Saturday, July 28, 2012

Glorious Weather in UK Just Loving it :OD

We have, indeed, been blessed with fab weather this last week. Which is a stark contrast to the nasty weather we had a few years ago during a 7 week 'summer' holiday in UK - when it rained every day except one. I ended with 3 pairs of good shoes being ruined and getting toe fungus :O( 

So this year we came laden with raincoats, jumpers, umbrellas and haven't even taken them out of the suitcase ...yet (one mustn't speak too soon). 

Thank you Primark for togging us out in suitable summery clothes at incredibly low prices. If you've never been to Primark; it is a MUST. 

Went up to London as 4 year old nephew Finley, the gorgeous one, had a casting for a big brand company (fingers crossed). We spent the whole afternoon at Hyde Park soaking up the holiday zen. Just love Hyde Park, we ate ice creams and lolled in deck chairs whilst the kids ran around and had a blast. Ahhhh..:OD

Have eaten delicious raspberries grown in the back garden... Yum!

Love that the kids are out in the garden trampolening in their PJs, love that at 8.23AM they are having ice lollies. Okay let be explain the last statement; they have been up since 6.30AM and had a healthy breakfast before 7AM... and trampolening is hot and tiring stuff ;O) 

I just love sunny summers in England.

The Kuwaiti Swimmer Faye Sultan Representing Kuwait at the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony

A previous post with more info about the lovely Faye [link]. Wishing them all
the very best of luck.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Runaway Bride-To-Be

Hen Night - Traditionally an all girls night where the bride-to-be is dressed up in a daft outfit and celebrates in a mad and crazy manner :O) Thanks to all Sarah's fabulous friends for a fantastic evening xxx

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Back in England...Yay!

Woohoo! Back in England: The land of Spectacular Rainbows.

Survived the flight thanks to 3 hours of Mr Grey - although the setting I was in was a little off-putting ;0) LOL. Not quite the same with chatty 9 year old to your right, snoring Indian lady behind you and crying baby somewhere (but not far enough away). 

Whilst getting our luggage the Korean Olympic team arrived - but sadly no pic - was too busy trying to get big bags off carousel (no dinar boys in blue here).

Yay! Feels good to be home and with my adorable family :O)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Starbucks Insider - Drinks for Kids

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Edible Fabulosity from Delissshhh...

For my wonderful mother-in-law from the amazing Nataly at Delissshhh

H&M Taps Lana Del Rey for Fall Advertising

H&M’s TORCH SONG DUET: Speculation about indie chanteuse Lana Del Rey fronting H&M’s fall fashion campaign reached a fever pitch in June, but the Swedish retailer has remained mum on the subject. Until now. H&M on Monday confirmed to WWD that Del Rey will indeed be the global face of H&M’s fall advertising — with a second campaign planned for winter. Del Rey’s retro look — Sixties-inspired minidresses and long “ironed” hair has invited comparisons to Priscilla Presley’s early days with Elvis. It has not gone unnoticed by the fashion industry. Mulberry named a handbag after the singer and she was signed in January by Next modeling agency; Del Rey landed on the cover of Vogue in March. The H&M gig is her first modeling job.

“The mood is very L.A. noir,” said Donald Schneider, H&M’s creative director. “It’s inspired by our fall collection.” Looking like a Fifties screen siren in one ad — the print campaign was photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin — Del Rey wears a pale pink angora blend sweater. Del Rey performed a cover of “Blue Velvet” for a minifilm that will be released on on Sept. 19 and subsequently distributed globally. Edited versions will be used as TV commercials.

Going on Holiday..Back on August 12th ish :O)

Off to England to attend my baby sister's wedding. We (precious pumpkin and I) are so excited!! Miss Kookie adores weddings and has already got her white dress ready and tiara (have passed it by the bride and she's deliriously happy that she'll have a mini-me). Take care of yourselves out there, enjoy your holidays and Ramadan.

If I can will do some posts from the UK. But possibly tres busy with wedding plans, hen night and generally having a blast :O) Bye for now.

