Sunday, 30 September 2007

Garage storage

I don't have a garage because I live in an apartment, but if I had I would try to make the best of that space. Most people only use it to park the car and that's it. It's a pity really, because usually garages are quite big spaces.

One thing I really like is when people use metal cabinets in their garage. It's so versatile and I like that shiny look. And you can lock the doors, which is very important in a home with kids.

My parents use their garage a lot. My mom uses it to store the plants and pots that can't be out during winter. She also has a cabinet where she stores jam, dried fruit and other food that needs to be kept in a cool place. My dad uses his part of the garage to store his tools on a pegboard. I like pegboards, they are great for storing a lot of things. Actually, I like the garage furniture because it was made for storing lots of things in a small space. And not just in the garage. I think I have to check this out because I might find some smart solutions for my home as well.

Christmas countdown

Can you believe it? It's almost here. Christmas is closer than we think. Each year I start preparing for Christmas a little sooner and each year I feel a little less stress. I know, it's still a bit early, Christmas is still more than 2 months away. But before we know it it's end of November and then things get busy.

Last year I used the Fly Lady Holiday Control Journal and I really recommend it.

I just found Organized and their Christmas Countdown. It's a 6 week Christmas organizing plan. It starts on October 21 and ends on December 1. During those 6 weeks you'll get all the planning done and most of the Christmas shopping too. I think it sounds great and I'm ready to give it a try.

So what I'll do next week is to get myself a notebook and start planning the planning. *lol* I'll use a mix of Fly Lady and Organized Christmas and hopefully this will be the most peaceful Christmas ever.

This year I've decided to do a Christmas Countdown Bible Study. I always try to find time to read the Bible but life is too hectic most of the time and there are too much to do. So, this year I've decided to start planning for Christmas early and instead of running around like crazy in December I will use that time to read the Bible, because by then my Christmas planning will, hopefully, be all done and the presents all wrapped up. Since I'm one of very few Catholics around here I will have to do this study on my own. I will also try to get my children involved, because Christmas is such a blessed time for us Christians and I want my children to be a part of that.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

How to get your home organized - Step 3

Step 3: Everything in its’ own place.

If you have followed the first two steps your home/room should be decluttered by now and the Throw Away bag emptied and the Give Away box on its' way to bless others.

As you take all the stray object to their rooms, try to think about which would be the right place for each item. Try to put things where they are really used. Use your common sense. If you put on your make up in the bedroom, maybe keeping it in the bathroom might not be the best idea. If you read your mail in the kitchen, maybe you should have a place by the kitchen table where you can put your mail?

Have a look at the things you have. Gather the things that are similar or have similar uses and think of how much space they need to be stored properly. If you have lots of books, you might need to add another shelf or maybe store them differently. If you have lots of CD:s you might need a new storage system. As you work your way through your rooms you might find that some groups of items use less space than you thought and other groups need more space. Based on that, you might be able to “recycle” your storage systems and find new uses for what you already have. Getting organized doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on storage systems! It’s about finding better uses for what you have. And if you have followed the previous steps you probably have less things anyway and in more logical places.

Previous posts: Step 1 and Step 2

Back to school 2

There's a new student in my home -ME! I've been doing paperwork all summer and last week I finally got the admission letter. I'm in! Now I have to register and pay the fee (way too much money, if you ask me, but hey, what can you do?). I'll do that next week when I go to Ceuta.

I'll study "Filología Hispánica" (Spanish Philology) so when I finish I'll have a degree in Spanish and Literature. 5 years.... Oh, I'm so excited! I can't wait to go back to school. This is something I've wanted to do for years, ever since I dropped out due to health reasons 15 years ago.

It's going to be tough, I know. I'm a semi-single mom, with 2 kids and no car and I'm sort of alone in this country. But I know I can do it! I HAVE to do it! This is a chance of a lifetime. Besides, most of my studies I'll do on line so I only have to go to school to do exams and meet the teachers a few times a year. I've studied on line before and I know it's harder than going to class, because you have to make your own timetable and follow it. It's so easy to get sidetracked and then end up having to study day & night for the exams. Been there, done that.... *lol*

These are the subject I'll study the first year:

  • Spanish Medieval Literature
  • Latin
  • Linguistics
  • Literature Theory
  • Spanish Fonetics
So, now I have to think about buying a lot of books and stuff and get myself organized. I just hope my home will be finished by then but I doubt it very much. Anyway, that's life and I have a lot ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Children at work

In Morocco, child labor is accepted both by society and by law. The legal age for labor is 15, but about 11 % of the children between the ages of 7 and 14 work, according to official figures from 2000. Wherever you go you can see children at work - shining shoes, selling handkerchiefs and chewing gums at the red lights, helping out in the shops, working in the fields or as shepherds, learning a trade... And then there are the "invisible" children in the domestic service who you seldom see because they live their lives within the four walls of the employer's home.

One of the main reasons for child labor is poverty. Poor families, often with several children, see no other option than to send their children, sometimes as young as 5 years old, to be apprentices to tailors or carpet weavers or work in the domestic service. Many maids, even the youngest, are forced to work 100 or more hours per week, without rest breaks or days off. Most of them suffer from frequent physical and verbal abuse, not being allowed to attend school, get medical care or enough food. Sexual harassment by employers or their relatives is common. If a girl loses her virginity due to the harassment, her family is considered to have been dishonored. If possible, she is obligated to marry her aggressor. If she becomes pregnant as a result of the rape, society is most likely to turn its' back on her. Abortions are illegal in Morocco and unmarried, pregnant girls are usually forced to prostitute themselves for life in order to survive.

Education from age six to fifteen is compulsory and free in Morocco. In spite of that, millions of Moroccan children don't attend school. Poor families can't afford to buy textbooks, school material, uniforms and pay for transportation, so the dropout rate is very high. Many girls in rural areas are not even registered at birth so they are not allowed to attend school. Instead, they are sent to the cities to work as maids. According to a 2001 study of child domestics, over 80% of the maids had never attended school.

The government is working to help these children, but much more could be done. International organizations, like UNICEF and Save The Children, have projects in Morocco. I believe the key to all this is EDUCATION. Illiterate parents are more likely to send their children to work instead of letting them attend school. By giving the children of today a chance to study we help both them and their children to come. Benjamin Franklin said “The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.”

More posts about different types of abuse at Blogcatalog.

Is this green enough?

G wanted his room green, so the painter and I settled for light green. But now that it's all done I think I should have chosen a somewhat darker green for the doors. G is really happy with his "new" room and says he can't wait to get it ready.

I still have a lot of work to do in his room before it's done. But one babystep at a time will get me there, sooner or later. *lol* I have so much work to do today. Get things back in place, CLEAN the house, prepare B:s room. His room is getting painted on Monday and he wants his room blue.

Getting the boys rooms redecorated will be so much fun I think. Blue and green are very
"boyish" colors so I think I'll find lots of great things for them.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

How to get your home organized - Step 2

Classify your stuff.

