Friday, 26 December 2014

Dubai in photos

A few weeks ago, I went to Dubai with my mother. Needless to say, it was my idea of heaven - lovely people, perfect weather (25 degrees), luxurious as well as scrumptious food. 

My mother and I decided to make the most of each day as we were only there for seven days. We stayed at  The Oberoi hotel. I booked this hotel because it was close to the tourist attractions in Dubai and it is also renowned for its' food and great service. This hotel exceeded my expectations - I would recommend this hotel if you want to go to Dubai.

Here are some photos from my trip:

On the first day my mother and I went on a 'Dhow Cruise':

The next day, we decided to go to Dubai Mall:
Yes, they have an aquarium inside the mall!
 The mall was very grande, and very expensive. We just looked around and didn't buy anything - most of the shops in the mall can be found in London anyway (for a lot less money)

We also embarked on a city tour in Dubai:

The Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world!
The Burj Al-Arab - the first seven star hotel in the world

 The breakfast in the Oberoi hotel was to die for:

 We also went to eat dinner at Pai Thai which is in Al-Qasr hotel - you can access the hotel by boat. It was the most surreal experience - the food was delicious too. We were also given a free fruit platter too ;)

We went to Meena Bazaar (a place in Dubai which is full of sari shops). I ended up buying my wedding and reception outfit (it is not the one in the photo below)

 We went on a desert safari in Dubai. I have been to plenty of jeep safaris, and I was not impressed with this one. It wasn't scary enough and the entertainment afterwards was pretty boring.

 Have you been to Dubai before?

My daily bowl of porridge

For twenty three years I have been having the same breakfast every single day - a cup of Indian tea and toast with margarine. By 9.30 in the morning I am normally starving and end up snacking on a cereal bar. I decided I had enough and I wanted something that will keep me fuller for longer. 

I was inspired by Gemsmaquillage, and decided to make something similar myself.

You will need:
  • 1/2 cup of porridge oats ( I am going to switch over to gluten free soon to help with digestion)
  • Milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • Banana (preferably ripe)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds 
  • Blueberries
  • Baobab powder
  • Cinnamon

1) I start of by heating the oats and adding enough almond milk to cover the oats

2) I then mash a banana and add it into the porridge. The banana makes the porridge taste so much better!

3) I also like to add the almond butter, coconut oil and honey
4)The porridge only takes a few minutes to make! I like to add pumpkin seeds, blueberries and cinnamon and baobab powder to it :)

This only takes 5 minutes to make. The porridge keeps me full for hours (I have breakfast at 6.45am and I end up eating a snack at 11.30am - not bad!). Also, it's absolutely delicious and I look forward to a warming bowl of porridge every morning.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Zara Night Eau De Parfum

I really love Zara clothing - the quality is great, and the style of their clothes is so current, but I never thought I would end up buying perfume from there!

A few months ago, my sister came home with a perfume - my mum and I fell in love with it straight away, and we were shocked to find out that it only cost £10.

The next time I went to Zara, I picked it up, but in a bigger size (80ml) for £15. The smaller size (40ml) costs £10. You can even purchase it from the website (they have recently added the perfumes on their website)

I love the packaging - the gold stickers on the side are a little tacky but it looks very similar to the Chanel Chance perfume bottle.

The top note is Bergamot, the middle note is Peony and the base note is Vanilla. My mother detests the smell of vanilla but she seems to love this perfume.

 I think the perfume is perfect for a night out! Plus, because it's such good value for money, I feel comfortable enough to take it on holiday with me!

Have you ever tried a perfume by Zara?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Marshmallow Blends Review

 It's Autumn now and there's nothing better than treating yourself to a pamper evening. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to buy some pamper products from Marshmallow Blends, which is owned by fellow blogger Nicola. Nicola creates all the products herself and does not use nasty chemicals like parabens or SLS (which I see a lot of in Lush!). She sells body butters, soaps, shower fluffs, candles, wax tarts, body scrubs, lip butters and so on.

Here is what I purchased:

Pink Sugar Shower Fluff  (£6) - this has a consistency of the inside of a marshmallow. I simply rub it in my hand and apply it on my body when I have a shower. It smells wonderful and moisturises my skin too! The smell is exactly the same as the Pink Sugar perfume (which I used to wear a lot)

Pink Sugar Body Butter (£6) - this body butter is divine. The packaging is a lot smaller than I expected therefore I am only going to use it only once a week. I used this today and my skin feels so soft right now. It has a consistency of candle wax, but once you touch it, it melts on your skin. When I run out of this, I am going to purchase the Parma Violets body butter - yum! 

I also decided to treat myself to some wax tarts! I am slightly obsessed with wax tarts lol

3) ParaSoy Melt in Snow Fairy (£1.50) - I am burning this right now. If you are a fan of Lush' Snow Fairy Shower cream then you will love this wax tart - it smells exactly like it! I am so impressed!

4) Pink Sugar Wax melts (£3.50) - I love these, I tried one the other day and it made my room smell like Pink Sugar (perfume). There are lots of different scents you can have it in too - the next one I am going to purchase is the Vanilla and Honey one

5) Lemon Sugar owl wax melt (£2) - I haven't used this yet but I will let you know on Twitter!
What are your favourite products for a pamper evening?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Wild Food Cafe

A few months ago, I considered becoming a vegan. I then realised that I loved cheese and chocolate too much lol! 

