Palatial Staycation at the Palace Downtown

We all love the hotel staycations, don’t we? Kamronbek enjoys staycations from birth and nowadays he does demand for staycations, although he is just 3 years old, he does know well what fun can staycations be. Especially when staycations happen at one of the most luxuries hotels located in the center of Dubai, at The Palace Downtown. Let me warn you that the moment you enter the hotel you get treated like a member of royal family. Seriously, the moment you step out of your car and hand over your key you will be asked with broad smile on “how is your day” or “how do you feel” and you must get used to it from then on as you will receive this polite and caring warm questions or messages way more than in any luxury hotel. Let me mention that although the décor of the hotel is very palatial, with old Eastern touch-ups, it is very modern too, so all you hand over at the reception is your Emirates ID or passport (if you are non-resident). They don’t request the booking confirmation printed on paper. In fact, few days before check-in you receive an email from the hotel with the link to their application in which you choose all your preferred necessities in the room during your stay, starting from extra bed for child ending with the type of pillow or even the material of your bedsheet. I mean, which hotel ever asked you if you preferred hard mattress or feather pillow, or even the anti-allergic material of the bedsheet? The Palace Downtown totally does this.

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After the quick check-in, we were led to our room that located at 3rd floor, which is the same floor as the lobby. The moment I opened the door I’ve seen the enormous cozy bed in which I wanted to fall asleep for the entire staycation, like a sleeping beauty (oops, sleep deprived mama’s inner thoughts…) next to which the single bed with a cute camel soft toy was placed, which was obviously for Kamronbek. Can you believe that there was even a little bath robe for Kamronbek? All these make you feel really special unlike to other hotels where you call the room service several times after checking in for (your child’s) extra bed.

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The room had TV, lights, bathroom, cabinets, safe… common things as in every 5* hotel. Now get seated well as you will read what else we had in the room: NESPRESSO coffee machine with three types of capsules: strong one, light one, and decaf one. I’ve been to many 5* hotels in Dubai but this is the first hotel room with own Nespresso machine in my life in Dubai for the past 9 years I shall admit! We even had an iPad! Anti-gadget mother me wouldn’t like this part but this is not a gadget to dump your child on his own in virtual reality for ages, this is a smart tool in the room that offers you all the services online. I gasped when I received the hot Italian pizza right to the room after 20 minutes of ordering it easily through that iPad without the phone call. Honestly, NESPRESSO machine and the iPad for all the in-room services and much more, make me give all 20 points out of 10 for the room service quality. Talking of room services, our room was serviced (tidy up and replacement of used items) twice a day: morning and early evening, which is offered in very few 5* hotels in town. Usually, it’s only 1 time and on request. Going back to the room, there was a desk with uplifting mirror and connected hair dryer, perfect for all women out there. We had a big enough balcony with two seats and a coffee table with the gorgeous blue manmade lake of downtown and the partial view of Dubai Fountain.

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Those who follow me on Instagram, know how much I love watching the Dubai Fountain, so you can imagine me spending the evenings on the balcony with the mug of tea and welcome treats after Kamronbek’s bedtime. Yesss! Those were relaxing evenings!

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Our first morning at the hotel started with great breakfast of its all meanings. Kamronbek kept on telling “we are having party” since breakfast buffet offered all you can ever name breakfast and even what you can’t: dumplings, roasted chunks of few types of meat, rice and even shrimps for breakfasts.

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After the breakfast, we indulged into the peaceful pool of the hotel with the royal sort of sunbeds. The moment you register at the pool, you will get assisted by pool attendant who prepares your sunbed. Exactly! You don’t pick your towels, you get all the towels rolled at the sunbeds that are unrolled for you later. Time to time you receive a refreshing face towel with the mint aroma to refresh your face/neck/head. Every table next to sunbed has the high-tech box with buttons for food/service/shisha. There is obviously big tall Burj Khalifa looking at you while you sunbathe by the pool. The kid’s pool is connected to adult’s pool that gives you the convenience of enjoying the pool too, rather than dwelling nearby the kid’s pool while your child is splish-splashing because of his/her separation anxiety if you leave to adult’s pool. Who told that separation anxiety leaves by 36 months? I think once you get it, it’s there forever, I mean even when your child is a grown up. We spent both mornings and noon at the pool because all Kamronbek wanted was “swim”.

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We had a dinner reservation at Ewaan restaurant that we changed to Friday brunch as per the Assitant Manager’s suggestion who promised that their brunch is unforgettable. I totally not regret of following his suggestion as the brunch was a seafood heaven. Oysters, squids, scallops, shrimps, name any eatable seafood creature, they had it all freshly delivered directly from suppliers. Sushi/Sashimi/Rolls, all types of mocktails, even the food I don’t know the names of were in the buffet tops. My favorite way of describing the food is to show the photos, to check them out. Before that, let me assure you that the Friday Brunch at The Palace Downtown is the must try one especially if you are the seafood lover. If you can’t book the hotel room anytime sooner, make sure to book the brunch as it’s is one of the kind!

By the way, the hotel offers other dining options too, such as:
Fai – Asian-inspired vibrant cocktail lounge with good music, great cocktails, and amazing views of Burj lake and Burj Khalifa.
Asado – This lively Argentinean Grill that serves premium meat cuts prepared in traditional Asado Criollo-style.
Al Bayt – that offer the most talked afternoon teas of two types: The ‘Palace Afternoon Tea,’ offers sweets and savories, complemented by an array of traditional and international teas and coffees. The ‘Timeless Palace Afternoon Tea,’ has treated from the West paired with flavors of the East.
I didn’t try the afternoon tea, but I heard that The Palace Downtown is well known among “Dubaian” ladies for the afternoon tea that can be followed by one of the rejuvenating, mind and body refreshing spa treatments at the spa of The Palace, with unique Arabic décor. Spa Facilities include hammam slab, Jacuzzis, Monsoon showers and steam rooms. I hope to try the spa and the afternoon tea soon with my girlfriends, as I am sure it will be our truly royal treat. Although I didn’t try the afternoon tea at the Al Bayt, we did try their ice-cream and mocktails, as my ice cream lover Kamronbek couldn’t agree on bedtime without an ice-cream after our long walk.
The hotel is connected with all the major landmarks of the city’s center such as Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa, the new Burj park and the surroundings of it. Few steps from the lobby will bring you to Souk Al Bahar which you can exit to see the tall famous Burj Khalifa and everything else. Since my mom was visiting Dubai, I thought of showing her the fountain from the closest distance of sailing on the manmade lake. After sailing on the boat and watching the fountain from the lake we decided to walk back to the hotel from the opposite direction since my little monkey with satiable curiosity noticed the lighting snails on the bridge connecting the Burj park with the path to Boulevard. It was a real walk, it was quite as we rounded around from the opposite direction, but Kamronbek was totally excited, especially after seeing the long tube slide which he slid 7 times. It was dark, the tube for long but Kamronbek is never afraid of anything. Finally, we convinced him to go back to the hotel by promising the ice-cream treat, and that’s where the ice-cream before bed madness comes from.

