Tag Archives: lifestyle

english breakfast

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Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself. -Delia Smith

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. – J.R.R Tolkien

Hello again everyone, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend! As for us here, the sun managed to peek out briefly, enough for us to venture out for our full English breakfast at the local supermarket cafe. We tend to do so from time to time, just to get out for a bit particularly in the winter months. January is finally coming to an end now, you could say it’s the most depressing month in the year! Though February is usually much colder, the days also stretch a bit longer, more than the 8 hour sunlight we’ve had for the past couple of months. You don’t mind so much in December as it’s also the Christmas period, where everything around you seem so festive and cheerful. But come January, you just feel you’ve had enough of the winter months for sure!

Anyway, I’ve taken a few photos from our breakfast at the weekend to share with you. A typical full English breakfast normally consists of toasts with butter, fried eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomato, hash brown and sausages (vegetarian ones in our case). My hubby normally finishes everything quite quickly. I, on the other hand, tend to eat a bit slower. It’s quite a heavy going meal if you ask me, lasts for hours afterwards! When my sister visited me last winter I was supposed to take her out for a full English breakfast, but we left it too late and never got around to it. She’s still craving for it till today. But I keep telling her I would still prefer our Nasi lemak (traditional Malay breakfast) over the full English, even after almost 2 decades of living in England. Some things never change I suppose! 😉

oi

a typical full English breakfast

another version of it

hot chocolate’s great for the children on a cold wintry day

my youngest two

npkm

bon appétit!

living again

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Hello again everyone! I am feeling upbeat once again, after a few months of sorrow. Yes, it’s still winter here in England, in fact some say Spring might even come late this year (end of May). It’s not the season that’s cheered me up, it’s just me deciding to start living happily once more. With the passing of my dearest paternal uncle last November, I had plunged into the deepest darkest corner without even realising it. All I seem to hear around me afterwards were news of death or some calamity or another. I still do in fact, my best friend’s mother has been hospitalised for a month, an old school friend just lost her mother, and several 40+ year olds connected to people I know had passed away recently due to heart attack. It’s scary really, but then death is a reality. A lot of people shun away from talking about it, it’s almost a taboo. But once you’ve seen death in your face, like I did with my late father, there is no turning back. It will affect you for the rest of your life. It just stays with you forever.

Which is good in a way, as in my faith we are to keep this world at our hand, and the Hereafter (eternal life after death) in our heart. There should be a balance really. I realised however, one cannot go around in gloom, particularly when one has a young family to care for. My husband and children keep me young at heart, totally alive, so to speak. To keep them happy, I have to be happy too! So off I trotted to my hairdressers for an instant lift, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of having bouncy glossy blow-dried hair afterwards. The rage now is of course Kate Middleton, being brunette (you can experiment with different shades) is cool and blow-dried hair is a must. I also made a quick trip to the outlet, was surprised to find some lovely outfits (Kate Middleton replica amongst them), very cheaply priced in the winter sales. I came home with a happy heart indeed.

Then my close friends contacted me for a cuppa tea, it was nice to catch up again after a while. One is French and the other is English, they have been Muslims for 2 decades now. I always enjoy socialising with them, you could say my Western influence comes from them, the food especially! Speaking of which, I have to mention here how my hubby decided to bring me out of my winter blues recently by introducing me to the cheeseboard. This is specially sold during the Christmas period, where you buy crackers to go with a selection of specialty cheeses. They go very well with a bit of chutney and some grapes on the side, simply out of this world! To think that I never liked cheese at all when I was back in my homeland, I’m quite a different person now for sure! Which also brings me to another realisation, I may have been inspired by Kate Middleton when it comes to hair and few clothes, but I must admit I fail miserably to imitate her when it comes to watching my weight though. Not with my husband tempting me with delicious chocolates and cheeses all the time anyway! 😉

Nonetheless, I’m just happy to be living wholly again, I want to enjoy my present life with my loved ones, I want to cherish and treasure them and those around me whilst I can. I stumbled upon a short piece on James Blunt a few days ago in The Guardian newspaper, and came across his latest video clip released yesterday. It depicts the crazy fast-paced life we’re living in today, but the focus remains on those we love, regardless of time and space. I love it, hope you’ll enjoy it too. Till next time, take care!!!

kate middleton hair

gorgeous Kate Middleton hair which is the rage here (courtesy of Google images)

ngpew

blue lace dress replica I found inspired by Kate Middleton (courtesy of Google images)

similar?

similar?

my cheeseboard selection

the cheeseboard selection hubby bought me recently

can't stop eating them!

he bought me another lot afterwards, can’t stop eating them now!

ENJOY JAMES BLUNT’S NEW UPBEAT SONG ‘HEART TO HEART’ AND THE FAST-PACED LONDON SCENE!

summer ramblings

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It is late summer here in England, temperatures around 20c with sunshine, showers and wind. The typical English weather which I have grown accustomed to, the one I find rather comforting. Sometimes I cannot believe that I lived in a tropical country for 27 years, I just cannot seem to take the heat anymore! The heat wave we had in Ramadan (27c-30c for almost a fortnight) proved just a bit too much for me. Now it is almost autumnal, I can see little signs of autumn peeking through. But I hope to enjoy the last few weeks of summer that is left yet, with life’s simple pleasures.