Trying to Get Your Kids Interested in Science or Want to Understand it Yourself? You need The Spangler Efffect

My kid loves this guy..There are loads more of his science episodes on Youtube.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kim Kardashian Coming to Kuwait

Yep, looks like she's really coming. I've heard she'll visit the troops at Camp Arifjan and will be inaugurating the opening of a Millions of Milk Shakes store here on 29th November in Avenues Mall, Kuwait.

If you can't afford for the pricey dinner tickets on sale (KD350 at Le Notre) then the overly eager could try this...

From their FB page:


The world famous Millions of Milkshakes is soon to open in Kuwait in the Middle East and is casting upbeat, high energy bar staff, waitresses and hostesses to work within the store during the grand opening. Must have experience and a big personality, with the ability to work high profile celebrity events. Please send your resume, headshot and two paragraphs as to why you fit this fabulous opportunity at Millions of Milkshakes.

All applicants should be hard working, experienced, outgoing, and entertaining. Singing, dancing and acting skills a major plus!!! We are looking for people with great personalities.

Visit our website at

Email resumes and pictures to:

Here's their menu..

Design your own milkshake... 

LWDLIK - I shall be giving the Avenues a wide berth on 29th November as, no doubt, it will be heaving with men. Wouldn't mind trying a milkshake though maybe a non fat yogurt with oreos, starwberries and chocolate hot fudge...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh Dear! I think I May Have a Little Banoffee Pie Addiction :OI

And it's all your fault Truly Scrumptious Bakery.

Fursa...The Who, What and Where of Them.

Fursa is a non-profit Kuwaiti organization. It is a multi brand store that offers a chance for young talents to reveal their creations. Whether you are already working on a concrete project, have the first sparks of an innovative idea or just the intention to contribute your time, energy and talent to make a positive difference, Fursa provides a carefully curated experience to help take your initiative to the next level.
At Fursa you would find everything for women, men, and kids, from vintage clothes, modern-day outfits, funky accessories, art and gadgets. They try to support local, regional, and international designers and creative persons to display their work at their store rent-free and we only for a small percentage of the sales. So far they’ve got participants from Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and France.
Fursa is located at Salmiya next to Marina Mall, ‘The One’ parking, in front of ’7 bars’ restaurant, and in the same building as ‘Breakfast and Brunch’.
Follow them on twitter @fursa_q8 or Instagram: @fursaq8

With thanks and much appreciation to The Side Talk Blog for this fabulous post.

Ace Hardware Fab Selection for Dogs and Kitties

Pet beds for reasonable prices (and I should know just paid a whopping KD 17 for Maury's) this one was around KD 8.

Dog seat belts.

Muzzles also good for stopping your dog from eating scraps of food, or something more
heinous, left in the streets or on the beach.

Every size of pet carrier.

Healthy treats

Ummm...And the non-hilal ones

Workout shoes :0)

Clothing for the more refined doggies.

Cute sweat shirt onesies.

Working time: Saturday to Friday from 8:30 am to 
11:00 pm (continuously).

ACE Hardware Al-rai area beside Al-Hasawi Industrial group,
Mohammed Al Qassem Street. Tel.:24756233 / 24724663. Map [link]

Friday, July 13, 2012

100 Years of British Fashion Trends

One Day...

Children's Portrait Photographs Available at Sadu House

Fursa's Pre-Ramadan Donations Charity Drive

First Amputee Track Athelete to Compete at the London Olympics

Oscar Pistorius is going to the Olympics: Oscar Pistorius has been selected to run in both the individual 400 metres and the 4×400-metre relay at the London Olympics and is set to become the first amputee track athlete to compete at any games.In a surprising last-minute decision Wednesday, South Africa’s Olympic committee and national track federation cleared the double amputee to run in his individual event.

