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

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.

Recognising True Friendship

Our friends came over a few days ago to visit us. We hadn´t seen them for a while. We laughed, we talked about many things, we went shopping together, BBQed together and ate together. We played on the X Box also and listened to music we all like and we danced together. Mohammed did some crazy dancing and made us laugh some more.

But the important thing about tonight was the “togetherness”. We had a lot of fun.

I write all of these things, to say how nice it is to have good people in your life, they make the difference.

It is important to find the right friends and once you find them take care of those friendships that make a positive difference in your life. Try to choose good people and let go of those that do not bring anything positive but cause you to be unhappy or put you down all the time.

Celebrate the good friendships and continue to build them up.

Finding good friends can take a long time. To build a strong friendship that stays with you for the rest of your life takes time too. To have close friends that know you well and you know well is very valuable in life.

True friends are not those that just agree with everything you say and do. True friends sometimes tell you the ugly truth too. They disagree with you without hurting you and in a way that builds you up, not in a way that leaves you broken.

Real friends take time to listen to you. They invest their time and energy into the friendship and are by your side when things are good but also when things are bad. True friends don´t try to push you into making decisions you are not ready to make but help you to analyse every situation until you alone are ready to do what you need to do.

Emotional blackmail and control are not part of a true friendship. There will be times in life when you are not feeling strong, then true friends try to build up your strength and are by your side when you can´t keep going alone.

Such friends are more valuable than treasure. Maybe you have been lucky enough to find such friends and are going through a difficult time in your friendship. Be encouraged that friendships also go through hard times, important is to know the difference. Is this a friendship that builds you up and makes a positive difference to your life?

Are you making a positive difference in their lives? What can you do to make a difference in this friendship?

Recognising the positive attributes of your friends and knowing their value in your life will help you resolve any difficulties.

Be encouraged to focus on your true friends and the friendships that you value.

Beatriz and Mohammed

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

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali)

Facing Opposition

  

Have you ever noticed that often when a person tries to do something different they face unbelievable opposition?

I come from a land that praises and encourages individuality, where people are allowed and encouraged to be unique and to live unique lives.

Of course there are role models or we observe the success of others to encourage ourselves but we try to do things in our lives that speak of our individuality and who we are.

I have noticed that often those who know me seem to forget that I come from a different culture, therefore my expectations in life are different to those of other people and my way of living my life is also different.

I found that in some countries in Europe people are expected to fit in with the rest and do things in the same way as others. If we don´t fit in then we find great opposition.

Today I want to encourage us all to be ourselves, to seek to be an individual and to live a unique life that fits and suits us!

Opposition can be really discouraging.

Suppose you have decided to choose a career path that is different to most, those that don´t understand your choice tend to speak against your career choices and make discouraging comments.

If you have chosen to do a unique job that takes you on a career path that is different to the majority of the population and you are sure that this is the right way for you then you need to learn to use opposition in a positive way.

Behind every negative remark you can build within you a positive answer.

There is no point in using your precious energy discussing or arguing with those that don´t agree with your choices in life. If they have made up their mind that your choices are wrong you will spend precious time and energy trying to change their minds, instead of using this energy to achieve your goals and be successful.

Pick your battles. Be yourself. Keep your eyes on your goal. Close your ears to those that try to discourage you without understanding what you are doing or having your best interests at heart.

Of course it is important to hear those that have your best interests at heart, but the final decision has to be yours. Not everyone has to agree with your choices in life, but people should respect your choices and your individuality.

Always doing what others want of you ends up stealing your freedom to be yourself and lead a unique life.

The road to success can be a very long one if you are not focussing your energy on your goals.

Finally, to face opposition you have to be really strong. Ask yourself if you are strong enough to withstand opposition and prepare yourself on how to deal with it. Be honest with yourself, is what they are saying to you correct? Are they speaking out of concern? If so how can you use their comments to turn a negative into a positive.

Be encouraged! there is always a positive solution to every negative situation!

Don´t stay standing at the negatives, turn them into positives. Don´t concentrate on the problems but find solutions by looking at each situation from every possible angle. If something you tried did not work then don´t keep heating your head against the wall! Try a different and new approach to the situation.

Wishing us success in the unique paths we choose for our lives and careers!

Beatriz & Mohammed

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

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.