Celebrating 15 years of delivering the finest luxury to Qatar

Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2018

  • Young Qatari Designers initiative returns to DJWE to celebrate local talent
  • Visitors invited to a new one-day DJWE Forum, daily industry talks, and bespoke jewellery & watches workshops
  • More than 400 brands from over 10 countries to showcase exclusive pieces

 Held under the Patronage of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani,  the 15th  edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) will be held between 21 and 26 February at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. 

This year’s exhibition will host a variety of new experiences for exhibitors and visitors, from the one-day DJWE Forum and daily industry talks, through to watches and jewellery workshops. This unique exhibition continues to maintain its position as a primary platform that features a collection of sophisticated and luxury brands presenting innovative solutions that are displayed through emerging and established brands in the jewellery and watches world. In addition, the exhibition offers market insights and options for industry networking and potential new partnerships. Returning to exhibit this year are Qatar’s premier jewellery patrons, who continue to support and present their unique world-class collections; Al Fardan Jewellery Company, Ali Bin Ali group ,Al Majed Jewellery, Amiri Gems WLL and Fifty One East.

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A special pavilion for the young Qatari designers

As part of the exhibition’s commitment to nurturing young talent and creativity, this year’s exhibition returns with its Young Qatari Designers (YQDs) initiative. The YQDs initiative this year will shine a spotlight on three new and three returning talented Qatari designers, by providing them with a unique platform to showcase their new collections alongside renowned international brands. The designers include Nada Al Sulaiti (Hairaat); Nouf Al Meer (Nouf Jewellery) ; Ghada Al Buainain ; Leila Abu Issa (Leila Issam Fine Jewellery); Sheikha Mohamed- Al Ghla Jewellery; and  Jawaher & Hissa Mohammed Al Mannai (Ghand Jewellery).

 

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Iconic French Auction House Artcurial will also be returning to provide watch enthusiasts, visitors and collectors with free consultations, valuations and share knowledge about the industry. Also returning by popular demand is French watchmaking expert, Objectif Horlogerie, set to showcase the art of their craftsmanship, by allowing watch connoisseurs to participate in a master workshop, which will include an accredited diploma for each participant.

DJWE continues to grow its offering by introducing exclusive new experiences for both visitors and exhibitors. The exhibition’s unique workshops and bespoke events, being held at the sidelines of the exhibition are set to offer visitors, luxury consumers and connoisseurs, ample opportunity to enjoy, learn about and buy their favourite pieces.  The six-day event will feature more than 400 brands from over 10 countries bringing an extensive display of classic and contemporary luxury collections by internationally-recognised brands and designers. 

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For more information: https://djwe.qa/

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“You gotta Nourish to Flourish!”

The North of Doha during the winter is usually well-known for setting up Winter camps, evening barbeques and hare-hunting. However, our last trip was about something a little greener. Not too far north from the capital city, we took a turn at the Um Al Amad Interchange to discover Eden Farm. This sanctuary was initially a piece of land to provide a home away from home, a quiet retreat from the fast-paced city, for Dr. Salem Al-Naemi and his family. It was from this foundation, that Eden Farm began to flourish.

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Eden spans over 25 acres. From the moment we drove through its welcoming gates, we were overwhelmed with refreshing sights greenery almost everywhere! Nasser Al-Naemi, son of the Managing Director, Dr. Salem, is also an integral part of the family business and was kind enough to take time out of his day to show us around the family farm. The development of the idea of Eden was catalyzed by the need for the local market to provide for its people. At times, supplies of various produce would be difficult to find, or at least of good enough quality. Hence, father and son worked together to develop their farm in order to cater to the demands of the community. Two engineers soon added the art of farming to their résumés- with a twist. In order to maximize on production and to provide adequate supply to meet demands, parts of the farm are run with amazing technology.

