What We Are Buying Today: ‘Make Space for Happiness’

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Updated 24 December 2023

What We Are Buying Today: ‘Make Space for Happiness’


With 2024 around the corner, “Make Space for Happiness” by Tracy McCubbin asks a question many of us are trying to answer: “How do you stop attracting clutter and start magnetizing the life you want?”

Every New Year, people seem to scramble to start it on a clean slate; they sign up for expensive gym memberships, buy new clothes and stock their kitchens with healthy foods. While that might be a good way to help support a better lifestyle, most of us are avoiding the real dusty elephant in the room.

Most of us don’t want to deal with decluttering the stuff we already have in our homes. It is often easier to add new shiny things to our rooms rather than mindfully remove old boring things.

We all have just too much stuff. Most homes — no matter how big or small — have drawers stuffed to the limit and closets bursting with mostly unworn garments and miscellaneous items.

How did it get that way? Why is it so hard to let go of things we don’t even want?

The book goes into what the author McCubbin refers to as “your seven emotional clutter magnets.” They are described as the “empty parts of us that desperately want to attract one of seven important feelings — purpose, love, connection, wisdom, confidence, self-respect and ease.”

“Clutter is not a superficial problem. It’s an emotional issue that requires an astute solution to help people attain life goals,” she writes.

The book goes into the history of clutter to offer insights into why, as a society, we went into consumerism and how effective marketing tricks cheated us into believing a new purchase would equal a new life.

The book looks at the vulnerable traps we all fall into. And it guides readers to try to understand the emotional reasons why we likely hoard or collect. “Make Space for Happiness” also tries to highlight the importance of overcoming shame or guilt over having too much clutter. Why do we continue to shop, even though we already have an abundance? How can we stop?

McCubbin, who is a professional organizer and CEO of dClutterfly, an LA-based home organizing company, uses examples from her own life and from her clients. The author describes herself as the “daughter of a hoarder,” and tells the reader how she knows firsthand how overwhelming it can be to be weighed down by physical items.

She also offers relatable antidotes from people facing similar things that many of us have gone through to illustrate how her clients were able to overcome some of this burden.

The book cautions us to avoid what she calls “the donation myth.” If you buy something and decide you no longer like it after all, we all tell ourselves “we will just donate it.” The thing is, most charity places don’t want your low-quality discarded items. They likely will end up in the landfill, and that is already a major issue and problem.

McCubbin’s book does not offer quick fixes or false hope. We still need to do the work and to better understand ourselves and our stuff. It is there to remind us that the simple act of reading this book proves you want to change. There is still a chance that we may find a way to declutter anyway so that we, as the title implies, can “Make Space for Happiness.”


Nicole Scherzinger shows off Lebanese gown at Tony Awards

Nicole Scherzinger shows off Lebanese gown at Tony Awards
Updated 17 June 2024

Nicole Scherzinger shows off Lebanese gown at Tony Awards

Nicole Scherzinger shows off Lebanese gown at Tony Awards

DUBAI: US singer Nicole Scherzinger attended the 2024 Tony Awards in New York on Sunday in a gown by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran.

The pink-hued gown featured a sheer, embellished skirt, with rouching on the hips. Stylist Emily Evans finished off the look with -Cicada and Maison H jewelry.

Nicole Scherzinger showed off a rosy-hued Nicolas Jebran gown on the red carpet. (Getty Images)

Scherzinger — slated to star in a “Sunset Boulevard” revival on Broadway — sang the “In Memoriam” section, the Associated Press reported.

She sang “What I Did for Love” as the names of late Broadway heavyweights appeared, including playwright Christopher Durang and actors Alan Arkin,Glenda Jackson, Louis Gossett Jr., and Treat Williams.

“The Outsiders,” a gritty adaptation of the classic young adult novel, won the Tony Award for best new musical. The win meant Angelina Jolie, a producer, landed her first Tony, too.

Angelina Jolie, a producer on 'The Outsiders,' landed her first Tony. (Getty Images)

“Stereophonic,” the play about a Fleetwood Mac-like band recording an album over a turbulent and life-changing year, won best new play and had the night's most total awards at five. It was written by David Adjmi, with songs by former Arcade Fire member Will Butler.

Two special guests electrified the crowd — Jay-Z and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The latter, a producer of a musical about suffragettes, presented “Suffs.”

“I have stood on a lot of stages, but this is very special,” Clinton said. “I know a little bit about how hard it is to make change.”

In the first musical presentation, Alicia Keys appeared at a piano as the cast of her semi-autobiographical musical, “Hell’s Kitchen,” presented a medley of songs. She sang her and Jay-Z’s 2009 smash “Empire State of Mind,” joining the rapper on interior steps to wild applause, according to the Associated Press.

Later, newcomer Maleah Joi Moon won best leading actress for “Hell's Kitchen,” brushing aside a challenge from veteran Kelli O’Hara. The 21-year-old, who plays a role loosely based on Keys’ life, dedicated her award to her parents.

Jeremy Strong took home the first big award of the night. The “Succession” star landed his first Tony for his work in the revival of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 political play “An Enemy of the People.”

“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe cemented his stage career pivot by winning featured actor in a musical, his first trophy in five Broadway shows. He won for the revival of “Merrily We Roll Along,” the Stephen Sondheim- George Furth musical that goes backward in time.

Jessica Kahawaty stars in Charlotte Tilbury fragrance campaign

Jessica Kahawaty stars in Charlotte Tilbury fragrance campaign
Updated 16 June 2024

Jessica Kahawaty stars in Charlotte Tilbury fragrance campaign

Jessica Kahawaty stars in Charlotte Tilbury fragrance campaign

DUBAI: Lebanese Australian model Jessica Kahawaty has posed in a digital campaign for British luxury cosmetics label Charlotte Tilbury.

The model and entrepreneur stars in a video campaign advertising the brand’s Love Frequency perfume, which is described as a floral woody musk fragrance for women and men.

Love Frequency was launched in 2024 and the fragrance was designed by French master perfumer Anne Flipo. The top note is pink pepper; the middle notes are rose and saffron; while the base notes are musk, amberwood, patchouli and cashmere wood.

Kahawaty took to Instagram to share the sun-drenched campaign video with her 1.5 million followers.

“My love frequency summed up in 1 scent (sic),” she caption the post, which sees the model walking among flowers and tall grasses while holding the pink-hued bottle of perfume.

The model also recently unveiled her latest campaign with Boss. In March, she shared polaroid-style pictures from the shoot with her Instagram followers and wrote: “Double B, Every Me. Because there’s more than one way to be a BOSS.”

In the images, she wore a brown bomber jacket paired with a crisp white shirt, complemented by a black bag adorned with a chunky gold buckle and chain. Her brunette locks were in loose waves.

Earlier this year, Kahawaty took to social media to share images from her collaboration with Italian luxury label Versace for the month of Ramadan, days after the influencer worked on a Ramadan campaign with New York-based label CH Carolina Herrera.

The campaign featured a curated edit of modest wear from the New York-based label, combining distinctive patterns and vibrant color schemes.

The model and restauranteur — she founded Dubai’s Mama Rita eatery alongside her mother — shared a series of images promoting Versace’s Ramadan edit with her Instagram followers. Kahawaty was pictured in a pink floor-length dress with bell sleeves that boasted a neckline adorned with intricate pink, white and silver beads and crystals. Completing the look, Kahawaty is seen clutching a matching mini pink embellished purse while her voluminous brunette locks were styled in a 90s blowout.

