A mom’s Review- Fun City Dubai

As a mom of 3 kids aged 5 and under I have trawled through Dubai’s myriad of play areas to find a suitable one, where I could let my kids run around and burn off some steam. As for myself what I look for in a play area is a place that combines fun, safety and affordability. This weekend I enjoyed a play date with some of the C2B mommies and kids at ‘Fun City’ in Arabian Center, Mirdif. This Play area is worth a drive if you have never been. It is packed with high fun factor with a variety of play features. It is set in many locations in Dubai city, nestled within accessible shopping malls. Many of the features are similar to other play areas, but with a definite twist. My kids got excited the most over games that awarded tickets when you play and the redemption area with exciting prizes. This facility has entertainment geared for children of all ages, including an enclosed padded area for toddlers. My 2-year-old son loved it too and was able to keep up with his 5-year-old brother. Entry is on a card system basis, which gives accessibility to any of their play areas without having to register every time. To make the most of the card buy higher credit and be awarded with more points.

Features:

Video games, art and craft zone, Fun and learn zones, Soft play area and gym with climbing features, entertaining rides, party hall and games that give redemption tickets.

What’s Great:

* Friendly staff

* Safety and sanitation protocols in place

* Affordable and accessible.

* Variety of play options

* Suitable for different genders and different age groups

What’s not:

* Prices are not inclusive for art.

Verdict : 4.5 (out of 5)

Overall this indoor play area is guaranteed to capture the curiosity of your toddlers while it provides a one-stop-shop entertainment for your older sparks.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to check out Fun City for the purpose of this review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

 

 

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When Love takes you IN

This weekend my husband and I had the unique privilege of spending the day with our dear friend Daryl Heald. He has been a man who has challenged and inspired us to live life generously for others, not only with our resources but also with our time and family. Daryl currently serves as Director of Generosity with The Maclellan Foundation as well as serving on the boards of Crown Financial Ministries, Excellence in Giving, ProVision Foundation and the Haggai Institute. His wife Cathy is by all means what I would call chief of supermoms. Daryl and Cathy, live in Georgia, with their eight children. They have 5 biological children (Frances, Hallie, Hamilton, Anders and Louisa) and 3 adopted children (Lee Lee,Lucy Wu and Bella from China). Their adoption story is anything but typical.

Daryl and his friend Michael Dennehy, who have adopted, have created a video on adoption. I would encourage all my readers to watch this 15-minute video on their story. I share it with the hope that it may help others who are considering or beginning the adoption journey.

In a self-gratifying world this production is counter-cultural. I promise you this creative effort will tug your heart and take ahold of you as it sheds light on the beautiful world of adoption.  

 

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Odyssey of a sun-kissed princess

My heart was thumping like a heard of galloping horses as I awaited the results of my oldest s’ MRI scan. AB was rushed to the hospital as he suffered excruciating pain and had restricted movement around his neck and head. The doctors ran many tests to investigate the underlying cause of the pain and to conclude what events lead to this. Upon examining the medical reports and hearing my boys’ story they arrived at a diagnosis that he suffers a condition called ‘strain’. Phew, that’s a relief! Not as serious as one would imagine it to be. Watching a screen in an unsuitable position for extended periods caused this. Prior to this incident AB was enjoying his playtime indulging in some Xbox extravaganza at our neighbors home with his buddy’s. I had reasoned with him that the great outdoors had much adventure to offer than plugging into a fantasy world indoors. He convinced me saying he would play outdoors 4 days a week and 3 days he would spend time gaming indoors. It seemed like a reasonable proposition, so I agreed. In hindsight I wish I had not.

This incident left me turning back pages in my memory book. It brought back spirited memories of my childhood. When I was AB’s age I was rushed to the doctors after I fell off a guava tree in my grandmas home. It was painful, but at least I re-lived ‘Mowgli’ from ‘Jungle book’ and enjoyed a few bites of ripe organic goodness before my fall. This one little incident taught me 2 valuable life lessons: how to measure risks and how to take responsibility of myself. Looking back, I cannot recall one amazing memory of watching the little TV I got to watch as a child. But I hold close an array of fond memories of exploring the wild and running barefoot on my granddad’s 10 acres of rustic landscape.

Growing up I was let loose to enjoy free-unstructured play. I eagerly waited for the holiday seasons to head to my grandparents home where I could build dollhouses with thatched coconut leaves and twigs. I even remember building a hideaway hut for myself. I enjoyed trawling the wild and scouring them looking for cashew fruits and fallen mangoes. I have a particular fond memory of trying my hand at milking a cow and getting kicked by it at the same time. My favorite part of the great outdoors was at dusk where the children got to chase the hens, ducks and lamb back to its coop and barns. There were ponds, woods, muddy patches and open spaces. The environment was challenging and inspiring and I created my own adventure. I learned problem solving, managing resources, flexibility and teamwork. I have learned to love nature and to survive and be creative. I am dreaming that my children will experience this to some extend and all this would not just be a fairy tale from yester years.

With the invasion of technology sadly, children’s contact with nature is declining and they are on a road to transforming to what I would term ‘Digital zombies’. I agree we cannot bring back the vast countryside experience to our urban kids. But there is always room to teach them appreciation for nature, creation and the creator.

Usher your little treasures into an experience of enjoying the brilliance of God’s paint over the sunset. Engage in chasing the bright visions of spectacular prints in every unique butterfly. Experience the feeling of God’s rest as you remove your shoes along with the tiny feet folks and sink your toes in the lush green grass. Encourage the younglings to close their eyes and enjoy the kiss of a soft breeze, which resonates with the creator’s peace. Connect with your tiny sparks as you help them perceive the wonder of nature which points to a creative genius. Help your kids create memories as they live a life bursting with flavor.

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Educate the heart of your child to transform the heart of your world

Today as I spent time helping a dear friend with her beautiful new born I had a flash back down memory lane. I was reminded of the incredible moment in my life when my oldest was born. Nothing compares to the rush and excitement of holding the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh for the very first time.

As new parents my husband and I were not sure what to expect and how to steward this treasure we were given. Today as guardians of 3 spirited young hearts we are not looking at being the perfect parents but intentional about our parenting. I chose to feed the heart before I feed the head. My focus is not narrowed to raising high achievers rather to raise my bars on Godly character and good virtues with my boys. I believe if you can get this right then your children would grow up to excel at what they were made for.

As a mother I decided to make a list of life lessons I wish for my boys to take when they leave home. As I started off i was not sure if i would have 5 points on that list. As i progressed i was surprised to see how long and daunting it seemed to be. I encourage each of you to take time and journal a list of life lessons you would like to leave with your children. As you pen down your thoughts you will realize what a powerful yet life molding journey you have embarked on with parenting. Investing into a strong foundation of values for your home will leave you and your loved ones withstanding any storm that comes by.

Like many mothers the ongoing world events have troubled me much. It concerns me enough to worry that my children are growing in unpredictable dangerous times. What often keeps me brooding over is the thought that I want to see change but I am limited with my influence and position to bring about meaningful change. As I have been reflecting over these thoughts I have realized that motherhood has tethered me into learning that as mothers we have the greatest weapons of change in our hand. We are positioned with the greatest opportunity to shape young minds to be decision makers for a better world. What is a more important take away for me is my learning that it is matters more to focus on the kind of citizen I help my child become than worry about the world in which he grows in.

The best gift you can offer this world as mothers is to raise your children to be seeds of transformation to your future unseen world. As parents I encourage you to invest into educating the heart of your child, which will bring about change to the heart of your world.

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Slay Your Dragon

I am excited to be back and to engage with my readers after a short blog break. The break was intentional as I decided to dedicate time to focus my attention on my start up. I have to admit that I have missed writing and hearing back from my readers.

In this post I have decided to tackle one of the most common but rarely mentioned and discussed issue of ‘Postnatal depression’. This past week I have had four new moms who approached me and shared their personal struggles and fight against this predator.The severity of this hit me when one of the moms mentioned she often fantasized about killing her baby and another stated how she shook her baby so hard in despair. This post is dedicated to my friends who have requested that I write as an effort to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma attached to this issue.

This subject is very close to my heart as I am one of those many million children who were caught in the whirlwind of maternal depression. My mother suffered severe postnatal depression after my birth and she has struggled with the effects of it since. I have not personally experienced the blues or depression with any of my pregnancies but I am well aware of the consequences that come along with the package.

Listening to the stories my friends had to share of their struggles in battling depression, I questioned why in the recent past this issue has become an increasingly common occurrence with new moms. I have realized that in our modern nuclear family setting with little or no help,the pressures of life added with balancing a home and getting used to a new baby can be one of the most stressful moments in the life of a woman. A combination of the above with the hormonal changes and many other changes to a new mothers lifestyle is a perfect recipe for depression. Many families suffer through this in silence as a result of lack of awareness or the stigma attached to mental illness. Through this post I attempt to tear down some social veils and offer facts on how common this phenomenon is.

Research states that 50 percent of new mothers suffer baby blues and one in every 10 new mothers suffer postpartum depression, which is a more serious condition.Postpartum depression results in intense feelings, and long lasting symptoms, which could occur anytime during the first year of birth. The symptoms could include intense sadness, anger, guilt, insomnia, fear of hurting you baby, lack of interest in things you enjoyed before etc. This requires support; counseling and early medical intervention. If you are reading this post and you are suffering through post partum depression you owe it to yourself and your children to get the help you need.

I have had many women address me as a ‘Super mom’ to which I have always responded I am no super mom. I have 3 boys aged 5 and under which is indeed a challenging age group to handle. I look at them as my most valued gift and source of investment. I try to give motherhood my best shot and to be there for my children. My honest confession is that there are many instances I have failed and made mistakes. As much as I enjoy home making and raising my kids, there are days with my boys around my home everything seems chaotic with broken sleep and an overwhelming sense of responsibility and a sense of inadequacy. A great learning that I have taken away is the understanding that there is no super mom or there will never ever be a perfect mother. Every mother needs the one and only super God and support from people around her to fulfill her call as a mother.

New moms i urge you not to come under pressure to be a super mom,to get everything right. My big advice is for you to relax your standards. It is more important to care for your wellness and for your baby than to get the home looking spotless or to prepare a fine dinner. Prioritize your sleep and eat healthy. Get out of your home and enjoy a walk in the park,coffee dates with friends ,shopping for yourself or indulge in any treat you would enjoy. There is nothing shameful about admitting that motherhood has taken a toll on you and you are finding it difficult to cope with the role.Seek help and delegate responsibilities. If you are suffering with symptoms leading to postnatal depression do not disregard your feelings and suffer in silence. Find courage to share with people you are comfortable with and count on your spouse. Learn to tune off the voices that says you are not getting this right. You are not a bad mother.You are finding your grounds and learning everyday as every mother does.

Your moment of breakthrough and healing is just around the corner. It will come with a combination of changing you’re thought patterns to reflect hope, caring for yourself and seeking a support group and medical help. There is a bright light and hope awaiting you. Never give up and never give in to this thick cloud. Choose to rise up, choose to be resilient, choose to slay your dragon.

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GUARD OUR TREASURE

This week I have dedicated my time with my kids to teach them about ‘STRANGER DANGER’. The city where we live is considered one of the most safest, yet we frequently hear about predators targeting children as young as a 3 year old. As parents, we often think our children are way too young to practice safety measures. I say ‘Better early than Sorry’. It is tricky to strike a balance between teaching children safety without having them to feel this great world is a dangerous place to be and most people they meet are scary. I am on a journey of creating some family rules for our boys to abide by. I have also thought of making this teaching a practical one by inculcating some role-play sessions with my kids. I urge Parents to make it a point to be intentional about bringing safety awareness into your family. Join me in this ‘GUARD OUR TREASURE ‘run. ‘I have attached an interesting video for preschoolers and young kids to watch as a first step towards learning about ‘STRANGER DANGER’

Have fun while you equip your children with the knowledge and strategy to protect themselves in a dangerous situation. The most important lesson as parents we need to bear in mind is that we are not taking our children through a journey where we instill fear,rather we empower them with confidence and assure them that help is a prayer and shout away.

 

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Event: C2B Coffee morning and Kids play-date on May 17

 

Cocoon to Butterfly Community  wishes to invite aspiring moms, moms-to be, yummy mommies and kids to a coffee morning and play date. This will be at Caboodle in Dubai mall on Saturday, May17th at 11am.

Come by and indulge in some healthy conversation and fun activities where you could enjoy prizes from our sponsors. The kids have an opportunity to play right next to where the moms are at. The play area is charged at 70 aed for an hour for crafts,cartoons,play and more. If you do not wish to send your children to the play area, they are more than welcome to hang out with the mommies.

Looking forward to catching up with you beautiful ladies,yummy mommies and fun kidos. Do not miss the fun!!

 

 

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Gloriously Fashionable

 

I just returned from a fabulous short holiday in my hometown. Whilst on this trip i had the opportunity to meet up with some young women. In conversation with them I was amused to learn that they follow my Facebook page to see how I am styling it. I am no fashionista or fashion guru. I am just another girl who loves all things pretty and suave. My first job was with Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology Banglore, as a Trainer in computer aided Design and Pattern making. This is my only claim to the fashion industry. I had moved on from there to pursue a career in aviation. They have both been fulfilling careers in their own way and good opportunity for growth. Through this column i aspire to share my style and passion for fashion with my audience.

Unfading fashion to me is something that cannot be bought. It is priceless! It stems from the heart and it consists of grace, poise and much more.  My number one tip on feminine fashion- The best accessory to adorn on a daily basis is a smile and a gentle spirit. This sense of style is classic, timeless and of great worth.

Forgive me if I step on a few toes as I burst a few bubbles on some fashion misconceptions. I speak from my personal experience of having lived this huge lie. A large number of women believe that only designer labels or a brand name indicates ‘Fashionable’. I have learned that this is painfully wrong. You do not have to buy every single designer piece dished out to you by the media at every changing season, to look fashionable. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love a large number of designer labels and I own quite a few designer goods myself. I love them for their quality and their unique style. I say if you can afford them go get them. However do not be a slave to fashion where you are constantly giving in to your obsession of rocking all the latest trends and as a result you end up downhill on your financial road.

The biggest fashion misconception i have come across is ‘Dare to Bare or Go Nude’ to ooze appeal. I like to redefine this statement by saying ‘Modesty is the hottest trend’.

Another common misconception is that limited resources or budget living holds you back from looking fabulous. This is a plain white lie. You can look stylish and stunning even on a shoestring budget. The secret is to learn to be ingenious and smart. Dive into your closet and experiment with mixing and matching your clothes. Bring out those accessories that have been buried and hardly worn. Define and create your personal style and nail it. In my next segment I will be sharing some practical tips to look stunning and fashionable. Remember to shine gloriously fashionable from within.

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Beauty in your Identity

December last year and February this year I had the privilege of speaking at a career day event and a special event organized by two prominent schools in the city of Sharjah and Dubai. I was invited to speak on the topic of ‘Identity and discovering what you are called to do in Life’.  ‘

A sense of shame and self-loathing towards ones own body is a huge phenomenon prevalent especially among teenagers and young adults. This resonated with me to an extent because as a teenager I remember spending countless hours in front of the mirror trying to change my color or looking for ways to change my nose to be more appealing and beautiful. It stemmed from an urge to feel more admired and adored.  It lasted only for a very short span of time. Those thoughts have become a distant memory from the past and I can say boldly that today I stand as a confident woman who believes I am created beautifully. I come from a home where I was affirmed, appreciated and shown much love. This has also played a significant role in enabling me to think and see clearly beyond beauty that is skin deep. But this ‘Identity issue’ is a common culture and typical teenage angst that chokes and bottles up young minds. Today more than ever there is a prevalent cultural bias towards perfect bodies and perfect faces. This is as a result of social media, magazines and television promoting the same.  We cannot stop the media from objectifying women but we can stop ourselves from wanting to look like every top model and actress we see. I am not against cosmetics or beauty routines. On the contrary I love fashion and make up. . With the right technique and application of make-up you can enhance your beauty and express your unique style. What I do not agree with is the idea of living in a false world where women are afraid to age gracefully. A growing number of women are pressured to physically Photoshop themselves to feel accepted.  My message to you is do not let your self-esteem and your wellness be determined by the media or the cover pages. Striving and struggling to be like anyone else is a waste of time and a waste of the person you are.

Take a deep breath; learn to appreciate the beauty that is bestowed on you. You are uniquely beautiful just the way you are. You are original, a copyrighted edition and a masterpiece created by a master craftsman. You have a unique purpose for which you are created. Embark on a journey to discover this purpose and become the person you were created to be. When you learn to embrace your creator and your uniqueness, you have given yourself a chance to discover your purpose in life. Grow in love with the one who created you and grown in love with the BEAUTIFUL YOU!

sneha

 

 

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Win free tickets to Passion UAE

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The Passion team is stoked to have their first tour in the UAE. This amazing show will be on Thursday, 20th March 2014, 08:30pm onwards in Abu Dhabi at the Armed Forces Officers club. The show will be graced by performance from Grammy-winning artists like Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill and inspirational speaker Dr Louie Giglio. This is sure to be an epic live performance filled with outstanding music, talent and vocals.

Passion events take place every year (since 1997) in the USA where they host a million university students from over 130 countries. This is the first time they are coming to UAE. Tickets are in 3 price levels ranging from 100, 150 and 250 Aed. We are giving 20 readers a chance to see Passion live in concert! Sign up to win free tickets to The Passion concert. You do not want to miss this!!!

Watch the ‘Passion Bands’ entertaining promotional video.http://youtu.be/Ywo06kGvs-0

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