Category Archives: Tips & Hacks

Skin woes

Pimpelia- a name I would give to my elder sibling when her skin was acting up- a fitting description for me this past month- a mixture of hormones and heavy makeup in the Dubai heat had me really battling with my skin recently.

My godsends: the Blossom Blend range of products! L’oreal Pure clay glow mask , Phytocare Lumiluxe and The Ordinary Peeling Solution.

My regimen has gone something like this : use the L’oreal Pure clay glow mask ( available at Clicks, Dischem, Pick n Pay) in the shower. Cleanse my face with face wipes (Nivea or Neutrogena) . Next I use the Exfoliating Toner from Blossomblend followed by the Skinquench gel. Twice a week I use the Oil as well before applying my makeup.

I mentioned previously how much I love the Blossomblend Youthful Tonic Exfoliating toner and when I got back I started using this as well as the other two products from the range- SkinQuench ( with Rosemary and Aloe) and the Blossom Oil Blend.

My only gripe is that the nozzle on my Skinquench was not working properly and I’ve gotten squirts of gel in my eye a few times as it goes EVERYWHERE- I probably just landed a faulty nozzle, nothing major. The Oil you are told to use as a spritz but it’s more of a blob of oil (again my poor eye was victim🤣) that comes out so it’s better to dispense some into your hand and then massage into your skin- but not too much!

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night before bed I've been cleansing my face and applying the Lumiluxe from Phytocare- I absolutely adore the smell of this product! Divine. The results from using this are clearly visible in the mirror on awaking- supple, radiant skin ( the ingredients stimulate collagen production ). This product works great as a primer before makeup application as well.

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stly I've been using The Ordinary Peeling Solution from Muse Beauty to remove marks that the pimples have left behind faster, to give me healthier looking skin and improve my skin tone- this I do once a week (weekend pamper sesh). I've previously done a full review on this product which is a very delicate chemical peel that doesn't hurt at all.

And as Murphy's Law would have it, the moment I stopped using these products diligently I once again am left with 2 annoying little buggers- one on my forehead and one on my chin 😒. I can be so lazy with beauty regimens at times, and I also thought that my skin looked great again so I decided to stop using them so regularly- bad move.

All product suppliers will be tagged in my instagram post. Have you tried any of these products? Please share your thoughts and tips below. Thanks for reading ❤️.

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My thoughts on the Mikyajy 22k illuminating baked powder

@Laha_sa recently sent me a Mikyajy 22 K Illuminating baked powder to try out and I was delighted as this is my first product from the range. The baked powder comes in a sleek black packaging and was received in some pretty branded wrapping.

Mikyajy is made in Italy and has over 200 stores in the Middle east. I always walk past it in the malls but never quite made it into one of them.

The packaging is classy and the product has a solid feel to it. I swatched the powder on my hand to get a feel for it and I must admit that at first I wasn’t a 100% sure what its to be used for- is it a finishing powder that you can use to bake/set your concealer? Is it a highlighter?

I quickly checked out @laha_sa and read that it is a highlighter with oil absorbing properties that won’t cake the skin- ok!

I’m not one to try to blind people with my highlighter 😂 and look like a disco ball so I quite like this highlighter. I purchased the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette and I don’t have the guts to walk around like I have emerald green/sapphire glistening alien skin 🙈. I prefer a product that can be subtle yet you can build it up if there’s load shedding or something- lol I’m just playing- if you are going to a function and need a bit more glam. In the pics below you can view the product on my skin- I think the shade is perfect for Indian skin and looks quite natural- allowing you to have beautiful glowing skin without necessarily looking like you’ve layered on highlighter.

In my next post I’ll highlight the products that helped me get my skin back in great shape after hormones and the heat in Dubai left me with aweful pimples

Dusting out that Kmix

I had to visit some friends this weekend and wanted to take them something home-made so I decided to dust out the old Kmix and whip up some biscuits.

I had alot of hazelnuts and pistachios staring back at me in the fridge so I googled a few recipes and settled on these two that I’ll share with you below.

The first one is these Pistachio and white shortbread biscuits that can be found at https://lovelylittlekitchen.com/white-chocolate-pistachio-shortbread-cookies/ . I’ve been slightly obsessed with pistachios lately and was looking for more of a chocolate chunk pistachio biscuit but my ingredients were a bit limited- these were however very tasty and also quite easy to make. I did run out of icing sugar and had to substitute with a few tablespoons of castor sugar and it thankfully did not really affect the outcome.

The second biscuit that I decided to try can be found at http://juliasalbum.com/2013/12/hazelnut-shortbread-cookies-recipe/ – I really wanted to make these more decadent by giving them a nutella coating but we were unfortunately all out. This is an extremely easy recipe that doesn’t require much effort. I’m not so sure how I feel about the texture of these though… I found it a bit on the dry side- I think the hazelnut to flour ratio is a bit too high- i would in future use a standard shortbread /biscuit recipe adding nuts to the batter or decor.

