January 30, 2009

Tag

Good time for a mindless tag post. Tagged by Empress Anisa and Naseem

Favorite color: Royal Blue.
Favorite perfume (guys): Carolina Herera
Favorite perfume (girls): Escada Incredible Me
Favorite pj brand: Brand? Whatever comfy.
Favorite clothes brand in general: Again, no specific brand but I'll plug MyUmmah now.
Favorite person in the entire world: E
Favorite country: USA!
Favorite car: Whatever will drive good and fit us all comfortably?
Favorite sport: Eh. I guess I can stand to watch NBA
Favorite sport player: Blah.....who cares.
Favorite spot in America: NYC
Favorite animal: Tigers
Favorite movie: Amelie, Crash, The Truman Show, Gone with the Wind, too many...
Favorite singer: Ummm....Right this minute...Jeff Buckley
Favorite day in the week: Sunday
Favorite time of the day: Night time.
Favorite holiday season: Ramadan
Favorite number: yea, I don't have one.
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite chocolate: Anything Dark w/mint
Favorite cartoon: TV show or movie? Tom & Jerry is classic. As for movie, Lion King 4eva.
Favorite blogger: I can't pick just one.
Favorite Flavor Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's Half Baked.
Favorite Mobile Brand: Nokia
Favorite name: Layla
Favorite hobby: Blogging, blogs, Lost.
Favorite room in my house: Living room
Favorite Fruit: Peach
Favorite flower: Roses, any color.
Favorite Quran Reciter: Mohamed Jibreil
Favorite Ayah: Korsy
Favourite Hijab: Pink wrinkly kinda deal.

January 28, 2009

Sitto


My dear grandma passed away two days ago...Inna Lilahi wa Inna Elaihe Raje'3oon....To God We Belong and to Him We Return.

The only grandparent I ever knew, she was wonderful. She was always kind to everyone and always spoiled us grand kids the way grandparents do.
She was a wonderful woman, mother to six, grandmother to thirteen, and great grandmother to sixteen. We all loved going to her house and she was the thread that held our family together. Everyone in the community loved her.

Sitto, as we called her, took care of my sister and brother and I, a lot. She would take us to ride the Staten Island Ferry and to play in Battery Park. She'd let us open the chips while we were still in the grocery store. I loved hearing her stories about when she was young. She always had a big smile. I miss my sitto so much. She had suffered with Alzheimer's disease in recent years but I will always remember her the way she was in this photo. Vibrant and full of life. Smiling and healthy. May Allah grant her Paradise, inshaAllah.

January 26, 2009

DIY Jeans Purse

Today I made a purse for Salwa using some old ripped jeans. I found the instructions here. It was really easy to follow and simple to do but her strap came out way better than the frayed one I made. It's ok, Salwa loved it. Now Zayneb is looking all over for her torn jeans.

I used the extra bottom part with some embroidery on it to make a little coin purse... I want to sew a zipper on it though.

Rice w/ Nuts & Raisins


Recipe time. I love this rice, so does everyone else here. I usually make it during Ramadan, then I was like...why? Anytime's a good time for yummy rice with nuts & raisins!

It can take some time only because I have to blanch the almonds, chop and toast. Also roast the hazelnuts, rub off the peels, chop and toast, but you can find them ready prepared.

1 cup rice
1/2 cup almonds (sliced,and toasted)
1/2 cup hazelnuts (chopped and toasted)
1/2 cup sultana raisins (regular raisins are ok too) (soaked in water and drained)
One large onion (diced)
2 cups chicken stock
butter + corn oil
salt + pepper + allspice + 3 cardamom pods +! Tbs cinnamon

( stock to rice ratio depends on your rice, use the instructions for water/rice, I like basmati.)

Sautee the onion in a couple tablespoons of oil until dark, but not burnt. Add chicken stock, (or water and a couple of bullion cubes) cinnamon, cardamom and some salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat 15 minutes till stock is dark from the onion. I like to drain the onions but you can keep them in if you want. Cook the rice, covered on low in this stock mixture.

Meanwhile, on low heat,toast the nuts in some butter and oil or just heat them up if they are already toasted. Add the raisins for a few seconds and toast till most puff up like grapes, stirring constantly.