‘Bridgerton’ star Simone Ashley flaunts Suzanne Kalan jewels in London

‘Bridgerton’ star Simone Ashley flaunts Suzanne Kalan jewels in London
Updated 15 June 2024

‘Bridgerton’ star Simone Ashley flaunts Suzanne Kalan jewels in London

‘Bridgerton’ star Simone Ashley flaunts Suzanne Kalan jewels in London

DUBAI: British actress Simone Ashley took to the red carpet at the “Bridgerton” Season 3 - Part Two special screening in London in a diaphanous Del Core dress and sparkling jewelry by Lebanon-born designer Suzanne Kalan.

The drop earrings hail from Kalan’s eponymous brand. Born in Lebanon, the designer has Armenian family heritage and has been creating jewelry for the past 25 years.

Meanwhile, Ashley’s peach-hued dress was plucked from Italian label Del Core’s Fall/ Winter 2024 ready-to-wear collection.

The drop earrings hail from Kalan’s eponymous brand. (Getty Images)

Kalan’s designs have been making the rounds on red carpets as of late. US actress Jessica Chastain sported the eponymous brand’s Bold Burst Rainbow Sapphire Tennis Necklace at the 2024 National Board of Review Gala in New York in January and entertainment reporter Zanna Roberts Rassi showed off a set of rings by the brand at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards in the same month.

Also, US musician Andra Day attended the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala in New York on June 13 in extended hoop earrings by Kalan.

The “Bridgerton” cast has been hitting red carpets around the world to mark the launch of the latest season, which was released in two parts.

Irish actress Nicola Coughlan is the lead star of this season — the lead role in the hit series is revolving and season two saw Ashley take on the mantle of leading lady.

Coughlan chose two Middle Eastern labels for public appearances, including stepping out in a gown by Beirut-based label Sara Mrad at the premiere in Toronto in early June.

Coughlan donned a lavender silk organza mini-dress paired with a red mikado petal-like cape from the designer’s Spring 2024 couture collection. She accessorized with droplet-shaped earrings from London-based Ysso jewelry, which are hand-carved in Greece.

At the show’s premiere in Brazil in May, the actress wore a deep red gown by Lebanese fashion label Azzi & Osta. The gown featured an oversized hood, which she wore over her head, and long gloved sleeves adorned with gold embellishments.

Jacquemus taps Imaan Hammam for Capri show

Jacquemus taps Imaan Hammam for Capri show
Updated 11 June 2024

Jacquemus taps Imaan Hammam for Capri show

Jacquemus taps Imaan Hammam for Capri show

DUBAI: Simon Porte Jacquemus celebrated his brand’s 15th anniversary with a runway show on the eastern tip of Capri, featuring Dutch Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam among the participants.

The catwalk star arrived at the venue in a casual look and waved to cameras while wearing a shirt from Umbro Italy’s 2023 collaboration with Slam Jam. The “Penalty Culture” capsule collection draws from football’s influence on the everyday lives and the community of people who follow it — it is a fitting sartorial choice for Hammam ahead of the June 14 kick off of the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament.

She wore a hot red figure-hugging dress with asymmetric sleeves. (YouTube)

After she sported her football-inspired look, Hammam walked the catwalk, with its backdrop of clear blue water, in a hot red figure-hugging dress with asymmetric sleeves. The midi dress featured a ruffled open back. 

Hammam’s dress was part of the designer’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection, which embraced a nautical theme with classic navy stripes adorning shirts and subtly woven into the details of various garments. 

The catwalk also featured semi-transparent dresses with dramatic slits, sailor-like tank tops, oversized and zebra-printed Bermuda shorts, deep-blue sweaters and more. 



A post shared by JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus)


The show, titled “La Casa,” was held at Casa Malaparte, a villa designed by Italian rationalist architect Adalberto Libera for writer Curzio Malaparte in the 1930s.

The show was attended by A-listers such as Dua Lipa, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Peggy Gou. 

BLACKPINK member Jennie Kim also made an appearance at the show. Given her close relationship with the brand’s founder, fans anticipated her attendance. However, defying expectations, Jacquemus chose the songstress to close the show rather than sit on the sidelines.



A post shared by JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus)


The K-Pop starlet wore a flowing black dress paired with a teal clutch. 

Kim’s connection with designer Jacquemus is no secret, highlighted by her regular presence at his shows over the years. Whether in the front row or taking center stage, she has consistently backed the brand, most notably featuring in Jacquemus' holiday campaign last December.

Meanwhile, Lipa wore a floor-length, light turquoise sleeveless gown with an elevated boat neckline and a slit at the right calf. She matched her ruby red hair with Jacquemus' new purse, a rounded puffy flap bag adorned with gold hardware, which was also featured on the runway. 

Her look was completed with light blue Les Lunettes Ovalo sunglasses and strappy black sandals with ball-detail heels.

Princess Rajwa shows off Honayda gown at king’s silver jubilee celebrations in Jordan

Princess Rajwa shows off Honayda gown at king’s silver jubilee celebrations in Jordan
Updated 10 June 2024

Princess Rajwa shows off Honayda gown at king’s silver jubilee celebrations in Jordan

Princess Rajwa shows off Honayda gown at king’s silver jubilee celebrations in Jordan
  • Saudi designer Honayda Sefari explained the meaning behind the custom-made look
  • It is not the first time Princess Rajwa has chosen Honayda for a high-profile event

DUBAI: Jordan’s Princess Rajwa Al-Hussein attended King Abdullah II’s silver jubilee celebrations in Amman alongside her husband, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, in a bespoke gown by Saudi designer Honayda Serafi.

For the occasion, Princess Rajwa, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, showed off a red, hand-embroidered gown just over a year after she wore an all-white look by the same designer for her pre-wedding henna celebrations.


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Serafi, the designer behind the eponymous brand which became the first Saudi fashion label to be displayed at luxury London department store Harrods in 2022, spoke to Arab News about the custom-made look in a written statement. 

When asked about the symbolism in the dress, she explained: “The colors used reflected on the four colors of the Jordanian flag: red, green, black and white, paying tribute to the rich Jordanian traditions (and) celebrating the vibrant culture of Jordan."

“Deep, pigmented red was chosen for the look. Red represents the Hashemite dynasty, associated with strength and passion, embodying royalty and translating the love to the land. (The gown is) tailored in a flowing georgette fabric, perfectly mirroring HRH Princess Rajwa Al-Hussein’s noble yet powerful personality.”

Princess Rajwa showed off a red, hand embroidered gown by Saudi designer Honayda Serafi. (Supplied)

According to the designer, it was the first time Jordanian women artisans had worked on a dress for the young royal.

“The house of Honayda collaborated with Jordanian women artisans to feature unique traditional Jordanian embroidery … in the design. (The embroidery was) featured on the collar and border, preserving and celebrating age-old techniques, evoking a sense of pride and connection to the nation,” she noted.

The Saudi fashion house seems to have become the label of choice for the princess’s high-profile public appearances.

In May 2023, Jordan’s Queen Rania hosted the pre-wedding henna night celebrations for the bride-to-be, who married the crown prince on June 1, 2023.

Princess Rajwa showed off a red, hand embroidered gown by Saudi designer Honayda Serafi. (Supplied)

She looked radiant in an ethereal white creation with gold embroidery that was inspired by Al-Shaby thobes of the Najd region in Saudi Arabia, where Princess Rajwa — who was formerly known as Rajwa Al-Saif — is from. 

The henna night dress was inspired by Al-Shaby thobes of the Najd region in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)

“As the creative director, I am deeply grateful for her trust and encouragement, which serve as a key to unlocking boundless creativity and beauty in my designs,” Serafi said of the ongoing relationship with the royal.

“Her choice to wear Honayda creations not only highlights the elegance and cultural richness embedded in our designs, but also amplifies our mission to celebrate and preserve heritage through fashion.”

Last week, the first official maternity photos of Princess Rajwa were released ahead of the royal couple’s due date this summer.