Category Archives: Diary of a Not-So-Single Girl In Beirut

Christmas 2014 Gift Guide For Him and Her

Each year I know many of us draw a blank when we think of all the Christmas gifts we need to buy. It’s getting harder and harder to get more original and special ones so I’ve complied a gift guide that may just give you some ideas of what’s new for both him or her. So if you’re someone’s secret Santa or you’ve got someone who’s quite hard to please here’s my 2014 list in no particular order and with varying budgets.

sheen casio

SHEEN is Casio’s brand new watch for the ladies. The SHEEN series features exquisite materials such as titanium, ceramic, sapphire glass, leather and SWAROVSKI elements depending on a person’s style. I personally love it because it has that vintage classic Casio feel and can actually be dressed down or up easily with any look. You can find the SHEEN at all Sundial stores in Lebanon and win a gift here

The Comic Art of Guillermo Forchino

If you love comic strips and cartoons in a 3 Dimensional way, then you will love  The Comic Art of Guillermo Forchino.  These fully handmade and hand painted works of art are meticulous in detail with each figurine and scene telling satirical story complete with characters and a plot. It’s a collectors haven with different series (The Professionals, The Vehicles etc) and limited collections. I personally chose this hilarious rendition called “The PlayBoy” which tells the story of Calolo Oviedo who meets the young gold digger Delma and does the impossible for her to feel young and alive again. The Comic Art of Guillermo Forchino opened its first point of sale at Virgin Megastorelast month.

opuim by ysl

The recently released Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent is one of my favorite fragrances to date, derived from its 1977 classic Opium perfume, this one highlights the dark and mysterious side of the brand and trust me when I say smells just as good as it looks.  It has notes of coffee, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar and is one of those fragrances that lingers even after you’ve left the room.

moto 360

The MOTOROLA Moto 360 Smart Watch. This was supposed to be a birthday gift for my man, but getting my hands on one was more of a challenge than I had imagined. It was only released in limited quantities online initially and sold out in a just a few hours and hasn’t made it to Lebanon quite yet. It’s actually a surprisingly stylish smart watch that syncs with your Android device to become a second (touch) screen where you receive emails, whatapps and all sorts of cools apps. Better yet it takes voice commands so you can even reply to conversations by simply talking to your watch. My man’s smitten and I’m coercing him into writing a detailed review here after he’s spend some more time with it next month.

lacoste show 2

Since I was a merely a toddler, Lacoste polos have always been a classic staple in my closet. But to be honest, I rarely ever wear them during the winter as I’ve never bought a long-sleeved one. Lacoste Lebanon recently held a Winter 2014/2015 fashion show I attended with some friends and we all wore these new Stretch Knit Long Sleeve Polos which I’ve come to love under sweaters in this crisp weather. You can visit them at their ABC Ashrafieh branch to find this style in many colors.

octop 3

Meet OCTOP- 3, a smart new floor and table lamp design as part of prominent architecture and design firm id.beirut’s  2014 collection and their quest to add some light and warmth into our houses. I love the innovative and modern take of their unique designs and you can find this fixture and more at their showroom.

share a coke

One of the best campaigns of 2014 is Coc aCola’s Share a Coke campaign that allows you to customize your own can of coke. I think most of us have by now received one or sent one to a friend. And it just happens that the colors go perfectly with Christmas theme. My #BFFB Najib from Blog Baladi surprised me with this cute one that symbolizes our friendship. This would make the perfect secret Santa gift.

