August 30, 2009

i-Phoners n' Touchers Text Your Hearts Out!

I'm sure there are probably a number of texting apps already out there for the iTouch but I just found out about textPlus brought by the Gogii platform. Looks like an easy app that should be checked out.
Gogii (Go-jee) comes up with innovative ways to text using the web. textPlus can be used by the iTouch and the iPhone, offers the option of writing texts unlimitedly in landscape mode, always notifies users about incoming texts and is private (it better be). Users can send texts over wifi, no 3G required. You can even create an instant chatroom and text with several people all at once - I don't think this is an option on the iPhone.
And yes... *drumroll* it's all free! Knock yourselves out at

August 29, 2009

How to Enjoy a Happy Life:

  1. It's important to have a man, who can give you the fanciest things in the world including money.
  2. It's important to have a man, who can make you laugh.
  3. It's important to have a man, who you can trust and who doesn't lie to you.
  4. It's important to have a man who is good in bed and who likes to be with you.
  5. It's very, very important that these four men never find out about each other ;)
Credits to HS x

The Power of the Avocado

Many people ignore one of the healthiest fruit we know - the avocado. If you're one of those people, reading on is necessary. If you aren't... keep reading and feel smart :p
It's not all the time you find something with so many health benefits that can be easily manipulated into many recipes. Other than the fact that avocados provide us with all the good fats our bodies need, they also:

  • reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • have toxins that kill cancer cells
  • include necessary minerals like calcium, vitamin C and K, folic acid, copper, sodium, potassium,  and dietary fibers
  • have Oleic acid which can be used to lower cholesterol level in the blood (fyi cholesterol is not an "old people" thing)
  • have benefits that are apparently useful for anyone facing problems in the bedroom... if you catch my drift...
  • are a great antioxidant
  • nourish hair, nails and skin
  • heal people who suffer from digestive and circulatory problems
  • are green! One avocado tree sucks up the CO2 caused by a car driving over 2,600 miles over the course of a year
Some different ways to get that avo in your belly:
  • guacamole
  • in salad (green or fruit)
  • in an omelet
  • sliced in a sandwich
  • made into a buttery spread
  • smoothies

August 26, 2009

MUTO A Wall Painted Animation by Blu

 Thanks Toolooz!

Blinded by the Light

Some people measure their power over others by their favorite music artists  (most of whom they hardly know themselves). For those growing up in the Middle East especially, power is measured by the money spent on their cars.
When I saw this gold-plated Mercedes I couldn’t help but get disappointed that there were no diamonds on the rims. How cheap...

August 25, 2009

Drive Thru Sushi!

Why does fast food have to be unhealthy? I think it's about time people make a change and introduce new fast food chains. Think of how much easier it would be to eat well if the food was that accessible.
My pick would obviously be sushi, a healthy clean drive thru that offers sushi grade fish. I'm still amused by people who go out for sushi as a special occasion. It is possible to find good sushi that isn't pricey. This would really be great for sushi lovers everywhere, not for the sushi snob or the cucumber role munchers who force themselves to enjoy it to be more "cultured."

Ok, I know its price could take a toll, but sushi is just one option! 

August 24, 2009

1 Pound of Obama Please

Ever wonder how Egyptian fruit sellers give their political views? No right, why would you... Well I just read that they've been following a tradition of naming their dates after political leaders as a marketing ploy to boost sales. 
Their best dates are named after leaders they respect most. After Obama delivered a promise to improve American ties with Muslims around the world last June, the sellers have named their best dates after him. Also, for just an extra dollar they'll offer you an even better date called "Super Obama!" 

Bush's name was also used during his presidency....  for the worst quality dates... ouch.

Ramadan: The Right Way

The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "The stomach is the pool of the body and the veins lead to it. When the stomach is healthy, the veins convey health from it: When the stomach is ill, the veins convey illness."

I fully attest to this. We are what we eat and our and our nutrition takes it’s toll on our bodies so fast. Remember, just because you can’t see what’s going on inside it doesn’t mean that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s better to be safe than sorry…

With that said, being disciplined during Ramadan is crucial, not only as part of the practice but to your health. So many people are under the assumption that just because they’re fasting during the day they can eat whatever they want when it’s time to break fast. It’s quite the opposite.

Eating after sunset should be divided into three parts:

Iftar (right at sunset):

-       3 dates
-       1/2 cup juice
-       A light soup

Dinner (an hour or so later):

-       Protein: 3 – 4 oz
-     Carbs: This is where people overdose. DISCPLINE YOURSELVES! Remember starchy vegetables fall in this category – carrots/ peas/ corn. Keep this to 1 cup. Or your bread intake to 2 slices of toast.
-      Veggies: make sure the veggies take up half your plate! Don’t fill yourself with them, but if you’re still hungry after your carb and protein intake eat more veggies. Make sure you get about 1 – 2 teaspoons of olive oil to provide the body with essential fats.

