Three cheers for three shelves

The reason why I posted a day late last Friday, was because my sister had suddenly decided to take out her bed and the rest of her stuff from our room onto her new home. We had shared a room since we were kids and after my brother was born we basically had no choice. So we were packing and moving boxes all day, and by the end of the day, I had to move my remaining furniture and stuff around to my pleasing.

And after many drafted floor plans and moving the bed across the room a couple of times, I finally agreed with it's position and began stacking the three shelves I now own. I honestly didn't know what to put on those shelves, since I realized I didn't have much stuff. But I am pretty grateful for these three shelves, since there was a time when I would complain that I didn't own a shelf of my own while my sister owned two on her side of the room. I had to stack my books on my side table for years until a half shelf came in, and now that my sister moved out, I have three. Three cheers for three shelves. Hip Hip Horaay! x3










With that, I decided it was time to show off my lovely book shelf. It is organized by genre. Young adult and general fiction on top, medieval and historical romance below that, self help right after, and recipe books on the bottom shelf. Yay for an organized book shelf. 



While I was organizing my papers and such, I found a few papers stuck on the side of my half-shelf that was next to my bed before everything was moved. It had stories, goals, and motivating phrases related to weight loss. At the time, I thought it would help me with my weight loss and it did. I decided to keep it and rewrite everything after tossing some already fulfilled goals out. 


Have a wonderful Monday y'all! 
Oh and Ramadan Kareem to those who are fasting this summer.
 
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Food Review: Oliveto


I know, I know, I'm a day late to my regular Mon-Wed-Fri blogging schedule, and I apologize for those who have been waiting. 

Nonetheless, here it is, and finally, it's something food related!

We went to Oliveto to celebrate an early birthday dinner for one of my elder sisters; the one who recently got married. It was a surprise that we've been planing for a month or so, and I'm happy that it turned out well. Everyone got there before the birthday girl and the girl herself was surprised, at least I hope she was. 

The restaurant
Oliveto is an italian restaurant that was reopened in 2013 after renovating due to a tragic fire 2 years before. I've never heard of Oliveto until a month ago and my time spent there was my first. 

I had made a reservation at 7pm for 13 people, and being the very punctual and paranoid woman that I've grown to become, I arrived 20 minutes early to make sure everything was ready. As I walked in, I had to call out to since the front desk, as well as the entire restaurant, was empty. The hostess led my brother; who was with me, and I to our table of thirteen, and was very kind to us the entire 20-25 minutes of waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. She even asked if we would like to sit outside for a while since the AC was too cold.

We chose the nonsmoking area which was quite spacious. I like how the furniture isn't consistent but it makes the restaurant look appealing to the eye. Outside of the restaurant was okay. They've got seating areas around the pool or huge puddle in the middle, which makes the outside perfect to dine in when the weather is cool and breezy and not hot and humid. 




When we arrived, the waitress told me that the we couldn't order until 7:30pm because the chefs would arrive at 7pm. Thinking that when I came early, the restaurant had already opened hours ago, but apparently not since the chefs weren't there yet. Conveniently enough, everyone took about an hour to arrive, coming one at a time. 

Also, the hostess told me that shorts aren't  allowed in the restaurant. I can see now Oliveto is the type of restaurant that's fancy enough to have a dress code. I wasn't aware of this. I had to warn my party of thirteen about the no-shorts deal and hoped that none of them dressed in shorts, but my brother had worn shorts at the time, hence the hostess bringing up the no-shorts rule. Thankfully the hostess let it slide since it was our first time and we already made reservations. 


Once everyone arrived, the birthday girl walked in looking surprised and was later showered with random yet thoughtful gifts, it was time to order. 

I didn't know what to order. I remember looking at the menu and thinking that nothing sounds very appealing to me. It had the regular pastas, pizza, risottos, etc., but nothing clicked. Giving up, I chose the first thing that sounded at least 10% more appealing than the rest. An eggplant penne pasta. I don't regularly have eggplant, it was something I would avoid at a buffet, but this time I decided to give it another go. 

Arriving hot and smoky on a plat in front of me, I was pleased with the portion they had given. It wasn't the regular large portions we had at Vanelles or Vapiano, it was enough for a person with a medium sized stomach. 

The pasta wasn't over the top tangy-cheesy-scrumptious-pasta-of-deliciousness. It was okay. It wasn't overly seasoned with spices nor was it overly garnished with cheesy goodness. It was okay with minimum salt and pepper and garnished with a fare amount of parmesan. I had only wished the pasta was creamy instead of soupy. Other than that, it was okay. Would I order it again? Perhaps.




