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

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

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

Look inside

When you look at someone what do you see?

We all meet a lot of people in life and in comparison with real time and eternity, we live for a very short time.

We laugh, we cry, we are happy, we are sad. We have good times and bad times.

It is so nice to see someone with a smile on their face in the morning, but it is also quite rare.

A long time ago I learnt something, to not look at the outside of people but to try to look at their heart.

Some people are sad because of the things they are living through and others are happy without caring about what is happening to the person next to them.

Some people loose themselves, their identity, they no longer know who they are and they are searching for answers. They try to identify themselves with others.

Some react in a very negative or aggressive way most of the time. These people are usually trying to protect themselves or are scared because of what they experienced in the past.

When we first came to Germany we couldn´t speak a single word of German. Mohammed went to learn German but I came to Germany under other circumstances and did not go to any classes.

I learnt German alone at home and with the help of some friends. I used to be tired all the time, after a while I realised that it was because I was concentrating so hard to try to understand what people were saying. I concentrated a lot on the expressions of their faces, the movements of their hands and their whole body language in general.

Although I have never been able to see colour or nationality, age or social status, during that time when I first arrived in Germany I learnt to really see the person. After a short time I could easily tell what was happening to the person in front of me even though I couldn´t understand everything they were saying.

When we can speak the language of the person in front of us, we tend to concentrate on the words being said and we loose the ability to see the person behind the words or the real meaning and impact behind what is being said.

Now that I can speak German I tend to focus more on the words than on the expressions.

I have resolved to go back to looking more intensely at the person and listening really carefully. To really listen to what someone is saying, is to respect them, to give them value and to value your time with them. It is also a means to personal growth.

For both of us what matters is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside. What matters is the good things inside the person and the positive contribution they can have on our lives and that we can have on theirs. Focus on the postive and let go of the negative!

If we just throw words at each other without thinking whether these words are going to hurt the other person or not, then we can cause great damage to ourselves and to others. We are all human, not animals, no matter what we look like on the outside, where we come from or how old we are, we all feel in the same way. If you can get hurt so can I, so can anybody else.

Resolve this weekend to look inside the person in front of you and not at the outside. Really focus on what they are saying and listen carefully not just to the words but also hear the meaning of what they are saying.

Wishing us all a happy people weekend!

Beatriz and Mohammed

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

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.)

Living in Peace

One of the nicest things in life is to live in peace. When you have your family around you and you are there for each other then you know you are not alone.

Many people search for peace in all different areas of life. Peace at work, peace at home, peace in their family relationships, peace in their marriage, peace in the world and peace with themselves.

For me the search for peace took me on a 3 months walk, all the way from the war until I reached Germany. Although there is peace in Germany, the war goes on in my country and therefore my search for peace did not end with my arrival in a country without war.

I search for peace within my thoughts and in my heart. In some areas of my life I am fully at peace, for example in my relationship. But I have no peace when it comes to the safety of my family. I wait daily to hear news from them and ask myself when will I meet them again in person.

I watch and read the news regularly to check the updates on the war and try to find some peace about my family.

I miss my family but I am grateful that I have them. I give thanks to God for my family and their love and for the life and freedom I now have in Germany.

Where has your search for peace led you?

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

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.)

 

Taking time out

Focusing, learning, planning, doing and progressing is all part of the processes to achieving goals, but when we only focus on the “serious” staff and don´t take time out to relax and enjoy life we are very much in danger of “burning out”.

This last weekend we took time out to relax and enjoy a perfect late summer´s day.

We went to the circus, ate ice-cream and took time for a relaxed walk. We had a great time, came home feeling totally refreshed and full of energy to move forward!

Because a photo is worth more than a thousand words:

  

Plan into your busy schedule time to relax and to see something different. Once you go back to focusing on your work or life plan, you will be able to concentrate much better and feel rested.

Wishing you happy planning and much fun!!!

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

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)

Walking Forwards

 

I walked across many countries in Europe for 3 months to get away from the war and save my life. If there is one thing that I learned about walking forwards in life is that it can be a difficult and painful process which leads to a positive end.

It requires leaving behind not just the negative things in one´s life but sometimes it means having to leave behind things that we like, enjoy, are comfortable with or think we can´t live without.

For me it was a particularly difficult and painful process because it meant leaving behind my loved ones in order to save my life.

But when you want to move forwards in life, in your business, career, home life or love life then you might need to make some difficult choices.

It takes just 9 days to create a bad habit but it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and create a good one.

