Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A weekend in Ajman

     Last year in October (I told you I am catching up on blog posts), we decided to take a weekend trip to Ajman. I was a bit skeptical at first...I mean, don't all beaches here look the same?! But we both wanted to see as much of the Emirates as possible while we have this wonderful opportunity to live here. Plus, we are very much aware that any stay in a great hotel, by the beach, has the potential to feel like a real vacation and provide us with a ton of relaxation.

     In this case we chose the Kempinski Hotel Ajman, which was such a pleasant experience! Having a cute baby pretty much guarantees that we will draw attention everywhere we go, but the people there were just over the top helpful and accommodating. It was a pleasure.

    Until then I didn't really take Nalia to the pool, so this was her official pool time debut! She loved it, splashing around, kicking her little legs and smiles all around! ...Oh the cuteness...

    Speaking of relaxation, we slept in, took turns watching the baby, lounged around, booked a massage... That's right! I had the best Thai massage of my life...

     It was great! :)

 *ready for our roadtrip
 *but first: fooooood! A quick stop at Tom&Serg in Dubai. Yummm!

 *we arrived! Such stunning views of the sea and hotel grounds...

 *first night trying out the Indian restaurant. Delish!!   :D

 *on and off snoozefest in our hotel room
 *mommy time...relaxation mode: ON
 *we just had to hop on this little cart for a quick photo

 *that sunset tho...

 *Our hotel lobby
 *this guy shoved his tool in our faces :D :D :D
 *got to keep hydrated poolside... :D
 *the way back home

      Please excuse the quality, shape and size of the pictures in the post... they are mostly iPhone photos... But I am working on it!  :)

Miracle Garden

     Miracle Garden in Dubai is truly a miracle... Whether you like flowers or not, this place is just amazing! Tens of thousands of bright colored, sweet smelling flowers, arranged in mesmerizing shapes...a feast for the senses!

     Unfortunately, my photography has suffered quite a bit since having the baby as my entire focus is on her whenever we are out and about, so these pictures are just some quick snaps I manage to take as we went through the garden. Big thank you to our friend Olga who was visiting and took a couple of pictures of us as well.

     Nevertheless, it's a pleasure every time we visit the gardens!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Riga... The Wedding

     Checking Riga off our travel books was long due, but I had no expectations at all... That is maybe why i loved it so much. I didn't look it up, check it out or learn anything about it before going there and it was a complete pleasure... First, it is bigger than I thought it would be, prettier and way cooler... We managed to take a tour and learn a bit about the history of the place, who has been there, where they came from, how the city adapted and survived, things that I had no clue about... Loved it! I don't know much about what it is like to actually live there, but the place has a really great vibe...

     One thing that stood out the most for me while we were there...the sky! I know this may sound stupid...duh! you have a sky everywhere you go! Sure you do, but I have never seen a sky like that in my life... ever-changing, surprising, beautiful, breathtaking sunsets... It was just amazing!

     Now, balancing out traveling with a 5 month old baby and tending to her needs, meeting so many people, being with friends, while constantly on the go, so joyfully taking part in a wedding... It was an experience, I'll tell you that! I struggled a bit with my ongoing duty to my small child and my desire to dedicate my time and undivided attention to Nina and Ismael. I wished so badly that I could have been somewhat of a pillar throughout their day, the helping hand in the background that they might have needed... they sure were more than available for us at our wedding. I wasn't all that, but I sure tried to do my best! (and I will forever remain indebted to the nanny we hired the day of, without whom I could have never enjoyed myself to that extent!)

     It was so wonderful to just be there in the company of Nina and Ismael, we wouldn't have missed it for the world... They were just wonderful and as I write this, several, long months later, the details of their beautiful day are more vivid in my head then those at my own wedding! 

     I congratulate them from the bottom of my heart not only for choosing each other, for the nice way they hold each other up, for always being warm, kind and well, for the easiness with which they show their love, for their fun way of facing the every day,  for being the best friends anyone could ever wish for, but also for arranging this entire wedding event to such exquisite detail, from far away! Bravo!! 

     Honestly, it was the best wedding I have ever been to and I am willing to put that in writing. It wasn't just about the good food and the pinteresting decor, the aroma of the flowers or the warmth of the twinkly lights, or even the sweet melodies of the live band... It was the atmosphere and it was definitely the presence of the people. When you see not only one, but a couple surrounded by so many amazing people, when you feel the love and see all the smiles around, you now they are some of the best. And boy am I happy we are family!  (You are never going to get rid of me now! mwahahahahaha!)