The birthday candles were blown and the night came to an end. We asked our lovely waiter to separate our bill since we didn't want max out one of our credit cards on a meal for thirteen. That was when I saw the frustration on that waiters face when he tried to convince us of having a full bill instead of a separate one. We told him we would pay in pairs instead of individually to make it easier on him, and when the bill arrived, my order was shuffled and the waiters frustration grew heavier. I could sense that he didn't want to wait on us any longer so I apologized and thanked him for all he has done and dealt with. 

In conclusion, Olivetos is a pleasant restaurant with interesting decor, doable food and good atmosphere. It was an okay experience. 

Would I go there again? Perhaps in time, just to give it another shot.




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More Coral


My outfits are very coral these days. It has subconsciously become my favorite color. How can you blame it, it's a perfect color for the summer.

So recently we had a surprise birthday dinner for my sister at a very fancy shmancy restaurant called Oliveto. I've never been to Oliveto before since the location was recommended by a close friend of ours, I've decided to review the restaurant in the upcoming posts. Yay! 

We planned this surprise dinner for a month or so, and I am quite proud of myself for keeping cool in front of my sister throughout the entire planning process. And on the day, I had to avoid her as much as possible so my face or actions wouldn't give out anything suspicious. Thanks to my new brother-in-law; her husband, who found a way to distract her and keep her away from the house so I could leave without suspicion to pick up the cake and make my way to the restaurant. 

The night was a good one, my sister was surprised and did not suspect anything! Mission accomplished! 


I tried my best not to outshine the birthday girl, so I played it safe with solid colors and no patterns. 
| Button up- Philippines | Jeans - Bershka
Belt - Forever 21 | Flats - H&M





Have a great Wednesday everyone! 

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Book Review: Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger #1) by V.C. Andrews


Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Genre:
Gothic, Classics, Young Adult
Synopsis
Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!
It wasn't that she didn't love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake--a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.
So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.
Just for a little while.
But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work--children who--one by one--must be destroyed....
'Way upstairs there are
four secrets hidden.
Blond, beautiful, innocent
struggling to stay alive....  (Goodreads)

Review

When it comes to books that leave be blank yet wanting more, I find it very difficult to write a review. I've spent 15 minutes staring at my screen trying to write an intro, and 10 minutes aimlessly wandering around the house thinking of how to write the intro to this review.

Flowers in the attic. A disturbingly captivating novel that leaves you feeling shocked and blank all at the same time. What did I just read? Trick question! I listened to the book, not read it.

After watching the lifetime remake of this, I got curious enough about the details of the book that it urged me to start on the series. Instantly, I was sucked into the world of the Dollangangers. I spent all hours of the day with headphones on, walking around looking like a zombie, and attentively listening to every word of the audiobook narrator, so I don't miss or misunderstand anything.

The contents of this book was something I prepared myself to deal with. The choices the mother and grandmother made, the disturbing incest, and gothic feels, and the sad and shocking events that the children in the attic had to deal with. It gave me hope to know that the children put on a brave face as the days, weeks, months then years passed, waiting for their mother to return with good news that they'll be let out. But my head just continues to shake in disappointment at how their mother goes from adoring her loving and perfect children to barely even looking at them and faking her love and adoration. And all this just for money because she is a spoiled brat that thinks of herself before her own children.

It broke my heart as the book went on. Knowing how the children have suffered yet were positive enough to hope that they'll me let out of the attic somehow. That somehow someone will find them, or their grandmother will have pity on them and let them out. All the feels...

Let's not talk about the incest between the two older children, they were curious, so they did stuff. That's that.

Flowers in the attic is a classic. Though it is disturbing, twisted, dark, and kind of haunting, it can be a captivating page turner and a guilty pleasure of mine. I feel bad for liking it this much.

I recommend this to those who don't mind the incest and enjoy the dark and gothic feel of books like these. It is a must read of mine since it's a known classic!


  
 
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Acoustic Alley in Denim and Lilac


As I was drafting this post, my mind went off on a craze and the entire draft turned out to be a rant, but let's leave the excessive rants aside and turn it into something sweeter and magical. 

I recently went to a music event called "Acoustic Alley" which was hosted by 96.5FM, Radio Bahrain's very own DJ, Imran Al Aradi. The line up was filled with four local artists that aspire to make good music to captivate the ears of their audience. At least that's how I perceive it. I haven't personally met Imran, I've only seen him standing about 5 feet away from me, and nope, I did not freak out. Okay maybe I did freak, and jump like a little girl on the inside. Just a little. 