LWDLIK - Get the kleenex boxes ready girls.. Wow! Is all I can say...Even if he doesn't win it will be a truly amazing inspirational moment for all. You knew I'd have to say more than just "Wow!"  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fast-food Employees Dish About the Menu Items You Should Never Order


While health experts focus on how fast food can affect everything from your mood to your waistline, some fast-food workers are weighing in on the menu items they think people should never, ever eat -- and the reasons have little to do with childhood obesity, calorie counts, or fat content.

Related: The 5 worst "healthy" fast food meals for kids

"When I was a young buck, I worked at Burger King," writes JohnnyDollar at "Here is how the oil rotation went. You had four vats of oil that you cooked fries in. And boy did you cook fries. Tons of them. After about 2 days worth, the oil got too dark for fries. So we switched it over to the ones for chicken. Since it was darker, it was ok. Then that goes on for a week. After a week of massive frying. The oil is black as motor oil. At that point, it's switched to the Fish Filet vat. That's the only thing you cook in that vat."

"When I worked at McDonald's, I accidentally left a whole bag of about 100 chicken nuggets out on a counter for way too long," Dfunkatron confesses. "They melted. Into a pool of liquid. I never understood why. But they were completely indiscernible as being the nuggets I once knew."

Related: McDonald's worker spits in tea: How gross is fast food?

Ice machines and ice-cream dispensers are also suspect, because they can be hard to clean or don't get "broken down" or taken apart often. "Been an employee for 4 years, completely stopped drinking ice from all fast food places soon as I found a caterpillar sized chunk of mold in the ice about a week after it was 'cleaned'," warns LordKira.

At some places, the food is fine, but the people who work there may make you want to eat elsewhere. "This one girl cut herself while making my sandwich, and thought I wouldn't notice, she just covered the wound with her thumb," writes wonkizzle, a Subway employee. "When it started to drip near my sandwich I said 'No. Im not paying for that, go clean up, get a band-aid, Put your gloves back on and we'll try again.' She acted all annoyed like it wasn't such a big deal and I should be blessed she decided to drip her special blood sauce on my chicken sammich. Other than that one experience, I love Subway."

Others loyally stuck up for their employers, pointing out that many fast food restaurants are individually owned franchises and mentioning the things they usually eat at work. "I love the popcorn chicken because more likely than not it's prepared fresh or at least within the last thirty minutes," former KFC worker diglettsbottomhalf wrote. "Any longer will make them hard and chewy."

While the way that Wendy's recycles overcooked hamburgers into the next day's vat of chili may be frugal, Cozmo23's description of it isn't exactly appetizing. (Though the rest of the thread, with riffs on British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's possible reaction? Awesome.) It's not limited to Wendy's, either: Lethal_Lunacy77 reports that the Chick-Fil-A he worked at did something similar with their chicken salad, stripping old chicken patties of their breading before chopping them up and mixing in mayo. And fast-food places aren't the only ones that recycle, apparently. "Being a dishwasher in an italian eatery, I am instructed to throw garlic bread that looks untouched after being put out on the customers table into a separate bin where they are taken from, then used in meatballs," writes Burkey217. "Years ago my older brother was a busboy at a local well-respected restaurant. He let me know that the uneaten dinner rolls that were brought to each table (in a basket w/ packages of butter) were saved and placed into new baskets to go out to guests later in the evening," Chef_Brokentoe adds.

Calls from Yahoo! Shine to Wendy's and Subway were not immediately returned; a representative for Burger King declined to comment. McDonald's spokesperson Julie Pottebaum denied the allegations made by former employees. “The recent Reddit thread contained lots of conversation about the fast food industry overall and McDonald’s in particular. Unfortunately, not all of it was accurate. Customers can trust McDonald’s to provide them with food that is real and made with high quality ingredients from the most trusted suppliers," she told Yahoo! Shine. "Our Chicken McNuggets in particular are made with white meat. Tales of Chicken McNuggets “melting” fall in the realm of urban legend and other misinformation about Chicken McNuggets."

If after reading through some of the horror stories you still can't live without your fast-food fix, restaurant workers also offered a few words to the wise.

