Activities, Parenting, Things To Do

Art Activities To Keep Kids Involved

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Managing your kids is probably as beautiful as it is a nightmare. Giving kids something to do is not so easy anymore, especially if you want them to grow up the right way!


Technology influences the way children grow up more than you think. Often parents get used to handing their child a gadget that the kid can get focused on. This is not healthy!

Here are some art essentials that every child must have:

  1. Coloring Pencils, Crayons and the works.

Every kid needs a set of crayons, sheets and a place where they can go wild with the colors!

  1. Paints

A set of paints and brushes. Finger painting is also good as long as you know the kids won’t lick it!

  1. Glitter and Glue

This is an awesome combination that instantly creates dazzling works of art by kids!

  1. Ribbons and wool for decoration.

Kids can really play around with scraps of ribbons or wools in their drawings or scrap work.

  1. Scrapbook

Do a weekly scrapbook activity with your child where they scrapbook something to remind them of their best moments that week!

  1. Play dough.

Play dough is amazing for any kids’ imagination! But always remember to be there to guide your kid on how it works. Ask them to recreate their favorite things or characters!

  1. A blackboard and colored chalks.

Drawing on a blackboard and even practising the alphabets on numbers can be a super fun activity for your child.

  1. Origami paper.

Or any colored paper works! Do weekly origami sessions with your child to keep them creating wonderful origami!

  1. Perler or Hama Beads

You’ll easily find a set of Perler Beads at IKEA! It comes with a pegboard and parchment paper. You can look up designs online and create wonderful tokens with your child. This activity requires using an iron so make sure you do it!

  1. Friendship bracelets.

These have always been in trend and making them is super fun. All you’ll need are different colored embroidery threads, a clipboard and How-to Youtube videos. This activity is suitable for kids and they’ll love it!

  1. Painting on Clay Pots

You can easily find clay pots in stationaries and in the market. Involve your child in a fun painting activity. They can use the pot for keeping their things.

  1. Q-tip Painting Activity

All you’ll need is sheets of paper, acrylic paints and Q-tips! Involve your kids in creating simple paintings of flowers or their home or anything else they want!

  1. Leaf Doodling

This is a super fun activity that even adults may enjoy! Find bigger sized leaves and do an activity to draw patterns on them with paint or sketch pens.

  1. String Painting

You’ll need bright colors, strings and a sheet of paper. Ask your child to dip the string in paint and draw patterns using it.

  1. Wire Sculptures

You’ll need foam blocks, pipe cleaners or normal wires that can be bent and any other scrap material like features, ribbons and glitter that can be used on the sculpture!

  1. Rock painting.

Find rocks of different shapes and sizes. Paint them with your kids for a lovely room decoration.

  1. Negative Space Masterpiece

Spread tape on a canvas to create geometric shapes that can be painted. Apply gesso along the tape to prevent paint from going under it. Let the kids paint and show their creativity. Once the paint is dry, pull off the tape and you’ll have a cool geometric painting!

  1. Design and send postcards!

Design postcards with your kids and write little notes on them for loved ones who live abroad. You can easily send postcards using Saudi Pos

References:
artfulparent.com/2014/11/simple-kids-activities.html

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Uncategorized

Books to Boost Creativity

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Creativity needs a boost sometimes!


Whether you’re an artist, writer, designer or a creative enthusiast of any kind, the following books can help you out in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

1. On Writing by Stephen King

imagesKing is a master when it comes to writing. He’s always writing something and this is exactly his advice to you! Never stop writing. This book will give you a wider perspective on the art of writing and how to become a better writer. On Writing is also a memoir which will give you a look into the writer’s childhood, his earlier struggles with writing and how a near-fatal accident changed his writing forever!
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

2. The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins

41f5s2bviolIn this book, Judkins draws from the behaviors and lives of creative people to help us understand how creative people think and work. It’s about how they achieved success by doing things others never tried. This book encourages you to think independently so give it a try!
“Creativity isn’t a switch that’s flicked on or off; it’s a way of seeing, engaging and responding to the world around you.”

