Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toscana likes kids

"Take a trip to Italy and dine on the freshest pizza and pasta dishes to delight every mama, papa, nonna and bambino. During the months of June, July and August 2011, enjoy our fabulous offer and go Italian at Toscanain Souk Madinat Jumeirah."

Children below 12 years old enjoy a free diner. I suggest, we ladies, take the night off, no cooking, no dishes and enjoy some italian food. Family treat.
See details,  www.jumeirah.com.

our travel destinations

In about three weeks, our little family will starts it's summer journey. Yoopi!

We have the Cote d'azur, New York, Marrakech and Sweden on our agenda. I have been reading about travelling to those beautiful destinations... with toddlers in mind! I thought I might share a few links with you in case you are also planing a family trip to amazing Sweden, exciting New York, pretty South of France or fascinating Marrakech.

Cote d'azure
"Family First is a guide to the French Riviera for families with children, aimed at giving useful information to residents and tourists whether French or English speaking."  

New York
"Listing of restaurants, activities and resources"
"BozAround is cool blog, travel notes and inspiration for the modern family". Article on New York.
"Another good blod. Get more out of NY with kids"

"Listing of things to do, see, try, eat in Marrakech with the kids"
"Nice blog. The bemused tales of an American family's quest to build a guest house in Marrakech"
"BozAround is nice blog, travel notes and inspiration for the modern family". Article on Marrakech

"A personal travel guide for adventurous young people"
"News and tips from an insider"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Book of the week

I was browsing amazon.com and find what looks like a big treasure book of activities.
Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. by Bobbi Corner

What amazon has to say:
"Conner (Author) began collecting and inventing hundreds of games, then tested them on groups of children ages one to 10. The author divides the book into three sections—for toddlers, preschoolers and the six-to-10 set—with subsections on solo play, parent and child, playing with others and birthday parties. She covers a wide range of activities, from noodle necklaces to toddler basketball with a laundry basket, including indoor and outdoor play for rain or shine, with clear instructions as well as discussions of safety issues. Child development experts such as Fred Rogers and Benjamin Spock have emphasized the significance of play; Conner has taken her sources at their word and produced a fun-filled compendium likely to become a dog-eared resource for parents seeking whimsical yet practical ways to unplug the electronics and promote the physical, cognitive and emotional benefits of plain, old-fashioned play."

And some very good customers review... A 5 stars book!
I am ordering now...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Apple Chips

Yesterday we tried to make apple chips. The result was not perfect, but now we know how to improve for next time! I need to get a mandoline to slice thinly the apples and bake the apples a little longer.

What you need
2 gala or granny smith apples
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice

How to
Turn the oven on 80C. Fill a bowl with 1 cup cold water and the lemon. Slice the apples with a mandoline, place in lemon water bowl. This prevents premature browning of the apples. Use cookie cuter if you want fun shapes. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper  and place the apple slices on the sheet after shaking off the excess liquid off it. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Push it into the oven for 1h30, until the apple slices are crisp.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Winnie is back!

Sweet like honey.

Coming soon! June 9th 2011
Might be Luella's first movie experience...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunscreen protection

Another post about child safety…
This time I want to share with you this recent guide to sunscreen products. You might be surprise to see that some of your favorite products might not be doing a good job at protecting the kids.  Might even be unsafe and containing toxics ingredients or lacking UVA protections.

To my surprise, I learned that sunscreen spray should be avoided; their chemicals can be inhaled.  Have a look at the “Hall of Shame” list.  You will find some unexpected name like, Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF70, Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF50.

Always buy products containing UVA and UVB protection.
Avoid ingredients like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone.
Article also suggest that SPF 30 is effective, high number do not guarantee higher protection.

Be safe and enjoy the beach... 

photo: wallpapers-diq.com

Playmat safety

Have your heard about the toxic playmat issue? We need to spread the word about carcinogenic (cancer causing) play mats which are sill available for purchase in Dubai. Some of those foam puzzle playmats made in China have been banned since 2010 in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Read.

