Salaams. Tomorrow (actually, since it’s passed midnight, it’s today, eek) I board a plane and leave for India with 2 kids. Crazy, I know, my sister in law is getting married. I can’t believe the time has finally come. Whilst I’m I’m looking forward to the events that lay ahead, I am dreading the idea of travelling with the 2, will have to check for some ‘tips for travelling with kids’ from my good old friend, Google. I can safely say everything on my 10 Essentials for the Muslim Mum Traveller is checked except #1, which I’m about to go work on.
Before I go, I wanted to thank every single one of you for reading my blog. Thank you for making me love to do this little thing that I do. You have all motivated me to dream big and do more. I’m hoping 2015 will be a better, more productive year. Is there something you’d like to see here? Be sure to let me know, I want to make this blog better for all of you. I have big plans and In Sha Allah I can turn those into reality.
For now, have a look at the 5 most popular posts for 2014:
1. 29+ Ideas for Hajj at Home with Kids
This one broke the internet (just kidding), however it was a pretty big post for me with over 1000 shares on Facebook and over 600 pins on Pinterest, Alhumdulillah.
2. 30 Activities for a Ramadan Advent Calendar
Again, another popular post, it was full of ideas for activities during Ramadan and even included a free printable.
3. How to make cake pops!
I guess everyone is on the lookout for ways to make cake pops and it seems this post came in handy.
4. Baklava Cheesecake
The delicious creation was for Eid-ul-Fitr this year. Yum. It was also featured in Gaya Magazine.
5. Rose Halwa
A dish I took to a virtual iftar, delicious and refreshing.
Although I’ll be away for a few weeks, with the help of some great blogger friends the blog will stay active with some fantastic guest posts. Be sure to look out for them, they’ll be hitting your inboxes every Wednesday (if you aren’t already subscribed, you can enter your details into the boxes below).
I’ll also still be active on social media. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, be sure to click #modestmunchiestravels , I’ll be using that # throughout my travels.
Faatimah & Ahmed: We’re Little Muslims is a story of a young Muslim boy’s first day of school where he learns about the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and shares the story with his little sister. The book begins with an introduction of the 2 characters and provides some background information on the two little Muslims and a few of their interests. The little blurb on spaghetti is both cute and endearing, this along side their introduction facilitates character development and makes the book relatable.
The little girls emotion as her brother leaves and returns from school is heart-warming and though the book does not involve any conflict, the emotions create a sense of depth in the relationship between the siblings.
Faatimah’s love for stories leads to the main portion of the book, which is the story of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The story provides an informative yet relatable introduction to the Prophet (SAW) and would be a good starting point for parents seeking to introduce kids to the life of the final messenger of Allah (SWT).
The story maintains it’s fun and intrigue throughout the book as the children learn more, whether it be on their playroom floor or daydreaming on the back of a camel. The kids are taken on a virtual journey through the Arabian dessert which adds some excitement and also explores some terms and facts.
The story ends with an emphasis on one of the most important aspects of our faith… the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and encourages little Muslims to learn more about him and seek to be more like him (SAW).
The format of a brother/sister duo going through their everyday lives and sharing some basic knowledge of the Prophet (SAW) is truly unique and presented in a format in which any child can relate to. Too much detail in illustrations can often distract a child from the content of the story, but the fun, yet simple and bright illustrations in the book make it appealing to little readers, maintaining their attention and drawing them into the story.
The use of Arabic and common Muslim words and phrases is always good in children’s books and the Glossary at the end of the story is handy for those not familiar with some of the terms. While I had the privilege of receiving a draft copy of this book, I’m sure the finished copy will be the icing on the cake to this well presented publication.
I have to admit the book does leave me wanting more. I want to know more about Faatimah and Ahmed, I want to know more about their time with each other, and more about the Prophet (SAW) through the stories they share, so I am super excited that there will be more Faatimah and Ahmed books to follow.
