Monday, October 17, 2011


Last week, Jen from IHeart Organizing linked up a few great DIY projects which did not cost a dime, basically because the readers had all of the items already on hand.

I was dreading for quite q while now with how the top of the toyshelf looked by now. In fact, we like to keep the kids books on there so they can grab them whenever they feel like reading. We wanted to lead them towards a little more independance and exactly that made the top shelf look like this...

Now that's not very pretty, is it?

So I logged off and thought with myself: If I had anything on hand to make it look better, I would do it now... Then I remembered I had just gotten a new box of powder to wash my laundry, and there was just enough left for a wash or two in the old one... So I just dropped the leftover powder into the new box. In fact I made sure that all of the leftover powder was out...

So this is how it started...

It was a little big, so I just cut it off, going by the biggest book I would put in there.

After that, I took some wrapping paper I already had on hand and wrapped the box up as good as I could. I do not have pictures available of this process, because I was getting sidetracked running after all these gaming cards that seem to accumulate at home. In fact they are supposed to be in the plastic box on the left side of the top self, along with some ither nic nacs. Now if I... Wait, I HAD...

Two small cereal boxes. The ones that include one serving and I like to buy for the kids so they can try out other sorts and brands of cereal without having to boy one big box...
I took a game card to see it it would fit and...

After some cutting and adjusting, I had gotten this...

I chose not to use the same wrapping paper again, but a sheet in a matching color. I also chose to cut out one of the fish from the wrapping paper, and glue it to the now colored boxes as well.
Now I was left with the nic nacs. Too good I had an empty soupcan from the night before's dinner. After washing it out and making sure it was dry, I chose yet another color of colored paper and wrapped it. Sticking the cereal box to the powder box was an easy one. The soup can was a little more challenging... But I made it... :)

First mission accomplished. The space looks more presentable now. I esp like that the plastic box with the cards and small games is gone. I need at least 2 more powder boxes to finish. It could take a while until the one I just started will be empty, so I asked around to make sure to get some as soon as possible. I am also looking for diaper boxes to turn them into personalized and colorful toyboxes (as seen on Pinterest). I hope you like what I did and check back soon to see the progress:)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My husband's new job

I am very excited to announce that next Monday, my husband will be starting his new job. He's worked as a gardener for quite a while now which allowed us to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables he could take home, however, his job never made him very happy. We knew right from the start that this job was a temporar solution. He could not work as a tailor altho he is an approved one. Somehow, male tailor are not very popular in this area. For over a year now, he took training classes to work as a welding operator. And now, finally, he got a job to owrk as one. However, it includes two days a week of additional training. He is excited and so am I. We're hoping to be able to spend more time together again when he comes home. Since the gardening job didn't make him happy, all he wanted when coming home was being left alone. I accepted it because afterall, he only took this job to be able to provide for us. I cannot say I need to forgive him, because I was never mad about it at first hand. I hope and pray, that once happy with his job, he will be excited to share more of his day when coming home, just the way it is like right now when he comes home from his training classes.

Honey, I also want to thank you. I thanked you each day in my heart, and every now and then verbally (I feel I should have told you more often, you probably needed a cheerlader), or with little gestures. You did what seemed right to you. You did a job you didn't enjoy, just for us, for your family, but you never gave up and finally get to do what you wanted for so long now. You are a great role model to our kids, showing them it's never to late to do what you enjoy, if you can't do plan A, there's always plan B, even if ittakes time. You're showing them yourself that learning and getting ahead is a life long process. I can only hope that they follow your footsteps! I love you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Marriage and in-laws

First of all, I am back from my summer break:) I decided to join a challenge over at Time-Warp Wife. Please take a moment to check that wonderful site out.

Todays challenge is to invite your inlaws over or skype with them.. Well, I guess I have to do this my way... My father in law passed away in 1984 when my husband was only 10. My mother in law lives a 5 hour flight away from me, and never been on a computer.

In 2005 I was about to marry my husband and we decided that all things considered (esp the VERY big family of his side), the wedding should take place in Burkina Faso. It was also the very first time I was about to meet his family. I was nervous, and wanted them to like me. Before chosing a dress for the wedding, I even asked my now-husband what kind of dresses his mom likes because I would never ever have gotten married in a dress she'd dissaprove. I felt like I owned so much to this woman, Aminata Traore, since she had given life to my husband. On the other hand I heard so much about MIL's, they're witches, monsters, and whatever you want to name them, so I was convinced, that probably, I was just NOT supposed to like her because she was my MIL. I was in a twist there. So the day arrived. We hired a taxi from the house we rented and the driver took us to my MIL's house. My now-husband paid the driver, and got out of the car and so did I. I heard neighbours screaming, and saw a woman almost being hit by a car. Little did I know at that very moment that this woman was my MIL. She was talking to the neighbour living across the street and she was so excited to see her son again after 5 years that she completely forgot the traffic and just kept running towards him. After hugging and kissing him a few times, she also came and greeted me with a big hug. Then I knew that I could never bring myself to not like her. We were invited inside of the house, where I had the pleasure to meet my MIL's mom. We stayed for a while, and I was so nervous, I honestly do not remember a lot, only that the kind of perfume my MIL uses smells SO good. I saw her a few times more back there, memories are kind of blurry. I don't understand her language, and she does not speak or understand mine. Religion used to be a problem for her in the beginning, too.
Sometimes, I feel very bad that I only have one picture of her and me together. That I never got to meet my FIL. Sometimes, I wish she'd live closer, because I'd like to have her around a little more. She's scared of planes, and will probably never come over to see how we live, to see the kids school. Maybe one day? I hope so!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kids Room... *sigh*