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The third day was our last day at the hotel so we wanted to make best of it, what is the best part of staycations? Right! Eating yummies and relaxing by or at the pool. I was surprised with a plate of sweets by the Ewaan restaurant manager and the assistant manager after our breakfast. Honestly, I even asked them to smile for the camera to click for my blog and Kamronbek joined the photo. I was totally impressed with the passion and attitude they both had towards their duties and thankful to the amazing service given to us.

By completing this blog I was again dreaming of going back for another staycation at The Palace Downtown. If you want a very peaceful staycation with the very posh surrounding of Arabic décor topped with royal treatment and services, you should definitely try out The Palace Downton!

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Visit their website for your bookings:

http://www.theaddress.com/en/hotels/the-palace-downtown-dubai/index.aspx

Watch the vlog of our stay below:

Thank you The Palace Downtown employees for warm welcome!

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More from the room:

 

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Parenting technique: “judgmental eyes of others”

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Most of you message me explaining the situations you face with your little one in public and your reaction which is mostly the result of the judgmental eyeing of mother/s next to you. I mostly try to stay as positive as possible to all the messages I receive however I do ROLL MY EYES knowing that you do throw your frustration to your child thanks or no thanks to judgmental eyeing of the mother/s standing around. Please answer one question first: Who are those people to you and your child?
Nobody is more precious than your child and people around you won’t be responsible for your child’s future so why do you have to involve them in your child’s present? My only advice and technique on this topic are to IGNORE people around you and deal with your child.
Kamronbek is too loud and noisy, sometimes he irritates and/or even annoys people around us (mostly at restaurants) what do I do in these situations? Nothing at all. If those adults (who probably raised, raises or will be raising the child) are one of us, and if they have the tiny patience or overwhelmed nerve system, they should be seeing the therapist instead of having the meal at public places. My friends won’t let me lie (cuz they’ve witnessed) how I can end up in arguments with any stranger at the restaurant trying to “bully” my child (even my friends’ children) with sharp looks and/or aggressive notes on the behavior and I have full rights to it. I take my son to places where kids are permitted. My son sits next to me and talks or plays after he is done with his food because I am not done because I am enjoying the cheat chat with my friend over my meal, perhaps restaurants do exist because of this specific reason: people have meals at restaurants for an opportunity to socialize. If the person on next table feels uncomfortable with my son’s loud talks and/or noisy plays, he/she can have his/her dinner at home in peace, because the restaurant is PUBLIC. I am not impertinent at all, but I will shamelessly respond to any sharp look and/or note towards my son. Remember we parents are not there to only raise our children but also to protect them and nobody has right to ruin their mood in public places!
Other common judgmental eyeing is at play areas or anywhere where mothers and kids gather together. You know what? I hate any mother openly rolling eyes or sometimes even throwing nasty comments over any child’s behavior, although I am as positive as you never stop mentioning to me over the DMs. Why?
1. Every mother faces exactly the same issues other mothers do face, somewhat or other. So she’s been there and will be there (no other option because stages and phases are the same) she has to keep calm and wait for her turn.
2. Every child goes through the same stages and phases so if her child hasn’t behaved “so awful” as yours, he/she will definitely behave soon (if younger than yours) or behaved so, she simply forgot, because we mothers tend to forget the tough times and remember the sweetest ones (if her child is older than yours).
3. If not the 1st and 2nd, (which are the same I am just emphasizing the same message) she is not a mother yet, but she is to become one (as it’s our nature) so she will definitely go through these too.
Since we’ve all been there or/and will be there why would these sassy mamas try to act perfectly by rolling eyes over your child’s behavior? To let you down? No! They are simply feeding their own ego and/or confronting their own complexes. Eye rolls or nasty comments of other mothers have nothing to do with you and your child. So what should you do if your child throws tantrum in public, especially if this publicity is filled with those “perfect” mamas?
IGNORE everyone around and deal with your child regardless of the situation. If your child took away the toy of other’s keep calm, IGNORE everyone around and explain to your child what is good and what’s bad. If he/she hits another child, show your sympathy to the victim child, make sure all is fine then get back to your child to explain what’s good or bad, give time out if required and make him/her apologize afterwards, when you are done with these steps you can definitely look at the victim’s mother with a firm and calm smile to apologize. Believe me, you shouldn’t worry of her respond because her respond represents her not you. If your child is being noisy/loud at the restaurant and someone’s not happy with it, continue eating as you are not in that person’s house! Certainly you can explain to your child that manners are important in public places but if your child is normally loud and noisy while talking/playing and not dropping the toy to the person’s soup or smashing his/her chair or table, you and your child are making no harm to that person on next table. Why should your receive his/her frustration? You shouldn’t!
Take the parenting easy, stay calm and IGNORE others. Believe me, there is no single parent who could turn the child to perfect one within few minutes. Your “attack” won’t change your child in few minutes either. Only your patience, calm and firm reaction, constant explanations and reminders, most importantly your own example will be changing your child hour by hour, day by day, months by months. Take your time and don’t get affected by others to throw you out of the plan of working on the particular behavior of your child. Parenting is a long life journey requiring the nurturing of the child gradually, involving the explanations/examples/time outs/negotiations and etc. but never the shouting and screaming especially under the pressure of someone’s rolled eye! Remember your aggressive reaction towards your child’s behavior is the mirror reflection of your child’s aggressive behavior towards others. Therefore please ask yourself if other mother’s opinion is important for you or your child’s good behavior is, before aggressively reacting to your child’s misbehavior followed by the rolled eye of the “perfect” mama next to you. There is no perfect mama/mommy/mummy or the perfect child. There are mothers and children with their own methods and reaction towards common experiences and situations. It’s your own choice to worry about the present with strangers’ valueless opinion or to work on your little one’s future shaped by patient and calm nurturing of yours. You can never please and satisfy everyone around you after all so IGNORE unpleased and dissatisfied “perfect” mamas.

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What mummies do by Monday evenings? They head to The Secret Garden…

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Most of the mummies rush to put their hands on house chores, extra work, hobby or just TV shows when their little ones go to bed. All have their own ways or “enjoying” their me times. I am pretty much the same, but time to time I do get my real “me times” by the outing with my friends, and I am very much sure most of other mummies do know well what is “Ladies Night” or “Girls night out”.
This time we tried something different with my friends. We tried out the Vii LOVE Soul Monday at Vii Dubai. Vii Dubai has the fully air-conditioned terrace Secret Garden which is beautifully decorated in wood and greenery with royal frames all over the walls. Modern touches were given to the interior with the grand chandelier and modern extravaganza sofas. It’s truly a mystical space to escape the long days of this busy mega polis. The secret garden offers different nights, and Monday offers the Live Band of Bass Mic Dubai featuring Josh Mccartney Music. I was totally tempted with Live Band performance, as I wanted relaxing vibes of my favorite songs. Another reason is the variety of best sushi offered at Vii Dubai. Let me remind that I’ve first tried “sushi” in November 2016 and became such a sushi addict so I make sure to have sushi on the table when outing with girls. In addition, they offer all types of drinks and even shisha for the shisha lovers.

