Category Archives: Frivilous Finds

The Jewellery Pick: #1

I get that diamonds are a woman’s best friend, and I am a fan too. But somehow diamonds don’t get me as  excited and worked up , as a well made piece of artificial jewellery would. On a trip to Thailand last year, I discovered some glorious stores in Bangkok, with a fashion sensibility so different and unique it had me window shopping in awe for hours at a stretch.

It wasn’t just down to the products, but even the interiors and the store displays of the malls are some of the most distinctive,that I have come across. A special mention to the Siam Centre where the “77th” is located as well, the interiors are beautiful and it is one of those places where you can wander around for hours just fascinated by everything.

Now back to the point, the 77th.

This is a store that sells the most unique jewellery in the world.Period.

The pieces are a work of art and may not be to everyone’s taste but if you are fond of quirky,unconventional things this store is a must visit. And once you visit I promise you won’t leave without making a purchase.

Crafted pre-dominantly with ceramic, these beauties are so intricately designed that you can’t help but fall in love and be awed by the little details of each unique piece.Most of the designs that are catered by 77th fall in the statement jewellery category and are delicate pieces not meant for rough/daily wear.

The only souvenir I brought back for myself from Thailand, was from this store. Yes, my weakness every time I travel, a pair of beautiful earrings. These though are a piece of art! Haven’t ever seen anything like these (apart from the other baubles in 77th) nor do I think I ever will.

Presenting the “Breakfast Earrings” (That isn’t their official name but it is what I refer to them as)

 

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To see more from this fabulous store fortunately you don’t have to be physically present in Thailand.

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Organisational Tool : The Jewellery Hanger

Whoever thought of this was pure genius.I love collecting artificial jewellery and even though I take good care of my pieces and have a designated place for my jewellery.I find that more often than not the things I purchase just end up sitting in drawers collecting dust.

Until… I was introduced to this awesome invention by my mom.She purchased it for me on a whim,just to reduce the clutter of boxes and pouches in my drawers and keep the jewellery on display in my closet alongside my clothes so that it would be easily accessible to match and put together with my outfits.

Before owning this tool,I found myself reaching for the same 5 things in my drawer since they were the most convenient to pick of the top. However,this hanger has not only helped segregate but also allowed me to re-discover some old treasures.

Hang inside your closets or on a pretty hook somewhere in your room to grab a fitting accessory for the day!

Tip: This has also increased the life of my artificial baubles,as the lack of a tangled mess assures less breakage and loss of colour or shine from the pieces.

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Available at most Lifestyle Stores (Centrepoint Outlets) within the GCC.

Healthy Snacking : The Tasty Tit-bits !

I love snacking…..always have always will. Now I get the concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you have to admit the idea of cosy-ing up with a great book and a bag of Cheetos, or watching back to back episodes of your favourite series and a box of crackers is just blissful

However, snacking is addictive and I find that I often have phases where if  one fine day I  have a packet of crisps then I have to have them every single day for the next two weeks until I get sick !

Here are some things that I have turned to in the recent past, and they either help fill me up super quickly or even if I go through a box, I don’t end up feeling sickly stuffed and bloated ( Maybe something to do with the gluten free aspect).

1) Blue Diamond Almonds: When it comes to snacking, who EVER said they wanted to eat something tasteless and boring…. yes exactly no one ! And Blue Diamond has done a great job at making “almonds” more appealing to those of us who love flavoured crisps/chips. With some really intense flavours, and the fact that almonds are a very filling nut  to munch on, these satisfy the craving (in terms of taste) and fill you up with quite a reasonable portion. Genius !

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Look at those colours !

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Personal Favourites 🙂

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Something for the Sweet-toothed

2) Blue Diamond Almond Crackers : To be honest I don’t know what the almond/ rice proportion is to these, but of late Blue Diamond introduced its new “Almond” crackers range. (Note: These are the most difficult to get a hold of !) Hence, I had to give them a go, and ….boy oh boy, these are trouble !! I can easily go through a whole box no jokes ! However, they are still a better snack than a bag of Lays or Cheetos. Intensely flavoured and packed with a good crunch, these are my favourite substitute to chips 🙂

Note : These are wheat and gluten free.

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My 2 favourite flavours !

3) Rice Crackers (Fantastic and Master Rice) : Rice crackers aren’t a recent discovery and we have been munching on these for years now ! Two brands that are fairly easily available ( in the GCC) are Fantastic and Master Rice.

Fantastic do a whole bunch of great flavours including some very interesting oriental ones (Seaweed is my husband’s favourite Go Figure !), while Master Rice I believe might be slightly less healthy in terms of snacking as they really have a crisp crunch to them which usually comes from an oilier food item. Also Master Rice offer a “Brown Rice” version of these crackers, which honestly I haven’t tried yet, but they seem quite appetising.

Both are  intensely flavoured, baked and gluten free snacks.

