Education · kids activities · Things to do in Abu Dhabi · Things to do in Dubai

Review – Smurfs: The Lost Village

Last weekend we braved the unusual Dubai rain to watch the UAE premiere of Smurfs: The Lost Village at MOTIONGATE Dubai which is one of the 3 theme parks at the recently opened Dubai Park and Resorts. When the afternoon begins with Smurfs’ Vanilla ice-cream from London Dairy and face painting you cannot go wrong! Continue reading “Review – Smurfs: The Lost Village”

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General musings · High-Fives & Happiness

High Fives & Happiness: The heart has no wrinkles

The heart has no wrinkles – unknown.

I am still very much on the nostalgia train after my recent getaway to celebrate a dear old friend’s nuptials. One of the discoveries was that one of our friends has the most amazing stash of photos from about 10 years ago, a period in my life that for some reason I have amazing memories of but not a single picture (won’t be saying that in 10 years time I bet). The biggest treasure of them all is a picture of Willie and I (yes, we’ve been together that long). It’s grainy and mostly out of focus as it was at one of the then infamous house parties, but as I looked at it, the first thing I thought was (other than damn I was skinny) was how we have aged. Hang-on, I mean in a good way. I can see how we have changed. I can see the effects of lack of sleep. I can see those laugh lines and those frown lines but I am not deterred by them. I see them more as a visual journal of the time that has passed and the experiences we have shared. Gives credibility to the adage that love is blind and the heart has no wrinkles. It is also one of my High Fives & Happiness moments this week!

Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: The heart has no wrinkles”

General musings · kids activities · Traveling with Kids

Fun things to do in Lund with kids.

Absolutely never would have expected myself to be writing about the small, Swedish University town of Lund because honestly not only did I not know it existed until not too long ago, but even when I learnt of it, I had always pictured us traveling to more renowned and cosmopolitan cities with the boys. Never say never right? Continue reading “Fun things to do in Lund with kids.”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” Irish proverb.

I’ve just had 4 days with a mountain of laughing (and a couple of actual mountains) and while not as much sleep as I would have hoped for, it was all uninterrupted and with no alarm clocks were set! Last year, was the first time ever that I had ventured off anywhere sans kids for some much-needed me-time, last week I did it a second time and while wedding celebrations were again the motivation, the two experiences could not have been more different. It was a crazy long weekend that involved missed flights, almost being blown off a mountain and so much nostalgia I may actually have become 5 years younger! It also made me take stock again of all the things in my current life that I am blessed with! Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”

General musings · Me time

Attitudes are contagious, make yours worth catching.

Attitudes are contagious, make yours worth catching – Unknown. 

Seems like there are loads of contagions out there at the moment and they all seem to make us feel down and downright yucky. Over the last month, I think at least one person in our household has been ill and finally it’s me 😦 We’re all mostly still chirpy and optimistic. Some days are harder than others. Some days you simply need to take some meds and fake it til you make it. On those days, I’m either loading up on probiotics and Vitamin C or I’m physically fine but emotionally and mentally forced to stop and make me-time a priority. Because, like most moms I know, it is not always a priority. We will happily drive around like lunatics to get from karate classes to violin lessons in time, but will not let the washing pile up so we can get to the gym or have a routine health check-up.

Continue reading “Attitudes are contagious, make yours worth catching.”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness

High-Fives & Happiness: Be Happy

Today: Be Happy. Tomorrow: Be Happy. Everyday: Be Happy. Unknown

Sounds like a grand idea doesn’t it! Like most other habits, it’s making the choice one day at a time and Spring Cleaning out the clutter that brings you down! I find that listing my #highfivesandhappiness makes it easier to keep track of them and not lose sight of them in the clutter of everyday life: Continue reading “High-Fives & Happiness: Be Happy”

General musings · Things to do in Dubai

Review: Family Daycation Brunch at Lapita Hotel

Brunch is ubiquitous to the UAE but not something we grew up with. The South Africans have braai’s (at home with friends and family); the Portuguese weekend (and weekday) can also revolve around food and family but both for the most part are at home affairs not pool side at some of the world’s most amazing hotels. So, brunching in the UAE has been a bit of a culture shock for us and probably one of the things it has taken the longest for us to acclimatize to. After our recent brunch at Lapita Hotel however, I can honestly say we may have started a new family tradition 🙂 Continue reading “Review: Family Daycation Brunch at Lapita Hotel”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · kids activities · Me time · Things to do in Dubai

High Fives & Happiness: People often see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for,” Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird).

This week has been full of some really fun and exciting moments but mostly made up of many a power struggle between the parents and the 5-year-old. So suffice it to say it has been a tough week. This quote in particular speaks to me this week because it is really easy for me to get trapped in monster mom mode where instead of reacting to each situation and scenario as a new event, I enter into it expecting drama which creates this vicious circle of destructive and negative behavior that helps no one. And sometimes, instead of a parent and two children in a discussion, we end up with 3 children and tears. So this week, I’m aiming to be more mindful . To pause just for a minute longer before reacting and to not anticipate the outcome. I’m sure it will also help that the monkeys are back at school this week 🙂 Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: People often see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness

High Fives & Happiness: Better an oops than a what if.

Better an oops than a what if!

How many times do we not do something simply because we are hesitant about the outcome? When we’re kids we attack life by diving in headfirst. It’s how we learn to walk, run and become independent creatures. Along the way, we suffer failures, we’re laughed at, hurt and saddened and slowly we learn the worst trait of all – fear. I don’t mean the type of fear that stops you from seriously injuring yourself, I mean that niggling self-doubt that pops into our heads when we’re about to try something new or walk into a room full of strangers. The negative talk that questions whether you look like a flailing octopus on the dance floor or whether that necklace is just too loud for this particular group of friends. Well, this week is “Flailing Octopuses Unite” week so let’s try to find that inborn carefreeness that I’m sure is genetic and hidden away in our genetic make-up and dare to do what we want without the doubt. And if it goes a little awry, then, better an oops than a what if! Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: Better an oops than a what if.”

General musings · indoor play areas · kids activities · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Cloud 7…

One thing that the UAE is not short of, is indoor spots to keep the kids entertained which makes sense considering how many of the summer months outdoor play is not an option. There are constantly new locales being launched but while all are generally good fun, they are mostly much of the same. In the last while two have stood out for me, the first is Orange Wheels in Abu Dhabi which opened up last year (read more about it here) and the second was Cloud 7 which we visited recently. Continue reading “The time we went to Cloud 7…”