Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Family Safari in Kenya - The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille in Laikipia



Africa, you were on top of my bucket list for years! I was dreaming off one day experiencing the wilderness and beauty of scenery from the movie Out of Africa. The idea to go on a family safari had been delay by fear of having children too young for the adventures. While my 40th birthday was approaching, I decided to look into it again and find a way to make it work for us. My mind was set to celebrate this milestone birthday with my family in Africa, close to Nature. We made it happen and it was a memorable experience as an individual (it's very humbling) and as a family (bonding time). Here's why and where we went, how it was and why we would recommend it.
♥ ♥ ♥

We are not really adventurous, would like to think that we are but we like our comfort and things to be safe and within our comfort zone. Going to Africa on a Safari was my wish, my birthday present, something I wanted to share with my family. Planning this trip, I felt very responsible for my choices.

I knew, what my priorities were and I could work around it. Now I needed help and advise on how to make it work. I had worked before with Lightfoot Travel on a family travel feature (read here), so I decided to call them up. And that's how our magical journey to Kenya took shape...

I gave Victoria our lovely and dedicated African Travel Expert a short brief.
- Going to Africa on a family Safari
- No malaria or Yellow fever to worry about
- Limited amount of time in a car for game drives ( I knew, 6 hours in a car on a bumpy road and waiting silently to see a lion would not work with my 3 years old)
- Relaxed and flexible schedule
- Travel time must be efficient, we are only going for 4 nights

Her answer was Kenya, in the Laikipia region. The suggestion was a beautiful retreat at The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.



Located in Northern Kenya, on the Laikipia Plateau with a distant view over the Mount Kenya, the lodge offers a stunning view, 360degres panorama of wilderness. You are truly in a far remote location surrounded by Nature. The lodge is on a wooded rocky heel, very charming. The private conservation has four private full-service, fully staffed villas (butler, cook, housekeeping, guide) . The four private villas are one, two or three bedrooms and are all individually designed with different themes. We decided to stay in The Sultan Villa, a charming cosy but very large one bedroom. We loved the Swahili design elements like plaster carvings, the unique artifacts and furniture, the craftsmanship of the tightly-plaited papyrus thatched roof and the rocky walls. The villa consist of really large bedroom, dressing area and bathroom. Across a courtyard there is a huge lounge and dining area with a terrace and another shower room. It was perfect for us with the girls, they had set up very comfortable "put up beds" for the children and we all had a cosy, unique and charming space for our self. The lodge categories under luxury resort but it's all unpretentious, it's charming from mix match decor and eclectics elements.



The girls felt like we were living in a tree house, from the terrace we could admire the hills, the plains, Mount Kenya in the distance with its snowy peek and a watering hole where elephants are said to come for a drink. Truly beautiful.

It's an all inclusive fee, which include breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner with all the drinks. The staff is always available to help and accommodate. The food was good, home cooking, made to our taste and preferences. Breakfast with fruits, eggs and pancakes was always a hit. Lunch consisted of fresh salads and homemade bread. Elegant dinners were prepared and set up with candles every nights in different locations (outdoor deck, the library, our room and in the Bush).



One of our best memory is our sundowners on top of hill, watching the vast wilderness and a stunning sunset before the rain arrived. It was so dramatic and very magical. We drove back to lodge in the rain so excited by the stormy unreal weather. The staff took the initiative to set up dinner for us in the library by the fireplace, and organized the Lion King animation movie for us to watch as a family after dinner.

Another must do is the bush dinner under the vast starry African skies, surrounded by wilderness. We could hear the hyenas in the distance and on the walk back to the lodge with our lanterns we were searching for a leopard with our Maasai guide. You can imagine the excitement...



The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille does not focus on game drives. In fact it's often recommended as an add on destination after a busy safari experience in the iconic Masai Mara. The Laikipia region offers less animal viewing but the relative scarcity of game here becomes an advantage because it allows you to experience Africa and the community in different way. We never took off for a full day drive, we had our personnel Maasai guide/chauffeur to take us around the bush and experience the wilderness at our own pace, which is exactly what we wanted with young children. Maybe less but still plenty to see... Everyday we saw many elephants, zebras, kudus, egeals, antelopes, even baboons, klipspringers, rare wild dogs. Plenty to keep us totally amazed everyday! Around the resort lots of adorable rock hyraxes and mongooses to spot and at night we could hear the leopards and hyenas roaming around. You probably won't see a lion or a giraffe but about a couple hours drives toward the plains you might. We decided to stay around the Sanctuary already so excited by it's beauty and variety.

We had a fantastic guide, a Maasai warriors, Boni, with passion, love and knowledge to share. We enjoyed so much our daily drives on the bumpy roads (road massages) and listening to all his amazing stories. Boni even took us to his home, to meet his family. It was a very special experience.



The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is proud of it's commitment to responsible tourism. By visiting The Sanctuary guests have donated over 5 USD million to help built schools, hospital, and water sanitation projects within the community. Make sure to visit the local village, the school or the women artifacts, it's a great contribution to the community but also a fantastic way to experience and learn about about Maasai and Samburu culture, traditions and customs. It's very humbling and a total eye opener to the world. The people are so giving and welcoming, so many smiles everywhere we went! The girls were a little shy at first but slowly Luella joined the dance and the singing while Josefin was negotiating bringing a goat back home to Dubai. A beautiful afternoon and a lifetime experience.



One morning we tried archery, which was good fun for Luella while little Jo tagged along. There is also the possibility to do quads biking and cycling. Boni, our Masai guide recommended the camel ride deep into the wilderness to the river where a lovely picnic lunch was waiting for us. You can discuss how long you want to ride on the camels, for us 45 minutes was a bit long but we enjoyed the experience nonetheless.



Getting there? And things to know!
Relatively easy to reach by plane, for such a remote location. We flew Emirates Airline to Nairobi (less then 5 hours), from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport we took a private (very tiny) aircraft, Boskovic Air Charter East Africa (just about 1hour). It was all very smooth, thanks to the pre-arranged Meet and Greet service to help with arrival formalities. The private charter was so small, just enough space for our family of 4 and the pilot! I was a bit apprehensive but it went very well, the captain was fantastic and we got to fly over beautiful landscapes and spot some Rhinoceros and Giraffes. From the landing strip in the middle of the bush, we drove about 15 minutes to the lodge.

Remember to pack light, those safari aircraft are very small with limited storage space for luggage. You must pack using soft-sided duffel bags. Important to check the weight recommendations as well.

