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Jul 23, 2016

When the weary need to rest

Do we ever just rest? I'm talking about an all out, unplug from the world- no cell phones, no computers, no internet, no TV - and just give ourselves a mental break with nothing simmering? Well, I don't think I am one to talk about getting a mental break because I feel like even in the downtime of summer I am always doing something or planning for something coming up.

I looked forward to summer because I wanted to get back into blogging and now vlogging. I have started up my YouTube channel and let me tell you, it is NOT for the faint of heart. It is more work that I ever imagined. You think it is just setting up a camera and pressing record at first. I know that is what I thought and of course some minimal editing. Certainly, you don't want to put out a video that is dark, gloomy, or the sound is bad. Being a bit of a perfectionist has only amplified this challenge because it is extremely tedious to get these videos to look and feel how I want them to. It is definitely a first world problem to only worry about my YouTube channel - that is a hobby mind you - but what happens when I go back to work? I don't want it to fall by the wayside because I enjoy the outlet. I am trying to get more organized and plan out what I want to film and when. I am hoping it doesn't go down the same street as blogging...

Yet, in this downtime, I also brought a laptop bag full of work to do for the upcoming school year. Why do educators do this to ourselves? We spend countless hours within the school house for 10.5 months. Do we not deserve the time to not worry about the upcoming year, new legislative agendas, class list, how we will do the best that we can to ensure that our students get everything that they need? Yes, we do. We NEED the downtime to reset and refresh. I pass the bag on the stairs at least 10 times a day. I have not touched it but it sits there as a sneaky reminder that it is coming - fast. I have done a pretty stellar job of avoiding the work inside; I know it is there and a reminder that I really don't have a lot of time to slack off. Even though I am not physically working my mind jumps to that bag and its contents to start planning for which classrooms teachers will get, who should teach this class or that class, etc. So in essence I mentally open that bag ever time I pass it on the stairs. I may or may not have found myself rolling my eyes at this bag.

In the recent chaos of the world, I am finding it is so important to be good to yourself and to allow yourself some 'rest time'.  That precious time to unplug but it has to be more of a diligent effort with all of the social media pulls. To help me,  I have taken all of the notifications off my phone social media channels so I don't hear a ding, chime, bird chirp every five seconds. It becomes consuming and also a bit addictive. Make sure you take some time for yourself and do something you truly love to do. In the meantime, I am going to find a closet for this laptop bag ;)

Jul 22, 2016

I've gone and done it - New YT Channel!!!

My favorite 'things' this week:
1. The urge to blog again
2. Traveling home is coming soon
3. Summer Break!
4. New creative outlet - my New YT Channel :)

I think it is funny how months can go by and then all of a sudden I get the urge to blog. I guess that is because I don't feel like I absolutely, must do this at all times. I guess not working might also have something to do with that since we are in the midst of a glorious, humid, deathly hot summer here in the UAE. Yep, that little thing called down time might have something to do with my recent creative juice overload. I love summer - I'd love summer more if we were traveling but I am actually really content with being home and enjoying our space. Traveling is such an adventure but there is nothing more annoying than needing the proverbial vacation from the vacation.

I have not been back to the U.S. in 8 months. There are parts of me that terribly miss home yet there are parts of me that don't even give it a second thought sometimes. Of course, my #1 is family. Watching my nephew grow up from 9,000 miles away is hard. It is really hard, actually. His 1st birthday is rapidly approaching and I know I won't be there. Piece of shit, party of 1...your table is now available! Luckily, we WILL be making it home for Christmas this year. My first Christmas in 2 years... is it bad that I can only think about the sausage, gravy, and biscuits that I will completely stuff myself with on Christmas morning? Aside from obviously the cutest nephew in the world, I miss my mom and dad and of course my sisters. Lots of situations have happened that I really felt like I needed to be there for but I wasn't. The guilt of moving overseas sometimes is heavy - too heavy for most to understand unless you do it and experience it. Yet, I am lucky that I get the advances of technology to help. Snapchat is the real MVP because it really helps on days when I feel like I miss so damn much.  I do love a good Snapchat story. So the moral of this tangent is I am 1,000% looking forward to visiting home after being away for over a year.

Life here in the UAE has been great - ungodly hot - but on the up and up. Of course, with summer time break all life is good since I am off the grind for about 8 weeks. My night owl tendencies have come back into full effect and I am really okay with it since it has been well above 100 everyday so we stay up super late and wake up pretty late as well. No use in getting up way early when you can't leave the house. There is minimal relief at night but it is nice to be able to hit the mall late (they are open until midnight) and not have to be in the direct blazing sun.

I've also (FINALLY) started a YouTube Channel for beauty. I have wanted to do it for such a long time. I love make up and everything make up related; I always have now that I think back. I have honestly just been to self-conscious because after being a stalker of my favorite Beauty guru's channels, I know that the YouTube beauty community can be a tank full of sharks ready to strike at any time pointing out flaws, giving crappy criticism, and just being plan out mean. Yet, I really want to explore this interest/talent/obsession and see what happens. Right now, I am all about making the videos for me and perfecting things. I know they are not the best thing in the entire world but I think I am doing okay for teaching myself. Plus, it makes me happy. An additional plus - I get to buy makeup, lots of it. So I am finding my stride and gaining confidence in being in front of the camera more and more. It definitely gets easier as you practice. I have also had a few really good friends, who are already on YouTube, give pointers, advice, and serve as sounding boards which I appreciate! I will link my channel down below and feel free to check it out. I think I am going to develop a place here on the blog to mesh everything together but keeping this as a personal place with a side of make up. You can find my YT stuff here:

JCMS Beauty YouTube Channel
Instagram: JCMSBeauty

So I kept the JCMS branding because I really feel like it is me. I did want a clear delineation between the two so I just added Beauty so my follower on Instagram (a lot are male) would have a choice to follow my personal or my beauty account. Feel free to check out my first few videos, subscribe if you dig it, if not - no judgement here.

