Friday, 1 April 2022

Ramadan Prep 2022

Ramadan is almost here, so I decided to create a post this year with my Ramadan prep ideas and tips. I’ve tried my best the information to my knowledge. Please comment on this post if you spot any mistake. I've also created two PDF files (Ramadan Tracker with duas and Activity Book for Kids).

In the past, I've focused more on Ramadan food prep but this year, I've decided to focus more on preparing how I can make good use of my time in Ramadan. My goal for this Ramadan is to focus more on Quran recitation and dhikr. Also, I'd like to limit my social media usage and instead of watching a lot TV shows, I'm hoping to watch more Islamic related videos to increase my knowledge In'Sha'Allah. 

Since there are a lot of things I'd like to cover, I've listed a summary of all the sections and you can scroll down to each one of them for more information:
  • Quran Recitation (30 juz tracker, Quran website, etc)
  • List of some duas with transliteration and translation
  • Islamic Scholar Videos (Khutbahs, prophet stories)
  • Salah (Prayer chart, Taraweeh, Prayer area)
  • Zakat - where to donate online
  • Ramadan Ideas for Kids
  • Ramadan Gift Ideas
  • Suhoor & Iftar Meal Ideas

Quran Recitation

Quran was revealed during the month of Ramadan, so it's important to incorporate Quran recitation as much as you can. Aside from recitation, you can also make a goal to learn at least one new surah. 
 
If you'd like to complete reading Quran by the end of Ramadan, then I would recommend reading at least 1 Juz per day. I've listed 30 juz on a page, so you can print and keep track. You can also continue using it after Ramadan to track your progress. Click here to download it for free.  

I've been using this website for several years. I've learned a few surahs using this website. I also use this to listen to the verses to make sure I'm pronouncing it correctly. It's such a great website especially if you're a beginner. I'm glad they also have an app, so it's easily accessible.I was gifted a Quran with translation and transliteration and a lot of people have asked me where I got it from. My family member found it at a local store but I recently found a similar one on Etsy. I do think the shipping is high for this particular one, so I would recommend checking your local islamic store first and you can also try searching for one on Amazon. 

Duas

I would recommend creating a list of duas to read during Ramadan. Try reading most of them daily and you can have a goal to learn a new dua. I've listed 10s duas in the photo with translation and transliteration.  You can print the page or save it on your phone (it's also included in Ramadan Tracker PDF file).

More duas: 

  • Launch Good shared 30 photos of translated duas with transliteration that you can also share with your family and friends. Click here to view them. 


Ramadan Duas with translation and transliteration 

Salah

If you don't have a prayer room, designate an area at home where you will be praying and you can keep your essentials there (tasbeeh, duas, etc). I would love to have a prayer room one day In'Sha'Allah but for now what I did is I dedicated an area and tried to make it comfortable by putting a faux fur throw and my prayer mat on top. I also added a small pillow to place my Quran or Dua book. On the wall, I put pages from my Ramadan Tracker along with some Saleha Art prints. 

For the past few years, I have been praying on a velvet prayer mat, which was quite comfortable but I decided to purchase a new prayer mat with personalized dua book and tashbeeh from Etsy for Ramadan this year. The prayer mat isn't soft as my velvet one because this one has embroidery but I really love the design.  

I really like Balanced Bayt's post about creating a prayer space. Click here for their tips on what items can be added in your prayer area.   

 

I also bought myself a prayer set from Modanisa. They have a variety of them and the price is reasonable compared to the ones I've seen online. I bought Tofisa in black (this is the one I'm wearing in the photo) and Ecesun in Emerald. For the emerald one, the hijab was attached to it and I really didn't like it compared to Tofisa, which was more comfortable to wear. I had also bought some hijabs from Veiled Collection and I love their quality. The one I'm wearing in this photo is Georgette Crepe Hijab. The color is slightly different than the photo they have on their website but I still like it. I'm not hijabi and usually wear it for praying, so I'm still trying to figure out how to wear them. 

 

 

Here’s a prayer chart with list of rakats for each type of the prayers (fard, sunnah, witr and nafl):

Taraweeh prayers are voluntary and prayed after Isha prayer during the holy month of Ramadan. These are prayed in 2 rakats. There is a debate whether we should pray 8 or 20 rakats.
I really like Dr. Zakir Naik's answer to this question in the video below. 

Zakat 

Here are some of the organizations that you can donate to:

Islamic Videos

I really enjoy watching videos of scholars on YouTube. I've created a playlist sharing some of the videos I like and I will continue sharing during Ramadan.  

