Year of Firsts: Sabrina

Yesterday’s Year of Firsts was a trip down memory lane. Since I heard that Kiernan Shipka is set to star in the new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t watched the Melissa Joan Hart version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


I did a little digging and found out that there were seven seasons of the “old” Sabrina series. Seven! Who knew? Certainly not me. It was on during the late 90s early 2000s and apparently part of the TGIF lineup, which is probably why I never saw it.


Back in the day when I was still in school, I would come home and watch tv until my parents came home from work. Their coming home was the signal that I was to do my homework and my parents typically watched the news. We were a two TV household, but our other TV had limited channels. So yeah, if it wasn’t on in the afternoon, I probably didn’t see it.


Lucky for me Amazon has all seven seasons. Watching it reminded me of the questionable fashion choices of that era and also makes me wonder what we’ll look back on in 10-20 years and say about our fashion choices now.

I’m glad that I didn’t watch this show as a kid though, because aside from Sabrina’s Quizmaster, it took like, what… Four seasons to have a regular cast member that’s a person of colour. That really gets to me, not that this show is any different than any other of the TGIF shows. Aside from that, there are so many blondes on the show. I wish I was good with numbers because then I’d throw down the statistics of airtime given to blondes, as opposed to any other hair colour. It’s all blondes, all the time. (I don’t have a problem with blondes, my mama was a blonde in her day, but the rest of us dark-haired people exist too!)


And why do cast members suddenly disappear and get replaced so easily? What happened to Jenny? One season she’s there, the next she’s gone and no one mentions her at all? Poor Jenny.


This show really makes me wish I had super powers. Sure all of Sabrina’s spells tend to backfire on her, but the ability to travel across the world in a second or freeze time is definitely something I could get used to. My favourite part of the show has to be the guest appearances of ‘N Sync and Britney Spears. It really takes me back to a different time.


And it’s so weird to think of how much they’ve changed since their episodes aired. It gets me thinking about how much I’ve changed in the past 18 years. I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person now than I was then, but I’ve certainly evolved.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,



What a difference 10 years makes

A decade ago, I was a videographer/journalist. It’s so cringe to watch now. What a different time…

Taqasim- Simon Shaheen

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

Conversion to Islam

 Don’t judge me. I’d like to think my skills have come a long way since then.
Peace and Pistachios,

Annedroids Review

Has anyone else seen the show on Amazon called Annedroids? It’s cute, quirky and clever kids show that’s been on for, I believe, 3-to-4 seasons. I only watched one season but I wrote down some observations in no particular order…

  • The Pal android was made to be gender neutral. Pal has a personality and somehow communicates in a way that the kids understand, but I don’t.
  • It really is a new age educational experience for children. There is so much information to absorb and I like that it encourages girls to go into the STEM field.
  • The girls (and boys) on the show are very natural. They’re dressed like kids, their hair isn’t all done up and they’re not wearing makeup to make them look older.
  • The junkyard that is actually the home of Anne is huge. Like seriously huge. It must cost a fortune to afford all that land. And how did Shania, who is the dictionary definition of outgoing, not get all inquisitive about the junkyard until her new neighbour, Nick, moved in?
  • Nick just moved to the area with his mother and his mom doesn’t seem to be the most concerned with who her kid is hanging out with all day. She won’t let Nick sleepover Anne’s house without meeting her dad, I’ll give her that, but Nick disappears for hours a day and she’s ok with it.
  • This show is pretty accepting of the robot, android future that we are moving in. I suppose children watching this show will be more accepting of the tech future than previous generations, maybe because they grew up watching shoes like this.
  • There’s this episode where the droids go into super hide mode, but there was no fail-safe mode. Why?
  • The droids and bots have their own personalities with matching names to go with it. They’re named Pal, Hand, Eyes, etc.
  • Pal is an android that is supposed to learn as she experiences life, which probably explains why she wandered onto some train tracks. Hand saves her by grabbing her and throwing her back into the junkyard. But what is Pal made out of because she gets a few scratches and that’s it?
  • Plus no one can find out about the androids because Anne is worried that people will take them away from her. But how did the train not notice these massive androids on the tracks and report it? I don’t know who you report massive androids to, but I imagine someone would be interested.
  • Anne really needs to get some tracking devices on her inventions.
  • Why are the kids so nervous about Nick’s mom discovering the androids? Who is she going to tell? What’s the worst that can happen?
  • I learned that the difference between robots and androids is that androids can think and feel like humans. That’s pretty freaky.
  • Pal is annoying sometimes with all her questions, but it’s a great mechanism and tool to teach kids new information, ideas and vocabulary.
  • Hand acts like such a child. So the droids might learn new information and feel like humans, but they don’t seem to mature at the same rate. It does give children the opportunity to identify with Hand and learn a few life lessons.
  • Shania is bringing back the skort. Ode to my childhood. Shania is a fashion queen. She is so animated and makes it cool for girls to burp the alphabet. She is unapologetically herself. Go Shania!
  • The Android Games episode was really good to teach kids that everyone has their strengths. Not everyone has to be the best at all things.
  • I know it’s a show, but these kids get so much done in a day. I’m jealous.
  • I do wonder how Anne and her dad get all that junk in the junkyard. At the beginning of the show, you see Anne with a tiny little wagon dragging some junk home, but they have quite large junk pieces in the junkyard. How does it all get there?
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is a timeless classic that will never get old. NEVER!
  • How are Anne’s inventions so high-tech but her security gaps are so obvious? At least she troubleshoots her security issues and works through them.
  • I love the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle aspect of the show. We should all remember the three R’s.

