January 31, 2012

sleep baby, sleep

i love songs that take me off to dreamland.

 fais de beaux rêves xx 

January 29, 2012

The most beautiful people we have known...

Spiritual Thought of the Day

Don't miss your life by trying to live someone else's. Many of us are great fixers, and as we watch others we can hear ourselves attempting to 'sort them out' as if we were living someone else’s life. We hear it in our conversations with others and with ourselves. It sounds like, "They shouldn't...weren't they awful...did you hear about so and so...in my opinion they should". In these moments I am wasting my time trying to write the script for someone else and I am forgetting that I can only write my own script. I have no right to write another's script and any attempt to do so is futile, frustrating and doomed to failure. Today let me taste the freedom from the subtle tensions and anxieties about others by letting them write their own script.

*thank you mama*         

Some Love from the Sky

January 26, 2012

Unhealthy Eats Around London

Yesterday I spent my day walking and getting to know the city better. There's nothing I love more than creating a mental blueprint of a place that isn't home to me. Of course what guided my path were the different treats I wanted to try. I began my day with some shopping; for some reason I'm always inspired to buy shoes in London. I'm still trying to decide on a pair of boots, I just keep reminding myself I'm still based in the UAE where it won't be too boot friendly in a month or so. But if they're a classic model I should just get them right? 
 Then I headed over to have some tea and breakfast at Coco Momo on Gloucester Road.
 I can never get enough grilled Halloumi cheese. Ever. Those olives were divine; I've always preferred Kalamata olives - these were just on another level. Mmmm.

 Love Fait Masion. I'm going to miss bundling up, even though I've been told it's gotten quite chilly in the UAE. 
 I then walked over to South Ken and tried Snog, which sorry to all you loyal Snog fans, I prefer Pinkberry. My favorite part of it was the brownie, not even the yogurt. The place was cute though. 
 I crave different things at different times, but usually it's always something sweet. While my brother constantly craves burgers and savory treats, I crave warm brownies with walnuts (I don't know many people who appreciate nuts in brownies but I ONLY like nuts in brownies), and cookies. I kept asking around for a good cookie and was constantly pointed towards Ben's Cookies
My favorites were the Oatmeal Raisin and the Milk Chocolate. We got the Milk Chocolate right out of the oven and it was basically goo. Not so much my thing, but it's not something you can stop eating either. Then I went into Pret a Manger and was annoyed that I was too full to try their Carrot Cake. I have problems. 

At night I had such a yummy dinner at Mediterraneo in Notting Hill and tried one of the best Tiramisu's and cheesecakes ever. Basically it was a VERY healthy day for me. I'll be getting back on track when I'm back in the UAE either way, so I'm enjoying my last couple days here :) 

Today the sun is shining, and I just want to spend the whole day out and about... and go take another look at those boots. 

Happy Thursday xx

January 25, 2012

Healthy Eats Around London

If you live in London and haven't tried Ottolenghi, don't miss out much longer. Such a cute little spot for lunch that offers different main meals and salads. My kind of place to get a quick healthy bite. xx

Share Please x

January 24, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: We Don't Eat...

I'm starting to think no one does it for me just like James Vincent McMorrow, right now. So in love with the soulfulness of his voice and lyrics. Check out the original, it's beautiful. Thank God for music to keep the world sane! 

I moved to the coast, under a mountain
Swam in the ocean, slept on my own
At dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay
I'd remember all the things my mother wrote

That we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you, I'd have a little trust

Two thousand years, I've been in that water
Two thousand years, sunk like a stone
Desperately reaching for nets
That the fishermen have thrown
Trying to find, a little bit of hope

Me I was holding, all of my secrets soft and hid
Pages were folded, then there was nothing at all
So if in the future I might need myself a savior
I'll remember what was written on that wall

Happy Tuesday beautiful people xx

January 22, 2012

Tune of the Day: Skinny Love - Birdy

Today I walked the streets of London listening to this. The delicate piano and her soft voice is so fitting in the cold gloom. It felt like everything had a cold blue Lightroom preset to it. I gave myself an A+ for being emo yay! 


