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Ask Me

Did you know that you could Ask Me Anything anonymously?

Q: How did you and Ali meet? Post wedding pics!!

Ali and I met during our final year of college. He attended UCLA and I went to USC and we were rivals! But we didn’t let that stop us since neither of us really care a lick about football.

We were engaged about a year after we met and despite the fact that we were 23 and had no clue what we were getting ourselves in to we got married in June of 2000.

Wedding pictures can be found here… http://fancythatfancythis.com/2010/05/27/how-we-met/

Q: How did you and Ali meet? And what was it about him that you fell in love with?

Here is my 100% honest but shallow answer…Ali had a convertible and an unlimited budget and he spoiled me like I’d never been spoiled before. He threw me a birthday party for a dozen friends at a rooftop restaurant 2 weeks after we met. We hit all the best restaurants in Beverly Hills and Hollywood and splitting the bill was never even an option. He invited me to Hawaii a few months after we met and even though my parents naturally said “no way” I was pretty excited to be invited anyway.

Here is my 100% honest but not-so-shallow answer…Ali sat through Great Expectations on our first Valentine’s Day even though he likely thought my preoccupation with Gwyneth was a bit scary. He catered to my ridiculous requests like driving to In-n-Out to get me a hamburger and then driving to McDonald’s to get me fries because I couldn’t have one without the other. He let me buy our first condo even though he had no idea where it was or what it looked like because he was working in France for 3 months before we got married. Talk about trust!

After all these things how could I NOT have married him?

Q: How did you and your husband meet? How did you know he was the one?

There is no simple answer to this question but I’ll leave you with this….ask yourself if a guy would put his jacket over a puddle for you to walk over so that you don’t ruin your shoes. If the answer is yes then I say there is a pretty good chance that he is the one.

And just to clarify I have never asked Ali to do this but I am 100% sure that he would if I ever asked him to.

Q: What does your husband do? You both seem to have a lot of travel opportunities! AND I love the look of your daughter’s room from your About pg! nice pic of the family! did you decorate it yourself, or hire someone (or a friend)?

Ali works in marketing for a computer hardware/software reseller. He has always travelled quite a bit and now that my job is flexible I am finally able to go with him from time to time. I also take real vacations now, something I never used to be able to do. That will soon change though as Maya starts kindergarten in the fall and I won’t be able to take off whenever I feel like it anymore. Not that I should be doing that anyway, as I have a child!

Maya’s room was decorated, for the most part, by my mother. When we moved in I had the stripes done by a painter but my mom did almost everything else. My contribution was the rug which I don’t particularly care for anymore and I ordered the canopy for Maya’s bed. I like things to look nice but home decor doesn’t particularly interest me so I leave it to people who know what they are doing.

Q: What skin products do you use?

If I may steal part of a quote from Clueless – my skin is like a Monet…from afar it looks pretty decent but up close it’s a big mess. What I’m trying to say is that although my skin looks okay in the photos you see on this blog it really isn’t that good! When I was younger the dermatologist gave me every prescription known to man with no results. It was only after I eliminated sugar, soy, peanuts, almonds, and dairy that my skin and I formed a fairly good relationship. I use Cetaphil face wash and SPF 15 moisturizer, Avalon Organics Night Creme, and I wear little to no makeup. Things are precarious but I’m hoping for the best.

Q: What is your typical workout routine?

I used to be obsessed with the gym….you can find that post here. I still exercise every day but no longer at the pace I used to. I do yoga 3-4 days a week (from yogadownload.com), I run 1-2 days a week, I do strength training 2-3 days a week, and I walk a few miles every day. Lately I’ve been determined to get to level 3 of the 30 Day Shred and I am slowly making my way there.

Q: Do you have a secret wish for your daughter, in terms of her career plans, talents, etc? What I mean to say is, do you have a dream for her?

This is a really good question. Like any parents I hope that Maya will do well academically and I secretly want her to be a high-flying investment banker like my brother. But I’d be just as happy if she was a chef. I just want her to love what she does so that she isn’t 34 and flailing around like her silly mother is.

Q: What are your top 5 favorite foods?

Prior to my numerous allergies, my favorite foods were bread of any kind, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, waffles, and scones. Carb city, right? So how ironic is it that I am gluten-intolerant?

