or ‘amdah if you’re Yorkshire

by Pauline on May 20th 2017

Did you know thatย Hamdah is a village in Jizan Province, in south-western Saudi Arabia? Thanks for that, Wikipedia.

This week I celebrated a load of things:-

Whilst they are all amazing things and worth celebrating, again and again, the biggest celebration this week was with my bestest friend, Hamdah.

I talk about Hamdah a lot on my blog and you may all know her as of the hashtag #pawdahtravelz, my travel buddy, venice-something on social media, your typical Yorkshire lass, meme queen.

We’ve known each other since we were 14(?) years old, she’s been with me throughout all my phases and obsessions, heartbreaks and my success and failures. It’s awesome to have had someone there who knows me more than anyone probably ever will. I’m also thankful that I get to see her growth throughout the years, she’s always been the main MVP but she continues to push that. Inspirational. Empowering. Motivating. ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ

She turned 21 this week and we naturally had to celebrate with quality Italian food. Yeah, I think I’ve passed my Italian food obsession on to her. ๐Ÿ˜… THIS IS NOT A PHASE THOUGH, I PROMISE.


I surprised her by taking her to a hidden Italian restaurant – in the middle of nowhere (thanks for trusting me, Hamdah ๐Ÿ˜‚) ย The last time I went was back in January,ย although it was a little pricey and over the top, it was definitely worth it.

The beautiful birthday girl

Choosing where to sit is always so important, I love how Hamdah understands my “we need to sit somewhere cute to take cute photos” mindset. Of course, we don’t do this all the time but when it’s an important event like this one! Hamdah told stories about people who have a large following online, labelled as “influencers” and had used this label to get better seats in restaurants – you know, with proper lighting and such. Talk about being extra, but also low key goals. ๐Ÿ˜‚

It’s always funny being asked what we want for drinks at a restaurant – waiters are always a little surprised. I’m usually not interested in anything but water (seriously getting to the place was an effort so I need to hydrate myself anyways ๐Ÿ™„) I remember going to a restaurant a year ago and asking for water on a Friday night, the waitress had rudely said, “You DO KNOW it’s a FRIDAY night, right?” whereby I replied, “Yes I am aware” It was a little embarrassing, especially since I was with a group of people who all ordered drinks but I was proud to stay true to myself. And besidddddessss, who cares what other people think? Your finest glass of water, please sir!

For starters, we ordered a small chicken and mushroom (my favourite things!!) pasta. For mains, I ordered the Lo Scoglio – crab and prawn risotto and Hamdah ordered the Pollo E Gameroni Orientale – chicken and prawn curry (not very Italian).

I didn’t actually end up finishing my mains (I asked for it to be packed after!) because it was really filling and after a while, the taste got a bit bleh. I guess I was also full from my starter – #carbislife. Hamdah shared some of her food with me. See what I mean? Kindest, sweetest heart. DUMP YOUR BOYFRIEND RIGHT NOW.


The thing about having lots of pasta and risotto at once is that I always crave something sweet after. Since we already decided that we were going to fill ourselves up with all the food we could have, we also ordered dessert:

It’s as good as it looks. ๐Ÿ˜‹

I would definitely recommend Gigi’s for a fancy evening meal. It’s usually quite, staff and service have always been really friendly and quick!

Hamdah and I enjoyed it, it’s my third time going and has loved it every single time. I have to say, this celebration with Hamdah was my best visit there yet! I mean, this time I wasn’t sat there silence whilst being told of all my imperfections (on the blog in August ๐Ÿ‘€) ย Thank you, Hamdah once again for adding new memories to old places I’d been avoiding for a while.

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record but I am so grateful for the support she’s given me over the past year especially, without her, I wouldn’t be anywhere near being this happy with myself or be motivated to continue pursuing my dreams and fighting my fears. Friends, find your non-biological family member and keep them close. I know that I’ll be doing the same.

I mean, she can’t really get away from me because I’ll always schedule her into my Google Calendar and everyone knows that once you’re on the calendar, you gotta be there, ON THE DOT.

…Ok sorry for my lame, mood-killing jokes, happy 2ne1st Hammi (remember that? when we were like 15? ๐Ÿ˜ญ)

I love you, sis.

My favourite type of dress recently: one that shows my back and shoulders TO IT’S FULL POTENTIAL. Seriously though, I work hard for these gainz ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Snapchat/Instagram Story PawDah Mash-up

Why does that title sound like the title of the next big hit on Soundcloud?

…because sometimes videos explain stories a lot better.

