Week 43 – The new me!

Another something new that I’m stretching the truth in a little bit – this week’s new was actually done many, many years ago…. but it’s now something new while in my adult years and I have to brag about it 🙂

I’m finally getting my teeth fixed! I put this on my bucket list a couple of years ago and now, after lots and lots of visits to the dentist (including one where I actually cried in the chair because I’m that petrified of the dentist), and a very tough decision to make, I have finally bitten the bullet and had braces put on!

Thankfully, things have changed a lot since I was a teenager getting my teeth done and so I was not forced to get those terrible silver tracks running along my teeth… instead I’m able to have ceramic braces that you can hardly notice unless you’re right next to me. Not even my speech has been altered so that’s another win!

And in approximately 18 month’s time I’ll have a new smile 🙂

This week has been pretty difficult in terms of what to eat… of course once I’m used to them I’ll be able to go back to pretty much normal eating, but this first week has been a learning curve of note!

My first night wasn’t too bad – managed to have curry, rice and naan bread (ok, probably shouldn’t have had the naan, but I was tearing it into very small pieces and basically just swallowing it 😉 ), but the second day was a nightmare! I was in terrible pain and so put together a weekly menu consisting of oats, mashed potato, smoothies and similar types of foods… maybe it’ll lead to a bit of unexpected weight loss 😛

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Week 33 – Jordan

This song has nothing to do with this post, but when I wrote the name, Jordan, the first line of this song came into my head and since I’m a MASSIVE MJ fan, I thought I’d share the video anyway 🙂

Now onto the real thing… my trip to Jordan – another new country for my something new this week!

Friends of mine from Dubai, who have moved to LA, got married in Jordan this past weekend and of course that meant that all of us headed over there in a big group to share in the celebration and have a mini reunion with people we’ve not seen in years!

The wedding was to be held on Thursday night so we took Thursday off work and flew out at some insane hour of the morning, but we then got to enjoy a little bit of chill time in Amman before having to get all dressed up for the party that night.

We arrived at the wedding venue, (Canvas, Amman), all donned up in our beautiful dresses and smart suits and hung about while the bridal party were having some photos taken. As more and more guests arrived, the conversation grew louder and the party started getting lively.

As with pretty much any wedding, there was then the bridal dance (which I missed the start of, doh!) and then lots of dancing from guests, followed by some delicious food, and non-stop drinks.

The day after the celebration, we all climbed into taxi’s and headed off down to the Dead Sea – approximately 55 km’s so a reasonably short trip which we turned into a lengthy one because we kept stopping for sightseeing along the way 🙂

On arrival the Dead Sea we checked into our hotel – the Kempinski Ishtar – and let the chill time begin… starting off with a bit of floating in the Dead Sea and a mud bath! The Dead Sea is the weirdest feeling in the world – the immense saltiness, and the total inability to move in the direction that you want to move… the water does it all for you. And then after the mud bath, you rinse yourself off and your skin is literally the softest it has ever been – a-ma-ZING!

From there was just a lot of hanging around, enjoying the weekend away with friends from near and far.

Unfortunately on this trip I didn’t get to Petra so that’s going to have to be done another time, but I hope you enjoyed the photos regardless 🙂 (Click on each of the galleries to open up a larger view of the photos)

# 42 – Zebra Cake

For all you cake-lovers out there – I strongly recommend you keep reading this post 🙂

A few months ago I came across a video on how to make a zebra cake , and so, because zebras are my favourite animals, I decided that making this cake had to go on the bucket list! But keep in mind here that at that point I’d never made a cake before 😳

Fast forward a few months and RB comes to me one day and says that she’ll help me with some of my bucket list items… and the zebra cake came up this past week. So, one evening I went to hers after work and we set about making this cake. Correction – I set about making this cake 🙂

You can watch the video here to get the directions, but I’ve listed the ingredients below because we made the silly error of not writing down the list and so had to keep going back and forth to see how much to put in of each ingredient. The step-by-step instructions in the video are super easy to follow!

Ingredients:

  • 2 and a half cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 and a quarter teaspoons baking powder
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • three quarters cup vegetable oil
  • white, pink & black food colouring
  • white butter cream (for decorating)
  • black fondant (for decorating)
  • pink butter cream (for decorating; we added pink colouring to our white butter cream)

We took a whack of photos of my super fun experience learning to bake… I’ve put a slideshow of some of them below. The cake turned out super yummy, albeit a tad on the dry side – possibly because we added in additional flour thinking that the dough looked a bit too runny… next time I’ll definitely leave it as is! But the cake was flattened by myself and friends, all with very good reviews of how delicious it was, and extreme surprise from everyone that this was MY.FIRST.CAKE.EVER! 🙂

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