3. 1001 Ways to Creativity

17214055This little book is filled with quotes and inspirations that will help you kickstart your creativity on any lazy day! The bonus is that the book is pretty and will look great on your desk.

4. How to Start A Creative Business by Doug Richard

18364676Doug Richard uses straightforward language to help you understand the process of starting a creative business. This book will prepare you for the steps that lead to making that big decision!

5. Imagine How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

lehrer-imagineJonah Lehrer makes a very important point in this book – if you want to be creative you have to expose yourself to diversity. Pick up this book if you want to know about creative peoples habits. Lehrer takes a look at real life examples to show you how creativity works!

6. How to Have Creative Ideas by Edward de Bond

476111This book contains 62 games that will help you develop your mind! The basic idea of the exercises is to use come up with creative ideas using random words provided. This is not the kind of book you read in one sitting, it works best if you do a couple of exercises on a regular basis!

7. Creativity at Work by Ros Taylor

15850610Taylor uses case studies of companies like Apple and Google along with other influential creative people to establish what it takes for a person or company to be creative. She derives from some newer theories on the psychology of thinking.

8. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

24453082Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love, and in her new book, she explores her own inspirations and the importance of going on despite worries and fears. The stories and generous wisdom in this book will encourage you to loosen your grip and explore new things in life.

9. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

8978488If you’re looking for a book that’ll get you moving then pick up this one! Chris Guillebeau discourages conformity and encourages you to take matters into your own hand. If you’re someone who loves adventures and wants to start your own business then this book might help you be sure.“When we really get serious about our insecurities, we usually find that three specific fears emerge: the fear of failure, the fear of success, and the fear of change.”

10. Make Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

7696135Belsky will show you why you need to develop your habits in order to act upon your ideas. His years of research and experience shows what differentiates those who achieve success and those who are unable to.

11. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-upDoes it spark joy?” This is the main question behind the decluttering revolution that Marie Kondo has started. By removing the excess from your life you’ll create space for better living, and this is will lead to better creativity. Dip into this book to reinvent your life and your living space! In the past year, Kondo’s book quickly gained popularity due to the fact that it actually works.

12. Creativity Inc. Overcoming  the Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

18077903Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar, presents the intersection between creativity and business in this book. This book is highly recommended for anyone who works in the field of technology and design, especially if your work requires creativity! There’s something for everyone in this book, so we’d recommend even managers and business owners to read this!

13. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelly and David Kelly

creative_confidenceIn this book, the Tom and David Kelly talk about the creative potential in every person. The book is meant to help you reach your full potential and achieve better success at your projects. The two brothers write from experience and talk about how every problem can be a potential opportunity.

14. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

drawing-on-the-right-side-of-the-brain-by-betty-edwards-coverThis book is a must have for any artist and drawing enthusiast. You don’t need expensive lessons or a trip abroad to unleash your drawing creativity! Betty Edwards’ book comes with exercises and tips that will teach you to unlearn drawing and give you a whole new perspective on how to draw.

15. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

41vewphkl-_sx335_bo1204203200_If you want inspiration to write then this book will give you the push you need. This book will not tell you what to do, but it will help you explore the art of zen thinking and how you can apply it to your writing.

16. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

image22This is more of a memoir than it is an instruction manual on writing but it will definitely inspire you to write more. Lamott’s book is considered an essential title for writers, especially because it will make you face the truth that writing is not easy.

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Uncategorized

Pamper Your Reading Time

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11 Unique Shops For Your Reading Rituals.


1.  Obvious State

This New York City based design studio has beautiful things to offer that are inspired by literature. Postcards, notebooks, bookmarks and even mugs – you’ll fall in love with their amazing collections!

2. Knob Creek Metal Arts

If you’re looking for an amazing metal bookend then look no further! KCMA have amazing designs and they work purely with metal! Whales, arrows, dinosaurs, monkeys on trees, guitars and missiles – they’ve incorporated just about everything into a bookend! Did we mention the REDRUM bookend that Stephen King lovers will appreciate?!

3. Klever Case

Klever Case is the best Kindle and reading device case designer on Etsy! Their cases are inspired by book covers and literature and have some seriously gorgeous looking designs.

4. Frostbeard Studio

Candles inspired by books and characters?! Yes, please! Frostbeard Studio creates limited edition candles that any book lover will LOVE. Their candle scents include Old Books, Gatsby’s Mansion, Bookstore, Sherlock’s Study and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

5. EAT Creations

Based in Melbourne this unique store creates bookmarks out of vintage silverware plate cutlery! Their bookmarks are stamped by hand. You can choose your customized wording or go for their awesome ‘FELL ASLEEP HERE’ bookmark!

6. Wonder Flies

The perfect place to stop if you’re shopping for a book lover and a pet lover! Their bookmarks have designs that include Grumpy Cat with a quote that says “LEAVE ME ALONE. I’M READING.”

7. Bookishly UK

Bookishly UK has products designed by Louise who lives in England. Her work is wonderful and amazing because she incorporates all-time favorite quotes that are printed onto pages from books and framed for your wall! You can even find similar journals and lovely cards for different occasions.

8.  Word Baubles

If you love jewelry and books then you need to go straight to Word Baubles. Dawn from the US designs jewelry with quotes that can be customized. Designs include ‘I love the smell of books’, ‘I read past my bedtime’ and ‘Be nice to me or you’ll end up in my novel’.

9. Literary LipBalms

Made in Norway these are all-natural handmade lip balms lightly scented using essential oils! Scents include Tinker Bell, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and Enchanted Rose! And they only cost $4.91!

10. Crafted Van

Made in Vancouver, Crafted Van has super adorable magnetic bookmarks! These bookmarks are inspired by literary characters, your favorite pets, drinks, icons, weather and even fictional creatures! The bookmarks can be bought individually or in sets of 3-5. Most products are under $10.

11. Icey Designs

This final Etsy shop is the perfect place for any writer and reader. Designed by Hafsah Faizal from Dallas, this shop includes sets of pencils engraved by quotes from literature and many fandoms, planners, home art and sets of notepads, planners and pencils!

But really the designs will make you want to place an order now!

You can easily order from these stores if you have an account in Aramex or Saudi Post! Shipping charges apply but can be reduced if you contact the shop owner and get standard shipping instead of Premium.

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Food, Showdown

12 Most Sinful Chili Cheese Fries in Jeddah

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The greatest invention after French Fries were Chili Cheese Fries. We’ve been in love ever since the trend came to Jeddah.


This list will take you the best places for Chili Cheese Fries in Jeddah:

1. Fuddruckers

Photo Credit: fuddruckers.com

Photo Credit: fuddruckers.com

Location: Al Andalus St., and Roshan Mall
Facebook: fuddsandalusksa

2. TGI Friday’s

Photo Credit: chubbyscheesesteaks.com

Photo Credit: chubbyscheesesteaks.com

Location: Al Andalus St.
Facebook: tgifmiddleeast

3. Johnny Rockets

Photo Credit: johnnyrocketsnigeria.com

Photo Credit: johnnyrocketsnigeria.com

Location: Falastin, Hamra and Khalidiyah
Facebook: johnnyrocketsksa

4. The Counter Burger

Photo Credit: foodspotting.com

Photo Credit: foodspotting.com

Location: Etoile Center, King Abdulaziz St.
Web: thecounterburger.com
Twitter: thecounterksa

5. 77 Burger and Pizza

Photo Credit: 77-burger-foursquare-com

Photo Credit: 77-burger-foursquare-com

Location: Prince Saud Al Faisal, Al Rawdah
Instagram: 77burgerandpizza

6. Nosh Lounge

img_5770Location: Hira St, Al Shaty

7. Century Burgers

5815185289_21f2481e38_bLocation: Prince Sultan Rd, Al Khalidiyah
Web: centuryburger.com
Facebook: centuryburger
Twitter
: centuryburger

8. Caffe Aroma

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Location: Al Hamraa Center, Corniche Rd.
Facebook: caffearomajeddah
Twitter
: caffe_aroma

9. Chili’s

73b9084c1cc94120dc78ff0239d72a59Location: Al Andalus St., and Roshan Mall
Web: chilisksa.com
Facebook: chilisksa
Twitter
: chilisksa

10. Classic Burger

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Location: King Abdulaziz Branch Rd, Al Basateen
Twitter: classicburgersa

11. Texas Roadhouse

Photo Credit: texasroadhouse.com

Photo Credit: texasroadhouse.com

Location: Le Mall, Tahlia St.
Facebook: texasroadhouseme

12. Countryside

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Photo Credit: foursquare.com

Location: Prince Sultan St.
Facebook: countrysideksa
Twitter
: countrysideksa

Web: countrysideksa.com

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Book Review

Reading How-tos

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Every reader has a different experience with books. Reading is an amazing habit, one that can benefit you in more ways than one. It’s important to know how to optimize your reading experience.


Here’s a list of things that will either make you a better reader or make the act of reading more pleasurable!

  1. Start a reading journal.

I’m adding this one at the top because not enough people do it! Dedicate a journal or notebook to document your thoughts about the book you’re reading. It will enhance your own thinking and will help you formulate a better idea about the book. Write what you feel and think about the characters and emotions portrayed in the book!

  1. Don’t forget the tea!

A refreshing mint or jasmine tea can uplift your reading experience. It will also be great for your health!

  1. Understand why you read.

You could read a book in more ways than one. You could read a book for the thrill and entertainment or you could read it to learn something. For example, Marissa Meyer’s book Cinder is part of a highly popular series. Many people love the fun stuff in the book but when I read it I saw how wonderfully the book inverted the ‘Prince Charming as saviour’ narrative.

  1. Become your own curator.

Your bookshelf says a lot about you! If you love science fiction, look for classics in the genre to know how it all started. If you love YA fiction, try to read a few literary fiction or crime fiction. Try to read a bit of everything. If you’re a literary snob like me who loves the classics and literary fiction, then pick up a YA every once in a while.

  1. But, read what you like.

Don’t force yourself to like a book just because everyone else likes it. Forcing yourself to read a book may put you in a reading slump.

  1. Beware of the Reading Slump.

Reading slumps are every bookworm’s nightmare. Yes, it’s when you lose the motivation to read. The best solution is rereading your favourites like Alice in Wonderland or Harry Potter!

  1. Read the book? Now discuss it!

Join a book club or discuss a book on Goodreads, your blog or even your Facebook status. You’ll be amazed by the different opinions that can come up in a discussion! If you like the idea of a book club but don’t have one in your location – start your own!

  1. Improve your language.

Whether you read in English or Arabic, there’s always room for you to improve your language. Take note of new words and try to use them in your life. You can also highlight or underline words or sentences that you find different or interesting.

  1. Use Goodreads’ Reading Update Feature

This feature is amazing. It allows you to update your progress by page number or percentage. You can add your comments about the book along with the progress update. Your friends on Goodreads can see your updates and know whether you’re enjoying the book or not. It’s definitely useful if you write reviews because you can always go back to check what your thoughts!

  1. Beginnings and Endings.

Often the most important parts of a book are the beginnings and endings. Think about them both when you finish a book. What started it all? What changed? These are important questions.

Whether its entertainment or a memorable lesson, what you take from a book is what matters the most in the end because we are what we read.

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Story, Style & Shopping

It’s Time to Control That Shopping Addiction!   

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What do you do when you LOVE buying things you don’t need and just can’t stop walking into stores?! Here’s what!


  1. Understand your addiction.

First of all, shopaholism is linked to emotions and not intelligence. Second, you need to know exactly what triggers you to spend money. Keep a diary (are you going to buy a new one JUST for this?) and record exactly when, why and where you spent your money. Write about how you felt before you walked in through the doors or logged onto Amazon.

  1. Discover why.

Shopaholics do it for all kinds of reasons; to get over anxiety, divert attention from personal problems, to overcome insecurity, due to lack of healthy social relations, etc. You need to find out what’s missing in your life and try to fix that instead!

  1. Count your blessings.

If you’re spending too much – and often irrationally – then think about all the people who can’t even afford a meal a day. Think about all the things you need that you already have. Our wants will never decrease; we just need to know which wants are worth it!

  1. Get help.

Now, I’m not saying you should go see a shrink. A lot of shopaholics sign up for counselling sessions that only make them feel worse about themselves. Confide in someone you love and trust. Share your problem with a member of your family or your best friend.

  1. Carry limited cash.

Leave the card at home and carry a limited amount of money whenever you go out. You should have enough cash for a minor emergency, and that’s it!

  1. Avoid the danger zones.

Avoid shopping malls entirely. If you absolutely NEED to buy something, then do it with someone who’ll stop you at the right time.

  1. Involve yourself.

Think about what you’re doing with your life. Is spending money and browsing online stores the best you can do?

  1. Find healthy alternatives.

Whenever you feel like shopping do some yoga instead or go for a walk.

  1. Be honest and open.

If you think you’re the only one facing this problem, then you’re absolutely wrong. Start a support group because every city should have one. Talk about shopaholism, provide support to those who are also struggling and work together to raise awareness.

  1. Be more charitable.

Being charitable does not have to involve money. Take up a volunteering position or start an initiative on your own!

The key is to understand the problem and yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up because you’re not alone!

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Art, Artist & Musicians, Arts & Music, Book Review

When Books and Art Meet

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Any booklover will agree that a beautiful cover on a book makes it even more enjoyable. Some booklovers even seek out books that are decades old and loved by many, because books like these have a special quality.


Publishers like Penguin have come up with editions of books that are so beautiful that it’ll make you want to read more!

1. Penguin Modern Classics

Photo Credit: fontsinuse.com

Photo Credit: fontsinuse.com

The PMC’s are elegant and feature brilliant photography on the cover. The author name is written in white lettering and the title of the book in silver. Most PMC’s have black and white covers but many also have beautiful color photographs as the cover. Authors in this series include Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac, Khalil Gibran, Carson McCullers, Shirley Jackson and Virginia Woolf.

2. Penguin Clothbound

Photo Credit: blog.booktopia.com.au

Photo Credit: blog.booktopia.com.au

The Penguin Clothbound Classics are beautiful to hold and look at! These were designed by the amazing Coralie Bickford Smith. Never before have our favourite classics been so beautifully dressed! If you’re a Jane Austen lover, a Charles Dickens fan or a lover of classics in general you’ll love these clothbound classics!

3. Penguin English Library

Also designed by Coralie Bickford Smith, these classics have amazing designs on the cover that are colorful and aesthetically pleasing! Sherlock Holmes fans should look out for Doyle’s book series in this edition!

4. Fitzgerald Anniversary Edition

bokOn the 70 Anniversary of the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s death, Penguin Classics launched this beautiful hardcover set of his six novels, including The Great Gatsby. These books come with their own bookmark, designed by Coralie Bickford Smith, Penguin’s senior cover designer. If you love the novels of the modern age, you’ll definitely love Fitzgerald!

5. Vintage Classics Austen Series

Photo Credit: jessieansons.com

Photo Credit: jessieansons.com

The Vintage Classics Austen Series is designed by the writer and illustrator Leanne Shapton. The designs have vivid colors and beautiful floral patterns.

This edition was published by Random House Books.

6. Vintage Classics Bronte Sisters

Photo Credit: adayinbookland.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: adayinbookland.blogspot.com

This series was designed by artist Sarah Gillespie. The collection consists of three books by the Bronte sisters; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. These classics are a must read and this beautiful edition adds to the reading experience!

7. Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia

Photo Credit: susan-mitchell.com

Photo Credit: susan-mitchell.com

This edition of Alice in Wonderland is a must have for all lovers of the classic that gets weirder every time you read it! It’s illustrated by the artist Camille Rose Garcia whose work for this book was inspired by the original illustrations by John Tenneil. The jacket and book was designed by Agnieszka Stachowicz.

8. Haruki Murakami Collection

Photo Credit: tasseled.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: tasseled.wordpress.com

The contemporary Japanese author is loved for his magic realism and writing style. His collection of books published by Vintage and designed by John Gall is a must have for any Murakami lover!

9. Penguin Threads

Photo Credit: aesthetecurator.com

Photo Credit: aesthetecurator.com

This series of six classics was commissioned by Penguin’s Art Director Paul Buckley. The covers are textured and handstitched using needle and thread. The books include Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Emma by Jane Austen.

The covers for The Secret Garden, Black Beauty and Emma were designed by Jillian Tamaki, and the covers for Wind in the Willows, Little Women and The Wizard of Oz and Other Wonderful Books of Oz were designed by L. Frank Baum.

10. Penguin Classics Couture Deluxe Editions

maxresdefaultThis is a series of six iconic novels ‘dressed in fierce design’ by fashion illustrator Ruben Toleo. The books include The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Emma by Jane Austen and The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The series was published by Penguin in 2009 and 2010.

11. Picador 40th Anniversary Edition

Photo Credit: itsabookthingblog.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: itsabookthingblog.blogspot.com

On their 40th Anniversary Picador published a beautiful collection of twelve books in black and white designs. The books include The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Room by Emma Donoghue, and The Line of Beauty by Allan Hollinghurst. The edition was designed by Picador.

12. The Puffin Chalk Series

Photo Credit: adoseofthedelightful.com

Photo Credit: adoseofthedelightful.com

The Puffin Chalk series contains books that have black background cover design with chalk illustrations by Dana Tanamachi. The books include The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

13. Penguin Little Black Classics

Photo Credit: intpolicydigest.org

Photo Credit: intpolicydigest.org

The LBC’s are dream books for any bookworm who can’t find the time to read a novel! These classics feature short stories, poems and essays that are perfect substitute for full length novels. The edition was designed by Jim Stoddard, one of Penguin’ art directors. This set of 80 Little Black Classics marked Penguin’s 80th anniversary!

14. Penguin Ink

Photo Credit: theculturetrip.com

Photo Credit: theculturetrip.com

20 books designed and illustrated by renowned tattoo artists under Paul Buckley’s creative direction. Some of the artists include Russ Abbott, Bret Krak, Lyn Akure, Valeri Vargas and Chris O’Donnell. The books include White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Money by Martin Amis, The Accidental by Ali Smith, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter and Big Sur by Jack Kerouac.

Pick up any of these editions for an inspiring reading session! Who says we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover?!

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Healthy Living, Wellness

Why Pets Are Good for Kids

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Everyone knows pets are adorable, but not many people are aware of the actual benefits of having pets.


Reasons why having a pet will be great for your kid:

  1. Companionship

Pets make great friends, especially cats and dogs. Children get along very well with animals and vice versa. A little kitten or puppy will easily become your child’s best friend and you won’t have to worry about your child feeling lonely.

  1. Better Learning

Kids want to do everything with their pets. Many little kids read to their cat or dog and this helps them develop their reading skills. What encourages kids is that pets are nonjudgmental and let them make mistakes. Curling up with a cat to read feels amazing and so much better than having it feel like a chore.

  1. Comfort

According to one study, 5-year-old kids who said they went to their pet for comfort were noted to be less anxious and worried by their parents. Basically, if a kid has a pet they’re likely to have healthier emotions.

  1. Better nurturing skills

Taking care of a pet will allow the child to have better nurturing skills. The great thing is that both boys and girls love taking care of the pet and this results in a healthy attitude towards taking care of others.

