All posts filed under: Featured

Four great children’s books

What makes a great children’s book? To me, it needs beautiful illustrations, an engaging story, fantastical facts and interactive activities. I picked up the following four books recently which have all of the above and they have been on high rotation with the girls lately… “Women who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, adventurers & rebels”  This one had me at the title. It’s the second book I’ve bought for the girls about women who have dared to achieve their dreams. We haven’t gotten through it yet, but we have loved reading stories of strong and courageous women, and the illustrations are just lovely. Day of the Dinosaurs My daughters are obsessed with dinsaurs, thanks in part to watching marathon sessions of Dinosaur Train whilst I clean the house, or put baby to sleep. I love how this book is interactive, jam-packed with facts and beautifully illustrated. Nature’s Day: Out and About To be honest, I picked this one up because of the pretty front cover. Don’t judge a book by its cover? I’d have …

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 …

Inspiring kids’ learning spaces

Even if one is not homeschooling their children, having a “learning nook” can be useful. And I say “nook” because let’s face it; not everyone has the luxury of having a separate room just for the kids. Even a spare wall in the house can suffice, with various shelving systems like the first one below acting as storage for the kids’ craft supplies, books and toys. Keeping it playful makes it appealing for the kids as well, rather than taking it too seriously and “suitable for the minimalist/boho/modern/california cool (whatever that means) aesthetic of my home”. It’s a space for kids; it should look like one. Bright pops of colour, fun wallpaper, chalkboard walls, cute (and educational) posters and whimsical toys can really make the space appealing and beautiful. Also, it need not be very expensive, because #IKEA and thrifting. I find that exploring second hand stores, op shops and flea markets yield beautiful and unique toys and educational material. Take a look at our favourites below… *Click images for links Featured image via Pencil …

The List: Ethical kid’s clothing

Now that my kids are exiting the toddler years (well, two of them anyway), finding ethical kids clothing that is affordable is becoming somewhat of a task. Speaking to my cousin recently, she also expressed difficulty in finding ethically made clothing for children aged 5-15. It can be difficult to pass up the $5 t-shirt in Kmart, especially when kids seem to get through so many clothes because they grow 10 cm every three months or get grass stains on the knees of all jeans or food stains that just won’t come off. Is it worth spending a little more on ethically made clothing for kids? I think it is. Non-organic cotton fabrics, and other synthetically produced clothing contain toxins (given the chemicals they are treated with) that can seep into the wearer’s skin. I also think that if we teach our children to wear less but cherish and value their clothing from a young age, this will teach them good values that they can carry into adulthood. I know, I know. These days it …

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 …

Clothes with Baraka

Here at The Modest Life we are passionate about supporting local businesses, women-run businesses, ethical-minded businesses… basically businesses that kick butt 🙂 Baraka Women is one such business. Designed by Eisha Saleh, an all round incredible lady, the clothes are made with the modest dresser in mind, with the most beautiful fabrics, made right here in Australia. With the release of her new “Pollyanna vintage” collection, my sister and I jumped at the chance to play dress ups over a little catch up at my place… This print is so pretty and the fabric is luxuriously soft. Also, given that it is a wrap dress, it makes feeding baby easy. So basically it ticks all the boxes for me. Stylish, pretty and comfortable… We love the details on these pants, made from a vintage fabric. I’m wearing the Afternoon Wrap Dress. My sister is wearing: Outfit 1: The Emerald Day top with The Cornflower Pant in cream Outfit 2: The Envy Layered skirt. Photography: Z by Zahrah.

High-tech bassinets are totally a thing now

For those of us who have kids, think back to your most difficult child, the one you brought home from the hospital terrified of because from DAY ONE they wouldn’t sleep anywhere else but on your chest. Or in your arms. Or only in the car. Or they didn’t sleep at all. If you were told back then that there was a bassinet that would: strap your child in safely detect when your baby moved and ROCK BABY GENTLY “chooses” which motion your baby likes best play soothing white noise simulate the sensation of a car how quickly would you throw your screaming baby into one? Half a second it’d take methinks. Anything to get some blessed sleep. Recently, one ultra high-tech bassinet, developed with MIT engineers (that’s what you need to get your baby to sleep people, a team of MIT ENGINEERS) has hit the market and another has been made by Ford. The car company. Yes. A car company has made a bassinet that moves your baby from side to side in a motion …

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 …

Conversations with kids

Kids say the most hilarious things, and I wish I wrote down some of the things my own kids say more often. Here are a few things my little ones have spilled recently… When I came back from the hospital and J said to me: “Mum, why do you still have a baby in your tummy?” Me: “Umm… there’s no baby in there J. My tummy is just going to take some time to return to normal.” J: “Oh, ok. I don’t like it like that. It needs to be flat again!” Me: *tears streaming down my face… “This tummy stretched to carry all three of you!!” When asking why her 16 year-old uncle isn’t married yet… J: “Why isn’t Emmi (short for ‘Amja’ or ‘uncle’ in Turkish) married yet?” Me: “Because he is too young J, he’s still in school…” J: “Oh, so he can get married in the school holidays…” A few weeks ago she suddenly piped up with… “An-ne (or mum), I want to be exactly like you when I’m older…” Me: “awwww …

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 …