Ramadan Has Been More Festive Than Ever|And These Millennial Women are Working Hard to Make That Happen!

Growing up in the United States and going to a public school, I experienced a wide variety of holidays. But Ramadan and Eid were hardly festive in our home or school. We didn’t put up decorations or do crafts and activities, so five year old me was not excited about Ramadan or Eid.

Our parents didn’t understand the need since they grew up in a Muslim Country where you can feel the holiday spirit all around you. But here in the USA Muslim kids experienced lack of exposure in schools, no one ever knew what Ramadan was. Many still don’t, but there is so much more now.

Now that we have grown up and have our own kids, we understand the need for more awareness and festivity. I actually didn’t think much of this until I had my own daughter, who is now two. I want to make sure she is always excited for Ramadan and Eid!!

I am going to share five of my favorite small businesses that help fill up our homes and hearts with Ramadan spirit. All these businesses are run by boss women!!

1. Yenge Crafts

Founder Alexis Wadowski is a convert, she was a Catholic before, and had tons of notebooks, t-shirts, pillow cases with bible verses and faith references. She had trouble finding similar products in the Muslim Community so she decided to make her own! She has a great variety of custom hand made products! “She Leaves a Little Sparkle, and a Whole Lot of Noor” frame is def one of my favs!

 “I started making my own Eid decor to get myself more excited because I really used to hate Eid. So after a few years, it kind of grew to make things for friends and in-laws I opened an Etsy store and Alhamdulillah it’s Grown more. I really just want all Muslims to celebrate their Muslim Identity in a style that’s authentic to them, but highlight elevate and reminds them of their faith!”, says Alexis.

Check out her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/yengecrafts/

 

2. Two Craftistas

Founder of Two Craftistas Amna is a mom of four, a teacher turned into a businesswoman!

She stopped full-time teaching after 9 years in 2nd grade. After her fourth baby she decided to take quit teaching as it was becoming hard to balance both work and home life, At the time she also had another online digital product business where she would create resources for teachers to download and use in their classrooms. That gave her a taste of being an entrepreneur and she liked it!

Since 2015, she has been working part-time for an online Islamic school as an academic advisor but has been mainly focused on Two Craftistas as a full-time business. Lack of personalized Islamic lifestyle products motivated her to make her own, which first started off as a hobby.

“My daughter Aaliyah is the other “Craftista.” She does hand-lettered designs, customized digital drawings, and is the designated tutu maker. I absolutely love being a part in creating special memories and joy for others…whether it is through a “Dulhan” shirt, custom mugs, Ramadan onesies, personalized sequin pillows, etc. It’s what keeps me going”, says Amna

We adored our “Ramadan with My Tribe” T-shirts, and the Muslimah matching mommy and me shirts were so special. Two Craftista’s has custom t-shirts, onesies, mugs to make your Ramadan/Eid special.

Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/twocraftistas/

 

3. Bismillah Box 

Sara Ajabri is the founder of Bismillah Box, I love the idea of this. It’s a monthly subscription that provides high-quality products for the Muslim community in North America that get delivered to your doorstep in a beautiful box. I was so excited to open mine.

They have two different options be sure to check out their website. My box contained a Rainbow Quran,  The Dua Journal, Coasters from Kanzi Store, Duas from Manooka Prints, and dates from AjwaDelicacies.

I just love the whole idea behind this, being able to receive a box full of Islamic products just instantly brightens up my day and brings me closer to my Creator.

“The idea for a subscription box for Muslims came to me, and when I realized there was no box like it in the US, with a market of over 3.45 million Muslims in the US alone, I knew I had to pursue it. I would love to provide trendy products that allow Muslims to embrace their faith. What I found was that these products do exist, and in fact, the market is growing every day. They just are not quite in the mainstream stores yet. This is where Bismillah Box comes in. This is our second month and we are already sold out, with people flooding our inboxes with requests”, says Sara.

Bismillah Box is currently selling its Eid box!!