Once you’re done decluttering one room you have to make sure the Throw away box is emptied and the Give away box is stored away in its’ “cooling place”. Just don’t forget where you put that box and let it stay there for too long! 3 months and it’s gone, ok? And if you’re sure you don’t need any of it ever again, you can give it away sooner.

So, now you’re standing in your decluttered room with less stuff than you had to begin with. Only the things that you love. But in your Keep box there are probably lots of things that don’t belong to that room.

The next step is to classify the stuff in the box. Take out some boxes/bags and label them with each room or member of the household. Classify the stuff and then take it where it belongs. Or let each member come and get their own stuff.

Why don't you get your kids and make a game out of it? See who can put away most things in 10 minutes. I'm sure you can make up lots of funny games for your kids to make them give you a hand. After all, they too live in the house and should help with the cleaning. Of course, everyone according to their age.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

How to get your home organized - Step 1


Get 3 boxes/big bags. Tag them – Keep, Throw Away (for torn things, things that can’t be used anymore, garbage) and Give Away.

Start working in one room. It’s easiest if you start by the door and work your way around the room. Spend only 15 minutes decluttering in one room, then go to another room or do something else. If you spend too much time decluttering you are probably going to get bored and you will end up keeping it all. Remember, you are only keeping what you really love/need. If you keep it all, then why declutter? You need to be tough and really think about each item – do I really want to keep this? Do I love it? Would I miss it if it was gone? Will I ever need this thing? If I don't need it/love it, would it bless someone else and make her/him happy? Or is it just rubbish? With less things in your home it will be easier to keep your home organized and clean.

As soon as one bag/box is filled, take it away! Don’t leave it around. Go, go, go! Don't think so much, just get it out of your sight.

One thing that has worked for me is to put away the Giveaway Box somewhere where I won’t see it (like on the balcony, the shed, etc) for 3 months. If during that time I have not missed any of the things in the box I’m definitely ready to give them away. I write a note on my calendar - "Time to take care of Give Away Box". But if you're more determined than I am, just give everything away right away.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Bloggers unite!

Only 3 days left now! Why don't you join us for a good cause? On September 27th we are writing about different types of abuse, to make our readers aware of the problems. If we bloggers unite and work together, across the borders, this world would be a much better place to live in.

I'm working on my article right now. It requires a lot of research but I hope it will be a good one. I won't tell you what it's all about, I'll let that be a surprise. :-)

When is it going to end?

This is what my living room looks like right now. I don't know if I'm going to cry because of the mess or laugh because it's all like a bad joke. 7 weeks now... I don't know how much longer I can stand this situation....

Ooops! My %/(%# connection won't let me upload big photos! I've tried several times and after a while the page just goes blank.... I will continue to try so when you see a bigger photo in this post you know I've succeeded. *so tired of this lousy connection*

Shopping cart software

One of the most important things for an on line business is a reliable ecommerce software. The owner needs to have be able to trust its' system, knowing that it won't go down every now and then, because time is money, especially when you're new in the game. It has to be easy to manage and design to fit the company without the need of a web designer every time you need to make some sort of update or change.

Ashop Commerce is all of that and more. It is one of the leading providers of hosted shopping cart software in the USA, thanks to its' flexibility and free 24 hour tech support. It's the perfect solution for small to medium companies. Setting up the shopping cart is a piece of cake, even a child can do it! You sign up for free and then your store is created. Then you just follow some easy step by step instructions and your shop is up and running. As easy as that. And in case you're still not convinced, you can try it for free for 10 days before you make up your mind.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Morocco, my home

Moroccan wrote in the comments to a previous post: "I'd love to hear how you find Morocco, culturally speaking. :)". Well, first of all I have to confess that I've only been to the north of Morocco. I have never been any further than Chefchauen and that's still very much the north. I want to go to the south, to the "genuine Morocco" and I will as soon as I get a chance. With this said I'll say that I feel very much at home here in the north and I don't find the culture to be so different from mine.

As you probably know I'm Spanish. I was born in Sweden and didn't move "back home" to Spain until I was 20 years old, but I'm very very Spanish. Unless I tell people they would never guess that I haven't spent my whole life in Spain. Anyway, the cultures in southern Spain and northern Morocco are very much alike and people think and react in very similar ways. It's only logical, because after all the people on both sides of the border was part of the same country for over 800 years. Our common history go way back, many many centuries, and those common roots are still very much alive in history, food, music, literature, buildings, way of life... The descendants of the refugees from AlAndalus are very proud of their cultural heritage.

The bonds between Spain and Morocco are very strong. In spite of several wars and times of not so friendly relationships both countries are tied together by centuries of common history. We share a border and both countries benefit from that. Most people here in the north watch Spanish TV, because you don't need any special equipment to watch it. Thanks to that Spanish is still the inofficial second language here in Tetuan. I'm able to communicate with people when my Moroccan isn't good enough and that's a great help. Being Spanish in the north of Morocco really is almost like living at home.


Every night during Ramadan people eat harira and chebbakia. Harira is a thick soup made with tomatoes, other vegetables, meat, chick peas, lentils and vermicelli. There are about as many ways to make harira as there are Moroccan women in the world, because every household has their own recipe. I prefer to make my harira without meat and more chick peas. Moroccans would probably not consider it a real harira, because in Morocco, meat is the most important part of the meal. In spite of being a rural country with lots of different vegetables, vegetarians are scarce around here and considered a bit nuts. I'm sure people thought my hubby had gone crazy when we first started dating because at that time I was still a vegetarian.

Yesterday I found a new blog from Morocco. I think their harira recipe sounds delicious so instead of writing mine I’ll give you the link to their harira. *lol* That way you can try a real Moroccan harira.

The boys and I love harira and not just during Ramadan. When we for some reason can't have dinner at home we go to a small restaurant and have harira. It's really cheap, 3 dirham (less than 0,40 USD) for a bowl of steaming hot delicios harira. And after one bowl you are normally not hungry anymore because of all the ingredients. This is the perfect soup for cold winter nights!

I'm still having problems

I don't know why my connection is so slow. I've tried every trick in the book - I've disconnected the modem, I've restarted it, I've rebooted the computer - several times.... And it's the same. I don't think it's my modem. I think it's something wrong with the line due to the bad weather we've had these past days and then there's nothing to do. The Kbps goes from 0 to 300 to 20 to 0 to 450 to 0 to 3 to 0.... More 0 than anything else.... So I get "connection timed out" all the time and have to refresh every page I try to visit. It's really, really annoying!

Yesterday I tried the whole day to post an entry about food during Ramadan but no way. So I'll post that and the other 10 entries I've written these past days as soon as my line is stable again. Until then, keep on commenting and check back every now and again, I might be back again.... Or subscribe to my feed and you'll see right away when I'm back.

Until next time... Which will be soon, I hope....

Thursday, 20 September 2007

My internet is SO slow!

I just wanted you to know that my Internet connection is so terribly slow at the moment so i just want to cry. I don't know why because it has never been this slow before. The pages start to download but then they stop because the connection kind of dies, but I'm still online. So if you don't see me online much at least you know why. Not my fault! %¤#%(=(% connection!

