2018 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 16, 2018

20 Photos That Will Make You Feel Seychelles is a Paradise on Earth

Ed and I recently visited a paradise... aka the Seychelles!

It was a holiday trip that we spontaneously decided to take. Nevertheless, it turned out to be epic! Except for a few one-minute long rain showers and gloomy skies during sunset, everything that was instantly planned turned out well.

I don't know about you, but I bet nothing can go wrong in this dreamy tropical destination off the coast of East Africa. 

postcards from Seychelles

Dec 12, 2018

Christmas Market and Festive Brunch at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate

Christmas is here! 

Can you feel it? Smell it? Taste it? Hahah! I finally did last weekend at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate! Ed and I went there to visit the hotel's first ever Christmas Bazaar and to welcome the jolly season with a festive brunch. 

Movenpick Hotel Dubai

Dec 10, 2018

24th St: Where Street Food meets Fine Dining

Being a fan of Dusit Thani Dubai's dining venues, I had mixed emotions when I heard PAX Italian restaurant will be closed down to give way to a fresh concept. I do love that restaurant, but fresh is good and I trust that it's all for the better.

So, when I saw that the new restaurant - 24th St. Asian Street Food - is finally open, it was more of excitement that rolled over me. 

24th st asian street food in Dubai

Nov 25, 2018

Nature and Wildlife Drive in Sir Bani Yas Island

Probably the highlight of every visit to Sir Bani Yas Island, the Nature and Wildlife Drive kept me on my toes throughout the long journey from Dubai. The activity is included in the hotel stay package that we booked but is also open to day trippers.

We heard that early morning is the best time to visit the wildlife sanctuary in Sir Bani Yas island as it is when the animals are out and about. Hence, we signed up for the sunrise trip a couple of days before our stay and confirmed it when we arrived at Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara

Sir Bani Yas island activity

Nov 21, 2018

Into the Wild: A Unique Staycation Experience at Sir Bani Yas Island

What's your favorite thing to do during long weekends? Ed and I, if we're not escaping to another country, love to do something new in the UAE. Our holiday checklist usually involves a relaxing staycation, tasting a new cuisine, and experiencing a new activity. 

And there is one destination where we were able to tick off all those three. Sir Bani Yas island!      

Stay in Sir Bani Yas Island

Oct 18, 2018

My Birthday Breakfast in Burj Al Arab

Smoked salmon with crème Fraiche and caviar. Fine cheeses with date chutney. Assorted homemade viennoiseries. These are only some of the food that made up the not-so-ordinary breakfast I devoured in Burj Al Arab's Sahn Eddar. It was a morning meal that I truly wouldn't deserve if not for my birthday!

Breakfast in Burj Al Arab

Oct 15, 2018

Premier Inn: Budget Stay in Dubai with a Passport to Discounts

Apologies for the month-long silence on this blog. Once in a while, I do some blogger detox to focus on more important things in life; priceless things like spending time with my family. :)

Last month, my parents visited me in my second home - Dubai - for the third time. This time, I wanted them to experience the finer things this city can offer. But you know me, I always find ways to see/eat/do more while spending less, and I have a new discovery! It's the Premier Inn Passport!

Premier Inn Dubai staycation

Sep 7, 2018

A Repeat Stay at Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort

During the recent holiday, Ed and I ventured out to one of the most exotic places in the United Arab Emirates. We traveled to Sir Bani Yas - a natural island with a magnificent wildlife reserve situated miles away from the capital of the UAE.

Due to the distant location and the fact that we had to take two exhausting bus rides to reach Sir Bani Yas Island boat jetty terminal, we decided to rest for a while and spend a night somewhere close by. The good news is that our favorite hideaway - Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort - is the nearest accommodation we can find.

If you can remember, we have stayed at this wonderful 5-star property two years ago. Hence, I wouldn't deny that I was glad, or shall I say relieved, to see a familiar place less than 20 km away from the jetty when I looked into Google maps.

Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort Review

Aug 24, 2018

Dinner and Show in Maison Rouge Dubai

Maison Rouge. Hearing the restaurant's name for the first time roused my curiosity. It sounded like the famous musical film, and yes, the iconic cabaret in Paris. I have never seen anything like it in Dubai and I wondered how will this unique dinner and show concept fit-in in this cosmopolitan yet conservative city.

So, a few weeks back, on a Thursday night, my curiosity led me (with Ed and my friends) to Conrad Hotel in the Trade Centre area to see what Maison Rouge is all about. 

Maison Rouge Dubai blog review

Aug 4, 2018

Adventures in Motiongate Dubai

I have a confession to make. I am in my mid-thirties but I still love going to theme parks! I don't believe that these places are made just for the kids. These were also built for us - adults - to get back in touch with our inner child from time to time!

