Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Organize Sticky Notes and $50 Erin Condren Giveaway!

Spring is in the air, and with new seasons come new ideas! Remember the tea organizer from my post where I showed you how to create your own hot beverage station?

I realized that this handy organizer can be used in numerous ways. Those of us into planners are always on the lookout for ways to store our stationery. Well, the tea organizer fits sticky notes and washi tape in it perfectly! 

If you're like me and have a small collection, you can make everything fit inside here. I like to complete using my stationery before buying new things. However, if you're a planner addict and have a collection MUCH larger than this (thank you, Target dollar spot), then you can use this organizer to hold your frequently used items on your desk. 

Place your sticky notes organizer, pen holder and planner in a tray and you have your very own planning station! This is a new happy place in my home :)

I use the Erin Condren Life Planner. Make sure you check out my honest review of it and also how I personalize it inside. If you're interested in buying the Erin Condren planner, you can get $10 off your first purchase by using my referral link! 

Here's where you can purchase the tea organizer:

And finally, I have a giveaway for you! One lucky person will win a $50 gift card to Erin Condren! Just comment a fun fact about yourself down below and you'll be entered into the giveaway, which runs until March 27th. The giveaway is international, but please keep shipping costs in mind if you're a reader from abroad!

I'll start with the fun fact: I am an Indian-Pakistani-American who has lived in the United States, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. Residing in so many countries and experiencing their cultures has given me a new identity. I love traveling and learning about new places just as much as I love to organize! Your turn!

I hope this post helped! Don't forget to Like this Page on Facebook and Follow me on Pinterest for more updates. You can also follow me on Instagram!

Good luck on the giveaway! :) One entry per person please, and make sure to tick the "I commented" button on Rafflecopter after commenting!
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Monday, March 2, 2015

What to Pack for Hajj: Part 2 {Personal Belongings}

This is the second section of the 3 part series on What to Pack for Hajj. You can find the first part, which elaborates on the essentials, over here. Today's post will focus more on personal care items. Please make sure you read Part 1 first to ensure you have the basics! :)


2 ihrams will be needed for men, and 2 abayas for women. We did Hajj in October and expected it to be cool in terms of weather. However, temperatures were 110°F  during the day. I had taken a few abayas with me but ended up needing to buy a new one when I reached Saudi Arabia because my ones were all too thick. A jersey material worked well for the trip. I just ensured to get a size larger (but not too long for me) so that it didn't stick to me, and that did the trick. 

2 hijabs and 2 under-caps are a minimum for women. Hijab pins will be needed to make sure that the scarf doesn't move around while in ihram. Also, large safety pins are very important for men for their ihrams. This secures the pieces of clothes and is especially useful while praying. I bought a pack for my husband in Saudi Arabia itself and it all finished within a day because other men needed to use it as well!

Apart from this, you'll need to think about what to take wear inside the abaya or outside of ihram. I would recommend 4-5 pairs of clothes for a 2 week period. I was told to take at least 10 pairs of clothes for this duration but am glad I didn't! If the clothes get dirty you can easily was by hand and hang to dry. What I found most comfortable to wear was a loose and flowy dress inside the abaya of very thin material. Also take some thicker clothes in case it gets cold. Have a variation of different materials, and include a cardigan for cooler places. I would also recommend 4-5 pairs of clothes for men. All of this also includes airport clothes.  

On to footwear:

You will be needing:

1 pair of comfortable walking shoes for travel. I got Skechers Memory Foam ones and they held up great and worked wonderfully for long walks.

1-2 pair of flip flops for walking. I got myself a good pair from Adidas, but guess what, they broke! I was debating taking 1 or 2 for my hajj trip, and ended up just taking one because they were a good brand. However, I had no idea about the lengths we had to walk. I had to spend half of my hajj trip wearing shoes instead of flip flops, and had to carry the shoes inside the masajids in a bag as well. Flip flops would have been less bulky. I would advise to take 2 pairs. The picture shows my husband's flip flops in the middle, which didn't break Alhumdulillah. It doesn't say the brand name on it but it feels very sturdy.

1 pair of bathroom flip flops. I bought these in Saudi Arabia itself. These are a must! Not only will you be using them in the bathroom, you will also be taking a shower while wearing them because the floors are not pure. You just need something that will last you 2-3 weeks and will not break in the shower.

The sun will be blazing hot and if you're going from the West, it's something you might not be used to. I have sensitive eyes so I had to wear both sunglasses and a sun hat for sun protection and also so that I don't get headaches. Both of these combined worked well for me, Alhumdulillah. Most people had umbrellas for this purpose but the sun hat kept my hands free. If you are prone to sunburns then sunblock cream is also a must. Make sure it is unscented for when you're in ihraam. I didn't need to take that for myself, but kept some in my husband's bag for him.

You will also need to take unscented soap for your trip:

I bought a few bars from a grocery store in the States. I also kept a random plastic soap case to keep the bar in. This is far less messy than keeping it in a ziploc bag. Take a couple of extra bars because there will definitely be people who don't know that you can only use unscented items while in ihraam, and you should share with them. Cut the soap bar into medium sized pieces and distribute it. It should last each person at least a week, so cutting it into 4 pieces would work.

You might be wondering about the importance of having everything unscented during Hajj. Hajj is a spiritual journey in which we are to forget about worldly life and focus solely on the purpose of life itself. Everything is kept extremely simple and to a bare minimum.  

Other personal belongings:

1) A pair of scissors, primarily for cutting hair after Umrah and Hajj for women
2) A knife with a cover. I brought this in case I needed to cut fruits but ended up only using it for cutting the soap bars to distribute to people! Remember to check in both the scissors and knife at the airport.
3) A comb takes up less space than a brush
4) Ear plugs. I normally never use these but imagine 60 women in a tent with you for days. Someone is always talking 24 hours a day :) A must have in order to get rest.
5) A ziploc bag filled with plastic bags and more ziploc bags. Fold the plastic ones into triangles to maximize space. Tutorial here. Ziploc bags will be needed to collect pebbles in Muzdalifa.
6) A flashlight. Useful to search for pebbles in Muzdalifa at night time and also good to keep just in case.
7) A couple of pack of tissues
8) Unscented deodorant 
9) Vaseline is a must! Use for chapped lips, cracked heels, and also if your thighs rub while walking it is needed (especially for men) so that you don't get chafed. Chafing will make the remainder of your days at Hajj difficult!
10) Unscented baby wipes 
11) Antiviral face masks. Make sure they are antiviral because of all of the illnesses you will be exposed to amongst thousands of people walking around you. Ask your scholar if you need to pay any fees (damm) for doing this. I only wore mine for a couple of days at various spots, but a friend of mine wore it every single day for 2 weeks.
12) Mini shampoo bottle. Can be bought there.
13) Over the door hooks are another must have! You will need them in the bathrooms while showering or to hang your bags on. You cannot put anything on the floor, I can assure you that! Take at least 2.

14) Make sure to buy Microfiber Yoga Towels. These dry much faster than regular towels. I was thankful to have brought them. During Hajj, you are always on the move, and regular towels are not quick at drying. You will basically be taking a wet towel inside a bag from place to place.
15) A small washcloth is optional. I ended up using the bigger towel after going back to my tent in Mina after wudhu because it dried much faster.
16) Toilet paper roll
17) Nail cutter
18) 2 toothbrushes and toothpaste. Use one toothbrush outside of ihraam with toothpaste, and use the other one with only water (no toothpaste) while in ihraam. You can't use scented products while in ihraam. Using the same toothbrush will prevent you from being careful about the flavor.
19) 2 sports sacs. One will be needed for when using the bathroom to keep all of your toiletries in. You will hang the sports sac on the over door hook you will be taking iA. The second sports sac will be used for inside the masjids to keep your shoes, water bottle, snacks etc in. Also keep a small cross body bag for your valuables.  

I have a lot more to discuss but will leave that for another post! Hope you found this article helpful and stay tuned for the final part of the series! 

Don't forget to Like this Page on

 and Follow me on Pinterest for more updates!

 You can also follow me on Instagram!

Comment below if you have any questions or have more ideas on what to pack.

Read Part 1, the Essentials for Hajj Packing here!

Read Part 3 {Healthcare and Religious Items} here!

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