November 28, 2011

Spiritual Thought of the Day

Have the heart to forgive souls for being who they are not, and have the respect that inspires souls to become who they are. When I forgive souls for not being who I want them to be, I am actually freeing them to be who they really are. Today let me release all the people I know from the bondage of my expectations and find out who they really are. 

*thank you mama*

November 24, 2011

Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas?

Apparently  the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece:

My  confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it
.It shows that we are all  brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on  display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.  If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God ? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a  lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. 

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. 

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein


I thought this was a pretty strong statement. Does anyone have any views? 

November 22, 2011

To Method Act or Not to Method Act

Have you watched Breaking Dawn yet? This photo really amuses me, this is Pattinson's trademark "in love" look, but really looks more like he's feeling his hernia flare up. I watched it on Saturday and actually enjoyed it. Oh my god... I know. I'm either getting scowls or cheers of agreement right now. See, I decided to give twilight a read my last semester of uni because after a while I got bored of Boston's freezing weather, and staying in to read was a much better idea..... aaand I've always been a geek who's into sci-fi and fantasy. So this was just a quick easy read. Yes it can be stupid, yes it's for kids, yes it's unrealistic, but for some reason it became a guilty pleasure that I'm not embarrassed about. Anyway, back to Breaking Dawn, I was afraid it would suck like the first part of the 7th Harry Potter movie, but I really liked that we actually go to see the baby, and Bella's transformation. I just have one question, how intense was the sex scene because it was censored here... All we saw was them skinny dipping, then Bella waking up with feathers around her. No, I can't visually imagine what sex with a vampire would be like, so I didn't appreciate the cut.
I was impressed by how frail and sick Bella looked. I remember in the book the description was ghastly, but wow did they portray it well. I got really scared at first that Kristen Stewart actually embodied the character and lost all that weight, because as an aspiring actress the last thing I want to think I have to do is put my health on the line for a role. I found this interview where she explains it was all digital:

It appears that you lost a considerable amount of weight between the honeymoon and when you were pregnant. Was that all digital?
Kristen Stewart: "Yeah, digital totally. I didn't have time. We shot everything...everything was sporadically shot. To do that we would've had to shut down production for a couple of months while I lost the weight or gained it back, whichever we did first."
It looks very genuine.
Kristen Stewart: "It's so cool that you're saying that. That’s great because you do fear that. It does make you feel a little bit like, 'Oh, I hope you guys do a good job,' because I can't do that part and it can ruin you, obviously, if you look ridiculous. Obviously, I don't. So, those guys are amazing at what they do."

(click here for the full interview)

After seeing how amazing digital work is, I really felt bad for actors like Christian Bale, who lost 60 lbs. for his role in The Machinist, where he'd live on like espresso and an apple a day. I think method acting is admirable, just not when it puts you at risk, which most times it seems to do just that. I'm sure he'd never regret his choices, he'd say losing all that weight is the only way he could live that role. I would just be curious to see if someone could do it just as well without all the unhealthy physical work. Check out his photos from the film if you haven't seen it already, bloody scary:

Freida Pinto in Black Gold?

I just have one comment:
Freida Pinto. is. NOT. Arabic.

Maybe one day when actual Arabs are used to represent themselves, movies will be more genuine and convincing.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Fun in the Sun at Aquaventure

Last weekend I finally went to Aquaventure in Atlantis and it was sooooooooo much fun! It felt like being on vaca, even though I could see my apt building from the beach... There were loads of tourists, the sun was out but there was a nice breeze, the slides were fun, and the fruit was fresh! I do think that if I go again I won't go at 1pm but rather at 11am to catch a nice tan. Other than the annoying wait for the different slides, it was such a fun day. You know, the leap of faith isn't as scary as I thought it would be. I guess I didn't have much time to analyze what I was getting myself into, but for some reason my back didn't enjoy it. Note to all of you who decide to try it, hold your nose tightly shut. It felt like a hose was placed right under my nostrils, and turned on suddenly to the highest pressure. I didn't appreciate the lack of warning...
Where all the kiddies play and the water is 99% pee!
I took this photo during broad daylight but it came out with such a different mood. I don't feel like it was taken in Dubai when I look at it.
We got the fruit combo and the coconut water tasted great! I lie... but at least it's healthy and I was thirsty, so it really did the job. 
I love pineapple so much. This one was so sweet, we scraped the inside until there was nothing else to eat, proper villager style. It looked super awkward at the end though because there was just this stick protruding from the middle. Yeah... you would have thought it too.

