We need space, so we sell…

Dear All,

It seems that from financial reasons we can’t afford to move to a bigger flat at the moment. Since we really started to grow out from our little studio, we decided to get rid of some items, which we not even touch just store. When you store big stuff, (especially when you do this in a tiny mini studio flat) you feel like drowning in a small living space.

Please take a look on the items listed below, and comment or e-mail me if there is anything interesting for you. IMPORTANT! We can’t provide delivery, you have to come and pick up the items from Jumeirah 3. Prices are negotiable! For more photos/details email me on emptypurse.dubai@gmail.com!

If you are not interested, I would be still so happy if you can help me out with sharing this article with your friends on any social media platforms…maybe they are in need of something, what we want to sell.

Thank You!

Anna

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YAY! Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award

I was so surprised when I found out that my blog was nominated for this award by one of my favourite Dubai bloggers, the owner of The Glam Crush Chronicles. Really thank you!

As per the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award, I have to share some personal things with you guys, and suggest other blogs for the award too.

So at first, let’s see my dirty little secrets:

I try to do so much for saving money, to live as eco-friendly as it’s possible, and to be as good as I just can,  but I’m not perfect at all… unfortunately there are several things which makes me open my wallet so easily, and routines which I just simply can’t get rid off…

  • I tried it so hard but I just can’t live without my morning Starbucks Hazelnut Latte (23 AED/day just on coffee…)
  • Since I learnt how to read I am a huge fan of magazines, I buy loads of them, sometimes I don’t even have time to read all. Most of the time I buy the weekly Grazia, then the Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, and the good magazine every month, and if I see a shiny cover or a nice headline sometimes I even buy more (VIVA, Emirates Woman, Shape, Joga magazine etc.)
  • I can’t say no when it comes to beauty products, I’m an addict of all things beauty, and I have to admit that I spend a fortune every month on these type of products…I try to set up limits nowadays, and it seems it will work. I hope I can stick to it.
  • I hate credit cards, and I never want to have one. When sales people called me from my bank every day with an offer to have a cc., at the end of the week I lost my patience and became rude, even yelled with them to leave me alone with their offers. Credit card and loan offers makes me mad😦
  • I think I am the only one who is not too happy about the fact that Dubai won the EXPO2020. It’s clear that it will bring lot of opportunities and even more job to the city, but unfortunately everything will be more expensive (especially the rents) and our salary will stay the same. Since we planned to move next year, this is quite disturbing for us…but hope for the best!

 Well that’s enough about me!

Step to the second task: my suggestions for the Award. I already collected my favorites once, click on the link and know more about why I love them! I would like to nominate the following blogs:

FOODIVA

THE HEDONISTA

– LYLA LOVES FASHION

STYLEDRIFTER

THE GLAM CRUSH CHRONICLES

VICTORIA LOVES BEAUTY

HUDA BEAUTY

Do you think I missed someone? Who do you suggest to nominate?

 

 

Readers Talk – Your best saving tips

Last week I announced a giveaway on the blog’s facebook site, and to participate the followers had to share their best saving tips. I got some really great ones, which I can’t resist to share. So there you go!

It’s very interesting that the most popular tip was to shop with a shopping list;

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Monica – Always shop with a list. It helps you remember and plus you can avoid buying excess stuff which helps you save.

Sultan – Write a list before you go shopping: Make a careful plan of what we’ll buy before we go, then stick strictly to that list when we go to the store. Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list, no matter how tempting, and we’ll come out of the store saving a bundle.

Reshma – I always have a list whenever I go shopping as it helps me to stick on to that rather than making me indulge in impulsive shopping…also enrolling for loyalty schemes is helpful for savings at a long run where I can use my points for vouchers and discounts.

One of the readers have the cutest answer on the topic:

Shada – I used to send my hubby alone for shopping grocery items, by giving him list of needed items. If I myself go for shopping, I will buy whatever I see, even it may not be useful to eat or for cooking. It actually doubles our expenses. In order to reduce expenses I send my hubby alone for shopping.

There were several advices to avoid taxi and choose metro,  also to collect the coins (as I already told before), and do not forget about the lot of tips regarding not to eat out too much, and prepare your food at home. But what else?

Let’s see my favourites;

Shameem – Buy clothes that mix and match well and you’ll not need nearly as many clothes.

Rabia – Making your own coffee in the morning, instead of stopping at a chain, will save you tons of money each week.

Del – Master the 30 day rule. Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself, if you still want that item. Quite often, the urge to buy will pass and you’ll have saved yourself some money by simply waiting. If you want, you can even keep a “thirty day list” where you write down the item and the day you’ll reconsider it, but I prefer just to keep this one in my head – that way. Master the ten second rule too. Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself; why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.

Maura – Use simple homemade alternatives for beauty and cleaning. For example, use organic coconut oil as a skin moisturizer and also on your hair, use rose water as a skin toner, use a tbs vinegar in a jug of water for a shiny hair rinse, use salt and sugar mixed with honey or olive oil as a hand and foot defoliator, use lemon, baking soda and vinegar for cleaning and so on. It is completely toxin free and also more economical.

Sally – No matter what comes in, 10 dhs or 500 dhs, automatically take half, and put it away in your closet. Don’t touch it! I’ve always learnt that, if you just set your mind frame as all you see I’d half then you’ll open that cupboard and be surprised one day. Although in Canada, I had my own bank, credit cards, and financial accounts everywhere, so I always used a system when they automatically take a percentage over deposits and put it in the savings account, so that way I never saw what was going on. I was only living within my means of what I thought I has. Was great, because come months end – I was always happy. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even need to check my accounts because I always lived within my means of my chequing accounts (main account). So basically live within your means, even lower! You’ll be happier with yourself.

Jãckson – I remember joining a gym near my place and paying a whooping Dhs 3000 for a 6 month membership. My intention was to join for just 3 months, but the person in charge somehow coaxed me to into a 6 month membership saying that the difference was just Dhs 500. Anyway, after joining, I hardly went to the gym for 1 month. Imagine having to paying 3000 and not using it. I was just too lazy , and later I felt really guilty that I has wasted my hard earned money. That’s when I thought to myself; why on earth should I even go to a boring gym when I have a beautiful park nearby? The Barsha pond park is free, there’s fresh here, birds chirping, they’ve got a beautiful running track,  and some exercise equipment. This was a perfect place for a jog, walk or run. It’s been 2 years now, and I actually feel motivated to go there every day, cause it makes me feel good. This is probably the best decision that I’ve ever made, besides saving & investing a part of my salary every month.

Nicholas – I use re-usable textile bags for shopping! More durable, stronger and definitely more fashionable than the plastic bags.

I’m so happy that I have all you people as my readers, as my followers, and I hope that I will hear more from your tips&tricks!

5 beauty products, that are worth the price

From time to time I will collect my new stuff from around the bathroom, and I will summarize which ones are great, and “price worthy” and which ones I regret to buy. Let’s start with the good ones!

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ALOE GEL – HOLLAND & BARRETT

This multipurpose organic aloe vera gel is a hit. I bought it when I looked for something what I can use as a mask for my hair to get back the strength and shine of it. It really works. I put a handful of the gel on my hair , leave it on for around an hour, then rinse very thoroughly. It makes the hair smooth and shiny! Next to this it works well on all kind of skin problem from dryness to scratches. It softens, heals, and do everything good with your skin. The only disadvantage is it’s smell. Since it’s a natural project, no preservatives or perfume added, so you have to get used to the acerb smell of it. Believe me it worths!

PRICE: AED 105

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TANGLE TEEZER HAIRBRUSH

I’ve bought it at the Pastel Salon at the Mercato Mall. It’s really a wonderful item when it comes to hair care. Tangle Teezer tames your tufts and keeps your hair anti-frizz. I also use it as a scalp massager, since the thick

PRICE: AED 80

PHILOSOPHY – PURITY 3IN1 CLEANSER

I’ve got a small sample piece in my July Glambox and I immediately fall in love with it. I read mixed feedback from the product, but I have to say for me it works very well.  It cleanses face and eyes (even works well to remove my waterproof mascara) and refresh and hydrates at the same time. My skin is so grateful for it. The texture of the product is a bit thick and you have to use quite a big amount to clean your whole face. And yes it leaves a bit of greasy feeling after use, but that is gone in 5 minutes. I suggest this product for the ones who have dry/extra dry skin. You can get it in any Sephora stores.

PRICE: AED 95 for 240ml, or AED 155 for 480ml

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BENEFIT – STAY FLAWLESS PRIMER

OMG! This item is such a life saver for me! Since I moved to Dubai, I struggled with the continuous fight between my make up and the heat&humidity of the area. (Unfortunately in all cases the enemy wins) I tried several primers, but most of them gave it up very soon, and after a little walk between my car and the office, everything started to melt down, or became extra shiny. Then I met with Benefit’s new primer, from the Stay Flawless family. I love the package, and the stift formula makes the application so easy. It gives you a cooling effect when apply and a very nice base, under your foundation. And it really stays flawless; no meltdowns, no greasy shine… I almost finish my first piece, and I’m sure I will invest into this item again and again, since its a really faithful partner for all make up lovers in Dubai!

PRICE: AED 152

THE FACE SHOP – ARSAINTE ECOTHERAPHY CRYSTAL WATER COOLING MIST

The Face Shop for me is something new and I can’t wait to fully explore their product range. Back home all the beauty bloggers are a huge fan of Korean beauty products, even we don’t have them available in Hungary (only through online shops). So when I wandered into the shop at the Waitrose Al Thanya,  I was impressed by all the little cuties what you can find there. Since the summer, I searched for a face mist (but not the Evian one…) what can gives me a bit of relief during the day. I spend most of my time sitting in the office (A/C on all the time) or burning in my car, trying to survive the increased traffic. And I always have to be on top, and look great, because when your job is to visit clients, you can’t leave a bad impression behind. So I found The Face Shop’s cooling mist quite useful, and very very refreshing. It absorbs immediately, not ruining your make up, and gives you an immediate cooling any time. (For the best result I keep it in the fridge, and only take out when I’m ready to go)

PRICE: AED 80

Did you tried any of these products yet? What do you think about them? Are you agree that they’re worth their price?

Soon I will continue with a list about which items were totally shame to buy….

Peanut butter-Chocolate & Caramel cookies

Unfortunately I rarely have time – or let’s say power – to cook these days. Such a shame… But yesterday, after I found this recipe while browsing the Web, I had the feeling “I have to bake it to surprise my Love”. I suggest this cookie for all the peanut butter and caramel lovers, with a glass of milk it is a piece of heaven!

I’m quite a big fan of the American comedy series called How I Met Your Mother. This series reached the final season in America, and after years of waiting, finally they introduced the mysterious “Mother”. In her first scene she gives these cookies to calm down the other main character Lily. The other day People.com shared the recipe, and it spreads as fast as the gossips in the Kardashian family. When I found it, I realized all of the ingredients are on my Husband’s “TOP 5 food” list, so I made it to him, and the feedback was absolutely great.

It’s time to share the recipe!

Ingredients for -around- 16 pieces

  • 1 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 bigger egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/5 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 caramel filled chocolate bars

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Start with measuring. I used the regular IKEA cups what we have, I filled them until the 3/4. From the butter at first I put the half of the box in the cup, but after melting it, it turned out that it is just around the half of needed amount. So then other 1/4 box butter went into the microwave.

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If the butter is ready, take a bowl and mix it with the two type of sugar and the peanut butter. When the whole thing is nicely blended, add the two eggs, and the vanilla flavour and stir them together. In an other bowl mix the flour with the salt and the bicarbonate of soda, then mix the content of the two bowls, blend it well, cover and put into the fridge for 30 minutes.

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After the little rest, put some baking paper on a tray, and then measure the mixture with a tablespoon. 1 huge tablespoon= 1 cookie. Make balls from it and then push the chocolate pieces in the middle. Preheat the oven for 175 Celsius. You should bake them until they got a golden brown colour, and a bit still soft consistency. (When they cool down, they’ll become harder) SERIOUSLY! Be very careful, with the baking time. I just waited too much, I thought it’s not good until it’s not hard. Then I just felt the burnt smell…. 7 cookies gone.

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The second round went perfectly, and the golden cookies were appreciated so much! If you have an hour, and want to try something new, let’s make this!

Enjoy!

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Currency Exchange in Dubai? – Make it easy!

As I mentioned before I just came back from a two week holiday (oh how fast it ran away…) from Hungary. Since my country’s currency is something very unique – did you ever heard about the Hungarian Forint AKA the HUF?- and since that little country can’t exchange dirhams, we had to take care how to bring our money with ourselves.

the national ae
Currency exchange seems so easy at the first sight, but if you look a little deeper you will see how risky it is. Each place has its own rate for the different currencies, and – okay it’s only my preconceptions – I believe the branches at popular/important spots (like airports or the two big malls, The Dubai Mall and the Mall Of the Emirates) has a bit higher rate than the usual ones.

Before we traveled we checked the currency exchange rates in Hungary, and we decided to go for USD because it has the better numbers at the moment, and as we know it has a stabile rate here in the UAE. I made a little Google research, I compared the different options. At the end, we found the rate of Travelex the most competitive, and their online offer gave even more. You can reserve your money online on a special rate, and you can pick it up from their following branches in Dubai: Oasis Centre (At the entrance of the Carrefour, I was here), and at the Dubai International Airport.


I really-really suggest you to always double check the rates and the possibilities before you travel. Don’t let the money exchange to slip to the last minute at the airport, in a hurry for no matter of how high or low rates. Be very careful also with the individuals who seems to help you out at the airports (everywhere in the world) and who has “too good to believe” offers for changing your money. Never walk into that trap of burglars!

Be prepared, take your time and enjoy the saved dirhams!

Recycling in Dubai

I believe most of the expats have experiences about recycling, and facing the fact that unfortunately here in the UAE it’s still not a VIP issue. A country where consumption is extremely high, and a city where the population generates more than 325 million kg of waste/year (based on this interesting article) should emphasize this issue a bit more.

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Recycling points and special bins are provided in several areas (mostly at petrol stations, bus stops, grocery stores etc.), and also you can ask for a pick up of the separately collected waste from your home . The main problem is the lack of awareness, and the bad thinking “I’m only one person, I can’t change the world with this.” YES YOU CAN! And there are also doubts about that the carefully collected recyclable waste will really reach the right place, or just simply lands at the same garbage heap where everything else?

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As one of my readers, Kathryn said on Facebook : the main focus shouldn’t be on the consumers only. The whole thing has to start with the manufacturers and the retailers. Did you ever think about how unnecessary to have a huge box as a package for a mascara, (okay it looks great but…) or why to put the items at the cashier into six plastic bags it they can fit into only one without any problem?

As I said above, even one person, even a small step can change the world. If you collect your general waste, paper, plastic and glass items separately, and then -like once a week- take them to the recycling point, it’s already a huge thing. You really do something for your environment, and also became a good example for your neighbors, colleagues and -the most important- for the next generation: your kids.

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Just a few tips how can you be more effective on this field:

-Use reusable textile bags for shopping! More durable, stronger, and definitely more fashionable than the plastic ones.

-Have your own lunch box! How many times you ask for take away at the restaurants? These days there is a huge selection of plastic -or even ceramic or glass- lunch boxes , why don’t you invest in one, and then forget about the disposable ones. Yes, you have to get used to it to keep it with yourself, or at your office, and then you have to clean it too, but don’t be lazy!

-Save what you can! With a little imagination you can reuse a lot of things. My favorites are my glass bowls from the different scented candles. When the candle is over, I keep the holders, clean them and use for something else (details soon in a post!). But it’s the same with the jars of the jams, or if I get something in a nice box, and I can continue until sunrise…Be a little crafty!

-Plastic bags as garbage bags. Sometimes you can’t avoid plastic bags, and after a while you will have a huge amount of them in your kitchen drawer. We don’t have a lot, but it’s still more than what it should be. What to do? We using them as garbage bags for our smaller bin in the bathroom. So we never invest “proper” trash bags.

I’m so excited to add your tips to this list, so please do not hesitate to share your ideas on this topic. Also all opinions are welcome at the comment section, regarding recycling and being a bit more green here in Dubai.

(Pictures from: dubaiproperties.ae, greenprophet.com, gulfnews.com)