Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Competition: Making Over 2014

How about starting 2014 with a total new look?
Dubai Motor City Residents and Only You Ladies Salon present:

Initiating 2014: 
The New Year Make Over 

To participate in this competition and enter draw to win a make over this coming January and start the new year on a perfect note, follow these steps:

4) Head to our New Year Competition on Facebook and leave a comment under the photo asking five of your friends to like our pages too
Make sure to tag them so we can know you were the one who referred them.

That's it! Now you're in the draw!
The winner will be announced on January 15.

To learn more about Only You Ladies Salon, check our review!

Competition Terms and Conditions
  • This competition ends on January 14, 2014 at midnight Dubai/UAE Local Time.
  • A draw will identify the winners. There can only be one winner. The name of the winner will be posted on our Facebook page.
  • Missing entries and entries from contestants who fail to complete all the instructions above in totality will be disqualified. 
  • The winner will be offered a single voucher by email.
  • This voucher is non-transferrable. The winner will receive an email with all the details on how to proceed and book an appointment for the make over.
  • This voucher is not partially redeemable and must be redeemed in full, for its total amount once only. 
  • If purchase exceeds available voucher balance, and you would like to request more services, you must make up difference with another payment method.  
  • This voucher is redeemable in Dubai only.
  • This voucher is non-refundable
  • This voucher is not exchangeable for cash
  • This voucher is valid for the period specified on the voucher. Credit and validity extensions will not be given for unutilized and unclaimed vouchers. 
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site reserves the right to change any terms contained in the Terms of Use at any time
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site are not responsible for the services offered by Only You Ladies Salon. 
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site are not accountable and liable for any and all consequences connected with the use/misuse of this voucher.

Mamma Mia+Jad

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

This Christmas, let's explore the UAE

Christmas shopping has got to be the toughest of missions. I just hate it. Our children have access to so much all year long, come the end of the year, any gift becomes almost dull. Even if it's meant to unwrap under a sparkling Christmas tree.

So if like me, you've been looking for something extra special, something your child doesn't already own in one or two or even three models, something that is fun but also educational and most importantly, something new and counter-mainstream, look no more because I have found what we're all searching for:

 The first book for kids about the UAE mixing information and games 
When learning about a country becomes fun…

I first saw this book at ARTE's market a while back and been meaning to blog about it since. The author, Marina FAHY-RUIZ was there, with her adorable daughters, promoting and selling their mom's work in person.

Photo: R. Abouzeid

This lovely family immediately stood out in the overcrowded ground floor of Times Square and let's face it, I've got a weakness for creative momtrepreneurs so this was bound the happen: it's interview time with this Parisian mom of two who "love[s] to create and travel with her family".

Born in 1973, Marina Fahy-Ruiz graduated from the École Supérieure de Commerce de Tours in 1999 and worked in banking before moving on to managing projects in the field of marketing for ten years. It's not in the least surprising her professional and personal history led her to the conception of 3.2.1. Explore. After all, traveling is a wonderful source of inspiration and it's no wonder Marina is always coming up with new ideas.

Why did you decide to write this book?

3.2.1 Explore is the first opus of, I hope, many other entertaining and educational books for children who wish to explore a country along with its culture. For the first book, I chose to picture the UAE to the youngest. The idea was born during a family trip to Thailand in January 2010. Looking for a playful way to introduce the country to my kids then 5 and 3.5 years old, I could not find what I was after in the usual book shops. Therefore I put together a little folder thanks to various information found over the internet and travel books, such as the flag, the spoken language, the money, the landscape, the country manners and habits, the religion and so on. A proper source for games and culture for my daughters. They came back from this journey with their memories engraved in this holidays copybook and illustrated by their various family pictures. Upon our return, finding out we will have to settle in Dubai in September 2010, I tried to find a book to introduce the country to my kids but also to keep in touch with the family, friends and classmates remaining in France to explain to them where we were going to live. As I could not find anything fitting my wonders, I decided to create not only an informative way but also an entertaining one to explain a country to children. This is the start of 3.2.1 Explore’s story with the first opus about the UAE.

So what is 3.2.1 Explore exactly?

There are many reasons for children to get interested in a country: to broaden their horizons, to get involved in a trip or move to a new country, or to learn about the country of a friend or a relative. 3.2.1 Explore is an entertaining and educational book to learn more about a country. Games are aimed to kids between 5 and 11 years old and information may please all age groups, including adults. The first opus, 3.2.1 Explore The UAE is 84 pages mixing information and games for kids, girls and boys, living or visiting the UAE but also their friends and their families. Children go on a trip with WENS, the tour guide for curious children. Thanks to questions and answers, children will learn a lot of information about the UAE like its geography, climate, animals, arts, inhabitants, landscape, wildlife, traditions, food, and means of transportation. The structure of the sentences and the vocabulary are suited to kids. The draft was read by teachers in order to be adapted. There also is a notebook and activities such as writing arabic letters or drawing arabesques and there are different types of games such as calculating, recognizing shapes, cross word puzzles and more. There also is a quiz to test knowledge and even two postcards to send to friends and relatives! Having fun while learning is important to keep the children interested and the book mixes information and games so children will have fun while learning about the country. It is an interactive book with questions and answers. Kids become actors of their own book by filling in information through the games and activities. There is nothing else like it in bookstores: it is the first book for children about the UAE mixing information and games.

How did you write the content?

Thanks to a training to become a tour guide in Dubai in may 2011 and thanks to interviews with inhabitants and visitors, I managed to illustrate my book with anecdoctes. My teaching experience between September 2011 and June 2012 also helped me better understand my future audience but also to finance this personal project, the content sees light.

Who worked on your illustrations?

I found an illustrator in France who gave body and life to my character, WENS, a tour guide, raising questions and answers along the pages and discoveries kids may do.

How did you meet and how did this collaboration come to life? 

Once I wrote the content and finalized ideas of illustrations and created a complete character, I looked for an illustrator. I posted an ad on a Dubai forum and I also asked a couple of people I knew for help, in France. It is through a friend that I found Cécile. I loved her response to my mail. She was spontaneous, excited and full of emotions. She sent a few drawings by mail and I immediately loved them. I called her up and was delighted by her warmth and her motivation for this project. Mother of two, just like me, we were ready to realize a dream together! She worked on the content I wrote, a powerpoint draft and a detailed brief to come up with her illustrations. We collaborated remotely, each in her country, but communication by email, Skype and phone went well. We finally managed to meet in person following the release of the French version of the book, during the summer. It was fantastic! I really hope to be able to collaborate with Cécile on other projects. 

