Monday 24 February 2014

Jigsaw Puzzle Craft Idea

jigsaw puzzle craft idea picture

What to do with all those pieces of Jigsaw Puzzle left lying around the home! We had a few Jigsaw Puzzles with pieces missing so they were really no good for anyone, so we decided to make use of them for some craft projects! My 6 year old decided to make a design using coloured card and some spare jigsaw pieces. She decided to make a Hot Air Balloon Picture. I know it may look like a light bulb (as someone in the family said!) but it is meant to be a balloon, if she did this again I think we would change the yellow card to a different colour to avoid confusion!

This is a fairly easy task for children of all ages, older children can try and come up with some more intricate designs to make it more interesting! Below are the instructions on how my 6 year old made her picture.

jigsaw puzzle craft idea picture

Step 1: Think of a design that you want to make and make a draft design on a piece of blank paper. We went for a Hot Air Balloon.
Step 2: If you want some background colour cut out some card to help with the design. We cut out a yellow balloon and a black basket and glued it onto a piece of blue A4 Card.
Step 3: Then glue the pieces one by one onto the card trying to match as best as possible the draft picture. My 6 year old started designing the Hot Air Balloon first and then worked outwards. She used a normal glue stick.

You now have some very original artwork that your children will love doing in just 3 easy steps!

Monday 17 February 2014

Free Islamic Surah Certificates to Print

free surah certificates to print Muslim Islam

I recently designed and printed off some certificates for my 6 year old daughter to encourage her while she is learning her Surah's. I shared the photograph on my Facebook Page and had a great amount of interest in them. I decided to design some specifically so that my followers and friends can download them for free, direct from my blog. The links to the free download are at the bottom of the page.

I have designed a choice of 6 colours. You could either give your child (or these could even be used for adults!) a different colour each time they have completed their memorisation of a Surah or if you have a few children you could keep to one colour for each child so that they know which certificate belongs to them!

I have left a space on the certificate so that you can either hand write their name or using a computer package you could type and print off their name onto the certificate. I have also left a space so that you can place the name of the Surah that they learnt along the dotted line.

I personally have printed these certificates out onto A5 card rather than A4 as this saves space on my daughter's bedroom wall and also saves money on ink! I have also laminated these certificates to make them more durable - this is an option if you have a laminator machine.

The photograph below shows the original ones I made for my daughter, I have only slightly changed the design to make it easier to download via the internet. The photo isn't very clear because I have laminated them and this makes it difficult to get a clear photo!

free surah certificates to print Muslim Islam

Here are the links to the free downloads to the certificates - they are all in PDF Format for easiness to download.

 Blue Surah Certificate =  bluesurahcert.pdf

Gold/Brown Surah Certificate = goldsurahcert.pdf

Green Surah Certificate = greensurahcert.pdf

Pink Surah Certificate = pinksurahcert.pdf

Purple Surah Certificate = purplesurahcert.pdf

Red Surah Certificate = redsurahcert.pdf

Sorry I had the wrong link for the purple surah certificate - I have now updated this!

If you are interested in some other Islamic printables, here is a link to a previous post where I have them. islamic-placemat-and-worksheets

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Our Homeschooling Journey

I recently started the homeschooling journey with my 2 youngest children. I have always took an interest in their schooling but there was never enough time in a day to accomplish everything we wanted to do.  The best scenario was to teach them at home and at least then I know exactly what level they are capable of working at and I can match the studies accordingly. It also means that I have extra time with them to fit in the extra things that they never got the chance to do at school such as: sewing, crochet, cookery lessons, henna designs and importantly for our family - Islamic studies. I thought I would share with you some photos of our new journey. It has only been about 6 months but we have done so much! I don't normally do posts with so many photos but I wanted to share with you how diverse homeschooling is!

At the moment I am following the UK National Curriculum for Maths, English and Science but we just choose our own work for the other subjects we wish to follow which are things that really interest them both. That is the joy of homeschooling, the children get to also have a lot of input as to what they want to learn about!

For example my youngest daughter (6 year old) went through a phase of wanting to learn all about Ancient Egypt. We chose lots of books from the library which she loved, we found some great Ancient Egypt jigsaw puzzles, and the best part for her was to visit a museum that had a real mummy on display with lots of other Ancient Egypt artifacts!