Find it here on their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bismillah_box/

 

4. Noam Pajamas 

Growing up I always saw pajamas for Christmas. And now there are options for Ramadan and Eid! Noam Pajamas have beautiful vibrant designs. These are perfect for Ramadan nights and the night before Eid!! They are available in kids, women, and men’s sizes, so you can get them for the whole family and start new traditions. I want them all!!!!!

Sommer founder of Noam Pajamas is a Libyan American living in Northwest Ohio with her husband and two kids. Sommer did not find any Ramadan/Eid Pajamas on the market so she decided to produce her own. She first started off by ordering plain pajamas and customizing them for her family. She then one year decided to take the leap and start her own business!

“Noam Pajamas is my side hustle that has my love and passion. My family is at the forefront of my inspiration and the reason for everything I do. My intention is to help our families enjoy the holidays that much more. In a world where religion is becoming harder and harder to hold onto- we need to spend more time together making happy memories and raising happy, kind, empathetic,  strong kids that will change this world for the better”, says Sommer.  

 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/noampajamas/

5. Crescent Star Creations 

Lirija Kajosevic is the founder of Crescent Star Creations. Her products are absolutely stunning. She also has Ramadan dinnerware and beautiful napkin rings. After giving birth to her first child she knew it was her responsibility to instill faith in her home.

“It was important for me to start traditions that my children would respect, love and insha’Allah continue in their own homes one day. Thus Crescent Star Creations was born. My company is founded on my hopes to elevate our homes with decor during the month of Ramadan, Eid, and year around. It’s a home where Islam is practiced and that’s it the home of proud Muslims!”, says Lirija

She has super creative wrapping paper which is really changing up the Eid gift-giving game. I can’t wait to use this wrapping paper and ribbon this year! FullSizeRender-19.jpg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crescentstarcreations/

Muslims families now have a wide variety of Ramadan supplies they can now purchase online.

We are only getting started, our kids won’t grow up not being excited about Ramadan and Eid. I also remind myself that decor is important but I don’t want it to reach a point where its too commercialized and we forget the true meaning of Ramadan. Buying decor that is already made saves a lot of time and helps us achieve our festivity and spiritual Ramadan goals. Also, it’s so important to support these small businesses that are working so hard to provide these products to us.

Wishing everyone who is celebrating a Happy Ramadan. May this month bring you so many blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUGPAPA BABY CARRIER & Benefits of Baby Wearing

Oh little one, I have carried you longer than 9 months. I carried you in my heart and in my womb. When you came into this world I carried you against my chest that familiarity with the sound of my heartbeat soothed you countless times, where you felt, safe, warm, loved, and secure in this strange world.

Having your baby so close to you is honestly one of the best feelings ever. Tamanna has always loved to be in a carrier or wrap. When she was a newborn she would fall right asleep. I remember cherishing those moments because I knew in a blink of an eye she would be all grown up.

Babywearing has many benefits, I will be sharing those with you today, along with a review of the HUG PAPA Baby Carrier.

Benefits of Baby Wearing 

  1. Your baby has been in your belly for 9 months, during this time they haven’t gotten used to being all snuggled up, and soothed by the sound of your heartbeat and the rhythm of your movement. Babywearing gives them a similar womb-like feeling, that they need during something called the 4th trimester.
  2. Studies have shown that babies that are carried cry 43% less than babies who are not carried. Any time Tamanna was very fussy and nothing seemed to work, I would babywear her and it would almost instantly soothe her.
  3. Babies sleep and stay asleep better. This helps the infant develop better sleeping habits. Tamanna was sleeping through the night a little bit before she turned 3 months.
  4. It’s convenient, you now have two free hands!!!! Perfect for running errands, you don’t have to carry a heavy stroller up the stairs or look for an elevator. Babywearing definitely made our shopping trips easier.
  5. Strengthens the bond between baby and parent, a deeper feeling of connection. Worn babies develop feelings of affection and security, this also improves their neurological development.

Babywearing for us has been a great experience!!

When Tamanna was a newborn we loved using a wrap. Now that she is older we needed a more sturdy carrier that didn’t strain our backs.

