Thursday, December 30, 2010

$50 Off a $100 Purchase at Old Navy! Chance #2

Want to win a coupon to take $50 off a $100 purchase at Old Navy? As a working at home mama of 3 - I certainly know this would go a LONG way, on top of Old Navy's usually stellar prices!

Well, 9 lucky Simply Being Mommy readers will be selected to receive this wonderful discount... To enter, Click Here for more details.

Good luck!

Friday, December 24, 2010

$50 Off a $100 Purchase at Old Navy

Want to win a coupon to take $50 off a $100 purchase at Old Navy? As a working at home mama of 3 - I certainly know this would go a LONG way, on top of Old Navy's usually stellar prices!

Well, 9 lucky Mom Spotted readers will be selected to receive this wonderful discount... To enter, Click Here for more details.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Chance to Win a YBIKE...

Our Ordinary Life is featuring an awesome giveaway for a YBIKE. These balance bikes are a brilliant idea to help your little one learn to balance and ride a bike!

While I hope I win, if not me, then I hope you will win!

Click here for more details!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Win a New Pair of Crocs!

Crocs have come a long way since I first saw them years ago - now they offer tons of other styles in the wonderful array of colors they're known for!

Now, courtesy of Simply Being Mommy's blog you can enter to win a free pair of Crocs of your choice!

Click here for more details!

Awesome giveaway - $200 for

Are you tired of running to the store to buy diapers? Well, I highly recommend cloth diapers... want to get started and don't have the cash? Well... is sponsoring a $200 giveaway from Lady and the Blog! The great thing about is that they offer much more than diapers - check out their site today!

Click here for more details on how you enter to win!

Good luck!

Friday, December 10, 2010

$100 Gift Card Giveaway from Mom Spotted

Mom Spotted is offering its readers a $100 Gift Card compliments of

For more details about the giveaway - click here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010 $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway - for more details click here!

Win a $75 American Express Giftcard!

Want to win a $75 American Express Giftcard compliments of BabyRazzi? Click here for more details!

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My wish is for my family to grow together and become closely-knit while creating lots and lots of fond memories for the kids, my hubster, and I!

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition?

Well, I no longer celebrate Christmas as I'm a Muslim now... instead I celebrate Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. However, my family still celebrates Christmas as they are not Muslim. The morning tradition growing up in our house was to wake up EARLY and open our presents! However, when I celebrate Eid the whole family wakes up early and enjoys lots of yummy sweets, juice, candies, etc... and we exchange gifts.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

I would ask Allah (God) for an entire weekend without kids! As a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 3 that would be a dream come true!

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

BAKING! Baking is a wonderful way to spend time with the kids, incorporating them in the activity, while make delicious treats to share!

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

I distinctly remember playing Monopoly and Life! Oh how I miss my childhood!

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

It's a little challenging carrying a holiday tradition from my childhood because we didn't really have a tradition... we just usually spent the entire day enjoying our gifts while my parents watched us. So, in a way, I do the same as I watch the kids enjoy playing with their gifts on Eid.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?

I would LOVE to spend Eid in Morocco with my husband's family. We went to Morocco this year and my in-laws were AMAZING. I miss them very much and I know we would have a very memorable Eid if we went to Morocco!

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

1. My sister has been desperately trying to find the Kinect for the Xbox360 - so it would be great to be able to give that to her and her hubby.

2. The JumpStart Advanced Preschool Fundamentals game for PC - this would be for my toddler!

3. Caillou Kindergarten game for PC - this would be for my little kindergartener!


The DIY Dish is offering a HUGE giveaway sponsored by and TodaysMama!

Check it out here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Give a hoot!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

There's No One Like Mom!

After spending over an hour talking to my mom on the phone yesterday - I’m very grateful to have such a wonderful mom!

I adored my mom when I was a little girl... not-so-much when I was a teenager. I thought I knew everything and my mom knew nothing. Once I got married and finally got over my selfish know-it-all attitude (ok, so there are still times when I’m a selfish know-it-all) I began to truly appreciate my mom.

