Tomorrow is Eid

Kol sana wento tayebeen ya batabeet ya 7elween.

I love this Eid, the small one.  The other one or as we at home sometimes call it Eid el La7ma; is exhausting and by the time the dab7 is finished the day is almost over.  Eid is a happy time for our family, when I was back in Egypt we would spend the wa2fa and the Eid days at my maternal grandmothers house on the farm.  All of my cousins, my aunt and uncle and some of our extended family too, imagine gabalayet el 2orood keda.  When we were young my parents would take my sister and I to Toys’R’Us and let us pick our own toy, later when we grew older we would get our 3edeya. Hehehe Eid was the time to be rich!  I stopped getting it when I got married :-).  My family is a generous one, bless them all.  My husband and I had our Katb Ketab on the second day of Eid the year before last.  So this is like our second anniversary as a technically married couple.  This year is special because my mom and my sister are coming over to spend it with us in Kuwait and it is also my daughter’s first Eid.  We got her a special outfit, complete with socks, shoes (my husband insisted even though she still can not stand), matching hair accessories and her own special toy.  This year we picked it out for her, but I am hoping that next year she can pick her own toy.  My mom is also bringing over ka7k all the way from Egypt.  Hehehe and then there was the year my sister stuffed herself with one too many ka7ks and has not touched one since, she can’t even look at them anymore.  There was also a Eid many years ago which we spent in Edinburugh when we were living in Scotland which was so much fun too.  My father (allah yer7amo) loved calling everyone Eid morning right after prayers to wish them a happy Eid and make sure that they woke up.  He was a very funny, kind,amazing man and sometimes a prankster (my mom would tell him 7arram tarwee3 amn el moslemeen, it was a family joke); he is still terribly missed although it has been ten years since he has passed), he would have enjoyed this Eid with us.  There were also a couple of sad ones with sad memmories, but the happy ones are always the ones that prevail.

This year I am truly wishing a happy Eid to the entire Muslim Ummah, wherever you are, enjoy this year, pray for our brothers and sisters in need, try to help if you can by sending money or useful items or even by just visiting.  Visit your family and friends, call those you can not visit, and no those cheesy emails are not good enough.  Make it a personal mission to wish everyone a special day.  It should also be a day of remembrance of those who are no longer with us, pray for them too.

Again, have a great day and enjoy it, you have just gotten thru another Ramadan, may your fasting be accepted by Allah, your prayers mostagaba and your soul cleansed to get you thru another year.

If I were …

a car, I would be a BMW Z4.  Blue, with cup holders and hot pink leather interior

BMW Z4

BMW Z4

a month, I would be November.  I was born in November, need I say more?

Good Scorpio

Good Scorpio

Bad Scorpio

Bad Scorpio

a time of day, I would be dawn.  The birth of a new day, fresh and clean.

Sunrise

Sunrise

a website, I would be Wikipedia.  Open source, collaboration and knowledge, a great mix.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

a movie, I would be Forest Gump.  Funny, sad, dramatic and very human.

Forest Gump

Forest Gump

a book, I would be a dictionary.  Words rock!

Dictionary

Dictionary

a feeling, I would be hope.  Hope is the basis of all the other good feelings and can smother away the bad ones.

Hope

Hope

an object, I would be a kaleidoscope.  A new perspective with every turn.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

a color, I would be blue.  Just imagine the color of a perfect blue sky.

Blue Paint

Blue Paint

a food, I would be pizza.  Pepperoni, jalapenos and extra cheese.

Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

a day, I would be Tuesday.  It is smack in the middle of the week.  In Arabic it’s like three and all good things come in threes.

The god Týr, identified with Mars, after whom Tuesday is named.

The god Týr, identified with Mars, after whom Tuesday is named.

a country, I would be Japan.  History, culture, perseverence, reslience, pride, cherry blossoms and amazing silk kimonos.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms on mount Fuji

Japanese Cherry Blossoms on mount Fuji

a plant, I would be a cactus with a flower.  They live in the harshest conditions, require minimal water yet they manage to have the prettiest flowers.

Cactus flowers by crystalwriter

Cactus flowers by crystalwriter

Cupcakes make me happy

Because they remind me of my childhood

Because they remind me of birthday parties

Because they make me smile

Because I learned to make them on my own

Because I made the icing all by myself

Because they look so cheerful and colorful

Because they are chocolatey

Because I can

8 things that make an apartment a home

It took us almost a year before we really felt that our appartment was complete.  Some items are more important than others and some are the real cherry on the cake.

  1. Comfortable sofa.  We spend so much time in the living room so the sofa is a huge focal point of our home.  It was also our first purchase, we wanted something comfortable, good looking and didn’t show stains easily.
  2. Oil Burner.  I got a really pretty one from the BodyShop and a really relaxing and refreshing scent and the long burning tealight candles.  The sales lady said that the candles burned much longer than the regular and much cheaper ones.  At first I thought she was being “salesy” but I decided to try them anyways and yes they do burn for 3 or 4 hours which is more than double the time the regular ones do.
  3. Great Mugs.  I love mugs, big mugs, colorful mugs, funky mugs and mugs with a message.  They make my morning coffee enjoyable.  Whenever I started a new job I always bought a new mug, it makes the new place feel a little bit more personal and friendly.

