Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hoot Bil Rooz - Middle Eastern Fish With Rice

This recipe came from the book "Authentic Etiquette of Eating and Hosting from the Qur'aan and Sunnah" Anyone remember this book?? I've had it for over 10 years. I used to make this dish from time to time and forgot about it, the zawj requested and when we were talking about eating more fish. I used cod for this, I found some really fresh and comparably well priced frozen cod from a local sustainable seafood company Sea Star Corp, you might be able to find them in your store, too.

Original directions show how to arrange this in a tajin (clay pot) I don't have one or know anyone who does, so I left that out.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. fish (sea bass or any white fish cut into individual size steaks
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered (optional)
  • 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), sliced
  • salt to taste
Marinade Ingredients:
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons pureed garlic
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 2-3 lemons, juiced
Directions:

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a cooking pot. 
  • Add fish and coat well
  • Marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge (I've done 30 minutes and it came out fine)
  • Heat on low heat, cover and cook fish, turning occasionally for 20 minutes or until cooked
  • Remove fish from pot, set aside and keep warm, leave juices and sauce in pot
  • Add rice, water, tomatoes, lemon slices, and salt to pot, stir well and cover tightly
  • Bring to biol and reduce heat to low.
  • When rice is nearly cooked add fish and recover.
  • Cook until rice is done.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Schooling at Home is Not the Same as Homeschooling

So here we are, happily moved into the Boston area. We absolutely love it here, mashaAllah! There are so many things to do that any given weekend you have your pick from tons of family-friendly events for any budget including free. I was very on the fence about homeschooling right before we moved. We were going up here pretty much broke and starting over. I was still testing for the new job that I now have (and love!) and had no idea what my income or schedule would be like. I felt too disorganized to attempt to do what I really wanted: piece something together on my own with wiggle room for creativity. Joining the state-sponsored K12 MAVA (Massachusetts Virtual Academy) here sounded like a warming up lukewarm idea. DH was all for it, but I was hesitant because of our experience using K12 for 2nd grade. It was too intense and too structured, but the lure of free materials, teacher support, laid out lessons for a whole year and not having to navigate to horrid maze that is the Boston public school system reeled me in.

I am starting to really regret this choice. Everything in Massachusetts is geared towards prepping the children for the end of the year standardized testing, the MCAS. Every week my 3rd grade son has a virtual homeroom where they continue to prep him for this test. He has weekly scantron and Study Island tests, a website set up to prep kids for standardized testing. I am starting to feel that MCAS stands for Making Children All the Same. I also find the "Master and Move On" mantra of K12 a bit irritating. Are we all in such a rush that we can't Absorb and Enjoy instead? It's a little creepy.

We must follow the requirements for public school hours and subjects. I have 3 children, 8 and under, and I can't meet the requirements for each day, even with the difference in the time given for a lesson and the time it actually takes us. I am starting to feel burnt out, seeing as I am taking the role of several public school teachers, yet only one person. Oh wait that's right, I'm a learning coach, as they call us, not a teacher.

This isn't what I wanted: recreating public school in my home. My son loves robotics, electronics, science and technology, while my 5 year old son loves art and natural science. I don't want to squash this. I envisioned getting some basics done and having more time tailored to each's special interests. But we're too busy prepping for a test half a year away.

The other side of the coin is: I'm afraid to lose that structure and afraid our days will not be productive. I have a fear I won't even know what my kids are supposed to be learning, so how could I keep up? I find myself saying I don't think we're doing K12 next year, and even more recently I find myself saying I think want to stop now. I also feel conflicted about testing, is it a necessary evil?  I'm not sure where to go from here and I'm not sure how to get there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Prayer Rugs to Give Away

I have these three prayer rugs to give away.

the blue one has water damage to the back, doesn't appear to affect the design on the front. I kindly ask that you want for your own personal use and not for reselling.

I will ship to you if you are in the US

if interested post your reply or email sakeenahbintmoore @ gmail.com



Friday, August 5, 2011

Side WAH Job: Titling for Demand Media - Pays Twice Weekly, No Phones!

I've been following this great blog Work At Home Adventures and have been intrigued by the woman who runs it claiming she makes really great money doing "Titling" for Demand Media. She has written up a great guide, so to avoid reposting much of it as an explanation, here's the link.


