June 30, 2009

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Well, Alhamdulillah we're back from vacation. Been back a couple of days now, just been unpacking and cleaning up. It was great mashaAllah. The best part was seeing my sister and her kids, I've missed them so much, it was wonderful to spend time together and share some great memories and laughs. Here are some pictures!

The drive was looong but worth it. Over 9 hours from Hurghada to Marina with 2 short stops.



Most of the day was spent at the pool, mashaAllah the resort was gorgeous.








I loved seeing all the greenery and beautiful landscaping, something we don't see here much in beige land.






We found this beautiful dragonfly and said SubhanAllah about the beautiful color and gossamer wings.


We found out that tons of snails came out just before the sun set, the kids were amazed.


We all got a tan for a souvenir.

We stopped at City Center for a bit on the way home, gotta go to Carrefour whenever possible.

Alhamdulillah it was such a great trip we'll remember forever, inshaAllah.

June 21, 2009

Well, I'm Off


InshaAllah, in a couple of hours we'll be on our way to the North Coast for vacation with my sister! I can't wait to see them and spend some quality time. Just doing the last minute things and making sure I don't forget anything. (Phone charger, check. Iron, cooling off...) We'll be gone for a week or so because we'll go visit my dad and my inlaws after that inshaAllah. Salaam for now blogosphere!

June 17, 2009

Photos

Here are a few photos from last night at my BFF's daughter's birthday party. Alhamdulillah the weather was so nice and breezy and the location was really pretty at the marina.

Giggly girls think it's so silly to take a picture while sipping sodas.
Can you tell there weren't any other boys his age?

Safiyah's been waiting to wear this dress.

They were actually posing for a pic my mom was taking here but it looks nice from this angle too.

June 13, 2009

Home Alone

home alone Pictures, Images and PhotosMccaulie Culkin was so cute.
What age are kids able to be left alone for a few hours? I'm not in any hurry, just wondering what's the norm?

When I was a kid we were latch key kids and had our older sister with us but that was pretty common in 80's suburbia. My kids are 11, 9, 7 and 4 1/2, I've left the oldest home alone for a couple of hours and he's fine. I think he and Zayneb (9) would be ok too but I haven't done that or needed to before.

I suppose it depends on the kid and not a certain age and I also think more kids might equal more trouble but how do you know they are ready?

I have an acquaintance who as I've previously posted leaves her 1 year old in the care of her 7 and 10 year old kids. NOW she's gotten a job and leaves them to fend for themselves all day. Then she has the gall to complain about her babie's diaper rash or that her older 2 haven't eaten all day! I told her if she was in the US she'd be arrested but she laughed it off. (insert eyeroll here) So it's not at all uncommon for people here to leave young children alone even at night, sleeping. It boggles the mind really.

I can't see anything being important enough to go out and leave them at home now anyway. During the school year there are several hours to myself, alhamdulillah. I think I'll play it by ear and see how things go, inshaAllah.

A Pedi In My Pad



I just got a pedicure, my hair trimmed and colored, and my face threaded, all in the comfort of my own home. There's this great girl that does house calls, and she is good. It cost 55LE or about $10. I don't have to worry about the kids and the price is great. The PedEgg is good for upkeep but once in a while you need a real full pedicure.

I always make the same lame joke that my shoes will be looser after or that I must have lost at least a kilo of dead skin. Hardyharhar. I have a theory about feet. When you go out regularly in socks and shoes the sweat + friction keeps dead skin at bay, as gross as that is. If you're in flip flops most of the time like me, you get the dry heels more often.

I suppose there are some places in the US where you can get your nails done at home but for the most part you'd have to get your self to a salon for all these services. This is a definite Egypt plus!

June 11, 2009

Swimming, Dating, Shopping


So the kids have been taking swim lessons for a few days now. Let's just say it's not going...swimmingly? So far 2 out of 4 kids are scared some way or another. The older 2! To be honest we should have taught them earlier, it goes better with younger kids. InshaAllah they will love it when they lose the fear.

I went on a date with my husband last night. My mom was so kind as to stay with the kids and we went out for a nice dinner! It was delicious and really nice to have some time together.

I got new shoes! I love them so much, I can't even tell you. Ok, I'll tell you. New shoes, how do I love thee...Let me count the ways:
  1. They are so cute
  2. They make me taller
  3. They match 4 bags I have
  4. They keep a few of my longer abayas from touching the ground and most importantly
  5. They are actually comfy! I thought I couldn't wear heels but these wedges have are cushy and I can walk in them fine!
I also got 2 new hijabs, the lilac one is to match the abaya here, I carried a tiny swatch on my keychain around. The other one I just liked and it will go with lots of things. 30LE for both! That's like...6 bucks?!


Check out this shopping bag....just one letter off. ;)

June 9, 2009

Good Stuff

I'm a self proclaimed product queen and I love trying new stuff. I'm the sucker who keeps switching products just cause the ad looks so good but these are a few tried and true products I've discovered recently.

I got a sample of this scrub courtesy of mom and I just love it. I don't really have acne but I do get a spot here and there. First of all it smells so good. Cucumber, so it's feels like a spa treatment. It's not a very dense scrub like say St. Ive's Apricot, so it's gentle enough to use daily. Nothing against the apricot stuff, I like that too but more like once a week. This Neutrogena stuff rinses off easily and makes my face so soft. I'd have to use it more long term get a better idea of it's pore-clearing action though. The sample is a little tube but a little bit is all that you need. I've used it 5 times and there's still some left. I hope it will be available here soon.



