August 31, 2012

according to the dr.

going backless

simple, feminine, chic. love it.

do more with your DSLR

there's nothing more annoying than bad lighting in a photo, well probably a blurry photo, but lighting is pretty crucial. if you own a dslr and take photos that aren't using the available light properly, you should be ashamed of yourself and give up your camera. until recently, i just assumed the auto settings would be able to do all the work, but i'm slowly getting the hang of and enjoying finding the right settings myself. i'm no pro, but it gets easier and this video was helpful, and amusing... if you're into dorky humor. i guess i kind of am. for a written explanation check out video school's "do more with your dslr I."

LISTEN TO ME: florence & the machine: cosmic love

a falling star fell from your heart
and landed in my eyes
i screamed aloud, as it tore through them
and now it's left me blind.


happy thursday xx

August 21, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: fito blanko - pegadito suavecito

no te voy a dejar, te voy a amar
vamos a bailar pegadito, suavecito


finally! been trying to track this down for a while. makes me wanna mover mi cuerpo.


only in the 21st century.

i don't want it... you don't want it

apparently a very effective way to avoid it.

Spiritual Thought of the Day

LISTEN TO ME: how - regina spektor

time can come and take away the pain
but i just want my memories to remain
to hear your voice, to see your face
there’s not one moment i’d erase
you are a guest here now.


i know, the first thing you think of is calm down regina. but the lyrics are actually very simple and sweet. crappy sitch though. 

August 19, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: she & him: why do you let me stay here

why don't you sit right down and stay awhile?
we like the same things and i like your style
it's not a secret; why do you keep it?
i'm just sitting on the shelf.


i never cared for this song then randomly couldn't get it out of my head. zoey deschanel used to annoy me in the beginning but i kinda really like her now!


le week-end: a simple day in sausalito

my family and i decided to spend a day in sausalito since, well, it's something different to do. we had to cross the golden gate bridge to get there and despite the otherwise sunny skies, the fog creeping over parts of the bridge was like watching a time lapse at such a high frame rate. it looked unreal. it felt like driving into winter then back into summer - you couldn't even see the entire bridge! apparently this is normal for san fran and i need to just chill out... well maybe some people get excited by the collection of liquid droplets suspended in the air near our surface i dunno.
meet sausalito. the very charming san francisco bay area city population around 7,136. you'll find cafes/ restaurants and boutique stores/hotels to spend the day mingling around. most of the places are family owned; i can imagine that a lot of the houses have been passed down for generations. with a reputation as a "wealthy and artistic enclave, a picturesque residential community" it's a spot you should want to explore. i can't say i wasn't bitter driving around between the houses wishing i had one there... i'm still feeling bitter and i hope parking isn't easy for them.
we explored sausalito a year ago and drove by these rocks stacked on top of each other. apparently there was a guy "balancing" them. we had a good laugh at him and the tourists who fell for it. this time we decided to feed our amusement some more and get a closer look.

we asked the "artist" to do his thang and believe it or not he ACTUALLY balanced the rocks on top of each other! he even beat them at the end with a stick!!! (not very modest about his talent if you ask me). the balancing act didn't happen without a struggle so i have to say we were left awe struck and scared. who is this guy and what's his secret?? tres sketch.... 
this big (literally) guy was just hanging out and i couldn't help but show some love. he wasn't interested in the bonding sesh i was going for. is that what happens to dogs when they're 11 years old? it's not me cuz dogs love me. he's DEFINITELY going through something (probably indegestion)....  basically not the best moment for my ego but whatever, he's probably focusing on how to get a drop of pee out of him. no, i clearly don't take rejection from animals very well.

all in all, a fun and light way to spend the day. note: if you ever head out there make sure you take a jacket, the weather's a bit premenstrual. 


when to run for your life

who wouldn't react that way.


August 17, 2012

August 16, 2012

WATCH ME: jiro dreams of sushi

a mouthwatering documentary that made me so hungry.... to live. watching the strictly perfect way to prepare sushi that jiro ono (basically my new life coach) still dreams of improving despite his restaurant's 3 shiny Michelin stars, was like watching the word ambition unravel itself in front of my eyes by a cute 85 year old japanese man. and cute in that old people kind of way. i dunno, maybe i needed to clarify. ANYWAY, i've never been to japan, but the fact that this restaurant is in a subway station is impressive to me (especially when subway stations are polluted, rat infested tunnels from what i've gotten accustomed to). i know i know, the japanese are impeccably clean, but it's still something to wow about. 
sure i was salivating at the mouth at the sight of the fresh sake, maguro and unagi, but i was more inspired by jiro's dedication to his job.
when i reach success, jiro will definitely be on my list of people to thank. 

some of my favorite quotes:

jiro ono: always doing what you are told doesn't mean you'll succeed in life. 

shrimp dealer: these days the first thing people want is an easy job. then, they want lots of free time. and then, they want lots of money. but they aren't thinking of building their skills. when you work at a place like jiro's, you are committing to a trade for life. 

jiro ono: once you decide on your occupation... you must immerse yourself in your work. you have to fall in love with your work. never complain about your job. you must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. that's the secret of success... and is the key to being regarded honorably.

yoshikazu ono (his son): always look ahead and above yourself. always try to improve on yourself. always strive to elevate your craft. that's what he taught me. 

 jiro ono: nowadays parents tell their children, 'you can return if it doesn't work out.' when parents say stupid things like that, the kids turn out to be failures.


