Monthly Finds: January 2014

Hello readers! I know this one is pretty late, but for the few months that passed, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting that I found, so I accumulated the little things I got to put in one post.

Books:

I haven’t been reading much lately, and I don’t feel motivated enough to do that nowadays. These phases come and go, but I did get some of what I like to call “Pleasure Reads”, short and quirky things I would read for the fun of it, not a serious novel or anything.

If you’re not aware of the blog Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh, then you’ve been living under a rock. Best blog to read when you’re feeling down because it’s just so funny and entertaining. At one point, I read almost all the posts that I ran out of things to read….so I ordered the book.

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Haven’t read it yet, just skimmed through the pages and some of them were familiar which kinda bummed me out because I was hoping for new content, but I did find unfamiliar comics here and there so I won’t complain.

Next ones are all kitty-related. Two of them are by Yasmine Surovec which is the mastermind behind the cute Cat vs. Human comics. I bought her second “Cat vs. Human” collection of comics and “I See Kitty”, a children’s book for my 2 year-old cousin who is infatuated with cats, in hopes of fuelling her love of felines. The story is so adorable I cannot wait to read it to her!

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The third one is the all popular “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” by The Oatmeal. I’ve read many of The Oatmeal’s comics over the internetz, and decided I’d buy this one it’s related to cats-duh! It’s quite fun to read, and I finished it in one sitting with a bowl of Rice Krispies when I had a hard time falling asleep :P Plus, it has a summary poster of “the evil cat plotting to kill you” inside woot woot! Must hang it somewhere strategically and freak the heck out of visitors. Maybe in the bathroom, and then I’ll let Tiny stick out his paws from under the door while they do their business lol!

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Shoes & Accessories:

Other than books, I got some pretty things while on my trip to Dubai last week or so. These dainty little lace pumps from New Look -absolutely love their shoes, and some rings I found here and there in Forever 21 -which is 100 times much better than the ones here in AD imo ._. They are pretty simple, but I wanted to collect small rings to stack them up on my fingerrrsss :D

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Makeup:
Not very unique or special, but I needed a new bronzer and blush and I got some great ones! Bronzer is Hoola from Benefit which is perfect, and the blusher is a nice pink peach from Sephora. Also got a brush for my loose setting powder.
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For Kitty:

Since I let Tiny roam around outside everyday, I got worried he might catch some fleas or ticks. He is fully vaccinated from the cold and rabies and such, but those pests sound like a huge hassle to get rid of and I do not want them in our house. I looked around for preventive products and found two, the Bio Spot Flea/Tick Control for 6 months, and Dr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense, an organic daily spray that is supposed to “confuse” fleas and ticks when they smell it, thus preventing them from recognising a potential host and going into the pet’s skin. Yes, I got two, and I’m so glad I did. The first one kills AND prevents, but can only be used once every month. The second organic one is only preventive, and I don’t know whether it could kill them IF they already exist, and can be used daily if needed.

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The Bio Spot formula was great, easy to use and apply and the instructions were clear. However, it is OILY, and it left the patch of hair that was exposed to it weird and oily and not dry from the product on Tiny’s fur for three days until I decided to wash it with shampoo and water (water alone did not work). Let’s just say I’m not anticipating next month’s dose xD Luckily, Tiny didn’t have any fleas or ticks, but I hope it does its work and keeps them away too!

The Dr. Mercola one smelled nasty, which was very disappointing because they mentioned it smelled good :( And seeing Cinnamon in the contents got me excited (I love Cinnamon) but it smelled like cloves… which I do not like at all and was NOT in the contents…
I am one to cuddle the crap out of my cat, so his smell is very important to me tyvm lol! However, if you prefer natural and organic remedies and don’t mind the smell of cloves, then you should try it! I can’t recommend it as I’ve only used it once, but look into other people’s reviews.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading and get ready to head back to school/college because it starts tomorrow. Eep.

– Reem AlHashmi

Cheesecake Factory-Style Caesar Salad

Hello friends!

A while ago on Instagram I mentioned something was brewing in the kitchen, and it was the famous Cheesecake Factory Caesar Salad!! This isn’t my own recipe, I found it on a cooking blog called Mom’s Dish! I decided to write this one up to spread the word, and a second opinion doesn’t harm anyone :)

Check out the recipe here, it’s by Natalya Drozhzhin, who has a variety of delicious recipes for the tummy!

She did not lie when she said it tastes like Cheesecake Factory’s salad, because it actually DOES! I asked my sisters, parents and my uncle who all agreed as well, so you don’t get a biased opinion haha! Definitely recommend this one to all lovers of caesar salads and the famous restaurant. This is my take:

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Really easy and simple to make, and it makes quite the amount so it could last for one to two days depending on how small or large your portions are. When I knew we were having guests over, I doubled the recipe, but ended up having more dressing than salad. oops.

Thank you to Natalya Drozhzhin and give her blog a visit!

Hope you guys try it out and if you like it, give her some feedback :) New Monthly Finds post coming up soon so stay tuned!

Stay healthy,

Reem AlHashmi

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Dubai Getaway

Hello reader! On Monday, my mom decided to take me and my sister on a special trip to Dubai just for the three of us. I was feeling a little down in the dumps the day before so it was the perfect way to say hakuna matata and unwind. For this post, I’m gonna let the pictures speak for themselves. We stayed at the Address Hotel that was connected to The Dubai Mall (mega-yay!) and enjoyed great food from The Cheesecake Factory and Aprons & Hammers :D I also may have shopped till I dropped. A boat ride in The Dubai Dancing Fountain was also included, and the weather was amazing ;) Even though our hotel room’s view wasn’t the best, we had breakfast at iHop next to Burj Khalifa to make up for it! On the second day we went to Social House and I got to drink this super yummy Berry Yoghurt smoothie that I am craving right now <3
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 This close-up view beats standing up on the bridge or edge anytime!!