As we strolled through the farm, we were amazed at the large variety of vegetables- Indian pumpkin, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, Sudani beans, chilis, cucumber, yellow, green and red capsicum, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, radish, cherry tomatoes, spring onion… it was like being on a game drive, but instead of sighting wildlife, we were spotting loads and loads of greens! Many of the veggies were kept in greenhouses, or could be farmed out in the open. Seeds for many of the produce were initially brought in from across the globe, including Japan, India and parts of Europe, chosen for their ability to survive best in Qatar’s climate.

Nasser and his team were kind enough to walk us through units where mushrooms were harvested- it is always amazing to see how farming has become such a science, in order to be as efficient as possible! Nasser explained that his mother went to the supermarket one day and was not able to find mushrooms. Realising that this was not only a problem for his family, but also for many other families, the idea of growing mushrooms took roots. As we walked through the units, we saw all the beds of compost and how they were compacted and kept. The mushrooms are all hand-picked in order to keep as much of the product for the customer, as mechanical slicing may lose part of the product. Soil beds can be used for up to 3 flushes (cycles), before replacing the soil bed completely. The first flush can be harvested after 18 days, followed by the second and third flushes, which are harvested in shorter time intervals, about 7 days apart. Relative humidity, carbon dioxide levels and temperature is controlled and the harvesting of mushrooms can be managed, accurate to the day of harvesting! White mushrooms, brown mushrooms and portobello mushrooms are products of Eden farm, going under its own label as “Oryx Mushrooms”. I was impressed by how clean and tidy the facility was, much like the rest of the farm.

Eden also harvests its own supply of honey. With nectar taken from surrounding Sidra trees, the bees can make their honey. The bees on the farm had been brought in from North Africa. It was great to see someone taking an interest in bee-keeping, as the world’s population of bees is being challenged intensely, and many are unaware of how dire this problem is already! There were also kinar, fruits of the tree, hanging, ready to be plucked and eat, just like that! Mashmoom could also be found, a tree with aromatic leaves and deep purple flowers. Traditionally, mashmoom leaves are used by women, young and old, clipped into their hair for the pleasant smell. These leaves can be put in cars, handbags, anywhere in the home even, to exude its great smell!

At some point, we stopped for the late afternoon prayer. Nasser was kind enough to guide us into his family majlis, where hot karak was waiting for us. Qatari hospitality is something that I still find rarely unsurpassed!

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We then had a quick look at the livestock on the farm. Eden has a growing unit of Awassi sheep and Sudani goats, both hardy breeds of small stock, able to thrive in Qatar’s climatic conditions.

The tour came to a magnificent end as we watched the sun set, melting away into soft pinks and purples, over the lush pasture beneath it. It was incredibly refreshing to enjoy this time out of the city, taking in all the fresh air around us!

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Developing a successful farming business is no easy feat. Coming from South Africa, we are exposed to farming to a degree, aware of the attention farmers have to give to all the finer details, from soil composition, climatic conditions, pests, plant pathologies, and the constant challenge of balancing finances. Indeed, farming is neither easy, nor is it cheap! It takes a great deal of investment in terms of time and money. It also demands a significant amount of patience and perseverance from the farmer. Now, consider farming in the desert, a peninsula, with mostly salt water as a water source and the challenge gets trickier. For this reason, acknowledgement must be accredited to QDB (Qatar Development Bank) for supporting the Al-Naemi family in their farming endeavor. Now, Eden is present in many of the local markets across the State of Qatar, including the Mahaseel market in Katara, selected Al Meera stores and Wholesale Market.

Before we left, Nasser and his team surprised us with a wide variety of their produce. I was so excited to get home and cook and taste these vegetables!

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It was inspiring to see how a concept which started in 2004, matured and persevered through the years, becoming what it is today. Dr. Al-Naemi attributes part of the success of the farm to the family and staff that stood by him and Eden throughout all the years, in order to harvest the fruits of Eden’s success. It was also a pleasure to see local people wanting to empower and cater for their community. Eden and Oryx Mushrooms are definitely initiatives I support. I hope you will too! In South Africa, we have a saying that, “local is lekker”, which translates rather poorly to “local is good (or nice)”. “Lekker” is a term for anything to be enjoyed, and after seeing the farm, as well as eating the produce made there, I can say that local is definitely “lekker” in Qatar, too!

