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Have you ever suffered from closet full of clothes, nothing to wear? We’ve all been there at some point, but working with existing items in your closet is a lot more rewarding (and not to mention gentler on your wallet!) than going out and purchasing something hot right now. Being mindful of this, I have teamed up with Layla from Layla Shaik Photography to do a four part series called Styling the Basics. I took two basic items that virtually every reader has – blue jeans and a white t-shirt – and styled it up in four different ways that will be shared over the course of the next four weeks.

For the first look, I teamed up my blue-jeans-white-t-shirt combo with a flowwy black cover up (Nicci Boutique), Gold heels (Edgars) and a classic tan bag (Woolworths). Whilst I didn’t wear any jewelry, I did pair it up with vintage Ray Bans and a classic red lip.

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Blogger:  Fathima Mansoor Ahmed

Blog name: Table For Five Dubai

1. One ingredient your kitchen is never without?
A good balsamic vinegar. The rich, complex, velvety taste that it lends to food makes it an indispensable ingredient. Ideal as a marinade, drizzled over salad or strawberries, and my ideal comfort food, used as a dip with hot crusty bread.
2. One unique ingredient that has changed your life / cooking?
Zaater. It was an introduction to all things Middle Eastern when we moved to Dubai and another extremely versatile and flavoursome ingredient. I’ve used it in my grilled vegetable and chicken marinades, on flatbreads with pumpkin, sprinkled onto popcorn, as a dip or as part of my salad dressings. Adding toasted cashews and almonds to homemade zaater makes it even more delicious and healthy.
3. The best food you’ve ever tasted? Where was it? What made it so special?
The most meaningful meal would be a weekend breakfast that my kids made for me for me at home, scrambled eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice, toast, all styled on the plate! I’ve eaten so many unbelievable dishes but nothing has tasted better than a simple, thoughtful meal such as this.
4. Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my mother. Shes an incredible cook, very creative in the kitchen and not afraid to try something new, one of the reasons I’m so comfortable experimenting with different cuisines. I’m also an avid foodie so if I’ve tasted a dish that inspires me while eating out, I wont hesitate to recreate it  at home. Other than that, fellow foodies, magazines etc.
5. If I were to make one dish from your blog, what would it be?
If you had to make one thing from my blog it should be the meringue roulade. No dessert gets devoured as fast as the roulade and the silky combination of the meringue, passionfruit, mango and cream makes for a memorable mouthful. If that doesn’t entice you, the custard, cream and chocolate filling most certainly will. It’s not possible to have just one serving so don’t worry, no judgement here.

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Legend has it that this famed Egyptian dessert was conceived at the hands of a poor villager, who was called upon to feed a hungry royal passing through her village. She combined some scraps of wheat, nuts, milk and sugar, a dish which appealed to the monarch so much that he kept returning, and so this dessert took on her name, Umm Ali [reference: Chef In Disguise]
Being a busy mum of three means that there isn’t always time for intricate or lengthy recipes which is why I often tend to gravitate towards meals that are full-flavoured yet quick to make and Umm Ali is one of these desserts that is rich on taste but extremely easy to make. I first tasted this Arabic dessert at a hotel buffet soon after we moved to Dubai and fell in love instantly and as with every popular dish, the variations of this recipe are in abundance. I’ve tried to replicate the taste of the one that originally left me enamoured, but the great thing about my recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to your preference and instead of having to bake fresh puff pastry, I’ve re-purposed stale croissants. We enjoy ours slightly creamier at the bottom so that it’s not too stodgy but if you prefer it less so, then add less of the liquid or bake it for longer.
300gr or 5 medium stale croissants
2 cups cream
2 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp rose water
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
30ml sliced pista
30ml pine nuts
30 ml sultanas
15ml chopped almonds
1/2 tbsp coconut
1. Tear croissants into smaller pieces and place into an ovenproof dish.
2. In another dish, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 
3. Pour the liquid over the croissants and leave to soak for a few minutes. 
4. Bake in a preheated oven on 180c till liquid has reduced and golden brown on top, approximately 20 – 25 minutes. 
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Do you ever see reviews of beauty products and wonder, is it really worth all that money for such a tiny bottle? Often we’re pulled into the hype of certain products, because a celebrity uses it or every blogger seems to be talking about it. But often, we don’t need to break the bank for many things, whilst others are worth every cent.

Here’s my quick list of things I would splurge and save on, categorized into Hair, Face and Body


Splurge: Hair styling tools. I am in love with my Glampalm (R2400, but you actually save R200 with this discount code: SAS225). Using good styling tools on your hair makes all the difference. I have tried the cheap, run off the mill hair irons that retail for less than R400 and not only does it not style it the way you want it to, it damages your hair so severely.

