Happy New Years – 2016

 2015 has given me so much that I don’t think I could even start to compile it altogether into words. When I’m old and grey (if I have a long enough life for that) I think 2015 will be the year that I will remember as the busiest, craziest and most importantly happiest year of my life.

On a personal level there were so many highs. I got married, moved away from home and came to live in a new country all at once. Life changed so much so quickly. Marriage in itself is the biggest change that can happen to a girl but I went and decided to add a few more changes to the mix and I am so proud of the fact that my husband and I have managed to make our dream come true together. Dubai was the best gift we could have given ourselves as a wedding present and it just keeps on giving.

Of course, in life in order to achieve something we have to give many things up. For us it was leaving our families behind and that has to be the biggest loss that we have both felt. To go from being with your family every single day of your life to then not all of a sudden, it hits you in strange and profound ways on a daily basis.

Sitting watching TV when the Azaan is recited outside I realise that my mum is no longer with me to tell me to stop being so disrespectful and turn that thing off and actually listen to the call for prayer at least if I’m not going to have the sense to actually pray. So, even though she’s not here. I turn that thing off.
Walking through the fresh produce section of Carrefour doing our weekly shopping, I gasp at the prices of grapes and remember how if we ever made the mistake of asking our dad to bring fruit home he would turn up with wholesale sized boxes of bananas and apples and then my mum would share the 9000 pears out amongst family and friends for the next seven days.

My sister? Well I think of her pretty much every time I do something she wouldn’t approve of. That is pretty much, every minute of the day? When I fill in my eyebrows for example, I just know that she wouldn’t let me out of the house with them looking so thick and would swiftly intervene and fix them for me. Or when I’m watching some stupid drama serial on Hum TV and think what on earth is even going on here, she isn’t there next to me screaming WHAT THE also.

One thing I often see in Dubai and love is seeing brothers doing things with their sisters. I see this mostly with Emirati people and it is honestly so lovely to see. I sound like an absolute creep but it’s usually at the cinema whilst waiting for our movie I often see young guys and girls with their sisters and I think to myself, why didn’t I do this more often with my brothers? There is such a culture here of families spending time together, doing normal things together that perhaps in the UK people just don’t have the time to do or I guess we just don’t make the time.

I think of my youngest brother every single time I write a blog post because if it wasn’t for his pictures all you guys would have gotten sick of me just waffling away. His pictures gave you a break from my never ending words and gave you brand new outfits to see every week. My other brother? Well I think of him every single time I walk to the metro or get a taxi here. We fought so much over my car and spent a good two years just bickering mainly about the car that every time I have to get on the metro I think to myself ‘you seem to get places now too without a car, so what was all that fighting for?’ But that’s human beings for you isn’t it. We always realise things once it’s too late.

My cousins, my nieces and nephews, my best friends, my Bari Ammi and even my beautiful Scotland. I miss it all so much and can’t wait to be back. But for now, I am so grateful to Allah for giving me the chance to actually experience living in a different part of this world that we live in. For me, this is the biggest chance for me to truly grow up without any support network around me other than my husband. Each other is all we have out here so it’s a good think we kind of like each other eh?

I know for many of you this year won’t have been what you expected it to be. You may have lost someone close to you this year. Perhaps you lost out on the job that you so badly wanted. Maybe you fell out with your best friend and things just aren’t the same now. You might have broken up with the person you love or they may have broken your heart. You might be reading my post right now going on about memories of fruit and veg and having the happiest year of my life and thinking oh please pack it in. But believe me, I’ve had years where things just kept getting worse and worse and it felt as though everything was going wrong at once. I pray that for all of you who have had a year that you would much rather forget about, 2016 brings you something new, exciting or even that light at the end of the tunnel.

I think this is the most I have ever written without a picture break so I’m going to have some mercy on you all now and pop some fashion in here now.                

So many of you loved this look that I put up on Instagram a couple of weeks ago so I thought I would blog it and tell you a little more about it. Since this post is partly about my move to Dubai, I thought it would be fitting to bring in some Emirati fashion in here!      I bought this abaya for 170AED (around 31 pounds) from Naif Market in Deira. You can really haggle there but on that day I was in a rush and just bought this very quickly. I loved that it came with a belt that you can just tie at the back yourself because my upper body is so small I usually drown in abayas. There is nothing more comfortable than wearing an abaya and I feel if you wear them the right way, they can be very forgiving.  

 

 My abaya came with a shehla that had a slightly different shade of the gorgeous lilac colour of the abaya but I quite liked that. It kind of broke it up a little? I found some cream coloured trousers that I had and wore my trusty Office, camel coloured heels.

I wore this outfit on the day that we went to Sheikh Zayed Mosque so got these pictures in the most beautiful of surroundings. My brother took these and literally outdid himself.

