Faraya Mzaar, Lebanon, March 2012

I don't think there will be any skiing anytime soon.
Awesome! As they say in Oz! 
This magical place is half an hour away from my parents' place.
All I can think of is: all this snow and Skye is missing it and has never seen it.

busy, busy

Oh my goodness, I'm so busy!
I realize that I haven't had the chance to post anything in ages... but please forgive me! I have a new job, I have very little free time, and I'm getting married in 16 days! Things are happening so fast, and I'm in complete wedding mode right now. My blog has temporarily been put on hold, but I promise that I haven't forgotten about you! Stay tuned... this weekend is my stagette and I'm certain I'll have stories for you!
Love you all, hope that you are having a fantastically awesome beginning of spring!! Yay!

... I'm really excited, if the abundance of exclamation marks didn't already give that away. Oh, and check out my shoes I've got for this weekend. I'd never imagined owning high heels, let alone hot pink ones.

How did I cut that Cake?

A lot of people asked me how I actually managed to cut that cake.
Well, here is your answer and luckily I have a picture too to back it up.
There was no elegant way to cut it basically. Once that ribbon was off, those Kit kat blocks went FLOP!
Everyone laughed. It was just an usual fun cake.

Happy Mother's Day.

Miss you Mum...Hope you have a great day.
To all the mothers out there, happy mother's day.
It is the toughest job on this planet, the least noticeable and yet the most rewarding.
I am going to ask for a raise from my boss first thing in the morning, after I give her her milk.

Skye is Four!!!!

Time flies by....And another birthday! I cannot believe that she is four!
It was a wonderful day in particular because Michael took the day off to spend it with us. So we went to the beach and we saw dolphins maybe 50 meters far from us!

I really think it is wise working with that age group to have birthday parties outside your house, for insurance purposes! My house is still in one piece and I kept it that way by arranging the party outdoors in town. It was so much fun and less stressful.
Skye and I have been working on the decoration and the colourful crafts for days. She wanted an all-the-colours theme birthday party.

The birthday party was a blast. The highlight of the party was the cake. You should have seen the kids' reaction! Once on the table, they could not keep their hands off of it! I have never seen such a funny reaction! Everyone wanted a piece of that cake and noone was willing to wait. They wanted to touch, to smell it, to bath in it. They were shrieking of excitement. Hilarious! I blame the candy and the colours. I am actually quite proud of baking it!
Then at the end, we had a treasure hunt and the parents hid lots of candy and sweets in the garden for them to find.

Skye had a very special day thanks to everyone who made it happen. Thank you for all your kind wishes and your thoughtful gifts.
One of the major hits other than the cake was the tent mommy and daddy bought for her and all the pretty glittery gifts, legos, toys and games she received. Thank you again.

fingerprints and paleo.

Today I logged on and much to my upset, I found I had lost a follower. Oh no! I've been watching that number slowly climb for the past 2 years, and with each new reader I feel motivated to keep blogging. I realize that I've been a bit of a slacker in the posting department lately, so I can't say that I blame that one person who has decided that my blog is no longer of interest. I'm certain that they came here to read about a girl who travels the world and eats delicious food... and lately, that's not me at all.
That said, in light of this loss I feel like I should keep updating my blog for all of you faithful readers who have stuck around, from adventure to boring day to day life. I love you all! You make me happy!
I may not being in the air, but I still have plenty I can entertain you with... like my adventures trying to obtain a police report from Dubai, or my new crazy way of eating, or my attempts at baking in a makeshift kitchen...
Police report, you ask?! What the heck would a sweet innocent girl like me need a police report for? Ahh, the joys of trying to get my airport security pass. One of the requirements for applying for the certificate is to send fingerprints with your application. I called ahead to make sure that this wasn't something that needed an appointment, and was appalled when the voice on the other end asked if I'd been charged with a crime. Oh gosh, no. I can't even jaywalk without a massive guilty conscious. So I got myself ready, switched on the GPS, and drove to Police Headquarters in the heart of downtown. Now let me tell you, I hate driving downtown. The chaos of traffic and pedestrians combined with the outrageous cost of parking makes me stressed before I even reach my destination. I made it, parked my car, paid the $5 and walked in to get fingerprinted. I was there for all of 30 seconds before the lady at the counter informed me that I needed not one, but two pieces of photo identification. When I'd phone ahead I'd been told that I needed to bring ID, but she didn't specify that it was more than just my standard drivers license. I was frustrated and defeated, and now I had to drive all the way back home. Through downtown. This led to a very grumpy girl and a few ranting text messages to my loving fiancé. I returned the next day with 2 pieces of ID in hand, and proceeded to explore the world that is the police station. I got my fingerprints and set out on my way, happy that the ordeal was over.
All of the stress made me want to do one thing, and one thing only... eat. Junk food, of course. Unfortunately, that's a no-no these days as Ryan and I take a stab at eating paleo style. What's that, you ask? You're probably better to Google it if you want to get into the details of the benefits, but summed up, you eat fruits, veggies, nuts... and meat. That's right, no dairy. No wheat or grains. No candy. Basically, we try to eat like the cave men did, before the agricultural revolution came along and brought us a world of gluten and sugar. Why on Earth would somebody attempt something so crazy? It's not as bad as it sounds. Okay, after the first week it's not. The idea had crossed our mind awhile ago, but it wasn't until the diet had rave reviews from a friend of ours that we decided we'd give it a try. She assured us that since switching her way of eating she feels energized and strong through her workouts... which is important to gym junkies like ourselves. I get that people might not agree with this way of eating. You can never please everyone. We do what feels right for us, and so far, this is going well. Eliminating processed foods is something that I've wanted to do for a long, long time.
Of course, I can't just completely give up my comfort foods. I need carbs and sweets and stuff that tastes unhealthy. I need to fill my urge to bake. Don't think that paleo has stopped me... I'm eating pineapple and raspberries like candy, and my newest obsession is banana pancakes. Made entirely of bananas, cinnamon, peanut or almond butter and eggs, they are easier and more delicious than normal pancakes, and I don't feel a teensy bit guilty downing an entire plate of them. Well, minus the fact that peanut butter isn't actually paleo because apparently peanuts are legumes, not nuts. See?! I'm learning so much! My pancakes have been keeping me satisfied, but I felt like baking something to feel like I was indulging. This was a challenge for 2 reasons. First of those being the fact that I had to bake without using sugar, flour, milk or butter. That was fine. I found recipes online that substituted ground almonds for flour, and bananas are sweet enough that banana bread doesn't need any added sugar. I was set. Until challenge number 2.... that being the mess that is currently our kitchen. The people who installed our cabinets screwed up by making them an inch too short, making it impossible for us to fit our dishwasher in the designated spot. Annoying, yes, but we've learnt to live with it. They finally came to fix their mess this week, and now our beautiful granite countertop is on the floor while we wait for our cabinets to be replaced on Monday.
As if having no countertop wasn't enough, we are also currently without a kitchen sink. That gets to be rather inconvenient. Especially when you are too impatient to wait a few days and make a mess while trying to bake and find yourself with a pile of dirty dishes. That's annoying. So what did I do? I hauled them upstairs, put them in the bathtub, and scrubbed away. Sometimes you have to improvise. While I cleaned, my banana bread muffins baked.
They turned out better than I'd expected, which didn't take much... I am rather prone to baking mishaps. Best of all, they are super healthy! Finally.... I can bake, and eat it too!
That's the last week of my life summed up... thrilling, I know! Ryan and I are about to head to Red Deer for the weekend for some time with family and friends, and a wedding shower just for us! Yay! Can you believe that our wedding is in 41 days?! I certainly can't!