Category Archives: Reviews

Travel Diary | Cruise Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Port – 5

Hi all!

Oh no! It’s Sunday again. The dreaded day of the weekend that goes by way too quickly and the day you remember all the things you need to complete before Monday.  Today in Chicago it’s freezing and snowing, actually it’s been freezing this whole weekend, however we were able to do a few outings since it was Valentine weekend.  We went to the movies on Friday and saw The Imitation Games and The Kingsmen: Secret Service, which was comedy mixed with lots of fun action – I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.  And on Saturday, we went to watch the India vs Pakistan cricket world cup match at a friends house– I won’t talk much about it since I know very little about cricket.

Half moon cay bahamas cruise

Welcome!

half moon cay beach port

We got to Half Moon Cay on a small boat since there wasn’t a docking area on the island– you would think with $17.5 million they could have made one. Regardless, this was about a 10 min. ride from the ship.

Anyways, back to talking about the last stop on our cruise vacay back in Decemeber, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.  Again, it has taken me so long to put up all the posts since I’m quite busy with school, however looking back at all our vacation snaps is really making me miss the sun and beaches.

Chicago to half moon cay

Chicago was only 1297 miles away from Half Moon Cay– we were getting a bit homesick. hehe…

We had heard a lot of great things about this island since it is Holland America’s private island.  We were really looking forward to our time on this island, however if you have been following my cruise review posts then you know the husband and I are not the beach bum type, thus this island was a let down for us.  I would describe Half Moon Cay as Disney World-meets-a-wealthy friends-private beach.  Literally, we walked off the cruise ship and saw the main areas in 10 minutes and were thinking about going back to the ship.  However, we had paid for an island tour so we gave it the benefit of the doubt and decided to wait around for that.  Our original excursion ideas was to go horse-back riding but those were sold out by the time we booked our excursions.

half moon cay beach port

The main area of Half Moon Cay where you meet for the excursions, check out shops, or chill at the bar area.

half moon cay beach port

Private beach overview

half moon cay beach port

Kiddie area at the beach

half moon cay beach port

“Abandoned ship” and bar area close to the beach

The island tour was an hour long tram ride covering the different aspects of the private island.  We learned the island was leased for $9 million, and remodeled for another $17.5 million –enough said! The beach sand is made from very fine milled coral, and the whole island is laid out as if you are visiting different shows/activities in Disney World, except you had to pay for them on this island and call it an “excursion.”

half moon cay beach port

Ahhh…envious of the horseback riders. During the tram tour we stopped at each of the excursion areas.

half moon cay beach port

Here a worker is feeding the stingray at the swim with stingray excursion area

half moon cay beach port

Another beach shot with some water excursions taking place

Majority of the worker’s on the island live in other close islands such as Nassau, Bahamas and only a few maintenance workers actually live on the island. There were hardly any shops to visit, a few bar areas, basketball area, and picnic area.  Every time a cruise ship stops on this island there is a buffet-style BBQ picnic that takes place with several veggie and non-veggie items.  After our tour we decided to enjoy the picnic even though the long lines didn’t make it enticing, and we almost decided to leave and enjoy better variety on the cruise ship.

half moon cay beach port

Enjoying the views from the “abandoned ship”

If it wasn’t for our tour, that cost about $25 but could have actually been free or no more than $10, and the picnic we would have explored the island in under an hour and been ready to head back to the ship.  With that said, it was still a nice relaxing last port day of our cruise vacation but I think in the future we would prefer to visit a major Bahamas island –for the real experience.

half moon cay beach port

Of course, photo session during our tram tour breaks

half moon cay beach port

And a photo with the husband!

Our cruise experience overall was a great one and shouldn’t deter any Muslim couple/family from enjoying their vacation, however on AnUblog.com we give our honest feedback on our experiences since we pay for these trips and excursions our self, and give the Muslim/hijabi perspective.

Half moon cay bahamas cruise

We did dip our toes and feet in the sand and water even though we didn’t swim.

Thank you for visiting our blog and following our cruise travel diary.  If you missed any of the posts check them out here (cruise part 1, Grand Turk part 2, Puerto Rico part 3, and St. Thomas part 4) or would like to see more snaps from our cruise then click here.

Half moon cay bahamas Hollan Amercia cruise

Goodbye beach and sunshine until we meet again.

Have a wonderful week!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

Travel Diary | Cruise St. Thomas, USVI Port – 4

Hi loves & Happy Valentines day!

St. Thomas USVI cruise port

What a breathtaking, picturesque island!

