Thursday, May 31, 2012

30 Things Day 4: to my 16 year old self

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.


1) Study more seriously. 
2) Don't be afraid of failure. 

3) Don't quit the basketball team. 
4) You are skinny, girl!
5) Stop wishing you were finished high school and live in the present moment.
6) You're right in thinking that things will be better when you're done with high school and out into the bigger world but that doesn't mean you should zombie through these next 2 years. 
7) Switching schools wasn't the best idea, but instead of going to a 3rd different high school, go back to the first one!
8) Again: Take your studies more seriously. 
9) Again: Don't be afraid of failure.
10) Combine these two important things together: Don't be an underachiever! Stay away from mediocrity. Don't look down on overachievers, they're doing better than you are!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Linking you guys to 2 giveaways

There's a giveaway on two fashion blogs I follow where you can win any eShakti item!

One chance HERE on a blog called Just Take a Bow. You could win any item by eShakti by going to the blog, following it and then following eShakti on both Facebook and Pinterest and commenting (find the links for that on the other blog).

Second chance is HERE on a blog called My Marine and Me!

Here are some examples of the goodies they sell:

denim chambray maxi dress

hummingbird dress (knee length)
heart mints shirtdress (below the knee length)
I am loving the look of their stuff! They look shorter on the pictures though, don't they? But anyway, I want these three (and so many more)... If you do too, go to the blogs for a chance in the giveaway.

Disclosure: I'm getting an extra entry in one of the two giveaways by blogging about it.

30 Things Day 3: Parents

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.


I am very very close with my parents. I see them multiple times a week and have supper there at least once per week and really, I still feel like their house is my home. Nora has a bunch of her things there like a swingset, bouncey castle, sandbox and her bicycle since we go so often. My dad is the one who takes the vast majority of the bike rides with her and he really does love to spend time with her. He takes her almost each Saturday (every 2 weeks) when I have to be at the store with the kids and runs his errands with her and sometimes brings her to  play at McDonald's to play while he has a coffee or something. My parents actually call me up and ask us to come over if it has been more than a couple days. They both cried when I left to Egypt at 19 years old (before the kids) and they both cried when Nora left for Egypt, both times she went.

My mom has told me how she doesn't know what she'd do if she was in the same situation as her friend whose children and grand-children live away (other side of Canada). She obviously had the idea of me moving to Egypt when she said that. A sort of warning, I guess!

I had a really great childhood because of how much my parents care about me and sacrifice for me (and my brother of course). It was always our needs first and they always managed to get us everything we needed and wanted even if I know there were some difficult times financially when I was young. I never knew about it back then. I always felt secure, not a worry in the world. My parents were and still are the people I look up to the most and I hold their opinions very highly on anything. I tell them everything and ask them advice about everything in my life too. They're my lifeline no matter what I'm going through and they're always there, never disappoint. Nothing but good things to say!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

30 Things Day 2: Fears

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.


I don't really have any important fears so I'm not sure that I can really participate.


Generally, the thing that scares me the most is my own imagination. And this is from someone who doesn't have very much imagination... This is in order of smallest to biggest fear. 


1 - When I see bugs inside the house, especially tiny ones that I can imagine crawling on me and going under my skin. Makes me feel itchy and freaked out for that moment. I don't want stuff crawling under my skin. 


2 - I very often scare myself over things related to the security of the kids like if I walk by a large hedge, I will visualize a car backing out fast and hitting the stroller so I end up being very careful. Or I might imagine that I forgot to tie Adam in the stroller and he slides out and falls on the pavement. Or I imagine what could've happened if I took him out of the bath with hands not rinsed and he slipped out of them and fell. I imagined similr things with Nora and I now imagine things related to her age, but it's not as intense because I know she has good reflexes and judgment unlike the baby. 


3 - This is not really related to my imagination... I feel very sad just thinking about losing my parents and I guess I'm scared of the day that it will happen. 

A Quick Dua Request

Could any of you spare a quick thought for a friend of mine named Sandra who just had a miscarriage..? She had been trying to conceive for close to one year and was starting to feel discouraged about not getting pregnant, worried that something was wrong with her when it finally happened! So much joy... Her little bean as she called it. You can imagine how she was planning everything (since really she had been planning for almost a year) and to then lose the baby... She's devastated.


