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Dec 18, 2015


Where the heck did November and December go? I blinked and boom!! 7 days till Christmas.
I am not complaining one bit though! Happy Friday, friends! Lt's get to my favorites for this week.

1. Blog, Life, Menu planners from Yellow Bliss Road To be completely honest, I am unsure how I stumbled upon the site. Probably a Pinterest session gone completely right but I do love a good planner. I have tried them all and I just can't seem to find the absolute perfect one. I love these planner for a few reasons. 1. Affordable 2. Digital Download and 3. SUPER cute! I am still deciding on my design. Which one would you choose??

*Image is from Yellow Bliss Road

2.  This cozy angel wrap from Home Shopping Network. I can't even put into words the level of LOVE for this gift. I bought them for my mom and sisters for Thanksmas and my mom happened to buy me one! Granted I cannot use mine year round but these desert nights lately have been the perfect time to get cozy with this. Perfect price point and shipping guaranteed for Christmas. It is a great gift or a nice little to me, from me gift #treatyoself

3. Speaking of being able to cozy up with my Angel wrap, I will vote the weather lately in the Dhabs as a favorite. Mid to high 50's at night time. Yassss!!! 

4.  Since fireplaces are not really a fixture in the homes here. 
5. It is that glorious time of year that all teachers long for.. Winter Break! Or Christmas Break as I call it.  I have big plans since I am not traveling anywhere; I brought work home to do. But in reality..

Have a great last weekend shopping before the big day! Don't forget to link up.

Meet @ the Barre

Nov 20, 2015

Friday full of favorites

Happy Friday! My Saturday, same same. I haven't had a whole lot to say in the past two weeks because I have been kind of removed from social media. I took a hiatus from Facebook last week because I just wanted to high five too many people in the face with a chair. I actually committed to it. I removed the app off my home screen from my phone and hid it in a folder somewhere on the second screen of the apps so I don't even see it. I also turned all the notifications off.  It has been a nice, chill week and I have been much more productive. It also makes me less annoyed with people I love. #sorrynotsorry

So here are some favorites for the month of November :)

Favorite dessert: We were introduced to this lovely little desserts by Magnum that are sold here. I had one before we left and has no idea that they were here as well. They don't have the same flavors but they are still delish. And seeing as they are mini, I don't feel as guilty. Let's get real - I don't feel guilty at all.

One of my favorites of November is my new nephew! Isn't he absolutely precious. It was so hard to be here while my sister had him but I was lucky enough to be included as much as possible. I cannot wait to get my hands on this little munchkin!!! 

My favorite Facetime of the month:  <3 

My love of immaturity. Sometimes it is fun to not act your age. No adulting here. At least not on the regular. 

I think it is so funny that people are critical of Kayne about him being a bit snarky, self-absored, etc. but they are all about posting 354 selfies within an hour.  I mean seriously, lets stop judging and embrace our inner bit of Kayne.

Dear Sephora, please stop. I mean how is a girl supposed to participate in 'No spend November' and then you send a 20% off coupon? Damn you. 

So I tore my Achilles Tendon (yay me!) and I have to have a procedure done on Monday to try to help it heal so I can avoid going under the knife. The ladies I work with bought me these beautiful flowers and the smell.... ahhhh! They were beautiful.  

Those that have little ones, I found this cute etsy shop, LionheartPrints. Check it out, this is one of my favorite baby items. I am pretty sure Blake needs this!

My Nephew... Yasssss!!! This snap made my whole week. 

Speaking of Snap Chat, make sure you're following @JCMSparkles

The time of year has come when I need to change something about my hair. I decided to end the Blonde Ambition tour for this year and move to a more fall-ish color. This is the goal pic...

This is what I got to start. I wanted to get a good base before adding the caramel color high lights. It is actually much richer in person. I did have to go back to have it toned because work was like 'cuse me?! with the red. Okay, maybe it was bright.

Maybe I am OBSESSED with this little guy but seriously. How darn cute is this?!

Best picture meme of the month. My sister sent this to me because it is totally me. 

