Making stuffed grape vine leaves is probably one of the most time-consuming dishes in the Middle Eastern cuisine, but it also is one of the most delicious! Served hot with a dab of chilled yogurt… More
Living mindfully and training ourselves to monitor our own senses is crucial in today’s overly cluttered world, filled with so much noise and random hustle and bustle.
Today’s post is more or less a rehash from my previous post titled, “Illustrated Infographic: How to be Beautiful Inside Out.” I created this video (above) using elements from the aforementioned illustration, and also expanded on the topic by creating a few more illustrations around the topic of “inside-out beauty.”
We need to make sure that we are in charge of our senses, which are the channels by which we communicate with the world around us, to be able to feel beautiful and live a happy and fulfilled life.
Here’s a flat lay of the contents of this video. Thanks for stopping by and I do hope to see you in my next post!
Everything about Morocco is exquisite and special! Its architecture, home decor, food, local fashion and traditions, are all a delight to the senses. Rich with colour, motifs and patterns, Morocco is not like any other country. This North African gem is steeped in tradition, yet very hospitable and welcoming of visitors from all corners of the globe. To make sure you are prepared to experience the Moroccan culture, here are a few fundamental packing tips to help you pack.
The following suggested list includes the very basics, but you can always build on it. It’s also a list for the ladies, as I am sure men have different needs that I myself wouldn’t know very much about :)
- Souvenirs: Bring along a few light-weight souvenirs that reflect the culture of your country, but make sure nothing in there is too controversial or culturally offensive (I drew a Dala Horse in my illustration above, assuming the traveller in question is from Sweden). Moroccans are very hospitable, so don’t be too surprised if a total stranger insists on inviting you over to a family meal at their own home. Be prepared with a few interesting trinkets as a thank-you gesture.
- 1 pair of sneakers: You will need them for hikes and long walks around Morocco’s beautiful souks and markets.
- 1 pair of flip-flops
- 1 pair of loose-fit jeans: Baggy jeans are your best bet as they won’t attract unnecessary attention in public souks. Since it can get very hot during the summer, a loose-fit will also help you stay cool. The general etiquette in Morocco for Women usually involves modest clothing.
- At least one long-sleeved shirt, that is also loose-fitting: If you’re planning to visit one of Morocco’s beautiful Mosques, you will need modest clothing for the occasion.
- A scarf: Having a scarf on hand is a great idea, especially if you happen to pass through a religious corner (Zawya) or district.
- Sunscreen: The sun in Morocco can be very intense during summertime. You will most probably get a tan by just walking down the street during daytime!
- Your mobile phone
- Your charger + adapter
My enchantment with Morocco began as a little child. Back then I had no idea I actually had Moroccan ancestry from my mother’s side. I found out relatively recently that I have a great great grandfather from Morocco, and then one of his descendants married a Moroccan lady. I couldn’t be happier knowing I actually had roots in a culture I so admired and found to be so inspiring and resourceful.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s illustrated post. I look forward to seeing you in my next one!
With summer fast approaching, rose water with its lovely scent and endless beauty care and culinary uses is a must-have product to be placed strategically in both your pantry, and your makeup bag! I’ve been using rose water for years now, and I thought I’d create this watercolour illustration to celebrate one of my most favorite natural ingredients!
Rose water is the distilled essence of rose petals. There are different grades of rose water – and so it is important to buy a brand that is all natural and that is known for using the best of ingredients. Look for Lebanese brands as those are known for making some of the world’s best varieties. And make sure the bottle you are ordering is in a glass bottle or container, not a plastic one.
Rose Water and Natural Beauty
Let’s start with the marvelous natural beauty benefits of rose water.
I for one like to spritz a little rose water on a cotton pad and like to use it as an all natural makeup remover and toner. My grandmother once told me that rose water can add a nice warm glow to one’s skin if used for at least once a week. That’s because the antioxidant properties of rose water can actually help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissues. It can also help heal a number of other skin conditions, such as scars, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Rose water can also help hydrate, revitalise and moisturise your skin giving it an unmistakable refreshed look.
