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

Saturday, 4 May 2013

My week and beyond

I haven't written one of these posts in a while. Half because my life is coma inducing boring much of the time and secondly because my camera hasn't been working since I got here and my husband keeps forgetting to get it fixed, and it's really just not the same without photos.

Last night my husband went to some Egyptian thing. I don't like to go because the women alternately talk only in Arabic and watch WWE (yeah I don't know either.....) but while he was gone it become like the 'old days' I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner! There is no way I could eat what I used to eat for dinner which was a salad, or soup or something like that. But tonight I really felt like rice pudding, except not the one of my childhood days :) This is certainly not a family recipe! Mine is a vegan version which I usually make with a  mixture of wild and brown rice and cook it in coconut milk, cardamon and agave.

If you want to know how to make your own coconut milk, to cut costs and miss out on the icky BPA's lining most cans then you can find out here (it's super easy). I also top mine with some pureed mango (since mangoes are super cheap here) I can buy a box of six or so for the price I used to pay for one in NZ. And the kids get some raw cream on theirs.

Speaking of raw cream, which is actually illegal in New-Zealand and you have to do a whole lot of weird things in order to get the clandestine milk and it's really expensive. Here they sell it outright and it is cheaper than the milk I was buying at Woolworths! Milk in South Africa usually has rSBT in it. For those who don't know rSBT is a genetically modified growth hormone that is injected into the cow, rSBT allows the cow to produce much more milk than normal (and if that wasn't bad enough to be already drinking growth hormones) in turn it often can give the cow mastitis along with a whole lot of other infections, which in turn leaks pus into the milk, there is actually an allowable amount of pus per liter  Gross. I don't know about you but I prefer my milk without a side of puss and GMO to boot. I don't even drink animal milk but the kids do and no way would I let them consume that on a daily basis.

Again just going off the GMO thing, I thought it best to plug now for 25/5 which is occupy Monsanto protests. They are worldwide but in South Africa will be in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

This week the clothes debate continues in our house. You see my husband would love me to dress like this....

And most of the time I just don't. I dress much more like this

I want to love abayas but I just can't. I do sometimes wear them to make him happy. But he is the same way actually. I beg him to wear thobes because I think he looks so handsome in them but most of the time he doesn't. So he wears his jeans and t shirts and I wear my hijab and cardigans and for the most part life goes on.

At home it is another story. You see at home I tend to wear dresses like this one

But guess what my husband wants me to wear. No seriously I bet you can't!

We were in a store and I tried on some jeans and a hoodie as a joke. He knows I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of pants. He looked at me and told me how beautiful I looked. I seriously thought he was joking but sadly he was not. He wanted so bad to buy them for me but he can forget it. You can take me out of New-Zealand but you are not taking me out of my vintage style dresses.

Ok I can hear pudding in the other room demanding to get up. He chirps in the sweetest voice "Mum? Mum? Mum?" until I go in and when I do he throws himself down in gratitude :)

I am sorry for not replying to any comments on this blog or anyone else. I LOVE your comments and I love reading all your blogs. When I try it just redirects me to my sign in page. I will get my husband to try and fix it today, he is good with stuff like that while I can barely even manage to turn the computer on.

Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday xxx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My thoughts on love

I have been in love exactly three times in my life. Maybe that's too many I don't know. Some people believe you only have one great love of your life and who am I to tell them they are wrong. Different people have different thoughts on love. But I do believe each person is sent to teach you a different lesson in life.

My first love was my first husband, I was young and impressionable and he was Turkish and taught me to cook. I so wanted a fairy tale ending He was like me in many ways, he loved food and fashion and Singstar. I wanted the big white wedding (which I got), I wanted picnics in the park and Sundays spent at church and lots of babies and most of all I wanted him to complete me. Seriously my identity was in him and when it ended I had a complete mental breakdown. He taught me though in the end that no man can ever complete you. You can never, ever give the place in your heart that is only reserved for Allah and expect to remain whole. And alhamdulillah the end of our marriage is what brought me to Islam.

The second man I fell in love with was someone I will just name by M. M was incredibly kind and generous to me and I believe Allah sent him to me in a time where I badly needed someone who was as kind to me as he was. He understood me like no one else in this world ever has or possibly will and for months I was almost in a rage at us not working out I one day found a quote that I felt summed up why I met him in the first place.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? No. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to God.

― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

I love the part where it says break your heart so new light can get in. Just before I even agreed to marry my husband and I had packed my house and the whole Singapore thing had fallen through and I had no idea what I was going to do at all. I was on the bus and a song came on with the lyrics.

"Maybe it's about the timeTo let all of the love back in the lightMaybe it's about the perfect placeTo let go and forget about the hate"

And then I just knew it was time. It was time to forgive my son's father and give him another chance. We had both hurt each other incredibly but nearly two years had passed and I knew he could give both me and my kids a better life. If you have read my blog for a long time you know the kind of things that went down those years ago. And maybe we are not at a place of complete forgiveness we are working in it. Good things always take time.

So of course my third love is my husband now. Our love is not an easy love, it is not based on a fairy tale wedding or love at first sight. We are from two very different cultures and our lifestyle and religious beliefs actually differ quite a lot ( I would consider myself on the sufi side of things almost) and every single day we have to work really hard at it. But it benefits us both the type of sacrifices we both have to make because every day it forces me to think of the akhirah (hereafter) and not just the joys in this dunya (life). Maybe it is not from a romance novel of ANY kind and women would certainly not weep over my own love story but in the end it brings me closer to Allah and in truth that is what it is all about.

I found a poem today and thought I would share. I actually wish I had this when I was a teenager.

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…