food · lifestyle

friends avenue cafe

you know when you come across a really nice coffee shop? one that makes you feel welcome, has a really nice environment, where you can easily relax, read a book, do some work, chat with friends, or just chill by yourself?

no, you don’t know of any?

well, let me tell you about one.

it’s called friends avenue cafe.

this cafe rocks, and for many reasons. it’s got a really laid back vibe to it. it’s designed as a really cute, hipster-y coffee shop, so you get to enjoy the food and hang in a really cool place. it’s got hanging lights, planters on the wall, cozy chairs and open space, natural light, the aroma of coffee in the air, and a foosball table! i love coming in here for a cup of coffee, book in hand, and spending an hour just having some me time.

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besides the interior and the looks being awesome, the staff is also a group of wonderful people. they make you feel welcome, they love their job, and interacting with coffee and food lovers from all over. their first location is in jlt and they recently opened their second location in motor city, which is a prime area with people popping in and out of The Ribbon and weekends full of brunchers.

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now lets talk about food. and coffee. omg i love their flat whites. i could drink three cups in a row, but i’d be bouncing off the walls. and their latte art is so cute. i’m also a big iced latte person, so those are great for on the go.

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they have quite the talented staff. their food has great presentation to it as well, and the taste is great. they have a pretty decent menu, with options for all. coffees, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, everything. i am a big fan of their breakfast options. it’s decent sized portions, well plated, and of course- delicious!

i would really suggest that you grab a friend (or if you’re like me, grab a book!), and head over there, get a cup of delicious coffee, and enjoy the good times.

love always, lala.

beauty · lifestyle · Makeup

going to the dark side- essentials salon

I have had blonde in my hair since I got engaged. That was July 2015. When I decided to get my hair done then, I said that it was time for change. I was getting married, I should I have a new look. At the time, my hair was grown out, it was my natural color after who knows how many years. Anyways, I decided to cut my hair a bit, add some blonde tones. I kept the blonde until my wedding, and after also. I mean, I love blonde hair, and it always looks good.

Now, I’ve been married for almost a year and a half, and I. Am. Sick. Of. Blonde.

It’s just such a hassle to maintain, and to make sure it doesn’t go brassy and orange. I had had enough. I did my research, and I finally found the salon I wanted to go to for the change. I have yet to do anything to my hair since I moved to Dubai, which was almost a year and a half ago. I was just waiting to go back home to New York and then do something to my hair. I find it hard to trust new hairdressers, especially because I had been going to the same one for 10 years. But I have events and weddings coming up, and I didn’t want to wait till the last minute.

After A LOT of research, I chose to go to Essentials Beauty Salon and Spa. I had heard good things about this place, and it was also reasonably priced. I called ahead for a consultation, where I met with Svetlana. We discussed whether I should I dye my hair dark, or tone the blonde to a nicer shade and slowly work it back to dark. I decided to tone it to a nice medium/dark brown shade, almost a mocha brown. It would cancel out all the gross blonde that was being stubborn and turning brassy.

The salon atmosphere is so nice, very comforting and relaxing. It’s set in a villa, and decorated in such a cute English style, with shades of pinks and blues, and pretty chandeliers and lace curtains. I was seen right away, and the process begun. It takes about a half hour for toner to set in your hair. So I had my hair washed, toned, and rinsed in under 45 minutes. After, Svetlana dried my hair so I could see how the color turned out.

And it came out to exactly how I wanted it! The blonde toned into the perfect chocolate brown shade of my dreams and blended in nicely with my roots, which are a dark brown/black.

Overall, the whole thing took about an hour, and I left a very happy customer, who will definitely be returning and recommending to everyone who ever asks for salon suggestions. Their rates are very reasonable too, compared to other higher end salons in Dubai, and this salon is categorized into the high end branch. I paid 165 dhs, and I was very pleased with the outcome.

love always, lala.

thoughts

5 things that make me happy.

I’ve been MIA for so long, and that’s because I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been down lately, and nothing seems to make me motivated to get out of bed or get on with my day. My anxiety and depression get the best of me, even when I have no reason to be feeling this way. My brain and I are currently at war with each other. Some battles I win, some I lose.

So, I thought I would share a few things that bring me happiness. Maybe it’ll bring help me.

  1. Freshly brewed cup of coffee. Nothing beats the smell of a hot cup of joe, the aroma in the air, the caffeine perking up my day even before I’ve drank it.
  2. Walking in the woods. I’m not much of an outdoorsy and nature person, but just taking a walk to clear your mind (especially in fall weather), it’s just so calming. It could be walking anywhere really.
  3. Reading. I can sit in one spot for hours on end, with a stack of books next to me. My dream is to have my own little reading nook in a future house, or own a coffee shop that has books lining the walls. It’s great to get lost in a different world, even if it’s just for a short amount of time.
  4. Ice cream. What can’t ice cream fix? Just give me my cookies’n’cream and I’ll be happier than ever.
  5. Friends and family. I love spending as much time as I can with my husband, because he can cheer me up and make me smile like a fool, even if I’m angry at the world, or the laundry machine, or over nothing. And when I’m back home in New York, I cherish every second I get with my friends and family, because it’s not that easy to travel constantly from Dubai to New York. I make a yearly trip for at least 4-5 weeks.

Basically, I just need to remind myself that I have every reason to feel happy and blessed, Alhamdulillah. God has given me a home, food to eat, a loving family. But sometimes, even I can’t control how I feel.

love always, lala.