September 27, 2011

Dearest UAE Drivers,

Please signal your lights, THEN change lanes. 

Not the other way around. 


Spiritual Thought of the Day

It requires willpower to consistently live my values in all circumstances. The minute I commit myself to living my values in all situations, life provides opportunities to challenge my commitment. If I see each of these challenges as an opportunity to deepen my commitment, I can enjoy them as a game. Just when I feel it is not possible to stay true to myself, I will discover unique and unexpected support. Today let me appreciate the game of challenges and strengthen my will.

*Thanks mama*

September 26, 2011

Hello hello :) Listen to me

I know I have a bit too much on my plate when I can't share anything at my tea party. Sad times. BUT gives me more things to talk about when I do get that time :) I've been shooting various projects and preparing others, so lately I've been feeling like I'm constantly being yanked left and right by each arm. Not going to complain though! Until I can sit down and properly write some more, I'll leave you with this song. It's got this gospel-feel (to me at least). It's my current "on repeat - scream at the top of my lungs -wave my arms around - scream hallelujah to" song, that keeps me in my element wherever I am. Pretty sure I've scared MANY people on the streets. It's just always important to find out what frees your body and soul innit? That's music for me.

I hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying this new week xx

September 21, 2011

Look of the Day

When you're feeling blue, check out Belgrave Place by Nail's Inc. There's always been a specific hue of blue that I've loved wearing (clothes wise) and this is exactly it. Hand credits to my lovely HS. 

It's funny how I went through a phase of despising any color on my nails, and now I find myself blogging about blue - a color I NEVER thought I'd like. It's sort of how gold really got shunned for a while then made its big come back. 

A little sum'in sum'in to get yo booty pumpin

I took a hip-hop class with Sharmila at DUCTAC and I have to say I was so amazed with all the talent filled in that room! Firstly, she's absolutely vivacious and keeps the positive energy and humor up throughout. I think I was just in awe of her the whole time. I've always been told about her class and really regret not going sooner. It was my first time and the end of a routine, so you can only imagine how sad I must have looked. I always thought I could dance... yeah, I was slightly devastated, not gonna lie.

The routine was to Beyonce's End of Time, so it's really all I've had in my head. There are some songs you can dance to and some songs you need a routine to break it down to; this is one of those that's much more fun with a routine.... When you nail it.

If you want to keep up your dance skills, learn new skills, or just get a great workout, this class is for you. Check out her timetable here.


September 20, 2011

Why not to cross the line with a penguin...

I would pay to know what this penguin just told him... There were definitely VERY bad premenstrual cramps involved.

[via liveleak]

TimeOutDubai's 20 Most Stylish People

I was recently selected as one of TimeOutDubai's 20 Most Stylish People. I'm not that person who's always keeping up to date with the latest trends and fashion, and I see maaany more fashion forward ladies who are always dressed to par around here. However, when it comes to style, I like to believe it's more than just fashion, but also about selecting something simple with a *sexy/cute/quirky/preppy/funky (whatever adjective)* flare that suits your body. 

If you do like my style and the style quiz that follows, vote for me here ;) 

Thanks! xx

Your True Description, Right Here, Right Now

Anyone who knows me knows that I love horoscopes and comparing people to their signs. However, I don't know all the signs considerably well at all - I'm not one of those people who can just look at you and tell you what makes you tick. I can only match a couple signs to their months; but I'm always intrigued nonetheless. I've never been into checking my horoscope on a day to day basis; if it's around I'll read it, and if it sucks I'll ignore it. Some descriptions match my personality and some don't; at times I don't consider myself a true Scorpio and at times I do. 

When I read my description on Somebody to Love, I think I really found myself. It turns out my whole life I didn't know I had to account for being a Fire Tiger as well. I have to say it's pretty spot on! As for me being fantastic... why thank you very much :)

Scorpio Fire Tiger

Ballsy as hell. This one has so much fire in her belly that from the moment she's lying in her little carry-cot, she's beginning to get awfully, awfully frustrated. Scorpio Fire Tiger girls want to get out there and take on the universe. They want to meet every last one of us head on. They love a battle, adore a challenge, fear no one, fear nothing and regard a daily challenge as a prerequisite of life. If there was a girl out there who could run 17 businesses, have seven children and find time to climb K2 in the middle of the week, it's this powerhouse. She is a relentless, fiery, feisty, burning ball of flaming ambition. In terms of career, there really is nothing this girl can't achieve. She's as practical as she is creative, but whatever she does, it'll need to be terribly exciting, and just a little bit dangerous. Her real Achilles heel lies in the fact that Scorpio girls are ordinarily cool, calm, collected and assured - but the Fire Tiger is a short-tempered, feisty bruiser. And it's these two different personalities trying to work together that will cause the occasional implosion - and you really don't want to be on the receiving end of what is tantamount to a nuclear blast on a seismic scale. This is no cuddly toy, this a serious cookie who will achieve greatness and, quite possibly, leave a trail of utter destruction in her wake. She's fantastic.

