Archives for December 2011

Happy New Year


How did you celebrate?

xo, jill

Travel Essential #4: Swimsuit

For splashing.

On nearly every trip*, I’ve brought a swimsuit. You just never know when you might have the opportunity for a little swimming or sunbathing. I was happy to have my swimsuit with me for the Dead Sea in Jordan, a dhow cruise in Oman, and a celebratory rain dance in Sri Lanka. I have even been on hikes that require you to remove your pants to ford a river. Wouldn’t you rather be in your swimsuit than your undies?

Clockwise: Jordan, Oman, Sri Lanka

A few years ago I made the switch back to wearing one piece suits. I didn’t realize it at the time but it turned out to be a good travel decision for many reasons.**

1. In many places, regardless of what you’re wearing you will be stared at. It’s just the norm. I’d rather be stared at in a one piece than a bikini.

2. While topless beaches might be popular in Europe, other places in the world are a bit more modest. Try standing in line behind a woman in a burkini. No matter what you have on, you’ll feel under dressed but at least your tummy is covered!

3. Or perhaps you’re in a place with predominantly male swimmers (like everywhere in the Middle East). The more coverage, the better… trust me.

Do you always make sure to pack a swimsuit too?

xo, jill

*Exceptions would be desert camping in the largest uninhabited desert in the world.

**Of course, plenty of women still swim in bikinis. At least one advantage I can see is that it takes up less space in your suitcase!

Travel Essential #3: Shayla

Wrap it up.

Bringing a shayla, or large shawl, on a trip is an absolute must for me. One large rectangle of fabric can do so much!

How many ways can you use a shayla?

1. To cover pillows at questionable hotels/hostels. Sometimes I just can’t bring myself to put my face on strange pillowcases. Laying my shayla down first helps me sleep at night.

2. Some places of worship require women to cover their hair before entering. It’s that much easier if you’ve already got your own shayla ready to go.

3. Sometimes you might want to cover your hair for other reasons. Perhaps you’re caught in a sandstorm, or your lighter colored hair is drawing too much attention from the gentlemen.

4. If you’re cold, wear a shayla like a traditional scarf around your neck.

5. Perhaps your blouse is a bit too low or your sleeves a bit too short. Sometimes I wear a shayla to cover my chest or shoulders, or both.

6. That moment when you just want to frolic with a little wind.

Anyone else pack a shayla in their bag?

xo, jill

Just hear those sleigh bells…

jingling, ring ting a-tingling too!Molly and I have prepared for you our third annual Christmas video. We have so much fun making these silly little digital cards.

This year we went straight to the heart of Christmas in Abu Dhabi: the Abu Dhabi Mall!

Merry Christmas!

You can watch last year’s video right here, and the year before that here.

xo, jill

Christmas is coming.

Can you feel it?

Merry Christmas Eve!

xo, jill

Merry and Bright

A very Molly Christmas.

Molly was sweet enough to host the Hump Day Christmas Party this year! We ate delicious food, played silly games, and sang our favorite carols.

I liked how Molly expertly assigned each attendee a task for the party. This made it feel like everyone contributed to the jolly good time. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to use this method for the next party I host… instead of, you know, trying to control all the details.

My job was to make props for the Christmas photo booth. Here are a few favorite shots.

More to come tomorrow!

xo, jill

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