Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Poker face

I do not have a poker face. I never did. I think that is one of my biggest problems, I just don't know how to hide my feelings. I think I'd be the lousiest poker player ever,worldwide. *embarrassed* That's why I've never learned to play poker or any other betting game for that matter. I mean, what for...? People would know which cards I have by looking at my face. *lol*

And then I found, a free guide to online US gambling sites. On the front page you find their Top 10 of US gambling destinations. They also offer a list of online poker rooms and online sportsbook. I have no personal experience of this site, but as far as I know this seems like a really good place to start for those of you in the US who are looking for online poker gambling. One thing I really like is that they don't just place the link ad then move on to the next one. They do a complete review of the site, and look at overall rating, software rating, trust factor, bonus and promotions. Why don't you check it out?

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Page Rank

It seems like Google has done an update on their Page Rank over the past days. There have been ups and downs. Several huge blogs have, all of a sudden, got a lower Page Rank than before and some other blogs have improved their rank.

My friend Linda over at Mamas Coffee Corner told me that both our blogs have improved their ranks to a 3. Wooohooo! That is great news!!!! Mayogi @ Home has been a PR0 for ever and now all of a sudden it has got a 3. I'm a bit chocked and still don't believe it. I have to pinch myself. Uff, that hurts. So I guess I'm awake....

But one thing I don't get is how come the rank is not the same everywhere. Looking at iBlogStats there's a 3 for Mayogi, but at PR Checker the rank is still 0. So which one should I believe? I guess I'll think of my blog as being a PR0 until PPP and other companies update their information (and give me opportunities with more money *lol*). Just in case...

Sunday Thoughts

It's Sunday again and I feel a little confused. This week has gone by so fast and I don't even know what I've done.

Well, that's not really true. I do know what I've done - I've been to Ceuta twice and lost a lot of time doing paper work. But now I finally have a new ID card and I've been able to access the virtual classrooms. That's great but I feel rather overwhelmed. I've lost so much time and I don't know how to make up for that. Please please, say a prayer for me and help me find the strength to catch up on my studies.

I know I have so much to be grateful for. I have:

  1. a wonderful family who tries to help me as much as they can
  2. 2 wonderful kids
  3. friends that stand by my side, no matter what
  4. a plan for my life
  5. a payroll job I really like, which doesn't interfere with me being a WAHM
  6. good health
  7. a nice home, in spite of still being in a mess due to the makeover
But I also have several things I worry about:
  1. how on Earth I'm going to catch up on my studies and find all the books I need?
  2. why nobody is coming to my blog anymore and why there are hardly any comments? Am I really that dull?
  3. how to find time to study with my kids at home?
  4. am I really going to be such a great teacher as I hope to be, will my students enjoy the classes, will they continue the whole year?
  5. when is this makeover going to end and when can we live in a tidy, clean home again?
  6. how am I going to get organized and stop being a SHE?
  7. when will I find time to start the Christmas preparations?
My kids have Autumn vacation now, 10 days without school. I want to spend more time with them and not being locked up in the bedroom with the computer. I think I'd better log out and go and play with them for a while.

Take care all of you! Life is short and should be enjoyed to it's fullest. Carpe diem!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Better Safe Than Sorry!

I know most of you don't have an emergency kit at home. I'm the first one to admit that I don't. Well, don't you think it's about time we did something about that? In case of an emergency, no matter what kind of emergency it is, it's better to be prepared and to know what to do, every step of the way. If you are prepared there's no reason for panic and you can do whatever is needed and the damage will probably be much less than if you run around like a crazy chicken.

So, here it goes. I challenge all of you to prepare an emergency kit, post a picture of it and tell us about what it contains (so the rest of us can get ideas on how to improve ours).

Read my posts about Emergency kits and how to be prepared in case of an emergency and think about your emergency kit. Write a post about it. Then come back here and sign the Mr Linky, to let us know that you're in.

I guess it will take us all some time to gather all the stuff we need to store in our emergency kits so on November 11th I'll post another Mr Linky where you can add the links to your posts with photos.

Come on, spread the word and enjoy the fun! Having an emergency plan and an emergency kit will make you sleep better at night, knowing that you will know what to do and where to go in case of something not so good happening.

I hope to see many bloggers in this one. Safety in all it's aspects is very dear to me, and if there's interest I volunteer to host more challenges related to kids and safety, safety on the Internet, safety on the road and so on. It's better to be safe than sorry, so sign the Mr Linky and post about the challenge on your blog to spread the word.

