#DeenTalk: Ramadan as a New Mum

Hey loves and Ramadan Mubarak. We are in the final third of Ramadan and now is the time to pull back and get oneself together. It seems like yesterday we were preparing and praying for the grace to see the start of Ramadan and now it’s almost over. 

Ramadan as a new mum, and a nursing one at that matter, has been a tad trying for me. One minute I feel like I’m catching up, the next minute I’m a complete and utter mess. Most times I feel like I’m struggling to keep up my Ibadah. For this final lap of Ramadan, I’m taking a step back and exhaling. I need to find my life for just these last 10 days.

The last ten days are pretty important as we get the chance of Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Decree. No matter how hard Ramadan has been for you, whether as a mum or not, or you’ve just been sick or swamped with work, these last ten days are a chance to reassess our intentions and actions and hope to Allah that we gain the best out of them.

Here are some tips on how I intend to maximize the rest of Ramadan.

Make Dua everywhere and anytime: I can be pretty square sometimes and worship is not left out. Most times, I think I have to wait till I’m on my mat or in salah before I can pray. But then I remember how close Allah is to us. 

 “And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein” – Q50:16

It’s something I’m still trying to imbibe but now I try to pray when driving or walking or just doing anything that doesn’t involve too much distraction. Let out your dua anytime you think about it. It doesn’t matter where you are (maybe except the toilet lol) but if you wait until you are all prepped up on your mat, you might forget that really important thing you needed to say to Allah. 

Turn off the Static: We’ve got our phones, tvs, the Internet and as helpful as they may seem, they can be huge sources of distractions. Those few minutes when I’m nursing, I pick up my phone to catch up on social media or just plain rubbish. I know the time for certain TV shows by heart. We don’t need that this time. Turn it off! Even if it’s just for a couple of hours to focus on the deen, it would be a couple of hours without any unnecessary interruption. 

Read and Listen to the Quran: Listening to the Quran for me is total bliss. It’s all about that free time. I might be meal prepping or nursing or driving and instead of letting that time pass me by, listening to the Quran on my phone helps me improve my relationship with it. Listening to lectures during my free time too is great. One of my absolute faves is Mufti Menk’s Podcast on Muslim Central and there’s one each day in Ramadan. 

Read the translation and understand the verses. Read the tafsir. The month of Ramadan was when the Quran was revealed (Q97 V1) and what better time to improve your relationship with it than now.

Look for Laylatul Qadr: Waking up at night is hard for everyone, I know. Purify your intentions again. Then Set an alarm. Make that two or three. I’m not the best at waking up at night especially when my baby doesn’t seem to cooperate on some nights but I’ve figured that sticking to the same bedtime routine each day helps you wake up on time. Ask Allah to help you witness Laylatul Qadr and In sha Allah He will. 

Focus on your obligatory deeds: Maybe it’s waking up for Fajr. Maybe it’s praying on time. Focus on performing those deeds to the best of your ability. What good is it focusing on the voluntary acts of worship when we are struggling with our obligations? And what better time to perfect them than now? 

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

Q97 V 3

Don’t also forget to recite the Dua recommended by the Prophet (SAW) during this time:

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni 

(O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me)

May Allah (SWT) grant us success this Ramadan and may we see many more. 

What other tips/hacks do you have for this last 10 days? Share in the comments please. 

Until next time loves, 

Ramadan Mubarak! Xoxo

Hadiza❤️

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Taking Stock: May ’17

Hey loves!

It’s been a long minute. I just had a baby girl *insert fireworks and party whistles* and I’ve been basking in the excitement and giddy happiness that comes with motherhood. That’s not to say it has been all fun and rosy. It has certainly been trying but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I gave myself a well deserved maternity break from everything, blogging included and right now, I’m getting my groove back. I’ve started getting busy again and I decided to do a Taking Stock post to just see what I’ve been up to. So here goes…

Making: boob juice. Lots and lots of boob juice. 😊💃🏽

Cooking: healthier meals. Or at least, I’m trying to. 

Drinking: a lot of water. It’s not easy making all this boob juice. 

