Friday, May 4, 2018

Our DIY Ramadan: Ramadan Basket for Kids

It's that time of year again! Alhumdulillah, the blessed month of Ramadan is near, and it's a time of spreading joy and kindness to those around us. I have collaborated with 5 amazing bloggers as we all share how we DIY Ramadan in our homes. If you're going through the blog hop and visiting from the talented Amna B Interiors' blog then welcome! I hope you enjoy the post :)

My focus will be on Ramadan for kids!

One thing about starting your own family after marriage is that you can start new traditions. These go on to become cherished memories in your own and your children's lives. When my eldest son turned 2, I starting introducing Islamic concepts to him during the month of Ramadan. It's never too early to start teaching! We focused on doing one good deed a day such as learning about Allah or walking together to hand out flowers and chocolates to neighbors. He was also given a treat everyday, and this created excitement for him for the duration of the entire month. For more ideas on good deeds and treats for 30 days, check out my blog post here

I continued this tradition for the next couple of years, and now that I have two children Alhumdulillah, I wanted to increase the number of activities for them that they could do together in Ramadan. This year I came up with a Ramadan Basket that they could share.

My plan is to present them with this basket as soon as the moon for Ramadan is sighted inshaAllah. They can then open the basket and help me decorate the house for Ramadan. I can't wait to see the excitement on their faces inshaAllah!

Here are a few details about what's in the basket. I absolutely love this gorgeous cake topper:

This is from Simply Impressions, and you can buy this specific cake topper from here. It looks great on wreaths, gift baskets, bouquets and other things apart from cakes and this is my second year of using it. The quality is great, and it makes such a great impression on my gift basket for the kids!

Here's a look inside the basket:

It consists of Islamic books that I display in our living room during all of Ramadan, along with the good deed a day calendar, and activities or a treat for each day of the month. 

These are the books that I  have for my 5 and 2 year old boys. Most of the books are available on Amazon. Click on these books below for affiliate links from Amazon if you're interested:

As for activities, I bought them over the last few months wherever I found a good deal. Here are a few of the things I have planned:

1) Finger puppets from IKEA. They will be given one each over 5 days throughout the month.
2) Chalk Spray from Target (Dollar Spot)
3) Crayon Art Set from Target (Dollar Spot)
4) Wooden Painting Kit from Jo Ann Fabrics (Clearance section)
5) Stickers from Jo Ann Fabrics (Clearance Section)
6) Bubbles ($1). We will do this a few days of Ramadan for the fun activity
7) Play Doh to make Islamic shapes
8) Finger Ink Pad to paint a mosque
9) Create Eid cards for family or friends
10) If we are not doing an activity in the day then they will get a small toy or chocolate instead.

Apart from this they will of course be focusing on one good deed a day inshaAllah!

It is so important for me to teach my kids the beauty of Ramadan through doing good deeds and remembering Allah, while at the same time creating an atmosphere of excitement and joy. I want them to know that THIS is the time we as Muslims celebrate along with the two Eids, and want to create a meaningful experience for them, year after year inshaAllah.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Make sure to check out Areeba's post at Mint Candy Designs next as she shares her DIY Living Room Ramadan Decor.

Also check out everyone else who worked on their DIY Ramadan in the following links:

Hira | Zair Zabr Play : Intro to Our DIY Ramadan
Summar | The Cozy Home Chronicles : DIY Ramadan Banner + Iftar Tablescape
Nida | NiMi Style : D.I.Y Doily Table Runner + Gratitude Wall
Amna B | Amna B Interiors : Modern Ramadan Frame
Seher | Simply in Control : Ramadan Basket for Kids
Areeba | Mint Candy Designs : Living Room Ramadan Decor

Hope this post was helpful and motivational for you. Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Closet Clean Out Challenge

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I recently did a 3 week Closet Clean Out Challenge with quite a lot of my followers! It was so fun to go through all of our before and after pictures, and it really motivated even more people to do the same. 

My closet door

I made the challenge over the span of three weeks so that everyone can join in and it's not overwhelming. The goal was to completely organize the entire closet from top to bottom. 

For the first week, I had assigned the task of cleaning out the floors. Yes, even under all of the hanging clothes where we love to tuck away random stuff that we never see again until we move out of our homes. We did floors first so that we have plenty of space to walk in the closet and do the remaining tasks.

Here's a look at how much stuff was found under my hanging clothes in my walk in closet: 

Yikes! Let it be known that if I'm not respecting those items enough to put them away properly then I PROBABLY don't need to keep most of them. Majority of this stuff was donated or tossed. 

Here's a look at how the upper part of the closet looked like. There's no system here so everything gets tossed on the shelf. We worked on shelves second week and all hanging clothes third week.

I also wanted to upgrade from my plastic hangers to wooden ones to give the rental a more sophisticated feel. Found a great deal on Amazon for them! Ready for the after?

 An overview of the closet when you enter

Pakistani clothes take up one side of the closet

I cleared out the floors completely in the first week and got rid of all of the clutter and contained everything in the shelves second week. The white boxes are from The Container Store. I especially liked them because they are made of recycled material. Any chance to make better choices!