The watermelon wasn't even red and yet was so sweet.
A beautiful sunset to end the day. 

If you do go, remember to bring your Emirates License or ID because rather than paying AED 200 you'll pay AED 140 (they don't advertise that anywhere of course). The photos are ridiculously expensive, priced at AED 150, and the key chain they give is butterz; it's purple with glitter- something you'd find at the Limited II. Don't take photos in the pool with the slide behind you unless you want to experience the most awkward poses with whoever you're with. I don't know if the photographer was bored or genuinely thought he was brought over to take photographs for a soft porn magazine. Either way, very bizarre. 

If you haven't been, make some time for it. We should all feel like kids every once in a while! 

November 21, 2011

*My Very Special 25th Birthday*


For my 25th birthday I was very lucky to be able to share it with good company, and to finally organize something I’ve had in mind for a while.

Unfortunately, I’ve been coming across more and more people with cancer. Has it always been this common? Maybe I’m just growing up, but I think that it’s definitely something to watch out for. Do not exempt yourself if you don’t have cancer in your family, because it can hit the people who least expect it. Another thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t age sensitive; I just heard about someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 25 years of age. There’s nothing we can do to control if we get it or not, but by actively being aware of it and getting checked, we can catch anything early, if God forbid it comes our way.

So this year on my birthday, I spent the whole day doing exactly what I wanted. At 8am I took part in the Burjuman Pink Walkathon for Breast Cancer, and at night had a gathering where people could donate to a local organization. 

The walk was spectacular. Between the young, old, families, schools, puppies etc there was so much positive energy around. It was truly uplifting to see so many people walking for one cause in all their pink caps and white shirts. This walk made me love Dubai so much more. I loved seeing so many children there, I think it’s a wonderful thing to raise your children with the awareness. Here are some photos:
There was a live band, and the DJ even gave me a shout out for my birthday.
We got stuck in the midst of a really bad fart, which sucked because we couldn't move. Then we noticed this fella right next to us shivering in his owner's arms... definitely guilty.
 ...yes I got a ribbon painted on my cheek. You know how it is... when you're in the midst of so much hype you're just like "I want that and that and that" and by the end you're like, what's on me?
So after that great experience I was able to complete any final touches to the gathering I’d be hosting at night. I was grateful to have Stoli supply the alcohol and NAB Drinks supply my favorite non-alcoholic drink, bai5. As for the food, last year on my birthday, I had some people over and no one touched the Magnolia cupcakes. Actually maybe one was eaten. So I decided to offer a variety of my favorite treats that aren't all dipped in saturated fat because clearly a lot of people are not always into wasting their workout on a single cupcake.

I really love the carrot cake at Health Quest in Abu Dhabi, it's made much lighter but just as addictively yummy, so I definitely had that on the menu. They were so sweet to send it over as a gift, and also sent over some of their lazy cake, which was all gone by the end of the night. There was also vegan banana loaf and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes frosted with vanilla icing and this stunning chocolate hazelnut spread (which beats Nutella for me), all of which are gluten-free. For even smaller bites, our homemade orange-cinnamon biscotti, Pop chips, Daim, Chocodates, vegan/ gluten free Ovenly Baked Cookies, and crackers with peanut butter and the choco-hazelnut spread for scooping. mmmm!
On to the highlight of my birthday. I filled my apartment with pink helium balloons and had people slip AED 50 per balloon into my bonanza box and write a wish on a note that they would tie to the bottom of the balloon’s string. They then enjoyed taking photos with the balloons, and by the end of the night we let all the balloons go into the night sky, setting all our wishes free.
This is my breast cancer bonanza box, which I owe to the creative mind of Theresa Tsui, co-founder of SolidariTea Arabia.
Even little Benoît made a wish.
cancer, vas-t-en, s'il te plait... tu est tres mechant. 
70 wishes all tangled up..
.. and set free.
Spot the lone wolf making his own way.

