Playing With the Camera





Its too hot to take pictures outside! So I've been exploiting random objects around our house. These are some of the new plants I bought last week. I need to make another trip. I'm temporarily filling my need for pets with plants :) Its been a quiet weekend. We had friends over to watch the World Cup last night. We made guacamole and queso and pretended we weren't in Kuwait while we watched USA vs. Ghana. Unfortunately Ghana wanted it more in the end than the US did :(

Mmmm...

ABOVE IMAGE FROM THE PIONEER WOMAN WEBSITE

My friend recently introduced me to The Pioneer Woman and now I'm hooked on her website. She's a Wife, Mom, cook, photographer, teacher, artist and more! Her website is jam packed with fun things to explore. Her most recent post included the mouthwatering picture above and I just had to share! She has her own cookbook and posts amazing photos that she has taken. Hopefully you get hooked too!
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Al Hamra Tower

PHOTO COURTESY OF DESMENA
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The Discovery Channel did a special on the Al Hamra Tower that is being constructed in Kuwait. The building is cool and its interesting to hear the story behind it. The TV special was a full half hour, this is just a segment. Enjoy!

Back to the Plant Souk





I finally have started re-potting some of the plants we bought a couple of months ago, getting them out of the black plastic containers they came in! Before I started I had to make a trip to the plant souk for potting soil.
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Here are some pictures of the plant souk. Its a long strip of plant shops. Most have similiar things, but not all have them at the same prices. I'm still searching for a big pot for the gardenia bush/tree that we bought. One store was going to sell me a big plastic one that looks like a plain terra cotta pot for 44KD (multiply that by 3.5 for US Dollars). Another store was going to sell me the same pot for 4KD. Ridiculous.
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I'm not very good with plants. I'm desperately trying though to keep ours from wilting! I still have not re-potted the gardenia, but I did re-pot our jasmine tree yesterday and made a mess! I severed half of the roots in the process as well. So far the tree seems to be doing ok, but I'm hoping it doesn't go into shock soon!
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I found two more cool little plants that we just had to have while at the plant souk. Pictures of them to come....

Blue







The sky was a little dusty out when I took these, that's why some of the pictures look a little hazy. The tile and the intricate pattern on this building are some of the prettiest I've seen so far. I would love to have something with the laced star pattern, seen in the window screens, to take home with us when we leave. It's a popular pattern, I've seen it in lots of other places.

More Houses











Since it's so hot, we haven't been doing as much exploring lately. I'm sure that will continue to be the case as it gets hotter and hotter. I'm already looking forward to all the things I love about Fall. It definitely won't be the same here as it would be in the States, but cooler weather is exciting anyways.
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Here are some pictures of random homes from around town. As you can see, the styles are all over the place. Not all the houses are as colorful as these, there are lots and lots of blah houses. These are the ones that caught my eye and that I was able to snap a picture of. Please excuse the bad photography, like I've said before, I have to be sneaky with my photos. I unfortunately don't feel comfortable enough to just go strolling around with a camera (plus its too hot!), so as a result most are taken out of a car window! :)
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I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! Miss you & Love you! Wish we were there.

Caffeine Please


I love Starbucks' Chai Latte, but I havne't been able to find it here. There are Starbucks scattered all over the place in Kuwait, and they list the drink on the menu but just don't offer it.
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I was at the mall this morning and was walking around Dean & Deluca. I saw that they had Chai Latte on their menu and was excited that I found somewhere that had it. I ordered it and they gave me steamed milk with an English Breakfast tea bag in it! Haha. I guess I've learned my lesson... don't even try to order it, it won't be right. I'll have to get my Chai Latte fix the next time I'm home.
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I for some reason I thought that I'd find really good tea or coffee here. They don't seem to have as wide of a selection of tea at the grocery as I would expect, and most of the coffee is instant. I'm sure there are little coffee shops that I just don't know about, that have great coffee. I'll have to do some more exploring! For now I'm sticking with dunkindonuts.com :)

Think Cool


It's SO hot!!! Someone told me that yesterday Kuwait was the hottest place on the earth, reaching 122 degrees. At midnight, it was still 113 degrees. 110 is about as low as it gets now. It IS a dry heat, and I know everyone told me it would be but I didn't believe you :). The heat is somewhat bearable for a couple of minutes as long as you're not exerting energy and not in the direct sunlight. Any longer than that though and you're drenched.
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You know when you're cooking and you open the oven to check on your food and that waft of hot air hits your face? That's Kuwait in a nutshell.
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I've started teaching swim lessons on the side here. Its fun to be teaching again and it definitely challenges me in a different way. Luckily the pool is cooled and covered, otherwise it would be unbearable. We spend our days moving from one air conditioned space to another. By August I think we will have melted!

Hotel, Kuwait
















One of the latest endeavors of a certain Italian Fashion Designer is a line of boutique hotels. The first was built in Edinburgh and the second is under construction here in Kuwait. The design is based on the vivid colors used in their fabrics.
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I would love to say I helped with the design of this space, but sadly I cannot. All the design was done outside of Kuwait. I was able to get a glimpse of the inside though before construction was complete, and here are some photos. The cool fringe chandelier idea is unfortunately already being copied elsewhere, but this is where it came from (in Kuwait anyways).
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I love all the colors and the bathrooms are especially cool. It would be so much fun to have a client that wasn't scared of colors like these! :)

Celebrate World Environment Day!

( Put in Bay, Ohio)

June 5th was World Environment Day, so in celebration all things on my blog are "green" today!
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Living more sustainably is very difficult in Kuwait. There is no recycling system and from what I've seen, there isn't much concern over individual's impacts on the environment. I mentioned in a previous blog that they are dumping their garbage into the gulf! :(
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I do what I can with the limited resources I have over here, but it still kills me to throw stuff away that could be recycled! I've started looking into doing my own composting, but haven't taken on the task yet. It kind of grosses me out to be honest, but I know its the right thing to do. If anyone has any composting suggestions (i.e. ways to make it less gross), techniques or words of wisdom, feel free to pass them on!

Graduation!




Tomorrow is my little brother's high school graduation.
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Congratulations!! I'm so proud of you! I really wish we could be there. Enjoy every minute of it!

All About Dates




Dates are a big thing here, and this is the season to harvest them. All over town in people's yards, on the side of the road, almost anywhere, you'll see date palms with bushels of dates hanging in them. Bags are tied around mature bushels so that the fruit can continue to grow and mature without interference from weather and animals. Then, when they're ready, workers come around and pick the bushels. The dates then continue to riped after they're picked and become more concentrated and pruned, like we're ussed to seeing in the store.