July 31, 2012

my favorite way to start the day

some ginger tea and a whole loada blueberries!


sweet like chocolate boy *revival*

not sure how i woke up with this in my head, but i'm glad i did! good memories.

happy tuesday :)


run in neon!

check out my new kicks! 
something i look forward to in san francisco is going to road runners sports cuz they have my shoe history and foot type on file. growing up with flat feet was not always fun, but now that there are places that can asses my arch and pressure points to pair me with the perfect shoe is actually kinda fun.

i'm loving the neon, even though i can probably be spotted a mile away in them. at least they're safe right? right.


LISTEN TO ME: of monsters & men - little talks

there's an old voice in my head that's holding me back,
well tell her that i miss our little talks.
soon it will all be over and buried with our past,
we used to play outside when we were young,
and full of life and full of love.


love this song! it makes me wanna run around in the sun with neon face paint and silly string to shoot at everyone/thing in my way.

hope you're being carefree on this summers day! 


July 30, 2012

exploring on my bike

something i love doing here that i definitely wouldn't even attempt in the uae unless i plan on getting hit with heatstroke or being roadkill is cycling. i went with my sister-in-law's mother on such a fun ride. the weather was perfect: the sun was shining but there was a cool breeze, so you're never too hot or cold. oh how i love you san francisco. the scenery was beautiful, and with my music, i was on cloud 9 - makes the thought of cycling in a gym basically purgatory for murderous sinners who feel no need to ask for repentence. why would i go?!

we ended up cycling for 15 miles and stopped for a bite on a little street with all these authentic boutiques and cafes. we got a little taste of italy at this italian specialty store where i went a bit wild with our cold cuts order. so light and yummy. of course we managed to shop after that. i don't think anything would have stopped me shopping, not the fact that carrying the bags was a hazard on the bike or even being in my sweaty workout gear (not proud of it). if i can find something authentic that i won't get anywhere else at a great price i'm sold. one day i'm definitely living somewhere i can use my bike as my main form of transport. i hope.


this post really cracked me up


a snippet from "how to suck at your religion." by the oatmeal. 


MAKE ME: roasted tomato basil soup

one of the things i love about being around my sister-in-law's family is the many benefits i get from both her parents. when it comes to her father joaquin (keenies) i enjoy taking advantage of his culinary expertise. does being colombian make you a good cook? well, he's both, and i have to say my family have happily reaped the benefits of the arab/colombian union. anyway, keenies and i decided to go for a roasted tomato basil soup and the chosen recipe was by barefoot contessa. we followed it to a t minus the thyme and butter. i know, that would be breaching all cooking rules according to ina garten; but i prefer my savory dishes sans butter. she'd probably throw an extra stick in there for good luck. as expected, the recipe turned into a huge success! it's not creamy and heavy (i hate creamy soups) and with san francisco's evening chill, it hit the spot.

xx penguina

July 29, 2012

PHOTOthèque: life in vintage

sis-in-law and i at the pyramids. 2008. egypt.

coffee & cameras: the perfect gift

if you know anyone who loves their cameras as much as their daily cup of joe, this is such a fun gift! a canon macro lens tumbler to take with them wherever they go. i got one for my pops considering he's one of the most avid camera enthusiasts i know. he loved it and he's not really into random gizmos. obviously it's not as heavy as an actual lens, but it looks pretty close to being real. it's even more fun for people who love cameras and act like they know a lot but don't really (like me); even though i'm surround by lenses daily i'd fall for it. you can find it on amazon.


July 28, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: angels - the xx

you move through the room
like breathing was easy
if someone believed me
they would be as in love with you as i am
they would be...


what i'd do to see them in concert.


July 27, 2012

according to audrey

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."


orangutan addicts anonymous

this really cracked me up even though it's actually quite sad. glad they're attending to the addiction. hope withdrawals aren't too tough on torie.


me gusta este side braid

i know kristen stewart's been a bit of a slag lately, but at least her side braid is pretty cute!


