Feminism Just Got Pouty

13 Nov

Hello My Lovelies!

I like to think of myself as a reasonably peaceful person (these days…), but I do have a few pet hates… drawers left open, for example, really irritate me (you hear that husband?!), cyclists who refuse to slow down for my little sausage as he’s sniffing about criss crossing the path and not noticing them (why is it a surprise when they have to suddenly break?), and… yes, I know I’m not alone ladies, Keira Knightly.

Keira Knightley - Pout Fest!

Keira Knightley – Pout Fest!

Keira, just seems to rub me up the wrong way. I don’t think she’s a good actress, too much pouting.

Emma Watson in My Week With Marilyn

Emma Watson in My Week With Marilyn

Joining Keira on the list of “bad, annoying actresses” is Emma Watson – who nearly ruined My Week With Marilyn for me, nearly – Michelle William’s stellar performance as Marilyn Monroe won me over though! So, it has come as somewhat a surprise that both Keira and Emma have turned my head in a positive direction lately.

Emma Watson HeForShe Campaign Speech at the UN

Emma Watson HeForShe Campaign Speech at the UN

Firstly, I was very impressed with Emma for her speech at the UN, introducing the HeForShe campaign she represents. I hope she forgets acting and focusses on campaigning instead. She is super cute, I’d like to hug her.

Keira Knightly poses refusing photoshop touch up

Keira Knightly poses refusing photoshop touch up

Then, to my surprise, Keira posed topless. OK – nothing so surprising about that, except she stipulated that her image not be photoshopped – apparently in protest against the creation of false ideals for women’s bodies. That’s rather brave – my respect for old KK just rose considerably.

I hope we see more of this type of refusal to conform in the near future.

K x

Daisy Daisy, Give Me Your Answer True

18 May

Hello Lovelies!

It’s been a while, as I’ve been in the process of relocating, but now I’m getting more settled in my new home (Cologne, Germany) I’m ready to share again! :-)

My return from the desert to spring-time Europe has been GORGEOUS. I’ve fallen in love all over again with the scent of blossoms, the tweet orchestras played by happy birds, and especially by meadows of wild growing flowers. Simple flowers, like Daisies, Buttercups and Dandelions.

Blanket of Daisies

Blanket of Daisies in Cologne

 

So, with this in mind, I’ve been hunting for a floral print dress for a wedding I’ll attend next month. During my search I came across this cute daisy print dress by Moschino Cheap n Chic:

Moschino Cheap n Chic

Moschino Cheap n Chic

 

It seems I’m not the only iPhone daisy photographer out there!

K xxx

The Act Dubai – Encore? Je dis NON!

10 Jan

Hello Night Owls,

Tis not oft one feels compelled to lean on the written word at small-o’clock, but since I just returned from a night at THE ACT in Dubai, I felt compelled to share my experience, for better… OR WORSE… besides, there are so few honest and open reviews in Dubai…

The Act Dubai 2

The Act Dubai

On the trend bandwagon comes another supper club concept – The Act. A night club done up in the style of a run down theatre (that’s Dubai!) where you can have dinner and watch a few acts and then the place turns into a club.

What’s not to like?

Well, we were told to arrive early to get a good table, as specific tables could not be reserved. When we arrived it was about 10% full… so plenty of tables available. We were shown to a small round table where they tried to squeeze 6 places… we were not happy with this situation so they joined two round tables. This meant we were in a weird 3-3 split… which totally spoiled the atmosphere. We complained. And after pushing it to the point of ruining our aperitif buzz, the manager promptly moved us to a MUCH BETTER TABLE.

The Act Cerviche

The Act Cerviche

Dinner was mostly good. If you like Cerviche there’s plenty to choose from and the slow roasted meats were yummy. The milk cake was pretty good to share – other dishes were nothing to write home about. Drinks were OK, just ok (I had a Kir Royale and a passion fruit mojito). In the end we paid around AED3,000 (EUR 600, GBP500) for 6 people. Service was good; our waiter was attentive and pretty easy on the eye…

The Acts were a mixture of singing, dancing and Las Vegas style stuff… sword swallowing, some dude balancing on a skate board… pretty fun the first time around…

NOT so much fun when we waited over half an hour to see the next act… to find the acts began to repeat….

At this point we had been evicted from our table and were struggling to find a spot to stand where were not ushered away by a member of corset-wearing staff or a burly bouncer. To say we felt unwelcome would be an understatement – an insult when we just coughed up AED3,000 for dinner.

