Thursday, 31 January 2008

Scrap Links #4

Oh my, where do the days go...? Thursday already and I didn't post my links yesterday... Well, here they are and these are really, really good.

TV Weekly is a weekly show for crafters, mainly scrapbookers. The best thing is that you get so much - a video tutorial, templates and a printable guide with loads of extra ideas. This one is truly one of my favorites.

Scrapbooks etc has it all! But a word of warning, don't go there if you don't have HOURS to spend by the computer because there's so much.

And while I'm at it, another BIG warning för Hero Arts, because I can get lost for days there.... *lol*

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

There's magic in the air

If I won a million euros I'd quit my studies for a year, take the kids with me and spend at least a year traveling around the globe. There are so many places I'd love to visit and I'm sure my kids would learn so much from actually visiting the places they read about in school.

We'd make a long stop in New Zealand. I've never been there but I would love to spend some time there and really get to know the country and its' people. There's something magical about that place. I understand why they chose New Zealand for the Lord of The Rings movies, the sceneries are just perfect. New Zealand is actually two islands, the north island and the south island. New Zealand is famous for the Maoris and the Maori art. It has also become a very popular place for weddings, because of the wonderful beaches and the beauty of the landscape. It's a very romantic place. Wellington is the political capital of New Zealand. It's very small and everything is to be found within walking distance. Isn't that great? Very ecological, don't you agree? *lol*

Cheaper Than Hotels is an international company that offers last minute and year round discount accommodation in many countries. They have several New Zealand Hotels, for instance Auckland Hotels, Wellington Hotels and Christchurch Hotels.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

WW - Snow

Scrap Links #3

Today I'm having a look at card making sites.

The first one is something I just ran across and I thought I had to share it's a template and instructions on how to make a great card for your girlfriend,sister, daughter or whoever likes shoes. You'll find the template and basic instructions on how to start making your own hand made cards.

Vickys Cardmaking Ideas -another great site for the newbie and not so new card maker. *lol*

Ever heard of Card Making Day? Well, neither did I. According to the World Card Making Day website this international holiday is celebrated: The first Saturday of each October, kicking off the holiday card-making season, the most popular time for creating and sharing handmade greetings. October still seems to be very far away so until then I'll just enjoy this site and all the card making ideas.

And finally, Card Making Inspiration, with loads of cards and instructions on how to make them.

I hope you'll enjoy the links and make lots of beautiful cards. *lol*

Monday, 28 January 2008

Scrap Links #2

Day 2 of my Scrap Links week. Here are a few links to places I think are worth a visit.

Panduro Hobby - My favorite hobby store in Sweden. They also have a few stores in the UK so why don't you have a look around? I LOVE their stamps!

Little Sayings - An ugly website with tons of sayings, perfect for scrapbook pages and cards. This one is a must!

Free Printable Scrapbook Page designs - Download and print out backing paper, tags and embellishments for your scrapbook pages (if your printer uses acid free ink) or cards.

N2 Scrappin' - A list of page toppers for scrap pages and cards.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Scrap links # 1

I've decided I need to get some inspiration for my scrapping and card making and since I lost just about every link I kept in My Favorites when my computer crashed I have to start all over again. So I've decided I'll go on a link hunt every day for a week, starting today and finishing next Sunday. I'd better hurry because this year during Lent I'm not going to enter any of my favorite forums for the whole 40 days and I will try to spend as little time as possible by the computer. I can't stay away from the computer totally because I need to go on line to work with my classmates and I need to go to my virtual classes, but other than that and a small amount of blogging I'll stay away from the internet. It' going to be hard, because I'm such a nerd, but I'm sure I'm going to survive and that it's going to be worth it in the end.

Anyway, there's still time so here are the links for today: - I'm a member here and this is a great place for inspiration and friendship. But my overall impression is that it's too big, I often feel totally lost.... I prefer the smaller places. Nevertheless, this is a great place and check out the gallery!

Fiskars - Check out the Fiskars TV, there are some great crafting projects there. If you hurry you can catch all the January layouts, one new layout a day. And for all you card makers, their gallery (with instructions!) is one of my favorites but I hate the navigation. It's complicated and not at all user friendly. :-( - I just ran across this one and I think it seems to be a useful site. It lists ideas for different scrap books and the things you "should" include in your album.

A new host?

In case you're looking for another web host, this might be what you're looking for. You just write what you're looking for, how much you're willing to pay and what features you want and then hit Search for Hosts and you get a list of the best web hosting choice. As easy as that.

Sunday Scrapping # 11

Sunday ScrappinWell, this week has been all about medieval literature and no play, so I've only managed to make one card and add a bit of bling bling to the cards I made last week. So sorry, no TADAs to show this week... But on the other hand I've been busy today printing out lots of Paper Piecing Patterns, layout sketches and scrap instructions I had on the kids' computer, so I can finally get it "cleaned" and I can have my scrap things organized in a note book. And woohoo, what a great inspiration that is! I have found so many great ideas and patterns I had forgotten I had saved, so I can't wait 'til I get some time to play.....

My TODOs for next week are: studying for my coming exams (Linguistics and Phonetics) and hopefully spend next Saturday making cards OR studying like crazy. It depends on how much I can study next week and how well I feel, after so many weeks cramming for my exams.

This week's question is: When do you find time for crafts?
OMG, I am really not the right person to answer this one because right now I just don't.... But I usually scrap/make cards at night, after the kids fall asleep. And when I don't study all day and I don't have to declutter and take care of the mess at home I sometimes manage to steal a few hours off my housework and I can sit down and scrap in the morning. But that was a long time ago.... I HOPE I'll be able to get back to that some time soon...