  1. Healthy attitude.

Interacting with a cat, dog, bird or even a hamster will allow your child to develop a healthy attitude towards animals. They will learn that even animals can get hurt, have feelings and need love and care.

  1. Avoid weight gain.

If your child is becoming lethargic getting a cat or dog will make them more physically active. This is especially important in today’s world where kids are getting addicted to technology.

  1. Stronger immune system.

Being exposed to animals at a young age allows kids to develop a stronger immune system that works against allergies. Of course, it’s important to know that some people are allergic to certain pets like dogs so you shouldn’t force the interaction in this case.

  1. Fighting depression.

Having a pet will help your child fight depression and similar tendencies of sadness and loneliness.

  1. Higher cognitive development.

According to one study, kids with pets had a greater cognitive development. Kids also learn nonverbal communication when they interact with pets.

  1. Responsibility.

Kids who learn to take care of pets and their needs are known to be more responsible and emotionally mature. These tasks can be feeding the pet, walking the dog, making sure there’s enough water in the bowl and so on.

  1. Good for the family.

Getting a pet is great for the family too because the pet is more than likely to bring members together and increase communication. When the pet becomes the center of attention, everyone participates!

  1. The circle of life.

It’s important for children to have a healthy idea about life and death. When a little goldfish or a beloved cat passes away the child will learn to cope with sadness and grief. Getting another pet after a period of time will allow the child to understand that life must go on.

So what are you waiting for?! Adopt a pet today!

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Book Review, Online Magazine

Conversations with Sara Abuljadayel a Saudi Poet

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Sara Abuljadayel is a Saudi poet who recently did a book-signing event at the Sharjah Book Fair, the world’s third largest book fair, where she met some of her readers. Her poetry and prose collection, Just Wondering About It All, contains earnest writing that offers a comforting and uplifting perspective on life.


When writing her first collection Abuljadayel knew she’d have to find a balance between her full-time job and creative writing, “I would go to the office early so I could get time to write. On less hectic days, I’d take a coffee break to write down some lines.” The trick that worked for her was to find a few minutes a day when she could clear her head and write without interruptions. Being in a corporate environment doesn’t seem very inspiring for a poet, she explains, “Everything inspires me, whether it’s positive or negative. I believe you need to have an open mind to look around you and find what makes the world spin.”

Writing in English, the language of her education, allows her to reach a wider and more international audience. Abuljadayel’s writing process usually begins with a word or situation that keeps coming back to her, “I like writing about life instances and situations, and how they affect people, how people can learn from them to carry on in life.” While that might give you the impression of a self-help book, her poetry is actually an expressive exploration of life. For instance, the poem “The Strange Void” ends with an encouraging declaration, “However long it takes, everything has an end. Your part in it is to choose how you will end it.” Another poem, “The World’s New Symphony”, puts across an inspiring message, “The world’s new symphony is a reminder to have a heart, to share compassion, to make a difference.”sdf

When it comes to reading and writing poetry, Abuljadayel talks about a shift in perspective, “I have to put myself in the reader’s shoes and see how they might relate to my poems.” Speaking to her Saudi and international readers has revealed a common response, “They relate to the journey you take from one phase of life to the next. They are also able to see themselves in some of the situations I write about.”

Getting published is, of course, not a simple matter; Abuljadayel was used to writing for her family and close friends, but knowing that a larger audience would read her work concerned her, “My friends and family would give me direct feedback. When people around the world read my work, I’m not sure what they think or if their response is similar to my closer circle’s.”

We couldn’t help but about her current read, “I’m reading Emirati writer Aysha Al Jahani’s book on parenting, The First Years Last Forever.”

Sara Abuljadayel also enjoys the works of novelist Paulo Coelho, photographer Paul Reiffer, and artist Christian Lassen.

Just Wondering About It All is available on most ebook platforms. A hard copy can be bought from Jamalon for SR 60.

