The White Dress & The Tornado

28 Jul

Me

Dress—Maurice’s

I just love when I can take myself shopping at the mall.  It had been a while since I’d been mall shopping so I made an entire day of it.  Not only did I need new clothes in general—but I wanted to find things to wear on my next trip overseas.

Yep, I was at the mall from mall opening until mall closing—10am-9pm (probably a man’s nightmare).  But I mean—there are so many stores there to venture inside of that it didn’t surprise me I was there that long.

One store I ventured inside of was Maurice’s where I found this cute little white dress.  I thought it was simply adorable.  It’s perfect whether I go to India for my next trip or whether I go back to the United Arab Emirates.

Mall tornado shelter

But the real fun came when there was a sudden torrential rainstorm going on outside and everyone in the mall was ushered from the stores into a tunnel-type hallway because tornado sirens were going off in the surrounding area.

No one could get a signal on their cell phones inside this narrow passageway either which was irritating.  So there was just a lot of standing around and waiting for the tornado warning to pass—while hoping an actual tornado would not hit us directly.

And although a couple of small twisters did touch down in surrounding areas, fortunately, one did not touch down directly where I was—thank goodness—or I’m sure my car would have been in the next state over when I left the mall to go home.

And since it was raining so hard when I was ready to go home, I had to wait it out so I could actually SEE to drive home because you literally could not see more than a couple of feet in front of you.  There was just no telling when the rain would die down either.

Well—more shopping for me then!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, spend an entire day from morning until evening buying yourself nice things if for no other reason than you deserve it.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Always look at the positive side when you get stuck inside a mall because of bad weather—a little more unexpected eating and shopping never hurt anybody.

 

Casino Buffet Eating

7 Jun

Casino buffet plate

Fried chicken, cream corn, baked beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, and baked potato chips.

So here’s yet another buffet I love going to.  It’s at one of the riverboat casinos in my area.  All of the casinos have buffets and I’ve tried them all.  You know me!  But this one just happens to be my favorite—and it has a massive buffet, too!  There’s so much food you have to get one plate after another.

There are several food stations broken down into several different lovely areas:

  • Chinese food station
  • Barbecue food station
  • American food station
  • Italian food station
  • Salad, soup, & bread station
  • Dessert station

What’s a girl to do when confronted with all these options?  By jove, I’ll tell you!  Just get one of everything!  After all, that’s the fun of eating at buffets.

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The Nastiest Nutrition Bar I’ve Ever Had

2 Jun

Nutrition bar

O–M–G!  Bless my mom’s sweet heart for trying to lead me on a healthy path—but WHAT-IN-THE-SAM-HILL!!!

So my mom stopped by my job on her way to work and gave me some grapes and a nutrition bar to snack on while I whittled the rest of the day working away.  Fabulous.  The more food in my possession, the merrier, I say.

Now—she’s given me nutrition bars before and they’re pretty edible.  I’ve even had some really fantastic ones that I’ve loved and then some that are just “ok.”  Because you know, after all, nutrition bars aren’t always the best tasting things—it just depends.

So I open this package and the first thing I notice is—WOAH!  Never seen a black nutrition bar before—so I obviously had my concerns.  I proceeded to sniff away at it and could slightly smell apple & cinnamon and then another odd smell I couldn’t quite make out.

So I bit into it thinking I’m just psyching myself out again like always when introduced to a new nutrition bar and this would be just like any other nutrition bar—you know, like when you think you’re not going to like it very much but then discover it’s pretty edible after all even though it’s not your favorite thing to eat in the world?

Well, low and behold, that bite was inside my mouth and when I got to the 2nd & 3rd chew I’m like—WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS I’M TRAPPED INSIDE OF?! 

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A Lazy Days Good-For-Nothin’

25 May

Pajamas

Oh, my goodness.  This is just one of my favorite things to do ever—lounge around at home in my pj’s and do absolutely nothing.

Don’t you just love days like this?  Sometimes I’ll even make a whole weekend of it.  Why not?  Who’s to say I can’t?

Sometimes I’ll just lay in the bed at the opposite end with my head on a pillow and prop my feet up on the headboard and do some thinking.  Other times, I’ll chat away on the phone to a friend, read a book or a magazine, take a little nap, watch TV, or snack away on food.

