The year of me; getting healthy, getting strong, feeling great

At some point last year it dawned on me my entire adult life has been dedicated to others in some manner. This hadn’t been an issue or even a topic of conversation while living abroad because I still found time to travel, spend days at the salon, and submerge myself in luxurious comforts anytime I saw fit. Since getting married, starting a business, adopting 20 additional legs, moving to America, and acquiring a variety of livestock that must be fed on a daily basis, ‘me time’ seems to have gotten lost. Don’t get me wrong, I look around at my current life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m genuinely happy beyond measure and fully realize how fortunate I am to be afforded this life. But it doesn’t mean the selfish little girl who has always resided within has moved away. She’s still here and she sometimes screams, “Hey, isn’t it pedicure day?”

Several months ago, before the end of 2014, I made the announcement to my husband; the ‘year of me’ announcement. I simply explained I felt it would be a good idea if all of 2015 was dedicated to me, my well being, and the simple pleasures I truly enjoy in life. Of course my plan was to do this without requiring anyone else to sacrifice and without neglecting my responsibilities. I mean, I am still an adult after all. Perhaps not by choice… but, well. My husband, being the kind understanding guy he is, welcomed the idea with open arms which really translated to, “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about but yeah, sure, OK.” Fortunately I had a pretty strong grasp on my plan and felt comfortable with the idea of investing an entire year to me.

Since January I’ve made a number of positive (in my opinion) changes in my life which not only help to boost my self esteem but also play a role in my overall health. I’ve gone on a very healthy diet, lost a significant amount of weight, incorporated regular exercise into my days, and pay very close attention to what goes into my body, ie. vitamins, proteins, etc. I’ve cut out all sodas (including diet drinks) and only drink water with lemon or green tea with lemon and mint when I’m not downing a protein shake. My energy level has increased so much I find that I don’t even miss coffee/espresso. I’ve also decided since I’m working on the inside I also deserve to work on the outside; self esteem purposes. I accept that I’m aging, it’s part of life. But it doesn’t mean I have to look worn out or diminished in any way. So, I’ve opted for monthly IPL laser treatments, chemical peels, micro-needling, and after the summer I’ll possibly do a bit of fillers and Botox. My goal is simply to be a healthier version of myself, not to alter my current appearance.

More recently I’ve also been viewing a few travel options and contemplating some places I haven’t been yet. But, planning travel always leaves us with the question of pet care — a stressful topic — so for now I’ll postpone lengthy vacations and embrace my mini-staycations.

I’ve also decided this is the year I’ll invest more time into my friends. We often assume our long time (or new) friends will always be there when we need them. But if we’re not doing our part as a friend, then perhaps they won’t be. I like to believe I’m a good friend but there’s always more I could do to maintain those truly important friendships.

Then there’s blogging; a hobby I’ve enjoyed for more than a decade. Sadly, it just doesn’t seem I have the time I once had though sometimes the desire is certainly still there. But, as much as blogging has been a part of my life, it’s changed. The format has changed, the ideas behind it, and even the audience. Blogging was once a form of expression and a way to vent for many of us. Sadly most of those blogs are long since gone and we’re left with pages of paid advertisements or dishonest reviews where the effort invested is directly aligned with the money they were paid to write it. Most bloggers have moved on to Instagram, Snap Chat, and other forms of social media. For me… even those became tedious.

I digress…

I’m so fortunate to have a life which allows me to embrace this ‘year of me’ and a husband who supports it… even if he really has no idea what he’s supporting. But one thing I’ve learned these past few months is that regardless of my adult responsibilities genuinely taking some time to invest in my personal well-being is priceless, and well deserved. Sometimes, in everyone’s life, we tend to focus on the here and now and kinda forget that being a little selfish from time to time isn’t a crime. If anything, it’s often that extra oomph we need to get through some of those hectic days. So yeah, I guess we could say my inner child is the healing power my outer adult has always needed.

The old and the new; self definition within cultural norms

Though we no longer reside full time in Kuwait we certainly make an effort to keep up with the daily happenings there considering we do still have family and other interests there. Let me rephrase that, I keep up with the daily happenings. My husband has almost zero interest in what’s taking place in Kuwait. He’s never really ‘meshed’ with the culture so to speak, he’s often had to pretend certain behaviors and put on the fake smile, and always knew he just didn’t belong in some odd way. In my humble opinion, and in no way trying to offend anyone; I think, over time, he just consciously educated himself beyond what was/is accepted in his culture. He not only thought outside of the box, but he left the box all together.