I have friends who no longer have their moms in their life and while I will know this pain one day, I’m especially grateful that she’s in my life as I navigated the waters of pregnancy, motherhood as well as married life.

My mom always gives me great advice and talks me down when I can’t control my emotions. She makes me feel loved no matter what! I’m proud to say I adore my mom!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Hubster

In continuing my weekly gratitude - this week (and every week really) I’m grateful for my husband. I was truly blessed with a wonderful husband. I often take for granted how wonderful my husband is. He’s not perfect but he’s perfect for me. He’s always been considerate and helpful - he loves to cook which is an awesome bonus! More importantly, he loves me for me - flaws and all (well, at least I believe he does because I’m such a difficult person I can’t imagine he would stay married to me if he didn’t - LOL). So, despite my occasional gripe I still truly appreciate and admire my husband for the man and father he is.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Back on Track - Take 2

Last week I got the bad news that I was pre-diabetic (because one of my regular medications can cause diabetes). My labs also indicated I was very anemic - which I've had problems with for years. Of course my doctor and I will have to evaluate my medications and work on an alternative that won't cause diabetes, but I needed to make some serious life changes.

I rededicated myself to getting back on track. No more oh-so-delicious Starbucks Carmel Frappaccino's and McDonald's Caramel Frappé's for me. No more Coke or Diet Coke (doctor said I can't even drink diet soda because it's not healthy and can be contributing to my anemia - something to do with iron absorption). I reintroducted myself to healthy whole-grains, veggies, fruits, and lean protein.

It's been a little more than a week and I'm doing great! Of course I have a long road ahead but I have a good routine already established!

I wake up at 4:30am ish everyday- yeah, early I know! I pray, read Qur'an, make remembrance - there's no better way to start your day than remembering Allah (God). Afterwards I jump on the treadmill for an hour - for now I'm just walking but as I shed more weight and get more energy I hope to jog and eventually run. The most important thing is that I exercise EVERY day!

I'm taking a lot of supplements for the time being- B Complex vitamins to help with energy, Chromium GTF to help with my blood sugar, Iron to help with my anemia (although someone told me my anemia may not be related to iron deficiency but something else), and a Multi-vitamin.

I'm "eating" breakfast religiously. Since I'm not really hungry at 6am when I finish my workout I have a high protein shake as a meal replacement (Muscle Milk - this stuff tastes great) and I blend in some strawberries for a little vitamin c boost!

I'm not on a typical high protein (aka Atkins) diet. The doctor did advise me that a high protein diet would be very beneficial for me. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller longer... there are lots of other key points to having a diet rich in protein. So, for the time being I'm trying to eat a lot of protein - I still eat carbs but I eat complex carbs from whole grains, fruits and veggies instead of from refined sugar, etc... basically anything naturally occurring.

I've already lost 9 pounds this week - but I always lose a lot of weight the first 2 weeks then I level off at around 2-3 pounds a week.

Here's to the beginning of my journey!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Showing Gratitude..

I’ve recently learned from an awesome book, The Emotional Toolkit: Seven Power-Skills to Nail your Bad Feelings that having a gratitude journal is one way to increase one’s happiness. I wholeheartedly understand why acknowledging those things for which you are grateful for is so important to happiness... oftentimes it’s the little things that matter and recognizing those can be just as important.

In an effort to show more gratitude I’d like to reflect weekly on one thing I’m grateful for.

First and foremost I’m grateful for Allah (God). I already teeter on the brink of insanity most days but it is Allah who keeps me grounded. Without Him I would be a complete mess. Of course, I tend to take Him for granted more often than not - and I’m slowly trying to fix that great flaw of mine. However, I’m grateful that no matter what happens in this life I can always turn to and depend on Allah. He is truly my strength in times of weakness and difficulty. I can talk to Him anytime, 24/7. He alone knows my heart and all my intentions, for I have many good intentions - just haven’t had the ability to execute them all.

