Monday, May 22, 2017

How to party with Party Social - event rental

Often I get inspired and blown away by gorgeous table set up, stylish party decor and well planned events that stands out. Saying that, couples of weeks ago, I had in mind to plan for my husband a pre-birthday celebration. We will be home in Sweden this summer for his 40th birthday, but with our life and our friends being here in Dubai, I had to surprise him with an early celebration. I was running out of time, the weather getting hotter in Dubai, I had to set the date and launch the process.

The truth is, I was not so sure how to start. I called up my favourite catering company: Dish. The reputable boutique catering definitely focus on food quality, presentation and design. They did not disappoint the service provided during the evening in the kitchen, at service and behind the bar was great. My guest list included 40 guests, the Dish team helped me pick a great selection of finger food. Some of our favourites included , "mini Angus beef burgers, smoked tomato, baby gem, aged cheddar and pickles", " black truffles, wild mushroom, and asiago toasty" and " Dish fish and chips tartar".

Now, how will I get a pretty set up to welcome and entertain our guests? I look around, and came across Party Social. The event rental company cater to individuals, event planners as well as corporate clients. They provide a good selection of stylish tables and chairs for a home party, an elegant table setup for a corporate dinner function or beautiful furniture for events. Within an hour from my online request, Linda project manger called me up to get an idea for what I was looking for and suggested I visit their office showroom in Oasis Mall. It all worked very easily and within a couple of days I had the vision of the look of the party, the quotation and schedule. I felt relieved that the party planning process was in gear.



Party Social is convenient and accessible, providing just enough of a stylish selection of table wear, furniture, cushions, props without being overwhelming. They have a good sense of trends and aesthetics. If you have no ideas what you are looking for in term of theme and style I recommend you browse through the galleries for ideas.

They have a great feature " Ready to Rent Collections" making it easy to choose a look and rent that look. Have a peek at " The Business Lunch", "The Chic Cocktail Party", " The Contemporary Lunch", " The Corporate Elegance", "The Modern Arabian" and "The Rustic Charm" collections to be inspired. Super convenient, it's a great base to party planning, you can then add extra details and props to personalize your event.

From our meeting, I picked a selection of white wash wooden lounge furniture, high cocktails tables with high chairs, a selection of cushions and a couple of wooden boxes as props. That was the important base to the decor. Party Social is not an event planner, they are a rental company. They work closely with stylist and event planners to provide the best items to suits their visions. In my case, the celebration was small and at home, Party Social was the perfect collaboration providing the furniture I was missing to accommodate my 40 guests. The team was lovely and very professional from the first email to delivery, installation and pick up.




To complete the look, I added fairy lights to the garden, creating a sparkling canopy to define and cosy up the space. Call up Sultan Mir for quote 050 842 3707. I was charged AED 1100AED for our small garden. Loved the result and wish I could have keep the fairy lights. Also, don't forget lots of candles!!

The final touch to the decor was some pretty flowers from 800Flowers. I had in mind some simple white and green compositions for the tables. I sent a couple of photos examples to the 800Flowers team for inspiration and received just what I had visioned. Great service and the flowers were beautiful.

So grateful for the results! It was a lovely party. I managed (with the help of the right vendors) to create an event without stress. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions. Happy to help.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

HydroFacial from Nova Clinic - loved it! Now you can win it!

Looking for a radiant look and healthy glow? Yep, we all do! Well, this week after my first visit to the newly opened Nova Clinic on Al Wasl Road, I felt like a glowing mama. Thanks to the award-winning treatment: The HydraFacial MD®. I loved it! Here's why and your chance to win the treatment to try for yourself.

The HydraFacial MD® is a non-invasive treatment that detoxifies, rejuvenates and protects your skin for immediate results and long term benefits without downtime or irritation. Sounds good right? The process is great for all skin types. It is relatively easy, painless and done in about 40 minutes.

Here are the easy steps of The HydraFacial MD® :

- Vortex-Exfoliation (the first serum removes dead skin cell)

- Vortex-Peel (Glycolic and Salicylic Acid, benefit of a peeling with no post peel scaling)

- Vortex-Extraction (Suction to clean the pores)

- Vortex-Boost (to combat fine lines, improve skin tone and texture)

- Vortex-Fusion (serum to deliver nourishing and protecting antioxidants)

It's a great base for skin health, a well round up treatment that can be customized to your particular needs. The therapist can concentrate on different area and will focus more on your actual need. My skin felt fresh and healthy, more plumped and firmer. Overall the texture of my kin was better and skin tone more even. It would take more than one session to work on my sun spots due to the mild and non aggressive quality of the treatment but I would definitely consider it.

If you are looking for a skin enhancing treatment and to improve skin texture, removing fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dead skin cells and treating oily skin, dryness, enlarged pores and other advanced signs of waging, you might want to consider the HydraFacial MD®.

