Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I discovered a lovely little gem called The Face Shop. I went to the one in MCC but there are a few dotted around Dubai.
They have the most amazing nail polish colours. They also have this fab deal on where you can buy 3 nail polishes for 15 aed each and get one free.

I bought the following 4:
My favourite!
 Since I have a lot of time on my hands lately (ahem no more brunches!) I did my first piece of artwork on my nails. What do you think?

Monday, July 1, 2013

JW Marriott Evening Brunch

Yes Yes I haven't been blogging lately as I've been out brunching too much! So after the JW Marriott Brunch at The Marketplace I have decided it will be my last one for a while. Partly because it wasn't as amazing as the Mistral brunch and partly because I don't really eat that much!

On Thursday nights JW Marriott opens three of its restaurants for the brunch so you can taste different cuisines.
The Marketplace served international food and I enjoyed some of my Arabic favourites and a nice roast turkey dinner.
I then ventured into the German restaurant...then walked straight out. A massive red sign saying PORK scared me away.
I then excitedly went into the Bamboo lagoon which served Asian food. I had squid, shrimp, crispy duck and pancakes etc It was my favourite!
I then wanted some dessert, which was situated in the scary German restaurant. I bravely went and got some creme brulee and brownie cake. However I was convinced there was alcohol in some of the desserts so I stayed away. (Probably wasn't I was just being paranoid...PORK).

Anyway as soon as I got home I was itching terribly! I went to sleep thinking nothing of it. I then woke up the next morning with a rash all over my body and realised it was because I was allergic to shrimp! Ahhh!
I took an antihistamine and felt much better.

So no more brunches for me for a while....Ramadan's coming up...Iftar buffet's galore...why do I love food so much?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mistral Evening Brunch

I'm not a brunch type person...obviously don't drink alcohol so I have never been interested in attending the many Dubai Friday brunches. However I am interested in good food and had heard great reviews about Mistral at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel so I decided to go.
Usually brunches are held during the day but a few places are now offering evening brunches. Mistral's Evening surf n turf brunch cost 190 aed for a non alcoholic package and is in the Entertainer too.
They also offer free valet parking.

The brunch was amazing! They had so many different stations- the sushi counter was one of my favourites. They also had a raw meat counter where you chose your own meat and had it grilled to order.
The mini pizzas were delicious- I had 3! I also tried veal for the first time and went back for a second helping.

The desserts were yummy! I had my favourite tiramisu, mini creme brulee, green tea opera cake and the most divine chocolate lava cake. Salivating right now!

I have decided that this will be the place to take visitors when they come to Dubai! Also because I really want to go again! Anyone for brunch next Friday?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dhow Cruise

This week I went on my first Dhow Cruise.
It was aboard the flashy Rikks Floating Restaurant.
The ride around the Creek was actually really nice at night and was so relaxing. The buffet food was good with a very small selection of mostly Asian/Arabic food. We were served one soft drink and water and there was no dessert. Disappointing!
There was a party of 15 of us but we could not all sit on the same table as it would cause the boat to sink to one side. They did not inform us of that when we booked.

I actually did have a great time because I was with my friends, however I won't be using the same company again as they were a bit of a let down. There was entertainment for about 3 minutes. It was a weird tanura spinning man...at the end he made his skirt into a baby. The music stopped and all you could hear was a baby crying...disturbing!

So this is my actual first negative review of a place! Shocking! The only thing I enjoyed was the scenery of the Creek and my friends company. I will be visiting the Creek this weekend just for a nice stroll, and will be avoiding Rikks!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ramadan's coming!!!

Can you smell it?
Can you feel it?
Can you taste it?
Ramadan is coming!

I was speaking to my sister the other day and I said, 
'Do you know what it feels like?' 
And she instantly said 'Ramadan!' 
I don't know what it is but it feels like that time of year again and I am so excited!

I have enjoyed Ramadan in Dubai for the past 3 years, much more than I did in the U.K. I love the atmosphere and the energy.
I know Ramadan is not about the food, but I absolutely love cooking meals for my family to enjoy after sunset. I usually make a photo folder with all my Ramadan recipes...might make a Ramadan blog this year too.