“To love again, to try again, to look forward for our tomorrows.” – Sara Abuljadayel

Name: Sara Abuljadayel
Age: 36
Profession: Project Information Coordinator
Book: Just Wondering About It All (2016, Sail Publishing)
Web: jamalon.com
Instagram: saranabuljadayel

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Business, Shopping

A Shelf Space For Your Instagram Business

instagram-social-media-web-pages-internet-163141

In the business of setting up shop.


Marketplaces that support local entrepreneurs are becoming quite popular in Jeddah. These places bring fashion, furniture to food under one roof. Businesses that started on Instagram and creative entrepreneurs with limited funding are finding a lot of benefit in subletting at community-centric markets.

Retailing on Instagram

If you’ve bought something via Instagram before, you’ll be familiar with the process: placing the order, getting through the hassle of pick-up or delivery and then waiting for your order to arrive the same day or on a scheduled date. While this is convenient for busy consumers, especially if they’re already familiar with the brand, it lacks the undeniable satisfaction in shopping at a store where you can personally check the product before making a purchase. On the other hand, Instagram entrepreneurs might struggle to juggle an online presence while also managing production, delivery and developing the concept. Being social media smart is essential; a chef may not be as good at marketing on social media as they are in whipping up a delicious pie. In fact, small business owners might not even have the capital to keep a cashier, let alone rent an entire store in a Mall or shopping district. This can dampen their potential and success.

Making the Move

This is where community-centric marketplaces and concept stores are stepping as a solution. Shared retail spaces provide an affordable option for startups that want to move beyond the virtual community. By going retail, they can focus their energy on growing their business, running and developing the concept.

Homegrown

Homegrown

One such retail-space business is Homegrown Market, which takes its name from its vision to support local. They currently serve almost 50 clients with the majority being local entrepreneurs. Tamara Abu Khadra, co-founder of Homegrown Market, advises small businesses to “Be realistic with retail price points and stay true to your brand.” They offer clients many services including display management, inventory and sales management and brand positioning. Homegrown has steadily grown to become a central shopping outlet for Saudis.

Crate Photo Credit: Khalid M Sindi

Crate
Photo Credit: Khalid M Sindi

Crate, a recently launched retail-space, was founded last year by four friends after they researched the struggles of Instagram businesses. Their concept, while similar to Homegrown Market in outlook, goes a step-further by also serving as a business incubator and providing market research reports. Rayan Fadul, one of the founders, explains, “We help you develop your product and business skills so we can prepare you to leave us.”

Melted

Melted

Alanoud Albraikan and Haya Al Jamal, founders of Melted (brownies in a jar), were operating entirely from home before joining Crate in June last year, “It benefitted us by giving us a space to sell a larger quantity and also gave us the extra exposure that we needed as a new startup.”

Sinwan Concept

Sinwan Concept

Specializing in lifestyle, Sinwan Concept showcases handmade décor and furniture items by Middle Eastern designers. Besides offering shared retail space, Sinwan Concept also involves their architects and graphic designers in improving products that have potential. According to co-owner Hani Abdullah, collaborating with Sinwan can help designers learn how to improve their products and also acquire relevant skills.

Not Just Shopping

To customers, localized markets and concept stores can also offer more than just retail therapy. Homegrown, for example, includes a cozy corner where Medd serves freshly brewed coffee. Another concept store, Libra Boutique, showcases the work of Saudi fashion designers in a premium setting with a twist. Rana Ismail’s concept is to offer the dual experience of food and fashion; shoppers can browse the collections and conclude their visit with tea and a quick bite at the lounge.

Medd

Medd

Overall, while setting up a business online can have its perks, shared retail spaces take away some of the work, give better exposure to the brand “in real life,” and also allow the entrepreneur to focus majorly on developing their concept and products. These marketplaces are also a space for the community to discover and shop Saudi brands, whether established or up and coming.

Moving to a brick and mortar set-up doesn’t eliminate the social media aspect, of course. Continuing to maintain their social media presence allows the small businesses to keep in touch with their online community, market the products, and also drive traffic to the stores. Additionally, Homegrown Market and Crate both provide social media support to their clients.

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