Perhaps it’s because I’m away from Kuwait more than I’m there I see it through different eyes. But over the past few years it feels as though Kuwait has become divided within itself. There’s the older generation who want to lean more in the direction of big brother Saudi Arabia, and the younger generation who want to follow the lead of the UAE. And if you’re familiar with Saudi and the UAE you’ll understand the stark differences between the two though their foundation of beliefs are the same. Just like the population of Kuwait.

The elders in Kuwait are also divided on some level — the open minded and those with a beard. OK, not nice, but you get the idea.

The open minded older generation are all for change in Kuwait. The type of change that resembles their childhood when Kuwait was ‘pre-invasion’ and there was a sense of freedom and equality in the country. Women didn’t always cover their heads, married couples attended mixed gender events, and people even danced without finger pointing or the fear of being arrested.

The other half of the older generation, those sporting a beard, well, they want change too. However, while their idea of change is also a glimpse into the past, it’s so far in the past few would even recognize it. In their minds Kuwait should revert to a primitive lifestyle where every action is dictated by religious beliefs.

You can see how this could lead to conflict both personally and politically. Now throw into the mix the Kuwaiti youth. Those who truly want to see a change which resembles something from the future. They’re proactive, progressive, intelligent, and educated. But sadly, all of this forward movement makes them appear to be running from the past. Obviously upsetting the elders who cling to the past like a lifebuoy preventing them from taking their last breath.

All of this internal conflict isn’t good for the country. It leaves them discombobulated, confused, and lacking any real direction. And from the outside, they appear to just be a mess. Imagine what other local governments must think of them. Saudi has managed to hold onto their ancient past… and even enforce it for the most part. And the UAE has managed to seamlessly bring modern day freedoms into their Islamic country while maintaining their values and culture. Bravo!

Kuwait? Well, Kuwait is just struggling from within to find its identity. Quite similar to many of those Kuwaiti (and non-Kuwaiti/expat) youth who are dying to be trend setters yet are only following things the modern world accomplished decades ago. And while I watch them face a number of interior challenges, I’m always rooting for their win. Kuwait holds a piece of my heart and will always be a part of my life. I love Kuwait and beam with pride while sharing stories with friends here at home. I long for the day the country finds itself and unites — because I do believe that can happen. Until that day comes change will never happen, whether it be forward or backwards.

Below are a couple of videos entitled ‘Kuwait Then & Now” (parts 1 & 2). I’ve only watched the first few minutes but found it to be quite interesting.

 

Happy New Year

Though it’s been a slow year for blogging and I’ve been slowly disappearing from the blogosphere all together, it doesn’t mean I don’t always appreciate my (still loyal) readers. Surprised some of you continue to check in for new posts, but it’s definitely flattering and genuinely appreciated.

We’re spending our New Year’s Eve quietly. An early dinner with dear friends and a night at home listening to fabulous jazz music by the fire. And though we don’t do resolutions, we do always hope to be just a bit better than we were the day before… or even the year before.

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy, and safe new year.

Different cultures = new traditions

My grave lack of interest in Christmas this year recently prompted a very serious conversation between me and myself. Not out loud, though I have been known to talk to myself.

“Wanna go shopping?”

“Nah. It’s too hot.”

“Wanna decorate and start a fire in the fireplace?”

“Nah. It’s too hot.”

I think I was trying to convince myself the two days of unseasonably warm weather we were having was stripping away any sign of Christmas spirit I could have possibly felt — the way I did in previous years. But, the more I contemplated and talked myself out of doing anything holiday related, the more I realized it was because it lacked the same emotional relevance it did as I was growing up. Or even as I was living overseas for so very long.

AB

My husband, on the other hand, goes out of his way every holiday season to make it as special as he possibly can for me which was very appreciated before moving home to the U.S. However, it recently dawned on me that his idea of a ‘special Christmas’ is doing what he’s seen in movies and on television. He never grew up celebrating the holiday and really has no clue the significance of certain things… like the ‘build up’ of excitement as the holiday season approaches. Or why things such as ‘Black Friday’ make many of us insane with joy. Cookie exchanges, gift wrapping parties, or matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. Of course when I suggest these things he’s totally on board, but it made me realize he’s just going through the motions for my benefit. 

That being said, during my intimate conversation with myself about this overall detachment from the holidays I was experiencing, I had an epiphany — new traditions!

AB2

My husband and I genuinely love one another dearly and would go out of our way to make each other happy. He pretends his way through the holiday season while I detach from it as a way to prevent him from experiencing any inconvenience. So, as a way to bring us closer together and connect on a more significant level this year, we opted to create some new traditions of our own. Such as a romantic dinner at a very exclusive (and decked out for Christmas in terms of decor) restaurant the first week of December. Black Friday shopping on Saturday at local businesses only. Christmas Eve breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and Christmas Eve night at the local Jazz club with great friends and family. Just a few small modifications that allow us to enjoy the holiday season in a way that defines ‘us’ a bit better than any Christmas movie we’ve ever seen.

So yeah, after almost 4 years of marriage we still occasionally face cultural differences. But chances of us defining them as such is pretty rare. I suppose we often just overcome challenges like any other married couple; compromise, love, and respect.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with happiness and perhaps even some new traditions of your own.

Emirati woman murders American teacher

While I’ve not blogged in quite some time and had even decided it was time to stop, some things just deserve a bit of attention. That coupled with the fact I absolutely love to write leaves me squeezing my way back into the blogosphere every now and then.

Below is a lengthy video released by the Emirati Security Team outlining the details of the recent murder of an American teacher by an Emirati woman.

It seems there was some kind of verbal altercation between the two women in a public restroom and the Emirati woman pulled out a large kitchen knife and stabbed the American teacher to death. The Emirati woman (seen by surveillance) then leaves the bathroom as others appear to run from the area screaming, gets onto an elevator, and leaves the scene in an SUV with the license plate hidden by an Emirati flag. The Emirati National Day was a few days ago so this large flag on her car wouldn’t have appeared out of place.

The video also shows additional footage of the same woman pulling a small suitcase (later found to have explosives) which is placed in front of an American teacher’s residence. Not the same teacher she stabbed. The video goes on to show her arrest, the search of her vehicle, discovering the explosive devices, and arrest of the suspect.

I’m a bit miffed that her face and head are blurred in the video — as if some ‘respect’ is being shown to her as a ‘Muslim’ woman. Her actions are not in any way Islamic, and therefore no respect should be shown to her as she’s certainly not exhibiting behaviors of practicing Muslim.

The news has reported a possible connection between the suspect and ISIL/DAESH.

Updated news can be found in the Emirates 24/7 News.

My open letter to Rosie

Note: Though I stopped blogging a while back, recent events prompted this unexpected post.

Dear Rosie,

Over the past several days your real identity has been revealed and for some reason you like to believe I’m behind this ‘outing’. However, if you must know, I’ve known your real name for well over a year. I’ve also known the real story — the job loss, the fake marriage, the pretend-a-vacations, and the fake bags you purchased for yourself. So, why, if I’ve known it all for a year did I opt to keep it to myself? Well, what purpose would it have served to share that information with others? One other person knew, we discussed it, observed the outrageous lies, and concluded you’re a very lonely middle aged woman who quite possibly needs psychological help. What more could we do? Especially since your hatred for me has been evident for quite some time… even when you pretended it didn’t. But, rest assured, Rosie, had it been me who outed you, I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. However, doing so would have been malicious, and that’s just not my style.

For well over a year, Rosie, you’ve invested not only a great deal of time into creating an online fantasy life, but also into stalking my real one. And, well, honestly, I’ve never thought too much about it until now with your recent libelous statements against me. You’ve even gone as far as to utilize copyrighted material belonging to me without permission. Instead of spending countless hours thinking of ways to attack me or save face, why not accept that you simply went too far? Issue an apology to those who deserve one and let it go. Stalking, harassing, and attempting to defame me are never going to make you who you pretend to be. I’m not your enemy, Rosie… you are.

Since your identity has been exposed (2-3 days ago now?) it appears as though you’re spending every waking moment either covering your tracks, fabricating Facebook accounts, deleting social media accounts, or generating more fake silliness in an attempt to divert the attention from your 4 year long fraud. Relax. Yeah, you’re probably panicking right now while scanning every lie you’ve told in your mind, wondering how you even managed to keep that story straight. It’s possible you’re even questioning your own sanity. But again, relax. As you’re feeling as though your world is crumbling around you, it’s really just beginning. Now, instead of faking vacations, husbands, and outlandish gifts all while scurrying around location spoofers on Instagram, you can actually focus on the real you for a minute. Yeah, the real you. The Rosie who actually has family and probably some real friends who care about you. You can embrace your time back home with your family instead of spending hours a day thinking of new ways to make random strangers believe you’re still living in Kuwait… or married to a ‘well known’ Kuwaiti.

