Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIS -Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference 2010

So its that time of the year again to ask yourself if you are going to RIS and if so if you'll hurry to buy tickets before the deadline (Dec 5) when the price jumps up. I didn't go last year but perhaps this year. I picked up the brochure from the halal meat store and gave it a hug, yes I'm weird like that. I've gone twice before and I really loved it. I have a hard time tearing myself away from the bazaar though because of all the great books. Since I don't have access to any islamic stuff locally I tend to get into a dreamlike state when I'm there and have to force myself back to the lectures.I've seen some people though who go to every lecture and say they have no time for the bazaar. Masha Allah hard core! But what if the information I get from the books,magazines,vendors, charity collectors etc is even more rewarding? I love interacting with all the sellers at all the booths. There is such a wide range of things represented even mainstream things like Habitat for Humanity. If you are going here is my advice, bring a bag or backpack for your purchases and make sure your wristband is on very tightly. One year I lost my shopping bag and never got it back (checked the lost and found over and over again) and the next year I lost my wrist band because they put it on too loosely. I had to buy a new one.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interfaith Gone Too Far?

This weekend I went to two different Eid potlucks. The first one was mainly geared towards dawah to the Christian invitees. I think dawah is great but filling up the whole night with it with no time for the muslims to converse with each other or the Christians seems counter-productive. On top of that I was shocked to hear the speakers' idea for interfaith activities. He suggested that muslims should do jumah prayer in the church and the Christians should come to the mosque and do their service there. Does anyone else have a problem with this? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. First of all as a former Christian, I just know that they are thinking that that would be an encroachment on their territory (this is going even beyond Little Mosque on the Prairie). As for Christians doing their service in the mosque, can you imagine shirk being preached in a mosque which is the only sin that Allah will never forgive? I think there is a point where you cross the line.  What say you?  The second potluck had absolutely no dawah as that mosque is very allergic to it and to prove it I got to sit all by myself at a table just for me and my kids. Ahh, the joys of being a convert.

Love in a headscarf -Book Club Choice for November-Review

Its the end of the month almost, has everyone finished reading Love in a Headscarf? I finished it before Eid and passed it on to dd1. Insha Allah she will have read it and have something to say. What did you think of this book? Would you recommend it? Did you learn anything from it?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mom Cave

One of the reasons there is a lot of stress in our house is that no one has their own terrritory. We are so cramped together that we have no place to call our own to decompress. Funny because right after thinking about all this I came across an article for a mom cave. This is based on the idea that men have their man caves so we deserve our own space too. Dh has no man cave although he thinks the desk that everyone shares is his space. HomeGoods is having a contest for this, but we don't have that store in Canada, too bad. I can't think of anywhere that I can retreat to. I usually use my bedroom to hide out in though like doing some cake decorating there..I know unbelievable. I also like to write letters there. But there is no desk there so I just use my bed. I feel like a teenager; I used to do my homework on my bed because I had no desk. I did have a desk there once but I replaced it with a shelf. You can store so many more things with a shelf. Being cramped is bad for your mental health and that is why dd2 used to always flee to the library. Do you have a Mom Cave?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Time Management and Motivation

If you want something done ask a busy person they say. Are you that busy person that everyone can turn to? I'm supposed to be busy but I'm not really doing all the things I should be doing with ihsan. I'm just coasting and sometimes feeling guilty and sometimes not. I started looking up islamic information regarding these topics and I'll put the links at the bottom. But something weird was listed as a time waster in the one of them; unexpected visitors dropping by. See for me that would not be a waste of time. Who knows if that visitor wasn't coming to help you or advise you with some islamic wisdom or to offer something for your family. We all have things that motivate us and for me its socialization. I think it is for a lot of people. I could be a better homeschooler if I had someone to do it with and not just virtual people. I could learn quran better if I had a daily real life teacher. And sadly I could be a better housewife if I knew that someone would drop by a few times a week instead of a few times a year. What a bad muslim eh? I'm supposed to be motivated for the sake of Allah and maybe even for the sake of my family but this is how I am. Am I the only one like this? I do motivate myself for those other reasons but years and years of this is wearing thin. Will a day planner help me? Will another calendar help me? Will joining another online group help me? Will reading another homeschool blog help me? I don't think so. I want to be that supercool energizer bunny type of muslimah who does it all even though she is alone but I can't. I want help and I want a friend and there's no sin in that. Hope I haven't busted anyone's bubble, but this is the real me.


