10.06.2017 by Aisha Johnson

Ready or Not!!! Everyday Naseeha has officially launched!


We did it! Alhamdulilah! After a few setbacks and delays, Everyday Naseeha is officially LAUNCHED! While we don’t yet have all our content up on the site yet, we are getting there, and Insha’Allah, soon you will find intriguing articles and breathtaking pics on a wide variety of topics. It’s been a labor of love for us, and just like real labor, it was a lot of hard work…but we kept pushing.  And now our “baby” Everyday Naseeha is born. (I’m a Doula, so please excuse the corny analogy.) 😊

We invite you to be a part of Everyday Naseeha and join this journey with us. We welcome and encourage your active participation on our posts, as well as any feedback or questions you have for us personally. We want EN to be a place where Sisters can go for ideas, support, encouragement, learning, or just to find a new perspective on something.


As we share our lives with you, we ask that you please make dua for us. Our purpose in sharing our everyday lives with you is not to show off, but to hopefully inspire you to be the best Muslimah you can be. Our lives our not perfect, but our religion is, and we aspire to fully implement our beautiful Deen in our everyday lives. Our blog is just not about inspiring you though.  When I read other Sisters' blogs, I not only enjoy seeing the good stuff. I also like to know that they have kids that give them attitude sometimes, that every meal prepared is not necessarily healthy and organic,the constant battle to keep the house clean, etc. Because that is real life, that’s everyday life.  Sometimes it just helps to know that other Sisters are out there struggling with the same things as you. And at Everyday Naseeha we hope to bring you that balanced perspective, insha'Allah.


And remember, make EVERY DAY your BEST DAY!

~Nancy & Aisha

by Nancy Gaines

Everyday Naseeha Pregnancy Journals


Several years ago I used to visit a pregnancy site that would have online pregnancy journals submitted by their readers. I loved reading these while I was pregnant. They offered a week by week account and a glimpse into the life of other pregnant mums around the world. It would help me through my pregnancy to see how other moms were coping with the different stages of pregnancy. How were they managing with their other children? What kind of support did they have or not have in the pregnancy? What were their struggles, what tips did they have to battle fatigue? And then my favorite, the birth plans and birth stories! I had always thought of contributing, but just never got around to it.
So Insha’Allah, here on Everyday Naseeha I’m going to do a weekly installment of my own pregnancy journal. Insha’Allah, soon we will be adding other journals from Sisters around the world with covering a variety of subjects such as, trying to conceive, pregnancy after loss, high-risk pregnancy, plus more. Please send us a message here at Everyday Naseeha if you are interested in contributing.


This is Aisha’s 9th pregnancy. She has 7 children, and is now expecting her 8th child. Her last pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, and after waiting two cycles she is eagerly awaiting the birth of her next child. Join Aisha’s as she shares her pregnancy journey and coping with pregnancy at 40, running a small business, and managing a household full of 6 boys!
AISHA'S PREGNANCY JOURNAL 

by Nancy Gaines

After Hardship Comes Ease . . . by Aisha


I was ecstatic. My hubs was surprised, but he was pleased as well. I thought everything was going well, usually my pregnancies are pretty uneventful, but in hindsight I do recall that I never really felt pregnant. I don’t often have morning sickness, but I do get extreme fatigue in the first trimester. I really didn’t notice it this time around. Also, I usually hold off going to the doctor until I’m about 16 weeks, so without a heartbeat ever being detected the doctor explained to me that it’s probable I lost the fetus several weeks earlier, but my body was just expelling it now. Knowing that made me feel a bit better and also that it was before the angel breathed life in the fetus. But nonetheless, the sadness and disappointment was still there.

I used my sick time to take a few days off from work.  Alhamdulilah, my recovery was pretty quick. I probably should have rested but honestly, I just felt the need to keep busy. I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. My mom, who lives in the apartment complex as me spent several days with me and gave me all the support I needed and helped with my cleaning spree as well. My hustband was also very supportive and we agreed that as soon as it was safe, we would try to get pregnant again. I went back to work after about 5 days and I was feeling pretty good.  At that time I worked from home which was a huge blessing and I really enjoyed my job as well as a DNA specialist with Ancestry.  When I checked my work email I saw a notice that because of the time I took off, I was getting a warning letter that any further time off could result in disciplinary action. What!!??  I was furious. Not only had I written my supervisor what had happened, I also scanned the official diagnosis of miscarriage to them as well. No sorry for your loss, no I hope you recover quickly, nothing. Just the threat of disciplinary action should I have the nerve to have a miscarriage again.  I will do a blog post about the horrendous way women are treated in the workplace and how a miscarriage is treated by the workplace and often medical establishments as a trivial matter.