This is really bad but...I adore the Arabic programmes during Ramadan. Astagfirullah but why do they play amazing programmes during Ramadan?!?!
Khawater, Shaabeyat al Cartoon, Freej, all of the dramatic maselselat.
I plan on going to all Taraweeh prayers Inshallah and reading the whole Qur'an. My advice to anyone is don't waste this upcoming month. Don't waste the 30 days on sleeping and eating then having that horrible feeling of guilt when it is all over.

Ramadan is the month of blessings and forgiveness. How will you spend it?

Monday, June 3, 2013

~Gym Diaries~

I joined the gym! I have been going to the gym for a month now and I am actually enjoying it!
A couple of friends joined after me and I have found it useful to have them to support me to go after work.
I have to say I am not the type of girl to go on the machines, but I love the classes! In a class you can't actually stop for fear of being labelled 'weak' by everyone else. Plus they are actually really fun. For example you can prance around in a Zumba class and look like a fool and nobody will bat an eyelid!

I have been really good at going to the gym for 2 hours every night so I decided to treat myself with some new gym clothes at the weekend.

I have never been so determined to get fit before and I hope it continues. I actually have more energy than when I was hardly doing any exercise.

Going to the gym has it's quirks. For instance the lady in the bellydance class wearing heels!?? Also in a room full of sweaty ladies there is bound to be a few arguments...one woman got annoyed at another for making too many 'grunting' noises when she was working out.
Another time I was in a fit of giggles whilst doing sit ups...an old lady came into the fitness room wearing studded denim hot pants, shook her booty in my face and started doing sit ups too...surreal!

Work it out!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kaleidoscope buffet at Atlantis

Yesterday I visited the Kaleidoscope buffet at the Atlantis hotel. There was a group of four of us and we had two entertainer vouchers so it cost just under 400aed.
The theme for Thursday night was 'Arabic' - perfect!

When we arrived we had a look around the aquarium and then a waitress told us about the buffet. Kaleidoscope have a range of foods- Indian, Italian, Thai, European etc etc but they had extra Arabic dishes that night.
When I got my first plate I did not actually know where to start so ended up with prawn crackers, tabouleh, houmous, cheese pizza and sushi! I went back to the buffet several times trying different types of food- falafel on sticks, chinese chicken and rice, more pizza! I actually can't remember everything I ate!

Then came time for the desserts! WOW! I had my favourite tiramisu, jelly, fruit in the chocolate fountain, a variety of cakes and pastries, cola bottles and a lollypop! They also had a delicious hazelnut More cafe ice cream.

It was a truly delicious experience however I believe the price was too much especially since I eat very little portions. We were lucky that we did have the entertainer vouchers! Anyway I quite enjoyed the wide variety of foods available at the buffet and am thinking about trying some other buffets in Dubai. Suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Entertainer Body Book

So I have had a bit of a hard time recently which is why I have not been posting lately.
Alhamdullilah everything is slowly getting better.
Sooooo I decided that I deserved a treat! Hmmmmm what would Lulla like best...to be pampered of course!!!

I bought The Entertainer Body book which is valid from April 2013 till March 2014. I have vowed to use it at least once a month to keep me serene and happy! HOWEVER I have already used it 3 or 4 times this week and plan on using a voucher this weekend too. Eeeek!

If you are not familiar with the Entertainer books then basically it is a book that costs just under 400aed and is filled with 2 for 1 vouchers.

So this is what I have used so far:

As you all know I suffered from acne for years and after taking Roaccutane I have a few acne scars. I went to Biolite clinic and they recommended having Ematrix treatments which cost 4800aed each!!! So I used a voucher and got one treatment free! SAVED 4800AED!

I had a lovely massage at one of my favourite spas a couple of days ago. I tried the Rollersage massage at the Heavenly spa at The Westin hotel. They used a hot stone that they rolled in a...rollersage?!? It was fantastic anyway! They signed my voucher and I can go back for my free treatment whenever I want. SAVED 595AED!