Now that I can barely eat anything food doesn’t really hold that much interest for me anymore. My favorite things now are those that don’t bother my stomach – rice, eggs, salmon, dark chocolate, and corn chips. And right now I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t just jinx myself!

Q: What is your favorite book?

There is no way I can narrow it down to one. But a few of my favorites are:

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Q: Would you like to have more kids? If so, how many?

I always wonder why I had to pass two tests in order to qualify for a Driver’s License but nobody intervened to determine if I’d be a suitable parent or not. All I can say is that Maya only has the government to blame for the fact that she may need to seek counseling later in life.

Considering the damage I’m currently doing, I think I’d be crazy to consider ruining yet another child’s life. So no, there will be no other little Din’s running around!

Q: What is the food you miss most that you cannot eat now?

I definitely miss some good sourdough bread with tons of butter on it! No gluten-free bread can even compare.

Q: What are your favorite snacks? what do you typically eat for breakfast/lunch?

Breakfast usually entails a very haphazard bowl of oatmeal or cream of buckwheat with maple syrup, made in the microwave. Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially fancy I throw some raisins on top.

Lunch is often scrambled eggs with a brown rice tortilla or a random concoction like quinoa mixed with salsa, spinach, and black beans. I’ve learned that salsa makes anything palatable and I go through it like its going out of style.

I don’t usually snack but if I need some energy I’ll have a couple of dates or some dried apricots.

Sorry my meals are so uninteresting. Allergies can do that to you!

Q: Any advice on success? (I’m a college student getting a BS in Marketing and minor in psychology ) and also whats your favorite non-fictions books? (BTW -LOVE YOUR blog, the humor is pick me up in the morning!)

A: First off, your compliment just made my Wednesday morning, so thank you for that.  Secondly, I’m not sure I am qualified to advise on success as I am still trying to achieve that myself, but if there is one thing I can’t emphasize enough it’s that you should pursue a career that you LOVE.  Looking back, I really wish I’d gone a different route instead of choosing the more stable/realistic path because I believe I would be much happier and further in my career now.

My favorite non-fiction book include The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster (although her subsequent books are not nearly as entertaining), and Slave by Mende Nazer.  I could not put this last book down, and to put that statement in perspective, I was in labor while I was reading it.

Q: Are you religious? (How) does this play a part in your daily life? You look like such a fun parent! Love your blog!

A: Thank you for the compliments!  I am fairly sure Maya doesn’t consider me much of a fun parent now but I do hope she does eventually.

I am fairly religious in some ways, i.e. I fast during the month of Ramadan and I pray regularly.  But I also wear things that I probably shouldn’t.  I try!  I have to work harder than most because both my brother and Ali demand that I do prayers on their behalf.  They are THAT lazy.

And my brother is going to kill me for writing that.

Q: What is the craziest thing you ever did in college?

A: For some reason I have a feeling my brother asked this question.  He wants me to admit that I got a tattoo during my college days, and even though I’ve sworn up and down numerous times that I do not have a tattoo, he doesn’t believe me.

The truth is that I was almost as boring back in college as I am now.  The worst thing I ever did was wear a few things my parents wouldn’t have approved of.  There were also few months during my junior year where I smoked a few cigarettes here and there.  I have no idea why I did it but I am really glad that habit never stuck.  All I can say is that if Maya is even half as boring as I was then I will be a happy mother.

Q: Does your kid drive you crazy?? Your posts make it seem that way sometimes.

Yes, Maya does drive me nuts!  But please take my sarcasm and complaining with a grain of salt because I am prone to exaggeration and I have little patience in general.  The truth is that Maya is a really good, smart, loving kid and I love her to death!

Q: Hi Ameena! I know you grew up in L.A and lived in Toronto at one point. Have you lived anywhere else? Where are you from originally? What is your favourite place you have ever lived? Sorry for the abundance of questions.

Sorry for the late reply and thank you for the question!!

In addition to Toronto and LA I’ve in Washington DC, but I don’t remember living there at all because I was way too young.

I’m not at all crazy about LA! I prefer Toronto but Ali hates the cold weather. Still, I want to move to NYC or London or Paris. One of these days… 

Q: What are some of your favorite blogs? Do you mostly read food/health blogs?

