I spy with my little eye... a pin up!

Remember my day with Tina and her team last week-end? Well here is a preview of our beauty photoshoot; the idea was to play around S/S14 trends. Mixing trends with my vintage look is not an easy thing so Tina had a lot of preparatory work, I praise her patience and passion for make-up (without my lil'sis aka Thumper, I am as comfortable as Bambi on ice with my make-up). I also admire the lovely make-up and hair artist Amanda for her dexterity and pugnacity: she didn't give up on my baby hair, and that in itself, is an achievement. Now some ladies are complete naturals when it comes to posing, I am not. I am getting better but I talk a lot, I laugh a lot, I definitively need music, I dance sometimes... Photographers usually don't have to ask me to move: I'm constantly doing it anyway. It takes me a good 10min to get into photoshoot mode and then I relax, I guess I need to get to know the photographer. So here are a few shots, I didn't expect to and was not specially going for it but they definitively have a pin up vibe!

I spy with my little eye... Jessica beautiful pictures.

Remember how I said I would share some of my daily reads? Well after Elsa, I'd like to introduce Jessica Silversaga. She is a Stockholm based photographer who has an eye and a passion for vintage. Whatever she shoots, she brings an ambiance to her photos, a romantic retro vibe that I love. I hope you will appreciate her work as much as I do.
Visit her website here.

I spy with my little eye... French women don't get fat.

I'm often asked how french women drink wine, eat cheese and croissants, and manage to stay a size 8-38, so I thought I'd explain a few things. This is just based on my personal experience and my education. Given the fact that the only times I've been to the gym happened under threat and after I tried ignorance, escape, intimidation, negotiation and supplication (I know, I need to work on that), and that despite that, I still fit in the same clothes I was wearing when I got to Dubai 2 years ago, I guess my parents must have taught me well. So here is what I know:

1- Yes, we drink wine, but we don't binge. If I decide to get drunk, don't worry, I will, but it happens once a year and wine isn't my weapon of choice. When I drink wine, I like to appreciate it (and remember how good it was), so I will have a couple of glasses, between 2 and 4 but that's it. And if it helps, we have a saying in France about mixing: "Blanc sur rouge, rien ne bouge. Rouge sur blanc, tout fout l'camp", which translates into: "Red then white, you're in the clear. White then red, never been sicker".

2- I don't drink sodas. My mother never really bought them when I was a child so they stayed some sort of exceptional treat. As an adult, I find them too sweet so the only time you will see me with a coca cola is when I am nauseous. Other then that, I have mostly water, fresh juices and wine.

3- Yes we eat cheese, no we don't eat croissants everyday. The latter is a myth. We'll have one croissant on Sundays but that's it.

4- We cook, yes we do. I am not used to ordering in; I like the idea of knowing what's in my plate. And because of the size of the flats in Paris, you usually don't have space to cook properly so the simpler the better (hello farandole of salads!).

5- Remember the metro is always on strike in Paris, therefore we walk. A lot. I remember walking  sometimes up to 1h30 to get to college. That's something that I try to do as much as possible here in Dubai. I realise how silly that sounds, but just going to the supermarket by foot and carrying your groceries will do.

6- We don't snack. I don't carry a bag of nuts in my bag, I stick to my 3 meals a day. Which also means I don't skip breakfast. I'm an early bird so even if I'm meeting friends for brunch, I'll manage to have coffee and a toast at 8am, that's my way of avoiding food binging at the Al Qasr (not so chic).

7- We eat a little bit of everything in small quantities. "You have to try it before you can decide you don't like it", how many times did I hear that sentence when I was a child. It applied to escargots and shellfishs, but also to my grandmother's beef tongue (my grandfather watched me and my plate for 3h that day)... So I learned to balance my diet and refrain from eating the whole bag of chips/cookies.

8- We enjoy our food so no, we won't skip our lunch break. Relax, chew, enjoy, even if it's just a sandwich. Eating slowly will give your head time to process what your stomach is doing so that you will feel stuffed when you actually are. If you eat fast, there's a good chance you will over-eat because your brain won't have time to give you the satisfaction sensation.

And since on a Sunday in Paris I would walk to the bakery to treat myself to a pastry, I made chouquettes today!

I spy with my little eye... culturo'clock!

Yes pitchouns, it's culturo'clock in Dubai, time to enjoy some theatre at DUCTAC with the Dubai Drama Group. Yesterday I saw their production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am no theatre critic but I've seen enough bad plays to appreciate a good one. I didn't know the story, but once I got into the absurdity of the two wandering knights, I enjoyed the writing and direction of the play. The 1h30 story follows the journey of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters of Hamlet. It feels like being in the backstage of this huge Shakespeare play, where every character tries to find it's way while the main action is left unseen to the public. It reminded me a lot of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", but even more intricate since Tom Stoppard adds a mise-en-abime (story within a story) to the constant rhetoric and nonsense of the dialogues. I can honestly say that all of the actors are doing a great job, and I particularly applaud Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who rocked some pretty amazing monologues. 
The Dubai Drama Group will be performing 25th January / 1st February: 4.30 PM & 7.30 PM, tickets are priced at 80aed, more information here.

I spy with my little eye... a behind the scenes sneak peak.

This morning I woke up and headed to the Emirates Aviation College to meet Cristina and her team. I wasn't sure what to expect but Tina had everything under control and as soon as the music started, we were on! So this is what I've been up to this morning pitchouns...

I spy with my little eye... my daily dose of Elsa.

This week I thought I'd introduce you to some of my daily reads, starting with Elsa Billgren. Elsa is Swedish and has been blogging for years, she is vintage from head to toe and has a fantastic eye for fashion and interior design. She does PR, rents her collection of bridal gowns, she is a writer, a tv presenter, personal shopper and overall a happy bunny. Her everyday photos are full of beautiful things and inspiration. I love her wardrobe, envy her daily trips to vintage shops and always find her blog the perfect remedy when I get Europe-sick.
Have a look here.

I spy with my little eye... the market of everything.

I used to go to the market of everything when it was held at Traffic, but in the past months, I didn't really hear anything about it until it popped up at Safa Park, so I decided to check it out. It is still a tiny little market but it is quirky and you will actually find vintage stuff (hurrah!). As always in Dubai it's not all genuine, it is a mix on hand-made and vintage but you can actually find retro jewellery, vinyls, old cameras etc... I liked it a lot. It's a nice way to spend an afternoon at the park, walking around, listening to singers and playing ping-pong. 
To hear about the next markets of everything, follow the Archive's facebook page here.

I spy with my little eye... a night at the Cirque.

I'm not a huge fan of nightclubs in Dubai, too much bling, too much sparkle, too much bad music, too much drunkenness. I like a good boogie, and a good cocktail, but I don't like to get back home blinded by the spots and death from the crazy volume. I actually enjoy the use of my eyes and ears, therefore you will not find me at Crystal or the VIP Room... But I like a quirky night, and Cirque Le Soir is a little different. Or I thought so. I will try to be as objective as possible: I love the aesthetics of the place, the vintage circus details are fantastic, I love that they fly performers from Europe, the costumes are amazing and the shows are entertaining, with a freak show vibe that's quite unexpected in Dubai. The music is quite random, but you can't have it all, and let's be honest, if you feel like dancing, good old pop, R&B etc... are the easiest and most effective choices.
That being said, I have a real problem with the management. My last experience there was a disaster and it was poorly, if not badly handled. We were invited for a private party and ended up having a disagreement with the club. Now when the manager refuses to meet and discuss, in my book, he is not doing his job properly. When the club calls the police regarding people they actually invited, they are doing a bad job. 
In short, I applaud the performers, but I have a problem with the management. You are free to try it and share your feedbacks!

I spy with my little eye... the nautical hat!

I spent Christmas here in  today but I got spoiled, and one of the best presents I got was this 1940's vintage hat that got flown directly from Johannesburg for me. Lucky gal'! For some reason, I can picture this hat on a boat, or on a picnic so I decided to play around my new house. A big thank you to M. and G. for providing the perfect set up for this photoshoot!

I spy with my little eye... an organic day at the park.

Bonjour pitchouns! The beginning of 2014 has been busy here at HOB, hence me taking some time off: I moved houses, bye bye Greens, I worked on writing assignments, and I got confirmation that my video skills needed some serious improvement. Now that all the logistic job is done, time to get back to real life: more creativity and quirkiness please! And since I changed neighborhoods,  I went on a little exploratory trip with the ladies. We decided to picnic at Safa Park and try the Ripe Market. All I knew was that it was an organic market held every Friday morning at the Park. And for once in Dubai, when they say morning, they mean morning (I'm sorry but brunch should be 10am-2pm, not 1pm-5pm): 9am till 2pm, so rise and shine pitchouns! The easier way to access the market is to head to Gate 5 of the park but if you get in through an other entrance, just head to the Archive. I liked walking through the park on a sunny morning, there are children running everywhere, rugby/soccer teams playing, bicycles, runners, it felt like being in Europe, where people enjoy the outdoors and head out the second the clouds clear out. 
Now about the market, I was a little bit disappointed to see mostly restaurant/bakery booths. I would have liked to find more of an artisan/entrepreneur vibe rather than establish brands. That being said, most of the pastries were gluten-free and all the smoothies/juices and sandwiches/wraps were made on the spot, which made it quite genuine and resulted in delicious smells. So far it's the closest to a european Sunday market I found in Dubai. The Ripe booth is very tempting: all the products are gown in the UAE, the packaging is simple and environmental friendly and the prices are reasonable. I would recommend it if you are planning soups, ratatouilles, woks etc... As for us, we got our daily dose of vitamins, smoothies and veggies and sat on a tablecloth for a couple of hours, getting our weekly dose of sun. It was so nice to enjoy the outdoors I might become a regular, so if you decide to give it a go and spot a white and blue tablecloth, come say hi!
For more information about the Ripe Market, click here.

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