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

Ivy Says in Special Magazine

I’m very happy to be featured in the August 2015 issue of Special Magazine out this Saturday. In the interview I’m attaching we discuss the idea behind Ivy Says, how it has evolved throughout the years and why City Centre Beirut is my preferred shopping destination in Lebanon.

Click on images to enlarge

Ivy says Interview Special Magazine Dana KhairallahIvy says Interview Special Magazine Dana Khairallah CCB

Check it out below and don’t forget to grab your copy!

A special thank you to the wonderful Special Magazine Team!

Read about my Big Reveal

More Ivy In the Press here

30 Things You’ll Learn By 30

30 things to learn by 3030 things to learn by 30 ivy says

I thought I’d share with you some of the wisdom bestowed upon me from this milestone new decade I hit earlier this year. My 20s were (a little too much) fun and unforgettable, but they were a time when I was struggling to figure things out while getting to know myself as a person.  Now at 30, I can honestly say I know who I am and what I want. And though I realize that some of these points may sound like inspiring quotes, they could serve as a guide and save you a lot of trouble and life-contemplation as you approach your dirty thirty.

1. Blessings do come in disguise. You know how our parents say this to help us stay positive when things don’t go as we’d hoped? Well its true. I’ve had many aspirations that never transpired and I thank my lucky stars today they didn’t, they would taken me on a completely different path.

2. We all seek success but success is relative, there is no textbook metric. A successful stockbroker may perceive a full-time blogger like myself as a complete failure. It really all comes down personal outlooks.

3. Stop rushing everything. I was in a rush to graduate, then I was in a rush to  work, then I was in a rush to get promoted, then to find my better half then get married etc. I don’t regret my choices  but now I realize 30 is really not that old, in fact it’s still pretty young and I could have stressed less because everything would have fallen into place alone and you will never have it all figured out, at any age.

4. Your inner happiness should really come first. Even if it means turning down that amazing job on paper or finally ending it with a clingy girlfriend/boyfriend because deep down you know it’s not what you want. The more you procrastinate the more likely you’re to be stuck somewhere you don’t want to be by 30. Brave it up. Use your 30s to thrive not struggle.

5. We live at a time where you CAN CREATE the job or business you want. When I decided to blog full-time some people thought I had my head in the clouds. Others told me straight up to quit fooling around and get a “real” job. But I just kept writing and writing and writing until I made a living out of it. It’s sounds quite cliché but hard work DOES pay off.

6. Sure Money isn’t everything, but it is something. Never be afraid to put a price tag on your efforts and stick to your guns, everyone will want a bargain but it’s up to you to value your worth.

7. It’s so easy to get cozy in your comfort zone and not pursue things. Resisting change, fear of rejection and adapting to everyday routine may stop you from going after some of the biggest opportunities that may come your way.  Take it from me, leave no stone unturned.

8. I used to want to call out every single person that imitated or copied me, especially since I began blogging in 2009. I’m at a point now where I’m confident enough to know that it’s not a bad thing, it’s flattering to be an influence, even if some don’t want to admit it.

9. Competition can be healthy, but most of the time it’s petty. No matter what you do or where you work, if you’re confident about your skills and talent  you’ll never see others as a threat, rather you’d guide them. Insecurity is so unattractive.

10. Take responsibility for your actions. I used to think apologies were a sign of weakness, how wrong was I. Apologizing and admitting your wrong can only be acquired with time and maturity, not anyone can own up to mistakes but there is an amazing sense of freedom and respect you get from just saying “I’m sorry.” It brings people closer and builds much stronger lasting relationships.

11. At some point you’ll grow apart from your high school besties but the real friendships will be back, you’ve both just been distracted. No matter how many new friends you make, none will be as comforting as the ones who’ve known you, seen you through puberty and still stuck around.

12. Choose your entourage wisely. The people you break bread with will reflect on you whether you admit it to yourself or not. Hanging out with successful people will unknowingly make you more ambitious.

13. Also, choose your battles wisely. But don’t forget to stand up for yourself, even if it means burning a couple of bridges along the way and earning yourself a “difficult´reputation, they may not like you for it but they’ll sure think twice before they mess with you again.

14. Best friends are not made overnight. No matter how strong the connection is. The quickest ones to call you a bestie, will be the first one to drop you when the going gets tough.

