My DIY morning

20140520-151319-54799817.jpgThis morning I was thinking of a way to transform this old Ikea bookshelf into something other than what it was meant for. I believe it’s called an Ikea Hack.

If you have kids then you know that having an open bookshelf with books and all sorts of expensive trinkets on display is definitely a recipe for disaster. That’s why in our house there is no expensive trinkets on display. Everything that’s valuable or has sentimental value are on display 6ft. above the floor or are inside cabinets and shelves, if possible with locks, but this doesn’t guarantee they won’t get their small hands on it.

So you see this book shelf has no use for me anymore. I did at one point lay it on its side and placed it behind the sofa. But the boys, with their wild imagination use it as a diving board to jump from and land on the sofa (oh the horror!).

And then I had a lightbulb moment this morning I decided to put it by the dining table and use it as a buffet table. With our family coming in 4 more sleeps (as my son would say) it will be perfect in that space to hold, drinks, snacks, desserts, the possibilities are endless.

But the birch wood finish did not match my other furniture so I searched for some old fabric and some thumbtacks to have that upholstered studs look like in the picture below.

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This is my end result. If I had more thumbtacks I would definitely put them side by side but I only had a few left and I didn’t want to spend on this project, This would have to do.

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Of course I had to practice some table decorating (skills)…but did not leave it there for long, if you can see someone was very busy like mommy

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Oh and because it still is a bookshelf even when it’s laying on it’s side I kept the back part open and used it to hold some papers that the kids will never get their hands into.

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Writer’s Un Block

ImageSometimes I have moments where my brain simply can’t write a decent word. Even when interesting things are happening, I just can’t seem to put words together to make into a sentence and form paragraphs to form a decent post. I call it my writer’s block moment. The husband calls it the effects of my anesthesia from 2 CS operations (he’s such a hoot isn’t he?). But surprisingly, yesterday that was definitely not the case.

I was able to write or at least form the intro to a post for SEVEN different entries. I think it’s the most number of posts I’ve ever written in one day!

So what’s so exciting lately that I’ve caused this so much activity on my keyboard??? Well don’t laugh (or judge) but these post are all about the future.

No I haven’t gone NOSTRADAMUS on you and started predicting the future. I’ve been simply writing about the days that are about to come and how I’ve come about to plan them. I put them all in writing so that when the event actually happens I will not miss sharing the planning details with you. Of course I will not post it until it actually does happen and I’ve added the pictures but at least my thoughts and feelings during the prep period are all there already. I’m so excited about the coming events that I can’t wait to share it all with you! In fact I was enjoying writing about it so much I was just typing non stop. I think I wrote all the way into the month of July!!

In fact I still have some thoughts on my mind, so if you don’t mind I would like to get this post out-of-the-way and let me write more from the future.

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I predict lots of food tripping coming my way…

 


Fat burger 2.0

Yesterday, we had to meet the husband after work so we had to kill time between school pick up and the husband’s time off work. Not willing to go home because this was a perfect excuse to go out! 😉. We found ourselves at Fat burger. I had Aden’s party here last year so I know the free play area will be perfect for our time to kill. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they’ve revamped the menu! Their old menu consists of burgers and fries, which wasn’t bad but now they offer Buffalo’s chicken wings which upon “extensive” (Google) research I found out that it’s a franchise from the US.

20140516-045817.jpgAside from the wings, the Buffalo’s menu (I think they are still in the process of consolidating the two menus) also had some wraps, not being able to say no to a good-looking wrap, I tried the Sidewinder wrap.  Which later I discovered was basically just crushed burger in a wrap. It was ok but not WOW! Maybe I should’ve tried the wings, you think? The table before me got all kinds of wings and although it looked messy they seemed to be enjoying it. Good excuse to bring the husband back next time 👍 .

They also have an ice cream parlour type menu on the side which made me think, Where were they when I was living in Jumeirah and only walking distance away??? Would’ve been a nice place to have desserts on a hot summer night.

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 Anyway, life goes on and things change and it seems like Fat burger does too! I’m happy they made the changes, I just hope they take better care of that play area. A year after and it looks a bit torn up with holes on the nets and broken parts.

Oh and if you were in any way concerned, we were able to kill an hour and a half at the place without a hitch. Keep in mind that our usual meal time is 15-20 mins tops before they get bored and ask to go. This time the boys were busy playing, they did eat their food in the car since they were too busy but I didn’t mind this at all because I had the table to myself and enabled me to start writing this post!!!

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Kid’s order meh! haha

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Whenever I see curly fries on the menu I always have to get one. I think it’s from my love of the seasonal twister fries from Mcdonald’s.

I hope your weekend is going great so far!!

 

 

 

 

 


10 things every mom needs to know…

Cutest open letter to moms I’ve ever seen!

If every mom in the world knew how awesome they were, every problem in the world would be fixed!


SAVE the banana, make some bread!

Yesterday there were three over ripe bananas staring at me from the kitchen counter. They were begging me not to throw them in the bin. But it was looking gross and I can’t risk my children eating them by mistake, so I called my inner Martha and asked her what to do? We decided to make banana bread out of them. (I know what you’re thinking…SCHIZO alert!!!)

20140514-061904.jpgThis morning, as I drank my coffee with the moist(est?) banana bread ever I am thankful for my inner Martha for the suggestion.

Here’s the recipe I found from food.com:

Ingredients:

Serves: 12

Yield:1 loaf

Units: US | Metric
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine the oil, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  2. Add the baking soda and flour.
  3. Combine well for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Read more: <a href=”http://www.food.com/recipe/moist-and-delicious-banana-bread-252449?oc=linkback”>http://www.food.com/recipe/moist-and-delicious-banana-bread-252449?oc=linkback</a&gt;

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To make it my own I tweaked the recipe a little, here are my revisions:

  • Instead of vegetable oil, I used butter. This trick also comes in handy to improve box cake recipes. I know it adds to the calories but really? You are making a cake, if you really want to save on the calories slowly put down the bowl and whisk and go to the gym. haha
  • I also added a dash of cinnamon, why? no reason I just like it and I have it here sooooo…..
  • For a bit of extra treat, I added brown sugar on top before baking it. I love the banana loaf from Red Ribbon and that crusty top is my favourite part. So I figured maybe this will do the trick. And it did! This small tweak gave my banana bread that sweet chewy crust I was looking for. Not exactly Red Ribbon level but BETTER! (nakanam!!!)

 Lastly, I also found out that you can actually freeze your loaf and it will stay fresh for about 3 months. Same goes for your over ripe bananas, just pop them in the freezer and use them as needed.

Bake loaf as per the recipe. Leave to cool completely at room temperature then wrap well in clingfilm and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for 2-3 hours before serving.

Delia Online

 

 


Sports life swimming club

When choosing an extra curricular for my son I was overwhelmed with my choices. It seemed that every child here in Dubai plays an instrument, plays a sport or is trying to learn a second, third or fourth language. Sometimes all three. But before anything else, I know I wanted my son to learn how to swim. After all it is a sport that may save his life. If he does decide to follow this through and start swimming competitively then I will be his no. 1 fan. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet! One thing at a time, baby steps.

We’ve put off getting him lessons because they have a swimming activity in school and well, the optimistic side of me thought they could at least teach him the basics. Not until the husband asked Adrian to swim at the pool and all he did was bob his head in the water that we realised he MAY need extra help. Going online, which is our usual source of information, we stumbled upon Sports Life Swimming Club. It caught our attention because they have classes at the Hamdan Sports Complex which is very close to our place. But we ended up going to Raffles because we were going to take the beginners class.

20140512-161616.jpgLast weekend was Adrian’s first session (classes started last 3 May, we were one week late). The coach was very impressed with his learning ability, something that made me very proud. She also said that she wouldn’t be surprised if Adrian moves up to the next class before this whole session ends. Again, music to my ears, this time I could feel my head growing a little! haha. Adrian had so much fun during the lesson. He kept calling our attention during to watch him swim that he was disrupting the class. I realised this was the first time we could actually stay and watch him for any of his activities that he was really super excited. We on the other hand was happy to watch him too, if only it wasn’t too damn HOT!!! but I survived.

The coach did point out that he is a bit late in trying to learn how to swim. She said that children should start learning how to swim when they turn 3, 2 1/2 if the child is not scared of the water.

So if you have children who are 5 years old and have not had formal lessons as of yet YOU ARE TOO LATE!!!! hahahaha I’m kidding!!! It’s never too late, Dubai schools are just obsessed with age and appoint every activity to a child depending on how old they are. (i.e. “he’s 5?! oh he should be driving by now!!” haha I exaggerate but that’s how we feel!).  They do have adult swimming lessons, I’ve linked their website above, Check it out if you are interested.

 


Rosa Mexicano

Mexican food makes me happy! I can’t explain why. I didn’t have it much when I was growing up so you know there’s no childhood memory there. Tacos were the closest thing I can get my hands on. But as soon as I discovered burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas, there was no looking back, I was obsessed (OA). It seemed that I was not alone on this quest because as it turns out some of my cousins love Mexican food too. So my only reason is that there must be something in the water in guererro hehe. (That’s where we all grew up)

Imagine my surprise and excitement when an errand day at the mall brought us to Rosa Mexicano. We were not planning anything, it was 4PM and we just wanted a place to sit at to avoid the massive crowd of Dubai mall on a Friday. With the food court out of the question and a quick consult with my Entertainer vouchers here we are…with buy one take one meals and one happy momma!

Upon research after this meal, I found out that Rosa Mexicano has many branches across the globe which excited me more because I can ask my cousin at SFO to try it and have him compare it to his favourite Mexican place downtown. You see we are making our own list of foods to eat before we die. If all the eating doesn’t kill us first.

For starters we had the guacamole, it seemed to be the popular choice among the other diners so we had it too. They make it live beside your table and it was a treat for me to watch. I’m hoping I can replicate it in the future (…kailan kaya? haha). I took a video for you and for me too! haha Enjoy! (I added the slightly Mexican music for your entertainment! haha)

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Finished product served with a bowl of chips

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Here’s the bowl minutes later

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ambiance anyone? The husband checking out how much the ambiance will cost him.

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There is a replica of the famous Dubai mall waterfall at the back of the restaurant which to my delight got my sons attention for a total of about 3 minutes.

Since we were looking for something light we had the quesadilla and the chicken burritos, I know how uninspiring but please remember that I’m already lucky the husband (and my boys) has agreed to eat anywhere where they don’t serve sinigang (a Filipino dish my family loves)

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Over priced Ice tea but pretty decent, we had no choice since we are trying to keep our kids away from soda. We had to pay the price (which was double! Ouch!!) hahaha

The verdict was positive from all of us. Of course the husband had to comment “Gutom ka lang!” suggesting that we liked the food because we were hungry….Oh well! Whatever the reason was I was happy we finally got to try it and hopefully we will come back soon!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

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