Humanity where you at?!

I was having doubts posting this. I kept saying perhaps it isn’t right and it would cause too much drama. But, it just keeps haunting me! An argument I had with some acquaintances a little while ago…I feel like I need to let it out and my only outlet here is writing. This blog is my journal and honestly, writing keeps me sane and keeps my creative juices flowing. So, as I was saying, this argument was quite drastic and I couldn’t help but feel alone in this. I mean is humanity really dying or are we just too preoccupied to be successful that we fail to see what’s important? Moving to Palestine has definitely not been easy for me- it’s a big change and I was okay with it because I wanted to be with the man I love. However, living in a little city of 30-some thousand people is a little bit stressful. Seems like everyone knows what you do even if you don’t intentionally do it or even if you’re not full on putting it out there in the public. It’s like being watched closely 24/7. Anyway, I was always one to not care what anyone thought of me….but for some reason, here, some things are getting under my skin.

So not to steer away from the main point of this blog, we were talking about how cleaning jobs defined you as a person. I was simply stating that being a janitor/cleaner/maid or whatever you want to call it was just a job (like every other job out there) and that earning your living that way was much better than staying at home and being a beggar. There’s nothing wrong with being that as long as you earn your living with nobility and hard work. I kept insisting that having a title didn’t matter because at the end of it all, ultimately, we are all  human and that when we die and we get put in the grave…those titles won’t serve us much (or at all even). For some reason, what I was stating was too controversial, unreasonable and unrealistic because that couldn’t possibly pass as a real job for people of a certain class. I mean I get it, but that doesn’t mean that if I decided to take that up as a living, that made me less of a human. Then they kept arguing with me that because I am an educated woman, I would be disrespectful and I would be putting myself down and people would look at me with a bad light. I mean, correct me if I am wrong here…I want to read your opinions!!! They were telling me that if a cleaning person came to ask their daughter’s hand in marriage they would say no even if he was good hearted. WTF???? Like, help me someone! That’s when I truly started to question my marriage….yes, I did get to that point, because my husband was sitting with me quietly observing the situation and saying nothing. I couldn’t help but wonder if he thought the same.

I grew up in a humble home. Yes we were very fortunate, I wouldn’t say we were high class, but we were on a good middle class front. We lived a decent life and never missed anything- our parents made sure we got everything we needed (not wanted) to be who we are today. Our parents taught us to earn our own money and to make sure that we stayed humble and courteous with everyone around us. But to have arrived where they did, my parents sacrificed so much themselves, to make sure we were brought up right and for that, I am forever thankful. I remember being a little pest in high school and probably too over-confident (for no particular reason) and my mom always told me to never put my nose up too high to the sky because I’ll stumble and I’ll end up falling and breaking my neck. Which, at the end of the day, meant that I should always remain humble and treat others with respect no matter their situation. We were taught to help others and to always work hard. However, moving here, made me see humanity on a different level. My mom always pushed me to work, even as a cleaning lady, yes she did that, she told me accurately: “there is nothing wrong with it, as long as you are making your own money and not wasting your time doing nothing”.

This argument just made me realize what type of people I was hanging out with and just made me sad. Are they that shallow? I mean am I being too over-dramatic here? Or am I over-analyzing things? Or is my compassion for my fellow humans blinding me from reality? I have always been one to see the best in people. My sister would always tell me to get down from la la land and that I should take my precautions because not everyone has pure intentions. However, for some reason, I can’t seem to find the exit door to that world…and maybe perhaps, I don’t even want to leave. I would much rather live in my own poetic world than live in a superficial one where values are put aside to reach a certain status or obtain a certain title. I like eating chips in a pita bread, I like walking barefoot in the street if my heels hurt and I don’t mind snorting in public whenever my sisters tell a joke.

I don’t want to diss anyone, sincerely,  I respect their opinions…to each his own, but I just needed to vent and see other people’s point of view. Is humanity compromised or am I just not seeing things right?

Black Friday: the buy nothing day!

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Artwork by: https://steelemissary.deviantart.com/

 

I have been bombarded all weekend with email after email after email from stores about huge black Friday discount codes and saving coupons….then I couldn’t help but get a little frustrated with how much society has transitioned to focus on material goods to bring us happiness and stuffing consumerism down our throats like it’s no big deal. Turning a blind eye wasn’t an option here, I super wanted to discuss this on my blog and start a conversation to understand how and what others think about this subject.

 

Why do we shop so much…is it to fill a little void inside of us to make ourselves happy? I am not going to lie here and say that I’m innocent. There was a time in my life when I was a huge shopaholic and just bought to buy- not because I needed these things, but because I wanted to have them in my closet, even though I sometimes never wore what I bought. I was young, stupid and reckless. Do I regret it? Not really, because I have learned throughout the years how to shop smarter.

Getting into the fashion industry and working in it for a few years, you start to learn and understand the whole process of mass production and (now) fast fashion. And to be entirely honest, I found it sickening. To have collections come out 52 times a years, rather than 4 times a year (as it used to be sometimes before the huge boom of globalisation) is revolting and quite offensive to the environment and to the manpower that goes into the production process. I have learned the stories of the industry and I no longer shop for things I don’t need and better yet, I have turned to my primary love; vintage!

We do not realize how much crap we put onto this planet and how much damage we are causing. Social media is showing us that in order to stay cool and to be special, we have to have the newest gadget, or the newest pair of shoe or the newest style of jeans. But truthfully, we don’t need these things to make us happy. Minimalism is actually very interesting and liberating. You don’t feel restricted nor suffocated by everything that is in your home or your surrounding. We have become so focused on defining who we are through material objects. It’s like what we do no longer has meaning but rather what we own that makes a difference. It’s sad when you truly think about it.

I hear a lot of people talking about the 333 project and of capsule wardrobes and I find it quite fascinating. Since moving to Palestine, I have been forced to declutter my wardrobe and well…my entire life…and just focus on what I need and what I feel is important. I have donated a lot of my clothes to friends and family and sold quite a few. This process truly taught me a valuable lesson…and also, living here in a little city, where there are no malls and no big focus on purchasing the new “it” item has made me realize that I don’t love shopping all that much (as I thought I did). Having little clothes doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, on the contrary, it should be a challenge to be more creative with what you own and learning the tricks of mixing and matching pieces. I also have maintained that concept of minimalism in my home as well, I don’t have 10 types of cup collections nor do I have 99 plates. I have what I need and it feels light and it feels great!

I find this speech from President Jimmy Carter quite interesting and in fact, so on point:

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Photo via: http://quoteaddicts.com/tags/emptiness/10

 

….and a little tad bit scary. Reminds me of all the hauls you see on Youtube..I mean it’s nice to see people succeed but honestly, like where do they put all the stuff they buy and how can they wear everything they own? Don’t they feel overwhelmed?

Oh! And! I have never been one to shop on boxing day, or wait in line when there are massive sales or go crazy on black Friday. But just for kicks, I tried it once with my sister to see what it was like and we told each other, never again! I don’t quite see the point. It’s not about quantity but about quality. So purging is healthy and when you stop being so attached to materials good, you then have the time and freedom to enjoy your life and tackle bigger dreams and working on turning them into a reality. Don’t know why, but Walking Away from Craig David is playing in my head right now (LOLZ).

I am not saying we shouldn’t shop at all, I am saying shop smarter. Sometimes, less is more…

What do you guys think?

That floral vintage dress…

For today’s post, I am sharing with you my outfit I wore to a family lunch. This dress I am wearing is just beyond anything I have seen!! I got it from that Hudson thrift shop that I keep talking about. They always have the nicest clothes and everyone working there is a volunteer and all the proceeds go to charity, which is super awesome. That’s what I call shopping for a good cause! Price are decent, staff is wonderful and items are special! I mean it’s a no-brainer and shopping there just makes sense.