In Lebanese and other Middle Eastern cuisines, rose water has been used as a flavouring for centuries. Confectioneries have traditionally used it to scent sweet syrups, puddings, pastries, and ice creams. Lebanese Baklawa (aka Baklava) and the most delicious Turkish Delight (also called “Rahet el Halkoum” or “Raha” in Arabic), are two dishes that have rose water as an essential ingredient.
The aroma of rose water is said to be a powerful mood enhancer as it can rid you of feelings of anxiety and can also promote emotional balance and well-being. That’s why pouring rose water into a spray bottle and using it as a natural home freshener can not only add a beautiful scent to the air but also positively affect the mood of the people in the house.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to seeing you in my next illustrated story!
Do you ever feel depressed after watching the news? Do you feel like you’ve been dragged into the mud after having a chat with certain people, who seem to be very negative and cynical about everything in life? Well, you’re not alone. And the great news is, you can do something about it! This illustrated infographic is about living a beautiful life inside out.
Our senses are the channels by which we communicate with the world around us. How do we expect to live a life of fulfillment and beauty if those channels are being muddied, by either our own thoughts and actions, or by some external factors – like the news, the media, magazines, social media, etc?!
One thing I have learnt from my previous work in the media and PR worlds is that in order to live in today’s’ cluttered world – packed with so many voices, ideas, advertising, PR stunts, activism, and news buzzing all around us at all times – we need to set our own standards for what we “allow” to go in, and what we allow to go out of our system.
Listening to depressing news can not only put us in a bad mood, but it can also maim our view about the world as well as our definition of happiness, and can ultimately cripple our attempt at living a happy and beautiful life.
Gossip, envy, and jealousy, if not monitored and harnessed can turn into hatred, bias, and prejudice… so we really need to be careful about what goes in inside of our hearts and minds so as to be able to become the people we want to be – beautiful, smart, courageous, creative, and truly free!
Please read part 2 of this post here, and check out the new video on YouTube:
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s infographic! Looking forward to seeing you in my next post!
The most breathtaking ceramics I’ve ever seen are handcrated by Tunisian artisans in this wonderful Mediterranean country. I’ve been collecting Tunisian ceramics long before my first visit to this North African gem. For this post, I have illustrated my Tunisian ceramics collection, consisting of large display plates, Tajine pots, tea cups, and tiny small dishes. This is also the first official page in my newly created blog series, dubbed ‘My Travel Illustrations Journal.’
A few years ago, I traveled to Tunisia as part of a music tour and multi-cultural project, organised by the British Council. We stopped in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, for a night on our way to Tabarka, a pristine coastal town famous for The Tabarka Jazz Festival.
That morning, the bus took us to a small mini-market opposite the sea in a quite corner of Tunis. I remember standing in awe at the sight of the deep blue sea – as I stepped out of the mini-market with my bag of water bottles and snacks, before going on a 10-hour drive to our destination.
I think the navy-indigo hues of the Tunisian sea-view of the Mediterranean have a lot to do with the rich colors used in Tunisian ceramics, with their beautifully glazed surfaces, hand-painted patterns and intricate designs. Blues and navies are an essential colour in the Tunisian ceramics tradition, as well as a backdrop of white that seems to always help the blues to pop!
Tunisian Ceramics & Food Gatherings
I’m generally a strong advocate of a beautifully arranged table setting that invites the senses and creates a certain welcoming and enticing mood. Food in my culture is much more than just a few bites to calm a hungry stomach down. There is a long history of hospitality and attention to detail associated with food – as a social event, a cultural activity and a a ritual that involves several disciplines of the arts.
In a previous post, I wrote about how in my family Tunisian ceramics, as well as other handcrafted dining accessories and cutlery from other countries, are an essential part of our food festivities. You can read all about it in this post here – Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, and I do look forward to seeing you all in my next one!