Absolut Vodka

I love how ABSOLUT VODKA gets so creative with it’s bottle designs and this season is no exception.Take a look at the Andy Warhol edition out now. The iconic Warhol first created original artwork for ABSOLUT in 1986, and this design was inspired by that painting.  It’s the perfect bottle to take along to the endless dinner gatherings and pot lucks this Christmas. I was lucky enough to get this lovely kit and you can win your own here’s how






About these ads

A Holiday 2014 Look From Dunes Verdun


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, December. It’s also very much the time where shopping becomes the season pastime and our outfits start reflecting the joy, mood and festive spirit of Christmas. And with all the events taking place around town I headed to Dunes Verdun to prepare two looks which could perfectly reflect my current mood holiday season. So if you’re still trying to decide on outfits or looking to treat your loved one to a lovely gift this year here is the first outfit from my fall winter 2014 selection.

I enlisted the help of my dear friend and talented fashion photographer Patrick Sawaya who also helped style me this feature and took these shots.

For the first look we wanted to find the perfect little black dress inspired holiday outfit that can work for anything, an office Christmas dinner or a party, so we choose this lovely pencil/chiffon polka skirt from GS Stores, with a simple black crop top with lace (which we tucked in). Patrick choose these statement pair of monochrome heels and this box lips clutch also from GS which he thought would give this look a pop art feel.


I paired them with these new Tom Ford clear glasses (I’m obsessing over) available now at Hallak Opticians in Dunes Verdun and Patrick accessorized the look with this jeweled pink gold earrings, a gold, silver and pink gold trio of bracelets and a gorgeous statement ring from La Nina.




7 Things I Did In My 20s and Don’t Regret

I quit

1. I grew up convinced I was going to climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top. I even took that route for 5 years until I realized that fancy tailored pant suit and designer eye glasses that make me look much wiser are not going to make up for the fact that I was dying a slow death trying reach indicators with cut-throat competition at an organization that couldn’t care less about me as long as I delivered. So I quit. With no plan in sight or job lined up. I just served my notice packed my box and went home. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made in my life.


2. On my recent trip to Dubai this weekend, an obnoxious girl yelled out “how does it feel like to still live in a third world country.” She had a silly smirk on her face as she said it as though I should be embarrassed. Oh but I’m not. You see I was born in the UAE and lived in Toronto for six years. Lebanon was the last piece of the puzzle for me, the uncharted territory I always wanted to experience as home and did in 2009. Yes, it’s more unstable than a hormonal teenager, and yes every year the country collectively goes through an existential crisis where we wonder if we’re going to be able to remain a country, but would I trade that in for anything in the world? No I wouldn’t. I LOVE Lebanon every underdeveloped third word inch of it and I can ski and swim in the same day. Beat that bitch.


3. For me, food is happiness. In my gluttonous mind people who don’t allow themselves to enjoy it are miserable deep down. I’ve gotten my fair share of scornful looks as I ordered a burger and fries while thinner girls were having brown bread and salads. Sure, I could have been more careful and as a result gotten a sizable gap thigh. I didn’t. Because my body was not meant to look like Kendal Jenner’s, its allowed to go through some changes and I’ve let it. It doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy it means I’m happy and more importantly, full.


4. I used to have relationships with people who I’m not sure liked me or that I liked. Still for some reason we were hanging out of habit. They would throw some shade and I would hear about it and wouldn’t be bothered to confront them. I finally made the effort to cut them out of my life. It was so freeing. I no longer felt guilty for not liking them all that much and we rid each other from negative vibes. It’s a win win.

ahlam tawashteeny

5. I always wanted to cut my hair super short but would chicken out every time. In 2011, I chopped off my locks which almost reached my elbows. It looked great for five minutes after the blow-out and then it was a hot mess. I couldn’t style it at home myself and the growing out phase was gruesome. It took two years to grow back but I can safely say I no longer try on short wigs every time I come across one. I’m over it.

short hair dont care

6. I got married at 25. I know parents did it at 21 but for my generation, that’s young. Was I scared? Of course. Was he scared? You bet. For many marriage seemed like an end, a very “serious” commitment and there was always the fear of missing out. The responsibility of running an actual household on our own while a part of us still wanted to drink ourselves silly until the wee hours of the morning seemed like a paradox. It’s not any of that. It’s synergetic. I’ve never had more fun in my life. My only advice- marry someone who can make you laugh till your guts hurt.