Today I’m sharing with you our favorite stop on the Caribbean cruise, St. Thomas.  Oh my, was it alluring from every 360 angle.  We took loads of snaps on the USVI  because it was so scenic.  We definitely will love to visit this island again in the future.

iguana on st. thomas cruise

On our arrival, we were greeted by this fella’ and his friends since we were waiting for the shops to open. Quite friendly!

We arrived at St. Thomas early in the morning on Christmas day, and were worried that tours would be cancelled and stores closed, however since the “cruise ships” actually own the port areas they were a little late in opening but everything did run smoothly for the rest of the day.

St. thomas paradise point cruise

The husband and I with the gorgeous views. The yellow sticker was to show we were with the tour.

St. Thomas USVI cruise

Lush greenery and lovely scenery. Just imagine living in one of those houses on the mountains.

For our excursion on the island we decided to do a full island tour that included a gondola ride up Paradise point, then a tour up the mountains to enjoy the island from every angle.  The tour guide and the rest of the tourists were all friendly, but mostly elderly, however we didn’t mind since it was our first time on the island and still  made the most of our time there.

Paradise point st. thomas cruise

Paradise point gondola — how scenic!

St. Thomas USVI

Posing with the islands

Magen's bay usvi cruise

50 shades of blue on Magen’s Bay

After the tour through the mountains and picture-perfect views the tour guide asked if anyone wanted to stop at the shopping area, and since we still had a few hours before the cruise departed we stopped at the massive luxury shopping area to mostly window shop.  To our surprise most of the jewelry shops were owned by South Asians and we got to chit chat with them to find out they have been living on St. Thomas for most of their lives (how lucky, and they can visit the US anytime they want).

the shops St. Thomas cruise

The shopping area overview before our tour started

shopping area st. thomas

The famous shopping area of St. Thomas–had to check it out.

We had a great time on St. Thomas, and if we get to go back we are definitely going to check out the famous Magen’s bay, and St. John.  I highly recommend this island to anyone interested in beautiful views, luxury shopping and clean, natural beaches (my meaning of “natural” will be discussed in the next post about Half Moon Cay, Bahamas).

St. Thomas USVI cruise

Can’t wait to come back!

If you missed our previous cruise posts, check out part one, two, and three.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day & weekend.  And remember love day is everyday.

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

Travel Diary | Cruise San Juan, Puerto Rico Port – 3

Happy Monday all!

My apologies for taking a hiatus after Grand Turk post, however I have been completely swamped with studies.  I know this is how it will be for majority of this year so please bare with me as I try to get new posts up slower than usual.

San Juan Port Cruise

Overview of San Juan right before entering the cruise port

San Juan Fort

View of Fort from our cruise

Puerto Rico, was a beautiful stop on our cruise of the Eastern Caribbean.  It had been a place I was wishing to visit and I was excited to find a cruise itinerary that worked for us with a stop at San Juan, PR.

San Juan cruise yacht island

Beautiful yachts and boats area next to the cruise port

For our excursion in San Juan, we decided to take a trip over to the rainforest, El Yunque. This excursion was almost 5 hours long since it took almost an hour to get to the rainforest from the cruise port. The husband and I enjoy nature and scenic activities, thus we thought this would be a fun way to explore a part of Puerto Rico that not many tourists may get a chance to explore. Also, we figured once we got back from the rainforest we would still have some time to explore areas of Old San Juan.

El Yunque Puerto Rico cruise

The visitor center area in El Yunque

El Yunque rainforest

A waterfall area in the visitor center

El Yunque rainforest puerto rico

Waterfall in the rainforest…can you spot Umair?

El yunque rainforest puerto rico

Serene water area in the rainforest

After almost 3 hours in the forest we left without covering much ground. We found out that some areas of the rainforest were restricted to tours on buses. Thus, that was somewhat a disappointment, however I had gotten a headache from being on the bus therefore I was happy to head back to Old San Juan and explore on foot.

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Colorful buildings of Old San Juan

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Another shot of the beautiful streets and buildings

The cruise port was walking distance to Old San Juan where we were able to see the beautiful brick streets and colorful building that I have admired from pictures for many years. This area is quite small and of course, touristy. We had about 2 hours left before our cruise departed the island so we made the most of it by walking around the local shops. We did want to check out one of the forts on the island, however we weren’t sure if we will be able to make it back in time so we resisted that urge and admired the forts from afar.

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Island overview from Old San Juan. In the background are the mountains where the rainforest was, and the cruises were docked where the ocean is.

