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Little Black Book: Helen O’Brien

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama

 There’s nothing like discovering the best of your city through the eyes of the people who live there. Our Little Black Book series will share a little inspo from those in the know.

Helen (aka Helly) is an Irish mama of 2 super cute girls, plus bump (so exciting!) and the wonder woman behind parenting and lifestyle blog,  writing about everything from where to dine out to perfect family days out in Dubai. Describing herself as ‘Carrie Bradshaw, minus her shoe collection’, Helly is a writer, adventure lover and coffee drinker who juggles it all in style and always with a smile on her face. This is her little black book.

Describe your perfect Friday in Dubai

Our favourite Friday’s in Dubai start off at the beach. Palace Beach is our favourite- they used to call it secret beach but it is no secret anymore. We usually meet our friends around 7am and bring baked treats and fruit platters from Spinneys. Then we all head to church for 11am. We then either go out for lunch (Lime Tree and Bystro big favourites) or we go home for lunch and head to the Els Club for an early dinner and enjoy their Friday kids cinema on the lawn with popcorn for them and a glass of grape for us.

Read more: The Lime Tree Cafe’s New Cauliflower Couscous Salad


Most beautiful spot in/around the city

For the last 3 years, Saturdays mean going to the Desert. Once again we go with a big group of friends and set off around 2pm (later in the hotter months) we bring throw away BBQ’s and enjoy dinner and dessert (hello smores). We come up close to Camel’s, send the Little’s off on adventures to find sticks and build a fire later in the evening. Sing songs and ghost stories a must!

Something on your bucket list you haven’t got round to doing yet

In our four years living in Dubai and all the Desert trips we have done – We have never done a ‘Desert Safari’ mainly as Aoibhie was just to small. Before the end of the year (and before baby #3 comes) this will have to be done! Also I am a fan of a bit of luxury – I would love to do the typical tourist Afternoon Tea at the Burj Alarab – You only live once right?


Best cup of coffee

Myself and Mr O love coffee. A few of our favourite places for coffee are Baker & Spice, Lime Tree Cafe and Tub of Butter.

Favourite restaurants

As a family we love Bystro the Little’s eat free 5-7pm and the food is really tasty. My favourite is the Falafel Bowl. We also love Fumè for family meals and also for date nights the Marina view by night is stunning. For a date night we love Mexican. Good food and sangria to get you in a good mood – Muchacha’s is a current favourite – Check out their Friday brunch!

Read more: Foodie News Roundup: New Restaurants To Try In Dubai


Hidden gems

We love going to ‘Old Dubai’ as a family and it is a gorgeous place to bring visitors. We park at the Sheraton and take an Abra across the creek to the textiles area. You walk for around 10min straight off the boat into Al Bastakiya and come to “The Arabian Tea House” honestly my favourite gem! A beautiful spot to sit, drink tea and eat cake or you can go more traditional and order a Shish Tawook and Fatoosh – I just love all the food on offer and the prices are second to none.

If you need a party outfit you’ll go

I don’t really own anything without a Zara label. I must admit it is just such an easy go to. I am not really up to date with what is in fashion. I just know that if I purchase something in Zara I am “up with the latest trends!”. I have lately started to produce a wee bump so I have been ordering off a new brand on Instagram Mummyista and so far loving the soft/organic shorts and T-shirts.

Read more: Super Styling: My Top 5 Picks from Zara


And where do you go to kit out your kids?

I love Cotton On for my girls, the clothes are cute and wash well. I do love when they are ’ twinning’ but I don’t know how much longer I will get as Cadhla-Rose is getting to the stage where she prefers making her own outfit choices and lately is loving Zara like her Mama. They both live in Shoes and I do believe we have loved bows longer the JoJo was about – Desert Roses is our go to.

Where do you go to get fit and get pampered?

I feel as though I am letting a part of this question down. I have not look at getting fit since March – I really have embraced the “Im Pregnant – I don’t care” phase!

Previous to this myself and my friend Irene were attending Rick Bhullar Fitness boot camps and to be honest we loved it and not just because he was easy on the eyes!

Pampering I could talk about for days – But I won’t. The Cure in Media City is my go to. The facials are incredible and when you get a mani or pedi you are spoilt with a free head massage after – its the little extras that do it for me!


Best thing you’ve done in the UAE till date

I always get a real buzz after amazing concerts and we have been to so many since being in Dubai. I think my favourite concert so far was Ed Sheeran in Media City. It felt so small and intimate even though I’m sure there was thousands of people attending. The views of the skyline – Pinch me Dubai moments!

Dubai summed up in 3 words

Better every year 🙂


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