Lose Yourself

Skirt from Hijab-ista.com, Top from Target, Hijab was a gift from a friend :)

Skirt from Hijab-ista.com, Top from Target, Hijab was a from a friend ūüôā

My mother lied to me.¬† When I was pregnant she told me to eat everything and don’t worry, all the weight will go to the baby.¬†¬† Well I did what I was told, and boy did I ask for it.¬† JJ was only 6 pounds, and my husband was wondering what happened to the rest of the 54 pounds I had gained.¬† ūüėõ

Well I’m not going to lie.¬† A lot of ¬†the weight¬†that I lost was water weight – I was so swollen by the end of my pregnancy and even after having JJ.¬† But even after the swelling subsided, I still looked like a butterball, and was no longer known as the skinny sister LOL.¬†¬† A cousin of mine even told me that I officially joined the “fat club” of the family.¬† Just great. Grrrrrr.

I SO¬†did not want to join that club.¬† Heck no.¬† But I hate exercising.¬†¬†Despise it.¬† I don’t understand when people say that they love to exercise and it gives them more energy and it’s a stress reliever.¬† They crazy.¬† Exercising gives me less energy and stresses me out.¬† And with a baby, who has time to change into gym clothes, exercise and shower? I certainly don’t. I would rather use that time doing laundry, cleaning or cooking.

So if it’s not exercising, it was¬†my way of eating that had to be changed.¬† For me, the fastest method of losing weight¬†was calorie counting.¬† I used the My Fitness Pal¬†app on my phone.¬† It’s free and super easy.¬† It even has the calorie count for desi food as well.¬† Within a couple of weeks I was down¬†10 pounds.¬† Then laziness hit me again and I stopped using it.¬† I should go back to it.¬† What I liked about this method is that I ate whatever I wanted, but it was within a limit.

I remember when I was TTC-ing, my accupuncturist mentioned to me to drink warm water with fresh lemon juice.  It really is amazing for your system.  I do it every morning and find that my metabolism is a lot faster.  I also drink green tea right after. LOOOVE it!

And then finally the sun¬†came out¬†and it was warm.¬† Yay!! I love love to walk, and I live next to a shopping center, so it was perfect.¬† I take JJ for walks almost every day for 1-2 hours.¬†¬† It would be better if I left my wallet at home, as I was noticing that as I became lighter, so has my wallet ūüėõ

I still have a lot more pounds to lose, but I’m taking my time.¬† I might try to squeeze in exercising here and there, but as long as the weather is nice, I will continue on my walks. I keep telling myself: 9 months gained and 9 months to lose.¬† I doubt I will go back to my old size, but it’s alright. I’m happy.¬† Plus it gives me an excuse to buy myself new clothes ūüôā

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These are a Few of My Favourite Things

The other day I met up with a good friend who is expecting her first child in July, Inshallah.¬† I remember when I was pregnant, I honestly didn’t know what to buy, or what products/brands were good…it was all too much for me.¬† Thank God, I have amazing mom friends who told me¬†not to worry and gave me their ideas of what to get for JJ.¬† Well based on my experience of almost 5 months :), I’ve complied my own list of products that I liked, and stuff that I thought were a waste of money.

Swaddle Me.  Hands down, BEST INVENTION EVER.  I used it from Day 1 at the hospital up until JJ was around 3 months.  Took under 30 seconds to swaddle the baby and put her to bed.  Loved it during the night-time feedings, where I was barely awake and just wanted JJ to get to sleep pronto.

Happiest Baby On The Block. My best friend recommended this book to me and it’s just genius.¬† The author is like the baby whisperer.¬† His 5 S’s of Swaddling, Side Position, Sushing, Swinging and¬†Sucking worked like a miracle when JJ was crying her head off.¬† There are also videos on YouTube as well.¬† Check them out.

