New Mom Alert : April & Our New Family

April brought with itself many changes, the biggest one being the arrival of our daughter Iman (: We are thrilled to welcome our little angel into our family!

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 3.19.52 PM
She is the funniest and there are many things I’ve had to do that I never thought I’d ever do for anyone, I love her beyond measure and she makes it so easy to love her. A massive thank you to everyone who has been supportive throughout my pregnancy & helped us prepare for the arrival of our baby and thank you to all of you sending gifts and offering help in different ways, Our little family really appreciates it.


Thank you Product Hunt Toronto team for these lovely flowers (: 

I want to journal more and read more but tons going on right now. I am not sure why people think that motherhood is basically lots of sitting around. Sure, to feed I suppose but not beyond that, especially when it is just you and your partner. Will share my labour story on here soon!

Weekend Musings

Virginia Woolf

One of those weekends where I felt super blessed to have so many people in my life who genuinely care about me. Thankful for everything in my life right now ❤
I wish every weekend was like this one. The energy and the light of the weekend ensured that I was on cloud nine all weekend.

Work is going to be busy this week but looking forward to it too. Have to drag myself out of bed at 7:30AM for a medical appointment, so I should probably head to bed. It is currently past 1AM where I am but obviously WordPress will show a different time stamp.

Weekly finds:
I found this incredible website (thank you Traci) to kickstart your morning with Short Stories each AM, if you are into that sort of thing!

Things I am looking forward to this week: 
I think I mentioned this earlier on here that I am taking a novel writing course with Don Gilmore and I couldn’t be more stoked! I look forward to the class each week but I think I am going to volunteer to have my work critiqued for the week after.

I want to start writing every morning, not specifically things I want to post on here but taking a piece of writing and improving on it every morning per week for 30 minutes each.
Let’s see… We have a spare room right now that I can turn into a writing nook for the meantime but I also have my desk set up in our solarium where I can easily write.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a space that inspires.

Perhaps I will ask my husband to write with me as well.

Does anyone have a morning routine that they use for improving their writing? Let me know!

The Importance of Setting Personal Boundaries

I am happy to report that my sleep schedule is back on track now! 8 hours of sleep looks so good and I have managed to get in to work before 9:30am all of this week except one day when I had a medical appointment.

setting boundaries

One important thing I am doing this year is setting personal boundaries for myself.

Given that my work is in the digital realm, I have to consciously disconnect for a few precious hours at night. I do a lot of volunteer work, which I love, and as a result sometimes I end up working into the wee hours of the night.

I have also noticed that in the past few years, I have gotten so involved with my work and volunteer activities that I have neglected my loved ones. On several occasions, people have pointed that out to me, and I’ve always just laughed it off and said, “yeah I love work!”

And while that is true, I think I really need to work on having time for myself and those I love. The world is not going to end if I don’t reply to an email at 11pm.
Even when I am at home with my husband, more often than not, I can be found working. May 2017 be the year of no more of that shit. Putting this here, so I am constantly reminded of it.

Some of the ways I am going to do that is by not answering emails, calls or messages that are either not scheduled in my calendar or don’t require my immediate attention.

I have also noticed that because I reply to stuff right away, I get really annoyed when other people don’t  and I don’t want to feel that way. People have lives and so do I!

When I die, and we all do, that’s just the reality of life, I don’t want to be remembered as the person who did a shit ton of work and then just dropped dead. I want to be remembered as a person who loved and lived a full life – both on a personal and professional level.

Hope your week was amazing!

Arranged Marriage and Sex

Today I heard something that made me cringe and I feel the need to share it.

Where do I even begin…

Where I come from, arranged marriage is the norm. Most people have their parents select a life partner for them and for many that works…

… or they make it work for themselves.

What I heard today was that it is alright to have your husband tie you up in order for him to consummate YOUR marriage even if you are in pain and don’t want to do it… cause you know obviously it is all about him!

gif no

This coming from a 20 something year old terrifies me even more.

Everyone I have known who has had an arranged marriage, has had a baby roughly 9 months after.

There is nothing wrong with having a baby and I am not bashing the idea of an arranged marriage, I know it works for some people.

I am neither for or against arranged marriage. I think it is a personal decision you need to make for yourself but you should definitely not be forced into it. Assuming that you are happily deciding to let your parents take the lead in finding a partner for you, I don’t want to comment on that or talk about it.

What I do want to talk about is SEX.

What was that? The collective sound of many people’s salwars getting in a bunch?

It is 2016 and we still can’t talk about sex.

It is not just about sex…

We are unable to talk about anything related to sex… puberty, sex education. Entire chapters in biology textbooks on sex are skipped because it is seen as something that is shameful and awkward.

…and then you get married and suddenly there is all this pressure to consummate your marriage and have a baby.