I experienced this balloon idea at a random event I happened to go to in NYC a couple years back and thought it was so creative. I never saw them set the balloons free but I can imagine that's what they did. I was so excited to use it for this cause. It's nice to physically see your wishes going somewhere :)

All together we were able to raise AED 4,000, which made me really happy and appreciative, because with just 50 guests a lot of people put in much more. The proceeds all went to Safe & Sound’s Breast Cancer Awareness organization to offer people the opportunity to get free check-ups, mammograms, patient care and further education for the community. All of their fund raising and usage is monitored by the Red Crescent. 

I’ve learnt that one of the best cures for any problem is a positive mind. I wish us all the strength and power to stay positive during the hardest times.


November 18, 2011

Marcel the Shell with Shoes TWO!

This video seriously made my day. Oh what I'd do to have an intellectual conversation with Marcel... I mean Ace. I really love his positive outlook on life. I hope this makes you smile :)

For those of you who haven't seen Marcel the Shell with Shoes, One, click here

Happy Sunday xx

November 17, 2011

Dearest Uncivilized Gum Spitter

Try not to be a villager next time. If you must spit your gum on the floor like an uncivilized twat, at least spit it in a corner or on a wall; not out in the open where someone is bound to step on it. 

Yours truly, xx

Formula 1 Grand Prix- Always a Trip

The Formula 1 Grand Prix at Yas Island is seriously an experience, just make sure you're well rested before you attend. A couple friends and I ended up arriving a bit late and so finding parking was enough time for me to finish reading a couple books. Then, as if that wasn't frustrating enough, we missed the beginning of the race and had to endure the excruciatingly loud noise of the engines zooming by until we found ear plugs which didn't really do much. I was certain my ears would pop or start bleeding. Then to my surprise, as I was passing by one of the food and beverage bars I noticed they were selling Bai5! It's not normal how excited I got. I bought at least three for the race.

To my entertainment, right in front of me was a couple who I seemed to catch right in the middle of an argument. The man was Lebanese I'd say and woman was from some Eastern European country. She was so annoying. I didn't blame the man for moving away from her every time she tried to say something to him. She'd go through fits of different emotions trying to get his attention. At times she'd argue and stand up and start gesturing with her hands, and at other times she'd be laughing and tickling his ear. It was actually like watching someone have an argument with a wall; only an idiot would continue. She must be really fun during"after-dark playtime" otherwise not sure what would keep them together. Yes, I could make that judgement based on their over dramatic show. Oh well, I'm not going to complain about the scene she was making because it was fun. Between that, the Bai and the race I was satisfied. I don't really follow any of the drivers so wasn't disappointed or overly thrilled about Lewis Hamilton winning. I wonder how Nicole Scherzinger felt. This clip of her always makes me laugh at the end, airhead saved by her looks:

After a meal at Stars n' Bars (I think the only other one is in Monaco) we got carried away with discussion and missed Paul McCartney, which apparently was the best concert. Sorry Brit brat. Walking around all the yachts was probably equally as amusing as the couple at the race. If you couldn't tell where a yacht came from by its flag, you knew by the music and the people. We passed by a yacht with a Swiss flag and the people were mingling together, so amiable, happily enjoying the live music around them. Then we passed by a yacht with really loud local music and four locals standing at the dock of it whistling (literally) at all the girls passing by. Then you had Octopussy... then you had the really fancy yacht with dinner tables dressed in white table cloth, then the yacht that had a bunch of random girls that were just pulled onto it even though no one knows anyone. There was this one girl wearing nearly nothing dancing on the edge facing the yacht right next to her. Needless to say, I was walking down the boardwalk, amused by every single drunk yacht. Before we knew it, it was 1am and time to head home.
Love the colors right before it got dark

November 15, 2011

A Blurry Sunset and a Sky of Planets

It just so happens that every day I never seem to see a nice large patch of sky uninterrupted by skyscrapers to enjoy the beautiful colors of the sunset. Yesterday however, I had to pick something up from Studio City and felt so free with the open sky around me. It was quite refreshing to be there... until it got dark and I got scared. 

