One thing led to another

This morning when the alarm went off at 6am I was in no mood to get out of bed. Yesterday I worked on presentations until almost 11pm. I was exhausted!

But dang did it turn out to be a fantastic day! I co-presented with Abby for the first time – a ton of fun!

 

Peak

Then we headed to our favorite event of the month – Qout Market. We met new vendors and visited some of our favorite vendors (now friends) in Kuwait.

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After we had soaked up the atmosphere, we headed to pick up the picture that Jeff & I got printed on canvas…but detours awaited us! First we found the Secret Garden (it’s actually not so secret). We’ve seen it on @mimikuwait‘s instagram a lot and have really wanted to go on a Saturday morning but haven’t made it a priority yet. WOW! I haven’t seen many pictures of the whole garden and didn’t know what to expect. It’s amazing!! And SO incredibly close to home.

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Our second detour was to check out @monstarium‘s latest project. Check out his pictures/videos for the making of! And it turns out a restaurant we want to try is just around the corner – looks gorgeous inside!

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We finally made it to pick up our picture. I’m in love. I was seriously jumping up & down when I saw it. It might be my favorite piece we own. I cannot wait to get it up on our wall!

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Here are some other new additions that we bought at the Christmas bazaar yesterday to get us in the holiday spirit (we’ll be home in 16 days!):

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It’s been the an absolutely beautiful weekend. Warm sun, cool air. My favorite time to be living in Kuwait. G’night everyone!

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Qout Market Love

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about Qout Market yet!

In my opinion, the atmosphere in Kuwait has changed a lot in the last 2+ years. I attribute it to the starting of Qout Market in November of 2013. Qout has helped move the underground culture above ground. New locally owned restaurants have opened, grocery stores have started carrying a larger variety of health food, other markets have started, there are shoot-off events like Nourish…it’s a beautiful thing!

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Qout Market is the 1st Saturday of every month from November to April and is open 9am-5pm. Abby and I have been in attendance at every market since the first one. We seriously love it. I could spend the entire day on the rooftop just walking around, soaking in the atmosphere. And of course eating delicious food! In my opinion, Qout Market doesn’t happen often enough!

2013-14 Qout Market season:

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There were a lot of upgrades this year. Everything just looked more put together and organized. And just plain beautiful. Emad (of eWood Woodworking) does amazing work and I loved seeing his touch all around the market. My favorite thing about the market being back was re-connecting with all the vendors. A new community is emerging and it truly keeps me going! Abby and I are now on a first name basis with several of the vendors and it’s been really fun getting to know new people outside of our school.

Some of my tried & true Qout favorites:

Here are some pictures from the first market of the 2014-15 season. Enjoy!

 

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Bonus: Jeff made us awesome Halloween costumes 🙂

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A random Crossfit competition

Yesterday morning Jeff and I were discussing what to do that afternoon. We weren’t really sure – it wasn’t nice enough to lay by the pool, we didn’t really want to sit at home & watch TV all day, we didn’t really want to work (everyone needs a day off). We thought about maybe walking somewhere to get food. Instead of making a decision, I headed to Body Pump. At the beginning of class, our instructor asked us if we were going to some battle Crossfit thing (I couldn’t really understand him). When I got home, I googled it. And found out that there was a pretty big competition happening at the Marina Crescent – Battle of the East. It had just started so Jeff and I hopped in a taxi to go check it out!

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We stayed for about 2 hours and watched the competition. We were really surprised at how legit it was! They had really cool cameras that were able to get all angles off the competition area. There was a DJ who was up above the competition and when the camera was on him all you could see were beach, water & sky behind him. It wasn’t a nice day to lay at the pool but it was a perfect afternoon for watching an outdoor competition. Best of all – it was free to watch! Only thing I’m bummed about is that I didn’t buy one of the shirts.

Check out more on Instagram.

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Kuwait – where you seek out your own happiness

In general, Kuwait is a pretty easy place to live. We work at a good school. We can speak English pretty much everywhere. There are a ton of Western amenities (there are more American restaurants here then there are in Holland & Battle Creek combined). We make enough to travel where & when we want to. We belong to a beautiful gym. In general, our daily life isn’t too bad.

