Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ummi's House Review & Giveaway

Alhamdulilah there are so many talented sisters out there, that are blessing our community! It is so important we support halal, family, and beneficial businesses. We were recently blessed to receive some wonderful products from Ummi's House.

When I say talented sisters, Umm Ayana Of Ummi's House and her mother are right at the top! Eco-friendly, homemade, handmade, and done with love and care is what you will receive from their products. Ummi's House is a mother daughter team, supplying products and services that can be used in any mothers house, hence the name Ummi's House. They greatly enjoy their homemaking hobbies, and it's that joy that is shown in their products

So this happy homemaker was beyond thrilled to use Ummi's house products.

Alhamdulilah our bread baking was extra blessed as we wore aprons from Ummi's House.

Allah is Merciful, we were baking garlic knots a few days before getting our package and I said the children needed aprons, well subhanAllah Allah  answered my duaa and each boy had an awesome homemade apron. My boys were to the moon!!

Thank Allah for His many blessings!

We put our hands in the dough and it was a blessed experience, there's no better way to make bread then with the ones I love. We KNEAD more love in the world, lol silly I know but true. And After all, we are team Rahim :)

Sun dried tomato bread  and a awesome breadbag from Ummi's House: Bread Bag From Ummi's House mashaAllah what a cute, cool, and environmentally friendly way to give the gift of homemade bread.

After getting flour on us and getting a little messy, it was sure nice to use this homemade soap from Ummi's House:  Rice Cereal Soap and Honey Oatmeal Bar

It came with a homemade scrubby that you can use for bathing or for washing dishes.

Ummi's House was so kind in blessing us and we in turn would love to bless one of our readers! alhamdulilah yay!!

We have an extra bread bag and soap set for one chosen reader! How can you enter this giveaway? Simple! 

1. Join Ummi's House on facebook: Ummi's House Facebook 
 2. have 10 of your friends join saying that you sent them (please post on the wall not inbox messaging), and 
3. last post a picture of your yummiest homemade bread/ or homemade bread item (i.e. pita bread, pizza crust, naan bread) on Ummi's House facebook page 

She will pick the loveliest loaf of bread and we will send you a bread bag and soap set!! After all that baking you should have a nice bag to put it in and wonderful soap to relax you at the end of a long day right? This giveaway is to end Sunday: Feb 3, 2013

Bring Ummi's House To Your House!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Learning To Co- Pilot

We made a commitment...

When I married him I agreed that he would be the head of our home, that he is the imam of our home and I am under his leadership.

When entering marriage we are saying these things, not verbally (an sometimes verbally), but we know that with such a commitment there are things to be expected.

 Every job has a boss, someone that makes the decisions and in our home our husband has the final say he is in charge.

That does not mean we do not have a say, we can politely express our concerns and questions but the final say belongs to our husband. May Allah help us to respect that and be peaceful about it.

So we have to learn to be better co- pilots alhamdulilah, because sometimes we have the tendency to speak in a way that can insult our husbands leadership and not trust that he is making good decisions for our family.

Once we have expressed our concerns, questions etc and our husband still goes in the direction he chooses for the family then just pray Allah is guiding him and opens our hearts and eyes to what is going on, because we may not understand why our husband is doing x, y,and z ... if we were to understand it will help us receive it better.

When striving to advise our husbands it may be better to ask questions, not say "It's better to do it this way!" "Do this, don't do that!!" but say "Do you think it would work if we did it like this?" now we are showing him what we want and still giving him his right to make the final decision.

So this reminds me of the hadith on the importance of being obedient when we may question it:

 Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) reported from the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) that a man told his wife, as he was leaving his house, not to go out in his absence. Her father lived in the lower portion of the house and she lived in the upper portion. Her father fell ill so she sent a message and asked Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) what to do. He told her to obey her husband. Her father died, so she asked from the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) again regarding her case. He told her again to obey her husband. Then he (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) sent her a message saying, ‘Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has forgiven your father due to your obedience of your husband.” [Mujamah]

Wow subhanAllah many of us would have had a hard time listening to our husband in this situation? Some of us may have left any way, ignoring our husbands orders astagfirllah... but subhanAllah look how the father was rewarded due to his daughters obedience to her husband.

