Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nursery: Grey Inspiration

Thank you Pinterest!

Birth Announcement: Let's get creative … no pressure

Now half way through my pregnancy, I realized that I did not do a proper pregnancy announcement which made me think of the next step: birth announcement. Five years ago, for Luella, I did not do much, a baby photo with simple wording sent as a thank you card for the generous gifts and kind messages. This time around I am planning (will see if I get to it though…) to be a little bit more creative. There is so many cool ideas out there to be inspired by, from easy iPhone app, homemade installation, professional photography…

Over the top? Yes maybe but very cute. Graphic Designer parents created this special CIA (cute infant agency) file to announce the birth of little Oliver. No pressure, not gonna even think about trying to top that one. View here. or simpler version of a "felony" announcement here.

Love this installation on the left from alphabetmonkey.com, it's home made, thought out, informative and adorable. Also a favorite cherishinghopesanddreams.blogspot.com version.

You can also easily order online via many websites with easy to use templets to choose from like this mix typography from Etsy. You can also check out minted.com or tinyprints.com. And locally based littlemajlis.com or helloworldcards.com also offer cute options.

Your beautiful news will probably be shared on the day via email, text, social media… RedStamp one of my favorite app will allows you to send out digital correspondence like your birth announcement via text or e-mail with a personal touch.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

United Colors of Benetton: #unitedbloggersofbenetton

We had a a great time playing stylist and little model, thanks to the team behind @benettonuae.
The Spring 2014 collection is lovely, full of bright and happy colors, and always very functional.
Check it out online.

t-shirt AED50, green skirt AED125, shoes AED250, cropped sweater AED140, 
white mini skirt AED95, cap AED90, white dress AED140

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A few things...

♥ A girlfriend introduced me to deliciouslyella.com and I love it! It's pretty, clear and informative.
You will get inspired by her recipes focused on healthy and simple ingredients and how you can so easily create an incredibly healthy version of a typically unhealthy dish, from brownies to cheesecake and pizza… Got the app as well!

♥ Now 21 weeks pregnant, I have subscribed to Alpha Mom pregnancy calendar. Funny and informative Zero to Forty is a week-by-week guide to the miracle of pregnancy and all the various ups and downs that come with it. Written by a health care professional.

♥ Luella is a stand up comedian in the making recently. She's all into learning and then telling jokes. She's up at the diner table in front of family and guests with her little repertoire of funny stories. Inspiration here - 30 silly funny jokes for kids.

♥ Give a second life to your preloved clothes and get cash with So Chic Private Sale. The first So Chic sale event created by Emma and Alex is on Wednesday April 23rd, 9am to 2pm, then evening 7pm to 9pm. You should find some cool items Zadig & Voltaire, Paul & Joe, Isabel Marant, Bash, Giovanni Rossi and many other trendy brands.
So Chic Private Sale, Villa 33, 39B Street Al Manara - Location
Emma 0526618222 / Alex 0526684022
Have a look: facebook.com/SoChicUAE

♥ How cute are those metallic leather sandals from Zara kids. 

♥ I already blogged about Glambox, (read previous post here) the cool concept that help subscribers find new brands, rediscover old favorites or simply try that amazing new, expensive night cream long enough to see if it's a miracle cream! Wanna subscribe, check out our special promotion going on right now using the voucher code GBFREE, you can get a free 12-month subscription (only pay for shipping & handling). Check it out: www.glambox.me/ae-en/subscription. Offer up until April 30th! DON'T MISS OUT!

♥ I am starting to think about the new baby's room. While browsing online, I came across this cute alphabet poster. This free printable from MrPrintables.com is a very sweet choice to decorate kids rooms. Might need to print and frame that one. Inexpensive and easy wall art, also available in a french and Spanish version.

Happy Easter

Our Easter weekend.
To those celebrating, I hope you all had a fantastic time
with friends and family.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Start relaxing with the ENTERTAINER DUBAI BODY

Every excited about Entertainer Dubai Body new release, I have been looking through all the buy one get one free offers and it's full of good stuff. I look forwards to try out so many savings to get pampered and feel good, like facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, as well as fitness classes, dental treatments, cosmetic procedures.

Entertainer Dubai Body has something for everyone, top merchants include The Spa at The Palace, Anantara Spa The Palm, ShuQi at Atlantis, Kaya Skin Clinic, Fitness First, Nailstation, Tips & Toes and many, many more.

I downloaded the mobile version on my iPhone, very convenient. Easy to use, the Entertainer App is a great addition to the printed version. The Entertainer Body offers the same tremendous 2 for 1 value as other Entertainer products, but can also be used by one individual – meaning that you can buy one treatment and get the second treatment free of charge at a later date, or book in for a double treatment . All offers valid for 12 months from April 1st 2014 to March 30th 2015.

The Entertainer Body products are currently available to purchase through the Entertainer website, at the Entertainer retail outlets located in Mirdif City Centre and Gold and Diamond Park and at other retail locations across the region. The Entertainer Dubai Body priced at AED395.

Have a look at the website theentertainerme.com for more information and a full list of the merchants included in the Entertainer Body 2014-2015 products.

Here's your chance to win the Entertainer Dubai Body mobile version. Win a free download of the Entertainer Dubai Body and start enjoying your "buy one get one free offers" from all your favorites merchants. All you have to do is like Dubai our Sandbox & The Entertainer Facebook pages, plus like and share the competition link from our Facebook page.Two winners will be randomly picked and announced on Thursday April 17th. Good luck everyone!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter time...

Mamavents presents "Easter Afternoon Hop", fun & games for all, gorgeous afternoon tea and goodies galore. Sunday April 20th, 04:00 pm - 06:00 pm at Reform, The Lakes, Dubai.
Contact: info@mamavents.com

♥ Fun afternoon at Caboodle The Dubai Mall on Saturday April 19 from 1pm to 9pm, with the Easter Workshop. Kids will get arty and creating delightful Easter surprises that they can take home. Easter egg making is at the top of the agenda as kids create their own original piece from clay and decorate it with paint, glitter and stick-ons. For little hands who can’t get enough of pretty colours, they can also make their very own Easter bags for additional fun. As well as crafts, Easter Workshop participants will be treated to face-painting, nail art decorations and free play for one memorable day at Caboodle. The Easter Workshop is AED 99 for two hours. Contact: 04.325.3367

Le Deck, Monte- Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi is hosting a family brunch to celebrate Easter. Little guests will be entertained with lots of activities. Schedule for the day goes: 12:00-13:15 Land games on the Sea Lounge grass area 13:15-13:30 Juice and Water break for kids 13:30-14:30 Bunny Visit and pictures, pony rides open, face-painting open, balloon modeling activity 14:45 Easter Egg hunt and end exchanging of chocolates 15:30-16:00 End of Easter. Brunch with activity prices: AED 270 AED - Soft drinks package AED 400 AED - Bubbly Package AED 450 AED - French Bubbly Package 150 AED for kids including an Easter hamper
For reservations, contact info@montecarlobeachclub.ae or 02 656 3500

♥ Bit of a last minute one… Candilicious Dubai Mall is having an "eggstra special egg hunt", Friday April 11th at 12pm

Greenheart Pop-up Market @ Comptoir 102
Not just about Easter, Saturday 12th of April for another Market Day at Comptoir 102 on Beach Road, Jumeirah between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm. Shop all your healthy supply at Comptoir 102 like freshly harvested organic produce, eggs & organic Lebanese fruit.

♥ Get yourself down to Safa Park and make your own egg hunt fun… Followed by a stop over at The Archive for something to eat while kids play and get creative with The JamJar DIY studio.
The Jamjar Pop Up Studio at The Archive April 11th and 19th.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Mummy to Be" , feel well package

The Nail Spa now offers a special package for "Mummy to Be" to get a little pampering and feel relaxed during this wonderful but also kind of exhausting time.

I got to try this really nice pampering session from The Nail Spa last week, and it was a real treat! Definitely came out rested! Maybe to mellow to keep up with the rest of the day...

The Nail Spa recently had a bit of a revamp, the Mercato branch looked stylish and inviting. The staff was pleasant and professional. A great option for easy, stress free booking even as a walk-in salon if you are lucky. The place is busy just enough to give good urban vibe to the spa.