The crowd? Yeah, pretty… urm… well, mostly for hire…. let’s just say there were a disproportionate number of tall skinny eastern European looking ladies in scant wear… one guy sat proudly surrounded by a bevy of brunettes – clearly paid for. Hey, I’m not judging… it was just amusing :-)

So – what was the saving grace of the night?

Gordon Ramsey Sweetheart

Gordon Ramsey Sweetheart

Oddly, it was my 30 second lift ride with one of Britain’s most famous TV Chefs – Gordon Ramsey. He was leaving The Act at the same time, similarly not impressed with his experience.

Of course, the fame ho that I am, I took the chance to tell The Big G that I’d had my wedding lunch at his restaurant in Claridges – he seemed a little embarrassed by my acknowledgement of his talents. He came across as really sweet actually. And ladies… you know what, he’s much cuter in real life. Sorry Tana, I think we would… ;-)

K xx

 

 

Love Love LOVE!!! Stephanie Deaves Designs

4 Dec

Today I became the proud owner of a Stephanie Deaves CUTE purse!

Stephanie Deaves Purse from Majlis Gallery Bastakiya Dubai

Stephanie Deaves Purse from Majlis Gallery Bastakiya Dubai

Steph’s designs marry a Middle Eastern flavour with a distinctly European aesthetic  – perfect for expats looking for a keepsake from their time away.

I bought this Hand of Fatima piece from Steph’s current collection, which is available at Majlis Gallery in Bastakiya Dubai (if you haven’t been yet, you have to check it out!) – and also on sale at the RIPE markets in Safa Park and Courtyard Al Quoz.

Little Majlis Bastakiya Dubai

Majlis Gallery Bastakiya Dubai

Majlis Gallery is a wonderful space, the anti-thesis of the hustle and bustle that surrounds it – and an opportunity to find unique, hand-crafted pieces from around the world.

Steph’s designs are super cool – here is a selection of pieces she makes and sells in Dubai:

Stephanie Deaves Clutch

Stephanie Deaves Clutch

The bag I am gutted I missed out on... someone got there first!

The bag I am gutted I missed out on… someone got there first!

Stephanie Deaves Wallets

Stephanie Deaves Wallets

Each piece is hand made and her designs are constantly evolving. To keep up with Steph, check out her blog at: www.stephaniedeaves.blogspot.ae

Whilst she focuses on accessories at the moment, we’re hoping she will venture into the world of dresses soon… if the below gorgeous piece is anything to go by, I’m sure a collection would be a sell-out! :-)

Make more of these Steph!

Make more of these Steph!

K x

Banane Taipei – The Ergonomics of Desire…

14 Nov

I want this bag:

Image

It’s the Banane Taipei Birkin Canvas Tote. I know they’ve been around a while – but for some reason, my desire has only just peaked.

I’m not going to buy it though. One Hundred AND Sixty Four AMERICAN DOLLARS – Are these people insane?! It’s a tote bag! Made from canvas! And it’s knocking off another design…

But I’ve an idea… a tote bag with a print of the Banane Tapei Tote Bag that bears a print of the Birkin… the bag version of the “bird in a bird in a bird” roasted dinner… now that’s going to be a complicated Lawsuit!

K x

Dubai’s SUPERCAR Parade

9 Nov

Some weeks ago, my fabulous friend Sam got invited to drive her swish Aston Martin in the Dubai SUPERCAR Parade. Much to my delight, she asked me last week if I’d drive with her. Never one to turn down an opportunity to pose, I said a hearty OMG YES!

For reasons I shall not divulge (some lax organisational skills on the part of the Parade organisers), Sam and I found ourselves standing in the starting pit, being shaken by the thrum of a hundred supercar engines…with no car to drive!

As the cars left the pit one by one, our hopes of joining the parade diminished and our bottom lips began to tremble with disappointment… until our luck changed and a gorgeous white Aston Martin Rapide stopped to allow us to hop into the back seats.

Aston Martin Rapide

Aston Martin Rapide

Thank you to Joe the owner of the Rapide. He and his wife welcomed us to join them on the Parade – they were super cool!

The drive was fun! A bit less organised than I had imagined (well, this is Dubai, inshallah had to feature somewhere right?!) – but at some points the crowds lining the route down Sheikh Zayed Road were so close we could high five them through the windows!

The crowds on Sheikh Zayed Road either side of the cars

The crowds on Sheikh Zayed Road either side of the cars

It was a fun afternoon – which ended with me finding my new dream car…

Out of all the super cars on display, this was the one that I wanted to take home:

Dubai Expo Campaign Mini with Moustache

Dubai Expo Campaign Mini with Moustache

Until next time.

