Wednesday 27 February 2013

Book Review - The Prophets of Allah (Muhammad) pbuh

My Review:

This book is a great book which is published for children in the age range of 8-12 years old. My 10 year old read this book and found it very interesting. I also read this book to my 5 year old who really enjoyed listening and looking at the illustrations in the book. The illustrations in this book don't show any living creature but you can still capture the story through the illustrations.

The story starts with the birth of Muhammad (pbuh) and ends on his death, covering the main parts of his life story.  There is a question page at the end of the book for the children to answer. These questions were too difficult for my 5 year old but challenging enough for my 10 year old to answer.

This is a great concise book about Muhammad (pbuh) that is great for children.

My 10 year old daughter review:

This book is about the life story and message of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I found this book interesting because it has all the key facts, in addition is a great story to read.  It gives all the information you need and also explains everything in detail.

Muhammad – The Prophets of Allah
Age 8-12
Simplified by Omar Aly Al-Komy
Printed by Safeer
ISBN: 977-361-099-3

Monday 25 February 2013

DIY - Painted Jars Tutorial

DIY - Painted Jars - These are one of the easiest and cheapest things to make.


1) Find an empty Jar and remove any labels and clean it out thoroughly.
2) Find some suitable paint - (I actually used children's paint for this project!)
3) Place Jar onto some newspapers/paper so that paint doesn't make a mess.
4) Paint all around the outside of the jar. (You could also paint inside of the jar to deepen the colour!)
5) Leave to dry and if needed add extra coats. I had to do about 3 coats for this project as the paint wasn't very thick.
6) Optional - Decorate with ribbons/beads/permanent marker designs etc.

This is so easy, you don't really need a tutorial for this, but at least with a tutorial you can see for yourself how easy it really is!

I have this jar placed in my bathroom.

Thursday 21 February 2013

My guest posting at Mariam Poppins - Algerian Cuisine

This week I was guest posting over at the lovely blog 'Mariam Poppins'. I was talking about Algerian Cuisine.

Below is part of what I was writing about - I shared a family recipe and talked about Algerian Cuisine, if you want to read the full story then please follow the link to her blog.

In the Kitchen with Mariam Poppins. Umm Suhailah is having a break today - so I am doing today's posts. Today's Topic will be Algerian Cuisine -

Today I am sharing with you a family recipe for some Shaped Vanilla Algerian Cookies. This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, it is my favourite! These are very popular Cookies in Algeria and each family will differ a little in how they are made.
  • 7 eggs
  • 250g Sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • Vanilla flavouring
  • lemon flavouring
  • 1kg Self Raising Flour

To be continued over at Mariam Poppins..........

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Book Review - The Gruffalo

This book is one of my children's favourite books. They have all read this book when they were very young and they all loved it!  Today I have posted a video to this post which has my 5 year old daughter reading some of this book.

My Review:

I would recommend this book as all of my children have loved reading this book. It is read in a poem format so makes the children remember the words more easily. The illustrations are brilliant and truly engage the child into the book. The author has written follow on books which are also just as good.

Review by my 5 year old:

She loves this book and for today's post I have included a link to a video of her actually reading the book.

Julia Donaldson
Alex Scheffler
ISBN: 0333710932

Monday 18 February 2013

Storage Box Reupholstered Tutorial - For Prayer Mats

I recently just redesigned my Living Room to a gold/black design and had some spare fabric left to cover this storage box. This is kept next to the Living Room and keeps all our prayer mats and prayer hijabs in one clean place!

The prayer mats are kept in the main storage part and I have added a pocket to the lid so to keep the hijabs stored away neatly too!

This was a really easy project to do and to do this all I needed was the fabric and a staple gun.

Items Needed
  • Fabric
  • Staple Gun
  • Screwdriver


1) Remove the fabric already on (if possible)
2) Remove the old staples (if possible) this makes it easier to re-staple
3) I unscrewed the hinges from the box and lid - then replace these once you have placed the new fabric on the box and lid.
4) Stretching the fabric around the box - slowly staple the fabric to the box - making sure it looks neat where people can see.
5) Cover the lid of the box stretching so the top looks nice and neat.
6) Cut out a piece of fabric - the size of the lid.
7) Place the extra fabric on the inside of the lid and then with folded edges staple the pocket to the lid - leaving the top edge open so that you can use it as a pocket. (if you can sew - you could sew the hems of the fabric pocket before attaching to make it look neater).
8) Once all fabric attached attach the hinges back to the box and lid.

Using the same fabric I reupholstered my Sofa too - here is a reminder if you missed that one: reupholstering-sofa-my-mini-tutorial


Friday 15 February 2013

Baguette Recipe


Here is my recipe for making these lovely baguettes. I used to buy a baguette daily as this is the bread my husband loves. When I decided to make some bread the first idea had to be a baguette, I will insha'Allah try some other varieties soon.

