August 31, 2011

'Checking In' Photoshoot with Pose Magazine Sneak Peeks

After being featured in one of the most popular English newspapers in the UAE, Gulf News, the cast and director of 'Checking In' were invited for a photoshoot and interview by Pose Magazine for next month's issue. Unfortunately, only part of the cast were at the shoot as the rest were vacationing. We look forward to many more shoots with the full cast :)

The feature should be out by September 15th!

Here are some sneak peaks: 






*'Checking In' on Gulf News*


Last December I joined the cast of 'Checking In' and it's finally getting ready for some attention -  "Dubai's about to get more screen time, as director Naim Zaboura plans on showing the lives of the people who drive the Emirate's hospitality industry in a locally made TV series, Checking In." Read the online article here "Dubai takes centerstage in new TV series."  









iPad Support for Future Reference


I had a mini panic attack when my iPad wasn't responding and wouldn't turn on. I'm sure most of you iPad parents know how to deal with this already, but I had to do a bit of research. If this happens to yours, all you have to do is press down on the Home and Wake/Sleep button at the same time for around 10 seconds and only then will it get over its hurt feelings and respond to you.


August 30, 2011

My Unfortunate Life as a Zombie



I don't remember ever being interested in the storm of Zombie movies that hit the big screens; and yet, somehow acted as one in the short "Envy the Dead" directed by Isa Swain. It was actually a fun experience; from getting my make up done, to shooting in a dingy tunnel for 6 hours, to greeting my dad at 6am physically and literally in a zombie state of mind.

Check out the video to watch me as a very hungry and greedy zombette. I was the lucky one who got to give the protagonist the inevitable, unlucky bite he was dodging throughout. 

*happy eid - eid mubarak - عيد مبارك*

I can't explain how happy I got when I found out today would be Eid al Fitr, thank God for the moon this year. All I kept doing was checking my bbm status updates. Then as I was watching Scoop last night, falling in and out of snoozes, my bbms went off the hook. Somehow a surge of energy went through me and I actually got up to go for a run (is that normal?)

I'm excited to spend the next couple of days in Abu Dhabi with my parents. For some reason Eid reminds me of white tights and frilly socks. Every year when I was younger my mom would get me gifts (usually clothes) and they'd include a dress, white tights or socks, and black patent shoes. Ever since I hit 11 though I stopped getting those gifts... very strange. This year I sported my own take on white tights and patent flats.

As peaceful and reflective as this past month has been for me, I'm glad my life can return to its regular system:
#1 I cannot sleep at 4 am anymore.
#2 I miss needing only 7 hours of sleep rather than the 13 which can easily be pushed to 15.
#3 I'm not a fan of eating so much at 3 am, junk included which I usually don't crave.


I hope you all enjoy your festivities; whether you're spending it with your family, traveling with friends, or just getting smashed.

Enjoy life and all that you have xx


August 29, 2011

#nowplaying My Good Deed :)




Spiritual Thought of the Day

Cheerfulness keeps up the spirit of the one who possesses it, and brings a smile to the ones who see it. If I check myself regularly throughout the day I may discover that cheerfulness is slipping. To notice this and rearrange my inner state of mind allows me to reposition myself. Today let me nurture my cheerfulness.


*Thank you mama*



August 27, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Sharing some good vibes with you!





Wishing you a great week ahead. Just a couple more days of Ramadan and then we get to celebrate Eid! I hope you feel purified, restored and ready to enjoy that cuppa tea in the morning xx


August 25, 2011

TGITW

Thank God it's the Weekend!


this week went by so fast for me! it's so weird to know that Ramadan is over next week! can't say i'm sad about that (you so agree so don't even try to judge me). a couple of exciting things have been happening; the show i'm in 'Checking In', which only has a pilot so far, was featured in Gulf News this week, the cast of the show also had a very fun photo shoot with Pose Magazine today (will show some sneak peeks), and next week i'm shooting an exciting video which i will share very soon!

in the meantime, i went to one of my favorite "quick bite" places: Zest in Ibn Battuta Mall. in the heart of the food court by geant, lit up by bright green lights with fresh fruit and vegetables on display, is the only restaurant that could ever attract me to eat in the midst of the grease-infested food chains found there. with the choice of some sandwiches (i recommend the turkey, egg and cheese), the salads which you can also create, and the soups, I don't go anywhere else when I want a satisfying meal ready in less than 15 minutes. to be completely honest, it's their tomato and thyme soup that makes me go back. i fall in love with it over again every time. it's chunky with no cream and has such an addictive taste. need to learn a similar recipe! if you ever find yourself around there with no clue what to eat, i just made your life easier. 

i hope you get some good rest this weekend, and do a couple creative things while you're at it! xx




August 24, 2011

beating like a hammmmeerrrrrrrrrrr




Warning: I don't think I've listened to this song without having "beating like a hammer" on repeat in my head all day long. Worth it though.


