Tag Archives: tips

Dubai take three

So we recently had a super short break in Dubai- 5 nights to be precise. It was not our first visit so we were pretty clued about about how to get around, which were the better areas to stay in etc. I booked everything myself as usual because I had Hilton Honours points that I wanted to use and because Hubby’s Standard Bank U counts leisure desk was giving us the best price on our Emirate Airline tickets.

Okay so tickets- Emirates booked via the Ucount leisure desk – 30% off (yay). This was very easy to book and the consultants are super patient. Visas were done on the Emirates website and we received these 3 days after applying online.

I promised hubby that It would be a relaxing holiday with lots of recreational activities (not just shopping 😬) , this is why I chose Hilton the Walk on Jbr. There are 3 hiltons at JBr- the hilton jumeirah beach, the walk and a double tree- the double tree does not have the best location. The hilton hotel jumeirah beach has the best location right on the beach but it is a normal hotel with hotel rooms, the walk behind it/linked to it has Hilton apartments -upto 4 bedroom- has their own pool but you are welcome to use all the amenities at the other Hilton as well as the private beach.

<<<

we departed SA at 10:20 pm and arrived in Dubai at 8:20 am Friday morning. I had asked Hilton to please try to give us an early checkin so that The boys could nap before Jumah – they made no promises but said it would be subject to availability- we were delighted when our 3 bedroom sea facing unit was ready for us when we arrived. I forgot to mention that we just grabbed a taxi at the airport ( beige and red- not private).

The apartment was incredibly spacious, beautiful, had a great view, large kitchen and a washing machine with washing powder provided! Guys had a rest before Salaah and then prayed at a masjid just behind the hotel. After jumah a family member picked us up for a delicious South African meal at The Marina. After lunch the guys were still knackered so they slept while my sis and I decided to beat the scorching heat with a swim in the hotel pool. We also squeezed in a short shopping spree at Sephora at The Beach mall infront of our hotel.

<<<<<<<<<<

our sunset swim was amazing! And after a shower and change we all headed to Aprons and Hammer (at The Beach) for a delicious Seafood supper. The sizzling summer app had a 20% discount for this restaurant which was indeed welcome as they are a bit on the pricey side. Everything on the menu was fantastic- we had the Seafood Paella, Lobster thermidor, calamari starter and blazing hot wings. Their portions are large and though primarily a seafood restaurant, they also have burgers and steaks on the menu.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

he following morning we woke up relatively early and headed to the Hilton private beach- the water was so warm- I was pleasantly surprised – think Warmbaths outdoor pool – there are many water sports/activities on offer- plenty of shaded loungers and a little kiosk selling drinks, ice creams and meals right on the sand. This was one of my most favourite days in Dubai and I wish that we had a bit more time to enjoy the water. Famished from our swim, we decided to grab some Shake Shack for lunch , the sizzling summer app included a voucher for a free Red Velvet Sundae. Shake shack never dissapoints and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We then headed for another dip and then it was time to head over to Dubai Parks and Resorts.

<<<<<<<<<<<

e caught a cab (lined up infront of the hotel) to Dubai Parks and Resorts and arrived at about 5pm. We had to hop onto a shuttle to Motiongate. We used the entertainer app vouchers- buy one get one free for two parks and decided to include Bollywood Park.

Motiongate is based on Cartoons and Movies eg Madagascar, Smurfs, hotel transylvania, Shrek etc and they were busy constructing a Hunger Games section too. There are many theme park rides eg rollercoasters for adrenaline junkies but plenty for scaredy cats like me too 😁. There are plenty of food outlets available inside the park and you would need about 4 to 5 hours here in offpeak season when there are no queues – in December I don’t even want to think about how long those queues will be! On average our waiting times for rides was 5-15 mins. Park opens at 3 and closes at 10pm. I definitely recommend Motiongate for kids and adults both.

We ended up spending more time that anticipated at Motiongate and at 9:30pm sprinted to Bollywood Park for a quick run through and meal. We caught a fun live street show on entrance. Bollywood park is very small in comparison to Motiongate and I think 2 hours here will be fine , unless you plan on watching many live performances- we missed the hall of heroes and I’m quite curious to know what’s in there- if you’ve been please comment and let me know what we missed.

Another theme park that we didn’t manage to catch was IMG world which I hope to try sometime soon. I was totally dissapointed that Miracle Gardens and Global village are seasonal and thus closed in August- they reopen in November.

We were meant to have supper at ‘Last Exit’ which is a bunch of funky food trucks but unfortunately did not make it here. The sizzling summer app had quite a few discount coupons for many of the outlets.

I also skipped going to Abu Hail for abayas as I honestly had to many with being spoiled by Arabics. Just to let you know that this is the best place to get your abayas.

