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so i am a camel hunter in the deserts of the uae. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Caution: whipped cream whippin...

You're probably wondering who won the battle of the Whipped Cream vs. Hanners...

I'll let the photos speak for themselves!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

farewell to the latte...

I don't contribute much to the blogging world and think perhaps I probably should have just gotten a twitter account.  Have I written anything that has impacted anyone?  Changed the world?  Spread some love?  Or have I just contributed to all the NOISE out there with my verbal diarrhea?

I guess today I'm hoping I can share some information that might be of value to you.  I've finished my massive detox and managed to shed 25+ pounds AND have kept it off!  I even convinced a few of you to join me in this journey towards health and hopefully have been an encouragement to those of you who had 10, 20, 50+ pounds to shed. 

My initial goal was to lose weight and through the homeopathic 'cure' and then re-set my metabolism so that I could eat a pie or brick of ice-cream and still stay thin.  Life doesn't work like this.  What happened instead is that I became a quasi health fanatic who realized that I know nothing.  It's hard to re-train your brain once you've accepted the cultural norms and thought it was actually good to be normal.  When it comes to your health and diet (diet referring to the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group, not weight loss diet), eating what is considered normal is NOT healthy and will adversely affect your quality of life today and in the future.  

My friend Autumn, a brilliant artist and nutrition guru, has given me a LOT of information.  Today's lesson is all about Milk.  Since I've stolen her words and spiced them up with some of my ramblings, I give Autumn credit for anything that makes sense below - and anything wacky?  I probably added that in...

So what does this have to do with lattes?  And why do I have to give them up???  Say farewell???  I keep being told that it's not fat that makes us fat, it's sugars and carbs. RIGHT!!?!  Milk has carbs.  Carbs from sugar.  The lower fat percentage, the higher the sugar/carb content.  So I thought that if I made it a breve latte (whole milk and half and half) I would be doing myself a favor.  Less sugar, right? Wrong.  With over 400 calories a pop, who can have these everyday along with the 2000+ calories we typically consume?  Not me!  

When we substitute our fat free milk for full fat, we can't do it on a 1 to 1 ratio.  Milk is full of simple carbs which are the enemy (complex carbs are from whole grains and veggies, NOT the enemy.  A gallon of whole milk is labeled 12g of carbs, 11g of which are from sugar.  Same goes for the 2% and skim milk.  All milk has a LOT of carbs. 12g carbs is as much as a lollypop.  So, you may drink milk, but you may also be setting yourself up for a weight gain.

However - half and half has only 1g carbs and heavy cream has 0g carbs. Half and half and heavy cream are our friends.  But yes, those are high in calories.  If you count calories, or even if you don't -  let's say you enjoy lattes.  Don't make a latte with heavy cream.  Instead, make whipped cream with stevia and vanilla and pour your 2 shots of espresso through it.  Toss in about 3enormous spoonfuls of whipped cream  - nearly filling the glass, and then the hot espresso melts it a bit and - it is delish!

Or, stir a lot of half and half into your coffee - or stir in heavy cream, using as much as needed (2 or 3 Tbsp) to get the color - the light brown milky creaminess that you want, but you don't swap out milk for cream in equal amounts.

You could froth milk and only use the froth to top it off - but if you make whipped cream, you can make it in advance and keep it in the fridge to top off your coffee drinks...sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa and you're off to the races!

It's not going to happen overnight, but I'm on a journey to give up the latte's... Maybe' I'll have to change the name of the blog to hanners?  whipped cream and espressos? 

Monday, January 24, 2011

late again...

I figured out what went wrong with my mobile phone.  I stopped by an iphone store earlier in the evening and the man must have plugged my iphone into his computer - and then informed me that his itunes had a virus and to please come back tomorrow.  I never saw him connect the phone to his computer, but it was a dodgy back street - and as the only girl in site, I used my slanty roaming eyes to stay alert (though my trusted body guard Robby was by my side at all times).  I guess when the dodgy computer guy stole my phone he must have reset the time.  And this morning I was late AGAIN.  Yesterday I woke up at 7:00am and was at work by 7:50am.  This morning I woke up at 6:32am and was at work at 7:45am. SERIOUSLY?  I got up 28 minutes earlier and only made it to work 5 minutes earlier than yesterday??? Now that my watch isn't 15 minutes fast I don't know what time to leave for work.  I can't remember what time I used to leave for work - and I can't even remember how long it takes to drive to work!!!  I think it takes about 12-15 minutes, but who knows.  Is this old age?  Is Alzheimers taking it's toll at 29?  What's going to happen when I'm 30 years old??

Moral of the story:  Am going for a latte after work, hoping to discourage a "late" in the am...

Sunday, January 23, 2011


am trying out a new format, hoping have a less aggressive layout, easier for people to read and enjoy..


