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Hello beautiful people :]

I hope all is well.
Today, I want to share with you a recipe that I have attempted last night for dinner. It came out really well and delicious so I had to share it on albalsamlife.com's new cooking blog series: "Balsam's Kitchen". 
I have been eating yellow rice ever since I was a child, and I remember being fascinated how my mom or nanny can transform white rice into yellow XD but now I know the trick that they use in making this delicious yellow colored rice!
If you would like to try it out, then keep on reading ...

You will need:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice (depending on the size of group)
  • 1.2 - 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 table spoon oil or 1 table spoon butter (I personally do not like it to be too oily, but this is up to your taste)
  • 4 cups of water (again this depends on the amount of rice you use. Generally, the amount of water should be double the amount of rice)
  • Optional: Onions, peas, etc. (any vegetable you would like to add)

Procedure:

I personally used a rice cooker to make this. If you are using a rice cooker or a regular stove, all you have to do is basically add all the ingredients together. If you are using onions, you can add these to the rest of the ingredients from the beginning. If you plan on using other types of vegetables such as green peas, chickpeas, etc. then you should add them towards the ed so they are not overcooked. 

Let everything be cooked :)

This is usually served as a side dish with curry, or anything you want really! I like to eat it with yogurt and grilled or fried chicken.


Bon Appétit,

Two days ago, it was albalsamlife.com's 10 months anniversary! and it reached 100,000 views 

I thought i'd share with you the fabulous news, and use this opportunity to thank every one of you who is a devoted reader of my site/blog!

I love you all, and please continue to show support and love x


lots of love,
Header image source: http://www.hdwallpapers.in/walls/miranda_kerr_5-wide.jpg

Happy brithday Miranda Kerr!!

The model turned 31 today, and I decided to make a post dedicated to my favorite Miranda Kerr street style moments as I am such a big fan of the model and her fashion choices.

Check them out below! and let me know what you think x



Note that all images on the slideshow are taken from Harper Bazaar's official website.


with love,

Happy Easter everybody!

One of my most anticipated blog posts is about using Castor oil for hair (you can click here to read the article), and I received SO many questions regarding this topic ever since I published that article, and I understand because when you are in the process of losing hair and you notice that your hair is becoming thinner and thinner, and more skin is showing on your scalp, you start to worry immediately! and that's exactly what happened to me!
I have never tried anything that worked better on my hair than castor oil! and I guarantee you that, as I have experienced severe hair loss and thankfully managed to cure it without the aid of any chemicals or any pills. That's why, today I'd like to answer your most frequently asked questions about that article I have previously published on castor oil for hair, and therefore provide you with the information that you asked about!
I will try to keep the answers as short as possible, and explain very briefly about what I know about castor oil and my experience with it. If you would like to know my journey with castor oil, then you can click here to read the full article!


What does castor oil do for your hair?

Well, castor oil basically strengthens the hair, and is thought to make the hair grow longer and thicker. If you are interested in the process of how it does that, then continue reading.
Castor oil when massaged directly on the scalp, it boosts the blood circulation which means that the hair follicles will receive all the nutrients they need to grow healthily! This promotes healthy hair growth when done regularly. Castor oil also contains essential nutrients like vitamin E, amino acids, and omega-6 fatty acids that help prevent hair breakage and dry, unhealthy hair that has split ends. Moisturized, split-end free hair means longer and thicker hair!

How many times should I apply castor oil?

This question is slightly difficult to answer since it will depend on your schedule and daily routine. I personally used to apply it at least 3 times a week - or the night before I wash my hair, so I leave it overnight most of the time and that is my strongest recommendation.
Castor oil does have a very sticky texture, making it difficult to be flexible when it comes to the number of times you apply it. If you are always on the go during the weekdays, then apply if during the weekend! but the more times you apply it, the better. Just don't over do it. I would say 3 times per week is an ideal number.

How long does it take to see results?

This again will depend on your body and you as an individual. I personally have met people who promised me that they saw change within days after applying castor oil. I personally started seeing positive results within weeks, but I finally managed to see a drastic positive change after about 6 months. That's when all my friends and family members noticed and started complementing my hair! 
If you are looking to purchase castor oil, here are my personal recommendations:


with love,
Happy Easter to all of my readers who celebrate it!
I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday with all your loved ones.
I just wanted to highlight a few updates that I have changed or added on albalsamlife.com, which some of you may have already noticed!
  1. If you're a frequent reader of my blog, then you probably noticed the new blog layout that I am absolutely madly in love with at the moment! I hope you all like it :)
  2. I added a new segment on the side bar under the name 'Whats on Balsam's Life'. There you can find all the things that I am currently obsessed with, reading, products that I am using or even trips that I am planning to go to soon! For each thing in that section there will be a URL available for you just in case you are also interested in trying out the products that I am using!
  3. A new series of blog posts under the tag line 'Fashion Fever' will now be continued on albalsamlife.com to showcase the latest fashion trends, that are not necessarily a favorite of mine, but still find it interesting enough to discuss them here 

I would also like to highlight a page that I have added a long time ago: which is the Ask Balsam page that enables you to ask me 'quick' questions on anything you like, as I have been receiving questions via email - which is absolutely fine! - however, I do believe that using this page would be much easier for both you and me :)

I hope you enjoy the few changes and continue to show support and love that is highly appreciated x 
with love,

Dubai has come a long way from being a little fishing village in the United Arab Emirates to being one of the premier tourist destinations in the world. Even with other destinations such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the vicinity, Dubai still grabs the headlines and sparks the curiosity of many around the world. From some of the tallest buildings in the world, to man made islands and underwater hotels, there is plenty to see and do in Dubai. If you are planning a trip to this sandy and sunny part of the world, there are a couple of things that you simply must do. There is no shortage of what to do and see in Dubai, but below are just a few of the things that might peak your interest.


