Project Wedding: A Pantone-themed Bridal Shower

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All signage for the event was Pantone-themed

With spring — and love — in the air, it is officially the start of wedding season! As I slowly go through my photos from last year, I realize I never really shared the fab Pantone-themed bridal shower that my bridesmaids put together for me. This is a theme I really wanted to execute and knowing me, I know I wanted to have a hand in at least passing along some must-haves and working on a few DIYs.

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DIY large-scale poster backdrop

A big piece of the shower decor that I worked on was the Pantone backdrop for the dessert table. I designed and put it together on Adobe Illustrator and then printed off using Adobe Acrobat Reader with the tiling option. You can see the instructions for printing a poster at home here. This made it super affordable and easy to have a big ‘wow-factor’ backdrop without the price tag.

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Setup of the DIY perfume bar

There was a DIY perfume bar where guests could make their own little rollerball perfumes and mix their own scents. This was as simple as setting up some essential oils, a carrier oil and having the bottles and droppers ready. The guest also got a chance to name their scents by making a small label for themselves. This small activity was easy to setup and a great way to keep guests entertained. If you would like a post about this setup, just comment below!

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Pantone-themed favours and bridal shower games!

Other small details of this event were little drink tags using circle-punched paint chips and adding a Pantone-style code to each one.  Paint chips were also used to create the banner and as a photo mat for another game. It’s all about aesthetics! The best part of this was that it was an easy DIY banner with free paint chips.

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Watercolor paint guestbook

Aside from the obvious—and fun—bridal shower games, there were lots of smaller details with things such as the Pantone chip cookies and marshmallow pops, the water colour paint swatch guestbook, Pantone chip style candle favours and amazing little details in the purple being used across the board. One of my favourite things is to use wrapping paper as table runners!

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Marquee light signage for decor

I loved every bit of my Pantone-theme bridal shower. It was so exciting to see all the small details (it really is in all the details!) and the great work my girls put into it. I love how it all came together. For more inspiration and photos for bridal shower ideas, take a look below. For more wedding ideas and wedding DIYs, take a look at my Project Wedding page here.

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Pantone-themed sugar cookies

Comment on a theme you might want to see in the future. Follow me online for more on either Instagram or Facebook!

P.S. These photos are gathers from my guests so the lighting may not be consistent on all of them!


A resort-free trip to Mexico

There is a lot more to Mexico than resorts and full days on the beach. Yes, I know many people head south to enjoy beaches, sun and sand in order to relax – and there is nothing wrong with that – but I just can’t be that person. Trust me, I tried! 

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The beautiful coast of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

During our time in Mexico, we visited a beach twice and although the first time was really fun, we just couldn’t get into it the second time around. 

During the week we were gone, we visited Cozumel, Tulum and Play del Carmen (for a short time)! We balanced out being on-the-go and relaxing on the beach. Our itinerary was as follows:


Overlooking the Caribbean from Cozumel, Mexico

Day 1: On the first day, we took the time to explore the downtown area of Cozumel, the boardwalk, eat some local food and check out the touristy places that cruise-goers flooded – we even popped into a grocery store! Cozumel is not massive, and a lot of it is actually untouched territory, so it really is doable in a day or two. The island of Cozumel is known for snorkelling and diving because of the coral reefs around the island. There is also the beautiful ‘other side’ of the island which is very remote – almost untouched and breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately we couldn’t get there without a car and renting one would mean using it for a whole day. We had to make the decision to let it go since there were other things on the mainland we wanted to see more. 

Cozumel is very tourist-friendly. We would walk around the downtown area, where our hotel was, until midnight and the bars that were open were full of tourists from the resorts or nearby hotels.


Speed-ferry between Cozumel and mainland Mexico

Day 2: The first thing we did the next morning was get on a speed ferry to go across to Playa Del Carmen from Cozumel.

It takes only 45 mins and is only about $6 return. The tickets can be used on any day and it’s cheaper to buy it at the pier directly from company. There are a few desks along the pier but not all boats come back until late night. We chose the one that had an option to come back as late as 11 p.m.