A playmat.¬† I have the Baby Einstein Caterpillar & Friends mat (which is on sale right now at Toys R Us), and found it useful to entertain JJ while I did my chores.¬† Now that she’s almost 5 months, I took off the bars and just use it as a mat.¬† Love the fact that it’s easy to clean and the toys can be attached directly on the mat (which¬† helps her reach over and roll over)

A video baby monitor.¬† The one I have is Motorola one.¬† Loooooove it. I’m really paranoid about JJ crying and I won’t be able to hear her, or now having her roll over in her sleep.¬† Now I can just watch her on the screen, and don’t have to go into her room and disturb her (she’s a light sleeper).

A glider.¬† Puts both mom and baby to sleep ūüėõ I have the Luca Glider from Monte Design.¬† Love the modern design and glad I can be able to put it in any room later on.¬† I love to rock JJ to sleep on it, and even read her books to her.

Saline spray.  JJ had issues with too much mucous in her system and so this helped clear it out.   Along with the snot sucker. Funny enough, JJ actually LIKES when I use the snot sucker.  Whenever I bring it close to her nose, she arches her neck and gets in position.  LOL. These days JJ has a cold, and so the saline spray really is a lifesaver.

Pampers Swaddlers.  THE BEST.  I honestly have no idea why Huggies are still in business, because they leak like mad.

Diaper Genie.  No pooh smell. Enough said.

SKUBB Box from Ikea.  They are great for dividing the drawers for different things such as burp clothes, diapers, bibs, socks, onesies.  Keeps the drawers all organized and easy to find things.

JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me.  JJ was a winter baby and this car seat cover was awesome.  No need for snowsuit or a blanket to cover her while we went out.  The outside lining is also water proof, great for when it snowed or rained too.

The stuff that I wasted my money on was anything that had to do with nursing.¬† I had stocked up on Lanolin and nursing pads, which are now gathering dust in the trunk in the nursery.¬† After renting the hospital’s breast pump for a month, I had purchased my own.¬† That also is now collecting dust in my storage room, since unfortunately, I could nurse JJ on my own.¬† I had heard and read great reviews on My Brest Friend, and again, I didn’t get a chance to use it.¬† I would suggest to wait until after the baby comes and there are no issues with nursing to buy all these products.

What are some baby  products that you found were helpful? What products did you think were a waste?

“Seek Knowledge From the Cradle to the Grave”

So this morning I posted a video¬†about a crash course on Islam by John Green on my Facebook. Initially I posted it for my Non-Muslim friends, so they could understand Islam more, instead of getting their information from CNN or other news¬†media.¬† But then I got to thinking..how many MUSLIM people really know about Islam and its history? Even the five pillars? Just a couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with my brother, and he didn’t even know some basic facts about the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life.

As a kid,¬†I (and¬†most likely every Muslim child raised in¬†Canada)¬†learned all about Jesus¬†(peace be upon him)¬†and Christianity’s viewpoint on how he was born, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these same Muslims, who have become adults now, do not know the story of our Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) birth.

These days, we are all worried about making sure our children have Islamic education¬†and know how to read the Qur’an.¬†¬† But what about ourselves? Yes, we probably did have some Qur’an class as a child, but how many of us can really say that we read Arabic perfectly?¬† I certainly can’t say that. But I am trying – and always learning.¬† There are rules of Tajweed¬†that I didn’t even know¬†existed when I first started to read the Qur’an as a child.¬† After attending an adult Qur’an class, I even found out that my pronunciation was incorrect as well.

And it’s not only about the Qur’an.¬† Learning how to read Qur’an does not fulfill your Islamic duty to yourself and to¬†your children.¬† Islam is a way of life.¬† It’s not something that we include in our life.¬† It’s something our life should revolve around.

There are many ways to learn more about Islam.  You can attend a weekly Halaqah at your local masjid.  There are also online classes, many of them are free as well.  Seminars are a great way to learn about a specific topic, such as  Prophetic Medicine, for example.

I used to teach at a weekly Islamic School and often would get frustrated when my students were not doing their homework and practising their Arabic at home.¬† But then the Imam’s wife told me that a lot of the parents don’t have Islamic education and therefore, knowledge, to help their children; their only source of Islam is from the masjid.¬† Honestly, I was disappointed to hear this.¬† Yes, it’s great that we want our kids to have an Islamic education, but shouldn’t parents want that for themselves as well?

Just something to think about. It’s almost JJ’s bedtime and she’s cranky as heck.¬† More about that later ūüôā

On Target

So took the mister on his first trip to Target Canada yesterday.¬† I’ve been a couple of times before (mainly to see what all the fuss was all about), but I wanted to run some errands and took him with me.¬† Let’s just say, that’s probably the last time he will want to shop with me….the look on his face when the final total came up was priceless…what can I say? I’m my mother’s daughter ūüėÄ

Ok, I¬† was just thinking of this the other day.¬† As a kid, I used to get really embarrased whenever my mom would get my clothes from the local discount clothing shops such as Bi-Way or Bargain Harolds. Heck, even Kmart and Zellers would be¬†where the losers would get their clothes from.¬† Hmmm..maybe I WAS one of the losers…grrrrr..I thought it was just my hair that¬†people made fun¬†of¬†(yes, you know who you are!).¬† But now these days, it’s actually cool (ok, well at least to people my age…hmm…maybe I am becoming my mother…gawd…she would be so proud) to shop at discount clothing stores like Walmart and now¬†Target.¬† Is it because everyone’s all super savy on savings? Or because it’s American? Or do they really just have good quality stuff? Do your kids mind if they wear clothes from Walmart or Target?

Either way, as long as there is more money in my pocket I’m a happy camper..well actually…I just end up buying more things…tsk tsk..bad Afshi..bad girl. The mister thinks I need to start budgeting…huh? I don’t even have that word in my vocabulary.

He thinks I need a new dictionary.

Um. No thank you.

Anyways…about Target. It’s actually pretty¬†good! I’m in love with the home decor stuff.¬† What really irked me was when I was looking for stuff for my nursery, I couldn’t find anything that matched what I wanted in terms of colour scheme and decor.¬† Now it’s everywhere.¬† Fudgicles!!!¬† Their infant clothes are alright.¬† Really don’t like the fact that the boys and girls stuff is all together.¬† And what’s with Carters every where these days? Thought there would be more variety of infant clothes, in terms of brands, but there was just Circo and Carters.

Circo stuff is awesome. I bought some Circo bibs from Target in the States when I was pregnant, and when I saw them yesterday I bought more. I love the material, how i’ts so soft and size the size is just right..not too big and not to small. Highly recommend them!

I did notice that a lot of the baby stuff is cheaper at Target. I’ve started JJ on solids, so need to buy all the solid feeding stuff – spoons, bowls, etc etc. I compared prices with Well.ca and Walmart. They were cheaper than Well.ca, but on par with Walmart.

Ok, what I bought for JJ:

Love Muchkin Products!

Love Muchkin Products!

The baby feeder was something that I first saw on Amenakin’s YouTube Video¬†and thought it was¬†a pretty cool idea.¬† The spoons I’ve seen online at Walmart and Well.ca, but they were never in store.¬†¬† Finally nabbed them at Target for $3.99.¬† The disposable changing pads were not really a need…more a want.¬† But thought they might come in handy when I don’t want to lug around my baby bag.¬† Could just stick one in my purse instead.

Great idea!

A colleague of mine had given me his Bumbo that he used for his kids.¬† I was considering getting the Mamas & Papas Baby Snug¬†, since it had a tray attached. But when I saw this, I thought it was perfect! And only $15! Considering I got the Bumbo for free…SCORE!!!

Love Circo Bibs!

These are the¬†bibs that I mentioned.¬† I love the fact that the material is soft, and not hard like the Carter’s bibs are.¬† They¬† also don’t wrinkle (I hate wrinkles and am always ironing her other bibs..yes, call me weird..but ironed clothes make the outfit).¬† The burp clothes were the mister’s pick.¬† I have Circo towels that I use after feeding, but he wanted something soft.

Go Leafs Go!

The mister is a diehard Leafs fan, so when we saw these, he had to get it.¬† I love them! I was a tomboy growing up, might as make my daughter one too ūüėÄ She already has a Blue Jay’s onesie..and who knows, maybe it will bring the Leafs good luck and they win the Cup? Ha! That’s just wishful thinking.¬† I’d on the hunt to find a pink Leafs Jersey for her.¬† No luck yet.

Did by some other non-baby items, but that’s just boring stuff.¬† This is probably a long post, and I probably have some spelling and grammar mistakes (don’t bite my head off if I do), but I’m typing as fast as I could to finish this before JJ wakes up from her nap…I’m looking at the basinett, and it’s starting to rumble..uh oh.

 

Chicken or the Egg

While being a Stay at Home Mom, I’ve come realise that I have big decisions to make on a daily basis.¬† Always debating what to do first…sort of like the Chicken or the Egg debate…hmmm…decisions decisions..what to do first?

  • Brush my teeth or eat breakfast?
  • Change JJ’s diaper or feed her?
  • Sweep the floors or mop?

All this thinking is giving me a headache.¬† ūüėõ

Pep Squad

I’m really loving the peplum trend these days. It’s great because it suits most body types. It gives a skinny girl curves, and top-heavy girl some balance on the bottom to give an hour-glass shape, and it gives a curvy girl a smaller waist. So it’s a win-win for all!

Pair them with skinny or straight pants or a pencil skirt and you are set.

1. Sleeveless Peplum Dress, Jacob, $99,99 2. Two-Tone Peplum Top, Mango, $44.99 3. Polka Dot Peplum Top, Le Chateau, $59.95 4. Blouse, H&M $34.95 5. Textured Peplum Top,  Forever21, $27.90 6.Sleeveless Printed Peplum, Smart Set, $25 7. Black Peplum Dress, Abaya Addict, $115

1. Sleeveless Peplum Dress, Jacob, $99,99 2. Two-Tone Peplum Top, Mango, $44.99 3. Polka Dot Peplum Top, Le Chateau, $59.95 4. Blouse, H&M $34.95 5. Textured Peplum Top, Forever21, $27.90 6.Sleeveless Printed Peplum, Smart Set, $25 7. Black Peplum Dress, Abaya Addict, $115

Saucy yet Sassy Meatballs

So this morning at Fajr¬†I started thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. Food is always on my mind, sad but true. Still half asleep after praying, I went to the freezer and pulled out the first piece of meat I could find. Turns out it was ground chicken (keema). Placed it in a bowl and let it thaw and went back to bed. Well, at least tried. Tossed and turned and wondered what I could make with ground chicken. Grrr. I hate getting stressed out. And then it dawned on me..actually it was the light coming from the hallway that somebody forgot to turn off…cough cough..wasn’t me…ok, meatballs…and saucy ones like Ammi makes..mmm good!

  • In a bowl, combine:
    2 big handfuls of ground chicken (I don’t have a weighing scale at home, and hate when I read recipes that have the ingredients in weights)
    – 1 egg
    – 2-3 green chillis, chopped
    – 1/2 onion, chopped finely
    Р2 tbsn gram flour (besan)
    – 1/2 tpsn salt
    – 1/2 tpsn chilli flakes
    – 1/4 coriander powder
    Р1/3 Shan Chapli Kebob Spice Packet (optional)
    – a handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely
    – 1/2 tspn of ginger-garlic paste
    – 1 slice of bread that has been soaked in water and excess drained out
  • Marinate ground chicken mixture for a couple of hours in the fridge
  • For the sauce. In a pot, combine:
    – Half of pack of Clubhouse Gravy Mix (with the water)
    – 1/4 tpsn garlic powder
    – 1/4 tpsn black pepper
    – 1/2 cup of Diana BBQ Sauce (or the Diana Honey Garlic Sauce)
    – 1/2 cup of Plum Sauce
    – 1 tpsn of Hot Sauce
    – 1/3 cup of Ketchup
  • Mix and bring to a boil
Finger lickin' good!

Finger lickin’ good!

Make the meatballs and lightly fry over medium heat, covered with the lid. When meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce and stir and allow the sauce to soak into the meatballs.

Frying the meatballs

And voila! You are done! I’m thinking they would make awesome meatball subs…mmmm.

All done!