Year: 2016

Grateful for 2016, a year in review

We are about to bid farewell to 2016. Am I ready for the year to come? I am definitely ready to write a beautiful 2017 life story, hand in hand with my family. As with each year, 2016 made me stronger with challenges I faced and always grateful with all the blessings that came our way. Here’s a look back at our 2016 life story. LittleMiss made a big move from nursery to foundation stage last January that had me send out a request for more pedestrian friendly Dubai. Tarana and I also launched the first ever blog support group for moms – UAE Mom Bloggers February gave me the opportunity to share my passion of fun lunch box packing that led to conducting a private bento workshop for a company here in Dubai. I shared a stage with Al Islami Foods last March for a bento box demonstration during Dubai Food Festival. Also finally got to write about our Disneyland experience. The kids and I found ourselves in April “winter” where we played with …

movenpick jlt nosh review

Christmas Buffet at Movenpick Hotel JLT

It may seem surprising but Christmas is widely celebrated here in Dubai, almost all establishments are adorned with festive decorations and Santa Claus make several appearance across the city. For many Filipinos this is also the time to reunite with relatives who they have not seen for a long time and a special day to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. As with any celebration expect a traditional feast that would require one to spend a few days of food prep and whole day in the kitchen. You can skip all and just enjoy the night away by spending Christmas eve or lunch at Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lake Towers. Our expat kids have been spending Christmas in Dubai for the past 6 years. My son can barely remember what Christmas is like back in the Philippines while LittleMiss only know of the celebrations we have here. They are not missing out on the Christmas festivities because all establishments here are adorned with lights and decorations. One Filipino activity we do yearly as a family is attending 'Simbang …

toys for less al barsha

Toys For Less in Dubai

A favorite moment of mine will always be watching my kids expression on Christmas day as they open beautifully wrapped boxes with their names on it. Christmas is just around the corner and our kids wish list is getting longer every day. Its time to think about things to buy and making sure you are staying on budget. We recently discovered Toys For Less a sister company of Brands For Less which offers affordable branded toys and clothes for kids. Available items A wide range of toys for kids up till pre-teens is available. However, the toys you might see in the photos I posted might not be available when you visit. I advise that when you see something you think your kids or godchildren will like better grab hold of them because the staff won’t be able to guarantee if its still there on your next visit. For instance we were looking for Shopkins and Play-Doh toys on our first visit but when we went back the following week we found both. Clothes for both boys and girls …

dubai garden glow

Dubai Garden Glow: Fun Family Attraction

Dubai once again opened one of the worlds largest themed gardens, the Dubai Garden Glow, now on its second season. Located at Zabeel Park the garden offers two attractions for the whole family to enjoy  – Dinosaur Park and Garden Glow. Tickets cost 60 AED per person, guests under 3 years old can enjoy park for free.  Price seem to be expensive but considering you get to see two attractions I do think its worth a visit. Access to park is via Gate 6 and 7 of Zabeel Park. I suggest you visit the park at 4pm to give you ample time to enjoy day light at the Dinosaur Park, have dinner then proceed to Glow Garden by sundown. Dinosaur Park The park features 100 life-sized dinosaurs and a few of them “interacts” with visitors by means of sounds and movements. All these things make it more realistic to a child (adult too), I imagined this would be quite scary for a toddler at night. Dinosaur lovers will have fun walking through each period and reading all the information …

Garlic and Herb Hassleback Potatoes from Spinneys

In the Philippines we celebrate Christmas season the longest, from September until January. Yes, by September Filipino families start decorating for the season, carols are played and countdown begins. My first Christmas dinner for 2016 happened last November 21 with Spinneys Dubai. It definitely kicked off festivities on a high note, Chef Mark and his team prepared a delicious spread of minced pies, turkey, roasted beef ribeye paired with yummy sides of stuffing, hasselback potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings you could possible think off. Photo Credit: Spinneys Dubai We also got some tips and tricks on how to prepare a stress-free Christmas menu from Chef Mark Evans and lovely food presentation from Spinneys Food Magazine editors Amy and Emily. I am all for a stress-free Christmas menu preparation this year, no more spending long hours in the kitchen because I’m ordering some food lovingly prepared by the experts. With just 16 days till Christmas day, Spinneys is giving us the option skip the panic of shopping for ingredients with a variety of delectable treats like a whole crown turkey with …

Fab Family Brunch at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham JBR

I have always said that brunching is a big part of Dubai weekends, it is after all a time for families to gather and unwind with good food. I also make most of the two days off to enjoy a meal that I did not cook. We were recently invited to the re-launch of Fab Family Brunch at Hawthorn Suits by Wyndham located at Jumeirah Beach Residence. Hawthorn Suits family brunch took place at the hotels Flavours Restaurant which has access to the hotel pool, kids play area and outdoor garden. The place has a cozy feel with all the natural light coming in and the easy access outdoor gives kids the option to sweat it off by running in the big lawn. The brunch spread was presented so beautifully and although not as lavish compared to others, food options were enough to satisfy once cravings. I personally fell gastronomically in love with the salad spread. This is probably the only brunch where my plate was filled with more salad than meat. They also offer a decent seafood bar with oysters, …

LEGOLand Dubai: Our opening day experience

We were at the official opening day of LEGOLAND Dubai last October 31, 2016. The park is UAE’s first amusement place designed for families with children aged 2-12 years old. Before we reached LEGOLAND Dubai we had a lovely long walk along RIVERLAND but sadly not all of the establishments are open yet. First impression on ATTRACTIONS The park features 6 themed land – Miniland, LEGO City, Adventure, Kingdoms, Imagination and Factory. One obviously have a lot of ground to cover and a day might not be enough to fully enjoy the whole park. Miniland which is located at the center of the park and is sort of the gateway for the visitors to go through to visit other themed lands is beyond beautiful. It features mostly UAE’s landmarks like the buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road, Grand Mosque, Dubai Airport, Burj Khalifa with the fountain and my favorite Dubai Creek. The attention to detail is so impressive and they have added more by making some of features interactive. Go press a button and you will witness the Dubai Metro train speeding one stop …

ham croissant lunchbox mini yumbox

Bento Lunch Box Menu November 6-10

I created a lunch box packing FB group, you can join via this link. The aim of #LetsMakeLunchFun community is to inspire and help families pack / prepare a healthier lunch. Sunday – November 6: Leftover roast chicken and fried rice for today. Monday – November 7: I was planning to pack spam musubi only to find out that I don’t have the main ingredient in my kitchen, so hotdog was use to fill rice wrap instead. Cut one musubi differently that was a perfect shape for eyes. Tuesday – November 8: We have homemade chicken fingers for todays lunch. To make one at home just marinate chicken breast on a yoghurt mix with salt, pepper, garlic powder and five spice. Roll on breadcrumbs the next day and pan fry or bake. Wednesday – November 9: Store bought butter croissant with ham and mixed berry smoothie. Thursday – November 10: Both kids packed homemade chicken nuggets.