When the rice is cooked mix in the nuts and raisins or you can serve it on top of each plate.

Tweet!


Because I don't have enough online activity, I've joined twitter.

So who else is on? I think it's a quick way to sort of mass IM people random thoughts or whatever. I found a couple of you on there. So Follow me!

January 23, 2009

Busy

Hey everyone. I've been a bit busy with home organizing/rearranging and the Lost premier. If you're a fan and/or watched the premier, please let me know your thoughts on my other blog, here.

Alhamdulillah, the all the kids finished their exams and we have 3 weeks off school. I don't know if we'll go anywhere but it's all good with me either way. I still have the kitchen to declutter/organize and a never ending stream of laundry. I'll post again soon. :)

January 21, 2009

An Egypt Plus


I thought o f something really good, and I thought I should post it. The blog is in need of something positive about Egypt, with all the complaining I do...Sound the trumpets:

Supermarket Delivery!

The supermarkets here, at least in my city, will deliver your groceries for a small fee of LE4. You just call up for example, Metro and tell them, in detail, what you want. They usually bring it in less than an hour, if I call in the morning, it's much faster. They'll call you back if there's any problem, or something isn't available and suggest a similar item.

The good thing is, I don't end up buying a bunch of impulse items, just the stuff on my list. You also have the option of going to the supermarket, filling your cart, and then have them deliver it to your door. This is good if you don't want to load the stuff in your car, unload, and carry up to your apartment. I live on the 3rd floor so I do tip the poor guy who has to carry the stuff up 3 flights of stairs, especially if it's a lot of bags, but it is totally worth it. It's quick and painless, really.

Back in the day I used to use Netgrocer.com and it was ok, but they ship by UPS and the cost goes by weight so it can get pricey, plus I'd only order non perishable items. I don't know do local supermarkets deliver now?

I have to give credit where credit is due, this is definitely a plus of living here.

January 20, 2009

Blogiversary



It just dawned on me that the other day was my 4 year blogiversary! I've taken a couple of hiatuses, but, wow 4 years. that's since Safiya was 3 months old and we lived in the old apartment. I love blogs and blogging is a great way to express yourself and meet new people. On this occasion, I give myself this lovely, virtual bouquet and a cupcake.

Product Reviews


I previously posted that I'd review this shampoo so, here I go. I have to say it's my favorite shampoo. When you rinse it out your hair still feels soft almost like when rinsing conditioner and it leaves your hair shiny. I don't really get the "for brown hair" aspect, but it does keep your color. I love the smell and it's the best shampoo I've used in a long time. Since moving here to be honest, and I'm one of those that always tries new shampoos etc, so this is good stuff. Love it, 4 hearts. ♥♥♥♥

I got this cleanser a few weeks ago, it was marked LE15 which I thought was odd, because it's usually over LE40 so I asked and they guy said it scanned at 15, I did not argue with him. So I've been using it since then and While I like it as a cleanser, I don't think it makes a good mask.

As a cleanser it's a creamy cleanser, not foaming but it's not greasy like a lot of other cream cleansers. It rinses off and leaves your face feeling smooth not tight nor oily. I tried it as directed as a mask a few times and I don't love it. It doesn't really dry in 5 minutes not even in 10, but I don't know that it's supposed to. It says to rinse off after 5 minutes, but anyway call me a masochist, but I like clay type masks that dry on your face like stone. So great cleanser, not so great mask 3 out of 4 hearts. ♥♥♥

January 18, 2009

Purge



So we're doing a massive de-clutter around here and we're maybe half way done. We are getting rid of extra stuff we don't' need or use. We finally gave away Safiyah's old crib that was taking up space, a desk and a whole pile of other stuff. Some stuff will go to the less fortunate and we threw out so much trash. Why did we still have a America Online 5.0 CD or all those old newspapers? We really didn't need that broken old fan either.

I think people like to hold on to stuff thinking, maybe one day I might need this extra screw or thingamabob and we end up with a drawer or more, full of take out menu's we never use, crusty old ketchup packets, various screws and rubber bands, a lone paper clip, etc. I said we have to be brutally honest and ruthless. If it hasn't been used in a year, it goes. Someone else can use/wear what we are just holding on to for no reason.