August 23, 2011

Looking for a Blazer?

It's definitely important for there to be a black blazer somewhere in your closet, and not some guy's oversized one, but a well fitted and tailored one for you!

If you're currently shopping/not shopping for one, check out Elizabeth & James menswear inspired Spring Leather Trim Blazer. Pair it with trousers, shorts, dresses and practically anything else to give that mature and classy touch. It's got that right balance of chic and edgy.

Material: Ivory stretched wool with tonal tiers of raw-edged leather and suede at the cuffs and hem.

Price: $565


Dearest Google, I think I need my space..

We all know how smart and thoughtful you are. You catch on to my simple glances here and there and take note of what I like. You know so much about me and I'm so comfortable telling you anything. You're always trying to please me by being one step ahead...

...but sometimes, you just gotta chill out. No, there isn't another search engine.

I wasn't researching colonics because I suffer from colitis or poo problems. Thanks for educating me on the inflammation, and everyone else who used my laptop too.

Have to deal with that awkward moment when friends try to politely share laxative remedies like they're bringing it up out of the blue, and think I'm shy when I don't know what they're talking about.

#google #pusheditagain





Ever Tried Ikea's Dogs?

Surprisingly enough I really love going to Ikea. I enjoy spending time in any home furniture store. Interior architecture and design excites me; I'm always trying to pick up ideas here and there.

When I went to Ikea, which by the way I do not recommend anyone go while fasting, I bought everything I didn't need. I also spotted their famous hot dog joint; I've never tried them here, but this really took me back to my Junior year in uni. It was also Ramadan and my ex roomie and I were just moving into a new apartment building (*sigh* Trilogy). We drove around 40 minutes to Ikea with friends and we all spent a decent number of hours there. 

I'm not sure how we had all that energy that Ikea requires, but we did it, and we also fell in love with their hot dogs. I can remember us eating an absurd number of them each. Now that I think about it, the admiration could have been a result of the fast. But I'm pretty sure we went back a couple times for them.

You've gotta appreciate a store that sucks hours of your day then offers yummy food!


August 22, 2011

Another Almodóvar Movie to look out for!




This definitely left me feeling a bit weird; but there's something about Pedro Almodóvar's style that can do that. La Piel que Habito or the Skin I Live In, is Almodóvar's first drama thriller loosely based on Thierry Jonquet's novel, Tarantula. I get freaked out by realistic representations of drastic bodily changes in labs... reminds me of Frankenstein. From what I understood, it's that whole master/creator story who brings life to a wild being, and ends up losing control of it, concept. I will check it out though since my Lulua recommended it and also because Almovodar's work is always well made.

Good Morning DXB: Girls and Our Hormones

I think this video sums them up quite well. Sorry boys. We love you for putting up with us :)




btw..... did you happen to notice this subliminal message?


August 21, 2011

How to Delay a Flight Using the "P" Word

Ever been on a plane and realized you REALLY need the restroom before taking off? That happens to me all the time and I don't even get pre-flight jitters. Since my bladder has no mind of its own, I make the mistake regularly and get told off by the flight attendant every time. How can they just say, "you'll have to wait until after we've taken off" and assume I'm not about to explode for whatever reason? 

I'm glad I never took any drastic measures though. Gerard Depardieu on the other hand thinks quite differently and made the choice to pee in the aisle in front of everyone. Unfortunately for his confident pecker, actors get no leeway on planes, and the aircraft had to taxi back to the terminal where he was removed from the flight. 

He doesn't wish to comment on the incident... not sure what he'd say, #thatawkwardmomentwhen I decided to pee on a plane and no one liked it?

At least he everyone now has a funny story to tell. Merci Gerard!


