Nagging With Style!

 

 

 

Hello friends, so it has been a while right? Life has been FULL, isn’t it always full though? It’s crazy how no matter how you think you can balance it all, you always have to cave in, and admit defeat since the day is only 24hours long, and you will never ever get a minute extra!

 

So today I would like to talk about a very important topic, a topic that we- mamas- talk about a lot, especially on those rare girls’ nights out, that we get to have, once every blue moon; where we seem to take every opportunity we land on to exchange funny stories about all the crazy things our husbands do, and let’s face it we all have at least one of these stories that usually end up with some serious eye rolling and a bit of tongue twisting. Yes we laugh at each other’s husbands, and we all yell in solidarity with each other: “What the hell do they know…these husbands!?” and we leave at the end of the night a little more lighter and a little less bitter about those same stories we joked about; however, those stories and many many more happen on daily basis, we always have something to complain about when it comes to our significant others, and that’s exactly what I want to talk about today.

 

No one starts a marriage thinking of the hard times this same marriage is gonna go through, no one starts thinking about all the downs that will face this union, no one thinks about the natural, and inevitable consequences of living together under the same roof and leading the same hectic, stressful, unkind life we all live nowadays. We only think of the romance and the passion that usually and in most marriages fade after few years or after having the first baby, for the very simple reason: Life happens!!! We get busy, we get caught in the dark web of life’s excruciating demands, and we forget that there is a little seed that we need to nurture and keep close to our hearts, for the many years to come.

 

In a marriage, when you know a person inside out, and you know their weaknesses and their strengths, their perception of themselves and the way they like to be, their soft spots and their multiple selves, isn’t it enough data to embrace that human being fully and acknowledge their presence in your life just the way it is? The way they are and not the way you want them to be? Isn’t it enough to pass through and beyond the little details, such as who did not take the trash out last night and who left the front door open or who lost the only existing house key..? The answer might surprise you indeed!

 

I would like to think of it as an invitation to experience and test each other’s humorous side. What if we turned every fight and each argument into jokes? Just like we joke about them days later with girlfriends. Why don’t we try to find the funny side instead of calling out every dark thought we could get our “hands” on? What if we make that wicked, evil, irresponsible, forgetful husband of yours burst into a fit of laughter with each and every complaint you blurt out? Are you reading these last few lines out loud wondering what has happened to my sanity? Well it’s very simple: Humor is a very powerful tool that if used right can get you anywhere you want, in a very relaxing and fun way, so why not take advantage of that? Why not take at least one burden off your shoulders and deal with the biggest source of stress in our lives so lightly, softly and in a way that will definitely have a positive outcome for both parties: Husbands aaaand wives?!!

 

 

Life already does surprise us with few slaps in the face every now and then, and that to me is enough stress and discomfort any one should deal with. So when we don’t really take ourselves and each other so seriously, and let room for some fun and laughter, we discover a new level of satisfaction and fulfilment, of understanding and contentment.

 

So ladies, roll your sleeves up, and show those other halves of yours how women can crack jokes about that forgotten trash, that unfixed light bulb, those groceries that were never done and all those little things on the list that were never checked….Never done! Take a moment to breath and to remember that those little things are not the essence of your life together, they are not the true meaning of your story. Just breath and make fun of each other and make some space for all the new wrinkles on both your faces, from all the laughing you will be doing, that will mark a new start, and a completely different level, in your holy bond.

 

Ouiam

Lost In Germany….

Last May, I did something quite crazy, something not everyone will be able to do, especially with a toddler onboard. I planned a trip, following Google’s advice and my instinct. I looked up “Small villages in Germany” and randomly chose one, then I booked the first house that popped up in my feed, and booked my tickets. Just me and my 3 years old. My desire to immerse myself in nature was growing day by day, and I was daydreaming about a trip where all we can do is contemplate the breathtakingly gorgeous sceneries. It wasn’t really hard to choose a country with the above descriptions; Germany is one of my very favorite countries, The Country of Poets and Thinkers, as it was being called once.
 

