Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 24.9500° N, 55.3333° E

I'm starting at the end of my recent travels with these pictures of Dubai.  I have the least amount of photos from that leg of the trip as I spent most of my time indoors. It was very hot and arid while I was there.

So as it was explained to me an emirate is a state or territory under the jurisdiction of an emir who is the local head of state. The United Arab Emirates aka UAE is a country made up of seven emirates.

  1. Abu Dhabi - the capital
  2. Dubai
  3. Sharjah
  4. Ajman
  5. Fujairah
  6. Ras al-Khaimah
  7. Umm al-Qaiwan
Dubai I am told is the second largest emirate. Our tour guide provided the following information:
  • It never really rains
  • Only 20% of the population are native Emirati. The rest are people who have come from all over the world to work mostly in the service industries
  • The Emirati citizens don't have to pay for healthcare, school, taxes just about everything is free for them
  • Sunday is a normal working day
  • A lot of their wealth comes from the 1996 oil boom
  • They predict they will run out of oil in about 20 years so they are focusing on the tourism and financial services industry
  • The Dubai Mall is the largest one in the world
  • If you are a foreigner and you want to open a business here you need a local Emirati to sponsor you and they will get 51% of the profits
  • Camel milk is the Viagra of the desert
  • You need a license to buy wine outside of the hotels

If I had to sum up Dubai in one word I couldn't. I'd use five: luxe, ambitious, futuristic and service oriented. I got the impression that if you can imagine it and afford to pay for it they can make it happen.

Burj Khalifa at least what I could get from  my camera

That tall gleaming beauty rising from the sky is the Burj Khalifa. It is reportedly the world's tallest building and tallest man made structure.  You can take an elevator from the first floor of the Dubai Mall to the 125th floor for panoramic views of the city.

Jumeirah Beach 

If you are like me and are curious about what a beach in the desert looks like(you can take the girl off the island but she will still search for the sea) then head to Jumeirah Beach  pictured above.

That building in the backdrop is another famous Dubai landmark. It's the 7 star Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel. I can only imagine the kind of toiletries you find in a 7 star hotel. Argan oil and honey saved from Cleopatra's dresser perhaps?

 I had a couple friends ask me when I got back about the dress code and the people. The city was very cosmopolitan. I saw women in shorts, skirts, pants, flip flops walking around with no issues. The people I dealt with were professional, friendly and helpful. It was clear that good customer service is one of their hallmarks.

I would definitely give Dubai another visit. That sand dune tour sounded really good if it wasn't for the 100+ degree weather they were having while I was there.

Costa Coffee is their version of Starbucks. You can also find them in the UK.

I also fell in love with their Costa Coffee chai tea.  So much so that I decided to bring back one of their mugs as a souvenir.

Have you been to Dubai or any of the other Arab Emirates? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.

Stardate :1417.10


Hello! I've been doing some traveling and the plan was to have this and some other posts up while I was away.  Somewhere between me clearing out my last emails from work and running to catch my cab I realized I never scheduled the posts. Oh well, the best laid plans right.  I hope you have all been well. I'm off to unpack sleep.

Yours truly is not a fan of short dresses. I'm team pants just about every day of the week but I've been known to throw a long skirt into the mix if I skipped laundry day. Occasionally though a shorter dress or skirt will catch my eye. Such was the case with this little number I picked up from Target. It's hard to photograph but the material has a slight shimmer to it which I liked. It was also on the clearance rack for under twenty dollars. *Insert praise break for Target's clearance rack here*  I tried it on and it was big in the waist area but at that price I got it anyway. I figured it was a sheath dress not a girdle so it could work. 

It took a while before I wore her. I'm assuming she was hanging in my closet trying to get the lay of the land of the closet politics. She was probably listening to the pumps in the back where she was say for the umpteenth time that, they don't talk to the wedges in the front because they look like they think they cute * when I plucked her to wear to a baptism. 

It was the end of July and in a church so I threw on some tights and a blazer to keep it holy and away I went. You can imagine my complete and utter surprise when I arrived and realized the baptism was wait for it... July. Judging from the pile of jackets and the sweat soaked men and a couple women in their best church outfits, I clearly was not the only one unaware that this was a baptism/offering to the sun gods. 

