Monday, February 29, 2016

Online shopping: My Organic Baby Shop


This week, I find out about My Organic Baby Shop, one stop shop for your organic baby needs. Its another great Dubai shopping destination, if you are looking for non toxic and eco friendly products.

A word from the team... " We know how precious your babies are and how integral a healthy environment is to their well-being; which is why we only stock the most natural, pure and highest quality products. Our strict product selection criteria are driven by our commitment to these values. At my organic baby shop we know whether the products work, & what they feel like or smell like because they don’t go on sale before the team have tested & enjoyed using them.

Our philosophy is simple - If we would use a product for our own baby then we stock it, if we wouldn’t then we don’t!
We understand that individual requirements & budgets vary, so we stock as wide a range of products as possible, but we don’t compromise on our principles. We consider ingredients carefully, & where possible look for products certified organic by bodies such as the Soil Association, USDA& their worldwide equivalents.
We will evolve as the organic industry continues to grow to bring you whatever you need to complete your baby’s organic lifestyle. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey with us. "

Happy organic and more sustainable shopping! 
Free Shipping above AED 200

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Treat yourself to De La Mer Candle Massage ♥



When your morning smell like Frangipani, you know the day will be good. Today, I had the opportunity to experience a warm candle massage using Orli Massage Candles. The Shea and Cocoa Butter body candle melts into a sumptuous massage oil. It is drizzled over the skin and massaged in. Divine.

I love massages. I am lucky to sometime be gifted one on Mother's Day or Valentine's Day or even on my birthday. There is so many lovely options from 5* hotels Spa around Dubai. Sometime, you just need to treat yourself to something less costly and more efficient. De La Mer Spa is a great option for a stop by in between school drop off, errands and pickups. The therapist was very professional and worked her magic with medium to hard pressure. You really feel the work being done. 60 minutes massage, 15minutes relaxation and you are ready to go and pick up the day where you left it.

This morning body massage was my solution to muscular tension, soreness and pain in the neck, back and shoulders. It loosen the muscles, speed up circulation which allows the flow of oxygenated blood that nourishes the tissues, relieves aches and aids in tissue recovery and repair. I felt invigorated then relaxed.

The main ingredient is soya oil and comes in a relaxing candle with lavender, geranium and sandalwood, a calming version with marjoram, tea tree & frankincense, muscle soothing with Black Pepper, Grapefruit and Rosemary, De-Stressing with Grapefruit, Patchouli and Rosewood amongst other gorgeous scents! I choose the most popular, Frangipani. Loved it.

Warm Candle Massage 60mins is price at 350Dhs
De La Mer
Jumeirah Beach, Umm Suqeim 2,
Villa 783
04 32 82 775
delamerspa.com

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Geales Posh Nosh’ Family Brunch - British love affair

Another brunch... yes but a good one! We had a great time last Friday at Geales New Family Friendly ‘Posh Nosh’ Brunch, located in Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa.

Loved the British theme with a modern twist. The food was delish. On the menu: some favourite British Classics. Four courses of Geales’ signature dishes are served at the table to share, alongside an impressive selection of British inspired beverages.

First to the table is the deliciously light signature Duck Live and Chicken Pate on Brioche, followed by The Tower of Geales, a chef’s selection of fantastically fresh seafood including, Fine De Claire Oysters, quintessentially British Prawn Cocktail, Mussels, Crab Legs and homemade sauces – the ultimate seafood platter. Next, are the hot appetisers including Haddock and Dill Bon Bons served with Jalapeno Mayonnaise, right through to Juicy Lamb Ribs with a minted glaze and Scrambled Egg, Asparagus and Grilled Rye Bread. Followed by main courses, Sirloin of Beef accompanied with roasted vegetables, Braised Shoulder of Lamb served with creamy Mash Potato - our favourite! Amazing! Very good home style cooking.

For the kids... Yes, if the little ones are happy the mamas and papas will be to. Children will be served a choice of Chicken Nuggets or Fish Fingers and Chips, Sausage and Mash or Macaroni Cheese. Perfect, success with our girls. The Sweet Shop is a real treat for the whole family. Childhood favourites on offer including soft sponge Battenberg, moreish mini cherry cheesecakes, delicate cupcakes, fluffy pink meringues and zesty lemon tartlets, mini chocolate brownies...

While you enjoy the Geales Urban Seafood and Lounge experience, little ones are in the "Chelsea Garden"- being entertained - activities include the classic face painting, art classes, a bouncy castle, cookie decorating...with space to run around on the lawn. Happy kids!



