Monday 2 October 2017

Up Close and Personal With Zakkiya From Inkstruck Studio Up Close and Personal With Zakkiya From Inkstruck Studio

Hello There,  

It has been a while and apologies are certainly in order, and I dearly hope that all is well that side of the world!

 ‘Manic’ has been the theme over the last few months and the little ones are for sure keeping me busy. Ian is having his first set of exams starting this week and oh boy! – How time flies! Nevan has been his mischievous-adventurous self and definitely getting better with his words!

I am super-psyched about this new series where we get one-on-one with some of my favourite inspirational figures in Qatar! Today we are kick starting with the much talented Zakkiya from InkStruck Studio. 

You can connect with her and Instagram handle is inkstruckstudio

First and foremost –congratulations on the big success with Ink struck studio!  There is always much colour and inspiration in every little art work and I am a big fan of your work!

From the first launch in 2014 to growing to a well-established brand – what would be the proudest moment for you in this amazing Instruck journey?

Zakkiya: Thank you for the lovely words, Merin. They mean a lot to me. There have been so many milestones along this journey that it's hard to pick just one. But if I had to, I would say that a student who took a watercolor class of mine had this dream of starting out on her own. And when she achieved that because of what she learned from my workshop, I was overjoyed. It makes my heart happy that I've made a little impact on someone's life.

Now Being the Girl Boss, I am sure there would have been challenges and many knockdowns, how do you put the bad days behind you and gear back into action?

Zakkiya: Of course. Obstacles along the way have been plenty. There have been rejections and disappointments. It used to affect me a lot earlier but then I was quick to realize that when one door closes, another one almost always opens. And a better one too! So there's always something bigger ahead and that keeps me going. 

Like the egg or chicken situation – which one comes first - Is it the idea or the colour?

Zakkiya: For me, it's a combination of both. Sometimes, it's an idea that just pops into my head and sometimes I'm inspired by a certain color scheme and the idea evolves from it. There's no particular pattern I follow and it's almost always by instinct.

What inspires you the most? Any artist you particularly relate to?

Zakkiya: The little things around me a lot. There is beauty in everything and when I see something, I tend to imagine that it could be an inspiration for future projects. I love Yao Cheng's style which is what shows through in my work too. There's Jenna Rainey of MonVoir Co. and Dawn Nicole who's been an amazing friend and mentor. I look up to her for all her tips and ideas on how to run this business.

Do you ever regret not pursuing a career in architecture?

Zakkiya: I have at times, to be honest. Especially when there have been days when I doubt myself on why I didn't get a steady desk job. But then there are other instances where I think about the freedom I get in doing what I do and realize that I've made the right decision.

Could you tell us a bit about the process behind the beautiful artwork? And is there a favourite medium?

Zakkiya: My favorite medium is watercolor. And my process is very simple. It mainly includes thinking of an idea, researching a bit about the subject and then just diving in straight on a blank paper by only using my brushes. I don't overthink and I almost never use a pencil to restrict myself. I like to go with the flow in my paintings.

We all know it’s a real struggle juggling mommyhood and a career and from the time I have known you, you’ve made it look effortlessly easy- how do you manage it like a ninja;)!

Zakkiya: Haha, that's amazing to hear. I think not talking about the bad bits! :D
On a more serious note, I have a schedule I like to follow and it revolves around my little one's schedule. When he was younger, I used to wake up earlier than him in the mornings to get work done. Since he's started school, it's been easier to focus work during school hours and then spend time with him after he comes back.
There are days when nothing gets done and I try not to get it into my head and remember that there is another day tomorrow. Plus, I have an amazing husband who supports me in every possible way.

Is art your yoga? How do you rest and unwind?

Zakkiya: I don't do art when I unwind. I like to listen to some good music or read a book when I'm relaxing. 

 A book or IPOD by the bed stand?

Zakkiya: A book all the way. I can devour books, only if I had all the time in the world.

 What do you love most about living in Qatar!

Zakkiya: The amazing people and the small community of bloggers and mompreneurs I bump into because it's not huge. And I like to walk by the Corniche when the weather is cooler.

 Well, we are certainly quizzy when it comes to make-up choices! Do you have a ‘holy-trinity’ of makeup favourites?

Zakkiya: I do love makeup but I'm terrible at it. Haha! The NARS sheer glow foundation and their illuminators are my favorite. I also love the Rimmel London Kate x range of lipsticks. I'm pretty uneducated when it comes to makeup, so I try and keep everything minimal.

I would like to thank Zakkiya for her time and It’s been an absolute pleasure and honour to have featured her on this space! Much love to you and wishing you all the very best – Rock On!