Reading: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Oh and I just read We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. Amazing read. 

Wanting: dollars. Lots. Don’t we all?

Looking: at baby clothes and baby books. Is this what my life has become?

Playing: with my little human most of the time. And this is why I never get any work done. 

Deciding: that one day each week should be set aside to try a new recipe. 

Wishing: I had a magic wand and I could get all my work done in one flick. 

Enjoying: a better relationship with food where I don’t have to beat myself up too much for indulging in not-too-healthy treats. 

Waiting: to see the hubs.  ❤

Wondering: when next I’d get to go to the cinema. 

Loving: denim jackets right now. I’m yet to find a nice one for myself. 

Hoping: that I meet my weight loss goal soon. 

Watching: Iron Rose, PLL and Project Runway. It’s a good thing my cable and Netflix subscriptions just expired. I can’t believe I was getting addicted to Telemundo. 😩

Needing: new art supplies. ASAP. 

Disliking: the way I’ve been misplacing stuff in my house. I can usually remember where everything is, so this new atitude is really annoying. 

Smelling: like different kinds of oils. 

Wearing: tops and dresses with front zippers and buttons. The need to be able to yank out a boob with speed to pacify a crying baby has changed my life 😩. 

Knowing: that God is always right. Pretty “duh” I know, but really being conscious of that fact makes it easier to stay on His path. 

Thinking: happy thoughts. Trying hard to get rid of awful memories. 

Bookmarking: lots of baby stuff on my phone. 

Preparing: for success. 

Giggling: always at the funny pictures of me and the little one on my phone. 

I hope May has been pretty great for y’all. See you soon, loves. 

Hadiza ❤

Taking Stock: January 2017

Hello loves! 

This is the first taking Stock post of the year and I plan to be more consistent with these. 2016 was not exactly pleasant for a lot of people. Here’s praying that 2017 turns out to be a great year and way better for everyone. 

So here goes…

Making: Freezer dinners. They are a way to help me save and make sure that I don’t go hungry. I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to food sometimes, so double win for me.

Cooking: More pasta. With tons of cheese. 

Drinking: A lot of water. It’s funny because the weather isn’t even hot but I can’t seem to help myself. 

Reading: Biostatistics and Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella. 

Wanting: to fix my sleep pattern. My circadian rhythm is out of control. 

Looking: forward to February. January has been so long. 

Playing: nothing really. I’m good with the silence. 

Deciding: to be more minimalistic with everything. I tend to hold on to stuff for too long and I think it’s bordering on hoarding. 

Wishing: that the world was a better place. Sounds cliche but really it’s tiring turning on the news and feeling every time like the world is going to shit. 

Enjoying: My Alone time. 

Waiting: for when I get to see my husband again. 

Wondering: if I’d look good with a faux lip ring or nose ring. 

Loving: A lot of things. I can’t seem to pick just one thing. I’m really grateful. 

Hoping: that things turn out for the best soon. 

Watching: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 1. I’m still not sure if I like it or not. It’s just really silly and a tad annoying. And Adult Swim. 

Needing: to plan my time better and figure out a proper schedule.

Smelling: like coconut oil most of the time. 

Wearing: warm fuzzy boots because my feet can’t stand the cold at the moment.

Knowing: that I’m where I need to be right now ❤. 

Thinking: about how and where I can get new outfit pieces on sale. 

Bookmarking: Nothing really. I’m actually clearing out old bookmarks. I had like a 100 old things lined up in my browser I didn’t even need. I’m such a tab hopper it’s annoying.

Preparing: for new beginnings and sunshine. 

Giggling: at my own cheeks. Then they look funnier and make me giggle more. Haha. 

Reading Challenge 2017

I’m not about making resolutions per se anymore. I’ve got two New Years and my birthday and every Sunday for do overs. I could wake up at 12 o’clock and decide to start something new. I’m all about being a better person each day, any time. 

I do set goals however, (duh!) and try my best to achieve them. Last year, I challenged myself to read 100 books but what with school, moving, starting a family, there was no way I was going to complete it. I barely even went passed 10%. Shame!

