Thursday 31 January 2013

Book Review - Allah's Best Friend

I am going to start doing some more Book Reviews, inshallah. I thought I would start with this one that both my daughters' have read. As this is a children's book I have asked my 10 year old daughter to do a review on it so that you can read the review from a child's point of view too.

My Review:

This book is an ideal short story for young children, my 5 year old loved listening to this story and even tried reading it herself as it isn't too long for her to get bored! The illustrations are lovely and bright and correspond well to the story, so can keep my youngest engaged in listening to the story. The story is about Ibrahim (pbuh). I would recommend this book to parents with young children.

Review by my 10 year old daughter:

I enjoyed reading this book about the Prophet Ibrahim (or Abraham). I liked this book because it shows that faith in Allah is the only thing that can save a believer in this world and the world to come.  I found this book very interesting.

Allah’s Best Friend
Quran Stories for Little Hearts
Goodword Books
Illustrated by Achla Anand and Achal K Anand
ISBN: 81-87570-51-2

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

My children actually made this yummy chocolate cheesecake - My 14 year old son had to make one at school for cookery lesson and told me it was so easy that he wanted to make one at home too! So with the help of his little sisters he made this yummy Cheesecake for the whole family!

I will share with you the recipe and instructions of how they made this cake:


  • 1 tub of Cream Cheese (300g)
  • 1 packet of Chocolate Digestive Biscuits (300g)
  • 2 large Chocolate Bars (200g) Keep some chocolate for flaked decoration at the end!
  • Butter (100g)
  • A few drops of Vanilla Essence


Step 1) Crush the chocolate biscuits (my method is placing inside a large bag and crushing with the rolling pin!)
Step 2) Melt the butter (I used microwave for quickness!)
Step 3) Mix the butter with the crushed biscuits with your hands
Step 4) Place the biscuit mixture into a cake tin and press down firmly
Step 5) Optional - Place the cake tin with the biscuit mixture into the fridge to make the base set a little!
Step 6) Mix the cream cheese up with a fork
Step 7) Add a few drops of vanilla essence to the cream cheese
Step 8) Snap/cut the chocolate into small pieces
Step 9) Melt the chocolate (I used method of placing in a bowl over a pan of boiling water)
Step 10) Mix both the cheese and chocolate together
Step 11) Place this mixture onto the top of the biscuit base you just made
Step 12) Then decorate the top of the cheesecake with some flaked chocolate (I used cheese grater!)
Step 13) Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to let it set

Monday 28 January 2013

Tic Tac Box Uses - Great Ideas

Tic Tac Boxes - These small containers can be used for many things - I have given an example of just some of the uses in the photograph above.

Most times these are used for small craft pieces, but they are also used for some bizarre things - not sure if they would really work for all the things that the internet say they do - but I thought I would share with you some ideas I have heard about!

The photograph below is a cereal box I made for a Barbie Doll!

Here is a list of some uses I found online for Tic Tac Boxes:

Small sweets (candy)
Medicine (keep away from children)
Rubber bands
Plasters (Band aid)
Hijab Pins
Small crafts (beads etc)
Safety Pins
Small sewing kit
Sugar (carry size)
Cocoa /coffee powder (carry size)
Salt/Pepper (carry size)
Garden Seeds
Rattle (fill with pebbles)
Q-Tips cut in half

If you re-use these boxes then please do share with me what you use them for.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Blog Review: Small Qalbi

Blog Review: Small Qalbi
The writer of this blog started this blog over a year ago. She did have another blog before this one too! I have only recently started following her and love waiting to see what her next post will be about. She has recently just married, so maybe some posts may talk about her journey in marriage! Here is her blog link:

Most of her posts are based on her personal life, she writes about her struggles and shares with her readers some links to videos that she finds of interest.

She describes herself on her blog as:’A simple opinionated person. During the day I am an educator, during the night I am a student seeking knowledge on the deen. This blog is my personal journey in finding back the deen.’
Below is part of one of her posts:
One Step Closer – Hijrah
I have seen a lot of young muslimah who are struggling with their hijrah. In this post, I will share with you baby steps in making hijrah, from our jahil state, to be a better muslimah. Oh, I am not saying that I am successful in my hijrah, I am still progressing and struggling. I think this will be beneficial for me to share with my beautiful sisters in Islam.
When Allah blesses us with guidance, grab it and never let it go. During this time, our eeman is being tested. We either make it, or fail. Here is what one need to do.  
To finish reading her post about Hijrah, here is the link:

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Home Organization Centre

Many of you might already know that - I LOVE TO BE ORGANIZED! I run my house like I would a business - I have charts for most things and keep a diary/organizer with me at all times! Today I am sharing with you my Organizational Centre which is kept on one of my Kitchen Walls.

