Mitts And Trays

Mitts and Trays at Citywalk has quickly become one of my favorite little places to grab a coffee or a meal in Dubai. The interiors are adorable (the copper lights are so cute), the food is amazing, and the staff can't seem to do enough for you (even when you and your friend both avoid gluten, but desperately want a dessert). 

The central location makes it a great place to meet people, and the more than ample parking at Citywalk makes it an even more convenient option. My friend Sahar and I have been there several times over the past few weeks, whether for a delicious soy latte, or what turns out to be a three-course, four-hour-long lunch, and we'll probably be back in the next few days as well! 

If you're heading there, I highly recommend the Madras Chicken Curry, Paellela De Valencia, and Gluten-free Carrot Cake :)

Mitts And Trays is located in the gorgeous City Walk Phase 2, Jumeirah, Dubai.
For reservations, call +971 4 445 10023.

Dubai - United Arab Emirates

My Workout Playlist (AKA A Playlist for Girls Who Don't Listen to Drake)

(mental note: probably a good idea to get rid of the cat hair on your sports bra before taking a picture of it)

So, I recently started riding my bike out at the tracks around town. Which is really weird for a girl for whom "physical activity" usually means "pausing Netflix and going to the door to get my pizza delivery". But alas, the cycling bug has bit me and I now try to get out on my bike at least four times a week.

Now that I'm almost a fully-fledged cyclist (don't worry, I promise that I will NEVER, EVER wear the full lycra getup), I thought I'd share one of the things that I find motivate me the most. No, not the promise of taught, cyclist's thighs. Not even the fact that I may be extending my life expectancy. Nope, for this girl, the motivation is all in the music. And what better motivation than a soundtrack full of badass women? Here are the tracks that I play when I want to get on my bike and really push myself to ride as hard as I can (no pun intended). Bonus points if the tracks make me feel so great that I do squats in front of the mirror when I get home.

The Coathangers - Watch Your Back

The Coathangers are one of my more recent discoveries and have quickly become one of my favorite bands of the year. This one is super fun and I often find myself bopping around on my bike when this one it plays.
Badassiest lyrics: What you do, what you say, it will all come back one day. What you do, what you say, it will all come back to you.

The Ettes - Walk Out That Door

Short and sweet. This one is perfect for when I need to a) release a little rage, and b) convince myself to kick up the speed during my intervals.
Badassiest lyrics: I don't need you to survive, cuz you're among the ones I left behind. Walk out that door. 

Bikini Kill - I Hate Danger

I like to listen to this one when I am either warming up or starting to cool down. This is one of my favorite Bikini Kill songs, so there's also an element of nostalgia, but it works!
Badassiest lyrics: The only thing I managed to say during that time was 'I hate danger', but what I really should've said was 'you're so not dangerous, you're so not what you say you are at all'.

The Julie Ruin - I'm Done

Another Kathleen Hanna one, can you tell I'm a fan? I'm Done is about Kathleen being done with internet trolls, but I like to think it applies to every day jerks/self pity/fear of going faster on your bike and possibly falling on your face, as well.
Badassiest lyrics: I'm sick of your disappointment, tasting like a bottle full of poison. I'm done.

Ex Hex - New Kid

I do love me some Mary Timony. And this song. I was going through a rough patch a few months ago, and this song came on when I was cycling. I turned the music up and actually felt like I was flying. So freaking good.
Badassiest lyrics:You're the new kid in town, everybody trying to knock you down. They thought it hurt when they did it to me, I just laughed and I turned the other cheek. Just trying to get your kicks, and no one understands that you're a warrior, warrior, warrior. You're a warrior.

Tacocat - Hey girl

For someone who still mainly listens to riot grrrl, discovering Tacocat was a big deal. A discussion of feminist issues set to fun, bouncy music? Hell yeah. They also have the coolest videos.
Badassiest lyrics: Who do you think you are? Yelling at me from your car? Well come on back here then, I'm ready to jump in.

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb

This is one of the songs that first sent me down the rabbit hole of kickass female musicians when I was a kid. I still turn this up whenever I need to feel like I can take over the world.
Badassiest lyrics: Hello world, I'm  your wild girl. I'm your cherry bomb.

Sleater-Kinney - Little Mouth

Apart from being one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, this song just sounds soooo good when you're speeding around on a bike. There's something about the shared rage in this song that just makes me want to scream out loud and pedal until my legs fall off. It is also super fun to yell this out as you pass joggers on the other side of the track.
Badassiest lyrics: I'm your little mouth, don't you want me? Damn you.