"I worked at a Subway and the only thing I can say about them is that when you enter a subway after actually working at one, you notice little things about the other ones that lead your decision on what you want to eat," D3adkl0wn writes. "Examples include the color of the tuna mix, temperature gauges on hot case items... even the amount of s*** on the floor, and the state of the ingredients (scattered all over, or somewhat neatly in their own bins) can often tell you how well that particular place is kept in terms of food safety."

"You want advice? Don't come through before we close," writes Gemiinus, about her Wendy's establishment. "That's when we're most lenient about our quality."

There's one shining light in this sea of fast-food despair: Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

"If there's anybody scared about Five Guys, it's fine," cameron432 writes. "There's no freezer. The burgers are made from slabs of raw meat the day of or the day before. Fries are made every day from the potatoes you see stacked up. All of the toppings are fresh except for mushrooms. They come in sealed bags. But nothing is notoriously gross."

J'Adore les Macarons avec l'Union Jack.

Ayesha Al Humaidi Founder of K'S PATH

A big thumbs up to Ayesha, John and all at K'S PATH.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sukar Ramadan at 360 Mall

Pass by this weekend as @SukarRamadan launches Kuwait's biggest Ramadan sweets & dessert exhibition.
Pass by Sukar Ramadan Expo from July 12th - 14th & get a chance to watch the best chefs from around the world in action! @SukarRamadan. 

Boca Juniors Academy Football Camp During Ramadan

Website [link].

6th Khalifa Al Qattan’s Children & Youth Art Exhibition in Mishref

Najma and Jalila Al Qattan

Congratulations to Najma Aziz Chakkiwala 6yrs, Indian Public School . Najma's painting is one among the 100 winning paintings to be displayed along with some of the art works of the late artist Khalifa Al-Qattan at Khalifa Al-Qattan's Children & Youth Art Exhibition at AbdulAziz Hussein Cultural Centre in Mishrif (next to the Mishrif co-op) on July 10, 2012, at 7PM. Najma along with the other winning children will be awarded Certificates of Excellence, trophies and art gifts.

Some of the other talented winners:

Husain Kopty

Shanaya Kopty

Monday, July 9, 2012

1st International IVF Conference - Inaugural Speech by Former Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al Sayer

Many infertility problems in Kuwait caused by intermarriage between cousins. Assisted fertility, that is successful, is too often resulting in multiple births causing premature underweight deliveries which have left a shortage of ICU infant beds.

Holy Crap! Jordan Wins the Prize for Having the Most Craziest MPs..

Yes.. he actually pulls a gun out and aims it at the other guy on live TV.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

National Gaming Union Tournament Starts 27 July

Kuwait’s biggest gaming competition is happening this Ramadan 2012 at Live Theater! Be a part of this first-ever event in Kuwait by registering today. Kindly contact 6060-7800, 5068-3852 for full event details. Don’t miss it!

Tickets will be sold at the following locations:
-Discovery Mall (next to the entrance)
-Al Rehab Complex
-GUST Campus

