Summer Must Haves

I don’t think I can wait any longer for the fabulous season that means sun, golf and freedom! Of course, with every season, comes those few essential pieces that should be in everyone’s closet!

Summer Must Haves edit

{1. Banjo & Matilda sweater, net-a-porter.com // 2. Jeffrey Campbell wedges, farfetch.com // 3. TopShop floral crop top, topshop.com // 4. Karen Walker sunglasses, eluxe.ca // 5. See by Chloé maxi skirt, net-a-porter.com // 6. MSGM monkey print dress, nordstrom.com // 7. Stella McCartney silk blouse, mytheresa.com // 8. Scotch & Soda denim patch shorts, scotch-soda.com // 9. Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag, nordstrom.com // 10. Diane Von Furstenberg top, dvf.com}

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Mother Daughter Day

Yesterday, I spent the day downtown with my mom, the two artists that we are. We went down to Old Montreal to pass by the art galleries and get inspiration, while I was eager to stop inside the cute clothing shops around town. I had my camera, as per usual, to document our adventures.

Here are just a few pics I took while we were walking and talking, and window shopping of course.

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Mom, observing the beautiful paintings in front of her.

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Two of my favorite stores, Steve’s music and Simon cameras.

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This was a special treat! We went to one of my favorite stores in Montreal, Papeterie Nota Bene.

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After our shopping day, I was so excited when the idea came up of going to the… The Great Gatsby! So, we packed up our things and drove down to the movie theatre. The film was amazing, especially for me who read the book, and I totally recommend it to everyone!

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{Credit: Warner Bros}

Design Inspiration: A Creative’s Dream Office

This recently renovated apartment office, located in Chicago, is wonderful. The colours, the designs, the furniture, and everything else that is placed in this room. This cute and chic office can be found in the home of Alaina Kaczmarski, founder of Live Creating Yourself and co-founder of The Everygirl. Alaina moved in to her apartment in August 2012, and renovations lasted until March of 2013. Here is the final result:

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This is her intern station! I have to say, I would absolutely love to be her intern!

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I love the rugs, they are adorable!

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The nail polish… So clever!

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Here is her office bar.

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I love the gallery wall!

Just wanted to post this office to share with everyone, because I feel it represents so much of my style and what I love. More to come, I promise! What do you think of this office? Would you want to work here everyday?

{Credit: Live Creating Yourself}

Handmade Jewelry: Spring/Summer 2013

Each and every year, for the past five, I have sold my handmade jewelry to friends, family and locals. From bracelets to necklaces and even earrings, I’ve always got something up my sleeve. I find local beads and create whatever my heart desires. This year though, I found a new bead source. While visiting New York again in march with my mom, we decided to spend an afternoon in the garment district, shopping for fabric, trimming, and of course, beads. I get my artistic skills from my mother, so of course she was just as overjoyed as I when I spotted these exotic and up-and-coming bead trends. We ended up buying a bunch of different beads, and I have now completed my SS 2013 Collection.

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This is almost the full collection of bracelets, minus the few single strands of black and some of the skulls.

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Most of them come in various colours and other options as well.

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The skulls are available in other colours too, including pink, turquoise, dark blue and white.

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All the bracelets are also available in either gold or silver accents.

So, let me know. What do you all think? I’ve been getting a lot of orders lately, and I think this year has been my biggest success so far!

Easter 2013

This afternoon, my dad’s family and I celebrated Easter at my cousin Kelly’s beautiful home. It was so much fun, and I got to see my family, which is always a blessing. My dad has five siblings; two brothers and three sisters. I love them all dearly and we have so much fun together! Here is a little recap on our wonderful day.

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Pre-party photo shoot with dad!

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And here’s mom.

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This one’s just me. I thought I’d get in an outfit post on here.

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I actually ended up wearing these shoes to the party.

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We spent our whole afternoon outdoors, and the only thing inside was the food!

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Being a part of a Lebanese family, we take our food very seriously! Everyone in the family takes part in this area of expertise, and makes a dish.

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We had orso salad, tomato salad, tomato sandwiches, both spicy and regular hummus, baba ghanoush (eggplant dip, similar to hummus), various fatayers (cheese, pizza, spinach, etc), and this dish called yabrak (ya-ba-da), which is rice and meat rolled in vine leaves. That one, my mom made. It is one of my absolute favorite meals.

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Some of the fatayers.

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This was the dessert.

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We had fruit, cake, cake pops, and various lebanese desserts.

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You see those diamonds with the almond in the center? My mom made those as well. They are a secret family recipe, and it is the most amazing dessert in the world. I can’t even describe how good they are, but it tastes like heaven with every bite.

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This is my cousin Kelly (and the host)’s beautiful daughter, Mia. She is now two years old, and she is one of the cutest kids I’ve ever known. I babysit her often, and I love her so much!

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As you can tell, she loves the camera! She posed for it and everything! And, thanks to her extremely fashionable and stylish mom, she was wearing an adorable blue striped dress with a pink belt! Très chic!

{Forever 21 dress, forever21.com; Marc by Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume necklace, marcjacobs.com; Blue striped Roxy loafers, roxy.com; White Converse All Stars, converse.com; Betsey Johnson watch, betseyjohnson.com}

Happy Friday!

Yes, it is finally the best day of the week… Friday!! I am super excited for this weekend, as sunday is the Orthodox Easter, where I will spend an afternoon at my cousin Kelly’s house with the majority of my dad’s family. The weather this weekend will be fantastic, and I am super eager to see my family and spend time outdoors. On to my next topic, I have come up with a few of my favorite items of the week! Voila!

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{1; Brandy Melville dress, brandymelvilleusa.com 2; Topshop sandals, topshop.com, 3; Steven Alan top, stevenalan.com, 4; Dash and Lily’s book of  Dares, amazon.com, 5; Pencil set, etsy.com, 6; Marc by Marc Jacobs Daisy earrings, net-a-porter.com}

1; As you know, the new Brandy Melville store opened up just last week, and I had the chance to go yesterday. This dress was a part of my total purchase, and I love it so much! You can see my post of the new store opening here.

2; I just ordered these shoes this morning from The Bay, and I can’t wait till they arrive. Will keep you all posted!

3; I recently discovered Steven Alan via Sarah, and I must say I have fallen in love with the simplistic, chic and vintage clothing. This top just looks so comfortable.

4; I picked this book up at the library this week, looking for a good new book, and I must say it did not disappoint. Dash and Lily’s book of Dares is a cute love story about a girl who leaves a notebook in a used bookstore in New York, and a boy finds it. The two then begin communicating through the book and eventually meet, falling in love.

5; I lent the majority of my pencils to my friends this week, and I think it’s time to get more. It’s clear I’m not getting any of them back. So, in an attempt to find the perfect set of pencils, I stumbled upon these on Etsy. And, the best part is that these are all some of my actual favourite things!

6; You will probably end up seeing the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume necklace that I own in various outfit pictures to come, and these are the matching earrings! How cute! These are definitely going on my wish list.

So, these are this week’s faves. Did any of you find anything new this week that you absolutely love?

Brandy Melville Store Opening!

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My fellow Montrealers, we have a new store in our midst. Located in the heart of downtown shopping, on Ste Catherine Street, is the brand new Brandy Melville store. This, one size fits most LA brand has decided to open their third Canadian store, the first two being in Toronto and Vancouver. I was enthralled to finally visit the store, after its official opening last friday. I must say, although the selection was not as great as online, and the prices were quite a bit higher than their website, it was still a great store.

The perfect location, and the store was decorated beautifully. They took in all of the space and made it very unique, with wood walls and various posters and signs all across the store. I almost purchased one written ‘Fashionista’, however I quickly realized it should be my new DIY project. The dressing rooms were also very creative. Some walls were filled with pages torn out of old books and magazines, while others had pieces of fabric scattered across the white walls. The entire space was very well laid out, and I loved the atmosphere.

I went in the change room with six pieces, and I left with two. I am very happy with the two that I purchased though! They were truly adorable! I got a black dress, with a low, open back, and a thin light blue tank top, with braided straps and semi-high cut. The dress was $38, and the tank was $18.

Overall, I was very happy with my purchases and my experience at the store. If i were to fill out a comment card, I would rate it very high.

 

Montreal Location: 1188 Ste Catherine Street West

{Photo: My own, thanks iphone!}

Online Songwriting Course

For the past two months, I took part in an online songwriting course from Berklee School of Music via Coursera.org. I have always had a love for songwriting, since a young age, and decided to inform myself on all the proper fundamentals and guidelines on successful songwriting.

Today, I received my results for the course, and I finished with a final mark of 86.3%. I am so proud of myself, as this course took a lot of dedication and hard work. I got a certificate as well for completing this MOOC, to add to my achievement.

This was my first mass online open course (MOOC), and it was a great experience. Peer review editing, forums, video lectures and quizzes were a large part of this online culture.

This particular course was taught by Pat Pattison, an experienced university teacher at Berklee. He was interesting and knowledgable. My peers were outstanding musicians and I was honoured to receive their feedback. I came out of the course with excellent knowledge that I will certainly use in my songs in the future.

I hope to post some new songs in the near future, so stay tuned! And thank you, Pat Pattison, the team at Coursera and Berklee School of Music for giving me a ton of work and a stressful sunday night! It was worth it!

~ Ali