Don't forget we are having a good time on Instagram with y 2015 Thankful Challenge! Just use the #ThankfulPics2015 to participate and find some great new accounts to follow!

Happy last weekend before the Holidays go into full swing!

Nov 1, 2015

2015 Thankful Challenge

Happy November! I decided that since every November I see the 30 thankful days challenge that I would run a different sort of 'challenge' on Instagram. I love participating in photo challenges but I always seem to fall behind or I can't get a picture of the days theme. 

This year has brought so many changes and new things that I decided to do a 2015 Thankful Challenge. A little trip down memory lane if you will. I live with my iPhone and most of my memories are captured there. So this November, I am going to pick a photo from any time this year to share on Instagram as something I am thankful for. I hope you will join me in remembering some of the moments from 2015 and share them as your thankful moments. Make sure you follow me on Instagram if you are not already (@justcallmesparkles) & use the hashtag #thankfulpics2015. Don't forget to tag me so I can see all of your precious moments from this year so far that you are thankful for!

Oct 31, 2015

Of Mice & Men

The old saying of 'You never know what you have until you don't have it anymore' is one that is often pinned to the losing of a loved one or perhaps the ending of a relationship. I know that I have personally applied to many of the heart aching break ups in my younger year when I was SURE that I was left for solitude for the rest of my days. Or more favorably, they have no idea what they lost when they broke up with me. I have not given too much thought to this quote in recent years because I always foolishly apply it to a relationship lose. Yet, I find myself today thinking, "I sure do miss working with men'.  Let me paint for you the full picture.

I hobble down to my co-workers office today to try to catch up on the two days that I have missed (more on that later). Of course, I don't find her, so I sit and wait because the 25 steps between our offices is just too much to bear right now. I make myself comfortable, take out my cell and pop open Instagram. I am adoring someones fierce eye-liner wing when I see it - the flash of a shadow? What the heck was that? Am I seeing things? Oh crap did I take two of those pills this morning on accident? I race through the questions in my head in about 2 seconds and cannot come to a conclusion for any of them. I realize quickly I am not wearing my glasses (oops) and it was probably just my eyes adjusting to the light in the room so back to Instagram I go. Wait, there it was again. I put my phone down and stare where I have seen this 'shadow' for a few seconds. I am pretty sure I am losing my mind and then, there it is. This flash, this shadow, is nothing more than a mouse. A MOUSE!!! My first instinct is to get up and book it. However, the boot on my foot is going to make that next to impossible. The mouse looks at me and then the open door. It is a quick stare down before I get up and decide I am making it to the door before this vermin is. The mouse quickly retreats under the couch and I make it to the door and slam it behind me. This door slamming, especially from me, has people emerge from their office. I quickly go through the moments prior events and everyone automatically pick up their feet in their chairs and closes their doors. We do have a security man outside so we called him in. In true 'The Green Mile' fashion the mouse is no where in the office to be found. 

We now have an office pet, Mr. Jingles Houdini. 

You see, working in a school with all females we have no strapping man to call for in an instant to help us with this problem. We have no balance to the spike of estrogen to replace that ICK's and the EWW's with a stable, 'it will be fine, I'll find it'. We are left here to fiend for ourselves, to excavate this mouse out of my co-workers territory. We have no shovels, no traps, no cheese. In my former schools, I would have left the office and my male counterparts would have taken care of this issue without the blink of an eye. Within an hour we would be back to usual. But as typical females, we have to talk about it. How did it get in? Where is it living? Does it have babies? Will it bite someone? What if there are more? I mean usually, I am all sorts of women power but dang it, today, we needed a man or even better, men, to deal with this. Who has the time to wait for pest control to get here? I understand that this post may seem as though we only need men to be the force that deals with the unwanted or the icky, and largely, that is true. Yet, I do miss getting things from a guys perspective and hearing how they see certain situations. Also, there is a lot less talking with males. I've learned they think we females talk too much. They were right. Females have to talk about everything. Replay everything 48 times, and continue to discuss things even after resolve has been reached. A co-worker of mine used to say 'It is just too much talking'. He was right. Males are the balance to us, we do need them. 

So today,like many other days, I miss working with guys. 

As of publication, Mr. Jingles Houdini is still at large. 

Oct 24, 2015

Fall About Me & Favs

'Scuse me while I slide this post on in. Life has definitely gotten the better of me this month and since we are already almost hitting the Halloween button on October (!!!!!) I figured I would get in on a little of the favorites/ Fall about me action to hopefully get back in some sort of groove.

So I found Lauren's post from Life With Lolo and thought it was super cute and of course fall appropriate soI figured I would get in on the fall wagon. So lets get to it:

Favorite candle scent:  How funny that we just bought all of the fall scents last night at Bath and Body works. My absolutely favorite is sweater weather. I have been stalking BBW like a legit psycho for the last month and they FINALLY got it in. #Desertlifeproblems.

Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate: Yes, Yes, and Yes. I'm sorry what is the question? I Love coffee all day, err day. and I love a mid-day tea. I haven't had any hot chocolate yet because it just isn't cold enough but you can bet I will be visiting a favorite, Nutella Hot Chocolate, from last fall/winter soon.

Best Fall Memory: There are so many because this is definitely my favorite time of the year. Some that stand out are going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando and Hallo-Scream last year at Busch Gardens in Tampa. Let us not forget the Haunted Corn Maze and Haunted Hay Rides in Newberry, FL with our sister and brother-in-law. Scary for sure but so much fun!!

Best fragrance for Fall: I've never really been one to designate fragrances for a time of year really. I just like body sprays in general so I can also be found mixing my VS sprays year round.

Favorite Thanksgiving Food: All of it. Everything. If you have been following for some time you know my Abu Dhabi journey started last year on Thanksgiving so I was without turkey, pie, mashed potatoes, etc. So this year, it is so on as we are going home for Thanksgiving!!

Favorite Type of Pie: Pecan. See above as I will be making that accommodation to eat as much as I can shovel in my face.

What is the Autumn weather like where you live?: um.. its 95 degrees still. I don't think Abu Dhabi got the 'Autum weather' memo. But it is a vast difference from 115 degrees!

What make up trend do you prefer for Fall? I really wish I could get into the dark lips but I think it looks terrible on me. I can can down with the burnt orange, dark browns, with some shimmer for the eyes look. I just pair it with a muted lip because I feel like I look like a clown with anything dark.

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? Depends on the day. But I had my first one the other day while wandering the mall and it was so worth it. Even if it was 100 degrees outside.

Fall TV Show: I wouldn't even know what shows are classified as Fall TV...

Boots or Uggs?: Neither of which are conducive to my environment.

Halloween, yay or nay?: Um, that is a Hell Yeah! I love Halloween. It is the kick off to a wonderful time of year.

Fall mornings or evenings?: I prefer evenings  because that means bonfires. I miss bonfires.

Your thoughts on Black Friday: It cannot come quick enough!! I really enjoy Black Friday because I usually go with my sisters. Last year was the first year I didn't get to go which was a big bummer. I know many people think that Black Friday is a terrible thing because people have to work and be away from their family from Thanksgiving eve until the following day. Well humor me and think about this: people moan and complain that people have to work but no one complains that men pay football and people have to work the game (refs, ticketing agents, concession stand workers, etc) how is it any different?! It's not. So don't rain on my black Friday parade.

One Fall 2015 trend you are liking: I love the dark lipstick that is coming in with full force this fall. However, it looks terrible on me so I just like it on others.

Oct 4, 2015

I Cannot!