It’s a Man’s World – Interview with Shurooq Amin, Kuwait’s Rebel with a Cause

Shurooq Amin
On March 5, 2012, just three hours after opening, Shurooq Amin’s highly anticipated exhibition at Kuwait’s AI M. Gallery, It’s a Man’s World, was shut down. Commencing at 8 PM, the exhibition attracted a large number of people, and Amin managed to sell a few pieces, although by 10 PM, the local police stormed the scene, and began questioning both Amin and the gallery owner. Apparently, the authorities had been informed that Amin’s work was of a ‘pornographic’ nature, and as such, could not be shown in Kuwait. As the evening progressed, more and more officials arrived at the galleries, taking pictures of Amin’s paintings to send to the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce. Needless to say, in the end all of Amin’s paintings were taken down, and the exhibition was cancelled.
Although various accounts of the incident exist in both Arab and Western media, I talked to the woman behind the paintings herself, to hear her side of the story. As Amin would say, this is the story heard straight from the horse’s mouth!
What was the basis for the paintings in It’s a Man’s World? The paintings in the series seem to mark quite a departure from your earlier works.
Not really a departure. It’s a Man’s World was preceded by Society Girls, which was a taboo exploration of the private lives of Arab women. It seemed only natural and organic to move to the other half of society – men. With everything that was going on in the world, it occurred to me that our parliament was focusing on trivial, irrelevant issues that had nothing to do with improving the economy, health or education of the country, and everything to do with stripping women of their basic rights. Frankly, I believe (or rather any sociologist will tell you) that the more freedom those in power take away from society, the more hedonistic and corrupt that society would become. I wanted to shed light on this problem.
Shurooq Amin
His Dilemma
In the paintings, for the most part, the male figures are faceless. What is this intended to signify?
In almost all of my artworks, the men are faceless. There is a practical logical reason for this, and another metaphorical reason. The former is that the men are real men from society – they’re not models. When I do the photo shoot, their faces are exposed, but I ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect their identity and subsequent safety, and proceed to cover their faces. The latter reason is of course, to symbolize the hypocrisy that is inbred in our society. We are brought up and raised in this part of the world to be hypocritical. Men in power seldom practice what they preach. I’m all for living and letting live, but I can’t stand it when someone in power restricts a woman’s basic lifestyle on the basis of religious codes of conduct, when that person himself does not adhere to those codes. I’m simply putting it out there, exposing it, and forcing people to discuss taboo topics. Cultural progress cannot take place without an open sociopolitical dialogue between people.
Just three hours after the exhibition opened, it was shut down. Did you ever anticipate that such a thing would happen before the paintings were shown?
No, never. I expected some controversy, but what happened to me was outrageous; even the manner in which it happened was extremely vulgar, and totally illegal. They shut down my show, treated me like a criminal, banned my paintings from being shown in Kuwait, and came back the next day to confiscate them (luckily we had moved them to a safe location in the middle of the night). I’ve heard many rumors about the incident. For example, some people said I had planned the whole thing (which simply is a reflection of their own twisted minds), while others said that I must have anticipated the consequences because in an interview with Bazaar magazine, I had admitted that the artworks were controversial (well, so was Society Girls – so what?), and so on. It’s rather amusing reading about all the stories out there.

I can’t stand it when someone in power restricts a woman’s basic lifestyle on the basis of religious codes of conduct, when that person himself does not adhere to those codes- Shurooq Amin

Was the story covered in the Kuwaiti media? If so, what was the general stance towards you and your work?
Yes. The story was covered in the Kuwaiti media every day for the next 2 to 3 weeks on television, and in newspapers and magazines. My phone hardly stopped ringing. It became very disconcerting for me – overwhelming in a bad way. Most of the time I refused to give interviews, and still stories would come out in the paper, with falsified details!
As a result, I became very wary of the Arabic media, especially after the MBC fiasco. MBC invited me to Beirut to appear on their show, Kalam Nawaem. They sent me a ticket and hotel voucher, a TV crew to my studio in Kuwait to film, and they spoke to a lawyer on my side and an opposition member against me. They were very thorough. Subsequently, I arrived in Beirut and was told that they received a phone call from Kuwait ordering them to stop me from talking on air. That was devastating. When I was approached by Rotana, I decided I wouldn’t put myself through that again. However, the Western media was far more professional. ReutersArabian Business, and theFinancial Times wrote excellent articles about me and the incident. In Kuwait, the general stance was supportive, but those who were against me were very hurtful and personal. On the other hand, the support I received from the international community was overwhelmingly good.
Shurooq Amin - My Harem in Heaven
My Harem in Heaven
Although the exhibition was prematurely closed, the controversy you stirred gained you quite a bit of attention. What impact would you say all this publicity has had on your career as an artist?
The publicity I received was excellent for my career as an artist, because everyone wanted to see what all the fuss was about; and what they saw, they inevitably liked. My website used to get hundreds of hits a day, and now it gets thousands. The artworks are – at the end of the day – aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The subject matter – which is quite ‘heavy’ and serious – is dealt with in a very tongue-in- cheek, light-hearted manner … and I think that’s the secret to its success. I think people are fed up of seeing life reflected in art in a gruesome, gory, or depressing manner. My way is imposing a grueling vision comically and beautifully. It’s something you can hang in your home, ultimately. The energy of the work itself is positive. The universe is on my side. I’m sure whoever wanted to shut me up had no idea about how this would backfire on them. I’ve had offers from museums and galleries across the world. The International Art Critics Association have even sent letters to the Amir of Kuwait, to the National Council, and to the Kuwait Arts Association complaining about the incident and its impact on freedom of expression in the arts. I can’t thank them enough.

