When You Don’t Have Instagram Worthy Photos

If you’re anything like me, don’t let your lack of photography skills stop you from blogging. 

I don’t have time to take beautifully orchestrated pictures, I’m not good at it. 
I could probably take a half decent food pic, if I didn’t have a wrestling baby on my lap, trying to throw everything in his ‘grabbing radius’, off the table.

I feel weird taking pictures all the time, since my kids constantly watch me, and think it’s normal to take pictures of everything. However, it’s not what I want as normal, so I try to actively combat it. See Urgency of mindful living

Also, the pay off of actually trying to take a decent picture, before disaster strikes, especially when it doesn’t even look good, isn’t worth it. Like I said, I’m no photographer. 

The lighting is never good. The angles, meh. I’m never going to get up on my chair and take pictures, I don’t want to do that.

But I want my blog to still look good and be visually appealing.

So I opt for getting high quality free pics of the internet. Wahay! Now I know sometimes you see lots of people with the same pic and it looks too generic, but you can always add your own spice to it, add graphic, lettering, writing or quotes, that’s if it really bothers you. You get the picture!

Here are the top places I goto for general pics, I download heaps in one go, and have them readily available in my library whenever I need to post, they usually fit what I write about. 

These sites do not require you to sign in or register, which is an additional step I do not need in my life. Especially with the heaps of junk mail I already receive so, no thank you. 

  1. .Unsplash 

  1. Pixabay.com

  1. Pexels.com

  1. Negativespace.co

  1. Picjumbo.com


Let me know where you get your pics from or any apps you use to get your mediocre pics look fly. 

Share what you know, and let our minds  grow! 

You Know You’re a Blogger When…

You know you’re a blogger…
When you find yourself hilarious.
When your blog brings back childhood journalling memories.
When you don’t write down what’s on your mind you feel over burdened.
When you lose your trail of thought before writing it down, you kick yourself.
When everything you see, hear and read becomes and idea for a blog post.
When you’re on the toilet, and you can’t get off quick enough to write an awesome idea down (please remember to wash your hands!).
When you’re out and about, you’ve always got a phone or notepad at hand, ready to write down ideas, extension of ideas, thoughts and rants.
When all you can think about is blogging.
When it’s the first thing you think of in the morning.
When it’s the last thing you think of at night.
When it’s the thing you think of when you see something that really annoys you.
When you see something awesome.
When you see something weird.
When you see something positive.
When it’s something you enjoy and not a chore.
When you have 59 ideas all jotted down ready to go.
When you have 20 drafts ready to schedule.
When you take pictures of your food.
When you do wordless posts.
When it feels like free therapy.
When you can’t wait to virtually meet your blogger friends.
When you connect with people around the world.
When you’re in the middle of a fight and think what a great blog post it would be 😂.
When you have a voice and think it’s worth someone hearing it.

So just for laughs, it’s over to you! What things do you catch yourself doing, when you’re thinking of blogging? 

Girl Power Children Movies

Growing up as a kid, we were exposed to a lot of Disney movies, that looking back at now, I’m surprised I haven’t been scarred for life! There’s a lot of hallucinating scenes that I hated as a kid, and looking at as an adult, I don’t want my kids watching. Then there’s the evil step mom, the wicked witch, the jealous queen  …sensing a theme. While we have the fathers either dead, aloof or super protective of their glass like daughters.  And I haven’t even gotten to the damsel in distress, waiting for a zillion years, waiting for her prince part. 

As a mother of two daughters and prominent feminist 2 year old son, I have to screen the dated Disney films, and pretty much all of them go out the window. 

However, I must say the newer breeds coming out from Disney and Pixar have been pleasantly surprising and don’t have me throwing the remote at the tv.

See my selection below and let me know if you agree. 

Brave 

Image from here
Brave is something I recently discovered and I’m so glad I did. It’s about a princess, but hang on, she’s not your average sitting pretty, dressing in gowns, swirling in a ball room, princess. She’s your feisty, running wild, not caring about social norms, girls can rule the world, who needs a man, kinda princess.  This princess, cliche granted, has her neck on the guillotine, to choose a suitor, and get married, but there’s  a twist. Princess Merida isn’t satisfied by becoming a wife to some guy, she fights back at tradition and fate and seeks to change it. The story is about trying to change generations of tradition and destiny, contrary to the uptight queen’s wishes. This movie explores the relationship of mother and daughter, social pressures, and having open communication  between kids and parents. Many kids can relate to Merida and the Queen’s relationship, where one is told what to do and does the total opposite, whilst the other is a head strong authority figure trying to refine her daughter into marriage material. 

Suitable for 7 years + some scenes may scare sensitive children.

Mulan 

Image from here
Mulan is a childhood favorite and whenever it comes on now I force my girls to watch it. My girls are all about pink and fluffy things to my dismay, even though I’ve tried my best to teach them that girls can do anything they want, they still have gender roles in their heads. Mulan shows them that they can do and be anything a man can be. Mulan, a warrior is an inspiration as a young girl growing up. The story tells us that girls may be physically weaker than men but they are not mentally weaker which can lose the war. The movie address gender stereotypes, issues such as honor and ego. 

Age range 5+ years, has some scenes that may disturb younger viewers.

Frozen

Image from here
Frozen another film I watched as an adult and mother of young daughters and I’m glad that there are movies like these coming up. Although there are elements of romance and falling madly in love at first sight bleurgh! That isn’t the central message and this is falling in love thing is made fun of in the movie. Nothing wrong with falling in love, but getting married after just the first meeting that’s just in Disney right? . This movie is about Ana and Elsa which has birthed many Anna and Elsa’s around the world which celebrates the bond of sisters. Elsa the protective older sister and the heir to the throne has a secret which she can not share with anyone. She is made to feel guilty and ashamed of herself and leads a life of seclusion even from her kids sister. Anna the complete opposite is a young naive klutzy living in fantasy type if girl you might say the typical Disney princess. However, when it comes to sticking by to family bonds, and not giving up on someone even if they’ve given up themselves, she is a force to be reckoned with

Age range: suitable for whole family. 

Moana

Image from here
Moana a chiefs daughter knows her destiny but she is constantly battling her personal legend of wanting to sail beyond the barrier reef. Her dad fearful of her lustful wondering of what is beyond the reef tries his best to commit her to her people as she is the heir. No gender stereotypes here, no one even questions how will a woman lead.  No romantic storylines to divert her focus and waste her time with. Moana’s island is in danger and she has to save it, no time to wait for Prince Charming.  She has a protective father who reminds her of her responsibilities, however she also has empowering women surrounding her that believe in her and what she is capable of. A movie about personal identity, social responsibility, and being your own hero.

Age range: 5+ years, some scenes may scare younger viewers. 

Speaking as a Woman

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Hardly anything bothers me more than women dismissing other women’s concerns.

“Oh, come on. You’re not that oppressed. No woman know deals with that. Women and their victim complexes these days….”

And I get it. Sexism, misogyny, and oppression are not often words that describe my personal day to day experience as a woman.

I have never experienced workplace discrimination. I am paid the same wages as my male counterparts. I have never been catcalled, sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, or raped. I have never felt slut-shamed or body-shamed. My husband wouldn’t even think to tell me to submit or remember my place as his wife. I can think of only two guys in my life who treated me differently than they treated men (or perhaps I imagined it).

The only real sexist discrimination I faced came from a fundamentalist church that I no longer attend and ideologies from my past that…

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The Sunshine Blogger Award!

I have been nominated for Sunshine Blogger Award, by the ever so generous Scottish Muslimah. I am always inspired by the talented Scottish Muslimah thought provoking blogs. And so extremely honored, humbled and honestly a little giddy to be amongst her nominees. I don’t think I’ve been nominated for anything! Thank you so much for thinking of me and supporting me in my blogging journey.

The Rules:

• Thank the person/persons who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

• Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

Questions asked by Scottish Muslimah with my answers are: 

 

What was the last book you read?

Last book I read was ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book encouraged me to do what I love doing, not holding back because of fears, failures and disregarding opinions of others. If it gives joy to you, that’s reason enough to do something about it.

 

What is your favourite film?

I don’t have an all time favorite film that I can think of. However I do find that I watch particular movies over and over again whenever it comes on tv such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Home Alone 1 and 2, The Goonies, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Devil wears Prada. There are also many more that escape my memory.

 

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is that I binge on fries, YouTube and coffee. I sometimes have coffee with every meal, fries for breakfast and YouTube makes me forget about life.

 

Is there something you love which everyone else hates?

Thing that I love that other people don’t get sometimes is that I’m a morning person. If I have tasks to do I’ll get them done at 7 in the morning. I can’t sleep till it’s done so I jump out of bed eager to whack it out the park. However by the time it hits 3pm I’ve completely shut down. It can be annoying especially if the people I’m with are total opposite and they are lazy in the morning, whilst full of energy in the evening.

 

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

I change my mind all the time, I’m always going with the flow and am not rigid person, as long as it doesn’t go against my core beliefs.

 

What do you love about your best friend?
My best friend is my sister,  she is like my spiritual twin, she thinks exactly what I think, without me saying a word. So if I happen to go off course, she’s the one who brings me back and reminds me of who I really am.

 

What is your favourite word?

I don’t have a favorite word, but my kids will tell you my most frequently used word is, ‘No!’ Hehe.
What was the last thing you learnt?

I am currently learning Arabic language, albeit at a very slow pace. I surprise my self sometimes when I flick through Arabic channels, I manage to grasp an understanding of what is going on. This is huge for me, when I think back at what an impossible task I thought it was to learn such a complex language. It fills me with hope that with perseverance and eagerness, I will improve, the more effort I put into it. In sha Allah (if God wills)

 

If you could live in any country where would you live?