15. It’s okay to say NO straight up no matter how difficult/awkward it may be. If that’s an excuse for someone to cut ties with you then better sooner than later.

16. Take criticism, but never from the same person over and over again, you’ll find out eventually that they just don’t like you.

17. I was fast to lose my temper, until I discovered it’s very easy to get rude. Staying calm, collected and composed in the face of adversary is the real show of strength.

18. Getting back at someone because they hurt you doesn’t feel as good as it sounds. The best revenge is indifference. To Truly not give a shit.

19. Never talk about anyone behind their back unless you intend for it to reach them. Assuming anything otherwise is inexperienced.

20. People will always judge you before they meet you, so instead of being resentful, be nice and show them just how much they don’t know you. If they still don’t like you then they just don’t and most likely won’t, move on, you can’t please them all.

21. Take things with a grain of salt.There are two-sides to every story, no matter how much you trust your sources. People may see the dress white and gold others see it blue and black. It doesn’t mean you should always doubt others  but you should most definitely always leave room for bias (and bullshit)

22. Not everyone deserves (or even wants) your confrontation and honesty. Don’t call people out just because you can. Sometimes even when you know someone is being dishonest, sit back, listen and smile to yourself. It falls somewhere under diplomacy.

23. Invest in your own space, even if you’re still single, or can’t afford to buy one, rent one and make it your own, but most importantly move out if you haven’t already. By 30 your parents should be your friends not your caregivers.

24. People who told you to wear sunscreen were not exaggerating when they said it would prevent wrinkles. I started in my mid-twenties and I have to say I’m grateful  but wish I did even sooner.

25. In a couple of years it won’t matter who designed your dress or how many tiers your wedding cake had, the only thing that will count is how much you really make each other happy and just how well you get along.

26. Don’t make announcements you may regret. I used to say kids were not for me, my marriage will be different, “cooler” it will just be us conquering the world. And it was that way for almost five years. Now the thought of a stroller gets me all giddy and excited.

27. Space is as important in a relationship as is time spent together. You don’t have to like the same things, same food or same people or do everything together just because you’re together.

28. You can still eat what you want but work out a little harder. If you haven’t been to the gym in your early-mid twenties it’s very unlikely you will get active in your late twenties and thirties. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a duty.

29. Being self-deprecating shows you have a sense of humor -never resist the urge to laugh or make fun of yourself and more importantly never take yourself too seriously.

30. I’m not going to lie its tough to bid your 20s goodbye and admit you’re 30. But I’m more at peace with myself now,and if I had to choose between what I know now, where I am,  and how little I knew back then, I would always chose now.

 

 

 

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

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

 

 

 

33 Truths Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant

33 truth about pregnancy

Of course pregnancy is a blessing. Of course it is one of life’s most beautiful miracles and a gift from god. But you all know that already. Before I myself got pregnant (yes, I’ve just entered the third and final trimester) the majority of pregnant women I would encounter would gush about how amazing the whole thing was, and how beautiful they feel ALL THE TIME. Does Angeline Jolie’s famous words ring a bell here?

Now, although the second trimester has been a walk in the park compared to the gruesome first one, I hear whispers about how not so magical the final and third one may be. But before I jump ahead of myself I thought I’d share you with the real face of pregnancy, the not so glamorous one you don’t read about in the media, the one most expectant mommas would much rather keep mum about (pun intended) at the risk of sounding ungrateful. As for me I’m not ungrateful I’m a blogger. You’ve been warned…

preggo

1. Whomever named it morning sickness needs to be sued. It’s not morning sickness, it’s morning, afternoon, late afternoon, early evening and midnight sickness.

2. If you’re not throwing up, you’re just nauseous all the time during the first trimester. It’s like being hung-over all day minus the booze and fun the night before.

3. Cravings are evil. And they usually hit when a fruit is out of season. Your man will work so to find it for you only to have you throw it up an hour later. Charming really…

4. Suddenly life just becomes so emotional, a lost dog post can get you in hysterical tears and so can an empty jar of Nutella. Hormones don’t discriminate.

pregnancy cravings

5. You finally have the bigger breasts you wanted. The bad news is that they’re accompanied with a bigger everything. Not so hot after all.

6. Suddenly people have the right to comment on your bump “it doesn’t show” is a compliment while “smallah” means you got fat.