So we finally went to purchase the kids new closet last Saturday. We opted for this one at IKEA. It was definately not the cheapest but the only one we could actually picture being in their room AND be solid enough. The last closet they had was big and cost next to nothing back in 2007. The first drawers broke in the beginning of 2008 and by the end of that year, Karim's been fixing it over and over. By March of this year, it's been falling apart little by little and even Karim could no longer fix it. The new closet is MUCH smaller and I purchased some more containers to put under the beds. This is where I can stuff blankets and snuggies, stuff we actually only need during the colder months of the year. Just in case we still have too much stuff, I guess this is the perfect occasion to get rid of some more.
We also need some progress concerning toy organization because the old system does not really work any longer. My daughter basically pulls out eveything, which is frustrating for the boys who, finally, do put the toys into the right boxes when asked. Her pulling everything out again immediately is not very rewarding, right? I plan to purchase one or even two of these and use the shelf we had the toys on as bookshelf. I will probably paint white before. I really hope that we are getting it done soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The story of Us

Today, I want to take a little time to tell you how my husband and I met. I was 21 and in June, our French class took a trip to Paris (mind me reminding you I live in Luxembourg and Paris is only about 3 hours away!). I still had to buy a few small souvenirs, so I entered a shop just a few steps away from the Moulin Rouge and snagged a few shirts I had not seen anywhere else during the trip. While I paid I felt someone was watching me and spotted a guy sitting close to the cashier. Sparkling eyes, braided hair. He was watching me and I felt weird. In fact, I don't like the feeling of being observed. When I came outside, my friends were asking me what happened inside, because apparently, my face was as red as a tomato usually is... Fast forward to December of the same year. I was still 21 and at the hairdressers. I know, this was definately NOT where I would expected to meet the man of my life. He knew the owner of the hairsaloon and just came to say hello. I sat there, I saw him entering and I just knew it. I knew it was HIM right from the first moment. Before, I never believed you could just know it and now that this really happened to me, I was scared. In main time, I tried to stay calm, telling myself that I must be wrong. He sat down just next to me and talked to me. I just recall him asking about my name, and being blown away by his eyes. They were sparkling like stars. I can't recall anything else of the conversation. Seriously... Until at once, his phone rang and he just said:"I am sorry, I won't be there. Sorry you were waiting for me, but I just can't. I feel I have to stay where I am right now." When my hair was done, and I was about to go home, I know nothing but his name but I knew that I HAD to do something. People who know me know I am pretty shy, and I would never EVER just DO something to meet a man again (makes me feel trashy...). However, this time, everything was different. I wrote down my number on a small piece of paper and when I turned around he was just gone. Of course I wouldn't have given my number to him in front of everyone. I was just hoping he would follow me... BUT... I guess I was wrong then. A little relieved, but still a little dissapointed, I went outside and there he was. Handing me a pen and a piece of paper, asking if he could get my number because he wanted to see me again. So... yay. no need to feel trashy because I did not need to give the piece of paper I had originally written.
A few days and phonecalls later, we saw each other again, and everything went pretty fast from there on. However, it was not until he went to get to know my mom that I experienced a... surprise... Mom just hung the laundry when we arrived. There were a few shirts from Paris being hung there was well. We went inside, and my mom was getting drinks when he said:"I knew you looked familiar." Me: "What do you mean?" Him:"You are the red faced girl buying shirts at my friends shop in Paris, not far away from the Moulin Rouge." Indeet, I could not deny that I had bought shirts in a shop close to the Moulin Rouge... "I was checking you out behind the counter. You were so embarrassed you almost forgot your change. I had braids back then. Remember?" Oh yeah, I did... LOL. Nowdays, I wonder how I did not feel the connection in Paris but felt it at the hair saloon.
The problem we faced once our relationship was getting very serious was faith. Karim is Muslim, and I am Catholic. Before I could never imagine being with anyone besides a Catholic man. It took us a lot of time to adjust, and it is STILL going on now, 9 years later. Sometimes it makes me sad that the kids are muslim, too. However, he has never put any pressure on me to become muslim, or even suggested it. He accepts my faith, me going to church, the way I pray. I, in return, accept his faith, that he and the kids eat no porc meat (me neither, out of respect!). I cannot say that this is what I imagined, but I am confident that Gods plan for me was better than the one I had for myself.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Project 'Burkina Faso'

Yes, that's the country my husband is from. And honestly, altho I visited Burkina and we got married there, I feel horrible to say I never attempted to learn anything about their culture, let alone cook something specifically from Burkina Faso. I tried African in general tho.
So next week, I am trying to cook only dishes from Burkina Faso.
I'll come back to this post once I found a link to a recipe.. So consider this my Menu Planning Monday post.. On Friday.

Dinner: Munyu Caf Couscous

Dinner: Maan Nezim Nzedo (Fish Stew with Vegetables)

Dinner: Riz gras au Poulet

Dinner: Sauce aux Gombos with TĂ´


Dinner: Couscous Burkinabé


Mango Chutney
Beignets d'haricots

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kitchen.. and news on the kids room... sort of

So, I mentionned that I have to do something in the kids room this week. I started yesterday. Rearranging and sorting out a few toys. I am kind of excited because the plan is to get the new closet for the kids next Saturday. We went to IKEA last Saturday to check and see what we like and gave ourselves a few days to think about it. The closet we're going to get is MUCH smaller, so we will see how it goes.

I've also done a little something in the kitchen. Not today, not yesterday, but a few days ago.

Here it goes... It looked like this...

And now, it looks like this.