Create a Spa Day at home…

I know that spas are now open, and their seems to be a little more of the ‘going out‘ into what is the ‘new‘ normal, yet Covid has also really made us appreciate our homes, and taking ‘time out‘ within our homes is now the ‘new‘ normal that we would never have phantom before.

Before Covid ‘Home‘ was just a place I stayed in before I went out….. Now Home is where I Live, and I can do all the things I love whilst in the comfort of my own dwellings. It does take a bit of effort, but the beauty is, once I am done…….. well I’m already home…..there’s no driving back, no making an effort to get dressed, or wearing the 6inch heels that make my feet sore for days. I could potentially just get into bed……what could be more Bliss than that?

Something I have learnt to tell myself over the years is that, Our body is a working machine and just like everything in life needs maintenance, (whether that be a car for service, a boiler service, or washing machine……) It too needs a service now and again, and my service is a day out to a Spa…. (the hubby forever rolls his eyes at my theories *me rolling eyes back*).

With Boris’s constant mood swings about whether to open spas or not….its been a roller coaster in terms of fitting it in, and also just trying to get out is nerve racking with the anxieties of Covid.

So its time to make a little haven in our own homes, its safer, its easy, and its a saving in the bank.

Lets do it shall we?

Spa Water

Is there something about ‘Spa Water‘ that’s different?…….not really its usually just water served up in a pretty jug with fruits inside and ice…… it makes a pretty picture and it has all the spa feels…..and so refreshing. This is the quickest and easiest thing to do….. Serve it up…..

Bath Bombs

I know generally we don’t get coloured water in spas- but the blue of the jacuzzies and the swimming pool, makes it all a spa kinda feel…… so how will we do that? Easy Peesy…..Bath bombs, and the plus side of this is, get a nice smelling one! and maybe you want to go for pink, or purple! Do YOU!

Face Mask

Ok so we got no-one to give us that facial we needed, but we do have masks at hand, just glaze it on, and let it soak!

Foot Soak

When you think of a spa- what do you think of?….. ill tell you what I think off, I think of relaxing, soft sounds, water, smooth smells and ….. Lemons….. Yup you saw that right Lemons….. because Lemons are refreshing, and pretty and yellow… and feel like a Spa? …. Not understanding me? How bout a foot soak in this?

Now you get me? ahhhh Bliss….. I am in a Spa!

Add Lemons, some sea salts, maybe a few plants and get that refreshing and relaxing Spa feel in.

Candles and Oils

Get the candles out, dim the light, get the hubby/partner or friend to join you or do it yourself, face massage, scalp massage, any massage. Oil on the body is the ultimate ‘I have been to a Spa’ feel.

Hair Mask

From the usual errands of the day, hair masks are a chore, but Today is the day! Get the hair mask out and add that moisture back into the hair whilst you soak.

Music

How easy is to to get music on now? use your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, whatever….. get some relaxing tunes in to get you into the flow

Light Lunch

If I have a friend over- then Lunch is mandatory, Sandwiches, Salads, Refreshing Juices are the way to go…. all light, cool and refreshing….. or maybe even Afternoon Tea (Of course!)

And there you have it, the Ultimate DIY Spa Day in.

And now ill get back to my day….Enjoy Yours!

Love and Regards

M11bna

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How to Create the Ultimate Canapé Party….

So we decided to invite a few people over for lunch, by We I mean me and Afsha, by few people I mean my friends and her friends, and when I say lunch I mean…………..its time for a …..partaaaaaay! because that what we do best!

We have a problem, me and Afsha that is, a really big problem, not a bad problem…. well not for the people we invite anyway, but for us it usually ends up being a hair tearing, ideas all over the board, running around and stressing each other all through the night, and waking up at silly o clock to entertain our loved ones. And…. we wouldn’t want it any other way!!!

So we decided to invite our select few for lunch, and we wanted to do something a bit different, a bit niche, a bit glamorous, a bit memorable….. and we ended up with this:

Welcome to our Canape Party.

A What party? …….I heard you! A Canape Party, because what could be more niche than this?

We decided on Canapes only, because lets face it, us women we love picking on food, we love trialling, and we love pretty looking food and we love……. a photo opportunity, and I do think we ticked off all the boxes.

So what did we do and how did we create this?

Firstly we listed off a few canapes. We had to make sure that no one goes home empty stomached so our canapes consisted of some light canapes and some of the more heavier and filling canapes….

…………and drinks- we decided on Pina Coloda, I mean who is going to say not to a Pina Colada? Not me!

and now to make it Insta worthy:

Well here is our set up, we used a backdrop with white flowers. A backdrop always make anything look so much better and it gets people guessing whether your at home or out. we used a dining table covered with a white sheet and we went for the rustic look, so used crates, wooden logs, ivy and more floral decorations. We placed logs and trays according to the canapes we had, and just kept topping up as required throughout the day.

Now lets take a closer look at the Canapes:

Prawn Cocktail, drizzled with salt and red chilli flakes….just pick one up and pop it in your mouth…..

