Tag Archives: family

Tis’ The Season To Be Jolly!

Christmas is just around the corner and all the country is already wearing its marvelous decoration. Christmas exhibitions, recitals, book fairs, jingles are everywhere…

On Saturday I got the chance to be present at the grand opening of the festive market at Le Vendome Beirut.

You can choose your perfect Christmas gifts from the amazing collection of silver and crystal ornaments, decorative items, and a delectable selection of Chocodome chocolate!

The Festive Market opens daily till January 6th, 2014 from 10h00 a.m. till 10h00 p.m. at the main lobby.

Then I went for a road trip with my friend and got to admire the enchanting Christmas decoration in Byblos ❤


And on Sunday, I went with my family to the Christmas festival in Dhour El Choueir.

We were seduced by the Christmas grotto, wine festival, and chants…


Where did you find your favorite Christmas decoration this year? 


Why Bad Breath Complaints Heat Up in the Summertime

Whether it’s a picnic, beach day, family gathering or a night out with friends, summer is a time when people come together for fun.

Unfortunately, there is often a fly in the ointment when embracing the “fun season” – higher gas prices, forgetting your sunscreen, waiting in line for the roller-coaster, or that great social buzz kill, bad breath.


“For a significant number of people bad breath, also called halitosis, is an unnecessary embarrassment caused by malodorant sulfur compounds created by putrefying bacteria  in your mouth, primarily in crevices of your tongue,” says Dr. Bob Kross, the oral care scientist and inventor who created the Breath Appeal products (www.breathappeal.com) that eliminate the excess odor causing bacteria.


Normal amounts of these bacteria will hardly affect your breath at all, but excessive levels can lead to bad breath and other serious oral problems, Kross says.

“You don’t have to have a chronic condition for bad breath to be a problem,” he says. “Summer is full of breath busters!”

As you plan get-togethers, he suggests keeping the following in mind:

•  Barbecue feeds more than your taste buds.  While some bad breath may originate in the lungs and gut, easily 90 percent comes from the mouth itself. For chronic sufferers of bad breath, excessive malodorant-producing bacteria are consistently present. For the average person however, the same bacteria thrive when fed by food particles and other debris lingering in mouth tissues.

“It’s not pleasant to think about, but grilled meat can sit wedged in your teeth and tongue crevices for hours, and these particles feed the mouth’s bacteria, increasing the risk of embarrassment associated with bad breath,” he says.

•  “Beer breath” is just one phase … Just as your favorite beer or cocktail leaves an unpleasant residual odor in your mouth, frequent and long-term alcohol consumption can throw your mouth’s bacterial balance out of whack from dehydration.

“Saliva acts as a natural barrier to germs – it creates an environment that they can’t tolerate,” Kross says. “If you have a dry mouth, whether from dehydration related to alcohol consumption, heat, or a medication you’re prescribed, you lose that defense against germs.”

•  National Fresh Breath day is Aug. 6. As if on cue to treat your favorite summer habits, Aug. 6th  reminds us that our family, friends, coworkers and neighbors would prefer the same courtesy that most of them extend to you – breath that doesn’t make you want to make you slowly back away during a conversation.

“We’ve all had those moments when we were distracted from what someone was saying because of their bad breath,” Kross says. “It really can affect your social life.”

•  School is near. Fresh breath can help kids’ social life. “No one is too young to experience bad breath, and school children of all ages who are seeking structure and acceptance at the beginning of a school year can suffer a traumatizing setback if they’re teased about their breath,” he says.

Make sure your student is practicing good oral hygiene this summer with regular brushing and flossing. If the problem persists, remember that most traditional mints and sprays merely blanket underlying odors for the short-term.


About Dr. Bob Kross

Dr. Kross is a PhD scientist associated with All USA Direct, (www.breathappeal.com), producer of Breath Appeal products. Many of Kross’ 40 US Patents, and more overseas, reflect his biomedical specialization, including oral antimicrobials and associated conditions and diseases. At least 90 percent of bad breath is associated with the sulfurous compounds generated by the putrefying, malodor-forming, anaerobic bacteria, which hide in oral crevices, and which degrade food particles and salivary cell fragments, he says. Breath Appeal’s oxidants destroy a major portion of the bacteria in these low-oxygen environments, thereby removing the root cause of persistent halitosis.

Visiting: Steigenberger Strandhotel in Zingst


My visit to Germany last summer was for a special occasion, it was to see my sister and her family of course and to be there for the baptism of my cute niece 🙂

For the baptism lunch, my sister and brother and law had chosen a special and dear place for them, the “Steigenberger Strandhotel” in Zingst.



Zingst is a touristic city in Germany, on the shore of the Baltic sea. Tourists visit it during summer to enjoy the sandy beach where you can find a lot of surfers and surfing schools!

The 18 km-long wonderful sandy beach with its virtually untouched landscape and healing climate of the Fischland- Darß-Zingst Peninsula make it one of the most beautiful destinations at the Baltic Sea.

The baptism was on a hot sunny Sunday, after the church ceremony, we headed to “Steigenberger Strandhotel”.


The welcome drinks were on the terrace, waiting for everyone to be there, then we moved inside to their fancy “Nautica” restaurant, where we enjoyed a large selection of culinary delights.

Market-fresh products from the region inspire their chef de cuisine at the “Nautica” restaurant every day to offer exquisite creations.

After lunch, everyone took a break to enjoy the lovely weather outside, relaxing by the pool or having a walk on the lovely sandy beach. It is only a few minutes on foot from the hotel to the fine sandy beach or to the picturesque center of the town.

Then it was desert time, we enjoyed a wide selection of delicious cakes, croissants and drinks.

Deutschland 002


If you’re planning to visit Zingst during your summer vacation, “Steigenberger Strandhotel” is a place that you have to pass by, with family or friends, and enjoy a relaxing time.


Miss you mousey and see you soon :*


Tamanna & MINI join hands to bring a smile to Hammoudi


Watched by hundreds of spectators, Tamanna and MINI last Sunday (June 15th) turned Beirut Souks into a “Happy” flash mob to turn tears into laughter for Hammoudi, an 11-year-old boy suffering from an autoimmune disorder.

Hammoudi in MINI

MINI team behind the wheel and friends in the passenger seat, the MINI doors were wide open to the “Happy” song by Pharell Williams. Two of the six MINI cars were dressed as Hammoudi’s favorite superhero characters: Superman and Spiderman and the remaining MINI’s were branded with happy faces to help bring some excitement, strength and hope to Hammoudi life.  Bubble machines were also used to extend the happy mood in addition to smiley face masks all around the set.


Also participating in this magical moment were the dancers from Stun and their choreographer Lyne Ghandour, Live Love Beirut, Solidere and Red Bull.

MINI Tamanna 3

Commenting on MINI’s involvement in Hammoudi’s surprise flashmob; Natalie Khalife, Marketing Manager for BMW Group at Bassoul Heneine said: “We were very pleased to partner with Tamanna to make a special contribution to projects dedicated to turning tears into laughter. Tamanna‘s aim is equally important for MINI, the small iconic car has a big heart, fun and caring character, so the partnership with Tamanna is appropriate for the brand. From all our team at Bassoul-Heneine we wish Hammoudi a happier and healthier life.”


As an active member of the Lebanese society and an avid supporter of local charities, Bassoul-Heneine regularly works with organizations to raise awareness for worthy social causes. In this instance MINI yet again revealed that it is not only a fun car that makes people smile, but it is also committed to being an active member of the community who can be counted on to support good causes.


Witnessing the tears of joy from Hammoudi’s parents, Soraya Barbir, Executive Director of Tamanna Lebanon added: “Partnering with MINI was an extremely positive step towards turning this experience into a memorable one. I can’t describe the happiness expressed by Hammoudi and his parents. Tamanna grants the wishes of children suffering from critical illness.  A wish granted brings a little sunshine into lives dominated by pain, providing an escape from reality, lifting the spirits of the child and his family.

FIVE reasons why you should wear a BENSIMON!


I’m sure all of you know the brand BENSIMON, it was available in the Lebanese market long time ago, back when I was in school and I was so happy to see it again in ABC Dbayeh and Beirut Souks, it brought back so many memories…

More than a style, Bensimon became through the years a Lifestyle. Bensimon Collection wants to enhance the personality of everyone in offering the possibility to express himself through endless colorful combinations and where the black has no place.

The Bensimon shoe became a classic, with celebrities and VIPs including Brigitte Bardot, Sophie Marceau, Jane Birkin and Naomi Watts all contributing to the legend.


Julia Roberts wearing a grey Bensimon in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”


Here’s why each one of you should be wearing one right now!

1- It is so Comfortable:  

The Bensimon sneakers are so comfortable, you can wear them all day, jump around, and your feet will be thanking you for your choice.

They become your trusty pair for errands and travel and everything in between.

2- It is aimed to all Generations:

Bensimon‘s collection is getting wider and wider every season, with laces or without, with patterns or without, they have a lovely collection, for daddy, mummy, teenager and baby.

3- It is Stylish:

The Bensimon was inspired by the surplus army canvas sneakers and immediately became a must-have in women’s wardrobes. They are recognizably the iconic French sneaker, actually they became the quintessential French wardrobe piece.

4- It is so Colorful:

The Bensimon is available in a wide variety of colors, from basic colors like beige, light grey, to yellow, blue, green, red, pink…

The collection is also available with different patterns, to embellish all your stylish outfits.

5- You can wear them with anything:

So effortlessly hip, Bensimon sneakers add a little French chic to any outfit from jeans to the prettiest of dresses.  


They are simple and sophisticated, luxurious yet accessible, trendy and basic at the same time, vintage and fresh, humble but legendary, Bensimon is so typically French and yet also so global.

Stay tuned for more Bensimon styling posts!

Movie News: Heritages – Mirath

After Bosta and Under the Bombs, Philippe Aractingi releases his 3rd feature film: Heritages 



On July 12, 2006, another war breaks out in Lebanon.

Director Philippe Aractingi sees himself having to leave his motherland, Lebanon, to settle elsewhere for the third time in his life. While he and his family are evacuated to France on-board a military ship, he realizes that his ancestors have also been fleeing from wars or massacres for five generations now. All of them have been exiled at least once. 

The idea for his new movie Heritages (Mirath) is born. Gripped by the burning desire to tell his own children the past that is “not to be told,” Philippe sets on a journey through History to understand and pass on its lessons. Here, his ancestors’ itinerary is confronted by that of Middle Eastern history: the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the French mandate, the creation of Israel, Pan-Arabism, the Lebanese civil war and beyond. 

His exploration leads him to the universal questions: Can one find peace in exile? Should we unshackle ourselves from our heritage (Mirath) to be free?

Philippe takes a radical turn in his film-making career, and experiments with a light-hearted and playful style where members of his family enact their ancestors’ lives as well as their personal ones.

Throughout the seven chapters of this “autobiographical novel,” Philippe organically interlaces directed scenes and archive images with video-filmed personal diaries, family photos and super 8 reels. We are slowly drawn into this family novel set in moving pictures, as Philippe explores a distant and familiar Levant, always linking History (Mirath) to an intimate diary.


I had the chance to watch it in the Press Premiere in ABC Achrafieh, and I was really touched by all the messages going through the movie.

I’m not gonna spoil the experience for you, and let you watch it! 

Interview: Chef Luciano Zazzeri

Phoenicia Beirut will be hosting a special guest this February for three nights only.

Chef Luciano Zazzeri, the Michelin-starred chef of the restaurant “La Pineta” in Marina di Bibbona.


Get to know him more here…

1-      When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

It was not a choice, but rather a family heritage! The business has been running in my family for the past 20 years so I became a Chef rather than being a fisherman.

2-      Where were you trained and how difficult was your training?

Having my mother and father operating La Pineta they were my number one mentors and the ones who taught me everything I know today.

3-      How do you get your inspiration?

Our menu at La Pineta is based only on local fish caught by me and my friends or bought daily at the local market. So you can say that my inspiration comes from the fresh fishes I have on hand.

4-      What is your favorite kitchen equipment?

I have two words for you “Combi Oven”; I think it is the most revolutionary appliance that assisted Chefs in the kitchen.

5-      What are the favorite foods to cook with?

Using products at “0 km” as we say in Italy has always been a priority for me. So I would say Fresh Fish and Vegetables sourced locally.

6-      What is the funniest kitchen incident you had?

A lot of incidents happen that are really funny especially when we have trainees learning at our kitchen but as long as no harm comes out of it all incidents are funny.

7-      Do you do the cooking at home?

I know everyone will expect a Yes answer but actually I don’t 🙂

8-      Do you have a cooking tip for all the new housewives?

Try to keep it Simple and just go with what the market has to offer and always respect the quality of the products and their main traits. Don’t try too much to impress … simplicity is the secret to best result. Plus I am waiting for them at Phoenicia and Le Vendome so they come and taste my recipes. I promise them dishes to be simply loved!

He will be in Lebanon to host three events as follows:

  • Feb 21: Sydney’s Dinner at Le Vendome
  • Feb 22: Eau De Vie Dinner at Phoenicia
  • Feb 23: Caffe Mondo family Lunch at Phoenicia

Hope you can make it 🙂

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