Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking forward to another year!!!!





Yes! As the new year approaches, I have so many things I want to do, so many experiences I want to have and so many places I want to see. God willing, I want to go back to school. I say this all the time, but I think 2011 is the year!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prayerful Moments

Bismillah

Here is my prayerful moment.

It happened two years ago. I went to this muslim family retreat with some friends and their families. We were at a beautiful beach nestled near some mountains. I went alone as my two sisters were still in school. It was the beginning of winter and I did not think that the weather would be a problem. I had tons of fun, but on the last evening, we got a huge snow storm blown in on us for approximately two minutes. After that, the sun came out again. We thought nothing of it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Na*No*Wri*Mo is almost here!





Yay! I am really looking forward to November. Last year I participated in the National Novel Writing Month. I wrote a rough draft of a novel (over 50,000 words.) This year I hope to do the same thing. Only this time, I'm not sure what I'm going to write about. Should I start on book two of my three-part story? Or, should I do something totally different and new? I know for sure I want to stick with the Sci Fi genre (I think.) Insha Allah, this month I will be attending a Plot Workshop put on by a group of NaNoWriters in the Seattle region. I hope to get some great input and craft tips!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Books and Technology

Where will the digital world take us? While sitting here checking email, updating my facebook status and reading tweets, I came across a tweet that asked, "what will libraries look like?" in the future as we move to move forward and e-books become more popular and accessible. I realized that it has been ages since I set foot in a library, this coming from a girl who was practically raised in our small town library. Granted, the last time I went to the library, which wasn't that long ago, was in search of some board books for my classroom, but I'm talking about sitting down amongst thousands of books and spending hours reading.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Fair!

A book fair is coming soon to the Child Care center where I work. I'm really excited!!! For some reason, books and being around them make me happy. :) I have been searching the Scholastic website to see what books they have that I want for my classroom. Our center is also doing a coin drive to raise funds to buy books for each classroom. I look forward to that as well. I just may buy books myself! :)Books are a big part of my classroom. While most books we keep up in the teacher trove, we have all the kiddies favorites on a mini bookshelf that they have access to all day long. We love sitting down reading together. I always know when a book is a favorite when it is read a gazillion times (in one or two sittings) and loved to bits and pieces!:) With the coming of another book fair, we get to throw out the tattered, battered and chewed books and replace them with all new books ready to be loved! I love book fair season! :)

When I have too much time....

The saying often goes, "too many things to do and not enough time." For me, it is often this way. I have just way too many things going on and not enough time to accomplish them all. Work alone takes up a lot of my time, especially when I have to bring some of it home! Then there's house chores, cooking (sista's gotta eat!)keeping up with my writing and/or editing, volunteer work with the IWA, producing articles for MAGazine, managing my blogs/website/facebook page and the simple task of trying to relax at the end of the day. When things get hectic, I tend to shut down; the computer is the first thing that goes, then the writing. But then, once (and I mean once) in a blue moon, I have too much time and not quite much in the ways of work, writing, curriculum planning or even blogging to keep me busy. During these rare occassions, I will often try to get the much needed rest I have missed out over the week. I also like trying out new recipes. I also take this time to read, be it religious materials to spark that inner light of faith or catch up on some facinating science news or wrap my head around a new fiction story. It is not often that this opportunity finds me, but when it does..................I will definitely take it on!!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dua to say during the last ten nights






ALLAAHUMMA INNAKA 'AFFUWWUN TUHIBB AL- 'AFWA FA 'AFFU 'ANNI

(O Allaah, You are Forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me)

(Tirmidhi

How Time Flies.....

The last ten days of Ramadan are quickly going by. I have been doing my best to wake up to pray the tahajjud prayer before having suhor and Fajr prayer. It is so quiet and peaceful at that time of the night, even living by the freeway. Insha Allah, I look forward to finding the night of power in prayer and recitation and remembrance.




1. By the Time.

2. Most surely mankind is in loss.

3. Except those who believe, and do righteous deeds, and they connect on the Truth
and they connect with Sabr.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan 1431: Day Two

Here is a gently reminder I received in the mail.

keep Allah subhanna wa taala in your hearts always and read - Iqra! each and everyday the
Holy Quran, no matter if it is one page, but continue and never let go, for it
is Allah talking to you and it is our reminder.