Faatimah & Ahmed is a simple, well illustrated story that introduces little Muslims to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a fun, relatable way, it cleverly encourages kids to learn about and emulate his actions (SAW) in their lives. With its bright, eye catching pictures, delightful story and sweet characters Faatimah and Ahmed: We’re Little Muslims is a must have on your child’s Islamic bookshelf.
From the Author:
Faatimah and Ahmed – We’re Little Muslims is the latest in Islamic children’s books. Alhamdulillah it is now available on most Amazon sites, Barnes and Noble and The Book Depository. It will soon be available direct from the author at http://www.readlittlemuslims.com.
Simply Google it, or email: read[at]readlittlemuslims[dot]com for more information
It’s December, yes, the last month in the calendar. Can you believe it? December means the start of Summer and holiday season here in Australia. It also means a lot of people bracing airports and travelling abroad or even locally. We usually have an annual break, sometimes closeby, Melbourne is a favourite or sometimes abroad where Malaysia is usually our pick.
This year, however, we’ll be travelling to India and not just for any holiday, for a wedding, my sister in law’s to be exact. While thinking about what to pack during our travels, I thought, why not put together a list to share.
Here’s my 10 essentials for the Muslim Mum Traveller:
- Dua for travelling and a travel praylist – Don’t forget to memorise or take a copy of the Dua for travelling (there’s a few different version, a google search will bring them up). Also make a ‘praylist’, list all the things you’d like to pray for while travelling, especially all those dua’s you’d like to make for yourself and the kids. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.
[al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi – Sahih]
- Istinja and wudhu bottle – I don’t have to go into too much detail with this one, it’s an important part of your travel artillery, you know why 😉
- Flushable wipes – it’s not the best option but it’s better than nothing. Especially handy for wiping up little ones and their little messes. You have the comfort of knowing you can safely throw it down the toilet without worrying about clogging anything. These are also great to keep handy when out and about, great for public toilets too and when you don’t have a bottle handy.
- Pocket/travel prayer mats – These are an absolute must have. It is part of our everyday prayer bag. It ensures a clean place to pray no matter where you are.
- Pocket Quran/App – when you’re away it can get tough to keep up with Quran reading, but having it in the palm of your hand makes it easy and convenient.
- Compass/phone compass – when you travel you appreciate the fact that this earth has been made for us as a place of worship. You often find yourself praying at the airport, in a corner somewhere or at your destination so a compass is always handy. Smart phone apps do the trick but we still carry a compass in our travel prayer bag. Make a note of the correct Qiblah direction in degrees from your travelling locations for convenience.
- App for prayer times – You could download a location based prayer time app or you could research the times before hand. I’ve found an app works really well, it finds your location and gives you accurate timings for your location. Keep in mind you may not always have Wifi or 3G coverage, so best to have a back up plan.
- Jilbab and Abaya – Abayas are so easy to throw on, they provide comfort and coverage. I especially like throwing them on for breakfasts at the hotels. When you have kids who are hungry as soon as they wake up, you may have to stall that shower so they can be fed, throwing an abaya over your pyjamas makes it a much easier task. A jilbab is an essential for me in my carry on luggage. Between airport prayer rooms or finding a quiet corner to pray, throwing on a jilbab helps get me in the prayer mindset and gives me the required coverage for praying. I’ve recently found sleeved jilbabs and I’ll most likely be carrying one of those with me. Not only will this serve it’s purpose, it will also enable me to use my hands freely. Aside from that, since I’ll be travelling for a family wedding, we’ll be staying in a hotel with rooms close together, having a jilbab handy means I can run from room to room easily while maintaining my modesty.
- Islamic books or toys to keep the kids busy on the plane. We can carry a tonne of things and it may work wonders or it may not work at all. The excitement of being on a plane, seeing different faces and a different environment can be tough. I highly suggest packing one toy you know they love and will play with as well as a few other new little things that can intrigue and excite throughout the journey. It might be a good idea to pack some Islamic reading for yourself too. Highly unlikely, but for that slim chance the kids sleep and you have a spare minute, it will be handy.
