July 31, 2013

New York Happenings

I can't believe I've been back in NY for over two weeks already.
Time is definitely flying by and I am kinda sad. 

Luckily, I've jammed my calendar packed with seeing friends and it has been amazing. 
I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, need to work on that.

It has been wonderful getting to see my friends and catching up. It feels like I never left. I sure miss them, especially my girls from work. 
They are so sweet and supportive. 

Hanging with my momma has also been great.
I haven't had as much time to go out with her due to her work schedule and my running around town but we did get to do something we've always wanted to do which is see Cirque du Soleil. 
We've also had tons of laughs at home, watching our favorite show (Judge Judy) and experimenting with different smoothies in her NutriBullet.


mom and I at Cirque du Soleil

I've also been hanging with my friend Shellorne a lot. She lives a few blocks from me which makes it way easy to get together.
We've gone out to dinner a couple times. Since it is restaurant week in NY, we've been checking out a few places that truth be told we wouldn't normally go to.
One such place is Mr. Chow. Apparently, celebs frequent Mr. Chow often and I figured it must be good. 
The food was decent but I wasn't overly impressed. It might have to do with the set menu options. If I ever find myself with a ton of extra money, I may go back to check it out.
The restaurant was nicely decorated and had great ambiance. It would be worth a second try.

I am super happy that I got to meet Chase, the adorable baby you see me holding. He is Shellorne's and I was sad that I wasn't around from the beginning but I've gotten the chance to hang out with this little fellow and he is a real chill baby. I can only pray that my babies will be this easy going. 



Two more weeks to go folks.
Tons more people to see and memories to be made.
I will catch up with you later!!






July 30, 2013

Never Have I Ever

 fallen victim to a trend. Not until yesterday at least.

I've been hearing all the hype about Cronuts,New York's latest food fad and I needed to taste what all the fuss was about.
If you've never heard about these now highly famed pastries, then you ain't livin'. JK folks.
So picture it, a donut and a croissant have a baby and what you get is a flaky, strawberry and cream filled yumminess dipped and swaddled in sugar.Topped off with strawberry icing.
this

The bakery which is located in Soho is owned by Dominique Ansel. He makes only 250 of these puppies everyday and with all the write-ups and publicity, they sell out fast. Each customer is only allowed two, so there aren't many to go around.
You have to be there in line before the doors open to guarantee that you will have a chance to experience the goodness that is the Cronut.

Well, if it involves anything sweet and yummy I am down for it.
Thing is, I didn't want to go by myself. I did what any other self-respecting person would do and announced on Facebook that I was going and needed company.

Luckily I have some friends who don't mind waking up at the crack of dawn to go stand on line for 2.5 hours for a pastry.
We had to leave out at 5 a.m to get there early. It was a few minutes to six when we arrived and there were already twenty people ahead of us.
The doors don't open until eight so people had chairs and blankets to sit on while waiting.

When the doors finally opened, we couldn't wait to get in.
I was ready and excited to go in.

We got our lovely treats and made our way to the garden area in the back.

Truth be told, it wasn't all what I was expecting.
I thought it would be warm and chewy but it wasn't.
Don't get me wrong, it was pretty good but I don't know if it is worth standing in line for.

The experience was fun for me, which is more important.
 I got to reunite with a former co-worker who I hadn't seen in over five years. She has remained a friend on Facebook and this gave us the opportunity to reunite.
Oh the power of food!
I wouldn't do it again but I am glad I can say that I did it.
Sometimes you just have to live in the moment.

Reunited


my lovely friend Flor

My beautiful friend Shellorne and her precious pumpkin

About to dig into my Cronut

Happy!

I only ate one. My mom who by the way thought I was nuts for going and standing on the line, devoured the other one.
She was greatly impressed by how sinfully good it was.

If you have nothing to do and can afford to spend a few hours chilling, head over and try it for yourself.

July 22, 2013

Greetings from New York


Me having an lovely adult beverage...yum!
Hey friends!!!  Happy Monday.
I am alive and well, trying to survive the heat wave that hit New York in celebration of my return.
Things are great. I've seen a bunch of friends, my god-baby and best of all my momma.

I haven't been doing too much. Mostly resting because jet lag is no joke folks.
It feels great to be home and I have settled in quite nicely.