We have had some great Field Trips visiting some lovely places, including old castles, lighthouses, windmills, famous historical sites. Below is a photograph of Durham Cathedral that I took when we visited this and the Durham Castle. Also a visit to a glass making studio!

We get to spend a lot of time outdoors, doing outdoor PE, Blackberry Picking, Catching up with reading in the shade of some nice trees in the park, Beach investigating and Container Gardening.

We get to do some cool experiments, we did a 'Mentos' experiment outside with some other homeschoolers and we have also tried the 'Volcano' experiment which was fun and some bubble experiments.

We also do some serious work! Completing workbooks for Maths, English, Science and also fun lessons!

And of course we get to do lots of crafts and cooking!

And of course we get to do some Islamic studies at home too! We also attend 2 classes outside of the home run by two wonderful Muslima ladies.

This is just a quick glimpse into our homeschooling adventure that I thought would be nice to share with you. I hope to maybe do some future posts about our homeschooling journey soon, insha'Allah.

Monday 10 February 2014

Bradj Algerian Cookies Recipe

bradj algerian cookies recipe muslim

I recently made these delicious Algerian desserts.  My mother-in-law makes the best ones I have ever tried. My son has always told me to try and make them as these are one of his favourite! I never had the date paste to make them but once I knew how to make my own date paste then I had to give them a go! Here is the link to the date paste recipe: date-paste-recipe

I looked online for a bradj recipe and found one by a fellow blogger friend so I mainly followed her instructions, just omitting some of her ingredients. Here is my friend's original recipe link: bradj-algerian-semolina-orange-blossom


  • 3 Cups of semolina
  • Half cup of melted butter
  • Half cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of tepid water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Date Paste for filling.

bradj algerian cookies recipe muslim

Step 1: Mix the salt with the semolina then add the melted butter and mix with your hands.
Step 2: Pour the tepid water into the semolina slowly a little at a time and squeeze the semolina with the water, trying not to knead the mixture. The dough should not be sticky, just soft and workable.
Step 3: Make 2 equal shape balls with the dough. Then roll them out to make 2 large pieces. (about 1cm thick) - To make it easier to lift, I rolled the dough out onto flexible baking sheets.
Step 4: Spread the date paste all over one of the pieces evenly.
Step 5: Then place the 2nd piece over the top, so making a date sandwich!
Step 6: Then using a knife cut out the triangles or other shapes. (I did rectangle for this tutorial).
Step 7: You could add a design to the top by either scoring with a knife or imprinting with cookie cutters!
Step 8: I heated up the non-stick frying pan (you can use a cast iron pan or a tajine).
Step 9: Place the shaped cookies into the pan and cook until golden brown (3 minutes) then flip over and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Step 10: Once cooked place onto a cooling tray and they are ready to be eaten!

Once these are cooked they don't last long in our home. Below are some I made earlier using a diamond shape!

bradj algerian cookies recipe muslim

Monday 3 February 2014

Maamoul Cookies Recipe

maamoul cookies recipe

I absolutely love these Maamoul Cookies, I am so glad that I now know how to make them. I had to first learn how to make the date paste as I could not buy this anywhere locally! If you want my recipe for the date paste here is the link: date-paste-recipe  I also had to have a maamoul cookie mould - which a friend kindly got for me!


  • 2 Cups of Plain Flour
  • 1 cup of semolina
  • 200g soft butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Orange Blossom Water
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • Powdered Icing Powder

maamoul cookies recipe

Step 1: Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
Step 2: Mix the Flour and Semolina into a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add the softened butter to the mixture.
Step 4: Add the milk and orange blossom water and make into a dough.
Step 5: Make small balls about the size of golf balls with the dough.

maamoul cookies recipe

Step 6: Take one ball and hollow it out and place into the maamoul mould.
Step 7: Take a small amount of date paste and place it inside the hollowed out ball and press into the mould.
Step 8: Then fold the edges of the pastry over covering the date paste and flatten down.
Step 9:  Then take the mould and bang lightly at the side to free the pastry from the mould.
Step 10: Place onto a non-stick baking sheet with the others that you will make.

maamoul cookies recipe

Step 11: Place into the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Making sure they are golden brown.
Step 12: Place onto a cooling rack once they have cooked.
Step 13: Once cooled down, sprinkle them with the powdered icing sugar.
Step 14: They are now ready to Eat!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I am hoping to do another recipe soon using the date paste again!