How to deal with 'Bickering and Sibling Rivalry'

Bickering and squabbles, does that happen with your kids in your household?

I used to deal with tantrums and routine issues, Alas! I have passed that stage (at least i believe so, crossing my finger and hoping it is not wishful thinking!). As my kids are growing older (8,5,4) there is this new 'Bickering and Squabble' phase that seems to have surfaced from no-where. It usually goes like this :

"Mom he’s calling me names”

“I did not, he’s such a liar”

“Mom he pushed me”

“That’s coz, he started it"

The easiest solution for a parent would be to ignore, and I plead guilty of using that tactic many a time (That’s just horrible, I know!) It usually come from a place where you want to distance yourself from conflicts . Ignoring is a tool, However, it is only a tool to be used when you have ascertained that your involvement is not necessary and at times you want your kids to learn problem solving on their own. I have realized that as parents one of our key responsibility is to teach our lil munchkins life skills - an important one being conflict resolution and making peace with family, friends and peers. 

Some steps I follow.

  1. Let the kids know, It is never OK to hurt someone and you respect the other - this is a non negotiable with the family
  2. Refrain from over-reacting as a parent.
  3. Do not take sides as a parent and be fair.
  4. If the fights escalates and it gets heated up, separate the siblings. 
  5. When they have cooled down have a talk with each of them and hear them out.
  6. Help each child hear the other. Make sure each apologies to the other and hugs.
  7. Work together with them on a resolution. State the issue and come up with the best possible resolution. When you are  helping kids decide on a resolution, consider the fact that each child's personality and temperament is different.

How do you help your kids make peace with their siblings or even peers? I would love to hear your tips and tricks.

Hot TOT Kids Hair Care Line

As a mom of boys, I’ve scouted near and far for some safe, sulfate free, effective hair-styling products for my lil tribe . Who does not love to have their lil tots look dapper in some spikes, structured or wet-styled look. I’m glad there is a mom out there whose line of thought matches mine. Megan Gage, struggled to find a hair product that was safe to use in an infant and went about experimenting with baby lotions and pomades. After many months of encouragement from moms who shared fondness for her son’s hairdo, she assembled a team and set out to develop safe hair products for babies - this marked the birth of 'HOT Tot' Products and Hair care line.

Hot Tot has just been launched at 'Be Bar’, Jumeirah. At the launch, my lil models had the privileged to be styled and photographed. I have personally had the opportunity to play around with ‘Structure Whip’ and ’Styling Gel’ and i have to admit, they have me won over! The ’Structure Whip’ i noticed added structure and definition without drying out my lil studs hair. This features Aloe Vera Gel, Sweet Almond oil and Shea Butter. The ‘Styling Gel’, gave a medium hold with a definitive sheen adding volume. This product features Japanese Green Tea for hydration and sheen.

I’ve finally said ‘NO’ to diluting hubby’s Hair Wax with water!

PS: Hot Tot products are available for purchase at ‘Be Bar’. For more info follow them on Facebook and instagram: @hottotdubai

A NEW YEAR THOUGHT

Out with the old, In with the new ! Trust all of you are surrounded with new hope for this new year. The past year saw new ventures for the blog, the likes of parenting conferences and also recorded exponential growth/engagement  across the channels. This could not have been possible without you. Shouting out a BIG ‘THANK YOU’.

This year i want to encourage each of you to be ones who stand tall with the right attitude - ‘A SWAG TO STAY'. 

Stand strong when tested, Reframe your challenges, Embrace a positive mindset and Choose to be grateful . Take your focus off the strings that seem to be snapping and instead choose to see the silver lining in every cloud.  Leaving you with a quote from my favorite leadership pundit, John. C. Maxwell  “You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” 

Blessing you with Love and hope.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Mommy’s Expressing Lounges popping up at work

Now here is a brilliant Initiative from Philips AVENT, encouraging employers in UAE, to become more baby-friendly . I recently attended a talk and discussion held on the subject and walked out feeling so happy for the new moms and the expectant mommies in the city.

Returning back to work after maternity leave is emotional and physically daunting, add to that a plan for pumping breast milk at work…phew, that’s a mammoth challenge moms face! Breast feeding exclusively for around the first six months is highly recommended by WHO. After this period breastfeeding is recommended along with solid food. But let’s face reality here, most often moms are faced with workplace challenges and an environment that is not conducive to expressing milk which may compromise mothers ability to reach these breast feeding goals. How do you navigate through all of these curve balls.

GOOD NEWS MOMS..well it’s a start of something good,atleast! Philips AVENT, the company’s Mother and Childcare brand has collaborated with multidivisional conglomerate Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group to help companies outfit breast pumping rooms in their offices through a one-stop shop solution, thus encouraging employers to become more baby-friendly.

As part of the Mommy’s Expressing Lounge initiative, Philips encourages corporate offices to sign up for a partnership program, additionally the first 10 companies get a free ‘designed ideal expressing spaces fitted’. To be part of the Philips AVENT initiative, email expressinglounge@philips.com for more information or log on to www.philips.com.ae or check the Philips AVENT UAE Facebook fan page. Create awareness with you employers and moms around. This could evolve into something huge that could be life transforming for moms returning to work.

I would love to hear about personal ‘Expressing challenges’ moms have faced at their work places. Also suggestions to improve them if any. I have my personal story in the comment box below.