And here is another similar post

The FAQ page at Demand Media has information too, of course
search for "titling" to find that section

Applying for this work at home job is super easy. You just send an email to titlingteam@demandstudios.com saying I'm interested in testing for any position you have, or pick one that sound good and ask for that one. I asked for Title Editor and got the email right away about testing.

I am currently trying out the Title Editor position. I want a fall back for my main egg, which sometimes has no work and twice weekly paypal payments just sounds wonderful! And you don't need to submit a resume until you've already been accepted, which might make it easier if you are new to working from home and don't have one drafted yet. I think in the future I may want to try for a different titling position, as it seems like you can go fast with and earn more with some of the other positions, but for now I will have fun trying this one out.

Hopes this helps someone 

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Local Masjid has $5K in Unpaid Bills, Can You Help?

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Here is a message from Masjidul Bayaan in NJ, it is the masjid I have been going to for over ten years. It is a nice place to go, they are very moderate in it's call mashaallah. Please consider helping this masjid get caught up on the bills, may Allah reward you.



Your Company

Bismillah Ar Rahmaan Ar Raheem
As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah Dear Brother and Sisters in Islam,
Masjidul Bayaan, The Islamic Center of Asbury Park, is a non-profit organization. In order to meet our financial obligations we depend firstly on Allah, then after saying this, upon donations from both the local community and from supporters outside our community. The pledge form for local community members who have committed to providing a certain amount of financial support on a weekly or monthly basis can be found here. Please download, print and place in the sadaqa box with your pledge.
For those who do not live near the masjid but would still like to make a donation we would like to encourage you to set up a recurring subscription or one-time donation through Paypal. This can be easily done through our donation page. Or you can set this up through your paypal account directing the subscription to admin@masjidulbayaan.org. Or you can print out the pledge form and mail it with your donation. Our mailing address is:
Masjidul Bayaan
PO Box 544
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
We have current financial obligations of $5,000 that are not being met! Our rent is overdue in the amount of $3,000, and there is a gas bill from the winter time in the amount of $2,000 that needs to be paid immediately. A little from each person who wishes to help can go a long way. As an example, Masjidul Bayaan currently has about 200 followers on Twitter, if each person gave $25 we can meet this obligation right now. Or if each person gave $10/month the rent, $2000/month, would be paid in advance inshaAllah. You can also help us just by sharing our request with others.
May Allah reward you all for your intentions as we approach the blessed month of Ramadan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Company Letters: Crayola's Sidewalk Chalk Packaging

Previously, I had shared some responses to inquiries I made regarding products and packaging.

While many things have irked me since then, I felt compelled to write to Crayola about their packaging for their Sidewalk Chalk. It looked to be the greenest option as other chalk was packaged in plastic tubs which I know also have a foam insert on the bottom. So I chose Crayola's Sidewalk Chalk because it was packaged in a corrugated cardboard box, which is fully recyclable where I live. I was disappointed to discover that the box contained two rows of jumbo chalk, each one wrapped in plastic. Plastic sheets are not recyclable in my area, and probably not recyclable anywhere.  If they were recyclable this would still be less than ideal, as it's just way better to avoid one use disposable plastic.

Remembering our trip to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA and the large display on their green efforts, I wrote them to inquire about their packaging. Below is the reply:

Thank you for your e-mail and for purchasing Crayola(R) Sidewalk Chalk.

I regret to learn of your disappointment with the way we packaged our Sidewalk Chalk.  We are grateful for your feedback, as it helps us understand how we can improve our products.  Your comments are valued and will be shared with our Outdoors team.

As the market leader in children’s creative expression products, Crayola believes it’s especially important to ensure today’s kids have a healthy environment for their future. It is also our priority to provide safe, high quality Crayola products. Our raw materials and finished products must adhere to high standards and pass strict screening tests.

We are continually evaluating opportunities to make our products and manufacturing process more environmentally friendly.  In fact, during our marker production, we reuse plastic scraps from our manufacturing process so that there is virtually no waste.

In 2010, our company began using solar power to manufacture one billion crayons annually.  This year, we will expand our solar farm, allowing Crayola markers made in the USA to be produced using power from the sun.  We will also continue to make all of our colored pencils from reforested wood, so no rainforests are destroyed.

We appreciate your recommendation to change the way we package our sidewalk chalk.  We are working to learn more and apply best practices to improve our company, Crayola products and the environment.

If additional assistance is needed, you may reach us by telephone at (800) 272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time or e-mail by visiting Crayola.com.

