A channel of your peace

Happy Sunday loves!

I hope you’re having a great one so far. Everyday on listening to the news, I always hear about all the suffering and hardships this world is facing. It is an era of unrest and turmoil. But it is also a world of compassion, kindness and love. We must not lose courage and strive to become a channel of God’s peace and love. There is always hope that one day we can all live together in peace and harmony.

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Below is one of my favourite hymns titled “Make me a channel of your peace”

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring you love; 

Where there is injury, your healing power,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you. 

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope; 
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy. 

O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand, 
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all that we receive,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

 

Amen!

 

Dry or Dehydrated Skin?

Happy Saturday everyone 🙂 It is freezing here in Manchester but the sun is shining and I am currently having a super lazy morning, that is, lounging on the couch in my onesie with a bru!

Last weekend, however, was not so great. I normally have a mixed skin type – dry during the winter and oily during the summer. Much to my dismay, suddenly out of the blue, I ended up having a bad state of skin dehydration which left the skin on my face feeling super dry, tight and with an unpleasant burning/itching sensation. This made me seriously reflect on the amount of make-up/chemicals that I use on my face everyday, subjecting it to irritants and clogged pores. I felt like my skin needed a serious change in some of the products that I use everyday, and hence I researched what I could use to revive/hydrate my skin and this is what I learnt/have changed in my daily routine.

Firstly, I learnt that there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin state. The former causes flaking and the latter – tight and scaly skin. Here is a great article on the difference between the two:

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/difference-between-dry-dehydrated-skin_us_573b2ba4e4b08f96c1842349

  1. Firstly I searched for a serum/oil and day cream that was organic and irritant free. This is when I came across the brand Pai. I normally use vaseline aloe vera or Olay for my face (but found that both these products were causing a burning sensation on applying after washing/cleansing my face). Cosmopolitan has done a great article on the top 10 Vegan skincare products of 2018 www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/beauty-hair/a46238/vegan-skincare/

I visited their website and they do a whole range of serums, oils and creams that are organic, vegan friendly and built for sensitive skin. I even had an expert to chat to and give me advise and I ended up buying the back to life hydrating day cream, camomile and rosehip calming day cream and also got 2 free samples and another free product! I must admit that these products are a bit pricey but using it on my skin caused zero irritation and it does work wonders with locking in the moisture. You can even use it with your make up as a base!

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www.paiskincare.com

2. Coconut Oil 

I cannot begin to even describe what wonders this has done over the past week. It is an excellent moisturiser (with anti-bacterial/inflammatory properties) and also smells delicious. I have been applying generous amounts of this twice a day and my skin has started to rejuvenate and even clear up.

3. Hydrating face mask 

I absolutely love the face masks from Sephora, my favourites are the aloe vera, algae and lotus masks. I have used them sparingly as we don’t have a sephora in the UK, but these masks are rich and full of moisture. Leaves your skin feeling supple and dewy.

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4. Drink more water 

I think part of what caused this state of dehydration was sitting in small rooms with heating on full blast and drinking minimal water and a lot of caffeine instead. I am now making a conscious effort to drink more water to hydrate my skin/body from the inside to prevent this from happening again.

I also love green tea and could drink several cups during the day – my favourites are twinnings peppermint and jasmine green tea. I am planning to carry these to work to sip on instead of a coffee.

5. Avoid using make up everyday 

Now this has been the hardest one for me. I love makeup and cosmetics and use it everyday. However, since this episode I have actually applied absolutely zero make up on my face and let my skin breathe – and my skin am sure is thanking me for it. Once fully recovered, I would like to go back to applying make up but have promised myself that I would give myself one or even two make-up free days during the week.

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me. I would also love to hear what you do to keep your skin hydrated! Here is to happy healthy skin 🙂

xx

 

 

 

A week in Dubai

Over the past few years, the travel bug has really hit me hard. One of the things that brought my husband and I together is our mutual love of travelling, and we promised ourselves that we would try and fit in as many holidays as possible before doing more grown up things like buying a house or starting a family. I enjoy a mix of beach and city breaks but having grown up surrounded by majestic mountains, the beach has lured me more. We had an amazing honeymoon last year in the Maldives, it truly was like paradise on earth with it’s pristine turquoise water and colourful sea-life, clear blue skies, sparkling sunshine and smooth feet sinking sand – the highlight of my trip was to spot a sea turtle close to the beach whilst out snorkelling. In the summer last year we did Bali  (having been inspired by the movie eat, pray and love). Bali is rich in culture and history and is full of beautiful temples with intricate carvings and delicious food that tantalises the tastebuds.