So, whilst shopping I spotted a 90s April Cornell‘s dress….I mean you know an April dress without even looking at the tag. Her work and style is so distinctive and this is what attracted me to the brand since a young age. There were a lot of April Cornell shops around Montreal a few years ago and I remember going into them with my sister and wanting to buy everything…but alas I was super broke then and didn’t have a job…but when I got older…then I found out that loads of stores shut down and it was a big heartbreak for me. Her dresses and accessories are so colorful, detailed and ethnically inspired, which is something right up my alley. I don’t really get people that get offended if a designer gets inspired by a certain culture. I mean I am a designer and I get inspired by other people’s cultures all the time. I find it to be the perfect way for me to learn about others and also the perfect way to honour them. Anyway….to get on with my blog, this is jus a cute piece and it’s super flattering on me!

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It’s simple, it’s feminine, it’s delicate, it’s just overall the perfect summer/fall dress that you can wear even in the winter…paired with pretty booties and cute coat.

WHAT I WORE:

JACKET: Dynamite ♥ DRESS: April Cornell ♥ SHOES: Coach ♥ BAG: Jordan (handmade) ♥ SUNNIES: Aldo

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I decided to wear a contrasting bag…just for kicks and I felt like this one made the whole look so much better. I got this bag whilst shopping in Jordan a few months ago for a small shop…where they sell handmade items by underprivileged women and I am so proud to wear it.

Also, ps,  I cannot wait to wear this dress a lot more and I have a few more outfit ideas for it. I was looking for a florally dress for a while now…one that wasn’t overwhelming to wear, since I am petite, and when I stumbled onto this, I was like..yes!!! Momma’s super happy now!

 

All black everything

Snap back to reality…after 3 wonderful weeks spent in the beautiful Canada, we are back here to Jericho. Weather is still warmish…I mean it’s still 30 degrees out there, but the air isn’t as dry and there’s a little more breeze. I would say it’s pretty comfortable for the moment. They call that fall…but me on the other hand, I am still holding on the summer. I had a meeting to go to today and decided to dress a little smart but didn’t feel like doing color.

So here I am dressed up in all black everything:

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WHAT I WORE:

SHIRT: Helly (Turkish Made) ♦ PANTS: Free People skinnies ♦ SHOES: Aldo Cauwiel velvet flat mules ♦ SUNNIES: From a local shop here in Jericho

Can we take a moment and admire my little velvet flat mules. I had my eyes on them for a while on the Aldo website…but couldn’t justify paying over 100$ for them…and so I waited and waited patiently until they went to sale. I bought them whilst in Montreal last month and haven’t taken them off since I got them. They’re super comfortable, honestly;  feels like wearing nothing at all!!!

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And…what I love even more about this outfit is the shirt. It’s a light knit sweater with a pleated chiffon insert..so it looks as though I have 2 shirts…love the effect it gives. Smart yet casual.

Last but certainly not least, these sunnies are the bomb, I got them for a local shop here in Jericho and they were the last pair…pretty sure it’s from China..it’s unbranded, but it really doesn’t matter to me…because they still look fab! They have a certain vintage-y feel to them, which is why I needed them in my life.

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So…meeting went fine, wasn’t the best…but the outcome is what matters. Sometimes, I find that I have struggles expressing myself in Arabic and so maybe the people I deal with aren’t as enthusiastic as I would like them to be.

Regardless, I enjoyed my outing and took advantage of the sun!

…and then Halifax!

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The last stop in our little honeymoon road trip was Halifax. We were a little sad..more like I was sad that it was our last stop, but I made sure I enjoyed every moment…I had pre-booked a guided tour with Mr. McNeil and damn it was worth every penny. We got a little lost on our way to the Pier to meet our group that morning we arrived…so we ran like hell to catch up and we got there like 10 minutes later than scheduled. I felt so annoyed and sad and was hoping not to miss the tour, but then when I lost all hope, my husband found Paul McNeil! Our tour guide was so freaking amazing, I found him on Tripadvisor and for anyone going to Halifax, I recommend you guys going on a tour with him because he’s super passionate and sincere. We stayed with him for like almost 6 hours and we only paid like 160$ for the both of us.