The key to getting this comfort situation down properly is in the lounge-wear.  You can’t just do this particular move with jeans and sports shoes on—and, God forbid, a bra.  No, sirree.  It just won’t have the same effect.

Next, you need a large plush area in which to sit/lay.  The bigger the area, the better.  The more pillows, the better.  A queen- or king-sized bed or even a big comfy couch will do.

Last, but not least, the more food you surround yourself with—the better.  But, oh my, to do nothing all day long but ‘whatever’now that’s living the dream!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, just be a lazy good-for-nothing all day long.  It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  One thing I might point out:  If you’re staring up at the ceiling while relaxing, daydreaming, chatting on the phone, or whatever you may be doing during your downtime and you happen to see what appears to be a dark “mark” up there that is definitely not the same color as your ceiling—I’d say hightail it out of bed immediately and investigate that it is, in fact, a black “mark” rather than just staring at it longingly and/or laughing with your mouth wide open and discovering that it’s a beastly bug or spider of some sort that will come hurtling down on you at any given moment.  I’m just sayin’.

A Beautiful Creation

30 Apr

Flowers

A sight for sore eyes.  Is this not the most gorgeous thing ever?!  If only I could, I’d send each and every one of you a massive beautiful floral arrangement to make your days as shiny and wonderous as possible.  Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, find yourself a heapful of nature’s lovelies and admire them in all their beauty.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Sometimes it’s nice to receive and send an arrangement of flowers—or even just get yourself a single ginormous sunflower at your local farmers’ market for 50 cents, put it in a vase at home, and have a glorious day.

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Sangria & Spanish Tapas

19 Apr

Spanish omelet

Spanish Omelet made with potato and onion with red pepper aioli.

Another happy hour out with another girlfriend.  I just can’t get enough of those girls’ nights.  We decided to meet up at a Spanish tapas restaurant.  And who doesn’t love happy hour?!  Happy hour equates to “discount” and my eyes invariably light up.

Tapas are basically Spanish appetizers—and since you don’t have a full course meal in front of your face, the focus is meant to be more on the conversation among friends while snacking on these delights.

And happy hour is the best time to go!  Half-price sangrias, half-price tapas—let’s just get one of everything, shall we?

We ordered a Tortilla Espanola which was a Spanish omelet made of potato and onion and had a red pepper aioli on top of it—so good.

We also had Queso de Cabra Al Horno which was goat cheese that was baked in a tomato fresco and served with crunchy crostinis.

Then we tried the Albondigas Caseras which were meatballs in a yummy spicy garlic cream sauce.

And, of course, if Sangrias are half-price—why order a glass when you can order a whole pitcher full at that price?!

So, if you have nothing else to do today, try a Spanish tapas restaurant with friends and family.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  The small portions of tapas allow you to try pretty much one of everything—which is always fun to do.

Meatballs To Love

12 Apr

Meatballs

Meatballs with marinara, Parmesan, & basil.

I love when I get a chance to hang out with any one of my girlfriends.  It doesn’t happen as often as I would like it to, but when it does—we have a good time.  There’s nothing like having good food while catching up on the latest gossip.

I wasn’t very hungry by the time we met up at this restaurant so I order this dish of three meatballs for an appetizer while my friend ate a salad.  The meatballs were divine, I must say, and they were just enough to satisfy me.

And, ohhh, the things you can find out during a gossip session.   But I’ll never tell.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, meet up with a friend for some good food, drinks, and chit-chat.  Sometimes you need time with your friends to escape the mundane ins and outs of every day life.

Take-Away Life Lesson:  Sometimes three meatballs is all you really need for a good chit-chat with a friend.

My Trip To Dubai (Part 6)

1 Apr

Me

I just loved waking up every day in Dubai to my next adventure.

I had no idea today was going to be a doozy—but a doozy it was!

Desert Safari

I had SO much fun on this 6-hour safari.  Here we had the pleasure of meeting a couple from Canada and a couple from America as we all piled into the land cruiser once the driver picked everyone up from their prospective hotels.

The safari carried on from about 3:30pm-9:30pm and I loved every minute of it—well, almost every minute of it.  There was a bit of dune bashing that threw me for a huge loop.  I was NOT prepared for that, I can tell you.  What started off as a smooth ride soon turned into chaos.