Play Del Carmen’s beach area is really vibrant and this fun party-atmosphere goes until the late hours. You can find all of the well-known brands on their ‘5th Ave.‘ including Nike, Zara, Tous, Bershka and more!  Once we got off the boat, we had lunch along the beach and roamed around the stalls and shops before making out way up a few streets to catch a local bus. This bus was packed full with both tourists and locals and we paid about $5 to get from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum by bus. The local bus is really safe and a lot cheaper than taking a taxi. 


Super-cute AirBnB in Tulum, Mexico

Once we arrived in Tulum, we checked into our really cute AirBnB and went for a stroll in the small town. We planned on going out to Chichén Itzá the next day so we went straight to the bus station to get details on tickets and scheduling. After coming across a full-day tour which was already pre-planned and included swimming in the Cenotes (sinkholes), visiting the ruins, lunch and visiting a small local town (Valladolid), we went with that option. This tour was a lot more expensive when I looked online and I was really glad to find it at a fraction of the price ($56) in-person.


Picture-perfect, powder-white sand on the beach in Tulum, Mexico

After this, we went straight to Tulum’s famous beaches. Although we didn’t visit the Tulum ruins, we got to enjoy an afternoon at the beach and I cannot explain how beautiful it was. With powder-white sands and turquoise waters, this beach was heaven! We used the local bus or shared van, also known as a Colectivo, to get to the pathway to walk down to the beach and took it back to our AirBnB once we were done. I just wanted to keep taking photos!


Waiting for our delicious vegan dinner at Restaurare in, Tulum, Mexico

Our evening in Tulum was spent at a beautiful Vegan restaurant called Restaurare. The vibe of this place was so amazing – almost making you feel like you are dining in the middle of a jungle. The restaurant was totally outdoors with the original trees still in place with dining tables setup around them. The food was really, really good but we were pretty full and couldn’t finish it all. We had Soy Tacos, Traditional Mole and Mayan Curry. If I could choose again, I would order less for sure! I would also try going to that area during the day time if I got the chance. It is right along the water and although we could hear it, and see the stars in the sky at night, it would’ve been beautiful to see in the daytime. Once we took a cab back, we ended our night strolling the downtown strip, enjoying the chill vibe of the small town.


Waiting at a super-cute outdoor coffee shop before our tour starts!

Day 3: With an early 8:00 a.m. start to our full-day tour, we made sure we slept on time and woke up early to make it to our tour. This was a long day and we had our bags with us – thankfully we packed light and were assured the coach-sized bus would have cabins for our bags, which it did! We started this day at a general meeting spot with the rest of the group at a really cute local coffee shop. Again, this was a guided tour which I will cover in another post! We got back to Playa Del Carmen after this tour by about 8:30 p.m. and spent time having eating and relaxing on 5th Ave. before taking a 10 p.m. ferry back to Cozumel. This boat ride was one of the scariest ones of my life! It was pitch-black, in a speed-ferry and while everyone else looks normal, I felt like I was gripping my seat for my life! Looking back, it’s almost laughable but, at the time, I was pretty scared! Our hotel (which we didn’t check out of) was right by the ferry docks so we were able to get to bed right away!


Good reads and good eats at the beach in Cozumel, Mexico

Day 4 & Day 5 were spent relaxing on the beach. On the first day we snorkelled and kayaked in clear turquoise waters and relaxed on beach chairs while eating guac and drinking delicious fruity drinks. It was my first time snorkelling and I had such a great time. I was a bit nervous at first around the fish but after a while, it really didn’t bother me. We paid to get into both of the beaches but this included one free drink and the activities. The second one we went to, Paradise beach, had a beautiful large pool, water games and activities, hammocks to relax in and a nice pier to walk down. This beach was really fun because it had that ‘resort’ vibe but I couldn’t imagine spending everyday there for a week. By the time we left, I was more than ready to go!


Strolling along the boardwalk on our last day in Cozumel, Mexico

On Day 6 we spent time shopping for gifts, strolling the waterfront in a different direction than what we did on the first day, had dinner at an Italian restaurant a few blocks up from the main centre and then had delicious churros on the street of the main centre. I really wanted more on our last day but the stall didn’t open until the evening and we had a flight to catch!


Waves crashing along the shore in Cozumel, Mexico.  A welcomed sight for a Canadian in February!

