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Living the Cutie Life

Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

My husband almost died πŸ˜₯

I know it's been a long time since I updated my blog, but as the title suggests, I've had a rough couple of months. My Darling husband had to be rushed to the emergency room where he was hospitalised for a few days, before being released. From there, it's been a rollercoaster of different doctors appointments, tests and a lot of prayers. 

My husband is the love of my life and I knew there was no way I could keep blogging while he was so sick and weak. I immediately took a prolonged break and spent the past eight months caring for him and I'm so happy to say that after many months, things are so much better. I'm so blessed and grateful to be able to say my Darling is finally at a place where he's almost back to normal ♡

All I can say is God is good, all the time. Allahu akbar πŸ’–

Amazing New Boba Tea Place in Friendswood 😍

I've always been a big fan of bubble tea, but was always disappointed at there being no places relatively close. Normally, if me and my friends wanted some we'd have to drive twenty to thirty minutes 😩! It was out of the way and seemed like a waste of time and gas, so I would just go without ☹πŸ’”. 

Then, the other week, I was stopped at the light and was so surprised to see a teahouse! I made a mental note to try it later and wow!! I'm so glad I did πŸ₯³! It was so good and it's my Darling and I's new place for tea!

Reflecting on the Past and Looking towards the Future

2020 is gone and we're already four months into a year and with Ramadan a breath away and about to grace our homes and hearts, I thought it'd be a good idea to reflect on things. While 2020 was definitely a nightmare and nothing like the year we wanted, it definitely taught us some very important things. I think it's shaped a lot of people and for better or for worse, I don't think we can really go back to the person we were before the pandemic. I know I certainly can't. 

It taught me that we should appreciate what we have and not take the good times for granted, because as fast as you can blink, it can all change. I know that I personally took going out and being able to be around others as nothing special. At times I wished I could just stay home, but after the lockdown and being forced to stay home and the loneliness that swept over all of us, I found myself looking back on past events with a sense of longing and bitterness. I felt like I didn't take in these happy times as I should have. I didn't relish in the warmth of being able to be physically close to someone and only when our house had gone into lockdown last March, did I truly appreciate it.

I feel blessed since my Darling was able to get us tickets to see Cirque du Soleil only two days before everything was shut down. As the grim new reality and fearfulness settled in, we were able to look back on that one magical night and draw warmth and happiness from it. It was like a plump, juicy fruit that we took energy from to sustain us through the dark winter months. Just last month, my Darling showed up in his Cirque du Soleil hat and told me that he had been feeling down until he'd seen it and immediately felt better. He'd relived that night, the acrobatics, fire-breathing, dancing, the BOOM RATA-TAT-TATS from the massive drums that had shaken his whole core with every beat, the clowns that had jumped off the stage and run straight into the crowds so close to us that they'd almost brushed up against us. And he'd also relived the long drive searching for the circus seemingly in vain until out of the night sky, the blue and white tent had appeared out of nowhere as if beckoning us.

While telling me all of us this, his eyes had glowed and sparkled and a smile had spread across from ear to ear. 'One day,' he'd told me excitedly, 'We must go back again! We must go back to see it!'

In that moment, he wasn't the ever-exhausted and stressed man that seemed weighed down by the weight of everything. Instead, he was the man I'd spent four happy years with, who would smile and burst out into laughter with any little thing. The one who would drive us for hours just so I could look at the window, the one that sat through musicals and dreary period-dramas, because he knew I enjoyed them. And seeing him so happy and back to his old self made me feel lighter and happier too. "Yes," I'd agreed, "we'll go back one day, in sha Allah."

From that day forward, he's worn his Cirque du Soleil hat whenever he goes out and it seems like a life jacket in this chaotic storm we've found ourselves in. Throughout the struggles and the stress and anxiety, we've both found strength by looking back at the things we once took for granted. Perhaps more importantly, we've found hope in looking towards the future to a sense of normalcy. This past year was spent going to work and straight home, only recently have we started to cautiously go out a little more.