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We were informed that everything starts at 9:30 p.m., however, the Secret Garden opens at 8 p.m. We couldn’t miss the chance of being there as soon as the place opens since we wanted to enjoy our photo session and chit chats before everyone else arrives, and we totally did that as you see in photos.

By the time the band started we had our hot dishes served on the table. We ordered different bites and were impressed with tasteful options. I really liked the grilled sliced wagyu that was served with mouthwatering risotto and couldn’t stop my self from the panko coated jumbo shrimps that were served with homemade thousand island dressing on the side. Watermelon salad with Feta and Aragula was just the right refreshment between the bites. Let me not forget to mention that pan seared scallops were amazingly tender with the raspberries on top. All these were followed with in house cocktails and I can’t advise enough to try their Pina Colada. Sushi of our choices was served afterward. I am very sure you have heard more than enough about sushi at Vii Dubai which is simply delicious, but you have to totally try their signature rolls!
All these while listening to soulful classic covers and our favorites from the latest such as “Shape of you”, “Sorry”, “Diamonds” and many others. Well, agree that last one is well placed at old school shelf but I still love repeating “shame bright like a diamond”…

We had a fabulous night with my “gang” and totally recommend the Vii Love Soul night at The Secret Garden!

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Vii LOVE SOUL
Every Monday on the Vii Terrace
From 8pm
Performing live Bass Mic featuring Josh McCartney
Signature Sushi & Hot Food served
For reservations call +971501696777 / Reservation@viidubai.ae

 

Kamronbek’s 3rd birthday

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All the residents of Dubai know well the struggle of summer babies. Yes! They don’t get to have enough guests to throw a birthday party! Although Kamronbek is born on July 23, I decided to celebrate his birthday on June 10 and this idea came to my mind just two weeks in advance. I had only two weeks to plan everything from scratch. Real me is the type that complicates everything and this time I couldn’t be any different, could I? So I chose the theme first (as usual) and the theme was My little Prince, because my Kamronbek is my true little prince, and to be fair I just love this book since my childhood. Kamronbek wanted the Peppa pig though, but he can have it today at the nursery, on his actual birthday.

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So, after choosing the theme I felt having something royal and started checking out the hotels, but hotels are always pricey so I canceled this option. I felt like everything is very complicated and contacted Shana (the event planner/designer and founder of Little Majesties events), just told the theme and didn’t bother with the rest related to setup at all. However, the main part of the organization, looking for the venue was there. Most of the incredible kids play areas were crossed straight away due to wall colors. I was looking for pastel and/or white colored walls. Honestly, the venue was my struggle until I thought of the Level Kids. Level kids is our favorite department store since we can always find anything we want in there and spend a good time at their special corners, and Kamronbek’s favorite is the Lego station. I knew that they offer birthday packages but I wasn’t happy with the party rooms sizes they offer but thought of giving a try. I never regret my thought of giving a try and reaching them out. They simply customize everything according to your theme, thoughts, wishes and even caprices. My struggle was that I wanted to have everything at one place so I required a big venue. Honestly, 90% of our conversations (emails, calls, WhatsApp messages) were related to venue. Party organizer and the relationship manager of Level kids were literally online for me 24/7 to customize the party, this is truly impressing. Finally, they planned the birthday as below and I loved this plan:

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As you see we couldn’t arrange all in one venue due to Ramadan as the restaurant had no right to open the restaurant before the Iftar time, that’s the reason we had the animations and arts & crafts at the Little Wonders (party room) of Level kids. Also, the salon services should take place at the salon itself. However, all these rooms are located right next to each other on the same floor. Also, I asked the event planner/designer (Little Majesties Events) to include the schedule of the party to the invitation so guests could have the idea of the entire plan and knew where to be at what exact time. By the way, although we planned the magic show at the Little Wonders (party room) I changed my mind one day before the party and moved to Iftar time because I wanted the mummies to see the magic show too.

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I found the magician online by simply googling magician in Dubai. Level kids can cut this hassle too and offer you their magician, but they work the particular companies who charge more than freelancers, that’s the reason I chose the freelancer. The rest of activities were provided by Level kids such as animations, arts and crafts and even the Belle En France services. I chose the hair braiding for girls, hair styling for boys but you can choose a lot more, they offer spa, mani/pedicure, face painting at their posh little salon for children. Level kids also offer the photographer for an event and the blogger/influencer part of me couldn’t miss this chance. I really like the point of Level kids having everything in house so you don’t need to look for more. They do offer literally everything required at the party according to your wants and pocket. You name it they have it, if they don’t have it they will get it for you, and if you don’t like the price they don’t mind skipping it and going back to the original plan. They are extremely friendly and flexible, that’s why I chose to contact the other services myself and they were totally fine with it.

Although the set up was organized by Little Majesties Events even better than I could dream of I should still organize the cake and sweets and the balloons. I typed balloons on Instagram and contacted the first 3 companies appeared and chose the most appropriate price wise. Since I should match the balloons with the theme, we should coordinate with the event planner/designer too. It was just a matter of few messages, price, and options list exchanges with each side (event planner and the balloons company). By the way, they offered me the delivery for only AED 30 but it seemed too big to me and I decided to pick up the balloons on my own. I know right? I do act strange and get too tight with money for very small amounts sometimes and I am never repeating this mistake of mine ever again. I remember driving to City walk twice, because of silly me feeling greedy for extra 30 AED. Anyways, I will make sure to remember it next time and ticking the delivery part.

I thought the cake part would be easy since I relied on Kakes by me (the same lady who baked the cake and sweets on Kamronbek’s last birthday) but I contacted her too late, she had other plans on the same day and couldn’t take an order. So I could only rely on my friend Malika who cakes very tasty and pretty cakes for the last 4-5 years. There was a risk of her not appearing at the party if she is arranging the cake and sweets because she prefers making everything fresh and mostly spends the sleepless night to prepare her orders but I couldn’t trust anyone else in such short notice. At last, I made her drink coffee and attend the party although she literally had no sleep the night before preparing our astounding candy bar. I still have her telegram messages (similar app to WhatsApp) with the photos of each step of cake, cupcakes, pops, and biscuits sent at 1,2,4,6,8 a.m. for my approvals. She knows well how picky am I and wanted to make sure that all going as I wanted. Yappy, such amazing friends I have!

 

The main part of birthday, the Iftar with magic show and the cake cutting ceremony took place at Le Patisserie Des Reves, the French restaurant of Level kids. I’ve been there a lot and like their food. Also, the restaurant is big and I could fit as many guests as possible. The restaurant manager was very flexible and she didn’t mind changing the menu three times according to my budget. Honestly, what I loved with the team at level kids (including the salon and restaurant) they don’t make you feel low budgeted or something, they are totally open to conversations related to budget and offer the customization of your choice. They don’t have the strict price list to which they stick, they do certainly have the price list and packages but they don’t mind going out of it and totally customizing your special party.