Side note from my lovely therapist Vasilisa. Drinking water is so important to your skin health and appearance! Gentle reminder everyone, she recommends drinking 3 litres of water a day, specially here in Dubai. I am working on drinking 2 litres to already improve my intake and should see noticeable results in one month. Just saying... 

Watch the procedure and benefits of The HydraFacial MD® here!

The HydraFacial MD® starts at AED 850 per session.
Currently the Nova Clinic offer a monthly promotion on this treatment: 15% off during April

COMPETITION / GIVE AWAY
Check out Dubai our Sandbox Instagram page for your chance to win a HydraFacial MD®. 
Winner announced on April 24th.
Good luck.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives - our family holiday



Destination Maldives - our spring break holiday turned to be a family holiday of a life time. Here's the details on the gorgeous resort, how to get there, what to do and maybe inspire you and your family to visit beautiful Maldives.

Our journey to Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives
Morning flight from Dubai with Emirates Airline to Malé, only 4 hours flight. Relatively easy, we had some lunch and watched a movie, girls were happy and excited to go on an adventure. When you are used to 6 or 7 hours to Europe, that’s a breeze, well kinda!

Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives, is located in Gan (Addu Atoll), it’s the southernmost island of the Maldives, pass the equator. The hotel will arrange for you a domestic flight from Malé to Gan International Airport. It’s not a cheap flight, about USD405 for adults and USD325 for children plus tax. We had to wait one hour in Malé Airport before boarding our flight to Gan with Maldivian Air. It was well organized, a staff from Shangri-la Villingili Resort escorted us to Moonimaa Lounge, where we had some snacks and complimentary wifi. The staff did all the checking-in for us. The small propeller plan is a bit daunting at first but it’s fine and with the excitement of reaching the island you get at ease. When passing the equator, the flight attendant will give you, your personalize certificate “You passed the Equator”. I expected a 1h flight, turned to be more like 1h30. Both girls slept on the flight, recharging their “batteries” for what to come. Arriving in Gan tiny airport was smooth and within 20min we were on the speed boat to Shangri-la’s Villingili. The boat transfer is just 10 minutes, we were all of a mix of emotions tired, excited and full anticipation.



It’s quite a journey, specially with kids, but I can’t complain all went well and relatively smoothly. So yes, I would say after domestic flight and speedboat transfers to get to there, it was all worth the effort. It really felt like an adventure.

Arriving at the resort was like falling into paradise, being welcomed by smiling staff, beautiful flowers arrangements, cold towels and refreshing fresh coconuts. After being escorted to our villa by buggy, by our personal villa host we did the check-in process in our room while the girls were exploring our beautiful Deluxe Pool Villa.

The resort
Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives is one of the biggest in Maldives. It’s about 3km long, which give you plenty to explore by walking, in a buggy or on bicycles which we absolutely loved! The resort feel eco conscious if I can say, it has retain lots of its original vegetation and wild life. There is three natural lagoons and jungle with trails to explore and frogs, lizards,  bugs, birds and flying foxes (fruit bats), making the island fascinating for children. I regret we did not do the Ecological Tour, sure it would have been very interesting as family activity. Love that they have a rule of planting 2 coconut trees for each one they cut down. The island counts over 17 000 coconut trees, making the island so green and lush. To show their commitment to eco-conservatism there is a Chef’s Garden, with locally produced spices, herbs and vegetables for the restaurants to use.








At the centre of the resort you will find The Village, small little pathways to the shop (souvenirs and beach gear), dive centre, eco centre, health club, medical centre, tennis courts, kids club, the reception and M lounge for sundowners (happy hours at sunset). Also close by, is the main restaurant Javvu for breakfast facing the sea and along the way the swimming pool resort with the water sport centre. The resort is big enough to never feel busy while you still get to meet other guests if you are looking to socialize or kids to make friends.

Villas
The jetties take you to the Water Villas (see here). They must be a real treat, but with our two years old, we decided to stay in a land villa. Our Deluxe Pool Villa (see here) was absolutely gorgeous, well situated quite central not far from the village. Composed of two separates areas, first the bedroom with a massive bathroom and outdoor shower on one side and a lounge area on the other side. Both bungalows are facing the swimming pool with a nice deck and outdoor furniture. The pool is lovely and the sea is step away from the garden. It might not be the best side of the beach for swimming but just seeing the sea when you wake up or for a quick morning walk, is truly blissful.








Each guest is provided with a bicycle parked in front of the villa, perfect for exploring the island, getting places and as a family activity. We absolutely LOVE it. They equipped my husband bike with a child seat so we could have Josefin tagging along with us all around the island.

Family guests are appointed a personal villa host to help you with bookings, activities, reservations and all your questions. You get a mobile phone to personally reach him if needed. Our host visited us everyday to make sure all was well and offered suggestions about activities and restaurant booking. I think it's part of a great guest service.