This is my new favorite conditioner. I don't know why but the supermarket had some of the line for 40 something and some were 19.99 so I picked out this one and it's great. It conditions/ softens my hair like a heavy hair mask would but it makes your hair weightless. It de-tangles really nicely as well and of course smells yummy. Of course now I want to get the shampoo that goes with it, you know "for best results" :)



This is a classic redone. The old Skin So Soft oil is a dry oil spray. It's weird, it's oil but it's not super greasy like a regular oil would be. This stuff is pretty popular and the scent is well known. It's Great for knees and elbows and a quick spritz on top of your flip flopped feet when you're in a hurry. Avon products are actually pretty nice and reasonably priced for the quality.

Don't get me wrong, I don't go buying tonnes of products all the time but like once a month I'll get something new and it's a little pick me up.

June 8, 2009

Tinkering With The Template

I got the Layout changing bug last night and it's a lot like potato chips, once you start you can't stop. I think I'm finally satisfied with it. I wanted a fresh new look for summer and I played around till I got this. I originally wanted to make a header using the DesignHerGal images that I now have on the footer, but it didn't look right. Scroll to the bottom to see cartoon me & my kids.(They didn't have one that looked like E) It's a fun site and easy to use. Thanks SliceofLemon for the link.

I always learn something new when I play around with the template. Like the separator between the posts and how to change the background image. If you stopped by earlier today you might have seen the swirly design I had on the left. I nixed it because I like the content to be wide and it wouldn't let me make it any wider with the narrow template without making the sidebar go to the bottom. (Thanks Ange) Plus background images make pages load slower. I also reduced the number of posts on the home page to make it load faster and shortened the side bar. So I stuck with Minima stretch, made my own header and put in the separators and the footer image.

If any of you in Egypt using TEdata they have an offer in friday's paper for 512Kbps for 95LE a month, unlimited. I don't know if the prices in Cairo are different then here but I wouldn't think so. We were paying that for half that speed so inshaAllah I'll have a faster connection soon.

So what do you think of the new look?

June 5, 2009

No Junk Trunks

I've been having a lot of good shopping luck lately. I actually found swim trunks for Dawood tonight! There were several to choose from even! Cue the angels singing.

June 2, 2009

Birth Order


I was recently listening to a podcast the other day and they were talking about birth order. I've heard of it before but never really looked into it. It's really interesting, and while it wont work for everyone, for me, much of what was said is true. I'm a middle child of three and the characteristics of a second child and middle child are as follows, I've put the ones I believe to be true about myself as a child or now, in bold.

Second Child
  • Never has parents' undivided attention.
  • Always has sibling ahead who's more advanced.
  • Acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child.
  • If first child is "good," second may become "bad."
  • Develops abilities first child doesn't exhibit.
  • If first child successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.
  • May be rebel.
  • Often doesn't like position.Feels"squeezed" if third child is born.
  • May push down other siblings.
Middle Child of Three
  • Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.
  • Feels life is unfair.
  • Feels unloved,left out, "squeezed.
  • Feels doesn't have place in family
  • Becomes discouraged and "problem child" or elevates self by pushing down other siblings.
  • Is adaptable.
  • Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling.
It's so fascinating and if you think of it, it just makes sense, a lot of these character traits just come naturally because of how a person fits into a family. A lot of it fits for my siblings as well as my children. I also read that when a last born or baby of the family is 7 or more years apart from the previous child, they take on the characteristics of an only child.

Birth Order Typical Characteristics
Only Child
  • Pampered and spoiled.
  • Feels incompetent because adults are more capable.
  • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special.
  • Self-centered.
  • Relies on service from others rather than own efforts
  • Feels unfairly treated when doesn't get own way.
  • May refuse to cooperate.
  • Plays "divide and conquer" to get own way.
First Child
  • Is only child for period of time; used to being center
    of attention.
  • Believes must gain and hold superiority over other children.
  • Being right, controlling often important.
  • May respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected.
  • Strives to keep or regain parents' attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave.
  • May develop competent, responsible behavior or become very discouraged.
  • Sometime strives to protect and help others.
  • Strives to please.
Second Child
  • Never has parents' undivided attention.
  • Always has sibling ahead who's more advanced.
  • Acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child. If first child is "good," second may become "bad." Develops abilities first child doesn't exhibit. If first child successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.
  • May be rebel.
  • Often doesn't like position.
  • Feels "squeezed" if third child is born.
  • May push down other siblings.
Middle Child
of Three
  • Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.
  • Feels life is unfair.
  • Feels unloved, left out, "squeezed."
  • Feels doesn't have place in family.
  • Becomes discouraged and "problem child" or elevates self by pushing down other siblings.
  • Is adaptable.
  • Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling.
Youngest Child
  • Behaves like only child.
  • Feels every one bigger and more capable.
  • Expects others to do things, make decisions, take responsibility.
  • Feels smallest and weakest. May not be taken seriously.
  • Becomes boss of family in getting service and own way.
  • Develops feelings of inferiority or becomes "speeder" and overtakes older siblings.
  • Remains "The Baby." Places others in service.
  • If youngest of three, often allies with oldest child against middle child.
What's your birth order? Do you find these typical characteristics to be true at all?