Time Management in Islamic Perspective

The Islamic New Year 

9 Steps to Achieve Your Destiny-Video of Author  (I think she looks like Hethr,lol)

Buy the 9 Steps book here 

Take the Motivation Test to see what drives you  (turns out I'm a PSI.) so I'm not a collaberator according to this whose main focus is relationships so I guess I just want to be around people so I can boss them around...hmmm...I guess that's kind of true but sounds really evil, lol. I just put my name on the list for this book at the library.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Malaysian Food on the Move

Malaysian food on wheels in NYC! Check it out! If only they would come to Canada!

Arcademic Skill Builders

I found this great site for dd4. We played jetski addition. Most of the other games are for higher levels. In order for my daughter to understand the concept of addition I used grouped candies which she counted to get the answer. She was encouraged to count quickly as the race is timed. There are also language games as well such as spelling. Insha Allah this website will prove useful for you homeschoolers out there. Dd4 is quickly bored so I am constantly searching for new ideas. Have any of you tried the new Sesame Street games for Wii? I found a site that says they teach numbers only up to 20. I was hoping it would be 100. The game is 40 bucks, so at least it could teach higher numbers, but it is geared to pre-schoolers.

Jilbabs in Winter

I just started wearing jilbab a few months ago so I've never experienced wearing jilbab in the winter. How does one go about it? Do you wear summer jilbabs under your winter coat? Do you wear ankle length winter coats and then not take them off when indoors? Do you wear heavier weight jilbabs under your winter coat? And when I refer to winter I'm talking about Canadian winters with snow and gusting winds and temperatures below zero. So how do you incorporate jilbabs into your wardrobe during the winter months? Looking forward to your advice. Also where do you buy your winter jilbabs? I've looked at shukr and I don't like what they have to offer. TIA!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Party Time

On Friday night I went to a muslim bridal shower. I won the prize for heaviest purse again, lol. The food was yummy. It was too bad my two oldest daughters who know the bride weren't able to attend but I did bring dd3 and dd4.  On Saturday we went to a Malay Eid party in GTA. We brought halal KFC (yes this exists in GTA) and it was gobbled up in minutes! I also enjoyed the satay as usual and someone made some lovely pulut. I just love pulut. (sticky rice dessert). I met a very interesting woman who just arrived here this year from Malaysia and has a big family like me! I beat her though as she only has 6 but she wants to have more! The next day I had brunch with a convert I was introduced to. Overall it was a very interesting but tiring weekend. The best thing is the kids had a ball with all the other kids including thier niece and dh had fun with his 'homies', lol.

December Book Club Pick- Healing Body and Soul

Next month's book club pick is Healing Body And Soul. If you can't get it from SoundVision then try to get it from another islamic bookstore. Amazon is peddling a pedophilic book so I'm boycottiing them until they remove it. Insha Allah let me know if you are enjoying the book club and my picks. Hoping to hear from my silent readers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fondant Flowers and Cake Board

For the third week of my fondant course we learned how to make mums and daisies and how to cover a cake board with fondant. Personally I think covering a cake board is a stupid waste because its just for decoration and not to eat. Its not part of the cake. I was in a rush when I dyed the fondant so it came out looking tie-dyed but the teacher still loved it. Lucky me! This class actually finished early so that was great because I was late a few minutes but it ended up being ok. The final cake class which is the next one will be assembling our final fondant cake. We can make any of the cakes in the booklet or invent our own. Stay tuned.

Designing Muslims

Twice this season I've seen designing/decorating/renovating shows with muslims; muslims with hijab! Do you know how exciting this is? I finally feel represented! I watch these shows all the time and was always wondering why there are never any muslims on them. I think the host on Save Us From Our House is muslim though judging by her name. Last night I saw Grin and Build It on the W network with a muslim woman on it. The other day I saw an episode of All For Nothing with a hijabi too! Alhumdullilah we are no longer invisible. Now all they have to do is put me on Extreme Makeover because my house shoe is so tiny its busting at the seams. Save Us From Our House wouldn't be good enough because you can't make an extra room out of any space. We've used up every nook and cranny.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soupe D'Eid.

It was beginning to look a lot like Eid everywhere I went so I decided to make a turkey dinner for Eid with all the trimmings. I even made homemade Butternut Squash Soup. I just love this soup even when it comes in a box but homemade is divine!