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Here is what we prepared today, using some of the vegetables gifted to us

Vegetable Stir Fry  

Ingredients:
2 tablespoon oil
250 gms minced beef or chicken
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, diced thin
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cups broccoli florets
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup water
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Cornflour (to thicken sauce)

Preparation:

Heat oil in wok or large skillet.
Add mince meat and stir fry until brown.  Remove to one side.
Add onions and garlic and stir fry for about 2 minutes until lightly brown.
Add vegetables, oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir fry for 5 minutes (adding water, if necessary, to cook the vegetable)
Return the mince to the wok and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
Add cornflour to thicken the sauce.
Serve with rice or noodles

 

 

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For more information on Eden Farm Market:

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FB: https://www.facebook.com/edenfarmqatar/
https://www.facebook.com/Oryx-Mushrooms-1209196549259922/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/edenfarmqatar/
Email:edenfarmqatar@gmail.com

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Endemage – The Merging of Two

Built on a solid foundation of all-things-Omani, Endemage tells tales of East-meets-West. Using the hues and textures found both in the natural landscape of Oman, as well as in Omani heritage, each piece that is made is both rich in quality and in culture. The Arabian oryx, date palm trees, natural springs (wadi’s), the formerly Omani-colonized colony of Zanzibar, traditional hats worn by Omani men (kumma), musar and dishdasha (traditional Omani dress), all form part of the large pool of inspiration from which Endemage translates heritage and culture into fashion pieces.

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What began as a successful 2010 debut, grew into something much more- a stable fashion brand and a carrier of culture. The meaning of Endemage as indicated in the title of this article, shows that it is also a brand that aims to inspire and educate, to bring together pieces and people from both halves of the world, to create something truly beautiful.

 

Nadia and Lubna Al Zakwani are the two creatives of the Endemage empire. Their aim is to reach out to the rest of the world without letting go of their Omani identity. Endemage took her first steps into the fashion world in 2010, after Lubna graduated from French fashion institute ESMOD in Dubai, and gained a steady following of fashion lovers. Both sisters had been passionate about pursuing fashion from a young age. Their mother and aunt owned a local boutique in Muscat, where they spent a lot of their time growing up. This proved to be a strong motivation for Lubna, as she would carry on the family tradition of developing fashion. Lubna became the creative director of Endemage, and Nadia, who majored in business studies, took on the role as the finance-savvy managing director

The brand aims to give modest dressers the opportunity to be covered, yet elegant; simple, yet feminine and chic. This is achieved with the use of chiffon, silk and a personal touch in the form of hand-stitched detailing.
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In short, as described by the Endemage creatives themselves, their work is, “simple but loud, feminine, elegant and eye-catching”.

You may wish to view the following links:
https://www.harpersbazaararabia.com/fashion/the-style/endemages-new-collection-takes-inspiration-from-omani-culture

https://www.savoirflair.com/culture/288640/endemage-oman-travel-guide

Catching up with Lubna Al Zakwani – Creative Director of Endemage:
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=HScP5q4b8Ig

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for more information contact Lubna: lubna@endemage.com
Place your orders on IG @endemage

 

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Fussing over Falcons

Over 5000 years ago, falconry began to solidify its place in the Arab world, particularly in the Middle East. Over the next few centuries, the art traveled across the globe. Early Bedouin tribes used falcons for hunting, as they’d discovered that it was easier to use the falcon to take down birds, than shooting them. It should come as no surprise that these birds would be so good at what they do. Naturally, falcons hunt smaller birds and sometimes bats. They catch their prey in mid-flight and hunt from above, circling the skies until they see their prey. When they dive to catch their prey, a falcon can reach speeds of up to 320 km/h (about 200 mi/hr). This set the stage for what was to become the sport of modern falconry, both in the gulf, and worldwide.

Falcons are known to be found at the falcon souqs close to Souq Waqif in downtown Doha, varying across a range of prices, from a few thousand Qatari riyals, to a few hundreds of thousands! Just like horses, falcons are awarded their own passports, in order to regulate and control their buying and selling, as well as to prevent theft.

