a little break

Hello beautiful people!

2016 truly had me exhausted and I just needed a few days to relax. That is until the ‘productivity junkie’ in me started gnawing at my insides, urging me to get up and do something before I got too comfortable in a lazy stupor.

 

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Don’t get me wrong. I do love those days when I can just eat junk and watch Downton Abbey reruns from season one all day into the night and then maybe set an hour aside to read 😀 But isn’t the satisfaction you get from being productive just a little bit more rewarding? It could be something as serious as finishing a project, or something as simple as setting up a date with your loved ones or friends. Just going outside, taking a walk. Soaking in all the beauty life has to offer. Doing something new, or going some place you’ve always wanted to but never had the opportunity to before. I hope this is how you’ll be spending your holidays. Doing something new, and being present 🙂

I recently had lunch at this lovely restaurant called The Arbor in Lavington, have you been there before? You should, it’s adorable! It’s like I was Alice Fatma, in Wonderland – felt like a sheer dream. I can’t find the right words to describe it, but I’ll try. It’s like this secret little wonderland hidden somewhere in Nairobi waiting for you to discover. Like you’re special, and it’s meant for you to find and step into a different world (lol, Fatma always in her dream world).

Complete with figurines of cute little monkeys, buddhas and frogs playing guitars – reminiscent of the Red Queen’s castle in Alice in Wonderland. A summer house mix was faintly playing in the background, cute children running around, friends chatting, the sunshine seeping through the rafters ever so perfectly. And green, lots of green. The only missing thing was candy hanging from branches but I guess the beads substituted for that in the theme. I think I may have gasped out loud several times just walking around the space. I could feel the love.

What an odd thought – ‘I could feel the love’. Love is not a ‘thing’ you can look for, because it already ‘is’ there. You just have to feel it. You could put yourself through the trouble of labeling it, ‘romantic’, ‘family’ etc. But it just beats the point doesn’t it? Love is life, and life is love.

I hope you’re enjoying your day! What have you been up to this festive season? I hope my blog can be a guide for anyone who’s looking for a new adventure to embark on. That’s the vision I have for pilgrimchic.com in 2017 – to be a guide for adventures and keep the good vibes flowing 🙂
Enough adventures for today, back to Downton Abbey now 😉

paradise gardens

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Sunday 11th December, 2016.

One of my (technically) nieces (we’re age mates) invited me to go with her for a picnic in Paradise Gardens (Google Maps link opens in new tab). My little brother tagged along and our first stop was to get some food. We got two chicken burgers and a chicken wrap from Galitos, some gum and water. I’d been to the movies the previous day and still had an uneaten Crunchie bar in my bag, which served as dessert.

We got there at about 1 pm which gave us ample time to relax and enjoy ourselves.

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People. It was beautiful. Probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve come to experience. Yes, experience, because ‘seeing’ doesn’t fully describe the effect such spaces have on your emotions. It was love at first sight.

Fresh air, birds chirping, bees buzzing around, sweet smelling flowers in the air and the sunshine was just perfect. We sought shade under one of the beautiful trees and set up our little picnic. Often times, one of us would just get up and walk to the little lake and stare into nothingness, just enjoying the peace and serenity. This immense sense of presence overcomes you, and you just feel so happy. See, all the three of us have sort of the same personality characteristics. We don’t need to talk all the time, we’re comfortable in silence because I guess, we think too much. But when we do feel the need to talk, we are very raw and perhaps even intense, because we want to get a point through. Does this make any sense?

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This place reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister-friend Nafisa when she took her mum for a walk in one of those beautiful British gardens with ‘perfectly manicured lawns’ and carefully pruned roses or whatever other varieties of flowers are in season. Her mother was elated, completely smitten by how beautiful the garden was. And then she asked, “If this is one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve laid eyes on in my life here on earth, can you imagine how beautiful the Gardens of Paradise really are”?

I don’t know how the Gardens of Paradise are described in the Bible, but I’ll end this post with a verse describing the Gardens of Paradise in the Qur’an.

Quran 56: 10-40

And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes. And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger, etc.), A spring there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.

SubhanaLah. Can you imagine what the Gardens of Paradise are like? :’)

saturday shenanigans three

saturday

Ahlan wa sahlan, my dear readers!

Can you tell how happy I am today? I’m so grateful to have more time to push myself harder everyday. To be better. It is a challenge, but it feels good to be growing. We can sometimes take it for granted so I have to keep reminding myself to find the good in every situation, even the bad. Especially the bad. Alhamdulilah 🙂
I pray Allah keeps guiding me towards experiences that will help me grow into the best version of myself. I’m sending lots of good vibes your way ❤

I can never seem to make plans ahead of time these days. Time seems to be moving by at a terribly fast pace and I don’t want to be left behind. I’ve been training my mind to be present – to savour every single moment that life brings my way. It becomes easier to keep track of my emotions, which then help me keep track of my thoughts.

I used to be able to make dates a week in advance, but these days I can only focus on what is directly ahead of me. My mind isn’t as busy as it used to be, which, I think, is a good thing. I seem to be more goal oriented, so it’s clearer and much more peaceful in there. For example, Vee and I have been planning to meet up for over a month now! ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ came out and it became a ‘we MUST meet now’ situation, but we kept putting it off for the past two weeks – until everything finally came into place.

I’ve come to realize the value of having an uplifting support system. People who see your value even though, maybe, you don’t amount to much at the moment. Not in the sad ‘boohoo I’m worthless’ type of way, but more like ‘I know where I want to be and I’m getting there one step at a time’. You know what I’m saying? Find people who know the essence of who you truly are. Granted, no friendship is perfect, but surround yourself with people who fill you up rather than make you feel less of yourself.

So we finally met up this Saturday at The Junction, and oh! The movie was amazing. I found myself laughing from my core, those very unrefined unladylike laughs that come deep within your gut. Everything was so funny, so enjoyable! I’m also that weird person who gets completely immersed in the 3D movie experience, reaching my arm out to touch the little butterflies or shards of glass that fly before my eyes 😀 So much so that I always leave the theatre with a headache, I focus too much in there.

We then passed by this cute jewellery shop called Sterns where Vee got some earrings and I bought a matching pair on impulse *covers face* Sterling silver studs with zircon crystals for only 1399/-! Woohoo 🙂 All good meetings should involve food, this is a must. So we passed by Art Caffe to fill our tummies and catch up on some girl talk to fill our souls. She had some wings and I had these garlic prawns mmh, so good. Slurp!

What have you been up to so far this weekend? I went on a picnic today so I’ll share a few pics soon 🙂

Dream big, and stay strong! ❤