Sure, some people claim to get educated by porn, but tauba tauba we don’t watch that! (Sidenote: porn has it’s own problems – I am not entirely sure if that is where people should be getting their daily dose of sex education from.)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is never ok to be forced into sex, married, in a relationship or otherwise. THAT’S RAPE.

You’d think people would know that but many don’t.

If you think you need to have sex with someone just to appease them, even when you don’t want to… you don’t.
Consent is key but you can’t manipulate someone into giving consent either.

Mothers,  Fathers… please don’t force your daughters to consummate their marriage. Give them time and space. Educate them. Let them know it is ok to not want to have sex the day they marry someone.

Unfortunately, there are those who have been forced into having sex themselves but that does not mean we need to pass the same thinking down the generations.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Girls, know your rights. Don’t let someone force you.

Men, you don’t have to prove your masculinity by forcing a woman into having sex with you. You don’t have to prove anything.

For generations, we have been told that the wedding night sets the tone for the marriage.

YOU set the tone for your marriage.

Treat each other with love and respect. Forget what you have been told by people or the expectations set by others.

Other people don’t need to live your life – You do.

20 things I have learnt after a year of marriage

Today marks C’s and mine first wedding anniversary. A year ago today I couldn’t believe my sheer dumb luck that I was marrying someone I was head over heels in love with.
Here we are, a year later and I wanted to share 20 things I have learnt after being married for a year – with tons of input from C as well!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.45.42 PM

  1. It is possible to love someone without losing yourself.
    I am madly in love with my husband and those closest to me know that. He is my raison d’être but each day that I fall more in love with him, I fall more in love with myself too.
    I feel like I am the most productive, successful and the happiest I have ever been in my life.
  2. To love someone else you have to love yourself first
    If you start with loving yourself first, you start by being in good place and it is only rainbows and sunshines and unicorns from there on! :p
  3. Love isn’t a competition
    When your relationship is a competition, that’s not love. Supporting each other is the shit.
  4. We are different people with different preferences but that doesn’t mean we have to fight.
    The goal is not to be one amorphous blob with similar likings and opinions! We have our differences and we love each other for them.
  5. You don’t have to fight to get closer to each other or to have a more interesting relationship.
    LOL. If I had a penny for every time I have read that fights bring people closer together, I’d be rolling in $$$!
  6. The passion doesn’t fizzle away after a while
    …neither is it something you have to work on like it is some kind of a household chore.
  7. Being married is the shit!
  8. There is nothing quite like having someone in your life who has always got your back!
  9. The happiness level of your relationship isn’t dependent on the size of the rock that you get for your engagement
    9 our of 10 times that I tell people that I am married, I am immediately asked to show my ring. LOL! I don’t get it. I don’t have an engagement ring. I wear a wedding band that C and I picked together. It is a dainty little gold band that cost us $99 and it is my favourite ring in the world!
  10. It is possible for your parents to love your significant other more than you :p
    Mum & Dad I am looking at you.
  11. When you find your person, you just know it
  12. There is such a thing as true love and soul mates
    Some might not agree but it happened to us. Oh the stories I could tell you…
  13. A year later and the same jokes are still funny
  14. You never get tired of telling your own love story
    People may get tired but not us!
  15. When you have someone who has got your back, everything in life is easy
  16. He gets sexier with each passing day. HOT DAMN!
  17. There is nothing I don’t love about him. He is smart, funny, caring and the best human being I have ever met in my life.
  18. I don’t like roses
    They die.
  19. In-laws are not scary beings you need to run away from
    Mine are the fuzziest!!!!
  20. Communication & Honesty are the keys to a happy relationship, a happy marriage and a HAPPY EVERYTHING!

This post has C’s stamp of approval!!! 😀



This whole week has been kind of rubbish to be honest. Found out on Monday that the world has lost Bowie only because C told me. I would have found out on social media but I was grateful that he told me. I have never met Bowie but I think we can all agree that his music transcended time and touched us all.
Was feeling pretty lost all week. It was a weird sort of feeling, you know when you have never met someone in real life but you feel a giant gaping hole in your chest nonetheless? Yeah that.
Found this list of Bowie’s top 100 books on and going to try to read them all this year to honour and remember him.
#RIPStarman #BowieBookClub

That moment…

Was rushing through my day as usual and got a big ass cut on my finger. Not only did it delay my dinner, it also made me think.

I run, I rush and I try to hurry through my life. What am I hurrying towards anyways?

slow down take a moment

Honestly don’t even know where 2015 went. Here’s to taking things a little slow this year. Be well.

