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Where Have I Been?

Nadeen here!

Jacques in a far away world of Florence, Italy and while I miss her dearly I’ll be spending my semester a little differently.

And while it is true that her life is way more exciting than mine at the moment, it’s still not an excuse as to why I haven’t been posting regularly.

I have learned that although I am extremely busy this semester, this blog is a tool I use to relax, and I need to start utilizing this more often.

Since we haven’t spoken in a while, I’ll briefly update you on all the new happenings in my life.

First off, I’m currently an intern at Refugee Services of Texas.

I’m absolutely in love with everything I do at this internship. It is alot of work, but it is also extremely rewarding. I get to use my arabic and spanish, while DIRECTLY helping families who just arrive in the US because of unfortunate events happening in their homeland.

I’m especially appreciative of this internship because of all the important life skills I’m gaining such as problem solving and multi tasking. We held our annual cycling fundraiser this weekend, where rode a 10 mile route to raise money for refugee and asylee families in Austin who are in need. I am thankful for all the sponsors that I had, and our whole nonprofit raised about $25,000 in total. which is absolutely amazing and one cannot even begin to imagine how directly helpful this money will be for so many families in Austin, TX.

The event was fun before and after the ride. There was yoga, breakfast tacos, live music, beer, and more. and it was at Yellow Bike Project! 

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Second, I’ve taken this whole Face Painting thing to the next level and started my own mini business. 

I created some business cards, put up a few ads on craigslist, and have received a great response!

If you’d like to book me for a party, you can email me at nadeenabouhossa@yahoo.com

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So these are all the “important,” productive, life factors in my life.

Other than that, I’ve really been enjoying myself and learning how precious time is, and instead of blabbering away you can see some highlights in photos. (I got the new iphone 5s for christmas, so my photos are way better quality now 🙂 )

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^^my new room

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I made Arrepas (venezuelan meal) for the boysIMG_2497

their faces show the deliciousness IMG_2516

We put up a hammock in the hall of our house, but of course it’s only for cody 😉IMG_2609

Made candles at home! It was fun but really messy and alot of work. IMG_2614

Gotta have a strong man to cut up all the wax so it can melt properly IMG_2621

Taaaa-daaaaa! They smelled delightful. One of our housemates got a lil wild with mixing scents and she ended up throwing hers away cause it smelled like puke. (oops)
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My man and I went on a sweet little getaway over MLK weekend. (thanks groupon getaway for making it affordable)
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The weather was perfect! IMG_2685

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I cook for my house every Thursday, and I want to start updating you all on what we cook cause it’s been great and unique this semester! Here are our chicken and bean enchiladas con mucho queso IMG_2718

This has been the coldest winter in TX that I can ever remember. 3 snow days so far, including tomorrow! (that’s the real reason why I’m blogging :)) And as tortuous as it’s been to deal with this freezing weather (continuous nights in layers of clothes drinking hot tea and cuddling – it’s actually not so bad), I’ve been happy cause I get to wear this monkey hat my brother gave me a few years ago. IMG_2780

A few days ago, when I started this post,  I couldn’t remember how the sun looked like or how I could even begin to fathom to pull out some shorts, so that’s why I wanted to post this photo from the week before. a day of beautiful sunshine all day, cause I wanted to go back to that day in the grass.^^^^^^
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Last weekend, we went to a wild child show here in Austin, where they were shooting their music video. It was at the coolest house I’ve ever been to. You be the judge by the looks of these photos.
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(sign waiver to jump on this trampoline ^^)IMG_2825

play some chess IMG_2828

smoke machines!! IMG_2831

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and we were in the front row 🙂IMG_2847

after the show, arrakis had our around the world. where we go from room to room and engage in some activity. my room was carnival themed. we played twister and drank some cotton candy stuff with obnoxious music in the background. it was great and unfortunately there were no photos taken. One of my housemates, Nick, put all our spare mattresses in the dining room and made this his room designated for wrestling matches. IMG_2872

So that’s how my life has been. No complaining here, I always say I consider myself a pretty lucky girl.

I promise you all ONE blog post a week, with more detailed descriptions of life and there are lots of concerts coming up that I will photograph and talk about with you all.

I also have been crafting a lot more, and I want to document that as well.

Thanks to everyone who reads, it means so much. and let’s all say how much we miss jacqueline. I shall live vicariously through her by eating pasta everyday 😉

xoxo,

Nadeen Abou-Hossa

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Givings of Thanks Everywhere.

Every year I compile a thankful list on thanksgiving. Of course I know this is a good habit to keep, but yesterday it made me feel kind of naive and selfish.

I should have this feeling of thanks EVERYDAY. Thanksgiving should just be the day that all your appreciation is highlighted around you with food and family and friends.

I sat around yesterday looking at how much all my cousins have grown, how the stories my mom has told me about my uncles when they were younger still reflect upon their personalities today. I let myself be spoiled by all my aunts (guilty as charged).  I ate 3/4 of the green bean casserole, and I just breathed the healthy air around me.

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My cousin Amanda and I putting our little girl poses on.

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All of us with my mom who looks like she’s still our age.

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La familia

IMG_1843It’s told that turkey has something in it that causes drowsiness….