Cozumel was one of those trips we decided on very last-minute and I am glad I went. I don’t think I would have been able to spend all my time on the small island and both of us were very glad we went over to the other side. In the future, I think I would base myself in Playa Del Carmen instead of Cozumel but at the same time, this gave us the chance to have a much more laid-back trip in comparison to the ones we’ve had in the past. Each night we would go down to the local bars (our hotel was in the main square) and watch cover bands play, see breakdancers perform and just people watch while sitting on a bench under a tree. This was a nice trip and very different from other ones I have done. I would highly recommend Tulum to those who want to try a different type of trip to Mexico.

I would also really say skip the resort and enjoy the real, local culture. You meet so many more people this way, learn more about where you are and get the chance to eat really good food!

I will be sharing my tour and experience at the Chichen Itza in another post, really soon.

Below are some more photos from our trip. Enjoy!

Project Wedding: Weddingbells Feature – A Romantic Cross-Cultural Wedding

A couple of months ago I shared on my Instagram page that I had been featured in Weddingbells Magazine. I am extremely excited to say that the full details and lots of photos by my fab photographer, Belinda Burtt are now featured on their website. A list of my amazing vendors can be found there too!

I also thought I would share the wedding highlights video below as well. Fortress Studios did one heck of a job on it!

Enjoy and be sure to ask anything below!


How to travel more for less

Since graduating from university, I have had the pleasure to travel at least once a year. The first two places I went to were in the US (Washington + Chicago). In 2014 I got the chance to go to India and in 2015, Pakistan.

Over the last one year though, I was able to go to a few more places – Greece, Turkey, Spain, France, England, the US (Orlando this time) and Mexico. Alhamdulillah I have been lucky to do this and hope to continue traveling!  The key to being able to travel more is to spend less and stay on a budget.


Swimming pool at the ITC Maharashtra in Mumbai, India

Here are my top ten ways to keep your wallet and experience happy!



Mazar-e-Quaid, also known as the Jinnah Mausoleum; Karachi, Pakistan


1. Travel during the off-season

Sure, summer is great, but there are also the downsides – higher prices and children everywhere! Choose to go on the cusp of these popular times and you’ll enjoy shorter lines, fewer crowds and cheaper ticket prices. It’s also extremely hot in the summer. We went to Greece in the summer and at one point during the day in Santorini, we actually stood in an covered walkway for about ten minutes to stay away from the heat!


Wedding celebrations in Mumbai, India


2. Travel with friends

We have yet to do this but are planning something soon and can already see the benefits of costing out cars/cabs/accommodation when doing it in a group.


Hot air balloons over the beautiful region of Cappadocia, Turkey


3. Travel for longer

If you’re going to fly all the way to Europe, take the opportunity to travel within the EU. Last summer, we flew from Greece to Turkey for less that $150 each and only paid about $500 or so to get from Cappadoccia to Barcelona. We would have had to pay much more if we wanted to go there from here. While you may not always have the long vacation time, if you do, make use of it. Sometimes it’s better to go on one long trip instead of two or three shorter ones. It feels much more relaxing this way too!


The view from our Airbnb in Santorini, Greece


4. Stay in an Airbnb or with friends/family

Fancy hotels are nice – if you’re planning to spend time in them. We splurged on our honeymoon hotels in Santorini because we planned on spending a good chunk of our time relaxing and just hanging out. We also stayed at a nicer hotel in Barcelona because we had just dealt with a whole ordeal and wanted something fuss-free. Airbnbs offer a lot of options and some of the apartments are even nicer than hotels. They offer a lot more autonomy and can even give you the option to cook if you choose to do that.


Some posage in front of Kensington Palace in London, England

5. Use public transportation + walk – a lot!

Always remember to pack comfortable shoes. The best way to see the most of the city is to walk around, get lost, discover new places and meet locals. Whenever we travel, we research the best ways to get around using public transportation. Obviously, there will be smaller places where you can’t always get a public train or bus but you can always arrange for a shuttle to take you to and from the airport and this is usually cheaper than a cab.