August 20, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Spiritual Thought of the Day

When I understand how the subtle power of thought purifies the mind and liberates one from negative attitudes, I can choose pure thoughts. Thought is the seed of cause and effect. Thought is active energy present everywhere. I can choose to follow the subtle trajectory of how thought moves from awareness, to attitude, to my perception of situations and my vision of others, to the actions I choose. Today let me choose thoughts of pure intention and pure feelings in order to liberate myself from negativity.


*Thank you mama*



Watch My Experience at the Animal Rescue Centre!

My roommate and I had a mini mountain of cushions by the door hoping to be picked up. Lucky for them, I found out about the flea market that voice4charity was holding, in collaboration with the Dubai Animal Rescue Centre; which was also the drop off location. I really wasn't expecting the experience I had upon entering. What I thought would be a 10 minute drop off, turned into a good 30 - 40 minute tour of the shelter, which houses approximately 110 rescued animals.

The lady of the house, Ayesha Kelaif, has been giving animals a home for the past 10 years. The range of different animals is astonishing; from dogs, cats, and rabbits to reptiles, ponies, alpacas and so many more. I had a friend inquire if there were dragons. Unfortunately, none have been rescued yet, but stay tuned to the website for updates. 

The whole family is dedicated to giving these animals a comfortable home away from the abuse and neglect most had suffered. It's such a touching experience and if you like animals you should stop by; they are always willing to give tours during their open hours. With the help of volunteers, Ayesha plans on opening an actual rescue centre that will be able to accommodate more and more animals. Schools will also be able to organize special tours to educate students on the importance and responsibility of pets and their care.

Check out the tour I was given by Ayesha's wonderful daughter, Sara. Please excuse the shakiness and quality; I was so overwhelmed, and the video was completely impromptu; I was just excited to find any camera in my purse!



It's so interesting to know that a regular house on a street filled with houses, has such a special story to it.

Truly inspiring.  

If you want to volunteer, visit their website at www.darcueae.com or contact them on 050-8587844.


August 18, 2011

TGITW

Thank God it's the Weekend!


I can't believe how fast Ramadan has passed this year; for me at least. It's been very fun so far which I'm very grateful for. Just wanted to share some yummy treats with you that you should try if you haven't already. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a weakness for chocolate. Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a love for dates. Anyone who knows me VERY well knows I can't eat dates without nuts.  So whoever came up with Chocodates is on my favorites list right now, because these treats cater to me perfectly and make me very happy! Everything I love, all in one small bite; the yummy chocolate, moist date and crunchy almond center mmmmm. They have them in milk, dark and white chocolate, don't miss out. Have a great weekend xx

boys n girls: To Tell or Not to Tell

I watched a movie recently and came across a scene that completely sucked, but made me wonder a bit. I have no doubt it must happen a lot, and when it does the reactions are always relative to the situation blah blah blah, but generally, what would most people do?

Girl and boy have been together over a year and are so in love, it's disgusting. Their relationship is so perfect, happy couples doubt their own relationships. One rainy day when boy has been away "on business," he returns to open arms only to leave them empty. Tells girl the speech she knows oh so well.


Sidenote: it's so annoying how "it's me not you" couldn't be more appropriate when the time comes to use it. Too bad we have to find an alternative line to blame our change of feelings, in order to avoid jumping right out of the most cliche film. 

Anyway, boy explains all his reasons, which are undeniably rehearsed, yet, seemingly logical. Suddenly, he had a mature revelation and every obstacle and difference that could have been worked through with love won't be overcome. They should have just put the film on mute and added the subtitles "Frankly my dear, I don't love you anymore." 

Not so long after the break up, girl's best girl friends find out boy was cheating on her. Meanwhile, girl has been in a devastated state and has no idea. 

Should her friends: 

a) tell her immediately 
b) wait until time has healed a little more 
c) act dumb to avoid feeding into more of girl's insecurities


August 17, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Tune from Ani




there are some people who you either look up to, or are really fond of. If they mention a song they love, you already believe you'll like it before you've heard it. Needless to say, you instantly find something to like about it. A very special friend told me to download this three years back and I've loved it since xx

Workshop with Basma from B.beautiful UPDATE

Last weekend I attended Basma from B.beautiful's make-up workshop at the Pavilion. It took place in the shed by the cinema, which is the perfect location for a tight intimate spot to hold a class. Since she was sponsored by Sephora for the event, Basma went a bit wild with their products, it was nearly make-up wonderland. 

