Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Breast Cancer Scare Story

Ivy Armani Maestro

I woke up one morning 5 years ago feeling a large lump on my breast. I couldn’t breathe. CANCER was the first thing that came to my mind. But how? I’m only 25. I didn’t want to go get it checked, I was too scared and not prepared for dreadful news. But then again, who would be?

For two week I didn’t tell anyone. I was worried they’d panic, then I would panic. So I decided that it would be my secret. I hoped that by not telling anyone, it would just go away on its own.

It didn’t. Every day I would look for the lump and there it would be. I would have a panic attack under the sheets and pray. Prayer should make it go away. It didn’t. I would put my hand and there it was, lumpy and almost protruding. It felt like the universe was betraying me. That’s it I’m dying. So young.

Two weeks later I caved and broke the news to my mother and husband who was my fiancé at the time. They were appalled that I hadn’t shared the news with them earlier, that I had let my fear silence me. My mother reassured me that breast cancer did not run in the family, but nevertheless they rushed me to get checked.

Getting a mammogram made it all the more real. It was painful the way the machine pressured my breast. I cried. Not from the pain. But the fear, again. I felt so weak and already defeated.

As I sat in the waiting room I kept envisioning scenarios in my head. And I kept making promises to god. One more chance, please don’t make me go through this. Please let this be a false alarm. One more chance.

It was benign. I had more than ten lumps in my breasts and they were all Fibrocystic. It was the name of a very common condition that more than half of women would experience at some point in their lives. But the doctor would have to keep a close eye on them, especially since they continue to grow, which meant that I would have to go in for an ecography every 6 months. It wasn’t ideal but you bet I was thanking my lucky stars.

But then I thought of all the unlucky women who received different news. My heart ached for them and the difficult battle ahead. The one with no guarantee of a win. The sort of battle that would kick your ass whether you would win or lose. And even when you win, you’d still get a good beating. I started reading up on breast cancer. I learned that 90% of cases of breast cancer were preventable. I learned that the only way breast cancer can kill you is if you don’t detect it early enough. I learned that you can’t detect it without a check up. Yet I also learned that a very few women actually go in for frequent screenings, because cancer “can’t possibly happen to them.”

And I hope it never does. To anyone. But we both know that’s wishful thinking. Breast Cancer rates are alarming, almost one in 8 women will be diagnosed with cancer. So let’s decrease those rates by spreading awareness.

I took part in City Centre Beirut’s latest campaign to #BreastCancerAwareness. Please take a moment to watch the video I’m featured in below and share.


10 Dating Mistakes All Men and Women Are Making


1. Over-Sharing. As tempting as it is to come undone, and give a tell all about how your last boyfriend/girlfriend cheated and left you and how you lost your faith in dating etc… the first few dates are not for pouring your heart out or confusing an interested looking date with a therapist.  Please keep it light, fun and semi-sober. In other words if you want a second date keep your shit together, at all times.

no kiss

2.  Acting Uninterested– yes it’s important to stay on your game but that doesn’t mean that you should pretend to ignore your date, especially if you are into him/her. Hard to get means not putting out, not revealing all your cards too soon and not coming off as lonely and desperate, but by no means does it mean acting nonchalantly or  plain rude. That’s just a turn off- no really- it is, unless you’re into low confidence.

money money

3. Setting the Standards too High- part of the wooing process involves its fair share of seduction techniques; a pick-up (no matter how far she lives), a high-end dinner, perhaps even a bottle of something extra special, in other words, showing off. But keep in mind, first impressions are lasting and that sort of treatment will become expected throughout the relationship. So if it’s out of your league  and you plan on eating at the neighbor hood snack  for the rest of your relationship (and there is no shame there), keep it simple and keep it real. No need to over-impress only to over-mislead.


4. Be friendly but don’t flirt with others– yes of course everyone wants to date the popular guy/girl but don’t start acting like you’re running for a congeniality contest especially with the opposite sex. It’s important to show interest and respect for your date, it says a lot about your character.


5. Talking smack about serious relationships and marriage– unless you’re a serial dater we all know that the whole point of dating revolves around finding that special someone in your life. So, if you’re going to sit there all night and trash the sanctity of marriage or relationships, then don’t throw a fit when your date asks you to take it slow 6 months down the line when you’re secretly picking out rings. Be clear about your goals and expectations.


6. But don’t talk marriage too soon either– even if you’re eager to walk down the aisle. Some people think that if they just go ahead and mention the word marriage from the get-go, they’ll be saving themselves time and future heartache. Announcing you’re only marriage material is desperate, not to mention you’re selling yourself short, why give your date the upper hand like that? Maybe your date isn’t YOUR idea of marriage material… so why put yourself out there in that way? Think about it…

7. Be Honest-  if you had a good time, mention it, not toooo eagerly- but show  your appreciation. And if you didn’t, then don’t say “thanks I had fun” many times either and then complain about him/her harassing you later.


8. Obsessing and Over-thinking things- even if you do these on your own, they will eventually take a toll on your morale and believe it or not your date will sense them in your post-date phone calls/ whatsapps. Be cool, take it easy no matter how much you like him or her, don’t make life revolve around when and if you will see him/her again.

meet the parents

9. Meet No Parents– I’ve always been wary about those who are eager to introduce us to their parents from the second date. Yes, family people are a plus, but it also shows that everyone gets to meet mom and dad, not necessarily someone special. It’s not that flattering and too soon too fast is not a good sign at all.

stay beside you

10. You might just be the one” really? You deduced that from the two dinners already? I’m not trying to be a pessimist here but think about all the false hopes that statement carries. Men tend to say that to women to get them to put their guards down and well I think we know what happens next. Even if it were true, don’t fall for it and more importantly don’t make any concessions for it.

Read More:

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You





My 7 Favorite Things This July

1.  Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet by The Body Shop

Fuji green tea sorbet The body Shop

Though I usually go straight to their Body Butter Collection I’m currently obsessing over the texture and spa-like smell of The body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet. It’s actually gel-like and really feels as cooling and light as sorbet and smells marvelously fresh, the perfect remedy this summer for all your after sunburn woes .

2. Oysho

Oysho Oysho Moments Campaign

As you may have noticed, Oysho is no longer just for those cutie animated PJs, the brand has totally evolved into a full-fledged line of beachwear, gymwear and even footwear. I’ve been in invited to take part of their #OyshoMomentsLebanon campaign and it’s been fun discovering and mixing and matching their different collections together. I’m loving this crimson monokini and a pair of espadrilles which I picked from their Summer 2015 Collection.

3. Starbucks Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Starbucks Lebanon Dulce et lecheCan we please discuss these new desserts we’ve been seeing at Starbucks? My eyes almost popped out of their sockets when I spotted this not-so-little baby, the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and instantly had to have it. It tasted exactly how it looked and exceeded expectations, two layers of extra-creamy cheesecake batter sandwiching a dreamy, sinful yet wholesome (I can’t find enough adjectives to describe it) layer of caramel. You won’t be able to move after you’re done but who cares, you’ve reached your destination.

4. Tufenkjian Pearl Necklace

Tufenjian pearl chain

The mono-pearl short chain necklace has been trending for a while and leave it to Lebanon’s most prestigious fine jeweler, Tufenkjian Freres, to add a pair of diamonds to each corner to take things up a notch. I’m loving staple piece that I wear with almost anything, day and night, it also makes the perfect memorable gift for a friend or loved one.

5. Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Last month, I attended the launch of Versace’s Eros Pour Femme. I’m very particular with my scents and usually stick to what I know but I was immediately drawn to the feminine accents of Jasmine, peonies, pomegranate and sandalwood. The bottle also makes the perfect addition to my makeup table, with the design house’s classic motif on the edges and the Versace Medusa right in the center. This will definitely be a classic on my counter.

6. Brunch at The Four Seasons Grill Room

Four Seasons Beirut The Grill Room brunch

Although The Grill Room is mostly known for those magnificent Charolais cuts of beef and fine dining, it also boats one of my favorite gourmet brunches in the city. You can indulge in an entire selection of pastries from the buffet but for your hot dishes, you can choose from an unlimited selection off the menu and the best part is you can have your pick of local Lebanese and international favorites. So my recommendation is to start with the labneh, mhammarah foul, grilled halloumi round up and then be sure to go for their amazing eggs Benedict with your choice of endless sides. And for the grand finale, if you still have some room in there, get the pancakes. It’s makes for the perfect birthday or celebratory brunch and it goes for $40 per person but totally worth every penny.

7. Adidas Flip Flops and Tank

adidas summer 2015 flip flops ivy says

I’m loving this pair of monochrome spotted flip flops by Adidas which I matched with this Royal Blue (also spotted) workout tank, perfect for the beach or a quick swim after hitting the gym.

Read More:

My Top 10 Favorite Things This Spring

My Top 12 Favorite Things This Summer



13 Signs You’re Dating a ManChild

1. He still has to answer to his mother when she asks where he is and when he’ll be home.

good boy

2. He hasn’t been to a grocery store ever since he could no longer fit into the shopping cart child seat.

high chair

3. The only monthly payments he has are towards the local bar, weekend at The Grand Factory and summers at the beach.

Grow up

4. He’s always the last one in the bar/club and still not ready to call it a night.


5. The only home cooked meal he’s familiar with is the one that comes in a Tupperware.

feeding gif


6. You still have to sneak into his house late at night.

i dont do teen drama

7. His mother still chooses your gifts.

I have all the answers

8. His married friend’s wives have banned him.


9. He makes fun on the ones that have kids.

its too much

10. He still hasn’t really figured out what he really wants to do in life and it doesn’t bother him.


11. He’s not comfortable making plans with you more than two weekends away.


12. His idea of a great date consists of him playing Call of Duty and you eating pizza while you watch.

i think not

13. The last time you merely mentioned the word Marriage he almost broke up with you.


Read More:

20 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Girl

20 Signs You Need Instagram Rehab

16 Signs You’re Dating An Arab Man

20 Problems Every Girl Will Face This Summer

7 Things Not To Do At Weddings This Summer





Ivy Reviews: Métropole Brasserie

Métropole Brasserie located in Downtown Beirut (right by Porsche) is supposed to be somewhat of an upscale restaurant and so naturally you would expect grade A service especially when the head waiter insists on playing the role of a Parisian chef de rang. And so yes, when you’re greeted with that sort of ambiance/attitude naturally your expectations are somewhat high.

