New Fish Market

I actually don’t know how long this fish market has been here but when we were driving along Jumeirah Beach Road yesterday I saw balloons advertising “new fish market now open” (no picture because I was driving). Of course I had to check it out. This is located behind the Hardee’s/KFC along Jumeirah Beach Road.

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The place looks clean and organized very different from the “fish market” we had years ago in al thanya when we would buy fish and other seafood from under a fishing boat covered with tarpaulin. It felt like we were doing something illegal. But this looks promising I will definitely come back for more fresh seafood. The fisherman’s told me that they are open by 6am so if you want to get the freshest catch of the day set your alarms early.

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lots of parking space

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a view of the “marina” next to the fish market

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Creamy Chicken and Pasta

I was so craving for some white sauce pasta yesterday but didn’t want to call the Italian restaurant downstairs. So I searched online for a white sauce pasta recipe I had all the ingredients to and this is what I found.

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 5 servings

20140129-205234.jpgIngredients

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 431 calories, 25 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 121 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein.

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  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in butter for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add wine or broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually add to mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Drain pasta. Add the pasta, chicken, capers, salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 5 servings.
Originally published as Creamy Chicken and Pasta in Simple & Delicious March/April 2006, p29
I used spaghetti noodles because that is what I had, I had no white wine so I used the chicken cubes route. Aside from these, I followed the recipe to the word (I’m that OC hahaha).  I was pleasantly surprised with this new find that I immediately wrote this post so I have a copy for myself. I will definitely make this again.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

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this photo made me laugh…

For the longest time I think I was in denial about the fact that our children will be a reflection of us, their parents. I wanted to believe that our children will be a better version of ourselves. That if I teach them the right way and all the good qualities I want from a human being, then they will grow up to be perfect people (molded by me/us).

But the reality of this is they don’t really fall far from the tree. They unconsciously copy our actions and words and unless we as their role models change ourselves they will always turn out as our mini me.

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the contents of our care package from ate G

This has never been proven more true to me than today. I visited a friend who has children almost the same age as mine. Her eldest, let’s call her G (for their privacy) has always been very accommodating. Similar to the vibe I get from her parents when we visit their home. I remember one time we went to their house and she immediately set up their living room to a picnic like setting with real Oreo cookies and milk for her and Adrian. This was the first time I thought to myself that although maybe they don’t teach her directly to do this she mimics her mother and father unconsciously. Today as we were leaving their home she sets up a care package of sorts in a plastic bag, with juice, milk, crackers and biscuits for my boys. Again I thought to myself wow!  she’s amazing and raised so well. I salute her parents for being who they are and for being a good example and showing this little girl how to be a caring and warm person. As one of her godparents, I am the lucky one to call her my god-daughter.

All this deserved admiration to G made me think of my own boys, what characters of mine will they unconsciously copy. My anti social ways, my OC tendencies (kinda too late for that Adrian has OC tendencies already), my procrastinating, etc (let’s not dwell on the negatives please haha). But seriously, this really made me think, maybe Adrian is who is because he gets it from me, maybe Aden is who he is because of me. Maybe the next time I point out my children’s flaws to others I should be careful because the truth is …

the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Funky Monkey’s

20140127-150630.jpgOur party last saturday was at Funky Monkey’s in Mazaya center along Sheik Zayed Road. The mall’s interior and exterior is a bit dated. But I didn’t mind this because it meant that fewer people visit this place which means more parking for us! Plus there wasn’t even a crowd at the supermarket so I had it all to myself to explore.

I was expecting the normal play area type party with party host, face painting, games, food etc but Funky Monkey’s surprised me. They have themed party rooms that can cater to most of your child’s whims. I inquired at their front desk and I’m very much interested in the Funky Chef’s package unfortunately my children are still too young to appreciate this. Because our celebrants were girls, of course they wanted the princess theme party. It was nice because although they ordered the princess theme they didn’t forget about the boys which had face painting, laser tag and computer games available at their disposal while the girls were having their princess make over and spa party.

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Boys face painting

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Girl’s princess make over

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Soft Play Area

We had the place to ourselves which was good because it helped me relax a bit knowing that I can easily see my kids while I enjoy some adult conversation. Upon arrival, we were brought to the dining area for adults to have some coffee, sandwiches and pizza. This area was adjacent to the soft play area so after depositing the kids we were free to have coffee and started mingling with the other parents. Once everybody was present they started the program with boys and girls in separate rooms for their respective activities and was just called to come together for the cake cutting and some dancing. Then the food was served in another room where the kids enjoyed  pizza, fries, chicken nuggets, juice, and cake. This concluded the party, it sounds quick but we were there for almost 4 hours which for a glorified nanny like myself seems like an eternity. On the up side all this time waiting enabled me to take photos and conceptualizing my post which is something I enjoy doing. For the souvenirs they took photos of our children and placed them in magnets, it was a nice gesture and I appreciated this very much.

