Jericho update + OOTD

I have been feeling a little down these past few days…as I am getting home sick and I miss everyone and everything. I know it is a little rubbish of me to keep thinking of my life in Canada and that I should start to get used to Jericho…but I feel like I might not be able to assimilate with everything. Don’t get me wrong, people are super kind here and very welcoming and super wonderful….but sometimes they’re a little too aggressive, in the sense that they try to budge into the details of your life without you necessarily wanting to give all the details…Despite everything, I am super happy to be here, to be with my hubs, to be around so many beautiful, kind souls. Everyone has been an absolute dream to hang with…his family and friends… I guess I just hit a little low and needed a little rest…anyway, so to occupy myself a little bit, I decided to work as a little translator in a gift shop since have 5 languages in the bag, I met loads of wonderful people from all over the world…Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, France, Uganda, you name it! Tourists were kind and funny and witty…they all found it amazing that I spoke their language…so dressing up was required and this brings us to the main purpose of this blog…which is my outfit of the day! Comfort was necessary! An absolute must when standing all day. I kept things pretty simple but added a little pizzazz in the show department. I haven’t worn these babies in ages…but I am so glad I rediscovered them as they are too damn cute!

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The outfit was monochrome but the shoes just helped add a little more happy into my day.

WHAT I WORE:

SHIRT: Forever 21 ♠ PANTS: Zara culottes ♠ SHOES: Kate Spade for Keds

 

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It has been almost a month now for me since moving…I will say that overall, in the bigger picture, I have definitely adapted and I am surprisingly very cool, calm and collected about everything…these past 2 days have been a little difficult because I guess reality hit me right in the face. We sometimes perceive things one way and they end up in another. I wouldn’t say I have had a melt down just yet, but I definitely cried a little bit here and there but yesterday was quite “dramatic”, however, luckily I am blessed with such a  wonderful man that pushes me to stay true to myself and strong. I think it is necessary in life to find that one person that completes you and he totes does….he makes me such a better and calmer person; he’s the wind to my fire and for that I am grateful and blessed.

A canuck in the Middle East…

This canuck has moved…to a little country called Palestine…Jericho to be more precise. It has been a little less than 2 weeks, but it feels like ages ago. Life has been so freaking hectic. My days were pretty much filled with mishaps, ups, downs, tantrums, excitements and all those joys called feelings. I moved for many reasons and one of them being to be with my better half. I have never envisioned living in a place like Jericho, mainly because it is a small town (about 30 000 ppl). I mean, there is nothing wrong with that, but I feel like I am so used to being a city girl (huge place like Montreal cannot really be compared to Jericho). I will not lie that at first I was super overwhelmed with everything. I mean, yes I am Arabic, but I am more Canadian than I am that. I spent my entire life in Montreal in a multi-cultural melting pot. It taught me so many beautiful things such as cultural difference and social acceptance. I try to apply that concept wherever I go because it is important to integrate and assimilate. Since I am a little gypsy at heart, I knew that it wouldn’t be such a big problem for me to eventually find myself. I am a child of diaspora since I was born and so, I am very used to moving and being in different places…but since Montreal was the largest part of my life, it was very hard for me to let go a little bit (even though in my heart I wanted to leave a few years ago).

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Planning a wedding on top of all that was a little stressful, but it makes me happy to kinda argue a little with my fiancé over little things like flowers and invitations. It makes me realize that being in a relationship is about compromise and work. Understanding the other’s person’s point of view without being judgemental…it is about accepting that person completely for being themselves and showing their true color. This and the fact that I have been uprooted make it a little hard for me not to be overly sensitive and tad bit dramatic. I mean, being stateless (for the moment) isn’t easy…especially the fact that I am Canadian but still cannot use my passport here for some political situations that are a little hard to explain. Nonetheless, despite all the challenges that I have faced so far in those 2 weeks, I am still very happy to be with the man I love.

