Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Am Breaking Up.

   It is over. I can't do this anymore. I have gotten hurt way too many times and spent countless hours in bed trying to get over it, over and over again. This is the end, we can no longer be together... hummus.
   Last night Ryan and I got some chicken shawmara with hummus, we ate it all and it was super yummy as always. In the middle of the night I woke up feeling sick and that was it, it wanted out. I think I may have lost five pounds, up for over an hour. When I finally got back to bed, Ryan was sleeping like a baby.
   Why is it that we can eat the same thing yet he doesn't get sick? This is not food poisoning then I guess, more like a food allergy. I knew it for a while now, it seems that I would get mild stomach aches just from having one corner of a pita dipped in hummus. I wish it wasn't so but I can't take it anymore.
   Hummus tastes so much better over here than it does state side and I can't help but wonder what it is that they put in it here that makes me so sick yet like a fool eat more and more. It is absolutely good on EVERYTHING. I eat with carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, cheese, chicken, on a sandwich, as the dressing on my salad, I eat it with a spoon like its cereal. I have even tried on a cookie. I am hummus addicted, this is going to be seriously hard.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh Dear...

   Last night Ryan and I both had baby dreams. In mine we had a cute little girl who could say, "Mommy" but blushed every time I tried to get her to say, "Daddy" and she was very cute with brown hair (thank god) and chubby cheeks. She never pooped, she slept on the floor and she loved Ryan very much but we were both in high school? I had to take her to math class, which she and my teacher didn't like at all so I decided to graduate early, thankfully I didn't need anymore credits.
   In Ryan's dream we didn't have a baby quite yet but one was on the way. I would tell him that, "Beethoven is in there." and point to my belly. I kept this up for about three months and he was laugh every time. Then when we were in Missouri visiting his grandparents I confirmed that it was in fact a baby, which Ryan was not very happy about because it was as if it happened while we were here in Abu Dhabi, still very young, unwed and not ready.
   If you think about it, Ryan and I were dreaming almost exactly the same things. Even though we are not in high school and I am not pregnant as of right now, we both still feel like we are too young. I think that the both of us know that we will one day raise a beautiful child prodigy but not for a long while. Right now teaching our pooch where to sit when Ryan is  driving is good enough for us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not This Time Plus Size

   Today I want to share a little success story of my own. Just over a month ago I ordered a new swimsuit, since I broke the strap on my old one, in a size 16. I told Ryan that if I needed to I could take it in easily but really I didn't believe I would have to take it in at all. Although I refused to buy any of my clothing any larger than a 14 in reality I was 16, plus size.
   I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember and watched my mother and sister get larger and smaller when I have known them but the they too have struggled their entire lives. I guess you could say it was just something in the works for me.
   I had lost a lot of weight in high school which was the direct result of two P.E classes including one that required at least a mile run every class and sometimes upwards of four.  I didn't really notice how much weight I lost even when I was getting way more attention from boy than ever before. I didn't really know I was slim until I found out that I was the same size as all of my friends! It was great, we all traded clothes and went shopping together and I didn't have to be embarrassed about not being able to fit in any clothes from places like Holister and Abercrombie.
   I moved to Boise for about a year and I worked at a desk job that rewarded us with candy every time we did something they liked, like full size snicker bars. I got this idea in my head that I couldn't gain the weight I had lost back and the I ate reflected that insane state of mind. I would eat twice as much as I should have been, always in a constant super full, bloated state. I gained 40 pounds and went from a size 10 to a 14 in about 9 months. All of my hard work went down the tubes.
   When I arrived in Abu Dhabi I weighed 214 pounds and as of now I am 198. I am officially under the 200 pound mark for the first time in two years and it feels awesome. All I needed was the motivation of losing that first five pounds to keep me going and also hearing about how my sister is now 45 pounds lighter and my best friend is just under 100 pounds lighter.
   My tummy is flatter and doesn't roll over my pants anymore. I am not uncomfortable in my own skin, I feel like I breath again. I can't wait to get home and try on old jeans and trade clothes with Ryan's little sister! So not this time plus size section! I narrowly escaped you and I am not coming back your way!

