Thursday, 30 May 2019

Ramadan day 25: Eid gift ideas

So the truth is that I have left it to the last minute to buy Eid gifts. It is a habit that follows me each year and I normally just end up giving money. But this year I would like to go extra because receiving money is boring right? It is especially so for little children. And a gift is something that should warm the heart and brings a little joy to the person receiving it. I love this beautiful Hadith about giving gifts.
1) Hampers filled with pamper products are sure to be a hit with most women after Ramadan.
2) Cute envelopes filled with money for the kids. They are a more exciting way for children to receive their Eidi. I am going to have a go at making my own envelopes this Eid.
3) Sweet Cones are always a hit with the kids.
4) Hand made Barfi (Indian sweets that are similar to fudge)
5) Perfume.
6) Set of glass bangles.
7) Homemade face mask.
8) Something personalised such as a mug or cushion etc.
9) Makeup.
10) A beautiful painting.

I can’t really think of more than this right now but I will try to come up with more ideas tomorrow InshAllah.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Ramadan - Day 21

Alhamdulillah we have entered into the last ten days of Ramadan, days which hold the most blessings  especially the odd numbered ones. On one of these nights fall the Lailatul Qadr (the night of power) and all the rewards are increased from the praying on these nights. I really want to use this time to improve myself and to intensify my worship through extra dhikr and giving in charity but I would also like to use this time to think of ways of making life more pleasant and beautiful for those around me. One of the ways is through the giving of gifts on Eid. I am looking for ideas as to what to give to the people I love and to my neighbors. I have not really made much of an effort in previous Eids as I have always been either too ill or generally not too bothered. But I have come out of that phase, Alhamdulillah and there is really no point in hindsight at this moment when the clocks cannot be turned back. I only have this moment to work with and to make more beautiful.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Ramadan - Day fifteen

We are already half way through the month of Ramadan, time really is flying. So today I decided to try a new recipe because I have developed a passion for cooking new things. I made Spinach and Yellow split pea curry. I soaked the lentils for about an hour and then put them on the boil, little did I know beforehand how long they would take to cook! They were on the gas for the best part of four hours. I think it is time for me to invest in a pressure cooker. Anyway I would upload a photo if I had one but I am writing this at night and I cannot take good photos in the dark.

A few days ago I received my Latest In Beauty box and I love it. It was beautifully packaged.
Inside was an elegant black box.

And the products wrapped up in black tissue.

And I love everything inside!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Ramadan - Day eight

I did not post anything for the past few days because I haven’t had much to say. It was the same old settling into the Ramadan routine etc. I feel like I am completely used to everything now. I have lots of energy and do not need to sleep during the day.
I’ve also been feeling a little bit sorry for myself because my psoriasis has flared up once again and I have been desperately trying not to itch. I am scared that I am getting it on my face now. I have had this condition for a year now and at first I did not know what it was but then I finally got an appointment at my doctors surgery but I did not get to see a doctor! I had to make do with a nurse who didn’t really know what my condition was. She sought the help of google images and compared my rash to them. Oh don’t get me wrong she was really nice and everything but I could have checked  google images myself and diagnosed myself! Anyway after much research I have since found that psoriasis is incurable. I am thinking so this is another incurable disease to add to the list I already have of incurable diseases. Let me see there’s Epilepsy, asthma and now psoriasis. And I keep thinking, why me? Will I ever get any respite? So many years of my life have been wasted suffering one illness after another. But I have plastered a smile on my face and have decided to grin and bear it as you do. Well it is the month of Ramadan and Islam advocates Sabr (patience). There is so much for me to be grateful about I should be filled with gratitude. I went for a walk because it was such a lovely, sunny day and went shopping along the way. I felt so much better afterwards.
Today I decided to make my own Chicken rolls. My husband normally buys them but I found that they are so easy to make and I had fun making them. All I had to do was boil the chicken keema with spices and garlic/ginger, tomatoes, potatoes (which I added halfway through). I waited for the chicken to cool and then fill these Chinese spring roll sheets and rolled them up perfectly.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Ramadan - Day five

I had a few people to visit so I did not get much sleep during the day but I had enough energy throughout the day. I feel the initial tiredness has gone now and I have fallen into a routine. I really enjoy cooking during Ramadan even though I don’t have much time to try new things. Today my husband got chicken that had already been marinated from the local butcher. I just lined a baking tray with kitchen foil and popped it in the oven. How easy was that? The whole family loved it! Along with the chicken I also made pakoras and fruit chaat.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Ramadan - Day four

It was raining the whole day today so I didn’t really do much apart from lounging around the house and sleeping. It does feel really weird though, sleeping during the day. It leaves a strange taste in my mouth.
I have been thinking a lot about poverty and how cruel it is especially with little children. I want to do my part in changing that but then I think what an I do? But we all have a responsibility to our fellow human beings. A quote from Rumi comes to mind; ‘Yesterday I was clever I thought I could change the world, today I am wise so I’m changing myself.”  If we all changed ourselves, the world would change. I know that I will surely come up with some ideas before this month of Ramadan comes to an end.