I used to take for granted that my Darling took us out to lunch or dinner once a week. Even if it was the highlight of my week, it was something that I grew to expect, especially since we tended to go to the same restaurant every week. The same with going out for a drive. Before, I would look at my phone or take a nap, but now I find myself ecstatic to get out even if it's just a short thirty minute drive. As more and more vaccinations roll out, we can only hope and pray that things will cautiously move towards something more reminiscent of life pre-pandemic. I know one thing for certain: I'll try my hardest to cherish and fully take in every moment going out and experiencing new memories. And while I can't say exactly when we'll get to go back to Cirque du Soleil, I know that when that time comes (whenever that may be), it'll be like the ending of this nightmare and the beginning of a new chapter, in sha Allah.

My Darling and I were rushed to hospital

I know it's been five months since my last post, but as the title suggests, I've had a rather terrible past few months and my Darling and I have only just begun to feel like our oldselves again, alhamdulillah. 

So what happened?

To put it simply: my Darling got very sick first, which caused me to get sick from the stress and then right as I was recovering, I had an allergic reaction that almost killed me! 

Adoptee's View on Myka Stauffer

Like most people, I heard about Myka Stauffer and her adopted son Huxley. And it absolutely broke my heart. 

As someone who was adopted, I can't even imagine the pain and confusion that Huxley is experiencing. Combined with her saying she "rehomed" him as if he was a dog or cat, just hurt even more. 

I tried to make a video about this, but it was too painful and emotional πŸ˜₯πŸ’”, so instead I'll express myself in text ♡

Kat Von D Beauty ➡️ KVD Beauty

I know this isn't exactly "breaking news" as it happened back in January, but it's news to me so here we are :P! I genuinely had no idea this had happened until Ready To Glare (awesome youtuber btw!) mentioned this in one of her videos and I looked it up! 

Back in January, Kat Von D (tattoo artist, former make up brand owner, musician, reality tv star) announced that she had sold all her shares in her make up company Kat Von D Beauty and was stepping down from owning it. I think everyone was surprised, but not as surprised as you might assume given the past two-years of boycotts and slumping sales (I always saw her stuff on clearance or marked down at Sephora). 

I used to be a HUGE Kat Von D fan until two years ago and used to absolutely love her make up and show, so what do I think of this big announcement? 

Being an "Essential Worker" During a Pandemic is Beyond Exhausting

It looks like I've aged twenty years in three months, but it's just exhaustion

I know it's been a long time since I last updated my blog, but unfortunately COVID-19 hit me really hard and has all but consumed my life (as I'm sure it has most). I've mentioned it before, but I work in retail and that means I've been working longer shifts with fewer days off inbetween. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to still have a job and a steady income, but I didn't realise just how mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting it would be. 

So what's my life been like the past three months? 

Co-Worker Made Fun of my Deaf Partner

I've mentioned before that my Darling is Deaf and that we communicate in asl (american sign language), but I'm not sure if I mentioned the mean and hurtful comments people have said to me for him being Deaf. While I got most of them when we first started dating and have all but disappeared after three years together, alhamdulillah. 

No one bothers us when we sit together and talk in the breakroom or in the McDonald's at work, although sometimes with new associates, there can be some staring or questions. But beyond that, nothing offensive or hurtful is said towards my Darling, that is until last week. 

The Marriage Clock is a Must Read! πŸ€“πŸ“–

I LOVE reading and I've mentioned in the past that I listen to audiobooks at work to help pass the time and I regularly check the book section at work for any good books to check out. So you can imagine how I felt when I spied The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem! The cover caught my eye right away! A bright sunflower yellow with a girl in a pink salwar, it just jumped right out at me! 

I picked it up and after reading the little blurb on the back, I quickly opened it up and started reading it to see if it was my cup of tea and wow! Was it!! ☕πŸ¦”πŸ’• I put it back and vowed to get it on payday in two days only to come back and see we were sold out! That really peaked my interest and I went on Audible and got the audiobook and listened to it for two days and went on the adventure that is The Marriage Clock and just wow!! This book is amazing!

So? What is it about?

Blustery Couple of Days

January is almost gone and I know there's going to be plenty more blustery, cold and rainy days to come 🌧🌧🌧. I actually love this weather, altho I do get scared when it rains a lot because of Harvey. Lately, it's been very gloomy and rainy and chilly, and while I get a little nervous from the rain, I try to push it out of my mind. 

