May 24, 2005

How to make Origami Lucky Stars

Origami Lucky stars are fun to make and really beautiful. It might look kind of hard, but after a few tries, they are easy. You can get the paper at any of those Asian stationary stores at the mall. A simple Google search will show you what they look like packaged. The result is 3 dimensional paper stars that you can put in a decorative jar or bottle for a gift or to decorate your place.

You start with a strip of origami star paper. You can find packages of these in Asian stationary stores that sell Sanrio products and the like.Origami Lucky stars are fun to make and really beautiful. It might look kind of hard, but after a few tries, they are easy. You can get the paper at any of those Asian stationary stores at the mall. A simple Google search will show you what they look like packaged. The result is 3 dimensional paper stars that you can put in a decorative jar or bottle for a gift or to decorate your place.

Make a perfect knot on one end of the strip, creating a pentagon shape.

Keep folding/wrapping the strip around the pentagon knot. The key is NOT to crease your folds. This is how the star ends up puffy-looking.

There will be a length of the strip leftover that you tuck into the folds.

Pinch the corners of the pentagon gently to make the star shape.

One finished "Lucky Star".

Here are the finished stars. They come in pastel, shiny foil finish, glow in the dark, and even transparent colored cellophane strips.

You can display them in jars.They make a thoughtful handmade, decorative gift. Here are 2 small ones jars of stars. They look a lot better in a bigger jar, with say, a ribbon tied on. Have fun!

May 23, 2005

A few of my favorite things (ie., addictions)

Now, I like snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes as much as the next girl, but they're pretty hard to come by here. I'm a simple girl. The little things make me oh so happy. I can't get enough:

  • Magazines. I will read anything printed on glossy paper.
  • Mechanical pencils. Always sharp, and nerdy, in a good way.
  • Lip Balms. It's an addiction, really.
  • Iced tea. A can of Lipton here is freaking LE, so I brew it. Sometimes with mint, sometimes without. Always with plenty of sugar.
  • Nescafe. It's Egypt's excuse for coffee, for those of us without a coffee maker. (most people here I think) It's the instant stuff, but it's my sweet elixer of life that gets my day going.
  • Chocolate. Need I say more?
  • Makeup/Skincare stuff- I'm a sucker for the next new product, although living here has weaned me off that habit, somewhat.
  • Notebooks. I am a list-aholic (why, I'm making one now!). I love me a new "Mead Fat Lil Notebook"
  • Hello Kitty stuff. That little cat is so darn cute, I like to cover said notebooks with Hello Kitty stickers!
Wow, I guess that's a pretty long list there. Mostly harmless, good clean fun!

May 19, 2005

MashaAllah! Tiger's are my favorite animal!
Shinta, a Bengal tiger, sits with her one-week old cub inside a cage at the Taman Safari Park in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java on May 3, 2005.

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May 17, 2005


Let's talk a bit about Housework. I have, over the years, come to appreciate certain tasks, while others remain on my hate list.

In the states, when we had wall to wall carpeting, I loved to vacuum. It's that save the best for last job that is almost magically easy, with the gratifying sound of debris being sucked up. Not to mention the satisfaction of dumping the evidence from the canister.

Nowadays, not unlike many Egyptian homes, we have tile. Sweeping isn't much fun, but mopping with bleach water afterwards is pleasing. Note that I do this after the kids' bedtime in order to take pleasure in a few hours of clean, crumb free floors. Same goes for the bathroom. Picking up toys, laundry, and other general tidying up is done throughout the day.

The one job I really find insufferable? Dishes. Washing dishes. It's the worst. I'd rather scrub the toilet. It doesn't help when your sink faces a wall and the kitchen window cannot be opened due to neighbors being RIGHT THERE. I always say I'll wash stuff as I go, throughout the day. That seems like the smart thing to do. Nothing is stuck on and the sink isn't laden with a day's worth heap of cups, plates, flatware, pots, pans, bottles etc. Unfortunately, I usually end up letting them pile up.

Dishwashers here are quite expensive and small, so we're talking hand washing dishes here for those of you spoiled by a Whirlpool. (I can't believe I used to complain about washing dishes at my parent’s house when there was a dishwasher!)

Whoever said that trying to keep a clean and orderly home while bringing up kids is like trying to shovel snow during a snowstorm was right. It never ends, but I have them help. Their room is almost always in disarray. I tell them, if you contributed to the mess, and then contribute to the clean up. Doesn't always work but although they whine and try to get out of it, they realize that it's not my job to constantly pick up after them.

Sometime I set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and the kid's and I go crazy, tidying up, etc, until the timer goes off. It always surprises me how much gets done. Most of the time I keep going, having gotten into a cleaning groove.

Procrastination is really the enemy here. It's always the getting started part that's the hardest. Once begun, cleaning jobs are rewarding and even fun sometimes.

Hmm, my keyboard needs a good cleaning; I suppose that requires shutting the computer off!

May 13, 2005

Exam time

Yeah, the amount of pressure or the "big deal factor", if you will, of final exams is insane. Seriously, Dawood has final exams in a couple of weeks and they are doing final review from now. This is 1st grade folks. The exams are over a course of 4 days. We get an exam schedule. They note the date, subject, and time and allotted exam time for each test. Hour and hour and a half Exams for 7 year olds! It's not just me right? This is kind of intense no?

Part of me wants to just take it easy and let the kid be a kid. But I can't completely do that. There is just this atmosphere of exams stress that I used to associate Yeah, just relax and don't spend hours studying with him and testing him. That just won't do. The fact is that to make it at least average here you have to submit to this. You have to expect him to come in the top ten of his class (Yes, they rank them)

Thankfully Zayneb had her last day of school yesterday, after just 3 days of exams! KG1!! We have to go pick up her report card in a week, you know, 'cause her whole future depends on this, right?

May 7, 2005

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May 6, 2005

Just a little vent on litterbugs

I hate litterbugs! Why can't people just throw their trash in a trash can?

Oh! There isn't one around? Not an excuse to just throw it on the street! You keep it, (stay with me now I realize this is complex) until there IS a trash can around! What a novel idea! The street is not a trash can. A planter, although it might confuse you, being so similar and all, is NOT a garbage can. You can always tell the difference because there's a PLANT in this thing! The circle in the sidewalk in which there is a tree growing from...Also not for rubbish. Again, the tree should tip you off.

People just open up a pack of chips or whatnot and without a care, release the wrapper on to the ground. Not even trying to pretend they dropped it! (not that that's excusable, but the sheer audacity!) I have witnessed a man unwrap an ice cream cone in the super market for his whining daughter and just throw the sticky ice cream wrapper on the FLOOR! Right there in the Carrefour!! This is besides the fact that he is probably not going to pay for it. (How could he?)

Do they do this in their homes? I doubt it. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves!

May 4, 2005

Attacks in Cairo

The recent terrorist attacks have just really made me angry. The ignorance of the people carrying out the bombing and shooting is just unbelievable. It really saddens me to know that this crap is going on again here.

The idiot who bombed/jumped off of a bridge, does he think Allah will reward him? The two morons that opened fire on a bus, could they really be under the impression that their actions could secure them a place in paradise? Who by the way were niquab (face veil) wearing women. Yea, way to dispel the fear that there's a bazooka under there.

We KNOW murder is haram (forbidden) as is suicide. I just cannot fathom the thought process here. I realize that it's a really complex issue, but it's just basic Islamic knowledge: Killing-bad.