Activities
The resort offers a lot of family friendly activities and everyday there is a schedule of fun things to do for adults and young people like tennis, snorkelling (get all your gear at the beginning of your stay free of charge), coral planting, yoga, pilates, aqua aerobics, water sports, eco tour, diving, glass bottom boat tour, fishing, dolphin cruise…

We spent most of our time at the beach or at the pool or exploring the island on bicycle. Hubby took our daughter Luella for a round of golf just before sunset, truly beautiful setting and quite a special experience. Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort use to have the first  9-hole golf course in the Maldives until recently. We enjoyed some water sport as well, took a tour on Jetskis as a family and enjoyed it so much we did it again the next day. 








There is a Kid Club, “ The Cool Zone” and an outdoor playground that we visited once, it’s small and a bit dark but convenient. We did not experience any of the daily kids activity, the days were already filled with so much family fun. If your little ones need some adventure or entertainment there is some educational activities and lots of land and beach-based activities to ensure a fun-filled vacation for the children. The program included Jungle Discovery, Crab Hunting & Racing, Nature Arts & Crafts, Island Fitness, Tropical Safari to identify the Big 5 and Small 5 inhabitants on land and underwater.

Dining options
An important part of a vacation is definitely the food. The Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort restaurants and food quality did not disappoint. We enjoyed our daily breakfast at the main restaurant, Javvu meaning “atmosphere” in local Dhivehi language facing the turquoise water right on the beach where the girls could run around while mama and papa enjoyed a second cup of coffee after a very delish meal. It’s a large buffet but not overwhelming with eggs, noodles and pancakes station. There is a small kids buffet table as well. It’s all very friendly and tasty, great way to start the day.

There is two other restaurants, that were both very nice, set by the sea and that I would definitely recommends, Dr Ali’s serves South East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes.We had a curry degustation menu - lovely!

The second option is Fashala, meaning “the edge”, a more formal option with amazing fine dining. Local produce from the surrounding waters and neighbouring farms are at the centre of the gastronomic offerings. The gorgeous set up on the north tip of the island is perfect for a romantic diner but like us, a family with children could enjoy the special treat as well.




For children there is a good kids menu across all the restaurants. As a family resort, Shangri-La's offers a Family Plan which provides children under 12 years old free accommodation staying in the same room with their parents, up to a maximum of 2 children per room. It’s also inclusive of food. Yes kids eat for free! Everyday, our girls could enjoy their meals from the Kids Menu free of charge. Must read all the details but it workout great for us.

Dubai our Sandbox recommends...
So yes, we definitely would recommends Shangri-la’s Villingili as a beautiful family friendly resort.
- Loved that the island is big enough to be explored on bicycle with a green a lush vegetation and enough wild life to get the kids excited about nature.
- Convenience of providing bicycles for the whole family to enjoy together and get to places.
- Large villa to accommodate our family in gorgeous setting.
- Service was friendly and efficient. The personal villa host is a good example of the quality guest service.
- We never complained about the food and truly enjoyed every dinner experience. We were on half board plan, which i think is a great option on vacation. Late breakfast and family diner at night are covered and you can just take a snack by the pool at lunch if needed.
- Shangri-la takes care of it's little guests. The Family Plan with complimentary accommodation and food is a great program. It's a good factor when considering your holiday budget.

Keep in mind...
The Maldives is gorgeous as we have all seen beautiful photos of turquoise water and white sandy beach. I was wondering if the domestic flight is worth the effort (extra time to your travel journey) and money (a considerable expense as a family of four ). After reflection, yes it probably is, as we love the beautiful island so much. While travelling with children you definitely need to take it in consideration.

We were not so lucky with our snorkelling experience. The weather was lovely but the constant wind we experienced during our stay made the water little murky for visibility. To snorkel you need to get to one of the jetty and snorkel toward the reef, making sure to go the right direction. It's a bit far and not that convenient, make sure to ask at the dive centre to direct you properly. Compare to our previous Maldives experience years ago where we could snorkel right from the shore in front of our villa up to the reef and see the most amazing marine life, I was a bit disappointed.



Our 5 days vacation in Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives will be something we’ll never forget. While enjoying our last drink at the M bar before heading onto the boat taking us to Gan airport, we as a family could reflect on the experience and all the wonderful memories to cherish for years. Thank you Shangri-la Villingili for your hospitality.

All photos are from my iPhone, except a couple of shots from www.shangri-la.com/male/villingiliresort

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sparkling Raspberry Mint Lemonade

Today, I experimented, mixing up a summer drink to serve this weekend when friends come visit. I need something refreshing and that would work for the children and could be twisted to satisfied some grown up taste as well.

I am happy with this Sparkling Raspberry Mint Lemonade, it's fresh, tasty and sweet enough for kids to enjoy. I am also sure, it will taste nice with a dash of Tequila for the grown ups - cheeky me!