Silly Old Bear! Christopher Robin 🐻🍯

Like everyone else, I grew up absolutely in love with Pooh bear and it was love at first sight. I think most, if not all, of my clothes as a child were Pooh bear brand and although I'm now fully grown, I still remember my first best friend, which is evident by the fact that I have four Pooh bears, including one that is three feet tall. 

So imagine my excitement when I heard they were making a new, live action movie!!!! 

I'll admit: I was a little unsure how a live action movie would work, but when I heard that Jim Cummings was going to be voicing Pooh and Tigger in the movie (he's the voice actor that's done their voices for a few decades now), I decided to give it a try and waited anxiously for the first trailers to release and once they did, it only made me want to see it even more! 

The basic synopsis from the trailers was that Christopher Robin was now grown and for one reason or another, Pooh and the other animals from the Hundred Acre Wood went to London to find him and help him. It seemed a bit bizarre, but it certainly piqued my interest. 

My work schedule was a bit hectic and so it took me much longer than I would've liked to go see it, and all of the movie theaters being in the two towns over certainly didn't help, but finally, I was able to go and I was more excited than I'd like to admit. 

*spoilers beyond this point*

The movie starts off with Christopher going away to boarding school and the animals throwing him a farewell party, and it also includes a sweet moment where Pooh and Christopher go by themselves to the top of a hill with lots of flowers and they sit and talk about how Christopher's favourite thing to do was nothing and he asks Pooh to always remember him no matter what, which Pooh promises to do. Then, Christopher goes off to boarding school and leaves a little box of childhood memories under his bed, and the next few bits are shown like it was part of a Pooh book, with both illustrations and live action mixed in together, which chapter titles such as "Christopher is very sad" and other things. While I thought it was a nice touch, I was a little disappointed at how historically inaccurate the events were (the real A.A. Milne did not die when Christopher Robin was a child). 

I love the overall look of the animals
It shows that Christopher Robin fought in the second world war and then came home to his wife and young daughter Madeleine, who he never met before since he was serving overseas. He goes on to work at a luggage company, and is so absorbed in his work that he neglects his family and doesn't realise that his marriage is breaking down and he's putting far too much pressure on Madeleine such as expecting her to read history books for bedtime. 

Spoiler alert: The man on the right is an asshole
Everything ends up coming to a head when he has to cancel a family trip to his family cottage when his boss tells him they need to cut costs by 20% and his boss suggests firing a huge chunk of Christopher Robin's team, something he desperately wants to avoid. When he tells his wife that he can't go on the trip anymore, they have a fight where she tells him that his life is happening right now and that their daughter is growing up and tells him how much pressure he's putting on Maddie and that he needs to treat her like a child and not like an adult. Christopher, however, doesn't seem to understand what she's saying and tells her that he'll go put his suitcase up, but is shocked when his wife tells him she never even packed him a suitcase since she knew he would cancel. His boss tells Christopher, that he will be working the weekend with him, but it ends up being just Christopher, who soon becomes overwhelmed and stressed on doing everything to avoid firing anyone.

  At the same time, Pooh wakes up to find that all of his friends are missing and nowhere to be found, so he decides to walk through the door of Christopher Robin's childhood house in the Hundred Acre Woods and ends up at a park right outside of Christopher's home in London. He climbs up on a bench and takes a nap only for Christopher to come sit on the opposite bench and begin to ask himself, "What to do... what to do...". Pooh wakes up and the two immediately recognise each other, other Christopher Robin doesn't take this as a good thing and believes he's snapped from stress.

A fateful encounter
However, after Pooh touches him and proves that he's real and not a figment of his imagination, Christopher finally accepts that his childhood memories were real and not made up. He asks Pooh why he's come to see him all the way in London, and Pooh tells him the rest of the animals have gone missing and he needs Christopher Robin's help to find them as he was the most clever. At first, Christopher Robin is very annoyed at this, but after Pooh accidentally wrecks his kitchen the next morning trying to get some honey down, he exasperatedly agrees to take him back to the Hundred Acre Woods and help him. 

