Ms. Kidzanian-Happy 8th Birthday

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My daughter is turning eight tomorrow,  it seems like yesterday when we celebrated her 1st, now she is party hosting friends without mom and dad in tow...and

acquiring a new nationality too :O She is now a Kidzanian! :D

(L-R) Eliza, Mica, Hilary and Janica

What a better way to celebrate her 8 birthday than to spend a day with her BFFs inside one of Dubai's city that is built to children size, to have fun and enjoy friends company while it's educational and interactive.
Hilary and Janica are Mica's classmates and close friends at school while her ate Eliza is her cousin and an older sister for her.

We opted for her a birthday celebration the non-traditional way this time and without us directing her choices. I believed that birthdays can always be celebrated different ways as long as it is safe for them and in a place where they can learn.

Kidzania is an edutainment center in Dubai Mall where kids can become independent and act like grown-ups. It is city built to children's size with a replica of a real city with a central square, bank, hospital, and a lot of other buildings and establishments. It has different modes of transportation too where children can hop on a bus and tour the city or even rent a car.

I checked them in last Friday and they sure had a good time role playing inside. They'd worked in TNT, prepared milk at Lacnor, bottled their own Coca Cola, worked in Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, helped construct a building, and enrolled and graduated at Hamdan bin Mohamed e-University with certificates in Philosophy. :) They learned the value of hard work and hard earned money as they earned kidzos money for the work they did. They do earned their dirving license inside as well.

That's Mica counting her Kidzos (the official currency of Kidzania)
Children's age 4-16 pays AED 130 or $35/ and there is height restriction of 120 cm and above else a parent or guardian must accompany the child

Open from Sunday to Thursday bet 9am to 10pm
Fridays to Saturday between 10am to midnight
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Silhouette Photographs


I was experimenting on silhouette photographs, I used the light of the setting sun on all photos above following tips I have read. Well I think it does the trick and work well on my subjects.
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Szechuan Pepper is also known as Tirpal

I've been watching Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals on YouTube and I've tried cooking some of the meals while watching my cooking time just to see if it would work for me (you know I'm a working mom so I don't have forever to slave myself in the hob so I need easy and fast but delicious and healthy to cook meals).

It wasn't really 30 minutes cooking time if you are not prepared like when some of the ingredients are not available in you kitchen. In one of the meals, there was this seafood dish that requires five spice powder. What is five spice powder you may ask me. According to wikipedia five spice powder is mixture of grounded five spices namely szechuan pepper, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds and cinnamon. Of all the five spices, szechuan pepper was the hardest to find in supermarkets in Dubai if you don't know the other term for it. I could not find five spice powder in a single bottle too, it's just not available or I did not look hard enough. The search continued for this pepper thats not even botanically related to black pepper or chili peppers. This spice is widely used in Chinese cuisine but there is hardly a chinese spice store near my place. If it's not availble in supermarkets where else do you think it will be and then suddenly this idea hit me. Who else in Dubai use loads of spices in their cooking? Yes our Indians friends of course- but please don't get me wrong-their food is good with all the spices and I love it too. I followed my hunch and check in one of the Indian spice stores if its available but before I did that I check for szechuan peppers other names and it's called tirpal or tripal.

The same term I used when I ask for it and the middle-aged man from India nod and smiled as he reach for  the big plastic container  of szechuan peppers. I bought 100 gms for 8 dirhams or $2.00. If you are wondering how it looks like see the photo below. Powder is not available so you'll probably need a grinder or a mortar and pestle for this. Toast it a little in an oil free pan together with other four spices I've mentioned above before grinding and you'll have that needed 5 spice powder.

Szechuan pepper has a unique aroma and flavour, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth that sets the stage for hot spices.
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Sharjah Open Beach


somebody else did that castle above, fellow pinoys too (jims & arvin must be their names) we ask nicely if we can incorporate the sand castle in the shoot and they gladly agree, thanks guys

I took these photos in the middle of an engagement shoot.
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Prince Turns 2

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You sang your happy birthday song five times while tapping your feet. Blew your candle five times too.

We had blue balloons and some loot bags for your friends, food for our guest.

We celebrated your 2nd birthday on a Good Friday

You had a red Ferrari, two remote controls cars, a soft bowling set, a lots of new clothes as gifts

A lot of our friends came to greet you a happy happy birthday and you did had one, a perfect one.

Happy 2nd Birthday Prince

Mommy, Daddy, Ate Mica, Tita Bebe

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Ultimate Blog Party 2012


Party hosted by twin blogger Janice and Susan of 5minutesforMom on its 6th year.

Hello there, I'm Carla, a wife of a wonderful man, a mother of two beautiful kids and an expat blogger from the UAE.

This is my first time to join UBP and it sounds pretty cool to me. I am very excited to start blog hopping, meet other mommy bloggers and learn from each one of you about your place and your blog.

But first let me welcome you to MYB - short for My Yellow Bells. Please feel at home, this is a mommy website too. I started blogging via blogger in 2009, my aim was to earn extra cash but then I don't have the niche and I just write ramdom post about my life, my family, our daily life and many of our adventures in the UAE, MYB eventually became a hobby and my online diary, then I just realized that I stopped minding about the stats.

We've lived here for about a decade as an expat family and we love it here. My kids only been to Philippines a few times before and we don't have any plans to move back anytime soon.

Please meet my kids, my two awesome kids, my stress buster - Mica is 8 and Prince just turned 2.
If you would like to know more about Dubai, UAE and some of our adventures please click here. Please give me some love by leaving comments so I know you were here and I can link back to you.
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