Today myself and a friend went to Hairworks in JBR. We had a conditioning treatment, hair cut and blow dry which were all brilliant! The hairdressers were the best I have experienced in Dubai and extremely professional and friendly. That cost 450AED  instead of 900AED. I didn't save anything really because I was treating my friend.

At the weekend I plan on going somewhere to get a mani pedi.

I don't really know if I am saving money or spending more because I have the vouchers! Nevertheless it's keeping me smiling!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tea Chest

I bought a beautiful Alokozay tea chest.
It was only 60 dirhams and has sooooo many different flavoured tea bags inside.
I have now discovered Raspberry tea and am obsessed with it!
I just had to share this, as everyone who comes to visit me has commented on how great it is. It is currently the center piece on my large coffee table. It's so useful as now my guests can choose what flavour tea they want easily. It has Mint tea, Moroccan mint tea, Peach tea, Lemon tea, Raspberry tea, Blackcurrant tea, Earl Grey, Green tea, Black tea, Cinnamon tea and Orange tea. Unfortunately it does not have my favourite Cardamom tea, but I will add it to the chest when it begins to have space.

I love tea!

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Fitness Pal

So I did not survive the 5:2 diet!!! However I have started something new and it is working!
I found a website called My Fitness Pal which helps you to count calories and sets targets for you to lose weight. I'm addicted to updating my food diary and I think it is really useful to see how much you actually eat in one day.

Did you know that a Wagamamas Katsu Curry is basically most of your calories for the day...you could maybe fit in a full fat coke and that would be it!!!!

It also tells you how much calories you burn when exercising and then you can eat the calories you have burnt off. I have completed a week on this controlled diet and it is already giving me results.

I have also been exercising hence why I haven't really updated my blog. But I have only been doing excercises that I enjoy such as swimming, Zumba and walking/jogging.

Loving my new healthy ways!

Yes I still do visit the Big M on a Thursday! Control!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

5:2 Diet

Every Thursday night I say 'it's the weekend I can spoil myself and eat whatever I like. I've worked hard all week I deserve a treat or two!' By Saturday I hate myself for all the junk I've eaten for example two family sized packets of Quavers...in a row! So after stuffing myself yesterday I decided once and for all that IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE! I MEAN IT THIS TIME!!!

I stumbled upon this new diet in The National newspaper, the 5:2 diet where you eat normally for 5 days and then fast for 2 days. I have decided that I am going to follow this with a bit of light exercise. I haven't really read much about the diet but I think I get the jist of it and will try it out.

So today was the first day- I've eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch and I'm about to make some carrot soup for dinner. I went swimming after work for 30 minutes and I'm planning to go for a 30 minute walk after dinner...quite tired so not sure if this will happen!

Tomorrow I will fast all day and break it in the evening with something healthy and filling- maybe some Quinoa. I don't know if I will stick to it. I don't really need to lose any weight I just need to be healthier.

Thursday will be a difficult day as in work Thursday is also referred to as the Big M day a.k.a McDonald's day! However Thursday I am planning to fast and enjoy myself in the evening- Inshallah I stick to it.
Let's do it!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Shift happens

Last year as part of training at work we were shown the video below. It has always stuck with me, I'm really not sure why. It is always being updated as obviously statistics change daily...the below version is from 2012:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another cupcake post!!!

I have put on about a million pounds since I discovered Bloomsbury's cupcakes! I think this is the THIRD post about those delicious cupcakes!!! Even the waiters know me there! *embarrassing*

