Sunday, October 31, 2010


I got a book from the library called Cupcake because I like baking and I didn't even have a chance to read it to the kids before they were all grabbing it and reading it. From 14 down to 1 everyone just had to read it. I've never seen them all like a book so much so I thought I'd share it with you. Its about a plain white vanilla cupcake with a whole bunch of brother and sister cupcakes with funky flavours and designs who all get picked first and he gets left behind. So candle decides to help him out. Its a funny, quirky book so I guess that's why they like it. There is a recipe at the back too so it would make a great playdate book (wink, wink, at handmade beginnings.)

Everyone needs a punching bag!

I saw this for sale at Winners and thought it would be great for practicing our Tae Kwon Do punches and kicks. It comes with two Tae Bo videos. The kids are loving it and I think its great for round house kicks. This is great for everyone as a stress reliever too!

November Book Club Pick - Love in a Headscarf

Tomorrow insha Allah is November so I hope all you avid readers have gotten your hands on the next book pick; Love in a Headscarf. If you don't have it yet ask someone to get it for you for Eid or buy two and give one to a friend. Let's grow this book club; tell a friend, put the book club widget on your blog, get your library to order the book so more people can read it and join, buy the book and lend it to a friend or family member etc. Looking forward to some more members!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Test Your Kids Manners

Here is a cute little test to give your kids to see how well-mannered they are. I did this with dd4 (grade 1).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Next Door Diner

On the weekend I got a chance to experience my friend's new halal diner; Next Door Diner. I had honey garlic chicken wings and fries and dh had the philadelphia steak sub and the kids had burgers and one had macaroni. We all liked the food except the kids didn't like the macaroni. I didn't try it so I don't know why. I forgot to take pictures of the food but ran back and took pictures of the place. The place was very quiet as its just opened. It was great to be able to order everything off the menu instead of only vegetarian or seafood choices. There was dessert too but we were too stuffed to order any. The owner told me she's been making cakes for 30 yrs. So if you are in the London area and you have a craving for some Canadian diner style halal food do stop by.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooked on French

Part of the curriculum in Canada is learning French and we are French too so last year I got dd4 (grade 1) the Hooked on French kit. She used it today and was really enjoying it and picking up words fast. The kit comes with storybooks, workbooks,cds,cards and stickers. There are two parts to it. Today she was learning things like numbers and colours. I will keep using the first one till she knows it well. There are also extra suggested activities for each lesson.

Blog Roll Additions

I'm the kind of person that gets bored easily and am always looking around for new inspiration so I went searching for new blogs to add to my blogroll. In the meantime I always check if anyone has me on their blog roll, ahem. Barely anyone has added me to their homeschooling blog rolls so either its because I have other topics as well on my blog or its just not up to snuff. (sniff, sniff). But I digress. So here are my new choices..perhaps you will like them too even if they are chosen by a mediocre blogger.

March Book Club Pick 2011

I just came across this book :  Jihad of the Soul which is about being muslim,single and looking. I want to read it for my kids' sakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Living together and Loneliness

This isn't going to be about common-law relationships but about other set-ups. After watching Sister Wives (never get to see islamic polygamy close up so might as well rubber neck the Christians, ahem), I realised that one of the main reasons these women can put up with the situation is that being together with all the other wives eases their loneliness. Back in the olden days (cough 1950's) women stayed home and had coffee mornings or so I've been told as that's way before my time. Nowadays with the majority of women working I think a lot of women work because that's one of the only ways you can get adult interaction during the day. But there's something else at play that's changed over the years. In the really olden days let's say turn of the century, ahh, last century, people lived in extended families. After reading about a family that decided to live that way again in Reader's Digest it really hit a nerve. Most of us would hate to be in such a situation as we've always been told how awful it is but what about the benefits? Actually growing up to know your grandparents intimately, babysitters on hand, shared chores, help in your old age and yes a salve for loneliness. The article also talks about how much money you save. I know a lot of people in the GTA are living together just in order to afford a house; multiple generations, siblings, friends. At what cost has this relatively  new way of living affected us? I remember when my granny lived on the same property as us in her little house. I cherish those days so much. In Malaysia people may not live together anymore but sometimes do but they do live in the same neighbourhood; the kampung. I miss walking past my neighbours house and being invited in for tea because hey that's my in-law. Its a special feeling. Sometimes I long to live in the olden days when your neighbours were your relatives and woman got together for coffee and quilting bees and potlucks. I have more money here in Canada but yes my Malaysian readers I also have something I didn't have in Malaysia; loneliness. Yes a woman with 10 kids can feel lonely, it takes more than your relationship with your kids to keep you company. Alhumdullilah.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Size of a Mustard Seed