I’m living in a dream like country already – the UAE. I moved here four years ago and feel extremely blessed to be living in a Muslim country, where being Muslim is the norm, and not looked upon as alien, suspicious or backward. To be in a country where people can be who they want to be, live and let live, with a huge sense of safety and security for me and my children. I’ve never felt safer in any other country as I do in the UAE. What else could one wish for – Alhamdulilah! ( all thanks be to God).
If you had to live in a period of history, which would it be?
I would wish to be alive during the time of Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) lifetime. Even though I have no doubt that period would be extremely testing and full of hardships, but to be in his presence, being lucky enough to meet him or just being in a world where he is alive, would bring such tremendous comfort to the ummah.

 

Who was the last person you said ‘I love you’ to? 

I’m constantly saying ‘I love you’ to my kids.

 

My nominees: 

The 11 bloggers I would like to nominate are bloggers that inspire me, who bring a little sparkle to my day and lift my mood. I always take away something positive from their blogs, their blogs are so relatable and have helped me find tremendous clarity in one way or another.

 
A Girl And Depression

Miss Britistani

Once Upon A JayJay

Son and the Moon

The Average Gurl

Latte and Love

Freckled Fashionista

Its Becca Jayne

The Worlds Okayest Momx

Coffee Doll Chronicles

The Richness of a Simple Life

The nominees don’t need to feel compelled to take part if you don’t want to, this award is just to show my appreciation for your blogs 💕

My questions for the nominees are:


1. Who inspires you?
2. What would you like to be remembered as?
3. What would you like to do which is totally outside your comfort zone?
4. What things can you not live without?
5. What’s your favorite book?
6. What is your favorite quote that you live by?
7. If you were the president of America, what one thing would you change?
8. What would you say to your younger self?
9. What’s your favorite comfort food?
10. What makes your day instantly better?11. What thing do you miss doing as a kid?

Why I Think You Should Blog Already

This is a post for my sister who I’m trying to convince to blog. 

Since it’s her birthday tomorrow, I can’t think of a better gift, than to convince her to blog!

These are all the reasons why I think blogging benefits me and hopefully if you’re reading this and still waiting on the blogging fence it’s a gentle push, shove and kick up the back side to get you started!

Why you should start blogging right now:

Don’t wait till you’re ready these excuses are exactly why you shoukd start without too much thought.

Get out of your comfort zone, growth lies on the other side of fear. 

Blog right now with what you know whether you think you’re an expert or not.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to blog or a blogging license.

You have your own creative license, that you’ve been born with, to do whatever you like.

Blogging makes you gets real with yourself.

Learn to hear your inner voice.

Blogging emphasizes what you like and don’t like, you are more in tune with your self.

It feels good to get things that are important to you off your chest in more than 120 characters.

It goes well with coffee.

It’s a great platform to drum up awareness for a worthy cause.

It’s a great place to clear up misconceptions about things you feel passionate about.

Your blog works while you sleep, meaning some one could be reading it on the other side of the world, while you are unaware and find benefit from it.

Its your platform to voice your opinion on controversial things.

You can talk about awkward things that you would not necessarily talk about.

It’s a place where you want to write down your thoughts and feelings.

It’s an opportunity for others to see your great ideas and for you to share your talent with the world.

It’s a great place to put out something positive into the world .

It’s great if you want to do something productive with your time.

You want to improve your writing skills.

You want to clear out your thoughts.

If you can read it you can write it, meaning many times we come across articles and think ‘man I could’ve wrote that!’ the difference is you didn’t, and some one else did. Don’t let this happen again!

It’s a way to articulate.

It’s therapeutic.

It a place of refuge.

Its a creative release.

It makes you happy.

It’s a journey you can look back on.

It’s your home you can make it the way you want to.

You learn to discipline your time.

You learn to plan and organise your ideas.

When you’re creating something, you don’t feel like you’re wasting time like other social media.

You get to ‘meet’ like minded people which makes you feel that the passion you have is something worth having.

You get to write about things you are passionate about, at length without anyone getting bored, it’s your page you can be as lengthy as you want and not apologise.

You can be who you truly want to be. 

You can learn about new interests (e.g. new language, photography) and develop them, documenting your progress online.

You can get better at writing.

You can make money.

You can make a career out of blogging, freelancing, reviewing, promoting things that you are passionate about.

You can use your blog to build a portfolio on your interest that you hope can lead up to your dream career.

You can blog about anything.

You can blog anywhere.

You can blog anytime.

You can blog in the dark.

You can surround yourself with people who inspire you, who get you, who have similar goals and interests.

You get to challenge yourself to write something new each blog post.

You get to learn more bout yourself

You are building your legacy

If your work benefits one person then job done , if your work benefits only you then job done!

Kids get to see what you’ve been up to during the baby years.

It’s legacy building.

It makes you smarter you have to actually organise your thoughts and lay it out so it’s tangible to read

Its easy to do, you can set up WordPress in less than 30 minutes, download app and you’re good to go. The longest part maybe deciding on a name. Brainstorm now. Go on!

Hope this helps, if you needed that push in why you should blog. Write in the comments what you think my sister should know and how blogging benefits you!

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