Mini Fish and Chips served with Tartar sauce in individual dessert bowls (don’t forget the lemon slice). Don’t they look a picture? It’s literally a bitesized amount….

Mini Gourmet burgers. These fit in the palm of your hand, They were the cutest. The burger and the bun were both home made. Contact Afsha for more.

Mini Pizza and Quiches. How adorable are these? Once again Contact Afsha for these.

How delighful do these nachos look in the cups with salsa. This was my favourite by far…

Our favourite! Bruschetta, and see if you can spot the springroll in the cup with the tangy chilli sauce?

Olive Tails- basically tomato, olives and feta cheese on a cocktail stick! Yum

and lastly the Pina Colada. We did a few in the pineapples for the photos, the rest were in wine glasses (it is hard work. Maybe for another blog post one day? hmmmm…… there is an idea)

and here is a video of the whole thing

And thats an extremely chuffed and tired us! and we had the best time.

And how did we do? You tell me?

If you are after a canape party in Leicester, give Afsha a follow for your canape needs. I promise shes worth it. I cant host anything without her.

Afsha when we doing the next one??

Love and regards

M11bna

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Ms Beauty. The Perfect Girly Catch Up Date

If you follow me on Instagram then you will know I go here atleast 3 times a year minimum, and if I consider you to be special I’ve definately taken you here, if not…. Keep working Girlfriend, Not quite in my circle yet ( listen I’m 37 let me just pretend to be hip)(is the word ‘hip’ even trending at the moment?)

So why? Why do I go here? Well to that I answer…. Well first its in the city of Burbage which is just a drive away and also why not? What’s not to love about this place! It’s the best…. Let me take you on a tour,

Firstly Whats your ideal girlfriend trip? I want you to put aside the high heels and red lips kind of date. That’s the Ultimate date. But like when you want a no pressure, wearing PJ’s, hot water bottle, nearly time of the month, comfy warm setting, good food and drink and a Cry…. (yes a cry, because we all go through that. Dont we? Even the toughest of us). This kinda date requires the high heels and red lippy to be put on standby, and out comes the real girl talk, the nitty gritty, complaining and crying, and what goes on at M’s, Stays at M’s kinda girl talk……..and M’s Beauty provides us with the right atmosphere just for that….. Every Time.

They provide a few packages but we usually go for the lunch package. This basically includes: Starters, Lunch, Dessert, Tea and Coffee on call and a Massage….. yes you saw it right- I said a Massage! didnt I mention this is the full works!

For starters its usually different breads, olives and oils, and we get this on the couches so its a very informal kind of starter- which is what I love the most, the unformality……and so we just dip away whilst talking….

Comfy Couches and the Dining area for Lunch

I did mention that teas and coffee are on the go right? Im not kidding when I say its on the go, they come and ask you atleast 3/4 times if you want more.

Usually the massages/treatment are before lunch and they take you in one at a time into private cosy rooms, heres the room I last got, isnt it just the cutest?

They provide you with a choice of 4 treatments, so it can either be a Back massage, a facial, a mini manicure or a pedicure….. you just choose the one. If you want an extra one, you can add it on at an extra charge.

Now talking about how cute the rooms are, let me take you round, not only does this place offer a sanctuary for us female bodies, but it always has the most amazing pieces to sell all around,

If you have sat too much you can walk around stretch those legs and maybe even pick up a little gift or two.

Please tell me im not wrong when I say this is a paradise for us females. I want to pick up the whole thing and take it home!

Next up Lunch, the menu is very minimal especially because being Halal meat eaters we are confined to the vegetarian option. They usually have jacket potatoes with cheese and beans or a greek feta salad available though. Both of which are just perfect. I cant fault it…… the only thing is you have to bring your own drinks as they only provide water, but Im ok with that.

Luch under candlelight
we usually just take our favourite drinks

And lastly desserts, and im not joking im not a heavy eater but I always save space for this. Probably the best Eton mess you will ever have.

Let me just tell you this again, its starters, lunch, desserts, coffee and tea on call, and a Massage right guys, and youll never guess how much……. all of this is for £35. Yes £35, I spend more than that just popping into a Primark store.

The Perfect Date, the Perfect Atmosphere, The Perfect Package and here is the webby.

Hope you guys all enjoyed it. I cant wait to book myself in again once the Lockdown is over, Lets see who makes the hit list. Hehe

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Transparency: All opionions are my own, I have not been influenced in any way or form.

The Zara Sale Haul (Summer 2020)

I am so damn proud of myself. I behaved this year for sure! This has to be the smallest Zara haul I have ever done, and I’m really happy with Everything I bought. For my Instagram followers- guys I will link back whatever is available.

It may be the lockdown that helped with this, I’m just not wearing much of anything at the moment, anything that’s quick, easy, comfortable, easy to iron is what’s working at moment and so I seem to have lost my desire for clothes, especially because lockdown may have eased round the Uk- but not for Leicester….. Guess where I live!? Leicester. Seriously peeps- what are the chances??

So back to the Haul; One can never have too many white shirts, you agree right? I mean every wardrobe has one white shirt minimum….

