Weekend in Dubai Date Guide

Living in Dubai has countless of perks: everlasting sunny days, crisp blue beaches and delicious food from around the world to name a few. When the weekend in Dubai (finally) rolls in, the possibilities are endless.

One important thing I learned from Communications in Close Relationships at Michigan State University was that novelty and adventure strengthen emotions and bonds in loving relationships. Couples who do new and exciting things together intensify their feelings for each other. So here’s a list of non-typical date ideas for couples in Dubai. Some of these suggestions could work no matter where you live.

  1. Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre offers an Expressive Painting class that is great for de-stressing and is a fun bonding experience.
  2. During the cooler months of the year Wafi Mall schedules Movies under the stars once a week. It’s a welcome change from a closed theatre.
  3. Brunch truly is the best meal, so change it up and have your date during the day. You can try the most delicious Eggs Benedict at Maison Bagatelle in Downtown.
  4. Speaking of Downtown, the 8 Boulevard Walk turns into a twinkly light haven at night, perfect for a romantic stroll. If you get hungry during your walk feel free to choose from the line-up of tasty restaurants with charming outdoor seating.
  5. Take a romantic boat ride around the enchanting Madinat Jumeirah. A Venetian Gondola has nothing on this Abra Tour.
  6. Wishing there was snow? Just me? Chillout Bar at the Times Square Centre is perfect for your fix of low temperatures, icy surroundings and warm drinks.
  7. Not recommended for the faint of heart, this Hot Air Balloon ride sweeps you off your feet and whisks you to the beautiful part of the desert where you’ll be surrounded by fiery caramel sand dunes.
  8. Couples who cook together, stay together. Nobody actually said that and I don’t think it’s been proven yet, but this is sweet and simple. Fill the house with loud music and spend an hour or two in the kitchen making a love infused meal.

I hope you try one of these tips on your next weekend in Dubai.

xo Rania

Scrub and Polish ~ Part 2

Now that you are done with the exfoliating part, you will need to replenish with moisture. Keeping your skin hydrated allows it to heal any scars or cuts quickly and reduces bumps and ingrown hairs. There are two main things to look for in a cream/oil: A) Absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave it sticky, and B) Keeps the moisture locked in for at least 24 hours. I have tried quite a few products and these worked the best for me.

Scrub and polish part 2

 

  1. Vineyard Peach Body Butter, $20. While body butters are usually pretty heavy, The Body Shop offers a wide selection of fast absorbing and deliciously scented options.
  2. Grape Seed Oil, $15. This Cuccio grape seed oil is supposed to be a hand anti-oxidant but I have used it all over and it is amazing. The smell is gentle and gives the skin a boost. It can also help with ingrown hairs.
  3. Lubriderm, $13. Yes, this is a drugstore product and yes I cannot live without it. This is the best lotion I have ever used, it even keeps my feet smooth!
  4. Argan Oil, $15. You can read about my love for Argan oil here.
  5. Fleur Chérie Body Lotion$30. This is my favorite lotion from L’occitane. They have great variety and it depends on preference, but I love this one because it has a soft and floral smell and is light as air.

*Prices May Vary

Scrub and Polish ~ Part 1

Exfoliating is so important, especially during the dry and cold months of the year. It helps scrape off the dead cells and diminishes ingrown hairs, revealing lustrous skin. These are my five top favorite products to use for scrubbing. I will follow this post with one about my top 5 moisturizers.

Scrub

  1. Exfoliating Bath Gloves, $5. I started with this because I love using these gloves with any soap and I use it with most of the products I will talk about today. They are wonderful for all skin types, and while they are rough enough for an effective scrubbing they are gentle enough not to irritate the skin.
  2. Strawberry Polish, $20. This body polish produces a rich lather and contains crushed walnut shells and kiwi seeds which allows for a gentle scrub.
  3. Olive Body Scrub, $20. I was introduced to this olive scrub six years ago and I have not stopped using it since. It may not smell as great as the strawberry polish, but because of the crushed olive stones it completely smoothes away bumps and leaves you with soft and even skin immediately.
  4. Sultana of Soap, $7. This is definitely my favorite soap from Lush, and I love using it with the bath gloves. Other than the entrancing smell, it is the most moisturizing soap I have ever used. The gloves exfoliate while the soap adds hydration to the skin, making the perfect combination.
  5. Scrub of Your Life, $18. The tiny beads and creamy texture of this buffer slosh off the dry and rough layer of skin but are still gentle. A little bit goes a long with this and the smell is divine.

*Prices May Vary

 

Hot Cocoa for the Soul

Hot Cocoa
It is undeniable that I have recently become addicted to hot cocoa. There is nothing more comforting than being wrapped in the warmth of a satisfying cup of chocolate sweetness, and I can humbly say I have perfected a delicious yet healthy recipe for it. Hot cocoa is a great source for antioxidants among many other health benefits which you can read about here. The important thing is to use ingredients that will not outweigh the advantages.

What you will need:

photo 10

 

  •  250 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 sprinkles of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic honey

Serving Size: 1

Feel free to add more honey for sweetness based on your preference. I hope you enjoy this delectable drink as much as I do!

 

‘The Collection’ by Miss Selfridge

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of The Collection at Miss Selfridge (The Dubai Mall), hosted in collaboration with Grazia Middle East. The event displayed a range of Limited Edition items including dresses, jumpsuits, shoes and accessories all in a variety of pink and peach hues.

