During a recent long weekend in Berlin, an American friend walked all day, every day, in just one simple-but-cute pair of TOMS canvas shoes without complaint, while I struggled with blisters and sore feet in a disappointing variety that included a pair of unsightly trainers. It turns out not only are they the perfect kicking-around-town shoe, but with each purchase, the company will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need through their One for One programme. (It does the same with its stylish range of eyeglasses.) The company was started in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie after a trip to -Argentina. Bothered by the poverty he saw and inspired by the country’s simple alpargata shoe, he brought the concept to the US. I picked mine up in Canada for the equivalent of Dh275; while TOMS haven’t yet made it to UAE stores, they are most definitely worth the price of ordering in. Available through www.asos.com.
If you put your money where your mouth is, Dermalogica’s Renewal Lip Complex is where you should put it. Not in place of your daily lip balm, mind you, at Dh115 for a small tube, but it’s meant to be used only twice daily, and a little goes a long way. Think of it as a really intensive treatment for your lips that reduces your lip balm reliance throughout the day. My lips cry out for it in the morning and evening if I forget to give them their dose.
The New Dad’s Survival Guide
It’s hard to find a book that will capture my husband’s attention and get him devouring those pages. This one, however, had him laughing out loud, and he loved its concise, to-the-point advice, presented as a military-style manual. It demystifies fatherhood and gets the father-to-be super-psyched about the forthcoming addition to his life. By Scott Mactavish, titled The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice For First-Time Fathers. Buy it!
Before I wrote a feature on coffee a few weeks ago, I had no idea that the quality of the beans rapidly depreciates the moment they are ground. According to Matt Toogood, the director of RAW coffee company and the current UAE barista champion, just two hours after being ground, the flavour of the beans is far from optimum.
Acting on his advice, I purchased a small, handheld coffee grinder – the Hario Ceramic Slim Mill grinder, to be precise – and I haven’t looked back since. The lightweight grinder is similar in both shape and concept to a pepper mill and has a handy measuring scale on the side to tell me exactly when I’ve whizzed up enough beans for one or two cups. Since you grind the beans manually, not only does this mean I start my mornings with a delicious cup of coffee and the aroma fills my kitchen, but my arms get a brief workout, too. -Bonus!
RAW sells various coffee grinders at its Al Quoz warehouse in Dubai and the Hario grinder can also be purchased online – try eBay and Amazon.