Having said that, my aim is to try out more vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

I ended up going to a vegan/ vegetarian restaurant back in August after seeing a delightful review by my favourite food blogger, Ella (Deliciously Ella)

The name of the restaurant was the Wild Food Cafe, which is situated in the colourful and quirky side street called 'Neal's Yard' (near Covent garden station).  They specialise in raw cuisine.

I ended up trying the 'Wild Pizza Special' which contained dairy free coconut cheeze, wild sea purslane, basil pesto, tomato, goji berry marinara, olives and artichoke. The sides included avocados and spiralised courgettes (delicious!). I actually enjoyed this dish, although I still prefer normal pizza to raw pizza! This meal did fill me up for hours though - I was too full to eat dinner.

My brother ended up having the 'Wild Burger' (shiitake, raw olive and dulse burger) with salsa, onions and lettuce. Sweet potato fries were also given - these were to die for! I need to learn how to make these myself.

My brother and I also tried the 'Forgotten ecstasy smoothie' which contained raw cacao liquor, cacao nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, almonds, figs and date. This smoothie was slightly on the warm side which was off putting!  

Would I go here again?

Yes. I would love to try the sweet potato fries again and maybe try a dessert! The staff in the cafe were extremely passionate and helpful.

Have you been to any vegan or vegetarian restaurants?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Green monster - revisited again!

I love making smoothies and juices. They taste delicious, are quick to make and they are full of nutrients. 
One of my favourites is the green monster smoothie which I have blogged about twice (here and here). The green monster smoothie is very nourishing and filling.

 To make my favourite smoothie you will need:

1) Frozen bananas - these tastes so much better than normal bananas in a smoothie. It is also better to add frozen bananas as adding ice to the smoothie can make it watery. I like to prepare the smoothies by cutting three to four bananas and freezing them on a Sunday - that way I am good to go for the rest of the week

2) 1 cup of milk. I prefer using almond or coconut milk as I am lactose intolerant

3) I cup of kale or spinach.  I prefer kale because it lasts longer than spinach. Don't worry if you do not like the taste of kale or spinach as you will not be able to taste it.

4) You can add extras too. I love adding a quarter of a cup of oats, a tablespoon of almond butter and a teaspoon of honey (I replace normal honey with manuka honey if I am feeling unwell). Other extra that you could add: coconut oil, chia seeds, flax seeds and bee pollen. If you do not like the taste of bananas, you can add vanilla extract to mask the taste.

5) Blend all of the ingredients. I tend to blend it for about 40 seconds in the Vitamix : 

 6) And Voila, you should have enough to pour in two glasses.

What is your favourite smoothie?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Denman tangle smoother review

 Having long, thick hair is a nightmare at times! I struggle to tame my hair because it is full of tangles.

I was recently sent this Denman Tangle Smoother to test out. This brush is a god send! I normally brush my hair when it is wet, brushing from the bottom, and then brushing the top half of my hair - I have noticed that this technique works better with my unruly hair! 

I love the colour of the brush too - it stands out amongst my hair care products. There's also a yellow version (note - I took the photos of the tangle smoother before I tested it out). I wish there was a way to fold this to make it travel friendly.

This is the best type of brush if you have long, thick hair, if you wear extensions or a wig, or if your hair is full of tangles. The metal pins do a great job in smoothing your hair. It can even be used to massage the scalp.

It can be purchased from the Denman website.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Daisy Dream

One of the best things about going on holiday is duty free shopping! A few weeks ago, I picked up 'Daisy Dream' which is Marc Jacob's latest addition to their blooming wonderful perfume collection!

The first thing that I love about this perfume is the bottle. It is the most beautiful perfume bottle I have ever seen, and it also looks great in my room. I think I will keep the perfume on show even after I have used it up! I have an obsession with anything baby blue at the moment! 

 The top notes are grapefruit, pear and blackberry
The middle notes are wisteria, jasmine and lichi
The bottom notes are whitewood, musk and coconut

I find it quite similar to the Daisy 'Eau so fresh' perfume, but this one has more of a 'floral' scent. It's the perfect daytime scent in my opinion!

Have you tried this perfume?

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Current Candle Favourites

Nothing can stop me from burning candles, not even the warm weather we have in England!  When I get home from a stressful day at work, I treat myself by burning a candle. I find this a lot better than treating myself to a bar of chocolate! 

I am currently loving the White Chocolate Mint candle. When I first lit the candle, I found that the smell wasn't strong enough, but eventually the scent got stronger. I also love the the jar - it looks so much better than the typical Yankee candle jars! This would make a lovely gift in my opinion. The one below costs £10.

I am going to keep the jar when the candle runs out to store cotton wool or cotton buds!
I also love the Beach Flowers candle. My father loves the scent of this - and believe me, he rarely compliments my candles lol! This is the perfect scent for Spring and Summer. I also love candles with two or three wicks - they just look better.. and more romantic too! This candle cost £15! The candles in the jars last for ages - sometimes even 6 months, so they are good value for money.

The downside of burning candles in my room are the stains - mainly from using matches! This is why I am so happy to have a candle lighter - which is designed to light up deep jars!

You may have seen these gorgeous little wax tarts features on my instagram. I am obsessed about them! They cost a little over a pound and the scent is so strong! My favourite one at the moment is Margarita Time - it smells so tropical - ideal for the summer months! I have yet to burn Cranberry pear and black plum blossom. 

All of these can be purchased from The Scented Candle Shop (link!). I find this website great because they have a wide variety of candles, wax tarts and accessories, and the website is cheaper than the official Yankee website. They also do a price match scheme which is awesome!