I reckon the more I talk about travel and share my sharings about travel and just put it out there into the world, it’ll eventually manifest itself and we can jetset into the skies once again lol

sharing three tips/tricks we’ve picked up over the years of travelling which will undoubtedly come in handy on your next trip which will be very soon inshallah! (manifesting for all of us here)

 

  • changing SIM cards upon arrival

I always change my SIM card as we’re landing, just to save time and have everything up and running once I’ve deplaned but never pack the little iPhone pin to poke your phone to open the little SIM slot. Easiest alternative: your earring! I always get stares by people sitting beside me like what on earth is she doing, but once I’ve managed to make the swap, some have even asked if I can do the same for them lol if you haven’t got earrings in or are a dude with no piercings, be brave and ask the air hostess and 9 times out of 10 she’ll know exactly what you’re on about!

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  • Lost suitcase key

You’ve arrived at your destination itching to shower and change your clothes. You frantically look for the itty-bitty suitcase lock you swore was in your wallet to no avail.  Can’t remember the lock code even though you swore it was 0000, or realize somehow someones magically swamped locks on your case (this has happened), which only annoys you more because you need to get into your case. Find yourself a pen (a pencil works too but preferably a pen) and all is well with the world.

Make sure both zippers are together and simply poke the pen through the closed zip in close proximity to the zippers themselves to ‘break’ the zipness. Run the pen along the zip to ‘open’ the zip et voila! I’m sure this isn’t the best treatment for your zip, but sometimes you really have no choice and are stuck in a pickle so gotta do what you gotta do! Closing the case back is super easy; grab hold of the zippers themselves and run them back around the case to lock it all in place!

 

  • No bug spray, no problem!

Picked this one up after a few jungle treks and safaris! If you’ve left your bug spray in a carry on and its taken at security and you can’t be fussed to get a new one, or don’t like sprays, or simply want an alternative which is a little stronger at keeping pesky bugs away, pick up a vicks/vaporub which works wonders. I’ve found it longer lasting and works fab around campfires or longer treks where maybe you don’t want to carry a spray for topup, but you can either pick up one of the mini vicks tubs or be old school and scoop a bit into a plastic baggy and you’re good to go! I wouldn’t recommend slathering it on your entire body lol but places you’re prone to getting bit ie. ankles, around the neck, wrists. A little defo goes a long way!

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Have you tried any of these before?! Do you have any hacks you swear by?! I’d love to hear from you! Share below in the comments! xoxo

Ramadan Kareem friends!

Ramadan is one of my favorite times of the year and I’ve honestly loved practicing it in a Muslim country, in my own space where I can decorate and practice in peace and quiet lol alhamdulillah I’ve been able to jet home just in time for Eid, but this’ll be the first in ages from start to finish with the entire famalam! definitely a lot more people, noise, and meal requests lol but looking forward to it nonetheless!

If you’re unfamiliar with Ramadan, here’s a quick run-down – also my 5 goals from a couple years ago in the event you’re interested in having a read!

With only a few days before the holy month, which is bound to be different for the entire ummah this year, thought we’d suggest a few ideas on how to make the most of this time at home. Easy suggestions that I’ll personally be trying to implement, but just because the world is cancelled atm, doesn’t meant Ramadan has to be!

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  1. I’m a big believer that Ramadan (and Eid) is all about the atmosphere you create in your space and within yourself. Create a space in your bedroom which is free from any distractions and can act as your little place of solace. Prayer mat, prayer beads, maybe some fairy lights (Ramadan lantern lights lol) somewhere you can retreat to at the end of the day to just sit and connect with God. – Would also suggest this in your common space/living room at home; since everyones at home, why not make that a little prayer hub gathering space for reading quran and praying!

 

  1. On the talk of prayer, lets all unmute that adhan app lel no more fumbling to turn it off as it it plays on loudspeaker on the train. Since we’re all home we can make more of an effort to actually pray every salah on time AND in jamat with everyone which is a win! (all about getting them god-points in!)

