My superficial interests as a Muslim woman

Most of my friends and family think that I think too much. But that does not mean that I do not enjoy other things than deep discussions. My (superficial) interests as a Muslim Woman are: 

  1. Comedy Movies
  2. Bizarre/Oddities that makes me laugh
  3. Design
  4. Interior Design
  5. Alternative News 
  6. For Kids
  7. Nutrition
  8. Paranormal
  9. Psychology
  10. Relationships
  11. Self Improvement
  12. Weight Loss
  13. Writing

18 things you are wasting money on!

Money can buy freedom – freedom from trading hours for dollars.  Money can buy options – the option to do what you want to do instead of what you have to do.  Money is great to have as long as you manage and spend it wisely.  But most of us never do – we waste it and we don’t even realize it.
How?  Why?
Because many of the items and services we buy aren’t worth what we pay for them. The only thing my family does is number 8. restaurants or pizza and number 1. (in Tunisia), but there we really have to buy bottled water. 
Here are 18 common money wasters to beware of:
  1. Bottled Water – Water is one of the most abundant, freely available resources on planet Earth.  So is air.  If I bottled some air, would you pay 2 to 3 dollars a bottle for it?  I doubt it.  Bottom line:  Buy a water filter for your tap and stop wasting your money.
  2. Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions – The same exact articles are online for free.  I can read them right now and I didn’t pay a dime.  Why are you?
  3. Printer Ink Cartridges – If you’re buying brand new ink cartridges every time you need new ink for your printer you’re paying about $8000 a gallon for ink.  Yep, that’s right!  Computer printer ink is one of the most overpriced consumer goods.  For home users, instead of buying new ink cartridges, take your old ones to a store that will refill them for half the price.  For businesses that do lots of printing, consider outsourcing the bulk of your printing.
  4. More House Than You Need – When you buy or rent a house that’s bigger than you need, you end up wasting lots of money on larger monthly payments, higher upkeep costs, higher utility bills, and lots of random ‘stuff’ to fill up the extra empty space.
  5. Insurance – Car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, title insurance, etc.  Insurance companies love to rip us off.  And while you can’t totally avoid them from a legal standpoint, you can shop around and save yourself a boat-load of cash.  Don’t get comfortable paying what you’re paying simply because you’re used to it.  Make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  6. Premium Cable or Satellite Television – Hulu.com offers thousands of television shows and full-length movies – all for free.  AndNetflix charges $9 a month for access to hundreds of thousands of television episodes and movies on DVD, or you can stream them live to your computer.  So if you’re paying more than $9 a month, you’re wasting your money.
  7. Retail Furniture – Most people don’t realize that home furniture has a 200% to 400% markup on it.  A typical retail furniture store must maintain warehouse inventory, a showroom, commission salesmen, etc. which all equates to a fairly high overhead.  For this reason it is normal for furniture retailers to maintain extremely high markups.  A typical piece of furniture that has a ‘suggested retail price’ of $500 will usually cost the retailer less than $200, so even when they put it ‘on sale’ for $400, they’re still making over 100% profit.  The best way to save big money on furniture is to buy from an online furniture store with low overhead, buy wholesale, or buy slightly used on eBay or craigslist.
  8. Restaurants and Prepared Foods – I don’t need to tell you this.  Eating out is ridiculously expensive.  So is buying prepared foods at the grocery store.  Buy both every once in awhile as a treat, but learn to cook and prepare your own food on a regular basis.  It’s not just cheaper, it’s healthier too.
  9. Nutritional Supplements – Protein powders, vitamins, sports drinks, etc. – all of them are overpriced and have been proven by doctors to bemediocre sources of nourishment.  The answer to good health rests not in a once or twice a day supplement solution, but in an integrated approach to good baseline nutrition though healthy eating habits that give us the energy we need to enjoy our lives and the best chance of warding off illnesses.
  10. Luxury Name Brand Products – A car gets you from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’  A purse holds your personal belongings.  A pair of sunglasses shades your eyes from the sun.  A shirt keeps you warm.  If you’re paying premium prices just to get a fashionable brand name labeled on each these products without any regard for how efficiently the products actually serve their practical purpose, you’re wasting your money.
  11. New Cars – See my previous point.  A car is a means of transportation to get you from one place to another.  If you’re buying a new car every few years even when your old car works perfectly fine, you’re likely trying too hard to impress the wrong people… and you’re going broke in the process.
  12. Electronics Warranties – When you buy new electronics a warranty might seem like a decent thing to invest in.  After all, a warranty covers everything from technical problems to spilling soda on the circuits.  But don’t be fooled.  Most of the time the numbers just don’t make sense.  For instance, a two-year extended warranty on a $400 laptop at Best Buy will cost you upwards of $280 – that’s about 70% of the original price.  You’re better off saving your money and taking your chances.
  13. Retail Computer Software – Most retail computer software is marked way up.  You can easily find OEM copies of the exact same software online (on eBay and similar sites) for 25% - 50% less.  Also, look into free open source software alternatives.  For instance, Microsoft Office Professional 2010 costs $300 at Best Buy, but you can download OpenOffice.org’s professional office suite which has all the same word processing, spreadsheet, etc. capabilities for free.  And OpenOffice.org is 100% compatible with Microsoft Office files.
  14. Medical Issues that Can Be Avoided – Eat right and exercise regularly!  Keep your body and mind healthy!  Major medical problems drain back accounts, increase insurance rates, keep you from working and earning money, and generally guarantee that you will have long-term financial problems.
  15. Prescription Medication – The previous bullet leads directly into this one.  Prescription medicine has one of the highest markups of any consumer good. The sky high cost of prescription medications is crippling parts of the US economy and keeping necessary medicines out of the hands of those who need it most – people living on fixed incomes with acute or chronic health issues.  Unlike other countries, there are no price controls on prescription medications here in the US.  So we end up paying 200% - 5000% markups on essential medicines and drugs such as Prozac and Xanax.  The solution is to buy wholesale at wholesale resellers such as Costco.  Costco’s prices are typically half the cost of the local retail pharmacy on many popular prescription medications.
  16. Jewelry and Precious Gems – All jewelry is subject to volatile changes in price and high markups.  The industry average markup varies widely – 100% to up to over 1000%.  And jewelers thrive on the uneducated buyer, so do your research.  Also, jewelry is almost always an emotional purchase, so you need to think logically about what you’re getting, how much you’re paying for it, and what your other options are.  And even then, you probably won’t get a great deal.  Buying and wearing less jewelry is always the smartest choice.
  17. Second-rate Entertainment – The best things in life are free.  Stop wasting your money on movies, games, and other second-rate entertainment and take a good look around you.  Mother Nature offers lots of entertainment free of charge.  Go hiking, go skinny dipping, play in the rain, build a bonfire with your friends, watch the sunset with your lover, etc.
  18. Nasty Money-sucking (and life-sucking) Habits. – Smoking, drinking and gambling are all perfect examples of bad habits in which you choose to trade short term pleasure for long term debt and discomfort.  So light one up, shoot one down, and toss another chip across the table.  It’s only your life and livelihood'
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"50 questions that will free your mind" (With MY answers)