While there,  it really seemed like I have left the planet earth and showed up somewhere where social epidemics haven’t yet found place. Somewhere in the state of Bavaria in Germany, a tiny little town, about a handful of houses and a park (of course, parks in this part of the world are more important than anything else!), I am not even sure if I should call where I was, a “little town”, the closest supermarket, shops, or any sign of civilization was 15 km away (which is also a little town called “Schöllkrippen”). Mostly old couples live there, surrounded by all kind of greens, nature and friendly neighbors- sheep, goats, dogs and cats- Few young people too. Since we landed in this forgotten peace of heaven, Adam and I have been experiencing all kinds of human interactions that were not possible elsewhere. When we first arrived we were greeted at every corner, we were offered rides and food, we were treated like part of the family from people whom we have never seen before, from people we don’t even share the same language with! People have showered us with kindness and compassion since the day we stepped foot in there, and I simply wonder how come this only exists there? This has made me think of all the times reckless drivers shouted and raised hands that I could see from my mirror while driving, or those times when neighbors passed by and omitted to say hello, or the times family and friends have failed to show the human side in them, and I ask myself how come? Why we lost that human side in us that made us joyful, peaceful and simple! It also made me think of that specific time in an airport where I was helping a random guy get his luggage from one of those famous airport luggage belts (you know what I mean, those ones where if you don’t get your bag from the first round you start experiencing a mini heart attack, and are bound to wait in queues for hours!!!), and he came shouting, and waving his big bulky hand:” THIS IS MY BAG!”!!!!!!  Of course it is yours, idiot, I am just helping you! It made me think of countless encounters I had before of human beings being so far away from humanity, times where kindness has become a distant memory only few of us can remember. The people in this tiny town obviously opted for another philosophy in life, one that was too rare to even be named or studied. One that was the epitome of kindness, compassion and love.

 

 

What is it that has spoiled and ruined the human race this much, and left it pretty much inhuman? What is it that makes people kill innocent people, judge them, feel superior to them or even be insensitive to their existence?

 

If you say technology, it is wrong! Because each one of the people in this little tiny town, has their smart phones, laptops and TVs lined up in front of them (or in their living rooms), so it must be something else.

 

Whatever their secrete is, it is working! People in that little town are not disconnected from their surroundings even with the existence of phones and TVs. People there crave the social interaction as we- in my part of the world- crave the social media. These people are open and tolerant, they are present and mindful. I find it hard to believe that with the lifestyle we live we are able to find the essence of humanity anywhere. Husbands and wives busy with their phones, kids busy with their electronics and neighbors busy ignoring their neighbors. Somewhere along the journey we have all lost our purity and innocence, even with the best intentions, we are transformed with others’ rudeness and disconnection from whoever we want to be to whatever we are now.

 

Where I was, no one sits alone in a café, random people show up and ask if they can sit with you! So you don’t have to sit all alone! You will never be or feel alone even though the population of this tinniest city is one tenth of any normal sized city, while in big cities like where I live, you will be sitting in a table with 10 other people you know very well, and you will be hiding behind a screen, you might even not notice if someone leaves or comes! And this is my friends, one of the biggest losses the humanity has ever suffered from!

 

I am so very thankful and blessed that the universe has sent me to this unbelievably rich little town, to relearn what is the purpose of being human and how to be human in an era of disconnection and impurity.


PS: Those gorgeous pictures were taken by the very talented Jessica Elm in Germany.

Instagram: @jessicaelmphotography

Ouiam

She Did IT, And So Can You!!

 

 

Today’s post is a little different, it is something that I have been planning to do for a while, but life has so many ways of distracting you, I guess….

 

PS: This is NOT  a sponsored post!!!

 

As part of my efforts to support and encourage women who own, operate, and manage their small businesses, I have decided to pick a business each month and introduce the steel woman behind it. This month I have chosen a business that I have personally dealt with. When Adam turned one, it was something that needed to be celebrated! Not only because of the major milestone Adam just achieved, but also because of all what we have accomplished as parents, me and my husband. We felt so proud of all the things we have done the previous year, even though many many times throughout the journey, we were not even sure that we will ever get there. So a big birthday party was called for. Technically I love organising and taking care of all parties we host, but I was already a walking zombie, operating on too much caffeine and very little sleep. My plate was too full to take any more tasks. I came a cross DE PARTY DESIGNS on Facebook (aka google for moms), I contacted Dilu, who has replied promptly, with all the needed details, she also came over to discuss with me how I wanted this party to be like. After explaining to her what I envisaged for my son’s first birthday party,  I just waited anxiously for the final product. The party was a total success, without me going bankrupt, if you are wondering. The fees were very reasonable and totally worth it.


2 years later, I really want to introduce this very motivated, strong and successful woman to every mama reading my blog. To be an example and to also be a reference if you ever need a fabulous party but you have no time or energy to plan it 😉

 

Here is a little chat Dilu and I, had and we would like to share it with you:

Dilu: “I am a mother of 3 beautiful kids who are aged 16, 12 and 9 years. I moved to Bahrain 10 years ago, with my husband’s new job assignment; leaving behind my family and my career which I have been doing for 12 long years. I always believed that family should always stick together, wherever you go or whatever challenges you face in life, so of course I had to follow my husband.

Me: What did you do before Departydesigns?

I used to work in a garment / fabric buying office as a merchandiser and freelance Interior Designer.

How did you start Departydesigns?

After moving to Bahrain I used to work as a freelance Interior Designer, and I started my own page called: D Decor Homes, while writing articles for Interior Design websites like: Look4Design and Amazing Interior Design. With the passion for designing I knew I needed to do something more, something new and not very common in Bahrain. With this idea, I started De Party Designs, and started introducing Candy Table concept, with personalisation, for all the parties, mainly birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers …etc, going out of the box to create something new every time.

 

 What motivates you to do better every time?

Each and everyday I learn something new from my mistakes, and I want to make it better the next time. The recognition and appreciation towards my work, from people of Bahrain, make me do better and better every time.

 

Was it easy to start a business in Bahrain?

From the beginning I didn’t have any idea of how to start or from where to begin. But as always Bahrain and its people have been amazing to us, and have helped me by providing all the details on how to start up as a home based business, and then make it legalised as another step forward.

 

How do you balance work and family?

I’ve got three amazing independent kids whom have learnt to do most of their work on their own, and always help me to take my work stress out. Also my husband has been immensely helpful in both house-work and my work. He has been the fundamental help, for me to come this far. Even though I am a workaholic, I always make sure we both have plenty of time for our kids, specially towards their education. I also always make sure that I do not go beyond my limits, accepting events due to two reasons, One is : if it interferes with my personal life and my time with my family and kids. Second: I strongly believe whatever I do, I have to do it right and I should not accept many events just for the sake of money. If I can’t have enough time to prepare and deliver something great then there is no way I will commit.

 

What are your plans for the next 5-10 years?

I would love to explore and learn more about different areas and fields of events in Bahrain, as well as in the GCC. At the moment I am looking for more options for expanding my business. At the same time, I love studying about event management in different categories and I will be spending more time on that in the coming years.

 

 What will your advice be for women who would like to start their own business.

I believe if you have a passion for anything you should not hold it back. You need to come out and seek for possibilities of making it work. After living in Bahrain for many years, I have learnt that this is a beautiful country with beautiful people, who are always willing to help and lend you a hand to stand on your own feet. Go out and explore….!!!

 

 

Thank you Dilu for your time and for all the insights and advice!




Facebook: Departydesigns Dpd

Instagram @departydesigns.bh

 

 

 

Ouiam

Birthday Thoughts….


There are things you learn only when you are thirty. Because thirty is the bridge between both worlds: The naivety of the twenties, and how we think we know it all, and the wisdom of the thirties and how each day is a learning experience. Because you are mature enough, wise enough, and most importantly OLD enough to be trusted with some of life’s major secretes.

In few more days, I will be celebrating my 31st birthday and Gosh how I love birthdays! I just love growing and figuring out what life has in store for me. Being thirty was incredibly amazing. It has been filled with so much personal growth, and even though life has gifted me with some hardships, I am still very proud of myself and of how amazing being thirty was.

Being thirty taught me so many new and amazing things. The most important of all is not to be afraid of rejection. I learnt that if someone said “NO” to me, I shouldn’t take it as a setback or a failure, instead, I should look at it as a new source of motivation. Hearing “NO” now is like music to my ears, it makes me step out of my comfort zone, and feel the rush of adrenaline through every inch of my body. The word “NO” now is more of an invitation than it is a rejection. Learning how to accept “NO” and move on was just the beginning of a long delightful story of me getting out of my comfort zone at every step of the way. Being thirty freed me, it liberated me from so many invisible ropes that were tying me down. Now every single day, I look for new challenges. Challenges that will keep me on my toes, that will make my body and mind work hard. In a way it also prepares me for when life strikes, and shows me its other face, the ugly one. It made me a warrior, who wouldn’t fear walking through her path with open arms. Being thirty wasn’t all roses and rainbows. It was full of surprises, good ones, and not so good ones, but still, I have to say, it was my very favorite year ever!

It also taught me how to SAY No! how many times have I found myself cornered in a situation that I hated to be in, but I said YES anyways because I felt forced to, because it wasn’t nice to say NO, because I wanted to please everyone around me. So being thirty taught me that that was plain craziness! The only people I should be struggling to please are:  Myself and my family. “No” has become such a joyful word, instead of it being a source of shame and embarrassment. I say No to things that won’t work for me, I no longer do things that I don’t want to do…. And I am loving it!

Being thirty also taught me a lot about being vulnerable, and how asking for help is our fundamental right and not some kind of cliché that wasn’t for me. I learned that some things in life are only done by asking for help. I learnt that sometimes by asking for help you might also be helping others, and by opening the door you are not only setting yourself free, but freeing other people too.

I learnt this past year the true meaning of friendship. Yes, it took me thirty whole years to figure that out. I have said goodbye to some of my very dear friends, yet we promised each other that we wouldn’t comply with the rule:” Out of of sight, out of mind”. We promised each other that friendship is for life and we kept our words. I feel so thankful and grateful that God made some incredible people cross my path, and linked us forever.

I also finally learnt how to use the GPS!!!!! YES< I DID IT! I never ever thought I am capable of following those very unclear instructions, yet being thirty taught me that I am very much capable of just that! In the last year I have been to places I have never ever been to, in the last 11 years I have been living in Bahrain. I really see this as an “out of this world” accomplishment and I am so very proud of myself!

Being thirty, taught me to only surround myself with people who are going to add value to my life. Whom their presence is going to enlighten me and enrich my life in every aspect, and stay away from negative people, no matter how hard that can be, I just learnt to set rules and boundaries and it worked like a charm!

I learnt to appreciate humor and not to take life too seriously! Face a hardship with a chuckle because you might as well make fun of your miseries, instead of drowning yourself in sorrow.

I also learnt that no matter how painful life can be, no matter how much your heart aches, and your eyes tear, you will eventually smile, because God has gifted us with the epitome of mercy and blessings: The act of forgetting! We forget everything with time and we smile again with a happy heart.

Being thirty was beyond amazing, and I am beyond excited to see what’s in for me next year. What will being 31 teach me, what will life gift me with next year?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around throughout me being thirty, and for being the best companions in my journey. So much love, positive energy and birthday horns, hats and cheers your way!!

Ouiam

Do You Love Yourself Enough?

How many times have you skipped lunch/ dinner, because you are too busy or too tired to eat? How many times have you deprived yourself from something you really wanted, because of your child? How many times have you pressed the pause button in your life, in order to be a good mother?How many times have smuggled food into the bathroom, so you can eat peacefully? How many times have you left the house with no make up or perfume on, because instead, you chose to wipe butts and have long conversations with tiny horrible bosses. How many times have you cried alone in the middle of the night because your kid just wouldn’t sleep?  I personally have done so much of the above and I am sure you have too.  Someone once described motherhood to me like the oxygen masks in airplanes. Always in the safety demonstration they say that you should put on your OWN mask first, then put your child’s, because if you are not alive you will not be able to save your child; and I couldn’t agree more.   

 

In order to put that mask tightly, you need to know yourself well. You need to speak to yourself with love and love only, you need to value yourself even if no one else does, you need to respect and cherish who you are. To love yourself doesn’t mean to be self-absorbed or narcissistic, it just means that you treat yourself like you want to be treated, that you don’t doubt yourself. It means to forget about any form of self-loathing, and to be able to put yourself as a priority in your own life and not always on the bottom of the list.

 

To love yourself is to know what makes you happy and go for it, be it an hour alone, or a cup of tea with friends, or a relaxing bath. To love yourself is to take care of yourself, exercise, eat healthy, be creative, laugh, and make sure you are living and not just being. You need to know how to satisfy your own needs before you tend to anyone else’s.  At times this might sound like a luxury that you can’t afford, and that’s when you need to practice your fundamental right in this life! ASK FOR HELP! I learnt in the last couple of years that some people are always there for you and are ready to help you whenever you need help. I also learnt that if someone says NO to you, it is not the end of the world, that is probably just the beginning of the journey, and that the amount of NOs that you will hear in your life does not and will not define who you are. So yes honor and respect yourself, don’t wait for anyone else to do it for you! Don’t be the first one to wake up and the last one to sleep EVERYDAY, don’t cancel your plans because the house is messy and needs to be cleaned, don’t allow anyone to treat you as a possession or take you for granted. Love yourself when you wake up in the morning and when you see yourself in the mirror. Love yourself when you allow yourself to breath no matter how hectic the day gets. Just remember:  To survive, you need to put YOUR oxygen mask on first!

