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Edamame (iStockphoto.com)
Edamame (iStockphoto.com)

Our favourite things: sunscreen, Edamame beans and corn starch

From the perfect sunscreen to edamame beans, we round up our favourite things this week.

The perfect sunscreen

When it comes to tanning, I definitely hang with the "pale and interesting" crowd. Unable to do anything but accumulate freckles and sunburn when the sun puts his hat on, my life is an eternal quest for the perfect sunscreen.

Luckily, my search may be at an end following the discovery of an organic, Ayurvedic, paraben-free SPF40. Light enough to wear daily, the lotion by Herbaline Essestials not only protects the palest of skins from UVA and UVB rays, it also speeds up the healing process for minor rashes and burns.

Not surprising, then, that it contains lashings of the active ingredients aloe vera and zinc. Best of all, there's no need to buy separate creams for the body and face as one bottle of the lotion caters for both.

Herbaline Essentials SPF 40 Sun Screen Lotion is available at pharmacies across the UAE from Dh99 and online at www.mumzworld.com. For more information, visit www.natural.ae.

* Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane


The Browser

I've found a way to access the best writing from around the world, accessible in just a few clicks. The Browser has the lofty ambition of creating "a 21st-century library of Writing Worth Reading" and it is well on its way. Curated by a global "in-house" team of discerning readers, the site delivers a daily digest of quality written work from newspapers, magazines, literary reviews and blogs on subjects ranging from politics to culture. Visit www.thebrowser.com and enjoy whiling away the hours.

* Saeed Saeed


Edamame beans

I love edamame beans; they're tasty, healthy (a complete protein, no less) and make the perfect precursor to a meal.

According to the website www.livestrong.com, a half a cup serving of shelled edamame contains just 100 calories, 3g of unsaturated fat and 8g of protein, as well as being a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and K. Rather impressive statistics, I think you'll agree.

Despite merrily ordering bowl after bowl when eating at a Japanese restaurant or sushi bar, it wasn't until a couple of months ago that I spotted a bag of unshelled edamame beans in the freezer section of my local Spinneys and realised that I could be cooking them at home as well.

I think the beans taste best when lightly steamed for a couple of minutes, before being dusted with flakes of Maldon salt or toasted sesame seeds and served with soy dipping sauce on the side. If you don't have a steamer, then simply cook them in boiling salted water, before smugly tucking in to a tasty, guilt-free snack.

* Emily Shardlow

A tip for the gentlemen

Here's something to keep inside the office drawer: corn starch. Yes, really - the gravy-making, pudding-thickening, odourless, tasteless white substance can actually be a lifesaver one of these days. Hear me out: you're wearing a light-coloured suit to work, and in the middle of the day, you spot a dark stain on your jacket. Coffee spill? That curry you had for lunch? You don't even know. Worse, you have no idea how to remove it. Water? Oil? A colleague's Tide to Go pen? Nothing works. Well, corn starch will. Sprinkle on the spot, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a wet cloth - the stain is gone. Convinced? Works for leather shoes, too.

* James Gabrillo


Electronic Dictionary Bookmark

I hate to admit it, but for someone whose profession centres on writing and who always has her nose in a book, my vocabulary leaves much to be desired. One way to rectify this embarrassing situation is to alternate between reading a dictionary and a thesaurus come bedtime, but even my geeky nature has its limits. Instead, I've stumbled across the perfect solution to those frustrating moments when you're deep in the world created by a good book, and happen to come across a word used by the author that you have never heard before, nor know the meaning of. The Electronic Dictionary Bookmark, which you can find at Magrudy's or at a store that sells electronics, such as DG Sharaf, is always on my person, tucked safely into any book I happen to be reading. It's super thin and perfectly bookmark-like, contains 38,000 definitions, is powered by the Collins English Dictionary and is ridiculously easy to use. I'm no longer stumped by the words I come across and love the immediacy of looking words up when needed. Bonus: this makes an excellent gift!

* Hala Khalaf

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