Month: February 2016

The ‘P’ in ‘Parenting’ is for Perseverance

My daughter is not what you’d call a “good eater”. In fact, the year she turned two, I don’t think she ate much at all. The. Whole. Year. My parents would berate me about it every time we went over for dinner. And over the phone in between visits. Although my daughter was a chubby little infant with splendidly round cheeks, chunky thighs and pot belly due to the copious amounts of broccoli, brown rice, corn, pasta, soups, etc etc she was happy for me to shovel down her throat, by the time she was 2.5, she had become all bones, and rib cages, with long gangly legs. Splendidly round cheeks (to our delight), remained. So what happened? I got this question a lot. By said grandparents. And friends. And strangers. My answer often sounded like this: “Ummm, she turned TWO.” And to the question, “how long has this been going on?” “Uh, about a year.” The fact is, her less than impressive eating habits were causing me much anxiety about her health (although she …

The double-edged sword of modest fashion

In a world that rewards beauty and style over everything else, we Muslims have become caught up in this culture just as much as the “West”. We criticize the exploitation of women by the fashion industry, and yet we are just as desperate to be accepted by that same industry, in our bid to be recognized as stylish even with our modest wardrobe guidelines. Just take a look at the proliferation of ‘Muslim style bloggers’. ‘Hijabistas’ are on the rise, with every young girl who owns a smartphone, has an Instagram account and buys clothing from mainstream clothing outlets posts photos on public accounts of their ‘OOTDs’. Inspired by the heavyweights of the industry who have hundreds and thousands, even millions of followers on social media, these girls have been given new role models to emulate, be ‘inspired’ by, and ultimately, to envy. With designer wardrobes, wearing labels such as Chanel, Prada, Christian Louboutin, and even high-street lables such as Zara, H & M, Forever 21, these style bloggers are fuelling a booming modest fashion …

It’s not going to get any easier

I’ve been a mother of two little girls under the age of 4 for around nine months now. I always knew I wanted children close in age so, hopefully, they would be good friends as they grew older. I myself have a sister two years younger than me and she is basically my best friend. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course, the reality of having two children under the age of 4 was not something that I could have ever truly understood. No amount of reading books, blog posts, forums or even asking other mothers with multiple children close in age could have prepared me. If I thought I was exhausted raising one child, I was dead wrong. If I thought disciplining her was tough, I had no idea of the struggles that were coming. Every single struggle I had with one child is only amplified ten times over when I have a screaming baby in one arm and a bored toddler in another. When my little one was born, and we …

The Big Fat Muslim Wedding

A custom made wedding dress that costs over $5000. A variety of cars ranging from vintage, sports, luxury, a Hummer, oh and throw in a motorcycle or two. Flowers covering the reception hall. A candy buffet groaning under the weight of cupcakes, strawberry towers, cakes and custom monogrammed biscuits. Wedding reception entertainment including, but not limited to: a magician, whirling dervishes, a cultural dance group, elaborate meal presentations that require the guests in the room to stand up and SAME DAY edits played on large screens in the reception hall showing the bride and groom in various loving embraces… No, I’m not describing an extravagant celebrity wedding. I’m talking about the Big Fat Muslim Wedding that is currently trending. Being a blogger in the seemingly frivolous wedding industry, I make it my job to keep up-to-date with current trends in bridal fashion, hipster weddings in museums and of course, Muslim weddings. Most of them don’t feel like a genuine celebration of two people committing their love and friendship to one another. They generally feel disorganized, …

My husband, my best friend

“If everybody just cared about and supported others then everyone would be happy. Nobody would go without because we’d all be looking out for each other. At the moment, most people just look out for themselves and look at us… we’re all lonely, desperate, sad…Take marriage for example…If each (husband and wife) were looking out for each other’s needs and requirements there’d be no reason left for selfishness of self preservation as each persons rights are being cared for and protected by the other .” Quoted from Imam Afroz Ali My husband is my best friend. Even after 5 and a half years of marriage, I still can’t wait for him to get home. And no it’s not just because the kids have pushed me to breaking point and I need him to come home and take them from me… When he does stroll through the door and I see that broad smile and sheer joy on his face when our (almost) three year old goes running to greet him, it lifts the heaviness and …

What I’ve learnt (so far) about Motherhood

Giving birth is utterly heart breaking… Yes birth is all kinds of crazy/incredible yet simultaneously it can be totally heart breaking. When I came home from the hospital, I’d sometimes find myself in tears for (seemingly) no reason. I simply couldn’t cope with the enormity of what my body had just been through and the fact that she was now out in the world, and therefore vulnerable and exposed to it was pretty damn heartbreaking. You need your space… Having a good support system is crucial to recovery. But what is also crucial is having some time away from everyone who just wants to ‘help’. While their intentions are sincere, as a first time mother what you need is some space to nurture your connection with your baby. It doesn’t help to have people hovering around constantly and (more than likely), judging. First time mothers need an atmosphere that is reassuring and supportive, with the right balance of advice/care but also knowing when to step back and letting the new mother do her thing. Trust …

Five ways to overhaul your spending

Let’s be honest. The majority of consumers know the realities of where and how their clothing is produced. What’s missing is action. The problem is the 1001 excuses about how difficult and expensive it is to change the way one spends. But that’s just what they are: excuses. The problem lies with the fact that people do not see changing the way they consume as part of a holistic ideal. They assume that one simply needs to buy from “fair trade”, “organic” certified sources and that’s it. This is just one element of overhauling one’s spending. Actually, that’s why this post is titled “how to overhaul one’s spending” and not “how to overhaul one’s wardrobe.” There’s a big difference between the two. What needs to be recognised is that how much we consume needs to change in line with what we consume. We would inevitably fail at buying ethically if we continued the rate of our consumption. So, here are five ways that we can overhaul our spending (and our wardrobes): 1. Donate The first …

All about the bees (and love)

I have always loved flowers. Arranging flowers, gifting bouquets and of course, receiving flowers. Until recently, making money from arranging flowers had always been an acceptable source of income for me. Now that my interest in the wedding industry is taking a professional turn, this seemed even more likely and acceptable. That is until I stumbled across this video. To say that I was horrified is an understatement. I was disgusted. Disgusted in the industry that didn’t have the courage or the intelligence it seems to “do the right thing”. Disgusted by ourselves and our excessive consumption and contentment to simply remain ignorant about where/how our food was being produced and the impact of it. Ever since I had my daughter, I started to change the way I shopped, particularly in terms of groceries. I went to my local farmer’s markets and bought organic, sustainable produce. I spent hours scouring the aisles of my local grocer picking the organic and ethical/fair-trade products. I no longer buy fruits and veggies from Coles or Woolworths (my local …