Giveaway Contest : Dr Batra's Gift Hampers and consultation card

Here is your chance to win a free Gift hamper of 5 products and a free consultation (worth AED500) from Dr Batra's signature homeopathy clinic. Two winners will be chosen based on the criteria below.

To win these fab tickets follow the instructions:

  1. T   TTo be in the winning for the fab tickets follow these instrucLike SignetRing on Facebook {here}

  2. Share the Facebook post on this CONTEST and increase the number of shares

How will the winner be chosen?

A participant who has liked the Facebook page and has maximum number of shares on the post (that he/she is expected to share)will be declared a winner.

How will I know if I am the winner?

The winners will be declared on SignetRing's Facebook page 

Contest closes on Thursday, February  11th 2016. Winner will be announced on Thursday, February 11th 2016

Kids Fest at Global Village

What? Kids Fest

When? 1- 22 February, 2016

Where? Global Village

Cost? The events are free of charge and included in the price of admission to Global Village ( 15 AED. Free for children under 3)

Dubai is a city that is overflowing with kid-friendly spaces designed to cultivate a sense of wonder and excitement. As a mom who loves exploring the city for fun and entertaining destinations for kids, i have discovered that there are plenty dotted around the city for a hefty cost, however you can hardly buy kids activities, without breaking the bank. Recently my little boy tribe and i were invited to experience the newest addition to Global Village ; Kids Fest. I love Kids Fest for many reasons but at the top it is desperately affordable for all that it offers. 

Are you looking for a super fun family thing to do on a budget? Head to Kids Fest at Global village, for an evening packed with zestful activities.

  • My kids enjoyed the Globo bouncy castle along with face painting and balloon bending. The little dudes were also thrilled on meeting and getting pictures with the famous characters of the Smurfs at the Roman Amphitheater. 
  • The popular Globo has his live shows throughout the day. 
  • One of the standout attractions of the evening was the hit acrobatic show ‘Circus Circus’, they delivered stunning moves, songs and dance. 
  • To ensure as much active participation from youngsters as possible, the ‘Global Show Academy’ hosts 30-minute show, four times a day in the Roman Amphitheater where kids can practice their moves and if they are doing a great job, the kids might even get a chance to be on the main cultural stage in front of an audience.   

 

Why its a hotspot: All of the above interesting activities is included in the entry ticket to Global Village.

 

Photographed by Samuel Joy for SignetRing

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival Dubai

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO TOWN?? 

WHO? Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

WHEN? April 6-9, 2016

WHERE? Dubai World Trade Centre Arena

Mickey Mouse and his band of friends, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy will be performing in a music mash-up of mega proportions when Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival come to Dubai for the first time! 

My youngest little star and i attended the media preview of Disney Live!  Mickey’s Music Festival. It will go down in his journal as one of the most memorable moments, where he was lovingly patted and hugged by Mickey Mouse and received a magical kiss from Minnie Mouse..He bubbled with wonder and glee! As a mommy there is nothing more exciting than to witness sheer excitement on those cheeky faces and pure joy in those button eyes.

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 Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, featuring an all star line-up of more than 25 Disney characters, begins with audiences watching a state-of-the-art video projection of the frenzy backstage which spills onto the stage as Mickey welcomes guests to his concert tour.  Soon thereafter, they will be transported to a new world of hip hop beats, dizzying acrobatics, flying carpets and magical transformations with Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie.  Underwater is where the crowd will meet up with Ariel, Sebastian and their nautical pals to groove to the reggae rhythm.  And, family and friends will stomp to the beat as Woody, Buzz and Jessie teach them how to boogie rodeo-style.     

This is a show not to be missed. Hurry!! you can purchase tickets for Disney Live! event taking place from April 6 - 9 2016 Here on  platinum list and all UAE exhange branches 

PUCK's KID FRIENDLY RECIPES

In a TED prize acceptance speech renowned chef and Food revolutionist Jamie Oliver states his one wish: Teach every child about food.

Since I heard that statement I have given much thought to setting a tradition to pass along to my kids... Teaching them about good food, great cooking and wholesome living.

Cooking with kids is creating a favorite family moment, one that deepens bonds, it's messy at the same time magical. I intend our family kitchen to be the memory brewing pot where we share our food, love and hearts while we whip up a meal and whisk in some sweet treats. The meal planning challenge is amplified especially when you are cooking for a brood of three hungry little boys, hence I absolutely embrace quick weekday meals and healthy shortcuts. I am not a certified chef by any means, but as a certified mom I enjoy cooking hearty-meals which calls for simple preparation and easily sourced ingredients. I commit to the process of finding products and recipes and sharing my own creations from our family kitchen as a means to inspire my readers to get creative and to enjoy magical moments.