If you decide to try them, do let me know your thoughts, Also feel free to share your favourite recipes with me in the comments section of this blog post.

Dubai take three

So we recently had a super short break in Dubai- 5 nights to be precise. It was not our first visit so we were pretty clued about about how to get around, which were the better areas to stay in etc. I booked everything myself as usual because I had Hilton Honours points that I wanted to use and because Hubby’s Standard Bank U counts leisure desk was giving us the best price on our Emirate Airline tickets.

Okay so tickets- Emirates booked via the Ucount leisure desk – 30% off (yay). This was very easy to book and the consultants are super patient. Visas were done on the Emirates website and we received these 3 days after applying online.

I promised hubby that It would be a relaxing holiday with lots of recreational activities (not just shopping 😬) , this is why I chose Hilton the Walk on Jbr. There are 3 hiltons at JBr- the hilton jumeirah beach, the walk and a double tree- the double tree does not have the best location. The hilton hotel jumeirah beach has the best location right on the beach but it is a normal hotel with hotel rooms, the walk behind it/linked to it has Hilton apartments -upto 4 bedroom- has their own pool but you are welcome to use all the amenities at the other Hilton as well as the private beach.

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we departed SA at 10:20 pm and arrived in Dubai at 8:20 am Friday morning. I had asked Hilton to please try to give us an early checkin so that The boys could nap before Jumah – they made no promises but said it would be subject to availability- we were delighted when our 3 bedroom sea facing unit was ready for us when we arrived. I forgot to mention that we just grabbed a taxi at the airport ( beige and red- not private).

The apartment was incredibly spacious, beautiful, had a great view, large kitchen and a washing machine with washing powder provided! Guys had a rest before Salaah and then prayed at a masjid just behind the hotel. After jumah a family member picked us up for a delicious South African meal at The Marina. After lunch the guys were still knackered so they slept while my sis and I decided to beat the scorching heat with a swim in the hotel pool. We also squeezed in a short shopping spree at Sephora at The Beach mall infront of our hotel.

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our sunset swim was amazing! And after a shower and change we all headed to Aprons and Hammer (at The Beach) for a delicious Seafood supper. The sizzling summer app had a 20% discount for this restaurant which was indeed welcome as they are a bit on the pricey side. Everything on the menu was fantastic- we had the Seafood Paella, Lobster thermidor, calamari starter and blazing hot wings. Their portions are large and though primarily a seafood restaurant, they also have burgers and steaks on the menu.

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he following morning we woke up relatively early and headed to the Hilton private beach- the water was so warm- I was pleasantly surprised – think Warmbaths outdoor pool – there are many water sports/activities on offer- plenty of shaded loungers and a little kiosk selling drinks, ice creams and meals right on the sand. This was one of my most favourite days in Dubai and I wish that we had a bit more time to enjoy the water. Famished from our swim, we decided to grab some Shake Shack for lunch , the sizzling summer app included a voucher for a free Red Velvet Sundae. Shake shack never dissapoints and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We then headed for another dip and then it was time to head over to Dubai Parks and Resorts.

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e caught a cab (lined up infront of the hotel) to Dubai Parks and Resorts and arrived at about 5pm. We had to hop onto a shuttle to Motiongate. We used the entertainer app vouchers- buy one get one free for two parks and decided to include Bollywood Park.

Motiongate is based on Cartoons and Movies eg Madagascar, Smurfs, hotel transylvania, Shrek etc and they were busy constructing a Hunger Games section too. There are many theme park rides eg rollercoasters for adrenaline junkies but plenty for scaredy cats like me too 😁. There are plenty of food outlets available inside the park and you would need about 4 to 5 hours here in offpeak season when there are no queues – in December I don’t even want to think about how long those queues will be! On average our waiting times for rides was 5-15 mins. Park opens at 3 and closes at 10pm. I definitely recommend Motiongate for kids and adults both.

We ended up spending more time that anticipated at Motiongate and at 9:30pm sprinted to Bollywood Park for a quick run through and meal. We caught a fun live street show on entrance. Bollywood park is very small in comparison to Motiongate and I think 2 hours here will be fine , unless you plan on watching many live performances- we missed the hall of heroes and I’m quite curious to know what’s in there- if you’ve been please comment and let me know what we missed.

Another theme park that we didn’t manage to catch was IMG world which I hope to try sometime soon. I was totally dissapointed that Miracle Gardens and Global village are seasonal and thus closed in August- they reopen in November.

We were meant to have supper at ‘Last Exit’ which is a bunch of funky food trucks but unfortunately did not make it here. The sizzling summer app had quite a few discount coupons for many of the outlets.

