Freedom to Wear Shorts and a Tank

April 29, 2015

One of the things I highly abuse whenever I travel is the use of the excuse that I'm not from that particular country, to wear whatever I want – mostly shorts and a tank. 

Living in a middle eastern country, wearing such revealing clothing can cause bad, sinful, and thoughts of envy to the one looking; more like staring, at you. Just like where I currently reside, Bahrain, the people stare like a hungry person eyeing the cheese balls. And it isn't the usual 3-second glance, nope. These people will stare for a good minute or more before looking away. It really makes one quite uncomfortable. And this happens when I wear my usual jeans, shirt, and cardigan. 

This brings me to the urges to finally bring out those shorts and that new tank top that I've been hiding in my closet for a good six months, whenever I travel because people tend to stare less everywhere else around the world. 


| Tank & Cardigan - Forever 21 | Shorts - Thrifted
| Shoes - Sketchers

Photo creds: Najla Qamber

These photos were taken in front of the Mind Museum in Manila, Philippines. There was a group of people waiting in line to get into the museum while I was taking these photos, and yes, they were staring. But, not as much as they would in Bahrain.


Book Review: The Randomist by Ali Al Saeed

April 28, 2015

The Randomist by Ali Al Saeed
Genre: Non-Fiction

The Randomist is a collection of columns, essays and personal writings by Bahrain national best-selling and award-winning author Ali Al Saeed. From everyday life in the tiny Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain as a struggling writer, to the intimate recollections of childhood memories, The Randomist paints a rare portrayal of young modern Arabs trying to find themselves in the world.


When I first picked up this book, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I have a knack of judging books by their cover – I know that it's ethically wrong to do so, but I somehow find myself doing it anyway. I started this book back in October 2014 and six months later I finally finished it. I am not proud of the time I took to finish this 200-page book, but it happened...

The Randomist is filled with many thought-provoking articles, stories, and Bahrain's history. When I read the first article, and then the next, and the next, I was a little confused. What exactly is the book about? When I read the summary at the back of the book it read:
"The Randomist is Ali Al Saeed....his thoughts scattered, dense and often seemingly incoherent, the author of three critically-acclaimed books believed for many years that no one could possibly know what he is talking about! But surprisingly his non-fiction, essays and columns have not only been praised for their originality but also embraced by many. He often scares himself making sense with his ramblings. Take a look into the mind of a mentally hyperactive dream junkie and see if you can make any sense of it yourself" 
Since the actual summary on Goodreads was nowhere to be found in and on the book, hence my confusion a little bit. I had to read this a couple of times and a few more articles to actually understand what the Randomist was about and when I did my mind was blown.

I stopped treating the Randomist like a regular book that I could finish in a week and began treating it like a book I could turn to for inspiration and motivation. The way Ali puts his thoughts into words is captivating. Some articles are filled with touching and emotional stories of his past, while others were informative and humorous.

The Randomist is a thought-provoking and inspiring book that provides an insight of a writer's mind and tidbits of information about the life he has in Bahrain and all around the world. It was intriguing, captivating, fascinating, and silly.

To those who enjoy reading either inspiring or just random blogs and/or articles, this is the perfect book for you.


Mermaids and Unicorns

April 17, 2015

My belief in mermaids is so wide that people usually believe that they truly exist as much homo sapiens do whenever I speak about these aquatic creatures.

Mermaids are a myth they say, but I say not. Mer-folk live in the deepest parts of the ocean and only rise above once in 100 years or so, hence we have minuscule proof of their existence. They may be the reason of those sinking ships but that's only because the sailor behind the wheel couldn't believe his eyes. "A human with a fish tail? What?" I'd be freaked too. There was no talk about mer-folk – or as some call them, sirens – singing their way into drowning those sailors, that was just a campfire story to dramatize their existence. These mer-folk are friendly, well I don't meet a wide range of mermaids, but so far my impression of them is quite decent. 

It's not just mermaids though, it's unicorns too. 

Unicorns evolved into what we know them now as horses. They do not poop out rainbows or fart out glitter. They are regular horses with a spiral horn in the middle of their head. Some say these spiral horns were magical and so locals would hunt these unicorns down for the purpose of sawing off those "magical" horns to the point where the majority of these unicorns have lost their horns and magic. Hence, when they began breeding once again, their offspring turned out to be "hornless". 

I'm definitely feeling sporty in my galaxy leggings and "I believe in Mermaids" outfit. 

| Top - Hot Topic | Hoodie - Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
| Leggings - Ebay | Shoes - Sketchers

Photo Creds: Najla Qamber

Of course, those short stories of mermaids and unicorns are untrue. Though, less comes to say about my interest in them. Liking them allows me to get intact with the 10 year old me, even if my interest in these creatures started just a few years back...

Getting intact with our childlike-selves is a great stress relief. Going into fantasy-la-la land just for a few moments of the week and enjoying the presence of a teenage mermaid while gossiping about that merman she's into, gives us the permission to just relax for a bit. Nothing else matters right now but that hot merman across the pond petting a unicorn. 

That was a glance into one of my happy places. Do you guys have happy place? 
What's it like? How do they make you feel?

PS. I adore comments to don't feel shy! *sends love*

It's Been Three Years and I'm Back

April 15, 2015

It's been three years and I'm back in Manila. I thought it was five years, but my mental calculations deceived me and my verbal calculations told me that it has indeed been just three years and not five. (Darn, and I thought I was pretty good at maths.)

