Baby Luca’s Chocolates by Boite Sucrée

Boite Sucrée Baby Luca set up

I was very much looking forward to picking out Baby Luca’s chocolate and favors as my due date approached. We’re huge on chocolates and party favors in Lebanon especially for weddings, births and baptisms and now even more for engagements, graduations, proposals and birthdays. This was an extra special occasion for me, the birth of my first child, and I had put a lot of thought into the sort of look and feel I wanted. Many of my friends had also given birth recently and although I thought some of their displays were beautiful, I couldn’t help but notice just how similar they all were, even using identical props and themes from the same store.

So I knew I wanted to find a chocolate design boutique that was unique and I also knew I wanted to collaborate with a designer who was flexible and approachable yet inspiring. I wasn’t looking for something over-the-top or complicated, but at the same time I definitely didn’t want someone to sell me a design that was recycled over and over again. So after doing my rounds on the usual suspects I fell on a gem in Kfarhbeb (Jounieh) run by the lovely mother and daughter duo, Dana and Ghada Nakhoul, the creative directors and managing partners behind Boite Sucrée.

Dana Nakhoul Boite Sucrée.

Upon entering the lovely boutique I was immediately taken by the chocolates and decor on display, ready to be delivered to clients. Take a look at some of the gorgeous set ups below.

Boite sucreeBoite sucree chocolateswedding chocolates Boite SucréeChocolates by Boite Sucrée reviewchocolate favors Boite Sucrée.

For our first meeting, we developed a lovely mood board of the theme I had envisioned. I wanted it to flow with Baby Luca’s nursery which was full of teddy bears, with the color scheme of grey and beige. And since the set up would be on display in my living area I also wanted to incorporate white which makes a major appearance in our home.

sami and dana khairallah Luca

Besides, the creativity of Boite Sucrée. they weren’t just about the looks, their candy and chocolate range is absolutely delicious. We did a tasting and I picked my finalists though it was not easy. For the chocolates, we would have two different designs on a plain bar and another wafer one, both from the Belgian gourmet chocolate the delicious Callebaut.

Ivy says Boite Sucrée set upivy says Boite Sucrée lebanon

I also fell madly in love with the white chocolate coated dates stuffed with walnuts and the delicious Oreo cookies coated with Callebaut milk chocolate. I added the calisson printed cookies, with Luca’s name and sugared almonds in white and a matte silver which would be placed in convenient jars as favors. I loved the concept of “Meghleh” chocolate spoons and a bucket of iced hand decorated cookies shaped like baby boots and bibs on a stick. And finally the divine white chocolate coconut balls that would hang on a little tree.

Boite Sucrée boutiqueOrea Boite SucréeBoite Sucrée LebanonBoite Sucrée Ivy says Baby Luca Chocolates

The process was easy and straight forward, I was invited back to the store to take a look at the design options Dana had prepared. It was exactly what I had in mind, and I really appreciated that there would be no backs and forths since at the time I was heavily in my final trimester.

The best part? Boite Sucrée also gives clients the add-on of delivery and set-up when you’re at the hospital so when you’re home with baby everything is perfect and ready for celebrations.

I plan on commissioning Boite Sucrée and the team for all our upcoming occasions especially Baby Luca’s milestones. You can follow them on Instagram here or get in touch at 03788178.

Read More

What’s In My Hospital Bag


8 Things To Do Before Having a Baby

8 things to do before having a baby

On September 5th, the hubby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Yes, although we welcomed our first child 3 weeks ago, we will still technically have been married for that long without procreating, something that is considered a fail or tragedy in Middle Eastern society. You bet we’ve been pressured, by all sorts of people, some close to us and others who’ve simply installed electrical appliances in our home.

We’ve been successful at dodging the question thus far although some wildly inappropriate remarks from mere acquaintances have been relentlessly persistent  throughout the years, mind you, I’m still not entirely sure what sort of added value a child of ours would bring into their lives. Nevertheless, we took our sweet, sweet time, we didn’t succumb, and now I can honestly say we are overjoyed and more than ready to embark on this journey with our baby Luca.

You see we didn’t marry with the traditional idea “starting a family.” We married because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I was adamant on going through a marriage bucket list that I had updated as we went along, desperate to make the most memories out of our marriage before we shared and dedicated a huge portion of our lives to our much loved little third wheeler.

So if you’ve tied the knot now or have been wed for some time, my advice to you is to get to spend as much time as possible with your other half before making babies. And here are 8 things to do

1. Travel together, anywhere and everywhere. I don’t just mean go on a honeymoon, I mean go on adventures, visit as many countries as you can, take long road trips and endless train rides, try different cuisines and drink lots of wine. It’s about getting to know each other in as many different settings as possible. Don’t just be husband and wife, be fun travel companions outside the norm making memories that will last a lifetime.

2. Make a home. I don’t just mean buy one and hire an interior decorator to fix it up. I mean make a home that looks and feels like the both of you, let it embody the character of your relationship. If your hubby wants his own smoking room or billiards table go for it and if you’ve always dreamt of designing a dressing room or having a home gym, do it, even if space is limited, don’t leave it empty because it may one day be for your child,

3. Go out, for dinners, drinks and hit up as many dance floors as you can until the wee of hours of the morning. Party together, get wasted together, go through hangovers together, experiment together. Become regulars at a spot together. Marriage doesn’t mean growing up it means growing old together. So if you still feeling like doing all the things you did while you were single, by all means do them together and do them a lot. Do them until you feel something is missing. Then have a baby.

4. Support each other to quit the jobs you hate and find the jobs or start the business you love, even if you have a mortgage to pay off. If you don’t do it now you’re very less likely to do it when you have children and tuitions. Watch your relationship become happier and stronger and the quality of  your lives improve once you’re finally in your element, waking up every day to something you love and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

5. Make friends. I don’t mean with others I mean with each other. It’s one thing to be husband and wife and a total different thing to become best friends. Friends have fun together doing absolutely nothing without having to be constantly surrounded by other people all the time. Learn to truly enjoy each others company. Be partners in crime, attraction is great but spending a lifetime together requires true friendship and seasoned companionship.

6. Get a hobby together. Some couples like to hit the gym together and others prefer to ride on motorbikes , but whatever it is, make it your thing and make it sacred. My hubby and I love to throw champagne brunches for friends on our balcony during weekends and cook up storms in the kitchen in the evening with our favorite bottle(s) of wine and watch our favorite series for hours on end.

7. Splurge and live a little. Ok live a lot. Whether it’s a new car he loves or high-end spa sessions are you’re thing, make sure you spoil yourselves and enjoy the finer things in life. You will have plenty of time to play it safe, sacrifice (and save) once the kids come into the picture.

8. And finally, share a pet. Not only are those furry things entertaining but they’ll also give you a taste of responsibility to come. Pets need to be fed, walked, played with, nurtured and loved and sharing that form of dependability may help you consider whether or not you’re at a place in your lives where you’re ready to split your attention and efforts. It’s will also give you a glimpse of what type of parent your partner will make or not make.

Have I missed any? What’s on your married bucket list?

What’s In My Hospital Bag

Luca baby ivy says

As some of you may know my hubby and I welcomed our precious little boy Luca into the world on September 15, 2015 at 7:50 am.  We couldn’t be more humbled, overjoyed and grateful to call ourselves the parents of this sweet little guy and I want to thank each and everyone of you for your well wishes.

Like most expectant mommas, it’s been months and months of shopping and preparations as we counted down to D-Day- and I couldn’t complain that I finally had a legit reason to shop. But I have to admit, things started to get real as soon as I was told a number of times to keep the hospital bag on standby.

I found most of the items  at City Centre Beirut which has an entire level (2) dedicated to babies, so it served as the perfect one-stop spot for me as I went through my long-LONG list.

But first I knew I had to find the perfect hospital bag, something spacious and pretty to go with all the adorable little outfits I had bought for baby.

jacadi lebanon city centre

My first stop happened to be at one of my favorite baby boutiques, Jacadi at City Centre Beirut. I fell in love with this large travel bag and I thought the size was spacious enough to fit almost everything including some diapers, and the zippers inside and multiple pockets on the outside were ideal for socks, hats and accessories. A month later I was surprised to find a parcel from Jacadi had arrived only to find that they had sent over an identical bag to the one I had except it it was the diaper bag from the same series. Great Timing! Although this one came with a convenient changing mat, bottle bag and pouch for the time being I planned on using it as my own bag for the hospital. Matchy Matchy with baby, we we’re off to a perfect start!

Jacadi Diaper Bag Ivy says city centre

I also wanted a cute little onsie for baby Luca, something special that he would wear as we left the hospital to head home for the first time. This white cute velvet cute one caught my eye, it felt baby soft and I knew it was just perfect! Jacadi also sent over some much-needed all purpose muslin clothes and a sweet little Doudou which I also included in his bag.

Jacadi Baby Clothes ivy says

Next up, I wanted to personalize a blanket for baby Luca, and headed over to Pottery Barn Kids also on the same floor. I picked out this gray wool one which I got monogrammed with his name check out my full post on this amazing service here and I also picked up a set of three swaddle blankets with playful prints.

Pottery Barn Kids Lebanon

My next stop was at Mothercare at City Centre Beirut for some more outfits and found an adorable set of three onsie PJs, with a zebra theme. My favorite was the black and white striped one which I thought would make for a good laugh and it sure did.

Mothercare City centre beirut

And for my final stop at City Centre Beirut, I picked up this pregnancy beauty guide and skin care kit courtesy of Clarins Spa , I blogged about how much I loved their pregnancy massage in a previous visit and I was delighted to receive this package which included a Stretch Mark Minimizer, an Exfoliating Body Scrub, Beauty Flash Balm for the face and Tonic Body Treatment Oil from plant extracts which I used to firm and massage my body during my stay at the hospital.

clarins pregnancy guide

And of course no baby hospital bag was complete without a full set of Mustela products, this top brand found at most pharmacies had helped me completely avoid stretch marks during my pregnancy, read more here and now they were about to keep my baby, clean, hydrated and uber soft. They’re hypoallergenic, chemical free and paraben free, I packed the entire series, from baby shampoo and cleansing products to his first perfume Musti which smells like pure love. My favorite also happen to be the No-rinse Cleansing Water, Skin Freshener which I like to use on his hair and face and the Massage Oil which baby Luca enjoys thoroughly after his bath.

Mustella review baby

I can’t wait to share many more new finds as I embark on this new journey with my little love :)

What’s in your hospital bag?






A Unique Baby Gift Idea from Pottery Barn Kids

ivy says blankets customized lifestyle

I don’t know about you but my Facebook timeline has been flooded with pictures of my pregnant friends or newborn babies lately. And unless someone has already registered for a Baby Gift Registry, finding a nice, unconventional gift can be a little challenging.

So I was very happy discover Pottery Barn Kids, an offshoot of one of my favorite furniture and home style stores I’d stop by on a regular basis in both Canada or Dubai, Pottery Barn, was available in Lebanon only at City Centre Beirut. During my many visits, in preparation for my own baby’s nursery (more on that in a later post) I discovered that Pottery Barn Kids offers an in-store monogramming service on most of their own textiles and beddings for an additional fee. There were so many options to personalize from lovely quilted pillows, initials on babies towels or fleece and wool blankets.

ivy says baby gifts city centre pottery barn lebanon

I picked out two super soft Satin Trim Blankets, in grey and baby blue, from the new collection for two different friends with baby boys, Brian and Karl. You can never go wrong with a nice blanket, that can be thrown over a stroller or  placed on a rocking chair.

The Monogramming Station

baby gift ideas city centre beirut

The friendly staff will give you a form fill out, where you will be asked to write down the baby’s name, and then proceed to choose the size and font you like. Next, you will be given a choice of yarn colors available on display. If you’re unsure about where you would like to monogram either the baby’s full name or initials request that the staff provide you with some in-store samples. Keep in mind that it takes around a day or two for the monogram to be ready after you purchase your items so don’t expect it to be done on the spot.

Monogramming at pottery barn kids city centre beirut

I have so many plans to customize my baby’s beddings, linens and towels and I’ll be sharing those with you as I go along so make sure to follow me on Instagram. If you too are having a baby for the first time and are still new to this baby shopping thing, then I suggest you pay a visit to Pottery Barn Kinds located on Level 2 at City Centre Beirut. You can find everything from unique furniture, rugs, lamps, decorative pieces and so much more for your babies or children’s rooms.

ivy says nursery pottery barn kids city centre beirut

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A Makeup Session With BOBBI BROWN

Bobbi Brown Hamra Ivy Says ReviewMakeup beauty blogger ivy says

Last week, I got to celebrate the first anniversary of  Bobbi Brown’s first stand-alone boutique in Hamra with a lovely makeup session by the brand’s international makeup artist Eliano Abou Assi. As may or may not know, Bobbi Brown is all about achieving a natural look, with a huge emphasis on good skin, which requires prepping the face with moisturizing and hydrating skin care products from the line before applying makeup.