For the 8 hours that we were on the island, we were still able to explore a lot since we got to see new San Juan on our bus tour, along with some of the rainforest and the beauty of old San Juan. It was a nice long, somewhat exhausting day but it was worthwhile. Our tour guide was friendly, but very talkative to the point where he was talking about personal stories that I didn’t feel fit the mood of the tour. I would definitely recommend checking out El Yunque rainforest if your are in Puerto Rico as it has beauty that can’t be found other places.

If you missed part 1 on the cruise, and part 2 on Grand Turk do check them out. Thank you for visiting, and have a great week!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

Travel Diary | Cruise Grand Turk Port – 2

Hi all,

blue beach island

Island overview of Grand Turk right before our ship arrived at the port

Grand Turk, of Turks and Caicos island was the first port on our cruise itinerary.  I had heard so much about these islands that I was so excited that it was going to be one of the ports on our holiday cruise.  This island, however was quite small– which was a disappointment, and if we didn’t have two excursions planned for the day I’m pretty sure we would have headed back to our ship stateroom after a few hours on the island.

cruise beach tourists

Cruisers heading into the island

We booked all our excursion through Holland America after our first day on the ship. There was an informative meeting held by the on-board excursion staff who helped us decided exactly which excursion’s we would like to do on each island. We decided to book through the cruise and not on the island mainly due to security of knowing they were Holland America approved, we would get English speaking tour guides, would be “mostly” on time, and HA keeps track of feedback from cruisers.

turks and caicos island beach holiday

Downtown Grand Turk –quite small!

As soon as we got off the ship everyone lined up by where their excursion was departing from, or headed straight to the closest beach. We weren’t there for beach time so we didn’t even bother going to the beach.

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Heading on a boat to our semi-submarine excursion to see marine life

In order to get to our submarine excursion we had to first take a short ride on a small boat. I was so thankful that I took my motion sickness medicine before getting off the ship otherwise I would have been sick the whole time and it would have been such a waste to not enjoy our semi-submarine excursion.

semi sub truks and caicos boat

Our yellow submarine!

The staff of the semi-submarine excursion were courteous, polite, informative and funny. The staff emphasized safety since many of the tourist on the excursion were elderly, thus nothing was hurried. The actual semi-submarine was quite small and could seem claustrophobic for some. The windows to look out to the marine life were also small and we weren’t able to take great pictures, however we still had a great time since seeing the marine life of Grand Turk is one of the highlights of the island.

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The captain of the submarine decided to scuba dive with the marine life

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Here is the captain showing off his scuba diving skills by making these bubbles

The underwater marine life was beautiful to watch, we got to see so many beautiful coral for miles, lots of different fish and sea creatures, and there was even an area in the ocean that takes an immediate dip/edge of ocean where you can only see darkness since no natural light reaches there–kinda scary.

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Beautiful coral reef– pictures don’t do justice.

Our first excursion was about two hours long, thus we booked an ATV adventure tour around the island a hour after. With the ATV tour we were able to check out the “land” portion of the entire island without having to walk around, and it was fun driving an ATV for the first time.

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Getting ready for excursion #2 on Grand Turk

Here is Umair getting information for our ATV adventure tour.  This tour was suppose to start at 11am, however it ran late since only two other couple’s were signed up and I guess the company was waiting to see if anyone else wanted to sign up before we went on the tour.  What made the ATV company then start the tour (30 minutes late) was the fact that the cruise excursion staff kept checking in on each excursion staff on the island to make sure they were on schedule (another reason to book through the cruise).

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Island lighthouse we saw on our ATV island tour

cruise beach

Here I am in my “fancy” orange vest we had to wear for the ATV excursion

island tour cruise

The sun was bright! We could hardly keep our eyes open to pose.

beach island shells

Beautiful full size conch we saw all over the island

The ATV island tour excursion was great because it was on a ATV and we had fun driving it around the island, however the tour itself was mediocre since we quickly realized that it is a very small island with “downtown” being the hotspot for the island. On the ATV tour we drove 360 around the island, driving on the left side (British system) and staying mostly on the street thus it being a “street tour” rather than an actual sightseeing tour which we thought the island offered. It wasn’t the tour companies fault it is just how the island is laid out–the main attraction being the ocean life/beach, not the actual island.

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There had to be the ATV shot, of course!

marine life island

Tentacles of a jellyfish–how amazing. On one of the stops in our ATV island tour we stopped by at an area where we got to see some marine life up close.

live marine shell

This was the first time we got to see the animal living inside the conch shell. Some of our fellow cruisers said they had eaten it many times and enjoyed it. I don’t know about that, but it was fun to see up close.

sea life marine

Sea urchin–how cute!

