April 30, 2013

Chambray and White Denim

Stripes and Suede

Music To Groove To

I love this song. Go figure, cause I love Alicia and Maxwell.
Together they make amazing music. It's like putting ice cream with warm chocolate cake, it's the perfect union.

These two keep me from forsaking R&B music entirely. The song and video are sexy without being over the top and raunchy which almost every R&B song/video is these days.


April 28, 2013


Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to shop.
I used to have a habit. An addiction if you will, to retail.
Since moving to the UAE my sartorial addiction has been relatively tamed but with my impending return to America the dormant beast is stirring.

I am once again paying attention to the J.Crew sales and the Madewell sales. Heck if the email mentions the word "sale" I am all over it.
I've done some shopping already. Gotta take advantage of those bargains.
There are so many things I want and all the fashion blogs keep telling me I need them in my closet.

They say mint is in and so are polka dots. Oh and bright colors and statement necklaces and florals and spikes.
My oh my it is enough to send my running back to unearth my hidden credit cards and binge!
All I gotta say is " Houston we have a problem."

The yellow and purple pumps are from Madewell and the grey one which I actually bought are from J Crew.
Wanted the yellow but they didn't have my size. Sadness!

April 27, 2013

Hair Muse

It's been awhile for one of these.
Loving the cut and the color on this girl.
P.S found the image on Pinterest. No sure where the original came form.

April 26, 2013

Life Inside a Bubble

The best analogy I can come up with when I think of my life in the UAE is life inside a bubble.
A bubble that I have strategically filled with just the things I need to keep me sane and happy.
I've called it my "expat bubble" and I quite like it. 
Some people may say  it is unrealistic to live this way but so far it has worked for me. 

I suppose many people have also created their own expat bubble. That is part of the reason so many people are expats, I think. 
You are part of a community but in a sense apart from it. 
You don't have to deal with the issues and the politics and all the mess. 

Am I over simplifying things? Maybe just a tad but why else would so many people move away from all things familiar to some place new and unknown. 
I know about the adventure bit, sure and the money but there has to be something more.

I've talked to people who live here or have lived in other countries and I always get a certain allusion to detachment. 
A sort of escapism that you really don't have to feel guilty about. I mean there is no way you could get involved in the country because you aren't from here and you certainly can't do anything for your home country cause you don't live there anymore. 
Hehehe especially pay taxes. That must be the best form of escape. It is pretty awesome.  

It is super easy to create a bubble in the UAE. 
Life here is so surreal sometimes. On the surface things just looks so shiny and sparkly and clean. 
Many of the issues that other countries face don't seem to touch the UAE. 
One of my friends says it reminds her of  being at Disney World. 
I quite agree. Heck, you don't even see homeless people here. After living in NY for so many years, trust me homeless people are a constant reality check. 
It appears as if there are no problems here, everyone is happy and living it up.

Maybe I am just speaking for myself and hoping everyone else feels the same. 
Anyway even if it just for a short time it's nice to live in a temperature controlled, moderately drama free bubble. 

I know one day I'll have to return to the "real" world wherever that may be. 

April 21, 2013

Weekend has Ended

Ah I survived the first week back to school and it wasn't as bad as I had envisioned in my nightmares.
I had my final observation attended by my Principal, HOFs and Vice-principal. Me thinks it went well. The kids were engaged, attentive and pretty much little angels.Fingers crossed my review will be all positive.
I am so glad to get that over and done with. I can breathe and coast   for the rest of the term.

April 19, 2013

When I Think of Love

"i deserve passion. i deserve to be loved - in every way. i deserve someone who’ll give their whole heart, not the part they aren’t using at the moment".
                     -Loretta Chase

April 16, 2013

Being Loved

"let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. to believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room".
marc hack

April 14, 2013

Smoothie Recipe

I recently bought a blender and decided to whip up my own version of those smoothies I've seen floating around on the web.
I have to say I really enjoyed it. I was skeptical about the spinach and the kale but I hardly tasted them.
Healthy and delish, my favorite combo.

