All posts filed under: Community

Will the real YOU please stand up?

As I scroll through my Instagram feed lately I feel like I am literally seeing the same picture over and over again. Everybody obviously follows accounts that interest them, so as a mother I follow a lot of parenting/home decor/mummy bloggers/lifestyle accounts. People. I literally see the same photo OVER AND OVER again. The same kids bedroom styled with EXACTLY the same products from EXACTLY the same stores. Let me give you the formula: Canopy + vintage bunting + IKEA Minnen kid’s bed frame + folkloric wallpaper + wooden accordion peg holder + something rattan + creepy big eyed circus hybrid human/animal picture art = INSTA PERFECT KID’S ROOM. And guess what? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT MY DAUGHTERS’ ROOM LOOKS LIKE. Minus the creepy big eyed circus hybrid human/animal picture art because, creepy. The other day, I looked around my girls’ room and realised that I had been victim to the Instagram Effect. What is the Instagram Effect you ask? I’ve provided an authoritative (authority being me of course- I hope you’re picking up on …

A generous baby shower

I’ve always had two thoughts and emotions about baby showers. I’ve felt somewhat uneasy about them, what with the fanfare, extravagance that seems to be the trend these days and potentially lots of unwanted gifts, but I’ve also loved the concept of gathering a budding mother’s closest female friends and family to initiate her into motherhood- or if it’s not for a first baby, having them around to share wisdoms, celebrate the start of new life and simply to shower her with love.  Our dear friend Sana was expecting her first baby (she’s since given birth) and asked me to aid her in running a flower crown workshop for her baby shower. The day focussed on giving, generosity and creating beauty- a perfect focus for celebrating a woman on the cusp of motherhood, methinks.  Read on to be inspired by Sana’s baby shower with a difference… What was the inspiration behind organising this event? Once pregnant, a few of my friends expressed interest in assisting to host a baby shower for me. I don’t mind …

A simple health trick

Hello everyone! I have been absent for a few months around here. What with Ramadan, a new baby and the general demands of life with three kids, friends and family; things have been busy. More than this though, I have been struggling to be motivated to do anything outside of just getting through each day. Writing seemed like an insurmountable task that I simply could not be bothered for. I had no inspiration and just felt bogged down from the daily grind. In the past few weeks, I came down with a nasty viral infection which took some time for me to recover from and was really a reminder that I needed to take proper care of myself first and foremost. I think this is true of any mother, that we constantly place ourselves last. That we don’t take simple steps to ensure that our own health is sound. We know the oft repeated phrase, “if mum doesn’t look after herself she can’t look after anyone”, but I think that mostly, it’s something we just …

A hijab by any other name is…fashion.

The hijab has been getting a lot of attention lately. Women who wear the hijab (Islamic head covering) are becoming more vocal, asserting their existence in a world that has attempted to define them. Women who wear the hijab are speaking, shouting, writing, running, jumping, strutting, fencing, dancing and singing their way to recognition, in an attempt to redefine themselves on their own terms, to show the world that hey, we wear the hijab and we can do anything. Anything and everything. NOTHING holds me back.  I am a proud, hijab-wearing, independent, Muslim WOMAN who can make her own choices and do whatever she wants.  And the world is seemingly responding. People seem to be accepting the fact that (believe it or not!) Muslim women who wear the hijab are. Just. Human. Female. Girls. ETC. who happen to cover their heads and most of their bodies. Which is of course a good thing. Right? The “modest fashion” market is recognised as a booming niche that big corporations need to tap into. From Nike, to MNG, corporations …

What social media is really about

I am on social media a lot. Recently I admitted to myself that I am addicted to it. That I spend way too much time on it. That it is taking over my life and turning me into an automaton. Yes my eldest has yelled at me numerous times to put my phone down. And yes, I’ve written before about how allowing kids screen time is madness, and yet here I am, admitting that I am addicted to social media. Hypocritical much? Possibly… I told myself that I actually do “work” on there (I am the editor/creator of the IG The Modest Bride) and that it’s a way to pass the time. But I think what really pushed me to realise its true nature (Instagram in particular) is consciously admitting that ALL social media is the most pernicious form of advertising. And IT’S KILLING MY SOUL.It’s emptying my bank account. It’s making me anxious and making me feel like somehow my life is inadequate because I don’t have all the eco-conscious, organic, ethical, MINIMALIST THINGS …