I have a mission, and I will carry it out – nothing will stand in my way. It’s that simple Shurooq Amin 

How has the incident affected your personal and professional life? In a relatively conservative country such as Kuwait, have you ever feared for your personal safety? What has been the impact on your role as a University professor?
I had even received a couple of death threats when I did Society Girls! In fact, a couple of men stormed into the exhibition demanding to ‘see the witch’ – I mean, really? Are we living in the dark ages? Would they like to burn me at the stake just because I’m strong-willed and won’t give up on what’s right? Or is it my power they’re afraid of? One film director asked to meet with me just to meet ‘the woman whose 17 paintings shook a nation’.
Look, I’ve never worried about my safety (how can you even drive your car if you worry?), despite being a single mother of four. I don’t want my children growing up in fear. My children are learning – just by observing my life – that no matter what life throws at you, you must never give up on your dreams, values, beliefs, or passions. If you talk to my friends, they will tell you I’m fearless. I have a mission, and I will carry it out – nothing will stand in my way. It’s that simple. At University, my students all asked me about the incident, as they had also heard mixed reports about it. They’re lucky in that they got a firsthand report straight from the horse’s mouth. It made for an excellent discussion on art, politics and sociology. I believe they learned more from that one incident than they did the whole semester.
Shurooq Amin - Diwanya High
Diwanya High
Your works from the same series have also been exhibited at the Lahd Gallery (presumably their London branch). What was the reception like over there?
When Lahd Gallery approached me to do a solo show at their London gallery, I was thrilled. I’ve always wanted to exhibit in London. That had been a dream of mine. The series that I showed there was called The Bullet Series,which was under the umbrella of Society Girls. What made The Bullet Series unique was that the paintings were shot with an M16 rifle using a Hornet bullet, which left a clean hole through the canvas. The reception was incredible. I was still a relatively unknown artist there and yet the feedback was astounding. Lahd Gallery still have two or three of my paintings there, I believe.
Are there any plans in the near future to hold more exhibitions in the Arab world? If so, would you ever consider showing the paintings from the It’s a Man’s World series again?
Yes I would definitely hold more exhibitions in the Arab world, and my focus would be Dubai. In fact, I’m preparing the next series as we speak. As for showing the It’s a Man’s World series, that would be impossible for one reason: most of the paintings have been sold. I have four left with me in my studio. That’s it. However, I am collaborating with Ayyam Gallery, the foremost gallery in the Middle East, to produce limited edition prints of some works from It’s a Man’s World and Society Girls. These can be purchased directly from Ayyam Gallery in Dubai. I had never been warm to the idea of prints, because my paintings have a lot of texture and detail, which I thought might not show up on print. Also, as each painting takes so much time, effort, and money to produce, and is totally unique, I – very naively – refused the idea of prints. However, I soon learned that for one, prints are only offered to artists whose work is in demand, and secondly, prints raise the value of the original artwork for its owner. Knowing that, I thought, ‘let there be prints!’
In the Middle East, many subjects – such as the ones you explored recently in your paintings – are still taboo. What do you think the future holds in store for the region’s artists in terms of how freely they can express themselves?
If they rally up behind me, I can assure you they will be able to express themselves freely. The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades!
About Joobin Bekhrad:
Joobin BekhradJoobin is the Founder and Editor of REORIENT, and the Co-Founder of art clvb