Welcome to my blog, and thanks for taking time to find out more about its author!

I'm Joanna - back home they call me Asia (pronounced "Asha"), and here I usually go by Jo.

I'm originally from a small town in southern Poland, near Krakow. I've always had an interest in the English language and wanted to study English philology at university, so when I came across an opportunity to do a BA in English Language Studies in England - it was a no-brainer! What could be better than exploring English while actually living in England? 

I finished high school, passed my exams, and in September 2007 arrived in Luton, where my university was. The initial plan was that I would only stay for the duration of the degree (3 years), but here I am 16 years later!

So what happened? Well, life is just unpredictable, isn't it. At first, I thought I'd do my BA in England because it's a great opportunity, but maybe go back home to do my Masters and settle back there. But then some things changed, I didn't feel like moving back home, and just didn't quite know what to do with myself, so I stayed at the job I got while at uni, and kind of rolled with it.

While at that job, I became friends with this guy from Pakistan - in the beginning, it was totally just mates, and I wasn't interested beyond that, but after two years he finally wore me down. We eventually got married in 2012, and somehow still going. We have two children, who, if mentioned here, you'll get to know as Big A (born in 2013), and Mini (born in 2017). 

In 2018, after more than 10 years of both of us living in Luton, we decided to move to Manchester - we absolutely love it here, and hopefully it's gonna stay our permanent home now. However, the move also came with the fact that I became a stay-at-home mum, which is a position I'd never expect to find myself in. It was the best choice for us as a family, so I'm rolling with it though.

I actually started this blog way back in 2013, while still pregnant with Big A. I called it "Halal Mama" - at that time I had just converted to Islam a few months prior, and about to become a mum, so I felt like it encapsulated the stuff I wanted to cover here. It was a place for me to share what I've learned about life as a Muslim, exploring halal food as I had to make adjustments to my diet, and then some bits about motherhood and the baby. 
Over the years I've grown a little community around that, but in 2023, after 10 years of that, I decided it was enough. I deleted the majority of the posts and changed the name of the blog and social media pages. After all those years it was time to step away from being known just for being "mama", and go back to being my own person.
I still want to have recipes and explore the halal food scene, but I also want to focus more on talking about life as a multicultural couple and family, the dynamic of mixing Poland and Pakistan.

I think that sums it up for now - if you want to learn more about us, come back to read the blog ;)