Naiya in nature – A review

Book: Naiya in nature

Author: Shazia Latif

Illustrator: Palalee

Publishers: Prolance

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Its a routine Thursday morning and Naiya wakes up to the usual hubbub of a busy day. Moving on Naiya feels the loudness in the school bus, in the classroom and back home is all the more louder. Naiya escapes far from the busy crowds of the world, into the realms of nature to perform ‘Yoga’ — a practice which helps her relax and brings back a smile on her face.

The book Naiya in nature is in short a beginner’s guide to yoga. The little girl Naiya helps the readers in learning seven easy beginner poses of yoga. The author of the book, Shazia Latif is an elementary school teacher in South California. She loves to escape to the seaside and perform yoga asanas, that help her relax and bring back a smile on her face. The serenity that yoga brings, is what the author tries to teach the little readers through the character of Naiya.

Naiya in this book teaches little yoga learners, seven basic and important yoga poses. Every yoga pose is aptly describes with the instructions of how one can perform it. The beauty of the book lies in the illustrations of Palalee. Palalee, the illustrator of this book is from Thailand, and art is her passion. This passionate love of art helps Palalee bring out such pretty drawings, as she has illustrated in the book of Naiya in Nature.

For those looking to calm their hyperactive kids, and those wanting to introduce yoga to their little ones, this book is a must read. A simple and comprehensible guide to yoga for beginners.

The best of yoga surely lies in performing Salat, and that brings out a harmony between the mind, body and the soul.

You can purchase copies of the book on amazon or from naiya books.

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Thank you for reading!!!

Now and Then…

                   I remembered a nice quote of Albert Einstein—”The monotony and solitude of a quite life stimulates the creative mind”. That’s exactly what happened with me and hence I transcribed this post. Looking back and contemplating over the years of my life, I realized how certain things or rather some significant incidents in life refined and reshaped my choices. Just reflecting on a few of my preferences I was amazed as to how they have altered. Having such a supportive hubby has made the ride of life a worthwhile one

technology, time, clocks, vintage, dirty, steel, glass, wood, table, desk, bokeh, still

Things that changed:
               First of all being married taught me to be less of a self-obsessed person. I learnt to put the wishes and likes of others before mine. I left my lazy caterpillar cocoon, and started working for real (home-making). Learnt to cook and clean— a change I am myself astonished at. I can now cook some really nice Indian delicacies that even my granny cannot :-P. I am still in the process of shedding my introvert skin, but that’s my innate ability to feel lonely in a group of people.

              This is a real deal of a change— I no longer like Disney princesses, or for that matter Disney movies or stuff have stopped exciting me. I am growing old I feel. I giggle at the fact that if I leave my window open for Peter Pan I might instead be welcoming a burglar. And I believe there is no Never-land, and no fairy God-mothers out to help the righteous. There is only a war-land on this planet and pitiable Syrian refugees I see on the high streets of London. Disney you misled me as a kid!!!.

             I have learnt to stop squandering money on useless stuff. At one point of time I would irk my parents until they gave up into my demands. Now life has taught me to think about the less fortunate before I throw tantrums to Allah(swt) in my prayers. Next, I have stopped doing random searches on Dr. Google and diagnosing myself with maladies.

             Albeit I still have a soft-spot for soft toys but that’s withering away gradually. I have stopped complaining about my food— because I am the one who cooks, ergo I cannot be complaining about such a great chef there :lol:.

Things that remain unchanged:
              Updating every detail of my day to my dear parents (even if the neighborhood cat pays a visit to my backyard). Bugging off hubby dearest with all minute details of the day lest I end up in a tummy ache if I do not update something to him. I still stare at my collar-bones to see if I have grown fat over night. My love for books is one true love of my life— the only change is I have started loathing Chetan Bhagat’s books, and as maturity is getting in my blood Khaled Hosseini’s books interest me more. Talking to Allah behind closed doors! has till remained the same. Mashallah he is my best friend. Fretting and getting anxious for stupid things has increased all the more. 😆

                  That’s my now and then list. Oh! Ya my awe of the Egyptian pyramids remains the same. Hmm… Once in a while it is good to reflect on the changes your life has taken and pat your shoulder for the positive ones :-).

 

Meal Planning kit by Muslimah Healthy

Ebook: Free Meal Planning kit

Author: Chelsea of Muslimah Healthy

Cost: FREE

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This is my first health-related book review. After reading this ebook, I pity myself for having eaten the wrong foods for this long. This is a 28 paged ebook which comes along with a sample meal plan and a healthy foods list. A simple, apt and to the point meal planning kit, which helps one to better understand the whole picture of what healthy eating is really about.

