December 29, 2010

Rain, Shopping & Other Stuff

So we got some rain today, it's really rare for it to even drizzle here in Hurghada. This is only the second time it's rained this year. The last time was in January, I posted about it and it was quite a heavy rainfall and a mess. Thankfully today it didn't rain very hard but there was thunder and lighting and the kids were really excited about that. Well, most of them. Salwa was convinced lightning would strike us.

This past week I was getting some new clothes for the kids. It was so easy when they were young. I'd just pick out what I thought was cute and it was fun and easy. Now that they have opinions on style and what's cool, it's a nightmare for me. To be fair, Dawood (12) doesn't care, he isn't picky and isn't into his looks yet. Safiyah, (6) loves everything and is an easy shopper. Salwa (almost 9) and Zayneb (almost 11) are the tough ones.They hardly like anything and I have to convince them to try stuff on just to see how it looks. Sometimes something looks so different on and then they are convinced. I went from store to store trying to find stuff they liked, that matched and that I approved of. I kept trying to explain that if they want to wear boots, then you need to wear skinny jeans, and if you're going to wear skinny jeans then I'd like you to wear a longish shirt. It took 2 days and a few exchanges but we were all finally happy with their purchases in the end. Zayneb had me take this picture minutes after we got home so she could see her ensemble.



























I didn't get a chance to get a new abaya like I wanted. That's a trip I like to make alone or with just one kid. Zayneb's my fitting room guard since most fitting rooms here are a little booth with a curtain. I hope to go soon, with any luck I'll find one that I really like.  I did get a few little things recently, though. 

This scarf called my name. I love the colors and it goes great with any
black abaya. 

















These hijab pins were just 4.50LE, that's like 80cents or something.


Love these earrings, the bows are so cute.

My friend gave me this flower pin. It's also a hair band. 
You know when food is just so pretty, you have to take a picture?
That was the case with these here strawberries, mashaAllah.

































































































We are about to start midyear exams and it's such a pain because they are spread out over 2-3 weeks. Starting next week they don't have school except for the days of exams. Some days 2 of them have a test and some days just one of them, some none. The last exam is Dawood's on Jan 20.  Then we have a break until Feb 12. I can't wait. My mom's coming then and we can do lots of fun stuff when there's no school. Stay up and watch movies. Go out and not worry about HW or studying. Go away maybe. I'm really looking forward to it.

December 23, 2010

The Dreaded Anonymous Comment

So what's the big deal about Anonymous comments? Do you hate them? It seems like most bloggers have an immediate dislike for people posting Anonymous, well pretty much only when they have something negative to say. It does seem like most people that do have something negative to say do so anon though, right?

In all honesty, I once posted an anon comment on a post and it didn't end well. I decided then if I have something to say, I'll just say it as MonaZ. I do have to bite my tongue sometimes though because what I have to say isn't what someone wants to hear so I refrain from commenting at all in that case.

I don't know, I suppose if you allow anonymous comments on your blog, sometimes people will post anonymously. People seem to take it as an insult and need to find out WHO it is, etc.  Guess what, there's an anonymous feature there for a reason. Somehow when someone leaves a less than kind comment, anonymously, bloggers take it really personally.

I guess it can be cowardly to comment anon, but sometimes it just should be accepted. If someone has something to say about you or your blog, maybe just take that in and think about it. Either they have a point and you can learn from it or they're a jerk and not worth worrying about. I don't get a lot of anonymous comments but when I do, I don't delete them, I just reply to them like any other comment. I don't care who it is.

December 21, 2010

Randomness

Haven't had much to blog about lately, getting over sickness, not doing much. The kids have mid year exams soon then the break so we're looking forward to that. Might go on a little trip, we'll see, inshaAllah.

I love changing the template. I'll spend hours and can't stop until I love it. I'm not crazy about this blog template but I need to sleep soon. Plus, it won't kill me to leave it for a while till I find what I want.

It's been getting colder here lately. Of course cold here is not the same as cold in the US or elsewhere. You see all the tourists in shorts and tanks and the Egyptians are wearing sweaters and coats. It's all relative. It's still warm and sunny during the day. It goes down to the 50s (10c) at night. The thing is there's no indoor, central heat so the houses are stone and they get cold. It's sometimes colder inside than it is outside in the sun. I do like the chance to bundle up a little and break out the warm blankets and fuzzy slippers though. 

My apartment needs a big clean up, I have to organize the kid's clothes because so far I've taken out the winter stuff but haven't put away the summer stuff so it's a mess, my stove is gross, I need to get on it. Last time I did some major cleaning a couple of weeks ago I had a major asthma attack cause of the dust. The doctor told me not to dust. How can I not dust in Egypt? E suggested getting a cleaning lady to help but I'm not a fan of the idea.  As touched upon in Londoneya's post,  they tend to flood your place with water and it's just a whole hassle and you have to help anyway, I can't just sit there and have a woman clean around me. Maybe I'll get a surgical mask and then unearth the under bed clothing storage and spray oven cleaner.

Even when I think I don't have anything to say, I miss blogging and ramble on about nothing. Thanks for listening.

December 15, 2010

Decor

I love looking at home decor pictures. A few of my favorite sites are Apartment Therapy, Ideal Home and Houzz.

I would love to have an open plan kitchen. You feel more a part of what's going on around you and it's airy.
I love this one. The blue is my favorite color. I believe Crayola coined it "cadet blue".
























Now bathrooms are a sanctuary. Imagine having a shower under this. Like a rain cloud over your head!



























I don't need a huge bathroom, Just a big, claw foot tub. That's luxurious on it's own.

Elegance & Decay eclectic bathroom

Bedrooms should be serene. I love the grey striped wall and the throw pillows here. The storage bench is also handy and cute.

































I think I like this one more. Chocolate brown and pale pink. I also love the bedside lamps.


































The family room is the most important, I think. I love this one. It's cozy and clean and welcoming. I like the idea of a ottoman/coffee table. It has my favorite colors and plenty of seating. Click the photo to see the rest of this amazing room.

San Carlos Residence Two contemporary family room

December 9, 2010

The Lure of Christmas


What is it about Christmas that is so attractive? I"m talking about the commercialized, secular Christmas here. Even here, we can't escape the decorations in shops and the songs at school. There's something about it that just grabs children and adults alike. I don't know if it's because we grew up with it, but I find my self nostalgic for red & green candy and Christmas lights.  Is it because it's such an old tradition, ingrained in our memories? We didn't celebrate it at all as kids, our parent's would not have it, of course. But because we wanted to get in on the fun, my siblings and I got each other "New Years presents".  

 I'm not saying we should copy Christmas.I'm not. I recently came across some photos from an event, an Islamic function called 3mu 3Eid. (Uncle Eid) It was a dude dressed in full gulf Arab gear with a Santa beard and a bag of gifts on his back. How lame is that? It's messed up on several levels.  Do we have to cater to Christmas hungry children to that extent?! NO. That's just selling out. Besides, it's supposing that Muslim = Arab.

We do make a big deal about Eid and we get new clothes and pjs, give gifts, go out and have fun on Eid day, but we need to make our holiday more fun and exciting so it doesn't pale in comparison with Christmas. I know it's not a competition but I want my kids to really love Eid.

I hate to make it sound like we need to commercialize Eid but I'm afraid that's kind of what I'm saying. As much as we try to make Eid fun, and keep traditions for the kids, there's a certain spark missing. Maybe it's as simple as specific Eid candies or decorations that are Eid specific but It kind of saddens me when the kids come home excited because they decorated a Christmas tree in the classroom or because "Santa" came. I don't know, I'm just talking here.

What do you think? What is it about Christmas?

Sickly

I'm sick. It's horrible. You know the feeling...

Your nose is so blocked up you can't even sleep. NO not the alarm clock already!
You're coughing so much, your stomach muscles are sore. I didn't know I had abs.
The rest of your body aches just as much. Someone rub my shoulders?
You go through 500 tissues in a day and they surround you and litter the bed and floor. I'll get those later.
You're sick of soup and orange juice. I know, I know, fluids. Your head is heavy and pounding. SHHHHHH!
You're hot one minute then freezing the next. Where are those socks!? Somewhere under the blankets. 
You're taking meds that make you sleepy but life can't wait for you to take a nap. It's bedtime kids, that means you're supposed to be IN BED.

You've completely forgotten what it feels like to feel normal, to be healthy and you swear to never take that for granted again.

Until you do. Alhamdulillah.

December 8, 2010

24 HOUR PHOTO CHALLENGE







































The 24 HOUR PHOTO CHALLENGE is an online photography contest where the competitors receive the contest rules and regulations at a specified hour and have only 24 hours to shoot, edit and submit their photo to the judges.  
This is an international competition and does not necessitate that you live in a specific timezone to participate. However, you must coordinate your time accordingly because for each contest the rules are given at the specific time and you have 24 hours from the release of each contests specific rules and guidelines to complete your photos. 
Each contest will have a different theme and none of the participants will know the theme until the release of the rules at the start of the competition.

 You can use any camera you have for this challenge. Anybody can participate. Just go to the Facebook page and click Attending.  


Mustafa Davis is a judge and sponsor of the contest and is an extremely talented photographer, you should take a look at  his work.


I should also mention that the contest is sponsored by, among other companies, Zenhom, my brother's clothing company.


More contest and prize information is available here.

December 5, 2010

678




















As I've mentioned before , I'm not an avid watcher of Egyptian or Arabic movies, but when there's one that seems interesting, I'm definitely eager to see it.

I heard about a new movie here called 678. It's supposed to be addressing the sexual harassment that is such a common problem.  678 is the number of the bus the female lead has to take to her job each day where she suffers harassment. I hope the film causes more awareness to the problem and helps bring more consequences to offenders.

I'm really interested to see how they address the problem in the film. Here is an article about it and here and here are 2 trailers for the movie.

If you watched the trailers, what do you think? Would you see the film?

December 3, 2010

Nice And Neat

Houda's post inspired me today! No, I didn't refinish a dresser. I cleaned out and organized my dresser top and drawer. Well, my half anyway. Actually, I take up more like 2/3rds of the space. :)

I didn't take a before picture, it was pretty bad. Let's just leave it at that.


























Stuff is so much easier to find now. It was a jumbled mess and now I can see everything at once.







This jewelery box was taking up space, and not holding much because I thought it had to be for fine jewelery only, but I figured I'll just use it for my watches and costume jewelery.

I keep stealing glances at it. Yes, I'm that easily amused.

December 1, 2010

Unofficial


































I bet you didn't know that Jessica Alba promoted socks. I bet she doesn't know it either.

It's funny,  I see this kind of thing here all the time. There's a men's barber near by that's apparently backed by Ricky Martin and David Beckham. Face creams that bear the image of Nikki Taylor and  Drew Barrymore are common. I think most of this stuff is made in China, somehow they get away with the free celebrity endorsements.

P.S. Jasmina, the socks made me think of you! :)