To be a falconer is not simply just to own a falcon. It also will cost you to have the necessary equipment to house, maintain and train your bird. This includes tags which are fixed onto the birds in order to track or identify them , should they fly too far away from home, communication devices, perches, cadges, hoods, and many other gadgets. If you’re planning on becoming a falconer, be advised that it takes great amounts of time and patience!

The hunting season in Qatar lasts only a few month during Winter, gradually coming to a halt in April, so falcon enthusiasts are keen to make the most of that time. People spend a lot of time during the year training their falcons, some even going abroad to different climatic zones to train their birds! In Qatar, the peregrine falcon is the most common and has deeply-rooted seat in Qatari history, followed by the Gyr and Saker kinds. The peregrine tends to be the most fierce. Female Saker falcons are superior to the males in terms of their size, strength and beauty. The Gyr falcon originates from areas around the North Pole. It is highly-valued, is able to cover long distances and was once referred as “the bird of kings and nobles”

The 9th Qatar International Falcons and Hunting Festival, better known as Marmi, has many migrating to Sealine this time of year, either to compete in the tournament or two spectate.  This festival is focused on falconry and hunting, using Saluki hounds. Starting in 2010, Marmi is organized annually under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Joan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

During the festival, one may be able to join in on different types of competition. Let us begin with those pertaining to the falcons:
Firstly, only peregrines are allowed to compete. Secondly, enterants should have been trained using traditional methods. These parameters are put in place in order to preserve how things were done in older times…

  1. Al- Mazzain: (Saker and Black Saker)
    An international beauty competition, similar to showing horses, where the falcons will be judged by an assigned committee. There are particular standards when it comes to conformation, plumage, and other aesthetics which the falcon must meet. The degree to which these criteria are met, will be awarded a score. Naturally, the highest scoring falcon will emerge as the champion.
  2. Young Falconer: (catergories 6-10 years and 11-15 years)
    Young and budding competitiors are quizzed to assess their knowledge on the art of falconry. This activity is aimed at discovering and developing talent of young falconers, broadening their knowledge and increasing their interest in falconry, as they are able to apply their knowledge and realise how much more there is to learn.
  3. Hadad Al-Tahaddi: (local)
    A homing (zajil) pigeon is released in to the air, shortly after which a juvenile peregrine is allowed to fly. The aim here is for the falcon to catch the pigeon. It may seem to be a simple feat, but the pigeons are bred for speed and not many falcons are actually able to catch the pigeons. It takes a swift and focused raptor to accomplish this task.
  4. Al-Da’u: (local and international)
    Here, the speed of the falcon is assessed. The falconer will stand with his bird at the starting point. 400 meters away, is the end point, which the falcon must reach in this quickest time. It makes sense for the falcon to fly in a straight line to reach the end point the fastest. However, this also requires a great amount of focus from the falcon and training. For this competition, both adults and juveniles are allowed to participate, of the Saker and Peregrine kind.
  5. Al-Tal’:
    Visual acuity is assessed here, as a Houbara bustard is placed a distance from the falcon, 2km to be exact. To achieve the objective of this exercise, the falcon needs to spot the Houbara and get to it.Hadad Al-Saluqi (for purebred Salukis) is the sole competition for hounds at Marmi. A small gazelle is fixed to a car, which the saluki’s chase over a distance of 2km. The fastest hound would be the winner.

Some important legislation:

  • The Chairman of the Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Reserves issued Law (8) for the year 2004 regarding the hunting season, stating the following: “Bustards are the only type of bird allowed to be hunted by falcons”.
  • Article (1) of the resolution prohibits hunting of other types of birds.
  • Law (7) for the year 2004 prohibits importing hawks from outside of the State except during the period of September to January each year.
  • Article (2) prohibits importing the Peregrine Falcon over two years old.

Falconry has also been incorporated into the 2010 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

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Free Entry.

Parking is available at Sealine Beach Roundabout.