This year, I’m trying to read 50 books for my challenge this year.  But January is almost halfway gone and I’ve spent all this time binge-watching tons of silly stuff on Netflix. God help me. I don’t have any specific criteria on what books I want to focus on, although I am leaning towards more fiction this year. I need to unwind without thinking too much. 

I noticed for the first time that there are tons of reading challenge ideas floating around on the internet. Like this one from PopSugar that @thegirldorian on twitter showed me:


“A story within a story”? Lol, I have no idea how many books fall under that category. 

Personally, I just log in my progress into my Goodreads account. I’m open to recommendations from my fellow book lovers and if any happen to fit into any of the categories above, I’m willing to give it a shot. 

Id like to know what your reading challenge is like for the year, assuming you have any in particular. What’s on your shelf? 

Until next time loves, 

Hadiza❤

Craves and Raves

Last week was the Ake Festival at Abeokuta. For those of you that do not know what it is, it’s an annual book and art festival that holds in Abeokuta each time. Last year was my first time there and I didn’t blog about it but it was the BOMB. I got to meet tons of authors and artists and I even won a cash prize to shop for books at the bookstore there. It was one of the highlights of last year for me and I couldn’t wait for it this year. 

Me at AkeFest 2015 with Toni Kan

At Olumo Rock

Me, my sis and Taiye Selasi

Unfortunately I didn’t get to go this year and I’m still not done seething. Ngugi wa Thiong’o was the headline author this year so imagine my annoyance when school and life came in the way of my traveling to Ake this time. Plus there were tons of friends I would have loved to see. So yeah, Ake was the rave of last week and I got to miss it. 💔

Another awesome event I didn’t get to miss was the comedy show, Lord of the Ribs, by Basket Mouth. It was in Port Harcourt this year and it was my first time at a comedy show. It was a lot of fun, perfect date night material. Except I don’t know why it was on a Sunday and late into the night too. Like how are we supposed to get our acts together for Monday? 😑😕

This week I have nothing lined up except exams that hopefully don’t get postponed again. As per fashion, I’ve been craving bow sneakers and kaftans thanks to @Muslimahanie. I went scouting online and found some sneakers on Pinterest similar to hers and I’m absolutely coveting these I saw on The Hunt

The sneakers from Pinterest ❤️

 
Can’t wait till I get them. I literally do not have the guts to diy my sneakers at the moment. Lol. 

Here’s hoping I find more interesting events to attend with my introverted self. 

Until next time loves, Ciao. 

Hadiza ❤️. 

Taking Stock: October ’16

Image from threadlessrules.com

The temperature has been extreme lately, with it being scorching hot one minute and the next minute it’s pouring. Weird enough, I’ve been loving it. I won’t lie it’s so much better when you are indoors though and you can snuggle under your covers or just go butt naked. In general, I’m no longer too worried about unpredictability or change…well, as long as it’s not all thunderstorms and hail 😁. 
Anywho, here’s a Taking Stock Post for October. And can you believe it’s about 66 days till the new year? Can’t wait for that brand new feeling. No, just kidding, I can totally wait. No hurry. 😁 LOL. 

Taking Stock: October ’16

Making: Nothing major this month. *sad face*

Cooking: Simple meals to save time. 

Drinking: Water and a lot of black tea.

Reading: School stuff. 

Wanting: To read Fiction instead. 

Looking: at denim gowns on the internet. 

Playing: Mufti Menk Podcasts and phone games. Sheesh. 

Deciding: To wake up on time and get moving. Everyday. 

Wishing: that the country would get better soon for everyone. 

Enjoying: the time I have to myself right now. 

Waiting: for the next episode of Frequency. 

Wondering: if someone can make a machine to create extra 24 hours each day. 

Loving: my new hair growth

Hoping: that my emoticons show in this post. 

Marveling: at how much time I have started to waste on Twitter these past few days. 

Watching: Queen Sugar, Pitch and Frequency. 

Needing: Money and room space. 

Smelling: nice (according to my husband) but I can’t really smell anything. #StillWinning. Lol 

Wearing: As little as possible indoors. 