I love so many different types of blogs, and while there are too many to list, I especially enjoy reading about more than just food. I like to learn about different cities people live in or trips that they take. Mainly, I like to read about things that I don’t get to experience in my life!

Q: Are you interested in eating disorders?

I’ve certainly learned more about eating disorders in the last year than I’ve ever before! I am really shocked that so many people have eating disorders and my main concern is to make sure that Maya doesn’t develop one when she gets older.

Q: Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder?

No I’ve never had an eating disorder.

Q: Do you ever want to give Maya away?

When Maya was little I wanted to give her away every single day. But now that she’s older and can communicate I feel like we are in a much better place.

There are still days when she drives me nuts but for the most part, it’s kind of fun having her around!

Q: Hi Ameena, I love your blog & your easy (yet sophisticated) style of writing. My question is, do you have a hard time finding friends who don’t envy you, seeing that you have so much going for you? How do you know how to pick them?

First off, thank you so much for the compliment – I really appreciate it.

Secondly, I don’t have a lot of friends (not going to lie). I think this is because thanks to work and Maya (and Ali!) I just don’t have time to keep up with a whole lot of people. I have a few good friends from ages ago, and we have a large family so I stay really busy with them.First off, thank you so much for the compliment – I really appreciate it.

Funny, but I don’t think people really envy me. Most think I’m crazy for working and they think I’m uptight and too demanding. And I can be (again, not going to lie). I think my high expectations makes it hard for me to pick good friends, so I just stick with the ones that are tried and true.

Hope that answers your question. And thanks so much for reading!

49 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2010 4:02 pm

    This is so neat! Have you read the Kite Runner…so many people talk about it…but I don’t know, it’s seems ‘disturbing’ to me…maybe I’m just lame ;)

    • May 21, 2010 7:40 pm

      The Kite Runner is really a phenomenal book…it definitely takes a bit to get into it though. I think A Thousand Splendid Suns is even better!!

  2. May 26, 2010 3:01 pm

    I love the A Thousand Splendid Suns, A Fine Balance (which I just read a few months ago) and The Glass Castle!

  3. June 2, 2010 2:42 pm

    Well i love cooking and the dishes you feature in the blog made by yourself?

  4. N.K. permalink
    June 13, 2010 2:21 pm

    Where are your parents from?

    • June 13, 2010 7:38 pm

      Hi Nick – My dad is from India and my mom is Canadian!

      • May 25, 2011 1:25 am

        Awww, just like my children! I knew there was a reason I liked you!

  5. Anon permalink
    June 15, 2010 12:55 pm

    You do realize that you’re really really good looking, right?

    • June 15, 2010 6:34 pm

      Thank you Anonymous for your very nice comment. Reading these kind of things make my day!

  6. myra permalink
    August 9, 2010 11:09 am

    Can you pls answer this , about the godiva choclate bar cake , what do you mean by 5 godiva choclates the small godiva bars ( 1.5oz) or big ones(3.5oz) or the truffles ?
    would love to try this recepie .

    • August 9, 2010 6:40 pm

      Hello Myra – I use 5 of the small chocolates that come in the gold Godiva box, but you can also use half of a Godiva chocolate bar if that is what you have on hand. This recipe is so versatile you seriously can’t go wrong regardless of what you end up using! The more the chocolate the better it will taste.

      • myra permalink
        August 10, 2010 4:56 pm

        thank you.

  7. August 16, 2010 3:33 am

    Hey Ameena – wasn’t sure where to ask this LOL! But I was curious if you knew about recipes/copyrighting, etc…if I were to post a recipe that I modified from a couple of different sources – that are similar – should I post the sources – cite them?? …I see alot of recipes on blogs that just write out the recipes, and that’s what I’d like to do…but I don’t want to get in “trouble” either!!!

    • August 16, 2010 8:19 am

      I don’t put recipes on my blog unless they are 100% mine (or my moms!), but if I do make another person’s recipe I will link to their site. I found this information from the US Copyright Office: “Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds, or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, when a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection.” You can find more info on their website: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html. Hope that helps!

