We went on a very quick tour to Bangladesh to show our children where their grandparents grew up. We literally were there for five days but packed in a whole lot of stuff! My personal favorite was our stay at Dusai. It is a small resort near the famous tea gardens. I wore a kimono that was very similar to the sold out Zara one.
Here is the link:
Hijab: Voile chic
Use code NewShades for a discount!
Bangladesh has a lot of beautiful natural sites and greenery. Everyone should try to take in the sites if possible. Here is the link for the resort. The resort had a spa, tea garden, small lake, tennis courts and much more. Food was really yummy too.
We did a very quick stop to Doha, Qatar. We stayed in the souq waqif boutique hotels. It was right in the middle of the souq. The hotel smells heavenly! I was impressed by how courteous the people were. Doha has so much to see and do. We were impressed by the lively atmosphere. It was very international with all sorts of nationalities represented. I definitely need to go back and take in more of the sights of Doha. Here is a link for the hotel.
Do you have any travel suggestions for our next adventure?
Are you a true hipster at heart? Is your dream party outdoors under twinkling lights full of vintage touches? I admit, I’m a Pinterest mom when it comes to party ideas. My daughter recently turned 13 and I wanted to make it special since she doesn’t want a sweet sixteen. I absolutely love how it turned out and most importantly, she loved it too. I started the prep about two months ahead so I was able to gather the goods and make things without rushing last minute. It also gives plenty of time to look for sales and deals.
I saw a similar photo on Pinterest but it didn’t have a how to link. I had to wing it and figure it out and love how it came out. I ordered the name from Studio Noel, who was super helpful throughout the process. Here’s the link to her store.
You can customize the font, size and colors and she is very prompt. The wood board was from Home Depot and I actually used wallpaper from Target to give it the plank look.
The vines go on sale at Hobby Lobby every other week and I hot glue gunned them on.
This pic served as an inspiration for something similar I made for my daughter. It came with instructions on how to make and was pretty simple to do but time consuming.
My friend was able to make a “naked” cake to fit the theme even though she had never made one before. It came together beautifully. I bought the wood platters from Hobby Lobby. They were cheaper when you use the 40% off coupon than at TJ Maxx. They also had the small wooden holders that I placed tealights on. TJ Maxx did have the cutest candle holders in stock now. We had mini succulents as the party favor. The link is here
I also did a DIY string lights for the floor set up. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of it that I can post but I will post the link I used for the instructions. The cement is heavy so this is a two person project. I also added some vines from Hobby Lobby ( look for that 50% off sale!) to decorate the poles.
Everything turned out as beautifully as I had imagined it. A big thank you to all of our amazing friends that helped make it happen!
The color red has officially taken over all the stores as THE color of fall this year. It’s a great complement to the seasonal colors and can be a little surprise to any outfit. This is a color that flatters all skin tones. You can incorporate as a top or bottom or both or just add a red accent through your accessories.
I recently tried these flared pants and they were perfect for a hijabi. It was modest and on trend. I liked that it flowed like a skirt but I was still able to move freely and sit any which way as they are pants.
Love how Melanie from Haute Hijab has tried it as a head to toe look and also as a single statement piece.
Here are some looks from Zara
Don’t be afraid to try this bold color this fall! Send your photos or hashtag me on IG to show off your looks!
Recently I watched a movie with my son that featured a family where the dad was perpetrating domestic violence. I think my ten year old was shocked, it was something he had never seen or dealt with before. He had no clue someone could do something like that. Alhamdulillah, we are lucky, his father embodies what a good man should look like. Children definitely learn as we do. However, I still made a point to speak to him about the movie and the family. I made sure he understood that it is never ok to physically abuse a woman. I know we are raising him in a warm, safe environment but I just wanted to really drive home a point. I also pointed out, a lot of kids do grow up in a home affected with violence and they may take that aggression out at school. I think it is important to actually take the time and speak with our kids about values that are important to us. We should not assume that they will just automatically pick things up. It is important to verbalize it to really drive home a point. If we start early, hopefully we will be raising the right type of men that we need in the world.
