Friday, 24 April 2015

Maternity OOTD - flowers everywhere!


We have had some amazing, sunny weather recently so I have been spending a lot of time outdoors. I went to a beautiful park with my children this week and was thrilled to see all the flowers everywhere. It was such a gorgeous sight, I just had to take some pictures!

My five year old is my little photographer. She just loves snapping away and was keen to take some photos of the flowers. She told me how to pose in the above picture, 'Sit on the grass Mummy!'


As you will probably know by now, I do love the brighter colours, particularly in the spring and summer months. I am 8 months pregnant now and comfort is so important for me but I still want to be stylish too; and modest, of course! I am wearing a one size fits all maxi skirt from Delal Designs. I have these in a wide range of colours and they are a staple in my wardrobe at all times. They are particularly good as maternity wear as the stretchy waistband grows with your growing bump. I adore these skirts so much as they have enabled me to be stylish, comfortable and modest throughout my pregnancy.

I am also wearing one of my favourite long-sleeved tops from Oasis in a pale peach colour. I wear this a lot as the colour makes it so versatile. On top of that, I'm wearing a pale peach vest top from Primark, one of my favourite shops for cheap maternity wear. It is not a maternity top but a normal vest top which I bought in a larger size.

To finish off the look, I am wearing a stunning white, gold, orange and red hijab from Hijab Jewels, a favourite hijab store of mine. I also have my bright yellow handbag, a birthday gift from my father. I love this bag as it's big enough for me to fit a lot of things in (you need to fit a lot of things in your bag when you have kids). Not only does my bag finish off the look nicely, it also blends in well with the flowers in the background!

Hijab: Hijab Jewels
Long-sleeved top: Oasis
Vest top: Primark
Maxi skirt: Delal Designs


Here is the back view. The flowers in the background are so beautiful. I could have stayed here all day!


A close up of the vest top and hijab. I love the pattern of this hijab. The vest top has a lacy bit at the top on the back only.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

My conversion story


I have been meaning to write this post for a long time. As you may know, I have not always been a Muslim. I was brought up a practicing Catholic and converted to Islam at the age of 19. Here is my story.

I grew up in a Polish Catholic family in the South West of England. I went to church every week until the age of 16, I did my Holy Communion and confirmation and went to Catholic schools. However, as a teenager I started to doubt the religion and look for alternatives. I became interested in paganism for a while but it wasn't serious, a passing interest. Later, after I became Muslim, I realised my brief fascination with paganism was actually just a love of nature and there was no reason I couldn't love nature as a Muslim.

Anyway, just before my 18th birthday, I met my husband. By this point I did not consider myself to be of any religion really. I had never really spoken to a Muslim before. Well, I had a few Muslim friends at college but none of them were practicing. I went out drinking with them and I never saw them pray or anything like that. So I guess my husband was really the one to introduce me to Islam.

Like a lot of non-Muslims who have never spent time talking to Muslims, I had quite a negative view of Islam. Obviously, this is something I had learnt from the media post 9/11. Islam seemed like such a strict religion with no women's rights. Of course, I now know that that is completely untrue. Islam is a wonderful religion for women. In Islam, women are respected and treated well. The prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, said that the best man is the one who is best to his wife. Men and women are equal, one is not better than the other, however, they have different roles to play. This is something I think non-Muslims have a hard time understanding, as did I at the beginning. 

As I got to know my husband, I started to learn about the wonderful religion of Islam. I learnt about the five pillars of Islam; testimony of faith, prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage. These are the things that each Muslim must do. I saw people pray, I learnt about the month of Ramadan where people fast. I learnt all kinds of things I had never seen or heard of before. The more I saw, the more interested I became. I started to ask questions. I spent more time with Muslim people and watched them to see how exactly they lived their lives. They were all so kind and welcoming and I enjoyed being around them.

I bought a Quran and started to read it but this brought up more questions for me and uneasy feelings. There were parts of it I couldn't comprehend, perhaps I din't have the best translation, and my husband could not answer my inquisitive questions. Without answers, I began to turn back to Chrisitanity, something I was familiar with. I didn't start practicing but thought myself as a Christian once again.

I gave up on the idea of Islam for a short while. I had never thought about converting anyway I had just wanted to learn about it as a way to help me understand my husband better. We were not married then, so one day he told me that he would like us to have a Muslim marriage. What's that? I had no idea. I asked him what it was and what it involved but he couldn't really answer me so I decided to research myself. I looked on the internet and asked Muslims I met. This sparked my interest in Islam again. I got a book about Islam and started to read about what it would mean to be a Muslim. This is the first time I started to think about conversion. I thought about the things I would have to give up, the things I would have to change and the things I would need to start doing. Could I do all this?

I asked my husband to take me to a mosque. I had never been inside one before but I wanted to know what it was like and how I felt inside this holy building. He explained I would have to wear a scarf over my head to go inside so I did. This was not the first time I had worn a scarf. My husband's mother had sent me some over from Turkey when we had first met and I'd tried them on and often worn them when we went to visit Turkish people. I quite enjoyed wearing one, it was a novelty for me at first. I didn't wear it all the time, of course, I wasn't a Muslim yet.