What we liked...
- Cool British vibe with modern twist. 
- Four courses of Geales’ signature dishes are served at the table to share - not overwhelmed by a massive buffet very well curated selection of good food.
- Lounge music and friendly atmosphere
- Great service and helpful staff
- Enough to keep kids busy and happily entertained

Details...
The Posh Nosh Brunch is served every Friday from 12.30pm – 3.30pm at Geales, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. The ‘Posh Nosh’ Brunch is priced at AED 440 including a selection of alcoholic beverages, AED 290 including free flowing soft beverages and AED 90 for children aged from 9 to 12 years inclusive of soft beverages and those below nine years are free of charge.
geales-dubai.com
04 316 5550


Saturday, February 20, 2016

WIN - 2 tickets to "We’re Going On A Bear Hunt" Live Show



Art For All is bringing smash-hit children’s stage show, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, to the UAE in early March 2016. Performed by the Kenny Wax theatre company, the much-loved theatre production springs straight from the pages of Michael Rosen’s award-winning book, and has been brought to life on stage by acclaimed theatre director Sally Cookson.

This captivating story centres around a father and his four children, as they embark on a traditional bear hunt. After scampering through grassy meadows and wading through rivers and caves, the family finally come across a real bear, which promptly chases them away, despite their famous chorus line of, ‘We’re not scared!’

Hilariously funny and interactive, this enchanting show also features a fantastic musical score by Benji Bower. A fun-filled family experience, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt will captivate children and adults alike.

Details 
Dubai
When: 1st to 4th March
Location: Madinat Theatre

Abu Dhabi
When: 7th March
Location: Abu Dhabi TheatrePublic rate: Dhs135 to Dhs185
Tickets are available from Madinat Box Office, Virgin Tickets and Platinum
For general enquiries: Call 050 880 5074 or visit artforall.ae


GIVE AWAY / COMPETITION:
Dubai our Sandbox and Art For All has teamed up for your chance to WIN 2 TICKETS to see the award-winning show.

All you need to do is:
1/ follow Dubai our Sandbox and Art For All on Facebook.
2/ share the link on Facebook and tag some friends
The winner will be announced on Thursday February 25th via Facebook.
Good luck.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

GreenHeart Organic Farms - UAE's best organic secret - WE LOVE !



What I love about “blogging” is the opportunity - I get to meet people I might never get the chance to encounter, go to places and do things I would have not known about. Last week, my visit to GreenHeart Organic Farms was one of the most inspiring, interesting and eye opening experience. More and more people are looking for fresh, nutritious and organic food to feed their family. Dubai offers a growing range of organic options. Not all options are up to standards but the growing organic community is wonderful news! We fell in love with what Greenheart Organic Farms has to offer…



The UAE conditions, makes organic farming difficult. Greenheart Organic Farms has the genuine desire to grow the best possible organic produce in what is known to be a hostile farming environment; no soil, lack of sweet water & rain, desert storms and high temperatures. Meeting Elena Kinane, Managing Director of GreenHeart was a total eye opener to what’s really organic farming. The beauty, complexity but also importance of feeding ourself the right way while protecting The Earth.



What makes GreenHeart Organic Farms so genuine? And why did I choose to get a family box of fresh organic produce delivered weekly to my home? I give my trust to Elena and her team to deliver the best possible (mostly local) organic products to our family. I have the feeling you will to! And here's why... Simple – they do everything from sourcing genuine heirloom seeds, to soil building, planning the growing schedule including crop rotation and companion planting. 

I had the opportunity to ask Elena some questions about her passion for Organic Farming and some insight about Organic in the UAE.

Why do you farm? Where does your passion come from?
I grew up in an eco-friendly household and my great aunt grew all our vegetables and fruit in our back garden. She made all her own cheeses, jams, compotes, and sauces. My aunt taught me from a young age how to collect seeds from different plants & crops and explained to me the benefits of medicinal herbs and flowers.

Is Organic farming more challenging in Dubai then in Europe for example? Are the regulations or standards for organic production different here in the UAE? Is there any financial support for organic farming?
Yes very much so. In most of Europe we have naturally occurring soil and while the soil differs from area to area the basics are usually there. Here we have desert sand. It takes a lot of careful management to build soil so we can grow genuine organic produce. We have extreme temperatures and the lack of rain means that all fields need to be irrigated. Certification criteria vary throughout the world. Sometimes there are inconsistencies even between the certification bodies of the same country. Certification in the UAE is still in its infancy and is largely influenced by European and American standards.

What are the specific requirements for being certified organic?
In an ideal world requirements should state that no chemical substances should be used either for fertilization or for pest & disease control. Seeds should also be untreated and non-GMO. Additionally strict crop rotation and polyculture should be practiced. Certification bodies the world over have different requirements and while some are very strict others allow the use of some chemicals and permit monoculture for instance. I would strongly advise consumers to read up on the criteria and standards of the individual certifying body. In my experience some certification bodies are set up simply to make money.