Logo made by Linda at RS Designs. Thanks Linda, you're such a sweetie!

Are you prepared, part 2

Prepare an emergency kit and store it in a safe place at home. Store a smaller version of the kit in your car. Remember to check your kit every 6 months. The kit should contain basic supplies to last everyone in your household at least 3 days:

  • Bottled water.
  • Food: Non perishable, high-protein items and ready to eat canned food. Don't forget the can opener!
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First – aid kit.Medication.
  • Battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
  • Tools (like a manual can opener, screwdriver, knife, garbage bags).
  • A change of clothes for everyone.
  • Personal items.
  • Important papers (including a copy of your contact list)
  • Sanitary supplies (like toilet paper and feminine supplies).
  • A local map with the emergency routes marked.

Make sure you understand what kind of emergencies or disasters might occur where you live and work and prepare yourself for that. Take a look at your home and see where the weak spots are. Take a look around your garden or back yard. Imagine the worst scenarios in case of a fire or flood and try to do whatever needed to reduce the possible risks and effects in case that would occur. Know where to listen for announcements from local authorities.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Getting started

I often wish I could wake up one morning and have a great business idea. Having your own company seems to be so much fun. But on the other hand, it's also a lot more work than most people think. I'm reading a book in Swedish right now about how to get started. I've read it before, several times, but I always find something new every time. I really do admire those who dare to believe in their dreams and start their own business. I got back to school instead. *lol*

According to my book you need to do a lot of planning before you even start your business. And then you need to give yourself between 6 to 12 months before you even see any results from your business. In other words, don't count on quick success! If things go well you'll be working with your company for many, many years so you'd better like what you do.

If your company is some sort of on line shop you need a good shopping cart software to manage your shopping cart. Having a shopping cart really does help, at least if your company is getting bigger. But the wisest thing is to start small and then when you're getting some profit, use it to make your company even better. But the most important thing, in my humble opinion, is to treat all your clients with respect and try to make them happy. A happy client is the best publicity your company can get, because the mouth-to-mouth is better than any other buzz you can get.

Are you prepared, part 1

Being prepared for emergencies is very important and is something we all should bear in mind. So many things can happen, and if we are prepared the effects of the emergency is probably going to be much less than if you're caught by surprise.

According to the American Red Cross there are 3 steps we all should take to prepare ourselves and our families in case of emergency:

- Make a plan
- Get a kit
- Be informed

First of all, you need to make an evacuation plan. Conduct fire drills and practice evacuating your home twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to get out of the house in case of emergency and where you’ll meet once outside. Make sure you have 2 meeting points – one outside your house in case of fire and one outside your neighborhood in case you can’t go back home. Then plan the getaway route and drive it twice a year so you know it by heart and know how long it will take you get to a safe place. Also plan for alternative routes in case the main roads are shut down. Drive those too twice a year.

Make a contact list. Decide who is going to be your family contact and make sure everyone knows the number and how to call. If you are a Fly Baby, you know this is one of the most important pages in your control journal. Make sure the list is updated and print out copies for all the members in the household.

Have a family meeting and talk about why you need to have an emergency plan and what to do in case of an emergency. Show each family member how and when to turn off the gas, water and electricity at the main switches. Teach your children how and when to call the emergency number. Install smoke detectors and test them monthly. Buy a fire extinguisher and test and recharge it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

My new ID card, at last

It took me one whole week to get a new ID card. Normally it takes about an hour or so... Spanish ID cards are really modern and the whole procedure of getting a new ID card is highly computerized. The card contains a micro chip which you can use as a digital signature on the internet. I'd say that's very, very modern. I wish the bureaucratic procedures in Spain could be as modern. *lol*

I ran into a LOT of problems! First of all, my old ID card expired about 15 years ago. Second, I did not appear in the register because when I did my old ID card the registers were not computerized. Third, someone somewhere made a big mistake when they registered me in the computerized register, because he/she changed my family name! Oh boy, getting a new ID card turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be.

