Fancy Shopping at an Online Hijab Boutique?

I have not always been a hijabi. To cover my head was an option kept open to me by my parents. They never forced me and when I grew into my teens, I willingly chose to cover my hair with headscarves whenever I went out. This was moreso because my best friend was a hijabi and we had an Islamic environment in schools in U.A.E. How fondly I remember those days!

Later, when I came to Pune to recieve graduation, the environment here did little to remind me of covering my head and I dismissed wearing hijab. For me, it was just what Muslimahs had to do and I didn’t feel I was ‘there’ yet. The beautiful and important concept of donning hijab was lost on me.

It was immediately after our wedding that hubster expressed he’d like to see me wear burkha. And though, I wasn’t too keen, comfortable or prepared to cover up with a complete black garment, I agreed to adapt to it. (The things you do in the just-married phase! *eye roll*)

To put it all briefly though, today I can speak of myself as a hijab-lover. (I’m reserving a detailed post on my hijab story for later, in sha Allah). I see hijab in a positive light. Most importantly, I love the peace that comes with knowing that I am obeying Allah and living the way that is loved by Him. When you go against Allah’s commandment, you go against nature or innate disposition towards virtue and that unease penetrates every part of your life.

I am moving towards reviewing now. I just felt it important to write a small background on my journey with wearing hijabs and covering up.

Hubster relented and clicked a few snaps for me to post with this write-up. He finds it funny when I pose for a click. I agree with him, I am not a good poser 🙈. However, I’m hoping this video gives a clear image of the modish abaya that I received from My Batua

When I was sent an abaya by the online store My Batua, I was pleased because:

🔼This is the first time I’d wear a non-black abaya.

🔼I love the color blocks of monochrome in the abaya. It lends it a mimimalist and stylish look.

🔼The fabric is soft and falls well on the body.

🔼 The neckline is round and the front opens easily with tick buttons sewn.

🔼 The sleeves are bell-shaped. I love that in an abaya. Gives it a kimono kind of look.

🔼 There are pockets on both sides. (Important storage place for a mum when outdoors!)

🔼 The delivery of the abaya was quick.

🔼 The size fit well according to the measurements I had provided.

I was displeased with:

🔼 The fabric of the hijab. I found it too thick for head covering. Within a few minutes I started feeling stuffy. I guess I’m going to pair the abaya with another lighter hijab whenever I decide to wear it.

Nevertheless, I surfed through their website and found that you can be spoilt for choices! They offer jilbabs, burqinis, cardigans, salwar suits and hijab accessories for women’s wear and also have a grand collection for men’s wear.

My Batua is a must check out online store for all your modest wear necessities.

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Two Of A Kind (Recipes!)

It’s Ramadan. And though it is a month of fasting and abstaining from feasting, I always find myself scrambling for recipes to make at Iftar (time when we break our fast). While I usually fix meals with less oil and more veggies and chicken for myself, I prepare fried food, desserts and gravies with rotis for hubster, mum-in-law and kids.

Not long ago, I’d cooked chicken and veggies using honey and mustard sauce (purely an inspiration that arose from the need of eating healthy). Also sometime later, when I was in Mumbai with my parents, I’d baked a choco-chip cake in honour of my brother-in-law who’d come home for the first time after my sister and he got wedlocked. Since I’d posted about both the delicacies on my Instagram page, I was requested to also write the recipes. I’d promised a blogpost and here goes the modus operandi of what I’d cooked up. ☺


Chocolate-chips Cake

Ingredients:

▶2/3 cup butter or pure ghee

▶ 1.5 cup sugar

▶ 3 eggs

▶ 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

▶ 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

▶ 2 and a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

▶ 1 cup milk

▶ 1 and a 1/2 tsps vanilla essence

▶ 1 cup chocolate chips

Method:

🔘 Preheat the oven to 180°C.

🔘 Grease the cake pan.

🔘 In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

🔘 Beat in the eggs.

🔘 In another bowl, sift together the flours and baking powder. Add this alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture.

🔘 Stir in the vanilla essence.

🔘 Chop the chocolate-chips coarsely, and add to the batter.

🔘 Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

🔘 I served the cake with butterscotch icecream (store bought). It took the deliciousness to another level ☺

Chicken in Honey and Mustard Sauce

Ingredients:

▶One breast piece of chicken, chopped into cubes

▶ Veggies, diced (I used capsicum, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms)

▶ Salt 1/2 tsp

▶ Pepper 1/4 tsp

▶ Mustard Sauce – 1 tblspn

▶ Honey – 1 tblspn

▶ Garlic Paste – 2 tsp

▶ Dry Basil – 1 tsp

▶ Coconut Oil – 1 tblspn

Method:

🔘 Marinate chicken in salt, pepper, mustard sauce, dry basil, honey and garlic paste.

