The photographer´s eyes

Taking a good photograph is not as easy as it seems. Getting the right angle, the right lighting and the right background all at the same time, needs not just knowledge but patience and the ability to see something that nobody else can see. 

Today we found this abandoned car and had real enjoyment taking photos with it as our background. I love seeing the way in which nature is slowly incorporating it to itself, embracing it with it´s green arms, creating a unique scene of a beauty that not everyone can see.

Nowadays it is really easy to take photos and then change them with the many programs available in the Internet. I ask myself sometimes if what I see in the photo is the reality or a fabricated illusion.

When it comes to people, it is just the same. I am never sure if people really look that way or if they have so changed the photo that at the end they look nothing like what they really are.

Capturing the perfect photo is every photographers dream.

For me the perfect photo is the one that doesn´t really need to be altered at all. The photo that shows life as it is, with its real colours and light.

An amazing photo is the one that shows the person. Through this perfect photo I can see not just the person but something from the photographer too, how they truly feel the moment that they are living. Whether they are happy or sad, having fun or just plain bored.

After taking a photo, I observe it to see what it says to me and what it might say to others.

I truly believe that through a photograph we can see the world as the photographer sees it. Great photos are the ones that provoke emotions on the person looking at the photo. Whether those emotions are happiness, sadness, compassion or empathy.

A great photo should move the person seeing it, whether the subject is an object, an animal or a human being.

For us the most important thing when taking photos is the enjoyment of it, having fun together and being able to laugh at the photos that didn´t quite work out the way we wanted them to.

Taking photos is a great way to have fun and to look at the world around us again, this time with different eyes. The best photos are taken not under pressure but whilst having fun.

Have fun discovering the world around you all over again!

Mohammed and Beatriz

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.


© 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali

Inspiration, finding the elusive Muse

Where does inspiration come from? How do we get inspired to write or paint or simply achieve something in life?

We are writing this post in direct response to questions from our readers. This is how it works for us.

For us inspiration comes from events or situations in our lives. Usually we live something in our everyday lives and then are inspired by it to write a Blog post.

The important point for us is to turn what could have been a negative experience into a positive and because of it, build a better life.

We inspire each other too, with our conversation topics. The good thing for us is that there is two of us working together so that when one of us hits a block the other one gives the inspiration or encouragement to keep going.

I think that reflects also in other areas of our life.

If you are searching for sources of inspiration, where you find your inspiration would have to be related to what you are writing about. Inspiration can hit at any time, it is always good to have a notebook with you and write notes on what has inspired you. Later you can expand on it.

We only write when we are inspired to write, that means our blog is not updated too often, but when we do write something you can be sure that it came from the heart. I guess that should make our blog post worth waiting for! LOL!

Here is a short list of sources of inspiration:

Each other, family, everyday life, friends, readers, photos, life situations,  nature, the changing seasons, people we meet.

Today you have become the inspiration for this post. We hope you enjoy reading it and it is helpful to you.

Hoping for a wonderful weekend for all of us!

Beatriz and Mohammed

All content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali

Give it a chance

 

How many times in life have we given up on something because it wasn´t developing or happening fast enough for our expectations? How many times do we stay in a job because it is what we know?

If you have a business it is really important to have patience and to invest time and effort into building it.

If your business is something you are passionate about you are more likely to invest your time into it. If your business is not something that you are really into, it can become a source of stress and bitterness.

It is the same with our jobs. If we are working in a place where we are happy and satisfied with our work then we are more likely to be successful in our careers. However if our job is not really what we want to do, then we start to resent going to work and it becomes a heavy load in our lives. Work life and home life.

I found myself at one point in a job that made me truly unhappy. I had no choice but to stay there in order to achieve a goal I had set myself and obtaining a much-needed qualification. I was so exhausted and broken at the end of the contract that I was ill for an entire month.