I also skipped going to Abu Hail for abayas as I honestly had to many with being spoiled by Arabics. Just to let you know that this is the best place to get your abayas.

The next morning was checkout day but my sis and I decided to head early to outlet village- situated next to Dubai Parks and Resorts. I wish that we had more time here! We speed shopped in two hours- found some amazing items at great prices – I definitely recommend this place – I usually go to Outlet mall – I like the Nyaomi outlet , getting my suitcases here as well as the shoe stores here but we skipped it this time jn favour of The outlet village- completely different stores but you can definitely pick up great bargains – Jimmy Choos, Alexander McQueen, DKNY, Ted Baker etc.

We rushed back to the hotel, checked out, grabbed a bite at Tim Hortons at the bottom of our hotel and made our way to our second hotel – the Pullman Residences Dubai creek city Centre. I booked this on the Club Accor App and got a great deal being a loyalty member , which included breakfast. We had a very pleasant check in experience with an upgrade to a room with creek view. Our 2 bedroom apartment was extraordinary and attached to Deira city centre- this allowed me to shop while the guys rested/ got ready. My back was killing me and I decided to take advantage of the Summer Sale at the spa – 50% off treatments booked before 2pm.

There’s a Carrefour at Deira City Centre – we stocked up our fridge and got some snacks here and enjoyed a hearty meal at Bombay Chowpatty – amazing South Indian cuisine – Dosas, chicken Tikkas, Pani puri etc. full review is up on my instagram page.

The next morning we enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at the hotel, after which I headed to the mall for some retail therapy. We then headed to Mirdif Mall where we proceeded to try out Ifly – indoor sky diving. This is something you have to experience atleast once in your life. We used the entertainer app buy one get one free and this included a high fly experience. A fun experience for all ages! We were dissapointed that their printer wasn’t working and so we left without our pics. Supper was a quick but vert tasty Johnny Rockets before we headed out to the Mall of the Emirates. Nb: Debenhams at Mirdif Mall stocks Aab 😉.

At MoE we headed for Ski Dubai utilising the entertainer app once again for a buy one get one free deal. Free gloves are provided – make sure to carry a beanie/neck scarf as it’s freezing inside (as expected- it is snow). We had a fantastic time on the rides, queues were short so we didn’t really have to wait. We spent about 90-120 minutes here-after a while we couldn’t feel our toes and needed to leave. This is definitely another Must do in Dubai atleast once.

On our last day in Dubai we headed to City Walk for lunch intending to try out Farzi (every South African suggested this place) but ended up at Harper’s Bazaar instead. In my opinion City Walk is way over hyped, stores are expensive with no sales and I honestly didn’t understand the point of coming here. The meal was enjoyed, we were grateful for another 20% off our meal with the sizzling summer app.

Next stop – a birthday supper at Dubai Mall – at Tgi Fridays. We enjoyed a little retail therapy then proceeded to dinner. First time ever that there was no waiting list for the balcony- the heat may have something to do with it but also I loved being in Dubai in this offpeak season- no waits/queues, eid sales everywhere, sizzling summer specials – really great time to be in Dubai- and I loved the weather!

Our table overlooked the Dubai musical Fountain, food was the best (as always) – the best meal I had in Dubai! Full review on my instagram. The mall closed at 12 am due to eid being around the corner but I don’t like shopping at this mall- its too confusing and there weren’t any great sales… other malls also had better stock.

We had intended to have dessert again at switch and we just didnt get the time. Also Ravis was again high on our list but we skipped it with the limited time. My 2015 Dubai trip is still on my instagram – but in brief- Atlantis , Ibn Battuta mall (supper at Slap fish me) , Naif souk, metro travelling, souk madinat jumeirah and Deira creek Abra with shopping at the spice and textile souks and Dubai Marina Mall are a few highlights from the previous trip.

Ps:

The entertainer app costs 66 usd , sizzling summer app was free. Also be sure to check out all the discounts offered if you present your emirates boarding pass at certain restaurants and attractions- can be found on emirates website.

Loving an addict-anonymous reader’s attention

The scourge of drug , drinking and porn addiction in our communities is destroying our homes,relationships and community as a whole. I don't think there's anyone out there that can truly say that they don't know anyone that is or has been addicted to either drugs or porn in this day and age.

Shame keeps us from seeking help. What will people say? Our son in rehab? Can never be! We will beat it out of him. Send him for 40 days jamaat. Maybe it's jadoo – these are all likely responses of people around the addict.

Let's get real. I've been in this situation many times. I love a recovering addict. This road has not been easy. There is no overnight fix and relapses do occur- this is the nature of addiction. I've had to push him into a car and drive him hours to a rehab in the middle of the night because he relapsed. I've had to leave him so that his parents could stop being manipulated by his lies and see for themselves how serious his condition is. I've seen it all, done it all- and yet you may ask why I still love him, why am I still with him?