How do you decide which products to grow? And do you grow all the products that you sell?
In season (November – May) we grow 120 – 140 different varieties of vegetables and fruit. In the hotter months we grow about 50 different types. We focus mostly on heirloom produce, in other words traditional varieties that have been established before 1952 when the first industrialized seeds flooded the market. We collect all our own seeds from these heirloom varieties and hope to be completely independent of external seed supplies in a few years time. We experiment a lot with different varieties and settle on items that do well in our climate long term, provide good yields, taste great, are nutritious and use up relatively little water.

We also import organic fruit from family run organic farms in Lebanon and Sri Lanka as most fruit production in the UAE is not really feasible. We grow Melons and Strawberries during certain times of the year. Other fruit such as Bananas, Figs, Grapes, Mangoes and Lemons which can in theory be grown here are a huge financial investment and produce such a low yield they’re unlikely ever to be financially viable.

What kind of fertilizers do you use? How do you deal with your weeds? insects? diseases?
We make our own compost, which we use to enrich the sweet sand at our farm. Every grow cycle (there are 3-4 grow cycles per year) we add about 15-20% compost to the sand. Over the last 5 years we’ve converted large areas of sand into rich soil. Our compost is made up of animal manure from our grass-fed chickens, goats and cows along with plant and crop leftovers that have been collected dried and shredded. This mixture is then enriched with natural rock minerals. The entire process takes about 6 months and only then is the compost ready and safe for use. We also practice crop rotation, polyculture (as opposed to monoculture) and companion planting. By farming this way you decrease the likelihood of pests and disease. When we do have problems we try to solve them using natural remedies which we blend ourselves. Over the years we’ve learned what does and doesn’t work. Our techniques are constantly evolving. 

Is organic food "healthier" (more nutritious) than conventional food?
Fresh produce is only as nutritious as the soil it is grown in. So the better the soil the healthier the produce. Genuine organic produce has to be grown in rich soil full natural minerals and organic matter. If so it’s richer in nutrients and therefore healthier. Organic produce should be completely free of pesticides, herbicides and preservative so you get the nutrients of the produce minus the chemicals. Frankly, the best is local fresh organic produce that hasn’t travelled for any length of time. Remember, we used to be hunters & gatherers eating food as soon as it was picked.

Could organic food be less safe than conventional food? Recent reports claiming that organic food is at a greater risk of E. coli contamination? Is that true?
If farmers use fresh manure or human waste there is a possibility of contamination. To be safe, the manure must be allowed to decompose so most of the harmful bacteria is destroyed. This is not to say that conventional food is safe to eat. If consumers were aware of just how many chemicals are used to spray crops against pests and disease they would not want to eat it. If tomatoes came with labels detailing every pesticide used to grow them, I’m sure consumers would steer clear!

What's the best way to store and preserve the shelf life of organic fruits & vegetables?
Genuine organic produce is slow-grown. It absorbs nutrients over longer periods of time from natural sources rather than from chemical fertilizers which provide concentrated chemical nutrients over short periods. The texture of organic produce is superior so it can be stored for longer than conventional produce. Greens are best stored in the fridge wrapped either in cloth, paper or biodegradable plastic bags. Fruit vegetables such as Tomatoes and Capsicums are best kept outside the fridge as they lose flavour if kept too cool. If you’re planning to store them for longer than 2 – 3 days they should go in the fridge. However most conventional produce is sprayed with preservatives to prolong its shelf life. Organic produce isn’t (or shouldn’t be) so if you’re used to eating conventionally grown produce you may find that organic produce doesn’t last as long. In general fresh produce should be eaten as soon as possible to avail all the nutrients.

Please tell us where we can buy your products?
All our produce, our imported fruit, eggs, honey and lots of amazing pantry items, snacks etc is available at our farm shop in Arjan, Al Barsha South 2 (Dubailand). As we harvest freshly every morning we open at 11am. Customers can also shop online for home delivery via our website greenheartuae.com.





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Family Portrait made easy with Picture People


Last week, the girls and I had fun in front of the camera at Picture People photo studio. Invited to experience a family portrait photo shoot, we left with beautiful memories in a frame to cherish for years to come.

Picture People offers a different experience then most photo studio. "We know time is particularly of the essence when you have little ones in tow. Which is why we’re always focused on a fast, efficient process from start to finish. But we also realize that a good value is, well, invaluable. That’s why we offer sensibly priced packages that give you the most portraits and poses for your money. Not to mention plenty of extras, like portrait enhancements, decorative borders and custom framing, to name but a few." What's so different? The convenience, fast and efficient process while still making the final result professional and unique to your family.