Kids produce a lot of clutter too. They want to hold on to every piece of paper they ever scribbled on for all of eternity. I threw out so much paper and old broken toys. You should have seen the drama every time I chucked some dumb broken peice of plastic into the trash bag. Finally we decided that the toys that were still decent but not played with would go in a bag for our neighbors cleaning lady's kids

It feels so good to be rid of the superfluous(SAT word!)items and have that much extra space. It's gotta be done at least twice a year, although admittedly I do think we accumulate way less clutter here than we did in the States. We're no where near as bad as those hoarder people you see on TV but I think that's a disease. I'll try to post pics when we're finally done.

January 16, 2009

CUTE!

These were in an email fwd I got from my mom and I had to post some. SO CUTE!


I need one of these tiny bunnies! I'll keep it in my pocket and give it baby carrots.

January 15, 2009

Retro Housewife

I want to be one of those happy retro housewives. You know, She does it all, loves it and looks good doing it. She vacuums in heels and pearls like she's dancing with that vacuum. She's always got a hot healthy dinner on the table and dessert in the fridge.

Look at her. She looks positively psychotic. What's her secret? How do I get to be so exited about margarine? Is she High?

The truth is no one can be June Cleaver, because that woman only exists on television. Most of us are lucky to just get through the day without any disasters. I mean If I get a load of laundry done, the living room decent, the dishes washed and dinner cooked I feel pretty good about my day. It's become abundantly clear that I can't do everything every day. I'll make desserts some days. I'll even dust and polish the furniture sometimes, but to aspire to be the kind of homemaker that does these things on a daily basis is an exercise in futility. "Letting the dishes soak" over night never hurt anybody. Take out is my friend, and if I'm not a Stepford wife, that's ok with me. Because I have my sanity and that's more than I can say for Mrs. Margarine up there.

January 13, 2009

The Perfect Breakfast


Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich and freshly brewed coffee...mmmmm.

January 12, 2009

Terror

I'm not posting a lot about the war but this is more of a personal issue.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that the US news networks are not showing nearly as many graphic images as are shown here on Al Jazeera and other news channels in the Middle East. Am I right? Here, it is all day, non stop and I do know that this has to get out. People have to know what is happening there, but when it comes to kids, it's a different story.

Now my kids don't usually pay attention to the news nor is it on a whole lot while they are around, but today they're was an especially horrible picture of a small child killed in Gaza. I've seen this poor child on the internet and I won't link to it. You can do a simple Google search and see for yourselves the atrocities that are occuring, that is if you haven't already.

Getting to the point, My son saw it, looked away and visibly cringed. Naturally. We had a short, age appropriate talk with him about it but it still didn't sit right with me. Kids could have nightmares of things like this. They don't have the ability to understand the complexities of war, and I realize some children don't have the luxury to change the channel or be unaware. It's just something I don't feel is neccessary to fully disclose at the present time. I wont be watching AlJazeera around the kids anytime soon. The look on Dawood's face was one of terror. Which is exactly what he saw.

Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Hi, my name is Mona and I am beauty product junkie. I love looking at them, buying them, having them oh yea and using them. I love to "window shop" at Sephora and covet the various lotions and potions. I just like looking at this stuff, what is wrong with me? Back in the US I would anxiously await packages from the wonderful UPS fairy and gaze upon the beauty treats and free samples. Sometimes they'd have free gift wrapping and I'd have it wrapped just for myself! Here are some cute stuff I saw drooling there this morning. Excuse me as I wipe the keyboard.


This is something that intrigues me greatly.
"The original Lip Venom is a transparent gloss that enhances the natural color and shape of the lips by increasing circulation with a spicy, tingly blend of essential oils including cinnamon and ginger."
Anyone tried this?

Stella McCartney! Ever since I smelled this in a magazine I've been in love with this scent. I gave myself a paper cut on my neck rubbing the page sample on me.

How adorable are these vintage looking yummy lip balms? I love the tins and there are some great flavors. There's Tootsie Pops and Dr. Pepper too.

This reminds me of a gel blush stain that Bonne Bell used to make that I loved when I was younger, except this is for lips too. I used to stain my lips with a pink marker in Jr. high, don't worry it was non toxic! Not that that's a good idea.

