Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 resolutions

Another year has come and gone. And also, yes, it has been a while since I've been on here - but hey, new year new me? (just threw up a little bit in my mouth)

This blogging stuff is hard (#firstworldpain) and I often find myself struggling to talk about something fresh, something that's not just another product or trend or whatever else. Don't get me wrong - it's interesting to share that content and I binge-read those blogs but to do that constantly is really not up my alley. 

So, back to the new year, 2016 has been just the same as 2015 so far which isn't necessarily a bad thing! But nevertheless, let's get this out the way. Presenting some damn resolutions:

1. #52booksin2016

So I've taken this on because I've been sorely disappointed with how many books I've read in the last few years and hopefully, this helps kick start something. On that note, please drop me some suggestions - I made a whole deal about making a full list for this and have a grand total of 12 books on there so far.

2. Lose some weight

I've struggled with my weight more or less all of my life and it's about time to try and get a hold on it. I feel like this is everyone and their mothers' resolution so you know how this goes.

3. Less stress

I've come to a not-so-crazy realization that I stress about the stupidest damn things and this needs to stop, preferably very soon.

4. No more nail biting 

I have a painfully chronic nail biting habit and I almost succeeded at kicking this end of last year until I didn't. So, here goes attempt no. 5687.

And that's it. My list is very short and sweet this year, hoping less is more. Let's kick some 2016 butt!

What are some of your resolutions? Share - would love to know what you guys are taking on!

Mona xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

Festive Season Wishlist

The festive season is upon us! Yes, it's only November but I honestly can't wait any longer to partake in ALL them festivities and I'm sure most people would agree. I've been browsing online for some gift ideas (mostly for myself, ahem) and have now fallen in love with many new discoveries, thanks to this 'research'.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, here's my wishlist for the season:


1. YouBeauty advent calendar -  If I could, I would put all them damn beauty advent calendars on this list because each one of them looks incredible. My current favorite from this season is this YouBeauty one - it seems to have a great mix of skincare as well as beauty products from some brands I'm looking to try out such as Rodial, Philip Kingsley, Nuxe etc. Other favorite advent calendars include the Marks & Spencer and L'Occitane calendars.

2. Bakery Charms Pizza Ring - I don't know how you can go wrong with anything you buy from Bakery Charms. All their pieces are winners but have to say, this was my favorite - it was a very close call between this one and an equally realistic cake ring.

3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation - Based on several reviews, this foundation seems to be a tough cookie which pretty much stays on no matter what. As someone who lives in Dubai where it's summer for most part of the year, this could be very useful!

4. Skinnydip London Milk iPhone case - I'm not usually one for these obnoxiously giant cases for your phone but this one is just so adorable! I must have it.

5. Diptyque Holiday Collection - Diptyque is no new addition to the candle party but I can honestly admit that I solely want to buy these candles just based on this packaging - SO festive and I'm sure they smell equally delicious! The three scents in the holiday collection are Sapin, Liquidambar and Oliban.

6. Glen Coco Holiday Pullover - Mean Girls + Christmas = shut up and take my money.

7. Clarisonic Mia 2 - I've been looking for something to take my skincare routine to the next level and this product has that's been making quite the difference for many people. It was between this one or the Foreo but after some careful review surfing, the Clarisonic seems to be it!

Apart from this list, I obviously also accept cake, Christmas ornaments and hot chocolate (pretty much all year around).

What's on your wishlist this season? Comment below, let me know!

Mona xo

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar

Wine and cheese on a Tuesday night? Hell yes. I feel like I don't even need to write anything more to convince you to head to Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar for their 'Genius Loci' night.



Located at Raffles Hotel, this night offers 5 wines paired with 5 cheese (and bread for taste) for an incredible price of AED 120 (yes, you are reading this right). This night is basically my happy place. Spending a cozy evening with wine, cheese and friends in the quirky rustic setting that is Solo is pretty much guaranteed to rid you of midweek blues.

A photo posted by Mona (@monagir) on

Being a newbie with really understanding wine and its ways, it was great that someone did walk us through the different wine and cheese pairs. Bonus - just in case you don't remember the pairings over the course of the evening, the place mat had them listed as well which was such a nice little touch.



The service was wonderful as was all the delicious wine and cheese. I don't think I'm equipped to describe either further so I think you should definitely go find out for yourself! However, I should say that I especially loved the final pairing of the dessert wine with the blue cheese.



