Effective and pretty organisers!

I’m not sure whether this is a “life hack” but it’s more of a “organise your stuff better so it looks more decent” kinda thing. Not many of you can relate to these problems but I thought I’d share what I’ve done to give a little inspiration to those who want to organise certain things but don’t know how.

I recently purchased two matching floral vases for my room to hold my 1) yarn, and 2) Tiny’s rod\stick toys.

When I started knitting, I didn’t know I’d actually end up purchasing a lot of yarn. I kept them in a Magrudy’s paper bag (where I bought them from) and hid them in a corner. Not attractive. And Tiny’s favourite toys are the fishing rod ones where you dangle them in the air and he jumps to catch them, so those accumulated as well and they were thrown randomly in his tunnel. This is how I solved this:

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Both were an impulse-buy from Home Centre. The pot’s job is to hold my knitting yarn and needles and it looks so adorable doing just that <3 Originally wanted a wicker basket as it gave a more “vintage/grandmother” look but I decided matching vases was best.

The tall vase holds flowers…AND Tiny’s stick toys. Adding the plastic flowers I got from Ace helped hide the rod toys so that they aren’t visible, and my room doesn’t have to look like a kid’s playroom anymore. I know this is a little exaggerated but I really love the end result, even though one of the feather toys shows I can stuff it deeper in the vase (which I lined the with plastic wrapping paper) or just leave it like that. I honestly don’t mind.

So here’s the idea, even if you don’t have things that irk you because they have nowhere to go, you can still alter the things you already own. If you have a nice things around your room, flaunt them by displaying it in your room in a vase, shelf or pot, instead of hiding it in drawers or cupboards.

  1. Got some pretty looking soap bars? From Lush perhaps? My sister put her Lush bars and bath bombs in this dainty glass container (Potterybarn), and it doesn’t have to be in the bathroom, this one is on her dresser!IMG_6541
  2. Do you sew? Get a nice small wooden table and place your sewing machine in a corner to give your room a vintage look where you’re a seamstress!
  3. Got an album of cute baby pictures? Throw them in a nice basket or bowl and place them in a visible spot in your room where your visitors and friends can have a look at them. Everyone loves baby pictures ;)
  4. Many furniture stores sell boxes in the shape of books and novels, so you can put some chocolates (or even truffles) in them and place them on a table (inform your guests ahead of time of-course).

Anything can be effective and still look good, you just gotta work your magic and imagine the different ways. These are some suggestions, but you can always comment below and ask if you need help with anything in particular, I’m more than happy to assist.

Thanks for reading as always, folks! Let me know if this helped you! Share it with your buddies if you think they’ll benefit from it too!

Much love,

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

Piece of Cake: Vermicelli Bites

Hello ladies and gents!

My newest category to my blog is a cooking-themed one, which I’ll call it “Piece of Cake” from now on. The idea behind the name is because the recipes I’ll post will be simple and easy, just like what the saying describes!

My first recipe is one I am not sure if many of you know, because I had a school “Bake Sale” long ago and many people were suspicious about it and didn’t know what it actually was. But oh, how their doubts disappeared when they took a bite :) Trust me, you’ll love it too! Very fast and easy, takes approx. 10-20 minutes max.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

– Two packs of “thin” Vermicelli. If you’re not sure what that is, here’s how it looks like. Basically, “balalee6″ lmao. Make sure it’s the brown not the white kind.
– 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
– 100 g butter (unsalted) *preferably room temperature*

Materials:

– Deep pan
– Ice tray

That’s all. A small amount and I’m sure you’ll find it in your kitchen already!

Preparation:

1) Place the Vermicelli on a pan and into the oven on low heat for approx. 5-10 minutes until it turns golden brown.  Like a cookie. We’re not baking it here, just trying to give it a golden touch, so keep an eye on it. Keep on low heat for the whole baking process.

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2) Then transfer it into a deep pan (If you haven’t already used one), and set the stove on low heat again. Cut up the butter into small pieces, adding gradually and stirring the Vermicelli until all butter is dissolved. Don’t worry if it breaks, that’s the point ;)

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IMG_2358(That’s our maid cooking there btw, not me.)

3) Now add the whole can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and stir your mixture. By the time it’s fully combined, your Vermicelli should be about the same size as the one on the fourth step.

IMG_2364(Yum! Looks so good!)

4) Remove the pan from the stove and prepare your plate with wax paper as it is quite sticky. Then with a fork, scoop up a small amounts of the Vermicelli and press them into the ice tray. You can be creative here, as it will take up the shape of the tray itself. So use the standard or any ice cube shape you desire :)

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5) When you’re done, pop them out of the tray and onto your plate. Tada! You’re done!

6) Now eat away your worries and fears.

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This dessert is popular in our family because it’s just so darn good! Give them a try: Vermicelli Bites :)

Hope you guys enjoyed it and get to make it! Contact me with any questions.

– Reem AlHashmi

On Local Businesses!

