via Kids and living during pandemic lockdowns

Kids and living during pandemic lockdowns

We are all living through extraordinary and trying times. We have a virus that humanity has never seen and we are all trying to figure out how to deal with it. We are currently in lock down and kids have been home schooling for the last two weeks. I can see they are working hard and not trying to stress about the situation. This may be our new normal for the unforeseen future. We are not sure how long this will last and do not want to add undue stress to them but we should also let them know this is our new reality. Here are some ways we have been dealing with it. Granted my children are older and teens so this might not work for younger children.

Try to set a routine and expectations and guidelines. They must logon and finish their assignments by a certain time. They should still get ready and dressed for the day. They still have to do their daily chores. Teenagers are very social creatures so I encourage them to video chat with their friends. We also take the time to video chat with family members that live far away.

I encourage this as a time to eat together as a family. We have actually been trying new recipes and cooking together and baking desserts.

I encourage the kids to go out for at least 30 minutes and exercise away from others, just around the neighborhood. They walk or run or bike. Fresh air is always important and making sure they get their Vitamin D. This is a good time to talk to them about diet and nutrition and how important exercise is for mental stress.

Play games together and try a puzzle together. Find a show and watch it together.

Most importantly, we have been trying to pray together. Trying to count all that we have to be grateful for. I want them to know God has a plan and maybe we all needed this time to reconnect with each other and ourselves. We must have faith that God will lead us out of the dark times and we should learn our lessons and not return to our old ways. I hope my children learn that faith and family are the most important things in life.

via Adding a flair with a feathered hijab

+

Adding a flair with a feathered hijab

With the holiday season quickly approaching, a nice touch to fancy up any outfit is a feathered hijab. It dresses up and makes any outfit look glamorous with little effort.

I purchased my hijabs from framed people

https://www.framedpeople.com/

Here are some other sites you can check out

https://thehijabvault.com/collections/new-releases/products/i-feather-you

https://www.thehijabsouq.com/plume-feather-chiffon-hijabs.html#/

Happy shopping!

via Travel Diaries: what I wore to Spain

+

Travel Diaries: what I wore to Spain

We traveled to Spain with the kids and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The weather was warm during the day and cool at night. Best way to pack would be to check the forecast before you go and pack accordingly. I picked brighter colors and prints, especially for Barcelona as it is a city inspired by Gaudi. Spain has some of the most incomparable architecture. I hope that everyone gets a chance to visit there one day.

Shoe wise I kept it simple with some adidas as we were walking miles a day. Spain was full of fun and adventure and very family friendly. I highly recommend it to everyone to visit!

+

Backpacking with kids through Spain

We recently went on a trip to Spain with the kids. We found some super cheap tickets from New York but this airline would not allow anything besides a carry on or there would be an extra charge. I was caught in a dilemma, do I succumb to my cheap ways and just cross the Atlantic somehow or do I try to give up my diva ways of packing everything but the kitchen sink? Those who know me, know even when I was single, I do not travel lightly. I decided to challenge myself and go the backpack route. We had to travel through multiple cities and were taking buses, train and planes so it just made more sense. Hey, everything is worth trying once right?

First, you want to check the carryon luggage height and weight restrictions for your airlines. We went to the outlets and bought backpacks for each of us that fit the criteria. Packing was a bit tricky since we were going to be encountering very different temperatures in the south and north of Spain ( plus we had a layover in NYC). I packed layers and had the kids wear their jackets on the planes. You can always peel off layers if you get too hot but not much you can do if you’re cold. I used the roll technique for clothes and kept makeup and lotions to sample sizes. This will be a piece of cake I thought! I’ll just buy really small souvenirs for people or not buy at all and use my backpacking as a cheap excuse.

We flew to our first city of Madrid. We hadn’t really set an itinerary because we weren’t sure how jet lagged we would be. We stayed in the main area and we shopped and ate and then shopped some more. Uh oh, where are we going to put all of this shopping? So we ended up purchasing a luggage.