Oh well, I guess I'll try to think of interesting posts while I'm off the net. I'd appreciate it if you could tell me what kind of topics you want to read about here: yoga, Morocco, cooking, bilingual kids, flying elephants - you name it! Ok? I hope to see LOTS of feedback on this one. That would make my otherwise rather miserable day.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A race against the clock? Not anymore!

Mornings in my house used to be a complete mess, with all of us running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And then I discovered Fly Lady! I know, it sounds weird that a person you have never met can have such an impact on your life but she has. She gave me the tools and I learned how to use them,one baby step at a time.

My morning routines nowadays actually start the night before. I spend a few minutes every evening preparing things for a calm morning. I lay out the clothes the kids and I are going to wear, after consulting our schedules and appointments for the next day, and I put whatever extras they may need by their backpacks. I put towels by my kids clothes if they are going to have a shower in the morning. I also lay the table for breakfast, so I won't lose precious time on that.

I get up at 5.30 AM and then wake the kids up at 6. That gives me about half an hour to myself every morning and that's wonderful! I get up, get washed and dressed, prepare myself a cup of tea. Sometimes I do a short yoga routine or just meditate for a few minutes. That half an hour of ME-time really recharges my batteries and helps me feel good about myself in the morning. I'm really a night owl so getting up in the morning has always been a struggle for me. But thanks to my precious minutes in the morning I'm able to start the day in a great mood.

When I wake the kids up I try to do that in a calm way, giving them lots of kisses and talking to them, giving them time to be fully awake before they even attempt to get out of bed. B always wakes up right away while G often needs about 15 minutes of talking and hugging before he manages to open his eyes. He's just like me!

While the kids go to the bathroom I serve breakfast. Usually I'm having just my second cup of tea and a little something, because I usually have my breakfast after I leave the kids. I have divided my morning routines in "with the kids at home" and "with the kids in school". While the kids have their breakfast, brush their teeth and get dressed I do the beds, prepare their snack for school and wash the dishes. I check the calendar to see if I've missed something. The kids watch TV when they are ready. I want us all to be dressed and ready by 7, thus leaving a margin of 15 minutes in case something unexpected occurs. At 7.10 I tell them to turn off the TV, go and get their backpacks and jackets and put on their shoes. By 7.15 we're ready and lock the door. Then we have 15 minutes to get to my friend's house, which actually takes less than 10 minutes. See, I like to have extra time in the morning, I hate to rush! If we are ready too early we just go for a walk or talk until it's time to go to school.

This works for us. My kids know the routines and they know at what time things have to be done. Usually they obey the rules because they too appreciate our calm mornings and don't want to go back to the chaos. It took me some month to make the mornings work but now I can see it was worth it!

More about Morning Routines at Morning Routines with your Kids Tips & Tricks

WW - Almost done

Monday, 17 September 2007

The winner is....

... Patsy at The Go-Getters Daily Activities! Congrats! I'm heading over to your blog to let you know.

I used to pick the winning number. The number was 7, which is Patsy's post. Patsy, please send me an email so I can prepare your prize for shipping. I'm going to the post office tomorrow but I'm not sure I'll have it ready by then. If not, I'll mail it next week.

To all of you who participated - THANK YOU! It has been so much fun to host this giveaway and I'm already preparing the next one (check back on the second Monday of October). :-)

September Giveaway

I've edited this post to put it on top. More recent posts below!
This giveaway closes TODAY!!!

This is going to be the first of my monthly giveaways.

In case you are new to my blog - welcome! I'm called Mayogi on my blog (which is short for Mama Yogi , because I'm a mama and I love yoga. *lol*). I'm a Spanish woman, born and bred in Sweden and living in a small town in northern Morocco, just by the Mediterranean Sea. I have 2 wonderful sons, aged 8 and 10, and a husband who works in Sweden.

So, I've decided to host a giveaway. The prize this month is a cute red shoeshaped key ring and a leather purse.

The reason why I'm hosting this giveaway is because the kids are going back to school this week and I think that's something to celebrate. Mind you, I love my kids and I love spending time with them but after 2½ months we all need a time out from each other. The kids are excited too! They really like going to school. After 10 weeks without routines we all need to go back to our schedules, with bed time stories, lunch and dinner every day (instead of brunch and snacks) and a tidy house. When I was a kid I loved going to school and I loved learning new things. So do my kids. We always celebrate the beginning of the school year in some way, like having something special for dinner or a "movie night" at home. And this year I want to celebrate the new year with you too.

How do you participate? It's easy. Just leave one comment (duplicated comments will be erased) here and make sure there's a way I can contact you if you're the lucky winner (email addy or blog). Contestants from all over the world are welcome. On September 17 (next Monday) around 9 PM GMT I will count the comments and draw a random number. I will then announce the winner here on my blog and contact her (or him).

Any questions? I’ll add extra stuff here as we go - in case questions come up. So check back from time to time.

Organizing the entrance

As soon as the painter has done his job in the entrance I can start decorating it. That is going to be so much fun! So far I haven’t really had a proper entrance so I’m really excited about the possibilities.

I want to have a backpack station where the boys can put their backpacks when they get home. I have just the right wall for that so a backpack station it will be. Have a look at this, I want something like this: I'man organization Junkie about backpack stations.

Then I want some sort of effective way to put shoes and boots. I’m tired of having shoes all over the entrance and having to look for the missing shoe in the mornings. I need ideas for this one so in case you know of something, just let me know, ok?

And during the cold and rainy season I need somewhere to put umbrellas, rain coats, gloves and stuff. How do I do that in a smart and not too expensive way?

Finally, all those tiny weenie items, like keys, cell phones and such. What do I do with them? I’ve been thinking about using soap holders. They are cheap, cute and perfect for containing small items. I think that will work.

The entrance from the dining room, the rest of the entrance is on the left on this photo.The new wall where the kitchen door used to be:
The door to the bathroom and the opposite wall of the entrance.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Still a long way to go

My whole home is a mess and I hate it! This kitchen makeover is getting on my nerves because it's been 5 weeks now and there's still no end to this madness. When I get my kitchen back I also want to regain the rest of my home, because it's difficult to have a tidy house with lots of clutter and no organization.

This is what I have in mind for this coming week: tomorrow (Monday) - the electrician comes to finish his work and hopefully I'll have an oven and an extractor working in the kitchen. Tuesday - the plumber will put in the faucet, the water heater and the stove. Wednesday - I really need to go to Ceuta (Spain) to try to finish my paperwork for university. Thursday - I'll get some ladies to help me clean my kitchen, entrance and Gs room. Friday / Saturday / Sunday / Monday - Hopefully, I'll find a painter for one of those days to paint the kitchen, the entrance and Gs room. After that, I'll call the ladies again so they can help me getting rid of the paint spots on the floor, and help me clean the rest of the house. That will be a mayor clean up and a much needed one too.

