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Ivory Coast : Assinie Island








I adore this place, came here for the first time in oct 2007 for 6 days vacation in west africa, I didnt expect it 
to be this nice. Now again this year I am back here again. White sands , green palms and warm air its all perfect. 

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Bonjour Ivory Coast



Since I am living a French life style now in Ivory coast, I am only allowed to use French in everything . I do not remember if  I wrote about my tree months french course in Morocco nor not! I did well to be advanced in the language but never used it since left Morocco months ago. 

Now I found myself listening more and understanding over 60% of everything even TV programs. I am even using french computer too.  I hope I get to Improve my French  much more while I am  here :) 

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Solo travel female diary : No place for one






There is no place of one, This is what I keep hearing while traveling to those romantic get away destinations while alone, I was always told sorry we only have places for couples and we don't even have single room. So I either pay for two to stay such as visiting Redang Island and Bali or I stay in Hostels where its often not nice!

As Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book eat,pray,love she was always looked at like a pathetic just divorced single woman traveling alone but I don't see any shame in that. People make it uncomfortable with their questions and sometimes they react in rude way when I say  I am alone, even when I went in a boat trip in Malaysia some people behind me where talking Arabic behind my back thinking I don't understand saying , look at this poor girl by herself in this nice place.

Come on people, do you need to be with someone to enjoy the place! do you have to have arms around your waist to look happy? I have been always traveling alone and I got used to it. Sometimes I meet people and make friends and I join them if not I always found lots of activities and things that never made me feel bored or alone.

I know that two are better than one but at the end this is my path and I am happy with it :)

ENJOY MY PHOTOS COLLECTION
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While discovering Abidjan



Today me and Dominique my host went to the downtown Abidjan to finish some out standing tasks, while she was doing some staff I toke a step out to watch a very big garden was near by with many big trees, couldnt believe my eyes.. there was lots of massive bats in size of a money. I thought they were monkeis hanging out there until I saw their wings. Two of them were making love and after a while a 3th party join so it became a threesom in public hahahahah. hmmmm I wonderd about how could bats have sex hanging bye their foot on a three until I saw it with my own eyes, very funny they all gathered and huged eachother with their wings to cover up and started shaking in a very funny way. I guess our mother nature is pretty wild when it comes to bats.

There were plenty of them all over the garden, unluckly I didnt have my camera with me.

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Ivory Coast: Frensh effect on Africa



Here I am in west africa, in a frensh speaking country again! I wake up hearing the Frensh greetings coming to me from everywhere, I find my petit-déjeuner ready on the table in frensh style. I set in the garden of the villa and get my daily cup of coffee while surfing on internet, by the way coffee is très délicieux.

I am being called tatta here by everyone, first I thought its only the kids than the maids start calling me the same. I get so shy of how nice they are all to me. Once I told my host that I prefre light dinner such as soup and since than everyday the chef made me my own special dinner many types of soup each time and he is also being so creative with my salads. For my lunch he cooked for me westren frensh meals and by the way the sea food here is parfaite et fraîche.

When I say Frensh meal it also mean the classic rules for the home food table, setting and waiting to be served one thing each time, starter than the main meal than eating the desert is a must for them, it takes lots of time and I shouldnt leave the table until its all done, not to mention the meals fixed timing, all on time; Breakfast at 8:30, Lunch at 12:00 and Dinner at 7:00 , that is so much for me, I like simple  and relax living without rules.

I still didnt go on tour around the city yet, only yesterday I went with my host to her work and we went for lunch after in a very nice place, she promised on weekend she shall take me around. I do not mind in fact I am in love with her house garden, all I want to do is kick back, relax and read.

So do you, right!

xxx
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Côte d'ivoire, here I come again


After a long travel from Asia via Dubai than a small stop in Ghana, I finally got to Abidjan for the second time in 5 years. First thing to notice the amazing weather and the green color everywhere. I was sick of the humid weather in Malaysia and mostly cloudy sky all week long. Now I finally get to see some sun again I totally lost my 5 months tan and got little Asian face features hehe.

This is my 4th tropical destination this year. I am kinda like couch surfing but not, staying with a small family of 2 little kids and a working Mom, Nanny, a housemaid and kitchen chef. I have the chance to work on my frensh now because only the mother speak a little English. The kids keep talking to me in Frensh all the time and I love it when they say bonjour, bonsoir tatta :)  

I do not know for how long I will be here but we will see..


