Decluttering

Over the last few years I’ve collected a lot of clutter, and I’ve decided to go through things and just get rid of stuff. I started with my closet and have gathered things that don’t fit, I don’t wear, and no longer want or reminds me of bad times.

Why do I keep hanging on to things that never get used? I honestly fear I could become a hoarder, and I feel that gathering things, holding onto things is definitely a physical manifestation of mental illness/depression. I was doing a lot of unnecessary shopping after my uncle passed away, and looking back I see I did the same after my grandfather’s both passed, and my aunt. It’s always something different, once it was baby and toddler clothes and toys (when my kids were really young) another time it was baking mixes and kitchen stuff, another time it was clothes and shoes for myself.

It’s really not helping me to have this stuff gathering dust and taking up space, and I don’t want to go down the road of becoming a hoarder, so I need to get rid of things. Especially things that hold bad memories.
Why would I want to keep something that every time I see or go to use it reminds me of some bad times?

I’m on Ravelry and in a group that helps the Pine Ridge Reservation, and I plan on sending some of my things there. I feel it’s better to find a group to help rather than just take stuff to a Salvation Army drop off. I at least know the things I’m sending to Pine Ridge will be used, and not go through a sorting and end up God only knows where.

Honestly, there were a lot of hijabs I decided I no longer want, I haven’t worn in years, maybe only once or twice. They’re too thick, don’t breathe, muffle sound. I’m looking at you, satin, Turkish scarves…beautiful, but impractical, at least the cheap ones anyways. I’m very sensitive to the heat and I can’t wear hijabs like that. A lot were impulse buys while we were in Turkey. And to be honest, a lot of them hold bad memories. Most of the trips we took there were unpleasant and unenjoyable and my husband would make mean comments about what I was buying, and my in laws would comment on it as well seeing him saying stuff to me about it. Well, excuse me for buying hijabs, they were less than $5 each with the conversion (most probably $3) and I was excited to be able to walk around and see so many hijabs, and hijabis, and be able to easily buy them. But, I think it’s finally time to get rid of things that hold those bad memories. And that’s what I’m doing.

I’m not sure what to do with those, I’ve thought of taking some up to the mosque to leave there for sisters to borrow to pray in while they are there.

I had several shelves in my closet filled with hijabs, now less than one. It feels good to have them out. It was stressful, seeing them, and I wasn’t even using half of them. There’s no need to hang onto them. From now on, I’m only going to get ones that I really like and that are good quality.

The next place I want to declutter: The Kitchen. We have so many dishes and gadgets, and I just don’t use them all, probably not even half of them. I’ll try tackling that this week.

I did actually read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up a year or so ago, and I do like the idea, but at the time I just didn’t have it in me to go through and ruthlessly get rid of everything that didn’t bring joy, but I think I do now.

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Going Back to Basics

Sometimes, it’s important to go back to the basics and that’s what I’m doing when it comes to Islam. I’ve gotten out one of my old books to read about the basics of Islamic faith, it’s like a questions and answers book, and I realized that I never read the whole thing, maybe not even half. But it’s hard to find time to read and study when you have babies and toddlers. They consume your entire day pretty much. And night. So it’s very hard to get time to study. I feel like I left off and never came back to it. But now those babies are much older mashallah, and I find myself having time again.

So I’m making a point to set time aside at least once each day, preferably after fajr, to read some Quran and and for now this book.

I read a lot, but it’s fiction, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I want to give more time to gaining knowledge. I kind of feel like I’m starting over, I honestly can’t remember the last time I read something to learn about Islam, probably during Ramadan but before that, I have no idea.

It’s probably been one of my problems with weak iman. I can’t expect to improve my iman, myself, without doing something about it, without changing things. I told my kids the other day who were upset and complaining about something, something I’ve told them how to change themselves and get the result they want, that if they don’t try something different, if they keep doing the same thing that gets them results they don’t want or like, they’re never going to see a difference.
So I’m taking my own advice and doing something to change. I haven’t posted here in such a long time, I actually had forgotten about it, but I’m going to start using this blog again. I need a place to gather my thoughts and get them out of my head, so if you’re reading, expect more updates here.

Book Review- Vibrant India

vibrant india

I’ve always shied away from Indian recipes, afraid I wouldn’t be able to make them and that they wouldn’t turn out good. So I was excited to get this book, it’s a great introduction to South Indian recipes.

Chitra Agrawal starts her book with a quick overview of South Indian food traditions and some background on her family. Then, she gets into tips and techniques, and discusses spices, what you’ll need to stock in your pantry, and tools.

She makes her recipes easy to follow and most are accompanied by photos, which is very helpful for those who are unfamiliar with the dishes. I love the beautiful photos of the food, and the vibrant illustrations at the start of each chapter.

The recipes even have what season they go with, which is useful if you eat in season fruits and vegetables or want to start.

In all, I really like this book and would recommend it to people who want to eat more vegetarian meals, or would like to learn Indian cooking.

 

*Disclaimer- I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

New Hijabs

I posted recently about my struggle with hijab recently, and after going through my collection of scarves, I decided to buy some new ones, I wanted some new colors and wanted something larger to cover the chest better. I also wanted some solid colors, something I was lacking.

