Monthly Finds: January 2014

Hello readers! I know this one is pretty late, but for the few months that passed, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting that I found, so I accumulated the little things I got to put in one post.

Books:

I haven’t been reading much lately, and I don’t feel motivated enough to do that nowadays. These phases come and go, but I did get some of what I like to call “Pleasure Reads”, short and quirky things I would read for the fun of it, not a serious novel or anything.

If you’re not aware of the blog Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh, then you’ve been living under a rock. Best blog to read when you’re feeling down because it’s just so funny and entertaining. At one point, I read almost all the posts that I ran out of things to read….so I ordered the book.

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Haven’t read it yet, just skimmed through the pages and some of them were familiar which kinda bummed me out because I was hoping for new content, but I did find unfamiliar comics here and there so I won’t complain.

Next ones are all kitty-related. Two of them are by Yasmine Surovec which is the mastermind behind the cute Cat vs. Human comics. I bought her second “Cat vs. Human” collection of comics and “I See Kitty”, a children’s book for my 2 year-old cousin who is infatuated with cats, in hopes of fuelling her love of felines. The story is so adorable I cannot wait to read it to her!

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The third one is the all popular “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” by The Oatmeal. I’ve read many of The Oatmeal’s comics over the internetz, and decided I’d buy this one it’s related to cats-duh! It’s quite fun to read, and I finished it in one sitting with a bowl of Rice Krispies when I had a hard time falling asleep :P Plus, it has a summary poster of “the evil cat plotting to kill you” inside woot woot! Must hang it somewhere strategically and freak the heck out of visitors. Maybe in the bathroom, and then I’ll let Tiny stick out his paws from under the door while they do their business lol!

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Shoes & Accessories:

Other than books, I got some pretty things while on my trip to Dubai last week or so. These dainty little lace pumps from New Look -absolutely love their shoes, and some rings I found here and there in Forever 21 -which is 100 times much better than the ones here in AD imo ._. They are pretty simple, but I wanted to collect small rings to stack them up on my fingerrrsss :D

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Makeup:
Not very unique or special, but I needed a new bronzer and blush and I got some great ones! Bronzer is Hoola from Benefit which is perfect, and the blusher is a nice pink peach from Sephora. Also got a brush for my loose setting powder.
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For Kitty:

Since I let Tiny roam around outside everyday, I got worried he might catch some fleas or ticks. He is fully vaccinated from the cold and rabies and such, but those pests sound like a huge hassle to get rid of and I do not want them in our house. I looked around for preventive products and found two, the Bio Spot Flea/Tick Control for 6 months, and Dr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense, an organic daily spray that is supposed to “confuse” fleas and ticks when they smell it, thus preventing them from recognising a potential host and going into the pet’s skin. Yes, I got two, and I’m so glad I did. The first one kills AND prevents, but can only be used once every month. The second organic one is only preventive, and I don’t know whether it could kill them IF they already exist, and can be used daily if needed.

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The Bio Spot formula was great, easy to use and apply and the instructions were clear. However, it is OILY, and it left the patch of hair that was exposed to it weird and oily and not dry from the product on Tiny’s fur for three days until I decided to wash it with shampoo and water (water alone did not work). Let’s just say I’m not anticipating next month’s dose xD Luckily, Tiny didn’t have any fleas or ticks, but I hope it does its work and keeps them away too!

The Dr. Mercola one smelled nasty, which was very disappointing because they mentioned it smelled good :( And seeing Cinnamon in the contents got me excited (I love Cinnamon) but it smelled like cloves… which I do not like at all and was NOT in the contents…
I am one to cuddle the crap out of my cat, so his smell is very important to me tyvm lol! However, if you prefer natural and organic remedies and don’t mind the smell of cloves, then you should try it! I can’t recommend it as I’ve only used it once, but look into other people’s reviews.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading and get ready to head back to school/college because it starts tomorrow. Eep.