I added my blazer to the pile made my rounds and enjoyed what turned out to be a lovely baptism. 
Jacket: Banana Republic
Dress: Target
Shoes: Via Spiga
Purse: Coach

* I'm assuming shoes are like people right, so some of them will probably make assumptions just based on outward appearances.  Or it could just be my closet...

This is the official end of the post. After the page break if you are so inclined I have some examples of the shenanigans that ensued after we realized my dress and hairdo were giving off a sixties girl group vibe. Bonus points if you can figure out what song I was singing.

Have a great week!

Stardate :1405.10

Butter London LIPPY: Yummy Mummy, Come to Bed Red & Ruby Murray

From left to right:
1. Yummy Mummy
2. Come To Bed Red
3. Ruby Murray 

Truth be told I'm more of a lipstick girl but these glosses caught my eye on a recent trip to Ulta. I'm a bit of an Anglophile so anything with London in the name is going to catch my eye. So anyway there I was minding my business as usual when I stumbled upon the pretties above.

Yummy Mummy

First up is Yummy Mummy. I'll just say it I love the name. How can you not love saying Yummy Mummy :) I thought I would get a my lips but better look with this one but as you can see it didn't work out so well for my top lip which is darker than my bottom one. I'm keeping it because I think I can make it work by layering it over a deeper, brighter colored lipstick. 

Come To Bed Red
Come to Bed Red is a perfect example of why I prefer lipsticks and lip pencils. Glosses are just too much work to apply and are a lot sheerer on the lips than they appear in the tube a lot of the time.  Especially a red gloss. I like the color but I wanted something a little bit more pigmented. I'm wearing multiple coats and you can still see the pinkness of my bottom lip. I know I can use a liner to fill in the bottom lip but please see the second sentence. I don't want to have to work that hard. I kept Come to Bed Red and I've been wearing it. See it in action in this post here.  It's more of a lip stain for me though and not something I would reach for if I was going for a true red lip. 

Ruby Murray
Now this ladies and gentlemen is what I am talking about. Ruby Murray is my favorite of the trio. Just the gloss no additional steps and full relatively opaque coverage.  It can be done. I will say I thought it would be a darker shade of purple but I think the color is interesting. I'm calling it purlink (purple + pink). I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of Ruby Murray in the coming months

The butter London LIPPY liquid lipsticks retail for $18/.24 fl oz at Ulta. Each color came with a typical doe applicator and each of the three that I tried had the same slight caramel smell which I did not find off putting. 

I'd love to hear if you've tried anything from this line. Are you team lipstick, lip pencil or lip gloss? 

Have a great week ! 

Stardate :1401.09

Skin Care: Salma Hayek Nuance

I found these at my local CVS. I'm sure I went in there for something completely random like thumb tacks and somehow ended up in the cosmetics aisles. Surely I'm not the only one that happens to?  Somewhere between the Cetaphil and the Neutrogena I spotted the Nuance products. I like Salma Hayek. I had read about her coming out with a skin care line inspired by her grandmother but I hadn't heard much more about it. I did a quick google search while in the store and was pleased to see that  the reviews for Nuance on all the main beauty review sites were very favorable. I left the store with the  Nuance Wild Lime Exfoliating Facial Gel and the Nuance Daily Resurfacing Pads pictured above and the thumb tacks.  

The Wild Lime Exfoliating Facial Gel is lightly scented, rinses with no residue and is mild enough that I can use it twice a day.  When I see exfoliating I expect the product to have some type of granules or particles but as you can see there's none of that in the Wild Lime Gel. I'm guessing the exfoliation is supposed to be done by the fruit acid extracts listed in the ingredients. I like it and will definitely repurchase it, but I would consider it more of a basic face wash than an exfoliating one. 

I can't figure out what that cut out in the pad is for? 
The Daily Resurfacing Pads are a little more than two inches in width and have a textured and a non-textured side. One pad works for my entire face. The pads have a scent that I would describe as part hazelnut, part sweet milk. It's a mild scent and it vanishes once it's rinsed off but it is noticeable. There's a slight I can feel this working tingle before you rinse but nothing that bothered my fairly sensitive skin. Per the packaging the pads contain lactic acid to help reduce fine lines, reduce pore size, brighten and  revitalize the skin. I agree with all of those claims. I love these pads! I think they're magic. They leave my face feeling so soft and smooth. I also feel like my skin has a nice natural healthy glow to it after using them. 

