Monday, March 31, 2014

Today's inspiration: Pregnancy Style

As my little bump is starting to show and my waistline expanding… I gonna need some help in the styling department. As far as pregnancy fashion goes, it can be challenging to find maternity clothing, it's not always fashionable and often over priced. I will definitely buy a few key maternity clothing items but I will also try to adapt my own clothing ( here goes lots of elastic waist, belly bands, layers, plain tank tops with accessories to spiced things up…)

Checkout this great pin-board on pinterest, article from InStyle, and previous two blog posts "dubaioursandbox.com/pregnancy-style-blogger-help" and "dubaioursandbox.com/pregnancy-style"






Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grandparents Frame App from Johnsons & Johnsons

This week, we are trying the Grandparents Frame App from Johnsons & Johnsons, a new initiative which I am happy to share with you. We love the concept. Check out the video campaign below. The aim of the Grandparents Frame App is to make the distances smaller and bringing families closer. As an expat you will understand how sometime being away from home and love ones is difficult. You easily feel deconnected from the family back home. Thanks to emails and social media like Facebook or Instagram, you can easily share photos but some older generation like the grand-parents are probably not using those media, and it makes it difficult for them to be part of the grand children life.


 

 Thanks to Johnsons & Johnsons, this App offer a way to easily share souvenirrs, experiences, everyday moments. It's a beautiful way to capture and share these indescribable moments instantly with family. It's giving grandparents a window to the family reassuring them everything is ok and giving them a chance to watch their grandchildren grow. Download the App on iTunes for free or via johnsonsbabyme.com, provide your family member back home with a a Digital Photo Frame Wi-Fi email enabled frame (or ask your nearest retailer for more information) , and you will be able to send photo instantly to the photo frame via the App. Easy.

To know more check out johnsonsbabyme.com and facebook.com/johnsonsbabyme



Monday, March 24, 2014

il gufo - beautiful children wear from Italy


This morning, I had the pleasure to interview Giovanna Miletti the founder of Il Gufo. This inspiring lady started thinking of our business in the 80's as a mother of three children. She started playing with her creative mind and skilled hands to design bibs and smocks dresses. She enjoyed the process and had a passion for quality fabric and beautiful details. The name means “the owl” thanks to the very first applications on rompers. After a few years the brand became established and sales continually increased. Today 30 years later Il Gufo translate to a larger-scale production and the creation of an enterprise that exports its products worldwide.

This family business founded and run by Giovanna Miletti together with her children Guido and Alessandra Chiavelli pride itself on producing unique hand-made children wear with dedication and passion to quality. The characteristic of the collection is clean and linear style and for a discrete but stylish look with a true philosophy behind: “children dressed as children” as the corporate slogan for the company. Most of the design and development of the garments are made at the Italian Headquarters in Asolo, controlling every stage of their production, including: cutting, preparation, dyeing of fabrics, finishing, sewing of details, application of accessories and pressing. Its sophisticated, classic with a modern style. The brand does not forget how important for the clothes to be practical, functional and durable. It creates a great balance to please mothers and children while ensuring the comfort, well-being and respecting the children identity.

After the interview, I couldn't stop thinking about the inspiring lady, the mother, the creative person, the passionate personality who made it all happened. Almost as a hobby, driven by passion, she created a well establish brand based on high quality Italian style.



Il Gufo opened the doors to its new boutique in The Dubai Mall today. We had a lovely time viewing the collection, sipping on colorful drinks, nibbling on canapes and candies while children enjoyed decorating t-shirts. Friendly, approachable and beautifully put together the Il Gufo boutique is set to be a success within the Dubai shoppers. We absolutely loved the happy colors of this season day dresses.
Checkout:  www.ilgufo.com



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Four easy, cute and kid friendly food ideas

♥ Show some love with this heart shaped hard boiled egg.
See how to do it here.

♥ Kids are gonna love those colorful eggs and paprika. Happy sunny side up, yes please.

♥ Super easy crispy potatoes, perfect diner side dish. Cut potatoes almost all the way through. Drizzle olive oil, butter, salt, pepper… I added some Parmesan. Bake for 45min. Yummy!

♥ Cute easy ice lollies. Fruits juice and gummy bears - as seen on pinterest. 
Or this fruity version from thenerdswife.com

Happy food! Enjoy!




Monday, March 17, 2014

Caboodle: our happy place

Fantastic treat yesterday afternoon! You know from previous blog posts that Dubai our Sandbox is a Caboodle fan. From it's early days at the Dubai Mall location to now its new location at City Walk. It was actually the first time we got to take advantage of the full array of services Caboodle has to offer.