So who is Cécile?

Born in 1974, in the South of France, Cécile Darras completes her studies at the École des Beaux Arts de Lyon before training as a colorist in an animation studio. In 1998, she begins her career as an illustrator for educational CDs for children and then moves on to the world of advertising where she spends a decade. Finally, in 2011, she decides to venture on her own, as a freelancer and this is when we met in 2012. She has always been passionate about children stories and illustrations and this was a dream come true for her.

Tell us about the translation of the book and will there be an Arabic version?

The French version was launched in June 2013 and the English version in September 2013. For the translation, I called up translators and educators I knew. We spent long, serious but warm hours working on it. Many ask me about an Arabic version of the book but I am not sure what the demand would be. I was also offered to translate it in Italian. Translations are quite simple but the problem remains to find a market for these languages.

How did you proceed for the publication?

From A to Z, I did not miss one step of the book. I managed the printing and the diffusion of the book. I did not look for a publisher because I wanted to actively manage all the stages of the book. Once the book was ready for printing, I got all the required authorizations from the UAE government and went to the publisher. It was yet another rich and interesting stage during which I learned a great deal about paper, formats and printing processes. I published a thousand copies of the French version and two thousand copies of the English version. Producing such small quantities is quite expensive per piece but I wanted to test the product with our audience before going further.

That is quite impressive for a novice writer and quite brave for you to learn about all these processes. So how did you proceed with the distribution?

As of now, I studied differents distribution ways: bookstores, shops, schools, tourism and cultural spots, travel agencies. I contacted few schools and the feedback is very good. Some schools have agreed to promote the book through the teachers in order to inform parents and children that this book exists. I proposed them to come and meet children in the school and autograph the books. I also proposed to come in class as speaker in order to explain the writing, editing and publishing processes. It was amazing children were very attentive and asked a lot of questions! I will also propose to schools to buy the book for their students in order to use the book as a teaching tool. I had good feedback from teachers, they need this kind of resources. The cost per student requires the school to allocate a certain budget for the book and of course making photocopies would infringe on copyrights, so this additional cost could be problematic for the schools.

And how was their feedback?

Super feedback! Way beyond games, kids enjoy asking questions around them and testing their parents.  Newcomers discover their new country of residence. The older ones learn new things and can tell what they love in their notebook. And of course, those who are leaving can keep a souvenir of the country where they spent a few years. Visitors can also keep a similar souvenir. And those who have never visited the UAE can discover the country where their cousin or their friend lives.

Have you received any support from organizations in the education or tourism sectors?

I led this project by myself with my ideas, in a bubble sort of. Once the French version was completed, and ready for printing, I went to Alliance Française in Dubai. The Director loved it and kindly proposed to promote the book there. Throughout the month of June, I had a table with my books on sale at all of the Alliance events. It helped me tremendously, it was a great kickstart! In addition to that, Dubai Madame and Madame Magazine published articles about the book, and there I was, established within the French community in the UAE. I also got support from associations like Dubai Accueil, Les Femmes Francophones D'Abu Dhabi, the Forum Francodubai and the UFE. I could really feel solidarity and help. It was really reassuring. Today, I am looking for cultural, touristic or educational organizations that could help me promote the book and maybe even finance the next ones. 

What does the future look like for WENS? Will he travel? Will he speak other languages?

As of now, the book exists in French and in English. I started to distribute 3.2.1 Explore The UAE in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The plan is to develop the distribution in the UAE, and maybe to translate it in other languages, Arabic for instance. I am going to think how to sell it abroad because I would like to explain and promote the UAE to kids around the world. I am thinking also to develop an electronic version. Finally, I plan to expand 3.2.1 Explore by writing about others countries. I started to write content about few countries and I think about partners or sponsors to help me publish them.

That sounds exciting! Then would the future hold for Marina?

A lot of work to expand the sale of 3.2.1 Explore The UAE and create a collection with the countries of the world! I would also love to work on two old projects I had started when I first arrived in Dubai, this time for adults.

Any final words?

When I first got to Dubai, I wanted to open beautiful parentheses, realize something I could not have achieved in France. This country allows you to do that. It gives you wings. Anything seems possible! I invested about three years between the concept and the launch of the book. A extraordinary professional and human adventure with its ups and downs. Spending long hours behind your computer screen is not easy and we face huge moments of doubts. But what I will take from all of this, are all the multicultural meetings with people throughout the stages, the exchange of knowledge and the support and help.


Virgin (Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Deira City Centre Mall, Burjuman, Mirdiff City Centre, Mercato Mall)
WHSmith (Dubai Mall, Marina Mall, Wafi Centre, JW Marriot Marquis, Oasis Centre) Kinokuniya (Dubai Mall)
Park’n’Shop (Safa 1)
Magrudy (Jumeirah 1)
Culture and Co (Oud Metha)
Alliance Française (Oud Metha)

Virgin (Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahda Mall)
WHSmith (Al Wahda Mall)
All Prints Library 
Alliance Française

To find out about future events (school fairs, private markets, coffee morning, etc.) and new points of sale, follow 321Explore on Facebook or email

Mamma Mia+Jad

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Only You... And Me

A new salon recently opened a few streets away from my home at Dubai Motor City:

Only You, Hair & Beauty Care Salon

So I decided to try it out for you. 
You're welcome ;)

Here are the services I requested:
  1. Eyebrows threading
  2. Half-arm waxing
  3. Underarm waxing
  4. Hair color
  5. Hair cut
  6. Blow dry

Yes, I am in need of some major make-over and even after this, I still look like I just woke up, all day long. Sleep-deprivation is not a friend. Stay away from it for as much as you can and when you have babies, outsource them! Nah, I'm kidding, you can't outsource your children (duh!) but be prepared to look zombie-scary.

Talking about kids, I was so happy when they told me Only You is child-friendly. They welcome moms with their little ones and won't give us grief or stares if baby gets loud. As any baby does after a few moments of staying still in one single location. The staff are also very nice and kind to children.

That is all very nice, but I didn't visit Only You for daycare services, right? 
So, how were their services?

