27th September 2017

Currently Loving – September 2017

So here’s my first ‘Currently Loving’ blog post-summer – and as usual, it blends companies that are in the UK and companies that in the UAE (with 8 of the picks available in both countries). I hope you enjoy reading it – and Ill be back next month with more things I have been buying, trying, loving, or coveting! See you then!

  1. EcoToys.ae (UAE)

I was so happy to hear about new toy store EcoToys.ae, which is the first toy distributor in the GCC committed to selling safe toys to kids, whilst also preserving the planet. Every toy is made from 100% natural hardwood (mainly beech and maple wood) sourced from sustainable, eco-friendly forests. They never use plastic or toxic paints, colorants, phosphates, or any other harmful substances – and the non-toxic water-based colours are perfectly safe and healthy for kids aged 0-6 years (even if they get sucked – and believe me, Mabel likes to suck a toy!) There’s tons to choose from at every different price point too. A wonderful new option for Dubai Mummies. Shop at www.ecotoys.ae

 

  1. Cath Kidston (UK and UAE)

I’ve fallen in love with the new Initial Mugs by Cath Kidston – and I’m planning on buying one for each member of the family. And at just £7.50 each, they are affordable too. Click here to buy on the UK website (or head in stores in the UAE, as they should arrive very soon!)

 

  1. HOTBUNZ (UK and UAE)

Regular readers will know I am a big fan of HOTBUNZ baby pants, which are made from the softest organic cotton. They have wide bands over the tummy, to stop them pinching baby bellies, and come in a range of beautiful colours and designs. In fact, this swan design (along with a stunning twinkle design in beige and black) are new to the collection and I am seriously coveting all three for Mabel! You can shop from anywhere in the world, with a flat rate $7 for shipping – and 10% off orders when you register on the site. Click here to shop

 

  1. Cissy Wears (UK)

While our worldly belongings sail across from the UAE (which will apparently take 6-8 weeks), I am dreaming about a new UK abode for my family and all the things that may fill it. This will be the first time Mabel has had her own bedroom – and I want the shelves filled with beautiful things. This bunny snow globe is top of my wishlist to pop on a shelf, at just £9.99. Click here to shop

 

  1. Love Roo (UK)

I have fallen head over heels for the bonnets and shoes made by the talented mum behind Love Roo – and I ordered a bunny bonnet for Mabel a few months ago thinking we’d be back in Dubai. Mabel looks adorable in it – and it really is beautifully made. Now that it’s getting chilly, I am coveting the fleece-lined range of bonnets, which includes this beautiful fox cub hat, plus a teddy bear version. Equally gorgeous for girls and boys, they cost £19,99 each and are made to order. Order yours here

 

  1. H&M (UK and UAE)

How adorable are these fur-lined slippers by H&M. They are available from the teeniest size 0 to kids size 5 – and they cost just £7.99 in the UK (click here to shop) and coming to stores in the UAE very soon.

 

  1. H&M Home (UK and UAE)

Another pick from H&M, but this time the home store, where these Christmas tree branch cushions have caught my eye. Such a stylish nod to the festive season, without being too full-on (in fact, I’d be tempted to keep them on the sofa all year). Just £6.99 in the UK (click here to shop) – and in Dubai stores a little closer to Christmas.

 

  1. Scamp & Dude (UK and UAE)

I can’t get enough of this fantastic UK-based brand (which ships overseas) for its stylish kids and adultwear. Wilfred has this cat sweatshirt and it looks simply adorable – and I am currently carrying out my laptop in this gorgeous leopard print canvas bag. I’ve got a pink leopard print sweatshirt on my Christmas list already. Click here to shop

 

  1. T-RQ Multi Vitamins (UAE).

I’ve always been a bit jealous of the kids and their gummy multivitamins, which is why I was very happy to get my hands on a bottle of Adult Gummy Multivitamins by the brand T-RQ (especially given my kids have been bringing colds, coughs, and sneezes home from school every day). I keep my bottle next to the kids to remind me to take them – and it’s reassuring to know that they are made with the highest quality ingredients. I’ll be telling you more about these vitamins over coming months – and you’ll soon be able to get your hands on bottles at most pharmacies across Dubai. Click here for more information

 

  1. Stuck on You (UK and UAE).

Let’s just say that individually sewing name stickers onto pairs of socks is not my thing – and that’s exactly why I am such a big fan of these name stickers by the company Stuck on You. You can stick them to the labels of clothes, onto pots and lunch boxes, and even into shoes. I’m so impressed with them, that I’ve ordered in bulk this year for all three children. Head over to www.stuckonyou.ae to order (UAE) or www.stuckonyou.uk (UK)

 

  1. Black & Beech (UK and UAE).

I’m proud to be a Mum – but I’m more than that too. And that’s why I love this “More than a Mum” pin badge by Black & Beech. I love the brand’s new ‘Mama Merch’ sweatshirts and tees too, which can all be shipped worldwide. Click here to shop.

 

  1. Charlotte Tilsbury (UK and UAE)

So I am going to start by saying that I know Charlotte Tilsbury Magic Cream Moisturiser is expensive – but I started my pot back in June and I don’t think I’m even half way through it, so it does last a long time (and I’ve used it every single morning). And let’s just say that if you are sleep deprived and looking for a little glow back in your life, this will give it to you. I will definitely be restocking when this pot runs out. It’s liquid, well cream, gold. Click here to shop.

 

 

Written in collaboration with EcoToys.ae, T-RQ, HOTBUNZ and Stuck on You.

 

 



26th June 2017

Currently Loving… June 2017

So here we are in June… I am the mother of a 9-month-old baby girl crawling around the house, a 3-year-old little boy who has finished nursery and about to start school, and a 5-year-old little boy who has graduated from Foundation stage and is soon to start Primary School. It’s nuts – where has the time gone exactly?! And throughout all these changes, life has been as busy as usual, which gives me lots of opportunity to tell you what we have been doing, seeing, eating and buying… I’ll probably pause these round-ups until after summer now (as I fancy a bit of break, just like everyone) – so have a wonderful summer and I promise to be back on schedule in September…

1 – Zipadeedoodah Babies – I love sleepsuits for babies and use them for years as pyjamas – but one thing I do not love is dealing with the poppers! It can take me a good 10 minutes to get Mabel in an outfit with poppers as she’s such a wriggler – so imagine my delight when I discovered the amazing UK-based company Zipadeedoodah Babies, which make the most perfect zip-up baby grows. Each babygrow is only £11.99 each – and they do up in a matter of seconds, fit so perfectly, and feel so beautifully soft. But that’s not all, as this company have a real heart too. In fact, if you buy a baby grow from the company, a portion of money will be donated to feeding a family of six in the poorest parts of South Africa. Watch out for pictures of Mabel wearing her Zipadeedoodah baby grow soon – and in the meantime, get ordering with the code NewBabies01 to snap up 10% off the already very affordable price tag! Shop here (shipping available worldwide).