Here is my recipe:

1 handful spinach
1 handful kale
1 cup Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/2 cup blue berries
1/2 strawberries
1/2 blackberries
1/2 banana

Blend until the desired consistency is achieved. I added a little extra milk to thin it out but it's up to you.

I Believe

"eventually soulmates meet, for they have the same hiding place" 
-robert brault

April 13, 2013

One Door Closes and Another Opens

Today marks the end of my vacation and the beginning of the final school term.
Can you say excited? I have officially begun my count down to summer. 
Like most people, I am not ready to go back to work just yet. The break just didn't seem long enough.
Who am I kidding, even if I had another day or week I still wouldn't be ready. It's work. As much as I enjoy it most days, it's still work.

I am not prepared mentally or otherwise but I have pulled on my big girl pants and I am gonna jump right in.
My prayer is that the kids come back a little calmer than they left. I know we are going to have to practice all our routines and go over the rules AGAIN just like it was the beginning of the school year. Eek, those were not the funniest of days. Especially since they weren't use to having someone speak English to them all day.

The weather in Abu Dhabi is already changing. It is getting hot y'all.
 I hate the heat and I anticipate that the next couple of months will be miserable for me. I am not looking forward to it at all.
I keep having flashbacks/nightmares of how unbearably hot it was when I first got here.
I was sweating and greasy like all the time. Not cute at all.
How will the kids react to the heat? In NY when it gets hot, people start actin' crazy. Oh I hope it's not the case here. Oh lawd! 

9 weeks people. I just have to make it through 9 weeks. Then I am home free, literally. 

I am getting ready to hit the sack, wish me luck tomorrow folks.


Turning Thirty

I turned thirty a few weeks ago. Not gonna lie, it seemed very daunting to turn the big 3-0.
I am still getting use to the fact that my twenties have ended. Scary.
When I was younger thirty seemed so far away but here I am a grown lady. Oh how time flies.

Thirty feels like the age of admission into the grown folks party. You have to be mature and responsible.
No more blaming your silly mistakes on youth.
You better leave those excuses at the door along with your unhealthy habits and reckless living.

Society gives us the impression that by the age of thirty you should have your life together. Money in the bank, a house, a significant other and be on your way to creating a life of happily ever-after.

The truth is, it is hard not to feel like a failure particularly if other people your age seem to have those things and more.

My life hasn't exactly gone the way I envisioned it when I was growing up. I am still a few check marks away from being the successful thirty year old my child's mind created. I definitely expected to be a lot more settled and with a lot more assets in my name.

However,  instead of thinking about what is missing, I am going to focus this year on adding value to the life I am living. There are still so many things I want to accomplish and I actually have the opportunity to live out  my dreams. This will be my year to as they say "come into my own".

My journey continues towards self discovery. After all, thirty is the new twenty. 

April 12, 2013

Crossing the Border- The Not So Exciting Story

Being the lady I am and always up for an adventure, I gladly jumped at the opportunity to do a border run with Jen and her hubby.
Lest you get as excited as I did, I will fore warn you that this trip sounds more exciting than it really is.

A border run is a trip one makes over the Oman border in order to extend their visitor's visa in the UAE.
When you get to the UAE intitially you are given a thirty day visiting visa. If you aren't going back home and your visa expires or is about to expire you can simply leave the country and re-enter thus renewing your thirty days here.
For many people it is often cheaper and easier to drive through Al Ain and over the border.
I suppose if we had made better plans and thought it through it could have been a more exciting trip but since we were all suffering the after effects of the previous night's shenanigans no one was up for the 6 hour drive that would have been necessary for the trip to be more adventurous (into Muscat).