You can also find out the compatibility of you and your partner and find out who your perfect celebrity match is. Apparently getting a 100% is not common so don't get too dissappointed. I just want to put it out there that Josh Hartnett is my perfect match. With 100%. Not like he can get me or anything.... 

Whoever I have showed this to has experienced the same shock and excitement at the precision of the description. There's something about that genuine smile that creeps up on you when you've heard, read or realized something true. Expect it. Check yours out now!

Good Morning DXB: Listen to Me

Just sipping my tea and the first song I wanted to hear this sunny morning is Ed Sheeran's - Little Bird. A friend recently gave me his latest CD. It's rare for me to like nearly every song on a CD. This one in particular makes me want to get up and get stuff done! It's so good to be back to Dubai, and on top of all the work I have to complete. I can't wait to share more of the projects I've been putting together. I hope you all feel creatively inspired as well this week :)

Have a great day xx

September 18, 2011

Look of the Day

Fun, quirky & simple.

Goodbye London

I ended up postponing my flight back to the UAE by one day to meet with some of the cast, crew, and director of Djinn. I'm happy I got to do this for so many reasons. Firstly, I got to do some fun work in the studio, and most importantly, explore areas of London I'd never been to.

A day of perfect weather, good food, and friendly faces. It definitely made me realize that the next time I go to London, I'm creating an exploration itinerary. Best part, we were able to walk everywhere - something I rarely get to do in Dubai. My poor feet were so confused, they forgot the idea of walking for leisure.

I spent the day time mainly around Soho with two great friends and we got around to quite a bit. I got to check out a very funky vintage clothing store that I wish we had in Dubai. It has soooo much fun stuff! It's always these random stores that I'll find the one thing I've been scouring for in all the malls. My tea party girls would have went a bit wild if I let them; but, with just a carry on to take on my flight (I gave my parents my suitcase) it wouldn't have been a good idea. I'm proud of myself. It's so hard for me to control myself in a different country; I always manage to convince myself I absolutely need most things I glance at. Very silly.

We stepped into a great gallery space as well, there were different artists but everything had some sort of a realistic idea but displayed in a colorful and bold way. I love this kind of art, it's a mix of contemporary with themes of history or past idols. There was a room of Middle Eastern trinkets, except that most of them are things I see on my regular stop at the cold store on the corner of any road. It was amusing. Things are so appreciated where they're uncommon.

It was such a teaser walking by theaters with productions I've been dying to see. I heard Ralph Fiennes is acting in Shakespeare's, The Tempest. It's not normal how much I enjoy watching his acting, so to think I could have seen him live makes me wish I stayed longer. It would have been worth the delay. All tickets are already sold out; however, if you're in London just stay tuned at the box office because there are always cancellations. Weird. It shows at the Haymarket Theatre Royal until October 29th... just one day after my birthday. *sigh*

I was so excited walking around that I didn't realize how hungry I was. Hate it when that happens, especially when you're somewhere new and there are sooooo many options. So we walked around Carnaby St and ended up going to an Italian restaurant. It wasn't the most exciting choice, but a safe choice, and sometimes when you're so hungry, you just want to be sure you'll enjoy what you eat. What made our tummy's really happy was our next stop at Hummingbird Bakery, which I always used to call Hemmingway for some weird reason. Anyway, I wasn't a fan of the carrot cake cupcake, waaay too much nutmeg. I tried a black bottom cupcake for the first time and I loved it! I'm not even that much of a cupcake fan. The icing was just so fun and playful.

Then of course my tummy being the demanding diva she is was unhappy about the cupcake after I saw a frozen yogurt joint. Why do they all have that same sort of bubbly writing? Whatever, not like I really care. As long as they're around.

I can't get over how hot it got, I was lugging my carry on around and wearing a sweater. Yes, I do realize I could have taken it off. I wasn't thinking well. We stopped at a couple stores and walked around more quirky little streets. Everything was so inviting and colorful around the area.

We then went on a very straight street, not really the description I'd give the people around there, but lets just say it's nearly as colorful as the Castro. I must say though that I missed the guys, wearing USA flag printed briefs, dancing in the store windows. Castro 1, Old Compton St. 0.

September 17, 2011

Death by Fingers

We always use our hands and fingers to create art, why not use them as art. My favorite in this sequence is the jealous thumb in the second photo. Poor guy... it's not easy always being the small one of the bunch. Thanks to reddit for having the most random shhhhtuff.

September 16, 2011

Listen to Me: Lucy Rose - Place

Traveling always means new music for me. Each trip has its own songs that define it. I love coming across new artists who have good music, not who just fill up my iTunes library and make me feel musically adept. I was introduced to the music of Lucy Rose and quite enjoy her sound. Check out her song Place below.

Spiritual Thought of the Day

Eternal attainment comes from connecting yourself to eternal things. I receive temporary attainment from everything else. Life’s entertainments and circumstances are temporary, they all come and go. When I rely on anything temporary for my happiness, I create a feeling of insecurity and dependence. When I connect with my eternal inner core to the eternal inner core of others, I can see, nurture and be nurtured by the thread of connection that lasts beyond this life. Today let me connect with the eternal.

*Thank you Mama*

September 15, 2011

Stoli presents their ORIGINAL campaign in the UAE!!!

Based on the concept of ORIGINALITYStoli wants to challenge all consumers to wonder how they measure:

 - if they are original?
 - if they are experiencing and living life in an authentic, interesting way?
 - if they are interesting enough to share a Stoli with themselves?

There are 3 prizes to be won: 

1. By the general public, by submitting their videos showing how original they are.
2. From one of the participating bars.
3. From one of our ambassadors by being the most proactive and active ORIGINALITY ambassador.

What are the prizes?
1. An all-expenses trip to L.A. to attend the 2012 Masquerade Party at the Mansion in February.
2. The chance to experience Zero Gravity in L.A.!!

I am proud to say that I have been selected as one of the 4 Stoli ORIGINALITY Ambassadors!
One of the 4 ambassadors (who are each original in their own way) ALSO has a chance to win, so please check out my video below!! Hope you like it :)

So how should you start?! First go to the Stoli Emirates page on facebook and "Like" it. THEN think about what makes you original, and participate in the competition to find The Next Original!

There's so much ORIGINALITY out there - so prove it and go to!!!!!

Love for my Djinn Girls

For those of you who don't know, the first movie I acted in, Djinn  - directed by Tobe Hooper, should be out in theatres around January '12. Shot in March and April, it was definitely a wild experience. I'm really hoping it has that thrill factor that Tobe has been known for in his other movies, such as Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist.

I have to say though, that one of the main benefits of the movie was working with two of the most beautiful girls I've met, inside and out. Meet Razane Jammal and Aiysha Hart. I expected an experience out of the movie, but definitely not the great friendship we were able to walk away with. 

We got to spend a nice sunny day together while I was in London. As usual, we were complete goofballs, but at least we managed a decent photo :)

Stay tuned for Djinn!

September 14, 2011

A Little Checkin in

It's funny how attached I've gotten to sharing my thoughts at my tea party. I didn't write for a full day and I wasn't too happy about that. Unfortunately spare time is a little hard to come by when traveling... and spending more quality time with my laptop could have easily labeled me unsocial around my family. They're always ready to attack me :)

Anyway, I feel so lucky that the couple of days I spent in London were bright and sunny! (I'm going to forget the cloud of rain that passed over for a good hour). I can say that I have satisfied my brown rice sushi cravings from Wholefoods. I'd like to believe that eating it for lunch and dinner for three days isn't too excessive... hmm.. Whatever, I figured I should get sick of it so I don't crave it. Unsuccessful.

On another note, catching up with friends, old and new, over the past couple of days was priceless. It's so good to catch up after not speaking for some time. You just realize all over again why each friend is so special in their own way (yeah, I used 'friend' and 'special' in a sentence; hope it wasn't too hard to stomach). All in all I can't ask for more than being with family and friends on a vacation.

After spending most of my time running around London, the train ride back to Egham was just how I needed it to be; smooth and relaxing. Back in Egham now, and I can't complain. As much as I'm a city girl, I do like me some nice and quiet tiempo. Things just slow down for me here, and it's that slower pace that helps me recoup.

Oh yeah - I met a girl, originally from the States, who was born and raised in London and still had an American accent. She's living proof that people DON'T need to speak with an English accent. It sort of drives me crazy when people live in England for a couple years and then suddenly speak with the accent. It's really annoying. If this applies to you, please stop.

Wish I had a fun picture to sum up my last couple days, but unfortunately I don't. So now as I'm cuddled watching Cadillac Records with family friends, I leave you with a photo of a member of their family who happens to be one of the most friendly and loving cats I've met: Miss Pixie. Apparently she's always half asleep. So that combined with the strong sun didn't really help her eyes stay open. She likes attention, to sleep on you, and to be carried ONLY in baby position.



September 12, 2011

Treats to try in Beirut

One of my fellow food lovers brought me such a sweet treat on her way back from her relative's store Cocoa & Co. in Beirut. A box of brownies and a rice-crispy sushi roll! I love creative desserts so the sushi was definitely fun to try. I'm such a sucker for good packaging and fun colors. How would you not want to try what's in this pink and orange brownie box?

I looove rice crispy treats AND sushi, so what better combination? Covered with sprinkles or fruit rollup, they were definitely fun and yummy. 

I'm really picky about my brownies. I loved the thin slightly harder layer on top that cracks as you bite into it, and the smooth mushy bite into the heart of it. These mini sized brownies are definitely dangerous to keep around. I would have loved some walnuts in mine for that crunch I always need; but that's just more reason for me to make a stop at Cocoa & Co the next time I'm in Beirut!

Spiritual Thought of the Day

Turning tough experiences into lessons learned is the secret to creating a new life. I can plant the seeds of lessons learned from life in a secret garden in the middle of a vicious jungle. By watering them freshly I can care for the seed of a new world. Today let me grow a secret garden of new life within myself on the basis of lessons learned from the past.

*Thank you Mama*

September 11, 2011

*Read Me*

Dearest Reader, 

I hope this finds you in good health. 
If you enjoy stopping by my tea party, I would love for you to officially join, by finding "Attendees" on the right as you scroll down, and clicking "join this site."

You can use various existing accounts rather than signing up. You won't be receiving any emails or notifications; it's merely support that I would really appreciate.

Yours Truly,


A Walk in Windsor Park

There's something about being in England and going for a walk in the park. It just takes me back to 101 Dalmations and the quaint life of Pongo and Roger. I'm a true Disney fanatic. Well, only the movies made circa 1930s-early 90s. The movies transport me to lalaland where I like to hang out a lot. Any cartoon made after that is NOT Disney to me and makes me feel lost, alone and nostalgic.

Being in Egham means waking up daily to the friendly face of Daisy, one of the most gorgeous Weimaraners I've met. As calm and satisfied as Daisy is with just lying around the house, once the word "walk" is mentioned she will not stay put or stop crying until you take her. Her and every other dog right? Yesterday she head-butted Hana, one of my oldest family friends, in the nose from excitement. Pretty intense. As Hana puts it, going for a walk is Daisy's night out at a club where she gets to strut and socialize. I would probably head-butt someone too if I knew it was time to party after sitting around all day...

101 Dalmations really hit it on the spot when it implied every dog is like its owner. I enjoy people watching on a regular basis, but watching them with their pooches is even more entertaining!

Below are some photos from the walk:

Meet Daisy

We bumped into a cocker spaniel puppy who fell in love with Daisy. Daisy's feelings were not mutual. 

I asked Daisy what made her feel nostalgic, she preferred not to answer.. deep.

These pre-swans made the ugliest hissing noise. PMS much? 

She's so well mannered and loyal to whoever is walking her; she'll never stray too far. Well, mainly because she freaks out if she's lost. It was so funny watching her run frantically from side to side when we were just a couple meters away.

Good Morning from England!

I'm currently visiting family in Egham. Definitely not the place to visit if you're in the mood to break it down, but it's great for relaxing. It's such a good change of weather; I'm loving every mood that hits the sky here. But most of all, loving the cold. What's considered humid and warm to people here is the winter I experience in Dubai! 

Waking up to the bright sun and true blue sky was so nice, but I'm ready for any rain that comes our way. Looking forward to a refreshing bike ride in the park today!

Happy Sunday to all of you :)

September 8, 2011


Time to do a little happy dance for the weekend! Sadly enough for me, my dance involves a couple toe wiggles at the most; I can't even begin to explain how beat I am. I felt like I was on speed this week preparing for a shoot for a short film that was supposed to be done over two weeks, yet crammed into two days. The great thing about cramming work is getting it done; with the amusing addition of regular hallucinations. The irritating thing is that you create more room for problems to pop up; hopefully none of those make any appearances for us. All in all, I spent around 4 out of the 9 hours of shooting, laughing in hysterics; so really it wasn't all that bad. What was bad was getting lost and ending up on that huge Jebel Ali roundabout where trucks don't see regular sized cars. Every once in a while I wish I have spikes that spring out of my car to slash tires of drivers who misbehave. I'm not taking that back. 

