Manzil Downtown Dubai

In a world full of standardized hotels and themes, stands one who stays true to the Oriental setting it is in and spreads the renowned Middle Eastern hospitality to international guests.

I had heard a lot about Manzil being the home away from home, and wanted to experience first hand what that meant. Being a solo traveler in a not so far away country, I didn’t expect to miss home this much, and I hadn’t realized it until I arrived and it hit me. I crave the familiarity of my country in my surroundings, and I was in awe of how Manzil brought the Arab culture closer to the rest of the world. read more

Paris Fashion Week 101

Life is all about making things happen, and for me, one of the things I had always wanted to tick off my bucket list was Couture Week. Not only as a blogger (4 years and counting), but for the child in me who used to look wide eyed at magazine spreads, watching Fashion TV, wondering what it was like to live that glamorous experience. I had shoved it aside because Fashion Week invitations are only for celebrities, magazine editors, fashion buyers and the likes, and it isn’t an event you can buy tickets to attend, but a highly coveted personal invitation must be in your possession. read more

The Doers Club

I am known as Maria the style blogger, (or as many people call me “style me”) who is always attending posh events in the most casual outfits. “Don’t you feel awkward?”, they ask. “Kudos for staying true to your personal style!”, they say. And staying true is what helps me to not bend day in and day out as the influence of a certain sector of society tries to get to you, peer pressure style.

The only summer event that was true to itself, thus allowing all the attendees including myself to be bare and genuine, was the notorious Monday nights of food, drinks, friends and dancing, a.k.a. the Doers Club. What makes it so sought after? It is because amidst the cookie cutter events happening in the capital targeting the same circle, rises an alternative by Dewar’s that caters to independent creatives living true to their passion. read more

Off The Beaten Path In London

Upon returning from London a few months ago, I had shared a post summing up places to visit (click here to read) and I was asked why this city in particular left an imprint on my heart. No amount of storytelling will convey the charm of London and its eclecticism, however I dedicate this post to those who aren’t unlike me, literature buffs, music lovers and art connoisseurs who appreciate objects and places with soul.

Naji and I are huge detective buffs with Sherlock Holmes topping our list. Any fan of the TV series Sherlock will recognize Speedy’s Cafe as the local eatery right below the on screen version of 221 B Baker Street which in fact is located on Euston Street. I kid you not, we walked kilometers to reach the cafe on over 3 separate occasions and each time we found it to be closed, and as it wasn’t meant to be for us to have the recommended English breakfast inside, we had to be satisfied with a mere photo at the entrance step. read more

Spellbound By London

London for me has always been a fairy tale city, from kings and queens to lords and ladies, for someone who pretty much lives in their head and daydreams of past centuries, I had it built up in my mind. That being said, I still never understood what the fuss was about in this present day and age and why those who visit develop a bond and a passion for this city. I was adamant on finding out firsthand, and after years of convincing my husband to join me in my adventure, he caved and we booked a ticket for London, and despite the fact that some tried to convince us to squeeze in Scotland and/or Ireland in the same trip, I was determined to make our long vacation dedicated to thoroughly exploring one city. read more

My Long Breastfeeding Journey

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, however my experience with breastfeeding two children for more than a year each, taught me a lot and placed me in a position of giving advice to those who seek it from me. I have offered breastfeeding support for lactating mothers, and if you feel like you want to learn from what I went through then this post is for you. If you are however, here to judge breastfeeding mothers or in any way feel this is an attack on formula feeding mothers, then obviously you have no any idea that I am all about accepting other parents’ choices, hence I invite you to exit this page, there is no room for negativity or judgement.* read more

Foodie In Barcelona

I haven’t stopped raving about Barcelona since I visited last autumn, and one of the things I cannot neglect to add on the list of its charm is the food. Both visually enticing and tasty, this Catalan city’s cuisine is top notch. Our culinary journey wasn’t premeditated, we literally sat down for a meal at the first place we saw when hunger was striking which is a rule of ours when we travel. In front of each restaurant like most cities these days, lies a board with the menu, specials, happy hour discounts and lunch offers. Read on and feast your eyes upon the food in Barcelona! read more

Mom Wars

I was thinking long and hard about what I wanted to say to you on mother’s day. While I could easily go for the sappy message, I chose to relate to you a topic that has been on my mind for a long while. If you are not a parent yet, then read what I’m about to express and place yourself in our shoes. If you are indeed a parent, a mother specifically, then kudos to you, you are doing a great job. But please, oh please, I truly hope you are not the judgmental type, and if you are, I wish what I’m about to write will make you change your mindset. read more

Restaurant Review: La Petite Table

La Petite Table is a recently opened cafe/restaurant in Gardens Naccache serving international cuisine. The decor is beautiful and the color scheme is reminiscent of the French Provincial interiors. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, shall you choose to stay inside it is a cozy and romantic area, but if you’re up to people watching then go ahead and sit on the terrace.

For our first visit we chose items from various menu sections to get to sample a bit of everything. We started with the Four Cheese Pizzette for 12,000 L.L. which is a thin crispy pizza dough with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan and gorgonzola. It is very tasty but quite small and not made to share, so make sure to order it as an appetizer and not a main course. read more

10 Tips For Traveling With A Toddler

Is traveling with a toddler hard? Yes.

Is traveling with a toddler easy? Yes.

How well you are prepared will determine the success of your journey. That along with expecting the worst and a major sense of humor will do you and your child much benefit.

When Naji and I took Tracy with us on vacation she had just turned 3 and we were wondering if it was the proper time to introduce travel to her agenda. Though it might be early and she might soon forget her experience, but it is a step towards shaping the young mind to be tolerant to various cultures and differences, along with a sense of adventure and independence for the future. If you are planning for something similar, I hope my suggestions help you out. read more