It's such a necessary workshop to take at some point in your life, preferably earlier obviously (don't know why I was so dramatic there). I just think it's important to learn how to work with your type of skin and the contours of your own face. What works for one person definitely might not for another, so it's important to experiment. Always recommended with someone who can actually help you experiment the right way. I know I've had one too many frustrating eyeshadow moments. 

Basma used me as her palette and taught her class the basics on base products as well as a soft look you can wear during the day. The next day she worked with color and eyes mainly. 
Here are a couple tips I learnt:

  • if you have dry lips, exfoliate them with a baby tooth brush before moisturizing them
  • when moisturizing your face, under your eyes avoid movement from the inside of your eye out, and rather moisturize with an inwards motion. Otherwise you can stretch the sensitive skin and run the risk of more wrinkles than necessary
  • when putting concealer on under your eyes, dab with the brush, and create a V going down slightly to your cheek, it opens up the eyes
  • when using bronzer, to get the right contour of your face, on each side with your brush move in the shape of a 3 starting at your temple, around the edge of your eyebrow, to your cheekbone to your jaw bone (does that make sense?)


Some make-up products in general to look out for: 
  • MAC's "Posey" blushcreme
  • Sephora's Eye Pencil's used for the eyebrows that come with a small brush attached. I would use #1. It gives great dimension to your brows without them getting abnormally dark and fake looking. I don't do the intense tatoo look. 
  • Makeup Forever's green corrector is good to conceal blemishes as green is complementary to red (I found this one really interesting)
  • Hypnose Mascara by Lancome
  • When it comes to creams, I've been hearing that even though you have the well known and heavily used La Prarie, Lancome's creams are just as good and perfect to be loyal to, if you want to be as wrinkle free as you can control

Check out her facebook page to stay tuned to her upcoming workshops and events!



To the Cooks out there: Punchfork


Check out Punchfork where you'll find the top rated recipes from sites like the Food Network, Epicurious, Serious Eats and more.

They use data from social networks to measure which recipes are most popular. Also, the search results are much more organized in terms of the ratings, and the site is updated regularly, so you can see new recipes almost instantly. 

Happy eats!

August 16, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Tune from the Dodos


Love, depression, outer space, family, confusion: Watch this Trailer




I'm always interested in anything to do with space. I crave so much information about everything out there. That's why I get intrigued by films with references to it all the time. Not so much action films about aliens and slime, which unfortunately seem to be dominating the genre. I prefer the sci-fi that can be more lighthearted, because we don't really know enough to always make it that believable. Or maybe nothing out there would appear believable.

One of my closest friends told me about this trailer, she knows me well. There's something about it that I'm liking. I don't really understand it and there's a lot going on, but something tells me I'd leave the film thinking. I hope so at least. I've recently been really impressed with Kirsten Dunst's performances so I'm looking forward to it.


August 15, 2011

99 Most Attractive Women Alive

I don't know what GlamGalz.com is, but these are the 99 Most Attractive Women Alive according to it.

I got a guys perspective and this is what he had to say:


Lea Michele definitely had a nose job...


Kristen Stewart only has one look... annoying
Shay Maria wa wa wee wa...
Marion Cotillard, je t'aime...

Good Morning DXB: Spiritual Thought of the Day

Time is your creation and you are its creator. Time is a relative concept, a creation of human perception. However it rules my life. When I remember that I am the creator of time, I can begin to slow down and notice time slowing down with me. Rather than running I can walk through life gracefully knowing there will be as much time as I make. Today let me be a master of time.



*Thank you mama*




Good Afternoon DXB: #thatlovinfeeling


August 14, 2011

How to block your arteries in the USA





I love how creative people are getting these days with their health. If you say yum to that I don't know how we're friends. Unfortunately, I can think of a few people who would love to get their hands on something like that *cough* Dad *cough.* 
I wouldn't try it if it was good for me. 

Pina: Get ready to be intrigued!




What started off as a collaboration turned into more of an homage to the late Pina Bausch, one of the most influential dancers circa 1970s. The documentary by film director Wim Wendors presents the awarded German dancer, choreographer and teacher's most acclaimed work. They started the documentary in 2009 the same year Pina passed. 

