Journal Your Ramadan – Day #17: Mosque

I couldn’t go down to my local mosque to take photos (and I didn’t think it would look quite right either, a random hijabi hanging around a mosque with a camera at prayer times…maybe not). So here’s a few crystal and glass ornaments of famous mosques in Saudi Arabia that we have at home that we all love, they’re small and pretty and beautifully made.

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And here is my Godzilla-Baby niece messing with my ‘studio’ and showing me how it’s really done!

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #9: This happened today…

To be honest, nothing spectacularly eventful happened today, it was a peaceful, very warm and quite ordinary a day for me – although sometimes these can be the best days, because these can the most serene days where you’re not worrying about things or too busy to relax because of chores. Today I had a great nap, played with my youngest niece, had a filling iftari and relaxed in the breeze in the garden – all normal things in my routine, and all quite enjoyable!

So I thought I’d just do a post about some the things I did today, mostly normal things which aren’t extraordinary, but are still special to me.

Firstly I went to work. Okay work isn’t THAT special to me, but it’s nice to walk in the summer time after months of rain and grey skies (although I’m enjoying it slightly less during Ramadan because the heat is pretty intense and can make you thirsty quite quickly!) Still, I’ve been enjoying the scenery and the rich colours everywhere.

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After work I came home to play with my youngest niece for a little while (I didn’t get to see my other two nieces today, but I saw them yesterday so it’s all good). She was wearing a dress with a colourful harlequin print on it today, because she knows that I like the print, and she also knows about my Harlequin blog, of course. The Force is strong in this one.

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I wandered around my garden for a little while and decided to take a few pictures of the flowers that my mum’s been growing over the last few months. The whole garden has really burst into blossom and looks dazzling in the hot weather, and it’s nice to see my mum’s hard work resulting in beautiful colour.

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I had a nice long nap after that. I don’t have pictures unfortunately, but I can tell you I had a weird dream, possibly about chasing zombies. I don’t quite remember.

After this I broke my fast at iftari time with some scrumptious food – I’ve been eating a lot of fresh fruit and simple meals lately, which has really made a difference to my eating habits and also made it easier to digest food.

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That’s mostly the highlights of the day today – apart from browsing the internet for some sandals and also looking at some huge kundan rings (my favourite piece of jewellery, at the minute!) – although having a sneaky chocolate cookie after dinner also made my day too!

Weekend Pretty…Swan Babies

Swans are amazing creatures (just look at the amount of literature and fairy tales based on them), and it’s always a treat to see one – let a lone see a mother swan with her cygnet babies! It took me a while to take these pictures because I wanted to get as close as I could without scaring them away, and thankfully I did manage to get a few shots of these fluffies cuties with their mother in very blue waters and some rushes.

And then they paddled away quickly after that.

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My Niece’s Cupcakey Aqeeqah Party

We had a family celebration this weekend, which was a lovely celebration for the birth of my newest and tiny-est niece, which is called an ‘Aqeeqah‘ (this is when Muslims will sacrifice an animal as thanks to God for the gift of a new baby, which is then fed to relatives and then to the poor. If you can’t afford that then an alternative is just to give some money to charity). We did something similar for my (slightly older!) niece just a couple of months ago which was also, incidentally pinky and cupcakey, but just as family filled and fun.

There were of course, some seriously beautiful handmade cupcakes and cake pops made by my very talented sister, and plenty of fresh cream cake, presents, balloons and lots of little ‘uns all present – and not least the gorgeous guest of honour who was actually a good girl the whole night and did the nice thing of falling asleep half-way through.

And us being girly-girls, we all dressed up and had sparkly heels on and gossiped through the night with the only interruptions being more cuddly chiddlers with cute, fat hands who kept trying to grab cake they weren’t allowed (my mum horrified the family of a 7-month old cousin by feeding her Coca-Cola, but we just told them that we wouldn’t have been able to stop  her anyway – my mum is of the opinion that a “little bit of the stuff won’t hurt anyone”.)

But anyways, less of my yapping now anyway,  here’s a few pictures of the evening, and of course, the beautiful cakey goodness. Sorry if you’re on a diet. But not really.

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A Pinkety Pink Tea Party

It’s always a good idea to have a pink theme when you’re holding a mini-party for a new baby girl, as we decided when my sister held an aqeeqah for her new family addition (an aqeeqah is basically a celebration where an animal is sacrificed and then fed to everyone to show thanks for a new child. If you can’t do that, then an alternative is to give money to charity. But it’s all good, don’t worry.)

We had some very prettily, sparkly dressed guests, and lots of boisterous, cute and happy kids running around the house with pink and purple balloons and oddly shaped toy cars (I have no idea what my nephew does to them).

We may have gone a little overboard with the pink candy bar though : )

By ‘we’, I mean your truly, obviously.

Eid Mubarak!….A Day of Food, Flowers and Family

We’ve had a busy weekend at the Harlequin household, starting with Eid celebrations, which began on Friday (not to mention the night-before shenanigans with last-minute shopping, mehndi being done out on the main streets and bangle shopping), and ended late into the night (complete with bowling, some questionable arcade game dancing and lots of coca-cola).

I think the best part was probably the two babies in our family being poked and prodded (in a nice way!) the whole day, and just looking, well, adorable.

So if you’re celebrating, Eid Mubarak! Here’s some eye candy to give a peek into what my house was like on the day, I completely forgot to take pictures of the presents (the boys all got socks and rubber-band guns. Don’t ask.), but we did get lots of pretty goodies and it was great to have the whole noisy crowd under one roof. With lots of cake, of course!

A Yellowy Baby Shower Suprise!

We had a supreez Baby Shower for my eldest sister, after much lying, denying and outright barefaced fake-ignorance, which resulted in a very suspicious sister. Thank god the whole family was in it (not without a few slips, apparently asking a group of women to keep a secret for a few weeks is a very tall order!) and manage to keep it quiet enough to have some element of surprise anyway. Apparently I’m not a very good liar, but I’m just gonna put that down to my sister’s hormones and not knowing what planet she’s on. Geez.

But, Ladies and Gentlebeans, it was tow-tally fun.  You can see her reaction here, well worth it. We had a yellow theme, with banners, streamers, cakes and favour bags (we had some seriously cute balloons too but they flew away. True story.) The best present had to be the deceptive-looking cake, which turned out to be made of nappies – made overnight by a very nice friend of my sister’s! There were plenty of games, fresh fruit, and fresh-cream cakes for all, to go with some seriously pretty flowers from my mum and a lot of yakkety-yakking by everyone.

So yes, a good weekend was had by all. If only those balloons hadn’t flew away, eh?