I took a few photos but for some reason liked the blurry one with the dirty lens the best. The dirt looks like scattered planets in the sky if you look closely. How amazing would it be if we could see so many planets this near? I think having them as close as the moon would be pushing it, but this distance would make us so much more in touch with the universe. 

Happy Wednesday free birds xx

Socially Awkward Penguin..

Maybe pretending the crowd is nude while giving a speech isn't such a smart idea... This meme really cracks me up - I've always thought penguins are quite the awkward ones. Poor fella.

Happy Tuesday xx

November 14, 2011

A Stunning Dress... Thank you Disney

When I was younger my fashion sense was very, I dunno, interesting.. for lack of a better word. I was only cute when my mom used to dress me up; but once I started choosing my own outfits until around seventeen I'd say, I was really lost. It wasn't so much bad taste in clothes, just not understanding how to dress for my body. I definitely thought I was a boy at one point. Yes, I was single for a lot of my younger years.
However, if there was any reason at all I ever had any interest in fashion when I was younger, it's because of Ariel. No not the shell bikini top and tail look. Remember that scene at the end when she walks out of the ocean to the shore in that long, glimmering dress looking absolutely stunning? How could they raise us with such role models; what is that waist?! Definitely the size of my ankle. I remember the only difference I thought Ariel and I had was the color of our eyes and hair, sad. Remember that move where she swims up to air gracefully like a swan and comes out of the water with her head tilted back. Perfecting that move was really a priority of mine (back when I had no other responsibilities in life, obviously).... it never worked out though. Fortunately for me, now I only give it a go when I'm not around anyone, and still feel like an ass doing it.

Wow really missed the point of this post there. Back to the dress! I was browsing through Elie Saab's Ready to Wear, Fall/Winter 2011 line and found the closest design to it I've seen! It's not blue and you can't see how it glimmers in this photo, but you know, the lighting is all wrong and she's not walking out of the sea with the ocean and sun's reflection. I wonder where the inspiration for this dress came from...

Art at the Park

I went to Art at the Park held at the Park Hyatt, Dubai Creek, in association with START and Canvas the other day, and must say the only art I enjoyed was that of James Clar, who most people already know. Who didn't play with toy soldiers at least once in their life? Yay for military dominance!

"And they Played for Days"

November 13, 2011

Nissan Frontiers to the Rescue!

Amazing save! Check out this landing, which could have been a disaster if it weren't for a very skilled (and cute) airport mechanic. He should definitely be given a gold medal for his bravery, celerity, good looks, coordination skills did I miss anything?

Nissan has just gotten its next advert blocked out pretty well!
(Not sure if this is real, but it's impressive either way)

Christmas Season!

It's nearly Christmas!! There's nothing like walking into a Starbucks during Christmas season. Am I the only one who feels that way? Maybe it's because Starbucks played a large role in my uni life; there was one in my apartment building and another practically stuck to Emerson College where I studied. Everything about it is appealing to me; the cute decoration, the Christmas music, the hot drinks filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice YUMMAY! It's time to put up your trees, stockings and lights. Oh how I wish Dubai had snowflakes to sprinkle on us. 

Happy Sunday xx

November 10, 2011

A Winning Booza Arabi

When I was much younger and would spend my summer vacations in Jordan, there wasn't much to do other than walk around and eat. One thing I loved was the traditional Syrian pistachio ice-cream (which we refer to as booza). It's known for its somewhat elastic texture (that makes it sound kind of gross, it's not though, at all).
My parents have been on this long search to find the perfect booza here, and apparently nowhere serves it right. I passed by Arabesq at the Dubai Mall and knew I found the jackpot! There was a typical Arabic drumbeat in the store because one of the employees was using this huge wooden stick to pound the ice-cream in a deep metal cylinder. Does that even make sense? The photo explains it better. The staff are so sweet and very generous with their tasters.
I decided to give the booza a lil pounding and I have to say that I was absolutely useless at it. Not only was I unable to mimic the easy swift movements done by the employee, but the sound I was making was hideous. Definitely not anything Arabic sounding. He didn't even hide his amusement by my lack of talent..

