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Getting Older

It’s funny how we change as we get older. When I was 17 and lived in Amman I had no qualms putting on my earphones and walking all the way from the 3rd circle (where I used to tutor) to the 7th (where we lived). I would take a different route each day. Exploring Amman by foot was the trademark of that summer. So were repeated visits to McDonald’s for a milkshake and eventually pit stops along the way.

Now I’ve been in Dubai for a month. I crave exploring my neighborhood on foot because there are things that are walking distance away. But I keep coming up with excuses. “It’s too humid” “it’s too hot” “the kids will get tired walking” “it’s too late” “it’s too dark” grrrr I’m angry at myself just writing these down. Enough excuses! Put on ur sneakers and go! And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do now. :D

Bye bye, Kuwait! Hello, Dubai!

We moved!

It’s been a month! A month of turmoil.. emotional and physical twists and turn. But it’s wrapping itself up and our home is becoming more home-ie.

I look around me and I’m happy. Happy to enjoy a new adventure with my babies. To discover a new country. To have a home with a backyard. To have a pool outside my door. This is good. It’s all good.

I Gave Birth to my Best Friend!

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I saw this pic and thought this is sooo me but who would I tag or mention? And it was like an instant realization: Mimi! Mimi would be silly with me. Mimi has always been silly with me! Granted my sillyness has provoked a few head shakes and eye rolls with “mommy!” But she’s still silly with me. Lately we’ve been able to come up with excuses to walk off from the boys at the mall and go do our own thing… Shopping and browsing. :) We might break into song as we are walking and maybe even skip and dance. That’s us!

Each day reminds me and reaffirms I gave birth to my best friend. :)

Kale, sweet potato and feta Muffins

I’m a kale-aholic. I usually make it into chips but have been experimenting with other recipes recently. I’ve been taking any spinach recipe and replacing spinach with kale. Not such a good idea as kale has a different taste. :/ Don’t get me wrong, some recipes have worked wonderfully some not so much. :/

A few days ago I found a kale muffin recipe on Betty Crocker’s website and tried it out last night. OMG!!! Immediate hit! Fabulous, perfect and sooo yummy!

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I made a few alterations to make it healthier:

- whole wheat flour
- skimmed milk
- lite feta
- light butter
- sprinkled parmesan on top of each muffin

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Next time I make some, I’m gonna add quinoa and chop my kale a bit more for better distribution of taste. :)

Parenting: Past vs. Present

Our generation nagged less and probably caused less trouble for our parents. Who am I kidding we must’ve nagged just as much but the way our parents dealt with it was totally different. We usually got the Look, the abrupt “stop it” that meant “do that again and I’ll make sure you get a good beating when we get home”, or the arm squeeze. That definitely put an end to our nagging at that point in time.

This generation’s parenting is more based on negotiation. So nagging is prolonged. Sometimes to the dislike of the parent and others for sure. But my belief is we are raising children who respect other’s feelings rather than being afraid of the punishment. Meaning “I will not nag because I know it is counterproductive” rather than “I will not nag because mom will punish me”.

Moreover sharing your own feelings with your children was the biggest taboo when we were kids. We never knew that our words and actions hurt my mom’s feelings. I have not hidden my tears from my kids and I let them know when I’m sad.

I’m not the perfect parent. I have my bad moments. But I try my best to learn from every situation. Understanding my children is my job. Knowing that I’ve expected too much off them is my shortfall not theirs. Admitting I’m wrong is an important part of raising children who will admit when they are wrong. I love my kids and hope they will be exemplary citizens not by falling in line as sheep but rather as independent considerate thinkers and doers.

How is Motherhood Treating You?

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Funny enough, I got asked about motherhood today and all those images flashed in my head! However, what came out was “we had an absolutely exhausting day yesterday. As we climbed up into bed at 10 o’clock, which is wayyyy past my kids’ bedtime of max 7, Oullie did something funny and then Mimi and I cracked up and I thought I love being a mom.” I wouldn’t trade all this for the world!

Dubai Ice Skating Rink Fun for the Whole Family

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We had a fabulous time at the Dubai Ice Skating Rink today. The entire experience was superb. First the ability to book in advance for the upcoming session. Then it was the amazing staff who were so helpful with our skates and teaching me how to use the locker.

I was so scared the first five minutes on the ice. I was literally hanging on to the edge for dear life. But then my own kids skated past me with their penguin pals and I thought “I can do this”. I eavesdropped on a staff giving her student some tips and I imitated. It wasn’t long before I was skating.

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Sam checked his jawbone for calorie burn and it was about 300 cals. That’s pretty grand for an hour of leisure skating. Can you imagine what it would be like if we were actually skating laps? :)

The real shocker was the staff on the ice. It was like they materialize out of thin air. As soon as one of the kids falls down, one of them would be there to assist the child stand up. Even staff who were in the middle of teaching a lesson would turn around and help a distressed child. It was simply amazing!

As we were picking up our shoes, one specific skate rental staff helped Oullie with not just his skates, but also his shoes! I was so impressed and so very thankful.

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Honestly, the staff made the whole experience even better than I would have ever imagined. I would really recommend this as a family activity. Totally worth it.

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Vacationing Footwear: Then and Now

I wonder if other moms feel this way. Before kids I used to pack the cutest shoes for vacationing. Who am I kidding?! Here I am again! I packed the cute shoes only to discover that my feet are killing me half way through the day.

So even though I thought these babies will be my go-to shoes, they didn’t make it on my feet for more than a couple of hours.

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It wasn’t long before I walked into a Nike store and got these babies :)

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Truth be told, I’m not a mellow walker. I’m always in a rush to get everywhere. Plus I walk A Lot! I don’t stop until my shoes truly and honestly give up. :D

Quick Weekend Breakfast

I love a good old pancakes, eggs or French toast breakfast, but those usually mean I’m at the stove flipping and serving while everyone else is eating. It also means by the time I’m done making what ever I’m making, everyone else is done eating and I end up eating on my own. :( Or if I make enough for everyone and make them wait to eat, we end up eating cold food :( So what’s the solution? Going out for breakfast. Yeah I can’t do they on a regular basis.

Then last week a friend posted this recipe on Facebook and I thought “this might be it!”

I made it last night and baked it this morning.

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It doesn’t taste as good as French toast, but hey it means sitting down and eating together as a family. :) So it’s a winner in my book :)

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Not the Conventional Cook

Despite what others say about me, especially the hubz, I love cooking. Really really love cooking. I can cook most traditional dishes… But I find them boring. They do not challenge me and that’s why I make them halfheartedly and they flop.

I’m an unconventional cook. I like to wing recipes, create new recipes based on just eyeballing the whole meal and pushing the limits of my tastebuds. This has ranked me as a non-cook because I don’t have the audience I had in university, namely my brother.

Maybe that’s where it all started. I learned to cook from my brother not my mom. He used to experiment with dishes himself and he was always up to trying whatever dish I had whipped up.

So yes by the traditional makes-rice-and-stew, sense, I’m not a cook. But by the OMG-where-did-you-think-that-up, I adore cooking.

This post was inspired by today’s dish: Mushroom Quinoatto ;)

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