Saturday, 7 July 2018

A quiet place

It's been so long since I have written that I actually wonder if I should even bother anymore but I feel sad at the thought of this blog vanishing forever. It's silly I know, I think I am probably the only person who even reads it anymore.

It's been a crazy year. I moved by myself with just the children to Cairo and I loved it there. I loved the chaos and the magic and everything really. I loved the fruit, and the kindness of people and my apartment, I really, really loved that apartment. It was gorgeous with stained glass windows and gorgeous tiling and three bathrooms (which was overkill really) and it had this amazing huge kitchen where I would knead bread and recite quran and listen to the azhan and revel in the beauty of it all.

But after more than five years it was finally time to come home again. To my tiny corner of the world, finally healed and free from the demons that haunted me and also seventy two kilos lighter!

Since I've come home I have been busy. Baking and sewing and creating. Dreaming and running and writing. Exploring and rummaging and laughing.

I was in a state of shock when I returned home. I had left my then husband and filed for divorce and he didn't react well to that even though we had been apart for quite some time. It was both the hardest and easiest thing I had ever done. But my Lord stepped in as he always has, bringing beauty from pain and joy from hardship. At first I was almost lost, everything had changed but nothing had at all. But he brought joy to my heart and ease to my life. Alhamdulillah for the blessings he has always poured out on me although I deserve them least.

I have been in a quiet place, in the midst of the greenery, where an ever present mist hangs low over the hills and darkness falls early, and in the quiet I could hear myself again. Very faintly at first but then louder as the weeks went by.

I am going to have to go back to work eventually, for now I have been making cakes, gorgeous, bespoke cakes for birthdays and events.Baking has always brought me joy and peace. We will see where that leads.

I'm training for a marathon and trying my hardest to keep up with my Arabic studies. One day insha'Allah I hope to return to the Middle East. A piece of my heart still resides there.

With Love


Monday, 9 October 2017

Back into the swing of things

I know it's been forever and a day since I posted but life has been been crazy. Crazy and awesome and oh so very busy! I actually don't like the word busy because I think it sounds self important so instead I will say my life has been very full. Full of homeschooling and washing nappies and cleaning floors and making kombucha and sewing and planting and being puked or peed on or sometimes both. Now though finally the season of my life has come where I can come back to writing, albeit it probably wont be that good but I will never know unless I try!

So Salam alikum and Hello from me and my smallest love who is now quickly approaching six months! I hope to get to catch up with you all soon insha'Allah

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Banana Ice cream and new directions

I haven't written anything in a while first because I was in Egypt and then because I was busy getting healthy and then because I needed time to think about what direction I wanted this blog to go. When I first started this blog five years ago my life was in so much turmoil and I was in a lot of pain and my blog became a diary of sorts and now the years have passed and alhamdulillah my life became stable (apart from my medical issues)

I live the life now of a million women. I spend my life working in the garden and making beds and building train tracks with my son and teaching my daughter algebra and trying to be a good wife. There is nothing particularly interesting or different about me.

I have been thinking for a while now to direct this blog towards things more naturally minded. Recipes and lifestyle tips and how to make your own soap etc because that is what I am passionate about. When I first came here to South Africa I was shocked about what a disposable country it was, the amount of rubbish food and shiny stuff people just have to have is crazy (I am not talking about the poor obviously) Over time I found my niche here, I figured out how I could recycle and I planted a massive vegetable garden and figured out where I could buy second hand clothes from and I became more at peace with myself and not so lost.

Over the last year I have lost sixty kilos, people always want to know how and I tell them I eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast which is true! I used to count calories and all it made me was depressed and sick. Now I eat a plant based diet where I never count calories, I don't consume any animal products or anything processed and I have never, ever felt better with more energy, slowly over time it has helped with my body issues too of which I have had many. And the best thing of all is that my grocery bill is down by a third, my kids also eat this exact way but my husband does eat meat now and again (he is my work in progress :D )

Every morning my kids and I eat a bowl of this for breakfast, I buy ten kilos a week of bananas super cheap from the wholesalers and me and my wee man and I spend an hour chopping them and freezing them

Yes my kitchen table is often often covered in fruit and veges because I am always cooking something!