Do you agree? :)

Here in the UAE, we are lucky to have plenty of good theme parks to choose from. One of our favorites is Motiongate Dubai.

Motiongate Dubai Theme Park

Jul 22, 2018

A Polynesian-themed Staycation in Lapita Hotel Dubai

Having a taste of Lapita Hotel's Polynesian hospitality during a Daycation Brunch last year, Ed and I were keen on going back for a proper staycation. We super love the island vibe that drifted us away from the desert to the tropics in an instant. So a few months later, we found ourselves back in Lapita for Ed's birthday. The hotel stay + park access package was a no-brainer for us who crave for a little R&R plus a whole lot of adventure on the side.

Lapita Hotel Dubai review

Jul 1, 2018

Cairo: Itinerary, Expenses and Things To Know Before You Go

Late 2017, during a long weekend, Ed and I flew to North Africa to visit an ancient wonder! Egypt has been on our travel plans for so long... way before we created our 20 before 2020 list. So, yes, we were beyond thrilled to make that trip happen!

While sharing snippets of our #SweetEscapesinEgypt on Insta, I came to know that it is not only us who have this lifelong dream of seeing the pyramids. I have received lots of inquiries from fellow Dubai expats and travelers since our trip, so this travel guide is better late than never! :) 

Cairo Travel Guide

May 22, 2018

Cairo Travel Vlog #3: Do-It-Yourself Cairo Tour

On our third and last day in Cairo, Ed and I visited the places that were not included in our guided tours. We took Uber rides and explored the city on our own! Honestly speaking, we were both not comfortable with this idea before our trip as safety is always a priority whenever we travel. However, things changed when we finally saw what's beyond the headlines. I can't emphasize enough that we never felt unsafe while we were in Egypt.

Needless to say, we had a wonderful DIY tour in the city. We visited the Egyptian Museum, walked in Downtown Cairo, went to the Citadel, took lots selfies with the local kids, and watched the sunset in Nile Corniche!  

cairo diy travel vlog

May 17, 2018

Ramadan 2018: Iftars and Meet Ups

Weeks before Ramadan commenced, I received a couple of invitations for Iftar preview. I won't lie, Iftar is the Ramadan tradition I always look forward to. I am not a Muslim, however, I immensely adore the essence of the holy month, most especially the concept of bringing the family closer by sharing a meal after a day of fasting.

I accepted three invitations. And in line with the true meaning of the season, I took it as an opportunity to personally meet and share a meal with my online family aka my blog readers.

May 10, 2018

Welcoming Summer in Fujairah

And just like that, summer has sneaked in and Ramadan is just around the corner. The current hot hot hot weather (We're not even at the peak yet!) brings an avalanche of flashbacks of the short-lived winter.

Although it was super quick, I must say that Ed and I have made the most out of the cool temperature with consecutive weekend getaways and plenty of al fresco lunch dates! And it's just right that we bid adieu to the crisp winter breeze and welcome the wild summer sun with a fun road trip.

Destination: Fujairah!

summer fun in the UAE

Apr 28, 2018

The Yard in Last Exit Al Khawaneej: Of Love Locks and Food Trucks

In the search for trendy and romantic destinations in the city, Ed and I headed to Al Khawaneej to see the much talked about The Yard and Last Exit D89 during the weekend. This new development is situated on the outskirts, but in spite of being away from the metro line, it became a famous hang out spot. People are primarily drawn to it because it is where Dubai's first ever love lock bridge is located.

The Yard Last Exit Dubai

Apr 26, 2018

Tailgate Brunch at TRYP by Wyndham Dubai

Weekends in Dubai call for lavish Friday Brunches in hotels! I do love to dress up for this occasion, but more often than not, I would rather ditch the fancy dress and high heels for a comfy get-up! Hence, the Tailgate Brunch - a laid back bbq brunch - at TRYP by Wyndham immediately caught my attention.

Tailgate brunch in Tryp by Wyndham Dubai

Apr 16, 2018

Seafood Night in Mercure Barsha Heights

When you're welcomed to a restaurant by a harmless-looking pirate, you know you're in for a treat!

Ed and I were caught by surprise when Captain Jack Sparrow - I mean, a staff dressed in a pirate costume - greeted us at the entrance door of Day & Night restaurant in Mercure Dubai Hotel in Barsha Heights.

Seafood Night in Mercure Hotel Dubai

Apr 10, 2018

Wholesome Breakfast at Sophie's Cafe

Previously located miles away from where I live, Sophie's Cafe is the famous breakfast spot that I have been wanting to visit yet never had the chance to! Thankfully, they shifted from Palm Jumeirah to Barsha Heights recently! Still a long journey from home, but at least conveniently accessible by metro!

So, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Annie and I scheduled a breakfast date -slash- catch up sesh in Sophie's!

sophies cafe dubai review

Apr 7, 2018

Seafood Feast in Paluto Restaurant by Chef Boy Logro

For a couple of weeks now, I have been raving about Paluto Restaurant by Chef Boy Logro on social media. Ed and I were so impressed that it became our lunch venue for two consecutive weekends! I constantly shared and raved about our dining experiences to the point that some people thought I was paid to promote it! Hahah! 

But I bet people who really know me understands the situation. I love seafood so much that I go craaaazy every time there is a new and unique seafood restaurant in Dubai!

Just in case you haven't heard about Paluto - Dubai's newest foodie hotspot, let me introduce it to you!    

paluto restaurant blog review

Apr 4, 2018

#LadyAsks: Where do you take your family and friends when they visit Dubai?

Living in Dubai for 10 years, Ed and I feel ecstatic whenever a family member or a friend decides to visit us. We take them to our favorite spots, to some are hidden gems, and to the city's world-famous structures! We want them to have the experience to remember! And although it's subjective, we always hope that they would love Dubai as much as we do.

Ed and I do love to play tour guides to our visiting loved ones. But given that Dubai is a fast growing city (There's always a new place to visit!), we wouldn't consider ourselves as experts. Oftentimes, we crowdsource, read blogs, and search on Instagram.

And so, I asked some of the Filipino Bloggers in Dubai... 

"Where do you take your family and friends when they visit?" 

Here are their answers!   

where to take your family when they visit dubai

Mar 29, 2018

10 Things I Learned in my 10 Years in Dubai

Today marks my 10th year in Dubai.

It was on March 29, 2008 that I flew from the Philippines to get my first ever UAE entry stamp on my passport. I can still remember how fast my heartbeat was while queueing at the immigration. It was my first solo out of the country trip and it wasn't just for a simple sightseeing. It was a serious move that could change my life forever! 

While waiting for my turn, I was silently repeating my cousin's mobile number and address. I should be able to say those confidently when the immigration officer asks. Frail and much shyer than ever, I took a deep breath and walked towards the counter. I anxiously smiled, gave my passport and my paper visa. I waited for a question, but he did not say a word. All I heard was a thump sound from the stamp.

And just like that, I was welcomed to Dubai!

10 years and more heart racing memories later, I still consider moving to Dubai as one of the best decisions I have ever made. This move has opened my eyes to the realities of life.

Lady 10 years in Dubai

Mar 25, 2018

10 Dishes to Try at the all-new Stars N Bars in La Mer Dubai

Last month, Ed and I had the pleasure of attending the pre-opening tasting of Stars'N'Bars La Mer. Along with some of the Dubai-based food bloggers, we had a sneak peek at the newly revamped menu which splendidly jibed with the good old SnB concept! We have been to Stars'N'Bars Yas Island a couple of years ago; hence, we were excited to see the improvements. Most especially when we knew that the brilliant yet humble Filipino Chef Andrew Paderes developed the new food offerings!

Stars'N'Bars is an American Sports Bar established in Monte Carlo where it is known to be a celebrity hang out spot! The branch in Abu Dhabi is already a popular nightlife venue, and their newest addition in La Mer Dubai is set to be one of the hippest bar/restaurants in the city! 

stars n bars la mer dubai

Mar 21, 2018

How to Apply for Egypt Tourist Visa in Dubai

Seeing the pyramids of Giza has been in our travel plans since we set foot in Dubai! Egypt is just a short flight from the UAE, so ticking it off on our list seems easy. But every single time we talked about it, we hear sad news. Hence, we kept the idea of traveling to Egypt aside.

Late last year, the pyramids surfaced in one of our casual conversations again. And that time, we decided that there's no turning back! I booked our flight tickets and hotel stay, while Ed searched for the visa application procedure. That's his forte! :)

how to apply for egypt visa in dubai

Mar 14, 2018

A Special Arabic Lunch at Al Maeda Restaurant

Eat. Share. Love.

That is Al Maeda Restaurant's tagline. And that is exactly what we experienced when we went there for lunch last weekend! 

Al Maeda is an upscale Arabic restaurant tucked inside Doubletree by Hilton Dubai - Jumeirah Beach. The hotel stands in a fantastic beachfront location at the end of The Walk - JBR. Thus, the dining venue offers amazing views of the Arabian Gulf and the nearly done Ain Dubai! 

Al Maeda Restaurant review

Mar 6, 2018

8 Days in Greece Itinerary and Expenses: Athens, Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos

Let's cap off our Big Fat Greek Holiday series with a blog post I know a lot have been waiting for! 