And this one with the pleats called my name and wanted a home amongst all the others. Couldn’t say no- it’s too chic, and at £12.99 it’s sitting with its new family. Click here

Next up are these high rise bootleg cropped jeans. I needed to check the cropped part because as a modest dresser- ‘cropped’ has to be a certain amount- but being 5’3- most of the time it isn’t too much of a issue. And these fit perfectly, just slightly grazing the ankle, just how I like my ‘cropped’ to be. And have a look at the ends. I absolutely adore the ripped edges. Another bargain at £12.99. Click here

Next up this cutie:

I fell in love with the bow- it’s the cutest with its ‘sailor vibes’. I’m still loving the blue and white feels to clothing- and this balances itself nicely against the black. It’s definately not for the warmer weather we have at the moment, but it’s going in with my winter wardrobe for sure. Another bargain at £15.99. Click here.

Next up this tweed effect contrast top, I love the ruching on the sleeves on this, and the tweed effect looks beaut. ( It is just effect, it’s not actual tweed) it’s perfect for the heat we have at the moment- can you guess the price? Urm. Yup. £12.99 again

And last up it’s these straight cut mum jeans,

The colour is slightly lighter than the other one, and the bottoms are just straight cut offs. I had to add this in, at £12.99 it’s a no brainer.

And here’s how I’ll be piecing them together

The white shirt will definitely look better tucked into the jeans- and depending on where I will be going, either the heels or the trainer’s. Both finish off the outfit perfectly.

The next one gives me proper summer feels, it’s the tweed effect top with the mum jeans, and a pair of flat pointies. Add the beach hat and plan the perfect garden party!

My favourite out of everything, my ‘sailor’ top, being a cropped top I’ll definately need a top underneath to cover my rear ( I am not a fan of my rear sticking out too much) the mum jeans and a pair of Converses. I think I conquered it.

All 5 items came to just under £68, and I got 3 different outfits out of it. I’m really pleased with it. All links attached.

What do you guys think? How would you wear it?

Love and regards.

M11bna.

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Lockdown Movie Date Night

Who says you can’t have a date night when in lockdown?

Lockdown changed our lives forever, but that doesn’t mean things have to stop… You just have to find different ways of doing the same things you love….

I’d like to say we have date nights often, but really we don’t….the hubby and I work together as well as live together, so as you can appreciate sometimes the need for ‘date night’ can be overwhelming… But as with everything in lockdown- you miss the things you wouldn’t do anyway more. ( Who gets me?) Like we miss going to theme parks – or swimming, or water parks….. Yet we prob only go once a year anyway…. so why the need when in lockdown?…. Well that’s a different story for another day … Back to date night….

Date night in lockdown means choosing what you love the most and creating a new way of doing it, so for us that would be netflix, shisha, movies, snacks. ( I’m sure in Lockdown this is preety much very similar for everyone)

I just wanted to make it extra special for us, and so made a quick pop into the shed to see what I could conjure up……

And conjure up I did…..

Welcome inside my Love Tent. Just how cute and preety did this turn out? So cute I didn’t want to use it and mess things up….

And now to tick off the boxes….

  • Netflix ✔️
  • Romantic Lights ✔️
  • Candles ✔️
  • Popcorn ✔️
  • Drinks ✔️
  • More Candles ✔️
  • More Romantic Lights ✔️
  • Shisha✔️
  • Cushions✔️
  • Did I mention Candles? ✔️

I think I’ve ticked off the boxes, and I’m sure hubby will be pleased with this. Now to choose the movie, although I do think in the last 3 months we have conquered it all… “Preety Women” it is.

And here’s a few more photos and videos because…. Well why not? Enjoy x

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Take Some Time out Before you go Crazy

I knew I was loosing it, I just knew it. You know that feeling when someone breathes out loud and something inside you flips…. That feeling when someone Evan coughs and something switches on inside you- like a very ‘scratchy chalk on a black board’ and you are ready to throw anything that comes in your way, for no reason what so ever…… Or when a knife grazes on a ceramic plate……..and it feels like a pin pricked inside your brain….Yup that feeling! You know it right? Or when someone walks into the room and leaves the door open! You know exactly what I am talking about! Right? Thats when you know…… ‘I need time out’ .Especially in these turbulent times…. Taking time out is so damn important.

But it’s not just any sort of ‘Time out’….. Evan the word ‘Time Out’ has changed. It’s no longer waiting for the men in the house to leave so that you can jump into the tub, or watch the movie you have been wanting to watch after ages. In these uncertain time – you have to tell everyone you need Time out! You have to make this clear…… , your ‘Time out’ will involve people around you, and to make sure they don’t disturb you, you have to make it clear …..and my conversation; it went a little like this:

“I’m going in the bath, I don’t want anyone to come knocking on the door, I don’t care what you do, what you eat, what you watch…..! ..”

“Mum”

“What!! ” I snapped

“We don’t want anything, you go” … Now is that a way to make someone feel guilty or what?! I am Even more annoyed now. Oh Boris- how much more longer?…. How did we even get here!

