The Hitlist | 10 Gift Ideas For The Coming Holidays

The Hitlist, Uncategorized

We are halfway through November (re: Christmas is just a few weeks away).  This means we need to start gift planning and sorting out our own wish list.  It’s a difficult task but don’t panic just yet.  Here are some ideas to help you get through this grueling task. LOL

1. Scratch Off Map for your travel junkie friend.  I’m sure you have one.

2. Twinkle Lights for the princess.  Or the Pinterest fanatic.

3. A sweatshirt for your sporty man-friend. Get it from ASOS.
4. An espresso machine for the coffee aficionado.

5. Or that someone who likes tea better.  They come in a cute box too.

6. An ebook reader for the techie bookworm.

7. For the dapper guy who has impeccable taste in everything. Or someone who has none. Like zero. This MIGHT help. LOL.

8. For the pet lover because there’s always room for more cuteness.

9. The chef wannabe who desperately needs Gordon’s help.

10. Or be lazy and gift them with online vouchers.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

Happy gift hunting!

B3W

Would You Wear This? | Thibaut’s “Thong” Jeans

Fashion

Who is it for?  Someone who loves jeans and at the same time, being naked?  Where would you wear this to?  Is it a millennial thing?  Am I too old to understand and appreciate this style?  So many questions ran through my head when I first saw online photos of the aptly named “Thong Jeans” from new designer Thibaut during Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo.  And they are still unanswered up to now.

Thibaut_Jeans

Front view. Photo from Shutterstock

And *gasp*

Thibaut_Jeans_02

Back view. Photo from Shutterstock

Maybe you can wear this for next year’s Halloween?  Or to an event with a post-nuclear war as a theme?  What do you think?

B3W

For The Love Of Hookah

Culture, Lifestyle

Shisha is part of Doha culture and the Arab world in general.  I wouldn’t say it’s integral but no one will say shisha or hookah without picturing the sands of the Arab world.  I remember when I first came here four years ago, the first place I went to was Souq Waqif where most of the cafés and restaurants serve shisha.  I tried smoking this back in Manila but it was different when I first had it here.  It was stronger and packed more flavor.  Or maybe it’s the souq and the fact that I’m in Qatar which made the experience more authentic.

IMG_20130303_232108

Photo taken in March 2013, Souq Waqif

While buying your own water pipe and setting it up at home is more practical than going to shisha lounges, it is more enjoyable to do this sitting with the locals and other expats.  I guess it gives me the feeling of being part of the culture.

Now having spent several years in the sandpit, there are places where my friends and I usually visit to get our fix.  Other than the lounges in hotels around Doha, I prefer the standalone establishments for two good reasons—you’ll get better quality (based on experience) and it won’t hurt your wallet.  The following are three of my favorite hookah hangouts in the city.

Downtown Restaurant

Back when West Bay was home, Downtown is the most convenient for me as it’s walking distance from where I live.  The whole staff is nice and the service is great.  The food they serve is not bad either.  My Lebanese friend even commented that they serve one of the best tabbouleh in Doha.  As this is located in the business area, it’s the perfect after-work option to meet with friends where you can have hookah and a pleasant dinner.

Orient Pearl

This restaurant is situated along the Corniche and very easy to locate (re: dancing fountain).  This place is huge and has good interiors.  This is great for families as they’ve set up a playground where kids can play while the grown-ups do some adulting.  LOL.  They serve some of the best Arabic dishes IMHO.  There are performances every now and then especially during Ramadan which makes this a must-visit during that time of the year.

Souq Waqif

This is a no-brainer.  Located in the heart of Doha, this souq offers a lot of things.  There are dozens of shops selling a wide variety of items, a lot of food options, street performances, art galleries and there’s a museum too. You can literally spend an entire afternoon (or evening!) walking and exploring the alleys of this Qatari market.

Any of the outdoor cafés or restaurants in this area is a perfect spot for shisha and peoplewatching.  Al-Bandar, Damasca and Le Gourmet are excellent examples.  And at 35 riyals, it won’t burn a huge hole in your pocket.

***

Other than these three, Layali at Lagoona Mall, Eatopia at the Gate Mall, Burj Al Hamam at the Pearl and Shisha Garden at La Cigale are very good options as well.

My usual combo of shisha and green tea

So go now and have a puff.  Just keep in mind that like cigarettes, shisha smoking can be detrimental to your health so do it sparingly.

 

B3W

Friday Catch-Up With Friends At La Spiga

Lifestyle, Tummy Adventure

There is no better way to spend Fridays in Doha but to de-stress after an entire week spent in the office and meet with friends for lunch and do a bit of gossiping (yes, we love to do that like everybody else).  We decided to meet at La Spiga in W Hotel because we felt it will be the perfect place to talk and catch-up (nice and quiet) as most people will be brunch-ing in other restos.  And we can use our Entertainer vouchers so that’s a bonus.

La Spiga 01

Veronica having a moment with the menu

Since this is not our first time dining here plus the fact that Veronica and I are (sort of) following a pescetarian diet, it didn’t take long for us to pick what we wanted to have for lunch.  We went for the sea bass and hamour while Rica and Justin, the meat eaters, opted for the beef mains.  We all had dessert of course because meals are never complete without them.

As for the interiors, we still can’t seem to grasp the idea of photos of Hollywood icons hanging on the walls considering it’s an Italian restaurant.  Maybe they have a reason for that, who knows?  The place is cozy and nice although the dim lighting gives off a snobby ambience.  Overall, food and service considered, La Spiga is a great choice for eating out in Doha.

 

B3W

A Throwback to Summer 2016 | Nice-Ibiza-Barcelona-Rome

Lifestyle, Travel

One advantage of working in the Middle East is its proximity to Europe making travelling there less exhausting (16-hour flights?) especially for someone like me who hails from the Far East.  Oh, and it’s a lot cheaper too.

Every year, I make it a point to visit places I’ve never been to.  Sort of like a treat for myself.  2017 is a different story though…don’t ask.

Tendu 100%

I miss it already 😦

 

B3W

 

 

Will You Grow A Moustache This November?

Fashion, Lifestyle

You should.

To raise awareness of men’s health issues, an annual event is being held and ran by the Movember Foundation since 2004.  The organization’s aim is to reduce the number of preventable deaths among men—be it cancer or mental health issue—by increasing the rate of early disease detection, accurate diagnosis and effective treatments.  Their website contains a wealth of information—from the causes they are pushing for to interesting trivia to styling and grooming tips—so do me a favor and click this link.

MF_Logo_01

The idea is simple:  Show your support and involvement by signing up at https://ex.movember.com/ , growing your moustache (not your beard!) for 30 days and helping to raise funds for the (worthy) causes the foundation is advocating.  The task is not difficult.  You just need to stay away from your razor (or clipper) until the end of November.  That’s it!  Minimal effort required and you get to promote awareness among family and friends.  Not to mention the money you will save from buying creams and aftershave cologne—it’s a win-win!  Hehe.

From a style perspective, the mo is making a comeback and currently a fashionable look for guys (please don’t wear it with flared pants or you’ll be in retro land!) .  It may be off-putting to some (hello, creepy) and have a dated quality to it but if you manage to pull this off, you’ll be the coolest guy anybody would want to hang out with.  I can see this look good with pieces from H&M’s collaboration with Erdem—a perfect contrast of masculine and feminine.  But since having one can be a hit or miss, the Movember initiative is a great way to determine whether the ‘stache is for you or not.

Here are some styles you may want to try.

Try out the chevron or if you want to unleash your inner hipster, go for the handlebar (the latter may require you more than a month to grow so that means commitment).  Yalla! Make the month of November count.  Grow those whiskers and be the difference in a man’s life.

 

B3W

H&M x Erdem | A Floral Explosion

Fashion

For the first time ever, Erdem Moralioglu designed a collection for men and based on the photos released by H&M, it doesn’t disappoint and will be a hit among the fashionable bunch.  This year’s designer collaboration focuses on the romantic—think florals, tweeds and a bit of ruffles.  The collection has a hint of androgyny that I really like.  Very dandy, I must say.  And the styling reminds me of Dries Van Noten, one of my favorite Belgian designers.

While not every piece in the collection is Doha-appropriate, there are a lot to choose from especially that we are starting to feel the drop in temperature.  This is not something a regular Doha guy will wear but if you want to make a statement, these clothes are fool-proof and a definite conversation starter.  You’ll probably get a side-eye or two but who cares, right?  If you love what you’re wearing and you feel you look good in it, damn the bashers.  LOL.

HMxErdem 01

Pyjama party, anyone?

HMxErdem 03

That bright blue sweater is calling me

HMxErdem 04

I NEED this shirt!

HMxErdem 05

Mohair jumpers x Ruffled shirt = love

The collaboration hits both physical and online stores on November 2 so you better put that in your calendar and line up early if you don’t want to end up empty-handed.  These items will be snatched up in seconds for sure!

 

B3W

Let’s Get Physical | How You Can Burn More Calories In 4 Hours

Lifestyle

No, this is not a post about the latest diet fad or exercise routine. I just have this silly question lurking in mind: Why is it so difficult to commit to working out regularly but we can walk miles and miles without complaining when we are at the mall? Case in point, my sedentary self usually averages 4,000 to 5,000 steps per day which covers almost everything I do at home and in the office. Yesterday I ended with 8,662 steps—-the most I did within the last three months!  It is crazy to think that checking out goods at Doha Festival City (something I wouldn’t consider a physical activity) made me walk four miles!  I know that’s not a lot to some but imagine my surprise when I made a milestone in my tracking app.

img_3334

I use Moves to track my daily activities

It’s my first time to visit DFC Mall. It is huge and has a pretty good collection of shops and restaurants so you won’t notice the time passing so quickly while you hop from one retail outlet to the next.  Considering this is one of the (massive) malls that just opened this year, there are stalls that are not yet in operation but what they have now is enough for anyone to visit and have a fun time.

And then there’s IKEA  next to it.  Now don’t be fooled by those arrows being projected on the floor.  I’m guessing you thought they did this to maintain order so people would know which direction to go?  Well, think again.  It’s a marketing ploy to trick you into walking the entire store and buying more things (you don’t necessarily need) as you navigate through all their products.  Trust me, I am a victim too.  LOL.

So the next time you step into a mall, be ready because it’s going to get extra physical.  Can you imagine the walks you’ll be doing between the stores’ display sections and changing rooms?  And the stretching that goes with trying on clothes and shoes?  A lot, right?  Good thing there are several coffee spots where you can hang out at when your knees start to beg for rest.

giphy

In conclusion, mall-ing (Pinoys favorite past time) is the perfect combination of leisure and sport.  Yes, sport.  My tracking app doesn’t lie.  Numbers don’t lie.  Period. 😜

 

B3W

In The Mood For Denim

Fashion

As Doha transitions to cooler weather, a wardrobe change is in order. Now is the time to take your coats and jumpers out from wherever you’re keeping them so you’ll be ready once the temperature drops.

I’m a Manila boy so I didn’t invest in cold weather garbs before coming here but since Qatar winters are not like Canada’s, a sweater or a light jacket will suffice.  If you don’t have one yet, a jean jacket would be a nice addition to your clothes arsenal.  It’s light, casual and Doha weather appropriate which means layering is possible without the worry of looking and feeling stuffy.

denim_jackets

Photo grabbed from The Garment District

Denim is made of cotton so you know it can breathe and can be dyed in a wide range of colors.  It comes in different thickness too so depending on how you can tolerate the cold is just a matter of preference.  In terms of styling, denim clothing is versatile.  You can even wear this material to work!  Like this for example:

mp jb 01

Eidos Slim-Fit Unstructured Herringbone Denim Blazer at Mr. Porter

Personally, I like the distressed (not extreme though) look as the frays and abrasions exude more character—it has that lived-in vibe (without looking beggarly) that I really love.

 

DENIM JACKET

The Classic.  Levi’s Distressed Denim Jacket at Mr. Porter

How about these trucker jackets?

Did I inspire you to get one?  I know I did. =)

 

B3W

 

 

 

Weekend Rundown | Lazy Day Friday to Sugar & Spice to Dana’s Farewell

Lifestyle, Tummy Adventure

My Friday can be summed up in two words: TV and bed. Don’t judge me but after a busy week at work, I decided that Friday is going to be a lazy get-up-from-bed-only-when-I-need-to-pee kind of day.

Yesterday is a different story though—the roomie and I sort of had a long day.  Our first stop was at Sugar & Spice for a quick and “healthy” (read: no dessert) lunch with Pam and Aya.  In my opinion, this restaurant is the best reason to visit Aspire Park (as opposed to running or anything that involves sweat). It has a homely ambiance (the good kind—very shabby chic), comprehensive menu, and very good service.  The owner of this establishment really did his homework IMHO.

img_3293

My wannabe vegetarian self ordered the Quinoa Kale salad (will try to replicate this at home!)


img_3291-1

Trinkets galore! I would love to have this at home but I doubt it will look this chic.  Imagine the upkeep this chandelier requires…not for me…LOL

img_3312

This button-studded lamp-shade is super cute. Mmmmm, and Aya, too.

img_3313

Is the sun bothering you?

img_3289

Our very own Gucci girl, Pam

We headed to Villagio to get some Starbucks and do some window shopping (read: broke) after lunch.  There were a lot of walking because girls.  By the way, do you know how frustrating it is to look and find something you like and not able to buy it?  VERY.  At that point I started to direct my thoughts to my bed and how I miss it already.  Hehe.

***

In the evening, we were bound for Dana’s farewell dinner.  Our sweet girl is getting married soon and she’ll be settling in the US with the husband.

img_3311

Pretty in pink!  We will miss our future Mrs.  Thanks for inviting us!

Like the ones you see on Pinterest, the table set-up is really cute.  Props to Yasmin!  Yay!  Just look at those lemons! LOL.  This can be a good catering business idea, no???

img_3303

Are we having lemonade after?

Here are more photos from last night:

***

I have mixed feelings when I got home.  I had a fun weekend but at the same time can’t help but think it’s Sunday the next day and that almost always ruins the vibe.

So how did your weekend go?  Did you do anything fun?

 

B3W