K x

Girl Crush – Lily Collins

29 Oct

She’s cute, quirky, fresh-faced and, in my opinion, so very beautiful… my new girl crush is Lily Collins!

Release your inner lesbian and enjoy some crush candy below ;-) 

K xx

Image

Image

 

Image

 

Image

Nadine Artemis’s Tips for Natural Health and Beauty

10 Oct

I’m sure you’ll all agree – there is nothing more stylish and beautiful than good health. Glowing skin, luscious hair, strong nails and bright eyes: what we show on the outside is a reflection of our inner health and wellbeing.

On one of my many journeys through cyberspace in search of nuggets of informational gold, I discovered Nadine Artemis and her sumptuous essential oils. My first impression of Nadine was of a naturally beautiful woman with passion and intelligence, a calm and wise outlook on life and a good sense of humour!  I watched her talk at the Longevity Now conference in California where her advice included; don’t read beauty magazines (full of fake beauty and chemical products) and detox your bathroom (how many chemical laced products does one person need?!). To watch that clip of Nadine, click here:

 

For a good year I have been searching for a natural alternative to underarm deodorant and for natural ways to care for my skin and hair, so when I discovered Nadine’s oils, which she sells through her Living Libations brand, I had to give them a try. I bought the Rose Poetic Pits, Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever, Zippity Dew Dab, Lymph+ Tonic, Yogi Tooth Serum, Seabuckthorn Shampoo and more… and from the first moment knew I was in love – the scents are amazing, it’s like they talk to your soul. The love affair continues as I try more and more of the Living Libations blends. I only wish I could try the PURE SOURCE chocolate, but I’m living in Dubai where hemp is forbidden…

Living Libations JetSet Travel Kit

Living Libations JetSet Travel Kit

 

Despite being extremely busy, Nadine has kindly agreed to answer some questions for me to share on this blog. Let’s try to be stylish and beautiful as naturally as we can!

Canadian Aromachologist, Nadine Artemis

Canadian Aromachologist, Nadine Artemis

 

1. SKIN: An increasingly common challenge for adult women today is hormonal acne and skin pigmentation. Why do you think it is such a challenge to balance our hormones today? And how can we protect and heal our skin from sun damage and acne scarring naturally?

NADINE: There is an estrogenic epidemic in our erogenous zones because of the proliferation of xenoestrogens and metalloestrogens in our cosmetics and food supply. Synthetic ingredients and processed foods must be eliminated, when we consume oral contraceptives and foods with polyunsaturated fats and then apply toxic ingredients transdermally – this is the cause of skin pigmentation. By eliminating these causes and working with essential oils like frankincense, rose otto, cypress, immortelle, or the blends I have made Zippity DewDab and DewDab the skin can begin to heal.

 

2. HAIR: Each time I visit the hairdresser I debate the virtues of natural shampoos and conditioners with my stylist. She believes that as we don’t live in a natural world (and this is very true of life in the Middle East, relying on desalinated seawater to bathe in and air-conditioning all year round), natural hair care is not up to the challenge of maintaining luscious locks. What are your thoughts on natural hair care in the modern world? And have you any tips for preventing hair fall for people who live in big cities and challenging environments like Dubai?

NADINE: That is a hilarious! Surely natural ingredients are just as capable of cleansing the hair from modern pollutants and when we use real botanicals for hair care we are not damaging, the scalp, hair shaft and consuming carcinogens like SLS and nitrates. To prevent hair loss ~ use truly natural shampoo and conditioner, massage oils into your scalp before washing, check in with your thyroid health and eliminate gluten grains.

 

3. HAIR: I have fine hair and find that no matter what shampoo and conditioner I use, I have to wash my hair every 36 hours at least if I don’t want it to look greasy. Do you have any tips for keeping fine hair from looking greasy for a few days?

NADINE: Use a wooden comb and natural bristle brush (never plastic or nylon) and tune into thyroid and hormone balance.

 

4. MAKEUP: I’ve just ordered your Ruby Lip Gloss, made from Beets – yummy! But I’m curious about your recommendations for other make-up substitutes. What can you recommend as a healthy alternative to mascara, eyeliner or blemish concealer?

NADINE: The best thing is to get your skin glowing so that one does not need foundation or concealer. Then look to your health food store and the brands they carry and read the labels carefully.

