Saturday, January 30, 2016

Valentine's on my mind


What's your valentines' day plan? 
Are you celebrating or just refusing to fall into the commercial love trap?
I am all for celebrating, so here's my 4 picks for this years.

♥ Funny card - more here!

♥ Spa treatment.
My usual favourite urban spa Sensasia has some Valentines special offer. 
"Bee My Honey" and "Blissfully Unaware" package at at buy-one-get-one half price.

♥ Urban Picnic Under The Stars with hubby!
Sit back and relax in a candle-lit ambiance overlooking the shimmering pool while dining in one of the beautiful, white, signature poolside cabanas. AED 499 per couple (inclusive of house beverages and glass of bubbly on arrival), shisha is also available upon request, at an additional charge. 3in1 at Vida Downtown Dubai. 7pm to 11pm

♥ surprise the kids with breakfast made with LOVE . 
Easy ideas to make the day special and treat little tummies to a good start. 



Swiss International Scientific School Dubai

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the newly open (September 2015), Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai. With no real intention yet, to change school, the idea to move Luella to the IB curriculum within the next few years trigger an even bigger interest to SISD.



The school is located by Healthcare City phase 2 along the Creek. Coming from Downtown or Jumeirah, the location is actually very convenient. I took the fly-over along The Dubai Mall down to Al Khail Road toward Festival City. The exit Al Jadaf before the Business Bay Crossing take you straight to the school. On my visit schedule at 9am, I encounter no traffic and no parking difficulty. A refreshing scenario from my current morning school run.

The school campus was beautifully designed by leading architects.The natural light, spacious class room and the use of the right materials and colors contribute to an inviting environment.

The eco-friendly campus been developed by experts in energy optimisation of buildings. SISD is an eco-friendly campus, meeting the highest standards of energy consumption. Its about pioneering the development of a better educational environment, but also applying renewable and sustainable principles to fund our scholarship programmes.



What is so attractive about SISD is the multilingual learning environment and international culture offered within the curriculum. A fantastic option for multicultural families in Dubai. SISD offers the full continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) programme (PYP, MYP, Diploma Programme) frome Pre-KG to Grade 9 in English or in two bilingual English-French and English-German sections.

The bilingual programme is suited for learners whose mother tongue is French, German or English. But they will accept children who do not speak any of these languages up to Grade 1. During the Kindergarten phase, all students will be taught almost entirely in English. Through songs, games and sports they will begin to acquire some oral competency in French or German plus Arabic.

From Grade 1 onwards, students in the bilingual sections will be immersed in a progressive environment where they will study 50% of their time in English and 50% in either French or German. Students in these sections will be able to qualify for the IB Bilingual Diploma during their final years at the school. It's really a fantastic option for families with international background or open to offer children multi-language education.


The philosophy and values of the school really resonate with me, and how I which my daughters to become confident and enthusiastic life-long learners, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges in a global world. SISD core value are based on the B.E.S.T principle: BILINGUAL, EXCELLENCE, SUSTAINABILITY and TOGETHER. This approach recognise the importance of developing lasting human values alongside academic success.

The school life has many great features, a good selection of ASA internal and external, safe and efficient transportation service, sport facilities, two libraries, many play areas. You might also like the timing: Arrival is between 8.00 am and 8.15 am with lessons starting at 8.20 am. Classes end at 3.35 pm and after-school activities will be offered between 3.45 pm and 4.45 pm.

The First Phase has welcomed students from Pre-KG to Grade 6 for the 2015-16 academic year, with additional sports facilities opening in September 2016. The full campus including the Boarding Houses, Auditorium and Secondary School will be ready by 2017.

All this exquisite education from Switzerland: "International Baccalaureate with a strong focus on languages and developing a real understanding of cultural diversity. All of our students become multilingual with the option of entering our bilingual sections, in French or German, or studying foreign languages such as French, German and Italian within our English section." has a price and a high one. SISD tuitions fees are aligned with Dubai top schools. Starting from AED 60,000 up to AED95, 000.