I had absolutely NO IDEA we would be in a land cruiser with our driver tearing across the sand hills like a freaking maniac!!!  What was that about?!  At first I thought we were just going over a few bumpy parts to get across the desert, but NO—apparently, it’s all part of the safari adventure!  They actually hire drivers to drive around like nut jobs across the desert on the way to camp.  What?!

And my date and I were sitting in the very back seat which made the experience that much worse for me.  You can feel everything in the back seat—all the bumps and everything!  I swear I don’t know how many times I thought we were going to tip over and go rolling down any number of those hills.  Geez Louise!

One of the guys in our group took an excellent video of some of it and was kind enough to send it to me.  But in the video below, yeah, you can hear me carrying on in the back seat—but not nearly as much as I really was.  This is because the video is only 30 seconds long but our maddening ride on those hills was 30 minutes long!  And the video doesn’t make the ride seem nearly as rough as it really was.  Trust me.

Video courtesy of Scott McQuistan

It was all I could do to keep myself from getting nauseous, dizzy, and throwing up vomit in the back seat—considering I noticed there was absolutely no way to let the windows down in the back seat just in case I had an accident.  Seriously?!  Is this really happening right now?!  My date tried to help me through it all best he could, bless his heart.

Somewhere along the way to camp, we stopped at a local store for about a 5-minute rest break.  We grabbed some snacks to eat the rest of the way to camp.

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My Trip To Dubai (Part 5)

28 Mar

Me

Ready to go on a dinner cruise in the Dubai Marina.

I couldn’t wait to get on the boat and sail down the Marina while having dinner buffet-style.  You know I love food.

The Dhow Cruise

When we arrived to the boat, there were fresh sweet dates waiting on a platter before we even stepped onto the boat.  I can’t begin to describe how sweet these things were!  Omg.  I couldn’t eat just one.

I finally had to pull myself away so I could board the boat because my date kept encouraging me to try another one and another one because he saw how much I liked them.  I’m telling you—I could have eaten the entire platter myself.  Which means there’d be none left for the rest of the crew—but such is life.

This cruise was one of the most beautiful and romantic ever!  I loved looking out the window at the water and all the beautiful buildings.  It was a sight to behold.

Me

 Me and my dinner escort.

The buffet-style dinner was lovely.  Of course, I had to get one of everything which required more than one plate.  And since I don’t have eight arms, I could only carry one plate back to the table.  But my date surprised me by bringing me a second plate with food from the other side of the buffet—which I hadn’t made my way to yet.  But you knew I was headed there, right?

For someone that’s only known me a short time, he figured me out pretty quickly when it comes to food!  He was such a gentleman taking care of me.  Ahh, I just absolutely loved meeting people in Dubai.

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My Trip To Dubai (Part 4)

22 Mar

Me

I’m all ready to go see the famous Burj Al Arab hotel.

Now I’m on my way to Jumeirah to see the Burj Al Arab.  Ohhh, my goodness gracious I’m so excited.

The Burj Al Arab

What can I say about this magnificent creature?  I’m speechless, I tell you.  Totally speechless.  I can’t even begin to describe its beauty.

I was on my way to have lunch at the Al Muntaha restaurant.  First of all, you’re not even allowed to go up the long drive that leads directly up to the hotel without having a reservation either at the hotel or at one of the restaurants at the hotel.  You have to show security at the gate that you actually have a reservation or you’re not getting anywhere close to that bad boy.  No siree!

The taxi drivers will even ask you when you first get into the car if you have a reservation there because they already know they aren’t getting past a certain point if you don’t have one.  So don’t even try it!

I found this interesting video on how the Burj Al Arab was built.  It totally blew my mind.

I did some sightseeing outside the hotel and wandered around the inside of the first floor.  Then I made my way to the restaurant’s personal elevator/lift that goes directly from the first floor straight to the restaurant.

And, oh my goodness, what a view of the sea from that glass elevator ride!  I wanted to ride it all day long like a little kid—up down, up down.

The view from the restaurant windows is even more fabulous.  You look directly out the window and all you see below you is the beautiful Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea.  Pure gorgeousness!  You’re literally out on the sea in this hotel!

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