Monday, December 29, 2014


It comes in many forms. Poetry, song lyrics, paintings, drawings, music, photography and more; art has no definite form. Behind all art forms is passion. You can sense it see it and at times feel it. 

Art is showcased to reveal emotion. Emotion forms into stories that are illustrated for one or more of our senses to grasp. Most passion stems from pain. Pain can be illustrated into a passionate oil painting masterpiece or written into heartfelt song lyrics.

I see live music often. And we see art almost everyday. But this week I finally realized what it all meant.

An inspirational trip to Tampa & St Pete opened my eyes.

Seeing The Black Keys and being so close I was able to see their facial expressions that made me experience every song lyric. The enthusiasm in the drummer & the passion behind the singer’s voice emphasized their story and their emotion behind it.  I devoured every song. The entire arena did. An entire room was there to listen to the passion of these two men.

The next day, we visited the Dali Museum in St Pete. An exclusive exhibit of Picasso was also featured at the museum. As the billboard proclaimed “two legends. Side by side”, and never was an advertisement truer. The masterpieces of both artist revealed their stories, their pain, and their transformation to the artist they wanted to become. They both started with what was expected, simple portraits and landscapes. As they developed through the years, their stories began to be revealed. Salvador Dali became very interested in Sigmund Freud’s writing about the mind and the theory of the subconscious. Dali was very interested in what dreams had to reveal. Many of his paintings were images from his subconscious illustrated for us to see the tale behind his dreams. The symbolism behind every piece revealed his tale.

Express yourself through art. Any form. Any way. Let us hear/see/feel what you have to say.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pura Vida

Have you ever gone to a location and just fallen in love with it? Where the atmosphere, the feel & the people embrace you the second you get there.  A place where nature occupies the lifestyle and the population embraces it instead of demolishing it. An area with so many shades of green and blue, your eyes can’t help but look everywhere.

I fell in love with Costa Rica. My family has not vacationed in years and I was beyond ecstatic when my dad informed us of our trip to Costa Rica.  We stayed along the Gulf of Papagayo off the Guanacaste province and northwestern coast of Costa Rica. The trip was breatktaking to say the least.

Mountains covered in greenery surrounded the gulf we stayed on. Something you never see here in Florida. I rented a jet ski and released into the gulf. The moment I started the ignition and was zooming in the water. I felt it. 
That moment where everything melted away. Every problem, all fears, all anxieties just melted into the water. 
I was free.

A few days later we went zip lining. Which was a very first for my family and me. Hanging upside down and dashing through the trees I looked down at everything I was surrounded by. I inhaled all the nature and remembered to stay in the moment. I let out a scream and once again that feeling overcame by entire body. Freedom.

We rented a car and drove a few hours to Tamarindo. A typical tourist location with gorgeous beaches typically infested with visitors but in September (the rainy season) completely empty. The water was mine. I had a two-hour surf lesson and went out into the water. I was informed by a knowledgeable surfer before my trip to Costa Rica that once in the water on your board, look back at the shore, see what Costa Rica is and feel the energies of the water, flow with the energies and just surf. My surf instructor informed me not to think too much, just surf. Best two pieces of advice I have been given.

I flowed with the energies of the water and stood on the board while embracing the abundance of Costa Rica foliage ahead of me. I was free.

Here are some snippets of my week long stay. I shall return very soon. Pura Vida.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

always & forever a creature of the sea

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."
-Isak Dinesen

Cranberry Sauce

Another side that is absolutely incredible and delicious is cranberry sauce. Using fresh cranberries this recipe is sweet and tart. In a typical Thanksgiving dinner, most of your side dishes have a more salty taste; this sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce sweeten up your meal.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe 


2 bags of fresh cranberries (about 16 oz)
1 cup sugar
2 peeled apples cut bite size
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup walnuts
½ cup mix of raisins and craisins

  • Wash fresh cranberries, then place them into a cooking pot
  • Add sugar
  • Let cook on high while mixing sugar and cranberry combination until sugar dissolves

  • Add cut apple pieces, orange juice and lemon juice
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes while mixing
  • Add raisins and craisins
  • Cook for 5 minutes

Bon Appetit

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

This year’s Thanksgiving made me truly realize how grateful I am for what I have been given. I worked many hours in retail the day before and the biggest shopping day of the year (Black Friday) the day after. Thanksgiving day was filled with cooking, watching the parade and being with family.
Many of us recently have been getting tangled up in the commercial aspect of the holiday and have lost meaning of what the holiday is truly for.