happily ever after

7. Text book recommendations dictate a certain protocol about how we should conduct ourselves. For example, when you get interviewed you usually wait until you get the call because calling in for a follow-up may make you come off as desperate. My pride and fear of rejection would at times get in the way of accounts/opportunities I really wanted. Scrap that. 2 years ago I took the decision to be proactive about all my goals and put myself out there. Does it work? You have my word. Finders are keepers. You want it, GO GET IT.

go get them


More from Ivy Says

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

The Ivy Says Radio Show on NRJ Lebanon 99.1

One Year After #IVYsBigReveal and A New Ambassadorship

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

1) He likes to take the role of your goon in public. A mere glance your way from another man could escalate into an Animal Planet fight scene, thick manes and all.

animal planet

2) You no longer have any more male contacts on your phone book except maybe for your hairdresser and doctor.


3) Meanwhile, his ex is now one of his closest friends and no, you don’t get to have a say.


4) He’s well into his mid-30s and doesn’t see why he needs to move out of his parent’s house. Ever

tv and popcorn

5) Most of the qualities he seeks in his ideal woman involve housekeeping.


6) It doesn’t matter how hairy, overweight and unattractive he is, he still deserves a supermodel.

supermodel 2

7) He could have been the next Ronaldo, but daddy pushed him into Engineering.


8) He has a special budget allocated each month to keep his beard in control.


9) You’re almost certain he showers in cologne, his scent remains in a room half an hour after he leaves it.


10) In his head every woman he dates is dying to marry him and if she doesn’t then she must be a skank


11) His life plans: marry “good” wife, produce male heir, take over family business.


12) He’ll gladly marry a gold digger. It’s flattering.

gold digger 2

13) Reaching out for the bill on a date is equivalent to spitting in his face.


14) Getting behind the driving wheel is the most emasculating thing you can do to him.

I drive

15) 50% of his brain shuts down when he spots a blonde.


16) And if his parents don’t approve of you there’s no way he’s EVER going to marry you. oh no



20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

Join the Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows




The Ivy Says Radio Show on NRJ Lebanon 99.1

Ivy Says on NRJ Lebanon Dana

It’s official. I’m proud to announce that this Wednesday the 12th of November marks the first episode of my new radio show IVY SAYS on NRJ 99.1

This has been under wraps for a couple of months now and I’m absolutely delighted to join their amazing team and be a part of this leading station in Lebanon and internationally.

I have a super fun show prepared for you and we’ll be tackling some topics that you’ve come to love on this blog, from celebrity gossip and fashion disasters, satirical listings about anything and everything Lebanon, dating advice, hit music and much more. I’ll also be featuring a super interesting round up of Instafamous guests from Instagram and the social media sphere.

So whether you’re stuck in traffic or at home don’t forget to tune in at 7pm every Wednesday.

For sponsorships, giveaways or to be featured as a guest you can email me at

I also wanted to thank a very close friend and top Lebanese blogger Najib from Blog Baladi for surprising me with an amazing post titled 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading Ivy Says. He’s a leading example how us bloggers should embrace and support one another. Check it out HERE

top reasons why I love reading ivy says by blog baladi

Next week I’ll be posting the full shoot I did for the show’s promo with the talented up and coming fashion photographer Patrick Sawaya with makeup by the Yves Saint Laurent beauty team.

Ivy Says on NRJ Lebanon Dana

One Year After #IVYsBigReveal and A New Ambassadorship











One Year After #IVYsBigReveal and A New Ambassadorship

ivys bid reveAL It’s been one hell of a year for me.

On August 13, 2013, and after more than three years of blogging anonymously, I started toying around with the idea of revealing my identity. The thought seemed far-fetched. I was safe behind my computer, almost untouchable, but I knew it was a false sense of security I was latching on to, and eventually if I wanted my blog to grow and expand my collaboration portfolio I need to come out of my comfort zone.