So if you could pray that she finds peace with what happened and that God allows her to have another pregnancy, this time a healthy pregnancy and baby if He so wills. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

30 Things Day 1: Random Facts

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

1) I've always wanted to visit Burma since I read an article about it in a super old National Geographic that was lying around at my house when I was a kid.

2) I admire people who are determined and hardworking and just like a lot of people do, I'm trying to transmit what I wish I was to my kids and this is it.

3) When I was a kid, even very young, I wanted to be skinnier and would suck in my stomach. I was actually very tall and thin so it really made no sense for me to feel that way.

4) My husband helped me overcome my desire to be skinny. I went through a period of "light eating disorder" It was not to the point that I was making my body very ill and I did not look up to others who didn't eat at all and wanted their bones protruding, but I was draining myself  mentally to think about nothing else than calories eaten and calories burned and my target weight of 118 lbs... I'm 5'8.5". I was eating normally and letting my body be what it is when I met my husband so I was not in the eating disorder stage of my life, but I was still self-conscious and still had the lingering desire to be skinnier and he was able to help me put things in perspective and make me feel confident about how I looked and how I might look if I gained a few pounds or lost a few pounds.

5) I'm not sentimental about possessions generally.

6) BUT (in relation to 5), I have a teddy bear from when I was 2 years old that I love so much I still keep her close by to this day. I brought her to Egypt when I met my husband. Yesterday, I bandaged her leg. Last month, I made a search online to try to find a place that could make a custom bear that looks exactly like her so I could give it to Nora and have Toutoune to myself (didn't really find one).

7) I hardly ever listen to music anymore and literally don't have the desire to much at all but in all honesty, it makes me sad because it was such a beautiful part of my life when I was discovering great music and growing up to those sounds. It feels like something I can't get back.

8) I'm reading Thirty Shades Darker (second book of the series).

9) When I'm asked if I have any regrets about my life so far, I'm actually honest when I say that I don't.

10) I'm also honest when I say that sometimes I feel weighed down by being a parent. This is mostly when I think of studying and travelling which would be so easy without kids and a husband.

11) I would have preferred it if this was 10 random facts rather than 20!

12) I have trouble finding where I fit in

13) My favourite word is "shard" since I heard it in a song by my favourite artist. The picture he paints in the lyrics is quite memorable to me, "your barefeet dancing crazy in shards of wine glasses". Tarantulove by Hawksley Workman for anyone interested.

14) I don't have much of an interesting pre-Islam past. No drinking, drugs, boyfriends...

15) I can't imagine that I will *not* get a tattoo someday. I WILL get a tattoo someday...

16) I kind of wish I was born into a different culture. I love the asian cultures and I love the native american cultures.

17) I have one sibling, a younger brother. He's a redhead.

18) My last name is Swedish.

19) My identity is mixed between being a French Canadian and an Anglo Quebecker.

20) I have a lot of interests but no real passion and if I could have anything, it would be passion for one thing. I'm a little tired of having a couple weeks of interest in all sorts of things. Something else always takes over before I get anywhere with the thing I'm interested in.

30 Things





I'm going to be doing the Thirty Things posts which came from this place: 


And which I heard of from Elisa at Before Sunrise

THE LIST: 
(I will link the post to each of these items as I write them)

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

A Trip to Egypt this Summer??

I was planning on going to Egypt while I was pregnant and felt like my plans died with the start of my husband's company because of our financial situation mostly, and my husband not having any flexibility...

But now my husband is very serious about wanting to find a way to go to Egypt as a family this summer. He wants to have someone else at the store full time (who he has already found) while he does the work through the internet from there to help out the guy who is OK with computers by not a technician really. And for his other full time job, he wants to take his 2 weeks vacation and combine that with 2 weeks extra unpaid. He says they're gearing up for some layoffs so he can volunteer to be affected for those 2 extra weeks even if he has enough seniority to stay on.