There are much blessings in listening to our husbands and being patient with their leadership.

Can we learn to better co-pilots ? For the sake of healthy happy marriages and families we should! To please our Lord, we must!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Motivational Homemaking: Homemaking Binder Part 2

Okay well remember months ago I introduced my homemaking binder to everyone? MashaAllah see: Homemaking Binder

I updated it last night and wanted to share some new additions I added to it. I have been writing all my bread baking recipes in the book, homemade laundry detergent, and other new ideas. This will be great to pass on to the children, mashaAllah I am looking forward to seeing what the year will look like. All the menus and journal writing.

How do you benefit from starting a homemaking binder?

After menu planning for a good few months, I look back and can easily say, next week I'm making some or all the meals from the week of such and such date mashaAllah it makes menu planning much easier! It gives me inspiration to pick something we enjoyed before and helps to give me ideas for the other weeks.

Record keeping- mashaAllah it's pretty cool to see how many new DIY projects we made. Homemade toothpaste recipes and homemade cloth diaper detergent. I think down the road our family will be able to share it with each other inshaAllah and use it as a reference.

Now the new additions in the homemaking binder:

Weekly memorization goals- yes mashaAllah this is truly needed, how, when and what surah am I working on for the week or next few weeks. The ayats I need to memorize each day and so on mashaAllah helps me keep track of what Surah I am learning.

Journal time- mashaAllah when it is time to look back on the day, what did I learn? What would I like to accomplish tomorrow God willing? Well theres a new space in the binder for that.

Budgets- Way to keep track of what our monthly/weekly expenses are and bills that need to be paid etc.

Recipes- Printed out recipes or recipes from the magazines/ coupons etc has pocket space in the binder

Homeschool lessons- I combined my lesson plan book in my binder and that will serve as great record keeping mashaAllah

Do you have a binder? If so leave a link below! Would love to see it inshaAllah

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Wise Woman Does Well With Little

Dear God, please make me wise ameen.

My friend posted this as her status "A wise woman does well with little"

Sometimes it can be difficult when you are not rich in money, but because we have family.. a husband who loves us, children who love us... then we are rich in love and happiness.

At times we have to remember that we can do so much with what we have. And a little goes a long way.. especially in the hearts of the ones we love.

We are tested in this area a lot,  for my family some of our happiest days come from the simplest joys. We tend to forget the blessings and fun one can have with what seems to be very little to some.

I remember one day feeling so sad and crying that I could not give my children some expensive gadget thing for them to have fun with.  It took me some time to learn that my children talk more about time baking together, growing food together, and learning together --more than they ever talked about some toy that was bought or latest anything.

I learned they love me, they love our time together, they don't "need our presents, they need our presence" yeah its true, even the simplest homemade gifts my children adore mashaAllah.

They are learning early to appreciate love, family, and making memories... not the expensive clothes, the glitter of life, and the emptiness of being materialistic.

As a mom we have to make blessings stretch... in face of financial burdens in stress, we must be more creative with what we have.

Maybe we cannot afford a movie night... but never underestimate the fun of sitting with family for movie night with popcorn and homemade treats, right in your living room

I learned to be more creative in times of financial hardship.. and learning to be grateful and make the most of what we do have. alhamdulilah

Our children and family look to us for boosting the morale of the home. Continue to smile and our children will not worry. Their hearts do not need such stress...

What we focus on expands.. if we constantly talk about what we dont have, what we want... then we lose focus on what we do have and taking joy in the blessings around us. And then we make ourselves sad and even angry... "why don't we have enough money like so and so..." we may begin to covet "i want that car, tired of catching the bus" .. and then spouses tend to argue more.

