Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Un petit café with Emma

Today, we are having a little chat with Emmanuelle Di Rito, one half of the brain and heart behind So Chic, the Pop up shop events to sell and buy preloved designer clothes, shoes and bags - Second life fashion for Women and kids.

Lovely Emma, charming petite brunette from Paris has what non French people call "je ne sais quoi", an effortless charm mix with a sober sophistication. Her multicultural family (hubby is Italian) had dimension to an already very charming affair. Lovely to meet her again in the newly set up So Chic location, at Dtales to talk about her joy and struggles of being a working mum and some of her Dubai favorites. But first let's have a coffee...

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFE (or tea)?
Coffee. I take it black and long. Sugar but no milk! What makes my husband desperate as any italian, he doesn't consider an americano to be a 'cafe' ! But in the morning I like my large warm drink to wake up! I never drink cafe after 4pm or won't be able to sleep at night!


WHERE DO YOU LIVE? TOP 3-5 FAVORITE SPOT IN YOUR HOOD?
I live in Jumeirah 3.
- the beach: kite beach or Ness Ness beach, I love to go there during week ends and meet up with friends, after school with kids or even alone in the morning to walk in the water and relax!I feel so lucky to live so close to the beach. It makes me appreciate Dubai even more . I feel on holiday all year every time I see the sea!!

- Mozzo Centrale on Umm Al Sheif, we very often stop there after school with the kids to drink a juice and eat a snack before going back home for homework! They serve italian food and the tiramisu is just delicious. I also like to go there and work from the terrace as they have wifi and as a parisian, I love terasse!

- Dtales is one of my favorite boutique in Jumeirah. As a teenager I lived in Sweden, since then I kept a special love for swedish design and interiors. I like the way Lars, the owner created such a cosy, warm atmosphere in his boutique. You just want to buy everything or move in!



EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
Definitly night owl!! It takes me a long time in the morning to wake up and to function! With the kids to get ready and drive to school, I don't really have the choice. But they know that before my coffee it is difficult to talk to me! And even if I am tired all day, when the evening comes, my energy is back!! I always had better concentration in the evening to work, even when I was a student, I could never study in the morning. I can also stay out until early morning when I party! The morning after will be a disaster, nothing I can do about it! I like the night.


A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
I don't wear much make up. French habits!! I only use a day cream with UV protection as in Dubai you are constantly exposed to the sun. Since Benefits Cosmetics is in partnership with So Chic I discovered the PoreFessional and can't live without it anymore! I also love red lipstick. I would never do my eyes and lips at the same time, to avoid the 'carnival' effect - disaster! I need to learn to apply make up better. I love having my make up done by someone!


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
If I look at my wardrobe, I always go for the same colours! I can define my style as very parisian, I think! Very simple and sober. I wear a lots of black, flat shoes (except at night) black skinny pants, simple but always try to get the right cut for my body type. I am also obsessed with fabrics! Cashmere, silk and leather! I like things that are easy to wear and as a french woman, I like when it doesn't look to sophisticated, not over accessorised. I feel confortable with my skinny black jeans, black tailored blazers, flat black shoes and silk white blouse. It's kind of my uniform! Being in Dubai, I don't get to wear jeans and boots as often as I would like. Also since moving to this country, I became a fan of glitter… My style icons are Emanuel Alt, Charlotte Gainsbourg and her sister Lou Doillon.





HAS IT CHANGED SINCE YOU'VE BECOME A PARENT?
I don't really think so. Of course they are some fabrics I did not wear for a couple of years like silk or cashmere and choose cotton instead!!! It had to be easy and comfortable but I don't think I ever got away from my style. After birth you feel nothing suits you anymore and nothing looks nice but colours remained the same and style as well! I remember avoiding skirts and high heals at the beginning. Also my handbags got bigger! But now they are grown up (Matteo is 8 and Alice is 5), I can wear again my favorite fabrics without fear that they will drop their lunch on it, wear a skirt as I don't have to be in inappropriate position every 2 minutes and even wear heels as I don't need to run after them every 2 seconds!


WHAT WE WON'T FIND IN YOUR CLOSET?
Flashy colors, tight clothes, mini skirt, cheap fabrics, 12 cm high heels, and chouchou (scrunchy) for my hair.


DO YOU HAVE ANY MOM ICONS, EITHER CELEBRITY OR REAL WOMEN YOU KNOW?
I have different mums in mind, I think about them in different situation. Nobody is perfect! But I admire one for her patience, another one for her creativity and enthusiasm when it comes to kids playtime. One I admire for the perfect education she will give to her kids and some other because they seem to have the perfect balance with professional and family time. I would like to be all of this!!! I think mums of our generation put too much pressure on themselves. I like to read blogs as "Wondermum en a ras la cape" or "Maman masquee" to feel like I am not the only one who makes mistakes! I admire more woman that won't pretend to be the best mum ever but won't hesitate to share and laugh about it!




WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF MOTHERHOOD ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED?
Don't put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy each moment with the kids! It will never be perfect! I do mistakes, I learned to say I am sorry to my kids, mummy is just like you, she does mistakes! Once someone told me trying to be perfect all the time does not work and put to much pressure on the kids!!! I am very far from perfection but I've learned a lot with them, about myself, about what I would like for them and try to adjust my behaviour! At least, I try!


HOW DO YOU BALANCE MOTHERHOOD AND WORK?
This is the hardest part! I used to work and travel a lot when my kids were babies and I decided to stop working as I felt I needed more time to enjoy motherhood and be with them. But after 2 years, when someone asked my son Matteo what his mum was doing and he answered: nothing! I was desperate!!! Is that how Matteo sees me? Everything was so normal: being the driver, the cooker, the doctor, the tutor, the cleaner, make sure they always get what they need, have a social life... It was time to go back to work! I did not look for a full time job as I still wanted to be with them after school but I needed to go back to myself!

With So Chic I found my way! I work and still can spend time with the kids! Most of the time, sometime it doesn't work this way! I work much more and don't spend enough time with them again! I have gained freedom and I do something I love.

My kids are proud when they see my picture in a magazine and my son knows what to say when someone asks him what I do!!! He answers: She is So Chic! It might seem a bit ridiculous but it gives me a lot of satisfaction. What they think about me (my husband included) is way more important to me than anybody else!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT INTO So CHIC.
I studied law in Paris and worked as a lawyer for many years. When I moved to Rome, I started to work for an international organisation and was traveling a lot. I enjoyed it - traveling is a real passion of mine . But when my first child Matteo was born it was getting very difficult. When Alice was born, I did not enjoy it anymore at all! Being away from them for 1 or 2 weeks was a real challenge. Most of the projects I was working for were in Africa and it was difficult with the time difference. I remember having conference call with the laptop in the bathroom while the kids were having their bath with the mute button on! When it was my turn to speak, I had to pray kids would not scream at this right moment! I was away when Alice first walked! I still remember being so frustrated not to being at home this day! When Alice was 2 and Matteo 5, I decided to stop! I enjoyed it for 2 years until Matteo saw me as someone who was doing nothing!

When I moved to Dubai, I first settled the family and was looking for a job when the idea of having a 'vide dressing' with Alex became So Chic! Nothing was planned! I never imagined it could go on after the first sale! We had just arrived in Dubai when we started, we did not know many people and our professional network was close to zero! We met so many great people in less than a year! I am very happy about it!


ANY EXCITING CAREER-RELATED EVENTS COMING UP THAT YOU CAN SHARE?
As you know Nyla house has closed down and we have moved in a new location: Dtales. Feel free drop by with your items for the up coming sale. We are lucky to be part of this amazing Scandinavian concept boutique. It is such a nice environment and I am sure So Chic girls will love the place. Every time we happened to go to Dtales, we wanted to buy everything or just moved in to the interiors Lars (the owner) has created! How great it is to work everyday from such a nice place!

Our next So Chic event will be in May. We also have many new ideas for the  coming year. Surprise!!! We love this project and put a lot of our self in it. I am thankful to have started this adventure with Alex. We are very complementary and always have the same vision of what we want to do with So Chic. I feel lucky we found each other. She is a mum like me and the balance with work and family is important for her as much as it is for me.

Thank you Emma!
Can't wait to see more of So Chic…

Emma and Alex at So Chic at Dtales
9am to 2pm Sunday to Thursday.
Jumeirah beach Road 655
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sochicuae
mysochic@hotmail.com
0526618222 / 0526684022


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Allegro: beautiful shoes for little feet


We are in love with Allegro little shoes for children. Those beautiful shoes for little girls are made in Dubai, using leather from Spain, Italy and Turkey. Elegant and stylish little shoes and designed to be comfortable, light, flexible and durable. Shoe love starts young thanks to Allegro. I am sure those gorgeous and soft little baby ballerina will be ideal for Josefin crawling around the house and also to show off our first baby steps. We look forward to walking in our stylish bow sandal, until that we just gonna admire them… Thank you Allegro for the lovely gift.