 In any case, despite me traveling with it to Abu Dhabi (which takes an hour), it remained frozen in the well packaged container that it was sold in, and my parents absolutely loved it.

A+ to taste, consistency and appearance!

Good Morning DXB: un peu de francais pour vous

Dubai is suddenly becoming such a wonderful place to live in! With the weather getting better there's nothing I don't want to do. Staying in feels like such a waste and I hate that feeling I get when I go to the mall around 3pm and leave at 6 only to find the day gone. Time to look for more outdoorsy things to do now to enjoy the sun and the sweet breeze :)

Happy Thursday xx

November 9, 2011

Kitty Cat Lovas!

The photos I find on Reddit make me so happy sometimes.

Spiritual Thought of the Day

It is easy to feel content when I am praised and appreciated but to remain content when I am being criticized and rejected is the mark of real spiritual strength. The way to develop this level of strength is to learn about true love. Only when I am in touch with my own inner reservoir of love can I express myself in a way that never rejects or criticizes others. Today let me stay close to my own inner well of love, generating good wishes for others and I will feel satisfied no matter what life throws at me.

*Thanks mama*        

November 6, 2011

What's Eid Al-Adha you say?

Growing up I was always confused about the different Eid's we celebrated. I would consider myself more spiritual than religious; however, I love my religion and learning more about it. I always loved the history of Eid Al-Adha, known as the festival of sacrifice, celebrated approximately 70 days after the end of Ramadan. 

According to Wikipedia (weak I know), the Prophet Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his dearest possession, his only son, to test Abraham's faith in God (Allah). He prepared himself for this sacrifice despite the grief it caused him. When he asked his 13 year old son, Ishmael, for his consent, Ishmael's  reply was, "Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha'Allah (God willing), to be very patient." (Who is this kid?!?!? Good luck getting anyone to sacrifice their mobile now a day). Anywho, after both pops and son obeyed God by laying Ishmael under the knife, Allah called out and told them the sacrifice need not be carried out and that his sincere intentions had been accepted. Abraham was then told to replace his son with a ram to sacrifice instead. As a reward for his faith and willingness for Allah, Abraham was given a second son, Is-haaq (Isaac). Beautiful. 

 And there you have it, Muslims celebrate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid Al-Adha by sacrificing a sheep or a goat and distributing the meat, mainly to the less fortunate. It's tradition to share this special day with friends and family with a yummy feast, in new clothes of course! 

I wish you and your families a blessed and happy Eid xx

November 3, 2011

TGITW: *Weekend Tune*

Thank God it's the Weekend!

I've always loved Lykke Li's music. There's something so unique about this Swedish artist's songs, because I'm not always able to tell that a song is by her until I look it up. It's been a trend that I only need to hear a song of hers twice to get me addicted This tune took a bit longer only because I never would have guessed it was her. All her songs are somewhat different, which really inspires me. This remix makes me want to let loose in a warehouse in my own little bubble!

Have a great weekend, and a happy Eid to all xx

Plat du Jour: Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Salad

I don't even bother checking out the menu at Jones the Grocer, because the warm Roasted Pumpkin & Feta salad truly satisfies my taste buds in so many ways. I get the savory bite from the feta, mixed in with the sweet warmth of the pumpkin, while getting my greens in. Definitely give this one a try the next time you're there!

Jones the Grocer is also offering a Truffle Master Class until November 11th. The menu sounds great: Salmon with green beans, poached eggs, spring salad and truffle dressing. I find truffle such a delicacy that really brings so many simple dish to life. If you try this out let me know how it is xx

Good Morning DXB: If Charlie Chaplin Were a Pooch...

Ok maybe not so much, but these sad eyebrows paired with those huge eyes and frown are really cracking me up. What is she telling him to look so skitzo?! This poor pop has no idea what he's doing, but he'll clearly keep it up all for a pea sized snack. The look at the end is priceless, notice the tongue sticking out, too funny.

Happy Thursday! xx

November 1, 2011

Fredo & Pid'jin: A little truth about friends..

..they're all out for their own lay. 

But at least a good one will try to be there after.