December 30, 2010

I love me some bargains!

A'salaamu aliakum ya'll. I had just went to our local Salvation Army Thrift store today; Wednesdays are half-off days and I loooooove getting cheap things cheaper! Well half-off on shoes and clothing but really in our house, the only thing we go through faster than clothes is food (oh and breakable dishes!) so I am always up for a bargain.

Footed pj's by Carter's. I love all of their clothes; these aren't those nasty blanket sleepers but thermal-fleece and oh-so-soft. :-) $1.50 a pair, retail about $9 each.

Alhamdulillah all the winter shopping for kids had been completed (coats, snow boots and snow pants (for the 2 younger ones) so this was really just a see-what-they-got kinda thing. Oh and the kids are out of school this week for the winter holidays, so I had all 3 girls in tow; Aaminah (napless but wonderful alhamdulillah), Zainab (who is great to distract the 2 1/2 yr old bundle of energy) and Hafsa, the responsible one who can search out her own clothes. Supposedly. ;-)

Super-cute dress by Gymboree for next year (5T size). Embroidered with ballet slippers and crowns in pink thread and has pretty pink ribbon in front. $2.50 in EUC.

I also knew A needed ALOT of winter shirts. See, there is this phenomenon alot like the "freshman 15" called the "no longer single 7". We have both gained about 10 lbs (well I'm actually an overachiever, maybe a couple more on my end....his, too, truth be told!). Anyway he really didn't have anything suitable for jumuah or even casual clothing.

The white with blue stripes is pretty thin but will be good next spring/summer. The darker plaid is the brand new one.

I hit the jackpot! I think I ended up getting A 2 sweaters, 2 nice cotton button-down shirts, and probably 6 pull-over type shirts for casual wear. And get this: the MOST expensive thing (which is the dark blue button-down that was brand new, with tags) was only $3.00. Yes THREE dollars. Cha-ching for Bank of Jeanna. Then, I unfortunately went by the little girls' section; Aaminah needs NO clothes but she is my only little girl and it's just so much fun. At $1 or $2 a piece, I admit I buy when I shouldn't, astaghfirallah. I comfort my guilty concious by giving away what she outgrows to others in need.

A's stash. I had already folded them and didn't have the heart to re-do them. But I'm sure  you all know what men's shirts look like!
 I also look ahead. If I find a cute dress size 6 super-cheap, I'll buy it now. Modesty NEVER goes out of style and we do not feel Aaminah is too young to be modest. I think it can be confusing for kids to dress in spaghetti-strap dresses and short-shorts to only be abruptly switched at some magical age. Alhamdulillah we try to be modest in all our manners, dressing included.

Love ponchos; this one from Gap in EUC. Paid $3.00 for it. Belle doll also EUC only $1.00 Poncho is for next year and the next 2 after it!

As soon as I get home, I usually throw all the stuff I find in the wash. With the bedbug scare we are having in the US I don't wanna take any chances. Of course, I don't wash it in hot water so I guess I'm just giving them a little day at the spa but I still feel better. :-)

I had picked up a really cute dress at the store. Light blue with black polka-dotted ruffle and co-ordinating sleeves. Bright, "bling-y" bow on the front, some random words. I didn't really read it, thought it was cute and she loooooooves shiny things. Like a magpie, only slightly less loud. :-D Here is the back of the dress.
Exhibit A: Cute coordinating cuffs and bottom trim with adorable bow. Nice yeah?
I had just gotten this cute little dress out of the nice warm dryer so I could hang it up. When what to my wondering eyes should appear.....but the funniest quote I am sure ever graced the front of a TODDLER'S dress. Oh and it makes NO sense.

Exhibit B: Front of dress, lots of words but who's looking closely?

Can't read it? Too small? No problem, here's your close up shot:

Exhibit C: Speaks for itself. LOL
"Relent peachy". Uh yeah, ok.... "I grant your wish by all means..." ?????  "Your cheerful smile always brings happiness. Please do not lose beautiful heart."

So not sure what country this came from but something tells me it was designed by a non-native English speaker. Anyone else with me? LOL Anyway hope ya'll thought this was as funny as I did. Cute dress, but now it's consigned to housewear for life.