As you can see, I have long hair now.
Braiding is my summer time hairstyle go to. It makes life so much easier with the heat and humidity. Natural hair doesn't do well under those conditions, at least mine doesn't so getting this protective style is a great way of protecting my hair from the harsh elements.

Last night I went out to a roof top lounge in the city with my brunch buddy Shellorne. She is really good at finding new and interesting places to visit, which is great. I am usually the one planning stuff, so to have someone else do the planning is awesome. It was nice to get out to the city and be in a nice smoke-free environment, sipping on cocktails.
Shellorne and I, hamming it up. 


Ok, so that's it so far. Be back with more later.
Hopefully, I'll have tons of exciting things and pics to share.

July 16, 2013

Celebrity Sighting and Other Travel Woes

I don't know about you but one of my favorite things in the world to do is sit in airport terminals for interminable hours waiting to catch my connecting flight (insert extreme sarcasm here).

The only thing that wards off the life threatening ennui is the possibility of celebrity sightings.
Even in the most obscure airports like Bahrain International or something like that, I harbor the unrealistic hope that maybe I will see Jay-Z and his entourage come rolling through or maybe I will witness Naomi Campbell throwing a cell phone at some unsuspecting reservations person. 
Actually any celebrity will do, as long as they've appeared on tv, I won't mind.

The chances significantly improve in bigger airports, better to be stuck in those for sure.
I was hoping my 9.5 hours lay-over in Charles de Gaulle airport in France would prove to be goose that laid the golden egg so to speak.
Instead, I get the girl who doesn't realize that shouting into her cell-phone does not make the person on the other end hear her any better,while switching between her mother tongue and valley girl "oh my God"s.

I suppose holing myself up in the furthest recesses of Starbucks and spending all my time there does nothing to improve my chances any.

Traveling for me is like baking. I love the end result but not the process of getting there.
I am definitely excited to get home but having to deal with the waiting and the flying and the sitting and the swollen feet and the eyeliner-stained eyes is more than my poor heart can endure.

I am exhausted and to make matters worse I haven't seen a single solitary celebrity. 
Bloody hell!

July 15, 2013

Weekly Wishes- #1 A Blog Link Up



Today I am  participating in a weekly linked up hosted by the lovely Melyssa over at The Nectar Collective to share my weekly goals. Check it out guys!

As I get ready to embark on my much anticipated journey home, I have to admit that there is a little part of me that is anxious.

The thing with being away from home for almost a year is that there are just so many things you feel you need to do and so many people you just have to see.
It can be a little overwhelming thinking about it all. I don't think I've had a good night's sleep for the past week.

I want to see all my friends and do everything on my mental list but the reality is that I won't be able to do it all and it's ok. It really is. I only have a month and it seems like a long time but the time will go by quickly and be gone before I realize.

So here are my goals to help keep me my from loosing my head.


  1. Stick to the Plan. I have scheduled all my play dates and get togethers in advance with my friends. My natural tendency is to want to see everyone, even if it means 3 or 4 meet ups in a day. It just won't be possible and I will need to follow my schedule. Unfortunately it leaves little room for flexibility. 
  2. Quality time with Mom. While I am planning all these get togethers with friends I also have to make sure that my mom is number 1 on the list. That may mean saying no to some people and things. 
  3. Document my visit. I am excited about this part. I have a lovely new camera waiting at home for me and my goal is to get out there and capture all the wonderfulness of New York and my trip home. I need to practice more and NY is the best play ground to better my craft.
I think that as long as I stick to these goals I should be ok. 
Can't wait to share everything with you guys.

Check out the rules of the link up and pop over to The Nectar Collective to share your wishes/ goals and meet some new friends.
Here are the rules for the link up. 

WEEKLY WISHES LINKUP RULES:

1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whateverPosts completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted. 2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too (You can use the button below if you please!).
The Nectar Collective

The Nectar Collective
3. The most important rule of all! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up before you and leave them some motivating comment love. This is such an important part of this linkup! We are here to encourage each other to accomplish our goals. Let’s do this together! Can’t wait to visit your blogs and see what you’re wishing for this week!
- See more at: http://thenectarcollective.com/#sthash.t0YiksOB.dpuf

July 11, 2013

Befuddled





Hey folks,  only four more days left before I go home. Yipeee!

As I mentioned in this post, I have acclimated quite nicely to life here in the UAE. For the most part I have grown accustomed to the way things are around here.
The "inshallahs" when you ask someone a question. Essentially, things happen when God wills it. Whenever that is.
I now know not to expect a straight answer or that anything will be done according to a schedule. I am cool with that, thanks to a Type C personality. I am way flexible.

I've gotten used to being called "Ma'am sir" by the certain people in the service industry (I guess it isn't as obvious to them what my gender is?) or being asked what is my "good name" in reference to my first name.

I've even gotten used to the traditional attire worn by people here in the UAE. Seeing women with their entire faces veiled in black doesn't turn my head the way it did when I first got here. The abayas have won me over, in fact so much so that I now own a few. I wear one to work almost everyday. Let me tell you of the wonders of those loose black dresses. They are the best on those rare occasions when you wake up with only five minutes to spare and no time to change out of your pjs. You throw your abaya on and go (That's what my friends tell me...wink).

There are some things though that will never cease to leave me scratching my head in wonderment.

July 8, 2013

LATELY

image

*clears throat.
Hello out there.

I know it's been pretty quiet around here lately. I kinda stepped away from the mic for a bit.

I have been really busy doing nothing.
School has been out for two glorious days now and I have spent my time hanging with friends, watching the tube  and sitting on my couch.

Oh and I have been buying stuff.

July 1, 2013

To Abu Dhabi, With Love

source


I have really enjoyed living in Abu Dhabi; I could even venture to say I love this place.
Is it too soon? Maybe.
I tend to rush head first into things so no surprises that this is no different.

For me the experience thus far has been a great one and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
It has been an adventure and the memories I have from this first year alone will keep me laughing all the way into old age.

I thought that it would be fitting to share with you some of my favorite things about this place.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
This was one of the first pieces of architecture I saw when I arrived in Abu Dhabi on August 9, 2012. It was well past midnight and I was tired after that long journey from NY but I can remember  perking up as we drove past the mosque. It was just so magnificent, the white against the night sky. The moon offering the perfect lighting. It took my breath away and still does every time I pass by. One clear afternoons, I can stand at my living room window and see the curves and domes of the mosque in the distance. I think this is my favorite thing about living here.

Taxis
An unlikely source of nostalgia but these death traps provided me with some fun memories.
When we first got to Abu Dhabi and long before my friends had cars, we would pile into taxis to get us everywhere.
On a good day if we were lucky, we would get a nice, clean and fresh smelling car driven by a driver who knew enough English to understand where we were going.
On the bad and usually more memorable days we got the exact opposite.
Sometimes the stench was so overpowering we would hold our breaths the entire ride.
Later,we would share stories of our awful experiences and try to come up with descriptions for the variety of smells we encountered.
It was always a game to see who could get into the back first. No one would want to sit up front with the smelly driver. LOL.
Also, some of the best stories were born in taxi rides. You would be surprised to know how much information people are willing to share about themselves if you let them. The recovered drug addict, the heart-broken man in love with his cousin but couldn't marry her and the driver who offered me a free ride if I agreed to be his "friend" are just some of my favorite memories.

Saadiyat Island Beach
This is a new addition to my list and is a close runner up for being my favorite.
I absolutely love this beach.
There is just something about the blueness of the water that captivates me and pulls me in.
I get an overwhelming sense of peace and calm every time I visit.
Nothing compares to this feeling, not even food.
Lol. If you know me and my love for all things food related, then you know this love for Saadiyat Beach is something serious.

Men in Kanduras
So not gonna lie, I never imagined myself being attracted to men in dresses.
However, there is something very manly and sexy about a man in a Kandura and Guthra ( the traditional head-dress that the men wear). Especially if it is a pristine white and crisply laundered Kandura.
The men are just so confident and proud in their Kanduras, you can't help but notice them.
Very nice or as the locals would say "Mash'Allah".

The list could actually go on for longer.
There are just so many things that I like and have gotten use to since living here.
Despite the striking contrasts between my life here and that in the U.S, I have managed to acclimate quite easily. Depending on what plans God has for my life, I might be here for awhile.
Insha'Allah.