Monday, 27 December 2010

snow poem

i love snow, i love snow

i love snow because it's fun to play in

i love snow, i love snow

i love snow because its white and fluffy

i love snow, i love snow

i love snow but sometimes it's really icey

by my daughter (8)

Friday, 24 December 2010

jumble sales

it was just another ordinary day, i was walking along the street, going to the chemist to pick up some medication for the kids, suddenly i saw the sign 'jumble sale' written on a poster, hung up outside a building. it's my lucky day, i thought to myself! when i was growing up going to a jumble sale meant that you were poor, no one admitted that their parents went to the jumble sale on the weekend, and if you went and saw someone you knew, you would walk past and pretend you haven't seen each other, it was not mentioned the next time you met, but now it's quite different, i'm different, now i get very excited when i see a jumble sale sign because i know the secret about jumble sale, as the saying goes, one mans trash is another mans treasure, here's what treasure i picked up from the jumble sale that day......

some great finds don't you think?

Monday, 20 December 2010

welcome home

we have been busy welcoming back my husband who has been away for the last 10 weeks on the hajj pilgrimage. the kids have really missed their dad and are overjoyed to have him back.

it's quite a special time when someone returns from the sacred lands of makkah. there are a lot of joys when a person returns from hajj, enjoying the beautiful presents, eating the delicious dates and drinking the fresh zam zam water, but the best and my favourite bit of all is listening to the endless stories, the stories of the hardships that a person faces, the stories of the spiritual journey that a person goes through, the overwhelming emotions that over takes a person, the funny stories and the not so funny ones, the stories of bravery and the stories of being afraid.

the hajj comes and goes, year in year out, millions of people come and go every year, but it's the stories and memories that people bring back with them is what lasts forever

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


we are full of viruses at the moment, again! this area maybe a little quiet in the next few days, so please be patient with us

Sunday, 5 December 2010

welcoming winter

whne i woke up today it felt like the world was covered in a sprinkling of icing sugar, it wasn't snow, it was frost. branches looked like fluffy reindeer antlers. i was expecting it disappear by 12 o'clock, instead it stayed all day

ever since the weather has gotten cold, my little ones have been ill. winter is definitely the season when the weather takes it's toll on our bodies, minds and immune systems.

so this year i have devised a little plan. the plan is to try and prepare my family, using as many natural ways to stay healthy and keep the immune system boosted, for the months ahead. here's how.

:: one thing that cropped up again and again when i was researching was, washing your hands. so i'm going to try and get all of us to wash our hands whenever we've been out, after sneezing etc.

:: wrap up warm, wear layers of woolly clothes, cosy socks, extra blankets at night, a hot water bottle at the end of the bed works wonders, and don't forget hats, gloves and scarves when your out and about.

:: use essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender on bed linen and with a candle burner to sooth and unblock the airways

:: eat loads of fruits and veges, i know that it's easier said than done, especially if like mine your children don't like vegetables but you know you children best so do whatever you can.

:: cook warming and healing foods like chicken soup (or any soups), chicken soup is very healing and soothing, especially for someone who is run down.

:: give your immune system a helping hand by eating vitamin C rich foods such as broccoli, tomato, red, orange and yellow peppers, blackcurrants, papaya, mangoes, oranges, and don't forget fruit juices are a great way to get vitamin C inside you.

:: herbal teas (this is for adults) work wonders when you are feeling a little under the weather, they warm you up and give you that extra boost, ginger, lemon and honey are all good for common cold symptoms.

:: take plenty of naps and get as much rest as possible, it really does revive and revitalise.

i have by no means given you all the answers to beating coughs and colds throughout winter, but i hope i have made it that little bit easier for you to get through these cold and frosty winter months. if you have any suggestions do let me know.

maybe now, instead of dreading the winter months we can embrace it.