I realized that unless I choose to see the sunrise with some wine and good company, seeing it while I'm driving like Cruela to get home, isn't comforting. It doesn't help that after 5 hours of sleep (which is more than I was allowed to have) I needed to pack and drive to Abu Dhabi as I have a flight to catch with my parents. Can I just say that packing and unpacking are very high on my list of things I hate doing. Nearly as high as changing the duvet cover of my bed. I just got goosebumps..  

Despite it all, there's always a way to help me forget and feel happy:

That's right, Pinkberry! I look forward to going to MOE just to have it. I even have a routine for my order. First I have to act pensive and indecisive and I order a chocolate taster (I'm never interested in eating a full portion of chocolate yogurt, but every time I go I think I might be.. then I realize I'm not.. Ahh I just don't learn). Then as if I wasn't a fan, I more confidently state, "no... you know what, I'm just going to go with the original." I'm really going to have to find a new technique soon; I've already started making friends order me the chocolate taster to mix it up. I like how I'm trying to make myself feel special; clearly they won't remember me. Anyway, toppings are always pomegranates for that fruity kick, and oreos for the right crunch. The combo tastes great with the original yogurt; you can appreciate every single taste. This time though I added some pebbles. Nom nom nom. And I'm smiling right now :)

Have a great weekend xx

Sumatra Dragonfruit anyone?

I'm really enjoying these bai5, low calorie antioxidant infusion  drinks. They're refreshing and light, a la Vitamin Water without all that sugar. With many exotic flavors such as Kenya Peach, Jamaica Blue Berry, Sumatra Dragonfruit (my current favorite) and so many more, you won't get bored of them.

bai5's main selling proposition is a secret ingredient they use: coffee's secret superfruit. "As a native cherry of the coffee plant, the outer fruit of the [coffee] bean is one of nature's most powerful antioxidants. Grown at high altitudes, along the equatorial regions of the world, the coffee fruit is enriched by extreme exposure to the sun's life-giving rays and the added benefits of important nutrients found in the fertile soil of these volcanic terrains." Umm... basically it's yummy.

These drinks are sweetened with Stevia, the natural sweetener that I trust much more than all those artificial ones out there.  I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners at all, mainly because they have a laxative effect... I'm gonna stop right there.

Click here to check out their site and learn more about the story of the coffee superfruit, nutrition facts, and all the other bai5 flavors  -each one has an interesting description. Talk about hard time for marketers these days. 

The only place I've been able to find bai5 has been in Waitrose, slight bummer, but better than nothing xx

September 7, 2011

"Be better than the Gap!"

I finally got around to watching Crazy Stupid Love. Really enjoyed it! This is one of those feel good movies I'd own to play in the background over again. The cast was super. Except I wasn't crazy about the babysitter, Analeigh Tipton. Her mouth made my blood boil because she kept trying to open or pout it. THEN I found out she was on America's Next Top Model Cycle 11 and placed 3rd and I really liked her back then. Suddenly my annoyance towards her waned after I realized she's gone a long way; good for her!

I found that Steve Carell and Julianne Moore (who I look up to so much as an actress fyi) had great chemistry together. Kevin Bacon is still around? I haven't missed him much. I got so happy when the son gave that fool a lesson. Gotta say I wouldn't have minded less time around the son and more around Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. I LOVED his role in this movie. He knows how to charm and get all the ladies without appearing like that proud stuck up prick. How is that possible? I lost all attraction to him in Blue Valentine and now it's all back again. He's got that swagga that'll make any girl's heart melt. Boys out there, let him teach you a couple tips. I'm getting scowls now I bet. 

It shows how revamping your wardrobe and getting a full physical makeover (in every way) can do wonders for you. Of course not to all those who appreciate someone only for their heart and soul; you all are much better than me. I love style. And that confident-charming-wit-that-not-many-have-without-that-necessary-experience attitude, is knee weakening. 

Candy colored sushi... mmm

Finally the weekend is almost here! I hope you've all been enjoying your week so far and that it's been balanced between fun and work. If your balance is off and it's only one or the other, you should adjust yourself. As for me I've been running around preparing for a project I have to complete by Thursday. Won't share any info until it's over, but it's definitely something I haven't done before. Pushing my boundaries big time (calm down not porn). 

Anywho, despite it being fun, I was completely exhausted yesterday by 10pm when I was finally able to sit down. I decided the best way to end the night would be with good food. Dinner at Salmontini after nearly everyone had left was yummy and relaxing. I haven't had much there other than sushi, but I tried their Salmon Tartare which I'd give a 6/10 and their French Lentil Salad which I'd give an 8/10. I love lentils so this salad hit the spot, I just think it was missing an herb or something. 

