Skills, yo!

Skillz, yo!

Except for those on the front lines (medics and other first responders and whatnot), we all had a lot of time on our hands in 2020, particularly during the lockdown.

I chose to use that time to develop a skill and eventually master it (I practice what I preach).

It wasn’t really a new skill because I’ve dabbled in it before (Awesome Blossom/Blooming Onion and Elote Mexican Street Corn), but during the lockdown, I can confidently state that I’ve mastered it.

It started off with the best tasting cookies I’ve baked on March 3 (here). After that, I became obsessed!

I started looking up recipes online and trying them out and customizing them as I went along. You name it, I made it!

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‘One Day More’ of President Trump – Les Misérables Parody

Honestly, I debated whether I should post this up or not. I gave it a day (slept on it) and as you can see, decided to go for it.

Les Mis is one of my absolute most favorite musicals! I’d like to follow that up with, I don’t enjoy musicals and that it was never my thing except… for Moulin Rouge! (2001) which I loved! To me, it was the most romantic movie of all time, up until I saw The Notebook (2004).

I have an extremely vague memory of watching Oliver! (1968) at my neighbor’s apartment (my family and I happened to be abroad) during the Gulf War (90-91) when I was around 5 or 6 years old. Back in Kuwait, almost a year later, I was forced into watching Annie (1982) as part of Music Class in the second grade (91-92 school year). We also had to watch Aladdin in that same class, but animated movies and cartoons don’t count (‘cuz those were a pleasure to watch).

Somehow, I managed to watch the Labyrinth at home (no parental guidance because… Kuwait) which gave me nightmares (along with Willow and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie but those weren’t musicals so whatever). Basically, all the musicals I’d seen up until that point either revolved around orphans or babies.

Then, I saw Selena (1997) played by Jennifer Lopez (before she became the J-Lo we all know and love today) and was mesmerized! To this day, I can’t listen to Como La Flor without tearing up because it reminds me of her (the real Selena). I remember lending the tape to my cousin and she never returned it.

I was super excited to see Romeo + Juliet (1996) and then Titanic (1997), for obvious reasons (Leo)! They count as musicals because both their soundtracks (musical scores?) are quite memorable. To be fair, I thought the score from the classic Romeo and Juliet (1968) was extremely memorable (well, just that one super sad song).

Once I watched Moulin Rouge! (2001), I was obsessed! It was not just another cheesy musical. Moulin Rouge was dark! The music, the cinematography, the costumes, the story, heck, everything about it was amazing! It was just… masterful! Also, Nicole Kidman never looked prettier than she did in that movie!

Of course I watched 8 Mile (2002) because Eminem. I couldn’t finish Chicago (2002) or Bride and Prejudice (2004) or The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

My friends and I watched Rent (2005) and as soon as the end credits came up, all started singing 525,600 Minutes simultaneously (and not one of us got the lyrics correct lol). I think I liked Enchanted (2007) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) but for some reason, can barely remember them.

Finally, we come to Les Misérables (2012) which I put off watching because “I’m not into musicals”, but once I did actually give it a shot (X-Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent kept singing songs from the movie/musical and I wanted to see what the fuss was about), I was veritably blown away!

I’d actually seen the previous version of Les Misérables (1998) on tv when I was much, much younger (so long ago that I wanna’ say it was on Super Movies on Orbit, remember Orbit guys? lol) and actually enjoyed the story but I could’ve sworn it was Gabriel Byrne (whom I adore) that played Jean Valjean not Liam Neeson.

In any case, the 2012 version of Les Mis was true excellence! Whoever cast these actors in those roles did such a good job! I was entranced from the get-go! I loved most if not all of the songs! The one where Marius (played by Eddie Redmayne) was remembering drinking with his friends only the night before (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables) just broke me!

The Great Gatsby (2013) was yet another masterpiece! The music was fire! The costumes were fire! Leo was fire! lol I loved the whole thing! In fact, all I listened to was the Jazz Foxtrot version of Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray, for months afterwards! The entire movie was just masterful! Baz Luhrmann is a genius and I absolutely, love, love love his work!

I did watch Grease (1978) at some point, but that was so long ago and all I remember was that it was playing on MBC and I got into it lol Also, I saw La La Land (2016) in our Cinema Room and thought it was just okay.

Anyways (long tangent over) the above video is of James Corden singing “One Day More” which was whatever… up until that one dude, whose singing sounded so similar to Hugh Jackman’s (“this impeachment is a lie”) and then the other two, whose singing sounded similar to the tavern junkies (“we won’t wear a mask, that’s our given right”) cracked me up! That’s why I figured I’d share it.