Inside the mosque I met the Imam, a person with a lot of knowledge about Islam who leads the prayers and teaches and advises about Islamic issues. I asked him questions, he answered them. He told me stories about other people who had converted to Islam. I felt inspired! I am not sure if it was then or soon after, but I decided to become a Muslim. It wasn't something I had spent a long time thinking about. I don't think I needed to think about it too much. When you know in your heart that something is right, why wait? 

I spoke to my husband and told him my decision. We agreed that I should convert at the same time as our nikah, Muslim marriage, which was only about a week away. He helped me learn the Shahada, testimony of faith, for me to say when I converted. This just means that I would have to say that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger. That's it. It's really very simple. You should say this in front of two witnesses.

The day came for our nikah and my conversion. I remember feeling so nervous to the point I cried in the car on the way there. I felt so emotional, two big events happening in one day, it was almost too much. It was a very small ceremony, we had a handful of witnesses as well as the Imam. After the ceremony, I was given a gift bag with a Quran, some books about Islam, a prayer mat, a hijab and some prayer beads. I felt happy. It was like I had been reborn and I couldn't stop smiling.

I was keen to learn everything right away but I realised it would take me some time. After all, it had only been around a month since I first toyed with the idea of becoming Muslim to me taking my Shahada so there was a lot I needed to learn. I have had ups and downs along the way but I have never looked back. Becoming a Muslim was one of the best things to ever happen to me Alhamdulillah. 

People often assume I converted for my husband but he never asked me or pushed me to do it. It was something I did for myself. You can never and should never try to force someone to change their religion. It has to come from within them and they have to do it for themselves and no one else. Although I did not convert for my husband, he was the one who introduced me to Islam and I will be forever grateful to him for that.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Maternity OOTD - it's springtime!


The weather has been glorious for the last week or so. It's brightened up and become much warmer so it seems like spring has finally arrived. When the sun comes out, I feel like putting on some brighter colours. Gone is the black and out comes the pink, coral pink in particular. I think coral pink is such a lovely colour for spring. It's bright but in a subtle way easier teamed with pastel colours such as this pale mint vest top. I think any pastel colours work well in the springtime.

I am wearing a coral pink maxi skirt from Delal Designs. It is a one size fits all jersey maxi skirt which is perfect for pregnancy as it grows with your growing bump. It's stretchy waistband makes it super comfy, I hardly wear anything else these days as I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy so comfort is key.

I am also wearing  a pale, long sleeved top from Oasis and a pale mint vest top from Primark.. The vest top was a complete bargain at only £2! I love the cream lace at the bottom of the vest top, it adds a touch of femininity and softness to the overall look. 

Finally, my hijab is the saame colour as both the skirt and the vest top so it really ties the whole look together. I love to wear patterened scarves but mainly wear them when I have plain, block coloured clothing. I do not normally wear a lattern with a pattern, it can get a bit too busy. This particualr scarf is from a website called Hijab Jewels, I believe. The scarf is what promted me to put this whole look together, especially the colour combinations. It's funny how a scarf can inspire an entire outfit! Who else has ever matched their outfit to the scarf instead of the other way round? 

Scarf: Hijab Jewels
Top: Oasis 
Vest top: Primark


Here is a closeup of the lovely lace trim on the vest top, I love the way the skirt can be seen through the lace.


Here is the back view.

What are your favourite colours to wear this season?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Why I love harem trousers


I LOVE harem trousers! Ever since I received my first pair from my mother in law in Turkey, I have loved them. They are so comfortable but also very practical and stylish. I wore them constantly throughout my second pregnancy and after wearing them I just could never get back into wearing maternity jeans as jeans felt so uncomfortable.


The first harem trousers I wore were a busy floral pattern with elasticated waist. I threaded the elastic in myself so I could adjust it to my size. This meant I could also adjust the elastic during pregnancy but I actually never needed to as it always stretched. I also added elastic to the ankles as I preferred the look. With elasticated ankles it means I can wear them long or pull them up to my knees when I am in the house.


These cotton. floral harem trousers are normal, village wear. You will often see the ladies wearing them around the villages in Turkey because they are so practical. The women do the housework or work out on the farms and in the fields wearing these harem trousers. It's much easier than wearing a maxi skirt. The other advantage I have found, particularly in Turkey, is they are great to wear when sitting on the floor. In my in laws house, they have floor cushions around the edge of the rooms which they sit on instead of a sofa. They do actually have a room with sofas in as well but nobody sits on them! They all prefer sitting on the floor. I find wearing harem trousers the most practical thing to wear when sitting on the floor as you can move around without fear of flashing something!


Another thing I love about harem trousers is they have pockets in them. The cotton harem trousers have a pocket in one side and the jersey ones have pockets in both sides. It is so useful to have a pocket to carry around your phone or car keys when you are out and about.