Overall, although I had the sudden plan of celebrating the birthday party way earlier and didn’t have much time for the organization with the Ramadan timings and all, this party organization was super easy. I was sitting at my office desk and organizing everything online (through emails / WhatsApp / messages/calls) thanks to flexibility, understanding, cooperation, and excitement of the Level Kids team, my beautiful Shana – the event planner/designer and founder of Little Majesties Events.

Speaking of Shana, I promised my self that my all events will be organized by Shana only, who knows maybe even the Wedding of Kamronbek will be totally planned and set by Shana. She eased my life and handled a lot for me. Nothing would happen without her guidelines and advises. Even the time I struggled with venues that made me feel like canceling the party she simply cheered me up and supported with advice. The word impressed is too weak to describe my astonishment to see the set up before the start of the party. There were even the paper boxes with the theme prints on the table. The jars on candy bar were filled with marshmallows, which I never mentioned and was thinking of on the way of delivering the balloons. The sheep from My little Prince? There was a big sheep holding the red rose in the glass and there was the small one. Airplane? Oh yes, it was there too. Basically, Shana designed the party with the details from the book and added the modern touch ups to it. It was beautiful and beyond my expectations.

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You can head to my Instagram account to watch the videos of my Kamronbek’s birthday celebration and oh, by the way, his actual birthday is today. I want to thank my other friend who is as close as my sister, Guzal for arranging the video although she was invited to the party as my precious guest! Below are the details of all who put their efforts to turn Kamronbek’s birthday into Prince’s fairytale:

Event organizer/venue/photographer/coordinator Level Kids: http://www.levelkids.com Instagram @levelkids

Event planner/designer Shana: Little Majesties Events http://www.littlemajestiesdubai.com Instagram @littlemajesties_events

Restaurant Le Patisserie des Reves: Instagram @lpdr_uae

Hair Salon at Level Kids Belle Enfance: Instagram @belleenfancesalon

Balloons from Balloons Aterliear: @balloons_atelier

Candy bar by Malika: Instagram @malika_gaybullaeva

Videography by Guzal: Instagram @guzaldxb_photographer

Magician Vinay: Mobile 055 523 2597; 055 513 2597

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Mother in town – Reham Shaltout

Let me introduce you all to another mother in town Reham Shaltout. She is born in Egypt, done her BBA and MBA degrees at American University in Cairo. After 12 years of experience in Marketing and HR she decided to leave her career to take care of her son Adam, but never stopped working, instead followed her dream and established the @dokaneve in her hometown and opened the branch in Dubai when they’ve moved since her husband got better opportunities in here. By the way, anyone meeting Reham, will admire her young look at first 🙂

How many children do you have?: Adam he is 3.5 years now. Dokan Eve was born at the same time so I consider it as my second child

How long have you been living in Dubai : 1 and a half year

How do you find Dubai as an expat mother: I think we are lucky to have the opportunity to live in a country like Dubai, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and I am glad that my son is exposed to this wide range of cultures and differences. Also I see Dubai as the land of possibilities, everything is possible to achieve if you work for it.

What do you think Dubai can offer your children?: Safe place to play and grow; Diverse cultures to be exposed to; Better education

How long have you been working: 12 years

What is the difference between working woman and working mother if worked before having children)?: I didn’t work in corporates after I had Adam but I had my work at dokan eve and I believe being a working mum is challenging because it is not easy to balance your work life and your family life.

 How do you manage to balance between work and family: My husband helps me a lot and my son always comes first.

 How do you spend your weekends/holidays: We love to travel so whenever we can we try to see new countries. Otherwise we enjoy the wide variety of entertainment in this country. We go to parks, cinemas, malls…the list is long which is another blessing of living in Dubai

How did you come up with an idea of Dokaneve. What does the name mean?: Dokan means little shop in Arabic and I have always dreamed of having a little shop that sells everything that touches my heart and feels unique for me from all over the world. I started by selling stuff that are imported but lately I started adding items that I made myself which is something I am proud of and plan to expand.

 Do you see the trust of mothers on buying from Instagram account?: Yes people are starting to trust online shopping lately and good customer service is key to having returning customers.

 Are you planning to have an actual store or prefer keeping it online?: I prefer to keep it online for the moment. However i participate in the ripe market for direct contact with customers and for marketing.

 What is your vision/target about Dokaneve’s future: I dream of expanding my handmade stuff to build my own brand however I will keep on selling stuff that I like from different suppliers from around the world

 Where do you see your self after 10 years?: I hope by that time I would have my own website and to be able to ship worldwide.

 If you had a chance, what would you change in your life?: I would start my own brand earlier. It took me some time to really take the step.

 Your suggestion to all mothers: Don’t compare yourself or your kids to others. Only you will know the best for your children. And enjoy your kids while they are young.

Check out my picks from Dokan Eve collections of dresses, skirts and tops. Not just outfits but also the pillow covers of Dokaneve are so pretty. Let me add that the quality is great and prices are very affordable, also the delivery is hassle free and quick.

Instagram: @dokaneve_dubai

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Mother in town – Ayshwarya Chari, founder of Kidore.

Most of you following me on Instagram know well that I am quite feminist and believe that we mothers are much more than we think we are. In celebration of the UAE’s Mother’s Day, I want to start my small project “Mother in town” in which I will be interviewing the successful mommies living in Dubai. I want to start with lovely Ayshwarya Chari, mom to 2 lovely kids, Atira and Vivaan. Entrepreneur, founder, and owner of Kidore and just a passionate woman stepping firm to bright future!

The reason I wanted to know more about Ayshwarya Chari is because I so much appreciate the e-commerce concept she came up with, where every item costs below AED 100 only. It’s called Kidore and we do use their arts and crafts products which are of amazing quality. I believe that Kidore is handy for every parent in town.

So, let the journey begin and we learn more about the successful mom living with us in the same city.

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1. Hi Ayshwarya, tell me about yourself.

Hi Nilufar,

I am Ayshwarya Chari, mom to 2 lovely kids, Atira who is 7 and Vivaan who is 3. They are the light of my life! Happy, hilarious kids who can always make me laugh with their antics.

I have been in the UAE for 13 years now, having moved here to be with my husband who is an investment banker.

Dubai is home to us, I don’t see us living as happily anywhere else. We love it here!

Like all moms, I am the compulsive multitasker. When I get a breather from kids/work/life, I love to read. I am a big believer in JOMO, often choosing to be home in bed with tea/coffee and a good book over being out.

2.How do you find Dubai as an expat mother?

Dubai is an expat mother’s dream! This country keeps my children safe, whilst giving them an opportunity to mingle with and learn from a cultural mix like no other. It is a land that believes nothing is impossible and embodies that every day in everything it does. What an amazing thing for kids to experience and learn every day. I feel fortunate to live here with my family.