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Dear Kuala Lampur


Dear Kuala Lampur, it was nice spending 3 months among your massive buildings and towers, enjoying your fancy Malls and tasting all different types of Asian food and drinks. If I count what activities I was doing there part from the Islands trips would be only; reading, dining and mostly karaoke; I became a karaoke star here and that is what I am going to miss the most. While staying there I lived in Cyberjaya, Sunway, Guerny 2, apart from the Trips out of the capital.


It was cool to walk around your streets while its raining in a warm weather, waring Chinese style shorts and skirts and hanging out with my Asian cute girls. I played all my cards in KL and there is two things fly away so fast in here; Time and Cash.

Special thanks for the lovely people I met there; My Libyan home friends and their girlfriends; Rachel and Rochelle, special thanks for Sara and Melody. Mino and Nadim and their friends. My flat mates Mohaimen and Khalid and Sahar.
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Kuala Lampur: Me & Taxi drivers


Here is one of my funny usual conversations with taxi drivers. tonight in Kuala Lampur while heading back from the Cinema I had a light chat with this Chinese one ;

T.D: You Australia?
ME: No

T.D: You Iran student?
ME: No, Morocco

T.D: Morocco, Where?
Me: You know Egypt? Morocco is near.
T.D: OHHH know Egypt, Yes know Egypt.
Me: I am Arabic

T.D: You boyfriend Arabic have?
Me: Yes

T.D: When boyfriend Arabic No have, Call me I be your boyfriend. Chinese boyfriend.
Me: (not even a blink)

T.D: You how many boyfriend have?
ME: Just one, should be only one!

T.D: NO NOOO maybe many boyfriend can, Many girl many boyfriend have.
ME: No, not me.

T.D: Your country many girl tall like you?
ME: Yes 
T.D: OHHH me very small , look small. Chinese small.
ME: trying hard to hold myself not to laugh.

T.D: You walk all day in city huh! no good too much walk for woman. after big feet, not sexy.
If you after call me no boyfriend you. ok! no walk to much 

I didn't get the meaning of the last one but It sounded like having leg muscles from walking are not sexy on women. and if I call him when I have full or big legs whatever he wont be my boyfriend. what a picky man hahahahahaha . This was totally crazy, actually the Indian ones are even worst they usually send kisses when I am about the take my change and leave the cab. What a world!!!!!!

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From Malaysia




Good day lovelies! here comes another day in south Asia , I can't believe that it's already August 2011 and I am in my mid 20's..

Its been raining so hard lately in here, see the photo above of the out doors view when I first woke up this morning . I am not socializing here  for so many many reasons, I am more enchanted with two things; Movies, books, salads and as I mentioned before being veggie for a while makes me think straight and feel better inside out : )  

I know I can't do that for long because I LO0o0oVE my burger, my chicken wings and my medium stake but for now I am taking it easy. My dining experience in Asia is not so good, I know I can get the best Sushi here and the most delicious Korean food ,Chinese ext.. but I am sorry, I am very Mediterranean when comes to food and men XD 


Have a gorgeous day everyone!

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

This book definitely explains the unexplainable. We sometimes choose logical reasoning over intuitions which leads to mistakes and even catatrophes. But the small voice inside your head saying 'yes' or 'no' to our decision making is right most of the times. This is especially true when we have less information about the decision process. Whether it be as small as buying clothes or as big as investing in a new business, the intuitive feeling can be a better guide as it is based more on experience and observation.

I am reading this book at the moment, will review it when I am done :)







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Both horrifying and amazing book "Shantaram"

For those of you who are seeking a virtual reality in a book, this is it. Shantaram is engrossing, educational, very detailed and at the same time, fast-moving, and exquisitely written. Every night that I climb into bed and pick up my book, I'm in Bombay. I can smell it, I can see the images, I can feel the fear, and the community of love, respect and support in the slums. I haven't finished the book yet, but I know I'll be at a loss when I do.

 A must-read.





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Life of Pi




 

I just finished reading this book.Very smart work from Yann Martel. Tells the story of an Indian teenager (Pi) that survives the sinking of a cargo ship (in which his family and half a zoo was travelling), finding himself in a lifeboat with a tiger, a hyenna, a zebra and an orangutan. Most of the book is focused on Pi's description of how he managed to avoid being killed by the tiger and survived.
The story has many other levels. Pi's adventure can be described in other ways (I will spare the details to avoid spoilers). The book has many references to religion and zoology, that allow the whole story to be seen with other lenses. It's a very smart work and I recommend it.