I haven't really shown photographs before of my charts/organizing, because quite honestly I love my photographs to be perfect - and my organizational centre involves lots of handwriting squiggles that are quite messy and a bit embarrassing. Also I have my children's names and personal information on here so I didn't want to share that kind of information. I have though smudged out any personal info on the photograph, for eg. my children's names, so that is why some things are blank!

However I have now decided to step out of my comfort zone and share with you my photographs - because after all I am a mum with young children and many of my followers are also mums - so I think a lot of my readers understand that things are not kept perfect in a home with little ones!

I design and laminate my own charts so that they are suitable for my family's needs.  I will share with you how the Main Organization Centre works in my home with 3 young children.

I have an Appointments Wipeboard which I use to write down any dates/appointments we have that week - I also note some important future dates underneath that. I try to complete this every Sunday night or whenever I can! I have a Pinboard next to that, with each of my children's names written at the top. Any important letters (ie school) or invitations etc are pinned underneath their names. Then I have a few laminated charts underneath these, below I have explained what these charts are:

SHOPPING LIST: Whatever food I need to buy that week is written on this chart - I update this as soon as I know I have run out of something or know I need something soon for example. The children sometimes add to this too!

FAMILY MESSAGES: The whole family use this to leave important messages for each other. I have each child's name on the board and we just write down the message underneath the names of who the message is for. For example: Child 1 might leave message for Child 2 saying they have borrowed one of their books, or Child 2 might leave a message for their dad saying his brother telephoned.

WEEKLY MENU: This is to write down what we have planned to eat for the whole week - so then I can plan what I need to buy for shopping.

TO DO LIST: I write things on here that I need to do, for example: Ring Doctors to make appointment, pay for childs school trip etc.

MEDICINE/ILLNESS RECORD: Whenever one or more of my children are poorly, I record what their temperature is and at what time they were given any medicine and what kind of medicine   I designed this chart with columns: TIME, TEMPERATURE, MEDICINE GIVEN

QURAN/SURAH/DUA CHART: This is for the children to write down which one they are learning that week.

CALENDAR2013: I have a laminated calendar so that when writing down any appointment etc I can check dates etc.

I also keep a diary/organizer binder with me at all times, so I can write things down during the day if I am outside the house. Anything important can then be written or attached to the organizational centre when I return home. I also log different things in my organizer, that are not kept on my Kitchen Wall.  I might do a post at a later date about my binder inshallah. Below is a photograph of the front cover:

I also have a reward/chore chart centre just for the children - which is kept on the Kitchen Door. I will try to do a future post on that too inshallah: Below is a photograph of that:

Monday 21 January 2013

Reupholstering a Sofa - My Mini Tutorial

Above is the photo of my Sofa Makeover! I reupholstered my sofa and a chair all by myself - I have never done this before and I was really pleased with the results! I now have a new sofa nad chair and it cost me nothing!

If you follow my blog you might already know that I recently changed the decoration of my Living Room to a theme colour of Gold and Black. My Sofa and chair had seen much better days and they were quite damaged.  I was actually using throws over them to disguise the bad condition! I had some old gold coloured curtains that I no longer used stored away that I used for this project!

Below is a close up of the leather, as you can see it was worn and discoloured!
Buying new furniture was out of the question at this time (Have you seen the price of new ones!). I also really love these as they are really sturdy and have great room underneath where I can keep storage boxes hidden away and the sofa is large enough to use to sleep on for emergency visitors!I had quite a lot of gold coloured fabric in storage from some curtains I used to have so decided to make use of this to save me some money!

This was a fairly easy job for me because my sofa and chair have a wooden frame with removable cushions.  The only hard part were the arm rests, the easiest part was to make new sofa cushion covers.

Quick Steps on how I did this:

I removed the cushion covers from the cushions, some were slightly different sizes. I took the leather apart and made paper patterns for all the pieces. I then used the paper patterns to cut out new fabric. It is handy to take photos of each cushion and maybe label the paper patterns so you remember which piece goes where.

Once I had the fabric pieces cut, I stitched the pieces together to make a new cushion cover. I actually took the zips from the original cushion covers and re-used them again for the new covers as they were in decent condition! (Saved me more money!)