 

  1. Set up a playlist of Islamic lecturers and Quran reciters you’d like to listen to during the month, while you cook etc.; some of my faves are Sulaiman Moola, Mufti Menk, and Omar Suleiman for their lectures, and Omar Hisham Al Arabi for Quran (also if you have other suggestions please let your girl know!)

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  1. Set up a swear jar/bad word jar; this has always been a favorite of mine with friends and family lol any bad words you say means you’ve got to put in a dollar or two into jar. Just an easy and fun reminder to watch what comes out of our mouths, especially in this month; at the end of Ramadan donate the money to your favorite charity!

 

  1. Set a goal to memorize a new surah; obviously speaking to myself before I speak for anyone else, but I always make this intention and somehow never seem to find the time. We’ve got nothing but time now lol

 

  1. Having a grateful journal, notepad, anything to write in really; something you can keep by your bedside and jot in at the end of each day or each week. Ramadan is all about improving your character and the inside stuff, so keep track of the small things you’ve consciously done to achieve this. Maybe you stayed patient in a situation, maybe you didn’t raise you voice at annoying siblings, maybe you were about to say something unkind but stopped yourself; the more you’re consciously aware of these small changes, the easier it’ll hopefully be to continue practicing them after Ramadan!

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  1. Plan zoom iftars/futoors with your family/friends! Breaking fast with people and that sense of togetherness is another highlight we’ll all be longing for this month but we can try to make do as best as possible. Dress up, sit together, keep the virtual gang close, once adhan is called and everyone makes dua and opens fast together, I’m sure it’ll be just as special x

 

  1. Try and walk everyday! We do this with my family, especially after fajr which I love and it’s a grand way to get some exercise in instead of sitting after a meal and feeling blah. We’re so accustomed to going straight to bed after fajr or even tarawih because we’ve got to get up for work the next morning, but not anymore!

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  1. Don’t forget about charity! Ramadan is a month where any charity you give is doubled and gets you even more god-points than the usual. Totally aware that there are some people whose financial situation is a little grim at the moment given the current situation, but if you’ve got the ability to do, give as much as you can. Even if you know of a family who’s maybe been affected by the crisis or laid off and need a helping hand, that counts as charity! Offer to help, or leave a Ramadan care package at the door anonymously, we’ve all got to do our part where we can x There are also going to be loads of accounts on Instagram fundraising for projects both at home and abroad which are also great avenues to donate to; I always try and diversify my charity and give a little to various places, but a little goes a long way friends trust me! (even if it’s $1; that’s a meal for someone in some parts of the world) – “Charity never decreases wealth. Rather, it increases it, it increases it, it increases it.

 

  1. This is one which I’ve promise myself to practice at least once a week. Make the effort to show up for yourself! Again, this’ll be a first of no getting dressed up for futoor or suhoor tents, no wearing your favorite abaya and oud for tarawih, or new clothes for jumah etc etc etc. but still do it! It’ll obviously be tempting to stay in pyjamas or a dara3a/bati all day, but pls don’t do it. Change your clothes for futoor/iftar, still wear your nice abaya, and if you can’t do it every day, at least on Friday for house-juma! I’m spending this weekend getting out and organizing my dara3s, abayas and Ramadan smells because they’re also some of my favorite parts about this month. Again, it’s all about the atmosphere you create in order for it to ‘feel’ like Ramadan!

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and that’s that! Would love to hear some of the ways you’re getting into the Ramadan feels at your place x comment below or lets chat on the gram!

Wishing you and your families a very blessed Ramadan inshallah x endless love, duas, and hugs from this end xoxo

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been slightly insecure about my skin and longed for the day I’d feel comfortable enough to leave the house without any makeup on me face. Tried and tested loads of products throughout the years as I’m sure loads of you have as well, and I think I’ve managed to find a set routine which has worked wonders for me! Yay!

I was in Korea last year and in awe of everyones glass-like, glowy skin, completely clear of imperfections and the abundance of skincare products available on every street corner and wanted in on the secret – fact: it’s a super overwhelming experience and doing your own research on certain products and how to use them will save you so much time and money in hindsight.

