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23 May 2017Last updated
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My fabulous Friday: Jumana Al Darwish

The 35-year-old co-founder of The Happy Box has her plate full on the weekends with Nutella and writing about happiness with her daughter

By Shreeja Ravindranathan
30 May 2016 | 02:21 pm
  • Source:Supplied

CRACK OF DAWN

On weekdays, my day starts at 5.45am. I get my girl Ayla (4) ready for school. We have a quick brekkie of waffles and Nutella (her favourite) and then we rush off with coffee-to-go in my favourite coffee tumbler.

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SIMPLE PLEASURES

My daughter Ayla’s new book, The ABC’s to Happiness, is what I’ve been working on for the past eight months. I randomly ask her what makes her happy and then I categorise her answers. It’s interesting that what makes a four-year-old happy can also make a 50-year-old happy – joy is truly universal.

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CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

My father Mohammad is my hero. I owe him for inspiring me to start the Happy Hearts programme – a charity that helps kids in need. He taught me the importance of being humble, and grateful. I always take Ayla with me to the field. Kids are never too young to be introduced to the realities of life.

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MOUTHS TO FEED

I love cooking for my family. It’s a stress-buster as well. When I’m travelling, I love to dine out. My favourite restaurant is Trattoria alla Madonna in Venice. It serves the best spaghetti!

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TWINKIE TOES

My secret to instant happiness are Twinkies. I stock up on them and never share!

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HAVANA NIGHTS

I would jet off to Cuba with my husband Suhail whenever there’s a long weekend. I have been there many times and it would be a dream to live there. It’s a place where time has stopped still, but the place is so vibrant and stimulating. Salsa dancing in Plaza Vieja in Havana, yes please, anytime!

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DOLLING UP

Weekend night outs are for red lipstick, big hair and heels. I love dressing up. It’s a huge contrast from when I’m with my family – then it’s always Repetto flats, jeans or a summer dress and of course big hair, always.

AROUND THE WORLD

Life as a UN diplomat’s daughter was awesome, I loved every bit of it! I went to 11 schools and four different universities; I made friends from all around the world and got a chance to learn so much about different cultures, languages and values. I have no problem packing up and moving anywhere in a heartbeat because you make a home wherever you go!

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

Lifestyle Writer