I had no choice at the time but to see it through and stay in that job, however I still can not understand the other people who worked there and were completely unhappy, why did they stay? I heard them day in day out complaining about the job, the other people working there and the bosses, but they stayed on and made no effort to find a new job.

One of them had been there for 17 years! Had no reason to stay there but was scared of change and something new. Blamed everyone for stayin in that job, including his ex-girlfriend but made no effort into looking at himself.

Being scared of starting a new job or finding a new work situation can really have serious negative consequences for someone´s health and wellbeing. But most importantly it can stop someone from achieving their full potential.

At the end of that job I was very scared of not finding another job or worse! I was terrified of going into a new job and finding the same frustrating and horrible situations I had lived in the job I had just left. But I made an effort to be positive about my work future.

Guess what? I was wrong. I did find a new job in a place where I fit in and am completely happy.

What did I take with me from my old job? well apart from looking about 10 years older I grew stronger and more assertive. In my new job, as soon as a similar situation to one I had lived in the previous job tried to arise, I dealt with it immediately in a positive way and resolved the issue right away without letting it become harmful to me.

If you find yourself today in a work situation that is driving you down, make a list of what you need to do to find a new job where you can achieve your full potential and be fulfilled and satisfied. If you don´t know in which direction to go then seek help and don´t be scared to start again.

Don´t leave till tomorrow, start today! Give it a chance!

Wishing you every success in your professional life!

Beatriz & Mohammed

All content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali

Autumn

Here in Germany we have seen the change of season from Summer to Autumn happen  really fast. In fact on one Thursday we had summer and on the Friday it was Autumn. Just like that. Over  night.

The temperatures dropped from around 30 to just 11! It was windy and it rained. It has been like this ever since.

I have to say that I truly enjoy Autumn. The colours of the trees, the windy days, the leaves on the ground “playing” with each other. The scent of the first fires in the fireplaces. Rosted nuts and candied apples. Hot coffee. And of course wrapping up in warm soft clothes.

As the season changed so has our clothes selection in our online shop. You can see our new collection here: https://betterlife.fashion/

Here is a preview of some of our favourite items:

  Levi´s Ladies JeansFluffy Asymmetric Hooded Cape with Zipper Fly - Black

Our fabulous Hooded cape

Men´s JeansDistressed Zipper Fly Nine Minutes of Jeans

Keep popping back to our online shop because there are new items every day.

Enjoy the Autumn with all the positives it brings, more time in doors for example in the company of loved ones. Make the most of this season with it´s wonderful colors and scents.

Beatriz and Mohammed

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio

Making someone happy

There is a song I really like, the words go something like: “make just one someone happy and you will be happy too…”

Today I was really proud of Mohammed. He came over in the ambulance to the school where I work and allowed the little children to look at it and to look inside of it. With his big smile, kindness and patience he made a few children really happy.

I will never forget the children´s faces. One little girl looked like the sun was shinning out of her eyes and I have never seen her have such a huge smile on her face! I will always treasure today as one of the best moments of my life and as one of my best memories!

The little boys kept saying “wow!!!”

They had so many questions and couldn´t stop smiling and looking at everything with huge open eyes.

What an amazing experience for them on this Friday just before the school holidays! But it was also an amazing experience for Mohammed and for me. I think I was more excited than the children and it took me several hours to come down!

Of course it wasn´t the seeing the ambulance that was the highlight of my day but seeing how happy we had managed to make the children.

It made me realise that with a little thinking and working together we can make someone´s day and without intending it, we can make ourselves truly happy.

Think about it, maybe those words on the song are true!

With the weekend ahead and the October holidays already here, I fully intend to find as many chances as possible to make someone´s day. Not for what I get out of it but because making someone happy should be the highlight of any day.

Have a happy weekend!

All content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

The Age Issue

The ageing process of a human being starts from the moment they are born and not when they turn 30 or 40 or 50 and so on.

Ageing is a natural process that is happening to every person on our planet, no matter where they were born or where they live, how thin or fat they are, how educated or uneducated they are and certainly it doesn´t matter how much money or power a person has, they will also age.

For me personally age has never been an issue because I seem to have an inability to see someone´s approximate age . Of course I can see the difference between a child, a teenager and an adult. But it stops there. Once someone is fully grown I can no longer “see” how old they could be.

When I first meet a person I kind of see that they are young or old, but after a little bit I stop seeing age or colour or anything else and start seeing the person. Once I see the person I see nothing else.

Today I would really like to shout out loud: see the person not the age!

It has bothered me for a very long time that people over the age of 40 find it almost impossible to get a new job. Employers tend to hire young people because they can pay them less money or so that their copany´s  staff list looks attractive!

In my case I would much rather hire a mixture of ages. Those with experience in the job and in life. And young people too, to bring a completely different way of seeing things. Experience and knowledge sees things in one clear solid way, inexperience and youth can complement taking risks with new products or advertising campaigns, or branching out into new areas of business.

A combination of the 2 brings perfect balance for business growth, a lively working environment and a powerful team.

I experienced it myself in my last business where my employees age range went from 18 to 60 years old. We were a very successful team that had a lot of fun and laughter together. We supported each other and picked up where one of us couldn´t keep going or lacked the knowledge.

But I also once lived in a country where younger persons never mixed with people outside their age circle. I had a friend once who at age 24 had never held a baby in her arms nor spent any time in the company of anyone over the age of 50, her grandparents had passed away when she was a child.

Having travelled and lived in a few countries, I have encountered different attitudes to age and the aging process. From the very horrible attitude that old people have no place in our world any more to the one in my culture, where old people are respected and valued and treated as teachers of the younger generations, wisdom givers and time givers.

I found that as I was growing up (or ageing) I spent a lot of time with older people, in fact my best friends were always older or much older than me.  I was and I still am, full of respect and admiration for people who are older than me. Respecting people who are older than myself it one of the things that my parents taught me from an early age and I shall be for ever thankful for it.

As I grew up I started to develop a huge amount of patience with elderly people and to have fun with them, in their company. Contrary to what some people believe elderly people haven´t stopped having feelings or emotions or fun. Elderly people haven´t stopped having dreams or goals that they still want to achieve in their lives.

Elderly people also fall in love. Yes, they do! and there are also elderly people who get married at 70!

They also have fun together or with younger people, and they get away with doing things that nobody would believe that they did it because of the whole pre conceived ideas about elderly people.

In one of the places I worked I observed an elderly lady pressing every single button on the elevator!!! She turned around and had a look on my face that I have only seen in children who know they have done mischief! When she saw me, she smiled sweetly at me and I bit my bottom lip as the elevator stopped on every floor!

Living in Germany I have met some incredible older people. I met a couple that at age 77 and 72, ride their bicycles for 16 kilometers every Sunday to go to church and back home. They rarely use their car and choose to ride their bikes no matter where they go.

I also met someone who at the age of 70 received a new honours degree having made the decision a few years before to go back to university and study.

And have you heard of the amazing 83-year-old fashion model who looks incredible? China Machado.

Well, I personally refuse to spend the rest of my life being an age!

What about you? Do you allow age to limit your expectations, dreams and goals in life? It is never too late to pursue those dreams.

Resolve to start today to find a way to get that degree you always wanted, or learn to drive a motorbike or go walk the wall of China. Achieve your ideal weight, choose a completely new style for yourself and transform your life into the life you always wanted.

Make a list of all those things you always wanted to do and have not yet achieved. Do your research into how to achieve it, take your time, plan carefully how you can do it and then … Go for it!!!

Mohammed and Beatriz

All written content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio.

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio

Focusing on old German Architecture

Recently we wrote a post on 10 things we love about living in Germany. One of the 10 was German Architecture. Today we would like to focus a bit more on this subject and show some photos that Mohammed took of our favourite German city: Celle.

