Friday, February 14, 2014

Juicing:: Another Adventure in the Kitchen Corner

Bismillah (in the name of Allah)

  As a family we often find ourselves looking for ways to incorporate healthy eating into our days. A quick google search or even better a visit to the health and wellness section of your library will let you know the myriad of benefits juicing has. Apparently, drinking raw juice not only enhances the immune system, gives your digestive system a break but it also can be used as a non-toxic treatment for cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

We made an investment last year in buying this Omega juicer and I am very satisfied with it. The Gerson institute recommends this juicer when used for health enhancement. For therapeutic use they recommend The Narwalk but the Omega was right for our purpose and fit within our budget.

Mostly, we juice leafy greens such a kale and chard (rainbow and swiss), parsley, and add a carrot and an apple or orange to sweeten it a bit and make it easier to drink. We found that the more we drank this juice the less we wanted sweet fruits and instead our bodies craved the leafy greens.

We, for no good reason, took a long break from juicing. Acquiring the organic vegetables needed became a bit difficult. We didn't have the fridge space to buy a week's worth of greens and I found myself making several trips a week to buy them. Our budget doesn't allow for our largish family to eat 100% organic and our nearest supermarket carries a pretty small organic selection, which means buying organic green and fruits for juicing is an errand on its own for us. Eventually the juicer was taken off the counter and forgotten for a couple of months. Really a shame.

I said enough and brought the juicer back to its rightful place: the counter. On a weekend outing we found ourselves at a local health food store and I seized the opportunity to pick some organic vegetables and fruits they had available and had our first juicing party in a long time. They didn't have leafy greens so we settled for a sweet treat: carrots, beets and apples. 

The kids did not complaint one bit.

  It's priceless to see them enjoying something so wholesome and good. I am looking forward to making juicing a part of our everyday life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being Busy Being Just a Mom

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

  A neglected blog this is. And I am unapologetic about it; somehow it just got put in the back burner but I knew I wanted to come back here to this space and for that reason I did not delete it altogether, I just left it alone since what? September 2011!

  So, what's been happening around here...? I have been super busy being just a mom, oh not just a mom, a stay at home mom, ok in all honesty... the title is a homeschooler stay at home mom. A title I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought nine years ago. But here I am raising four children, home educating them, striving to provide them with nourishing meals and good memories. I must say I am very happy life took this turn and made me a mama of four darlings (the last sweetling came into our lives in the summer of 2012, and I'll refer to him as Soofer to continue with the tradition of giving my babes nicknames in this space)

  I am not going to pretend life is all sweet and my days are full of joy and laughter and well-behaved children who do as they're told. But I'm going to let you know that I'm going to spare you those details, most of the time. I want to come here to 'talk' about the things that bring calm and peace to my soul, things that I dream of doing, things that are relevant to homemakers and moms; I want to share new things I learn, keep a sort of journal of the various things I got going in the kitchen, the sewing corner, the learning corner, etc.

  Right now I should go and start a batch of sourdough, my second attempt this winter. If it goes well I will share the results here.

  So follow along and share your thoughts.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A New Beginning...

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

Autumn's here.

I love the rain, the wind, and the coolness in the air, ahh... and the colours too. I have to admit that I love that this season is here already. I enjoyed my summer and did a lot of fun-outdoor activities with my husband and children: We visited countless parks in our city, visited the capital city (Ottawa), went camping right after Ramadhan when one could already feel the slight coolness in the air, oh we had some fun this summer.

But time has come for us to spend more time indoors, which means more cooking and baking, more sewing and reading, more family-centred time. Don't we all love that?

:: Finally, I might just have the time to bind off that quilt I started ages ago but hat to put away for sometime when I was suffering allergies.

:: Finally, I might just get on track with my home-made bread that I stopped baking during Ramadhan and took me weeks to make a new batch.

::Finally, I might just give a second glance to my abandoned sewing machine, my sweet stash of fabric and my lovely patterns that have been very neglected.

:: Finally, I am back here in this little corner of mine sharing about the things I love and wish had the time to do more often.

How is the arrival of Autumn (or the season you're in) affecting your life?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Blessed Month...

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

I think I've been MIA for long enough. And, the main reason is Ramadhan (the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, during which all adult Muslims are to fast from dawn to sunset)

Not surprisingly, I have been away from my sewing machine. And even though I miss it, I know that there is a time for everything, and right now it's time for worship and any extra energy is put to use in looking after the house and children. We're all having a good time. To our amazement, we're enjoying outings to parks and the river. And, since we're not so concerned about eating we are enjoying just being out there, the warm breeze, the water and just everything non-food related. It's so good to have this freedom.

Ramadhan is a busy month of fasting during the day and praying at night. I love this month; in this house we call it the reset button. We give up bad habits and hope to trade them for good ones. The first three days or so caffeine withdrawal and headaches, dizziness, hunger and thirst are an ordeal. But once I overcome this phase, I go about my days as normal and again can function perfectly, alhamdulillah (praised be Allah)

We're now in the last ten days of this holy month, and as Ramadhan slips out of our hands, we wish we had done more. More good deeds that will weight immensely on our scale on a day where every tiny good we did will count. We will miss you Ramadhan, and can't wait for you next year.

To my Muslim readers, I pray that you can fully take advantage of what's left of Ramadhan. I shall be blogging after this month is over with more updates.