Saturday, 26 January 2008

One done, two more to go

I've done my first exam. It was in Spanish Medieval Literature and it was one of the hardest exams I've done so far (and I've done a lot of exams in my days....). We had 2 hours to do the exam and there were only 3 questions. Piece of cake you might think... Wrong! How do you write about an author in just a few lines? That's just impossible. So I wrote about two pages on each question and finished the exam after 1 hour 58 minutes, but another hour would have been great.

I think - I hope! - I did okey. I would be very, very,very disappointed if I don't pass that exam because it was so hard and I think my answers were quite good. I hope the teacher thinks the same. I won't know for at least 6 - 8 weeks, so there's plenty of time to worry...

I have two more exams to do before I'm done this time. I have Linguistics and Phonology/Phonetics in 8 and 10 days and I haven't even opened the books yet. G was sick yesterday (again!) and today I've spent the whole day cleaning.I just couldn't stand living in a dirty home anymore so I had to clean up the most visible mess in order to breath properly. I HATE living in a dirty, messy home - then why am I such a SHE? I really enjoy cleaning, so once I get started I kind of enjoy getting things done. But I can procrastinate about actually starting for ages, I think I've used every excuse in the book. I don't know why, and I wish I can get back to my Fly Lady routines soon, because they help me a lot.

Anyway, I have to get back to my books, i.e. open them for the first time and start studying...

Not best friends

My new camera and I are still not best buddies. There are so many things you can do with it and right now I just don't have the time to play around as much as I'd like to. I'm thinking about taking some classes in photography or something because now that I have a great camera I think it's about time to learn how to take great shots as well, don't you think?

One thing I'm thinking about getting is a manfrotto tripod because tripods are a smart thing for both still and motion photography. Yes, I can use my camera as a cam as well. Didn't I tell you it's great? *lol* In case you didn't know, a tripod is a three-legged stand for cameras used to stabilize and elevate the camera. When there are kids in the house a tripod is a wonderful thing because you put the camera on the tripod and you don't have to worry about the kids climbing all over you, making all your photos blurry. *lol* With a manfrotto tripod your photos can look like a professional took them, because they will be sharp.

I've had a look at the manfrotto tripods because they seem to be easy to carry around, in case you want to take photos outdoors or anywhere else than in your home. We once had a tripod but it was so heavy so in the end we just left it at home when we went away because it was too much to carry around a heavyweight tripod and the kids. But we took some great photos at home, so I definitely would want to buy another tripod. I will, one day, as soon as I figure out how to use my camera...

Monday, 21 January 2008

Sunday Scrapping # 10

Sunday ScrappinMy TADAs for last week: 3 cards I made last Sunday night. I wanted to do more, but I guess that 3 cards are better than none... After all, I'm in the middle of my exams and don't have ANY free time at all. :(

As you can see, I used the same stamp for all three of them and it's basically the same card, but since I never manage to do the same card twice there's something different in every single one. I really do like this stamp. My mother bought it for me last year and I haven't had time to play so much with it yet. But just you wait. *lol* As soon as I finish my exams I will spend a WHOLE weekend just scrapping and making cards.

My TODOs for this week: Not much. I have a HUGE exam on Thursday and that's about everything that's on my mind right now. And as soon as I finish that one I need to start with the exams I have within 3 weeks from now. So I guess my crafting weekend will have to wait until mid February.

This week's bonus question: Which of your recent projects were you the most proud of? (Any photos?)
I'm sorry to say that here haven't been any "recent projects" on my table, I've been too busy with my studies. Hopefully that will change soon.


We went to Tangier Saturday. I really do like Tangier, it's a big city, full of life and with whole different kind of lifestyle. It's an international city with a much more modern "touch". not like my town....

This is the bus and taxi station.

And this is what the "grand taxis" look like. They go on special routes, like Tangier - Tetuán and is a cheap and relatively safe way to travel. It takes a little more than one hour to go between Tangier and Tetuán and it costs 25 Dirham (3.20 USD). The only inconvenience is that 4 people sit in the back seat and 2 in the front seat, beside the driver. Yep, that's warm and cozy in winter, not so nice in summer....

Friday, 18 January 2008

My hometown, yesterday

I wanted to share some photos I took yesterday while my best friend was driving. I still haven't had time to read all the instructions on how to take great pictures with my new camera so some of them are a bit blurry. I'm sorry about that. I'm still learning.

This is what spring looks like in Sweden. And here we're talking about WINTER! January is one of the coldest months of the year and as you can see, it's still green everywhere.

Welcome to my hometown! It's called Martil and I know, the first impression isn't so great, but after a while you learn to love it.

The buildings on the left is a private school. It's one of the most expensive schools in the province, they even have their own indoors swimming pool!

Valentines Day

I haven't celebrated Valentines day for years but I still think it's a nice tradition, at least to a certain extent. I think we need to show our love and affection for our loved ones every day, not just one day a year, but at least one day is better than none, right?

I don't think Valentines day should be all about buying expensive gifts. I think it should be about caring and doing everything you can for your partner so he/she will have a very special day. If your plans include getting him/her a gift, that's okey.

At you can get great gifts at a low price. I don't know about you but I think a good book is a wonderful way to show your love. Or maybe a gift basket with different things your loved one appreciate. Like coffee from Gevalia, which actually is a Swedish brand. *lol* I think the usual gifts, like chocolate and flowers are a bit out of fashion. What do you think? What would you love your partner to get you for Valentine Day?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


This is as close as I got to Gibraltar this time. I've been there before, about 20 years ago. My brother got hit by a monkey who also stole his ice cream. *lol* I hope to go there again soon, with my kids. I think they would enjoy spending a day there. I know I definitely would enjoy having fish'n'chips again, it's been a long time...

