Image Map

May 23, 2015


I have heard time and time again that life is based mainly on perception. The perception of people, places and situations. It is quite interesting to sit back and think about how the perception of one varies so much when compared to another's perception. If we are living in a world where perception is the most common place reliance to someone, what happens when we assume that everyone sees reality as we do? What happens when we forget that our perception is not always a shared one? I find myself in this conundrum often as my perception versus others perceptions are often very different.

I attribute this to my shift towards a more positive outlook. I do tend to lean more towards the glass being half full, making the most of situations, and maintaining a level of gratefulness while staying humble. This is my perception of how life should be lived; I do not believe, or condone, a life of being miserable or one that is weighted down with cynicism. Yes, I can be a great cynic at times but I try to again relate it to my perception. Do I have bad days? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like I cannot catch a break? Yes. Do I often wonder if I have made the best life decisions? Yep. Yet, I also know that the things that have torn me down, tried to break me, or discourage me from achieving what my mind is set to were all obstacles that I have overcome. Life is not easy. At least I have never claimed that it is but why spend all of my precious time focusing on the negative? Again, my intention is to take the good with the bad, apply what you can use, leave the negative behind and keep moving forward. I also know that sometimes perceptions change. It is like the dreaded first impression that completely flops. We've all been there: walking into a room full of strangers and tripping, looking a complete mess and inevitably running into someone in the store that you would rather die first than them see you with the messy bun, sweats and stained t-shirt being rocked. You've just put that perception out there for people to run with. I ask myself, once I have a perception of someone, something, or some place - do I allow my perception to be changed over time? I am getting better about it. As I grow and learn I understand that sometimes first impressions or perceptions are not reality; sometimes these perceptions are the farthest thing from reality. Yet sometimes people take that first perception and its final. Are our realities not evolving right before our eyes each day? I know mine changes daily and I am thankful for that because that is a new opportunity to grow, to learn, and to experience new things. I think this also comes with my growing level of tolerance and understanding. Or maybe I accept the change of perception easier now.

Of course my 'glass half full' perception of events, things, situations or even people can be off at times. More times than I would like to admit. I am human and unfortunately (mostly for me) I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to all things. I intend on seeing the good prior to the bad. I cannot imagine having a different outlook than what I do.  I have allowed myself to be open to change, disappointment, and even sadness. Most of these things that I have protected myself from for a very long time because none of those things are in my top ten things to experience bucket list; yet, I understand that these are all part of life and to fully live - sometimes there are let downs that we have to experience. There really is so much to be happy and thankful for and I believe for many a change in their perception could change everything. Then I have to take a step back and wonder - is that just my perception or is it a reality?

Whatever the case, I enjoy living a positive, up-lifting, and humble existence. I hope that you do as well.

May 22, 2015

Salmon with Avocado Salsa Recipe

So I don’t do many recipe posts because, duh, I don’t cook. I am lucky enough to have a talented hubs in the kitchen who likes to cook so I don’t have too. I can make a few things here and there but I am no chef. I do miss baking…I could go for some cupcakes. Then I wonder why I am not losing weight like I would like too. See how quickly things go off the track.

Back to my intended topic – food. Specifically a recent dinner. I have been craving salmon for a little while now. That idea has been shot down several times due to the fact that when my husband first got here we bought salmon at the local grocery, cooked it up and my husband found a bone in his. Well in our house that is the best way to get on the banned food list. Certain foods have bones, mostly ones that I eat do not. Gross. So he has said no salmon, no way. Granted it is very fresh, mostly butchered while you wait but the bones are not something we can deal with. Imagine my happiness when we stumbled upon boneless and skinless salmon over the weekend! It is the small things in life, really. 

Well before our shopping adventures, I was skimming Pinterest to see if I could find anything new, exciting, easy, and not one of our go-to recipes. Well this recipe for an avocado salsa salmon popped up. Sold. I love avocado and they are so cheap here that you cannot beat stocking up. I made some modifications to the recipe (which is super simple) and it was a huge hit. Takes about 4 minutes to whip this ‘salsa’ up, so I was already a fan before my husband had the ingredients chopped up. Add this to your menu. No, really. This week. Let me know how you liked it.

2 ripe avocados
1 small lime
1 clove garlic (or garlic powder)
1 small tomato diced
1 tsp. onion powder
S & P to taste.

Hubs sliced the avocado so it would be a little more hearty than just mushing it and having a faux guacamole. Chop or mince the garlic clove then add all the ingredients to the avocado slices and mixed to break up the slices slightly. After it is mixed, squeeze the lime to add just the juice. Mix it up well and chill it.  Serve it on top of your salmon or just on the side, like me, and you’ve got a winner, winner, no more boring salmon dinner. 

May 20, 2015



..I have been missing home.