Bloomsbury's is all decked out for Valentines Day. They were giving out free mini cupcakes...
Yes the chocolate one is half eaten :/
Despite the free mini cupcake I still ordered a cupcake (I love the chub!):
Rocky Road
Banana Bliss
Mine was the banana bliss and was so delicious- it had dulce de leche in the middle! Now I'm going on a cupcake detox! I am banning myself from Bloomsbury's! No more!
Let's see how long this lasts!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I decided to buy a houseplant as they are good for purifying indoor air. I went to ACE hardware store and spent ages looking at the different plants. I eventually chose a beautiful medium sized plant which would brighten up my living room. It has gorgeous dark and light green leaves. I also spent a long time putting the plant in different plant pots to see which one I liked best. It was like buying clothes...I settled on a rich brown pot, which you cannot really see in the photo.
I didn't ask many questions about how to look after it as the sales assistants never know the answer anyway!
So when I got home I googled my plant's name and found out it is POISONOUS!!!
This is what it says...
"Painful and immediate swelling of the mouth and throat occurs after chewing. Speech impediment can occur, sometimes lasting for several days. Avoid eye contact with the juices which can result in intense pain and swelling"
 I have no interest in chewing the plant (who would?) but I do have friends with children who visit so it could be potentially dangerous if they touch it!
Now my beautiful killer plant is in the corner, it has grown new leaves which I am proud of. I do like the look of it and I guess it is harmless as long as I don't get hungry!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai

When I lived in the U.K there was a large Chinese community in my city. Each year my Chinese friends would give me some really tasty pink Chinese sweets in red and gold foil. This year I ventured out to the Chinese Pavillion at Global Village to find these pink sweets but unfortunately I did not find any. :(
I did see some really good Chinese acrobats and bought a fluffy Chinese blanket.

I had a pretty good Chinese New Year (even though I DON'T celebrate it). I use any occasion for an excuse to eat out- especially Chinese food!

I visited one of my favourite Chinese restaurants- Ping Pong Dim Sum in Dubai Mall. They had loads of special new dishes for the new year. Also Monday is Ladies Night so mocktails are free and unlimited!
 Here is what I ordered:
Spicy Vegetable Steamed Dim Sum
Crispy Prawn Balls
Duck Spring Rolls with Hoi Sin Sauce
Potato Cakes
Asian Fries
I love Ping Pong but they did not have the pink sweets either! If anyone can find me Chinese New Year pink sweets then I will be eternally grateful!
Gong Xi Fa Cai

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's all about the Katsu

For a long time several people have tried to get me to eat at Wagamamas, however the menu wasn't quite to my liking so I always refused. However last year I was forced to go for a staff meal. I wasn't looking forward to it and when I read the menu it made hardly any sense so I decided to play it safe and order some chilli chicken noodle dish. BUT THEN a friend mentioned that she always ordered he Chicken Katsu curry as that was the closest thing you could get in Dubai to U.K chippy curry.

On hearing this half the table ordered the Chicken Katsu curry...myself included. I finished it all!
Since then I have been back at Wagamamas at least once a month, but I have now started ordering the Yasai Katsu curry which is a vegetarian option. So it is basically a posh curry, rice and chips!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Les Misérables

Today I finally went to watch Les Misérables at The Picture house in Dubai Mall.
A friend had warned me to take tissues with me, little did I know I should have taken more tissues than I did!
This musical was so sad and depressing but also filled with hope. I could not stop blubbering during it. I won't give a long description about what the film is about as you can google it, but it really is amazing and now one of my favourite musicals.

During the film I was thanking Allah for everything I have, and it made me appreciate my life more. I would hate to be desperate and alone in the world. I thank Allah for everything I have!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Begging in Dubai is illegal, but since I've been in Dubai I have experienced many different types of scams.
Sometimes I feel sorry for the old beggars and give them some money, however I am sure there are charities that would help these people. I know they are illegal but I would feel really guilty about calling the police about them.

Once I was coming out of the supermarket and a covered lady carrying a baby approached me. She spoke very good Arabic and English and was asking for money as her baby was ill. I ignored her and then she stopped me from getting into my car. That made me even more determined not to give her money. I am positively sure that if her baby was really ill a hospital would not let the baby die! 

The first time I was asked for money was the first week I arrived in Dubai. I came out of work and a car stopped beside me. It was an Indian family and the man said he needed money for petrol to go to Oman as their visas had expired. I just laughed and said that I didn't have a visa yet and haven't been paid as I had just arrived. Then I just walked away. Another colleague had the same experience and reported them to the police.