Free 4WD shuttle transportation from Sealine Beach Roundabout  to Marmi Festival Site is also available. 

al_gannas_association_logoFor more information click on the link : http://www.algannas.net/

Photo Cr: Al-Gannas, Qatar Tribune, The Peninsula and Gulf Times

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Be sure not to miss this event…

 

 

The Fine Line Between Observation and Judgement….

I have been thinking about observation vs judgement, and how this relates to effective communication.

This is a something that is often discussed with my better half, particularly when I am making an observation and he feels that it is inappropriate to pass judgement and rightfully so.

 

My immediate response is that I am not judging, but merely making an observation. This leads to spirited conversations with him or sometimes with myself as I do believe that there is a fine line between observation and judgement, the differences are huge and this can be seen in our daily lives,  yet we can get into dicey territory when we start judging each other…

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Before I go any further, I wish to iterate that this phenomenon is not unique to me, it happens to most of us at some point in our lives, some sooner than others.

As we continue to evolve as humans in our journey of life,  we strive to be better humans thus choosing  to enter a space of even more love and compassion,  we then begin to notice subtleties about our thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life unfolding around us. We begin to create our very own balance of peace and harmony with ourselves and others and everything around u operating from a place of observation with love and compassion, regardless of the circumstances.

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So, you might wonder what or how do we do this?

So how do we distinguish observation from judgement? How do we shift into a space of a compassionate observer?

-Observation is a neutral act of taking in information by which we base our responses.

-Judgment is rendering an opinion  relative value or merit of what is being observed

-We observe something when we become aware of it. We acknowledge “this is so.” We judge when we form an opinion, as in “I think this about that.”

There is nothing wrong with “making judgments”, since our daily decisions are based on our judgments, however it is important to separate observation from assumption and judgement, doing this helps us make better decisions.

The fine line between judgement and observation can sometimes become very blurred, but it not need be – in observer mode, you accept the world as is–without having the need to control it or change it, there is no assignment of right or wrong, good or bad, without attaching feelings to everything that is happening around us, this is when we are operating from our heart, as a consequence, we are able to see the world with even more love and compassion –

A judgement on the other hand is when we attach a feeling to an observation and these feelings are a product of our very own upbringing, past conditioning, specific incidents and life experiences, more often then not, this leads to making people wrong in the theater of our mind and essentially blaming them for our own point of views.

Naturally, feelings are part of our make up however the extent to which we experience positive and negative emotions derive from our own unique experiences. When things happen that stir up trauma or old wounds, we have the tendency to project negative emotions into the world, similarly when we feel good, our experiences seem to be more positive, so the degree to how we see the world is relative to the degree of how good or bad we feel inside, and these very feelings play an important role in how we perceive the world.

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Here is the thing…

Being able to state our observations is important to our ability to effectively communicate, influence and lead, however we can choose to see through the lens of compassion and observe that everyone is navigating through life the best way they know how.

The more I meditate and ask my Creator for guidance and live life with intention, the more I enjoy being in the observer mode. This practice strengthens the observer within us. When we connect to the wise part of ourselves, we begin to see the world differently it enables us to observe the word without being as affected by events surrounding us,  this in turn makes us less judgmental. Soon this leads us to realize that others around you are also trying the best they know how regardless of how sometimes their actions may cause havoc in our own lives, we can then begin to support their transformation in a way that creates harmony!

Living in an observer mode is a choice. Connecting with our Creator is one such practice that strengthens your observer mode.

Think about this:

“She is wearing an abaya.” – observation

“She is wearing a tight abaya or her abaya should not be tight.”– judgments

“She has honey toned skin.” – observation

“She is ugly.” – judgement

“She is very skilled.” – observation, if based on truly observing the skills being discussed

“She is better than others.” judgement, unless there is factual measurement on a criteria that all agree defines “better.”

While we can find plenty of examples in our personal and professional lives (just focus on this for an hour and you will know what I mean),

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So ask yourself “What are You Doing?”

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Pursuing Peace and Relaxation!

I’m just a regular quinquagenarian who loves spending her weekends pottering around at home.

