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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gelato Italiano

Even though I stopped my ice cream intake because of dieting, I couldn't resist trying Gelato Italiano, especially after reading the mass reviews written by many bloggers. So more than a week ago, I had to go and get the new Ramadhani flavors I heard so much about and was afraid they wouldn't be available when the month came to an end.

Ma Vie Ma Joie is behind this ice cream venture and I'm glad I thought of trying their delicious goodies. I have never visited the shop before because I couldn't park in their Sharg branch and wouldn't dream of going to Hawalli in this boiling hot weather. But I was desperate, and the Hawalli branch was my safest bet as I was sure there was going to be parking. So, after work, may turn out to be my only chance to go to the area. And it was! The streets were nearly empty.

I was blinded by the variety, and wanted to order every kind of ice cream but I opted for 6 kinds only. There were the normal kind of dairy ice cream, some sorbet like, like the lemon and mint flavor, and then there's the arabic ice cream (boodha 3arabiya). All flavors look so good I nearly asked to try (something I'm used to doing in Baskin Robbins).
 Chocolate Rahash, Kunafa, and Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella I guess)
 Boodha Arabiya: Vanilla with Pistachio, Chocolate, and Rose Water
Address: Sharq- Al Gaz Tower, Ahmed Al Jaber St. # 22434434
               Hawalli- Beirut St. Next to Happy Burger and Al Bohsalli Sweets # 22646334

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Some Thoughts

I started crying more freely now.

I cry because I miss her so much.

I cry because this is the time I really need her beside me.

I cry because, if she was alive and knew what was happening right now, she would get a stroke and die (adri 'law' tifta7 abwab ilshaya6een).

I cry because life has been so short with her. Even shorter with father.

I cry because she will never see her other girl marrying (inshallah) or see her grandchildren (inshallah).

I cry because she has died disapproving something I did.

I cry because I want to kiss her head, hug her, sleep in her arms.

I cry because I have remade the house for her, just to make her smile, and she never got to see what I did.

I cry because yes, she was right about everything, and its too late now.

I cry because I see the damn doctor in a TV ad everyday, as if he was rubbing his success in my face.

I cry because even though she had an open throat with a tube inserted, I thought one day that openin would be closed.

I cry because I had hope and it was shattered to a million shards.

I cry because when people come to my home, it was she who played host and not me.

I cry because I can't give away MOST of her stuff because they had her smell on them.

I cry because beggars are using her death as their ticket to more money they may or may not deserve.

I cry because I know some people still don't know she has died, her foriegn friends. And I don't want to answer the phone and give them the bad news.

I cry because I want to be left alone most of the time.

I cry because I wish it was me who died and not her.

I cry because she will never come into my bedroom in that way of hers telling me about a new suitor.

I cry because she will never come into my room in a different way to propose that we go travel.

I cry because she will never travel with me.

I cry because I will never see the phrase mom on my room or cell's caller id ever again (although I still haven't erased the phrase from both devices and will never have the heart to do so).

I cry because I will never expect her to call at least 6 times a day when I'm in the country, and at least twice when I'm out of the country.

I cry because in the last days of her normal life, she was the only one who felt I was really sad. She knew, she felt.

I cry cry cry. What's the use, she's gone, tears won't bring her back.

But...

I'm content with life. 7imdila.

I'm happy with my latest decision even if it will be the end of me.

It's not an act as a way of redemption. It is one because I was very disappointed.

I just wish for one thing right now, that God brings me solitude, because I'm too tired now. And too tired to care.

I don't care about people anymore. About what they think.

I don't care if people talk about me anymore. They are worse. Even worse for talking. And most importantly, they probably found me "worth talking about" and thats a good thing.

I don't care if I go out anymore.

I don't care if I don't shop like I used to or familiarize myself with the latest trends in the country (allah y3afi Tatler and Harper's Bazaar)

I care that I'm back to work, have my friends with and around me, those who try to make me forget my woes, even when they were not around at the time for being out the country they have done more than enough now.