There was absolutely no travel jitters that came with long trips like these. I felt completely calm and kind of like I didn't really want to leave my homeland, and then I remembered that the Philippines is also my homeland, and a smile that came with nostalgia breezed by. 


| Top - Zumies |  Shorts - Thrifted |  
| Sandals - Forever 21 | Bag - Sange 

Photo Creds: Najla Qamber

So the past two days in Manila has been filled with walking, eating, chilling, catching up, and sleepless nights. It's 1AM and I'm stuck on Bahrain time (8PM). That's actually not so bad if you think about it. 

I'm pretty happy that I finally get to wear shorts without people staring at me in horror or giving me perverted eyes. And it's spring so that means it's almost time to completely burst out those short shorts, skimpy dresses, and sandals we kept hidden all winter. Woohoo! 

We've got the whole week planned with family, friends, and numerous trips to the mall for some souvenirs, and by the end of this entire trip, I only wish that the people I give these souvenirs to would love, enjoy, and be thankful the things I get them. Even if it's just something small. 

"Please like what I get you!"

Do any of you usually travel jitters when you travel anywhere?
Let me know! :) 

Fabulous Blues and Florals

April 13, 2015

This weekend has been filled with many concerts and events. Okay, fine. Not that many. Maybe just a couple. But I swayed, jumped around, and whipped my hair back and forth just like what a regular 21-year-old is supposed to be doing. It was a pretty awesome weekend and I'm so grateful that I spent it with a bunch of amazing people. 

For the past couple of days, I wanted to dress in something comfortable but fabulous. I felt like wearing a dress, but I wanted to change up my usual blue dress into something a little flowy and free to help me deal with this exciting weekend. So I put a floral tank top over this dress, tied the knot like I usually do and BOOM! 

This look was something I threw on at 7am in the morning for breakfast with a bunch of toastmasters. To be honest, I literally got up and contemplated what I should wear for the day while I was in the shower. Spent an extra 10 minutes in there to finally decide. 

| Dress & Tank Top - Forever 21 | Shoes - H&M
Photo Creds: Najla Qamber

Does it look a little sloppy? Yeah, kind of. 
Did I go out like this? Yes, I did, and I felt FABULOUS!

On the side note, I will be traveling to the Philippines for a while and the one thing I'm most excited about is taking outfit photos with a completely different environment, and wearing shorts. The next few posts will of my adventures. 

What was everyone up to this week?
Enjoying Coachella? 


Book Review: Water so Deep by Nichole Giles

April 9, 2015
I know it's been a while since the blog has had a book related post. Fashion and outfit posts have taken over the blog section of my mind. All I want these days is to take outfit photos. Lots of it.

Today, I have a little book review from my recent read – I literally just finished this 10 minutes ago – Water So Deep by Nichole Giles. This mermaid book was sent over to me Kathy for free in exchange for an honest review.

Water so Deep by Nichole Giles
Genre: Young Adult Romance, Mermaids
Read More Reviews: Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.


Why are mermaid books always so sad, depressing, and dark?

Water so Deep started off with a scene that instantly got me engrossed into the next couple of chapters of the book. Among all the YA books I've read, there aren't many out there that starts off the way Waters so Deep started out. It felt more like a prologue rather than chapter one, as the book put it.

The flow of the novel constantly went up to its peak and down again to it trough. It had its sad bits, happy bits, sweet bits, and emotional breakdown bits that caused me to glue by eyes to my kindle app screen on my phone/ipad/laptop. The flow was perfect! This made it easier and much more enjoyable to read through rather than have the book constantly at the same pace with no exciting bits involved until the very end.

I loved the characters. Emma is strong as any other heroine in a Young Adult book. James is sexy as hell. The love between the two is and forever will be strong. *insert emoji heart eyes here* But Keith, to me, feels like he's been through the worst possible scenarios that Giles could put a fictional kid through. The poor thing.

As I got towards the ending and reached the epilogue, I had deja vu that brought me back to when I was reading the Beautiful Creatures series (Castor Chronicles). There is something about the epilogue that reminded me of a scene from the Castor Chronicles. But let's not dwell on that to avoid spoilers.

I hate the ending but what can we do. It can't be helped. It's a mermaid book, and as much as I enjoy reading them, I can't help but despise the way authors end it that way. So depressing.

To conclude my pretty short review, Water so Deep is an entertaining, engrossing, intense, and romantic novel that is filled with minor hormone induced comments that lightens up the novel and many secrets that won't be revealed until the very end...

I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy reading paranormal young adult romance and of course, reading about merfolk.

I am pining for Nichole to release book two. Will there be book two? I feel like this novel needs a sequel.

Have a great day everyone! 
Hope you all are enjoying the spring/summer weather! 

Blow out the Candles

April 6, 2015

This is the second time in a row that I had a Birthday Brunch. Last year, my toastmaster friends and loving family threw me surprise brunch. With the gifts, the cake, and the shouting "SURPRISE" in the middle of a mall. Embarrassing I know.

This year, I wanted something small. So we went to have brunch a day before my birthday – April 3rd – with my close family and friends. It was a very small and intimate. There were no outcasts, everyone was involved in the conversation, and it was light, fun, and exactly what I wanted. We laughed, ate until our bellies were bloated, took these outfit photos, enjoyed the weather, and blew out the candles. It was pure perfection! 

| Dress - Jacket - Thrifted OM Necklace - Etsy | 
Necklace & Belt - H&M | Shoes - Forever 21 |  

Photo Creds: Sawsan Abdulla & Sarah Marie Barcelona

So on the actual day of my birthday, I spent it at a hotel watching my brother graduate from High School and running around that same hotel trying to organize and get everything ready for a Toastmasters Contest later that evening. 

How convenient was it to have these two events happen at the same hotel right after each other? 

I raise my grande decaf skinny hazelnut latte to finally being 21 years of age. *sips coffee*

How did everyone's week go?