Creating Eid traditions and memories

As my kids are growing and developing a better understanding of the world around them, I’d like to create memories of the special days that we celebrate as a family. Eid is the most important of those days and as such I look back on my own childhood memories and use those memorable moments as a starting point.

Gifts

Everyone knows it’s not Eid without Eid gifts, especially for our little ones. Gift giving strengthens our ties of kinship and is encouraged within our religion. The Prophet said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Al-Bukhari]

It doesn’t have to be expensive and elaborate, just thoughtful 🙂 And kids love to receive presents, even if we might consider the gift as being small.

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Clothing

Anas bin Malik, radhiallahu ‘anhu, said: “The Prophet ordered us to wear a good dress for Eid, to use the best perfume we have, and to give charity with what we have as the most valuable.” (Reported by al-Hakim). From this narration we can see that it is encouraged to wear our best clothing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be newly bought clothes, just clean and neat (and ironed!)

I usually have two Eid outfits for my kids: one for the Eid prayer (Thobe and kufi/topi) and a dress shirt, trousers and a tie/bow tie for the rest of the day (and since they’re still young and therefore can get messy, I pack a change of outfit for those just in case moments).

 

Decor

Nothing gets you into the Eid spirit faster than being surrounded by twinkling lights and balloons! At least that’s how it is for me 🙂 I love decorating the house for Ramadan and then switching out a few items to make it more Eid appropriate. My boys usually have a blast with tossing balloons at each other. Their little squeals of joy is well worth the near light headedness I feel while blowing up those balloons!

 

Food

Traditionally, in my Guyanese culture, sawine (vermicelli noodles cooked in a sweetened milk base) is served as part of breakfast on the morning of Eid. I plan to make it this Eid ul Fitr and start off our own little tradition. The last few Eids, I’ve made ‘Eid cookies’ and last year my oldest helped to decorate them.  This year, we plan on making our Eid cookies and both my boys can ‘help’.  Lets hope this mama is patient enough to see this through! 🙂

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Eid prayer

I love the feeling of praying Eid salah out in the open! And with Ramadan being in the Summer months, our Eid prayers are held outdoors. I’ve taken my babies to every Eid prayer (except for Eid-ul-Adha when my older one was just a few days old) and they enjoy themselves. Observing the Eid prayer in congregation is a Sunnah/Fard act (scholars have differed on this) but it’s nice to be able to spend that part of your morning worshipping with others whom you’ve prayed with for the past month.

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Family time

After Eid prayers, we do the rounds for Eid invites from our family. After a month of fasting, it is time to feast! It is quite taxing on the body though, and with kids we have to schedule in nap times as well. I remember the first Eid I spent with my husband, we attended 8 parties on Eid day! Needless to say, we were pooped by the end of the night. We have since toned things down after becoming parents 🙂

 

I hope you all have a blessed and enjoyable Eid ul Fitr with your loved ones. What are some of your Eid traditions and customs?

Tips for the breastfeeding mama during Ramadan

“Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the [father’s] heir is [a duty] like that [of the father]. And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them. And if you wish to have your children nursed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is acceptable. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Seeing of what you do.” Chapter 2, Verse 233

It’s a personal choice for a woman to decide whether or not to fast during the month of Ramadan while she is pregnant or breastfeeding. There are many factors to be considered: your health, your baby’s health, the Islamic rulings.

In my first pregnancy, I refrained from fasting but the following Ramadan I fasted while breastfeeding my 8 month old. With my second pregnancy, I fasted every other day and when Ramadan came around again he was 7 months old and so I fasted every other day as well. There were days when I had the intention to fast but just couldn’t as I had noticed a drop in my milk supply.

This Ramadan, my toddler will be 19 months and I’m still breastfeeding. I plan on fasting everyday (insha Allah) and so I thought it would be helpful if I share some of the tips I’ve gained along the way. As always, pay attention to your bodies and do what feels right for you.

Tip #1: Staying hydrated

It’s important that our bodies are well hydrated at Suhur and Iftar. We need to replace the electrolytes that were lost during the fasting hours. This is especially important for breastfeeding moms. I’ve personally found that coconut water, watermelon and Gatorade are excellent at replenishing my body as well as boosting my milk supply. This is in addition to drinking water at Suhur, Iftar and during the night.

Tip #2: Eating foods that increase milk supply

Upping our intake of foods known as galactagogues (substances that increase milk supply) greatly benefits both mom and baby. Galactagogues include supplements such as fenugreek, fennel, alfalfa and blessed thistle and foods such as nuts, oatmeal, semolina (Sooji, Cream of Wheat) and chia seeds. I personally love having oatmeal and sooji as part of my Suhur meal. They’re very filling, especially when topped with nuts and dried fruits (dates are a favourite!).

