1. Sweet inspiration
"There's fun to be done," wrote the children's author Dr Seuss. Kick yourself into action this year and accomplish all the things you have promised yourself you would. The YouToDo chart is a brilliant way to inspire you to do new things such as read five classic novels, enter a competition, or accomplish something you thought you couldn't. Pin or stick the chart to the wall and try to complete the list of 66 tasks (plus four of your own making). When you complete a task record it with a coloured sticker. Up to four people can join in, so challenge your friends and family and get going!
Dh58, Harvest Home, Jumeirah Centre, 04 324 0225
2. Jet-set set
Warm cashmere, silk and a gorgeous colour – what else could a girl ask for when travelling? If 2011 is your year for adventure and seeing more of the world, then travel in comfort and style. This lilac cashmere travel bag includes a silk eye mask, a throw and bed socks. You can even personalise it, as monogramming is available.
Dh2,500 available at www.gift-library.com
3. Charity turtles
Make the new year a time to give something back after all those pressies and treats. Emirates Wildlife Society is calling on UAE residents to support the Marine Turtle Conservation Project through the purchase of a "Turtle Adoption Pack"'. These cute sets include a cuddly toy turtle, an adoption certificate (to show you have contributed to the cause), stickers, a photo card with turtle facts, and a brochure about the three-year programme. Marine turtles are now highly endangered so all proceeds of the packs go towards the Marine Turtle Conservation Project.
Adoption packs are priced at Dh200 and can be purchased from the Fairmont Bab Al Bahar, 02 654 3133; The Shelter, 04 347 3912; Al Boom Dive Centers, 04 349 2293; and the Fairmont Hotel Dubai, 04 332 5555 www.gulfturtles.com
4. Organise, organise, organise
Nothing says neat freak quite like a diary. Louis Vuitton combines its classic monogram with a feminine pink touch in this version. The sturdy dark canvas can withstand a good toss around your work bag and works as a great cardholder and purse when using a small handbag.
Dh1,230, Louis Vuitton, Marina Mall, 02 681 2166; Dubai Mall, 04 330 8060; Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 4462
Run into the New Year
Eaten too much rich food recently? How about burning off those excess calories just by switching your trainers? "Count us in!" we hear you cry. PUMA's latest shoe offering is the new BodyTrain. The concept is that wearers get the most out of every step as these trainers apparently activate key leg muscles to enhance natural movement, thus burning more calories. They are also one of the lightest toning shoes on the market, which means less stress on your joints and more comfort for all-day wear. It's time to renew your gym card.
Dh365, available in PUMA stores throughout the UAE
This year we plan on making room for what matters the most - shopping. With no space in our wardrobes and far too much of it in our bank accounts, we have found the solution: Frock Exchange. The Dubai-based shop sells your donated designer and high street gear at a decent price and gives you half of the sale proceeds. It's a win-win scenario: you get some money to spend on new goodies and a breezy wardrobe to use without fear of losing the new items in an abysmal black hole (located conveniently at the back of the wardrobe).
Frock Exchange, Jumeirah Centre, Beach Road, 04 344 0552
Out with the old, in with the new
One woman's junk is another woman's treasure - and what better way to reinvent yourself than with someone else's unloved goods? M loves a bargain and now that the weather has cooled off, it's time to dust off those elbow pads, sharpen your primeval instincts and prepare to ferret among other people's cast-offs at the outdoor Dubai flea market again - while earning cash from your own unwanted treasures. There were more than 250 stalls at the last monthly market in Al Safa Park, making it the busiest ever with 7,500 visitors, queues forming even before it opened at 8am and families making a whole day of it by picnicking on the grass. We spotted new craft items and jewellery as well as secondhand bric-a-brac, unwanted gifts, clothes, furniture and homewares. Our loot included a brand new DVD box set of our favourite TV series, a silk dress from Monsoon, a mobile phone charger, a handbag, three books and a classical hits CD, all for under Dh100. What are you waiting for? Throw out the old you and snap up someone else's goodies for a few dirhams.
Dubai flea market, gate 5, Al Safa Park, Dh3 entry, Saturday, January 8, 8am-3pm. See www.dubai-fleamarket.com for future events