-      Snack/ Dessert (an hour or so later):

-      Trust me I can hardly resist the blanket of delicious Arabic desserts people cover tables with. Just make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach. I suggest keeping the desserts to 1- 2 times a week but sticking to 1-2 servings of fruit, it's best and the dietary fiber it provides sustains the body much longer. The sugars in dessert will not satisfy you long enough and you will find yourself wanting more.... The power of sugar... 

Suhoor: (pre-dawn):

-      A balance of protein, carbs and fats (the healthey kind) is best here to keep you energized throughout your fast. Legumes and eggs are great. If you can get your hands on foul (fava beans) you can eat it with eggs and olive oil. If you can get yourself to have some veggies that wouldn’t be bad and a piece of fruit to top it off. If you don’t have time to prepare the meal, prepare it at night before you sleep or make yourself a peanut butter or turkey sandwich.

It is so important to drink as much water as you can when you’re not fasting to to keep your body fully hydrated!

With that being said, I know it’s difficult to follow this lifestyle during Ramadan because most families are so used to eating out or with friends... and well there's usually just such good food around. This year, challenge yourself and try something new - plan ahead and discipline yourselves a little more. 

August 22, 2009

The 99

Apparently this isn't such new news, but I just came across it. The 99 is a comic series based on Islamic culture and society by Naif Al-Mutawa. He began it at the height of all the hatred towards Muslims following 9-11 with hopes of opening minds of viewers all over. Symbolic of the 99 characteristics of Allah, story is that there are 99 gemstones scattered around the world and as each Muslim character finds a gem he/she gains a superpower and can fight crime everywhere. Who knows, perhaps all the mistrust in Islam that many share can be eased through this series.

Keep your eyes open for Jabbar the Powerful and Noor the Light!

August 21, 2009

رمضان كريم: Ramadan Kareem: Time to Detox

It's that time of the year when the sound of a cannon brings comfort rather than fear. That time when some people find peace within, and others frustration. For 1 whole month Muslims all over will fast from dusk to dawn to feel with the poor and learn to be more grateful. For the devout Muslims, they'll be glad to surrender themselves even further to God while the not so devout Muslims will consider it a stressful month of abstinence. To try to make themselves feel better they'll consider it the detox they were meaning to get around to.
Cons of Ramadan:
- Not eating, even if you're not fasting you can't eat in public.
- The one time of the year lots of people will practice the religion.
- How does the comfort of a feast at dusk make you feel with the poor?
Pros of Ramadan:
- People are so much more giving, and actually go out of their way to do good!
- Families get together more.
- So much good food (I really don't think I'm biased when I say Middle Eastern food is the best).
- All the fun late night gatherings.
- Mint tea
- Dates
- Even if it's just this one month when a person prays, it's a very peaceful and satisfying month.
All in all, I'd say the pros beat the cons. However, it's really a time that should be experienced in an Arab country, to fully understand and appreciate it's importance.
*So Ramadan Kareem to Muslims all around the world, I hope it's special in every way and that its pros beat it's cons for you*

Dog of my Dreams: Weimaraner


August 20, 2009

Sex + Saudi = Sensitive Subject

Unless you're referring to ones gender... sex & Saudi are as attracted to each other as two repelling magnets (on the surface). Unfortunately, a 32 year-old Saudi Airline employee didn't get the memo and thought it cute to speak freely on the famous television network LBC about sex, his sexual experiences (yes he surprisingly had quite a few), and erotic toys. While I bet his sexual exploits only involved his "toys," I think he could have kept that bit to himself. Saudi authorities closed the LBC office in Saudi for broadcasting this interview that offended many and the "sex braggart" is currently detained, which is probably safer. I hope he sleeps with one eye open.

Friendly advice... because I'm nice: Please do not take it upon yourself to open the minds of Arabs, especially not in Saudi where showing off as much as a finger can cause a riot.

Free Music @ Grooveshark! is definitely one of my favorite sites when it comes to music, but I have to admit sometimes it gets annoying that I can't choose the specific song I want to listen to - I have to wait for it to come up in the playlist it creates. Problem #2 Pandora does not work outside the US boo!

Fortunately, I just came across Grooveshark - an internationally available music engine where users can search, stream and upload music for free! You can listen to all the songs you want, when you want, and create playlists to suit your mood. Just like Pandora, a great feature is the recommendation system "Autoplay" that finds similar songs. If you like a specific user's music you can choose to follow them making it easier to share songs. I'm sure there are maaaany more features, I'm still getting familiar.