7. Either way, they secretly want you to get fat.

8. You develop Spiderman reflexes you never thought you had when it comes to protecting your belly even if it means having to elbow a completely unsuspecting stranger.

9. If you merely mention craving sugar, everyone will tell you you’re having a girl and if it’s something savory then they’re sure it’s a boy. Both times they’re off.

10. The sex of your unborn baby is suddenly public information. “Boy or girl?” will always follow the pregnancy announcement.

pregnancy sex

11. So is your belly, at some point you’ll feel like a Buddha statue, everybody wants to rub it.

12. Next everyone wants to know the name you’ve picked. They will proceed to give you their unsolicited opinions on it. Oh you approve? Not like I care. #sorry #notsorry

13. You don’t realize how many people annoy you until you try to choose a name for your baby.

14. Which makes you realize why some celebrities name their kids “Apple” and “North.”

15. You will now count everything in weeks.

16. Raw vegetables, sushi, cold cuts and hotdogs are suddenly the enemy. But you’ve never wanted them so bad in your life.

17. There’s an awkward phase in-between starting to show and just looking like you love burgers a little too much. People will make it even more awkward by staring. Relentlessly.

18. You can’t wait to show until you start to show. Then you’ll start to complain about how big you’re getting.

19. You’ll never look so forward to a doctor’s visit in your life. Happiness is seeing your baby moving on an ultra-sound.

20. Every family member is secretly convinced the baby will look like him/her, including the second uncle twice removed.

21. You will put off maternity shopping until you start borrowing your husband’s PJs.

maternitt shopping

22. Pregnancy has it perks. People will smile and let you cut in lines, throw in a complementary desert, and ask you if you’d like to sit all the time. The more you stick your belly out, the more effective it is.

23. You will constantly ask people if it’s “hot in here?” It will take you some time to come the realization that it really is just you.

24. Death comes in the new slow and silent form: heartburn.

25. People will try to be nice and tell you you’re glowing. Little do they realize it’s cause you’re sweating like a pig.

26. Cocoa butter and watermelons are your best friends. Never run out.

27. Experienced parents think it’s their duty to tell you how much your life is about to change and how hectic it will all be. You secretly hate them for it.

28. Sleep will become an art and your bed will resemble a game of Risk. Pillows will be placed strategically and your husband’s territory will soon be occupied.

29. There are two types of people you will meet. The experts who will lecture you on pregnancy and parenthood and the curious ones who will ask you about the smallest details you’ve never been more happy to share.

30. Seeing another pregnant woman is like running into your long lost friend in China, there are no boundaries to how much you will exchange in those 5 minutes.

31. Each time someone wishes you a “safe” delivery you secretly start to freak out. Like what do they mean safe? Is it not safe?

32. You will smile, senselessly, for no apparent reason. Even when the baby is practicing karate on your ribs.

33. You’ve never been so selfless and full of love, for someone you haven’t met yet and just can’t wait to meet.

dana khairallah ivy says

Read More:

Wear It For Change: My First Pregnancy Shoot

Ivy’s Summer Beach Essentials

10 Makeup Mistakes We’re All Doing

8 Things To Avoid Doing At The Beach This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer

13 Signs You’re Dating a ManChild

Wear It For Change

Dana-Khairallah-CSB-ready-to-wear-it-for-change-1

I’m very proud to support Creative Space Beirut, a non-profit free school in fashion design that provides design education to talented individuals who lack the resources to pursue a degree in fashion. This school has been supported by renowned fashion houses such as Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenberg and Parsons.

A month ago I was chosen by them along with some of Beirut’s most compelling women, “with innovative minds and huge hearts” and asked about the importance of free creative education and to be part of their new online campaign that aims to bring attention and raise funds as they launch their first crowd-sourcing campaign.

ivy says creative space beirut

It was the first shoot I did while appearing visibly pregnant and I chose this one-size-fits all gorgeous Twist Top in olive from their Creative Space Beirut Ready To Wear collection which I styled with a pair of my trusty black leggings, these Zara black scuba style heels which I love and my Saint Laurent Nano Sac du Jour. If you like this top which is also available in crème, grey, black and striped jersey you can check it out tomorrow at the debut of their Ready To Wear Brand at their studio in Mar Mikhael as part of Beirut Design Week 2015.

