Best Pins of the Week #2



 

So much has been going down on my side of the world lately. I feel like I've been busy all week with toastmaster meetings and other things that I'm too scared to mention for the fear of jinxing it. 

It's competition week in the toastmasters community so the majority of the us have been called in for judging, tally counting, being timer, etc. for multiple clubs, so about 3 to 4 times a week we're at a toastmasters meeting listening to long speeches that would either make us laugh or cry. It can be exhausting.

But Pinterest is always there to help us relax and feel inspired again. While I'm at these meetings I tend to find myself scrolling through Pinterest and pinning more than ten pins in less than 20 minutes. Gash, that website can be hella addictive...

I want to share a few pins that I've been looooving and were just too pretty to resist pinning. 

1. Long Bar Necklaces. This one is from Layered and Long on Etsy. Long bar necklaces are simple and elegant and they look like they can go with almost everything. 

2. Stacked Siren Rings. Now this one from Elisha Marie on Etsy is beautiful! It's elegant and again, simple. I've been trying to get accustomed to wearing rings because it makes our hands look so good. It makes me feel like becoming a hand model whenever I wear them. haha. 

3. Semi Casual Outfits. I just adore Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. She's hilarious and shameless when it comes to her outfits. I love how this particular outfit is a mix of casual, comfy, and just so fancy. 

If you don't already read Man Repeller, I definitely recommend you do, it's hilarious!!

4. Tribal Legging. Is it bad that I have a little obsession with printed leggings? This one is from SiamicWear on Etsy and it just looks gorgeous. What do you all think about printed leggings?

5. Quote of the Week. "Some days you just have to create your own sunshine" Just because everyone is sad and gloomy doesn't mean you have to be too. Take a breathe and create your own sunshine.
What are your favorite pins of the week?

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A Social Media and Smartphone-aholic


Hi, my name is Nada and I'm a social media and smartphone-aholic – is that a how we phrase modern day addictions, now?

Like most of the world, every morning after my alarm would go off I would stay in bed for a good 10 minutes or more to check my phone for notifications. When I see my phone has been flooded with text messages, it feels like my day is going to be a great one. But if I get less than 5 messages, my day already feels like crap. 

Every minute of every hour, I would check my phone for notifications from Whatsapp, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, and Snapchat. I don't know why I would obsess over stalking my phone for a buzz or a ding. Perhaps I've gotten used to the way my brain would sink into the world of social media that I forget to look up sometimes. 

That one particular app that I tend to always click on is Snapchat. Some say that Snapchat isn't as addicting as Tumblr or Twitter, but it can be when you have a whole lot of friends who are as equally addicted. They would snap and post it on their story, and I would look at it once, maybe twice, maybe five times. And after 10 - 20 minutes, I would check it again to see if anyone updated their stories but then I would come to the aching disappointment of the fact that no one has.

I noticed this was a huge problem when my anxiety for checking up on my friends (aka stalking) kicked in, and I knew it had to be stopped. Like, now. 





| Blouse - Stradivarious | Belt - Tilly's
| Jeans - Bershka | Boots - Forever 21 |
Photo Creds: Najla Qamber

This week has been my social media and smartphone detox, kind of. Communicating via Whatsapp 24/7 with my friends and family doesn't help, but so far, I've kept Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tumblr to a minimum, and honestly I feel so much better. It feels like a thick fog in my mind has been lifted and I can think clearly now. Feels so good.

We spend most of our time looking down at our phones and not enough time actually living life. Put your phones in your bag, just for an hour, it might make a difference to your day. <3

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Get Your Hands Dirty


When the year started, I signed up for this 52 Dares challenge. Each week you get an email from Erin, who is the genius behind this idea, with your dare for the week. You get 52 dares for the 52 weeks of the year. So far, it's taken me a little bit outside my comfort zone, but not too far. I've opened up a bit and did things I never thought I would do a year ago. These dares have turned into the thing that keeps me on my toes every week, and fulfilling them feels incredibly refreshing. I literally high five myself every time I get them done. *high five* 

This week's dare is to make art, get in touch with my inner child and get just get creative. I've always loved to get my hands dirty in the paint, spices, and even sand and mud. I seem to always find a sense of relief and solace when I see and feel the pigment on between my hands and fingers. It feels nice and disgustingly gooey, but good gooey, not bad gooey. Is that weird? 

So when the dare popped up, I thought I'd paint. It's been a while since I last painted and I was pretty ecstatic to listen to the child we never grew out of and just paint my feelings out. 


When I was done I felt so refreshed and happy that the painting didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would. 