I pray I will forever be grateful for everything Allah has done for me and will do for me in the future.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today started off fairly great. I was able to workout for an hour - of course Ilyas had to cause trouble in the middle of my workout and made a mini pool out of the kitchen - so that stressed me out a little. I was able to take a shower and then run some errands. I came home, had some satisfying sushi - I even refrained from eating all of the sushi in one sitting and only ate half and saved the other half for dinner. I was proud of myself! I did have a couple extra pieces of the kid’s sushi because I couldn’t resist but overall, not bad.

I got a jump start on the laundry before it got too out of hand - then we all took a nap. I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked - but I was able to start reading a new book I checked out from the library, Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter, Ph.D.

After the kids woke up from their nap things started to go a bit downhill. I started dinner and as I was busy cooking Aaliyah started nagging me for stuff. I irritatingly asked her to wait until I was finished preparing dinner but like a typical kid she wouldn’t wait and kept pestering me. In hindsight it was probably better if I just stopped what I was doing and gave her the glass of water she was asking for - but I have a VERY hard time stopping what I’m doing to do something different... I’m very focused and although I’m quite capable of multi-tasking there’s just something about being interrupted that throws me off track and frazzles me.

Now, many of you may not know this about me/my family - but we eat on the floor. We have a thick waterproof tablecloth (in Arabic we call it a “soofrah”) that we use and everything is served just as it would be on a table except we’re on the floor. After dinner came my meltdown...

The kids were still eating so I went to the kitchen to put away the leftovers. Ilyas decided to get into the plate of butter my husband had put out for the bread and he smeared the entire right side of his face with the butter. He was also a complete mess from the spaghetti and he managed to get noodles and sauce all over the floor. Between Ilyas and the messy floor I started to come unglued. I put Ilyas in the bathtub and went to go clean up the floor. I don’t know why I insisted on cleaning up the floor first - but it was not the best decision. Ilyas started playing in the toilet while I was cleaning up the spaghetti... and that’s when I lost it.

Hubby was sitting on the couch making remembrance (remembering Allah/God) and I was so mad at him for not stepping in and helping me when he could clearly see I had lost my mind. I started ranting about not being able to do everything by myself and then I proceeded to give Ilyas a much needed bath which only stoked my burning fire because he didn’t want a bath and he kept trying to escape as I washed and rinsed him.

When I was finished getting Ilyas ready I went into my room and locked the door. I was so angry I started crying. Poor Aaliyah and Halimah were talking to me through my door asking why I was crying, if I was okay... I felt loved but frustrated because I wasn’t in the right state of mind to answer them. I asked them to please let me be alone but they wouldn’t budge from the door. Eventually I stopped crying and I tried some deep breathing (a new technique I learned from this awesome book I will talk about another time). I calmed myself down and tried some thought shifting exercises. Instead of being mad at my husband for not helping me - I decided I would let him know that I need his help. I came out and calmly told my husband that when I start getting crazy like I did that I need him to help calm me down and diffuse the situation. He didn’t respond as positively as I had hoped - I think maybe he thought I was attacking him or something - but I was just genuinely trying my best to communicate what I needed from him without the need for a defensive response. Ultimately, he came around after I further explained what happens to me... I’m so focused on one thing that I can’t just instantly turn around and focus on something else and that immediate change is very difficult for me and I start to lose my composure. I need him to step in and ask me to go lay down while he takes over what needs to be done. He said he’ll be sure to do that should it happen again.

Here’s to hoping I don’t lose my mind again!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting Back on Track

I've been bad! At the beginning of the year I started my "getting fit" journey and was doing phenomenally well for a few months - I was exercising every day and eating healthy... then I got really sick and my journey took a 2 month detour. Unfortunately I ended up gaining more weight than I had lost! It was a low blow to say the least. However, I take ownership for the downfall and I'm going to get back on track.

In an effort to blog more often - since that has taken a long hiatus too - I'm planning on blogging about my renewed dedication to getting fit. It's not about getting "skinny" - I just want to be healthy and setting a better example for my family. I hope I inspire at least one person to do the same!