From Madrid, we took the train to Granada. The train only goes so far and then you have to board a bus. The train was a very pleasant experience. I still don’t understand how we don’t have more high speed rail in America. We absolutely loved Granda. Lots of halal options and of course the shopping is great. My daughter especially loved the Zara there. I feel that the quality is bit better overseas. After a couple of days, we hopped on a bus to Seville. We stowed our belongings in the bus depot and toured the city and then took a late flight out to Barcelona. We stayed there a couple of days. I had planned to do the laundry and had scoped out a couple of laundromats/ lavanderia close to our hotel before we left for the trip. My son did not like the idea of dirty underwear in his bag even though they were packed in small plastic bags. It was actually an enjoyable experience as we got to explore the area while the laundry was being done and interact with locals who helped us figure out that the machine comes preloaded with detergent. Of course we explored the shopping mall across the street and discovered that we could see ourselves living in Spain. Returning back to Madrid via train, we vowed to return one day. The people were warm and hospitable, the food and weather were perfect in April for us. We did have to pay for an extra luggage and realized a lot of our vacation is about shopping and that was how we bond with each other. Taking out the time to really explore those side streets and marveling at another culture. I do hope you and your loved ones visit Spain soon.

Muslims are one community

I have been at a loss since the recent New Zealand shooting. Anyone living in non Muslim countries knows there has been a rise in Islamophobia and numerous anti- Muslim incidents. The incident that happened is something I always fear will happen when at the mosque and I have always questioned, how would I react? Will we all be slaughtered since we do not have any means of fighting back? Our backs are turned away from the exit, we wouldn’t even see it coming. I pray for the heavy blow to the Christchurch community and their sense of security. Even the name of the town was meant to be a holy one. I hope the Muslim community wakes up and starts to prepare so we do not have this type of incident of this magnitude happen again. I pray for all the martyrs to be forgiven and patience for their families. May God protect us all.

How to deal with hard times

I have recently been going through a bit of a rough patch. Life wouldn’t be life if it didn’t throw the unexpected your way. I have realized my rough patches in life have helped shaped me into who I am. There’s a saying, we wouldn’t learn to appreciate the sunny days if there were not storms. That’s what this rough patch has taught me to look forward to. When the days are bad, I looked for what I am grateful for. Even simple things like freedom, all my senses are intact, breathing without any health issues are all incredible blessings. Also, there is a rainbow after the storm. There is ease after hardship. Allah (SWT) has promised us that in the Quran that there is ease. We won’t feel the same way even tomorrow and time does ease the heart. A diamond is made by undergoing tremendous pressure and what comes out is very valuable. What are some things you have learned during your hardship phases in life? Share below please

Finding oneself

I have not been blogging as much lately, I have been taking a break and had to take a long hard look as to what I want from my life. What brings joy and happiness to my being? What surprised me most was that when I asked most people, they didn’t have an answer to this very important question. What are we doing if we are not paying attention to our own lives? We are too busy paying attention to others- what they have that we do not. What the latest celebrity is wearing or whom they are marrying. I had to figure out what nourishes my own soul before I can speak about it. I am still on this journey but I also realized that blogging is an outlet and a joy too, not a chore. It’s helped me connect to so many amazing people in ways I may never have done. I feel there is still a space for my voice and that I can still offer something of value.

I would like to learn, what brings you joy? Comment below ⬇️

Hijabi at the beach

+

Hijabi at the beach

I have always had a love/ hate relationship with the beach. I have always enjoyed the sounds and sights of the waves crashing into the shore. The feel of the sand between my toes. I always marvel at the endlessness of it all and reminds me of how Allah swt knows how many sea creatures live in there. How even if there were multiple oceans and they were to turn into ink and write the attributes of Allah, there will never be enough ink to finish praising Allah. I hate how polluted some beaches are and how hot it can get. I am not a fan of how skimpy the outfits can be and how people stare if you are not skimpily dressed too. I never understood how prying eyes want you to undress so they can judge your body. I see how other middle aged women struggle to balance between the undress and covering up tactfully. For most of my life, my mom and other “aunties” rarely got into the water due to wearing ethnic/Islamic clothing. I always dreamt of a Muslim beach where we could go and frolick without judgement. Luckily, times are changing and with the introduction of modest swimwear, Muslim women are able to partake in more swim related activities. I don’t know about European beaches but stateside, I have never had any issues with anyone harassing me for covering up at the beach alhamdulillah. There are other blogs out there that have extensive modest swimwear reviews that you can check out.

https://hanantehaili.com/home/cutest-modest-swimwear?format=amp

https://www.havehalalwilltravel.com/blog/10-modest-and-stylish-swimwear-every-muslimah-has-been-looking-for/

http://shumidee.blogspot.com/2017/07/shumis-travels-burkini-talks.html?m=1

I hope that the general public gets more and more used to a more modest dress at the beach as these are public spaces and everyone is free to wear what works for them.