Having done two beach holidays, we felt that it was time for a city break. Dubai is a city that has always been on my husbands’ bucket list but I have always had mixed feelings having heard various things from visitors. But something about that place (maybe the shopping ;)) has always attracted me and hence we decided to visit Dubai for my birthday week. As soon as I landed I fell in love with the city – it is modern, multi-cultural, vibrant, glamorous and also a city that never sleeps – we landed in the middle of the night and the city was alive. We stayed in doubletree by Hilton in the business bay (a brand new hotel) with a room overlooking the tallest building in the world – The Burj-Al-Khalifa. Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

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The Dubai Mall –  I absolutely love shopping, I could shop all day without a break which requires both skill and energy 😉 but this mammoth mall, surrounded by a canal, was truly the king of all malls. It has got a million designer stores and chains from all over the world, chic cafes with delicious smelling freshly baked pastries and cakes, tall bubbly fountains with clever lighting dancing to the rhythm of the music, restaurants with cuisines from all over the world with tasteful decor and a soothing ambience, and wait for this….a massive aquarium filled with several tropical and reef fish including sting/manta rays and reef sharks as well as a zoo with an impressive selection of animals including crocodiles – right in the middle of the mall! This left me absolutely flabbergasted and awestruck!

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For shopping – well the designer items are cheaper in the U.K. including high street items. However, they seemed to have a wider selection of clothes in stores such as Zara, Ted Baker and Kurt Geiger. However, I did splurge on a lot of make up (Huda Kattan’s) and face packs from Sephora, which is not available in the U.K.

Afternoon tea at the Burj-Al-Arab – This was a truly breath-taking experience. This entire hotel (claimed to be 7 star) has got a royal feel to it with tall gold plated interiors and a beautiful view of the serene sea. We were whisked off to the sky view dining area where we had a table by the window overlooking the magnificent sea. The afternoon tea in itself was delicious with a number of courses of sweet and savoury nibbles and sandwiches and a huge selection of tea from all over the world to go along with it.

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Desert safari – This experience left me absolutely giddy headed. It’s a full days trip where they drive you and a few other tourists in an SUV to the desert, straight to a camel farm to start off with, followed by a 15-30 minute fast safari ride over the velvety sand dunes. This is topped off by watching the blazing orange red sun set over the horizon of the dunes which is truly a surreal experience and then an Arabian nights styled barbecue dinner and entertainment (belly dancers, sheesha, egyptian and fire dance) to end the day.

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Dinner at the Burj-Al-Khalifa –  This was a special birthday treat for me, thanks to my sweet husband. This building is as breath-taking from the outside as the view of Dubai is from the inside. We got a table right by the window where we we had a gastronomic experience comprising of a seven course meal from the tasting menu (and to my delight there was an entire vegetarian menu option too) and just soaked in the sparkling lights of the city.

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The rest of time time was filled with lots of arabic tea, smooth sheeshas with various deliciously aromatic flavours and just exploring this lovely city.  So if you want a city break this one is definitely one to consider. I am hoping to visit again in the future for sure 🙂

 

Miracle Prayer

I have had a sudden urge to publish this and share it with all of you. A few months ago whilst attending mass at my local church, I headed to pray to the sacred heart of Jesus. This is when I saw this beautiful handwritten prayer titled ‘Miracle Prayer’ resting at the feet of the statue. I took a picture of it. I never really prayed using this particular prayer until recently, for a special request from God.

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” Dear Heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked for many favours, this time I ask for a special one (mention here). Take it dear Lord, dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your father sees it, then in his merciful eyes it will become your favour not mine ” (To be said for 3 days)

Isn’t it just a sweet and beautiful prayer.

Image courtesy: straphaelslifeteen.com

 

 

40 acts and lent

I first came across what 40acts was all about on a busy day at work. It was 2016 and I remember worrying about all the jobs I still had to complete for the day and finish on time for once. Lost in my own thoughts and engulfed by all the tasks lying ahead of me,  is when I bumped into a friend and her colleague on the corridor. It was lent time and since all of us belonged to the same faith, the usual question of “oh, what are you giving up for lent this year” came up. I don’t think I had thought about anything in particular – maybe sweets/chocolates was my answer. This is when both of them told me that they were doing this 40 acts challenge. 40 acts are acts of compassion, kindness or generosity – however big or small, that you perform each day of lent, which enriches your soul. What a beautiful way of going through lent and enhancing one’s spiritual being. I thought I would pen down my 40 acts journey here – I am a bit late as I was poorly these past few days, but now I am on the mend, here goes (better late than never right?);

If this is something you might be interested in here is the link

40acts.org.uk

Day 5 – Favourite. 

Here is the challenge:

What are your favourite things? Favourite film? Favourite coffee shop? A view where you go to be alone? Get ready to fly in the face of your impulses – and give those personal favourites away. Give away the novel. Pass on the scarf you think someone would look fantastic in. Share the introvert hang-out spot.

I have always been an avid reader. Over the past few years I have fallen in love with the books written by a turkish author – Eli Shafak. My favourite one being – The forty rules of love. It was presented by my mother to me a couple of years ago – and is about the relation between the poet Rumi and his guru Shamz-e-tabrizi, one of immense love, trust, honesty and understanding. Here is a link on when I had written a bit about the book Reflections and Resolutions 

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You can also read more about it here – www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-forty-rules-of-love-by-elif-shafak-2021678.html

I would love to share it with one of you, if you are interesting in reading it. Just comment on here (not just like) and I will be happy pick one via a draw and contact you in the next couple of weeks to arrange sending a copy across to you 🙂

“You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God.”
(2 Corinthians 9:11–12 NET) – from 40acts 

Have a blessed lent!