Monday, April 19, 2010


I understand the value and importance of anonymity. However, I don’t understand why people insist on the cowardice of hiding behind the face of anonymity to say nasty things. I distinctly remember being taught, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.”

If someone has something to say then just say it. If they don’t have the audacity to say something directly, making themselves known, then I honestly believe they shouldn’t masquerade their thoughts anonymously just so they can take a cheap shot and feel comfortable about it.

We’re not going to like what people have to say from time to time but that doesn’t mean we should be assaulted under the veil of anonymity.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints


2 cups plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup softened butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1 large egg
*2 tsp almond flavoring/emulsion (you can use vanilla instead but almond brings out the best flavor)

½ - 1 cup raspberry preserves


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place butter in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed for 5 minutes; butter should be pale yellow and fluffy. Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed until mixture in very pale and very light, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add the egg and almond flavoring. Beat for 30 seconds, or until incorporated. Add flour and salt, beat slowly for 30 seconds or until mixture forms a rough dough. Refrigerate dough for 10-15 minutes (a cold batter helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much while baking).

Measure even tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls; arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to space the balls at least 1½-2 inches apart. Make an indent in the center of each ball using your thumb. Measure preserves into a zip-lock bag; cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Squeeze a generous amount of preserves (about one generous teaspoon) into each cookie indentation. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom, tops should barely take on color. Allow cookies to cool for 1 hour to set.

Notes: This is my signature cookie recipes. Everyone asks me to make these cookies!

For well baked cookies be sure to rotate the pan back to front halfway through baking.

* I use all non-alcohol flavorings for religious reasons. I highly recommend using emulsions as they are just as strong as extracts but the flavor won't bake out. Try this Almond Emulsion from Lorann Oils - it's amazing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Fitting Jeans!

Buying Jeans for Aaliyah is challenging at best. Her fluffy little tummy and the fact she prefers low rise jeans makes it difficult to find good fitting jeans that aren't too tight around her bum (she has a terrible plummer's crack problem). I oftentimes have to buy jeans 2 sizes too big in order for them to fit her correctly - which are ultimately too long as they were meant for 7 or 8 year olds with longer legs.

I'm forced to buy the good fitting jeans and hem them to avoid the unsightly rolling/cuffing. Hemming jeans is a fairly easy task long long as you have a good iron and some demin thread (both the goldish heavy duty "jean thread" and denim colored thread too). I measured Aaliyah's inseam (17.5") and marked her jeans, allotted an additional .5" for room to grow as well as 2 full inches for the seam allowance (it would be nice to be able to let the jeans out a little if needed as she grows). I cut the jeans accordingly and then pressed the seams to make sewing much easier.

All in all - the jeans look identical to how I purchased them - except they're not just the right size! See for yourself...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos are a big Southern California/Baja California "thing" - they are quick, easy and oh so delicious!


½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
salt & pepper

1 ½ cups flour
1½ pounds white fish (cod or tilapia) cut into taco sized portions
Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying

White Sauce
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 minced jalapeño pepper, seeds removed for less heat (canned jalapeño will work too)
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dill weed
¼ tsp chili powder

Corn tortillas
½ medium head of cabbage, finely shredded


In a large bowl, combine lemon juice through salt and pepper and mix well. Add fish to lemon juice mixture and let marinate 30 minutes.

While fish is marinating prepare the white sauce: Mix together yogurt and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeño, oregano, cumin, dill, and chili powder; mix well.

Heat oil in heavy duty skillet to 375°F. Dredge fish in the flou and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Warm the tortillas in the microwave (or on the stovetop). Place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce. Serve with fat free refried beans or whole black beans and mexican rice.

WW: You can opt to bake the fish instead of frying to reduce calories. Bake at 425˚F for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Spring Break...

Finally - a much needed break from homeschooling. Although, truth be told, we're still doing a few lessons a day just to stay on top with her schoolwork. We're currently scheduled to finish the semester a couple weeks early - so we're looking forward to a longer summer!