Shot by Ayla Hibra with a film camera.

Ivy says creative space beirut campaign

beirut design week ivy says creative space

In an effort to continue to work towards self-sustainability, they need as much support as possible from those who believe in their cause. You can click here to read their full story and donate online

Elissa Falls Victim To Domestic Violence

Elissa Ya Merayti video

As much as I’d like to appreciate and enjoy Arabic music I don’t. With the exception of the occasional classics played at weddings when you’re too tipsy to care anymore and make you want to pull out those moves you learned at those two belly dancing classes you took back in high school. I’m also appalled by most video clips that accompany Arabic songs, they’re usually cheap, vulgar, abundant with clichés and ripped off.

Having said that, I came across the new music video of Lebanese songstress Elissa’s latest song Ya Merayti (My Mirror) this weekend and I was immediately drawn to both the production and powerful message it portrays.

Directed by Angie Jammal, the story tells the all too common tale of a wife and mother who is a victim of domestic violence, a shamefully widespread issue in Lebanon, according to local NGO and strongest advocate on the matter, KAFA, -25 women reported to have been killed by family members between 2010 and 2013 and four deaths occurred as a result in 2014-and that’s only what’s been reported, because most women don’t come forward or live to tell their story. Worse yet , the criminalization of marital rape has not been included in any legislation to date. Awful…

Now as much as we tend to hear about this in our 8pm evening news bulletins, the impact is much stronger when millions of fans and followers of Elissa in Lebanon and around the world get to watch her over and over again as a victim herself, portraying the sad reality of a struggling mother who suffers the fate of an abusive violent husband, one who beats her until the brink of death. But her story comes with the message of hope and action, and will resonate loudly and powerfully I’m sure in the many minds of women who today suffer in silence and encourage them to come forward.

Elissa Ya Merayti video 2

The video was shot on location in Serbia, and could have easily been yet another opportunity for the singer to simply show off her  beauty, style and vocal cords. But it wasn’t. So thank you Elissa, for taking the high road and choosing to bring awareness to domestic violence, in what obviously is a high quality and budget production to promote and shed more light on this dire matter. RESPECT

Watch the video below and let me know your thoughts…

Barbra Streisand and Elissa- Separated At Birth

Nancy or Elissa; Who Wore It Best?

Lebanese Singer Channels Her Inner Britney

10 Makeup Mistakes We’re All Doing

Applying makeup the right way is not as simple as it sounds. And yes, as ideal as it would to just slid on some under-eye liner and swipe on blush,  ( respect to the ladies who can still pull that off) makeup has evolved into a slightly more meticulous and dare I say scientific process.

And though the hundreds and thousands of beauty Video bloggers put out content daily to help us get things right, we (including myself) are still doing some basic makeup faux pas without noticing and would most likely look much prettier avoiding all together.  I’ve also gone ahead and used myself in a few examples with Photoshop.

1.The Wrong Shade of Foundation

makeup mistakes to avoid 1 ivy

Sounds pretty basic right? Yeah well… you’d be surprised just how much of a frequent offense this is. Mostly because we either ask for something lighter or darker when we should simply find a shade that MATCHES our skin tone. Secondly, because most of the time when we’re shopping for makeup we usually already have makeup on, and as a result end up testing foundation on our arms rather than our faces.

2. Applying Way Too Much Bronzer-Everywhere.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 3

It’s hard to believe but Bronzer is not to be applied all over the face as many ladies do. The face-baked look is never in. Simply put: it’s for the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face so that would be your forehead, cheekbones, nose and jawline- sort of like the drawing the number 3.

Ivy’s Tip: Bronzer goes on after makeup before blush and should only be  at most two shades darker than your natural tone.

3. Over-Defining Your Eyebrows.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 7

If this were a crime, half our female population would be in jail. I observed a fair blonde lady the other day demanding a  charcoal black eyebrow pencil while the sales assistant kept advising her to go for the light brown one. Sure the Cara big bushy brows are a trend but you don’t see hers looking like markers, they look messy and natural. So lay off that super dark shader and use a pencil to simply fill-in sparse areas.

