Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vegan Quesadilla Recipe

My quick version of vegan, wheat free, dairy free yummy Quesadillas.

  • 1/2 of a Red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 of a Green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 of an Onion, diced
  • couple of Mushrooms, diced
  • Daiya cheddar dairy free cheese
  • Daiya mozarella dairy free cheese
  • One packet spelt tortillas 
* I use a grill/panini press to cook this

Dice veggies

 Combine veggies in bowl

Have your spelt tortillas ready

Have your daiya cheese ready

Combine all ingredients on half of the tortilla, put on grill or panini press

Dig in and let your little ones enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Little Looming Hands

I love looms. I secretly circle the loom aisle at Michaels craft store. Knitting looms are a great way for children to learn knitting but most recently we came across something called a Rainbow Loom. My little guy has been fascinated with the brightly colored rubber band bracelets and enjoyed wearing them Mashallah.

Place the rubber bands on the loom

Use the crotchet hook to continue the pattern

Tadaa the finished product! Zaki made this one for his aunt

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cilantro Tomato Sauce

What to do when both children are asleep... blog of course!

My bebo Sayf is a night owl and does not sleep until 2-3:00 am. That means his time is my time so have been cooking and cleaning after midnight. It is a little wacky but Alhumdulilah the house is clean and lunch/dinner is on the table.

I had a bunch of cilantro left over from earlier this week... here it is put to use:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ripe organic tomatoes (small sized) 
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro, roughly chopped
  • salt/pepper to taste
I substituted with rice pasta and garnished with mushrooms.

1) Place 1 of the tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the diced onion, cover with a tight fitting lid, and sweat for 6-8 minutes.

2) Increase the heat to medium-low and add the garlic.

3) Add the tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the fresh tomatoes have broken down and become integrated into the sauce. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat.

4) Add the chopped cilantro to the tomato onion mixture and stir, taking are to ensure that the cilantro is evenly distributed. Season with salt/pepper.

 bon appetit!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Missing In Action

Many of you were wondering where I have been... I promise I have a good reason ;)

This past year has been much of a blur. So much has happened... and most recently Alhumdulillah Allah has blessed us with a baby boy, Sayf Khunays.

My journey through pregnancy was hard. Really hard. I have had hyperemesis gravidarum with both my pregnancies. What is it? Unrelenting, excessive, all day, all the time nausea and vomiting. Just thinking about it is making me nauseated! Believe it or not- I will most likely need therapy to overcome the trauma of it. More on this entire topic on a later post...

For now I am enjoying this view....

Big brother Zakariya and baby Sayf 

Mashallah Tabarakallah. Children bring such an overwhelming feeling of joy to the heart. May Allah protect all of our children.

I am learning how to adapt to the new rhythm in our home. Everything takes double the time, double the effort, but Alhumdulilah we are getting the hang of it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY Carnival Themed Partaaay

We had a little get together for Zakariya's Arabic Preschool, The theme was a Welcome Ramadan Carnival. As expected on the day of a series of things that do not typically happen- happened!

For starters the camera was taking pictures without a memory card for about half the party. I forgot to take pictures of the handmade giveaways and party favors, did not get pictures of all the kids in their cute costumes... and well the list goes on.... Oh and I have almost no pictures from the photo booth set up!

Everything from the games to decorations were all handmade. Apart from materials to make the items, I did not need to purchase much of anything. For prizes I opted to stay away from anything commercial or character related. Which was hard because practically any store bought party favor had some sort of Disney character all over it.

We kept it simple with an "every player is a winner rule" and we had little straw wicker baskets filled with goodies to take home. Baskets were filled with seashells, marbles, stickers and little colored stone gems. The children had brown paper bags with yarn strung thru them as handles to carry their tickets and treasures.

The kids were encouraged to dress up in costumes. They were adorable! We had everything from a horse to guy in a meeting! I am serious, one of the little boys showed up with an ear piece and when we asked him what his costume was- he said "I am a guy in a meeting."

My little man opted to be a bumble bee, my husband was the local sheriff- complete with horrible texan accent and I was a native american. Zakariya told all his friends that my costume was a feather!