Large elaborate sets and eclectic music with tacit symbolism filling over the brim are some of the main components of her work. Interactions between males and females are a strong theme as well. Her style has inspired many including well known directors such as Pedro Almovodar

It's no doubt that the collaboration of dance and music have become a lingua franca when precisely pieced. This trailer portrays this well. I find the music (Lilies in the Valley by Jun Miyake) so eerie. The constant repetition feels like a drone slowed down immensely to the point that the individual beats are heard. Definitely stirs the emotions that are being presented. I'm moved. 

Pina's release date was at Berlinale, February 2011 in 3D. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Merci Rahmo xx

August 13, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Happy Sunday Folks

don't hate on the poor day, it never chose to be the first day of work. I wish you a happy week ahead xx





August 11, 2011

TGITW

Thank God it's the Weekend!



if there's one thing my tummy can't live without it's peanut butter. my obsession started in university with  wholefoods' freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter (i always mention it). i'm pretty sure brad pitt enjoyed every take of his scene in "meet joe black" when black discovered the yumminess of pb. that party ALWAYS makes me want some. anyway, my trainer @ platform 3 and i were both raving about this exact kind of pb that you can find here at the organic foods & cafe. the brand is arrowhead mills, it comes in creamy or crunchy, but of course i prefer that extra bite. so so grateful for you for filling me up and keeping me satisfied today. i definitely recommend it! i hope you all enjoy your weekend xx 

Help Someone Out! #RamadanFleamarket

I was directed to Voice4Charity today, which is a non-profit organization that helps bring awareness to charities and other NPOs in the UAE. A lot of times these charities don't get marketed as well as they should and with the myriad of people looking for ways to help out, it's a shame. Charity work  should never go by unnoticed so Voice4Charity is doing a great thing for everyone.

Right now Voice4Charity is preparing a flea market during Ramadan. It's a great way to give away anything you don't need/use because there's always someone out there who will gain from anything you give. Of course someone benefiting from your old pair of socks with holes is a long shot, so I'd say be a tad bit realistic with your give-aways.

If you are interested in being involved with volunteer and charity work regularly, email dina@voice4charity.org or call her on +971 56 785 9814.


Don't Always Trust a Boy's Package


I always knew the cast of Super Mario Brothers were an extremely sexually frustrated bunch. Glad to see the girls were... original. But seriously, what's up with the mushrooms in their pants? Scarring.
I never trusted Peach, she was always a conniving, fake.. girl.  And who's Daisy?! 
Mario to me will always be asexual, sorry dude. Looks like Luigi got all the man pride genes. His 2nd drawing is priceless. 
As for Toad, shame on you mr. advice giver. Clearly your words of wisdom do not extend (no pun intended) to the bedroom. 

Dearest Wholefoods Market

Do you really need to outwardly state that you aren't promoting Ramadan, but the halal food products? It's a shame a small portion of your demographic think by insinuating the promotion of Ramadan, you're promoting terrorism. What's more shameful is that you so easily appeased their ignorance. 

Here's a segment from the article, Wholefoods: We Should Not Highlight Ramadan

"Despite a statement from the Anti-Defamation League that Whole Foods and its Ramadan promotion aren't vaguely anti-Semitic, the association between a holiday that represents a time of patience, humility and charity for Muslims across the world and Jihadist terrorism is apparently so strong with a small, vocal minority that Whole Foods has capitulated to these people -- who surely can't represent the chain's larger demographic -- and buried its former Ramadan promotions as if they were a dirty secret."

They go off to say that "It is probably best that we don't specifically call out or 'promote' Ramadan. … We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered 'Celebrating or promoting' Ramadan." 

“What’s important is that the corporation itself stood up to these hate bloggers and did the right thing. It’s doing what any corporation does. It promotes events and products that will hopefully gain more customers.” Ramadan Becomes an Issue for Wholefoods

Its honestly too late to try to justify that your initial blog post mentioning Ramadan and your collaboration with halal products, was just to please all your customers' needs and offer a larger variety. It's just amusing that you spruce up your store to suit different religious holidays yet freak out about Ramadan. I think the world is seeing a lot worse than Ramadan right now. Then again, it's apparent you initially put those signs up to make the smaller upper middle class Muslims feel good and accepted to spend more.

