Tag Archives: Christmas

The one with the grand finale

Even though it was our last weekend in Western Australia, we didnt slow down. In true Blanton fashion, we moved (again), but this time into our true final stop: a hotel for the next few days before we head off to New Zealand for 10 days and then onward to the states for the holidays! So yes, Saturday was spent tidying up the rental townhouse and packing away clothes in boxes for shipment all before our grand finale on Saturday – it was jam packed!

Some our friends told us about Polo in the City, which is exactly what it sounds like: a polo match held in the heart of the city. 🙂 Luckily, there is a fabulous green space right between Perth’s CBD and the Swan River called Langley Park, where the polo was played (and where we also attend Taste of Perth a few months back) – and even more lucky, the weather this past weekend here was perth-fect (hehe).

Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City 2 Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City 10

 

This was our first polo match, but kind of like when I went to ascot in October, we didnt watch too much of the ponies (much to Barr’s dismay) – it was very a “see and be seen” kind of event, with lots of socializing, champagne, and sun. My main takeaways from the sport were:

  • The horses tails are braided
  • Not getting hit in the head/accidentally hitting someone in the head with the mallet would be a skill in it of itself

Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City 3

 

Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City 8

During the divot stomping, I stopped to play with some pups. Because why not?

During the divot stomping, I stopped to play with some pups. Because why not?

After a quick nap, we rallied for the Perth’s Christmas Parade downtown. Our friends, Toni and Nuno, hosted a lovely BBQ at their flat beforehand and then we headed down to watch Santa roll through Western Australia (I was super impressed that Perth was so lively post-9PM!) 😉

Santa! I know him!

Santa! I know him!

And just to really round out this “all over the place” post, here are some delicious peppermint (not bubblegum – don’t let the color fool you) macarons that my girlfriend Becca and I whipped up! She’s a baking whiz – I had to learn from the best.

Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City Abbys Roads Perth Polo in the City 1Merry merry, indeed! It was a memorable last weekend in Perth. Until next time…

 

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Gift Ideas for Under $100 for Friends & Family

My_Favorite_Things_Linkup_2014
It’s the last week of the Favorite Things link-up with Cheers Y’allA. Liz AdventuresMiss Dixie, and Southern Style with the topic of gift ideas for under $100 for friends and family. Merry merry! Gift Ideas for Under $100
1 Lara Casey Notepads (the perfect size with the sweetest messages)
2 Thermapen (great for both girls and grillin’ guys – just maybe not in pink!)
3 Headphone Ear Muffs (for the winter runner in your life – I have several)
4 Languiole Steak Knives (who doesn’t love rainbow steak knives?)
5 Waterproof Speaker (a nice addition for your TSwift shower-singing friend…or husband)
6 Charitable Gift Donation (an incredibly personal and powerful gift)
 7 Personalized Children’s Puzzle (love this one for kidlets!)
And although these have been about gifts and things, always remember the true reason for the season. Until next time…

The Blantons Do Dubai – Part 1

I mentioned a few weeks back, my in-laws troubles traveling to Dubai from the states – well, they made it! After a grueling two days of travel (SDF –> ATL, missing connection led to sleeping overnight in ATL, then –> LGA, a mad dash to JFK, without their bags, but bags be damned, they were going to fly the Emirates A380 to Dubai), the foursome arrived in DXB! Of course, it was raining (only the second time I’ve seen rain since we moved here), but the skies cleared shortly after they landed, and everyone was in high spirits despite the tough travel experience. (And no worries, their bags arrived, spread out over two days, but arrived nonetheless!)

A peek through a gate at some lovely Arabic rugs and fabrics in Bur Dubai

A peek through a gate at some lovely Arabic rugs and fabrics in Bur Dubai

The crew hit Bur Dubai first to get a genuine taste of the city, shortly contrasted by a trip to Mall of the Emirates to get some much needed clothes until their suitcases arrived. Mission accomplished! Everyone was pooped, and rightfully so, so we had an early dinner and bedtime.

Christmas Eve was uber festive, and very Dubai, with a boat trip up the coast to see the Burj al Arab, downtown Dubai, the Palm and ending back at the Marina. My friend, Virginia, arranged the whole thing, and her family was in town as well, so it was great to bring our two great Southern families together 😉

Some shots I stole from Todd, Virginia and Ryland of our afternoon on the gulf

Some shots I stole from Todd, Virginia and Ryland of our afternoon on the gulf

We went to a very festive, multicultural Christmas Eve church service at Fellowship of the Emirates, followed by an equally festive turkey dinner (best Todd’s ever had!) at Ruth’s Chris (apparently our American holiday hot spot!)

I’ll end today’s post with Christmas Day 2013. As I’ve found with Dubai in general is that its a meeting of cultures: on Christmas Day we to the Center for Cultural Understanding for a traditional Emirati breakfast (my favorite thing to do with visitors!), ending Christmas Day with Thai food at Mango Tree and of course, our Secret Santa gift exchange – all in all, a fabulous Christmas! Tomorrow I’ll bring you part two of the trip. Until next time…

Curry popping a pin onto Memphis, TN at the Center for Cultural Understanding - the first!

Curry popping a pin onto Memphis, TN at the Center for Cultural Understanding – the first!

Visiting our friend at the calligraphy shop, where Curry learned how to spell her name in Arabic

Visiting our friend at the calligraphy shop, where Curry learned how to spell her name in Arabic

 

Ready for ya, 2014!

Hello again! The Blanton trip of Christmas 2013 was a success! Barr’s parents, brother and our sister-in-law arrived about 12 hours later than originally expected, sans luggage, but all’s well that ended well! (More on their trip later this week…)

Blantons do Dubai

Blantons do Dubai

I just wanted to wish all friends and readers a very happy new year! Barr and I miss so many of our family and friends around the world, and hope and pray that 2014 is a blessed year for everyone. 🙂

As for us? We’re ringing in the new year watching the world’s largest firework display  (thanks for the link, Sas!) and then off to Fujairah on Thursday for a day and night.

Road trip! (Oh yes – we got a car; more on that this week!)

And as for new year’s resolutions? Like so many others I have a laundry list of items that I vow to be cognizant of throughout the year; i.e.; eat healthier, lose a bit of weight, practice better spending (ahem, saving) habits, and give back to the community. The biggie for me this year, however, will be to think before I speak – I’m a talker and a perpetual interrupter (just ask my husband). So I hope yall hold me accountable! 😉

I’m ready for ya, 2014! I think about where I was at this time last year, and SO much has changed (new city, new job, new dog, new friends, etc etc), and I truly can’t wait to see what this year holds for me (and you!) Along those same lines, THANK YOU for reading! I have loved writing this blog (51 posts strong), and each view, comment, like or kind word has meant the world to me.

I’ll end this post by urging folks to stay safe this evening, and make sure to eat your collared greens/cabbage and black eyed peas tomorrow!! Until 2014….

Visitor(s) #2!

And just like that, our second set of visitors are en route…kind of. Barr’s parents, brother and our sister-in-law are coming to Dubai from the states, but have been a tad delayed in good old Atlanta. 😦 Think happy thoughts for them as they wake up today and make their way (via a new route) to DXB! Here we Blantons are last Thanksgiving (pooches included!)

familyChristmas in the desert will be an adventure for everyone, and we couldnt be more excited to have them all here in just a few(ish) hours – stay tuned for updated on their visit, and I hope everyone has Merry Christmases wherever you may be in the world. Until next time (think those good thoughts and prayers for the stateside Blantons!)….

 

Festive (British) Cooking Class

I love to cook. I am not particularly good at it, nor would I call my husband and I “foodies” – we just like to eat. #sorryimnotsorry…So when I discovered that a friend with whom I volunteer here in Dubai was a fabulous chef/caterer and held small cooking classes in her home from time to time, I was on board. I rang her to check availability for a girlfriend and myself for her holiday cooking class, and we were set! Here was the menu for the evening:

imageMy friend, Viriginia, a fellow American and I were unaccustomed to puddings and parsnip purees (can I get an Amen for pecan pie and mashed potatoes?!), but we were game to try something new! The other ladies in the class were from the UK and Australia, so we figured we were in good company 🙂

Virginia's finished plating

Virginia’s finished plating

Prepping the stuffed turkey breast

Prepping the stuffed turkey breast

Virginia dusting the steamed pudding (same as "figgy pudding"??) with icing sugar

Virginia dusting the steamed pudding (same as “figgy pudding”??) with icing sugar

Plating the salmon appetizer

Plating the salmon appetizer

The lovely date and citrus pudding - how British!

The lovely date and citrus pudding – how British!

The class was great! Rebecca breezed through the recipes and really gave some great cooking hints along the way – I am still blown away by her huge kitchen and amazing repertoire of cooking gadgets – my own kitchen here is a tad small and leaves much to be desired. That being said, I did manage to prepare the stuffed turkey breast this evening (with some jasmine rice – no parsnips this evening for the Blantons), and I’ve got to toot my own horn: it was great! Virginia’s family is also coming into town for the Christmas holidays, and we vowed to try to replicate the Christmas pie….stay tuned on that one! Have great weekends, and until next time…

Side note: if you’re local to Dubai and interested either in Rebecca’s cooking classes and/or volunteering with All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai, leave a note in the comments, and I’ll get in touch with you with the contact information!

Think we can manage to recreate such a delicious treat for our families??

Think we can manage to recreate such a delicious treat for our families??