While in Dubai this past weekend, we stoped into Magnolia's Bakery (yes, THE Magnolia Bakery as in the NYC chain) in the Bloomingdales at the Dubai Mall. Holy Cupcake, I was in HEAVEN. Seriously. Maybe it is because my life has been devoid of quality baked goods containing *real* vanilla since relocating to Qatar or maybe it is because I am a chocolate fiend, but let me tell you this cupcake I had was good. REAL.GOOD. It was a melt-in-your-mouth convergence of moist cakey goodness and creamy dark chocolate decadence. A true cupcake-gasm if you will.
That single cupcake has left me dreaming of cupcakes all week long. I've become obsessed and drooling at my computer desk at pictures of all the cupcakes I can't have. I have started to secretly make plans in my head to turn my kitchen into a cupcake factory so that I can have these delicious treats all the time.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to smuggle some vanilla extract over here...
Living overseas in a Middle Eastern country is quite a unique(said with heavy undertones) experience. In the spirit of sharing my unique experience I have created a "KP's Awesomely Under-Appreciated Things List"(AKA "KP's Bitch List") for you all to enjoy!
Being able to wear tanktops and skirts/dresses with hems that are above the knee
SNOW & skiing
THREE.DAY.WEEKENDSevery weekend - the work schedule on my last job was AWESOME
Roads without roundabouts - seriously, three to four lane roundabouts with traffic lights in them..WTF were they thinking?!
Being able to buy VANILLA EXTRACT so that I can bake - Vanilla Essence (aka imitation vanilla) blows! Oh, extract is banned because it is made with Vodka, FYI
Having more than 2 places in an entire city that are safe to run & being able to run outdoors without dying of heat stroke
Tampax Pearls - just being able to buy tampons in general, they are wicked hard to find here
ALCOHOL. Being able to get it in restuarants that are NOT at a hotel, at the grocery store, and at the liquor store without needing a LICENSE to buy it!
NY Pizza & NJ Bagels - mmmmmmHeaven
Being able to get a straight answer from ANYBODY
Blissfull silence at 4am - opposed to "Call to Prayer" being blasted over loud speaker
Stores being open 24 hours and on Friday mornings and not being closed from 12-4:30 on weekdays
American over-the-counter cold & illness products
Internet that works ALL.THE.TIME
I think that is all for now. Maybe I can turn this into one of those Late-Nite show top 10 lists...paging Conan, I have a new job for you!
This past weekend I escaped with a girlfriend to Dubai for a weekend of marathon shopping, decadent dining, & cocktail consuming. In short, it was fabulous. Although I must be honest and say that shopping is not always fun & can be hard work especially since I was headed to Dubai with a mission:
Find the quintessential, perfect Little Black Dress.
You know what I am talking about ladies; not just any black dress, but "The ONE." Let me educate for a hot second...In life I believe there are three "The Ones"; your future spouse, your wedding dress (also known as "THE Dress"), and your little black dress. The LBD is a woman's secret weapon. Whenever there is an impromtu event it is her saving grace. Or an event where she is unsure of the appropriate attire to don, her LBD is the solution. It is the perfect "suit" for that work-related social function. Ladies night out, date-night, get-a-date night, and all those other nights in between; the LBD is a gals-go-to, no fail, "I look f*cking fabulous" dress. The PERFECT LBD hugs every single one of your curves in ALL the right places and hides your every flaw. It's like photoshop, but in a dress. Yes, that is the I what I set out to Dubai in seach of.
So off we went to the largest mall in the world with our best gamefaces on. (Side note - my girlfriend was on the hunt for "the Shoe" aka her wedding shoes..but that is another story) In our quest no brand or designer was left un-turned; from Prada to Valentino, Zara to BCBG, Banana Repbulic to Forever 21. If a store had a LBD, you best believe I tried it. I wanted to be Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany's but alas it seemed like too tall an order.
By the time it was 5pm we had gone into almost every designer, department (and in-between) store they had. WE.WERE.EXHAUSTED. There were several great dresses, but none that were JUST Right. Some did not fit quite right, some were just plain ALL WRONG, others were not timeless enough, and some just did not have that ZA-ZA-ZING. I thought all hope for this trip was lost. That is until we came to one final store. Karen Millen walked into my life for the first time and I could not be happier. Before trying this dress on, we debated on it. We thought it was not Audrey enough or maybe it looked a bit cougar-on-the-prowl. But I decided to try it on anyway. And I am SO glad I did.
It does not look like much from the picture, but that is the beauty of a LBD. I put this baby on and I felt instantly transformed. Like I was Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
Like I could be a sexy, gun-slinging, secret agent. Or a sophisticated-glamazon like Audrey Hepburn. I felt instantly confident, sexy, and fabulous. We had found "THE ONE".
All you folks back in the states have had the good fortune (or displeasure so it seems per many blogs I've been stalking recently) of experiencing "Snowpocalypse 2010". Let me tell you, I am jealous! Snow is an unheard of, never been seen before, fairytale kind of thing to those of us living in the hot hell hole that is the Middle East (edit: actually the weather is flippin LOVELY right now, perfect for poolside lounging..minus the occasional sandstorm). But not to worry... I will be reunited with the white heavenly goodness that is snow in about 2 weeks time. Also, at the same time I will be fullfilling one of my "long-term goals": ski the Alps. In the words of my guilty pleasure hero Perez Hilton... its going to be "amazeballs".
Hopefully it will look something like this when I go:
Chances are I will end up looking something more like this:
But either way, it should be sweet. We are headed to a place called St. Anton in Austria and are staying in this little family run B&B:
Oh man, I am getting snow-fever just thinking about it. Anyway, that is pretty much all of the big news for right now. I have lots of other stuff to re-cap on, but our internet in our accomodations does not quite work and I have been unable to upload recent photos to the internet to share. (Also have not quite been able to call home either because of it.. Hi Mom & Dad!) But I will just give you a quick mini-highlight right now:
Travelled to St. Thomas to celebrate Christmas at my brother's place with the family.
Ran (& completed) the Dubai Marathon on January 22nd in 5 hours and 15 seconds.
Vowed to NEVER run another marathon ever again.
Changed my mind and vowed to run the NYC marathon before I turn 30.
Visited the tallest building in the world, the Burj in Dubai and am headed back there this weekend for a "ladies shopping getaway"
Rode in part of the final stage of Le Tour de Qatar and got the chance to meet a bunch of the pro-cylcists. One of the guys from Team Livestrong (Ben King..also the blog writer for the Teams webpage) was a fellow Hokie!! Go VT.
Finally picked out our "save-the-dates" and got the wheels in motion on that.
Found out my brother and my beautiful sister-in-law are going to have their first baby!!
Promptly decided I am going to be the most awesome aunt ever and I am going to buy that child all sorts of wonderfully LOUD and annoying toys to play with (that is sisterly love right there!)