PUCK from Arla is my product find and here i share recipes I have been introduced to for kid friendly meal ideas.  

Roast beef sandwich

A roast beef sandwich is quite common in most non-vegetarian households, but the slight tang and sweetness in the Havarti cheese is what makes this particular roast beef sandwich stand out.

DIFFICULTY: Easy                                                                                                                                 COOKING TIME: < 1 hour

Ingredients

  •  8 PUCK Natural Havarti Slices
  •  2 Tablespoons Dijonnaise
  •  1 Onion, large
  • 1⁄2 Cup Water
  • 200 Grams Roast Beef Slices, thinly cut
  • 1 Slice Country Bread, toasted
  • Pickles, optional
  1. Start by preparing the caramelized onions. Heat 1 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes. Once the color starts to change, pour in 1⁄2 cup of water and cook till the water is completely absorbed, giving you soft brown caramelized onions. Set aside.
  2. On the toasted country bread, spread one tbsp. of Dijonnaise, topped with thinly cut slices of roast beef, followed by caramelized onions and a final layer of 2 slices of PUCK Natural Havarti cheese. For extra zing, you can add a few slices of pickle.
  3. Heat the sandwich under a broiler or grill to melt the cheese and add an extra crunch to your sandwich. 

Colorful Fruit Parfait

These fresh fruit parfaits make for a colorful fun breakfast or dessert, or even an indulgent snack. It is a perfect combination of crunchy granola, silky whipped cream and fresh berries. 

DIFFICULTY: Easy COOKING TIME: < 30 minutes 

Ingredients 

  • 2 Cups PUCK Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Cups Mixed Berries, fresh
  • 2 Cups Granola
  • 1⁄2 Cup Almonds
  • Honey, optional

 Rosemary Sprig, optional 

Instructions 

1. In a food processor, whisk together the sugar and PUCK Whipping Cream till you get silky soft peaks. Transfer into a piping bag and chill. 

2. In a mason jar or bowl, layer 2 tbsp. of granola, 2 tbsp. of mixed berries, a tbsp. of almonds, and pipe in some freshly whipped cream. Repeat the layers and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serve with a drizzle of honey if you prefer a touch of sweetness. 

Turkey Ham Monte Cristo

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This is an American classic: a French toast sandwich filled with turkey ham and melted Gouda cheese. It is served with a dollop of strawberry jam.
DIFFICULTY: Easy COOKING TIME: < 15 minutes 

Ingredients 

  • 8 White Bread, Slices
  • 8 PUCK Natural Gouda Slices, slices
  • 4 Turkey Ham, slices
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1⁄2 Cup Milk
  • 50 Grams Lurpak Butter
  • 1⁄2 Cup Strawberry Jam, To serve
  • 2 Tablespoons Icing Sugar, to dust

1. Lay 4 slices of bread down on a clean work surface. Top each with one PUCK Natural Gouda Cheese Slice, followed by a slice of turkey ham and finally another slice of cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread to make 4 sandwiches. 

2. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. 

3. Working two at a time, carefully dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Place in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cook the remaining sandwiches in the rest of the butter. 

4. Slice in half to serve, accompanied with a dollop of strawberry jam and lightly dusted with icing sugar. 

Roasted Garlic and Herb Cheese Dip

Roasted garlic is sweet and less pungent than fresh garlic. It combines perfectly with Puck Cream Cheese spread. 

DIFFICULTY: Easy COOKING TIME: < 1 hour 

Ingredients 

  •  2 Cloves Garlic, Unpeeled
  • 250 Grams PUCK White Cream Cheese Spread, Chilled
  • 2 Onions, slices, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the garlic on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 20 minutes, until soft. Cool 

2. Spoon the PUCK Cream Cheese Spread into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh into the bowl and add the chopped spring onions and parsley. Stir until well combined and season with freshly ground black pepper. 

3. Transfer into a serving bowl. Serve dip with vegetable crudities and crostini. 


The World’s First Signature Homeopathy Clinic opens in Dubai

As a child i used to suffer from recurrent colds, allergies and breathing difficulty. The thought of running from doctors to hospitals and living on antibiotics was just painful, leave alone swallowing those giant pebbles and nasty suspensions. Then to my relief, my parents discovered the world of homeopathy which worked like a miracle and boosted my immunity. The mildly sweet pills (Happy pills as i would call it) were a treat and the easy to dispense suspensions were not considered a nightmare after this discovery.  The amazing part being, it worked well both on a  physical and psychological level for me. It was welcome news to hear about the latest gem in health care to hit Dubai, 'The World’s First State-of-the-Art Signature Homeopathy Clinic', conceptualized by Dr. Mukesh Batra himself, Founder and Chairman of Dr. Batra’s Group of Companies. It was a pleasure to witness the opening ceremony amidst great fanfare. The clinic was officially inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of  Women’s Union Association in the presence of Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr. Akshay Batra, dignitaries and eminent members of the society on 11th January 2016 at their location in Al Wasl, Dubai.

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Left to right: 1 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association and 2 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder Chairman, Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

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Left to right: 1 Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group, 2 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association 3 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group and 4 Kartik Bhatt, International CEO of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group

 

The highlight for me was to experience upon arrival the clinics signature healthy refreshments and the state-of-the art diagnostic examination rooms. It offers the luxuries of a plush resort, reflecting a relaxed atmosphere, personalized service and attention to detail. Hence, I would describe this as your High-heeled sophisticated wellness escape for long term health-transformation.

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Sneha Rebecca Cherian Founder and Editor of Cocoon to Butterfly and Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

One-on-one interview with Dr. Akshay Batra, a leading homeopathy expert, India's first Trichologist from The Trichological Society of London and Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group,

Sneha Rebecca: Why should anyone turn to  Homeopathic treatments?

Dr.Akshay BatraHomeopathic treatment is growing in popularity, it does not treat superficially but looks at improving overall health, wellness, physical and psychological condition of a person. Homeopathic treatments are non-toxic, safe and harmless. They are cost effective too.

Sneha Rebecca: skeptics state, Homeopathy is a misconception and there are a myriad of myths associated. Many claim it just works on a phycological level which discredits this science. What is your response to this?

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will use only one scenario to prove this theory wrong. A child who is 4 or 5 who is unlikely to be influenced on a psychological level and unable to process feelings mentally unlike adults, gets cured by homeopathic treatment. A huge percentage of children respond to this form of treatment for varied diseases and health concerns. If this is proven statistics how can you justify the statement it is a myth and works only on a physiological level.

Sneha Rebecca: Many say Homeopathy is not for acute conditions and serious illness and you do not see immediate effects and recovery with these treatments. What is your thoughts on this.

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will address the effects of the medicine first. Majority of patients and families turn to homeopathy as a last resort when all else has failed, hence it is working at a level which needs time propionate to the severity of the condition. Homeopathy is curative and has proved to combat and prevent many serious conditions of illness, hence it is not only for common colds and teething issues but proven effective to cure Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Cervical Spondylitis, Depression, Hair loss etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel light in the New Year

travel Thank you for your continued readership, for taking moments out of your schedule to read the musings of my heart. Here is me pouring out my heart of appreciation, fitting considering we have embarked on a New Year. Honestly when I started out, I was'nt sure if anyone would stop to read one post... My desire to write came from a passion to infuse hope, hope in a world that seems to be constantly hopeless. Today I stand to testify how this journey has allowed me to discover new grounds and allowed me to connect, influence, and foster friendships I never imagined possible; I am honored!

As 2016 has rolled out, many of us are on a road, ready to welcome a fresh start. The past year might have offered failures, disappointments and regrets. You might find yourself flipping back the pages to reflect what went wrong, who hurt you and why you failed. It might have been a rough start for your journey, but how you finish will really tell your story. Today  i am here to share a secret of traveling light. The heavier your baggage, the greater your struggle to move ahead in your journey. SO LEARN TO TRAVEL LIGHT. Check your bag's to see if it is filled with regret, resentment, bitterness, betrayal, guilt, condemnation and negativity. At the start of the year let us take some time to unpack our bags so that we make better progress in our journey. I also encourage each of you to chart out a navigation map for your journey. In the map, have a list of people you want to journey with and make intentional attempts to spent quality time with them. Have the destinations circled out for where you want to journey or what you want to achieve, and circle the process or the road that will get you to your destination. Lastly, JOURNEY IN THE SPEED OF LOVE.  Have a blessed New Year!

Santa Claus is coming to town

Join Santa for an afternoon of family-fun with French children’s fashion store Petit Bateau, Mall of the Emirates new extension this holiday season. ITS ALL FOR FREE!! Ho Ho Ho!!!santa With a fully decorated Christmas tree and fun activities for the little ones throughout the afternoon such as writing their own letter to Santa; Petit Bateau is inviting families in Dubai to visit the new store at Mall of the Emirates from 4:00pm until 8:00pm on Friday 18th December – and a free goodie bag to take home at the end of your visit.

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Immune Boosting Power Foods

children As we welcome winter, it comes accompanied by the uninvited guest, ' the nasty Influenza virus'. Children are more prone to its attack than adults. Preventive measure such as washings hands and avoiding contact with the virus is certainly a good idea, however the key to a healthy child is a healthy immune system.

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Reem Abdallah, Dietician, Health Factory, offers my readers  tips to promote healthy eating at home which in turn promotes positive immune function. Reem advises parents to visit the local grocery store and choose a variety of ingredients that aids in keeping your child's immune system running strong. Of these the main ingredients are:

 

yogurt

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Children's Day with Petie Bateau @ NO COST!

  Celebrate International Children’s Day on 20th November at any Petit Bateau store in the UAE, indulging in family-friendly activities including sand art, t-shirt painting and a chance to win prizes. All activities are free of cost!!

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Children are a source of warmth, love and joy to every household. Celebrating every child is meaningful. Do we need to have a special day set aside to celebrate children? Why not! It gives organisations and governments, the opportunity to talk about and prove protection and respect for children and enables communities to intervene and impact children's welfare. It's another day and another opportunity to create fond memories and to bring families closer.

In honor of celebrating children's rights around the world, Petit Bateau stores hosts a day of fun and festivities for families to enjoy special moments with their little wonders. Be sure to visit one of the Petit Bateau store's @ The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates or Yas Mall and enjoy with your little sparks!!

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Stop feeding your feelings

emotional eating Kung Fu Panda turns to food in response to a negative stimuli which is triggered by the fact that he is not living his dream. Bridget Jones comfort eats in response to emotions such as anger, despair and loneliness. How many of us stuff our faces in the hope of eating our angst away? sometimes unexpected things happens and life throws you a curve ball which comes attached with stress, grief and despondency. These are the moments when one often turns to food-usually the unhealthy, high-sugar bites as a coping mechanism. This phenomenon is widely termed as emotional eating. However, eating in response to emotions and not hunger can result in overeating, unwanted weight gain and even greater stress. 

Farah Chabib, clinical Dietician, Medi Weight loss, contributes for my readers some useful tips to avoid emotional eating.

1. Avoid "trigger foods"

These are the foods you crave when you're upset. That doesn't mean we can't have these foods, but when they're in the house, access is too easy and we tend to turn to them quickly before dealing with our emotions. If you reach for the potato chips bag every time you feel frustrated, it may be a good idea to leave them out of your house and thus out of your cart on your next trip to the grocery store.

2. Plan your counter-attack

Put a list of the foods that trigger emotions in you. For instance if you notice that when you’re at work you behave very well towards food, but once you’re back home the fiasco starts, then try to find a way to release the stress before coming back home. For instance, get into your comfortable shoes and walk back home if possible or hit the gym after the office!

3. Plan your meals and snacks

If you wait until you are starved, you're more likely to reach for the wrong foods and to overeat. You may also find yourself nibbling all the way through meal preparation.

4. Make your refrigerator a healthy one

One of the easiest ways to ensure healthier eating is to leave you no choice but healthy food! Fill that refrigerator up with healthy nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk.

5. Reward yourself when you eat in a healthy way

Rewarding yourself will increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.

6. Get more sleep

Ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger, rises if you don't rest enough; a less obvious cause of emotional eating is lack of sleep. At the same time, leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, decreases. This could lead to overeating. Plus, being tired could increase irritability and cravings for comfort food. Make sure you`re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

The Language of ‘Saving’ and No Wastage’

The World Food day was celebrated on the 16th of October.  On this account as i was approached to raise awareness on 'Saving and to avert food wastage' i was pleased to adopt this cause and spread the word. This post is dedicated to my husband who is a propagator of no wastage and a person who dreams to see in his lifetime fairer distribution of wealth around the world. Where we live in the UAE, we do not see the depressing sight of the homeless and the struggle of the hungry, as we see in other parts of the world. The fact however remains one in 9 people around the globe live daily facing the demon of devastating hunger and more than 5 million children under the age of 5 die every year as they suffer malnutrition.

UAE is a land known for the biggest, the best and the excess. Food waste is a growing problem in the UAE.  We love food, but for a nation of food lovers, the amount we waste each year is quite staggering, 350kg per person. It is the equivalent of each one of us throwing five bowls of rice in the bin, every day.  Each year AED 13 billion worth of food is wasted, the same as AED 1400 per person.

How can we revert these alarming statistics? While there is no single miracle formula, every drop saved counts and our home is a great place to start. I am learning this process and teaching my children a new language. I urge you to give thought to this and to teach your children the language of 'Saving and No Wastage'.

Here is a list of some easy and useful tips to reduce food waste at home, provided by helpling.ae , the leading online-platform for home cleaners.  

