We owe 2017 an apology. We haven’t written a lot this 2017 and that makes me sad a bit. We’ve tried, you know but honestly, we’ve been so busy this 2017 that we haven’t had time to write a lot. I kind of miss it, all the writing that we did for the past few years! So am I promising more entries for 2018? I wish, I pray, and I hope. I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions but I will just do. So, what happened to The Pink Tarha in 2017 that kept us away from the website for quite some time? Well, A LOT. A lot of learnings, insights, experiences! We’ve grown so much that we feel like we’ve grown with the rest of Riyadh and its Riyadhizens! There were so many changes! But I still feel that a part of The Pink Tarha remained the same: the part where we share our passion of doing new things, discovering new experiences, and spreading good vibes all-year-round! That “service” makes us more passionate for what we do and the fire of writing and updating just keeps on burning no matter what challenges and obstacles we encounter. We forge on!
As you know, January is our anniversary month and we opened 2017 with a bang of an anniversary celebration! We had a Facebook Live that saw us giving away a lot of prizes to our readers and followers for our 8th anniversary. We were so happy to be able to give back and it was a fun, funny event that we’re seriously thinking of doing another one this coming January 27, 2018! Our anniversary by the way is January 24 but we pick the next weekend (Saturday) to do our Facebook Live so more people can participate. Hopefully our sponsors will still share their blessings and gifts this year! Haha! We’re working on it!
We promised in January 2017 that we’ll do more Facebook Live videos where we can chat and talk about topics that are anything under the Saudi sun. We had a lot of Facebook Lives alright, but not to chit chat but to give you videos of stores and shops that we frequent. There are a few event coverage but I guess the one that you truly liked were the ones of stores that are on sale and we show you the products and their prices. We recognize the need for that especially for people who can’t get out as easily and fast as possible but want to know where to go immediately when given the chance. We hope the FB Lives we did prove to be helpful and beneficial to most of you. We also discovered that you guys actually like shout outs so we’ll be doing more of that this 2018. We want you to know that we notice you and that we appreciate your support. Every time we see your names in our comment section, our hearts leap for joy because you guys are rocking the social media scene and we’re glad you’re always in our page checking it out.
We introduced our very own Youtube channel in 2017. Welcome to The Pink Tarha Riyadhlity! We did not know what we were thinking! Haha! I mean, aren’t we busy enough?!? Hahah! Well, we just tried it. Also, we need a place where we can use and utilize all the videos and photos that we take every time we go out. We also want to show those who are not living in Saudi Arabia how some facets of life look around here. It’s not always bad, or guarded, or sheltered you know. Sometimes, it’s also “normal” as normal can get. We find that it’s easier to take short clips and gather them together in one bigger, longer video. We are total newbies in videography and Youtube and so you are seeing the work of non-professional videographers. We just do what we can do and hope to goodness you like it because we do. Haha! We can’t promise specific days where we upload videos because we tried that (Tuesdays) but look where it got us: a messy scheduling of video uploads. We upload when we have time; that’s our mantra. Haha! A “talk show” series is in the works to be incorporated in our Youtube channel so watch out for that!
Our Youtube channel is also used for the travel videos we took towards the end of 2017. Speaking of travel, we went out of the country in February 2017. We went to Georgia for a winter wonderfest! We’ve long wanted to visit a country where we can play in the snow and Georgia gave us that experience and more. We went to the ski resort of Gudauri and we paraglided! Yes, paraglide! It was a bit scary but it was important for us to do something we’ve never done before in a country we visit for the first time. Kailangan yung medyo dangerous for this aging bones talaga? Haha! The balcony to Europe also gave us a glimpse of its history, religion, and culture but what we really liked about Georgia is their food! We miss khankali already! Reina and I also went to Dubai upon the invitation of Savoy Central Dubai. We visited Legoland and Motiongate. They were great entertainment places to visit when you are in the UAE. We also made our way to Bahrain for some R&R at the ART Rotana, a magnificent hotel and resort. All you’ll ever need for a perfect vacation is here!