Week 1 of 2016 – Progress, Food & More

Middle of the first week back at work and I thought that it was time for some reflections.
Goals wise, the week is going pretty well. I have achieved two of my standalone goals and I am on my way to achieve the ongoing goals. Not doing so good on the yoga goals but I am going for yoga at the AGO tomorrow and am pretty stoked about that.

1. Cook a meal at home once a week.
2. Launch my etsy store
3. Learn one new recipe from my mother
4. Do yoga twice a week. 
5. Read The Sun Also Rises 
6. Blog once a week
7. Do one book review a month
8. Try out a new cafe per month
9. Write in my diary every morning

10. Relax

Downloaded Sloan Crosley’s “The Clasp” on my kindle and Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.35.35 PMstarted reading it on my train ride to work this AM. So far, so good. I think it is going to end up being my book review for the month. It is basically chick lit & I can’t believe I am starting my year off with that but oh well I do enjoy a good romantic comedy once in a while.
Note to self: Kindle books don’t photograph half as well as real books… ok NOT AT ALL!

For the food goal, I pan fried rainbow trout! It is simple but delicious. It was my first time trying it out too. I didn’t want to do anything too complicated, so I used a pinch of sea salt and some ground black pepper for seasoning and ta da!

I bought only onScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.35.19 PMe fillet because I didn’t know if the taste would suck but then I realized that C had to eat too 😉 so I improvised. Made spinach, mushroom omelette to go with it! Strange I know but delicious yum yum!

And then there was the matter of trying out a new cafe per month and I did! My friend Jaclyn was in town from Vancouver and we decided to check out Te Aro cafe in Leslieville.

Admittedly, I had a cup of green tea and an apricot biscuit (DELICIOUS) but hey! you can tell a lot about a place from the type of tea it serves. Contrary to popular belief, you can indeed fuck up a cup of tea.
Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.35.06 PMIt is a cute little cafe in Queen East and is definitely worth a visit. I imagine in the summer it will be even nicer with the patio and all that jazz. Reasonable prices, not a ton of space so I don’t really know if I will take a book along with me on my next visit.

Apart from that, I just feel like I am not out of vacation mode yet. I miss Montreal, book shopping and hiking with C.

Goal #6 achieved for this week.

How to find a mentor // The non bullshit edition


GAAAAAAH! If I hear one more person tell me how they have a rockstar mentor and how it took them just courage and an email to get there, I am going to jump off a cliff.

Mentorship is a topic near and dear to my heart.

I have some incredible mentors who I didn’t establish a relationship with by sending an email nor by being gifted with courage by the Wizard of Oz himself. Here’s what happened: I was at a hackathon once and I was going on and on about how I wasn’t a feminist and a woman asked me, “Do you have a vagina?” to which I replied yes cause yes… yes I do.

She then proceeded to ask me, “Do you want to be in charge of it?” A question that received another resounding yes from me.

Then you are a feminist!”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I met Karen Schulman Dupuis — a woman I love dearly and who is also one of my mentors. However, we didn’t declare a mentor and mentee relationship there and then. That took three years and lots of opportunities getting to know each other.

So for the love of God, stop trying to perpetuate the myth that you can find a mentor via an email or over a cup of a coffee. The relationship-building aspect of it takes time, oodles of time.

Also, someone doesn’t have to be “officially” your mentor for them to give you valuable advice. Kirstine Stewart, VP Media at Twitter Inc, was once speaking at a Salesforce event and she recounted an incident where someone tried to take credit for her work, a situation many of us are all too familiar with.

She went on to share her experience on how she countered that and took back her power, a strategy that I have used countless times since then in my own life. I have had brief interactions with her and she is absolutely amazing, but I haven’t asked her to be my mentor, however this incident has changed my life.

One of the most common questions I receive regarding mentorship is: who should I look for as a mentor?

Well, in order to receive an answer to that you have to answer a couple more questions. Who do you learn from? Who has changed your life for the better? Who do you turn to when you need advice? Well, those people right there are your mentors. Maybe it is your mum, your dad, your best friend, your boss but there you have it, it is really as simple as that.

I know, I know… “butttt Ria those are not legit mentors, how do I get to have tea with the brightest and finest minds in the industry? Why won’t they reply to my email, ZOMG!”

Patience, my friend, is not a virtue for no reason. Whenever you hear people tell you how they got kick-ass mentors via an email, here’s what they are not telling you:

  1. Getting those kind of mentors took time.
  2. They probably received a hundred rejections before hearing a yes.
  3. They hustled… hard! (Although No One Gives a Sh*T about your hustle.)

Without sounding ultra cocky, I will share a tip with all of you. My work with Vinetta Project, Women Who Code and other organizations has afforded me many opportunities to have conversations with some brilliant people. Getting involved in initiatives like that opens many doors.

If you give, then you generally receive the love from the universe in buckets. So there you have it, my two cents on finding a mentor.