Thank God It’s Friday: Something Is Fishy…

  

Hello friends! Happy Friday! 

So… it has been a week since we left Morocco, and we already miss it terribly! We miss the beautiful cool weather, (especially that the weather in Bahrain is so hot and humid now). We also miss the family and our loved ones. Adam definitely misses the morning trips to the park, with his grandfather, and i miss my mom’s cooking! That’s exactly why, today i decided that our lunch will be inspired from the Moroccan cuisine: Fish with Shermoula! Shermoula is basically the mix that would marinate the fish; you can use any type of fish, and either, grill it, fry it or simply bake it! It is so easy and this marinade makes any type of fish tastes absolutely amazing! 

You will only need: 

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper 

1 tablespoon paprika 

1 tablespoon cumin

3 crushed garlic cloves

The juice of one lemon 

Parsley and coriander (a handful of each) 

1 small chilli cut into small pieces

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and marinade the fish in it, preferably for two hours or more, but if you were in a hurry, just give the fish a good rub with the marinade and it should be alright.  

Let me know if you make it, and how you like it! 

Bon Appetit! 

Ouiam 

 

Forgive But Never Forget …. Really?

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Forgive But Never Forget..! How many times have you heard this sentence before? Probably a lot, I heard it too, yet it never really made its way to my brain (or heart), it always just echoed in the background, so hallow, and weak. To me, it sounds more like Chinese, (hmm probably a bad example since I actually do speak Chinese, but you know what I mean right?). How can you ever forgive, without forgetting the harm done and moving on? This is impossible. It is not just about pressing the delete button, it is also a great and meaningful experience, that you need to live fully and truly understand every aspect of it, (and of your way of dealing with it of course), so that you can successfully move on. You need to be able to look in the mirror, look into your soul through your eyes, and see that you no longer harbor any anger or hard feelings anymore. You need to remember all the wrong that has been done to you, and yet be able to rise above and truly forgive, because only then, you will set yourself free and be able to live life again, the way you did before and not imprisoned by your own anger! Now, that is the tricky part! Doing that is no piece of cake; it is about the hardest thing that you will ever have to do! Especially, if you obsess about things, like I do! Believe me it will drive you crazy. I would say the key to doing that is: Time! Give yourself time to accept the facts, give yourself time to actually be able to remove yourself from the situation and judge wisely, understand where the other person is coming from; yes it is easier said than done, but really, time does manage to dissipate the anger that usually blocks us from seeing the whole picture. Time will give you clarity and empowers positive thoughts. In some particular situations though, you will not have the luxury of time, the people around you will try to push and push you even more, of course with only the best intentions in mind, but what they don’t know is that they are actually pushing you in the opposite direction, they are doing more harm than good, so that’s when you should set your ground rules! Only you and your feelings matter here! You do what makes YOU happy and comfortable! There is nothing wrong with being an emotional person, it sure does have its downfalls, like worrying or thinking too much about feelings, but at the same time, it is great to be passionate about everything and most importantly, about how YOU feel! I sure can relate to this, and I think so many of you can too! Holding into negative feelings, will not make you feel any better, instead it will completely hold you back, while forgiving AND FORGETTING will bring you an immediate release. I am definitely not trying to be mother Theresa here, and I am most certainly still learning everyday how to deal with situations like these, but so far this is what has worked for me, and it has enabled me to live in the present and be free.  Forgiving without forgetting is just like closing your eyes but still wanting to see! One cannot work without the other! And one thing is for sure, until you forget, you will never forgive.

So yeah! I don’t believe anyone can forgive without forgetting, how about you? What do you think? Feel free to share your opinion with all of us!

Ouiam

Thank God It’s Friday: What We Crave When At Home! 

  

This Friday finds me in the cosiness of my own home, surrounded by all the familiar things that I love so much! It feels almost surreal: Wednesday Adam and I were in Morocco, Thursday we were in Frankfurt, Germany; and Friday here we are at home in my beloved Bahrain! So yeah Welcome home Adam!! 