I finished this awhile back and I know there is one person reading it and perhaps finished but is there anyone else? The month is almost over and we will be discussing it soon. If you just started or are about to get your copy then you still have time.  I loved this book and I hope you will too. Next month's choice is Love in a Headscarf.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Nasihah

Perfect reminder to me right now.

Understanding the Prophet's Life
We have heard many times a person bemoan, "I do not deserve this!" or "Why me?" or similar declarations. Many people live with the rancour in their hearts because of what they have been dealt with in life. This attitude toward trials stems from a denial of God's omnipotence and that God alone decrees all things. We cannot choose what befalls us, but we can choose our responses to the trials of life, which are inevitable.
It is important to look at the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and know that no one faced greater tribulation. The Prophet lived to see all of his children buried, except for Fatima. How many people experience that in their lifetime? His father died before his birth. His mother died when he was just a boy. His guardian grandfather then died. When he received his calling, he saw his people turn against him with vehemence and brutality. People who had once honoured him no slandered him, calling him a madman, liar, and sorcerer. They stalked him and threw stones at him until he bled. They boycotted him and composed stinging invectives against him. He lost his closest friends and relatives, like Hamza, who was killed on the battlefield. His beloved wife Khadija after 25 years of blissful marriage died during the Prophet's most difficult moment. Abu Talib, his protecting uncle, also died. The Prophet was the target of 13 assassination attempts. How many people have face all of that? Not once in a single hadith is there a complaint from him - except when beseeching his Lord.
Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 69- 72

Future Plans for the Kaaba?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quran Pen Reader, Teacher

Have any of you tried the new Quran Pen Readers or Baba Salam Teacher? Its like the leap frog books where you have a pen and you point to the word and its read to you. Imagine? This is great for converts and even kids. Most of these seem to be out of stock everywhere. They must be really in demand. My friend sent one to her mother who never learnt the Quran before (muslim country now but formerly colonized.) I also have my eye on the Tajweed Untangler. Anyone have that book? What innovative resources are you using to learn Quran?  Meanwhile my tajweed teacher got me the al-huda book to learn the Quran word for word.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Stuff in London

My friend is opening the first ever halal diner in London; Next Door Diner. Can you imagine halal Canadian food? Yum! I'm going to check it out soon insha Allah. Its located at 435 Hamilton Rd, between Rectory and Adelaide. Have questions? Call 519-432-1555.

There's also a new a hijab seller in London called Nai'yera. They sell scarves and underscarves. If you live in London, any purchase over $20 comes with FREE delivery. For more info:

1) Search nai'yera on (don't forget the apostrophe!)
2) Check out our pictures and choose what you like!
3) Then email us your order

Monday, October 18, 2010

Consoling Men

Today 8 men came from out of town to console dh. I was happy that they took the time out to show they cared. Sad to say though no men came from the mosque that dh attends. Alhumdullilah though. In the evening another man came with his wife and kids and they brought some semolina cookies. She told me that they might be buying a building to make into a mosque. That would really be something as that city still has no real mosque but only a trailer to pray in. May Allah make it easy for them. Amin.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Muslim Day at the ROM

I've gone to this before a few years ago and its worth every cent! Go early though because the place is huge! I think we barely scratched the surface. It was so amazing and great to be able to obtain halal meals there too. There is also a place to pray and Islamic lectures and more. Its next weekend! Check it out here.  To get the coupon code go here. October is Muslim Heritage Month, what's your community doing?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Creativ Festival-Oct 22-24

No that's not a typo that's what its called. Next weekend if you're the creative type then the place to be is Toronto! Here's the blurb : World's largest event of its kind! It's about learning,creativity and making it yourself. Supplies and tips to bead,sew,knit,stitch,quilt,scrapbook and more. TV hosts, industry experts and exhibits.
T: 1-800-291-2030

Built-in Book Nook

Ok I seriously want this, like now! Can I add this to my honey-do list? Dh said its easy. I don't think it would fit anywhere in this house though. Can I add getting a new house to my list too? Please?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Condolence Call