The arms of the chair and sofa came out and slotted back in. If you look closely at the shape of the arm rests you will notice the new ones are a completely different shape!  I decided to change them to a bolster cushion shape!  I had to use some extra wadding - which luckily I already had in the house.  (Again saved me money!)
I have never made bolster cushions before, so I copied an online tutorial to make these. I had to make sure I left some stitching open underneath the bolster cushion to attach them to the arm rest supports. Once attached I then had to hand stitch the gap that I had left. Then I placed the arm rests back in place. I much prefer the bolster look than the original ones.  Here is a great link to the tutorial that helped me: Youtube Bolster Cushion tutorial

I made some of the cushion covers from some other fabric that I had. The 3 centred cushions on the sofa were actually gifts from my family. I did spend some money and buy some of the other cushion covers to match with the sofa.

Below is an old photo of when this fabric used to be my curtains! PS: These were one of the first curtains I ever made when I first got my sewing machine! I took this photo as I had planned to sell my 'Gazelle' so needed a photo of it.

In case you missed my other post regarding the room re-decoration below are the photos: Black/gold projects

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Blog Review: Muslim Mummy

Today I am doing a review for the lovely Foz, who has the wonderful blog: Muslim Mummy

Muslim Mummy – Random Ramblings of a Muslim Mum is a great blog that I have actually followed for a long time now. It is one of the first Muslim blogs that I started following when I first started blogging!

Foz describes herself  in her ‘About Me’ section, as a British Muslim born in the UK to Pakistani Muslim parents. She mentions that she created her blog to link with other Muslim mums and generally discusses issues to do with parenting, Islam and also working!

A lot of her posts are about Motherhood; she has a 6 year old daughter and has just had another little girl at the end of last year. So I am guessing we might see some posts relating to baby issues coming up soon!

She often writes reviews too and occasionally has some giveaways (I have tried applying but have never managed to be chosen – maybe I might be more lucky now that I am doing a review for her  – just kidding!) She is also an elite blogger over at babyhuddle – here is her recent post she wrote for them:  dealing-with-gestational-diabetes-in-pregnancy
I love checking out her ‘Friday Wisdom’ Posts which she does weekly. At the moment she is also partaking in the ‘Project 365’  which means she is trying to take photos of something every day – I don’t think I would have the patience for that!

Below is the collage of photos she took on her first week of Project 365:

Please pop by and visit this wonderful blog or you can also keep up to date with Muslim Mummy via:


Hope you enjoyed today's review.

Monday 14 January 2013

DIY Magazine Holder - Great Ideas

Magazine Holders are so easy to make with cardboard boxes from either detergent boxes or cereal boxes. Just cut the shape you want and decorate as you wish.

The photograph above shows a box decorated with some sticky backed plastic. The photograph below hasn't been decorated, it has just been cut out from a cereal box.

I love such simple ideas and also love ways to recycle / upcycle things that would normally be disposed of!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Guest Post - At home with Asmaa

Today I have a guest post from the lovely lady who writes the blog:   In her post today she is sharing with us a lovely recipe.

Egg Free Golden Syrup Cake

Salam Alaikum Sisters,

Shukran / Thank you Karima for inviting me to guest post on your blog today.

This simple cake brings back lots of memories of childhood and is a real taste of home for me. I grew up living in my grandparents’ house for the majority of my childhood, we lived very close to woods and were surrounded by fields where my sister, friends and I would venture and play.

Early mornings and getting ready for school is something most teenagers don’t look forward, I was no different especially in winter. Things that made routine run more smoothly for me each school morning were waking up to the cosy warmth of a coal fire, a cup of tea accompanied by toast laden with butter and golden syrup, yum!

Golden syrup is a cupboard staple in my house to this day, I use it to sweeten porridge, over pancakes, in biscuits and now I have it inside a cake alhamduillah. The syrup not only adds sweetness but also adds moisture which is essential when baking egg free cakes. Right after baking the cake will have a crunchy caramel exterior but if it manages to stay in the cake tin let’s say overnight up to 24 hours the syrup will have penetrated the surface making it just slightly sticky to touch.

It is the simplest cake I have made to date, using the all in one bowl and wooden spoon / handheld electric mixer method or in my case the stand mixer let’s me keep my hands free, does the graft while I reap the sweet reward!  No fancy additions such as icing, decoration etc the cake stands alone and is more than capable to hold its own up against a fancier, labour intensive rival.

I understand not everyone will be able to get hold of golden syrup so here can always make your own and believe me it is 90% the real deal I have tried it before but like all sugary things there is probably some secret recipe or method to how the real stuff is made.

Easy Egg Free Golden Syrup Recipe

Makes 1 x 21cm square cake or 2 x 1lb loaf cakes


150g butter or Margarine softened
150g caster sugar
275g plain flour
125g Gram / Chickpea flour (the same type Algerians use for Karantita)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
250g golden syrup
320ml boiling water


Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4.

Line bottom of square tin or your two loaf tins with a baking parchment liner or greaseproof baking paper.