What is it? I don't really know...but what I do know is that while I was painting it I could feel the weight of stress and anxiety just seep out through the brush. I started out angry with the blacks and reds, then moved to my indecisiveness and envy for others with the greens and blues, and finally I could see some light with the yellows seeping out through the cracks between all the colors and the top of the canvas that portrays the fact that there will always be a light to show you a way out  



When I first looked at it from afar, It kind of looks like a person with long red hair sitting down or playing a guitar. Don't you think?

Have you gotten intact with your inner child lately 
and just aimlessly scribbled on a piece of paper?
Give it a go, it can feel really good. :)

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3 Types of People on Valentines Day


Happy Valentines Day y'all!

I feel like communities separate into three types of people on Valentines Day. The first are the people who care so deeply for Valentines, they would spend their week anticipating what their significant other has planned for the night. – these are the kind of folks who could go a little mental if they don't get what they were hoping for and they kind of scare me. 

The second are the people who couldn't care less about this not-holiday-holiday. They treat this day like any other day. Valentines has no meaning for them. – *high five*

And the third are people who just acknowledge this day by buying themselves a nice bag of the most expensive chocolate, fresh flowers, and sit home to watch a good movie. Or they would buy some chocolates and flowers to randomly give out to their friends and family. – *high tens* 

So half the world cares so much about Valentines, while the other half couldn't care less, but there is that one in the middle who just gives everyone random hugs, chocolates, flowers, and little sweet notes to their friends and family to acknowledge that this is the day of LOVE, so they spread it like wildfire.

Today isn't only about lovely dovey couples on dates, this day could be about sharing and spreading the love with every person you meet. So go on and give someone a nice long hug, because hugs are good for everyone.







 
|  Blouse - Forever 21 | Skirt - Stradivarious | Shoes - Payless |
| Bag - Forever 21 | Necklace & Rings - Ebay | Watch - SWATCH |

Photo creds: Najla Qamber

With Valentines as inspiration for this outfit. I went with my one and only midi skirt that I love to death, and a black blouse to give the look the feel that I'm into Valentines but not really. So that means I pretty much fall in the third category of people who just acknowledge this day by giving everyone random hugs and pieces of chocolate to everyone. Perhaps I'll leave some for myself before I give it all out. haha. Which of one of the three are you?

Whatever type you are, just take a moment to spread some love to the people around you. Everyone needs to get a little sprinkle of love in their days every now and then.

Spread that love y'all! Spread. that. love! 

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Basic Valentines Eye Makeup


Valentines day is this weekend and honestly all I really care about is the Fifty Shades of Grey movie coming out. My curiosity to see how this movie will turn out is killing me. Is anyone else feeling this way? Only me? Okay, moving on.

So whether you're going out with your significant other or with you best girlfriends for a night out, I thought I'd show you a very simple makeup look inspired by the pinks and dark pinks of Valentines day. Makeup ideas are something I've always wanted to try out for the blog and I'm pretty excited about it.

This is a very simple look that now that I see it looks like nothing much. It's all about going O'Natural for Valentines day to show you significant other the real you, kind of.


I used two shades from my delicious Too Faced Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette. Strawberry Bon Bon to cover my entire eyelid, and Cherry Cordial to put some depth into my crease. I added some liquid liner, mascara, and a natural pink lip and done! 



I believe if you're going on a date or something similar to a date – if there is such an event – one should take the natural road and I don't mean barefaced if you're not into that, I mean keep it simple. Too much makeup can scare people sometimes, even yourself when you look into the mirror. I scared myself a couple of times with the amount of weird shadow combinations that I randomly try out. 

What type of makeup looks have you all been wearing lately? 
I'd love to know! :)

 
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Music and Audiobooks to Take Us Away



There has been quite a lot going on lately, from job hunts to starting up my own business that doesn't have a proper vision yet. It makes me crave for a good distraction because my anxiety and stress levels feel like their over the roof from all that self-inflicted drama. But, there is always music and audiobooks to take us away from all that...

Two years ago, or was it last year, when I absolutely hated all the new music that was coming out, they were all about butts and complete nonsense, and the melody's sounded more like noise that actual music, but recently the music has turned back to its good side. We now have inspirational lyrics and catchy tunes that we could dance and sing along to. Yay!


And of course, there is the audiobooks. I've been speeding through the Beautiful Bastard series; or what's left of them, like I'm way behind on my 2015 reading challenge, which I'm not. Audiobooks tend to keep us in resting bitch face for a good 4 hours until you decide that this is officially the last chapter of the day and that you really need to do some actual work. Like, seriously. 


What is that one thing that you use to distract yourself from...whatever it is you're going through?
Tell me about it. Open up. :)

  
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6 Must Reads this Love Month


There was a time in my early book addicted life when I was obsessed with Chick Literature (aka Chick Lit). My bookshelf or side table at that time was practically filled with a whole lot pastel blues, hot pinks, and white books. It was a refreshing sight compared to my bookshelf now. Those were the good old days of simplicity, no drama, no tension, just light simple romance.