But the Bobbi Brown philosophy is also centered around achieving that au naturel fresh-faced glow by using the right shade of both Correctors and Concealers followed by foundation. These steps alone should blend in naturally with your skin tone, even without requiring any additional makeup if a flawless wide-awake look is what you’re after.

ivy says makeup free no makeup look

The makeup artist opted for a warm nude CC Cream for my face followed by Bobbi Brown’s iconic Skin Foundation Stick that felt both weightless yet creamy. Although he meticulously applied the products, when he was done, I somehow managed to look makeup free yet my skin looked radiant, even and blemish-free, not like it was waiting for more makeup to applied, but rather it glowed in all the right places, made me almost wish I could actually wake up like this.

Bobbi Brown makeup Dana Khairallah look review

He completed the look with sheer finished pressed powder to help it settle and some bronzer and the Shimmer Brick Compact in Nectar. I requested a soft smokey eye and he suggested the lovely Art Stick in Sunset Orange to go with my cheeks. Loved how easy and fresh faced the entire look came together.

Ivy Says makeup bobbi brownBobbi Brown Makeup Chart Ivy says

Make sure to pass by the Bobbi Brown in Hamra to browse the entire extensive collection and request a personal consultation if you’re hesitant about the right shades that work for you, staff are more than happy and knowledgeable to assist in that department.

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An All Italian Look

Dana Khairallah ivy says furla

What happens when two very Italian things come together? Fashion.

That’s right. I was one of the first few to get my hands on the new Superga raffia flatform sneakers, as part of the brand’s latest collaboration with famous street style blogger Gala Gonzalez, and these multicolored half-espadrille half wedge hotties proved to be the perfect staple to my wardrobe this season.

Ivy says superga sneakers raffia gala

It also happens that I was invited to preview Italian house Furla latest Pre-fall 2015 collection this summer and had fallen for this Stacy drawstring bag blue in which I’ve been endlessly styling ever since, you can view another look here

Ivy Says Furla Superga gala

I’ve been sporting a baby bump all summer in case you’ve mistaken my round midsection for a big lunch… and I’ve opted for loose and casual wear, especially with the scorching heat.  I loved accessorizing these two Italian beauties with a comfortable short dress for a day out.  I’ll be pairing these two in more ways than one so don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Superga gala gonzalez

A special thank you to for sending over this colorful encrusted statement necklace and whose accessories I always love!

DSC_5787 (Copy)

Floral Sunglasses by Bana Sunglasses,

ivy says superga furla


3 Looks From Ted Baker

ted baker city centre beirut store

Most people who know me well know I have a weakness for Ted Baker, the British luxury brand known mostly for their signature unique prints which I absolutely adore. And to my bank account’s dismay, I almost never leave one of their stores empty handed even when I promise myself I’m “just browsing.”

But what also puts this designer on one of my list of absolute favorite brands is the fantastic fit most of their outfits have and no I don’t just mean on my own figure, and I’ll prove that to you today in this post. Whether it’s a form-hugging midi dress, maxi, tunic or even a floral jumper, there is something about the intricate tailoring and cuts that just about flatter every figure thanks to Ted Baker’s superior craftsmanship and grade A quality

Although Ted Baker is partially present at a few department stores in Lebanon, it officially opened its first stand-alone store at City Centre Beirut and this is the only one with a complete men’s section as well. You’ll find the full range here from outfits, bags shoes and all sorts of accessories.

You must be wondering if they carry a maternity line, since I’m very much into last trimester, they don’t, but that’s why I’m such a fan, I was able to shop here and find the full collection of the latest outfits that worked even with my big baby bump, all I had to do was go a size or two larger.

City centre ted baker ivy says

For my first look I went for this playful outfit with a white preppy top that had a pearl embroidered collar and a powder pink flowy midi-skirt which I styled with a matching floral pair of pumps and a clutch. I loved how passe-partout the look was, perfect for both a brunch or dinner.

Ted Baker clutch and heels ivy says choice

For my second look, I wanted a little black dress to wear to an upcoming event and I loved how this-off the-shoulder one hugged my figure and showed off my bump without making it look over exaggerated. I added a pop of color with these patent crimson pumps and this cut-out monochrome clutch.

Little black dressIvy says Ted baker city centre

And finally, this Fuchsia Floral print tunic dress was something I could wear daily, I obsessed with the colors and couldn’t help but dress it down with a pair of matching sneakers which were also love at first sight. They work with almost anything and are just so comfortable.

Ivy says dana khairallah fashion city centreTed baker dana khairallah city centre

Ted baker is located on Level 2 of  City Centre Beirut.

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