Now that we’re running – what are we wearing?

My $6 running top. Deals are awesome.

So – finding modest running wear is tough. It seems that everything must be skin tight or barely there. Neither one of those fits in with my preferences. Right now I’m running on the treadmil in the privacy of my own home so what I wear isn’t all that important other than getting the sweat off of me quickly.

I wear yoga pants (not running tights) and was using my husband’s long sleeved shirts for tops. The problem is – cotton t-shirts can make you super sweaty and gross. So I went on the search for something I could use. If you’re lucky – you can buy stuff from places like The Running Room or Nike or even Old Navy in the winter that are long sleeved – however, I often found them to be too tight. I recently grabbed this top from Old Navy because it was on sale for $6. Why wouldn’t you buy it at that price?

So I searched on. I found a company called Friniggi out of Botswana. They had breathable tops with matching hijabs. Bonus! 2 in 1! I got a top but then suffered from 2 problems.  First – I have freakishly long arms – they are so long I’m more chimpanzee than human (ha, ha!) I have some seriously long arms here. So my running top from Finiggi is short in the sleeve.

Running top & hijab from
Running top & hijab from
Great to run in, jut a bit short in the sleeve for my long arms. This top from Friniggi is otherwise fantastic.

Problem #2 was the hijab. I love it – I do – but I measured according to the instructions on their website not once or twice or even three times. Nope, I measured at least 5 times to be sure the fit was right for me. But it doesn’t fit me well. It’s too big and I end up having to wear an underscarf with it AND pinning it down just to wear it comfortably. Not how it’s supposed to be. I do like the cut around the shoulders though – that’s cool. They were super kind and supportive in trying to fix it for me (kudos for that!) and did end up refunding me for the hijab – which was also cool. I do love the breathability of the top. It was AWESOME on a very hot summer day and a 40 min run. If it weren’t for my apish arms – I’d have been very happy. Oh – I forgot to mention -this top and hijab came with a cool drawstring backpack that I totally wasn’t expecting!

My top from LiaWear Action – and me, regretting not buying a hijab from them when I had the chance.

So I searched on – and came back to someone who made a custom top for me years ago – LiaWear Action. I told her what I needed, she asked for my measurements and the look I was going for – and voila – my most favourite running top ever was born.  It’s long enough for my arms – loose enough to keep me happy, and moisture wicking.  It covers all of my needs. Latifa is great at what she does – and super professional. I plan on ordering more from her (next order is for one of her hijabs…I didn’t get one and now our dollar SUCKS so I have to wait!) I have even worn this top as just a regular old top out and about because I love it that much.

Obligatory “action” shot of my LiaWear Action top. God – I took these pics when the leaves were still green…I think this was actually August. It only took me 5 months to actually get them on my PC to write this blog post!

Run with me!

I started running a few years ago – not thinking I’d like it but wanting to find a way to exercise that wasn’t going to take a whole lot of equipment. A friend recommended to me an app called C25K – that stands for Couch to 5km. Did you see that? It said COUCH. So yes, even if you’ve been sitting on your butt eating nachos… you can do it.  You will amaze yourself. And even better – it’s a free app!

Anyhow – fast forward. I got pregnant, stopped running, had the baby, started running, got really busy with life and then fell (almost) into depression again…and got back into running in December of 2015. I love running. Who knew I’d say something like that? Not me, that’s for sure, but I really do love it.

So I thought how great it would be for you all to join me! No – I don’t expect you to come run with me in my house – or on the same routes I take when I run outside (though that might be fun come warmer weather!)… but if you have a phone, you can download the app – and plug along with me! If you follow the app – you can get up to running 5km in 8 weeks. Does that mean you have to follow the app religiously? NO!  Take longer if you want! But – try to run “with” me 3 days a week.  I aim to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  Then you can post your results to facebook or Instagram (or both!) and tag me in them!

Who’s ready to join me?

Heads Up folks, I’m Merging myself!

CC Robert Crouse-Baker
CC Robert Crouse-Baker

So for some time now I’ve had different pages for different parts of me. I had a blog and page for the Muslim side of me (along with some other fabulous ladies), I have a Facebook page for my daycare, one for my Scentsy biz, and this blog and its page where I used to post regularly (and where I plan to get back into doing that).