Best wishes for a colorful future!

Colorfully yours,

Deborah A. Lintvedt
Consumer Affairs Lead Representative
CRAYOLA

I'd really like to commend Crayola on their environmental efforts, I wish other children's toy manufactures would take heed, so let's hope they can continue to reduce their plastic use.

What products do you buy for your children that you would like to see become more environmentally friendly? Have you stopped buying certain items all together?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

How to keep up with older children?

Alhamdulillah if I give my 8 yo son lessons for the day he is pretty occupied, well except language arts which he detests and I am thinking of ways to sneak it in. But it's the summer, I'm not doing lessons and I love to go places with them, we like learning this way too. Every outing I come up with is boring now, the library, parks, little kids museums, he is over it. The littler ones are still down for it, but he is getting to an age where I'm not sure how to entertain him. He wants to get into extreme sports like mountain biking and snow boarding, hockey, any thing with a high excitement level, and he also wants to take apart electronics and build new things, both of these things are out of my realm. This raises concerns for me about continuing on with homeschooling, how do I do this when I start to feel like I can't keep up? Or have littler ones who want to do different things and we are all together all day?

So I'm putting the question out to parents, even if you don't homeschool how do you accommodate kids of varying ages? And how did your activities change as your children get closer to the tween years?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our First Weaving Project!

Our summer is a little topsy turvy, a bit shuffled around. I thought it would be easier on the kids if I had some clear goals on things we wanted to accomplish, something to focus on. A few things I'd like to do is start really working on Juz Amma, and also introduce the kids to some handmade arts. I decided to start with learning weaving, because the fiber arts seem fascinating to me. One fun thing about homeschooling I'm learning is that I can plan to learn something too and pretend it's for my kids :)

A quick library search yielded the book Kids Weaving : Projects for Kids of All Ages.  I was drawn in immediately by the colorful photos and illustrations and the range of projects. Projects start out very easy teaching weaving with paper and progressing to making your own cardboard loom, then if you want to keep going it gives simple instructions for making a more sturdier loom. I was worried Z (DS8) was going to declare it boring or girlie, but he thought it was interesting and gave it a try.

Here's our first project, weaving a paper greeting card out of card stock. He was intently focused and amused for an hour with this and he made another later for fun, mashaallah.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting started on eBay: What do I sell?!

Getting started selling on eBay isn't that hard but you need to have an idea what you want to sell. Time and again you will hear the advice to look around your house and start selling unwanted items in order to get practice and build up some feedback. I've come up with a list of items in order of importance that I find helpful while decluttering to raise some extra cash. Once you get the hang of it you can start your wheels turning to think of a business venture that you might want to launch.

My List of Items to Sell on eBay

1) Small Electronics, will get bids fast and give you the most bang for your effort, people even buy broken cell phones for parts (clear your private data first, and DON'T sell a phone that is connected to an account that your didn't pay off, the buyer will not be able to use the phone and be pretty annoyed)
2) Handbags- preference to designer names, consider grouping no names into lots
3) Shoes - seasonal is best but designer will sell year round
4) Kids Clothes - grouped into lots by season, higher end stuff can go one at a time
5) Books- list on half.com also
6) Islamic Stuff - abayas, jilbabs, hijabs and books whatever, might be better to make ebay your last stop when trying to sell islamic items, other places like egroups etc will get you more money

I find the need to do this every 3-4 months since i am always re-evaluating how much junk i really need in the house,
any tips please share!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Do you have to survive on one income to homeschool?

I have heard many times from homeschoolers that they find it hard to get by on one income, but find it just a fact of homeschooling life. It doesn't have to be this way! Homeschoolers by nature are a resourceful, creative bunch. This is exactly the attitude you have to have to make your way to finding an extra source of income that works for your family.


Freelance Work
The best part of freelance work is the ability to set your own hours, take on projects with set due dates, and of course working from home. I had to find something to do at home that did not involve phones. My sons are 8, 4 and 1 and don't provide the noise-free background that customer service companies require. I discovered the world of freelance transcription, proofreading, and content writing.  I also develop websites from time to time.

Basically, there is a whole world of phone-free freelance jobs. It just takes some patience and willingness to increase your skill set. This topic is another post, err website, of its own (coming soon inshaAllah ;). You can visit Transcription Haven and introduce yourself to get info on freelance transcription, these ladies are super helpful!