The jersey harem trousers are made from a soft jersey material and so comfortable to wear. They are plain, not patterened, and come in 8 different colours. They have elasticated waistbands which allows them to fit all sizes! They also have elastic round the ankles. They are available now from Delal Designs. I am so happy I can now offer them for sale to people in the UK. They are such an amazing and versatile garment. I hope you love them as much as I do!


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Maternity OOTD


So here is my latest maternity outfit of the day. I'm almost 8 months pregnant now. I can hardly believe it, it's gone so fast! I can barely fit into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes so my wardrobe is becoming very limited. I have, however, got a few garments I can still squeeze into. The pale long sleeved top you can see here is one of them. I got that on sale from Oasis, a shop I very rarely shop in, one time. It has become a wardrobe staple because it is so versatile, it can go with most things.

The red skirt is a one size fits all skirt from Delal Designs. I simply could not be without these skirts, they are the perfect maternity wear but can also be worn normally too as they fit most sizes. They are made from soft jersey fabric and have a stretchy waistband which enables them to grow or shrink with you. I love red, it is one of my favourite colours to wear and this skirt looks perfect with the cherry patterned hijab. I love the cherry pattern and also have some cherry patterned cotton fabric which I have cut up to make into a dress for after the pregnancy inshallah.

The final item I'm wearing is a blue, short-sleeved top made from a thin, flowy material which I bought from Primark. It is not a maternity blouse but I just bought it a couple of sizes bigger so it fits. The other great thing about this top is the pleats on either side. This makes it great maternity wear as the pleats can expand to fit comfortably over your bump. My husband actually chose this top for me, can you believe it?!

Scarf: market stall
Long sleeved top: Oasis
Blue top: Primark


Here is a close up of the blue top. You can see the lovely pleat detailing at the side.


                       A close up of the skirt.


                         The back view.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Latest homemade knits


Back in the autumn, I took up knitting again in order to make my children some lovely, warm clothing for the winter. There is something special about a hand knitted garment and I particularly like the children to wear them as they seem much warmer than the shop-bought ones. I love knitting outfits for the children. Not only do they look good, they are also quick to knit because of their size. Children's clothes are by far my favourite thing to knit. 

I spent a couple of evenings searching for patterns to make the children. There are so many to choose from that it took me a while to pick my favourite. I normally look for patterns on a website called Ravelry which is an amazing website for knitters and crocheters packed full of thousands of knitting and crochet patterns.There are lots of free patterns too! I discovered the website about 5 years ago now when I took up knitting again and since then I've been addicted to it. I rarely look elsewhere for patterns now.

After I had chosen the patterns, I had to search for some yarn. I ordered a great big boxful from the internet and waited for it to be delivered. I shop a lot online these days as it's just so much easier than dragging young children around the shops! I bought enough yarn for at least 8 items of clothing but haven't managed to get through it all yet.

This is what I have made so far...

The first thing I made was a jumper for D with lace pattern down the arms and back.


This is the front.


This is the back.


Here she is modelling it before I finished the arms. Just checking if it fit.


Next I made this cute little sleeveless cardigan. This is actually my favourite out of all of the things I made, I really love how it turned out.


The back view.


An action shot!


I also made this beautiful cardigan for D in pink, her favourite colour. The lace pattern was quite complicated but worth it in the end!


The finished cardigan.


Here are the children modelling their handmade knits. D is such a poser!


I made this dark green cardigan for R because I think boys should have a few cute cardigans too. The first time he wore it was to a wedding and he was very proud to be wearing his hand knitted cardi. He is a big fan of my knits. I started making D's garments first and he couldn't wait for me to get started on his and kept asking me all the time when I would knit him something!


The next thing I knit for R was this fair isle jumper. It is the first fair isle pattern I've tried. I found it a bit difficult to knit but now I know how to do it I'm sure it will be easier in future. R was very pleased with it anyway.


Here is is modelling his jumper before I sewed the buttons on. He just couldn't wait to try it on!


I also made some socks for my brother as a birthday gift. I used a yarn that was black and grey so when I knit with it it came out like this.


Here are the finished socks. My brother tells me they are very comfortable and soft. I would like to make a pair of socks for myself soon.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015



My facebook page reached 500 likes recently so to celebrate I'm holding a giveaway! I am giving away your choice of either a scarf or harem trousers in a colour of your choice! All these items are currently available on my website.

There are many different colours to chose from!


Here are the harem trousers. I absolutely love harem trousers. They are so comfy and practical yet also very stylish. These harem trousers are made of a soft jersey material and have pockets on either side. You can take a look at this post to see how I styled them in one of my OOTDs.








Here are the scarves. These are a new style of scarf made of a luxurious silky material. They have laser-cut circular tassels and look fabulous when worn.


I just love the tassels!

To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:

1) Like the giveaway post on facebook.
2) Like my facebook page Delal Designs.
3) Share the giveaway post on facebook. 

Winner will be announced on Friday. Good luck!