For a long time I was wearing the Turkish style square scarves. I love them, they’re beautiful, come in pretty much every color you could ever want and so many different designs, but I always disliked how small they are. Hijab is not just a scarf to add to our outfit, and there are conditions that are to be met and I felt I personally wasn’t meeting those conditions with this style. I tried to wear it to cover my chest as much as possible, but I always felt they were lacking.

So I decided that I needed some new hijabs and went looking. One place I knew was Al-Mujalbaba, I’m glad they’re still online selling, they’ve been around a long time, it’s one of the first places I knew of when I converted to buy hijabs from.

They have several different sizes of hijabs in georgette and pebble georgette and they come in a wide range of colors, some even have matching niqabs. I got a 60″ and a 50″ square and the rest 44″ squares.

These are the ones I got:

IMG_7135

I also find these ones are more breathable than the Turkish ones, which definitely help during summer. I’m very sensitive to the heat and it seems to be getting worse as I get older…so now I’m on the search for underscarves that are summer friendly. I always wear the tube/amira style ones, and they’re just too thick for me for summer anymore.

Venomoth Cake

I love Pokemon, and play Pokemon Go all the time, so when I heard we were having guests over, I had to make a Pokemon themed dessert.

I used a Wilton 3D butterfly cake pan to make this, and a black velvet cake recipe from my Sweetapolita Bake Book. It’s delicious, I’ve never had black velvet cake before, which is just red velvet with black gel dye, but I love it and love the deep, dark black color.

venomoth cake

 

It doesn’t look exactly like venomoth, but I think it’s pretty close. I had a few cupcakes which I made from leftover batter, and iced them to look like pokeballs. This is my first time decorating a cake like this, but I’m pretty happy with how it came out, there’s definitely room for improvement though.

I also didn’t frost the sides and background of the venomoth, because honestly, I don’t like massive amounts of frosting on my cake, I think it’s gross, and the stars are pretty small and not tall, so there’s not a ton of frosting from that either.

Struggling with Hijab, with Life

prayer rug.JPG

The last two or three years I’ve really struggled with hijab, I’ve struggled with wearing it, with going out in it, with how I want to wear it, wearing it properly, worrying about what my friends will think, my family, pretty much everything. With everything going on, in the world and here with the elections, and with the loss of close family members very close together, it’s been extremely difficult. And not only with hijab, but with everything. There have been days I haven’t been able to do a thing, all I’ve wanted to do is just stay in bed and not get out. I know I’m depressed, and I’m working through that, it’s not easy.

I know what the rules of hijab are, I know it’s more than just wearing a scarf with long sleeves and jeans. It’s so much more than a scarf. And I think I lost that somewhere along the way, and I’m trying to get back to wearing hijab with the right intention, and the right way and it be more than just a scarf I put on. It became just a habit somehow, and it’s meaning was lost to me somewhere.

As I write this, I realize that it has a lot to do with iman as well, if your iman is very low, and you’re struggling to do the basics on a daily basis, struggling just to get out of bed and do the bare minimum, the other things aren’t going to come easily either and will seem like a burden.

I get no support from my side of the family, all I have is my husband and kids, I rarely see my Muslim friends, and when I do, it’s in a big setting and you can’t really have personal conversations like that. My in laws live overseas, and I don’t speak Turkish so I can’t even talk to them. So I feel like I’m on my own a lot, and I feel so lonely, it can be so hard at times. Especially when you feel like your entire world has fallen apart around you.

I’ve stopped wearing a hoodie and sweats when I go out, it makes me feel so sloppy, I used to really take care with my appearance and in the last few years have really let it go, and it’s helped to dress nicely again. I don’t want to be one of the pajama people. I’m also thinking of deleting my tumblr and another blog, they’re not helping me to be a better Muslimah or person, at all. So why spend time on them, right? I need to take care of myself in all aspects. How can I be a good mother when I feel so awful? I can’t.

I’ve been feeling better the last week or so, finally, alhumdulilah, and I feel like I’m finally able to start picking up the pieces and putting them back together, and I hope they’ll go together stronger than before, inshallah. I know I won’t be the same person I was a few years ago, not even the same person I was one year ago, and that’s ok. For good or bad, the trials we face in life shape us, reshape us and we wouldn’t be who we are today without having gone through those things.

April Empties

I have a problem with sample sized beauty products, and normal sized ones I buy, they’ve kind of taken over my bathroom. For some reason, I would save them and never use them, but a while ago I decided I really needed to use them or just throw them away. So rather than see them go to waste, I decided I was going to use those things!

april empties

I didn’t use too many last month, but really you can only use so many things right?

My favorites were:
Mongo Kiss chapstick, I love this stuff, it’s amazing and doesn’t cost much at all, and the Sephora eye mask, I put it in the fridge for a few minutes before using it after being out in the garden in the sun. It was really refreshing and relaxing. It’s also really squishy and feels neat.

The other items I used were:
Caudalie Face Lifting Soft Cream, I thought this was kind of drying.
Origins Original Skin Retexturizing mask with rose clay, this was pretty nice and left my face soft after using it.
Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs, the scent wasn’t too strong and was nice.
The Estee Elit Pink peony water pack, I didn’t think this was very moisturizing, I prefer my usual moisturizer over this one.

And now I get to throw these empty packages away and save up for the next post! Hope you enjoyed!