Being present in all that you have and the family and friends you are surrounded by.
This year I also have decided to fully learn how to cook. Thankful I was given the best chef I know to be my mentor. My mother.

Here is a sweet potato casserole that would accompany any meal perfectly.

3 cups cut sweet potato (about 5 large sweet potatoes)
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ stick of butter
½ cup evaporated milk
2 eggs

Topping Ingredients:
1 16 oz container of marshmallow fluff
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 cup crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans)

  • In a pot add peeled sweet potatoes cut in thirds, fill with enough water to cover potatoes
  • Boil until sweet potatoes are soft and tender
  • Drain the water
  • Move the potatoes to a casserole dish
  • Add all ingredients not including topping ingredients
  • Mix together using a handheld mixer until smooth and combined
  • Flatten the top
  • Spread the marshmallow fluff on the entire top
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, butter and nuts

  • Crumble this onto the marshmallow fluff
  • Then bake at 350 degree for 35 minutes. It is ready to be taken out when the marshmallow has risen and toasted

Bon Appetit 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Secret Garden

(suhk-yuh-luh nt)
-plants having fleshy and juicy tissues to retain water in different climates

I am not a gardener, nor was I blessed with a green thumb. The first plant I called my own was a lucky bamboo tree from the flea market that I killed within a month. After researching succulents, I realized this was a great place to start with my gardening knowledge before venturing onto more difficult plants. Succulents basically take care of themselves and have apparent signs when they need nourishment. 

All succulents follow similar rules.

1)   Light
Bright indirect light is the most desired for these plants. Each species can tolerate different amounts of light so you will need to watch the leaves for indications of adequate light.

If they receive too much sunlight the leaves turn brown or white at the edges as the plant bleaches out and soft tissues are destroyed.

If they receive too little sunlight they will stretch with an elongated stem towards the light and the leaves become widely spaced out.

Rotating the plants every couple of weeks will help with the amount of sunlight the entire plant receives.

2)   Soil
Your local Home Depot or Lowes sells cactus/ succulent soil mixes. The soil allows the water to penetrate easily and drain away rapidly. The soil cannot remain wet for long periods of time or it can possibly drown your succulents. In plant vessels that do not have proper drainage (jars, large bowls or vases) make sure to fill the bottom with rocks or pebbles to help the water drain into the bottom.

3)   Water
Succulents love water. In the hotter months, make sure to water them once a week. In the colder months, you can switch it to every other week. Make sure to feel the soil before watering to make sure it is dry and then water the soil not the plant itself.

How to grow succulents:

  • Purchase all materials.
  • Fill rocks/pebbles in the bottom of improper drainage vessels.
  • Fill succulent soil half way in each pot.
  • Remove plant from plastic container and place into your soiled pot.
  • Add more soil around to safely hug your succulent.
  • You may also plant clippings of other species of succulents into your soil.
  • Add pebbles or rocks on top if preferred.
  • Water and let them soak the sunshine.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Beginning

You know how you want to do it all ? Create everything? Learn everything?
But you're constantly putting it aside for next year's resolution.. 
I have wanted to create a blog where I keep all of that.
Everything I learn. 
All the beauty around us.
This is it.
Life is too short not to accomplish all the things you want to accomplish.
So here I go..
This is my life.
In Arabic, you say Hayati.
Which is translated into my life.
Free your body of everything
& love your life. Hayati.