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Weekly Planner: What’s on the Agenda for May 23-30

No room here for an empty diary.

SUNDAY, MAY 23

Fancy some nighttime tee time? Then head over to Topgolf at Emirates Golf Club. Book through the Viya Golf app, and you benefit from an exclusive offer that allows you to enjoy nine holes under the lights for just AED 195 after 8pm. Perfect for post-work stress relief or changing up your night out, this fully flood-lit course is a brilliant new addition to any active lifestyle.

Call 04 371 9999 for details.

MONDAY, MAY 24

Technofitness at Shorooq Community Centre is offering one of the best fitness offers we’ve seen for summer. Every Monday, women have the chance to sign up for a one-month membership for just AED 99 – a huge discount on the regular monthly price of AED 604. It runs from now until August 17, so if you’re planning to get your body beach-ready in time for winter, today is the day to sign up!

Call 04 243 8242 for details.

TUESDAY, MAY 25

Looking for one of the best value-for-money daycay options around? Then head over to Fairmont the Palm, where the amazing daycation package is set at AED 150 per person on weekdays, and AED 250 per person on weekends for the rest of the month. With AED 150 redeemable on food and beverages as well as discounts for kids, eight temperature-controlled pools, and a 800-metre private stretch of white sandy beach on offer, there’s no place we’d rather pull up a sunlounger this week.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 26

We’ll be booking in for Sensasia’s brand new body-firming treat this week as it launches with a brilliant 25% discount on the usual price. Hydrate & Sculpt is an all-natural but ultra-stimulating body scrub and wrap combo using the powerful detoxifying and sculpting properties of magnesium and coffee to tone and target stubborn fatty deposits.

This is followed up with Natura Bissé Citrus Radiance Therapy, a facial packed with vitamin C to hydrate, firm, and restore vitality to sun-damaged skin, stimulate collagen production, and provide that standout summer glow. We’ll certainly be feeling beach-babe fabulous after this glorious 120-minute treat.

From AED 699, call 04 417 9820 to book.

THURSDAY, MAY 27

Running until May 31, the 10th edition of annual charity initiative Ataya – organised by Emirates Red Crescent under the Patronage of HH Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamd – pools an array of talented artists and designers from across the GCC to showcase an exquisite range of handcrafted pieces on the newly launched Ataya online shopping destination. 

Offering a selection of unique fashion, accessories, homeware, and food, Ataya has supported several life-changing initiatives over the past 10 years. This includes building schools and hospitals, empowering communities through giving access to education and healthcare, and even building a complete village for a community suffering from enormous upheavals. Through donations and exhibitor participation fees, this year’s initiative aims to offer 200 fully funded training grants for nurses from select universities in India, the Philippines, Egypt, Albania, Bosnia, Mauritania, and the UAE.

FRIDAY, MAY 28

Brunching is back on the agenda, and we can’t wait to revisit one of our favourite brunches in town. Created by acclaimed Portuguese chef José Avillez, Tasca’s Friday brunch not only boasts delish Portuguese food and fab drinks, but also the most stunning views over Mandarin Oriental’s infinity pool and the ocean beyond. Roll on, Friday!

From 12:30-4pm, priced AED 350 including soft drinks and AED 450 with house beverages. To book, call 04 777 2231.

SATURDAY, MAY 29

End your week the cultured way with a fabulous evening of classical music performed by some of the region’s finest artists. The fourth in a new series of chamber music concerts by the UAE Classical Talents and presented by Alliance Française Dubai in Oud Metha, ‘A Night in a French Salon’ begins with works from Debussy and Chopin performed by pianist Ioannis Potamousis before being joined on stage by a string quintet to offer the audience the full concerto for piano and orchestra No. 2 by Camille Saint-Saëns in its salon version. Magnifique!

Click here to book. 

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Dress Up Your Meals With These Healthy Salad Dressings

Simple recipes to customise and make meals more exciting.