Blaming Etisalat

I've been late for work four times this entire school year. Which isn't bad, until you consider that all four "lates" were in the past month.  And until today, I was literally ONE MINUTE late for work each time.  But one minute means that I still have to sign the Late Sheet. 

Today we have our monthly meeting and I know punctuality will be a hot topic.  So of course, I woke up early, brushed my teeth, washed my face, rubbed out the sleepy lines and heated up the espresso machine.  Five minutes later I was jumping in the car, a full FIFTEEN minutes earlier than normal.  Then disaster struck.  I glanced at my car clock, then my mobile phone/alarm clock, looked back at my car clock, back at the mobile... (I'm on a horse). UGH, EEEEK!  I keep my mobile 15 minutes fast to help me stay "on time". 

Last night, at some random point in the night, my mobile went in sync with Etisalat, the mobile provider I use here.  My stupid friggin annoying mobile was no longer fifteen minutes fast.  And I'm still in the dark as to how this happened.  I didn't tell it to change times - last night while running errands the clock was normal... fast...  This morning I wasn't leaving for work early, I was leaving later than normal.  Actually, it was a record late time.

Shoot me now...

moral of the story:  "lates" are not nearly as cool as "lattes"

Monday, January 10, 2011

highs and lows

I don't want to be a rollercoaster person - you know the type, the ones who are giddy happy one minute and then crash and turn into a miserable person the next!  I've had a great first week of 2011 and then today was miserable.  The students made me wanna shoot myself in the face, there isn't enough time to get things done, my car needs ANOTHER repair (what the heck is an engine cushion and why is my car so friggin loud when I reverse??? oh yeah, it needs a dang friggity lickin new engine cushion...). SO my fear is that this crappy day is going to stick around and I won't be able to shake it. 

And if things turn around, am I going to be on top of the world again? I don't want to become bi-polar.  BUT I do want to be filled with God's Joy and stay on top.

breathe. breathe.

It's ok to have bad days.  It's what I do with the bad day that matters.  The kids leave in 10 minutes, I leave in 30.  Am headed to Starbucks to meet Elaina Renee for a latte.  Then steak for dinner.  It's gonna be ok.

(ps, I know my blog is boring. but I like writing anyways! :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

smile or puke?

I'm having a good week.  Once I recovered from my distressing 8 hour encounter with the JFK airport, I couldn't stop smiling.  I'm home and the jetlag is almost a memory.  I did sneak into Elaina's room this morning so that I could use her internet when I woke up at 5:15am... I didn't stop smiling yesterday when one grade 5 student told me that there are only two teachers in our school who don't yell at students.  ME and her mother.  I couldn't stop smiling because I don't know her mum's name.  I just call her "teacher who yells" when speaking about her.  Sometimes I have to clarify if "teacher who yells" is arabic, head teacher, ms. happy, or american... But usually my collegue Robby knows exactly who I'm speaking about.

Then today I nearly vomitted in my mouth.  Dillemma.  Do I laugh it off, confront her, or vomit?

The only thing I could think to do was blast a bit of Chris Martin Christmas songs and hope that it would drown her out.  I'm still smiling, she can't ruin the Christmas glow around me.  Now I'm headed home for a humongous steak and a restful evening...

... and maybe even a latte!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

JFK excitement

JFK airport just really isn't amazing. True, it has 8 terminals, but terminal 4 is NOT amazing.  FOUR may be my favourite number but this airport is BORING.  My flight was supposed to leave at 11pm.  it's now 12:05am and I'm still here.  There was some sort of mechanical problem and the plane was replaced on the Dubai end... and was delayed there for 12 hours.  When it's a 15 hour flight, that is a huge deal.  Apparently it's supposed to land here at 2:30am, get cleaned, and then take off again at 4:30am.  DOUBTFUL that will happen as the Emirates Airbus 330 is the largest plane in the world and takes HOURS to empty, clean, and refill.

Airports are boring, but there's plenty going on here to watch.  For instance, crazy lady next to me has a cat on a leash... and she's gently coaxing the cat to drink her "mochi mocha" out of the take-away cup provided by Peet's Coffee and Tea. That's weird, eh? isn't it?  I did also think it was odd she was trying to get people to take her free hotel voucher, there is some reason why she can't use it but I tried to not listen to her while she explained the reasons again and again...

I thought about getting a pedicure while I waited but it seemed a better idea to (stop the press, crazy lady just tried to get cat to eat her panini, asking her again and again, are you sure you don't want it? sure you don't want it???) pay the 8 bucks for boingo internet than the 50 for pretty toes.  and I loved visiting Jenny in New York for New Years, but seriously, what airport doesn't have free wireless these days???  And airports without comfy seating or beds seriously suck. SUCK SUCK SUCK.

I am already missing my pro-d day at work, looks like I might miss the first day of school of 2011..... whoops!

moral of the story:  always good to have internet and latte's!