Allegro little shoes are available at Dubai BabiesPitter Patter and Poupette a la Plage




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Super Granny visit at newly open KidsHQ

This morning, I attended one of Big On Children's Super Granny workshop / seminar. Do you remember my previous blog post: "Super Granny to the rescue"? Well founder of Monsters to Munchkins: Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen is back in town to help out Dubai families with her guidance and expertise sharing her method and insight on raising children and being an empowered parents.

Thanks to Big On Children, Super Granny is now in Dubai to help families through coaching them, by personally assisting parents through tantrums, sleeping, eating and discipline problems in the privacy of their own home.

The event took place in a newly open (about 3 months) Children Play Center in Al Barsha: Kid's HQ. So happy to find another fun indoor place for kiddos to come and play during the soon to come hot summer months. Dubai new fun activity center is bright and spacious with a pleasant coffee shop overlooking the play area on the first floor and a boutique with books, gifts, art&craft supplies and Big On Children products on the ground floor.







Look forward to take Luella and friends to Kid'sHQ for a fun playdate. They will love the adventure maze set over 3 floors, trampolines, electric cars, miniature houses with toys… I think even little Jo might be able to fit in the "small kid" section.

As per the website, Kid's HQ offers different classes and activities like Groovy Kids Yoga, Arts & Crafts, Movie Time, our Story Teller Club, our CampStars… Have a look at the schedule.

KidsHQ
Umm Suqeim Road, Barsha 2
See you there :)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Competition Power Mama Spanx

It's Mother's Day and Dubai our Sandbox has teamed with K-Lynn lingerie to bring you a power mama competition/giveaway.



The new range of Mama Spanx – control underwear for pregnant women is a total hit with celebrities and mummies around the world. It is a wonderful answer to comfort and a 'glamifying' secret to your pregnancy, with it has "non-binding waistband and added under-belly support" to smooth things out. It also has a soft sheer tummy panel which grows with your baby and a comfortable lower back support. As their website says, "Birth isn't the only miracle going on around here!"

"Spanx makes moms to be feel and look marvelous in key shape wear pieces designed just for them." Spanx line is available at K.Lynn as well as all major department stores. Check it out!

For your chance to win a Power Mama Spanx item all you need to do is:
Follow Dubai our Sandbox and K-Lynn on Facebook.
Like the competition post and share with friends.
The winner will be announced on Sunday March 22nd.
Good luck!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Mother's day wish list



Here's 3 Mother's Day gift ideas, I wouldn't mind!

♥ Delivery of a BookMunch special: wonderful array of breakfast goodies as part of ''Breakfast in Bed'' package for mums. Delivered right to her doorstep!! AED300. 


♥ A treat from Sensasia… The Adore Mums Package spa treatment. "The gift of an all-organic Eve Lom Ultimate Cleanse Facial. On the SensAsia Urban Spa menu at 540dhs at any other time of year, Adore Mums costs just 399dhs throughout March." Or any other lovely massage… yes please!

♥ A sunset yoga session on the beach at Talise Spa Jumeirah "End the day right at Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah’s ultimate outdoor sunset yoga experience with unrivalled views of the Arabian Gulf and the iconic Burj Al Arab." AED 80.

♥ And lots of hugs and kisses from my darlings.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A few things...





A few things this week from my inbox and my online reading…

♥ Instagram Competition Alert from Mothercare
Upload a photo of your "messy baby" eating, playing, painting… Entrants should mention @mothercaremena or hashtag #mcmessybaby. The competition is ongoing from the 8th of March until the 22nd of March. The prize will be Alshaya Card with a retail value of AED260. Fun!

♥ How to arrange flowers from the supermarket… Easy way to style flowers for home.
From Cup of Jo.

♥ Feeling crafty, try this DIY project to preserve childhood memories from your little one.
Before you get rid of your kiddo's old/damaged teddy…
1/ un-stuff it.  2/ Light spray paint.  3/ Press onto paper/canvas
Cute idea from notquitenigella.com

♥ Happy I found this … nice baby food inspiration and ideas! Love it!
Adventurous eating for Little Jo.

♥ Have you heard about People of the Sand? A really cool online concept store
from Dubai. Offering carefully selected products with influences across Scandinavian, Bohemian, Rock’ n Roll and Californian – all targeted at a niche audience, with a diverse range of collections that truly speaks to their audiences of lifestyle lovers and style aficionados.
INDEPENDENT THINKERS MAKE THEIR OWN STYLE

♥ Celebrate Mother's Day at La Serre Boulangerie. The chic french bistro is offering little ones the opportunity to get involved by creating their own floral bouquets. Mothers won’t be left out either and can enjoy the delicious homemade pastries, fresh coffee and tea provided. Budding florists will be rewarded for their efforts with a mini pastry and babyccino or juice. 