I know I'm going to spend a lot of time this fall on my favorite organization sites, like FlyLady, Organising Queen, I'm an Organizing Junkie, Martha Stewart and Organized Home. Do you know of other cool sites? I'm getting desperate! This horrible makeover has been a mayor eyeopener to me and I know I need to get my home organized in order to find inner peace.

So, where do I start? Today I've been cleaning and regaining small spots of my home. I've managed to clear a spot for my son G to play with his Action Men. He gets really nervous when he can't play and unfortunately there has not been much room for playing these past weeks. The biggest problem is that if I put all his toys back in his room we'll have to take them all out again when the painter comes. His room has to be painted this year, due to the mayor fixes we've done in his room. Well, I guess a small spot is better than no spot at all.

Piano lessons

When I was a kid I started taking piano lessons but after a few months I had to give it up. My parents couldn't afford buying a piano and without daily practice you don't get very far when it comes to playing the piano. Piano Chords Blog is a nice blog about piano chords & chord progressions. It's written for music and piano students but I think even us without a musical ear can learn from it.

One day left

Tomorrow night, around this time, I'll draw the lucky winner to the September giveaway. So far there are 17 participants - who will get the purse and key ring? Will it be you? In case you haven't entered yet, hurry hurry, there's still time!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Lessons I've learned

When I lived in Sweden I studied Business Management in an evening school for several years. It was great fun and that's why I managed to go to class 2 nights a week, after work, no matter how tired I was. One day I will have my own company, I just have to find an idea that I truly believe in and go for it!

One thing I learned in class was the importance of inventory control. How are you going to have a successful business if you don't know how many items you have in stock or how much of a certain thing you need to buy/make? I think having a good inventory and stock control software is one of the basic things that you need in order to be successful. That's just about as important as having a great idea. Normally, when you start a business (especially a home business) you're on a budget and can't really afford losing things or buying more than you need, just because you don't know where you put it. In the end it all comes down to organization. With a common sense, organization and order, a great idea, inventory control and guts you can go a long way.

Flies and frogs

We were having dinner in a restaurant the other night and there were a lot of flies everywhere. It was just one of those days. When the wind blows from a certain direction there are lots and lots of flies EVERYWHERE, don't ask me why. *lol* My son G (aged 8) asked "Why are there flies in the world?" and his brother B (aged 10) answered "To feed the frogs". G, the curious one, asked "And why are there frogs?". And B quickly responded "So the French won't have to be hungry!". Kids! *lol* Where do they get their ideas from? *lol* I guess he got it from watching the movie "Ratatuille" about a rat in France who wanted to become a chef. It's a cute film so in case you haven't seen it with your kids yet, do so. My kids love it and have seen it several times already (we bought the DVD). B even has a diary with Remy, the rat.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Online Marketing Experts

Intelligent Online Marketing Ltd is a company that markets websites online. They are Online Marketing Experts and work in several fields, like Keyword Research, Pay Per Click Management, Search Engine Optimization, Analytics Services, Linking Strategies, Articles, Blogs & PR and Newsletters & Email Marketing. They even offer The Analytics School, where website owners learn to understand just what is going on on their sites and the effectiveness of their websites pages.

One thing I like very much is the glossary of online lingo which you can find on "What Is?". This is great for companies which are new on the Internet and needs to learn a little before they go looking for an Online Marketing company. And when they do, they already know one.

I'm not an English mayor, English is not even my mother tongue, but at this site I've found many misspelled words and bad grammar. I would recommend IOM to let someone have a look at this, because clients can get irritated when the language on a website is poor. Except for that, I find the site quite attractive. The layout is nice and simple, nothing will distract the eyes from the content.

It's easy to find ways to contact the company. You can do it online using a form, sending an email or calling them up.

Cold days ahead of us

One thing I miss about Sweden is the fall. It has always been one of my favorite times of year because to me, it’s like life starts all over: back to school, new clothes, new books, new hobbies… And fall in Sweden is really, really beautiful! I love walking in the fallen leaves, watching the colors of the leaves change day by day and finally fall off the branches.

Fall here is ok, but the colors stay more or less the same. You can't really say we have 4 seasons here, I'd say we only have 2 (summer and winter). It's getting chillier in the mornings and the kids have to wear jeans and sweaters to school. By noon it’s warm again and it’s almost like summer. September is still a warm month and October can be quite nice too. The rains usually start in November. When it rains, it pours down and it can be raining for a whole week without interruption. That makes washing clothes a bit difficult because when it rains the clothes won’t dry for several days and when they do they usually smell bad. I don’t know anyone here with a dryer (I don’t have one either) so as soon as the sun appears you can see women everywhere on their rooftops hanging clothes to dry.

Tetuán is the Moroccan city with most rain days a year so the climate here is very humid. The rain is cold and the temperatures indoors drop several degrees. We live in a little town next to Tetuán and since we have the beach on one side of the house and the river on the other our house is very cold in winter. Last year we had 12 degrees Celsius in the entrance! One funny thing about living in Morocco is that it’s actually colder indoors than outdoors during winter, so people put on an extra sweater when they get home and take it off when they go out. Yes, that’s life by the Mediterranean. *lol*

Need a break?

I know I do! After the makeover we're having here we really could need a few days away from home, just my hubby and I. I'd love to go to the UK and do something completely different from what I normally do.

Hotelshop UK is a privately owned company specialized in booking special hotel breaks in the UK, like last minute and grown up breaks. And last minute can actually mean the same day! They work with hundreds of privately owned hotels as well as with some hotel groups, in order to give their clients what they want.

They have special offers for grown ups only. You get up to 85 pounds off the price per couple when you book your room through them. They even give you a complimentary gift with every booking! They offer luxury resorts with all inclusive, like dinner, bed & breakfast, live entertainment, use of their facilities (day spa, swimming pool, sauna, steam room or whatever is available at the hotel), golf, croquet, air rifle shooting and other sport and leisure activities.

It's easy to find what you're looking for and there's a lot of information about every hotel and what's included in the price. And if you by chance can't find what you're looking for you can call their call center where their specially trained staff will do their best to help you out.

Ramadan mabrouk karim!

Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan here in Morocco (in some parts of the planet it started yesterday). I want to wish all my Muslim sisters and brothers a blessed month from the bottom of my heart. I'm not a Muslim and I don't have any intention to become one either, but I have the greatest respect for people of other religions and Islam in particular is one I think stands very close to my own religion. I know a lot of people won't agree with me and I don't blame you. Media in the western world should be ashame of themselves, because they tend to focus on the bad things and look the other way when it comes to the good things. Because there ARE good things about Islam, lots of things.