Monday, July 25, 2011


   I made sure before I came here to pack light because I knew that I would come home with more than I came here with. Well that more is looking like a lot more than I had intended and my suitcase has seen better days...
   I had to trade in my regular carry on suitcase on wheels because the zipper popped on it and had to take my trusty Jansport back pack, that thing will never break. I have had this suitcase set since I graduated from high-school, my grandparents on my mom's side give them to everyone when they graduate, I got the 3- piece because I am extra special. ;) I think that one of my friends has my larger one and I have the middle sized one.
   When I was trying to clean up our room a bit I zipped Ryan's huge back pack inside of my suitcase and I am pretty sure the zipper popped open but I chose to ignore it because I really don't want to buy a new one here, it would probably cost $4,000 dollars because it came from Louis Viton... Also, if I don't buy a suitcase so quickly after my last one breaks I might not have to get on a plane for a long time, wouldn't that be a treat?
    I know that lots of you would love to travel like I do, I know that when I was living in Twin Falls thats all I wanted to do but now I just wish that I could stay in one place for more than a year. I wish that I could plan parties and be able to say that I will come to whatever event that may be in the future. I wish that I had the time to be at my house making it a home and time to finish projects. Opening up my closet, looking through all of my clothes getting ready for my day would be such a treat, rather then opening up my suitcase...
    I guess that one good thing that has come from traveling so many times is that I am pretty good at packing and I know all of the rules about airports.

  • Also pack at least one change of clothes in your carry on, I usually pack 3 or 4 pairs of underwear, a pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts. Trust me, at some point your luggage will get lost. Mine was lost for a week while I was in Germany. 
  • If you are worried about your check in being too heavy, pack things like jeans and books in your carry on, it will make a huge difference. 
  • You can pack liquid toiletries but they have to be in your checked in luggage, something I did not know. 
  • Also pack your eye shadows and pressed powders in your carry on. When I return home I will be exchanging my UD Midnight Cowboy Rides Again for the 3rd time. 

  • Put a sweater in your carry on, planes get cold. One time this little baby curled up in mine, most precious thing I have ever seen, especially since I was sure that baby would be crying my ear the whole flight. 
  • Have a visa debit or credit card. You will get hungry and you probably will be in a different country when it happens. 
   So I guess that when I get home I will be spending some of my tattoo money on a new suitcase, hopefully it makes across the Atlantic.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Idea of the Perfect Photo Shoot

   Let me just lay out the scene for you, lets say that we go outside, and it cold outside, with snow. Snow makes for a nice romantic feel. We can shoot when the sun is going down because we spent all day on lining your eyes with liquid black eye liner, not both lids just the bottom. We didn't bother with the rest of your face because your skin is zit free and I thought that when I put you outside in next to no clothing that the way your skin blotches red from your blood rushing to face to warm it up would also, give it a more romantic feeling.
   We can shoot on the train tracks because nothing says romance like a girl straddling a box car with her legs lundging forward so we get a glimpse of everything she has to offer as she holds a hand out to the camera as to show that she is reaching, clawing for what she wants. What she wants, well she doesn't know that because she is blond, and blonds are dumb.
   But the viewer is not dumb however, but just in case you needed more clues her clothing, or lack there of is made up entirely of past "sexy" Halloween costumes, cleverly disguised in a way as to make you think that maybe, just maybe, she wears these outfits on a day to day by pairing the tops with jeans. Pleather comes to mind when thinking of accessories, g-strings, boots, whips and of course a feather boa would be welcome.
   As for hair and make up, well less is better. Normally you might think that such a romantic scene would call for a more soft look but I like it hard. So flat straight hair and black, the deepest black of eye line on the bottom lash. We won't even bother with the rest of the face because its not like cameras can see things the eyes can't. Oooooh, some red lipstick might look good.
   I think that when it comes to editing, the more dramatic the better. Of course I will have made sure to use my flash when you are posing in the snow, with snow all around, outside, in the day light, so there is little chance that any of the photos will come out badly. But for those that I am wanting to take just a little further, I will add a back sweet looking back drop, with a nice paint splatter effect to it, it should just really set off the mood.
Well, I think that this could be a really excellent photoshot. Of course it is not something that I have already done but I am really geared up for it. I will be in Idaho in the winter so hopefully I will get a chance to make my vision a reality. If you are interested please let me know but not if you are fat, brunette or wear glasses.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Been Coloring

   Dear eight followers,
I am sorry that I have not been posting everyday like normal, I have been a bit distracted. I got into a little inspired and have been drawing tattoos like mad. Andrea asked for one of my own design and I came up with a look for Planet Ugly Stupids, a made up planet that her loving brothers told her she was from.