I love a kit! Bliss has the best spa products and this is 6 cute little products, One could imagine they were at the Bliss spa.
After browsing pretty things all morning I decided to organize my make up and stuff on my dresser. I had these containers with compartments that were from cotton pads and q-tips and they worked really well to hold everything. I put my hijab pins in a pretty box with a foam square to hold them, on the left in the photo.

Who else loves products as much as me? What are your favorites? Post about them.

January 11, 2009

Braidy Bunch

I just learned how to do this fish tail braid. I googled it and got a few videos that were too quick to follow and ended up figuring it out from a simple drawing tutorial here. Its so much easier than it looks.

This was my first attempt, on my lovely model, Salwa.

The second attempt.

It does come loose pretty easily, not like a standard braid, but it's pretty and something different. It works best with thin pieces from each side. I still want to learn to french braid.It seems so complicated. I just have to get one of them to sit still for a while.

January 10, 2009

Jon & Kate + 8 vs Little People Big World


I figured out I have this channel I wasn't aware of called Discovery Travel & Living and both these shows are on each weekday. So I've been watching for about a week and I definitely like Little People Big World better. The Roloffs are such a caring family and I like all of them. For those of you not familiar, it's a reality show about a family, the mom and dad are little people and they have 4 kids, one of them is a little person. I'm pretty sure the episodes we get aren't the most recent but anyway, they all seem really sweet and fair with each other.It gives you a bit of a look into life as a little person, the differences are few and we see how they're just like everyone else.

Jon & Kate + 8 is entertaining just to see how they do things. They have twin girls and sextuplets so, life with 8 kids...makes me feel like, OK it could louder here. Ha, that's horrible.
Kate annoys me somewhat, just her personality. She is kind of controlling and belittles her husband all the time, but I do give her props for being able to handle and organize their life. That is no small task and it's a good thing she's OCD.

I also caught a couple of home type shows like Flip That House where they renovate homes to re-sell for profit, and While You Were Out, they do a surprise redecorate for someone. I should have been a carpenter.

January 8, 2009

The Cotton Candy Guy

Meet the Cotton Candy Guy. He goes around the neighborhood everyday blowing a horn selling cotton candy.

It's 5 of these for a Pound. Kid's go ape for cotton candy.

MOLLY!

Last night I had the great pleasure of having Molly of The Sandbox Confessions of a Multicultural Muslimah over my house last night! She was in town and I'm really glad I got to meet her. Molly is such a sweetheart and I felt like I've known her forever. So cool and easy going and funny! Hope we get to meet up again soon Molls!


I don't bring out the nice cups for just anybody.

January 6, 2009

eh

Yea, I haven't felt like posting lately. Sad about Gaza, I'm really bad at talking about this kind of stuff, just feeling helpless, quiet and thinky. Please keep praying for our brothers and sisters in Gaza and please keep my grandmother in your duaas inshaAllah,as well as she is quite ill.

January 3, 2009

mmmmmmmmm....Donuts.


Yesterday I discovered the supermarket bakery makes really good doughnuts! It's hard to find a good doughnut here. This was fluffy and really good, I'd like it better without the chocolate on top, but I'm sure we can request that next time. They were on sale for half price yesterday but the regular price is 4.50LE which isn't very cheap but it's a pretty big doughnut and a nice treat once in a while.

January 1, 2009

Parties East vs West

Some differences I noticed here in terms of parties compared to the US. First of all I've been invited to at least 10 of these this year and not one have invited us more than 2 days in advance. By phone of course, no mail here. Some invite the day of! I don't know why that is. In the US we'd have, say a Eid party and send invite cards in the mail at the very least a week in advance and there's a thing called RSVP that no one's heard of here. Then there's the gift giving...in the US kids often open gifts during the party so people can see their reaction and it's really fun. Here the gift is whisked away never to heard of again. No thank you card/call or even a mention that the child enjoyed your thoughtful present. I suppose it's cultural because even when you go to visit someone just on any old day, you bring some cake or cookies or something, it's never brought out... they will serve you something else. It's considered bad manners because then it looks like they didn't have anything in their home to offer you exept what you brought. Kinda reminds me of a certain Marble Rye.

I guess things are different all around the world and this is no different but it's sure one of those things that make you go hmmm.