The simple truth is he's the nicest person I know with a heart of gold who is the best husband except for this one flaw- I love him. He fell into bad company in campus which led to addiction and years later a serious medical condition needed strong medication and this resulted in another addiction- but through all that I've seen how hard he tries to stay clean, that this is really not the life he wants and I know I can help him. I've been told numerous times by rehabs that if I leave him he has no-one else that is equipt to deal with his issue , no-one around him strong enough to deal with this and I know this- if I leave he has no hope. I also see the other men at the rehab, I hear about other addicts from friends and family and I wonder if I won't end up in the same situation if I leave and find someone else because honestly it is THAT common. I cannot leave, move on and let him destroy himself and his life- he deserves more.

Druggies as many love calling them are not just those shabby looking, dirty junkies you used to see sleeping on the streets or begging at the robots. No my darlings, they are lawyers, teachers, doctors, anaesthesists, pharmacists, businessmen , grandfathers and yes even aalims. They're these haaro looking poiros with beards who are huffaaz that you sit next to at the masjid and can even lead a somewhat normal life most of the time- they're quite good at hiding it.

Tv makes drinking and alcohol look so cool , that even someone like me whose lived through this nightmare , who knows the devastating effects that drugs can have has caught myself thinking 'hmm cocaine looks so fun in the movie, wished I'd tried it when I was younger'. Just one time wont hurt etc- NO , NO , NO – this is dangerous thinking- we need to inculcate this awareness that drugs and alcohol is completely haraam – awareness that Allah does not accept your ibaadat for 40 days after indulging- that it WILL remove all barakah from your life, that you would never want to die in this state and that many times all it really takes is just one snort, puff, shot, injection to have you craving more.

It's not something we can keep sweeping under the rug. There are kids younger than 12 in rehabs, you need to be more involved in your kid's lives. Peer pressure and the wrong company plays a huge role. 'It's just dagga' is not an acceptable response- dagga can cause mental illness, is intoxicating and is a gateway drug- don't be naive. Many times dagga is mixed with other drugs too.

Women are also increasingly resorting to drugs so much so that there are now rehabs specifically for muslim females in South Africa. Sometimes the husband gets the wife hooked so that he can continue 'partying' – our muslim men are giving their wives to drug dealers for the night for drugs- this is a REALITY.

So this is all happening and I know many of you in this situation are probably sitting feeling hopeless, you feel alone, you don't know what to do anymore and this is why I wanted to share what I've learnt over the years with you because I know this can help so many people in the same or similar situation :

1. Do not be an enabler. When they are in active addiction do not give into money demands. They may even steal from you. Take away their atm cards. Do not let them drive under the influence. It may be necessary to even take their cellphone away so that they cannot call their dealers. All family members need to be on the same page. You cannot have the wife being hard and trying to do the stuff mentioned and the parents or siblings giving into demands in secret.

2. If you don't believe them when they say they haven't taken anything , ask them to do a drug test – make sure you watch them actually pee into the container, many times they will google ways to pass drug tests (adding chemicals in the urine) or add water into the sample.

3. Jamaat is not the answer, with all due respect, you cannot just send someone with a serious drug or alcohol addiction straight into jamaat and expect a miracle- they WILL have physical withdrawals. I've even heard about addicts going into jamaat and then stealing the collection box, clocks and frames to sell for drugs. This may be helpful AFTER detox and rehabilitation but not during active addiction.

4. I hear often that 'you cannot make someone change' that if they don't want to change then rehab won't help them. Understand this- a person who is in active addiction , while going through psychological and physical withdrawal will most often refuse to go into rehab- it is not their choice, YOU have to be strong- tough love etc. You can only have a decent conversation with them once they're sober. Also, they don't get a say in the matter- they are endangering themselves and those around them- It's also illegal- It's upto you to put your foot down and get them the help they need. Once they are detoxed, withdrawal free and level headed they will thank you- trust me. Occasionally you do get those who will say they love the lifestyle, they love the high and they do want that lifestyle even when sober- this is when you have to decide if you can live with an addict forever because living with a recovering addict and living with an addict are two different things.

5. Violence and abuse from them should not be tolerated. Again, tough love. They are honestly the best manipulators and are excellent at making you feel sorry for them and playing on your emotions. If they get violent have them put in cuffs and taken to rehab. If they steal from you or are behaving dangerously then call the cops, have them arrested and let the ultimatum be jail or rehab. This will require you to be incredibly firm and strong – you have to be cruel to be kind.