Let me remind you, Caboodle is a well design, bright, happy, clean and stimulating environment. A place that moms and children can really enjoy. This indoor play area is dedicated to offering a fun, and educational environment where children can learn through play and exploration. The different areas are designed to capture children of all ages and interests and help them develop physically and socially. You will find different activities and a range of creative classes for babies, toddlers, and kids in music, dance, gym, art&craft, cooking… The play area is vibrant with colors, interesting interactive toys, dress up costumes, screen play activities, climbing and slide with "bubble pool" for landing. The layout offers two sections "small playce" to allow toddlers and young children under 18 months to freely crawl, walk, and explore the wide selection of toys and books. And "Big Playce" for toddlers and above where workshops, art and crafts, movies, and parties take place. So it's well thought out.

Caboodle is also a fantastic little salon for moms and children. We had a special time Luella and i having our fingers and toes pampered. You can make it a bonding moment with your little star but you can also fully enjoy the spa facilities for yourself while your little ones are being occupied and taking care of next door in the play area. I had a my hair done, great blow dry (with bouncy curls) while Luella enjoyed arts & craft and face painting.

Drop them off for a few hours or spend quality time with them at one of the workshops. You have the option. Check out the full menu of activities, services and special promotions of the month, and enjoy like we did! The serene atmosphere might make you forget you are in a children indoor playground.

The Dubai Mall, 2nd Floor
+9714 3253367
Sunday to Wed : 9am-10pm
Thurs – Sat: 10am-11pm

Citywalk, Jumeirah 1
+97143444570
Everyday : 9am-10pm
info@caboodle.ae
Facebook Twitter Instagram

This month specials:



Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 19th: Playing stylist @Benetton MOE


As part of the #unitedbloggersofbenetton team,  I look forward to see you all on Wednesday March 19th at the Mall of the Emirates for an in store styling session.

Come discover the new Benetton kids collection (and for you too mommies, the spring/summer woman collection ), I will be happy to help you find some summer updates for your little ones wardrobe. Don't miss out on the special discount on your day purchase. See you at the Benetton store from 11am to 1pm for some happy shopping!

facebook.com/BenettonUAE
benetton.com

Things we tried this week...



♥ Craving Asian food. Got inspired by this Peking Style Pancakes, but I used pork tenderloin instead of duck. Really good and easy… more here.

♥ Got back on the mat this week. After getting the ok from Dr, I started pre-natal pilates. Very pleased with my class at Real Pilates in Jumeirah, signed up for a 10 sessions package. That combined to morning walk on the beach… I am feeling good.

♥ Luella got to try out a class at Future Kids Learning Center. The Centre offers a new approach to parenting, pioneering the idea of whole brain training in the UAE. Based in Knowledge Village, the center offers whole brain training using a right brain education approach, designed to maximize a child’s potential during this key period of development. Classes help children learn to focus, gain confidence and involve themselves in a learning process whilst enjoying a fun-filled and stimulating environment at the same time. Classes are available for children of six months to six years old as this is the critical period for development. Classes last 50 minutes each and run on a termly basis (in conjunction with the school term calendar). Cost per term is 1620 AED, based on one session a week, nine sessions a term.

♥ Played in front of the camera at the GlamBox Head Office. Promotional video for an old time family favorite brand. Surprise.

♥ This week we received a jar of gummy bears! The gummy vitamins kind of bears. If you worry that your children are missing out on some of the essential vitamins and nutrients that they need to be healthy check out YaYa Vitamins, the market leader in gummy vitamins. This range of Gelatin and Gluten-free ( also free from preservatives, artificial colours, gelatin, egg, milk, soy, peanuts and tree nuts) products has all the essential vitamins and nutrients that children, aged two and above, require to develop into healthy young adults. The vitamins are flavoured with real fruit juices and come in the form of chewable animal shaped gums. There are four types of YaYa Vitamins available: YaYa Multi, YaYa Vita-C, YaYa Omega 3 and YaYa Calcium. Priced from AED 59

♥ For a special playdate, I am trying the popcorn station, I came across on pinterest.

♥ Been trying some new pieces from H&M spring collection, lots of nice easy buy to update your summer wardrobe. Got inspired by this tussle tunic and metallic espadrille.

Happy weekend everyone.


Monday, March 10, 2014

A walk in our hood, CityWalk

Back in November we were very excited with the opening of CityWalk in Jumeirah1, conveniently located close to home it gave us many new shopping and dining opportunities. The newly fully opened outdoor lifestyle mall by Meraas Holding consists of 13,000 square meters area - tree-lined walking streets with retail shops and a large open square for people to meet, relax and enjoy a meal overlooking the fountains.





photos: www.citywalk.ae

What we tried and liked…

Hummingbird Bakery for afternoon tea and cupcakes. The second branch to open outside of the UK. A real treat, a place to take a break from shopping.