Well Allah is the best of planners. I decided I was not going to accept that. I gave my workplace my two weeks notice and started really thinking about things. Were things going as I wanted and hoped for in my life? Was I living up to my full potential? Was I spending enough time with my children? How come I’m not at the weight I want to be?  How was my marriage? How was my relationship with Allah? All these things, plus more were going through my head.  Was this miscarriage actually a blessing in disguise? A wake up call for me to get busy and make real progress in my life, instead of just going through the daily motions and barely keeping my head above water. I decided it was and I was going to start making changes. First, I enrolled in a wonderful course with sister Hind Abdeago, 100 days of healing,to get my health back on track. I found out the Doula training I had always wanted to attend had a partial scholarship available for women of color and met certain income guidelines. I jumped at the opportunity, applied and was accepted!  Next on the list was business. My mom and I had always had an entrepreneurial spirit. We ran a childcare together, sold Islamic attire and baked goods at our local Masjid, had an Ebay and Etsy store. Those were all amazing experiences, but it was not where our hearts were. We wanted to take what we were passionate about and bring it to the Muslim Ummah. Hence Everyday Naseeha was born, an idea we had been ruminating on for over 10 years.


And here we are now. As I write my first blog post ever I’m extrememly grateful for Allah for giving me this opportunity. I’m reminded of one of my favorite hadiths. “Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affairs are good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)


Alhamdullilah, after waiting two cycles I found out I was expecting again. I feel in a much better place now, physically, spiritually, emotionally. Oh I’m not done though, this is only the beginning, insha’Allah. I want to keep up this momentum to live the life I know I’m capable of and one which is most pleasing to Allah. May Allah also bless you on your journey as well. And remember Allah is the best of planners. We may not understand the wisdom of why some things happen, but that’s not important for us to understand it. We may one day look and back and see it, or we may not. Allah knows best. But knowing that nothing happens without it being part of Allah’s plan and in that we can find comfort. Remember Sisters…make every day, your best day!

by Nancy Gaines

 3 HUGE TIPS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE TIME YOU SPEND IN THE KITCHEN.


This photo shoot is how I picture the scene in my husband's head, when he's hungry and I'm busy and I ask myself . . . "Sheesh, can't you just make a Peanutbutter and jelly sandwich?"
1. DELEGATE!

It's okay to delegate, BUT you need to make it easy for them, totally spell it out for them.  Make sure they know the lay of the land! It does you no good if they keep asking you "Where's this?" and "Do we have any "fill.in.the.blank?" to the point where you want to scream "ARGGGHH! Nevermind, I'll do it myself!!! Nobody wants this scenario! Well, maybe the do sometimes, but you want to live with a self sufficient family who respects your time as well.

This tip applies to both food and dishes/cookware. Keep things organized and expect your family to do the same. A place for everything and everything in it's place. This is especially true when it comes to food, so there will be the least possible waste.

Put labels or diagrams on the inside of the cupboard door so they know what's in there and where to put it back correctly. I know it's not rocket science,  but they act like it is, right?


Make a list of what is running low and have it posted where it works best for your family, so that you can decide if you need to replace it on your next shopping trip or if it can wait till next time. Maybe you even have an extra in the "overflow" pantry.

2. Enforce the "Clean As You Go Rule"! By the time I finish cooking and I'm ready to sit down,  and enjoy ny meal, the kitchen is basically clean. If the dishes aren't washed, they are at least rinsed. Everything is wiped down and looking pretty good.  I'm totally enjoying my food and family more! I seriously hate finishing dinner and then having  to do a major clean up of the kitchen, even if I have help! I don't know about you, but I don't mind leaving dishes in the sink overnight, as long as they've been rinsed. (Hubs hates this and will do them if I don't, he's super sweet that way . . .but it will very easy for him as they're rinsed, Win Win, right?)