In today’s topic, I’ll be discussing a practice that has slowly been rising and spreading quite a lot over the past years: local businesses. I’m not talking about those big companies run by a huge team of employees that are set up by locals, but I’m specifically referring to those small businesses run by the youth sector, at home, online, at their small premises, etc.

Let’s take a look at the pros first. Since part-time jobs are limited, if not nonexistent, in the UAE, especially for teenagers and young school/college students, setting up these small businesses is a great substitution. It is their opportunity to express independence and management skills, and create their own source of income. Even if people don’t look into it, but it actually prepares them for the big world, where they will have to deal with and communicate with various types of people, at work or in their daily lives. Plus, it looks great on CVs.

However, this isn’t an educational blog, it’s a personal one, and so it’s now time for the cons, things that have been bugging me for quite some time now, and not just from my experience, but from other people’s as well.
In the past, I used to have a good perception of Emirati businesses. They can be trusted, they’re professional etc. Unfortunately, I have realized now that many of them have proven me wrong. And it’s time to address such issues! Be aware that this is my own view on such businesses, and my personal opinions, so yes, you might not agree and yes, it doesn’t apply to all of them.

Recently, I have purchased a pet ferret from an Emirati online petstore, owned by an Emirati animal lover. Contact me separately if you wish to know who the seller is. I’m going to be reviewing this store as well as use it as an example for this topic. Let’s rewind to the beginning of the week: Monday, 13th of May. The 16th was my friend’s birthday and the pet was supposed to be her gift. I contacted the seller by whatsapp and informed her I would like to reserve it and have it delivered by Wednesday, a day before the birthday. All was well until Wednesday actually came around and there was no sign of the ferret…nor the seller.

I had contacted her before 3:00 PM in the afternoon which was the delivery time we had decided on and a little while later. No replies. It is 5:00 PM and then later 7:00 PM and still no reply from her. At that moment, I was starting to get fed up. I’m sure there’s probably some law against the number of times I called her, but still no answer.  And what threw me off the most was the fact that my texts were read, but no replies were made. Now why did I keep on pursuing her instead of just ignoring you ask? It was because I really wanted that gift for my friend. Otherwise, I would have ignored by like, 4:00 PM xD But ugh you don’t know how dumb I feel  for being that desperate. Lesson learned. At the time though, not just yet. When it looked like a hopeless case, I contacted other businesses for a substitute ferret, and actually found a couple dealers that were very cooperative and nice.

By 12:00 AM midnight, she replies. And what was her excuse? She forgot her “business phone” at the office and the reason why my texts were read was because it was with her friend the whole time. Seriously? Not only did she completely ignore our deal, but she didn’t even make the effort to at least contact me any other way to inform me of the situation. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if the friend actually answered one of my calls and told me about it.

Later on, long story short, I discover the pet isn’t even with her but with someone else who was the previous owner but had complications with the pet and decided to sell it back through the online store. I did my research and thankfully managed to contact the girl who was extremely sweet and made sure the ferret came home to me safely, all the while, the seller over on whatsapp didn’t utter a word. The ferret (along with pellets, food, cage, toys, shampoo, blanket and treats all thanks to the previous owner who was responsible) arrived on Thursday afternoon. Just before the party. If it wasn’t for the previous owner the pet would have probably not even arrived. And I had to pay an extra 200 AED for delivery that I wasn’t even informed about.

Now with that story aside, this is why I think local businesses should be your last resort when purchasing anything. First, they show no incentive for providing good service. They already have a substitute source of income, aka mommy and daddy, so one or two unsatisfied customers isn’t a huge deal right? Second, their prices are so over the top it’s not even funny. I die a little inside each time I see a purchase being made when it could guarantee a life-time source of happiness for an African family. What is it they’re trying to do? Become a famous prestigious brand like Louis Vuitton or Chanel? That takes years and years of hard work that’s not over the internet. I’ve been to Michaels, I’ve been to AC Moore, and I’ve seen how little it takes to make some items sellers provide for outrageous prices. You’d be astonished.

And then here’s the solutions I can provide for those who truly care about what kinda businesses they run.
1) If you’re an online business, check your email, phone, website all the time. Yes you’re human, but you’re a human who chose an online business so stick to it. It’s a package deal.
2) If you make no contact with them face-to-face, and won’t present a bill/receipt, always inform them of everything about the product their purchasing. Price, delivery cost, location, description about it, anything! Anything that is related to the product, we want to know it.
3) Maintain a professional entity. Obviously, don’t be rude, be the opposite instead. Treat your customers right and show them their time and money is important.
4) Just because you’re local, doesn’t mean you’ll become any less if you decrease your prices to a reasonable value. I promise!
5) If there happens to be any complications, inform your customers beforehand. It is more professional and more often than not, they won’t even mind.

Again, I don’t refer to all the local business, but the many experiences I have witnessed. In the end, some of them are quite good, but it takes some looking into it before one should decide on a potential seller. Kinda like eBay.

That will be all folks! Thanks for reading! Let me know what you guys think :)

– Reem AlHashmi

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