Sunday, July 31, 2011

All you need is love......

One project that I have been working on here at Oasis has been to redecorate our guest houses. We have 2 guest houses that just needed a little love and care. A few splashes of paint, some lamps, rugs and a few pieces of furniture would do. One of the guest houses is a fabulous space. It has an upstairs and downstairs (rare here) and a living room on both floors.   Sorry this is just an AFTER. I wish I had the BEFORE.  It's pretty different.

Lots of windows for natural light and a great space for gardens outside. What guest wouldn't want to stay there?  We already had furniture in the house so we just needed to take what we had and make it look good.  Our aim was to make it feel like a home, not a frugal guest house.

This is the upstairs living room. The furniture was originally downstairs but we decided it would be best up.  I love this burnt orange/reddish color.
One of the many bathroom redo's.  I think this house has 5 bathrooms. They love colored bathrooms here. Baby blue, puke pink and tan with flowers.  When one piece of the bathroom breaks, such as the toilet, it's hard to find the right color to replace it so then we end up with 6 different shades of blue in a bathroom. We decided to replace all of the bathrooms with all white --tiles, toilet, sink and tub.  I love a white bathroom.

Trey's photography work is displayed all around the house.

I don't know why, but I love this cabinet for the linen closet.  In these houses, there are no built in closets, so you have to buy them.  This closet up close has a nice texture to it (but a funny smell from the stain).  It filled in a nice empty space well.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Catch me ridin' dirty......

We're off to a friends house tonight so I decided to make a summer 
dessert that I make once every 2 years or so.    

Dirt Pudding

1 (14 ounce) bag Oreo cookies
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding
cups milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter 
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip


  1. Break up cookies, put 1/2 on bottom of preferred dish and save other 1/2 for topping.
  2. Mix pudding and milk together, set aside.
  3. Mix sugar, cream cheese and butter.
  4. Add sugar mixture to pudding; fold in cool whip.
  5. Pour onto cookies, top with remaining cookies.
  6. Let it refrigerate for at least a half hour.
Don't forget the gummy worms!
I need to find a fake flower to put inside the pot.   
I saw a recipe where they put it 
in the back of a toy dump truck.  Next time.

We're going to have a Mexcan Bunco night at our house in late August. 
We're already coming up with crafty ideas. I'll fill you in as we go!
If you have never played Bunco with a group of friends, get yourself
off your tuches (1 point for me--good use of a Yiddish word)
and go buy it.  There's always a reason to have a party and celebrate. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dream, Dream, Dream, Dream.........

It's always been my dream to own an Inn.  Not a Bed and Breakfast, an Inn.
An Inn seems more sophisticated and they tend to come with history and
unique architecture.  A Bed and Breakfast can be a real gamble in my mind.
Again, this is all my own opinion and it's coming from a girl who has not stayed
in very many B & B's or Inn's......but I'm having an Anne of Green Gables moment 
here and I'm sticking to it. 

It will have a patio where you can eat breakfast and gardens where 
I can pick flowers to put in your rooms.

And I'll be sure that you have a writing desk for sending a postcard to your mum and
some type of "wing" chair to sit on.

And you will definitely be served an AMAZING breakfast. I can guarantee that.

And even though this doesn't show it, it will have a big front porch with rocking chairs 
where you'll sit and enjoy your afternoon tea.

You'll continue to hear about "my inn".  I need to come up with a name.  The Dragonfly Inn from Gilmore Girls is pretty great, but I can't steal that.  So I need to get the creative juices flowing......or maybe I need to find an investor first:) I could try to strike oil in my backyard here. 
After all, I live in the Gulf!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The first amendment wasn't written for nothin'.........

Blogging is fun, but reading the comments you leave is even more fun!  Whether you are reading this post through the blog or Facebook, I want to hear your voice.  Holla' at your girl.   I want to know who reads. 

Last night we had some friends over from church.  We made pizza and tried to take artsy pictures of them so that you would think that they tasted really good and maybe it will make you want to fly over here and visit us.  The truth is that it did taste really good.  And I promise that if you come to visit us, I'll make you pizza. You want anchovies and corn?  Fine, I'll make it. But first you have to fly over here.

We made b-b-q chicken, buffalo chicken and veggie. 

And then like all good church friends, we got competitive
and played a bunch of rounds of Pass the Pigs.  That game always makes me laugh and actually I'm not that competitive, I just pretend to be. I rolled my pigs with gusto. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


We love Fridays here. It's a day of rest and gathering for Muslims.  A day where most things are closed until early afternoon.  It's a day where families get together for big Friday afternoon dinners.  It's a day where you can take a long nap.  It's a day that sort of reminds me of Sundays at home.

This past Friday we were invited to lunch with some friends at their house in Dubai.  As we were pulling into their neighborhood, we saw this beautiful mosque.  Note: we see A LOT of mosques here. I mean, we're in a Muslim country.  They're in every neighborhood....or there could be 4 of them.  Sometimes I don't even notice them anymore when we're driving, especially if they're pretty small.

But I noticed this one.  It had a different flare about it. I felt like we stepped into Morocco or some other part of Arabia for a minute when we saw the design of the mosque.

The women don't always get to peak inside especially if it's not a mosque where a lot of tourists go.  It was after the Friday prayer time so it was pretty quiet. I took a quick peak in and saw the sun shining right through the front windows.