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China Town Kuala Lumpur


I can not find a lot to say about the tour today in China Town, the photos can speak for themselves. I guess all China towns around the world are the same. Here you can find many fake brands, lots and lots of food and colorful tropical fruits that will amaze you. 

It was really nice to walk around and explore more of the Asian culture here in North Asia. A lot to say but really short short time to sit and write. One day you will read it all in my future book. 


Gratitude-   
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Places I've Been; Langkawi Island







Last Island I have been to was Langkawi, I spent 7 days there to kick back and relax . Went on  The Langkawi Island Hopping Tour, takes you on a journey to explore Langkawi’s most illustrious islets. First you’ll be taken to visit verdant ‘Pulau Singa Besar’ – Big Lion Island; the boat stops just shy of the shores and you’ll get the chance to watch the king of the skies – eagles – as they soar overhead. Observe as they dive to catch their prey, chicken bits that the boat driver has thrown into the water, with deadly precision – it’s a great photo and video opportunity.

Next head on over to Pulau Dayang Bunting – the silhouette of the pregnant maiden from a distance is truly awe-inspiring; meanwhile the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden – overflowing with supposed ‘magical’ waters is another breathtaking sight. Relax on the adjoining buoys on the shores, dip your feet into the waters or splash and swim around in the enclosed sections. The day ends with a visit to ‘Beras Basah Island’ – or Wet Rice Island – another pristine Langkawi beach with clear waters and far-reaching views of the sea where you can relax and soak up the sun and sea after a day spent trekking up to the Pregnant Maiden Lake and feeding the eagles.

Had such great time! make sure you visit it if you ever came to Malaysia 




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Tasteful drinks - My Favourites

Woohooooo Happy Hour!!! Do you want to give yourself or your loved ones a treat from time to time. Here are my favorite cocktails, Photos and RECIPESSSSSSSS..
Geranium Gin & Tonic - Cocktail

Cheers everyone!   

 Enjoy!
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Doux Body - Green and Natural Body Care

Hello my lovely blog readers!, from the heart of Morocco today I am featuring handmade artisian soaps and nurturing oils for the body, made with natural ingredients of Morocco. Laura owner of Doux Body  is my new friend from the American and English Speaking Women in Morocco Community.

Such a great thing to always go for natural pure products when it comes to body care...
glad I bought the Geranium Gel Douche you see in the below photo, it smells great made out; Olive,Coco,Ricin. willing to buy more of these natural products as they are really at a very good price. You might like to grab some items yourself..


Photo/ Laura owner of Doux Body  

I had such great time this morning, finally could speak english with other expats before I start losing it :) its been over 5 months now since I moved to Morocco. wish me luck!
oxox
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5 Tips to look pretty in a picture (Be A Photogenic)




1. Know Your Angles
According to Lathrop, it's all about the angle. “The basic rule of thumb is the three-quarter angle,” he says. “Whether you're sitting or standing, you always want to position your shoulders and hips at an angle to the camera.” By doing this, you're inadvertently masking a quarter of your body, instantly creating a slimmer profile. Plus, you avoid the square-shoulder, bland look of a straight-forward photo. The same technique should be applied when sitting. Lathrop recommends crossing your legs at the knee. Make sure the leg facing the camera is on top—it'll elongate your gams and reduce the appearance of cellulite.


2. Strike a Pose
Not sure what to do with your hands? Lathrop says that placing a simple hand on the hip gives off the perfect, casual vibe. “Shifting your weight to one foot and placing your hand on your hip gives the body more dimension,” he says. Use your body to your advantage. If you're thicker in the middle, try placing your hand at the waistline—not hip—to accentuate the smallest part of your waist.

3. Keep It Neutral
Photographers and makeup artists agree: Stick to neutrals. Whether it's your clothing or makeup, opt for warm, neutral hues that will complement your skin instead of highlighting its flaws. Lathrop recommends shades of brown, yellow and orange for clothing. Makeup artist Travis Culberson, the resident guru for The Tyra Banks Show, notes that most women look best in a peachy-pink makeup palette. The neutral rule applies to undergarments, too. Try to keep them skin-toned so you don't have any fashion mishaps, especially under the harsh light of a flash.