The bath was taking ages to fill, my bath bomb wasn’t working out as I wanted it too, The water was too hot, and then it was too cold. I was getting all flustered…. And I’m nowhere near my period date! This was serious peeps! Dead serious!

I took a book in with me, but I don’t know how you all do it? I really struggle… Like do you have to keep your hands up all the time? How do you not get book wet? Head rest? I shuffle around an all…. It’s hard work guys. Is there a skill or technique I’m missing out on? Because I don’t get it….. I really failed at this, im stuck with a wet book now…. so I put the book aside and just….. Did nothing…. Nothing…

…I sank in, and then that’s it. Everything disappeared, the mess, the immense amount of cooking, the shouting, the noise, the chaos, the voices in my head…. I was alone. Finally….

No noise, no sound, no voices, just me myself and I….. and Boy did I need it

….This blog is about taking that time out because WE all need it! (I am sure im not the only one whos going crazy? right?)

1. Breathe

With all this crazy madness around us, I have turned into a ‘Stepford wife’ and I don’t Evan like that Sheesh (Kebab- because I won’t swear). I mean Evan the Stepford wives doesnt like being a ‘Stepford Wife’ – so why would I?

So when you are feeling a little overwhelmed, take a break, switch off. Go into a room alone. Go for a drive. Go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Just try and get away from home. The brain gets fogged with too much or too little going on, and that time out will really help clear up the mind.

2. Create your own Ambience

The amount that soak helped me was unbelievable. Yes I came out all wrinkly, probably aged another 30 years, but the wrinkles in my mind were now ironed out. Im usually at home alone, I like my space, I like to call my house ‘mine’ but with this lockdown it has become ‘Our house’, I have to share this space with 3 other beings…. and I learnt something about myself Ive never known before- ‘I dont like sharing!’

I’ve had to get on with it, mardy face and all, (that hurts) but also I’ve learnt that their are certain places/rooms which are private to me, that give me solitude. That keep me sane. I use these spaces when I need that 5 minute to myself. I have my favourite things in those spots, I light the candle, I dim the light and I read my favourite book. Create your ambience in your home, make it yours (dont share!)

3. Comedy

We are going through quite a tough time at the moment, dont make it worse by watching the wrong things. Programmes/movies have a influence on your mood. If you are already having a bad day, dont watch a serious movie, watch something a little more light-hearted. My go-to has to be Friends- no matter how much times I watch it, nobody in the world can make me smile more than Chandler and Phoebe (and a little bit of Joey)

4. Social Media

Just three words for you all here:

SWITCH IT OFF

5. Find Your Niche

my Niche was travelling, eating out, wining, dining, and Afternoon tea- and thats scrapped now. But staying at home has made me discover a lot of old ‘Niches’ that I forget I had. Like colouring…. yes I am a adult, but all I want to do is colour, and do you know how theraupeutic that is? get yourself an adult colouring book, get some pencil crayons and watch the colouring book come alive.

I know people who didnt know the difference between roti flour and self raising flour who have seriously upped their game and are baking things that I didnt even know existed (and I considered myself a baker). They found their niche for sure- im seriously ordering my Eid goodies off them. You know who you are!

So find your niche, whether it be baking, reading, knitting, cooking, painting…..whatever it is… Seriously this pandemic has taught us to go back to the basics and I love that.

6. Spa at Home

Well why not?? make a quick and healthy meal, fill up the tub, fire up a few candles, get the face mask and foot mask out, and chill out. You cant go to a Spa- you have all the time in the world to make your own spa at home, and the beauty is, after your done, get into bed and go to sleep. No driving home involved here. Bliss

7. Catch Up

Real life takes it toll, when was the last time you rang your mum and spoke to her properly? like really properly…. me – I dont know, but now I actually ask her about her day and how she is doing, what she is doing…. without rushing her.

The tranquility I feel in that conversation is Gold. Pure Gold, and its only this Pandemic that has made me realise this. Do a routine where you call a special person everyday and just…. Catch UP.

8. Spring Clean

Ok I know, I know, I sprung this one on you…… but its not all that bad…… the clothes cupboards have been waiting since last summer for a clean out, and guess what they are still waiting. No more excuses about no time. We have all the time in the world. Do you know how satisfying this can actually be? At the moment im constantly wearing comfort clothes-all of these are definately getting binned when we are out of our sentance. But also it given me ideas of what I do need to get aswell….. cant wait for that shopping trip! Thats something to look forward to.

What a mess. Can’t wait to dive into this

Well thats how I am keeping sane in this weird time in our life. How are you guys all doing? anything you are doing differently or I can add to my life?

Hope you all are keeping Strong and keeping safe. We will get through this.

Stay Safe. Stay at Home

Love and regards

M11bna

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…Get Ramadhan Ready with me…..

With Ramadan knocking on our door- it’s time to get ready, mentally and spiritually. I’m not going to make this blog about the importance of prayer and how much we should pray and what we should pray. There are loads of those around…. And we already know this anyway.