WW - Nativity scene

I need new glasses

I have been thinking about getting new glasses for quite some time now. My eyesight is changing and I actually see a lot better now that I did two years ago. I'm really picky when it comes to glasses and need to have someone with me when I have to chose. I'm actually looking for something like this (look at the photo on the left). I think they look cool and I think I'd look good wearing something like that.

For those of you who are not half blind like I am (no, I'm not kidding :-() there are places to buy your glasses on line. I've had a look at Zenni Optical and they have some really great glasses. Great Discovry:$ 8 Prescription Glasses From Zenni Optical. Prices range from 8 dollars up to over 20 dollars but oh boy, there are some really beautiful designs. Have a look at Women's Fashion and you'll see for yourself. I think I'd go for a pair of glasses with matching sun shades, because that way you don't have to carry around two pair of glasses. My bag is too heavy anyway. *lol*

Monday, 14 January 2008

And where the #%&"! is my book???

I think I'm going crazy.... I've been looking for my literature book since Saturday night and it's all gone. It must have vanished into thin air because I've been looking all over the place and it's not to be found anywhere.... *arghhhh* I really NEED to get some shelves so I don't have to leave my books everywhere... There are days when i wish I had a magic wand or a son like Harry Potter...

My inspiration is back!

Yay, I've found my inspiration again. *doing the happy dance* I guess those hours of cutting paper and not studying made all the difference. So far I've done 3 cards and I've got a lot of ideas (but not enough time).

It's been raining cats and dogs today so I haven't been in the mood to do anything. At least not study... I just wanted to get back into bed and stay there all day. Instead I made chocolate muffins, an apple pie and now I'm preparing spinach soup. But now I really, really need to study for about half an hour until I have to rush to school to get the boys.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

I'm drowning....

One of the downsides with studying for exams is that the housework gets left out. There's no time/energy to keep the house nice and tidy and I have to admit that I really, really have let everything go this time. :-(

According to the weather forecast for tomorrow it's going to rain a lot in Ceuta and that means that it's probably raining here as well. Rain = no laundry. The clothes won't dry and will end up smelling funny so I pass. That means I will still be drowned in dirty laundry but will have the time to pick up the house a bit. First of all, I have to take care of the mountains of clean laundry I have in the living room and get everything in its' place. Then I'll vacuum every room, which will take me about one hour because there is stuff everywhere. How I hate this!!! I want to have a nice home and I want it NOW! *argggggh* I guess there's no one but me to blame so I just need to get going...

This is my TODO list for tomorrow:
- Put away clean laundry
- Put away my toys that have been lying on the living room table for the past two weeks waiting for my inspiration to come back
- Vacuum every room
- Clean the bathroom
- Work on my new Control Journal
- Prepare classes for next week
- Study Literature

It might not seem much, but it will take me several hours to get everything ok this time, because of the state of things. I'm sure I'll study a lot better in a home that's not looking like war zone.

Where's my inspiration?

I've taken the day off my studies today. The boys and I went to mass this morning, after having breakfast in a café with some friends. Unfortunately B got sick at church and threw up, several times. We had to run to the toilet so I missed the Eucharist. Poor thing, he was really pale afterwards but got well in no time, once outside the church...

Then when we got home G got really furious because I talked to him while he was playing Nintendo DS and started to scream like crazy so he's punished, no TV and Nintendo for a couple of days. B was tired and layed down for a while. I just gave up, there was no chance to study today. :-( So I cuddled up in bed instead and watched "The prisoner from Azkaban" on my laptop. And then I decided to make some cards... But no way, the inspiration is all gone.... I ended up cutting a lot of paper but didn't make a single card. They all look so UGLY and there's something missing...

I really wanted to make some cards and participate in Amy's Sunday scrapping this week but that seems imposible. :-(

Anyway, this is my To Do-list for the coming week:
* I want to make at least 10 cards

No ta da's this week...

And here's the bonus question: If you could only do one kind of paper crafts for the rest of your life, which craft would you pick?
Oh, that's a tricky one! Can I pick stamping, any kind of stamping? Then that would be my choice. I'm a stampaholic... All I need now is the inspiration....

Island hopping

A friend of mine used to travel a lot in Greece. For several years she went to the same place every summer and then traveled on from there. She used to travel by ferry in Greece and go from one island to another. That way she got to know the country and the language very well and she still speaks some Greek. She has told me a lot about her adventures, like when she went to Turkey from Greece on a Greek ferry and was the only woman on board. She spent the day in a Turkish village, returning to Greece at night on the same ferry. While in Turkey she got to know a guy who wanted to marry her.*lol* That's love at first sight. But she wasn't interested in marrying someone she just had known for a few hours. Poor guy, his heart was broken. ;-) At least until the next time a blond girl happened to arrive in his village. Who knows, maybe got lucky and ended up marrying a European girl....

I really like the way my friend traveled, taking her time and going from one place to another. She stayed on an island for as long as she wanted, visiting villages, museums and monuments. I guess she took some time off to go to the beach as well, but that was not her main purpose. I'd like to travel like that, just taking my time to really get to know a place before I move on to another. I think most people are too busy on their vacations nowadays. People tend to see and do so many things, like the more you do the better. But I think traveling should be more about quality and having the time to really explore a place. In most places, you find the most interesting things off the tourist tracks. You normally eat better where the locals eat, not in the restaurants with the menus in many different languages.

In case you want to travel in the Greek archipelagos but are afraid to travel the way my friend did, you can always buy the Greece ferry tickets on line so you can make your travel plans from home. But make sure you have enough time to really explore one island before you move on to the next, because there are so many things to discover in Greece. I wish I could go there one day...