2 – Done by Deer. I have fallen head over heels for this cool Scandinavian brand for kids – and pretty much want everything they make, as it’s so much more stylish than the brightly coloured plates and cutlery I’ve had for years! I started my collection with the elephant place mats, which I love so much I’ve decided they live permanently on the table and I’ll be adding to it soon! I purchased from UAE store Giggles & Dimples. Shop here.

3 – My Unicorn Life – I discovered this UK-based company through the UAE blog Stella & The Stars – and needing some new prints for the walls of my new villa, I quickly clicked online to have a look. I was amazed by the prices (starting at £4) and quickly ordered three different large prints for my walls. I used my Shop & Ship account, but they do ship all over the world. There is everything from beautiful photography, to gorgeous illustrations, to motivational quotes – and delivery is super fast too. Visit website here.

4 – James and the Amazing Gift by Nicola J. Rowley. I’ve really enjoyed reading this book to the boys over the past few weeks. With beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story about a little boy who only has to smile to brighten up the lady of an old lady he meets at the garden centre, I think it’s got a lovely message too. If you’re looking for an addition to your book shelf for the kiddie , this is a really lovely choice.  Shop at Amazon here.

5 – Elli Junior. Talking of Scandinavian brands, lots of people have asked where I got the bibs for Mabel that she has been wearing every meal time – and the answer is via the company Elli Junior here in Dubai, who distribute Swedish brands in the UAE. I love these bibs as they not only look gorgeous, but the big frills around her neck mean that food never, ever reaches her clothing – and when you have a little girl determined to feed herself exactly what her brothers are eating, that’s a godsend! Shop here .

6 – ClevaMama. I’m using the Apron Towel by ClevaMama every night at Mabel’s bath time and it’s one of my very best buys for her! Not only does it keep me dry while she splashes her way through her bath (and I’ve had to have full changes in the past as she’s totally drowned me) – but it means I can stay dry while scooping her out of the bath too. And once you have them cuddled up to you, simply fold the towel up, hook it over their head, and they are snug and warm too. It’s one of those things that you wonder ‘how did I ever cope without this?’ and can be used from their very first newborn bath, right up to the toddler years. Shop here.

7 – H&M. We’re getting ready for our summer trip back to the UK –and then onto Italy for a two-week holiday, so I am doing my usual shop before we fly for everything we need for the next few months. I usually head straight over to H&M as I love the choice, the affordability and the style – and these swimming shorts have definitely caught my attention for the boys. At only £7.99 (and available in UAE stores too), I don’t think I can go wrong. Shop here.

8 – ALLEGRO Baby & Child. As soon as I spotted the beautiful range of shoes for little girls and boys at UAE-company ALLEGRO Baby & Child, I knew I had to have them for Mabel. The range of pretty shoes in the softest leather are so perfectly for little feet, with a range of styles that are classic, stylish, and very, very beautiful. I went for the silver ballet pumps (called Lily) and the baby pink Mary Janes (called Poppy) – and I know it’s going to be an addiction as she grows and takes to her feet! I warn you – one look and you’ll want the lot! Shop here.

9 – Kiddiewinkles. My boys needed some new bed linen recently so I ordered from the UK online store Kiddiewinkles – and wow, what arrived is very, very lovely indeed! I went . quality is beautiful. I also added the Bedside Pocket Organiser for both the boys to my online basket – and this has gone down really well. The boys love storing their torches, books and bottles of water in their organisers – and with them knowing exactly where things are, it’s made my life easier too! Highly recommended! Shop here.

10 – Jumeirah Beach Hotel – If you are looking for a staycation hotel in Dubai for the coming summer months, look no further than Jumeirah Beach Hotel. We had an amazing weekend there last weekend (see my vlog here) – and because of the ongoing renovation work at the hotel, there are some seriously good rates to be had over coming months for UAE Residents (see details here). I highly recommend a visit – even though we were so close to home for the weekend, I really felt like I’d escaped normal life and it was such a tonic. Definitely my new favourite staycation hotel! Visit website here.

 



17th May 2017

Currently Loving – May 2017

So here we are in May. The weather is getting pretty steamy here in Dubai – and we are getting closer to Ramadan, Eid, and the school holidays. I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. Mabel is 8 months old today, which means she’s a lot closer to her first birthday than she is to that moment she was handed to me on a hospital bed (sob). I’d like time to slow down now please – but in the meantime, here is what we’ve been buying, trying, and visiting this month…

Currently Loving

1. ’13 Reasons Why’ on Netflix. If you haven’t yet got stuck into this 13-part series, drop everything (except the baby) and park yourself on the sofa. Actually, wait until the kids are in bed, as it’s adults only viewing. And get ready to be sucked into a story that has you gripped from the very beginning. Available now at Netflix here.

2. THE FMLY STORE – Super Kid T-Shirt. There are lots of new designs over at THE FMLY STORE (where I got my Mother T-Shirt, which I wear constantly). My favourite is this SUPER KID T-Shirt, which would appeal to my superhero loving boys. Shop here.

3. Mr Tumee. I’m keen for the boys to get a daily dose of DHA Omega 3, as I have always taken it as a supplement myself. Studies show that it can increase cognitive development and boost overall health – but the supplements that I take are big, hard to swallow and bitter tasting. That’s why I was happy when the boys happily gobbled down Mr Tumees DHA Omega 3 (‘as delicious as gummy bears’ as Stanley reports). Dubai mummies can buy them online here – or on the shelves at most pharmacies and supermarkets.

4. Burger & Lobster. This fab restaurant in DIFC has just launched a kids menu, with burgers and sandwiches, milkshakes, and puddings. We went there as a family a few weeks ago and had a really lovely time (expect colouring pencils and sheets on arrival too, which keeps them happy while waiting for food). The vibe during the day is extremely family-friendly and the staff were brilliant. There’s free valet parking too). For more information, visit the website here.

5. Giggles and Dimples. I’ve fallen in love with the gorgeous kiddie clothes, shoes, and interiors bits from this Dubai-based online store. Think along the lines of leather moccasins, denim play suits, cloud lights, message boards, bunting, and fun cushions. I could shop for hours… And I have been (oops). Visit the website here.

6. Bianca. I had an amazing meal with my husband and sister at Italian eatery Bianca a few weeks ago, which has locations in Box Park and The Beach. Honestly, I haven’t tasted food this good out of Italy. I can personally recommend the Burrata Jars (incredible!) and the Spaghetti Vongole. And I may have had a Nutella Pizza for dessert to check out the quality of the pizza ovens – and I can definitely vouch for the authentic Italian bases too (a hard job, but someone has to do it…) Visit their website here.

7. Clas Ohlson. I stumbled on this store in Mercato Mall a few weeks ago and was blown away by the affordable prices. Especially when it came to lighting, with these gorgeous rose gold table lamps and light fittings costing around 60 AED. I got a rose gold pendant light for our lounge, plus some solar powered fairy lights for our garden. I also raided the kitchen section and got a set of 6 jam jar glasses with straws for only 15 AED each. Visit the website to browse the range and see prices here.