Eyebrows Threading:
I'm very picky about my eyebrows because they are naturally shaped properly so I don't like when someone screws with the shape but they are tricky because I don't have much hair there. Which means, one wrong pluck and it's a disaster. Well the technician listened and delivered. She did not make them thinner, or reshaped them. They are just as I like them. It took only a few minutes and I was done.
Cost: 30 UAE Dirhams

Half-arm Waxing:
I don't like to wax my arms much because well, they're not that hairy to begin with and I have had the worst experiences with waxing. So many times, technicians would, without asking, spread wax all over my arm down to my hand. My hand! It's called "arm" not "hand waxing". If I want to wax my hand, I'll tell you! (I'm not talking about knuckles here, which incidentally I don't wax either, but I know many do; no I am talking about the back of my hand which I know some people do but unless there's hair in there, don't you think you should ask me first?) Also, I have had the misfortune of people literally skinning me while waxing my arms. I kid you not. They just insist on layering wax where there is no hair (on the inside of my arm) and just tearing the skin and some meat on their way. No no, I am not kissing, I have ended up with burns, literally. So you can imagine I am extra cautious when I take the risk of entrusting my arms to someone. Again, that second technician was a sweetheart, she listened and waxed where I wanted her to wax. Thank you very much. As she started spreading the wax I smelled something familiar. It was olives. Turns out they use olive based wax. When she was done, my arms felt amazing! There was absolutely no rash (which usually happens with my sensitive skin) or redness. Not even goose bumps. Absolutely baby-skin-beautiful!
Cost: 40 UAE Dirhams

Underarm Waxing:
Well I've disclose way too much information about my waxing habits (and fears) above so I really don't  need to go over those again. I just need to say, it was prompt, it took only one application of wax on each location (as for the arms) and that is perfect because my skin cannot tolerate more than this. The whole waxing (arms and underarms) was finished in a matter of five minutes. And not a hair was left standing.
Cost: 35 UAE Dirhams

Photo: Only You

Hair Coloring:
Now this is a hot topic. Seriously. I have never been happy with any hairdresser in Dubai. Any. It's not that I'm annoyingly picky, it's just that I go to the salon once in a blue moon and I'd like that once to go well. Usually, it doesn't. I mean it looks great at the salon. But a day later, at home, it's a mess! I have to confess, I had heard of Only You's head stylist, Maro before. She's been around Motor City for over five years, her regulars love her and follow her wherever she goes, and now that she's opened her own salon, she's overbooked with loyal customers who won't allow anyone else to lay a hand on their heads.  I had never visited Maro before but I was quite hopeful. I told her that I wanted to go a little lighter but that I didn't want, under any circumstance, to end up with a reddish or yellowish head. Every time a hairdresser takes me a few tones lighter, after the first shampoo at home, my hair is orange! I hate it! Maro promised it wouldn't. What I can confirm right now is that it isn't. And I'm hoping as the color fades away, it will remain a shade of chestnut. I had the choice between Inoa and Magirel. I was advised to go for the latter because the color would last longer. Overall, I am very, very happy with the result. 
Cost: 350 UAE Dirhams (price varies depending on hair length)

Photo: Only You

Hair Cut:
This is also a tricky one. For the same reasons previously stated. My main concern was that me being the lunatic psycho that I am, I cannot stand hair in my face, it just drives me insane so it needs to stay long enough for me to tie it. However, it is so thick and basically shapeless that keeping it just like that should be a crime punishable by law. Maro was brilliant. She just layered it, taking off some of the thickness from inside, while keeping it approximately the same length. She took out the tips of course because they were too messy and straightened it all. It looks amazing. I can tie it. And when I grab it to do so, it feels like I have half of the hair I used to deal with before. Perfect.
Cost: 100 UAE Dirhams 

Maro did the whole hair from putting the color to cutting and blow-drying. I love it when I am not passed down onto staff. She made sure the hair was done as it should. The blow dry was simple, and fairly quick. It still looks good a few days after which is not only great but a miracle with my hair type and Dubai's humidity.
Cost: 100 UAE Dirhams (price varies depending on hair length)

Sorry for the crappy quality. Phone-photos are always horrendous.
Don't be afraid, it's just my zombie-scary look.
Please be kind, these were taken at 10pm after a long mommying day ;)
(Also, Bathroom-Selfies are the worst!! hahaha)
Photo: R. Abouzeid

So should you go?

The owners and staff are lovely, professional, well-trained. The place is spotless and the ambiance is lovely. Everyone seems to be qualified and services are performed promptly and well. Also, if you're driving your car, you'll find free accessible parking spaces behind the building. The salon opens until 9:30pm (they plan to extend that) and on weekends which is perfect for those who work. Just make sure you take an appointment as there is a high demand for Maro and you don't want to just sit and wait endlessly. Although they will give you very good coffee if you have to wait ;)

Bookmark Only You
  • Follow Only You on Facebook
  • Visit Only You's official website
  • Call Only You on 044224180
  • Drop by Only You at 204 Apex Atrium Building, Motor City, Dubai, UAE

Mamma Mia+Jad

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Monday, November 4, 2013

My two cents on CIO

Following on my last post on Childism, and in an attempt to end all kids/parents-related hate out there, please allow me to tackle a sensitive topic.

I have been struggling to write this one. Because I know people I care for might be offended or just saddened and I do not want that. Please try to keep an open mind and I apologize in advance for the ranting sometimes but I guess I too am getting offended, saddened and tired by some unnecessary speeches (for lack of better terms).

Besides, the more I encounter issues of the same sort (and I do on a daily basis) the more I feel it is important to talk openly and frankly and without prejudice.

One of these issues is CIO (Cry It Out).

Every time I think about it, I remember Mad About You. It is one of my favorite TV shows actually and I find it smart and funny and very well done. But there is one episode I will never forget for totally different reasons: The Conversation.

When I first watched it, I was so impressed because the whole episode was shot in one take. No editing. No cuts. No mistakes. Pretty much like a play. All 20 minutes filmed in one single uninterrupted take. It was amazing because it added to the reality, the weight and the pain of these parents trying to "train" their baby daughter to sleep. It felt like it was never ending. Like in real life: no breaks, no breathers, nothing. Just one, long, heavy process.

This episode aired on December 16, 1997. I can't remember when it was that I actually got to watch it but I do remember back then, I wasn't married yet, let alone a mom.

But there is one line I can never forget. At the end, when baby Mabel finally stops crying, Paul asks: "Okay, so it worked?" And Jamie to answer with the most devastating voice: "We broke her heart". 