"My play mat" is a new product, a solution to non toxic and safe play mat for our children.

 In Augus 2010, "My Playmat" received the "Innovation Of the Year 2010" Award at the Professional Baby Trade Fair in Lucern. Since March 2011, "MyPlaymat" is available in Dubai in selected shop like Kidzinc and Babyshop.

For more info, please visit www.myplaymat.ae

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"life is good" project

Absolutly great!
Love the idea of this "happiness project" for kids and how to encourage optimism in the family.
Read this post from makeandtakes.com and start feeling the joy, happiness is a choice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Private Sale

Might be interesting... I am always looking for cute things for kids.
"Open House in Jumeira 3 - great choice of quality summer gifts:
Beautiful kids clothes collections , Spanish leather shoes, trendy silver and fancy jewels , belts and hand bags , colorful beach towels and futas as well as girls Liberty swim suits. Opposite Park n shop, call 050 158 5549 for more details!"

Wednesday May 25th.
Opposite park n shop, Street 2C, Villa 12/85

Smoothie yummy

Today we are making Annabel Karmel Super C Smoothie! Fun to make, delicious to eat and packed with viamines A and C for a super immune system booster. Bon appetit.


110g/4oz strawberries (3 large or 5 medium), hulled and quartered
1 thin slice of watermelon or canteloupe, seeds and rind removed and flesh cubed (100g)
1/2 small banana
3 tbsp strawberry yoghurt
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp honey


Put the fruit in a blender and whiz to a puree. Add the remaining ingredients and whiz to combine. Pour into glasses to serve. 
Information: Preparation – 5 minutes
Makes 2 child portions

"Annabel Karmel is s the author of books on nutrition and cooking for babies, children and families. Annabel writes regularly for national United Kingdom newspapers including The TimesThe Daily Mail and the Sunday Mirror, and also contributes to Practical ParentingBBC Good Food and Sainsbury's Magazine. She is the children’s celebrity chef on the BBC website and also appears frequently on radio and television." Thank you wikipedia.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Have you done that before?

Better U 2011
A great day to learn something new!

Take the opportunity to try new activities this Saturday. Eton Institute offer a whole day of free exciting activities & experiences.

  • Language classes
  • Fitness training
  • Sign language
  • Etiquette
  • Cultural awareness workshops
  • Photography
  • Dance classes
  • Karate classes
  • Chess tournaments
  • Drama classes
  • Drumming sessions
  • And many more...

Saturday May 28th 2011, organised by Eton Institute at Knowledge Village.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DIY Play Dough

A quick one today.
Home made " Play Dough" recipe, for toddlers. Fun to make and the fun keeps on for months after...
Thank you "Super Mom", www.supermommoments.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Monsters

This week, we (Luella and I) experienced Mini Monsters! What a cool place…
It’s bright in a nice way, clean, spacious and definitely stimulating for the kids! The different play zones and climbing frames caters for toddlers and younger children. And there is a Café with good coffee (and food selection)! The right place to catch up with a girlfriend while the kiddies explore and have fun.

There is more to it and that’s what makes the difference… Well thought out activities for the children. The solution to Dubai hot summer months, when outdoor play is limited!

Kitchen fun
“These special 30 minutes sessions are designed to give toddlers aged between 1 to 4 years, the chance to experience hands on kitchen activities in a fun relaxed environment”. Can’t wait for the pizza making and cup cake decorating session!

Every Tuesday starting May 17th, 10.30 to 11.00 am or 11.30 to 12 noon.
4 weeks for AED 200 or AED 65 per class.
Also includes 1 hour of free play in soft play area after the class.

Wiggles and Giggles
“Experience the fun of music and dance for babies and toddlers.”

Every Thursday starting May 26th until June 16th, 10 am
4 weeks for AED 300 or AED 85 per class.
Also includes 1 hour of free play in soft play area after the class.

Arts and Crafts
“Come and get messy with your kids and let us clean up the mess!” Creativity without the headaches of what to do, getting the supplies and doing the tidying up…

Every Wednesday starting June 1st until June 22tnd, 10 am
4 weeks for AED 300 or AED 85 per class.
Also includes 1 hour of free play in soft play area after the class

Easy booking:
At the Mini Monsters reception
By phone, call the lovely Rashelle 050 195 1039
By email, customerrelations@minimonsters.ae

More classes and activities are in the planning for the summer months.
Check out www.minimonsters.ae for more details.
See you there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Organic box of goodness

Another great initiative... 
Don't miss the first Bumble Box market this Saturday May 21st, Dubai Garden Center.
See you there!

"Bumble Box is a home delivery service of tasty, fresh, organic and LOCAL fruit and vegetables at affordable prices.
We are proud supporters of local farms in the region and Bumble Box was established to promote healthy eating by giving easy access to fresh produce. The content of each bumble box will vary each week...we hope you will enjoy the seasonal variety!"
Bumble Box SMALL 80 aed – for 2 people 

Bumble Box LARGE 130 aed – for 4 people 

becky 050 551 2517 or Sonia 050 871 4676

info@bumble-box.com or orders@bumble-box.com
They also offer delivery options! 

Cutest DIY Card

How sweet is this home made pop up card?! Looks like a lot of folding and gluing but the "How to" explanations are very good... just follow each steps.

Monday, May 16, 2011

travel with kids

Summer holidays is upon us. In six weeks we will be on our way to cooler land. We have a busy summer with loads of traveling, including South of France, Sweden, New York and Marrakech, all of it with an adorable pre-schooler! Better start planning...

The good news, Babble.com has released its top 25 travel blogs for family. That's a great source of tips, practical advices, inspiring destinations and some expertise for families on the go. Thought I might share a few useful links, more to come...

"The foundation of our service has always been finding great places to stay - a big part of taking the fear out of traveling with children knowing what to expect after arriving at a new destination. Parents also need to be confident that they will have the resources necessary to make the trip enjoyable for every family member.Ciao Bambino has helped hundreds of families successfully experience the joys of traveling together in Europe and now our portfolio covers Hawaii, the Caribbean, and other popular tourist destinations. We don't believe parents need to give up staying somewhere amazing just because they want to travel as a family!"
What you will find? A great list of kid friendly hotels and destinations.

"Travel for busy moms and their brood. Poshbrood is a free catalogue of upscale, luxe and hip cottage, hotels, resorts, villas and inns. Each property is 'mom-tested' and poshbrood-approved."
What you will find? A selection of upscale destination. Travel in style with kids is possible.

"DeliciousBaby is for parents who want to travel with their children, but don't know how to start or who want to learn how to make travel easier and more fun. I share my own travel stories (in the US and internationally) and my best tips and advice on issues like how to keep kids busy on a plane, surviving jet-lag, and flying with car seats."
What you will find? Some good travel tips and packing list.

"Traveling with kids can be daunting.  Travel Savvy Mom is a network of moms all over the world who’ve been there and done that.  We can help.We publish a fun mix of reviews, tips, and personal travel experiences.   Although our writers are often provided with complimentary goods and services for the purpose of reviewing them (as is common in the travel industry), we only recommend places we would stay ourselves and things we would use."
What you will find? Insider tips to always be prepared for the unexpected.

And our favourite local family travel blog, babylovestotravel.com.
To all of you mamas out there preparing for summer traveling good luck! And yes it will be just fine. Enjoy.


Kiwi faces

Another great and simple  idea from FamilyFun website!
Creativity is everywhere... 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lovely mess

Yesterday, Luella wanted to do some painting... no real craft project in mind just free painting! Fun mess! Our next project is bubble wrap print painting.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dubai baby & children's market

Dubai Baby and Children's market caters everything for your little ones. From pre-loved items to lovely new and special products. It is also a fun day out for the family with lots of children's entertainment, face painting and refreshments.