Thank God I don't have to go through this until October 2017.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

30 Day Organizational Challenge

Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie is hosting a challenge this fall. It has two categories, a small space AND a whole room. I don't know the rules just yet so I don't know if we get to pick the room ourselves but I think we do. In that case I'll pick my living room as a whole room and the bedroom closet as a small space. My closet is totally falling apart, due to too much stuff spending too much time in there so I had to take most of my clothes out. I'll begin next week to fix everything that's not ok about my closet, like the back side falling out and such. I'll post some photos so you can see the Before and After. And what can I say about our living room? It's still crowded with stuff from the rest of the house, due to the make over and my lack of time to put everything back in place. Just have a look at this photo and you'll see what I mean. *lol*

Ideas for Christmas gifts

It's about time I started planning for Christmas. I haven't done a thing so far, I've been too busy with my studies, my job, my home, my kids and my kids' school.... I had a notebook last year where I wrote everything down. I hope I can find it so the planning will be easier.

I need ideas! Ever since my kids were babies I've given them a tiny present each day between December 1st and December 24th. It's an old Swedish custom but changed a little bit so it will suit my family. The elves come each night and leave a gift, in case they have been good the day before. My kids never behave as good as in december! *lol*

I don't know what to give them. Inexpensive gifts is a must, because I don't have a lot of money to spend and I prefer to spend it on the big day instead. 24 x 2 makes a total of 48 gifts! If it can be clutter free it would be even better. Do you have any ideas? My boys are 8 and 10 years old. I've been thinking about chewing gum (sugar free of course!), socks (maybe not such a fun gift to get but it's not too expensive and it's useful), notebooks, pens, erasers, paper clips... So far I've bought 8, only 40 more to go...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

First week of school

And I have not been able to connect to the classrooms yet. I study on line and was supposed to go on line last Monday, first day of class. But the computer system won't let me because my ID card expired and until I get a new card I won't be able to start my studies. I'm going back to Ceuta tomorrow and hopefully my papers will be ready so I can get a new card. If I do I'll be terribly busy the whole week because I have a lot to study to be up to date with my class mates.

I'm still looking for the books I need. They are way too expensive for my economy so I've been visiting a lot of libraries these past days to see which books I can read there and which books I really need to buy. Books are very, very expensive! I will have to spend a lot of time at the libraries but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

I'm doing 5 subjects this fall. Latin and Literature Theory are the hardest ones and Linguistics seems to be the easiest. I'm also doing Phonetics and Middle Age Literature. Great subjects!

The classes at work start within two weeks. I'm going to work two evenings a week, teaching Spanish. So far I have 6 students in my class but I hope I'll get at least 10. I'm really looking forward to getting back to work, because I LOVE teaching! I'll have to find time this week to prepare at least the first 2 - 3 weeks of classes. I'm going to use the same book I used during summer so at least I'm familiar with the texts and the grammar we're doing this year. That saves me a lot of work.

As you can see, next week is going to be very, very busy! But I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'll start with Middle Age Literature and Linguistics next week and try to do at least 3 weeks each, so I can dedicate the following week to Latin.

A walk in the Medina, part 3

Just a few photos from the "medina" I wanted to share with you. I LOVE this place and really enjoy spending time in the "medina". It's like going back in time, several centuries and at the same time remaining in the present. It's a very odd feeling, but an exciting experience.

More photos from the "medina": A walk in the medina, part 1 and part 2.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Urban eco

As far as I know, this is the new trend for this fall. To be Urban Eco. Sandra Bullock and Gwyneth Paltrow are just two of the many stars that have gone Urban Eco lately. I want to be one too. I think it goes just perfect with my way of life and my ideas of the world. I don't want to be a part of the wasting of our planet, I want to make sure my life is as ecological and healthy as possible, but without making me someone I'm not. I want to buy organic and healthy food, not just canned or microwave food. I want to dress in materials that don't damage the environment and are made by people with decent working conditions. I want my kids to grow up thinking about other people as well and not just about themselves. I want to recycle what I don't need so that my things can bless someone else. I want to live a life of ahimsa, non violence, and I want to consider everyone in this world as a part of my extended family. I want to take my yoga practice seriously and start doing yoga with my kids. I don't want to turn back the clock, I just want to make a better future for my family.

In case you don't know what it is, here are some links: Urban Eco Blog, Urban Eco Products, How to make your life more eco-friendly, and 10 eco-friendly things to do with a lemon.

What about you? Are you eco-friendly? Do you want to be more ecological? Do you worry about the future of the planet?

Monday, 15 October 2007

Lucky you!

If you live in North Carolina you're lucky! You can save some money on Coupon Codes from NCNatural's Adventure Resources. They have loads of coupons and update their site on a daily basis. The design isn't pretty, it's very simple, but as long as the site works it's o.k. by me.

