Wednesday, March 8, 2017

First Turkish bath experience

WOW!!!  I think that probably sums it up! It was my first experience to receive a Turkish bath today or also called Hammam.  I had won a gift voucher last year during the PTA Pink Day at school.  I had almost forgotten about it.  Thankfully it had not expired yet!

Here's what the spa looks like:
Pretty fancy, eh?!  It's basically a communal area but I was the only one there, so it was like my private spa for the morning :-)

But first, before the bath - I am put into the steam room for 5 minutes. I am not so fond of the steam but thankfully there was a shower head/sprayer with cold water so it didn't feel like I was suffocating in there.  Then, my spa therapist tells me "Time to bake!" so she directs me into the sauna room for another 5 minutes.  It's HOT!  I took a peek at the thermostat in there and I think it was like 85C or 185F.  Phew!!!

Ok, finally I am laying on the marble slab!  She scrubs me with some sort of exfoliation glove from head to toe.  After that, more scrubbing but this time with Moroccan volcanic mud followed by Turkish coffee grind.  Talk about getting my caffeine in for the day!  She is constantly "watering" me with pitchers of water, kinda like in this photo I found online.  Almost felt like she used 5 bath tubs full with water!  Okay, I may be exaggerating but it seemed like a lot!
Alright... what was next?  She then washed my hair with mint shampoo followed by Jasmine conditioner.  It smelled so good!  And then, finally some olive oil soap on my body.  She made lots of suds and put them in a pure cotton towel that was sewed up at the end/bottom. She sort of skimmed it along my body and then squeezed out all the suds over me. Kind of a weird feeling but made me think of how much fun Graham and Charlie would have had with all these suds in a bath tub!!!

In the end, the therapist told me to sit by the edge of the table and she said something like "Okay, I am going to wash you now".  And before I knew it, she dumped out two pitchers of water, one in each hand right over my head!  I did NOT see that coming! HAHAHA!!!  But ahh.... everything smelled so good - my body, my hair... and skin was so nice and soft!  She probably scrubbed of layers and layers of sunscreen!

I was then whisked into the relaxation lounge for about 10 minutes. Oh, the refreshment was a Turkish yogurt drink with some salt and mint. I sort of made a face so she insisted I have the ginger honey tea instead.  Good call!  After some Turkish sweets, I was off to my 45-minutes massage.  I am sort of spoiled with 90 minute massages now so 45 minutes was over in a blink!

Nonetheless, I felt so relaxed after 2 hours of pampering.  Hmmm... Mother's Day can't come soon enough to ask for one of these vouchers! It was just under Dhs1000 which converts to around USD250.  That's not asking for too much, is it Bobby... a.k.a. honey bunny? The love of my life? The apple of my eye??? Hint! Hint! :-D

Monday, March 6, 2017

Is it blue or is it grey???

Somehow or rather, Bobby and I got into the discussion with the color of this mug.  I was asking him to make me a mug of milo (hot chocolate) and I told him that he could use the "blue" mug. And then, he said, no - it's "grey". Well... blue, grey, blue, grey...!!!  What do you think???
Eventually we had to pull up the mug at Ikea's website and guess what it said:  Grey-blue!!!  So we were both correct!  It was quite a good laugh :-)
Of course, Bob insisted that he is more correct though because the word "Grey" came before the "Blue".  MEH!!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

More Recent Happenings

We haven't had too much going on these past few weeks.  Crazy enough, it has been drizzling a lot!  The temperature did hit 32C today - almost 90F.  Nooo...!!!!

In the meantime, I have been busy with some Henna.  This dye comes from a tree and is used for temporary body art.  Sometimes henna is available at school during events but I thought I'd take things into my own hands. A friend of mine gave me a couple tubes of henna and a book of patterns :-)
After a few days, a little more "painting". Okay, I may have gotten a little carried away. The henna dries up and peels off and the color darkens during the first few days.  The lighter colored henna further up my arm would eventually darken and after a week or two, everything will just disappear.  And the fun begins again to start over!!!
Speaking of fun, ALL the boys got a little joyride in a friend's Porsche.  Vrrroommm vrrooooom...!!!
Guess who has "crabby" toes???  Yes, that would be Charlie and that's definitely from the Lee side of the family.  He was so proud walking around with that ink stamper in between his toes. HAHA!
And guess what Graham is trying to spell here?  Did you get it yet? You really need to sound out the letters:
And...?  The answer is "huge" as in "he-you-j".  Too funny!!!  And here is more of Graham's handy work.  After seeing an idea at school, I thought that maybe it would be a great idea for Graham to start writing a diary.  Well,...
We helped Graham with his first entry being "Today, this is my first entry" and Graham obviously took that and ran with it! Little stinker!!!

This next photo isn't so funny though.  Charlie fell at school and gave himself a swollen eye.  It almost looks like he has red eye liner on:
Thankfully he didn't hurt his eyeball.  Everything has cleared up now and he is back to being his mischievous self!
Last but not least, some dancing!!!  Graham and Charlie loves to dance to the credits at the end of movies/cartoons. Check out their moves!
 Happy Pridgen boys!!! :-D

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Random photos of the week

A quick shout out to Super Stroke for providing some new grips!  Love these new colors for my various wedges and the new putter grip too:
Ok... back to the kids.  Charlie getting excited to go to the golf course:
The boys discovered a new little bumper car track at the mall.  5 minutes for Dhs20 (just a little over USD5).  Not too bad, I guess:
Want to guess who didn't finish his egg sandwich?  Yup, it would be Graham. Somehow he does not like eggs!
Soccer time!
Pass master for Charlie last week. Hooray!
The weather has been rather strange lately.  Cloudy days and lots of little spurts of rain!
Even a rainbow last Saturday when Bobby and I were playing golf!
A new hotel opened up across the street from us.  The food at the buffet was just so-so I thought, but I think the boys made it up at the dessert station :-)
Speaking of sweets, I was at an adventure store in the mall last weekend and spotted this.  A gummi bear vending machines.  WOAH!!!
Charlie was invited to a birthday party at the adventure store.  Thankfully there was no restrictions for the wall climbing as he was just a tad too short for the zip line and obstacle course.  Getting geared up!
I think Charlie has talked himself into being afraid of heights.  Instead of starting out on the ground, the guy plopped Charlie up on the wall after he was attached to the line. And he did not move one bit!
Poor Charlie just hung on and was super still for probably a full minute or so... until the guy plopped him back down. And he was in tears!  I am so glad the guy was able to motivate him back up on the wall after that.  Phew!!!  Looks like we will need lots of practice :-)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sports Day - Graham

Graham's Sports Day was the day after Charlie's.  There are so many kids in his school that all the different Years have to do them separately.  Here he is... at the end of the line:
What is it with this kid and staying on his feet??!  Bobby and I are convinced that he does this just to get some attention!
I was so proud of him for completing the 200m run around the field - without falling over!  He did have a slight injury going through a little tunnel at the next station.  A cry moment and then, he's off into another activity and while he is waiting, he is just playing with the grass.  Makes you really wonder what goes on in that little head of his!
Another treat with some performances in the sky!
Ok, back to the race!  Here is the 100m sprint.  Graham did really well the first time, but on the 2nd lap, he unfortunately fell and took a tumble (drawn in red ink below) and hurt his head. We really need to teach Graham how to run. Weirdly enough, Bobby and I were already expecting it:
Well, after a bit more crying, the class moved on to the final activity - the javelin. So glad he ended on a high note as he really loves doing this!
Perhaps next year we will have a tear-less Sports Day from both boys!