As for me and your attempt to divert the attention from your fraud; why bother? Regardless of what you say, post, generate, create, or fabricate at this point it doesn’t take away from your blatant dishonesty and deceit. And chances are, after your years of lies, no one will believe you anyway. Furthermore, many of the people you’re attempting to discuss me with actually know me in person… they too are laughing at your efforts. Again, relax.

So, if I’ve known who you are all these years why wasn’t I the one to ‘out’ you? Well, to be honest, as silly as your lies were, they never affected me personally. As a matter of fact, the only problem I had with your deceit of so many was your target audience. You made a mockery of a culture that many of us hold very near and dear to our hearts. You created an unobtainable fantasy and shoved it down the throats of young Kuwaiti girls who long to have what you pretended to have. You faked a fairy tale marriage that just doesn’t exist. And in a culture where marriage is such an important factor, and divorce is quite frowned upon, you left young women who idolized you questioning themselves and their self worth. You left them wondering why they weren’t worthy of an ‘H’ — especially when ‘H’ was from their very own culture. Those same young women, some who were married while being a fan of your blog, possibly endured the normal ‘roller coaster’ most relationships go through and wished they had been so fortunate as the American who married the perfect ‘H’. You created unrealistic expectations in their mind by getting lost in your own fantasy. Little did they know that same American was a 43 year old woman living in her parents house in Florida blogging in secret from the rest of her family.

As a blogger, especially one in a country as small as Kuwait, there comes a certain responsibility. Unless, of course, you had prefaced your posts as “fictional reading purposes only”. But you didn’t. You went to extremes… unhealthy extremes, in an attempt to defraud an entire nation. Or at least anyone interested in reading your posts.

Being discovered as Rosie, the 43 year old liar who lives with her parents in Florida and was never engaged or married to a Kuwaiti should be the least of your concerns right now. Instead of pulling your hair out while trying to cover one lie with another and another, why not contemplate the feelings of the people you’ve hurt with your fraud? Or consider reaching out to the numerous women who write to you for marriage advice, or advice on relationships with a Kuwaiti man and extend an apology for guiding them with lies? Or, what about the people who accepted you into their private lives via social media? Those who allowed you to view their private Instagram accounts and see photos of them, their families, friends, work, etc? Those who shared their real name with you while you hid behind a curtain of fabrications? Why is it you’re rushing around to protect yourself from further humiliation but aren’t even thinking of how you must have made so many others feel? Shame on you, Rosie. Shame on you.

And though you’re certainly feeling intimidated right now, it doesn’t mean you’ve been ‘bullied’. It simply means, that somewhere deep down inside, you always knew that I always knew. But rest assured, I wasn’t the only one. However, playing the victim card right now doesn’t bode very well. While you attempted to write the memoirs of an imperfect angel, you really generated enough material for a Lifetime Movie with a bad ending.

Quite sadly, the real you was probably a fairly normal, easy to relate to person. But that’s neither here nor there. Anything that once resembled ‘normal’ has long since been lost in the myriad of lies and extensive perpetration of deceit.

You, like so many other typical contractors, were offered a job in Kuwait. And though mediocre, it was still far more than you could have hoped for back home. You moved to Kuwait with zero travel experience and little knowledge of the culture yet soon became consumed with what you saw on the surface; Bugattis and maids. You never took a moment to learn or understand what was real. You got sucked into the material life you were never afforded as a typical, middle class American. And with that, you were lost. Yet what you failed to realize was behind all the ‘glitz and glamour’ portrayed on the surface of Kuwait is a very deep rooted culture. One that you never understood… or cared to understand. You felt that displaying lavish gifts you pretended ‘H’ purchased for you was evidence to random readers of his ‘true love’. Yet if you had any understanding of the culture you would know far better and you would realize how foolish it all looked. You would also realize by claiming a desire for privacy due to your pretend-a-husband’s ‘well known family’, then posting Whatsapp messages of a sexual nature for all to see was a direct contradiction. But who can blame you? You were lost in a world even you had no control over. You had obviously been hurt, mistreated, and probably dumped by a number of men and started feeling quite foolish as you looked back over your ‘He wants to marry me!’ posts. You had to connect the dots in some manner.