So, that's your Tuesday night sorted, you're welcome! If you fancy indulging your sweeth tooth, they also have a wine and chocolate night every Sunday. I'm undoubtedly heading back to get me some good Italian grub and most definitely, for some more wine.

Solo Bistronomia and Vino Bar
Raffles Hotel, 3rd Floor
Tel: 04 370 8999

Have any wine and cheese night recommendations for me? Leave a comment below or tweet me @MonaGir!

Mona xo

Sunday, September 20, 2015

#TMTurns1 Giveaway: Herbline Essentials

It's no secret that Herbline Essentials is one of my favourite brands for skincare - they are part of my nighttime skincare routine as well as one of my favourite face masks.

There are so many natural brands in the market but what I love about HE is that their products are quite reasonably priced, they have ranges for all kinds of skin types and they work! So, if you are looking to try out some of their products, this would be a great time as they have some amazing bundle offers on their website for a limited time and they offer free delivery across the UAE!

But if you're looking to try your luck, I've teamed up with Herbline Essentials to give away products worth AED 500 to one lucky winner! (I almost wanted to keep this for myself)



The products included for this giveaway are:

- Neem and Brahmi Facewash
- Aloevera and Honey Under Eye Gel
- Apricot and Honey Face Scrub
- Aloevera and Liquorice Skin Protection and Healing Cream

Below are all the deets on how to win these lovely products:


The entries for this giveaway will close on 30 September 2015 and the winner will announced shortly after. The competition is open to GCC residents only. Good luck!

Mona xo

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Monalogues Turns 1 + Jarful Giveaway

I'm excited to have a new day to celebrate - today is my blog's first birthday! Happy birthday to my little nook on the WWW! #TMTurns1

One year ago, I launched the Monalogues and I have to admit that this blog has grown beyond anything I had planned for. It's nice when you surprise yourself and that's exactly what's happened here. So, thank you to everyone who has taken a minute to visit this blog!

If you're new here (welcome), or if you'd like to reminisce with me, here are some highlights:

My first official post - Online Shopping - UAE Edition

My most popular post to-date - Subscription Box Roundup - UAE Edition

My personal favourite - Why road trips are the best

My first blog award nomination - Nominated for a Liebster Award!

So, in celebration, I have a couple of giveaways planned for this month starting off with a birthday staple, CAKE!

I've teamed up with the lovelies at Jarful to give away a set of 6 cupcakes!


Jarful is your quintessential cake in a jar. Apart from being painfully cute, they are delicious-o and perfect even as favors at parties/events. I love their classic cupcakes but they also have flavors with a local spin such as Nutty Baklava, Nutella Kunafa and Turkish Coffee Cardamom. You can find their full menu and all the other deets on their website, so head on over there or find them on Twitter & Instagram.

Now, I know you definitely want these! So here's the lowdown on how to enter:


The entries for this giveaway will close on 16 September 2015 and the winner will announced shortly after. The competition is for UAE residents only. Good luck!

Mona xo 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dirham Store Challenge

I'm always up for a good challenge and this post is inspired by the Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge by YHL. Since the thrift shop situation in Dubai is slim pickins, I decided to hit up the next best alternative for thrifty finds - Dubai's version of dollar stores a.k.a the 1 - 10 DIRHAM STORES! (dum dum dum).

It looks a little something like this, a familiar sight to those living in Old Dubai:


Armed with AED 20 ($5.45), I ventured out into the wild wild world of dirham and discount stores. While I was prepared for items that would possibly just serve comedic value, SPOILER ALERT/PLOT TWIST: I was pleasantly surprised!

So, boys & girls, presenting my whopping 20 Dirham haul:

1. Starting off with a classic (and my most expensive purchase), I scored a small notebook and bonus, it has a doggie on it - need I say more?

2. Up next is an ultra-cute camera pouch which is perfect for smaller cameras and can also be used store other items such as stationery etc.


3. My favourite find - the oh-so-popular mason jar which is surprisingly expensive in the UAE. I found this for a mere AED 3! I am now living my hipster life vicariously through this jar.

4. Keeping in line with the hipster theme, I also found me some mustache suction hooks for hanging some of my jewelry and so on. Fun right?


5. And last but but not the least, a find to trump all finds, this glorious popcorn tub! I'm always eating popcorn out of the bag and this has given my popcorn its rightful place (until I inhale it) + I feel like I'm at the movies!


Ringing up all my purchases, it brings us to the grand total of AED 20! I think I scored myself some pretty sweet deals, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @MonaGir.