To be honest I have not been feeling too good after our Eid celebration, I could not quite figure out the reason at first. I put it down to general tiredness after fasting in Ramadan, but that wasn’t the cause. If anything Ramadan had been really uplifting for me. It’s actually the feeling I got from missing the festive Eid atmosphere back in my homeland; the spirit of togetherness by spending time with close family, relatives and friends. Eid in England is often a quiet affair, I cannot explain it, it just is. I have got used to it after all these years (almost 2 decades now) but cannot help feeling alone at this time of the year. I pray that I get the chance to celebrate Eid with my loved ones back in my homeland sometime soon, InshaAllah. My children do not know any different, they have each other and they have been raised with so much love and affection they do not crave anything more. But I cannot help longing for them to experience that wonderful atmosphere I once knew, one fine day, God Willing.

Looking on the bright side though, I feel fortunate to have been able to meet up with a few friends recently for an Eid party at the park! These ladies do not have their families close by either to celebrate Eid with, so it was nice to be together, our children had a whale of a time. The boys played water guns and football, the girls rode their bikes and played houses, the little ones blew bubbles and enjoyed the fountain. The simplicity of our gathering and the closeness we felt brought tears to my eyes, for I realised it lifted my mood instantly. I may not have the ideal Eid celebration I longed for, but I experienced something which suited me better. A simple Eid party which taught me to appreciate others around me, to accept and be happy with something different. I leave you with several images which depict life’s simple pleasures, as a gentle reminder for me to be content and grateful always for everything that comes my way. A cheerful song at the end will not hurt either!

Eid party at the park

spending time at the local farm again

visiting the local farm again with our friends

Dreaming of a simple summer holiday now, kind of like this one, minus the mishap! 😉

ramadan mubarak 2013

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Greetings everyone, I hope you’ve all had a good weekend! Ramadan (Muslim fasting month) is dawning fast upon me and Muslims across the world (commencing tomorrow or Wednesday), I am so looking forward to it, Inshallah! Alhamdulillah, this year is rather special to me as I’ve had the great opportunity to attend several religious talks in mosques over Birmingham and London. These talks have definitely uplifted my spirits in more ways than one, I now feel fully recharged to welcome Ramadan! I blogged about my Birmingham trip last weekend in my previous post, this one is of my London visit the weekend just gone. My family and I were in the boroughs of Harrow and Hounslow in West London for the talks, but we also popped by the borough of Southall for a quick spot of shopping to pass the time.

It’s been a hectic weekend for sure especially for my little ones (with the long distance travel and summer heat of 28c) but we have benefited immensely and for that we are truly grateful. As usual I’ve selected a series of photos below so that you’re able to share my experiences. I shall be rather busy in this holy month of Ramadan, hence I don’t think I will be blogging much at all. I hope all my readers and followers will continue to visit my blog though, I now have 135 posts so that should keep you well occupied till I return to the blogging world after a month, Inshallah! Once again I would like to wish all fellow Muslims Ramadan Mubarak, have a blessed and fruitful month ahead! To the rest of you out there, take good care till we meet again!

we are in London!

we explored the area

the Harrow mosque in the background

my son in the picture now, fruits slightly pricey here

greetings from Harrow!

ready to go to the mosque now

entering the Harrow mosque compound

I feel like I’m back in the East

my girls got changed and performed their prayers before the talk

my girls got changed and performed their prayers before the talk

we came out just before dusk

off to our hotel for the night

off to Southall the next morning

absorbing the sound, sight and smell

transported to the East again

papa, please could I have that pink phone?

we need more dates for Ramadan, papa

common sight in every corner

ambling along

all that glitters!

the famous Asian sweet shop

halal food everywhere

ice-creams a must on a hot summer’s day!

fascinating sight

I just love this buzzing place! Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

I just love this buzzing place! Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

At Hounslow Mosque for another talk before heading home

 

ramadan spirit

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As mentioned in my previous post, Ramadan (the Muslim fasting month) is just round the corner. We have about a week left to go, but the Ramadan spirit can already be felt even here in England. This was what we experienced in Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK, which has one of the largest Muslim population in the country. Many of the areas there remind me of back home! We had the pleasure of visiting Birmingham again over the weekend, we were there mainly to attend a talk at a mosque. Some sort of spiritual upliftment is necessary in preparation for the blessed month dawning soon. However, we also took the opportunity to do some shopping to stock up for Ramadan. We’ve always enjoyed shopping there, simply because there’s more variety and we’re able to find many Eastern foods and goods that we like. Therefore it was a fruitful weekend in Birmingham indeed for us as you can see from the photos I’ve selected below.

Anyway, Ramadan is a time for me to increase my faith with acts of worship, a holy month to be cherished. It is a time of spiritual reflection and self-improvement, time to take stock and become a better person. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims across the world Ramadan Mubarak. And to family, relatives, friends and acquaintances reading this post, I hope you will remember my family and I in your prayers in this blessed month, as you will be in mine. To the rest of my readers and followers, take good care for now and keep smiling wherever you are! Count your blessings! 🙂

(Come share our Birmingham experience!)

outside a supermarket

let’s choose some fruits!

let’s get a melon too

dates for Ramadan

these ones are good papa

my girls

let’s stock up

let’s load the car first

off to another store

huge pots!

some new plates?

papa’s favourite aisle

girls looking at henna cones

more stuff outside

let’s get some new scarves

off for a bite to eat

clothes store

halal food everywhere

our favourite restaurant

my girls gazing across the street

people watching

my lil one

my family

off to the mosque now

hubby and I