 

5. DENTAL: I grew up in England in the 1980s – a time when dentists strongly believed in giving fluoride supplements to young children. As a consequence of this early medication (poisoning!) I, and many of my childhood friends, suffer from various degrees of dental fluorosis, which makes our teeth porous and discoloured. I currently use your dental care products and I love them. But can you recommend any natural treatment to help whiten fluorosis teeth?

NADINE: Keep up with a healthy diet that includes the fat soluble vitamins A, D3 and K2. Be sure to ingest mineral rich foods and one a month you can rinse with 3% solution of food grade hydrogen peroxide.

For further information see my video on using ACV and baking soda too:

 

6. PREGNANCY: I note from conversations with friends that there is a lot of fear surrounding the impact of essential oils and herbal teas on pregnancy. I know you have recently written a paper on this matter. Can you please give your views on whether it is safe to use essential oils and drink herbal teas whilst pregnant?

NADINE: Naturally, as your baby grows, your belly expands, and this new soul captures your heart, your desire to nurture and protect your little one grows, too. Increasingly thoughtful about your health and what you put on and in your body, you may now wonder how botanical oils will affect your pregnancy. Delightful and intuitive, essential oils are an unparalleled gift for our beauty, and they are life-nurturing elixirs for expectant mothers.

Many women ask me if essential oils, or if any specific oils, should be avoided during pregnancy. Aromatherapy books and bottles make sweeping disclaimers, cautioning us of the potential risks of using essential oils during pregnancy. It is true that the pure plant potency of essential oils uniquely interacts with and influences our bodies, our brains and our cells, and this does raise interesting questions for expecting mothers:

Could essential oils disrupt the normal outcome of pregnancy?

Could they harm the baby?

It is really important to know the source of the essential oils that you use; you want to know exactly what is in that little bottle of oil. The essential oils that are readily available in the market, even those sold in health food stores, are often less than pure and true. Mass distilled for the food and perfume industry, these oils are cheaply produced and may even be imitations. It is inadvisable for safety and effectiveness for anyone to use low quality oils. Only authentic oils, distilled carefully and truthfully from organically grown plant matter can provide the benefits of plant wisdom. Know your source.

There are hundreds of essential oils available in aromatherapy. Most of the oils are elegant and user-friendly, and only a handful of them are best avoided by everyone. With so many choices, it is easy to avoid these oils, so please do: Dalmation Sage, Mugwort, Thuja, Tarragon, Hyssop officinalis (not Hyssop decumbens) and Pennyroyal. In addition to these, there are a few essential oils that pregnant women will want to avoid throughout pregnancy: Spanish Sage (not Sage officinalis), Parsley Leaf and Parsley seed, Oakmoss, Lavandula stoechas, Lavender cotton (this is not common Lavender) and Savin.[1]

Pregnant women who use essential oils responsibly and properly diluted – enjoying one portion, not guzzling or rubbing on half of a bottle of undiluted essential oil- can continue to enjoy essential oils throughout pregnancy. Instead of worrying about specific oils, (in fact, worry can be harmful to a pregnancy!) simply use oils that you are comfortable with and keep the concentration at or under 2%-5% for a generous application, like in a full body massage. A 2% dilution amounts to 15-20 drops of oil for every ounce of carrier base, like organic jojoba, virgin coconut oil and olive oil.

You can continue to enjoy all of the elixirs and creations that you employ in your daily ablutions and meditations. If you loved particular oils, like ginger and rosemary, before you were pregnant, you can still inhale, apply or even add a single drop to your water without issue.

If you are a newcomer to the wisdom of essential oils, a reasonable approach to explore the world of botanicals is to introduce into your daily life a few drops of the well-known health-tonic oils. These health-tonic oils are broad spectrum and life supporting, and they will keep your body strong and centered throughout your pregnancy. Over time, as you try out different oils you will develop a feel and an intuition for the oils that are best for you.

The health-tonic oils are: cardamom, lavender, cape chamomille, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Neroli, sandalwood, frankincense, palmarosa, thyme linalool, coriander seed, patchouli, geranium, petitgrain, ginger and rose otto.

Start with your favourite scent; if you love rose, use rose. All essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, and more impressively, they fortify and stimulate the immune system so that you are resistant to bacteria and bugs. A playful and preventative use of rose, or whatever your favourite oil is, throughout your pregnancy will balance your mind and spirit while reducing the odds that you will contract an illness.

 

7. DIET: What are your top diet tips for achieving good health and natural beauty? And do you use essential oils in your cooking/food preparation?