bread recipe

the bread recipe (requested by sister aasiya) is as follow's:
500g of strong white bread flour (i use allinson)
1 7g sachet of yeast (allinson easy bake)
1 and half tsp salt
1tsp sugar
15g or 15ml of butter or oil (vegetable or olive is fine)
300mls warm water (1 part boiling, 2 parts cold)
pre heat oven
put the flour and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together, slowly add the water and mix with your fingers, once the flour and water has mixed together to form a dough, put the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading (10 minutes approx, or until dough has become smooth), place the dough into bread tin or shape onto a baking tray, or to make bread rolls, devide the dough into 10 seperate pieces and roll into ball shapes (to make the plaited loaf that you saw in my picture, you need to seperate the dough into three balls and roll out to make three long strips of dough, like long sausages, get the three pieces and stick them together at the top, them slowly plait the dough, stick the other end together as well, cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm place for the bread to rise for 30 minutes, once the dough has risen place on to the middle shelf of the oven gas mark 7 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5 and bake for another 20-25 minutes. tap the loaf on the bottom, a hollow sound means it is ready for you to devour.
serving suggestions:
home made soup and a chunk of your lovely bread

Saturday, 4 December 2010

science fayre

we had our very first science fayre last week, and it was absolutely brilliant. the experiments ranged from tornadoes in a bottle, we blew up balloons with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, we done a sink or float experiment with layers of different liquids such as golden syrup, water and oil, we had cleaning metals with vinegar, kaleidoscopes, sticking skewers through balloons and much more.

there were two down sides to the day #1 due to several hindrances we couldn't do an experiment and #2 the battery of me camera went flat so i couldn't take as many pictures as i would have liked.

all in all we had a great day, well done to all those who took part, can't wait for the next one inshallah

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


i never saw the point of baking my own bread, i mean why would i go through all that trouble?, all that stress, when i can pop to my local shop and pick up a perfectly good loaf of bread, do you want to know why, because freshly made bread is one of the best things that you may taste.

i've always had a thing for bread, but now i'm totally in love

Saturday, 27 November 2010

autumn/winter ice sculptures

after a very boring week of workbooks and worksheets, i decided to give the kids a break today. after a couple of hours of reading to each other and watching programmes about fishing and another about animals that live in holes, the kids went out to play. their discovery of this block of ice and leaves fascinated the children, and got them really excited, it also gave me some inspiration to make our own ice sculptures! so we got to work looking for whatever we could find that could go into our sculptures.

here's what we found

we arranged these objects in a glass

poured in some water

and left them in the freezer for a few hours

and voila, beautiful ice sculptures to admire, well for a few hours anyway.

the kids absolutely loved this activity, it was very exciting for them, they waited impatiently all day, checking if it was ready or not, i would definitely recommend this activity to anyone.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

gone fishing!

all summer my son nagged me to take him fishing, and although i always had the intention to take him it was one of them things that we never got round to.....until one day we picked up these fishing nets for fifty pence each at a car boot sale. now there were no more excuses we just had to go fishing, so we did! and it was one of the best things we ever did, it's definitely one of the things that we will be doing more often (whether permitting of course). inshallah

they actually managed to catch something!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

sunshine in the rain

i came across this book by accident, while i was looking for something, deep down in a drawer at my mums house. i asked everyone if they knew where it has come from but no one had a clue.

it has really interesting short stories like 'whale in distress' and 'the yeti' but what was really nice about the book was it little factual passages about things like 'plants that move' and 'the long tide'. this books covers history, geography, literacy, science and a whole lot more. we've done reading, comprehension, had loads of dicussions and have asked and answered hundreds of questions.

this little book has put a smile on the faces of the children and mine as well, especially through our miserable days, which were full vomiting, tummy aches and fever. i'm going to see if there are anymore in the series! can't wait!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

happy eid

with eid al-adha fast approaching, kids still not well and me still away from home, things have been pretty hectic around here! we haven't been doing much in terms of schedule etc, so our days have consisted of practicing arabic and quran, reading stories, hajj activities and watching live hajj on the telly (my husband has gone for hajj this year so the kids try to spot their dad).

one of the activities we did was called footsteps of hajj, we made a map of all the steps of hajj, by drawing pictures and writing a little bit about what each step is, the kids really enjoyed this activity. we also went to the library to pick some books up related to hajj and have going through those.

tomorrow i plan to do some pre eid baking, mehendi wearing, and other last minute eid prep, inshallah.

i want to take this opportunity to wish everyone who celebrates eid 'eid mubarak', have a lovely time, enjoy!