It's very easy to find coupon codes on their website. Just go to the main page and scroll down until you find the name of a store you like. Then click on the link and you'll find a list of the different coupons they are offering at the moment. Remember that the update the list every day. I found coupons from several companies I like, my favorites are La Redoute (a French company with really nice clothes) and Avon. what a pity that I don't live in North Carolina!

Blog Action Day: it's all about the environment

Today is Blog Action day. It's a day of reflexion. Think about the environment and what YOU can do to make our common home a better place.

There are chemicals EVERYWHERE nowadays. Not only in cleaning products but also in our food, clothes and air. Even in our blood and breast milk. Our unborn babies are already exposed to chemicals! I think that's alarming and it's about time we all do something about it or our planet will not last much longer. We have to rethink our way of life and do something about this. Before it's too late...

You really don't have to go cold turkey on all chemicals and do dramatic changes in your life. There are situations when a chemical product is better, but just use them wisely. All it takes is a little thinking and a change of habits. In our daily life there are lots of situations when we don't need to reach for the chemicals or artificial products. If we all tried to think a little bit "greener" our planet would be a much cleaner place for everyone.

There are 2 things I couldn't do without - baking soda and vinegar. 100% natural and inexpensive and they have hundreds of uses, either used alone, with other products or mixed together.

Doing dishes: mix baking soda and water into a paste and scrub stainless steel, iron or copper pots with it.

In the bathroom: clean the bathtub with baking soda.

In smelly things, like garbage cans or shoes: use baking soda to take out the odors.

Laundry: Put some baking soda together with your normal detergent. You can use a smaller amount of cleaning powder. Also use it if your clothes smell bad, of cigarette smoke, mold, urine or just about anything else. It's also great for removing crayon from clothes. Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. The clothes will come out really soft. Remove stains caused by grass, coffee, tea, fruits and berries by soaking the clothes in vinegar.

These are just a few of the everyday uses for something as simple as vinegar and baking soda. It's good for your economy and it's good for the environment. Think green, help us save the planet!

More information about Blog Action day is found here.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Keep in touch

I used to love writing letters. The real ones. Handwritten. I hardly ever do that anymore. To tell you the truth I hardly ever write in my own handwriting either. Using the computer is much quicker and easier to read. It's a pity really, because a handwritten letter is so much more personal and it means that you took the time to write to that special person. I really need to improve my handwriting because it's so ugly these days. I guess I've lost the habit of writing....

My kids prefer to use the webcam to keep in touch with their father and granny and grandpa. I don't use it much but I think it's a great way to keep in touch. Even small kids can use it because you don't even have to know how to type. Just talk and look into the camera. "Smile, you're on candid camera!" It's such a great invention. At least if you use it wisely and you keep an eye on your kids so you know who they are chatting with.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


Every Muslim has the obligation to give a part of his/her money to someone who's poorer before Ramadan is over. It is one of the 5 pillars of islam (the other ones being: profession of faith, pray 5 times a day, go on pilgrimage to Mecca at least once if you can afford it and fasting during ramadan).

For the past years we give our money to my husband's uncle. He is the oldest member of the family and also the poorest. But he's the one who always worries about everyone else and goes to visit, in spite of being ill and old. We always celebrate Eid at his place because he really enjoys being surrounded by family and friends. So giving alms to him is the natural choice I think.

We still don't know when Eid will start but probably on Saturday or Sunday. It's going to be a short holiday this year because on Monday it will be "business as usual". Normally the kids have 3 days of holiday because that's how long the Eid lasts but not this year. Eid is a nice holiday: 3 days of visiting family and friends, having lots of cookies, sweets and tea. Just a few days left now.....

Under my kitchen sink

I've had several questions about my kitchen, and especially about the cabinets under the sink. My kitchen is not a typical Moroccan kitchen because I'm not Moroccan and I wanted a kitchen that would suit ME and my life. But it is still more Moroccan than anything else.

Moroccan kitchens are usually very small and dark, because they are only used for preparing food. Not at all like the kitchens in Europe where you eat most of your meals and even attend your guests. You seldom see anyone eat in a kitchen in Morocco, because people usually eat in the living room. Very few people have dining rooms, because there's no need to. The living room table is usually low and round and the whole family gather around the table to eat from the same big plate. I like that and really enjoy eating this way (yes, I have learned to eat with my right hand, the Moroccan way) but in my home I want my kids to learn how to eat European style as well. So we eat our meals in the dining room although I plan to let them have their breakfast and snack in the kitchen when it's done.