Now sometimes these people do tug on my heartstrings but other times you can tell it is a scam and they are lying to get a few extra dirhams in their pocket. I have heard about other scams going on; women and children knocking on doors, suit scams, fake wound scams and so on.

At the end of the day if a person really needs money then there will be a charity to help them. If they do not have visas and are here illegally then they need to either find a job or go back to their country. I guess some people could say just give them some money it's charity! I think my negativity stems from when I lived in England and some beggars would take money given to them to get their drugs fix rather than buy a meal for their family.
I wish I could help everyone!!!

Yesterday I was in a shop looking at dresses and a lady with a pram approached me and asked if she could borrow my phone to call her husband. Automatically I told her to ask the person at the cashier if she could use the store phone and I left the store. I don't know what she could have done if I had given her my phone...maybe she would call a number to take all my credit...maybe she would run away with my phone...perhaps she was actually an innocent lady needing to call her husband. Who knows? You can never be too careful!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Roaccutane adventure

This time last year I began taking the medication Roaccutane for my acne. I had really bad skin and covered it up with make-up all the time. I never left the house without make-up on. The make-up was not much help, it only covered the redness of the spots but I still had large bumps on my face.
Roaccutane was an adventure and my mood was like a roller coaster! If you know about Roaccutane then you will know the serious side effects related to it, including suicide. Alhamdullillah I did not get depressed however I did have a lack of patience and was constantly getting easily irritated. I made everyone around me aware that I was taking the medication so they knew why I was acting the way I was.

At first my skin and lips went very dry. I suffered from dry eyes and had to stay off work for a few days. I had bad breakouts for a few weeks. Then my skin started to get clearer and I became used to the dryness.
I had to have blood tests every month and each time my cholesterol got dangerously higher. But I did not quit as all I could focus on was clear skin!

After 8 months I stopped taking Roaccutane. My skin has had no spots at all! It's so clear and there are no red marks. My skin is now very thin so it will take a few months to completely heal and I am not allowed any facials. Inshallah my skin stays clear!

I have been going out without any make-up on and it feels amazing! I have not left the house for 10 years without make-up so this is the best thing ever!

For the ten or more years I had acne I went to several doctors to try and get rid of it- they gave me creams, antibiotics etc etc Nothing worked. After much research I decided to take Roaccutane and it worked! I only know it worked because I prayed Salaht Al Istikhara which I had not done before taking any other acne treatments. This post is just a reminder to myself that I should thank Allah, keep faith in Him and never give up!
So it's been a year since I started the Roaccutane journey and I am so happy with the results!
Cupcakes for everyone!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Afternoon tea at Bloomsbury's

After looking through a few of my past posts on this blog I think I have an obsession with cupcakes. I went to Bloomsbury's in Dubai Mall for afternoon tea at the weekend. It was divine!

The service was excellent too. I was with two other people and the waiter suggested that we shouldn't get 3 afternoon teas each as it was a lot of food so we should just order 2. This was really kind of them. My two friends ordered coffees instead of tea which were double the price of the tea but they did not charge them extra for it either.

Afternoon tea costs only 55aed and includes:
Freshly Baked Scones
Freshly Cut Sandwiches
Valrohna Chocolate Brownies
Mini Meringues
Homemade Cupcakes
Freshly Baked Blondies
Freshly Baked Financiers
Accompanied with clotted cream and strawberry jam

All yummy but even the three of us could not finish it all so we had to take most of it home!

I ordered Bombay chai this time which had a nice spicy flavour and unlike any tea I have tasted. They gave me a sand timer to let me know when the tea was ready. I thought this was a nice touch!

The tiramisu cupcake was ordered again...always a winner! I ordered the strawberries and cream which was delicious! Tasted like a strawberry tart from Sayers but better!

My friend ordered this indulgent chocolate cupcake that shimmered with gold!

I have decided that if I am good this week I can treat myself at the weekend to another cupcake...perhaps I will try another place or I may just end up in Bloomsbury's!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


So as you can tell I have hardly been posting on my blog. I decided to take a break away from it all. I deactivated my Facebook account and only check my work email. I felt like I was spending too much time with these things. It was like an addiction!
So I lasted a day without my social networking 'addiction' before finding another addiction instead...Neopets.
Don't say...isn't neopets for kids?...NO it isn't...try it and you will see how easily it can make you addicted whatever age you are.

