Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello, fellow bloggers and stalkers. I am back from my 12-day excursion to Chicago and the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Metropolitan Area. Thank you to my many hosts, friends, family ... It was definitely an eventful trip :) In Chicago, while my brother was saving lives as a medical resident and my friends were at work, I was left to roam the city and traverse the El. After attending the North American Bahá’í Conference on Law at the John Marshall Law School, I was able to do fun, personal things by myself that one does not usually get to do during the span of our busy and hectic lives, such as shopping at Topshop, getting my hair blown out at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and visiting the Art Institue of Chicago. It was a a few days of being able to reflect on my own self while experiencing the many different and diverse Chi-town neighborhoods. Here are a few photos from my trusty blackberry (iphone who?) showing my love for vibrant Chi-city.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I just came back from Miami and am now on my way to Chicago and Washington, DC. All these trips are exciting - visiting friends and places I do not normally get to see. It does feel like I am trying to escape Los Angeles ... Nevertheless, Miami was a dream. Gorgeous people, gorgeous building, gorgeous beaches, and a gorgeous atmosphere. My highlights were staying in the Viceroy, eating at Meat Market, partying all over South Beach, viewing the unique art deco, and even biking from Lincoln Road to the Port. No wonder everyone wants to bienvenido a Miami ;) I absolutely cannot wait to go back!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Paris, hope and heartbreak. Three things that are on my mind always.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It is the middle of September now, which means back to school, and for me, back to ballet class. J.Crew is also feeling the "Swan Lake" spirit and has paired cashmere sweaters with ballet tutus. Perfect for the little ballerina in all of us, no matter how old we are ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The past couple of weeks I had the opportunity to travel for work to Arkansas and West Virginia. Not very hip cities, but I went places where I would probably never would have actually thought to go to. Here are a few snaps from Little Rock and a couple from my drive to Martinsburg. The former was obviously more exciting, given that the Clinton Presidential Center and Library is there.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lauren Conrad launched her Fall 2011 clothing line for Kohl’s last week. I have never even been inside a Kohl’s department store so I really had no expectations. Her line is sweet, very dreamy and whimsical. Not sure if I would actually try to find my nearest Kohl’s to buy her clothes, but in a moment of boredom anything can happen, right?

Reading about LC’s charmed life got me thinking about The Hills and I started watching past episodes. It made me realize why I like Lauren and why I have been able to relate to her so much. She put forth her feelings and emotions in every situation. She openly communicated, knew the difference between right and wrong, and held her friends to the same standards and expectations she put forward. Watching Lauren deal with friendships, relationships, family, career, or even the basics of navigating through a fast-paced materialistic city, allowed me to see myself in her scenes. It was not the story of LC, but the story of all twenty-somethings, figuring out who we are and who we want to be while putting our lives together, even when we don’t have all the pieces. Pairing together Lauren’s facial expressions with some of my most favorite touching and poignant quotes shows that hardships, heartbreaks, and pain are universal, and we should use these tests as blessings, learning from them, and developing our personal and spiritual growth. “Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting.” -- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

"Stop torturing yourself, her friends said. Stop living in the past. He was gone. Capital G--Gone. He wasn't coming back. She should focus not on the pain, but on the possibility. Something good would come from all this heartache, something always did. Everything, her friends told her, happened for a reason. She should start looking for the silver lining. She thought she might start looking for new friends." -- Aryn Kyle

"Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth ... is that nobody gets over anything." -- Martin Amis

"Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching." -- Gabriel García Márquez

"Later, her first intense, serious love affair, yes then she'd lost something more tangible, if undefinable: her heart? her independence? her control of, definition of, self? That first true loss, the furious bafflement of it. And never again quite so assured, confident." -- Joyce Carol Oates

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -- Anaïs Nin

Monday, August 15, 2011

I just got back from a weekend in San Francisco where I attended the Association for Bahá’í Studies Conference. The sessions of the conference focused on “Transforming Habits of Thought” in which the theme name came from a message the Universal House of Justice addressed to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors on December 28, 2010: “Apart from the spiritual requisites of a sanctified Bahá’í life, there are habits of thought that affect the unfoldment of the global Plan, and their development has to be encouraged at the level of culture. There are tendencies, as well, that need to be gradually overcome. Many of these tendencies are reinforced by approaches prevalent in society at large, which, not altogether unreasonably, enter into Bahá’í activity. The magnitude of the challenge facing the friends in this respect is not lost on us. They are called upon to become increasingly involved in the life of society, benefiting from its educational programmes, excelling in its trades and professions, learning to employ well its tools, and applying themselves to the advancement of its arts and sciences. At the same time, they are never to lose sight of the aim of the Faith to effect a transformation of society, remoulding its institutions and processes, on a scale never before witnessed. To this end, they must remain acutely aware of the inadequacies of current modes of thinking and doing—this, without feeling the least degree of superiority, without assuming an air of secrecy or aloofness, and without adopting an unnecessarily critical stance towards society.”