This goes to show, you don't need to be a mom or to have maternal instincts to know deep down, CIO is heartbreaking. I was hardly a young adult then and I knew it. So much in fact, I can't ever forget that episode and Jamie's line.

"Now she knows we won't always be there for her"

What I could not understand then, and still can't today is why would anyone want to be the first person to ever break their child's heart?

The nice packaging of "training your child", "teaching your child to be independent", it's all very nice but deep now, I think we all know CIO is all about the parents' comfort. I do understand parents need their sleep to keep some shred of sanity. Believe me. I do.

But just as a child cannot be trained to eat or walk or pretty much do anything by themselves in the first months of their lives, why would we expect them to become emotionally independent around that same time? Independence is a full-fledge achievement. It all comes together, as one whole.

Parenthood, it's inconvenient. It is difficult. It is exhausting. And yes, sorry to beak it to you like this but you did sign up for all this crap when you decided to have a baby!

A baby who since the beginning, has known nothing but the safety of a womb and who is suddenly "forced out", scared and helpless and who looks desperately for the only sense of safety they used to know. A mother. A voice. An embrace to feel wrapped and safe.

But no, all of a sudden, instead of that, we are supposed to train them to become emotionally independent.

Just saying it out loud, it sounds and resounds ridiculous!

God Knows it is hard enough for experienced adults to reach emotional independence, let alone a baby who spends days completely reliant on parents.

Why should the nights be any different? The baby's needs are the same, day and night. Why would the parents be available during day time but at night, and without any explanation, suddenly disappear?

What kind of insane, unreasonable and completely schizophrenic mixed message is that?

I have heard so much preaching.

I have even heard so much blaming.

For God's Sakes, parents need to quit preaching parents, mothers need to quit looking down on other moms and people in general need to be more sympathetic and kind, not condescending and hurtful.  

So apparently, I was the one at fault for being exhausted. I heard it so many times, from friends, from relatives and even from mere acquaintances who all felt they had a right to teach me how to be a competent mother.

Researches have been done, books have been written, and experts have spoken. Who am I to stand in the way of "science"? How can I be so uneducated and ignorant?

Why wouldn't I train my child? Don't I want to sleep and be all ready for a new day in the morning and ultimately be a better parent?

Of course I did.
Of course I do.

But do you know what I also did some times?

Cry. All alone. In the dark.
And it bloody sucks.

And "science", well it's not so clear-cut when it comes to CIO. Actually, it's still debatable and research goes both ways. Many have also proven how damaging it can be for a child and later on the adult that child becomes, to feel so terribly abandoned at such an early age. To feel so painfully let down by those he or she loves the most. The only ones they know and can rely on for mere survival but also for affection and love.

I will even dare to take this research argument one step further: just Google what happens to lonely children in orphanages. Some simply give up on life and let themselves just die. As ridiculous as it may sound, they die of sadness. No seriously. Of sadness and loneliness. It's absolutely horrifying but it just proves that emotional stability and love are as necessary as food and water. I think there's so much harshness out there, it is terrifying. And unfortunately, misery likes company and those who are supposed to care for these children are simply not qualified or emotionally able or paid enough and they just quit caring.

If you feel like I am exaggerating, why don't you try it? Yes, CIO. Go head and try it. On yourself that is.

At a moment of need, when you find yourself alone, or scared, or both, don't reach out to another human being (God Forbid). Just stay there, wherever it is you are (preferably in the dark). Just sit there, all alone. And cry it out.

See how it feels.

Sure, you'll get over it. Sure, your skin will grow thicker. But so will your bitterness. You will find it harder to trust someone will be there for you when you need them.

You will learn to be independent, sure. But you will also learn you are so incredibly alone, lonely and sad.

Why would you want to inflict all this weight on a baby?

Why would you want to inflict all this weight on anyone for that matter?

I am sorry but it is not a valuable lesson as some might like to claim.

Life is not so sad and lonely and it is not right to make a child believe this is how life should be.

Don't worry, pretty much like they will learn to talk, eat, dress and go to the toilet by themselves, they will also learn to become independent at night, with time, at their own pace.

Childhood should be about happiness and love and peace of mind.

Not about worrying and loneliness.

It's too much sadness and at the risk of being labelled the worst mother on Earth, I will never, ever convey to my children that I am not there for them. Life will bring so much shit their way soon enough anyway. They don't need their mom, the one person they rely on for safety and support to do that to them first.

Who knows when I will actually physically stop being there? Only then will it be acceptable that they learn to live with that loss. Before that happens, I am here. I am so here. I may be sleep-deprived, grumpy and sometimes mad, but I am so damn HERE.

You believe in CIO, fine. Do it.

But quit passing judgement on those who don't. Because your condescension and patronizing are a reflection of your person. Unlike you'd like to believe, they definitely are not a reflection of my competence as a parent.

Mamma Mia + Jad

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

CHILDISM. Learn about it. End it.

There are many forms of child-hate out there. 

Too many times on Facebook and Twitter, I read statements from friends and acquaintances passing judgement on parents and children in hateful ways. 

From the blunt "I hate kids" (yes, just like that, for no apparent reason, people seem to think it's OK to post this as a status while any "target human group" other than "kids" might have launched a wave of outrage) to more elaborate reasonings of why and where this hatred comes from (always placing blame on the children of course), these are recurrent statements on social media and even in real-life social gatherings.

Once I even read something not only obnoxious but also filled with ignorance, bigotry and just plain stupidity. It goes along the lines of:

"Women with small babies should not allowed on public buses"

Now wait, before you start passing judgement on him too, you need to know he typed these words with good reason (and his 20-something childless friends on Facebook all agree). The baby kept crying the whole way. It was unbearable. So of course, mothers with babies should be banned from public transportation. Naturally that defeats the whole purpose of transportation being "public" but who cares? Babies are just too damn annoying. And loud. And that mother could not keep that baby quiet for God's Sakes! An abomination. Seriously, legalize this: no parents with children on public transportation.

My first instinct was to go ahead and write a comment explaining to the said child-hater that first of all, this is what public transportation is. Sometimes you deal with loud passengers, sometimes you deal with rude passengers, sometimes with smelly ones, other times with harassers and apparently, taking from his statement with ignorant dummies too. When you do not feel like dealing with the masses, get your own car. Throw in a chauffeur too so you don't have to deal with other lousy drivers while you're at it.

Secondly, babies cannot talk. They cannot verbalize their basic survival needs (hunger, thirst, tiredness or even pain, most of the times because unlike childless people think, babies spend most of their time in pain, it takes a lot to grow up into a well-rounded child-hating adult). Blame Darwin. Human evolution is damn slow. This is such an annoyance. Why can't babies be born with full speech? That's just not practical to always have to try and decipher what's going on with them.  

So he's a crash course in "Try-Your-Best-Not-To-Be-An-Ass-Today 101":

The only way for babies to communicate their needs is through crying. That is highly disruptive, completely irritating, definitely inconvenient and annoying. To everyone. Parents included. Actually, parents in particular. So to bash this mom and portray her (even if indirectly) as an inadequate mother because she could not manage to calm her baby is simply shit. She probably tried it all and I can guarantee on a crowded public bus, her options were certainly limited. No mother wants to see her child crying or suffering (emotionally or physically). Also, she probably hears that crying all day long (if you're still wondering why that is, go back to the first sentence of this paragraph), and she certainly is as frustrated as you are, if not more. Embarrassed too, because judgmental ass-holes will make their annoyance quite obvious. I know that for a fact. They will work hard on making you uncomfortable and hindering your chances and efforts at any possible successful outcome. 

But then I refrained from explaining anything. To me, twenty year olds can be as annoying as teenagers, yes I am that old. (That doesn't mean I advocate to make 20-somethings illegal, although really, that wouldn't be a bad idea. See? Two can play that game, dummy). And when I saw the flood of compassionate friends supporting and sympathizing with their poor, miserable child-hating-pal, I thought, what's the point? Because I know the Internet and I know that in a matter of seconds, I would be dragged into a long, infinite really, debate of silliness. I don't have time for this shit.


Child hate is everywhere but I had no idea there was a name for it.

Pretty much like bigotry against a certain people on no other ground than intolerant ignorance or skin color is called racism, hating children or abusing them in any kind of way is called childism. Makes sense to you? If not, check the article that taught me this notion.

As you can see in the aforementioned reference, parents who purposely humiliate children in order to teach them lessons (such as posting stupid, and in my opinion really not funny photos of humiliating punishments on the internet) are just bullies. Kids don't have the means to defend themselves or their right to privacy against their parents and in theory it is the parents' responsibility and even duty to care for that very same privacy.

Now I know, I know, I am guilty of exhibiting countless photos of my über cute monkeys (not humiliating one though, I hope). And maybe when they grow up, they won't want to have all their photos all over the web. Or maybe, they are from a generation that is all over the web by birth and to them, it will be as natural as mobile phones which we'll all find hard to believe have been around for a few decades only (no, no, I am not insane, there was no mobile anything when we were born, except for maybe the oh-so-fancy walkman -- cassette walkman that is -- for those born in the 90's, I'm just making up words now). 

But the general rule is: people who have no children (whether in a relationship or not) are the ones passing hateful (and truly stupid) verdicts on kids and parents.

More often than not, they are activists and intellectuals, who fight for human rights on a daily basis and whose efforts are indeed commendable.

Some are true rebels and thrive in challenging society's pressure to conformism.

This is what shocks me. How can you be so hateful when you actively work day and night for a more tolerant and equal society?

Of course, there are always the occasional posers who pretend are rebels and intellectuals which is generally obvious and quite annoying. Possibly as much as a crying baby on a bus.

The internet is funny like that. Basically posting cat photos, cute animals videos or memes is cool. Talking about your child or posting their photos is boring and annoying. Oh well. But I digress.

I don't think of myself as a conventional person really. I believe in cohabitation as a necessity  specifically for the sake of a long-lasting marriage that could ensue.

I also did not want to get married at some point. Not because conformity would want me to become a wife and then a mother. Just because I didn't feel like being a wife would make me a better or a happier person. 

There was a time in my life when I did not want to have children. Not because society says I should and I was a wild rebel but because it would freak me out. Then I moved on to wanting children real bad but not a husband. Yes, I am weird that way.

Then I met a guy who made me want to get married and then, a very long time later, want to take the risk of motherhood. Go figure.

In any case, I know for a fact, these convictions evolve and change as we do and with the people who enter our lives and bring in new needs and hopes and dreams.

But I guess, now that I am a mother, I am less welcoming of all the sorts of abuse and hate that target children. Call it instinct. Call it hormones. Call it whatever it is that makes you happy.

Bottom line is, hate, no matter who it is targeting, is uncalled for, ignorant crap.

No one needs that much negativity. Especially not the young people who will grow up to become as hateful as the world around them. And not parents for whom raising another human being is hard enough without having to bear the idiocies of clueless bigots.

Make Childism unacceptable.
Make all hate unacceptable.

Teach love.
Live love.

Love all children so they know what is important.
And so they can grow up to become better adults than we are.
Hopefully, loving adults. 

Mamma Mia+Jad

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sad News for Hamra Children

I have received some sad news today:
One of our favorite hangouts in Hamra is closing its doors. 
DASH CLUB is no more. It is so unfortunate that one of the few places that promoted reading and books to younger ones will no longer be. I know Mia will definitely miss it next time we're in Lebanon. We have so many outdoors activities to do, so many malls and play areas to visit but a true reading sanctuary, we will miss. 

The owner, May Kabrit, is selling all of the beautiful and highly practical furniture she had carefully arranged in her beautiful haven. If you are interested, you may call her for more details on what remains available for sale and how to proceed with collection and payments. 

She has posted some photographs on Facebook (here and here) but they hardly cover all of the items for sale so don't hesitate to get in touch for more information, either on Facebook or by calling her directly on 03704104.




Mamma Mia

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hello Baby!

Both times I gave birth in Lebanon, I was gifted a Welcome Baby Box with samples and informative booklets. This box was always waiting for me at my last doctor's appointment but I know the company also makes drop offs at the hospitals.

My used and overused Baby Box!
Photos: R. Abouzeid

I discovered inside a lovely set of lotions and creams for both stretchmarked-breastfeeding-mommy and newborn-baby but also everything else from shampoo, perfume, diapers, wipes to the first bottle and pacifier! Naturally all sponsored by companies that are keen for new moms to try their products and adopt them for a long while, years even. A perfect way to reach your niche market don't you think?

So I was a little disappointed to find out Dubai, the motherland of promotional gurus in the Gulf had not started this sort of campaigns yet.

Because what do we love more than freebies?
Freebies we actually need!