Happy Sunday Funday to all my western folks, or as I like to call it Pre-Monday since it basically is my Monday. I am praying that the work gods take it easy on me this week because the last few weeks have been emotionally challenging and draining. I thought ending a school year was rough. Heck, I'll close a school every single week compared to opening. The movement of kids, the changing of schedules, gaining teachers, losing teachers. It is has just been a whirlwind of chaos that I feel like I have not gained my footing in.  I hope that I am wrong and things are going to begin to simmer rather than the rolling boil soon. Like last week soon. Granted, I have never opened a school here so the process is completely foreign anyways so that just adds to my confusion. I absolutely hate feeling useless at work. I believe that I am a fairly competent person and I can usually hit the ground running with work task. I feel like I've just hit the ground over and over and over again. But if it was easy, everyone would do it right?

I found this chart on my of my many Instagram brain breaks and I thought it summed my last few weeks up so perfectly that I am planning on printing and framing it.  If I was a Kindergartner I would be sitting in timeout rather than playing during recess because I would have been on orange or red the last few weeks.

I'll admit it, I haven't been super pleasant at work or probably at home. Sorry for what I said as I changed the schedule for the 13th time in 5 weeks. I promise I'll try harder at happy.

I can't even.

Sep 30, 2015

Cheap Sun Glasses ..Oh yeah!

Happy Fall, y'all! Oh wait, it is still over 100 degrees everyday here so Fall is definitely on my back burner, as are pumpkin spice lattes, until I get a hint of cool air. So lucky for me I am not in the mood to write a post about scarves, furry boots or hoodies. I wanna talk accessories. Sunglasses to be exact. I have been known to hoard sunglasses. I can't help myself. I can usually be found toting at least three pairs in my purse and probably an extra two pair in the car just in case. The sunglasses have to fit right, look right and suit the outfit and the mood. For me, they used to just be a hair accessory but since my move to the land of the unforgiving sun I have stepped up my sunglass game. Let's all give a welcome to my newest obsession,

GlassesShop not only offer stylish and cheap sunglasses but they also offer a great selection of prescription eyeglasses! Now for me, this site is a dream come true to satisfy the inner accessory queen that I have. What is even better is anyone can participate in the First Pair Free campaign that is running. If you are a new customer, you can hit up the site and pick out your first pair of either sunglasses or eyeglasses for free. The only charge you have is shipping and handling!

Here are the sunglasses that I am loving from

My review of my sunglasses is I definitely need to get a few more pair because they are extremely durable, much heavier weight than I anticipated and they block out the sun to protect my super sensitive eyes. I find that they are comfortable on my face and have no annoying glare on the lenses which is definitely a deal breaker for me when it comes to sunglasses. I highly recommend my readers to check out the to pick a style that suits you. How about using my handy, dandy coupon code GSHOT50 on your order that will get you 50% off your order of sunglasses and eyeglasses with free lenses (sales frames excluded).

Sep 20, 2015

Guilty Pleasures

Blog-tember day 20 Guilty Pleasures.

The things that we love secretly but usually bring judgement from other people. I know that I have several that definitely make me seem materialistic but hey, it is a guilty pleasure. #JudgemeIDC

++Purses. I love them all, Big name, no names. All of them. I need them all. Not that I can carry more than one but that is completely not the point of purses.
++Sunglasses. Obsessed with them, even more so now that I am living with this unforgivable Abu Dhabi sun. Brand doesn't matter as long as they are cute, comfortable and keep the sun out of my peepers.
++i-anything. I am a proud Apple fan. I love all of the gadget that they come out with. ++Tervis Tumblers. Best cups in the world. I have a good collection going here since I left almost all of mine in my storage back home.
++Reality T.V. I know it is pointless and mindless but really there isn't much other reason to watch T.V. at least that is how I justify it.
++Haribo Gummy bears. Enough said. I can eat them by the bags.
++Pens. I would be a big fat liar if I didn't put it on here. I love writing pens. I used to have boxes of them but not anymore. Allegedly..
++Make up. Eyeshadows in particular. MAC is my preference because I love the pigmentation. Although I really like it all.
++Coffee. I miss regular coffee as we have instant and nescafe but I will make due. I also have only been to Starbucks a handful of times since moving here because they are not as convenient. I can drink coffee all day, every day. No matter the temperature.
++Brunches. Abu Dhabi brunches in particular. There is nothing like them.