Walking in the beautiful gardens at the Chateau in Versailles, France

6. Pack smart

Sometimes you can get away with a carry-on and other times it just won’t happen! Many flights offer really cheap rates but then get you with their luggage fees. Always read ahead and look into this before booking your flight. At times, it is still cheaper than going with another airline, but again, do your research! Another work-around this is to take one shared larger piece of luggage and a backpack that still meets the dimension requirements and split your clothing into this. Look at ways to minimize what you’re taking by using travel-sized toiletries, wearing a dress instead of a top and pants and reuse bottoms!


La Sagrada Familia; Barcelona, Spain

7. Avoid shopping

You can be doing really well and then go all out on the last day by popping into a mall – trust me, we’ve been there. There is nothing wrong with buying things when you are away, there are lots of new styles, great deals and different stores! If you do plan to shop, build that into your overall budget and remember you are not always paying in your own currency so the prices will be different than the number you see on the tag. If you do shop, research what the minimum-spend is for tax-refunds. The amount you spend varies by country and you need to get a form from the store in order to get this refund at the airport. If you don’t do it before you leave the country, you won’t get some money back!


In front of Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom. Orlando, Florida

8. Stick to your budget!

I can’t stress this enough! Build a budget AFTER doing your research. This way you can have a realistic idea of what things cost, how much is too much and what a local meal can cost you. Having parameters and tracking what you spend will keep you in-check and you won’t go home with a big credit card bill to face. Although it’s easier to track if you take cash, sometimes it’s just more convenient to use your credit card. This way you can check online or have a record of what amount you spent where. Generally, we just jot things down into our phones to get an idea of what we’re at in terms of spending and this way we can ensure we don’t go over budget.


Traditional Turkish breakfast in Göreme, Cappadocia

9. Eat like a local

Not only is this a great way to eat different foods, it’s also another way to have a budget-friendly trip. You can’t always eat street food or at Mcdonald’s (you won’t want to!) but there are lots of places that you can dine in that the locals go to on a daily basis. If your hotel has breakfast, eat there and then spend a bit more on lunch. If you have an Airbnb, chances are you will have access to a kitchen and a chance to make your own meals or at least your own breakfast. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nice restaurants but treat those as ‘date-night’ or a special dinner. We always try to go to one really nice restaurant that is vegetarian or vegan so we can enjoy at least one higher-end meal of that region instead of a series of restaurants with mediocre food and high prices. The two notable places we ate were in Spain and Mexico. In Spain we are a delicious vegetarian tapas dinner with a tasting menu (Sésamo) and in Mexico we ate at a vegan Mexican restaurant by the sea, at night, amongst the stars and untouched forest (Restaurare).


On the Acropolis – Old temple of Athena in Athens, Greece

10. Research, research, research!

It all comes down to this! Do your research, take your time and plan your trip. Don’t go somewhere because someone else just went. Go somewhere that you want to explore, somewhere that you know you will have a good time and somewhere that you can learn more about who you are. I always create an itinerary which is very detailed but not rigid. I am happy to explore other options, see what a local might recommend but I always want to have everything I want to get to on my list so that I don’t forget. I don’t always get to everything but that’s what second trips are for! I use online resources such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and travel websites such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. I tend to get a rough guides pocket guide or guidebook if available because it goes into every depth and detail and I can mark which parts I want to see or use the maps to create my itinerary based on the physical location of places. Lastly, I like to use Instagram to search things by using the hashtags. This lets you see what other people are doing and you can look into it more.


The Louvre at night. Paris, France.

That’s it – that’s everything I’ve got! I can go into further detail on each of these points if that is something of interest. Let me know in the comments below!

Do you have any go-to budget travel tips? Let me know this below too!


Happy Travels!

#ProjectWedding – Overview

I have finally got around to posting some photos from my wedding on the blog! I know I shared my journey throughout the year but there is a lot of I have not shared – including these photos!


Henna Party Stage Decor

My wedding was a total of four days. Yes, a lot but its sort of the norm in my culture. The first night was the henna party while the second was the day of the ceremony – a brunch and daytime event.  After this, I had two receptions – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Let’s just say I am glad I had some time off before heading back to work!


Overlooking the First Day Nikkah Reception Stage with head Table in the foreground

The reason for two wedding receptions? Typically we have the first with a majority of the bride’s guests while the second is with mainly the groom’s guests. At times, these events can be merged into one but they can become really big!