July 26, 2012

never thought i'd say this

 but damn does katie holmes look stunning on the cover of elle!! so according to hollywood, how do you reach your hottest potential? get a divorce. i don't really feel bad for her; you know she'll be dating a gorgeous actor/musician in about a week TOPS!


LISTEN TO ME: teen idle - marina & the diamonds

i wanna drink until i ache
i wanna make a big mistake
i want blood, guts, and angel cake
i'm gonna puke it anyway


the lyrics in this song crack me up. what's up with all the unnecessary teenage angst these days? i'm so glad i grew up in bahrain at a time when all we cared about was eating mc ds and burger king daily with no worries other than "will he be at chilis this weekend?" amen to being in my twenties. anyway, i LOVE marina & the diamonds. all that indie pop and her unique sound make her music catchy in a not so annoying stuck-in-your-head sort of way. check out her latest cd it's great!


love my greens

during ramadan all i wanna do is eat arabic food. i'm not sure if it's because i've grown up with it, but compared to other spice-filled cuisines, i find the levantine cuisine the most tasteful and not overbearing; i can easily live on it forever. the above is one of my favorite dishes - loubieh bi zeit, or green beans with oil (really doesn't sound appealing, but don't judge it till you try it!)


July 25, 2012

i spent the last month laughing my a$$ off

because caitlan moran is such a funny, witty writer. her book "how to be a woman" will entertain you from start to finish. i have to admit there were a few references i didn't get; mainly because i didn't grow up in england, but most of it is just plain hilarity. a british broadcaster, tv critic and columnist at the times; she won the british press awards (bpa) columnist of the year '10 and the bpa critic of the year '11. the book follows her life from a young age in such an amusing way, covering the most awkward situations. she promotes the idea of feminism as simply protecting female rights and not the typical ideology that feminist women run around burning their bras and hating men. i've attached a few excerpts that really cracked me up. they don't do it justice though. 

on the versatile and indirect prevalence of sexism despite it not being as obvious as the past:

on the expectations of every woman to have children:

on weddings:

if you want a good laugh pick it up asap. 


July 24, 2012

a day in egham

we started the morning with a 5k jog around a beautiful lake both in our zaggora pants. i went with my childhood friend hana -we didn't think it was possible at first, but we did it. well hana was a great motivator with her smart use of words "how about a SHORT jog." i fell for it every time. they were never short. it was all worth it at the end; beautiful weather, smiley faces and adorable puppies.
meet taha and hana, childhood friends and family.

we then enjoyed a delicious bbq in the garden with our parents.
of course i had my eye on the chicken. it was perfect.
never a bbq without mustard and ketchup!
 then we ended the night in staines with a lot of candy, popcorn and BATMAN, which i actually really liked. i got a bit restless considering it was more than 2 hours!! but it was worth it at the end. i have to say, staines at night seems like the place to be when you're 12 - 17. you should have seen how they were dressed, i assumed it was a trashy prom night. all that matters is that they think they're the shit. 

embarrassing moment of the day: of course only i would refer to the resto "slug and lettuce" as "SLAG and lettuce" to the very respectable flight attendant on the way to SAN FRANCISCO. we were having an in-depth talk about life, as i usually get myself into with strangers, then realized we were both at staines at the same time and started discussing places around there. he was nice enough to pretend it was actually called "slag and lettuce."  i definitely wouldn't have reacted the same way. why would anyone name a place to eat slug and lettuce anyway???

 xx penguina

July 22, 2012

r brains r amazing

F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng?