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Arriving to Halifax that day we were lucky to have a beautiful weather; 22 degrees and loads of sun. We started our tour around Halifax where Paul explained to us the history and the architecture in depth. He told us about the big explosion and took us to every place that was significant to this incident. That explosion happened in 1917 when a French willed with explosives and ship collided with a Norwegian ship and caused the biggest maritime disaster in Halifax history. It was super interesting to learn about this because I have never heard of it before and it just made it easier for us to understand the general history of Halifax and enjoy seeing and discovering everything.

We were able to visit the cemeteries where many victims of the explosion were buried. Paul also took us to the Halifax public Gardens and let us loose. We walked around for a good half hour and we enjoyed the view and took loads of pictures. We even had the time to socialize with the other couples in the van. Paul has a small Ford van and we were a total of 4 couples and so the tour was intimate and packed with juicy historical information.

After our walk we went back to our tour and visited the Citadel Hill where we were able to see and witness the ceremonial firing of the noon gun. It was quite interesting and entertaining and it’s super lovely that Halifax still maintains this tradition.

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We also learned that the Titanic had a big presence in the Halifax history and that many victims have been buried there and it was really cool to learn about the depth of these historical events and the truths behind the Titanic. It was honestly super interesting and seeing the tombstones with the victims’ names and sometimes only their description was left behind. It’s a little gloomy and weird to see that and going back in time, it’s almost like you’re living it…quite chilling.

We then headed off to Fisherman’s cove…a cute, small, little village where many shops were open selling a variety of food, pastries, cafés and souvenirs. This is where we met the lovely Lynnie…a wonderful baker and a beautiful soul. She was so cute and was mesmerized by hubs and I. She was so kind and welcoming and she makes the yummiest date cakes! Seastheday was her shop and I am so glad I went in, because I got a chance to meet her.

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We had another half hour at Fisherman’s cove and so hubs and I walked around and took loads of pictures and enjoyed the fresh smell of the sea in the air. That saltym fishy smell…ahhh!! Good times!

…Paul was then kind enough to take us on a last stop to see the view of the whole of Halifax from Dartmouth and the view was phenomenal. Paul, honestly and sincerely, did an epic job at showing us around the city…he made us fall in love with Halifax (a lot more than we thought we were). If he was advertising…we would have bought right then and there.

Out of all the cities we stopped at and visited…Halifax is by far our favorite and we are thinking that perhaps, one day, we would move there. Road tripping and honeymooning across Canada was a good option and I am so glad we waited and saved up to see more of Canada. I know that it is not a top hot spot honeymoon destination…but for me it meant the world. I got to see more of my home, meet new wonderful people and discover new corners. Visiting Atlantic Canada made me realize and see how much Canadians are truly proud of their heritage and that made me feel somewhat patriotic.

 

You had me at Saint John!

After our little trip to Fredericton…we drove and headed to Saint John (New Brunswick). I’ve always wanted to go there but never actually made it until today with my favorite person in the world; my husband. Saint John was just beyond words. Describing it and writing about is just not enough, you have to see it! It’s gorgeous. The weather was a little bit colder for us and it was a little windy but it was worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. We ended up sleeping there in a little Motel…I stopped there to go to the loo but my husband was touched by the owner’s kind gesture of letting me in one of the rooms to use her washroom that he decided we should sleep there. Total win and no regrets! Hillcrest Motel is literally 1 minute drive from downtown Saint John. We didn’t struggle to find anything and the sleep was super comfortable…to use it was just a wonderful place to sleep in and the view was phenomenal. For the price, we were pretty content.

