Ramadan tips

Ramadan is right around the corner! Every year I am filled with self doubt, how will I survive the long, hot days and make time for taraweeh and still be able to function at work? Somehow though, every year I still find the strength to pray and fast. I forget about the miracles and blessings that exist during this month that don’t the rest of the year. If you are feeling sluggish like I am at the thought of Ramadan, here are some tips,

1. Remember that Allah does not place a burden on us more than we can bear. I always think about how people keep their fast and work outdoors in some countries and do so happily because they are blessed with another Ramadan in their lives. We are capable of more than we think and limit ourselves to.

2. Try to make it more about others than ourselves. Instead of focusing on our own suffering and hardship, try to meet and speak to others in much harsher circumstances. Try to give back in your own way, even if you are not able to financially, just sitting and visiting with others and listening to their stories is an act of charity.

3. The obvious advice of eating healthy meals and calories and staying away from too much salt, sugar and fats will make the day go by easier.

4. Focus on the recitation and study of the Quran, remembering what the month is all about.

5. Try to sneak in naps whenever you can

6. Remember time flies and before you know it, the month is over. Don’t let it pass by without gathering some of its many blessings.

What are some of your tips for Ramadan?

Mommies trip to Miami

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Mommies trip to Miami

I recently took a mommy trip to Miami with some friends. I had never been and it did not disappoint. We were only there for a day and a half but we were able to get a few fun activities in. Our day was full of kayaking, swimming and some good seafood and a quick spa break before we flew out the next day. As mommies, we are always putting everyone and everything else ahead of us. If you’re able to take a quick break from daily life, please do it. The family will appreciate a well rested and relaxed mom.

Here are some of the outfits and links to the outfits I wore.

Top: SHEIN http://m.shein.com/us/Tie-Front-Layered-Trumpet-Sleeve-Textured-Top-p-373400-cat-1733.html

Bottom: SHEIN http://m.shein.com/us/Botanical-Print-Zip-Side-Wide-Leg-Pants-p-350174-cat-1740.html

Hijab: Voile Chic

Sunglasses: http://www.NoraNYC.com

Use code NewShades for 10% discount

Top: SHEIN http://m.shein.com/us/Bardot-Frill-Trim-Jungle-Print-Dress-p-380290-cat-1727.html

Glasses: Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/WearMe-Pro-Vintage-Tinted-Sunglasses/dp/B078PQZ7K2/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1525203976&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=white+cateye+sunglasses&dpPl=1&dpID=41cMMrs4qiL&ref=plSrch

Caped jumpsuit: SHEIN

http://m.shein.com/us/Cape-Sleeve-Surplice-Wrap-Tailored-Jumpsuit-p-381292-cat-1860.html

Swim top, pants, cap and hat: Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0179NK082/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B079HWSZRS/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07868PKP6/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0793LJZ9F?psc=1&ref=yo_pop_mb_yo_pop_mb_pd_t2

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Umrah family travel tips

We recently visited the Holy cities in Islam, Mecca and Madina for what is called umrah. Umrah can be done anytime of the year versus the main Hajj, which is done at a specific time of year and consists of a lot more rituals spread over specific days. We decided to bring our children along in order to increase their love for these holy places and to make tangible some of the historical places of the beginning of Islam. I will not be sharing fiqh or ruling tips as there are plenty of scholars that have outlined those. These are more mommy tips.

Moms of boys, make sure you buy them a proper ihram belt. I made the mistake of listening to my husband that any old belt will do and come to find out, it won’t. I also wish I had special snaps sewn into the ihram because it can be a hard for a young boy to manage the special two pieces of cloth, especially if you are coming through Jeddah and straight to perform the umrah. It was super windy while we were getting off the plane and I was carrying luggage and couldn’t help the poor kid navigate the stairs and the wind and cloth ( the current Jedda airport does not have gates but buses to take you to the airport). Best advice would be to start off at Madina first and then head to Mecca. The lines at the airport for customs are ridiculous so make sure everyone has used the restrooms and have some snacks and water packed for the little ones. That’s probably the number one advice for the trip would be to always carry enough water and snacks for the kids. There are plenty of food options and most tours include meals but there may be off times when the kids are jet lagged and you can’t make it to the buffets. We were lucky to be able to travel with family and it made the trip much more memorable and fun. There are wheelchairs available to rent for the rituals that you can push smaller children in as they can get tired from tawaf and saee. We had the kids listen to lectures about umrah and tried to explain the rituals in ways they could understand. You can also try to make it more tangible in ways and ask them “do you think Bilal RA had the same view of the mountains during sunset?” in Madina? Sometimes it was necessary to split up as prayers were segregated. Marking clear meet up spots is essential due to heavy crowds in both masjids. Let them see the masjids during less crowded times and soak up the ambiance if possible. Have empty water bottles for zamzam water refills and thin bags with straps for everyone to carry their shoes in. Do any touring of other areas early morning as it gets quite hot during the day. There are pharmacies all over so you can always pick up meds if needed. Moms of little ones, always have a hand on your baby. I found a lost toddler and the guards could care less about helping to find the mom. There is a large building for lost children in Madina but no one wants that worry and heartache. Try to rotate with your spouse for some one on one worship time. Last piece of advice that’s not kid related is the shopping is cheaper in Madina. Leave any additional advice below, would be happy to hear it!

Hobby Lobby Challenge

Hobby Lobby Challenge

I’m not sure if you have heard, but there is a viral challenge going on. A bunch of teens started doing photoshoots in the floral section of Hobby Lobby. I was tagged in a lot of comments on the articles going around Facebook about it and thought “why not?”. As someone that dabbles in photography, I knew it was something that can be challenging. For those who don’t know what hobby lobby is, it’s a huge box store that sells all types of crafts and decor. The lighting is horrible and of course, there are regular people just shopping in there. I was lucky enough that my friend from Tasnia Malek photography was ready for the challenge and has the skills to match. I wasn’t the most poised model and was cracking up after shot but we got some good shots in and mainly, had tons of fun! If you’re tired of the same old photoshoot in front of the barn, think outside the box (or inside a store) for your next photoshoot. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Check out Tasnia’s amazing photography at http://www.tasniamalek.com!

https://www.tasniamalek.com/

Spring cleaning