Making your own salad dressing at home is so much better than getting store-bought — think fresh ingredients and none of the artificial flavouring, added sugar, or low-quality ingredients. It could even save you money in the long run if it’s something you use a lot. Plus, using fresh ingredients is another way to get creative with eating mindfully and exploring your relationship with food.

Making key ingredients like salad dressing at home is a small but powerful way to take complete control of what goes in your food, as well as what doesn’t. These simple salad dressing recipes are a great way to balance meals and make them more exciting. Every salad dressing recipe shared here — a basic vinaigrette, tahini sauce, and a riff on the traditional green chutney — starts with a few basic building blocks: a base, an acid, and something that adds a rich, creamy consistency. These recipes are fully customisable and function as a base for you to add your favourite ingredients to and experiment with flavour profiles.

You can also add herbs to season your dressing; dry or fresh, they’ll add further depth to the dressing and your meal by extension. Just remember to let the dressing rest for at least 30 minutes to allow fresh herbs to infuse with the mixture.

Salad dressing can keep for up to a week if stored properly in the fridge: fully covered and in an airtight glass container. It’s perfectly normal for oil-based dressings to harden or congeal in the fridge, but don’t worry — let it come to room temperature on the counter before serving.

Coriander and Yoghurt Dressing

Serving Size:
1-2 cups
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups coriander leaves, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of cumin (powdered or seeds, roasted)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: green chillies or roasted peppers to taste

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add the water first, then lemon juice, yoghurt, salt, cumin, garlic, and coriander leaves and blend on high until everything is well-blended, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Check for consistency; if the dressing is too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thick, add more yoghurt and adjust for flavour.

Simple Tahini Sauce

Serving Size:
1 cup
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: a dash of extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, honey, or maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add the water, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. Blend for 30 seconds and add a few ice cubes, then blend until smooth.
  2. Check the dressing’s consistency and taste. If it’s too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time; if too bitter or sharp, add either olive or sesame oil to balance the flavour.

Simple Vinaigrette

Serving Size:
1-2 cups
Time:
8 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: a dash of orange juice, or a sprig of rosemary to infuse

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a jar with a lid, close the lid firmly in place, and shake well for 30 seconds.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature returns in 2023 with old friends and homegrown talent

For the first time ever, this year’s festival will feature sessions in multiple regional languages.

Ebtisam Al-Beiti, a Dubai-based former nursery teacher, wrote her first book during lockdown in an outpour of creative energy. Published in 2021, Can I Go Out Now? debuted at the literature festival that year, and the first edition of the book was also part of the Ministry of Education’s Reading For Pleasure project.

This year, she’s back with another book for toddlers just learning to read: Citrus the Smoothie Sloth. Already in its second edition, it’s about a cheeky little sloth that likes to make smoothies from rainforest fruit. 

Over the last 15 years, the literature festival has been a firm fixture on Dubai’s social calendar and has matured into a developed platform for young and upcoming authors with its goal of creating a sustainable literary ecosystem for the UAE and the region.

“I think the festival is an amazing platform for upcoming authors, especially for [visitors and attendees] to see local talent as well,” Al-Beiti told Gaggler. “They get to experience meeting the authors, talking to the authors, specifically for my age group — which is much younger children aged four to six — it’s during these early years that it’s important for kids to interact with authors and to really encourage them to start reading and to develop a reading culture.”

Friendships Old and New

The theme for this year’s literature festival is “Old Friends,” a fitting commemoration of the festival’s 15th anniversary. “It’s a very special year for us,” shared Tamreez Inam, assistant festival director and head of programming. “So when we were thinking of the theme, we thought of ‘Old Friends’ as a way to honour the authors who have been to the festival before, many of whom are returning for the 15th anniversary. But of course, we have new authors and new friends as well.”

‘Old Friends’ is also a reference to a quote by Al Mutanabbi, Inam explained, where he said a book is an old friend — the only friend you’ll ever need. “So we’re playing on that as well for the theme.”