Friday, 11 January 2008

A day at the library

I really have to study. When I show people what I need to study for my first exam they almost faint, because of the number of pages I have to read and memorize. I feel a bit rusty, it has been a long time since last time I needed to study this much. Only 10 days left for my first exam and I need to study day and night.

Today we spent most of the day at the library at work. First I studied at home for about an hour early in the morning. After breakfast and a short fling boogey at home we went there in the morning, around 11 and came back home at 3 PM. We had lunch, the kids watched a movie and I did some decluttering and cleaning. At 5 PM we went back to the library and we stayed until well passed 9.30.*phew* That's a lot of hours! My head feels like SpongeBob Squarepants, full of holes where everything I've read today has slipped out.My head is sooo empty! How on Earth am I going to memorize everything about the Spanish literature between the 11th and 13th centuries? I just don't get it, because there are so many details, years and names... Oh well, the only thing I can do is to do my best, study as much as possible and let God decide. I really, really need to pass this exam, it's a very important one. Only 10 more days....

The air quality

One thing we definitely don't need here right now is a humidifier, because the air is so humid these months of winter. It's not really that cold, seldom below 10 degrees Celsius during the day although temperatures do drop down to 3 - 4 degrees at night occasionally. Electricity is very expensive here so many people don't even use an electric heater. The only way to beat the high levels of humidity is to leave the windows open as much as you can. At night they cuddle up below several thick blankets and bedspreads. I think Morocco is one of the few countries in the world where you actually need more clothes indoors during winter than outdoors!

In countries where the climate is much colder than this, the air indoors sometimes gets too dry, due to continuous heating, to a limit when it can provoke nose bleeds, cracked lips and uncomfortable air quality. In order to avoid that problem an aprilaire humidifier is a good thing to have. The aprilaire humidifier is easy to install, you can probably install it yourself because all the instructions and How-To:s come with the appliance. I wish we could use continuous heating here, it's nice to live in a warm and cozy home. But electricity is too expensive so we just have to get used to the cold indoors and try to spend as much time as possible out in the sun.

This is me!

On a board I'm a member of,I found the link to a personality quiz and since I'm like Curious George I had to take the quiz. Theses are the results:

Your personality type:

Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Great people skills. Need to live life in accordance with their inner values. Excited by new ideas, but bored with details. Open-minded and flexible, with a broad range of interests and abilities.

Careers that could fit you includes:

Actors, journalists, writers, musicians, painters, consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists, entrepreneurs, teachers, counselers, politicans, diplomats, television reporters, marketers, scientists, sales representatives, artists, clergy, public relations, social scientists, social workers.

This IS me!!! Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative. I'm sure my friends would use those words to describe me. And yes, I'm back in school to become a teacher so that one is also true.

Do you want to take the same quiz? Then come back here and tell me if you think it's you or not. Let's get to know each other a little more.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Spanish Christmas candy

In a way I'm glad Christmas is over. I've gained too much weight lately and I don't like that. Not just for the way I look but most of all, for the impact it has on my health. I feel tired all the time and I feel exhausted when I climb the stairs. I hate that feeling!

This is what I have to avoid, Spanish Christmas candy:

I've almost run out of candy and I'm definitely NOT getting any more. Enough is enough! There will be a Christmas this year too and then I will have another go at the candy. Until then, Christmas candy is a total NO NO.

The candy in the colorful wrappings in the photo is called mantecados, and is made by flour, sugar and lard. It dates back to the 16th century. I don't know if this is true or not, but I've heard that they used mantecados during the Inquisition to see who was a Christian and who wasn't, because both Jews and Muslims aren't allowed to eat fat from pigs. People went around offering mantecados and those who didn't accept to eat one was taken to prison, accused of not being Christian.

A different part of the Mediterranean

I'm very proud of being a "daughter of the Mediterranean Sea". I truly believe that all the different nations from around the Mediterranean sea have the same roots and much more in common than we might think. In spite of different languages and religions our cultures are very much alike. I'm sure I'd feel perfectly at home in Greece or Egypt, for instance, if I ever had the chance to go.

One place I'd love to visit is Malta. I think it's a fascinating nation, actually the smallest EU country. Malta lies south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, and north of Libya. Malta has a very interesting history. It's home to the oldest freestanding structure in the world, built before 3500 BC. Phoenicians, Carthage, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs have had colonies there. The official languages on Malta are Maltese (a Semitic language written in a variation of the Latin alphabet.) and English. There are Cheap Hotels in Malta, so who knows, I might be able to go there in a not too far away future.

I've never been to Greece and since we owe so much to the Greeks and their ancient cultures I'd love to go there. I actually studies Ancient Greek for a year. It was a lot of fun. Modern Greek is a totally different language so my knowledge won't help me at all. Never mind. English will work just fine. I'd like to go there and stay at some of the Cheap Hotels in Crete for a week or so and then go to one of the Cheap Hotels in Cyprus. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily and Sardinia. It is situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece. There's an ongoing conflict and the island is de facto divided into 4 parts. Greek and Turkish are official languages, but English also works well. Crete is a less conflictive place. It is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and the biggest of the Greek islands. Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600–1400 BC), the oldest form of Greek and hence European civilization. Nowadays, Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. I guess I'd prefer to look for things related to King Minos instead of lying on the beach, but whatever makes people happy.*lol*

Creating a garden

I'd love to live in a house with a big garden, where I could grow trees, herbs and veggies and have a fairly big lawn where my kids could run around playing. A little pond would be nice too. But the truth is that I live in an apartment and that I don't have a yard where I can grow things. But does that mean that I can't have a garden? Of cause not! I can have a garden, of course I can. It will just be a bit different.

