My Son Takes Pictures Too

Written by Stinni on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Distance to Milano

I wasn't even aware he took this picture until I uploaded it to the laptop. They had a bunch of different signs with cities around the U.S./world and the distance to each from Oak's Bluff in Martha's Vineyard. He has obviously inherited his mama's italophile gene because he chose Milan.

P.S. The other day my son looked at me and said, "Sei la piu bella del mondo." I was shocked. I mean, I know he speaks a little Italian (mela = apple, rosso = red, machina = car, etc.) but to come up with that?! Turns out he was reading a burned CD cover.

Martha's Vineyard and Boston Common

Written by Stinni on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In pictures.

20-07-08 201

20-07-08 203

Boston Bridge


20-07-08 228

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Written by Stinni on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm sitting out on our deck, trying to enjoy the cool weather, courtesy of Canadian wind blowing south; trying to soak it all up before we head back to our hot/dusty home. With the exception of a few humid weeks, this summer has been fantastic weather-wise. For the past few weeks, it's been more like fall than summer, which will make leaving even tougher.

My children are with grandma and papa (don't call him grandpa), a luxury they/I don't get in Kuwait. I chose to use my free time wisely: look through rental applications for the winter, do laundry, fold clothes, and write a blog post.

This morning I saw a private jet fly over my house and instinctively said, "Teddy's flying back from the convention." Whenever you see a private jet flying into the Cape on Friday, you say, "Teddy's coming home." On Sunday it's, "Teddy's going back to DC." It's just what we do here. I can't imagine a time when we won't be able to say that.

Cape Cod Mall

I lied, I'm actually going to use my free time to write two blog posts. Maybe three. Mostly pictures.

Salem 2008

Written by Stinni on Monday, August 04, 2008

We made our annual pilgrimage to Salem over the weekend and as usual, we took some interesting pictures. Here's my favorite:

Snake in Mouth

I forgot to ask his name, but his red-tailed boa is named "Stone". As you can see, they're very close. After he was done showing us how he could put the snake in his mouth, the snake wrapped himself around the guy's neck. The guy was super friendly and offered to let my children pet the snake but my children were kind of freaked out by the whole thing.

Here are the other two favorite pictures taken this year. The first is of a snail on a cemetery wall. We saw a couple of snails there. The last picture is of an old home in Salem, where we fell in love with the misaligned windows.

Salem Snail

Crooked Windows in Salem

You can see a few more pictures on my flickr page. Just click on any of the pictures above to bring you there.

Girlie Post

Written by Stinni on Thursday, July 31, 2008

I got this list from a beauty forum. List the products you currently use. I'll start and then you copy/paste in your own blog or in the comment section. Ready?

Skin CARE line/product--Oil of Olay Regenerist, 24.7 (Have only been using this for a few weeks now for blotchiness but the verdict is still out.), RoC, Ponds.

Foundation/cover up--Revlon's Beyond Natural foundation. Awesome stuff. It comes out white from the tube and then you rub it into your face and it matches your skin. It literally disappears into your skin. Doesn't settle into pores/fine lines. Good for oily skin. Usually doesn't need powder as it leaves your skin looking fresh and natural. Not too matte, not too oily - perfect!

Spot cover up--Makeup Forever Face & Body makeup or Revlon's Beyond Natural concealer. Both look incredibly natural and blend right into your skin.


Powder--Makeup Forever Duo, Max Factor Facefinity (not available in the U.S.)

Lipstick/stain or gloss--Too many to mention! I usually just use clear gloss because I like the natural look.

Eyeliner--Revlon's Beyond Natural black eyeliner. It's big and easily blendable.

Mascara--Yves St. Laurent waterproof (black) and more recently Revlon's Beyond Natural mascara (black).

Eyeshadow--I don't use eyeshadow that much. But because my eyelids are about ten shades darker than my skin, I use Clarin's Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base to lighten them up to match the rest of my face.

Tweezers--Revlon, the really long ones with slanted tips. LaCross.