January 21, 2012

Cheers to Life

It's always important to remember that no matter what life throws at you and how hard it gets, things will always get better in time xx

January 15, 2012

Para - Para - Paradise :)

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

January 14, 2012

Note to Self: Have a Lil Bit o' Hope

I bought these flowers a couple days ago and forgot to water them (go figure). So yesterday they were shriveled and the leaves were hanging on their last thread; if you saw the state they were in, you'd never believe they're the same flowers in the photo above. I was about to throw them out but my sister-in-law who loves flowers decided to try watering them first (even though I was certain they were beyond rescue). I'm usually very optimistic, so the fact that I saw no hope in reviving these flowers can give you a deeper understanding of how withered their state was. 

Today I came to see them in full bloom, loving life and milking in the sun.

Sure, you can just look at them as some flowers that got watered. But I found it so beautiful how giving them that hopeful chance was worth it. Anything can be revived in time, it just takes some effort, love and positive energy. I know, I'm so deep aren't I. 

Positivity - check xx

My 1st Bikram Experience Summed Up

So I told myself to wait a day before writing about my Bikram yoga experience because I pretty much hated it. I thought I'd feel different about it today.... I don't. BUT I don't have that much angst towards it.

This was my day at a glance:

8 - trying to get excited about Bikram, not
11 - fml
11:40 - cute new yoga gear from Nike, excited

12:30 - enter the sauna, losing breath
1 - thirty minutes left, kill me
1:30 - around a hundred savasana teases, which I didn't appreciate, thinking of food
2 - burned out, sweating buckets and pissed
3 lunch
4 still hungry and tired
5 starving, eat more
6 still hungry and now exhausted
7 eat again, drink water
8 eat half a box of cereal
9 exhausted, feeling fat, and hating Bikram
10 yummy Greek food for dinner, happy tummy

12 forced to watch The Life of David Gale, nauseous all over again
1 pass out FINALLY

So as you can see, I didn't drink enough water, and for that reason was constantly eating and tired. My fault completely. But I've experienced other workouts where I burn more, and don't tire myself out as much. While I admire all those people who have stuck it out and get excited about going to Bikram, bless them, ima stick to my normal workout routine at the regular temperature for now.

One Way to Avoid an Eye Patch

Basically don't rub your eye after using anti-bacterial hand gel.

That's Tido btw.

Yes, I brought him to London with me, don't hate. 

January 13, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: feel good tune of the day!

This song always lifts my mood without fail! You should listen to it first thing in the morning. It's perfect on a walk or when you're getting stuff done cuz it's so upbeat. The lyrics are a bit random, but hey, if it pumps me up I'm a happy cookie.

Why did I need it this morning? Because I'm freaking out a little about my first ever Bikram Yoga experience in 3 hours. I'm actually nervous. At least the suns out, and I might be taken to a pet store to see some puppies! (You have no idea how happy that makes me). Let's hope I get out of Bikram alive.

I like to give myself one day a week to be a Drama Queen.

Happy Friday! xx

January 12, 2012

How NOT to Dress in Deira City Center

...or anywhere outside a restaurant/club in Dubai for that matter. For sure we got cursed in every corner. Some covered woman practically shielded her child from us. I'll take the blame, considering I was warned by my roomie. Ugghhh.

January 11, 2012

Bonjour Londres

Today I awoke to the crisp gloom of London and actually welcomed it with a smile. Considering the tan I managed to get working at the Volvo Ocean Race, I’ve been craving that true winter shiver again (I won’t be writing so poetically about it in a couple days).