  
   
   
   
   
   
  I bought this abaya for my mum also and hope we can be twins when I go back home! I was thinking of getting it for my sister too so we could be triplets but I can already see her rolling her eyes and saying that’s pathetic.

Since being in Dubai I have seen the abaya being worn in so many trendy and fashionable ways that I feel we are so behind in the UK. Lots of girls are now wearing abayas full time even back home now but there is just such a lack of variety for what you can buy, especially for young girls. If you are in Dubai and want some different designs then I would suggest going to Naif in your oldest clothes, no make-up on and DO NOT speak English. Let me tell you a wee story.

The first time I went to buy this abaya for myself I went from home so wore a Khaadi kurta and whipped out my best Urdu shopping with family in the market and managed to get us some good deals. The abaya was given to me at 170AED. The second time I went back was to pick up the same abaya for my mum and I went there on the way back from our Ras Al Khaimah trip so had jeans on and a fedora on top of my head. When I picked the abaya up the man gave me the price of 300AED. I practically keeled over and said in my squeakiest Urdu that BROTHER I BOUGHT THIS FROM YOU LAST MONTH AND IT WAS 170 SO DON’T EVEN TRY AND GIVE ME THAT PRICE NOW. He looked like he had seen a ghost and started laughing and said oh I didn’t recognise you in your other clothes so gave you a British price. Now, if that doesn’t tell you that us British people are always given the worst prices abroad, I don’t know what will. Leave the glamour home one day and go there in your oldest clothes. Tie your husband’s mouth if you can because mine always ends up saying SAM LOOK AT THIS and I’m like I swear we were pretending to be from Pakistan here but just you go giving the game away in your English accent pal.
Tag me in your abaya looks – I would love to see them! I am so inspired to wear more of them here.

Right, I’d better go because we are going for a late dinner and then watch the infamous Dubai fireworks from our balcony. We are lucky enough to have the perfect view of Downtown so have opted to spend our first NYE together at home instead of partying the night away. Dubai is buzzing tonight so I hope if you’re out you have an amazing night. Dubai knows how to have a good time so I’m sure you will.
Before I sign off, I’d just like to say thank you to every single one of you who likes my Instagram posts, comments on my stuff, reads my blog and takes the time out to email me. I know sometimes I’m a wee cow and don’t reply but I’m sorry and I love you for taking the time out to actually read my nonsense and send me messages. This blog started off as something that I did just as a hobby and has turned into something that has allowed me to meet so many beautiful women from around the world both online and in person. Thank you ALL for being so amazing and making me feel like I at least make one person’s day with what I write. All the best for 2016 and Happy New Year. Make it a good one.

Love,

Miss Mulberry

P.S. I have some really exciting stuff coming up in 2016 and can’t wait to share it with you all.
 
 

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Reunion shoot with Farhan! 

When you have a certain number of followers on social media then of course here and there you will see things that will make you scrunch your nose up in discontent, or say ‘what the’ or just want to throw your phone across the room. These moments are very rare for me, believe me. On the whole, I am shown nothing but love by readers from across the world and it truly is humbling to see so many girls supporting one another in this day and age where everyone is now a blogger or a well-known name on Instagram. There are so many cool people to follow on Instagram, I get a bit bamboozled sometimes thinking about who to follow because SO many people have interesting Instagram feeds these days. The fact that people choose to follow me doesn’t go unnoticed!

On the rare occasion that I do read something that is just plain mean, pointless or silly, I just either delete the comments or ignore them. I have no qualms in blocking people who just want attention rather than getting into public arguments with them. That just isn’t my style. I have read a couple of things recently about something that I wore and it made me think about the kind of society that we live in so thought I would talk about it here.

Recently, my friend gave me a jumpsuit and said that her sister had bought it for her a while ago but it didn’t fit her so it had just been lying in her wardrobe. She saw it one day and thought it would fit me and look good on me so she gave it to me. I was delighted because it was super cute and fitted perfectly so I wore it to a desert safari a few days later.

Exhibit A. Isn’t that what we do when someone gives us something? A sister, a friend? You like something. You wear it. I for one have never followed fashion trends or worn things just because they are ‘in fashion’. Of course certain things are on trend and we see them lots in shops so we do end up wearing them but I have never worn things purely because they are what’s in vogue and what everyone else is wearing. To me, style should be about what YOU like wearing, what fits you well and what suits your personality. Never have I ever thought, this is old fashioned or this has been done before so I’m not wearing this. Having said that, I was baffled to read several indirect comments and some more to the point via direct messages about how the jumpsuit I had worn was from 2014.