I care that I'm changing my lifestyle. Having a personal trainer come to me, has changed me so much. I care that I want to be healthy and fit now and not lose the few kilos I have gained when I was so worried about losing a mother and when after she died and I had nothing to do except keep myself locked up in my room and not answer any call for a month.

I care for my sister now. For her to continue her studies or go work. I care what people would think or say about her. I care about who she would marry and I hope its someone good, someone that will make mom very proud even in her grave.

I move on smiling and laughing with those closest to me or distant from me (like my tweeps), and I still feel a pang in my heart, like a dagger thrust so deep making my eyes moist.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Me'armisha Shawarma شورما مقرمشة

Yesterday, I had a much more casual get-together, and was just expecting three of my friends. It was a last minute thing, and I was in a state of panic because I have planned it just before futoor and there was no time to think of what to tell our cook and in such a short notice, so it had to be something that can be ordered and delivered, because I was in no mood to go get anything, especially not with what I hear about the after futoor traffic jams, something I haven't witnessed yet, but could see because my home was located on Dimascus Street and I simply cannot believe that for my friends to arrive it would take around 30 minutes from nearby areas!

My choice was Me'armisha Shawarma. I heard about it first from one of my twitter tweeps. Adding that my favorite "sandwich" is a chicken shawarma (refer to my Falafel & Co. post). My friends opposed, saying things like we will get thirsty tomorrow from the garlic and blah blah blah. Then I mentioned the magic word (name) Ahmad Al-Bader. Silence. "YES" they agreed in unison. He was the mastermind behind this newly opened venture (opened a few days ago), I'm not sure if anyone has reviewed this yet, and I hate repeating or writing similar food reviews to other bloggers except when actually tried! We already love and adore his other food ventures Burger Hub, Prime & Toast, 86 Bistro, and Pizzetta!! So his shawarma place will be a hit with us for sure. We never risked ordering anything untried or unreviewed when really hungry, but we were willing to take the risk this time.

They have no delivery yet, so it was our pal, Mr. Delivery, to the rescue. The food was a hit!! WE ALL LOVED IT. And my I add, that one of my friends had never liked anything we ever liked, she has wierd taste which was always a problem with us when we wanted to go out. So I was really glad. Chicken Shawarma tasted fab, the garlic had a unique touch reminded me of my beloved Falafel & Co. (again refer on the link above for previous review). One of the girls had chicken shawarma with aioli and meat shawarma with mushrooms and sauce. The fries were so good, reminded me of Prime & Toast and 86 Bistro's very much. Enough said, leave you with the pictures;)
 original chicken shawarma (has threadlike pickles)
 chicken with aioli shawarma
 meat shawarma
There is no menu for the time being.
Address: Al Shaab Al Bahri,  Ibn Khatib Street, Next to Flex, Behind Fatema Complex
Telephone #: 66793404
Ramadhan timings: 6 pm - 2 am

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gucci Hotel to Open in Dubai

I have a list of hotels I still want to slumber in, including, Armani Hotel, Desert Palm, Mina Al Salam, The Address, and AlQasr. So at the time, I hear Gucci Hotel is to open by the end of the year. Are you guys as excited as I am?

The story behind the hotel is:

The person who brought forward the idea of the hotel brand is Elisabetta Gucci, daughter of late fashion designer Paolo Gucci. Adding, this will be the first Gucci hotel branch ever. Future branches include China, Qatar, Oman, and Abu Dhabi.

Where: In Dubai Media City. That's in Jumeira, close to Mall of Emirates.

What: There seems to be controversy behind the hotel name. Gucci, the fashion brand, is sueing Elisabetta, as they do not want to be associated with the hotel. Some of you may already know that the designer brand is not owned by the Gucci family anymore, as it is owned by the Gucci Group. Therefore, the hotel's name has been altered  and is to be named EG Hotel by Elisabetta Gucci. Well, at least, we see the name Gucci and know it is somehow associated. There will be no Gucci products in the room though, no logos no design no nothing.