  1. How long have you been working?

I started working when I was 22. I had a few breaks here and there when I moved to Dubai and in between jobs but I have mostly been working since then. From marine research to banking to e-commerce, it’s been a wild ride J

  1. What in your opinion is the difference between working women and working mothers (if worked before having children)?

I think they both have their own set of challenges. Women (moms or otherwise) have to prove their worth repeatedly in the workforce, have to work harder to get to the top and shatter glass ceilings. The only difference is that working moms have little puppet masters holding on to their heartstrings, tugging at them constantly.

  1. How do you manage to balance between work and family?

I always say I am blessed with a rock-solid support system. A spouse who builds me up every day, my in-laws who live with us and anchor the house/kids so I have the wings to work the way I need to, a lovely helper, friends around me who are like family. I can do what I do because of all these people who hold me up every single day.

Another thing I am consciously working on is to accept that balance doesn’t exist. Some days the kids need me more and some days Kidore needs me more. You make a choice every day, sometimes several times a day, and stick with it. I guess we need to know that we are doing the best we can and that is enough.

  1. How do you spend your weekends/holidays?

As I said, I am a big believer in JOMO (the joy of missing out). Weekends are for family. We hang out, have breakfast together, play games and just generally relax. Our holidays are also pretty much the same. We just wake up and decide what we want to do and when.

  1. How did you come up with the idea of Kidore?

Having been in E-commerce in this market for over 6 years now, I realized that there was a big gap in the market for a portal that would offer parents good quality products for their kids without breaking the bank with easy, hassle free service and a quality shopping experience.

It was an idea that took root and just wouldn’t go away. We decided to validate the concept with a survey. 150 parents participated in it and the results came out resoundingly in favor of launching Kidore so here we are.

  1. Do you see the trust of mothers on budgeted items (since the prices are below 100 AED)?

Yes, absolutely! People love and support the concept. Kidore has over 50 brands, some well known like Fischer-Price and some not as well known. But one thing they all have in common is quality. We do not compromise on quality.

I think there is a revolution now in the UAE in the way people think. The UAE consumer has realized that you don’t really have to pay steep prices for things that you need. You can have quality and variety on a budget.

This is what we are trying to drive home on Kidore. You can come online and find pretty much all you need for your child, items of stellar quality, without feeling ripped off in the process.

  1. Are you planning to have a physical store or prefer keeping it online?

We have no plans at the moment to take Kidore to a brick and mortar set up. E-commerce allows us to keep our overheads low so we are able to offer our customers the amazing prices we do.

  1. What is your vision/target about Kidore’s  future?

We want to strengthen our position in the UAE and expand into the G.C.C and beyond. We also intend to expand our catalogue offering more quality brands and products from different parts of the world.

  While we, of course, aim to see Kidore as a successful, established E-commerce player in the G.C.C, our success would lie in being able to say that we were the first online store in the region that made E-commerce accessible to everyone; not just a select, elite few. This is what we are working towards.

  1. Where do you see yourself after 10 years?

I can’t really think or plan that far ahead. The life I am sure would have thrown me many curve balls by then. All I can say (and possibly control) is that in 10 years I would like to be truly at peace and in touch with myself.

  1. If you had a chance, what would you change in your life?

Nothing. My life isn’t perfect but I love it with all of its crazy ups and downs. I have a lot to be grateful for.

  1. Your suggestion to all mothers.

We all need to be kinder to ourselves. All of us mothers. We give so much of ourselves away every single day and beat ourselves up over things we feel we did wrong or didn’t do enough of. We need to stop. We are doing the absolute best we can and that is enough.

  1. What is your opinion on mothers in the workforce?

At Kidore we are passionate about women in the workforce. We have an all women core team. These ladies all work flexible hours and have joined Kidore after having taken a career break to raise their children.

These women do more on any given day than most teams working ‘full time’ do. They are invested in Kidore, happy to go over and beyond on a daily basis.

I think businesses that don’t count the ‘mummy skills’ that women gain whilst raising their kids resume worthy, are missing out big time.

Thank you, Aishwarya for your time!

“My life isn’t perfect but I love it with all of its crazy ups and downs.” – Ayshwarya Chari.

How deep is the meaning of this sentence? Ayshwarya Chari truly is a wonderful mother with great values!

I am sure Kidore will be number one e-commerce choice of parents not only in the region but beyond too and wish all the best to Ayshwarya and you all, my lovely fellow mommies.

http://www.kidore.com/

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Ella’s Creamery – not just an ice-cream parlor!

 

                            I know most of you might be judging me for taking my 2.5 years old to the place filled with “sugar” and on top of it writing a blog post about it. I have no bad intention and let me explain how did I end up allowing “sugar” to Kamronbek earlier than planed.

                            I am actually the type of mummy who follows all the requirements of modern medicine, so I had no – sugar policy till Kamronbek turns 3 years old. I did strictly follow my rules however not all the relatives do think that these rules are set by me for my child’s health benefits only (rolling eyes). I noticed that Kamronbek started recognizing the most of the sweets when he was about 2 years old and I obviously assumed that someone is secretly feeding him with “sugar” and got my confirmation after having a good talk with Kamronbek, who admitted everything. Yes, interestingly, Kamronbek started talking too early and by age of 2 he was able to clearly inform me everything that happens behind me, in addition, I did see with my own eyes how he’d been fed with large piece of cake along with fizzy drink in one of the family events by very close relative. That seemed the end of the world to me. Then I understood that regardless to the set rules of mine there will be other chances for Kamronbek to come across with those “baddies”. However, the fact that I did avoid “sugar” for 20 months of his first years helped me feel better. I continued following the rules till December 2016. December month was the month in which I wanted to shoot many hmmm…well… Santa Clauses. Every single Santa’s grotto visit or else the dinner with Santa would end up with a pouch filled with “sugar”. That was the time I started hating Santa first time in my life, but I couldn’t help it. This was the month in which Kamronbek tried every single type of “sugar” right in front of my eyes. Lollipops, candies, chocolates, marshmallow, jelly beans, m&ms, you name any type of “sugar” and Kamronbek tried that. Thank you, Santa, December 2016 was the time I crossed every single feeling of mine towards you (nothing personal though)! After this load of sugar, there was no chance for me to bring back my no sugar policy, so I set new rules and started taking easier. It is fine to have ice-cream and good chocolates (no snickers/mars/bounty and those types, only dark chocolate or expensive milk chocolate) no candies, lollipops and etc. Ever since I do offer him chocolate and ice-cream on daily basis to avoid the sugar demanding tantrums on shop counters. Not only that, it also helps me to avoid the all the rest types of “sugar”, as at least good ice-cream and chocolates are made of milk and cocoa which are good for heath. Let me put it that way to avoid the stress over “sugar”, all parents will understand me.