Knowing: that I should keep myself out of the cold for my own good but not heeding my own advice 🙃. 

Thinking: about dinner. 

Bookmarking: nothing but Wiki articles. 

Preparing: for a surprise. 

Giggling: because I have the week off. So good to be getting a break. So good. 
Till next time loves,

Hadiza, xoxo. 

Broken Dictionary 

Hello lavs. It’s been a while. I thought I had a scheduled post but alas, I did not. What with getting married and settling down in a new place, life has been a tad crazy. Can you believe it’s the end of September? Insane. I literally can’t believe the year is about to end. 

I wanted to start with a Taking Stock post and share my current craves and happenings but there’s something fun I’d like to share with you all. You know how sometimes there is an African article you read online or a book and there are certain words written in pidgin language you can’t seem to understand? Well, some really cool people came up with an idea to help via a website called  brokendictionary.com. It is an online platform for sharing and learning Pidgin English words and phrases from Nigeria, China, Cameroon, Ghana, Hawaii and other places across the globe. So basically, you can put in words unique to where you are from as well as learn from other people from different countries. How rad is that! It’s still relatively new but I’m interested to see how awesome it can get. 

Go visit the website and share a few words that you know in pidgin. Or check for that one word you have been hearing your wafi friends say and you can’t seem to figure out. Make this happen loves. 😊

You can also follow Broken Dictionary on twitter, @forpidgin.

Until next time loves, stay awesome ❤️. 

Current Craves: June 2016

Hello Loves.

With Ramadan around the corner, there are totally random things I am craving, missing or  just wishing I had stocked at home.

  • A Rainbow Quran

Rainbow Quran.jpg

Image from islamshopnyc.com

I have seen these for so long now and I want one this year. The only catch is that I want one with the English translation and most of them are purely Arabic Qurans. It’s not a deal-breaker though. I can not wait to get one, translated or not. 😉

 

  • A Nubian Heritage Body Set

The Classic: African Black Soap Gift Set

Image from nubianheritage.com

I miss, miss, miss this Nubian Heritage Black Soap and Body Wash. It has become so rare and it is a tad ridiculous to buy just a bar of soap online. I just found out that they have a natural deodorant and I can not wait to try it. Anyone know someone who stocks these products in Nigeria? Please?

  • Abayas

I can never get enough of abayas, literally. These days though, I either want a really simple one or one with something that stands out. I am loving this currently and this.

  • Rain Boots

Please do not talk to me about how they do not seem realistic in these parts or how I should stay indoors when it rains. Er, sometimes you have to go out, rain or no rain, and I have ruined many a good number of shoes because of the rain. No one controls the weather. I just think having a really pretty pair would be nice because even if you do wait for the rain to pass, the roads can be an utter mess. Have you ever ruined the straps of your flip flops because of the mud? I have. 😐 So yes, I want a pair. A reliable pair. 😐

 

  • Tomatoes

 

I want, need, gotta have a big fat basket of fresh tomatoes and red bell peppers sitting in my kitchen. I didn’t care much for the tomato scarcity at first but now I want to apologise for all the times I took tomatoes for granted. Tomatoes, please come back. I want you for Ramadan. *cries in last spoon of stew*

 

 

What are you craving in the month of June?

 

 

 

Modest Swimwear: The Burkini

I have had swimming lessons on my bucket list for a long time now and while finding a place to learn was one issue, a bigger problem was not knowing what to wear. I personally needed something that gave me a bit more coverage than a one-piece or boy leg swimsuit. 

Enter the burkini/burqini.

Image from marksandspencer.com


I had come across the burkini about 3 years ago on a Muslim blog and I absolutely loved the idea. However, I didn’t know where to get one plus I wasn’t even ready to take on lessons yet. Fast forward to the present where I was finally ready to take the leap. I got a way to buy one without paying ridiculous custom charges. I was thrilled. I could not wait to actually wear it to the pool. 

For me, this burkini was all I had been looking for. It covered my butt and it had ties at the edges to secure the top to the pants. Someone had issues with how fitted my pants were, which I personally had no problems with, as I was trying to avoid looking frumpy. I couldn’t imagine going with bigger pants especially since I’m still learning but since we are going for modest fashion here, I totally understood. 