It's easy to make and can be prepared hours before. Use fresh ingredients, sweet raspberries and fragrant mint. Smash or purée the raspberries and mixed it with the lemon juice, mint and honey. You can use immediately or keep refrigerated. When ready, scoop the mixture (half of the glass) and top with ice and sparkling water. I am happy to be using sparkling water from our Zip Hydrotap (read more here), so convenient.



Sparkling Raspberry Mint Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup of raw honey (less to taste)
1 cup of lemon juice (slice for garnish)
1 later of sparkling water
fresh mint (extra for garnish)

Directions:
In a bowl smash the raspberries with a fork.
Add honey, lemon juice, cut mint.
For each serving, scoop half a cup of raspberry mixture in a glass. Add ice. Add sparkling mineral water. Add mint and lemon to decorate.

It might be slightly different each time, I am still experimenting but I guess you make it to taste.
Love the colour and summery feel to it! And that's another use of our Zip Water Tap. 


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Beachwear favourite


Hello, we are back from our family holidays in gorgeous Maldives! Will share details about the beautiful and family friendly resort: Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa on the blog next week.

I packed mostly beach wear! You really don't need to over pack for the Island Life... Here's two of our favourite brands, that we love for it's quality, fun design and also for bringing the holiday mood to the next level.

Stella Cove, bright beautiful swimwear made in europe using high quality material, with UV 50+ sun protection. Feminine and playful, we love the cotton cover to complement the swimsuits and bikinis. The prints are lovely and on trend.

Snapperrock combine functionality (UV protection - blocking 98% of all harmful rays - lightweight, breathable and quick drying) and style using fun and bright graphical patterns designed in New Zealand. Love the one piece sunsuits for babies and mix and match swim sets, rash tops, boardies, hats and kaftans.

Stella Cove and Snapperrock are both available at Mumzworls.com. Get your kids sorted for beach season. Happy shopping.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Al Wadi Resort - family retreat in Ras Al Khaimah



Last weekend, we headed to the desert for a family retreat in Ras Al Khaimah. Not our first time in the Emirates, we always had fond memories of this side of the UAE. There is an enchanting tranquil atmosphere that brings us back. This time, we had the lovely opportunity to stay at the newly launched Al Wadi Desert a The Ritz-Carlton Hotel property. Since January 2016, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company signed a management agreement with RAK National Hotels and Al Hamra Real Estate Development for the new property, marking the brand’s entry into Ras Al Khaimah.

The beautiful landscape, rolling dunes, warm light, rugged mountains, wildlife and magical sunset offer the perfect set up for a family stay in a pristine natural setting. Only one hour drive from Dubai, the northern Emirate holds many traditional wonders.



The last 10 minutes drive into the Resort, set the tone for beautiful surroundings. Earthy colours, warm glow from the Arabian sun over the dunes and an inviting original architecture.

We stayed in one of the amazing Al Khaimah tenanted pool villa. Have a look! The very large signature villas are one of best feature of the resort. Traditional tented villas with an arabic decor in a modern and plush way. We loved the large wooden deck with the dark blue infinity pool over looking the desert. Truly blissful. We enjoyed our villa so much, we decided to stay in for dinner to catch the last rays of the sunset over drinks by the pool followed by a traditional arabic dinner on the terrace. Perfect for family with young children.



The resort offers many activities for the family based around the Al Wadi Nature Reserve, the perfect opportunity to learn and connect with the surroundings. Make sure to contact Guest Services to schedule your set of activities. Here's some of the experiences we got to enjoy as a family.

Falconry
Sitting on lounge deck facing the lovely desert with the sun setting down in the dunes, we watched a falcon, hawk and owl show. It was amazing to see those raptors up close, to hold one and learn about the species and the training technics. 



Horseback riding
We enjoyed our visit to the stables and peek into the future animal sanctuary that will soon be a new added feature to the resort. The girls got to ride into the desert on a horse for Luella and an adorable Shetland pony for little Josefin. It's a nice experience for kids, definitely some fun memories for the children to remember.



The Morning Nature Walk
On Saturday morning, after a good night sleep and an early swim in our pool, we went for the Nature Walk with Gabriel the Resort Ranger. We could have lounge around, stay longer in bed, but the beauty of nature was calling and we decided to join the walk around 8.30. Gabriel was a fountain of knowledge about the Al Wadi Nature Reserve. A lovely way to connect with the land, learn about the different trees and the wild life. The protected area cover around 247 acres and is home to some Arabian Oryx that we could observe from close by. Beautiful experience. The walk took about 45min and got our appetite ready for breakfast, which is serve at the Safran restaurant just over looking the waterhole. Keep an eye open for a gazelle coming down for a drink of water...

Other activities available
Archery, biking, bird watching, nature drive, night walk, stargazing, family picnic ...