During the tour we made a few stops along different “hideaway” beach spots which weren’t fancy or clean like the actual downtown beach, however during these spots we learned a little bit more about the history of the island and got to see/touch some sea creatures up close.

grand turk marine life animal

This is a brain coral with a interesting looking starfish on top of it.

The ATV tour guides were friendly, had great humor, spoke proper English (with slight accent), and made an otherwise boring island tour actually something enjoyable. However, if we were to re-visit this island we wouldn’t take or recommend any “land” tour.

beach life island vacation

Serene blue ocean of Grand Turk

Last week I blogged about our overall cruise experience on Holland America. If you missed it you can check it out here. Next blog post will be on our second port stop, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Thank you for visiting and have a great week!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

Travel Diary | Eastern Caribbean Cruise – 1

Hi all,

Cruise mojito wrap maxi dress hijab

Vacay has to begin with a mint mojito in hand!

Over the December break the husband and I went on our first ever cruise together to the Eastern Caribbean.  We sailed with Holland America’s ship Nieuw Amsterdam, and traveled to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay ports over 7 day’s.  The cruising experience was quite relaxing and worry-free for us that we felt our vacation was well-spent. We would definitely love to sail to other ports in the future and try out other ships.

cruise orange wrap maxi hijab

Oh & a pina colada too!

Holiday cruise hijab red maxi skirt chambray

Walking around the pool area while listening to live steel-drum music

cruise lunch sea view Holland Amercia

Lunching at the buffet-style dining “The Lido” while enjoying the sunny ocean view

Here are some snaps from our “cruise day’s” which included two formal nights, shows, and special decor since the cruise took place during the Holiday’s.  Our first night on the cruise was spent trying to figure out how to navigate around the ship, figure out the dining areas, showroom, pools, etc.  It is quite amazing how much there is to do indoors that we almost had to make an effort to go out on the ship’s deck to enjoy the sunshine/pool areas.

Holland America cruise afternoon tea

Enjoying afternoon tea with the husband. It became a tradition for us to enjoy tea everyday at 3pm. So fancy!

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam captain toast

Captain’s welcome toast and first formal night

Caribbean cruise formal night

My dashing husband getting ready to eat some yummy food!

Cruise hijabi formal night outfit

Carefully deciding between all the entree options

muslim couple on holiday cruise

The happy couple! We ate at the Manhattan Dining Room for our formal dinner’s

We decided to sail with Holland America mainly due to the fact that it fit our dates of travel, ports we were interested in, fit our budget and lastly was geared more towards adults/couple/mature cruisers rather than families/kids/college crowd.  The Nieuw Amsterdam ship is well-kept, constantly cleaned/maintained, is one of the newer/renovated ships, and what we truly appreciated about the ship was that majority of the staff on the ship was Muslim!  It was so nice to arrive to our cabin on the first day to be greeted with “as salam u alaikum” by our room steward, and then throughout our days on the ship to be greeted in the same manner by several workers several times a day.  In addition, whenever we wanted recommendations on what items were “halal” they always gave great suggestions.

Nieuw Amsterdam NY theme atrium muslim couple cruise

NY themed atrium and holiday decor that was not over-the-top-in-your-face

Holland America cruise review

The carpet in the elevator changed everyday so we made it a habit to take a picture with it everyday

Our room was cleaned several times a day, all our important papers/itineraries would be set out during the turn-down service, we never had to complain about getting extra towels/toiletries, nor did we have much trouble with our order during dining regardless if we went to the buffet or sit-down dining rooms.  At times at the buffet if we arrived late some of the items would not be available but there were always other choices for us to try.  As far as the food goes, it was decent American food, with huge salad bar, sandwich station, burger’s, entrees, desserts, to so much more that there were stations that we never even got a chance to try.

sting-ray towel animal

A towel animal was left every night during turn-down service along with the itinerary for next day

holiday cruise outfit hijab

Waiting in the Blues lounge for the live music to start. This became our go-to place after dinner every night. It was one of our favorites on the cruise.

Nieuw Amsterdam blues lounge

One of the live performer’s at the Blues lounge who was amazing along with the band!