6. Rehab is the answer but not one or two weeks. Minimum 21 days but longer is usually better. A rehab that has proper counsellors or social workers, that focuses on spiritual upliftment but also builds them up and doesn't break them down. In this instance I recommend Crescent of hope in magaliesberg- this place was life changing for me and my marriage. Uncle Rafiq at the centre is amazing with his advice and counselling and dealing not only with the addict and addiction but also repairing the family unit as a whole. (Fyi-Zakaatable patients are catered for).

7. Understand that relapses do happen, the key is acting on it the moment you notice it- getting them help immediately and not giving into their pleas that it was 'only once' or that they can fight the addiction on their own etc- be firm and strong. Ultimatums also work most times. Here though you cannot keep giving ultimatums and making threats and not acting on them- they will not take you seriously or respect you.

8. Even once they're out keep in touch with the rehab facility. Magaliesberg offers boosters, where you go in for a few days every few months for motivation and as a reminder- these are a good idea. Don't take it for granted that they did the rehab and will be fine- addiction is a daily struggle- reminders are good- reminding them why they need to stay clean, motivating and reconnecting spiritually.

9. Naltrexone implants are being done around the country and it can be very beneficial getting these done after a proper rehab and detox. This helps with opioid addiction so eg heroin and even for alcohol addiction. It lasts 3 months and then you can have another implant done. Naltrexone is also available in tablet form but then obviously this is more difficult to monitor. Naltrexone ensures that even if they take something they feel sick and don't get a high so they won't even try to take anything on Naltrexone. Naltrexone is very different to Suboxone and Subutex- it isn't habit forming.

10. Allah consciousness- zikr, salaah, taalim at home, listening to inspirational talks in the car all will help them try to stay clean once they're clear headed. Good company, being surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family gives them motivation to stay clean. Inclusion not shaming and exclusion- love and support and helping them get back on their feet.

11. Distractions- having something to focus on that they're passionate about and that keeps their minds busy will be beneficial after rehabilitation. Hobbys, sports etc. I've frequently been told that having a child or another child may give them the push they need and make them 'grow up' – I actually know someone who did change when the wife gave him an ultimatum that she would take their unborn child and move out if he didn't clean up his act- this was when he got help and has been clean ever since… this won't work for everyone though. Its also not something I would advise- bringing a child into that situation hoping it will change them.

12. Sometimes they need further counselling, there are unresolved childhood issues, self esteem issues etc- even a life coach can sometimes help. But unfortunately not everyone has issues – some are honestly just so deep in it and love the high- they need to find other things in life that give them a natural high- passions- things to live for and get excited about.

13. Disowning, shaming, ridiculing will not get you far. It is upto us and I firmly believe it is our responsibility that when our fellow brother or sister slips that we try and help them up. Hate the sin not the sinner, understand that this is not the life anyone would've chosen for themselves , that they can't help themselves but YOU the people around them can help them- every time they slip up put them right back into rehab. Although if you are in a marriage and have children and you have tried getting them help several times and whatever I've suggested then it may be time you gave up- thinking about their safety and getting them out of an unhealthy situation- that doesn't mean their family has to also give up though- someone around them should try to help their family member nomatter how frustrating it may be – if this means leaving them in the rehab for 6 months, 12 months then so be it. It's about saving a life. At times if you truly have exhausted all options, if they have resorted to crime or prostitution to feed their habits and are a danger to you and the rest of the family it may be necessary to cut ties- only you know what your reality is- I cannot tell you what to do – I can only urge you to exhaust all options so that you don't regret the decision for the rest of your life. You also can't make someone change, you can get them help and once they're sober you need to hear how they truly feel- if they blatantly after detox and counselling would rather choose drugs over life then you have to Whats right for you too.

14. Understand what their triggers are and keep an eye out for them. This involves keeping the lines of communication open. Spot/surprise drug tests may even be a good idea and motivation not to slip up.

15. Get yourself help- it can be so exhausting both physically and mentally living with an addict, you need your own support structure and counselling. Addicts will often guilt you and manipulate you into keeping their secret- they make it seem like you broke their trust or you divulged secrets from the marriage- NO! addiction is not a marriage issue, it is NOT something you should be forced to deal with alone. Get them help, get yourself help- give them an ultimatum- pack your bags and leave and demand they get proper help if they're refusing. Do NOT keep quiet and do nothing (this doesn't mean you shout it out to the world, you can still conceal their faults by telling only those who can actually be of assistance). Work on yourself, make your own money, let him realise that you have options, that you are strong enough to manage on your own if you need to- this may give him the realisation that he could genuinely lose you and he may be more willing to seek help- if you have nowhere to go, are financially reliable on him etc he may just use this to take advantage of the situation and threaten to leave YOU if you tell anyone about his addiction.