Unfortunately, Rosie, had you stepped up and said, “Hey, peeps, here’s the deal… ” you would have been respected and probably even liked. Women all over Kuwait could have related to you, sympathized with you, and extended a hand. But instead, you allowed your pain, bitterness, and obvious jealousy to become a tool to deceive so many with. Again, shame on you, Rosie.

Finally, don’t fret. There will always be another expat in Kuwait City… it just won’t be you.

The End… for now

It’s been a long time coming I suppose. And even now I struggle with the idea of closing the blog forever, so I’ve made the decision to leave it here for the time being.

I started the blog almost a decade ago yet it certainly doesn’t feel that way. What was initially a way to keep family and friends updated on my life abroad turned into a personal journal which evolved into a ‘life guide’ for those in similar situations. As we recently moved our company websites to another server, my husband also moved my blog. My husband, who is pretty much responsible for most of our IT stuff, also does periodic site reviews (stats, views, hits, etc) and discovered that since the blog’s inception I’ve had well over 4 million hits. I could have never imagined what started off as a simple desire to chat about personal silliness resulted in such an overwhelming response. I’m humbled and honored. But more importantly, I hope along this journey I’ve provided some insight which helped at least one person through whatever struggle they were dealing with at the time.

When my husband and I first moved to America over a year and a half ago I faced a lot of challenges. I had to adapt to being home… in my own country. I missed Kuwait on almost every level and thought of every excuse in the book to travel back as often as possible. However, that feeling has long since left me. Now the only ‘missing’ I feel in regard to Kuwait are my in-laws. The idea of moving back to Kuwait permanently almost scares me as a feeling of dread comes over me every time I think about the possibility. The first 6 months home consisted of me reminding my husband of our life in Kuwait, our home there, and encouraging him to move back. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way and now, if the topic ever comes up, it’s generally us discussing how our lifestyle no longer meshes with what living in Kuwait had to offer. Even blogging about Kuwait, local events there, or ‘hot topics’ doesn’t appeal to me… at all. And while I’m still inundated with invites and requests to post information, I just don’t. Not out of disrespect towards any organization, but because my personal interest has just gone in a completely different direction.

Goodbye

When I think of blogging now (yes, I still think about the blog often) I find myself wanting to discuss topics such as animal welfare, planting organic veggies and herbs, healthy living, raw food diets for dogs, outdoor cattery expansions, landscaping, home building, business development, or education. And honestly, who would be interested in any of that? Those topics often interest people who are participating in those activities… not searching for blogs that write about them. And us… well, we actively participate in them as well. Leaving very little time to write about them.

I’m not a big fan of loose ends and I absolutely despise movies that end in that ‘open ended’ sort of way. Who does that crap?! I need closure. Heck, I long for closure! I need closure so badly that I sometimes ponder incidents from years ago trying to pinpoint a feasible ending that perhaps I missed at the time… just so I can stop pondering them. Tis’ the reason for this post. Closure. As I’ve left the blog sitting stagnant for so long it’s been eating away at me. There have been a number of times I’ve almost blogged about a vacation, a restaurant, or, well, even fall weather wardrobe shopping just to fill pages. But that’s never been my purpose for blogging and I’m certainly not going to resort to that now. Not that those topics don’t have a level of interest to them, but my time constraints just wouldn’t allow me to invest what is required to present them the way I would want them presented.

Stability, schedules, and absolute serenity. That’s my life today. Over the years of blogging I’ve grown, changed, and become a woman I had only dreamed of becoming one day. I’m that person I would see in a mall or at a restaurant and say, “I bet her life is perfect. How amazing it must be to walk in her shoes.” Obviously I had no clue what the random stranger’s life was like but I knew I wanted my inside to look like their outside. And today, it does. Sure, I have a long way to go and I’m loving the journey, but at least now I know the recipe for having this life; stop comparing my inside to someone’s outside. Ironic, huh? When I was forced, due to incredible time restrictions and a nightmare schedule, to stop asking the ‘what if’s’, ‘what was’, and ‘what could possibly be’s’, I accidentally embraced ‘what is’. So here I am; better than I was yesterday and hoping to be even better tomorrow than I am today.

Will I ever blog again? I certainly hope so. But when I do it will more than likely not resemble anything this blog has offered. I’ll focus more on things that bring me absolute joy today. During this phase of my life.

