Two of my favourite things

I love Morocco.  But I’m going to take a little break from the Kingdom and head home for  Ottawa Bluesfest.  It’s such an honour to serve as an area leader of their social media team.

And line-up blew my mind.  Flaming Lips, Caravan Palace, The Tea Party, Danny Michel, Hannah Georgas, Girl Talk, The Tragically Hip, Buddy Guy, Blue Rodeo.  Not to mention the artists on the smaller stages that I’ll get to discover.

Although, I have to say, I knew I’d love the line-up as soon as I saw the theme.  After all, it combines two of my favourite things – Ottawa Bluesfest and Las Vegas.

I’ve never stayed more than four days in Vegas.  If you’ve been there before, you’d understand why.  So this should be interesting.  12 days of great music, great friends, and great times.

Ah, Viva Las Bluesfest!

The rearview mirror

Sometimes we want to make life changes.  And after quite awhile thinking about it, getting more and more fed up with our current situation, weighing the pros and cons….we finally do it.  With a little help from friends.  And to the amazement of those who “could never do what you are doing”.

But then we make life changes and we realize that it not always be what we thought.

Things suddenly look better in the rearview mirror.

Standing on the rooftop terrace and screaming out, “what the hell have I done with my life?” for anyone to answer, seems like a great idea.

There are ups and downs.  All of a sudden we have to re-establish ourselves.  Put ourselves in somewhat uncomfortable situations.  Because perhaps we’ve made a wrong decision.

NO!  Don’t even think about it!

There is a reason you made the change in the first place.  Something that drove you so crazy you couldn’t take it anymore.

So, you just take a look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re fabulous. That you felt similar feelings when you were unhappily comfortable.  That turning back is not an option.  Because if you stick it out, you’ll not only find happiness, but a sense of accomplishment.  And even if no one else believes in your dreams, you’ll succeed.  Because you believe in yourself.

Then along the way, you’ll learn things, about yourself, others and society.

You’ll grow. Become stronger.  Suddenly the view in the rearview mirror starts to fade.

You may even inspire the people who “could never do what you are doing,” to make changes in their lives.

And when you get there, to the goal you wanted to achieve, the people who initially doubted you, will be speechless.  Actually, they’ll probably find some fault in what you’ve done, but who cares?  You’re fabulous!

And probably ready for your next adventure.

At least that’s how I feel!

Miss Mandy in the kitchen

I know, those words almost NEVER go together.

But I really, really love the food here and I can’t always go to restaurants.  So my friend is teaching me how to cook.

And we are starting with baby steps.

Moroccan salad.

So I thought I’d share:

Peel the tomatoes, green peppers and onions. (because of the amount of pesticides used today)

Chop finely.

Mix together in a bowl with some cumin, coarse salt, pepper and some local olive oil.

Simple.  Yet refreshing!

Bon appetit!

And then stay tuned for more cooking adventures as I’ve promised that I would stop eating take out.*

*some exceptions may apply.

Venturing into the unknown

I’ve been in desperate need of a hair cut for awhile now.  But trying out a new hair stylist can be scary.  Like dating.  It can either be great.  Or really bad.

Except there is typically nothing you can do about it.  You just fall victim to what I like to call false advertising.

False advertising?

Yes.  In the dating world, false advertising goes like this…

Girl meets boy.  He takes her out a few great dates.  Everything goes well.  He dresses to impress.  They are excited to see each other.   She “falls in love”.  After all, he gives the impression that he knows how to take care of a lady.  But then *bam* outta nowhere,  dude stops calling as often. Instead of wanting to go out on fun dates,  he’d rather stay home.  The attire no longer becomes dress to impress, but rather you may wonder, did you even bother to brush your hair before I stopped by?

Or, the “recent” photo posted online.  Ya, it was recent in 2001 when it was SCANNED onto the computer.

In the hair stylist world, it’s a bit easier to spot false advertising.  Trendy atmosphere.  Funky music.  Stylists’ hair cuts and style.  Coffee bar.  Typically a good indication of a decent salon.  Although that’s not to say I haven’t fall victim to false advertising before.

But my employer had a deal of the day for a certain salon so I thought I’d give it a try.

And I’m happy to announce that I’m pleased with the results.  There will definitely be a second date.  In a few months.

In the market for happiness

If happiness were on sale, I would’ve stocked up last week.

But money doesn’t buy happiness.

So I headed to the desert.  And I stocked up on good friends, fresh bread baked from the communal bread over, and sunshine.

All things that money can’t buy.  But knowing that it’s the little things in life that make me happy.

After all, when was the last time you saw a sun for sale at the shops?

Baking bread from scratch

Baking bread from scratch in the communal bread over

The communal bread oven

The communal bread oven