That said, if Trump is a bully and the whole world bullies Trump, doesn’t that make the whole world bullies too?

Now on to something lighter…

While watching the inauguration (thank you, spell check), I clocked this cutie! I would not shut up about her, up until my mom and dad got annoyed and threatened to kick me out of their living room.

How darling are her curls? The way she paired it with the headband! Also, the rest of her outfit was pretty adorbs! You pair that with her gorgeous eyes and honest to goodness, the girl looks like a real-life Pixie! So stinkin’ cute!

As it turns out, this lil cutie is Ella Emhoff (22) who is the daughter of Doug Emhoff from a previous marriage (before he was married to Vice President Kamala Harris).

I look forward to seeing the looks Ella is going to be serving in the future!

Another cutie that I couldn’t take my eye off of was Natalie Biden (16)! She had gorgeous eyes as well (is it something in the water that they’re drinking? what’s the secret?) that I couldn’t help but notice! Her pink ensemble was to die!

Natalie Biden is the daughter of Beau Biden and is the granddaughter of President Joe Biden, for reference.

I wish I had a clearer pic of her during the inauguration (thank you, spell check), but this is all I could find.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

My Home (Post #1,000)

The post that no one asked for lol

For my 1,000th post, I figured I’d take pics of my home (granted most of the photos are of doors but think of this as a general over-view and I’ll go even more in-depth in a future post… maybe).

There are 3 entrances to our home (potential thieves, take note).

– The first is the main entrance (shown in the photo) which is facing the main road.
– The second is the side entrance that’s by the car parking area and leads straight to the elevator.
– The third is by the kitchen and includes a long outdoor walkway that leads to the male staff’s living quarters on one side and the back entrance on the other side.

Only the main entrance area and the side entrance area each have their own skylight (partially shown in the above photo).

Typically, I’d use the natural daylight shining through from the skylight in the main entrance area to take photos of stuff for my blog (it’s where the “magic” happens).

The door to the right leads to my apartment (living room + guest bathroom + long hall leading to my bedroom + walk-in closet + master bathroom and finally my bedroom.

The door to the left leads to my parents’ apartment (living room + guest bathroom + shuttered terrace overlooking the garden + walk-in closet + master bathroom and finally their bedroom).

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Quarantine Couture

Earrings: Call It Spring Gold Stud Earrings
Sunglasses: Purple Aviators
Top: Black Dreaming Sleeveless Tank Top (I wanna’ say from Miss Selfridge)
Bottom: H&M Dark Grey Joggers (purchased earlier here)
Shoes: Havaiana Brasil Flip Flops (reviewed earlier here)

Like I said earlier in my Slippers post (here), I love Loungewear!

Loungewear is just so comfortable (enough to lounge in ergo lounge-wear). Loungewear keeps me warm when it’s cold outside. Loungewear keeps me cool when it’s hot outside. Loungewear is easy. Loungewear is effortless. Loungewear is life.

Before the lockdown, I thought I had plenty of comfortable clothes.

As it turns out, I only had 2 Bralettes from American Eagle (one a gorgeous grey and another in a beautiful lavender, both of which I outgrew once I gained some weight during the lockdown) and a few T-Shirts from a variety of different places (all of which are threadbare now or have a ton of holes in them or both, also from being abused during the lockdown) and a handful of Joggers or Sweatpants from H&M (all hauled in my blog).

The rest of my stuff was all “going out” stuff and not exactly the most comfortable for lounging around in, especially not for hours on end.

I realized that I needed to buy more comfy T-shirts (preferably Over-Sized) and more T-shirt Bras (as opposed to Balconette Bras or Push-Up Bras or whatever) and definitely more Joggers, and just more Loungewear in general… once the lockdown lifted.

I mean this particular pair of Dark Grey Joggers were absolute life-savers during the lockdown (heck, for all of 2020 I’d say)! The following pictures will demonstrate that.

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Any way you slice it, BTS pretty much saved my life (here).

Like I said earlier, I was at my weakest, saddest and lowest point ever, and while searching for something to watch on YouTube, I clicked on Trending and saw them singing along with James Corden and was instantly smitten!

They were a beacon of light in the darkness, or rather my darkness!

I’ve always sorta’ heard about the boys, but never really gave them a second glance, up until they appeared on Carpool Karaoke on The Late Late Show With James Corden back in early March (which was trending on YouTube at the time)… and for almost 17 minutes, my heart palpitations were forgotten!

