June 29, 2011

When to Follow the B.R.A.T.T.Y. Diet

Anyone who knows me well knows I have an embarrassingly weak stomach. Not only did I convince myself I was lactose intolerant, I tried to convince everyone around me they were too so I'd have more Lactaid milk around. I ended up finding out I just can't digest foods that are high in saturated fats as well as most people. 

I can say that I've finally found the food balance I should follow, which makes me very happy and helps me avoid many painful nights and loose bowel movements (sorry tmi!!). 

ANYWAY, every once in a while I do slip up; usually when I dine out, and when I overdose on certain desserts (which I will gladly endure pain for). Yesterday night was one of those slip ups at Ping Pong. I love that place, but never again will I order their Wonton Soup or anything with coconut milk for that matter. If you have stomach problems stay away from coconut milk! It wasn't even worth the pain or feeling sick the next day. 

So if any of you ever find yourself in the same uncomfortable situation, the best remedy is to follow a B.R.A.T.T.Y. diet, which is bland and low in fiber. The acronym stands for:

- Bananas
- Rice (white)
- Applesauce
- Toast (white)
- Tea
- Yoghurt

I personally love rice and yoghurt and can eat it anytime, so it's not really torture for me. It's also important to drink lots and lots of water to help with any dehydration your body is experiencing.

By the end of the day you'll feel much better. I hope this helps!

June 28, 2011

Why NOT to follow all Travel Guides

(hard to notice: rain drops under the grey clouds)

Dear Confused, 

Please visit the country before reviewing its weather. 

Sincerely Yours, 

UAE Resident

June 27, 2011

Dearest Mall of Emirates

Thank you for your strangely structured ventilation system that blew my skirt all over the place, flashing my undies to everyone at PF Changs. I hate you.

June 26, 2011

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!!

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New Chocolate Obsession!

I can't believe it's taken me 24 years to discover Daim chocolate! At the duty free in the airport in Beirut I decided to give it a try and have to say it makes me very happy. The perfect almond butter crunch covered in milk chocolate; I don't even mind it getting stuck in my teeth which is VERY unlike me. Mmmm :)

A Beautiful Structure

Ever since I took a summer course in NYC, I discovered my love for sacred architecture especially after falling in love with St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. With its intricate gothic style, which is my favorite, every square meter deserves at least a good five minutes of attention to appreciate the beauty completely. 

The photo above is the Mohammad Al Amin Mosque in Downtown Beirut. It was built by the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, may he rest in peace. While completely different to St. Patrick's Cathedral, it has such a beautiful combination of simplicity in its structure, and minimal intricacy in its design. Turquoise is one of my absolute favorite colors so I couldn't stop staring at the domes that pop out, especially at night when the blue is lit up and easily seen. The color has been said to ward off the evil eye, which in my opinion adds such a special touch to the mosque. If I was wearing something more appropriate I would have loved to enter, it's definitely a place to visit if you're in Beirut.

While driving on a bridge nearby, I was able to catch a glimpse of the mosque, a church and what used to be a synagogue, I personally found it such a peaceful view. Quite ironic, more like wishful thinking on my behalf. 

June 20, 2011

Spiritual Thought of the Day

Contentment is a great power. By being content I need nothing, I am fully satisfied; therefore the thought of “what about me” does not even arise. Rather than competing for attention or resources, I step out of the game of competition and say “I’m fine, I’m full, I have everything I need.” This attitude creates a powerful ripple effect in the environment, shifting the dynamics of give and take to just giving. Today let me experiment with the power of contentment.

*Thank you mama*

June 17, 2011

S T A Y for Dessert

Something I've learned from my father, is that no meal is complete without dessert. And not just a sliver to change your palette, but the whole shebang. While most people can hardly breathe after a heavy meal, dessert to my father has nothing to do with how full he is; I really believe he has a hidden abyss in his stomach designated for dessert. It's quite impressive... until it's overdone and we're sure his cholesterol levels need to be rechecked.

