Tag Archives: lebanon

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?






Ivy Reviews: Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostalgie D’Orient

Ivy says beauty blogger lebanon Review

Before I tell you about the wonderful message behind Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics limited Nostaligie d’Orient  I think I I speak for a lot of women when I say we appreciate makeup that gets us, the kind of easy-to-carry sets that can be thrown into a makeup bag and pulled out for quick pick-me-ups throughout the day. So when I heard that Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics was coming out with  this three-piece pencil set that included a black kohl, red lipstick and concealer all in one, I knew I had to give it a try.

Ivy says Nostalgie D'orient

With Nostalgie d’Orient, Bassam Fattouh wanted to depict the beautiful side of Lebanon, the idea that despite all the issues this country faces which dominate international headlines, it also imports beauty around the world, something we tend to forget… So this collection is his way of paying homage and celebrating both the past and the present by combining the three landmarks we are so proud of; our Baher (sea), Jabal (Mountain) and the capital Beirut, in a vintage pop art package designed by renowned graphic designer Rana Salam.

The Set

Nostalgie D'orient by bassam fattouh review

Beirut: My favorite thing about this Lipstick is that it’s one of the few times you get to wear a bold color without requiring a lip liner, because it basically combines the super creaminess of a lipstick with the precision of lip liner, just keep it sharpened. The color is a signature fiery red one which never fails to impress and although it is very matte it’s quite lively upon application.

Jabal: This one’s a bold carbon black eyeliner, with a very VERY highly pigmented formula. I recommend you use it for tracing and creating kohled eyes or a bold oriental cat eye more than blending for a smokey eye look. The color release is excellent and it will last and last without smudging or streaking, It’s uber matte too.

Baher: I confess, this is my first experience with a pencil concealer, and lately I’ve been quite frustrated with formulas that fade with blending, but the yellow-based formula on this one is thick and heavy enough to stay. It’s not as blendable as you would think but I don’t mind because it’s perfect for highlighting and contouring. My only suggestion is to apply lightly because a little really goes a long way.

Nostalgie Dorient bassam fattouh color swatches

Et Voila, a full makeup look using these three pencils.

Ivy says review Bassam Fattouh Cosmetics Nostaligie D'orient

If you’re fan of makeup and a fan of Lebanon then this is one limited edition set you don’t want to miss out on. You can order Nostalgie d’Orient online here

More makeup reviews

Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation

Yves Saint Laurent Summer Must Haves

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion

Giorgio Armani Summer Must Haves

The Top 5 Perfumes This Season

Too-Faced Lip Injection Gloss

Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel

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





Summer Safari- A Look from Forever 21

Ivy says city centre Forever 21

I absolutely love the endless choices of accessories, hats and shoes that you can pair with outfits at Forever 21 located exclusively at City Centre Beirut. The convenience of completing an entire outfit from head-to-toe in one stop is also something you will come to appreciate when pressed on time.

I loved the boho-chic feel of my first Black and Teal look but for my second look with Forever 21, I chose this short denim dress which I thought would make the perfect addition to my wardrobe this summer, since it’s both versatile, light and can be dressed in so many different ways.

ivy says forever 21 day look

I styled it a little differently, with a pair of closed black mules which I remember rocking back in the 90s (they’re back big time) and a small-sized pretty powder pink backpack and completed the look with this Indiana Jones style Fedora I loved so much I also picked up in black. I like how the entire outfit put together looked safari-themed and fun. What do you think?

Forever 21 styled by ivy saysIvy says Forever 21

The Top 5 Perfumes This Season

Ivy's Top perfumes

1. Black Opium by YSL

Black Opium YSL review

Derived from its 1977 classic Opium, trust me when I say Black Opium smells just as good as it looks. It has notes of coffee ,electric pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar and is one of those scents that lingers on even after you’ve left the room. It now one of my signature scents and favorite fragrances to date from YSL.

2. Versace Eros Pour Femme Fragrance

Versace eros pour femme

I was immediately drawn to the feminine accents of Jasmine, peonies, pomegranate and sandalwood of Versace Eros, the newly launched fragrance by Versace. 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 definitely smells and looks like a classic on my counter.