I knew next to nothing about them, but once I watched the video (first and last episode I’ve ever watched of Carpool Kareoke), I quickly became interested in BTS!

Their were so many of them (7 in total) and they all looked so cute and the chemistry between them was very endearing! They were all just so very, very charming!

Once the video ended, the next one after that was BTS Performs “On” at Grand Central Terminal on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

As it turns out, these guys were wonderful entertainers! They really put on a show!

In fact, they put me in the mind-set of my first K-Pop loves H.O.T. and Shin Hwa from back in the day (1999 to be exact).

I mean… WOW!

After that, I was obsessed (to this day) with the all-male South Korean Boy Band called Bangtan Boys (acronym for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan meaning Bulletproof Boy Scouts) also known as BTS!

I spent hours watching songs and videos and clips of them on YouTube, of which there were many (an almost endless supply)! Apparently, everyone else loved these boys too!

Unfortunately, when I shared the videos with my nieces and nephew, I quickly realized they could not tell the boys apart!

Once the lockdown was lifted and my friends began visiting me, I noticed that they couldn’t tell the boys apart either!

Not that my friends or family read my blog, but I figured I’d go through the members of BTS from oldest to youngest and share what I like about them (and how to tell them apart -_-) and so on.

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Levain Cookies (step-by-step with pics)

I wasn’t happy with my previous post about the infamous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (this) because it didn’t feel… enough.

So, I decided to bake those Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies again, while taking pictures to document the entire process for this post.

Unfortunately, I had the carpenter over, with the electrician on the way (remodeling my place… or rather modeling it for the first time lol) and ended up burning the cookies, just a bit.

I was supposed to leave them in the oven for 20 minutes, instead I left them for 25 minutes, and that made all the difference, sadly.

In any case, they still tasted pretty great (according to the familia) if a bit harder than usual lol

For reference, the first time I made these was back in March 2020 (dis).

I’ll list the substitutes and everything below.

2/3 cup White Sugar (large refillable tub in the back)
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 sticks of Butter (100g each)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda (I use Bicarbonate of Soda, same thing, right?)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/4 cup Cake Flour (or 1 cup AP Flour + 2 tbs Cornstarch)
2 cups All Purpose Flour (regular flour)
2 Eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips (whole bag)
1 cup Walnuts (chopped)

I believe I got these Colourworks Measuring Spoons from Lakeland (Marina Mall) back in 2016.

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Levain Bakery Cookies (Best Cookies in NYC)

Sorry for the size of the video, but it was taken straight from my personal and only Snapchat account. I dunno’ know how to edit it to make it look smaller and more proportionate.

In a way, it’s kind of appropriate though, because the recipe I’m going to be sharing is of these rather large (6 oz / 170g) Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies!

Basically, there are these super famous Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Levain Bakery that although located in New York, have somehow achieved world renowned status!

Locals and tourists flock to Levain for their world-famous Cookies! Everyone loves them! They’ve even made it to the top of multiple lists!

I don’t know why these babies popped up randomly on my YouTube feed, but I became obsessed!

Seeing as how I wasn’t going to be going to New York any time soon (been there once before, nice place, bit far though lol), the next best thing was to make them at home!

While the actual recipe is “top secret”, thankfully, there’s a ton of copy-cat recipes available online (you can even find them in everything from Chinese to Korean)!

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Nordstrom Hair Care and Fragrance Haul (February)

On February 7th 2020, I placed an order with Nordstrom for some Hair Care and Perfumes.

It might look like a lot, but I actually purchased only x8 items (x3 full-size hair care items – x3 travel-size hair care items – x2 travel-size perfumes) and the rest were all gifts with purchase (deluxe samples).

The total was $336 (tack on an additional $30 for tax) which was around KD 111, not including Aramex shipping fees.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was going to be my last online order for a good long while.

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Amazon UK Haul (February)

My dad asked me to order yet another Alexa Echo for him, once the new one with an 8″ HD screen came out.

Since UK electronics are more compatible with our electric system in Kuwait (?) as opposed to the army of adapters you would need for US appliances, I had to place my order with Amazon UK, as opposed to regular ol’ Amazon.

Since I was going to be placing an online order with Amazon UK anyway, I figured I might as well pick up one of the Babyliss Rotating Hot Air Stylers that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.

So on February 6 2020, I placed an order with Amazon UK for my dad’s stuff (he wanted some other gadgets as well) and for my stuff too.

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