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!
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!
Spring is officially here this week, (at least that’s what the calendar says but it’s still chilly). This is often a great time to take a peek at some of the home projects that we’ve let slip during the cold winter months. I usually like to tackle one, maybe two major things so that I don’t get overwhelmed. I have to add it to the calendar to make sure I get it done and then we commit to it. It’s usually pollen season in the south so it’s a perfect time to wash those drapes, wipe down the vents and make sure they’ve been changed. I get the kids involved by emptying out their closets and making donation bags. Now is a good time to get a deep clean of the carpets. Of course, now is the time to freshen up the garden and clean out the weeds and start planting. Here’s a helpful chart to help organize your spring projects.
What are some of your spring cleaning projects that you are planning? Leave your comments below, happy cleaning!
If you want to try some of Spring’s 2018 trends but don’t want to spend a ton of money, take a look at Target. Lavender has been declared Pantone’s color of the year. This cute handbag is the right shade and perfect for spring.
Pink is always a color to add to any spring wardrobe. I saw these heels and couldn’t resist the color and cute ruffle details on them.
Mules are also trending this season. I had purchased these on sale and looks like they’re all sold out but you can still find them on EBay and Poshmark, they are the matilda shoes from WhoWhatWear.
This dress was the perfect yellow shade and can brighten up anyone’s day. It’s long sleeved and doesn’t wrinkle easily
Hope you are inspired to try some of these trends and can add some fashion to your target runs. Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions to try from target!
I have been feeling anguish since last week’s shooting in Florida. How is this happening again and again? I’ve been riveted and can’t comprehend how people are calling out the children, the innocent children who have lost their classmates and friends, for being manipulative? Have politicians lost absolutely all shame? Things that were unthinkable in my youth are commonplace now. We are desensitized to it all. All hope for change is being placed on the shoulders of the youth. I hope they can carry the burdens that we have placed on them.
We all know that there is a self acceptance and appreciation movement going on which is quite exciting. We saw the addition of diverse body types at NYFW this week (Hello Christian Siriano!) Growing up in the 90’s with the waif figure as the model ideal, this is a healthy change in the right direction. There is the movement to post unedited, raw photos that haven’t been heavily photoshopped. I hope this momentum continues. What can we do as everyday moms? What we can do is explain that these are not real images, that even the model cannot live up to the photo. That they have fat rolls and wrinkles and stretch marks. That’s it’s all a ploy to make us feel bad about ourselves and buy their product to make us attempt to look like them. That we can take an honest look in the mirror and be happy and grateful with what we see. That we live a balanced lifestyle our children can model that includes working out and eating right and pushing to be the best version of ourselves. That at the end of the day, we practice self love and acceptance.
There are some great jackets on sale for the kiddos right now! Make sure to size up so it will fit them by next winter.
This jacket is so cute and has a faux trim and comes in multiple colors.
This one looks stylish and warm at the same time!
Little ones will love this one and parents will love the price!
This one is such a great deal and such a cheerful color!
This jacket looks sturdy enough to withstand all the sledding and snowball fights of the season.
This one’s such a beautiful blue and has an extra warm lining.
There are some really amazing sales out there, hope this helped narrow some of the options. Happy shopping!
I am always looking for a good deal and January/ February is the best time to find some good deals on your coats for next year. I love puffer jackets for how warm and comfortable they are. Here are some of my picks from this years sales. (This is not a sponsored post nor have I personally tried the items.)
This coat is such a great deal and bonus is that it comes in petite sizes. These are selling out fast!
This one has a cute faux trim for the hood.
This parka has a fur trim lining throughout and looks extra cozy.
For anyone looking for a more luxurious coat, this one is a good deal.
This Asos jacket is on sale for $55.50, can’t beat the price!
There are a lot of good deals on puffer coats out there at all different price points! Let me know if you scored a great deal below!
It has been extremely cold in North America the past few weeks. Staying inside your warm house means more time for online shopping right? The fuzzy jacket trend will keep you nice and toasty in this frigid weather for those times you must venture out that won’t break the bank.
Happy shopping and stay warm!