I will blog more about Jericho in the next few weeks to show you guys how it truly is…I mean right now, I am looking at it with the point of view of a tourist and a local and this is a huge stepping stone for me. Taking risks has always been my forte, I was never able to sit quiet and be comfortable. I was always that girl that shied away from the easy roads; I always wanted a challenge to prove to myself that I am capable of surviving and of accomplishing.

What I went through these past couples of days had me thinking about how sad it is that in 2017, there still are people out there that have no identity and no status. It is sad to see that in some part of the world, there are barriers that cannot easily be broken. That in itself does not really stop me from pursuing my dreams. As Walt Disney said: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. My dream is to leave my mark in this town, a positive one, to feel like I made a difference.

 

 

 

 

Beit Sitti: The ultimate cooking/dining experience!

If you’re visiting Amman, then you must, like literally must go to Beit Sitti. If you’re going with a group or just with your partner in crime,  this is a wonderful experience to go through. I had booked a place for 2 (hubby & I) before I went to Amman. Let me tell you that it was one of the most memorable moments I have experienced so far (well bungee jumping is up there too).

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Beit Sitti is cute home in Jabal Al-Weibdeh owned and run by the Haddad family. The sisters wanted their grandmother’s legacy to live on and they wanted to share their passion for food with others…what better way to offer that through the coolest cooking/dining sessions! Hence the name Beit Sitti..which means grandma’s home in Arabic. We also get to learn how to prepare 4 Arabic courses.

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You can go there for either breakfast, lunch or supper. We decided to go to the supper session and we ended up being in a group of 8; an Italian family and an American couple. We had loads of fun sharing our travel sorties and cooking together. You learn how to cook traditional Arabic meals with the help of Um Reem (the chef/cooking teacher). You get to cook with veggies and spices picked and prepared by local women. What I loved about this is that they make their own spices and sell them! All to support women and local farmers and producers.

The decor is to die for! I want to live there! The way it’s set up, the furniture, the ambiance….everything was so vintage and so adorbs!!! It sincerely does give out the vibe of grandma’s home. Hubby and I got the chance to sit down before the cooking class started with Um Reem; she was the kindest, funniest woman I ever met! She even appointed me as her assistant because she loved me so much.

When the group was finally complete, we started the cooking class with a drink. We got to have a homemade lemonade served in a mason jar…omg!!!! YUM! It was so delicious, I couldn’t resist asking for seconds.

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We then started the class with a little introduction and explanation to the idea behind the house. Our first course was to prepare Maqluba; a traditional Middle Eastern dish made with the combination of rice, chicken, eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. They are all assembled in a way to form a castle in a pot and cooked that way…then when the whole thing is cooked and ready to serve, you flip it onto a plate. Then it comes out so festive and delicious looking, you don’t even have the heart to dig in.

Look at how delish that looks!!!! AHHHH!!! Each of us had a chance to touch the plates and add our own love to it. This was super interactive and entertaining. Watching foreigners love Arabic food is so heart-warming..I can’t help but feel a little proud. Can you see how Um Reem so professionally and casually turned this baby!

Then we had the chance to prepare an authentic gardener’s salad made with fresh locally picked veggies. They smelled so strong and just so real!! I cannot explained how fresh they smelled.

Hubby was so excited and he was in charge of putting in the components of the salad together and mixing it all with the dressing. I was so proud to see him cook! Love you babe (if you’re reading this)!

We then got to make Mtabal (aka Baba Ganoush or at least close to that…there are slight differences but ultimately they’re both dishes prepared with egg plants). I had to whisk the eggplant with yogurt and gosh was that a workout or what?!

I unfortunately could not take pictures of the dessert, because I was appointed  whisker yet again…I don’t know why! It was a Mhalabya. This dessert dish consists of mixing milk powder, starch powder, water, sugar and orange blossom. OMG, it’s so good! Mouth-watering and just ugh! Food porn all over!

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After finally finishing everything, we all sat down around the table and got the chance to eat what we cooked, while talking about our lives. Both families were lovely and made us feel so at ease. Hubby enjoyed their company and it was so cute to see him in a different environment (he’s a lawyer…and he’s always in suits)!

