March 30, 2015

Review: Unique Shopping Experience @ Sacoor Kids

Shopping has always been one of my favourite things to do! What woman doesn't love it (sorry if you don't!). Once I had kids, my game plan kind of changed and all my shopping trips were catered to buying for my children. Everything is about them! I would love to spend a day shopping on all for myself and by myself but for whatever reason (being a Mom) I prefer to spoil them. Unfortunately...shopping with my kids in tow is often a nightmare waiting to happen. One runs there, the other over there and I am constantly in a state of MJ eyes from thriller checking where they are. Not fun! When I received a private invite to have a tour around the Sacoor Kids store in Mirdif City Center I said "sure why not!". They told me they had some nice things to keep the kids busy at their shop. Truthfully, I was a bit skeptical!

"It is never too early to make the right impression. From suits to hats, from blazers to handbags, each offering from Sacoor Kids' store has the promise of high quality and classic elegance for kids from 2 to 12 years old."
Nate was in a state of grouchiness as we walked up to the beautiful store front. I thought to myself...great! As I stepped foot onto the large stripey carpet, Ruby in one hand, Nate in the other I had a sudden feeling I was whisked away to the Hampton's. The staff were so sharp looking with their well groomed looks and perfectly clean and sleek suits. Talk about feeling like a celeb! We were given a short tour around the store and then directed to the fitting room where I started to snap some pictures. My oh my, I have NEVER been in a fitting room such as the one in Sacoor kids. Beach front view with tons of pretty books and toys to keep my two occupied while I pulled different outfits over their heads (something they usually despise). They did not have a care in the world, they were so happy to be where they were.
When I found out that the staff are trained nannies to allow parents to shop at their own leisure, I just about flipped a lid. This place=genius! Oh! And did you know that the brand ambassador is the ultra hot Cristiano Ronaldo? Not that it was necessary for me to point that out...but, well he is good looking:)
 
Ruby was quick to grab a little vintage looking dress off the shelf and say "I will have this one"...with me in the back snickering on her confident pick (I knew she was going to choose that dress). I whispered "size 4-5". Ruby was on a roll. This kid is trapped in a body of someone from the 50's-60's. She just loves anything retro or vintage looking! I love it!
 
We then browsed the polo tops and my draw dropped as I went gaga over the fresh pink blazer (why didn't she ask for that one!). The clothes are absolutely perfect for any child's wardrobe. Versatile, classic, sharp, nice quality, pretty colors, preppy, can be dressed up or down...I can keep listing more if you want?
As I continued my shopping trip around the Hampton's villa  one of the pretty sales girls took my kids to a photo booth. Can you imagine? A proper photo booth that shot out pictures displayed in cardboard striped frames. Ruby & Nate managed to make a collection of close to half a dozen!
 
When they were finished with that activity, they ventured off to the open play tent to build Lego. I continued to shop and got stuck at the embroidery machine wondering what they had it in the shop for...You can pick any polo or garment of clothing and have it personalized. You can add patches and make it totally customized for that special someone. Well when Ruby heard that with her little ears, she was up like a dash of lightening bringing over her red dress to have it personalized with her name. She also wanted a few patches on it, but we all tried to gently convince her that it would ruin the look of her dress. Additionally, she chose a pretty pale pink sleeveless polo adorned in colorful flower motifs. On the polo she was able to put a couple of patches on it! Everyone was happy! Throw in a pair of Ruby red loafers with gold lacing and the kid was in 7th heaven (so was I).
Time for a coffee, the lady offered me a drink from their refreshment area. Nespresso no less! Top of the line water and juices for the kids, and for those really good little kiddies, some Jelly Belly candies:)
 
The selection of clothing for boys was outstanding. I am going to say one of the best variety I have come across in Dubai. Especially if you are looking for that certain kind of look. Suits, casual, polo's, outdoorsy. They had it all! I must mention too that considering everything that they have to offer in store, along with the quality of product, the price is really not that over the top! #winning!
 Nate picked out a red polo and I asked them to put his name across the back of the shirt. A Portuguese sales lady who REALLY knows her stuff (all the staff do) was so incredibly helpful. She has a real eye for taste and style and I felt comfortable to give her complete freehold to choose whatever she wanted for my kids. She came out with a stack of options that she thought would look good on Nate. She showed me mixed and matched styles. I asked her what her favourite combo for Nate was and I without any questions took the long sleeve jean shirt. She showed me a few colors of shorts and I fell in love with the green pair for him. The complimentary belt was an added bonus. However, when we tried it on at home it was far too big for him. 
 
Ahhh just looking and reminiscing over the photos taken at this store are making my heart palpitate. The Italian leather, handmade loafers in a rainbow of colors. Ahhhh I want them all (for the kids of course). The dresses, the airy blouses for Ruby..the jackets, sweaters, polo's and suits for Nate...
 
While we waited for the items of clothing that were being embroidered (did not take long) the kids were watching the machine like hawks. One by one we were handed our prized possessions. Not one mistake, truly made to perfection. These people take their job seriously and get a job done correctly!
 
As the girls prepared my items at the cash to be checked out they showed Ruby and Nate to their own personal waiting chairs. Ipads at the checkout to keep the kids busy. Unbelievable!  
Just as I thought the store could not outdo themselves any more...the blonde, curly haired Portuguese girl (I can't believe I forgot her name) came around the checkout with our Sacoor bags and two presents for the kids. They do this for every customer FYI! A blue snap bracelet for Nate and a pink one for Ruby. The details put into this store and the girls they have chosen to work for them is beyond superb. Amazing, amazing experience all around (clothing, activities for kids, fitting room, service).
 