Next thing... We're in Canada so that's a long and expensive plane ride. I dread the travelling to the point of not even wanting to go actually... But I also love Egypt and dream of being there... So I'm torn on just that point. Add in the financial aspect and I feel like we need to stay here. We don't have that money and it will take a while to get rid of that debt if we decide to go.

BUT I really do have to take into consideration the most important thing and that's Ahmed's parents. They have seen Nora twice but they haven't met Adam yet and it makes me sad that they haven't been able to be a part of our lives like my own parents have. They are alive and well at the moment, but they are not as healthy as my parents and they are older too so I can't really say, "we'll visit them when we're financially stable" because then we might not even do it. It seems like this sacrifice of putting ourselves in debt is something we need to do. I stil don't know if this summer is the time to do it, but next year, I have 3 weeks off total as vacation while right now, I can stay as long as I want since I'm not working. It makes the trip more worth it that I would be staying a minimum of 4 weeks and possibly staying beyond my husband's trip if I want to.

I'm nervous just thinking about being in Egypt though, really. My stomach is all in knots as I type.

Oh, next thing now... The flight. Ones from Montreal are just way beyond our budget. Even the budget we have for putting ourselves in debt. I found no cheaper than 6000$! But from NYC, it's about 4000$ for the family. That's close to an 8h drive though. BUT, it's a direct flight while anything from Montreal has a layover costing us at least that 8h. If we chose to do the NYC thing, we'd stay for a night or two and visit around a little  since it's my husband's dream to visit this city and it would give us a fresh start for the long flight. Part of me is more scared of this than leaving Montreal and having a layover in an airport and part of me feels like this would be closer to relaxing since we'd be doing it in two separate travels... Oh, I don't know! I just want to be in Europe so make the decision easy. I'd have a cheaper, shorter, more direct flight to Egypt and we'd just go every year! lol

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Muslim Feminist (continued) but really this is just about feminism

Last paragraph of my other Muslim feminist post, I was saying that I recognize the differences between men and women and that I believe that accommodations with laws and societies need to be made to insure equality between men and women. I just wanted to go into more detail about that with a couple examples.


First, women are different in that they get pregnant and give birth. I don't think that this should affect their job stability at all. Women should have accommodations that let them be safe and well at work while they are pregnant and should have enough time off (paid, even if it's not 100% of their regular salary) to be able to take good care of their baby and themselves before returning to their job and there should be no consequences whatsoever for the time they had off. 

I also believe in equality in that the father or mother should have the same right to take the time off and be at home with the baby or kids and not be judged in any way for that. 

When it comes to jobs, we know that it's easier for men to access certain jobs (normally it's jobs with higher pay or power) and I believe in an affirmative action policy that equals the playing field. I also believe in it for other minorities.

Another thing is "feminine" and "masculine" professions. I made clear that I think that men and women should both feel free to do things against the traditional role, but I don't deny that there are some general differences and that some professions apply more to women and some more to men. And what happens is that the "equal" (equal education necessary, equal risk) masculine jobs pay more than the feminine and that's not right, so I am all for any efforts made to bridge the pay gap between these professions. My mom actually benefited from this a couple years ago (as did the men working in this job) when the government gave a sort of bonus and raise to nurses and nurse aids in the public sector in an effort to make this traditionally feminine profession get closer to its worth in salary.

What is your point of view on methods used to "bridge the gap" between men and women or any other minority?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Parenting - The Controversy of Spanking

I'm writing with a bit of anger here at being disobeyed on almost every point for the past few hours and I also feel flat out disrespected by my 5 year old.

I'm not an advocate of spanking. In fact, I'm flat-out against it and I have a bit of negativity go out towards people who are pro-spanking who describe it as a necessary method of discipline and who believe that if they don't do it, their child will run wild and will never have respect for authority in later life and all that. I really still think that they are wrong.

BUT, the part that I sympathize with after my awful time with Nora this evening is the desire to spank your child into submission. OK, I'm making it sound worse than it is maybe. I'm making it sound like a beating when I realize that the child is not physically injured beyond a few seconds of stinging, but the idea still is that parents want their child to obey and use this physical punishment to make them.