Remember, life is not guaranteed to us, but death is.


subhan Allah!!!

Ramadan 1431






Masha Allah! Another Ramadan has been bestowed upon me. I pray I am able to fast these thirty days and reap the spiritual benefits that come with this special month. Like last year, I will try to keep up a Ramadan Journal and post different insights and revelations I get throughout this wonderful month. May Allah (swt) bless me to complete this religious obligation with humility and devotion. Ameen.

Ahlan wa Sahlan Ya Ramadan!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Top Ten Goals for Ramadan 2010

Most people have new year's resolutions, birthday resolutions and etc. But as a Muslimah looking to increase her faith and dedication to the deen, every year I try to set up new (or even old) goals and resolutions during the month of Ramadan. What better way to try and achieve these goals than during a month when Allah's (swt) mercy and generosity is so abundant. Naturally, most Muslims, including myself, make extra efforts during this time to strengthen our devotion and relationship with Allah (swt). We pray more, recite Qur'an more, show more mercy and patience with friends and family. We dhikr more, make more dua, give more charity and try to do more good deeds during the month of Ramadan.

This Ramadan, my top ten goals are:

1. Learn the meaning of a new dua everyday.
2. Give more charity in all its forms.
3. Spend more time supporting other muslimahs who are having their first Ramadan.
4. Including single muslimahs in my family iftars so they don't have to spend it alone.
5. Getting to the masjid for tarawih prayers every night.
6. Completing the reading of the entire Qur'an during the month of Ramadan.
7. Praying tahajjud and seeking the Night of Power in the last ten nights.
8. Learn two new surahs (or more) during the month of Ramadan
9. Showing more patience to family, friends and strangers.
10. Writing or saying a word of praise and gratitude of Allah's mercy and generosity every night.

It is my hope, that I, along with all my brothers and sisters in Islam, that we make the most of this precious month and become closer to Allah, our religion, our ummah and even ourselves.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sweet Leaf Tea =)




I'm all about green tea! I love green tea. I usually drink the Lipton brand or Arizona brand, but today, tasted a really nice brand of tea. It's called Sweet Leaf Mint & Honey. Yum. It was cold and refreshing. The flavor is bold but not overpowering. It has just the right amount of honey to make it perfectly sweet. It is a bit pricey, but for the taste, it is worth it!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something has got to give!




Yes! Something has got to give! since dieting is not really my thing, I have been trying to add more fruits and vegetables in my daily consumption. I have a berry smoothie almost every morning with a variety of fruits and apple or orange juice. I have been reading and hearing all about the super foods that are good for our immune system (QFC even had a sale on some of these super foods.) But that is not all, today, I have started on a new exercise regime. Twenty minutes on the treadmill everyday. So, I did my twenty minutes today and surprisingly, I'm not as tired as I was when I started and my knees did not hurt as much as I was exercising. I walked for 21 minutes at a speed of 2.0 and at an incline of 3.0. Here's hoping this sudden burst of motivation remains!!! :D

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Congrats to the grads!!!!!

Masha Allah!!! My two younger sisters graduated from the University of Washington! one from the Department of Psychology (following in my mom's footsteps) and the other from the Department of Engineering. I'm so proud of them, especially since they are continuing on to higher education. It was really great having the family out to celebrate this joyous occasion too. :D Congrats little sisters :D


*Pics coming soon!!!*

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I miss Hawaii!

I really miss Hawaii! It was nice being in an environment so different from Seattle but now totally different or foreign! I will always remember you Hawaii.....





....your crystal blue waters



....your sandy white beaches





....your bright rainbows






....your lush green velveted mountains




....your unique culture

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tree Pollen! Blech!

It's that time of year again! Pollen seeds from the cottonwood trees or the Lombardy Poplars are making their rounds around the city. :( So far, I'm not highly allergic to them but they are a bit annoying! Hopefully, a nice rain will bring them back down to the ground. Learn more about tree pollen allergies here

For the rest of my life !!!