#1 - The Dubai Creek


The Dubai Creek stands out as one of the most beautiful and oldest places around. Down at the creek, you can take a ride in an abra, which is a traditional boat made out of wood. The scenic views are definitely a great way to relax and soak up the city. The best time to do this is in the evening to catch the beautiful sunset as you float lazily on the water. The surrounding beauty, and Muslim calls to prayer make for an atmosphere like no other. Make sure to take a walk in Deira, an old beautiful area known for its incense and frankincense, beautiful old alleyways and an overall experience like no other.



#2 - Take in the Dubai culinary experience


The difference between the super wealthy and the poor in Dubai is almost like no other place in the world, and it doesn’t become any more obvious than in the culinary experiences. Dubai is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, including the Michelin Starred Raffles Hotel and Grosvenor House. Get a taste of exquisite cuisines from some of the best restaurateurs and chefs in the world who have an outpost here including notable names such as Gordon Ramsay and Gray Rhodes. On the other side of things, there is the Al Dhiyafah Road (now 2nd of December) where you can literally get a taste of the ‘real’ Dubai away from all the glitz and glamor. These roadside eateries offer Indian, Lebanese and Iranian cuisines that are both cheap and tasty. This diverse culinary experience will definitely be something to write home about.



#3 - Explore the Lost City


The Palm Jumeirah is a man made island created out of nothing. If that is not reason enough to visit, the Atlantis Hotel on the island is everything you would expect from Dubai and more. This 5-star resort in itself has plenty of activities to keep you occupied. There are plenty of 5-star restaurants to choose from here, and a nightclub to give you a taste of Emirati nightlife. There is also the chance to get up close and personal with dolphins. The world class water park (Aquaventure) is home to the Leap of Faith, which is one of the most exhilarating water slides you can find anywhere in the world. There is also a manmade beach, and the Lost World where you will find great aquariums if you have an interest in aquatic life.


#4 - Go on top of the Burj Khalifa


Dubai is synonymous with everything big. It is of course no surprise that the world’s tallest building is to be found here. The Burj Khalifa has a lot more to offer rather than just being tall. Start with the exhibit where you will get an interesting history lesson about the building. You of course have to take a ride in the fastest lift in the world, but be warned, it is extremely fast, getting you to the top in only a few seconds. At the very top of the building, you will get the sensation of being on top of the world. With sweeping views across the city, both amateur and professional photographers will have the time of their lives here. You want to go in the evening, just before sunset so you can get a bird’s eye view of what the city looks like during the day and at night.




#5 - Take a desert safari


While in Dubai, you have to take a desert safari. This involves getting into a four-wheel vehicle and driving across the desert, and possibly stopping over at a campsite for the night. You will get to try Shisha (hubbly bubbly) and get a little taste of what life might have been like in the years gone by. There are few things better than staying up late under the desert stars dreaming up adventures. You will get to see falcons in their natural habitat, and the simple pleasures that the desert brings. There are many companies that offer these tours, so you might want to be a little careful about whom you choose. Make sure that the stopovers, if any, are convenient for you. Also ask what food will be made available, as well as any extra charges that you may be expected to incur during the excursion.
  


#6 - The Dubai fountains


It is often said that the best things in life are free. Forget the Bellagio fountains, true to Dubai, the ones here are bigger, better, taller, louder and more dramatic. At night, you get a bonus light show that you will not forget anytime soon, and all this for free. The Dubai Mall and the base of the Burj Khalifa are the best places to see the show. There are also restaurant that line up the fountains, so dinner at the terrace as you enjoy the show will be an experience. The Dubai Mall in itself is an adventure on account of being the biggest mall in the world. The fountain show comes paired with an unforgettable music repertoire and the whole experience surreal and awe inspiring.



Make your trip to Dubai unforgettable


You will be spending quite a bit of money on airfare, meals, accommodation and generally experiencing Dubai, so you want to get your money’s worth as much as possible. You can save money in all these places by searching the internet for deals. Also book your trip as early as possible to ensure that you get bargain prices. One place you can potentially save tonnes of money is to get the best travel insurance possible. Depending on your cover, you can save on healthcare, emergency evacuation, cancelled flights, lost or delayed luggage and unforeseen interruptions to your trip. It is a good idea to get insured in case things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped. The devil is always in the details. It is these little ‘inconveniences’ such as falling ill or losing your luggage that may end in taking up a huge chunk of the travel budget, or worse, force you to go back to your pocket to spend additional money that you possibly don’t even have in the first place. 


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Written by: Ana Grgic