Sports Day - Charlie

Charlie had Sports Day last week.  Ready for it with his floppy hat and over-sized shorts :-)
There were probably 8 different stations/games for the kids:
So focused!
There were fighter jets flying by, which was quite a treat!
Charlie was doing so well until after the water break and he sort of lost some steam after that. He did not want to participate in the last 2 stations and was practically attached to my leg the rest of the morning.  Thankfully his teacher was able to pry him off me and take him back to class for the rest of the day.  All in all though, it was a good Sports Day for Charlie!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I didn't really plan too much for Valentine's this year.  I was suppose to play in a golf tournament in Ajman (just north of Dubai) but was told when the tee times came out 2 days ago that I "am allowed to play but not eligible to win any prize money".  Grrr... What the...!!! So anyway, I opted not to play especially having the thought of waking up at 3:30am and leaving on a 2-hr drive at 4:30am! No thank you!

So... Bobby suggested pizza for dinner and I took it one step further and decided to make our own pizza dough. It's a good thing we had just enough time to wait for it to rise!  It normally takes about an hour or so for the dough to double its size, but I cheated as I turned on the oven and put the dough right where it was warm on the burner. Clever Mommy! :-)
Boys are making their own pizza!  Well, they wanted to make a pizza "ball" so I suggested a calzone instead:
Charlie's turn.  I was really impressed at how the dough turned out. It was my first time with this random recipe that I found online:
Charlie is so meticulous!
Tada!!!  Just like pros :-)
The boys ate everything single bit of this with no complaints!  Looks like we will be making more of these for sure!
Bobby and I had pizza instead - cheese and sausages and garlic, of course!
The dough was just a little under-done. My oven is not quite hot enough.  It was suggested at least 550F!  Mine was only at 400F.  I was a bit worried about eating under-done dough but so far so good this morning! :-)
I was going to make a chocolate pie but it wouldn't have had enough time to set after school pickup. So, easy ice cream bars for dessert!
Mommy's new shirt from Daddy for Valentine's.  Hmm... sort of a dead giveaway where he picked this one out from??!
We are scrambling to finish up Daddy's Valentine's card:
Lots of hearts for Daddy!  Graham still needs to work on his spelling obviously!  And Charlie still needs to work on writing his 'a' in his name.  He loves to draw anti-clockwise circles first and then the little "tail" to finish up his 'a'.  Too funny!
And Charlie our little artist - as he says that is what he wants to be when he grows up.  He drew this little flower on a table on the back of the card:
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Last of Phoenix (early January)

Okay, I think this is the last bit of photos from our holiday in Phoenix this past December and January.  The boys can't get enough of the rain!  I still can't believe that our last real rainfall here in Abu Dhabi was back in March of last year. That's almost 11 months ago!
Some last minute grocery shopping for stuff to bring back to the Abu Dhabi.  It's amazing how cheap things are compared to the prices here.  Charlie is obviously very tired during the shopping trip. He dozed off while sitting in the cart!
Graham is in charge of checking out the items.  Nice to be able to use these self scanners:
It's time to leave the next day. We shifted our flight out of San Francisco a day earlier and unfortunately, had to make Grandma and Pop-pop stay the night at a hotel.  One last goodbye!
The photo below turned out rather neat.  It's actually a mosaic tile wall art in the Phoenix airport.  Graham looks like he is actually leaning on the cactus and Charlie is posing next to it :-)
And what a nice surprise.  A random pilot (with American Airlines if I am not mistaken) let Charlie wear his hat and posed for a photo next to the Christmas tree/Snowman, even gave him a high-5 before walking onto his plane.  Too nice!
Charlie posing with the penguins:
The PHX-SFO flight was delayed a few hours, so needless to say I was so happy to finally arrive  there.  The San Francisco International terminal still had their Christmas colors on.
Trying to take their pretty lights on trees was a bit tricky in a moving bus!
2 weeks have gone by so quickly. It is finally flight day back to Abu Dhabi.  How do you wake these sleepy heads up!??!
 So peaceful...
The boys know the airport routine by now:
Graham obviously has it down to a tee! Check out those long socks that he decided to put on from the amenity kit:
So glad these boys love to be on airplanes:
The jetlag is so tough coming back though.  Everyone was so tired.  Charlie didn't even mind falling asleep on the floor!
And Graham didn't even tuck himself in probably for a nap. HAHA!
Well, that's the end of our Phoenix trip this past Christmas/New Year.  Until the next adventure!!!