We also traveled to Al Ahsa in the Eastern Province and stayed at the Al Ahsa Intercontinental Hotel. They toured us around the historical places like the Qara Mountain (formerly called Judas Caves by expats). It was our first time to go there and we were amazed by the culture and tradition of Al Ahsa. We also returned to Ushaiger Village to do an FB Live. We visited King Abdullah Park and suggested these places to visit during the Eid holidays. We also discovered Nofa Resort, the African safari in the middle of the Arabian desert, and Dirab Golf & Country Club, the greens in the middle of the sand. Now that Saudi Arabia has announced tourist visas for 2018, it will be nice to see what their tourism will offer to tourists and guests. We hope they come up with more and improve their services from the airports to the staff to the places to go to. We’re excited for the promise of tourism in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, we still ate our way through 2017. There were fewer restaurants that opened in 2017 and we kept seeing steakhouses and burger joints but we’re still happy that there are “new” ones to try. You can check out our Food category to see the restaurants and cafes that we reviewed. Our favorites include the Sama Lounge of Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana in Olaya, Serafina in Al Maather, Porterhouse in Tahlia Street, 56th Avenue Diner at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Gala Steak Inn and Turnstone Pizza. There were also notable home bakers and home chefs that shared to us etheir baked and cooked creations. We usually include them in our #THISWEEKINPICS series in our Facebook page which we usually publish on Saturday evenings (or Sunday mornings if I’m too tired to do it at night, haha #aging).
One of our regrets is not having enough time and resources to do a Pink Tarha Mornings anymore. We miss doing workshops for the ladies of Riyadh. However, we had small and quick events throughout the year like our Women’s Day celebration in partnership with Inglot. Seeing those long lines of visitors that night at the Inglot branch in Al Nakheel Mall made us teary-eyed. Your support has always been overwhelming! We also had an iftar night in cooperation with Aloft Hotel. Thank you to our dear friends and readers who dined with us that night.
We also introduced some beauty series in our Beauty Bets section like the Faves and Fails, a list of our favorite and not-so-favorite products We also have Product Empties where I feature skincare and makeup products that I have used up. From time to time, we insert reviews of products we discovered or have been using for quite some time. We hope these serve as your guides into buying what’s good and what’s not in the skincare and cosmetic industries.
I guess the highlights of the year are the invitations we got to be inspirational speakers. There’s nothing like being invited to these events. We appreciate the trust that schools and institutions give The Pink Tarha. And to be able to share our insights and experiences to others, especially young students, make our efforts so worthwhile. We would like to thank the Women Skills Bureau for inviting us to be panel speakers at the Riyadh Girl Boss workshop where we shared the stage with a few of Riyadh’s very own girl bosses. Thank you to Educational Gate 2 School for inviting us to be one of their Career Day speakers. Standing in front of their students brought us back to memories of us being students ourselves dreaming and wishing we’ll grow up to be “somebody” someday. And lastly, thank you to Toastmasters for inviting The Pink Tarha, particularly Reina who is a Distinguished Toastmasters, to talk in their Women Empowerment event. These events, these moments are very special to us. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share more of who and what we are.
2018 will see a change in Saudi Arabia. Come July, women can now drive in the streets of Saudi Arabia. This is such a momentous event because it paves the way for other things to come, especially for women in this land for men. Cinemas will also open this year with the first one said to be in Riyadh Park, a mall opening soon in exit 2 along North Ring Road. We’ve noticed a lot of subtle changes in the city and we’re happy that Saudi Arabia is slowly opening up to the world. Like some countries, it is possible to be open to modernity while keeping cultures, religion, and heritage intact. We hope Saudi Arabia takes into consideration the lessons that can be learned from other countries and make this Kingdom better then ever. They can do this!
For The Pink Tarha, we have a lot of plans and dreams for 2018 and we hope to be able to make these plans come true! If you have suggestions for us, feel free to comment down below. As always, Riyadhizens, thank you so much for your love and support! We hope you continue supporting us through the years that The Pink Tarha is online! We love you! HAPPY 2018!!!