Tag Archives: women

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?

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





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…


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

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 Tips To Becoming A Happier Person

ten tips to becoming a happier person by ivy says

1. Drop a grudge. It doesn’t mean you should befriend someone who hurt you it just means you should rid yourself of the hatred you’re harboring. It takes up too much energy. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.

2. Quit your job. especially if you hate it so much. No plan B? Yeah that happens too. Something better will come along, trust me on this one.

3.Get a pet. even if you grew up in a house that absolutely forbade them. They really are the gift that keeps on giving, provided you train them well. The sheer joy and comical behavior and most importantly unconditional friendship that comes with owning one can is priceless, any god pet owner can attest to that.

get a pet

4. Take up an exercise class; Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Trampoline, Body Pump anything that requires you to establish a healthy routine and allows you to get moving. It’s not just about getting fit, it’s about dedication and a sense of community. Even when you don’t know anyone in the class, you are all still feeding off each others energy and working as a team towards a common goal- and that’s well being. There’s also nothing like earning a guilt-free dinner.

take up a class

5. Clean out your closet. Face it, you’re probably never going to wear (or fit in) to that dress from 4 summers ago but every time you open your closet and see it there it makes you feel miserable. Get rid of it and make some room for the new.

6. Get gutsy and get that hairstyle you always wanted but never dared to. Get out of your comfort zone, change things up. If you find your hair dull and boring, then make it exciting and new. It’s a major confidence booster that will suddenly make you want to try out new makeup and new styles.

get a new hairstyle

7. Speaking of makeup, no matter how many “I hate makeup” declarations you’ve made trust me when I tell you it can change your entire perspective and cover up some major flaws you’ve been hating on forever. Have your beauty expert friend take you on a makeup spree, and watch how you will LOVE discovering that there really is a product for every inch of your face- and they work!

makeup shopping

8. Stop seeing the same people. I don’t mean you should stop talking to your friends all together, just widen the circle. Be more sociable in your approach, you’re never too old for new friends.

9. Spoil yourself especially if you work hard. For some that’s a day at the spa for others it’s a handbag with a hefty price tag but either way go for it.

spoil yourself

10. Quit comparing yourself to others. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be deceiving, and keeping a keen eye on someone’s “perfect” life can make you begin to despise your own.




10 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Married


1. You don’t trust each other, even when you’re together. This kind of relationship is toxic-trust me. You know he has a wandering eye but you’re hoping marriage will fix that, because then he’ll only be yours. Nice try… Why spend your life trying to catch him instead of just going with your gut?

2. You can’t agree on anything. You both thought it was cute when you couldn’t decide on which mini-appetizer roles to order, but it’s not that cute anymore when it involves life-altering decisions like whether you want to move to KSA or pull out a mortgage on a house.

3. You’re at that age where your parents would really like to see you married, so they’re putting on the pressure. And you want to make them happy and proud. So you keep ignoring the signs and just settle hoping it will all work out. You just gambled your life, good luck.

4. You’ve succumbed to life-altering decisions because you were over powered. And no I don’t mean you had a gun held to your head, you just couldn’t win the argument so you just gave in to your own unhappiness- for the next fifteen years!

5. You’ve spent so much time together already, sharing your life together doesn’t even sound that appealing anymore to you.  The spark is gone. That’s bad. No matter how long you’ve been together for, you should ALWAYS get excited at the idea of being together-and yes forever. So if that thought makes you queasy, think thrice. 6. You’ve spent so much time together, it’s only correct you do the right thing and tie the knot. Everyone is expecting you to, especially her parents. Otherwise, it will look like you just dated for fun and wasted her time. GASP

7. You already share an apartment, a car and the same friends what’s an official paper going to do right? Well, not if you’re not convinced he/she is your soul mate. Convenience will slowly evolve into burden and misery and only then you’ll realize what that paper really means.

8. You have totally different outlooks/lifestyles. While you want to save up for the yacht and cruise the Mediterranean, your partner wants to grow veggies on a farm and enjoy the simple life. While he wants to travel the world with his hot-shot consulting job you’re happy just having 3 children right way. You want different things from life – the sooner you come to terms with it, the less difficult you make it on each other.

9. You’re constantly trying to change each other. You think he can be more generous and he thinks you spend too much. It’s all fun and games when you’re just dating but unless you accept each other the way you are, your marriage will become a constant barrage. Throw some children in the mix and you can join the divorce statistics.

10. You want to get married your partner doesn’t. So you keep giving him/her the ultimatum until they give in. Is that really how you want to base your marriage, on blackmail? Think long and hard about it. Read More

How To Find Your Soul Mate

5 Reasons You’re Still Single; The Arab Men Edition

6 Reasons Why He Didn’t Call You Back

8 Reasons Why Arab Men Won’t Marry You

What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits of Middle Eastern Women

The 6 Annoying Dating Habits Of Middle Eastern Men

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