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Second day Walima Stage Decor

Here’s a teaser of a mix of photos for you to enjoy. Comment below with any questions you may have and I will keep that in mind while I organize more photos for upcoming posts. These posts will be focused on each event’s details and how to save money when planning for a big wedding.

Eiffel Tower

Paris is always a good idea

Now, I’ve never been the type of that has always dreamed of going to Paris. It was totally a place I would always want to go, but never in my top ten. Seems hard to believe, I know –
but it’s the truth.

Petit Palais

In front of Petit Palais

So when the opportunity to go presented itself, I got well into my research and got really excited! 

Grand Palais

Some basic posing in front of Grand Palais

We spent about four days in the magical city and I can’t wait to go back! There is no way you can ever do all of Paris in one shot, but we definitely have gotten a good start on it.

Pont Alexandre

A view of Les Invalides across Pont Alexandre III

In our four days, we learned to navigate the metro, get familiar with the ancient cobblestone streets and discover the beauty of that keeps bringing people back. 

The posts I’ve planned for my Paris series will include details on how to get to Versailles by train, best tips for a short trip to Paris and how to do Paris on a budget.

Let me know if you’d like to see more! Let’s hope I can get these done and then backtrack by way back to my posts from this summer!

Here are some photos to give you ideas for a quick Paris trip. 



Want to see more? Keep up over on Instagram, Twitter and my Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow to see more photos from our adventures!

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Arriving in Athens

The first sight you see when landing into the Athens airport is the vast amount of mountains all around the big city. Of course, this is the Mediterranean landscape but it totally escaped my memory when I saw it in person. A beautiful breathtaking view and we only just landed!

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The City of Athens behind us

We once again took public transit to get to our hotel in the city centre and it was a very smooth ride. The only part that is no fun is having to drag your suitcase up narrow streets.

Downtown Athens can be a shock to someone arriving in a busy city for the first time. I have been to both India and Pakistan and walked around in large crowds and dirty streets on hot days so I wasn’t as shocked as I would have expected. We stayed right in the centre of the city, walking distance from the main areas. We checked in and decided to nap but ended up sleeping for much longer than we anticipated! We got ready really quickly and walked out to head to the Acropolis.

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The Acropolis from across

Even from ground level, it’s an amazing sight to see. The highest point of the city looking down on the population of Athens. The Acropolis was used as the city center and was at the highest point to keep its city safe in case of war or unruly floods etc. We decided to walk our way there and went through the longer way up the mountain with lots of stairs and got a view of the city I can’t forget. On our walk we passed along cute little shops, lots of lemon trees, grape vines and olive trees in public places. We passed many other ancient buildings, local tavernas and lots of tourists. The walk up was breathtaking and scenic and that’s what helped justify the fact that we missed going into the Acropolis that day!

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Looking up to the Acropolis from the Plaka District

Yes, we didn’t look at the hours and the last entrance was at 7:30, we got there at 7:35 and it was closed off. We were both quite upset but couldn’t really do anything. We walked across the entrance to a hill everyone had gathered on to view the sunset. In the time we missed it we planned to come back earlier before our departure to Turkey to make sure we can go up and see it. How we managed that? That’s enough for a whole other post!

Here are some of my favourite photos from Athens:



Have you had any travel troubles similar to mine? I’d love to hear! Comment below 🙂

As always, you can keep up with my over on Instagram, Twitter and my Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow to see more photos from our adventures!


Santorini Sunset

The Sunsets of Santorini

You’ve heard, I’ve heard, it’s a thing people know – The sunset in Oia is one of the most famous in the world. Why? What makes the sunset in Santorini so good? How about that you can see the whole entire sun, with bare eyes, the whole way, right until in dips below? The calm Aegean waters reflecting back the golden light, or that amazing liquid gold swimming in the sky? It’s one of those moments you never forget and never want to miss when you’re there, something that will leave you speechless once it’s over with.

Watching the sunset in santorini is a must-do, it’s not overrated and it’s not a waste of time – we saw the sun set each night we were there. It’s an event every night, it ends with a clap from the audience, it’s an intimate moment, even with hundreds of people and cameras around you. Each time we looked out to the horizon and watched the sun set, we were amazed at how quickly it all happened and how the sky changed in those few minutes.