So what does Ramadan mean to me- not as a Muslim person, but just as a person. Well I can’t really take the Muslim out of me, so that defeats that part- but as a somewhat ‘sometime practising- part – time Muslim with good intentions. Always’ (Does that Evan make sense?)

Well this year is a unique one for sure. Mosques are closed, we are not allowed to see family or friends. Going out is limited, shopping is taking the life out of us, with everything being out of stock….. It’s like everything that we love about Ramadan is taken away from us…

Yet … It is coming, and like a long lost ‘Best Friend’ coming to visit- we are filled with hope, love, excitement, anxiety and a rollercoaster of overbearing emotions.

So how do I prepare for this?

 

1. Start prepping Food Early

I’m sure you guys know I’m a food Junkie- I really can’t do anything healthy- well lucky for me- my family are exactly the same. And that means Ramadan is all about fried food! (For all those condescending people who love lectures about how unhealthy this is- we have fruit on the side- and mains is grilled 😜)

So I like to prepare the samosas, pastries, cheese balls, spring rolls… Etc. all early and keep it ready in the freezer. Then it’s just about the frying on the day. That gives me more time to myself to pray, to sleep, to relax and generally not get overstressed.

 

2. Routine

Ramadan is the time of month when all routine goes down the drain. Everything changes. You spend more time praying, you spend more time at home. Less time socialising, Dinner time is valued and important. We actually turn into one of those picture perfect families you never see but hear of.

But routine once again is important otherwise you can be thrown off. Ramadan days can be unpredictable, one day you will feel on a high- the next you may be low and tired, and that is why you need a routine- so that you can use the good days productively, and not fall behind. Try and set a timetable of when it’s nap time, when it’s praying time, which days to go shopping, and how long you need in preparing food. Routine will allow you to be one step ahead and it’ll keep your Mind clog free as well.

 

3. Ramadan Timetable

Ok I did say I will keep the praying part out of it, and I promise I’ll keep it short and sweet. Ramadan is probably the one month in the whole year where we pray more, and we feel spiritually elevated. So having a timetable of what we would like to achieve prayer wise is so important.

I like to have a timetable of what id like to achieve and then set up something daily for me to able to achieve it, For example finishing a whole Quran is a must, but i also like to fit in other surahs and some hadith books aswell.

 

There are load of Ramadhan planners available to phurcase to get you mentally prepared for Ramadhan, These can be found and bought online, or click here, or here’s a free pdf . Might come in handy to print off and use.

Download PDF

 

4. Get the kids involved

Ramadan has turned into such a festive seasonal occasion- with places like Tesco and Asda now selling Ramadan advent calendars. And they are so cool! Why didn’t we have all this when we were young? It’s just perfect for Getting the kids Ramadan ready.

My boys are 16 and 13. So they pretty much missed all of this too, not to say I didn’t make it special and festive for them, just that there’s a lot more available to do now.

My 16 year old helped me with the savouries this year- to a point where we tried new and different things, he’s so excited to break his fast and eat the savouries he made. (he’s a growing lad- his first love is food!)

And the 13 year old- well he is 13 going on 8- so we did a set up for him at home. Here a video of what I did, and the pictures are scattered through this blog.

 

5. Detox and Self -Care

Ramadan comes, and our TV’s go off- I switch off to the wider world. No longer are the Kardashians important to my life, series on Netflix are put on hold, and nobody cares who’s wearing what to who’s party. Anything that does not involve fasting, praying and generally trying to be the kindest soul in the Earth does not fit into my life. With the switching off of all media I find that I no longer have expectations to maintain or hold up- so my makeup and fashion are put on hold too. Don’t get me wrong I still dress up and wear makeup- but it’s no longer a must or a requirement. So I like to spend this time detoxing my skin and hair in general, whilst detoxing the need for Social Media and Social expectations. Rather focusing on how to be a better Muslim and a better moral person.

 

5. Exercise

Exercise is Hard in Ramadan especially because you have no energy because of the fasting. However it should not be disregarded. Exercising can actually make you feel better sometimes. I don’t do any rigorous exercise but I do like to go out for walks. I don’t really know how or why- but i feel like for the past couple years we have been really tested with the weather- We have the most beautiful weather whilst we are fasting and then after Eid – we back to the Old British weather. But on the positive note- this is really good- because we can go out for walks. I Like to leave it to just walks because being anaemic I don’t want to get ill, but if your body can handle more- don’t give it up…….and also Post Ramadan bodies are by far the best and worth it!

 

6. Gift of Giving

We all know Ramadan is the month of giving. Islamically we all have a duty to give 2.5% of our wealth to the poor- and most folks do it in Ramadan. But yet in Ramadan it doesn’t just stop there. I find that everyone’s heart opens up a bit more. People give more than he 2.5%, and also we all fight to feed each other because:

The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him, without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person’.

Tirimidhi

And so the gift of giving in this month is immense, and as a family we try to make the most of it, and reap as much rewards as are being thrown to us. I tell myself to at least once a week to be able to either make or buy something to give to my nearest and dearest for them to break their fast with. At this moment in time with the isolation it will be harder, but I will make sure that we manage with a way that doesn’t harm anyone.