La Serre Boulangerie Terrace, 
Vida Downtown Hotel
Saturday 14th March or Saturday 21st March, 8am - 10am
AED 200 for Mother and child, AED 75 for each extra child, 
To reserve a place please email Emily, ehoultram@laserre.ae



Monday, March 9, 2015

Celebrate with us and Babysouk


To celebrate our 4th birthday this month, Dubai our Sandbox has teamed up with Babysouk to bring you the chance to win this luxurious gift basket.

Babysouk.com has just launched Gift Souk, great place to purchase your gifts for babies, parents and toddlers. Inside this beautiful bath-time gift box you will find a Cuddledry award winning bamboo bath towel, organic skincare essentials and other beautiful goodies housed in a Bbox nappy caddy. AND the winner will receive a beautiful bunch of balloons, also now available for purchase at baby souk.

To win, you must answer the following question on Dubai our Sandbox Facebook page.  
What is the name of babysouk’s gifting service?

And follow Dubai our Sandbox and Babysouk on Facebook.
The winner will be announced on Sunday March 15th.
Good luck! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lovely Pik Nik Saturday At The westin













What a lovely afternoon today at The Westin Dubai for the launch of Pik Nik Saturday Brunch
A great way to spend quality time with family and friends enjoying a delicious selection of salad, breads, cheese, cold cuts, condiments , antipasti and sweet treats. 

The kiddos had fun running around the lawn and watching some fun entertainment from juggling, magic show to kid's club activities. Meanwhile the grown up were happy to lounge around sipping on cold beverages, chatting away and listening to the live band. 

Thanks for having us, we will be back!
We ♥ it!

Pik-Nik @ The Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina
Every Saturday - (excluding summer months of June – Sept)
11.30am – 4.00pm 
AED 390 per basket for a family of two adults and two children 
(excluding beverages)



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Competition: Dr.Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottles



This week marks the end our breastfeeding journey, I am currently weaning our little angel Josefin from the breast to the baby bottle. It's an emotional time. It is the end of a beautiful and very special bond we share together, but it's also time to embrace weaning as another stage in my daughter's development.

To welcome this 'new milestone', I am very please to bring you a new competition. Dubai our Sandbox has teamed up with Dr Brown's for your chance to win the perfect set of baby bottles with its special innovative vent technology.

" The Dr.Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottles offer a wonderful feeding experience with innovative vent technology. Dr Brown's bottles use a patented 2-piece internal vent system for your baby's comfort. This system creates positive-pressure flow for vacuum-free feeding that is similar to breastfeeding. The breast milk or formula flows freely without nipple collapse. As the baby feeds, air is channelled from the Level One nipple collar through the vent system to the back of the bottle. Air never mixes with the breast milk or formula so oxidation is prevented, thereby maintaining essential vitamins such as C, A and E. The vent system eliminates air bubbles in the formula or milk, which helps to reduce feeding problems like colic, spit-up, burping and gas. The bottle is completely BPA, PVC, lead free for your baby's safety"

For your chance to win all you need to do is:
1/ "Like" the competition post on Dubai our Sandbox Facebook page and share with friends
2/ Follow Dr Brown's and Dubai our Sandbox on Facebook
3/ Answer this question on the Facebook post : Tell us one feeding problem that "Dr.Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottles" can help with? 





The winner will be announced via Facebook on Wednesday March 11th.
Good luck everyone!

Monday, March 2, 2015

A few words to my 6 months old daughter

To my sweet baby girl,

It’s hard to believe that six months ago you were a tiny baby that occupied the inside of me. 
As I reflect on your journey with us so far, I am amazed at how fast it's all going and how well you are settling with us. You are truly a lovely little soul finding your place in our heart. You are so loved by your big sister, it's beautiful to see. 

We are bless to have you in our life. 
Happy 1/2 Birthday #littlejo.
Love you, maman.





It's our Birthday! [blog-a-ver-sa-ry, noun]


Yesterday marked our 4th blog anniversary!

When I first started blogging back in March 2011, I had no idea where it would take me, 2 years down the line I started to get a clear vision for the blog and to really enjoy the blogging adventure.

Looking back at the last 4 years of my blogging journey, I feel very thankful for all the lovely, creative, talented people I met along the way. I have enjoyed the process of writing, photography, videography, styling and all the social media and blogger tech stuff. Dubai our Sandbox is my creative outlet and an expression of myself and what's going on in our sandbox.

A big THANK YOU to all the lovely mamas following and supporting me during this blogging journey. A special thankful note to my family, W and the girls who give me the opportunity to do it. Luella - my little blogger partner you are my daily inspiration.

Love, Emily. xx