In a first for the festival, this edition will break new ground in a bid to expand its reach by holding sessions in regional languages apart from Arabic and English. “For the first time, we’re going to have sessions in Malayalam, Filipino, Italian, Urdu, and Hindi. We really want the festival to be a celebration of all the communities that live here in the UAE,” said Inam. “It’s going to be our largest festival ever.”

What to Expect 

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be returning for its 15 anniversary from February 1-6, 2023, bringing together more than 250 writers and thinkers from over 50 countries in nearly 300 sessions spread out over six days. 

The festival kicks off with Desert Stanzas, a signature event and integral part of the festival consisting of a night of poetry and performances under the stars in the desert. “Then we just have a whole six days of all kinds of conversations: fiction, non-fiction, lots of children’s events, and something for everyone,” said Inam, who revealed she’s most looking forward to the special commemorations in honour of the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Prophet by acclaimed Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, as well as his 140th birth anniversary.

As for Al-Beiti, she’s looking forward to attending all of the sessions for children. “I attended David Walliams’ [session] last year and I absolutely loved it; I think I laughed more than the children! So I will definitely be attending David Walliams’ again this year.”

As for UAE-based authors on her watchlist? “We’ve got Kathy Urban, who I’m very, very excited for, and of course the legendary Julia Johnson as well. Also looking forward to Beverly Jatwani.”

“I’m so excited that as much as we have international authors, we get to attend the local authors as well.”

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will hold author talks, workshops, special events and more at the Intercontinental in Festival City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library from February 1-6, 2023. Buy tickets here.

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3 Breakfast Smoothies to Start Your Day Right

Breakfast in 60 seconds or less.

Looking for a healthy breakfast fix that won’t take more than a minute? Look no further than the smoothie, which can be served as a breakfast, afternoon snack, or as an alternative drink alongside your lunch.

While the key to a great smoothie is fresh ingredients, they’re a great way to reduce food waste, an easy way to transition away from added refined sugar, and increase your intake of fresh fruits and veggies. Make sure to add on some granola, seeds, or nuts for extra protein, especially at breakfast, to avoid a sharp glucose spike in the morning.

Yoghurt and Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup almond milk (or water)
  • Almonds or walnuts
  • Granola or muesli
  • Ice (optional)

Directions

  1. Blend the milk or water, Greek yoghurt, berries, and ice until fine and thick.
  2. Pour and serve, and add nuts, granola, or muesli on top.

Mango and Peach Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup mango
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt (substitute with 1 cup of water for a dairy-free version)
  • 1 cup peach
  • 1 small sprig of fresh basil
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Peel, seed, and chop mango and peaches.
  2. Blend everything together, aiming for a rich, creamy texture.

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Peel and chop bananas.
  2. Add the almond milk, bananas, blueberries, vanilla extract, and ice to a blender. Blend until smooth
  3. Serve immediately.
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Doing Dry January? You Can Still Go Out in Dubai

You’re not missing anything.

January is well and truly here and brings with it a fresh sense of renewal and resolutions for the New Year to come. Whether it’s committing to a skincare routine or detoxing after the intense festive season with a plant-based diet, the start of the year is all about stepping back and dialling things down. Moderation. Abstention. Veganuary. Dry January.

Dry January started out in 2013 as a campaign in the UK in which participants volunteer to give up alcohol for the entire month of January. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness about alcohol-related health issues, but it also serves to highlight unhealthy drinking culture and the widespread dependence on alcohol to socialise and entertain. Finding alcohol-free alternatives and non-alcoholic options on menus is far from a novelty now, especially when they’re this good and not just canned sodas or pumped full of sugar and food colouring. Read on to find some of the best places to go in Dubai if you’re not touching the bottle but still want to catch those after-work drinks with friends or a nice dinner with a special someone.