  8. August 16, 2010 3:36 am

    ALSO!! – I know you are and want to write professionally – I’ve read on some other blogs that they want to take it more professionally as well, and if they were to associate the blog with their name, then they’d have to get rid of alot of former posts – or start over a new blog altogether…

    You know I’ve written alot of personal stuff before, crazzzzy feelings, perceptions, stalkers, food, etc…do you think that’s “bad” or “harmful” professionally…embarrassing or weird?? I would like to change my blog’s name to be honest – and I’m sure I’d lose alot of people/readers for sure…:(…but is it necessary to re-vamp and start over…to hide from who/what you were?

    • August 16, 2010 8:22 am

      I’ve been very careful about what I write on my blog to avoid any issues professionally. I think it is important to maintain that divide between work and one’s personal life! That being said, since you haven’t attached your name to your site can anyone really link it back to you? If you are considering revamping I would suggest you do it soon so that you can build it back up again sooner rather than later. It will be a lot of work! But from all the writing classes I’ve take I’ve learned that an internet presence is a must as an author, struggling or otherwise.

      • August 16, 2010 8:44 am

        Thanks Ameena – do you think there’s been anything on my site that would be too “detrimental” or inappropriate…?

  9. September 8, 2010 7:13 pm

    You have great FAQs too! Looking forward to reading more :)

  10. December 18, 2010 12:28 pm

    hey cool ask me section. i didnt know you lived in Toronto! I am from Toronto and if ever visiting let me know! And your daughter is just darn cute. mashallah

  11. eva626 permalink
    March 23, 2011 5:01 pm

    one question…does your husband ALi or daughter Maya read/up to date with your blog entries? and if they do…do you guys discuss it..like through random convos???

    • March 24, 2011 5:48 am

      Ali does read my blog and Maya probably will when she can read properly…luckily Ali doesn’t seem to mind when I write things about him!

  12. eva626 permalink
    April 16, 2011 2:48 pm

    Was there a time when Maya did something she shouldn’t have but you thought it was so cute??

    • April 24, 2011 5:45 am

      Absolutely! Sometimes Maya mimics me and says things to Ali that she shouldn’t…and I should discipline her! But sometimes it’s just too funny for me to get mad at her. But if she said the same things to me heads would fly!!

  13. Tina permalink
    April 27, 2011 12:29 pm

    Can you share with us a full day of eats? What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? About how many calories do you consume a day?

  14. Lydia permalink
    May 12, 2011 4:23 pm

    Can you please post a full day of eats Ameena? I am dying to see a whole day of Ameena through her stomach! I love your blog so much. You are so pretty and skinny and intelligent. I really wish I could be like you. I am trying to lose weight. Do you have any secrets? How did you get to the size you are today?

    • May 15, 2011 8:52 am

      Dear Lydia – First off, thank you so much for the very sweet compliments. I really appreciate them. The thing is, I don’t share what I eat because my blog isn’t really centered around food. Also, I think that it’s so hard to compare what you eat to what I eat because we are probably very different as far as heights and builds, etc. so I don’t think it will be too helpful to see what I eat every day. I don’t really have any secrets but I do have one piece of advice…the minute I stopped listening to Dr. Oz, Oprah, Jillian Michaels, etc. and started eating what I wanted to eat, and what I thought I should eat, was the instant I stopped stressing about weight and calories and size. And guess what? I magically went back to the size I was pre-Maya. I wish you lots of luck my friend. I’m hoping you too get to where you want to be. Ameena

  15. Maria permalink
    May 13, 2011 1:43 pm

    Hi Ameena! I love your blog. I am like you. I worked out so much because I want to be skinny and lose weight. When I try to give up sweets, I am good for about four days and then I binge. How did you do it? How did you overcome this? I just want to stop binging. I admire your will power.

    • May 15, 2011 8:47 am

      Hi Maria – I’m sorry you are struggling with the whole sugar thing…honestly, the best thing for me was to cut it out cold turkey. I did “The Fat Flush Plan” and while it was super hard, I was able to kick my sweet tooth for good. It’s been years and I haven’t had a problem since. I totally recommend getting the book and giving it a try! Good luck and thank you for reading my blog! Ameena

  16. September 2, 2011 7:30 pm

    Hi Ameena,

    I dint recall you having “Ask Me” section the last time i visited.
    Great idea ! i will be visiting your blog often to learn one or two about parenting.