Attending the sessions and listening to the varied disciplines in which participants interpreted their “habits of thought” supported my understanding that Bahá’í values can be transformative, but in order to have a positive effect on society, we must align our thoughts with our actions. Nothing will change if we do not act; we cannot act without first transforming our thoughts; and our thoughts must reflect our spiritual nature and values. The conference concluded with a talk by Rainn Wilson, who appropriately quoted a statement by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Monday, July 18, 2011

This weekend, not only did I witness an incredible Willy Wonka-themed birthday party, I got to create my own Carmageddon-themed bbq (thanks to EMTsweeetie)!! It was so nice to drive around Los Angeles without any traffic, a big thank you to all the Angelenos who stayed off the street and the tourists who stayed out of LA. This weekend was one of the most peaceful and pleasant experiences I have had in a long time.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Although it was a last minute decision, I planned a small afternoon lunch in Malibu with a few of my closest friends for my birthday. It was delightful!

And to top off the birthday festivities, Prince William and Kate have paid a visit to Los Angeles, where they are socializing with another British Royal, David Beckham ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear Universe:

For the past five years I haven’t wanted to acknowledge my birthday. Not because I don’t like presents, cupcakes, flowers, balloons or attention, but because with every passing year it made me realize I was getting older, farther away from my dreams. This year is no exception. I have planned an afternoon dessert party for Sunday, but suddenly, I am lost on what the point is. To celebrate another year of not accomplishing the goals I have set out for myself? I am trying to stay positive, appreciating the people and things in my life, including my health, family, friends, education and Faith, yet, sometimes I need a reminder of what is important. Show me a sign?

putting it out there,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today (or yesterday?) marks the first day of Summer. So happy that the June Gloom is finally over! Here are some inspiring photos to get you in the mood, with my chosen colors of the season: cotton-candy blue, bubble-gum pink, and creamsicle orange.

I will mostly be in Los Angeles, which is the best place to be during the summer. For the Day-glo sunsets, the hiking-trail dust that gets under my fingernails, and the feel of a gas pedal under my nearly bare feet. It is a strange mixture of urban and tropical, with skies that look both vaguely toxic and heartbreakingly beautiful at the same time. Hope you all get to experience it first-hand someday.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Flying to Chicago in a few hours for my brother’s Medical School graduation and was thinking about all things Chi-town related such as: deep dish pizza, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, White sox, the Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Magnificent Mile, Lake Michigan, Sears Tower, the L, Oprah, the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, and the city’s many misnomers, like the Windy city, Chicagoland, and Chi-city, when I started humming “Homecoming”, Kanye’s tribute song to his hometown of Chicago.

Chicago is the Heart of America, with a mix of the East coast and West coast caught up in the Middle. And it really is the place of Sana’s homecoming, as he is graduating from Chicago Medical School and attending family medicine residency program at Northwestern. Congrats and best of luck, my older lil brother!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sometimes, I wish I was born a French girl, with effortless chic style, a carefree attitude, side-swept hair, Longchamp bag in one hand and carrying a woven basket filled with baguettes, cheese, grapes and strawberries in the other. Seems like I’m not the only one – witness Kanye West at Coachella pulling off a women’s silk blouse from the Céline S/S 2011 RTW collection, also worn by Clémence Poésy, the epitome French girl. Touché, Kanyé.

Friday, May 13, 2011

As promised, here are a little more than a dozen blackberry photos taken while vacationing in Playa del Carmen. It was a fantastic trip, filled with a tour of the Mayan ruins in Tulum, plenty of Mexican food (fish tacos, fajitas, ceviche, huevos rancheros, and enough guacamole and salsa to last me a life-time), snorkeling in the cenotes of the Riviera Maya, rappelling and zip lining through the forest, swimming in the warm and glistening waters of Mamitas Beach, enjoying the nightlife and the laid-back town of Playa del Carmen, and relaxing in our luxurious condo residences at El Taj. All of these adventures, combined with a fabulous group of some of the most fun and delightful people in the world, made for an exquisite and entertaining fête. Big shout-out to the organizers, Roxanne and Roja, with a special mention to Anissa, Martha, Samira, Anyssa, Olivia, Shireen, Navid, Nima, Yvette, Justin, Nima, Carmel, Saam, Leila, Nicole, Gus, Nieku, Nataly, Jen and Crystal. Miss you all, including Joaquin! See you soon in another paradise.