You will need to purchase travel insurance, we use AIG and it cost us around AED350 for a family of 4 over a week travel. Also, depending on your nationality you will need to apply for visas (not for children under 16), we did it online, www.evisa.go.ke (about $50 per adults).

Regarding Heath and Immunization, it's always recommended to consult your general practitioner for advise. The girls are up to dates with all the regular immunizations including Hepatitis A and B. Our destination was not considered a Malaria area due to the altitude and yellow fever vaccination was also not a requirement. I was happy with that.
The weather: warm and dry during the day, cooler at night. We visited Laikipia during the rainy season (mid April to end of May) which I was a bit apprehensive but it was absolutely perfect! Not too hot, the air was fresh and crisp in the morning, the sky was blue, and the vegetation was really green and lush. We had rain one evening for about 20 minutes. That was it!

Having fun and doing good. We were so happy to contribute somehow to the community. It's the kind of tourism that actively protect the area for future generation and also hopefully improve their livelihood. You can read about The Ol Lentille Trust program. Also the lodge takes its responsibility to the environment very seriously. 90% of store water is from the rain (not drain from rivers), electricity is solar generated and hot water is solar heated. If you visit, you must talked to Jon and Jill the lovely passionate couple behind The Sanctuary. Their amazing story is inspiring.

Rates varies. During the green season: USD500 per adult per night, USD250 per child per night, free for children under 5. The set fees included exclusive use of house, full board accommodation, non-premium wine and spirits, beer and soft drinks and conservancy fees. Also all activities like private game drives, guided walk, quad biking, cycling, yoga, camel rides, archery and unlimited spa, fantastic lunch and dinner in magical setting. The wonderful staff (butler, cook, housekeeper, guide, night watch man) is dedicated to make your stay a unique experience.

What to bring? 
You can find plenty of safari packing list suggestion online. I would recommend a wellness and basic medicine kit, sun protection, insect repellent, sun hat, good walking shoes, antibacterial gel and dollars specially for gratuities and tipping. Before our travel, I was wondering if we could bring something for the children of the community? Toothbrushes, pens and pencils were the recommended items.



A last word...
I left a little piece of my heart in Kenya, and I came home a little different. I think we all did! Truly an amazing experience. Travelling with children is an opportunity for us as parents to teach our children first-hand about the differences that exit in the world. It's about learning to do and see things in a different way and it's an eye-opening experience. So grateful we did this trip!

About Lightfoot travel
The luxury tour operator with an office in Dubai specializing in designer holidays to countries spanning six continents around the world is the perfect tool to plan you next escape. I am so grateful for all their suggestions and recommendations. Very professional, always ready to accommodate, quick to reply to emails and to provide the peace of mind you need when planning a unique family travel experience.

Lightfoot only uses properties they have personally experienced and trust. For inspiration and to plan your personalized holidays check out their online Lightfoot Inspiration . And start dreaming of your next family holiday destination...

I have teamed with Lightfoot Travel to bring you a special discount. If you are planning to travel for Eid, make sure to quote Dubai our Sandbox to received $250 discount. This Eid voucher is valid until the end of June 2018.







Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Atlantis The Palm, Family Staycation

Looking for a family staycation in Dubai? Something special for the whole family? Checkout our family weekend at Dubai gorgeous iconic resort, Atlantis The Palm. The unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterscape amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark. Fun for everyone! Here's a peek at our lovely weekend.



The resort is massive, it's a little overwhelming at first but quickly you overcome the scale and sink into the magic of the underwater theme and appreciate the special attention and services provided to hotel guests. I would highly recommend adding to your booking the Imperial Club access, which unlocks an array of exclusive benefits, to ensure your stay at Atlantis is more convenient and relaxed. Definitely worth it when staying in large scale resort like Atlantis.

Imperial Club access benefices
- Experience private check in and check out in The Royal Majlis
- Choose to have your breakfast in the exclusive Imperial Club Lounge
- Imperial Club Lounge access for an afternoon tea from 2:30pm – 4.30pm
- Start your night-time meal on the perfect note with complimentary evening drinks and canapés in the Imperial Club Lounge between 5:00pm – 7:00pm.
- Late snacks 8:00pm-11:00pm
- Complimentary daily entry into Atlantis Kids Club for children aged 3 – 12 years of age
and Club Rush for teens aged 13 – 17 years
- Access to the exclusive Imperial Club Beach
- and more...




Staying at Atlantis is all about family fun. The resort is home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with over 65,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays including The Lost Chambers Aquarium, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis.

The ultimate attraction, the Aquaventure park is an adrenaline pumping experience with great  exhilarating and fun ride, slides and a newly open area for younger guests (below 1.2m). Splashers Island is fun addition to current children’s area ‘Splashers Mountain’. Josefin absolutely loved it. It definitely makes the Aquaventure suitable for all ages. We also loved our little afternoon break by the sea, best way to kick back and relax on 700 metres of pristine private beach within the water park.




The highlight of our stay was our encounter with sharks and rays, truly a fun family experience to remember and talk about for years to come. We headed toward the Tower of Neptune around 1pm, for our Shark Safari experience. No need to have scuba diving knowledge for this marine animal adventure, but children must 8 years old minimum. So little Jo was a little spectator, watching from the edge of the Lagoon.

The experience allows non-certified visitors to become marine explorers and walk underwater wearing a special helmet. During the 20-minute Shark Safari, participants get up close and personal with the many Black Tip Reef Sharks, rare Marble Rays and exotic and colourful fish. It is impressive at first but the briefing is straight forward while the experience well organized and supervised. We felt comfortable and excited about it. Thanks to the underwater photographer we got lots of great memories to show our friends.



Your Atlantis experience is also about gourmet food! Atlantis The Palm is known for as the culinary destination in the region with a collection of world-renowned restaurants including Bread Street Kitchen & Bar by Gordon Ramsay, Nobu and Ronda Locatelli. We sure enjoyed our family dinners, always delicious, in a gorgeous setting. The success of the Atlantis to is assure parents are happy in an exquisite environment while children feel welcome and entertained.

Thank you Atlantis for this memorable weekend!
See you again soon.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Little Jo's new bedroom : kids home decor


Hello! It's time to redecorate! You will see in the next couple of months, my mind and heart will be about home improvement and decoration. Stay tuned for the reveal.

Just for now, I am sharing a little mood board I created to help me restyle Josefin's bedroom. Our little Jo's bedroom has been for the last three years a combination of Josefin and the guest room. It worked out but it's time to giver her, the appropriate space she deserves.