 

                                      When I got a chance of trying out Ella’s Creamery I hesitated for few seconds, then closed my eyes and quickly confirmed, because I remembered my childhood in which any chance of being loaded with sugar seemed a great fiesta to me, and we don’t go to Ella’s Creamery every day after all. Also, Ella’s creamery is all about shakes and ice-creams which are “safe sugar” in my listing (my personal opinion). I was so excited about the workshop and couldn’t wait for Saturday to come and kept on telling Kamronbek that he will have fun on weekend. My so awaited Saturday came and we headed to the Riverland at Dubai Parks and Resorts. We were shared with a little secret that we can park in Outlet village and walk down to Riverland to avoid the 50 dirhams parking fee and I am so thankful for this tip as Riverland is my favorite place for a walk, but parking fee always kept me away from it. Now I will be taking Kamronbek to Riverland more often since we both enjoy outdoors.

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                                       We reached Ella’s Creamery just on time and were mesmerized with its bright vintage décor that is felt straight from the doorsteps. The workshop started at the very end corner of it with long sitting area table of which was set with bowls of eatable decorations of the Crazy Monster Shake. They’ve chosen the Unicorn Crazy Monster Shake for our workshop and Kamronbek refused to participate straight away. Let me enjoy my thought of girly unicorn theme that made him not wanting to attend the workshop, and not the crowd fear tantrum. When Kamronbek doesn’t want to try something, I take the chance of trying instead. There I ended up impatiently making the unicorn out of marshmallow while Kamronbek had been enjoying the bowl of pink M&Ms that were meant for decorations. It was our planned “Sugar Fiesta” so I wasn’t bothered with his bowl of M&Ms. Crazy monster shake making is quite easy for kids 5+ and those did enjoy it a lot. The colorful and fun steps of it did take my maximum attraction and I eagerly followed the steps to make my beautiful Unicorn Crazy Monster Shake. I proudly showed to Kamronbek my “artwork” and heard from him: “No mummy, this is my artwork”. That’s how boys are, mummy hard works and he claims it’s his job. Anyways, at least he did watch how I was making it, which is also engaging at his age.

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After the workshop, maestro chef of Ella’s Creamery showed us the master class of the real Crazy Monster Shakes with strawberry and chocolate flavors. Everyone had a try of it. Kamronbek and I fell in love with the strawberry one and I guess we will be coming back quite often for it.

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I also noticed the refrigerator with pastries and mini cakes, in addition, they do have all the common hot/cold beverages which are served in an extraordinary way. I received my latte with a hanger on a plate that was scooping the mini chocolate ice-cream in the mini waffle cone. It looked too cute but Kamronbek grabbed it way faster before I could snap the proper photo of it. Never less, I did manage to snap my friend’s latte with pistachio mini ice-cream next to it.

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I know that most parents are against the sugar but it worth trying. Our little ones do deserve having sugar fiesta at least once in a while, so simply do close your eyes towards all the rules (as I did) and throw a party to your little ones at Ella’s Creamery on at least one weekend of a month, believe me you will be melting from the joy on their eyes and won’t regret or feel guilty at all!

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P.S.: I expected sleepless night after the event but Kamronbek had a very sweet good night 8 to 8. Guess he did burn all the sugar rush on his long walk back to the car.

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Photo credit: Guzal Mirkamilova Instagram: @guzaldxb_photographer

 

Nursery over the school for FS years.

“Disclaimer: All opinions are my OWN, there is no intention to disrespect anyone”

Let’s start from the point that Kamronbek goes to nursery since he is 7 months old due to certain unpredictable conditions within the family. To cut your curiosity, my mom used to look after Kamronbek during my working hours but her health condition couldn’t let her stay and I couldn’t go against it certainly. I was left with no help of my mom to choose whether to stop working to raise my child or to enroll him to a nursery, there was no third option for me, which would be a nanny. I have personal issues with nannies in here. I might be too demanding but the nannies in here totally differ from the nannies of my understanding based on the experiences of my country. The thing is, nannies in our country are highly educated, they are usually the University teachers in pension with high education degrees. They don’t clean your house, either cook, though few of them cook but for an additional charge only. So, what do they do? They educate your child in terms of education and life manners and help you to raise them, in terms of development. Having this in mind I just can’t accept the “nanny thing” in here. Also, all those rumors about the nannies/cleaning ladies/helpers who are called as a maid in general. I am sorry to say that, but what sort of development can these nannies offer your child as being with them for most of the time. Obviously, I am talking about working mothers’ conditions. I wouldn’t mind of help if I was home for 24/7, as this would be a help with the overall management of house chores. Bearing in mind that I am a working mom and that the first 4 years of a human being are the viral ones from all the aspects and points of views I could only trust my child to a nursery. Why?

  1. Each room has a teacher who holds high level of education

  2. Each room has an assistant teacher who holds the similar level of education or at least a diploma.

  3. All the nannies are specially trained for giving care to child

  4. All the adults are trained in First Aid and hold the Cache 3 certification (at least in the nursery I chose)

  5. All the rooms have the CCTV camera

  6. There are the part-time doctor and full-time nurse

  7. All of them and everything is regulated by the administrative team, management, and Government Authorities

These are the main reasons among the other yet important ones made me choose the nursery over the nanny.

I am very happy with Kamronbek’s nursery; however, I should decide on whether transferring him to school this September (as he turns 3 years old by then) or keeping him in the nursery. The reason for the rise of this question is because the nursery is not under the KHDA, they are there to give care not to educate although they do follow the FS 1/FS2 curriculum.  Basically, it might be not easy to transfer Kamronbek to school for the Grade 1 as he will be having no certifications and will need to pass the assessments to get enrolled in school. Therefore, I started my “school hunt” by the middle of December 2016.

Above all, I want to clarify one thing first.  Parents, please understand that there is no an understanding of best system or school in here. I often receive a question from my followers or acquaintances: “what is the best school/nursery in Dubai?” to which I respond: “which system are you looking for?” and other strange question hits after a little pause of lost “which system is best?”. Once again, parents, please understand there is no best system or school. The best school/nursery is the one that answers to your requirements and suits your child. Nothing less or more. All the schools in Dubai answer to criteria of the system they follow and the curriculum they offer, they are also regularly checked by authorities to uplift to the standard issued by the same authorities. Since we cleared the most important point in here let’s start with my steps of school hunt.

The first step: Listing:

Schools differ according to the system and curriculum. You have to identify first what you need exactly to choose the system and/or curriculum.

Let me consider the following popular ones:

1)    IB

2)    Indian

3)    English

4)    American

IB system:

IB system is the most popular in here, and most expensive one. You will be hearing parents in play areas, play dates, birthdays, nurseries, basically anywhere you find the parents with toddlers talking of IB system. Honestly, if you ask them what is IB and what is it for, all will firmly tell you that it’s the International Baccalaureate and it is the best, but only few will be able to explain what, why and how. So, let’s get the accurate meaning from Wikipedia:

“The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. It offers three educational programs: the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme for students aged 16 to 19, the IB Middle Years Programme, designed for students aged 11 to 16, and the IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 12. To teach these programs, schools need to be authorized by IB.

The organization’s name and logo were changed in 2007 to reflect a reorganization. Consequently, “IB” may now refer to the organization itself, any of the four programs, or the diploma or certificates awarded at the end of a program.”

