A Wonder.Full Christmas Gift Guide

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Hello guys! It’s finally my favorite time of the year, where everything is so festive and joyful. I really can’t explain the charm of Christmas time, but it’s definitely a time of the year that I always look forward to.

This time of the year also brings with it immense confusion on what to gift our loved ones. I recently came across a very interesting gifting concept, “Wonder.Full”, in Lebanon that you would definitely need to check out for this time of the year.

The idea of “Wonder.Full” is the following, instead of giving someone a tangible product, get an unforgettable experience, in a box! Wonder.Full gives you the opportunity to gift your loved ones experiences related to the fields that they are passionate about. It could be anything, a wind-surf instructor, your customized lingerie, a lovely walk on the wild side of Lebanon, a personal shopper just for you, a relaxing Hammam treat. Really anything!

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You have 4 boxes to choose from:  Glamour, Gourmet, Adventure and Harmony. Inside, there’s a catalogue of wonder.full experiences waiting to happen. Here’s how it works, First, the lucky receiver opens the box and picks one activity from the catalogue of bewilderment. Then, he/she contacts the selected provider and books his/her favorite experience. Finally, he/she shows them the voucher and lives his/her wonder moment to the fullest. How awesome is that!

I really loved this new gifting concept, ultimately, the best things in life aren’t things 🙂

You can check out their website here

Stay tuned for more gift ideas for this holiday season!

Lara xx

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Cooking Experience at Popolo Beirut

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I’ve always had a massive interest in the kitchen. My working hours don’t allow me to cook regularly, but I make sure I make use of this hobby at least during the weekend.

When I was contacted by the Popolo team to cook with chef Giuseppe Palumbo, who was in Beirut to consult the newly opened restaurant with their menu, I knew it was going to be really interesting. We had 2 dishes on the menu to cook and luckily both were easy to cook at home as well! I also had the chance to share this cooking session with the bloggers behind Popocorn 961 so it was nice to share interesting conversations about different regions in Italy while learning the basics from the award winning Italian chef.

After finishing our cooking session, we had the chance to eat what we have prepared along with some other dishes from their menu.

This was my second time in this restaurant, and every time the food just keeps on getting better. What I loved the most about this Italian restaurant in particular is that it’s not your regular Italian restaurant in Beirut. I really enjoyed the variety of dishes that you can find in the menu other than the traditional Pizza & Pasta. Being a seafood lover myself, I felt I was in my element!

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I highly recommend you try this newly opened Italian restaurant in Ain El Mraysse

Lara xx

My Summer Bucket List

Hello beautiful people! Today I thought of sharing my summer bucket list that I am hoping to accomplish by the end of September. One of my best friends is coming from Canada this summer so it’s a great opportunity to accomplish all of the things I want with my group of friends. Here we go!

1) Go for a picnic by the river

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I’ve seen many beautiful pictures online for Nahr-Ibrahim so it’s one of my must go to places. If you have suggestions for other rivers to check out please let me know 😀

2) Travel

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My passion for travelling just keeps on growing and growing so I am hoping I could be able to travel this summer.

3) Go to Tawlet Ammiq

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I’ve heard amazing things about this place in the Bekaa Valley, so I am looking forward to discover it!

4) Do More Water Activities

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I am also planning on doing more snorkeling, and maybe learn a new sport like surfing!

5) Learn How to do Smoothies

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With the really high temperatures approaching, I really want to master all the delicious smoothies that I keep on seeing on my Pinterest feed!

6) Go on  Road Trips

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There are many beautiful areas in my country that I am really curious to discover so a road trip can be a good way to do that!

7) Film Videos

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That’s not only on my summer bucket list, but also on my 2015 resolutions, and sadly I haven’t filmed any videos yet 😦 However, I am really willing to document things in video from now on. Fingers crossed!

8) Work on the Ultimate Summer Playlist

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9) Go Back to Working Out

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10) Go to a Winery

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We have many in Lebanon and I want to discover more about wine making & tasting

What’s on your bucket list for this summer?