8. Kippins UAE. Mabel and I have fallen head over heels for the sleep comforters and teething rings / rattles by Kippins! They are made from organic cotton and raw beach wood, making sure they are natural and safe for your little ones – and you can choose from lots of different designs. We couldn’t resist the cat – and Mabel literally won’t put that teething ring and rattle down! Shop online here.

9. Privilee. We are big fans of this membership club, which allows us access to beach clubs around the city (and a few in Abu Dhabi too). We were members last summer too and we used it lots – the pools are all chilled, there’s lots of shade, and generally valet parking (so the car stays nice and cool while we are enjoying the facilities). You also get a discount in most of the food and drinks outlets in the hotels (usually around 20%) making it an ideal club to see you through the summer. For details of the membership packages, visit the website here.

10. The Meydan Hotel. It seems like a while ago now, but we went to brunch at The Meydan Hotel when my inlaws were here last month – and oh my goodness, it was the perfect Friday brunch. The kids area was amazing (bouncy castle, craft tables, balloon benders, a full kid’s brunch table, beautifully decorated cookies). And for us? A seriously impressive brunch selection (everything from sushi, to full roast dinners, and everything in between), live music, and a gorgeous view across the race course. Highly recommended. Visit the website here.

11. Tub of Butter. If you haven’t tried this new Sheikh Zayed Road cafe and eatery (just off Al Thanya Street), you must add it to your morning coffee wish list. The breakfast is fantastic, the surroundings light, bright and seriously stylish, and the coffee superb. In fact, as the icing on the cake, you’ll even get your cappuccino with a celebrity face on it. Visit the website here.

12. 800 Flower. There’s something amazing about having fresh flowers in the house – and my latest company of choice is 800 Flower. Every bouquet I’ve had is so beautifully arranged – and they last well too, giving a least a week of enjoyment in the centre of my dining table. The new Signature Collection is gorgeous – and so well priced too, with bouquets starting at 325 AED (and delivery throughout Dubai). Visit the website here

In collaboration with Mr Tumee

Also loving… Check out Diy Dry Shampoo



9th April 2017

Currently Loving – April 2017

Another month has rolled around, I’ve survived the spring holidays, and it’s starting to get hot (I had that first ‘OMG’ moment when I got back to the car at lunchtime and it felt like a sauna)… This year seems to be whizzing by. But here we are in April – so without further ado, here’s what I have been buying, trying, coveting or hearing great things about over the past month!

Currently Loving

1 – Nordic Fairyland – I’ve discovered the online kid’s store Nordic Fairyland – and oh my goodness, I am so pleased it’s now on my radar! The boys and Mabel now have the softest, most beautiful pyjamas they have ever owned – and not only are they super comfy and gorgeous, but the company that makes them (Sense Organic) only use premium organic cotton, with non-chemical dye. But not only that, they are very much involved in Social Responsibility Campaigns, such as building schools and offering fair working conditions – so you aren’t just treating your kids to some beautiful organic cotton, but you are being socially conscious too (and that feels almost as good as those super soft pyjamas). There is so much I want from this lovely website for the kids from both Sense Organic and equally-wonderful brands Franck&Fischer and Maxomorra. I highly recommend heading online for a browse. Shop here

2 – Mamas & Papas Personal Shopping Service – I tried this service out last month – a service available at all Mamas & Papas stores across the Middle East. After getting invited into a private area by your very own personal shopper for the day, you will chat about what you need for your baby or are confused about (with cups of coffee, which makes it feel like you are chatting to a friend in their front room!) Then it’s time to hit the shop floor (or stay comfy if you prefer – and let the personal shopper do the legwork). My personal shopper on the day really knew what he was talking about and I was very impressed – in fact, I left determined to save up and buy the new pram he had shown me. This is a wonderful service for parents-to-be or new parents in Dubai – and it’s completely free too. Contact your nearest store in the UAE to book – details on the website here.

3. Hayley’s Comet – If you have a little starlet destined for the stage, you’ll be interested to hear that a new term of Hayley’s Comet Acting and Musical Theatre Classes has started today. Located at James & Alex Dance Studios in Media City, the classes are suitable for kids aged 6-18 years, who can join professionally led workshops, vocal training, acting lessons and dance classes all combined in specific age groups. The award-winning classes are taught by top industry professionals – and lead towards a showcase, so you can sit in the audience and feel super proud as they show you what they’ve learnt. I’m not trying to wish away time, but I really wish Stanley was old enough to take part as it’s exactly the kind of thing he’d enjoy. It makes the perfect activity during the hot summer months too, when it’s a bit of a struggle to stay out of soft play areas (my personal idea of hell!) For more details about the classes, email INFO@HAYLEYSCOMET.COM or call +971 (0)4 4470773 for details on how to register – or visit their Facebook Page here (you can also enter to win a term of classes on my Facebook page here!)

4. Mr Tumee Vitamins – I don’t need to worry about forgetting to give the kids their Mr Tumee vitamins each morning – as since we discovered the brand, the boys remind me at the crack of dawn! It’s something to do with the fun flavours and shapes I think, which is fine by me – as I know they are healthy, gelatin-free, and made with natural flavours and colours. With the new school term back in session (and no doubt endless germs queued up and ready to do the rounds), my latest favourite is Echinacea Plus Vitamin C and Zinc. They can be taken for up to 2 weeks at a time, promising to boost the immune system. Definitely worth a try, especially with the change in season coming too. Dubai mummies can buy them online here – or on the shelves at most pharmacies and supermarkets.

5 – Birdies & Bearcubs T-Shirts – Regular readers will know I am a big fan of the boy’s black Mumma’s Boys T-Shirts by Birdies & Bearcubs – so when I spotted the designs in green and blue too, I knew I had to have them. These tees are incredibly popular and fly off the vitual shelves as soon as they hit them (literally within an hour or so) – so keep an eye on the brand’s social media to find out when the next launch will happen. I actually set an alarm on my phone to get mine. I’m that dedicated… Buy online here.

6 – John Lewis Heirloom Collection – How gorgeous are the bits in the new John Lewis Heirloom Collection? From vintage-style rompers for little boys, to old-school cricket jumpers, to ditsy floral rompers – I literally want everything in the collection! I’m sure it’s the kind of things I was wearing back in the 80s (I definitely remember rocking my fair share of ditsy floral and a hand-knitted cricket jumper to match my Dad), so the collection is nostalgia at its finest. You can buy it all online here.