My garden will be green and filled with plants. I will have a table and some chairs, so we can have tea in our garden and watch the sunset. My garden will be my rooftop and my plants will live in pots. I know it can work. All it takes is a little bit of work and a lot of less SHEness. Half way through spring I kind of forget to water my plants and within a day or two it's all burned and dead.:-( I need to remember to water my plants every morning and every night, that way my garden will grow and become just what I've always dreamed about.

It's almost about time to start looking at the seeds. The season starts early here in Morocco, especially where I live, because the winters are not too cold and it rains a lot. The fields are green and lush all year around.

My project for this year is to transform this into a green oasis. Any ideas?

Another favorite

I'm a bit stressed right now. With the kids at home it's really difficult to study so I've been working a bit on my blog instead and looking for videos on YouTube (shame on me!). Well, I just found another of my favorite songs from my teen days - Siouxsie & the Banshees. It's called "Spellbound" and brings back so many memories of lonely days in my room making plans for the future. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008


58%Living to 100 Years Old

Cash for Structured Settlement

Oh my, I might be 100 years old.... I don't know if I want to live that long. *lol*

I've found a new place for blog quizzes. I LOVE blog quizzes and sometimes when I'm bored and can't sleep, that's what I do, surf around doing quizzes. It's a fun way to waste time.*lol*

The Muslim New Year

The Muslim new year starts tomorrow or maybe the day after tomorrow (Friday). The Muslim calendar follows the moon and not the sun, as the Christian calender does. That way one can never know for sure when a special occasion will occur and everything goes into "stand by" the day before. If there's a full moon, then there's a new month and the holiday begins.

My kids' school, just like most schools, will be closed both on Thursday and Friday, just in case. Friday is a holiday anyway, it's Independence Day. But Moroccans don't celebrate much, at least not in public. Everything is done at home, together with family and friends.

So far we don't have any plans for these days off. All I know is that I HAVE to study, so I guess we'll spend a lot of time in the library at work, because the kids can play there, with the other teachers and in the patio, while I study. I'm so grateful for my friends. They take turns in playing/talking with my kids, so I can study.

Problems with DVDs

One thing I don't get is this thing with different regions, with USA and Canada being one DVD region and Europe another region. It really complicates things for us who travel across continents. And I guess it must be a huge limitation to people in the US who want to learn different languages. Watching a movie in its' original version made in the country where they speak that language is a great way to learn not just the language but also about the culture. If I would go to the USA on holiday I could not buy any DVDs because they would not work in my DVD player, since mine is made in Europe or Africa. And if an American go on holiday in Europe he/she could not buy andy DVDs to take back home either. I just don't get the use of different codings. Sorry, could someone explain that to me?

Anyway, there are ways to get rid of that problem. I think it's legal in the US, at least that's what it says at It's a program that will give you a code to unlock your DVD player so you can play DVDs from no matter what country. In my opinion, that's the way it should be, because after all, we all like to travel, right? And we all like watching movies, right? Just because you can buy and watch movies from any country on the planet doesn't make you a pirate, right? You can actually buy real licensed movies in just about every country, there's no need to buy pirate movies. Besides, people who do that probably get their DVD player illegally chipped anyway, so they don't really care.

Could anyone please explain the need of different regions? I just don't get it....

The Cure in concert

I just found out The Cure is doing a concert in Stockholm in February. Oh, my heart is broken! I am so not in the right place right now. I would have loved to go to that (or any other) concert with The Cure!

The Cure used to be my favorite band for years, and although I kind of lost track of them a log time ago I'm sure their music is still great. I just had to check at Youtube and found this:

This is one of my favorite songs and it still sends me shivers down my spine. It's such a great love song. And I still love it!

Another of my favorites, from their early days:

I love their haircuts! *lol* I know someone with hair like Robert probably would have problems getting a job these days, but I still find it very attractive. And yes, I do like men with eyeliners. Yup, I do.

The Cure - In Between Days

yesterday I got so old
I felt like I could die
yesterday I got so old
it made me want to cry
go on go on
just walk away
go on go on
your choice is made
go on go on
and disappear
go on go on
away from here

and I know I was wrong
when I said it was true
that it couldn't be me and be her
inbetween without you
without you

yesterday I got so scared
I shivered like a child
yesterday away from you
it froze me deep inside
come back come back
don't walk away
come back come back
come back today
come back come back
why can't you see?
come back come back
come back to me

and I know I was wrong
when I said it was true
that it couldn't be me and be her
inbetween without you
without you

WW - a new camera

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Self hypnosis

There is one thing I've always wanted to try but been too scared to do so - hypnosis. I don't know why, maybe because I've been afraid that I might end up doing something stupid, like the people you see on TV. McKenna, isn't that the name of a famous hypnotherapist who used to be on TV and make people bark and dance around? I guess it's fun to watch but not as fun to be the one on the stage.

Well, you don't have to go on TV to try hypnosis. You can actually do that at home. Yes, as amazing as it sounds, there's something called self hypnosis which seems to be very interesting. I didn't really understand how it works at first so I read the FAQ at and found this: Hypnosis works by guiding you into a deep state of relaxation, which some hypnotherapists prefer to call this a "trance". During this stage, the hypnotherapist (or hypnosis recording) begins providing the subconscious mind with positive suggestions and stories to help achieve the goals of the individual. Hypnosis is one of the quickest and most exciting ways to make positive, lasting change in your life. And contrary to popular myth, hypnosis is completely safe... and you can experience huge leaps forward with just one session!