I really took his ideology to another level at the restaurant S T A Y (Simple Table by Alleno Yanick) at the Royal Mirage on the Palm. After a very tasty dinner where we were well pampered, we decided to step up to the dessert bar and ordered four (mind you we were 2). To say that we were already stuffed would be an understatement. 

As we were debating how we were going to roll out of the restaurant, we were treated to a plate of petit fours that I regretfully had to turn down, due to my overly gluttonous consumption. I recommend if you're going there not to order any dessert and enjoy their final treat. Or if you must, order the second one from the right. I forgot the ice cream's flavor, but it was so soft and drizzled with a light honey in a thin and crispy almond cookie cup. Scrumptious.

June 15, 2011

*planking on ice*

My roomie has recently started a planking craze on facebook; what started as a couple photos between friends to rate the best plank has turned into an international competition.

I'd say we pretty much won today planking on ice. In the midst of all the showoffs, weird local male figure skaters, and people who sucked, we broke it down and it was pretty dangerous now that I watch the video.

We had a bit too much fun with it and it got to the point where the referee had to tell us we couldn't keep doing it. He actually thought we both fell in the exact same position at the same instant the first time. He's clearly not well informed of the art of planking. Commoner... 

Overdue Playlist 2

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

dancing with the dj (acoustic campfire mix) - the knocks
rolling stone - the weeknd
kickstarts - example
hello - martin solveig ft. dragonette
lisztomania - phoenix
surprise hotel - fool's gold
multiply - jamie lidell
can you tell - ra ra riot
jolie coquine - caravan palace
wicked games - the weeknd
turning tables - adele
in the sun - joseph arthur
forgive me - missy higgins
white bank page - taylor swift

June 14, 2011

To Those Who Love Their Face

It's always that time of the year to protect your skin when living in Dubai. Of course, because I'm apparently under the impression that there are four seasons here I only manage to think of sunscreen in summer. People with freckles like myself need to take extra care, as our skin is much more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage, can you say alliteration. Applying sunscreen on our face cannot be limited to just tanning, but any daily exposure to the sun. I've been telling myself for a while to make an effort to search the market for a good sunscreen and finally came across one at the salon I go to. The brand is Eminence Organic Sun Defense Minerals with SPF 30. It's a stick that you can take with you anywhere with a brush on one end and a clicker on the other. Just brush the powder evenly around your face et voila! There are different shades for each skin tone and it even gives a soft look (not that cakey foundation appearance). The product is completely natural and has no chemicals, perfumes or dyes, which means if you wear it at night (because it's really makes your skin look good!) you can fall asleep in it and it wont harm your skin at all. It's also water proof so you can swim and exercise in it and can be used by both men and women. 

"The natural minerals, including zinc oxide, gives your skin a weightless physical layer of non-chemical SPF 30 sun protection and imparts soothing anti-inflammatory properties. Organic fruits and herbs give natural sources of color and the added vitamins and nutrition fight the signs of aging."

For skin with pink undertones: 
No. 1 Honey Apple
No. 3 Peaches and Cream
No. 5 Cinnamon Bronzer

For skin with yellow undertones:
No. 2 Cherries and Berries
No. 4 Calendula Spice

I used to hate putting sunscreen on my face because all the dermatologically recommended creams I found would be so tough to blend in and always left a white smear. Eminence doesn't only feel great to put on, it makes your skin look better, and smells oh so good! I use No. 3 and never forget to put it on. I really sound like I'm getting paid for this don't I, trust me you'll love it. 

June 13, 2011

What type of bad kisser are you?

Thanks to Matthew Inman, I found this great post on types of bad kissers. This is really an important and educational read because to those of you who watch the MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss and can't remember your last kiss, I feel bad for you. You most likely fall into one of the following categories... 

Please don't kiss someone if you've just eaten garlic, onions, expired milk, most types of cheese, curry, actually all heavily spiced foods... it's offensive.

Sticking your tongue in someones mouth to hang out lifelessly is not normal, don't do it. It's actually pretty disgusting when we start analyzing the muscle that's starting to feel like a slug inside our mouth. 