If ever you have the chance to visit Amman, Jordan, you need to make time for Beit Sitti. It’s the ultimate cooking/dining experience. It literally had me smiling so hard the whole time, I had face cramps! Haha! Um Reem was so sweet, I wanted to put her in my pocket. So was the beautiful host, Raya…I couldn’t get a photo with her, le boo!!!

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I think this is the best way to connect with you better half, have fun and meet new people. Make friends and share stories…This place is an absolute must!

 

A day in the capital!

My family and I spent the day in Ottawa…drove all the way from Montreal to have breakfast at Zak’s; the yummiest diner I’ve been to. They have pancakes to die for..super fluffy and just melts in your mouth. We walked around town and shopped a little. The weather was beautiful and it was amazing to walk around the Rideau canal.

Zak’s is a diner that has been in business for 30 years, they offer a wide variety of plates from Poutine, to crepes, to omelettes to pancakes to milkshakes to delicious juicy burgers. It’s great place for a family gathering. I like usually hate pancakes but when I tasted them at Zak’s 2 years ago, I fell in love and try to go back once in a while to be able to enjoy them again and again. The plates are huge and the prices are fairly decent; they run anywhere between 6$ t0 20$. We ate a massive bunch and were full for days.

After that we walked around the Rideau mall to shop for new bits and bobs. And I ended up buying a new Coach Willow clutch. It’s super adorable and I am super into smaller bags..I tend to abuse when bags are huge..I try to fit in elephants and giraffes X) I got the cutest burgundy floral clutch, which can be worn crossbody or as a wristlet. This baby cost me 290$ CAD and since I had a gift card, I was able to save a bit from my own pocket.

When we were done shopping and when our wallets started to weep, we went to walk around downtown Ottawa around the Rideau canal. There were loads of people and even 2 weddings. The weather was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of our time there. And we obviously had to visit a vintage shop just across the Byward Market. It’s a cute shop and the owner was such a doll. I ended up buying the coolest high waisted 80s trousers…which you will probs see in a post sometimes soon.

And of course here are some pictures of my ridiculous outfit…I was in a hurry but this is what I came up with:

What I wore: Forever 21 jacket – thrifted jeans – L’intervale leather sandals – Aldo sunglasses.

All in all it was a relaxing and much needed day after an extreme week of hustling at work. If any of you get to Ottawa, do forget to give Zak’s a try. Hope y’all enjoyed this post.

Cheers x

What I wore: Palestine 2016

I took it upon myself to document what I wore everyday throughout my vacation. I wore everything I packed, which was pleasantly surprising…kinda means I am an efficient packer…

 

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What I wore: Thrifted bodysuit – Beaded maxi skirt (purchased from a random store while vacationing in the Middle East) – Zara shoes – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Vintage necklace from Jerusalem.

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What I wore: Topshop graphic printed top – Rachel Zoe skinnies – David Jones bag – Thrifted sandals – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Miss Me beaded top – Rachel Zoe skinnies – Thrifted sandals – David Jones bag – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Rachel Zoe Jeans – Calvin Klein bag – Studded Italian slippers – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 floral top – True Religion skinnies – Italian slippers – Calvin Klein bag – Bulgari sunglasses.

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What I wore: Long striped top (purchased for a local shop in Jordan) – True Religion skinnies – Charles and Keith sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Thrifted skinnies – Gifted slippers – Antique necklace from Jerusalem – Claire’s sunglasses.

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What I wore: Zara checkered shirt – Thrifted skinnies – Italian studded slippers – Betsey Johnson sunglasses.

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What I wore: VS Pink burnout top – Forever 21 jeans – Thrifted sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Antique necklace.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Zara culottes – Squid shoes – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Calvin Klein bag – Vintage necklace from Jerusalem.

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What I wore: Thrifted graphic print top – Forever 21 jeans – Thrifted sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Antique necklace.

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So which outfit is your fave?

 

 

 

Behind the Western Wall: Palestine in 2 weeks.