However it’s not always that simple. Kuwait is a dry country and thus there are none of the activities typically associated with alcohol. We can’t just go hang out at the bar for the evening. There aren’t professional sports. You can’t really take a weekend trip anywhere in the country. There’s only 1 geographical feature (and we’ve been there). You get the idea. What we’ve figured out is that this is a place where it is up to YOU to seek out your own happiness. It is not going to come to you. There is a lot of stuff happening in Kuwait but you just have to find it.

Here’s what I/we’ve been up to:

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This weekend is Halloween (even though we can’t celebrate it at school). Trick-or-treating for staff kids is on Friday night and then there’s an adult costume party. 7 Market is Friday and Saturday. And finally Qout Market is back on Saturday…so excited!!! There’s a lot going on…you just have to seek out what you’re passionate about and make your own happiness.

Fall is here (for now)

We don’t write much. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a lot to write about. We do. But we’re also pretty busy living such a kick-ass life and enjoying moments that we don’t always have the time to write about it. Among other posts, I want to write about spring break in Oman, June in Iceland, our summer, and Bahrain.

In the meantime I’m going to write about weather (again). I just can’t help it. It’s our daily life. And when it changes it’s a pretty big deal. Yesterday was incredibly windy. And then it was DUSTY. Probably one of the dustiest days we’ve seen since moving here (it hasn’t actually been very dusty in our 2+ years here). I was in a classroom for 30 minutes and when I came out the dust had come. It was gross – all in your mouth and nose and the weather turned orange. It kind of looks like when it’s snowing a super fine light snow in MI. We didn’t take any pictures. But check these out from Kuwait UpToDate:

This morning we woke up and it was still super windy. Then we walked outside. It was GORGEOUS! It was in the low 70s with a cool breeze. I wore fall colors and loved every minute of it. We got back to our apartment and realized it was one of the clearest days we’ve ever seen. And the water was a DEEP blue. And the sunset was beautiful. The weather here is static for so long it’s refreshing to have something a little different.

 

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[Fall 2013] A Kuwaiti restaurant…in Kuwait

Seriously there aren’t that many. There are just a few Kuwaiti restaurants in the country and a friend of ours helped us find a good one. It’s not too far from our apartment and it was a pretty cool to be able to sit down to a Kuwaiti meal (we’ve tasted Kuwaiti food before at AWARE Center functions, but never a whole meal).

Because we went way back in August I don’t have a lot to say besides it was a great experience! We ate lots of yummy food for cheap and we’d definitely go back. Check out Desert Girl’s post for the low-down on Kuwaiti food & restaurants. We ate at Freej Suwaileh.

all our pictures

[Fall 2013] A new apartment!

I’m just now realizing the magnitude of how horrible we’ve been at blogging. Wow. I guess that’s what working and teaching (on top of our regular jobs) and taking classes (Masters) and traveling does to you. If you want to keep up with our professional lives, check out our other blogs (Jeff, Lissa, Lissa COETAIL).  If you want to keep up with us on a more daily basis, there’s Facebook and Instagram.

The big news of this year is that we moved up to the 15th floor. We’ve really enjoyed making the apartment feel like home. The views aren’t too bad either! We have given up fast & reliable internet but there are sacrifices for this view…

Our new apartment
Views from the 15th floor

[In case we didn’t share before, here are some pictures from our old apartment: first pictures and a couple months later.]

As I sit writing this, here is my view:

It’s cold! (weather again)

I have a whole list of posts that I’ve been meaning to write. Some of them I’m not even sure what I was going to write about. Shoot. We’ve been bad bloggers!

Last time I wrote about how nice the weather was. That was after it rained. I don’t think I did a good job of sharing how crazy the rain was. Now it’s cold (it’s been in the high 30s and low 40s a couple mornings when I’ve gone running!).

our apartment...at 3pm.

our apartment…at 3pm.

The weather is gorgeous (now)!

It rained a lot this week. There was some pretty serious flooding in Kuwait. All schools were even closed to students on Wednesday so the schools could clean up. But now the weather is GORGEOUS! The outside of the buildings are just a little cleaner and brighter. The air is clear and we can see for miles from our 15th floor apartment. I’m pretty sure we can even see Iran from our kitchen (my phone doesn’t do it justice!).

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