I did ask my kabayan who worked there about more food options because as we Filipinos love to eat, having a party with coffee and cucumber sandwiches for the adults will simply not suffice. She did say that Filipino food can be ordered and served to the adults at the adult dining area while the kids enjoy their activities in the rooms.

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Culinary Party Room

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Boys’ Party Room

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Disco Party Room

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Adult area

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The perfect ending to this princess theme party…a fashion show of all the girls in their princess make up and dresses

If you are interested in having your child’s party here I ‘ve added the website to Funky Monkey’s below also I would suggest you visit their place so you can appreciate it – the place does look a bit dated (you’ve been warned)

http://funkymonkeysuae.com


Operation Give Back

This weekend Adrian attended a birthday party that had a very unconventional request. The parents of the celebrants requested the guests not to bring any gifts but instead make a donation to Operation Smile. In the letter attached to the invitation they explained that they wanted to teach the children the importance of giving to the needy and what it means to empathize with others. I totally commend this act of generosity and I am more impressed with their children who understand this concept at an early age. I only hope my son will follow suit but as I write this post he is already telling me what he wants for Christmas so I’m guessing we have a long way to go.

The party was a great success everybody seemed to have a good time, especially the kids. The celebrants didn’t even seem to mind that they had no presents. Will post more about the party and the venue soon.

In my way, I try to teach Adrian generosity by being kind to those people we see and meet. A simple smile and a few kind words never hurt anyone and so I try to encourage this in him. I hope in time that I will able to teach him more about the real world, for now I would like to keep his innocence from all these a little longer.

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Safestway Supermarket

Safestway supermarket is found in Mazaya Center along Sheik Zayed Road. It has been there ever since I first came to Dubai in almost a decade now. That is why I was very annoyed at myself that I didn’t know about this place before. Nonetheless, I’m excited to share with you my latest finds.

It was a surprise for me to find out that they carry some items that I do not even find at Spinney’s or at Waitrose (or it may also be I have not looked hard enough). What excited me the most was that they carry some US brands that I have only seen in commercials. We have concluded though that it was more expensive than our trusty Carrefour but if you are in the hunt for some hard to find US goods give Safestway a try you may be surprised to find it there.

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Suave for kids and Mr. Bubble bath

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Cherry Coke and Cherry 7-UP

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Kool-Aid Bursts

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Cap’n Crunch

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Liquid Tide

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Reese’s peanut butter spread

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Marshmallow fluff

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SCOPE mouthwash

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IVORY and DIAL hand wash

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Peanut butter brownie mix


Heaven in the most unsuspecting places…

Yesterday morning, I was a frazzled, frustrated and tired mother of an uncooperative tot. Worst of all, I was in my happy place, the MALL!!!! We’ve had a lot of these kind of days lately that I was actually looking forward to a relaxing morning strolling and window shopping but alas, the boy had other plans.

I was trying to teach him a lesson and I wanted to stand my ground so crying and crying and more crying he did. Not ready to give up I went ahead with my errands amidst all the crying, I didn’t care who stared at me or what people say, the boy had to be disciplined and it’s in these situations that he gets to learn. But my one errand was at the bank it felt a bit too much, it is after all a place of business and a baby does not belong there and so I conceded and tried to give him what he wanted. Because he’s been crying for some time now, even if I give in to his demands, he wouldn’t have any of it – he is my son after all and PRIDE is running rich within his veins. He was angry now and there was only one way to soothe him – to FEED.

image-5Having just had breakfast I refused to sit at Starbucks and buy another over priced muffin just to get a peaceful place to feed. I was happy I was at the Dubai Mall where they have excellent baby rooms. The best I’ve seen so far. During Adrian’s time I was already happy with SM’s breastfeeding rooms back in Manila but because this is Dubai – it was better. The baby rooms are commonly found adjacent to the ladies toilet and inside you have a comfy chair and even a foot stool to rest your tired feet on. You can close the door for more privacy and I swear after all the crying it felt like I was in heaven with the peace and quiet. Aside from the clean diaper changing tables there’s also a small play area where I imagine if you had two tots and have to change one, the other one can be left in the gated play area safely while you turn your back and attend to the other one. Kudos to Dubai mall for thinking about frazzled mothers like me.

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P.S. I saw a baby room icon beside the men’s toilet as well – but i have not confirmed it yet – will have to ask the husband to do some investigating next time.