One of the things that we missed so much, Adam and I, is our favourite breakfast: Pancakes! Which of course I had to make this morning, because yeah, we can’t be home and not have pancakes and Dada’s homemade jam for breakfast (yum)!! So I decided to share my recipe with you all! 

You will need: 

125g Flour

25g Sugar

1 teaspoon Baking powder

A pinch of salt

1 egg 

125ml milk

1 tablespoon of butter 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then add the milk, egg and butter. Mix everything together until you get a smooth batter.

Grease a nonstick pan with cooking spray or a little vegetable oil. Heat the pan for few minutes. Pour the batter to form pancakes of whatever size you like. Cook first side until bubbles form on top, about three minutes; then flip and cook other side until it is brown, about two minutes. 

Bon Appetit! 

Ouiam 

Leaving Time….

 

So here we are! It’s time to say “Goodbye”, I try to prolong these last few moments as much as i can, eventhough it is now becoming more real and heartbreaking! With my mom, dad, sister, her husband and there three kids. We first hug in the house, then outside right by the door, then after we load the bags in the car! As we shed tears, sob, then say silly jocks and go back to the crying! And one last hug before Adam and i get into the car! I always prefer to ride with only one person to the airport, usually my brother in law. Why? Well, because this way, it hurts less! Because I am an abstainer! I choose to let go of things that I love the most, when I have to, cold turkey style, instead of dragging the pain along with me every minute and every second! 

The ride to the airport is usually a quiet one, where I only say few words to reassure my self that my voice is still there and that the knot in my throat didn’t block it somehow! While my mind races hundred miles an hour, covering every inch of my travel plan, as a way to distract my self. I also start counting the “what if”s: What if I never left home in the first place? What if i still lived here next to my family and friends? What if ..? The answer comes to me, as a shot of adrenaline and a much needed push of courage! Simply, if I did all that, I wouldn’t have met my beloved husband! And I wouldn’t have this Adam! I would probably have another One, but not this “half me half my husband” Adam, and this is more than enough to put that smile back on my face, and brush off any sad or disturbing thought I had! 

See, when you are a woman, you become automatically wired to follow your own family, your husband and kids, wherever they are! You then have the certitude that you will never live in your parents’s house anymore! And you kind of become Okay with it! To me, it even becomes an advantage in marriages, because it brings along a whole new level of love and intimacy with your partner in life! He becomes the father, the mother, the sister, the brother in law, the nieces and the nephew! And it is so neat to have all these feelings wrapped up in one person! When life gets tough and the tough gets tougher, you only turn to that one person and sink in the comfort of their arms and just then you know and feel that you are safe! 

Yet sometimes your brain plays mean tricks on you, it becomes the heartless, cruel monster, that starts wandering in those dark territories, against every wish of yours! And starts coming up with all the dark thoughts, that you try so hard to push to the back of your mind, yet they come back haunting you, just seconds after you foolishly thought you have successfully defeated them! Again: What if? What if something happened to my loved ones? What if my mom..? What if my dad…? I could get lost thinking about this so instead I’ll just stop! 

So yeah! It is leaving time for us! I will be leaving a piece of my heart here, with my family, as I fly to my other home and other family: my husband! Both excited and sad. Confused, scared, happy, and worried! But I keep going, because this is life! Scary, interesting, sad, happy, confusing, inspiring, tough, full of surprises and a thousand more things and another thousand beyond that! 

So until we meet again Oujda, take care of my people and be good to them! 

Ouiam

Thank God It’s Friday: Feeling Italian?? 

  

Dear Friday, can you last a little longer? Just this time please…! This is my very last Friday in Morocco, with my family, so i am trying, as much as i can, to soak up every moment and every minute of it! I still have few more days though, to indulge in my mama’s home- cooked meals, to have endless conversations with my very loved ones, to breathe a clean and fresh air, to sleep in my old room and to just enjoy the company of my own people! On the other hand, of course I miss my own home, my reading corner, my kitchen, my car…. And most importantly, my sweet husband! 

As every Friday, I have a super easy recipe for you. If you like pasta, like me, raise your hand (I am sure few hands are in the air now lol). And Pasta with Alfredo sauce, is just my favourite! (at least my version of it). So let’s get into it! 
Of course you will need to cook your own pasta the way you like it. And for the sauce you will need: 
1 tablespoon butter 
3 grated garlic cloves 
Parsley and coriander (few leaves each, cut finely) 
About 6 medium Mushrooms (cut into pieces) 
2 tablespoons milk powder 
1 tablespoon flour 
200ml cooking cream 
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
Salt and pepper 
Put the butter in a pan, over medium heat, add the garlic, parsley and coriander, season with salt and pepper,let it cook until the garlic is brown (not burned). Add the mushroom, cook for about 4 minutes, then add the milk powder and flour, you may add some water if you need to, about 1/4 cup, stir, then add the cooking cream and the cheese, leave it for another 2 minutes and that’s it!! Pour the sauce over your pasta and there you go! 
You may add some chicken if you want, you will just have to cut it into pieces, and add it with the garlic.
Bon Appetit 
Ouiam

An Afternoon With An Old Friend…. And More! 

 A couple of days ago, we paid a special visit to an old friend of mine! A friend from the fifth grade, we haven’t seen each other though for over a decade. So this year, we finally decided to meet. She invited us (Adam, my sister and I) over for the afternoon, and we were very happy to oblige! Seeing her was so heartwarming, she was the same cheerful, kind and very humble little girl i once knew! And it honestly felt like we just saw each other yesterday. The only thing that has changed, was that we both now, have embarked in this amazing journey of motherhood! It is exceptionally neat to see an old friend becoming a mother! A friend with whom I held hands and played hopscotch! A friend with whom I met daily, had lunches and dinners together and shared my very first secrets with! A friend with whom I made my first trip to the Sunday market and bought my first mirror! A friend with whom I put a small chair in the kitchen and washed dishes for the first time! Seeing her brought a flood of such beautiful memories and made the past seem so very real! 

What was even neater, is seeing her mother! A woman i once thought was extremely beautiful and very kind! There she was, beautiful as ever and still very kind! While i stood there holding my son and giving her the warmest hugs, she took me back to when i was ten years old, the energetic yet very shy little girl i once was! 
We had big plans for the afternoon: sit in the sofa, reminisce about the past, present and future, while  having tea and some Moroccan treats! There we were, reunited again! Both mothers now, with different parenting styles, yet the same! Loving, caring, attentive, happy little mamas, we were! 
There i sat, watching my friend being a mother, holding her little baby so tight, and showering him with gentle little kisses, this brought the biggest smiles to my face! It made me think of all the young mamas i know, and how we all have decided to opt for the old fashioned way and be stay-at-home mamas! Even though we all went to universities and studied the hardest we could, we have decided to press the pause button, and dedicate all our time and energy to the most precious human beings in our lives! We have decided to become our grandmothers! And chose carefully to do what was once the norm! What is even more strange, is that the generation before us, our mothers, have worked so hard to bring gender equality to the work fields! However we decided to ignore all the hard work our mothers have put together to consider a “working mama” a normal thing! And go back to the natural child birth, breastfeeding and all the other traditional stuff! There is absolutely no right and wrong in this, it is just two completely different ways of living! It just seems that despite all the progress women have made throughout the years, young mamas (of my age), are choosing to go back to the old ways of living! It is fascinating and amazing how principles and values change over the years! 
Let’s go back to my visit now, the weather that day was absolutely perfect, sunny and a bit breezy. I wouldn’t think of a better day to visit such beautiful people! I have always wished my friends and I, lived in the same place, but for now i will settle for visits like this one! It was truly a beautiful afternoon spent with beautiful people! 
Ouiam

Thank God It’s Friday: Meet Theeee “BAGHRIR” !! 

  

  Hello Friday! 