Everybody cleans the spot they sit at and toss any garbage they have and rinse their own dishes. Everybody helps clear the rest of the table and puts away what they can. Bam, you're done! Go play! :)

3. Lastly, keep a bag or basket handy that you and everybody else can toss the stuff that tends to accumulate and pile up on the kitchen table, counters and floor.


Don't let peeps walk by something an not put it away, saying "That's not mine" or "I didnt see it" Put it in the bag.


Empty it once, before bed. Dump in the middle of the floor and give them 5 minutes to put it all where it belongs.

I'm going to try this system with the grands with a fun and easy DIY bag I made from a tshirt. I'm going to do a quick tutorial for that very soon! I'll keep you posted on how this works out.


What tips and tricks do you have for keeping your kitchen chaos to a minimum. Also let us know if you'd like to write a guest post on this subject or perhaps another topic altogether? Leave a comment here or go to our collaboration page for details. We'd love to hear from you! ❤

And, if you haven't signed up for our email newsletter yet, please take sec and sign up here. 》         《  After the adrenaline of launch week wears off,  We'll be sending off our first post-launch newsletter where you'll get sneak peeks at what's coming up for the rest of the year! Yay! Go sign up! 😊

Nancy

by Nancy Gaines

5 Ideas/Ways To Earn Money As A Stay At Home Mom . . .by Aisha


Insha’Allah, this will be the first in a series of 5 posts about earning money while still being able to stay home with your children.
Sometimes it’s a necessity that we need to earn money to support ourselves, or to help support our family. Or maybe we just want to make some extra money on the side for ourselves, special items we would like to purchase, or a trip we would like to take. There was a time when I was a single mom for several years and I was the sole source of financial support for my children.   I was not comfortable putting my children in daycare for various reasons, plus with several children the price of that would not be feasible anyway. So I had to start thinking of ways I can earn money, stay home and continue to homeschool my children.  If I could do something that was halal and I enjoyed doing would be a great bonus!
Here is the first of 5 jobs that I have done over the years that have allowed me to earn money all while staying at home with my kids!

Home Daycare

This was by far my favorite and probably most lucrative job I had while being a stay at home mom. When I first started I had 3 children ages 5, 3, and 1. Prior to this I was teaching at the local Islamic School, and my children were being looked after in the schools onsite childcare center, where I previously had worked as a caregiver as well. Alhamdulilah, I enjoyed the work and I felt okay about leaving my kids in the daycare…but mostly I just wanted to be with my kids full time. So I decided I will start my own daycare. Being a mom of 3 kids already I had pretty much all the toys and activities that were needed to start watching other children, so it was a pretty easy transition to make. Plus I love children and love being around them, so it was kind of a no brainer for me.

Tips to start your own daycare.

Don’t overdo it on the toys. Get the basics. Art supplies, blocks/legos, cars, some stuffed animals or baby dolls, play cookware, games, and books…lots of books. Go with less is more. It will make clean-up a lot easier, plus what kids want most is our attention. Clean, tidy, and spacious with a few select toys makes a better impression with clients than a space that is cluttered with toys filling up every available nook and cranny.

Utilize Dollar Tree, Craigslist and thrift stores for as much as you can. I rarely buy anything brand new and have found amazing deals using these resources.
Make some business cards for yourself, even if they are just home-made…(my mom made my first business cards for me). Give them to friends, acquaintances, and new people you meet. Even if they are not looking for daycare, it’s likely there will come a time when they might need it, or know somebody who does.

Create a flyer and post at your local Masjid if able. Alhamdulilah, I was able to have an all Muslim clientele, through advertising at the Masjid and through word of mouth.
Advertise on Craigslist. You can be specific about the age range or genders you prefer. Consider offering a variety of times and services as well. Such as short notice availability, date nights, overnights, early morning drop-offs/ late pick-ups.  The more options you offer, the larger pool of clientele you will have to choose from.
Check your states/ cities regulations. Usually when operating a small daycare with just a couple of children from your home there is not much required from you in terms of regulations. But be sure to check to make sure you are complying with all the laws.