The author of this E- Meal planning kit, Chelsea, is herself a certified personal trainer and a nutritionist. Being a healthy eater herself, she gives the best of advice on how to plan for a meal that is whole, enjoyable and healthy. After reading this ebook, I have very well understood the importance of various nutrients and the part they play in maintaining the body’s health. And of-course in what proportion these nutrients are needed by our body.

This meal planning kit is written in the most comprehensible language. One can understand the science behind all the micro and macro-nutrients in one easy go. Often we mess up between our carbs, proteins and lipids. But this book makes it very clear to what all one should include in a healthy diet. Along with a precise but complete description of the important nutrients to be involved in a better meal planning session, the author also provides a sample meal plan. One can get a good idea of what food items a healthy meal should consist of.

Included in this e-meal planning kit is a healthy food’s list. A complete catalog distinguishing various nutrient-rich foods, and the recommended servings for females. I am really impressed by this list, as it helps me know more about the nutrient category of my staple food and how much should I consume for a healthy diet. So ladies, this Meal planning kit is a must. It is available free of cost. Do download it  here. And get into the habit of healthy eating, knowing more about what you eat and how much is really required by your body.

Get your free e-copy of  Free Meal Planning Kit and Healthy foods list.

Thank you for reading.

Vegan high-street beauty brands

So this post has been in my drafts, sleeping cozily since a few weeks, until I finally decided to publish it. When going to Hajj last year, I decided to discard all the products that gave me a red signal of being haram. Most of my products contained just carmine. I was totally saved from pork fat, as I used only L’Oreal and Maybelline, and these brands are pork-fat free, Allhamdullilah!. But alas, even these top-notch brands are not under the halal or vegan list. So with the help of a few buddies, I did some research on the easily affordable and available drugstore and high-street brands of cosmetics. I have complied it in the list below.Blackbird.pngB for Beautiful by Superdrug:
Superdrug B brand is one awesome brand. It is both affordable and really does do the job. A friend of mine swears by their B.Flawless foundation. I have personally used their lip glosses and was pretty impressed by their quality and price. As the brand is owned by Superdrug, it is obvious to be found only in their stores. The brand proudly states on each of their product that they are both vegetarian and vegan.

Barry M cosmetics:
This brand has a soft-spot in my heart, because their’s were the first vegetarian cosmetics I ever happened to use . I still own different shades of their lipsticks. Their satin super-slick lipsticks are my all time favorite. This range offers the most sophisticated colors I say. And then there’s the awesome Barry M Blink Precision Eyeliner. I love it, and it has got into my list of indispensable products. Barry M cosmetics can be found in Superdrug and Boots.

Sleek:
A classic budget brand, Sleek makeup is available in most of the high-street drugstores. I have never used any of their products, but my buddies have gone gaga over their matte lipstick range. I have also heard (from friends) good reviews about their face make-up range. Sleek is against animal-cruelty and they do also have many products suitable for vegans. A complete list of their vegan products can be found on the vegan taff website.

Collection Cosmetics:
This brand formerly known as Collection 2000 is a modest high-street brand. A friend of mine suggested trying the highlighter from collection. I went for the pearl sheen highlighter, and was quite impressed by the quality of the product and also the perfect pricing. Most of their products are suitable for vegetarians and there are others that are also suitable for vegans. There is a complete list of the products classified as per their suitability. Check the list here.

Rosie for Autograph:
This brand is exclusive to Marks & Spencer. Firstly M&S have their very own range of makeup products under the brand name Autograph. Rosie for autograph is a makeup collection from Rosie Huntington Whiteley. This sub brand of Autograph is also exclusive to M&S. I just randomly browsed through the online catalog and found most of the products to be suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The good news is they are also free from alcohol. Thanks to the beauty credentials of the supermodel. You can browse through their products here.

Urban Decay:
This is one famous makeup brand with the best of shades in every category. I have personally never used them. However, through my online research I found out that this brand is a cruelty-free and vegan certified brand. What more! No more checking of the ingredients for animal bi-products. Urban decay is easily available online. Oh! Yes I have even seen a counter of Urban Decay makeup in Debenhams.