    Pretty Mug

    Pretty Mug

  4. A great Mattress and great bedsheets.  This goes without saying but a really good mattress makes the world of a difference.  A good nights sleep is the first step to happiness and good health.  As for bedsheets, Egyptian Cotton is the best.  The higher the threadcount the better, it makes the sheets so much softer.
  5. Storage space.  Clutter depresses me, I like things to have a place.  Everything should have it’s home.  I still have lots of things lying around especially little cows and frogs that go “Moo” and “Ribbit” and Jingle when you step on them  ( they have a lovely home in a bright pink box, but my daughter is so attached to them that they follow her around all day ).  Boxes are great, magazine holders, under bed boxes, closet organizers take your pick.
  6. Good lighting.  Even the best furnished house in bad lighting looks bad.  Indirect lighting adds ambience, overhead lights are great when you need a bright environment, lamps with pretty lampshades are not only good for lights but also for decor.  I have these ice cube lights from IKEA and they are just super, they give off this warm light that makes the place feel so cozy.

    Ice Cubes

    Ice Cubes

  7. Positive energy.  Again if you act positive inside your home the good positive karma will bite you.  If you are sad, depressed and mope around all day then no matter how expensive your coffee table your home will be a dark and gloomy place.  Maybe Feng Shui is your way or maybe you are into environmental psychology but whatever you choose, a positive attitude is healthy.  My personal motto, is open spaces, good flow and lots of sunshine.
  8. Personal touches.  I love flowers and nature in general, that’s why we have large prints on the wall with flowers and forests.  My husband loves fiery colors, so we have an orange carpet.  If the home does not reflect your own personal style it will never really feel yours will it?

Obstacles …

“Obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.”

– Zig Ziglar

Breaking micro addictions – wallpaper style.

I have some bad micro addictions that I am trying to break.  This post at ZenHabits inspired me so much that I decided to turn it into my wallpaper.  Click the image to get the 1024 x 768 version.

10 reasons why it is better to be a stay at home mom than work

I was just thinking that staying at home has lots of its perks so here they are

  1. No managers, just one very bossy baby.
  2. There are no deadlines, just one ongoing very long day trying to finish all of your small tasks
  3. There is no competition, there can only be one mommy, so you are always employee of the month.
  4. Even diaper changing can be fun if you make it game like.  Baby hold clean nappy, baby hold diaper cream, baby chew on clean nappy, baby lift your legs up, lots of tickles and presto it is fun!
  5. Every day is casual Thursday, I could wear a clown suit and no one would care except the baby and I think she might find it funny.
  6. Dancing and singing off tune is acceptable and is very appreciated.
  7. You can take naps, that is when and if the baby decides to take one.
  8. Playing tickle monster all day.
  9. Playing hairdresser with the baby’s hair and trying out different do’s all day long.
  10. And the top ten reason is that you are payed in smiles and giggles.

Yes it is exhausting, yes sometimes I feel like poking my own eardrums when she’s having a cry fest for no apparent reason but it is always rewarding.  It is an enjoyable journey and I have big plans.  The process of learning together and seeing the world through little Miss Wiggly Bottom’s eyes is just more than anything I had ever expected.

Clay art is amazing

Some people are very talented.  Clay art by Sha3teely

Beautiful Clay Baby

Rashid 2 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Moussaka – Messa2a3a – a la jessyz

Yes, shocking as it may sound I do cook.  My sister said “eh dah manti bete3rafi ahoh” her exact words.  For some reason I do not look like the cooking type.  I do enjoy cooking I just hate doing the dishes later.  Around the kitchen I follow no one’s rules, I just add stuff and hope it turns out great.  El mohem, my poor husband loves el messa2a3a but because I didn’t like eggplants and had never actually tasted it, I just never made it.  This ramadan I decided I could make him some.  I checked out the recipes for information, bought eggplants, called my mom to ask her about it and entered the kitchen. He loved, and I loved it too.

My Moussaka

My Moussaka

And because I am in a good mood here is my moussaka recipe for dummies (aka the easy way) this makes 3-4 servings.

Ingredients:

4 medium sized eggplants.

1/4 kg ground beeg

1 onion

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

4 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin olive oil)

Dried basil

2 handfulls of mozzarella cheese.

3 jalapeno peppers

1 green pepper

Spices: salt, pepper, ginger and cinnamon.

How-to

Mince the meat, in a saucepan add the ground beef and onions after you have peeled and diced them.  Add some salt, pepper, half a teaspoon of ginger and a touch of cinnamon to the mix and wait till it all becomes brown and the meat is cooked.  Turn the heat off and put it aside.

Peel the eggplants and slice them 1 cm thick.  Brush the slices with olive oil and saute them in a frying pan until both sides have been browned.

In an oven dish layer half of the slices at the bottom of the dish.  Add the minced meat as the second layer.  Slice the jalapenos into little rings after you have removed the seeds.  Sprinkle them on the meat.  In another saucepan add the remaining olive oil, the tomato paste, basil and half a cup of water, lower the heat until it simmers.  Add the sauce on the meat and cover with the remaining slices of eggplants.  Add the mozzarella cheese and garnish with slices of green pepper.

Preheat the oven at 270 degrees and put the dish in.  It takes around 30 minutes in the oven but that depends on the size of your dish and your oven, so check it after 20 minutes just in case.

Enjoy your meal!

If I were a cupcake

I would want to be a sesame street cupcake, Elmo probably.

Sesame Street Cupcakes

Sesame Street Cupcakes

From Martha’s Cupcake Contest.