– Reem AlHashmi

Dubai Getaway

Hello reader! On Monday, my mom decided to take me and my sister on a special trip to Dubai just for the three of us. I was feeling a little down in the dumps the day before so it was the perfect way to say hakuna matata and unwind. For this post, I’m gonna let the pictures speak for themselves. We stayed at the Address Hotel that was connected to The Dubai Mall (mega-yay!) and enjoyed great food from The Cheesecake Factory and Aprons & Hammers :D I also may have shopped till I dropped. A boat ride in The Dubai Dancing Fountain was also included, and the weather was amazing ;) Even though our hotel room’s view wasn’t the best, we had breakfast at iHop next to Burj Khalifa to make up for it! On the second day we went to Social House and I got to drink this super yummy Berry Yoghurt smoothie that I am craving right now <3
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 This close-up view beats standing up on the bridge or edge anytime!!

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Crispy calamari and ceasar salad <3

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Literal “hammers” were used to crack open these crabs :P Fun-tasty experience

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I ordered fish in curry sauce and rice~

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I will try to make my own berry smoothie at home :’) If it’s any good, I’ll share the recipe!

Definitely recommend The Address Hotel or any hotel joined to malls in Dubai (-Kempinski) because they’re seriously the best! Breakfast, lunch and dinner guaranteed at the best restaurants! Thanks for reading guys and I’ll post a new Monthly Finds update soon!

– Reem AlHashmi

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Planter Necklaces (DIY)

I have had this idea a really long time ago, and finally I found the time to make it!
During my usual etsy vists, I found this beautiful store- Wearable Planters by the lovely Colleen Jordan :)

This is what “wearable planters” are all about as told by Colleen:

Don’t let your plants stay at home! They help clean the air you breathe, are beautiful, and create a wonderful conversation starter. Carry a sprout, a succulent, or a flower you found on your morning walk! A necklace is a beautiful way to showcase your favorite plants, whether it is a flower or a succulent you’ve planted or found on your day’s adventures. A wearable planter is sure to make your day brighter!

You can’t possibly tell me this description alone didn’t make you want to get one asap. ;)

I know what you’re probably thinking, flower pots around my neck? No thank you. But trust me! They look absolutely great with your everyday outfits and compliment them so much! And the best thing about them is that everyday they can be different, because you can change the little flowers you put in them. Read on to see some example pictures of how they look great on almost every outfit :)

And today, I’m going to show you how to make your own version of planter necklaces using polymer clay! And don’t let that discourage you because I have finally found some polymer clay that you can purchase here in Abu Dhabi, so don’t fret! xD Yes, it wouldn’t be as clean and smooth like Colleen’s, but they look just as beautiful, trust me!

So here’s what you’ll need:
- Polymer clay, colors of your choice. (Abu Dhabi – L’atelier des Arts is one place that supplies some. If you happen to know any place in Dubai that supplies them please let me know so I can post it here for others)
– A needle or any pointy object
– Some string, thread or chain for the actual necklace
– Flowers/plants of course. These have to be small and simple, not a huge rose :P
– Your imagination.

How to make’ em:

I’ll be explaining the steps to three different shapes that I created. You can always experiment and do whatever shape you like!

The Teardrop
Using some of my navy clay, shaping it into a circle at first, I then rolled one “side” of it to shape a “teardrop” or a long oval.

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Then used a needle to shape the opening of the flower pot. This step is very important: you must make sure your hole is wide at the top, and narrow as you go down to the bottom of the planter, otherwise, your plants/flowers will fall out. The narrow bottom is supposed to support the plant in place so it doesn’t fall out as you’re moving. (This tutorial doesn’t require you to put a flower with its soil in the planter necklace, we’re only going to be using the flower.)

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Now the opening at the top will look messy at first but you can always smooth it out with your fingers. Lastly, I poked a small hole for my string to go through later on after baking the clay.

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The Circle
This is the easiest one, you can do it with your eyes closed. Shape a circle, poke a hole in it- You’re done!! No lies, that’s it! To make it look a little “edgy” and different I made the opening diamond shaped :) But that’s all there is to it.

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Don’t forget to make an opening for your string!

The Flower
I apologize for the lack of pictures for this one as I did it at the top of my head and didn’t plan it out at all, but it turned out to be my favourite! This time, instead of shaping a 3D circle I rolled out a flat one and placed it onto something circular to help shape it.