August 13, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: soley - pretty face

will you be my friend in my dream,
take that pretty face off surely.


i love getting music recommendations from people who follow my tea party, we're always on the same page. merci :) 


a late night burger, but for the healthy eater

you know those nights when it's late and you want a burger but you don't eat fastfood, and you'd rather avoid a bloated sleep something healthier and easier to digest than red meat? that could possibly just be me, which is probably the case; however, IF you ever do happen to face that complex problem i give you an easy solution. it does involve having a trader joe's nearby and using your stove top, but not for long. ta daaaa: it's their salmon burger! soooo juicy and with that skillet-charred, smokey yumminess you'll definitely feel satiated (unless you're pmsing then i can't really help you). add a bun or quinoa on the side for a little something more.

bon appétit.


WATCH ME: "i'll have what she's having"

the power of the fake orgasm. #justsayin. props to meg.


August 12, 2012

PHOTOthèque: morning cuddlez i ♥

there's nothing like some morning cuddles with this little one. ok yeah we're completely posing and he's much better at it than me, but whevs, at least i get to be next to the cutest boy i know. and yes, it's true.... i have baby fever. i'm that annoying new aunt who will send 20+ photos to you if you just ask "so how's the baby" (shit. i always hated her). but in my defense, i'll be leaving san francisco and this little nugget in a couple weeks, so i'm milking nephew & auntie cute photo-taking time.



"on the totem of chat, the lowest form of communication is facebook, followed by gchat, then texting, then email, then phone. face to face is, of course, ideal, but it's not of this time," - marnie, GIRLS.

one of the highlights of my weekend was a delicious dinner at heirloom cafe in the mission and then a cozy sleepover in the city at my family friend's apt. something i love about restaurants here is how they're so prepared to serve food for people who have food sensitivities (comme moi) so you always feel taken care of and #loved.

my family friend zeena, who never fails to impress, then introduced me to the progressive hbo show GIRLS by exec producer judd apatow (knocked up, 40 year old virgin, bridesmaids+) and i have to say i'm sorta kinda probably a little  obsessed with it. it's almost like sex & the city but better, minus the bling and geared towards girls in their early twenties (but you'll find it funny at any age imo). the acting is so raw and really sucks you in. just don't watch it with your parents cuz you know... they ain't with the timez. they'd consider it heresy and assume the worst, then lock you up and bury the key and all its copies in a putrid dugout somewhere in sinai.  well, maybe that's a bit extreme, but at least my dad would consider it. i'm just saying he doesn't need to be exposed. he once asked me if it's normal for a man to hold a woman's hand on a second date. "only if it went REALLY well," i replied in disgust as i turned my prude halo onto its high beams. 

watch it, i guarantee you'll laugh.


August 9, 2012

TGITW: be artistic

i remember in uni my roommate had what i'd call a severe, slightly scary, mind controlling addiction to pens. z, don't even deny it. i would worry whenever she'd go to staples alone and in the case that she did, someone had to monitor closely. if you needed a pen in any shape color or form, chez zaina et may was the place to go to. 

i DON'T have that same problem, but during my trip to costco i was mesmerized as always walking through the aisles of bulk that i would only think to buy if i had to stock my dream underground safe-house to shelter me from the ash of an erupting volcano. (whew!) what i was most attracted to were these sharpies! you can never have enough sharpies -it's a general rule of thumb you should live by. they write on ANY surface, and that's besides the fact that this pack comes in nearly ever color of the rainbow. i still enjoy making cds for friends, so these pens are definitely my tool for design. i'm currently looking for any reason to use every single color. they should probably keep the baby away from me....

have a great weekend! 


August 8, 2012

August 7, 2012

le week-end: food worth mentioning

last friday i went out to a lunch worth mentioning with my family and family friends. not only was the restaurant a great success, it was baby zayd's first day out somewhere other than the hospital ie. a VERY special outing. we ate at madera in the charming rosewood hotel, "nestled amid 16 pristine acres in silicone valley." the resto gives off that warm winter lodge-esque kinda feel featuring a large fireplace and an artisan wood-burning open kitchen that mesmerizes anyone with all the yummy aromas that dance in the air. we sat outside and had a picturesque view to indulge in, which enhanced the whole experience!
 i went for the mussels to start, i'd say they were acceptable; not the best i've had, but definitely worth finishing. my main was a tuna nicoise that hit the spot. according to the others, the tomato basil soup, and lobster rolls were scrumptious! california is rich in agriculture so you generally find more local produce, which is why it's so fresh!
  i think this was around the time when the photo-taking needed to calm down and i had exhausted my posing abilities. check out how unpredictable the weather  is though. one second the suns burning your skin, the next you better have a good jacket handy to bundle up with. i was shocked/jealous to see people swimming and splashing around in the pool. after 5 years in boston, the 3 years spent in the uae have destroyed my tolerance to cold weather. not happy.
zayd sleeping cozily in his badass bassinet. he was so well-behaved, until he got hungry and made sure to let everyone know. cute little nugget.