Best on the Net

Good morning everyone! Can you believe that we are in December? That 2016 is almost at a close and that we will be welcoming 2017 soon? 2017 sounds so… fantastical. Like an author 50 years ago would have set his/her future dystopian text in 2017 or something… Also, and perhaps more importantly, it is currently the month of Rabi ul-Awwal, the month that our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) was born. So in today’s Best on the Net, I’ve included a few links on how to honour the Prophet Muhammad (saw) this month, how to share in the blessings of the month, and how to involve your children as well. Eight books to teach your kids about the Prophet Muhammad (saw) And here’s another beautiful book written/illustrated by Demi that my children love… I’m personally reading through this particular work by Tariq Ramadan this month. A comprehensive guide to the permissibility of Mawlid. A beautiful Salawat recitation by Al-Firdaus Ensemble to listen to with the children. We are also obsessed with these two versions of Tala’Al Badru …

Best on the Net

It’s been a big week in the world, with much to ponder on. Here are a few inspiring, positive and thought-provoking links to make this week that much better… A beautiful new children’s book compiles tales from Syrian refugees. Carla Zampatti designed a uniform for Westpac and included a style for hijabis. Check out this Kickstarter for a company designing activewear for women who wear hijab.  Finland is taking their awesome schools further by abandoning subjects for ‘events’ and ‘phenomena’ in an interdisciplinary format. Speaking of teaching, here’s a video that explores how there is no scientific proof that homework improves performance in elementary school. BAN HOMEWORK I say! The biggest supermoon is set to hit our world tonight, but it’s cloudy and raining here in Sydney 😦 Did you read about the new screen time recommendations by doctors? About time they got onto this. Suzanne Barakat is an incredible ambassador for her religion, and this latest talk she delivered at TED is at once utterly heart-breaking but also motivating. She asks, what resources do …

‘Modest Fashion’ is an oxymoron…

‘Modest Fashion’ has become a catch phrase that is used to refer to a broad spectrum of clothing, generally in the milieu that is considered to be ‘covered up’. It may or may not include a head covering. In the past five years, with social media platforms accelerating as popular bases for self-promotion, ‘modest fashion’ has experienced a huge (and this is an understatement) growth. With the aid of ‘modest fashion bloggers’ and ‘modest fashion businesses’ that have cropped up, the industry is now worth over $300 billion dollars, and is set to grow. Mainstream fashion houses such as Mango, DKNY and even Dolce & Gabbana have tapped into the niche by producing collections specifically for the modest market. Modest fashion bloggers have been a huge part of this growth in the industry. They have amassed (altogether) millions of followers across their social media, from Instagram, to Facebook to Youtube. More specifically, ‘hijab bloggers’ are increasingly sponsored by and affiliated with mainstream fashion houses, such as Ascia Farraj’s collaborations with Net-a-Porter and Dior, to name just …

Let’s talk about what we feed our children

Today I want to talk about what we feed our children. I know that it is an incredibly heated topic, one that can really make people (parents, I mean) defensive and emotional. I know that 99% of the time, the defences used will be something along the lines of… “I just CANNOT get him/her to eat anything else.” “There is NO WAY that we can get him/her to eat the veggies.” “I’m too tired, and it’s so much easier to give him/her what he/she wants.” I know, because I’ve used these lines myself. But let’s be real with ourselves here. We are facing an epidemic on a scale never seen before. Our children are becoming increasingly obese. In Australia alone, “the number of overweight children in Australia has doubled in recent years, with a quarter of children considered overweight or obese.” (From betterhealth.vic.gov.au). And in adults the statistics are even more shocking. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “in 2011-12, 62.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese.” Considering such ominous stats and facing the reality of being surrounded by an …

An (un)birthday party

It was my youngest daughter’s second birthday earlier this month and usually birthdays around here are small affairs where only the family gather for dinner and a cake, and presents. This year I decided to do a little something different and throw a “birthday party” for Z mainly because she is about to become middle child in a few weeks, and I wanted to do something special to make her feel well, special. As I planned the birthday I realised that I wanted it to be more about enjoying the company of our nearest and dearest, and for it to be an enjoyable day for the children. Also, I really didn’t want to do the ‘typical’ birthday things. For example, I didn’t want presents. Exhibit A: My lovely friends and family still did gift the girls presents, which I wasn’t going to be annoying about. And I say ‘girls’ because they were gifts that both the girls could enjoy and use. We gift things to people because we love them, and this is a beautiful trait. …