I haven't had my sushi fix in quite a while, so I got a bit creative with my choice: Tofu, asparagus, cucumbers and avo wrapped in Soy Bean Nori with a Teriyaki Sauce drizzle. It was the first time I tried Soy Bean Nori and looked kind of like a joke; I felt like I was about to eat candy. But it was very interesting - in a good way. Light on the stomach and fun to eat.. I guess cuz of the colors? #cheapthrills.

Enjoy your Wednesday and don't take yourself too seriously xx

September 6, 2011

More Reasons to Eat Chocolate!

Just another article about chocolate that makes me happy! Yes, dark chocolate. Sorry..

Every year there's an article about how chocolate is ACTUALLY good for us. Whether it's stress, or to help us release certain endorphins or to strengthen our memory (good one), there's always a new study. Either it's by a bunch of fatties who live in a room made of chocolate and have their heart set on justifying their consumption. Or it really is something we need to pay more attention to (my preferred choice).

 Heart Disease, Diabetes and Stroke: More Chocolate, Less Risk stated that "five of seven studies included in the review [of chocolate being good for us] linked high chocolate consumption with a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, a 31 percent reduction in diabetes risk and a 29 percent reduction in stroke risk when compared to low chocolate consumption." 

Unfortunately the recommended chocolate is dark with 60% cocoa or higher (bummer). My Milka or Daim obsession will definitely not suffice. I know that when I tried Lindt's 70% cocoa I nearly gagged. If I can stick to their dark chocolate with nuts and orange peel I can handle it. Obviously you can't be a fatty about it, "This is a wonderful example of the opportunity to love food that loves us back," said Katz. "However, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing." Translation: not a whole bar.

There isn't an exact recommended dose, but I'd say go for it daily. Better to be safe than sorry :)

[via abc news]

Spiritual Thought of the Day

If you are not creating, then your weaknesses will destroy you.
At this time in the world, a constant state of creativity is needed in the soul. When I am creating, spiritual energy is flowing through me. When I stop creating my spiritual energy gets stuck and begins to stagnate. In this state the energy of my weaknesses can take over and drag me down. Today let me protect myself by keeping my creative energy flowing.

*Thanks mama*

September 5, 2011

Crunchy Cinnamon-Orange Biscotti

Since I was under 10 years old I remember those special days when the house would smell like heaven. The almost enchanting aroma of the mixture of warm orange and cinnamon making its way through every room. It was when I knew I'd be welcomed with a fresh plate of my favorite orange biscotti. The taste is addictive and the bite is so crunchy!! Baked by Purita, practically the caretaker of our house who has been part of our family since I can remember. Purita learned a lot of her recipes from my mom, but was also working at a bakery before living with us, so naturally she had a couple tricks up her sleeve! 

I finally asked Purita to share the biscotti recipe with me and had the guts to try it. I should add that the first time I made it in my apartment, it was a complete flop, and I made what appeared to be bread. Of course I was experimenting and changed the ingredients list entirely. It took my friend Lamya around 3 minutes to swallow 1 bite before she could give me her opinion. By a minute 30 seconds of her chewing I already knew what I needed to know. I realized there's something different about the way Purita makes it: rather than mixing the ingredients to form a dough log which would be placed in the oven, her mixture comes out more like a batter which she bakes in a baking pan. 

So taking advantage of the fact that I'm in Abu Dhabi at my parents house with a kitchen complete with everything I'd need (including Purita), I decided to give the biscotti another go. My best friend also came over for lunch so we decided it would be fun. There aren't many ingredients and the main substitution was using honey instead of sugar. Why do I constantly need to come up with different recipes for foods we love? Because there are hundreds of websites that know how to cook up a storm using butter, sugar and other ingredients that I would prefer to do without. For that reason, I come up with recipes that either use very little or none of those. My desserts or meals have nothing to do with being lower in calories unless I state it, they're merely made with "better quality" ingredients as I like to put it. This view is definitely not understood by my father who dreams of butter; but when even he agrees something tastes good without it, I believe anyone can as well.

Note that I used a baking pan larger than I should have for the quantity I made so the end result came out quite thin (which is actually how I enjoy them). However, for the thicker genuine biscotti, I would use a loaf pan.

Below is the story of my favorite biscotti:

Buy it

mix it

pour it

bake it

flip it

cut it

bake it

eat it.

 For the exact recipe and directions, click below.

September 4, 2011

Who said cramps don't feel good?

so 'cramp' is what you kids are calling it these days... how refined.

