We’re Going Back To Dubai!

Bahrain

I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai!  This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.

Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever.  Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.”  Harsh, I know.  And I told everyone that!  I hated the thought of ever going back.  Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing.  I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.

The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America!  But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back.  Mostly because so much has changed since then.  Personally & professionally.  Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist.  And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.

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2 Places To Find All Your Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gift Guide

This is the only “Holiday Gift Guide” I had time to make this year!  My goal for next year is to be more specific & give some super badass ideas for everyone you’re shopping for.  To take the weight off your shoulders & have a stress free season.  Holiday Gift Guides are my jam & I find them to be incredibly helpful.  Hopefully this list will at least send you in the right direction…

Your Friends Businesses:

You know what’s freaking crazy, not supporting your friends small businesses or hobby’s.  If you have a friend or know of someone that’s bravely trying to create their own business & fulfill a passion, you should be the one in line to support them!  I feel like I’m always hearing the critique of what people are trying to do rather than the encouragement & support.  SO, what a wonderful time to show support to these businesses by ordering gifts through them. Think of people you know that are trying to start a product, sell a product or service and figure out who you can gift that to.  That way, you’re giving an awesome gift to the receiver and another gift to the person you’re purchasing from.  If you don’t have any friends doing this, check out Etsy.  Tons of businesses & hobby’s on that website are small (& you can consider those people friends). Love this idea!

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You Need This Book – Love Warrior

LOVE WARRIOR

Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things.  One was Jury Duty but the other was a book.  Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty.  fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready.  I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.

I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated.  I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down.  At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it.  Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them.  However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.

Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.

Let me explain.  I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool.  (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical.   I listened, laughed and fell asleep.  In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question.  3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical.  One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety.  Wtf.  I thought anxiety was something I hated.  But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie.  Powerful, relieved, and excited.  I told myself, anxiety is a superpower.  A freaking superpower!  Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions.  They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.

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Always Do Your Best (and that’s enough)

Do Your Best

Remember when you were little and getting ready for soccer games, a school play, choir/band performance and your teacher or parents would tell you “Just do your best”?  Maybe you heard that, maybe you were already the best…

I wish we still had an adult following us around, reminding us to do our best.  I recently had a boss that filled a position where he was in way over his head.  Drowning in the position because he likely over promised what skills he actually had.  I watched him drown.  I tried my best to help him but quickly noticed he wasn’t trying his best.  He didn’t fulfill the position requirements and instead of digging his heels in and trying to do his best to figure it out, he resisted.  He passed everything he could off to anyone that would take it.  He gave it to his bosses, people under him, people next to him.  He refused to learn.  He trusted his seniority would precedent.

Over the weeks, that turned into months, I started wondering why he wouldn’t try.  What happened to trying to do your best?  Come in to work every day and do the very best YOU can do.  If it’s a mess or not everything gets done, at least you tried.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to do their best.  Why wouldn’t you?  With my boss, whatever his issue with the position was, I still think he should’ve tried to do his best at it, every single day until he’s either learned the position requirements or found something else.

If you stop doing your best, how boring? What are you learning? What are you getting better at?  In conversations, try to do your best at listening.  At workouts, try to be your best athlete.  Preparing for the week, try to do your best each Sunday.  I mean shiiiii, if you’re not trying at anything anymore you need to get a hobby you enjoy. If you’re an expert at everything, you have the wrong mindset. Find things to work hard at & be passionate about.  I hated my job once, and let me tell you – I did my very best at finding something better. At going to work every single day knowing I was trying for something better, so I felt comfortable working hard while I was there.

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Life Chats: Not Always Rosey

Life Chats

I would love to say I’m back with Taylor Swift in my ears but I have 1,000 upgrades, login/password confusion, and download issues happening in iTunes right now so no Taylor Swift for me! Might have to take it the old fashion way of buying a tangible CD or pirating.    I’ve only been looking forward to this album since she disappeared.

I had a few traumatizing events happen the last few weeks, Jury Duty, work overload, and a book that rocked my socks.  The combination of everything changed me.  Really changed me in my core, opened my eyes, freaked me out, kept me awake… I’m going to follow up with a few posts on those events in the next week or so because it’s a lot to take on in one post, for me.  Especially since I haven’t written a post in awhile, I wanted to say hi first!  Immediately after Jury Duty I started thinking – fuck blogging, it’s not important enough.  I kind of protested myself, to myself?   My eyes were opened WIDE and I really shut the door on blogging, I was completely shifted in my thoughts.  I couldn’t come on and write about shoes, or festivals, or being happy – when that’s the opposite of what I gave a shit about.  But then, being away made me feel anxious, I love writing. And it doesn’t have to be roses and smiles all the time, because life isn’t roses all the time.  And my writing doesn’t have to be perfect or make perfect sense, because no one is perfect.  No one knows everything.  I also learned that being away from blogging & writing didn’t feel right. 

I’ve anxiously been waiting to have a post schedule again.  I use my blog as a creativity outlet but realized it’s more than that for me, it’s a way to express what’s in my head and talk to a few people that read.  My goal  is to eventually talk back and forth (I think some people call that conversation 🙂 ) with readers.  I know everything I say or think can be changed with a little extra knowledge and I’m going to do my best to search for it!  And always hear the other side on all my thoughts, and I encourage you to do the same.