Whenever Ed and I travel, we often receive inquiries on our travel itinerary and expenses. Although I personally think that all these would depend on your travel style, and our choice of accommodation and activities may not be for everyone, we are always happy to share what we experienced.

As I often say, you can consider this blog post as a guide. Take whatever you think is helpful for you and include it in your self-made itinerary! So, without further ado, here's how we spent our days in Athens, Santorini, Naxos, and Mykonos!

Greece Itinerary and Expenses

Mar 4, 2018

How to Apply for Greece Schengen Visa in Dubai with a guide on how to fill-in the Schengen Visa Application Form

A month before our trip to Greece last October 2017, Ed and I have to secure an essential travel document... a Schengen Visa! The multiple Schengen Visa that we got from the Embassy of France last 2016 was only valid for 3 months; hence, we have to undergo the entire process all over again. 

I love traveling, but I hate visa applications! It always seems like a tedious process and the waiting game is stressful. But when I realized that if I look at the bigger picture, thinking about the negativities won't get me anywhere! 

I began seeing this whole process in a different perspective: I hate visa applications, but I LOVE TRAVELING! And I must say, wanderlust - that strong desire to see the world - can easily shake off the what-ifs, the doubts, and the fear!

So, let's secure that Schengen Visa, shall we?

how to apply for schengen visa and fill in the application form

Feb 22, 2018

GourMed Brunch in Basilico at The Cove Rotana

Last weekend, Ed and I together with some friends headed North to try out the newest Friday Brunch in the UAE. Why travel for an hour just for brunch, you may ask. Well, the recently launched GourMed Brunch is held in Basilico at The Cove Rotana in Ras Al Khaimah. If you are familiar with this 5-star resort in the Northern Emirates, then you probably get me. But if not, allow me to share 10 reasons!

The Cove Rotana Ras Al Khaimah

Feb 21, 2018

Alfresco Dining at View by Dusit

How do you make the most of the short-lived UAE winter? While the air is crisp and the skies are blue, Ed and I spend most of our free time outdoors. It is during this time of the year when we love to take long walks (be it along the creek or in Sheikh Zayed Road) and dining alfresco is a top preference!

Mid-February, our love for dining under the stars led us to View by Dusit.

View by Dusit is the newest outdoor terrace in the city. It is located adjacent to Jones the Grocer in Dusit Thani Dubai. Knowing that the latter occupies a prime spot in SZR, we were not surprised to find a stunning view of Downtown Dubai's skyline with, of course, Burj Khalifa in the spotlight!

View by Dusit Thani Dubai

Feb 2, 2018

The ABCs of 2017: A Year End Review

2017 was a roller coaster ride. It took me on a winding track of ups and downs. There were a lot of hellos, a few goodbyes, a sprinkle of challenges, and a shower of blessings. It was a crazy beautiful year; hence, before we move on to new blog posts, allow me to reminisce and share my most memorable experiences from A to Z.

Care to join me in the memory lane?

2017 year-end review

Jan 25, 2018

Mykonos: 2 Days Itinerary for Non-Partygoers

Mykonos is one of the most-visited islands in Greece.  It is popularly known for its sunbath-all-day, party-all-night atmosphere. But what if you're an old soul who just doesn't care about beach parties and nightlife, will the island make you feel at home?

Ed and I have no interest in Mykonos' party scene. We simply wanted to see the island. I've seen breathtaking photos of it on Instagram and I wondered if it does have a unique modern-meets-rustic vibe in person. So, we dropped by Mykonos for two days before heading back to Athens.

Mykonos two days itinerary

Jan 22, 2018

Reasons why Naxos should be on your Greek Isle Itinerary

When talking about dreamy Greek islands, you would probably hear Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and Skopelos in the conversation. But, Naxos?  Close to never. 

Naxos was also not on my radar; not until the time we were about to purchase ferry tickets. I often get seasick and I fear that the Aegean Sea would be rough during Autumn. So, to prepare myself, I read articles about surviving ferry rides in the Greek islands. One advice that I found useful is to take shorter journeys. The islands are interconnected by ferry routes, which means we can have a stopover in between Santorini and Mykonos to take a breather!  

And that's how I came across Naxos. Our visit was random; purely because of my fear of getting seasick. But, I'll tell you a secret: It was a fortunate stroke of serendipity!

reasons to visit Naxos Greece

Jan 17, 2018

What is it like to fly on Saudia and have a 9-hour layover in Riyadh?

For someone who works overseas, it is a blessing to be able to spend Christmas and New Year with the whole family. Hence, when the opportunity knocks, you just have to grab it!

However, coming from our 2016 holidays in the Philippines, Ed and I were hesitant about going home on super peak season again mainly because flights can be unreasonably expensive. But mid-2017, we found attractive (I mean, relatively cheap) fares on Saudia flights. 

Saudia Airlines