My cousin, who was accompanying me at the time, and I thought we arrived pretty late but the show barely even started. The event said it'll start at 7:30 but it started at around 8pm. How I despise events that barely start on time. Nonetheless, we were pleased enough that we didn't miss anything. We walked into the venue feeling excited yet lost and awkward. I looked around hoping to see someone I knew, I tried to calm myself down after seeing a few I was acquainted with but I didn't feel I had the right to approach. Do any of you guys get that sometimes? So we both just sat there and waited for the show to start. Pretty awkward huh.


The show started off with an artist I haven't seen play in years, Abraham Mathews (a.k.a Kevin). I met Abraham back in 2011 at a talent show I helped organize; though I doubt he remembers who I am, he was just as amazing as he was the first time I saw him play, except with a whole lot more creativity and fire in his voice and his entire performance. It was smooth, fun, and literally music to my ears. (Kevin's Facebook Page)

 

Finally having the pleasure of watching Hani Malik play live after constantly seeing his name all over the internet and on many event posters, I have to say my expectations of how his music would sound were pretty high that I was quite disappointed when I heard him play. I thought his genre flew in the same direction as Abrahams but nope. Although he was quite natural and comfortable on stage and with the audience, his music just isn't my kind of music. I like to be happy, even if I'm not, and Malik's music is quite the opposite. I was slow, deep, and sad. Hani, if you're reading this, I'm sorry, don't hate me. This is just me. :) (Hani's Soundcloud)

Also, a guest performer went on after Hani. Coco beat, who flew it from Kuwait, and she did a pretty good job. She played cover that had a mix of her own lyrics to it. I enjoyed it, it wasn't too over the top nor was it dull. It was pleasant. 



And on to the band I've been looking forward to watching all night and to the singer/songwriter I've been trying to avoid being obsessed with. There I said it. Mo Zowayed and the Accidentals. I've mentioned them before when I first saw them live at the Museland Festival, and if I thought they were amazing there, then they were twice as amazing that night. It was fun, exciting, and I tried not to scream my lungs out since I am a lady after all, and a lady must remain composed. They all looked as if they were having so much fun on stage and connected so well with the audience that the building shook with all the screams and cheers. (Mo's Website)

At their final set, they had invited the next performer up on stage to sing the last song with them. Patrick O'Neill (Pesus). Mo, the Accidentals, and Patrick were so much fun to watch, and were so great that the screams and claps were twice as loud, the crowd basically went wild. (Pesus Soundcloud)

Unfortunately I didn't get to see Patricks set. I had to leave right after Mo and the Accidental's performance. Patrick, if you're reading this, I'm so sorry, I really wanted to see your set! 

Acoustic Alley was pretty awesome. There is something about concerts or just listening to bands play live with their covers and especially their original songs that get me so inspired and just takes all my worries away. The sad thing is, once they stop playing, the worries just come rushing back. Even so, I'm glad I had the guts to go, even if I didn't see it to the end. 


On to the outfit, I wanted to go for something simple, comfy and casual. Denim and lilac, they look pretty good together don't they?
| Denim button up & Shoes - H&M | Tank - Forever 21
Jeans - Bershka | Necklace - Ebay |





So that happened. 
Have a wonderful Monday everyone! 

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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Audiobook Reader: Kate Rudd
Synopsis:Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. - Goodreads


Review

Oh my goodness! This book!

I listened to the audiobook version of The Fault in Our Stars from, it was read by Kate Rudd, and she did a brilliant job at doing so. Kudos to you Kate!

The fault in our stars is heartwarming, heartBREAKING, funny, romantic, tearjerking (but I did not cry!), and engrossing. It gave me goosebumps with the climax of the novel came through, and it gave me goosebumps when the last lines were read.

There are so many big words in this novel, words that haven't even made it into my vocabulary yet. Green designed his characters to be the independent, hella smart kind of characters, people would want to be like - personality wise.

This is a great YA novel. I just picked it up because the audiobook was sitting there collecting dust. I figured since the movie was already out, might as well finish the book before I go watch it.

I'll be completely honest, I am not a very big fan of books such as these. Books in which a character dying is inevitable. I would try to avoid them as much as possible, but I decided to give this one a chance. AND, I did find out who dies and how they died before even reading the first page, just to prepare myself for all the tears that I predicted would shed. But I did not cry, I held it in.

I did expect the book to give me a whole lot more feels than it initially did, so my feelings towards the fault in our stars are very neutral. It was a good book, worth reading, and highly recommendable to young adults and some adults.

Now, after completing this book, I think I'm ready to watch the movie to hope that it would be just like how I pictured it while listening to the book and give me more feels that it should. I just hope the cinema would be dark enough and the speakers would be loud enough to dial out the sounds of my wailing and the tears that would roll down my face during the film.

     
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