Jordan 2017 – Cousin’s Wedding

So without a doubt, this was by far the shortest trip to Jordan I’ve ever taken!

I wasn’t even planning on coming to Jordan this year what with everyone coming over for the wedding but in February my older cousin announced that he was getting married the week before us. So there was no way I was missing this wedding. I have always said I will attend every single one of my cousin’s weddings and I will not stumble at number 2!

So that’s how Topher and I ended up spending 3 full days in Jordan. And that’s pretty much why there’s only a few photos that aren’t the wedding.

Day 1 saw us heading to my auntie’s for a huge family lunch to celebrate both weddings. That cake was good!

Jordan 2017 - cutting the cake

Jordan 2017 - cake

And of course with everyone in attendance we had to get the first family photo in close to a decade.

Jordan 2017 - family

Then day 2 was the wedding. Arab weddings are pretty much evening affairs. Your hands get sore from all the clapping and there’s lots of dancing which I love. The wedding was at Amman Waves which is a water park and it was all very pretty.

Jordan 2017 - pool

I love outdoor night time weddings – sparkly lights!

Jordan 2017 - dance floor

Each table was named after a city and unsurprisingly we were on London.

Jordan 2017 - London table

Had to get a posed shot. I loved my dress. I bought it from ASOS* and it was so comfy. It was pretty long though so we got it shortened at a tailor’s in Amman. I got my hair done at the same salon I usually go to in Amman too.

Jordan 2017 - Diane and Topher

Cheeky selfie! Me, Topher, my cousin and my brother.

Jordan 2017 - selfie

The happy couple. My cousin is the groom.

Jordan 2017 - Kamal & Bhara'ah

These giant sparklers were everywhere!

Jordan 2017 - fire

Day 3 was spent at brunch with everyone and then a trip to the cinema before going to bed and getting up at 4am for the airport.

And breathe! Next year I’m planning a 2 week holiday there to make up some lost time from this year.

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Engagement Party Outtakes

Engagement party outtakes

As much fun as I had at our engagement party in Jordan last month, there were some little mishaps that happened throughout the night. Going through the photos taken by the professional (I use that term lightly) photographer, there were some pretty hilarious outtakes that I couldn’t help sharing with you. They made me laugh at least!

It’s pretty much like a caption competition. If you have any better ones than the ones I came up with, let me know in the comments!

“This be a crackin’ tune”
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I can only assume that I’m taking about the song here. Or that I’ve only just realized that it’s nighttime. Look, I can see the moon!

“Ewwwww”

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Since Topher is laughing, I can only judge that he’s just told me something disgusting. Good timing photographer. Good timing! Especially catching my mum’s power nap in the background.

“Old lady hitting on much younger gentleman”

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Topher works in a bingo hall so there’s lots of old ladies who come in and he is very popular. This looks like a regular Tuesday night for him.

“Hiiiii. I have no idea who you are”

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This being the typical Arab shindig, close family only (50 people), I’m not going to recognize every face there. This guy I believe was my dad’s cousin’s son. I think.

“Confused at buffet”

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So much salad so little time. So in Jordan, if you’re the happy couple you get first dibs at the buffet. But it does come with the condition that the photographer follows you and that there’s no one around to ask what the hell something is.

“Confused at buffet. Part 2”

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More confusion. Topher thinks it looks like I’m waiting to be handed something but realize I forgot to get the falafel at the same time. Never forget the falafel.

“How on earth do we cut this thing?”

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Like, seriously? Is no one going to help us? We were kind of left helpless with this thing while people just stood by and took photos of us. We ended up having to hack into the cake and then do the traditional bit with the shoving the cake in each others mouth. It was a mess!

“How uncomfortable do we currently feel on a scale of 1 to 10?”

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10. Most certainly a 10. Topher’s face is my favourite. I have a sudden urge to start photoshopping things into our hands. I think I prefer our last cake encounter. Let’s flash back 7 years to my 21st when we first started dating.

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Yep, definitely much more comfortable…

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Our Engagement Party

Topher and I’s engagement party was definitely the highlight of our Jordan trip. Since we’re getting married in England next year, we knew not everyone from my Arab side of the family would be able to make it – especially the older great aunties and uncles. So my parents recommended having a big party this year so the whole family on that side could attend. A great excuse to buy a pretty dress.

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I got my dress from Little Mistress at the House of Fraser and felt like a princess. The skirt was huge! It’s still available online at Little Mistress here. I paired it with flat beaded sandals from New Look and a clutch bag (not pictured) from Accessorize. I’m so glad I wore flats. My feet personally thanked me at the end of the night. They also appreciated the pedicure.

Topher is wearing a royal blue suit and white shirt from Next. The tie is from Primark.

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Me, my brother and Topher.

