June 30, 2013

The End Of Google Reader. Time For Bloglovin'?

Well today marks the last day that Google reader will be running. Your blog list will no longer be on the reader to peruse. I've gotten so used to it and I'm not happy to see it go but there is a really good alternative. Bloglovin.

Bloglovin' has a really nice and easy interface and makes it super fast and easy to keep up to date with all your favorite blogs. You can import your blogs from Google Reader right there and list your own blog as well. Bloglovin' also helps you find blogs like the ones you love as well as any kind of blog you can think of.

Make the move and follow me while you're there!

June 28, 2013


Last week my sister was in town and we went on a lovely little vacation here at one of the local resorts. It was a great time full of swimming, eating, laughing and did I mention the eating? Really, when you're at an all inclusive place and there's a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, you really don't get a chance to be hungry but you eat anyway because well, it's time for food! Interesting how that works.

I realized how much I love swimming in these few days. I'm not a pro, I just kinda wade along but it feels amazing and the deep end was always empty. My sister and I noticed that although half the people at the resort were Egyptians, it was quite rare to see any Egyptian women swimming. They'd all be in the crowded shallow side and we'd be swimming along in the vast deep half, just us two. Why is that?

Anyway, here are some photos :)

Waiting to check in.
Salwa, already tan from our beach days.

The view from our balcony.

One of the swimming pools.

Can you tell he's thrilled to take a photo?

Just after waterslides.

Never miss an opportunity for ice cream.

Scenery selfie.

Pretty, huh?

A towel swan! 

Hijabi swimwear plus a floppy hat.

Giant chess.

Good times! It's so nice to get away for a few days.

June 26, 2013


Well, in case you haven't noticed, I've been a bit busy. I've been working on my new business! I'm really excited to tell you guys about it and how it came to be.

I've always loved designing blogs. If you've been a reader of Mama Mona for a while, you'll know the design on this blog has changed many many times. A few years ago I started a second blog about blog design but it sort of died down when blogger changed it's interface. Recently I decided I would start an online business making blog templates. After I bought the domain I started working on different designs and I'm happy to say it's now up and running. Yes Swell Blog Design is open for business! I have premade designs and also do custom templates.

I'd love to know what you think of the new site, the designs and of course if any of you find yourself wanting a new blog template, please think of me?

Without further ado, presenting: Swell Blog Design


June 13, 2013


It's with a heavy heart I write this post. I'm sad to say but our dog Rocky passed away. He was fine one day then the next gone. Well, when he was vomiting blood, I took him to the vet and he said he'll have to stay. He gave him an IV and took blood for testing. It was hard to leave him there but I knew he needed the fluids.

Later on the vet called and said the results said that it's a virus. One of 3 serious viruses that dogs often get here and that it wasn't looking good. I went back to the vet and by the time I got there, he was gone.  The kids didn't come with me, thankfully. I knew it wouldn't be a good thing for them to see him like that. The doctor explained things as I barely held back tears. I couldn't believe he was really gone.

It's setting in now, several days on. He doesn't come to greet me in the garden and I washed and put away  his bowls and toys.

The kids are really sad about it but we talked and made a nice slide show of all his photos together.

People suggest getting a new puppy but I don't want to think about that right now at all. It's a little insulting when suggested right away. As if he could just be replaced. I don't know, feelings are complex. We'll always remember Rocky. The funny way he'd get a running start and how he'd give you that sweet look and even when he was super hyper and crazy. RIP Rocky. I don't care what anyone says. I believe We'll see him again. one day in heaven.

June 5, 2013

Summertime Miscellaneous Ramblings

We are so glad to be done with this school year. We've been officially on summer vacation for a couple of weeks now.  The lazy days have begun. I love the beach. We really ought to take advantage of our proximity to such lovely shores. Swimming is one of my favorite things. You feel just weightless and as though all your cares are washed away in the sea.

Salwa & Safiyah at the beach. 

I do however have to deal with the dreaded hijabi tan. You know, where your hands/feet and face are several shades darker than the rest of you? Not cool. I slather on sunscreen and try to stay in the shade but there's no shade in the water and that's the best place to be when you're at the beach. The last time we went, it was us and some friends and we spent a long time swimming and having "holding your breath contests" which I'm surprisingly good at. After that we ate, we brought food and drinks along and relaxed on the chaise longue. We stayed till they closed. I plan on going to the beach a lot more this summer, it's just theraputic, I believe.

Another great love of mine is a new one. Bubble tea. I only just tried it recently when this place opened here and it's just yummy. So far, my favorite combo has been green tea frappe, peach flavor with strawberry boba.


Here's a favorite food, it's a simple recipe just sauteed green beans with a bit of salt and pepper and sugar. 

If I have almonds, I'll toast some slivers and add them in.

We have a kitty! Her name is Nussa and she's rescue like Rocky and she's super adorable. I was worried about them getting a long but they have a kind of brother/sister relationship. She wants to play, he's mildly annoyed. It helps that she's inside most of the time and he's outside.

I leave you with this epic fruit salad that Safiyah seems to be baffled by here. How's your summer going so far?