The process was relatively simple and we had the advantage of going on a day that was not busy. We drove to Al Ain and I slept most of the way since it was not a scenic drive. We found the border with little difficulty and did our business.
There are a few steps in the process which can make it tedious but for the most part it is relatively easy. You stop on the UAE side and pay your money to get an exiting stamp then drive over to Oman to pay more money for an entry stamp in your passport.
Then you go to the other side of the room to get a departure stamp from Oman. After that you drive back to the UAE side and get an entry stamp in your passport. Haha so exciting...not.
Thankfully the process was quick and hassle free.

On our way back home we stopped at the Mercure Hotel in Al Ain which is located on a mountain called Jebel Hafeet. The view on the drive up was lovely and we thought that it would have been worth the efforts to go up the 1240 meters to have luch at the hotel.
Unfortunately, we we super disappointed. The view which I am sure at nights is spectacular was just okay due to the hazy conditions.
Lunch proved also to be a dud as the restaurants' menu had little that appealed to us and the prices were super exorbitant for lunch.
We settled on moderately priced  pizza which was just ok and continued our journey home.

Despite these slight disappointments I enjoyed my day with my friends. Wee laughed and talked and it made the trip fun.
It just goes to show that the company of good friends can make any situation seem not so bad.

April 8, 2013

Captured in Istanbul

As promised, here are some photos from my trip. I have shared some of my faves with you but for more images from the trip, please check out my photo blog.

The 23 yr old who wanted to take me on a date. He was too cute and gave me so much free candy to eat.

my hommie Kiret.
Standing outside the Blue Mosque

Seen on the way to Princes Island

Posing by the waterfront on the Asian side of Turkey

I loved the balloons!

On the way to the top of the hill to see the Monastery of St. George on Buyukada Island.

I made it to the top and it was worth it!

Dinner time with the transient friends.

 Souvenirs picked up in Turkey. I love these twirling dervishes

View from the top.

posing in Taksim Square
Best thing I ate in Turkey. So yummy, don't even know what it's called in English. 

In Sultanhamet Square with the Blue Mosque in the backdrop.

Dinner Ottoman style

The spectacular Blue Mosque at night. 

I love this photo. I had such a great day.

The fellow who abandoned his job to show me around the city. 

Sunset over the city. My final night in Istanbul

April 5, 2013

Sore Feet and Great Memories

I am sitting in the Bahrain International Airport awaiting my connecting flight to Abu Dhabi. I have a five hour layover and plenty of time to reflect on my trip to Istanbul.
I love airports with free WiFi, what's up with those cheapies who haven't gotten it together?
Anyway I digress.
My trip was wonderful, despite a not so great travel buddy. We realized very early on that we had dissimilar interests. Let's just say I don't spend money to fly to other countries to sleep away my mornings.
Luckily I've always had the inclination to travel solo and so I continued my trip as if that was the case.
I had the good fortune of finding my previous tour guide who promptly abandoned his place of employment to spend the day with me yesterday. It was perfect because there were things I still hadn't done and it being my last full day I wanted to make full use of the time.
He took me to the top of the tallest building in Europe where I had a spectacular view of the city of Istanbul. It was so breathtakingly awesome and try as I did no picture could accurately capture the grandeur as experienced by the eye.
We later hopped on the ferry on the Bosphorous and headed over to the Asian side of Turkey. Nothing spectacular but the experience was fun. We had a yummy lunch of Turkish style meatballs, salad and bread that would cause any carb lover to commit carbicide, and later walked along the waterfront enjoying the amazing weather.
As if that wasn't enough for one day, we headed over to Taksim to conclude a wonderfully exhausting day.
This is where all the shopping and nightlife are located. It is bustling hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Reminds me bit like Times Sqaure a little. We stopped at my friend's favorite place for desert and cappuccinos.
I was beat by the end of the day but it was so worth it.

