Monday, April 15, 2013

IRL OOTD: City Market

IRL OOTD: City Market

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato~
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you~

Just thought I'd share an IRL OOTD with ya'll.  Sunday my husband and I ventured down to the city market -- it's my favorite thing to do.  We looked around at the flea market and then bought tons of fresh produce for incredibly cheap.  I bought eggplant for Mat'loobi, yummmmm, my favorite.

This is what I wore -- it was incredibly windy, so I was happy to have my jacket to tuck my scarf into.  Nothing's worse than your scarf magically floating around your head...

After we were done shopping I got some berry gelato at the Italian market.  It was delicious!

In sh Allah you all had a delightful weekend :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Going Home

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato~
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you~

Next weekend my husband and I will visit my parents' country home, in sh Allah.  These pictures remind me of the simple beauty of my roots.  My ancestors have been farmers for hundreds of years.  My mother's cousin traced their lineage back to the 1700s, and her family were farmers in Tennessee.  My father's family is much of the same, although located more centrally in the U.S.

The place I grew up is so lovely -- in sh Allah I will share some pictures here sometime after next weekend.  We plan on planting some fruit trees, and my husband and father will go turkey hunting. We will probably build a bonfire and sit outside late, chatting and making fire foods.

I always miss home when I go back, but I can't imagine staying there for too long, you know?  Much to my mother's disappointment...

Country life has a much different rhythm.  I still run to that rhythm, even though it's been years since I lived there. Alhamdulillah for my roots.  I would not be who I am without them.




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Apartment Decorating on a Budget

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato~
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you~

As I am moving to a new apartment soon, this gives me lots of new opportunities to redecorate/add decorations to my spaces.  My apartment now is cute, but not terribly put together.  I didn't have much of a budget when I moved last year.

I thought I would share some of my budget-friendly redecorating ideas on my blog :)

Idea #1:  Botanical Prints

Did you know that you can find botanical prints for free online?!  Well, you can.  Here's one site I found:  I plan on picking out the prints I like, saving the large size, printing them off, and framing them.  I think some vintage fruit sketches would look cute in the kitchen/dining area, and I might use some flowery type ones in our bedroom.

Idea #2:  IKEA bargains

Wow, is IKEA affordable.  It's comparable in pricing/cheaper than Walmart and Target 9/10 and the quality/look is very nice.  They have also recently added more items to their online shopping dept. so woooohoooo, Swedishstuff here I come :) !  Here are some finds I might purchase...
I love how country chic this duvet cover is.  Right up my alley...

This is my husband's pick for a duvet cover.  I like it also -- I've always had a thing for this print.  So long as it doesn't actually have people printed on it, which would be weird/Islamically impermissible. 
These curtains don't seem like much, but I plan on making a bed canopy out of them!  I've always wanted a canopy, and there's no time like the present, so... :)

I love this crib and bookshelf series, and it's on sale right now!  Enough said.

Idea #3:  Etsy

Etsy is a great way to find wall art and antique decorating accessories on the cheap.  I have also found that they have a good selection of Islamic prints suitable for a child's room...  You can also find Islamic wall decals, if that's your cup of tea. 

Antique wash basins are so sweet!  They always remind me of my grandmother, she always had them in bedrooms.  You can always find heaps of antique teacups and handkerchiefs also, which are so affordable and cute.

Idea #4:  DIY

DIY is a great budget-friendly option for decorating.  If you have any old furniture, or you find some thrifting, it's so easy to refinish furniture and make it look new.  Or add something to a wall space with a stencil.  I have a project planned with an old cupboard I inherited from my grandmother.  Here are some stencil ideas (which you can also use to add patterns to cheap-o rugs)....

If you see a stencil pattern that you like, it's fairly easy to copy. Most stencils show that actual stencil.  You can print that out, then trace it onto a thin piece of cardboard (I always use the cardboard from notebooks!), and you can paint accordingly.  Pretty easy.

Replacing the hardware on furniture is another easy/cheap way to restyle the furniture  you already have or furniture you have thrifted. 

Another DIY to consider is bed canopies!  I love canopied beds, and have always wanted one.  Recently, I've been thinking, "It would be so easy to DIY one!" So that's what I plan on doing.  Here's how (hopefully) the end result will look:

So, that's all for now!  In sha Allah I will post after pictures and let you all know which ideas I used and how they went.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wearing Niqab

Asalaamu alaykum wa rahmatallahi wa barakato~
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you~

A couple days ago, I had my first bonafide experience wearing a niqab.  It was not planned.  I was driving home from university, and I just decided to wrap my scarf around my face and pin it.  It was instinctual, really -- kind of like my first time wearing the hijab -- it just felt right.

So anyway, that feeling of "rightness" didn't last long.  Almost immediately I got a reaction (mind you, I was in a car on the highway).

I passed an SUV going 5 over the speed limit--normal, non-dangerous type driving.  The man in the SUV began speeding up, so I looked over.  And I will never forget what I saw.

I have never, EVER in my life seen such an expression of shock and disgust -- even horror -- as I saw on that man's face.  It was as if I didn't have a face, or my face had been ripped off.  Yup, if my face had literally been ripped off, his reaction would have been the same, most likely.

He sort of drove side-by-side with me for what felt like an eternity, although it was probably only a few minutes.  I just stared calmly back at him -- I didn't show any emotional response to his crazy behavior.

Well, the interchange ended with his revving off (he suddenly decided to drive like 90 miles an hour) and leaving me in his dust.

I can't say that I felt completely cool and collected after that.  I mean, someone had just looked at me like I was the grim reaper.  I tried to calm myself down and carry on.

Now, I have had crazy reactions to my hijab.  I have had harassment, and rude comments, and unkindness.  But I have never had a face react quite like that to my appearance before.  And it frightened me.

I just keep thinking, what was running through that man's mind?  He looked so disgusted and shocked, but what did he feel when he looked at me, a covered woman just driving on the highway?

And mostly, why did he feel it was okay to react to a human being that way?  Just because I had covered my face up didn't mean I suddenly became a robot.  It didn't mean I was something to be feared, or leered at like some sort of nasty spectacle.

I will never treat anyone the way that man on the highway treated me.  My heart goes out to all of the sisters who wear the niqab, especially in the West where reactions to it can be so violent.  May Allah reward all of you, in sh Allah.