Oh I also got Aaminah a really nice Calvin Klein coat for next year. It's a down-filled, knee-length quilted coat with faux-fur cuffs in a light cream color. Sooo pretty. The down was kinda messed up inside (where it was washed and all got slung to one corner) but I read a tip saying dry these type of things with a tennis ball in the dryer and it will settle it all out. For $2.50 I think I'll try it! I forgot to take a picture of the coat and am far to lazy to get up now so :-(

I spent about $43 dollars on all this plus got 5 books. The little town where I live is fairly wealthy and I love the fact they will spend $$$ on clothes I can turn around and get them for pocket change almost.

Ma salaama ya'll, I'm up too late and exhausted. :-)

December 24, 2010

Allahu akbar!

Photo snapped by AP photographer near Punjab, Pakistan. The children live in a refugee camp after their homes were washed away during the2010  floods.

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Do you see the joy on this young man's face? (I can't call him a boy because he is out trying to get food for his family to survive. )When I see that face, all I can say is "Allahu Akbar!" which I think is his exact thought at that moment.

May Allah make us all so grateful for blessings so small. Amin.

December 18, 2010

Um yeah, sure that's what I meant!

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. As I posted earlier, my husband and I are in the market to buy our first house insha'allah. Please make du'a for us.

I called a realtor today to ask about a certain property for sale and she asked to meet with me. I was explaining that we have specific requirements with our home loan due to our religion. Here is a transcript of that conversation:

Realtor Lady: Oh you have special religious requirements? What religion are you?

Me: (Had already said Muslim but guess she didn't hear) "Oh we are Muslim" thinking her cell phone didn't pick up on that word the first time.

RL: "Oh that's ok, don't worry."

Me: (Uhhhhhh ok.)

RL: "Blah blah blah let's meet at Solomon Pond Mall on Monday. Is that good for you?"

Me: "Yep that will be great. Well I'll be the one with the headscarf on so you shouldn't get too confused." (grinning)

RL: "Ohhh yes and I am sure you will be BEAUTIFUL with it on. Just BEAUTIFUL."

Me: ( Uhhhhhh ok.... )

LOL I guess because it's kind of awkward for HER she was transposing her feelings onto me. Nope, wasn't apologizing, just making my little joke that I will stand out amongst all of the non-headcover wearing folk that will be at the mall.

Oh my, oh my. Funny stuff.

December 17, 2010

How neat is this? :-)

Alternate post title:  I'm easily amused! Anyway I was playing around with my phone (which I've had a year now!) and just realized that you can do some pretty neat stuff with it. Not just those cheesy photo frames. :-) So this is a pic of me cartooned. :-)

I think I'm gonna use this as my blogger icon now
 And here is a pic of my sweet little Aaminah I had taken a couple of months ago while apple picking (which was really fun and the apples were awesome!)
My beautiful girl
Ma salaama ya'll!

December 13, 2010

Cute little sock-rice warmer

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I threw this little thing together this morning after I got Aaminah's lunch ready
. I hate to use a thermos container for warm food because it doesn't fit in her lunch sack. Which, as I got it sooo cheap at a yard sale, I really want to make use of it! lol

Anyway I heated her food up and then put it in the bottom insulated compartment. Then I was searching for a little freezer pack to place with her fruit and yogurt. I noticed one of our infamous "rice socks" in the freezer. They are great for aches and pains. They can be frozen for cold, microwaved for heat, and mold to any shape practically.

I thought, hmm maybe I can heat it up and place it in her lunch sack with the noodles and keep them warm? So I rummaged through her drawer and found a pair of leg warmers (only .99 on clearance) and just quickly zipped a little hemmed edge on, filled with rice, and then did the other end.

It's really cute, super-frugal and useful. As I said, it can be used for aches and pains, headaches, sprains, bumps, etc; you can heat it in the microwave for approx. 2 minutes and it emits a lovely warm heat (careful of burns!) if your pain requres heat. I put it in her lunchbox but I don't know how useful it was. Couldn't hurt and it fit nicely around her lunch container. :-)

You could also use a pair of cute, outgrown baby socks and make little hand warmers for cold days or use the sleeves from a small outgrown shirt. Stretchy material is best as it can form to other shapes better but feel free to do what you like.

So to recap: really inexpensive, options are limitless as are uses but some may not be as useful as others. :-) I just wanted to share because it was so easy and uses items we all probably have around our house.

Ma salaama ya'll!