Pearl details have been popping up all over the place recently. I think they add a nice little touch to an outfit and can dress up any old shirt, sweater or jeans. Makes accessorizing a breeze as the details stand out on their own. Here’s a look at a great fall sweater from Zara.
There are a few fashionable options for jeans with pearl details.
Sandals and slides are also a chic way to try to out this trend. Here are a few affordable options.
If you want to splurge, check out these kate spade sandals.
Have you tried this trend? Let me know your thoughts below!
Long skirts are always a fashion staple in any hijabi’s closet as they are modest and can be dressed up and down. Tulle skirts especially add a little something to any special occasion and now there are so many options available for any look you are going for. Here’s a look at that I recently wore for my friend’s baby shower. I love how one friend described it as “edgy school girl prom dress”. I went darker as I felt that the pink look has been done before and done well. I accessorized it with a leather jacket and belt to lend a cooler edge to it.
Bag: Kate Spade
Hijab: Voile Chic
Chic wish has some super cute options as well.
You can also check out ASOS as well. This one was petite friendly.
A couple of years ago, tulle skirts were not as ubiquitous and easy to find so I did a DIY tutorial and made it for myself and my daughter.
Here are some photos to inspire you to try this look out. Share your comments and pictures below!
Over the weekend, a pretty major scandal broke about a leading Islamic speaker in U.S. There’s been a great deal of denial, accusations, victim shaming and general heartache and confusion in the community. There’s a great article on how to deal with the aftermath here https://muslimmatters.org/2017/09/24/navigating-the-nouman-ali-khan-scandal/
Living in this digital world where we have access to any type of image and can connect with almost anyone, anywhere, has left us vulnerable as a community. How should we approach this topic with our children, many of whom have listened to the speaker at conferences and on YouTube? Many parents have said, don’t say anything. This is problematic and just like the ostrich sticking their heads in the sand, not going to do any good. Our kids have internet access and can find the information out on their own and may be too young to understand what is proper conduct. Even if they don’t access at home, they can hear the rumors from their friends. Hopefully, we have the kind of relationship that allows them to approach us about the issues. If they don’t, they might be discouraged, “if so and so can’t even follow the deen properly, how can I?” Or make them think “everyone is engaged in outside relationships, why shouldn’t I?”
First, we have to realize we cannot place our lecturers on a pedestal. They are simply learning and spreading their knowledge of the deen. The deen is perfect but no human being is. We need to emphasize that a person can make mistakes but we can still benefit from any good knowledge that may have come from them. We have to emphasize Shaytan is always lurking around, no matter how old or famous you are. We have to make a hundred excuses for a fellow believer and if we run out, then we should remain silent. It’s also a good time to emphasize the dangers of sending quote unquote “private” messages. Once it’s out there, anyone can save and share our pics and messages. We also want to speak to them about the dangers of gossip, we don’t want to be burdened with losing our good deeds or perhaps gaining other people’s bad ones on the Day of Judgement. May Allah guide us during these trying times.
Being born and raised in NYC, I was bound to have some close Puerto Rican friends growing up. There’s a saying, there are more Puerto Ricans in New York than in Puerto Rico. I was exposed to the delicious foods, fast music and culture of family and love for dancing. My friends would always talk about how beautiful the island was with its lush rainforests, beautiful beaches and bioluminescent bays. I was privileged to travel there for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday and the island totally lived up to all expectations.
We landed and immediately headed straight to eat! My sister and best friend wanted mofongo while I was looking forward to arroz con pollo. I definitely had gained five pounds by the end of the trip!
We then went to explore Old San Juan. It was absolutely charming! Lots of history and you can see the confluence of cultures in the architecture. Loved all the pastel colored buildings, they make for a great backdrop for beautiful photos.
Hijab: Voile Chic https://voilechic.ca/
Top: Free People https://www.freepeople.com/
Pants: Boohoo http://us.boohoo.com/
We were also learning that patience is needed with the service at most restaurants, we were on island time.