Ramadhan Mubarak!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A School of Its Own Kind

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

Today I want to share something that has touched me deeply. A project of a woman-a Muslim woman, a mother. Someone who through hard work and constant effort is reaching her goals. And, these goals are truly selfless and generous, mashAllah. She envisioned a school and worked hard for it. And today she shares where all her efforts have taken her, her project (a school) and the people in her community.

I want to share this as it's still a work in progress, and much help is needed. The project began to take form in the fall of 2010 with only 15 students but as of now 40 potential students want to benefit from this school in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

If you're interested in learning more about the project you can read Itto's post on her blog where she shares an article from Sisters Magazine where she has been featured, mashAllah!

You can also visit École vivante (the lively school) to learn more about the project, submit your questions and donate to this cause if you like.

May Allah (God) help us all to strive towards our goals and may we have a selfless soul like this sister's. Itto, you truly are a source of inspiration. May Allah almighty shower you with his mercy and blessings and make this project of yours heavy on the scale of good deeds, ameen!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ahhh... Choo!


Most things that can be suspended at the moment have been untouched: Blogging, sewing, knitting. And, not voluntarily, as I itch to do some everyday but sadly allergies are getting on my way. I can't think much other than, "where is my tissue box?" Or "Maybe it will all be gone before I know it" But weeks have gone by and I still have allergies. See, this is the first time ever I'm affected by this nuisance.
I am being proactive; don't get me wrong. Schedules are being made with the allergist, I'm taking propolis, got a nasal spray, and I'm looking into unconventional methods of dealing with this issue. I just want to find out what's causing it and in the meantime I'm trusting my instincts and avoiding those things that make me reach for my tissue box more often. Ahhh choo!

There are, of course, things that can't be put on hold. Life continues, with allergies or not. My vegetables are doing fabulously; home-schooling, thankfully, at the age of my kids doesn't require a lot from my part; home-keeping is sort of becoming second nature; and, well I'm back here updating this blog.

The one thing I am missing a lot right now is working at my sewing machine. I have countless of projects waiting for me to tackle: My very first quilt needs to be finished, I have an Amy Butler Camisole I can't wait to start working on, a jersey drape top from Sew Hip Magazine, skirts for the girls, pants for Teddy and his dad.... I'm really looking forward to it all, I am!

I hope you're having a wonderful productive summer and for those with allergies this has helped me significantly Now Foods Propolis 500mg, Capsules, 100-Count There are plenty of brands out there and you can choose the one that best suits your needs. The reason why I'm taking this one is because it was given to me by a dear friend of mine. The only thing I do is empty the contents in a spoon and take them with OJ as the capsule has gelatin from bovine and porcine sources, which I don't consume. Just beware that if you're allergic to honey this would not be for you otherwise it's worth giving it a try.

Sometimes we have to be affected by some ailment to make changes in our lifestyle; I'm going to try and take this as a sign from my body to change a lot of habits that are not beneficial for my health. I'm thinking more exercising, less caffeine and sugar, more health promoting foods. I'm not necessarily on a junk food diet but there are a lot of things that I consume everyday and that I don't that impact my health and thankfully I have an idea where to start.

Want to take this journey with me?

Disclaimer: The advice given here is my sole opinion and not to be taken over the advice of a health practitioner.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We're a homeschooling Bunch


Homeschooling is a subject very close to my heart. I strongly believe that children need to grow up under the care of their parents, especially their mother for the first 7 years, if at all possible. I'm also aware of the influence peers can have on others, and although sometimes can be a good influence, in most cases, it's a negative influence which affects children for a very long time until they, on their own, find their identity.

Today, however, homeschooling is hard on parents because 'the norm' is to send children to school at the age of four, or even earlier. Parents, especially mothers, look forward to this milestone in their children's development for many reasons. They believe their children are going to be socially adept by being around other people, and learn valuable things essential to the development of their intellect, among other benefits. But in a lot of cases, mothers want their children to attend school because they don't have the patience to have them around all the time not because they think or believe school is the best choice to their children's needs. Here is where net-working with other home-schooling parents plays an important role. One can share experiences and be there to support one another when times get tough. In this way, I believe most parents can face the challenges of home-schooling successfully. 

I've been meaning to write about our homeschooling approach and our experiences so far with it. We implement the delayed approach, in which children are not introduced to formal homeschooling until the age of seven. Before that they should engage in as much unstructured play and should be read to for an hour a day minimum.

Unstructured play takes in all forms and shapes. Here are a few of the ways I home-school everyday:

We Play outside with a pile of soil and let our imagination unfold:

We play with home-made play dough and "make what we dream of making when we grow up"

Reading is the other fundamental thing right at this age. I try to read to my children in the morning and afternoon and I can see how much love they hold for their books. I hope I can continue to instill love for literature well after this stage. But to be honest, I believe it is in our human nature to love reading; it just sometimes gets forgotten due to over-stimulation from the technology of these days. We try our best to stay away from TV watching and I have no one video-game available at home.

We also spend time outdoors doing what the family likes best: Soaking up sun, visiting interesting places in our surroundings, visiting and going out with friends, you name it. The important thing is to get out there and be in touch with nature as much as we can.

I can honestly see the benefits to this approach as I see my children learning a lot of things out of their own interest. They don't write or read yet even though my oldest will be five in two weeks but the things they're learning is what I believe fundamental to their development at this stage of their lives. Once they've outgrown this stage there won't be coming back to it. Imagination it's at its wildest and liveliest right now and what can be learned from it is truly a treasure.

I am sharing this to inspire you to take a look at the benefits of this approach in the up-bringing of our children, our treasures.

Happy home-schooling!