And boy did I want to... I'm not proud of it because I really am against spanking, but I was being physically rough with Nora when I was trying to make her go to the naughty corner and when she didn't stay, I dragged her to her room (she may or may not have touched the ground) and told her that if she came out, she'd get spanked (well, I described spanking because she doesn't know this word). And truthfully, if she came out of that room, she'd have gotten spanked. I WAS SEEING RED!

I see this as part of my mistakes as a parent and part of my faults and I don't blame it 100% on her. If I haven't exhausted every discipline method that does not involve physical punishment before actually punishing her with something like spanking, I will accept it as a mistake and I will not be able to say "I did the best thing for my child, I spanked her". That's how I see myself on this issue... a parent with faults but at least not deluded.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Julep Maven 1 cent intro box RECEIVED!


Here are pictures of the re-do of my Julep Maven unboxing. The cute pink paper bag was NOT all crumpled as it is in the picture. This is post-baby. :)
I found it very nice and professional packaging. The cards are a nice
add on, telling me about the products included in my package and welcoming me to the Julep Maven programme. This was the introduction box for the profile "American Beauty".

Read my review of the box and if you're interested, the instructions to sign up and the promotional code is at the bottom.



I got:

  • Eva nailpolish, described as a "juicy raspberry creme".
  • Renee nailpolish described as "spring lilac creme". 
  • Julep The Best Pedi Creme Ever! for exfoliating and hydrating the feet. 
  • They threw in 2 toe separators. 
Review:

Polishes
The nailpolish bottles are really cute and look nice. They look more fashionable and neat looking than regular bottles BUT 1) They are tiny at only 8 ml (0.27oz) and 2)  are susceptible to toppling over. 
The colours are interesting but these particular ones are not my style. I tried one of them on my toe nails and one coat covers enough to give the true colour of the polish which is very nice. It seems to apply pretty well but I have no experience with it and I totally suck at this stuff.

One thing I am iffy about is that the polishes are advertised on the website as being 4-free (free of 4 chemicals that are normally found in polishes that are toxic) but on the bottle, they are 3-free. It is better than a regular polish, but not as good as what I was expecting in terms of toxicity. 

Foot cream
Now the foot cream. It smells pleasant and my feet feel soft and nice after one light use so I guess it works and I like it! It has no little beads for exfoliation so I'm not sure how it exfoliates... but that's OK, it still feels really nice and I will continue to use it. 

Extras
The toe separator is useful since I didn't have one and it was a very nice surprise since it's not actually part of the box I was receiving. As far as I know, they often add in little extras like this. 

Customer service
I spoke to a customer service rep when she called me to confirm my address because it seems they didn't have my street name. She was extremely nice and professional so the experience was good.

Shipping to Canada
WOW is all I have to say! I made my order on Friday May 18th and was contacted about my address the very next business day, May 21. It was shipped May 22 and I got it today, May 24. It took 5 business days from the order to reception (Monday was a holiday here so for me it felt like 4 business days) and only took 2 business days from shipping to reception. It really boggles my mind how it arrived so fast for free shipping from the US!

Overall
I'm super pleased with my experience with Julep Maven so far. For 1 cent, this is more than worth it. For the regular 20$, I would need to have colours that I actually want in the package and with their feature of showing us what is in our intended box the 20th of the month before it's sent out, I can easily know whether or not I want it. I can also change to another profile if their box interests me, send it to a friend or flat out skip the month. I can also easily cancel at any time. Since it's so easy to skip a box (which I did for May since I wanted to see what this box was all about first), I will stay on the programme for another while in hopes of having a box suggested to me that I really love. 

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO............... 
If you are interested in trying it for yourself, the 1 cent promotion is still going on with the promotional code PENNY or COLOR2012 at checkout. Follow these steps: 

1) Go to JULEP.com 
Note that this is my referral link and that signing up with it will get me halfway to a free box, thank you for using it if you're planning on signing up. ;)

2) Take a quick style quiz to determine your profile.

3) Add the product to your basket.

4) Checkout. 

NOTES: 
They require a credit card and I can confirm that they only charged me the 1 cent as agreed. For the next month's box, they will email you with a preview of its contents on the 20th. If you wish to skip the box or cancel, you do so through your profile on the website between the 20th and 24th. If you like the products and don't respond, they charge you on the 27th and ship it for reception at the beginning of the month. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Parenting - How affection shown in front of the kids?


How much affection should you show your spouse in front of the kids?

I believe it can range from "some" to "as much as is comfortable for you". I definitely think there should be a minimum of "some" affection shown between the parents so that the children can know see the love that is in their home and can know that affection is something good to give. Of course, the best way to show your child how to give and receive affection is to give it to THEM :)

In my home, me and my husband are not shy about hugging each other and kissing each other in front of Nora. We will cuddle on the couch and I'll sometimes lie on him in a hugging way while we watch something on TV. Nora does that with both of us too and we have group hugs regularly. This is the amount that feels right to us and isn't necessarily what would feel right to everyone...

Nora is actually very affectionate with hugs and kisses and cuddling and being held and sitting on my la-z-boy with me and Adam and I like it that way. We're comfy together when we're in the home and it feels full of love.
<3

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Muslim Feminist

There are lots of different opinions, aren't there?

  • Islam and feminism are not compatible.
  • Being a "muslim feminist" is redundant because being Muslim automatically makes you a feminist. 

I think both of those are wrong. Islam and feminism are compatible, but being Muslim does not automatically make you a feminist! My God does it not! So many Muslims are NOT feminists and are flat out insulted by the idea of it and their beliefs and behaviours are often FAR FAR away from feminism.

I'm pretty open to other people's views on what feminism is and I think that anyone who honestly believes him or herself to be a feminist has some good intentions about it and has enough in common with my definition of feminism to be considered one, even if there might be some disagreement. So I definitely do accept the woman who submits to her husband as feminist if she sees herself as one even if I personally find that this aspect of her beliefs (the submitting to a man part) is not feminist.

A lot of Muslims want nothing to do with the term though and fully accept that the system is patriarchal and not only do they accept it, they believe it should be and that any other way or any shift in power would be wrong and against God's word or law or wishes... They are not feminist - they don't even want to be feminist! Why would anyone put that label on them when they don't even want it? The two things (not wanting the label and going against what it means) makes it impossible to consider them that, doesn't it?

And about Islam and feminism being incompatible - it is not. There are many different interpretations of Islam that go beyond what the majority believe and that are not wrong just because they are not followed or believed by most. Something is not wrong just because it's believed by less people just like something is not right just because it's part of the majority. That is seriously messed up logic that I see people apply sometimes! Like my husband... anyway, the things he can come up with are another topic altogether.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? What makes you use that label on yourself? 

Personally, I don't put too much importance on labels and the feminist label in particular can mean so many different things especially for Muslim women that just seeing "Muslim feminist" doesn't give much of an indication of what she believes in. Still, I consider myself a feminist and a Muslim and for me, it means that I believe that men and women should have the same opportunities and access. I recognize that there are issues that affect women differently than men and I believe that laws and societies are to adjust to make sure that despite those differences, they have the same opportunities. I believe the same for any differences that could affect a person like being a minority in skin colour or nationality or having a disability.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Avengers

I just saw the movie today and I LOVED it!

I'm a fan of the superhero movies. It's something that brings me and my husband together and that is part of the things we do together ever since I was in Egypt with him so any superhero movie is something nice for us for that reason, but this one... was good for real. lol

It's one thing to have nice fight scenes and attractive characters and the movie certainly has that, but it also actually has a great story. Also, everything is balanced in the movie. Each of the main heroes (Ironman, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor) plays an important role for their own reason, each has his own moments in the movie and the interactions between them are actually meaningful and funny as well. Hawkeye and Black Widow are secondary heroes to me but even they were interesting in the movie, and pretty kick ass! Loki, the villain of the movie (Thor's brother) is also a very interesting character and I really loved the performance of that actor in the role. He really has the evil mastermind look to him.

So anyway, go see if if you're at all interested in this stuff. If you're borderline interested, go see it.

