Travelling to and from places tends to make you more aware of what you can/cannot live without for a certain amount of time alongside what’s practical versus what isn’t. With time I think I’ve been able to narrow down a few essentials which are ‘musts’ in my hand luggage and I basically never travel without, and as a result have made the entire travelling process a lot less stressful!

I’ve always loved my little mini trolley/hand luggage/small suitcase as it a) allowed me to take more stuff along and b) made me feel like a tourist, but to be honest all that rolling and pulling and then finding a spot big enough on the plane and then lifting and then waiting to grab it again and rush to your connecting flight became a little too ahh. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my ickle orange trolley when need be lol but behold the infamous backpack/rucksack/knapsack which a) allows you to roam duty free with both hands, b) doesn’t take up much space, c) isn’t really that heavy, (and d) has the potential to look cutesy..!) I wanted to share some of my favourites that I can’t travel without and would love to hear if you’ve got any ‘must-haves’ packed away!

Everything you see here fits snugly into me bag with room for a book, chocolates, the occasional blanket scarf and a little bit of duty free shopping of course ! 🙂

-thick warm socks are a must because tbh I always get cold on planes and plus its just more comfortable, especially on longer flights, to take off your shoes and hang out in socks!

-Saira wears glasses so they replace the contacts during flights and the contact lens case fits perfectly into the glasses case essentially turning it into a practical 2-in-1 !

-wires [phone charger/earphones] because duh. Laptop gets charged before hand and is only ever used to watch shows or read a book so the battery usually does me good!

-card holder because you never know when your luggage is overweight and have to credit card that ish. also because you should just keep your money on you..!

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I like to stay somewhat organized and have a spot for my passport and boarding passes and documents etc. so this ickle bag gets the job done. I tend to stick the backpack into the overhead compartment and just keep this with me at my seat because it saves me from getting up every time for the basics. When I’m not travelling, everything just stays in the bag which goes into an empty suitcase; that way when it’s time to go someplace I don’t have to worry about making sure I’ve got everything or look for me passport etc etc.!

-I never used to travel without a pen or writing tool, and then filling out forms and landing cards and visa papers without one or having to borrow one became a bit of a reality and so now I just leave this one in there at all times and it saves me a lot of trouble having to look for one!

-passport because again, duh. Also passport and pen placed in the same location is kinda sorta ideal for when you need your passport number and information to fill out the aforementioned forms so yay! *lightbulb!*

-pills; tylenol or paracetamol or anything to help migraines or sick feelings because they happen on long trips

-packet of tissues to cry, blow noses, soak up spills, etc. (because those are all realistic scenarios)

-I was forever losing those tiny keys that lock your suitcase and hiding them in safe places and then forgetting where I put them, but they’ve now found a permanent home 🙂 When I’ve arrived home or at a destination, the lock goes in as well and that way everything just stays in one place!

-hand cream because it gets hella dry in the plane sometimes, or you come back from washing your hands and they’re longing to be moisturized !

-roller ball perfume is definitely a must! It isn’t pictured because it’s hiding in the bag, but   sometimes people stank or you end up smelling a little and rollerballs are just super super convenient to throw into your purse or take ‘to-go’! My favourites are the Victor Rolf Flowerbomb, Balenciaga’s Florabotanica, and  TomFord’s Velvet Orchid !

-also not shown is chewing gum! because you eat and sleep and sometimes don’t pack your toothbrush with you and chewing gum has that magic ability to make your mouth feel clean…! lol also chewing during take off helps prevent your ears from getting blocked!