Tongue depressors are the only instruments meant to make us gag. Etiquette applies to your tongue too, which shouldn't be stuck down someone's throat or in anyones nose or eye, or lathering anyone's chin or the space between the mouth and nose. That just stinks.  Live your nasty puppy fantasy on a spoon of Nutella, and in your closet with the lights off so not even flies can see. 

So... do you lose track of time or are you that boring or are you [insert really annoying quality here]. Checking in might be a good idea.Your smooch partner most likely hates you, definitely had 3 - 4 nightmares about you, and probably wants to cry. 

I'm sorry you just don't get it...

This vampire action is uncomfortable and scary. And that's being nice. 

Smiling Just Became More Fun

I'm one of the biggest advocates for having presentable teeth. I always thought I was fine in terms of my pearly whites, until I discovered the new Crest White Strips Professional Effects. It's not a joke when I say I cannot stop smiling. You can either apply the strips twice a day for 10 days (morning and night), or once for 20 days. I was an over achiever and went for twice a day and all that "see results after 3 days" bull IS TRUE! I really wish I took before and after photos to show but I wasn't sure what to expect. 

They might not be as permanent as a proper whitening session at the dentist, but they are much more wallet friendly with practically the same results. Going to Napa to taste some vino during my white strip session wasn't the best idea, but as long as you swish some water or even better brush your teeth after any red wine/ coffee or anything else that can stain you're fine. 

Roman Holiday

We took my brother's vespa around Palo Alto, CA and found some great spots to snap some (understatement) photos, the scenery was breathtaking. For a split second I was sure I cought a glimpse of heaven and no I'm not being cheesy or deep, it was pretty damn amazing. The fog created a white blanket over the trees and against the sunset backdrop the view was stunning. There's just something so romantic about vespas I felt transported to Rome in the 1950s. Am I pushing it yet?

Anyway, I wish I owned one of these beautieis. Fortunately for me, I don't have a death wish; so unfortunately, I'll have to wait and refrain from riding one on the streeets of Dubai until my next destination.... sigh.

June 12, 2011

To the Gemini in You

A New Smart Cookie

One of my favorite things to do is spend time in bookstores, especially small, cozy ones. Since my brother started working at Barnes and Noble though, going to any other bookstore is beyond deceitful. 

I did stumble upon such a warm and adorable one in Palo Alto, CA that I couldn't resist going into  -because it was so cold outside of course... Anyway, under most of the books were personal reviews on note cards;  I don't remember blinking. I ended up leaving with nothing because according to the reviews I'd have to buy over 500 books to feel alive and gain more perspective. It doesn't help that I judge books by their cover and creativity is at it's maximum these days. Then again, the main reason I kept my wallet in my pocket was because I was on vacation and my luggage was already 10 kilos overweight. 

After my brother got over my infidelity, he realized he had the perfect solution (from Barnes and Noble of course). He's a software engineer there, and introduced me to the new Nook, which he worked on. I have to say his team did a great job. It's simple, small, light and just like a cookie (I don't know...). It has great features I've always wanted while reading a book. For example, clicking a word and getting an immediate definition, or the ability to share quotes directly to facebook, or sharing your reading status (not sure who does that) or even recommending books to friends by email, facebook or twitter. 

Despite how impressive the new Nook is, I'm not ready to become an exclusive e-reader, the thought of only Nooks, iPads and Kindles taking over does make me a bit sad. I'm too much of a romantic to give books up and I'm definitely owning a library with a ladder in my dream house. Owning a Nook could potentially destroy that dream. 

Either way, if you're more loyal to electronics these days or if you're a romantic like me,  I will say that for those times you want a library of books at the weight of around 7 oz, the new Nook is definitely the right cookie for you.

June 11, 2011

Infatuated by Pink

I've always been in love with certain shades of pink and turquoise but for some reason this summer I've been obsessed with all shades pink. I recently got a mani and tried on Infatuation by Essie and I'm loving it. Definitely a color to try!