- Snacks – Kids need snacks and lots of them. Don’t pin your hopes on plane food, it’s not always great and you don’t want to risk not having anything on hand. Pack snacks that will last and are healthy, hungry kids make cranky kids and that’s a definite no no while travelling. Don’t forget to include some energy packed snacks to keep you going too.
So there’s my list of essentials. What are your absolute must haves for travel?
On a side note, I usually travel with my husband, Mr Munchies but this post was specifically written for the mum stuff
I have some exciting news. I’d love to draw it out, but the title ruined it for me. A giveaway with READ Little Muslims. Are you as excited as I am?
It’s not just any giveaway, it’s an awesome prize, packed full of great goodies, here it is below. Read till the end to find out how to enter.
The prize pack includes:
How Big is Allah? – Emma Apple – read a review by READ Little Muslims here.
Allah is Ar-Rahman – Saba Ghazi Ameen
The Earth has Fever – Zaky DVD – One4Kids – Zaky DVD Review
Craft Pack – A card making kit, with coloured markers and mosque colour in/craft boards.
To enter, answer the competition question and subscribe to both the Modest Munchies and Read Little Muslims email lists via the form below.
If you’re already subscribed you’ll still need to fill in the form and answer the competition question. Don’t worry, you’ll only be subscribed to each email list once. Entries close on Monday 22 December 2014. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 23 December 2014 via social media and email.
Conditions of entry:
- Must be an Australian Resident.
- Must complete the entry form.
I’m sure there’s going to be some amazing entries out there, can’t wait to read them all.
Like it. Enter it. Tweet it.
A little while ago Amnah from Little Life of Mine put a call out to some bloggers asking us if we would be interested in writing a “Why I Write’ post. My hand flew up in an instant and then I quickly pulled it down. You see I don’t see what I do as writing, I see it as blogging. How is it different? It’s not I guess, essentially you have to write-to blog, but in my head it seems different. I don’t write the poignant, opinion based, thought provoking type of posts that some of the other ladies do. Yet, here I am, writing this post, because yes, blogging is writing (I’ll still need some convincing though).
So, let’s get to it, why do I write? A few months after having the cookie monster, almost 4 years ago, my husband suggested I get a blog to share some of my recipes. He has a blog of his own and thought I would like one too. I was a bit weary at first but eventually caved and one night after putting the cookie monster to sleep we took to WordPress and started to brainstorm name ideas. That was the night Modest Munchies was born. Awesome name, if I do say so myself.
This blog was initially designed to share recipes, and it still does. It was also a way to keep myself busy away from the daily grind of everything mum, wife and house, but that didn’t last long, those two worlds collided. With my son (the cookie monster) getting older and my need to keep him busy I added the Modest Mummy section to the blog. Modest Mummy is a mix of things home and mum related, it includes kids craft/activity ideas and more. This also gives me an outlet for all those residual ideas still in my head after completing my teaching qualification. It’s still a work in progress, so is the recipe section or this whole blog for that matter, but I’m enjoying the ride and I’m hoping you, my readers, are as well.
Below, are a few questions I needed to answer in this post.
What am I working on?
At the moment I’m working on posting more often on the blog and building a bigger following. I always have a million ideas running through my head, and a million goals I’d like to achieve but I need to get my head out of the clouds. I’d like to do so many things but I need to hone in on my strengths and stick to that. Some of those ideas include craft and cook books, but I can barely keep up with a blog, let alone write books, so let’s just close the door on that for now.
Pipe dreams aside, like I said (or is it typed), my current focus is the blog, this blog, your blog! Doing what I love and hoping that even 1 person out there benefits, in shaa Allah (but if it’s more than 1 I’d be extremely happy with that too).