To fully understand what Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai has to offer I encourage you to visit the website and take the time to schedule a tour of the campus. I had a very positive experience and would definitely consider SISD as a school for our children.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blast your way to Health with NutriBullet - stuff we love

It’s that time of the year, when we all have good intentions to get in our best shape. We get into a detox mode, we start some new healthy eating habits and we adventure into new workout routines.

Those new resolutions are never easy to keep up with but with a little help from my new find love, I might be able to get some nutritious breakfast on the go to get us started, detox for day and get the kids to enjoy some healthy “smoothies”.



When my good friend introduce me to the idea of high nutrition through fresh fruits and vegetables using a NutriBullet, I needed to know more… Now I confess I am obsess with my NutriBullet. Every morning, I am creating drinks also known as Nutriblasts. Instead of juicing, where you loose most of the nutrients retains in the fibres, this technology uses 600 / 900 watt motor with cyclonic action and the patented extractor blades. This technology breaks down and pulverizes the stems, seeds, and skins where most of the essential nutrition lies – unlike what juicers and blenders do.

Another big benefit of the Nutribullet over Juicers is that it’s a lot easier to use, prepare, clean and store. Its compact with no assembly require. Just fill the cup with ingredients, screw the milling blade cover on and push down into the base to get it working. Its so easy, convenient and affordable.

I am no nutritionist or health advisor, you will find plenty of recipes and many tips online on how to use the Nutribullet to your best advantage. But here’s how I incorporate this “extraction machine” into our family routine.

When?
Breakfast on the go. Every day I create a “ powerful nutriblast” to kick start the day.
Snack time or weekend breakfast for the kids
Also like to experimenting with recipe like gazpacho, dips and nutritious ice coffee




Favorite recipes
My breakfast on the go
Start your day with this nutrient-packed mega-Blast! You'll feel a powerful dose of antioxidants and energy to get through the day.
A combination of baby spinach, apple, pineapple, banana, kiwi, coconut water, flax seeds and some lemon for freshness. Make sure to use enough liquid to avoid a pasty texture. 

The Kids "smoothie"
Simple no brainer combine banana, mix berries and coconut water . Try to sneak some greens in there to optimize your kids nutrient intake. A small handful of vegetables along with the fruit, especially spinach or avocado because of its mild taste. They'll never know!

The yummy treat for the family
Hot Chocolat Blast, a rich cream concoction or pick me up treat

Fight the flu 
Boost your immunity with this citrus and ginger recipe

Nutella wanna be
Nutritious delight, another guilt free recipe from Deliciously Ella

Experiment with ideas and recipes online with nutriliving.com
Gazpacho
Hummus (think about adding avocado and coriander for another option) 
Salsa, sorbet and more...

Coffee boost 
Some good suggestions from .nutribulletkitchen.com

Tips
- Use it for nutrition, so think green and berries.
- 50% fruits 50%vegetables is a good ratio
- Use coconut water to add nutrients with an array of health benefits
- For breakfast blend include some banana or avocado for a creamy texture and to remain satiated for a few hours.
- Add “super food” to boost your health, play with different combinations that include chia, cacao nibs, flax seed, hemp, wheatgrass... Also think about healthy fat and proteins like nut butters or almond milk.
- Use NutriBullet to target some health issue, from cold, detox, skin, weight loss and more...
- Download the app for inspiring idea and easy shopping list
- Add some pre-made boost like a "Smoothie Bomb", quick way to to increase overall vitamin, mineral, protein, iron and fibre intake.
- Take advantage of all the great organic options in Dubai like Organic Foods and CafeGreen Heart UAE orRipe Markets

Details and retails
There’s the original 600 watts Nutribullet machine with a 24 oz cup.
The Nutribullet PRO 900 watts with a 32 oz cup.
The Nutribullet RX 1700 watts with a 45 oz cup.
The main difference between these three versions are the power of the motors (watts). A higher wattage of motor will have more power. I am so happy with my 600 watts but would be interest in the Nutribullet RX 1700 watts for its heating capacity.

The NutriBullet comes with a recipe book and some great suggestions but its also good fun to play with different ingredients and come up with your flavour combination. Have fun and get the kids involved. Blast your way to health.