There is so much you can improve by using self hypnosis. I'd like to try Exam Success, I could really need that. And Accelerated Learning. For all of us SHEs, here's the thing for us - Be Organized. *lol* There are sessions for just about everything, over 300 different sessions including self improvement, fear and phobias, body image and skill improvement. If you decide to have a try, provides you with the software you need to listen to the MP3-file with your chosen session. Once you've downloaded the file you can burn it to an audio-CD, and listen to it on any computer or MP3-player.

Another day at work

And so I'm back at work... A new term just began and I've had 2 classes so far. I had 8 students today, out of 23 which I had the first week. I don't know why there were so many students missing today, but I guess it's due to several things - most of my students also study at the university and exams are around the corner, the Muslim new year will begin on Thursday or Friday (it depends on the moon) and the library has been closed during Christmas and people think we haven't opened yet. And people drop out. But in January we open up a second chance to get into class so I will hopefully get some new students in my groups the coming weeks. That's good because I get paid according to the number of students and a small group = not very much money.

I felt a bit awkward the first few minutes today because I hadn't had time to prepare the class. Usually I prepare the classes very well, but I didn't have the time to do so today (I'm preparing for exams too) so I kind of had to improvise. But in the end we had a lot of fun and I know my students learned new things. That's really important to me, that my students learn new things in every class and that they are allowed to speak freely in every class. I think conversation is a very important skill when it comes to learning a new language.

I MIGHT work on Thursday, it depends on the new year, if it's a holiday or not. At least I'm free from work Friday - Monday. Guess what I'll do? *lol* S-t-u-d-y ....

Stay safe on the internet

In a previous post I wrote about passwords and how to password protect your computer and documents. It is important to protect oneself on the internet these days, because there are so many out there trying to rip people off or damage them financially, psychologically or even physically! In order to use the computer in a safe way you need to take some measures and be careful not to reveal personal information openly and to people you shouldn't trust. I know, it's easier said than done but there are ways to make protecting yourself and your family easier.

At you can buy a program that protects your IP-adress. An IP-adress is like an ID number for your particular computer and no matter what you do on the internet your IP adress is registred: chatting, sending/receiving e-mails, surfing the net... And it's easy to track down an IP-adress, if you know how to do that and have the right tools. Most people don't, but then again, most people aren't on the net to harm you, but those who are aren't people you want to get involved with.

The best way to avoid these people is to use a program to hide IP address. Then you can surf the internet anonymously through a safe network and not have to worry about your computer getting tracked down.

My new green me

A new year usually means New Years Resolutions and plans to lead a better/healthier/happier life. Well, I'm no different. *lol* I've started a new habit which I hope will improve both my health and my waistline.

For the past week I've had a glass or two of green tea with no sugar first thing in the morning. Honestly, I don't like the taste of it because I like my tea with a lot of sugar, but since sugar is not good for the health and I get enough sugar anyway I've decided to cut back on my sugar consumption and have my tea "natural" in the morning. I hope I'll get used to the taste in due time, because I plan to drink this every morning for the rest of the year.

Read more about the benefits of green tea: Chinese green tea, Green Tea Expert, the benefits of green tea and Japanese green tea. I'll let you know if I notice any changes in my health or body.

A friend of a friend of mine followed a green tea diet for two months and lost about 10 kilos (20 pounds?). She didn't do any exercises or anything, she just had a glass of unsweetened green tea half an hour before every meal for two months and the extra weight just disappeared. I believe that's true because I've read about the weight loss benefit in several places so I'm going to be my own lab rat.*lol* I really want to lose some weight before summer and with my work and studies I don't have the time to exercise the way I should so I think this might be the highway towards Beach 2008. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Computer passwords

Do you have problems remembering your passwords? At least I do. I try to change all my passwords every now and then and when I do I have a really hard time remembering them. I know writing them down is not a good thing to do and I only use that method for a few days, until I've learned the new ones. Then I burn the piece of paper.

There are many, many threats on the internet today and you really should take the time to go through your passwords and see if they are safe enough. A password is like a toothbrush - it's personal and you need to have it changed ever so often. A safe password is at least 8 characters long, it's a mix between uppercase and lower case letters, numbers and other signs. It should never be a proper word or a telephone number. sIVy2%Dx9 is a very safe password because it's long enough and it's a mix of different kinds of characters. Use this as a model when you make your own and remember to change them at least every 6 months. Computer safety was one of my favorite subjects when I studied programming a few years back.

If you forget your password you don't need to worry. There are software programs that check your computer and find your lost passwords. Password-studio at is a program for Word, Access and Excel password recovery. It helps you open Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Access databases. If you use your computer for professional purposes you really should get into the habit of putting passwords on your documents, so that only authorized people will have access to your files in case of problem. This program can come in handy if you need to retrieve the password to an important file.

Don't forget, better safe than sorry. Use passwords and protect yourself and your computer.

Coffee and more coffee

I'm not really a coffee drinking girl, but when I meet my friends I somehow end up drinking a lot of coffee. I don't know why. Maybe because they drink a lot of coffee or maybe because going to a café without having coffee seems like a silly thing to do. Anyway, I had a lot of coffee during Christmas.

I had this great day when I met several of my dearest friends. First I met one of my best friends for coffee and breakfast at 10 AM in a café. It was so good to meet her again! C and I have been friends for almost 15 years. We met at work, when we both worked as interpreters at a refugee camp in Stockholm. And we've been through a lot since than. She came to visit me here in Morocco last summer and it was so good to show her the place where I live and what my life here is like. Unfortunately we could only spend 2 hours together, because I had to meet another friend at noon.

With friend number 2 I went to the big craft store (see a previous post) and then we went to another café to meet with a whole bunch of friends. What amazes me most about this group of friends is that we all met on the internet a few years back and now they are like sisters to me. I feel really close to them and I don't know what I would do without them. Isn't it amazing that you can meet someone on the internet and when you finally meet IRL it's like you've been friends forever?

I had more coffee during those 11 days in Stockholm than I normally have in like 2 months here. Maybe that's why I could study so well at night? I guess I'll have to take up the coffee drinking habit again. When I studied at the university in Spain I always had a coffee every morning and then several more each day. Maybe I don't need to drink that much coffee, since it's not good for the stomach, but at least a cup a day might help me keep my head clear. I think I'll go and buy some coffee tomorrow and try it out for a while.

Subliminal messaging

I am, as some of you probably know, a SHE - which stands for Sidetracked Home Executive. In other words, I get sidetracked at most things and even though I really want to make something it's really hard for me to follow through. And I know I'm not alone. Just take a look at all the books about home management, check out Fly Lady and all the boards and mailing lists about SHEs and SHENess. I'm sure you'll come up with quite a lot.

There are ways to make you less sidetracked and that's by changing the way your brain works. Fly Lady tells us to make lists and stick Post It notes around the house. Yes, that does work. I'm the living proof of it although I'm still far from being "perfect". It's a slow process but it can be done.

Recently I found another method which does more or less the same, but in a much more subtle way. It uses subliminal messages to reprogram your brain, so you can achieve the goal/goals you want without getting sidetracked or giving up on the way. It works on a series of different areas - like quit smoking, lose weight, increase your IQ, get rid of fears and phobias and drop destructive habits. It sounds like magic but it isn't. How? I found this explication at : Subliminal messages are positive affirmations sent directly to the subconscious mind, bypassing the more critical conscious mind. The subconscious then follows these commands to produce powerful and exciting change - quicker than anything you've ever seen before. Subliminal Power works by flashing positive affirmations around your computer screen while you work. In fact, you probably won't even notice most of them. But the subconscious does. It soaks up every single message - and uses the commands to make fast, exciting change in your life. If you are like me, this might be the method for you. Check it out and see for yourself.

My little Japanese boy

Do you remember the song "little Chinese Girl" by David Bowie? Well, I have a little Japanese boy at home. *lol* My son, B, is absolutely crazy about everything Japanese right now. He even studies Japanese on his own! Yes, that's true. He knows how to write a lot of signs and is able to read things he sees on TV and in manga books. It's incredible! He's only 10 years old and he is learning Japanese. A friend of mine, who's also studying Japanese, gave him Japanese flash cards and other things for Christmas and he was the happiest boy on Earth when he opened his gifts. And he is learning... Right now he's studying 7 languages. And he doesn't mix them up or anything. Isn't that amazing?

This is a picture of B eating pizza with chop sticks!

My brother and his girlfriend took the boys out one day during Christmas. First they went to the movies and saw a Japanese film. Both my boys loved that movie and they talk a lot about it. Then they went to a book store that sells manga books for all ages. B got a book about Keroro, a frog from outer space. Then they went to a toy store so G could pick out the lego he wanted (that's his cup of tea, he's not into Japan and Japanese). After that they went to a Japanese restaurant and B had sushi for the very first time. And he LOVED it! So now he wants me to learn how to make sushi.... I'm sorry but I don't think so. *lol* Unfortunately there are no Japanese restaurants around here so he'll have to wait until we go to Spain (the mainland) next time.

Slingling babies

One thing I really regret when looking back at my boys' first years, is not having had any good baby slings. If I had, I might not have such back pain as I have, because I used to carry them all the time, everywhere. Neither of them liked the stroller, they preferred to be close to me. Luckily enough, one of our neighbors was from Togo, in Africa, and she told me how to tie a bedspread or any other big cloth to my back so I could carry one of the boys in it. A lot of time I carried BOTH of them, at the same time - one on my back and the other one in my arms. No wonder my back hurts from time to time.

Things are much easier these days. There are lots of different types of slings, and you can get slings for newborns and for kids up to a few years of age. Slinglings make the cutest slings! I wish I had a baby again, just for the joy of using a real sling. *lol* Carrying your baby in a sling really is much more natural than using a stroller and once you get used to it you will see why. After all, that's what people do all over the planet. I think my boys are so close to me, in part because I carried them so much, but then again, my back would have preferred a sling and not a stiff cloth.

What kind of flower....

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

I think this quiz is quite cute. It reminds me of spring. How I long to spring! I hate when it's cold and dark and rainy....Today the weather is really, really nice. It's cold but the air is crisp and the sun is shining from a blue sky. I've had the windows open for the whole day, because this time of year you really need to do that as much as possible or the damp will get stuck in the walls.

Well, it's time to log out and get something done at home before I rush into town to get my boys. It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say about school today since it's their first day after the holidays. And my first day of studying at home. and what do I do? i blog, surf the net and visit all my favorite places... Shame on me! But honestly, I really needed a bit of time off my studies. I feel refreshed, updated and full of energy. Now I can be a good mommy again. :-)

Another great giveaway

Pennies In My PocketI'm on a hunt today. *lol* I just stumbled across another great giveaway, over at Pennies in my Pocket. She's hosting a giveaway where you can win items (like a custom made header or a sidebar) for your blog to spice it up. You know, new year = new look for the blog. Right? The template/items will be made by Revka or Linda at RS Design, they are both very talented blog template designers so I'm definitely entering this one! And I hope I'll win. *lol*

A springtime giveaway

I just stumbled upon a blog about gardening, called Mother Earth's Garden, and since I'd love to have a beautiful garden I just had to blog about it. Hopefully the magical touch will rub off on me and I'll be able to get my poor plants to survive summer this year. *lol* I really love gardening and taking care of the seeds in spring, but by June, when you need to water the plants at least twice a day I tend to forget to do so and within a day or two my plants are all sun burned and dead. :-(

I think 2008 is not only going to be my crafty year, it's also going to be the year when I manage to have a beautiful roof top with beautiful plants that smell wonderfully in the evening breeze. I'm not much of a flower girl, I love to have vegetables and herbs in my pots. I love cooking in spring and early summer, when I can run up to the roof and get myself a handful of fresh mint for my tea or fresh parsley for my rice. Right now, all I have is a tiny plant of basil I've managed to keep alive all winter.