Today 4 muslim women came to pay a condolence call. Alhumdullilah. I wish though some men would come to cheer up my husband. They brought food and gifts. It was very nice to have some visitors especially since they came from out of town. They asked me not to make anything so I spent my time making things presentable. Cleanliness is half of faith. May Allah reward them for their kindness. Amin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 1st Annual TMH Homeschooling Conference

This is almost two months late as I attended this conference on August 8th as well as my kids including handmade beginnings who is my oldest daughter. I only took notes for Abdullah Hakim Quick as the other speakers were mostly saying things I already knew. My notes are kind of all over the place but insha Allah you can glean something from them. He will be having a lecture tomorrow so check the link.

Homeschooling -Stepping out of the matrix (my title).

Islamic schools are an alternative to the public system. They have an islamised western curriculum plus traditional islamic subjects which creates a burden to the student. Its a crisis for the ummah.

Alhambra had a plumbing system for 1000 yrs and electricity for a 12 km stretch.

We need an holistic education; islamic homeschooling.

Basis for learning should not be book knowledge but learn character from people not facts from books.

Islamic education = God consciousness.

Islamic school has failed. Western style is not holistic. Homeschool is cutting edge. Islamic history. Teachers orientated them. Environment where they could blossom. Quran. Math. Hadith. Fiqh.

Role of the teacher. Revelation. Knowledge of the world. Put it into practice. Parents practice is the message.

Kids learn body language from western secular school from teacher and students. Kids irritating others to fit in.

If we practise our Islam in the society our kids will be equipped to cope with society.

Islamic revival- a change from within ourselves. The 40 hadith of Islamic Revival. ( His book).

Peer pressure. Environment. Rights of the road.

Heart is more than flesh, has mind of its own. Decisions made in the heart remain connected to the mind.

Righteousness- ask your heart intention-why are we doing this? Extends itself to character reflection of the heart. Reflection of the prophet.

Gatherings-sessions-revival of Islam-personal development to fit with the prophet.

Islamic curriculum usually has ibadah. Should have interpersonal relationships. Not how to fast but WHY we fast.

Learning is empowerment; to be able to be empowered in this world and avoid temptation.

3 Steps
1. Taqwa-Fitrah
2. Khalifa
3. Ihsan (Sincerity)

Let your child correct your mistake.
Greater picture; hereafter. Don't worry if your team wins and then if you don't, you commit suicide.

Homeschooling = stepping out of the matrix.

Al Maghrib-deconstruct history.

Christopher Columbus was discovered in 1492!

Whoever has taqwa Allah will find a way out for them.


To Grandmother's house we go!

Sunday was a busy day filled with baking and dh finishing up (well almost) the playhouse and playing in the sprinklers. My daughter (dd3) baked S'Mores Cupcakes. The recipe was taken from a chapter book she just finished called Its Raining Cupcakes. I made Upside down Glazed Bran Muffins.(These are both delicious!) Then on Monday we all trekked to my parents house but first we picked up dd2 with said baked goodies.  Ds1 and Dd1 also joined us from their respective cities so it was kind of like a family reunion. We went in the afternoon and enjoyed my mother's lovely apple pie with ice cream on top. The big kids explored different playgrounds in her town. The guys talked about guy stuff; they all like mechanical things. My mother suggested I read A Blade of Grass. Dd1 lent me some Islamic cds. I listened to one on the way home but fell asleep half way through. A lovely day all in all but I wish I could have prayed at my parents instead of delaying it. Being a convert is never easy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Air Janazah

Muslims must always contemplate their own demise and lately after the death of my mother-in-law that mindset is driven home even more. We don't know when our loved ones will die or when we will die or if we will die before them. Are we ready? Have we packed our good deeds? Look deep in your soul. If your parents are alive go and visit them NOW! Dh just told me about a man who hasn't visited his parents in 20 yrs on purpose and for no reason. I know a guy like that too who hasn't visited his parents in 30 years and in the meantime his father passed away and still he sits and waits. For what? His mother's death? His own death? Wake up and live! Follow the straight path. Repent. Do good deeds. Don't broadcast your sins; it doesn't make you cool! Don't procrastinate. Time waits for no man. What would you change right now if you knew you had a month or a week or a day or an hour to live? Carpe Diem-Seize the Moment. Pray now, give charity now, smile at your fellow man now, keep the ties of kinship, make up your fasts, give presents (you can't take your money with you anyway!) and write an islamic will. Hug your kids, teach them Islam, bring them to the masjid and let them know their relatives. Make friends for the sake of Allah. Give naseehah. Volunteer. Donate. Keep busy with righteous deeds and worthwhile endeavours. Make dua for others. Visit the sick. I think you get the picture. And don't forget dawah, especially to your non-muslim family. The reminder benefits the believer and I remind myself first.

