Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy holidays!

We are off to beautiful Sweden! 
Looking forward to Christmas with family and friends. Hope it's a white one!

Wishing you all a fantastic holiday season. 

In love and peace,
Emily and Luella 

photo: pinterest

Monday, December 16, 2013

Shop with your heart and make a difference

It's shopping season… Looking for gifts for friends and family for the holidays? What about some inspired gifts that keep giving?! I already mentioned last week in a previous blog post UNICEF gifts for children around the world, here's more options of lovely products that makes a difference…

FEED projects has helped children around the world, by raising enough money through the sale of products to provide over 60 million school meals to children around the world through United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP). The FEED began in 2006 when acclaimed model and activist Lauren Bush designed a bag to benefit WFP. With the idea to help raise funds and awareness around these school feeding operations. It was stamped with "FEED the children of the world" and the number ‘1’ to signify that each bag feeds one child in school for one year. And in 2007, FEED Projects LLC was founded by Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson to produce and sell these bags. The products line has expended from bags to pouches, apparel and cuddly teddy bears. The sweet stuff toys Produced through a partnership with the charity Teddy Share, are made from 100 percent plush organic cotton and natural burlap.

♥ The power of colour, shop some paintings done by underprivileged children attending the Arts Workshop offered by the Queen Rania Family & Children Center, a facility of the Jordan River Foundation. All proceed go to the Jordanian Child Safety Programme to fight child abuse.

Hands Up Not Handouts offers "some super cool stuff from women around the world": like hand-embroidered cuffs and wrap bracelets from the West Bank, Beautiful earrings handmade using sweet grass and sisal from Rwada. The idea behind this initiative applies business principles and business accountability to help women to help themselves. When you buy those designs, the women earn more income, which gives them more stability and more influence in their families and communities. They can provide food, healthcare and better education.

Kalandia Camp Women's Handicraft Cooperative in Palestine, creates "lasting benefits for Palestinian families in kalandia Refugee Camp and surrounding villages and camps in the central area of West Bank, by empowering women in the Palestinian community through providing them with increased opportunities for economic, social, cultural and educational participation". Embroidered cushion covers and bracelets are great gifts and definitely a positive contribution to supporting women’s capacities to enter the productive job market and buid their future.

♥ Beautiful books from American philanthropist and photographer Bobby Sager. Well known for founding the Sager Family Traveling Foundation, a charitable organization. The Power of the Invisible Sun is a magical gift- produced by Sager and Sting. A a collection of his photographs of children in the most desperate and worn-town places in the world. An inspiring gift, a "game changer" calling for action and activism. To understand more about Bobby and the core element of his philosophy: concrete baby steps read here.

All of those inspiring gifts and more are available at THE One stores across Dubai. Make a difference this holiday season with gifts that keeps giving. Happy shopping.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sponsored video - Tablet, meet Smartphone: Intel / ASUS Fonepad

I am always interested in new tech products to make my social media and blogger life easier. This new technology: Asus Fonepad, spiked my interest. More then just another gadget, it's a tablet with the convenience of a smartphone. A two in one technology establishing the fast-growing ‘phablet’ (large-screen smartphones) demand.

Why would you need such a thing when you already have a phone, a tablet to play and work with? Because our worlds are always connected, so why do we keep our devices separated? Asus Fonepad series with Intel Inside offer the possibility to jungle both at the same time. It fits today lifestyle, it makes it easier for people to to seamlessly move between their personal, social and professional life.

The video below “Fonepad is Calling” depicts example of using the devices - ASUS Fonepad Note 6 and ASUS Fonepad 7, in between play time and work time in a fun and slightly exaggerated way. The message is clear and expressive, highlighting the moment when people receive a call, while using a device that traditionally has only had tablet functionality. It's all about multitasking!

Need to look more into it? Checkout the video below and ASUS Fonepad. I believe the ASUS Fonepad Note series with sleek design, 6 Inch Full HD display, powered with dual-core Intel processor, Dual front speakers with SonicMaster Technology, S Pen-like styluses has potential to be a great hit this holiday season…

Post sponsored by ASUS / Intel

Disney's Frozen - watch the trailer

Get into the spirit of a cold holiday season (or pretend) with the release of  
Disney's last animation, Frozen.

"Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter"

Dubai Release date is December 19th! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Colourful World of Bumble and Mouse

I already mentioned last week in a previous blog post  Bumble & Mouse! But I thought I would share some of the lovely prints they produce. Love the A to Z of animal graphic illustrations, a lovely addition to any nursery and a beautiful gift to share with someone special. Quite recognisable by its powerful graphics, vibrant colour pallet and fun designs, Bumble & Mouse is appealing to children and adults alike. 

Check it out you mind find some Christmas gift ideas like personalized keepsakes, fun kids clothing and some elegant and friendly cards for the holidays. All of their products have been carefully designed by Bumble & Mouse and produced locally in the United Arab Emirates, ensuring a consistency and quality.

You Can find the Bumble & Mouse girls every Friday at the Ripe Foodie Friday market in Safa park and every Saturday at the Dubai Garden Centre between 9am-2pm.
Products are also currently on sale in The Gift Box Dubai, Dubai Babies, Bubs Boutique, Read’N’Enjoy and The Dubai Garden Centre.
For wholesale enquiries, please email us directly at

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An afternoon in Paris… with Angelina

The beautiful Angelina opened it's doors at The Dubai Mall. The elegant tea room and patisserie evoke the "French Way Of Life" in a subtle and charming way. I remember visiting Angelina next to Musée du Louvre while growing up in Paris, I have fond memory of their famous hot chocolate. Rich and smooth served with little pot of whipping cream. Delight! Angelina offers a selection of delicates cakes like éclairs, tartelettes… and the famous Mont Blanc cake - a must try! The menu expend to some light snacks, salad and main course. A next visit will be a must in order to try out lunch.

Not to be missed the selection of jams, chocolates, macarons, teas and biscuits to please someone special. Some lovely foodie gifts for the holidays. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

A few things this week: Festive season is on!

ScentSicles scented sticks to hang in the tree, make artificial tree smell like freshly cut pine tree. Available at Ace Hardware app. AED49

♥ DIY with festive garlands, sweet craft ideas

Bumble and Mouse has lovely and original holidays gifts ideas and great Christmas cards. Find them at the Ripe Foodie Friday market and Saturday at the Organic Farmer market, Dubai Garden center.

♥ Download free printable from Pret a Papier , Dubai based custom-designed printable and event stationery .

♥ The Souk Festive Market is back! This festive season from 17 to 27 December come and explore an enchanting winter wonderland at the Souk Festive Market at Madinat Jumeirah. Open from 3pm to 12midnight on weekdays and 1pm to 12midnight on weekends, visitors can experience an exhilarating blend of entertainment. From roasted chestnuts, to gingerbread treats, guests will enjoy an expansive offering of the season’s traditional food and beverage treats, plus an eight metre tall Christmas tree embellished with beautiful decorations, fun-filled activities including a giant snow globe, an ice rink, Santa surfing, a reindeer rodeo, Santa’s grotto, and even the North Pole Train.

♥ Lots of great festive food ideas on pinterest. Go get inspired!

♥ Cute kids craft idea… Time to send Christmas cards to the grand-parents. We like this candy cane.

♥ Lots of fun events for kids check out mamaknowsdubai, CheekyMonkeys, Play A Round Some Place Nice, … for a great listing checkout

♥ Start planing your New Year's Eve! La Petite Maison in DIFC is paying tribute to one of the greatest eras of the past century with a 1920s ‘The Great Gatsby’ themed bash for New Year’s Eve. Taking inspiration from the era of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ a time of economic prosperity and social, artistic and cultural liberation. It sounds like a fabulous night to remember with stylish jazz bars of the era with vintage decor, costumed staff and servers, and a live Dj to 3am. This lavish throwback party is priced at 850AED spend per person.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

S*uce makeover party

S*uce always knows how to surprise and entertain us... with a touch of sweet and quirky. This morning party at The Village Mall was no exeption. The event celebrating the makeover of the original S*uce boutique and the launch of micaroon make up was a great success.

The newly launched cosmetic line Micaroon Makeup founded by the lovely Rima Khoreibi is now available at S*uce. I love the feminine and fun look of the packaging, suggesting macaroons treats. The colours palette is pleasing and the texture soft and iridescent. Just lovely!

The event featured some yummy treats like tubes of Nutella and chocolate lipsticks, thanks to Fait Maison Cuisine.  As part of the makeover theme, NBar offered some mini manicures with a S*ucy touch to it. I also had a try at Color Bug temporary hair chalk and some very cute temporary tattoo from Skinfeelings

Lovely morning.
Thanks S*uce.
Love what you love without hesitation.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Inspired Gifts for children around the world

What's on your Christmas list?
Have you considered UNICEF Inspired Gifts? This gift concept developed by UNICEF helps to provide essential items for survival and development to children in need all over the world. You can choose a gift from different categories: health, water, learn and play, nutrition, emergency, babies… The list of gifts ranges from football for children to play and exercise to vaccination kits to water pump and more. There is a lot of options, all life-saving and life-changing gifts for children around the world.

Gift that keeps giving...
"A UNICEF school-in-a-box will help at least 40 children continue their education in times of emergency and conflict. A school-in-a-box is an innovation in overseas education. Materials for an entire classroom are packed into a large portable aluminium case, including a solar/wind-up radio and even an inflatable globe for geography lessons. The inside lid of the box doubles as a blackboard when coated with the special paint included in the kit. This kit also contains resources for teachers and allows for double-shifts for classes so that more children can benefit."

"Help a child get to school every day, or equip a health worker with a sturdy bicycle. When you're a child living six miles from the nearest school, having a bicycle can make the difference between getting to school or missing out on education. UNICEF provides bicycles for school children, from primary school upwards, to enable children living in rural areas to receive education. We also provide bicycles to help health workers and birth attendants reach children and mothers in remote areas. What a practical gift!"