December 12, 2010

Niqaab: my personal dilemma

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I've thought alot recently about wearing the niqaab, the reasonings for and against it, etc. I'll be honest, I've always felt very strongly drawn towards it. Maybe because of my early pre-teen warping from reading trashy romance novels where the ladies in the harem were always covered in diphaneous wisps of face veils. :-D However, I'd like to believe it's a bit deeper than that. lol

From the time I first became Muslim I have thought about wearing niqaab. I've grown leaps and bounds in my modesty and haya since I converted almost 5 yrs ago. *Not that I was necessarily WRONG in what I wore in the beginning* but I do personally feel if a sister is drawn towards the niqaab she should be exceedingly modest in her manner of dress as well as her actions.

When I was a new Muslim alhamdulillah I had such a piece-meal, mixed up wardrobe. Wallah I laugh when I see my early pictures from India. Subhanallah!!!! Pleasssse my sisters, picture this (mentally cause I don't have these photos on this laptop):  newbie-issue al-amira pull over hijab COMPLETE with lace edging, long green poly-silk kameeze gifted from friend, long peasant-style denim skirt from Wal-Mart (super cute, still have it just a little too snug at the mo'), and dark grey/neon green New Balance shoes.

Oh my aching sides!!!! I still giggle when I see those pics. Oh wait, the coup-de-etat (sp?): I tossed a niqaab on top of that hot mess. Yes my sisters I did. You see, at least where and when I was in India (Mumbai/Maharashtra/Nagpur area, 2006) Muslims sisters ONLY went  out of the house in full on, black head-to-toe, abaya/hijab/niqaab ensemble. I kid you not. WITH full clothing on underneath. Ya Rabb, I am sweating just thinkin' about it!!!!! So imagine how I stood out! Warning, another side-splitting description coming up:

White skin, green eyes, southern US accent even in my "a'salaamu alaikum", chubby, dressed to kill (with laughter!), and a smile bigger than Texas permanently on my face. Ya'll, I had just married and was having the adventure of a lifetime. My fashion woes would NOT hold me back. Anyway so all this together *kinda* stand out from the average niqaabi sister floating around oh-so-gracefully. I wore the niqaab to fit in and to please my new husband while in his home country. I do, in my rather weak defense, have to go ahead and say I quickly had more appropriate clothing made and eventually made some of my forays in a lovely black abaya I still own, and my first ever purchased.

OK sorry I got sidetracked. Then when I was in UAE I wore a form of niqaab called a ghashwa (please see post topics on the sidebar for a pic of me decked out in that). By that time (last year) I was very modest in my dress (and alhamdulillah matching!!! lol) and felt it was a much better fit for me.

So where is my problem? Well turns out I got lots of them! I'll just list them for you.

1. My non-Muslim family. Already how I dress makes them uncomfortable sometimes. I am afraid if I wear niqaab it will totally alienate them, especially when I would tell them that it isn't required. Hmmm. I don't want the few times I am able to spend with them to be awkward for them or me.

2. Dawah issues. In the West women in niqaab are somewhat feared I think. Right now I have the opportunity to speak with people, give a smile, make some type of interaction with them which I think isn't as possible with the niqaab. I might be wrong.

3. Perserverance. I am afraid I might start it and then find it too difficult and give it up. I don't like to fail and I don't like to start a thing and not be able to finish it. Except for craft projects, noooo problem with that!

4. Loss of identity. I am not positive I would feel this way but I guess when I think of this, it's mostly in mind that when I am out with Aaminah and she can't see my emotions on my face; my happiness or pride in her.

OK so that pretty much sums up my "Things that make you go 'hmmmm'" list. :-) So why WOULD I want to wear it? Where is the dilemma?

I want to please Allah. I want to have more good deeds than bad on yawma-qiyamat. I want to do more to improve myself, make me feel closer to Allah. I know, it would be better for my soul to pray all my sunnah and nafil prayers or became a hafiza. I can't do those things. I get side-tracked or the kids are crazy or dinner needs cooked. Sometimes I'm just downright lazy. :-(  I feel wearing the niqaab, like wearing the hijaab, is an easy way to please Allah. It's as simple as that.

How many of you have flirted with the idea of niqaab? Who used to wear it but removed it and why? Pros, cons, questions of your own... please post them all. :-)

December 4, 2010

I'm still a cookin' mama (2nd post of the day)

A light mediterranean style lunch for A. Hummous tahini, mixed salad with lemon juice and olive oil dressing, boiled egg, olive medly with pickled garlic (YUM!),  Syrian bread and fresh strawberries. Please notice how the strawberries looked like a heart inside when I cut them. Masha'Allah! :-)
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I haven't posted any new recipes in a while but I've been cooking. :-) Let's see, I made a lovely homemade (from the sauce down!) lasanga that really knocked our socks off.
Please forgive the crappy cell-phone pic. Honestly it deserved a real photo. Also, please note what I think is my face, mirrored upside-down in the spoon. LOL

Recently A and I made "lef lef" but really the name is longer just can't remember it. Dejaja is chicken right? So dejaja lef lef but I forgot the rest of it. :-D Lef lef means rolled up I think. I can't find a picture of it online and I forgot to take one myself so... :-( Boo hoo hoo.

