Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the simple things in life

C for Calcium

Ok, it's official. We're goners! I thought I was the only one, but the husband is too! What happened was quite comical actually. I needed to stock up on some vitamins so went to the pharmacy and bought a few bottles of the usual stuff, Calcium, Iron etc. After having the "calcium" for a day, I realized something was different. The pill was smaller than the 500 mg pill of calcium and it tasted sourish. I looked at the bottle, and uffff, it wasn't calcium that I had bought, it was Vitamin C! C for Calcium, C for Vitamin C is what my mind thought apparently. So, anyways, I asked the husband to buy me a bottle of Calcium, he said no probs, and the next day, got a bottle for me. I know so sweet of him na! The only hitch was that he ended up buying the exact same bottle of Vitamin C too! Same brand, same size. I couldn't believe it. and then I couldn't stop laughing at it! Third time around, we went together to the pharmacy, asked someone to guide us to the C-A-L-C-I-U-M, picked up a bottle and kept repeating, Calcium right, this is Calcium right? Yes, we're both goners.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

learning to juggle everything

The number of people working from home has been on the rise for a long time, and I'm one of them since July 2005. Ever since I got started on working from home, I was hooked and never wanted to do the 9 to 5 thing again. While many people think it is an easier option, it's not as easy as it looks. Yes, I might be able to take a break whenever I want to, or even watch an episode of Friends while I eat my lunch and take a short nap, but trying to juggle between work and home can be quite challenging. For one, often people don't even realize that you're actually working, just because you're home. And for another, you have to be a master of organization and that's where having a document management system comes in handy. I found that unless I had a proper schedule, a daily agenda, a way to manage my emails, deadlines, current data etc, I was quite lost. Having a system to manage it all for me was essential and a big part of my success as a freelancer.

an ever-changing inspiration board

Something I love about our home office set up is our fabulous 4 in one printer, scanner, copier and fax. The last one we really don't use much of, but the first three, I love to use as much as I can. I'm addicted to creating stuff on Paint and printing them out for the desk's board. Needless to say, we go through a number of inkjet ink cartridges in quite a short period of time. But, I love being able to create things right here. I don't have much free time anyways, so when I do, I cherish trying to be creative and coming up with something fun.

The desk has an ever changing inspiration board of postcards, prints, notes, quotes and other stuff, and I love being able to play around with it every few weeks. I've got lots of small artwork that I've never framed, so this is the best spot for them and since I rotate things quite often, I get to see the things that I had lovingly bought but never used before.

Monday, July 11, 2011

photo: sunshiny days

Some photos from our old house...of dried rosebuds in shot glasses and apricots in a turquoise bowl. The light was wonderfully warm yet not too bright in our old home which always created really beautiful photos.

almost 7 years old here

I just realized that in August this year, my blog will be 7 years old. Wow! How the time has flown and how the blog world has changed in these past 7 years. I first heard about blogs from a newspaper article and I remember always having to explain to pretty much everyone what a blog was. I knew the basics of html, so was ok with a lot of the technical stuff, since it was quite basic at the time. Not like the css and all of today. Or is that outdated as well? Anyhow, it's been a good way to share my thoughts, my views and my photos.

I want some sleep insurance!

Today has been a fun yet hectic day. I managed to get a lot of stuff done so am feeling great about all that I've accomplished in a day, but I know I'm going to be exhausted (more than I already am) since little E seems to keep waking up again and again. Oh what fun it would be to sleep through the night! I did manage to do that last night, after many many days and even though it was just over 6 hours (from 1130pm to 600am), I felt great having an uninterrupted sleep for this length of time. Sometimes, when I'm all sleep deprived, the funniest thoughts come to mind, such as how much I would love to have something like a sleep insurance, a way to ensure that I get to sleep at least 6 hours every night. Oh, what fun that would be! But seriously, I'm reminded about sorting out our recent issues with health insurance, so maybe my sleep deprivation is all about keeping track of what needs to be done!

remembering college football weekends

Feeling a bit nostalgic today remembering college days, thinking back to how carefree it all was! Remembering simple rituals like going to the home games during football season, enjoying tailgating and partying. Even though it was all fun and games for us, for the actual players, it's all about strength, precision and dedication to their sport. But seriously, apart from all this, there is a lot of science and technology that goes into the game such as shoulder braces for football players that make it possible for them to play all those fantastic moves. When I first saw how complicated all the technology is with all kinds of shoulder braces, supports and stabilizers, I was quite impressed. So, this is how they manage to play the way they do? Good that I didn't know it back then when I was in college!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday baking fix

Did I ever tell you about my Thursday baking fixation? Well, since our weekends are on Friday and Saturday here in Dubai, I love to get something sweet baked so that we're set for the weekend. It actually started off with wanting to have something baked for breakfast...cinnamon rolls, fresh bread and so on, but slowly morphed into desserts and cakes! Sometimes, it actually is cinnamon rolls....or honey raisin bread, like last week, but this week it's chocolate cake!

Some examples:

                  Sour Cream and Chocolate chunk muffins

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Brownies

Chocolate pudding pie

Saturday, July 02, 2011

photos: the narrow lanes of Bastakiya

Revisiting the Bastakiya arts quarter in Dubai, one of our favorite spots in town, a lovely little place to wander the narrow alleys, to sit in a quaint cafe and sip Turkish tea in those beautiful little glasses with gold embellishment. The bougainvillea is always flowering, always bursting with color and providing welcome shade.

the power of community buying

Today, we used our first Groupon voucher and got some yummy gelato at the Dubai Mall. I've been seeing all the daily deals that they had, but was a bit wary of trying it out, so when I saw a deal for a cup of gelato, I thought this is the best time to try it out without losing out too much if something goes wrong. Well, the system is very simple and straightforward. You buy the coupon online via credit card and once the deal closes, you get an email with the voucher which you print out and voila, you're done. The whole community buying/deal saving deal has taking Dubai by storm it seems. We've got several similar companies offering some really awesome deals, everything from dhow dinner cruises to dental treatments to hair and beauty stuff to some amazing deals of restaurants.

Avoiding any Bridget Jones like moments

There's a great line from the movie "Fools Rush In" about what a waste of time dating is, when all one is doing the first few months is trying to hide one's real self, and then one starts all over again without any pretense. It's quite true, isn't it? If you've ever read any kind of magazine, anything from Cosmopolitan to Reader's Digest, you surely would have come across a variety of rules of dating, things to avoid, questions to ask on a first date, secrets about your dating history never to disclose and so on. But, what about the world of online dating? It's not really a new phenomenon anymore, and the rules are quite different, aren't they, especially if you go by the magazines and websites say.

While it might seem as the really stressful situation when you're in it, it's best to think of it in a lighthearted manner and take it all in one's stride. Instead of thinking of it as a dire situation in the Bridget Jones kind of sense, think of it in a more relaxed manner, so that you never, ever, ever end up in any kind of situation that dear Bridget seems to find herself in. When it comes to being safe on the internet, the rules are entirely new. Be smart about who you're talking to, be safe about what personal information you're telling about yourself, be wary of posting photos of yourself, and most importantly of all, don't get carried away.