To make the ice cream you literally throw the frozen bananas in the food processor until it turns to ice cream, you throw in whatever else you have and then you end up with this bad boy, all I did was add some cacao powder and some berries

Bananas here cost me 6 rands a kilo (or 40 cents USD) the only problem you may have is going outside to hang the washing and finding your child sneakily eating it from the freezer :D

He may also pilfer any strawberries you leave out

It is the beginning of Autumn here now and how heartbroken he is going to be now berries will go out of season! But at least mandarins will come back in to appease his heart a little! It will also be too cold soon for him to fill up his wee pool and play in it for an hour in the afternoons, although I hate the heat I will miss all the perks of summer!

It is just about twelve here so I need to go and start lunch before my husband gets home. Today it is kidney bean burgers with sweet potato fries (I bake them with garlic and onion powder and some cumin) If you are looking and some lower cost recipes to feed your family (and seriously who isn't with the rising food costs) then this is a great blog to check out.

I will write a couple of posts soon on how to drastically reduce your grocery bill. This is something I have become a master with in the last year as my surgical bills reached massive proportions.

Speaking of surgery I need to have another one tomorrow so keep me in your prayers!

Happy Sunday all xxx

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Honey crackles and my inability to edit

It's been three weeks since I last wrote and for two reasons, One I got a bad flu and secondly we have had two wee boys come to live with us. They are three and six and so my life has just become a thousand times busier. It is just until their parents sort their lives out although I do not know when that will be....

I have also been thinking about exactly what direction I want my blog to go in or if it is time to start a new one. My life is in such a different place from the nearly five years ago when I started this blog or even one year ago actually.

So I don't really have time to write a proper post today because I have glittery play dough to make and a big basket of ironing, hours of study to catch up on and literally a hundred cookies to bake because we also have two teens here on a daily basis, so the 6 kids combined eat faster than I can make it!. Most people in this country have a maid but I refuse. I love making my house a beautiful and clean place to live in and I would never give that up!

and a beloved NZ recipe that I am blessing you with that literally takes just a few minutes to make, fantastic in an emergency. If I ever had to serve store made cookies or cake to anyone I would just die of shame so this is for those times you have nothing in the house and need to whip up something fast.

Honey Crackles

4 cups of Rice Bubbles (Rice krispies or whatever else you may call them!)
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 cup of sugar
130 grams of butter

Melt butter, sugar and honey together until gently boiling then fold into the rice bubbles and spoon into muffin cases until set.

Easy hey?

Anyway here are some photos from the last week (I am too lazy to edit them in any way so forgive me for my non instagrammedness)

Friday, 21 August 2015

My new public diary

Right now I am trying to juggle studying, homeschooling, volunteering, being the perfect wife and homemaker and my really crappy health. No better time to start blogging again right?

One by one all the ladies I knew who used to blog have stopped so I doubt anyone really reads this anymore.

It can be like a public diary.

This year has been really, really tough.

Like really tough.

From the beginning of the year my health started to fail in a big way. Alhamdulillah I have medical aid or I do not even want to think what would have happened. The public health system in South Africa is not exactly somewhere that anyone wants to end up. Heck the private hospitals that I ended up in is not exactly where anyone wants to end up.

Day by day I get a bit better and a bit stronger. I have come a long way since then but I will most likely live with a few of the chronic conditions forever. I am grateful for my husband and a couple of the friends I have made that have got me through.

Can you believe my little boy is four tomorrow! How the years have flown by. He is the absolute sunshine in my life. I thank Allah for him with every breath I have. He loves baking, colouring, reading, trucks, the Gruffalo and annoying his older sister.

His older sister is rather a copy of me. People often stop us in public to tell us how similar we look. She is also remarkably like me in personality. Sarcastic, funny and always the activist. She is big into skateboarding, reading and art.

We moved to a 'Muslim' community at the start of the year. To say I do not fit in is an understatement. A massive understatement. I just found the Sufi community further out and although I have to drive a heck of a lot to get to anything it is worth it.

Nearly five years since I first met my husband and we are still together. Our marriage like any other is far from perfect but we have been through so many storms together and here we still are. Make dua'a that Allah grants us a long and beautiful marriage.

This wasn't much of a come back post hey. My energy fades fast in the afternoon and I still have a ton of housework plus dinner to cook plus a lot of studying and then a halaqah tonight to drag the kids and husband to.

