Monday, February 28, 2011

$0.99 for FaceTime?

This was released a few days ago. The beta version sucks, so it's about time. But why $0.99? I am disappointed. I know its not much, but that's exactly the point - they want to make use of every last cent they possibly can?

Cheap move Apple. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shake Shack expanding

On corner of 44th and 8th avenue! According to Huffington post there could be up to 4 more branches this year in Manhattan alone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nail polish - a health threat?

via Zoya

I am addicted to nail polish - whenever my nails are bare I feel something is missing. As a result, my nails do suffer and are very weak and prone to breaking, splitting etc. While looking for treatments in the OPI stand, I found a bottle that was "formaldehyde" free. Now I know this chemical is toxic, and I was surprised to discover that almost all nail polishes contain not only formaldehyde (a preservative), but also toluene (a thinner), and DPB (found in all plastics, and is known to cause birth defects) - all of which are carcinogenic and toxic. They are referred to as The Big Threes (TB3).

I am definitely not planning on throwing my 50 something collection of polishes, but will invest more in natural ones.

 Zoya brand is does not contain any of these ingredients. Thank goodness because they have beautiful swatches.


OPI by Sephora (and not the regular OPI)

via Sephora

via Sephora

Alllaqueredup - the nail polish guru talks about natural polishes in her post about the big three toxics.  She also lists other brands that are natural.

Bottom line, it's good to go green, but I don't think that those brands containing TB3 will produce immediate noticeable harm, unless you have paint on your nails for twenty years straight. That's what I feel anyways.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Algerian Music Festival Records

I was utterly delighted to find a rare collection of vinyls while rummaging in the attic today, finally managed to feel grateful for the "mess" upstairs. The collection, titled 3ème festival de musique Andalouse - Alger 1972 contains 8 volumes. The jackets was very dusty but the vinyls were all in good shape.

Each record has a performance by a different country; Egypt, Turkey, Libya to name a few.

Can't wait to get back to the states and hear them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: Saturday

I finally finished this book, and as I expected it was really worth the wordiness. The book is a story revolving around a family, in particular the father, and his day - Saturday. The entirety of the book is set in one day. It touches on many things, medical, societal, but mainly political (Westerners point of view post 9/11). I found my thoughts about it arranged in neat bullet points in my head, and thus my review shall follow suit.

via thedailybeast

- McEwan's style is the epitome of writing finesse. Poetic is an understatement.

- Politically sound.

- A wonderful insight on individuality and culture

- Gripping, especially at the end. I finished the last third of the book all in one go, I couldn't put it down.

- Biased, but in a logical non offensive way. The main figure is clearly brainwashed but recognizes it.

- Has lots of details about neurosurgery (the lead's profession), which I found very interesting.


- I found it a bit dated (released in 2006). Lots of issues discussed were about Saddam, Iraq, Cheney etc.

- Maybe for some readers, McEwan's style of writing might be tedious. He tends to start very very slow and detailed, and leaves the climax at the very end.

I definitely recommend it.

Amazon link: Saturday

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Elemis Soothing Chamomile Cleanser

Ultra mild, ultra soothing. Removes all of my makeup, even waterproof mascara. Doesn't dry my face out like makeup remover wipes. Has chamomile, lecithin and vitamin E.

via Elemis

sold on Amazon through Dermstore

Friday, February 11, 2011


I am very happy today, hope this is a start of all good things coming their way.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Paper Source

Paper Source is a website that feeds my stationary addiction. They sell all sorts of papery stuff - postcards, envelopes, journals, labels etc. Oh and paper. Lovely decorative paper.

via Paper Source

This one line a day journal is on my to buy list. It has space for 5 years, one line a day. I feel it would be great looking back at five years worth of memories in a tiny little notebook like that. Lovely gift idea as well.

via Paper Source

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Would they care?

Halfway through Saturday, the book by Ian McEwan I'm currently reading, I came across a passage that I found interesting.

The lead character comes across a few Saudi women, covered from head to toe.

"They really turn his stomach. And what would the relativists say, the cheerful pessimists from Daisy's college? That it's sacred, traditional, a stand against the fripperies of Western consumerism?

But the men, the husbands - Perowne has had his dealings with various Saudis in his office - wear suits, or trainers and tracksuits, or baggy shorts and Rolexes, and are entirely charming and worldly and thoroughly educated in both traditions.

Would they care to carry the folkloric torch, and stumble about in the dark at midday?"

Would they?

Should we?

my Neal's Yard must have

Neal's Yard Remedies is one of my favourite organic product stores. Most of their stuff is 99% organic, which means no petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic ingredients (fragrance or colour) and sulfates (amongst many other long named chemicals which I do not recall).

My staple item from Neal's is their Wild Rose Beauty Balm. I have been using it continuously from 2007 - for everything really. It is essentially a 3 in 1 : cleanser, exfoliant and nourishing balm. You can do the the whole shebang or just one.  I also use it as a face mask, it is a lovely pick me up after an all nighter or a very long flight. I leave it on my face for as much as I please, and it calms down any irritations and helps moisturize the skin.

via Neal's Yard

My only "can't leave home without item". Quite lovely.

I don't know if Neal's website ships internationally (I usually stack up when in Covent Garden), but Amazon sells it via third party sellers.

Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose BEAUTY BALM, 50G

Monday, February 7, 2011

Currently reading

And as with all McEwan's book, it needs sustained attention. Only when you get to the end do you truly realize its greatness.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fairuz - Andaloussiyat

Been trying to find certain songs by Fairuz on vinyl for ages.. I found a couple of sellers online but they never list the tracks; and mostly the condition of the record is poor.

image via CD & LP

I found a small record shop in soho a few days ago, it was pretty great and prices ranged from 8 quid to over 100, but alas, no Fairuz.

Going home

The window view always fixes my travel blues.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Art Project, powered by Google

image via Wired

GoogleArtProject deserves best site of the year award. Its basically a virtual "multi"museum, showcasing masterpieces from all around the world. Each artwork can be viewed with high resolution (including a 360 degree view of the gallery room). A visitor guide with captions, links to related topics, artist bio and further artwork are conveniently provided for each masterpiece. of all The great zoom in option almost makes up for not being there in person.

The website currently boasts more than 1,000 artworks on the website, but Google already has plans to keep expanding.

I think this is a great step towards better art education. I wish I had access to this during my art history classes.

Modern British Sculpture @ The Royal Academy

If you are in London I do recommend visiting the Royal Academy to see their latest exhibition "Modern British Sculpture". It will be on display from 22 January to 7 April 2011. I read somewhere that the Academy hasn't displayed any modern British sculpture for over thirty years now.

The collection spans the whole of the 20th century, starting with the early sculpture that were mostly imitations of foreign works (from Mexico, Africa, Cuba etc..)

I enjoyed the works that were dated around the 1960s, which touched on the aspect of ground - earth - material - our natural surroundings. Clothes, articles, books were jammed into various nooks. Installation art at its best.

via Royal Academy

via Royal Academy

The only work I did not appreciate was by Damien Hirst, titled "Let's Eat Outdoors Today". It speaks about social classes and the differences between them, and yes it was intriguing, but the fact that tens of flies were being suffocated to death did not strike me as humane at all. 

via Royal Academy

The exhibition as a whole is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It's been a while since I last blogged - May 2010. And I spent a lot of time thinking whether I should export my old blog or not, tell my readers or not.

But I think I've changed. And that requires a new scene.