Elisabetta Gucci plans to compete with the Armani Hotel by having lower prices.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Mini Ghabga 2010

A couple of days ago, we had a mini ghabga, just a low key gathering, lounging around in our newly decorated Morrocan tent, watching our favorite Ramadan TV series, and munching on some "khafayif". The dress code was to be very very casual! Anyways, this post is to give you tips in creating you own mini Ramadan gathering. Not an all out ghabga.

The Nut Tree: is the place to go as recommended by a friend. I had bought some different types of nuts to put around the tent. It was mostly the sugared/honeyed types and a few salted different flavored ones. My selections were limited to cashews, pistachios, and peanuts, all of which were all time favorites. I have to add, I have no idea how much nuts cost and have never bought any, but it seems that this shop is a bit pricy. Nonetheless, it is very much worth it. I will have to review it sometime soon.

Munch: I have reviewed Munch twice already, and this restaurant have always come in handy whenever I invited girls over.  I wanted to try something from their Ramadan menu, specifially the Arabic Mezza Platter (KD 31). Everyone was probably still full from the futoor, and having heavy food was a definate no-no, talking from experience. The selection was perfect, dips, small wraps, bread, and some sweets. Everyone thought it was a nice idea to have that kind of platter, but it would have been even better if we did not have anything else, as it has it all. A clear con of this tray is its price! And the platter is to be returned to them the next day.
Add another platter of mixed salty mini bites like kubbas, samboosa, pastries.

Brownies Delight: For dessert I have ordered from my favorite brownies home business. I have written a  review before. The same selection was made, brownie lollipops with chocolate and special sauce dips. No one has ever tried it, and everyone definately loved it.
More sweet options: Lgaimat (or 9abilgafsha or qa6ayif) accompanied with tea and Arabic coffee.
And with this I end my list. These are the basics. Don't over do it. Remember people are pretty much full and would rather have a cup of green tea and some sweet mini bites than a lavish buffet. And anyways, like in my case, everyone will probably be bringing a dish along, as I have feared and expected.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pudding!

the boudoir heart pudding!

Its one of the few things I look forward to checking out in any supermarket when I travel. And from all the countries I've been to, the best puddings were found (and tasted) in Spain! It is the country of creme caramel, chocolate mousse, danone strawberry yoghurt, vanilla, and chocolate pudding. Simply the best. I rush to the cold fridges aisle in the supermarket, collecting many kinds of puddings as I could, new ones to test, others tested and loved.

In Kuwait though, you can never find a good selection. I still tend to rush to the pudding aisle here and am always disappointed to find 3-4 brands that are not even that good. So I make do with anything available. I like Danait and am content with KDD's fruit yogurts. So the other day, I tried some new stuff I found in the co-op. And they weren't bad at all. Why I chose the particular flavors? Its al about the Ramadhan spirit! I suddenly crave anything originated in the Arab world, rose waterish, mistika, nuts, and spiced! Danait's Mahalabiya and Elle & Vire's pistachio pudding. I have to warn you though, I ate both after a full stomache, one after the other, and had an unpleasant feeling in my stomach! Felt sick. But do not fret, it has nothing to do with the puddings. It was probably my dietitian's doing, actually mine, of going against my regimen and diving hard into such delicacies!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beauty Shopping

A day before Ramadan started, I needed to go shopping for some stuff in the Avenues, no clothes this time. I needed some beauty products.