Save: Heat protector, because the Glampalm doesn’t need any!

Splurge: Hair mask, It’s vital to use a hair mask in this harsh summer sun, to keep your hair moisturized and your hair’s natural oils locked in. I recommend L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert – Vitamino Color Gel Masque. Although my hair is not coloured yet, I have been using shampoo/conditioner that’s specifically for colour treated hair, because it helps keep it softer in this harsh summer sun. I love this mask because it’s a gel formula rather than a cream, which means it glides on better which means you use less product

Save: Shampoo, I realized that using an amazing conditioner meant that you can get away with using a drugstore shampoo. I have been loving Pantene Moisture Renewal. It keeps my hair super soft and shiny.


Splurge: Serum, Lancome Advanced Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate. This is basically magic in a bottle!

Save: Cleanser, I use the Garnier Micellar water (available now at selected Clicks and Dischem). It’s just R79,99 for a 400ml bottle, and the only thing I use to take off my makeup and cleanse my face

Splurge: BB Cream. If you’re putting something on your face that claims to do 7 amazing things to it, it better be something great. I love the Kiehl’s BB cream, I’ve discussed how much I love this here.

Save: Concealer, after using the LA Girl concealer, that’s a mere R60 from Dischem, I cannot justify spending a cent more on another one. It really is amazing, the Pro’s love it and the price is perfection.


Splurge: Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Sunscreen (R400), I actually wanted to list this as a save, because the bottle is HUGE, lasts forever and you can use it on your face as well! It’s the only sunscreen I use that I don’t break out with, and it absorbs fairly quickly as well

Save: Body cream, I use E45 for very dry skin, and it does a much better job at moisturizing than most body butters. It also absorbs extremely quickly which is a major plus

Splurge: Body exfoliator, Caribbean Tan Cinnamon and Coconut Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. This is the most amazing scrub I have ever used. It smells like heaven and is one of the only store bought exfoliators that I actually love, because it’s a sugar scrub so not those measly beads that don’t really do anything.

Save: For those stubborn areas like knees and elbows, save yourself the hard work of scrubbing and scrubbing until you’re blue in the face. Simply cut a lemon in half, rest your elbows in it for 10min, and wipe away with a towel. So effective

What are your ultimate save and splurge beauty items?




There’s something so sleek about pastel shades mixed with white for summer. I’ve been on the hunt for a tailored, pale blue blazer (that doesn’t cost the equivalent of my rent), a la fashion enthusiasts everywhere. But for now, this shirt will do. I love the concept of contrasting textures and fits, and loose fitting shirts are the easiest way to stay conservative and cool in this excruciatingly hot weather.

Thanks for these amazing pictures, Nurhan!

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PS, I’m wearing: Shirt, jeggings and tank: Cotton On | Bag and necklace: Collete Hayman | Shoes: SissyBoy


beauty, competitions


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On Monday last week, I was honoured to attend the ELC BCA (breast cancer awareness) event at the Hyde Park Corner rooftop, hosted by Zebra Square. It was a pink illumination event, where major cities around the world chose an iconic building (the Burj Al Arab, Eiffel Tower, amongst others) to illuminate pink for the month of October for breast cancer awareness. Hyde Park Corner in South Africa is one of the buildings taking part in this.

In my goodie bag from the event, I received a Clinique Sonic System. I have read countless amazing reviews on this cleansing brush, so I was beyond excited to try it out.

After charging it for the recommended time, I couldn’t wait to put it to use. I chose my favourite cleanser, rubbed it on my face and began to “brush” my skin.

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  • The brush is soft, but extremely effective so suitable for sensitive skin like mine
  • My dry skin around my forehead had completely gone (without even putting on serums and moisturizers yet)
  • My skin felt much softer than with a normal exfoliating process
  • I had dozens of fine pimples on my cheek area, and that has reduced significantly (after just a week of use!)
  • I didn’t break out or appear tomato red after using this, like I do with other sonic systems

Think you need one of these beauties in your life? Zebra Square has given me a Clinique Sonic System to give away to one lucky reader! Entry is simple:

Follow @rowenasaloojee and @zebrasquare001 on Twitter. Tweet about the competition and tag both of us as in the Tweet as an entry

Follow @rowenasaloojee and @zebrasquare001 on Instagram. Once you’ve followed, comment “entered” on image of the Clinique Sonic System on my page to qualify as an entry.

Remember, entering on both platforms ups your chances of winning.

Good luck!

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Baking, fashion


Blogger: Yasmin Kharwa
Blog name: Walnut Pesto

1. One ingredient your kitchen is never without?
Good quality extra virgin Olive oil. My kitchen is never out of olive oil and I love the flavoured ones such as the garlic and lemon as well.

2. One unique ingredient that has changed your life?
Avocados are my new addiction. I have experimented with many avocado dishes this season. I have used it in both cooking, baking and desserts. The fact that avocados are healthy is an added bonus.

  1. The best food you’ve ever tasted? Where was it? What made it so special?

The most delicious Sweetcorn Tamale cakes served with guacamole, creme fraiche and salsa from the Cheesecake Factory in Dubai. This dish was incredibly yum and although portions are generous, I couldn’t resist devouring the entire plate by myself. Enjoying it with my family in Dubai made it extra special.
Stay tuned to Walnut Pesto for a copycat of this dish !

  1. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I am able to create delicious dishes by just drawing inspiration from my kitchen and the ingredients within. I love to create something special by using basic refrigerator and pantry staples.

  1. If I were to make one dish from your blog, what would it be?

My favorite recipe thus far on the blog is the Tex Mex Ranch Chicken Pasta Rice Salad. It’s fresh, saucy, crunchy and very addictive. A perfect summers day light meal or a barbecue side dish.


This dessert is delicious and combines two traditional favourites, tiramisu and chocolate cake, and its a cake and dessert in one. It’s simple to make and will definitely prove to be a crowd pleaser. It can also be whipped up when you have unexpected guests and it does not require a long time to set.

Chocolate Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup boiling water
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

150ml of readymade/store bought chocolate custard
1 pack of ladyfinger sponge biscuits
1 cup of hot strong coffee
1/2 cup fresh cream
125g mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Beat the eggs and the sugar for 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
Pour into a greased square pan and bake in a preheated 180 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Turn out the cake onto a flat surface.
Spread a layer of chocolate custard.
Dip the ladyfingers in the coffee and assemble in a neat row, taking care not to overlap the biscuits.
Beat the fresh cream, sugar and mascarpone until well combined.
Spread over the biscuits.
Allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
When ready to serve, dust cocoa powder over the top and cut into neat squares.




So recently, my hair has been on point. I’ve been taking good care of it, but been getting extra help from the likes of extensions, hair products and of course, styling tools (hard work being a girl!).

My favourite of them all: the Glampalm Hair Styler.


Let me give you a little background: I  haven’t had a hair iron of my own for about 4 years now, after my previous one broke. I just never found one that I particularly liked. So many people asked me how on earth I survived, but I got by with blow drying it straight (an hour and a half long process) when needed, or using my curling tong when I need a little something more.

The reason for my distaste in other straighteners stemmed from them making my hair’s roots oily (apparently it’s a common thing!) and the ends extremely dry (aka it would look and feel like straw); what’s the point of using the best shampoo, hair products, taking time to blow dry your hair… and then ironing it just to ruin the entire process?

When I first came across Glampalm, there were a few things that stuck out for me:



I prefer to use lower heat levels on the hairs closer to my face and ears because I am so terrified of burning. This eradicates that fear, and I also feel a bit more at ease knowing I’m being a bit gentler on my baby hairs.


The vibration mode (only featured on the classic iron) is used to control and eliminate frizz, and help product penetrate the hair better.


According to Glampalm, the styler heats up 26 seconds faster than other stylers. I actually tested this out against a friend’s styler and it really is much faster. I switch it on, and by the time I’ve sectioned off the first layer of my hair, it’s already ready to use.


My hair holds quite well, but Nazmira’s hair iron curls fall flat within an hour (two hours if we use the entire bottle of hairspray). Not only did her curls last all day without spray, she woke up with gorgeous waves the next day as well! I think this impressed me the most



I love the heatproof bag that the classic styler comes in; it’s sleek and stylish and big enough to fit the wire of the hair iron inside as well, without having to manoeuvre it around a million times to fit. It comes with two styling clips (that holds up my thick hair!) and a cord protector.

What I truly appreciate from the brand is their claims of virtually no damage to hair being true. I’ve been using my iron for a month now (to make sure I’ve given it enough time to give a full on review), and before, if I used my previous iron every weekend, by month end my ends would be light, dry and split. I have not seen any damage to my hair thus far with the Glampalm, and I use it daily and not just on weekends. I honestly feel as though it’s changed the texture of my hair: my hair gets knotty extremely quickly, but if I iron it straight, it remains sleek, knot free and buttery soft.

If you’re keen on getting your paws on this styler, head over to (PLUS you get a R200 discount off your purchase if you use this code: SAS225)