The major problem I had with it was the fact that it did nothing for your chest. Am I supposed to wear a bra to swim? I think they should come with at least a bikini top to be worn inside the burkini. That was the part that made me really self conscious. I didn’t consider that part before putting it on the outfit.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any ppictures of me wearing it. Mine was a bit more fitted than that in the picture though. All in all, I’m glad I got a modest swimming outfit option. The fact that these weren’t here years ago shows progress in my opinion. Big brands carry these pieces now and it’s refreshing to see that every woman gets an option now when it comes to wearing what she wants. It is absurd and almost insane, in my opinion, that some people think that you are asking for attention by showing up in a bikini. That you are challenging an already set “system” (whatever that means). That encouraging the burkini means encouraging female body shaming

I am in no way ashamed of my body. As a matter of fact, I love my body too much to keep exposing it to harsh conditions. I mean, minus having people judge whether my ass is thick enough or not, the idea of staying in the sun for hours with most of my skin exposed is not enticing in the slightest. I burn easily in the sun and I’m not about to risk that. Also soaking in a chlorine pool almost naked isn’t exciting either even as much as I love the water. My eyes suffered from all of the chlorinated water and I literally had blurry vision the rest of the day. 

I don’t understand how hard it is to understand that people have different reasons for wanting to wear what they choose to. However throw modesty in the mix and we have a problem. Bring out the pitchforks and torches, people!! Seriously, calm down please. I got a lot of stares from people at the pool (mainly women though) and I couldn’t care less what anyone was thinking. You should not have to either, regardless of what you choose to wear. 

P.S: Before I forget, do not dry clean your burkini. Except it says so on the label. Most burkinis (and other swimwear I suppose) call for hand cold wash only and make sure to rinse immediately after use. I think dry cleaning ruins the fabric properties. 

Until next time loves, 

Ciao.

Taking Stock: May 2016

I first read a “Taking Stock” post by Valerie of Cateyes and Carrots. After snooping around the blogosphere, I eventually found the originator of the Taking Stock Posts, Pip at Meet Me At Mikes. I thought it was a pretty rad way of reflecting on the month and looking at all the things that have happened so far and, in this case, a way to reintroduce myself to this blog. Here goes.

Making: different clothes and outfits. I get this mad rush of inspiration occasionally and I cannot afford to let it pass me by without going HAM. 

Cooking: Not very much. Because, leftovers and laziness. 

Drinking: Not enough water. Sucks for me. 

Reading: Girls At War by Chinua Achebe and Africa39.

Wanting: to recreate my personal space asap. 

Looking: forward to Ramadan. Lord knows this girl needs a serious Iman boost. 

Playing: phones games a whole lot less. 

Deciding: to shut out every form of negativity. 

Wishing: the fuel price hike would be reversed and the economy would get better soon. 

Enjoying: the time and good health I have been blessed with. I’m constantly reminded about how this is a gift from Allah I need to use to the fullest. 

Waiting: for change. 

Liking: cute children videos on the Internet. Brightens up my day. 

Wondering: why airport announcers tend to sound nasal. 

Loving: the woman I am becoming, in and out.

Disliking: wall geckos. Eek. 

Buying: Lots of oils. I love trying out new oils but my all time go to has to be coconut oil. 

Watching: People. People watching can be fun sometimes. It beats pressing your phone every time in my opinion. 

Hoping: that I get to finish my reading challenge for the year. I don’t want to buy new books if I can’t finish the ones I have.

Marveling: at how resilient Nigerians can be. 

Needing: to get my workout game in check. 

Smelling: like coconut oil mostly. 

Wearing: more high waist skirts. Very flattering, in my opinion. Lol. 

Knowing: that protecting my space is key to my peace of mind.

Believing: that everything will work out well in the end. 

Preparing: for joy. 

Thinking: about new recipes. 

Bookmarking:  This. I’m looking to add chia seeds in my diet. Does anyone have tips?

Giggling: at old Top Gear episodes.