I labeled the boxes using a gold gel pen. The boxes contain travel items (such as packing cubes), shawls, cards, keepsakes and miscellaneous items in the last one. 

And finally, I donated any clothes that I no longer wear in the third week and changed out the hangers. In the end I had donated a total of 4 bags of clothes! 

Let's take a look at a few more before and afters:

Before: clothes are too close together making it unclear about what I actually own! 

After: gave away clothes that I no longer wear and spaced out the clothes that spark joy so that they don't get wrinkled. The bins on this shelf contains small items like socks, gloves, hijab caps etc.

Here's a look at my remaining shelves: 

The top 3 shelves are used to display my handbags and some shoes. I love giving closets a boutique feel. The last shelf I emptied out and use it for storing clean laundry that needs to be put away. I also added a mirror to the narrow wall on the side.

I also had a massive scarf collection on my door. I donated what I didn't use and kept the majority of the rest with their matching abayas, cardigans or shirts in their hangers. 

Scarf collection before 

Putting scarves with their matching pieces

After, a more manageable scarf collection

And that's about it for my Closet Clean Out Challenge in 3 weeks! It feels so much better now that I only have items that I love and I was able to give the rest to others who will hopefully enjoy them! Thank you SO much to those of you who joined me in the challenge. It was wonderful to see you all work towards a space that you'll love. The next challenge will be for a Kitchen Clean Out, so stay tuned for that! Follow me on Instagram to watch my entire Closet Clean Out Challenge on my highlights and to get more info about the next challenge!

What challenge would you like to work on in your home? Let me know in the comments below! 

Hope this post was helpful and motivational for you. Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Top 5 Gadgets for Parents

Happy 2018! I thought I'd start off the New Year by doing something a little different. I've rounded up our top 5 gadgets that my husband and I have agreed upon that have made parenting a little easier! Let's get started!

5: Dual DVD Players for Road Trips
Image Source

With flight prices getting more ridiculous and comfort levels getting less than satisfactory, our family goes on road trips a lot more compared to before. We have two little boys so a dual screen DVD player has been a lifesaver in our 12 hour roadtrips to meet family! We got ours from Target. We have one front facing child and one rear facing and it still works for both of them so that really helps!

4. Video Monitor

I purchased this video monitor from Amazon and it has been an essential tool in helping to sleep train our son in his own room. The image is very clear in both day and night and we are able to hear all of his little movements throughout the night via audio. This helps to keep parents feel at ease during sleep training to make sure the baby is alright. I love the different options in this gadget such as talking to the baby from your screen, adding more cameras to different rooms, checking the temperature of each room, and starting lullaby songs if your baby starts crying without having to enter their room. I also use the video monitor when I take quick showers, which is very useful! Before I had to wait for my husband to come home at night and take the kids just so that I could shower.

3) Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a 9 in 1 programmable pressure cooker. There's so much this one gadget can do apart from pressure cooking, including cooking rice, making yogurt, sauteing, steaming, and a lot more. I love the one pot cooking method where you don't need to use separate pots to saute meats before cooking them, it can all be done in the Instant Pot, meaning less washing dishes! On certain dishes it saves a lot of time to use this. Also simple things like peeling hard boiled eggs after you pressurize them is so much easier - they just slip right out. The main reason I love the Instant Pot though is that you don't need to stand over it while it's cooking. You don't even need to be on the same floor! I can start the food, put on the lid and then take the baby upstairs for a nap while the food cooks on its own and the machine turns off for however long you put the timer on for. This has been a vital tool in the kitchen for me as a mother.

2) Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini also made it to the list. I was really surprised at how much this Google Assistant could do, especially compared to Amazon's Echo (Alexa). It really is a time-saving tool, and there was so much to share about it that I decided to make a video so that you can see it in the works. 

1) Robot Vacuum

The Ecovacs Deebot robot vacuum is my new best friend. I waited all year for the Black Friday sales to purchase this, and it was definitely worth the wait! It was for $149, and has 4.5/5 stars. It works just as well as the higher end brands, for a much better price. I've been using it almost every day since receiving it and it does a great job at picking up all of the crumbs and dust on the floor. My toddler likes to think he's Hansel from Hansel and Gretel and leaves a trail of crumbs in every nook and cranny of the downstairs floor. I used to spend so much time sweeping or vacuuming the floors every single day, but now I can cross one chore off my list as my new bestie does it for me :)

I purchased the Deebot n79, which is for hardwood, tiles, and low area rugs only. If you're looking to purchase a robot vacuum make sure you buy the correct model according to your floors. If it's fully carpeted then the n79 won't pick up everything as it was made for hardwood floors.  

So that's my list of top 5 gadgets for parents! What would be on your list? I would love to hear about it! 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

*This is not a sponsored blog post, but there are some affiliate links which come at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Master Bedroom Reveal!

After slowly collecting items one by one over the past 5-6 years, I've finally completed the master bedroom style that I had always aimed for! I was going for a serene sanctuary vibe, a place to unwind after  a long day. Here's a look at the completed room:

I wanted the room to feel warm and inviting while spacious and decluttered at the same time. I went according to Marie Kondo's method and only kept stuff that sparked joy to me every time I saw it, while donating everything else for a decluttered and spa-like feel.