Ya Allah please increase our gratitude, change our attitude and help us be patient ameen

They say good things come to those who wait... even if it be until we get to jannah (may Allah make it so ameen ameen)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yeast Substitutes- Kitchen Chemistry

Alhamdulilah after a year of bread making I am learning so much mashaAllah!!

Thanks to the awesome sisters on facebook I learned about soaking my flour, but that's for another post.

A lot of people have asked us about why we make no yeast breads. This is our taste preference, we think it makes a great tasting sandwich bread. It's not as fluffy and big like yeast breads but we enjoy them. Yes sometimes we make yeast breads too, we tend to switch it up every now and then. Our favorite will always be a yeast free bread.

If you are not using yeast then there are several substitutes that I have learned and tried personally.. when using a yeast free substitute there is no need for rise time, as you would have for a yeast bread.

Are you ready for some kitchen chemistry? Take out your apron and recipe book... yes you should have one of those :) inshaAllah and let's run down a few ways you can make a yeast free bread:

1.) Baking powder- Baking powder is ready to go, there are aluminum free baking powders and they do not need anything to make it react.  Baking powder contains baking soda and an acid inside. You just add enough that would cover the amount of yeast needed in the bread recipe. It is said a little is needed to help dough rise once it is in the oven

2.) Baking Soda- Unlike its baking powder brother, it does need a reactor that is acidic to help it activate. When you use this method, it is the last ingredient added with its acidic mate.

What acidic mates could you use?

Lemon juice- equal parts baking soda and lemon juice .. When baking soda combines with the acidic lemon juice, it creates carbon dioxide bubbles that helps the dough to rise! Woo hoo!

Vinegar- equal parts baking soda and vinegar --- no this does not change the taste in our breads, as far as making the breads taste like lemon or vinegar mashaAllah

Once you add these ingredients in, place in the oven right away... remember no rise time needed :) and always add the substitute last.

No lemon juice or vinegar?

Buttermilk works with reacting the baking soda

and if you do not have buttermilk substitute it with : yogurt and milk.. mix 3/4 cup plain yogurt with 1/4 cup milk

MashaAllah I have tried every combination mentioned and it works for us, our breads are good mashaAllah. If you ever run out of yeast or want to try something different then inshaAllah consider using one of these substitutes for yeast.

Where are my positive sisters?

 SubhanAllah we had a great week here at home. Very lovely time homeschooling, we have gotten much done mashaAllah. I spent a little time this early morning to do some blogging. I pray it is of benefit.

Is it just me or are we on what seems to be a shortage of positive sisters?

Lately, i have seen more complaints instead of compliments. Sometimes we have to learn to control our emotions better. remember to wish others well and not the opposite.

Not everything someone does will work in your home. we have to find what works for us. And on this journey it is not for us to tell someone else what they are doing is a waste of time, or stupid. We can say alhamdulilah this works for you and your family and leave the negativity behind!

One of the things that concerned me when doing Traditional Muslimah Homemaker was the concern of sisters putting me down. Alhamdulilah i have had  a very good year on TMH and had very awesome feedback mashaAllah alhamdulilah!! I had an occasional bump or two, and it caused me to ask.. why are we not supportive and positive to our sisters? We should encourage good, even if it may not be good for us personally. For example not everyone wants to wash clothes on a washboard, but that does not mean you should put someone down for it. There is no harm in doing this good thing for someones family, the harm comes when we want to bring others down.

Sometimes we may not realize we are doing it, we have to be more mindful of our intentions when we are speaking to others... what end result do we want to see? will it benefit in the end? why am I saying or doing this?

Remember sisters, everyone situation is different and we can only speak from our own journey. If someone can benefit from it, alhamdulilah that is great, but if they cannot then please continue to find what works for you. Alhamdulilah TMH is a journey i love sharing with everyone, of what my family does, new lessons and experiences learned in my life, and happiness in embracing homemaking. I pray something said and done is of benefit.

No need to rain on the parade, by being negative and saying "this wont work," "I can't do all of that" "no one does that..." "thats too much work" is it too much work to just simply not respond to something that does not work for you? Why ruin the positivity with negativity?