 

Few years ago, I discovered Mufti Menk's prophet stories video and learned so much. You can check out the playlist below for the stories: 

Ramadan Ideas for Kids

I personally think that engaging kids in Ramadan is very important because even if they don't fast, they can still take the opportunity to learn about Islam.

I've designed an activity book for this year's Ramadan and you can download it here for free.  You will find the following activities:

    • Ramadan Countdown to Eid
    • Word Search
    • Arabic Alphabets
    • List of some duas
    • Maze
    • Coloring Page


Here are some of the activities included in this book:
  • 30 Days Good Deed Challenge 
  • Connect the dots
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Memory Game
  • Ramadan Mubarak Banner
  • Ramadan Printable Placemats on Etsy can be easily printed at home. You can leave them on the table for the child along with some crayons.


  • Here are two different listings but you can find more:
    1. Photo on left, it's $1.50 CAD - Use code RAMADAN for 60% off. Click here to view the listing.
    2. Photo on right, it's $3.26 CAD. Click here to view the listing.


  • Learning Surahs
    Depending on the age of the child, you can encourage the kids to learn how to read Quran and even learn some surahs. Once again, MountHira.com is a great website in my opinion to learn new surahs.
  • Learning Duas
    It's a great time for children to learn some new duas. In my activity book and Nisa Homes activity book.

  • Decorating for Ramadan and Eid
    You can decorate with your child with banners, balloons, etc. You can order it on Amazon or sometimes you can even find great stuff at your local store. In Nisa Homes activity book, there is a Ramadan banner for a DIY banner. 

Ramadan Gift Ideas

  • Gift Basket/Bag - You can create your own gift basket or bag by including the following items:
  • Stuffed Dates - Stuff dates with almond, pistachio and sprinkle some coconut 
  • Dates (Madina dates, ajwa dates, 
  • Fruit (apple, banana, mango, pomegrenate, oranges, etc) 
  • Food Items popular in Ramadan: Rooh afza, jallab syrup, mango juice, chaat masala, etc.

This year, I prepared few gift baskets with Ramadan Trackerdates, Hijab from Veiled Collection, Saleha Art print of dua for parents, bookmark, mango juice,  some fruit, fruit chaat masala and mini Laura Secord jam. 


Another option is to include a gift bag with Ramadan Balloon especially for kids. The following items were included for all: Ramadan Trackerdates, Saleha Art print of dua for parents and bookmark. 

  • Laumiere Noor Collection - You can order on their website but to avoid shipping fees, I would recommend buying it from Amazon.
For more ideas, check out Balanced Bayt's post for 9 DIY Homemade Ramadan Gift Ideass. Click here for the post.

Food

It’s best to focus on nutrient dense food and avoid greasy food during Ramadan but that’s hard to do especially if you grew up in a South Asian household since the popular iftar food are deep fried (samosa, chicken rolls, pakora). I usually don’t eat greasy food on a regular basis but when Ramadan starts, I crave food like samosas, chaat papri, and gol gappay, so I don’t completely remove it but instead I try my best to limit it. I used to have paratha almost everyday for suhoor but now I have smoothie bowl instead.
Here are some of my recommended suhoor and iftar food and what I usually have.
Suhoor 

  • Dates and nuts
  • Avocado toast with egg
  • Smoothie or smoothie bowl 
  • Overnight oats - Oats are very nutritious and they're high in fiber and protein, so they keep you full
  • Energy balls 
  • Chocolate covered Energy balls - I really love these! Click here for the recipe.
  • Date and Almond Butter Energy Balls - Click here for the recipe.
  • Chia Seeds: These are loaded with protein and fiber, so it makes you feel full for a long time. Add them in smoothie or have it with some water. Tip: Soak them for at least 2 hours to avoid bloating.
What I usually eat for suhoor
Smoothie or Smoothie bowl that I sometimes make the night before. I switch up the recipe but I always make sure to add yogurt, oats, chia seed or flaxseeds. 
Lately, my smoothie bowl consists of the following: banana, frozen mango, yogurt, almond butter, almond milk, oats, chia seeds, ajwa dates. However, here are two smoothie bowl ideas.
  • Option 1: Oats, Banana, Mango, Greek Yogurt, Milk, Date Spread, Pistachio, Almond, Flaxseed
  • Option 2: Avocado, Banana, Milk, Almond Butter, Honey
Personally, I never do any measurements to make these. I just add these ingredients, taste it and then adjust it accordingly. For example, when I notice it's less thick, I add more oats and when I find it's not too sweet, I add more dates. It's rare that I add sugar. I love adding dates or even date syrup. 