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Crispy calamari and ceasar salad <3

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Literal “hammers” were used to crack open these crabs :P Fun-tasty experience

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I ordered fish in curry sauce and rice~

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I will try to make my own berry smoothie at home :’) If it’s any good, I’ll share the recipe!

Definitely recommend The Address Hotel or any hotel joined to malls in Dubai (-Kempinski) because they’re seriously the best! Breakfast, lunch and dinner guaranteed at the best restaurants! Thanks for reading guys and I’ll post a new Monthly Finds update soon!

– Reem AlHashmi

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One more cat hair & I’ll cough up furballs!!

Hey dudes!

Today’s random rant will be about the all-too-common cat owners’ dilemma: Shedding. Now I’ve been living with Tiny for about a year and a few months, but the shedding has never been this bad. My veterinarian said he’s a cross between a Persian, and another shorthair breed, so this explains the reason somewhat, but honestly, some Persians don’t shed as much as he does :) He could just pass by you and hair would just be trailing behind him like an entourage. I’ve tried so many tactics to tackle this problem but to no avail. At this point, I’m just sick of it :(

A flea comb is what I started out with and which made me venture off and start my De-shedding mission. But of course, by the time I realized it was too small for a cat as large as Tiny, I quickly tried to find the next best option. The slicker brush. I got it from Four Paws and immediately got to work through his fur, and it lived up to my expectations in the beginning but since the start of Summer, it got pretty bad. Plus he flails so much I almost always end up either chasing after him or get worked up and angry when I give up. Next solution, a shedding comb. Honestly didn’t know there was such a thing (thought the slicker was the best choice) but I gave it a try. Let’s just say it was a 30 AED wasted. Maybe it could’ve worked wonders with longhaired cats, but for a shorthair like Tiny, it was like trying to brush out the dead hair with your fingers xD Catches about 20% of it. I couldn’t afford “investing” so much money on a FURminator brush, not after countless brushes proved to be no good, so paying 200 AED on another one was out of the question.

By then I had completely lost all hope in trying different brushes and settled for a tragic decision that I regret so much right now as I’m typing this. Shaving him :( Dropped him off at the groomer’s yesterday morning and asked for a full shave and clearly stated I had a problem with the shedding, NOT the heat (He’s an indoor cat). When I came to pick him up he looked like he was trimmed, not shaved. I was expecting something along the lines of a bald Tiny but turns out that’s what shaving is. Trimming, but just a little shorter than a usual trim :) He was trimmed a couple months back in Spring, and he looked skinny yes but not as much as he does at the moment.

Anyway, so a car ride home and my friend and I unveil what is a still-an-even-bigger-furry-mess of a cat. You probably guessed it right. He is now shedding what seems to me like a million times more of small hairs that could easily be swallowed, inhaled/breathed in by no one else but me :) Worst decision I ever had to make. I’m not too keen about his outer appearance right now, but I knew that would happen before going with the idea, only because I expected it would solve my problem and give my lungs some fresh clean air to breathe. But now not only does my kitty look ridiculous, the problem got worse!! Ajdsnjdnadsda. I’m at my wit’s end. All brushes don’t work effectively now as well please kill me.

This is Tiny now :’) Still love him though, just crossing my fingers for super fast hair growth in the next few hours weeks.

 

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Grumpy kitty is grumpy. xD

So as a way to sort of fix things during the wait for his hair to grow back, I purchased MyBeau supplements that contain them vitamins that help with good coat condition/hair growth and what not. I put some on his dinner a couple hours ago and if I find out he hasn’t touched it I’m going to-KAJNSDJASDKMDAMDKSM

On a positive note, since he has limited exploration capacity around the house (Not sure if I’m ready to post as to why this is a problem atm) I’ve tried different tactics to keep him entertained instead of resulting to letting him outside. I’m not a full-blown “germophobe” or whatever you call it, but I do cuddle and kiss my cat a lot and I would hate it if he had weird dirt and diseases from the outside world on him when I do :> Not thank you.

I purchased the LocoMotion Automatic Cat Chaser toy and he loved it. This is a video of him going a tad bit “loco” over it, lmao.

It was quite expensive, but I was honestly too distressed about the situation he was in and how much I didn’t want him to leave the house’s perimeters that I bought it with high hopes. Did not disappoint, although he does get bored of it after a while if you keep it running for a long period of time. Let’s just hope he doesn’t become too bored with it later on :’)

Another option I found was Frolicat’s BOLT laser toy which is also automatic. I’m a very busy woman :P and I can’t afford to play with my cat every single day of the rest of my life, so I need the help of modern automatic technology. This I didn’t get yet but I requested it from my cousin who’s outta the country to grab one for me as it is much cheaper and I won’t have to pay for shipping. *-* Plus I ran out of money.

While we wait for it to *hopefully* arrive, the authorities (aka: Mom and Dad) bought Tiny some toys to keep him company from the US :3 Three colourful sparkly bouncy balls and a scratching post for him to destroy rather than my carpet. The scratching post is great and Tiny loved it! Just look at how he acts all “Baloo”-like by scratching his back on it xD Silly kitty.

I guess that’s all for tonight folks! If anyone has any advice or thoughts or experience on dealing with cat entertainment and shedding, let me know and share it below~

Have a good week!

-Reem AlHashmi