Morning Swimming Session with Olympic Athlete Stephanie Proud

Coming from a family who loves swimming, Stephanie couldn’t run away from this. 

She started swimming at the early age of 3 although she thinks that she should have started even earlier. 

Olympic Swimmer, beautiful girl full of life and Speedo’s International Brand Ambassador are some of the phrases someone would use to describe her. 

Fastskin LZR Racer X - Campaign_Elizabeth_Beisel (High Rez)

She started competing when she was 9 years old. Her first major competition was for the Great Britain junior team when she was 12, this lead to many international meets and 9 medals at the European Junior championships. Stephanie’s senior team accomplishments include 2010 Commonwealth Games finalist and 2011 World Championships semifinalist. Stephanie also competed in the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade where she won the gold medal.

At the age of 18, Stephanie moved to the United States where she trained at the University of Florida for the 2012 London Olympics, at which she proudly achieved 9th place in front of a home crowd.

Somewhere between her preparations for Rio’s Olympic Games for 2016 she made a quick stop to Dubai and gave a swimming session to a number of Editors and Bloggers who love sports. 


Her guidance and patience made us all glad for waking up so early to go meet her! 

The swimming session ended with an amazing and super healthy breakfast at Talise Fitness Center Coffee Shop. Highly recommended!


About Speedo®

The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo is passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations and supporting swimming from grass-roots through to elite level. In the 1920s Speedo made history with the Racerback: the world’s first non-wool suit. In 2008 Speedo redefined swimwear again with Fastskin LZR RACER – the fastest and most technologically advanced swimsuit ever created. 2011 saw Speedo unveil another world first with the Fastskin Racing System – a cap, goggle and suit designed to work together as one. Speedo is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; to find out more visit:





Introducing “Spill the Bean”

Being located in one of my favorite malls in Dubai, the Sunset Mall, “Spill the Bean” is here to stay and spoil us with the exquisite tastes and the laid back atmosphere.

The cool, chatty staff – led by Ola herself – serve incredible coffee and delicious food in a beautifully decorated coffee shop.


Let’s meet Ola, the owner and manager and see what she has to say about “Spill the Bean”:
How did “Spill the Bean” get started?
The idea for Spill the Bean started a long time ago. My husband and I are both coffee lovers and we’ve always been looking for a laid back place to hang out in and enjoy a great coffee, with some delicious munchies, and a good book. So a few years ago, we decided to bring that dream place to life. That’s how Spill the Bean came to life.


Why “Spill the Bean”? (How did you come up with the name?)
Are you familiar with the expression to “spill the beans”, which means to let out your secrets, what’s on your mind, the things that are bothering you, or the things that are pleasing you? Well, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee to bring people together; and when good friends and good coffee are joined in a great set up, beans are split. That chit chat between friends, family, colleagues, is very important, especially in Dubai where often you’re far away from your family and loved ones. I think for many people that little bit of chitchat over a cup of coffee fuels them to keep going.

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What do you strive to offer to our city?
Spill the Bean is an independent specialty coffee shop built on the marriage between single origin coffees from different areas of the world and reinvented coffee shop food to create a healthy but decadent affair aimed at serving and delighting the community around us.

We aim to be that neighborhood coffee shop, that is both business friendly, with communal tables for meetings, outlets for laptops everywhere and wifi, and family friendly with a mummy and baby room, child friendly foods and decaf for mummies, and regular playgroups. We even regularly have events planned for our customers, ranging from blogger networking events, to holistic healing seminars, to coffee cupping events, to keep them engaged and coming back for more than their daily caffeine hit.


What’s the concept behind the food you serve?
So with the coffee, every month we have at least 3 different coffee beans from different regions of the world. Think of a caffeinated sensorial journey to Columbia, Peru, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Mexico, maybe. Think of the flavor profiles, aromas, cremas, and body specific each of these regions and savoring the nuances in the sights, smells, and tastes. Now pair that little party in your mouth with healthy but indulgent yummies. Low fat, low sugar, low cal, gluten free, and dairy free are no longer synonymous with taste free. Let’s just say you’re definitely going to get your fair share of super foods in our delicacies for some added goodness. That’s our food concept- healthy food that doesn’t tastes indulgent.

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What are the most popular coffee drinks at your cafe? And your personal favorite menu items?
A lot of people are use to espresso based drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso, etc…) but we try to promote our brewed coffees too as that’s often how the flavor profiles of the coffee is best experienced with single origin beans. Chemex and aerpress have become some of our most popular brewing techniques that customers always ask for.

Our hot chocolate is also a best seller as it’s made with good quality dark chocolate- no syrups or powders or added sugars. It’s silky, smooth, rich, and oh so chocolatey 🙂

Another favorite is the date cold brew, which is single origin cold brewed coffee blended in with date. A healthy drink that tastes like a dessert and coffee all in one- you can’t go wrong with that.

My personal favorite right now is the Kenyan cold brew.


Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I come from a design background and worked in advertising then branding for a long time before setting up a brand consultancy business.

What do you love the most about your job?
The coffee!! And meeting so many cool new people all the time.

What’s next on the horizon for “Spill the Bean”?
We are currently working on 2 new outlets and are gearing up for the coffee competitions that are coming up towards the end of the year. We also have a new menu coming up soon. Lots of exciting stuff for us 🙂



To sum up: “Spill the Bean”, with the excellent flavours and depth to both hot and cold drinks, the cosy ambiance and the smiley stuff will be your next favorite coffee shop in Dubai, in case it’s not already! See you there!





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Meet Lara & Yoga

Some weeks ago we had the pleasure to interview a young and talented artist named Nirina Ralanto (for those who need a memory refresh: ).

As you probably know by now, each one who’s being hosted in our website has to share the love and nominate someone else who thinks they’re interesting enough to be part of our #DubaiLoving community.

So Nirina nominated Lara, and here I am, few days later waiting patiently for her in …Switzerland (Costa Coffee @ MOE with Ski Dubai view).

She arrives with a big smile on her face and she gives me a warm hug, as if she knew me for ever! She’s muuuuch taller than she looks in the pictures and she reflects a peaceful energy all over her and it takes no time for me to understand what made Nirina notinate her.

Let’s meet her!

-Who are you?

As someone who doesn’t like labels, I find this hard to answer. 
I only know I have human form and that I am expressing myself through this earthly life. But who is that ‘I’ is quite complex to explain and understand. I will seek the answer throughout the life, so call me a seeker.

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– Did you choose Dubai or Dubai chose you?

Dubai chose me. Middle Eastern culture impressed me the very first time I visited Dubai. I felt this deeply in my heart which was telling me to move to the desert. So I followed it and here I am.  I always joke I was a camel in my previous life.

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– What do you like the most about your job?

Seeing I that have touched someone’s life, inspired and gave them the possibility of discovering their true potential of which they were previously not maybe aware of.  Just the fact that I am contributing to the healing and to love is the biggest gift. There is so much pain and hate in this world. Sharing the gift of yoga with others is the true gift itself.


– Describe Yoga in 5 words.

A calling. A journey. Freedom. Realization. Oneness.


– What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?

Loving. Creative. Determined.


– What kind of personality do you work best with and why?

I work best with people who are independent, who understand the need for freedom, for self expression and individuality. People who are non judgmental and with whom I can be true me.


– What do you believe are your key strengths?

The ability to be who I really am and to be able to express my true self. That is a strength itself as I believe it takes courage, especially in Dubai to do so and to be so. Also  – Compassion. Humility. Sensibility. I know they sound like weird strengths, but they help me reach to the people and their hearts; to connect with them regardless of their status, age and all that labeling. To me everyone is equal and that is how I treat people.

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– What are your long-term goals or career plans?

Career. That word never resonated with me. My goals are to pursue the study of yoga, so I can share the knowledge, the love and light through yoga. Help others to awake and realize who they really are, change their self image perception and see beyond the physical and material.Open the center one day in which people would connect, practice, study and inspire each other, where love would rule and ego would diminish. I guess I am a true hippy in my heart 🙂


– Favorite Quote.

‘ And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ – Anais Nin


-Who do you suggest your followers to follow next and why?

I suggest my followers to follow the amazingly inspiring Moustafa Hamwi – my fellow yogi buddy, international speaker, lifestyle coach, adventurer, creator of  ‘ Cavalli to Manali ‘ & much more.  His story will change you and probably make you resign your job and buy a one way ticket to the Neverland in search of a guru. 🙂

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It was such a pleasure meeting another lovely girl, full of dreams, who believe in a world full of love and prosperity! Cheers to all us hopeless romantics!

Lara, I truly wish you good luck for your future steps. I’m sure the light you have in your eyes and heart will lead you to an amazing path. I’ll see you in one of your classes. 😉



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