General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.

A smile is happiness you will find right under your nose – Unknown.

I will not lie, it has been a trying couple of weeks and a time when I could probably have done with some extra reflection on the very many positives in our everyday life and yet, ironically this is when I am least able to do it. But it is a trying time that has passed and berating myself over things I can no longer change or impact is a grand waste of time so onwards we must go! One step (albeit a baby one) at a time, beginning with the moments that made the last week or so a happy one:

  1. The boys’ had their school swimming galas recently! They were adorable! Joshua managed to swim 3 different 25 m races without the aid of a float which I had no idea he could do. I watched at one point as he sat with the swimming aid, glanced around at his peers and simply tossed it deciding then and there he could do this. He was brilliant and brave and so determined to do it. We could all take a page out of these kids’ book when it comes to throwing caution to the wind and going after something you want.
  2. A very proud mom moment. Liam, sick as he was, insisted on participating even though only in one event. He was exhausted, and we left early, but he tried it anyway. This kid has a serious games face, too adorable. He seems to shut out the world around him and focus solely on the task at hand.
  3. While watching the boys was amazing, I was overwhelmed by how the staff at the school interacted with the kids regardless of ability. Every single kid was egged on and encouraged to do their absolute best. There was so much love and support in that pool – yet again, so happy we switched schools!
  4. We had a whole entire week as a family of four! Happy days! No detail or explanation needed just lots of hugs and kisses.
  5. We’ve finally bitten the bullet and taken the plunge to move out of our hotel apartment and into a villa! It’s a bit daunting and all new to us but so exciting. This of course means shopping sprees as we moved to the UAE with 4 bags and a box of Lego.

Please help spread the #positivevibes and #highfivesandhappiness moments on social media by sharing your positive moments of the week! If you would like to read the previous week’s post, please click on the link below:

High Fives & Happiness: If you want to be happy, be.

A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives and Happiness: If you want to be happy, be.

If you want to be happy, be – Leo Tolstoy.

In the age of all things Google, there is a vast amount of information at the touch of our fingertips and I’m sure I am not the only one who gets caught in the miasma of checklists, how-to guides and “expert” opinions that do nothing more than cultivate our innate tendencies to over think EVERYTHING. I’ve become more prone to getting stuck in the planning and information gathering phase of anything and everything since becoming a mom, probably because the stakes seem higher than ever. The truth however, is that the stakes are the same, life decisions I make for myself are no more or less important than the life decisions I make for my family and honestly, not making a decision is probably much worse than making the less than perfect one. You can always change something if you do not like it, but you have to start by choosing the something and then doing that something. So this week, I’m aiming not to look for how and what to do to be happy. This week, is the week to just be it. Be happy. No pressure, no goal, no checklist. Just happy.

For me, and the intention behind High Fives & Happiness it helps to take some time to smell the proverbial roses and take stock of those things in the past week that have made be happy, grateful and brought a smile.

  1.  I met up with old friends again this week and as always was amazed at how easy it is to just fall into the easy flow of conversation and laughter regardless of the time period that has passed. Did not expecting a simple morning of frill-free coffee and conversation would be so soul refreshing!
  2. I had an uncharacteristically social week (#IntrovertsAreUs) which also included a media morning with Tishtash marketing agency. This is ordinarily for me both a highlight (because I love catching up with fellow bloggers) and a source of stress (because a room full of people I do not know is daunting on a good day). But it was a fantastic morning discovering new brands that I’ll be sharing more information about soon and reconnecting with fellow bloggers in person and not through news feeds and IG storied 🙂
  3. I did some baking this week for the first time in forever for the boys’ school Spring Fayre. Baking (much more than cooking) is one of those things that just instantly makes me happy but for various reasons (including the fact that I really must stay away from carbs) I haven’t been doing much if any over the last few months. It was great to get out the cupcake tin and bake a batch, even more so when the boys were all smiles taking them into school the next day.

    Home made Spring themed cupcakes
    Super easy Spring themed cupcakes for the boys’ school fair and a couple of extra for their dessert!
  4. We have a full week ahead of being a family of 4 in the same city! ok, so maybe that sounds a bit sad, but this is pretty much the highlight of my week, we all manage fine with Wils traveling but it feels great when we’re all together 🙂
  5. I had the best retail therapy this week and I will not apologise for it! It started with needing a new handbag and ended up with so much more including the satisfaction of buying a top that is 2 sizes smaller than the last one I bought just before starting Boot Camp!!!

Retail Therapy Meme

Please help spread the #positivevibes and #highfivesandhappiness moments on social media by sharing your positive moments of the week! If you would like to read the previous week’s post, please click on the link below:

High Fives & Happiness: Some beautiful paths cannot be found without getting lost.

If you want to be happy, be


General musings · Giveaways · indoor play areas · Things to do in Abu Dhabi · Things to do in Dubai

The time we went to Fun City….

Being a Dubai Mom is often synonymous with soft play areas because let’s be honest for several month it is scorching hot outside and even on those cooler days containing your herd is often easier said than done! Prior to moving to the UAE, we had absolutely no concept of soft play areas, in South Africa, it’s just unheard of. The weather is usually pleasant enough for outdoor play and while this play is less often in public parks these days, a large portion of families live in houses with gardens and space for play. Being an expat family means adjusting to your location and finding the gems to help your family adapt and thrive. Continue reading “The time we went to Fun City….”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: Some beautiful paths cannot be found without getting lost.

Some beautiful paths cannot be found without getting lost – Erol Ozan.

We don’t normally plan our holidays to death. The last few have been last-minute, spur of the moment decisions and while we have a general idea of options to explore and activities, we don’t really make firm plans until we are there and immersed in the holiday. Last week we ended up in Switzerland, simply because we knew Willie would be in Geneva for work and it made the most sense to meet him there. Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: Some beautiful paths cannot be found without getting lost.”

General musings · Me time

Today is a #RockingMotherhood kind of day.

As moms we are über critical of everything we do and say relating to our offspring. I think it’s in our genes or perhaps it is something in the slimy gel they slather on your belly just before your ultrasound. Where ever it comes from and whatever the reason, the fact remains that we spend an awful amount of time focussing on the things we perceive to be lacking in our parenting repertoire. That’s why I love the idea of the #rockingmotherhood hashtag challenge. The concept came from Patricia a fellow Porra mom of 2 who blogs on White Camelias and I’m quite happy to say has spread the blogger world over. Continue reading “Today is a #RockingMotherhood kind of day.”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Earlier today, at one of the many Spring Break play dates that have been organised to keep the monsters semi-civilised, one of the moms shared that she was starting art classes. There was polite interest and the immediate assumption that she had an artistic streak and was finally pursuing it while a Stay At Home Mum in Dubai. We were wrong. She is not an artist, it is not an unnurtured passion of hers, it is actually a fear. Something that she had held back on for her entire life because she was shy, scared and intimidated. She had spent her life avoiding art because she assumed it was a “weakness”. Incidentally, she had also spent her life avoiding taking a pole dancing fitness class for the same reason and turns out she really enjoys it. It got me thinking about how many things in life we steer clear of because we have a preconceived notion about how good we would be at it? It also made me think that maybe we are creating those preconceptions in our children. How many times have you said, “Oh, little X is more artistic than sporty,” or something as simple as “You’re not ….. enough to do…..” So this week, I’m aiming to put away those preconceptions, about myself and those around me, and try out at least one thing I think I cannot do. Here’s hoping it ends up as one of next week’s High Fives and Happiness moments 🙂 Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

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”

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.”