 

7. It can be Fun and Games

Who said Ramadan is only for praying? Spending time with family is just as important. There is only so much you can pray in a day before your mind starts wondering. We are mere mortals after all. So Ramadan for us as well as remembering our Lord is also about playing games, we take out the simple ones, like Ludo, Carom Board, Jenga, and maybe just even colouring books. And there also so many Islamic board games available. Such a good investment in this month- especially because of the pandemic and the kids being at home for the whole month. To do this together as a family is also an act of charity

” A man Spending on his family is a deed of charity”

Sahih Al Bukhari

 

8. Get ready for Eid

With all the turbulence that has hit our lives – all of us are questioning what will be happening for Eid- could it be that this year we will not see each other? Will we be spending Eid just within our whole household? It’s quite a daunting feeling….. Only time will tell.

For Eid we spend time together as a whole family- when I say whole family I mean it ends up being just under 70 of us- under one house, and we all eat out in the evening as one big family (usually taking up the whole joint) And boy is it hectic, is it madness and is it fun! I Love Eid. We look forward to this day all year round. The kids also look forward to Eid, its gifting eating and money time. This year will be harder as I really don’t know where we stand, so I’ll be looking at gifts a lot earlier. See what available- what can be delivered, what needs picking up and keep it packed and ready. We may not be getting together, but the kids should not be disappointed. Eid is for them.

Exchange presents with one another. Presents remove ill-will from the hearts.”

 

Tirmiz

And that’s me ready now, ready to fast for our first Day.

How do you prepare for Ramadhan?

Stay indoors, stay safe.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Ertugrul Themed Charity Event for The City Retreat

10 days before Boris grounded us, we were planning a charity event due to last years success. We had our pens and papers out, put our thinking caps on, and started thinking of themes, who we would choose to sponser us, ticket prices, how much we were aiming to make for the charity, how much we would need from our own pockets. It was crazy because now the pressure was worse. We had to beat last year’s event to keep our status.

The event would have been on this weekend coming. However God had another plan for us

For our initial trial we put up a post on instagram to ask our followers if they would be interested, the response was crazy, it would be silly of us not to do anything….. and evan more silly if we didn’t go all out again.

I was sopposed to write a post about the organising and planning of our new upcoming event…. instead I am left to tell you a little of the madness that happened last year….

The venue we used is the City Retreat, as this was who we were raising money for. The City Retreat is a model centre located in the heart of Leicester city providing a warm, inviting and vibrant space to bring people from all walks of life together to explore, discuss and share faith, values and common humanity. More information on the retreat can be found here http://cityretreat.org/

The theme we decided on last year was ‘Ertugrul’ because we ourselves are Ertugrul crazy- and we can only put passion into something we love. Ertugrul for all the people that dont know (seriously how do you guys sleep at night?!) is a turkish series on netflix on the founders of the Ottoman Empire. It is the life of Osman’s ( the founder) father – Ertrugul and grandfather Suleyman Shah. It has a lot of real life events in it aswell as fictational as you gotta keep the viewers entertained right? But damn is it Good! and Addictive! and Obsessive. For all the Game of Thrones fan- Ertugrul is for you- it is Game of Thrones -Halalified! (meaning minus the nudity).

This was actually our first time hosting a full on party. We are event planners and we have catered for weddings with 1000 plus people…. but this was different. This wasnt just putting up a display that wowed people and walking away…. we had to keep our guests entertained throughout. And that is something I cant do….. I can write, ill carry on for years writing, but speaking to people, a group of people. Looking at me. Waiting for me to speak. Looking at me. Speaking Out loud. Looking at me…….. (*Breathes*) …..I go blank.

For the event we needed Guest speakers, we needed ‘Insta Famous’/ or Influencers to pull the crowd in and we needed Food! Tick those 3 boxes and Hey Presto- we had a sucessful charity event!

And heres a little of how it went:

Our poster went out 3 weeks before the event, just to get the engagement and curiosity in. We stuck Halime Sultan on the front because she is a warrior and Ertugruls one and only true love. We knew this would attract all Ertugrul fans, and we were right.

We initially were looking at round tables for people to sit and eat on, but that really wasnt working for us. In the series people eat whilst sitting on the floor, and they sit on cushions…. I wanted that look and thankfully a shisha place- Bukhoor Lounge, offered us there cushions for our event for free….. without this we never would have pulled off our vision…. A big thankyou Bukhoor Lounge for the seatings.

For Guest speakers we had Ustad Davina Kanani who spoke to us about the coming of Ramadhan and how to make the most of our time, this was a very enriching talk, and very informative because in a week ramadhan was starting. This was followed by Nafisha Kara from the Islamic History Project who spoke about the Ottoman Empire (the non fictational part) once again it was informative and educational. And for the influencers we invited Farah Ferrero who is a leicester blogger and a huge Ertugrul fan, and Flawless by Sumaiyah, another leicester blogger and PA to Zukreat the make up artist, both of whom were delighted to come and also speak at the event. And they did not dissapoint. Thankyou so much ladies. You guys were amazing.

