4 Interesting Apps to have on your Mobile Phone

So, it’s been a long while since I wrote a post. However, this one marks the post’s anniversary.

For today, I am going to discuss 4 Applications that I use daily. I got introduced to them by chance yet found them extremely useful and worth sharing. The beauty of this new technology (Applications in Smartphones) is that they are with you wherever you go. You have no excuse for not using them and they are accessible at any point of day, in any location and benefit from what they provide.

Let’s have a look on what I am currently using frequently!

Zomato

#1-   Zomato

It surprises me every single time when I hear people who still don’t have this application on their phones. Such a great application for everyone! Whether you’re going on a date, hanging out with friends or just want to try something new, this application is the one for you. From the top trending restaurants in town to hidden gems in the country, it has it all. Not only places, this app allows you to rate your experience or to read other people’s reviews to know what to expect, check the menu and the price list. Very helpful and beneficial for food lovers in town.

I use it almost daily and highly recommend it.

QUICK WORLD FACTS

#2-   Quick World Facts

It all started with the French Elections (2017), when things were heating up between the now President Emmanuel Macron and his main Opponent Marine Le Pen. At the same time, the American Media was focused on the accusations of Russia’s interference in the American’s elections in favor of the current president Donald Trump.

The topics got me interested and I felt the need to stay connected to know updates (especially that News sites are inaccessible in my workplace). I checked the Google Store and found out this app: Quick World Facts.

Not like any other news application, what’s cool about it is that it has it all. By All, I mean that it allows you to select many information sources (as many as you want), from BBC to CNN to Forbes etc… It also allows you to select your areas of interest, so that you receive information tailored to them. You can select Science, Comics or Video Pod-cast, etc… You name it, you get it.

Very Cool app for people constantly wired to news.

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#3- Duolingo

 This one is my favorite for the moment. This application allows you to learn a new language one step at a time. All you need is commitment, and you’re off to add a new language to your lexicon. You’d pick a language of preference as well as your mother tongue and start the learning process.

I’ve used it before and gave up too soon. I thought that I was not progressing the way I want to. But the key to such an app is perseverance. If you allocate enough time to it daily (as little as 5 minutes), you can find yourself more familiar day after day with the language.

Highly recommended and super easy to use besides the fact that it enriches you on the personal/professional level.

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#4- AudioBooks.com

This application is amazing!

If you are a long road trips lover, or you have long distances of commute every day, this app is definitely for you. Many books are offered for free. The beauty of this app is that it allows you to read books – just through listening to them. It is convenient for bookworms with a twist: the ones who value reading yet don’t allocate or have time for it. Very beneficial, develop you auditory sense and imagination as well as allows you to stay up to date with new publications and books.

Recommended if you don’t mind switching from Reading a Book to Hearing it, and if you’d want to invest in your wasted time on the road.

xxx

Those were my favorite ones, any recommendations from your side?

 

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On Stigma and Vulnerability

In recognition of someone I once labeled, and proved to me that he is worthy of all what’s good in life, regardless of any vulnerability he might have.

Every person in this world has a story. No matter how cheerful, impactful, relatable or even incomprehensible, one’s story defines one’s existence.

I am someone indescribably passionate about Human Behavior: Observing how people behave in situations, ‘reading’ their minds, realizing that certain consequences trace back to hidden roots in childhood were all fascinating me. The Human Brain was such a big world waiting for me to explore it.

I studied psychology in my undergraduate years, and the more I dug deep, the more I realized the power of this entity on top of my shoulders: Beautiful yet difficult to be understood.

I used to ‘diagnose’ people in my head, nothing pretty real, yet just a matter of observation: This guy suffers from PTSD, she’s bulimic, seems like he has agoraphobia, and the list goes on.

I was fine with this idea, pretty much actually happy, being able to correctly label those people based on their behaviors. Until the day came, and felt judged.

[…]

Funny thing that when you, yourself is the object of a stigma, you view things differently. And that’s truly tragic, because despite our “human-ness”, we are so ignorant to each other’s well being unintentionally.

[…]

I am a person having an anxiety disorder falling under the name of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, more like having fear of certain situations considered as “normal” for others. Let’s simplify the deal here: people with this kind of disorder can display different kind of reactions/behaviors facing different, normally considered situations.

I, for example, have fear of new situations: A new job, a new decision to be made, a new investment, even a new friendship scare the hell out of me. They shatter my mind, cut straight into my soul and make me feel helpless. Anything that’s new, and that I have no control or power over crumbles me. Luckily enough, people don’t witness this unless I verbalize the matter to them (Extravagantly huge cheer to my close peeps for handling me well).

The good part about it is that my fear is temporary. It stretches between a day of couple of weeks to suddenly disappear, making me return to my initial stage. It doesn’t impact my daily activity in grosso modo, as I try to always control, yet it leaves scars on me every single time it happens.

[…]

I labeled people so many times in my life, not necessarily while conversing, yet more often in my head, and recently, I feel sadness upon doing so. I am not questioning my intentions, yet I am concerned about the person I exploited without considering so.

He is a human being… Just.Like.Me. And for once, I felt that my vulnerability is similar to his (being exploited), even though very different (Different conditions).

We are humans. And we are all Vulnerable. Some socially, others physically or even, mentally and that doesn’t make anyone of us any less of the other.

My vulnerability is teaching me how to accept others, despite/regardless of what makes them different; especially that what unites us is much bigger.  Acceptance is what makes us different. It is what makes us Human.

I want to accept you, the same way you embraced my existence, and encourage you to feel power through your vulnerability… Because it is okay to be different…We’re not forced to be the “Same”.

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Road Trips Season is Back!

Took us a while to get back on track, my friends and I, with the #touristinmycountry #touringlebanonin300days goal that we planned few years back.

After the winter’s season is gone, we planned a day in the breathtaking Bekaa Valley, specifically in Ammiq.

Charming scenery, light spring breeze and my camera. That is exactly all you need there. (An additional cup of coffee there wouldn’t harm as well).

Check out some cool pictures I’ve taken of this beautiful place in my country.

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Cute Ducks 🙂

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Spring is here!

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Ammiq’s Main Road

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Old Bekaai Barn

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Ammiq’s Reserve

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More of Ammiq’s Beauty

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#Blossoming

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Taanayel Ecolodge

New Year Resolutions: Universality and False Hope

Date: 26 till 31 December 2016.

Occasion: Closing 2016’s chapter and opening a Tabula Rasa Blank Slate for 2017.

FAQ: What are your 2017 resolutions?

I bet you can easily recite 2 solid resolutions. Truth to be told, You might have been using those for a couple of years now. You answer the question and smile. You wait for others to answer, and they too, recite and smile.

While asking my friends for their 2017 -New Year, New Me- resolutions, two questions popped into my head:

1- Do all people around the globe have similar resolutions? Do their hopes and dreams pivot around same areas of life?

2- Why do most of the resolutions set on New Year fail to move into Reality zone?

I researched for answers and discovered they are of value, and decided to share them..

Answer to (1):

While surfing the web, I came across an interesting Google Experience.

In the last week of 2012, Google created “Google Zeitgeist” – For those who don’t know the term, it means the Spirit of Time (How deep is that!) – where people shared their resolutions for 2013. Members from all over the globe, with various background and cultures, from the Siberian Glacial lands to the Amazon jungles, participated in this global trend.

The beauty of this experience is that each individual was able to see what others wrote as well. On a larger scale, the entire world can see full trends of regions, countries and even continents.

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Each human being pinned his resolution and made it accessible for others to see it. (That’s not the cool part yet!)

The fascinating part of this experiment is that people from all around wished for 6 things mainly: Love, Health, Career, Finance, Family and Education.

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Not a single continent didn’t have those 6. And if you’d zoom a little bit more, you’d discover that Europe’s densest resolution is related to Love. North America’s resolutions were more focused on Health and Career, etc…

In Grosso modo, people from around the globe share the same “wishlist”. Despite their huge differences from countries, ethnicity, interests, to geographic and language barriers, the world is One. And that is just fascinating – for 7 billion people to be united in thoughts.

Answer to (2):

Hello Frustration. Forget about using proper guidelines, setting SMART goals and determining rewards to small steps. The “New Year Cheer” scenario that starts a day after Christmas will fade away 2 days after year end, precisely, on the first pit-stop when your friends plan for a Burger Night.

And even this part of resolutions is Universal.

Research shows that New Year Resolutions fail to be achieved in most of cases due to something called: False Hope Syndrome.

This syndrome -legitimate psychological term – is described as the Unrealistic expectations of Self-Change. People keep on repeating those self-change attempts despite the previous failures.

People at this phase of year perceive themselves with more control and optimism. They reflect on the year that has passed and look forward for the one to come. Thus, they set tougher and higher goals, hoping that the “new” year will make them happen. Peers also, with their own wishlists help in setting the bar high.

To avoid this trap, it is always important to distinguish between what’s feasible and what’s not among those self-change goals. The key is to review those goals the moment when they start fading (day 2 of the new year) and adjusting them more realistically.

[…]

So here’s to a Blank New Year! Wishing you all Universal wishes and Realizable resolutions!

Leaving you with a laugh on past resolutions in fun tweets…

 

 

For Plus-Size… Accessorize!

Not a fashionista and have never been.

This is how I want to start this blog. Not because I don’t want to, but because I thought I can’t.

Few days back, my friend Lara suggested to style me.

Being a plus-size person (with an over indulgence in Food), I accepted the challenge, knowing that her endeavor might be a total fail (especially that I have tried many times, hopelessly).

To my surprise, she thought of things differently. When all my thoughts were focused on the outfit, she took the periphery and built on it.

Her advice was to actually help me invest in Accessories. When I thought of it, I thought to myself: this girl is right!

I’ve always seen fit girls around me all dressed in black/or any monochromatic outfit yet they looked stunning. What slipped my mind is that they actually wore colorful scarves, trendy hand accessories (from rings to bracelets) and statement make-up.

I agreed to go on with this venture and started noticing that little items like necklaces, shoes or even bags help in building ones unique identity, especially for overweight people.

And this is what we’ve done during this exercise, Lara and I!

Not only did those small items add a nice “flavor” (food related jargon :P) to the outfit, they were easy to have… After all, it wasn’t as complicated as I thought it’d be!

Let me show you some of items we opted to have:

(I was lucky enough to be styled with items from Peer Beirut Shop. The items were so unique, I bet no one in Beirut has the same quality and customer service they had with me).

1- Choker Necklace –  Smart Casual, wear it with plain tops to emphasize on the jewel’s uniqueness.

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2- Amazingly unique Cross bag – Street smart, perfect shape as it fits your essentials (wallet, cellphone, perfume, etc..).

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3- Loafers (Oh those pairs! Leather-printed shoes – super comfy and casual with style).

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4- Le Specs Sunglasses – Mirrored and unconventional. Looks great with Business Casual outfits.

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With small additions to my actual outfit, the photo shooting session ended up being great! For an hour or so during the shoot, I was that trendy person – not the plus-size person struggling to find outfits.

Here’s a glimpse of how the styling, Peer’s accessories and Photo-shoot looked like:

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So to all the plus-size girls out there, trust me, you too can still look trendy…

My advice for you: For plus Size… Accessorize!

 

It is very important to mention that Peer – No Pressure Beirut shop’s extraordinary collaboration made this event possible. This small shop located at the end of bliss street is one of Bliss’s little hidden gems. Targeting women mainly, this place has it all: From full outfits to shoes, sunglasses accessories, bag and even cool gadgets. This place is a must visit if you are one hell of a fashionista (Some of the items were way too cool for me!) or if you want to find items that are funky and unique!

Visit them or check their page via Facebook or Instagram for more updates.