   The reason they told her she was from a different planet was because she was so much more pretty than either of them. She came out dark with dark curly hair and features and they were a couple of toe heads. So I made her into her true alien form.
   The next one that I started drawing was for myself. I have been feeling a little bit home sick lately and feel like I need to rep my home state. Idaho, the best kept secret in the world. I decided that my favorite iconic symbol of Idaho was the baked potato and I did mine just how I like it.
The first draft, laying down ideas, and f-ing up script 

Second draft, looking pretty good here, I made the potato larger and fixed the script a little better, still not perfect. 

Third draft with color. The script looks a lot better but I think I would rather it be in seafoam green like the sour cream or purple...
   I am feeling really good about this design though, I designed it so that it fits perfectly in with my other tattoos. It is going to be on my arm so if I lifted me arm to show the side of it, it would be right there, nestled perfectly in by the mermaid tail and the top of my rose. I can't wait for this, I have moneys and I will be in Idaho in September, just got to find the right artist and it will be forever.  Idaho love y'all.

P.S. If you steal my tattoo design I will not be flattered, I will cut off your skin. Just ask me to design something for you to fit YOUR body, not one that was made for mine, it will look better anyway.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ferrari World

   Ryan and I woke up early on Tuesday to head over Yas Island and spend the day at Ferrari World. It is a Ferrari theme park with the fastest roller coaster in the world. The whole park is indoors, which was very smart on their part since hardly no tourist would go otherwise.

   The first thing we did was to get all of the rides out of the way, I mean thats what we went there for. The lines were all pretty short and we only had to wait for about ten minutes to ride on the fast roller coaster. We sat in front and they gave us these goggles to over our glasses.The track is outside, in the hot dessert air and it only takes the coaster 4.9 seconds to up to 240km. My face felt like it was being ripped from my body. I was certain that I was going to light on fire and there was a point when I smelled burning.

  The ride was over in less than two minutes, I no longer had a pony tail and it actually signed my hair, giving me a most desirable hair style.

   After that we went on a couple more rides, none quite as exciting as Formula Rossa but they did have a pretty cool 3D ride were we were chasing after some video game character that stole the keys to our Ferrari.

This was a cute ride, it had music playing in the trees and it reminded me of that game on google Isle of Tune. 

   They had a lot of of cars on display and we saw a sign somewhere in the park saying that the collection of Ferraris was the most expensive in the world... Abu Dhabi is so new money.

   We intended on getting t-shirts but they were all around $75 so we settled on the maps they gave use at the door, a pressed coin and a stuffed camel. I had been looking for a good stuffed camel to take home from Abu Dhabi since we got here, I am very happy with the one I found at Ferrari World.  She even has a cute hole in t-shirt for her hump to come out of.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

H&M Haul in Abu Dhabi

   Today I went to the Abu Dhabi mall in my heels, which I remember thinking would be a bad idea while putting them on but they are just so damn cute! There was a line to drop people off at the mall so my taxi driver asked me if I wanted to walk... I did and I got lost, went to a co-op and an airport and then finally made it to the mall, which doesn't look like a mall from the outside at all.
   I went for one reason only, to shop at H&M and it was a good thing that that was the only store I wanted to go to because it was massive! The sale section could have easily been its own store. This place was like eight stores in one. They had men's, women's, plus size, maternity, junior's, kid's and lingerie, the only thing they didn't have was cosmetics :( I really was looking forward to a new nail polish and hello kitty lip gloss.
   I was really overwhelmed with just the sale section alone. I went to dressing room I think three times and was in the store for four hours. I ignored my stomach pains for hunger as looking at every piece of clothing in that store was my mission and nothing could get in the way of that.
   I ended up not getting too many things because I am really indecisive and shopping alone makes it extra hard. I tried on these high wasted shorts and I think that they looked cute but they were a really loud print and pretty short so I don't know... What I did end up getting were a matching bra and pantie, a brown scarf, a hipster hat, a cool vest, some knee high socks and MC Hammer pants. Oh and I also finally got pizza hut for lunch, I had my own personal pan pizza and it was very special!