Just making the decision to walk forwards in life is a huge positive first step. Breaking the bad habits in your life that are stopping you from being successful is already a success. Building new positive habits means we are almost there!

Then we know that we are walking in the right way and on the road to achieving our goals.

Keep a written record of everything you have achieved, not  about what  you dream off but what you have actually done. All of us have dreams but if I hold this dream in my head and never do something about it then I will never do anything in my life. Make a positive habit of recording the steps you take on the road to success.

 

Keep walking forwards, one foot in front of the other!

 

 

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

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)

Friday Freedom

After a week full with work and commitments, there is nothing better than to have that feeling of freedom that comes with Friday!

But true freedom does not depend on which day of the week it is. It does not depend on where you live or who you live with.

True freedom comes from having peace of mind and peace in  the heart. True freedom comes from being true to yourself and admiting to the truth inside of you.

A while back we used to work together for someone else, but the people working with us didn´t think it was OK for us to work together. They made our work life very difficult and it spilt over into our private lives. We nearly lost each other. As we drifted away I wanted to tell her everything that was in my heart:

“The first time we kissed I felt the time going really fast, I felt I had the whole world in my hand, I felt so happy, I felt we were the only two people in the world.

I remember when we walked by the river, I looked at you, how you moved, how you talked, I felt I wanted to hide you inside my heart and not let anyone see you, to keep you safe from the whole world. I wanted those moments to never go away.

We have known each other for 3 years and my love for my wife grows more and more everyday.

What words do I need to say to you? my sweet girl or my queen?. Even when you get up in the morning and you leave to go to your job, I feel really scared for you, but I try to hide it inside myself, so that I don´t show my worry for you.  But you are my Queen, the love of my life, my inspiration and my best friend.

I want us to do the things you like and make you happy but time slips away and takes me from you for a little bit because I think so much about how to build a better life. And then I see that we have already a better life because we have each other.”

I still feel the same way about her…

If you work with your husband or wife, keep work life and home life apart. Write a schedule where work times and home life times are clearly defined. Build barriers that nobody is allowed to cross over and above all protect your relationship.

There are many jobs out there and every worker could be easily replaced but you can not replace the person that loves you and cares for you, the one that travels through this life by your side.

Life takes you through many roads and sometimes people try to lead you down a road you should never take.

Value yourself and your relationship.

Don´t let yourself be limited, conditioned and influenced by the expectations of people around you who try to push on you their personal views on your private life.

We have defeated the meath. We have now worked together on writing our books for over a year and are working together on this Blog. We do it without allowing outside influence into our private world. We have peace inside our work life, home life and inside our hearts.

Wishing you Friday Freedom and peace in your heart.

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

 © 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)

Right Thinking = Positive Thinking

 

Hold onto the right thoughts. Think positive! These are the thoughts that lead you towards success.

Maybe you too are starting out again in life, like we did. Once you made the decision to start again you really need to let go of the past.

It is specially important to let go off the situations and choices made in the past which did not lead to success, whether that was in your professional life or in your family life or even in your relationship life.

It is also crucial to let go of the wrong thoughts, these are those thoughts that lead you to doubt your ability to reach success, to reach your goals and hold you back.

If coping with negative comments and the negativity of others is not easy, then it is also crucial to surround yourself with those people that encourage you in your plans for positive change in your life.

Taking time out to think is of vital importance, choose a place where you feel peaceful, where you can focus and breath in fresh air. Push aside every negative thought and write down the positive thoughts that will encourage you in times of doubt.

Starting afresh in life is not easy. Some of us are forced to start again because of the tragedies in our lives, others make that choice because they are not happy or satisfied with their life as it is.

Whatever the reason, the right thoughts are already an achievement! Focus on positive thinking!

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

Copyright 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)

Focusing on Moving Forward

When we are not sure of the next steps, it is easy to fall back to old ways or old situations in life.

Keeping the focus on moving foward and not going back to past situations is the key to building a better life.

When you feel tempted to go back to old situations that ended up in dissaster, just in case this time it might work, consider the outcome in the past! If the outcome was negative, causing you and others around you stress or hurt then stay well away from those things that led you to unhappy times in your life.

Creating a board with pictures that show what you want your life to be like, helps to focus and to keep moving forward.

In fact, in my experience, it is a very relaxing activity to cut off pictures from magazines that depict how I want my life to be. I take time to arrange them and stick them on a board which I then hang up where I can see it every day. I would encourage you to try it as a positive step into building a better life.

Stay focused on where you want to be and how you want your life to be!

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

Copyright 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio)