26 Jan 2020

The Abu Dhabi Diaries | Travel Guide



If you've been keeping up with my Instagram (@fatimawrites_) you'd know that I started off the year in the UAE! We had the greatest holiday, it was the perfect temperature out there and we also got to spend a few days in Dubai, which was equally as amazing (I'll be sure to blog about this too!)

Anyway, I've spent some time in Abu Dhabi before but never actually shared much about our trip over on the blog. So I thought I'd put together a mini travel guide for those thinking about visiting.


THINGS TO SEE:

Qasr al Watan (The Presidential Palace)
If you are into learning about the culture and history of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, this palace is one to visit. It's not a residential palace, it's a building where leaders can come together for meetings and important occasions.







It's a beautifully designed building and has equally beautiful lands and apparently took 7 years to build! One of the rooms had a chandelier that consisted of 350,000 crystals and a dome lined with 23-carat gold leaf. The palace is separated into several areas such as Presidential Gifts, House of Knowledge and many more - all of which includes interesting info.

I believe the palace also has an evening laser light show, which we sadly didn't get to see but sounded amazing!

The Louvre
So if you are familiar with The Louvre museum in Paris, they have another branch of the museum in Abu Dhabi. You should expect a lot of history, of course, and culture. There's not much I can say about the museum because there was so much to see - you could easily spend an entire day here.







Sheikh Zayed Mosque
This mosque is one of the most famous mosques in the world and is a landmark that many come to visit when they are in the UAE. It's the largest mosque in the country, has the world's largest hand-knotted carpet (took 8 months to design, 12 months to knot and 2 months to transport, weave and trim) and has over 80 domes.

It's a beautiful place to visit and whether you are or aren't religious, you really feel the atmosphere.



THINGS TO DO:

The Corniche
Abu Dhabi has the softest sand! And beautiful beaches too. We spent New Years on the beach where there was an amazing firework show - it really was out of this world. Evening walks on the beach were great too. You can also rent out electrical bikes or scooters and take a ride across the beach.



Umm al Emarat Park
This park has lots of restaurants, cafes, stalls and plenty of other bits going on! We spent a good few hours here (there were kids with us, who were well entertained) and it was great fun.

Yas Waterworld
On our last visit to Abu Dhabi, we spent a day at Yas Waterworld on Yas Island. No matter what age you are, you always have a blast (and feel like a child again) when you go to a waterpark! It's really good fun and makes for a great day out.

Warners Bros World
If yo are a fan of Warners Brothers TV shows and movies, this is a must-visit. It's an indoor amusement park that has rollercoasters, rides and other fun attractions. A great day out for both adults and kids.


Ferrari World
I haven't visited Ferrari World yet but has heard it's really great. Be sure to check it out if you get a chance!

Marina Eye
We didn't go on this either, as it's not really for us, but if you want to get a great view of the city it's a good spot to visit.



WHERE TO EAT:
Here are a few of the spots we went to on our travels but in general, all food is pretty amazing out in Abu Dhabi.







  • Magnolia Bakery | Loaded Fries, Flatbread Pizza and the Milk Cake
  • P F Changs | Mongolian Beef and Dynamite Shrimp
  • Salt | Mint Lemonade and Lotus Affogato (all of the food is tasty here)
  • Last Exit | There are lots of drive-thru vans here - plenty of choice! 
  • Casper and Gambini - Profiteroles 
  • Pizza Express - Tandoori Chicken Pizza and Hawaiian Pizza (there are other regional items on their menu, which sound amazing!)


SHOPPING:
There are plenty of malls to visit in Abu Dhabi but our top favourite was The Galleria - there are just so many stores, entertainment areas and food places. Other malls you can visit are Yas Mall, Marina Mall, WTC Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall.



So there's a little highlight reel of our holiday to Abu Dhabi! Have you visited before? 
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19 Jan 2020

3 Life-Changing Things I've Learnt From An Edited Life by Anna Newton



Over the past few months, I've been reading An Edited Life by Anna Newton (The Anna Edit) on and off (I've never been a good reader!) and I thought I'd share some of the key outcomes I've learnt. The book is about all things organisation, decluttering, being efficient and of course, editing. Split into various chapters about life, work and home, there's something for everyone.



LESSON NO 1 | The 50:30:20 income split

In the Life chapter, Anna talks about money and budgeting. I subconsciously have always done this tip but it was good to get a handle on the topic a bit more and I thought it would be a useful method to share with you all!

Your net income should be split into 3 ways: fixed expenses, variable expenses and savings & debts:

  • FIXED EXPENSES | 50% - Rent / mortgage, bills (water, electric, gas), car expenses, council tax, insurance etc.
  • VARIABLE EXPENSES | 30% - Food shopping, health (gym, healthcare etc), subscriptions, entertainment, gifting etc.
  • SAVINGS & DEBTS | 20% - Savings, pension & loan repayments etc. 

First things first would be to organise your income into these three categories and figure out how your money is usually split. If it is looking similar, great! You are on the right track. If it is looking more like 40:50:10, maybe it is a good time to rethink your outcomes and variable expenses.

This method will hopefully help me save a lot more and hope it helps you if you are looking to organise your earnings and expenses better. 


LESSON NO 2 | Improving your productivity levels

I'm always up for any advice on how to up my productivity, whether it is at work or home. So when Anna talked about the 'one touch' and 'three tasks a day' rule in the Work section of her book, I thought I'd try these tips out. 

  • ONE TOUCH RULE | Avoid starting a task if you can't see it through from start to finish. If you find yourself dipping in and out of tasks, this can actually be unproductive and it might be better to work chunks so you can get one job done at a time. 
  • THREE TASKS A DAY | Set yourself just three main tasks for the day and this will help you balance your day. It's enough to see you through the day but also make you feel like you have done enough without wanting to do more.


LESSON NO 3 | The F.U.L.L. method for decluttering

I admit, I think I am a hoarder in some aspects on my life. When it comes to my make up and skincare, I am really good at keeping my collection concise. However, cleaning products, clothes and other bits and bobs around the home, that's a bit of a touchy subject. 

Anna has invented the F.U.L.L. method (look in the Home chapter) for when you are decluttering each area in your home. 

  • Is it FUNCTIONAL? Have you got use for it?
  • Have you USED it in the last year?
  • Do you LOVE it?
  • Do you like the LOOK of it?

The book contains lists and other tips and advice for if you are looking for more information so be sure to check it out if you are interested. 


And there you go - three life-changing lessons I've learnt from An Edited Life. The book is a great resource for guidance on organising your life, home and work. If you are looking for a book you can dip in and out of for advice on themes, like the above, I highly recommend getting your hands on this. Alternatively, Anna's blog and Youtube channel is full of other tips and advice on similar topics!
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5 Jan 2020

My Go-To Winter Weekend Look






It's been a while since I've done an outfit post on the blog! I really wanted to share this outfit because I am obsessed with this dress at the moment. During the winter months, I feel like it is really easy to get stuck in a rut and wear the same jumpers with jeans but this dress makes me feel a little more glam.
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