The Ritz Kids Program is another family feature that the resort offers guests. A program to keep the little ones busy by immersing them in adventure, exploration and fun educational activities like camel rides, kid archery, mini falconry and owl interaction, fish feeding, trail tales and feathered friends bird watching tour.



Our food experience was great from villa dining on the terrace by the pool, to gorgeous buffet breakfast overlooking the waterhole, to our family picnic. Another nice spot for sunset or after dinner drinks is the rooftop lounge Moon Bar with shisha, pretty lighting and 360 view of the desert.



Dubai our Sandbox recommends...
- Beautiful setting in the desert, close to nature away from the busy an glittery Dubai life.
- Easy access from Dubai, 45 min from Dubai Airport
- Great guest service and choice of activities for the family based on the desert, local culture and traditions. Fantastic and fun experience for children to learn because "Not every class room have four walls". 
- Beautiful private Arabian tented villa, large enough to accommodate very comfortably our family of four. All villas have private pool.
- Family friendly with grown up elegance
- The resort is under a transition phase and will be fully refurbished as a Ritz Carlton Property after the summer. We are looking forward to see the upgrade to the already very beautiful resort.
- The sister property Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach, located on a private shore in Ras Al Khaimah is under total refurbishment. Another exciting project we look forward to experience after summer.
We LOVED Al Wadi Resort, a tranquil oasis in the Ras Al Khaimah desert.
Thank you for your hospitality Ritz Carlton team!


Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel
Phone: +971 7206 7777
Email: reservation.RAKdesert@ritzcarlton.com

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Luella's Cocoa, Banana and Coconut Smoothie










Luella's Cocoa, banana, coconut smoothie. The girls love making it nearly as much as eating it. Rich in antioxidants from the raw cacao and a good source of calcium from the yogurt and from our favourite Organic Milk in Dubai, KOITA. Super easy, I just make sure to use good quality ingredients and organic if possible. It's good option for breakfast or snack.

1 1/2 banana
3 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of yogurt (we use organic vanilla)
2 tablespoons of honey
Fresh grated coconut to sprinkle
Mix it all your nutribullet or blender, sprinkle with grated coconut. Done. Yummy!

Side note, the KOITA 'milk' family is expending! 

Organic 
Whole Milk, Low Fat Milk, Chocolate Milk and now also a Skim Milk version (perfect for your skinny latte!)

Lactose Free 
Low Fat Lactose Free Milk
First lactose free milk in the UAE market that has no added hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or preservatives. Koita added the natural enzyme lactase to the milk which breaks down the lactose milk sugar into more easily digestible sugars, enabling people who are lactose-intolerant the ability to enjoy drinking milk

Non-Dairy
Soy Milk with Non-GMO soy

Why we love KOITA milk?! Read it here!
Order online at Koita.com and get FREE Koita Milkman delivery anywhere in the UAE. Conveniently have milk delivered to your home within 2 business days.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Heavenly Mother's Day Spa at The Westin Al Habtoor City



Yesterday, I got to celebrate Mother's Day a little early with a special treat from Heavenly Spa at The Westin Al Habtoor City. I was so grateful to be there, surrounded by peaceful and relaxing vibes. Every mama needs a special treat like that to recharge. Because the truth is, you can better take care of your family if you take care of yourself in the first place.

The 'Heavenly Mom's Escape' included a refreshing 50min facial, 80min stress-relieving massage, access to steam and sauna facilities and yummy treats. I arrived early and took some time in the Sauna before meeting with my therapist, it was just a lovely way to get into it. After the full body massage, you feel obviously super relaxed and thankful that you can just lie there, a little longer while enjoying your facial. The therapist used Farm House Fresh products for cleansing, detoxing, moisturizing and anti ageing purposes. My skin felt fresh and glowing.

Perfect ending, lounging in the relaxing room, while enjoying light bites, sparkling fresh juices and a cup of ginger lemon tea.

Conveniently they can take care of your little ones at the Westin KidsClub while you get a well deserve pampering.

Mother’s Day – Heavenly Mom’s Escape
Heavenly Spa by Westin Al Habtoor City
From 1 March to 30 April from 9 am to 9 pm
AED 900
Booking: +971 44 373 300

Loved it! Treat yourself mamas!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Zip Water - Filtered, chilled, boiled and sparkling drinking water in one tap



This week, we had a mini revolution in our house. A life changing update to our daily life as a family. We consumes a lot of water, we buy bottled water (1.5L and 50ml) and have a dispenser in the kitchen with a scheduled home delivery weekly of gallons containers. That has been our set up for the past years. As a Dubai family, we understand the importance of drinking the right amount of water in this climate. Not like back home in Sweden, tap water is not an option for me here in the UAE :  “Tap water is completely safe to drink at the time of dispatch. But, the tanks must be cleaned systematically, at least once in six months, to ensure it is unpolluted. Commercial tanks are monitored by us, but not the residential ones,” said Bobby Krishna, Principal Food Studies Officer at Dubai Municipality. So I preferred up to now to rely on bottled water.