One thing I really like about Islam is the month of Ramadan. Every adult Muslim has the obligation to fast for 29 or 30 days a year. The Muslim calendar follows the moon and not the sun like we do, so their months are slightly shorter than ours. During Ramadan the Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING between sunup and sundown. Not even a sip of water. And that's hard. I know, because I've done it. Not just one time, 3 times actually. So I have my own personal experience from fasting the Muslim way. The first year I fasted was because my husband kept telling me how difficult it is and that only a true Muslim is able to do so. I didn't think that was true. So I said I would try for one day. And yes, it was hard. My mouth got very, very dry, my tongue was swollen, I felt dizzy. I had problems speaking by the end of the day and I suffered from headache. But then came the time to eat. And you know what? The food tasted like heaven! After more than 12 hours without anything to eat or drink the food smelled sooo good and the taste was delicious! Honestly, the food has never tasted better than after a day without it. That sensation of achievement (I made it! I conquered my feelings of hunger!) and pride made me keep on fasting for the rest of the month.

But Ramadan is so much more than just not eating during the day. What I like the most about this month is that people try to let God play a bigger role in their life. I know lots of Muslims who never pray otherwise but during Ramadan never miss a single one of the 5 daily prayers. I wish I could pray 5 times a day, every day, and not just when I wake up and when I go to bed. I admire the Muslims for taking the time to talk to God no matter what they're doing. When it's time to pray, they go and wash themselves, lay out the praying rug and prey - even if they are in the middle of the street!

Ramadan is also about caring about other people. This is the time of year when people try to forgive everyone who's done them any harm during the year and make up for harms done, so they can get to the end of the month with a clean heart. You should not get angry during this month (oh, I LOVE this one! My husband and I don't fight for a whole month, that would never happen otherwise. *lol*) and spend as much time as you possibly can reading the Quran (their holy book) and praying. I think we all should spend more time with God and this world would be a better place for all of us.

God bless!

I'm so tired

The kitchen is slowly coming together. There's still A LOT of work before it's totally done but at least we won't have people all over the place every day. And I won't have to spend several hours every day trying to get rid of the concrete dust.

The electrician is coming tomorrow morning to finish his part. Great! Then we will have an oven, an extractor and lots of light. The guys from the window company are also coming, to finish some details they forgot about last week when they were here. I'm glad the owner is a friend of my husband's, I know he'll come whenever there's a problem with my windows.

Next one on the list is the plumber. He said he'll come as soon as the electrician is done with his part, so hopefully he'll show up in the next couple of days. When he's done we'll have water in the kitchen and hot water in the shower. I can't wait! I haven't had a good shower for almost a month now and that's causing me a slight depression. I hate not being able to shower at least every second day. I hate feeling dirty and smelling bad, but what can you do? I do shower, but the water is ice cold so we're talking really, really quick showers, to get rid of the most visible dirt.... Please, remember to tell me about the no shower part in case I start talking about another makeover in this house. I - do - NOT - want - to - go - through - this - again! Ok?

The carpenter, painter and brick-layer are the last ones on the list. I will be able to use my kitchen before they're done, but not entirely. At least I'll be able to cook, do the dishes and shower...

So, all in all, I think I'll have a working kitchen around mid October, about 2 months after we started this makeover.

Thursday, 13 September 2007


The weather this morning was a little grey and dull, but nothing out of the ordinary. The weather has been quite bad these past days. September is usually a warm month and you can still go to the beach. Well, not this year. :-(

Anyway, by 9 AM the thunder started. By 11 AM a light rain started to fall. It was one of those nice summer rains, so I thought it wouldn't last long. By noon it was POOOUUURING down! I've never seen anything like it! When it rains here it does rain a lot, but this was not any kind of normal rain I've ever seen before. In a matter of minutes the streets were totally flooded and I saw the neighbors running around in the streets trying to sweep the water out of their houses. The stairs in my house also got flooded and I had to take my broom and sweep out the water as well. Even the upstairs room got flooded, because there are some tiny cracks in the windows and the pressure of the water was so strong so the water got in through the cracks.

It poured down for about an hour and then it stopped. It has been raining on and off the whole evening. But the streets are slowly drying up again.

Just have a look for yourselves!

***UPDATE: Several people have died in this area due to the HUGE amount of water that came down today. In some areas the water were more than 40 cm deep on the roads. And we're talking about a rain that lasted only 1 hour...

Rockin' Girl Blogger

I've been awarded the Rockin' Girl Blogger award by Yemi over at Don't eat my Buchela. This is the post. Thanks a lot Yemi! In case you haven't visited her blog yet, go on over there, it's a great one!

The award was originally created by Roberta at Blogging made Devilishly Simple. I just discovered her blog and I like what I've seen so far. I've bookmarked it and will have a closer look as soon as things return to its' normal pace at home. This is an update to the original post.

I want to pass this reward on to 5 of my favorite bloggers:

1. Amy at Tiny Blessings

2. Mama Bright at Bright like the Son

3. Jenn at Who has time to scrapbook?

4. dcrmom at Musings of a Housewife

5. Linda at Mamas Coffee Corner

You are all great gals and I hope you enjoy your award as much as I enjoy mine. :-) God bless!

I'm a PPP postie

I've been writing blog ads for PayPerPost for about 2 months now and honestly, I LOVE it! The opportunities are fun and easy to do, so they don't take too long to write. But I always try to put a personal touch on my ads, because I want all my posts to be interesting (or at least that's my hope) to my readers. I want to be able to relate to the topic so I would not accept an opportunity I didn't believe in.

Since I'm a newbie I don't get the best opportunities yet. Just imagine, you can earn over 200 dollars for just one blog ad or review! Isn't that great? That can make a lot of money in a month if you're lucky. I know I'll try my best to become a great blogger and be able to pay for my studies. So far I've still quite a long way to go but in a few months time I think I've earned enough for the tuition fee for this year. :-)

I've got my washing machine back!

Woohoo! I'm so happy! After almost 4 weeks without a washing machine I've finally got it back. Not having a washing machine has been horrible. Just imagine, sooner or later you run out of clean clothes and wearing the same clothes for a whole week just isn't fun. Ok, I did wash some by hand but somehow it didn't come out totally clean without the proper detergent and warm water.

I've still got men walking around with dirty shoes around the house and I can't get to the washing machine during the hours they work here but at least I can wash early in the mornings. I did one load of towels this morning. That was about time because we were using the last clean towel this morning.

Guess what I'll do this weekend? Attack Mount Washmore!!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Technology inc com

Since I started my "career" as a blogger I'm always on the lookout for interesting sites that can make me grow as a blogger and entrepreneur. I just came across Inc Magazine Technology Blog. And I love it! There are lots of interesting articles, like how to avoid getting your laptop stolen by scam at the screening line at airports, creative uses for USB flash drives and internet radio blogs. Great stuff! I've put it on my Reading List.

Last day of summer

My boys are going back to school tomorrow. Their back packs are packed and just like every year, weight way too much. On the first day of school the kids have to take everything they are going to need for the whole year (books, paper, pen, blocks, rulers, glue, scissors....) and that's a lot! I'm going with them to carry some of their heavier stuff, because I don't want their poor backs to break.

I told you in a previous post about our problems getting to/from school. Well, it seems like there is a solution. My best friend has agreed to take them to/from school every day, at least as long as Ramadan lasts and then she'll take them in the mornings. That's a great relief for me because I've worried a lot about this issue for weeks.