Anyway it's a Tunisian dish with pounded chicken thighs, stuffed with a mixture of parsley, cilantro, tomato, carrot, onion, little salt and pepper. We also put just a smidgen of cheese in it to placate my Amreekan tastes. lol Then roll it all up, secure with a wooden toothpick, fry til brown on all sides and then bake in preheated 350 oven for at least 35 min. Be sure and cover with foil to keep it nice and moist. We served it with rice and the cooking juices poured over individual servings.

This is a really healthy dish and the taste was...ok. :-( I'm not used to such herb-y tastes; I mean this uses ALOT of parsley and cilantro! My husband loves it though and as I already said, its a very healthy dish so I am happy to make it and insha'Allah one day maybe my southern-cooking trained taste buds will come to crave this type of fresh fare. One day... lol

We also made (join effort between hub and I) a very traditional winter-only Tunisian breakfast food called leblebi. You use extra-stale bread which is great cause I had bought a loaf of french bread that was very hard. You make a spicy chickpea broth/soup, heavily spiced with cumin, to soak the bread with thoroughly. The most interesting part, besides the harissa (spicy Tunisian hotsauce) was a barely-boiled egg cracked onto each bowl. Hmmmm.

I don't even eat RUNNY eggs. So after boiling eggs for maybe 5 minutes (it takes 15 left in just-boiled water to fully cook an egg) we cracked them open into the bowls. Yep. Then stirred the mixture all up and topped it with the hotsauce.

Honestly I could feel my gorge rising just at the thought of the raw egg, which is stupid because I ALWAYS like the beaters when making cake and duh, it has raw egg in it! I took a few bites but could feel the heat coming to my face like I was going to be sick; just like the time I tried bona-fide sushi. The taste was ok it was just the thought of slimy raw fish that made me feel ill. :-D

My husband, however, was super happy so I was happy he was getting a taste of home. His kids liked it for the most part; until I came they usually only ate Arabic foods in the house so they are more acclimated to it.

Before, when it was just Aaminah and myself, I always had a spotless clean kitchen (for the most part) and could take pics step-by-step even (see previous blog posts!). I had time to plate it beautifully and take pictures. Now it's just a rush to get food on the table and the eating begins before I even remember the camera! So I guess until I get my act together, this'll be what we get: half-way remembered recipes with no visuals. Yep stunning huh? lol

Oh and for an iftar snack in Ramadan I made homemade basboosa. You know the yummy semolina cake soaked in honey with nuts on top? Well mine was masha'Allah AWESOME I am happy to say. The only fault was it was a bit crumbly. I mixed 'n matched some recipes. It was a little involved but well worth the happiness A felt when eating it. He was so proud of it he took a dish to share with our Iraqi neighbors who live down the hall. Score one for the non-native Arabic cook!!!!! Here's a pic; I don't really wanna post the recipe right now because I can't find the use I used (sniff, sniff) and there are soo many available online.

Alright well it's late and I'm off to .... not sure what but the kids are in bed and I loooooong for a deep, spa-like tub I could soak my cares away in. Maybe in Jannah, huh? :-) Ma salaama......

Pretty is as pretty does...

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Many of you know Sr. Stephanie from "Muslim Mama". She posted the following on her fb and I wanted to share it with you all. This is a transcript of veteran slam-poetess Makkai. It is very strongly written and explores the insecurities we, as women, often suffer from. It is also very evocative of how we, as Muslims, view physical appearance and society's preoccupation with beauty, sexuality, and perfection.

*Please be warned there is a very crude word used but I do not edit the work of others.*

Pretty by Katie Makkai

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, “What will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich?” Which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception, passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers' hearts in a shrill fluorescent floodlight of worry.

“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?” But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dryad: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting. My poor mother.

“How could this happen? You'll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist. You sucked your thumb. That's why your teeth look like that! You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were 6. Otherwise your nose would have been just fine!

"Don't worry. We'll get it fixed!” She would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that, as if it were a cabbage she might buy.