Posted under: Daily

Leave a Comment

Name: (required)

Email: (required)




  1. Hamdah says:

    This whole post had me so emotional, thank you for everything! i don’t want to drag on but i love you โค๏ธโค๏ธ

  2. Tara says:

    Happy belated birthday to Hamdah! I think it’s great you guys have been friends for seven years now! Good friends are hard to find, but it looks like you two are going to be tight for life ๐Ÿ˜€

    Italian cuisine is definitely one of my favourites ๐Ÿ˜€ There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself at a pricey place. We all need to have something good every once in a while.

    Regarding the drinks thing — jeebus! I get water because it’s free and because it’s good to stay hydrated! Sometimes I don’t want something to drink other than that. It’s good you stayed true to yourself and while you were embarrassed then, I’m glad you’re not going to let it bother you now!

    All the food looks good ๐Ÿ˜€ The place looks really nice for a fancy night out! Good of you to share the place with your bestie! And I am so glad you have a friend like Hamdah. Having that one friend really makes a difference! <3

  3. Gillan says:

    Belated happy birthday to Hamdah! You both looked gorgeous. You definitely celebrated her 21st birthday in style <3
    I love French and Italian food. There's this one Italian restaurant my boyfriend and I go to whenever we go to the movies because it's beside it and the food is so good. Italian pasta is the best; it's (literally) the O.G. pasta.
    Also, that dessert! What is it called? I need it in my life!
    Congratulations also to your recent accomplishments. I'm so proud of you girl!

  4. Michelle says:

    Beautiful post <3 Happy Belated Birthday to Hamdah!

  5. Nancy says:

    Congratulations on all of your achievements this week! It’s great to see your hard work paying off and people recognizing it (esp. with the internship offer). You go, Pauline! Hope you’re seeing your efforts being worthwhile as well :).

    I love the friendship you have with Hamdah. Keep on supporting each other! You’re too sweet for taking her out to eat at a delish Italian place.

    OMG. I am always a bit picky of where I sit because the extra lighting makes a big difference! There’s nothing wrong if you choose to only drink water at a fancy restaurant. I’ve done that several times and my excuse was: “I need to drive home.” Good that you stick to what you want! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s great that you both enjoyed your time at the restaurant! I’m so happy to hear that she’s been helping you progress throughout your journey!

    PS. I adore your accents!!!!

  6. Chynna says:

    I’m crying because Hamdah is such a babe and I can’t wait to meet both of you in June <3 <3 <3 I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED.

    I loved following your birthday celebration on Snapchat. You guys are honestly the cutest, and I love that you got all dressed up and I love how hype each other and support each other and ugh. You guys give me so much love.

    The Italian place you took Hamdah looks amazing (hint, hint, when I eventually come to Sheff, we're going there right?). I love the fairy lights in the window and the fact that you managed to wrangle good seats to get them fiyah selfies ๐Ÿ˜‚

    โ€œYou DO KNOW itโ€™s a FRIDAY night, right?โ€ – this is rude and presumptuous that everyone drinks on a Friday night. I would have told on him – I hate attitudes like that. Let people be! They're the ones out and having fun, so they are allowed to do what THEY want. Jeeze.



  7. Amy says:

    It’s so sweet that you took Hamdah out for her birthday. Major friend goals right there! I love that you picked a table that was perfect for photo taking – can tell you’re a blogger!

    I love Italian food so much. My fave Italian is also called Gigi’s! Definitely not the same one, but there’s something in that name. The food looks delicious. I want that dessert so much!

    Glad to hear you both enjoyed yourselves. I love the video you made. You two are so cute!

  8. Georgie says:

    Hahaha that video was 100% entertaining. I didnโ€™t get to catch all of that on social media so thank you for making the video. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love your accents (I bet you knew I couldnโ€™t get through a comment without saying that ๐Ÿ˜›)

    Itโ€™s really lovely to have really close friends you can confide in and who also support you during the roughest of times. ๐Ÿ’– Iโ€™m glad you had a gal friend there for you in the past tough year. Hamdah definitely deserved to be spoiled on her birthday.

    I had some fancy Italian last night! Shitโ€™s expensive but most of the time itโ€™s worth it. Especially for Italian, in my opinion. I also FEEL YOU on the risotto. Most of the time I feel really grossed out after having a small serving of risotto, the bleh feeling is legit. I donโ€™t usually eat a lot of carbs but even when I did, risotto still didnโ€™t sit well. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I usually just order water; I have to be in a certain ~mood~ to want wine or anything. Plus, not everyone drinks, or even drinks regularly. Some people are also picky with their drinks!

    Love your dress ๐Ÿ˜ You deserve to show off that bod! I donโ€™t work my back out much ahahahah for me itโ€™s the toned arms w0o0ooooo0o0o. I did shoulders yesterday though, which is a first for me ๐Ÿ˜Ž