Friday 30 August 2013

All Partied Out

As a child my upbringing was quite strict and reserved.  When we were small, my siblings and I would get taken visiting and for day trips.  As we got older, we found ourselves fairly isolated.  My parents were quite reserved and after the death of my very outgoing and sociable grandparents, my parents limited visiting to births, deaths and similar important reasons.  We rarely went out as a family and I spent every summer holiday reading book after book and wishing I had cousins my age that I could have sleepovers and spend holidays with like my school friends.

One consequence of this as an adult has been my conscious choice to live like my grandparents.  This means having an open house full of extended family and guests, doing lots of fun things with my children and always being up for a new adventure.  Another consequence of my upbringing is that I love to throw parties or go to them.  I never want to say no and I love to dress up and host guests or take food along or try new foods at friends’ places.  I love to meet new friends and to spend time chatting and laughing with old ones.

The last two weeks have been slightly crazy.  We have been to a one-dish party after work, a little boy’s aqeeqah party, two dholki/mayoun nights (part of a Punjabi wedding where women get together), a henna night to get my henna done and a wedding on the other side of London.


During the same period we spent a day at Hever Castle, a day in the Lake District and two days in Scotland (a six hour drive with four children and two elders).  At the same time I have been going to work and trying to stay alert enough not to fall off of my chair.

We have had lots and lots of fun.  I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to dress up, try new food and see new places.  I am most grateful for all of the kind people who have welcomed us into their homes.

But right now I am all partied out.  I am tired, my feet drag, my mind is sluggish and my throat sore.  My idea of fun now?  A nice book, a quiet home, simple meals without any fuss.  I am looking forward to laundry, hoovering and scrubbing the bathtub and cooking home-made meals.  Slowly and gently bringing some routine and order into my home and for my family insh’Allah.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Feroza: New Products for August - Brooches

We have added a new category to our online shop today: brooches.  Please do take a look and let us know what you think.

Friday 16 August 2013

Eid ul Fitr 2013./1334 - Eye Candy, Good Food and Gifts

Eid-ul-Fitr was very pleasant this year alhamdulillah.  We kept it fairly simple without lots of decor, parties or fuss.  I couldn't manage as much and Ramadan went by so quickly that I wanted to focus on it whilst it was here.

The other issue we had was that we had Eid on Thursday and the masjid my dad goes to announced Eid was on Friday, so we ended up celebrating a day before my parents.  I would be upset, but this has gone on for years, so I just extend my celebrations by an extra day and get on with it.

So aside from that, we still enjoyed the feast days, with time spent with family, good food and the chance to dress up and share gifts.

I loved these outfits my mum bought the girls.  I love the contrast in size, my big girl and my little darling.

This picture isn't very good, but this is the outfit my youngest brother-in-law and his wife sent me from Pakistan.  I absolutely loved it.  It is floor length and the sleeves gather up at the wrists (although Shutterbug did suggest that it might be because it was made for a knuckle-scraping Neanderthal)

I cooked for everyone on the first day, but for me real Eid food will always be about my mum's fantastic cooking (below - lamb pilau rice, tandoori chicken, lamb mince kebabs, meatballs and potatoes in sauce, boneless chicken curry, salad, raita and mint chutney).

Fashionista made these gorgeous shortbread cookies.  I love the design on each of these.

The best bit was my haul of gifts.  I was sooo happy with what I got this year - shoes, books, scarves, chocolate from Hotel Chocolat and a NOOK!  Couldn't have asked for more alhamdulillah.

Eid ul Fitr 2013/1334 - Henna

The night before Eid day (chand raat), the neighbours girls who are friends with my daughter came round to get their henna done.  I need to practise, so I welcomes the chance to have a go on small hands.  My pinterest board for henna inspiration was helpful, mostly because I tend to pin designs which are easy to practice.

This design was made on Little Ladies hand by a friend of mine.  I liked how simple but eye catching it was.

This is my attempt at a more complicated design for Little Lady.

I think this was the design that Kooky Little Sister created on her self, but for some reason I can't remember if it was or not.

This was my attempt on myself.

This was the henna my sister-in-law applied to me.  I really loved it and it inspired me to practise some more on my daughter and the girls next door.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Eid ul Fitr 2013/1434 - Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak everyone.  Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).

Ramadan Journal 2013: Day 29 – Eid Preparations

Ramadan Journal 2013: Day 28 – Tradition

Sorting all the gifts to give I have accumulated through the year
Making Eid cards and Eid decorations
Taking mum and mum-in-law shopping to choose a gift from myself and hubby.
Matching bangles to Little Lady’s outfit
Picking a gift for myself  from my other half
Waiting till the kids are asleep to put the balloons and decorations up.
Making the 4-hour kheer (rice pudding) my in-laws love
Making fairy cakes with Little Lady on Eid morning.
Looking like a mess when hubby goes to masjid for Eid prayer and then getting everyone dressed up before he gets back.
Making jelly for Little Man on Eid.
Going to mum’s for Eid lunch (the best meal of the year).

Spending the afternoon watching movies with the kids and my sisters.

What are your traditions at this time of year?

Silver and garnet ring I picked for my Eid gift this year.  What do you think?  I liked this so much that I am tempted to source some for our shop.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Ramadan Journal 2013: Day 27 - Decor

Eid framed posters post here.
Large Happy Eid banner post here.
Small Eid Mubarak post here.

I haven't had a chance to make new ones this year, but can't wait to put these up with the kids insh'Allah.

Ramadan Journal 2013: Day 26 – Out and About

I haven’t been out and bout the last few days as out of the house.  I had been feeling a little sad that the busyness of life had meant that I couldn't make the most of Ramadan.  I made dua that I could find some amal (deed) that would be the best amal for the last few days of Ramadan.  My dua was answered and I and the girls have spent the last few days at a friend’s house for a spiritual retreat.  We spent the time making lots of dhikr (remembering Allah SWT), spending time in daily study circles with local sisters and spending the nights in prayer.  The boys stayed home with their grandparents and we got the chance to be removed from the every day for a few days.

I have come home feeling refreshed, tranquil and inspired spiritually.  It was nice to take the girls with me, Little Lady because she was able to take part in everything quite actively and Darling because I still breastfeed her.  It was also nice staying up on the odd night and making the most of it Alhamdulillah, I rarely get the chance to do so.

I did all of my Eid preparations in a few hours after fajr (dawn) prayer on the day I left – clothes, cleaning, presents, decorations found, so I have come back relaxed and planning to keep things simple this Eid with a focus on spending time with family and planning a few easy, fun days out.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Aaila Muslim Family Magazine - July August 2013 Issue

The latest edition of Aaila the Family Magazine is now online.  This edition shares lots of Ramadan reflections from writers and also encourages readers to prepare for the hajj season as well as lots of poetry.

Our editor Umm Imran has really worked hard to get this edition out with the challenges of family life and Ramadan.  Please do take the time to take a look and comment insh'Allah.

Eid Cards for 2013 - Repeat Block Print

I created these cards using old wedding invitations that were given to me, card stock and gems.  I like how the card creates a different feel with each colour - the green feels the most like an Eid card to me and is my favourite.

Eid Cards for 2013 - Pink and Orange Sari Prints

These cards are created from parts of old wedding invites.  I love the pink and orange paper which remind me of saris's made from Benarasi fabrics.