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You, the ascetic, went all that way for a change of scene, perhaps to the desert, perhaps to the hinterlands covered in snow, perhaps amidst a people whose language seemed obscure, strange, but alluring. Enchanté? Oui.

At the top floor, there’s swank.
The next floor down is posh.
At basement level, there’s me.

Let’s be honest I love to cook – no seriously, this is not a joke, I love to cook! When I say I love to cook this includes everything from cheesecakes to lasagnas to salads to soups to anything and everything under the sun. I especially love cooking over the holidays – the cakes, the cookies, the pies, the candies, the side dishes, the breads...oh the breads!

My daughter recently turned three year old. Naturally, at this stage of linguistic development she’s a bit of a blabber mouth. She’s stringing together sentences, asking loads of “why” questions, singing her own made-up songs about butterflies or rainbows or daddy being her best friend.

Parenting is hard. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is hard. Parenting by oneself is hard. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle and a 5 year old is hard. Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? Yes. Does it take work? Yes. Can you do it? Yes. I do it…most of the time.

When people think of the Middle East the first place that often pops into their heads is Dubai. We get to see a lot about Dubai through our media. It’s definitely a place that should be visited, especially if you are in the region. There are a lot of good things and bad things about Dubai. First, I’ll talk about the good things then I’ll talk about the not so good things.

I know, every parent’s worst nightmare – a child who doesn’t take any responsibility for herself or her stuff. The child you fight with day in and day out about feeding pets, picking up clothes, taking care of toys, putting away her lunch bag and backpack.

A Short Disclaimer

Please note that I am not an accountant, nor am I an international tax expert. I’m an English teacher in South Korea who is interested in personal finance and did a ridiculous amount of research for a book I wrote (The Wealthy English Teacher-find it on Amazon). Heck, I’m not even American!

The beginning of the school year –where the teachers and parents are excited for the new year and the kids dread it. No more sleeping in – no more playing outside whenever – no more staying up late – no more biking outside in pajamas n- no more free childcare so mommy can go for a run…Summer is over and now begins the daily grind for the kids and teachers alike.

Expectations. This is a big word with a whole lot of emotion attached to it. For me, expectations are a drug affecting every part of my life. They are present in situations without my knowing sometimes. They offer me hope and keep me high with anticipation for blissful, rewarding outcomes. They also make me crash and burn with disappointment when they are not met. Such is life right?

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