June 30, 2013

Seeking Professional Help

this has nothing to do with the post but I love this pic. lol




Umm.. So four more working days.
Be still my galloping heart. I can't hardly wait to be free.
As exciting as this news is, that isn't my real reason for posting today. 

So you know how I've been trying to lose weight like forever, it was one of my goals for the new year. Well, I have been mildly successful.
 I think I've lost close to ten pounds. I could have done a lot better but there is always some kind of eating involved in everything I do and I really love food. So mushkila kabir (Arabic for big problem).

Well, I have decided to call in the big guns for help.
I have set an appointment to see a nutritionist who will create a plan for weight loss specifically catering to me.
I am going on the recommendation of a friend who had amazing success working with this doctor.

I need someone to analyze my eating, and basically tell me what to eat. It will all be based on my body composition and nutritional needs.

Since I am paying money, I figure it will help me to be more committed.
I will continue to keep you posted on my progress.
I have exactly two weeks before I go home and I want to be a bit thinner to make room for all the foods I will consume. Lol, sounds counter productive I know.

Ciao!

June 29, 2013

Weekend Fun




The weekend is coming to a close and tomorrow will be the beginning of the end. It's the last week of work and to say I am excited is an understatement.
Every day I speak to my mom she counts down the weeks left before I fly home. She is too cute.

This weekend was nice and easy. Very relaxed and
Friday I pretty much spent the day eating. It began with a lovely Jamaican breakfast with a dear sweet friend also Jamaican.
The traditional dish of  Ackee and Salt-fish, with a little bacon thrown in for extra flavor served up with some fried dumplings. Heaven!

Then a potluck with tons more food. You would think that after my breakfast, which was quite hearty that I would be done for the day. Well you would be wrong my friends. I grazed my way through the potluck which lasted several hours.

Later I met up with my friend Khadijah. There was more eating involved as we had tea and frozen yogurt.
We went to a very cute cafe called Cafe Arabia tea. The decor is very Arabian. Turkish lamps hung from the ceiling, shisha pipes strategically scattered about the place and beautiful hand made Arabian crafts artfully littering the tables and books shelves.
We took advantage of the beautiful setting to do a little photo session for a project we are working on.

Later that night, because all that was not enough, we went for Shisha. Again I ate some more food.
By the end of the night I was definitely feeling it. I was almost in a food coma by the time I got home.

P.S. I got new glasses. Yay!!!
Ray Ban. I think I am obsessed with the brand.








June 25, 2013

How You Doin'?

This pic has nothing to do with the post but it is beautiful and we can always use a little beauty in our lives.

Howdy folks, hope you guys had a lovely weekend and making it through this week in great spirits.

It is getting closer to that time my friends.
All I have to do is survive the last 7 days of work and I am HOME free!!!! Pun intended.
Yessssss!

Sorry, got a little carried away there. Lol.

Not much new to report.
My weekend was pretty chill. I stayed in most of the time, relaxing on my couch, watching movies and trying not to eat everything that wasn't made out of wood or plastic.

I plan on spending my remaining time in Abu Dhabi having fun with the ladies.

Most of us will be here until mid-July but a few are outta here as soon as the last bell rings.
We are trying to pack as many tea dates, dinner dates and ladies nights out into the little time we have left together as a group.
Can't believe I won't see them for almost 6 weeks. Crazy.

So there you have it folks.
Catch you on the flip side.

June 23, 2013

Wishlist - Summer Reading



For as long as I can remember I have loved reading.
I would lose myself in the stories of whatever book I was reading. It was the best feeling in the world for me. 
There were times I would hide under the table so that I could read when I should have been doing my chores.

With the summer holiday just around the corner, I am looking forward to all the books I will get a chance to read. 
I will also have a nine hour lay-over on my way to NY so I am shopping for books that will keep me entertained and occupied while in the airport. 

Here are just a few that have piqued my curiosity. 




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If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop me a line.

June 22, 2013

Summer Plans- Part Deux



This summer is well under way to being amazing.
I will spend a month in NY hitting up the street fairs and eating roasted corn on the cob.
Not to mention picnics in Prospect and Central parks.

Mid August I will be bidding farewell to NY and making my way to this chic, fashionable and romantic city.

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If you guess Paris, then you would be correct my dears.

I am going to spend a week in France before heading back to AD.
Uber excited and can't wait to share my experiences.

There are the must-see places but other than that I am pretty much game for anything.
If you have any suggestions please feel free to share.

Au revoir!!

June 21, 2013

Summer Plans-Pt 1



Happy first day of summer my friends! I don't know if you are as excited as I am...actually I know you aren't. You can't possibly be.

I love summer. Especially summer in NY. There is always so much to do.
Street fairs, free concerts in the park, movies in the park, picnics and the list goes on and on.

It's a million degrees hot, which I am sure I won't mind having been here in the height of summer and the only place that might be hotter than Abu Dhabi is hell.

Okay so back to how excited I am.
I get to see my mommy. That is reason enough to be excited cause she is amazing and I have totally missed her face. We have so much catching up to do over dinners and movies and picnics in the park and watching Judge Judy and oh my like everything we haven't done together since August 9, 2012.

mom

 I will get to see these faces. These ladies who are my sisters and friends, and my baby who is too big now for me to call a baby but I will anyway cause she still is my baby.

I plan to spend many hours just chatting and laughing and eating and picnic-ing with these folks.
Edie, my precious god-daughter

Mona bestie since we were 10

Shauna, Edie's mommy.
Moya, my adopted baby sis.

There is more to be told.
Check out part deux soon.

June 20, 2013

Reflecting on the Past




I was reading this post that I wrote 10 months ago. It was a week before school was to begin and I was so anxious about everything.

June 19, 2013

Lessons From a Failed Relationship

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Wait, what?
I know the title of this post might be confusing to you seeing as though it appears that the last time I was in a relationship was when dinosaurs walked the earth.

Truth is, there is something I neglected to tell you.

June 18, 2013

My Weekend in Paradise


The weekend is over and as usual it was way too short and I am a little bitter.
I didn't do much but the little I did was awesome. 
I am sure you're curious so I won't blabber on too much longer. I'm just gonna cut to the chase.
Here's the truth folks. I went to paradise.

June 17, 2013

Misery Loves Competition

You ever notice how sometimes we get caught up in these conversations where we're trading stories about our problems like veterans trading war stories and showing off battle scars?

You know the conversation where you mention to a friend that you're broke and their response is like "oh yeah, we'll I'm broke AND I have a kidney stone."

So then you have to think of the most tragic thing in your life that could totally trump kidney stone.
You start comparing whose burden is greater to bear and before you know it, it turns into a full on competition of misery. 

Like what's that all about? 
Is it some kind of subconscious need to gain empathy? 

I don't know. This is just a random post because I noticed it happens a lot in conversations I have with people and it just struck me how crazy it is.


Truth

June 15, 2013

Summer Wish List- Never Gonna Get it Edition


This is my fantasy wish list. All the things I would love to add to my closet but probably will never be able to afford, not on my teacher's salary at least.
Hey but a girl can wish right?
So here is to wishing!


  1. Chloe Marcie Bag- how awesome is this bag guys? Probably will not be able to afford this little gem anytime soon. Boo.

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2. Chanel  Espadrilles- I spotted these gems on some random blog and totally fell in love with them. They are perfect for summer and will transition really well into fall. They come in a plethora of colors and design to suit any taste. 

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3. Valentino Rock Stud heels- just how amazing and sexy are these shoes? I have become completely enamored with them. They are darling but like everything else on this list, not withing my budget. Double boo!



June 13, 2013

Packing for Abu Dhabi

As I packed my bags last year for my big move, I was worried that a lot of the things that I had grown accustomed to in NY would be unavailable to me once I got to Abu Dhabi.

I tried to get information from the Facebook groups and a serious panic set in.
I had to stock up on everything, according to what people were saying. Like everything.
So I packed a whole suitcase with lotion, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes. I packed body washes and hair products and advil. Lady products for the entire year and then some. I even packed measuring cups.

Imagine my utter surprise when I got here only to discover that people actually use all these products and that they are readily and easily accessible in the stores.
Anything I wanted for the most part was available.
I was kinda mad, seriously I could have used that space for shoes. I did not bring enough.

The only good thing I can say that came of it is not having to buy any of those things since being here but, I don't have enough shoes. Glass half empty.

Thinking about it, there really isn't anything that I had in America that I haven't been able to get here. The brands that I am familiar with are all here, just maybe a little bit more expensive but they're here.

I would suggest bringing your favorite brand of make-up. I only wear powder and foundation from Mary-Kay and most lip colors from Tarte neither of which they have here.
There is Sephora and Mac as well as a bunch of other make-up companies to get just about anything you want. The ladies here a serious about their make-up.

If you are on your way over, save the extra room in the suitcase for things you love. Bring all your favorite clothes ladies, including your shorts and bikinis. You can wear them here.

At the end of the day, if there is something you can't find you will adjust quickly to life without it. There are tons of other options here and tons of new things to try. You'll live.


June 12, 2013

He Makes Me Sweat

Today I had a date with a man I had almost forgotten. 
A moment of nostalgia will cause my mind to drift back to days spend together.

Me sweaty and breathing hard, him coaxing me to let go and trust him.
He knew what I needed and without failure he always delivered, leaving me spent and anticipating the next encounter.

Today's meeting was no different. My body aches and I am already caught up, addicted to the sound of his voice. Tomorrow, I promise I will get up, get dressed and meet him because once isn't enough.

He is fearless and he makes me want to be the same.
Even when I am tired, I push myself because I know the reward is worth it. 

With heart pounding I let myself go and surrender. Nothing else matters but those precious moments when I am free to be me.

Seriously guys if you've never tried Tae Bo with Billy Blanks you need to. This guy knows how to make you sweat like a beast!

Ciao!

It's a Wrap Folks


So I might be just a tad premature considering that I still have to be here for the next five or so weeks but I want to celebrate the end of my first year living in Abu Dhabi.

It has been quite a journey and I have enjoyed almost all of the ride.
There was that one time though when the parking structure of our apartments caved in and we were all evacuated in the middle of the night and didn't have access to any of our belongings for days. Picture being in the same pajamas and undies for like 3 days straight. Eek...no bueno.

It wasn't as bad as it sounds, no one was hurt and only a few cars were damaged.
Truth be told, I am actually glad that it happened.  We were put up in the Yas Hotel, a five-star hotel where we was treated like royalty for a month all expenses paid.
It was fantastic but from the reaction of some people you would have thought that we had been moved to a school gymnasium with nothing but a blanket and bucket, eating donated canned goods.

When we finally moved out we had totally new apartments and people actually got the opportunity to choose where they wanted to live. A luxury only few have been afforded.
We were all closer to the city and not stuck out in the boonies far from civilization like we were before.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my first apartment but the compound as they call it was a 30-40 dirham ride away from everything including grocery shopping. If you aren't familiar with the currency of Abu Dhabi, that is a lot of money for a cab ride. Just as a comparison, my cab ride now is 8 dirhams to go to the grocery store. Big difference.

Now I live 10 minutes away form the city and just two weeks ago a supermarket and laundry mat opened on the ground floor of my building. I actually would never need to go outside again!

I have said this before and really I am not trying to brag but I have been blessed to become friends with some great ladies. I think I may have found the most awesome ladies to befriend in the entire UAE.
Without them my life here would not have been even a quarter amazing as it has been. The many laughs and leisurely hours spent drinking tea were my sustenance this year. I am looking forward to the next year and all the shenanigans we will get into.

As with any journey, there have been ups and downs but as this first year comes to a close I can truly say that I am blessed. God really hooked me up this year and I know that he will continue to take care of me.
I wouldn't trade these experiences for a pot of gold pieces...hmmm, well maybe two pots but only if they came on a gilded chariot along with a handsome prince.

Peace out y'all, it's a wrap.

June 11, 2013

Sassy

So I have gotten back on my get fit wagon and part of my efforts to get to my ultimate sexy self is to drink more water.
I generally drink water for most meals. So this shouldn't be too hard.
I am not a big fan of juice or sodas. Weird but I can eat a whole cake or a dozen donuts but hate juice 'cause it's too sweet. Hmmm...go figure.

Anywho, I came across this recipe for a flavor infused water that not only tastes great but helps to flatten the pooch.

It's called Sassy Water and it's from the Flat Belly Diet.

Sassy Water Recipe
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2 liters water (about 8 1/2 cups)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 med cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 med lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves

1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight in the fridge.
2. Strain the ingredients out of the water the next morning and drink all 2
liters by the end of the day.

I have to say it is pretty good and it will help to increase your daily water intake significantly.

June 9, 2013

Regrets




So you know those moments when you mess up and you know you're messing up but for some reason you just can't help yourself and you continue headlong and headstrong along the path of destruction.

Like when you have been on a diet and you suddenly have the urge to get one of those decadent dessert cake things from Starbucks and as you sink your teeth into said dessert you have that one moment of clarity, the voice that tells you to not do it and you hesitate for that one nanosecond because the voice is right.
You will hate yourself if you eat that cake but you close your ears and your mind, and the voice is silenced. You eat your cake and as you take bite after bite the regret starts to manifest itself but it's too late. You've come too far to turn back now so you finish your cake, every last crumb.

Yeah, I get those moments a lot.
The cake is just a metaphor for any one of my many vices. The ones that I can't seem to escape and I chastise myself every time I fall victim to their hold on me.
God, how I detest those moments. It seems I just can't help myself. "If only I had more willpower" I tell myself .
Truth is, I don't have the willpower and those moments can either be regrets that haunt me and keep me awake.Or they can be moments of weakness that I leave behind and move on with my life.
I chose the latter.

June 8, 2013

Ladies Night, Oh What a Night.



Thursday night I went out for a long over due and much needed night with the ladies.
We headed over to Saadiyat Island to the Monte Carlo Beach Club for ladies night.

I wanted to enjoy some drinks but not in the typical club environs. I just don't have that much fun at the clubs. It feels like a meat market and everyone is on the prowl. Not my type of scene.

The ambiance and mood created by just the right amount of lighting and the sound of the ocean in the background  made the Beach Club the perfect venue for some chill time with friends.
It's an outside bar and lounge with tables and couches perfectly situated to provide you with a view of either the ocean or the amazing pool.
The ocean in the background made the place a lot more pleasant cause it was hot as Hades but not unbearable due to the wonderful sea breeze that kept the heat at bay.

The DJ was on point spinning a mix of House and Hip Hop music and despite the heat, people were on the dance floor dancing their hearts out.

I was feeling the effects of too much fun the next but it was totally worth it.
Fun and free!!! Can't get any better than that folks.





June 5, 2013

Let the Weekend Begin


I am super happy right now.
Wanna know why?
Well, somebody has a 3 day weekend coming up.
By somebody I am of course referring to myself.

To tell the truth, I have no clue why tomorrow is a holiday. I don't even care, all I know is that I get to sleep in and be a bum for one extra day.

I have no plans. No exciting trips to make and I am perfectly content with that.

Ciao!

June 3, 2013

New York Longing

 

Golly gee, in about 6 weeks give or take I will be back in New York.

Cue Alicia Keys "In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York These streets will make you feel brand new..."

Well more specifically I will be home in Brooklyn. Sweet as.

Did I tell you guys how excited I am?
Well just in case you missed the memo, I am beyond excited. I am practically jumping out of my skin. I can almost taste it...it being the Big Apple of course.

I keep thinking about all the things I will do when I get home, strangely it all involves eating.
I can admit that. I have missed the food I used to eat in NY.
Of course I miss my mom and my friends but mostly I miss the food. eek!! Am I dreadful?

So in no particular order of importance, here are some of the places I will fo' sure be hitting up when I get home. Don't judge me y'all.
This is to actually help you guys, when you go to New York you will know tons of places to visit.

  1. Spice- This is a really awesome and inexpensive Thai food chain that I like to frequent. They have the best Pork chops I have ever feasted on. I live in a Muslim country so obtaining pork is a little too much work for me. I like being able to go somewhere and order it all cooked and ready to consume. Everything else on the menu is pretty good. You will have to make multiple visits.
  2. Chipotle- Yum. Burritos. That is all I have to say.
  3. Golden Krust- Jamaican Beef Patties. Yes please. I have missed this the most. If you have never in your life had a Jamaican Beef Patty, you are missing out.
  4. Neely's Barbecue Parlor- Green Tomato Sangria. Sounds weird but it is super amazing.
  5. Southern Hospitality- Justin Timberlake's southern comfort food restaurant. Amazing ribs and cornbread.
  6. The Jamaican spot around the corner from my house- I| don't even know the name. All I need to know is where it's located and how good the food is. Oxtails and Curried Goat. Lol. I see your face but trust me, it is soooo good.

So there you have it folks. All I have come up with so far for my visit home is eating. I may schedule a few more things in between but I will mainly be eating. If you come looking, chances are you will find me at one of these places.

Ciao!!!
 

June 2, 2013

School's Out. Time to Boogie

My first year of teaching in the UAE has almost come to a close.
It's hard to imagine that it is over, just a few weeks ago I was counting down 10 weeks and now in the blink of an eye those weeks have simply vanished.
I am not complaining though. It's good to get a break, the kids were done mentally and it was becoming harder to keep them engaged.

Last Thursady we had our class parties for KG1 which meant that the kids wouldn't show up today or for the rest of the week.
Strangely enough I had one kid show up. Don't know what that was about. Luckily he entertained himself on starfall.com. One of the Arabic teacher told him not to come back, school is done.

The kids typically start falling off and the numbers begin to dwindle the closer it gets to end of the year. My school isn't so bad in numbers because we are on an airforce base and the kids live on base so they usually come almost till the end. This is much better than some schools.

The party was to signify that we had completed the year and it was time to shut those books and let our hair down, as much as you can with 4-5 year olds.
The end  was a little anti-climatic to tell the truth. The kids didn't understand that they would be leaving for a whole 2 months so after the party they ran to the bus as per usual.
I suppose I am a bit sentimental but I expected the parting to be a little more emotional. Not crying or anything but really a proper good-bye with big hugs. Hahah, they're four years old. They don't understand.

Oh well!

I have to say that I really enjoyed my first year. There were challenges along the way but it was definitely better than my first year teaching in the US. Like a million times better.
I loved my kids and I know they loved me back which made my job that much easier.
The parents also were pleased, some have  even requested that I move up to KG2 with the kids.
Inshallah. I really want to and so does my co-teacher. We put a lot of work into training those kids and it would make for a smooth sail next year. Fingers crossed.

So there it is. The end.
Well sort of. I still have to go in to work which will involve a lot of sitting about and some PD. not really looking forward to that but at least I won't have to plan lessons and have kids.
Super excited to go home. Six more weeks and then I will be NY bound.
Yay!!!!!