Holland America recycled percussion show

Recycled Percussion was a great interactive show that was performed live one of the nights

cruise recycled percussion show

Umair was called up on stage during the show to “monkey” around

They had a few paid dining rooms, which we didn’t opt for trying out because we felt satisfied with the “non-paid” options, however one of the paid restaurants, Tamarind, had complementary lunch everyday so we did try that out one day it definitely was a nicer experience with a modern fixed menu.  The items on that menu were not items you could have gotten at the non-paid dining.

cruise muslim couple outfit

2nd formal night photo-op

cruise hijabi outfit maxi

Photo-op session before lunch at Tamarind’s bar area

Tamarind cruise lunch

Fancy salad for lunch at Tamarind

One of the port days we had early morning arrival, thus requested room-service for our breakfast.  We had filled out the menu the night before, and then selected the time slot we wanted delivery and our food arrived in the morning during that time.  We did hear of complaints from a few cruisers that they were not happy with the room service because it was quite delayed, and the items that they requested didn’t arrive, however that was not the case for us.  Room service is my jam!

hijabi cruise outfit maxi dress

Ocean breeze and the endless sea

We booked a window cabin that had a partially obstructed view, and while it was obstructed the window was a floor to ceiling window that allowed plenty of natural light to come through and gave us enough of a view to know when we were arriving land.  Our cabin was quite spacious with a king size bed, plenty of closet space, sitting space with small sofa, chair + table, and even the bathroom was decent size with vanity space for our toiletries.  Our cabin was located mid-ship on deck 4, where I felt would be the most comfortable to not feel motion or lots of noise.  While I did take motion sickness tablets the first day I didn’t feel the need to continue taking them throughout the cruise.

Niuew Amsterdam window cabin

Our room for the week

Holland America cabin

Opposite view of the room with closet, vanity + sitting area

Today’s review was mostly about the ship and overall experience.  In later posts I will share snaps of our time in Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.  In addition, talk about our excursions and what we thought of each island.

cruise food veggie curry

The last night of our cruise was “international cuisine” night so Umair ordered the veggie + tofu curry – not bad!

Last year for our December break we visited Colorado, and despite the cold we had a great time with all it’s picturesque beauty at Rocky Mountain National park, Loveland skiing, and Vail for New Year’s eve.  Check out our gallery here until you wait for part 2 of our cruise snaps.

Thank you so much for visiting and do let me know places you have cruised to or if you are planning to take  a cruise soon in the comments below!  I read each and every comment.

muslim couple holiday cruise

Last night on the cruise in the Manhattan Dining Room

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

Review | Tieks Ballet Flats

Happy Tuesday everyone!

chestnut tieks flat reviewAfter 6 months of having my chestnut Tieks I am finally getting around to giving my thorough review on these popular foldable flats.  While I am currently not wearing these shoes, since it’s freezing in Chicago I did wear them throughout Summer “tieking” around the city.

Tieks packaging blue bowMy tieks arrived within two days of ordering, they were perfectly packaged in the signature blue box with a sparkly blue flower.  Each package also comes with a note, a black foldable pouch that is useful for putting your shoes in when not in use, and a bigger tote for putting your regular shoes if  you are planning on doing the shoe switch before entering a party/event.

Tieks shoe package note

First day | I wore them around the city for about 4 hours, and while my soles didn’t hurt at all it was the stretchy band around the top of my flats that were killing me within 2 hours.  I didn’t give up on Tieks with the hope that these were size 6 and my usual size is 6.5, and the website recommended ordering a size down.  Hoping that they mold better and stretch out in a few days.

Second day | Wore them around my apartment with socks, because I was suggested by the Tieks on Twitter that is the best way to  loosen them up and mold to the feet better. So I tried this technique for about 30 minutes.

Third day | I wore them out to school. I was hesitant that they would still be tight and start bothering me pretty quickly, however as soon as I put them on I could feel the difference. I took the chance and wore them on public transportation to get to school, and back this was a total of 3.5 hours. For some reason my left feet flat didn’t bother me at all but the right one still needs some stretching, but I can feel that it will happen sooner than later.

chestnut blue sole tieks by Gavieli

First week | While wearing them to go to school, I was walking on a public street and missed a step or something, fell, injured my right arm (I needed a cast/therapy for a few months), and to top it off scuffed up my Tieks! I was so disappointed as I had hardly worn them and they were not even completely broken in.  For a few weeks, I didn’t wear them due to my injury and didn’t even want to look at them.  However, I contacted the company several weeks later to see if they have an exchange policy but they didn’t.  They only exchange shoes if they are the wrong size. Another disappointment as these shoes are expensive for flats.  I was told to take them to a shoe cobbler to see if they could be fixed so I did and while the shoe cobbler wasn’t able to completely fix the scuff they were able to polish it nicely to make the scuff almost disappear.  This polishing cost about $8, not that expensive but still an unexpected expense for these shoes that are already pricey. I don’t have pictures of when the shoes got scuffed since I wasn’t able to use my right arm much, and I wasn’t blogging at the time.

