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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Abu Dhabi Eats: U-Turn Diner

This weekend the husband surprised us with this 1950’s Kitsch find in Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi.

We don’t dine out often, but when we do, we opt for fuss free restaurants. Having three kids, who are clumsy at best, and with the youngest one’s nickname as ‘The Destroyer’, you can imagine how I fill up with dread, whenever the husband suggests a formal dining place.

Neither do the kids enjoy the experience of sitting still and eating, kids just want to have fun, they are not at all bothered about what they eat. Nor as parents, can we relax, when uptight parenting comes into play, teaching them table etiquettes, every 5 seconds.

U-Turn Diner
looked perfect on screen, visually engaging for the kids, promising to keep the whining at bay, with child friendly menu, quirky and vibrant diner decor and the famous freak sized desserts!

We went straight after Friday congregational prayer.

U-Turn was empty, which was to be expected and hoped for on a Friday early lunch hour, perfect, no one to annoy. Lucky for them.

The staff were very welcoming, helpful and making the kids feel this place was made for them.

They had an extensive menu, with all American diner style food with a dash of Latin American staples. They had so much to offer such as breakfast pancakes with maple syrup to chili hot dogs, to retro burgers and buffalo wings. They also had Arabic and Indian influenced dishes such as Chennai omelet with the added spice and Labneh sandwich.

Kids picked there usual non fussy food, Mac n Cheese and Hot Dog with fries and chocolate milkshake.

The ‘big kids’ ordered the ‘OMG burger’ and Philli Burger with coke.

The burgers were true to their name! Just looking at it could lead to a cardiac arrest. It was a man v food moment guess who won? 

Food of course!

The kids did well, they wiped up their plates with their perfect kiddy portions, which is a rarity.

But we were struggling after just a few mouthfuls. The OMG burger consisted of three layers of beef burger, a layer of bacon strips a layer of hashbrown and salad. Total burger height = husbands head.

We took the leftovers in a doggy bag. With our heads held high for attempting to get in the ring with the burger. Yolo!

What attracted us to U-turn were their signature ‘freak’ desserts. However with the fear of waste and having failed terribly on the burgers, we eyed up the desserts again, which were equally monstrous proportions, and declined. Although, I can imagine being drawn back here just for the desserts very soon. Watch this space!


Pic from U-Turn Instagram

Pros:

  • They had a kids area, with smart gadgets to entertain. Staff were amazing always trying to make ‘the destroyer’ feel comfortable.
  • Kids were happy with their food options. We were happy with the burger flavours, it didn’t disappoint.
  • Decor was fully committed to the American diner theme, complete with a jukebox.
  • Liked the train cubicles that are perfect for privacy and family with kids that won’t sit still.
  • Plentiful parking upfront.

Cons:

A little pricey but that’s like any place you go out to eat at in Abu Dhabi. The portions were very generous so you get a lot for what you pay for. Whether you finish it is another thing!

Overall 4/5 stars

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own and I am in no way affiliated with this restaurant.

No Toys Challenge

My kids are always bored with the toys they have, they play with it for a day and then thats it, they forget about it. Instead they opt to laze around, watch the telly, draw or play on the phone. Nonetheless, their eyes light up whenever we pass toy stores, and their wish lists for their birthday, becomes never-ending.

I have found that the more they have, the less imaginative they are, when they have no toys. They keep complaining they have nothing to do, or don’t know how to have fun unless directed by me.

If I tell them go to your room and have free play they ask ‘and do what?’. I’m stunned, they have a zillion more toys than I ever had. I remember having one toy or maybe two in the history of my childhood. But I never once went complaining to my mom that I was bored! If I had gone to my mom, she would’ve laughed in my face. Boredom was not a thing growing up, it was a none issue. You just deal.

I tell my kids how we used to play teachers, banks, post office, cooking up mud Mississippi pies, tea parties, with absolutely no commercial toys. We just had our imagination scraps of paper, unwanted kitchen junk, water, rock, grass and the world was our oyster.

So I’m on this quest, to inspire my kids into believing, that you don’t need things to have fun if you’ve got imagination nothing can limit you.

Here is a list of games I came up with my kids

  1. Memory game
  2. Musical statues
  3. Musical chairs
  4. Duck Duck Goose
  5. Having a grass/leaf/snow fight
  6. Making daisy chains
  7. Going on a bug hunt
  8. Building Sandcastles
  9. Writing words in the sand
  10. Making designs in rice tray
  11. Get creative recycle junk to make something else
  12. Pairing socks game using stop watch (inspired by sorting out laundry)
  13. Pairing shoes (inspired by the pile of shoes I have to clear up everyday)
  14. Picking straws – pile them up and remove one at a time without disturbing the others
  15. Making bubbles with milk shake
  16. Throwing socks in a laundry basket
  17. Noughts n crosses
  18. Hop scotch 
  19. Tag
  20. Stuck in the mud
  21. Bull dog – run from one side of the garden to the other without getting caught. Once caught you join the catchers till all runners are caught out.
  22. What’s the time Mr Fox
  23. Making bubbles with washing up liquid and a straw
  24. Water fight with plastic bottles cups plates tubs and whatever else you can find.
  25. Making a fort with pillows blankets sheets
  26. Pretend to camp outside,inside
  27. Going on a treasure hunt making a map with clues
  28. Blind fold game directing player by giving instructions
  29. Hot and cold game (hide something only giving clues if they are hot or cold)
  30. Charades
  31. Name that tune game
  32. Eye spy
  33. Guess who – act out someone from the family or friends
  34. 20 questions
  35. Hide and seek
  36. Obstacle course
  37. Make a collage with things from outside72okqsu7ggm-annie-spratt
  38. Step on shadow chase
  39. Walking on lines game
  40. Talent show
  41. Fashion show
  42. Chinese whispers
  43. ‘Home alone’ inspired operation get the burglar plan making booby traps
  44. Make your own board game
  45. Make your own magazine/ book
  46. Rock Paper Scissors
  47. Clapping games a sailor went to sea sea sea
  48. Make up songs
  49. Pretend to be a spy/ detective / pirate