Her current room is light grey, white and plush pink. So I am trying with this new room to reused existing elements while creating something new with some cool updates. A fun, graphical but girly space in a similar colour scheme. I picked up some inspiration from Pinterest and looked around some Dubai based brands for furniture, accessories, wallpaper and wall art.

Look forward to start! ♥


1 Cute Black Hearts wallpaper from Lilipinso available from Caramel and Sun, love the black and white graphical design. They have some adorable design to choose from.
Must also check Paper Pop for more wallpaper options. 

2 and 7 Wall art from Desenio and Paper Pop 

4 Toy bag to hide all the mess, love this graphical option from mumzworld.com 

5 and 8 Children furniture, cute junior size chair with mid 20th century style design from mumzworld.com

6 h&m home has a good selection of fun and well priced kids room accessories like this storage box.

9 little glittery star garland from h&m home

10 clothing stand / hanger this one is from mumzworld.com

A favourite interior shop for fun accessories and home decor items : Maison du Monde.
Also the new Home Centre kids collection where you might find some surprises and the new paint collection from Jotum for children bedroom. Must visit Jysk as well. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Van Gogh Alive in Dubai



Yesterday, was the opening of Van Gogh Alive in D3. The Experience is an acclaimed art exhibition showcasing works by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. It's been been touring the world, and will be stopping off in Dubai for a six weeks. It's a great opportunity to explore the life and work of the artist. Van Gogh Alive is not your typical museum experience. You won't see the actual canvas painted by Vincent van Gogh, you will experience over 3000 images of his art displayed on the walls, the ceiling, and even the floor, with high-definition projectors. Along the visual experience, the guests will enjoy a beautifully curated classical soundtrack to accompany the exhibition. It works really well and create a multi sensory experience.

This is a fantastic way to introduce art to children, it's vibrant and engaging. Might be the perfect family outing for the weekend.



Van Gogh Alive
11 March - 23 April 2018
AED70 adult
AED65 kids (till 16 y.o.)
Dubai Design District
vangoghaliveuae.com
Buy tickets : dubai.platinumlist.net

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Wellness Consultation with Tayyaba Jordan

Third month into 2018, I am already contemplating how the year is going and if I have made any of the improvements I had set myself in January. I don’t really do resolutions but I do set intentions. It’s hard to live in conscious harmony and balance so I think we could all do with a little help sometime.

I was kindly offered the opportunity to meet up with TAYYABA JORDAN Health & Wellness Coach for a wellness consultation. I was very interested to meet with a wellness coach but I had no real concern. I just knew, I could always improve my approach to life, my sense of purpose and improve a bit more my journey through self-love. We probably can all do with little advice, guidance, plan and positive support. So I was ready to meet up with Tayyaba.




Tayyaba is a lovely lady, very easy to talk too. I got comfortable right away and enjoyed talking together. I felt heard. It’s a pretty good feeling actually, you can talk about yourself, no judgment and you get some feedback… The consultation took about one hour. The initial process is to go through the twelve segments on the 'Circle of Life’, which cover all the areas of our world. It’s fantastic exercise that get you talking, that get you into seeing your life as a whole and where you need to give more time and attention. It definitely can be eye opening. My wheel was quite balanced but still I had some points that seemed to need my focus and attention. And that’s how we can start some improvement.


Here’s the process you would go through with Tayyaba in order to redirect, improve your self and find that ever coveted ‘balance’ in your life.

PROCESS
* Initial 30 minute - 1hour consultation
Working with the twelve segments on the 'Circle of Life’.
The Integrative Nutrition Circle of Life is an incredibly simple – and powerful – tool for getting a clear picture of where your life is thriving, and what areas could use a little more work.

* 90 minute Health History
A more conventional form but vital to addressing the medical challenges you may be facing. Tayyaba works with a nutritionist to find an improved 'way of eating' for yourself (and often the whole family too!). She will see if there are any other health challenges which can’t be met with food alone and with natural bio 'supplements' with the guidance of a functional medicine doctor and or herbalist.

* 3 x 55mins sessions/month 
 Working through the things that are lowest scoring on the wheel or your more focused concerns.

Tayyaba's website offers a tips, recipes and inspirational ideas to get you started. Read more.

What’s important to understand is that solutions are all individual. There is a similar pattern to achieve success. It’s about looking into the primary food i.e.: (healthy relationships, regular physical activity, fulfilling career and a spiritual practice) which essentially feeds the soul. Sometimes a lack of it makes some people turn to food as a way to fill the hole in the secondary food . As the Institute for Integrative Nutrition teaches, “When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you actually eat secondary.” This is where the distinction between primary and secondary foods arises. Essentially you need both to feel great!

Tayyaba believe that " no matter how much kale you eat or how many spin classes you take, you won’t be truly happy and healthy until you find fulfillment in your relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality, whatever that means for you."

Tayyaba can help you with weight issues, emotional eating, anxiety, stress, depression, low self esteem, a difficult relationship, a career dilemma, a loss of identity or even a debilitating illness or condition. Setting up a plan and taking on practical suggestions with a weekly timetable is proving to be helpful.

Tayyaba is based in the UK, but travel to Dubai monthly to meet up with her clients. If you are interested in a complimentary consultation that can be done in person, over the phone or on Skype you can contact her via https://wellnesswithme.co.uk. A good way to kick start positive change, discuss wellness goals and current health and lifestyle status for you and the the family as a whole!


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dubai Kid Play Gym: We Rock the Spectrum


This is one of my daughter Josefin favourite indoor playground. This small but well equipped play gym in the heart of Jumeirah. It is the perfect stop to keep the kids busy and active for one hour or two when Dubai temperature will rise up and confine us to the AC. 
Good from age 2 to 8 years old.

Here's some of the equipment and activities:
Suspended equipment with swings – for balance and vestibular treatment
Crash mats and crash pillows – for fun, motor planning, and strength
Zip line – for stress release and joint and body relaxation
Trampoline – for building leg and core strength
Indoor play structure – for climbing and increasing playground skills 
A selection of toys and dress up costumes
A small arts and craft corner

werockthespectrumdubai.com
Beach Park Plaza Centre, Beach Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Flipping fun at Flip Out! The little Ninja class.

What's flipping'? Well Luella has been taking a class at Dubai largest trampoline park, Flip Out, and she loves it! If you are looking for an after school activity and a way to get the kids to release some energy, you might be interest in Little Ninja class.

Luella has been doing gymnastic for a couple of years, it's been fun but she was loosing interest. She had in mind to learn to do tricks like flips! Even back flips! That's scares me and she has no idea how to go about it. That's how we got interested in this FlipOut and their Little Ninja class.