Month later | I would have to say that it took my flats longer than a week to break into perhaps it was because I ordered a size 6 since that’s what was recommended for me. Also, when I thought of taking the flats with its small pouch to do the shoe switch, I realized while it folds up small it still didn’t fit some of my normal size clutch or bag (e.g., the Rebecca Minkoff mini mac). And my husband made me aware that walking in the city who knows what I have stepped on then to take the shoes, and fold them with my hands is unhygienic thus, needing to carry some antibacterial soap/wipes (just FYI).

Chestnut tieks the ballet flat

Pros |
Super fast shipping (ordered mine Monday and received it same week on Wednesday)
Cutest packaging with personal note
Extra tote to carry heels in
Pouch to carry & fold flats into
Tons of colors to choose from (plus have vegan options)
Chestnut color is a beautiful neutral
Comfy (only after broken into)

Cons |
Price (though it includes shipping & insurance for $100)
Can get easily scuffed
No exchange policy for worn shoes (only for wrong size)
They can take longer than a week to break into
Small pouch to carry and fold the flats into is quite small which makes it almost a challenge when trying to fold the (dirty soled) flats
Folded flats in small black pouch may not fit into every handbag/clutch

Final thoughts |
I do still wear these flats, and will continue to. However I am not sure if I will reorder mainly due to the price, and the time it took to break them in. Anyone considering these flats should read through my pros and cons to decide if Tieks are worth buying for them.

Ballet Flats Under $150

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8| 9

If you have tried Tieks do let me know your feedback on them, and if you have tried another brand of foldable flats that you recommend do let me know.

Thank you for visiting!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

*Not a sponsored post. Product was purchased from the website Tieks.com

Review | Got Eidee? Shirt

Happy Sunday!

I love quirky fashion statements- so I was happy review this got eidee? shirt by Anika Shah on Etsy.  I ended up wearing this shirt on Eid, since it was just the husband and I this year celebrating in the middle of the week with my fractured arm.  As you can tell these snaps are several weeks old since I am wearing my arm sling.  I couldn’t make any special Eid food thus we decided to go out for brunch at Southport Cafe.

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My motivation for creating these fun, Eid shirts was my five year old son. He looks forward to the holiday Eid but he definitely looks more forward to receiving Eidee(s) more. We had an Eid party years ago, and these shirts were created as an Eidee (gift) along with a $5 bill to each kid. Since then, so many parents have been raving about the “got eidee?” shirts. I’ve sold them and given them away and people love the cute, catchy phrase! It’s hard living in the US and being raised Muslim especially when other holidays are greatly publicized. Eight years later, my then five year old son who is now thirteen solely created the “99 Problems but Fasting Ain’t One” Ramadan shirt. In addition to the collection, the beard shirt was born simultaneous to the hipster beard trend that is apparent nowadays. I have fun creating these shirts but enjoy seeing a fellow Muslim have fun wearing a “got eidee?” shirt. After all, you know it’s Eid until someone asks, “got eidee?” – Anika Shah

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At Southport cafe we tried their bread pudding pancakes, and they were quite good but I think I prefer the ones at Meli cafe better. After brunch we walked around Wrigley Field Stadium, then Michigan ave for some window shopping– it was a relaxing day with the husband.

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The shirt is great for kid’s of all ages, especially school aged. The shirt is handmade with 100% cotton, and quite soft when on. I did wash it after wearing it, and it held up to the wash with all the lettering still in place. This shirt is great to give as a gift or just to wear around after Eid namaz lounging with the family.

|HOOTD|
Scarf/Hijab – Old Navy (similar here) | Shirt – Got Eidee? | Cardigan – Kohl’s (similar here) | Skirt – Ann Taylor factory (similar here) | Bag – C Wonder (cute option here and here) | Necklace – Jane.com (love this one and this one)

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

*This is not a sponsored post.  AnUblog was sent the shirt for review, and for giveaway.  All opinions are our own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Flowers for Dreams Review + Perk for AnUblog reader’s

Hi all!

Flowers for Dreams bouquetI love receiving fresh flowers, and the husband even knows it makes my day when he comes home carrying a bouquet. While he never told which local florist he would use, several weeks ago I was curious when I hadn’t received a “just because” bouquet of flowers so he told me that all the local florist close to us have closed. He told me that there used to be a florist a block from us that closed down, then he found another place and that closed down so he hasn’t been able to figure out where to get me fresh flowers from.

