It's a Baby!

It's a Baby!

When I found out that I was having a girl and started shopping for baby gear, I quickly came to the decision that I would try to stay away from overly gender-themed gear/decor. I love the colorful options that are out there, and I think there are ways to bring personality and excitement to a nursery without making it all pink. Expanding your child's horizons can begin with what you expose them to at home, whether it means teaching them to love nature or explore the wonder of space.

Honestly, my younger self would be shocked at this turn of heart. Growing up, my dream room would have been Disney Princess themed. My sister and I even painted our entire room purple, with a castle stenciled out on the wall and a flower border along the top. We loved it... And years later it would take at least five coats of paint to cover that dark Disney Purple.

But when it came down to it, there was something about thinking about how I want to raise my daughter that made me want to protect her from the many expectations society will likely place on her. It's part of the reason most of our products are natural wood or come in a variety of primary colors. They can fit any theme and will grow with your children.

Leen's nursery ended up being mostly neutral tones and we went with a mini-animal theme. But I will admit that we sometimes do fall for the absolutely adorable girly items - Leen's bike is the pinkest pink (picture below). 

There are some incredibly dynamic and fun room themes out there that engage children's imagination without forcing them into the cliche interests. I've included some nursery decor ideas below to provide you with inspiration and ideas for things you can corporate into your own children's rooms or play spaces. Images link to their source/shop links, as available.

Animals

I love flipping through books to show Leen the different animals and sounds that they make. Leen gets so excited when she sees a dog or a cat, and the last time we saw rabbits she didn't want to stop petting them. An animal themed room is a great way to introduce animals at a young age.

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Nature

Children have a natural love for exploring the outdoors, Why not bring the foliage and greenery inside, and make their bedroom a camp site year-round?

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Planets

Growing up, I had those glow-in-the-dark star stickers attached to my ceiling, and I loved to look up at them as I drifted off to sleep. There's something about galaxies that makes us think of the infinite possibilities. Foster your child's inner astronaut by incorporating these cool planet wall decals.

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Adventure

 "Oh, the places you'll see"

Travel the world from the comfort of your home by learning about all of the different places in the world, mapping them out, imagining or even planning actual trips with your child.

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Getting Ready for Ramadan

Getting Ready for Ramadan

The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner! And we are so excited to prepare for the beautiful month of Ramadan, inshaAllah. Oftentimes Ramadan comes with feelings of excitement, joy, and possibly a little stress. With kids, work, and other obligations it can be difficult to find ways to balance ibadah, preparing food for yourself/and family, and dealing with life in general.

Our advice: change the framework.

Ramadan is about going back to the basics, resetting your intentions, and being mindful of your actions. When you get bogged down with all the stress of your everyday obligations remind yourself that our actions are by intention.

The first Hadith in Imam Nawiwi’s collection of 40 Hadiths, narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab reports:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:


Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will have only what they intended. Whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his
emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. Whoever emigrated to get something in the world or to marry a woman, then his emigration is for whatever he emigrated for.

Remembering this Hadith allows us to change our framework. Sometimes it’s easy for us to fall into the pattern of separating obvious acts of worship like salah and reading Quran from our daily obligations. In fact, when we make the intention that the work we are doing is for the sake of Allah, this will begin to count as an act of worship. Working to provide for your family or cooking to nourish yourself and others are acts of service and can be acts of worship when we make a pure intention for it.

If you're feeling a little apprehensive about the long days and the lack of coffee, here are some tips to get you in the Ramadan spirit:

  1. Decorate your space! Hang up some lights and festive decorations to remind you of the  communal belonging, warmth, and rich history of this month. It doesn't have to be elaborate, just keep it simple and focus on one or two things that can put you in the Ramadan spirit.
  2. Share the message! If you have coworkers that would appreciate it: take some treats to work and attach an explanation of the holiday.  Letting the people around you know about the amazing month you are partaking in opens up the doors for knowledge and understanding. I found that letting my coworkers know what I was doing this month helped me to connect with them more and share with them the beauty of our Muslim community

We've made it easier for you and created free printable gift tags and an informational card that you can use. Click on the links below to download the files. 

 

 

 Ramadan Informational Card for Work

Ramadan Informational Card for Neighbors

Purple Ramadan Tag

Black and White Ramadan Tag

Arabic Ramadan Tag

In addition to changing the framework, invest in prepping and research. Utilize your freezer, buy groceries early on, and do all prep work -like cutting up vegetables and marinating protein- when you have time. Look up recipes that work well for meal prepping or one-pan throw togethers. And don’t be afraid to keep it light, those traditional classic Ramadan iftars are delicious but everyone can use one or two iftars a week that are light on the calories and the carbs.

 

Ramadan is a month of remembering what's most important and using up your time in the act of ibadah whenever you can. As you prepare for the month, center that idea and purpose and inshAllah you will find it easier to integrate your obligations into your best Ramadan yet!





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How to Love Printables

If you're someone who finds purchasing printables to be a huge hassle, you're not alone! A lot of people hesitate to purchase printables. They often don't want to bother with having to replace their color ink cartridge (why does the blue color always run out first?!), finding the right frame, or setting it all up. I used to be the same, until I realized that printables save me money (no shipping costs) and time (instant download). Read the instructions below on how to become a printables guru:

Once you've purchased and downloaded the printable, 

1. Go to the website of our nearest Pharmacy/Photo Printing store. Ours is a 24 Hour CVS/Pharmacy. Create an account, if required, then follow the site's instructions on how to upload, save, and submit a picture for printing. Printing the prints as pictures as opposed to on your printer gets you high quality print on thicker paper, ensuring that your print will last longer. When prompted, select the appropriate printing size. Printables found on Koala's Corner are made to be printed at 8" by 10", max. 

2. Pick up your prints while picking up your medicine or shopping for gummy bears.

3. Pick up some frames... I like to shop at Michael's, but lots of stores sell frames.

4. Load the picture(s) into the frame(s) and enjoy!

Enjoy your purchase! I know this may seem like a lot of steps, but you rarely have to go out of your way to complete these errands. I often get them done when picking something else up or grocery shopping. 

Here's a free printable! Click here.

Still don't like printables? We have introduced Prints that you can purchase!
We'll take care of the printing and ship it right to your door - check out our Product page.

 

via GIPHY

 

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Arabic for Babies

Arabic for Babies

As a mother to an almost-one year old, I am always looking for ways to incorporate Arabic words, lettering, art, to further expose her to the language and encourage a bilingual atmosphere. I've also worked to incorporate reading Arabic children’s books, and I hope that as she learns to read independently we can continue that to further her comfort with the language.

One of the challenges is that I primarily speak English, and since she was born, I’ve been trying harder to speak exclusively Arabic with her, but as she grows older and our conversations more complex, I’m always nervous that I’ll lapse back into my lingual comfort zone.

I know I’m going to have to keep trying to become more comfortable speaking it often, but in the meantime, I’m having fun finding ways to incorporate the letters and words into imagery in her room and around the house.

What are some things you’ve tried to preserve your native language with your children?

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Welcome

Welcome

At Koala's Corner, we hope to create products that enchant and excite. We aim to create a space where you can find unique creations that help beautify your space. 

One of our focuses is to provide children-oriented Arabic decor for parents or family members looking for products that are fun and colorful - no ornate, hard-to-read calligraphy here! - that will organically instill love for and familiarity with the Arabic language.

We're excited to have you!

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