Monday Musings

Ten things I'm loving on this fine Monday...

1) My interview with Aasiya, from Aasiya's Homeschool is up today, check it out here! JazakAllahu Khair Aasiya :)
2) A fellow homeschooler and I are working on organizing an Art Show for the homeschool kids, I'm super excited about that!
3) Speaking of the Art Show, I've been thinking of doing something similar to this with my daughter for her project. This is also super cool!
4) Today my toddler sat patiently with her big sister's pin cushion in hand, and a meter of fabric in the other, and asked me ever so sweetly if she could make a skirt 
5)  Ever since visiting the lovely playground in Whistler, I've been dreaming of making something fun for my kids as best I can on my balcony. I've been collecting outdoor nature ideas for some time now on my pinterest board, here.
6) I'm currently taking a time management course, and I really loved the tip about blogging in stages. Ie: one day write the title of your post, the next day add a photo, etc. Instead of trying to tackle it all in one go, this way makes it more manageable.
 7) The weather was so beautiful today subhanAllah, the kids and I were outside without our jackets on. Even though it was a super busy day, we made it a point to squeeze in time for a walk to the park. We're looking forward to another nice one tomorrow insha'Allah!
8) My baby girl started walking this week! She's gaining confidence and momentum and will be running around soon, I can only imagine.
9) I've been doing some Autumn cleaning (why wait until Spring?!) and all the purging and organizing has everyone feeling calmer and happier at home.
10) I've been reading a lot more recently, I've forgotten how much I missed it! I also have been trying out audio books on Overdrive from my library and I've really been enjoying it and love how I can listen while doing chores. It makes housework seem to just fly by!


Postcards from Whistler

The drive to Whistler was the twistiest, but most beautiful drive I've ever taken. It was like entering another world, subhanAllah. I wish I could have captured the scenes I saw while on our drive, but the snapshots would only come out blurry as the trees, mountains, ocean, islands, and mist sped past. Once we arrived in Whistler, we took a stroll and I saw the most amazing river, the water wasn't like anything I've ever seen before. It was icy blue and the photograph above doesn't due it's beauty justice.

While in Whistler, we also visited the Squamish and Lil'wat cultural centre, where we received a lovely guided tour, watched a video presentation, and got to make our own cedar bark bracelets. My eldest daughter and I were naturally fascinated by all the handwork on display in the museum. The beautiful woven baskets, rugs, and clothing just had our hands twitching to learn the art of weaving! We really enjoyed our time there, not only because we have a love for handmade but also because we have a bit of native blood (Ojibway) running through our veins, and I have a sister-in-law who is Aboriginal Canadian so we feel a bit of a deeper connection. I thought it was so beautiful how these two tribes, Squamish and Lil'wat, banded together to share their territory and open a joint museum/cultural centre where they could share their story with others, and continue to inspire their own future generations, by preserving their language, art, and history.

"O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another." [Quran 49:13]

Before we left Whistler we headed to the village area where there were many small shops and restaurants. My children were however immediately drawn to the playground. It was the most creative playground that I have had the opportunity to visit. There were a lot of art and natural elements incorporated into the design and it was more like a treehouse than your typical playground. I wish I had taken more pictures of the playgroup but we were of course too busy having fun!

And that folks, concludes our trip to Vancouver, BC. Alhumdulillah for the opportunity to travel together as a family, to see new things, meet new people, learn about the world, and explore this wonderful Earth.


Postcards from Grouse Mountain

I don't know what it is, maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe something in me changed after having children, but I am becoming less and less a fan of being very high up. The Skyride lift to the top of Grouse mountain, even though it was in a closed off compartment, made me a little uneasy. In the past something similar, like a rollercoaster, wouldn't phase me. But the ride was definitely something not to be missed! The view from up there was spectacular, subhanAllah, we got the perfect bird's eye view of Vancouver city below. Once we reached the top, we hiked and checked out the area. There were a lot of different sights, like engraved statues, an ice rink in the making, ziplines, and a wind turbine to name a few.

I really enjoyed spending time at the bear habitat watching one of the bears lazily eat his fish, while a crow hopped eagerly closer and closer waiting for the opportune moment. It was quite the spectacle. Once the bear trudged away to get a drink of water, the crow snatched up a piece of leftovers and bounced away. It was comical to see the bear's expression when he glanced back at his food and then looked over at the crow, realizing what had happened. However, the bear continued in his lazy way and made no effort to reclaim his meal.

We also took another lift, an open chairlift, to yet an even higher point, where a giant wind turbine sat at the top of the mountain. My husband and I, along with my eldest daughter went up, with our feet dangling, and I of course was holding on to my daughter tightly, afraid she would slip out! We didn't stay too long at the summit because my two little ones were down below waiting for us with family members.

Before getting back on the Skyride lift to head back down the mountain side, we sat outside the gift shop on the balcony area, taking in the views. I even had a moment to do a little bit of sketching of the trees, and it was so relaxing Alhumdulillah. I am trying to get into a routine of doing a bit of nature sketching every week, and what would've been a better place to start than beautiful Vancouver? InshaAllah once I collect a few more sketches I will try and share them with you here.

I am almost at the end of sharing our trip to Vancouver, just one more post about Whistler inshaAllah!


Postcards from Burnaby Lake and Cleveland Dam

Burnaby Lake Park

Cleveland Dam/Capilano River

And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind {Qur'an 50:7}


Postcards from Stanley Park

We recently came back from a family vacation to Vancouver, BC. To sum up my experience in one word, I would have to say: breathtaking! Even though it was my third time in Vancouver, I just couldn't get enough of the natural beauty all around, the crisp clear Autumn air, the feeling as if everyday I was camping. Having the ability to recharge my soul by connecting with nature on a daily basis, as soon as I stepped out of the door, is something I really cherished while I was visiting. I loved hiking, breathing deeply, and being constantly awestruck by Allah's creation.

Everywhere you look you'd see people walking or people cycling around the park. The designated bike paths, and all the amazing trails to explore really pulled at my heart strings because of my love for biking and nature. I hope some day when the wee ones are older we can revisit Stanley Park and tour the area on our bikes.

During our visit I also had the lovely experience of being chased by a raccoon. It took me a few minutes to realize he was under the impression that I had some treats in my brown paper bag. But in fact the only thing in the paper bag was a magnet souvenir that I purchased from the park's gift shop. I of course, quickly stuffed the paper bag in my pocket, so the raccoon would stop hunting me, haha. My toddler was completely frightened of raccoons after that and insisted I carry her the rest of the day, lest one should suddenly pop out of the woods. But my baby couldn't be happier to see the raccoon and wanted to get closer to it! It was really funny and slightly embarrassing as bystanders looked on.

We had a lot of good times Alhumdulillah. I hope to be able to visit again soon, Stanley Park is a real gem for sure, subhanAllah.

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