My kids are going to my best friend's house today to play with her kids. I'm glad our kids get along so well. My friend has a boy aged 11 and a girl aged almost 6. Her M goes to first grade, my G to 3rd grade, my B to 4th grade and her N to 6th grade (the last one, next year he's off to Secondary School). She's making lasagna and my kids can't wait to have that. One thing they really miss with not having a kitchen is home made food. We're all sick and tired of the food you can get around here, we want healthy, home cooked meals!

The work in the kitchen is still not finished... I'd say maybe, God willing, in another week or two... "Bob the builder" might start working on the floors today. I hope so, because then the house won't be so dirty anymore. he mixes concrete on the kitchen floor (!!!) so there's sand and concrete dust everywhere. With the tile floor in place I don't think he's going to mix any more concrete on my floor and might use a bucket instead. Well, I don't know..... All I know is that I'm so tired of not having a home and living like this. 3½ weeks already. Oh God, give me strength!

Monday, 10 September 2007

ET call home!

The hardest thing about living far away from family and friends is not being able to see them whenever you want to. Things are easier now than let's say 20 years ago, before Internet, international calling cards and cell phones.

I remember my first years away from home, in the late 80's. I went to Granada, in southern Spain, to study for one year (but in the end I stayed for 6 years). My mother used to call me every other month while I visited friends of the family, because in Spain at that time, not everybody had a phone in their home. And I would call her about once a month too, but from a phone booth. Long distance calls were really expensive and you had to add coins all the time, so we only talked for a few minutes each time. The good old days...? No, not really.

I love calling cards! They make keeping in contact so much easier - and since they are cheap you can actually afford to call for no special reason, just to chat for a while. When you sign up for Pingo, you'll receive $8 in FREE Calls and up to 5 hours of free International calls! Pingo has NO hidden fee's and the best competitive rates worldwide. With RateWatcher you don't need several calling cards to get the lowest rate, Pingo does that for you. If you ask my mother, she'll say that's a great deal. Because over the years she has tried so many different calling cards for long distance calling and most of them have some sort of hidden fee, so even if you pay for 100 minutes you only get to talk for say 90. And then in the middle of a call the line "dies" and you have to call again. Pingo is a reliable network, which delivers over 1.1 billion International phone card minutes a month. With Pingo Mobile, you can save up to 90% on your International cell phone calls. And there's more: Pingo has a special phone card blog discount coupon: "ppp3" which is valid for $3 off Pingo. Oh, I really like this.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Healthy for the Holidays

HFTH2007Button125x146Lundie has decided to host an Autumn Challenge. I think that's great and I enrolled right away.

The guidelines & plans are simple:

  1. You want to do something to improve your health
  2. You’d like to set a goal for yourself to be measured between now and the upcoming holidays.
  3. You want to have fun and share your progress with others who are working right along side you!
  4. The Challenge will run from September 10 - December 9 (90-days)
  5. I will post any tickers you care to share on the H4H status page
  6. Reply to this post in order to join in. I will email you the button code to link to the status page.
  7. You can set whatever challenge you want for your self - miles walked, pounds lost, minutes exercised - it’s up to you!

Ok, I really, really NEED this one! So my goal is to spend AT LEAST 2200 minutes doing yoga or power walking for the next 90 days. That's 3 hours a week doing exercise. I know I can do this, I just need to feel motivated enough to do it. Get out and walk, even if it's poring down. Get up in the morning and do my yoga routine, even if I'm tired. Walking to/from school does not count, nor does meditation. This is going to be a tough one, I know. But I need to excercise or I won't be able to cope with my busy schedule this fall.

Here's my new ticker:

The kitchen table

My kids love to spend time with me in the kitchen. In my old kitchen there was no space for both of them and me, so when we decided to have the kitchen redone we decided we would have a small table where they could have their breakfast or evening snack or just chatting with me. Well, this is the table so far:

Now I know what chaos is

Now I know what chaos is. I thought I knew, but no. That was not real chaos. Today I’ve experienced real CHAOS in my home. But hopefully that’s a good sign. Many things happen at the same time, and things are getting done.

Yesterday my husband got a call from his friend, the one with the window business. They were coming today so our "Bob, the builder" had to take the windows out. Well, he only had time to take away the window in B:s room, which actually was a good thing for us because we had to spend the night with a mayor hole in the wall. Again… Luckily enough it didn’t rain.

First thing this morning A and I cleared the bedroom. But what do you do with a wardrobe and a queen size bed? You can’t really fold them and carry them to another room, can you? So I guess I’ll be finding concrete on the mattress and on my clothes for several months ahead. *sobbing*

The window guys came around noon, carrying windows, blinds and lots of tools. The kids and I tried to watch TV in the small space that is left in our living room but no way José, we just couldn’t stand the noise. "Bob the Builder" hammering away in the kitchen and 3 guys running up and down the stairs and hammering in both bedrooms. We went out for pizza. That was a good choice, because we really needed to get away from the noise and dust for a little while.

When we came back, things had gotten worse. The guys from the counter top company had arrived. When we came up the stairs I caught a glimpse of the chaos in my home. Just imagine, by then there were 10 guys running around with things, working and hammering. That’s chaos, my friends. And I can imagine how dirty my house will be tonight… I don’t look forward to cleaning up the mess. And the worst part is, we’re going out with friends tonight…

Oh well, I guess the day has been good after all. With all windows in their places and the countertops in place I guess the house will look a little different. I hope "Bob the builder" has finished the walls, so he can continue with the floors tomorrow or on Monday (I don’t know if he’s going to work tomorrow or if he’ll take the day off).

The carpenter came the other day and promised me he’ll have the furniture ready by the end of October, so I hope I’ll have it by mid November. Yup, I know how things work here in Morocco. *lol*

So, what’s left? "Bob" has to do the kitchen floor and the wall in the entrance, the electrician and the plumber have to do their part and the painter has to fix the walls. If we’re lucky "Bob" will do the floor in 2 days and one day for the wall, the plumber and electrician will fix their things in one day and then the painter will need at least one day. If we’re very, very lucky it will all be over in another week. But knowing how things work here I guess it will be another 10 days or more before we can start cleaning and then at least 2 days of intense cleaning and washing before the house feels like a home again.

*** I wrote this on Saturday, while sitting in the room on the roof. ***

Friday, 7 September 2007

Fitness for moms carnival

In a previous post, Time to Move, I wrote about Go Workout Mom, a great blog for moms who want to make fitness a priority in their lives. Cindy is hosting a Fitness for Moms carnival on the last Wednesday of every month, starting on August 29. I hope the carnival will go on for a long because the first edition has lots of great articles, like 10 Reasons Why Fitness Must Be My Number 1 Priority, Five Fitness, Health, and Nutrition Myths Exposed and Energy Bars - The Best Homemade Energy Bar Recipes.

Beach 2008, here I come!

Is poker the coolest thing?