And as much as I hate being inundated with useless products I know I will never use, this box was the complete opposite surprise. It served as a checklist, as products testing, as support with useful information and learning tools and even as fun (I got my very first Baby's First Year Photo Album in this box)!

So when I heard a smart mumtrepreneur was launching one in Dubai, I could not keep it to myself! I knew I had to share the news with all of you :)

So ladies, meet Marhababy!

And cherry on top of the cake? They just launched a campaign on social media inviting all moms, dads, children, friends, anyone really, to participate in their "Motherhood Competition"!

How awesome is that?

It's very simple, just submit a photo that represents "Motherhood" in your eyes through the "Photo Contest App" on Facebook or hashtag ‪#‎marhababy‬ on Twitter and Instagram and invite your friends to vote for you. It doesn't get any easier than that :)

Source: Marhababy

So allow me to introduce you to Eveline Sleeboom, the brain and heart behind Marhababy.

The young mumtrepreneur holds a degree in Psychology and a Master's in International Relations from Groningen University in The Netherlands. Her impressive background in Business Banking, Corporate Finance and Business Development has allowed her to act as an advisor to several startups since she moved to Dubai back in 2011.

But it is the recent arrival of baby Berend five months ago that inspired her to start a brand new chapter in her professional life as well: Marhababy.

How did you come up with Marhababy, when and why? 
When I just found out that I was pregnant I had a strong need for information about my pregnancy and baby in Dubai, from hospitals to baby clothing to ways to spend my maternity leave time etc. Becoming a mother is beautifully overwhelming. (smiles) I thought it would be great to get the chance to try products, to get some discounts, to get the much-needed information etc. without all the hassle to find and invent everything myself. Being pregnant in itself can be heavy enough. I heard about successful concepts in other countries and decided to start something similar here in the UAE.

How did you come up with the name? 
I thought it would be nice to say Hello, or Welcome Baby in English and Arabic. This evolved in Marhaba Baby and later into the portmanteau word 'Marhababy' after discovering that the Arabic word 'Marha' in itself means something like 'nice' or fun. Many positive things in one name!

How do you distribute your boxes and what are your fees? 
People will be able to pick up the box at several retail locations or choose for home delivery. The boxes themselves are 100% free for mothers, no strings attached. Home delivery can be done at a cost (around AED 20).

How was the concept received by hospitals, physicians, and health care providers? 
We are receiving a lot of positive reactions. Medics see it as an extra opportunity for educating moms about their own health and their baby's. Also, Marhababy pays a lot of attention to quality and safety (e.g. only bpa-free products) and fully supports the WHO breastfeeding guidelines, something that is well-received.

How was the concept welcomed by sponsors? 
Very well as well. Moms and kids are quite a big segment in the UAE and Middle East. Wherever you go, you see kids, expecting moms. For sponsors it can be quite tough to reach them in an efficient and effective way. Participating in the Marhababy Box has a lot of advantages: our database consists of moms only and our sponsors reach only moms with a sincere interest in the contents, you reach them in their home and at a moment when they have a great need for information. Also, sampling is a great way to boost your sales. Especially in this new life phase are mothers more likely to stick to a product that they like for many years to come. The Marhababy Box is a fun, nice and easily accessible way to bring services and products under mom's attention.

What do expecting and new moms have to say about Marhababy?
They love it! Pre-registrations are open now and every day we receive new orders. It seems like we're addressing a real need.

What does the future look like for Marhababy?
Diversify and Expand. We're working on new products and services now and we plan to expand into other countries in the Middle East.


Mamma Mia+Jad

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Father's Day Giveaway (UAE only)

Hello Dubai Moms,

Are we gearing up for Father's Day yet? 
It's in less than a week, on June 16.

I have a small surprise for my UAE readers :)

It's really not extraordinary but it is a small gesture that could help some of you find that extra special surprise for Father's Day.

How about treating your hubby to a nice dinner, be it after celebrating at home with the kids or any time between now and December?

I am giving away five winners a voucher for a renowned fine dining restaurant in Dubai.

To be eligible to enter the draw, let us know why the dad in your life (your hubby, daddy, brother, son) is the most perfect father you know. There are no best answers. All complete entries will be accepted in the draw but we would love to read inspiring, touching and loving stories of course!

To enter the competition
  • Post your "Favorite Dad" story in a comment under this blog post including your full name and email address or share your "Favorite Dad" story on our Facebook page (link here).
  • Only one entry per family will be accepted
  • A draw will take place on June 15, 2013 to select the winners 
  • The winners will be announced on Facebook

Terms and Conditions
  • This competition ends on June 14, 2013 at midnight Dubai/UAE Local Time.
  • A draw will identify the winners. There can only be five winner. The name of the winners will be posted on our Facebook page.
  • Missing entries and entries from contestants who fail to complete all the instructions above in totality will be disqualified. 
  • Each winner will be offered a single voucher.
  • This voucher is transferrable. Feel free to gift it on to whoever you please but only the winner can collect the voucher. The winner shall get in touch with Rouba.Blogs or this site in order to set an appointment for the voucher collection. The winner shall arrange transportation to collect the voucher.
  • This voucher is redeemable as per the conditions stated on the voucher
  • This voucher is not partially redeemable and must be redeemed in full, for its total amount once only. 
  • If purchase exceeds available voucher balance, you must make up difference with another payment method.  
  • This voucher is redeemable in Dubai only.
  • This voucher is non-refundable
  • This voucher is not exchangeable for cash
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site reserves the right to select the voucher of their choice. The winners cannot exchange their vouchers for different ones.
  • This voucher is valid for the period specified on the voucher. Credit and validity extensions will not be given for unutilized and unclaimed vouchers. 
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site reserves the right to change any terms contained in the Terms of Use at any time
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site are not responsible for the services offered by the voucher's company/restaurant. 
  • Rouba.Blogs and this site are not accountable and liable for any and all consequences connected with the use/misuse of this voucher.

Mamma Mia+Jad

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Monday, June 3, 2013

SanSational Motor City

The other day, a friend and I were looking up places for lunch near home and I remembered SanSation at Green Community in Motor City.

I had been meaning to visit that restaurant since its opening and could not find the time so this was the perfect opportunity.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the friendliest staff and smiles all around. Shortly after, the owners themselves visited our table and helped us pick their best dishes. Or at least what they know to be definite winners with all customers. We ended up ordering the rocca salad and burgers in brown bread buns.

While we waited for our food, they invited us to visit the kitchen. Just like that. We dropped by unannounced and they insisted on sharing their vision and hard work, without prior notice. They were confident we would be impressed with cleanliness, organization and quality. And they were not mistaken.

Firstly, it is an open kitchen so customers on the floor can actually see what is happening inside at all times. That alone is always a plus to me because it means the staff will most definitely be giving their best. And when they do not, well, that is it.

When we first stepped in the kitchen, we were promptly handed hair nets. Not the most glamorous look, I will give you that but definitely a winner when assessing hygiene. And that was only the beginning.

We were led to the "receiving" area where food deliveries are dropped and stored. That must have been the cleanest space ever! With different sinks for each foods (veggies, meat, etc.) every step is taken to insure no food will be contaminated.

A separate sink for staff to wash their hands is available in that space and in the cooking area.

It must be noted all sinks are knee-operated which means no hands will ever touch handles, soap dispensers or anything else for that matter.

Only paper towels are used and disposed of immediately which means you will never see a dirty or contaminated towel anywhere.

The cooking space was equally impressive with a spotless grill and staff using separate areas and sinks to wash, cut and prepare food. Disinfecting sprays always at hand to keep that kitchen immaculate at all times.

And finally the owners could not have been prouder when showing off the ingredients they use: only the best quality.

I have to admit, if I am to take my children to eat out, I would definitely have them enjoy SanSation, completely guilt-free!

And they could go crazy (and give us a breather) in the outdoors kids play area near the terrace where people can lounge, relax and enjoy shisha (I am no smoker but I know many will appreciate that) overlooking the Green Community's gorgeous lake.

It might also be useful to mention SanSation offers wi-fi connection and a business set-up for those looking to get some work done over lunch or dinner.

Hygiene, ingredients quality, staff's professionalism and customer service are all important but ultimately, it is the food that counts, right?

Well it was simply delicious! They were right in advising us to try the burger as "first-timers". They rock. The salad was also very good and we even tasted the home-made sorbet!
(Please forgive the low-quality photos, they were taken on my phone)

I am definitely visiting SanSation again to give their steaks a try. They tell me I will not regret it and so far, they have not disappointed once. Maybe one evening for a dinner by the lake? We will see and in the meantime, I can always give them a call. And you should too! ;)

SanSation Home Delivery:
+971 4 4567693
+971 4 4567371

Check SanSation's Menu
Visit SanSation's Website
Follow SanSation on Facebook

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dashing Hamra!

There's a new reviewer in town,
And her name is Mia.

She has been taking mommy to all sorts of places, trying new things and meeting beautiful new friends. And since "sharing is caring", and let us be honest, stingy is just plain ugly, we will share with you every new finding we love. 

Now we are well-known for being a little picky because mommy would rather avoid traffic and frustrating car rides with two (insane) babies strapped in car-seats so we are exploring Beirut on stroller. Or rather, discovering whatever gem we can find walking distance from home

It is not easy and Jad is getting the short end of the stick because our twin stroller cannot fit on most sidewalks in Lebanon (when there is a sidewalk) and since we end up most of the times slaloming between cars, on the road (!) because as we know, sidewalks are in fact either just plain stairs or an extension of a coffee shop or most frequently a parking space for some classy, decent driver. So the small umbrella stroller seems the safest as it can fit almost anywhere and when on the actual road, does not take too much space when we need to fit next to a car (!) which means poor little Jad ends up at home. But it appears this arrangement is not all that bad as he gets some alone quality time with his grand-mother and does not have to worry about Mia preying on his toys!
This time, we have Cupcake Box's gorgeous mommy-to-be Randa to thank for a wonderful new discovery only minutes away from home! 

She tipped us on Dash Club, a conveniently located play area and library that opened only four months ago at the heart of Hamra.

Yes, a play area and library with the nicest "reading corner" in town!

Dash Club is located on Basra street in Jeanne D'Arc near Mayflower (map) and Napoleon (map) hotels (very well-known in Hamra so if you need directions, just ask about these two landmarks). The minute you walk in that quiet neighborly street, you cannot miss the lovely purple shades that shelter a cute outdoors sitting space for mommies and daddies who need some air or (tsk tsk) a cigarette.

The two storey venue is designed with cozy and warm colors and furniture, generously might I add, and this quality is found all around the place, especially in the library corner where the owner, May Kabrit, placed her own personal childhood books. You will find in there original old Martine's and Bibliothèque Rose treasures from our old days which my nostalgic eyes immediately spotted and fell in love with!

Step in and you will understand "reading" is a favorite activity here as even the venue arrangement gives books a distinguished space on the ground floor. The library is located right up front and on the side, books in Arabic are displayed on prominent shelves on the largest wall in the room, available to purchase as well. I do love when small businesses get involved in raising awareness about educational issues such a literacy and promote and support local talents by offering them a space to showcase their work.

Also on the ground floor, is located an arts and crafts space for those children who would like to give their creativity a little freedom on paper, wood or ceramic. Absolutely lovely! And the "raw" pieces are so affordable you might be inclined to launch a business selling your kid's artwork!

The vast underground floor is wide open with some specifically designed sections: a play area for the younger ones with a small slide, a swing, a pool of plastic balls, a scooter and a bike. Several other toys such as dolls, strollers, stuffed animals are also available for those who enjoy them. The second area is reserved for arts and the drawing classes also offered at  Dash Club. On the side, a stage is ready for plays and puppet shows (wonderful idea!) and finally there also is a space with one white and one black boards. This floor is ideal for birthdays and all sorts of group celebrations and activities. Dash Club's brochure lists "Science Lab" among its offerings including a photo showing children undertaking some sort of experiment, how cool is that?

Last and certainly not least, I cannot but mention the amazing staff which includes the brilliant May Kabrit, mumtrepreneur-owner of  Dash Club as well as the amazing Lamis Nouaihed who holds a university degree in Childhood Education from the Lebanese American University. I should also mention drawing classes are delivered by an art instructor who specializes in teaching children.

Mia is not very sociable with strangers and although she does not cry when meeting new people, she does not take to them immediately either. She needs a few encounters before she agrees to even smile, let alone interact with someone (even children).

So you can imagine how impressed I was when I saw her leave me and take Lamis by the hand to go and play only minutes following our arrival! They say children have a sixth sense when it comes to people who love or hate them. I guess it is fair to say Lamis passed Mia's test with flying colors! So much in fact, I felt confident enough to leave them by themselves as I ran an errand for about half an hour, something I had never done at any play area before. The only place I ever left Mia alone with a stranger was at her nursery. And even this took about two weeks to work out! I later learned from May that Lamis also works with special needs children which added to my respect and admiration. It takes tremendous patience and most importantly a kind heart and a giving soul to work through the difficulties of special needs and only those who truly love children have the courage to venture on that road.