Ivy’s Tip: Brush upwards before applying then don’t forget to please put them back in place. Sign my Tattooed Eyebrow Petition here

4. Using A Dried Up Mascara

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy eye lashes

Mascaras have a much shorter life than advertised-even designer ones. But that’s the sticky truth. If you find that it’s getting clumpy and messy to apply from round one it means you need a new one. Mascara, like hair should be strangle free, and neat even when exaggerated. If your formula is drying up fast make sure you’re not pumping the wand in and out when you use it.

5. Exaggerated Lashes

makeup mistakes to avoid 4

We all love those big wedding lashes, but when did it suddenly become okay to wear them to brunch? When your makeup is simple and day-appropriate but your lashes are over-the-top, they look bulky, heavy and a little silly.

6. Over-Extending your Natural Lip Line

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 89

I know I know EVERYONE’S doing it. But bigger isn’t always better. Of course we can extend our natural lip line but nowhere close to our nostrils. And most importantly, always, always match your lip liner shade to your lipstick!

7. Clown Cheeks.

makeup mistakes to avoid 2 ivy

Applying Blush is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn. By no means should it circular and as pretty as that shade looks on the counter it can look awful if it doesn’t match your tone. Blush is meant to look like a warm natural flush on your face, the kind you’d get when you’re feeling shy, in love or after a serious workout. Keep that in mind the next time you buy one.

Ivy’s Tip: If the sales assistant looks like she’s got war paint on then don’t let her assist you.

8. Dry Chappy Lips with Matte Lipstick.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy 9

I’m terribly  guilty of this mostly because I LOVE matte colors and constantly peel my lips with my teeth. Lips should be exfoliated too. And dabbing on some primer or concealer can do the trick.

9. Highlighter Overdose.

makeup mistakes to avoid ivy

Remember when shiny cheeks meant greasy cheeks? Well apparently not anymore. Now everyone’s buying a gold sheer fluid and spreading it all across their cheeks bones. But unless you’re a contestant on Dancing With The Stars you should seriously rethink your quantities.

10. Bold Lips are not for everyone.

"Thanks For Sharing" - Los Angeles Premiere Held at The ArcLight Hollywood Featuring: Gwyneth Paltrow Where: Hollywood, California, United States When: 17 Sep 2013 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

I’m sorry but it’s the truth. When you’re nose is a little too large or your lips are on the smaller side a strong lipstick can attract unwarranted attention to your not so favorite areas. And as much as we all want to go for the hot red lips trend, some of us are better off sticking to pretty nudes.

More on Beauty

9 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

6 More Arab Crimes Against Beauty

The Fight Against Tattooed Eyebrows

 

 

 

 

20 Thoughts Every Person Has While Waiting In Line at a Bank In Lebanon

1. Whoa now that’s one long wait…

dont freak out

2. Wait.. why are there only two tellers serving 33 people, I’m sure the BANK can afford to hire more employees?

FullSizeRender

3. I think that customer just spent 45 minutes at a teller’s window. What the hell could possibly take so long?

wtf

4. I don’t care how impatient the guy behinds me behaves, he is NOT cutting ahead of me in line

ughhh

 5. Okay why is he now standing parallel to me, shouldn’t he queue behind me?

angry

6. OMG he’s now standing right in front of me.

angry funny

7. Time for some action

game of thrones style

8.  Wait, no!  Where is the other bank teller going? It’s my turn

ignore it

9. Looks like he’s just having a friendly chat with an old friend. Take your time @#$#@

rage

10. How come the ticket numbers don’t go off in chronological order?

ugh

11.  Finally my turn! 

yes!

12. WHAT… you can’t let this random dude that walked in the door bypass me, didn’t know there was “wasta” at this bank.

oh no he didnt

13. Am I really supposed to memorize my 10 digit  account number, why can’t they just write it on our damn cards?

ugh ugh

14. This guy needs an award for slowest teller in the governorate.

shoot myself

15. Bank secrecy who? Did he just asked me how much I make in front of an audience of 25 amused folks?

hell no

16.Why on earth do I need to sign all these papers just to deposit a damn check?

gimme the money

17. Did I really just spend an hour and a half at the bank for this menial task?

time

18. That’s it I’m going to switch to a better bank first thing tomorrow.

kanye

19. Excuse me, you need how many documents again to switch over to your bank?

why

20. That’s it I’m buying a safe!

lol

30 Thoughts Every Arab Couple Has Before Getting Married

20 Signs You Need Instagram Rehab

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

6 Arab Crimes Against Beauty

16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

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