Book a stall book for 150dhs. It's a great way to clear out your cupboards and make little extra money.
Contact: dubaibabymarket@gmail.com

Shop and find little treasure for the kids.
Admission fee is 3Dhs

Dubai Baby and Children's market support a charity each market day. All proceeds from admission fee and the charity stall are donated.

Next market day is on: Friday 27th May at Uptown Primary School Mirdif, 9am to 12pm. Don't miss it!

Just because it's fun

Faces in Places is a simple cool photographic blog, it made me smile... and inspired me to look for faces in everyday places. Kids will love it, it will stir their creative mind.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What to do with the kids?! (part 1)

Little reminder. Dubai offers some popular water theme park with several options for entertainment and fun. Here are the current promotions.

Wild Wadi
Wild Wadi Water Park is considered to be among the top ten Dubai top ten attractions (…) It has a wave pool, along with several water slides as well as artificial surfing machines. It has one of the largest water slides that are located in the region.”

"Family Mornings"
Saturday morning in May and June from 8 to 10am are for families only.
Enjoy some water fun before the heat of the day kicks in or stay all day!
Tickets are on sale from 7:45 am to 9:30 am
AED 165 general admission
AED 135 children below 1.1m
Come with a family of 4 (couple+2 children or more) and get 50% discount on child below 1.1 meters' rate.

"The price goes down with the sun"
Catch the sundowner rate. Only  to enjoy the last 2 hours before the park closes!
AED 165 general admission and AED 135 children below 1.1m
Sundowner rate is valid every day and timings are: 
November to February: 4pm - 6pm

March to May: 5pm - 7pm

June to August: 6pm- 8pm

September & October: 5pm - 7pm

Aquaventure and Lost Chamber
Enjoy the thrill of the largest and most exciting water park in the Middle East. Aquaventure Dubai is set in 42 acres overflowing with fun including Master Blasters, speedslide, rivers, rapids, Splashers children’s play area, lush tropical landscapes and a private beach.”

Special UAE resident rates, tickets to be purchase at the gates only.
Aquaventure: AED 140 for adult, (was AED 200) and AED 115 (was AED 165) for children.
Lost Chamber: AED 75 for adult, (was AED 100) and AED 50 (was AED 70) for children.

Dreamland Aqua Park
Popular theme park located in Umm Al Quwain. Loads to do, water rides, aqua play, wave pool, twister, and also ‘dry’ attractions like go kart circuit, mini pet land, …
Season pass (unlimited access) are now available.

Adult: AED450
Children (under 1.2m): AED 250
Family (2 parents, 1 kid, second kid for free): AED1150


Magic Milk Experiment

Here's a cool experiment for the kids. All you need is milk, food colouring and dish soap. Enjoy the fun...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Party time, no kidding!

Time for a party! Yeaaa!
Just kidding is celebrating the arrival of "baby" number 2, their new store on Sheik Zayed Rd. 
Thursday May 12th from 1pm to 8pm.

www.justkiddingopeningparty.com/invitation/ - yes, that's the invite ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

books for a cause

"Good reads for a good deed with Safe and Sound"
I love this event! 

Donate your used books at level 1 opposite Info Desk 1 at Burjuman. Also for other drop-off points, logon to: www.volunteerindubai.com/

Book prices start from 5Dhs, all proceed go towards providing free mammograms, patient care and spreading cancer awareness.

The Pink Book Sale takes place Friday May 13th, 10am to 4pm, at Burjuman.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Playdate to remember

What a treat we experienced this morning at the Dubai Creek Park! 
Thank you Sumegha, Toys on Rent for organising such a nice event and thank you Deepika from Marina Mums for hosting such a fun story telling. Looking forward to the next event...