I am about to introduce you to one of the most beautiful places my eyes have ever laid eye on: Giethoorn, located in the Netherlands.

Giethoorn gained popularity as the 'town with no roads' or also known as 'Holland's Venice'; I came across this on a travel magazine before even moving to the Netherlands, and was drawn to visit it from the very first glance! I liked the idea of having houses located between water canals and the idea of boats as a way of transportation. It felt new to me, and wanted to explore it.

So I took the chance when my friend Sara visited the Netherlands for a 12 days trip, and decided to go explore Giethoorn together, and what we saw was absolutely beautiful.

The day started by taking a train towards Steenwijk - small dutch town located in Overijssel - and from there we took bus number 70 and stopped on the stop named Holland's Venice, which is shortly after the main Giethoorn stop. From there we had to walk a couple of meters until we managed to get to the part of the town which has no roads! and we were all mesmerized by how beautifully green and clean the place looked.

I strongly recommend all of you who would be visiting the Netherlands to take the time and go explore this place! Absolutely worth every second.

I will now leave you with a few photographs captured by my best friend Sara Al Hashar :)

All Photographs displayed on this post are taken by one of my closest friends, the talented Sara Al Hashar. Please show love and support and check out her photography Instagram page here!  

With love,

Balsam's take on Europe: Giethoorn, the Netherlands

Illustration made by my sister Salsabil

The holy month of Ramadan is finally here. I would like to wish all of my muslim followers a very blessed month, and I hope you all take this special time of the year to reflect and think of all the less fortunate people who do not have food to fill their hunger.

I also wish you a happy time with all your loved ones.

Make it a special time of the year,

Ramadan Kareem :)

with love,

Ramadan Mubarak


Happy Monday beautiful people :]

I have been scrolling through net-a-porter.com for some style inspiration and I came across the fabulous ALTUZARRA and noticed that many of their recent items feature patterns of plaid, animal printes, and many other interesting detail. I had to share my thoughts on the items of their new collection as the pattern mixture seems to be quite well styled and gives a retro feel in a good way.

I have recently purchased a snake skin printed skirt from Altuzarra and since then I noticed how they interpret patterns very visibly and boldly on their clothing items; similarly, I witnessed a few of their accessories - shoes in particular - with similar bold prints.

Plaid prints were very dominant, and I like the way they styled them together - as seen on the images below where a plaid skirt is paired with plaid shirt, and still looking fabulously fashionable. Also, they minimized the plaid effect by adding a shear top to go over the shirt. I am utterly impressed with the styling below.

As I have mentioned earlier, shoes and accessories also had their fair share of patterned fabric and materials, such as the shoes shown below which have several beads and embellishments, as well as a unique snake skin material as the dominating factor of the design.

I also noticed the use of fringe in their designs which I absolutely adored! If you know me, you'd probably know that I am always in love with fringe for spring. I am impressed by the use of fringe on shoes though, which is something I did not see often previously. I also love the interpretation of fringe on one side of blazers (as seen below)

And patterns continue to dominate in their designs:

All items displayed on this post can be found on net-a-porter.com; 

Please note that this is not a sponsored post

Balsam Style Picks: ALTUZARRA pattern mix

Image source: http://www.kingice.com/media/wysiwyg/Celebrity/tungsten-rings.jpg

Over the ages, men and women have worn rings for many reasons but more so as a symbol of marriage between two people. In some traditions and cultures, the importance of the ring has grown to be more than the worth of the metal used.

The Irish people, for example, have the tradition of engraving Celtic scripts on the rings and this gives them a lot of meaning. In fact most cultures have symbols that they usually engrave on rings to symbolize love, commitment and marriage. With all this symbolism and importance accorded to rings, it is no wonder that many different metals and alloys have been used make rings.
Below are some of the more common metals used to fashion rings;


Tungsten is stylish, fashionable, popular and quite affordable yet classy looking, shiny and extremely durable. The metal is also quite easy to maintain. In fact if you go back and read the first two sentences of this paragraph, you will find that most men aspire to be described as such. What a perfect match, right?

When choosing a tungsten ring however, you have to choose a ring that fits perfectly or is just a size larger because, once you make your choice of size; the ring cannot be resized ever again, again like with the description of men, a tungsten ring is not a one-size fits all kind of ring. The ring has to fit the finger exactly. Examiner.com story on tungsten rings illustrates some of the great benefits of tungsten rings.

Tungsten is also used as an alloy metal and is combined to give the metal even better characteristics as a metal used to make rings. Tungsten carbide for example becomes resistant to any scratches.


Ceramic is another material that is becoming popular in the making of men’s wedding rings. The material is very durable, and yet affordable. If you are wondering what if ceramic was combined with tungsten? Well, it has, and the outcome is just as lovely. Ceramic and tungsten wedding bands maximize on the rings style and durability.


Gold is one of the more traditional metals used to fashion rings. Contrary to what most people think, higher carat gold is not as durable as lower carat gold. Lower carat gold is more durable because it is alloyed with other metals to make it more durable. If you won’t get your ring into rough and rugged situations where it may get scratched, then gold may be a good choice for you.


Silver just like gold is not a very durable metal; it can be very shiny but needs a lot of work to keep it that way. If you are willing to replace the ring often, then silver may be the choice for you.

Other metals commonly used as wedding rings are platinum and titanium. If you want to do more research on tungsten and other metals and metal alloys used to fashion men’s rings, you could find more information in the latest guide on tungsten rings.

Why Tungsten Rings Are the Best Choice for Metal Rings for Men

"I'm not lonely, and I think that has a lot to do with what's on my bedside table rather than what's in my bed."

I have always believed that one can tell significant amount of information about a person just by looking at her/his bedside table. What is it that you keep so close to your reach when the night descends?  

Many of you probably noticed that I find it extremely difficult to write about myself, as I am always a fan of reinventing myself into the better. I find it extremely hard to define my personality as it is constantly growing up; however, I do find it important that my readers know me more as a person and who I am and what I like to do, therefore I want to begin a series of posts that I would do occasionally, under the title 'Get to know Balsam'. Yes, I am starting by letting you guys into my very personal space very close to me: my bedside table. I believe you can find out so much about me if you get an insight of what I keep close to my side, on a daily basis.

I always love to keep the books that I am currently reading by my side table. I am enjoying the company of Dan brown's 'Inferno' and Eric Ries's 'The Lean Startup'. I usually read before sleeping and when I wake up in the morning. I like to always dedicate 30 minutes of reading before sleeping, and the same when I wake up. I find this way a good way to sleep and wake up productively, which is why I always set up my alarm 30 minutes prior the time i'd actually like to get up from my bed.

I also keep my favorite accessories hung on this glamorous figurine I have purchased from Bordeaux, France. It holds memories, looks fabulous and makes me accessories easy to access.

Finally, one of my favorite spots in my room is my left hand sidetable which holds so many memories. I placed several figurines which I have collected from many of the countries that I have visited in the two last recent years. I love to look at them when I wake up and think of new places to visit.

Similarly, keeping photographs of family and friends helps me maintain a warm and homey environment, especially when I am living away from home.

Overall, I love fashion, reading and travel and that is very visible from what you can find on my bedside tables.

What's on yours?

Get to know Balsam: What I keep on my bedside tables

Previous PostOlder Posts Home