Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Quote of the Week

Love Me Tender at Thouq, SoMu





And more intrepid, playful artwork by Ahmed Alghanim can be found for sale at Thouq.com. Thouq is a tongue-in-cheek gallery/shop next to Caffeine in SoMu [map] and well worth a visit when enjoying South Mubarikiya during the cooler months. All work is designed and made in Kuwait. Love, love, love it! 

I do believe that Ahmed is the also owner of my favourite coffee shop in SoMu, Bayt Ahmed. which is a MUST visit.

Did you guess who they all are? Elvis, Shei-kh Guevara, Audrey & Marilyn, Bob Marley and Edina & Patsy. 



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Middle Eastern Cuisine Cookery Classes

Wife Exposes Husband's Fake Kuwaiti Citizenship After 22 Years




A Syrian national who had fraudulently acquired Kuwaiti citizenship 22 years ago has been arrested by the authorities in Kuwait.

He was arrested after his wife, in a fit of anger, reported about him to the authorities. She revealed that her husband was originally a Syrian and had forged documents to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship, and also took up a job in the public sector as Kuwaiti.

His nationality was ascertained after a DNA test and investigations revealed that he had entered the Gulf state with a Syrian passport, reported Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas.

The wife in her conversation with the police authorities made a revelation that her husband had lied about his nationality before getting married. She didn't divulge it to anybody after her marriage but could not longer restrain herself after he began criticising Kuwaitis.

After his Syrian identity is exposed, he and his children stand to lose their Kuwaiti status as per the Kuwaiti law.




Urban Culture Week

BAIA New Winter Schedule for All

WH Smith Books Buy 3 Get 1 Free

Monday, September 18, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Make Up Opening in Avenues Phase III Very Soon

Review: Bouchon Bakery in The Avenues



Just recently opened in Avenues phase III opposite Juicy Couture. Lovely looking seating area, soft pastel colours, the restaurant was almost full when we got there for lunch. A small menu with only a few lunch items but all looked and sounded good. The ladies on the next table had ordered the French toast and that looked amazing so I asked how it was, to which they answered it was way too sweet and consequently left 3/4 of it. So I ordered the fresh  pineapple juice, salmon quinoa salad and their signature Rosewater Paris-Brest pastry.

We were sat close to the cashier and two collecting areas for plates which proved to be very noisy with clattering plates and dropped cutlery. Service was below par, I was asked how my salmon quinoa salad was, to which I replied that the quinoa salad was slimy (possibly overcooked certainly not nutty), oily and tasteless as if it had not been seasoned or dressed, it really needed some citrus to cut the oiliness. The salmon filet however was cooked to perfection crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. So even though I expressed my negative comment it was not dealt with in an appropriate manner. 

My friend wanted to leave as the clattering was getting on her nerves and the disappointment in my salad had her ready to go elsewhere for dessert. I convinced her to stay as I really wanted to try the signature choux pastry with pistachio cream and raspberries. With my dessert I ordered a cappuccino. The dessert and coffee arrived and the waiter put them down and left. There was no cutlery or sugar given. My friend got up and to get sugar from another table and after a short while one of the supervisors had seen I had no cutlery and brought some over and a bowl of sugar. 

The signature pastry was unremarkable, a choux bun with a smear of pistachio cream and a tinier smear of raspberry jam paired with a huge amount of  patisserie cream hence there was no taste of the pistachio cream and raspberry jam which had sounded so good. Plus the pic on the menu had 4 raspberries on top and I only received 2 and a 1/2.
Sorry Bouchon Bakery but a disappointing visit after all the hype. 

I give it a 5/10



The Eyelash Vending Machine in Kuwait

I love it! Koshi Collection, Rawda Co-op, Kuwait. Cash only.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Victoria and Abdul the Movie



We saw this movie at the weekend in Grand Cinemas Al Hamra, a big double thumbs up for the Mall and cinema which is much more refined at the weekends than the other two biggies. 

I've been waiting to see this movie ever since I heard the incredible story based on letters that surfaced in 2010. Apparently, it is true and quite shocking but sweet and lovely too.

The austere and grumpy Queen Victoria who found friendship and candour in her Muslim Indian man servant. Dame Judi Dench is the dour Queen Victoria who is warmed by the handsome, candid foreigner Abdul Karim, played by Ali Fazal, who arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favour with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.

A lovely historical movie of an interesting yet scandalous friendship during an era of stringent propriety. I adore Judi Dench and enjoyed the movie but felt the script and movie could have been .... more. Not sure what it was lacking just needed more. I would rate it an 8/10. 

Tickets can be purchased online https://kw.grandcinemasme.com/en/book-movie


Review: Better Than Sex or Love Mascara



If you need a make-up recommendation ask a 14 year old. This mascara was highest on my daughter's list of must-haves. In fact she went on and on about it until in the end she bought it herself with her Eid money. The Too Faced mascara was renamed for the local market to avoid offending people's sensibilities. And let's get to the nitty gritty, is it any good? Yes, it is a great mascara, in my opinion and hers, it's the brush that makes it special but also the formula is not clumpy but really does plump up and elongate those lashes. It lasts and does not end up on your overhanging eyelids (not a problem my daughter has at her age). It's a 10 from me. Sephora in The Avenues stocks this item, when it isn't sold out, and it retails for around KD 9.800. 



Friday, September 15, 2017

DAI Youth Council

Second Hand Clothes Wanted For Charity


Pls note tel number change  501 82164



Red Arrows Incredible Acrobatic Display in Kuwait on 28th September


Not to be missed get yourself down to the sea front on 28th September anywhere from Shaab Green Island to the Kuwait Towers around lunch time to early afternoon. I have heard it will be a little later this year so the kids can make it after school.  



Premier Sport Academy New Season Free Opening Evenings For Kids





Welcome everyone to the beginning of a new season at the Premier Sport Academy - exciting, fun filled times ahead! We look forward to meeting everyone - old and new - during our free open evenings from 16th-20th September at Bayan between 5-8pm each evening. Come along, meet the coaches, enjoy a practice on the field, register and secure your place! Three new coaches from the U.K., Simon, Andrew and Luke join our coaching team, and together with our other regular coaches are all looking forward to meeting you next week.
Yours in Sport
Mike
Academy Director
PSA
Bayan
Block 7
Masjed Al-Aqsa St.
Abdulla Al-Rujaib High School
Kuwait
[map]


Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Latest Range of OPI Polish at Strands

Ooooooooh pretty...

Food For The Gods - Heavenly Blondies


Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 30ml Karo syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Optional 1/2 cup of chopped dried figs or dried apricots 
Instructions
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt together butter and the two sugars. Cool first before proceeding with the next step.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Add Karo syrup and vanilla.
  4. Fold in dates, walnuts and optional figs or apricots.
  5. Add flour to the batter, mix until just combined.
  6. Pour batter over a lined 9x13 pan and bake at 350F/180C for 40 -45 mins or until done.
  7. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Enjoy! 



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Strands Beauty Salon 20℅ Teachers Discount



Address:
 Block 4, Street 6, Bldg. 1, Flat 2, Salmiya
Telephone No: 25711237 / 25711238   Fax No: 25711239
Email: strandsq8@hotmail.com 

Quote of the Week

Strands Salon Great British Hair Stylists and Fabulous Mani/Pedis




Address: Block 4, Street 6, Bldg. 1, Flat 2, Salmiya
Telephone No: 25711237 / 25711238   Fax No: 25711239
Email: strandsq8@hotmail.com

Sadu House Weaving Course

Ragheb Alama in Concert at JACC

Ticket booking and info www.JACC-kw.com


Bouchon Bakery Opens Today in Avenues


A total of 7 Michelin stars restaurant owner, cookbook author and chef Thomas Keller will be inaugurating the opening. Pretty exciting gastronomic news can't wait to try it. There's one opening in Marina Mall too. Double yum!




Sunday, September 10, 2017

Banana Pecan Crunch Muffin Dilemma





















INGREDIENTS:

Yields 12 MUFFINS

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas , mashed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

CRUNCH TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners I used large cupcake cases.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together mashed bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla and butter. Add in flour mixture and stir just until combined. (Do not overmix) Divide batter evenly over 12 muffin/large cupcake cups.
  4. In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar and butter until mixed. Stir in oats and pecans. Divide topping over muffins.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


And the dilemma is that I just made these babies for brunch tomorrow and they have just come out of the oven smelling divine and I really, really want one. 

I had one, because life is short. They are really good.





Biblical Scary Hurricane Irma


So Excited I Am Going To Be A Mummy Again


One of my orchid plants is showing positive signs of blooming this year. Nothing last year, got a little demotivating watering this lop-sided, barren orchid plant but this looks very promising indeed. If anyone can give me tips on how to get it growing upright instead of sideways I'd be grateful. Fingers crossed for flowers.




Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fabulous France


I'm back and before our hot, sand clogging reality turns my holiday into a dim and distant memory let me tell you all about it.

A pat on the back for me for my holiday planning everything went like Swiss clockwork (unlike a Vegas trip a few years ago as well as being budget breaker that got me demoted as holiday planner for a while).

Kuwait Airways were good, everything worked and no delays. Arrived at CDG, Paris and picked up our pre-ordered Travel-WiFi about 7 Euros per day. Worked brilliantly it also ensured I didn't lose my child who stayed very close to me so she could stay connected to the router in my handbag. 