Does this picture portray how quiet it was inside?  
It was silent and the carpet is always so comfortable. 
Remember that Friday nap I talked about?  Yeah, well it was calling my name right about then. 

We enjoyed some grilled fish for lunch with our friends.  It is called the Fish of the Sheikhs.  
Since I'm pretty much like a Sheikha, I enjoyed it just like one of the Sheikhs would have.
With my fingers and rice. Then I held it up for the camera. Just like a Sheikh would have.    

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Match made in heaven.....

(That's what they call him here and I like to blend in with the culture, so I call him Terry now, too:)  

On Sunday we celebrated 7 years.  What did we do?  Go to work and then I went to the pool and he went to soccer.  That's how we roll around here.  
Those things keep us sane which keep our marriage happy.  
But we took off today to celebrate by running errands. Isn't that romantic? 
Actually to me it is. Trey doesn't love to run errands especially when it's 1 million degrees outside.
But today he did. We went and picked out fabric so that I can make 2 summer dresses I've had my eye on.  I'll update you on that later this week. 

This kid is always doing things to make me laugh or shake my head.....
but we always have an adventure.  Can't complain that life has been boring.
Who knew I would have lived in 2 separate countries by now...except God.  
 Trey insists that he didn't.  Should I believe him?  His mom warned me
but I didn't take her advice.

Here's to 7 + 7 + 7 + however many more God has for us years of marriage. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tea for two.....

"Perhaps that is the true gift of a teatime celebration: It fills our cups with joy and warmth and friendship. May the echo of the teacups' message be heard not only at Christmas, not only on special occasions, but anytime friends come together."~Emilie Barnes, "A Cozy Christmas Tea"

 On Saturday we hosted an Afternoon Tea for friends.  The art of special occasions such as these seems to have disappeared with the invention of Starbuck's where you run to grab your coffee and eat a pastry that has been sitting in the cabinet for a day. 

  A tea is a good time to act like the lady of all ladies!  Bust out that cute dress, apply the make up, put on a set of pearls and toss on a hat.  

My mom hosts a tea party every fall and she passed along some dainty tea cups along with good ideas on how to host a tea.  A while back my mom and aunt gave me special serving dishes that I could use for an occasion such as this.  We used jams out of a fancy schmancy jam dish, ate chocolate mousse out of antique clear glass dishes and served up scones an old fashioned cake plate.  We combined those things with .25 cent spoons from a local dollar store, hand-me down glasses and a fake lace tablecloth from a local grocery store.....but it all worked!

Preparing for the party, setting the table and making tea sandwiches is just as fun as 
having the party itself.

Who can eat scones without clotted cream and raspberry jam?  I was dreaming about 
this stuff when I went to bed that night--not really but THAT is how good it was.

Since it's about 1 million and 10 degrees here (really only 120F) we thought
welcoming our guests with a glass of iced peach tea was a good idea.  It was.  
They liked it and so did we. 

Our friend Beth has a LARGE collection of books at her home.  
She brought a book along about the Titanic.  She read about tea time on 
the Titanic and the typical menu for First, Second and Third Class on the ship.
 It was the perfect addition to our tea time.

And here are your hostesses.  Beth also has a LARGE collection of hats. 
She was an opera singer so she had all sorts of parties and such to attend.
Boy we had fun going through them and trying on all different styles!
Nothing like a large brimmed hat to wear to a tea.  We were having a 
hard time getting the picture because we kept knocking hats and THAT
is a big NO NO in hat etiquette, apparently. 

We'd love to have you for tea. Just let us know when you're coming. 
We'll prepare the clotted cream and jam.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's my party......

Last week I celebrated 33 years. It was a great day and enjoyed a party at work along with a party in the evening at the home of friends.  Min made 2 great chocolate cakes with espresso icing and my office buddy decorated our office and had everyone put on party hats when I walked into work in the morning.

Our hostess in the evening made this fabulous chicken corn chowder that I love and made it a very special evening.   Our hosts surprised me with some good friends at the party (I thought it was just going to be us) and the table was set so nicely.  It was the perfect way to spend a birthday.  I enjoy being in a home more than going out to a restaurant. 

Also, a friend from Oman brought me silk fabric to make a dress with.  People here will go buy fabric and get their dresses made.  I have to find a design I like and get working on that.  I want to be able to wear it for Eid (the holiday that follows Ramadan) for visiting our local friends.  I'll let you know how it turns out.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


Last week we were in Lebanon for a conference.  We were able to travel around to a few sites in Lebanon and had a great time enjoying good food, friends and the Lebanese lifestyle.

The Lebanese remind me of Italians. They are relaxed in their attitude, love good food and enjoy life.  I think I could live there! 

We went out to the Eastern part of the country to a place called Baalbek. Unbelievable temples that are rather well preserved and huge!

We were on our way back to our hotel from Baalbek through the mountains (ski area) and stopped in this little town for lunch.  It was family owned and the mother of the family (maybe she was 80 years old) was sitting outside enjoying the weather.  She gave us apples from her tree and made us coffee in her house.  We also ate in the restaurant. She was so sweet and I would have loved to sit with her for hours.

 We went to the Hariri mosque and enjoyed shopping in the downtown area of Beirut.

We never saw this before. This is sheesha/argila/hookah (whatever you call it in your country) that was put into a pineapple and watermelon. I never saw that before.  I wonder how it makes the tabacco taste?