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”

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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…”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener!

“I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener!” How amazing is this? I wish more people would adopt this philosophy. Life, parenting, health and everything in between is an individual journey. It’s not a race, it’s not a competition regardless of whether or not social media makes you feel and think that it is. It is your personal mission. There isn’t a target or assessment criteria and unfortunately no-one is going to give you a badge at the end of it for a job well done. It is YOUR journey which you can choose to enjoy …or not. So no, I’m not looking at your grass, I’m not fazed by its colour, its length or its lushness…too busy with mine! Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener!”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness · Me time

High Fives & Happiness: Happiness, like unhappiness is a proactive choice.

“Happiness, like unhappiness is a proactive choice,” Stephen Covey.

I absolutely love this quote and this may remain as my motto for the next foreseeable future. To me this means that while crappy things may happen and life may not go according to your plan, you can choose to be happy or not. It’s all you and yes, no pressure 🙂 These are the 5 positives I choose to remember about last week! Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: Happiness, like unhappiness is a proactive choice.”

General musings · kids activities · Kids' Art

Mess-free art: Raised Salt Painting

I’m always a bit hesitant with art and craft projects because I abhor the mess! Especially living in an apartment with limited space. This raised salt painting idea though is relatively mess free, or should I say as mess free as any art project can be. It also has the added advantage of the cool effect of the salt sucking up with water which gives it a bit of a WOW factor even if the result is less than perfect.

Continue reading “Mess-free art: Raised Salt Painting”

General musings · High-Fives & Happiness

High Fives & Happiness: When things go wrong, don’t go with them!

The motto for this week is courtesy of Elvis Presley – When things go wrong, don’t go with them! Isn’t that a trap we so often fall into? Someone cuts you off in traffic, you break your favourite pair of shoes, the kids mess Nutella on their uniform five minutes before you’re out the door. Any and all of these can easily put a damper in your day . It’s so common that we have an idiom for it. But what if, just maybe, you don’t have to accept that. You could vent, shrug, huff and simply move on. It doesn’t need to swell and grow and take over your day, week, month. It can simply be a clap of thunder in an otherwise sunny day! Continue reading “High Fives & Happiness: When things go wrong, don’t go with them!”

Books & Reading · Education · Giveaways · kids activities

Review: I Spy Dubai – Bugs and Birds

We’re still happily iPad free in our house and pretty proud of ourselves. Ok, well, the parentals are proud of themselves, the kids are tenacious and have been asking, negotiating, tantrumming – pretty much every trick in the book to establish when they can get them back. At the moment, never, but we try to break that to them in a more gentle manner 🙂 That however is a story on its own. Continue reading “Review: I Spy Dubai – Bugs and Birds”