Happiness chaser!

Seven months later, I can almost safely say that I am settling into my new life away from home. It has been a drastic change and I have had my ups and downs. Right now, at this moment, I am good; I feel like I finally have reached a comfortable middle. I have had a lot of anxiety issues with this move and sometimes it’s difficult for me to even leave the house, but that’s another story. Today, however, I wanted to share with you the three things that have been making me happy.

1- Drake & Christmas carols

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Yes, I said it; Drake has been making me ecstatic this month. I have been obsessing over his latest Views album; it has been keeping me company in the kitchen, in the car, in the shower, anywhere, really. He’s got a few songs that just hit it home…not to mention that he’s my homie! Hello Canada! Haha! His cover to Jackson Browne’s These Days is epic! It seriously just gives me life. It’s so poetic and wonderful and listening to acoustic Drake makes him sound so vulnerable and relatable. I have been digging this kinda Drake. I mean I always thought he was bomb, but now, he’s on a whole other level of amazing. I have always turned to music for therapy. I feel like certain songs and lyrics help me get out of any funk state I am in. apart from Coldplay and Ellie Goulding, I wouldn’t say I am an avid musical group lover; I just love music in general. I listen to music depending on my mood. Some days I will listen to an hour long trip hop mix and other days I will listen to Erik Satie….just depends on how I feel. I remember, when I had my mid-life crisis at 25, I was constantly listening to Eminem and I feel like he got me out of a very deep dark phase I was in…that and faith. Anyhow, at the moment, I have also been very much enjoying the Christmas carols. Yes, I know I am Muslim, but that doesn’t change anything, we each have our religions and beliefs, but I grew up in Canada and I grew up in a multicultural and multi-religious environment and I really do appreciate Christmas time. Can you tell I miss the snow and Canada? I mean, its’ December here in Jericho too, but where the heck is the snow people. Where the heck is the 40cm snow storm and electricity shortage…can someone take me there asap!

2- Cooking

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Um, I have been experimenting a lot in the kitchen and making things works and other things not so much. The overall process of cooking is truly enjoyable. I never thought in a million years that I would say that. I hated being in the kitchen and I hated making anything other than sandwiches and salads. However, at this moment, I am happy cooking. Experimenting has been my thing, I most of the time do not follow recipes; I just go with my gut and wait to see how it comes out. I also have been making loads of cakes and I think I have found a way to make the best chocolate cake ever! And from scratch! EEEEEeekkKK! Happy dance! I bought a bunch of spices and my spice rack is sort of super epic right now, but it’s perfect, because then I know what works with what. The whole culinary experience is very therapeutic, even the shopping bit too. Finding your ingredients and preparing the meal in your head, it’s exciting and frightening and just emotionally fulfilling. I am not Jamie Oliver by any means, but I manage things pretty well in the kitchen area.

3- Children

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No, I am not pregnant and I am not planning on it anytime soon. I just love to hang out with children at the moment. They have this perspective about life that make you fall in love with it all over again. We adults tend to forget the importance of living due to many responsibilities we have on our plates. If we take the time to see the brighter side of things, life becomes brighter and happier. My husband’s nieces and nephews have been hanging out with me loads lately and they’re adorable (sometimes annoying) and just full of excitement. Despite the hardships that many Palestinians live on a daily basis, I find that they find the time to make themselves happy…especially children. I feel like they’re very mature for their age and they tend to be too philosophical sometimes and it’s touching. These little monsters have been showing me the key to life and I am humble and amazed to be a part of their journey. It makes me nostalgic to hang out with them, because I miss my nieces and nephews a whole damn lot, but I always keep them with me in my heart. They truly helped me a lot this month in finding myself again and in highlighting what’s important in life. They have challenged me again and again to keep going and to be happy for that I am forever grateful.

 

So there you have it, these are some of the important things that have been keeping me chipper this month.

To my readers, wherever you are in your life, may you find happiness, always!

 

…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.

 

Honeymooning in Canada

I’m back in Montreal and it feels super good. I needed this and this was the right moment for hubs and I to take the time to honeymoon across Atlantic Canada. Since hubby isn’t Canadian, I had to work on sponsoring him and we got the papers in time..and since the wedding was a little too costly for us, we decided to wait and save up before we went to honeymoon anywhere. I found that it was super perfect to honeymoon across Atlantic Canada…I know that it’s not like a top hot spot destination….especially for a honeymoon….but for us, it’s meaningful. I wanted to show my husband where I came from and have him take the time to see my world and open up his horizons to different ideas and views. He was excited and was ready to see a whole new world. Since we only have 3 weeks to see loads of places…we decided to start with Montreal first. We spent the time to walk around downtown and shop a little….and since I haven’t worn vintage in a while, I thought, now was the perfect time to do so…layering is a must, especially that it’s a little more chilly for me now since moving to Jericho.

