I love color, and hardly have anything black in my wardrobe. So when I finally did splurge on a black evening dress for a special night out, it definitely couldn’t be one that was all-out black and boring.

I found this beauty on the shelves of Debenhams just a week or so before Christmas. It comes under the Miss Selfridge label, and what attracted me to it was the colorful floral embroidery right on the front.

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Bargain alert! If you love Italian… the pasta, the pizza, the fruity wines, the tiramisu, the works, you can have it all in unlimited quantities for a mere AED 144 per person.

This amazing offer is available for both lunch and dinner throughout the week at Ricetta, Four Points by Sheraton’s authentic Italian restaurant.

You get a taste of provencal Italy as soon as you walk into the restaurant with its cheerful red checkered tablecloths, the make-believe fruits and vegetable market and a wall plastered with classy black and white photographs of Italy. 

I’ve always been under the impression that great skincare starts with squeaky clean skin. But the catch 22 here is the premise that we need to be extra gentle with our skin. As one of my good friends puts it, ‘This is your face! You’re not doing the dishes.’

I’ve been using washcloths and facial brushes for the longest time, and when Foreo hit the market in late 2015, I knew I had to have one. However, the steep pricing has always kept me from turning into a Foreo girl. Had I known its benefits earlier, I would have taken the plunge far sooner.

Unlike many other facial cleaners in the market including the much-hyped predecessor Clarisonic, Foreo is like no other facial cleaner ever created, and here are 10 reasons that make it so unique…

Meat lovers rejoice! There’s a meaty new shack that has opened right by the photogenic shores of La Mer Dubai. SMK (or ‘Smoked Meat Kitchen’) is a brand new UAE-born concept spearheaded by UK Smoke Master, Luke Tully.

SMK Slow Cooked Meat Smoked Beef La Mer Dubai Review Food Blog UAE Lifestyle Blogger Beef Brisket (5)

The team have been trained by Shoreditch London’s well-loved restaurant SmokeStak.

SmokeStak is the brainchild of Michelin Star Chef David Carter. “His permanent restaurant in Shoreditch is to BBQ what opera is to nursery rhymes.” – London Evening Standard.

Luke has recently moved to Dubai, and brings with him many years of smoked meat talent. 

Last Thursday we were treated to a culinary and visual treat at newly opened Maison Rouge in Conrad Dubai. As the name suggests, the restaurant cum bar is luxuriously plush in vivid tones of red. Everything looks so theatrical even before the show begins!

Maison Rouge Conrad Dubai UAE Review Food Blog French Cabaret Violin Bar Club Night Life Steak Molecular Gastronomy (1)

We arrived a little before 9, and were ushered in with peppy, upbeat tunes by the live DJ. A well-stocked open bar adds to the ambiance, and you can also get a glimpse of the open-fire kitchen where a lineup of international delicacies are assembled together. 

Cracked wheat comes in various forms. Bulghur (or Burghul) is the most popularly used variant in Middle eastern cooking. Bulghar is essentially parboiled whole grain wheat, and the Indian variation is called Dalia.

Dalia is very similar to Bulghur, but I find it to be far softer in texture. Bulghur is used for all courses of the day, whereas in India, dalia is predominantly a breakfast staple.

This is not to be confused with Couscous. Unlike bulgur, couscous is not whole grain, and comes from a husked and crushed wheat called semolina. Couscous was originally made from millet, not wheat.

Coming back to Dalia, I love the versatility of this grain. You can replace it with Bulghur when not available, but do keep in mind that bulghur is more al dente.

For the past month, my early morning breakfast ritual has had a wee beauty tweak. I start my mornings unscrewing a tiny gold-topped bottle, and sip down its contents daintily. It tastes tangy, sweet and peachy all at once.

This wee drink is not your regular health tonic, but promises be the next generation in skincare. The key ingredient is collagen, the building block for youthful skin, hair and nails. Many expensive creams and potions claim the benefits of collagen, but ingesting it into the system is believed to deliver faster, more permanent results.

Rongali Bihu will be celebrated the world over by the Assamese community on Sunday 15th April. Rongali Bihu is one of three major cultural festivals from Assam, the North Eastern state of India from where my family originates. This festival marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the harvest season with a wide range of festive treats including Til’or Pitha and Narikol’or Laru (do try out the recipes for these by clicking here).

But today’s post is not going into depth about Bihu. Proudly Assamese, I wanted to take advantage of this upcoming special occasion and share a beautiful piece of Assamese folklore with you. Every culture has treasured ‘hand me down’ fairytales that have been whispered down generations, and the Cinderella-style struggle story that has a prominent part in Assamese story-telling is that of Tejimola

On a recent trip to India, my husband had a chance encounter with Dalia. No need to get excited, this clandestine affair is strictly one of gluttony (or rather, the need to stray away from it). Dalia is not a pretty young lady, but rather a form of broken wheat. It is near identical to the Middle Eastern Bulghar (although I couldn’t find any articles online that confirmed the two to be the same).

Dalia is high in fibre, low in fat, and its slow absorption keeps you fuller longer and even stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Being so high up in terms of health benefits, you’d think it tastes pretty bland too. However, my husband came home with a super tasty (and super simple) recipe that is ideal for a wholesome breakfast or lunch. 

Le Petit Belge is a wee slice of Belgium right here in Dubai. The original branch is in a cosy little town called Maasmechelen, and we now have not one, but three in Dubai.

The JLT and Dubai Motor City branches have been around for a while now, and I was recently invited to try out their brand new branch in Double Tree by Hilton at Bay Square.

The restaurant cum bar is beautifully spacious, and the interiors are done up with classic wooden accents and dim mood lighting. You can choose to sit by the bar, the outdoor terrace, or as we did, a cushy corner that’s perfect for foodies.