To get into the L.O.V.E mood this February, especially if you're single, I have compiled about six romance novels to keep us company this love month.


Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hard working, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

My Thoughts: 
Another fanfiction turned novel/series. This book and the rest of the books in this series is HOT!




Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

My Thoughts: 
I read this book aaaages ago. This was back when I was still in my first couple of years of university, and I was obsessed with the Fuentes brothers. This book got me so into Latinos.



Losing it by Cora Carmack
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
Love. Romance. Sex. There's a first time for everything...

As far as Bliss Edwards can tell, she's the last virgin standing, certainly amongst her friends. And she's determined to deal with the 'problem' as quickly and simply as possible.

But her plan for a no-strings one night stand turns out to be anything but simple. Especially when she arrives for her first class and recognises her hot new British professor.

She'd left him naked in her bed just 8 hours earlier...

My Thoughts: 
Ah, Losing it. I saw the title and read the synopsis and literally went "Ooooooo this one sounds good". And it was. 



The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father's second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?

My Thoughts: 
I loved this book. It's a short sweet romance of love at first sight. Highly recommended!


Anna and French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Thoughts
This was sweet and romantic. If you want every detail of how a love forms in Paris, then this is the book for you!
And can someone teach me how pronounce Étienne? My french pronunciations isn't as good as I thought it was.


I would've kept this book at five Must Reads, but I couldn't help put at least one historical romance novel into the list. A love month book reading list is never complete without a historical romance novella.


The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Read Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
Can there be any greater challenge to London's Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
— Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1813


By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her... but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke... for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love...

My Thoughts:
Once you read the first book, you'll want to read the next nine books.


What would you recommend we read this February?
Spread the Love!
 
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Book Review: The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

I just realized that I didn't post up my reviews for this series on this blog or my old blog...I wonder why. That was so long ago. Anyways, the Heroes of Olympus is an epic and quick Young Adult series that falls in line with the Percy Jackson books. If you don't know anything about that then I highly suggest you check out the books, they're awesome. They're the kind of books that will get you back into reading Young Adult novels.

On to the review.


The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Series: Heroes of Olympus (#5)
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Romance
Read other Reviews: Goodreads
Synopsis
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of theArgo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Review

It's done. It's all over.

The fifth and last book of the Heroes of Olympus series. The Blood of Olympus. This is the book where shit goes down, and shit literally does go down.

The book continues with where we left off in the House of Hades . The seven heroes going forth to try and fulfill their quest to defeat Gaia, etc, etc. It started off slow and captivating, then suddenly BOOM! the excitement started to flow in. Fights, promises, and random jokes started to fly in here and there. Then it went back down to slow conversations and travels. It made me itch for the end and I was desperate to know how the battle with Gaia would play out.

Besides all that usual excitement that comes with these books, there were some "squee" and "omg" moments though.  All I can say without revealing any spoilers is to look out for Nico. He is by far my favorite Character in the series and mentions a quote by Plato that I really stuck:
“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.” ― Plato, The Symposium
It makes some of us think that maybe, just maybe there is someone out there who has your other face, two arms, and two legs looking for their other half, literally.

The end was epic, but I felt a bit lacking. I wanted to see more of the heroes together. I wanted to know more of what happened next. Alas, Riordan has kept us want more once again.

In conclusion to this quite short review for quite a long book, this series is epic and I am sad to see it end. The Heroes of Olympus is a highly recommended series for those who enjoy a little bit of adventure in their lives. You will enjoy this epic tale of young heroes fighting the wars of the Gods. Dam dam daaaaam.

 

Have a wonderful day everyone!
Happy Reading!
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When Vows are Renewed after 25 Years


Another year, another wedding or two.

What better way to start off the month of LOVE, than with a wedding post to really feel the love.

Last weekend, I attended my first Christian wedding. It was definitely something different compared to Arab weddings. It's much more romantic since the bride and groom are together for the entire night. Both smiling and glowing with happiness.

This lovely couple is the parents of one of my best gals. They've been married for 25 years and decided to celebrate the quarter of a century together, and I'm guessing a few more years more adding up the years since they met, by renewing their vows. It was the sweetest thing ever.



The bride's dress was boutique bought, and the vail was tailored on. The mermaid shaped dress with sparkling rhinestones that trailed its way down to the chiffon of the dress fitted perfectly with her awesome bod, and made her look 20 years younger. 


Photo creds: Mia Fenella Joyce

The sidenotes about weddings is that there is always that one or two aunts and/or uncles who would ask you "When are you going to get married?" and you will either smile and laugh in acknowledgment or have no choice but to sarcastically reply "Oh, you didn't hear? My wedding is on this day next week". 

How do you all feel about weddings? 
Do you feel Cupid is in the air spreading all that love? 
 
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