Give the show a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Because apparently, you can’t have too many versions of a CV

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Heba Issa (1)

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Heba Issa copy 5

Learn Digital Photography Now

…Reveals Professional, “Insider” Tips And Tricks For Taking Awesome Digital Photos With Your Digital Camera… (Even If You’re A Complete Newbie To Photography!)

Learn Digital Photography Now Click Here!

Summary: The “Your Guide to Digital Photography” by Dan Feildman is a downloadable guide for digital photography beginners and those looking for better results from their digital photography.

Product Details: There are a number of components to this learning product including –

– “Your Guide to Digital Photography” – a 75-page guide that includes a variety of tips and advice for the beginner to advanced photographer. Some of the topics are:

– Taking your first pictures
– Different kinds of digital cameras
– Professional technology at affordable prices
– Finding the right low end digital camera for those on a budget
– Exposing digital photography myths.
– Understanding the features of your digital camera
– Tips for taking better digital pictures
– Pet photo tips
– Night photo tips
– Horizons and sunglasses
– How to share your digital pictures
– Printing your pictures
– Choosing a printer for you digital images
– Editing your photos.
– Understanding white balance so your photos look good in all lighting.
– Interpolation and digital zoom to improve detailing in pictures
– Finding free photo editors for your Windows computer
– Using your flash effectively
– Understanding and making the most of your memory cards
– Important equipment to take when traveling.
– Battery options and your best bets.
– Making money from your digital photography hobby.

– “Photography Quick Tips” – 37 pages showing you how to make the most of your pictures. It includes practical tips for:

– Night photography
– Action photography
– Landscapes
– Sunsets and sunrises
– Beach photography
– Desert photography
– Sports photography
– People and pets
– Street photography
– Fog & Mist
– Waterfalls & Running Water
– Rain & Snow
– Fireworks

– Picasa Tutorials – There are 8 video tutorials (you can view them online or download them to your computer) to show you how to use the free Picasa software to organize, edit, create and share your photos. The videos include:

– Downloading and installing the program
– Editing photos with Picasa
– Creating collages
– Blogging with Picasa
– Backing up your photos
– Printing your photos
– Posting pictures to your web album

– “Your Top Digital Photography Questions Answered” – This 26 page guide answers 20 common questions about digital photography including:

– What is the biggest mistake made by beginning digital photographers?
– How to decide on the right digital camera.
– How to decide is a picture is worth taking.
– How to get the white balance right.
– How to take clear shots for indoor sports.
– Advantages/disadvantages of raw vs. Jpeg format photographs.
– What are the best settings for low light/nighttime conditions?
– What is hyperfocal distance?
– How to take a photo of a glass sign or a framed picture in glass
– How to get high contrast natural light black and white pictures.
– Time lag from the time you take a picture until it is on the memory card.
– How to avoid redeye in dim light.
– Small object close up pictures.
– How to photograph gemstones and jewelry.
– How to take a picture with both strong sun and shade.
– Capturing personality in photos of people.
– How can I understand depth of field?
– Settings and techniques for photographing birds and wildlife.
– How to take pictures into the sun and avoid lens flare.
– How to take good pictures in the snow or on the beach.

– “Buying a Digital Camera” Video – This video shows you how to use the Internet to conduct research from unbiased sources.

– “An Experiment in Photography. What Exactly Happens When You Change the Settings on Your Digital Camera?” – This 12 page guide shows photos of the same object (a house, in this case) with different camera settings resulting in very different photos.

– “Secrets of Night Photography” – A quick 6-page guide with concise advice about nighttime photography. It includes information on:

– Trails of Light (Cars)
– Trails of Light (Stars)
– Weather and Exposure
– Horizons and Sunglasses
– Tripods
– Low Cost Filtering


The main guide is a PDF ebook. There are extra guides (PDF) and videos (free Flash & Shockwave required). If you’re not sure how to use these files, don’t worry, all the download information is carefully explained and any software you may need is free and safe to download.

Thoughts on the Product:

This package covers a lot of ground on the topic of digital photography. All of the advice is very step-by-step and detailed, but doesn’t include unnecessary filler. Even for someone who has never used a digital camera before, the information is clear and concise enough to take that person from buying a camera to taking their first shots and being proud of their work.

The product can be downloaded instantly upon purchase, so you don’t have to wait for a bunch of books and videos to come in the mail. For those who are new to online downloads, full instructions are included.

In Review #AmericanHorrorStory

I can’t believe I waited so long to watch this show. I like the set up, because I’m not much of a fan of shows that go on and on forever. I like that the series limits its plots to 1 season and then moves on to an entirely different concept the next. I think it’s also great for new viewers who don’t have the time to watch the entire series from the beginning. I like how all the seasons are standalone, but I also love how the show connected the seasons.


Season 1: I couldn’t get enough of it. I love Connie Britton and Evan Peters. They’re absolutely amazing actors. I loved all the twists and turns, all the flashbacks. I never wanted it to end, but I loved the ending. Big names and lots of talent in this season. I’d totally move into the Murder House. Sure everyone dies there, but there are so many ghosts– it’s like instant friends if you play your cards right.

Season 2: The Asylum was so difficult to watch. Not because the plot wasn’t compelling, but because it was so sad and depressing. Mental health facilities in the past in the states and still currently in some places abroad exist in vile and horrendously unacceptable conditions. The scariest and more horror filled part of this season is that just about anyone could have been locked up there for the rest of their lives. It could happen to any of us.

Season 3: LOVED every part of this. Strong cast. Strong women. Strong storylines. I love that it was a primarily female cast. I love Gabourey Sidibe, she has so much sass on her. Emma Roberts plays a really good person/character to hate. Angela Basset is amazing in just about any role she plays. Sarah Paulson’s character really blossomed towards the end. Kathy Bates is also amazing in it, she’s so believable as an actress. Taissa Farmiga’s performance seemed effortless. She’s a natural. But the character that really outshone the others was Jamie Brewer– hands down.

Season 4: Freak Shows are such a bizarre concept. I can’t believe they ever existed. I mean, factually of course I know they existed, but how anyone could go to one and taunt others for their disabilities. How awful were people. Too awful. I was super excited towards the beginning of the season, but towards mid-season I just wanted it to end. I wish the entire freak show family didn’t have to end in murder, but I like that the twins and lobster boy got together. Probably the best part of the season was Pepper and her timeline.

Season 5: This season was difficult for me to get into. It wasn’t until midseason when I started to get interested. As much as I love Lady Gaga’s performance and was stunned at how versatile the performances from Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are. I swear, they can act as anything. I love that the season turned its emphasis to Liz towards the end. I couldn’t love the first half of this season. I thought much of the sex scenes were unnecessary to the plot and the writers were trying to accomplish too many subplots and such. I wish they would have focused in a bit more.


Anyways. I love the show.

Unemployed Binge Watching Is My Expertise

My favorite shows to binge watch during this long stretch on unemployment, in no specific order:

  1. Pretty Little Liars
  2. Sense8
  3. The Blacklist
  4. The Leftovers
  5. Mike Tyson Mysteries
  6. Childhood’s End
  7. Resident Advisors
  8. Night Court
  9. The Jeffersons
  10. Shameless
  11. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  12. Fargo
  13. Blunt Talk
  14. Grimm
  15. Game of Thrones
  16. South Park
  17. That 70s Show
  18. Once Upon A Time
  19. UnReal
  20. Boy Meets World
  21. Divorce Court
  22. I Love Lucy
  23. The Golden Girls
  24. Sleepy Hollow
  25. Bates Motel
  26. Lizzie Mcguire
  27. Happy Days
  28. Silicon Valley
  29. Under The Dome
  30. American Dreams
  31. The Fall
  32. Gilmore Girls
  33. Arrow
  34. Deutschland 83
  35. Red Band Society
  36. The Goldbergs
  37. 8 Out of 10 Cats
  38. Would I Like To You?
  39. Penny Dreadful
  40. Looking
  41. Grace and Frankie
  42. The Newsroom
  43. The Whispers
  44. ANZAC Girls
  45. Younger
  46. Mr. Robot
  47. Humans
  48. Nurse Jackie
  49. Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  50. The Americans
  51. Wayward Pines
  52. Resurrection
  53. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  54. The Returned
  55. The Slap
  56. Banshee
  57. Fresh Off The Boat
  58. Mozart In The Jungle
  59. 12 Monkeys
  60. Allegiance
  61. Schitt’s Creek
  62. The Mindy Project
  63. Rectify
  64. Bones
  65. Black Mirror
  66. House Of Cards
  67. Teachers
  68. A Place To Call Home
  69. The 100
  70. Chasing Life
  71. Married with Children
  72. Arrested Development
  73. Revenge
  74. Sons of Tuscon
  75. My Name is Earl
  76. Torchwood
  77. Bomb Girls
  78. Sherlock
  79. The Tudors
  80. Lost Girl
  81. The Book Group
  82. Continuum
  83. Orange is the New Black
  84. Malcolm in the Middle
  85. Dance Academy
  86. Being Human
  87. Greek
  88. Raising Hope
  89. United States of Tara
  90. House
  91. Scrubs
  92. The Big Bang Theory
  93. Friday Night Dinner
  94. Fresh Meat
  95. The Inbetweeners
  96. Parks and Recreation
  97. Hart of Dixie
  98. Undeclared
  99. Dinosaurs
  100. The IT Crowd
  101. The Killing
  102. Accused
  103. Gavin and Stacey
  104. Coupling
  105. Trinity
  106. Hotel Babylon
  107. Sleeper Cell
  108. Degrassi
  109. The Office
  110. Drop Dead Diva
  111. Switched at Birth
  112. Jericho
  113. The Riches
  114. The Wonder Years
  115. The New Girl
  116. Community
  117. Gossip Girl
  118. Parenthood
  119. Breaking Bad
  120. Glee
  121. Skins
  122. Mad Men
  123. Weeds
  124. Prison Break
  125. Dexter
  126. 30 Rock
  127. Jack & Bobby
  128. Survivors
  129. Dead Like Me
  130. Friday Night Lights
  131. Rescue Me
  132. Doug
  133. How I Met Your Mother
  134. South Park
  135. It’s Always Sunny In  Philadelphia


And that’s just the half of it. I don’t think there were and repeats. But if you ever need something to binge watch, this is certainly a starting point.


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50 Bucket List Goals

What’s on your bucket list?

I have an ever long and ever changing/shifting bucket list. And it seems fitting to reassess my life goals in light of the new year. Here are just a few wants on my list. Some are simple, some are more challenging.

  1. Have my book published

  2. Write another book 

  3. Get funding for a PhD

  4. Get into a PhD program that is right for me

  5. Learn to surf

  6. Get healthy

  7. Go to a dinosaur museum

  8. Be an extra in a movie or show

  9. Learn to spearfish

  10. Own a home and piece of land where I can have lots and lots of animals like donkeys, horses, llamas, lambs, dogs, cows and more.

  11. Adopt and/or foster children tulsa-adoption-attorney
  12. Get a job that allows me to travel and pay off my student loans

  13. Get lasik

  14. Get laser hair removal
    The laser emits an invisible light which penetrates the skin without damaging it. At the hair follicle, the laser light absorbed by the pigments is converted into heat. This heat will damage the follicle.
  15. Start a nonprofit

  16. Take horseback riding lessons

  17. Have friends

  18. Become more flexible

  19. Fly first class

  20. Make someone’s wish come true d760991e995d83172de94452f2319e06
  21. Go cliff jumping Woman_cliffjumping_3307605b
  22. Hang out by a serene waterfall

  23. Name a star dCVnPp3
  24. Have my own private plane and/or helicopter

  25. Be in the fashion industry

  26. Learn to dive

  27. Go scuba diving

  28. Befriend an elephant

  29. Have one of my plays produced

  30. Have someone illustrate a comic book based off of one of my stories

  31. Have one of my stories turned into a film

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  32. Learn to draw
  33. Live in a castle

  34. Learn to sew

  35. Go Ziplining zipline-adventure-in-whistler-photo_7325314-fit468x296
  36. Publish a cookbook

  37. Own a car

  38. Dance in the rain

  39. Hang glide

  40. Go to a haunted house

  41. Throw a themed party mall-birthday-party-1
  42. Go through a corn maze cornmaze2009
  43. Witness a miracle

  44. Take singing lessons

  45. Take kickboxing lessons

  46. Learn to knit

  47. Learn to ride a bike

  48. Go parachuting

  49. Swim with dolphins

  50. Meet Harry Styles, cut off some of his hair and sell it on ebay for millions so I can afford to fund my bucket list.  harry-styles-loud-shirt-coffee-los-angeles

Wish List


There is nothing casual about civilian casualties

Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.

Some of the worst things I’ve read include:

Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.

Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.

Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.

Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.

Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.

Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.

Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.

Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.

Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this

Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.


My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle  day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.

Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.

And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.

Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.

All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.