Amazónico

Step into a tropical paradise at Amazónico with a menu centred around seasonal and superfood ingredients, as well as a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails served in fantastic custom sculpted glasses. From the appetisers down to the mains, sides, and desserts, each course offers options that are perfect if you want to go out without the breaking your detox and dry January resolutions. Choose the Peacock Spritz, made with non-alcoholic Belli-No, maracuya, lemon, and tonic, or the best-selling Jaguarete with a carefully concocted mixture of papaya, tangerine, and salted cashew, finished with Perrier and Bôtan’s signature ‘No ABV’ spirit.

Amazónico, Gate Village 11, DIFC, Dubai, 04 571 3999 @amazonicodubai

KATA

This contemporary Japanese restaurant with iconic views of the Dubai Fountain at Dubai Mall’s Waterfront Promenade offers a year-round menu of delicious mocktails that complement its world-class food and has a wide range of alcohol-free beverages. Drinks include fruit-based takes on classic drinks, like the Redroni, which features red grape, botanical infusion, and forest fruits, as well as Ryui’s Kiss, which consists of infused juniper berry, hibiscus, and dragon fruit. The huge outdoor terrace dining area seals the deal.

KATA Dubai, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 04 273 3800, @kata.ae

NoLo

As Dubai’s first dry bar, NoLo serves thoughtfully crafted non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails that feel just like the real thing. Open until 1am. With a food menu that features light bar snacks, the casual atmosphere is perfect for catching up with friends after work.

NoLo, Dusit Thani Dubai, 04 317 4515, @nolodubai

Lobby Lounge

As an alternative to boozy brunches, enjoy a calm, luxuriant afternoon tea any day of the week at the iconic Ritz-Carlton Dubai with an extensive tea menu featuring 10 different types of teas, as well as an assortment of finger and open-faced sandwiches, scones, pastries, and sweet treats.

Lobby Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, DIFC, Dubai, 04 399 4000, ritzcarlton.com

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It’s Time to Leave Your Food Sins Behind

Starting with this detox shot.

After a long season of indulging in rich food, festive drinks, and way too many desserts, it’s time to treat your body to a refreshing juice. Go for an apple, cinnamon, and ginger shot to detox – apples are in season this time of year, and so good for you. The cinnamon and raw ginger in this recipe are anti-inflammatory and help boost immunity to fight those nasty winter colds, while the fibre from the apple is good for your gut and skin, as well as full of antioxidants.

Optionally, you can add a dash of turmeric, too – powdered or raw – for that brilliant yellow colour as well as its functional benefits. You can strain the juice after blending, but you’ll be missing out on all the good stuff that’s in the fibre. The same goes for peeling the apple before blending it for juice.

Apple Cinnamon Ginger Detox Shot

Serving Size:
1 cup
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2-inch knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnnamon powder
  • 1 cup (or 200ml) water
  • Pinch of turmeric (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash, core, and cut the apple. Peel, if you prefer.
  2. Add the chopped apple, ginger, water, cinnamon powder, and turmeric powder into a blender.
  3. Blend on high speed for a minute, or until completely blended. If the juice is too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time.
  4. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with more cinnamon or turmeric according to taste.
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You, But Better: The Gaggler Agenda for January

Mark your calendars.

January 4: Usher in 2023

According to Mayan belief, working with cacao – a.k.a. food of the gods – allows one to cultivate awareness on an emotional and spiritual level, guiding you in the direction that you need to take. And that’s where the New Year Full Moon workshop at Illuminations comes in. Accenting a cacao ceremony with sound healing in time for the first full moon of 2023, the session will help enhance one’s well-being and communication with divinity.

Learn more here.

January 8: Reap the Rewards

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit, one in which past sacrifices will be rewarded generously. Celebrate your upcoming stroke of good luck at Dubai Opera, where traditional elements, national characteristics, and regional culture will be highlighted at the Chinese New Year gala.

Learn more here.

January 14: Follow the Light

Candlelight Concerts bring the magic of unique, one-of-a-kind concerts played by flickering candlelight to locations worldwide – which now includes Dubai. The upcoming 65-minute performance will pay tribute to the work of Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi at L’Alliance Française.

Learn more here.