Lonely Muslim Converts

I didn't go out looking for this article but came across it when I was looking for baking recipes and thought I'd share it with you. Another Eid is coming up in November; don't forget your convert sister or brother-in-Islam. By the way the website also had recipes in case you want those too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Future Book Club Picks

Insha Allah there are some of you enjoying this month's book club pick; The Size of a Mustard Seed. If not then I highly recommend it. November's pick as I mentioned before will be Love in a Headscarf. December's will be Healing Body and Soul. January will be Green Deen. February will be Growing Up X. So if you want to get prepared then find out if your library has these or if they can be ordered. Otherwise please order them here. If you've read one of our past titles please go back and share your review. If you have a bookworm friend then please tell them about our book club. Thanks.

How to be his girlfriend.

So come on,  every wife wants to feel like a girlfriend! But after years of marriage and kids its not so easy. Sometimes the relationship needs a little spice, a little pepper. How about some advice from a relationship coach and a muslim one at that?  Fatima Khan with her lectures, books and coaching is there to help. Check out LifePepper! You can sign up for emails too.  She mentions that she graduated at the top of her class taught by Muhammad Al-shareef. I guess that's saying a lot!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Mother-In-Law Passed Away.

Inna ilaihi wa inna ilaih rajiun. Last night (day in Malaysia) my mother-in-law passed away. May Allah accept her good deeds, forgive her her sins and grant her Jannah. Amin. I haven't seen my mother-in-law in 10 yrs when I lived with her for 4 months. She was a very nice woman and I really loved her. I'm taking it pretty hard. I feel so bad for dh who missed her funeral and can't get any more days off from work as he already went there in January. At that time she was doing pretty well but afterwards she went downhill fast. The sad thing is that 2 of my kids who saw her when they were little can't remember her and the 4 little kids have never seen her in their lives. Insha Allah one day they will at least get to see their aunts, uncles and cousins. Please say a prayer for her and dh; now he's an orphan.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Do you have any recommendations for me? I'm looking for new blogs and books, magazines etc. Have you read, heard or seen anything that made you think hey, old muslim woman in the shoe would just love this!? If you have please let me know. A lot of people on my blog list haven't blogged in months. I'd like to shake things up a bit and I'm always interested in new reading material as well, especially for my book club. Thanks!
Hethr recently recommended Muslim Next Door. Mom, I'm a Muslim looks interesting but its only on Kindle.

Homeschooling Picks

I finally bought some books for dd4 (grade 1) this week. Since she has to learn to read I so wish I could have found the book I learned to read with at school at her age. Anyone remember Spot? See Spot. See Spot Run. But this book seems to have disappeared along with other ideas like phonics instead of whole word learning although you can still access phonics with programs like Hooked on Phonics.(Amazon has it!) I got her the grade 1 Complete Canadian Curriculum at Coles. I also got her Brown Bear to help her learn to read as well as a Dora reading book. Coles was also sponsoring a local school library by selling Robert Munsch books so I got Put Me in a Book which she thought was silly when I read it to her. I like silliness. I'm also still using flashcards to help her learn to count and the wipe off books from Avon to help her learn to write letters and numbers. Dd1 told me about Progressive Phonics but I haven't looked into that yet. How is your homeschooling going this year?

October Book Club Pick

October is already here and its time to change titles! This month's pick is The Size of a Mustard Seed. How many readers do we have this month? We'll be discussing this at the end of the month so there is still time for you to get your hands on a copy. This is a great way to support muslim authors. Either order a copy here, get your library to order one or ask your friends or family if they have a copy you can borrow. Next month is Eid and if you're looking for a great eid gift then ask for Love in a Headscarf; next month's book club pick. If you've read any of the previous book club picks please leave your thoughts on the book you read. Happy reading fellow bookworms.