My blog and all of its content have finally made it onto my server. Please update your bookmarks and links to http://www.laislique.com/blog if you would like to continue reading my blog. Same content, just with a new address and shiny layout.



Last year, I made a list of what I thought would be good gifts for the adjunct, Middle Eastern dancer, or grad student in your life. Although last year’s list is still full of good ideas in my biased opinion, this year’s list reflects where I am and what I’m looking for. What can I say, I was inspired by Oprah’s Favorite Things (one of my holiday guilty pleasures).

For the grad student

  • Coffee gift certificates/maker/coffee itself. I’ve begun drinking coffee again, and I attribute it to being back in school.
  • Printer ink and paper. I’ve used one cartridge of ink this semester, and I’ve been fairly conservative with printing. Printer ink is expensive, and I’d be elated to have that as a gift. My paper supply is being depleted, as well.
  • Massage. I’ve been pretty good about taking care of myself, but I know some people experience all sorts of back issues and other aches from poor computer posture.
  • Restaurant certificates. I’ve eaten out a bit more than I care to admit. I get back from class rather late, and sometimes, I’m just too tired to cook. Food is always welcome in my house.

For the Middle Eastern dancer

  • Props. About a week or two ago, I splurged on some beautiful Isis wings from Ayshe. While I believe that they are worth every dollar I spent (and unfortunately, I kind of want another pair), they were about $200. I’ve also been shopping around for a shamadan and a tray (not sure how much it’ll be). Other props dancers often love are veils (particularly silk) and zills. Even if you cannot afford the full cost, you could make a clever gift certificate good for x amount of dollars towards the item.
  • Costumes. As of this year, I’ve gotten into very light costume buying. Again, costumes are expensive, even if they are worth it. If you are unsure of what to buy someone or the size, you can again make your own gift certificate, though some vendors may offer gift certificates.
  • Jewelry. Along with costumes comes jewelry. It’s the icing on the cake, per se. I like my jewelry very sparkly and big.
  • Traincase for makeup. Another item I’m hunting for. Toting one’s makeup in a cosmetic bag isn’t cutting it for me any more; everything becomes jumbled up and harder to find. Caboodles, Sephora, and Yazmo all sell recommended traincases.
  • Suitcase and other prop cases. The suitcase is something I discovered works well to transport multiple costumes and accessories. Mine is ugly and not in great condition. With the Isis Wings, I now realized I need a good way to transport them places. I think a garment bag will work well, but on Friday, I saw how a dancer creatively made her own case out of cardboard boxes and duct tape.
  • Ranya Renee’s Taqasim DVD and misc. DVDs from Cheeky Girls Productions. Both have produced brilliant DVDs in the past full of good information, clear video, etc. Everything you could want in a good instructional dance DVD. Ranya Renee’s latest is very unique and is definitely on my list of things to buy. From Cheeky Girls Productions, there are many to pick from. I currently have a copy of the Icing on the Drum Solo to review, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen. On my list is Turn it Up! and Totally Turkish.