While there’s a part of me that misses blogging, I take great comfort in knowing it was me who made the decision to take a break. You see, when you allow people into your private life by sharing it in a public forum you inevitably acquire a certain number of ‘haters’ for lack of a better word. And it almost seems the happier I became, the more my haters would go out of their way to leave negative comments, create fake accounts to follow me on social media, and even make up silly lies about me in hopes of getting some form of recognition? And though that behavior never negatively impacted my personal life, it did leave me realizing my mistake was expecting others to be as happy for me as I was for myself. When I accepted that was never going to happen it caused me to become more protective of the details of our daily lives. I’m certainly not going to put the most important people/things in my life out there to be ridiculed, scrutinized, or criticized. This resulted in the blog taking a new direction… a direction I wasn’t a fan of, didn’t feel connected to, and had no interest in following. Coupled with the outright lack of time, it just feels like the right moment to hit the pause button, focus on what makes me smile, and dedicate myself to personal goals I’ve set for myself.

My Twitter and Instagram accounts are still open though rarely active. Though I have found popping onto Instagram, uploading a picture, and banging out a few words about that moment are much easier than dedicating the time required for a full blog post.

On a positive note, I will continue to write. Writing has been my passion since I was in 3rd grade, drew a little cartoon illustrating a man being rude, providing captions on how he could improve his behavior, and my father hung it on the refrigerator. He’s always been my biggest fan and was the one who taught me to read at the age of 2. For a number of years I’ve written contributing articles for local newspapers and those located in the GCC, case studies relating to human rights issues published in annual reports, research papers, company policies, training modules, and cultural diversity handbooks for employers abroad. I simply love to write, especially when I’m invested in the topic. So yeah, I’ll write. And one day, in the future, I’ll probably start another blog (or modify this one) for a completely different reason than the one I had at the inception of this blog.

For now I’ll do my best to post comments, reply, and answer emails in a timely manner.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me, teaching me by sharing your experiences, and allowing me to peek into your lives just as I allowed you into mine.

British Airways Kuwait Documentary

This is the first of a four part documentary about Kuwait that British Airways will show on board their flights. Etihad does the same thing for the country to which you’re traveling. It’s a nice way to give a brief introduction to the country you’re preparing to visit as the plane lands, and it certainly highlights some of the more interesting aspects of the country. The video below is absolutely gorgeous and presents Kuwait in such a positive light.

I found this video on 2:48AM blog. You can check it out for other posts about the British Airways short films on Kuwait.

 

Updated video emailed to bloggers. Enjoy!

Networking and small talk.

After what felt like a super long week filled with business meetings, studies, research papers and networking, I was finally able to relax a little late last night and catch up on some reading.

While browsing for interesting and relevant articles about networking I came across this piece in Entrepreneur. Small talk; probably my biggest weakness when it comes to business development. I like to think I’m easy to get along with, friendly, and approachable, but when it comes to knowing I have to chat someone up in hopes of creating a business relationship it’s a struggle. It always feels very forced and spurious. As a matter of fact, I’ve found my most successful business ventures have been with friends or former colleagues; people I have an existing connection with.

Much of my recent business expansion has been a matter of me investing the time required to generate pertinent training modules for individuals and corporations. Of course this depends upon extensive research into organizational weaknesses and types of certifications individuals in particular departments are interested in obtaining. Oddly enough, this is the easy part. My next step is to reach out to companies I have existing business relationships with and get them on board with corporate training. Seems simple enough until you realize while you’re suggesting ways to improve by utilizing targeted training, they’re hearing, “Your company is failing”. This is where that small talk becomes an important tool — and where I feel intimidated.

Obviously creating a more personal connection with a potential client makes business feel less formal. It almost feels like a positive interaction between two good friends. But getting there relies heavily on that small talk… that ice breaker.

So, if you find yourself in a position to make small talk, especially in a business setting, you might also find this article rather interesting. It’s simple, an easy read, and makes networking feel a bit less dreadful to me.

Full article

Happy Birthday, America! [2014]

July 4th is one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to creating some kind of little celebration every year; whether it be with friends, family, or just partaking in some public event. This year has required a bit of creativity since it’s Ramadan — a futoor cook-out.

*All rights reserved

*All rights reserved

Last night we experienced the first hurricane of the season (another one of my favorite things during the year) but today the weather is absolute perfection. Even a bit chilly with no humidity. Perfect for the evening’s fireworks events.

Remember, if you have pets, keep them safe tonight! Fireworks are very scary for animals and more pets get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. Best to keep them indoors.

Wishing you all a fabulous holiday with loved ones. Enjoy! Stay safe, be smart, and don’t drink and drive.