The class is all about having fun doing jumps, twists, flips but it's definitely a work out for little ninjas! The coaches are so friendly and professional they pass on tips and techniques to achieve personnel goals. Making the class rewarding each time. Saying that, I am not sure Luella will manage to do back flips, it's definitely not an easy skill! But she's having a great time while working on balance, coordination and agility. Some tricks include flip and bounce of the walls as well. At their own pace, the kids will develop new skills and reach new achievements. There is a coloured belt system like in martial art, to motivate and acknowledge their achievement.

The Little Ninja program
AED850 for 10 classes. 
Age 4 to 12 years old.
All the details here.



While Luella is being a Ninja in the making, Josefin and I usually hangout in the foam pit or the kids trampoline arena together on a special date - (she does sneak into the Little Ninja class sometimes  to checkout her sister). We get some one and one time and she gets ready for a good night sleep! Bonus!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Maxi Micro scooter or a less expensive price tag option: introducing the Zycom Crusiser...

photo www.micro-scooters.co.uk

Here’s another post on scooters…. Yep! First time I actually brought up the subject because we have been fan and loyal customers to award winner, Swiss brand du jour, Micro, for years. Until this holiday season when our Little Jo needed a scooter replacement and I thought do I really want to spend AED775 on a scooter?! And I looked at cheaper alternative with all the safety and quality features I would expect from a Micro.

Good to know in choosing the right scooter…
- Make sure, the hight is appropriate for your child that’s why adjustable steering column is important. The handlebars should be at the same height as their waist.
- Sturdy frame
- Fast action brake
- Large standing board for comfort and easy specially younger children
- Foldable scooter are great option


Mini Micro and Maxi Micro
Luella is now now on her second generation of Micro and absolutely love it still today. When we purchased her Mini Micro, Micro was the most popular option and said to be the best. I never questioned buying it. Then the Micro Maxi was the perfect transition. I still today think it was one of the best buy we did. It’s highly durable and high in quality to ensure outstanding performance for year. Steering is made easy, it’s a lean to steer technology a bit like on a skate board, makes for a more fun and easy scooter ride. Children steer by using their body weight to lean right and left, intuitively learning to lean into a turn. Both of our girls picked up the technique quickly and learn stability, balance and coordination.Another great point about the Micro was the ability to be replaced parts. Making it an ever lasting scooter. We replaced the rubber handles once, but that was it. Most friends replaced their break pad once. The Micro scooters are relatively light, easy to carry! When you have kids and loads to carry around, you must take that in consideration. The Micro Mini Kickboard has been the highest rated scooter for years. It’s expensive but no doubt if used as much as my daughter did (even passed it on to her little sister) it’s a good value present.

Mini Micro about AED 471.45 Recommended Age: For 3+
Maxi Micro about AED 775.95 Recommended Age: For 5+ years and above
mumzworld.com


Zycom - Zinger 3 wheel Cruiser
That’s the newbie, the scooter we decided to get Josefin for Christmas. The Australian brand has developed a scooter we felt comfortable investing in after years of loyalty to Micro. It’s only been 3 weeks… so can’t really tell you about life time quality but I have high expectation. (Will update you in a few months).

The Zycom Zinger, is a 3 wheels cruiser with similar features as the Micro. We love the pivot steering, and self-righting technology that is patented providing good balance, enabling smooth turns and fun “surfing” aka riding. It has adjustable handle bar means you can adjust it as your child grows (3 positions). It’s also foldable thanks to an easy pull and twist folding mechanism. Great for easy storage and transport. It rolls well, good smooth wheels and has a quick break for efficient stoping. I truly happy with the scooter, it feels sturdy and of quality. A downside would be the weight, I find it a bit heavy not as light and manageable to carry as the Micro. Just a feeling. Now for the price, it’s better positioned then the Micro and would consider it a good value.


Zycom Zing 3 Wheel Scooter AED 313.95 Recommended Age: For 3+
Zycom - Zinger 3 Wheel Cruiser AED 418.95 Recommended Age: For 5+ years
mumzworld.com


Conclusion
So yes we have been total fan of Micro for years, we have three in France at the grandparents for the girls and the cousins to share, and two here in Dubai. I admit, it was firstly our choice because of it's popularity back in 2011. It was the hit scooter to get, then high quality and performance grabbed our attention and our loyalty. So why looking into another option? Because Micro Scooter are expensive, the price tag is going up and as a consumer I felt I needed to look around and see different options. The market is full of different scooters... The zycom is the new addition to our family of scooter, it's well priced and up to now, it has not disappointed! I would definitely recommend it. 

Both scooter brands are available at mumzworls.com where you will find all the description, features and dimensions.

Don't forget to use "DubaiourSandbox10" promo code to get 10% off on all your Mumzworld order. Happy shopping!



Thursday, January 4, 2018

A new favourite destination for Dubai kids : Aventura Park



This is a new favourite Dubai destination for adventurous kids with loads of fun guaranty! We had a great time at Aventura, 35 000 square meters Ghaf tree forest in Mushrif Park. Aventura is an adventure park in the heart of nature that teaches kids love and respect for nature, while engaging in fun exhilarating challenges. We spend one fantastic afternoon celebrating Luella’s 9th birthday!



Aventura offers different fun and challenging circuits with different level of activities depending on age and height of the participants. There is about 80 challenges within 5 different levels always off the ground and between trees. I loved seeing the children working different skills and building their confidence. It takes a little practice but the coaches around the circuits are great at directing and teaching the kids autonomy and problem solving.

The adventure park brings a unique experience that challenge physical abilities but also brings hours of fun and exhilaration. After about 20 minutes of technical briefing, the little adventurers are off to explore and conquer the longest series of thrilling tree-top zip-lines in the region. There is plenty to do like navigate through high rope obstacles, nets and wobbly bridges.

Little Ranger circuits (with 19 challenges) is designed for young children (115 cm and above) The Thriller circuit and Aventura circuit are design for adults and children 140 cm and above with lots of fun challenges and exhilarating zip-lines to surf through the tress. More details on age group and park circuits here.



All Aventura games and challenges are 100% safe. The entire park is developed and audited to meet special safety regulations, and is constantly monitored by professionally trained staff. When I met the man behind the project, I realized the passion and dedication behind the park. It’s a great combination of educational fun learning about the flora and fauna of the Emirates, practicing coordination, balance, independence, observational skills and just plain fun, all in the nature. Definitely what kids need!