The beautiful Flawless in Action

We also had a suprise visit from Sakina Aleem which was such a delight. My god is this woman a gem, and she evan dressed up for the Part. Thankyou so much for your attendance Sakina Aleem. It was so lovely to meet you and your speech was so beautiful and heartwarming.

Here’s the whole gang starting from left- Me, Afsha, Farah Ferrero, Flawless, Sakina Aleem and Banu.

What is a charity event without food? as the ticket sales started flying, so did our anxiety. We needed food… turkish food to keep up with the theme, we couldnt possibly cook, dress up, set up, and entertain in one day… it was not possible, and Id like to say a huge huge Thankyou to all our sponsers:

We had Nazar bbq house (the best Turkish food in leicester without a shadow of a doubt) who gave us nans and all the delicious mezes including olives.

Wrap and Roll, with there sheesh kebabs in nan! I ate one before event and Yum!

Chaiiwala forever helping out in any events- with their signiture tea

Mother Hubbards– those chicken bites were delicious…

and lastly the LoveCake.co team (aka:Me) and Made by Afsha with the set up of all the food which included mocktails, canapes, turkish delight, fruit display and dessert display, as well as the set up of the whole event.

And here’s a short video of the set up before event started,

And a picture of the turnout….

Id just like to say a huge thankyou to each and everyone of You, You all made this possible! (also a big thankyou to my lovely friends who turned up at sillyoclock in the morning to help with the chopping. Would not have done any of this without you)

There are more pics on my instagram highlights. Have a look see how it all went. Just here.

And heres hoping for another event soon.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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The Ultimate Working From Home Guide to keep you Going….

When I got told that I’ll be working from home (WFH) I thought it’d be a doddle, I was excited, I don’t need to wake up early, who cares if I’ve had a shower or not? Pyjama party….. all day…. Every day……

Day one came, and went, still in my PJs, but no productive work done. This should have been easy, but I just couldn’t sit down, I wasn’t comfortable, I couldn’t concentrate, and so many distractions in the house…. I will put it down to first day syndrome.

Second day was very similar, although I got ABIT more done than yesterday, but still, it’s just so hard to be motivated in the house. I didn’t think it would be this hard…I keep making tea, then more tea, then snacks, and 3 hours later I still haven’t done anything

Day Three I needed to make a change, if I carried on like this I wouldn’t have a job at all…. I think I have figured out the real issue here. It’s the work/home balance. With all the distractions of home around me, I just cant get my head focused on work…… because work should be in the office, and home is where the errands are, (and the food!)

And so here is my working from home ultimate guide to keep yourself (or myself) motivated:

Choose an Office Space….

We cant really have a office in the house, thats why its a house, and not work! But you need to find a space in the house where you are away from all the distractions of home life, and then make it a permanent spot.

This probably is the hardest thing to do. The bedroom didn’t work…… the lounge didn’t work…….. The kitchen- the cookies I made were delicious, but the work didn’t get done…. I spent one day outside because the weather was beautiful, and ended up with back ache and throbbing headache, so that was out of the question.

This is something that has to be picked right, and it may take a couple of days to get there. I ended up in the dining room, probably because in all honesty its the easiest, the table is already there, the chair ready to sit on, and I have the space on the table around me to put all my bits and bobs, so im not constantly looking for stuff.

Wake Up, Dress Up, Show Up…

The first three days went a little like this:, I woke up later then the alarm time, had a long(er) shower than normal, had my tea whilst gazing outside, (because I no longer have to commute to work) and then I got back into my pyjamas- because well why not?…… But honestly I think pyjamas were mentally letting me down. I was too comfortable, too slouchy, too easy going, and this was draining my mind and body

So now I get up at the same time (oh I lie, I get up by I stay in bed for a bit longer). I touched my face up a bit (just a bit though, have you guys noticed the changes in the skin texture whilst staying in?). And I make sure I dress up.

I found this to be so important, when you have told yourself mentally to get ready for work, you ARE ready to work. Evan after I have logged off from work, I feel better and fresher. Its just a feel good factor, especially in these turbulent times.

I have a friend who actually spends the time it normally takes her to get to her workplace doing some exercise on youtube in her lounge, to get her in the mode. Im not ready for that but I thought that was a wonderful idea.

Fresh Air…

Right going back to the changes in skin, im not the only person right? my skin is changing day after day, and im having to change products so much because everything and nothing works at the same time. I really dont know where to start….. but it may be due to the lack of fresh air, vitamin D inconsistency, the stress of the position we are in, and generally being stuck inside all day long.

And for that reason my workspace is right next to the door, its ideal because I can get the fresh air in, if I need a breather I can pop out, and also the rays of sunlight feel so wonderful on the skin and perk up my mood. So try and choose a location which brightens up your working space and allows you the breathing space.