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

(recipe is from Sobey's)


1 Butternut Squash, peeled,de-seeded, chopped
1 Can of Evaporated milk
   Try coconut milk for an exotic twist. (of course I used this as dh is malay and its always on hand!)
1 onion,chopped.
1 potato, peeled and chopped.
1 tbs of butter
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 tbs of brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place a large pot of medium -high heat and drop in butter. Cook onion,potato and squash in butter for 5-10 minutes,stirring occasionally until everything is golden brown. Add garlic and stir fo 1 min longer.

2. Lower heat to medium. Add broth and low-boil mixture for 20-30 mins or until its is fork-tender. Add salt, pepper, brown sugar and milk. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes longer on medium-low heat.

3.  Allow mixture to cool slightly off the heat. Ladle soup into a blender 1/3 at a time and puree until smooth.

4. Serve in a big bowl with garnish of your choice and a peice of fresh bread.

Tip: Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and sour cream or go exotic with curry powder and sliced green onion.
Tip: No blender? No problem! Use a potato masher for a rustic hearty texture.

Smart Eid

Dd4 made a candy machine cake with smarties for eid..The recipe was taken from Easy Cut-up Cakes for Kids by Melissa Barlow. The original recipe has bubble gum instead of candies but its the same effect. So ask yourself, can I make this cake? Am I smarter than a 6th grader? Eid Mubarak from my family to yours!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Al Sharifa Necklace and One Pure Skin Care Review

The Al-Sharifa company sent me a necklace and One Pure Skin care samples to review. Al-Sharifa is the company I previously did a review about for their Veilkini Bathing Suit .

First of all I chose the exact necklace because the circular design appealed to me. When I took it out of the package the gold was just dazzling so much nicer than in the picture! The pendant is gold plated.  The "diamonds"  really sparkle too. Its a beautiful necklace and would make a lovely gift for the special ladies on your Eid list.There are also other necklaces to choose from such as the ones with Allah written on them.

I was also sent some One Pure Skin Care samples; the 12 Hour Night Repair Treatment. This skin care product is formulated in Canada and made in Malaysia. The owner of the company is a Canadian. I tried this product for two nights so far and woke up with soft, dewy skin. It didn't cause any adverse reaction to my skin even though I have sensitive skin and have had bad results with other companies wares. This is a great moisturizer for dry skin and also seems to calm flare ups. All the ingredients in this product are actually halal and it was cool to see the halal label on it. This would also make a lovely Eid gift for that special someone on your list or why not treat yourself.

If you would like to order either one from Al-Sharifa please remember to use the coupon code shoe10 to save 10%.

Baking and Making for Eid

So this weekend we've been getting ready for Eid by baking and cleaning up. Ds3 made Mrs. Feild's cookies (found in the Top Secret Recipes book)  but substituted the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips (yummy!). Dd3 made Magic Squares and 1-2-3 Fudge and Oreo Cupcakes. I started Nanaimo bars but still have to finish the top layer. I made one with the second layer tinted green and with mint extract which is shown in the pic above. The kids also made homemade gifts for their older brother and sisters. I'm also following This Little Life of Mine's bake along so I'm supposed to make the Classic Peanut Butter cookies as well. What are you making for Eid?

Eid Mubarak! For those of you fasting please skip this post!

Fondant Flowers -Cake Decorating part duh!

Actually things went better this week but for some reason I never heard the instruction that the fondant has to be wrapped in plastic wrap and I just had mine in ziplocs so it dried out. (and no one could tell me what the ziplocs were actually for!)  Here are my lovely flowers (carnation, rose, calla lily) for the week. Masha Allah. Its so gratifying to be able to create something so beautiful with your own hands. It really makes you appreciate the creations of Allah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mosque in the Land of the Midnight Sun

There's a new mosque in Canada but its out of the ordinary because of its remote northern location. Its being called Little Mosque on the Tundra. It was shipped all the way from Manitoba. Poor immigrants freezing all the way up there is what I'm thinking but just think how far Islam has spread! Masha Allah we are seeing something unprecedented. The sun is rising in the west, my fellow Canadians. I'm guessing they have to adjust their prayers accordingly.