The highlight of my weekends begins with unwinding on Thursday afternoons at my go-to coffee shop, watching the world go by. Fridays are spent catching up with TV series and movies, with the best company- a soothing cup of tea. On Saturdays, I like to spend time browsing the net and looking through my photos of the week, to find inspiration and ways to improve myself in every aspect of my life.

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To the younger generation this might seem rather boring, but for me, this qualifies as a great time. It makes me happy. This is what I had envisaged for my future self while still in my late twenties- to be able to enjoy every moment in life the way that made me happiest.

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I recall how aggressive I was up until my late 30’s, to keep the proverbial ball rolling, to be ever-dynamic. Perhaps this was due to the self-imposed expectations that I placed on myself, while struggling to find a balance, between who I really was and who I was expected to be- a never-ending uphill battle.

So, how did I get here?
Well, I believe it was what social psychologists describe as “consequence, due to gradual shifting from promotion motivation to promotion prevention”.

“What in the world is she talking about?”
Promotion motivation is seeing our goals in terms of what we can gain, or how we can end up better off. A motivation to promote “to the next level, if you will.” This is most prevalent among younger adults, because youth tends to be a time when we focus on our hopes of the future. We conceptualize our ideal dream, of getting ahead at work, or moving to a new town… Add to it the lack of many responsibilities and you have the ideal elements for a strong promotion motivation case.

As for prevention motivation, it is all about ensuring that things run smoothly and avoiding losses- “motivation to prevent detriment”. As we progress in life, we discover the latter term, through experience, growth, joy, pain, loss, family responsibilities, financial commitments- basically, getting knocked around a bit by life. The lessons accumulate as we move from one experience to the next.

Naturally, we all have both. However, the relative amounts vary from individual to individual. This is what changes with experience as we progress in life.  This is particularly apparent in the workplace, where younger individuals are more promotion orientated, focused on developing skills and “making it”, versus the older individuals who are more prevention-motivated, where security and flexible work schedules are their main concerns,

 

Looking back, I realize how much I’ve changed. The answer, of course, is that I grew up. For many of us, being “happy” slowly evolves into something completely different – a gradual change from the highly energized teenage experience to the self-centered 20’s, the overachieving 30’s, to the more peaceful, relaxing experience of an overworked parent whose dream of reading a book without any disturbances, becomes a holiday. The latter isn’t less “happy” than the former—it’s just a different way of experiencing it.

 

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what are your thoughts on pursuing peace and relaxation?

Feast your eyes on the Eye-Catching bags for Spring 2018

As part 4 of my ongoing Spring 2018 series, here is what Harpers very own Lauren Alexis Fisher had this to say about the Handbag trends for Spring 2018….

From Stylish packs to upgraded straw carryalls and fringe galore, the bags hitting the Spring 2018 runways the statement-making in their own right.  As the collections unfolded in the New York London, Milan and Paris, we’re tracking the most standout bags on the runway.

Click on the link to see what Lauren Alexis Fisher show us all the arm candy you’ll be coveting next season http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/g12178410/spring-2018-bag-trends/

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Vogue’s own Radhika Seth‘s take on the eye-catching bags
The eye-catching bags that stormed the spring/summer 2018 catwalks came in myriad shapes and sizes. Will you fall for Oscar de la Renta‘s paint-splattered clutches, or Burberry‘s checked hold-alls? Plump for Simone Rocha‘s prim top-handle bags or Jeremy Scott‘s cartoon-printed shoppers? Or load up your elbow with a mega tasselled bucket bag, as suggested at Calvin Klein? Keep tabs on the key bags of the season and start building your wish list.

Click on the link to see Radhika’s full review:http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/bag-trends-spring-summer-2018

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ELLE’s Justin Carreon has this to share

Link for full review http://www.elle.com/fashion/trend-reports/g12199840/spring-bag-trends-2018/

Wow, Wow, Wow, what a selection….


Here are my favourite bags for the season…

I hope that you’re enjoying this series look for the upcoming posts features some very trendy stylists and their take on Spring 2018…

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