But this is not about her. Not her fault. She, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable facade. By 16, I was pickled with ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs. Laying in a hospital bed, face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on 2 pints of my blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist of my gut like my body screaming at me from the inside out, “What did you let them do to you!”

All the while this never-ending chorus droning on and on, like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood. “Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? Like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.”

And now, I have not seen my own face for 10 years. I have not seen my own face in 10 years, but this is not about me.

This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven't a clue where to find fulfillment or how wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath the tyranny of those 2 pretty syllables.

About men wallowing on bar stools, drearily practicing attraction on everyone who will drift home tonight, crest-fallen because not enough strangers found you suitably fuckable.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung, stained with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, “No! The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.

“You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you will never be merely "pretty".
Nicely said.

December 3, 2010

Foreign cinema

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. You know, as women, as mothers, as muslimahs, we still have personal interests (just not usually the time to indulge in them!) I think alot of people, both non-muslims and not, believe Muslim women are restricted to the confines of their home, both physically and mentally. I can accept this attitude somewhat from non-Muslims; they often all too easily fall prey to the najasa spewed by the media and don't take the time to discover the truth on their own.

However when a sister has the same outlook it baffles me. I once read on a sister's blog how she felt all the other sisters around her were one-dimensional, only interested in child-rearing, their husbands, and home, as if that somehow made them less. *UNNECESSARY DISCLAIMER*: This is absolutely fine but even the sisters who devote and dedicate their time and energies to their families have hobbies, interests, and likes outside of that arena.

I chose to be a traditional Muslim wife and mother but I know my worth isn't merely defined by how well I can make couscous or how clean my bathrooms are. (ALHAMDULILLAH! lol)  I am respected and loved by my husband for all of my good qualities and accepted with my faults alhamdulillah. I am responsible in front of Allah swt for fulfilling my religious obligations and I am encouraged to pursue my own halal passtimes and seek knowledge (ilm).

On a side note, ilm is defined as knowledge of one's deen not merely scholastic knowledge with no practical benefit. Just like to clear that up as so many people like to quote a particular hadith but without the true meaning of it. :-)

Sorry back to the regularly scheduled program. I started this post (as the title shows) to discuss one of my newer interesst which is foreign cinema. I just got sidetracked on a tiny little rant, sorry. lol Anyway at night, when all the family is asleep, is mama time. The house is quiet and I can concentrate. I sometimes read or catch up with the bills online, etc. Really just whatever I feel like doing.

I recently had some spare time and decided I wanted to watch a movie via Netflix. I like alot of different types of movies but of course so many of them now are full of sex and innuendo so its harder for me to find something I can feel good about watching. Which lead me to check out the foreign films.

I might be a little addicted. :-) I've always loved to learn about other cultures (um hello, I'm a convert to Islam which is a pathway to learning about alot of different cultures!). So here is my list of recently watched films:

1. Tuya's marriage: I really loved this one. Filmed in 2006, it is set in inner Mongolia and tells the story of strong-willed Tuya whose husband was disabled. She is trying to run their sheep ranch and care for 2 children, their home, and her husband. Eventually her husband insists she divorce him to remarry because she cannot continue doing it alone. Her stipulation: her new husband must accept her children and ex-husband as well. This is a very moving film and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

2. Arranged: Um so technically this IS a foreign film (it said something about CanadaFilm) but it was shot in New York. However it is an indie film and focuses on the unlikely friendship between an orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim sister. Both are in "arranged" marriages and it gives a pretty balanced look. It alternately pokes gentle fun at these institutions while also showing their strengths. I really enjoyed this one as well.

3. Bliss:  This one really deserves it's own post. It's about a young Turkish girl who is raped. She cannot remember the attack and therefore is outcast by her family who believes it is her sin. The patriarch of the family (her uncle) decides the girl must be killed to preserve the families honor and sends his son to do the job. He takes her to Istanbul but despite many opportunities to finish the job finds he cannot. They eventually fall in love but it isn't a love story and the main characters aren't always likeable. Although Cemal (the cousin) does the right thing, he has a bad temper, is very jealous and alternately goes from believing Meryem to reviling her as a whore if she even speaks with another person. I find this makes the film much more believable because rarely are people all evil or good. I highly recommend.