Here comes the most intelligent filtered drinking water tap: The Zip Hydrotap. Let me tell you why we are now relying on our new tap for our water consumption and all the benefit for our family.



Since it's inception in Australia in 1962, Zip has been producing boiling water system. Now the multinational company has evolved and now provide world class filtration technologies. The tap technology is now sold in 70 countries and provided great tasting, pure drinking water and instant boiling water.

Characteristics and functions
Zip filtration system is the solution for pure and crystal clear water, by removing chlorine and bacterial contaminants from your ordinary tap water. The single inbuilt-action-sub-micro water filter removes micro-organisms tiny as one thousandth a millimetre.  Zip Hydrotap system has a NSF certification, a public health and safety organization which provides third-party certification to ensure the product complies with the technical requirements of the relevant standard. The Zip 0.2 micron filters is one of the most advanced and most practical filtration system available anywhere today.

Zip Hydro tap offers different water options. You can pick a tap that deliver filtered chilled water alone to chilled, boiling and sparkling all at the touch of a button. We decided that our home will benefit from the all options. It's been a week already and we have enjoyed filtered chilled water for school water bottles, boiling water for instant coffee or tea and sparkling water for diner and refreshing lemon concoctions through out the way. I also tent to use it while cooking. It's so convenient!

There is many technical benefits, from power-pulse energy saving technology, adjustable water temperature function, sleeping function when inactive , programmable timer. Love that the water is instantly dispensed at the set temperature, no longer any need to waste water running the tap until the water is at the correct temperature. No water wastage.

Cost and environmental friendly
Zip filtered water will be cost effective, a much cheaper solution then bottled water. The bottled water market is exploding in the Middle East. Bottled water can cost up to 124 times more than filtered water. The bottle, cap and label amount 90% of the total price of mineral water. We should also rethink bottled water from an environment post of view. Water bottled are made of completely recyclable polyethylene (PET) plastics, but PET's don't biodegrade they photodegrade, which means they break down in smaller fragments over time. Those fragments absorb toxins that can pollute our waterways, soils... There is also a Carbon Footprint to consider, with delivery and manufacture of bottled water.

Stylish design
The Zip Hydrotap is well design and offers different aesthetics to suit your kitchen from Classic, Cube, arc and Elite in different finishes. You will find the one for you. It will become a stylish highlight in your kitchen.

Interested? How to go about it?
Check out zipwater.com or Facebook.com/pg/ZipWaterME to learn more.
Contact Info.me@zipindustries.com or 04 391 3670.

The process is relatively easy and the team behind Zip Water in the Middle East will assist you.
1- Pick your Hydrotap Design
2- Pick your water options
3- Select the finish
4- Decide where the tap will go
5- Talk to the team for assistance and installation.



We were very happy with the customer care provided. Our kitchen set up required some thinking in order to install properly at the right spot our new Zip Hydrotap. It was all sorted and installed after the second visit. Now we can call for maintenance to check on the under-sink unit and every 6 months to change the filtration cartridge. With a 2 two years warranty contract and a team of professional staff to provide great service, we trust it will be a good set up for our family. It's an investment but in the long run, it will be cost effective and more convenient.



Very happy to have teamed up with ZipWater in Dubai to offer you a special discount of 15%, just mentioned DubaiOurSandBox at the time of enquiry. Give them a call...


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lightfoot Travel for tailor-made holidays with kids



Travelling with children is not always easy, sometime frustrating, sometimes daunting but always worth it! I truly believe it's one of the most important parenting activities that you can do. It’s an enormous teaching opportunity for your children and a fundamental way for parents and children to bond with each other and create memories.

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.

There is many articles on the subjects, specially tips on how to travel with kids and making the journey easier... I have also covered the subjects previously on the blog. Travelling with Kids / Guest post: Travel Junkie Diary with kids / Mums travel...

When planning a holiday with children, think about the destination, accommodations, things to do and see. You might need to do a little 'homework' to prepare yourself and avoid disappointment. You can also ask for help. I would advise to ask the expert... We checked out Lightfoot Travel for tailor-made family holidays.




How Lightfoot Travel can help you and your family design a holiday of a lifetime.

Get inspired
They will inspire you with destination, activity and accommodation ideas that suit the ages of your children and the type of holiday you’ve been dreaming of.

Get the details that matter
Does the hotel have interconnecting rooms? Do they have kid’s meals for the fussiest of eaters? Are bottle sterilisers readily available? Questions answered, so you are ready to start on your adventure knowing that everything has been considered and taken care of beforehand.

Logistic for peace of mind
With children in tow coordinating things like airport pickups, car seats and kid-friendly routings are all the more stress inducing. Lightfoot Travel can makes sure your holidays are worry-free and keeping the little ones needs in mind.