NADINE: Everyone is different and digests differently. Best to be able to tune into how you feel after you eat. What foods are clear and energizing? How do you want to feel after you eat? The primary key is to have guts that are healed and sealed. It is very important to have healthy, beneficial bacteria in your belly ~ for some this means eliminating wheat, gluten grains, sugar and dairy. Also, we must treat our temple to whole, wild and organic foods. Yes, we love using essential oils in our food and smoothie preparations.

 

8. LAUNDRY: I’m sold on the value of using only natural products on my body, but I have still not found a decent alternative to chemical household products, especially laundry care. Can you recommend a natural way to care for our clothes and bedding that still gives that wonderful just-washed scent and softness?

NADINE: Find the purest laundry detergent (unscented), or use soap nuts and then add your favourite essential oils like lavender, balsam fir, black spruce or lemongrass.

 

9. PETS: My beloved Daschund, Dash, has a constant battle with harvest mites, which I am unable to get rid of without the use of harsh chemicals – either on the garden, or on him, neither of which I want to do. Can you recommend any natural oils that would help keep these little pests from hopping onto Dash? I wondered if a thieves’ oil mixture on his paws and affected areas would help?

NADINE: The main thing with our dogs and cats is that need to be eating real food! The food canned for them in the markets is beyond a horror story. When our pets are on this chemical laden food they are susceptible to mites and fleas. Feed them well and use tea tree or eucalyptus on their coats. For his paws mix one or both of these essential oils with virgin coconut oil.

 

10. FOLLOWING YOUR FOOTSTEPS: What training is required to become an Aromachologist? And what would you recommend a person study if they wish to follow in your footsteps and research into natural health and beauty care? And…. Do you ever plan to write a comprehensive book on essential oil uses? I would definitely buy it!

NADINE: The plants are the greatest teachers and if you tune into them they will teach you worlds upon worlds of knowledge. Two great authors to begin with are Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt and Stephen Buhner. Yes, we have a few books in the works, life is full creating the lovely Libations and my book on Holistic Dentistry will be published and distributed by Radom House this fall.

THANKS NADINE!

Kay x

 

 

Ramadan ROCKS!

11 Jul

Most people flee Dubai as Ramadan draws close. I cherish their departure :-)

Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road

Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road

I went to Dubai Mall yesterday morning – a place I can normally only bear for an hour or two – but it was heaven – no one there – so calm!

It reminded me of how Dubai was when I moved here 3 years ago. It was just just coming to terms with the mass exodus that took place 2008 and 2009. My friend said it felt like a great city JUST before all the people got there – like London in the 60s. Ahhhh! (not that either of us are old enough to remember London in the 60s)

Yesterday, as I drove at sunset down the beach road – with barely any other cars around me – I felt like I’d been let into the theme park half an hour before everyone else – it felt great!

K x

 

Cara Delevingne Killed My Pet Ant…

21 Jun

I’m no stranger to the peculiar rambles of the subconscious mind – pretty much every morning I wake confused by the seemingly real and just darned weird experiences my dreams play out for me.

dreams

Last night – I had a pet ant, which I loved more than anything in the world (the ant I guess was representing my beloved Doxie, Dash – and Ant? Well, every evening we have a house full of large plodhopping, dozy, friendly ants wandering around – it’s just that time of year).

ants_as_starter_pets

So what did Cara Delevingne do?

Well, for fear of losing my beloved pet ant (this was surely brought on by the sickening news that dog-napping is happening more and more frequently in Dubai, and the thought of anyone stealing Dash is simply abhorrent!) I had placed my pet ant in a tea cup with a few leaves to munch on. Cara, innocently, thought the ant would be thirsty and cold, so she poured in some water and set the cup under a bright lamp. By the time I realised what had happened, the water had boiled from the heat of the lamp and my pet ant had died a terrible death! (Now, don’t think bad of me, but last night I did pour boiling water on a bunch of ants that were busy removing the inside of my house wall!)

cara delevingne

Why Cara? I have no idea – no reason for her to be in my mind… maybe she too is an ant-killer and we were subconsciously united across the macrocosm.

Do I feel bad for boiling ants? I do, I do! But there are so many, and they really are causing damage – the inside of the wall is starting to collapse! Pouring cinnamon on their heads is painless and effective – but they just come back (why do ants hate cinnamon so much?! But they really do.) And the great thing about killing ants… by the morning all evidence is gone. They clear up their own dead bodies… but what do they do with them?

K x

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers