Monthly Archives: December 2012

Feeling Stressed? Have a Pizza Like Me!

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When I’m feeling stressed, I tend to eat more. Unlike others who might loose their appetite when they’re feeling down or going through tough times. I guess I am one of those who try to find comfort in food in a failed attempt to hide their anxiety and uneasiness.

To give you an example of the things that make me stress, I am currently stressed about the fact that I still have a lot of work to do to promote my personal blog and increase traffic into it. Or to simply add the essential buttons and modify its layout to make it look more professional. At a later stage, I would like to try to get income out of it somehow. And although I am a graduate in Business Information Systems, with a couple of years work experience in IT support, I was never into IT or technical stuff…Therefore, I might have to ask for technical help in taking my blog to the next level. Actually I have to…I managed to somehow loose the login button on my blog’s homepage right after I tried to add some widgets on the side bar!

The picture you see at the top of this post is a collection of takeaway menus that I have accumulated over time in my cupboard. Since most restaurants distribute these menus on flat doors….Now the funny thing is, that I rarely order takeaway. Maybe more in the recent period since I was following my neighbor’s advise in “putting myself out there” and “stop hiding in my apartment”!  So I didn’t get to work on my cooking skills as much as I would like to, since I need to put more time and effort into my goal, and cooking and especially washing dishes afterwards does take up time!

When one of my friends was visiting one day, she was amused by the pile of menus I owned and then said: “just put it with the pile” when we found a new menu outside my apartment door as we were leaving!

Tonight, it is Friday night. And despite wanting to share my home delivery dinner with someone special just like every single girl out there, and despite getting that feeling almost every single time that I decide to order dinner for home delivery, I am thankful for having great friends in this city. It’s true that, while some live on the other side of town, or might find it difficult to commute, or could be working even on Fridays…we all share one thing in common: we are all struggling to survive in this dynamic and highly fast-paced city. Most of us (including me) are also busy in trying to establish ourselves from scratch and become financially independent.  Hopefully, the next time I decide to get a meal delivered on a weekend for dinner, I will try to arrange it early with friends.

My Napoletana pizza had less anchovies than what I expected.  But I managed to accommodate that loss with some leftover anchovies that I had bought from the deli about a week or so ago. I must admit that the supermarket deli anchovies tasted much better and were far juicier than the anchovies used on my pizza. They weren’t as salty either.

Although under stress, I assure you I only ate half of the medium pizza I had ordered. The rest will be taken care of on a different occasion for sure.

When my food order had arrived, and after opening the door for the delivery man, guess what I saw on my door mat?

Yes, believe it or not, it was a new delivery menu…for another new pizzeria in town! and of all the names they could have chosen for their eatery, they chose to call it:

Romantico

How insulting is that!  😛

 

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My Chilled December Beach Day

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I was chatting with a lady from my building’s floor who had just gotten back from a day at the beach, when I realized how big a deal it was that I haven’t been to the beach in the two years and almost nine months that I have been in the city. Our chat took place some time in May if I’m not mistaken. She was greatly surprised when I had told her that I had never been to the beach since I moved here, but have been to it in the past during vacation trips to Dubai. I explained my current beach apathy by the fact that I grew up in this region, and have always had the luxury of the beach (although rarely went to it even in Saudi), and so to me, going to the beach didn’t sound like a newly exciting way to spend my day. I was never fond of the heat, or the warm sun rays, or the usual humidity associated with this region’s weather.  Most of us GCC nationals are strong fans of the cloudy and rainy London weather. Whenever I tell a British person this fact, they consider me mental.

So when I found out from a friend that the next day (my planned beach day) stood a chance of rain, and when I heard on the radio that the weather forecast was cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms in the evening, I feared not! You would think I would consider changing my plans and postpone my long-lost beach day? Of course not. To me, the cooler the weather is, the merrier. Who wants to melt in the Dubai sunshine heat? Not me, I assure you.

The weekend day spa package I opted for meant that I could easily spend the whole day at the recent winner of the 2012 World’s Leading Family Resort award, five-star beach resort; Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa.

My spa package included a 60-minute massage, a complimentary lunch buffet, and pool and beach access…as was noted on the resort’s web site. When I called to book my eccentric beach day, I was delighted to find out that I also get to use the wet facilities (steam room, jacuzzi, sauna, and experience showers).

I arrived to the beach at 10 am and chilled on the sun lounger while taking in the tranquil and beautiful view around me. I went to ask the lifeguard about the safe swimming area, not knowing that the water would be too cool for a swim, and that the most I would do was walk along the shore and get my feet washed up in some cool sea water.

After reading a few pages from my book, and getting a few rays of sunshine and vitamin D, it was time to head to the spa. As the ladies timings were from 9 am till 2 pm. Once inside the wet facilities room, I immediately jumped into the jacuzzi. I just love hot tubs! It’s been a very long time since I’ve soaked in a hot tub, and the water temperature in this jacuzzi was just right.  I had stayed there for about 25 minutes or so before reading the guidelines board on the wall that clearly stated: recommended maximum jacuzzi time is 15 minutes!

I did follow the rest of the health and safety guidelines for the other facilities though. I went into the steam room for around 5 – 10 minutes, then took an experience shower (which is a blast of ice cold water hitting your body from all sides in addition to a big shower burst from the top). The very-aptly named experience shower will truly give you an experience that you won’t forget! The sudden and strong bursts of cold water would lead anyone to scream their heart out…while I on the other hand, simply got into a spell of loud giggles and laughs. I must say it was an extremely enjoyable and memorable experience 🙂

After the experience shower, I went into the sauna room and carefully closed the door behind me. Then I started having terrifying thoughts of being stuck in the high temperatures and dying from suffocation because I couldn’t manage to open the securely-closed door! This meant that my sauna time didn’t last long as I wanted to give myself extra time to figure my way out in case I got stuck in the heat and humidity. After that, I went into the steam room once again since it was recommended that you repeat the steps three times…with an experience shower after each heat treatment.  I only repeated the cold blast shower once, at the end of my fun spa facilities experience.

By the end of this amusing pampering experience, I was starving and so ready for my package-inclusive lunch. Although there was only one type of soup available at the buffet, there was a huge variety of food to choose from for the main course. A burger station, a Thai curry station, and my favorite: an outdoor barbecue station with all types of seafood and meat.

After my heavy lunch, it was time for me to hit the sands again. I went for a brisk walk along the water in an attempt to help my body digest the heavy meal I had just gulped down at the spa’s restaurant. And to be in a better state and mood for my one-hour European massage treatment.

Needles to say, the massage treatment done by my super friendly therapist was one to match the spa’s first-class quality level and exceptional service.

Adding to that ultra-soothing and relaxing massage treatment, I was directed to a lounger seat facing the beach and offered my tea of choice (chamomile) and a selection of cut fruits on a stick.  If that wasn’t enough, a highly comforting warm pillow was placed around my neck and shoulders for an added touch of luxury and comfort.  As I drifted into pure relaxation and meditation mode, it was already past sunset. I was greeted with darkness as I made my way out the superb spa. I had even missed the locker deposit staff’s shift, and their window was now closed! Thankfully, I managed to get my stuff out of the locker and collect my deposit from the hotel’s reception.

I still had an hour before one of the pools closes! the water was heated and I still had access to my locker. The only set back was the fact that I had just done a muscle tension relieving massage and didn’t want to risk any harmful effects caused by the bad combination of cool breeze and my warm body which is covered in oil and tension-releasing massage gel.

As I felt the relatively warm pool water with my hands and grooved to the funky 80’s music coming from the nearby night spot, I made a note to myself that I must make another trip to this stunning resort and beach, which makes for an outstanding mini getaway from the hustle and bustle of the daily city life.

 

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Not my Cup of Tea!

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Sweets and Snacks Middle East is an exhibition that was held at the Dubai World Trade Center exhibition hall between the 19th to the 21st of November.

I went along with my dad who was visiting at the time. I only had time to write a post about it now. I think this is partly because I didn’t find the exhibition or products displayed interesting enough for my taste. I wasn’t even planning to write a post about it until the time when we were about to leave and I saw the only interesting object at the hall; a Santa and other chocolate figure sculptures!  Yes I know, they’re not that interesting either. But when compared to everything else that was on display in that space, these figures truly stood out!

I guess I had higher expectations for an exhibition with the name “Sweets and Snacks”. I was hoping to sample and maybe purchase some gourmet and unusual sweets and snacks. The rare types that you wouldn’t find at your local grocery store. Authentic Japanese crackers maybe? But sadly, the majority of the companies that were present had similar items on display. Mainly commercial, unhealthy, and low-end sweets and snacks.

I don’t want to sound arrogant, but that’s just my personal opinion of the fair.

But I can’t complain much, as I did get some free samples of a nice selection of flavored tea from Hong Kong.  Who thought you would come out of something healthy from a sweets and snacks exhibition? 🙂

 

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Jingle the Night Away!

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Living in an international city means that you have a cosmopolitan mix of multiple nationalities, cultures, and obviously religions.  It’s always exciting and interesting to learn about other cultures and societies. Since we are currently in the festive season, a Christmas festival was held at Dubai Media City for the first time this year. Who doesn’t like to see beautifully-lit and decorated Christmas trees, wonderful gift ideas and gift sets, and happy children going around hugging Santa and taking pictures with him?

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, sharing the season’s joy with others and embracing the holiday spirit can be a fun and rewarding experience.

I had mostly been to the area of Media City where the festival was at during day time. So seeing the wonderful brightly-lit skyline at night from a close distance was a scene that I had to take a picture of.  My friend and I had a stroll around the different kiosks before sitting down for a meal at the wooden benches and table at the grass. Being able to sit outdoors and enjoy the cool breeze is a luxury to be taken advantage of, specifically in Dubai where the summer season could last for up to six months in a year.

Luckily when we arrived, an English band was playing traditional Christmas melodies, as well as funky classic and new hits. Bright red and green spot lights brought life to the stage, and a selection of festive images were displayed at the back of the band.

Parents danced along with their little kids as we all sang along with the band and enjoyed the lively ambiance.

Other artists continued to entertain the big ethnically diverse crowd at the festive stage till it was closing time for the chilled and joyful festival…

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Soulful Jamming Under the Stars…

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Having grown up in this region, I have always been a huge R&B and soul music fan. So when I heard that Macy Gray; the super cool American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer and actress is coming to town, I was ecstatic and made a trip to the other end of town to get my tickets before they were sold out, and to guarantee my attendance.

The venue was packed with fans of the singer or folks simply wanting to have a good time in the garden where the stage was set up. Me and my friends were lucky to find a place to sit near the stage and shared a delicious and juicy burger and hand-cut thick fries. The weather was pleasant for a night out and the atmosphere was just right.

Macy entertained us with her usual slick groove and ultra cool vibe. She and her back-up singers were simply fabulous…they put up a casual, yet highly fascinating performance, filled with soulful moves and creative ways to engage the fun-loving crowd.

Famous for her deeply appealing witty style and character, the singer graced the stage in beautiful outfits. One of them a sparkly sequined red dress from the 60’s era. The second was another charming vintage number with chiffon and a stunning layered puff to it.

After performing a good number of songs, Macy and her band said their good-byes to us, leaving some of us wondering if this was a joke and the rest screaming out for “more”, before she came back on stage once again to perform her famous international hit single “I try”. The hit sparked a huge burst of life and energy in the crowd, as we were all singing along to the top of our lungs:

I try to say goodbye and I choke
Try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it, it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not here

You can sing along too by playing this link:

To Macy – the soulful diva with the warm distinctive voice – and her lovely band:

Thank you for the epic performance, positive vibe, and most importantly; for the powerful and strong messages supporting world peace, love and personal freedom.

 

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