We drove to Celle early one Sunday morning, spent time walking around and just really looking at the buildings in the city centre area. There were only a few tourists around looking with big eyes and open mouths at the buildings. Observing them I realised how often we take our surroundings for granted, when was the last time you stopped and really looked around the place where you are?

It was wonderful to look around with fresh eyes, really noticing every detail. There is so much in Celle to discover! One blog post on it will never be enough!

There was some information we already knew about Celle but then we accidentally met two lovely ladies who told us a lot about their city. They both live there and are really proud of their city.

Celle is a Royal city. It has a castle, sadly we couldn´t take any photos of it as it is covered in scaffolding at the moment, but as soon as we can I shall post photos of it. Ancestors of the British Royal Family come from here and lived in this castle.

So here are some of the photos we took and some really interesting information!

I love the painted decorations on the houses. The colours are fantastic and what is written on many of the houses is very moving. Most of them have the name of the original owners, when the house was built, and something about them or the hopes they had for their new home, others have written on them a verse from the Bible or a short prayer or petition to God, like Bless this home and it´s inhabitants.

Others have funny comments like it is not possible to be happy if your neighbour doesn´t like it or doesn´t like you.

But usually there is something written about God or asking God for His blessing and protection.

 

 

 

One thing that I didn´t know and was told to us by the two lovely ladies, is that these decorations on top of the houses, contain the original architectural plans for the house, inside that golden ball. So that if ever there was a fire for example, then the plans for the house would be safe and the house could be rebuilt again. Amazing and truly clever!

 

 

This one I already knew! Those thick pieces of wood sticking out of the top of the houses were used to lift goods, with the help of a rope and pulley, into the houses and pulled in through those little doors, like in the photo here above.

Goods were stored in the loft of the houses, like for example large quantities of flour for the winter, or in the case of shop owners, a tailor for example, the fabric for his work would be lifted up and pulled into the house to be stored in the loft.

This one  is really interesting! If you look carefully at the above photo, you will see that it is two 1\2 houses. Originally the two halves were planned by the architect as one house, but the sisters who were going to build it and live together had a major disagreement so the house was literally cut in half, with no extra money or resources, the house was built in two halves, with a piece of ground in between, with the two halves in opposing direction to each other.

  

One of the things I really like about Celle is the fantastic window boxes that hang from the windows. The Geraniums look so wonderful and they make the houses look even more attractive!

Yes, that is my lovely feet there! but that is not the interesting thing. The interesting thing is the stone road. These stone roads, or cobbled roads, are protected and I can see why, they have a lovely pattern to them and are in amazingly good condition. I really enjoy them even if they are uneven! No high heels girls!

         

The photos above show the old Rathaus (or council offices) and the tower from the main church in the city. The view is lovely.

And the last photo is to make you laugh a bit! Here I am looking into the window of one of my favourite shops, Mohammed took the photo and then showed it to me saying: “here I am working and what is she doing? shop window shopping!” and he laughed a lot.

Celle is a truly amazing and wonderful city, it looks amazing with the Christmas market there. I promise I shall write a post before Christmas with photos of Celle on the run up to Christmas and the Christmas market.

Until then we would like to say that we had an amazing day rediscovering Celle and spending time together. I think this was the most important part of the day, the spending time together. We highly recommend rediscovering your surroundings with friends or loved ones or with your husband or wife. Building good memories is the secret to growing strong relationships and a happy life.

Mohammed & Beatriz

All written content and photographs are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

Happy Wife = Happy Life

Wives who are happy blossom. They look more beautiful every day. They apply themselves to everything they do and try to do it right. They make their houses into welcoming homes.

A woman has the ability to affect the atmosphere of  any room with her mood. A happy and radiant wife will turn a home into a little bit of heaven. An unhappy wife will bring a sad and heavy feeling into the home and every day life.