Linette at Mother Earth's Garden is having a giveaway and although I'm not sure I'm entitled to enter, due to me not living in the US, I hope you will. Taking care of Mother Earth is very important, now more than ever, due to all the pollution and earth warming and the lot. So if you want to enjoy a beautiful garden/balcony this summer, head over to Linette and have a go.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

I'm a stampaholic ;-)

Yes, I confess! I'm a stampaholic... *lol* All in all I bought over 100 stamps during our Christmas trip. I don't even dare to count how many stamps I have. *lol* I just wish I had a little more time to play with them but hopefully I will this year since I've decided I will take the card making a bit more serious this year. So far I've made one card but hopefully I'll make at least a few more today.

These are a few of the stamps I got this time:

I got the Christmas stamps at Panduro, the big craft store. I was terribly happy when I found the Artemio stamps because I got some tags made with those years ago and I've been looking for the stamps ever since so finding them was the such a joy. The unmounted stamps is a gift from my friend Sofia, who just have started making her own stamps. I think they are really cute, don't you agree?

Remote control cars

My boys got remote control cars for Christmas. They are 8 and 10 and they had lots of fun playing with them. But remote control cars aren't just for boys. On the contrary, I think more adults than boys play with them. That makes it a nice family hobby. I think we all need to find things we can enjoy together with our kids instead of living separate lives, the kids in a world with TV and video games and us in a world with too much stress and pressure and no time to play. Back in the old days people spent more time together and had tighter bonds. We don't have to back in time to achieve that, all it takes is a common interest and some time to spend together.

I looked around and found Everything RC Cars, a website about remote control cars and trucks. That's a whole new world for me, since I've never been into cars, not in any size. But it's an interesting website. There's a lot of information about the hobby in general and especially about
Nitro RC Cars and RC Trucks. You can watch videos, read reviews and learn how to chose the right car. There's also a blog, lots of photos and information about more things than you could imagine you need to know. It's a really good site for "kids" all ages. Visiting the site with your kids is another way to spend quality time with them and then playing outdoors with the cars is good for the whole family.

Christmas gifts

We must have been really nice last year because Santa brought us lots of presents on December 24th. In Sweden Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, and in many families include: a Christmas lunch with LOTS of food, the same Disney Christmas show we've all seen at least 10 times (it's been on TV for the past 30 years or more) and then it's time for presents. In my family we let someone slip out of the house, put the bags with the gifts outside the front door, ring the bell and then come back in through the garage, hopefully without the kids noticing. Then my dad takes out the gifts, one by one, and the kids help him giving each gift to its' owner.

I got a camera, rain boots, lots of cardstock (my dear brother knows his sister is a scrapper and really got me the most wonderful designs), money and best of all, a camera. The boys got too many gifts - as always. They got several games, a Mr Bean film, clothes, boots, Lego, remote control cars and I don't know what. *lol* Unfortunately we couldn't bring everything so we had to leave several games behind. That's the worst part about living so far away. We can never bring everything, we always have to leave things behind.

Christmas decoration

I didn't decorate my home this year. Well, just a little bit - I bought a really cute stuffed snow man that's about 30 cm high. He lives in the dining room now and really makes everything look jollier. There wasn't any time for more decoration than that before we went and now it would feel rather funny to take out the Christmas decoration and get everything decorated. In just a week I would have to put it away so I think we'll have to have a non decorated home this year. It's a pity really, because I LOVE the way everything looks during Christmas.

My mother is crazy about Christmas decoration and she has at least 500 Santas which she takes out for Christmas. Here are just a few of them.

There are Santas even outdoors:

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

When words aren't enough

Is there anything more romantic than flowers? Is there a better way to say "I love you" or "I'm sorry" or just "Hi! I'm thinking about you"? There are situations when words just aren't enough and you need a little touch of something special to make your message loud and clear. Who can resist a bouquet of roses or a gift basket with your favorite gourmet food or maybe a cute stuffed animal? Honestly, I can't think of anybody, at least not among the people I know, that could resist such a gesture. Your special friend will most likely appreciate it too.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc. is a company that can provide just that special touch to your words. They send fresh flowers and plants worldwide. And in case you prefer to send a basket filled with foi gras to your aunt in France or a teddy bear to your internet friend in Indonesia, no problem! Just log in to and let them help you. You can say bye bye to sleepless nights wondering if the postal service will deliver your gift on time, or if the parcel will be all torn and the things inside will be crushed. Believe me, that's not nice. It has happened to me more than once and it takes the fun out of sending gifts. So next time you want to show your appreciation or affection, have a look at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc. and see what they can do for you.

Home sweet home

I'm back home! It's been quite a different trip this year, with lots of things happening, both good and bad. Over the next couple of days I'll fill you in on everything, but right now I'm quite tired. It took us 15 hours to get from my parents' in Stockholm, Sweden to our home in Tetuán, Morocco. Those of you who have traveled with kids know know the story, there's not a single moment you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Actually, my kids are great to travel with. But going by car, plane, taxi, bus, taxi, boat, taxi and then finally another taxi does make you rather tired, even with great travel companion. So I need to take some time off the computer tonight and get myself some play timewith my new stamps instead. Hopefully we'll all have our strength back tomorrow.