And? This is all that came to my mind as I read these comments. It’s a jumpsuit from Missguided for heaven sake?! So what if it’s from 2014 or 2004? I liked it so I wore it. Maybe if I was wearing Chanel 2014 I would maybe understand the bitchyness but actually even then I wouldn’t. Do we wear things only because they are in season? Maybe, if you only wear designer and you insist on changing your wardrobe season to season. I for one do not have any qualms in wearing things from last year or three years ago. If I like it, I will wear it and I won’t judge you for wearing something that’s been lying in the back of your wardrobe for the last 5 years with the tags still on. I know this is a small thing and some of you reading this probably think why is she getting her knickers in a twist but it really made me sad that rather than saying ‘Hey Miss Mulberry that jumpsuit looks shit on you’ all some girls could think was why is ‘woah she wore something from last year’.  

Right, enough of this now.

Let me show you these amazing photographs that my little brother took.          

We did a shoot together after months and he has improved so much! He just gets my angles, lighting and the whole SHEBANG. Actually loved how these turned out. Wish I could have kept him here forever. Check out his new photography page @kidandthecamera on Instagram. I think he’s got a good thing going with his photography. The boy is more interested in taking pictures of bumble bees and flowers so I don’t think he will be going down the fashion photography route. As long as he makes that exception for me, it’s fine.

Oh yeah outfit details:

Jumpsuit – Missguided (It’s from last year so if you like it I’m afraid you won’t be able to buy it now…sorry girls)

Sandals – Asos

Bag – New Look

Watch – Kennett brand

Earrings – Aldo

I went a bit wild with the make up because I knew we would be shooting around sunset time. I think it worked for this look.        

I’m daft for a silhouette

 What do we think?

As always, thank you for reading. I have lots of fun and exciting stuff coming up for you girls which I can’t wait to share!! The desert safari was AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING and I’m actually going to do a write up about the company that we used for the experience so look out for it soon.  

Love,

Miss Mulberry
 

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Ras Al Khaimah Part 2 

 Hello again. I did say I would post every day and I am sticking to my promise!

On day two we decided to explore the historical sites that RAK had to offer before we headed back to Dubai late afternoon. We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed so to speak and set off after a big breakfast at the Hilton Resort & Spa. I kept my look rather casual (for me) after the 6 inch wedges on a mountain palava from the day before and stuck with flats instead. Wise choice on my part.  We had made a list of the places that we wanted to see in RAK including Dhaya Fort which was built in the 16th century on a mountain overlooking the Gulf, to fight the British troops. We were also keen to see the The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, built in the 18th century during the emirate’s invasion by Persians, which was originally the house of the Royal Family until 1964. There were so many other historical sites such as Sheba’s Palace that we wanted to see so we were eager to get as much packed into the day as possible. Off we went with our sat nav and good old fashioned paper map. We knew that the sites weren’t far from our hotel and we had a rough idea of where we were going from the day before so we weren’t worried about getting lost or anything at all.

That my friends is where we were wrong. We drove around circles for nearly two hours, the sat nav repeatedly telling us; ‘you have reached your destination’. Erm I think not considering we have wound up in an empty field you cow is what I kept thinking. We knew we were THERE but there were literally no sign posts at all anywhere. Jebal Jais was so well sign posted the day before and we got there without any maps or sat nav so I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a single sign for any of the major tourist attractions anywhere. I felt this was such a shame as we had made the effort to do our research on the historical sites and were keen to go and see them. My husband especially, is a huge lover of history so he was extremely disappointed that we couldn’t find what we were looking for. Out of around five places on our list, we didn’t even find ONE. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time looking for them and had a fun drive. Okay, let me rephrase – I had a good time. At one point I decided to blast Pakistani folk singer Arif Lohar’s infamous Jugni and turned the car into a wee mosh pit. Atteeq had to park up on the side and have a wee word with me to tell me to calm down in case I distracted him enough to crash the car, heaven forbid.

 Isn’t the place breathtaking? Ignore my pointless chat in the video, I was making it for my daddy!

I didn’t  want to get down about the fact that we couldn’t find any of the places we had set out to find. So after a couple of hours of exploring the quiet streets of RAK, we decided to head back to Dubai and make the most of the rest of the day there rather than wasting a whole day of the weekend. We promised ourselves and each other that we would come back to Ras Al Khaimah again in the very near future but perhaps with a guide this time that could take us to the places we wanted to see. My advice to the RAK tourist board would be to sign post their historical attractions from the popular resorts that most tourists usually head to RAK for. I felt the place had so much to offer and was such a breath of fresh air from the bright lights of Dubai that more people would go to these sites if they a) knew about them and b) if they were actually signs for them in the city centre. I would recommend everyone who lives in the UAE and has come from abroad to go exploring in RAK, it’s just so different to anything you will see in Dubai. Hopefully by then there will be some signs around to show you where to go. I for one am willing to take the risk of getting lost a second time because it’s probably one of the most beautiful places to get lost in.
Right, some fashion blogger stuff. Ras Al Khaimah was a bloggers DREAM. The locations were literally breath taking. I must have squealed like a million times whilst we were driving around every time I would see a tree or a mountain or even a bunch of goats!