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Fantastic Rice Crackers

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Master Rice Crackers

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Brown Rice Version

4) Granola Bars (Nature’s Valley and Oh My Goodness) : Granola Bars have been around for a while and are perhaps the one snacking item that can be found at both ends of the spectrum, from super healthy (gluten,dairy,sugar free) or the unhealthy blissful ones (yes chocolate rice crispy bars I am pointing at you!), for my own eating boundaries I fall somewhere in between and find that these 2 brands of granola bars fit the healthy (yet tasty) bill.

The Nature Valley bars pack a good crunch and are almost like a dense compact cereal, which will most definitely leave you full and content. The “Oh My Goodness” bars are more of a recent discovery and have a softer gooey texture which may have something to do with the fruit content.

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Nature Valley variety packs are my favourite !

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Oh My Goodness Fruit Explosion bar : Yumminess Personified.

5) Activia Strawberry Low Fat Yogurt: The no-brainer snacking item. That is exactly what this yogurt is, filled with good bacteria, it  is the perfect after meal snack. Satisfying the craving to eat something sweet while helping with digestion ( and it isn’t a false claim !), Activia yogurt is something I stock up on during every visit to the supermarket. Also with the scorching sun staring down at us, this is one snack that will keep you cool this summer.

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Shopper’s Note: All these items can be found across leading hypermarkets across the GCC. I purchased my goodies from Carrefour.

Have a happy snacking 🙂

Beauty Alternatives : Salt and Oil

With a beauty industry as saturated as today’s, it isn’t surprising that there is a product for everything. In fact go have a quick peak at your beauty/make-up stash, you are likely to find at least a couple of products that you dint even know could serve a useful purpose in your make-up/beauty regime a few years ago.

Having scoured malls and  seen one beauty product after another, sometimes the mind craves an alternative, something that you don’t have to dish out a casual 100 AED or 10BD ( $26.5), every time you run out of it.

Shopper’s Note: The beauty/ make-up products are significantly more expensive in the GCC, especially when compared to the USA.

There are 2 products to which I have sort of found my own alternatives to and they have worked for me, for quite some time now so I thought I would share.

1) Make-Up Brush Cleaners:

Yes, these are wonderful detergents that promise to remove all the residue from your make-up brushes and provide a clean bacteria free application the next time you reach out for them. The problem is …. if you have an active schedule/routine and enjoy slapping your products on (like me), you will go through these like water ! Which can make you cringe a bit every time you reach the end of a bottle.

Alternative: Anti-bacterial hand soap and oil.

The oil (Argan,Olive,Almond..whatever your pick is) will help break down all make-up residue especially liquid/cream products off the bristles of the brushes, this works especially well for synthetic brushes and also brushes that are quite dense.

Obviously since oil is heavy, make sure you only use a very tiny amount just enough to work the product off, otherwise you shall be left with a shapeless mess of bristles on a stick.

After working the oil into the bristles, take one pump of anti-baterial soap and work the brush (now coated with oil) into the soap and rinse-off.

Leave them side-ways on a wash-cloth to dry !

Voila !! Fresh,soft,clean bacteria free brushes,  also this is not a time-consuming process ! I did 10 brushes within 3-5 minutes.

Cleaning Tip : For some extra anti-bacterial action, pop a few drops of tea-tree oil into the base oil.

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Argan Oil

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Working It !

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Rinse Away

 

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Squeaky Clean

2) Volumizing/Texturizing sprays:

For those with fine/limp hair , you know this was one product that brought glory to your crown, and had you wanting to take more pictures at events because.. well your locks don’t get mistaken for a greasy mess no more ! And I must admit I love my volumizing/texturizing spray and that boost that it gives my roots, but after doing this everyday for a week … I couldn’t deal with the aftermath.

Aftermath: 1) you have weird gunky (hairspray-ish) residue in your hair, and its a vicious cycle of wash, spray….go through the day and wash again !

2) You are washing your hair everyday ! which means sulphate overload and hair fall.

Alternative: Table Salt. Yes .. the stuff that you sprinkle on your food ! Now please read further before you think this is far-fetched. Salt is a great natural cleaning agent, and when reading an article about its cleansing properties, and realising the effects of sea salt hairsprays I decided to see if it worked to give volume to the hair, without leaving that grit behind. After a couple of trial and errors, this step by step procedure now works wonders to give volume to my hair sans any residue and has also helped increase the clean hair time I get between 2 washes !

  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of Table Salt onto the palm of your hand and add about 2 drops of water creating a semi-solid paste. ( Don’t add two much water, we are not aiming for a liquid-y texture)
  • Part your hair and rub mixture into your roots ( Please do NOT be aggressive just gently massage it in) (Caution: If you have a sensitive scalp or any open wounds this is NOT for you)
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Get into the shower , apply conditioner first wait a bit and then shampoo.

This will give you soft managable hair with no residue, and a visible lift to your roots. I do this once every 2 washes.

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Table Salt

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With a few drops of water. (This is the consistency that you are aiming for !)

Note: My attempts to take pictures of my hair, a before and after shot , were just impossible (hence the step-by step procedure), but basically if you have ever used a volumizing hairspray ,the effects aren’t as dramatic (in terms of lift and volume), however the volume is subtle, yet with a clean scalp and tangle free hair !

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