4. Jodhaa Akbar: This is everything you would expect from a high-budget, Bollywood blockbuster extravaganza. I really enjoyed it. :-) Actually there weren't many of the (to me) cheesy dance scenes and the one love scene was fairly tasteful and not very explicit. Anyway this is based on a true story of a Mughal (Muslim) emperor in India who tried to unite all of Hindustan. He marries a young Hindu girl who is very devoted to her religion and her personal god, Krishna. My only complaint is that Islam isn't always portrayed in a correct manner but it often isn't PRACTICED in a correct manner. It does show alot of good about Islam as well so I think it's pretty balanced. It does of course make the Hindu leading lady out to be a saint but I can forgive that. It's a sweet, moving love story but it is LOOOOOONG. Took me two nights to finish it. Anyway I enjoyed it but not because it's an intellectually stimulating movie. It was just a fun film for me. :-)

Alrighty that about does it. I tried to watch 2 others; one was shot in Sri Lanka but the camera work was soooooo crazy I actually got motion sickness lol. I also started to watch Kadosh, an Israeli film about 2 ultra-orthodox jews who weren't able to have children but the husband loved his wife and didn't want to divorce her as his father commanded. It was a little slow but I felt the love scene was starting to be too graphic and opted to not watch it. I might try it again some night but will fast forward through that part.:-)

Let me know if you guys like to watch foreign films and what do you like about them. :-) Ma salaama!

December 2, 2010

Crafty mama

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Pre-Aaminah I used to do alot of little crafts; nothing too involved but fun for me and my friends or family. Since her birth I've not done so much for obvious reasons.

I've been wanting to be more creative again for a while but I have this rule: No "fun stuff" til the chores are done. So I told myself, ok you can do a project once the house is EXACTLY the way I like it. Which, my dear readers, hasn't happened since I've been married. :-)) Before A, I lived alone for many years and even after Aaminah, it was just she and I for almost her entire first 18 mo. Not too difficult to keep my house just how I like it. Neat, everything in its place, clean, sweet-smelling, etc. etc.

Now well let's just say there is always a pile to be sorted, laundry to be done, papers to go through... it's never ending. :-) So last Saturday while the big kids were in Bukhari school I said (to myself) "Know what? I think you can just ignore all that other stuff. Cause even if you clean it, it'll just be dirty again tomorrow!". Masha'Allah, how liberating it felt to give myself that permission!

Anyway here is what I chose to do: make a long denim skirt for Aaminah. The older girls had outgrown a super-cute (and not yet worn-out) pair of pants, below. Sorry for the cut-off legs; I realized afterwards that I wanted to take pics so I just laid them back in place.

OK great. So I cut the legs off and opened them up on the seam. I used the hemmed botton of the legs to make the hem of the skirt so it has that nice finished look.  Now I would like to say that I did a perfect job but I had 2 factors working against me: 1. I didn't plan it out, just kinda cut and threw it together and 2. I couldn't find my pins to secure the pieces so I just held them as I sewed them. Hmmm yes.

I learned with cross-stitching that the backside should be as neat as the front but this ain't happening with these! See I just kinda took off, spur-of-the-moment, and whipped it up. So the inside seams aren't finished. :-( Really that's a shame for me but I'm just being honest here. I wasn't sure how it would turn out so I was a little lazy with those details. Double shame. :-)

Anyway it turned out super cute and I would love to say that Aaminah adores it but I had to bribe her with a Hershey's white chocolate and peppermint kiss to get her to model it. No joke. And this girl is a clothes hound, she loves pretty things. I said, "Mama made this just for you. Don't you like it?" 

Never ask a toddler for an honest opinion. You get it. ;-)) Anyway I love it and when I marketed it as being supremely modest and therefore pleasing to Allah swt she was happier. Alhamdulillah. lol

Well here are the pics of little miss reluctant model and the (in my opinion, not humble at all) cute skirt:

Here she is, eating her ill-gotten gains. :-)
Close up of the skirt itself

Please tell me you love this little pocket as much as I did. I needed this extra panel to make the skirt A-line and I had the idea to use the back pocket area. I think it's super cute. :-)
What a cute fake-attitude face. Funny girl. :-)
I wanted to show the back of the skirt, and the little opening I left for ease of movement. Then she just struck a pose. I'm not very diva-licious so I don't know where THAT move came from. lol Beautiful hair though masha'Allah!
I wanted to show the side of the skirt with all of the embroidery. She asked to take it off and I told her, no just a few more pictures. LOL She was game but put on a nice pretend pout.
Well at least she did like the pocket, as I predicted. :-)

This just looks so quintessentially India I had to include it. I asked her to put her hands on her knees and she oh-so-gracefully sank down, like a good bhabhi serving chai. lol

Ma salaama ya'll!