Skin highlighter or tanners--Clarin's Instant Light, L'Oreal Sublime Glow (for Medium skin tones).

Curling irons/straighteners--N/A

Shampoo--Lakme. I can't remember the name of it but the bottle is gray, the shampoo is purple and it takes out the yellowish/brassy color from your hair/highlights. Lakme is from India and I get it from a friend's salon in Hawally. In the States, Clairol Professional has a similar product called "Shimmer Lights" (Thanks, Kerrie!).


Leave in conditioner--N/A

Gel/Mouse--Got 2 Be 24 Hour Hair Thickener. Just found this product and am so in love with it!

Shave cream or gel--N/A

Body or bubble bath--Not too picky about Shower Gel but it has to be moisturizing. I usually use SebaMed in Kuwait.

Razor--My husband's. Heh. Even when I buy my own razor, I always revert back to his.

Finger nail products--N/A

Lotion--Molton Brown Narn Ji (smells divine), Ponds Dry Skin Cream, Nivea (the cheap blue tin never fails!).

I Haven't Even Left Yet

Written by Stinni on Friday, June 13, 2008

And I'm already missing Kuwait.

Off the top of my head, here are some things I'll miss (besides people, natch) from Kuwait:

  • Hot and fresh Iranian bread, straight out of the clay oven for a whopping 20 fils. For those of you in the States, that's about 7 cents. One can never go hungry here.
  • Warm and fresh pita bread.
  • Pulling up to a bacala, beeping my horn and having friendly Iranians bring what I need to my car. Bread, soda, juice, milk - you name it. By the way, none of them hate Americans, not to my face anyway, and some are convinced that I'm Lebanese or Syrian even though I speak to them with full-on Khaleeji Arabic.
  • Having my eyebrows threaded for as cheap as KD1. In fact, I have a friend who owns a salon (a very good thing) and I can get anything done for KD1. My favorite hairstylist works down where I live though, and I'm faithful to her when it comes to my hair. Last night I had my roots touched up, had a color rinse to make my hair look more natural and not so streaky, had a cut and a blow dry (seshwar) and only paid KD25. Love it.
Sidenote: Speaking of the salon, there were about 30 women in my salon last night, and I'm guessing they were getting ready for a wedding. Wow. I mean, in what universe does looking like a witchy transexual corpse equal beautiful? They had their hair straightened out, poofed up, extensions put into already thick hair, makeup a la Lilly Munster, and these were just guests of the party, not the bride. Yuck. But then again, I prefer the natural look.

[Embedding the video wasn't possible, so check this video out to get a sense of what I'm talking about, and multiply it by about 100.)
  • Italian television. Even though most of my shows are on hiatus for the summer, I'm still going to miss programs like "Chi l'ha visto?" which is sort of like "Unsolved Mysteries".
Sidenote: One time my husband came into our room and I was watching "Lady Channel" (Videolina). He asked what I was watching and I said, "It's a Mexican soap opera, translated into Italian." He told me I was pathetic or crazy or that I had issues. And I replied that he should be content to have an eccentric wife who is satisfied with free Hotbird/European channels instead of a whiny average one who begs for Orbit AND Showtime.
  • Kuwaiti and Arab hospitality. Nothing beats it. Nothing.
  • Free medical and dental. The key is finding the right doctors and dentists and then you're golden.
  • Al Kout Mall. I love this place, it's beautiful and believe it or not, the weather is still good enough to sit outside. I took the kids there last night and we sat outside to eat our gelato (from Gelatini), watching the dancing fountains. It was perfect.
  • Palm trees.
  • The gorgeous light blue waters of the Gulf.
  • Oranges/tangerines from Lebanon, Turkish lebnah, Turkish kebab and shewarma by Pinar (if you haven't tried the turkey shewarma meat or turkey kebabs from Pinar, you're missing out. They sell it in plastic tubs in the frozen meat section, for just under KD2.)
  • Shish tawook.
There's more but I'm off to pack and call friends to say goodbye. I'm excited to be going to the States but at the same time I'm sad to be leaving people and pets behind. And yes, my country, I will miss my country.