January 21: Tap Your Toes

Theatre of Digital Art is an immersive art space that continues to diversify, hosting everything from perfume-making workshops to breathwork meditation sessions. We’re marking our calendars for What A Wonderful Jazz, an evening of  jazz starring Sher Oston and his orchestra of 22 world-class musicians who take jazz, opera and pop classics to the next level.

Learn more here.

January 22: Embrace Imperfections

Take a cue from the Japanese and give a new lease of life to something broken during the guided Kintsugi fusion workshop taking place at the upcoming UnleashYou Retreat. Combining creative arts with a coaching approach, this half-day event is designed to refresh from within and inspire creativity.

Learn more here.

January 26: Chant Along

Did you know 2023 opens the Emerald Gate and the year of 7? According to the experts at SEVA, it’s a powerful time to sit in our power and embody this mighty energy. Enter: the Chanting to Be in Our Power session. Led by Eda Gungor, it invites participants to chant along with the Ajai Alai mantra in order to activate higher chakras, bring us out of depression and anger, and dissolve the challenges in front of us.

Learn more here.

January 27: Crash the Party

Expand your culinary horizons at the Taste of Owambe supperclub hosted by Man like Mus. Inspired by Nigerian “Owambe” parties, this intimate dining experience introduces attendees to classic festive dishes (think: jollof rice with lamb chops, peppered beef and grilled plantain, and more) and illustrates why the food is the best part of every Owambe party.

Learn more here.

January 29: Join the Journey

Today’s your last chance to intensify the score at Sky Castle, which responds to crowd flow and fluctuations. Located in d3, this interactive installation features a cluster of inflatable arches that span in a colourful symphony across public space. The movement of visitors powers and progresses the soundscape, stimulating colour changes to evoke the joy that sunshine brings after every storm.

Learn more here.

January 30: Seek Support

With life abroad bringing with it plenty of hard truths, the new Expats in the UAE Support Group hosted by The LightHouse Arabia is a great tool to help anyone who is new to the UAE. Hosted on a monthly basis, these sessions will offer a safe and supportive space to discuss the joys, the challenges, and everything in between that can arise when living as an expatriate.

Learn more here.

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Welcome to the Best of Gaggler, 2022 Edition

Settle in for some quality reading time.

2022 is drawing to a close and, with it, ends another year of Gaggler sharing the expertise of astrologers, avid travellers, life coaches, health experts, wellness gurus, and more with women in the UAE – and beyond. Today, we’re looking back and taking stock of the past 12 months by rounding up some of our most memorable features when it comes to empowering women.

Laid out in chronological order, these articles represent the best of our magazine as a female-focused platform. As for the Gaggler woman? She is resilient and resourceful, empathetic yet deeply aware that you need to put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to help those around you. There are also a handful of special mentions, starting with a peek into our founder’s bag, which contains six must-haves from the online store we launched earlier this month. We also revisit two topics that warrant more attention in the year ahead: money management and sleep hygiene. Read on.

Keeping the Kids Motivated While Homeschooling

A kid studying on tablet

No parent will ever say that home schooling during the pandemic was anything other than incredibly tough. Technical challenges aside, ensuring children stay on-track with their studies and adding ‘teacher’ into the mix of roles didn’t make the lives of parents any easier. To help them navigate the return of remote learning earlier this year, we shared five key pointers on how to maintain a healthy home-schooling schedule.

Read the article here.

What an Accidental Dating Guru Wants Women to Know

Jon birger dating guru smiling

An award-winning business journalist, Jon Birger admitted to venturing into the self-help genre with a “snooty attitude” when he wrote his 2015 book Date-onomics, which analysed modern-day dating by crunching numbers. Having returned to the genre with his 2021 release Make Your Move, the author became more comfortable with advising single women worldwide, encouraging them to question the clichés that come with romance. To mark Valentine’s Day, we shared 10 takeaways from our conversation with this accidental dating guru.

Read the article here.