Qur'an 59:24


He is God, the Creator, the Maker who shapes all forms and appearances!
His [alone] are the attributes of perfection. All that is in the heavens and on earth extols His limitless glory: for He alone is almighty, truly wise!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eminence Sun Defense Minerals review




I feel like making some reviews of products because I have very sensitive skin, prone to redness, dry on the chin and cheeks, oily in the forehead... So not just any product will do and I've been trying different things to find mild, natural products.

Go to their website to learn more if you wish. www.eminenceorganics.com

The company
A Hungarian company which makes 100% natural and organic skincare products

Products

They make all sorts of products... A very wide range of skin care products for any skin type oily, dry, normal, also for conditions like acne or rosacea) from cleansers to tonics to moisturizers to masques to serums to eye and lip care to body lotions to sun defense products (like the one I will review). As far as I know their products are used in spas a lot - you can't find it in pharmacies.

Price range
I guess we can just put it in the expensive high end range. My mineral powder brush costs 58$ online most places I saw (like amazon and 2 other skin care product websites) though my cousin sells it for less than that in her salon and I got 20% off as family rebate. The 60ml moisturizing creams are around 60$ I think and 60ml exfoliating gel I tried as a sample around 45$ I think.

Review of the SPF 30 Sun Defense Minerals
Basically the powder is inside this thing you see and after initial set up by pumping the back, we should not have to do anything to it except a few taps on the wrist to distribute the product in the brush. So it's very easy to use, all we have to do is apply it in small circles all over the face. For more coverage, we can apply it longer. 

The product comes in 6 shades from translucent 0 to cinnamon bronzer 5. 0 is for any skin and won't really show, 1 is for lighter skin in cool undertones, 2 for lighter skin in warm undertones, 3 for medium skin in cool undertones, 4 for medium skin in warm tones and I'm guessing by the name that 5 is mostly a bronzer. 

I tried both 1 and 3, both of which would have actually worked on me and ended up taking 3 since it gave a bit more colour and life. And my skin is pretty light. 

I really enjoy the product's easy application and I like the smell which also confirms that the product is coming out because we don't see it really when applying in an artificially lit bathroom. It's extremely light and we can honestly not feel it on the skin. It's hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory which for me is a big plus with my sensitive, red skin. I have to say, this product is just fusing with my skin to feel better than a freshly clean face and you don't get that with most powders. 

The SPF now. I went outside yesterday in the sun for quite a while. I got a pretty good sunburn on both my arms and my neck, but none on my face. So yes, it works! I will prefer to use sunscreen under my powder when I go out for longer periods of time, but that's just an added precaution I want to take. It's important to be protected from the sun even for small 10 minute exposures here and there which add up and this is perfect for that, or for someone who wears a large-brimmed hat for example. I can't say it's not just fine for longer more intense sun exposure because it was just fine when I used it yesterday, but I somehow feel the need for more anyway - maybe because it doesn't feel all sticky and yucky like sunscreen. lol

The coverage is light. It doesn't cover up everything like the reddest parts of the face and dark under eyes but I have a feeling that with continual use, it will help my face be less red to begin with and therefore need less coverage. Either way, I don't normally wear make-up so I'm super happy just brushing some of this on and I feel more beautiful and glowing than I ever do without any make-up. 

The amount of powder that comes with the brush is not huge, BUT, with this type of application, from knowing people who have had their's for a few months (other cousins, aunts and my mom), it's bound to last about 6 months even with daily use from what they told me after having it a couple months. 

Overall: 

I'm so far very pleased with the product. From trying 4 other products which I got samples of and reading about this company, I can say that I believe in what they're doing. I have nothing to "disclose" about my review. I'm just doing it for fun and because I liked the product! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Decided on a Beauty Box and Ordered

The beauty box I decided to get is Julep. It's nail stuff (different colours of nailpolish and they have accessories and creams) and it's normally 19.99$ but with a code, it was 0.01$ (one cent) so obviously worth it, no matter what is in the box. Shipping is free. I will just need to cancel next month if I don't find it worth 20$ to continue. Honestly, I'm not a huge nail person so I'll likely cancel it right away, or after one additional box MAX because 2 nail polishes will last forever with us and I think that's the standard in every box.

I will give a review once a get it, why not add a beauty aspect to this blog?