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah salAllahu alayhi wa salaam said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good things or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbor  Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his [travelling] visitor.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim)

SubhanAllah I must remember this hadith. Please speak a good word to your sister in Islam, to your family and friends. As my friend always tell me "Shaytan is your enemy, not your sister" so please inshaAllah encourage and support positive, halal, and joyous matters.. leave the negativity and coveting behind.

I ask Allah to help us in these matters and guide us in our speech ameen ameen

Cleaning With Children

You clean up, they may mess it up.

I do not expect my home to be spotless all day. I'm a homeschooling mom of our four boys. Need I say more? :)
alhamdulilah but through the day I do teach the children lessens in keeping order. I am not the most organized person. I would love to be inshaAllah. I am on the road to doing that, and the children are learning along the way.

There are a few things that work for us when cleaning with children:

1.) Everything has a place- The children know everything in the house has a home. The toys have a home, their books have a home... and if its in the middle of the floor, it's lost and needs to go home. Yes this works with the children mashaAllah. My four year old said the other day after I asked him what he was doing "putting the toy in its home" I was so happy he understood that his toy did not belong on the floor (if he was not playing with it) and knew where it went! if the items in your home do not have a specific place, inshaAllah it is good to figure out where everything belongs. Less chaos if everyone knew where everything went.

2.) Clean as you go- This works for us mashaAllah, try not to leave from one room to the next, without taking an item out to put it in its proper room. Dishes in the living room? Don't just leave them, take them out as you leave the room and put them in the sink. My rule for myself is every time I go in the kitchen wash three items, in the sink. With all the children up, I may not be able to knock out dishes in one go, but I can do a few at a time until its all done.

3.) Routines- lately before heading to the bedroom the boys and I have been cleaning the living room before we exit. Thank Allah it has been helping me. They love to help and with the four of us we get it done faster, we race to see who can pick things up and put them in their home the fastest. The boys are getting adjusted to doing this and after its done we proceed with our usual story time/ bath/ bathroom/ brush teeth routine. Little children love to help, I lost count how many times the boys asked to wash their own clothes on the wash board lol.

4.) Pick a chore, any chore- alhamdulilah everyone chips in. The boys- one may put the toys away, the other may put the books away and everyone is doing something. I laughed because the youngest son, he pulled down the books and my two yr old said "we just cleaned that up!!" he had a "are you serious" look on his face LOL he was not pleased with the baby. I think he understands the time it takes to clean up and how it feels after having done something and someone comes and makes a mess. Life lessons at home 101 !

5.) Children are children- I really don't get bothered or get upset at how they play with their toys and love to enjoy themselves. After all they are not robots, they are young children who love to play and I love to watch their happy faces mashaAllah. We have to be realistic too :) I love to play with them and what is important is that when things are not in use it has to... read number 1 :)

InshaAllah if you have any special tips that has worked in your home please do leave a comment :)

The Homemaking Husband

Alhamdulilah this blog post is written in response to a sister who asked on the Traditional Muslimah Homemaking page about how can we get our husbands to do a fair share at home.

MashaAllah I'm a mom of four boys- four boys whom I pray will be good husbands, and while they are young: 5,4,2 and 8 months, they are absorbing a lot at their young age. They are picking up habits, they are impressionable mashaAllah and we have to make good impressions. Their father is their example . ...of how to be as a man- a father, a husband, a Muslim.

It is important their father show them how to be helpful around the home. Our beloved Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa salaam was helpful at home:

"He was very human: he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe and serve himself." (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/256; al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 671) 
Aisha radiAlahu anha was also asked about what the Messenger of Allah salAllahu alayhi wa salaam used to do in his house, and she said, "He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray." (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 2/162). 

How can we get our husbands to lend a loving helping hand more often?

