How NOT To Start A Conversation

By Naheed Ashraf

Image source: freeimages
Image source: freeimages

Have you ever been in a position where the start of a conversation became the end of it? If not really the end but it truly sucked the pleasure out of that meeting? Unfortunate as it is, almost everyone has been in this situation and I find relief that I am not the only one.

There are many ways for you to avoid such an embarrassment simply by abstaining from some of these start up lines. Read on and avoid these top ten offending conversation starters!

Would you be angry if I say something?

It’s not difficult to get the radars up and antennas going when the conversation starts on that note or even ‘don’t be mad at me if I tell you something.’ So now I am supposed to be intuitive and promise to bear the crap that may await me? My answer usually is that you can certainly try your luck. This often deters many from continuing. (more…)

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Recipe: Avocado Oatmeal Cookies

By Aaisha Zafar Islam

Recipe Avocado Oatmeal Cookies

Avocados are easily one of nature’s super fruits. They are calorie rich, high in fat, but it is mostly good fat. Mono-unsaturated fat, that makes up most of an avocado, eases inflammation in the body and helps in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

They are also rich in fibre and nutrients like folate, potassium, phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin that help the body absorb more carotenoids while being great anti-oxidants on their own.

They make you feel full faster, because of their rich, creamy taste, but all the calories are put to good use in your body. Since they have a very mild taste of their own, avocados easily take to other ingredients and make a healthy addition to any recipe. (more…)

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Reading – My Passion

By Aruj Sipra

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 “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

– Maya Angelou

When you think about Reading, what comes to  your mind? For me, it’s more than just reading books, it is like opening a door to allow in more light.  Reading is an important requirement for gaining wisdom and knowledge. Reading certainly helps to develop our power to imagine, broaden our intellectual horizon and helps us develop learning skills. Reading a written subject and developing an understanding of it is a skill that is cultivated over time. It helps to makes a personality more cultured.

Born into a family that loves reading and who are literally walking, talking encyclopedias, I acknowledge that reading is in my blood. It became a joke in the family that “if somebody wants to meet my father or uncles, he would probably need a full day to enjoy their company, not just few hours.” Why is that? You must be wondering! The reason is they are jam-packed with not just worldly knowledge but with lots of practical experiences in life and they all yearn for sharing them. One has to have a genuine excuse to leave early. (more…)

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The “H” Word, how to speak to your teen

By Mona Ismaeil

Teens with hijab
Image source: Salam Stock


The “H” Word!  What is the “H” word you ask? It is that word that many teen girls dread hearing as in their minds they believe it will turn their worlds upside down and turn them into someone they don’t know or want to know. It is that conversation that they might come up with every excuse they can in order to escape it. They may even offer to do chores to seem busy! It doesn’t have to be so bad, here are some tips for how to talk to your teen daughter about…HIJAB!

Why we wear hijab 

Nothing is worse for a teen than hearing “just because I told you so”. Teens are easily influence by the media and those around them that it is vital for them to hear the REAL reason we wear hijab or they may end up believing what they see on TV. By explaining to your daughter, that hijab is meant to protect her, and that it is a sign of modesty and respect for Allah (swt) as well as a sign of respect for herself, she should be more likely to wear it with pride or if she hasn’t put it on already, be more likely to want to.  (more…)

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To Rent Or To Own?

By Iman Khan

Image source: freeimages


To buy or to rent? The mind boggles! After all, would it not be judicious to own a house if we intend to be here for the long haul instead of whiling away money in rent every month? And like every new immigrant, this ubiquitous question had been on our minds ever since we made Canada our home a year ago.

For most of us, our parents’ generation gravitated towards investing in land or property as hands-down ‘the’ winning choice for financial stability, since real estate always appreciates in value. But perhaps it is time to move away from ideas we grew up with and reassess our investment portfolio! In the current scenario, with banks handing out loans and credit even to the most financially vulnerable of us, the real estate market has now reached a whole new level of nonviable. (more…)

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Kick And Dive Your Way To Fitness

By Muneezah Jawad

Soccer and swimming for kids in GTA
Image source: 123RF


Obesity in Canada has tripled in the last 30 years, around 31% of children in Canada are obese. With winters that stretch into eternity and summers that are gone in the blink of an eye, how can you ensure that your children do not turn into dreaded couch potatoes?


One of the most popular recreational activities worldwide is swimming. It has a multitude of benefits. In your town, no matter what size, you will have several swimming pools both indoor and outdoor, weather permitting. It’s an inexpensive sport. All you need is your costume, goggles and a body of water.

Where to go

YMCA, gyms, community and fitness centers all have pools as do other private facilities.  You can become a member; take lessons or pay as you go. (more…)

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Ease Cough At Home

 By Dr. Madiha Masood

Home remedies for cough in kids

Image source: 123RF


Cough is one of the most common symptoms of childhood illnesses. As offensive as it may sound it’s not usually a sign of a serious condition. In fact, coughing is an important and healthy reflex that helps protect the airways in the throat and chest.

First let’s look at things that cause cough in order to prevent it.

What Causes Cough?

Many things can trigger a cough, these can range from little dust particles, allergens present in our surroundings to pathogens i.e. bacteria, viruses and parasites. These causes classify cough into productive (having sputum) and non-productive or dry.

Productive cough means you might be having infection from a virus or bacteria, a reflux disease of stomach, while dry cough is commonly due to allergies and asthma. (more…)

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by Aaisha Zafar Islam

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Image source: Wikimedia Commons


What is this campaign that has snagged headlines, got social media in a frenzy and captured world leaders’ attention in the past few weeks? Who are Boko Haram, and why are they kidnapping young Nigerian school girls?

Boko Haram?

Boko Haram stands for ‘Western Education is sin’ in Hausa, one of the largest spoken languages in North Eastern Africa. The militant outfit has strongholds in Nigeria, spilling over into neighboring Cameroon and Niger. While they have been spreading the ‘Taliban’ brand of terrorism, with frequent bombings, killings, kidnappings and mayhem, they catapulted to fame last month when they brazenly kidnapped hundreds of school girls in Nigeria. (more…)

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Know Your Skin Type

By Aaisha Zafar Islam

Image source: freeimages

Image source: freeimages


One of the most obvious, tell-tale signs that you are a mom has to be your skin. Every day, as a mother we are so worried about the well-being of those we love and care for, that it does not leave any time for ourselves. Taking care of our skin and following a proper skincare regimen takes a backseat.

So stay tuned as we have a very informative series of articles lined up for all moms. We start with the basics and then delve deeper into taking proper care of ourselves.

Understanding Skin

Skin is the largest organ in a human body, consisting of multiple dermal layers, it guards all that is inside us. That would include muscles, and all other organs like heart, lungs and liver. (more…)

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Parlez Vous Français?

By Mariam Mazhar

Image source: keepcalm-o-matic
Image source: keepcalm-o-matic


Petit poisson, petit poisson
Nager, nager, nager
Petit poisson, petit poisson

And so goes my daughter during our weekly Skype sessions with my mom. Needless to say my mother is impressed of her granddaughter’s fluency in French; she can’t help expressing her pride before friends and family.

I remember when I had enrolled her in French Immersion, I was anxious and worried for not being able to help her as I did not know French myself. My mom thought I was pressurizing my daughter as learning another language was not that important and insisted that I was expecting a lot from my kid. I had given myself and my daughter three months to test out French Immersion, but I am glad to say that we did not have to re-consider our decision at all. (more…)

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