I remember having a Neopets account when I was younger, perhaps about 10 years ago. I made a new account and now have two pets that I have to look after and feed and make money for etc etc
Yes it's sad! But I have made over 100,000 Neopoints in a week so I'm on a roll!

I have a shop, I have a Neopet bank account, I have minibeast pets in a habitarium, I do basic jobs for the faeries and much more!

So here comes the psychological side to my addiction...stress. I think I've mentioned before that at the moment there is a lot of stress at my workplace. Due to my expertise in my profession I have now been given extra responsibility for the next few weeks too...added stress!!!
So it's nice to come home and go into a different world away from all of it! I usually destress with films...and have to admit I have watched a lot of films this week too!
(I have still managed to go out every day though! Blog about my recent amazing afternoon tea experience coming soon!)

So I wanted to end this blog by saying I am going to delete my neopets account as it's getting out of control...but I can't lie! I don't know if I can delete it...just look at how cute they are...

My pets Bulboola and Lulla-Lu

Friday, January 11, 2013

I love Bloomsburys

I found a new cupcake shop!!!
I know, I know! New year, healthy eating, blah blah blah!
However I really needed a treat this weekend. So I visited the beautiful Bloomsburys in Dubai Mall.

The decor was really chic and sophisticated and they had soooooo many different cupcakes to choose from!

My table opted for the Luxury cupcakes and the following is what flavours we chose...

A chocolate sponge filled with vanilla buttercream and covered in a rich fudge glaze.

A rich Chocolate Sponge filled with Dulce de Leche and topped with an irresistible Peanut Butter Buttercream.

A cupcake for Coffee lovers! Vanilla Sponge filled with an Square Mile Espresso syrup and Mascarpone.
I once wrote a blog post about Project Cupcake but Bloomsbury cupcakes are by far better quality, moist and tastier!
Yummy Yummy Yummy in my tummy tummy tummy!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Karama shopping

Last week when I had visitors over they asked me to take them to Karama to buy fake designer handbags.
I had previously been to Karama for bags a couple of years ago and it was very strange. Back then I was searching for a Chanel handbag and rather than spend 10 thousand dirhams on a real one I decided to get one from Karama. I searched in a lot of shops and did not see any Chanel bags so I asked one of the assistants and he told me to go upstairs.

Now I thought that the shop continued onto the next floor but when I got up there it was an empty room. I was with other people but if I had been on my own I would have been running back down the stairs. The assistant then led us to a door which we had to crouch down to get through, then another room, until we reached a door which he unlocked and let us in. Surprisingly it was bag heaven!
I quickly chose the Chanel bag I wanted, haggled, then left. It was strange!

I decided to take my visitors to the same shop when we went to Karama. However this time when I asked for Chanel he said 'OK follow me.' To which I replied, 'Not upstairs?' He said 'No no another place.'
As there were 6 of us we followed the sales assistant through the backstreets of Karama! We then went into an apartment block. At this point one of the people I was with was very reluctant to get into the lift, as they were scared. However as the lift opened a group of people got out with bags they had just bought so we went in.
The lift itself was scary and the floor numbers were upside-down. Yet we still went on. We reached the second floor and the assistant led us down a narrow corridor to an apartment, he unlocked it and when we went in it was full of designer bags. It was amazing!

We quickly picked out which bags we wanted. I got a Prada bag whilst I was there, as I had decided I would never return there again so I might as well buy now.

Although the bags are fake they are in a really good condition. They copy the originals perfectly. I have come to know that 99% of people in Dubai carry a fake designer bag and nobody can tell the difference!

In the Karama shops they also sell other fake things...shoes, watches etc I don't know how the police haven't closed down these shops already?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New beginnings

What will this year bring?
Inshallah we stay on the right path and accomplish our goals!
For me I wish to...
Lead a healthier lifestyle
Make more friends
Say yes more
Not give up on anything!