How it works:

“Technically, any school with an IB program is called an “IB school.” Since “IB school” is used as shorthand, it’s important to ask how students participate in IB at any given school. It’s most straightforward at IB elementary schools, where IB is part of every class school-wide. But in middle school and high school that may not be the case. Some middle and high schools are 100 percent IB, but not all. For example, at many high schools, there is an IB program that kids may opt into, much like attending a school within a school. If that’s the case, students may participate in IB at different levels, ranging from taking a single IB course to earning an IB diploma, which involves taking a full course load of IB classes and meeting a series of requirements.”http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/what-is-ib-international-baccalaureate/

We can now be sure that it’s just another variety of educational approach and you now can be sure that you don’t fall into a not good/modern/best parent if you don’t choose the IB system.

Indian curriculum

“For Indian curriculum in the UAE, you have a choice between the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

CBSE conducts public examinations at the end of class 10 and 12 and grants certificates to successful candidates of the affiliated schools.

The academic performance of a learner is reflected in the forms of grades and percentile ranks. Prakash Abraham, Principal of Boys’ Section (classes five to ten) at the Indian High School, Dubai explains, “Semester assessment is organized through two terms during a year for students in classes nine and ten. Each term comprises two [tests], a formative and a summative assessment where the examinations are conducted by schools but questions are set by the board.” He adds that if a student decides to leave the CBSE system or the school, then he/she can opt for an on-demand board-conducted examination for class ten.

CISCE is a private board of education in India that organizes two examinations — Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC). The Council focuses on conducting school examinations only through the medium of English.

A candidate must also choose between the science stream and the commerce stream from class nine, hence they study two additional subjects.

For ISC examination, a candidate needs to study English and environmental studies as compulsory subjects. Additionally, >students choose subjects from either science, commerce or humanities streams.”

British curriculum

“The National Curriculum of England is extremely popular in the UAE among expatriates. The planned structure of the curriculum takes care of a child’s education requirements from the age of 3 to 18.

The National Curriculum of England is framed on the basis of four key stages — key stage one: ages five to seven (years one to two); key stage two: ages 7-11 (years three to six); key stage three: ages 11-14 (years seven to nine); key stage four: ages 14-16 (years 10-11) — at the end of key stage four students appear for General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

The Advanced level (A-level) is usually studied over a two-year period and is split into two parts — Advanced Subsidiary (AS level, year 12) and A2 (year 13). A student has to study both the levels to achieve a complete A-level certificate.”

American curriculum

“The American system of education places a lot of importance on co-curricular activities in addition to theoretical learning to ensure a balanced development of students. The American diploma is accepted for entrance to all US universities and colleges, and is increasingly being recognized by international schools of higher education, says Robin Appleby, Superintendent of Dubai American Academy.

“In the elementary school, the curriculum is designed to offer every student exposure to a full range of age-appropriate subjects so that young learners have access to all areas of knowledge and they can begin to develop their passions. In the middle school years, more arts electives and second languages such as French or Spanish are added. In the high school, options expand further still to include more languages, business studies, sciences and design technology. Students have choices in both middle and high schools, but must study a minimum of six subject areas throughout — and most study seven or eight,” she says.

“The exams are based on the standards set for each course. The American diploma is awarded when the number of credits required by the school is earned by the student, generally at the completion of grade 12, when students are 18 years of age.”

http://gulfnews.com/life-style/parenting/the-right-curriculum-1.695938

Honestly, I get confused every time I read the above. So, let me specify my simple understanding. What I heard from the seminars about schools and the systems is that the IB system is pretty challenging but with an opportunity of not going through additional certifications for enrolling the particular university, it basically opens the doors to all the universities in global. Indian system is quite tough in which the child spends most of the time for studying. British one follows the certain structure and the American is all about projects.

Every person tends to rely on personal experiences when lost in choices. I tried to sit down by bringing out everything I know/heard/think or experienced to identify the most suitable system for my Kamronbek according to my requirements. Please don’t take personally the below statements of mine as those are purely my opinion according to my personal experience.

My Russian system background in which the education starts suddenly at age of 7 and gets extremely tough by consecutive years where you have to study, study and study and you end up hating the education when you reach the high school level in which you only study because the entire ambiance tells you so, made me cancel the Indian system from my son’s life straight away.

I studied in American college of Dubai. Once again my Russian system background made me think that American system is truly all about projects. It was too easy to me. When I find something too easy I stop trying and drop down to the lowest level. Keeping in mind that boys are “cheaters” from nature and prefer fun over anything difficult/hard working I crossed the American system out of Kamronbek’s life too.

I hesitated and still do hesitate between IB and English systems. So, I want to keep these both as my options for the future. I know that IB is challenging but I heard that it’s not as tough as the Indian one.

  1. Therefore, I listed out the schools with both IB and English systems. You can easily get the list of all the schools in https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/directory where you choose your preferences and get the listing.

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  2. Downsized the listing according to price and location

  3. Downsized it more according to the longest school hours since I work (stay at home moms can don’t worry about this part)

My next step was the school tour. You have to actually get into each and every school to check it inside and out to feel if this is the place your child should spend his/her next many (hopefully) years. The best way of doing it is through the school tours.

  1. I emailed each and every school from my list and booked myself for a tour.

  2. Made a schedule with the tours in my calendar

  3. Emailed my direct manager for an approval for those mornings as the tours are offered in the middle of a week during working hours.

I visited the schools, every school had its own unique thing to offer obviously, but I should choose one. I ended up with Horizon International school and here I am stating the reasons:

  1. It’s a medium school. Only 800 pupils. You can feel it from the entrance. Even the director of the school knew the name of every pupil. This means a lot to me.

  2. Facilities of the school. It has two large swimming pools: one for older pupils and one for younger ones. Tennis, basketball and football courts (both indoor and outdoor) available within the school. Two libraries. Innovation room with 3D printer. Specialized subjects are given in specific rooms: computers room, Arabic room, French room, music room, science room and etc.

  3. 90 free and paid after school activities per term.

  4. There is a contracted company delivering the food for extra payment.

  5. FS pupils can stay until 3 pm for additional charges

  6. Option of keeping till 5 pm 3 times a week for FS students

I really liked the school and most probably will consider it for Kamronbek’s Year 1 school life. It’s because when I compared with Kamronbek’s nursery the school fell still behind, although the fee structure is almost the same. I will end up paying the same or even more with many disadvantages if I transfer Kamronbek to the big school.

Let’s compare:

  1. Only 3 times a week I can keep him until 5 p.m. at school which is also a subject of availability, whereas at nursery it’s fixed till 5 pm 5 times a week

  2. There are no French and Arabic lessons at FS classes of any school. However, Kamronbek does take daily French and Arabic classes at nursery since he’s been enrolled (7 months old).

  3. Music lessons are twice a week only. Kamronbek is little artists he loves everything related to music and he does enjoy his music lessons on daily basis and the drumming classes every Monday.

  4. PA (gymnasium) lessons are twice a week too and the nursery kids have it every morning in addition to the water play at the swimming pool twice a week.

  5. There is a kitchen in-house within his nursery where snacks and lunches are freshly cooked for all the children of a nursery. Many schools have contracted food catering for additional charges, which are mostly for Year 1 and above pupils

  6. Teacher and pupil ratio at school made me upset. FS pupils for me are still babies and I saw only 2 adults in each room with 24 children. Also, the fact that 3-year-old must be able to clean himself after using the toilet makes me cry every time I hear that.

  7. Schools can offer nap time for the children who are used to it, but nursery does have a mandatory fixed nap time to all children.

All of the above made me decide to keep Kamronbek at nursery for his FS years and transfer to school from Year 1 only. Every parent has a right to make decisions according to their vision and requirements, though. I didn’t write the post to either criticize or enforce my opinion. I just wanted to share my experience which might be useful to other working mothers, since all we need is a good plan and amazing hands to give care to our little ones during our working hours.

Since the topic touches Kamronbek’s nursery, let me share the photos from the International Day celebration at Kamronbek’s nursery

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkamilova Instagram: @guzaldxb_photograper

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“Meat” the Sir Loins & Sons at the Kite Beach

We are enjoying the chilled weather of Dubai and trying to stay outdoors as long and many as possible. Most of my Instagram followers are aware that The Beach, City Walk and the Kite beach are our most visiting outdoors (from the InstaStories). We had one of those chances to spend our last Saturday on the Kite Beach and have the meat load by Sir Loin & Sons. Counting my endless love towards meat I just couldn’t miss the chance of reviewing the Sir Loin & Sons menu and we headed to Kite beach by late afternoon with Kamronbek and his scooter (his forever friend), my photographer friend and her son.

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What are the Sir Loin & Sons? It’s a food truck going around the cool places of Dubai and offering the slow cooked meat fitting the Sirs and certainly their Madams too. It’s quite popular at Ripe Market and Street Food Market. One of the trucks have been “permanently” stopped (for next 5 months) at the Kite Beach and we were there at celebration day of their new stop.

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I heard the drum vibes from quite far and definitely knew where to head to find the Sir Loin Food Truck. We spotted the balloons and the Food Truck with the name we were looking for and met Mike, who cheerfully greeted us and arranged the seats. He briefed the menu with all those posh names I never can catch properly so I asked him to offer us the best from the menu and some corns for kids. I spotted those corns from very far and so wanted to offer to Kamronbek as those looked delish while being cooked on the 6m custom-built Texan smoking rig.

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While we waited for our food, the drummer approached our table and offered Kamronbek to try drumming. You should simply see his excitement as he loves drumming (from his nursery’s weekly drums class). Thankfully I have a friend with talents who can capture all the amazing moments and she did snap the photo of Kamronbek’s joy while drumming.

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Soon our table was served with the huge chunk of rib, potato chips with beef and cheese on top, corns sprinkled with cheese and soft drinks. Honestly speaking the rib looked dry to me and I thought of getting disappointed while taking the photos of food. I was so wrong with my visual judgments. The meat was extremely juicy and too tender to grab by fork and simply melted in my mouth. Gosh, I felt like driving to Kite beach in the middle of my lunch break when typing about the meat on my desk as my mouth is watering, remembering that tender chunk of ribbed meat. It was also too big for two adults. Kamronbek had the quarter corn on the side of the rib and refused the whole big corn so I had to have it for sake of avoiding of food waste (joking, I just love corns). I think I discovered the tastiest corn in town. The combination of sweet corn with sour cheese was incredible, softness and juiciness of the corn are other big subjects. I liked the French fries with beef and cheese but I was too full to have it all, it can replace the meal by itself or serve as a heavy bite for your long walks on the Kite beach.

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The fact that all of it happened in a chilling atmosphere and drum vibes by the beach with fresh breeze made my Saturday and not only mine. Kamronbek was so happy to ride his scooter nearby us, play the sand under the table and just run around bare feet while we were busy with food.

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Find them at https://www.facebook.com/pg/sirlointruck/about/?ref=page_internal

Photo credit: Guzal Mirkomilova Instagram @guzaldxb_photographer

 

 

Not a picky eater, though…

Most of the parents of toddlers face an issue called “picky eater”. I don’t have this issue with Kamronbek or else I just don’t get into it (he eats what he wants whenever he wants). However, I have an outfit issue with him. All he wants is to wear panties and the “tiger shoes” ONLY. YES, he does name his shoes as tiger, dragon, rabbit and etc. Basically, animals don’t miss their presence anywhere in his life. By the way, he doesn’t have the animal’s print on his shoes, he just named them as per his imagination. For example, the tiger shoes are the crocs that are the combination of blue and yellow colors. He simply saw the shoes and said: “oh, tiger shoes! Nice”. Dragon shoes obviously, the ones that have wings, the rabbit ones are the whites and so on. Yet he only wants to wear his “tiger shoes” although I’ve explained him zillions of times that the tiger shoes are for swimming pool and beach only. Other preference as an outfit, just panties. Nothing else. That is why we have those dramas every single time I want to put the clothes on him.

 

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His home “wear”

 

Certainly, nobody wants to have the outfit dramas from early morning or on a rush while being late to somewhere; therefore, I try the following tricks to make him wear the outfit I want (separate and/or in combination)

  1. I put the TV on with his favorite cartoon. He gets distracted while I put his clothes on.

  2. Circus time. I start changing my voice, role play and ask to be a good helper for a quick dress up.

  3. Play while dressing up. Cuddles, tickles, giggles, jumps, dances everything fun and active works in here.

  4. Miss Kate thread. Miss Kate is his teacher at the nursery. She is quite tough. So sometimes I “call” (pretentiously) Miss Kate to take an “order” about the clothes to wear.

Each of the above works depending on his mood and the conditions. Sometimes I do the combination of few. You can see it’s a trouble anyways. That’s why I try to practice the followings as much as possible for him to compromise when I need:

  1. I let him be naked or jut with panties throughout the time we spend at home.

  2. I let him wear his “tiger shoes” at home whenever he wants to.

  3. Occasionally I let him wear his “tiger shoes” to nursery

  4. Sometimes I agree to put his panties over his pajama

  5. I let him choose from the options: “Can we keep the tiger shoes for other time and choose one of these?”

  6. I let him choose his outfit time to time and astonishingly admire his choices.

  7. Lately, I figured out that “matching game” worth playing. I dress up, choose the similar outfit for him, then tell him “wow you are going wear the same shirt/shoes/pants as mommy”. So now you know the reason behind our “matchy- matchy”

 

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He insisted on putting his tiger shoes on the International Day at his nursery

 

Overall, I’d say there is no certain way of making your little one follow your desires. They are little humans with their favorites and wants, sometimes even own eye on fashion. Try to think from their perspective and do let them have the fun of having own decisions as much as possible or else “enforce” your desires as gentle as it can be. Fashion industries do appreciate the uniqueness so the panties over pajamas can bring back the “Superman” trend.

 

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Going for a walk when 14 degrees outdoors