Good example of a Brain Study: If you can read this you have a strong mind:

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1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
R34D1NG 17
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R3AD 7H15.
PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F
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LISTEN TO ME: reckless - san cisco

cuz reckless is fun when you're not the one that gets hurt

listening to this. on repeat.


le week-end

what's my favorite thing to do when i'm in a city? walk. living in the united arab emirates where neither the weather nor the roads permit a safe pedestrian experience has made my legs forget their ability to transport me to distances that extend more than a block and a half.

i live in a country that basically has bearable weather for four months of the year; where my idea of a long walk is pretty much a total of 15 steps i.e. zara to massimo dutti in the mall of emirates, and where a hike is from gallery lafayette to social house in dubai mall. so looking back on the past week, i'm not sure how i walked an average of 5 hours a day. my feet hate being around me right now. sucks for them. i have to say tho that i can't complain much, the weather was divine and everyone seemed to be in happy spirits (except a librarian at the v&a going up for token anal grump of the year)
meet shaden (left) yazzy (right). yazzy's visiting as well from dubai. she's really weird but whevs... i've known her since we were in middle school and she knows everything about me so i have to be nice. i guess :)
we got a bit too excited on the spindle chairs at the V&A. i think we were under the impression that we're much smaller than we are. i'd rather keep it that way.
i got so excited to walk into a proper library. yazzy thought we should act natural. this is probably the most UNNATURAL photo you'll ever see of us.

*if there was a campaign on the dangers of sexual frustration she'd be the face of it. 

she never got enough love; ergo the stone cold life. i'd still rather be a statue than the librarian.

yazzy made me walk everywhere on friday. we definitely passed the 5 hr mark that day. for some reason, i find walking in a park incomplete without a canine companion, n'est-ce pas?

how to be comfy on the streets.
 lunch at mediterraneo in notting hill on saturday was so satisfying i can't even begin to explain. italian food at its finest. it's my second time there and definitely a place worth eating at. my friend had veal with some sort of a truffle sauce... i don't even know how to describe it because it was so good. i made sure to steal a good amount of the sauce for my chicken tee-hee. it was like an amazing meal and dessert in one. please go.

a london sunset. 

after walking and shopping, then walking and shopping some more, i finally came home and hung out with a friend. i was completely exhausted - i didn't even bother moving to the bed from the couch when i passed out.

i hope you all had a fun & active weekend!

xx penguina

July 20, 2012

date season has come!

ramadan kareem!!

for some people, ramadan is THE time to stock up on dates and considering i've been happily obsessed with them for a good two years now and need to eat them daily, this makes me VERY happy. it's basically the one time i find dates everywhere i go and can eat them before a meal without getting judged. 
 having tried so many, i've become very picky about my choices but getting them from bateel is always a safe bet, except now i can't enjoy a date without eating nuts with it - thanks to their variety with almonds and caramelized pecans. the caramelized pecans are such a treat; if i can give one piece of advice tho, it's to stick to just two max. it's a mission to stop eating them once you've started and there is definite nausea to follow if you overdose.
this ones a favorite of mine. it's not too moist or sweet, and the almond combination gives it that extra bite.

stock up!


a little dreamer

July 19, 2012

a tuna steak to love

 very excited to devour.

yesterday i was able to fully enjoy london's gloom and rain that i crave so much in the uae. if it were up to me there would be a couple mandatory days/nights of rain,lightning and thunder, no electricity, just candles and good company. unfortunately, my abilities are limited. in any case, i got around to exactly what i wanted, walking, eating and catching up with friends. we pretty much spent the day @ jaks. of course we did, we're filthy arabs who enjoy their comfort zone as well as complaining about it. i'll have to blame myself because i've been craving their tuna steak for a while now, and when i crave i need to satisfy, or i'm not a happy cookie.
the illustrious tuna steak with a very generous helping of spinach and tabbouleh with quinoa. 

the steak was a bit on the dry side but i didn't care, i just wanted it in my tummy. it's not fishy at all, whatever sauce they use is genius. my friend aiysha opted for the vanilla cupcake after, i was never a fan of vanilla icing, so it wasn't really my thing. they do however have a variety of desserts that i really try to avoid making eye contact with for fear of succumbing to the seduction. apparently i have to try their cheesecake, it was the only cake they kept restocking literally every hour. i'm certain that "next time" will be much sooner than later.