Summer Anthem, 2008

Written by Stinni on Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Counting down the weeks to our summer getaway. Life has been super crazy recently, or "off the chart" as Tom Cruise would say during an Oprah interview. (God, what a waste of time watching that interview was. It was so boring it put me to sleep.)

Anyway, this year I've picked "Shine" by the late and great Luther Vandross for this year's Summer Anthem.

more about "Summer Anthem, 2008", posted with vodpod

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Written by Stinni on Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few nights ago, I saw something scurrying in our front yard and like an IDIOT, ran after it, asked my husband to run after it with me, thinking it was a small lizard or something but come to find out it was a scorpion. A beige one. A long one. I ordered its execution and it was carried out by my fearless husband.

Here it is, after being smacked hard with a shoe, three times, just to make sure it was really dead:

Dead Scorpion

Need a Good Laugh

Written by Stinni on Thursday, April 10, 2008

And I found it here: List Of The Day: Great Olan Mills photos.

My Lovely New Neighbors

Written by Stinni on Monday, April 07, 2008

We had a bunch of Korean workers renting the house next to ours and they were lovely because they were hardly home and when they were home, they were really quiet.

Recently, the house has been rented by a (*roll of eyes*) lovely (*sarcastic tone ends here*) family with around eight children? Ten children? I can't count them all. Until recently, they had chickens who would come into my hosh (tiled front yard) and shit all over the place. I politely asked their houseboy to fence them in instead of letting them run wild through the neighborhood but maku faida (no use). It doesn't matter now because during one of their neighborhood walks, someone nabbed them. That's right, they got birdnapped. At least now I don't have to obsessively hose down chicken shit in my front yard because my paranoid hypochondriac brain couldn't stand the thought of my children accidentally riding their scooters through bird flu infested chicken poop.

Anyway, they still have their pigeons. And when their pigeons try to escape the wrath of the children's torturous ways, by flying up to our roof, those lovely children throw rocks at them, nearly missing our windows. We've had to yell at them several times.

On one hot afternoon,I went out to water my garden in sweatpants and a t-shirt. The neighbor's children were standing at the edge of my yard and watching me. They asked my name. I told them that my name was Um Mishari. Then they asked why I was showing my arms. Huh? Then I realized that I was wearing a t-shirt and they were asking why I was showing my bare arms. I laughed and told them it was hot out, that's why. Then one little boy asked me if I was hindi. When I told him that I was not hindi, he asked what I was.

"Ana Kuwaitiya wa Amreekiya" I'm Kuwaiti and American, I told him. He stopped smiling and started frowning. "Enty haiwana." He basically said that I was an animal, more like being called a bitch.

He's about four.

I'll do the rest in English but the conversation took place in Arabic.

"I'm an animal?"
"Yes, you're an animal."
"Just because. You are an animal, just because."

Funny, they're running around in bare feet, stepping all over chicken and pigeon shit, wearing filthy clothes and pajamas but I'm the haiwana.

At this point I just shook my head and continued watering my garden. Then one of the boys grabbed a six-foot long stick. He told me he was going to hit me with it. I was like, whatever little boy. So then my children hear what's going on and they run out and start calling the children words like peepee (bola) and caca (zega), giggling and then running back into our gated yard. As I was done watering the garden, I followed them into our gated yard, shut the gate and told my kids to just ignore the children from next door.

My kids are sitting on the front stoop and I'm sitting by them. The children from next door walk up a few feet from the gate. They say, "Um Mishari, come."

"Why? So you can do something naughty?"
"No, no, I swear, nothing naughty", says the boy holding the stick.

I open the gate, walked up to him as calm as could be and asked him what he wanted. He told me he was going to hit me with the stick.

"Why? Why do you want to hit me?"
"Just because."
"What have I done to you?"
"You know what you did!"

And then he says something in Arabic that I don't understand, but something to the effect (or is it affect?) that I did something to their house.

"I didn't do anything to your house. Where's your mother?"
"Tell her to come here, I want to talk to her."
"Yallah, yallah, go home."