If you haven’t heard about Korean skincare or the K-Beauty regimen, I definitely recommend you read up on it, check out some before/after photos, and give it a go before shutting it down completely. The objective of K-Beauty is to focus on your skin, nourishing/hydrating it, so it looks healthy and oh so amazing without the need for makeup (sounds too good to be true yea?!) It all comes down to the art of layering, no not clothes for once lol but your products in a specific order which I’ll go through with you below! Instead of relying on one particular product to do all the work, Koreans believe that layering products allow the skin to breathe and avoids clogging the pores.

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7-10 steps seems like a lot morning and evening, but I promise this will soon become one of the most therapeutic and rewarding parts of your day! It varies only because you don’t need to do certain steps every single day (exfoliate, sheet mask, oil cleanser) but you can gauge for yourself depending on what your skin needs that particular day.

A massive prerequisite would be to understand your current skin type and what issues you’d like to work on (excess oil, uneven skin tone, acne etc.). This will help make it so much easier when choosing which specific products you’d like to incorporate into your routine.

If you’re skeptical about going all in and purchasing an entire new skincare regime, I’d recommend you begin with the products you might already be using on the daily and try layering them in order as per the infographic above (in case layering doesn’t make sense, essentially means you simply apply the next product on top of the previous one!) Try that out for a couple weeks, see if you notice a difference and go from there!

I’ve listed and linked some of the products I’ve been using since December which have made a massive difference to my skin and in its appearance – can officially do the leaving house with no makeup on lol so your girl is completely sold on this!


 

This is a travel-size version of the original tub it comes in. Using two cleansers (oil and water-based) might seem like much, but double cleansing ensures all the gunk is completely removed and your face is squeaky clean (oil-based cleansers remove oil-based makeup and impurities)

I love this Heimish balm because it goes on as an oil (apply straight to your face makeup and all) and when you add a bit of water it turns into a bit of a cleanser consistency which you keep working into the face and then wash off. I double-cleansed religiously when I first started the routine but now only tend to do the oil-based on days I wear makeup; water-based is everyday.

Next is a water-based cleanser which gently removes the oil residue and any water-based impurities.

I usually apply one pump to my face, work it in and wash off; can use a FOREO or other cleansing device for a deeper clean if you like!

Toning is one of my favourite steps of the entire routine. I think you’re meant to apply a bit of toner to a cotton pad and wipe any residue left on the face which isn’t a bad idea lol  (I do this sometimes), but then I go in and layer my toner an additional 4-7 times to ensure it all really gets in there. Pour a bit into your palms, rub, and apply to your face using a patting motion. Definitely think the key is to pat with love so all the goodness gets soaked in, but I definitely recommend layering a minimum of 4 times to achieve maximum results!

The purpose of toner is to balance your skin pH levels; this toner in particular works amazingly, wasn’t super strong, targets a few issues, and one of my faves!

Essence helps add another layer of hydration to your skin prior to your serum/ampole. Adding an extra layer of hydration helps with the texture and plumping of fine lines and wrinkles. Essence tend to be of a thinner consistency than serums and help prep your skin to absorb the goodness to come (serums/ampoles).  One pump, rub between palms, and pat onto your face!

I’ve heard good things and bad things about SPF but it’s been a staple in my routine even before the K-Beauty routine. Korean SPF brands are the only ones I use because I find them to be perfect; not greasy or oily, don’t leave any white residue, don’t smell, and in my experience they just naturally come in higher SPF forms. You can also get great water-based ones but this one has been lovely so far. I’ve had this tube since December and we’re still going strong!

I remember doing loads of research on this moisturizer and trying to find it for ages a few years back, even in Korea and it never happened. It’s got a high count of collagen, meant to do wonders for fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity, firming, and an overall glow. It does all these things and I love it lol because it’s of a slightly thicker consistency I only use this in the evening to maximize its effect on me face; a little goes a long way, and again, patting is key!


 

I hope that’s provided a bit of insight into the entire process and inspired you to try it out for yourselves. I’ve been doing it regularly for about 7 months now and am still shook and saying bismillah and alhamdulillah to the changes it’s made to my skin. Granted it’s not just the products themselves, eating well, drinking lots of water, a healthy lifestyle etc etc. is obviously also key; what you put inside is obviously going to reflect on the outside, but this has helped loads too!

