I have been living in Doha for over a year now and we have pretty much settled in. The kids are regulars at the play area at the McDonalds near our place and also at the Pediatric Emergency Unit of Hamad Hospital which is also near our place. I have to add though that being a regular at McD’s and the emergency unit is no way related. My kids are usually sick because of the bad weather and some virus that’s going around. So don’t troll me Please!
Anyway, as much as I love Doha, there are certain things you can’t find here that are accessible in my previous home which is Dubai. And the number one item on that long list is Garrets popcorn.
Oh how I missed my bag of Garrets! So when Chubb Hubb went to Dubai for the Eid, I made sure he got me a bag. And it was such a pleasant surprise when he came back with TWO BUCKETS!!! My brother sent me one and two of my really good friends sent me one. WOOHOO! This mommy just did imaginary cartwheels.
So the bucket of Chicago mix was the first to go and now the Caramel Crisp is also almost over… I think it’s about time I find out who will be traveling to Dubai so that I can secure some space in their luggage for my bucket of Garrets…
Last Friday, we had a late night at church and I didn’t have enough time to prepare something for dinner so we decided to eat out. Dubai Mall was just a few minutes away and as soon as we got there I was reminded why I hate eating out on weekends. The mall was crowded and most of the restaurants had a 30-45 minute waiting time. We had already decided to leave the mall but changed our minds as there was a big buildup of traffic of cars exiting the parking lot. So when we went back in the mall, we headed to the closest restaurant where we parked which just happens to be Outback Steakhouse.
I was really starved. The outlet was located on the 2nd floor near the children’s clothing area, right in front of Hamley’s. It wasn’t overflowing with people probably because it’s location isn’t the prime spot for most restaurants. As soon as we were seated and handed the menus, we were served their yummy honey bread. And it really was yummy. I was already happy with just that.
We then ordered our drinks. Everyone else had ice tea or water and I wanted a mocktail. They had a fair selection and I decided on a Strawberry mojito.
Ironically, we didn’t order any steak (beef) but instead got their crispy chicken salad, toowoomba pasta, and perfectly grilled salmon.
The winner among the three was the pasta. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was creamy and had a slight hint of spice. Aria loved it! The salmon was also cooked perfectly, not dry but it lacked the WOW factor for me. The rice was really good though. VERY GOOD. Salad was well, salad!
Overall, our dining experience was good. I would recommend coming back just for the bread… and that pasta… and maybe try out one of their steaks. Hopefully their AC would not be leaking anymore. We were seated right beside a leak, although we weren’t bothered, it is still an inconvenience.
Out of topic, Frank asked me what the heck I was wearing. I asked him if I looked bad. He said, I looked like I was wearing a shirt with a tube dress layered over it. I said, that is exactly what I was wearing!
I’ve been posting a lot about my neice the past week and I just have to say it’s all a coincidence. No I had not planned on featuring my niece, as a matter of fact, I had not planned on a lot of things lately. But I am grateful for opportunities that do pop up and I ampraying will pop up some more in the future.
Meanwhile, during our trip to Dubai Mall, Chichi and I decided to have some girl time at Gloria Jeans.
We decided to order a cake and a slushie and went for their triple chocolate for the cake and strawberry for the slush.
Like all typical kids, my niece hates vegetables or anything that has color in it. I had no idea she didn’t like strawberry slushies. I had to force her to try it. And when she did, she was polite enough to say ‘it tastes like it has lots of flavors tita!’ Tita means aunt in Filipino.
The cake was heavenly and reminded me of a black sambo recipe my friend makes.
We talked about art… mostly about drawing ponies and my stash of art materials I never let her use.
This is a sponsored post and contains products which were provided by a representative of the company. However, all opinions stated and words used in this blog post are mine and mine alone.
I think I have already mentioned a dozen of times how much my niece Chichi loves anything related to arts and crafts. So when the opportunity to try out the facilities and join the workshop (painting and arts and crafts) at Caboodle came up, I knew immediately that I had to take her.
Caboodle is a children’s sanctuary in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the retail world of Dubai Mall. Here, kids can opt to get pampered in their salon (even mom’s can be with their kids and get pampered at the same time too), join the numerous activities the facility has planned or just lounge around the play area or the cafe.
The Beat the Heat workshop was being held right at the front and as soon as we registered, my niece was seated at the activity table which was already full of colorful paper and embellishments, paintbrushes, crayons and other stuff perfect for crafting. They started the workshop by making a paper ice cream cone but Gretchen, the hostess who was assisting her, was very accommodating and saw that the paper crafts might be too easy for her. She instead got her a canvass, and let her paint, assisting her with mixing paint colors and applying glitter paint on to her canvass. The other kids who were also in the workshop were busy with their other crafts which included paper flipflops and an aquarium. It was loads of fun. I had the option of leaving her behind to go around the mall but I wanted to stay and see what they’d come up with and I was hoping in my heart that I would get to craft a little?!… and I got to do a little painting her and there. 🙂
Included in the workshop fee is access to the play area and as soon as she finished with her painting, Chichi wanted to go and play. The play area was a beautiful, well thought of place, where no shoes were allowed and toddlers were free to crawl on their knees on the floor. There was a playhouse big enough for kids (and small adults) and a pile of floor pillows in one corner where you can sit and play. Along the windows were toys of different kids. Along one wall were racks of costumes that kids can use for dress up. In the middle was another activity table for painting and coloring, and were some of the other kids were doing the same. What I fell in love with was the doll house near the entry and surprisingly, even my niece loved it too. Surely, this was a kid’s playtime heaven!
When we went back to the activity table out front, Chichi had the option to do the last crafting activity which was to make a shirt for herself. She decided to draw a cutie mark (from My little pony which is her current obsession) and write her name.
Lastly, she was also given a gelato pop (I almost died of envy) as part of the workshop package. I seriously wanted to ask her if she could give me some, but knowing my niece her saliva was already all over it so I just watched her finish the thing with a smile.
Before we left, my niece gave everyone her heartfelt thanks and was telling them that she’d be back the next day which made me laugh. I could tell she had a good time.
Caboodle’s Beat the Heat workshop is on every Wednesday for the entire month of August from 3 – 7 PM. I would recommend this for the kids who love making stuff with their hands. They also have an Mini Artist workshop on Saturdays from 3-7 PM for the little artists who love to paint. The workshop fee is AED 75 for two hours which include all materials, access to the play area and a gelato pop.
Its been a while since I made a wishlist and lately I’ve been staying a lot on the bed because of asthma caused by the changing weather, I am dreaming of pretty pillows surrounding me.
West elm recently opened at Dubai mall and even though I have never been to their store, I am a constant visitor of their online webshop even before they were in Dubai. Here are some of their pillows I wouldn’t mind being sick with…
I have no idea when I will get to visit their shop. If their prices are like crate and barrel or pottery barn I don’t think I’d like to torture myself by going and gawking at the prices, but like the lyrics of one of my favorite songs growing up – “all I gotta do is dreaam, dream dream dream…”