But I realized something – I have been spreading myself over so many different areas that I’m losing focus.  No wonder I haven’t been able to write! When I sit down to write, I think to myself “I should be working on Scentsy stuff” and when I work on Scentsy, I think “I should be working on Daycare” and when I work on daycare…well — you see where this is going.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to merge myself into just one page. One instagram account, one twitter, one blog….1 page.

Now – I don’t want people to think I’m going to be spamming them with stuff to get sales. Or with kiddy baby daycare stuff.  No.  My page (and blog) has always been about me – and a place where other women could come to realize that being a perfect mom is impossible and that having your kid run around with underwear on their heads while you’re trying to serve dinner is normal (hey, in my world, it is!) Yes, I will be sharing stuff from the business that I do – that means messy crafts, yummy smells, pretty room decor.  It also means talking about what I’m currently reading, things that are going on in the news or the latest craziness that is my life.

Ah…I feel better already!

My brother…he’s awesome.

a11210b891c500a69ed714f47d794b35-5641fe15f0dcf-heroMy brother – he’s always just been…a little brother to me.  You know how that happens – how you don’t see people as they are but rather how you remember them most? I find it usually happens with kids you haven’t seen in a long time. You see them at, say – 18 months…and then you don’t see that family for 2 or 3 years and for some strange reason you expect that baby to still be 18 months old.

For me it was the same with my brother. For some reason, in my mind – he is eternally this chubby little 8 year old kid proudly puffing out his tummy in his red plaid shirt and black leather tie (yes, that happened)

But, he’s much older than 8. And he’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself. And every year he grows his facial hair to raise money for cancer research. Last year he wrote a touching Facebook tribute to my dad…this year, it’s the lead post in  his Mo Space.  So, I’m now turning the rest of this posting over to my brother…and asking that, if you have the funds…please consider donating to the cause. :)

On December 20, 2013, I lost my father to cancer. It wasn’t the prostate or testicular cancer that Movember donations go toward, but that’s not the point for me. My dad fought for eight years, against five cancers (counting two tumors as one occurrence, because they came up at the same time). He took chemotherapy with a central veinous catheter, with an IV, and with the oral drugs. He had radiation therapy for both of the lymph nodes, and the brain tumor that he ultimately couldn’t beat.

He went through hell five times, and the emotional toll on my family was almost as harsh. This is why I began participating in Movember: to hopefully save others from going through what my dad did, and perhaps to prevent other families from going on this same rollercoaster ride of remission and metastasizing. And the way I see it, if you can cure one type of cancer, you’re one step closer to curing them all.

Thanks for reading, whether you plan to donate or not.

To donate to Brad – Please click here.

Adam came home the other day filled with excitement.

“Mom, can we get a 6 pack of coke?”

This is unusual…so I say, “Well…what for?”

“Not the can kind, we need to get the bottle ones. You know, the big bottles?”

I nod my head, “Yes, I know what you’re talking about…but why do we need to get 6 bottles?”

“Well – I have this great idea! All we need to do is tie 3 bottles on each of my legs! Oh…I’m going to need to figure out some wings, but oh well – I’ll tie 3 on each leg and then I can shake them up – and somehow we’ll get the lids off – and then….I CAN FLY!!!”

Image courtesy of  Nasa.
Image courtesy of Nasa.

An Update on Me

Back in July, I posted this picture on my Instagram page.



It got a lot of people worried…so I thought I would fill in my health woes.  I’m not sure if you’ll remember, but back when I was pregnant, I was admitted to the hospital with strange stomach pain.  The doctors couldn’t decide if it was my gallbladder, an ulcer, or just a whiny pregnant lady.  I thought for sure it was my gallbladder.  I mean, I was in some serious pain – bad enough that I went to the hospital.  The doc told me to lay off coffee and left it at that.

It wasn’t the coffee.

Since the baby’s been born, I’ve been on and off with the crazy stomach pain.  I thought it was due to eggs – it seemed that every time I ate an egg, my stomach would go into terrible spasms.  I went to my Family Doctor who listened to me and ran a whole bunch of tests.  She sent me for allergy tests to see if the egg was an issue.  She sent me for a bunch of blood work to see if anything showed up there.  And she sent me for a CAT scat to see if, God Forbid, there were tumours.