🔘 In a pan, heat coconut oil.

🔘 Stir fry the veggies, adding a pinch each of salt & pepper.

🔘 Add the chicken pieces. Mix everything well and cook till done.

🔘 Sprinkle chopped spring onion leaves or coriander before serving.

🔘 Serve with rotis or brown bread.


Happy baking and cooking. Remember me and my family in your exclusive prayers.

Prends soin ⚘


My Friend Takes The Entrepreneurial Plunge

Few people in life connect to us instantly – sans time, sans words, san many rendezvous. I have known Hilarious (I love keeping pseudo-names and this friend of mine is terribly witty!) since more than two years now and can count on one hand the number of times I have met her but whenever we catch up it feels like we just met yesterday. She is a beautiful soul and I was overjoyed when she told me about the launch of her boutique this year. I still remember the time when the idea of an abaya boutique was a baby concept in her mind. And, today, she runs it like a boss ☺ Ma sha Allah.

Ramadan was soon to begin this year and I wished to see her inaugurated business before it became my pipe dream. Hence I took my mum along to visit Hilarious’ abaya store. To be bluntly honest, I least expected the boutique to be so posh. For explainable reasons, of course. One, because I was expecting work to be still in progress and two, because in my mind I didn’t think you could recreate an international sort of ambience while in India. I was proven wrong because as soon as we stepped in, my mind said, “Wow, Ma sha Allah!”. Feeling instantly at ease as we entered, I could see that a lot of hardwork and research had been put into composing and organising a chìc and stylish emsemble of abayas, jilbabs, hijabs, attars (non-alcoholic perfumes) and hijab accessories. I felt reminded of boutiques I have been to when we stayed in UAE.

I was impressed to see how staunchly Hilarious is supported by her family and husband. I can’t help but mention that her mum is one of my favourite people in the world – a modest, intellectual and noble lady (attributes that are so rare to find these days.)

It was generous and thoughtful of Hilarious to gift me a set of two beauteous stoles, hijab cap, brooch and sleeves (in case my abayas are short-sleeved), wishing me a happy Ramadan. I have never worn shades such as these and was pleased to see the fabrics feel luxurious to my touch.

Some of my favourite cover-ups from the store are:

You can find some useful videos uploaded on YouTube, some exhibiting tutorials on styling hijabs and a few about the abaya studio.

You can view the videos here:

Al Amira Abaya Studio 

Al Amira Abaya Studio 2

Al Amira Abaya Studio 3

This one by ‘HungryZeen’

If you reside in Pune and are looking out for Hijabwear, you can avail Ramadan offers that are up fo grab at Al Amira Abaya Studio. They also ship all over India and abroad. You can get in touch with them for more information, of course.

I pray that Allah blesses Hilarious with immense ease and success in her chosen endeavour. Ameen 😊

Product Synopsis- Good Juicery

The rains seem to have given Pune a miss this time around the year as I hear other parts of Maharashtra receiving pre-monsoon showers. The weather here is getting warmer by the day. Ergo, it felt nice to recieve cans of drinks from Good Juicery during this sweltering heat.

It has taken me immense effort to hide them from kids before I write a review and click satisfying snaps. I wanted to save them until Ramadan begins so that we could have them after we broke our fasts. But I’m already planning to order a batch of Good Juicery drinks for Ramadan, in sha Allah. Thus I’ve refrigerated the cans before we sip on them in the evening today.

For this review, though, I unsealed the can which said ‘Sparkling Guava’ and gulped it down. The product indicates that it is sugar-free and free from preservatives too. Since it is a carbonated drink, it tastes mildly fizzy but without the profound sweetness that is usually found in cokes and other aerated drinks. I liked the guava infused punch it left in my mouth. I also think it’d make a great slush drink. Add the juice over crushed ice and icecream and you’d have a float drink. Perfect for desserts at Iftar in Ramadan.

The flavors sent to me are four: apple, passion fruit, guava and mango with mandarin. The colors of the cans are vibrant, coordinating with the flavors in them. The quantity of each can is 250 ml, which is priced at INR. 80.
I have yet to stock up on food groceries for Ramadan this year and I’ll have to remind myself to include these cooler drinks from Good Juicery in my list now. ☺

Our Trip Away From Home

We are back to our abode in Pune and our much awaited trip to Mumbai has concluded. Alhamdulilah, I’m glad that we spent everyday there making sure we have a good time.