When I first attempted making these baguettes I followed an online recipe but found I had to make slight changes to it for it to work for me. Here is the link to the original recipe I followed: easy-homemade-french-bread

  • 2 1/2 Cups of Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Allinson Easy Bake Yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Cup of Warm Water
  • Olive Oil (used to grease the bowl!)


1) Place the flour into a mixing bowl
2) Add the Salt and mix
3) Add the Yeast and mix
4) Add the glass of warm water and mix
5) Using your hands, you have to knead the dough for about 5 minutes
6) Grease another bowl with olive oil and place the ball of kneaded dough into the bowl, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place somewhere warm for the dough to rise for 1 hour (or until it doubles in size).
7) Then I remove the dough and break it into 2 pieces. I then form the dough into a shape of a baguette.
8) Once you have 2 baguettes place them onto a baking tray. (I used greaseproof baking paper on the tray) With a sharp knife make some slits across the top of the dough so once cooked they will look like the photo.
9) Place into an oven (not pre-heated) then turn the oven onto 375 F or 190 C for about 30 min or until golden brown.
10) Once cooked remove and place on a tray. Can be eaten warm or left to cool down.

It took me a while to get this recipe to work. I followed the first online recipe but as I was using slightly different ingredients so it didn't work for me.  I have tried this recipe quite a few times and has worked great for me.  Don't give up if it didn't work - I tried the First recipes 3 times before I got it to work - so glad I didn't stay defeated!  Hope you find this recipe useful.

Please note all ovens are different, and food may cook differently - I personally used this method with an Electric Oven. 

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Book Review - The Path That Allah Made

All my children have read this book and they have all enjoyed it. I am again going to give 2 reviews, one from myself and one from my eldest daughter, so you can see the point of view from a child.
My Review:
This book is actually an illustrated poem. To be honest even though it is a poem it isn't one that is easy for a child to read as a poem, even for me I wasn't sure which part was rhyming! It took me a few goes to understand which way to make it rhyme as a poem, at first I read it as a book. Once my 5 year old had heard it a few times she attempted to read it herself. The illustrations are very bright and really caught the attention of my daughter.  I have to give a bit of a mixed review for this - Yes it was hard to read and grasp at first, but once you do the story is giving important information to young children about all the things that Allah made, so is quite useful.
Review by My 10 year old daughter:
I liked this book because it is a wonderful story to read in addition has many beautiful illustrations. I learnt from this book how everything around us for example birds, trees, people are all creations from Allah and remind us of Allah.

The Path that Allah Made – Islam & Me
Goodword Books
By Adeeba Jafri
Illustrated by Soumen Bhowmick
ISBN: 81-7898-280-3

Monday 11 February 2013

DIY Stylish Storage Boxes - Great Ideas

The photograph above shows some boxes that I covered with Sticky Backed Plastic. The photograph doesn't really do justice for them. The camera light is shining off the boxes but when you see them in my home they look perfect!

I just used some normal packing boxes that I got from a local shop (they would have just been thrown out!). I secured the sides with some packing tape and then I cut out some sticky backed plastic and covered all the outsides of the box. I also allowed some plastic to go over the top edge.

I now use these to keep some of my sewing projects in and to store some of my wool!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Book Review - The Prophets of Allah (Jesus) pbuh

Another week another review - hope these are of interest to you! I know when I have looked for reviews on Islamic books it has been nearly impossible to find any! So I hope these reviews can be of some benefit. Again I am giving a review from my point of view and also my daughter's view. If you want to look at the other book reviews I have already done then please click on the bar at the top of my page (Book Reviews).

My Review:

This book is specifically aimed at children aged between 8-12. My 10 year old daughter read this book but I also read it to my 5 year old who enjoyed listening to it, so I would suggest that this could be used for the under 8's too. The book has plenty of illustrations to keep the young reader engaged. The book doesn't use any illustrations of living people, but still manages to keep you following the story.

As the title suggests, this book is about the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). This book actually starts by the birth of Mary and also a little after the ascension of Jesus (pbuh) so covers quite a variety in such a short story.

At the end of the book there is a page with questions for the reader to answer, which is great for the 8+ to engage in so they can see if they have remembered what they had read about. I actually read the questions to my 5 year old and she did manage to answer a couple too!

Review by 10 year old daughter:

This book is about the life of Jesus (peace be upon him). I really liked this book because it was very interesting to learn how Allah saves those who believe. I also found it interesting because it shows how much Jesus (pbuh) suffered, but Allah saved him form the cross. I enjoyed this book.

Jesus – The Prophets of Allah
Age 8-12
Simplified by Salama Muhammad Salama
Printed by Safeer
ISBN: 977-361-094-2

Monday 4 February 2013

Matching bedding for different sized beds

In my daughters' room I have 2 different sized beds, one is the average single sized bed and the other is a mini size bed for up to age 6. They have always had different bedding as you cannot buy the same bedding for the different sizes!