Turns out that I’m not allergic to anything (yay!) and that, thank God, there are no tumours.  However, my blood test did show something.  I have Celiac’s Disease.

Now, before this diagnosis, I thought Celiac Disease was a fairy tale…that all this “gluten free” stuff I’d see was over kill.

Lord, how the tables have turned!

My stomach pain is real guys.  To me, it’s the equivalent of swallowing razor blades and then having labour-like contractions in your gut.  I get the brain fog (here I thought my inability to write my blogs was due to the loss of my muse…turns out, I couldn’t even physically think clear enough to string words together).  I felt like I was getting dumber and dumber by the moment…losing my ability to think things through.  Nope – Celiac Disease.  I also get this horrible itching, burning rash on my hands and legs.  Once it even came on my face.  Other issues include depression and thyroid problems.  All of these (and likely more) are due to Celiac’s Disease.

So – what is Celiac Disease?  “Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet.” (Canadian Celiac Foundation)

The solution is simple enough – don’t eat gluten.  Trouble is – it hides in a lot of things like Soya Sauce or even your face creams.  I’ve been avoiding it for about 3 weeks now – and though I know that there’s still a ways to go before I really start feeling well again – I can already tell if I’ve eaten something that’s got gluten in it.

So, take it from me guys – if someone you know is suffering from odd stomach pain – a simple blood test is all you need to diagnose this.  Avoiding gluten is relatively easy.   I know some people who still “gluten binge” every now and then…I don’t think I will be one of those people…the pain that I get is too much for me to take lightly.

What’s with people stealing my bottles?

It’s not often that I get a day off in the middle of the week, but it happened a few months ago.  No daycare kids at all, and all my own (except for the baby) were at school.  It was very nice.

So – I sat down in front of the tv and folded laundry while I binged on Supernatural. I was happily folding away while Ibrahim was jumping in his jolly jumper when I heard my house alarm alert me that someone had opened my garage door.

The first thought to go through my mind was that it was my brother-in-law come to borrow a tool or something…but I knew he’d have at least let me know he was coming.  I got up to look out my window to see who was there…that’s when I saw some strange man coming out of my garage – and he was taking our recycle bottles!
Photo Credit Johnny Grim

I was so angry!  I mean…it’s just my recycle bottles, but seriously, the nerve of the guy – to go into my garage and just take them?!  So did what any rational woman would do – I ran outside and confronted him.  By the time I’d gotten outside and run to the garage, he’d gone back in for seconds.

“Excuse me,” I screeched, “what do you think you’re doing?!”

He jumped, turned around and said, “I’m sorry, man, I’m just hungry man!”

The guy did not look hungry…or homeless.  He was beefy looking and clean cut.  He kept apologizing to me and telling me he was hungry…but there was a moment when something in his eyes flickered and my anger switched immediately to fear.

Here I was, alone…in my garage with a stranger who was bold enough to break in to it  in the first place.  I’d left both my house phone and my cell phone inside.  No one knew I was there.  My neighbours were all gone to work.  The only person who knew I had gone outside would have been the baby…I realized that there was not a single person who could have helped me had something horrible happened…and so did he.

I backed out of my garage and told him to go…he kept apologizing and I said “Just GO!” and scurried back to my house.

Then I decided to call the police.  They rushed over – seriously…there were like 4 cars that were here within minutes (as they considered it Break and Enter in progress I think).  They found him (and my bottles)…and then gave me hell.

“What if he’d had a knife or a gun?  What if he had beat or raped you… or worse?” they admonished me.

And they were right!  What if something had happened?  Why did I feel such an urge to go out and protect my stupid bag of recycle bottles?!

Recipe Request – Oozie

Oozie is a recipe that I discovered a few years ago.  Apparently, it’s a traditional Palestinian dish…but I’ve had people of other backgrounds tell me it’s from their region.  I just throw my hands up in the air – it’s delicious and I make it…I leave it there.  :)

Anyhow – I made it last weekend when Mr. D’s family came over for iftar.  There were a few requests for me to pass the recipe on…this is the easiest way.