The next morning was checkout day but my sis and I decided to head early to outlet village- situated next to Dubai Parks and Resorts. I wish that we had more time here! We speed shopped in two hours- found some amazing items at great prices – I definitely recommend this place – I usually go to Outlet mall – I like the Nyaomi outlet , getting my suitcases here as well as the shoe stores here but we skipped it this time jn favour of The outlet village- completely different stores but you can definitely pick up great bargains – Jimmy Choos, Alexander McQueen, DKNY, Ted Baker etc.

We rushed back to the hotel, checked out, grabbed a bite at Tim Hortons at the bottom of our hotel and made our way to our second hotel – the Pullman Residences Dubai creek city Centre. I booked this on the Club Accor App and got a great deal being a loyalty member , which included breakfast. We had a very pleasant check in experience with an upgrade to a room with creek view. Our 2 bedroom apartment was extraordinary and attached to Deira city centre- this allowed me to shop while the guys rested/ got ready. My back was killing me and I decided to take advantage of the Summer Sale at the spa – 50% off treatments booked before 2pm.

There’s a Carrefour at Deira City Centre – we stocked up our fridge and got some snacks here and enjoyed a hearty meal at Bombay Chowpatty – amazing South Indian cuisine – Dosas, chicken Tikkas, Pani puri etc. full review is up on my instagram page.

The next morning we enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at the hotel, after which I headed to the mall for some retail therapy. We then headed to Mirdif Mall where we proceeded to try out Ifly – indoor sky diving. This is something you have to experience atleast once in your life. We used the entertainer app buy one get one free and this included a high fly experience. A fun experience for all ages! We were dissapointed that their printer wasn’t working and so we left without our pics. Supper was a quick but vert tasty Johnny Rockets before we headed out to the Mall of the Emirates. Nb: Debenhams at Mirdif Mall stocks Aab 😉.

At MoE we headed for Ski Dubai utilising the entertainer app once again for a buy one get one free deal. Free gloves are provided – make sure to carry a beanie/neck scarf as it’s freezing inside (as expected- it is snow). We had a fantastic time on the rides, queues were short so we didn’t really have to wait. We spent about 90-120 minutes here-after a while we couldn’t feel our toes and needed to leave. This is definitely another Must do in Dubai atleast once.

On our last day in Dubai we headed to City Walk for lunch intending to try out Farzi (every South African suggested this place) but ended up at Harper’s Bazaar instead. In my opinion City Walk is way over hyped, stores are expensive with no sales and I honestly didn’t understand the point of coming here. The meal was enjoyed, we were grateful for another 20% off our meal with the sizzling summer app.

Next stop – a birthday supper at Dubai Mall – at Tgi Fridays. We enjoyed a little retail therapy then proceeded to dinner. First time ever that there was no waiting list for the balcony- the heat may have something to do with it but also I loved being in Dubai in this offpeak season- no waits/queues, eid sales everywhere, sizzling summer specials – really great time to be in Dubai- and I loved the weather!

Our table overlooked the Dubai musical Fountain, food was the best (as always) – the best meal I had in Dubai! Full review on my instagram. The mall closed at 12 am due to eid being around the corner but I don’t like shopping at this mall- its too confusing and there weren’t any great sales… other malls also had better stock.

We had intended to have dessert again at switch and we just didnt get the time. Also Ravis was again high on our list but we skipped it with the limited time. My 2015 Dubai trip is still on my instagram – but in brief- Atlantis , Ibn Battuta mall (supper at Slap fish me) , Naif souk, metro travelling, souk madinat jumeirah and Deira creek Abra with shopping at the spice and textile souks and Dubai Marina Mall are a few highlights from the previous trip.

Ps:

The entertainer app costs 66 usd , sizzling summer app was free. Also be sure to check out all the discounts offered if you present your emirates boarding pass at certain restaurants and attractions- can be found on emirates website.

Advertisements

Glow essentials

Recently I've had several requests from people to please share my beauty regimen with you guys as they've noticed that my skin was looking quite glowy and healthy.

In all honesty, I have had what for me is quite bad skin this past month, as a result of my hormones being all over the place! I've had a pimple crop up every 10-14 days which is not normal for my skin. I've thus taken a bit of extra care of my skin and even with those concerns, managed to maintain healthy, glowing skin.

So my latest beauty regimen consists of Gardenia and Argan eye and face cream from the Argan Co-op in Essaouira , Morocco. Unfortunately this is not available in SA.