We're planning on getting together and doing a picnic with friends later in the week!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mama's Little "Helper"

The joys of children are oftentimes mistaken for the most frustrating moments. Ilyas is mama's little "helper." Of course his version of helping is almost always trouble and results in more work for me.

Last week I caught him putting ALL of our clean cloth diapers inside the dirty diaper pail. Then when he was finished emptying the basket he would put the basket back in its rightful place and grab another basket and continue putting all the diapers inside the pail.

There were a few diaper casualties and a few frustrating words... of course now I laugh at the thought of what he did but I wasn't so affable about it when it happened, needless to say.

How do your little one's "help" you?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

This is a staple recipe in our house. When I'm not sure what to cook this is a tried and true recipe and for any leftover chicken we use it for chicken sandwiches or chicken pot pie. While I always prepare this dish as a roast - it can easily be adapted to your crock pot too!

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

2 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T zataar*
1 T dried basil
½ T paprika
½ tsp chili powder (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken
3 extra large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, quartered
3 zucchinis, quartered
1 ½ cups baby carrots
1 Acorn Squash, quartered with outer skin (optional)
1 cup water or broth

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter and oil together in a large roasting pan. Add garlic and spices to melted butter/oil, mix well. Add chicken to pan and coat well with mixture; remove and set aside. Add potatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini and acorn squash to remaining mixture and coat evenly. Place chicken on top of the vegetables carefully add 1 cup of water or broth to the roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook for 2 hours, remove foil and cook additional 15 minutes or until chicken is browned.

*Note: Zataar is a special blend of spices - commonly made from ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram and mixed with toasted sesame seeds. If you can’t find zataar you can use regular thyme instead (however the flavor will be slightly different).

Weight Watchers: 3.5 ounces of chicken breast with 2 Tablespoons of sauce and 1 cup of vegetable mixture (going easy on the potatoes) = 7.5 pts

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We've Finished Math!

I'm so proud of Aaliyah! She has already finished her math for the entire year and she will be starting her first grade math curriculum shortly.

She's able to count to 100, count by 2, 5's (struggles with the 5's though), 10's), she can also add, subtract and she's learned to tell time (she can read the digit clocks perfectly she's still working with the analog clock and the minutes).

While Halimah will not officially start Kindergarten for another year, she's not too far behind Aaliyah either. She's just as bright as her big sister and I'm proud and just how talented my little bug and little bee are!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Make your Spouse Happy!

When you've been married for a few years and you've grown comfortable with your spouse it's easy to fall victim of going through the motions of married life. Hubby goes to work, and if you're a stay-at-home wife/mom then you're at home working to make a life... but the golden rule for marriage is to live to make your spouse happy.

So what would make your spouse happy? This will naturally change from one man to the next - but for the most part, hubby wants to see a happy wife.

Sure, I'm positive he would appreciate the house being clean and the dinner prepared on time - but wouldn't it be more exciting to come home to a happy, smiling wife? ABSOLUTELY! The saying goes - happy wife = happy life!

I's time to break out the smiles ladies and do our best to be in a good, happy/cheerful mood when hubby comes home. I know it's rough, ESPECIALLY if you have little ones you're taking care of - but as I talked about in a previous post - making time for yourself to regroup should help give you the little boost you need to get on track. Just think of all the rewards you'll get when you make your spouse happy - it's like treating yourself!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken with Thai Peanut Sauce

This is Aaliyah’s favorite dish. Most days she’s not very interested in eating meat unless it’s accompanied by a sauce she really likes - thankfully, she LOVES this sauce.

If you’re looking to cut calories a little then use 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil or less.

Chicken with Thai inspired Peanut Sauce

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Coconut Oil (ok to sub for Olive Oil)
1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup sweetened chili sauce
1½ Tablespoons fish sauce (not crucial but it does help the flavor a lot)
½ cup fresh lime juice (lemon juice works too)
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (ok to sub with creamy peanut butter too)

Cut chicken breasts in half, cover with a paper towel and pound to roughly ½ inch thick. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5-7 minutes on each side or until done (chicken should be slightly browned). Remove chicken from pan; set aside and keep warm.