My "Mummy to be Be" session started with a facial. The Bee Sting Facial, was soft, relaxing and brought a healthy glow to my skin, thanks to the therapist gentle but firm touch and the use of Heaven by Deborah Mitchell products. A range of organic skincare in perfect harmony with Nature and the latest breakthroughs in beauty technology. The Bee Venom Mask is a unique product has been specially created using natural and organic ingredients, combined to work in synergy for an instant anti-ageing effect. Containing Manuka Honey, renowned for its soothing and healing properties, it also contains the magic Bee Venom ingredient that works to control the facial muscles for immediate lifting, tightening and firm in. Overall, a really pleasant and soft treatment. Not a deep cleaning more like a soothing, moisturizing and rejuvenating facial.

Then, I proceed to the next room for my waxing session using a new depilatory wax. Available exclusively at The Nail Spa, Cirépil also known as “Happy Wax”, is the ultimate ‘no double-dipping’ non-strip wax for the whole body.With no strips, no hot sticky wax and an exclusive ‘anti breakage’ application method.  My expectations were high! When I heard less painful, I understood painless. Well, it was NOT! YES, It is probably less painful and easier to apply and with a more gentle peel away technic for removal. It's difficult to judge because while you are pregnant the skin with it's millions of nerves under it,  is more sensitive and receptive to pain… But I believe like the therapist explained, Cirépil ensures that hair is pulled directly from the root, which means no breakage. The benefit of this is that the hair takes longer to grow back and there is much less chance of any ingrowing hair. Definitely a bonus!! And I like the post application of Cirépil Jasmin oil to protect the skin and reduce post-waxing redness or sensitivity. 

The treatment then consisted of French Manicure & Aromatherapy Indulgence for the hands and French Pedicure & Hot Wrapper using PerfectSense® Paraffin for the Feet. I picked lavender oil to melt away tensions, relax aching muscles and stimulate circulation. I was a bit nervous about massage while being pregnant but again the therapists were professional and understood what was appropriate.

While I fully enjoyed my nail treatments I was also spoiled with a very good Back & Neck Stress Buster massage. The pressure and stroke were perfect. I totally switch off and felt it'd benefit for the rest of the day.

The full session lasted nearly 3 hours and 30 minutes and cost AED884.
It's a really nice treat and a great idea for baby shower gift.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Clothing with attitude: Gardner and the Gang

How cool is Gardener and the Gang clothing line by
Swedish Graphic Designer Mrs K - Kristin Nystrom.

We love the use of organic cotton and the really cute and playful illustrations.
If you are looking for cool, you will like the attitude of the graphic treatment from Helmut the Flamingo, Johnny the Dog, Love Skulls, Patric the PunkRocker. Easy to mix and match!

Gardner and the Gang ship worldwide, and its free shipping! 
Checkit out and be inspired.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Last Thought" feature: GHousekeeping

Here's my first editorial contribution to Goodhousekiing Magazine MiddleEast. I am very Thankful to Lena ter Laare, Editor in Chief for giving me this opportunity to write the "Last Thought" on this April 2014 issue of her magazine. It was thrilling to start writing on a blank page, but also intimidating to share personal thoughts… Hope you like it!

Where’s Home?

Emily Lidén explores what happens when a third culture kid starts raising one of her own.
Recently, an increasing number of friends and family seem to be planning or are considering “The Big Move” out of Dubai in search of something better for the family back home. I’m going to miss them, of course, but it makes me think about my own family. Should we be going as well? Why are we here, anyway?

The truth is that we could probably live anywhere we choose. We have our own business, and my husband could work anywhere he pleases as long as there’s a high speed internet connection and his computer is running happily. So being here, is our choice...kind of. We are both Third Culture Kids (TCKs), expat kids from Dubai. His family has been in the UAE for over 30 years and I first came to Dubai with my family when I was 16. We both left for school, university and work experience, but ended up returning. I guess we have the “expat life bug.” Was it passed on by our parents? Are we setting up a similar lifestyle for our daughter by raising her here as an expat kid just like our families did for us? Did they do the right thing by us? Was it the right choice?

My husband and I spent a significant part of our childhood years living outside of our parents’ cultures. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with other cultures, but it is also difficult to have full ownership of a single one. As a result, TCKs tend to struggle with a sense of belonging and adjusting to their country of origin. Somehow, I think our parents managed to establish in us a sense of identity. But now as a parent I am facing the same situation, but it is even more complicated for us because my husband and I are from different countries. Our daughter Luella needs to integrate elements from both of our cultures into another culture. (My husband is Swedish and I’m French—I won’t even mention yet that I am myself half English.)