As we were driving around, I asked Atteeq to stop at this one particular spot to shoot my outfit of the day. It was such a peaceful, serene location and I for one absolutely loved how these pictures turned out.    

   
   Yeah the boy chopped off the tree I was dying over in most of the shots but credit where credit is due, I think he’s getting better. Don’t you think?                        What do you girls think of this winter look? Something simple and easy to put together.  

Why do I look so crazed?

 Jumper – H&M

Jeans – Topshop

Hat – H&M

Bag – Charles & Keith

Sunglasses – Topshop 

Watch – Kennett brand 

Shoes – A random wee shop near Mall of the Emirates called SHOEZIES. Lol. They were like 35 AED. I kid you not.      

 I randomly decided to do pigtails that day as you do when you’re a 25 year old woman and finished the look off with MAC Rebel on my lips. I thought it contrasted the olive of the jumper really well.

Basically, Ras Al Khaimah was just a dream. I look forward to heading there again not only to explore the history that it has to offer but also to shoot a look book or two amongst the derelict fields set against the Jebal Jais mountain.

       

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Ras Al Khaimah Part 1 

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go and explore one of the neighbouring emirates of Dubai for a short weekend getaway. The UAE is made up of 7 Emirates with Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Sharjah and Ajman. I had heard great things about the resorts RAK had to offer so after reading lots of reviews I booked up the Hilton Resort and Spa. We were not disappointed and had an amazing stay there. It had its own private beach, plenty of swimming pools and just lots to do in general.

We hired a car and my husband drove us there. The drive from Dubai to RAK was quite surreal with dessert on both sides of the highway. All I did was ‘snap’ for my Snapchat! (missmulberry123) I got it literally to snap my getaway for family who had been moaning at me to get the app and I basically got addicted to it by the time we reached the resort. The resort was 5 star and boasted opulence and luxury from the moment we walked in. The Hilton Resort and Spa Ras Al Khaimah has over 7 restaurants so to be honest we could have spent the whole weekend just lazing around the resort. Of course we did do this but we also went exploring around RAK to make the most of our time there.

One of the first things we noted was just how quiet the place was in comparison to Dubai. Like actually dead. But I liked this. It was so nice to get away from the busy life of Dubai to somewhere which actually made us feel like we were in an Arab country. Dubai is so westernised and modern that sometimes I genuinely forget I’m in the UAE. RAK was much quieter and had more locals than ex pats. It felt very authentic as we drove around and the mountainous backdrop almost made it feel like we were in Pakistan. One of the main things we wanted to do while in RAK was drive to the top of Jebal Jais, the tallest mountain in the UAE.

Getting to the top was relatively easy from RAK as it was well sign posted at regular intervals. The road is super smooth although it starts winding more and more as you get closer to the top. There were so many cars both in front and behind us that it felt quiet safe as everyone was heading up together to catch the sunset. It took around 45 minutes to get from the bottom to the top and well let’s just say it was well worth the wait!     

   
   
 
Originally, we weren’t supposed to go to the mountain on that day so my outfit was a bit daft for the top of a mountain where it was absolutely freezing. 

  

   
 Top and trousers – Topshop

Wedges – Dune

Necklace and earrings – eBay

Bag – Charles & Keith

Here are some more snaps from the top of the mountain.   

   
   
 So here’s a wee back story. I tried teaching Atteeq how to take good blogger pictures for me whilst we were there because I thought super cool location and all. Well, here is a picture that I took of him to exemplify what I wanted him to take of me:   

The picture below is Atteeq’s version of the above:  

I literally wanted to throw myself off the tallest mountain in the UAE at this point since I was standing on it anyway.

He’s a great husband, just a rubbish photographer. Can’t have everything in life eh? 
This experience was one of those that pictures just don’t do it justice. You have to experience it to feel the crisp air, to see the beautiful sunset and to take in the views. I can’t recommend going to the top enough!

 
After we were finished we headed back to the resort and had a relaxing night eating at the Brazilian restaurant there and just relaxing in the lobby where they had live Christmas music playing.

That’s all for part 1, I will bring you another look and a little more on RAK in part 2 of this post tomorrow.

I hope those of you celebrating Christmas today have had a wonderful day with your families.

Lots of love and hugs,

Miss Mulberry

P.S. I’m going to bring you a new blog post every single day for the next 7 days to bring the New Year in. It’s my way of committing myself to my new year’s resolution of writing more on here. I hope you read my nonsense and enjoy it.

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