We were a table of 11 celebrating a friend’s birthday, and things seemed to be going smoothly as we started out with a classic selection of  appetizers you would usually find in a French Bistro and they were delicious.

The juicy sautéed calamari with parsley and garlic was cooked just right, not a hint of seafood almost like I was having  tender chicken.

calamari Metropole

For salmon lovers I recommend this fresh Salmon Tartar garnished with sliced radish and purslane.

photo 1

The Lentil Salad was my least favorite as it was dry (barely any dressing) and slightly boring, I would have much rather they added at least one other ingredient like Arugula or some raisins.

Lentil Salade Metropole

I particularly enjoyed chèvre salad, as I don’t usually enjoy goat cheese but this one was not pungent and the cheese was perfectly toasted on the bread centered with crisp red lettuce leafs.

chevre salade metropole

The Mozzarella and tomato salad was refreshing garnished with fresh basil, and sprinkled with olive oil and a side of ripe sliced avocado, though I feel they could be slightly more generous with the cheese.

photo 2

And finally the Lobster Quinoa salad was a real treat and though I never had cold lobster I actually enjoyed this one very much as it was cooked to perfection and the quinoa added just the right amount of crunch to the combination.

photo 3As for the main dishes three of us had the  Filet Mignon which you can’t usually go wrong with it came with a side of buttered green beans. Now here is when things began to go wrong, this filet was supposed to come with a side of fries that didn’t arrive with the dish, we had  to remind the waiters twice who also ended up forgetting to present us with the sauce until we were halfway through our meal.

Filet Metropole

My man had the burger which although was presented so nicely, truly disappointed. It felt like one of those you could easily make at home as the patty was way too thin, tasted too processed like it was pre-prepared and frozen, none of that soft and tender minced meat texture you would  would expect from a top-notch French joint with a measly slice of cheese and a thick uneven slice of tomato. I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything about this burger.

photo 5photo 4

My friend had the Beef Stroganoff with a sauce that both resembled paprika-colored watery sauce and tasted like nothing really. None of that thick creamy goodness you would expect from a Stroganoff and hardly any mushrooms.

Stroganoff Metropole

The service was mediocre to say the least. Staff seemed disheveled with their tasks and it took waiters an exceptionally long time to get something as simple as a soft drink or even extra cutlery.  By the end of the meal we began to feel frustrated with the service and complained. The head waiter/ manager paid us a visit and told him about our experience.

He didn’t apologize but rather explained to us that “this usually doesn’t happen” and that he “will look into it”  but he didn’t seem very sympathetic either. We were clearly dissatisfied with his response and began discussing our dismay in an obvious manner at this point. But it was only after we ordered the bill that he finally greeted us at the door and apologized. To be frank, it was a little too late he had already lost us.

You can have the best food in town, but with poor service and even some attitude it’s pretty hard for customers to focus on anything else, and in a depreciating economy like ours, you would like to think that businesses would strive harder to retain customers. Apparently not at Métropole.

View all Restaurant Reviews HERE

Ivy Who? #IvysBigReveal

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Lebanon, Get Civil!

Civil marriage is finally making headlines in Lebanon, for the right reasons. And like all national issues, suddenly everyone’s an expert and advocate on the topic. That I can live with.

I’m not going to lecture you on civil marriage, but here’s what you need to know: It’s not permitted in Lebanon, most couples travel abroad to wed, usually somewhere close by like Cyprus or Turkey. And a high religious power figure in the country just denounced everyone supporting it as an apostate/blasphemous and described civil marriage activists as “predators spreading bacteria.”

To add insult to injury an  ignorant breed of young people suddenly started giving their two cents on civil marriage and here is one of the downright silliest arguments I’ve heard from some women with toothpick-thin red tattooed eyebrows:

“But yaa3ni every girl dreams of having a big wedding, with a huge dress and full-makeup and hair and the cake and everything. And how will she get married without her parents? And shou no zaffeh?? The pictures will look so ugly and empty. Haram. She will regret it one day trust me!”

You see what we have to put up with? And I love how some people even take the time to explain to them that they can still throw a party after the civil ceremony and wear a huge dress and invite family and friends. Please! This sort of mindset is what’s keeping Lebanon behind on civil rights and how on earth are women supposed to even attain their full rights as citizens if they would  be opposed to civil marriage for the sake of a dress and party?? I’m going to go hide under some rock now and wake up when it’s really 2013 in Lebanon.

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civil marriage