I never asked myself these questions until I became a mum and strongly wanted my child to embrace France as her Home without neglecting her Swedish heritage. But the concept of “Home” is blurry for a 5-year old. Luella says she’s from Dubai, but it is only recently that she can articulate that she is Swedish and French. We make a point of dividing the summer between both countries and now she is starting to understand that we “live” in Dubai and we are going “home” to see the family in France and Sweden. Every year she creates those summer memories doing the same things that French and Swedish kids do. I hope, just like our parents did, that it will create a sense of identity and belonging.

I also try to follow the Swedish and French calendar so that we can incorporate all the traditional celebrations, like eating King Cake on January 6th, making pancakes on February 2nd, having a MidSummer party, celebrating Santa Lucia ... I’m not sure I would be that enthusiastic about it back home, but being here I know this extra effort makes a difference in absorbing elements of our culture that she would not get otherwise.

I am sure I am not the only mum desperate for her child to speak her mother tongue. One day, though, I know she will answer me in French (or my husband in Swedish), because there is no way we will stop speaking to her in our respective languages (despite our messy three-way conversations or the fact that she might hate us for sending her to extra French classes or Swedish school on Saturdays).

Despite these mini struggles, which we know that we share with a majority of Dubai expat families, we do our very best as parents. It makes us who we are as a family. Wherever you are in the world, if you do the best you can, genuinely love your children, be present and attentive, your kid will be just fine.

So here it is. We are not ready to give up our weekends in the desert, our beach sundowners and our lovely friends—the remaining ones! For now, we are here to stay. Thanks, Dubai, for having us.

In store now. Check it out!
"Good Housekeeping Magazine (Middle East) gives readers the most tried and tested advice to help you be the best of the best in all areas of their busy lives - from the latest fashion and beauty looks, expert family, finance and health advice, house and home style tips and tricks along with our famous Triple Tested recipes to enjoy with friends and family at home."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Get into the club: Yummy Mummy Club at Sensasia Urban Spa

Lovely morning today at Emirates Golf Club for the launch event of The Yummy Mummy Club from Sensasia Urban Spa. What's it all about? A special membership offer with deals and treats for you and your bump. Sensasia Urban Spa - one of my favorite Dubai spa just launched it's mummy to be club.

Join the club and get your monthly "Mymmy to Be Massage" (bump friendly massage, choose to relieve fatigue, prevent stretch mark, hydrate the skin or erase fluid retention), you also get a free Yummy Tummy treatment, a free kit from Mama Mio, and a free 30min post baby arrival wellness check up from the Cooper Clinic for yourself and baby. Also included, up to 25% off all SensMama treatments. Choose to be member for 3, 6 or 9 months… Great value, and a nice baby shower gift idea…

Le Classic at Emirates Golf Club offers a lovely baby shower option, for AED195 enjoy and celebrate with afternoon tea including sandwiches, hot bites, scones, chocolates treats and refreshments. AED245 and get some bubbly. Friday from 12noon to 4pm.

As part of the morning event, I rediscovered Mama Mio pregnancy skincare products. We love the "Tummy Rub Butter" and "Tummy Rub Oil" to prevent pregnancy stretch marks, thanks to super-elasticising Omega-packed blend of organic oils in an organic Shea Butter base. Also super nice "Lucky Legs", Cooling energising leg gel to refresh and de-puff tired, swollen legs and feet.

After a quick presentation on baby massage as well, I will definitely try out this time around. For some reason, I did not get into it with Luella. Infant massage can help with colic, develop muscle tone and co-ordination, relax baby and parent, encourage deeper sleep and more… Check out Amy Vogelaar, 5 weeks course for parents and baby, www.facebook.com/babymassagedubai

Getting in the holiday mood with some Easter Craft ideas

♥ Make your own Easter Photo booth with those Easter props - free printables

♥ Cute Easter coloring pages - more free printables

♥ Glitter poka dots eggs - super easy decoration from funfamilycrafts.com

♥ Pastel sharpie pen decor - easy no mess from mom.me

♥ Cute little eggimals, check out on spoonful.com

♥ Yummy bunnies, made out of marshmallow, see how on notimeforflashcards.com

♥ You can also check out our previous Easter blog posts from Dubai our Sandbox: 

We love Easter holidays. 
Have fun!