The kitchen is ALMOST done! Just a few finishing touches and the furniture. The carpenter promised me I would get it before Eid and Eid starts this weekend so he'd better hurry up. If he hasn't been here by Wednesday I'll have to pay a visit to his shop and ask him what he's doing. He has been working on a 4 cabinets and a few doors for almost 6 weeks now. Shouldn't that be enough?... Anyway, I hope I can enjoy my finished kitchen next weekend.

This is what it looks like under my kitchen sink. It's not finished yet, the tiles are still missing. You might wonder why I want tiles in my cabinet. *lol* It's because it's so much easier to keep things clean when there are tiles and not just concrete walls. Cabinets here are usually made of brick and concrete and not wood like in Europe and America. Due to humidity and the risk of mould and bugs I prefer to have my cabinets with white tiles.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

WW - Cards,cards, cards

Back to work

I went to my job today. I work at a cultural center that is also a library for the university students. It's a great place! Lots and lots of books, people studying, taking classes in the classrooms upstairs or having meetings about volunteer work. The library is a "second home" to a lot of people, both young and old. There are Moroccans, Spaniards, different African nationalities, Germans and many more.

The classes will start on Monday October 29th, so there's not much time left. I will have one group this year, twice a week. That is going to be so much fun! But I don't have much time to prepare my clases right now so I'm glad I can use the same book I used during summer. That will make it a lot easier, because I already know the book and have prepared some games and additional activities. That will save me a lot of time.

I will have to spend a few days next week planning my classes. I will also have to plan my own studies because my classes start next week. I guess I'll have to learn the fine art of PLANNING! *lol* Otherwise it will all be a mess and I'll get a nervous breakdown before Christmas.

I'm going to Ceuta tomorrow to do my registration. Wish me luck and pray for me. I can really need that. I hope to have good news when I come back home.

Monday, 8 October 2007

This month's giveaway

I had planned to host the giveaway this week but due to a series of circumstances (my lousy internet connection and the home makeover ae just a few of them) I will have to postpone it to next week. So prepare yourself! Next Monday, October 15, will be the start of the October Giveaway. Don't forget to tell your friends and make sure to check back soon for more information!

The blue room

Finally some photos from B:s room. As you can see I still haven't got the furniture back in yet, it is all over the house. I prefer to take it slow and declutter at the same time, so I won't get things so messy in the future.

I'm going to buy some sort of containers/boxes to keep B:s tiny things and stone collection in there. He has LOADS of tiny things which end up being everywhere... I want to do things the organized way this time.

My laundry room

Hallelujah! After 2 weeks without being able to upload photos to Blogger due to my lousy internet I'm finally able to share some photos with you again.

This is my new room, the laundry room. It's not finished yet. So far I've thought about having the dirty laundry in 2 plastic baskets, one on each shelf, and our shoes neatly organized on the lower shelves. What do you think? The only problem is that we pass by this "room" on our way to the kitchen so I don't want to have smelly shoes there. I'll have to look for boxes. I think it's better to store the shoes in boxes. And it sure will be more pretty.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Man made card

I found the link to this tutorial on a board and I just felt the need to share it with you, because it's really hilarious! A man made card. *rotflao*

Kellys Missions Zone 1

This week Fly Lady and the Fly Babies around the world are in Zone 1 - the Front Porch, the Entrance area and the Dining Room. This month we're in it for the whole week and I'm really glad. The entrance are is the ONLY are in my home right now that's not affected by the makeover since we're done with the work in there. The only thing left is decorating it. But that's a whole different story. *lol*

These are Kelly's Missions for this week:

- Monday: sweep your front porch area around your front door. I'm not really able to do that right now, because my "front porch" is still stuffed with paint cans, tiles, broken things and I don't know what. I don't want to throw it away until the make over is totally done, because they might need something from this pile and then I'd have to go and but it again. So this will have to stay for a few more weeks, just in case. At least I had a good go at the door and now it's blue and shiny again, a HUGE difference!

- Tuesday: this is a a multi room mission - the Hot Spots in the 3 areas. Oh, this is a good one for me! It took me a while to get done but I did what I could, considering the circumstances.

- Wednesday: the walls and the windows in the dining room as well as the piles on the dining room table. The walls are newly painted so not much to clean there. I don't have a window in the dining room anymore, it's the entrance to the kitchen. *lol* The piles on the dining room table are gone.

- Thursday: the entrance area of the home - grab all those shoes, books and jackets that seem to pile up right by the front door and put them away. Not much in there to start with, due to the makeover, so it was an easy one.

- Friday: grab a trash bag and just pick things up in the three areas. This is a good one! At least one small part of my home is decluttered and clean.

Finally I'm able to finish all of Kelly's Missions! Woohoo.... Now I feel really good about myself.

Have a great weekend everyone! I hope to work on my Christmas cards and on Sunday we'll go to mass - the bishop is coming!

Portable DVD player

I remember the long hours in the car with my parents and little brother when we traveled to visit relatives or to our house in the countryside. My brother and I always used to fight. Back then there was no law to use safety belts in the car, so my brother and I used to jump up and down and throw things at each other the whole trip. I wonder how my dad was able to drive with all that noise and objects flying around...

Nowadays going on a trip is much easier. With a CD player you can listen to music or the radio. That's ok for shorter trips. But kids these days get bored very quickly and need "action" all the time. I think the solution to a long trip is a portable DVD player. They seem so cool! And they will keep the kids (both younger and eh, "older kids" *lol*) occupied for several hours. If you plug it directly to your cigarette lighter it will work for the whole drive. The kids can watch their favorite DVDs or CDs and will hardly notice that they are in a car. No more fighting and no more yelling. What a relief! But make sure you get a portable 10 inch DVD player that is a compatible DIVX player, so you can use it with most DVDs and CDs - and also MP3, MP4, VCD, DIVX and JPEG files. That way you get everything in just one unit: Movies, music and pictures.

Just remeber, safety on the road is the most important issue. The DVD player is not for the driver! Also, don't forget to take the portable DVD player with you when you leave the car. Make sure you have plenty of water and some snacks in the car when you go on long trips, you never know it the trip will be longer than expected.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Spam mail

Today I have spent the day by the computer, in spite of my good intentions yesterday. I decided it was time to get rid of some of the spam mails that I've got lately. And guess what? I've deleted more than 7.500 spam mails!!!!

I hope my computer will work a little better now and that the server will be a little more stable without that heavy load of rubbish. I think I'd better do this once a week. I actually have it on my Weekly Routines List, but since things have been so strange lately due to the makeover I just haven't had time to go through my mail accounts. And I've closed one of my accounts because in that account alone I've found over 2.000 spam mail and nothing else, so what's the use in keeping that account?

Hopefully there will be less spam next week, because deleting mail is BORING!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Christmas wishlist

Christmas is getting closer by the day. Several of my favorite bloggers are already planning their holidays and I think it's about time I start my planning as well. I don't worry about cleaning the house this year because by the time we finish the makeover I will have cleaned every square centimeter. So I guess getting the house this dirty is good for something. *lol*

The one thing that worries me most about the Christmas preparations are the presents. In my family we give loads of gifts. At least to the kids. We start on December 1st with one gift each for every day until December 24. That makes 48 gifts in my case. And that's BEFORE Santa... Because Santa brings another sack of presents.... I know, my kids get too many presents. But I try to make sure the first 24 gifts are small and useful and not too expensive, like pens, erasers, underwear, chocolate bars...

When it comes to the bigger gifts I'm thinking about ordering on line this year. is a good place to start. I like coupons! They make life a little less expensive. I haven't done a wish list for years (but I tend to tell people what I "need" in case they're planning on giving me something). If I did it would definitely include new pans, which I could get with Chefs coupons and a subscription or two thanks to a deals.

Taking a day off

I'm probably taking the day off the computer tomorrow. I feel like I've spent too much time on line today, due to the painter. He came 8.30 AM and left 5.30 PM. Since he wanted to finish B:s room today he came back at 8.30 PM and left about 10.30. So I've spent most of the day in the bedroom by the computer. At least I've studied a bit of Latin. Actually, I've done more than I had planned so I'm rather pleased with myself.

Tomorrow is going to be my cleaning day. Finally I'll be able to get B:s things back in his room. I guess that'll keep me busy most of the day. I want to do things right this time and organize his room. His room usually is a mess because he doesn't have a clue as how to keep his room tidy and nice. Fly Lady has a Student Control Journal I'll read again tomorrow and help my son make his own. Laura over at I'm an Organizing Junkie has some great ideas too. I'll have a closer look at them tomorrow. And of course, I'll purge as much as I can because he keeps so much useless stuff in his room. Over the coming weeks we'll look for storage solutions so he can have a room that fit a 10 year old boy instead of a room that looks like a pigsty.

If I don't get too sidetracked I might even be able to find some space for my yoga mat and do a short routine. I haven' done yoga for ages and I can feel that in both my body and soul. I need yoga so I can get my strength back.

I'll try not to log in until the kids are in bed tomorrow night, but I guess I'll log in for a short while in the morning. Internet is my best contact with the "outside world", so I like to log in at least twice a day to see how my family is doing. Thank God for internet!

More on storage

Woohooo! Look what I've found - storage bins. Not the ordinary tiny dust bins. These are like cabinets or shelves with lots and lots of storage space. They are HUGE in space but not in size.

I think a cabinet like this would be just perfect in a scrap room, because you can actually store things on both the doors and the shelves. This could also be a good place for toys, collections and other small items. They are actually made for storage in a garage but I think they would work just as well inside the house. I definitely could use one of those!

Are you studying Spanish?

I have an idea. I am Spanish as you probably know by now, which makes me a native speaker. I'm going back to school to study Spanish from a more academic perspective. And I love to teach! So I have got this crazy idea of starting a blog for Spanish students. What do you think? Do you think that's a good idea? Reading books is good when you are learning a language but sometimes the language in the books is not what people use in their everyday life. So there you have the idea behind another blog. *lol*

I'm thinking about explaining grammar, write about words (like the word of the week or something like that), about books and movies, about what's going on in Spain and what people talk about, Spanish culture and history. In English of course.

What do you think? Could that be of interest to you, your kids or someone you know? And what would you like me to write about?

Beta testers needed

I just found out that Zuujit Mobile Beta are looking for beta testers for their new mobile. On November 15, they're giving away an unlocked HTC Ty TN II to one of their lucky beta testers. Every bug entry that they get will go into their giveaway pool.

I haven't tried buying/selling on E-bay yet but this phone seems to be PERFECT for e-bayers. Just look at this: Turns your smart phone into a powerful, all-in-one eBay listing tool by creating and posting an online sales listing (with photos) in minutes, lets you access the bids that follow. It also receives and responds to incoming questions and let you manage your inventory — using only your smart phone! I'd love to win one of these! Would you?

Ali Zaoua

I haven't seen so many Moroccan movies but there's one I've seen several times and I still cry every time. It's "Ali Zaoua" by Nabil Ayouch, a film about street children in Morocco. The thing that touches me most about this film is that those kids aren't actors, they are real kids from the streets and the film could be about their life. It is a sad and yet beautiful film about friendship and believing in dreams. If you ever come across this film - don't miss it!

The blue room

Unfortunately the connection is lousy again so I can't post any photos at the moment. I've been trying all day because I wanted to participate in Wordless Wednesday, but I've given up for today.

The painter is working on B:s room right now and the last time I went to check the walls were really BLUE! I told him to use a little more white in the mix next time because the color got too strong. I think he got it just perfect now. I really would like to share with you because it's so fun to get the house painted. I never realized it could be so much fun. Now I want to get my whole house painted. *lol* As soon as I get the kitchen finished I'll call the painter so he can come and do the bedroom. I'm thinking beige... Or very very light brown. I like the autumn colors and that's what I want for the bedroom. Warm, calm colors that invite you to rest, read a book and take it easy.

I'll give it a try tomorrow morning. I hope the connection will be better by then, because this is getting on my nerves.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The shiny look

I think I've found the ultimate garage furniture! Diamond plate cabinets. The cabinet sets include a worktop, pegboard, upper cabinets, and lights pre-installed. Just order, wait for delivery, place it where you want it, plug it in and voilà! It's ready to use.

I like the shiny look. It's so 70's, makes me think about disco dancing, John Travolta and Bee Gees. That's cool! With a few lava lamps, a nice and colorful coach you could actually use these cabinets in dorm. Wouldn't that be cool?

The makeover, day 45

Slowly my home is coming back together. It's still a long way to go, but one step after another will eventually lead to an organized home. Or at least that's what I hope! *lol*

My home is still a mess but all of a sudden things seem to go rather quick again. We've had a really slow period of 2 weeks with nothing much going on, except the painter doing the kitchen, laundry room, the roof and G:s room. Meanwhile, the carpenter has been working on his part. The painter was supposed to come and do B:s room yesterday but didn't show up. It's 9 AM now and no sign of him yet. Sometimes I get really fed up with the Moroccan habit of not showing up when they are supposed to... *mad* Anyway, that's one problem which is still unsolved, I need to get B:s room painted.