I’ve recently begun to alternate between some serums and toners, and using certain products in the morning/evening so might potentially do another (much shorter!) post just on products to provide some options to choose from.

Super excited for you to have a go at this and wish you nothing but lovely jubly glowy radiant skin inshallah! xoxo 

Ramadan Kareem to you and yours from me and me! From the bottom of my heart I wish you all a super blessed month filled with lots of ease, peace, and prayer inshallah x

Quick rundown of Ramadan: the 9th month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims all over the world abstain from food and drink to commemorate the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. It’s a time where friends and families gather in remembrance of God and goodness so as to come closer to the faith itself. As kids we were told we fast to feel what others in the world feel on the daily to remind ourselves how blessed we are so we can be grateful for everything which I think still stands; the gates of heaven are also open tenfold this month as shaytaan (satan) is kinda sorta locked up for the month so any good deeds you do are multiplied. I could go on lol but essentially a special month for us and one which most of us look forward to every year to gain as many blessings and goodness as we can and I suppose reflect on every conscious and subconscious thought and action; if shaytaan is locked up and I’ve still got bad thoughts and can’t blame him, that means its just me init?! dun dun dunn lol you get the jist yea?!

-Yesterday

Right after Maghrib your girl went to make dua #standard, and this wave of excitement came over me like the night before Christmas (joke, I don’t do Christmas lol) but just this Ramadan giddiness at the fact it was that time of year again and how blessed to be alive to witness and partake in it, and I suppose be granted another chance to revive my heart&soul. Ironed my abaya, ready to head to the masjid for the first tarawih of the month only to learn it was a false alarm and that we’ve got one more day haha so I’m taking it as a sign to sit down and reflect on things I might want to work on this month inshallah; thought I’d share some of them, not to contend for Muslim-of-the-year or any of that [in fact I think faith is a personal thing between you and God but let’s leave that be] but I enjoy reading and reflecting on other people’s [general] goals and visions and aspirations and at times they inspire me to keep that light at the end of the tunnel aglow or add them to my list of growth, and Ramadan is a month of sharing and reflecting so why not add to that realm of potential pintrest inspo lol

so, here are 5 of a few more things I’d personally like to work on or get better at this month and I hope they might resonate with some of you as well!x

  • Pray on time regardless of where I may be

I might be lame for this one, granted I’m currently living in a Muslim country and there are always places to stop and pray, but I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes if I’m out or at work and adhan goes, I’ll talk myself into making it up later when I get home (which I do alhamdulillah), but yea, no excuses this month inshallah! I know I can’t be the only one who does this lol and if I am, oops, but hopefully if it becomes routine it’ll naturally develop into a habit – the good kind!

  • Say or do something kind for someone everyday

I think I try to do this regularly, but when you train your mind to be conscious of what it’s saying or doing, it’s pretty amazing how you’re subconsciously keeping track of what it is you’ve set out to do. If that makes sense?! Whether it’s paying someone a compliment, holding the door open, or making dua in your heart for that persons wellbeing, the small things will hopefully add up and not only put a smile on the other person’s face but inshallah on me heart as well!

  • Don’t waste food

We all do this and its pretty shite. Most of us at least, especially in this month and its terrible. I know sometimes you end up cooking too much and there’s only so many days you can go eating the same thing, but share or pack, or don’t go OTT in the kitchen lol sort out a schedule with your mates so instead of 5 of you preparing munch individually, have 1host per night. Nothing fancy or an Instagram iftar, just a standard ‘let’s not waste food’ type of iftar lol also pack up leftovers and share them with coworkers the next day or distribute it to the homeless, or feed the cats outside your building, anything other than that tsk and muttering of ‘astagfirallah’ we give ourselves before chucking food into the trash. This’ll be my second Ramadan alone and coming from a big family it’s natural to just prepare futoor for 5+ people lol so definitely going to try and cut it to 2-3 people and have mates over and anything left will inshallah be packed for coworkers!