I decided that I will make my own bedding so that the bedroom looks more co-ordinated! I decided to use the bedding I already had in the house to save me money on buying fabric!

Below is a small collage of how I made these:

Mini Tutorial:

  • I measured the original duvets so I have a final measurement for each duvet.
  • I cut the fabric into strips - Making sure there were enough strips matching for each duvet.
  • I lay the strips out flat (I used the dining table) and find a design you are happy with.
  • I then took a photograph of this design so that when I started sewing them I didn't forget the order they were in!
  • I then pinned 2 strips together and sewed them together with the sewing machine. I then kept pinning each strip and sewing each one until all the strips were sewn together - you need to do this for each duvet cover.
  • For the back of the duvets I used 2 different fabrics - as these are not seen when the beds are made and I was only using the fabric I already had in the home. If you were buying fabric then you could buy matching fabric for the back of the duvet covers!
  • I then sewed together the front and back of the duvet covers - leaving a space at the bottom to insert the duvet.
  • You could add buttons/velcro fastenings at the bottom of the duvet cover when you have finished.
  • I also made matching pillowcases for the beds - one pillowcase I already had from the original duvet bedding set but I had to make another one for the other bed using the spare same fabric.

I also made a matching pouffe using the same matching fabric - you can see that on the large photograph between the 2 beds. I have placed a pink cushion on top of the pouffe and I use this as a seat on an evening when I read a bedtime story to the youngest!

I was really pleased with the final outcome, with the extra fabric leftover I also made some matching curtains to help co-ordinate the room - I will do a post about that later inshallah. I did use some extra fabric apart from the 2 original duvet covers - but only fabric I already had in the house - so this project didn't cost me any money!

Friday 1 February 2013

Guest Post - Mariam Poppins

Today I have a guest post from the lovely Lady who writes the blog 'Mariam Poppins' - I so love this blog! - She also has a Facebook page that she updates daily which I love visiting, she covers a variety of topics and invites her followers to join in with her topics. Here is her link:
Rise and Shine Sleepy Head: Tips & Tricks to starting your day early
By: Umm Suhailah bint Samuel of Mariam Poppins
I've said several times: "Ladies start your day before or right after Fajr!" and I know it's easier said then done. But trust me, you can do it! Getting up before the whole house wakes up is truly a benefit. You can get more things done in a day, have some peace and quiet, study time, and getting up early means ending your day a lot quicker! Who doesn't want the day to feel completely free? I know as a mother of 4 that taking advantage of the time is uber important. We certainly don't have time to waste!
So, we know getting up means a lot, you get more out of your day when you do- but how do you start? I'm going to share some ways you can increase your energy, save yourself from stress, and get yourself out of the bed! Here are some quick tips and tricks that you can do, to get yourself out the bed, sleepy head!
One: GET UP AND GO! Just do it! Don't think twice about. Sometimes you simply just have to do it. Make your intentions first: Why am I getting up early? What's my purpose? Women with a purpose, are on a mission. And women with a mission, have goals, purpose and a sense of self. So set your alarm each day 10 minutes earlier then the last time, until you reach the goal you want to accomplish in waking up a certain time.
Two. Exercise. I know some one is looking at the screen, rubbing their eyes once or twice as if I stated something offensive. *smiles* No really, exercise. Exercise is not all about the inner skinny anymore. People are exercising to get total health benefits, and the bonus of looking and feeling a lot better. Exercise sharpens your mind, get you focus, increases your energy and gets your day going. I personally love to do an exercise routine I'm following called: Shred. 20 mins a day 3 levels. So get out the bed, and put on your sneakers and do some 20 minutes of working out, then take a nice 15 minute shower, and start your day! Not only did you do something for yourself but you are doing something for your family. Your getting up early, being productive, and pushing the household forward.
Three. Eat right. How can you have any energy to get up early if you aren't eating right? Take your vitamins, drink water, and as my children know, eat the colors of the rainbow. No, I don't mean yellow cookies, green candies, and red lollipops. Seriously, eat your fruits and vegetables. Seriously sit down and look at how you eat. Are you snacking through the day? Do you eat regular meals? Are you skipping a lot of meals? Your body needs the fuel to get going! So seriously analyze this and find out where you need to make improvements.

Other ideas:
Make duaa, ask Allaah to make it easy on you to get up early. Call on Him by His lovely Names & Attributes.
Strive hard. Once you make duaa, strive towards the goal of getting up early. Start doing the tips above and each day by Allaah's Mercy alone, it gets easier.
Positive Thoughts. Don't tell yourself you cannot do it. You are already setting yourself up for failure. Believe you can do it, and execute it! You are what you think. Think winner, and be a winner.
What are some things you do to help yourself get up early in the morning?

By: Umm Suhailah bint Samuel of Mariam Poppins