For party favors, I spent hours making adorable felt wands. Will post the tutorial and finished product pictures later. We also made nontoxic, handmade soaps. They were a big hit. I couldn't find fish to go inside the soap so I used frogs instead. You can check the tutorial here. I have to admit, the tutorial makes it look much easier than it actually was. The soap was a huge hit and the kids could not wait for their soap to dissolve and their frogs to hatch.

Alhumdulilah a good time was had by all and we all enjoyed welcoming the blessed month of Ramadan.

Thanks to some of the parents using their camera phones and we did manage to get a couple of pictures.


With the help of Grandpa we built and painted this wooden ticket booth. Will reuse it as a lemonade stand, puppet show theatre in the future

Kept the food simple, finger snacks 

Lovely banner made by this craft mama

Virgin Mojito for the adults only 

Dart a balloon game 

My husband made this cute little bean bag toss in the shape of a masjid, complete with moon crescent! 

Pin the tail on the donkey 


My friend was so generous to lend us her bouncy castle. This was a favorite! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Princes & Fairies Giveaway!

I do not know about you but with all the Eid Ul Fitr festivities coming to an abrupt end my heart is seriously missing Ramadan and Eid!

The blessed month passed us by so very quickly... leaving me feeling a little glum. Hafsa over at Princes and Fairies was kind enough to offer a quick fix.... A GIVEAWAY!

Wait until you see the adorable items available at her shop. Even if you are not expecting, they will have you wanting to make babies all over again ;) Frankly, I am sick of seeing the same old duck, frog and bear prints everywhere. I love the idea of custom and handmade gear for babies. For those looking for products without faces and characters products like these are perfect!

Have a look at this adorable selection

I was oh-so curious to know about the brains behind Princes and Fairies, here is what I learned after chatting with Hafsa:

  • What is the inspiration behind P&F? 

I think it is safe to say that Princes and Fairies came into being from a confluence of different inspirations. The 3 key factors that really spurred me on were;

a) My son had very sensitive skin as an infant and most baby linens/blankets bought from big box stores (like our favourite baby store) would result in his skin getting irritated. When I did some researched, I read about the less than stellar conditions in which some of these items are made overseas and then often transported alongside hazardous materials on barges where they sit together for weeks and months. No amount of laundry can get rid of those effects.

b) I had a very difficult time finding baby items that were stylish and modern but reasonably priced. I found that with most baby stuff, you either had cheesy and cheap or stylish but super expensive (we're talking $800-900 for crib bedding. Plus, I found there to be a serious lack of organic baby offerings when it came to linens and blankets that appealed to my taste.

c) When I became a mom in November 2011, I went from being a busy professional with a thriving career to being a mom. I LOVED being able to stay at home with my son but I really missed that feeling of accomplishment and independence that comes with working outside the home. However, I was not willing to leave my son in the care of strangers to go searching for that feeling. Princes & Fairies allows me to have the best of both worlds. I am able to give my baby my full attention and enjoy him while planning and organizing my work around his schedule. It gets crazy some days but I love every minute of the experience.

  • What is your favourite must have P&F product?
I love all the Princes & Fairies products However, my favourite two products are the Luxe Hooded Towel and the Heirloom Hand-cut Chenille blanket. The Luxe Hooded towel is awesome. It was one of the first things I ever designed and my son still uses his towel that I made almost 2 years ago. I love the Heirloom Hand-cut Chenille for how unique it is and just how many variations you can make with it. I love the quilted look with the oh so soft back. Totally awesome!

  • You donate a blanket for every blanket you sell, can you tell us more about this awesome cause?
For every Cozy Cuddle blanket sold, we donate one to a children's charity or a local homeless shelter. I used to work in the non-profit sector prior to becoming a mom and it deeply impressed upon me the need to give back. We are surrounded by blessings from the Almighty and giving back is a small way of saying thank you. Plus, as a mom, I saw how careful I was about keeping my baby warm. It broke my heart to think of mothers who couldn't keep their babies warm through the night because they couldn't afford a blanket. Every child deserves the security of a blanket and every mother deserves the knowledge that her baby is sleeping warm and cozy beside her.

