Month: September 2016

In the studio with… Eisha Saleh

I’m excited to bring you this “In the Studio with…” series as we sit down with, converse with and go behind-the-scenes of some of our favourite creatives who inspire us here at The Modest Life. For our first post in this series, our Editor Saltanat sat down with Eisha Saleh, creator and head designer at Baraka Women where, over a beautiful light lunch prepared by Eisha herself, they chatted about everything in this world but the following ten questions… Tell us a bit about yourself… My name is Eisha Saleh, I’m the designer-director at Baraka Women. I am Lebanese-Australian and have been in business since 2008. How did you begin Baraka Women? It all started when I first started to wear the hijab was transitioning from my non-hijab wardrobe to a new hijab-friendly wardrobe. As someone who was always interested in fashion, I was excited to build something new, but beautiful and modest clothing was just not available. The extent of hijab clothing in Australia were all imported from the Middle East and consisted of traditional Abayas. …

Yes. Allowing your kids screen time on devices IS CRAZY

If you are a parent, and you keep up with the news, or are on social media, then you must have heard Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson’s comments about how parents who allow their children time on an iPhone/iPad are “crazy”. And you must have seen/read the resulting hoo-ha from parents all weighing in on her “extremely judgemental” remarks. I’m going to be straight- I totally agree with her. Trust me, I understand how parents can be driven to simply pass on such devices to their children, but I have come to the firm belief that simply ‘surviving’ parenthood, and therefore doing whatever it takes to ‘survive’ it, is just not a good enough standard to hold ourselves to as parents. I wrote before, when discussing my eldest daughter’s eating habits, that: “A lesson that I have faced over and over again in the past four years of my parenting career is perseverance. If there were ever a test of your character, of your selflessness, it is trying to raise a child. Because over and over …

I REALLY like ZARA’s new “Green” collection but…

Let’s admit it. We have all been caught up in the hype of ZARA, and H&M. Personally, H&M never appealed to me. Their clothing always looked cheap and poor quality. But ZARA? Yeh, sure. I’ve been totally duped by them several times. Although I have to say that for a while, I’ve also been dissatisfied with their quality and pricing. Not to mention that their clothing sizes seem to be shrinking. I pick up a size ’14’ and it DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A SIZE 14. Don’t even get me started on the kid’s clothing. Girl’s dresses that are supposedly in the 12-18month size range, fit my daughter when she was 6 MONTHS OLD. Not only are they generally small everywhere (like the arms and shoulders), but they are so short that I can’t decide if it is a dress or a top. Like, WHY? Putting aside these issues though, the latest bandwagon that these fashion giants are jumping onto is the “eco-friendly”, “sustainable” and “ethical” clothing “trend”. ZARA just released their ‘Join Life’ (how sad is …

A Lebanese-Australian Sausage Roll

Today we are excited to bring to you our first food blogger contribution, by the wonderfully talented Lina J from The Lebanese Plate. Lina started off her working career very much like me, as an English/History teacher, until life threw her in a different direction and she took up photography and combined this with her love of good food.  The Lebanese Plate is partly about food photography, partly food styling & certainly a lot to do with sharing her love for this cuisine. But overall, the main concept came from wanting to hang on to a special part of her Lebanese heritage, and fusing it with her Australian identity.  Her first contribution to The Modest Life is a perfect example of this… Enjoy!  Written by Lina J.  Trying to please the whole family when it comes to mealtime isn’t the easiest of tasks. Over the years I’ve had a crack at many tricks, sneaky ones and some not so subtle, to get my kids to eat what I cook. I’m also not ashamed to say I’ve used bribery! …

How we talk about our kids

Before I became a parent, I would listen to other parents talk about and discuss their children with others. I would listen to them with trepidation and what eventually become anger and sadness at the way these parents would talk about their children to other people, sometimes relatives, sometimes colleagues, sometimes strangers. They would all try to top the other parent’s story about how bad their children were, about the bad habits of their children. To me, it sounded exaggerated, unnecessary and incredibly, spiteful. It sounded a lot like backbiting. Fast-forward a few years and I now have children of my own, and without even noticing, I  have begun to speak about my own children in this manner as well. Often when people ask me about how my kids are, I find that I roll my eyes and sigh and launch into the latest thing that they did to frustrate me. Like in my last post here. #badparenting I think what is really important to recognise is that parenting is not a competition of who …