First day (on hardly any sleep) we managed a long 19,000+ step walk around Paris (I know that because my Fitbit told me so) we took a leisurely Batobus around Paris via the Seine and had dinner at Les Deux Magots followed by a climb up to the top off the Arc de Triomphe for spectacular views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Advisable to book ahead online for everything, as we did, to avoid huge queues or disappointment. Very proud of Team W who were phenomenal (that's me and my family and we were running on adrenaline, excitement and French patisseries).




Day 2 - Off to the Louvre, yes it's open on Bastille Day. "Go to the Musée du Louvre" they said, "Nobody knows it's open on Bastille Day and free entry" they said. Update - They know and they are all there. #Louvre #MonaLisa #LaJoconde #BastilleDay #paris #france Don't go! It's overcrowded and confusing we seriously could not find our way out. The Mona Lisa was most disappointing.

The Expectation -



The Reality - 





More walking through the gorgeous Jardins and beautiful Paris. 
Jardin de Tuileries
Jardin de Tuileries 

Jardin de Tuileries  - This 23 hectare garden in the center of Paris, running alongside the Seine and the Rue de Rivoli, stretching between the Musée du Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, draws some 14 million visitors every year. Since 2005, it has been managed and developed by the Louvre. Registered since 1914 as a protected French National Historical Site, it has also been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1991 as part of the “Banks of the Seine” site. From the Middle Ages, this location was a center for tile makers and potters, hence the name Tuileries ("tuile" means tile in French). The garden was created in the 16th century by Catherine de Médicis, widow of King Henri II, and was designed to be admired from the Palais des Tuileries that she was also having built. Initially serving as a royal garden, in the 17th century it became one of the first Parisian gardens open to the public.


Patisseries especially macarons are irresistible (my absolute fav would be the the Isphahan at Laduree), here's a list of the best [link]. I did discover that the macaron is not French which surprised me. The first known appearance of the macaron in Europe was all the way back in the Middle Ages. At the time, the macaron was a small sweet made of almonds, egg white and sugar, and was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Even though the French take credit for the macaron, Catherine de’ Medici likely brought the maccherone to France in the 16th century from Italy, where it had been produced in Venetian monasteries since the 8th century. Back then, they were rather humbly called ‘priest’s bellybuttons,’ due to the pastry’s shape. 


We had lunch at the prettiest restaurant ever, Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole, next to Notre Dame. We did not see any hunchbacks but I'm pretty sure that I saw Gaston waiting tables. 



 Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole 
And the Grand Paris Part 1 Finale was dinner (Les Cocottes was highly recommended and just perfect) followed by the breath taking Bastille Day fireworks close by at the Eiffel Tower.



Day 3 - We picked up the hire car and headed to Nantes to meet up with my family who had flown over from UK for a week. Luckily the GPS and my two navigators worked well. Endless sunflower fields enroute and tempting detours but we were on a schedule to get to Nantes to have dinner with my sister and family.


Enroute to Nantes there are endless fields of sunflowers. Such a happy flower.



Welcome to Nantes - 
Chateau Duc de Bretagne, Nantes. 
Next door to our hotel. You can't see in the pic but it has the coolest slide added as a quick, fun exit from the castle.

The amazing Iles Des Machines


My sister took this video of us on the huge mechanised elephant we are top left, 
wait for the squealing kids and the beautiful rainbow.


We all loved Nantes, its restaurants (La Cigale and Le Select), the gorgeous parks and the lovely people. Would definitely go back.

Jardin des Plantes, Nantes

We said a sad farewell to my sister and family after a wonderful week and we were onwards to Bordeaux. We booked a cute apartment through AirBnB.com and it was everything we needed. Thank you Philippe.
Our cute, well-stocked kitchen with dishwasher, washing machine and original tiled floors at Rue Colbert, Bordeaux.

Next day off to Saint Emilion, about 25 mins away, for the Jazz Festival. The small town of Saint Emilion is gorgeous and we had a wonderful time on the informative Tuk Tuk tour and at the Jazz Festival, so we went back again the next day.








The stunning Jardin Public, Bordeaux.


Porte Cailhau, Bordeaux

Pont de Pierre, Bordeaux. Built on the orders of Napoleon after his armies wasted time using boats to cross the Garonne river on their way to fight the Spanish.

Chateau d'Agassac, an Haut-Médoc wine estate located on the village of Ludon-Médoc. Only 15 minutes from the city of Bordeaux and so worth a visit.


The stunning Chateau Chambord 2 hours by car south of Paris - a MUST see.


And so much more.. A few more days in Paris plus three days at the magical Disney Paris parks (if you want to feel like a 6 year old again, grinning and happy all day then Disney Parks are the place to go).

I am so in love with France and as soon as we have enough money to buy a chateau we are off. There is so much more I wanted to share with you of the holiday but the Blogger site is such a pain in the derriere it is taking way too long and tres problematic to upload more pics. Perhaps when it's working I will get back here and share some more. A bon voyage indeed.