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 Aunt Gloria- my second mother who has the most kind soul

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Tio Beto passes out after his first beer during the cowboys game….aren’t you eager to get to that point in your life?IMG_1848

I guess the women weren’t too interested in the game…

Being thankful for family is very important, but another reason that I stay sane is because of my amazing friends. Last weekend, my co-op had a hausgiving. The day was spent with a full kitchen, cooking all day, christmas jams, and some puzzle solving

I was on mission potatoes. Here are 10 pounds of them….

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Which I eventually mashed and mixed with oregano, romano cheese, garlic, and a beautiful amount of butter.

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We all took a pause from cooking late morning because of the sudden “snow” that magically appeared by my car.

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Tender Trent making his mean pumpkin bars which didn’t last long in our house.

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And the children colored while impatiently waiting for all the food to be prepared….

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TaaaaDaaaaaa, look at all da grub on that plate. Makes me proud to be an american.

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Brian with his ginormous turkey leg, what a brave boy he is.

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NOMZ NOMZ NOMZ

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Gosh there’s just so much food, what a disaster! (said no one ever)

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We went around the table and said what we were thankful for, the perfect combination of awkward and cute.

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My mini family: boyfriend and dogIMG_1789

This is all 19 of my housemates on our front porch. They are my family and see me at my grossest and finest moments and I am so thankful that I get to know more and more about each of their unique personality’s everyday.

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The holidays are here people! I’m ecstatic to be able to geek out on my christmas music and ugly sweaters and egg nog and christmas trees and all that good jazz.

Spend this time with family or friends or animals or whatever  else is important to YOU.

xoxo, 

Nadeen 

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Summertime and the Livin’s Easy

Ah yes, sweet summer… At last, you are here.

I’m ecstatic, but to be honest, I really haven’t known what to do with myself

First off, finals are over! Yay.

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(Lana and I before our arabic final, sleepless and still fabulous)

But now that this is over, i’m confused. What is this weird thing called free time? How do we spend it? Relaxing? I have time to lay out and read for hours? This all feels so strange to me, but I do know it’s necessary.

I pack up my messy room, hang out with these doggies who do nothing but feed me brave words of encouragement for the big change that is about to happen in my life.

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Although I will be working full time and going to school, it will still be summer. No doubt about it. There will still be crispy sunburns from the pool, late night talks about nothing with random acquaintances, lazy evenings drinking beer, and the windows down on those sunny days with my favorite death cab for cutie song playing.

So far, my summer in Austin has consisted of: 

Thrifting: If you’re in Austin, you have a plethora of shops to choose from! However, if you’re a broke college student like me, then you can’t afford most of these cool shops with trendy vintage items. So do what I do, and go to places like Savers! or in Houston, Value Village. It’s a normal thrift shop like the goodwill, a HUGE one, with so much cheap fashionable clothing! You just may have to search a little but there’s some great stuff. I snagged this vest for a few bucks. Granny or hot?

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I’ve started a new book that is making me want to go travel the world alone in hopes of “finding myself.” (We’ll see about that)

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And I’ve ventured out to all the hip austin eats. Julio’s is one of my favorite local mexican restaurants. It’s not the fanciest, they only take cash, and the employees won’t be the friendliest, but none of that matters when you taste the authentic deliciousness. Look at this enchilada plate that is “bigger than my head.”

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But really, this is all inevitable. I also await all the new friends I will make this summer. I just moved into a co-op  named Arrakis where I will have something like 17 roommates? It’s been a huge change, but I love it so far. It seems like such a close community and it’s amazing to see everyone put in their individual labor to contribute in creating a wholesome functioning house.  I am especially excited to get to know each and every one of my housemates unique personality.

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This is my new, unpacked room. Every time I go home I can’t help but  become more obsessed with my door. Be prepared for many photos to come of the cool artwork around the house! The walls are all painted beautifully 🙂

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Cody seems to be adjusting well to the house as well. His main rule was to stay out of the kitchen, and as dumb as the baby can be sometimes…he is learning so fast!

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During my first morning at Arrakis, I woke up to all these cookies in the kitchen with an arrow pointing to them saying, “eat me.” In this moment, with coffee brewing in the background, I knew this was going to be a great home for me.

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And this is one of my roommates, Mary Elizabeth. We bonded over our mexican habit of putting spicy seasonings on our watermelon one night in the kitchen..and we snagged this hat that she’s wearing at the dollar store. Dolla dolla make you holla!!!

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As I unpack my new room, I go through my belongings and think of all  these creative projects I want to start on. I’ve been realizing how important it is to document. Journaling and keeping photos in a special place (not your Facebook), will be worth while in the long run. Keep your eyes peeled for a austin project I’m starting soon involving the blog 🙂

Until next time, I am at South Padre Island lounging and spending time with family. I’m getting pretty far into my book while I’m here and I want to leave you with a part of it that left me thinking all day. I think most of us are guilty of the crime she describes.

The main character in the book, Elizabeth, explains how in her beautiful travels, loneliness still haunts her. And then on page 65, she stops and tells herself: “So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map with it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” 

I think if we all wrote this on a sheet of paper, and hung it up on our wall, we would feel a little bit more settled inside.

I wish you all sunny days and safe travels

xoxo,
Nadeen

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