How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?
It doesn’t really. As I grow and find more Muslim Mum bloggers I find myself finding so many amazing women, mums, muslims doing the same thing (or at the very least-a similar thing). Maybe I take pride in my images, maybe I write differently, maybe just maybe there’s something there that is unique, but for the most part I think we’re all just mums and food lovers trying to achieve the same thing.
How does your writing process work?
I have different ways. I get ideas a lot and I used to jot them down on paper, my homemade mini whiteboard, or anything I could get my hand on at the time really. I wish there was a way to record thoughts straight from my brain, words too, they seem to flow out at the most inconvenient times and when I actually sit down to write them it just never comes out the same. I’ve been trying to get more ‘with it’ lately by using digital means to record my ideas. I now put my ideas into Evernote and when I’m ready to sit down to write a post I write it in Evernote too. After finishing a post, which can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 year, I copy it into the blog, do a bit of editing, add in some images and hit publish. The rest is history as they say!
I’ve commissioned a few other friends to tell us why they write, keep an eye out.
Razeena of READ Little Muslims
Razeena Gutta has recently founded http://www.readlittlemuslims.com as an attempt to source and review the highest quality books and resources being produced for Little Muslims from around the world. She is passionate about good quality Islamic-themed literature for children and she is also passionate about supporting those authors and designers working hard to produce such works.
She lives in Australia and has two Little Muslims. She has also just published her first Islamic children’s book which is due to be released very soon!
Stay updated with her work via
And on Instagram @readlittlemuslims
Nazneen of Coffee and Crumpets
Nazneen is the author of the blog Coffee and Crumpets, named after her two food loves, coffee and crumpets. She lives in Broomfield which is a little city in northwest Colorado, not far from Denver. She spends her free time walking the many parks in the city, visiting museums, farmers markets, mountain towns and hiking the mountain trails.
She was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in London and moved to the States after her A Levels. Her family is from India. However, she still considers London home. Her background, travels and family are the inspiration of the food she creates. Her work and four children keep her on her toes, there is absolutely no down time! She spends 60% of her time driving and 40% in the kitchen! Find more of her delicious recipes at http://www.coffeeandcrumpets.com or follow her on Instagram @coffeecrumpets
Sumaira from The Muslimah Mommy
Sumaira Zaheer is a mother of three active children, and passionate blogger at http://www.TheMuslimahMommy.com where you will find her parenting stories as well as tips & advice for pregnant women and parents. You can also find Sumaira on Instagram – @TheMuslimahMommy, and on Facebook – The Muslimah Mommy.
Today we made teddy bear Hujjaj. It was an activity on our Hajj /Eid table. Chocolate shortbread, white chocolate Ihram! Yum, yum, yum! And yes, there’s a recipe. It’s such a fun activity to do with kids.
Scroll down all the way to the end to see what our teddy bear Hujjaj got up to!
- 1 cup flour
- 125 g softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup white chocolate
Pre heat oven to 170c. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper. In a bowl of a mixer, throw in all your ingredients except the white chocolate and mix on a medium speed until it forms a dough. Flip onto a floured surface and roll to about 7mm thick. Use a teddy bear (or gingerbread men) cutter to cut out your hujjaj. The dough will be quite soft, slide a flat knife or spatula under the cookie and carefully place onto your cookie sheet. When all your dough is finished and cookies cut, use a toothpick to mark the eyes and nose. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are crisp (the inside will firm up as it cools). Once cooled, melt white chocolate in the microwave. Fill into ziplock bags and decorate away.
We did the eyes and nose while the cookies were still hot from the oven, I had forgotten to do them prior to baking. Doing it before will give you a cleaner finish. Or you could use white chocolate dots to do the eyes and nose like we did for some instead.
I absolutely couldn’t resist so I made this video! Isn’t it the cutest teddy bear Hajj video you’ve ever seen? (It has to be, right? How many of those are even out there?)