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Surviving your Summer Pregnancy and those Last Few Weeks

7 Ways I Survived my Summer Pregnancy in the Desert and the Uncomfortable Last Month I anxiously await the arrival of my son (any day now) in the August heat of Abu Dhabi-- one of the hottest places on earth. As I am finishing out my last few days of pregnancy, I share with you how I survived the summer and those uncomfortable last few weeks.

1.) Daily Trip to the Pool One of the best pieces of pregnancy advice I received-- go enjoy the pool, it will take the weight off. For me, this proved to be true. Submerging myself in water was the only place I didn’t feel pregnant and the best part- our pool is chilled in the warmest months. I wasn’t fully in tune with how tough the extra weight and pressure was on my body until I had a method of taking it away. The 9th month is the most grueling and the pool never failed me.

It’s a running joke between my husband and me-- I’ve pretty much lived my entire pregnancy in the pool. I’ve guilt him into going with me so many times, he’s complained

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Making the Most of a Long Layover

Your Guide to a Long Stopover  The trip is booked and your countdown has started. The work days are numbered, the house is in order, and you’re excited to finally use (and enjoy) those hard earned vacation days. You can’t wait to do a bit of relaxing, exploring, or whatever you enjoy most in your travels. Only one obstacle stands in your way-- actually getting there. Working your way through airport security and partaking in the ever popular "hurry up and wait" scenario-- all to be stuffed in a sardine can for a grueling number of hours. You most likely have to make connections involving longer than wanted (or needed) layovers-- only taking away from those precious days off work.

When traveling internationally, we dread those long layovers the most-- by adding more time to the already lengthy journey. I’m here to tell you to embrace it and make those stopovers as long as possible when crossing another country's borders. Here’s why...

Last December while venturing home…

Moving from Small Town to Big City, Relocating from USA to UAE

From Small Town to Big City, USA to UAEDo you ever entertain the thought of moving from a small town to a big city? Wonder what about life in another country? There are a number of changes you have to adjust to when making the move abroad and most you probably wouldn’t give any thought to.

I’ve always held the notion far back in my mind-- I would love to live abroad once in this great journey we call life. Much to my surprise the opportunity presented itself and before I knew it-- off I was on a new adventure. Not once did I imagine I would make my move to the Middle East, but here I am and I’m better for it.

I grew up in a small town outside the capital of Boise, Idaho. You’re most likely unfamiliar with it, it’s not a place that sticks out to people when they think of the US.

To paint a better picture, I remember our little town installing its first stop light halfway through my senior year of high school. As a little kid, I remember most of the city limits consisting of countle…

Athens: The Perfect BABYmoon Destination

I love to travel and I enjoy having an excuse to do so. You’re entitled to a honeymoon for marrying the love of your life. Why not have a BABY-moon in celebration of creating a family? I don’t see a good reason not to enjoy one-- if you have the means to do so. A big plus-- you have the opportunity to enjoy a little getaway with your significant other one last time before it’s not just you two anymore.
Honestly, what is better than a Baby-moon to somewhere with amazing food, incredible sites, lovely people, and all-the-while keeping up the physical activity your doctor ordered.
I have always been in love with the idea of visiting Greece. Something about the pictures, the mythology, history, even Greek food have always drawn me to it and since I’ve had the desire to travel-- it’s always been one of my top bucket list destinations.
Back in March while mindlessly messing around with something in the kitchen, my husband asked “want to go to Greece this weekend?” I stopped in my tracks …

12 Things I Learned my First Year Living as an Expat in the UAE

12 Things I Learned my First Year as an Expat in Abu Dhabi.  Just before I made my move to Abu Dhabi, I was given a thoughtful gift from a former coworker- a notebook with a kind inscription which read:
 “Ashley, I love how your eyes are filled with wonder and excitement; how you see change as opportunity. Stay curious. These qualities make you interesting and beautiful. Never lose them. They will always serve you well! Enjoy your next chapter and write about it. You’ll be missed.” 
This unexpected gift inspired me to journal my new life abroad, to ensure I would not forget a single detail. Now I am reflecting on a years’ worth of memories written in those pages. Looking back here are 12 things I learned in my first year as an expat in Abu Dhabi.  1.) Facebook is your Best Friend (and your most reliable source for information)  Word of mouth is best when finding out the most helpful and up to date information in the UAE. If you are new here and don’t know many people yet (or anybody a…

Pregnancy and the Loss of your Identity

When first learning I was pregnant, I had all sorts of expectations of what would happen to me physically and emotionally. Most of these expectations I gathered from friend’s or family’s’ pregnancies, and tidbits I’ve learned in school or picked up in the day to day. I knew I would gain weight, I knew there were restrictions on what I could eat or drink, and I knew cravings and a heightened sense of smell were involved in the whole baby making process, as well as many other wonderful and equally annoying grievances that come with the territory.
The one fact I did not know, never thought of, and was never told by anyone was the loss of your identity once you become pregnant- or at least when others find out. It took me by complete surprise and I would identify as my biggest struggle throughout my own pregnancy.

Once the word was out I was forever known as a baby vessel and that was about all I was good for, or at least that’s what it felt like. I knew my self-worth didn’t change, but …

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