Now for the fun part.... DRUM ROLL PLEASE! Our giveaway is for one of my favorite products has to be the swaddle blanket. I love the idea of having baby in a breathable blanket as oppose to a thicker material, especially in the summer time.

To enter the Giveaway: AND for MULTIPLE entries:

-LIKE Princes & Fairies Baby Boutique Facebook page
-SHARE the link for Princes & Fairies Baby Boutique
-SHARE the link for The Alif to Yaa of Motherhood Blog
-LEAVE a comment below telling us about your favorite product
-LEAVE a comment for every like/share you did so you have multiple chances of winning!

*This Giveaway is only open to residents of North America

Monday, July 22, 2013

DIY: Ramadan Doll Craft

We made this doll for a cousin of mine who returned from his first Umrah. It is a simple and can easily fit into the hands of your little ones for hours of play!

Your doll could be either male of female depending on preference. We thought it would be fun to dress our doll up in Ihram clothes. Alternatively you could dress yours up in a hijab/abaya.

What you need:
-Doll Pegs (easily available at Michaels Craft Stores)
-Peace/beige colored acrylic paint
-Dark brown colored acrylic paint
-1Sheet of white colored felt
-1 Sheet of any colored felt
-Single hole punch
-Glue gun

*I apologize in advance for the horrible quality pictures and lack of detailed step pictures, I only had my cell phone camera handy

Start by painting your doll peg, 2-3 coats should be enough

Paint on a beard and hair line using the brown paint. he hairline. Measure and cut strips of the white felt and glue them on using the hot glue gun 

We used a colored sheet of felt to wrap around the peg doll in place of a sleeping bag. We punched holes on the side and used yarn to keep the bag in place. We also used a long piece of yarn so that the doll could be used as a necklace

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ramadan 2013 Around the World

Ramadan Mubarak! May this month bring you a sense of peace, tranquility, blessings and bring you closer to Allah and each other.

I love looking up pictures of how others celebrate Ramadan around the world. So here are some lovely snaps- courtesy of the Huffington Post.

How about you- does your family have any special traditions in welcoming this blessed month?

Yemen: Yemeni girls wearing traditional costumes attend a festival for children to welcome the holy month of Ramadan in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen 

Palestine: A Palestinian child poses with a star as people arrive to attend the evening prayer during the Muslim fasting month of ramadan at Al-Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem 

These are just a few that made me smile, you can view the rest of the slide show here. Make sure to share it with your children so they can see how children around the world celebrate Ramadan! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wet on Watercolor

Something we spend a lot of time on around here is wet on watercolor painting. This is a will activity so my little guy stays engaged with it for hours.

The results are satisfying and can be turned into beautiful cards or other art projects. The idea is to give children a unique painting experience without any form. The colors find their own way of blending and every painting looks completely different when finished. One of kind!

We started painting with just one color, you would be surprised to see how beautiful even one color on its own is. Now that little man is older he is especially keen on knowing what colors mix together to form other colors. We started with primary colors and started adding other color combinations. It was fun to see his reaction, "Look Mama my water turned blue!"

What you need:
-Good ol' water color paper ( Heavy weight water color paper) Using regular paper will not give the same spreading effect
-1-3 colors of watercolor paint
-Good quality paint brushes
-Mason jar filled of water
-A rag to wipe excess water off paper and paint spills

How to prep:
1) Submerge paper and soak in water
2) Mix paint, put a glob of paint and mix in water, you can intensify the color based on your preference
3) Wipe excess water off paper

Now you are ready to paint! Here are some examples of our most recent PICASSO moments!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Goopy Goop!

After a loooooong blogging break... we are back! I have good reasons for being so very MIA but we will save that for another post!

For now school is out and the kiddies need fun time filled activities to keep busy. Here is the recipe for our home made goopy goop. Which by the way kept little guy occupied for hours! The best part being that you will have most of these ingredients already on hand in the house, no need to buy anything.