7. Toddler Town – I’ve started a new feature on my blog called ‘Dubai Nursery Spotlight’, where I profile a new nursery in Dubai every month (you’ll find a tab at the top of the page, where each of them will be filed for ease of scrolling through). This month, that nursery is Toddler Town Jumeirah – and I couldn’t be happier, as my eldest son attended the JBR branch and we absolutely loved that nursery. In fact, it felt like family by the time he left and I sobbed proper tears! I got a chance for a sneak peek a few months ago and the Jumeirah location is just an impressive, with tons of space, amazing teachers, a really warm and friendly feel, and just amazingly happy children. I can’t wait to visit the nursery again later this week for a full tour – and I’ll be taking you along with me to find out more. Watch this space – and in the meantime, visit their nursery here.

8 – Bab Al Shams Brunch – Regular followers will know that my mother has been in town this month, helping to entertain the boys and Mabel on their Spring Holidays – and while she was in town, we wanted to treat the whole family to a Friday brunch. We’ve been to stay at Bab Al Shams a few times, but we’ve never taken the kids to brunch and it’s always been on my ‘to do’ list. Not only is the food amazing (with everything from sushi, to grills, to noodles, to curries, to endless deserts, to a fantastic selection for kids), but the entertainment for small people is first rate. Think camel rides, a petting zoo, magicians at the table, juggling clowns, sand art, crazy golf, and a giant bouncy castle. In fact, the boys said it was the best brunch they’d ever been to (and in the interest of this blog, we’ve tried a few!) Make sure you go before the weather hots up too much. Details on the website here.

9. Cover Up Stone Cases – As a working Mummy, my laptop is one of my most loyal companions – so it’s nice to treat it to something every now and again. In fact, I’ve treated it to two new gifts this month – the first to be revealed soon and the second, a real stone case by the online store Cover Up. These laptop skins and phone covers jazz up and protect your tech – but in the coolest way, handcrafted from real slate. There are tons of different finishes and colours – and whilst it seems bit crazy, it’s actually pretty stunning. I went for Marine, which has a silvery finish.  And with shipping to the UK and UAE, it’s available to all of us. Buy online here.

10. Freshly Foods – I have lots of job titles – Mummy, wife, chief taxi driver, blogger, journalist, tidy-upper, baby entertainer… The list goes on – and what it all means is that my time is extremely limited. So as much as I’d like to create every meal for the kids (and my husband) from scratch, it just doesn’t happen. I rely on freezer food at least a few times a week to feed them, which is why my ears pricked up when I heard about a company in the UAE called Freshly Foods. This UAE company is known for creating healthy, quality, MDM-free food – which is super convenient too. That MDM bit is important – it means “Mechanically Deboned Meat”, which is actually quite yucky as it means that crushed bones make it into your foodstuff (gross, right?) Freshly Foods very proudly doesn’t do this – meaning if you buy frozen chicken bites for your kids, they are 100% pure chicken breast. Convenient, but healthy – and I am not arguing with that. I’m going to create 4 recipes for kids and adults with Freshly Foods products over the next month – so keep your eyes on my social media accounts. And in the meantime, check their website here.

11. Bounce – We have had so much fun this Spring Holiday – and one of the boy’s highlights was the morning we spent at the trampoline park Bounce trying out one of their famous parties. The boys both got to invite a few of their friends  – and the Mummies got to drink coffee, natter, and take a million photos of their bouncing minis as they had fun. I was seriously impressed with the staff too, allowing the kids to have the most fun possible, but to stay safe while they were doing it (and with the clumsiest three-year-old in the world in my care, that is very reassuring). They bounced, they climbed walls, they threw themselves onto giant cushions, they played tag on a giant network of trampolines – and when they’d used up all their energy, they sat down for a party lunch in a private room. They’ve been asking me constantly to go back, so I think it’s going to be top of our summer hide-out list! For more details, visit the website here

In collaboration with Nordic Fairyland, Hayley’s Comet, Mr Tumee, and Freshly Foods.



12th March 2017

Currently Loving – March 2017

How is it March already? I can’t believe how fast this month is passing – and on Friday, Mabel will be 6 months old, which beggars belief. HALF A YEAR OLD! Crazy. But March it is – and here is a round-up of the things we have been buying, trying and coveting this month!

CURRENTLY LOVING MARCH

1. Magnificent Stanley. I have been coveting these sweatshirts and tees for my children for what seems like forever – and after seeing my friend Coral’s little girl Willa wearing her ‘W’ onesie with pride, I am ready to click ‘order’. They are just so gorgeous! You start by choosing from the range of sweatshirts, tees, onesies, bibs, blankets or towels  – and then you choose the Liberty fabric that you’d like their initial to be in. I am imagining a group shot of mine wearing their S, W and M tops… This is a UK company, but they ship anywhere in the world. Shop here.

2. Mr Tumee. In an ideal world, kids would get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their food – but if you have picky eaters like mine, giving them supplements is a great way to ensure you are supporting their nutrition. I really like the Mr Tumee brand because there’s no added sugar, they are gelatin-free, and they contain 100% natural colours and fragrances (all these things are really important to me – and I’m sure it’s the same for every parent). Kids as young as 2 can take them – and my boys are both big fans. In fact, Wilfred is convinced they are going to make him into a superhero! Dubai mummies can buy them online here – or on the shelves at most pharmacies and supermarkets. Highly recommended by me.

3. Baby Mona. Once in a while, a new kiddie company opens in Dubai that I fall head over heels in love with – and that is definitely the case with Baby Mona. It’s such a beautifully curated collection of interiors, clothing, toys, and accessories – and I have my eyes on several of the pieces for the boys and Mabel. Especially this whale cushion, which would look so gorgeous in Mabel’s new bedroom! This is a UAE company, with delivery available all over the UAE. Overseas shipping may also be possible, so email directly to enquire. Shop here.

4. InstaShop.ae. Oh how I love this app! Simply download InstaShop to your phone (available in the App Store and Google Play), open it up, select your area, and order your groceries to be delivered to your door (usually within 60 minutes of making the order!). I started using the app in my old apartment in Dubai Marina (generally when I forgot lunchbox items and I was already in my pyjamas at 10pm at night) – and I was delighted to discover it is available in my new community too (and almost all communities throughout Dubai, as it happens). You can pay by cash or credit card when your shopping arrives too, meaning you don’t have to stress about heading to an ATM if you are low on cash either. It makes life so much easier – and I’m keen to spread the words amongst all mums in Dubai, as dealing with mid-shop supermarket tantrums when you drag the kids along to do the weekly shop just isn’t worth the hassle. Download it immediately if you haven’t yet tried it out!  Visit the website here.

5. Snapdragon Lifestyle. I’m a long-time admirer of the beautiful teepees created by Dubai brand Snapdragon Lifestyle – and I have my eye on one for the boy’s room in our new house. In the meantime, I treated the boys to a feather headdress each (check out the photo on Instagram here) and they are so beautifully and skilfully made. In fact, we love them so much that we’ve decided they are far too nice to reserve for dress-up and they will take pride of place in their room (until the teepee arrives, that is!) You can shop the whole range from Little Majlis – with colourful teepees, teepee floor cushions, and a range of headdresses. This company really should be top of every Dubai child’s wish list… Shop here.