Li’l Man, Wise Man and Darling had many a ‘first times’ in Mumbai this holiday:

🔸Since the multiplex is just a walk away from my parent’s house and we had heard rave reviews about this year’s blockbuster, I took them to watch the sequel of Bahubali 2. I’ve never taken them for a movie before and the boys were in awe of the whole phenomena of a movie theatre. They wanted me to take them there once again. Their requests were unmet, of course.

🔸Abbu (my dad) took them to the beach at Juhu. I couldn’t travel with them. I was low on health and stayed home with Darling. Once they were back, I got to hear stories about how thrilled they were to have seen the beach, touch the waves on the shore and play chase on the muddy sand there.

🔸On our trip to the mall, Li’l Man initiated trying out ‘the bungee jumping’. The ride is simply called so. It isn’t, in fact, a bungee jump at all. He was suspending high in the air for 3 mins, secured by cords and had the liberty to stretch and reach the trampoline below. I was pleasantly surprised that he wanted to try it out.

🔸Darling achieved his biggest milestone yet- walking without support. Alhamdulilah. Hubster was thrilled seeing Darling walk unsteadily towards him and drop in his arms when we returned here yesterday!

Besides the fascinating debuts of their experiences, we spent casual evenings in gardens close to home, where they had fun on slides and swings. Ice-creams, golas, candyfloss and popcorn had almost become a staple in their diet. I realised that I would have some straightening out to do once I returned to Pune because there they were spoilt silly.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to shop for books because the place I had in mind is too distant and it’d take me hours to reach back once I stepped out. I didn’t think it’d would have been wise to take kids along since the journey was long and they wouldn’t allow me to buy books at peace under the scorching sun. However, just a day before we were supposed to return, both Li’l Man and Wise Man agreed on staying home while they let me go to my dream destination (I’m easy to please, I know 🙄). Mamma (my mum) has been my travel companion everywhere and we had a good day lunching out, buying books and yapping away on our way in the cab.

Children still have a month to go before their school reopens. Hubster and myself will be busy with their school admissions soon. My parents have to deal with some work of their own in Pune so they travelled with me and are staying with us now.

I’m cherishing the rejuvenation I so strongly needed. I’m looking forward to resuming content writing from tomorrow. This break replenished us and I’m now in a mood to put my best foot forward, in sha Allah ☺

Product Synopsis- Blend It Raw Apothecary

Shea butter is a cornucopia of good health and natural remedies. If you spot one that is odorless, off white/creamish and non-greasy then you have the purest form of shea butter.

An unadulterated form of shea butter is just what Blend It Raw gives you.

This post has been pending for long. I know It’s sweltering at the moment but I don’t wish to move forth without writing a review on this product first.

Pros:

✔ When I got my hands on this magic butter, little did I know that it was swarming with benefits. Once I googled it, I realised that I could use it to apply on Darling’s skin, first as a patch test then on regular basis. The acne on Darling’s skin had been my worst nightmare even if I didn’t fuss about them much. So, last month, I used shea butter to rub all over Darling’s body and face after giving him a bath. Sure enough, Alhamdulilah, his skin improved and the dryness due to winters on his skin also disappeared. The natural fatty acids and vitamins helped greatly in keeping the skin hydrated.

✔ I am fond of lip balms and used the shea butter before going to bed. My lips tend to dry and crack often and the effect of shea butter has been remedial.

✔ Also, when I found hubster suffering from rashes on his feet, I simply rubbed the miracle butter and he was instantly relieved.

Cons

❌ There was almost nothing I did not like about this product except that it is expensive. A bottle of 50 g will cost you INR 475/-. However, if good skin and lips are high on your priority list, this can be overlooked.

Not my brand of feminism

I couldn’t agree more with this. She speaks my mind!

Moms Latest Trick!

I am quite the feminist. Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that. I like fairness when dealing with gender issues. As a rule I tend to detest sexist notions and stereotypes. Especially the desi types. But I also like to keep it real. Raking up gender politics only for the sake of raking them up sounds puerile to me. So I came across this video on Facebook feed about how Indian women are fed up with all the sexist comments thrown at them, and how one sassy lass keeps her critics in place. I love it when women fight back and claim whats their own, those are my kind of fun stories, but this one I found disturbing.

Here’s why:

#1. In clip one, a desi mom is chastising her daughter for not knowing how to cook. “The way to a man’s heart is through is stomach,” quotes…

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