Too Faced:
Next comes the high-spirited brand of Too faced. This brand is completely against animal cruelty. They also have a long list of products that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Even their make-up brushes are against animal cruelty 😆 .They have an online shop, or you can purchase too faced products from amazon and for sure some branches of Debenhams also have too-faced counters.
Find out more about animal bi-product free cosmetics here.

Models Own it:
Another cute high-street brand — simple, easily available and affordable. They are a NO NO to animal testing, as the website bluntly states— We do not test our products or ingredients on animals. End of story. 😆 . I found this quite funny. And the best part it the website gives a complete list of ingredients below the product name. There is also a [V] sign beside every product suitable for vegans. You can find the list here.

Lottie London:
This one’s a rather new brand, and the company website states that the company is cruelty-free and their brushes are vegan. Not sure about their makeup products. But vegan make-up brushes are of a definite halal origin. You can find them in the superdrug stores or at asos.

Tried my best to research the best of makeup brands that have no animal bi-products (pig fat included). But I give no guarantee of the alcohol content. However most synthetic alcohols are not the intoxicating ones and are permissible when used in personal care products. For a better understanding of alcohol content in products please do read my post on alcohol in personal care products.

Disclaimer: These brands are not HALAL certified.
I have only included the brands whose websites state that they are against animal cruelty and are Vegan— meaning whose products are free from animal by-products. The main concerns being carmine and pig fat or any other animal fat from animals whose slaughter process is a doubt for Muslims. Rest if the products contain ethyl alcohol or ethanol then they are not halal.

 

 

The Hijab

Oh! What a topic have I chosen today? The Hijab???. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a word to say about the Hijab. This piece of cloth worn by Muslim women to cover their heads, seems to be in the limelight most of the times. The reason?, a complete wrong perception of what Islam and its holy book have to say about it. Many Muslim women are often questioned — is it a compulsion to cover your hair? Oh! Yes it is mandatory for all Muslim women to cover their hair. As Allah (SWT) says in the holy Quran.

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head-covers over their chests and not to expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
Surah Nur (24:31)

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There is no question of a choice whether to observe the Hijab or not?. Allah has clearly stated the terms and conditions, of when and in front of whom, a Muslim woman should or may not observe Hijab. The above mentioned verses of Surah Noor explicitly describe that Hijab is mandatory in front of non-Mahrams. However if a Muslim woman does not observe Hijab it does not mean she is a bad or impious woman. Any matter related to religion is between the creator and his creation. We can never know what righteous deeds of a person make him a favorite of the Lord. So it is best not to judge anyone. And it is even better not to discourage a Muslim woman trying to newly adopt the Hijab. We never know much about the journey of the other person’s soul. So judging others is a strict NO NO!.

And finally, I have done a guest post for the Muslim Mummies blog about my own thoughts and journey with the Hijab. Please do read it here.

When I grow up by Sundus Iraq

The Book: When I grow up (A preschooler’s daydreams)

Author: Sundus Iraq

Illustrator: Sundus Iraq

Publisher: Prolance

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So this e-book of “When I grow up”, has been in my inbox since a few days. I could not really find the time to open it. And finally when I did open it – “Awww! I fell in love this adorable book”. How lucky are the Muslim kids of the present, they have really delightful Islamic books to read, unlike our days where we read English rhymes of Jack n Jill, and Hot cross buns.

“When I grow up”, is a book written in a very appealing way. It describes the dreams and aspirations of a preschooler. The author Sundus Iraq herself being a mother of six pretty children has a very good insight into the working of a child’s mind. Thus she starts from the very basic thoughts of a preschooler, like trying to reach out for the cup in the cupboard and wanting to drink from a glass cup and not the plastic one. :-P. These ideas and dreams follow on swiftly expressing the ambitions of the preschooler.

At one point the kid yearns to be a traffic police, on the other instance, she yearns to be a pediatrician. It reminds me of my childhood where I yearned to be a psychiatrist when I grew up. The best thing about this book is that the author has provided an Arabic translation of the English version. It helps kids to develop their dual linguistic skills from a very young age.

The next beautiful thing is the book’s illustrations and color scheme. The author Sundus Iraq is multi-talented and had herself illustrated the book. The colors chosen are bright and are sure to appeal a child’s eye. All in all, this book is a brilliantly written one. Go get a copy for your kids, they are sure to love it.

The book is available at Prolance  and Amazon.

A sneak peek into the fun book. Look at the aspiring astronaut.There are many other interesting dreams of a kid, illustrated with such cuteness.

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Rating: 5/5

Thank you for reading!