My life is thrilling right ;)

Promise I will write something more substantial soon. Maybe about how I managed to lose 50 kilos, or Xenophobia in South Africa or why my kids do not have a TV. I'll figure it out.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Goodbye for now

Salam alikum

I have been thinking the past couple of weeks about stopping blogging for a while to concentrate more on my marriage, my kids and my studying and after much consideration that is in fact what I have decided to do. In fact it's not just the blogging but all of my internet at the moment. This is not something I really want to do as I love my blog big time but.....

I didn't ever want to be the kind of Mother who was always on the computer or even worse watching TV  I want to be the kind of Mother who instead reads books to her kids. who builds forts with them, who digs with them in the garden. I don't want to be the kind of mother who sits at the playground on her phone constantly, I want to be able to run with them, fly kites and go down the slide. I know some people who choose to blog etc when their kids are asleep but for me that is the time to be either with my husband or else spending some time doing something beneficial for my soul. I need to get all my priorities in order.

For now I have decided to spend half an hour in the morning checking emails or recipes I need for that day and then pack the computer away for the day, and try as much as I can not to use it in the weekends insha'Allah.

I don't feel like this is forever but for this season in my life right now this is what I need to do. It may be six months, it may be two years. Allah knows best, but in two days from now my blog will be set to private so only I can see it.

I have met some of my closest friends in the world off this blog. Marie and Khedegah. My beloved American sisters Elisa and Rene and of course Salma who has been so kind to me in my times of hardship.Of course there are many more of you and you know who you are xxxx. Thank you all so much for all your support in the last two years, at times it was all I had. And in two years I was so, so blessed to not have even one negative comment, alhamdulillah!

Love and blessings to every single one of you xxxx

Friday, 10 May 2013

The flu season.....

I guess the flu season came early this year as everyone in this house seems to have been hit with it!

I know everyone has different home remedies when they get sick but I thought I would share some of mine. I  well and truly hope this all come out as coherent as because of pudding being sick I have very little sleep, now at noon he is so tired he has just fallen asleep in the middle of my bedroom on the tiles. Excuse me while I move him to his bed!

This time I managed to get away with a very mild dose of it because as soon as the kids started showing symptoms I started taking large amounts of vitamin c and d along with colloidal silver (which I can't swear by enough) I have some lovely  Bengali friends in Auckland who make and sell it online and later I will post the link for anyone in NZ who is interested. I also drink organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey with warm water during the day. People tell me all the time how they drink apple cider vinegar all the time with no results, the problem is that you shouldn't just buy and consume it if the vinegar in the bottle looks clear, hold the bottle up to the light and if you can see some murky stuff hanging around in the bottom of the bottle then that's the one you will actually reap a benefit from. I also add lemon juice to everything humanely possible.

I also make my own cough medicine which is as follows

2 tbsp of organic coconut oil
2 tbsp of raw honey
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp of ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon

I put it all in a jar and shake until combined, then several times during the day take two teaspoons of it, it's not really like you can have too much of this! But with four people in the house I do make a jar a day when sick.

I also make my own chest rub by combining coconut oil with eucalyptus oil, sometimes I add beeswax just to solidify it a little more. No way do I use Vicks with it's nasty added turpentine oil and petroleum and my own one is just as effective and certainly cheaper as well. It's a win all round.

I avoid refined sugar like the plague, including fruit juice. Sugar is your worst enemy when you have the flu.

We practically live on soup when we have the flu. I add loads of onion, garlic and spices like ginger, cayenne pepper and especially fenugreek, I make rye bread most mornings but for times like this I keep a stock in the freezer ( I have not been able to find a GMO free bread here, as they add soy flour to it all it seems, so I have to make all my own). I LOVE Molly Katzen for soup recipes (and actually all recipes) her recipes are easy and I have never had one fail. 

Well I better go, today's soup is a Thai pumpkin soup made with coconut milk and lots of spices and I have a feeling it is about to simmer over if I leave it any longer than I already have. 

Several times a day I spray the surfaces with a mixture of water, white vinegar and tea tree oil to avoid any further contamination and I also wash all the clothes with some tea tree oil added to the water and make sure to dry all washing outside (if possible). 

Several times a day I spray the surfaces with a mixture of water and tea tree oil to avoid any further 

Wishing you all a blessed weekend xxx