They go to his family cottage and have to sneak past his wife and daughter to get to the other door that leads to the Hundred Acre Woods. The first thing he notices is how misty and almost spooky it is and they try to search for the other animals together, with Pooh leading the way with a compass Christopher got in the war. He tells Pooh to lead them north, but they end up getting lost after Pooh just follows their footsteps and they end up hopelessly lost. When Christopher Robin figures this out, he becomes extremely angry and yells at Pooh bear, upsetting the bear and causing him to run off. Almost immediately, Christopher Robin regrets this and tries to find Pooh, but ends up finding Eeyore and the other animals instead, who mistakenly think he's a heffalump come to eat them all. At first, he tries to reason with them, but when that doesn't work, he imagines that he's surrounded by heffalumps and makes believes that he's fighting them all off, with Eeyore making sound effects, which helps the other animals finally believe he really is Christopher Robin and come out!
lovely HD pictures of most of the animals

When the other animals ask where Pooh is, Christopher Robin admits he's scared him off, before suddenly remembering where he must be: and goes back to the hill that the two of them made their promise years ago. He apologises to Pooh and tells him that he just feels lost, and Pooh, in all his wisdom, tells Christopher Robin, that he's not lost since they found each other and they hug. They end up falling asleep and he spends the night out in he woods with the animals, who tell him in the morning, that they dried his briefcase and all of his documents. He thanks them and runs off to his meeting, but runs into his family at the cottage; when his wife, Evelyn asks him if he's come to spend the weekend with them, he doesn't now how to tell them about Pooh and his friends, and so leaves. Later on, Pooh finds out that Tigger took all of Christopher's work documents out and replaced them with things from the woods to remember them by, and Pooh tells them they have to take them back since a "Woozle will eat him". 

They run into Maddie and tell her they need her to go on their "Expotition" to give her father his papers back and she leaves her mother a note, which she finds and calls Christopher at work, prompting him to run out of his meeting and try to help Evelyn find her. At the same time, Maddie and the animals take the train and then a taxi to get to the office, but Tigger sees his own reflection and ends up scaring the taxi driver who gets in a crash, but when he tells the police officer that the animals can talk and move, no one believes him. They see a truck that is full of luggage going back to the office and they all hide away in the boxes. While Christopher and Evelyn are driving around searching for Maddie, he finally tells her about Pooh, the animals and the Hundred Acre Woods, and she's shocked and believe he's snapped from stress and needs to see a doctor... until Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger are thrown out of the luggage they're hiding in and land on their windshield.

Pooh and Maddie successfully make it to the office and are running up the steps, when Maddie trips and all of the papers fall and are blown away by the wind, with her and Pooh only able to catch one of the papers: a graph. Right after, Christopher Robin, Evelyn and the animals catch up to them and Maddie admits to her father that she had hoped if she got him his papers, he wouldn't send her away to boarding school. He finally realises he hasn't considered her feelings and tells her that if she doesn't want to go to boarding school, she doesn't have to go and they hug. 

They all return to the meeting and Christopher Robin tells everyone that his boss, the son of the owner of the company, spent all weekend golfing instead of helping him with the work and has a brilliant idea: their luggage is too expensive. If they simply lower the costs a little and offer paid vacation for all their employees, it will up demand and therefore, fix the problem of lowering demand. While his boss thinks it's a stupid idea, his boss' father thinks it's a wonderful idea and agrees and the movie ends with everyone going on vacation with the Milnes going through the magic door into the Hundred Acre Woods. 

Finally happy together
*End of spoilers*

All in all: I really wanted to love this movie, and while I did like it, I think it was a little darker than I imagined it would be. It also seemed like they tried to squeeze too much in at the end, but you can't deny that it was a very good, rounded movie and that the animals were amazingly life-like in their appearance and there was never any moment when you doubted that they were real. I especially liked that they made the animals more old-fashioned to fit in with the time and I will be buying it as soon as it comes out on blu-ray! Normally, my work will have a big dispaly whenever new movies come out on dvd and blu-ray and I'm hoping they'll do the same for Christopher Robin ;3 If you're a big Pooh bear or Disney fan, then this is a movie you don't want to miss! While I was a little upset at the way Christopher Robin treated Pooh at first, I think he more than made up for it for the rest of the movie.

Did I convert for love?

Despite being muslim for almost four years, this is still something people (both muslim and non-muslim) continually ask/assume about me and it drives me mad. For one: I was muslim for two years before me and my Darling became a couple, and second, how does anyone actually have the nerve to say something like this to someone else? Like, didn't your parents teach you manners? Or at least how to shut the hell up???