If anyone is interested in ordering, they gave me a referral link where if 2 people use it to subscribe, it gives me a free month. I think I need to have paid one month fully before I can get a free one though. Use:

http://www.julep.com/?r=21268894

if you want to try Julep but I can't say I recommend it or don't since I have not gotten anything. I'll repost my link with my review if I liked the stuff at all. The coupon code I used yesterday is:

COLOR2012

Use my link and the coupon code to get a box for 0.01$ and get me halfway to a free box if you feel like it.

About the other beauty boxes, I read that Glymm is going downhill in what it offers, Glossybox has lots of hair stuff which is not interesting for me and Luxe has a lot of anti-aging stuff which I'm also not interested in and Topbox has a huge waiting list. Note that I'm in Canada so I have info for those available here (though they're not necessarily exclusive to Canada)

UPDATE NOTE 1 day later: If you sign up before the 19th of a month, you are subscribed for the next box, sent out the 27th of the month and the 1 cent box does not count as one of those. Basically, I was being suggested a 20$ box after being signed up for 1 day and still not having received anything (obviously). They let the subscribers know what they plan on sending out so that you can skip a month, send it to a friend or cancel your subscription. I skipped this box because the two polishes were not my style and the hand cream is not something I want either... It was easy to do and a couple hours later they sent me a confirmation email. It still looks as though my 1 cent box is on its way so it really does seem so far to be no trouble at all and no big commitment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Beauty Box

Is anyone signed up for any beauty boxes? I'm thinking of singing up for one but I'm not sure which. There are a handful in Canada and it's still confusing to pick one!

My cousin has a hair and nail salon and sells jewelry and products as well (hair, skincare, make-up) and I just bought myself a really cool mineral powder thing with a brush. I'm loving it! She also gave me some samples for moisturizing creams since mine is not working as well as I need and a cleansing mask and exfoliating mask and it's just so much fun to try new products! I'm not much into make-up or nail polish but since I have so few of these things I'd be happy to try.

Any suggestions on which Canadian box to get?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Little family update + need baby tips

Nora turned 5 years old last week! Happy birthday to my little sweety! We have been having a lot of fun together lately. She got a lot of fun gifts like legos, puzzles and art supplies which we've been playing with a lot. She also got a big girl bike with all the girly accessories and has been going NUTS about it. My dad has been bringing her out to ride every couple days and even he seems to like it which is great because I'm not that into it myself and I'm enjoying staying at my parents house with my mom chatting or taking a walk with the baby while they're out biking. Yes, I see my parents that often. We're really close.

Adam is doing really well and is 6 months and a half now. He is rolling all over the place and is realizing how mobile he can be. He's starting to stretch and push a little with his toes to inch closer to objects just beyond his reach. He's extremely curious and I have trouble holding him because he lunges towards anything he sees to get a closer look.

I'm having trouble introducing foods... he's just not loving his purees at all but it doesn't seem to be out of lack of interest for food because he always seems to want to get to what we're having and my cousin gave him a couple of his son's crispy disolving corn treats and he enjoyed those. He also enjoyed sucking on an apple A LOT. But I don't want him to have these things regularly until he has established a cereal and vegetable routine - at least a little! It's not like I gave him treats before trying veggies either, making him dislike the taste of plain veggies... I think it has to do with my milk... He ate a lot of cereal around 2 months ago when I tried to go on birth control and found myself losing my milk supply. He ate for a week or two after the pill problem and then got sick so I stopped the cereal I'd been giving him since he was throwing up, and since then he has not wanted to have any. He has enough of milk I guess. Any tips to help me feed this baby are appreciated. Also any tips on starting a baby with formula at this age please! I need to be able to have him babysat for a few hours once in a while and simply can't because he has not managed to take a formula bottle.

My husband saw the Avengers and really wants me to go see it with him. And I want to go too... It's just not possibly yet until this baby can have a bottle or eat. Or else there's too much risk that he will need breastmilk during the time it takes to go see a movie and come back and I wouldn't risk having my baby in distress just because I wanted to see a movie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I think I've figured it out!