Frankly, I've never been into poker or gambling. I guess it's because I don't have a poker face, I hate to lie and I can't hide my feelings. But every time I read the on line versions of the Swedish newspapers I see articles about poker, gambling and casinos. I guess I've missed something, playing poker and gambling at casinos seems to be a great and totally accepted entertainment. And playing on line you don't have to worry about the way you look.

Bet365 is an online casino with members in several countries that offers poker games, sports betting and an interactive game playing area. The website gives you the possibility to chose your language and you can bet on local sports events. And of course, they offer statistics and live score. Overall, I think the site looks nice and organized.

I need my space!

With all the mess at home I really feel a need to sit down quietly and scrap. I've been scrapping for several years now and to me, it's the best medicine ever for my soul. Whenever I haven't scrapped anything for a long time I start to feel restless. I'm a very creative person and I need to get my creative ideas flowing every once in a while or I feel trapped. And now I'm running on empty. There just isn't anywhere I can sit down and create right now.

I don't have a scrap room or even a desk where I can sit down and work on my creative projects. So far I've scrapped at the living room table. That's definitely not the best solution, but what can you do when you live in a small house? Well, I think I've found the solution.

We have a small room on the roof which my brother in law and family have used as a summer place for the past years. I'm sorry to say that I'm rather fed up with having them there, because when they are there I can't use the roof as much as I'd like and that makes my living space even smaller. I think I need that room much more than they do because I live here all year round and I could need that room for my tutoring hours, studying and why not, scrapping. My kids could use it as a music room, where they could listen to loud music without disturbing the neighbours. After a tiny makeover that room could be a great place, suitable for many different needs. I don't think I'm a selfish person for thinking that 7 years is enough. We pay the water and electricity bills, so basically they live there for free 3 months a year (except for food and stuff). It's not like they are homeless or anything, they have their own home in the city but they want to spend the summers by the beach and therefor think our house is their house. Huh? I'm sorry, but I won't have it anymore. Enough is enough. I think it's about time we got our house back and started to use the whole space, the whole year around. What do you think?

Eating in London

I'm a London fan. When I was younger I dreamed about moving to London and making a living as a musician. Mind you, I don't know how to play any instruments so that was a crazy idea. But dreams have to be crazy sometimes. They add flavor to life, don't you agree?

I've been to London several times and although I don't dream about a career as a punk rocker any more I wouldn't mind living in London. I mean, that city has it all! Or as Samuel Johnson said: "When a man is tired of London he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford." That is so true!

One thing I really like about London is the variety of places to eat and the nightlife. I think there must be at least one restaurant for each cuisine in the world. There's a new community about London restaurants - check it out! The funny thing is that most people think that British food is dull and well, not so appetizing.... And then when you go to London you see all those wonderful restaurants and you just go wow.... *lol*

Me, the menu maker

I'm a disaster when it comes to cooking and planning meals. I love to look in my cook books and pick out meals and do grocery lists and so on, but when it comes to actually cooking I always forget my good intentions and desperately look around my empty kitchen at 5.30 PM wondering what I'll make for dinner. I had a menu planned out and managed to stick to it for a whole month. Wow, that was the best month ever in my kitchen. I've wanted to go back to that ever since, but I've always found zillions of excuses for not making a menu. Well, that is something that's about to change!

Today I sat down for a long, long time (several hours actually) and made a menu for 5 weeks. I even wrote down all the special ingredients for each meal and made a general shopping list with EVERYTHING I'll need for the coming weeks. I feel sooo PROUD of myself.

I've decided I will share my menus with you, but not now. I'll participate in Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. BTW, I LOVE her blog. If you haven't visited it yet, what are you waiting for? *lol* So from now on, I'll post my menus every Monday and hopefully that will help me stick to my menus too.

I don't like meat very much. I used to be a vegetarian for over 10 years. And now, all of a sudden, I couldn't think of any good veggie dishes. Isn't that strange? I've decided to be a good Catholic this fall and not eat any meat at all on Fridays (I know, it's not an obligation to fast on Fridays but I want to do that. I have so much to be grateful for so a little penance won't hurt me). I'd like to know what you fellow Catholics think about not eating meat on Fridays, what do you do? Do you obey the Friday rule or is it business as usual?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Learning can be fun

As a future teacher and mother of 2 kids in school I'm always on the lookout for great links that can help teachers, parents and kids. I just found Score, the Innovative Tutor, which is a program for kids aged 4 to 14. I didn't know about this program before but from what I've seen browsing around it looks really good. They use an innovative teaching system to make learning fun and interactive. When a kid is having fun, he/she will learn. It's as simple as that.

When the kids are sick

As I've told you in previous posts my kids go to a private school. It's a rather strict and tough school so if a kid miss one day of school he/she has to make up for that the next day or during weekend. They have homework just about every day anyway so if you add a few days away from school on top of that the kids would be doing homework all weekend.

I'm glad my kids don't have many sick days because having one at home and one in school makes life rather complicated for me. We live over 15 km away from school (I'm sorry, I don't know how much that is in miles. Somebody help me, please!), in another town, and there are no school buses so going to school isn't easy. So far, they have been able to get a ride with another kid from school in the mornings but I'm not sure they will be able to take them this year as well. My kids start school at 8 AM so we leave the house at 7.20.

They have classes between 8 AM - noon, and then there's a lunch break until 2.30 PM. Since we live in another town my kids don't go home for lunch. They eat in the lunch room at school and afterwards they play on the school yard until it's time to go back to class. They finish school at 4.14 PM.

I leave for school around 3 PM because I don't have a car (or a drivers license) so I have to go by shared taxi. I'll write about that in another post, it's something very Moroccan. *lol* It usually takes me about 50 minutes to get to school, so while I'm waiting for the kids to come down the stairs I talk to my friends and try to catch up with everyone. There's a LOT of talking going on. Moroccans LOVE to talk and to gossip and since I'm a foreigner I know I'm one of their favorite subjects. I don't mind really. If they have nothing better to talk about, then go ahead!

Once my kids leave school we have to walk down to the taxi stop. It usually takes us about 20 minutes. It's actually one of my favorite parts of the day, because we talk and laugh a lot and they tell me about their day at school. If we're lucky we're home by 5.10 and if we're not it's almost 6 PM before we get into our slippers at home.

Living where we live and having the kids in the only Spanish school in the area is hard when one of the kids is sick and can't go out. I can't really leave one of them at home because I'm away for about 2 hours or more and I don't want my kids to be alone for so long. Anything could happen to them. So I just say a prayer and have to take my sick child with me to school (in taxi and walking both ways) OR call a friend so she can bring me the one who's in school. Sometimes I've had to have them both at home in spite of only one of them being sick, because I couldn't find anyone who could drive my other son home. That's life, when you don't have a car....

Me - a teacher?