WATCH & LISTEN TO ME: leftover cuties - smile big

check out samsung's catchy galaxy III olympics commercial. i've attached the full song below cuz it's sooo cayuuut! 


August 6, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: black keys - lonely boy

well your mama kept you
but your daddy left you
and i shoulda done you just the same
but i came to love you am i going to bleed?

♥ the black keys


when i was younger

visiting the states meant overdosing on lucky charms & cinnamon toast crunch. it's all about the milk after it's been flavored by all that cinnamon and sugar mmmm. 


August 5, 2012

love me some california sun!

one of the things i've been doing regularly is enjoying the outdoors. it's something i'm seriously gonna miss when i leave (if i decide to ever return). my bro and i decided to drag take my dad for a walk; not easy - he generally considers a light stroll what most people would consider 3 hours of bootcamp back to back. he actually thinks we're trying to torture him by making him workout a little, so he brings his camera to "stop for photos" every once in a while (which is quite regular). you don't fool me dad...
 i had imagined this to look like one of those posters advertising spirituality in your typical yogi tree pose. it didn't work out for me, instead i give you a very awkward stand, i call it the awkward pensive stand.
 check out the stillness of the water. definitely the right place to reflect on life minus my obnoxious laughter and all our annoying photo-taking. 
meet my bro t, i'm spending time with him and his wifey in palo alto. now that they just got a baby it's gonna be MUCH harder for me to leave. (is that right, just "got" a baby? makes it sound like they just bought him from bed bath & beyond). hmm... anyway, i'd say this photo perfectly describes us, except for that "ready-to-charge" look he's going for. he's actually quite friendly... when he's well fed :p


auntie me!! :)

what did i do 12 days ago? just witnessed my first ever delivery a meter away from me. no biggie. dearest nephew, as handsome as you already are, it wasn't your most flattering moment. i loved you still. i have to say that my sister-in-law (adriana) was SUCH a trooper and a stunning trooper at that. is anything subtle in movies? well, let's not forget to give thanks to pain killers - i'm sure someone is saying that on a millisecond basis. apparently a piece of advice adri didn't forget before delivering was to get a manicure"who wants chipped nails in all the photos." is that the worst of it, nails?! i didn't think anything would help the hot mess we'd be after popping a baby out. actually, i thought THAT would be the one time we'd be excused from the extracurricular grooming we're ever so faithful to. apparently not. #takenotegirls.
meet zayd... i know what it looks like, but sleeping means he's VERY happy! (not bored)

to those of you who have yet to experience being an aunt/uncle, i'm really excited for you. to all of you who have, THIS IS AMAZING and life at its purest and finest, and at a priceless cost (if you watch it!) well, the cost of adri's discomfort, but she's forgotten the pain (somewhat).

for anyone who knows the calamawy family, you wouldn't be surprised to know that there have been at least three professional cameras snapping at the baby from all directions; he can hardly keep his eyes open with all the flashes going off. hopefully he doesn't get used to too much attention growing up, we already know how much leos need it to begin with :) it's gonna be hard not to spoil him....
look at his day old fingers!!

all i can say is that it's undoubtedly a different experience for everyone. i really got thrown onto life's most intense roller coaster this year - watching the last breath of an irreplaceable best friend to witnessing the very first of a little angel. tragic and surreal, i love it all together. i dunno. if that sounds too deep or a bit too much to stomach, all i can say is when you DO witness what life and the lack of it means with your own eyes, it'll sound relatively standard. an "ah, yes" been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt moment of recollection.

now for the cheesy part, cuz let's face it, you can't write about a new life without adding some mush (note: not for those with poor digestion). regardless of how much or little you've experienced, just enjoy and appreciate EVERY moment of your precious life and the people you care about most. take nothing for granted. seriously. you still will, i know. after all, taking things for granted is what us humans excel in. but life is truly beautiful, even after that damn bird decides to shit on your newly washed car. BEING GRATEFUL means nothing else really matters - like a muscle you need to build, it becomes habitual. keep it real yo.


August 4, 2012

LISTEN TO ME: adele - lovesong

whatever words i say, i will always love you.


i know, it's not the cure, but i really do love adele's voice.


August 3, 2012

oh emma

miss stone looking fabulous and quirky in her latest vogue spread. despite looking slightly gaunt here she can do no wrong.


tell me rumi

i want to see you.

know your voice.

recognize you when you
first come 'round the corner.

sense your scent when I come
into a room you've just left.

know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

i want to know the joy
of how you whisper