Let’s Delve into the Inner Workings of Board Membership

Career Out Of Board Membership

The basic structure of a board of directors varies depending on the needs of the organisation and any specialties within a specific industry, such as its regulatory environment. You can have boards as large as 30 members (non-profit boards) or as small as nine members (typical for a Russell 3000 company). We delved into the nuts and bolts of what you need to know about being on a board of directors and how to create one of your own.

Read the article here.

This Isn’t Your Typical Island Getaway

Beach chairs with umbrella

Not everyone is keen on the idea of long-haul travel. That’s understandable. And that’s where our travel guide to Bahrain came in – the only archipelago in the region, it’s only a mere 70-minute flight away. Between its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, trendy eateries, old-school souks, cultural institutions, and endless island-hopping opportunities, it’s also seriously underrated – especially if a quick getaway is all you can manage.

Read the article here.

A Men’s Coach on Encouraging Your Man to Open Up

tips for a men to open up

Men can seem like a bit of an enigma at times, appearing stoic, emotionless, carefree, and even indifferent. The keyword here is ‘appearing’. The truth is that they feel more than you think. Yes, a man wants to unburden his troubles, but the conditions need to be psychologically safe. Most men fear that their truth will hurt the person they want to be honest with, so they decide to say nothing. Enter: relationship coach Adil Hussain, who shared advice on how you can be the safe space for the man in your life.

Read the article here.

Why Women with Money Can Create a Better World

Financial Advice for Women

Much of the research around how and why women feel the way they do about money management isn’t surprising. According to statistics, 81% of women said they’ve personally been a victim of negative stereotypes – including about their investing abilities. In this article, we revealed what you can do to overcome fear or unconscious bias and feel more financially confident.

Read the article here.

Here’s How to Create an Inviting Living Room

living room with a wallpaper of leaves.

When you think of your lounge, do you think of a space to unwind and relax in, a meeting place where you can entertain friends and family, or a vibrant area where your children can play? Lounge rooms have many different functions, depending on the occupant’s needs, but they have one function in common – they should act as an inviting space where people want to spend their time. Our resident expert on all things interiors shared her tips on making your lounge reflect your needs.

Read the article here.

The 101 on Cohabiting in the UAE

A man and woman painting a wall

The UAE government recently announced amendments to a number of major personal and family laws, changing life for both current residents and those considering a move to our shores. Still confused about what exactly is and isn’t legal when it comes to cohabitation – arguably the most significant in these law changes – and the potential outcome for couples who have a child out of wedlock? You’ll find our conversation with a family law specialist illuminating.

Read the article here.

Making Amends: The Journey to Healing

Have you ever been anxious about a quarrel with a friend, sibling, or spouse? We’ve all been there. Guilt is a given, but your fury may overtake you and cause you to say things you don’t consciously mean. While you can’t take back what you’ve said after you’ve said it, you can tap into the insights of a mental health coach on how to fix things.

Read the article here.

Welcome to Sober October

Non alcoholic drinks Recipes

Non-alcoholic concoctions have soared in popularity across the globe in recent years, but arguably, they’re most favoured in the Middle East owing to cultural and religious factors. In honour of Sober October, we made a pitstop at Dubai’s first dry bar, NoLo, in search of easy recipes for you. The venue is anchored in creative zero-proof cocktails served in a dimly lit setting accented by lounge music and city views.

Read the article here.

Why Self-Care Is Crucial for Working Women

Self-Care for Women

The term ‘caregiver’ comes with an entourage of emotions and labels. The focus is always only on the person being taken care of, with associated emotions ranging from guilt to selflessness. By association, the word ‘care’ has come to take on the meaning of only being directed towards others – more so when you’re a woman, the ultimate caregiver. Here, we reminded our readers that caregiving begins with taking care of yourself, so you can recharge your batteries and share your best with others.

Read the article here.

6 Tips to Make Moving Day Less Stressful

writing a to-do list

Living in the UAE usually means one thing for all of us: we need to move home at least twice while living here. And while moving homes is considered as one of the most stressful events in one’s life, there are steps you can take to make the process smoother. It all depends on how well you organise your house move before, during, and after the move itself. Here, we shared six expert tips to get you started. 