 

Ouiam

The Little Story Of a Cupboard…

Today I have a little story to share, something that happened to me and left me a little dazzled and speechless. Something that not only suggests that there is someone up there who rolls the dice, but also that life’s events are all mysteriously and inexplicably connected and intertwined.

Weeks ago I found a great carpenter to build a cupboard for one of the rooms in our new home. He had built few pieces for me in the past, and I knew that he was extremely talented and wasn’t going to charge me an arm and leg for that cupboard. So I told him exactly  what I wanted, the little details I fancied, the knobs, the colours, the partitions, and he agreed. The price was perfect, the design was fabulous and I was over the moon that finally my clothes will have a safe and stylish home to harbour them. He promised to finish the piece of art in 2 weeks, and I knew he would do his best to honor his word, as he always did. 4 weeks later, I still haven’t heard from the man, I called, texted, called again, but no answer! I had given him half of the price we agreed on, and now it seemed like I just got duped. I was more pissed about my homeless clothes, that now are destined to live all over the place, more than anything else. My dreams of having my fabulous white closet have disappeared. Oooh and I also had to start thinking of ways to explain to my dear husband how 200BD has simply vanished!!!!

Long story short, the carpenter was a very decent man, he was in some kind of trouble, he brought the down payment back, and told me that he couldn’t build my closet.  Obviously all hopes of having what I have spent days dreaming of have evaporated!  I gave myself time to mourn, but I moved on, and was convinced that I would just have to live either without a closet, or with a less than OK one, that I am probably going to get from a cheap furniture store.

Weeks have past, and one day while browsing on Facebook, I came across a very talented couple who collect, make, paint, and restore furniture, to sell. They create beauty at its finest. The treasures I have seen on their Facebook page were incredibly stunning. Among these treasures was an old Bahraini cupboard, that they restored and painted, and gave it a taste of sophistication while keeping its authenticity. Without thinking twice, I knew that THAT was MY cupboard and I had to get it. 2 days later the marvelous piece of art, stood tall in my room! That night and when I thought about it, I realized how sad I was over that whole carpenter story and how he couldn’t make the cupboard I dreamed of. I thought I would never get what I wanted, I thought what has happened was incredibly upsetting and disappointing. Little did I know, that the perfect cupboard was somewhere out there, patiently waiting for me to come and make it mine.

The cupboard story is very similar to many many other stories that happen in real life, where we get so overwhelmed and upset when things don’t go the way we want them to. What we don’t know is that somewhere, the perfect thing is waiting. Waiting for us to make peace with ourselves and be ready to invite that perfect thing in our lives. What can seem to be unfair, upsetting, bad, can sometimes be not only good, but great and perfect for us. As the holy Quran says: “Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you” ( وعسى ان تكرهو شيئا و هو خير لكم) From Surat Al Baqarah.

Ouiam

The Wisdom Of White Papers

Do you remember when you were little? Do you remember how much you knew, how much you trusted, how much you loved, how much you laughed and how much you cried? Of course you do!  Because those were the days you were still close to the doors of knowing… The doors of miracles and mystery.

Everyone says children are born like white papers, and it is our duty as parents to fill those papers with whatever they need to grow up. We teach them to talk, read, write, and to become successful in life; But did anyone try to learn things from those little minds instead of teaching them?

As a kid I believed in clouds and rainbows, I believed I was brave enough to conquer the world, to fly and to be free.  I also seriously believed that I had a hidden talent in understanding animal’s language.. Yes I did. I stayed hours with cats having conversations about life and death. I believed there was always a secrete door, I just needed to look for it harder, I believed I was strong enough to face the world. Suddenly all this believing stopped .. and I grew up! I learned to be afraid of tomorrow, and to never trust strangers, to doubt my own capabilities and skills and to stop asking questions. Yet they say growing up is the best part of life! We grow up and forget the best things we ever knew. We grow up to become boring and scared. We lose our simple selves and become a complicated work in progress. And even though we all secretly know this and long for the days we ran barefoot and laughed at silly jokes, we never  really admit it. We even help our kids grow up and we take them far, far away from that door of knowing and of miracles!

 

Why can’t we let our kids guide us, and show us the way again? Why can’t we learn from them to love and believe in each other again? Why don’t we let them teach us to laugh when we feel like it and to cry when we are sad? Why don’t we stop and look at the stars when they do? Why don’t we look at simple things and be amazed by them again?

 

I think we will learn greatly if we did!

 

Ouiam