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We held the party at my auntie’s house in her back garden and one of my uncles organised the whole thing. I just wanted a starry night kind of theme with navy, gold and lots of fairy lights. It was really pretty – I’ve always loved outdoor parties at night over here.

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Topher and I had to endure a first dance which was interesting to say the least. It’s weird trying to awkwardly shuffle your way around a dance floor with 50 people watching you. We both concluded that we need to step it up on the dance moves for our wedding and all songs are way too long!

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The difference with an Arab wedding/party is that after everyone joins you on the dance floor, it’s a lot of people standing around you clapping while you dance if it’s your night. But eventually, it gets more fun and everyone starts to dance too, phew!

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We couldn’t help but sneak in our little nerdy dance moves!

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As much as I love dancing, my favourite part of parties like this is the buffet! Far from English weddings where the bride and groom forget/don’t have time to eat, at Arab ones you have to go first! Deal.

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Rule: There must always be lamb.

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Me, Topher, my brother and all but one of my cousins

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And my auntie and uncle!

It was a great night and great practice for next year. One important thing we took away from it was that you have to get used to all eyes being on you…and we seriously need to learn how to cut a cake properly!

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Jordan: In Photos

Since I decided to make a Florida style video to document Topher’s first trip to Jordan, I really dropped the ball on photo taking. Still, I’m going to photo bomb you with all the photos I did take. Sorry, not sorry.

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It’s never truly a trip to Jordan without at least one ice cream cone. This was gelato from Little Italy at Taj Mall.

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Topher’s favourite thing about the food over there was the humongous mezze breakfasts we would have everyday. I will wholeheartedly admit that I miss this.

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Fooling around at my auntie’s house.

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About 30 minutes north of Amman is Jerash, an city home to ancient Roman ruins. Topher loves that kind of stuff so it was a must visit. I vaguely remember the last time I went…20 years ago!

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On the way back to Amman, we stopped at a restaurant which had the BEST view. So pretty. And the food was lovely too.

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More ice cream of course!

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Obligatory mud bath at the Dead Sea. Who needs a spa when you have this available on the beach for free!

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Followed by the must needed shot of a tourist floating in the Dead Sea, reading a book. For those who don’t know, the Dead Sea gets it’s name from the fact that it has so much salt in it that nothing lives in it and when you go in, you float. Handy tip, don’t shave your legs that morning and try to go in. Lets just say I’ve never run to a shower so fast in my life.

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My mum and I went for mani pedis (my first one ever) for my engagement party. It was really fun though I’ve concluded that my feet are definitely still ticklish.

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Also, for the first time ever (even for my parents), we visited the Amman Citadel which is home to the Temple of Hercules (above) and the Umayyad Palace.

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A lovely view of an Amphitheatre.

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The Umayyad Palace

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Inside the Umayyad Palace

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The Boulevard – a new shopping area.

I’m going to do a separate post on the engagement party and the video I made of the trip so stay tuned!

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Four Winters, Amman

IMG_3134 (1) This is definitely the first time I’ve eaten ice cream described as revolutionary. Four Winters is a new ice cream establishment in Amman, Jordan that has two branches and is looking to expand across the globe – starting with London hopefully soon. My cousin knows one of the owners so took us all to test out the store at The Boulevard.

Version 2IMG_3115IMG_3113Four Winters gets it’s name from the fact that they use fresh produce that is seasonal. The menus change and range from cautious, to courageous up to crazy. Everything about this ice cream is different. Each cup is made in front of you, one at a time so there’s no tubs of ice cream sitting out all day and there’s no waste. Then the way the ice cream is made is amazing! The ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen in front of you (safely of course!). So it’s definitely fresh…and freezing. IMG_3110I had a difficult time deciding over which flavour to pick. Do I want to be cautious or crazy? I was torn between Cereal Crunch which I knew I would like and Sweet Bell Pepper which I had no idea about. I eventually decided since I would be having a whole cup that I would be cautious this time and I went for the Cereal Crunch.

IMG_3114 I also sampled my dad’s pina colada flavour and my cousin’s peanut butter cup which were both tasty and we even got kanafeh flavour to share. Kanafeh flavour ice cream is definitely a first for me! It tasted just like the real thing. IMG_3119IMG_3121Patience is a virtue and this is definitely worth the wait. The caramel sauce is added to the cup, followed by the cereal, then the freshly frozen ice cream is put in after. And finally the toppings are added. IMG_3124

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My dad insisted I get in front of the camera for once. This is my obliging face. IMG_3127

And there we have it. I warn you not to take a massive mouthful because it is soooo cold! But oh my god this was amazing. I was so annoyed that I only found out about this place on my last day but I will definitely be back next year. After we had to go to my great aunties for lunch and usually I don’t eat anything before hand as we get FED with her but not this time. Leaving with a fully belly, I declared no regrets. IMG_3135

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