The HUG PAPA Dial Fit 3- in -1 Baby Carrier Bundle has been perfect for us.

Our 2 year old weighs about 30 pounds, but wearing her in this carrier was so comfortable.

The dial fit adjustment and hip seat really set this carrier apart. It makes sure to give the right fit which provides comfort. We loved how lightweight this carrier is! The fact that this carrier had a hip seat was my husbands favorite, it provided the right amount of support.

The material is waterproof and comes with a hood for those rainy days.

We really wish we found this carrier sooner!!

This carrier is also available on Amazon!

CLICK HERE TO SHOP HUGPAPA

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Ramadan Trends With ABAYA ADDICT

I love abayas.

The time of year I mostly wear abayas thou is during Ramadan!

I’m going to share my favorite abayas from the Abaya Addict Collection(this was so hard because they are all so stunning!!). I narrowed it down to three!
Okay, so the SILVER METALLIC KIMONO ABAYA is my favorite because it is so different!!!
I did think a couple of times before choosing this one, I just wasn’t sure if I could pull this look off.
Sometimes we see outfits and think wow that’s gorgeous on her but theirs no way I would look good in that.
For me personally, I always lean towards dark colors, my wardrobe is 80% black. I hardly everrrrr I mean like everrrrrr wear a headscarf that isn’t black or beige.
But I had to get out of my comfort zone!!

And I have to say!!!! I am so glad I did.

YOU NEED THIS ABAYA IN YOUR COLLECTION!!!!!! Trust me you will not regret it(this is coming from someone who usually always wears black).

The material is ideal for an open abaya, lightweight with a bit of stretch.

This abaya is great for an Iftar outing with your girls. I styled it with white heels, white pants and a white mock neck top This is also perfect for EID!!

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Okay, the next one is the perfect black abaya its called the
CHIFFON LACE CLOSED ABAYA.
Having a black abaya is essential!!
I choose this one especially because I adore the sheer sleeves and the lace on the bottom. and it just flows so well.
The great thing about this black abaya is that looks effortlessly gorgeous.
All you need is a great pair of shoes, and since it’s black you can pair with almost any pair.
Next time I would match the shoes with a matching purse(of course I couldn’t find my red purse, hot mess mom probs)
I also would love to pair this abaya with some royal blue heels! and blue eyeliner!
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So the third abaya I choose is the BROWN SEQUIN ABAYA its currently on sale, so get yours before there are no more! I choose this because I love the touch of sequins added to the sleeves. Just the right amount of glam.
I felt like such a boss in this look, all I needed was my lady briefcase!!
I styled it with a white button down and black midi skirt. I would style the metallic one with this look as well.
Be creative with styling your abaya, by adding accessories.
And with open abayas, you have more options to style, by adding body cons, jeans, skirts!
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Living in a Western country, I hardly ever wear abayas or traditional clothing to settings other than family or friend gatherings/parties. Being the only Muslim women at my workplace, and also being in a supervisory role, there are times I feel out of place.
Being a hijabi, you really have to battle through assumptions people have of you. But this just motivates to be the best I can be, and break stereotypes one day at a time.
I take these opportunities as blessings. I hope to start wearing more cultural clothing to work, and represent!! Ramadan is a great time to spread awareness about my beautiful religion, and wear to stunning abayas!
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Comment below and let me know which abaya look is your favorite!!

It’s a Woman’s World: Convo’s with (Mom)entrepreneurs

I’m working on starting my own business, and a few weeks ago I had a breakdown, things were not working out the way I wanted/needed them too. I stepped away and took a break. I thought of giving up. I’m comfortable at my stable, cushioned job, do I really want to get into all the craziness(or add-on another project/task to my list)?

Quitting your day job and starting your business takes a mixture of grit, confidence, passion, and the idea of owning something that is yours. I’m not ready to quit my day job yet, but I am also not going to give up on my day-dream. I told myself… Fatima, if you re going to let those setbacks bother you so much, are you really fit for the business world? Anything worth having doesn’t come easy, so cliché but oh so true!