1. Shop smart

Buy less food. Seems simple, but really, this is one of the most important things you can do. More often than not, some of the food we buy in the supermarket will spoil before it’s eaten and get thrown away. Buy a little less food each time you visit the supermarket, even if this means making more trips. 

2. Work with what you’ve got

Regularly check use-by dates and make meals using items that are reaching their expiry date. This will help reduce the amount of food you throw out. Get versatile with food and experiment with recipes to avoid chucking them to the bin.When you make a big meal, save any excess food. It can be your lunch for the following day, or simply a snack for when you get peckish. You can freeze most food in individual portions in freezer bags, too.

3. Store food properly

Proper storage of certain foods can drastically impact their longevity. Keep your fridge clean and hygienic and at the right temperature (ideally around 4 degrees Celsius) and your food will stay fresh for longer. Get into the habit of rotating your foods in the fridge each time you shop. 

4. Serve sensible portions

Avoid over-serving food when cooking for friends and family by serving smaller portions at first, then dishing out any more to those who are still hungry. You might also try serving food on smaller plates - the same amount of food on a smaller plate seems like more food, as it seems to be taking up more space on the plate.

5. Reuse, Recycle

Many items that you might just toss in the trash once you’ve used them still have life left in them. You can also use used tea leaves as manure for plants, old lemons to disinfect surfaces, or even clean the inside of your fridge.You could try composting. It’s nature’s way of recycling food waste. 

Teach you child a New language - The Language of 'Saving' and 'No Wastage'

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Let the giggles explode

   

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Shake your sillies, play games, and indulge in funny movies with your kids.

A team of French scientists has discovered that using humor appears to help toddlers learn new tasks, reports a new study in the journal Cognition and Emotion. Building on the knowledge that making older children laugh can enhance many aspects of cognition, Rana Esseily and her colleagues designed an experiment to see whether using humor could also have an effect on the ability of infants to learn.

Each of the 18-month-olds selected to participate in the final part of the study observed an adult using a tool to grab an out-of-reach toy. In one group the adult simply played with the toy after retrieving it; but in the other group, the adult threw the toy immediately on the floor, which made half the children in that group laugh.

When Esseily and her colleagues studied their data, they found that the children who laughed at the antics of the adults were able to repeat the action themselves more successfully than those who didn’t laugh, as well as those who were included in the ‘humorless’ control group.

Parents such as myself, about to embark on the un-funny business of toilet training might want to keep laughing – no matter what!!

Tips for balanced snacking

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I had the privileged to meet and interview, Barni Nutritionist Hala Barghout, at an event hosted by Barni early this year. Hala believes in committing to family meal times and making them enjoyable. As a parent one of the best gifts you can give your children is a strong nutritional start. With school season in full swing, every mothers biggest challenge is to put together a creative and healthy snack box amidst all the hustle and bustle prior to sending kids off to school. When kids are back from school, preparing a meal that they will actually eat is another mammoth task. As a mom of 3 boys( 2 in school), i keep my eyes open for any tips i can find to make meal times more enjoyable to prepare, and enjoyable for my picky-eaters to savor.

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     Nutritionist Hala Barghout and i, at an event hosted by Barni Snacks, promoting healthy eating and balanced diet for kids.

Below are some child friendly pointers by Hala, for  ensuring a well-balanced diet for your child, thereby contributing to their overall growth.

  • Mix and match

Serve baby carrots, cucumber or other raw veggies with fat-free ranch dressing or hummus. Dip cracker sticks or fresh fruit pieces in labneh. Or, keep a portion of fruits in the mid meal snack daily with peanut butter to allure your child to eat fruits.

  • Broaden the menu

Offer out-of-the-usual fare, such as pineapples, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, or roasted peanuts, almonds or Mediterranean nuts that are freely available in the local supermarkets. Whole grain pretzels and tortillas provide energy and stamina for your little ones.

  • Revisit breakfast

Serve breakfast foods — such as scrambled eggs and a whole-grain toast — as alternative snacks for kids in the afternoon.

  • Sweeten it up

Healthy snacks for children don't have to be bland or tasteless. To satisfy your child's sweet tooth, offer fat-free pudding, pancakes or frozen yogurt. Make smoothies with skimmed milk, yogurt, and fresh fruits.

  • Creativity is key

Use a cookie cutter to make shapes out of cheese slices, whole-grain bread similar to the attractive shape of their endeared Barni Bear.  Make fruit kebabs or show your child how to eat diced fruit with chopsticks or toothpicks. Make a tower out of whole-grain crackers, spell words with pretzel sticks, or make funny faces on a plate using different types of fruits.