Officially I'm a SAHM and I really love being at home with my kids. But I also want a dream of mine to come true - I want to become a Spanish teacher and help people with other languages learn the language of Cervantes and other great Spanish writers. In order to achieve my dream I need: a) to go back to school for 5 years, b) get some teaching experience and c) earn money so I can pay for my studies. I want to go back to school now, while my kids are 8 and 10 years old. That way I'll hopefully finish my studies by the time they are 13 and 15 (or maybe a little later, if I find it to difficult to study 50 points a year and decide to take only 30 points a year). When they turn 18 they are most likely going to Spain to start their studies at a university and if I've finished my studies by then I can go too and become a working mom again.

a) is hopefully on it's way since I've been to Ceuta (a Spanish city on the north African coast) several times these the past weeks doing paperwork for the registration. I've still got several papers to do before I'm entitled to pay the registration fee. The registration fee is disgusting - about 822 USD for one year! And on top of that goes everything else: books, dictionaries, stationary and lots more. Can you imagine? I must be nuts for doing this out of my own free will!

I already have several years of teaching experience from when I used to work at nurseries and schools in Sweden. I've also been doing some volunteer teaching during spring and in October we open up the cultural center for another year. I suppose I'll have at least one group of students, maybe two. I don't get payed for working at the center, but I love it! I think it's my duty as a Christian to help people and share my knowledge with them. And teaching makes me feel good, so I don't really care about the money part.

c) is the tricky part. *lol* Especially since I enjoy working for free. But I'll try to find a few students who need private tutoring and that will give me a little money each month. And then there are my home made cards. I don't know, but I'm optimistic. I'm sure things will work out somehow, they usually do. I have faith in myself and in God and I believe there will be a solution for every problem.

Giveaways, lots of giveaways

Oh, come on, I know that you all love that word. I do too.*lol* I've just decided that since my first ever giveaway was such a hit I'm going to have one EVERY MONTH!

Since September is the happy month when the kids go back to school I've decided to start the September giveaway on Monday, September 10. The prize and post will be posted sometime in the morning Moroccan time, so be sure to check back to see what you can win this month.

I know most of you haven't been to Morocco yet so I'd like to know what sort of items you would like to win. Living camels are not an option. *lol* Spices, recipes, earrings/bracelets, make up, beauty products, key rings, CD:s... Now is the time to pick out your favorites. So come on, let me know what you would want to win. I'm your little genie right now, but without a bottle. *lol*

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

WW - Chaos

Time to move!

I'm thinking about hosting a fitness challenge, like the one Mama Bright hosted during summer. I really do need to get back on track, in every sense of the word, because I feel like my whole world is falling apart due to this makeover. If I only had known that living in the middle of a makeover would be that bad, I guess I would have shut up and been happy with my crummy kitchen.

Anyway, I need to get fit to manage what's ahead of me. So I think a new challenge will be a good way to keep me motivated. So far I've been browsing the net in search of interesting articles to keep me motivated and help me get started. I will continue doing that through out the whole challenge time. I love to work out and I enjoy reading/talking about fitness. Are there any other fitness moms out there? Or other moms struggling to get back on track?

I found a great blog the other day, Go Workout Mom. This is a posting I really like: An Overview of 10 Babysteps for Mom’s Fitness Journey.

What do you say? Are you up for a challenge? The rules would be something like this: You make your own goal, you decide what you want to accomplish and we will support you along the way. Think realistic goals, something you actually can accomplish with a little effort. It's better to make smaller goals and add over time than put a goal that's too high and then get frustrated and quit. Babysteps, like Fly Lady would say. *lol* Once you decide which is going to be your goal (or goals) you design a ticker over at and give me the link to your post with the ticker on. Then I'll get back to you about once a week to see how you're getting on. Does that sound good?

Sunday, 2 September 2007

No kitchen doors

This is a picture of my kitchen 2 weeks ago, just before the whole makeover begun. As you can see, there were 2 doors going in and out of my kitchen. The one on the left lead to the hallway. The one on the right to the balcony.

This is the way my kitchen door looked on Friday:

And finally, the way it looks tonight. This picture was taken from the hallway. To the right you can get a glimpse of the bathroom door.

I wish I had a car

I wish I had a car. That would make my life a lot easier. I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted and not having to depend on the public transportation. But having a car is quite expensive. Insurance Coverage for Cars is normally a big expense in a family budget so I guess we all would want to have Better Car Insurance Rates so we could have more money left for other things. Being a SAHM means you have to control all your expenses and try to get good deals for everything, like finding ways to lower Your Car/SUV Insurance. But I guess having a car is worth every penny, because having a car gives you a sense of freedom you can’t have any other way. I hope I can have my own car soon.

Nailpolish, eyebrows and fresh air

Yesterday I got an urge to paint my finger and toe nails. I haven’t painted my nails for over 15 years so I felt a bit odd doing that. But when I finished and looked at my glimmering nails I felt really good. It’s such a simple thing and yet it feels like a treat. I haven’t taken care of my nails for so long but that is going to change. I’ve decided that I need to pamper myself more. A happy mom is a nice mom.

This fall is going to be really, really tough. First of all, in 2 weeks time I’m back at being a single mom, since my husband goes back to Sweden. All the responsibility for the house and the kids will be mine again and I don’t have anyone around to help me. In October my life will change completely - I won’t be a SAHM anymore. We open the cultural center again and I’ll have at least one group of students. And if everything goes according to my plans I’ll go back to college full time (although on line) to study Linguistics for the next 5 years or so. I need to make a Control Journal and stick to it.

I need to take care of myself to be able to cope with all my new responsibilities. I need to have a little pampering time every day, even if it’s just 5 minutes to paint my nails or meditate. I need to eat right, sleep enough, go for a walk and get some fresh air every day, do yoga on a regular basis, have my eyebrows done, my hair cut at least every other month, time to scrap… I know I’m worth it!

What do you do to pamper yourself? Do you follow Fly Lady or how do you cope with every day duties?

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Blog Talk Gossip

There's a new group over at Yahoo. Blog Talk Gossip is for the semiserious blogger that would like to network with other bloggers about how to blog stuff, the best blog technology, blog gadgets and gizmos, the best blog networks, when to blog, how to blog it when you feel it, and more!

Since this is the first month they're having a contest. The prize will be to have 3 links OR 1 feedburner banner on the home page of our little Blog Talk Gossip yahoo group.

This is how it works:

1. Let people know there is a contest going on and that you'd like to invite them to join under your name OR your blog's name. OK, as you know my blog's name is Mayogi @ Home. Please, please, please - don't forget that. *lol* Once you've joined you can write about the contest on your blog and gain points for yourself.

2. When they join they must leave some sort of message saying "so-and-so referred me" OR "I found out about this group via so-and-so's blog". Once again, Mayogi @ Home. Ok? As simple as that. *lol*

I've been a member since yesterday and I'm really thrilled about this group. I'm sure it's going to be a great group with really talented bloggers. Why don't you join as well? I doubt you'd regret that. Being in a group from the start has a lot of advantages, it's a great way of building up a network and you can get lots of personal advice on how to improve your blog.

Hope to see you soon over at Blog Talk Gossip!