Chicago Architecture Biennial Visual Log

Afroz and I visited the Chicago Cultural Center on Sunday to check out the Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition. We had a great time viewing all of the projects. It was nice to see many familiar names from IIT in the exhibition. The Biennial will go on until January, so be sure to check it out soon!

View the SEAM Visual Log for Sunday:


We need to be less pretentious when experimenting with photography and videography.

One day while scrolling through YouTube, my husband came across a guy named Casey Neistat. All we knew about him was that he made interesting films and didn't take filmmaking way too seriously.

What do I mean by that?

He experiments a lot and doesn't treat his cameras like valuable objects that can't be used adventurously. He uses average point-and-shoot cameras, cell phones, and every now and then, fancy DSLRs to shoot his films. He creates vlogs and has also created some films for companies like Nike. He also had a show on HBO that he filmed with a small point-and-shoot. I recently caught up with some of his YouTube videos. I suddenly respect his work way more than I did before. His videos are simple, but visually compelling. Casey focuses on telling a story and not on using fancy equipment. He tells simple stories taken from his everyday life. According to one of his recent YouTube videos about filmmaking, Casey truly believes that amazing films can be produced with basic cameras. The main thing that matters is the story.

I've seen many vlogs on YouTube. There are so many makeup vlogs, fashion vlogs, hijab vlogs, and random vlogs on the Internet. I have to admit, some of these vlogs irritate me. I'm not the kind of person who obsesses over certain YouTube icons and wonders what these people are doing constantly. I just never understood it. Casey Neistat's channel, on the other hand, is something different to me. I can't really explain why, but his videos are just simple and intriguing.

I decided to try making quick, short, informal videos for my blog. I post a lot of stories and photos on here, but thanks to Casey, I was inspired to try a different kind of video blogging. I'm not sure if this interest of mine will last, but I have a camera that shoots video and I've always wanted to mess with it. Here's my first "Visual Log" from yesterday. It's nothing special, but everyone needs to start somewhere, right? Afroz and I decided to run some errands and get some fresh air by the lake at night:


Histography | An Interactive Timeline

Happy Friday!

I just came across something I need to dedicate a post to. I can't get over this amazing interactive timeline, designed by Matan Strauber. According to his website, "'Histography' is an interactive timeline that spans across 14 billion years of history, from the Big Bang to 2015.The site draws historical events from Wikipedia and self-updates daily with new recorded events. The interface allows for users to view between decades to millions of years. The viewer can choose to watch a variety of events which have happened in a particular period or to target a specific event in time. For example you can look at the past century within the categories of war and inventions."

The graphics are beautiful and the user experience is functional and straight forward. Even the sound adds to the wonderful experience. Learning history has never looked so exciting. View the timeline here: histography.io


IKEA-ing Up Our Living Room

Salaam, everyone!

I shared a small piece of our apartment in this post, but I thought I'd zoom out and show a bit more of our living room. The windows are thankfully pretty big in this space, so we love the amount of daylight we get. If I could live, work, eat, sleep in our living room, I would. I love having a lot of daylight wherever I am. Anyway, Alhamdulilah with some help from some old wedding gift cards (yes, we used some of them after 2 years) and some saving up on our part, we were able to liven up our living room to look and feel comfortable. Fair warning, a lot of it is filled with IKEA decor. Can you blame us? We're not going to spend a million dollars on apartment furniture :)

We started by getting a sofa. The NOCKEBY sofa from IKEA is super comfy. The fabric gets softer over time and the cushions are just right. We decided to get the grey color, although it looks pretty beige when you see it in person. My husband really wanted a chaise and I'm glad we went with it. It serves as a nice divider to separate the living area from the rest of the apartment. 

We had a gift card to HomeGoods and I had no idea what I wanted to get from there until I saw their decorative pillow section. They have way too many options, which took us way too long to decide which four pillows we wanted for our sofa. We both love blue, so we just went with one navy blue and one light blue set of patterned pillows to liven up the sofa. Both pillows are nice and soft. They're great for when my nieces want to lay back and watch a cartoon when they come over :) 

The coffee table is from the IKEA STOLKHOLM series. There's a nice coating on the table that keeps it from getting scratched and stained. We still use coasters on it, but during the last party we had, it withstood everything Alhamdulilah. 

The frames above the sofa are from the IKEA RIBBA series. We didn't use the hooks and hangers that came with each frame to put them up, because we got fed up with them. We decided to use some good old 3M stickers to hang them up. I have to admit, measuring the spaces and being as OCD as we are, the frames took forever to hang. But now that we're done putting them up, we love them. The photos are from our travels to Greece, Turkey, Dubai, and Scandinavia. We ordered the prints from Nations Photo Lab, since the size had to be 12 x 12. They did an awesome job. We love the quality of the prints and they came in right on time. 

The rug was probably the most difficult thing to buy. The carpet in our apartment is sort of rough and low and we wanted a soft area rug for our living room. Most of the rugs at IKEA are pretty flat and rough. But eventually, we came across a rug that worked perfectly with our color scheme and fit our requirements of a big, soft and durable area rug. The IKEA MARSLEV rug is the best rug, ever. It's soft, pretty, and just awesome. Whenever we have friends over, they can't believe it's from IKEA for the same reasons we were hesitant to buy a rug from IKEA in the first place.

Finally, the candle holders I mentioned in my previous post sit on our BESTA TV unit next to our TV. The candle holders are from Hobby Lobby's intense section of decor. Seriously, when I go to Hobby Lobby, I get so distracted by all the stuff they have there. They have a thing for everything and it's insane. But eventually, you learn to focus on your shopping list rather than getting carried away with the million candle holders, lanterns, and other random things they have. It's the same with IKEA and Target too. Anyway, I love Hobby Lobby's 40% coupons, though. Get on that, people.

So, thanks to IKEA, HomeGoods, and Hobby Lobby we were able to spice up our living room--we now have a place to relax and catch up on our Netflix shows. Being on a tight budget, we took a while to do this. One thing that frustrated me whenever I saw blogs about interiors and how other people decorate their spaces, is how they make it seem like this magical process. Save up, budget, use coupons, gift cards, check out some blogs, and make your space your own. I really think having a nice space, even if you're staying there temporarily, is super important. It's part of every person's well being. We have to eat, sleep, and live well inshaAllah :)


Graduation Party Invitation

I love creating invitations for any event I can possibly create invitations for. It just makes the invitation so much more thoughtful and personal. My parents recently hosted a graduation party for my sister, brother-in-law, and me. We all graduated from different professional programs and my parents were beyond happy and love throwing parties. My mom asked me to design the invitation. I have to admit, it was a little weird for me to design an invite with my own name on it, but as my mom put it, "Why would we go to someone else when we all know you love doing this?" I agreed and got really excited. I did a quick sketch and jumped right into it.

My sister graduated from Pharmacy school and my brother-in-law graduated from Podiatry school. I put together icons that represented all three of our areas of study and kept it simple. Gray and teal are one of my favorite color combinations, so that's what I went for.

If you have an event coming up and would like some simple invites to spread the word, contact me! I'd love to help :)

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