(still no luck with the camera)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

blowing the cobwebs

when things aren't going to plan, you don't feel like yourself, kids are worn out from viruses, your daily routine feels like a burden, when the thought of literacy and numeracy gives you a horrible feeling, forget everything, put your coats on and get yourselves down to the library. i find it a peaceful and quiet place where the kids are overwhelmed with the amount of different books in front of them, you can read together or on your own, it's a place where you (the parent) can take a backseat and let the children lead. and the thought of coming home with bags full of books, is exciting.

Monday, 8 November 2010

3...2...1...blast off (old post)

we went on a space adventure! we boarded our rocket and off we went!as we zoomed off we could see the blue/green earth behind us, we waved goodbye and looked forward to see what lay ahead. as we went further and further away from the sun, it got colder and colder, we went past all the planets one by one, we almost got hit by flying asteroids, shooting stars and comets, when we zoomed past saturn we noticed that the rings are made up of bits of rock and ice, we went outside of our galaxy, to us it looked like a big bowl of ice-cream all swirling about, but then it was time to come back home, so we turned around and zoomed staright back to earth!

what did you do today?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

the simple things

hi everyone, unfortunately, things are no better at my end, so i thought i'd re-post some of my favourute OLD posts (hope you don't mind)

recently i have been really inspired by a certain sister , she lives in the morrocon mounitains, many miles away from civilisation (as they would say), she doesn't have access to all the shopping malls and fastfood joints that we who live in so called civillised parts of the western world are so used to, this sister makes new out of the old, she makes beautiful handmade objects, which are made out of love and resemble personality, this sister has really made me appreciate the simple things in life! i will be adding more personal touches to my home inshallah

and we have started off with these lanterns!!!

there's something quite magical about sitting in the evening with these handmade lanterns lit up, reading a quiet bedtime story to my children.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

still here....

in case your wondering where i've disappeared to, children were sick, i'm away from home, sd card not working, and i'm coming down with something......hope to return to normal very soon inshallah

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

black history month

we went to learn about black history at our local library, there were a presentations, historical objects on display, pictures and books to look at, it sparked the kids' curiosity, and with curiosity come questions, a lot of questions!

it has led us nicely to our next project!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

the good old days....

there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that times have changed. we are now living in a time where there is plenty of everything, food, clothes, bags, shoes, computers, tv's you name it we have! it's even come to the point where we are over loading our children with the latest of everything that comes on the market, and the kids just want more, more, more it's crazy. but when i think back to when i was a child, it wasn't like that for me, we didn't have the latest clothes, shoes or toys, we had to make the most of what we had, sometimes that would mean making a swing in the backyard instead of having a beautiful ready made one fitted in or finding a piece of rope and making it into a skipping rope instead of having one that lights up, plays music and counts how many skips you have done (trust me they exist). looking back now i'm truly happy i didn't have it all (seriously, i'm not lying), it's because i didn't have it all, that i had a chance to use my imagination, i obtained the vision to make something out of nothing, the ability to make trash into treasure. i just hope my kids get that opportunity too!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

so here's what we did....

:: leaf rubbings ::
:: scrap booking ::

:: and this one has to be my favourite, the idea was taken from here, its like a sensory table, we've made a display in the kids bedroom with all the items that we collected, i love the way it has turned out, and the best thing is we can keep adding to it by collecting things every time we go out ::

something tells me this is just the beginning inshallah

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

nature detectives

autumn is one of those times of the year when we can truly reconnect with nature, there is so much going on all around us, literally the world is changing, right in font of our very eyes, it's a beautiful time and we should make the most of it! this week we went out with our home schooling group, our goal was to discover the signs of autumn. so with our wellies on, our clip boards in hand and our magnifying glasses at the ready, off we went, to one of the sisters allotments, it was a secluded and peaceful place where the kids could run around freely, there were loads of tree's (so plenty of leaves to collect), it was a really nice outing.

(willow weaving)

these are the treasures that we came home with!

what are we going to do with all that? watch this space!