So I am finally back from vacation..I am not going to lie, it feels so damn good to be sleeping in my bed after a 6 week hiatus. I love traveling because it is the best way to enrich the soul with culture, heritage and history. I love meeting new people, seeing new places and learning new things. Although I had gone to Jordan quite a few times this past few years, I always seem to discover something new. I was also able to pass through Palestine and this was magical. I got to spend time in my ancestors’ country. I spend 2 wonderful weeks there where I got to explore the deepest parts of Nablus, Nazareth, Jaffa and more….In this blog, I will be sharing with you some of Palestine’s highlights. I wish I could have had more pictures..but I was so immersed with my family, that I just kept forgetting to take snaps.

I was super blessed and luck to visit the following cities in Palestine: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Nazareth, Haifa and Jerusalem.

Palestine is basically the most important country in the world…I guess this is war never ends. It is the home of religion and history. The home to Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, the home to Christianity, Judaism, Islam…the beginning and the end of human life. Palestine is where we find the oldest city in the world…a city that was there for a little more than 10 000 year…which is quite fascinating for history buffs. It is also the hottest city in the world…gosh!!! so freaking hot because it has the lowest altitude…humidity level…1000000. I like almost died…but I gotta admit that when there’s a breeze at nighttime; it’s lovely. Oh and also, you’ll find the Dead Sea…the saltiest sea in the world…they call it dead sea because there aren’t any living creatures to be found in it.

Jerusalem of course is an important city for all 3 abrahamic religions. It is the home to faith, belief and conviction. The city is always full of devoted pilgrims that come from all over the world and gather to pray and find peace. I love it so much because it feels familiar and warming. I was able to visit the Church of Resurrection, the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and resurrected. I also visited a Roman Church where I learned so much about Russian Orthodox Tradition. I got to explore the old street of Jerusalem and bought so many souvenirs from the old souks. Something I was excited to see live was the Wailing Wall, a wall  where  Jews practice their faith; weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples. Jerusalem is a must see city and if you ever think of traveling somewhere holy and full of rich history, then you need to put this on your bucket list.

Tel-Aviv, Jaffa and Haifa have beautiful beaches because they border the Mediterranean coast. There are many beautiful sites to see, places to visit and souvenir shops to rampage. So many cool places on the waterfront promenades..just magical. The smell of the cities when you near the ocean..is just inexplicable. It smells like salt, sand, seashells and summer air. It’s a sight to see. I could totes live there. I could totes wake up every morning and just swim in the ocean ❤

Nablus is a little meh, although downtown Nablus is amazing, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much…I felt like it was a little boring. There wasn’t much to do except shop and eat (which is totally fine…but I would have wanted more sightseeing).

Ramallah is a beautiful city that kinda reminds me of Montreal. There are plenty of people and plenty of cars. There are loads of important government offices and companies. There are loads of beautiful condos and yummy restaurants. A great place to party at..I went to a graduation party there once and man!! Danced till I couldn’t anymore!

All in all, you get to see a bit of the Byzantine empire, a little bit of the Ottoman empire, a little of Palestine culture, a lot of Israeli touches, loads of Christian symbols and a whole lotta love. What’s wonderful about this country is that you see everything you need to see.

Enjoy the photos…here y’all go:

 

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Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures…I truly wish I had more photos…but I was too busy falling in love with everything.

Cheers xx

Vacation time…

So this is my little farewell post…as I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks to visit Palestine again..can’t help it! Totes fell on love there and fell in love with everything I saw…the people, the scents, the ambiance. It’s so relaxing despite what we see on TV.

I won’t deny I was a little scared to go…but my sister pushing me was definitely the best thing she ever did. I get a little anxious and home sick sometimes, so I find it necessary when I get that good ‘ol kick in the arse.

So here I am going for the second time and I will keep you with these 2 little glimpses of it…and will do a nicer photo-heavy blog post about what Palestine really is.

 

So arrivederci people of the internet!

 

Keep it real x