1 kilo cubed meat (we use lamb OFF the bone)
4 cups water
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 celery sticks, rough chopped
2 onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
salt & pepper

1/4 cup each, pinenuts and almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 package phylo dough
melted butter (probably 1/2 cup or more)

1.  Add first set of ingredients (meat, spices, water) to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer 40 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, toast nuts in olive oil.
3.  When meat has finished cooking, remove it from the stock (reserve for soup if you like) and add it to a large mixing bowl with rice, peas, nuts, cinnamon, and cloves.  Mix well.

*Next  comes making the packets.  This can be time consuming.  I have found that if I make my rice/meat mixture the day BEFORE, it’s much easier to make the packets, as the heat of the mixture doesn’t affect the phylo dough as much.

1.  Heat oven to 350°
2.  On a clean, flat work surface, lay out a sheet of phylo dough, lightly brush around the edges with butter and fold sheet in 1/2.
3.  Add 1-2 serving spoons of rice mixture.
4.  Fold over edges and brush with butter to seal.
5.  Place edge side down onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
6.  Brush tops with more melted butter and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

I love these as they’re much like a pita pocket – you can grab a little puff ball and snack on it (no forks/knives required!).  I also like to make them ahead of time – they can be easily frozen before baking them, or even after and just reheat them quickly.


One last shot

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve blogged.  I’ve wanted to…then I’ve wanted to delete the whole thing and never look back.

You see, there are posts that I’m proud of and some that I’m ashamed of.  And…ever since my dad passed away, I haven’t been able to get up the nerve to do get back to it the way I was before.  And it’s odd – I can’t even explain why that is.  What does my dad’s death have to do with whether or not I write?

Anyhow – I’ve decided that I’m going to give it one last shot.  So let’s just see how this goes.

Skincerity Review

So way back in September (God, I’m a horrible review blogger!) I was asked if I’d be willing to do a review of a product called Skincerity.  I said I would and was sent a bottle of Skincerity to use nightly as well as a jar of another product called Rejuvenating Barrier.


It’s a pretty simple concept, you wash your face with your own favourite product, put on any creams or whatever you’d typically use, then roll on the Skincerity over all that (or over nothing if you’re like me!)  The Skincerity makes a sort of “second skin” that holds in all the goodness from any products you use (or your own natural moisture) and is supposed to help repair any damage/fine lines, etc.

I took before/after pictures – and am a bit disappointed that in the pictures, it’s hard to see any difference…in real life, I saw tons.

Here’s my before with absolutely NO makeup



I used both products as directed (Skincerity at night, the Rejuvenating Barrier in the morning) and after a week I felt that my skin was looking healthier and my pores smaller.  The darker circles under my eyes seemed lighter too (this is a major problem in my family!)…but then I wasn’t sure if I was just seeing results I wanted to see.  Within 2 weeks, my daughter randomly commented “Your skin looks nice lately.” (it’s not common to get a complement from your child once they reach their teens!)  Later that night, I asked my husband if he noticed any difference and he asked me why….so I said “I’ve been using this stuff and …” I didn’t get to finish – he grabbed it from me and used it on his own face then and there!  By the end of the month, I no longer felt that I needed to wear foundation – my skin was healthy looking, an overall even tone, and my pores were visibly smaller.


Here’s my after (again, no makeup)



So – after using it for over a month…here’s my final thoughts

It works – it’s amazing.
Your skin looks and feels great!
In turn, YOU feel better!
You will save money on products like creams, foundations, etc because you will no longer need them.
It can be used anywhere on your body – stretch marks, scars, etc.

Cost – it is an expensive product (but keep in mind, you’re also cutting cost of other products you will no longer need to use)
The smell (of the Skincerity)…wow…it’s strong…it’s gone within seconds, but it’s strong!

Overall – I’d use this product again and again.  The nightly mask made a huge difference in how healthy my skin looked and felt.  The Rejuvenating Barrier smells SO good and replaced my morning cream, toner, and primer – which also meant it saved me time by eliminating 3 steps of my morning routine!  Skincerity is available almost anywhere in the world :)