My Day In A NutShell And Some Other Deets About My Life!


So, a couple months ago a very cool start-up reached out to interview me for their blog. I hadn't heard of them before but was delighted: A) With the attention and the potential of discussing my life with them (told you, I'm honest and will not hesitate to discuss things I love - namely me:) & B) I fell in love with their mission, their story and of course, their Instagram feed! Founded by Christina Neworal and her co-founder Till von Buttlar, Olav is a German and Austrian kitchenware startup redefining sustainability and setting new ethical standards in the kitchenware industry. They also launched a blog, which is where I come in, and conducted a casual interview with me about my lifestyle. I won't bore you with the entire interview but you'll find below some excerpts from it. But of course, accompanied from a photoshoot Ricci and I did which kind of worked perfectly with this blog post.


Sobia, the blogger behind, joined us here at Olav to share what her normal day as an influencer, mother, and wife looks like! It is really great to have you as a guest on, can you please introduce yourself in case some of my readers don’t know you? Hello, my name is Sobia A. Shaikh (pronounced Shake). I am a San Francisco based blogger/influencer and write a lifestyle, fashion, beauty & travel blog.

You successfully started and ran your own company with the label ISLY handbags, what was the secret behind your success? Why did you stop? And what was the biggest lesson you learned? Thank you so much! I think perseverance & resilience were my two driving forces. Of course, I love fashion and wanted to create a luxury handbag line without an exorbitant price tag but had to literally put my blood, sweat & tears into it. After almost 7 years of running it, I had reached a point where I had to take ISLY Handbags to the next level. I was looking to rent a showroom/office space and in addition, I was interviewing a bunch of candidates in order to expand my employees from 2 to at least 5 more people. During this process I realized that expanding my business would entail far more travel then I was already doing and that meant being away from home and my kids a lot more than I was willing to take on. I was at a trade show in New York when this realization hit me and literally at that moment I decided to finish that season’s production, fulfill all the orders and say goodbye to ISLY.


You now live in the US while you grew up in Pakistan. How did you raise your children? My husband and I have always believed in a few basic principles that we have applied (hopefully successfully) in raising our kids, who by the way are both teenagers now – our son is 17 & our daughter is 14. Be respectful, be kind, have empathy & always be thankful. And that they can come to tell us anything at any time and we will never judge them. Get angry, give advice and steer them in the right direction but never ever any judgment. 

How does a normal day in your life look like?  During the week I wake up at 6.30 AM (but sleep in on the weekend:) and make a hot breakfast for the kids. No judgment towards anyone at all but we’ve never been a cereal or health bar for breakfast kind of a family. I either make an egg McMuffin (always with spinach) or scrambled eggs for them and drop my daughter to school. My son walks since his high school is a few blocks from home. I then head to my Pilates class. Post Pilates I grab a cup of almond latte and while it’s being prepared I skim through the headlines of the day. Some days I bring my laptop with me and sit at a cafe for a few hours going over that week’s blog post, editing pics for the blog, responding to emails about my ongoing collaborations, scheduling upcoming photo shoots etc. In between, there’s always a t-shirt/pair of shoes/a textbook that I have to order online for one of my kids! Mid-afternoon, I make a quick trip to the grocery store.  


Inevitably, there’s a school meeting or conference that my husband & I have to go to – my daughter’s about to finish 8th grade and start high school & my son is about to be a high school senior – so we try to schedule those school meetings for late afternoons. The college process has already started for our son so that’s currently another exciting part of our lives. I then get my daughter from school and we get home around 4 or so. That’s one of my favorite parts of the day because I hear about everything that went on with her that day. Once at home, she starts her homework and I get another couple hours to work on my blog and/or anything else that requires attention in reference to work. My son gets home around 5ish and I start preparing dinner around 6/6.15. If it’s been a long day then dinner prep. is accompanied with a glass of wine and music in the kitchen. Hubby arrives home around 7/7.30 PM  and the four of us sit down for dinner and talk about our day. The kids are very good about clearing up dinner dishes and putting things away and then I finally get to put my feet up and watch some tv. I get to bed rather late and I keep meaning to change that aspect of my life but somehow cannot sleep at a reasonable time. 


What do you typically cook/eat during a day (for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner)? Breakfast for me is most often Greek yogurt with strawberries and a dash of honey, always a salad with some protein (mostly chicken & sometimes fish) for lunch. Dinner – the kids love my shrimp tacos, club sandwiches or lasagna. And hubby, kids and I love Pakistani food so Qeema Mattar (ground beef or chicken with green peas cooked with ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, tomatoes & onions) served with rice, Daal (yellow or orange lentils) & Karahi Chicken (chicken cooked in a wok-like utensil called Karahi, with tomatoes, green chilies & cilantro and some more spices) & served with roti/naan and a side of mango chutney. Almonds, dates & sunflower seeds for snacks. And at least 2 cups of Lipton English tea a day. 


Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with? Can it be four pls? Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Coco Chanel, and Queen Nur Jahan, the 20th & last wife of the Mughal Emperor, King Jehangir and of course, President Obama!!

What is your advice on families dealing with teenagers? Be open and create an environment where they feel comfortable to discuss anything & everything with you.


Who is your daily inspiration and why? One of the people I’m most inspired by is our sweet housekeeper, Agustina. She’s been with us for almost 18 years and it’s unbelievable how hard she works. Her efficiency, work ethic & gratitude at the smallest of things is a complete & utter source of inspiration not only to me but to my kids and my hubby.

What is the best advice you’ve been given and why? “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde. I’m a huge proponent of being yourself. I know easier for me to dispense this advice, given that I’m 48 years old, but even in my younger years I tried my best to stay true to who I was. 


 Who should everyone be following right now? Why, Olav, of course! 

Hope you enjoyed my interview with Olav and thank you as always for visiting & reading my blog post! Lots and lots of love from the stirrer;) Hugs, Sobia

A special thank you as always to my dearest Ricci of RustandFlourish for these pics!