Add the broth, chili sauce, and fish sauce to the same skillet; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until broth mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Serve sauce over chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli for a complete meal (we like to drizzle a little sauce over the broccoli too).

Weight Watchers: 4 oz of chicken breast with approximately 1/4 cup of sauce = 6 pts (pair with 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of broccoli for an 8pt meal)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Take a Break

Last week I hit a rough patch and I was forced to take a timeout for a few days. Honestly, it was in the break away when I realized I really have to allow myself a break everday - I have to give myself a simple amount of time for just myself. Even if only 10-15 minutes - I need time to regroup, re-energize, relax and unwind.

When you spend all day every day going a mile a minute it really does take a toll on you in more ways than one. So, here's my little break to encourage everyone to try and take a 10-15 minute break everyday just for yourself.

If you have kids, especially little kids then try to do this when your children are taking a nap (I still make my 5 and 4 year old take naps - so don't feel guilty)! Don't clean the house, wash dishes, cook or do a load of laundry - it will all be waiting for you. Take 10-15 minutes (longer if time permits) and put your feet up, have a sip of water (or juice) and just enjoy the quiet, peace/tranquility. Do a little yoga, have a cup of coffee and enjoy a few pages of a good book... just do something for yourself everyday.

I promise I'm going to do it - are you with me?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are you Hacking at Leaves?

Henry Thoreau once wrote, “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

As I read this saying in the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, on a recommendation from a friend, it really left an impression on me. I’m only in the first few chapters of the book and thus far it is a fairly good read - a little too verbose in getting the point across for my personal tastes but otherwise a worthwhile and much needed life awakening read.

The point the author is trying to convey in his opening chapter is we can spend countless time trying to change our actions and behaviors (the leaves) but it’s only in the moments when we change our perceptions (the root) that the quantum change we long for can be attained.

When you change your perception it’s like the proverbial light bulb goes off. You have the long awaited, “AHA!” moment. I’m in the start of mine now... what will yours be?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


In a nutshell - homeschooling is one great adventure! I like to believe that children learn from the moment they are born; life, itself, is one BIG learning experience. So, technically, we’ve been “homeschooling” since birth!

When the idea that I would have to “formally” teach my children at home came into play I was concerned... I wasn’t quite sure where to begin! I tend to do well with schedules and organized plans - rather than just approach things willy nilly.

Thankfully we discovered a wonderful online schooling option where I’m supplied all the course materials, a general outline/daily schedule, etc... So, rather than spend countless hours developing my own lesson plans and gathering resources - I can spend time being my children’s “learning coach.”

It’s such an amazing experience watching my children get excited about learning something new; so have fun learning with us!

If you want to learn more about the program we're using visit the K12 website I highly recommend their program thus far!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Wee Bit Polar?

As previously mentioned in my “about me” opening – I have been formally diagnosed with a mental illness. Considering my reader base is all of about 5 people or less I feel comfortable enough to be candid, after all, being able to talk about it helps me cope.

I suffer from Bipolar Disorder. For many years I was misdiagnosed with depression, mostly because I wasn’t as forthcoming with my doctors as I should have been but thankfully I found an AMAZING doctor last year and I was able to be fully upfront with her about my symptoms, etc… I’m now on the right track to getting the help I’ve needed for years!

Although I do experience depressive episodes from time to timed I mostly cycle through manic states and I tend to be in a constant state of irritability and agitation – the smallest thing will set me over the edge! Try dealing with that and having small children where every small thing they do can drive you insane! It’s been a rough few years since having kids, that’s for sure – but in their defense it hasn’t been easy having me as a mom either!

