Ananasa – for the people, by the people

Categories, Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands

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Founded in 2011, Ananasa.com is an online marketplace that enables artisans, artists and designers in the Middle East to sell their creations worldwide with no barriers. As a new and potential customer to Ananasa.com it’s wonderful to see so many beautiful, unique, and handcrafted products. I have three favourite stores already and I need to share them with you! 

I love accessories so I spent my morning looking through their products and various stores that they deal with. My absolute favorite is Misk. Misk is a story located in Egypt – it is a line of handcrafted women accessories, “each piece is an idea of its own, carefully selected, and designed”. Their lockets are beautifully designed and engraved with heart-felt words like ‘My heart and its key belongs to you’  and ‘May the light within you guide the light within me and may the light within me guide the light within you’. These words are written in Arabic Calligraphy, adding an extra element of beauty to each piece. Their necklaces would make a wonderfully thoughtful gift for any loved one in your life. 

Another store that I love is Peaches by Farah Saheb – located in Jordan. Peaches “is an online store where each item is designed with love. The store provides cushions, mobile covers and canvas artwork”. The artwork is bold, fresh, and exotic. A canvas from this shop would make an excellent focal point for any room in your home. I love the Pink City print and the Earrings print — so different and warm from any prints I’ve seen at our local IKEA store. 

Lastly, Peau Féroce or  Wild Skin is “a high-end fashion brand that creates a limited edition handmade products of 100% genuine leather material at affordable prices for both men and women”. From shoes to handbags to belts, I’m telling you that I’ve never seen anything like them. I know that Vintage is in but I think that unique and limited edition products is more what people want than anything and THIS store (located in Lebanon) is JUST the thing you’re looking for. 

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Their Chikes Nili S bag is probably my favourite item of theirs. The colour is so vibrant  — I need to have it!

Have you checked out Ananasa.com yet? 


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Long Weekend Bliss

Book Reviews, Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

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How is it Monday already? I’m convinced time goes by faster when you get an extra day off work. I love weekends for two simple reasons: sweatpants and messy hair. I love waking up early, throwing on my sweatpants (or staying in my pjs) and basking in the fact that I can be comfy and cozy all the live-long day. I spent this long weekend enjoying an extra day in my sweats, surrounded by my family, my boyfriend, books, and my notebook (all of my favourite things).

I don’t know if you’re aware of this but I am a total homebody. I go through phases where I want nothing more than to stay out of my house all weekend, then the next week I’ll be curled up on the couch with a book for two days straight. This weekend I tried my best to find a balance. I spent a lot of time at home with my family or with my book and also made time to hang out with the boyfriend’s family (and a really tall glass of sangria — thanks for that Rita!). Is it odd that sometimes I forget how much I love being around people? How much I enjoy having conversations with people? Gosh that sounds ridiculous.

I get stuck in this routine of being alone and it’s hard to get out of it, but I’m trying. It helps to surround myself with people who love me, with people who enjoy my company, with people who get me into a fit of giggles, with people I can just be myself around. The kind of people who can pull me out of my own head  — I live a lot in my own thoughts and it’s exhausting.

But enough with this word “exhausting”, enough with the phrase “I’m exhausted”. I say that all too often and it’s starting to get on my nerves. I’m way too young to be tired all of the time and it’s a lame excuse made by someone who is too lazy and too uptight to enjoy her life. Quite silly, isn’t it?

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Looks like I’ve got some work to do, some people to see, and a life to LIVE.

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Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

Birthday Recap

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Uncategorized

Below you will find today’s post. You’ll notice that the formatting is a little different, that’s because I typed it up on this bad boy:

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My aunt and uncle scoured the streets, flea markets, and various stores to find me the perfect, working typewriter. Although, it may be more of a novelty than anything, I couldn’t wait to give it a try this morning. It’s heavy and it smells old but this 1964 Royal Safari typewriter is what I’ve been dreaming of for quite a while. It clinks, it clanks, and it even dings when it’s time to move to a new line. It’s perfect and needless to say, I’m in love.

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Obviously I need more practice on my typewriter :P. What I love most is how it slows down your thinking, rather, how it makes you more conscious of what you’re thinking. You need to be aware of what you’re going to write next, you need to plan out your next sentence so that you don’t make a huge mistake and have to start all over. With time, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it, perhaps I’ll start writing on it often.