Dearest Dubai, Can you please bring these here?

Some edible treats I crave the most on a regular basis. I've only been able to find the following in organic grocery stores in the US or London so far. What I'd do to find them here though...

Fresh brown rice sushi. Most organic grocery stores have a live sushi bar with all the brown rice you need! I think it's great that they give customers the choice. I actually enjoy the taste much more; it's almost as if they use a moist ingredient to hold the rice together. Yum! I can eat this every day for lunch. I'm surprised the idea of brown rice sushi hasn't hit Dubai yet. I'm sure it would take a bit longer to make it big considering people here mainly live on the simple carbs we should avoid, but there is hope. 

Freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. I love the one I find here, but nothing compares to it freshly ground. I'm not going to lie, it looks pretty nasty coming out of the grinder, but that's the best time to eat it. It's just got the perfect crunch, warmth and sweetness to it. 

Luna Bars. I've tried nearly every flavor, and I have to say I've narrowed down my favorites to the Chocolate Dipped Coconut and S'mores. One of my suitcases was pretty much stuffed with Luna Bars, which I still have a stash of. Protein bars are a great snack when you don't have proper food around; I take one when I go on a film shoot or if I know I'll have a really long meeting and don't want to be that really loud person munching on the bag of crisps or an apple. Sucks to be that person. 

Okra chips. Who would have thought to make these?! They're sensational. Texture and consistency mean a lot to me and the crunch of these chips is perfection. Even the sound of each crunch is so sharp and satisfying. You'd know what I mean if you tried them. I'm sure the sodium levels are pretty high but whatever, it's Okra right?

I'm hoping one day soon to find these here; otherwise I'll have to do something about it myself!

My Movie Library Update

My mental movie library isn't that great so I try to catch up whenever I can. I usually try to select based on Rotten Tomatoes' reviews. This week I got around to watching State of Play (84%), Orphan (55%), Jane Eyre (85%) and Atonement (83%), In Bruges (81%).

Movie critics just love the most depressing movies don't they!

I was really holding out for Atonement because I wanted to read the book first... guess that's not happening anytime soon. Strangely enough, it's the first time Keira Knightley didn't annoy me. I really do love James McAvoy, I've always got my eyes on him when he's on screen and it's not just his looks, he's really very good at his craft. All in all I really appreciated this movie. No doubt the story was super, I mean come on.. it's Ian McEwan; but also the acting pulled me in. It was also styled perfectly in terms of the set/costume design and the way it was filmed.

Really sucks that one foolish child can break so many hearts; including her own. Don't even want to discuss how disgusting her curly haired cousin was and even more so the guy who "courted" her. Pedo!

Among the many things I was left to think of, was Keira's emerald green dress. I really want it. It embodies that feminine chic and classy look so well. She's a bit too skinny for my liking on screen, but nevertheless stunning throughout.

I don't even WANT to talk about Orphan. K fine I will, but just to say it's been a while since I've gotten so frustrated, scared, and grossed out at the same time. I didn't even select it, it was on TV and I wasn't tired yet. I know the exact structure of this type of film; that newcomer who wants to destroy a family, but deep down just wants love and acceptance, the numerous attempts to kill, the naive family member who usually ends up dying, and ultimately the villain's death. Is it normal that I got satisfied when the father got stabbed? How dare you not consider your wife's intuition you fool!

I will say that for me to hate Isabelle Fuhrman so much means she really nailed the role. How did they make her look so unappealing? Her face looks a bit too weirdly shaped. I can just hear her irritating "daddddy." However, the deaf daughter was adorable, and I always love watching Vera Farmiga.

I love movies about hit men, so In Bruges was the perfect dark comedy for me. I have to admit that in the beginning I was so irritated by the Irish accent that I couldn't understand, but eventually I picked it up, somewhat. I really enjoyed this film; it's so different; from the setting, to the story, to the random occurrences and more so the random comments. Colin Farrell was a genuine baby in it; loved it. Ralph Fiennes is just amazing; whether he's Voldemort or any other character he nails it. It was so funny when that fool of a guard wasn't letting them go up the tower and got the shit beaten out of him. He didn't know who he was messing with. I liked seeing Clémence Poésy again after Harry Potter. Ray's parter Harry was such a good guy... his role really touched me. There was something weird about the whole chaos in Bruges, a place that's so whimsical and sweet. All in all, very random movie but just as great. What's with the alcoves?! "

Because at least in prison and at least in death, you know, I wouldn't be in fuckin' Bruges. But then, like a flash, it came to me. And I realized, fuck man, maybe that's what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in fuckin' Bruges. And I really really hoped I wouldn't die. I really really hoped I wouldn't die." - Ray

State of Play was alright. I've been getting more into crime/investigation films, but I'm positive I enjoyed it more because I liked the actors in it. These types of films have a pretty predictable storyline to them as well; last person you expect who is probably close to the investigators blah blah blah. I still like you Ben Affleck, but you were quite the fool in it. You always hear how some actors are really irritable or difficult to be around, Russell Crowe is one of those actors.. and I really do believe it. Sorry dude, I'm sure you're great to the people you care about, but your face has such a bad temper a lot of the time.