Handmade Goods
As the world becomes more and more automated, as cheap, toxic goods continue to poor out of factories around the world, handmade items become more desirable, more profitable, and just plain good for the world. We can turn back the swelling tide of loss of workers' rights and world exploitation for the manufacture of goods by putting things into our own hands, literally. Teach you and your child a handmade art. You can promote your wares on your own website or sell it on etsy! It can be bonding experience with tons of great life lessons to be learned, and it's fun!

Want some inspiration? Check out what Sabina is doing at Slip Stitches and More!

Selling on Auction Sites Like eBay
Selling on eBay can be a great way to bring extra income into your home. To start, look around the house for usable things that you no longer want or haven't used in a long time. Try your hand at selling these items by taking a picture, writing a good description and listing on eBay. Be sure to communicate well with your buyer and ship in a timely manner. Once you have built up some confidence and some good feedback you can venture onto bigger sales.  Look for wholesale opportunities that might be unique to your area or circle of personal connections.

On the Fringe
Another money making endeavor of mine is buying and selling domain names. I'm not a pro at it, but I have made some sales I am very happy with, mashaAllah. I enjoy this "hobby" because I can sell virtual goods, so there is no environmental guilt associated with this. I would love to hit the big time one day with it, inshaAllah. The best way to learn about this is to visit a known domainers forum like Name Pros and just read for a while before making a purchase, you will hear this advice time and again, please heed it.

I hope these ideas have got your wheels turning! Please chime in with your own ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Children Museum in Oak Ridge TN


As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, we are visiting Tennessee and found a nice children's museum in Oak Ridge. The kids got to play on castle and walk through a rain forest, climb on a train and just explore. The Childrens Museum is located in Oak Ridge, TN. Oak Ridge was known as the Secret City because it was used during WW2 as a place to manufacture the A-bomb, it was not included on maps and workers were sworn to secrecy. There are some pictures on the album on palques explaingin this. If this interests you, you can use the zoom feature to read.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lamenting

Today I am wondering lots of things, thinking over many questions.

How does a child fall through the cracks? How does he reach the end of high school hiding homework and afraid to ask for help? How can no one notice?! When a teacher turns to ask a child a question how is it possible that she says, "Did you leave your brain at home today?" instead of, "Why don't you stay after class for some extra help?" How is it possible for a child to be "lazy". What a tradegy! One who's legacy continues on and on a life time. How amazing are these children, alhamdulillah, that push onward in spite of this. But what about the ones who never understand how they became to be so "worthless" and "stupid". What about the destrcutive behavior that follows this, who is to blame?

Why don't they pay attention to these children, struggling in the background? Racism? Classism? Better to focus on the ones who will elevate the test scores? How sad, how very, very sad!

Alhamdulillah for Islam, that puts the pursuit of knowledge up on a pedestal for the sake of bettering yourself, for the sake of guarding your worship, for the sake of just learning because it delights human beings to do so, for the sake of enlightening mankind.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

For Sale: Overhead Abaya Size 66 Never Worn Free Niqab and Shipping - sold



***Sold***

This Overhead Abaya has never been worn, tried on only.
It is from Saudi and it is by Abatul Khaleej
The size is 66 and there are finger loops.
I will throw in a 2 layer niqab for free and offer free shipping to the US.



I can't hold for money orders, payment must be through paypal.



sakeenahbintmoore @ gmail.com to buy

My First Homeschooling Aha-Moment!

I think maybe I am finally "getting" homeschooling, or at least a small piece of the puzzle. After pushing through this whole shool year I finally realized that I don't have to create a "school" at "home". We don't have to mirror public school! We don't have to do all desk work, or even stay at grade level. As long as the basics are done (and who cares how they are done) we can do whatever we want.

It is such a freeing realization, one that has me looking forward to another year inshaAllah, instead of wondering how I will get through this. On the heels of that I realized I don't need to sink a ton of money into a curriculum, or go for one that will make my son a Rogue Scholar at 8 years old (rolls eyes at myself). I found this excellent site LessonPathways.com that has 100% FREE lessons for K-5, you can use just one piece of a lesson or you can find entire years mapped out. I plan on having fun with this site!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Flea Market Find: Beaded Necklace

I love looking for beaded necklaces at the flea market or thrift store while my husband hunts down antique tools. I have a small collection now. Today I found this pretty double stranded beaded necklace for $5, mashAllah.


Hope you like it!