Lara xx

Tuesday Tips: How to Become a Morning Person

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Many people suffer from not being a “Morning Person”. They just can’t make it on time to work or class, and they always feel miserable waking up. Being a morning person myself, I can tell you one thing, it is all in your head! Once you get the motivation to change this thing about yourself, you can become a morning person. It’s just a matter of your life routine!

Today, I will be sharing 5 tips to help you become a morning person based on personal experience 🙂

1) Improve Your Sleeping Cycle

If you go to bed after 12 am,there is no way you could wake up comfortable the next day, since an adult needs about 7-8 hours of sleep. Thus, you should first and foremost, work on your sleeping cycle. If you have trouble falling asleep early, make sure you take a warm bath, read a book, and stay away from all electronic devices. Slowly you will realize a change in your sleeping routines. I also heard of an application called “Sleep Cycle”, which helps you track your sleep patterns which could be helpful as well.

2) Exercise

Instead of going to your favorite gym class in the afternoon, try taking early classes. This will motivate you to wake up earlier, and will boost your body with the necessary energy that you need for the entire day. If you don’t exercise, try signing up for an early class, if you like it that’s great, and if not quit and search for something you like to stay motivated.

3) Prepare the Night Before

I personally do that since there’s no better feeling than waking up and knowing you have prepared all your food, snacks, papers, bag, clothes, and just everything you need the night before. The extra time you have will be basically to pamper yourself, enjoy coffee or tea without rushing, and just relax.

4) Breakfast

I know so many people who don’t have breakfast in the morning and that’s a big mistake. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it will provide your body with the necessary energy for the rest of the day. If you feel lazy and tired during the day, it’s probably because you haven’t had any breakfast!

5) Enjoy the Extra Time

Waking up early gives you the opportunity to do so many things like stick to your morning beauty routine, have a quick shower, go for a run, prepare a delicious breakfast, or maybe experiment with hairstyles! I really hate it when I wake up late, because I feel like I’ve wasted my entire day, so imagine the amount of things that you could get done just by waking up early!

Have a great week everyone!

Lara xx

February Favorites

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February is almost over! My goal was to make monthly favorites on YouTube, but I guess it’s okay for now to have this month’s favorites on the blog, and hopefully starting next month you can see them on YouTube!

I really love watching or reading about monthly favorites. I learn about so many products, movies, books, makeup, and so many other things, and that’s why today I am sharing my favorites with you guys!

My February Favorites: 

1) Knits

This month was the month of “Sweater Weather”. I am so glad I got to pick up these sweaters, and some other ones on sale, because it was freezing cold and I needed to feel extra warm and fuzzy!

2) Nail polish

This month I have also tried the Maybelline nail polish that I am really loving so far! Not much of a color variation like other brands, but it’s affordable and it lasts well.

3) Sunglasses

One of my favorite fashion items for this month was my new Zara sunnies. They go perfectly well with all my clothes for both Winter and Summer which makes me a happy kid!

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4) Tea

I am what you define as a “Tea Obsessed” person! I could literally spend hours in the tea section at the supermarket just gazing at tea brands and flavors (not that we have so many lol). I have tried this Green Tea Mixed Berries flavor from Lipton and I really love it!!

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5) Makeup

Now with makeup, I had more favorites but I decided to keep them for other articles or videos just to test them better and make sure that I really really love them!

Labello Lip Butter: This by far is the best lip product I have ever tried. I don’t usually have chapped lips, but this lip butter keeps my lips super soft, it smells so good, and it’s super affordable!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer: I was searching for a good concealer since I haven’t found the “it” concealer yet. I decided to give this brand a shot, and I am glad I did! I never ever had days and days of no makeup face, but this concealer is so good, it brightens up my eye area, and I feel like I don’t really need makeup!

-Garnier BB Cream: I have heard so many good things about this BB Cream so I decided to give it a try as well. It’s almost empty and I am definitely buying a new one! It has really good coverage and it looks so natural and soft + it’s also affordable (almost $10)

 – Maybelline Go Extreme Mascara: I have been wearing this mascara for a long time now (which shows how much it lasts) and I really love it! This drugstore brand certainly wins with mascara every time! I have received another Maybelline mascara as a gift so I have to try it, or else I would have certainly re-purchased this one! Excellent for everyday use.