Tip #3: Rest

I know it’s hard to relax when you have little ones around (with a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old it’s nearly impossible!). But it’s essential for our bodies that we give it time to heal and rest. I’ve joined the boys in their afternoon nap and it’s made a big difference in my energy levels in the evenings. Before starting this, I would usually make dinner, tidy up, check my social media etc. when they were napping. Now, dinner gets made when we get up from our nap. It’s a bit tougher with 4 extra little hands wanting to join in but I try to keep them occupied with toys, activities such as colouring and busy bins and as a last resort, the TV.

Tip #4: Alternate fasting days

Fasting every other day enabled my body to replenish itself on the days when I wasn’t fasting. This ensured that my milk supply was constant and there were no sudden drops. I was also able to focus more on my Ibaadah (worship) on my non-fasting days as I had more energy to dedicate to extra prayers and to reading the Quran. In doing these other acts of worship I did not feel as guilty for not fasting.

If you have any other tips, please do share! 😊

Hijab organizing tips

There are probably hundreds of blog posts on how to store hijabs! I’m just going to add to it as well 🙂  My friend over at Hafsacreates posted on Instagram asking her followers for hijab organizing tips. After I shared how I store/organize my scarves, she encouraged me to write a blog post about it. And so here we are (a couple months later!).

I use an IKEA multi-use hanger, similar to this, for my everyday go to scarves. The benefits of this hanger are multiple: scarves don’t get as wrinkled on it, they are easily accessible and removing one from the hanger doesn’t interfere with the others. It also takes up minimal room in my closet.

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For my “fancier” scarves, those for Eids, weddings and other special occasions, I use the IKEA Skubb boxes as dividers to organize them. I first separate them by colour, then fold them to roughly the same size and stack them horizontally against each other in the boxes. It’s visually appealing as the scarves are organized by colour and you can quickly see how many of one colour you have (or don’t have). And the boxes keep the scarves contained so when you take one out, it doesn’t mess up your entire drawer.

 

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The above method keeps me in check with my scarf purchases! If I’m thinking of buying a scarf (or two!) I quickly glance at my collection to see which colour/material/design I already have. I’ve been able to resist some impulse purchases this way but also bought a few colours that were missing (hello dusty pink and all those nudes!). On a positive note, I did a major purge when I first implemented this system and have continually done smaller purges within the last couple of years. Now if only I wasn’t slightly addicted to the Voile Chic collection, my wallet would be happier! 😛

 

 

 

 

Dress reveal

And the chosen ones are:

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Both of our dresses are from Modanisa: I’m wearing the orchid print dress and my sister in law is wearing the diva dress. I’ve linked them in my previous post.  Our hijabs are from Voile Chic (we are obsessed with their line of chiffon and jersey scarves!).

Which dresses were your favourites?

 

Positively blushing! 

Blush pink, baby pink, salmon, powder, nude, gold, rose gold. Those are the colours I’ve been seeing for the past few months. Why you ask? Well, my younger brother-in-law is getting married 🙌🏽  and my sister-in-law and I have been on a mission to find a modest gown that befits the occasion. We’ve seen so many that we absolutely loved! From haute couture Elie Saab numbers to fast fashion ones.

After much deliberation, we ordered the ones we couldn’t stop thinking about. And I thought, why not share some of my favourite ones with you, my readers. After all, I don’t want our research to go to waste. So here are our top finds!

Modanisa:

http://m.modanisa.com/en/orchid-evening-dress--salmon--minel-ask-220126.html

Orchid evening dress

http://m.modanisa.com/en/diva-evening-dress--gamze-ozkul-236870.html

Diva evening dress

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Ayperi evening dress

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Mesh evening dress

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Julina evening dress

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Lace evening dress

Mirage by Numra:

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Pink pearls evening dress

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White and gold organza dress

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Blush embellished lace dress

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Nude embellished floral lace dress

Abayabuth:

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Elle evening gown- gold

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Elle evening gown – rose

Feizaonline

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Beige evening dress

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Salmon evening dress

Elie Saab

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The Birth of Light collection

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Resort 2017 Collection

Rima Tadmory

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Floral dress

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Nude embellished dress

Photo Credit: Modanisa, Mirage by Numra, Abayabuth, Feizaonline, Elie Saab, Rima Tadmory Woman

If you’d like to shop any of these dresses, just click on the caption of the image.

Can you guess which ones we ordered? My next blog post will reveal the chosen ones…