Having a spiritual area to contemplate and a place to read books to my kids was also an important factor for my room as well. I purchased the double rocking chair, beverage cooler, and Amazon Echo online.

Most of the other products are from discount stores such as Home Goods. Let me know if you have any specific questions of where the products are from and I'll reply in the comments!

I hope you found this post helpful! What are some must haves in your bedroom? I would love to hear them! 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on    FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Under Kitchen Sink Cabinet Organization

One of my most dreaded areas to maintain is the cabinet under the sink, be it kitchen or bathroom. It's really difficult to come up with a system that fits nicely inside because of the bulky J-Pipe that takes up most of the space! Also, the number of items are so many in the cleaning department that it's just an eye-sore to look at. 

I've found that magazine holders really cover up all of these items well! They can also be labeled easily, which is an added bonus. I discovered these beautiful ones in IKEA  for a really affordable price:

I did need to cut into one of the magazine holders from the other side in order to accommodate the J-Pipe though, but since it was made of cardboard it was easy to do, and it is not noticeable at all. 

For the detergent pods, I am using an airtight OXO Container, which I find works well. I bought the plastic bag holder a few years ago and am not able to find it online. However, I would go for this cabinet door option for plastic bags so that it allows for more space inside the cabinets. 

I hope you found this post helpful! What are some ways you organize under the sink cabinets? I would love to hear them! 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on    FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Makeup Organization and Clean Up

Makeup can be a little challenging to organize since there are so many little pieces. Usually people store them in drawers, but that can get messy. I like to make sure I can see all of the things I have so that they don't remain unused. I found this stationery supplies organizer from Michael's to do the trick!

Of course, over time, these have to be organized as well. It was time to purge makeup items that had expired. I also made sure to clean all of the remaining makeup that I decided to keep along with the organizer with wet wipes. Here's a look at the after:

The after is much cleaner and dust-free! I only kept items that were bought in the last 2 years and arranged them according to catergories. You can easily label this organizer using stickers from Michael's if you'd like. 

I found a chart online stating the expiration guide of various makeup products. Personally I get rid of products if they have dried up or they smell off since this guide would become very costly, espcially for those of us that hardly ever wear makeup! You can have a look at the chart here:

Ensuring that you are wearing usable makeup is extremely important so that your skin doesn't have adverse reactions to it! It's crucial to periodically purge makeup for this reason. 

Another thing that should regularly be cleaned is your hairbrush! There is so much hair, dirt, dust and dead skin cells that builds up in hairbrushes that you would prefer not to use it if you knew about it :) 

One way to make sure that most of the unwanted stuff gets out is by using a rat tail comb (used for parting your hair) and going up and down then side to side and digging out everything. Hairbrushes also contain oils from your hair, and to get this out you can use a solution of shampoo and water and clean the hairbrush using a toothbrush so as not to transfer oil back into your hair while brushing it! Complete the process by rinsing the brush and laying it bristle side down to dry.

Finally, makeup brushes also need to be cleaned very regularly! Not doing so can cause you to break out. Clean them by simply rinsing in water, then use a gentle shampoo and create a lather. Rinse off being careful not to get the handle wet, and lay to dry on a towel. I had taken pictures of the process for this blog post but the memory card stopped working recently! You can check out videos of how to clean make up brushes on YouTube though, there are plenty of those!

Hope you found this post helpful! Follow me on my social media for more updates. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fridge Organization Video - Side by Side Frigidaire

Keeping your fridge organized is essential if you want to refrain from having food and money wastage from items expiring in the back. Here's a look at how I organize my fridge and freezer!

Hope you enjoyed the video! Thanks for checking this post out and don't forget to Follow Me on    FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Paperless Post Review

My brother got married a few months ago in Dubai, and we had invited guests from all over the world to the event. Sending out invites is a really time-consuming process with over 200 guests, and it can get expensive! The option that made sense the most was sending out electronic invites. Not only is it hassle free and affordable, but RSVPs are immediate with the click of one button, and it is environmentally friendly. Apart from the RSVP, guests can send the hosts comments and share pictures with all of the other guests as well! 

We had chosen Paperless Post to decide on the wedding card. The designs are beautiful and the options are many. When the email is opened, there is lovely animation which looks like you are opening the envelope as well! 

Birthdays, weddings, baby showers and holidays are the obvious events for sending out cards. Paperless Post also has multiple options for different circumstances as well! I will be moving homes in 2 weeks and they have an entire section on Change of Address cards, something that I found unique and very useful!

It can be cumbersome to find e-cards for Muslim holidays. I have seen a few for Eid, but Paperless Post also has many choices for Iftaar invitations! The designs are very pretty and very Ramadan-like. Check out an example below:

Finally, I wanted to share an example of a birthday card. I thought the design was absolutely gorgeous! There were numerous colors to choose from, and you can edit the text to whatever you would like, making each card very personalized. 

Hope you found this post helpful! How would you use evites?

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on    FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

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