Make Grandparents Happy Everyday with Johnson's Baby's Newest Grandparents Frame App

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This video is about our parents, our children's grandparents back home whom we seldom see and who misses us and our children so much, just keep a tissue box right next to you before watching it is a tearjerker.

I did warn you, I myself cried too while watching it, I only recover from sulking when I saw how happy the grandparents are after seeing their grand children's recent photos (did you feel the same way?) but I also cannot ignore how bad I felt knowing that grandparents miss their grandchildren terribly. According to the study, majority of grandparents in the Middle East are not familiar with technology and therefore aren't engage in any social platform. I say not only here, I immediately thought of my mom who lives in the Philippines, she's neither a techie granny nor a smart phone user making it even harder to update her of our daily grind. We talk on the phone every weekend and rarely see each other on Skype but I know that it was never enough. Me, my family and my brother lives in Dubai while our sister and her family lives in Doha, Qatar so literally mom is alone back home in the Philippines. It would be so nice if there is a way to update her about our lives in the fastest way possible.

The good news is the thoughtful people of Johnson's Baby as they always are has created a new app called Grandparents Frame App designed to instantly send special moment to grandparents home making distance smaller. 

It is very easy to set it up, all you need is 1.) a smart phone and 2.) a Sony S-Frame DPF-W700 or any wifi enabled digital frame.

Follow this 4 easy steps and share photos away every day or as it happens.

1. Download the app for Android user here and the app for iPhone users here.

2. Log in via Facebook or Twitter and start creating your profile

3. Create a frame and name it. You can have as many frames as you can. The email address that you will enter for the frame you have created in the app must be the same e-mail address exclusively created for your Sony S-Frame DPF W-700 or wifi enabled digital frame

I have downloaded the app, my brother and sister can download it too on their smart phones and we can all share to mom the photos of our children in her S-Frame, wouldn't it be nice if she get to see us so often, I am sure she will be so glad

4. Take a photo and share, you can also share other photos that you already have in your camera roll

In less that 10 minutes these photos are shared already and can be viewed on the S-Frame

This photo was taken in Al Ghurair Mall while Micaela and Prince was at Dubai Fest

In this photo, Prince was celebrating his 4th birthday. It is so easy to share photos, your parents or grandparents will never miss any of your children milestone or family events.

I bet they will definitely be the happiest people on earth. Send it to them as a gift and they will surely love them.

The Sony S-Frame DPF-W700 was provided by DigitasLBi and Johnson's Baby to facilitate this review but it does not in anyway influence the content of this blog post. 
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Eat Better Live Better with Kauai

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It's a pity that I missed Kauai's launch but I am meaning to visit them when I go to Dubai Marina 

The good news is South Africa's popular restaurant chain Kauai is now in Dubai giving locals and expats an option to eat better. It is located at The Park Island promenade and it is the first outlet of the 137 unit strong brand outside of South Africa. The health conscious folks in Dubai Marina neighborhood have something to look forward to in their daily meals.

I am definitely be coming for these before heading to the beach, not only healthy they also look yummy and refereshing.

I am simply impressed of The Kauai Way. Did you know that the oiliest food in their kitchen is an avocado and if you are avoiding wheat, their your best option.

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Prince 4th Birthday at 365 Novotel Al Barsha

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Prince 4th birthday was  intimately celebrated at home and the kid  is the happiest person on earth especially after receiving his preferred gifts. Ferald and I on the other hand wanted to do something more for him on his birthday.

I still have the vouchers from the Novotel Al Barsha's Grand Opening so I booked a table for the family to dinner at the hotel's all day dining restaurant called 365

It was a quiet dinner service, it was just after the weekend so there was no rush. I was told that they are busier at lunch time during the weekdays.

As usual, I snap before I dine and while doing so, I met chef Marc who is behind all the tempting creations on the spread. I favor the starters over the mains most of the time in a buffet (weird? not) and there was a wide selections of starters from salads to cold mezze, I couldn't be any happier.

While I was indulging on my plate of starters, hubby and my sister-in-law had their pasta cooked in the live cooking station while the kids go directly for the mains, my daughter whose on potatoes was more than satisfied with the potato au gratin.

Everything on this plate complimented each other and I am sold, as long as there is smoked salmon, I am a happy kid, the ripe papaya salad balanced everything.

I finished my plate of mains that includes white fish in cream sauce, roasted beef, potato au gratin and lamb stew but I keep on coming back for this two especially the curried crabs

Before we finished our dinner, Prince had a surprise, Chef Marc presented him with this cake and we are truly grateful for their hospitality, a group of Filipino staff even sing him a happy birthday song and I am sure that by the looks on his face, he wouldn't have it any other way to celebrate his 4th birthday.

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Easter Egg Hunt and a Rare Farm Visit at Al Tamimi Stables

 Happy Easter everyone, how did you celebrate your Easter?

Ours was celebrated at Al Tamimi Stables with an Easter egg hunt and a farm tour. It is a rare occasion to visit a farm here in the UAE as most farms are private properties so the experience felt a few inches more special. :p

We arrived almost 11 am at the farm, we didn't find our way too quickly though, without navigation maps, it is a tini-tiny bit challenging to get here. Although we are from Sharjah, we have never been in this area of Sharjah.

Al Tamimi Stables thought genuinely about the welfare of its community and opened its doors to the public in 2013 and from then on, this family-friendly farm and activity center has become a popular destination among schools, companies and even for families who seek outdoor and edutainment for their children away from the husle and bustle of the city

The farm is situated in Al Zubair, Sharjah just opposite Al Zubair Municipality. From the gate, you get to walk in a long dramatic entrance covered with tall trees, the kids couldn't contain their excitement, already running towards the a flock of ducks resting under one tree.

The mercury is rising ever so quickly so off we go for the Easter egg hunt and farm tour with our beautiful tour guide Aefa who has wealth of information for us about the farm.

The vast property is 30 acres of greenery and about 500 exotic and domestic animals are housed here, has also a number fruit bearing trees, a banana and dates plantation, and vegetable patches all over the farm.

Al Tamimi Stables has a state of the art stable and has a number of horses, each one has a different background and different breeds from countries around the world. These beautiful creatures are royalties here at the farm and they are well taken care of.

I remember Aefa telling us that the Arabian horse might be small in size but it has a big heart which makes it good for racing while a horse in the other corral is big in size but has a small heart. You cannot really judge our equine friends by the way it looks.

As we continue with our tour, we are in for more and more surprises each and every step.

There are so many activities available both indoor and outdoor here at Al Tamimi Stables. There is a football field, a basketball court, a horse racetrack, a petting farm (indoor and outdoor), studios for dance, cooking and arts and craft lessons, giant chess board and maze and if you are feeling hungry after all these activities, they have a cafe too and if you fancy a party here at the farm it can be tailor made for you.

After the farm tour and the egg hunt, we went back to the welcome center to freshen up, the kids got their sweet treat for aq job well done. After recovering from the heat outside (boy it was really getting hotter each day), the kids got busy with the arts and craft and petting turtles and rabbits at the indoor petting zoo.

Our almost four hour stay at the farm was well spent. We had a great time and learned a lot especially the kids. I am sure their young minds pick up and absorb almost everything that they have seen, encountered and experienced at the stable. It is an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Thank you to Al Tamimi Stables, the staff (Aefa, Paula, Glenda) and to the General Manager Mr. Brian Galligan for making our visit so memorable.

Kudos to Al Tamimi Stables for allowing the people in the community to experience the more natural UAE.

Entrance fee to Al Tamimi Stables is AED 60 for adult and AED 35 for children above 3 years
Family package is AED 180 for 2 adults and 3 children above 3 years. See full pricelist here
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A Photo Walk - Bastakiya Part 2

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My breakfast at the Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe was followed by a short photo walk inside the Bastakiya quarter. It is a tiny but most engaging neighborhood in old Dubai. The labyrinth alleys are lined with restored merchant houses with tall wind towers, restaurants and cafes, art galleries, souvenir and herb shop, mosque, and a soon to open coffee museum. Bastakiya is a charming step into Dubai's past.

What caught my attention the most was the Wall of  Old Dubai. The Bur Dubai wall was constructed in 1800 AD from gypsum and coral and serves as a defense wall of the old city.

The Calligraphy House

Visiting Bastakiya will give you a completely different perspective of what Dubai was like far from the glittering tall buildings and highly commercialized areas that we have now.

Sikka art fair is also being held in Bastakiya every year, it is designed to feature UAE contemporary art practices and initiatives. Sikka draws its names from the alleyways between the historic houses of Dubai aka Bastakiya, that serves as a metaphor for budding artists to develop their creativity and seek for their professional paths by participating in the art fair.

These wind towers or wind catchers are cultural icons of the city of Dubai. The old houses are equipped with wind towers to funnel air inside the house especially during summer, they are renovated and preserved and to this day, even some of the new buildings are designed to have wind towers for cultural display.

If you are in for some shopping while on the walking tour, there is a spice store, textile, and souvenirs store, just don't break the bank, save some for your entrance fee to Dubai Museum and Abra ride in the creek.

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Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe - Bastakiya Part 1

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Last Saturday at around 8:30 am just after I dropped my daughter at St. Mary's church for her second retreat and confession, I went to visit the nearby tourist magnet in Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai - the Bastakiya.

I have three hours of me-time as the retreat finishes at twelve, just enough time to get on this solo tour.

Bastakiya is established in the 19th Century by textile and pearl traders from  Bastak, Iran. To this day, the neighborhood houses cafes, restaurants, art galleries, a mosque, a library, spice shop, and a coffee museum is opening soon.

From Oud Metha, I took the C7 bus with a friend, we alighted opposite the building where she lives and Bastakiya is just a stone-throw away :p before I knew it I was already in one of the oldest and most historic parts of the city of Dubai.

The weather was perfect for a photo walk but I heard my tummy rumbling and breakfast was necessary. A friend was frequenting a tea house in this area and following his recommendation, I entered the Arabian Tea House previously called as Basta Art Cafe. An expansive cozy courtyard restaurant lined with flowering petunias and shaded by two huge trees. I seated myself in a table for two and Mirasol, a cheerful and pretty Filipino waitstaff handed me the menu.

While I was giving my order, two small fruits dropped from the tree above me. I pay attention to the tree, it is something similar to what I have seen outside. On that tree was Dubai Government signage chained on it saying it is a historical tree. To my surprise the tree was called Christ Thorn. I found out later on that it is the same tree species where Jesus crown of thorns was taken at the time of his crucifixion. It is also the only tree that  Muslims considered holy as it is mentioned in the Quran. The fruit of Zizyphus Espina is edible and used to make bread and also medicinal.

This huge tree has been standing here since 1960.

I look up again and instead I noticed how clear and blue the sky was. I inhaled deeply and thank God for all His blessings. For the life that I have, for this beautiful place and for the peace in my heart that the tranquility of this place brings to one soul. You probably have to come here to understand what I am talking about. Next time you are in this area, take a peek at this quaint dining place.

I ordered myself an omelet with cheese and cherry tomatoes. It comes with a fresh side salad, Arabic bread, grainy mustard dressing for the salad, and 1001 Nights tea with a small plate of balalit to complement my fruity tea.

This is a super healthy breakfast and really filling, I wasn't hungry until 3 pm.

Balalit is a traditional Emarati noodle breakfast dish made from vermicelli spiced with cardamom, saffron, rosewater, sugar, and butter.

1001 Nights tea is a black tea with a fruity flavor and has a sweet smell. Arabian Tea House has 100 selection of loose teas from Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, and India.

Having this breakfast al fresco in this splendid courtyard makes it so memorable and mesmerizing. I am definitely coming back here.

The photo frames of old Dubai on the wall are for sale as well as the teaware and so are the teas. I bought a box of loose tea and what else could it be but the 1001 Nights tea although I am surely going to try the milk oolong which is highly recommended by the girls when I come back next time.

I am now ready for the photo walk but that's going to be on the second part as this is already quite a longish post so stay tuned.

Have you been to Bastakiya or Arabian Tea House? Please share your experience on the comment box below.

Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe
Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, UAE

Arabian Tea House Cafe
Shop No 6, Thuraya Telecommunications Tower, Dubai, UAE

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