Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Thank You is Not Enough

As the school year comes to a bitter-sweet end, we reminisce on how our children started off their year and how they ended it.  Scared and unsure at first, happy and confident they became.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ready for Ramadan

With every passing day we get closer to the holy month of Ramadan.

The supermarkets start displaying endless 'popular Ramadan' staples and the offers are non-stop.  This will be a common sight at stores:
One time the offer was so tempting I purchased 20 boxes of creme caramel (or flan) just because they were on an amazing sale.  I used one and the rest stayed in my pantry until they reached their expiration date and I threw them out.

I will be regularly posting recipes and tips over the month of Ramadan and I even have an interesting collaboration coming up that will be revealed closer to the date.

For those who know me know that I love lists.  I have a list for everything.  My life revolves around them and without them I am lost.  Literally.

So if this Ramadan you want to have your ftoor at home and not sure where to start, let me attempt to lay it down for you.  Straight up.  Here are some life-saving lists...

Disclaimer: this list is just a guide and I often have to make visits to the store to buy daily stapes (milk, eggs...etc) and also buy some ingredients that I don't currently have.  If you find yourself frequenting the store please don't hold me responsible. You have been warned.
  
Just to give you an idea of what my ftoor at home consists of, it is light and healthy and usually consists of:
A main dish
A side dish - either brown rice, vegetables, or quinoa
Baked samboosas and/or springrolls
Something for the kids (incase the main is not something they like)
Light dessert
Tea/Gahwa (Arabic coffee)

When I am at my Mom's however that equation changes and my food intake quadruples with the addition of:
Thireed
Harees
Soup
Lgaimat
Another dessert
Chay 7aleeb

For recipes, I found that the easier/less time required the better.  There are two websites I frequent the most.  Maggi's website and the forever classic epicurious.  Maggi's website is (surprisingly) full of delicious dishes that are super easy to make and take very little time.  They taste like you have spent hours in the kitchen. 

Some of my family's favorite recipes are:
Yemeni Chicken
Okra and Meat Stew
Spinach and Meat Stew
Chicken in Tomato and Lemon Sauce
Light Mahlabia
Rice Pudding with Peaches 

In my pantry, I stock:
White and brown rice
Dates (that I stuff with roasted almonds)
Beans (kidney, lima, chickpeas)
Raisins
Nuts (which I actually store in the fridge)
Dried cranberries
Quinoa
Fresh batch of spices (I usually stock up on spices every Ramadan so I know that a year has passed)

Dessert ingredients every Bahraini household has: creme caramel, dream whip, Jello 

In my freezer:
Some cubed lamb (ask your butcher to chop for curry or saloona)
Some mince meat
Some chicken breast
Some chicken pieces (with bone) 

In my refrigerator:
Salad vegetables (leafy vegetables, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes)
Cooking vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes)
Cheeses
Fruits


I hope this guide is helpful.  I will be posting regularly during Ramadan so watch this space!





Images from icnarelief.org and www.samanthajrjones.co.uk

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tangle Teezer Review

I first read about this on My2Thumz and was intrigued.

Brushing my daughter's hair is a constant AWWWW OOOH MAMAAAAA STOPPPPPPPP.  This brush promises to detangle in the least amount of pain - SOLD!

I ordered it online but I know that there are some resellers in Bahrain . I bought the Original Professional Salon Elite hairbrush for me ($18) and the Kids Flowerpot for my daughter ($30).

The packaging is simple.  The brushes feel awkward at first because you tend to be accustomed to holding the 'stick' part of the brush and gripping a brush in its entirety was foreign to me.

I ordered sparkly purple for me (don't ask - I didn't like the other colors available on Amazon) and for Sama a cute pink flower pot than when opened can act as a small compartment for hair scrunchies and whatnot.


The Sama test:
She was fascinated with the brush.  The attractive colors and the fact that she now has a little treasure box to stash her endless knickknacks was a definite plus.  Brushing it at first felt like I wasn't brushing at all.  The bristles are soft and did not tug at her tangles - which meant no whining!  Brushing from the roots was easy but I did feel that I had to brush more frequent just to get the tangles out.  Since this is a subtle approach to detangling (as opposed to the conventional yanking) - the task of hair brushing took a bit longer than usual.

The second time I tried the brush I required the help of our trusty leave-in. It was easier using a conditioner and the short bristles didn't have to do any intensive brushing.
I also found that she likes to brush her hair purely for the fact that it's a fun design and is easy for her to hold and use.  I've had it a little over 2 weeks and we haven't resorted to the conventional brush yet.  So far we are loving this.

The harsh Zain test:
I like it - kinda.  It's not made for lefties and products that don't consider us lose my respect.  I mean, a slanted product that fits and feels better in a right hand instead of a left one is pretty insensitive right?
Having said that - I continued with the trial and liked the result.  Again, the brush was painless but I found tangles needed some extra work - when compared to a conventional brush.  The Tangle Teezer approach was more holistic (if that makes sense), soft, gentle and painless.  It also didn't result in a lot of lost hair which is great. The bristles are soft and short and really feel nice on the scalp.

Like Sama's brush, I am still using it and haven't switched to my good ol' paddle brush.  I will continue to use it until it stops working.

I would reckon these brushes would not be so easy to use with very curly or long hair as your arms will give up on you for sure.

But I do recommend it for kids and adults but bear in mind if you are a left it might feel a bit off and the task of brushing will take a little longer than you are used to.




Product website


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Little Things

Online shopping - where customer truly is King.

Friday night I bought a dress for my daughter from an online US store.  I asked for 2nd day shipping because I was in a hurry for the dress.  I kept waiting for an email notification to say the order has been shipped but 2 days later - still nothing.  So I dropped them an email and said it's been weeks since my order was placed and I really need to know when the order would ship out.  Yes, I said weeks in error when I only meant days.  I also realized after sending the email that it was their weekend and their offices were closed.

There was no way to recall my email and at that point one of my brats walked in and my attention was lost.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Much A-Blog About Nothing

The blinking cursor is staring at me.  Waiting.  Pushing.

Beckoning me to type something - anything.

But I am blank.

And if I am blank I have nothing to blog about.

So I apologize for the lack of posts recently.  Please do not confuse it with lack of interest - because believe you me there is a lot of it.  It's just that - nobody told me how challenging it is to blog about interesting topics.  I can talk about my job for hours, or my kids' hilarious characters - but that won't have an inkling of interest to you. 

*Currently taking ideas for posts.*

So please bear with my blogger's block. It's is currently being declogged...