   I have been seeing the women wear these pants all over Abu Dhabi. They look like MC Hammer pants that are just not as wide and baggy. So I guess they are a bit more like sweat pants but made of printed cotton. I get why people wear them here, they are super comfortable and keep you cool but I just feel so wrong being in public in something soooo comfortable. I feel like I am wearing pajamas.

   I like them, I don't like them, but then I like them... Whatever, I like them, I am going to keep them for those days when I am feeling frumpy chic. Yeah, its a thing, I just coined it!

   These are definitely going to be something that I look back on and think, what the hell? Well until then, I am going to keep cool and comfortable in Abu Dhabi.

Beauty Tip: Barcode Bangs

   If you are like me and have an oily forehead and you also have dark hair, you have probably ended up with a less than desirable fashion foe pa, barcode bangs.

   The rest of your hair might be just fine without washing it everyday but greasy bangs require daily washing. Washing hair everyday can dry out the rest of your hair though so what do you do? I have tried  pulling back my hair and washing my bangs, as this method does work, it is not really convenient.
   The best solution I have have found is hair spray. Just spray your bangs and comb them out, the alcohol in the hair spray will dry them out and keep the oil from your forehead and hands from sticking.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cooking Tips and Tricks

   I love to cook, I always have and always. It has always kind of baffled me when someone tells that they don't like to cook, or that they can't, I just can't wrap my mind around it. The reason people don't like to cook are usually the same; too much work, never turns out right, no clue what they are doing... In the few years that I have spent cooking for myself I have figured out a few things that just observing didn't teach me. Most of the time I learn from making mistakes and fixing those mistakes is usually something very simple. I would like to share those very simple fixes with you.

   My first tip is to fill your kitchen with things that inspire you. If you don't have yummy ingredients or your kitchen is a mess, you of course are not going to want to spend any time in there. Keep your kitchen well lit and decorate it with functionality in mind.


  • Partially frozen meats are easier to slice, cube and trim of fat.
  • Put frozen or fresh chicken into a water and sea salt mixture over night for extremely juicy chicken. 
  • Fried meats will come out better if you first dry the meat with a paper towel, dust with flour and then dip in batter. 

  • Have a cup of cold water near for wetting your fingers when forming hamburgers and meatballs to prevent sticking. 
  • Make a dent in the middle of your hamburger to cut down on cooking time. 
  • Don't over mix your meat mixtures, adding a fat such as cheese or cream will help insure it is juicy however. 
  • Rolling bacon while it is still in its package will make the strips separate more easily. 
  • When making a roast, (pork, beef, turkey, whatever) after it has finished cooking, loosely wrap it with tin foil and let it rest for around 10-15 minutes, this will give it time for all of the juices to settle in the meat and not end up on your cutting board. 
  • For a more tender steak try rubbing it in sea salt, letting it rest for 5-10 minutes, (depending on the size of your steak) and then rinse it off. Pat dry and salt and pepper. 
  • For a medium-rare steak, cook on high heat for 2 minutes on each side, then on low heat for 4 minutes on each side. 
  • The most important rule when it comes to cooking meat is DO NOT OVER COOK IT! Go online, double check the weight of your meat and use those as guide lines, or get a meat thermometer. 

  • You can buy fresh, peeled garlic in bulk at places like costco. Chopped the peeled garlic in a food processor and then spread it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in the freezer over night, remove from cookie sheet and cut into 1 inch blocks for fresh, pre-measured garlic year round. 
  • Crushing garlic with the side of your knife will make it easy to peel. 
  • Removing the bulb from an onion will guarantee it to be tear free. Use a peering knife to cut out the bulb in a cone shape like you might remove a tomato stem. (the bulb is located on the bottom) 
  • Microwaving a lemon for 10 seconds will double the juice. 
  • You should only wash lettuce and other fresh vegetables as you use them, not all at once. 
  • Store green vegetables in vented drawers. 
  • A good melon will smell sweet and feel heavier than it looks. 
  • Frozen berries and vegetables are way cheaper than fresh and when prepared right, just as good. I use a mix of fresh and frozen fruits in cereals and salads. 
  • When mushrooms go on sale I buy them up, wash them with a damp paper towel, slice them and freeze them so I always have them ready for stir fry and other dishes. 
  • Store fresh mushrooms in a brown bag and not in plastic to reduce sliminess. 

  • NEVER melt your butter, instead let the butter come to room temperature or better yet, just break out the mixer and let it do the work on a stick straight from the fridge. 
  • Cool your cookie dough for a couple hours in the fridge before baking.
  • Cookie dough will keep for 4 days in the fridge and 4 months in the freezer. 
  • Always use a cool baking pan for cookies, this goes back to not melting the butter. 
  • Use olive oil instead of flour on your hands to prevent sticking to dough. 
All the above are to prevent flat cookies. 


  • If you get egg shell in your mix, use a larger piece of egg shell to get it out, works every time. 
  • To boil a cracked egg, just add some vinegar to the water. 
  • Fresh eggs are rough and chalky, old ones are smooth and shiny.
  • Try flavoring your eggs with a little bit of fresh ground nutmeg, they were made for each other.


  • Stainless steel knifes are terrible, get ceramic ones. 
  • Wetting your knife will prevent garlic and boiled eggs from sticking to it. 
  • Unflavored dental floss is a great kitchen tool, you can tie roasts, cut soft cheeses and eggs. 
  • When making whipped cream, put your bowl and whisk into the freezer and of course make sure your cream is very cold. 
  • Baking stones make a better pizza crust by mimicking the traditional stone oven pizza's are baked in.
  • If you are grilling fish in a wire basket, heat the basket first to prevent the fish from sticking. 
  • Scissors are a must, using your knifes will dull them. 
  • Pre-washing canines are very helpful when it comes to burnt on foods. 

If there is any food left over... 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tori and Ryan's Bucket List.

  • Buy a house with a garage 
  • Own a RX-7 

  • Go on a Las Vegas trip and see Cirque du Soleil 

  • Drive Pikes Peek 
  • Bet on a camel race

  • Take a cruise to Alaska 

  • Go on a Safari 
  • Organize a fund raiser for a worthy cause
  • Take a trip to Hawaii 

  • Marry my best friend
  • Go to college 
  • Be a good person 
  • Sell a painting 

  • Live in Alabama for more than a year
  • Take the Hard family to Dreamland 

  • Host a huge Halloween party 
  • Have my family come to Alabama 
  • Go to a rave 

  • Go to a great concert 
  • Learn the harmonica 

  • See the Grand Canyon 

  • Drive Bonneville Salt Flat 
  • Work at a dog shelter 
  • Adopt a dog 

  • Eat more pumpkin

  • See England
  • Learn the art of tattooing 
  • See Japan

  • Keep blogging
  • Never weigh over 180lbs.
  • Get a tattoo in honor of my Grandma, Grandpa and Idaho

  • Taste pumpkin juice
  • Raise a child prodigy 

  • Try boiled peanuts 

  • Grow a herb garden
  • Own a super amazing kitchen 

  • Raise a family 
  • Be in a play
  • Be a blonde
  • Take chances 
  • Pay off all of my debts, not my own, the ones the owed to me
  • Find the perfect shade of lipstick 
  • Host Thanksgiving dinner 

   Ryan and I have already done a lot of things together that had been life long dreams. Like when Ryan got to drive the Nurburgring and when I finally got to see Paris. We explored Europe, ate a Belgium waffle in Belgium, lived in Germany, live in Alabama and also Abu Dhabi, went a road trip across the U.S. and best of fell in love. After exploring Europe these other things seem like they are going to be pretty darn easy to achieve, we will see!