We came back home with some drawings, coloring, hand-paint, face-paint (which Mia insisted on doing herself) and collage. Not bad for a first day, right?

You can trust we will be back very soon so do not hesitate to buzz us if you want to join ;)

Dash Club's opening hours are from 2pm to 7pm every day but as summer is approaching, morning hours will also become available. For more information on opening hours, special activities and rates, call 03704104.

Mamma Mia

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Party

I always say Facebook is the new Google. Well, almost. And when I first landed in Beirut, I immediately started to look for some kids friendly locations and activities near us (not a big fan of long car trips with the kids, especially in Lebanon). So when I found BusyBox, I was ecstatic! It was a few blocks away from home, on foot! And there was an Easter Party in the making, so how perfect was that?

We headed there on Monday for the first time and it was lovely.

Photo by R. Abouzeid

BusyBox is located at the heart of Hamra in the Crowne Plaza center which is one of the easiest locations to visit thanks to its underground parking which is a life saver on such a crowded street, so if you are coming by car, you will always find a place to park.

The Easter Party started at 4pm and the place was already packed when we got there. A sight that would frighten any mother of two who knows what double-trouble means and really does not want to be in the middle of a 30-trouble ever! But we were pleasantly surprised. There was enough staff to take care of everyone and give attention to every child. They were walking around the tables and giving a hand to anyone asking for assistance (or not).

Photo by R. Abouzeid

Every once in a while, the lovely manager, Dani would give directions on a microphone and inform everyone of what to do or what was coming next.

We started by choosing a table and a wooden piece to paint. Mia got her Mickey Mouse and we sat down at one of the smaller size table (age appropriate tables were set everywhere, allowing younger and older children to all be seated comfortably). Then a nice lady gave Mia an apron and helped put it on and placed paint, brushes and cups of water on our table. It was time to get messy!

Photo by R. Abouzeid

After a while, we were advised to hand in our wooden pieces so they could dry them for us before we were given embellishments to glue on our chef-d'oeuvre. This is when it started to get a little stressful for us. Mia wanted to glue at will (which meant emptying the tube on one spot) and she did not appreciate me (or anyone else) telling her otherwise. Also, she probably started to get hungrier as she had not snacked after lunch. And so there it was: Hormonal calamity fell upon us. What is also known as your common toddler tantrum.

In was warned the Terrible Twos were, well, terrible. But I never thought it would be that humiliating! Only a few months ago, parents would envy us as we could take Mia anywhere and she would be so easy-going and obedient. Not that she would not try crazy things sometimes but at least she could be controlled.

But since she turned two (how on earth do children know it is time?) it is an entirely different story! While I can still take her to the supermarket and she will not throw herself and the floor kicking and screaming for chocolate (am I jinxing myself by typing this?) it has become a challenge to go out in general. Now any "no" is not just a spoken word. It is a screamed insult. Screamed with heart might I add.

Photo by R. Abouzeid

Once she finished embellishing (I am using this word loosely, as photos will show) her Mickey, I took Mia to the bathroom to wash her hands. We found a boy standing by the sink with his nanny and his sister up on a chair, washing her hands. Naturally Mia decided she wanted to climb too. Now, in all objectivity, it took a really long time  for this family to finish and Mia's impatience, heightened by hunger, turned into a loud mess. It is hard enough to teach "sharing", let alone "taking turns" (sigh).

Finally, we got to the chair, the sink and most importantly, the water. To Mia, the goal was not to wash her hands (duh) so when I held them to wash them, she started screaming "wawa wawa" which is baby talk for "I am in pain, this insane person is torturing me, please come help". All the parents around us were staring at me and I swear, it took all the strength I could muster not to actually hurt her and give her reason to scream like that.

We went back to the table and Mia decided that she had had enough and she threw another tantrum there kicking and screaming and shredding into pieces the questionnaires we had been handed. So I took her out for a breath. We sat outside, looking at the street for a good ten minutes and when we were both calm again, I took her back. It was actually good timing because they were distributing snacks and obviously, we all need the yummy distraction.

Photo by R. Abouzeid

Then the real fun started: Game time!

The staff had prepared egg-shaped papers and hidden them everywhere in the room for the most exciting egg hunt I had seen in years! All the children were assigned a specific color on their table (we were yellow) and had to look for the eggs with the letters "E", "A", "S", "T", "E" and "R" to make up the word Easter.

Photo by R. Abouzeid
Photo by R. Abouzeid

We actually were the first to finish and won and huge purple and green elephant which Mia promptly named "Barney". Not the same purple or green or even animal but all the same, Barney was born.

Photo by R. Abouzeid

Then there was a raffle and Mia being the youngest one, got to help super-lovely Dani and pick a name.

Photo by R. Abouzeid

And another young girl also picked... Mia's cousin! So we ended up going home with two gifts!

Photo by R. Abouzeid

Overall, and in spite of Mia's new-found hobby (namely, humiliating-mommy-by-screaming-in-public-like-she-is-killing-me) we had a lovely time (yes, we had some hormoneless moments).

BusyBox is a great location, managed by highly professional owners and staff who are also very kind, patient and friendly. I will definitely be taking Mia again, at a good time for her, like right after lunch so we can grab a bite at Roadster's on our way out just when she starts to get hungry.

I highly recommend taking your children for some fun, artsy, quality time together, not to mention the art pieces you would be taking home are just beautiful. There are so many choices and endless ways to use your imagination while getting messy and not worrying about cleaning up afterwards! ;)

And I promise it does not have to look like Mia's Mickey:

Double-sided wooden (Horror) Mickey Mouse by Mia
Photo by R. Abouzeid

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a brilliant initiative open to all:

"Our annual Art Competition for Grades 10, 11 and 12. If you're in Lebanon and interested let us know! Our focus this year is to highlight the importance of charity among our children so all the participants' hard work this year will translate into a funding system for an NGO of their choice ... Stay Tuned to know more information about the selected NGOs and their domain of work and many more"

Two of our favorite NGO's are part of this beautiful project: SANAD and The Nawaya Network

Get your children involved! ;)

Bookmarks and useful info:

Mamma Mia

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