Most men know what makes their wives happy and what makes them truly unhappy.

Men who truly love their wives strive to do everything they can to not do anything that makes their wives unhappy. Of course we are all human and do make mistakes, but the important thing is not to keep on making the same mistakes. If something that you did made your wife unhappy and made her cry, don´t do it again!

Obvious! but why is it that some people keep on making the same mistakes over and over again until their relationships fail?

Once a relationship has truly failed there is no way back. Once the love dies it is the end.

But before you get to that point it is time to wake up and take care of your wife and your relationship.

Take a little bit of time everyday to get to know your wife all over again. Bring romance into your relationship and lavish your wife with your love. Encourage her, praise her for her beauty and what she does right, motivate her to keep growing as a person and allow her the freedom to be herself.

Always focus on the positives and if there are negatives find a way to talk about it in a calm way, finding together a solution to the situation.
When you speak with your wife give her your full attention and! do actually give her your attention and time, tomorrow it might be too late. Time goes by way too quick and we don´t see it.
Value your wife and do not take her for granted.
Time together should be a high priority, but not just time together, a time when you leave all else aside and focus on your wife and fall in love with her all over again. Movies tell the stories of those falling in love but never the “happy ever after” as a happy ever after. Believe me! It is possible and real to fall in love all over again every day with your own wife!!!

From one happy husband to many!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Introducing our About us page

We have finally got around to writting our About us page!

In it you will find information about our Blog and about who we are.

You can get to know us better and the reasons why we started this blog, who this blog is aimed to and you will also find a contact form that you can use to write to us.

Here is a link to our About us page: http://tryingtobuildabetterlife.org/about

We hope that you enjoy reading it!

To keep updated on our posts follow us or subscribe to our blog. If you subscribe with your e-mail address we will not give it to anyone else and will not give or sell your e-mail address to any company. Your e-mail address will be kept private.

If you subscribe by e-mail we offer you a 10 % discount voucher from our Online Clothes shop https://betterlife.fashion/

Happy reading and happy shopping!

Mohammed and Beatriz

All content and photos are the property of

Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio.

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

A heart full of love

Some people have no love in their lives. They spend their time asking themselves when will they find a person to fall in love with and get married. Or why do my parents or family or friends not love me?

When it comes to love relationships, it is easy to find just a person but it is not easy to find the right person, the person that will love you as you are unconditionally, who can understand you and walk through this life with you.

I believe personally that God has a plan for our lives and in this plan He includes the right person for each one of us. The aim is to meet this person and to have the ability to recognise them.

Don´t think that every person is happy, in fact some appear to be happy but are not, every home has it´s own story.

Traditions, experiences, different backgrounds and different cultures all contribute to who we are and our expectations of love and life.

Relationships can be complicated and difficult but a successful relationship depends on each person making the decision EVERY DAY to choose the other one. Not to give up on the relationship, on the person they love or on themselves.

True love is when we know everything there is to know about the other person and we still love them.

But love can also fade away. Specially if we do not learn to mould ourselves into the relationship  and consider the needs of the other person. Making a point of taking the focus of ourselves only and focusing on the other person too, helps us to build a successful relationship. That doesn´t just apply to love but also to friendships and family relationships.

To only pursue what we want without thinking about the happiness of the other person leads to failure in any relationship.

Having shared goals and dreams, as well as taking time to build good memories, makes relationships stronger.

Of course there are set backs and hard times, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and not make the same mistakes again. Knowingly doing something that hurts the other person and causes damage to the relationship is not going to contribute to success.

Investing time in your relationship and in considering if what you are doing is helping your relationship stay strong or not, is the key to opening the door to success. A heart full of love is not enough if you don´t put time and effort into your relationship.

Invest time on focusing on the person you love, studying them again, learning about them like if you saw them for the first time and see the positive changes in them, in you and in your relationship.

Wishing a successful relationship and a heart full of love!

Beatriz & Mohammed

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.