Flexibility
This is the key word when holidaying with kids! Plans and needs of your family are always subject to
change, so you have to pick an itinerary that is flexible and can be tailored to your requirements at a moment’s notice.




If you are looking to plan your Spring or Summer holidays, you might want to keep in mind Lightfoot Travel. This luxury tour operator with an office in Dubai specializing in designer holidays to countries spanning six continents around the world. Lightfoot only uses properties they have personally experienced and trust. For inspiration and to plan your personalized holidays check out their online magazine and Lightfoot Inspiration . And start dreaming of your next family holiday destination...



Photography by the lovely and talented Uschi Irani, www.photocreations.me


Friday, February 24, 2017

So Chic Kids - Fashion Sale

Something for your agenda lovely mamas!
Nest week, Tuesday 28th February don't miss So Chic Kids pop up sale. All my favourite french brands for cool kids at super discounted prices. Here's a little preview...

The So Chic Kids sale is a unique occasion to shop an amazing selection of preloved and new clothes from 6 months to 16 years. If you already love the So Chic concept you will love the kids event, be prepared to find clothes, shoes and accessories in perfect condition and a new stock from Bonpoint all that for a fraction of the price for your little ones! Shop the cool stuff, discover French brands from the rocking design of Finger in the Nose to the classic Bonpointgm style... Without breaking the bank!

Check out Bellerose, Emile et Ida, Louise Misha, Soeur, Bobo Choses for unique gems from your kids closet. All available next week at So Chic Kids event.













This time, the So Chic Kids event will take place in the newly open restaurant of Vendôme Paris on Umm al Sheif Road – Umm Suqeim 1.
Don’t forget to bring your kids after school as we have many surprises for them as a really 
French “crêpe party” from 4.00pm to 6.00pm.
Get the chance to buy the Pommes Kids ‘s furniture and the Iris Barcelona’s lunch box.
See you on 28th of February, I will be there!
Doors open at 7.30am to 7.00pm.
Facebook.com/sochickidsuae
Instagram.com/sochickidsuae



Monday, February 20, 2017

The Amazing Sunday Brunch ♥ Nikki Beach Dubai




Best way to start the week… Nikki Beach Dubai’s recently launched ‘Amazing Sundays Brunch’! Yesterday, we made the weekend last little longer at the stunning resort. Can’t wait to do it again!

When I am "off mama duty" and I get to chill and unwind by the beachside with my bestie, it’s gonna be a good time. It sure was - thanks to a great atmosphere, lovely setup and delish food. We loved the boho chic look, happy trendy vibes with cool tunes and live performances.

The brunch is from 12 to 4 pm, a simple elegant menu to choose from served at your table. Not the overwhelming buffet option. Everything was good, from a simple sushi selection, a choice of egg dish (favourite: Lobster oeuf cocotte), main course and a sample of mini deserts. The brunch including a selection of Frosé cocktails, beer and wine by the glass is AED350. The nonalcoholic brunch AED 250 including soft drinks, chilled juices, water (still and sparkling) and mocktails. The deal also include (subject to availability) a complimentary pool bed / beach access for after dining.

Loved the lively but not busy vibe of the week day brunch, feeling more exquisite and private. It’s a cool and classy brunch by the pool. A great option for girlfriends catching up over rosé wine and yummy food in beautiful surroundings. The service was super friendly, maybe not very efficient but when you feel on holidays, nothing to stress you about… you let it go.

A must do lovely mamas!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Happy girls at Cloud7 Dubai



Last week we checked out Cloud7, creative play area in Level Kids, CityWalk. Always a pleasure walking around the gorgeous department store dedicated to children fashion. Read more on our previous blog post.

The girls loved it! The creative play area offers candle making, ceramic painting, soap making and cake decorating. The team supervised and assisted the girls in their activities. Giving enough instructions to Luella and plenty of help to Josefin. They both enjoyed doing some hands on creative play and were delighted with the result.

After some messy crafty play, they spent some time in the building block area. My mini engineers were setting up a house and designing a bridge apparently. Finally a little experimenting behind the screen in the interactive digital lab. There is enough to keep the kids busy and engaged. After about 1h40 minutes, it was time to head home, girls would have been happy to hang out longer.






The deal
Standard entrance is AED100 for one hour of play and one activity (candle making, ceramic painting, soap making and cake decorating). Superior entrance is AED130 for two hours of play and two activities.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Little Painter - Dubai artististic workshop for kids



We love supporting homegrown business specially woman with a passion. My Little Painter and the lovely team behind is on a mission to raise awareness of the importance of artistic exposure from an early age.

The ‘my little painter’ is specially designed for children to develop and enhance their artistic capabilities, creative talents and potential.

​They provide you workshop planning and ready to create Art Activity material for each workshop. Each workshop module designs are fun, engaging and educational for kids of eighteen months old to twelve years old. Each workshop will focuses on the fundamental skills of all visual arts and encourages the confidence and freedom of expression through art.

