March 29, 2012

TGITW finally!

i never thought i'd get busier living in abu dhabi, but somehow it actually happened. how is it thursday already?! not complaining either way. i'm about to leave to dxb for a photoshoot, which i'm really looking forward to, and then i'll be traveling to amman for the weekend! very excited to see my family there, except i hear it's cold. i really just want to tan before the heat becomes unbearable. we probably have a month for that and any tanning opportunities are pretty much ruined by the weather. when is this cloud of dust gonna peace out? hopefully when i'm back i can concentrate on the little things like organizing/redecorating my room. i seriously feel like my life's moving on fast forward. i also feel like this just turned into a therapy session; i'm fiiiiine i swear. lol. <--- i think that's the first time i use lol on my blog. i never approved of it before. it's weird though, i use "lol's" when i'm not really laughing. am i actually analyzing this? i'm not writing anymore.

i hope you all have a fantabulous weekend and drink LOADS... of water too :) happy thursday!

xx penguina

March 27, 2012

happy birthday, mr president..

a couple friends have convinced me to start watching SMASH, an upbeat perspective on bringing a broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe to life. i've only watched two episodes but i'm liking it!

 note: it's not for those of you who feel the slightest bit nauseus by random breakouts of song and jazz hands. 

i've always loved watching the whole idea of letting us live through the producers and the actors simultaneously. the music and dancing are especially fun to watch. every now and then i'll get an urge to jump up and dance, but of course i suppress it otherwise i'd probably have no one to watch it with anymore. Katherine McPhee (did she win on american idol?) is truly talented and beautiful. hate her a little. whats sort of annoying is why they always tend to make the rookie so innocent! nervous i get, but that whole innocent card is overly played. i'm assuming she'll be shedding it as the show progresses. thoughts on the show anyone?

happy tuesday songbirds xx

March 26, 2012

live your dream

...and as every content person would say: it's up to you to find it.

March 25, 2012

♥ honey

i woke up today with that annoying sore throat that makes you dread every time you need to swallow. i'm not too sure if i'm coming down with something cuz of the intense dust that's decided to decorate our air, all i know is i'll be overdosing on honey this week. thought i'd celebrate it a bit since i can't live without it.

a natural energy booster
have a spoon before the gym or whenever you feel lethargic (love using that word)
 a great immunity builder
have a spoon everyday when you wake up with lemon and warm water
 a natural remedy for many ailments liiiike
cuts & burns
sore throats
sleeplessness - honey and milk
bad breath - honey and cinnamon
arthritis - honey and vinegar

& so many more...

happy sunday yo

xx penguina

le week-end

other than eating and an occasional hour or two at night to spare with friends, most of my time on thursday and friday was spent on the set of a short film i'm in. i won't be able to give away any info until it's out. i had posted a couple photos but needed to take them down oops.  
i was lucky to be staying on the promenade right next to my fave spot, Baker & Spice. i wonder if it'll ever open in abu dhabi. #wishfulthinking. my experience with food in abu dhabi this weekend: Olea at the St Regis Hotel on saadiyat island... i wouldn't go again. 

random realizations
- i freak out about losing my phone at least 4 times a day, only to find out i'm either sitting on it, or that it's in my bag.
- i feel like i will have spent 70% of my life untangling my iPod's headphones.
- i don't think i can ever love a gum flavor as much as BIG RED.
- even though i've been brought up in a house of tech geeks and constant updates of electronic gadgets, my dad will never understand that he can talk at a normal volume when he's on an international call or on Skype. 
- napping is so underrated.
- i want a cat.

i hope you all had a ravishing weekend!

xx penguina

March 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

one day - david nicholls

there should always be time to devote to sensation, pleasure and self. DAILY.

happy thursday xx

March 20, 2012

Tuesday Tune

i'm really loving andrew bird's new album - things behind the barn. this song makes me feel like i'm frolicking in a beautiful field in a jane austin novel. before depression strikes. i'll just never get over my dream of being in a period piece until it happens. i'll be posting more songs from the album, but seriously, check it out.

happy tuesday xx

♥ the farmers market

i love the famers market. shame i haven't come across one here. i'm sure i just haven't discovered it yet. could be in deira, in which case i'll never go. this stand in san fran had some of the most delicious treats. when it comes to dessert, i prefer gluten-free/vegan. just because i like complicating life like that. 
practically calling my name
honestly i couldn't ask for more. not the intense sweetness of the usual cupcake, just the perfect, cream-filled, moist, fluffy treat. (i actually had to rephrase that sentence a couple times... #infiltrationofthedirtymind)

xx penguina

March 17, 2012

night at the playboy mansion

why'd i go? i was just bored one night and thought i'd visit good old hef. or for those of you who know me, i won a ticket through a riveting journey with stoli :)

the last thing i ever thought i’d one day be saying is “oh yeah, i’ve been to the playboy mansion.” not like i run around saying it, but i love the expressions i get when i do bring it up. yeah i'm mainly talking about guys. conclusively i think it’s safe to say that it’s every guys fantasy playground, and well if you’re a girl planning on dressing up in lingerie, it’ll be your night to get showered with attention, while you show off what your mama gave ya. or what your surgeon did. hey, i’m totally cool with that. 

