Saturday, January 06, 2018

My Old Phone Died

As my old phone took matters into its own hands and refused to go on any longer, I was forced to get a new phone. And I like the photos on this phone!
I know I talk about the concussion a lot, but I have changed a lot since. The creative habits I picked up and practiced throughout the years have been difficult to go back to. I barely took a few photos on my last vacation. I've been trying to get back to photography, so, baby steps!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Indefinitely Minor

Imagine, if you may, a woman in her late 20s - early 30s. Said woman made it through school, college, got a job, and maybe even climbed up the ladder in her workplace. She's accomplished, capable, and she should know it.

But does she?

She's always had a "legal guardian" at every step of the way. Said guardian didn't contribute to anything, but that doesn't mean he didn't claim responsibility for her success. Deep down she knows it's all her, but he's claimed her success far too many times for her to be able to believe in herself. This left her with a case of imposter syndrome. She also feels that she'd amount to nothing without him, regardless of his utter lack of contribution.

Thusly, she's afraid of going her own way. She feels as if she can't survive without him, even though it's all been her all the time. But she's been conditioned that she can't function without him looking over her shoulder, telling her what not to do. The (sadly) naturally occurring fear that accompanies being a woman is compounded through the presence of this man, because his presence indicates there are things out there that she's oblivious of and needs to be protected from.

I hate this feeling. It is in the very core of me and I can't get rid of it. Do other Saudi women feel the same? Is it this difficult for women elsewhere?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I was just verbally bullied

At first, I didn't understand what was going on. I just couldn't stop crying.

It was a mean verbal attack from more than one man in a position of power, men I knew were not big fans of me because who's a fan of the person who keeps telling them what to do and how they're doing it wrong? I made one mistake, and little did I know they were waiting to pounce.

I'm not the nicest, but I'm not mean or rude. I make an effort to be pleasant. And I just want to get the job done. I'm guessing that didn't suit them much. My job is to remind them constantly every week of the exact same tasks they did the week before, give or take a thing or two. I ask once, I ask twice, I keep asking until the job is done and they're rarely on time. I think it only happened once that they submitted their work on time, I had to write a celebratory message thanking them for doing their job.

I try my best to remain neutral towards the people I work with. I don't love them, I don't hate them. They possess a number of qualities that I have to deal with, but I'm not emotionally inclined towards any of this. Apparently though, they are. And they aren't happy.

I'd really like to take a moment to think about how this reflects on them, but I really just want to stop thinking about it. How out proportion and downright mean their reaction was. I might as well just stop trying to be pleasant.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Glambox January

The last Glambox review I wrote was for October, but then January boxes happened and the spark was re-ignited!

This was an ok box.

  • Mikyajy two sided nail polish:
    • It was open and spilled so I didn't even bother with it.
    • Price 15sr
  • Mikyajy crystal nail file
    • couldn't find the price, but the sephora version is around 30sr
  • The Face Shop body wash and body lotion
    • K-Beauty items are an easy was to make your box a hit. Why not utilize this more?
    • Full size retails for 8$ each, we got two half sizes.
  • Perfume samples.

And you know how I feel about perfume samples.

Box value: 75sr not including perfume samples, with the perfume it goes up to 95sr.

This was a good box.

  • L.A. Girl Matte Pigment Lipgloss
    • It's a none drying liquid lipstick. nice texture, not long lasting, treat like a regular satin lipstick. The colour didn't work for me though, too yellow.
    • 6$ = approx 22sr
  • L.A. Girl Brow Kit
    • Good kit!
    • price 10$ = approx 37sr
  • Missha Eyeshadow
    • Lovely texture, good brand. Very very orange.
    • Couldn't find the exact product on their website, but other eyeshadows of the same size retail for 8$ = 30sr
  • QV hand cream
    • Excellant stuff! I wash my hands a million times a day, basically after evey patient. This stuff is good and thick.
    • 14$ = 52.5sr
  • Perfume Samples
Box value: 141sr sans perfume samples, Add an average of 20sr for perfume samples.

And now, for the AMAZING box!