Thursday February 2nd, My Little Painter is hosting a free event on the occasion of the launch of their "Sea World" art activity kits and new workshops. See invite for details and reservation! Creative fun guaranty!

White Moss, Home Decor ideas



Last few days of final reductions!

Check out White Moss for beautiful, handcrafted products from its specially curated collection. Available to purchase online at white-moss.com.

Love the simplicity close to nature, creating a sense of peace and inner calm. Working with artisans to craft genuine products for it’s first collection, all designed and handmade on the island of Bali, White Moss uses only natural materials, in a neutral colour pallet that work in harmony with any home and complement any colour and style.

Have a look and grab some good deals before the end of January!
Collections include: Baskets, Cushions, Mirrors, Wall Hangings, Lighting, Children’s décor, 
Seating, and Accessories.

Happy shopping!

Curiosity Lab, fun and educational program for kids - We ♥ it!




This is definitely one of the most successful play date we had! Let me tell you about Curiosity Lab, a child enrichment program where children are treated as the scientists of tomorrow. They experiment. They interact. They explore. Kids loved it and as parents you will appreciate the fun educational angle to it. The Children get to experiment, interact and experience science and that's the best way to learn.

Moheb Nabeel (or just Mo) is the Founder and Chief Curiosity Officer of Curiosity Lab. He is responsible for all the teaching, research, development and inventions. Fantastic with children, engaging them and stirring their curiosity, Mo has manage to create a very cool learning concept. Children witness ingenious demonstrations of all scientific concepts. Learning is hands on; experiments are actually performed and not just read about. The results and their implications are worked out and not told. Learning while making fun memories.

Curiosity Lab offers Modules, a structured program of 12 classes (12 weeks). Each Module teaches an exciting idea, which is explored through twelve important scientific concepts for example : To The Moon...And Back!  and The Electromagnetic Kid. Classes are conducted at your home for small groups of four to six children. All material provided. AED 1500.

Also available for special play date and birthday party, sure way to get little scientists in the making very excited! Mo will inspire future doctors, engineers, inventors and scientists, by making them fall in love with science. Just like he did.

We highly recommend Curiosity Lab for the friendly and professional approach of Moheb. The play date was a fun learning experiment, a great sample of mini science experiments to get the little ones excited and curious about the wonder of the scientific wold. Entertaining as it is educational. Perfect for children from 5 years and up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Birthday party for kids - Our fun filled day at The Dubai Mall



Last month, just before the winter break, we celebrated Luella's 8th birthday. Dubai offers many possibilities for birthday parties, so many venues and experiences. We usually kept our celebrations small like a "Cinema and lunch Party', 'Pizza in the park party' or 'Little Fairies party' in our garden. This year, the Dubai buzz got us into the next level. We made the most of the day at The Dubai Mall. Children loved it and the team behind Dubai Mall attractions was great, making sure, we as parents could just enjoy the celebration with the children.

Here's what we did and why it was a success. Hope it might inspires you or give you some ideas for your next child next birthday party.



Friday morning, 10am entrance of The Dubai Mall Ice Skating Ring. All the kids are excited to get their skates and helmet on and head to the ice for some fun. Some children already experienced ice skating but for some it was a first time. All level are welcome, thanks to the super cute penguin skating supports which they can cling onto. The staff and coach on the ice keep a careful eye on everything going on. Loved watching the children helping each other, holding on to each other and showing their different moves and tactics.

Luella and her friends spent one hour on the ice laughing and moving to the music. The birthday announcement on the speaker, upbeat music and mascot appearance made it all very special and contributed to a fun and friendly atmosphere.




After so much fun, we kept going, this time we took a short walk toward The Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. It's always nice to go through the tunnel and look at the thousands of aquatic animals - over 140 species. Imagine, over 300 sharks and rays live in this tank, including the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. Children, also got to take a ride into the Aquarium Glass Bottom Boat and feed the fishes.



One of the most popular birthday party attractions at The Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the Otter Encounter. It's fun experience to watch and greet the otters, understand and learn about behaviours and training. Very cute little creatures.



After so much fun and many activities, children were starving! Conveniently located by the Aquarium, the Rainforest Café is a great destination for birthday lunch and children celebration. The restaurant is great fun for kids. Entertaining for children, the decor deliver the right atmosphere and the food cater to little one taste. The staff was friendly and efficient, making the lunch with 15 children absolutely manageable. I got to enjoy some brazed beef ribs... yes it was yummy! Perfect conclusion of a busy and memorable kids birthday party! We loved and would definitely recommend The Dubai Mall as a birthday destination.

For pricing and package options please visit :
dubaiicerink.com/en/birthday-packages
thedubaiaquarium.com
rainforestcafeuae.com/birthday-bash

Happy celebration!