Christmas Festivities in Dubai

Highly Recommended Christmas Market:

What ? Al Habtoor City Hotels Christmas Markets. 

When ? December 7th until December 31st, 2016.

Where? ST Regis Garden, Al Habtoor

Time? 17:00-21:00 on a Weekday, 15:00-21:00 on a weekend.

Price? NO ENTRY FEE

What’s there? 

  • Ginger bread house
  • Santa Grotto
  • Retailers selling christmas gifts
  • Food, drinks including Glühwein.

Highly recommended Christmas Party for Kids

What ? Christmas with Splash 'n' Party

When? 8th December, 2016 and 15th December, 2016

Where? Splash ‘n’ Party is located in: Villa no. 1, Street 8A, Al Safa 2, Jumeirah, Dubai

Time? 15:30 to 18:30 

Price? AED 140 per kid, 1 Adult is Free for every 1 Child paying - Any Additional Adult will be charged AED 50 

What’s there? 

  • A fascinating fire and magic show
  • Delightful Christmas party filled with splash pads
  • Gingerbread house decorating
  • Live Mermaid shows, Spend your afternoon swimming with Ursula, an underwater resident mermaid at Splash n Party
  • Quality time with Santa
  • Groove to ‘your favorite holiday tunes and moves’
  • Tuck into a tantalizing kid’s Christmas meal filled with holiday-themed treats. 

 Highly Recommended Mall to visit for Christmas Festivities

What? Christmas at WAFI Mall

When? December 8th Onwards 

Price? Santa Grotto AED 60

Time? DESS & DESC Choir at 5:00pm.

 6pm- Christmas Tree Lighting

 6:30pm, 8:00pm and 9:30pm every evening-  Festive Light and sound show

 December 10th at 4:00pm- Christmas Performance by DESPA Academy

What’s there?

  • Animated display that follows the theme ‘Wafi Express: The Magical Experience’.
  • Festive Light and Sound Show
  • Performance by DESS & DESC Choir
  • Christmas Performance by DESPA Academy
  • Santa Grotto - Children who visit Santa in his grotto will receive a cuddly soft toy, a framed photograph with Santa, a raffle coupon to win a family trip to Germany courtesy of Lufthansa German Airlines and much more. Tiny tots that visit the grotto can enjoy the free Arts and Crafts area where they can create their own festive decorations while patiently waiting to meet Santa!

Highly Recommended Christmas Tree Lightings                       All FREE ENTRANCE YAY!!!!

  • Raffles Dubai -December 6 , from 6pm to 7pm
  • St Regis Dubai - December 7, from 6pm to 8pm
  • Fairmont The palm - December 7, from 5pm
  • Towers Rotana, Sheik Zayed Rd- December 12, from 7pm
  • Sofitel the Palm - December 18th, From 6pm

Highly Recommended Christmas Festival for kids

What? Dubai Winter Festival

When? From 8-10 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 www.dubaiwinterfestival.com/tickets

What’s there? 

    •    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.

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 www.dubaiwinterfestival.com/tickets/

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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! 

STIR FRIED PRAWN NOODLES

Preparation TIME : 15 MINS

Ingredients: 

  • 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

Method

  • 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!

ROAST CHICKEN ON A BED OF VEGETABLES

Preparation TIME : 20 MINS

Slow cook in Oven for :5- 6 hrs.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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

What ? LEGOLAND DUBAI

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 9464info@legoland.ae

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

Tip

  • 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!!

download.jpeg

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

image.jpg

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

image.jpg

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 www.IMGworlds.com

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


BACKPACKS / SCHOOL BAGS

Budget Find

  • Red Tag

 

Fashion Forward

  • Pottery Barn Kids

AED : 135/- REDUCED PRICE FOR ABOVE BAGS (OFFER VALID TILL 20TH AUGUST)

  • Cath Kidston

AED 135/- REDUCED PRICE (OFFER VALID TILL 20TH AUGUST)


LUNCH BOX

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

Budget Find

  • Cath Kidston

AED 39 REDUCED PRICE FOR SET OF 2 AND SET OF 3 (OFFER VALID TILL 20TH AUGUST)

Fashion Forward

  • BORDERS

AED 69

AED 65

  • Pottery Barn Kids
IMG_7366.jpg

AED 67.50 REDUCED PRICE

Insulated food containers

  • DB Babies

AED 90/-


Bento boxes

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

Budget

Spinneys/ DB Babies

AED 55

Fashion Forward

Bento box from Just Kidding Store 


AED 165 

Lunch Box Carrier

Budget

Red Tag

Pottery Barn

AED 67.50 REDUCED PRICE (OFFER VALID TILL 20TH AUGUST)


WATER BOTTLES

Budget

MAX

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


 

PENCIL CASE

Budget

Max

AED 22 

Fashion Forward

Pottery Barn Kids

AED 30 REDUCED PRICE (OFFER VALID TILL 20TH AUGUST)


 

SHOES

Budget

Red Tag

Fashion Forward

Adidas (Official Store)

AED 125


STATIONARY/ WRITING UTENSILS

Budget

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

Max

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 emailcamps@ifasport.com.  

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

 

Visit www.ifasport.com 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.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids.html

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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/subjects/mathematics

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/learninggame.shtml

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 info@hopscotch.ae or register online at www.hopscotch.ae

'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.