Our first stop there was the Irving Nature Park and it was beyond words…just acres and acres of beautiful land and colorful trees…600 to be exact and this park had the most beautiful view of the shore and we had a chance to snap picture of the trees and the water since the water levels were lower the time we arrived. The sand was magical…the ripple marks were like a mesmerizing painted canvas and I couldn’t help but snap photos of that too!

We then headed off to the Reversing Falls and that’s where my husband just went bananas! He couldn’t believe the view and was laughing his head off in admiration (of course) and awe. I swear, it’s like watching a baby take his first steps or something…it’s super freaking adorable and super touching ❤

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So basically…there are 3 different types of tides and a series of rapids that meet to create the reversing effect. The waters go through a narrow gorge before emptying into the Bay of Fundy and so the “falls” are created. It’s quite fascinating actually and a little bit scary…when you seriously think about it and wonder how the hell you would ever get out of there if you’d ever fall! After walking around a bit and going up the bridge and over…we decided to head on over to our next little stop before the sun set. We had enough time to drive over to see a little bit of that sunset over at Fort Howe National Historic Site. I know there wasn’t much to do but enjoy the view…but this exactly what we did. The view of Saint John was magical and the harbour was super impressive…especially with the massive boats and all the yachts. It’s definitely a view to remember.

The fort was built in 1777 by the British to protect Saint John from American raids. There was a little block house but unfortunately it was closed…so we couldn’t get inside. Nonetheless, we got to touch and see a little bit of history.

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We got a little hungry after walking around the city and decided to finish off our days in a little bit of a walk around downtown Saint John. The houses were so colorful, little and just overall cute. It made me want to live there! Just so I can own a pink house (haha!).

Walking around the port was very romantic and cold..but we finished off our night on a high note and we made plans to come back to Saint John because it has a little special place in our hearts.

Next stop…Fredericton

…..our second stop in our little honeymoon was Fredericton! The capital of New Brunswick. We were thrilled to have finally crossed the little border from Quebec to NB and we could’t wait to discover what’s out there. Fredericton was a new for both him and I. We slept in Fredericton and so we took more time to walk around and although I don’t have many pictures to show its beauty…we still had loads of fun. It wasn’t the highlight of our trip but we for sure are super grateful to have discovered it!

We went on a little bit of a hike in Odell Park, it was sunny and perfect. The air smelled like fall…you know that yummy leaves scent…ugh, I can’t get over it! There were loads of people hiking as well…so it wasn’t too Blair Witch-y. It’s obviously a huge park and so we wouldn’t have had the time to walk around it all, but we got it out of our system. It was a little weird for hubs at first, because he kept hearing the animal’s voices/sounds and so he kept asking what everything was..so cute! We then got a chance to see the Fredericton Botanic Garden. This garden was founded and created by the wonderful people of Fredericton as a community project and 50 years later it’s still going strong and it’s always open!

We then hopped in the car to get to downtown Fredericton the sightsee around the city and go see the lighthouse. Hubs was obviously excited because he saw the justice/court house (he’s a lawyer ps) and couldn’t help but take photos of everything related to his job around our trip.

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The lighthouse was super cute…the city was clean and the weather was amazing and so we enjoyed everything we saw. Canada is super filled with history and we both learned a lot during our visit to Fredericton. We can totes see how Canadians are very proud of their heritage.

We were on a schedule to get to Saint John and had spent too much time walking around town and checking out the mall a little…so we decided to hop to our last stop in Fredericton and get to our last stop there; the Mactaquac Dam. I know that there were loads of mixed reviews on Tripadvisor but I was super glad we took the time and detoured to see it. The sight is pretty scary and amazing all at once. I mean there’s only the dam that you can see but it was totes worth it. We got to sit for a little and enjoyed the view…then we headed to our next destination.

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I think Fredericton is beautiful and has nice spots to visit but…I mean you can skip it. I am glad we took the time to put it on our list nonetheless…it made the trip super exciting, because we got to compared cities and decide which one we loved most and which one we’d visit again.

So…thank you Fredericton for having us and for being nice to us!!!