Food, Food and More Food

Anyone else feel the weight piling on? its Boredom. Boredom makes you want to eat, and so we are all coming out of this quarantine with beer bellies and as long as we all do it, its ok…. we can make it fashun! (ok Ok maybe not. Im joking, just saying. Chill out!)

In the office because we are so consumed with work, we just get up for coffee breaks and back to it, but at home, the food possibilities are endless…. I got up more than I sat and focused…. because I wanted to eat…..and eat, and eat some more, and after I ate I needed a nap. And then my whole day was ruined.

I had to put a stop to that, and that included, bringing all the snacks to my workspace with me and closing the dining room door. Initially I Evan got that part wrong, because 6 packs of crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks are not considered brain food!

So I swopped the fizzy drinks for fruit infused water. (Twinnings are the best)

Crisps for Mug shots (2% fat, that will do perfectly)

And chocolates for fruits!! And to get the extra ‘At work’ feel I added a few personal portraits and plants… ( Also it makes a great picture. Aesthetic’s and that. Just saying )

And the only extra thing I kept on the side- is the hand gel. You can never have too much hand gel at this moment in life. Right? Better to be cautious.

The Kiddos

I guess I got lucky here, I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, the days of running after the kiddos and aeroplanning a spoonful of egg custard and rice are long gone. But for some of you this will be the biggest challenge. Try ( I do say try whilst rolling my eyes because I can’t evan imagine it) and create a balance and a routine, maybe leave phonecalls when the child is asleep, or watching a Disney movie, and focus on the menial and the easy to do jobs whilst the child is in need of your attention. In all honesty I believe parents with younger kids are more efficient because they know how to multitask and are better at time management, and always solve the last minute hiccups without faltering. (You guys rock!)

I have a routine set up for my 13 year old. He has a spot just opposite my desk. Before I start work I set up some work for him to do and keep all the equipment he needs ready, aswell as some snacks for him too (I’m not sharing) . As soon as he is up and ready he will sit opposite me and get what he has been assigned done. Obviously he will ask me questions and we have a chit chat too. He’s a nice guy.

So guys switch off that TV, get off the bed, put on that top you have been wanting to wear, and get some work done x

Hope that you all are looking after yourselves.

Stay safe

M11bna

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DIY your own ‘House Warming’ Hamper

My friend bought her first home, and to celebrate this she invited the girlies over to a dinner party.

Knowing that I cant go empty handed I decided to look around for a house warming gift, but the problem here was I didnt have a clue what her house looked like, or what colours she had gone for.

I didnt want to be in a positon where I bought her a vase, or a tableware set and she would put it as far back in her cupboard as seemingly possible, so that her hands never come across it….. (come on we have all been there with gifts we dont …..really use or like)

so the one thing I did think of is a hamper, the thing I love about hampers is that, theres so many things to it, you can just keep adding, and you can choose what you want to give, so customise it to your own… or their preference…

I had a look at a few ready made hampers, and then decided ‘hold on- I can do this myself’.… and I did… and now ill share it with you all….

1. Buying the Products

The first thing is buying the products, since its a new home, I thought of candles (no body says no to candles) diffusers (nobody says no to diffusers) chocolates (nobody says no to chocolates) sweets (nobody says…. you get me right?) drinks( nobody says…. ok ok. im stopping now!) and generally leaning towards that kind of stuff. So themeing it according to event is important… so baby shower would hold different things, as would a hens night.

Here are a few products I bought

2. Colour Co-ord

Colour coordination makes a difference, seriously it does, notice online, how the hampers with similer colours look so much more better and ……’together’ then the ones that are just bunged together. Not that theres anything wrong with the others…. just it looks better for sure. But you know your friend/family better and do what you think is best.

as you can see I have stuck to pink and golds

3. Basket

It doesn’t have to be a basket, it can be a board, like a cake board, it can be a box, evan a general shoe box would work, just make sure you cover it well. All you need is something to chuck all your things into! and that something… just has to be preety…. ok? make sure its preety…. do not put it all in a carrier bag! please DO NOT, unless you dont like him/her, then ill give you permission. (*eye wink).

I used a wired basket -these things are preety, they are handy and because they are see through, you dont need to worry about the contents drowning into your hamper.

4. Doublesided Tape

Always have this ready! It is needed to put everything together in the end…

5. Tricks

The best way to do it is, choose a front…. once you have chosen what you want at the front, take all the longer items and put them first at the back, and then the smaller items at the front so that each item can be seen, whether that be just the tops coming out or through the wired basket in my case. The same rule applies if you have chosen a closed basket/box, make sure the bigger and taller items are at the back, and sit the smaller ones on top or at the front so that everything can be seen.

Heres a quick video of how I did mine

6. Rules

There are none, as you can see evan I took out and put back items, keep doing it until you feel it is right. Its ok to put things on top of each other

Make sure you ‘jiggle’ the contents, see what’s wobbling and tape it on.

Get the girls together and share the cost, you can make the hamper bigger and better this way.

7. Take pictures

Take loads of pictures because it’s so damn pretty.

Don’t forget to share your creation when you make them.

Love and regards

M11bna

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