I'm offended by this for many reasons, but really because I love the experience you offer. I get excited at the thought of going to your store and eating your fresh brown rice sushi and freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. Every time I go I find something new to love that I never would have thought of, like okra chips. Ultimately, I'm just happy there. 

"This is silly, its pure capitalism for Whole Foods to identify a need, a market niche, and attempt to connect with that market.  No one says that commerce should have anything to do with beliefs. Trust me, I am a Muslim and whether I shop at Whole Foods or not has more to do with the price and quality than anything else, it is a purely business relationship,. I am not so dumb as to think that a large corporation is concerned with anything but it's bottom line... as this ridiculous corporate insecurity displays." Comment by S. Ashraf Meer on article Wholefoods Ramadan Marketing Headache

It's sad to be brought back to reality that you're just a business at the end of the day. That’s our only relationship with you; we buy, you sell. 

Good Morning DXB: Le Sapin


August 10, 2011

Spiritual Thought of the Day


Ego is any false image I hold of myself. To consider myself to be a body is the oldest, deepest ego. When the body breaks down I am faced with thinking I am no longer competent, capable or able. However, when I remember that the body is the vehicle for the soul, I can conquer this subtle ego and remain capable and competent independent of the state of the body. Today let me conquer the false image of myself as a body.



*Thank you mama*

Le Bum Flush

I was recently introduced to the concept of colonics and was pretty keen on getting one. A couple of my friends swore by them so I thought why not give it a go. Of course me being me I had to research the idea before doing it. Who wouldn't research it?! The idea of 60 liters of water being flushed up my butt doesn't make me smile much. I was supposed to get it in London, but after speaking to some friends decided against it. I found out that it is used a lot by people who have problems going to the bathroom (not to pee) and since I consider myself healthy in that regard I decided to use those 3 hours doing something I enjoyed a bit more. I don't drink much alcohol or eat much junk so I figured I'd be able to live without one. 

I recently came across the article "Colon Cleansing: Not so healthy"  and felt pleased with myself for not going through with it. The article basically covers how there is no actual proof that the treatment works, and if used improperly can have serious consequences. 

Ever since the idea of colonics have been said to lead to weight loss, metabolism and energy boosters and immune system enhancement people have been swearing by it. Medical associations have been considering this a placebo effect as there is no proof a colonic can do this. Of course someone who doesn't eat well will consider whatever relieves their bloated discomfort a miracle. If you aren't pooing, anything that helps you "go" will make you feel better! No wonder models are so fond of them. 

A friend of mine told me her trainer had a colonic and it had an extremely vertiginous effect on her. She is healthy and she just felt it took away all her energy. I agree with the above article and say keep stuff out of your butt. Just eat well, exercise and get good sleep, stop making yourself an exception. 

Good Morning DXB: Morning Tune


August 9, 2011

What I'd do...

..to leave for just 10 minutes to a place untouched by frustration, and trust that everything in our world that I can't see is ok. 


Crystal Springs Reservoir, CA. Photographed by T.C. 


August 7, 2011

Good Morning DXB: Morning Tune

Enjoy those 5 extra minutes in bed :)

Finally: My Leading Carrot Cake!

Carrot cake really is perfect. It has the right sweetness, a moist fluffy texture and a nutty bite. I've already announced how it's my favorite cake so I won't get into all that. 

I've been going around trying to find my favorite carrot cake, but always manage to find something missing. Either there won't be enough nuts, the actual cake would be too sweet or too dry, the icing would be too sweet. There are so many ways this cake can go wrong. 

Yesterday though, I found THE carrot cake with the right balance of taste and texture. A good friend of mine came over for Iftar and his cake was a real hit. 

The cream cheese flavor was noticeable in the icing- just how I like it, as it gives it that sweet/savory kick. The nuts were plentiful for that bite but not too much that you've got a pile pushed to the side of your plate. The carrot shreds are so yummy to bite into, great way to convince yourself it's healthy. The cake itself was moist and not too sweet. It really hit the spot. There was even some late night picking as you can see. Very dangerous, but worth every bite. 


Some facebook Privacy Settings to Check

I'm so confused with all the facebook changes and what is secure and what isn't anymore. All I know is that I hate having my profile picture visible to people who aren't my friends, and if anyone knows a way to change this I'm all ears!