6) Favorite TV Show:

I finished the best show of all time in January so I couldn’t not mention it in this post! Of course I am talking about Breaking Bad! Let me just tell you, that you would be doing yourself a favor if you watch it because you can’t just live without watching this series! It’s so intense, so brilliant, so addictive, and it truly deserves all the buzz! It’s prequel just started this month, “Better Call Saul”, so stay tuned for it might be on my favorites soon!

7) Favorite Song:

I obviously have so many songs to mention but I decided to choose only one song, Style by Taylor Swift, since its video clip was released this month!

8) Favorite Accessories

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As if I needed one more item to confirm my obsession with Breaking Bad, here comes my “I am not in danger, I am the danger” earrings by Leonie Accessories, and this is one of the most famous quotes from the show! I also love this very simple gold and pearl bracelet that I got as a gift from my parents!

I hope you liked this months favorites, what are yours?

Lara xx

Easy Halloween Inspired Snacks

Hello everyone! October is usually the month of Halloween, and at that time of the year my Pinterest feed would be full of Halloween inspired food and costumes. I can’t deny that I get so much inspiration and ideas from Pinterest, and that’s why today’s post will feature easy and simple snacks if you are throwing a party or a get together.

1) Burgers

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Burgers or mini burgers are must haves at any party or gathering and in this case to keep the Halloween vibes, how about you cut the cheese in that spooky way just as shown in the picture, without covering the burgers with a bun

2) Clementine & Bananas

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This fruity snack is certainly an eye catcher at any party! Clementine would look like the perfect pumpkins if you peel them. You can add green pipe cleaners ( just like I read on Pinterest) or to make the entire thing edible, how about you add green  sugar candy that you can find at any candy store. You can add chocolate chip on the bananas as seen in the picture to complete the ghosty look!

3) Brownies + Marshmallows

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Dessert is also another must have in any get together, and how cute is that dessert! All you need is brownies, marshmallows and decorating gel. You can find the whole recipe on Betty Crocker’s website under Spooky Boo Brownies

4) Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Another super attractive Halloween inspired dessert that is very simple to do. You can find the recipe on this blog http://iambaker.net/spider-chocolate-chip-cookies/ (sorry for the improper linking but I am having some trouble with links on wordpress)

5) Graveyard Taco Dip

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I have a feeling that this snack could be an instant hit since it screams Halloween! You can also find the whole recipe on this blog http://blog.chickabug.com/2013/09/graveyard-taco-dip.html

I hope you liked this post as a preparation for Halloween and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest (@laraajouz)

Lara xx

Top 5: Healthy Office Snacks

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 Let’s face it, office snacking is probably the reason why we are gaining a few pounds here and there! After reading about healthy office snacking, and trying some myself, I decided to pile up my top 5 for you to give them a try!

1) Fruits

Yes fruits, we all know that fruits are one of the healthiest snacks that we could have at the office. They are tasty and full of Vitamins, so try having different types of fruits every day for a balanced intake of Vitamins

2) Cucumber + Feta Bites

I have tried this snack myself and I can tell you it is very easy to make and it’s very healthy and delicious. You can also try adding Walnuts or maybe tomatoes!

3) Hummus

If you are from Lebanon, you probably know that we live in the country of Hummus, and if not, Hummus is becoming more accessible around the world. Hummus is very tasty and very healthy so it could be a healthy lunch alternative! 

 

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4) Homemade Salad

Instead of ordering fast food how about you prepare a fast healthy salad as a snack or for lunch. There are many types of salads so you can always try having something new to break the routine. Watch out from fatty dressings, my personal favorite healthy dressing is Balsamic Vinegar! 

5) Whole Grain Cereal

You can have whole grain cereal with dried fruits or fresh fruits like raspberries and blueberries. It’s a great option if you are craving something sweet and it is very healthy since this snack contains many Vitamins 

 

I hope you found these tips healthy! What are your favorite office snacks? 

Lara xx