Life

Last Night~ <3

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It rained here last night, the first of the season. I was and still am beyond happy about it. The weather was amazing since morning yesterday. It was windy all day and the sky was filled with heavy clouds. I wasn’t really expecting it to rain and I guess that surprise factor added more to my joy. I don’t remember the last time we had such amazing weather.

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For me, rain is my weakness. When I heard it raining I grabbed a long scarf because pajama party all day all night #LivingTheJoblessLife and made a dash for the garage. It felt so good, aah! ❤ I love rain; I love being in it, I love the sound of it, I love the smell of wet earth afterwards, I love everything about rain. Some people might say what’s the big deal but seriously when you live in the desert, rain is your miracle.

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You know what; such weather always reminds me of Twilight, the movie and the book. To be honest, I was watching Twilight when it started raining. I had, okay who am I kidding, still have this tiny little dream of living in Forks one day, ha, because rain lol. I was in fact checking out their Twilight related festival info after last night. Maybe one day I’ll go there for it and experience Forks for myself. It would be like a dream come true. I hope the Cullen house is real and is there only as I loved that house.

I don’t really know if this amazing weather is going to stay or we will have more rain in the coming weeks but I so hope we do. Our summer comes very early and stays for forever. Nice weather and rain doesn’t come our way much often so I am really keeping my fingers crossed for it to stay a while.

It is cloudy today as well and a little windy and I am working facing the window, ha. Hope you guys are having amazing weather wherever you are. It’s the small things that make this life so beautiful. ❤

Much love,

Fam x

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Food, Oman

Italiano~

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Italiano is a fairly new Italian pizzeria in Muscat. It is located in Mawaleh next to Al Bahja Complex line while going to The Waves. We went there in Ramadan for iftar one day. The restaurant is quite small and there isn’t much seating space. The ambience is alright. It’s all brown, wicker chairs as well as normal wooden ones, long tables and benches too. The tables have ‘Italiano’ etched on them which I thought was cool.

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The menu is extensive and quite impression. For starters we ordered their Buffalo wings and garlic bread with mozzarella cheese. Then we ordered a Penne Pasta. There are a lot of pizza options. We ended up ordering thin crust Philly Steak pizza and meat pizza. No one was in the mood for drinks so one of us ordered a lime soda. For dessert we ordered Chocolate Fudge Cake.

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Buffalo wings weren’t that nice but the BBQ sauce that came with it was delicious. The garlic bread was good. I found the bread too soft to my liking. I guess I am just used to having Pizza Hut’s hard bread. The Penne Pasta was amazing. I usually don’t order pasta when I am dining out and this was more of my brother’s order and I ate most of it. The pizza was exquisite both of them and so very light yet filling. The toppings were fresh and my taste buds were blown away, in a good way. The dessert however was a disappointment. I was expecting something much better. The drink was alright too.

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We got our bill in such cute little saucer with round cover and an Italian chef/waiter on top. I wish they put it on sale because i wanted to grab one for myself. I can’t remember the correct amount now but maybe it rounded off to RO 12.000 which is such an affordable amount when you’re dinning out with six people.

The staff was okay but they were very caught up because they had a lot of customers and it was getting a little difficult for them to attend to everyone. Also the place is small so if you go there on rush hours, you won’t get a seat and might have to wait for long. I hope they change the venue of the restaurant and get a bigger place and more staff because overall their food is superb and I think everyone should try it. Italiano also does free home deliveries. I will add their number below.

I have been occupied with trying so many other restaurants that I couldn’t make much time but I can’t wait to go back to Italiano for a little more of their awesome pizzas.

Italiano Instagram = italianooman

Italiano Facebook = Italiano

Italiano Contact Number = 24 180 515

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Beauty

REVIEW ~ Sigma 3DHD Kabuki Brush

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I bought this brush in January and blogged about it in February saying I will do a review very soon thinking I would be ready to write about it in a few weeks time. Oh, how wrong I was. 😛

3DHD Kabuki is an absolutely amazing foundation brush from Sigma. It has a medium sized round handle. It has a unique shape of two wedges and a ridge that helps it to apply product in unreachable areas of the face like the corner of the nose and around the eyes in one go. It has soft, densely packed bristles that move around the face smoothly. It comes in several colors; Pink, White, Black and Black/Rose Gold. When I bought it, it was available in Pink, White and Black only. I really wanted it in Rose Gold.

This brush is a quick applicator and it works with all types of foundation. I tried it with Maybelline Fit Me foundation that is of loose liquid consistency and it worked well with it. I then tried it with Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Nude Foundation that has creamy consistency and it worked great with it too. I also tried it with my Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 which doesn’t give you much time to set it but this brush did an amazing job with it too. It spreads the product quickly on the face and goes around those strange corners in one go so you don’t have to reach for them again and you also don’t have to pull crazy faces to reach around the corner of your nose.

I use my 3DHD Kabuki to apply foundation in a to and fro motion like a paint brush. I apply foundation on my face and then use the brush. I tried pumping the foundation on the brush and then applying it on the face but it didn’t work out that well for me.  This brush does take a little time to getting used to but once you get a hang of it, it’s great. I am now able to easily buff my foundation in, stipple the product on or like i say ‘painting the face’ lol.

I give this brush a deep cleanse every week if I have used it 4-5 times. If I have used it 2-3 times hardly I will do the cleansing after every two week. You get to know when your brush needs cleansing. It starts feeling a little stiff or rough. It’s important that you clean it on a regular or else the product will start settling in the bristles and it will become very hard to get it out. I delayed cleansing it the last time while I was using it quite often and the end result was it took me several washes to take the product out and it left a bit of stain from the foundation. I am hoping to get rid of it in the next wash. There is no fuss relating drying, getting back in shape or bristle fall out. It’s been very good to my skin without damaging it or being harsh in any way. Its bristles are fabulous.

I am very satisfied with Sigma 3DHD Kabuki brush. I believe it is one of the best investments I did. If you own it or are planning to buy it then just remember to take good care of it and I am pretty sure it will last you a very long time. 🙂

Purchase Link: 3DHD Kabuki Brush

Outlet in Muscat: Muscat Grand Mall, Ground Floor, Small stall opposite The Body Shop

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Food, Oman

Gourmet Burger Kitchen~

I have been out and about a lot this week because I had a lot of pending errands to get done with. Now the deal with me is that the moment I step out of the house I am famished and a little eat out is a must. I went to Muscat City Center the other day and decided to grab a quick bite from Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a nice little place opposite Bank Muscat in MCC. It serves a variety of chicken and beef burgers. They also have a very good selection of salad and sauce. For drinks they have mocktails, hot beverages and milkshakes. Some of their desserts are Molten Lava Cake and Peanut Butter Stack. We settled for their Cheddar Chicken Burger and Chili Cheese Fries.

Our order came in real fast. We were served Chili Cheese Fries first. I wouldn’t say they are the best I’ve had (b+f in Bareeq Shatti does the best ever) but these were good enough. Cheddar Chicken Burger was served later. It tasted delicious.

The food overall was alright. It didn’t feel any different than all the other restaurants we have here. The service was good. My favorite thing about GBK is its interior and the seating. I thought maybe it would be a little uncomfortable but it was super cool. I wouldn’t mind going back there especially because I have my eyes on their Ranch Chicken Salad and another burger. 🙂

So here’s a little weekend food inspiration post for anyone who lives in Muscat. Go try GBK out if you haven’t already!

Cheers~

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Books

I Found A Cure For Reading Slump!! + September TBR List

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If you are following me on my Book Instagram page (@BigBooksTinyHeart) you would know I was going through a reading slump in July. I tried reaching out to a lot of books but nothing was helping. I had a huge TBR (to be read) list that was increasing by the day and I had no solution.

One day I was just going through other book Instagram pages and found out about Book Reading Goals. It is as simple as the name suggests. Before a month starts you make up a list of books you plan to read that month. I thought to give it a try as I had nothing to lose. Guess what guys?! It worked!!

I set a goal of reading Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi in August. I was very practical. I knew I was trying to get out of a slump so I kept to just one series. I didn’t want to pressurize myself as reading for me is like an escape to a happy place. I completed my reading goal in time and was so happy about it because Shatter Me series was on my list from last year.

I know for some reading just 4 books a month is not enough reading. I know the feeling I was like you guys too once. But you have to keep in mind that if you force yourself to read when you are not in the proper state, you won’t be able to do it. Secondly, I realized that while in my slump when I used to go through my bookshelf or digital library the options were so many that I used to get overwhelmed. Planning a reading list helped me with that and my mind was prepared to read the books I picked out for that month. Also, if you achieve your reading goal in half a month you can always add another book or two to read. I won’t really advice this in the beginning for about a month or two because it might make you feel pressurized but it’s up to you. Whatever you can handle! I hope this post can be of help to some of you at least. Let me know if it works! 🙂

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Moving on, I picked up books I want to read this month.

1- Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier

2- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

3- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

4- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I am already done with the first two and did a mini review on my book Instagram. I will do a full review here soon. I am still deciding which book to read next.