I just received this from a friend today and noticed my "secure browsing" was disabled. I enabled it. If you'd like to do the same follow these steps: 

"FB has changed without any notification. Look at your URL (top box on your screen.) If you see 'http' or just 'www' instead of 'https' you DO NOT have a secure session & can be hacked. Go to Account Settings - Security tab - Secure browsing - click Edit. Check box, click Save Changes."

 

August 6, 2011

Morning Tune

A relaxing familiar tune to start your day. A bit slowed down to remind you to enjoy each moment xx

Good Morning DXB: Spiritual Thought of the Day

Barriers and obstacles come as a projection of my own weaknesses. When I face an obstacle or a problem it is easy to think it is outside of me, possibly even caused by others. To be a master of myself, I must accept full responsibility for everything that is happening in my life. This is NOT to say I blame myself, but I accept that everything that is happening to me was created in some way by my own thoughts. Weak thoughts are projected outwards and are experienced as obstacles. Today let me be a master of myself.


*Thank you mama*

August 4, 2011

TGITW

Thank God it's the Weekend!
Another Chromeo song that just makes me wanna move

The Ramadan I ♥

We all have our own Ramadan. The emotions we feel, the places we visit, the food we love etc. For example, there's something about black tea with mint during Ramadan that just adds to the mood for me. There's no other time of the year that I really crave it. Just the same with Arabic desserts. The only three that I like, and I've tried a lot, are Knafeh, Um Ali and Roz bil Haleeb (rice pudding). 

Again, I only crave these during this month. They take me back to my younger teens living in Bahrain. Sitting all cozied up in tents surrounded by my friends and family, feeling completely carefree, everyone happy and thankful for the food and company. 

Once I went to university Ramadan was no longer the same. Boston wasn't too bad considering it was practically an Arab city away from the Middle East. I have to admit though, that same Ramadani feeling I was used to didn't exist. We'd try our hardest by keeping dates everywhere and eating ME cuisine whenever we had time. But breaking your fast to a Boloco burrito just doesn't cut it. I know, food is food, and you appreciate it all at the end of the day, but nothing says Ramadan to me like my family's home cooked ME food and desserts. 

My pickiness with ME meals would be a result of enjoying over 15 years of the best home cooked food; always fresh and healthy. Everything has to be nailed from the taste, to the texture, to the temperature it's served at, to the right amount of garnish (especially for desserts).

I could hardly take the photo above in focus last night because of how excited I was to eat it. Nothing beats the fresh, hot knafeh we make at home. Oozing melted cheese, the addictive crunch of the kataifi (a special kind of shredded phyllo) slightly burnt to perfection, and the sweet drizzle of the syrup. It's such a scrumptious combination of sweet and savory that always keeps you wanting more, when it's done right. 

I'm not hungry at all. 

In my experience though, Ramadan is also not the same unless I fast. It's the somewhat lazy mood and occasional hunger pang that not only brings me back to reality, but helps me appreciate every bite, sip, smile and hug I receive. 


Good Morning DXB: Hello Adele


August 3, 2011

Breaking a Sweat in DXB: Platform 3

I love gyms. Not the generic ones you find in apartment buildings or hotels, but the fun energetic ones that really lift your mood. Yes they do exist, I just didn't think they would in DXB. I always knew a friend of mine was working on his own gym but never gave it much thought since I've seen a lot of what is offered here. 



Then a couple nights ago on one of my walks with Yazzy, we passed by his gym which had finally opened that day - Platform 3. Trust me, I don't get excited amidst dumbbells, punching bags and treadmills so I don't know what happened to me there. First of all the location is great, it's at Park Island in the Marina. 









Once you enter you've got your Conditioning Zone on your left with different workout tools that you might not recognize as some are only found in the UK, such as the TRX training. You'll also find the Climbing Zone with an 8 meter wall to knock yourself out with.

On your right, an impressive Boxing Zone with punching bags as well as a whole customized Everlast boxing ring. Added bonus: you can change the lighting to your preference, and they have all colors of the rainbow. You might not know it, but these small details really make a difference. 

   

As you go upstairs, you have a juice and snack bar on your left, "Refuel," where you can can satisfy your protein shake, juice, or wheat grass shot craving (score!). Right by the juice bar are glass doors which lead outdoors where you'll find Power Plates as well as The Green Room, a lounge area with computers and free WiFi. I could seriously live there. 