16. When we hear about people having affairs, gambling, dealing in ribaa etc we don't look down on them as much as those who have a drug or alcohol addiction- why? Are they not all major sins? We also seem as a community to view drinking as worse that popping pills. The amount of people young and old that are seriously addicted to codeine based products like stilpane, adco-dols etc and sleeping pills is alarming yet many times we don't class them as 'druggies' yet codeine,morphine,heroin are in the same class. We definitely need more awareness. Porn addiction is also quite serious and not something to be taken lightly.

17. As for jadoo and evil eye – yes occasionally perhaps this may be the case but they will still have developed a physical addiction and simply taking them to an aamil only isn't going to solve the problem at hand. Let's get serious! They were using the drugs and need detox and to get over the withdrawal stage nomatter what led them to it.

18. Some people are truly beyond help, most commonly once they've tried heroin and in this case I honestly don't have any answers for you. I have not been in this situation But I do understand that it is the worst with the highest rate of relapse. Implants every three months may not be in everyone's budget, tablets are also around R1000 every month- It's sometimes necessary to see things for what they are and decide if it's worth it, if you're fighting a losing battle or not.

19. Sometimes YOU also need to change. Yes YOU. I didn't realise this till I heard a talk about Allah not changing the condition of people until they change themselves. I needed to connect with my creator, I needed to read all these duas to ask Allah to help him and keep him clean, to help me and give me stength, to guide me. I needed to change so that he could change too. I needed to read Salaatul Hajaat and all my other prayers that I had been neglecting. At every step I sought his guidance with Istikharah and HE always showed me what to do. Sometimes this is your test too.

20. They need someone to talk to when they're thinking of relapsing or having a hard day- ideally this should be the wife/some other close family that they can call for motivation and counselling and so you can help them to remove triggers and access to substances or just keep them busy and help them cope with the psychological addiction- sometimes this may be a professional eg someone from the rehab but at any stage that they slip up they need to understand that the best thing for everyone is to come clean and let you know immediately so that you can help them to help themselves- it might sound impossible but with proper communication free of judgment, yelling and belittling it is absolutely possible. Know the signs to look out for.

21. A dua given to me by mufti Siraj Desai to read constantly truly helped me. There isn't a day that I don't read this dua for him.

Rabbana Hablana min azwaajina wadhurriy-yatina, Qurrata a’ayun wa-jalna lil-muttaqeena Imaama
  O my Rabb! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous [25:74]

No-one can really tell a wife to stay and put up with this type of behaviour- you know what you can bare- you should seek Allah's help and take it from there but I can tell you that happiness is possible. Having the man/woman that you love back is possible, recovering from drug addiction is very possible with an awesome support structure not by shunning people, not by exclusion and disowning people but only with love, tough love and proper help. It is not an easy road- it is one full of tears, dissapointments, 'why mes' , anger, frustration etc but sometimes it IS all worth it.

Allah ease the pain of all those watching the ones they love go down this destructive path. Allah give you strength to do the right thing and get them the right help. Allah make it easy for all the people fighting their nafs and addictions daily , give them the strength to stay clean- give their family the understanding of how to help them. Help us as a community to keep our children amd spouses away from all things harmful and give us your guidance to do what is best for us and them. Ameen

Glow essentials

Recently I've had several requests from people to please share my beauty regimen with you guys as they've noticed that my skin was looking quite glowy and healthy.

In all honesty, I have had what for me is quite bad skin this past month, as a result of my hormones being all over the place! I've had a pimple crop up every 10-14 days which is not normal for my skin. I've thus taken a bit of extra care of my skin and even with those concerns, managed to maintain healthy, glowing skin.

So my latest beauty regimen consists of Gardenia and Argan eye and face cream from the Argan Co-op in Essaouira , Morocco. Unfortunately this is not available in SA.

I have been using the infinity Crystal Blanc from Nadia Motala Hair and beauty for the last 2 months- I don't use them every day, instead every second day and sometimes if I forget to use them then 2 at a time! I'm convinced that this together with the drip that I had at Reviv in Umhlanga, is why I did not get sick this winter even though EVERYONE around me had the worst bout of flu that stuck around for 2 full weeks! These patches are great for achieving even toned skin and I've even noticed my slight pigmentation get a bit lighter now. They're hailed as a lightening patch to lighten the skin and if you're following me for a while you know I'm totally against promoting skin lightening however, I feel that what this does is give you a bright, glowy look – for instance how your skin looks after a steam facial – even toned, bright and healthy.

My other new fave product right now is from Muse Beauty. The Farsali 24 k Rose Gold Elixir. This is the key to faking the glow even if you don't have it. Use it before you apply your foundation to help you stay hydrated and achieve that sun-kissed glow

My skin just soaks this up without leaving an oily layer or any discomfort. It's suitable for all skin types and is packed with Rosehip oil, vitamin E oil, 24 K gold etc to fight off aging, help with pigmentation and stretch marks. You can even add a few drops to your foundation. So lightweight and deeply nourishing and hydrating.