Today, I am struggling…

Today, I’m struggling. I’m struggling with this whole parenting thing. I am doubting my ability to be a good mother to my two daughters. The fact that I am now expecting baby no. 3 is freaking. Me. OUT. When I tell people that I’ll have 3 kids under 5, they physically shudder, or shake their heads. Or tell me that it’s going to be sheer insanity. That I won’t leave the house for about five years. That 3 is the hardest number. So yeah, I’m scared. Was I planning to have 3 under the age of 5? No. No I wasn’t. And I know that that has made it more difficult for me to mentally cope with this reality. But recently I had a pregnancy scare, and as I lay in the birthing ward waiting for the doctor, my two previous births in this same hospital came rushing back to me. I looked over to the bassinet and felt excited to experience the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world again. I felt honoured to …

Girl’s Spring dresses

When it comes to children’s clothing I have a strong belief that they should be dressed age-appropriate. I don’t like the current trend of kid’s clothing that simply mimics adult’s clothing. Don’t get me wrong, I love a trench coat on a kid as much as the next person, but body-con mini-dresses with cut outs for a 5 year old? Hell no. But dresses in muted pastel tones with beautiful embroidery, in a baby-doll style, with a longer skirt made especially for twirling and in pretty floral prints? Yes, please. Below are my favourite dresses for little girls, dresses to walk barefoot in emerald grass, to pick flowers in, to twirl around the house, to play with dolls whilst singing to themselves, to read books, and climb trees, to care for their younger siblings in, to live the wonderment of that dewy, magical and much too short phase that is childhood.   Featured image via Printebebe.

Best on the Net

It’s been a busy week for me and mine… Eid came and went last week, it was my mum’s, brother-in-law’s and his wife’s birthday (all on the same day!), hospital appointments, surprise birthday brunches, classes at the Al-Ghazzali Centre and heading to my local Farmer’s Market for the first time in months. How was your week? How do you spend Eid with your family and friends? For the week ahead, here are our favourite reads from around the web: Peg + Cat aired a special Eid ul-Adha episode and it looks awesome. Yay DIVERSITY! And on that note, here is a great infographic on the lack of diversity in children’s books. So here is a link with children’s books that feature kids of colour being themselves. Because that’s enough. And another link with a list of 5 books that help you raise a globally minded child. Speaking of diversity in print and publication, how brilliant was it to see Susan Carland featured in the Sunday Life magazine? A poignant reflection on how mentoring can help …

The Giving Tree

Eid Mubarak everyone! This is that time that we’re celebrating Eid ul-Adha, which centres on the story of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son, Ismail, as Allah commanded. My teacher and Imam spoke about the significance and the lesson in this particular Eid just days ago, and I wanted to share it with my children somehow. Essentially, this Eid is about the sacrifices that we make in the way of Allah. And whilst it is obligatory upon us to give Sadaqa (charity) during this celebration, mainly either meat or the value of slaughtering an animal to give to the poor, it is also a reminder of the nature of giving and sacrifice in general. We must give of ourselves to benefit others. Whether it be our time, our wealth, our aid or our skills, we must ask ourselves, what is our Ismail? What is it that we are sacrificing, giving to others, in the way of Allah? And in what manner are we doing this? …

Eid decor inspiration

With Eid ul-Adha literally around the corner (it’s tomorrow!), we’ve rounded up some beautiful decor ideas for your home, or family Eid dinner/lunch. Lots of soft lighting to create atmosphere, touches of ethnic textiles, lanterns, gold foil balloons and floor seating make for the perfect home decor for Eid without being tacky, or without trying too hard. We have a special post coming up in the next few days on how to get your children excited about and involved in Eid ul-Adha, without hanging fluffy cotton-ball sheep around the house, or cakes in the shape of sheep…Please, just don’t go there… So keep an eye out for it, and until then, Eid Mubarak! *click images for sources. Featured image via Design Love Fest.