Delightful Brunch at Dusty's

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Some people are very successful in turning their passion into business and one of them is Dusty Tourani - owner of Dusty's - a home-grown restaurant and wine bar located at Al Fattan Currency House in DIFC and one of the new dining places that's making a buzz in Dubai's food scene. As a globetrotter himself and lover of food, Dusty's menu is a collection of dishes from the finest of cuisines from around the world.

I took the family on a Friday invitational brunch to try them out. As we entered the restaurant, my eyes was searching for the huge contemporary murals designed by reknowned Palestinian artist Jeffar Khaldi, but I found none. In the first place, it was the artworks that lured me into coming to Dusty's. Instead, we were welcomed by a lovely host in a black dress, acknowledging me by my first name and walking us to our table in the sprawling terrace with a capacity of 80 guests. I learned later on that the restaurant and wine bar was at the opposite side with a different entrance.

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Confusion Over Mother's Day + A Mother's Day Treat at Al Nafoorah

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I’m probably the saddest mom yesterday since no one from my kids nor did the husband greeted me for mother’s day. As a mom, I expect my own to be the first to greet me on that special day. I didn't know exactly what happened because they were never like that, they were always the first to greet me in any event, and that made me wonder.

Last night, in the kitchen while my daughter was washing the dishes, she asked me what am I cooking for dinner and I soberly replied "meaty spaghetti" and followed it with a smile saying "because it's mother’s day today and I'm celebrating".

My daughter gave me a confused look and said "Is it mother's day today? Isn't it on May 8?" Which is true and she's right. In the Philippines, our home country, Mother's Day is celebrated every second Sunday of May which will fall on May 8 this year.

In the UAE though, mother's day is celebrated every 21st of March.

After realizing that her mom was hurt and her, feeling embarrassed for forgetting, she gave me a big fat hug and a big kiss and greeted me to make up for it.

It was not really a big deal; it was just me teasing them. I didn't greet my mom either because like my daughter, my mom is in the Philippines; in case I greet her, she will probably get confused as well.

Anyhow, to all the mothers in UAE who are celebrating and deserve a lovely greeting, let me greet you all a Happy Mother's Day.

How did you celebrate your mom yesterday? Or haven't you?

If you are on a hunt for a place to date your mom/wife anytime soon, listen up.

Al Nafoorah at Emirates Towers has something special.

Last week, Q Communications invited me and a few more mommies for a special Mother's Day lunch at Al Nafoorah in Emirates Towers. They served up a four course menu featuring the best of the Lebanese cuisine.

Al Nafoorah’s special Mother’s Day menu will be available from March 21st (UAE Mother's Day) for lunch and dinner. Priced at AED 120 per person (excluding beverages), mom’s meal is on the house when dining with three or more guests. The menu will also be available for the remainder of the week through to March 27th for both lunch and dinner.

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Coffee Morning with UAE Mom Bloggers + A Family Photoshoot with Picture People

This is my favorite photo among the five photos Picture People gave us

and this is my second favorite, as Picture people said on their comment on Instagram when I posted it, "two peas in a pod", yes they are! They are a mixed of me and my husband's features and it was greatly captured here.

and third, this is Ferald's favorite, now both our iPhone's screen saver

and fourth, this one is for our wall

and fifth. Actually, I love them all. It was really hard to choose.

There were probably more than 20 shots taken, all of them captured beautifully, during our complimentary 20-minute photo session with photographer Erika of Picture People. There were so many beautiful photos but those five are the ones we really liked the most.

Here we are with our photographer at the viewing station checking our pictures, that one on the screen, I like that too. Special thanks to Mommy Abi for capturing this one.

This was our first professional family photoshoot and I said I'd like to keep it classic. The night before, we all agreed to wear white which came out really nice in our pictures.

Erika, our photographer was very professional and yet fun to work with. I'm glad that my kids were both in good mood that morning and were both having fun too during the shoot.

It was a great experience for us and we are happy to work with them and will definitely recommend to friends. They were all very professional and at the same time warm and patient especially with small kids.

The studio, located at Al Wasl Vita is very inviting.

The interior is minimalist with clean white walls, wooden floors and glass facade. There is a play area for the kids and a comfortable lounge.

There are three studios and four viewing stations. The walls were adorned with samples of their work, all looking fantastic.

This photo session with Picture People is part of UAE Mom Bloggers coffee morning which wouldn't be possible without the organizers behind it, Tarana of Sand In My Toes and Abigail of Cuddles and Crumbs. Thank you for bringing us all moms together and our families and giving us an opportunity to meet each other in a wonderful event like this. It was lovely to meet all of you.

UAE Mom Bloggers: Standing: Zeyna, Carla, Tarana, Mariam, and Abigail 
Kneeling: Meg and Sheila
Sitting: Amrita, Sandy, Abbey, Claire, and Laura

For more information about Picture People UAE:
Instagram: @picturepeopleuae
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Soothe Away Aches and Pains at The Orchid Palace Wellness Spa

Thailand's The Orchid Palace Wellness Spa opened its doors in Dubai at Yassat Gloria Hotel Apartments last month. Located on the 8th floor of the hotel, Orchid Palace Wellness Spa boasts 17 treatment rooms for male and female with 4 rooms specialized for couples, a Hammam, and steam and sauna facilities. The spa also features a reception relaxation area decked with earthly tones representing authentic Thai aesthetics.

My friend and I received a complimentary 60-minute signature "Orchids Aroma Bliss" massage voucher during the opening night. We booked it the following week on a Thursday evening after a very tiring work week.

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Dubai Miracle Garden

This post was long overdue since we visited Dubai Miracle Garden few days after Christmas but I guess it is just the right time to post it in celebration of Spring.

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Uno: The Cutest Doggie on the Planet!

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This is Uno, the cutest doggie on the planet :D (Syempre, bias ako :D)

Uno was a our friends dog. We asked her if we can borrow Uno even just for a week. We just wanted the kids to experience having a dog to care for. We also fostered a cat before but on the cat's second week with us, my eldest allergies flared up, so we had to return Katina to its owner asap. Despite that, we know that the experience of taking care of a pet cat is something beautiful the kids will remember until they grow up.

Back in the Philippines, Ferald and I grew up having dogs as pets but our kids, unfortunately, were born in Dubai where dogs are considered inconveniences in apartment living. It is simply not permitted by many building owners and managers, it is even included in the lease agreement that pets are not allowed in the apartment. It's probably easier if we live in a villa.

When our friend went to Philippines for a short trip, we took Uno in. (sshhh, that's our little secret ok) The kids were super excited to see the dog home for the first time. Mica was at ease after their first meeting but Prince was hesitant and trying to avoid Uno in the beginning but became good friends in a couple of days.

The main reason we wanted to try a dog at home is to see if any of the kids are allergic to it. I can safely say that no one in the family showed any signs of allergy while Uno was with us.

Another reason we want to borrow a pet is for the kids to understand that having a pet comes responsibility which my eldest displayed pretty well. She cleans after Uno and give him his water and food on time. On the other hand my youngest was probably not as ready as his sister when sometime during the week, he blurted out a question with hand motion addressing everybody "why nobody told us that having a pet is not easy?" Daddy and I had to sit and explain to him that dogs are just like humans, they have life and they needed attention and caring too.

The kids misses the cat and the dog from time to time and I miss them too. We are looking forward to the day that we can own a dog.

Thank you to our friends who let us borrow their furry friends and for allowing my kids to experience such a wonderful bonding moment with them.
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