September 24, 2011

Bored/Pinterest

I'm so bored today.

Sure there are things I could do like, laundry, organizing but I really don't feel like doing anything. I have a cold and a huge headache, to top it off, it's shark week. I even ordered pizza today because I couldn't be bothered to make anything.  So I'm just gonna talk about some of my favorite pins on Pinterest. Just a random bunch of things I like.

How cute are these flip flops? So cute.

From the set of one of my favorite movies, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, if you haven't seen it, see it ASAP.

This cracks me up every time I see it. Another favorite of mine, Interview With The Vampire.

I want a coat like this, in black. Yes it does get cold enough here for a coat.

I'd love to get henna done, I never have. This is gorgeous.

I want this book. And that skin. I'm sure, not even she has that skin, but wow.

I'm obsessed with this dog and look at him frequently. He's so freaking cute.

I do this now in the kitchen, If you put your iphone in a bowl, the bowl will amplify the sound. Science is fun.

I like this movie, my favorite part is when Flor lets the girl's clothes out and is all "Just, try it on!" She's so cute. 



If you are not already on Pinterest, you should be. It's a good boredom killer as you can see, and you find so many great ideas, pics, recipes and projects there.


September 23, 2011

On Various Topics

I  was talking to the kids and told them I  want them to try their very best from the start this year. I said, I want 4 nerds in this house.  So each day on their way out, it's "Have a good day, Nerd it up, and don't forget...I love you!"  It's a lot to keep up with, all of their homework and which books to bring each day, lunches, etc. But the upside is mornings free to do what I want. Catch up on sleep, or meet friends for coffee. I do try to do housework before the kids  get home so I'm more available for HW help and all that.

I got my highlights. I'm happy with the result, even if it's not just like the photos I had in mind. The base color of my hair is too dark from repeated home hair dying so it 's not chestnut but a dark chocolate with golden brown highlights. You know I was checking it in the mirror 10 times that day.

I finally watched the finale episodes of Monk. I liked how it ended. (SPOILER ALERT!) Adrian was even wearing a casual sweater in the end and part of his obsession was redirected to Trudy's daughter. I'm glad Parenthood is back, I wait for the new episode each Wednesday. Anyone watch?

I found THE perfect easy way to do your own French manicure. Here's the tutorial.
I had my nails done after my highlights and I was really not satisfied with it. I'm never paying for a manicure again. Unless you sit there in the salon until it's totally dry, it get's messed up and why pay when I can do it? I've tried this with q-tips but it's not nearly as effective. Stickers are a pain and you still don't always get it perfect.
 

Check the tutorial and here's a few tips I've learned:
  • For the white polish, it's most important that the polish is new and not glunky, so you could just use a cheap brand.
  • I find it's best to hold your brush steady and move your finger from one side to another, and the beauty with this technique is you don't have to make it perfect.
  • I used an old eyeshadow brush to do the clean sweep, I recommend not dipping it too far into the nail polish remover or you'll loosen the glue that holds your brush bristles in. Just the tip of the brush will do.
  • A clear coat on your nails each day will keep it glossy and prevent chips. If your tips get chipped just lightly go over the very edge with white and then a clear top coat.

If you try this let me know how you did. :)

September 20, 2011

Jazz Up Your Ramen

My kids and I love Ramen noodles, or Endomie as it's known here. I thought I'd add a little something to make a sweet and sour dish.


Mmmm.
Slice onions, peppers, and mushrooms. After this photo I prompty dropped and broke that bottle of Sesame Oil. What. A . Mess.

For sweet and sour sauce, 1/4 cup white or rice vinegar, 1/4 Ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar (or white sugar with a tbsp of molasses) after it's simmering, whisk in 1/4 cup water that's been mixed with 1 Tbsp Corn starch to thicken.  I doubled the recipe.

Sautee the veggies in sesame or peanut oil, preferably but vegetable or olive will do.

Till they are nice and semi soft.

I baked popcorn chicken on a baking sheet in the oven instead of frying them.

Mix it all together and enjoy!



September 15, 2011

Identity

So this lady (Egyptian) on a fb group today told me I'm not from the US. I'd mentioned it in passing, in a comment and she said  Mona  r u realy from USA??????? and I repliedEgyptian blood, born and raised in the US, living here now 9 years :). To which she replied: Egyptian BLOOD ....that not mean u r form USA. Then the mod said to take it to private message. So I wrote to her 


I was born and raised and lived only in the US until I was 25, married with kids...That means I'm from there. No on in the US has pure American blood except the Native American Indians.