Brave Love Blog

Sep 17, 2015

Make-up Obsessions for September

As I mentioned earlier this week in my mood board post, the make up obsession is back and in full force. I was so happy to go home over the summer to buy all the hot and now make up that I see my favorites on YouTube talking about at reasonable prices. Yes, I can buy almost every piece of make up here in Abu Dhabi but the prices are outrageous. So imagine my excitement, and my debit cards hatred, of my almost month home with my girls Sephora and Ulta. These are my current loves and I highly recommend them to my fellow make up fans.

+++The Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette. Not only are the colors beautiful and a nice mix of shimmer and matte, but the smell = HEAVEN!! I can't wear make up that smells funky so the bonus of this palette smelling like chocolate is a definite win.

+++Tartelette eye shadow palette. I am normally not a palette girl but I am loving the colors in this palette for a quick, fresh face that keeps getting ready to go and quick. I do like that it has all complementary colors so it will be great for travel. 

+++Two-Faced 'Born this way' foundation. I cannot praise this foundation enough. The coverage is semi-full coverage but feels light so you don't feel all cake face. It has a dewey finish which is great for me since I have dry skin and I live in an unforgiving environment. I love the finish because it makes my skin look absolutely flawless. Go buy this foundation. 

+++Bare Minerals 'Loud & Clear Lip Shear' in Amped Pink. My lips hate all lip color. I found this one in Ulta and I decided that I would give it a whirl. I am so glad that I tried it because I love it! My lips are handling the lip color well and I am loving the color. It is just like a clear coat on my lips that isn't gooey (HATE!!) and it gives just a hint of natural pink color. It also has a really nice scent.

+++Benefits 'Gimme Brow' gel. I don't know how to really do my eyebrows because I get them waxed/threaded maybe twice a year since they don't grow much. This gel was a nice find to help keep the shape of my brows without the crazy filling-in trend. The thick, super-filled in brows are not for me but I needed something to keep them in shape. This does a nice job and is virtually fool proof. 

+++Last, but never least, Beccas 'Champagne Pop' highlighter by Jaclyn Hill. This will totally not be a fangirl review (I LOVE Jaclyn Hill!!!) but this highlighter is the business. I stalked Sephora when I went home over the summer and made a special trip when the delivery came to the store. My Sephora here in AD doesn't carry Becca (the horror!!) so I knew I had to grab this while I was home. I may have bought two. This highlighter is creamy, goes on smooth, and has little to zero fall out. It makes you look extremely sun-kissed and catches the light beautifully. I can't recommend it enough!

I'll be reviewing some new products over the next few weeks and I'd love to know what products you are loving. Clearly, I need more make up to try! Make sure to comment with your must haves.

Sep 16, 2015

Online me vs. Real Life me

I love to blog. I love to write and document my life and the fun stuff I get to experience. Yet, with my job I do have to censor myself a good amount with what I post and share. It is funny that this post is in the Blog-tember line up because I honestly think about this quite a bit when I am blogging or even posting on social media. A sad reminder of why I have to watch myself online so much was last year. Someone I work with printed my blog and gave it to a co-worker in an effort to get me in trouble. For what, I am not sure since it was about trips, and just general things I had been doing like shopping. I am unsure why this was done because my writing is pretty low key but it definitely made me rethink the online me versus the real life me. I am smart enough to never write names or give specifics when posting and this blog is about no one but me in all reality. I mean, lets get real. I live in a country where online slander is a huge no no, as in illegal (as is printing out peoples blogs or pictures and using them for defamation purposes) so you just use your head. As my mom used to always tell me, if you don't want people to know it, don't write it. So everything here is information I am comfortable sharing.

So the on-line me I guess is a good amount more reserved. I take care with what I write and what content I use. The real life, face to face Mistie is much more upfront, direct, no fluff, and sometimes a little harsh. I believe in being a straight shooter and not pretending that I like certain things or people. If I don't care for you, that is it. I am not going to be fake or go out of my way to interact with people that I don't prefer. That is just me. I learned a long time ago that I don't need to waste time on people that I don't want in my circle. That is just who I am.