Hala says, “Above all, remember that food diversity and moderation are the keys to sensible and well balanced diet. Smart nutritional choices during childhood can reinforce lifelong healthy eating habits and it helps kids grow up to their full potential. So it’s important to start young to reap good results in the future.” A HEALTHY OUTSIDE STARTS FROM THE INSIDE.

Hello School

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My little boy had spent the 3 years learning from me and our family values. The moment had arrived where he starts his school adventure in unchartered territory. We walked through the gates of his school as he gripped my pinky finger so tight, it could break off and as he clung to me like a leech, I could almost feel my blood sucked out. I leaned down to my 3-year-old as I swept his hair across his angel face, building his self-confidence as i set him up for a good start. It was a feeling of Deja Vous. I have been in this spot not too long ago with my oldest and learned that this journey has allowed him to grow wings, yet the jitters chased me. Whether a veteran or a rookie this is a difficult  and mixed emotion as a parent to get to grips with. But this time around I felt I was readier than my first experience, hence I was able to mentally prepare my little one in advance and limit his and my potential for tears. The first day went smooth and drama-free and was an enjoyable one.

A few things I did at home to prepare my child were:

  • I discussed my happy memories of school and got my oldest to discuss his and the exciting part of making new friends
  • I discussed his anxieties and encouraged him with stories of how his older brother overcame his challenges.
  • I read story books and enjoyed putting together board puzzles with my boy
  • I used pretend play by making school time look fun and exciting. The both of us took turns in being teacher and student.
  • I involved my boy in the shopping process of picking his school essentials and planning his snack.
  • Established a bedtime routine in advance so he would wake up fresh and well rested to meet his crucial day

The one thing I did not do(I wish I did) was check on my boy’s medical and dental records to make sure they were up to date, so I would be rest assured that he did not have concerns that we will have to treat in the busy academic period. As I waved a goodbye and flung a desperate flying kiss, I knew I had released him to grow some roots and sprout some wings.

When did your little bundle start school? Was the first day rough? How did you cope and how did you prepare them? I’d love to hear your experience and any advice that could be shared.

 

 

 

Review: Flavors of Brazil at SPIRITO

Walk through the doors of Spirito and find yourself transported to South America. It is a cheerful space with flamboyant interiors, exotic drinks and intoxicating sounds of Brazil. This new restaurant is the latest in the series of South American culinary invasion to hit Dubai.

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Service was excellent from the moment we stepped through the door. The servers were in their element: charismatic and witty with a personality, to influence.

Caipirinha, margarita--They've got all kinds of Latino beverages to keep you ticking. For our appetizers, we opted for the Spirito Picanha Sliders and Coxinha, which are traditional Brazilian croquettes. Small plates clearly did not mean small and was ample for sharing. A bite into the sliders revealed the aromatic flavors of caramelized onions and well cooked juicy beef--everything you expect a top quality slider to taste like.  The smoked Coxinha was a tear drop shaped bomb of flavors. All together this hit the spot and I deemed them worth 5 stars.

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For my entrée, I opted for Lobo, which is a Balck Angus Steak served with Polenta fries. On arrival, it did create an impression with its innovative presentation, on a wooden board. While I still enjoyed it, it just really didn't stack up to my expectation. My husband picked the Cordeiro for his entrée. This is a two bone rack of lamb slathered shamelessly with chimichurri. It sure possessed a distinctive flavor and is 'Interesting' as my husband would describe it.

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Dessert saw us sharing the Brazilian chocolate bonbon cake. This layered pie is amazingly decadent! It has a thin crust biscuit layer topped with rich custard, layered with chocolate ganache and topped with whipped meringue. I almost tasted a slice of heaven. I was won over.

The overall scene: As seems fitting for a cosmopolitan city, with swag careers, fine dining has taken an about turn towards the more eclectic and trendy. This spot is a reflection of this cultural shift. Spirito has made its way into town with its vibrant vibes providing a welcome flavor of Brazil and its ethos. It is a spot not to be missed!

Grab the deal: 50% off your total bill during the month of August

Where: Media One hotel

Contact: +971 4 421 2679

Reservation:reservations@spirito.ae

visit: www.spirito.ae

Price: Coxinah  AED 55

Cordeiro -Two bone rack of lamb, chimichurri AED 120

Brazilian chocolate bon-bon cake AED 50

 

 

 

 

Review: HOOKED to Crab Tavern

If you attempt to score a table at Crab Tavern, you will find a contemporary approach to classic American Fun, Fare, and Favor. As its name suggests, Crab Tavern's menu boasts a myriad of crustacean dishes. It  focuses on reinventing the classic American food and drinks with a delicious and creative twist. The ambiance is upscale ‘Casual Chic’ with an inviting rustic charm, which includes; warm leather sofas, wide plank wood flooring, and brick walls...personally I love this style.I am a sucker for character and warmth. Crab Tavern 243

Our server Justin, who was knowledgeable, fun and witty  made great recommendations, and his service was stellar.