I arrived at Miss Selfridge and was greeted with the sounds of the DJ’s blazing music. The store was adorned with spring blossoms and orchids, while the staff offered sweet treats, all to match the feminine theme of their new range. After a few minutes of browsing, I noticed the place was buzzing with staff mingling, photographers snapping pictures and ladies perusing the racks.

The Collection was in line with the feminine and chic style that we are used to seeing from Miss Selfridge. The presence of floral pinks, salmon and coral were dominant and gave off the obvious spring vibe, with a few pops of purple and metallic blush. You can browse through the pictures below which will surely make you crave a trip to the mall. More pictures available here as well. Enjoy!

Paint the Town Blue

Spring is near and although the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, I am completely smitten with shades of cobalt blue. This is a pretty vibrant color and it is important to wear it in the right doses. Cobalt blue goes particularly well with trickles of gold, white or black. Here are my top picks below!

cobalt-page0001

  1. BCBG Madge Strapless Dress, $149
  2. Forever21 Faceted Bib Necklace, $8.80
  3. Miss Selfridge Snake Jacquard Shorts, $53
  4. Oasis Snakeskin Leather Watch, $66
  5. Zara Clutch, $48
  6. Aldo Ocaria Pump, $70
  7. Chanel Le Vernis in Bel Argus, $27
  8. Kendra Scott ‘Danielle’ Earrings, $60

*Prices May Vary

The Dewy Skin Mask

When I was young, my mom was very adamant about keeping me from using foundations and creams on my face and assured me I can achieve dewy skin naturally. She always preferred the natural look and encouraged me to use home remedies instead. I’ve been using yogurt-based face masks ever since I was 13 years old, and they always does wonders for my skin. This particular mask is by far the best I have ever tried and I always go back to it. It helps dry up acne, diminishes scars and leaves the skin with a soft glow and a dewy look. I highly recommend you give it a try and I promise you will love it!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • a dash of cinnamon (optional)

Natural Mask

First, Put the yogurt in a bowl and mix it up until it’s smooth. Then in a second bowl, separate about 2 tablespoons of an egg white. Drop the egg white into the yogurt and whisk them together.

Home Remedies

After you’ve combined the egg whites and yogurt,  start drizzling some honey over the mix.

DIY

Finally for an added kick of potency, add a pinch of cinnamon.

Dewy Skin Mask

Whisk them all together and apply on your face with a cotton swab or foundation brush. Leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes. You should feel it tighten on your face. I like to remove it with a sponge for some extra exfoliation. It is quite smelly, but so worth it!

Dewy Skin Mask

*Watch out not to get any yolk in the mix or that could cause your face to break out. Also, make sure you don’t have any allergies or sensitivity from cinnamon.

I hope you try this dewy skin mask and love it as much as I do. Let me know if you like the results, I’d love to hear from you!

xo Rania

Cardigan from Violetta by Mango. For more on Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, and Travel.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

Argan Oil Hair and Skin Essentials

It is no surprise that Moroccan women have velvety skin, since they take extra measures to keep it beautiful. They also have access to a very potent natural ingredient, Argan oil. After hearing so many wonderful things about Argan Oil, I went on a complete frenzy. Of all the products I tried, these 3 were my absolute favorite.

1. Garnier’s Ultra Doux Argan Oil hair mask: When I got engaged, I grew my hair out for my wedding and it has been long ever since. Long hair is beautiful, but it requires extra care because it is more prone to hair fall and dryness. This hair mask leaves my hair smooth and supple(plus: it smells amazing!). I tried the shampoo and conditioner from this line, and they didn’t give me as good a result as the mask.

2. Larenim Pure Argan Oil: It doesn’t matter which brand you use as long as it is certified as 100% organic. The most thing I love about this oil is it barely has a scent. It is a little greasy when you first apply it, but your skin will absorb it really quickly and stay moisturized in dry climates. I haven’t tried this on my face, but I like to apply it to my arms, thighs and around my eyes too.

3. Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from Lush: This is one of the best products I have tried from Lush, It smells like rose jam and lasts for hours. Like the name suggests, it locks in moisture and leaves the skin feeling like silk. This body conditioner is infused with so many wonderful ingredients such as Glycerin, Almond oil, Shea Butter and more.

 

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

I absolutely love giving gifts, to pick out something unique and thoughtful that says: I know you so well. Of course, it is easier picking out gifts for the lovely ladies in our life than it is to find something for our special man. These ideas below are a great guideline when shopping for a gift this Valentine’s day. Whether it is the noise cancelling headset, a cozy robe or a monogrammed money clip I am sure he will love it. Here are my top picks for Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him:

  1. Beats Pill by Dr. Dre. $200
  2. Men’s Robe.$75
  3. Guess Diamond Accent Watch. $100
  4. Mophie Juicepack iPhone case. $75
  5. Michael Kors Woven Silk Tie. $55
  6. Monogrammed money clip, Things Remembered. $25
  7. Noise Cancelling Bose Headset. $300

*Prices May Vary

Girly Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Picking out gifts can be a little challenging if you do not have a wish list to refer to, so here is mine – just kidding. For the guys who have not picked out a Valentine’s day gift ideas for their sweethearts yet, here is a list I put together of some darling gift ideas.

  1. Victoria’s Secret makeup bag trio. $30
  2. Tiffany’s & Co. Arrow pendant. $175
  3. Miss Dior Chérie, Eau De Parfum. $125
  4. Fleur Chérie Shower Gel and Body Lotion. $60
  5. Kate Spade Kirk Park Little Shiloh. $98
  6. Bodum Eileen French Press in Gold. $59.95
  7. Ladurée Macaroons. $50
  8. Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush. $30

*Prices May Vary