6. Not All Who Wander Are Lost. This is one of the prints I ordered in my latest haul – and I’m currently in the process of getting it framed to hang up by my front door. As an expat, it just spoke to me, because it’s true isn’t it? And I love the gold foil print (I went for rose gold as you can choose the finish). It’s available from Lovely Decor at Amazon.co.uk. Shop here

7. St Tropez Brunch at Nikki Beach. This Friday, I escaped to Nikki Beach with my three longest Dubai friends (we met when we were all pregnant with our first babies 5 years ago – and we now have 10 children between us!) We didn’t have our kids in tow, the sun shone, and the food and drink was quite simply delicious. The brunch is located alongside the pool in the hotel, with a perfect view of the beach and azure blue sea (Ive never seen the sea that colour in this part of the world!) – and the food works as half table service, half buffet. We had such a lovely time and I highly recommend heading over before the weather gets too hot. I felt like I was in Miami or Ibiza, making it the perfect tonic to city living! Visit the website here.

8. Hamilton Aquatics. The time has come for my littlest boy (aged three) to learn how to swim. He’s more than ready to try, with bounds of confidence in the water – and he’s really excited to swim without arm bands, just like his brother! The company we chose is Hamilton Aquatics, which operate at a large choice of venues (mainly schools) around the city, meaning there is always somewhere close to home. I am so impressed with this company – from the way the assessment could be booked online, to the follow-up email with details of his level, to the way I could then log back online to find the class most convenient to our location. Wilfred had his first lesson last week – and he enjoyed every second. If you have a little person ready to learn, log onto their website to book an assessment. I am confident you’ll be just as impressed as I am! Visit their website here.

9. The Brug. I was contacted by the company behind The Brug a while ago – and I instantly knew they were onto a good thing… The Brug is essentially a rug that transforms into a bag – so you can throw what you need inside the bag for the park, then unfold it all when you arrive. I am always the mum that arrives with 3,000 bags when we head anywhere on mass, so I think the idea is inspired… The product is still at the kick starter stage, but it has already reached its goal – so the good news is that it’s going into production – so make sure you snap yours up soon! This is a UK company, but I think it’s well worth using your Shop & Ship if you are in Dubai (imagine how it’ll transform your trips to the park and beach!) Visit their Kickstarter Page here.

10. Zara Kids. I was waiting for a friend to arrive for breakfast last week – but she was late… And in those 10 minutes, an email pinging into my inbox from Zara Kids, I let my fingers click on the site, and the rest (as they say) is history… I ordered from the UK site to my Shop & Ship – and just three days later, Mabel had this adorable new denim dress, plus 2 broderie anglaise tops (a snip at £3.99 each). I’m still blaming my friend (cough, cough). Shop here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s selection – and I will post again in April!

In collaboration with Mr Tumee, InstaShop, SnapDragon Lifestyle and Hamilton Aquatics.

 



12th February 2017

Currently Loving – February 2017

Time for another ‘Currently Loving’ post – with things I have coveting, trying, or enjoying this month…

Currently Loving

1) Scamp & Dude. Top of my wish-list this month is new clothing Scamp & Dude. Not only are the clothes totally gorgeous (I have my eyes on several T-Shirts for the boys), but the collection has a fantastic story behind it too. Scamp & Dude was created by Jo Tutchener-Sharp, a former Fashion and Beauty PR, who saw her life change forever in October 2015 when she suffered a brain haemorrhage. She had to leave her children for a lengthy stay in hospital to undergo life-threatening brain surgery – and it was this moment that inspired Jo to create a brand that helps children feel more secure when apart from their loved ones. From something dark came something light – and Scamp & Dude is the result. Shop here (UK company; ships worldwide).

2) Talking Tables. I’m not really into Valentines Day – but if I was going to celebrate, this ‘Love Balloon’ by Talking Tables (available at ASOS) would be top of my wish list. The balloons would look great hung above the table for a romantic dinner – but would look equally good the next day (and weeks that follow, as they last an impressively long time). And the best bit? It only costs £5. There is also a ‘Happy Birthday’ balloon, which makes a really fun alternative to birthday banners. Shop here (UK company; ships worldwide) #aff

3) Little West Street. I recently discovered this beautiful company, which now ships (for free) to the UAE – and after ordering a few bits for Mabel and her new room, these alphabet cushions are next on my shopping list. I’d love an S, W, and M to pop on each of their beds. And if you are in the UK reading this, the good news is that the company ship to the UK too! $25 dollars each. Shop here. (US company; ships worldwide)

4) Greenheart UAE. I ordered from this UAE company for the first time this week and received a box of amazing organic vegetables to my door. The quality of the vegetables is like I have never seen before in the UAE – and after using the vegetables in meals every evening since, I can vouch for the fact that they taste amazing too. I’m constantly hearing good things about this UAE farm – and the truth is that it’s worth all the buzz and more. Shop here (UAE company; delivery to UAE).

5) ‘Inhale & Exhale’ Prints. We moved house last week and so my mind is on home decor – and I have just ordered these prints by company Lovely Decor at Amazon.co.uk. When they arrive, I’m going to take them to Satwa to get them framed (I’m thinking thin gold frames like these pictured). I can find life at home with two crazy boys stressful at times – and these will remind me to find my zen and take some deep breathes when things hot up. From £13.99. Shop here (UK company; ships worldwide). #aff

6) Fairy Platinum Dishwasher Tablets. It’s not usually my style to recommend household cleaning products (zzzz) but I was sent these dishwasher tablets this week and I’m impressed. The package arrived with an invitation to order a lasagna from a Dubai restaurant – and when I ordered, it arrived in a large glass dish (with instructions to pop the finished dish in the dishwasher with one of these tablets). I didn’t make any attempt to wash it before plonking it in the dishwasher – and in the morning, it was sparkling clean. Not a single mark. It was a clever marketing stunt to show how well the tablets work – and I honestly wouldn’t be bothering to tell you about them if I hadn’t been  impressed. Available at supermarkets (UK and UAE).

7) Boden. I always dress my boys in rash vests when we go to the beach as we all have such fair skin – but with so many beautiful little girly swimsuits in the shops, I’ve been so tempted to buy them for Mabel instead. Then I spotted this gorgeous floral rash vest and knickers set at Boden, which will keep her protected without having to sacrifice on the cute factor. I like it so much, I think I’m going to buy it a few different sizes. £25. Shop here (UK company; ships worldwide) #aff

8) Maluco World. I fell in love with the beautiful wooden toys at Dubai company Maluco world at first sight – especially the pastel pretty kitchens, which I’ve snapped up for Mabel’s new bedroom (not that she’s in it yet. I also have my eye on the doll’s buggies, doll’s houses, and gorgeous cloud and star cushions. Worth a look if you like your toys both traditional and well-made. Shop here (UAE company; delivers UAE).

9) Zara Kids. There are some gorgeous things at Zara Kids in the new season collection, including these beautiful unisex dungarees. Seriously tempted for Mabel (I’d team them with a pretty floral vest underneath) – but I’d definitely have dressed the boys in them too. £14.99 / 99 AED Shop here (UK and UAE stores)

10) Transguard Living. We moved house last week, which can be a stressful affair – but discovering the new app by Transguard Living has definitely eased the pressure. You download the app from The App Store or Google Play and then choose ‘Fix’ ‘Clean’ or ‘Move’ to book a service. ‘Fix’ includes services including air conditioning repair or service, appliance installation, handyman, painting and plumbing repair. ‘Clean’ includes regular home cleaning services, deep cleaning services, and window cleaning. And if you choose ‘Move’, a representative will get in touch to discuss your booking with a moving team. Booking a service takes a matter of seconds via the app – and the prices are very competitive (a handyman starts at 140 AED per hour, for example). Best of all, however, I can personally verify that the team are incredibly professional and reliable – and we know how valuable that is in a city like Dubai. I highly recommend downloading the app for whenever you need some help at home (services are available 24 hours a day, which means you’ll never be wondering what to do about  a leak in the middle of the night again). For more information, www.transguardliving.com or 800 845.

 

 



21st November 2016

Currently Loving… November

Wow, it’s a long time since I’ve done one of these posts! I know you all like them, as I usually get feedback along those lines, but they take me such a long time to pull together and baby Mabel and her crazy brothers have been taking priority for the last few months (naturally!) But here we go, I’ve finally done it! So without further ado, here are the things I have been doing, planning, buying and coveting in November…

currently-loving

1. Jo Jo Maman Bebe Christmas Jumper. Out of all the Christmas jumpers I’ve seen this year, this is my favourite – so it’s the one Stanley will be wearing this year (Wilfred has hand-me-downs from previous years – poor second child!) I just love the simplicity of it – and it’ll look so cute with his jeans and boots when we head home to the UK for Christmas! It costs £22 (worldwide shipping) and you can shop here.

2. Boden Christmas Cardigan. How beautiful is this Robin cardigan by Boden? I think Mabel already has enough clothes for Christmas at home, but I am very, very tempted to add this beauty to her stash. Price starts at £30.50 (worldwide shipping) and you can shop here.

3. Oliver Bonas Initial Hooks. We are moving to a villa soon – and when my sister asked what I’d like for my birthday this year, I pointed her in the direction of these rose gold initial hooks. She  kindly obliged, so now I have a set for the whole family and I can’t wait to hang them on the wall when we move in. They cost £7.50 each (worldwide shipping) and you can shop here.

4. Erin Condren Life Planner. It seems crazy that 2017 is only a month or so away, but it’s true – and that means I need a new diary. And in my humble opinion, there are no better diaries than Erin Condren’s beautiful life planners! They aren’t cheap, but they are so worth it – and with three kids now, I need some planning in my life (i’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on, seriously)! I’m coveting this rose gold design (can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with the rose gold at the moment?!). It’s a US company (worldwide shipping, although I’ll be using my Shop + Ship account), with prices starting at $60. Shop here.

5. ExpatWoman and Toddler Town British Nursery Christmas Fair. I am SO EXCITED about Christmas – and I’m kicking off my festive season with a visit to this Festive Fair, held at the Toddler Town Jumeirah Branch this coming Saturday (26th November, 10am-4pm). It looks brilliant! The fair will feature a Santa’s Grotto, Bouncy Castle, Pony Rides, Face Painting, Snow Globe, Petting Zoo, Candy Floss, Carnival Games – and lots of gifts to browse and buy! I’ll be taking the boys down to have some fun, so why don’t you come along too? Stanley went to the JBR branch of this nursery and we loved it – so it’ll give me a chance to have a nose at their Jumeirah branch too! For more details, visit the Facebook Event Page here.

6. Elodie Details. New Swedish brand Elodie Details has arrived in Dubai at Mumzworld – and I have fallen a bit in love. The brand takes things that are usually quite boring (dummies, dummy clips, bibs, muslins, and storage baskets, for example) and makes them very, very pretty – and with prices starting at just 65 AED, it’s great for gifts too (worldwide shipping). Shop here.

7. “I Am So Freaking Cold’ Sweatshirt. Sold by an Etsy seller in the States who ships worldwide,  I am really coveting this sweatshirt for my trip back to the UK. I really struggle with the cold having lived in the desert for 6 years now, so it appeals to my sense of humour, whilst also stating the facts. If you feel the cold like me, you should definitely treat yourself – and at just £20.77, it’s affordable too. Shop here.

8. Tots session at Dubai Ice Rink. Wilfred and I had an amazing morning last week at the Tots Morning at Dubai Ice Rink (every Monday, 10am to 11.45am). The sessions are put on for little ones 1-4 years old, where they are protected from the other skaters in their own fenced-off area and assisted by a professional coach throughout. Wilfred was apprehensive when he realised how slippery ice really is, but he soon built up confidence and had a smile on his face for the rest of the day! I really recommend trying it for some festive fun! It costs 90 AED per child/carer duo, which I think it very reasonable too. Visit the website here.

9. Kidore.com. A very cool new website for parents and kids has just launched in Dubai called Kidore.com, with everything from toys, to clothing, to essentials. I have fallen in love with the toy section, which has plenty for birthday and Christmas gift ideas. I especially love this garden tool set (because we will finally have a garden soon!) at 60 AED – and for my slime and goop obsessed boys, this Slime Baff, which will turn their bath water into slime (yuck!) at 35 AED. Perfect stocking fillers! Shop here.

10. The FMLY Store. I’ve long been a fan of my MOTHER T-Shirt by Selfish Mother (now known as The FMLY Store) – and their Christmas range is totally fabulous! Top of my list for the kids is this ‘Off Duty Elf’ sweatshirt for the boys. They cost £20 each, but £10 of each sale goes to Save The Children. And they are super stylish too.  Shop here.

11. GAP Reindeer Hat. This hat is so simple, but so very cute for cold festive days. I really want one for each of the boys to wear on our UK visit – and it only costs £9.95 each. Shop here.



26th August 2016

Currently Loving in Dubai – August

We have been back in Dubai for nearly 4 weeks now (wow, that’s gone quickly!) and there are certain places that have been keeping me sane in 45+’C, with two active little boys and a rapidly growing tummy. There are also things I have been buying for the boys and new baby and the odd moment I have been enjoying myself (not that I am ever really on my own any more, with these kicks to the ribs!) So here goes – the things and places I have been loving in August…

Currently Loving Aug

1. Magnolia Bakery

You may have seen my posts recently about Magnolia Bakery – and if your kids have a sweet tooth, it’s a really lovely way to treat them over the summer holidays (I think you might enjoy it too!) We spent a lovely morning at one of the branches a few weekends ago and there’s just something I really like about the atmosphere in there – it’s like a chilled coffee shop (and the coffee is really good if you haven’t tried it) but with the addition of the most beautiful cakes, desserts, and cookies. So the husband and I get our caffeine fix – and the boys are kept happy with their pastel pretty cupcake. Winner!