..I have really wished that we would have raced Nepal up the list for our Spring break trip this year rather than next year. 

..I am been extremely lazy. 

..I have been nursing my ankle, for what seems like the 74th time. I just continue to re-injure it and it is so incredibly frustrating.

..I have done pretty well with controlling sugar in my diet. I make the exception for my coffee in the morning but other than that, I’ve been good about not having obscene amounts of it.

..I have taken a liking to fruit. Lots of fruit. Particularly watermelon because here in the UAE it is out of this world good. 

..I am trying to be better at follow up and follow through. I have a lot of great ideas and then… squirrel! 

..I have been trying to work on not losing my patience with people. Yeah, this one has not been easy but I am managing. 

..I am wishing that I brought more than one tervis tumbler with me. Who can really live with just one?

..I am on a water kick. Drinking lots and lots of water. I can imagine this will continue to increase as the temperatures continue to soar well into the 100’s.  

..I have definitely felt a bit down because while Facebook is great for keeping in touch, it seems so generic sometimes. I definitely feel the strain on many friendships because of the distance. 

..I have been addicted to Netflix. Specifically, Prison Break. So glad I didn’t watch it when it was on T.V. back in 2007. 

..I have also been obsessed with tagging my friends in ridiculousness on Instagram. Have you seen the #deeznutsmovement videos? Go ahead a search that hashtag. Stupid humor. I support that.

..I have been conversing with the ladies I work with in English and they with me in Arabic. It is working out better than I anticipated…I think. I’ve gotta step up the Rosetta Stone game. I did install it, just haven’t opened it. #dontjudgeme

..I am craving a new blog design. I like this one but in true fashion, I think I ‘need’ a new fresh one.

..I've had several great blog ideas and have started many of them but then..yeah, see above about follow through ;-)

What's been going on in your neck of the woods?

May 18, 2015

Silver Linings

Long, long ago...Ok, five months ago, I used to search the internet high and low for blogs, Facebook pages, and anything else that would give me the experience of those who took up the expat life and moved overseas, specially to the U.A.E. I would find a few gems but they always seemed to end abruptly. I would wonder, what is keeping these bloggers from writing, from an occasional post or update? I know now. Life here in the U.A.E. just gets hectic and really exhausting when you are teaching or trying to help run a school. Your downtime is monopolized by naps, sitting in silence, or sometimes wine. A lot of times, wine.

Since returning from our Thailand trip, it seems the last month has been a complete blur. One of my counterparts went on maternity so my work load increased, which I have been thankful for. It really aided in me seeing the big picture at my school. My job here is not like my job was back home. Here my actual purpose varies from day to day. I do not have the in-stone job description like I did back in my former position. While the flexibility in this is anticipated, it can also be hard to adapt to day to day since things change here day to day, literally. In my case hour by hour or minute-to-minute. My days are spent finding teachers to cover other teachers classes that did not come into work for whatever reason. Then the next few hours are consumed begging those teachers to puuu-lease go to cover that class since many refuse. It irks me to no end but I get it somedays. It is the same problem as back home; many people come to work day to day no matter what and they are left to pick up the slack that is left by those who may not attend work regularly for whatever reason. Yes, we have legitimate employees who have very valid reasons to be absent, but then we have some that I raise my eyebrow at and then move along, covering their classes anyway. I have never understand people that just tell their supervisors no or what they will and won't do. I have had that conversation several times and it always gets me the 'Lady, you are crazy' look. That conversation starts with, 'First, you are going to stop telling me what you will and won't do'.  If it is in your job description (such as teaching your assigned classes), then lets save the conversation and get it done. At the beginning and end of each day, I feel for the students. This gives zero consistency to teaching, or zero teaching really. My bottom line is teachers attendance directly impacts students achievement. A new concept? Nope. I am also trying to lead and guide some in my building on how to look at the big picture, a foreign notion, when making decisions that impact multiple facets of the school. It is slow moving but I get my glimmers every now and again. I can see that there is some impact from my work and my constant drilling of this but it is taking time, some very sweet time. Enter the girl with no patience whatsoever and you have a hell of a learning experience.

I will say that the vast majority of my teachers have extended open doors and welcome me into their classrooms, ask for my assistance and ideas, and are extremely receptive to my feedback, suggestions and even constructive criticism. I absolutely love being in their classrooms. I guess I really will always be a teacher at heart.

So while I am slap worn out, tired, and mentally exhausted (not from strenuous activity), I am pressing on here in the Middle East looking for my silver linings where ever I can find them. I am thankful to have made a great snarky pal here so we exchange out of your experiences daily via the trusty Whatsapp because honestly, no one back home would believe some of these things. I tell ya that my book one day will be fantastic. Maybe I will begin writing it soon, inshallah.