F4D bouquet promo codeAround the same time, I discovered Flowers for Dreams, a local Chicago floral company that offer’s quality floral arrangements and is philanthropic! They have bouquet’s starting at $35, and deliver around the Chicago area or to be exact delivery 25 miles from the loop is free, yes FREE. F4D has a farm-to-table concept of delivering organic flower’s without all the fees because they don’t have a brick-and-mortar, and each purchase benefits a local charity. More reason’s to love them! You can email or call them up (855.212.8420) if you have an idea for a custom arrangement and they will create something just for you.

Flowers for dreams Chicago promo codeFlowers for Dreams sent me a complimentary bouquet for Ramadan and Eid since I’ve been all about decorating my home with beautiful things around this special season. And because they are such an amazing company with great customer service, and know that flowers make the perfect finishing touch to any decor, they are offering AnUblog reader’s a special discount of 20% off any order or subscription. All you have to do is just put in the code “ANU312” while checking out at www.flowersfordreams.com for 20% off! How great is that? The code is valid up until Sept. 1, 2014 so place your order’s for an iftari/Eid party, hostess gift, anniversary, birthday or “just because” surprise for your significant other.

Thank you Flowers for Dreams!

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Reminder, there is a huge Ramadan/Eid Giveaway I’m hosting. Only a few day’s left so enter ASAP. If you live in the USA enter here, and everyone can enter this giveaway! Good luck!

Umair’s sweetheart
Ayesha

*AnUblog was not compensated for this post. Only were provided the item for review. All opinion’s are of AnUblog’s author’s. Anublog.com does not share opinion’s of brands/companies mentioned.

Ramadan/Eid Gift’s & Decor Company Round Up + Huge Giveaway (Part 2)

Happy Friday all!

Today is part two of the Ramadan/Eid gift’s and decor company round up.  This giveaway is open internationally (that mean’s everyone is able to enter from planet Earth…as long as you have a valid address), and there will be 15 winner’s–lot’s of chances to win! This giveaway will run for a week, and winner’s will be emailed soon after the giveaway closes. If you missed part 1 of the company round up, then click here, especially if you live in the USA so that you can enter both giveaways. Now let’s get to the wonderful companies sponsoring this giveaway, then scroll down to enter.

Pret a Papier

Contemporary stationery

Photo credit: Pret a Papier

Reesha is the designer, artist, crafter, collector, baker, mother, shopper, and blogger behind the luxury stationery company Pret a Papier, based in Dubai. I will be reviewing her product’s coming up in a few day’s to give a more in-depth idea of her work. Her motto is to make luxury stationery accessible for everyone. Therefore, if you are looking to add that personal touch to your event then Reesha is your girl!

Eid decor contemporary printable

Photo credit: Pret a Papier

Pret a Papier is participating in this giveaway by offering one lucky person an instant download to her Eid design package which comes in two different colors, and a personalized set. The Eid package is so new that it is in the process of being printed and the above pic is a sneak peek!

The Organized Muslim

Eid Mubarak card setI recently reviewed this Eid card set sent to me by The Organized Muslim, you can read here if you missed it. And I also talked about the free Ramadan planner they offer. The Eid card set is great because it comes in eight different colors with the same message, but blank back so that you can personalize. The Organized Muslim is participating in this giveaway by offering one lucky person this Eid card set, yay!

Titli Designs by Sadaf

Titli design Eid Moroccan set

Photo credit: Titli designs

Titli Designs is created by the extraordinary Sadaf. She is a mommy to three kids, works in the medical field, loves making paper art/stationery, and designs kids clothing. I will be reviewing her products more thoroughly in a few days, but before that she is participating in this giveaway by offering a beautiful Moroccan theme Eid Mubarak decor set to one lucky winner. The set is all hand-made with natural eco-friendly materials.

Moroccan Theme Eid Mubarak Decor Set Includes:

1. A set of six Eid greeting notecards in six lovely colours. Colours include, “Sunshine”, “Tangerine”, “True Coral”, “Peach”, “Blush”, and “Aqua”.
2. An Eid Mubarak Banner in the “Sunshine” colour.
3. An 8”x10” print “Allah is sufficient for us.” ~ Quraan 3:173 in the “Sunshine” Colour.
4. Six Cupcake Wrappers in the “Sunshine” Colour.
5. Six Cupcake Toppers in the “Sunshine” Colour.

Moroccan theme Eid decor

Photo credit: Titli Designs by Sadaf

Avenida Enekuri Greetings

Ramdan Eid giftSalena Lee of Avenida Enekuri Greetings designed these beautiful handmade Eid and Ramadan cards. I recently reviewed her lovely cards, and raved about the detail that has gone into making them, you can read the review here and see more pics. Enekuri is participating in this giveaway by offering one lucky winner a $20 gift voucher to her Etsy shop. This way you can choose a custom item from her wedding, aqiqah, anniversary/wedding collection or get something custom made.

Little Wings Gallery

Eid decor printable Little Wings GalleryLittle Wings Gallery is a contemporary Islamic art prints and designs shop, that offers a wide selection for kids and general home decor. I will also be reviewing the items sent to me by this company to thoroughly to let you know why they are great. But the gist of it is that Little Wings Gallery donates 10% of every sale to Muslim Aid’s Orphan Aid Programme. How great is that? A shop with a cause always makes me love them more.

Little Wings Gallery is participating in this giveaway by offering one luck person a $30 gift voucher, this way you can check out their Etsy shop and get some fun items of your choice.

Got Eidee

got eidee cotton shirt islamicAnika Shah, started creating this awesome Eid tee for her son since he looked forward to the holiday but more so for getting “eidee.” Her shirt’s have become quite popular among her family and friends, and she has ventured into creating more designs for her shop. I was sent a “got eidee” shirt for review and to style with one of my ootd post’s so look out for that once getting closer to Eid.

As for the giveaway, I saved the best for last, as Anika Shah of Got Eidee is participating in this giveaway by giving 10 lucky winners her signature “got eidee?” shirt. How amazing is that? It definitely isn’t Eid until someone say’s “got eidee?”

Giveaway Info:

  1. 15 winner’s will be selected randomly to win one of the prizes mentioned above. If you have a preference for one of the items do leave a blog post comment below telling us which one and we will try to accommodate.

  2. You can enter daily on the rafflecopter widget by twitting about the giveaway daily, and then remembering to mark that option on the widget once done each time.

  3. All entries will be verified. Do read the giveaway “terms and conditions” on the widget as well.

  4. Everyone get’s one easy entry–so remember to choose that one!

  5. This giveaway is open Internationally.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Good luck to all the participant’s of the giveaway. If you live in the US, then also enter this concurrent giveaway for more chances of winning.

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

*AnUblog was not compensated for this post. Only were provided the items for review and giveaway. All opinion’s are of AnUblog’s author’s. Anublog.com does not share opinion’s of brands/companies mentioned.

Eid Card Set & Ramadan Planner by Organized Muslim

Hi all!

Eid Mubarak card setEid al-Fitr is right around the corner, and not far behind is Eid al-Adha. I feel each year both Eid’s come so fast that I don’t have time to prepare before hand, nor can I ever find nice cards that I can give to my family and friends.  These contemporary cards were sent to me by The Organized Muslim, and they perfectly fit the bill.

Eid card setFathima is the creative brains behind The Organized Muslim, and she is located in Sri Lanka! The Organized Muslim are creators of chic & beautifully designed planners and stationery goods with an Islamic theme.

contemporary eid cardsThis Eid card set, which I was sent for review, has eight single sided card’s measuring 4 x 6 inches, and they come with eight cream colored envelopes. Each of the eight cards are brightly colored with a different design, but with the same Eid Mubarak message (so will work for both Eid’s) in the front, and blank on the back so you can add a personal message. This is a great set to have on hand to mail out, or give to friend’s hosting Eid parties, or just to give along with Eid present’s/eidee.

Ramadan PlannerAside from contemporary stationery, The Organized Muslim has created a free Ramadan Planner available for download here. As soon as I was told it was “free” I downloaded it to review it, and tell all my reader’s about it. While Ramadan is more than half way complete, I feel that organization is needed during the last ten day’s when we are trying to take the most advantage of Ramadan by concentrating on doing extra prayers, and recitation of Quran. As I can easily lose track of what needs to be done I think this planner is really beneficial because you can plan out your meal’s for the week before hand, then write down your dua list, surah’s you want to recite and even a daily sadaqah tracker. If you like to stay organized by writing stuff down, then definitely download this free planner.

Contemporary Ramadan planner freeThe Organized Muslim will be participating in the International giveaway coming up later this week so stay tuned. Until then be sure to follow them on their Facebook fan page, Pinterest, and get updates on Twitter.

If you are living in the USA, then be sure to enter this Ramadan Eid giveaway currently underway. And here is an internationally open giveaway.

Good luck!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

 

*AnUblog was not compensated for this post. Only were provided the items for review and giveaway. All opinion’s are of AnUblog’s author’s. Anublog.com does not share opinion’s of brands/companies mentioned.

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