Details – www.magnoliabakery.com/locations/

2. Pastels, Al Wasl Road

I had a lovely afternoon at Pastels Al Wasl Road this week, getting ready for new baby, with a cut, colour, manicure and pedicure. I always like a bit of pre-baby pampering, mainly because I have no idea when I will be able to visit the hairdresser again (especially as I plan to breastfeed so will have a baby attached to me for a while at least), but also because (quite vain to admit), I know I will treasure those newborn photos and I don’t want my dodgy roots spoiling them. For my nails, I chose Essie Baby’s Breath; here’s hoping, hey? 
I really recommend this salon on Al Wasl Road – it’s such a peaceful spot to spend an afternoon, with lots of light streaming through the windows, fish swimming around a tank, and the comfiest chairs. Let’s hope it’s not tooooo long before I can make a return visit!

Details: www.pastels-salon.com

3. The Bedouin Penguins by Asma Al Ketbi

I love discovering books written about Dubai – after all, this is where my boys live and I want them to read about it. So I recently treated the boys to The Bedouin Penguins by Emirati author Asma Al Ketbi, which tells the tale of a family of penguins from Ski Dubai heading into the desert to meet a Bedouins and see their way of life. The illustrations by Maitha Al Khayat are beautiful and the story is gorgeous. I recommend buying a copy for your kids – and think it’d make a wonderful gift for handing out at all those upcoming birthday parties too.

Details: 20 AED at Jashanmal Book Shops – www.jashanmalgroup.com

4. Bright Eyez

In the midst of buying a new girly wardrobe for baby number three, I barely noticed that my eldest had shot up and his T-Shirts now looked like crop tops! When we got back to Dubai after 5 weeks in the UK, I knew I needed to get him some new clothes and I stumbled on BrightEyez.ae, where some of the coolest T-Shirts (which I’d previously coveted from the UK and USA) were available with some amazing discounts. I treated both the boys to a few and wish I’d done it sooner. Now just trying to resist buying more!

Shop: www.brighteyez.ae

5. Mamas & Papas

Dubai Mummies, we are in luck – as the online world is finally starting to make life easier for us! And the latest brand to start delivering to our door is Mamas & Papas, who launched their online boutique this week. I made an order on Thursday evening as there were still a few things on my ‘to buy’ list for baby girl (including her record book, which I’m sure I’ll ignore for a few months – but at least I’ll know it’s there haha) – and the next morning I got a phone call and then my order was delivered before lunch. Impressive service!

Shop: www.mamasandpapas.ae

6. Kaiser Furniture

We’re in the market for a new bed for Stanley at the moment – mainly because his younger brother keeps climbing out of his cot, so he needs to move into the toddler bed Stanley is currently sleeping in (not ideal timing with a baby on the way, but it seems kids don’t work to a timetable). Whilst browsing places in Dubai to buy it, I’ve fallen in love with a German furniture company Kaiser, which is based in Umm Suqeim. Fun designs and seriously good craftsmanship. The pieces are investments, so don’t expect budget prices – but you definitely get what you pay for. How much fun is this monster design bed?

Details: www.kaiserme.com

I’m also loving…

Taking one of these amazing Waterproof Bags to the beach! Buy here.



19th July 2016

Currently Loving – July 2016

It’s been a while since I have written one of these posts, so I thought it was about time for some shopping and entertainment inspiration. As I’m in the UK at the moment (for another few weeks at least), there are a mix of UK and UAE companies this time round. And just shout if you have any queries about stockists or availability…

Currently Loving

1. Mammylicious.com (UAE). Good quality, fashionable, and affordable maternity wear has been a long time coming in Dubai – but all of a sudden, we are spoilt for choice. One of my favourite websites is Mammylicious.com. Not only does the store have a range of stunning maternity dresses (which fit like a dream), stylish tops, comfortable trousers and plenty of nursing wear for when baby arrives, but they are offering Mum of Boys readers 20% off everything on the site until the end of August using the code MUMOFBOYSREADER – which gives me all the more reason to shop… Shop here

2. Jelly Cat (UAE and UK). Both my boys have had Jelly Cat soothers as newborns. Stanley still sleeps with his blue bunny and Wilfred is rarely parted from his monkey – so now has come the time to choose something for their baby sister… I still can’t decide, but I am tempted by this pink bunny with liberty-style floral print inside the ears. Available at John Lewis in the UK and Db Babies in the UAE.

3. Cath Kidston (UAE and UK). I recently picked up this Cath Kidston Foldaway Overnight Bag at the gifting suite of the Stylist ME Social Media Awards – and although I can’t find the exact one for sale on the website anymore, there are lots of other designs to pick from. It comes with a small pouch to keep valuables in and is roomy enough to use as a nappy bag (and is washable and waterproof too). The long strap means I can sling it over the handle of the buggy, making it really practical too. Available at CathKidston.com in the UK and in Cath Kidston, Mall of the Emirates in the UAE.

4. Mumzworld.com Pregnancy Pillow (UAE). Thank goodness for my Mumzworld.com Pregnancy Pillow, which I bought a few months ago online. I am currently separated from it whilst in the UK and it’s not easy – and I can’t wait to get back to its pillowy support. I really recommend this style by Leacho (132 AED). Shop here.

5. Aden & Anais Swaddle Wrap (UAE and UK). I fell in love with Aden & Anais swaddles when Wilfred was born, with giant dimensions, the softest breathable muslin, and beautiful designs – and I’ve always secretly coveted the neon pink star design… Now that I have a little girl on the way, I am definitely snapping it up. You can shop online (with shipping to both UAE and UK) at Melijoe.com

6. Fred & Noah (UK). It’s no secret that I am a fan of Fred & Noah leggings for Wilfred (and I have a few pairs for baby girl already too) – and the latest collection is just amazing. Wilfred has been rocking dinosaurs, whales, stars, and clouds while he’s been back in the UK. I don’t want him to wear anything else! Shop here.

7. Etsy (UK and UAE). I’m a fully fledged Boy Mama for a few months longer – and of course, I always will be after that too, so I adore this T-Shirt from Etsy. Shipped from the US to all over the world, it costs just $19.95. Shop here.

8. Zoomer (UK). Thank you to the makers of Zoomer for sending Stanley and Wilfred this very cool garden ride-on for their summer in the UK. Created by two mums, Zoomers are designed cleverly to be stable, comfortable and easy to steer – we’ve tried a lot of garden toys in the past, but this ride-on is definitely the most stable (you could take it to the park or woods) and the boys love it so much there have been more than a few scraps over who gets to ride it. Lovely addition to Nanna and Grandad’s garden, especially now the sun is shining! They cost £54.95. Shop here.

9. Selfish Mother (UK and UAE). You may remember me wearing a ‘MOTHER’ T-shirt in photos on this blog a while back – and Selfish Mother have just started selling these cool year T-Shirts (with £5 of every sale going to the charity KIDS CHARITY UK). I definitely want a 2012 and 2014 for Wilfred – too cute! They cost £18 each – and although they’re a UK company, they ship all over the world. Shop here.

10. Finding Dory (UK and UAE). We were lucky enough to get a very early release of Finding Dory in the UAE and watched it before we flew back to the UK at the end of the June. We LOVED it. I have a slightly fish-obsessed two-year-old and I knew it would be a big hit – and I wasn’t wrong. Both the 2 and 4 year old were glued to it from the second it started and they’ve been talking about it ever since. It opens in the UK on 29th July – the day we fly back to the UAE, which is a shame as we’d definitely watch a second time. There seems to be a lot of merchandise around too, so that’s his Christmas present sorted! Watch out for the Octopus; he’s definitely their favourite character!

11. Bear Nibbles (UK and UAE). We’ve always got Bear Nibbles in our house – even when that has meant buying in bulk and taking bags back to Dubai in our suitcases! These days you can buy them in the dried fruit aisles of Waitrose and at Ripe Markets in the UAE. And in the UK, we are spoilt for choice, with countless different varieties available in every supermarket – from Bear Claws, to Yo Yo’s, to Dino Paws. And now every multibox box comes with 3 x Alphabet Cards inside to collect. Oh and one packet of these yummy dried fruit snacks counts as one of their 5-a-day, which is music to my ears as they think it’s a treat! Supermarkets nationwide (UK); Waitrose and Ripe Market (UAE).

I’m also loving… 

Getting active! Find out the Best Trekking Poles and Walking Sticks here (now I just need to book a walking holiday!)



28th February 2016

Currently Loving in Dubai – February 2016

Time for another Currently Loving – and this month, it’s all about Dubai (apart from one sneaky Shop + Ship purchase!) – and I’ve just managed to sneak it in before the end of February, phew.

Currently Loving Feb New

1. Bumpamats. I have been looking for a rug or large mat for the boys’ room for a long time – and right on cue, Bumpmats UAE got in touch with me to tell me about the brand’s arrival in the country. These giant mats have a car track printed on one side (heaven for Wilfred) and a stylish design printed on the other (heaven for me). Better still, they are hygienic, water resistant, embossed, cushioned, easy to clean with detergent, and non-slip. The launch price is Dhs950, but they have a special offer running for Dhs1700 for two mats (delivered to one location) so you can team up with a friend for less (or buy one for two different rooms!) The discount code is “friend1700”. Buy here.

2. Comptoir 102. If you are always on the hunt for cool cafes with a delicious menu, good coffee, and free Wi-Fi, let me introduce you to Comptoir 102. Located down in Jumeirah 1 (opposite where the old zoo was located), it’s the most peaceful spot – with seating inside and outside, and natural sunlight streaming inside. The styling is quirky and incredibly stylish and the menu is not only yummy, but super healthy too so you can feel virtuous as you enjoy a catch-up with a friend. The French-owned cafe has a fashionable store attached with clothing, accessories, and homewear too. I spent a morning there last week and will definitely be back soon. More information.

3. Ya Ya Multi Minerals. After an endless battle with germs in my house in the run-up to Christmas, I needed to get some vitamins into the boys to boost their immune system – so when Wilfred turned two, I could start giving them both Ya Ya Multi Minerals. Just one little gummy pastel a day is enough to make sure the good stuff is going in – and the boys literally queue in the kitchen every morning, completely unaware it’s not a regular sweet. I can vouch for the effectiveness, as we’ve had no snuffles since we started using them (and impressive 2 month period of wellness, which has been unheard of!) More information.

4. White Cotton Cards Dubai. How many times have you handed over gift cards to a shop assistant in Dubai and recoiled in horror when you have been told the price? It’s happened to me plenty of times – and the worst bit is that the cards I am buying are usually seriously underwhelming, making me vow to buy a stack of cards on my next trip to the UK (but of course, I always forget). For this reason, I was delighted to hear about White Cotton Cards Dubai – a range of high-quality, beautifully designed cards, which have been sold in top end boutiques across the UK (and the likes of Harvey Nichols and Harrods, no less). I’ve been stocking up! Shop via the Facebook Page here.

5. Man Cub T-Shirt. It was love at first sight when I spotted this Man Cub T-Shirt by US brand Love by Hannah and Eli – so I immediately snapped one up for Stanley with my Shop & Ship account. They sell out fast – so be quick with your order. I’m coveting a Baby Bear design for Wilfred too! Shop here

6. Four Cow Farm. This 100% natural baby, kids, and mum-to-be range is handmade on a farm in Australia – and it’s just found its way to Dubai. Suitable for the most sensitive skin, I’ve fallen in love with the gentle formulas and beautiful ingredients – and the fact that the products are never tested on animals is another big bonus. Shop at DbBabies here.

7. Ronda Locatelli Brunch. We were invited to the launch of the new Saturday brunch at Ronda Locatelli, Atlantis The Palm a few weeks ago – and we had a lovely lunchtime. Not only was the table filled with the most delicious cuisine (it’s table service, rather than buffet, and believe me; you won’t go hungry), but the activities for children were fantastic. Stanley enjoyed painting his own canvas in a shaded courtyard (thanks to a pop-up by The JamJar) and making his own pizza (he even got a tour of the kitchen, lucky him!) It’s really affordable too – at just 195 AED per person (non-alcoholic) and 295 AED per person (including house beverages). Details here.

8. Fortnum & Mason Dubai. If you haven’t yet visited The Parlour in Fortnum & Mason Dubai, you are missing a treat. With incredible views of Burj Khalifa (and so quiet in the morning), kids will be nothing short of delighted when they arrive and spot what is on offer. With rows and rows of pastel-hued ice cream flavours to pick from, alongside traditional favourites including Banana Splits, Knickerbocker Glories, and Coke Floats, it’s our new favourite hangout. Details here.

9. Party Camel. I get more impressed with party supplier Party Camel every time I log on, with a stock of decorations and party essentials that are definitely the most stylish, unique, and fun available in Dubai.  I purchased most of Wilfred’s 2nd Birthday Party supplies from the online store – from rainbow hued food boxes, to a fun cake topper, to striped goody bags for handing out as everyone left – and I was impressed with not only the selection and quality, but the prices too. Delivery is very quick too, making it ideal for last minute panic buys before parties. Shop online here.

10. HotelsCombined. I’m always being asked for hotel recommendations in Dubai – and the most common request is for accommodation that is a little more affordable. I now know where to direct everyone, as I’ve discovered HotelsCombined, which scours the city for the best deals. I have been craving a weekend staycation – and a quick browse on the site came up with budget hotels for as little as 250 AED a night and 5* luxury resorts on the beach coming in as little as 1000 AED a night for a deluxe room! Seriously good prices and definitely worth checking out!  Visit http://www.hotelscombined.ae/