I just heard this song and fell in love!!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rested and Relaxed

I just got back from a really nice vacation to Hawaii. It was a birthday surprise from my sisters. It was amazing! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, we just never really had the money for it. So, for my birthday, I settled for a cruise to Vancouver since I had never been on a cruise either and wanted to experience it. Not to mention, it was a lot cheaper than a vacation to Hawaii. But on the day we were leaving for the port, or at least I thought we were going to the port, they sat me down and handed me a birthday note. They told me to read it out loud as my youngest sister video taped me. As I read, I saw a beautiful picture of clear blue water with a bunch of boats on it. I also saw a really nice hotel sitting looking out at this water filled with boats. I continued reading until I got to the part that said I would be spending the next four days in beautiful, beautiful Hawaii. I hit the ceiling!!!! I was so excited!



The view from my window



The beach 5 minutes from our hotel. You can see Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater, in the distance.



Cruising on the streets of Oahu



Wading in the beach




Watching a Sea Turtle from a inside a submarine



Polynesian Cultural Center: Canoe Pagent




A native Samoan teaching the crowd how to get milk from a coconut.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gentle reminder: Four kinds of people.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

"There are only 4 kinds of people in this world. (The first is) a slave whom Allah has blessed with wealth and knowledge, and he fears Allah with regard to them, and uses them to uphold family ties, and acknowledges the rights that Allah has over them. He has the highest status.

(The second is) a slave to whom Allah has given knowledge, but not wealth. His intention is sincere, and he says, 'If only I had wealth, I would do (good deeds) like so-and-so (the first slave).' He will be rewarded according to his intention, so their reward will be equal.

(The third is) a slave to whom Allah has given wealth, but not knowledge. He spends his money aimlessly, neither fearing Allah with regard to it nor using it to uphold family ties nor acknowledging the rights that Allah has over it. He has the lowest status.

(The fourth is) a slave to whom Allah has given neither wealth nor money. He says, 'If only I had wealth, I would do (bad deeds) like so-and-so (the third slave). He will be punished according to his intention, so their burden of sin will be equal."

(Reported by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi,
and classed as saheeh in Al-Targheeb wa'l-Tarheeb, 1/9

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Eyes

In my eyes

I am a believing woman,
obedient to my Lord.

I am a strong woman,
confident in my choices.

In my eyes,

I am a tall woman,
forever reaching great heights.

I am a responsible woman,
I own up to my mistakes.

In my eyes,

I am a noble woman,
expectant of dignity and equality

I am a simple woman,
grateful for my good life

In my eyes,

I am a reliable woman,
I do what needs to be done.

I am an outstanding woman,
I aspire to achieve my goals.

In my eyes,

I am a wise woman,
I use my knowledge with purpose.

I am a sensitive woman,
I sometimes cry, pout and fuss.

In my eyes,

I am a cautious woman,
My trust must be earned

I am a sensible woman,
I don't expect the universe.


In my eyes,

I am a nuturing woman,
full of love and compassion.

I am a righteous woman,
Faithful to my Creator.

In my eyes,

I am a social woman,
I love rolling with my sisterhood.

I am a free woman,
I own my life, my body and my mind.

In my eyes,
I am a woman,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Love in the Air?

So, two friends are in the making of relationships! Leaving the traveling hijabis to a crew of two. One friend is actually engaged- I was there when the brother proposed - while my other friend is have a sit down with a brother. She has asked that her traveling hijabis be with her as she meet the brother and see if he is right for her. I'm honored knowing my friends hold and consider my thoughts and opinions worthy of such a life changing matter. I wish and pray for the best for my girls! who knows, I may follow suit, then we will be the married traveling hijabis. Not too sure how are husbands would feel about that but what the hey! :D

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Top Five!





It is cold and dreary tonight. The air is freezing, the night is dark. Rain, sleet and snow pour down on the city. You are holed up in your house, apartment, cottage, cabin or home. What are your top five activities you do on a night like this? It is hard to not feel depressed when it is cold and dark out, but I have been blessed to find different ways to keep myself occupied and put me in my comfort zone, even if the temp is low out and the only light is the light of my lamp.

So here are my Top Five!

1. sit in a comfy space with my pen and pad.
2. curl up in my bed and read books.
3. wrap up in blanket and watch a show.
4. curl up in my bed with nature music/nasheed/Qur'an
5. sip hot herbal teas with #' 1,2 and 3.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A day with my mother

I have not blogged in a while. I have been trying to keep my website updated with new content. And while things are busy these days, we were finally able to set aside time to pray at mama's grave. It was a long time coming. The plants we had planted died because of the lack of rain over the summer and fall. Masha Allah, it was a nice day to be out there with her, making dua and cleaning up her grave.


Before...








After.......





Is the snow going to pass me by?

Insha Allah, I hope so!!!!!! Last year and the year before, I really did not enjoy the snow! The past two winters, I did not do much in the way of driving. This year, I have been driving quite a bit, and the thought of driving in the snow REALLY scares me. The slipping, the sliding, and not to mention, accidents! But Alhamdulillah, we have not had any snow just yet and it is already February. I love the weather though. We have had some amazing weather off and on. Though it rains quite a bit, and I'm not really a rain person, I prefer it to snow. :) It is still winter, but I am going to continue to pray for a snowless winter.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Personal Tips from a Novice Amateur

Writing is fun when your imagination is on a roll and your pen (or keyboard) is writing away. But every once in a while, a writer slams into a wall of blanks. That wall is called writer's block, a massive blockade that subdues creativity, drains imagination and tires the pen (or keyboard.) But every block is meant to be overcome. Every writer, amateur or professional, has his or her own way of creatively getting pass writer's block. Here are a few of my techniques of over coming the creative blockade.


* Find your writing zone. I like to find a comfortable place to be in before I write.
Everyday is different. Sometimes, I like to write in my room curled up on my bed
where it is quiet. Other times, I like to be in an open area where I can find
inspiration all around me.

* Try to write everyday, even if it is in a journal. Writing everyday allows you to
keep your creativity at its maximum. I write about everything, that happens at
work, things I see in my day, or sometime I even describe a pretty flower or cute
animal.

* Write about things you like or are familiar with. Writing about something you
don't like or have no knowledge about can be a chore and sometimes
unpleasant. I try to write about things I like, usually stories, poems or activities
geared towards children as I am a teacher of young children. But if you have to,
give yourself adequate time to learn as much as you can about the subject you
are writing about before you start writing.

* Read other writings for inspiration and motivation. Sometimes, I find it beneficial
and helpful to read other writings. Reading is very important to the writer. You
can't be a good writer if you are not a good reader. Read writing that is both
similar to your genre and writing that is different. I like to write children's fiction,
but I love to read fiction for adults and non-fiction. The satisfaction of reading a
good book, story, poem or article also reminds the writer why they should keep
going!

* Use writing prompts when you hit writer's block. Writer's Block is bound to
happen, so don't let it get you down. If you happen to find that you don't know
what to write about or that you just don't have anything to write about, use
writing prompts to give you a jump start. Prompts can also be a lot of fun and be
wonderful starts to other writing projects.


* Give yourself writing incentives. Writing incentives are great and fun! I love to
buy new writing pads and pencils or pens. I have also taken writing classes to
motivate me to write more and even started blogs and a website to share my
work. It is important, however, to make sure your incentives are important to you
or else you wont be motivated by them.

* Surround yourself with positive reinforcement and encouragement. Nothing is
more important that being around like minded people who support and
encourage you. Join writing groups and clubs. It is a wonderful way to meet
other writers and share writing tips and advice from both amateurs and
professionals. I belong to a few writing groups that have proven very beneficial.
Everyone gives constructive criticism and encouragement to help me
increase my writing skills.

* If all else fails, take a break from writing. There are times when no matter what,
your brain just does not want to cooperate with your creativity and imagination.
When that happens, don't force it; take a break. Relax your mind; enjoy other
activities or, one of my favorites, simply take a nap. God has given your body
rights over you, that includes your brain, where your creative processing occurs.

Happy Writing!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Resolution: A Gentle Reminder.

Passing along a wonderful reminder from one of the many yahoo e-groups I belong to. Thank you to the member who posted it.