I was super happy with my outfit and here’s how it came out:

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WHAT I WORE:

JACKET: Danier leather Ξ TOP: Zara (thrifted) Ξ SKIRT: 80s vintage Ξ BOOTS: Call it Spring Ξ BAG: thrifted Ξ SUNNIES: Gucci Ξ EARRINGS: Vintage Ξ NECKLACE: Antique

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I was super excited when I saw mom stocking up some vintage items for me…the minute I landed and got home, she was thrilled to show me what she got and those were some of the items she has purchased over the past weeks. I love that I share this passion with mom…I know I was a little difficult when I was younger and always wanted brand new clothes…but since growing up and working in the fashion industry, I came to realize that older things have more value and that thrifted items are just as cool as brand new items depending on how you decided to style them. Thrifting has become a huge hobby for me…I truly do enjoy it…the process is sometimes annoying for me, but the end result is awesome!

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This skirt is a dream! Too bad it’s a little too big for me and I am selling it on my Etsy store soon…but it’s the perfect transitional skirt…it’s midi length and so, you still have that summer feel but it’s lined which gives you the warmth you need. I haven’t worn a leather jacket in a while and I completely forgot how much of a badass I feel in one! UGHHHHH, leather gives me all kinds of feels!

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This is my first outfit since I’m back home and I cannot wait to share more fall outfits and also more details of my honeymoon.

No Denim challenge: Day 6 (OOTD)

There was a slight hiatus in my documentation of no denim outfit simply because I feel ill and had my birthday and Eid and we ended up going to Jordan for a while (a little break from life) and the sorts…oh and food poisoning (ugh! the worst thing ever!!). Soo, I took a  break from everything until I got fully better and here’s what I decided to wear. It was my birthday, which basically meant I could get away with pretty much anything…therefore, it was the perfect timing for me to get onto the PJ trend and sport it outside the limits of my bedroom and house. I bought this gorgeous PJ set from Victoria’s Secret a little while ago and fell in love with it purely for the print! It’s so freaking pretty and comfortable. Sooooo, I thought, why not give it a go and see how things turn out and I must admit it looks kinda badass and I liked it! Ok, I would maybe not repeat it any time soon, but I would wear it again some other time in this lifetime.

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and here’s how this no denim outfit turned out:

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I didn’t feel weird wearing PJs out…I mean I rarely go out with legging or anything remotely close to loungewear…but for some reason I didn’t feel like this particular set felt too homey. The print is happy and exciting and the fabric is silky and soft. Victoria’s Secret has the nicest pyjamas and lingerie, but I would never pay full price and when I saw this set on sale, I took advantage!

WHAT I WORE:

PJ Set: Victoria’s Secret ◊ SUNNIES: Aldo ◊ BAG: Aldo ◊ SHOES: Charles & Keith ◊ VEIL: Voile Chic ◊ MUSCLE TEE: Forever 21

I feel like so many companies are getting these PJ inspired pants and shirts out that I can get away with wearing these out more often separately (especially the pants…have you seen how freaking awesome the print is???).

I feel what made this look a little less prancy and out there is the fact that I added a printed tee under the shirt. It just made everything super laid back and chill but still super badass with the heels. Besides, adding a little 2pac is always a plus!

 

 

The sunscreen that saved my life…

Preparing and protecting my skin for the wedding was a must for me and keeping it safe from the sun was my #1 priority. Since doing a chemical peel at the dermatologist a little over 4 years ago, my skin has become very sensitive to sun exposure and the general weather elements, which is kinda annoying as hell because I always have to be aware. Being in the cold too much will dry out my skin till it cracks and being in the sun too much will burn my skin till it’s tight and extremely dry. Either way, I’m screwed. Since I wanted to avoid having skin issues on my wedding day, I decided to invest in a proper skincare regimen a few month prior to that and that required research and making sure that I would not end up having a reaction to the products I used.