My main aim was to go to Kiehl's, a small beauty products shop, that I have known for years but never thought once of buying any product. Why? Because I never seemed to want anything and if I did the shop was not around. I usually passed through their counter in London's Harvey Nichols. These days I've been having my hair naturally dried. Not even dowel dried as not to cause any frizz to appear. I had natural curls, but due to exccesive coloring and blowdrying, it became so distressed and damaged that just a few of my locks were beautifully curled while the others were either straight or frizzed. My friends think I should always go for curly, they love it, I do too more because I can now wash it and don't have to worry about drying and iron curling it. Plus I get to use natural remedies and color it, omitting at least damaging it with drying tools. But lately, my hair have lost its defined curls, and I don't like using Sebastian Potion 9, because it produces harder curls rather than the naturally softer ones and I still use Alterna's Hemp Repair Gloss, and its really good but I need another better product.  So I remembered that one of my relatives has gotten her hair damaged from excessive coloring and blowdrying, she had gorgeous hair, mashallah, and wanted to give it a break. So she used one of Kiehl's products. Problem is I never got its name. So when I went there, they were out of stock of all hair products! They were out of face care products too! Pointless of me going there without calling first. Anyways, if you're interested, they will be recieving more stock in the next few days. Do you guys recommend any of their good must-have products?
Next step was perfumes.  A perfume that might as well be my number 1 now. Estee Lauder's Private Collection Amber and Ylang Ylang. Divine! First I went to Va Va Voom and asked about it, only to find out they have it but it cost KD111 (approx $ 380).  This was just absurd! They said it was because it was concentrated and long lasting. My friend said, lets try in Debenhams I found it there much cheaper, KD 48. It turned out, that the expensive one was because its cover had some stones on it.  Anyways, I thought well and said I have to finish the millions of perfumes I had before getting this, because if it wasn't a limited edition, so I would still find it.
Another friends' recommendations, are Bassam Fattouh's makeup, which I found in Va Va Voom, you can also find it in Rawdha Co-op. They recommended the brand's lipstick (KD 8) and lipgloss (KD 7.750), both named Haifa, yes after Haifa Wahbi. Some of my friend's had it on and I loved the shades. They're pinky nude and look so natural and the gloss adds a little shimmer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Niki Jones

Niki Jones is a UK based company specialised in creating linen, rugs, furniture, and accessories with vivid designs and color. Items you would dream of acquiring yet you never seem to find. Ecclectic pieces you would want to add to show off to you friends. The items look like they have come all the way from India, Uzbekistan, or even Morocco.
My purchases are made through their online shop and you can find some of the items in Liberty of London.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Care to Share?!

I don't remember if I ever mentioned this website I have been using for over a year, but it won't hurt to share it again. And just in time since we're nearing Ramadan, the month of caring and giving, although I think this should be practiced every day of the year.

خير اون لاين is a charity website part of Jam3iyat ili9la7 ilijtima3i in Kuwait. You can do your charity work online now by using you k-net and its secure I promise. There's a lot of things you can help contributing in, like if6ar 9a2im, kafalat aytam, zakat ilfi6ir, zakat ilmal, mosques, 2abar mai, etc. You can choose the amount to contribute in plus the country you want it to be used in or make it a general payment if you don't want to choose a country.

This website is really helpful because we know most of us are really lazy, hate going over to an organization or maybe don't feel like calling them for the pickup. If you have a KFH account like myself, you can make a standing order or a once contribution to different islamic organization, but the Khair Online website is very efficient and much more helpful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Heart CHIZWA

A blog I have been hooked on lately is CHIZWA.   She is really into interior design and I love her choice of pictures. Some actually inspired me in my latest living room remodeling.  Not to mention, she is also a fashionista like ourselves with a few good tips rolled up her sleeve.  For those fashionistas out there, she is part of the Chiswa & لام kaftan exhibition hosted in The Exhibition, that was on for just today. Too bad I have missed too many kaftan exhibitions this year. I love them and especially Kuwaiti girl's creations which are really good, our girls have so much good taste! Even though I won't be visiting people or going on to ghabgas or hosting my own, it would be nice to own something nice to be worn whenever. I don't just wear them in the holy month, you would see me wearing kaftans all year long when I host a gathering for a large group.