cockatiel:

My fascination with cockatiels began about a year and a half ago at a family gathering. We had all gathered at my grandmother’s house and my younger cousin brought over her two pet cockatiels and I got to meet them for the first time! I was really amazed at how cute and friendly the cockatiels were!

My cousins’ female cockatiel!

After going home, I did some research of my own by watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading a few articles and I decided that I really wanted a pet cockatiel as well. Basically, a short while later, my family and I went to our local breeder and that’s how we brought Laily home!

Basic Info:

  • The scientific name for cockatiels is Nymphicus Hollandicus.
  • Cockatiels are originally from the warm semi-arid regions of Australia.
  • On average, the lifespan of the cockatiel is anywhere from 10 to 25 years.
  • Cockatiels are very curious and smart animals. They have the intellect of a two year old child.
  • Cockatiels are the second most common pet birds in the United States, right after the budgie/parakeets
Laily being curious/mischievous!

Pros and Cons:

Without a doubt, cockatiels can be amazing pets. They are adorable and many of them are very sociable as well.

However, in my experience, two of the major cons of having a cockatiel are their messiness and their tendency to make a lot of noise.

Cockatiels are very clean animals, in fact if you sniff them, they smell quite nice. However, they love to make a mess, especially when they are eating.

Everyday, when I clean Laily’s cage, my father sweeps the floor near her cage because she always spills seeds everywhere. This can definitely be an annoyance but I believe that some companies are starting to make spill-proof or mess-proof cages with a special enclosed area for feeding.

If you are sensitive to loud noise (especially loud squawking noises) I definitely would not recommend a cockatiel (or most other pet birds). In general, cockatiels can make a lot of noise in the mornings, then once again in the late afternoons/early evenings.

They will also make a lot of noise if they’re bored or if they are in a very bright and sunny environment. The excess light can overstimulate them.

Also, if you leave the room, they will make a lot of noise for you to come back. (I personally find this very endearing but others may find this to be an annoyance)

Male vs. Female:

In most cases, there not many physical differences between males and females. From what I have read males can be a bit noisier than females. However, males are able to whistle and sing while females are generally not able to do so.

My Cockatiel Care Tips:

Every morning I thoroughly clean her cage. I take out the removable bottom tray of the cage and wash and clean it. I then use a damp paper towel and soap to clean any remaining droppings and food particles. I also clean her food and water bowls and replace them with clean food and water.

As you can imagine, diet is essential to a healthy cockatiel.  Cockatiels love seeds but they should have a well balanced diet. Most experts recommend giving your cockatiel pellets. Also, try to give your cockatiel veggies and a little bit of fruit as well. Admittedly, this is something that I have to work on with Laily because I give her a fortified seed diet and I keep trying to introduce her to vegetables but she is a very picky eater!

When it comes to bathing her, I usually just mist her with a spray bottle filled with water. However, now that the weather is very hot I usually hold her under the sink and gently wet her. Most experts recommend only using water to clean cockatiels because their feathers contain a natural dusty powder which helps keep them nice and clean.

In fact, it is very common for cockatiels to preen themselves on a daily basis. When they are preening themselves it looks like they are itching themselves but in reality they are just preening/cleaning themselves.

To Trim or Not to Trim:

Many bird owners have very strong opinons on whether a pet bird should be flighted or should have trimmed feathers.

Obviously, in their natural settings, birds fly freely and this is a great form of excercise. However, in my opinion if you have a pet bird it is best to trim their feathers.

Primarily, this is for their own safety. However this also gives peace of mind to the bird owner (or bird parent) because if a bird accidently flies away it is very difficult to find the bird and the birds’ life may be in danger.

Bonus Tips:

  • When you first bring your cockatiel home, it is very tempting to want to immediately interact with it. However, it is best to give it a day or two to allow it to get used to its new surroudings.
  • Approach the cockatiel very gently: Start by just sitting next to the cage and softly talking with your new bird. As the bird becomes more comfortable you can put your hands inside the cage and gradually work your way up to having the bird perch on your finger. There are many YouTube videos and online articles that teach you how to tame your cockatiel. The best tip that I can give you is to be very gentle and make sure to have some spray millet with you as a treat for the bird.
  • I definitely only reccommend getting one cockatiel rather than two. Its much easier to form a bond with a single cockatiel. However, you must be able to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour of quality time with the cockatiel each day. If you don’t have that much time then I would reccommend getting two so they keep each other company.
  • Buy two or three toys for your cockatiel and alternate them every few weeks so your bird doesn’t get bored. Toys are essential to keep your cockatiel happy and calm and quiet.
  • During the first few weeks try to spend a lot of time with your new cockatiel so you too can form a strong bond. Eventually after the bond has formed it might be a good idea to set up specific time(s) of the day to play with your bird so the cockatiel knows what to expect and this structure can also keep them calm and quiet.
  • Make sure that the cage is not too small. It should be large enough for the bird to move around freely without hitting anything.
  • At nighttime cover the cage with a towel or thin blanket to prevent street lights or the sunrise from waking them up. They need between 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.
  • If you want your bird to be friendly with other people start having different family members or friends spend time with the bird. The sooner you start the more likely you are to have a friendly and well-socialized bird.
  • Laily, my pet cockatiel, has provided my family and I with an immense amount of joy and happiness. However, a cockatiel may not be the right pet for everyone. Honestly, each cockatiel has its own personality. Some may be more friendly and sociable than others. However, with a little bit of effort and a lot of patience, it is very possible to form a bond with a cockatiel!
Laily and I!

With Love,

Yasmin

Beauty Blogger Tag!!!

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well 🙂

I am very honored that The Chic Community nominated me for the beauty blogger tag in her post. I absolutely love her blog. I love how her posts are always filled with great pictures and I highly encourage everyone to go follow her blog if you haven’t already!

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Here are the questions she asked me along with my responses:

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

My family! I have been blessed with very loving and caring parents 🙂

Favorite TV Show?

Parks & Recreation

Favorite makeup brand?

Bare Minerals.  I usually stick with mineral foundations because of my somewhat oily and acne-prone skin.

Eyelash extensions or hair extensions?

I usually  don’t wear too much eye makeup so I would definitely choose hair extensions.

Are you a visual learner?

Not really. Seeing things definitely helps me understand them better but I would say that I am primarily an auditory and reading and writing type of learner.

When did you start your blog?

I started my blog in April 2016.

Headphones or Earphones?

Earphones

What is the one place you would love to go in the summer?

Turkey

Describe your style?

Overall I would describe myself as casual but when I am going to a gathering or party I definitely opt to dress elegantly.

Favorite purse?

My favorite purse that I currently own is a small Burberry tote that my lovely mom bought for me.

Once again, thank you so much to The Chic Community for nominating me for this tag!

Here are the bloggers that I nominate:

Rebecca from Younique-Rebecca

Cappuccinos and Biscottis

East West Musings

The Beauty of our Imperfection

Here are my questions:

How much do you love makeup? (Love it, hate it, or somewhere in the middle?

What is your favorite makeup product?

What is your favorite skin care product?

What is your favorite color to wear during the spring and summer?

If you could splurge on anything what would it be?

Favorite place that you have already traveled to or would love to travel to in the future?

If you had to choose between earrings, necklace, or bracelet which would you choose?

High heels or flats on a typical day?

Favorite TV show and/or song?

 

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

 

With Love,

Yasmin

 

 

 

Grandma’s Birthday Party!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

Hope you’re doing well! Although I won’t normally post too much about my personal life (just because there’s usually nothing too interesting going on 🙂 ) I do want to share something pretty exciting that occurred this past weekend.

As you can tell by the title my family and I arranged a surprise birthday party for my (maternal) grandma! My lovely grandma turned 80 this year. My parents came up with the idea of throwing a surprise birthday party for her like  two months ago and my cousins and I planned it out. One particular cousin went out of her way to make it extra special and she definitely deserves the most credit!

When the day finally arrived my my mom was busy cooking up a feast in our kitchen. Meanwhile  my cousin went to my grandma’s house and took her shopping so that my other cousins could set up the decorations in her apartment.

After we arrived at my grandma’s house we texted my cousin to bring grandma back and as she opened the door we all started singing happy birthday!  My grandma was literally in awe of everything and she was excited beyond words!

She later described her excitement by mentioning that she has never been so happy in her life and that no one has ever surprised her in such an amazing way before!!! Of course, this was music to our ears because it means that the hard work paid off 🙂

Planning this whole party took a lot of time, effort and cooperation but it was definitely worth all the joy and happiness that it brought to my lovely grandma!!!

Here are some pictures:

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Traditional yummy Afghan cuisine!
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The delicious and beautiful cake that my mom ordered from a local Japanese Bakery.
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The Birthday Queen herself! Trust me she usually always has a smile on her face but she was caught off guard in this one and of course, she was too busy cutting the cake 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed this!

 

With Love,

Yasmin