I was lucky to see four sunsets while in Santorini, all from different vantage points, three in Oia (that’s where we were staying) and one from Fira, the capital of Santorini. I also made a point to see the sunrise each morning on our balcony. While I didn’t get a chance to go to different places to catch the beauty, I’ve listed the best places to see the sunset in Santorini below. I’ve also included photos of the sunsets in Santorini and although they don’t do it justice, they’re a beauty on their own.

Top places to see the sunset in Santorini:

  1. The village of Oia
    • So many places to do this. Obviously the famous windmill, any restaurant that offers the view (we ate at Strogili, as recommended by our friends), at the the kastro walls in Oia (ruins of an old medieval fortress or castle). The crowds here build up quick so be sure to go ahead and secure a good seat.
  2. Imerovigli
    • Watching the sunset from here is much quieter, you see the sun setting behind the island of Thirassia – a quaint little village on its own island of only about 300 residents. We got a chance to visit in the day during our boat tour.
  3. Firostephani
    • We watched the sun at its midpoint from Galini cafe as we took a break between our walk from Imeroveigli to Fira and had a fabulous vantage point. I would highly recommend having a dinner there and staying for the show!
  4. Fira
    • Fira is a bustling town, the capital of the island with lots of vantage points to see the sunset. We walked up from the bus stop in Fira and set ourselves up in front of the Orthodox Metropolitan Church, along the road to the right of Hotel Atlantis. Here’s a map for reference.
  5. On a boat or sunset cruise
    • Although we did not do this, we saw the boats sail into the sunset each evening. I can’t image what it looked like from down there, but I hope one day to find out! Here’s the company we used for our day tour. I will do a separate post on that later on – they we’re great!
  6. The lighthouse at Akrotiri.
    • We were told by a local at a restaurant in Fira that her favourite spot on the island was here. We didn’t get a chance to make it to that side of the island, but I’d trust a local’s recommendation anytime.



Honeymoon Holiday Highlights

Hello all!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen my many adventures last month as I traveled to Greece, Turkey and by-chance, Spain. This week, I will be taking a deeper dive into each place I visited with some tips on where to go, what to see and of course, what to eat!

We left exactly a month from today and journeyed across the Atlantic to visit Athens, Santorini (my fave!), Cappadocia and Barcelona. We had originally planned to visit Istanbul but were stuck in Turkey because of the Military Coup. It was nerve-wracking and really did suck, but we tried to make the most our trip anyway. Because we chose to leave the country and fly out from somewhere else to get back home, we ended up in Barcelona. We were both really upset that we did not get to see Istanbul but really hope to go back someday – maybe for an even longer time that we planned, IA.

I am looking forward to creating a a guide to honeymooning in Europe. We’ve taking lots of photos, videos and can’t wait to share.

Below are some photos from my trip – let me know what you think!

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Eat: Easy Microwave Granola

Hello all!

It’s no easy feat to write about food while fasting and I am sure you can all agree. I did, however, have to share this delicious recipe I tried out last night before Iftaar. For some reason, I just love watching recipes and food videos while fasting, not sure why but I just do!

Usually when I watch these videos, I end up trying a few things out, just because I have the time to. A great thing about that is that I end up with a lot of food for Iftaar and usually end up having it over a few days. This makes prep very easy and gives more time to doing what we’re meant to do during the Holy Month of Ramadan – pray.

This year, Ramadan in Toronto has been particularity difficult – with fasts as long as 17 hours! Anyway, I had a lot of fun making some delicious things yesterday, including some beef kebab skewers, a flour-less cake and delicious (and easy) granola! I loved how it turned out. I did swap out some ingredients to use what I already had on hand. I used Agave for my sweetener and a combination of rolled oats, steel cut oats, chopped almonds and unsweetened chocolate (added after it was cool) and a drizzle of honey on top once it was ready and cooled.


I got the recipe from Gemma Stafford of Bigger Bolder Baking – one of my fave cooking channels on YouTube. She has popular meals that are really easy to make. This microwave granola was from the video below. I will definitely be trying and sharing results of more things I make in the microwave.

I would love to see what you make in your microwave using these fab recipes. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook to get updates on blog posts and other things I am making/doing!

 Hope you enjoyed!