                      

Iftar 

  • Dates to break fast 
  • Watermelon - This is very hydrating
  • Fruit salad
  • Soups (i.e. chicken corn soup, lentil soup, carrot)
My Iftar Routine
I break my fast with dates, drink some water and then pray maghrib. After prayer, I like to have fruit salad or any other appetizer and wait a bit to have the main meal. I also like to drink some green tea before praying Isha and Taraweeh. 

What I usually eat for iftar
  • Stuffed dates: Remove seeds and stuff with pistachio/almond and then sprinkle some shredded coconut 
  • Fruit chaat
    • Apple, pear, banana, pomegranate, grape, orange juice and chaat masala - my mom used to make this a lot during Ramadan (may Allah swt grant her highest level of jannat al firdaws). 
  • Lentil soup or chicken corn soup
  • Beef samosas 
  • Far Far 
  • Chicken Tikka Resha KababsClick here for recipe.
  • Chana chaat - My mom used to make this for iftar 
    • Boil some tamarind in water with date and a bit of sugar. After that remove the seeds and add the paste to cooked chickpeas. Add some onion, tomatoes, coriander and salt/pepper to taste.  

Few days ago, I purchased an e-book with 50 Ramadan Recipes by Sadaf Shaikh, RD. Paperback version is also available on her website and amazon. It includes 15 Suhoor recipes, 18 Iftar Appetizers, 8 Hydrating Drinks and 9 Evening Snacks & Sweets.
 
I like the fact that she has a variety of dishes including vegetarian and also listed some healthy tips. I'm looking forward to trying the stuffed chicken buns recipe, vegetarian patties (sweet potato, lentil and zucchini) and natural falooda.

 

 

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Sephora Spring Savings Event 2022

Sephora Spring Sale is almost here! Here are the dates and discount information for each tier:
  • VIB Rouge: 20% off from April 1st to April 11th 2022
  • VIB: 15% off from April 5th to April 11th 2022
  • Beauty Insiders: 10% off from April 7th to April 11th 2022
In addition, all insiders will get 30% off on all Sephora Collection products. You can shop in store or online using code SAVESPRING.


Looking for ideas on what to get during the sale? Here's my haul from their last sale:  

 

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Breakfast Grazing Table

Here's today's breakfast grazing table setup featuring baked brie, hummus, guacamole, baguette, fruit, mini Laura Secord jams, etc.

@arzanblogs Today’s breakfast setup💕 #grazingboard #coffee @Our Place #alwayspan #smegfrother @Nespresso #grazingtable #breakfastideas #nespressooriginal ♬ original sound - KhanaBadosh

Products featured:

For the eggs, I simply start by frying 1 onion and I use a blender to add a green thai chili pepper, tomato and add it to the pan. Then, I add some salt, pepper, ground cumin, turmeric and coriander. Finally, I add eggs, cover the lid and let it cook for few minutes until the eggs are cooked. 

 
Few months ago, I did a similar grazing table setup for brunch but it had a lot more items than today: 

@arzanblogs Saturday brunch 😋 #grazingtable ♬ Brunch (Mimosas) - Loki Pravda

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Beis Travel 19" Carry-On Roller Unboxing

Here's an unboxing of Beis Travel Carry-On Roller and The Covertable Mini Weekender.

@arzanblogs Unboxing @Beis Travel The Carry-On Roller and Mini Weekender💕 #beistravel ♬ Lai Lai Lai - Realkdmusic

This 19" carry-on features 360 degree wheels, TSA locks, weight limit indicator, handle with soft hand cushion and more. Check out their website for full specifications. It's currently available in beige, grey and black. I bought mine in grey and ordered it directly from their website. They offer free shipping to Canada on orders over $135 CAD. 


It's expandable and it can expand up to 12". It includes a separate pouch set of 2 for dirty clothes, shoes, under garments, damp clothing, etc. 
 
 
It also includes a detachable, compression flap with U-zip pocket and mesh packet. When I first saw this carry-on and luggage online, I fell in love because of its sleek design and features that are quite practical. I'm so glad I finally bought it. So far I really love this carry-on and would love to get the 26" luggage but hesitating for now due to the price point.
I also bought their Mini Weekender Bag in black. This is great for day trips or if you're planning to stay out of town for a night or two especially when you want to pack light. I love the fact that it features a double zip removable bottom compartment with water resistant lining, which is great if you want to put your dirty clothes, shoes, etc.