Hi guys! I’ve been thinking for a while now to start a series beyond recipes here on the blog. I finally got down to it!

Welcome to Beyond The Oven! I’m hoping with this series I’ll share with you a little of what goes on a) after the oven and cameras are off and b) a few of my favorite things that are not baking related and c) get to know you all a little better beyond our love for decadent desserts!!

In the light of sharing a little about myself, I’m answering a few personal questions from some blogging friends today. Over the past few months, I’ve been nominated by fellow bloggers for a blogging award. I am so honored. Thank you very much Mary Frances, D and Michelle for the nominations. However, I’ve been completely lazy to respond to the requirements of the awards (one of which is to answer a few questions posted by these bloggers). But here I am today trying to fix that 🙂

Mary Frances’ Question:

  1. What is your #1 indulgence?

Shoes!!! But we are talking about food right? A dozen spicy buffalo fried chicken wings.

2. What makes you happiest?

Spending time with my family and friends (cliché I know but I really am happiest there!)

3. What is the most important thing in a person?


4. Are you a morning or night person?

Oh I am a night person 100%. My husband knows better than to mess with me before my morning tea and pretty much everyone in my life knows I don’t make plans before noon. I do all my best work at night. Study, read, bake, blog, etc. I’m lucky if I make it to bed by midnight any day. I know I will need to change my habits one day. Rumor has it when kids come along you are an all day person.

PS: Look what my hubby posted on my Facebook wall last week:


Yup, sums me up.

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who condescendingly assume that English isn’t my first language. “Oh you speak such good English.” I get this all the time and it drives me nuts. Just for the record I learned English at age : birth!

6. What are your childhood memories associated with Christmas baking?

We didn’t celebrate Christmas in our house as a child as we are Muslims. But since half of the country did and I went to an Anglican school, I got to experience most of the religious traditions. Nothing about Santa though!

7. Describe your fashion sense in one word.

Michelle Obama. The woman just wears everything I see as my style. Classy, colorful and a little playful at times.

8. What would be your perfect afternoon?

A walk through Madison Avenue day dreaming of all the clothes I can’t afford, treats from a bakery with a cup of tea and of course girlfriends to enjoy all this with.

9. What is a habit you want to get rid of?

Staying up so late. I want to try to be more efficient in handling full-time school, blogging and stop ignoring my husband in the evenings.

10. What is a hobby you’d like to try?

I started learning how to knit a while back in high school but fell of the wagon. I would like to try it again.

11. What is a trend you would start?

Siestas in the middle of the workday. Yes Pleaseeeee! (yes I am lazy)

Michelle’s Questions:

  1. What makes you happiest in life?

See above

2. What is your favorite app and why?

Oh my Gosh, Instagram hands down. I’m obsessed. I’m a major stalker

3. Your biggest and craziest dream for yourself/your life?

Living in Paris

4. Your favorite magazine?

It’s a tie between Saveur and Vogue

5. What was your bravest moment?

I will have to say leaving home (Sierra Leone) at 18 to study in Singapore knowing that I was likely never going back to live there but will be gaining a lot.

6. Your favorite beauty item?

Yikes, I am bad at this. I don’t really use beauty products on a regular basis. I wear makeup probably twice a month if I’m lucky. And I know I should more often. But I guess my facewash counts as a beauty item?? It’s an oil reducing one and works great.

7. Shy/Outgoing/Sarcastic?

Shy at first and very outgoing (too much) after you get to know me. And yeah sarcastic always.

8. What do you like most about blogging?

Hands down the blogging community. I love meeting new bloggers and getting to know them.

9. What is your favorite blog (other than your own!)?

I can’t pick one. Seriously I just can’t. I find new ones every week and I fall in love all over again.

10. Favorite Place to Shop?

H&M. When traveling and I can splurge Zara. Now where I would like to ideally shop? That list is endless.

D’s Questions:

1. Which country would you go to if you were given a free airplane ticket?


2. What is the best advice your parents gave you?

My Dad once told me even the things you love to do will be hard to do one day. I try to remember this 🙂

3. What are your plans for summer?

Whoops, this is kind of late. Or super early depending on how you look at it. To be honest, I have no plans for 2014 summer. And I am keeping it that way.

4. Tea or coffee?

Oh tea! A minimum of two cups a day always. The way to my heart is a box of good tea (hint hint 😉 )

5. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?

I don’t know, I’ve never thought of it. I’m usually focused on listening to what they are saying. But I am about to meet someone special for the first time tomorrow so I’ll take note of what I notice first and report back.

6. Who would you invite to play if you could host a music night?

For myself, MICHAEL BUBLÉ but if my husband is present then Taylor Swift. He loves her.

7. What did you learn from blogging?

I’ve learned so much from blogging but I guess what stands out the most is that I’ve learned that it is pointless to compare myself with anyone else. Despite finding it hard sometimes to define what makes me stand out of the million blogs out there, I try to focus on being myself. It’s the simplest thing but also the hardest if you can believe that.

8. How would you describe yourself on your profile on a dating website?

Single (duh)

9. What kind of friend are you?

Brutally honest, dream crusher and supportive have been a few that have been echoed back. But from my perspective, I try to always be loyal and be there for my friends!

10. If you could change something in this world, what would it be?

Hmmm…not world peace because that’s not happening soon. But if I had a magic wand to solve one thing, it will be to prevent babies and children from getting terminal diseases. Breaks my heart. And why I work with my local Make-A-Wish Chapter to help grant wishes of kids with life-threatening diseases. (Look up your local chapters and find out ways you can help!)

11. What do you like best about yourself?

Probably my strength to persevere through hard times.

Thank you for reading the longest post EVER!! But it was fun to answer these questions.

Let me know in the comments some of your answers to the questions above!!

Hope you all have a great weekend 🙂