i've revisited parts of the night for you in photos, enjoy!

pre-party shot: to remember the innocent days when the only bunnies you knew hid chocolate eggs around your garden.
at the entrance. look at her sitting in there like a cute little bird. what a good girl. 
note: expect a boob or butt in nearly every clear photo.
welcome to the kandy masquerade party! have to say the music was really good that night.
how does a tent this size fit in your backyard? how!
the cage was absolutely necessary, when things got too wild. 
a bit of an overwhelming atmosphere; everyone on their own mission.
stoli's got the hookup yeyaa
imo it was more fun outside by the pool. no splashes that night tho, it was too cold!
all about the yummy stoli punch! i only needed 1 cup. 
boobie trap. who wants them that big anyway?? don't answer that. 
the infamous grotto. no clue what goes on in here.....
how NOT to dress.
i'm talking about me, not my fellow stoli winner tanya. i clearly didn't get the memo that it wasn't prom. although, i do have to give a huge thanks to one of my besties for lending me the dress, i love it. 
how to dress.
nicked this mask off a friend and decided it would be part of my costume for the night. i think it worked out alright.
mandatory stripper pole wohoo! i have yet to take a pole dancing lesson. i think i just don't want to find out how unskilled i am at it.
meet crispin glover... didn't even know his name until a minute ago. the only other celeb i met was luke wilson who either had a bad day or needs some sort of happiness boost. the bunny next to him wasn't doing the trick. 
the right pose: first of all, get your lips done, otherwise don't even try. then, work on the slight open-mouth-pout with a face like you're not bothered to breathe anymore. must also have a boob that's about to fall out of your top. 
khalil and i posing with [insert whatever name you want] failed miserably.
how sweet. those definitely look real.
you know, just hangin out with a couple butts being flashed behind me, the norm.
the coconut macaroons dipped in melted chocolate made my night.
when you don't get a guys attention by standing next to him like that, you wonder what does. looks like her butt's loneliness is killing her. 

ok so it wasn't exactly a party i'd find myself at again, but despite the atmosphere that reeked of desperation, it was one hell of an experience that i love sharing with people. apparently if you're not invited but want to go, just pay a hefty amount if you're a guy, and send in some naked photos of yourself if you're a girl. is that true? i give props to those girls who worked their bods for this night and fought the cold in their tiny outfits, despite their grape-sized goosebumps. there were a couple girls just painted on and i think they were getting followed by every guy that passed them. 

now, to answer the most common questions i've been asked: 
1. yes, i'd say a lot of the brestesses looked quite silicone-esque. i just don't get why they'd go so big.
2. no, i didn't see hef. apparently he only plays for a bit before he needs his beauty sleep.
3. no, i didn't get a ticket by sending in any naked photos of myself, stoli gave me one.
4. no, i didn't consider turning into a lesbian for the night.

my family crack me up the most. i think the most concerning comment i got after going to the party was from my dad stating his relief that it wasn't my kind of party, to which he said, "i'm so happy you realized the playboy lifestyle is not something you want to be a part of." ummm i'm glad you feel at peace about that dad, i guess you won't have to worry anymore about me perpetually contemplating boob jobs and revealing bunny suits. THEN, as if that's not weird enough, i found out after my father shared this "good news" with his aunt (apparently it was a family concern), she deduced that i now want to stop acting. i don't get it, do my family think i'm trying to make it in the porn industry? you gotta love Arab families.

again, a big thank you to Stoli for sending us out there, it was definitely a memorable experience!

xx penguina

March 15, 2012

TGITW: a Jill Scott kinda wknd

you woo me, you court me, you tease me, you please me 
you school me, give me things to think about 

invite me, you ignite me, co-write me, you love me, you like me 
incite me to chorus 

da da da da da da da da. i love jill scott's music. how s e x y is this song? makes you feel so coy and playful (talkin to the ladies out there... but i mean, open to everyone).

i'm currently at the caribou coffee in souk al bahar, never realized what a chill atmosphere it has. i hope you all had a great week. i'm glad i sorted out my jet lag situation within the first couple days. (just don't sleep on the flight). nothing more inconvenient than jet lag fatigue on the weekend. 
despite moving to abu dhabi, i have to say i love being in dubai when the weather is great. i.e. now. enjoy it fast because it's gonna change in no time to suffocation. 
i attended such a lively and chic event yesterday at the ritz in difc hosted by expose and i love being around good music, good company and getting expose-d (pun intended). like i always say, i'm not always up to date with fashion trends, i prefer whatever feels comfy and outfits that suit my body, but it never hurts to get a bit of insight every once in a while. 