1.) Please please please increase your gratitude. If he did the dishes, express gratitude.. "Wow subhanAllah habeebee, I really appreciate you doing x, y, and z for me. It's just what I needed to get done today, I love that you are so helpful"  you keep thanking him for what he does, and inshaAllah he will continue to do it. If you focus on what he is not doing then you will not see what he is doing right, It's motivating when someone tells you, you are doing a job well done. Makes you want to keep on going right? Give it time and he will keep it up inshaAllah

2.) Reward him- who does not like a little token of appreciation? Did he clean out that garage? Mop the floors? Picked his clothes up off the floor? Reward him, cook his favorite dinner, leave a sweet note, bake him a cake, and really whats sweeter than cake is the sweetness of appreciation manifested in action. Showing appreciation is important. The next time hubby washes clothes, be sure to do something nice in return. 

3.) Remind him- "But I tell him all the time he need to do some more work around the house, dang I'm just one person, I only have two hands" LOL alhamdulilah it's true, we are one person, and sometimes we have to give gentle reminders. "As salaamu alaykum ya habeebee, I'm feeling so tired today could you please do x, y, and z for me with a little a, b,c ?" Chances are your husband is not a mind reader, and he needs a loving reminder. Sometimes that's all some husbands need, leave a note on the fridge, write it on his to do list, text message him..but do not bombard him. Tricky? Not really.. if you combine 2 and 3 it just may work :) Plus, if you see him about to drop those clothes on the floor or put the dish in the sink... remind him of what to do, not in a bossy way. "Babe, if you're taking that in the kitchen can you wash that for me please, thanks a lot"  if you are working, and not home ..saying things such as "Before I come home, could you do a,b, and c? please?" and if he agrees, you may need to remind him lovingly.. a text message/email that says "i know youre busy doing abc, and I just wanted to say you're an awesome husband- thank you again, love you" not only did you remind him nicely, you complimented him.. and if he wasn't doing it, he probably will start before you get home lol.

4.) Team work- My husband is big on this!! He loves to help in the kitchen "4 hands are better than two" as he says, well it is true. Again, in a loving gentle way ask "Hey dear, I can get this done faster if we worked together.." "I love your company, mind helping me out doing such and such?" before you know it, you're laughing, talking and spending time together. This is how hubby and I make great meals together mashaAllah we have fun cooking together. Sometimes we are so busy talking, we actually move slow in getting things done, we then remind each other "Let's talk and work." MashaAllah team work work makes the dream work right?

5.) Patience patience and more patience-  InshaAllah he will come around, keep making duaa and using kind speech to let him know what you need. Also at the right time, simply saying what you need and how you feel is important, he cannot fix what is wrong if he does not know. How we go about it can either help or hurt us. This does not work: "OH MY GOD!! You see the dishes in the sink and you still didn't clean them!! I need a vacation! You don't do anything!!" yeah... you won't get good results this way. Best to keep calm (have you seen those pictures?) and say how you feel without insulting, arrogance, and rudeness. Insulting by saying he does nothing, arrogance because you feel like you do it all and he should be more like you and rudeness by putting him down. Hurting his manhood does not help.. reminder to myself . use our words to heal and not hurt.

Catch them when they are in the act of doing some help at home, and compliment him for a job well done! It's a blessing to have a husband who will go wash those cloth diapers for me, cook dinner at times, and watch the kids so I can get a little extra time in bed alhamdulilah.

He said to me one day, the more appreciation you show the more I am inclined to do those things. Yeah, it's true. My husband appreciates when I bake bread and it inspires me to bake more. If he did not pay it any mind and did not appreciate it, it would truly hurt my feelings and not give me the little spark I love to keep going.

When he tells me he loves my yogurt, I fall in love all over again lol, mashaAllah alhamdulilah. You know how it feels when your husband compliments you... so imagine how they feel. Alhamdulilah these are the few tips that have helped in my life, with the love of my life. I pray they are of some benefit.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alhamdulilah! We grew wheatgrass!