Happy summer - stay cool.

Apr 25, 2016

I'd title this 'Weekending' but...

I guess it is a bit difficult to categorize this post as 'weekending' when really its more like 'in the last month and a half' plus my weekend was a bit on the lack luster side of the coin. A lot of things going on and keeping me busy but I figured since I have plenty of time right now I might as well get back to writing a bit.

So what is new? Well, I can't say a whole heck of a lot. We had Spring Break here in the UAE a few weeks ago and I cannot even explain how much that break was needed. I would usually say it was desperately needed but that does not even touch the emphasis that is required. This spring break, unlike last year when we jetting off to Thailand, we decided to stay home. Not necessarily a staycation but more of a we really don't need to go and spend a lot of cash. We had a really busy, see also: expensive, last few months so we are trying to get back in shape financially. Yes, before I hear everyone start with the 'but you make so much more' hear me out. Surprisingly enough, like the USA, money here does not grow on trees and it almost feels like it is spent before it pings into the bank account. A state of the finances check was humbling as we were beginning to fall into the expat way of life and eat out too much, spend money on things that we will just have to sell when we leave, and this goes against everything that we are here for. So it was time to get it all in line.

So to our staycation, we really didn't do much over the Spring Break because your girl has just been exhausted. We did get to check out Kite Beach in Dubai and it was really beautiful.

The Burj Al Arab from Kite Beach at sunset in Dubai, UAE. This is by far my most favorite picture I've taken.

I am not a beach girl; I don't like the sand or the water but I really enjoyed our walk down the cushioned walkway of the beach. Yes, cushioned. #BecauseDubai

On the cushioned walk way with the Burj Al Arab in the far background

We were able to eat at a little place called SALT which I found on Instagram and I've been wanting to try it out. Social media here in the UAE really does lend it self to attracting a lot of business for small places such as this. They now have at least two locations and they were packed! It is a burger and fry place on the beach. Pretty clever.

The JalapeƱo fries = Excellent 

After we ate, we settled in for the sunset and in true Middle East fashion, the sunset never disappoints. The colors are nothing short of magical. 

*I know this pic is extra dark and not good light but I like it

*insert heart-eyed emoji here

I just can't get over the colors. And these photos are not color enhanced in any way!

Aside from amazing sunsets, work has been cray but in a good way. I finally feel like I have a clue of what is going on and what should be going on since I lived this part of the year last year. We are sprinting towards the finish line with our school year since our grade 12 girls begin exams soon, then Ramadan starts, then grade 10 and 11 exams begin and then we are finished. We also go to reduced hours during Ramadan. I ain't mad.

Currently my hubs is back in the good ole U.S of A with his family. It is really different being here alone again. I will admit I love the quiet and I like being by myself but for small amounts of hours at a time. This is a 6 week stretch! When I first arrived I was solo for roughly the same amount of time. This time is so much better because I have the dog pound, currently known as #TeamAHole, with me. They have affectionately been dubbed #TeamAhole because they have been just that. Vera is having a hard time understanding where her human is, they bark down the hall (freaks me the hell out) and they just generally do jerk off things. The worst is on the weekends. I am so used to having hubs here to take them out so I can sort of sleep in but I am hopeful we will get passed 6:30am this weekend. They are lucky they're cute.

So that is what is going on over in my little corner of the world. Just me and my Netflix/Hulu....and, of course, #TeamAHole


Feb 28, 2016

Writing what matters

Here we are and the blog has fallen silent. I have toyed with the idea of just throwing the towel in and not writing anymore because honestly, I am just not that interesting. I know that I do have some fun things that happen in my life but I don't find my life particularly exciting, or more interesting than others. Let's be real for a second, you have to write things that matter for people to read. Who the hell cares what I am writing about? Do I really have anything to say or am I just rambling over here? My original blog said that this was the mindless ramblings of a 30-something so I guess I did give a warning. I have since removed that caution statement in lieu of a "cutesy" blog design so I guess any new readers could be blindsided by my sometimes (all the time) off the wall and directionless writing.  I am at a crossroads with the blog...

I think that I am going to keep going and not just abandon it entirely. I had to go back to the beginning of why I originally started; I did so to keep a journal of sorts so I had my life somewhere so when I am old and gray, or older and reddish-brown as of late, that I could remember some of the things in my life. The fun, the quirky, the sad, the anxieties, the joys, the sorrows, and all the little pieces in between. I have read on multiple blogs that you have to write what matters, what is important. I have to ask, what is important to whom? What matters to whom? I think I have been hard on myself for no reason. I like glitter, I like posting my favorite things on Friday, I love posting pictures of travel and my favorite make ups. That is what I like and what is important to me. I like to connect with people who are like minded and that I have a similar interest in things that I enjoy. So that is why that while it might not be the best blog, it might not win awards or show up in the top feeds of Bloglovin, but it is mine. I may go months without updating - we all know I am good for that. Yet I am happy to say this will always be my place.  I am definitely not a quitter and besides, my blog design is just too cute to leave behind.