Later on that week I attended an event at WeWork which had a panel of boss women. This event inspired me so much, it was almost like a sign that I shouldn’t give up, and that I’m not the only one that’s going thru these setbacks and hurdles, all successful business owners were once there, but they kept going! Sometimes or many times things will not go as you have had planned.

Ariane Goldman and Nadine Abramcyk share their knowledge and experience on starting a business and hoping to inspire others out there who are thinking of starting their own entrepreneur journey or are on it already. They also discussed their failures and successes, motherhood, creativity and style. This conversation was moderated by Joyce Chang, founder of From the Get Go.

Let us start off with Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of tenoverten nail salon, and a new mama!

She always loved getting her nails done but saw the lack of nail salons where you could just relax and have healthy services offered to you. So, she and Adair Ilyinsky decided to give it a go and open their own nail salon. They provide non-toxic, high-quality nail products which are now also available at Target!

Check out their website for more info! tenoverten.com

I have to say the tenoverten nail salon is designed very well, modern, and super chic. This is the type of nail salon I want to be at with my girls on the weekend. Nadine talks about how important it is to take care of staff, and offer fair pay and health benefits, which tenoverten is proud of providing!

And then we have Ariane Goldman Founder and CEO of HATCH, founder of twobirds, and mama of two! She formerly worked on Wall Street. Her brand HATCH offers maternity clothing which focuses on different phases the before, during, and after, making getting dressed fun and simple!

I was really able to connect to her brand HATCH since I love fashion and pregnant women(doula in the making). I admire how HATCH not only provides fashionable maternity wear but community support for women and moms. They really take it to the next level which had me screaming(internally) YASSSS!!!

They have numerous events where the community gets a chance to connect with other moms. They offer about two classes a week at their store locations. These classes at HATCH range from various different topics like breast pumping, learning about what a Doula is, making a birth plan, nontoxic lifestyle, aromatherapy and much more!!

You can find HATCH clothing and times/locations of classes here hatchcollection.com

Now that I am a mom, when I hear about other moms who run such successful businesses it inspires me to a whole other level! It can be done, and these women are here to prove it. Nadine was expecting her first-born when she was trying to negotiate a lease for her salon. Ariane was pregnant when she started her business. Being a women means we have so many different strengths, let’s embrace them and make things happen! Who run the world!?

This amazing event took place at WeWork. WeWork is a community that offers shared office space. This is great for small business owners and entrepreneurs. You can book this space for events as well. I definitely recommended We Work and love that you can rent this space for 30 minutes or a day all depending on your needs. They also have a cafe, that has your avocado toast for that morning energy!

Get That Sleep Mama and Papa Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night!!

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One thing every mom told me when I got pregnant was….”You are going to miss sleeping”. And…..they were right!!

But lets be positive, they’re are ways to get a good amount of sleep, it may not be the way you used to sleep before(10 hours on a Sunday, wow those days were good!!), but there is hope.

Sleep is something that can be taught! The earlier the better!!

I want to share what helped us. Tamanna (my daughter who is now almost 22 months) was not a fussy baby, and a good sleeper. I believe baby wearing(studies show baby wearing results in less fussy babies) and couple of other things we did helped with her sleeping patterns.

This is what we did for when she was a newborn(these tips will probably not work for a toddler)!!

Lets get right to it.

The Missing 4th Trimester 

Babies are born after the 3rd trimester, because if not their heads would get to big and would not be able to get thru the tight birth canal,killing both mother and baby.

When a baby is born it is very comforting for them to feel like they are in the still in the womb.

This is the time for you to hold and snuggle your baby as muchhhh as possible, it is what they need. It is impossible spoil your baby the first 9 months. I repeat!!!!!! IT IS IMPOSSIABLE FOR YOU TO SPOIL YOUR BABY THE FIRST 9 MONTHS. So if someone is telling you otherwise, Kindly disregard!!! (Bye, Felicia)

How would you feel if you were all snug in a womb, and then you come into this whole new world? You want to be eased in, still snuggled and tight like you were in the womb. Right?