In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer place all the ingredients and mix it all up well with an electric mixer. Slowly to start with because its a fairly liquid and hot mixture and prone to splashing.

Pour mixture into your tin(s) and bake in the oven. 1 square cake = about 1 hour (keep checking after the 55 minute mark) and 2 x 1lb loaf cakes = 45mins

Once baked allow to cool for 10 +minutes in the tin before removing and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Don’t worry if your cake(s) are cracked on top that all adds to the rustic charm, plus if you’re doing the square cake you can always level the cake and flip it over so the flat bottom becomes the top and the sliced top that isn’t so pretty is now the bottom.


Monday 7 January 2013

Felt Muslim Doll and Prayer Mat Tutorial

I made the Muslim Doll and Prayer Mat after seeing a photograph of some on the internet and thought they looked so cute!
The photograph below shows the original photograph that I saw. This photograph has appeared on many internet sites but unfortunately I can not seem to find out where the photograph originated from. Therefore I can't give the person who made them, the credit for their inspiration they gave me. If I get inspiration for my crafts I always like to personally send a message to thank them and ask permission to show their photograph but I have been unable to do this for this project.
The photograph below show a brief collage of how I made the doll and mat. I didn't use eyes and mouth as the original photo as that is my preference - but if you wish you could add these onto them.
  • 2 Pieces of different colored Felt
  • Stuffing
  • Needle and Threads
  • Scissors 
Step 1: Cut out the Pieces that you need for the Prayer Mat. Look at the photograph below to judge which pieces need to be bigger. If it helps draw out a paper template first. 1 large Rectangle Piece, 1 slightly smaller rectangle, 2 arch shapes - 1 smaller than the other, 3 very small window shapes.

Step 2: Attach the windows and the small arch to the large arch - using blanket stitch.
Step 3: Attach the large arch to the smallest rectangle - using blanket Stitch
Step 4: Attach the smallest rectangle to the largest Rectangle - using blanket stitch. You now have the finished prayer mat.
Step 5: Cut out the Pieces you need for the Muslima Doll. Again judge the dimensions by looking at the photograph below and draw a paper template first if needed. 2 identical rectangle pieces (for the body), 2 identical hijab shapes, 1 circle (for the bottom of the doll) - the photo below is missing the circle - sorry see other photo below as I made the circle last as not sure what size it was going to be until I put the doll together! - see step 10). 1 oval shape for the face shape.
  Before you start your sewing, you could place them together as below to make sure that they are going to look right - if not adjust the sizing of the pieces of felt.
Step 6  Attach the oval face shape to one of the hijab pieces - I used a blanket stitch.
Step 7: I attached the pointy part of the hijab to one piece of the body (do this 2 time for each side)
Step 8: Then place both sewed parts together and blanket Stitch all the way around the doll - leaving the bottom part open.

Step 9: Place some stuffing into the doll - decide yourself how much you want to put inside.
Step 10: Attach the circle shape to the bottom of the doll. I judged the size of the circle by placing the stuffed doll onto paper and drew around it to get the correct size paper pattern.
Your Doll and Prayer Mat are now finished.  This craft project could also be done by children who are confident with sewing. My 10 year old is able to make these as she knows how to blanket stitch.

Friday 4 January 2013

Blog Review: Stay Strong Yall

My Blog Review this week is for the great blog ‘Stay Strong Yall’ Here is her blog link:  Stay Strong Yall

This blog is written by a remarkable young lady aged only 16 – Yes, I said 16! When you read her style of writing and the type of topics she covers, you wouldn't realise she was so young, as her words have such maturity!  She writes this blog as her way to communicate with others, especially teenagers, to help them with their struggles.

In her ‘about this blog’ section she writes: “So, I’ll be here to listen to anyone and offer advice, I’ll also be blogging about lots of topics that people can relate to, and other motivating, inspiring things that I am preparing” She was brought up in the UK and then moved to Algeria as a youngster so I kind of see her with a kind of dual culture! She writes the blog under the name Paris Mitchell.

She covers very sensitive topics which are related specifically to teenagers, her most popular posts are:
Self Harm:
Sexual Abuse:
Feeling Suicidal:
Low Self-Esteem–Insecure?:

She started writing this blog in November 2012 with her first post titled ‘Dear Teenagers’ Here is a paragraph from her first post:  “You are beautiful, you are special, you are perfect for somebody, perfect in somebody’s eyes. Haters are out there to put you down, don’t let them get to you, life will teach them a lesson, and when that time comes, boy will they regret everything they have done.”
You can follow her via Twitter here is her link: 

She also has her own Facebook Page which is: 

Please pop by this amazing young blogger and show your support at such a marvellous job she is doing.