I've known that I want to got back to university since I stopped studying. I didn't really want to stop but that's just wear life took me with marriage and pregnancy and responsibility and for the past couple years I've been wanting to become a teacher. I had been thinking that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher so that I could have the same kids all day long and therefore be able to be a bigger part of their lives but yesterday I think I figured out what I actually want to be and what I should study. I figured out that I'm not the most patient person ever and that I'd have so much trouble dealing with the kids yes, but also the parents who don't do their jobs and doom their kids into being less than they could be. I'm frustrated just thinking about it.

I want to become a MATH TEACHER (high school level)!!

OK, I know it's not the easy alternative to being an elementary school teacher, but I've been figuring out that it's more suited to my abilities. High school students can be more difficult because they are meaner in a real way rather than being innocent and difficult, but I like that I have the possibility of having a more real impact because of just that, they think for themselves and their parents are having less and less influence in these later years. At the same time, it's less frustrating if I don't have the impact I want since I only see them once in a while for math. Which is, to clarify, a field that I love to begin with. I don't even know why I never thought of math before as a field I'd want to go into.

I guess that with having children I only thought of the practical jobs and math never jumped out as being a practical thing to get into until it clicked that I can do both teaching AND math. I sound really dumb, but working full time with kids and a lazy husband and focusing more on spirituality with just a smudge of future dreams will make a person overlook things!

So yay for having an even more concrete plan! Now let's put that aside for a little while and continue my life since it's just not possible for at least 1.5 years.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Converting before reading the entire Quran

It just came to me that I converted before I actually read the whole Qur'an.

I feel like I made an informed decision but it came from reading about different people's experiences and reading different positions from scholars and muslims on different issues. It came with a whole lot of brief passages from the Qur'an and I read a surah here and there which, combined with the time in Egypt a whole 3 years before I converted when I read about 2/3 of the Qur'an, I guess I covered most of it. 

But still, how weird it is that I didn't feel the need to take a bit of time to read the whole thing front to back before making a final decision about my conversion! I'd been straddling the Muslim non-Muslim line for many months, so what would it have changed to wait that additional bit of time? 

Then again, when the truth is felt, why wait? When the timing feels right, why not just do it? 

What was your conversion experience? Just do it or careful preparation?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Want to be Better - any partners?

Does anyone else want to be better and sort of doesn't know where to start and how to do it? Or you have ideas but are not being very good about implementing them?

I want to be a better mom but I feel frozen in my current routine and I feel mostly alone in my parenting. I want to be a better person but I don't know what to offer or to who. I want to eat ethically but I don't know where to start. I want to be healthier and more active but I have trouble fitting it into my day to day life.

I'd love it if someone wanted to partner up with me. Someone who very available online to be able to exchange messages often, either by email or Facebook. Someone who also wants to better herself (yes, I am asking for a woman) and who needs a little extra support. Someone who is a bit chatty and doesn't feel awkward updating on a lot of little things.

My idea is to be gradual (which is why I need someone who wants to chat about every little bit of progress)... I want to read more often to my daughter until it's set as an every night routine like it should be, I want to lower TV time, I want to do some simple, easy crafts with her when we're home, I want to find new ways to bring education into our day to day activities. I want to find ways to do things for others. From small habits I can form to bigger things like actual volunteering... I want to change my eating habits by lowering meat consumption some more, finding other ways to eat more ethically (I have recently switched to exclusively eating free range eggs for example), cooking more from scratch and lowering my dependence on cans and pre-mixed spices and salt for tastey food. I want to add more exercises into my day. I certainly have the time since I'm home a lot but I don't have the energy or willingness sometimes.

We could add some religious goals to that if we wanted to (if you are a Muslim or any other religion and want to work on your spiritual side as well).

Does anyone have some similar little goals they want to work on? They can be quite different to, I don't mind if you don't have children and have different goals... Important thing is to want to better yourself. If you're a "Try to be vegetarian for a week" type of person, I think this can work out. I'm a little limited because of my husband (and if anything, I'm asking for a partner in this because he is nothing like me when it comes to this stuff) but I still love challenges like that.

You can message me and leave a note not to publish if you want (if you're leaving your email for example). Let's be in touch! :D

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