Bleached - Looking For a Fight

I love playing this at the end of my bike ride, or on the way home. Mainly because the endorphins make me feel like I could actually take on anyone in my way. But also because it's a crazy fun song and has just enough energy to keep me hyped up for a while after my ride.
Badassiest lyrics: I'd walk you home tonight, but you'd better steer clear cuz I'm looking for a fight.



Summer Beauty Prep

OK, here's the thing. I live in Dubai. And in Dubai, our summers get pretty brutal. Like 'sandstorms all over the place, 45/113 degree heat and 80% humidity' brutal. Summer in Dubai does have it's pros; most people leave the city, which means rush hour is less of a drag and the stores are less likely to sell out of items on your list.

This summer, I'm one of the people leaving the city. I'll be hitting up Europe for a few weeks, and I can't wait. Being the major planner that I am, I started prepping for my trip a while ago, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite summer beauty prep products!

Body Brush. Body brushing is something I've done (though not as much as I'd like to) since I learned about it in beauty school. The basics are simple and all you need is a natural bristle body brush. I use this one, but the Body Shop also makes some really good ones with a longer handle for easier use.

The best time to use your body brush is right before you hop into the shower. Lightly brush your skin in long strokes towards your heart to increase circulation and help drain toxins. Lots of people (myself included) swear by body brushing's ability to minimize cellulite. Whether or not this works for everyone, pretty much everyone will love the super smooth, just-back-from the spa soft skin that you get with body brushing.

Nip+Fab Body Bust Fix. I honestly wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. It gets great reviews, but I was still skeptical. I didn't notice any major lifting or firming (but hey, you can only expect so much when you wear an F cup), but I did love how it left my skin feeling softer and plumper with regular use. I definitely think it's worth a shot for the price. Check it out here.

Pixi Skintreats Glow Peel Pads. Confession time: I didn't totally love the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic. It just didn't give me the bang I wanted, or the elusive glow that I had read so much about. But then Halima raved about the pads and I had to give them a go. I don't use them every day because I'm on prescription retinoids, but once I was able to add them back into my routine (usually twice a week), OH BOY. Sometimes, I actually wake up in the morning and stare at my skin for a while. It's smooth, even and so soft that I have to remind myself not to stroke my face in public. Order them here.

Neoteric Silk Wrap Body Lotion. I recently decided that I'm not into hoarding products anymore. What I am into are products with ingredients that work. This body lotion contains 12% glycolic acid, making it an excellent softener. I also like it because glycolic acid is great for collagen production. Now, I'm not in love with the packaging, because it exposes the glycolic acid to too much oxygen and sunlight (it has been recently refromulated and repackged). But despite all of that, I have noticed that my skin is much softer and some of the scars I have on my legs have seriously lightened. Check out the new packaging here.

Sebastian Penetraitt Masque. This one is a true testament to the power of samples. I got a sample of this and was so impressed that I almost instantly went and ordered the biggest bottle I could find. It makes my uber-bleached hair hair soft and silky, and smells great. I ordered mine from here.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey And Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner. An impulse buy from Sally's, this turned out to be one of my favorite hair products of the year. I actually like to use it as a leave-in conditioner, I rub a little bit between my palms and gently scrunch it into my ends. It smells amaaaaaaaazing, makes my hair feel super soft, and seems to work great at controlling frizz when I decide to let my natural texture run wild. Order it right here.

New In: Adidas Originals Superstar With Floral Trim

It would appear that my theme for Christmas 2015 is Treat Yo Self. 2015 has been a weird year, and I felt like I kinda deserved a few treats. One of which, I'm really excited about because it's my first Net-A-Porter experience, and my first real foray into the wonderful world of sneakers. 

I came across these Adidas Originals Superstars and pretty much fell in love. Obviously, as a living, breathing human being, I've seen loads of celebrities wearing white sneakers and I've come across dozens of pins on Pinterest. I like these ones because the floral trim gives them a bit of a feminine touch, but the colors are neutral enough that they won't really clash with much. They're made of leather, which I'm hoping means they'll be easy to clean, because I'm pretty terrible at adulting and am constantly making a mess. 

I found these ones on the American Net-a-porter site $80 (AED 293), which was cheaper than on the UK site, where they were £65 (AED 355), and on ASOS, where they were £67 (AED 366). I used standard shipping and were delivered to me (via Shop and Ship) in about six days.

Here's a link to the shoes, let me know if you get a pair!

The New Look Jumpsuit

Call them what you want; jumpsuits, playsuits, one-pieces, I love 'em. I also love black, and I love blouses with collars, so it's pretty accurate to say it was love at first sight with this New Look jumpsuit.
© Pretty in the Desert. Design by MangoBlogs.