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We started by ordering a Strawberry Colada and a Crab Jar for drinks. I have an obsession for mason jars and classic milk bottles!! My poised and composed demeanor gave way to reveal a visibly excited and awed disposition when I witnessed our server present our drinks in mason jars and milk bottles. Not only were the drinks oozing an enticing appeal but also tasted equally good and were a refreshing start to our meal ahead.

 

IMG_6541For our starter, my husband and I shared a Seafood Arancini. It was my second rendezvous with Arancini and I must add that this particular one lacked the flavor to seduce my pallet and warm my soul. However, the presentation was immaculate with a generous serving of fresh salad greens paired with quail eggs.

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I associate mussels with my very first trip to the French Riviera, where my eyes and taste buds discovered the irresistible flavor of this juicy meat with glistening black shells. I was pleased to note Crab Tavern’s selection of Mussels from the entrée menu brought back delicious memories of the fresh juicy gems of the French Riviera. It was served in a silver tavern accompanied by crispy fries and crusty bread, to soak up the sensational creamy white sauce. It's everything you want it to be!

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My husband chose the much-recommended Singapore crab for his entrée.This was served in spicy chili-tomato gravy, which hooked him from the very first bite. Its appearance was tantalizing, served with crab cracking and scooping tools. My OCD husband overlooked the mess as he enjoyed the succulent flesh in a luscious spiced sauce. This dish lives up to its reputation and is a must try.

 

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For dessert, we opted to share a Pecan and Maple tart served with Bourbon ice cream. What I loved most about this pie is that It’s not cloyingly sweet and I did not have to battle cutting into the crust as it was just the perfect texture.

As the evening progressed the scene here was an upbeat frenzy. The servers were pacing about buzzing with life, clearly enjoying their trade.This kept us waiting a while after our dessert course, to grab the attention of a server (which was the only low point of our evening).

 

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Crab Tavern is completely unique to the city of Dubai. This space has rightfully earned a bounty of buzz. Scoring a table on a weekend can be tricky, so I recommend making a reservation to ensure you can eat your way through their praise-worthy culinary goodness. The rustic décor, fashion-forward company, uplifting tunes and welcoming vibes make this a space worth trying! It’s stylish, urban, fun, impressive and oh! its just larger than life… it’s American for crying out loud!!

 

Where: Media One hotel

Contact: +971 4 420 7489

Reservation: reservations@crabtavern.ae.

visit: www.crabtavern.ae

Price: The Crab Tavern Arancini / Scotch Egg AED 65

Singapore Crab - AED 85

Pecan & Maple Tart- AED 35

Strawberry Colada - AED 35

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking up Memories

It’s always worth it to create memories alongside teaching a new skill to your kids. This summer has been the most amazing bonding experience for me. I have discovered cooking and baking with kids is wonderfully rewarding. OK, it can be a grimy affair and a date with boisterous…but the joy of watching your kids take pride in what they made and to see them have fun while loving the art of whipping, mixing and decorating is a warm fuzzy mommy feeling. So let’s don on the aprons and cook up some memories. Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

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Review: Savouring Dubai at Seven Sands

The Bedouin culinary experience is enjoying a resurgence in Dubai. One of the hottest recent entrants on the Emirati dining scene is ‘Seven Sands’ at ‘The Beach’, JBR. Named after the seven Emirates that constitute the nation of UAE. This expansive two-level eatery is a fashionably modern space with a cultural twist.

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I embarked on a culinary adventure to discover the flavors of the region, offered at Seven Sands. My husband and I arrived at the restaurant after sunset to discover a quiet haven and were greeted by polite and friendly staff. I noted the glass-covered section on the ground floor containing sand from each of the seven emirates and modern frescos on the walls featuring cultural and iconic elements of the Emirates. The head hostess volunteered much of her knowledge and led us upstairs to our table by the window, nicely isolated from the cozy shisha/smoking area and the outdoor terrace facing the sea.

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The building blocks of authentic Emirati cuisine are the use of fresh ingredients. I learned the meat and ingredients here are locally sourced. We were welcomed with an interesting complimentary light bite of warm flat bread sprinkled with zaatar flakes accompanied by chilly labneh dip on the side. Incredible I must say!

Levantine favorites like hummus, moutabal and  tabbouleh were highlights of the appetizer menu. We decided to opt for the Middle Eastern salads with a contemporary twist. My pick was UAE grown green mangoes with homeidh leaves plucked fresh from AL Ain farms, tossed in olive oil and baby tomatoes, bursting with tangy notes. This salad was suitably summery with its zesty flavors. The Seven Sands signature salad which was my partners selection was full of playful colors and clean flavors.

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For our Entrees, I decided to pick the much-recommended ‘Wrapped Bezar Prawns’ fried with vermicelli dough served with sweet chilly dip. The prawn was cooked to perfection but lacked flavor. The chilly dip that accompanied the prawn did the magic and elevated the dish. My husband decided to go with an unconventional pick(In a Middle Eastern restaurant) of ‘Grilled Beef Tenderloin ‘ marinated with olive oil served with pumpkin crisps, mash, and locally sourced vegetables. One can generally assume a restaurant that calls itself a Steakhouse puts out fine examples of steak, but you’re not expecting to stumble on a flavorful and tender steak at an Emirati dining scene. The tenderloin presented was juicy and delicious, down to the very last bite.

Middle Eastern desserts do not tickle my fancy like a cheesecake or Crème-Brule does, however, the dessert list here has one scrumptious cake that I cannot get enough of, the ‘Seven Sands Date pudding’! Hands down this restaurant serves the best version of date pudding that I have ever tasted. It’s a delightful date sponge cake; lightly textured and soaked up with toffee sauce and garnished with almond flakes. It’s an absolutely satisfying combination of smooth and gooey, and described in one word as HEAVENLY! Whether you’ve never tried a date pudding or it’s a favorite, visit The Seven Sands today to treat yourself with their version of this classic.

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Seven Sands is a culinary marriage between traditional Emirati and the modern cuisine, similar to what present day cosmopolitan Dubai symbolizes. If you are looking for well priced and well-portioned Emirati dishes with a twist, served within an aesthetically pleasing ambiance, this is the place to head to.

Where: The Beach, Opposite JBR.

Cuisine: Arabic

Phone:+971 4 551 66652

Website: www.sevensandsrestaurant.com

Timings: Sat - Wed: 8am - 1am / Thu - Fri: 8am - 2am

Price: Seven Sands Signature Salad- AED 25

Harees- AED 45

Grilled Beef Tenderloin- AED 95

Seven Sands Date Pudding- AED 25

 

A Zoo-tiful day at Al Tamimi's Hero Petting Farm

bunny Cocoon to Butterfly kids kicked off their summer break in Dubai, by visiting the regions largest indoor edutainment venue in Modhesh World, Dubai. The highlight of their visit was petting and feeding the most beloved animals at Al Tamimi Stables Animal Care Hero Petting Farm . It was indeed a real fun and unique experience! The lil love-bugs got all soppy as they fed and stroked the animals. The area featured rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ducklings, tortoises, baby goats as well as a parakeet, iguana and ball python snake. Children are constantly learning from their environment and this visit demonstrated how children got to practice development skills and social competencies such as caring, justice and empathy in a relatively short animal interaction time.

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Our lil hero’s also learned about the environment in a fun and interactive way with Al Tamimi’s pot planting Green Hero activity. At their activity, the children were given the opportunity to explore and care for plant life. They got to take home the plant they potted, which gives them the opportunity to watch it grow over time.

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At the AL Tamimi pottery painting area, the lil-wiggles got to unleash their creative side. The area featured a selection of paint and ceramics which included mugs, egg-holders, bowls, cupcakes and much more to choose from. Our wiz-kids let their creative spirit take over while designing their masterpiece, which they brought back home.  The area also features a gift shop where wooden toys and animal gifts are available for purchase as a keepsake.

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children in this era live in a virtual world. They have few opportunities for contact with the natural world and to explore the free-range outdoor and creative play. Places such as Al Tamimi’s petting farm, Green Hero activity, and Pottery painting gives children the opportunity to reclaim the magic and the joy of exploring their natural world and animal planet.

If your kids enjoy these activities and you would like to inculcate in them the thrill of watching a bird, stroking a bunny, finding a turtle and feeding a goat, then head to this location.

 

  • Where: Al Tamimi stables, Modhesh World, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
  • Date: July 9th to August 29th 2015
  • Day and Time: 9 am to midnight from Saturday to Wednesday and 9 am to 1 am on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Price: Each activity priced at AED 20 per person
  • More Information: https://www.facebook.com/AlTamimiStables
  • Contact: +971 50 554 9915/ getintouch@tamimistables.com

 

 

*photo credit: N03/5994991505">Rabbit via photopin (license)