On the right of the stairs you have the DJ's turntable, of course, every gym should be well equipped when it comes to music. Then further down you have more of the Cardio Zone housing the basic exercise machines you are familiar with.  You will also find the Inwood corner library with books regarding health/workouts/fitness. This is also where the sports therapist and the nutritionist's offices are located. Apparently the therapist does magic and will heal any pain in your body.


Honestly, I'm still not doing the place justice. I can't describe energy and make you feel it, you have to experience it.

What you need to note about Platform 3 is that it's quite exclusive; you can only use the facility if you have a personal trainer or if you are signed up for their classes. There are no drop-ins like a regular gym. This makes me quite happy, considering the number of times I catch McSleazy hovering around me while I stretch. 


One of my best friends experienced a training session with Mad Mike just yesterday, and from the sounds of it, I'm not sure he'll be able to walk for a couple days. At least once you're done with your intense workout you can relax in the changing room and enjoy the sauna and rain shower. 

After getting a tour of the facility by one of their energetic staff, I tried out a machine as you can see to the right. I think I make it look effortless...... anyway, there are only two of these at Platform 3 and if I remember correctly the only two in DXB. 

Open 7 days a week from 6am - 11pm. If you give them a call at +971 4 435 8083 they'll fill you in on all of their training packages. They recommend you start off with a nutritional assessment first of your fat/muscle percentage etc, as this way they'll be able to gauge exactly what you need in order to attain the exact goals you have for your body. 




Good Morning DXB: Stay tuned for my own workout routine!


After I trained to be a yoga instructor two years ago, I never really used my qualifications except once with my brother. That turned into a total joke because I enjoyed watching him do sunflowers too much, the lesson was pretty much sunflowers and laughter, sunflowers and laughter, sunflowers and laughter… you get it right.

After getting into yoga I realized it wasn’t as satisfying for me. I need something that includes the stretches yoga offers, but more of the fun energy and good music of dance classes. So I decided that before I teach anyone I’m going to come up with my own routine to the music I love that pumps me up and cools me down. Once I have my routines down I would love to invite all my friends to try it out. I’ll make sure you release all the endorphins you need to keep you happy!

Anyway, in order to come up with the types of routines I want, a lot of research needs to be done and so my good friend Yazzy and I have decided to experience the different gyms and workouts Dubai has to offer. This way we’ll rate them so that you know exactly what to expect from each, and I can also get all the research I need done. 

August 2, 2011

Battle of the Tallest Skyscraper


I mean the Burj Khalifa certainly didn't think it would be the tallest forever did it? Well not to worry it has another 5 years before it crumbles in depression. 

Jeddah Tower which will be 1,000 meters (will that even be high in 5 years?) will not only have the typical offices, apartments and condominiums, but will have a Four Seasons Hotel. At a slim cost of $1.2 billion, it will also be facing the Red Sea. Not sure which of those is supposed to be the unique selling proposition though.

Now I KNOW not everyone suffers small wiener syndrome with all the "my tower is taller than yours" business (oh wow), but why oh why do Arabs need to compete and prove everything to such Shakespearean proportions. 

We get it, you are swimming in  $$$$. However, if you're ever bored of it, there are some hungry people in Somalia who might like some, just a silly thought. 

But I understand, every country spends its money the way it pleases and has no obligations to fix the misfortune of other countries; if they do and I'm just ignorant that's my bad, I just know what the news tells me.


I Hope You Dance... Slightly Different Take


I stumbled upon this - it's pretty funny. In case you didn't know it's a spoof off of Lee Ann Womack's i hope you dance. 


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com


I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your final set of undies,
You get your fill to eat but still you get the munchies,
May you never shake my hand while sweaty-handed
God forbid you miss the bus that leaves you stranded
I hope you never miss it when they play “Slow Motion”
And never dunk your head into hand lotion
Promise me that you will wear your skinny pants
And if they ask you to be prime minister of France
Go govern France…Go govern France.
I hope you never see mountian lions in the distance
Never forget to purchase me a Mac for Christmas
Dinner might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
It won’t be a mistake to add some bacon
Don’t let some hell-bent okra make you shiver
When the slime is gone the taste it will deliver
Give this two-buck wine a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to take a trip to Alamance
I hope you book in advance…book in advance.