Thursday, October 28, 2010


I've been adding new pages to this blog, and I thought it's about time I made an About Me page, so here it is.. the new page :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Babysitting With a Fun Twist

Babysitting isn't really my thing. I'm not really good with kids, I don't know why! I can't tell stories, sing songs, or play games.. it just isn't my thing, and to be honest I dread the idea of me having to do these things with my children one day. But maybe one would react differently with one's own children.. I like to believe that.

A friend wanted me to babysit for her the other day, and I gladly agreed. Her kids are the sweetest masha'allah, (maybe because they've been homeschooled? Ok.. go ahead and call me biased..!) but really, they are! With them I don't have to pretend I'm an 8 year old, talk like an 8 year old or act like one, (most people do that with kids here.. ) I can just be myself.

So instead of letting them watch TV or play some computer game, I thought we could bake cupcakes and take turns photographing them in different settings.
We made carrot cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

We made little fondant flowers and carrots to go on top of the cream cheese frosting. 

Unfortunately, by the time they were done, it was already nighttime, and photographing the cupcakes in the garden (as I have planned) was out of the question.

The photos turned out really bad due to the dim lights in the kitchen. So I saved a few on the side, and photographed them the next morning.

Aren't they adorable?! 

 They were yum yumm yummy!!

Here is the recipe we used:


    * 2 ounces white chocolate
    * 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    * 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (liquid)
    * 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
    * 4 cups icing sugar
    * 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    * 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    * 1 1/8 cups white sugar
    * 1/3 cup brown sugar
    * 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 2 cups shredded carrots
    * 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    * 1 cup chopped walnuts


   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
   2. In small saucepan, melt white chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature.
   3. In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in white chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and orange extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in heavy cream.
   4. Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl, and mix in the oil and vanilla. Fold in carrots and pineapple. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts. Transfer to the prepared muffin cups.
   5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before topping with the icing and sprinkling with remaining walnuts.

I didn't add walnuts though, nor pineapples (pineapples? it just didn't make sense to me..)

If you try this, let me know how it turned out! Or maybe even take a picture?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gone Baby Gone

They're gone.. just like that.

They moved out this morning. I drove them to my friend's house, which is about an hour away.
It was an extremely stressful ride, for both them and me.They were meowing non-stop and trying to open the metal doors of the cages. If you have (or had) cats, you would know how stressful a car ride is to them, especially if it lasted for about an hour!

I won't get into the details of this very emotional trip from my house to my friend's, but I'll simply say it wasn't easy.

Now that I'm back home, everything around the house is reminding me of them. The white sofa in my bedroom Muthu used to sleep here, underneath the kitchen sink.. here's where I used to place their food, Babyface used to sleep in that corner, the balcony.. he used to enjoy sitting on the rail...
My throat is chocking, the waterfalls won't stop, and I just feel so numb.

I know they're being cared for, in a safe place, healthy and alright, but they're not here...!

My keyboard is being soaked with tears as I write this, so I think I'll just end this post, make myself a warm cup of cocoa, and go cry myself to sleep.

This is what my babies did on their first day in their new home..

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Week to Say Goodbye

Less than a week, five days to be exact.

I knew this day would come, it was almost inevitable. The day when I would have to give my cats away.
I made a promise a while ago that I would not allow myself to get so attached to a cat again (ever again!), because I know we (as a family) could not have a cat (or a fur ball to be more specific) roaming around the house shedding hair in an environment where almost everyone is deathly allergic to cat hair! So imagine six.

We've had cats before, and lots of them! It got to a point where their number reached 36. But most of them were outdoor cats, with the exception of a few favorites, who were allowed inside the house (and when I say few, I mean about nine!), and that's when things started to get out of hand. My siblings and I were suffering, literally.

We moved from that house to the one we occupy now, and we had to find new homes for the 36 cats that were living in our garden. Some stayed, since they were used to living as outdoor cats in that area, and some went to shelters, and to new homes from there. It was really hard to part with them, hence the promise that I made.

But alas! If you are a cat lover, a cat is bound to find a way back into your heart, whether you like it or not!

It was Lula who started it, she was found wandering on a pavement by my mother at the age of three weeks, and honestly, who can leave a helpless kitten who has not yet developed hunting (or scavenging) skills and would therefore die of hunger? She was lost, and hungry, and missing her mommy! We looked for her mommy, but she was nowhere to be found, and so it was decided that she would come home with us.

Babyface then joined the family, since Lula was feeling lonely and in desperate need of a companion.

Having more kittens was not part of the plan. But we were too late, and Lula became pregnant before we even knew it.

The allergies were under control before the kitties arrived. But somehow it has developed into some sort of mutant monster that was getting out of hand!!! My nose (and my brother's as well) isn't functioning properly any more, I lost my sense of smell, due to it being blocked all day long. Even when it isn't, the strongest of smells cant seem to get recognized by my brain. Not to mention the asthma attacks, the constant sneezing, wheezing and coughing, etc.

And so came the decision to find a new home for the cats. Luckily, my friend (who is as obsessed with cats as I am) offered her house as a new home for them.

*sniff.. sniff*

They're moving out this weekend (insha'allah)...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just Another Random Post..

Ever since my camera suddenly decided to rebel and go on strike about two weeks ago (although I've been very good to her!) I've been lacking motivation. My grandmother will be leaving for Toronto this Tuesday (insha'allah) and she's taking the camera with her to get fixed, I just hope I can find a way to get it back here as soon as possible. It has become a part of my life now, and dealing with not having it around for such a long time is going to be a bit difficult..

Enough about my camera, I'm sure it isn't really an interesting subject to read about.

Well, my mother and I attended this meeting organized by one of the (very few) homeschooling families here in Cairo. Me and my mother being homeschooling pioneers, since we started this before anyone had heard of it, we were the center of attention. Other families had children whose ages ranged from 12 to 2.

In the middle of the discussion, I was asked to share a bit of my experience, since I'm the only grown up there who went through homeschooling as a child, and so.. I began talking about some of the main points that I think were the highlight of our experience.

But somewhere, almost at the end of my "mini speech", I went from speaking constructive words that formed informative sentences that (I hope) made sense, to a blank sheet of paper that appeared in my head which resulted in me uttering nonsensical words that were not related, whatsoever, to what I was saying earlier! Or maybe they were, but the only thing they lacked was a sentence in which they should be in!

I have no idea what went wrong! My mind literally went blank!!!!

I am not really that good at speaking in public, although I did recite one of my poems to an audience of 40 once, and I did great, but that was a poem, and I was reading from a paper, no chance for words to run!
Or maybe I am? I'm just not used to it? Who knows.

All in all, I think the meeting went well. It's just great to finally meet a group of people who think almost the same way as we do, in a country where we're considered cuckoo heads..