Aventura was the perfect choice for Luella's surprise birthday party. Our group ranged from children 7 to 9 years old. (I would recommend the attractions for kids age 7 and above.) Everyone had fun and managed the Little Ranger circuit after a little practice run. Three of the children above 140cm tried out the Thriller circuit for extra challenge. After nearly two hours up in the trees on exploration mode, the children were ready for pizza and cake! Aventura can set up table, balloon decoration and provide pizza as part of the birthday package. There is an indoor café and large terrace for the convenience of the guests. It felt very easy and friendly.

It's definitely a fantastic destination for kids to play and have some exhilarating fun outdoor! They also have an education nature-based programs, that can be extended to the classroom, designed to enrich each student’s knowledge of flora/fauna, outdoor survival and cooperation through games.

Also team building & leadership development programs are available for secondary students, staff, faculty and administration, and are conducted on high-rope and low- rope installations in the midst of nature. Aventura has a lot to offer!

For me getting the kids active outside while the Dubai weather is gorgeous, seeing their confidence growing while having fun is key - best play date! This winter break get the kids to Mushrif park and give a try to Aventura. Have fun!

Details and pricing
General access is Dhs150.
Access for children under 1.4 metres is Dhs125.
Birthday package are about AED170 per child
Aventura, Mushrif Park, Mirdif, Dubai.
Sun to Thu, 9.30am to 50pm, Fri to Sat 9.30am to 6pm. 
Tel: (056) 8871687. aventuraparks.com.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gift your nanny a better future this festive season with Rise

Couple of weeks back I met with Padmini Gupta, the mind behind Rise. From a personal experience with her own home helper, Padmini came with an entrepreneurial idea that would help domestic helpers across the UAE. The idea is to help anyone earning below Dh5,000 that does not currently have access to financial and banking services. To help migrants manage their finances, learn new skills and build a better future.

Last month, our family said goodbye to our beloved nanny of 25 years! It was time for her to go back home to her family in the Philippines. All those years, she had sent money to her loved ones back home and also managed to save for herself. Saying that, she did not have secure idea of how much she owned, her financial situation was not in her full control. We helped her but I truly believed that Rise could have set up a more stable future for her.

Now that we have hired a new nanny to join our family, I am considering introducing her to Rise. It's something which benefit both parties.

The free-to-download app enable sponsor families to immediately access affordable childcare and educational courses, giving domestic workers useful knowledge and qualifications to enable them to properly look after the children in their care. The company aims to help nannies grow their careers by offering over 20 digital courses. Those courses can improve their skills from picking healthy foods for children to how to create a learning environment, potty training, child safety and discipline. All the course cost between Dh50 to Dh250 and can be accessed via an app, so that the nannies can learn at home. Once a course is completed, this is logged on the app and a helper will have access to, and a record of these courses. The app charts achievements that will be useful in subsequent roles, and also when returning to home countries.

A household or an employer looking for a new helper will also benefit from the childcare-specific psychometric testing which will assess a potential helper beyond the norm; giving employers added reassurance before taking the very important decision on who will care for their children.


Banking with Rise, for financial freedom. Gift of a better future.


The wealth management platform for migrants is aspiring to create possibilities and improve lives. It’s a good way to provide our home helpers with knowledge and growth by managing finance, learning new skills for a better future. The platform is also offering the possibility to give sponsors and their employees access to a full management tool on the app, through which employee can actually have a bank account and be in full control of their own finances.

Gift of a better future and financial freedom. This is a gift I hope to give our nanny.

If you are looking for a gift this festive season for your home helper you might be interested to look into Rise App and set up an bank account for her in the UAE, giving her access to a wide range of financial services. For more information on banking with Rise as a gift, visit gorise.co or download the rise app.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Surviving the festive season... with the kids.

Festive season is upon us! Best time of the year... yes! It can also be a little stressing dealing with the children bedtime routine and over excitement during the holidays! In our house the rules definitely loosen up during this special family time. If you don't want to loose total control, here's some tips for good sleep habits during festive time for family with kids from Dr Nas Al-Jafari and Dr Mourad Habib consultant doctors at Intercare Wellness.



About screen time...Did you know?
When the body decides it needs to sleep, the small gland in your brain wakes up into action and produces a hormone called melatonin. Once this goes into your bloodstream, you naturally become less alert and are ready to drift off to sleep. This usually occurs around 9 pm, and melatonin levels will remain high for about 12 hours. However, our modern lifestyles are fighting the production of melatonin. The sleeping gland relies on darkness to become active, and staring at a television screen, iPad or phone has the negative effect of delaying melatonin and causing a disturbed sleep. Steps can be taken to limit the damaging blue light, such as lowering the brightness of the screen or, better still, adding a special screen protector or go back to the classic old book. Check your phone, there should be a night light setting. Turn off the bright blue light effect by turning on "Night Shift" light on iOS.

Tips for kids good sleep habits during festive holidays
With a house full of guests, your child may understandably feel as though they are missing out on all the excitement by going up to bed in their usual time so here are some tips to avoid the Christmas Eve over excitement

Be active during the day
There is plenty of evidence that regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night. One Australian study found that every hour a child spends inactive adds three minutes to the time taken to nod off. Take a break from movies and computer games and head to the park to help get rid of this excess energy before bedtime.

Stick to bedtime routines, music, light, toys and rituals
A consistent bedtime routine before bed-time will signal that it's time to sleep. If you’re staying away from home with relatives or friends, find ways to recreate parts of the routine, even if they are happening later than usual time.

Preparing for bed in the same order each night (such as bath, brushing teeth, stories, goodnight hug), will help with readiness for sleep, wherever you are. Even a few days of a consistent schedule should help your child settle into a new location. Bringing familiar bedding, toys and books will help them to relax and feel secure away from home.

Give plenty of notice
Give plenty of notice before bedtime is coming up, and then stick to what you’ve said: “In 10 minutes the movie will end and it’ll be bath time, and then we’ll have time for a bed time story “ nice and firm.

A timer which rings when playtime runs out could be a useful ‘independent’ signal that it’s time for bed, make them do their own timer and stick to it when it rings. If your child refuses to stay in bed, try to avoid giving extra attention for bad behaviour. Be as neutral and uninterested as you can as you return your child to bed, even if you have to do this a few times stay calm. Consistency is key - even at Christmas - to help the whole family sleep well.

Act before your child gets overtired and then hyperactive.
Young children are often reluctant to admit that they're tired - even more so when the alternative to bed is playing with shiny new toys. Look for signs of sleepiness before your child starts to get overtired, which is often the driver for 'hyper active ' behaviour. Try to start the bedtime routine at a consistent time. If they really don't feel tired, they can play quietly in their bed or crib with the lights low. If you notice that your child is often overtired at night, try to shift the whole bedtime routine forward by 15-30 minutes’ earlier than usual time.

Last resort
If you’ve tried it all and still have a stubborn and weary young one hanging onto the bannisters in protest, the suggestion that children who are asleep only get presents might just be enough incentive to encourage heads to pillows. At least, that’s what my mum told me too…

Good luck... and happy holidays! 

About Intercare Wellness:
Based in Al Marina, Abu Dhabi, Intercare Wellness takes a holistic and ‘whole person’ approach to health and offers individuals, families and patients the tools to make healthy decisions that will impact positive change in daily life. Led by Dr Nas Al-Jafari and Dr Mourad Habib, Intercare Wellness is the only clinic in the UAE shifting the focus from a disease oriented health care system toward one of wellness and prevention.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Festive morning with Marks And Spencer (and some gift ideas)

The festive season opened up officially last week with Marks & Spencer's Christmas event. A lovely morning with a festive and cheerful atmosphere - good company and delicious food! We got to check out (and taste) the selections of holidays treats from amazing mined pies, cheese, crackers, to biscuits and cakes. Helen from The Mothership Dubai shared her top picks for a cosy family Christmas eve. Carly from Lean Living Girl blog shared her selection for an healthy holidays season. Irene from Gingham and Sparkles blog showcased some stylish and fun looks for this festive time of the year from the latest Marks & Spencer’s occasion wear. Also loved all the cute family sleepwear and gifting ideas for him, her and children.



Marks & Spencer is a great go to shop to treat yourself or someone special this festive season. They have so many lovely things, well sourced for quality products and stylishly packaged creating truly special gifts. You must check the selection of gift hampers!

Now online, you will find a great selection of ready made food hampers gift sets. Here's some favourites...

Very English
A delicious selection of the flavours, including indulgent tea time biscuit selection, all butter shortbread biscuits and fruity preserve, all packed into a small wicker basket.

Classic Festive 
A lovely wicker hamper with faux leather straps comes filled with an array of Classic Festive favourites, including a bottle of non-alcoholic mulled punch, 6 month matured alcohol free Christmas pudding and an iced bar Christmas cake, ideal for the family to share.

Belgian treats
A lovely wicker basket is packed with a selection of indulgent teatime treats, Belgian curls and chocolates. Includes lovely a bottle of sparking rose grape juice.

Taste of Italy
Treat someone to a taste of Italy with this special selection of our authentic flavours, including balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and more, presented in a small wicker basket.

Have a look online to the full selection and get your festive gift shopping started. Happy holidays!





Sunday, November 26, 2017

Looking for Advent Calendar fillers ? Here's my little list of treats

Pick up two cute advent calendar box sets from Ikea. 


One of my favourite Christmas tradition is the advent calendar. There is a lot of options available around in the shops and online, from felt calendar with 24 small pockets, paper envelopes, little boxes, to free printable... and DIY ideas from Pinterest.

When time comes to fill up the little "containers" here's my list of ideas. About 20 little notes of things to do together. The five remaining days will be for sweets, because chocolate is happiness!

My 20 Advent Calendar fillers 

1. Mini Xmas decoration

2. Hair accessories for the holidays

3. Stickers

4. Let’s watch a Xmas movie with popcorn and candy

5. Wrap a gift and let’s take to a charity

6. Make hot chocolate with marshmallows

7. Write your letter to Santa

8. Decorate gingerbread man cookies

9. Make a gingerbread house

10. Let’s go choose a special ornament for the tree

11. Let’s go ice skating

12. Let’s go pick a new Xmas book from the book store

13. Let’s decorate a mini tree for your bedroom

14. Today we do the BIG tree

15. Look under the couch (for gift that don’t fit into the advent calendar pocket) box of artificial snow

16. Write Xmas cards to friends and family

17. Let’s go to the cinema and watch a holiday movie.

18. Look under your bed (for gift that don’t fit into the advent calendar pocket) : new PJ

19. Look in your drawer (for gift that don’t fit into the advent calendar pocket) : new Xmas socks

20. Let’s do a special prayer for the children of the world

Happy countdown to Christmas! xx

Monday, November 20, 2017

What I got on Mumzworld.com this month!








Hello lovelies. Just sharing some of my last picks, I ordered from Mumzworld.com this month. Some everyday basics for the girls, some little treats and somethings to get into the holiday spirit!

Brush Baby Kidzsoni, electric toothbrush
My girls have a very different attitude about brushing teeth. Luella is 8 years old and spend over 5 minutes brushing meticulously - (I have to tell her to quit it). While I have to run after Josefin and beg her to let me brush her teeth. 

Baby Kidzsonic Toothbrush has improve the pre-bedtime routine and Josefin is now much more interest in brushing! After about 3 weeks, the novelty has not phased out. So just for that I would recommend the electric toothbrush! It's  specially designed to help young children care for their teeth and help teach good oral care habits from an early age. The bristles and vibrations seemed to reach well in between and provide a good clean. There is a 2 minutes disco light timer, keep the kids on track! There is two age groups from +3 and for +6. I ordered both! Girls love it! check it out here!

Advent Calendar
 Tradition every year in our house is to have one (or more in our case) advent calendar! It's a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. This year instead of little chocolate gifts, I am trying the Lego and Playmobil version. It's cute and pretty sure they will like it!

Simply Kids 
Little fun treats for the bath. Girls love that yucky stuff, specially the slime version. The crackle one was less successful but glitter jelly was also a hit. Happy and easy way to get the girls excited! Get the bath play time extended, perfect for some afternoons we just don't see the end off! :)

Tangle Teezer - Blow Styling Half Paddle Purple
I like the brand, I have bought a couple of original Tangle Teezer brushes and thought they were good for the girls long hair. I picked up this one Half Paddle Tangle Teezer as new version. It did not work great with the girls. It says to "gliding effortlessly through to remove excess moisture for a quicker, easier blow dry." It's actually not a brush for detangling hair like I was expecting, it's the kind of brush you use after you sorted your hair, ready for blow-dry. So I am keeping it for myself and will stick to the original tangle teezer for Luella and Jo for now.

Pabobo - Portable Nightlight
The nightlight Nomade from Pabobo is adorable. It's very popular night light brand in France, I was happy to find it here. It's easy to use no batteries and no wires. It recharges placing it directly in the wall socket and last up to 70h. This version comes in a cute little teddy bear pocket. There is a sensor which will adjust the brightness depending on the environment. It's a cute gift idea for AED199.

Now with the festive season coming up, Mumzworld is bringing back its Santa Delivery service this December. Santa will deliver the gifts right to your door! Simply do your festive shopping as normal at Mumzworld.com, tick the Santa delivery option at checkout and Santa will arrive on your doorstep, gifts in hand; putting a smile on your little one’s faces! The Mumzworld FREE Santa Delivery service is available from 1st December. For full details here!

Don't forget to use "DubaiourSandbox10" promo code to get 10% off on all your Mumzworld order.
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Yummy Mummy Sunday at Studio 91 - treat yourself!



You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, right?! It’s like in the plane, they tell you to put on the oxygen mask first. Well, here’s a good offer for you lovely mamas…

STUDIO 91 is launching their ‘start of the week’, Yummy Mummy movement. Every Sunday between 8am and 1pm, the contemporary hair care studio in the heart of DIFC is offering 25% off all color, styling and therapy treatments, with a delicious complimentary continental breakfast to kick off the week in style.

I tried, tested and loved the idea… Let’s treat our self to a little pick me up pampering and breakfast – a rarity for many busy mums in Dubai. Took me just over one hour to enjoy a hair treatment with fantastic head massage, get a blow dry and breakfast. My very bouncy blow dry was perfect… curls were a little tight at first but that’s the secret to long lasting waves… two days later it’s still looking good!

During the morning, Yummy Mummies can also take advantage of a complimentary doctor’s consultation worth 500dhs, in collaboration with STUDIO 91’s sister clinic, SKIN III. The adjoining clinic offers all surgical and non-surgical aesthetics treatments including unique signature treatments for anti-aging, hair re-growth and skin rejuvenation, and more…

Booking is highly recommended
STUDIO 91
DIFC Gate Village, Building 05
+971 4 343 7100 / +97154 448 8610
email info@studio-91.com.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The tiny but mighty sonic face cleanser



This is my current addition to my beauty routine! Still using my favourite products from Living Nature but now I have find a little gadget that maximize the efficacy of my cleanser so my skincare used after is better absorbed and more effective.

Introducing Scandinavian multi-award winning brand Foreo. Foreo’s T-Sonic pulsation technology that has been clinically proven to remove 99.5% of dirt, oil and makeup residue. This helps to clear away dead skin cells and enhance absorption of skincare products and diminish the appearance of pores and refine sin texture. I decided to order the smallest device, the Luna Play (size of a macaron) for practicality and affordable price tag. It's a good introduction the Foreo T-Sonic technology.




The Foreo Luna Play device is water-proof and sealed, made of silicone, very hygienic . The start button is at the back, with one speed, which I think is just fine. The silicon and it's bristles are very soft, you would think it's not cleaning enough! But actually, it does a soft non abrasive job and left my skin really soft.

I use the Foreo Luna Play device every night for 1minute. Easy to use, I believe it provide a gentle but efficient cleanse . It also promote micro-circulation and relax facial muscles to delay development of wrinkles. Well hopefully!

Check out the whole range with it's different sizes, features and prices. I am happy with this travel version, only down point is that contrary to the other Foreo devices, the Foreo Luna Go is not rechargeable. You can use for about 100, then toss it! Not the best, contributing to electronic waste. If I had read in depth before buying it, I would have probable buy the rechargeable version.

Saying that  love that it's a fun, compact and affordable device. A cute design with 2-zone brush for sonic cleanse. Leaving skin glowing in a minute. 




Fore Luna devices are available on mumzworld.com.
Price tag from AED180 to AED 950
Don't forget to use "DubaiourSandbox10" promo code to get 10% off on all your Mumzworld order.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

George’s Marvellous Medicine Live On Stage

Super excited to take the girls to the theatre, it's definitely something we don't do enough. It's a lovely family and friends morning out and a great cultural experience, but mostly it's fun!

This month, on November 17th, as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration led by the British Council, Art For All is delighted to announce that they will be bringing Roald Dahl smash hit stage show George’s Marvellous Medicine to the UAE. Performed by the Birmingham Stage Company and adapted for the stage by award-winning children’s theatre director, David Wood, this acclaimed production has already proved a sell-out in the four previous times it has been performed in the UAE.

Luella definitely enjoyed the book and look forward to see the live show. I am sure most children kind of know the story of George! The hero George; a little boy who lives on a farm with his mum and dad, and horrible grumpy grandma – who is rather strange and tells him she’s a witch. One day, while left in charge of grandma, George decides he’s had enough of her bullying ways, and he’s going to teach her a lesson. Instead of giving her a dose of her normal medicine, he sets about making one of his own - with extraordinary results… An absolutely brilliant tale that stays true to Dahl’s wonderfully imaginative story.

The reviews have been great! Complimenting the amazing sets and actors, saying audiences are in for a huge treat. This interactive show brings Dahl’s magical story to life for children and adults of all ages. It’s a must-see event. So, we look forward to see you there!

Reviews
“Phil Clark's production revels in Dahl's anarchic vision and its own furious energy. David Wood's adaptation gradually makes the young audience deliciously complicit in George's outrageous experiment. This is a very nicely put together affair that celebrates the anarchy of Dahl with great gusto and a naughty sense of fun.” - The Guardian

“The BSC’s adaptation of George's Marvellous Medicine is cacophonously good fun. An exceptionally pungent and effective piece of child theatre. It's a riot!” - Time Out

“Staged in a beautiful farmhouse set, with impressive puppets, amazing special effects and truly magic tricks up its sleeve, George’s Marvellous Medicine perfectly demonstrates that children’s theatre is very rarely as simple as one might expect. A wickedly mischievous tale!”
- Society of London Theatre Reviews


Details
Showing at Ductac MOE
Prices: Dhs150-Dhs200
Tickets are available from Ductac Box Office, Virgin Tickets




Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Color Run 2017 - We have signed up to the Happiest 5k on the Planet! Join us!



We have signed up for The Color Run 2017! Very excited to take part for the first time in the Happiest 5k on the Planet! The Color Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife returns to the UAE this November and we are ready for the fun family challenge. The Color Run, will take place on Saturday 11th November at the Dubai Autodrome. After a surprise visit from the Runicorn, the girls and I are so looking forward to this fun family day! Join us it's gonna be wild and colourful! We won't be running much with little Jo but we will skip, hop and dance our way to the finish line... (and I'll have the buggy because realistically no way my 3 years old is gonna walk 5k).



What’s The Color Run?
A fun family event part of the The Color Run Dream World Tour. Dr. Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer at Daman, presenting partner of the event said: “The Color Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife is the perfect event to encourage the community to come together, have fun and exercise. Aligned with our ongoing ActiveLife initiatives that seeks to empower the UAE community to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, this fun 5k is accessible to all.”

What’s all the fun about?
The Color Run participants will be covered from head to toe in an array of colour in the Color Zones along the 5k route. Runners can show their aspirations on the Dream Wall, snap selfies with giant unicorns, and enjoy the ultimate color party with family and friends at the Finish Festival...including the famous color throws! New this year, the Foam Zone, where foam clouds make everything better and more fun! Kids are gonna love it!

Get ready!
Each Color Runner will receive a fun participant kit, which includes; a limited‐edition Dream World Tour race shirt, embroidered headband, a fun temporary tattoo, welcome card, rainbow pencil and some awesome goodies from sponsors. Deluxe Runners will receive the kit plus a Gold bib for VIP Parking, a wristband, tutu, party socks and sunglasses for the ultimate Color Runner look on the day. Luella and Josefin are very excited to get ready in their tutus and most colorful outfit, for a fun day with friends, family and unicorns.

Join us and how to!
The Color Run has become a global phenomenon, continuing to innovate the 5k paint race genre each year. The Color Run has been experienced by over 6 million people worldwide in 35+ countries and has donated a staggering $5 million dollars to charity to date.

Tickets are on sale at www.colorrun.ae and Reebok stores in Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Mirdif City Centre and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.
Doors open at 7am
Saturday November 11th, 2017
Dubai Autodrome
www.thecolorrun.ae
See you there!!!!



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A few things this week...


La Mer by Meraas
La Mer, really cool beachfront development is finally open. We had a stroll around to check it out. Stretching out into the ocean from Jumeira 1 neighbourhood, La Mer takes it's inspiration from the way the sea embraces driftwood, timber, rusted metal, barrels and other items, brought by the tide to shore, many of which form the main elements of the built-up environment. It creates a cool and easy going vibe. We loved the hammocks in the sea, the colourful little beach huts, children’s playground and pathways leading to the beach. The first phase comprises La Mer North and La Mer South, which has over 130 hundred shops, cafés, restaurants, and beach activities, that act as a meeting point for people to enjoy a great time, whether they are visiting La Mer to eat, play or unwind. It's still a work in progress with many shops, cafés, restaurants soon to open. We are so excited for this new Dubai family destination. La Mer will also be home to ‘Hawa Hawa’, a new air-filled trampoline concept that was first created and installed in public parks in Japan. Let's stay tune...

‘Wellness Wednesday’ at Heavenly Spa
If you are looking for a treat or some pampering "me time", you must check the special offer from Heavenly Spa at The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City. ‘Wellness Wednesday’ is a pampering day when guests can choose from a unique selection of wellness and leisure offerings that are designed to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul and enjoy a 50% discount. Yes mamas, 50% discount on a selection of over 20 unique spa experiences and treatments booked on the day. I experience the Papaya Facial for soft and glowing skin, and it was just perfect. The experience doesn't end there. Whether looking to relax, refresh or simply treat yourself, with ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ at The Heavenly Spa, guests are granted complimentary access to the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio as well as the breath-taking rooftop swimming pool. Things just got heavenly on Wednesdays.
Every Wednesday, from 9am to 9pm
The Heavenly Spa is located at The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City
+971 4 437 3300
heavenlyspaalhabtoorcity@westin.com

Holster, cute Jelly footwear for the family 
Shout out to Australia’s leading jelly footwear, Holster. I received a cute pair of comfortable black flat sandals with studs while the girls totally loved their bright pink embellished funky jelly beach shoes. We love that Holster is eco conscience and take pride to reduce their ecological footprint. This extends to using vegan-friendly components in all holster footwear, non-toxic PVC, recycled materials in packaging and absolutely no production waste.

Salla.ae
Getting in the Halloween spirit with super cute Halloween lights. We already love the marquee letters from salla.ae but now we get to play with the pumpkin and the ghost light to add some fun dimension to our Halloween decoration. Only AED40! Salla.ae has recently introduced a new product, a very sweet Dream Catcher, perfect addition to bedroom or nursery. #stuffwelove

Florette.ae
Gorgeous blooms available on newly launch Florette.ae, Dubai best new online flower market. You will love the selection of foliage like eucalyptus, monster leaves, palm leaves, acacia mimosa. The flowers and composed bouquets are elegant with a focus on garden roses, which as well as being incredibly good quality they have beautiful perfumes and colors that are reminiscent of vintage rose gardens or beautiful romantic peonies. The market flowers are shipped straight from Holland and arrived on Thursday morning. When sold out, the market closed until next shipment. Its fresh!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Oli Oli, Dubai's first children's play museum



Last weekend, we had a fantastic sneak peek into Oli Oli. It’s a one-of-a-kind venue curating truly innovative content from the most successful children’s museums, makerspaces, science centres, and art studios from North America, Asia and Europe to create ‘Tomorrow’s Playground’.

I was so impressed and excited to see the girls exploring the experiential play museum. It was a fantastic, whimsical and education environment for children. Josefin (3 years old) had equally as much fun as Luella (nearly 9 years old), which makes a great family experience.



The beauty of Oli Oli is the focus on hands-on activities that nurture curiosity, imagination and exploration. It’s also very well designed with an artist feeling to it. For example, OliOli has engaged with globally acclaimed artists like Toshiko MacAdam, who has built the region’s first “textile playground” (one of less than 10 in the world), a large-scale textile structure made from brightly-coloured crocheted and knotted nylon weighing 1,000 kilos. Truly amazing!

The play museum has 8 separate galleries spread over two floors with over 40 different activities applying a genuine love of learning as principal: Toshi’s Nets , Future Park Air, Water, Forts & Dens, Cars & Ramps, Creative Lab and Toddler Space. All the different experiences will nurture our children imagination. The girls favourite attractions were Toshi's Nets, the water gallery specially washing the life size car and finally building cars out of Lego type bricks and testing them out on the car ramp. Mama loved the beautifully design space, innovating content and very cute coffee shop.  Oli Oli is a fantastic new addition to indoor play for Dubai families. Very excited to come visit again.

OliOli (translates as ‘joy’ in Hawaiian)
Next to Oasis Center, Al Quoz
9am to 7pm from Saturdays to Wednesdays
9am to 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
Prices start from 120 AED per child and 40 AED for adults