We scour, shop and drag strollers through the jungle (urban and otherwise!) to bring you the latest news on what’s hot in the world of parenting in Dubai. From new products and shop openings, tips, tricks and advice from Dubai's leading experts, not-to-be-missed social events and more, we've got you covered, mama
Activewear To Take You Through The Summer Hols & Beyond
Whether you like it or not…activewear has become clothing attire, which has earned respect, in terms of when and where you wear it. No longer is it frowned upon, to show up to lunch, a play-date, appointments, your child’s school play or run errands around the malls and supermarket in your gym gear – it is now seen as the most easiest, most wearable ensemble to throw on in the morning. Lets face it, even if you’re not a member of a fitness club or have signed up to 10 Pilates Reformer classes, by wearing your gym clothes, you’re giving off that aura of ‘Hi, I know life is so busy, I still find time to fit in a 6am Body Pump class!’ Hands up who wears their gym clothes on the school run but never actually goes to the gym? Guilty……….
I admit, since I’ve joined a gym here in Dubai two months ago, I find myself drawn to activewear more and more. I’ve become obsessed with co-ordinating my separates, frequently think about purchasing another few pairs of kick-ass cool trainers and just want the coolest gear around coz lets face it…active wear is now the new outerwear in many respects.
So…let’s have a look at what I’ve had my eye on recently and a few options to ‘up your activewear style’…don’t worry, gym membership is not a requirement here ha, ha!
Get Your Home Summer Ready With This Quick Checklist
Your bags are packed…you’re ready to go…
Before you John Denver your way to the airport, pause for a minute and think: did you make the necessary arrangements to make sure that your home will be as you left it when you return? The UAE offers some unique challenges because of the scorching summer heat and infamously high humidity. Heat plus humidity equals a disaster-in-waiting for your home unless you take the proper steps beforehand.
mrUsta is an online marketplace that offers a full list of service providers across the UAE – so there’s not need to shop around! Simply post the job you want doing and all of the relevant companies will quote to do the work – plus you can check out their ratings and testimonials. Genius!
Here’s a brief checklist on what mrUsta suggests you do before you take your break:
Under absolutely no circumstances should you shut your AC off during your absence. Even though your air conditioning does take up a significant percentage of your monthly DEWA bill, you’ll want to leave it on while you’re gone. Keeping it at 25 degrees is more than suffice; it’ll ensure that there is a consistent flow of cool air to keep undesirables like mold (which can also be dangerous if you’re allergic) from making your home their home.
So it’s highly advisable to get your ACs checked and your ductwork cleaned before you leave on your vacation. mrUsta has plenty of service providers that do both, so post your job here or here to get the work done.
Your water is one of those home appliances you take for granted. When it works – all is good. When it fails, panic ensues. Although you won’t need to leave it on for the summer, it is highly recommended that you have it inspected before you leave. Failing water heaters are the number one reason for home flooding in the UAE.
More likely than not, you probably have an Ariston brand heater – you can easily have it checked out by Ariston themselves with favorable terms through mrUsta here.
Cockroaches love the heat (YUK!). And you know what they love more than the summer? Your home – especially when you’re gone. Take advantage of your time away, when both your family and pets are out of the house, to get some general pest control done. You don’t really want to come home to a bunch of insects getting too comfortable on your couch feeding off your crumbs.
The great thing in the UAE is that pest control service providers are highly regulated. They must provide you with a six-month warranty, and the chemicals they use must be odorless and safe for children. Save yourself some time and book your pest control services through mrUsta.
Speaking of crumbs, it may be a good time to look at some deep cleaning for your home. You want to come back to your home as you left it – dust-free and spic and span clean. Deep cleaning will also keep your home bug and mold (and fungus) free. Your toilets are also a great incubator for bacteria and other nasties – you want those as well as your bathroom cleaned real well before departing.
With mrUsta, it’s also easy to book cleaning services. Just go here.
Little knick-knacks here and there
How long you been putting off hanging a painting? Or changing lightbulbs that are just beyond your reach? Or maybe hang your new curtains?
There is no better time than now to get these small jobs done around the house because it is practically GUARANTEED you won’t get them done after you get back (you know – post-vacation blues and all).
Get yourself a handyman and sort these things out!
You’ll need to pack a few things before you leave – your clothes, your toothbrush; other toiletries. But wouldn’t it be great if you also packed a peace of mind? Only then can you have the vacation you know you deserve. So just follow the helpful guideline above, and vacation like you’ve never vacationed before!
Download These Apps To Guarantee Smooth Tantrum Free Journeys & Screen Time With A Difference, Mamas!
Picture this; Day one of the school hols and your precious little person is already ‘bored’. Whether you’re trying to fill up those hours (in between camps – make sure to read up on some of our faves this year), you’re facing a mammoth journey and need to keep the kids distracted and entertained or you’ll need to rely on the iPad as an occasional babysitter this summer just to get some peace and quiet – these new apps are not only fun but also a good way to keep the brain cells engaged when school’s out! Happy downloading!
An epic adventure of logic, physics and fun! With 228 physics puzzles, 12 fairytale castles, toothy crocodiles, goofy ghosts and a friendly dragon, your little ones are guaranteed hours of fun-filled play and brain training (in fact this app is loved by older kids too). Unleash the magic and let your young knight or princess embark on an epic quest of twists and turns.
A is for Apple, B is for… BORED! Yup, most of the alphabet games don’t get our kiddos super excited but this one’s a little different. Users will be encouraged to poke, prod, drag, and spin each of letters to reveal fun transformations. A giant ‘B’ appears with a bushy beard and a beak – and then starts belching an endless stream of colourful bugs.
Eric Carles brilliant little story comes alive in a 3D interactive app which will have kids nurturing the little caterpillar from its egg stage right until it becomes a butterfly, feeding fruits, playing and more – a kind of virtual pet!
Anything which involves animals is always a huge hit in our household and this new little game is going to be a guaranteed winner! The basic game involves your kiddos identifying the correct cartoon animal based on clues including emotions, actions, sounds and more. Once they pick the right character, a new scene appears.
Yup, we’re obsessed by the weather – especially when we live in the desert so any variation on hot is super exciting! Through interactive scenes, the kids can do anything from melt ice to help someone fish, cool the temperature for a panting dog or unleash all kinds of craziness through tornados and storms plus learn how to tell what kind of weather it’ll be outside (um…hot?!) .
What could be cooler than creating your own monsters while learning about the concept of DNA (see, there’s an element of learning in here too, mamas!). And once they’re made, the kids can get their monsters doing everything from skateboarding to dancing and more.
Literally one of the most genius app ideas I’ve seen in ages – and one that’s perfect for kids who love making/crafting. All they gotta do is select a template (human, car etc) then use the app to decorate it either by importing photos, painting, adding stickers etc. The app will then create a 3D model which can be printed out, cut and folded so that it exists in the real world too.
There’s a room at OliOli (the kids museum we’ve long raved about, check out our review here) which allows kids to watch drawings of their sea creatures come to live on a giant interactive screen. Well now they can do the same at home (or in the car/on a plane etc) by drawing a fish on a white paper, coloring it in then holding the iPad over the drawing and watching as their fishy friend comes to life.
A kind of virtual forest school where kids can engage in and explore the life of plants, learning about everything from how they make food to experimenting with underground root systems. Perfect for curious minds.
How about making volcanoes with your fingers? Or sculpting mountains and controlling the forces of nature?! This beautifully designed app combines aspects of science books, toys, simulations, and games in a new interactive experience that’ll prompt lots of thought and knowledge about our world.
Mini astronomy lovers this one’s for you! Solar Walk is an amazing 3D model of our solar system bringing the universe to the palm of your hand and allowing you to interact with planets, satellites, moons, comets and other space objects. Hitch a ride on a comet, spin Saturn around to take a good look and just zoom around our universe. Super cool.
Yes I know, the idea of getting them to do math during the holidays might seem like a crazy one but this app makes this often uninspiring subject quite fun (honestly!). Defeat Dr. Odd and earn the latest spy gear in a game that transforms math drills into a global learning adventure. From the streets of Paris to the pyramids of Egypt, Operation Math includes more than 100 timed missions that help players learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Another for all those curious kids and endless question askers! Universal Zoom provides users with a superpower of seeing the invisible so that you can discover the world from the tiniest subatomic particles to the most prominent space structures plus learn how to measure size and compare objects too.