3. Fatale Agent Provocateur

Fatale by Agent Provocateur

It’s no secret that like everything from Agent Provocateur, Fatale is very seductive. It’s also smells super sweet, with bold top notes of spicy Pink Pepper with succulent Mango and exotic Blackcurrant and chocolate. I love the combination of fruity-floral-gourmand and just the longevity of the scent. I also appreciate just how practical the compact bottle design fits rights into my purse. If you love your perfumes sugary than you need to try this one out.

4. La Nuit Trésor by Lancome

La Nuit Tresor Lancome Review

Dubbed as the black Diamond of Lancome and announced as the first gourmand aphrodisiac from the brand, La Nuit Trésor is the result of combining the heart of a black rose, with vanilla orchid and my personal favorite, Lychee praline. It also has a very distinct raspberry top note as soon as you smell it. If I would describe this smell in one word, I would say it’s romantic. The bottle is exquisitely shaped like a diamond with a pretty satin black rose and bow. If you loved Lancome’s original bestselling Trésor then you will love the modern sultry take on La Nuit Trésor.

5. My Burberry

My Burberry Perfume Review

An iconically British fragrance that is inspired by the brand’s famous cult trench coat and the smell of a London urban garden after the rain. It opens with notes of sweet peas geranium, freesia flowers rounded up with patchouli in the base, joined with Damascus and Centifolia rose, in other words, it’s very floral and feminine. I love to put this one on during the daytime, especially when I have meetings

My 7 Favorite Things This July

How To Prevent Stretch Marks

5 Star Hotel Room Luxury At Home

8 Ways To Transform Your Balcony

4 Summer Must-Haves by Giorgio Armani Beauty

2 Summer Must-Haves by Yves Saint Laurent

Ivy’s Home: Five Star Hotel Room Luxury At Home

The white company ivy says style home

Like most people who love luxury hotels, I’ve come to appreciate the linens, lotions, towels and most of all bathrobes that come in the rooms. So I thought to myself why not take things up a notch at home and include those five-star touches in our very own bedroom and bathroom, and so I went to the obvious choice, The White Company, which opened its first and only branch in Lebanon at City Centre Beirut on Level 2. I love the stylish simplicity of this British store, which smells like a fresh sea breeze and looks crisp and clean, a place where it’s summer all year long.

Ivy Says Home

I wanted to take that smell home with me and picked out the White Geranium Scent Diffuser, a refreshingly light floral scent – with notes of lavender and eucalyptus, followed by aromatic geranium laced with rose and fresh thyme. I also bought the White Geranium Candle another relaxing and calming scent and completed the set with the Hand & Body Balm from the same series.

Geranuim set The white company reviewThe white company city centre beirut

I spoiled my husband and I with one of The White Company’s signature items, a short Hydrocotton Robe for me and the long Hydrocotton robe for him. Now let me tell you, these are one of the fluffiest and softest quality bathrobes you will find, even after washing over and over again, they make you want to nestle inside. They’re surprisingly quite lightweight, so I like to wear mine around the house over my PJs before I start my day.

The White Company Hydro cottonHome decor lebanon ivy says

I made sure our feet too get to indulge in the same experience as we stepped out of the bath, so I complemented the set with the lIe de Ré bath mat, like our bathrobes, they too are made of Hydrocotton, this amazingly thick, reversible, fluffy mat that makes you feel like you landed on a pillow, and most importantly is super fast dry.

Bath Mat The White Company

And finally, no trip to The White Company would be complete without some items from the Seychelles series, with warm notes of exotic coconut, vanilla and almond. I chose the Body Lotion and Bath and Shower Gel which really made us feel like we were on holiday at some fancy beach resort.

Seychelles  lotion the white company city centre beirut

These simple items really helped give our bed and bathroom that hotel room feel we crave, especially after a long stressful day or during a relaxing weekend at the beach. I also think they make the perfect gifts for friends who too appreciate the finer (and uber-soft) things in life.

Read More

8 Ways To Transform Your Balcony