Dubai Winter Festival

What? Dubai Winter Festival

When? From8-10 December. 4-10pm on Thursday, and 3-10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Where? Dubai Media City Amphitheatre

Price? Advance tickets start from AED40

Tickets are available now from

Our favorite festive celebration in the city, Dubai Winter Festival is back for the fifth year.

Activities offered this year

  • Santa’s Grotto
  • Shopping at the Winter Market
  • Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 
  • Special concerts
  • Everyone’s favourite West End show ‘The Rat Pack’ are set to perform their greatest hits with special evening magical entertainment to get everyone in the festive spirit during the opening night on 8 December.
  • This year’s pantomime is “Aladdin & Princess Jasmines Adventure”, where guests will watch Aladdin and Abanazer fight to use the powers of the magic lamp in order to fulfil their dreams.
  • The Special Occasions Kids Zone promises an unforgettable weekend out for families, with plenty to keep the kids entertained, including cookie decorating, arts and crafts and face painting. For those feeling creative, kids can decorate their own edible gingerbread house at the family workshop led by French Bakery.

Easy, Fresh and Clean recipes for kids

Looking for ideas to fix a quick, healthy and tasty meal for kids. Look no further - We continue with the series on ‘Fresh clean cooking recipes for under 20 mins fix’. The recipe below is one of our family favorite. We frequent Thai restaurants, just to have this very dish and now I have found my own way to replicate this. This is by far one of the easiest Asian dishes to prepare. It may not look appetizing to many, as steamed and raw fish is sometimes not conceived as flavorful. But believe me it is just a preconceived mindset, give it a shift and you will fall in love with the flavors the moment you take your first bite. My lil boys could sit and have a fish each on their own and they always have room for more. This taste best paired with Jasmine rice.

Steamed Fish with Garlic, Lime and Chile

Preparation TIME : 20MINS


  • 1 Hammour, Red Snapper or Cream Dori cleaned and gutted (you could even use a large fillet as i have used in the picture)
  • Banana leaf or aluminum foil
  • 12 cloves of garlic chopped round or small
  • 1 red Thai Chili sliced and 1 fresh green chillie (use according to spice preference with kids)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Cilantro stems (coriander stalks) a few cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 3Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/4th cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4th tsp salt


  • Make diagonal slashes across the fish on both sides with a very sharp knife
  • Use a motar and pound lightly  the chopped garlic, chili, cilantro stalks - mix this with the chicken broth, fish sauce, lime juice, salt and sugar.
  • Set aside a small portion of the mix. Place the fish on the banana leaf or aluminum foil .The remaining mix add to the Fish. (If using a whole fish, ensure the mixture is placed inside cavity generously) 
  •  Bring water to boil in a steamer. Transfer fish on the foil or banana leaf to the top of the steamer. Steam fish on medium heat for 12 minutes. 
  • Transfer fish to a serving plate, ensuring all the juices are scooped to the plate. Pour the reserved mix over .
  • Garnish with lemon slices and cilantros. Enjoy with steamed rice.

Voila! An instant fresh, flavorful dish with a handful of ingredients and a preparation time of under 20 mins!

Fancy Cooking for kids made easy

I have had so many moms requesting me to share recipes for a tasty meal for kids. I am no chef, however I enjoy crafting my own dishes with whatever ingredients that I can grab hold of from my cabinet and fridge, surprisingly they turn out good and my clan of boys are a fan of 'moms cooking'. I am a huge advocate of 'FRESH/CLEAN COOKING' and I try my best to have my home meals prepared bearing that philosophy in mind. I eat out so much as a reviewer and food critic that it is imperative I check how I balance that lifestyle with fresh food at home.  As a mom of 3 little boys and with all that I juggle, let me be honest, i do not stay put in the kitchen whipping up a storm. My kids enjoy it when its moms food on the table, hence I do my best to prepare hearty and healthy meals for them, however my big rule is 'NO time consuming recipes'. I am sharing with you two of my recipes which is top favorite in my household. They can be savored just as they are and with no extra side dishes (so no extra time in the kitchen), as they have veggies and proteins all packed into them. They are crafted and put together by myself and they have always been a hit at home. They are great for formal dinners too.  Leftovers always packed for school. Hope you get to try and enjoy them too! 


Preparation TIME : 15 MINS


  • 1 pack Egg Noodles/ Hakka Noodle
  • 2 tbs oil 
  • 1/2 cup baby carrot cut slanted, Broccoli florets,
  • Cabbage medium cube size, thinly sliced Capsicum/bell pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4th tsp chilly powder, pepper power (to marinate prawn)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce (depends on spice level)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Marinate prawn with salt, chilly powder and pepper powder
  • Cook noodles, do not overcook, check package instructions. Drain the cooked noodles in a colander, and rinse them with cold water. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan or wok on medium high heat, first sauté the garlic, for about 1 minutes. add Prawn that is marinated, cook for another minute or 2.
  • stir fry the carrots with the above, then add the cabbage, then the broccoli. Stir fry for about two minutes.
  • lastly add the bell pepper. Do not overcook the vegetables, it should be crunchy. 
  • Add noodles, salt, soy sauce, and chili sauce, toss them together and stir-fry them for about a minute.   Yummy noodles packed with proteins and veggies are now ready for slurping!



The below recipe may look time consuming, but no!! It is just the cooking time in the slow cooker. Preparing time is under 20 mins and all you do is throw everything below in a slow cooker first thing in the morning, go ahead with your daily chore, return back in 5 hrs to have a scrumptious meal ready. When kids are back from school, the meal is just ready and can be enjoyed hot and fresh!


Preparation TIME : 20 MINS

Slow cook in Oven for :5- 6 hrs.


  • chicken weighing 2 kg

For the marinade :

  • 8 cloves of fresh garlic paste
  • 2 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper powder 
  • 1tsp salt
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp soya sauce

For Bed of Veggies

  • 2 medium carrots cut into cubes,
  • 1 broccoli florets
  • 8 mushooms in halves
  • 4 potatoes quartered
  • 2tbsp garlic power and dry herbs 
  • Olive oil to drizzle


  • Place veggies ina 6-qt. slow cooker; drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with garlic power and dry herbs (rosemary, parsley etc) toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. 
  • Baste the chicken with olive oil and use half ofthe prepared chicken marinade in chicken cavity and all over rubbing generously. You could tie drumsticks together.
  • Place chicken over vegetables in slow cooker, breast side up. Pour remaining marinade over chicken.
  • Cook, covered, on medium for 4hours and on high 1- 2 hrs or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175° and vegetables are tender.
  • Remove chicken on to a pan drizzled with olive oil, pan fry it for a few minutes till the outside is golden brown.
  • Remove chicken to a serving platter;. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serve with vegetables.



LegoLand Dubai Review


When? Opened October 31,2016. Open 365 days of the year.

Where? Dubai Parks and Resorts, Near Jebel Ali area

Timings? 10:00-18:00

Ticket Price? Day Pass - Adult general admission AED 295, Kids General admission - 250 (3-11 years)

Contact? 800 262

The Highlights

  • Over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions.
  • 6 Themed lands - MiniLand, LegoCity, Imagination, Kingdoms, Adventure and Factory
  •  Lego building experiences.
  • 15,000 Lego models


  • Be Prepared to walk a lot and to stay an entire day to make the most of your visit
  • Carry snacks, bottles of water, caps, hats and strollers
  • Make a note of the timings of live shows and 4D movies. You do not want to miss them!
  • Grab a Legoland map and choose the most popular rides/attraction to start with.
  • swimming costume and towels will be handy once the water park is opened full-fledged.

Good news

  • There are many indoor air-conditioned spots. To beat the summer heat, escape to MiniLand which is an air-conditioned dome or choose a Sit down indoor restaurant orbuilding experience area.
  • Mothers with infants have dedicated baby care areas and toilets space dedicated to changing areas
  • The rides are age appropriate and safety seems to be on a high note here.

The Low

  • Kids younger than 3 and a half are not able to ride on most attractions.
  • The restaurant options are limited and seems to be on the pricy side.
  • Water park is not fully operational and still under construction (Big disappointment for the little one)

Our favorite Pick

  • 4D movie
  • MiniLand
  • Live Ninja go show
  • Dragon Coaster
  • Driving Zone

Lego presents 'UAE-eclair competition'

Cocoon to Butterfly Kids had a blast at the UAE-eclair competition, where Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, pastry chefs assisted my boy tribe in decorating eclairs with their favorite representation of the UAE. It’s part of an ongoing competition, with the winning éclair being recreated by the patissiers at Le Meridien and sold in the hotel throughout the week of UAE National Day.

LEGO Megabuild, which will be transforming the ground of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi into a giant LEGO construction site. Children of all ages are being invited to build a city, as LEGO intends to recreate the Dubai skyline with over half a million LEGO bricks. Le Meridien Family will be offering complimentary access to the general public from 18th-27th, October 2016, throughout the LEGO build, with LEGO professionals on hand to guide and assist all mini master builders and to make sure safety standards are adhered to. 

Unleash imagination and foster creativity among our pint sized heroes- SKY IS THE LIMIT!!


Kids invited to LEGOLAND Awesome at the Beach

What ? LEGO Megabuild

When?  18th-27th, October 2016

Where? Le Meridien Mina Seyahi

Kids all over Dubai cannot wait for 31st October 2016 - LEGOLAND® Dubai, opens. YAY!!!

As part of the festivities attached to the opening, the theme park had brought in some “AWESOME” to THE BEACH, with a fun and interactive pop-up shop. My kids had the best time enjoying playful LEGO building experiences, with the Lego Land team giving them a helping hand. 




Unleash imagination and foster creativity among our pint sized heroes- SKY IS THE LIMIT!!




Rearing Kids with values

"To educate a person in mind and not morals is to educate a menace to society."

-Theodore Roosevelt


I hit an interesting conversation with a group of moms at school. One of the mommies was sharing with the group and seeking help to cope with a competitive mommy friend who is on her neck to see how her child is fairing and how many activities she has enrolled her kid in. Her competitive mommy friend gets palpitations if her child’s progress record is not steady as a top performer or if progress is not pictured in an upward linear angle. The child is bombarded with after-school activities that he isn’t grabbed by, giving the child (who is in primary school) zero opportunity to enjoy some down time. The tad time the mom gets with her child at school pick-ups she is seen shooting out questions to gage if her kid is reading plenty and where he stands compared to his peers. Now what surprised me beyond words was none of the above. I was dumbfounded to learn that this parent was furious with the teacher for having her child sit with a ‘non-superior race’ and ‘non high-achievers’. Her argument being, she spent all this money and sent her child to a ‘Superior School’ to have her kid learn from a ‘Superior race’ and sit alongside 'Superior race' (This is the mom's words). Who is a ‘Superior race'?? I wonder!! I thought we are all humans running the same race on planet earth. I wish we all taught our children that every human being is a superior creation and there is none inferior to us.

Mind you this comment is coming from an expat mom who lives in a tolerant country and has chosen a fine International school flooded with over 80 nationalities. I am appalled at the sound of her comment!! The stuff of superiority complex, racism, colonialism still exist in this day and age in such a progressive society. These ugly flaws that birth wars and genocide still exist in our midst!! I have to say this is a rare occasion and a rare finding for me and i hope there are not many parents who’s line of thought function like this.

The truth is values matter more than education. There are enough negative forces out there in the world to influence our children with the bad and the ugly. It is up to us parents to instill good values in our children before we even introduce them to formal education. Every child deserves to be taught, but let us start with tolerance, kindness, honesty, ethics, good sportsman spirit and more…

Managing your Kids emotions after a mistake


Mistakes are part and parcel of life and it is sometimes unavoidable. We are not raising ‘Perfect Kids’, we are here to empower them with essential life skills to support  them in bouncing back when faced with a  negative situation- Help them live their best life! STOP nagging, constantly pointing out mistakes and bringing up past mistakes.

My oldest has entered a phase where he messes up and gets frustrated with himself, to the point he sulks in a corner for an extended period. How do we use good judgment in a situation and help our kids get past these situations? Here are a few tips I have learned with time and experience. Now, these tips work best with kids who are 5 years and above. For my youngest it’s "TIME OUT", i am still figuring that one out (LOL!!).

An Example from my 7 year old boy’s experience : “MOM, I suck at football, I was annoyed and i kicked the temporary goal post down when i was playing with friends”

 1. Get the facts out. “Can you describe to me what happened and what led to you feeling this way?  “My friends laughed when I  could not pass and kick with the right techniques, it made me angry, Now they will not want to play with me ever” (my boy’s response)

It is important that we teach them the difference betweenfacts and feelings.  So my response is :

You suck at football is your perception and feeling. I’ve seen you play and i think you are fabulous. You may want to get further coaching to get better at it and we can discuss and look into that ( he is going through a feeling of shame and anger at this point and i am trying to get to the root of that).

Did your friends mention to you that they will never play with you? “NO” (My sons response) . “Then again it’s your perception, hence you feel that way about them. Shake it off and on the weekend you can go back to play with them”. (mom’s response)

Address these feelings and perception withAffirmation/positive reinforcement and see how best you can help the child get better at a skill.

2. Address the mistake and help them identify  a wrong behavior. Kicking the goal post down was a reaction to that feeling of anger and do you think that was the right thing to do ? “NO” (my son’s response). “Ok that is an unacceptable behavior! great you recognize that so in the future you will be mindful not to be destructive”. (mom’s response)

3.  Address the feeling. Can you describe to me what exactly is the feeling that was  going through you when you destroyed the goal post? and what is going on now? Does it hurt in your tummy or you feel sick, you feel like punching… What are you going to do about these feelings in the future?  Hear them out.

Allow them to come up with a plan or guide them with options. My options : You should apologize for kicking the goal post down.It would be a great idea to talk to your friends and let them know that you feelings are hurt when they laugh at you . You may want dad and mom to have a word with them.

4. Address consequences.  There are always consequences for bad attitude and behaviors. Discuss with kids what are the consequences to expect the next time around the mistake is repeated.

 5.Teach them a life lesson and reassure them.  Teach them how to manage emotions. Let them know, the next time you go through these emotions walk away, think through it and have a talk with your friends and family about your feelings. Let kids know there is always a learning to take away from every mistake. Discuss the learning from this present mistake.

Love unconditionally!!! Never withhold love from your child just because he/she makes mistakes. Remember we all do and we all deserve to be loved no matter what!


How do parents manage emotions of their kids after they have messed up? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment on the box below. Looking  forward to learning from you.

IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park

WHAT? IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park

WHEN? Opening August 31, 2016

WHERE? Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road – in between The Villa and Global Village

TICKETS? AED 300 for an adult and AED 250 for children

Tickets can be purchased now at

SAFETY? A wristband is locked on kids which enables parents to monitor their location.

Welcome to DUBAI, a city that hosts the worlds biggest and largest of all kinds. The latest addition to the list is ‘THE WORLDS LARGEST INDOOR THEME PARK’, 1.5 million square feet (equivalent to 28 football pitches), open 365 days a year. The park is promising the best experience possible when it welcomes guests starting 31 August, 2016. 

If you have little boys like me, then Superheros and Theme parks are something they never grow out of entirely. This place offers the best of both worlds.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS - The park will be made up of FOUR MAIN ZONES

The Marvel Area - Featuring 5 main rides and made to look like the streets of New York. The rides include Avengers Battle of Ultron, Hulk Epsilon Base 3D, Spider-Man Doc Ock’s Revenge, Thor Thunder SpinAvengers Flight of the Quinjets


The Cartoon Network zone- Ride with The Power-puff Girls, Ben 10 5D Hero Time - following the Ben 10 character during a battle, Adventure Time -  ride with Finn & Jake, interactive remote game, The Amazing Ride of Gum-ball, LazyTown Playground and Live Stage Show


Lost Valley Dinosaur-themed section : The Velociraptor - 1.1 km rollercoaster goes from 0 to 100 km in 2.5 seconds, Forbidden Territory Safari - where you’ll see 70 prehistoric, life-sized animatronic dinosaurs,Predator - A heart thumping 400-metre-long ‘vertical rollecoaster’, Dino Carousel - the world’s first ‘dinosaur-themed carousel’

IMG Boulevard -. This retail and F&B area promises to be the perfect shopping, eating or meeting spot for family and friends.

Other Features

  • 25 original retail concept stores
  • 28 F&B outlets - Features food trucks to fine dining, and 13 types of cuisine.
  • 4,500 parking spaces.
  • NOVO cinemas is nestled in the premises where folkscan access without paying the general entrance fee

Your little ones will find plenty of activities here to stay cool and entertained during the blazing heat of Dubai Summer. Doesn’t this look great?

Back To School shopping guide in Dubai

Back To School shopping guide in Dubai

It’s that time of the year - Back To School Season's here!

As a mom of 3 you naturally look around for products of quality, unique in design and good value for money. I have tried and tested many products (some which were given to me by brands to test) and some that i personally vouch for as they have stood out over time... Are you wondering which backpacks and lunch boxes you should pick? Look no further, below i have complied a list of amazing Back to School supplies for you to browse and get inspired.

Back to school Essentials

Red Tag


Budget Find

  • Red Tag


Fashion Forward

  • Pottery Barn Kids


  • Cath Kidston



Its back to packing lunch time. From Bento box, to sectioned tray to cutlery.

Budget Find

  • Cath Kidston


Fashion Forward


AED 69

AED 65

  • Pottery Barn Kids


Insulated food containers

  • DB Babies

AED 90/-

Bento boxes

Portable and organized solution for packing in a few items. I absolutely love them


Spinneys/ DB Babies

AED 55

Fashion Forward

Bento box from Just Kidding Store 

AED 165 

Lunch Box Carrier


Red Tag

Pottery Barn





AED 19

Fashion Forward

Camel Back -  I absolutely swear by these leak proof bottles. Every child should own one. Available at Center Point, Virgin, DB babies

AED 75

Cath Kidston

AED 60





AED 22 

Fashion Forward

Pottery Barn Kids





Red Tag

Fashion Forward

Adidas (Official Store)

AED 125



Dubai Libraries

Fashion Forward -  Not for drooly mouths to chew.

Kate Spade

AED 120

AED 100/-

Teens collection - From trendy to chic

Kate Spade

AED 1140 

AED 200

AED 90

AED 150

Location of stores

Red Tag

Location - IBN Battuta, Lamcy Plaza, Arabian Center Mirdif, 

Union Co-op Al Wasl, Al Ghurair Mall

Pottery Barn Kids

Location: Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Center

Cath Kidston

Locations: Mall of Emirates, Dubai Festival City, Mirdif City Center

Kate Spade

Mirdif City Center, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Marina Mall


Locations: Deira City, Center, Mirdif City CenterFestival City, Ind Battuta, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Mall, Al Ghurair, Oasis Center, Madina Mall

DB Babies

Mercato Mall, Arbian center Mirdif, Town Center Jumeirah Mall, Al Quoz

Just Kidding Store

Waffi Mall, Golden Diamond Park, Al Safa

IFA Sports Camp

IFA Sports Camp


Your Kid loves football and cant wait to be enrolled into a coaching program?

I completely understand; and If you are scouting for a good summer football coaching program I know just the right fit for you.

My seven year old boy, Abhishek, is an athletic young lad. When I was pregnant with him I took a shopping tripjust to get him a sports themed nursery! By the time he was one he had sports jerseys and football shoes…after all that I still question why my boy turned out to be a football fanatic. AB has been urging us for the longest while to sign him up for football coaching. I would always reason in my head that this might be a fleeting fantasy… I was delaying the inevitable hoping that my boy will soon forget. Nope…I was proved wrong. His passion is here to stay and he is determined that some day he will be the next Messi.

This led his dad and I to scout for a coaching program. Not long ago, I was invited to Sports World Dubai, the largest indoor sporting event in the UAE to review their facility. During my visit there I was drawn to the IFA sports academy, which have been running summer football camps at this location. My son was offered an amazing opportunity to experience IFA Football coaching. It was sheer delight to watch him suit up for his coaching. I watched his legs agile and powering with athleticism and his face beaming as he set sail on his dream.  At the start of the week, he was put into a training group based on his age and ability. Kids are given a coach for their team and have the same coach all week to build up a rapport.

At IFA, football fanatic kids and teens get their kicks and top-notch instruction in the sport to keep them pumping throughout the day!  IFA have been running football camps for 4 to 16 year olds at the Dubai Trade center location since the inception of Dubai Sports World. Here they focus on a wide range of skills, drills and tactics. At the end of the day they have a match and each kid is evaluated for different competencies on a score sheet. They offer skilled football coaching from beginner to academy level and offer young players a solid foundation on which they can build their skill.

The coaching offered here is ideal for kids and teens who have an interest to get started or for those looking to advance their skills. This has been an unforgettable football camp experience for my young future sports star. My lil late riser, now, cant wait to put on his soccer shoes and practice some kicks. 

Whether you have a football-obsessed kid at hand or you are scrambling to figure out a plan for you lil ones to spend their summer blowing off steam in the coolest ways possible, this is the place to hone their skills or learn a new one.


Location :       Dubai Sports World - Dubai World Trade Centre (Indoor Venue)

Dates :             Sunday 26th June - Thursday 25th August.

Times:              9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm

Ages:               4 - 16 years old.

Cost:                500 AED for 5 half Days or 125 AED per half day.

                        750 AED for full 5 days or 200 per full day.

To secure your child's place, book on line now or please call 04 4541683 or  

Please book early to avoid disappointment, as spaces are limited.


Visit for more info 

Pregnancy Meal and Snack plan for a balanced diet


Oh you’re pregnant..You must eat for two! There will never be anything as loud as this common refrain that gets to the ears of a preggy mommy. It is one of the biggest pregnancy misconceptions - although you absolutely need to focus on nourishing your baby. In reality you just need an extra 300-500calories a day. Pregnancy was the one phase in my life that i consciously planned a healthy eating guideline and it sure kept me fit and strong. What you eat during pregnancy has an impact on the health of your baby. Hence be wise to choose what you eat and what you need to avoid. Break down your meals to breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks (in between the big meals)-keeping the focus on HEALTHY. 

Foods to avoid

Junk food, Alcohol, High-sugar, High intake of caffein, Cold-cuts/deli, soft and unpasteurized cheeses, raw fish/raw seafood/raw or semi cooked eggs and artificial sweeteners.

My plate a day should include : 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups veggies, 7 ounce grains, 6 ounce meat/beans, 3 cups dairy, 6tsp fat/oil

Never skip meals to avoid gaining weight.

Eating healthy and to plan different meals or snacks for the week is a tedious task. Fret not!! Below is a list of options you could pick and fix in a jiffy! This is a meal plan that i personally fixed and stuck to. It had me going strong and healthy for all 3 pregnancies.

Kick off your mornings with a Healthy Breakfast


  • Cinnamon porridge or oat meal topped with your choice of berries
  • A huge bowl of Berriesor citrus fruits layered with granola and topped with Greek Yoghurt (has twice the goodness of regular yoghurt) and berry coulis
  • Pita bread cut in half and loaded with labneh/hummus, sliced boiled eggs, cucumbers and ground fresh pepper/salt
  •  A colorful omelet on brown toast. 
  • Brown bread toast and crackers spread with Labneh and topped with sliced Avocados.
  • Upma (Indian Breakfast) with chickpea or kidney bean curry.
  • A glass of laban, strawberry smoothieor mango milkshake with scrambled eggs and a slice of whole meal bread
  • Muesli mixed with dry fruits/nuts accompanied by floured yoghurt

Lunch/ Dinner options


  • A big bowl of leafy veggie salad prepared with lettuce, kale, grilled chicken strips, avocados, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, red beans paired with a glass of pomegranate juice .
  • Grilled chicken leg or thigh, wheat pita paired with hummus and a side of Taboule salad 
  • Beef steaks ( medium well to well done) with roasted veggies
  • Grilled fish with sautéed spinach or pok choy.
  • Indian Rice thali. Exactly 10 table spoon of rice with huge helpings of side veggie dishes and a portion of fish or meat dish.
  • A medium bowl of Sweet corn and chicken noodle soup.
  • chicken stir-fry with grapefruit and orange salad
  • lamb chops with sautéed kale and steamed veggies
  • Quinoa Fried rice with Chicken curry.
  • Roti’s with egg roast curry or sides of veg/non veg dish.
  • Kebabs, a quarter cup of hummus, baby carrots and few triangles of wheat pita bread
  • Broccoli/Carrot/Pumpkin soup with whole grain bread and sautéed veggies

Pregnancy is also a time for ravenous cravings. I am not one who propagates ‘go full abstinence’.  Allow yourselfa few treats a week such as; SMALL portions of cheesy or chocolaty goodness or a HANDFUL of chips and fries. While you satisfy your cravings you also need to be careful not to overdose on it. Cravings are most often a sensory or emotional attraction. As much as possible satisfy your cravings with healthier alternatives. Below mentioned are some healthy options for snacks.

  • Handful of Nuts and dried fruits
  • Low fat cheese and olives
  • Cut fruits or Fruits drizzled with chocolate sauce
  • Wholegrain muffin
  • Popcorn- yes you heard me right. 
  • Frozen yoghurt
  • Steamed corn with lemon extract salt and pepper
  • Carrot, cucumber and Pepper juliennes with hummus, yogurt or labneh dip

Activities to keep kids mentally challenged this summer

Activities to keep kids mentally challenged this summer

Whether you decide to set out on a family escape this summer or choose not to travel, here is a list of activities to keep your kids mentally challenged and to preserve your sanity as parents. The below suggested activities are fun for all age groups and helps kids reinforce their learning or explore something new. I personally have included some of the activities in our summer schedule and boy oh boy! they have not just been a life saver but a fun, bonding experience to share with kids.


1. Get kids to compile a ‘Daily Diary’ or a ‘Trip Diary’ -  At the end of the day get kids to write down the highlights of the day on a fun book or colored papers that can be puttogether to make a personal diary. If you are away on holiday get kids to journal or draw out the daily adventures and fun finds on the trip.


2. Encourage your children to create or invent their own recipe and make recipe cards - Cooking with kids maybe a messy affair, however, if you choose to overlook the mess you will discover how creative kids can get with putting simple ingredients together to create something interesting and yummy. If you are looking for easy step by step recipes for cooking with kids, there are a variety of resources available online. Here is my favorite pick.

3. Create a Scrapbook- Collect and Press wild flowers, dry leaves from your travels between the pages of a book and add to the scrap book. Add souvenirs and ticket stubs from your trips and include photographs of your visits to interesting spots.


4. Visit a farm or a zoo. Write down interesting facts about different animals like food they enjoy, life span, categories they fall into. Pick your favorite animal, make him the lead character of your story and include other animal characters in the plot of your story.


5. Start a book club with friends and close group around. Swap books and discuss authors. Parents can read to smaller kids and have a group discussion of the moral and learnings from the book. Have a chart to track the books they read. 


6. Help kids create their own game and play along making it a family affair. Indulge in board games like Pictionary, Scrabble, Monopoly, UNO etc.


7. Encourage kids to play learning games, puzzles, print out coloring sheets and educational material to keep them challenged. Here is my favorite online resources.

Helping women find flexible work offerings in the Middle East.

Motherhood confers upon a woman the primary responsibility of childrearing and often necessitates women to give up or to take an off ramp from their career highway. Over the years i have met countless women stuck in the cycle of having to give up their careers and unable to land a flexible job when they are ready to take one after their break. I was pleased to hear that recruitment Consultancy, Hopscotch aims to change the game for professional women in the MENA region. 

With one in ten women feeling that they lack the confidence to return to work after a stint ofmaternity leave or family break, Hopscotch, has launched to bring together professional women requiring flexible working options and companies looking for quality, shorter term hires. Hopscotch aims to also support women with exclusive workshops and specific skills coaching to those who register online at their website.



The brainchild of Helen McGuire and CEO of MCG Group of Companies, Justin McGuire, the company will work with professional women and the Communications and Administration/Finance sectors to marry currently lost skills with flexibility and new ways of working. This is just the best news for every mom giving thought to returning back to work with a flexible schedule.

For more information on Hopscotch, please email or register online at

'Raising Arrows' Parenting Conference -Part 2

The Blog 'Cocoon to Butterfly'  hosted the second of its series of conference on wholesome parenting 'Raising Arrows' on 18th June 2016, at Sky Lounge, Gloria Hotel. The key note speaker was Andalene Salvesen a.k.aSuper Granny, an internationally acclaimed parenting coach, speaker and author. The event was planned and coordinated by the event planning service 'Sherrie's Lounge'.


Cocoon to Butterfly blog is on a mission to build nurturing family units through the equipping of parents and the refocussing on the glory and impact of intentional parenting on a child and subsequently a nation. The conference saw parents from different walks of life in attendance, returning as parents with purpose... equipped with effective tools and practical steps to be empowered parents. The third part of the conference is scheduled for September 2016.


Below is the highlights from ‘Raising Arrows’ Parenting Conference June 2016.

Things to do with kids during Summer holidays in Dubai

Have you decided to stay back and explore Dubai options this summer? Are you lost for ideas to entertain kids for the holidays in Dubai? Fret not, we've got you covered. I have had countless number of folks asking me  'as one of the best parenting blogs what are your thoughts on kids entertainment options in Dubai?' I would generally be lost for words as i hardly explored summer options in the city..well, Not anymore! So we at Cocoon to Butterfly have made an intentional attempt to research, approach and experience the city's offerings for kids this summer.  All of the below attractions has been personally tried and tested by Cocoon to Butterfly kids and comes highly recommended by the little tribe and parents. Of all the different options we tried and tested the below list is cherry picked.

Looking for things to do for free with Kids in Dubai

1.Dubai Sports World, World Trade Center.

Do you have a little sports enthusiast at home? Why not introduce them to Badminton. This summer, Dubai Sports world offers coaching clinics for kids and adults of all ages. At Sports World they offer six full sized courts where the participants are guided through the rules and skills of the game on a weekday. 

On a weekend you can make prior bookings of the court to master the new skill learned. The best news: This is all for free!!

Contact : Dubai Sports World, Dubai World Trade center04- 306 4000 for court bookings. 

Timings: Coaching clinic from 8 am to 4pm on a weekday. Court booking: 8am to midnight on a weekend


2. Feed the turtles at Madinat Jumeirah.


Visit the sanctuary and holding pen situated close to  the entrance of Mina A' Salam pool and next to Wharf Restaurant. Craft memories as you and your child indulge in a Turtle feeding session. The sessions are scheduled for Wednesday at 11 am and Friday at 1pm. These are absolutely free. After a fun time, you may choose to relax with your lil munchkins at a restaurant of your choice in  Mina A Salam.

3. The change Initiative, Sheik Zayed Road.


Looking to make new mommy friends? Every Tuesday at 10:30am a group of moms and babies meet up to share motherhood and  baby adventures. The group has story telling and singing which keeps the mini sparks entertained. Enjoy this group for Free


For the Best Deals for kids this summer  


1. Splash 'n' Party-  Cocoon to Butterfly play group with parents tested this new destination in Dubai- The first of its kind in the region that combines aquatic, health and recreational activities to create a fun-filled unique experience. They are offering an absolutely delightful Ramdan offer: June 5- July 3rd, Buy 1 (ticket for 1 is AED 100) and get 1 entry free. With extensive additional art & craft activities, health conscious restaurants and on site production services that create the most unforgettable and immersive birthday party experiences. Splash 'n' Party caters to the entire family, complying with the highest safety regulations and unlike bigger water parks, offers an intimate gated and secure setting where parents can really relax. This comes Highly recommended by Cocoon to Butterfly kids and parents!


Contact: 04- 388 3008 Splash 'n' Party, Villa 1, Street 8a, Al Safa 2. For more info contact


2. Tee and Putt- A glow in the dark Mini golf treat with 18 hole mini golf centers posing obstacles and interesting challenges at  Wafi Mall. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday buy one ticket and get the second one at 50% off. On a weekday you enjoy unlimited rounds when one round per person is purchased.


Contact: Wafi mall 800 MINI GOLF(800 6464 4653) Arabian Center 04 239 3636. Price: For a group of 3 and more, Mini Golf AED 65Single- AED 75. For children below 44 inches in height AED 50


3. Kidzventure Kids club at Double tree Hilton, Jumeirah Beach. Kidzventure has supervised play area with soft play, crafts, pretend play ; kitchen corner, shopping corner and more. The summer specials include, Sunday buy one hour(Aed 45) and get second hour free . Monday's supervised by parents- buy one hour (Aed 30) get additional hours at (Aed 20). Mondays Unsupervised, (Aed 45) for first hour and (Aed 25) for every additional hour. Meditation for moms while kids play is  Aed 100


Contact: Double Tree Hilton, Jumeirah  Beach, Janelle 052 276 8237. Kidzventure Ibn Battuta 04 368 4130




Art and Craft activities for kids


1. The jam Jar- The jam jar art studio awakens the creative and art genius in you child as they promote a wild time with paint, boards and brushes. Worry no more of having to clean up stains and messy table tops at home. Take advantage of the attractive summer deal till the end of August: 15% discount on all painting packages during weekdays.


Contact: The jam jar, Al Quoz, AlSerkal Avenue. 04-341 7303. Open Monday to Saturday. Sunday closed.


2. The Cartoon Art Gallery- Art classes available weekdays and weekends for kids. Classes include pencil drawing and coloring, Water color for beginners, Cartooning and Charcoal


Contact: Cartoon Art Gallery, Al Quoz. 04- 346 6467


 kids Summer Camps in Dubai 2016



1. IFA Sport. Do you have a kid like mine who cant stop thinking of football? If you are  scouting for a football camp for your 4-16 year old then this sure fits the bill.

Contact: 04-4541683, IFA sport, Dubai World Trade Center. Sheikh Saeed Hall. Starting June 23rd to August 21st. Aed 100 a day or Aed 350 a week. For more info visit :

2. Funky Monkeys-  This fun play area is hosting activities like art and craft, princess spa fun, etiquette classes, basic cooking, laser games and more for kids aged four and above.                   

Contact: 04- 388 4114, Funky Monkeys, Sheikh Zayed Road. Starting June 30th ro August 29th. Aed 500 a week.  For more info visit Website:

3. Al Nasr Leisureland-  Looking for an activity packed, fun and affordable summer camp? Look no further- This is the choicest pick of the affordable range. Al Nasr Leisureland offers activities ranging from cooking and baking, skating, billiards, squash, swimming, bowling, dance, henna,face painting and more.

Contact: 04- 337 1234, Al Nasr Leisure land, Oud Metha. Starting July 1st to August 1st. Aed 900 a month for children aged 7 to 13.  Aed 1,050 a month for kids aged 3 to 6 years. For more info visit:

Philadelphia Creativity for a Cause campaign revealed 2016 winners.

When's the last time you heard of a State sponsored Happiness initiative! unfortunately we are all much too used to hearing the opposite. The United Arab Emirates is intentional about Women's Empowerment and happier communities, and it shows, as Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai announced (in the recent past) a new cabinet that included the country's first-ever "minister of state for happiness", Ohood Al Roumui. She is one among seven women named to hold portfolios in the new 29-member cabinet.

In lines with this vision of empowering women and making our nation the happiest place, Philadelphia has been encouraging creativity in community welfare amongst the women living in the GCC with its ‘Creativity for a Cause’ campaign. Mondelēz International (that owns Philadelphia) for the seventh year in a row invited women in the region to participate with simple ideas that bring joy to their communities. On Monday 23rd May, Creativity for a cause revealed this year’s winners at a Gala celebration held at the Cove, Jumeirah beach Hotel. Manar Alomayri a Saudi national with a total of 3,652 votes received the region-wide women’s empowerment Creativity for a Cause 2016 Award. Manar, presented the winning idea of creating an online library for Arabic audiobooks.

Soraya Darwish from Dar Al Hekma university,  was also recognized for her idea of empowering women of Saudi Arabia by opening up job opportunities for them.

The ceremony was studded with stellar entertainment, a gala lunch, creativity for a cause mentors, award nominees, guests from the media and social world.

Pregnant and Stylish on a budget

With my first pregnancy, I started exploring my maternity fashion and budget options and below i share my findings. I should admit that i traveled extensively during my 1st pregnancy which also gave me an opportunity to score some great buys from across the globe.

              (This is a regular summer dress picked up on sale from American Eagle which cost AED 90/-) 

To Do's

1. Make an inventory of your closet-  Take a hard look at your closet to see if you own pieces of clothing in there that will work. A tunic or empire waist dress, flowing tops, stretchy pants, tights and leggings. 

2. Shop smart-  Consider shopping for outfits that are wearable post pregnancy too. Instead of shelling a fortune on maternity stores opt for your favorite high street store and look for clothing one size larger than your regular size. Pick button downs that will be beneficial post pregnancy for nursing, empire cuts, flowing and legging style.

3. Score the sales - If you've been eyeing all the exorbitant priced outfits on the window of a celebrated maternity store, wait before you take the leap towards a desperate purchase. You can still own at least a few. There is always a sale coming up.

4. Save up for an investment purchase- Allow yourself the opportunity to get extravagant on one or two baby shower, maternity shoot or a special occasion dress. Save up for it and shop guilt free. You absolutely deserve it! Splurge also on one piece of well fitted and comfyjeans, work pants or a good quality leggings. It will be used and reused and the money spent will add good value.

5. Hand me downs - If your bestie or a great friend has bid adieu to her maternity season you can always approach her and borrow her maternity clothes.  Ensure to take extra care and return them in good condition.

6. Choose good quality nursing bra's- For the last trimester i suggest that you invest in nursing bras that offer support and can be used after delivery for nursing. If you pick this early in your pregnancy, go for 2 sizes plus what you are currently. Choose silicon underwire or just a good support stitch. Do not opt for metallic and hard underwire's and heavy padding. Support and comfort is the name of the game. I collected mine on sale (in my first trimester) from Destination Maternity and Triumph.

7. Get colourful and accessorize- Do not limit yourself to drabs and neutral pallet. Alternating between colorful scarfs and a bright neckpiece can add variety and splendor to your block colored tees, topsand dresses.  Color and accessories add sparkle ,lifts your pregnant spirit and perks up any outfit.

Not to Do's

1.  Steer clear of carrying tiny hand bags- They make you look oversized . Opt for larger bags to complement your growing bump, but ensure to keep the bag light for comfort.

2. Avoid sporting crop jackets- They make you look like midgets who ate way too many cheeseburgers.

3. Abstain from baggy clothes - You can opt a size bigger, but baggy is just so wrong and does no justice to showing off your  pregnant curves. Its deceptive and makes you look like a tent, larger than you really are.

4. Refrain from short shirts that reveal the orb and hot pants that ride up-  It calls for constant adjusting and it steals the grace and charm of gazing at a beautiful pregnant lady.

5. Super High heeled footwear is a NO NO- However stylish it may sound, rocking in super high heels is not just dangerous to yourself and the baby but is painful, uncomfortable and makes you look plain funny. An inch and a half is the limit. 

6. Expensive stretch mark creams are just a marketing gimmick-  You do not have to fall into pressure of having to shell a fortune on those high end creams to avoid the marks. There a natural and effective substitutes such as olive, coconut or vitamin e oil. Drink lots of water and eat healthy which will boost your skin's elasticity and keeps you away from the marks.

Whatever your personal fashion preference may by, remember to adorn confidence and a smile. No matter what- you are BEAUTIFUL. You are carrying the greatest gift, the miracle of life. Look deep, there is beauty within you, let it radiate to the outward and make your spirit and fashion shine. Love being pregnant, Love being fashionable, Love being you!

A children's charity to support


A real life story of my friend Sara and why celebrating her 30th with strangers was the best decision.

Sara Pashaei a Dubai based PR manager and a dear friend shares with me how a trip to Kenya changed her world and how it translated to her setting up a fundraiser to provide scholarship funding for primary school students in Nairobi, Kenya.  Sara tells me, her volunteer trip to Kenya had been booked with the intention to teach the children of Bright Star Montessori Learning Center. And no doubt about it, there was a whole curriculum of teaching, from morning till late-afternoon, but early on throughout her journey it became evident that she was the one to leave with the biggest lesson of them all. A lesson so important, no classroom practice could ever come close to its core. A life-long teaching of love, life, laughter and gratitude. And this is why celebrating her 30th birthday with strangers was the best decision she has ever made. 

In this city we work so hard and it calls for spoiling ourselves with fashionable clothing, fine dining, exotic vacations and more. I am not against the idea of splurging occasionally to enjoy the life that passes you by so quickly--but what would happen if you choose to spoil a less fortunate instead? Giving your time, money and resources is highly rewarding and improves another life. Taking into consideration the scale of poverty and need, we might wonder; will my pocket change make a significant difference? You don't have to feature on the world rich list to make a difference.  Small contributions pooled together ends up bringing about significant impact.

This is one charity you should know about and support

Which Charity ? 

The Bright Star Montessori Learning Center, Nairobi, Kenya supports orphans and children of  single parents with basic and educational needs. However the center faces challenges and lacks adequate support to meet the ever increasing needs of the kids at hand. Sara's  fundraiser seeks to provide scholarship funding to primary school students at  this learning center.

What is an amount i could look at donating?

A contribution as little as Aed 60 could pay for one child's food, tuition, school resources and uniform for an entire month.

How can i donate?

Donate on the charity website : CLICK HERE

What other ways can i support?

Share the cause on social media to raise awareness and pave way for friends and family to contribute.