i spotted a baker and spice at al manzil right across the street and think i noticed a couple extra dishes - thinking of sneaking a bite in. if you haven't tried their food yet, it's time. such yummy, organic food full of flavor (to all you people who think healthy food is bland). another thing, taste of dubai is taking place this weekend, and next week you have the option of diving into a pool of art at art dubai. so be sure to get your tickets for both events, i'm sure they'll kick ass. enjoy the sun!

xx penguina

March 14, 2012

i ♥ india arie

*the only thing constant in the world is changeThat's why I stay, I take life as it comes*
one of my absolute top 5 favorite artists. beautiful voice, lyrics, and soulxx

back in the UAE

aaaand I'm still recovering from that 16 hr direct flight from LA. i'm definitely one of the few who'd rather layover and get a good break between flights. the plane food wasn't great and of course i got sick (very normal for my weak stomach). luckily i had a bag stuffed of my fave Luna Bars, but even then you need proper food. i was entertained by the guy sitting next to me. he was one of those really buff dudes and couldn't sit still; every move he made was so forceful and aggressive i actually thought he wanted to break the remote before i got used to his mannerisms.

i decided to take a break from the current book i'm reading and picked up The Hunger Games to see what all the fuss is about. it's a quick read... or the plane ride was just really long. if you don't read much i wouldn't go for it, considering it'll be out on the big screen soon, but if you want a fluffy read, why not, it's pretty intense and made me very hungry... 

whenever i spend time with my bro and sis-in-law i always get in the groove of some latin tunes since she's Colombian. i really forgot about music videos though. some songs should only be listened to... i didn't let myself watch the whole thing. either way, it reminds me of the trip and makes me miss them way too much! 

it's so good to be back though! there's so much to get done here, have no clue where to start :)

xx penguina

March 11, 2012

socially awkward penguin...

wish this was on my plane

we against the color

why am i so awkward? this was part of our walk around the Mission. yes, i was that annoying person who wanted a photo in front of anything colorful and pretty... even if it's just an auto garage.
i love these girls :)

xx penguina

fresh coconut macaroons

are some of my favorite things. i never really liked coconut, i remember my mom used to be obsessed with bounty chocolate and i'd hate the smell of it. now i can't seem to get enough. i found these coconut macaroons at the farmers market in san francisco. they're so loving. i miss them.

xx penguina

March 9, 2012

LISTEN: what a stunning voice

i think the world was blown away when they heard how angelic yet powerful Jessica Sanchez's voice is. can't wait to hear more!!!


WATCH: how to speak more good!

one of my friends sent me this after i posted that photo of kirsten stewart looking tres hot. i have nothing against her, she's just uncomfortably awkward. watch this video, it's pretty hilarious. you probably have to watch the twilight saga to get it... i'm not proud. 

xx penguina

le petit prince in motion

“to me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. and I have no need of you. and you, on your part, have no need of me. to you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. but if you tame me, then we shall need each other. to me, you 
will be unique in all the world. to you, I shall be unique in all the world…”


LISTEN: blackmill - lucid truth


for coffee lovers

i don't drink coffee, but i gotta say i tried my friends latte from Blue Bottle Coffee Co. and it was probably one of the tastiest coffees i've ever sipped. full of flavor and sweetness without a dot of sugar. some places just know how to do it right.
how good does that look?
i was never good at making things look natural.

they say coffee helps prevent alzheimers. just remember, with every cup of caffeine drink a cup of water. yeah.. there always has to be a health tip. i care.

xx penguina

March 7, 2012


just for 10 seconds put yourself in the shoes of a person living in Uganda. the fear, the pain, the suffering, the loss, the devastation, the grief, the longing, the dreams, the wishes, the tears, the numbness, the will to die. how would we ever understand the magnitude of those feelings? we can't. the brevity of human life is at an extreme here.

with only the small percentage we are fully aware of, it will never be enough to understand their true suffering. their lives take "life's not fair" to an absurd level that no one should ever have to endure.

it's impossible not to cry, smile, get goosebumps and cry some more if you watch the entirety of this video. i see how despite what i thought i knew, of the abuse and destruction in Uganda, i knew absolutely nothing. it pains me to think i wake up in a comfy bed, contemplate which new place to eat at and what new sights to see, when someone somewhere else is worrying if he'll live another day. do my inner struggles even involve anything more than what to wear to suit the weather, or if i'm in the mood to work out or not? i'm so grateful that i was able to learn more through this. it makes you really put your life into perspective. something we need to do daily.

no sane person will ever be able to watch this and not be touched by its power.

i really wish we all make that difference.

xx penguina

this is how my mind feels

when i can't seem to slow my thoughts down. unfortunately our mind doesn't have any speed radars randomly fixed and you just have to calm your illuminated mind and live more in the present:
how do you do that? it's so easily said, but no one really addresses how to go about it.

1. take notice of the world around you by always trying to find something beautiful.

2. focus on whatever you're doing cuz no matter what there's probably always some commentary going on in the back of your mind. let it go, and pay attention to your senses. how does whatever you're doing feel, smell, look, sound (please don't try to taste everything) but you get the point.

3. smile when you wake up; think of at least 10 things you are grateful for (write a list to refer to), and imagine that with every deep inhale of positivity, you let out negativity, and picture a big lit up circle of positivity surrounding your body and seal it to protect your positivity.

4. commit random acts of kindness; always stay aware for ways you can make a difference in someone else's life. even if it's just a simple compliment :)

5. minimize activities that dull your awareness of the moment; don't waste your time watching tv or daydreaming. zone in to whatever you're doing. play a game, or an instrument.

6. be thankful for what is; rather than wishing for something you don't have in your life, start off by being grateful and thankful for what you do have. you don't wan to miss the gifts in front of you because you're always living in the past or future. 

i hope that helped.

xx penguina

well well well miss stewart!

never really thought kristen stewart was thaaaat attractive until i saw this photo. there's still something that annoys me about her mouth, but she definitely gets away with it here. love her hair!

March 5, 2012

who needs to fly when they're this cute?

If you ever wanted to just stare at penguinos doin their thing, check out this penguin cam streaming live from the "Penguin Encounter" at SeaWorld San Diego. It'll be up during March and April. 

This makes me so happy... although, for the [insert embarrassingly high #] minutes I was watching it, I heard a lot of elephant-like sounds.... they don't make those noises do they?? 

I'd love them no less even if they did.

xx penguina

be one with nature. and your fears.

 i can't stand heights. the depth of the area isn't translating well in photos, but lets just say if i slipped through that unexpected gap, it would be pretty bad. well i wouldn't ever live to know what happened. having my pregnant sister-in-law (Adriana) walking around there like it was just a little break in the ground gave me so much anxiety.
trying to look relaxed and normal with Grace and Adriana. it's not working. Grace is the one acting like something was so funny. too bad she can't act. i lawe you wacie

xx penguina

i'm finally grateful, again.

"What lights you up today?" I finally dragged my brother, sister-in-law and one of my best friends, Grace, visiting from Boston, to Cafe Gratitude in the Mission where you're always welcomed with a question. For those of you who don't know, it's one of my favorite vegan restaurants in San Fran and I feel oh so whole and content after eating there (thanks to my girl Razane).

I'd never be able to be a vegan, but I have to say if I had these meals cooked for me, it wouldn't be that hard.

Mmm.. no I take that back, I love meat and froyo way too much.

Since I've eaten there and know how good the food is, I always seem to forget the usual misconception of vegan food being bland, boring, and scary. I had to do a bit of convincing to Grace. I think people should always be up for experimenting; spontaneity tells you a lot about how exciting they are in... life. N'est-ce pas?

We decided to only order four dishes rather than go too wild (FINE, I was told to only order four); but I'm glad they controlled me. After the meal I made sure we got dessert and you know when you keep eating because it's in front of you? You convince yourself you're only taking small bites, you know, just skimming off the top- but then end up eating more than half. That's basically what happened to me, and lets just say that I was actually about to cry when we left. We had to walk around to help me digest, because if I got in the car I would have gotten sick instantly. It's so like me to overdo something until I can't stand it anymore. I feel better now though... wouldn't mind another round or two :)
 I am Whole is my favorite dish (bottom left): sea vegetables and kale, steamed quinoa, house made kim chee, carrots and sprouts with tahini-garlic sauce and teriyaki almonds. YUMMAY.
 This was the runner up, I am Hearty: deep-dish pizza with sun-dried tomato marinara, pesto, olive tapenade, Brazil nut Parmesan and cashew ricotta cheese on live onion sunflower pizza crust. Cmon.. you're getting interested. 
I wasn't wild about the desserts. We got a coconut mousse and a pecan and chai cheesecake. I can't think of it cuz the thought will get me full again. I think if I were to get a dessert I'd get their smoothie I am Grace. It's de-lish! 
I even bought their recipe book yaay! Knowing me I won't make anything in there, but I'm still excited! I don't even think you can find kale in Dubai ugh... #firstworldproblems

So yeah, anyone visiting this side of things, make a stop at Cafe Gratitude for a yummy experience and to learn a whole new perspective on vegan food.

xx penguina

me against the color

walking around the Mission, SF today was such a fun experience. we went into so many vintage stores and i fell in love with all the murals. fine maybe not all of them, but some really stood out. i feel so alive walking in the midst of so much creative energy. 

happy monday artistes!

xx penguina