It took us about 90 minutes from arrival to walking out the door with our final products. Prior to the shoot, at the time of booking, the team will make sure to understand your expectations for the photo shoot and advise you if needed. The photographer was patient and gave the right directives to the girls, making it fun and allowing her to capture laughs and emotions. Once we were done in the camera room, we could go to the viewing station and start choosing our favorite shots. Our lovely photographer was helpful in the selection, cropping and framing options while the girls when happily entertained by the friendly staff.



I can not stress enough how easy and pain free the process was, just like they promised " it's fast, easy and affordable. Using the latest printing technology, we’ll print your stunning, one-of-a-kind portraits on high quality portrait paper. The exact combination of poses and sizes is ready to take home within the same day." 

There is a good selection of packages with different media, sizes and frames. Check out the full details here! To get a peek into our family photo shoot and our lovely experience check out this video. Thank you Picture People for having us!

We absolutely love the special moments captured of Emily and her beautiful daughters! #PicturePeopleUAE #PicturePeople #SmileStoriesUAE #MyDubai #Valentines2016 #MotherandDaughters #SpecialMoments

Posted by Picture People UAE on Saturday, February 13, 2016

Picture People is located in Wasl Vita Mall,
Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1,Dubai
+971-4-343-4413
info@picturepeople.ae



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mesofacial experience at Aesthetics Clinic


If your skin is looking dull, congested and tired, I might have a solution. I needed a boost, something to bring back some glow and rejuvenation. So when the opportunity to review a facial treatment from Aesthetics International Clinic arise, I was ready to try it out.

After a skin evaluation, the lovely Rehab Yahya, Laser Technician escorted me to the treatment room. We agreed on the procedure and the treatment most beneficial for my skin. I was ready to experience a Mesofacial with Microdermabrasion.

We started with deep cleaning medical facial using the microdermabrasion non invasive gentle process to abrade and mechanically exfoliate layers of dead skin. Microdermabrasion is a facial treatment in which tiny exfoliating crystals are sprayed on your skin. These crystals remove the dead skin cells and heal any imperfection that your skin has. The vacuum suction nozzle promotes lymphatic drainage and remove excess crystals and rough skin cells. Followed by a Deep Cleansing Facial with steam and extractions to remove other impurities.

My skin now being properly cleansed, is ready for the Mesofacial using a Dermapen. This facial makes use of microneedles rich in enzymes, vitamins and amino acids & other nutrients based on your skin type. These needles are made to penetrate into the skin and stimulate collagen production, which aids in new skin cell generation and improving the circulation of blood within the skin which imparts a glowing look. Dr Rehab choose to concentrate on enzymes to boost glow, lift and act as an anti-aging. There is no real discomfort just a slight tingling which won't last long.

Then a medical mask is applied - again depending on your skin concern ( moisturizing , nourishing, glowing , anti aging , whitening, collagen or purifying). The mask provide a cooling effect and bring the tingling down immediately. Very soothing.

Finally, the last step is to apply a moisturising suncream.

I understand that it's benefial to do more then one session to fully get the benefits of the exfoliating enzymes and vitamins but truly with one treatment my skin has a nice glow, a more youthful look and feel firmer. What not to like?! Really happy with 45 min treatment, the minimal downtime (little redness for a few hours), no side effects and the gentle but efficient therapist. I would consider doing more sessions to reduce aging signs, remove fine lines and wrinkles and treat pigmentation.

Aesthetics International Plastic Surgery Clinic offers a wide range of treatments, from plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures, medicine and wellness.

Located by the intersection of Al Wasl Rd & Al Thanya Rd.
For enquiries and booking please call +971 4 346 9 888

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Glamour & Adventure - H&M Studio SS16





Breakfast and Press Preview this morning at Dubai Marina Yacht Club. I absolutely loved the new H&M Studio collection for SS16. The line as a beautiful feminine bohemian vibe combine with glamorous functionality to it. Perfect for our summer adventures from urban girls to beach hoping babes. It has the effortless chic effect all mamas need to keep up with the little ones in style.

What you will love...
Fabrics
Silk, cotton, cotton linen, canvas, leather, and fully-functional technical materials.
100% organic cotton is used for many of the pieces, including a frontier shirt, drawstring-sided sweatshirt, a bohemian trimmed loose blouse and trekking shorts, while silk scarves are made from Tercel®.
Colours
Primary shades, sun-faded tones, yellow, red, green, off-white, eggshell and tea-dye neutrals.
Design
Combination of delicate/glamorous with functional active wear - think delicate spaghetti strap dress with functional drawstring shirt and backpack. An interest mix and match effect of combining different pieces together.
My favourite pieces
Native print dress, ethnic scarf, Summer jacquard sweater and surf sandals and knotted wedge heel.




Exclusively Available at Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates on February 25

Tuesday, February 2, 2016