I enjoyed Jane Eyre. My father found it slow and my mom slept through it, but I just have a love for period films. I'd need to watch it again because the dialogue was a little too intense for me, but I got the gist of it. I know stories are always written a certain way to keep us intrigued, but why couldn't Mr. Rochester make more of an effort to get her back?! If he wasn't so foolish things could have been much different. I know I know, creating such a happy ending wouldn't be that special to share. I just think people shouldn't give up on the ones they love when they know they are still loved back...

On another note, I really enjoyed the styling of it; Jane's hair was interesting but I loved it on her only; I would never go there. Not a fan of the fuzzy, odd-looking excuse for a beard St. John Rivers fashioned.

I really find Mia Wasikowska such a natural beauty. OF COURSE my outspoken father found her ugly, but it's her unconventional beauty and serene, delicate look that makes her stand out. I can see a bit of Claire Danes without that annoying aloofness.

*Sigh* one day I'll act in a period film. If Judi Dench were in it I'd officially be satisfied with my acting career.

Conclusion: There's always a fool.

Good Morning DXB: Sunday Love

I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed Eid - to those of you celebrating it. I still feel a bit weird eating or drinking in public; but happy it's all back to normal. So so grateful for that. 

Enjoy your Sunday, and look on the bright side; at least you can always expect it to be bright and sunny in Dubai =D

September 3, 2011

To the virgo in you

Spiritual Thought of the Day

With the paintbrush of your heart, mind and vision create images of beauty for a better world. When I use the subtle spiritual resources of; silence, spiritual eyesight, pure divine feelings and a noble generous attitude as colors, I can paint the world with beauty. Every day I can hold the image of one of these qualities to create a vision of beauty. When I have this vision in my mind I will carry it to the world and create it. Today let me paint a beautiful world.

*Thanks mama*

Choco Milk for the Inner Child's Soul

There's always been something about choco milk that reminds me of my youth. One of my dearest friends who I grew up with was obsessed with it, and since we were always together at each other's houses, it was the main beverage of choice. That and cocktail juice, mmm.

Unfortunately I lost interest in chocolate milk for various reasons. First, when I went to uni. Starbucks was always next door and I got introduced to the White Chocolate Mocha. Then I went through my healthy phase where chocolate milk was not nutritious therefore should not be consumed. Then I just started to dislike milk after thinking I was lactose intolerant for three years only to be told I'm not and just can't digest saturated fats well enough. For some reason, a mental discomfort towards milk stuck. Very strange considering I eat other dairy products. I have problems. ANYWAY, I'm now a soy milk drinker and I'm very happy.

Lucky for me, I discovered Silk's Chocolate Soymilk and I loooove it! I don't think it's one of those weird healthy substitutes, because my friends who hate soy milk like it too. I'm always amused with how young I feel when I drink it... and probably more so by how young I look in this photo. Definitely the pjs, that I've worn only once... just putting that out there.

September 2, 2011

Relaxing with the Gipsy Kings

Nothing like being lazy on a Friday. I hope you can sit back, relax, and soak up some sun :)

September 1, 2011

Logos with Hidden Messages

I love witty logos, here are some that I liked mainly because I've seen them before and haven't noticed the "hidden messages."

Ok I haven't seen this one before, which I'm kinda happy about, but found it simple and direct. 

I always figured the logo was of the Swiss Alps but didn't see much creativity in it. Noticing the bear makes me appreciate it so much now.
I never noticed the 'C' either and I'm at Carrefour at least once a week! 

It's so true, I did just think the arrow was a simple line, the last thing I would have thought was 'a to z'

I'm not familiar with the above logo's company, but definitely found it worth adding to this list. 

Never would have pointed out the outline of Australia. Maybe if I saw it on a more regular basis.. 

I see this logo regularly at the mall and never cared much to analyze that what looks like sloppy writing is actually the Eiffel Tower.  

I've had this logo pointed out to me before but was still surprised seeing it again.