Of course, online I don't have to worry about being around people I don't care for because it is a virtual interaction. I definitely voice my opinions when I want but I am more careful of the wordage I use. Tone is funny thing on the internet so I recognize you do have to be mindful of that. I guess online I definitely pick my words much more carefully and I am able to retract what I 'say' if I give myself the second thought of 'oh that sounded bad' or it might come off wrong. In person no one has that luxury.

I guess you could say I am similar both in real life and on line I am just able to catch myself online when I am articulating thoughts. Whereas in person, sometimes I forget my filter.

Brave Love Blog

Sep 14, 2015

I need another weekend

Well another weekend has come and gone. Although my work week technically started yesterday, I play along and wait until Monday because most of my friends are on the Monday-friday grind. This past weekend we didn't do a great deal but we also didn't just hang around the house, which is a first within the last three weeks. Point blank, I have been tired and lazy, and tired.

Thursday I couldn't get out of work fast enough. I am never like that so I knew it had been a long week. My hubby had the ride because the dogs were at the vet getting neutered (they still love me) so we headed to pick them up. They were not happy and they were donning the cone of shame AKA the leg slicer 3000.

He is pathetic, I know.  Weezy wasn't having one single picture taken of him so you only get pathetic Princeton.

On the way home from the vet, I got the email I had been dreading telling us that we can renew our fabulous apartment for the bargain price of AED 50,000 more than our previous lease. 
Yes, I knew that a rent increase was coming. Yes, I knew that it would probably be a little bit more than the usual 3-5% but damn! I was being overly optimistic that it wouldn't happen. So that was the topping of a craptastic week. Normally this wouldn't be a huge big deal (other than moving sucks) but our lease ends on December 29, paperwork takes forever, and oh, did I mention we are scheduled to be out of the country?! Arg.... So all this fun lead to us trying out a new Moscato and it was amazing. Or the week had been really long. Or it was just amazing. I finished about 3/4 of this glass and completely fell asleep. How sad. 

Friday we decided to drive around to get a feel for different areas outside of our extremely westernized apartment complex. It is way outside the comfort zone but I think that if the negotiations don't work out with the property management company it will be for the best. The villas are huge and they offer private yards and some even have private pools. Here are a few of the beauties we looked at, attempted to find or drove past. 


I guess it could be worse, right? 

So in our adventures, we 'had' to go by Starbucks and I was kind of surprised that the PSL has made its way to AD. However, who can even think of drinking this at a balmy 105 degrees? I am waiting until I get a hint of a chill. It may be November. 

Saturday we held to hanging out on the couch for the most part. Lots of TV and movies to wind out the weekend. A friends called to meet for dinner and we tried out a new place that is pretty close to the house, Stars and Bars. Seeing as it was September 11 I figured it was quite the appropriate venue. 

The food was excellent! It was a true taste of home and I am a fan of 'bar' food like nachos, wings, potato skins, etc. I ended up having a Philly and it was out of this world good! The ambiance of he place is nice. Our table was a football table with glass over the top that is a playable which was a hit. They have billiards and lots of TV's to watch sports. They are also holding down a pretty large bar that serves alcohol. I know many people think 'Duh, of course it serves alcohol' but not many bars serve alcohol here. They serve mocktails which are quite deceiving as they always look like the real thing. I am looking forward to heading back to Stars and Bars when we are sans kiddos and I am in the actual mood to hang out and enjoy the place. At about 8:30 the atmosphere completely changed and went from family restaurant to sloppy bar with girls stumbling around that had consumed way too much and had on way too little. I forgot how much I dislike this scene since moving here. It is ironic how desensitized you are to certain things when around it all the time and now its almost hyper-sensitive. I couldn't get out of there quick enough!!

I do love the area of the Viceroy hotel during the day and at night. It is beautiful and so different than anything else I've ever seen. So another lovely weekend comes to a close; I can only hope that this week shows some mercy!

Bella And The City