-cutesy goodbye letters and notes from people who sometimes miss you also reside in this bag (which I found today #blacks) which are always nice to read when you’ve got nothing to do for 8 hours and make you reminisce about people and memories, and kind of place you in a thinky perspective moment about the past and what once was, versus the present and what’s to come in terms of where you’re going, like actually physically going because you’re at an airport or on a plane after all! (that got unnecessarily deep real fast lol)

This is not a ‘makeup’ bag, but more so along the lines of a touchup/basics/just enough to look presentable kinda sorta bag ! For when you’ve had a night flight and your face looks oily and beat as ever and you don’t want to walk out of the airport looking like a complete mess lol

-I randomly picked up this packet of travel sized bronzers by TooFaced at Sephora one day just because and had it sit with my normal size bronzers for ages. Realized that it was travel size for a reason, allowed it to come along on a couple trips, and it’s been with me ever since. The brush came with the set and is perfect both in terms of its size and to achieve that somewhat of a half-assed contour-on-the-go which is usually just enough!

-eyedrops because contacts and glasses and dryness in the plane make your eyes itchy and dry and these just make them feel better

-I love love love this lip balm and would probably be the one thing I recommend everyone try at least once! It’s the Chanel Hydrabeauty lip balm which is the perfect balance of not too greasy or glossy or tinted or smelly or dries out or you need to keep re-applying etc etc etc. (you get my drift) try it!

-‘Soap&Glory One Heck of a Blot’ aka the best blotting powder ever. The one and only soap&glory product I have ever used or wanted to use and again one of those random things I picked up at the drugstore, but oh so worth it especially when travelling and wanting to get rid of that tired traveler sheen we all get on our T-zone!

-There’s either a lipstick or some lipcolor in the bag just incase; today just so happened to be the Art Stick by Bobbi Brown which I’d also recommend you try. It’s basically a lip crayon but a good quality one with color that stays put and just makes you look a little put together lol this ones in the shade ‘bare nude’ and is definitely one of my favourites!

By no means are these super restrictive ideas on what you’ve got to carry with you in your hand luggage, but just some sharing ideas incase some of you stress about what to pack/not pack! Are there any ‘must haves’ that you travel with or always need in your bag?! xoxo

Hafsalodi (@hafsalodi) has always secretly been my favourite! Her designs are super unique and quirky yet totally wearable on a daily basis! I’m in love with a shirt from her previous collection and had been eyeing these embellished abayas which I’m 99% sure she hand-embellishes herself so #loveputintoaproductmeansIloveitevenmore ! It made its debut on Eid whereupon I decided it needed a real-life flower crown for a photo-op et voila! Be sure to check her pieces on instagram and fashlink! xo.

*this post has literally been sitting in my drafts for ages because photos wouldn’t upload etc etc. hence the delay! eep! >_<

Early May I met my cousin in Lisbon where we were meant to have a sunny, happy-go-lucky, catching up type holiday! We hadn’t seen each other for a bit and both had time off and wanting to go someplace so figured why not. Portugal’s been on the list for a while now so I was uber excited to head over and do some exploring! But ohhhmyyygoshhh. The weather.was.terrible.! Of all weekends or the few days that we were there, the weather man must have been having a domestic at home because he was not a happy camper at all! Rain, and cold weather, and the need for multiple trips to Zara to purchase extra clothing was more than needed as it was all just so unexpected. I had been checking the forecast prior to heading over and literally the day before, the week before was sunshine and highs of 24, and it suddenly dipped to a high of 18 with thunderstorms..!! Nonetheless, we had a lovely time and made the most of just being together and in the country lol sun did shine one of the days we were there so we finally got a chance to do some sightseeing, but other than that it was really just a pleasant getaway full of shopping, makeup, snapchat filters, and food galore! Definitely have to make a trip back at some point!

p.s- pastel de nata’s aka the amazing custard looking tarts you’ll notice in more than one photo…! ahmahzing! xoxo

xox

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Ola!

Shopbop Middle East (@shopbopme) is doing an uber cool giveaway for Ramadan! Below are 2 of the pieces chosen to style for them which I think are super comfy and versatile pieces to have in ones wardrobe, Ramadan or not! Details on how to enter are below and I believe the last day is the 28th of June! Good luck love bugs xo.