Also it wasn’t quiet in the womb, it was surrounded by a constant shushhhhhh, which is louder than a vacuum. This explains why babies are soothed by car rides, hair dryers, and white noise downloads.

For thousands of years parents swaddled and rocked their babies. Almost every traditional baby calming technique returns babies to that cuddly, rhythmic prenatal world. 

 

I am going to reference the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, by Harvey Karp. This book helped us sooooo muchhhhh.

For more in depth information on sleep check out “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep”, by Harvey Karp

This is a must read for all new parents.

Im going to briefly discuss what I learned from this book.

Mr.Karp talks about the 5 S’s, the Five Steps to Calm your Baby and Sleep Longer

  1. Swaddling: Snug Wrapping 
  2. Side/Stomach: Lying on your side or stomach(only when you are there with your baby; never for sleep.
  3. Shushing: Strong white noise
  4. Swinging: Tiny rhythmic, jiggly motions(just one inch back and forth) 
  5. Sucking: Sucking on your nipple, a clean finger, or a pacifer

When these 5 S’s are done correctly, they work like magic!! They did for me.

These S’s don’t need to be done in this order you have to learn what is best for you and baby.

We had a sleep routine which consisted of bath time, breast milk, and then bed time.

After she was bathed and fed, I would start by swaddling her, I had to do it a few times to get it right, if she was able to get out of it, I didn’t do it tight enough. But you want to make sure you give room for the legs to move.

Watching youtube videos helped me master swaddling, it took many many attempts.

I also had a ready made swaddle which I used when she was two months, it was much more convenient.

So once it was time for bedtime I would swaddle her, and give her, her pacifier.  I would have white noise playing for her(there are so many on youtube, find what works best for you).

Then I would rock her back and forth, or put her in her bouncy.

These simple things after some trial and errors helped us both get some sleep!!!

During the day I made sure she was exposed to sunlight, so that with time she could learn the difference between night at day.

It takes time for healthy sleep habits to develop and every baby is different, some have a harder time than others.

Things like teething, sleep regressions, fevers, have changed her sleep routine for periods of time.

Raising a child takes a village!!! Asking for help doesn’t make you an incompetent parent, but a smart one. During the time that you are helping your baby develop healthy sleep habits, you will need support and naps!

You need to be taking care of yourself so can take care of your baby, and you will get thru this!!!!

7 Reasons Why I Love Being a Working Mom

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I remember the first time someone told me that because I was working, my daughter wouldn’t know I’m her mom. A typical ridiculous comment in the desi community that made my heart boil, and eyes well up with tears(mixture of anger and postpartum hormones)

Why is a women always expected to sacrifice, and forget about herself? We don’t put the guilt on men when they hardly ever give time to their kids or wife. Taking care of a child is not only a mothers job! A fathers job/role is not only to make money.

Being a Working Mom in the Desi Community means mostly dealing with……

Desi aunties think I work because my husband probably doesn’t make enough, because why else would a mom work? Oh poor thing she has to work…..Honey my husband has a flourishing career of his own, and I have the option to stay home if I wanted.

Women are expected to stay home after marriage, and even more after they become a mom. Taking care of her house and family is her biggest accomplishment. For some women that is what makes them happy, if it does, you go girl!! Do you!

One my moms friend said, that a woman can be the president, but if she not taking care of her home she is nothing.

Um……..okay

I disagree!!

I love being a mom and wife, but I also love being a boss!! And going after my own goals and dreams.

Yes its hard, but anything that is worth having, is not easy.

And yes my daughter knows who her mom is!! Me working has not affected our relationship or her well-being. Many are so surprised when they see how close my daughter is to me.

I know that with time it will get better. We have amazing families in the desi community that support their daughters in whatever they choose to do, whether it is to work or stay at home.