What is on your TBR list this month? What are you reading currently? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

~F x

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Fragrance

The Love-At-First-Sniff Kind of Fragrance~

Victoria’s Secret does an amazing job when it comes to fragrances. Their collection is always filled with girly floral and fruity smells that are both sweet and sexy. I love browsing through VS aisles and smelling all of them. My favorite part however is purchasing them of course. 😉

I tend to get obsessed with a certain fragrance from time to time. The most recent one is Victoria Secret’s Secret Escape. I have categorized it as love-at-first-sniff kind. It has Freesia and Guava flower undertones and has the sweetest smell. It also has Aloe Vera and chamomile that helps keeps the skin smooth and soft. I am absolutely in love with it and this is all I have been spritzing from a couple of months now so much that I am almost done with this bottle. I will definitely be repurchasing it because it is one fragrance I will miss the most on my dresser if I don’t get it soon.

What is your favorite fragrance from Victoria’s Secret or in general? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

~F x

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Book Review, Books

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare / Sarah Rees Brennan / Maureen Johnson

*no spoilers included*

After reading The Mortal Instruments and getting madly obsessed with Magnus Bane I knew I would be looking for all the short stories Cassandra Clare has written about him but I was too lazy to look them up right away. I read The Infernal Devices just a bit back and the moment I closed the last book I knew I could wait no longer now. Luckily Cassie came up with The Bane Chronicles at the exact time and my local Borders stocked on it. *squealing* *happy dance*

Now I read TMI before I read TID so I knew a lot about Magnus but TID really got me curious about him. I actually expected The Bane Chronicles to be an in-depth study of his character and it did stand right in some parts.

TBC is more like snippets from Magnus’ life in all different eras. You get to know some of his best friends, his living style, his habits and most of all his love life. What really hit me about Magnus was how he was always looking for love. Someone he could hold on to, someone who could be his anchor. There is one story about this guy (who I really wanted to kill) that showed how he broke Magnus’ heart. It left me really sad because Magnus’ reaction was just so heart breaking. He pretended to be cool with it but his thoughts… they really shook me. I am being too sentimental here I know but there weren’t many chapters that showed such emotions and were based on adventure. Most of the chapter compromised of some of the characters we know from the Shadow Hunter world like Raphael Santiago, Camille, Maureen, the queen of Fair folk and our favorite Alec Lightwood.

I wouldn’t say The Bane Chronicles was everything I expected or wanted. Some chapters were really good and then there were some that lacked excitement. However, I wouldn’t say it was a bad read. The illustration was really fun especially the ones in Alec’s chapters. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I would take anything in blue. Then we have a really good looking guy on the cover who reminds of Godfrey Gao. What else do we need?

I would say get this book if you’re a diehard fan of the Shadow World or if you have read TMI and TID because com’n you’ve read all nine; complete the series; read this one as well.

Rating: 8/10

Related Links:

Book Review ~ The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

Review ~ The Mortal Instruments series (Books)

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Beauty

BEAUTY || Lipsticks To Lust Over – Bobbi Brown Edition

When it comes to lip products, I usually don’t get much action there but slowly and gradually I am trying to change that. I have been visiting a lot of high end counters lately with Bobbi Brown being one of my favorites. Here are my three picks of some of their best lip colors.

Bobbi Brown

1- Carnation #12

Carnation is a part of Bobbi Brown creamy/semi matte lipstick range. It comes in their luxe golden and black packaging. You know with the gorgeous Bobbi Brown printed on it. ❤

Carnation lipstick is a peachy pink color which goes somewhat nude on my lips. It is highly pigmented and gives a full coverage. It glides on well and has a smooth texture. It is light but I felt if you build it, it gets a little heavy. A very good pick if you’re looking for an everyday/nude lipstick.

2- Cherry Pink #6

Cherry Pink is a part of Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color range. It is a berry toned lipstick. The formula is very light. It glides on well too and has a very glossy texture. This is perhaps the only lip color that I could call my perfect nude as my lips are kind of dark and this lip color goes amazingly with it. It screams ‘my lips but better’ to me, ha.

3- Hollywood Red #94

How exactly can I leave Bobbi Brown without finding a Red lip color and falling in love with it? Hollywood Red is the kind of red I love – extremely bloody. It is a fuchsia based red lipstick that has a creamy/glossy texture that glides on well too. This one also comes in their luxe packaging and is a sight for sore eyes. If you are into rich colors or love red lipsticks, you need to have this in your collection.

I really want to say one of these lipsticks is my favorite but I can’t because all three of them are just so darn good!! Let me know which one’s your favorite lip color from Bobbi Brown. I need to try more from BB. 😀

Have a good day ya’ll! 🙂

Love,

~F x

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Beauty

Review ~ Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl Mascara

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Before I begin, I can’t seem to recall when the last time I used Mascara was. It was a good couple of years ago and I was totally into the hardcore Max Factor and Maybelline ones at that time. Fast forward to 2015 and with a pair of immensely sensitive eyes, when I started getting into makeup and buying eye products I was in tears, literally. Anything too strong would immediately make my eyes water. I was eyeing quite a lot of Max Factor Mascaras but one swatch of them and I knew they weren’t going to work for me plus wassup with the crispy lashes man? Like seriously? (I am talking like an old woman I know but please bear with me…) After almost giving up, I ended up at Essence Cosmetics counter. I saw this pretty bottle, picked it up, paid for it and left. Best.decision.ever.

Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl Mascara comes in a salmon pink cylinder shaped bottle. It has a curved fiber brush and almost tightly packed bristles. The curved fiber brush provides the lashes with a perfect dramatic curl. The tightly packed bristles help in giving the lashes the most volume. The formula is thick but doesn’t weigh down your lashes. It also doesn’t make them go crispy after a while of applying. The color is darkest black that gives the eyelashes an intense look. It has a similar scent that most mascara’s have but isn’t irritating. It didn’t sting my eyes.

It is not waterproof but it ends up staying on for a good 4-6 hours. It doesn’t smudge and doesn’t lose its curl that quickly unless you are sweating like a sinner in church. You don’t need any fancy eye makeup remover for it. It comes off easily with water itself. I carry it around in my bag and I have no complains about any slippage. The packaging is sturdyyy.

If you’re someone who is just beginning with makeup and don’t know which one to pick I would recommend Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl Mascara. Not only is it easy on the eyes but it also gives your eyes the most gorgeous effect.

Essence Cosmetics have a range of other mascaras too and I can’t wait to try them all now. *excited*

PS. I did try to take a picture with the mascara in action but it was an epic fail. I shall soon learn how to take pictures with mascara on, don’t you worry.

PSS. I get asked a lot where I get Essence product from. I get mine mostly from Carrefour Hypermarket in Muscat City Center, Seeb. Their counter is also available in:

Carrefour Hypermarket – Qurum City Center

The Sultan Center – Qurum

Vacha’s Hypermarket – Al Azaiba

And just in case anyone is wondering, here is Essence Cosmetics Oman official Facebook page.

Cya guys later!

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Lately

Lately #14 ~ Summer Edition

1- Summer Skincare

Muscat is experiencing one of the craziest summer ever. The temperature goes as high as 54 degrees. The air conditioning is giving up again and again. It’s horrible. My skin is being more oily than usual. I am keeping things under control by using The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash every morning. It’s been helping in keeping the oiliness/grease away and keeping my complexion stable. I love my The Body Shop Cucumber Milk Cleanser but it wasn’t helping me with this crazy summer skin so I switched back to my Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. I stopped using it because it would leave my face very dry but these days it is the only product that’s helping me in reducing breakouts and minimizing acne. I use it in the morning before my face wash and then later by itself in the evening. It is not a must that you use it twice a day. I do it when I feel my skin has become very greasy. I don’t like to over wash my skin because it strips off the natural oils.

2- Go to Mask ATM

I have been using Himalaya Herbals Refreshing Fruit Mask – Papaya + Apple – for Normal to Dry Skin. It’s an alright product. It’s quite drying and sometimes I get this intense burning sensation on my face when I have it on. The only reason I am using it these day is because my The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask is almost finished and right now whatever of it is left has turned into proper hard mud. I softened it by adding some rose water and it been working just fine.

3- On My Face

My Maybelline Fit Me Foundation isn’t working much wonders in this summer. It doesn’t stay for long and gets my face really oily. I purchased Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Nude Foundation in 100 Ivory a few weeks back and have been experimenting with it ever since. I thought it wouldn’t be that great but it is super good if you are looking for a foundation that would withstand this heat. It doesn’t budge at all. I will do a detailed review very soon because I have got lots to say about it. Stay tuned. 😉

4- On My Body

I am obsessed with Victoria’s Secret So Sexy fragrance these days. It’s a mix of floral and fruit smells and isn’t subtle at all in a very good way. The only thing that comes to my mind when I sniff it is – oh, so very sexy. For me it’s the perfect summer night out fragrance. Totally love it.

picture: internet

5- Obsession

I am obsessed with the idea of doing an extremely huge book haul these days. I mean at least 50 books. Yes, I do know that is far more books than I can read in a year but I am just obsessed right now. I am refraining from going to Borders or any online bookstores these days because I don’t trust myself. I am just going to lock myself in my room and wait this feeling out.

6- On My Cell

I finally got some new covers for my Samsung Note 3. I went to Dragon Mart for it. It’s a good place for such accessories. I am so happy with my purchase because I was sick of seeing my cell in the same covers. Yes, they had to be blue because you can just never have enough blue. I love them both. I don’t know if you can see it but the plain one actually has lines like threads. It’s really pretty in person. Did you see the tiny horns my Sully cover has? SUPER CUTE!!

What have you guys been up to? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Love yourself often and enough,

~F x

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