Read the article here.

Special Mentions

Monica Malhotra: What’s in My Bag

Always trying to do more and constantly on the go – in today’s world, being a working woman is no simple task. One woman who fits this description is Monica Malhotra, the CEO of Gaggler. We had a chance to peek into her handbag, discovering her everyday essentials and discussing the importance of self-care in the life of a female entrepreneur.

Read the article here.

Stressed About Money? Consider This

Calculator coins money book with pen

Have you ever felt lost, overwhelmed, or inadequate when it comes to money and wealth? Have you ever felt others were born with a financial playbook that you never got? People often feel shame, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy because they can’t budget, have debt, or don’t know how to make an investment – but no one was born knowing how to earn and best utilise money. And that’s where the advice of a finance coach comes in.

Read the article here.

Over 40? It’s Time to Revisit Sleep Management

Sleep Management Tips for Over 40s

Sleeping peacefully or counting sheep? Any age can experience sleepless nights and insomnia, and often, this can be traced back to external life stressors like work, personal issues, or illness. Unfortunately, around the age of 40, we have another equation to factor in: menopause. To that end, we tapped a menopause wellness specialist on how to get better shut-eye in your 40s.

Read the article here.

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Our Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, Revealed

Goodie bags, dessert trays, sugar cravings – check.

Christmas is only two sleeps away, so now’s the time to give our chocolate chip cookie recipe a try. Not only is this homemade dessert easy and fuss-free, but it’s also ideal if you’re looking to fill up those goodie bags, cookie jars, or dessert trays. You can also scoop (or roll into balls by hand) and freeze the cookie dough, making this a great make-ahead recipe, so you always have fresh cookies on hand.

Be sure to chill the dough for at least three hours before baking, or even overnight. If the dough is too soft, the butter will be too runny, meaning the cookies won’t hold their shape and the dough will spread too thin. Plus, letting the dough chill and rest makes for richer, toffee-like flavour thanks to the brown sugar.

Let your cookies have some space on the baking sheet – it’s exciting to turn out a big batch at a time, but place your dough evenly spaced apart. These chocolate chip cookies will stay soft and chewy for days if kept in an airtight container, and you can always use the cookie dough as a base for other toppings, like coarse salt, white chocolate, or nuts. If they do dry out or get overbaked – it happens to the best of us – place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies to soften them up again.

three plates of chocolate chip cookies flatlay mahnoor bari
Photo: Courtesy of Mahnoor Bari

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serving Size:
24-36 cookies
Time:
35 minutes
Difficulty:
Very Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 200g chocolate chips

Directions

1. Soften the butter in a microwave until just partially melted, and allow it to melt slowly as it comes back to room temperature once out of the oven. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together both sugars and melted butter until creamy and no lumps remain.

2. Add the beaten egg and vanilla essence and whisk again on high speed, then add the baking powder and all-purpose flour. Fold gently to combine instead of beating or whisking. Gently mix in the chocolate chips and press the dough together. It should be neither too runny nor too dry.

3. Cover and chill the dough for three hours in the freezer, or in the fridge overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C for 10 minutes. Scoop the dough (or roll into balls, if you don’t have a cookie scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the edges are set and beginning to brown. If baking the frozen dough, bake for an extra three to five minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to finish baking on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

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Festive Treats

These Festive Treats Are Healthier Than You Think

Zero guilt, plenty of taste.

The festive season is officially here, and it is just so tempting to overindulge during this time of year – but you don’t have to. These recipes will help you jumpstart that New Year’s resolution a little earlier this year without feeling like you’re missing out on all the good stuff. Want more healthy holiday treats? Check out this recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Baked Oats.