I can’t begin to say how lucky I am to have those amazing people in my life. My mom takes care of my daughter when I’m at work, my dad does as well, since he leaves to work later on in the day. My sister is also always there for me on days I need to her to help. My husband supports me in any way I need, always doing house chores, and taking care of Tamanna while I go to my book club meetings, or to hang out with my girls.

My in-laws are in Pakistan, but they are proud of me working, and always wish me success. My mother in law comes to visit us in the summer, she was watching Tamanna while I went to work. She always encouraged me, helped me sooo soo much around the house, and forced me to nap and eat well. It was huge that we never said anything negative about me working. That type of support from a mother in law is not common.

This is not just a problem in the Desi community, but many others!

The USA is not the best at supporting working moms, we are the only developed country that does not offer extended maternity leave. America really needs to work on supporting working mothers. I’m blessed to be a part of an organization that values family life, but not many do not, which is one reason many moms do not choose to work.

I love being a mom, but I am MORE THAN JUST A MOM

Here are 7 Reasons Why I love Being a Working Mom

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  1. I Get to be a Role Model.I show my daughter that she can always follow her dreams, and my son that it’s not only a women’s job to take care of a home. Studies have shown that working moms have a positive impact on their children’s eventual careers and finances. daughters of working moms completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles, and earned higher incomes than those who had a stay-at-home mom.
  2. I am Able to be Financially Stable, and have peace of mind knowing that I can take care of myself and my family on my own if ever needed.
  3. I am Less Stressed. One of the biggest fears many women have about being a working mom is the added stress of balancing a full-time job and parenting. Numerous studies, however, report that working moms are not just happier but they also show no increase in psychological distress. “Women who have a child and then leave the workforce, on the other hand, experience major increases in stress and suffer higher rates of depression”
  4. I Have an Excuse to Look Nice. If I didn’t have to leave my home would never get out of their PJs. Having an office to go to gives me the perfect excuse to actually look and feel my best. Im so glad its blazer season!!
  5. I Get to Use my Degree. I have a bachelors, that I worked hard for!! Being able to use my knowledge and skills and apply it my job, along with gaining more knowledge and skills is super satisfying(as well as getting recognition and rewarded for it)
  6. Work Enriches my Marriage. I love sharing my day with my husband, and sharing all the crazy things that happened at work. It promotes interesting conversations, about topics we wouldn’t have touched on, when taking about diapers or a fussy child. He has his tales from the office and I have mine.
  7. I Come Home to a Big Bear Hug. I love going home to my baby, I’ll call out her name  and she ll come running to me with a big streak of excitement, and my heart melts every single time.

 

I will always want what is best for my baby. And personally I believe that me working outside of the home is what is best for her . I want to teach my daughter independence, the value of hard work, the value of education. Her seeing me go to work, and balance my life, always trying to learn new things, giving my all and never giving up on my family or myself teaches her that. Being a working mom allows me to do this, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!IMG_9175

Working as a stay at home benefits your kids. Working out of home benefits your kids! We re all doing it right, and its important to support each other.

WHO RUN THE WORLD?! MOMS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Easy Spinach and Apple Baby Puff Recipe

IMG_5085Hey fellow mamas!!

There are so many organic baby food options, but why not make baby food at home with a few simple steps.

Trust me its soooo simple, and making them yourself means you can customize it the way you like, using different fruits and vegetables!!

My little one enjoys them so much, one of her favorite snacks. I always have some puffs in a zip loc when we are on the go.

This recipe is suitable for babies 6+ months. But even the older kids enjoy them 🙂

Here is how you can make them at home. 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp Baking powder

1 tbsp Coconut oil

1/2 cup Apple Sauce

2 Eggs

1 cup Spinach

1/2 cup Instant Rice Cereal

 

Steps!

  1. In the food processor add and blend all the ingredients.
  2. Blend until it is nice and smooth (about 3 minutes)
  3. You can use a chef pastry bag or a plastic bag to add the mixture.

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4. Create small dots or the size of your choice onto a sheet of parchment paper.

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5. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250 and bake for another 30 minutes, or until they are crisp.

6. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Enjoy!!!

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