My Fridays in Morocco are counted, and with each post of “Thank God It’s Friday” i write, i reluctantly say goodbye, to yet another week of unconditionnal love and family pleasures! And there aren’t many left! This leaves me a little heavyhearted. Knowing that i will soon have to start packing again, to leave the house that was once considered my home, is such a bummer! On a much happier note though, today’s recipe, is one of the many delicacies i enjoy when in Morocco! It is always made by my mom, and today she is sharing her recipe with all of us! 
Pancakes are well known wherever you go, and today we -my mom & I- will show you, how to make the Moroccan version of pancakes :)! It is called “BAGHRIR” and usually served with melted honey and butter! With some tea! And get ready to be floating on air, yum yum! 
You will need the following: 
500g semolina 

A pinch of Salt 
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 teaspoons of baking powder 
1 teaspoon of yeast mixed with half cup warm water.
4 cups of water
Put all in a blender, blend, let it rest for 5 minutes, and cook as you would cook pancakes! How easy is that!! 
I hope you enjoy our version of the pancakes! And see you soon! 
Ouiam  

When in Oujda… With Adam! 

  

  
  
  
   
 

   
   

If you ask me what is the best part of my day? I would most probably say my mornings with Adam! They are the coolest, neatest and so much fun, with a little bedhead who is such a chatterbox! But wait a second..! I also love our quiet and cozy nights! I love having Adam against my chest! Feeling his breath in my neck, while i sing for him and he hums, moves left and right, scratches his ear then his nose, hums again, moves a little more till he finds the perfect position! He then hugs me so tight and he starts making the transition to Lala Land! I also love our afternoons together! They are usually so lively, vibrant and so much fun! Oh well my whole day with Adam is so lively, vibrant and so much fun! It just blows my mind everyday, how much fun you can have, with such a tiny little human being! 
Since we came to Morocco, Adam has established his own routine, and i love it! We start our days as usual, at 7:30am. The little cute voice calling from the monitor: “Mamaaa” always makes me smile before i even open my eyes! I am then greeted with the brightest smiles! A big hug and a kiss! We sing our “Good Morning” song! Then we kiss Mr.Teddy and Big Bear and wish them a great day! Then we both move to the bed that was once mine, sometimes we just cuddle, sing and play for an hour, and some other times my little sleepyhead decides to sleep some more, on my chest this time, for another hour! And i just love it! I love having him so close to me! I feel whole again! Somehow whenever he isn’t in my arms, something aches inside of me and it only stops when he is back to where he belongs: my arms! 
We then go downstairs to join my parents for breakfast, we all sit around the table, and talk while eating! Adam loves telling his grandparents his stories! And of course they are delighted to hear them all, even if they still can’t understand each other lol. Our breakfast usually takes forever! But once done, Adam takes his Grandfather’s hand, gets his shoes and points to the door! He is explicitly telling his ” Basidi” (my dad), to take him to the park, where he has been taking him every morning since we came! He took me there when i was Adam’s age, and took every other grandchild he had! And now it feels like i have accomplished a great achievement by giving my dad a son to take to that same park again! And fulfil a family tradition! When they finally come back from the park, Adam is exhausted and by then needs a nap! (I wish I had Adam’s life! Lol), so we go back to the room that was once mine and now Adam completely took over! We read books over and over again! Until Adam thinks that we’ve read enough, we then take Mr.Teddy, Big Bear and Blanky, and move to Adam’s bed, where he would hug them all, sing a little, and fall asleep! 
Once he wakes up from his nap, we have our lunch! We all sit around the table again and we talk again about anything and everything! The weather has been so amazing since we came! The days are so bright and warm! And we all love it! Adam loves his grandmother’s cooking of course!  He’s been enjoying her delicious meals since we came! Needless to say that he has been spoiled and spoiled and spoiled a little more! And it warms my heart to see him being spoiled by his grandparents! My parents! 
Our afternoons are always busy! Adam loves to be outside, and since the weather is so wonderful, we always go out and about! Run errands, visit family members, go for picnics, and long walks! And it is always so much fun to see Adam engage with my family! They play, laugh, sing and dance all together!  
Dinner is always served for Adam at 6pm! While he eats, we sing and clap for him while he laughs, not sure whether he thinks we are weird or he is just amused by what we re doing! I rather think it is the later.
After dinner, it is Bath time! Adam loves being in the water, so our bath time is usually about 30 mins! We then go back to his room! Read our bedtime story, say our prayers and read some Quoran! And i take my little baby in my arms, i sing for him until he sleeps! And by then i already miss him so much and can hardly wait for him to wake up the next morning, so we can do it all over again!! 
Ouiam! 

Happy Reading!! Hello May! 

  

The beauty of every book is that it allows us to live more than one life! With every book, you fly to another world and get lost for hours. You might encounter a variation of feelings for the first time through one! For a moment, you forget who you are, what you do. You forget your worries and anxiety! And you live the story! Someone else’s story, as if it was yours! How magnificent is this!! 

Today i will share my list of recommended books, for the month of May. I have read these books last month, and i have loved every single one of them!! I hope you like and enjoy them too! 
1- Better Than Before (Mastering the habits of our everyday lives) by Gretchen Rubin. I am a creature of routine and habits make a huge part of my life, so i always try to look for ways to implement good ones and get ride of the unwanted ones, yet the books i have read so far, were not of a great help! This book though, is completely different, it talks -in great detail- about everything you would like to know about habits! It also shows you how to implement good habits or avoid bad ones according to your personality! Different charachters deal with habbits differently! I read this book few weeks ago and it already helped me a great deal! 
2- Lots of Candles Plenty of Cakes by Ana Quindlen. This book is one of the very few ones, that kept me glued to my kindle for hours! I was mesmerised by her writing style! This incredible lady writes about looking back, in life, and looking ahead! And celebrating it all! In such a beautiful way, that you want to sing the words and write them in little post-it notes, and spread them all over your house! 
3- Hard Choices: A Memoir By Hilary Rodham Clinton. I had this book for few months now, but something was putting me off about reading it, (probably its size! It is a big book), Then one day i just grabbed it and started reading! And loved it! Hilary takes us in a ride of four years in the White House, nothing like Scandal though lol! This book changed few opinions i happen to have before! A really good read! 
4- How to Meditate By Pema Chodron. A great guide if you want to make peace with your mind. The book talks about everything related to meditating: how, why, where! In a very simple and easy way that makes you wanna do it! 
Hope you enjoy these books the way i did! And i look forward to choosing new books for next month! Happy Reading!
Ouiam

Thank God It’s Friday : What’s For Dessert? 

  

Hello everyone! How was your Friday? 

Mine was the definition of a blessed Friday! A summery bright day, spent with my parents, my sister and her family! My Uncle and Aunt, my cousins and their families! It was pure delight and pleasure! 
Since i came to Morocco, I am willingly letting my self sink into this country’s wonderful flavours! And more specifically my mom’s succulent cuisine! It is the kind of food i dream about throughout the year, yet i am always too lazy/tired to make myself! I also have a sister whose hobby is baking! In other words: Me and everyone else in seventh heaven lol! Today she decided to share one of her favourite recipes with us! Marble Cake! (Yum Yum). So cake lovers may i have your attention please! 
You will need the following:
4 eggs

1 cup sugar 
1 cup oil
1 cup milk 
1 tablespoon baking powder
250g flour
1 lemon (we will only use its zest)
2 table spoons cocoa powder.
Mix the flour, the sugar and the baking powder together, add the eggs, oil, milk and the lemon zest. Mix all together, take a cup of this batter aside, mix it with the cocoa powder. Meanwhile butter the pan and poor the rest of the batter in it. Take the cup you put aside (with the batter and cocoa powder), and sprinkle the liquid into the pan, then bake in the oven, over 180 degrees, for 40 minutes or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out dry! 
Bon Appetit!! 
Ouiam