Peace!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1st January 2010-New Years Resolution

Innal-Hamdalillah was-Salaatu was-Salaamu 'Alaa Rasoolillah As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa-raHmatullahi wa-barakaatuh

So, here we are into 2010! Living in the "Western World", everyone is now greeting each other for an amazing and successful 2010 and the usual New Year Resolution thinking caps are on!... Hmmm... Interesting!

However, as Muslims, our thoughts must be to change our ways everyday, not just from the 1st of January because it is the start of the New Year, and hey, our Islamic New Year started a few weeks back by the way!!

We have to be focused daily on our prayers, our attitude, our Imaan and our goals.

Remember, the Prophet PBUH said:


When you stand up to pray, perform your prayer as if it were your last...' (Ahmad)

The whole purpose of Salah is to be ever conscious of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Salah is indeed, one of the most comprehensive forms of Dhikr (Remembrance) . No wonder, Allah states in a hadith qudsi: "Out of all the ways through which My servant gets closer to Me, Salah is the dearest to Me." (Bukhari) It is unfortunate, therefore, that we do not always take full advantage of this gift.

Remind yourself that engaging in Prayer offers you an opportunity to release yourself from the tensions of this world. The Prophet PBUH has said that in Prayer was placed the comfort of his eyes. Therefore cherish the opportunity to remove the burdens of this world from your shoulders.

Use your Prayer to remain focused on your mission in life, which is to bring your entire being to serve only Allah.

Use your Prayer as a source of strength, inspiration and enthusiasm for your life and activities.

On each occasion that you recite the Sifat or attributes of Allah in ruku and sajda, consider how indebted you are and how grateful you should be to Allah and express your true emotions.

Utilise the occasion of sajda to make additional dua to Allah. The Prophet PBUH said: "A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in sajda, so increase your supplication when in sajda." (Muslim.)
Remember, Salah is an obligation. Whether your heart is attentive or not, it must be performed. You cannot give up Prayer because to you it appears useless. There is punishment for a Prayer not performed satisfactorily. It will be a witness against you rather than a witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Don't give up the obligation but try to infuse it with the purpose it seeks to serve - remembrance of Allah. It is important to remember the saying of the Prophet (pbuh): "If a man performs two rakas of Salah without the distraction of any worldly thought, all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Bukhari.)

So remember, our new year resolution do not being just at the start of the year! We should be focused every day, and we really need to get our salahs [prayers] in order. So many text messages are still flying around stating "Send this to 10 people and see how your fate changes"... What? Absolute nonsense! These `chain'; text messages are an absolute waste of time, energy and money. Your condition won't change by sending text messages to 10 of your mates. Your condition can ONLY change if you are committed to the 5 times prayers, you engage in Zikr, you ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, you give to the poor and needy and you keep you heart and intentions pure.

Take provision from the world because you are a traveller, your place in the world is a delusion but many Muslims today are immersed in these long hopes. And they are heedless of Allah swt. They continue in doing wrong deeds and this is wrong. There is no doubt that this path will lead to ruin. In the Qura'n it states, "On the Day when every soul will be confronted with all the good it has done, and all the evil it has done, it will wish there were a great distance between it and its evil. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself. And Allah is full of kindness to those that serve Him
Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [al-Imran 3:30-31]

"Your days are spent in delusion and heedlessness.
Your nights are full of sleep.
You concern yourself with that which is temporary
And you find joy in this just as you do in your sleep as you dream."

Abdullah Ibn Umar who said: The messenger of Allah took me by the shoulder and said: "Be in the world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer." Ibn Omar also used to say: "At evening don't expect [to live till] morning, and at morning do not expect [to live till] evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death."
[Related by Bukhari]

So, I pray Insha Allah everyone is focused on daily basis, not just because it is a new year, and that you start from the very basics, and that is to read your Daily prayers for this is the very 1st thing we are all accountable for!

Don't just read this email and take no action. Start from today, read your salah, make Dua after each salah that you can read your next salah and ask Allah swt; for you can not imagine what doors Allah swt can open for you....Allah swt is waiting for us to Ask Him...but only if we are good Muslims with pure clean hearts.!

And Allah swt knows best
w.s