Shoes, shoes, shoes

Did you know that women in the UAE have on average 81 shoes? I was very surprised to hear such a high number when Virgin Radio announced these survey results in May.

So I did a little bit of experimenting and googling. Counting all my shoes, everything from flip flops, running shoes, golf shoes, boots etc., I’ve an amazing 32 pairs. That means someone else must own a whopping 130 pairs to create this UAE average for the two of us.

Where do you just store all these shoes? As a business partner once said, “we live in Dubai. People have a shoe closet.” I was laughing. It was comical, yet, so true. But what about us who don’t have a specific room just for their shoes?

Google was happy to suggest 13,300,000 results within mere 0.34 seconds for my quest on “shoe storage”. Here are some of my favourite tips for your shoe storage:

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Time to say good-bye to your friendship

When you’ve first moved to Dubai, were you lucky enough to know some people already? Or even better, to have some friends living here?

www.vic.edu.au

www.vic.edu.au

In my previous company, I supported the Middle East offices from the UK and experienced our relocated employees’ quest for new friends from afar. In such a transient city like Dubai, it’s easy to meet people but finding friends?

When I resigned from my company and moved to Dubai, I had one friend waiting for me and only knew 2 more people. It was one of many moves I’ve done internationally and across continents, so I wasn’t afraid of starting (somewhat) new again.

Looking over the last few years, I’ve seen some of my friends leave Dubai which was rather saddening. There were also some friendships to which I said good-bye – deliberately. For me, a friendship is a give and take and not a one-sided relationship. There was one particularly friendship where my friend only allowed meetings to take place when, where and how they suited her. Seeing her became stressful for me. I no longer looked forward to catching up and our conversations became superficial at best. It was time to end our friendship.

Some say it’s easier to leave a job, then to leave a friendship. But when do you know it’s time to say good-bye?

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Operation clean: How to best keep your house clean

What did you do this weekend? Were you able to catch up with some friends and family? Could you enjoy the cooler temperatures? Or did you spend a few hours cleaning and getting your house back in shape?

In my home, Friday is dominated by sports and meeting friends while Saturday is about running errands and cleaning. In the past, I’ve experimented with what works best for us and have now a cleaning schedule in place which helps to save substantial time and energy.

I first looked into the existing cleaning routine and felt it was too much of an effort. My life does not evolve around cleaning the house and without a maid, I don’t want to spend any more time than necessary on it.

So I looked into the different options of getting the house cleaned faster and with less hassle:

http://www.ohmygoodnessgracious.com/

http://www.ohmygoodnessgracious.com/

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10 tips for taking notes during a client meeting

Last time, I shared my tips for taking notes as the official recorder. The role is easily defined but what do you do when you are a participant? As a participant, it’s a bit more challenges and you’re facing numerous obstacles: You need to actively engage in the discussion, handle disruptions like incoming calls, texts or emails, manage interruptions by colleagues entering the office or meeting room. And still take notes for yourself?

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8 top tips for getting the most out of taking the official meeting minutes

Recently, a reader contacted me about the best way to take notes. She’s struggling to engage in the discussion, look at her client and take notes at the same time. Regardless of the position or company, I’ve seen many colleagues ask me the same question.

Participating in meetings can be a challenge alone these days. Companies are now spread over different countries and time zones. If you’re lucky, meetings take place face-to-face in the same room. We based in the Middle East, we’re more often called into telephone conferences (telcons), video conferences or webinars and they’re not limited to Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.

How do you get the best out of the many hours you spend in meetings? How do you know what is being added to your to-do list? Where do you go if a dispute about previous decisions arises? Taking notes during meetings can help you!

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Are you prepared for the unexpected?

FreezerWhile visiting my family in Germany, our freezer decided to break down. It was ironic to happen when our handyman checked our dishwasher and shortly afterwards, there was the new freezer. After 21 years, it’s a well-deserved retirement. For my mom, it meant an unexpected and unplanned expense. Luckily for her, she had set some money aside for these events.

We don’t know what the future holds but we can prepare ourselves for the unexpected. Here are the latest tips to start your own preparations for unexpected financial expenses:

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