Question G3: At polar regions day and night are several months long, so how do Muslims fast and pray in those regions?
Answer: The answer is simpler than what you may think. Polar regions like Norway, Finland, and Alaska have areas where the sun stays below horizon for several months in winter, and stays above horizon for several months in summer. However, there comes a time in every day when the sun is at its highset point (Noon) and at lowest point (Midnight). At temperate latitudes, the highest point is visible but lowest point is below horizon. But at higher latitudes (Polar region, like Norway, Finland, and Alaska) the highest and lowest point occur below horizon in winter (meaning several months long night), and above horizon in summer when the sun never sets for several months (meaning several months long day). But we can calculate those two points and determine Prayer times around those two known times every day. Having determined the prayer times, the fasting time is already set.
For more information in Polar regions read on: http://moonsighting.com/6monthdays.html

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


As I mentioned before my diploma is in advertising so I am not adverse to putting ads here on my blog. However some of them are not performing well so I will be removing them insha Allah. If you know of any companies that I should be advertising or you are a company that would like me to do a review etc then please let me know. If you see any books or products that I've mentioned from Amazon please order them here as it helps me out. I will only advertise, review, promote etc halal companies and products however. This is why I don't let random ads show up on my blog like those for wine, astrology,dating etc. So if you like what you see here show me some love and do your eid shopping here. Please give me your feedback.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trophy Convert (Maniac Muslim)

Have you ever checked out Maniac Muslim? It was nominated for the Brass Crescent Award so I checked  it out. I came across an entry for Trophy Convert. I couldn't stop laughing. This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Its not often that muslims laugh so once in awhile its nice to find something as entertaining and oh so true as this. They should write one for female converts though. I whine a lot on this blog so its nice to laugh at ourselves sometimes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Library Hopping

When boredom strikes its always good to try something new. For awhile I've been thinking of going library hopping. For most people who live in cities its a simple case of going to a different branch. But when you live in a town you have to go to other towns or cities for such fun. Today I brought the kids (dd4, ds5,dd5) to a library in another town close by. I should have went there a long time ago! First of all there was perfect parking for my giant vehicle. Then when we got in the librarians were so gosh darn friendly and so happy to see us. Next we found a train track set for the kids to play with. They also had the usual crayons and colouring pages. In the corner was a place to make a puzzle. Our library has neither toys nor puzzles but they do have a checkers game. There were so many different books and videos as the libraries tend to have their own selections. I noted that there were a lot of romance videos and when I mentioned it to the librarian she said that was the favourite of seniors. Who knew?  There were some new magazines too like What's Cooking and Pack -o-FUN. DS5 went to the shelf and grabbed a Pokemon book (my these kids have good eyes!). They also picked out lots of movies for themselves and would have taken tons if I didn't stop them. This library is in an old building at least the front  part it is. Its a Carnegie library I was told. I found books for my older kids too and found out they have a program for thier age group but too bad its at a time they couldn't make. I'd love to go back with both sets of kids. While checking out the books I spotted some lovely brooches made from the old roof of the building which had little paintings done on them. Is that sweet or what? Too bad I forgot to bring my camera or I could have shown you all this. After we left we went to the playground across the street (my library doesn't have that either!) and let the kids play but it was windy and cold so we left quickly. It would be great in the spring though. Now where shall we go next?

Wilton Fondant and Gum Paste Course

I've already taken the beginners Wilton Cake Decorating course when I was pregnant for number 10. Shows like Cake Boss though really got me hooked on the idea of Fondant decorating. I went for the first time last night and I think that I like the first course better. Only time will tell though. In both classes I felt they were going too fast, yes I'm that annoying person who holds up the class. I like to learn by seeing but since there are too many students I never get enough one on one time and have to rely on verbal instructions from afar. I hate verbal instructions. I hate learning by listening period. I need to see something in front of me and not written instructions either but lots of pictures. Getting behind makes me stressed too and takes away from the enjoyment. Am I the only one who has this problem? School for me was totally ok when I was a kid because everything was visual; blackboard, filmstrips, overhead, books etc. I wish these cake decorating classes were one on one or that there was a big monitor to watch the proceedings instead of her showing one student and you having to crane your neck to see what's going on or relying on the dreaded step by step verbal instructions. What's worse is that I had to get all my supplies the day of the class because I only got accepted into the course because of a cancellation so I never had a chance to review anything ahead of time which would have helped a little. But Alhumdullilah that I had the opportunity for such a course because I know such frivolities are out of the reach of most people. I'll be posting my creations each week, feel free to laugh as I am the slowest one in my class and the weakest so far. Insha Allah I will improve.

Al-Maghrib Web TV

I've never been to an Al-Maghrib conference but those who have can't stop raving about them. I've listened to some cds and loved them. Now they have Al-Maghrib Web TV, alhumdullilah. Sign up and start watching amazing, inspiring videos now. I just listened to one where he said an Imam in a mosque was trying to stop the spread of dawah, oh wow, how I can relate. My mosque is the same! God forbid hordes of Canadians start converting and taking over their precious restaurant..whoops Mosque. Subhanallah. What will they say on the day of Judgement when they wouldn't allow me to put up my signs about a muslim speaker coming to town. Allahu Alim. It is very strange that muslims are their own worst enemies.

Brass Crescent Award

I first became aware of this award last year when I saw it as a link in my sitemeter. Its for the best muslim blogs. You can vote up until November 19th. There are many categories. Its so hard to choose just one blog ; there are so many amazing ones out there that have inspired me. Get your vote in now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't be nosy!

One thing that drives me nuts about muslims is the amount of nosy questions they ask. Someone I know has been complaining about it too. Instead of the regular questions people use to get to know you better, most muslims just ask plain nosy questions and give unislamic unasked for advice. I guess this is a cultural thing because it sure isn't part of Islam. I like when people ask about myself and even my kids. Before Islam no one ever asked me how my kids were. On top of that they even inquire about your parents. Amazing! No one ever asked me about them either. But that's the good part and these questions always come from Arabs. Very nice adab. But the questioning I hate goes like this : How are you? Why do you keep having so many kids? Why don't you buy a house? That was a few years ago. Now the question is Why don't you buy a house in our rich neighbourhood? For others the questions are why don't you have more kids (they can't use that one  on me!). How about if I turned the tables and did the same to them? But I was raised not to get involved in other people's business and Islam says the same thing. If they are really asking for some important reason like they want to buy me a house in their neighbourhood then sure fire away, but that's never the point. How does belittling people increase the love between sisters?This article got me to thinking about all this although I think of it often but with Eid coming up let's remember to MYOB! Get to know your sister in Islam as a real person, as a real friend and then maybe just maybe she will reveal to you things about herself that puzzle you but then again those facts would not be for public knowledge. Muslims have rights over us and they should be protected from our tongues and our hands. When you meet a sister or anyone try to see them as a multidimensional person with different sides to their personality, who may have a different upbringing, who has a different qadar from you. Nobody wants to be put on the spot. Show kindness in your speech. Ask them something you've never asked before that is not intrusive like what's your favourite Islamic clothing store or what did you study at school (no one ever asks me this , they assume people with big families are uneducated), or  what places have you ever travelled to. You will see the person relax and you will establish ties with them that can lead to more activities like planning halaquas or playdates with islamic themes or simply sharing recipes (oh so common for muslims). This Eid and everyday treat your sister with love and respect for the sake of Allah.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flower Power

The other day my daughter (dd4) found a craft in an old french magazine the kids had brought home in the past from school and asked if we could do it. Today we finally did it. Its pretty simple. Here's what you need.

egg carton
pipe cleaners
toilet paper roll

1. Cut the egg carton so that you have 3 flower tops.
2. Paint the 'flowers'.
3. Paint the 'vase' (toilet paper roll).
4. Let dry.
5. Make a hole in the bottom of the flower and put a pipe cleaner in.
6. Bend the pipe cleaner at the top so that it won't fall out.
7. Tape the flowers into the inside of the vase.

Decorated Brownies for Eid

Emel magazine has these brownies with marshmallow and gum drops as decorations. I thought they would be cute for Eid for the kids.

Bake Along

This Little Life of Mine blogger is having a bake along. The magazine she is using is 100 Best Cookies. I'm going to join her are you? Sounds like fun, this is about as close as I'm going to get to a cookie exchange.

Free Leap Frog Book

So far the kids have been enjoying the leapfrog movies. I've never tried out the books but now I can because they are giving them out for free. All you have to do is sign up on their website for your child's learning path. Find it here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Learn Your Love Language

According to the author there are 5 kinds of love languages and everyone has a favourite. You can take the test here.  I wasn't too suprised about my results but I think this is a great activity for couples to do to make sure the other really understands what's important to them in the relationship. Kids can also take the test.