    Yeah- going to welcoming new member soon.

    • September 3, 2011 6:37 am

      Congratulations! And ask away. I don’t have a lot of answers but I can try!

  17. Raquliah permalink
    December 16, 2011 6:49 am

    I must leave this message because it’s necessary. You Ameena are a stranger and I’m sure you will remain a stranger but you bring me so much “joy”. You express yourself in ways that only a real person can. You make me laugh and you make me want to scream “now that’s the truth”. Thank You for being bold enough to share the “real deal” on all things. You are the best and keep the post coming…If you have “Fat Thighs” do not feel bad because from your pictures that would give me “Obese Thighs” lol

    • December 18, 2011 9:08 am

      Raquilah –

      You’re comment absolutely made my day…I think it’s fantastic that people can relate to my honest thoughts, and it makes me want to keep being honest!

      Thank you so much for reading and for sending your kind words my way. I appreciate it!

      PS: Your name is beautiful!

  18. Rufina permalink
    January 3, 2012 6:09 pm

    Great section, fun to read! Hope you are still having a fun time in Europe, even if it is expensive…:)

    • January 4, 2012 2:16 pm

      Thanks Rufina…we are having a fantastic time which is, unfortunately, coming to an end tomorrow. :(

  19. January 16, 2012 12:29 am

    Hi Ameena! I wanted to answer your question regarding my skin. You made a comment above about your skin being like a “Monet.” My skin is very similar. Around my fourth pregnancy I started to develop cyst like acne. It isn’t always obvious to others but they were huge and under the skin and hurt terribly. Well I’m having an issue again with this. I just went to the dermatologist. He did give me a great product and that’s probably what your noticing about my skin. It’s called Finacea. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It acts like a retinal, but without the dry skin and burn. As soon as I use it (within 48 hours) my skin is brighter and more luminous. I love it! However, it doesn’t help with the cystic acne. I am trying some other things for that.

    That’s amazing that you cut out all of the food to get your skin looking better. I sometimes wonder if I should do this. But, the cysts come with my cycles. So it’s hormonal for me. But, the food could still be exasperating it.

    Also, I’m not thrilled to be taking these medications. I’m always wondering, what else is it doing? But, it’s so hard when it comes to our faces. I don’t consider myself to be so vain but then again it’s my face- I feel like I might try anything so that I’m not self conscious-I’ve already been through that in high school.

    Sometimes I think, “Why does it all have to be so complicated!” For the record I have large pores and some scarring. But, like I said, I’m really happy with the Finacea.

    Take care,

    Shauna

    PS. Thanks for the compliment, it’s really nice of you to point out-even if in person you would think otherwise!!!! Hahahahahahaha

    • January 17, 2012 2:58 pm

      I have never heard of Finacea before! I used to use Retin-A, about a hundred years ago. And it did nothing for me. My skin is definitely better since I’ve eliminated certain foods but overall it’s just not good.

      Sorry that you have similar problems – to me your skin looks really fantastic! It’s funny how we are our own worst critics, isn’t it?

      I’m off to Google Finacea…

  20. Aarti permalink
    January 31, 2012 12:09 pm

    Hi Ameena,
    do you think a social life is important? I ask because I completely relate to feeling overwhelmed, while balancing home, husband, kitchen, child & school/work.
    Sometimes socializing feels just like one more thing on the list. Thoughts?

    • January 31, 2012 7:30 pm

      Hi Aarti –

      The truth is that I don’t have much of a social life. And yes, socializing sometimes just feels like one more thing on my “To Do List.” I feel bad admitting that but it’s true.

      I also feel bad that I can’t keep up with all my friends but there is only so much time in one day! I just do my best. So glad that you can relate!!

      Ameena

  21. February 8, 2012 5:02 am

    I think I love you even more now!! And I don’t care about how your skin looks up close; you look great in the photos and that’s all that matters! Now if I was an epidermal psycho who wanted to use a magnifying glass and examine your skin up close, that would be a different story. The fact that I could think such a thought probably qualifies me as one.

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