The day before I visited the Spice Bazaar. My what an experience! A myriad of colors, smells and noises. Vendors trying to entice you to stop in for a look at what they had to offer.  I can tell you this, Turkish men are fascinated with women of color, one guy even kept telling me his favorite flavor is chocolate and offering to take me out an show me a "good time". I passed.
I couldn't go two paces without being stopped and asked where I was from or told how beautiful I am. Haha. This is my new favorite place in the world.
Even when I told them I wasn't interested in buying anything they insisted that I stop to talk. I was offered tea and dates (not the types you eat either).  By the end I had consumed so much tea that I could barely walk.
I think I should quit my life and move to Turkey, I would not be at a shortage for a date.
By the way, my feet hurt from all the walking I did. I am surprised I don't have blisters. Istanbul is not the place for you if you hate walking or steep hills.

Thus closes the door on one more travel adventure. New York and Paris in the summer, I can't wait!

P.S Pics to follow.

April 3, 2013

Transient Friends

Ahhh Istanbul.
I've been enjoying my trip very much, well minus a small inconvenience that I am unable to rid myself of. Otherwise, so far it has been a great fun.

My adventures continue.
I have not been at a loss for companions and it has made my trip so much more memorable.
Smiling and saying hi are the best methods of making friends as a traveler.
One evening as I was out in search of dinner, I was walking along when a really cute guy stopped me to say hello.
We exchanged names and he decided to come along with me to eat. Since he was local I asked where was the best place to eat. He took me to a nice little spot where there were cushions arranged around a table on the ground and Turkish lamps hanging from a thatched roof. An eclectic blend of Turkish, Kurdish and Jamaican music set the soundtrack for the evening.
I had my first glass of Turkish beer as we chatter and smoked Shisha.

On our day trip yesterday to Princes Island, my travel buddy and I picked up some friends. On our ascent to the top of the hill we picked up Telha and Mung, a Brit and a Chinese. They were such sweet people who were instant friends. We had rich conversations about culture, education and life.
We chatted, joked and took pictures as we made our way to see the monastery of St. George. The climb was a bit tough but it was totally worth it as the view at the top was spectacular.
On our way back down we picked up Ines and Delores, college students from Germany. Good laughs and more awesome conversation followed up my delicious Turkish food with these truly special strangers.

Telha named us transient friends and as we hugged and said our goodbyes , I couldn't help but feel a little sad. It's crazy to think that you can make such connections with people after spending only a short time with them.
Even though it may be temporary it is totally worth the effort to connect with people. The best memories are made from these experiences.

Let's see what today brings.

April 1, 2013

I'm in Turkey

I am in Istanbul in the old city Sultanhamet.
The weather is almost perfect, today was just a little chilly but a light jacket and scarf are enough to keep the chill away.

It isn't a terribly exciting place to be, but there are tons of touristy sights and it is very quaint. The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are minuets away from the hotel where we are staying.
Haha,the hotel is nothing like what I've grown accustomed to in the past few months of being spoiled in Abu Dhabi but it is a place to sleep and they provide a modest breakfast. God bless them because they are trying. They are super nice and try very hard to do what they can to make you feel comfortable.

Today we spent the better part of the day at the Grand Bazaar. It is enormous with approximately 4000 little shops. I loved all the beautiful jewelry and hand made Turkish pottery and lamps. I wanted to buy it all.
It is quite the adventure in shopping with sales people coming at you from every direction offering you goods and trying to get you into their shops; the hours can slip away quickly without you even realizing. You definitely need a clear schedule to explore the place.

Yesterday I had a tour of the city from a nice man I had met earlier in the day. While my travel buddy was sleeping I went exploring by myself. I ran into the man and he offered to show me around. Being the awfully trusting person I am, of course I went with him. Turned out to be a lot of fun. He told all about the history of the city and showed me all the historical artifacts. He was charming and funny and I had a good time.

Don't know what the rest of the afternoon entails but I'm sure it will be interesting.
The picture is of the Sultanhamet Mosque of as they call it the Blue Mosque. It is breathtaking at nights.