She replies in Arabic, I'm like great it's gonna take me forever to read this. So I do finally and she said (translating):

I of course don't mean any harm but, those who are living in Egypt 30 years, do they consider themselves Egyptians or do they remain A German whose fluent in Arabic.  The difference in the origin or blood not by birth, or where you were raised. I was born in Mansoura (Egyptian town/city), I never lived there one day. But to those who ask, I'm saying I'm from Mansoura. I was amazed when you said  you are of America.

I'm dumbfounded at this point. I then reply:

I had a hard time reading your message, finally I did. Unfortunately, although I can speak masri very well but I'm weak in reading and writing Arabic.

You are comparing living in Mansoora as opposed to another city or town in Egypt to Egypt vs America, it's a big difference.


If an adult from Germany lives in Egypt 30 years of course they identify as a German first but if a kid comes to live here and lives many years, they will identify as Egyptian as well, as long as they are immersed in the culture and people. I have friends from Britain and Poland who are rasing their kids here and their kids are very Egyptian.


You can't decide for me what country I identify with.


I feel I can't say to people I'm Egyptian without mentioning that I'm born and raised in the US only because I want them to know if I make a mistake in speaking or don't know about certain things in Egypt it's not because I'm stupid but because I wasn't raised here.


One of the good things about the US is everyone is originally from somewhere else, and there are so many different nationalities and cultures. Kind of why I like Hurghada.


Please let me know if any of this was not understood, thanks.


 So she's yet to reply. I don't know her level of English but she's on an English group. I tried writing in Arablish like Ya3ni kida but I really couldn't handle it or get my point across. 

I think some Egyptians take offense like I'm denying my Egyptian-ness when really I'm just being honest and logical.  I don't know why this is bothering me so much. What do you think? 

File Under Random

identity
sandals
fix it
school
hair
unannounced guests

So today I was in a really talkative mood and had a bunch of things I wanted to post/talk about but I was busy, so I kept a post page open, and typed in topics that came to mind as the day progressed. That's the list you see above, in that order.  So here it goes:

Identity, This ended up way to long for a random post so it's gonna get it's own post. 


Sandals, Why is it that I can't find some nice sandals that aren't completely flat like I'm barefoot or with high heels? I'm living in my Aerosoft flip flops (I have 3 pairs now) lately 'cause nothing can compare to their comfort. I need a little arch support, man!


Fix It, A few days ago, I felt like a super fix it electrician. A fuse blew, we had our fridge, TV, receiver, phone and net router in one power strip for years now (bad) but anyway, the switch in the fuse box wouldn't turn back on, so I tried the fridge's plug in another place, then that fuse blew. Along with a bunch of sparks and zaps and the plug got all burnt. So I was thinking the fridge is fried. Awesome. 

We were on our way out to the beach so I just left it, the stuff was still ok for a few hours. My told me it might just be the plug and I could just change that. So on my way home I picked up a big plug and a couple of new power strips and got to work. I  cut and stripped the fridge cord and installed the new plug, wrapped it all up nicely with electric tape and used an extension power strip to plug it in another room. It worked! I was doing the "I'm awesome" dance, and requesting high fives and fist bumps from the kids who were like, wha? Oh, yea... good job. Oh and then I called my friend to say thanks for the idea.


School, School starts on Saturday for us and we're almost ready. We bought the books, uniforms, socks, supplies, labeled everything, covered all the books and notebooks. Man it's alot of work and we haven't even started yet. The summer homework is almost done, such a headache. I want to rally and get less or no summer hw next summer. They assign a ridiculous amount and request things such as 2 posters for the school that you have made for 50 le a pop at a print shop, and to burn a CD with patriotic or mother's day songs and print out the lyrics in addition to the actual homework!


Hair, I have to reschedule my appointment now because the school is having half day the first week. Argh.


Unannounced Guests, I'm not a fan. I enjoy people coming over for tea or conversation, especially if I like them, but to show up or call 10 mins before? Not convenient. I might be in the middle of something, or have nothing to offer you.  But here, you have to say "ahlan wa sahlan" (welcome) you can't say Oh it's a bad time.  Not a huge deal, but a little bothersome. 


Well that's all for this edition of Random.

September 12, 2011

Getting My Hair Done

So I have an appointment next week to get my hair colored. Right now my hair is very dark brown and a bit past my shoulders. The roots are lighter than the ends though, I guess from dying it before so I'm going to ask for an even chestnut brown with caramel highlights. I don't want any redness though, I'm going to stress that.

I've found some photos of what I'm looking for.

Natural, but I'd like more highlights.

While watching Michelle Phan's latest Youtube video I noticed her highlights are a nice shade.

This chick, I don't know her name, she was on Parenthood but anyway I like that the base color is still dark enough not to be too high maintenance. Think it would magically transform me into her?... I kid.

Nice highlights, Ms. Alba.

Cheryl Cole again, very similar to the no name girl above.
 I've found this place, it's run by an Italian/American woman and her colorist is brilliant according to the before and photos I've seen on her fb page. I don't want it to be toooo drastic or light so I'm not having to do my roots in 6 weeks. Plus I've tried going light and it just doesn't suit me. Which photo(s) should I show the colorist?

September 11, 2011

September Eleventh

Ten years ago today, I was living in Jersey City, just a short drive through the Holland Tunnel to the city, and I woke the same, as any other day. That day, everything changed.

I was getting my kids breakfast and tried to turn on PBS  for them, but it wasn't working. I tried all the channels and only CBS 2 was on and it was a bit fuzzy. The news made my face drop. A plane had flown into one of the twin towers and it was chaos and unbelievable.  Soon the other plane hit and I was in utter shock. I woke up my husband and like many other Americans I was glued to the tv and was calling people. And like many other Muslims, I was hoping it wasn't "Muslims". I put Muslims in quotes because a Muslim can't be a terrorist and still call themselves Muslims.

I feel that as a Muslim American, my life, and the lives of other Muslims living in the US, was affected more than most Americans off the street. I was horrified by the tragedies and on top of that the assholes who did this ruined things for Muslims in America, big time.

I was pregnant at the time and couldn't go out and didn't leave my apartment for 2 months. I had friends who had to go out for work and school and had horrible things happen to them. I cried and felt completely unwelcome in the only country I ever called home.

I don't have to tell you about all the hate crimes that happened in the weeks and months following 9/11. Not to mention all the innocent lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since.

The whole Quran burning fiasco, the problems with Park 51, SO many things have happened as a result of the events of 9/11 that have made it hard to be Muslim in America.

I'm not saying all this to discredit all the Americans affected by the tragedies but just to give a little insight into the American Muslim point of view.  We're not the enemy. We were affected just as much, if not more. Of course, not including people who personally lost loved ones. I'm just saying, it sucks all the way around. 

September 7, 2011

Vacation Pics

We spent 5 days in Marsa Alam at a resort called Iberotel La Maya,( in case anyone was interested) It was really relaxing and fun. I thought the hotel staff was super friendly and personal and no one said a thing to me about swimming in my hijabi swimwear. I did get stares from foreigners but I made a point to smile at everyone who made eye contact and I everyone smiled back. The assumption is I don't speak English so I witnessed a few double takes. I kind of made a game of it. Seeing who would make eye contact while passing, and smile back, say good morning. The place was immaculate and service was great. The food was delicious, I really had no complaints. We swam every day and the kids had a blast at the aqua park. 

First day, getting in some pool time before sunset.

The sun setting over the mounta
Playground


Just hanging out

The kids with Essam in one of the rooms

Stopping on the way for a photo

At the restaurant
"LOOK AT MEEEEE"

Getting ready to slip and slide.

Going to dinner

Dawood took full advantage of all inclusive at all times.

Wating for the boat, me and my kids.

Safiyah

Salwa

Zayneb

The sun's in my eyes!

On a boat excursion

D&Z

The boat had a submarine level with big windows and it was fantastic!

It's hard to capture through the glass but it was gorgeous.

Pretty fishies!

This was my favorite part, it was surreal!

It's Crush!

Last day, swimming before check out.
Safiyah

Dawood, one last ice cream :)


I read 2 of the books I bought, Shopaholic Abroad and The Lovely Bones. Shopaholic was a nice light funny read. It was enjoyable. The Lovely  Bones was haunting and emotional. I kind of teared up by the pool a few times reading it. It's really tragic but beautifully written. I'm starting on another book now, "Revenge of a Middle Aged Woman" I'm a few chapters in but can't really get into it. 

Anyway I hope you all had a great Eid!