If you did not catch our how to sprout wheat berries post inshaAllah please check it out:
after sprouting the wheat berries we planted them in the soil :) and put them back into the dark until they grew about 4 inches or so long. Keeping the soil not overly wet, and covering them back up, for a couple days.
after about two days they started to look like this:

Then maybe four days later they were long thin and brown! The children and I were excited. Since it was in the dark for a good few days, the wheat was brown. Time to move to the next phase alhamdulilah we learned something important about Allah's creation in this process, and it became a whole homeschool lesson  mashaAllah this picture was taken yesterday. The first day out of the dark.

This morning walked in the room to this beautiful sight mashaAllah!!! How awesome and wonderful Allah's creation is. Not only did we have a nice two weeks exploring and learning about wheat berries, Allah blessed us to grow a food in our home that we can benefit from.
SubhanAllah here are few things I have read, and theres a link provided at the end:

It is said to:
increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. It cleanses the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass also stimulates metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.
Stimulates the thyroid gland, correcting obesity, indigestion, and a host of other complaints.
Restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood. It can be used to relieve many internal pains, and has been used successfully to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and other complaints of the gastrointestinal tract.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Moment With God

Alhamdulilah it was one of those mornings where the children slept a little longer.
I was able to sip my tea quietly and watch the baby play with his sock... yes a sock ;) lol alhamdulilah it's the simple things, at that young age.

 I really enjoy the peace and quiet.... it is a good time to reflect and gather my thoughts before the morning picks up pace.

If you have one child or more, you learn to appreciate the 5 or 10 mins of calm and quiet moments.  You also learn, your thoughts are clearer and it is  good time to mend and renew your relationship with Allah.

I truly believe every parent needs that time. Whether you are up extra early, or in the middle of the day when children take a nap... there is nothing like those reflecting moments when you can connect with your Lord. No loud noise, no screaming, no movement... complete reflection.

A moment to open the Quran and read His words, and read just what we need  to help increase our iman, our gratitude, and renew our hope.

A moment to put our hands together for duaa, and ask for us to have strengh, guidance, patience and ease on our days journey.

Our relationship with Allah has a lot to do with how we treat people, how we view the world, how we look at things...

Are you feeling cursed not blessed? Are you showing gratitude to Allah for what you have? “...If you are grateful, I will surely give you more....” (14th Surah, verse 7)

Are you constantly angry? Have you asked Allah to soften your heart? 
Al Imran- 3:134 Those who spend [in Allâh's Cause - deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allâh loves Al-Muhsinûn (the good­doers).

Feeling like your sins are too much? Did you ask Allah for forgiveness? do not despair, Allah is so forgiving!

Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."

We get close moments in our daily prayers... I totally understand with children how it can be hard to focus and really connect.. but there are some things we can do about that

1.) Adab- we should teach our children the importance of prayer and learn early that when others are praying they should not be so loud :) .. they will talk sometimes and they are children, but they must use their inside prayer voice ..which is a bit lower then the inside voice

2.) Keep hands busy- Make the announcement, okay in 10 mins we are getting ready to pray so please get your coloring book, reading book, or puzzle. We truly cannot expect 100 percent of the time children can sit really still until prayer is over. I do not know about you but mine have ants in their pants lol so they must keep their hand busy. InshaAllah I will share some games children play while parents pray

3.) Misri bunch, adams world, zaky's adventures.. take your pick and the children can be engaged watching their favorite islamic show. Zaky has one on prayer that we love mashaAllah!

InshaAllah we can take advantage of those quiet moments and salat times... and get more from our moments with God

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How To Sprout Wheat Berries

Alhamdulilah here is how to sprout your wheat berries:

1.) Put wheat berries in a jar and add water to cover it, then cover with cheesecloth
2.) Store in a dark place for 12 hours
3.) Drain water, rinse, and keep tilted so water can drain, put it back in the dark area
4.) After 12 hours rinse again, shake it gently and put it back
5.) Continue step 4 until they sprout, and it took us three days alhamdulilah

Consider the following:
Adding sprouted wheat berries in your breads, salads etc
Once sprouted, grow into wheat grass