A few of us headed out to the El San Juan hotel. The lobby was gorgeous and had live salsa music. I really enjoyed watching the older couples dance with such elegance and grace. There was one woman in a wheelchair and someone was holding her hands and dancing. It was such a fun and festive and accepting atmosphere. http://curiocollection3.hilton.com/en/hotels/puerto-rico/el-san-juan-hotel-curio-collection-by-hilton-SJUCUQQ/index.html
We had also visited the el morro fort, lot of picturesque views from there.
Hijab: Voile chic
One of the highlights of the trip was relaxing at our hotel. We stayed at the Condado Vanderbilt. It has a grand history and was the perfect place to just chill out. There was even an adults only area and pool. It was in a very central location and we felt very safe staying there. The service was excellent. It also has a beautiful infinity pool. We also enjoyed the only hammam in Puerto Rico. https://www.condadovanderbilt.com/
Hat and kimono: Amazon
I would highly recommend a trip to Puerto Rico. It was a perfect gateway to start exploring Latin culture.
Eid ul fitr usually gets the lion’s share of focus and attention. We are lucky as Muslims to be able to celebrate two Eids. With Eid ul adha right around the corner, I wanted to inspire you guys with some decor ideas to make this Eid ul adha special.
Last year, my friend and I threw a party using free printables from this amazing site
They were so cute and did I mention they were free? All you have to do is print them. Here are some pics from the party
There are lots of Kaaba craft ideas that the kids can enjoy making and learn about the significance of Hajj at the same time. For the little ones, there are lots of cute sheep decor that they can learn to craft also.
Hope you are able to partake in this blessed season and enjoy it with your family and friends.
I turned 40 recently and I have to admit, it came with a lot of soul searching and wondering. Have I accomplished everything I always pictured myself doing at this age? Am I living a fulfilling life? What makes me truly happy? What is the definition of fulfillment? I also realize that time is running out and that it is precious. Am I allocating my remaining time to right people and to the right causes? I am still grappling with these thoughts and looking for clarity in my life. I blinked and the last fifteen or so years of my life are gone. No one is guaranteed tomorrow so to be able to have made it this far is a blessing indeed. I like to joke I’d rather be old than the alternative. Society says women should downplay their age and act and look twenty five forever. That I should start covering my grays, fight the wrinkles, tuck and lift my body parts. There’s nothing wrong with a youthful outlook in life. The problem happens when we fight who we actually are. We need to embrace our older, wiser selves. Having survived the bumps and bruises of life has taught me lessons and patience that my youthful self could never have known. I am looking forward to my future years (God willing) with a little more introspective view. Not always living to please others. Not always having to be the loudest to be heard. Building on better, deeper, more meaningful relationships. Reaching this point in my life has been an amazing journey and especially because I have been blessed with amazing family and friends.
“Forty is a most beautiful age for both men and women. Did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? When we mourn we mourn for forty days. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings.
The Flood of Noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away and enabled human beings to make a new, fresh start. In Islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and God. Likewise, there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each, making forty levels in total. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Muhammad was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. Buddha meditated under a linden tree for forty days. Not to mention the forty rules of Shams.
You receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! You have reached a most auspicious number. Congratulations! And don’t worry about getting old. There are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!” – Forty Rules of Love
Have you ever felt annoyed by your kids or spouse to a point where a minor trigger that you would normally brush off, becomes a major episode? Have you ever tried to backtrack to see how you got to that point? Were all the exchanges leading up to that point ones that were positive or negative? Were you feeling extra close and loved that week by your spouse or were you both running on fumes and just passing each other by? Or worse, just critical about every little thing? Were you creating good memories with the kids or just barking orders at them all day? Our relationships are fed by us, kind of an emotional currency and we can choose to make positive or negative deposits in them everyday. The more positive ones we make, the stronger that relationship becomes and can withstand any negative forces that may crop up. I’ve noticed with the kids especially, if I haven’t been really paying attention to them, not the fake kind of just nodding my head along, they start acting up and can become more quarrelsome. This reminder is more for myself than anyone else, but try to put your thoughts and distractions away and really try to connect with your family and make those positive deposits in your emotional bank accounts today.