Having the right SPF was such a struggle for me because I break out easily to them and for the longest time I did not use them…but since the skin regenerates better when protected from the sun, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and find myself something fantastic. After loads of reading and researching, I came across the Shiseido Future Solution LX SPF 50+ and this has rocked my world. I do not go a day without it! The price is very very steep, at a huge 115$ cad, it comes in as a very high end/expensive product. Since knowing that I could try product at Sephora before committing and having a flexible exchange/return policy, I took the dive and bought it.

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I bought it since April and have been using it on a daily basis including days where there wasn’t much sun peaking through and I have to say that since using it, I have seen improvement in my skin and it’s healing process. Hyper-pigmentation is not much of an issue for me because I protect my skin well. I didn’t want to go for a chemical sunscreen because I prefer physical ones. I feel like my skin doesn’t break out to those. This Shiseido sunscreen is prefect because it is a mix of both. Physicals sunscreens have a mix of both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Therefore, physicals blockers are mineral and they protect the skin from the sun by blocking the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays.

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The consistency of this cream is good, I feel like it somehow hydrate my skin. It’s not too thick and it doesn’t leave a white cast after application or have flashback in photos. The skin absorbs this product well and it doesn’t feel greasy at all!

For the price, I would say it’s worth every penny…50ML is a good amount and there’s still so much product left in the tube. Overall, after 4 months of use, I can safely say that is a holy grail product for me and I will definitely repurchase…living in the Middle East requires SPF on a daily basis and this will help my skin stay youthful and happy 🙂 There was no dryness of cracking this summer, so I am totes a happy camper!

 

The tiger in me….

When it hits 34 ̊C, you know it’s time to really focus on dressing light; especially when it is humid. Luckily for me, Jericho is not humid and there’s a beautiful slight breeze to keep the air going. I had a small little rendezvous with the fiancé to finally have our invitations printed, so I figured I would dress a little but more “fancy” if you will…

Although my outfit was straightforward, it was still super fancy for a little outing in Jericho, but when has this ever stopped me from over dressing. I am currently in a touristy/visitor mode…haven’t settled in my new home just yet. The apartment we are renting is currently till under construction and I am going a million miles an hour trying to figure out the décor and design I want to go with. This is keeping me a little busy most of the time; hubs and I shopped furniture but we have yet to shop for the décor part of the house.

Anyway, back to the main part of this blog, which is my outfit…I was happy with the result and so here I am documenting it:

 

Can we all take a moment and admire how pretty my sandals are…they’re so Romy & Michele and that’s exactly the reason why I bought them.

What I wore:

SHIRT: Topshop ⊕ PANTS: Free People denim  ⊕ SANDALS: Topshop ⊕ SUNNIES: Kate Spade

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I know I mentioned it before but I really do love Topshop for lightweight tops, it’s the perfect place to get dressy and comfortable shirts. Style will never be compromised when shopping at Topshop…oh and quality! It’s definitely there!

Tinsel Mania

OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!! Okay okay! I am so like totally head over heels in love with this skirt! I can’t even! Like so not even, if that makes any sense. I got this bad boy from Topshop a little while ago and I cannot get over how pretty it is. It’s sensational! It’s feminine! It’s sexy! It’s a special piece. For any extreme fashion lover out there, this piece is a definite must-have!

It’s an A-line midi skirt made with the nicest crepe fabric and is adorned with cute tinsel patches on the front. You can totes dress it up or dress it down. Wear it to the office or wear it for a night out. It’s black, so you can mix it and match it with any color or any texture. Just let you mind go and get creative! I got it for about 60$ for the Topshop website, but it’s on sale for 24$ right now and there’s a couple of sizes left.

I was schedule for meetings and so I wanted to make sure I looked professional yet fashionable. Ended up cancelling them and not going…I still looked cute though!

This is how I styled my little baby:

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What I wore:

-Voile Chic mustard scarf.
-Thrifted burgundy sweater.
-Topshop Tinsel patched skirt.
-Vince Camuto booties.
-Vince Camuto studded belt.
-Simmons sunlgasses.

 

I wanted to balance out my silhouette, so I added a belt over my sweater to make my waist be the focus of the whole look. I feel like a proud mama owning this one. There’s endless opportunities to style this number and I can’t wait to get full on creative. Annnd, I got so many compliments on this skirt and I am super happy! Because I know I will get loads of wear out of it. I consider it to be an investment piece and I am sure to get this baby out for loads of spins.