-choose something from www.shopbop.com you’d like to wear for Ramadan and take a picture of it

-follow @shopbopme on instagram, post the photo with a caption telling us why you picked the item, and tag @shopbopme @shopbopme_ramadan #shopbopme

-you’ve got the chance to win a $300 USD voucher alongside a daily draw!

*Riller & Fount Luca Caftan Midi Dress in Sandstone

Scarf & Shoes: Mango

Bag & Jeans: Zara

*Line & Dot Beaux Embellishment Maxi Dress

Its officially been 3 years since I’ve been in Kuwait and 6 months since I was last home. I like doing these end of year posts because it allows for some much needed reflection on all the goodness and madness that took place and what I’ve learned from it.

This year away was one of the best and worst times thus far and there came a point where I was ready to give it all up and consciously commit to a complacent, mundane life I know I could easily achieve back home. I think I survived pretty good. I was given an opportunity to find myself, who I am and what I want, in the worst of situations and learned a little thing or two about people. People who matter and people who don’t. People who bring light and love and goodness into your life and are there to watch you ugly cry or grab a ‘Mackers’ at 2 in the morning or inspire you to make an hour on the treadmill and who you know deep down will be there for you no matter where in the world they might be. People that motivate you and push you to follow your dreams and to do what you’re good at and willingly support you because they genuinely believe in you and all that you have to offer the world. I learned that family is a word which encompasses so much more than those who share the same bloodline or bed as you and I feel unbelievably blessed and lucky to have found that this year alongside a constant support system when at times I just really wanted my mama to make it all better x I’ve written about the inconsistency of this life before and how it has the potential to ruin you and your sense of belonging and long-term comfort which I do despise, but this year I’m holding on to the fact that people always change but the memories don’t; focusing on the good memories of course. The fact that each year is never the same as the last (neither are the people unfortunately) made me consciously appreciate and cherish each and every moment of living; saying whatever I wanted to say, doing whatever I wanted to do, putting 3 white sugars into my cappuccino whilst feeling unabashed and having no regrets about any of it (the white sugars eventually became 2.5 brown sugars for calories sake but that’s besides the point!)

I was involved in my very first deportation scare, my very first car accident where I thought I was going to get hurt real bad because I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and fractured my nose, got my wisdom tooth taken out (which is a big life deal because I’m a crybaby and it took me 3 weeks to recover..), contracted pinkeye, realized its possible to give yourself a panic attack, learned that time and a bit of faith can work wonders, started going to the gym consistently (I’m no longer the owner of a pancake ass thankyouverymuch), started reading for pleasure again, have begun to stop using salt in me cooking (which mama might have an issue with), had some really cool opportunities in terms of social media and events etc. which was uber exciting!, half mastered liquid eyeliner which is a task in and of itself (cottonbuds are key), and learned how to download movies and shows on me own (go me!) Going back to uni also turned out to be a good shout Alhamdulillah and inshallah it keeps going well. I travelled on my own, made friends with complete strangers, and tried new things well outside my comfort zone. Not sure what the summer holds yet in terms of travel but time spent with mama and family is definitely well overdue! (I’m listening to you niggs x)

I’ve realised that sometimes you can’t plan for everything and taking a step back to let life take its course is what your soul needs. Everything really does happen for a reason and whatever is meant to fall in place will do so on its own accord, on its own time. I know it sounds really easy but in reality it consumes you and makes you anxious and a little bit craycray, but its one of those things you’ve just got to deal with and find your own way to cope. Not knowing whats around the corner allows for that glimmer of hope and faith that something good is to come which is often just enough to keep us going!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe summer and a belated Ramadan Kareem! Inshallah it’s been a blessed month thus far and that you’ve been fortunate to spend it amongst loved ones x Be safe, travel safe, tell your mama you love her, give endless amounts of hugs to people you care about, put happiness and love into everything you do, give your time, smile at people, mind your manners, “be happy, stay happy, and make others happy”, and don’t forget to keep in touch with your favourite felicias x x x