Anyways, I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Love Deeply, Dream BIG, and Be Thankful

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Slowly but surely I’m coming out of my food-coma from the festivities over the last few days. Today, my brain is feeling charged, my mind is ready to work, and I’m feeling hopeful. I’m also feeling incredibly thankful, not just for the food and presents I’ve indulged in, but for the amazing people I have in my life. They’re the kind of people who can make you laugh so hard you start to cry, the kind of people who challenge you, the kind of people who love (and sometimes hate) you just for being YOU, the kind of people who believe in you, the kind of people who add light to your life, the kind of people who make you a better person.

I am thankful for all of you.

Thank you all for believing in me and showing me that you care — in all of your different quirky, creative, and amazing ways.

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One day, I’ll make you all proud.

I owe that much to you.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

over or under – I just want to feel whelmed

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Uninspired. Underwhelmed. Not unhappy, just a little blah…

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What a silly thing to complain about, being underwhelmed with life. I guess I’m a little crazy: I like to be busy, I enjoy feeling stressed, I like a little drama in my life, and I like to be dazzled sometimes. When I don’t feel any of those things, I feel like I’m wasting time, as though I SHOULD be busy doing something, enjoying something, or getting upset over something. I mean I just want to feel whelmed, not over or under, just whelmed. When something is happening in my life or when way too much is going on in my life I find that I want to write, to take pictures, to keep moving – right now I feel the opposite.

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I AM trying to stay positive though, trying to be that the-glass-is-half-full kinda gal. I also find ways to keep busy i.e. cleaning, painting my nails, working out, gift-wrapping, reading — notice how I didn’t include writing? With all of this “spare time” on my hands, with all of these wasted hours, I should be working on my next novel. I don’t. I haven’t. Why? Because I don’t feel inspired. Today I came across this…

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…exactly what I needed to see. And so, I’ve pulled up a chair and I’m ready to add a little inspiration to my life. I’m ready to add a little sparkle, a little chaos, some self-imposed stress, and even a few deadlines.

Call me crazy but I’m making it happen. 

Love Always
Vanessa Xo 

Okay Life, ENCHANT me.

Book Reviews, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

If there is one thing I refuse to be in life it’s disenchanted with all of the wonderful little things that make me happy. Like taking a nap before dinner, the Christmas tree aglow, the fireplace filling me with warmth…

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…the sound of the doorbell waking me from the coziest of sleeps. It’s a package for me, from Random House Canada. One of my December Reads has arrived – it feels kinda magical.

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Call me silly or naive but what kind of life am I going to live if I don’t feel enchanted by the littlest of things? At twenty-three I have big hopes and even bigger dreams and I refuse to grow up feeling disenchanted by the way my life is going.

So let me bask in life’s little blisses and I’ll work hard to make the bigger things happen too.

Happy Friday!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

Yesterday I called in…

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Yesterday (if you read my blog post) you’ll know that I called in sick emo. I did, however, end up smiling the day away at work – I literally have the best co-workers you could ask for. Most of them are younger than me (okay all of them are) but I love being the Old Mother Goose of the group.

In spite of my migraine, sore body, and anxiety, I had a great day. I went home, had a heart-to-heart with the parents about life and the decisions I need to make, read a few pages of Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (review will be up in a week), and then fell asleep reading some inspirational quotes on Pinterest.

I love what Beyoncé is saying here and I think it’s important for me to stop complaining and start asking myself the same question: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?! I need to learn how to motivate myself – give myself a swift kick in the booty(licious). I’ve also decided to allot only ONE blog post a month to feeling sorry for myself – hopefully there will be months where I’ll skip it altogether.

Today I feel good awesome and I hope you do too.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

…not the road less traveled

Lifestyle/Personal

“Mom had always taught us to examine decisions by reversibility… Not the road less traveled, but the road with an exit ramp.” – The End of Your Life Book Club

Obviously I haven’t been able to get The End of Your Life Book Club out of my head!

If you have the luxury to make changes in your life, you should do it. If you want to try living downtown, or living on your own, try it. If you want a new job in a different field, or if you want to find a job you actually like, find it.  If you want to follow your passion, follow it. If you have the chance to make a change in your life, don’t take the road less traveled just to prove a point – take the road that leads to your own happiness.

But what if it isn’t all that I wanted it to be? What if it sucks?

Well, take the exit ramp or make a U-turn (when it is safe to do so) and start again. A lot of times you have a chance to move back in with your parents or get your old job back but you’re too proud to do so. It’s your duty to make yourself happy.

I’ve got a busy couple of days coming up between wedding rehearsals, work, homework, a wedding, and Thanksgiving but I’ll still be posting, tweeting, instagraming, and yapping.

All the while, I’ll try to enjoy the chaos!

Why not, right?

Love Always
Vanessa Xo