I wanted to try something new today and so I made this Mango Lassi. It is basically a mango smoothie with a thinner consistency for those people who are not familiar with Indian foods. I blended together Mango pulp (from a tin) with milk and plain Greek yoghurt and voila a delicious drink is ready. My husband normally has this at restaurants but it is so easy to make at home.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Ramadan - Day Three

I am slowly getting used to this new routine that I have to employ for the next month. There is a sweetness to it that cannot be experienced in any other month of the year.
I was sleeping for most of the day, waking up when it was time for Zuhr prayer. But I know that as the days go on the tiredness will pass.
Today I went for a walk in the rain and returned feeling invigorated. I cooked the normal fried snacks for my family and actually felt tempted to eat some but I had enough discipline not to give in.
I thought about all the people in the world who don’t know where there next meal is coming from, the children who go to bed hungry and it breaks my heart. I really want to do something because as Muslims we are told to feed the poor. Aside from donating to food banks we can all do more.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Ramadan - Day two

Last night I fell asleep and was woken by my husband calling me. I was tired but still managed to get up. As is the norm with me I unable to eat anything and just about managed a cup of tea. The kids were back at school so I had to get up early but fell asleep again after they left. I was sleeping most of the morning because I was just so tired. I don’t know why I feel so tired these days. I managed to coerce myself out of bed and did my hour of yoga. It made me feel better, I felt energised. So all in all today has been quite a good day. I am trying not to overwhelm myself with chores and am taking it easy. I rest when I feel the need to. I love the feeling I get when my stomach is empty although it worried me earlier as I have suffered fro Anorexia in the past. I feel more focused and alert and maybe even more creative? Who knows? If I suddenly manage to write an amazing bestseller or paint something beautiful then I can put it down to me fasting. Fasting does have a lot of benefits though and I have been reading a lot about them. I came across a beautiful quote by Rumi today and I have to share it.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Ramadan - Day one

So today was the first day of Ramadan and it has been a little shock to the system especially where my sleep routine is concerned. The food bit is not hard for me as I have been Intermittent fasting, doing the 16:8 mainly and sometimes even the 18:6. I can therefore go for long periods of time without food and drink. But having to wake up a 2am to make parathas for a husband who loves parathas is kind of hard really. I cannot eat anything at that time so all I had was a cup of tea and then I fell into bed after reading my Fajr prayer. As it was also Bank holiday I was still asleep when my kids woke up but my son (bless him) got his own breakfast. The day passed so quickly that I don’t think anyone will have had time to feel hungry. What is it with time these days? A moment passes all too quickly. I was totally unprepared food wise. I know people who fill their freezers with samosas and chicken rolls but not me haha. I really do live in the moment. I break my fast with a few dates myself, followed by soup, salad or a light sandwich but my family do love their fried snacks (well each to their own) and I make the snacks for them. Today I made pakoras, fruit chaat (salad) and samosas which I got frozen from the shop because I didn’t have the tie to make them myself. I also cooked the Suhoor meal whilst I was cooking the Iftar snacks because if I was to make it at midnight I would probably fall asleep in the kitchen. All in all it has been a great day. There is really nothing like the immense gratitude one feels when that first morsel of food passes the lips when breaking the fast. Here’s praying that tomorrow is another good day and we can all take another step closer to bettering ourselves.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Ramadan giveaway

The blessed month of Ramadan begins tomorrow and I would like to mark it by hosting my first giveaway on Instagram.
Please go to @bythesidratree on Instagram to enter to win these beautiful genuine Kyoto Pearl and 925 Sterling Silver earrings worth £29.

Terms and conditions

1) Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administrated or associated with Instagram.
2) Open to the citizens of the United Kingdom, aged 18 and over.
3) Giveaway starts on the 5th May 2019 at 5pm BST and ends on the 13th May 2019 at 5pm.
4) Winner will be picked at random.
5) Winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted, failure to do this will mean forfeiting the prize and another winner will be picked.

  Entry requirements
Entrants must: Follow me @bythesidratree
                        Like the giveaway post
                        Comment and tag a friend.

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