This was a double box: the January box + the best of 2016 box. Both were goooood!
  • LUNA play
    • I've been wanting to try that for ages!
    • 146 sr
  • Milky foot
    • Another useful product.
    • 124sr
  • QV face gentle cleanser samlpe size
    • can't wait to try it, after the amazing hand cream, this brand is something I want to explore.
    • 15sr
  • The Only One Matte by Rimmel
    • Wonderful colour, good texture, very good staying power without being drying. will want to explore this line.
    • 35sr
The best of box:
  • L'Occitane Verbena soap
  • Bobby Brown eyeliner pencil
  • Givenchy Hydra Sparkling face gel
  • Kenzo Flower L'Elixir
Which are all good products.

Two boxes value: 320 sr for the first box + 121sr for the "Best of" box. Total of 441sr. I'm impressed. And if I had a terrible memory or simple didn't document the rest of the boxes I would've fallen for the "subscribe for half off" card that came with it. 

I hope this has been useful to you. 

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Glambox October Review

Here are the reviews for June, July, Aug, and Sept.


  • It Style Eyeliner and Mascara:
    • Fullsize, retails at 6 Euro and 9 Euro as per the website (which is 25 SR and 38 SR)
    • Interesting.
  • Nivea Oil In Body Milk:
    • Fullsize, 250 ml for 18 SR.
    • interesting. But it isn't paraben free so I probably wouldn't purchase.
  • 4 Prada perfume samples:
    • As we agreed earlier, samples will got for 10 SR, so that'll be 40 SR.
    • the perfume was actually nice, would keep that in my bag.

Total Box Value: 121 SR, even though I think perfume samples shouldn't count.

Impression of this month: Still disappointed. 47.9% of the box value is supermarket bought and perfume samples. And you know what gets to me though? The Dubai box is so much more interesting. Here's a look: 

They get Inglot, we get Nivea and perfume samples. It's not about worth, it's about value. Our boxes are not nearly as valuable. If they don't step up their game in Saudi asap I will not be re-subscribing.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

My Blog is 10 Years Old Today

و نحن نحب الحياة إذا ما استطعنا إليها سبيلا.

I can't believe I've managed to keep a blog for 10 years...

This blog started as a photo journal. I haven't photographed professionally, or willingly at all, in about a year. It's a shame. I need to get back into the habit.

Today, I'd like to remember those who have left us, and those we had no choice but to leave. There has been too much to come to terms with. This is only some of it. I wish I had something more profound to write today, but this post will simply be a memorial.

Uncle Abdulhamid Al Awadi


Bubbles, 11 years old

Our home in Ruwais

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Glambox! June, July, August, and September.

I know I'm late, but it just hit me. Why not review all the Glamboxes I've been receiving!

For those unfamiliar with Glambox, it's a beauty subscription box in the middle east. One of very few, most of which aren't quite affordable. The subscription box business hasn't quite developed here yet. I can't wait for it to get more interesting!

My lovely friends got me a Glambox subscription for my birthday in June. So far I've received 4 boxes and I'm pretty sure I photographed their contents... I think.

I received a year's subscription, which means each box cost 83 SR, shipping included. I'll be reviewing the personal usefulness and re-purchasability of each product. And the cost of the boxes.

The lack of personalizability (yes, I'm totally making up words today) renders many items totally useless to some people, e.g. me and tanning oil. That's 116 SR wasted. Also, samples which prices I couldn't calculate will go for 10SR as that seems to be the mean.

So here are the boxes chronologically:

June 2016

  • JOHNSON’S® hydration essentials face wipes
    • Full size. retail price 27.5 SR
    • nondrying, very useful.
    • would buy.
  • JIRIZ جرز_ لافندر 28
    • Sanitary pad pouch. retail price 50 SR, can be found at
    • Useful.
    • Would make (Only because I have the skills, if I didn't, I'd buy)
    • full size, retails for 39 SR
    • Would buy
  • Givenchy Hydra Sparkling First step Luminescence Moisturizing
    • Sample size 15 ml. Full size 200 ml retails at 165 SR
    • Sample value 11.7 SR
    • Didn't get to try it yet. Insane shifts at work are making me break out.
  • Jane Iredale - Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Strawberry
    • Sample. Full size retails for 152 SR 
    • Subtle, really moisturing, been using it instead of lip balm since I got it.
    • If I were a fan of subtle hints of colour, yes. But I'm more of a lipstick person.
Total box value: 99.2 SR, calculating the Jane Iredale at 10 SR.

July 2016


  • Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil In Jet
    • Sample size (about half a full pencil) Price approx 49 SR. Ful price retails at 98 SR.
    • Useful.
    • Would not buy again only because I'm a liquid eyeliner girl.
  • Piz Buin SPF 15 tanning oil
    • Full Size, 150ml retails for 116 SR
    • I don't tan. I'm a turn-into-a-florescent-red kinda gal. 
    • Would not buy again.
  • Himalaya Herbals soothing foot scrub
    • full size, 150ml retails for 20.5
    • useful
    •  Would not purchase again. I like manual exfoliation of the feet better, pumice stones.
  • Benefit Fake Up
    • sample size, 0.5g approximate price 13 SR
    • useful. pretty good concealer.
    • would buy again.
    • Sample size, 4ml for approx 16.8 SR (full size is 100 ml retails at 420 SR)
    • I happen to have loved Kenzo Flower scents during college, so this was a lucky choice.
    • Would maybe repurchase.
Total Box Value: 214.8 SR
August 2016
This box I had forgotten to photograph.

  • Johnson’s® Vita-Rich Grape Seed Oil shower cream
    • full size, 250ml retails at 10.75 SR
    • Would buy again
    • Sample size 15 ml, value approx 11.25 SR
    • full size is 200ml retailing at 150 SR
    • Would not buy again, contains SLS
  • Givenchy Prisme Quatuor sample
    • ...which is really just a piece of paper with eye shadow on it.
    • I don't use eyeshawdow.
  • LCN nail polish
    • full size 50 ml retails at 70 SR
    • It is GOOD! didn't chip or peel for three days, and I wash my hands after every patient.
    • Would buy again, it does not contain DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Cetyl Alcohol or Camphor. And is vegan, soy and gluten free.
Total Box Value: 92 SR

September 2016
This box had a special edition cover for the Saudi National Day, with a 30% off your next subscription code.


  • Caroline Herrera "Good Girl" samples
    • Good, but not my cup of tea.
    • Would not purchase.
    • Calculated at 10SR
  • Longlasting Lipstick 21 très chic - essence cosmetics
    • Lovely burgundy shade, sheer, glossy. Really nice.
    • Full size, retails at 13 SR
    • Would buy again.
  • Shea Butter and Verbena Soap - L'Occitane
    • Smells heavenly, not drying
    • Full size 250g retails at 45 SR
    • Would buy again
  • JERGENS BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream
    • Interesting.
    • Would not buy again.
    • Calculated at 10SR.

Total Box Value: 78 SR

The numbers:

So far, I would repurchase 7 out of the 18 items I received, that's a 38.8%. Which is not good. I was hoping for a way to optimize user experience because that isn't even a passing grade.

I received 4 items that I don't even use. I'm not even curious about them due to personal preferences. That's 22% of all items so far.

I'll keep reviewing it until next June. Keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion, but if I had such opinions on the products, wouldn't other people? 

Monday, September 12, 2016


Sometimes it's really difficult to resist the comfort of sinking into apathy. Caring is too painful.

You get too tired of trying to swim. You're pretty sure you know how to swim, and that there is a shore somewhere, but being alone in the water is painful.

But you're always alone in that innermost place where you try to control the storms that keep pushing you under. Regardless of how supportive and loving family and friends are, some places are just for you. And this is one of them. And when you're too tired you tend to forget that you can't fight a storm, you should let it roll off you until better weather comes. You tend to forget how little control anyone has over the universe.

But some storms are man-made and those storms you need to fight. But you've been fighting too long and the shore keeps getting further. Maybe if you stop trying to live you'll find quiet existence in the bottom of the ocean.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cautionary Tales

The people you meet are the best cautionary tales.

They are a live reminder of what you don't want to turn into, and the thoughts you have of them are thoughts you never want anyone to have of you.

What do I want to be? I have a vague idea, but i know for sure what I don't want to be.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Twenty Two Weeks Later

I'm still just trying to be myself again. I catch me seeping through the cracks of this new person I've been.

This happened after I decided to just get to know this new person, adapt to her, make peace. But then this new person is about to tweet something preposterous (to my former self), and me interferes to stop her. Me has been doing a lot of interference lately, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It means I just might be becoming myself again.

It's a very emotional process. And it doesn't help that I'm in pain. I need to sweep me clean from the inside.