30 August, 2013

Watermelon and feta salad

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Watermelon, cubed and deseeded
Feta cheese, crumbled
Rocket leaves
Mint leaves, torn
Black olives
Pine nuts
Freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice

The first time my housemate at university made this salad I was understandably sceptical, but was instantly won over; it just works. I have since tinkered with the recipe and 'made it my own' by adding extras like rocket, olives and pine nuts, but the salad is just as good in its basic form of watermelon, feta and mint - it just depends what you happen to have in your fridge. 

One of my all-time favourites, this is a perfectly refreshing summer salad and a deliciously out of the ordinary addition to any meal! 

26 August, 2013

Desert Rose Diary on Facebook

Good news, I have just published a Facebook page for my blog, which you can find here!
I've been thinking about creating it for a while but have hesitated for a number of reasons:

  1. I spend my days coming up with social media strategies for other people and so have, unfortunately, neglected the optimisation of my own!
  2. I have previously relied on Bloglovin' as my blog reader of choice but, whilst Bloglovin' is wonderful (I'm personally a massive fan),  I realise that it's more convenient for most people to keep everything in one place i.e. the omnipresent Facebook. This way, you won't need to stray far from your newsfeed to find out that I've blogged. 
  3. On the flip side, whilst there is obvious merit in a Facebook page offering instant blog updates, I was reluctant to launch the blog on a new platform only to disseminate the same content. Yes, it is essentially another touchpoint, but it can be so much more than that. Facebook will allow me to share quick tips, wonderful finds from across the web, recommendations of other bloggers to follow and events you should attend - all things that I'd love to show you but that don't quite warrant a full blog post for themselves! 
  4. And, lastly, if you've ever created a page yourself, you'll know that Facebook demands categorisation... are you a brand, a location, a celebrity or a community? Where does a humble lifestyle blogger fit in there? Both the necessity to fit into one of these categories and the daunting connotations of the word 'fans' caused me to shy away from embracing this platform. But, it's many faults aside, I can't deny Facebook's utility in connecting you to me and me to you... I mean, that is the essence of Facebook's mission statement after all, isn't it.
So, perhaps inevitably, the page has been created. Like it, if you like it.

24 August, 2013

The ombré shirt in action

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Following on from my dip dyed shirt DIY tutorial, here is a lil outfit post with said shirt stealing the show! My trusty Zara skort and absurdly high wedges (still compensating for the dreaded kitten heels that have recently entered my life) glam it up, but I've also been lounging around in the shirt and slouchy jeans this weekend. And anything multi-functional wins my heart, you know that!

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Shirt: DIY, Skort: Zara, Wedges: Topshop (old collection but available here), Clutch: Ebay, Sunglasses: H&M (similar here).

23 August, 2013

DIY ombré dip dyed shirt

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Here is my latest little DIY project. It's super easy and literally took me about an hour, the hardest part was actually finding the right kind of dye! But, once I did, here's how I went about it...

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^^ Wetting the shirt will help the dye to run evenly and create a gradual ombré look ^^
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^^ I would recommend keeping the shirt on a hanger, as this helps you keep it straight and level when you dip it into the dye ^^
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Ta da! What do you think, is this something you'd attempt?

N.B. I followed the instructions on my dye packets, yours might be different so listen to them over me regarding measurements etc!

18 August, 2013

On kitten heels

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Shirt: Zara, Leather Skirt: Vintage (similar here and here), Shoes: Zara, Bag: Mulberry, Rings: H&M

The other day I was innocently perusing the shelves of Zara when I was rudely confronted with an unwelcome realisation... I am a grown up. What prompted this ridiculous epiphany? Kitten heels. I found myself inexplicably drawn to this leopard print pair of shoes and, in that moment, it was all made excruciatingly clear - I have unintentionally become a real adult. Perhaps this is some invisible threshold that every young woman crosses in her transition from being a carefree teenager, tottering around in silly sky-high stilettos and clunky wedges, to becoming a real person, opting for sensible low heels for all the sensible activities she engages in. Am I wrong?

I know, I know, kitten heels are back for Summer '13 but, really, that rumour has never swayed me to opt for anything below three inches before. Don't get me wrong, I am a girl most comfortable in pretty sandals or grubby converse, and I'm even an avid fan of low block heels, but somehow buying these delicate kitten heels marks a definitive point-of-no return. That being said, I can't deny that I do kind of love them, especially when paired with my favourite vintage leather skirt and this vibrant blue shirt (because blue and leopard print are soulmates), for a chic office outfit on Thursday. 

Still, I did over-compensate for all this mature behaviour by spending the weekend indulging in the puerile antics of a boozy brunch and wearing the highest heels I own, effectively reassuring myself that I still haven't completely embraced a life of serious adulthood and practical footwear just yet! 

14 August, 2013

Tartan & stripes

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Two new purchases I made in the epic Zara sale over Eid weekend: a funky tartan skirt and a pair of fabulous Alexander Wang-esque gladiator boot-sandals. Honestly, these shoes have been the only thing to boost my spirits in the first week back to normal working hours after Ramadan (well, them, and Orange is the New Black, which I'm binge-watching every evening!).

The skirt satisfies my current love affair with tartan but, let's be honest, if it weren't for the sheer layer underneath it wouldn't be nearly as cool. Hopefully the schoolgirl/kilt vibes are offset by the sheer material and gladiator sandals, while the crop top and leather bum bag add the obligatory 90s element!

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Skirt: Zara, Crop top: River Island, Sheer shirt: Vintage, Shoes: Zara (similar), Leather 'bum bag': Shop in Copenhagen, Rings: H&M

Bring on the weekend! A brunch, a hair appointment and a couple of DIY projects are penciled into my diary, what about yours?

08 August, 2013

Three things

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Three things that have caught my eye this week...

Inspired by Columbian patterns and handmade in South Africa, these Fairtrade bags by Miss Mochila were declared the "it bag of summer" by Parisian Vogue. They're stocked at the wonderful Comptoir 102 in Dubai and I'm seriously into them, the only decision left to make is: backpack, cross-body or clutch?

The shoes are Alexander Wang lookalikes that I also need in my life. After spotting Kavita from She Wears Fashion in the white version the other day, I was swayed, the credit card came out and my delivery is expected for next week!

Lastly and, very simply, who could resist a Benefit x Matthew Williamson collab? Beautifully packaged and and filled with a vibrant collection of some of the best Benefit products... it would be rude not to.

P.S. Eid Mubarak!

04 August, 2013

Just beCOS

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A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends led me by the hand into COS at Dubai mall, gushing over how brilliant the sale was. She had already been there twice and had come away with handfuls of items each time, so my expectations were set pretty high. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) though, both Pobby and COS never disappoint and I walked out of the shop sheepishly carrying far too many of their gorgeous grey paper bags (seriously, even their bags are beautiful!). I've decided to share with you the highlight of my spree - these two minimalistic, earthy-toned dresses that are oh so signature COS. Perfect for work, play and, apparently, styling up in your back garden... 

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Dress: COS, Wedges: & Other Stories, Necklace: Forever21, Belt: Accessorize, Flower crown: handmade by me.

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Dress: COS, Heels: Glamorous, Necklace: River Island (similar).