Hasta pronto

Inshallah tomorrow morning we are off to San Sebastian (Basque Country)for our summer holidays. We will be staying at my parents for over 2 weeks and as much as I love my folks I know from now that they will drive me insane.
Dh and the kids love it over there. So I don’t mind it too much as long as dh is happy and relaxed, which rarely happens here in London, and the girls get lots of ‘grandparents time’.
The biggest downside to going back to my roots is what it does to my iman. Thinking about it , the hadith about staying and living with your muslim community comes to my mind. So true; little by little I can see my iman weakening as a result of being far from my muslim friends, neighbours, family…What I might have thought had no influence on me or my iman suddenly starts playing up in my mind.
I hope and pray that Allah keeps me always strong no matter where I may be, ameen.
So my dear readers, friends and sisters I bid you farewell till the end of the month inshallah.
Oh and before I forget…yes the customary picture, lol. A picture of mii according to my girls. They reassure me that it looks exactly like me. Whatever!!!

This is mii when I play nintendo wii. I am getting very good at tennis.
This is mii when I play nintendo wii. I am getting very good at tennis.

Rain, rain and more rain

It has been quite an uneventful weekend. Alhamdulilah for the rain but it kind of gets to you after a while and this week we have had quite a lot of it. I know it’s wrong to complain about the weather cause is from Allah who knows best…So let’s just say that I find it quite hard to entertain my moody, spoilt and easily bored children if it’s raining non-stop.

Anyway, all day yesterday was spent doing nothing worth mentioning here. Teenage wannabe baked a ‘banoffie pie’ which is a first, mashallah. She usually runs up to her room and hides behind some book or other at the mention of cooking, baking or anything crafty. We were all quite impressed with the end result, mashallah.

Today’s picnic at Regent’s Park was cancelled due to the bad weather. I was really looking forward to the second annual meeting of the forum . A forum in which I participate as I meet the indispensable prerequisites necessary to be admitted: to be muslimah and to be connected somehow to Algeria (dh’s origins in my case ). They will now meet next Sunday but I will be in Spain. Never mind , it was not written for me.
So because I simply could not take another day of the girls driving me up the walls with their long bored faces I have succumbed to their wishes of going to the movies.

We’ve watched ‘The Mummy: tomb of the dragon emperor’. Not a great movie but rather entertaining if you like action packed movies. The girls have enjoyed it greatly but I suspect that it’s the whole pop-corn, drinks and big screen experience rather than the film itself that appeals to them.

And now the customary picture; they brighten up even the dullest blogs ,lol.

Teenage wannabe's banoffi pie
Teenage wannabe's banoffi pie

It’s only the begining…

of a new me. A new me who cares about the environment she lives in has been born,just like that. Well maybe not so ‘just like that’ but more or less. We,the girls and myself (the important half of the family), have decided ‘no more plastic bags’ when we are out and about shopping. ‘Teenagewannabe’ daughter has been lecturing us for a while  about how long it takes for a plastic bag to disintegrate.Apparently 500 years!!!  Also ‘Blue Peter’has been brain washing my two little ones on the same blah blah blah so I had no other alternative but to go along with the flow.
Dh is not to sure about it all but the poor man has no say in it. We are strong believers in democracy in our household,lol. I was not having any of that…’it’s not that easy, who is going to remember to carry the alternative bags all the time?’  We soon had him regretting having spoken at all. He had to agree that we had thought it all through.
We put ourselves to the test yesterday. Shopping in Brent Cross was quite fun but also very rewarding in a funny kind of way. In all the shops we bought from the p*****c bag was refused with a smile on the face and we took it in turns to tell the cashier that ‘no thank you we had our own reusable bag’.
Came home with lots of goodies in one nice bag,mashallah.
Today, well a different story all together but not really my fault…Dh rang on his way home from work to tell us that he felt like celebrating the begining of his holidays. When he arrived 20 minutes later we were all ready for a nice meal out. After the meal dh wanted to do a spot of shopping for the trip to Spain, inshallah. And yes, you’ve guessed it…We had no reusable bag on us and there is so much a lady can cram into  her handbag. Imagine my dh’s smile on his face as the man behind the counter was putting the girls new sandals in a huge p*****c bag. His face was saying it all…’I knew it’. Arrgh!
Next stop, TK Max where you can buy ‘big labels at small prices’. So the usual bargains had been found, including top brand sunglasses (Police) which cost 75% less than their usual price. But wait until I tell you…after dh had parted with quite a sum of money the man behind the counter wanted 10p for each p*****c bag. No way dh is ever going to pay 10p for a p*****c bag!So he walked out the shop carrying all his purchases in his hand with his dw with a big smile on her face. Yeah, my smile said it all…’I told you it wasn’t such a bad idea after all…’
Moral of the story…I am always right If you think you are going to make the world a better place for you and your folks and many generations to come,BE PREPARED.
On a more serious note; I have this strong feeling that is only a small step towards a more green life but I am hoping to go back to recycling more. I did it before but all that clutter in my kitchen was driving me insane. I chose minimalist looking kitchen over saving the planet. What am I like!?! Shame on me.
 My folks back home recycle everything and I mean everything. Even the oil they use to fry the chips in is collected once a month in the village square. Don’t ask me what they do with it but I know that it’s recycled and that is what matters.
What do you think of the little white a pink number bellow? Gorgeous I know. It  is for mall shopping and for asda food shopping we are going to use the big Ikea bags.
What do you, my dear readers, do to save the planet? Do tell me in the comment section.
and it's pink inside!
and it's pink inside!

Someone cares…

It turns out I am not as hard as I thought I was. I guess I like being recognized and crave acceptance and love like everybody else.

I am a bit ashamed to say that I was feeling a bit hurt because nobody had commented on my posts. Wow, what a horrible feeling! It was all a technical interference, lol. I am laughing now but the realisation of how insecure I am was no laughing matter. I was not aware that I had to approve comments and was expecting them to appear at the bottom of the posts. So, there I was checking almost every hour…

Subhanallah, you learn everyday and every new experience makes you stronger I suppose. Inshallah, I will be more sensitive to other people’s needs.

The whole incident has made me think of myself as a teacher. Do I value the kids enough? Do I make them feel loved and secure at all times? Do I tell them enough times how good and special  they are?

Also and more importantly,my Iman must be pretty low for me to be wanting outside gratification so badly. Shouldn’t I be wanting to please Allah and fearing only His disapproval?

On a happier and lighter note… I have managed to cook in between checking the blog for comments and reading a really good book ( I’ll tell you all in the next post) and here is the evidence. Don’t you agree with me that sometimes ‘less is more’?

Cous cous salad ang grilled chicken with beans
Cous cous salad and grilled chicken with beans

Just checking…

if it’s all still here. You never know…I spent what seemed like hours last night adding bits and bobs to the blog to no avail or so I thought till I opened it again this morning and it was all there. I guess I had to log out and go back again… Technology is never going to be my forte but I’m not going to give up that easily either.

Since it is nearly Ramadan, inshallah, I have started the process of going over the last year’s achievements in Qu’ran. I am ashamed to say that very little has been achieved. Yeah, BIG SHAME ON ME! I could write a list at least an arm’s lenght  of excuses but I’m not going to because it would be a big fat lie. Yes, I have been very busy with my work, studies, family and what have you but also I have managed lots of T.V, outings, cinema, reading and what have you. So don’t even go there Ines…NO EXCUSES. Astaghfirullah.

So what I am going to do now? Back to basics. I am going to get hold of the very first book I bought when I first became muslim and go over the surahs I think I know and when I am happy with the reading, translation and memorisation , only then I will move on to a new one. May Allah forgive me and allow me to learn. Ameen.

The ‘red book’ (we’ve always called it that) is great! Not only the arabick writing is big and clear but it has the transliteration underneath(it helps when you are not sure of the pronounciation) each ayah and the translation too. I have tried other books and other methods but this way is best for me, alhamdulilah.

Back again…

I've a feeling I have found a hobby I'll stick to.
I've a feeling I have found a hobby I'll stick to.

After who knows how many attempts at recovering the password for the other blog, I have decided to start all over again. It is going to take me a while to get this one up and running to my standards because the little I did learn about blogging and presentation has all gone out of the window. Oh well, what is lacking in presentation will make up in content, lol.

Today I have spent a good 3 hours making a collage. What a surprisingly good time I’ve had! The task was more challenging than anticipated but worth it all the same. The trickiest was cutting out the small letters as I don’t have any craft tools. I had to use ordinary scissors and glue. I am planning a visit to an art and crafts shop and see what I can get. I have already googled lots for inspiration and ideas.

 The end result…well I think is really good considering it was a first and is going up on the ‘gallery wall’ right next to my father’s painting and the kid’s work.

And now let’s see if I remember how to add pictures to a post. Omg I’ve done it! The quality of the picture is not great but you get the idea, I hope!!