Chocolate-Orange Protein Balls

I am a big fan of homemade energy balls. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed full of nutrient-rich ingredients such as oats, dates, and cacao to help boost our energy levels and support good health in general. In this recipe, each ball is filled with protein, heart-healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre, plus a whole host of minerals and antioxidants. Post-holidays, you can enjoy this snack as a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon or alongside your morning tea/coffee to get you going with your day! These chocolate-orange protein balls can be made in larger batches and placed in the freezer so you always have them on standby.

Serving Size:
8 balls
Time:
15 mins
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1.5 scoops chocolate-orange protein powder
  • 50g oats
  • 2.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 50g dates
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • pinch of salt
  • water, as needed
  • desiccated coconut for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine and blend all the ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Blend until everything is crumbly and broken down so it’s easy to form into balls.
  3. Add splashes of water to the blended mixture as needed to allow ingredients to combine with each other.
  4. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture. Roll into a ball and place in a serving dish that can go into the fridge.
  5. Place the chocolate-orange balls in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Snickers Date Bites

These chocolate-covered peanut butter stuffed dates taste just like Snickers but are so much better for you as they’re naturally sweetened – perfect if the stress of this season prompts you to reach for those candy bars. Besides, once you have a chocolate-covered date, you will not want them any other way! And with only five ingredients, it’s so easy to make. These treats aren’t limited to the holiday season – if you love having something sweet in the middle of the day or after dinner, make a larger batch, store them in the freezer, and enjoy whenever the craving strikes.

Serving Size:
Varies
Time:
15 mins
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • dates
  • peanut butter
  • peanuts
  • dark chocolate
  • Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Cut open date and remove the seed.
  2. Spoon in some peanut butter.
  3. Add about two whole peanuts into the peanut butter center of each date.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle (lavishly) on top.
  5. Sprinkle a little Himalayan salt on top of each date.
  6. Place dates in the freezer until set (about 15 minutes).
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banana bread chocolate chip walnuts mahnoor bari

Banana Bread, but Make It Healthy – Here’s How

For breakfast and beyond.

I absolutely love banana bread. There, I said it. What first started as a hackneyed coping mechanism during the lonely lockdowns of 2020 has now become, through trial and error, an almost weekly baking ritual in my household – as well as a canvas for exploring more seasonal fruit-based cakes.

This versatile dessert is not only a great way to use up those last couple of bananas that no one wants, but also is also perfect if you’re hosting a brunch or afternoon tea (or get peckish late at night). Sliced and packaged, banana bread also makes for an excellent basket stuffer or hostess gift during the holiday season. There’s nothing more personal than gifting something you’ve made yourself, right?

For this particular banana bread recipe, I’ve cut down on the refined carbs by using mostly wholewheat flour, which is made from grinding the whole kernel of wheat. This way, it retains the fibre, proteins, and nutrients lost during the processing of refined white flour. As a general rule, using wholewheat flour requires more hydration in your batter or dough, hence the use of yoghurt in this recipe. Keep it plain or mix in some extras before popping your bread in the oven. I usually add chopped walnuts, blueberries, or chocolate chips, or enjoy it plain with some blackberry jam or ice cream on the side.

homemade banana bread plain berry jam
Photo: Courtesy of Mahnoor Bari

Banana Bread

Serving Size:
8-10 servings
Time:
1.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence or extract
  • 113 grams butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yoghurt, beaten
  • Mix-ins: chocolate chips, blueberries, walnuts (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and line a 9×5 pan or 2lb loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so that they’re easy to mix together.

2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the sugars and softened butter until smooth and no lumps remain. Start at low speed and increase gradually to high speed. Add the yoghurt, vanilla extract/essence, and beat until smooth.

3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add to the sugar mixture bowl until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides. In another bowl, finely mash the bananas with a fork. Add the mashed bananas to the sugar mixture and fold until just combined.

4. In a separate large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk until everything is combined. Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar and banana mixture, and gently fold it in until just combined – do not overmix. Then, add the remaining half until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Add in your toppings (optional) and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow the banana bread to cool within the tin as this will make it easier to pull it out. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or jam.

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