happy thursday foodies!

xx penguina

July 18, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: breezeblocks - alt-j

she bruises coughs she splutters pistol shots
but hold her down with soggy clothes and breeze blocks
she’s morphine queen of my vaccine my love my love love love.


uniquely dubbed "folk-step," i'm loving alt-j's sound. can't stop listening to this track. 


obsessed with indoor libraries

who wouldn't be? ever since i was younger i wanted my own library; something between contemporary and classical. a place where i look forward to spending time in and where i can focus 100% minus the adderall. the following are so different but each have something quirky about them. 
classically quaint.
too modern, but comfy.
a ladder is a must. a bit too country though. 
i love this, i'd add a fireplace and a bit more of a classical touch.

a bit too zen-ish for me, but there's something really mesmerizing about it, it just sucks you right in and puts you in the zone. 

xx penguina

July 17, 2012

goodbye dubai

i spent yesterday on edge dreading the thought of needing to postpone my flight to london. for the record don't attempt to renew your residency a day before leaving unless you want to risk missing your flight. never something i want when it means more time in this heat. in my defense i'm not the one who deals with it. note: always check expiration dates. i'm now 25 (not sure how that happened) and daily realize something new i need to start being responsible for. boo. what happens when we have children? speaking of those little ones, the reason i'm itching to escape is to get to san fran where my sister-in-law is due any day now! not sure how to contain my excitement of having an ickle nephew to make as weird as me. 

luckily i woke up to great news - my residency was renewed. likewise, so were my energy levels, which prompted me to have somewhat of a productive day from a more shallow angle. i managed to get what i needed from the tailor, i love him he works magic. i worked out ie. walked on the treadmill in my new zaggora pants (check them out- they're supposed to make you burn more - sweet!). i think they're actually a health hazard in the uae though. i then attempted to tan and failed. it lasted 15 minutes. so much more to do and i'm a little scared of packing, but at least i have the necessities ready:
1. passport
2. ipod
3. new book to read
4. big red

i'm set.


Spiritual Thought of the Day

"ask yourself this simple question. would you rather talk about your negative feelings and focus and grow more negative feelings or would you rather feel good? if you believe that talking about negative feelings, always "airing" your problems and complaints relieves them, you're wrong. for a while, their energy seems to be gone, but if you have not turned from that and done something else more positive in the meantime, they will return, and you know it. you know they return and need to be aired again and again, until you "decide" to stop talking about them. you can spend as much time as you want talking about your negative feelings, but the more time you spend doing so, the greater portion of your life you will spend in what becomes a very unproductive and dangerous habit. you will have spent a lot of time in the 'dug out' and waste a lot of your psychic energy. move on."

Growing the Positive Mind by Dr. William K. Larkin

some say...

stay young.


July 16, 2012

secret band-aid

i remember when i was younger, all i wanted was to collect band-aids with my favorite disney characters on them. now i hate the sight of them but seeing as i'm one of the clumsiest people who manages to constantly bump, burn, cut, scrape my skin on a daily basis, these chameleon band-aids below are perfect! an entry of the 2012 iF design talents, click here to learn more. 

LISTEN TO ME: mind controller - ayah marar (acoustic)

whata voice. i'm a little obsessed as you can tell. 


July 15, 2012

le week-end...

work, coffee and snacks @ the pavilion.
long overdue photoshoot. 
i think i spent the majority of my time at dubai mall again. but made it all better with some coffee liqueur. mmmm.
brunch @ limetree actually hit the spot. i'm very proud of myself for avoiding the cakes.
comparing sea salt with milk or dark choco. i prefer the dark surprisingly. 
fancy a mini tic tac?

hope you had a good weekend, happy sunday! 

xx penguina