Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Possibly the best Google Doodle

This is 9 days late, but I was extremely busy. However, it is still the best piece of information I've received in ages: The first computer programmer in the world was a woman! And her name is Ada Lovelace.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BBC's the Big Read, Top 100

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (Currently Reading)
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Inspired by Sarah.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

It's been a hectic few days for us New Yorkers, Sandy has not been kind. I fully intend to spend the rest of the week in bed eating Halloween candy, while I wait for the wifi and power to be restored.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Currently reading and updates

I am back in New York, and I'm wonderfully overwhelmed with work. Nobody quite explains to you what it means to be in a PhD program, and I am learning everyday. I miss blogging, and I miss having an active online presence, but really, there is no time for it.  I have been trying to finish this splendid book for months now, to no avail.

When the snow melts it becomes spring, and I look forward to that.

Get it here from Amazon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Amelia Earhart on Google Doodle!

One of my favourite people ever is on Google Doodle today. Happy Birthday Amelia!

via Wikipedia:
Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ramadan Kareem

This Ramadan started off bumpy, I am really shaken up about the shooting in Colorado. Sometimes I really feel scared living in this country, and that's when I miss Kuwait the most, when I truly appreciate the safety and the security of it, no matter how much we squabble and fight. Ramadan kareem, Ramadan mubarak <3

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recently watched: tomboy

"tomboy" was released about a year ago, but it came out on DVD last month. The film follows the story of a sexually confused young girl, who pretends to be a boy when she moves into a new town. It is a charmingly nuanced film that offers a lot for the discerning viewer. A must see for anyone interested in gender studies, homosexuality, transgender, and the pains of childhood.

I got it on Netflix, but it is available to buy and rent on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My recent Sephora favourites

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25

Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum

NARS concealer

Click on each image to get redirected to the product on Sephora

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Currently reading: Anna Karenina

If there was ever a good time to read (or reread) Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina it's now, because Anna Karenina - the movie - will be released November 9th 2012. I am so excited. The director is the man behind Atonement and Pride & Prejudice, both of which I thought were excellent adaptations of the original novels. Jude Law and Knightley? I say yes!

Side note: I am very happy to have come across the Penguin Classics Red editions. 50% of the sales profit goes directly to Global Fund, which helps eliminate Aids in Africa. Truly Penguin is a leader in the publishing industry. Check them out here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!!!

Absolutely loved Google's doodle. Here's to all the wonderful dads.

-image via Google

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Currently reading: Kuwait Was My Home by Zahra Freeth

It's a shame that the books by the Dickson family about Kuwait aren't more readily available. I've luckily found most of them in my school's library, and the stories in them are just amazing to behold. It makes you truly think about how Kuwaitis have changed, and how in many ways, we're still very much the same. 

This is Wikipedia's entry on Zahra Freeth:
Zahra Dickson Freeth is a British author, the daughter of H. R. P. Dickson (died 1959) and Dame Violet Dickson (died 1991), who has written several books on the Middle East.
Zahra Dickson grew up in Kuwait and later attended boarding schools in England. Her first book, Kuwait Was My Home, was published in 1956. She accompanied her husband to the bauxite mining town of Mackenzie, now known as Linden, in British Guiana (now Guyana) and wrote Run Softly, Demerara (1960) about her experiences there.
Her later writings have been on Middle Eastern topics, including a children's book, Rashid of Saudi Arabia (2001). She lives in Essex. Her brother, Saud Dickson, died in May 2005.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sephora iPad app

The app needs a lot of work functionality wise, its really not easy to buy stuff there (and the same applies to the iPhone app) but I love love love looking at the latest issues and videos they release via the app, lots of beauty inspiration and tutorials and most importantly, reasons to buy more stuff. xxo

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Documentarist website

I came across Documentarist a few months ago. This website is a gem. It features old black and white (and coloured) photos in really high resolution. REALLY high. Just click on any of them and be prepared to be amazed. I find myself going through dozens of photos each day. The ones above are some of my favourites all taken in Palestine during the early 1900s.. how precious are these? Feels like they were taken centuries ago.

- photos courtesy of explicit permission from the great people behind the website. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spotlight on Kuwaiti talent: May Alkharafi

May Alkharafi has been absent from the Kuwaiti art scene for a while now because she has been super busy in New York getting her MFA in photography. And as I always say education > uhm ... everything really.

So naturally I was super excited when I stumbled upon her tumblr which has some of her recent works in progress. I know May from back in Kuwait, where she was one of the first ladies I know to sport a Nikon and was/is the proud owner of a groovy retro studio. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about.

These are some of my favourite photos. I absolutely adore her style; conceptual meets mundane. She told me that she is currently working on her thesis, which is about the women of Kuwait. I simply cannot wait to see it, best of luck May.

- May kindly gave me permission to post a few of her photos here. Please ask her for permission if you want to repost her photos via her email I honestly feel stupid typing this but after what happened with f2o and her designs.. seriously!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Google doodle for Mother's Day

This is absolutely adorable.

ps. I am obviously obsessed with Google doodles. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Latest beauty addiction

I have been going gaga over these wipes. I had originally bought the small travel size when visiting California, and I was blown away by the invigorating smell. I am sure I cannot describe the scent accurately, but it is fresh, citrusy, subtly sweet, simply fab really. I have been using them to remove makeup and as a general pick me up. The wipes are sort of textured thus they mildly exfoliate your skin as well. They suit my sensitive skin, much to my surprise as I truly thought that the Neutrogena wipes were the only kind I could use.