So, this is just a little back ground on where I’m coming from mentally – so sometimes if I rant and it seems like I’ve lost touch with reality – I probably have. It takes me a little while to reconnect with planet Earth from time to time… I trust you’ll help me!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

DIY Dish - Cake Pincushions

Here's a great resource for some inspiration! These gals have a great website, You Can Make This, where you can find all sorts of user based ideas/projects to make - including some free projects too. They also have a few sister sites too, one of my favorites is SWAK Embroidery.

They started a new blog/website called DIY Dish - here's their first video. Figured this my incite someone to do a little decorative cake pin cushion making!

Here's a link to their post with lots of pictures including a giveaway too!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend Projects...

Years ago I used to sew my own clothes... When I was pregnant with my daughter I started a baby quilt for her, which I have yet to finish (primarily because Aaliyah decided to arrive 3 weeks ahead of schedule and I never had a chance to learn ho to finsih the quilt). Once I started working from home in 2009 my first "big purchase" with the money I earned was for a fancy schmany new serger (because my old one died in the middle of a project). I fell in love with sewing all over again. My next big splurge was on a new top of the line embroidery/sewing machine - it's a sewing dream come true!

While I don't get as much time as I would like, I’m hoping to change that with regular posts on my projects. I'm also planning on taking advantage of the weekends a little when hubby can take care of the kids for a couple hours so I can sew in peace (it's a bit challenging trying to sew with two inquisitive daughters and a very meddlesome 1 year old monster poking and prodding everything)!

So whether I'm working on clothes, something for the house, or gifts - I’m excited to finally let my creativity shine! Maybe I'll be a little ray of inspiration for you too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recipe Fridays

Next to writing, if there’s one thing I can do and do it well, it’s cooking and baking!

I *LOVE* to cook and bake.. Ever since I was a little girl I have always enjoyed cooking and baking. I fondly remember first learning how to make Swiss Steak and Swedish Meatballs - two recipes which continue to remain in my repertoire!

While I’ve had my fair share of cooking disasters, my culinary accomplishments are many. Food is not just nourishment but a way to bring my family and friends together and share fond memories and funny stories all while enjoying a great meal.

After all, who can resist a slice of freshly baked bread, or a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie or fluffy, moist cupcake?

I look forward to sharing my most well loved recipes and cooking experiences with all of you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm a Muslim - What does that mean?

For those who know me - you know I'm a Muslim... and for those who are only acquainted with me then you may know that I'm a Muslim but you may not know much else about how I became Muslim (when, how, where, and why)... Well, it's a fairly long story but an interesting one and I'd be happy to share the story if you're interested in hearing it - just let me know!

What does it mean that I'm a Muslim? It's a good part of my identity - in short to be Muslim means to submit, surrender and obey in peace and sincerity to the will of God (Allah = One God). It means that I testify there is only One God and there is no one worthy of worship except God alone, and that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was the final messenger of God.

I know there are a LOT of misunderstandings and misconceptions about Muslims and Islam so I'd like to extend the offer to ask any and all questions you may have, at any time - there's an open door policy here when it comes to questions! If I don't know or have the answer that doesn't mean the answer doesn't exist - I'll just have to work on finding someone who does!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Surviving Madness

Madness, as a noun, is defined as:

• the state of being mentally ill
• extremely foolish behavior
• a state of frenzied or chaotic activity

Who I am and the life I live is exactly that! Although I’ve been formally diagnosed with a severe mental illness (which I will likely be discussing in more candid detail in future posts), I’ve been known to do (and/or say) some really foolish things. Every day I live in a constant state of organized chaos!

Between being a wife, a mom, working at home, and homeschooling - I quite literally teeter on the brink of insanity most days.

As any mom (and wife) knows - there are no days off. There is no break from being a wife and mom. You can’t call in sick if you don’t “feel like” being a wife or mom (ok, so some people decide to quit being a wife but that’s not how I deal).

This blog is my haven! My own special place where I can discuss the madness of my life; my frustrations, thoughts, creativity, goals, projects, etc... Essentially I’m just throwing it all out there in an effort to survive the madness that is me and my life!

The grass may not be greener over here - but at least I can still call it grass!