     Though late with posting this, I am so glad that I have! (also it happens to be their anniversary today so good timing for that and many happy years to them!)
     Here are some pictures, from Linda Briinums, the official photographer of the wedding.

We love you! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

When I am wrong.


      I would have never thought this about myself, but as time flies by it is becoming more and more obvious that I am one of those negative persons... I may not look like one or even believe that I am, but I am! More often then not, I am armed and ready to negate!

     Now, I hope nobody will confuse being negative to being bad or evil. Although on the rare occasion people have called me that as well...  :D

     What I mean is that I have a tendency to criticize, counteract, oppose to, resist, (call it whatever you like),  no matter the topic or who I am talking to. I am ready to make an opponent out of pretty much everyone and at times, including my own thoughts!

     There is a need I have for being right, for telling it like I see it. For coming off above my interlocutor. I am quite good at it too! Extremely argumentative, pushy if you will (or bitchy, I've been called that too). I can manage to insist until whoever stands in front of me either agrees, changes their mind or resigns the conversation. Either way, I must win! I must win!!
     I'm not completely absurd and I might have exaggerated a bit here and there,  this doesn't happen ALL the time. I do give in and accept opinion of stronger, better informed conversationalists, I do listen carefully if the person speaking is someone I admire or appreciate more than others. Other than that, you are toast! 

     Now where do I even begin to say how wrong this sort of behavior is?!

     Not only that I am becoming a person nobody feels like debating with, but I myself am getting sick of constantly having to have an opinion!!!

     Generally speaking, everyone has an opinion about everything and let me tell you... I am tired of it!

     My suspicion is that this stems form all the crazy speed information is traveling around these days... everything is one click and a glance away on Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Instagram, the news... it's getting increasingly challenging to keep up, there is some sort of pressure in the air that we have to be in the know (of everything!), like we are not socially fit if we skip a beat! Everywhere I look, whether it be a mommy group or a social media outlet, I notice people getting more and more aggressive with their response in regard to any topic.  It's like everyone is searching for validation that their opinion is best! Well let me cut it short: It's just not!!!! (mine is! :D :D )

     There is no prize for 'opinion of the day' or a top 10 of the most convincing arguments... There won't be anyone petting your head once you turn away from the damn screen (that's cos most of the time this all happens in the virtual space of the internet). I know this first hand. Nothing freaked me out more than the realization that I posted my opinion (aka bate) and I was then refreshing my Facebook page intensively waiting for someone to counteract so that I can get my daily 'fix' of conflict! I kid you not, I could feel the suspense!!  Do I even need to say how wrong that is?!?

     What happened to the good old times, when the most interesting conversations were held face 2 face over a beer (or 5)? When hot topics came in singular form,  straight from the person they had happened to or maybe once a week in the news (which used to be an outlet to be taken seriously, unlike what is happening today, but that is a whole other topic)... people used to speak and share their opinion when they actually, truly knew what they were talking about...like, because they witnessed things or studied about them or worked with them every day!

    Nowadays we are acting out more and more, from lack of better occupation. And this is scary to me. The fact that I ended up spending a big chunk of my time like this, when all that this behavior is bringing me is stress (I can feel my cortisol levels rising as I type), nervosity, anger, a general sense of inadequacy... Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it for the sake of social acceptance or are we simply addicted? Is it the newest kind of disease? What is it?

     The best part of this post would have to be a good conclusion and maybe a couple of solutions to stop this madness. I don't have any!

This month...

  I will:

  • be more patient
  • work on my blog
  • surprise my loved ones and make them smile
  • get back to a healthy lifestyle routine
  • spend less money
  • be more purposeful 
  • take better pictures
  • bake something
  • edit and share our home videos
  • try the new roller coaster at Ferrari World
  • read
  • use our vouchers
  • better organize my time 
  • print out pictures/make albums
  • fill up our scrapbook
  • spend more time in the open air
  • show my mother in law a good time
  • plan our travels back to Europe this summer
  • teach Nalia to paint
  • create better content
  • search for a part time job
  • meditate
  • take better care of myself
  • do something meaningful with my time
  • stay positive
  • be less judgmental/opinionated
  • go to the Cinema
  • breathe...


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