These questions have no right or wrong answers.
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer. But these are MY answers.
  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? -I would be 42 years old. 
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? -Never trying.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? - I do not know.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? - Yes, I would.
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? - The water. I would like to purify it. 
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? - Wow, I do not know. But I think helping refugees.  
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? - I am doing what I believe in.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? - I would have had children much earlier. 
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? - To 100%.
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? - I am more worried about doing things right. 
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? - I would defend the person being criticized.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? - Find the truth, and follow it. 
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? - Yes, I would. A divine law? I do not know. 
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Yes, I have. 
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I follow what I believe is the truth. 
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? - Because, we are all different and think differently.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What's holding you back. - I would like to visit Paradise. 
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? - Yes, my stuff. 
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? - I could move anywhere. 
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? - Sometimes I do. And yes, sometimes I think I make the elevator faster.  
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? - A worried genius. 
  22. Why are you, you? - Because Allah created me this way. It is my destiny, my character, my soul. 
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? - I do not know. 
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? - None.
  25. What are you most grateful for? - For being a Muslim and being guided. 
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? - I would rather lose all of my old memories. 
  27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first? - No, I do not think so. You have to challenge it first. 
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? - No, not yet, alhamdolillah.
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? - 5 years ago. That would be in 2007. Where were I? In Gothenburg. Were I extremely upset? -Yes. Does it really matter now? -YES. 
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? - OMG. My happiest childhood memory. What is that? I truly do not know. 
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? - When I had my own apartement with my children in Tunisia, living by myself. And when I got back to Sweden again. 
  32. If not now, then when? - When the time is proper. Patience!
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? - I would lose many things that I cannot repair. 
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? - I do not remember, but I think so... 
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? - Because when you truly believe in something, you will die for it. 
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? - Yes, it is possible, without doubt. 
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? - No, I would work harder. 
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? - I would rather have more work I enjoy doing. 
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? - No, it has changed. 
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? - Everyday. 
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? - I would be with my children and then with Allah. 
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? - No, I would not. 
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? - Being alive is something everybody is. Truly living is when you strive for the best - the paradise. 
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? - Yesterday. 
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? - Because the mistake could ruin our life in this life or the life in the here-after. 
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? - I would say the truth and nothing but the truth and not rehold anything, all the time. 
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? - Right now. 
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? - I love to pray. Yes, five times a day, especially maghrib and fajr-prayer. 
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? - I will perhaps remember a little bit, as I write a journal regurarly. And I also know that the angels are writing all things down so I really do not have to write it down at all. I want to write it down anyway, to make sure I learn from my past and see the developmenet and achievements in life. 
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? - I am making my decisions for myself in 60 % and my friends and family the rest of the 40 %.
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