I even use them on the back of my hands. 

The Nuance Wild Lime Exfoliating Gel retails for $7.99/4 fl oz and the Daily Resurfacing Pads are $19.99/30 pad container. They're available online at CVS and at Amazon.  I've been using them for a little over a month. I will need to buy more of the Resurfacing Pads soon but I will probably have enough of the Wild Lime Gel to last me for several more months as a little goes a long way. Having christened 2014 the year of the let's try to actually wash my face every night and see what happens, I'm adding my voice to the chorus praising Salma Hayek's Nuance products. They have been my best drugstore skin care buy in years.  I have my eye on the Nuance Radiance Nutrifying Night Cream and the Nuance Overnight Time Release Capsules next. 

I'd love to hear if you've tried anything from Nuance. 

Have a great week!

Stardate :1407.09


Top: Kohl's (old)
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Zara (old)
Bag: Coach
Lips: Elizabeth Arden Ultra Lipstick - Tulip 16
 Elizabeth Arden Lip Pencil - Plumrose 07
Nails: Formula X For Sephora - Gravity
Toes: Formula X For Sephora - Extraordinary 

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the last official days of summer. Happy Labor Day to those of you in the USA. 

This post is as the title suggests about random things I've been obsessing about lately. I added slightly because I don't want the authorities to get involved. In no particular order:

  • Sephora's Formula X line of nail polish
  • I've loved every color I've tried so far. Great formula, good price point and a nice variety of colors.                                                                                  
  • Frida Kahlo A bold lip, beautiful braided hair and a killer fashion sense. Obviously I was intrigued. I've been reading Kahlo by Andrea Kettenmann and I'm already on the hunt for more information about this complex and prolific artist. "The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become 'somebody,' and frankly, I don't have the least ambition to become anybody."- Frida Kahlo
  • Lush skincare In this post I talked about how I've been trying to be consistent with my skincare which has resulted in visible improvement. Shocking I know. That post focused on Peter Thomas Roth products but I've also been using some Lush products for the past two months and I think they've really helped as well. I'm working on a review.
  • Starbucks  Specifically coming up with "my drink" at Starbucks. I don't drink alcohol so I feel this is my only opportunity to have a signature beverage other than water with lemon. It's been a bit rough. I don't drink coffee so my options are limited to tea. I started first with a grande iced green tea frappucino with soy milk. It was all good until I got the Starbucks app and realized it had 56g of sugar. So on to the next one I went.  Option number 2 was a grande iced chai tea latte with soy milk. That reportedly has 43g of sugar, which in my humble opinion was still too much sugar. I almost decided to scrap the whole thing and just stick to Teavana when Starbucks and Teavana combined and then they threw Oprah into the mix. At that point it just seemed as if the universe was telling me to stay the course. So now I've settled on a tall Oprah Chai Tea with soy milk. I'm afraid of them discontinuing it  which would force me to start this whole process over again  so I've been researching a back up. As of today it's a tall skinny chai tea latte with soy milk.  
  • Boyfriend Jeans They don't have to be a perfect fit. They just have to not fall down when you walk. You can dress them up or down. What could be more perfect? 
  •  Bookmarks  I've been reading more actual books vs reading on my Kindle app lately so I need bookmarks. Luckily I had one I picked up as a souvenir on my last trip but I need more.  And because I'm special me they have to be pretty, colorful and magnetic. The search continues. 
  •  Shooties   I resisted these for a while. I was like what trickery is this? It's either a boot or a shoe not both.  I eventually caved and am now firmly on the bandwagon. You see it's a boot and a shoe so you get the look of a chic boot and  can still show off your pedicure. They're great! 

That's all I can think of for now. I'm off to read some September issues, do lanudry watch Netflix and maybe catch a movie. I'd love to hear what you've been #slightlyobsessed over lately. Have a great week! 

Stardate :1401.09

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!!... Itty-bitty living space

Necklace: J-Crew Factory- Here
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Tory Burch
Bag: Henri Bendel Debutante Satchel-  In Black Here
Bracelet/Rings: David Yurman
Nails: YSL- Bleu Marjorelle- Here
Toes: Formula X For Sephora- Extraordinary- Here
Lips: Lippy Butter London - Come to Bed Red * Review coming soon* Here

A virtual high five to those of you that know where the title of this post comes from without googling it. Up high!

I try to keep it light here at this little corner of the internet, but I think it is safe to say that the past couple of weeks have been rough. One of the low points for me was hearing about the death of Robin Williams. He was one of the few actors I could always count on to make me laugh. To think that the flame of someone who brought so much light to so many people would end that way is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to his family and friends. 

I've read a lot of blog posts and articles in the past weeks that have segued the conversation about Mr. Williams' passing into a discussion about depression. I have no personal experience with depression so it would be irresponsible of me to broach the subject here.  Instead I'll share with you what I vowed to do after I'd dried my eyes the night I heard of his death. I told myself that I would be kind. Yep, I know it's not exactly earth shattering but it is the pledge I made in my heart. I will be kind because I may never know what the other person is going through. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week!  

Stardate :1423.08

Skin Care Regimen: Peter Thomas Roth

 This year I've upped the ante on my skin care routine and the Peter Thomas Roth line has been in heavy rotation.  As a background I have combination skin prone to acne and hyperpigmentation.  I also am guilty of not always being consistent with my regimen. 

I decided to give the PTR line a try after reading all of the positive reviews online. I've included in the picture above all of the PTR products I currently use.

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash $32/8.5oz

The first Peter Thomas Roth product I tried was the glycolic face wash. I liked the way it gave me that deep down clean feeling and left no type of residue or film on my face after rinsing. I only need a dime sized amount to wash my face so the bottle lasts for quite a while.  I have never experienced any type of tingling or irritation while using the wash, but I've had medical grade peels administered by a dermatologist so it's possible I've built up a tolerance to glycolic acid. When used consistently the wash really helps to minimize my breakouts. 

Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque  $40/5oz

I have a hit and miss relationship with sulfur. I've tried it in some facial products and found it to be irritating.  I've tried it in others with no result whatsoever. The PTR sulfur masque works for me. The directions say to use it 2-3 times a week for 10 minutes. I find that I use it more as a spot treatment when my skin flares up so a jar lasts me forever. I dab a small amount on the affected area and leave it on overnight. I usually see a marked difference within a day or two. It's a sulfur mask but I don't find the smell off-putting. On a scale of 1-10 I'd put the sulfur smell at about a 3.5.

Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Gel $54/3.40z

After the wash and the masque my next step would be either the PTR Acne Clearing Gel above or the Complexion Pads below. If I have several eruptions brewing I'll use them both with the pads first followed by a thin layer of the gel. The gel to me is unscented. It's clear and does not leave a film on my darker skin. I've used the gel in the mornings and evenings. The directions suggest using it 2-3 times a day as needed. I think 3 times a day would be a bit much with this product. 

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Pads $36/60 pads
The complexion pads are scented. It's a mild clean scent that PTR describes as peach bellini. I can't tell you the last time I smelled a peach so I can't vouch for that, but I will say the scent does not bother me. The pads are double sided with a flat smooth side as pictured above and a more textured side when flipped. The Acne Clearing Gel and the Max Complexion pads have 10% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid so they clearly mean business. There is a Gentle Correction Pad with .5% salicylic if you want to start with something a little milder. The suggested usage for the pads is also 2-3 times a day. I only use them once a day and always at night. 

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum $60/1oz

What's that you say? This isn't a Peter Thomas Roth product. You are right eagle eyes it is not. It is a product I've been using this year with the different facial regimens I've been trying so I decided to add it to the pics. I use it as a spot treatment on the areas where I have some hyperpigmentation and it seems to be helping. I need to try it for a couple more months before I can give it a full seal of approval.

Have you tried any Peter Thomas Roth products? Are you one of the lucky ones who just needs honey and water filtered during a full moon to keep your skin blemish free ?

Stardate :1412.08