March 19, 2010

Working It Out

Ouch.

Really.

It hurts to cough, sneeze, bend down, reach, and pretty much everything else hurts too. I started a shaping class this week and while I am glad I joined, It's kicking my butt. I go twice a week and it's kind of fun.  The instructor is nice and I get the feeling she doesn't nitpick about some things with me, seeing as I'm just beginning. I did chuckle to myself when she pointed out a specific yoga ball for me. I suppose that's the super heavy duty one? Ha!






 There's about 10-12 women in the class and I'm what you'd call the opposite of her star pupil. I'm constantly looking around to see if I'm doing it right and by the time I get one thing right, she's on to the next thing. Those mirrors all over the walls? Quite telling. I don't have a big mirror at home so it was a bit scary seeing myself from every direction that way. At first I was so self conscious, worried that everyone was looking and judging. I soon realized everyone is too busy worrying about themselves and watching the instructor and I relaxed.






Hot showers and stretching help a lot but I'm hoping the extreme soreness wont last for very long. I know it means it's working and it's totally normal and expected when starting out an excersice routine, but I still have to vent a little because, ouch.

March 14, 2010

How Fairy Tales Really End

Editing this post to give credit to the creator of the series, Dina Goldstein  please see the link for info and more pics. The sushi one was removed as it was not part of the original series.

Snow White, isn't it always that way?



Little Red Riding Hood found a Mcdonald's on the way to grandma's.



Belle goes under the knife.




Jasmine (Can't tell, is she a terrorist or in the war? Kinda hate this one.)



Sleeping Beauty never wakes.



Cinderella on a bender.





A little mean? Yea, but they're not real and it's all in good fun.

March 12, 2010

The Secret Life Of Bees



I loved this book. It's set in 1964, South Carolina. The story is about a 14 year old girl and her struggle to come to terms with her mother's death. I don't like to give a lot away but she lives with her emotionally abusive father and ends up living with 3 sisters on a bee farm. There are issues about Civil Rights and race relations as well. It also gives you a new perspective on bees. I'll never look at them the same again.

From the first chapter, I was in love. I read in in the past few days every chance I got. Finishing faster once I knew the movie was on this weekend. The imagery was beautiful and I found myself drawn to the characters immediately. I especially loved the Boatwright sisters. Their bond was so genuinely beautiful. The author has an ability to describe a scene in such a way that made me want to be there. Right in that bee farm, right in that pink house. There was a wonderful theme of female friendship and love.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It's a wonderful story, beautifully told. I won't be returning this gem to the book-man.

***Edited to add***
I watched the movie this morning and it was very good. Of course no movies live up to the book but I found this adaptation to be fairly true to the book, with a few changes. They have to rush through some parts in order to make a movie under 2 hours. The best part was Sophie Okonedo as May Boatright. She was just as I pictured her. I loved her character so much. Dakota Fanning is a very talented young actress and was perfect for the part of Lily. Thumbs up!

March 8, 2010

Books and T-Shirts

Look how foggy it was the other day.

So I stopped by the book guy today, I wasn't expecting his little kiosk to be open early but I hit the jackpot. Usually I just pick a couple of little known paperbacks, judging quickly by the cover and back. I found 2 best sellers I've wanted to read! The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.




So I am starting a shaping class tomorrow. I think it's gonna be interesting. If by interesting I mean hilarious. I'm gonna be a-'huffin and a-puffin', but it should be fun, inshaAllah.

Anyway, I needed some work out clothes, just some pants and t's but I couldn't find any T shirts I liked, that fit, over-sized like I like them to, so I got a couple of mens' T's and went at them with a pair of scissors.

Before: Boyish and boxy



After: More feminine and soft.



They look a lot better on. You need sharp scissors and a flat surface. All I did was cut right under the collar all around from the front, cut off the ends of the sleeves, right beside the seam and the same for the bottom. After each cut, you just stretch out the fabric a bit and it rolls a bit giving it a new edge. Cutting up brand new shirts? Great idea!

March 7, 2010

Introducing Swell Blog Design!



I've started a new blog, dedicated to blog design. Please check it out and let me know what you think! I'd love suggestions and requests. Please read the Welcome post first. :)

March 4, 2010

Blonde Ambition

First I'm going to say that I don't want to generalize.

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, Some Egyptians companies come off as such wannabes. Most stores, magazines billboards what have you, depict white people. Mostly blondes. Especially with children's stores. They always have a couple of Icelandic looking cherubs frolicking on store fronts and such. I went into several shops tonight and each one had the blonde kids.



Why is this?

Is it a kind of inward racism? An inferiority complex? Why do people here go gaga for blonde kids and and women? So many Egyptian advertisers use foreigners in their print ads, it makes me wonder. Why don't they reflect the Egyptian population and show wonderful Gypo kids and adults frolicking instead? Throw in some curly haired brown boys. Why the foreigner worship?

Just look at the site for our mall here. All, if not most of the pictures on their home page are of white people. That's just one example. If you've been anywhere in Egypt, you've surely seen more. I noticed a few posters in the Egypt Air office. A white, blonde stuardess tending to a white, blonde little girl. No offence to blondes here, It just feels so deliberate, in an Arab country/North Africa.

I realize there are Egyptian people that have blonde hair and light eyes and fair skin. I know it. But the vast majority of Egyptians are varying shades of brown, with dark hair and eyes. Arab looking. Not Anglo.

People, children notably, like to see people who look them in magazines and stores. I just wish that there was a more realistic reflection of Egyptian people shown. More like Mobinil and Melody's commercials. It seems only natural.

Don't get me started on the lack of hijabis in the media here either.

March 1, 2010

Re-Purposing

Here's a little exercise in re-purposing.

I was covering school books the other day and had loads of this paper backing, sheets and strips. I used the strips to make origami stars. I miss making them, I can't find the paper for them here and they are hard to cut yourself because they have to be perfectly straight. Instructions here.



We used the sheets to make sticker books! Did you have these growing up? We used to collect and trade stickers with them and have pages dedicated to puffy, shiney, and scratch & sniff stickers. (Do they make those anymore?) The girls and I each made a sticker book.




It was fun and now everyone wants to buy more stickers!