Sapori di BiCE our new weekend family favorite. Italian dining in a beautiful setting. Bright and opened, casual and chic, you feel at home immediately. We enjoyed an array of hearty Italian dishes like Burrata e Bresaola, Insalata di pollo a Waldorf chicken salad oven roasted chicken with mix salad leaves, green apples, celery, walnuts in rich and creamy mustard dressing. For main course classic Penne arrabbiata, Pollo allo spied a crispy roasted chicken, Milanese di Pollo breaded turkey, melted cheese and truffle. Everything was good and we definitely enjoyed our lovely lunch on the terrace. Another great feature, the pizza making corner for kids. This a great way to spend a family and friends Saturday lunch…

The Noodle House, no need to introduce this Dubai classic. With its 7th location opened now in CityWalk, The Noodle House is going from strength to strength. The Asian diner offers an array of dishes to satisfy all taste buds. We got to lunch on the new updated seafood menu, from Butter Prawns - king prawns with chill butter, fried curry leaves to Nasi Goreng - shrimp rice, chicken, fried egg and Steam Sea Bass with lime dressing… No surprise no disappointment, as we know the concept, a good simple classic.

Holland & Barrett what we like is the variety of natural ethical beauty and Aromatherapy products available. Also the place to pick up a jar of Manuka honey. The "magic elixir" from New Zealand highly estimated for its antibacterial properties and therapeutic properties. Holland & Barrett carries a large selection of vitamins. Good health and Good life.

Caboodle where Luella spent some fun afternoon playing and getting pampered. After the Dubai Mall location, Caboodle offers us second fun, educational, and stimulating environment where children can learn through play and exploration. A special offer is going on this month: book one salon treatment in the CityWalk branch, and get another totally free! Enjoy some extra me-time this March.

In The Hood by S*uce another shopping experience from one of our favorite quirky boutique.
Great for girly gifts and fashion treats.


On my list to try out

Physique 57 - the place to get physical. A 57 min workout, a barre-based workout with intervals of cardio, strength training, stretching and recovery. Get arms, thighs and abs sculpted in the form of long and lean muscles. Yes please!

Y by Yabani originally from Beirut, this Sushi restaurant with casual space and relaxed atmosphere for people to drop by for a quick lunch or dinner. I am always up to try new place for sushi...

Much more to see, shop and eat at CityWalk from Nbar, Early Learning Center, Sephora, Michelle Belau, Earthfruitsyogurt, Starbucks, Mo's, Café Di Roma, The Butcher Shop, Spinneys… Go have a walk around. www.citywalk.ae

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mother's Day style ideas

Following on my previous blog post Mother's Day feature with Emirates Woman mini, here's some inspirational matching outfit for you and your little princess. If you are looking for a mini me outfit to celebrate in style, here it might be…

A selection of gorgeous "Mini Me" options for Mother's Day available at melijoe.com. Some really cute matching outfits for your little star. To inspire you, have a look below at those options from Fendi, Chloé and Marc Jacobs. Have fun!




KAGE the contemporary womenswear fashion label representing effortless chic & playful way of life, has launched KAGEkids Debut Collection. After already 10th seasons the labels is cementing once again KAGE’s timeless appeal and demand in the market by launching KAGEkids. A collection of effortless tees and tanks, mirroring the best selling KAGE signature tee, now available for both mommies and daughters with the print of the season seen on the frilled backs.
KAGEkids available at Boutique 1 in Dubai. Cute!





Dubai based Nadine Norton from GlamOnYou has designed a beautiful "mini me" collection. The Little Miss by GlamOnYou is so lovely I already did a blog post last year: read more here!

Happy Shopping! Happy MOther's Day. xx



Friday, March 7, 2014

Mother's Day feature with Emirates Woman Mini

To celebrate Mother's Day, Luella and I were invited to be part of the "Like Mother, like Daughter" feature for Emirates Woman mini. The lovely editorial is about celebrating mother and daughter love, complicity, fashion and style. I was totally honored to be feature along side amazing ladies like the beautiful Lucy Bruce, the woman behind Harmony House Day Shelter in India and Home Grown Eco Nursery in Dubai. Also featured the talented designer Nadine Arton behind Glam on You and Becky Balderstone the mom-entrepreneur behind successful Ripe Market.

Beautiful mother and daughters matching outfits were picked up for us. I was delighted with our Dolce&Gabbada skirts and tops from the Spring Summer 2014 collection. I had a look online at the collection it's really beautiful. Influenced by Sicily and the Mediterranean Greek ruins to create amazing pattern on silky fabric - astounding. To view the full feature, check out Emirates Woman magazine March 2014 issue.

Here's a behind the scene of the photo shoot with Emirates Woman taking place at Caboodle indoor play.