I walked back into my yard, shut the gate and then they started throwing rocks at us, through the gate, giggling, because I suppose it was hilarious to them. I told them to stop, to go home but they kept on taunting us.

My husband came home at that point and all it took from him was to say, "Shteboon?! Yallah...yallah!" ("What do you want?!" Go...go!") and they RAN home.

Why couldn't I have been born with a penis?

Bringing Pets to Kuwait

Written by Stinni on Monday, April 07, 2008

I brought three pets to Kuwait but that was ten years ago and I was moving here permanently. I'm sure the rules have changed since then.

Intlxptr has something on her blog about it though, so she would be the person to ask.

I believe the people at Bitzer's blog brought a dog as well.

I remember some paperwork from my husband's side (Kuwait) but don't remember doing anything special on my side (U.S.) for my cat. I had my parrots go through a complete checkup though and had bands put on their legs so that if I ever had to bring them back to the States, they had ID and it would be much easier and less quarantine time. The funny thing is that they were labeled as "casco" (African Grey parrots) on the paperwork from Kuwait and I got a funny look from the customs guy because I was coming through with cockatiels.


Some posts on bringing your pets to Kuwait from Mark:

Import Papers for Importing Dog to Kuwait.

Geo's Arrival.

Amazon Parrot Singing Kuwaiti Songs

Written by Stinni on Thursday, March 13, 2008

Awesome stuff.

Out Of the Mouth of Babes

Written by Stinni on Thursday, March 13, 2008

My daughter has been sick for the past week. Her voice is hoarse. Over breakfast, my daughter was talking about something and my son said, "Your voice isn't nice. You need antennas." You know, to become clear like a radio station in the car.

My daughter is three and still in diapers. We were sitting in the living room and I was explaining to her how she was a big girl now and she shouldn't be in diapers. "Your father doesn't wear diapers, your brother doesn't wear diapers, I don't wear diapers..." My son chimed in, "Yes you do. They're called Always."

Early morning, I woke up and was channel surfing. I came across The Omen 4. My children came into the room and saw a nun character. My daughter said, "She has a necklace like Desta!" (Desta is our housekeeper.) My son said, "Oh yeah, it's a Gee-ZAHS necklace." "Gee-ZAHS?" "Yeah, Gee-ZAHS, it's a Gee-ZAHS necklace." "Who's Gee-ZAHS?" "He's like Allah, he makes people. Do you know him?" "Yes I do."


I'm Not a (Real) Plastic Bag

Written by Stinni on Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fake Anya Hindmarch Bag

I bought it because I liked the rope handles. I had no idea the original bag by Anya Hindmarch is hugely popular in the UK and US. The originals are selling for hundreds of dollars/pounds on e-bay.

As for me, I use plastic bags and use them to line my small trash bins. The only exception is when I shop at Carrefour, and then I use their bags that they sell for like 200fils each.

It's a really, really bad knockoff but hey, it's a cute bag and you can walk around feeling superior to people who use plastic bags for only KD3.900 at Sanaa.

Personally, I like this bag much better:


La Mer

Written by Stinni on Thursday, March 06, 2008

Last summer, a cousin of mine gave me a bag filled with samples from high-end cosmetic companies. One of the samples was La Mer cream.

I've used it three times so far and all I can say is that it's exactly like Nivea cream; the one that comes in the blue metal tub. It smells the same, feels the same and acts just like Nivea.

Save yourself a ton of money and opt for Nivea if you're looking for a heavy-duty moisturizer.

Back on Blogger

Written by Stinni on Thursday, March 06, 2008

I felt too constrained on Wordpress so now I'm back to Blogger. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a way to import my blog on Wordpress to this blog so I suppose I'll just keep the one on Wordpress but will consider this to be my primary blog.

The great thing about Blogger is that I can have a real stat counter (who knew I still had regular readers?) and I can choose from thousands of templates and not be stuck with a chosen few.

I now feel inspired to write again.

About Me

American. Kuwaiti. Married. Two children. Housewife. Find out the rest in my posts.

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