Available at mumzworld.com , carrefouruae.com and ACE.
Retail price is about AED 390 for the 600 Watt motor.
All photos from nutribullet.com and nutriliving.com


Monday, January 25, 2016

PiknicElectronic - family weekend

The second season of Piknic Electronic Dubai was launched on Saturday 23 January at a new and more central location The Address Montgomerie. After last year success, this season will feature more Piknic’s taking place every other Saturday until 2nd April 2016.

We enjoyed a family afternoon chilling to the beats of PiknicElectronic: sundowners, food trucks, happy vibes, kid fun all with the Dubai skyline in the background. Dubai we love you. :)

















Piknic Electronik is an internationally renowned brand of family-friendly daytime electronic music festivals. Dubai was selected as the fourth destination for Piknic Electronik after its tremendous success in Montreal, Barcelona and Melbourne. 2015 witnessed the launch of Piknic in Paris, Cannes, Lisbon, and Santiago.

The festival attracts electronic music lovers and families looking to enjoy the weekend out with their friends. Creative entertainment and activities, such as hula hoops, face painting, bouncy castles, yoga and Pilate classes, ensures the whole family stays engaged and happy.

New this year.... Piknic Electronik Dubai is releasing special ‘Family Pack’ tickets that cover entry for parents and their children (under the age of 12) at a price of AED 200 only, instead of the original price AED 170 per individual. Family Pack tickets can only be purchased on the day, at the Piknic ticket desk with both parents present.

All other tickets are sold at www.platinumlist.net / First release tickets at AED 130 sold out fast, within the first two days of ticket sales. Second release tickets are AED 150 - limited quantities. Third release tickets at AED 170 is available soon after. All tickets are per individual, and children under 12 years are free-of-charge. All ages are welcome at Piknic Electronik; individuals 21 years and over will be provided a separate wristband.

Piknic Electronik Dubai is happy to announce Petit Piknic’s full season partnership with the very passionate Dubai-based art hub, Soul Center. Every Piknic from 2 – 3 pm, Soul Center will host a free-of-charge workshop for parents and their kids to enjoy numerous activities helping them explore their potentials in different art platforms.

Good to know
Limited parking, taxi is a good idea.
Vallet parking work out well for us, only 25AED
The venue is now cashless, get a card or bracelet to pay at bar and food vendors
Bring a picnic blanket and "set up camp"
Happy hour from 1 to 3pm
Check out the line-up announcement their Facebook page

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Journey - more then a park, an encounter with nature



Check out our adventure last week at newly open but already a big hit with Dubai families : The Journey. Kids had a lovely time exploring the park and its many cool features. The tree houses and waterfalls were the favorite alowing little ones to play like Robinson Crusoe.

Fantastic outdoor spot with activities, water play and climbing frames to entertain little ones for hours. It's Dubai new must go for family.







We look forward to the coffee shop being open and fully functional within a few weeks. The Journey will introduce soon a farmer's market and interesting classes for children to take part in, like yoga, karate, nature trails, urban forest school and cooking and arts&crafts… Can't wait to see it all!

The Journey Dubai, is open everyday from 9am to 5pm.
Entrance fee is 30AED for two hours (everyone above 1 year old - including parents) and 60AED for 5hours of fun. Located by to Kite Beach, next to the new skate park.
Bring a mat to lay or picnic in the grass and a change of clothes for the kids.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Baby souk Warehouse Sale


Something for the weekend...
If you're expecting a baby, or have a little one or a toddler up to the age of 5 years old, then you can't afford to miss out on the babysouk.com Warehouse Sale. Happening on Saturday 23rd January 9am at babyouk.com HQ in Al Quoz prices slashed with up to 70% OFF on selected items.

Offers on leading premium brands at knock down prices such as aden + anais, Boba baby carriers, Phil & Ted's Strollers, Mountain Buggy, Le Toy Van, Strider Bikes, My Brest Friend pillows, Merino, Baby Jogger and lots more. Happy shopping! 
Location map. 




Monday, January 18, 2016

Kids do brunch at Fumé Dubai

This weekend, we ventured on the other side of town away from our hood to the gorgeous Dubai Marina Promenade. The highlight of our afternoon was Fumé Neighborhood Eatery, located in Pier 7. Every Friday and Saturday, kids do brunch at Fumé while mama and papa enjoy southern US smoked soul food with a Latin and Asian twist.






From 12 to 4pm, children get a designated area for play and entertainment with a buffet of their favourite dishes like meatballs spaghetti, fish and chips, chicken bites. The soft ice cream with toppings is part of the all you can eat 31AED deal. The lowdown is keep the kids happy with easy food and some activities while the grown up get to indulge in some gourmet comfort food from around the world in a laid back manner. What not to like?!






Fumé gets its name from southern American-style smokehouse concept. The decor fit the theme with its industrial look, no ceiling, display conducts, concrete walls and vintage props like Coke fridge, bottles, wooden furniture... Its all well thought out and suggest utilitarian, functional with no frill but very cool.



On the menu, smoked items include for example "Hot smoked salmon, teriyaki sauce, pickled cucumber"or "Pulled beef brisket bun, vinegar slaw". We went for the special of the day, a sharing " Tomahawk steak" with apricot mustard. Our favourite - not to miss - was the side dish, roasted potatoes with bacon and a fantastic dill and caper sour cream topping.



What we like!
The food - its gourmet comfort food made well.
The relax and friendly atmosphere, we are all looking for during the weekend.
Happy kids sorted for 31AED
Cool of the side bar, we might have to try out another time...

Too bad...
No terrace but you get a nice view from floor to ceiling windows.
Vallet parking is available but Fumé is the only restaurants of Pier 7 not to stamp your ticket (charge 50AED). Park in Marina Mall and follow the sign Pier 7, is an easy and convenient option.



Sister love with Il Gufo, Italian luxury clothing

When beautiful Italian Children’s Fashion Brand, Il Gufo asked the girls to come and play dress up to unveiled its Spring-Summer 2016 collection. We jumped enthusiastically into the stylish adventure at Al Barari The Farm.

Il Gufo has been one of our favorite clothing line for a couple of years now. It all started when I got to meet for a breakfast interview the lovely and so passionate Giovanna Miletti, President and Founder of Il Gufo. Read it here! I truly felt through her story her passion for design, craftsmanship and the attention given to details specially in the selection of fabrics, which often receive special finishing with highly imaginative colors and refinements.








Il Gufo collection is once again stylish and comfortable in the most impeccable Italian quality. The collection is a true celebration of nature. It’s all about freedom and comfort! Loose, lightweight and featherlike fabrics sit at the heart of the collection including this season’s protagonist: linen.

Neutral shades of pearl grey, cream and ecru, are brightened up by cheerful summer hues such as sunglow yellow, peach, mauve, aquamarine with hints of freesia, pink grapefruit, strawberry and chilli red for girls and cherry red for boys.







For the girls, the collection brings a wealth of hand-made flowers, polka dots of all sizes, precious fabric butterflies that rest gently on shantung linen, delicate petals that enrich sleeves, elegant feather-like fabrics; and special prints of Japanese flowers, geometric patterns and star dust. Loved the combination of soft pink, white and grey for Luella and Josefin outfits, perfect for a Spring garden party. 

For the boys, the collection holds striped and checked shirts, Bermuda shorts, moss stitch cotton blazers, tecnojersey college bomber jackets, double face jersey sweatshirts with Oxford stripes, delavé pique cotton polo shirts, jersey t-shirts and the new icon: linen polo shirts.

For newborns, super soft cotton babygrows sport fabric teddy bear and bunny appliques while small jacquard patterns, feather-like fabrics, a whale’s tail swimming among the waves and farm animals – roosters, cows, and pigs – run riot on lightweight dresses, skirts and mandarin collar shirts.



Il Gufo specialized in designing, producing and distributing unique, high quality collections for children from 0 to 14 years. From exquisite design for special occasion to fun prints with multi-fabric applications characteristic of the most casual items in the collection, you sure to find something for your little ones. Once again we fell in love with Il Gufo and I am sure you will do to.

Il Gufo - The Dubai Mall
971 4 330 8418


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A few things this week...

♥ Love those Smoothie Bombs - When you're health conscious and time poor, just one organic super-food bomb will increase your overall daily consumption of vitamins, minerals, protein, iron and fibre. Organic super balls available at the Detox Delight shop in Gold & Diamond Park, Greenheart Organic Farms Shop or can be delivered by calling Health Angels at 052 3978204. Retail price: AED69. Got my breakfast sorted and my energy level high!


♥ A Family Affair At Manzil Downtown Dubai, a new family brunch recently launched at At Boulevard Kitchen. Look forward to try out the new destination set to be a hit with parents and children. Little guests can enjoy a dedicated buffet featuring all their favourites and guaranteed to please even the pickiest little eaters. Coupled with the best in children’s entertainment, including face painting, arts and crafts, the planned activities are sure to keep the little ones happily occupied for hours. Adults will be equally satisfied, enjoying traditional brunch favourites but with a creative spin of Middle Eastern inspired delicacies too. Like the idea of the outdoor terrace with a view. Each brunch experience is inclusive of a choice of some of the best shisha in the city.

Every Friday from 12.30PM to 4PM
AED 295 (includes a delectable buffet, house beverages and a hubbly bubbly)
AED 195 (includes a delectable buffet, soft drinks, juices and a hubbly bubbly)
AED 95 (children between 6 and 12 years old)
Children below the age of 5 dine for free


♥ Can not wait to take the girls to The Journey, where fantasy meets reality. A new concept to Dubai outdoor play for children (close to Al Manara) . Created to give children the chance to experience life away from technology. To experience nature, play in waterfall, treehouses and gardens with opportunity to try out archery, cooking lessons and let their imagination go wild with different arts and craft activities. Watch this spot for a blog review coming up soon. 


♥ This weekend don't miss out ... Pomme Sample Sale. POMME creates handmade furniture for tiny ones. All wooden furniture is unique and handcrafted in the UAE with style. Great add on to children bedroom and playroom. We Love!
When? Saturday 16 January 2016 from 10AM - 1PM
Where? Al Menhir street, Arenco villa 10 in Umm Sequim 1
What? Benches, cloth racks, bookcases, stools, chairs, tables etc...




Monday, January 4, 2016

Toko Family Garden Brunch, Japanese style - stuff we love

Is everyone back on routine, school run, after school activities, work, gym and and so on...? Already looking for family weekend ideas? Check this one out!



Over the winter holidays we got to try out Toko Garden Bruch, and we loved it! Located in Vida Hotel Downtown Dubai, this is a very easy and chilled family brunch. A place to sit back and relax in a Japanese garden with great food, nice music and just happy vibes.

Hubby and I love Japanese food, so we could not wait to dig into the lovely cold selection of appetizers and beautiful selection of sushi and sashimi.

After a little break sipping cold japanese beer and tangy cocktails we enjoyed  the live BBQ station with its selection of angus beef and sweet chili soy, salmon teriyaki, miso glazed black cod,...




Toko Garden Brunch is really a lovely option for an easy Friday lunch with the kids. There is a children menu with traditional items like pasta bolognese but also cool little dishes with a Japanese twist to it. Luella enjoyed some vegetables tempura and the Toko chicken strips. The small kid corner is just enough for the little ones to hang out, meet friends, get the obligatory face painting and some rolling around on the mini jumping castle. It's also a gentle reminder for parents and guests that it's family brunch to relax, chill and enjoy the day... It's the weekend! Its family time! We love it!







The three brunch packages range in price: starting at AED 195 including food and soft drinks. Additional AED 155 including selected alcoholic beverages. Kids Package at AED 85 (Ages 5 to 12 years).

Toko is located in the Vida Downtown Hotel, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai.
Friday brunch is served from 12pm – 4pm
04 442 8383
toko-dubai.com

►►  January 2017 update: Please note, this offer is not currently available. A new TOKO Brunch will launch shortly and we can't wait to give it a try. Stay tuned. Thanks.