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Check out Sacoor Kids here--> sacoorbrothers.com/kids
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Ruby & Nate modeling the latest collection with their own personalized twist. The embroidering can be done on the spot at the store within a few minutes.

March 29, 2015

Product Review: The Happy Box

*Please note that this is NOT a paid review*

This post has been on my "to-do-list" for quite some time now. We just had so much to get through in the box that it took me time to compile our finished crafts. Which one could say is a good thing:)

"A personalised box of 8 fun, educational activities (+1 gorgeous book!) for kids aged 2 to 11, with a different theme every month, in English & Arabic!"
 
Jumana from The Happy Box kindly sent over this gigantic box of goodies for "princess Ruby" & "Little man Nate". The kids were like animals ripping the box open and getting to the goods. Kind of like how I was yesterday at the Potter Barn Kids sale:) They loved all the glitter and sprinkles that emerged from the truly joyful box. One of their favourite moments was throwing the shredded paper which was placed on top to protect the packaging. Then it was time to get to the glitter tissue paper and reveal the goodies! This box is jam packed with wonderful crafts that my children thoroughly enjoyed making.
 
Let me take a minute to explain something related to this box! You know those beautiful and creative boards you pin and spend all those precious hours creating? Dreaming of the day you will sit side by side your tiny tot and get all artsy. Yep...now how long have they been there for? Bet you still have not got around to making them...Don't be shy, admit it, you are possibly could be a victim here...I know I am! This box has all those eye catching activities you saw online but never have the time to gather all the materials to buy for them. You know, the ever so fun (not) treasure hunt around Dubai trying to find the supplies without any success...This box has it all and you don't even have to get off your butt to find it!
Ruby, Nate & I tackled each craft one at a time. We even had some older neighborhood girls who came over and wanted to join in. They told me how much fun the crafts were and if they could stay for more! Of course they could! What a lovely thing to hear from this future generation.
 
My biggest observation, besides the fact of how big the box is! Nearly each craft had enough material to make more than 2 provided for. I was even able to keep extra leftover materials for future crafting days.
 
Each individual craft comes nicely packaged and organized. You get a detailed instruction sheet with pictures to follow alongside. Wonderful for me, I am awful at instructions:) We were able to make each craft without a huff or puff from Mom.
  1. We started off with the homemade play doh recipe. VERY easy. However, this one was probably my least favourite as it was very sticky and the color seemed to leave residue on our hands. It did smell delicious though! On a plus, my kids really liked playing with it so I guess that is all that matters!
  2. The heart crayon activity was a cinch and I had tons of hands volunteering to help peel the paper off of the crayons and break them. This was a winner amongst the little's. As well as for me:)
  3. The hand art hearts were another major hit. We were able to make 4 sets of prints and still have enough paint to make another 4! It was a really simple and fun process
  4. I was completely surprised at how well my 4 year old was able to thread her string through the flower shaped foam paper. Decorating her finished piece with the beautiful glitter hearts really had her in high spirits. She loves making these type of crafts!
  5. Ruby's older friends helped decorate the music shaker with her, each girl cut out heart shapes and we came up with silly actions for them. Once everyone was finished, I had them stand in a circle, I turned my back to them as I shook the shaker and they had to run in a clockwise circle. When I stopped shaking, they had to stop where they were and turn over the paper heart with it's action. We giggled so much as one shouted really loud, another ran down the street, one had to sing, another to dance...
  6. We then finished off our afternoon with this very simple, yet very engaging piece. I could not get rid of the neighborhood girls at this stage. They were hooked and were excited to see their finished group work of art. I helped them cut out the letters for "Love". I gave each one a tiny sponge (which was provided) along with water color paints and brushes (also provided) and they each got away dabbing at the letters. The end result was a colorful collaboration and was tricky to decided who got to keep it. Of course the older girls offered it to Ruby and we now have it displayed in our kitchen.
  7. One more activity that is my prize piece for Ruby. Similar to the Love craft, Ruby held a foam heart cutout over a blank piece of paper and created a stunning colorful masterpiece. She is so creative with her colors. She drew her best friend in the center, explaining the heart was for how much she loves her:) Awww
  8. How can I forget all the extra bits and bobs that we discovered in our happy box...heart shaped straws, heart plates, stickers, a book, I am sure I am missing more!
I am really thinking to order another few month's of boxes for Ruby & Nate. I had such a memorable time sitting beside them crafting, laughing, helping, praising and hugging them each step of the way. Another fab idea is to gift this to another child using the gift certificate option.

Below you can see the breakdown of pricing options to order from:

 
 

March 26, 2015

Top 5 Family Weekend Outings in Dubai

 
5 ideas to keep you and the brood busy this weekend!

1. Pik-Nik @ The Westin Mina Seyahi Dubai (11:30am-4pm)
2. Ripe Market @Zabeel Park Gate 1 (9am-3pm)
3. Easter Camp @Le Petit Palais Dubai Mall
4. Community Fun Fair @Gold & Diamond Park (9am-9pm)
5. Piknic Electronik Dubai @Dubai Sports City (1pm-10pm)