Newborn Checklist for First-time Mothers

By Mini Exchange.
Becoming a mother for the first time is an exquisitely, amazing experience. However, it can also be quite daunting. Despite all the planning leading up to the big moment, it’s common for new mothers to question whether they have prepared enough. This helpful checklist for first-time mothers includes the more important clothing items you’ll require for your newborn’s first year, and it suggests a few ideas of what to include in your baby registry at MyList.

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Interview with Ruth Abela, founder of Abela’s Bridal Boutique

Ruth AbelaHi Ruth, can you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I am Ruth Abela and I am the founder and owner of Abela’s Bridal Boutique. I hail from the UK but I moved to Dubai to live and work five years ago. I met my husband in Dubai and we got married in 2011. We also have a nine month old baby son together. I used to work as a HR Manager for a multi-national company but I gave up that role to concentrate on raising and caring for our son.

Ruth Abela with baby Alfie
Ruth Abela with baby Alfie




Abela’s Bridal Boutique is an online e-commerce retailer of wedding dresses and a wide spectrum of other related wedding accessories and outfits. Primarily, we aim to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for a bride-to-be, helping her to choose and tailor the perfect wedding dress at an affordable price. We also offer bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, page boy outfits, evening dresses, wedding favours and all other kinds of items, even right down to the lucky sixpence for a bride-to-be’s left shoe!

Abela's Bridal Boutique




When and why did you start ABELA’S BRIDAL BOUTIQUE?

The idea for Abela’s Bridal Boutique  first came about back in early 2012, not long after I was married. It originally stemmed from my own personal wedding experience and the issues that I faced when looking for and choosing my wedding dress. The majority of the designer or retail dresses I looked at in the run-up to the big day were either (a) too expensive or (b) when considering less expensive options, the design and quality wasn’t up to much. Eventually I decided to spend some time sourcing my own custom made dress from overseas. The result was truly amazing … and I didn’t have to spend a fortune either to get what I wanted. This whole experience, together with not being tied down by a 9-5 office job, gave me the time and the flexibility to pursue and develop my idea so that Abela’s Bridal Boutique  was set up on April 2013 and we are now fully operational.

What is unique about ABELA’S BRIDAL BOUTIQUE?

The concept of a bridal boutique is not new one but here, at Abela’s Bridal Boutique, we like to think that we differentiate ourselves. We offer a bespoke and personal service, catering for all shapes and sizes and for all levels of purse strings. We are with the bride-to-be every step of the way right from choosing the right type and design of dress, taking her vital statistics, delivery of the wedding dress itself up until dealing with or arranging for any last minute alterations, if required.

How do you correspond with the future brides-to-be (and grooms)?

We pride ourselves on our personal touch and I prefer to speak with all of my clients personally. Each client will have my personal mobile number and I can be contacted at any time, particularly when the inevitable (pre-)wedding dress jitters start to set in! Of course, we are led by our clients and ultimately we will work around whatever works best for each of them.

Cocktail wedding dress

What nationalities are your clients usually?

The range is vast and, to date, we have clients from Europe, the US and the Middle East.

What are the specificities of the weddings you are involved in?

Generally, all couples who are planning on getting married are working to a defined budget, whatever that may be, but at the same time they want to make their wedding day experience as special and unique as possible. Here, at Abela’s Bridal Boutique, we go out of our way to make that happen through the range of products we offer, all at affordable prices, and the personal service that we provide.

What is the average cost of a wedding dress in the UAE?

The average cost of a high street retail wedding dress here in the UAE is AED 8,000 to 10,000. The average cost of a custom made dress from Abela’s Bridal Boutique is AED 4,999, so the financial savings can be huge without compromising on quality.


What are the new trends for 2013/2014 Wedding season?

2013/2014 is seeing a lot of coloured dresses – dove grey, blush pink and lilac are on trend for this year.


In your opinion, what are the best ingredients to organize a wonderful wedding?

Planning is undoubtedly the key to the whole event. Also, don’t try too hard to please others and lose sight of what’s important, i.e. the bride and groom… and don’t forget to include all of the little details you want (not matter how quirky) to make your special day as unique as you and your partner are.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding dress?

Don’t deviate too much from your normal and personal style. If you normally wear halter neck dresses and you know that they suit you and you feel comfortable in them, try to stick to a similar style. It is vitally important to be comfortable (as well as happy) on your big day, which can stretch to several hours!

What is your favorite Wedding memory? What is your worst Wedding memory?

Unashamedly, my favourite wedding memory was my own! I got married on a beach at sunset in the Seychelles. The setting was stunning and the ceremony was amazing – short, sweet and tailored, just as we wanted. A small crowd of hotel guests had gathered around to watch and when it was over it was photo time. Amongst the crowd was a Speedo clad German gentleman who has been forever immortalized in our wedding photos now. It was hilarious … although I am not so sure if the gentleman in question has ever gotten over the experience of being hijacked for our wedding photos! I can’t say there has been a worst wedding memory as they are generally always such joyous occasions, no matter the size or venue … but I do think it is a shame when couples who are getting married spend too much time worrying about their respective families, seating plans etc, which tends to detract from the true purpose of what a wedding is all about, i.e. the celebration of the coming together in union of two people who love each other. It should be one of the most special moments and memorable occasions in their lives. I say … make sure you do what makes you both happy. Of course, it is important to have your loved ones around you but in my experience it all falls into place.

Ruth and her husband
Ruth and her husband

What are the traditional wedding gifts? What is the most original wedding gift you have ever seen?

Champagne flutes are very traditional … and the champagne to fill them with always helps! The most original wedding gift I’ve seen is a tree seedling, which symbolised the roots of the tree growing together with the couple’s married relationship, both flourishing and being fruitful if nurtured correctly.

Ouverture toasting glass available in Tavola
Ouverture toasting glass available in Tavola

Would you recommend to your clients?

I certainly would, and already do, recommend MyList to my clients. MyList offers a great service and has teamed up with some excellent partner stores. It’s a free service and you can for register for both gifts and/or charitable donations, thereby doing your bit for a good cause. The service offered by MyList helps to avoid present duplication and it allows guests to club together to perhaps buy a larger, household gift for the lucky bride and groom, which is always useful particularly if a couple are just starting life in a new home.

What is the one piece of advice that you would like to give to our readers that are getting married?

Couples bicker – it’s inevitable but always try and take a moment to step back and stop and think ‘Is it really worth it in the grand scheme of things’? Inevitably, the answer is nearly always no! … oh, and please don’t forget to look at the wonderful range of wedding dresses and products on our website! 🙂

To order your Wedding dress with Abela’s Bridal Boutique, please click here.

Baby gift of the week – Little Brother and Little Sister t-shirts by No Added Sugar

This super cute “Little Brother” or “Little Sister” t-shirt by No Added Sugar is the perfect gift for a new baby.






Match it with a “Big Brother” – “Big Sister” versions.

No Added Sugar 'Big Brother' T-Shirt



No Added Sugar is a unique British clothing brand is available in Dubai in Zazeezou, one of our first partner stores. Zazeezou is a funky one-of-a-kind kid’s shop, where you can find toys, baby items, children fashion, lunch boxes, school bags, and a lot of other exclusive kids items, you can not find enywhere else in the UAE.

Baby gift of the week – Organic for Kids gift set



We fall in love with this super cute baby girl gift set by Organic for Kids available in bubsboutique. The Playful bird print romper makes a beautiful ensemble when combined with matching reversible blanket and bib.

Beautiful organic baby clothes and organic gifts for babies, made exclusively from fairly traded textiles and manufactured in the UK.

With MyList, you can set up an online baby registry for FREE in the UAE.