4. Cleanse and Blend
The trade secret to a flawless photo? Clean, clear skin. Culberson says to start off with a beautiful base: “You should always remove makeup with a makeup remover, and gently cleanse, tone and moisturize the skin.” Then, he recommends ditching the concealer and using a tinted moisturizer to even out skin tone and lighten the appearance of freckles and discoloration. He adds, “You should always wear makeup that is comfortable for you to apply.” Bronzers can also provide a big complexion boost—just be sure to keep shimmery varieties away from your T-zone and blend around the jaw and down your neck.

5. The Ultimate Accessory
We know you've heard it before, but we're going to say it again: Confidence is the best accessory. Under the hard focus of the lens, it's easy to let your insecurities bubble to the surface. “People tend to show tension across their brow and mouth,” Lathrop says. “An easy way to relax these muscles is to smile real wide and release, then raise your brows nice and high and release.” We know it's tough to keep your expression natural while waiting for the photo to be snapped, so always ask for a count of “1, 2, 3, Cheese!”

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Taking care of my Beautiful Mind




  Brain Limber, all it takes to keep your mind limber is...

Insight: We each have a book of rules in our head about how we "should" behave—"I've got to be perfect," "Never ask for help," "I always put others ahead of myself." Start trying to pinpoint the rules that drive you, and write them down (we're not saying this is easy, but once you start looking, you may be surprised at what you discover). For each, ask: "Does it serve me and enhance my life? Or is it one I'm following because I'm afraid not to?" If the rule belongs to the latter category, question it. For example, if you "never ask friends for help," why not? Are you afraid that they might reject your request? Or that you'll end up feeling beholden to them? You could be right, so test the rule by asking a good friend for a small favor. You may find that your request is cheerfully granted and that your friendship deepens rather than becomes tense as a result.

Behavior: If a night out usually means dinner and a movie, buy tickets for a flamenco performance instead. Drive the slow, scenic road to work versus the highway. Take a class in a subject that interests you but has nothing to do with your job. When you follow a routine, your brain can operate in low-energy mode, via relatively primitive structures known as the basal ganglia, says Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, co-author of The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force. In contrast, new activities engage the prefrontal cortex, an evolutionarily younger area that needs more energy to function. That's why breaking a routine may feel hard—but if you push past that effort, Schwartz says, new experiences can help stimulate fresh states of mind that leave you feeling both more focused and energized.

Emotion: The next time you have a bad day, resist the urge to retreat to the TV or an extra glass of wine. Instead, let yourself sense any anger, disappointment, sadness, whatever is going on in you. Write the feelings down, talk about them to a friend, or simply sit with closed eyes and allow them to be (for a meditation exercise, see 5 ways to Break a Downward Spiral). According to personality researchers, the willingness to experience both positive and negative feelings is another factor that distinguishes extremely open people from closed ones; it's also associated with increased longevity after heart problems, according to a recent study at Duke University. On the flip side, denying emotions is a well-known driver of addictions.

Focus: The way we pay attention to the world can make a huge difference in the way we experience it. "Many adults in our culture are addicted to a very narrowly focused attentional style in which we beam-in sequentially on the tasks of work, shopping, paying our bills, and so on," says Les Fehmi, PhD, co-author of The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body. This gripping form of attention, which can be identified by a characteristic brain wave pattern on an electroencephalogram (EEG), is the mode we typically use when poring over a written report or staring into a computer monitor at the office. It's tiring to sustain (doing so often requires periodic infusions of caffeine and sugar), and is correlated with physiological reactions such as muscle tension, stress hormone secretion, and increased blood pressure, all of which take a toll on our health. This kind of attention can also wreak havoc on our relationships—what romantic partner wants to be scrutinized with the same intensity that we direct toward an important work assignment? Yet because we're called on to use the narrow focus so much, it's hard to let go of.

Close your eyes and let your mind respond to the following series of questions, allowing about 15 seconds for each.


Imagine... the space between your eyes?

Imagine...
the space inside your nose as you inhale and exhale naturally?

Imagine...
the space occupied by your jaw?

Imagine...
the space inside your throat, expanding until your entire neck is filled with space?

Imagine...
the space inside your throat and neck expanding to fill the entire region of your shoulders?

Imagine...
the space that your whole body occupies expanding out into the room?


Tips writer/ 
By Gabrielle Leblanc
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