38 degrees Celsius.  101 degrees Fahrenheit.  I am in my car, bent over the passenger seat, attempting to enjoy an Egg McMuffin sandwich (made with pretend ham–no pork here in restaurants as the UAE is a Muslim country).   It is quite a challenge.   My cheeks feel like they belong to a squirrel preparing for winter, swollen.  Mine are not filled with nuts, but the intense heat has turned them red and they feel hot and enlarged.  After about 15 minutes, the beads of…Continue Reading “Hiding In My Car: A Ramadan Thing”

I have posted before about my struggles with mental health, and I will continue to do so.  Not so that you can pity me (you shouldn’t, I’m fine), or so that you can give me a hug and sympathize (I would rather pretend I never said anything, lol).   I post about this to contribute to the breaking down of the stigma’s and the feelings of isolation that accompany such things.  I have often heard the following: I never would have thought you struggle with…Continue Reading “My Mental Health Month Confession”

When I say Singapore Math, I do not mean the curriculum/books with this title in the USA.  I mean the actual math that Singaporean students are doing day to day.  I fell in love with many parts of the Singaporean education system while living there from Dec 2013-July 2016.  Because the smell of a bookstore is basically a narcotic to me, I spent a lot of time wandering the stacks of books and picking up mathematics resources and workbooks for my kiddos’ future use, and to use…Continue Reading “Strategies From Singapore: Learn To Do Math Easily With Rectangles”

Temp housing, at least the hotel apartment types I have stayed in, are not very well stocked for intensive food prep–of course, I get it, it is temporary housing. However, if you are in temp housing for 1-2 months, you can’t very well put off eating decently for that long, especially if you are a neurotic mom like me. So, here is a meal plan that requires minimal pots/pans/tools, along with a pack list. It balances healthy-enough eating with sanity preservation, because moving is hard….Continue Reading “Temp Housing Simple Meal Plan”

I am a trailing spouse, because I am the tag-along when my husband accepts a job in another country. I have now moved countries twice. Here are my thoughts on preparation. Expect the process to be extremely emotional. You may find that you start shutting yourself off from your current friends; knowing you will have to say goodbye soon makes it hard to keep being emotionally open. This also makes any goodbye parties really hard. Expect to cry. To see what this process looks like in…Continue Reading “The Complete Trailing Spouse Guide”

Okey dokey, this post is long overdue for those of you who were my lovely customers when I started my skincare business.  :D But here they are!  Recipes.  And links.  Everything you need. Now, I want you to know that every bit of this is customizable.  You can spend hours and hours reading on the Internet about skin care recipes, and everyone who makes stuff has their own personal favorite oils.  Play around.  There are very few rules, the most important of which is to always…Continue Reading “Cheaper and Cheapest: Homemade Skincare Guide”

So yeah, I am basically the little pig below, but dancing to the refrain: fail fail fail fail fail. Because I am failing still, but I continue to feel great about my progress. It’s really weird. Maybe at the end of this year, I will no longer feel so positive, and I will deem the entire effort a big, huge failure, but I doubt it, because even if I only keep up with a few of the cards, it is still better than how I…Continue Reading “Cards 14-18: Fixing Cards 1-13 (Ha.)”

I am crying right now, as I type this. I deeply miss my maternal grandmother. Still. She died 20 years ago, when I was 16. Yet, I barely knew her. To me, she was perfumed hugs, lipstick smudges on my cheeks, coca cola over ice, and strange little toasts in the pantry.  She was gifts at Christmas, cream-colored leather seats in the old-school car, and fur coats.  She was glamour, flashy eighties-style earrings, fabulous wallpaper from various redecorations through the decades, and heels clicking through the…Continue Reading “Living With Loss: The Myth Of Closure”

I am a naughty mommy, according to Kiddo 1. This charge is generally leveled at me when she has received a reasonable consequence after multiple, completely fair warnings. There are some definite ways I suck as a mom (as per the definition I have created in my head as a result of reading too many well-intentioned blogs and Facebook memes).  (Don’t you dare argue with me and tell me I’m a great mom; you aren’t my child, so how would you know?) 1.  I lose…Continue Reading “Cards 10-13: Can I Be A Better Mom?”

Wondering how I updated my wardrobe as I moved from no-dress-code Singapore to the Muslim United Arab Emirates?  Here is the article I wrote for Sassy Mama Dubai about it.   As the song goes, you’ll see many women in Dubai covering their heads, shoulders, knees (and toes?), but this is not required for non-Muslim women – regardless of what many people think before visiting! However, it is respectful to cover your shoulders and knees when going out in public. This doesn’t apply at the beach,…Continue Reading “What To Wear In Dubai”