Check it out at: and enjoy the world of music at your fingertips! I know... I'm so good at cliches :)

August 17, 2009

"Happiness is real only when shared." Chris McCandless, Into the Wild

August 16, 2009

Taking Advantage of What's Free

I know they say money talks, but what happened to using your own voice, will anyone listen? I couldn't help but be amused by this picture a friend sent me. She came across this man in Boston, holding a sign saying "Will talk about anything FREE," proving that in some places it's still possible to find a conversation for free and just because!

I know we don't need to pay someone to listen to us, but I'll take it as a direct metaphor that we do. Is everyone really so consumed with their own lives that the only way we can get a friend to really talk to us is when they need something, we have something for them, or when it's our birthday... and they haven't gotten us a gift? Maybe that's why the demand for psychiatrists has gone up. Seems sad, but true.

The funny thing is, I wonder how many people actually do have a conversation with him. I doubt many people are comfortable talking to someone they don't know, unless they ARE paying him, because unfortunately money does set the standard. People will either be thinking a) Creep b) Free? Never. Unless we're referring to the air we breathe, there's a twist.

Sometimes I actually find it impossible to steal a smile from a passerby, and we all know what a simple smile can do. Share yours, for free, and I'm sure you'll create the right domino effect :)

August 14, 2009

Chai Haleeb

(Dedicated to Lulu)

Let me describe the most delicious, soothing tea.

Originating in India and being adapted by the Ayrabs, Chai Haleeb (which literally translates to "milk tea") is a warm treat at any time. Not only does it have a cozy smell of rich spice, but when you sip it you're met with the taste of milky sweetness and spice that always brings back good memories, given you drink it when you're happy :) Make it a rule...

Chai Haleeb was such an integral part of my college years, I remember having it every single day at one point; after dinner, at 5 am, for breakfast. It just didn't get old.. until it did.. but I still love it!

Ingredients for the potion:

Music: In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
Mood: lounging.
- 2 - 4 black tea bags
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk (or more depending on how you like it)
- 3 - 4 cardamom pods
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of ground fennel seeds
- one of those little bags you can put spices in because chewing the spices isn't fun

Heat the hot water on a saucepan with the tea bags, lower the heat and add the milk and spices, make sure the milk doesn't overheat because then it sticks to the pan and gets a bad taste. Keep stirring it, keeping an eye on it until it gets a brownish color from the tea and milk, and taste it to make sure the spices are to your liking. Add as much sugar as you like, the sweeter the better!

Not to be compared to the chai latte at Starbucks thank you.


So... dog yoga......

Yeah I don't know.

Apparently taking your pooch with you to open your heart's chakra is becoming more popular. All I can imagine these dogs thinking is:

Photo 1: "Does she think she's light?"
Photo 2: "Why am I doing all the work?"
Photo 3: "What the hell is going on here"

I could be wrong, maybe they're just really concentrating on setting their intentions.
"If you want something the whole Universe
conspires to help you to realize your desire."
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

August 13, 2009

The Astronomer

An absent minded astronomer was interested in nothing but the stars. Every night he would go out and study them in the sky.
One evening he was walking along as usual, his head in the air and his eyes fixed on the stars He did not notice that there was a deep well in front of him. As he made his way along, he suddenly tripped and fell into the well.
"Help!" he shouted. "Help me someone!"
He sat at the bottom of the well, soaked to the skin and calling for help. A passer-by heard his shouts and peered down the hole at him.
"Please help me," begged the astronomer. "I was so busy looking at the stars, I did not notice this hole."
"That's your fault," the passer-by told him. "You should have looked where you were going."

Moral: It is no use fixing our minds on higher things if we ignore what is going on around us.

What an a-hole passer-by...

iTunes U

Regretting what you studied in college? I hope not, but if you are OR if you want to keep learning without going back to school, check out iTunes U! One click on iTunes U in iTunes takes you to lectures, language lessons, audiobooks and many more. With over 200,000 free audio and videos from some of the best universities and museums from all over the world, you can spend hours learning from your iPod or PC. Such a great opportunity and great way to gain more skills to add to your resumes.

Learning is a journey that should never end.

Adrian Mole

With being back home comes the pleasures of reviving old memories. Recently I've been spending a lot of time with my older books. I came across my absolute favorite series today and they revolve around Adrian Albert Mole by the English author Sue Townsend.
Adrian is probably one of the most awkward characters I've read about and I love all his books. Things don't always work out for him and he really is a loser, but a lovable one.
The books are his diaries as he's grown:
- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 4/4
- The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
- True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole
- Adrian Mole The Wilderness Years
- Adrian Mole The Cappuccino Years
- Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction
I've read all except the last two which I didn't even know existed so I'm looking forward to them. If you haven't read any of his books make sure you get them NOW no matter who you have to flash. You won't regret it.