What I also do is make sure to use a mask atleast every 10-15 days . Right now I'm using The Ordinary , peeling solution (from Muse Beauty) once a month alternating with a sheet mask , Tony Moly (from Muse Beauty) or any of those available from Shades of Mink.

Before bed I apply Superskin Elixir from Phytocare and allow that to work it's magic while I dream! So you see , great skin takes work and is totally possible even when your skin is bent on being a pain in the butt! I forgot to mention that I absolutely make sure to remove all my makeup before bed and use a mildly exfoliating face scrub daily whilst showering (Rooibos or Nivea). And don't forget the sunscreen!

Hope you enjoyed this , let me know what else you'd like to read in the comments below.

Tips for newbie bloggers

My inbox is filled with requests for tips on how to run a successful blog/become an influencer. It all depends though how you define success – for me I’m very impressed with where my instagram account is at right now – for some the amount of money I make off my account may not= success.

What you do need to realise is that I never had any intentions of being a blogger – I simply put out what I loved and people were drawn to it – so right there is my first tip- do what you love and don’t try to be like everyone else. Since I never had any intentions of being ‘the next Ascia or Dina Torkia’, I’m quite happy moving at my own pace and having fun with my blog- the less ‘work’ it entails and the more fun it is , the more pleased I am. 

What is success to me? Helping people embrace and love their hijab and modest dressing. Providing a platform for Promotion of local modest fashion designers and I won’t lie, I love reviewing and styling items – so to me the monetary aspect isn’t much of a concern. If you plan on making a living off your blog you need to realise that you will need to invest alot of time and money into it – from photographers to products and clothing.

My options are limited due to where I live (there is one photographer in a town not too far away but her work is very average) , I can’t attend most blogger meetups and events and working 6 days a week, time is not on my side. If you live in a city try and collaborate with upcoming photographers for a free or really cheap photoshoot.  You don’t have to invest in a costly camera and equipment- my pics are taken with my cellphone and I’ve managed just fine- lighting is key though and my worst pics are usually because I’ve finished work late and had to take pics after sunset. 
The best time to take pics? Before 8am or after 3pm usually. 

I’ve never approached or emailed businesses to ask them for items but many bloggers do. Please always try to be polite if you do and realise that some businesses are run by single mums/divorced women or women who run households that desperately needs a second income- don’t be demanding they may not be able to afford your requests.. perhaps leave it up to them to suggest items and pick from there. 
Reply to emails , dms and answer (reasonable) questions that your followers/fans pose. You have to engage with your followers.

Accept that not everyone will like you of your style- you are not nutella (although, there are people out there who don’t like Nutella!!). You will encounter nasty comments, criticism, people creating fake profiles just to spread hate and people who befriend you for all the wrong reasons. Be wary.
Be very careful who you share your ideas with – people are not afraid to shamelessly copy. 

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers – we all have to start somewhere and blogging can be quite cutthroat- we will never have contentment if you stalk and compare- just be yourself and do you.
It’s really easy to start to compromise your beliefs and lower your personal standards when you see ‘what everyone else is doing’- try to be tough and not bend into peer pressure – you don’t have show more skin, advocated haraam or do what everyone else is doing to be accepted – there are literally too many people out there that all look the same (different versions of the Kardashians) or all dress the same but there’s not another one of you – embrace your uniqueness.
You will drive yourself crazy if you obsess over stats – appreciate and interact with the followers you have and just concentrate on the followers you DO have. 

A beautiful feed (which I find so difficult to do) is really popular and great to look at. 

 Hashtags are your friend- use them. Tag pages that might repost your pic- it’s the fastest way to new followers. 
I delayed starting a blog and really didn’t want to but there’s only so much you can type under a pic on instagram so if you plan to give detailed reviews or pen your thoughts- definitely get a blog- there are many free hosts.

Hijabi boss babes

One of the most requested tips have got to be from ladies requesting tips on how to style themselves modestly for interviews and the corporate environment as well as for meetings. I therefore decided that it would be fun to put together a few looks as a reference guide. Let’s dive straight into them.
My first look is a longer length navy cape that I purchased last year from @shop.style.snap , which I’ve paired with a white flare sleeved top from @lunahcpt and an off white wide leg pants from Bershka. Shoes are from Mr Price , bag from Colette and scarf from Hayaa Box. You could wear navy pants , wear any formal crisp white shirt and add a few accesories to this look. Why not try a white maxi dress, even one with flared sleeves for a trendy but even more modest look?

The next look is for those ladies who prefer not to wear pants- I wanted to demonstrate that you can totally still fit into the corporate world. I’ve worn a plain black straight winter dress from Mr Price which could easily be swopped for an abaya. The coat is a recent purchase from H&M , it was 50% off too! Shoes are from Zara and scarf from Turkishly Delightful. 