I have been using the infinity Crystal Blanc from Nadia Motala Hair and beauty for the last 2 months- I don't use them every day, instead every second day and sometimes if I forget to use them then 2 at a time! I'm convinced that this together with the drip that I had at Reviv in Umhlanga, is why I did not get sick this winter even though EVERYONE around me had the worst bout of flu that stuck around for 2 full weeks! These patches are great for achieving even toned skin and I've even noticed my slight pigmentation get a bit lighter now. They're hailed as a lightening patch to lighten the skin and if you're following me for a while you know I'm totally against promoting skin lightening however, I feel that what this does is give you a bright, glowy look – for instance how your skin looks after a steam facial – even toned, bright and healthy.

My other new fave product right now is from Muse Beauty. The Farsali 24 k Rose Gold Elixir. This is the key to faking the glow even if you don't have it. Use it before you apply your foundation to help you stay hydrated and achieve that sun-kissed glow

My skin just soaks this up without leaving an oily layer or any discomfort. It's suitable for all skin types and is packed with Rosehip oil, vitamin E oil, 24 K gold etc to fight off aging, help with pigmentation and stretch marks. You can even add a few drops to your foundation. So lightweight and deeply nourishing and hydrating.

What I also do is make sure to use a mask atleast every 10-15 days . Right now I'm using The Ordinary , peeling solution (from Muse Beauty) once a month alternating with a sheet mask , Tony Moly (from Muse Beauty) or any of those available from Shades of Mink.

Before bed I apply Superskin Elixir from Phytocare and allow that to work it's magic while I dream! So you see , great skin takes work and is totally possible even when your skin is bent on being a pain in the butt! I forgot to mention that I absolutely make sure to remove all my makeup before bed and use a mildly exfoliating face scrub daily whilst showering (Rooibos or Nivea). And don't forget the sunscreen!

Hope you enjoyed this , let me know what else you'd like to read in the comments below.

Tips for newbie bloggers

My inbox is filled with requests for tips on how to run a successful blog/become an influencer. It all depends though how you define success – for me I’m very impressed with where my instagram account is at right now – for some the amount of money I make off my account may not= success.

What you do need to realise is that I never had any intentions of being a blogger – I simply put out what I loved and people were drawn to it – so right there is my first tip- do what you love and don’t try to be like everyone else. Since I never had any intentions of being ‘the next Ascia or Dina Torkia’, I’m quite happy moving at my own pace and having fun with my blog- the less ‘work’ it entails and the more fun it is , the more pleased I am. 

What is success to me? Helping people embrace and love their hijab and modest dressing. Providing a platform for Promotion of local modest fashion designers and I won’t lie, I love reviewing and styling items – so to me the monetary aspect isn’t much of a concern. If you plan on making a living off your blog you need to realise that you will need to invest alot of time and money into it – from photographers to products and clothing.

My options are limited due to where I live (there is one photographer in a town not too far away but her work is very average) , I can’t attend most blogger meetups and events and working 6 days a week, time is not on my side. If you live in a city try and collaborate with upcoming photographers for a free or really cheap photoshoot.  You don’t have to invest in a costly camera and equipment- my pics are taken with my cellphone and I’ve managed just fine- lighting is key though and my worst pics are usually because I’ve finished work late and had to take pics after sunset. 
The best time to take pics? Before 8am or after 3pm usually. 

I’ve never approached or emailed businesses to ask them for items but many bloggers do. Please always try to be polite if you do and realise that some businesses are run by single mums/divorced women or women who run households that desperately needs a second income- don’t be demanding they may not be able to afford your requests.. perhaps leave it up to them to suggest items and pick from there. 
Reply to emails , dms and answer (reasonable) questions that your followers/fans pose. You have to engage with your followers.

Accept that not everyone will like you of your style- you are not nutella (although, there are people out there who don’t like Nutella!!). You will encounter nasty comments, criticism, people creating fake profiles just to spread hate and people who befriend you for all the wrong reasons. Be wary.
Be very careful who you share your ideas with – people are not afraid to shamelessly copy. 

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers – we all have to start somewhere and blogging can be quite cutthroat- we will never have contentment if you stalk and compare- just be yourself and do you.
It’s really easy to start to compromise your beliefs and lower your personal standards when you see ‘what everyone else is doing’- try to be tough and not bend into peer pressure – you don’t have show more skin, advocated haraam or do what everyone else is doing to be accepted – there are literally too many people out there that all look the same (different versions of the Kardashians) or all dress the same but there’s not another one of you – embrace your uniqueness.
You will drive yourself crazy if you obsess over stats – appreciate and interact with the followers you have and just concentrate on the followers you DO have. 

A beautiful feed (which I find so difficult to do) is really popular and great to look at. 

 Hashtags are your friend- use them. Tag pages that might repost your pic- it’s the fastest way to new followers. 
I delayed starting a blog and really didn’t want to but there’s only so much you can type under a pic on instagram so if you plan to give detailed reviews or pen your thoughts- definitely get a blog- there are many free hosts.