August 12, 2009

Reasons to take a Gap Year

- The whole experience thing: all that "extra perspective"

- Seeing the world: it really is a big place... too big to rely on paid vacations

- Getting over your fear of spiders, heights, strangers, curry...

- Strengthening your skills.. or for some of you gaining skills

- It's fun!

- "Finding yourself"

- Helping someone else out by volunteering... really it's the least you can do if you're not working...

- Who's hiring?!


- Go on your gap year with a mission to find Mr or Mrs... or Mr and Mrs Right, because you will be disappointed...

- Spend a month somewhere and pretend to be from there (you know who you are)

- Get stuck in the gap

And you know what, our parents should fund it, considering it's their generation thats to blame for this useless economy.

With all it's $$ it Wouldn't Hurt if the UAE had...

- More yoga studios

- Better communication and promotion of the entertainment industry

- Cinemas dedicated to indie films

- Signs that read "show skin at your own risk of being raped by a million eyes"

- Less malls that look alike, I mean if it's too hot outside they could recreate a park inside... or Soho

- American Apparel

- Wholefoods

- More casual sushi restos

- More than one playlist on the radio stations

.... just some food for thought

August 11, 2009

Astronaut Ice-Cream!

One of my favorite things to do while I lived in Boston was taking a visit to the Discovery Channel store where time always passed by so fast without me ever noticing. Among the many random gadgets and toys I'd find there I became obsessed with Astronaut Ice-Cream. This freeze-dried space-food tastes so yummy and has such an interesting texture it's easy to stuff your face with. The one package had 3 flavors to it - strawberry, vanilla and chocolate, can't get any better!

Unfortunately the store closed down the last time I went to get my fix but I did some research and the ice-cream can be ordered... trust me it's worth it.

August 8, 2009

Local Playwriting Competition

I thought I'd start updating my blog with entertainment news that goes on around the UAE. If anyone happens to know of anything interesting please let me know!
In order to celebrate their 25th anniversary this December, the Dubai Drama Group is holding a playwriting competition called Act Up! to attract talent with an interest in theatre to come up with either a monologue, 2 person scene or one act play. The specs include a maximum of 4 characters, scenes or monologues to be 5 minutes, while full one act plays can be 15 minutes in length. The theme involves life in the UAE be it local or expat life.
The winning entry will receive extra recognition on the evening of the performances so it's a great way to get exposure, who knows what opportunities can arise out of it!
Deadline for submissions is before the 28th of August. For more info check out the site at

August 7, 2009

*Free Headshots*

To anyone looking for a photographer to take headshots and such, contact Konrad Brattke, a very interesting German who will keep you entertained.

Konrad is a recent graduate from Hallmark Institute of Photography and is currently looking to build his portfolio so he's willing to work for free... for now. He has an eye for a wholesome photo that takes you to the image. He does work primarily in New York and Massachusetts, so if you're an actor wanting to build your portfolio, or if you just don't mind photos of yourself (which you probably don't... no you're not vain) you know what to do!

View his portfolio and find contact info at

The Uniform Project

Growing up wearing a uniform to school until the 7th grade made me hate the concept and want to burn all my old uniforms.... come to think of it I might have done just that. Even though I see the benefits of a uniform, I wouldn't have minded mine if it didn't look like an outfit worn by the cleaning staff of a hotel. Yes there were always those girls who knew how to shorten their skirts and make their uniform mirror fashion trends... I was never that girl.
However, a friend of mine brought this really cool and inspiring concept to my attention recently that makes wearing a uniform not look like such a bad idea. The Uniform Project is a fundraiser to raise money towards uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums. Sheena Matheiken, who executed the project had a friend design 7 identical dresses for each day of the week. This dress was designed to be worn in many ways and during all seasons. She also plans on accessorizing it with hats, belts, brooches and many more.
Anyone can donate with either money or old or newly designed accessories. Check out the site:

August 4, 2009

July '09 Playlist

This is What - Horse Feathers
Navy Taxi - Kate Nash
Black & Gold (Sam Sparro cover) - Adele
Broken Chair - Chris and Thomas
Home to You - Po' Girl
One of Those Days - Joshua Radin
Crazy for You (Live) - Adele
Finch on Saturday - Horse Feathers
Your Love - Emma Burgess
Silent Sea - KT Tunstall
Love & Liberte - Gipsy Kings
Toxic - Yael Naim
Guns Are Drawn - The Roots
Come As You Are - Emilie Simon
Untitled - Horse Feathers