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

Customise your frame!

Yes, you read that right! Today’s post will be about “customising your own frame” to fit whatever theme you have in mind. I wont be able to demonstrate every kind of design of course, but I’ll give you some ideas.

In my case, I got a deep black rimmed frame. It’s basically one of the kinds where it gives you to option to be even more creative with your customisation! You can insert just about anything behind the glass to recreate a scene or enhance your photos while displaying them! I googled some examples…

Only ones I could dig up, but you get the idea.

Alright let’s get started! I’m gonna be displaying one of my graduation pictures with my friend, so that will be my theme. Blurring it out to respect her privacy :P Since this is a very optional type of tutorial, I’ll be showing you what I did instead of telling you what to or not to do.

Materials you’ll need:

1) A deep frame. I got mine from Ikea.
2) Patterned paper, or use paint to use on normal white paper.
3) Polymer Clay or anything you can find or think of that you’d like to insert into the frame.

How to do it:

1) Since my frame already came with a layout, I cut up some of this pretty patterned paper and stuck it on to replace the plain white stuff.

2) Next, I added another smaller background to go under my picture as it was a little smaller than the square cutout above. To make it look more fancy, I painted a strip of gold paint on some paper and cut it up into thin strips for borders.

3) I set that aside and started with the items that’ll go inside the frame. Using white and red polymer clay, I created a certificate/scroll first. I rolled some of the white and trimmed it into a thin rectangle. Then I rolled that to make it look like some rolled paper. I curved and played with the edges a little to give it a realistic look to it :)

Then I grabbed a little piece of red clay and flattened it out. Using my cutting knife, I pushed the tip of it on the outer border of the circle to make it look like those old melted candles that are stamped on scrolls or letters in the olden days :P My beautiful assistant May is demonstrating this for you!

Initially thought of making a ribbon, but this looks way better, don’t you think? ;) Added two red strings to “dangle” under the “stamp” and stuck it on the certificate.

5) Now it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include a graduation cap now would it! To do this, roll a long strip of rectangle out of your black clay to make the base of your cap, and then join the ends together like this. Kinda like you’re shaping a cylinder. Mine looked like a leech worm, but you should make sure to keep your edges straight xD

Then for the top of the cap, make a square shape and be sure to keep it proportional to your base. It should be a square, not a rectangle. Place it on your base and make sure the tip of the square (any one of the four) is facing front. That’s how graduation caps look like :)

For the yellow tassel above, I used some yellow clay and rolled it into a string, then pressed on one tip to place in the middle of the cap. I rolled another short piece of string (a little thicker than the first) and stuck it to my string’s end, and using a cutting knife, sliced smaller pieces like so for extra detail!

Almost done!! I stuck both figures into the oven for a couple minutes to bake and harden and then glued them on my frame. Tadaa~

And here’s the final result…

Simple, but so pretty and easy to make! :) You don’t have to use polymer clay, as you can use flowers or dried rose petals, sea shells, or fill it with sand even! That’s why I love deep frames, because it’s all up to you!
So let me know what you think, and I hope you guys enjoyed this small DIY tutorial :>

Until next time,

- Reem AlHashmi

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Trips to the Vet

Trips to the vet are almost always a pleasure for me, but the complete opposite for Tiny. The entire car ride to and from the vet stresses him out so much, he cries non-stop. And because he has Herpes (which isn’t contagious to humans btw), I get stressed out too because he might get an ulcer or his eyes would get red. So that part puts me on-edge too. But other than that, I really do enjoy paying the vet a visit xD

Mainly because I get to meet the different animals and their owners. I mean yeah sure, theres a lot of animal lovers/owners wandering around school and malls and in the general public, but they don’t show that “animal lover” side in them, because their pets aren’t around. But when it’s at an animal clinic, you get to see how they interact with their pets, “up-close and personal”.

One time I came in for Tiny’s check up way back when he contracted Ringworm *worst experience yet  :(* and I got to meet a young woman with her two puppies, Lugi, a Pomeranian, and Shakira, a Pekingese (Wonderful name, right?)  They were such obedient pups, and Lugi literally jumped up the seat to wait next to his owner in the waiting area. How cute is that?

Another time where I was waiting for my turn again, one of the vet’s assistants came in holding a black and white cat (who looked like he had his you-know-whats cut off xD) and he had the most beautiful pair of green eyes, and a glamorous mustache :D Like hitler lol. I love them cats with mustaches.

And it’s not just the owners and their pets, sometimes it’s Tiny and other pets as well. A million possibilities go on in my head when I see a cat meowing and suddenly Tiny stares at him with those big dilated eyes like they aren’t just dilated enough from that car ride alone :P I always wonder what they’re trying to tell each other. Another incident was when Tiny (crying most of the trip as usual) suddenly goes quiet, like he fell asleep in that carrier. And I get a little worried, so I peep down to check on him and see him pissed off, fur standing up like hedgehog spines, staring right at a cute little oblivious puppy xD

Another reason why I enjoy these trips is because I get a chance to look at all the supplies and adoptable pets I will most likely never get :’) They have this big poster with numbers and pictures and contacts of rescued or fostered animals just waiting for a good home to take them in, and I love seeing them :( The same thing goes to the supplies. Even before I owned a pet I used to just stop by the pet supplies section and just contemplate all the animal food, toys, leashes, equipment and products. I don’t know why I do that but I really enjoy looking at all the possibilities and varieties they offer. Plus you never know, one day you’ll have a friend who’s in need for a pet and who could’ve been on that same poster or for a remedy on those shelves ;) At least that’s what I like to tell myself

Okay so I just realized I pointed out all the unrelated reasons to going to a veterinary clinic…
Oh well. In case you were wondering, I go to the Australian Vet in Khalifa City A, with a very helpful and friendly staff and their prices are much cheaper than other alternatives.

Anyway, just wanted to update my blog because I hate not writing often and I just came back from a vet trip tonight. Vaccinated Tiny against Rabies, Flu/Colds and worms. Eck :P

Thanks for reading! If you have anything you want me to write more about, let me know :)

– Reem AlHashmi