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I peeled off the edges from different sides to make it look like an opening flower. Then I just played around with it, pinched the edges and smoothed them out and ended up with this!

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Once you’re done modelling and baking, insert the strings and threads and go off to find some pretty little flowers to start wearing them around wherever you go!

Here’s the final result…

 

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Don’t they just look amazing? And yes, the last picture shows how the planter looks stunning even with an abaya on! So let me know what you think and if you guys try it, show me your creations! :)

Good luck & Eid Mubarak to everyone!
– Reem AlHashmi

Make your own Minion!!

Yes, you read that right! Finally, I have put together another crafting tutorial for you guys, and this time I’m going to be showing you how to needle felt your very own little minion! :)

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Now I explained what the art of needle felting is in my previous post, but if you missed it, check it out here. The explanation is at the bottom.

Let’s get to work~

Materials you’ll need:

– Needle felting needles (Yes, those are different from the ones you use to sew)
– Wool batting in colors Yellow, Dark+Light Blue, Grey, Black, Brown and White
– Foam or Styrofoam mat
– Lots of patience as this takes up some time, but it is so much fun!

Let’s get to the lab work! ;)

Step #1

Using your yellow wool, cut your desired length and with your hand, shape it into an oval-ish potato shape, like that of a minion. Then, proceed to stab it with your needle (a lot) until it holds its shape. It MUST be firm and look like the picture below, because what you’re actually doing is tangling the wool until it’s so tangled you won’t be able to alter it’s shape afterwards.

If you want your minion to be big (size of your palm for example) make sure you cut a big piece of wool, otherwise, if you start small, you’ll end up with an even smaller figure, because the wool shrinks a lot during the process.

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Step #2

Once you get the hang of “needle felting”, the rest of the steps are basically easier than easy. I’m a beginner myself, and if I managed to do it, then so can you! Shape two smaller oval shapes with your dark blue wool and stab them for a while until they’re nice and firm. Then, stick them on your minion, but not with glue of course. All you have to do to attach them is stab them continuously in your desired spot, making sure you stab vertically and on around the sides of the “oval feet” to make sure they’re really in place and won’t fall off easy. Make them a little smaller as we will add their shoes, and their overall feet are very small.

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Step #3

Now it’s time to dress him up in overalls! This time, we’re not making shapes, we’re layering the wool onto an existing shape, which is the minion we have now. Take your dark blue wool again, and spread it over the bottom quarter or so of your minion, leaving space for the short sleeves and the front pocket. Then stab your way around it’s body until the blue wool is stuck firmly and you cannot pull it out with your fingers. If by the stabbing you’ve noticed the blue goes deeper inside and yellow is revealed, don’t fret! Add some more layers until you’re satisfied :)

I then added the front pocket and the sleeves. Basically just eye-ball where you would place his hands in the next step, and just add the sleeves around that area.

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Step #4

Next, roll out some long yellow wool, needle felt it and attach it to your minion. I know it might seem like my minion’s arms are long, but minions’ arms go down to their feet :P Make them just a smidge bit shorter because we’re adding black parts in the end as their gloves.

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Step #5

Here, I skipped a few steps because I’ve already explained the basics on how to do them during those first few steps. Just add his details, black pieces for shoes and gloves, a cute little smile and of course, his signature goggles.

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If I’m not mistaken, I think I made myself a Dave, because of his weird looking six pieces of hair on his head :P Dave and Kevin are my favourites tbh! xD

And that’s it, you’re done! Here’s what my minion looks like :D

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Our bananas are green lol!

You can even make him follow you everywhere by making him into a minion pin! Just stick any ordinary safety pin through his bottom (If you want him to sit on your shoulder like the first picture at the top) or back (if you want him to stick like a brooch), then onto your piece of clothing! Honestly he compliments my Abaya so much <3 :D

Thank you guys so much for reading and I hope this tutorial motivated or inspired you to make your own little minion. If you did, always feel free to share your creations with me :) I love knowing people benefit from my tutorials!

Until next time, have a good weekend everyone!

- Reem AlHashmi