  • #nobadwords

Last year a friend and I had a swear jar where we kept tabs on what came out of each others mouths, and any profanity resulted in a certain amount being placed in the jar. At the end of the month we had accumulated quite a bit lol (oops) and gave it to one of the workers in our building which I suppose is kind of like turning your bad deeds into something good for someone else lol so I think that’s something I want to continue this year. Granted the point is to watch what actually comes out of me mouth and be conscious of particular word choices, but in the likely event something slips out, inshallah it’s for a good cause right?!

  • Consistently content

This sounds odd, and I know we all aspire to come out changed for the better and our faith strengthened a tad more than how we entered the month, but give it a week or so and all them old habits tend to make their way back into everyday life which kinda sorta sucks.

I think I want to get to this point inshallah where I’m just good and okay with everything, the bad and the good and the unexpected, and have my heart and soul content with knowing that everything happens for a reason; I know I’ve gotten better at this over the years alhamdulillah but just strengthening that faith and maybe learning some new duas that speak to tawakkul (concept of reliance on God aka ‘God’s Plan’ as Drake so eloquently put it lol) and having it be a consistent constant is something I’d like to work on! If you’ve got any duas or hadiths you love that speak to this, def send them my way please and thank you!x

And there you have it lol 5 of a few other goals this month but these hit more of the surface layer; might seem quite simple and easy peasy but they’re ones I want to get better at and which inshallah I think and hope are realistically attainable this month! If you’ve got a couple of your own that you’re willing to share, comment below or on instagram as I’d love to hear them!x As always, lots of love and light and prayers sent your way, even more so in this super special month xx

Content with a massive side of constant alhamdulillah is how I would define this past year.

I didn’t reach my goal of traveling to 10 countries unfortunately lol but I did hit 7 (Japan, Bali, Greece, Portugal, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Cyprus, and Turkey) which I’m truly thankful for having the opportunity to do so! alhamdulillah times a million x

I feel like I dished a lot of my feels in my end of school year post in the summer, and that overwhelming sense of gratitude and love and happiness for life and the people in my life carried itself throughout the year. It was a happy year; a genuine, free-spirited and full of love&light kinda happy, and I pray those vibes carry themselves into the next inshallah x

I tried things out of my comfort zone, went on super cool adventures, dined on me own, made new friends, cried when old ones left, spoke to strangers, and truly took ownership of my own happiness!

This year has taught me to have hope and faith, both in the universe and its people and that a little love can go a long way. It’s hard lol especially in todays world; it’s hard not to judge, not to compare, not to feel adequate or content with where life’s brought me up to this point but making a conscious effort to see the good and positive versus the not-so-good has made a world of difference to me soul and outlook on life x by the same token I’ve also learned that sometimes people suck a whole lot no matter how much of yourself you give, be they good friends or even family! there’s only so much of yourself you can exude until you unfortunately have to make a conscious decision to remove the negativity in order to make room for positive growth and good vibes and good people, and you kinda sorta have to make peace with yourself about it.

Putting love into everything you do, always always trying to see the good in people regardless of, and trying you utmost not to hurt anyones heart are traits which theoretically sound a lot easier, but the least any of us can do is to try and work them into our daily lives. Our world needs a bit of love and positivity and who couldn’t do with a little extra happiness in their day?! It’s the small things that count isn’t it?! Try to smile at at least 5 people everyday, try to pick up garbage you see on the street, hold doors for people, say nice things, use your manners, try to tell people you like what they’re wearing or their hair (if you honestly do of course!), etc etc etc and in time I truly believe those actions and behaviours become engrained into ones entire being and soul x

I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been blessed with this year, my friends and family, work, health, and the chance to wake up every morning and try to do me best and be the best version of me for those in my life. “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

I’m also super grateful and thankful to each and every one of you who take time out of your day and lives to keep up with this blog and read me posts and rants or support me on instagram and have become part of my online family x big hugs and lots of love and light sent your way! Here’s to all your dreams and goals coming true this year and to all of us working together to make the world a better place one hug at a time! xoxo