My third look is pink , because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace your femininity- every one needs atleast one powersuit. I love the printed fabric on this one but I wish the pants were a bit wider. This suit was purchased from Fashion Fusion in Durban , shoes are from La Capella. Shirt is from Legit and scarf from Hayaa Box.

Next up is 2 different looks created by making slight changes. 
Look one :

A winter trench coat from H&M worn with Bershka wide legged pants in red, the same white shirt above from Legit , the same Mr price heels from the first look and a pearl scarf from Modanisa. This look would look just as great if you swopped out the red pants for black or any other colour really. Simple and so elegant!
Look 2:

Here I’ve removed the trench and added a sleeveless coat (you could wear a shorter one too) and I’ve changed the scarf to a beige one from Al  Shazia in Durban. The handbag/clutch is from planet54.com (don’t forget my discount code ‘bash10’)
Tips:
-In my opinion a simple navy or black blazer should be a closet staple.

– A sleeveless coat/blazer  in black/white/navy or tan as well as easy to style scarves in the same colours will go a long way

-wide leg pants or palazzo pants are easy to style but generally difficult to find so if you find a pair you’re happy with, take them in every colour!

– A formal shirt in white and one in black is versatile for your work wardrobe but even for the weekend it will look amazing with your favourite pair of jeans and a statement neckpiece. 

Tips for shopping online from Small businesses

Your home businesses/small businesses do not run in the same way as your big retailers and online stores eg Zando and Spree. Here are a few tips for ensuring you don’t step on any toes: 
Tip 1, Please respect the fact that home businesses are usually a one man show. Understand that queries sent through at odd hours of the night may not be attended to immediately as business owners have a responsibility to their family as well.. you can’t shop 24 hours a day as you can at a normal online store.

Tip 2, understand that instagram dms are not always reliable, messages tend to disappear at times, notifications do not always pop up for dms and dm chats are not permanently saved. It would be better to use the method of communication listed in the bio of the business profile. 

Tip 3, please read the caption under the pic for details about the item (if supplied), you could also browse through the comments section to see if someone has already asked the question you want to pose and if it has been answered already.

Tip 4, if you have placed an order for an item and asked the business to keep it aside for you, the right thing to do should you change your mind/find it cheaper elsewhere or have a sudden financial crisis, is let them know that you nolonger require the item and thank them for their time.

Tip 5, As hard as it might be, understand that at times a handful of businesses may have a valid reason for not putting up prices- the main one that is understandable is for baked goods eg birthday cakes that require quotes –whose price will fluctuate based on the type of cake, type of icing, size of cake etc so don’t necessarily write off all businesses who don’t put up prices – sometimes the extra effort may just be worth it.

Tip 6, Some businesses refuse to have open profiles- I know that it makes no sense from a business perspective but that’s their choice at the end of the day – clicking follow on a profile is not so difficult, but I do understand that when you want to purchase something and are in a hurry, waiting for someone to accept a follow request, then waiting for them to respond to your email/watsapp is another unnecessary wait- it is what it is- you have the option to wait or support someone else.

Tip 7, Courier delays can and do happen- the driver has a breakdown, the parcel gets lost, the courier is Fastway (who are pathetic imo) etc- this is part of life- if you have been supplied a tracking number (which you should be given) please track and call the courier if you have any concerns before getting upset with the business who doesn’t have control of what happens once the parcel leaves them.

Tip 8, if you receive an item that has been received in poor condition eg broken or leaking etc , my advice is to immediately take a picture and forward it to the supplier.
A good online business will refund you or replace the item. 

Tip 9, Be courteous at all times. Watsapping someone ‘How much’ without greeting and common courtesy reflects very poorly on you
. Start with greeting, perhaps a quick how are you, introduce yourself and then ask about the item preferably by also sending a screenshot of the item so you’re both on the same page. 

Tip 10, understand that Online businesses do not always have the option of you being able to pick up or try on – I understand that this can be difficult especially if they also have a strict no refund policy- if you are terrified of losing your hard earned cash when something doesn’t fit or you really can’t afford to pay courier, my only advice is to rather look for an online business that does offer you this option as there are a handful that do- or shop at a regular store. 

Tip 11, just because a business is posting pics of new stock at 12 am , it does not necessarily mean that they will be up for business queries at that hour.. if like me, you’re scared that you might forget the page name/to message them the next day/that the item may get sold by the time you wake up- send a message, apologizing for the late message, explain what you would like and that they don’t have to reply immediately but when they have the time.

Tip 12, once you have received the parcel, a thank you and a message to say you’re happy or love your item is always a great idea although not compulsory- it will brighten someone’s day.