Valentines Day with Allah

So Valentines day is around the corner, and it is literally EVERYWHERE! From the grocery store to my mailbox. I see little pink and red hearts on everything I touch. I like the idea of Valentines day but the commercialization of it makes me gag. To me, Valentines day’s sole purpose is to just buy gifts.

It feels like an empty holiday with no real meaning behind it.

My first instinct was to simply not celebrate it. My family and I were going to boycott valentines day! But then…my daughter came home from school with a bag full of pink construction paper. That’s when I realized boycotting wasn’t the solution because I can’t hide it from my daughter every second of her life. I might be able to control her influencers right now, but as she gets older I won’t be able to. But what I CAN do is add meaning to the holiday. I can give her a tool to make the holiday more meaningful.

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I Didn’t Pray For 10 years…

Growing up in my parent’s house, I prayed regularly. But it was mostly because my mom told me to. It was easier just to do it than argue about it. However, when I lived alone in undergrad, I just stopped.

I had no real explanation for why I stopped. I just wasn’t motivated to pray. I didn’t feel that “spiritual renewal” people talked about during prayer. I didn’t feel an urge to pray. What I did feel was guilt. I felt guilty because I knew the importance of prayer, but I simply didn’t understand that importance.

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Pixar’s Coco and Shab-e-Barat

Shab-e-Barat occurs on the night of 14th Shabaan. It is celebrated by Muslims around the world differently, however most agree on the importance of prayer throughout the night.

So let me explain my relationship to Shab-e-barat (in a Pakistani culture).

Growing up Shab-e-Barat (Night of 14th Shabaan) meant my mom would pull out a long list of our ancestors who had passed away. She would stay up all night praying, but the part that I saw before bedtime was the part that involved this precious list.

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Happiness at 30
Happiness at 30 https://wp.me/p8y1um-1q

Happiness at 30

It’s my 30th birthday, and for the first time in 5 years I didn’t cry on my birthday.

I’ve always been very driven and an over achiever. So its no surprise I had BIG plans for my late 20’s. I was never a girl who dreamed of having a family. But as my 20’s unfolded I started dreaming of them. The only problem was I was having a really hard time letting go of my “plan”.

Every year my birthday came. And I’d mourn what I could have been and what I wasn’t, when what I should have been doing was marveling at who I had become.

At 30, I am so incredibly proud of who I am, NOT because of my accomplishments, but because I am HAPPY. Being happy whether you have the world in your hands or just sand is the most difficult thing to be. And I finally am. And here’s how…

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Board Games with Toddlers

Once your kiddo has learned to take turns and not touch the game pieces you can move on to more classic board games. One step closer to family game night!
I would recommend starting with games that have a spinners, dice and moving the pieces. Avoid games that have too many rules.
Tip: To avoid having your kid take over the board game and move pieces all over the board (and make you want to just give up), make the rule that only the adult touches the board and moves the pieces!

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3 Ways to Play Uno with a Toddler

I absolutely love board games! I grew up playing them and always had this fantasy of having family game nights with lots of laughter and excitement. (Note the word fantasy, we are not there yet!)
My three year old just started to understand the concept of sharing (not doing it, understanding it), can’t understand rules, and has impulse control issues when it comes to not touching EVERYTHING in front of her. All these these things are far from ideal for playing games.
So teaching her to sit and play a board game was a tricky task, but we did it. And here’s how!

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Sensory Play to Learn Arabic!

Before I dive into the activity, I want to talk a little bit about sensory play. So why sensory play? It has a lot of things stacked up against it: it’s messy, it’s dirty, it can take time to set up…and, oh yeah, you have to clean it up!

BUT when you think about a playground, a children’s museum or even a preschool, what is the one thing they all have in common? Most of the time, the feature attraction involves sensory play. It can be a sand box at the playground, the water area at the museum, or the “sensory box” at the school. And kids love it!

So why is it beneficial to use senses when teaching children new skills? Well, Amanda Morgan at Not Just Cute put it really well: (more…)

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