What games did you play as a child that didn’t require any materials except what you had lying around and your imagination? I would love to know the fun games you used to play!

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Girl Power Movies with Badass Women not wanting ‘The Guy’

If you scroll through my previous posts you may guess… I am a Girl Power advocate, (see Girl Power Book Wish List , Books: People I Want to Hang Out With). Yes, I am a woman and Yes, I am also a mother of young, impressionable children.

So no surprise, that I am tired of seeing, the same cliche filled, pink, fluffy, ‘like omg’ movies, that are centered around attracting ‘the guy’- or even worse ‘any guy’ – with the girl’s primary talent, her looks.

These are your bog standard ‘chick flick’ movies, your average Rom Coms. Don’t even get me started on the guy movies, my head might just explode, along with the male ego. Dude movies might as well not have any women in them, since the lines they have are so minuscule, might as well be in a foreign language, as it has no relevance to the movie. ‘The girl’s’ sole purpose is to be saved from the bad guys/ sleaze ball/ psychopath  and be the trophy at the end of the ‘good guy’ who she, of course, is madly in love with.

I abhor these type of one dimensional movies, pumping the stereotype, of women cannot be anything without a man, assumedly they’re half of a person, and the man completes their sole existence –  bleurgh!

So I thought I’d compile a list of movies, that star female protagonists, who are not interested in being the love interest, and are all about being badass in their own right. Most of my films you may notice are bio pics, which goes to show, that real women are not really like the pink fluff that these brain dead movies portray.

Erin Brockivich (2000)

Bio pic about a legal clerk turned environmental activist. I truly believe women are born activists, this is where us women thrive. In her element Julia Roberts owns this movie, depicting a single mother with no formal law education going head to head with huge corporation.

Kill Bill (2003)

A pregnant bride left for dead at her wedding venue along side her wedding party. After 4 years in a coma said bride comes to and seeks revenge from bill and all of his squad of assassins, her previous colleagues. Doesn’t get any more badassy than this movie.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Movie about a women wanting to get into professional boxing. She convinces a veteran coach, who doesn’t think much of women boxing, to train her. The movie deals with how women are not taken seriously in sports and how they have to be twice as good just to get a look in.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Ok admittedly this movie isn’t about saving yourself from any assassins, or inner demons, but it does deal with women on women hate in the work place. Women in high positions are notoriously ‘married’ to their work. Climbing up the career ladder requires sacrificing friends and family, which are part and parcel of corporate life. No one bats an eyelid if you’re a man, as it’s totally acceptable. But as women you are lacking and failing at being your true soft and nurturing self. This movie shows how taking your job to the nth level you can be seen as a crazy woman as apposed to a successful career driven man.

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Huge fangirl of the book and have become a life long stalker of the big G, Elizabeth Gilbert. A bio pic based on Gilberts travel memoir of self discovery through all the senses, lifting the mind body and soul. A movie that rejects wanting a man to complete is when we are feeling lost. It instead inspires us to look within ourselves, emboldening the most homely of us to travel and live to our fullest. Absolutely love this and can’t recommend it enough.

The Blind Side (2009)

Truly heart warming and inspiring bio pic, of how a young boy was given a chance in life and became a professional football player. Story is about a black teen who becomes homeless because his mom has to many kids to care for that often leaves him behind. A white well off family see that the young boy is homeless and take him in to their home. Formally becoming his legal guardians they transform his life and theirs in the process. Not a dry eye in the house this story is so touching and heart warming to see reminding us that what unites us is our humanness.

Neerja (2016)

Hindi Movie with english subtitles available: This Indian Bio pic, is about an air hostess, who risks her life, to save whole plane full of passengers, from a hostage terror attack. Awe inspiring true story, the heroism and bravery of this young lady who didn’t think about her own life, trying to save her crew and passengers, will leave you with a lump in your throat.

Hidden Figures (2017)

I haven’t seen this movie yet but from its trailer alone I can tell this is a must see. Full to the brim with powerful women wanting to make a difference to history. Not only representing themselves but representing black and whole of womenkind.

 

My list is not in the least extensive, as these movies are hard to come by. If you  have any more recommendations, please do suggest them in the comments, I will only be too ecstatic, to check them out!

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