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Hijabi Guide to Staying in a Hostel

When we went to Lisbon in May I gained a new Twitter follower who calls the city home. She mentioned in a comment to me “it’s great to meet another hijabi travel freak!” and this got me thinking. Sure it’s less likely to see a covered Muslim woman traveling solo, with a partner, or friend. But surely they do. We face some additional hurdles and considerations but what really made me smile was maybe we’re breaking down some misconceptions too. I mean the typical stereotype is if you’re a covered Muslim woman you’re only traveling if you’re with a spouse and then only where and when he wants to go – you know the submissive female and all that. I pretty much defy every sense of that stereotype. I love traveling and it was me that pushed my husband to go out and see the world. Today he loves it as much as I do but we’re perfectly comfortable traveling …

Amanda MouttakiHijabi Guide to Staying in a Hostel

12 Delicious Couscous Recipe

Couscous is one of the simplest side dishes to cook. Sure the instant couscous sold in store aisles can’t hold a candle to real Moroccan couscous but it can be used in many different ways to create a  light yet hearty pasta that is packed with nutrients and is delicious.   A few things to remember when cooking instant couscous. Add your couscous before your water boils, and when the water starts to boil, promptly remove it from heat, cover, and let sit.  Be sure to fluff your couscous with a fork before removing from the pan.  It helps to break up the clumps and give it  nice light texture.  You can also prepare instant couscous the same way traditional couscous is made – by steaming it. Now that you have your couscous, here are 12 ways to use it!   Jeweled Butternut Couscous Salad from Daily Waffle Lemon and Artichoke Couscous with Shrimp from Foxes Love Lemons Apricot Couscous …

Amanda Mouttaki12 Delicious Couscous Recipe

10 Great Travel Games for Kids

 Nearly 5 months ago we booked our summer tickets to the United States. It seemed so far off at that point. I can remember thinking, “wow that time will never come!” But it has. Tuesday the kids and I will be boarding a flight to Madrid for an overnight layover and continuing to the US on Wednesday. To say they are excited would be understatement! I am certainly looking forward to seeing family and friends but am a little sad MarocBaba will be staying behind. In total we’ll be there almost 2 months with lots, and lots of travel and fun planned. It will be a busy vacation. This weekend I’m packing our bags and making sure everything else is in order. If you aren’t following me on Facebook yet, stop over! I’ve got a few things left that I can ship from the United States on arrival. Take a peek and let me know if there are items you’d …

Amanda Mouttaki10 Great Travel Games for Kids

5 Globally Inspired Meals to Make in 20 Minutes with Saffron Road

I don’t know about you but the further into summer we get the less time I want to be spending in the kitchen. Daytime temperatures in Marrakech easily soar over 100F most days and with no air conditioning the prospect of being in front of burners or a hot oven for more than a few minutes makes me want to serve salads only! But everyone still needs to be fed. With that in mind, I came up with these five meal ideas that you can prepare in twenty minutes or less with the help of Saffron Roads’ products. Not only are these meals delicious and fast, they’re very economical . Depending on where you live, you can likely make each meal for under $10!   Meal One Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice and Peas Hands down my go to meal. We have this almost every other week. Simply buy a pound of skinless chicken or turkey breasts, clean and …

Amanda Mouttaki5 Globally Inspired Meals to Make in 20 Minutes with Saffron Road
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How to See Lisbon in a Day for under 35 Euro

You’ve heard Europe is expensive I’m sure. It’s not a big secret. If you’re on a budget but want to experience European style, design, food, culture, and history then Portugal is the place to go. Compared to the rest of western Europe your euro will stretch the farthest here. I’ve now been to almost every country in western Europe and I’ve gotten more for my money here than anywhere else.  My post on what to eat in Lisbon touched on the fact that I had done little preparation before arriving in Lisbon. In the airport I happened to see a flyer on the Lisboa Card. I’ve seen similar packages in other cities and sometimes the price is worth it while others not so much. I hedged my bets and decided it was probably the latter. On a whim I looked up what was included and was pleasantly surprised. The next day we purchased a card and used it for sightseeing. …

Amanda MouttakiHow to See Lisbon in a Day for under 35 Euro
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10 Phrases You Should Know Wherever You Go

One thing I’ve realized when traveling around the world is that if your first language is English, chances are pretty solid you don’t speak a second or third language. In the United States there’s very little support for bilingualism and in many cases it’s actually frowned on. But, head to Europe, Africa, or Asia and you’re much more likely to find people that speak 2 or more languages fluently. I am working hard to speak Darija and French but I’m realistic and know it’s going to take me a long time to master them. What I do know is a smattering of phrases in several different languages. It’s completely common for me, or anyone else living here to be exposed to and potentially use 5 or more languages a day. Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, Tashelheit, you name it. There are guys in the souks who’ve picked up Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Mastering none, but having the ability to handle …

Amanda Mouttaki10 Phrases You Should Know Wherever You Go