What you need:
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup Elmer's glue
Liquid food coloring
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon Borax 

1) Mix together the cold water, glue and food coloring. Set aside in a bowl
2) In a separate bowl add water and borax, until the borax is completely dissolved
3) Slowly add the glue mixture, mix well, pour off excess water. 
Store in an upright container and have fun! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Unassisted Childbirth

A trend that seems to be growing by the minute is Unassisted Childbirth. I can just imagine all the thoughts that might be coming your way as soon as I said this. What are your thoughts on this- without passing judgement on those who consider this option.

Do we believe that the mind can control how we feel? 

Here is a quick interview by Laura Shanley based on her book about Unassisted Childbirth.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Welcome Winter

The weather feels like -26 today, this prompted me to write about the true warmth of winter... 

During the winter my little guy is especially active. It may have something to do with the shorter days.  We have a predictable rhythm and focus on warmth.

Our mornings start with a pot of herbal tea. A big red one, recently picked up on sale. We prefer literally only a few drops of honey.  Sweets even if from natural sources cause my boy to be especially spirited first thing in the morning.

Our play is centered around the winter season. 

My boy covered head to toe in his snowsuit, jacket, wool scarf, wool mittens, and wool hat ready to play outdoors. Running around working up a sweat.

Indoor my little guy plays with props and felt to create a winter display. Using knitted animals, wooden peg dolls,  acorns and pine cones- you can create magical winter play.

We observe and create stories whilst looking at picture books about winter. No written words needed. Just a vivid imagination. 

We make snowflakes, crooked and unsymmetrical-a work of art for a three year old. A lovely tutorial available on Bumbles & Light blog.

On days when the snow is pouring down flake by flake, we peak out our windows and watch it spread over the ground like a big white sheet.

On focusing around the warmth, we made our own beeswax-dipped candles. Although being the softhearted Mother I am, I could not bring myself to actually light them and see them melt.  Soon enough I will let them go and use them for their purpose!

Boiling a pot of vegetable soup. Keeps our bodies warm on these cold winter days.

Knitted and wool slippers keep our toes warm.

Our living room literally covered with soft fuzzy blankets all over.

Mama brings out her yarn and knits away. Baba keeps us warm with his big bear hugs. Zakariya reminds us what winter meant to us when we were kids.

Winter is like a cozy and warm dream for our little ones.  Do not try and wake them up, instead let them make memories in the snow so they can share it with their children. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

DIY Party Decorations

We had a little get together over the winter break so I needed to get my DIY cap on! I wanted to make a few cute decorations to jazz up the house.

I hit the dollar star to buy some inexpensive materials.

Here is what made the list:

A cute doily banner. These are absolutely adorable- in fact ours is still hanging up and I am not sure I want to take it down! This cost me a buck... that IS right $1. I already had some yarn and a glue stick at home. All I needed was a packet of doily's. You can even purchase a fabric version of this off etsy. It would be a lot more durable and you could pretty much hang it anywhere.

A lovely tutorial on a doily banner  littlemissmomma

I first fell in love with the paper pom pom in my 9th grade Spanish class. We had to make these for Cinco de Mayo. I love making different versions of these. You can get really creative with colors and sizes, the possibilities are endless!

Here the link to a blog with the step by step tutorial Head Full of Feathers

Paper lanterns! These are my absolute favorite, I would use them everywhere if I could. These were a bit on the expensive side. I opted to use a holiday 50% off Michael's coupon to justify my purchase ;) We hung from our stairwell banisters hanging down in the foyer. Here are the ones I used Martha Steward PomPoms

What are your favorite DIY Decoration ideas?!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back At Last

Well this is the longest blogging break I have had... I have to admit it was nice to focus on my family and my business/work for the last little while. Alhumdulillah after enjoying the winter break and having my priorities ironed out- I am back at last!

I know many of you are used to me posting daily... but I think its better if I do single or multiple posts during the week. Often I have many post pre-drafted but I do not always find time in the morning to get them posted up.

A lot of fun things happening on our end. Two family weddings within a week of each other- we are still recovering!

Stay tuned- and I promise not to make you wait for long ;)
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