Get your CPR certification. It’s great to have on your bio that you are CPR certified. Parents really appreciate this. A quick search online will direct you how to do that in your area. Usually it’s a pretty quick and inexpensive process.
Decide whether or not you want to include meals with your service.  I always included meals and snacks with my services and just calculated that into my fees.
So these are just some quick tips to get you started and thinking about the possibility. There are bunch of resources online you can check out as well. Just google “starting a home daycare”.  But I do caution you not to overthink it and get discouraged. If you have a safe home, love being around children…home daycare might be a great fit!

Overall, starting a daycare was a great experience for me. I was able to start right away. Investment was very minimal. I got to be home with my children, as well as give them new friends and playmates. I was able to support my family financially and be there for my children when they needed me. May Allah grant you barakah in your endeavors!

by Nancy Gaines

Opti-Muslim Multi-Purpose Life Book


I've  been known to have a gazillion notes, lists and reminders written on all kinds of paper.  All over my house, my car & my purse! Scraps & snippets, bits & bobs of things I didn't want to forget.  I'd write a list or note & then not look at it again or I'd simply never see it because I couldnt find it! I'm especially famous for my hand doodled calendars, 'cause I made about 50 of them every month! Whoa.

So, needless to say, I was not nearly as organized nor as efficient as I could be.  That I so much wanted to be. Not by a long shot. There was way too much "busy" work and my head was ready to explode trying to keep up with it all.

Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but talk about wasted time and energy! I was making my life way more difficult and complicated than it needed to be.


It's taken me about 3 1/2 years to design and redesign this chunky, little planner/journal that I'm calling a Life Book. It's working wonders for me and maybe, it will be just the thing that gets your paper trail on the right path, once and for all.


This version is my prototype, the very first one I made.  I think if I placed my Life Book in the table scene above, it would be like "Where's Waldo: Planner Edition! 😊


With this small, simple and super organized Life Book, I have at last tamed the unruly, disorderly & totally random assortment of papers and contained them in one place. One place! This is huge for me! 😊 And since they are in one place now, I don't waste valuable time looking for all the lost and misplaced bits of my life.







There will be lots more sneak peeks, ladies! Lots of "behind the scenes"! There's even going to be a Life Book Giveaway for one happy planner girl!!! 

❤ So, get on our newsletter list right now to get more juicy details and be first to know what we've got planned! Our first post-launch newsletter goes out on Monday the 23rd!!

Dang, I love this little Life Book! ❤ I can't wait to share more!

~Nancy ❤

by Nancy Gaines

My 10 Best Thrift Shopping Tips to Have Fun & Save Money!




Coming in the next week, In sha Allah





by Nancy Gaines

Easy Peasy Fall Decor with mini pumpkins & succulents!





Coming in the next week, In sha Allah





by Nancy Gaines

End of Summer, Beginning of Fall Nature Adventure!


This is simply an Everyday Naseeha "fluff piece". Some Autum eye candy, blog post decoration and a feast for your eyes! At least it started out that way. However, as I was searching through my photo library, and capturing new photos, I fell in love with the season all over again!


Alhamdulillah. Such beauty! It always takes me by surprise, too, even though Fall comes every year, right? The same wonderful and gorgeous surprise happens every Spring as well. Imagine. πŸ˜‰


Yes, I do adore Summer, with it's lush greenery and spectacular blue sky  and the true wonderland of a sparkling white Winter, indeed I do.


When I became what I felt to be a "true" photographer, a little over two years ago, I began to really see and appreciate the amazing splendor and magnificence of Allah's creation! I thank Him every day for giving me such a passion for taking photos. It has strengthened my Deen in both small and large ways.


And as glorious and enchanting that this world is, I realize how dull and insignificant it is in comparison to Jennah.  I'm so grateful to Allah, for being able to see this knowledge now and to benefit from it. In sha Allah, I will remember that this dunya is temporary and our time here so very fleeting.


In sha Allah, you will visit Everyday Naseeha often and share your stories and experiences with us as well . . . so that we can all share, learn and grow together in our everyday lives. Thank you so much, sweet sisters.

So, what is your favorite season, my dear? I'm going with Fall. With the breathtaking colors, the cooler temperatures and deliciously crispy leaves crunching under my boots. Swoon city, right? Oh and the promise of many dinners of delectable soups and hearty breads. Double swoon! ❤ So are you an Autumn sister too?

~Nancy xoxoxo

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