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Sunday 4 June 2017

iftar at Movenpick!!! iftar at Movenpick!!!

Hello There,

I hope you are doing well! It has been a splendid week this side –we have been basking in sunny goodness – and the weather is just absolutely gorgeous!  With Ramadan in Qatar, the restaurant scene is buzzing and you are literally spoiled for choice! Personally, with this iftar,I do  feel that all the restaurants has pushed out their boats and  have amped  it up a big notch!

Couple of weeks back, I was invited by Movenpick Seasons Restaurant to try their exciting Buffet menu specially crafted for Ramadan with love. Infamous for their themed Buffets and Brunches, I was thrilled to see what is in store.

Movenpick has been one of the favourite local spots, Located by the Corniche in Qatar, if you are looking for a casual –friendly dining experience it definitely is a fitting option.

The very Mediterranean influenced Buffet Menu was remarkable with plentiful picking options it ticked all the many right boxes.  

We kicked off with fattoush – bejewelled with pomegranate pearls and lovely golden crispy pita, made a solid first impression. 

baba ganoush
The baba ganoush was divinely creamy and the tahini complimented the smokiness from eggplants gorgeously. There were Kibbeh’s,Delish Spring Rolls , Roasted Eggplants,Tabbouleh’s and amazing cauliflower fritters dressed up in creamy harissa and tahini - part of the impressive spread.

roasted eggplants

spring roll



cauliflower with tahini

As for the mains,  the chicken Kabsa was divinely and finger licking good, it was perfectly spiced and flavoured and was the star of the menu!

chicken kabsa
Among the other options, the Egyptian Koushari was another favorite from the night. The national Dish of Egypt is a popular favourite. It combines lentils , chickpeas, curly macaroni and rice, topped with tomato sauce, onions and garlic! It does sound a bit absurd , but once you taste it, you will surely understand the rage!


Kuwaiti Lamb Machboos was also part of the spread, the lamb was tender and the aromatics a 10/10.

lamb machboos

And for dessert- there was Kunafa and baklava (of course) in all shapes and form.

I certainly am a sucker for a good Umm Ali , it was ever so scrumptious and utterly comforting- Just the perfect ending to an Epic menu!


umm ali

Priced at 100 QAR it certainly is good value for money and the service start from sunset and goes all the way till midnight.

So if you are looking for an Iftar outing, head to Movenpick Seasons for a night of good fun and epic food.

Until Next Time,
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Tuesday 23 May 2017

Glam Session with MAC Cosmetics at Gulf Mall!! Glam Session with MAC Cosmetics at Gulf Mall!!


Hope you are having a fantastic week. Summer has finally hit Doha and the city is slowly gearing up for prayerful Ramadan. The kids and I, we’ve been treading along, between school runs and plentiful projects – it’s been pretty hands on!

MAC Next To Nothing

Last week I was invited by MAC cosmetics at Gulf mall to try their Makeup services – which is absolutely spectacular! You can book yourself an appointment and get all the expert makeup help you need – from basics to smokey-eye magic it’s well worth a visit.  After much pondering I decided to seek some Mac-Pro hacks into creating the Ultimate No-Makeup Look.

Skin Prep

The MUA started by prepping the skin with their complete comfort crème, followed by MAC Prep & Prime Fix plus.For the base we deiced to use the newest launch from MAC Cosmetics their Next To Nothing foundation.

For the Base Makeup

Next To Nothing Pressed Powder in Medium Deep

Before applying the foundation she used the MAC studio Conceal and Corrector DUO(burnt orange/rich yellow) for  my under eyes and the dark spots. I am an NC42 in MAC the so Next to Nothing in Medium plus was a perfect match for me. She also used Mineralise concealer in NC42 to brighten the under eyes. This was set with the Next to nothing setting powder again in medium plus and some setting powder for the under eyes to prevent it from creasing.

James Kaliardos-Moons of Saturn

For the contour/highlight and blush the MUA went with the MAC makeup art cosmetics James Kaliardos spring summer collection full face set in Moons of Saturn an absolutely brilliant piece and my personal favorite from this collection. On top of this contour we also used Mac Mineralize skin Finish powder in medium deep to give a sharper chilled look. Since it no makeup look we dint contour the nose. The highlighter from this palette was amazing and absolutely on fleek ;)

MAC Eyeshadow x 15 Warm Neutral Palette

Add caption

Next for the eyes the first step was to use their paint pot as groundwork to give it a more natural finish and for the eyeshadows to stay in place. The palette we used for the look is the Eyeshadow X 15 Warm Neutral Palette.From that palette she used Rule and saddle as the transition color and brown down on the outer corner.Also used dark brew on the lids along with Amber lights.We used one of their best seller fluid line in backtrack to line the upper eyelid, we dint go for a heavy look as it was no makeup makeup look. For the lower lash line we used a little bit of brown down and for the inner corner we used honey lust. This was topped with MAC mineralize Multi effect lash charged black. I love-love-love this mascara. It gives much va-va-vroom to for your lashes.