The short answer to this is: no.

The long answer is not quite so easy to answer.

While it's true that my Darling was one of the first muslims I knew irl and that he plays a huge role in how I ended up coming to islam, there was never any idea that I would revert and run off with him into the sunset happily ever after. Instead, the truth is much more complex, and if I may say, extremely private. I know I'm not the only revert who hates born muslims and non-muslims alike asking for my revert story, and I've actually made it a point not to tell it to anyone except for fellow revert friends (after knowing them for a bit). My Darling was also one of the first people I told when I reverted and I still remember the fear and anxiety that was flowing through me while I sat next to him at lunch trying to figure out how to bring it up and scared of how he would react (spoiler alert: he treated it like I'd just told him something as boring as "I'm bored" or "what's for lunch?"), as well as the relief when he simply accepted me.

The next few months was more than a bit confusing as I tried to adjust to my new life (despite trying to live as halal as possible for a few months prior, I was massively under-prepared), but the one thing that was comforting and always present was my Darling doing everything from showing me the correct way to pray to teaching me islamic signs in his native pakistani sign language and the other things people would never imagine or guess. I don't think anyone would ever guess it was my Darling who taught me how to wrap a hijab (though very poorly and extremely dated hahaha) by watching hijab tutorials online and then using them to try to teach me. Sometimes when I'm alone and feeling nostalgic, I'll wrap my hijab like he taught me and it makes my chest tighten and feel loved all over. I still remember him teaching me how to check if food was halal or not, as well as telling me that we should just assume that meat is halal as long as it doesn't contain any pork. I think there was no way I would ever be able to love someone as much as I love him, but at the same time, I didn't see him as anything more than an uncle-figure.

For a while, I was wondering how I would find a possible partner, since the only muslim man I knew was my Darling, but even when we got more muslim co-workers, this was still a big problem since I didn't get along with any of the men nor did I like their traits or personality. After about a year of this, I started to tell myself that there was no way I would ever get married or even date since no one even measured up to my Darling, both in compatibility, personality and religiously. If I'm being honest, I don't really know exactly how it happened. It was like one day, he was just my Uncle and the next day, I saw him at work and he had changed and was extremely handsome and lovely, kind of like when Retsuko falls in love with The Out of Pocket Prince in Aggretsuko and everything just changes.
This is legit what happened. Pink rainbows and all.
Although I had these new feelings for him, I wasn't sure what exactly to do. It was around this time that he came out of a very abusive marriage and was very hurt and depressed and I knew I had to push my feelings aside and be there for my friend who had been there and supported me for so long. We started to spend more time together and started messaging each other back and forth as well as sending weird/funny videos to each other on messenger, and while I think anyone with a brain would've been able to figure out what was happening, I was convinced that he only saw me as a friend and therefore kept my feelings hidden for what felt like an eternity. Finally, after three years of hiding how I felt for him, I decided I couldn't hold these feelings in anymore and told him how I felt and was surprised/relieved when he confessed that he'd been in love with me for a long time too, but had hidden his feelings since he thought I only saw him as a friend too.

It's been almost two years since then and people always tell me we act like an old married couple that's been together forever and I have to agree; when I think that it's only been a little less than two years together, it seems really bonkers. It seems like all the things we've been through and experienced together could only have happened in five or even ten years, but two? Impossible.

My Darling has been there for me through all the ups and downs, both emotional and financial as well as work-related, and he's always been my rock πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’ Whenever I need someone strong, he's strong as a mountain and protects me, and when I need someone to listen to me and comfort me, he's soft and understanding and more than anything anyone in the past has ever been. It still amazes me that I've been blessed with such a wonderful and amazing partner and I thank Allah (swt) everyday that we're together.

I was diagnosed as anemic 😷

For a long time now, I've been constantly exhausted to the point where I feel like I'm about to fall asleep and actually do fall asleep without realising it. As I'm sure you might be thinking: this isn't normal at all. Unfortunately for me, I somehow never realised this until I got some blood work done and my doctor sat me down and asked if I'd been feeling constantly exhausted, sleepy and having a hard time functioning due to being exhausted all the time. 

When I responded affirmatively, she told me not only was this (obviously) not normal, but I was extremely anemic and needed to take iron pills. 

So what's it like being anemic? 

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