If you'd like to take up this challenge (do it), the rules are pretty simple: your budget is AED 20 or its equivalent in your currency and that's it. Do tag me or comment below with what you find!

Also, The Monalogues is turning 1 very soon (eek!) and I have some surprises coming up in celebration - watch this space!

Mona xo

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Current Book & TV Recommendations

I've been trying to make more time to read and possibly watch some new shows this summer. This is a task and a half for me because I'm always going back to a TV show that I've already seen way too many times (read Friends) and continue re-watching it till my eyes bleed (and then some more). The same applies for books (HP is my weakness), movies and pretty much anything else.

But luckily, I found some good ones to break into so thought I'd share for those looking to do the same. Let's start with some of my recent reads!


Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Summary: In Modern Romance, popular comedian Aziz Ansari teams up with award-winning sociologist Eric Klinberg to better understand dating in the modern world. The book shares his findings from this research in a light-hearted, comedic manner that you wouldn't usually expect from a book that contains a number of academic references.

Thoughts: When I started reading this book, I honestly couldn't get past the first few chapters. It's not that I hated it - I had heard great reviews and from what I had read so far, I was underwhelmed. But for some reason, I decided to get the audiobook from Audible. And lo and behold, I really enjoyed the audio version of this book! The audiobook is read by Aziz himself - he's done such a great job and it  has a lot of heart. If you're interested in trying out the audiobook, Audible has a 30-day free trial and you can get a book free!


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Summary: The Girl on the Train follows Rachel who takes the train to work everyday and becomes quite obsessed with a couple she watches from the train when it halts at the stop in front of their house. Jason and Jess, she calls them, seem like the perfect couple and that's something Rachel never had. One day, Rachel sees something 'shocking' and there begins the real story.

Thoughts: This book! I made a huge mistake by starting this at 1 AM because I could not sleep until I finished it. Believe me, I tried. It is a psychological thriller alright, absolute page-turner. The book is told from different perspectives which I enjoy, characters are pretty interesting and the story definitely keeps you guessing. As most reviews say, it is reminiscent of 'Gone Girl'. So if you enjoyed GG, give this one a go.


Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Summary: Kitchens of the Great Midwest is the story of Eva Thorvald, a culinary prodigy and her journey to becoming a bad-ass famous sought after chef despite tragic times. Eva's story is told through perspectives of those around her and each of their chapters are named after the food they inspire in her life. Foodies, you'll love this one.

Thoughts: I have to admit - I'm yet to finish this book. But I am halfway through and like it so much - I had to include it! When I first read the summary, it sounded kinda serious but it's actually quite funny and light-hearted mixed in with some heartache. Again, love the different perspectives aspect of the book and the Midwestern setting is just lovely. Also, as mentioned - lots of food references, prepare to be hungry.


Now moving on to some of my new TV finds! 


Mr. Robot

Summary: Mr. Robot follows Elliott, a cyber security engineer day by day, hacker by night. He experiences severe social anxiety and so, he hacks people to get to know them better. Things get seriously interesting when one day, he gets recruited by a secret hacker society to take down one of the largest corporations in the world.

Thoughts: I started watching this because I'm a big fan of Rami Malek and I'm loving Mr. Robot so far, my favorite debut this TV season. The theme is intriguing and unique, recommend if you're looking something completely new to watch. It's only about 8 episodes in and has been renewed for a second season.


Humans

Summary: Humans is a remake of the Swedish sci-fi series 'Real Humans' which follows the story of Joe who gets a Synth named Anita, an android robot, in the hopes of helping out him and his wife Laura with their three kids and their housework. Soon after, things start to get complicated.

Thoughts: This series is creepy for sure but in a good way (I think). I love the almost dystopian setting of the show, hoping this one sticks. Scary how domestic robots are not way in the future, eh?


Younger

Summary: In Younger, recently divorced 40-year-old Liza Miller struggles to find a job in her line of work because of her age. But when she's reminded that she looks way younger than she is, she takes that idea, poses as a 26-year-old and soon lands a job as an assistant to an editor at a publishing firm. How long will this secret remain?

Thoughts: This show is so cute - Sutton Foster fits into the role of Liza perfectly. Take it as a TV show version of a chick flick. It's a good fun watch, nothing ground breaking or mind blowing. If you're looking for a break between serious stuff, this should do it.

I'm still on the lookout for more things to read/watch, so let me know your suggestions - tweet me @MonaGir! Meanwhile, let me know if you check out any of the above and enjoy them!

Mona xo
 
Site Design by Designer Blogs
UA-54556877-1