Needless to say, waaaay out of the holiday spirit this year.  I don’t even remember Halloween.  Did it happen already?  This might not seem like a big deal, but as a blogger I should give a shit.  And my whole life I have – I love costumes and dressing up.  I’m typically VERY holiday. Celebrations excite me and I’m always down to participate… but this year I haven’t gotten into the swing of things, just haven’t and I probably won’t.  I’m relieved, I don’t want to holiday this year.  I want 2017 to be the year that I’m not focused on holidays but focused on myself and upcoming plans.  I’ve done this once before, when I first moved to Dubai.  I skipped holidays, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad.    So this year will be somewhat similar, not a total skip, but pretty darn close.

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I Cant Wait For…

Mindful

Attention All: We have a new motto in our household.  I’m putting the same test on you & your household as well.  No more “I can’t wait for…”

I’ve never been someone who’s said “I can’t wait for…” or “I can’t wait when…” very often but I caught myself the other night.   I kid you not, Wafiq & I said approx 4 times in a row an “I can’t wait for…” sentence.  “I can’t wait for us to get the new computer screen”, “I can’t wait for the new speaker”,  “I can’t wait for…”.   We sat down on our badass couch in front of our huge ass TV in our treehouse home and started laughing.  WTF.  We have everything we’ve ever wanted right here in front of us.  There were moments we couldn’t wait to have our own space, we couldn’t wait to get through the immigration process (& payments), we couldn’t wait to make money… and here we are with all of those things fully accomplished.

And now we’re acting like we need more?!?

Even when we barely had our own room to sleep in, we rarely said out loud how much we couldn’t wait to have our own place.  I think we both knew if we started to focus on the things we didn’t have, we could end up in a dark, miserable tunnel of misery.  So we rarely talked negatively.

It’s interesting once you start having “things” you start focusing on more things, for some reason.  I think accidentally.  I laughed out loud when I heard myself.  We both did.  And we said, no more! It’s freaking ridiculous what we’re doing.  And instead, we focused on watching the season premiere of Survivor.

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3 Tips For Normal People Trying To Take A Pretty Picture

Good Photos

I HATE taking pictures.  I take them all the time for Instagram & my blog but it’s my least favorite thing to do.  People stay interested w/images more than a ton of writing so I know if I want my blog to be what I imagine, it has to include photos.  But it’s the hardest piece of the puzzle.  Can you be more into yourself than when you’re taking photos, trying to be pretty?  Ugh it makes me uncomfortable more than you’d imagine.

When you see pictures of me, this is typically the process. First, I hold the camera & Wafiq poses for it so he can remind me how easy it is.  He doesn’t care if other people are looking at him as he tries to act cool for pictures, he models confidently.  Once he makes me laugh enough, we switch.  He grabs the camera & tells me to do the same thing.  Boom, all my pictures.

I’m uncomfortable taking pictures & I know I’m not the only one.  Being in a picture these days means you’re likely going to be plastered on social media for everyone’s eyes.  Back in the day, a photo was shared w/family & maybe a few friends.  Now it’s all eyes on us, all the time!  The good side, having these pictures posted everywhere means we’ll easily be able to have the memory.  The best part, the memories. So I don’t let myself shy away from taking them.

There are a few, super simple tips I learned in college when pictures really started being a thing.  I wasn’t used to my picture being taken & after seeing a few horrible ones I started following these three rules for ALL photos.

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Being Thoughtful + 5 Times To Stop & Think

Thoughtful

As you may have noticed, I write “be thoughtful” at the end of all my posts.  When I started writing regularly I wanted to think of something to end with.  Something short, that I genuinely wanted readers to leave w/every day.   I thought about “be nice” or “be kind”  because there’s nothing better than a nice person, but that’s not always the case.  Sometimes, you shouldn’t be nice.  You should be strong.  You should be loud & badass & stick up for yourself, which might not be nice.   I might actually suggest “be mean”.

I came up with “be thoughtful”.  If you slow down & you’re thoughtful of the people you’re interacting with, you’ll know whether to be nice or to be mean.   No one knows what’s going on w/the people they interact with every day and no one knows you.

I think this really amplified itself for me a year ago when I was dealing w/bad anxiety.  I feel like I looked normal but was going through such a tough time in my head.  I was trying to take things slow & gentle while I worked through my anxiety, and I felt fragile.  But people didn’t know that.

One issue I had was driving anxiety.  American’s driving is the single thing I HATE the most about America.  It’s also one of the only times I use the word hate.  Moms, dads, young people, old people, men, women, they all drive like a tasmanian devil.  It’s crazy to me!  We have these huge machines we’re plowing recklessly through traffic with and have no worry?  And where are we always rushing to?  Why are we rushing?  We’re a product of our environment, American’s are glued to time.  My advice is to say fuck it & leave work early, take your time to your kids soccer game, so you can show up alive.

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Who, What, Where, When Why of a Compliment!

Compliment

Did You Know?  “About 57% of millionaires worth more than $5 million say they shop at Home Depot all the time, according to the Spectrem Group. Other favorites include Costco, Lowe’s, and Target. Only 8% say they regularly shop at Neiman Marcus.”  ( v i a ) Hi Everyone!   I saw the quote “Compliment People. Magnify Their Strengths” on […]

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How To Wear A White Dress – Mistake Free!

How-I-wear-White

Did You Know? The theory for the fashion rule to wear white after Memorial day started at the height of its popularity, the color white signified upper class and refinement. You wore white at summer resorts and society events, while the masses wore drab colors as they labored away. “By the 1880s, in order to tell […]

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