 So good.

Get it from Sephora here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Prince Charles presents the BBC weather

This put a huge smile on my face, he is absolutely charming. His voice reminded me of Graham Greene's, and such a lovely one it is.

- Thanks to Buzfairy for sharing this on her blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

school, doodles, rants and reading

So I'm almost done with this semester. One more paper to go. And then my self imposed hiatus will soon be over and I shall return. However, I couldn't resist the urge to rant a little about something I came across on Instagram recently..

MeBlogging took some photos of a girl called Ascia for a fashion boutique recently (click here for the post)... and on MeBlogging's Instagram people were going haywire about the Ascia's turban. Comments were lewd, crude and rude. Now here are my two cents:

1. What's it to you what people want to put on their heads, be it a trash can, a beanie, or a bunch of bananas?
2. If you value your opinion so highly and must spit it out, can't you do it in a civilized manner?
3. Entaw shako?
4. I think the turban looks lovely, Ascia (no idea if that's a real name or not) looks wonderfully hot and sophisticated. Masakeen me7tareen.. Allah yshafekom.

5. In all honesty, I was saddened but more inspired, because this girl has courage for putting herself out there amidst such a judgmental society. So kudos.

Until then, I leave you with my favourite Google doodle of the month: Howard Carter at King Tut's tomb

Also my favourite read this month: 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sam Cooke "Just for You"

How I would love to have this, one of my favorite Sam Cooke songs, on a 45" record.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My experience with Chanel

I recently discovered that US residents can buy makeup, skincare and fragrance at Chanel's website. So in mid february I placed an order for the exclusively online Knightsbridge collection shown above. The order was well over $300 and I was surprised that I got charged for shipping. I checked the status of the order one week later and it was "processing". Two weeks later and it got cancelled.

I did not receive any email saying it was cancelled, and the amount got held on my credit card for approximately three weeks.

So I called the customer service number, and the agent who answered simply informed me that their website has been having technical difficulties, and some orders were messed up.

Now I do not expect companies to be running 100% all of the time, but when mishaps do happen, I expect a compensation of some sort, such as free shipping, or faster shipping since I had waited well over two weeks for something that was clearly not arriving. She didn't even apologize.

Seriously Chanel? We know you're making a lot of money. It would be nice if you invested in some manners.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Diderot On Art part I & II

I had to read Diderot's writing on the Paris art "salons" for a class, and I was pleasantly surprised. In what is considered to be the first art criticism text, Diderot takes apart the salons of the late 18th century. It is very much opinionated and wildly humorous, quite different from what criticism looks like today. It is an essential read however, and insightful as it gives us a glimpse into many aspects of the Parisian art scene.

Get it from Amazon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm still taking this in. It's terribly sad.

Review: Murad Clarifying Mask

I bought this mask back in September 2011, when I was dealing with a larger than life ungrateful zit. Needless to say, it did not make it go away. Only time did. But I only recently noticed that with weekly use, my skin has been prone to less break outs *taps wood*. I do not have any major acne problems, just the occasional- right before an event - appearance. It has 4% sulfur, which helps treat acne, and also Kaolin clay which regulates oil production. I leave it on for about 20 minutes and then I hop into the shower. I've read in several reviews that people like to leave it on a spot overnight, and it greatly helps, but I've yet to do that, and frankly I don't think I will.

The product is free of Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Phthalates, GMOs and Triclosan.

I got it from Amazon, but it's also available on Sephora and a ton of other sites.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I :heart: Somersault Snack

I was recently on two very long Delta flights from the top of the continent to its southern end and back, and I bought some snacks to help pass the time. I was absolutely surprised that one of them tasted so good. So very good. They're called Somersault Snack and the flavor I had was Santa Fe, which had a very nice combination of ingredients: 

Toasted sunflower seeds and grains baked with chili pepper, cilantro, a touch of jalapeno and a dash of lime give this nugget a delicious zesty bite. A perfect snack for your next backyard barbeque, beach bonfire or fiesta. Olé!

I ended up ordering an entire carton from Amazon. They were a bit bigger than those I had on the plane, but its a great size for school in a resealable bag.

They also come in other flavors, such as Salty Pepper and Dutch Cocoa.


- images via Somersault Snack Co.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kodak files for bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak - the 123 year old company - sadly filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy today. The Washington Post has an interesting timeline of their history, and a PDF of their actual declaration of bankruptcy submitted to court is available on The Wall Street Journal.

- image via The Washington Post

Tafreg Campaign by Moving Blue

I am sure a lot of people have seen this by now, its practically gone viral in Kuwait. I am happy that it is an effective well designed local production - well done!

Company: Moving Blue

Director: Ahmad Al-Awadi

Thursday, January 5, 2012

NYC window displays

It literally took me forever to upload these because my internet is the slowest in Kuwait. Can't complain though, because there's good food, family & friends. I fell in love with Tiffany's displays.. Last 3 pictures.