Once you have chosen a gift, you customize a gift card describing the purchase. It will then be sent to the person for whom you’re purchasing the gift. And UNICEF will deliver to children in need in any one of 150 countries represented.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

TimeOut Kids - media feature

online version soon available on 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Glimpse into you... Meet our readers

About you?
Where are you originally from? 
I am an expat kid myself spending my early years in Australia and London, before my parents settled back in New Delhi, India where I did middle and high school and University from.

How long have you lived in Dubai?
December 2013 I will complete 9 years in Dubai.

Please tell us about Marina Mums and what inspired you to start this community?
I started working as soon as I came to the city- had a fabulous job, living the life as a newly married couple. Its when I got pregnant, I realized I had no friends with kids in the city and absolutely no family. I moved to JBR when my first born was 6 months old, I had just resigned from my dream job. As didn’t have any house help, leaving her in a day care facility was not an option.

But I was living a SAHM mums dream, beach front apartment, the huge big plaza level and the new Bugaboo which had just come out in 2006…and met so many mum’s just while sitting in the park, the beach on the plaza, by the pool… Instead of having to text them every time I left for a walk. I thought adding them on FB group would be better as you don’t have to add them as friends, yet you can stay in touch via FB. It started with 5 of us meeting everyday around JBR, then solely with word of mouth and absolutely NO advertising, or spamming other FB walls. This group grow to 2000 active mums today.

We got a lot of media attention at the time when we started as there was nothing like a neighborhood support group and that made Marina Mums so popular and easy for other mums to get to know about us and join in the closed group. It is not exclusive to the mums in the Marina, we have mums from everywhere.

Any lessons learn alone the way? 
Yes, many... mainly how motherhood is very different in different cultures, and how you raise you children or prioritise discipline, schooling, extra curricular activities, diet and social skills varies from where you are brought up.

Also managing almost 2000 mums on the forum with different ethnicities and some with very strong opinion... I have had to delete a few posts, ban a few members to keep things calm.

But over all the vibe is super friendly and super healthy, I do end up felling like mummy cupid sometimes, when I see a new mum in the neighbourhood sitting at a coffe shop with new friends she met through Marina Mums! I myself have made so many virtual friends, and have found so much support and I learn something new from another mum posting everyday. Some of my closest friends in Dubai are ladies I have met mainly from Marina Mums. Plus I love having a name for myself in the community- compensates for not working full time.

The group has a super friendly vibe to it…a very positive energy a great pool of super talented ladies, its more like a social networking sit for super ladies who are now full time mums!

About living in Dubai?
What inspire you in/ about Dubai?
I am a very open minded individual, I soak the best from every culture I come across, I am proud to say I have more than a dozen friends who arn’t from the same country or culture as I am from, and love to learn more about their little family tradition or way of life, this is something I would not be able to find back home.

Favorite thing to do in Dubai with children?
Stroll on the Marina walk, we all own Bikes the whole family, enjoy the swings under many of the Marina bridges, the choice of over 6 pools to choose from every weekend. Catching many of the kids shows available free of cost during many of the festivals. Whole range of after school activities within a stones throw from our residence…

What's your favorite way to spend a lazy friday?
Fridays are never lazy for us…its morning swim, afternoon lunch and an evening walk by the Marina now that the weather is irrisistable, plus daddy works on Saturday’s so we make the most of family time on Fridays. We need to be out!!

We are a foodie family and enjoy travelling combined with great food... My girls absolutely love eating different types of cuisines , they have enjoyed a good Pho Soup in vietname, Game meat (Zebra steak in Nairobi) a good wazwaan and in Srinagar India, a great turkey roast on a Sunday brunch in the Lake district and all of this was in the last 18 month alone!! They are a pleasure to take out- never had to do food court food for them, they love Ping Pong Café, Thai , even Zuma adore Sushi and Sashimi and love edamame so we do enjoy eating out a lot as a family!

Do you have a dubai beauty secret to share with us?
I figured out what Argan Oil was and am addicted to it for my hair… My next door salon, 20 steps from home - love it.  First time I tried a Hammam was seven years back, now I am going once a month. I also have a lady who come to blow dry my hair, every Thursday for a quarter of the price I would pay at a salon. My moto is "Good hair, good day!" :)

A Dubai store you could spend hours browsing?
Kids books shops, as a Storyteller for kids, with “Story Time with Dee” l love collecting children’s books. The girls have a collection of over 400 books.

On a consumerist note like any other yummy mummy wannabe, I looove shoes! Could try on shoes all day! I am building a collection of  “ investment pieces” that I justify to my husband: they would be vintage one day… for the girls!

A little extra….
Things you can't live without?
Other than my husband and my lovely family spread all over the world. My supercalifragilistic house help! They make living in Dubai so much easier and fun!

A song playing on repeat in the car?
This is hilarious, we just heard it on our school run this week on the Chris Fade show, it's called “personally “ by P squared , its Africa's no 1 song right now... The kids love it!!

Any motherhood tips, advices or words of wisdom on how to juggle it all?
Don’t hesitate to reach out... ask for help and make a friend.
Everyone is in the same boat as you. Away from home, on their own. Trying to make Dubai home, so people are more approachable.

Do you have a life motto?
No, I just go with the flow…