Not sure what the next couple weeks here have in store for me, but it’ll mainly be a family trip. Since my brother and his wife live all the way in San Francisco, being all together is always a blessing, especially with the amazing family friends we have here too.
I definitely think no matter what sort of crazy family you have, being with them is priceless and should never be taken for granted. I also know that it's beautiful how some friendships grow so strong that their genuine love and support binds you to them stronger than blood does. Cheers to that!

Happy Wednesday xx

January 10, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: Take Care of You, a la Florence

her voice her voice HER VOICE!

Spiritual Thought of the Day

To be a true friend to myself or to anyone else, I must be comfortable with myself, comfortable enough to share silence and good feelings. When I am comfortable in silence I am able to share space with another person. This sharing is the deepest connection of two souls. Today let me be a good friend by enjoying comfortable silence.

*Thank you Mama*

January 9, 2012

Note to all Boys Out There

you're smiling cuz it's true... 

LISTEN TO ME: Higher Love mmmmm

This tune just makes me wanna roll around in a comfy bed of white feathers, without a care in the world.. *sigh*

Happy Tuesday xx

Last Day at the Volvo Ocean Race

I brought a couple friends with me my second to last day at the Volvo Ocean Race, I convinced them it was wild. They're probably not listening to me again, but at least they got tans in the sun.  
Paparazzi shot. The fame that comes with sharing Marmo's story is really tiring.
 The first read was fun, but I'm just not understanding the weather; I'm pretty sure it was a regular summers day, I could hardly breathe while I was reading. The little girl in front of me was blinking so much I thought she was having some sort of fit. 

 What a fella
 Irish dancing - not really my thing but interesting to watch I guess. I thought it was enough to have it at the Sanya activation. Then they decided to have the girls dance on stage for what felt like 2 hours. Who watches Irish dancing for that long?! 
 It's hard not to get attached to Marmo.
 Getting ready to MC for the Puma Faas Test. Everyone was encouraged to try the Puma Faas shoes and see how fast they could run but it was mainly children. These two brothers wouldn't leave, they just kept trying over and over again. Unfortunately their scores didn't really change much. 
 Aiysha and I putting on a lil show for you on how to win 1st place... when you're 2nd. It really made sense to do at the time. 
 And that's how it's done :)
 Even Marmo tried out... he sucked
 Trying the virtual ride, and completely miserable about the thought of getting wet, at least that's the look I was going for. Aiysha looks like a lost orphan. 
 It felt like such a long week reading that story over and over, but I think I like kids a bit more, just a bit though. 
 It's Marmo bitch
I honestly did not see that kid get in that photo, and he's posing like us also

Ahh, so adventure 1 of 2012 has been completed (so crazy I know), stay tuned for the second one xx

January 5, 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Day 4

I knew nothing about the Volvo Ocean Race before accepting this job, so it makes me happy that I'm learning something new. The first couple days were spent with me pretty much dilly-dallying around, as you can see from the photo above. Yesterday I started playing ping pong with this adorable girl, must have been around 7 years old, who wouldn't stop talking about the race. I had nothing to say about it... tres embarrassing. So I made an effort to learn a bit more. Yesterday the boats came in around 4pm, with the following scores: Team Telefonica 66, Camper with Emirates Team 58, Groupama Sailing Team 42, Puma Ocean Racing 28, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 19, Team Sanya 4.

A little info for those of you are just as confused as I was. Each team is made up of 11 professional crew members. As for the scoring, for each leg, the winner is awarded 30 points - number of entries (six) multiplied by five. Then there's also the scoring of the in-port races which is number of entries by one (the image on the left makes more sense). The race takes nine months with nine legs, starting in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and ending in Galway, Ireland early July 2012. The teams sail over 39,000 nautical miles via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. 
Sounds exciting and fun doesn't it! I'd love to see all those places. Then I read this description: "During the race the crews will experience life at the extreme: no fresh food is taken onboard so they live off freeze dried fare, they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes. They will trust their lives to the boat and the skipper and experience hunger and sleep deprivation." 

That sounds just as bad as the worst experience I can think of. I'm sure though that despite it all, it's invigorating, worth every minute, and a life changing experience. 

For more information click here.  
Everyone waiting for the Team Telefonica!
I wonder what that high feels like to be in the lead of this specific race. 
Creepy men on stilts. 

January 4, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: Blue Jeans

Blue jeans, White shirt
Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn
It was like James Dean, for sure
You so fresh to death & sick as ca-cancer
You were sorta punk rock, I grew up on hip hop
But you fit me better than my favourite sweater, and I know
That love is mean, and love hurts
But I still remember that day we met in December

How beautiful is she!

January 2, 2012

1st Job of '12 at the Volvo Ocean Race!

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to be a storyteller to children at the Volvo Ocean Race on the 1st of January. It definitely hit me when I was out on NYE debating whether I should drink more or not. I was nervous the whole time aware I had to be up at 8 am to drive to the location in Abu Dhabi. I really pushed myself to new limits there. I could have cried when I woke up after just 3 hours of sleep. Then I decided to save the energy. You know when you’re so tired and your eyes literally burn every time you blink, and you’re feeling dizzy and confused with life. 

Somehow I managed to get to Abu Dhabi alive and was so relieved at how chilled the atmosphere was. It’s right on the water, weather is perfect with a beautiful breeze, music is great, happy faces all around and lots of entertainment. One of the six sailboats in the Volvo Race is Puma's and I’m working at their activation. Have to admit it’s the coolest and most inviting one in my opinion. When I’m not reading to the children about Marmo (Puma’s mascot) I’m getting back on speed with my table tennis obsession, meeting people, or chilling in the Puma lounge. I’ve got the beautiful blue water in front of me; it really feels like I’m on a vacation. 

Reading to children isn't that bad, keeping their attention is what sucks; it lasts about 10 seconds. I thought I was doing a great job until I saw a little girl in her own world, digging her head into the bean bag. I've started giving out tattoos to make them like me more. Fortunately, I haven't had to read in Arabic. The story is pretty long and repetitive and in Arabic it's been translated classically. No one would be awake by the end of it. 

Below are some more photos from day 1. 

The air show was fantastic. I get really excited about air shows so this woke me up a bit more as well (probably cuz of the heart attack I almost experienced when I first heard them fly over us). 
I wonder how long it takes to practice. Not like we'd really know if they messed up though... unless one of them fell. That would be awkward.
This little curly fry in the air was so cute, wonder how it feels for the pilot.
War is coming. 

When they busted the colors out everyone went wild!
 So, it was the first time I witnessed this Khaleeji performance... I took it seriously until they started doing their thing to what sounded like the cheesiest boy band song you've ever heard that was never released for fear that someone would murder each member. Very very bad.
 This is one half of the Puma activation - the store. (You get a free Marmo Saves the Seas book with any Marmo purchase just sayin)
 That's the second part where the live entertainment and games take place. The lounge with all the beanbags where I storytell is on top, heeey :)
 I LOVE ping pong! We used to have a table at home in Bahrain but that was ditched when we moved, so sad. Anyone wanna challenge me? I'm not that good anyway... but I become a machine, there's no stopping me.
 Marmo and I getting acquainted on our first day... I wasn't sure what the boundaries of our friendship were.
 It didn't take me long to cross them... oh well, he always has that damn smile on his face! It's hot... I just told him to keep his arms where I could see em ha ha ha (it sounded better in my head)
It's so sweet how the children love him! There was this one adorable boy who wouldn't stop hugging Marmo throughout the story. He just wouldn't let go. Then one girl came up and had to share her two cents that there was a man in that suit. What do you say to that? I just gave her a Marmo tattoo and told her not to be mean, he had feelings too. 

 Looking forward to the next couple days. Unfortunately I'm only going to be able to work until the 7th, so if you have time, come down - don't worry there's much more to do than hear me storytell, although, it is quite the exciting read xx