For the eyebrows we used the brow pencil in shade brunette and to set it we used quiet brunette prolong wear waterproof brow set. Also used the prep and prime to clean/highlight for under the eyebrows and the temple.

MAC Double Shot + Mac Pro long wear Lip Pencil Morning Coffee

Before we started with the makeup weMUA applied lip Conditioner in my lips. For the lips we used prolong wear lip pencil in morning coffee, shaped and filled the lips and then applied double shot lipstick over it. I love this lip combo, something I can wear every day. Final step was to use the setting spray fix plus so that the makeup stay put.



Now with Ramadan and plentiful get-togethers happening for Iftar and suhour , it certainly is a  perfect opportunity to  book an appointment and get some professional makeup TLC by the much talented team at MAC Cosmetics-  a big shout out to the lovely team! You can Book your appointment now In-Store.

Until Next time, 
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Sunday 30 April 2017

My Thoughts on Outback Steakhouse Beef Ribs and Bone-in Ribeye Promo!! My Thoughts on Outback Steakhouse Beef Ribs and Bone-in Ribeye Promo!!

Hello All, 

I am back to blogging after being MIA for almost a month. It had been MANIC-CENTRAL in the Qatar house hold. The kids had their school break and we were off to India for some TLC with the family and normalcy resumes as I am now back in Qatar and slowly gearing into action.

Outback Steakhouse 

 I was really privileged to have been invited by OUTBACK STEAK to try out their new promotion -Beef Ribs and Bone in Ribeye. This is my first time at the steak house located in the open bay area in the Lagoona mall.The menu consisted of Beef Ribs ,Bone in Rib Eye Steak and also their signature Alice springs chicken & Beef Ribs.

Once settled we were served with their freshly made home made brown bread served  along with butter. The ultimate restaurant litmus test is in the bread they serve for sure – And Outback certainly took the race with flying colours, The bread was delightfully fresh, soft and a tad bit sweet and divinely crusted.

Coconut Shrimp @OutbackSteakhouse

Outback Steakhouse kids meal

For starters, we ordered coconut shrimp, and we were greeted with some succulent battered prawns,rolled in coconut and fried until golden. It was a well-balanced dish and the coconut rendered some delightful sweetness and it  was served with side of sweet and spicy orange marmalade .

Outback Steakhouse 

 As for Drinks, they certainly spoilt us with chilled-refreshing mojitos in myriad ways! The Frozen berry mojito was really refreshing  for the scorching Doha summers and was definitely my personal favourite .The great barrier reef- with pineapple , mango and blue curacao - is glassed up tropical goodness, but slightly too sweet for my liking. Strawberry mojito was good.  As for the kids, the Oreo milkshake went down like a storm and was an absolute hit!

Outback Steakhouse 

My hubby ordered the Bone in Ribeye and I decided to go with Alice spring chicken & Beef ribs!

Outback Steakhouse
The Bone in Ribeye was grilled and seasoned to perfection. With a side of garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. And with the steak cooked to perfection, he scored it a happy 10/10. The portion was certainly big and the mushroom sauce was gorgeously creamy and complimented the steak magnificently!

Outback Steakhouse

The Alice springs chicken & Beef ribs were finger licking good. The beef Ribs was smoked and grilled to perfection  and the sweetness from the tangy BBQ sauce was absolutely gorgeous. It was super tender  and  fell apart easily-almost butter  like. 

Outback Steakhouse 

I also loved their Alice spring chicken, which is chicken breast, grilled with salted mushrooms, crisp strings of bacon topped with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese and some honey mustard sauce to top it off. Even though this is part of their regular menu I absolutely loved it. You can pick your side and I went for the loaded Baked Potato.

Outback Steakhouse

For dessert we had their best seller Chocolate Thunder from Down Under- They say it is a chocolate lover’s dream!  Its served with a freshly baked pecan brownie- all made from scratch in their kitchen and topped with lush –rich vanilla ice-cream and drizzled with rich chocolaty sauce and some chocolate shavings. All In all , we tucked into and was in chocolate haven- it was all too good!

Outback Steakhouse 

The Service was impeccable, they certainly had an eye for detail!

outback steakhouse 

Outback Steakhouse

My final verdict I absolutely loved their new promo. They have plans to include the Beef ribs into their menu and I would be happy to see that there. Can't wait to go back !

Until Next time, 

Outback Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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