We went to see the carpenter yesterday to see how far he has gone. Honestly, not very far.... I hope he'll be able to finish within 2 weeks, because this has been going on for too long! He is coming today to deliver the doorframes for the cabinets. Next step will be to call the bricklayer so he can put the tiles inside of the cabinets. Hopefully he'll be able to come on Thursday and finish in a few hours. I hope the carpenter will deliver the shelves on Friday or Saturday. Then another part of the kitchen will be done.

A new habit: backups

While my kids were babies I went back to school on line to become a webmaster. It was great fun and I learned a lot, both about programming and about computer safety. One thing we learned was the importance of doing backups on your computer. Unfortunately, most people ignore this and go on and on with their computers until something happens and they lose everything that's on the hard drive. You should do a back up at least once a month. Why don't you make it a new habit and do a back up on your hard drive every first of month?

If you have lots of stuff on your hard drive you might consider opening an account with an online backup company. That will save you both time and money. No need to buy CD:s and store them at home. Storing on line is clutter free and is good for both your computer and your home. But you have to be careful when you chose the company because not all of them offer the same safety and user conditions. Be sure to read carefully the terms before you sign up.

IDrive-E is one of the leading companies in this field. They offer you 2 GB encrypted (which make their backups more secure) online backup space without any kind of restrictions - for free! That's more than enough for any "normal" user. You can store your photos, media files or other documents you want to keep safe. You can chose between several types of backups: incremental backup, continuous backup or mapped drive backup, whatever suits you the best. You can easily access your files by logging in to your account from the web, which is great if you travel a lot or have several computers.

Why don't you start your new habit today and create a backup of your important files?

Music classes

My kids study music at school, one hour a week, and they learn how to play the flute. They love it! I think it’s great that they learn to play an instrument at school. I’ve read somewhere that a person with a good ear for music has a good ear for languages as well and that you can actually improve that skill. I hope it’s true because my kids already speak many languages and I hope they will learn some more as they grow up.

I’ve been thinking about taking them to guitar classes, but I’m not sure if they are still too young. G is 8 and B is 10. B talked about learning to play the guitar before summer vacation but then he changed his mind. I don’t know why. I guess it’s normal in a kid his age. They change their minds all the time.

I think I’ll have a little talk with them tonight. My kids don’t have any activities outside of school and I think that maybe it could be good for them. And since they are not much into sports and such, music might be what they need. Actually I’d prefer to take them to yoga, but since there is no such thing around here I have to look for something that might be available.

There are 2 music academies in Tetuán. One is the Conservatory and it’s very expensive. I couldn’t afford that one. Then there’s the non official one, which still is expensive but not quite as much as the Conservatory. And then there’s the cultural center where I work. I’m not sure there are going to be guitar classes this year, it depends on if my boss finds a new teacher. The classes are affordable and the best thing is that it’s within walking distance from home.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Diamonds are a girl's best friends

Do you remember that song, sung by Marilyn Monroe in one of her movies? In "Some like it Hot", wasn't it? I don't think she was such a good actress but I still like some of her movies because they are fun. Marilyn Monroe was crazy about jewelry and she loved to show the world her gems.

I'm not a very fancy girl. But I do like jewelry. Well, actually I think I like shopping for jewelry more than actually wearing it afterwards. *lol* My passion is earrings! I got my ears pierced 3 times so I could actually wear 6 earrings at the same time if I wanted to. Well, I do, sometimes. I like all kinds of earrings - big, small, studs, huggie hoops, "normal" hoops... When I'm sad, nothing cheers me up as much as buying a pair of earrings. What do you do to cheer you up when you're sad?

I should be studying Latin...

And NOT be blogging right now. But it's Monday, I'm tired, I've been thinking about my classes most of the day and I have a headache. So no, I don't really feel like studying Latin right now. Besides, the book my boss gave me is for people who already have some knowledge of Latin and it's way to difficult for me. Oh boy, this is going to be sooo hard! I need to learn the 5 conjugations in less than 2 weeks.

I'm going to the university on Wednesday to do the registration but I don't even understand the registration form! I've been staring at it for most of the day but it's like reading Chinese, I just don't get it. I feel really stupid. :-(

I've been looking on line to see if I can find some Latin tutorials or something, because I guess I'm not the only one in the world trying to learn Latin. Not much luck just yet, but I'll keep on looking. At least for a while. And then I might take the night off the computer and go and watch my favorite series "CSI" on TV. I usually fall asleep on the couch on Mondays because they broadcast all the different CSI:s in a row, so it's like 4 hours... And then I'm like a zombie on Tuesday mornings.