I remember having a drink with Fida Chaaban RAGMAG’s Editor in Chief at the time. I told her about my idea of staging an event behind the reveal. Her eyes lit up. She disappeared for a couple of weeks. I thought she had forgotten about it. Silly me, thinking people would care. She called me a couple of days later asking me for a guest list. For what? I asked. For #IVYsBigReveal she exclaimed.

Fida ran the idea by Roula Nahas, BestSeller Regional Marketing Manager and PR Queen. Roula immediately threw her weight behind it. VERO MODA and RAGMAG would stage it. Next, Beirut’s finest luxury boutique hotel Le Gray jumped on board, they presented us with their entire Rooftop and one of their opulent executive suites. And an amazing list of sponsors followed, Chopin Vodka, Pommery Champagne, Label 5 Whiskey, Bourjois and Beirut Nightlife.

150 of the city’s finest gathered to participate in one of the most-buzzed about fashion events of the year. I could feel the energy as both Roula and Fida accompanied me to the rooftop. And just like that I took a deep breath and stepped on stage. I spotted some familiar faces in the crowd smiling at me, faces I had known online for years but never met. The rest of the night was a big beautiful time lapse, selfies and cocktails and fast chats and dancing. #IvysBigReveal trended for 3 days. I did the right thing.

You can watch the #IVYsBigReveal  short video by BeirutNightLife right here

vero modaVero Moda (2)ivysbigreveal

A little over a year later and here I am. I’ve collaborated with many amazing brands including GAP, Adidas,, Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics, Maggi Arabia and was even invited to have my own segment Talk of the World on MTV Season 6 of Talk of the Town.

dana khairallah gap ivy says styldbyGAPMaggi Arabiamaggie arabia dana khairallahDana Khairallah for Bassam FattouhELLE Ivy Says feature Dana Khairallah

Today I’m also happy to announce my new title as Brand Ambassador for Dunes Verdun, one of Lebanon’s first and most iconic malls that today serves as a landmark. Follow me as I bring to you my experiences and shopping adventures in this diverse yet cozy mall and share with you all my amazing finds from dining,to beauty, fashion and entertainment.

I also have one more exciting piece of news to share with you very soon!





20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl


1. She’s the jealous type. The last time a hostess smiled and greeted you at a bar she threatened to “cut her”

shut up

2. The first thing she’ll ask you when she’s sees a pretty girl is “do you think she’s pretty?”


3. Yet  she’s self-obsessed. You never knew someone could love themselves so much.


4. She’s constantly complaining. About anything and every little thing. Her life is a series of endless rants.

eye roll

5. You’re constantly reminded that she’s better than you and that you  should be grateful she chose you.

get a life

6. Calling her “not nice” would be the understatement of the year. The girl makes Cruela de Vil deserve a halo.

not dealing with your bullshit

7. According to her and her mother, everyone is jealous… of her.


8. She’s more judgmental than your 80 year old aunt.


9. Yet she’s a major hypocrite. Apparently nothing applies to her.


10. She hates all her friends. But they have no idea.

stabbing you

11. She hates all your friends. They noticed.

dont care really

12. According to her, if  you really loved her like you said you did, then you would give her all your passwords.


13. Tantrums are like second nature to her. She has no problem throwing them anywhere.

flip out

14. And just when you’re about to win a point, she wins by crying.

cry baby

15. She’s constantly bragging about how all the guys want her hand in marriage.


16. But the minute you threaten to leave her she’ll blackmail you with suicide.


17. Part of loving her, means that you get to spend your entire income on her. Every month.


 18. She’s always at war with someone.


19. She basks in other people’s misfortunes. You’ve never seen her happier.

happy happy

20. Yet, somehow she’s managed to convince you to make her your wife.


Read More

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You


6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty