Tag Archives: Palm Jumeirah

Have a birthday party at OliOli® – what’s new and how it works | New workshops included in the party packages.

Birthday parties can be overwhelming but one of the most enjoyable places to have a birthday party is OliOli® for children and their families especially if you are looking for a bit of educational fun.  The venue takes away the stress of parenting, and with the galleries, the there is gallery for all children – it’s even hard for my children to choose a favourite gallery.  Not only is it enjoyable for the children but also for the parents – most importantly they serve excellent coffee at OliOli® which is a clear winning formula for me.


OliOli® have now launched new creative themed workshops and unique party favors as of of the ‘Awesome Party Experience.’  My children were privileged enough to attend an Oli Oli party with a Slime Factory workshop was included as part of the celebrations and it was a total hit with all the children who then took the slime home.  This is such a lovely bonding experience for parents and children who may not want to mess up their own homes – OliOli® is willing to take it on for you.

Birthday Packages

There are three packages to choose from.

The Awesome Party– Providing two hours of play and a choice of three galleries.

The Awesome & Then Some Party– Bringing children two and a half hours of fun and a choice of four galleries.

The Awesomest Birthday Ever– Allowing children to enjoy three hours of pure excitement across all galleries.

OliOli® also provides a feast of healthy and organic party food for kids and a dedicated party facilitator to ensure everything goes to plan. The new party favours are available from AED 15 per child giving children an awesome and stimulating play experience!


To make the birthday extra awesome, parents can also add a 30-minute workshop to the package and choose from unique and creative themes that include;

Slime Factory– Make the birthday extra messy, gooey, and slimey as kids get to make and play with their own slime.


Epic Superheroes– Kids can become heroes for the day as they create and make their own capes and masks to keep forever.

Crazy Catapults– 3… 2… 1.. LAUNCH! Kids can use real slingshots to launch fuzzy projectiles in an attempt to knock their opponents’ structures down.

Robo-Jousting– A Robot Jousting Battle where the last robot standing wins! Kids control their robots with an iPad and try to pop their opponents’ balloons all while protecting their own.

All workshops are priced at AED 35 per child* and will add a special touch to the birthday party experience.


The Awesome Party

AED 130 per child Sunday – Wednesday

AED 150 per child Thursday – Saturday and Public Holidays

The Awesome & Then Some Party

AED 160 per child Sunday – Wednesday

AED 180 per child Thursday – Saturday and Public Holidays

The Awesomest Birthday Ever

AED 190 per child Sunday – Wednesday

AED 210 per child Thursday – Saturday and Public Holidays

All birthday packages are available to book at http://www.olioli.ae/birthdays/

*Workshops are dependent on age


Easter Holidays are upon us | How to enjoy the fabulous weather | Creating outdoor living with ACE

Creating an outdoor living space was our priority this winter/spring – we had put it off long enough. We wanted to take advantage of the great outdoor living weather by adding a comfortable furniture set that was durable with four children and a space to create memories for our family.  We also needed to look for something a bit more sophisticated for entertaining our friends too.  Now that my youngest is three, and gone are the nappy days, I am finding it much easier to entertain again and less concerned about accidents.

We will stay in Dubai during this Easter holidays, and there has to be something said about not packing 6 suitcases and rushing straight for the airport.  As much as we love travelling as a family, I also love staycations in our villa, and with such busy schedules we realise we spend little time in the house.  This holiday will be the perfect way to catch up with home friends and to spend quality time together as a family, and more important to enjoy the unstructured time for the next two weeks.

Staycations at home means a great deal of outdoor time as a family – BBQs and beach days. My husband’s ideal day would be to have his whole family outside in the garden for breakfast and dinner everyday but as the children have grown older their school commitments have increased too.  The holidays are just perfect for lounging in pyjamas having long leisurely breakfasts in the garden before jumping into the pool or sea.

We had outgrown our previous outdoor furniture and it was falling apart because of the harsh summers (it was a quick purchase from Dragon Mart several years back, I confess).  It was time to discard the old and bring in the new. True to my new shopping style I even now buy my garden furniture online. ACE recently launched its online site showcasing a full collection of BBQs, Sheds, outdoor garden furniture, laptops and Dyson products and much more so it was ideal for my husband and me to scroll through looking for furniture sets as the stores displays are much more limited.  We came across a neutral coloured Maui 7-seater Sofa Set with multicolour pillows from ACE online price fairly resonably and if you wait long enough they always have fabulous offers and deals to economise your finances even further. (who doesn’t like a good bargain?)

After the purchase online, ACE was quick to contact us with a delivery, and outdoor set was unpacked by the ACE team and set out.  Honestly, I don’t know why it took us so long to get it organised especially when ACE made it all painless.  To make the furniture design our own, we threw on some outdoor Pottery Barn palm cushions (Seashells On The Palm, of course!).  Then, we had tailors from Satwa make out fabulous fitted outdoor protective covers to increase the durability of the furniture.

I do encourage you to have a scroll on www.aceuae.com and get 10% off your first online order.  They also have 25% – 50% off End of Seasons collection until 15 April 2018.

Top 5 things to do to enjoy the fabulous weather this Easter

#1. Do an Easter Egg hunt in the garden

#2. Visit Park House on Ness Nass Beach

#3. Spend the day at Legoland Water Park to exhaust the children

#4.  Join Privilee and enjoy access to hotel beach clubs, restaurants and spas.  We often frequent, Fairmont the Palm, Waldorf Astoria and Sofitel, the Palm.

#5. Have dinner every evening outdoors with the family.  With recent increase of mosquitos, I also use DoTerra’s essential oil blend of Terra Shield to diffuse outdoors to protect the children.

mrUsta | Need help with endless list of odd jobs around the house like plumbing, AC repair, plumbing, pest control? | One stop shop to post all your requests

Who are mrUstas for?

#Expats who are new in town looking for reputable service providers to do basic work in villas and apartments like carpentry work, cleaning, pest control, AC repair and so forth.

#Busy mums who need an ‘e-Bay’ like forum to post jobs that they need done around the house.

#Anyone who is looking for something to be fixed.

#Anyone who has dealt with inefficient companies in the past who would like to deal with professionals.


Since coming back from the summer, I have been swarmed in children’s admin, and like every mum in Dubai, September is always an extremely busy month and no matter how much we organise and prepare in advance we still seem to be ‘fire-fighting’ through the day with chores and to-do lists.

However, I had procrastinated enough.  The Pottery Barn shelves needed to be put up and my air-condition units needed a proper clean after the long summer.  The list never ends and this academic year, I have decided to do little but often.  It was great to discover mrUsta, an online services marketplace that allows customers to find quality service providers (‘Ustas’).  It is an online platform, established in 2014,  where I type in any job that needs fixing in the house, and several ‘Ustas’ start bidding for the job. (top tip: do not put your mobile number into the website as they will all start calling you).

The range of services is huge with over 350+ jobs offered by service providers.  The most popular categories include carpentry, painting, plumbing, pest control services, repair, house cleaning, household appliance repair, instant AC Services, Apple iPhone/iPad repair, and you can even look for a short-term live in nanny, order custom made furniture – the list of available services is endless.  You get a rough indication about the price per hour or per month.


#Post a job – do not divulge your mobile number.  This can done via their website or you can download their app.

#Wait for several companies to bid for the work, and you can price compare and then contact them via the website to book their services.

#Or you can scroll down and look for the Usta with the best reviews.

#There is a huge choice of 6,000 Ustas that offer 350+ types of services.

mrUsta experience

We posted a job to help us put up our Pottery Barn bookshelves up and a few photos.  The companies (mrUstas) started bidding seconds after the job was posted with different price ranges.  All companies that sign up to the website must provide a copy of their trade licence and are monitored by the the website, and complaints are taken seriously to ensure only reputable companies can bid for work. We selected a company who sent a team of two men who put up the three shelves and a couple of photos.  The men seemed professional and they took care with their work, and were neat and tidy.  I still watch over any workmen in the home for security reasons.  The company hired charged by the hour, and we booked 2-hours.

The second job we posted was to clean our air-condition units in the villa.  Again, similarly many companies bid for jobs and reviewed the prices and reputation.  The Usta was efficient at booking an appointment and clear about their pricing. They charged on the number of air-condition units in the house.  Each filter was removed, washed and cleaned, and again, the job took half a day with two men.

Loyalty program

mrUsta has also launched ‘The Guild, the very first customer loyalty program for a service provider marketplace in the region.  The Guild rewards customers each time they successfully book and close jobs, amounts other actions taken on the platform with mrUsta credit that can be used toward further job postings.

It is free to join mrUsta, and it is the service providers that pay a fee to the online website.  ‘In the first 6-months of 2017 alone, we’ve created over AED17 million worth of opportunities for our Ustas,’ explained Ibrahim Colak, mrUsta’s co-founder and CEO.

Next on the list, need to re-do my wallpaer.  The list is endless so I am grateful that I am able to just post a job through their app or website www.usta.com 

When Siblings Fight | by our Singapore correspondent Davelle Lee

When Siblings Fight

Remember the good old days when you could recline on the sofa after a long day, with a glass of wine in one hand, the TV remote in the other and just relax? These days, you’ve got children on your left and right whining for your attention, fighting for control over which channel to watch, ultimately ending in someone wailing on the top of their lungs.

If this is a typical scene from your living room, don’t worry because you aren’t alone. While some very lucky siblings do see best friends in one another, rivalry and conflict among them is normal and very common. As parents, our role is to mediate these negative interactions between our children and guide them in handling and resolving conflict.

Why does sibling rivalry occur?

A child begins to construct a meaningful representation of himself at an early age. In order to do so, he draws from references in his social environment to evaluate his own competencies. For example, physical limitations in height and strength become immediately apparent to children in contrast to the adults around them.

With peers and siblings, however, children discover a more equal playing field on which they can pit themselves against each other. This gives rise to social comparison. A narrower age gap between children can predict greater social comparison. Siblings who are roughly the same age are likely to be closely matched in terms of physical and cognitive capabilities, allowing for fairer competition between them. The younger child usually models his behaviour after his older sibling, which can cause friction between them because it infringes upon the older child’s developing sense of personal uniqueness. You can use this to your advantage by rewarding an older child for good behaviour; his little brother is likely to follow suit.

Even with a small age gap, discrepancies in capabilities between siblings can be particularly pronounced in early and middle childhood. For this reason, birth order also contributes to the nature of sibling interactions. The older sibling is usually more aggressive, using his or her larger physique and more advanced reasoning skills to dominate play and conflict. The youngest, knowing that he cannot win in a physical brawl with his big sister, relies on his vulnerability and tends to cry in order to get your attention. And you’re probably already familiar with middle-child syndrome. Children sandwiched in between often feel like they drew the shortest straw- neither the most powerful nor the most precious- and may act out more in defiance as a result.

Sometimes, parents’ differential treatment may exacerbate social comparison between our kids. This often occurs outside of a parent’s conscious awareness. No parent wants to treat any one of their children better than the other, but the different traits inherent to each child can cause a parent to respond in different ways.

One such trait is gender. Girls are more affectionate towards their siblings in general while boys tend to rough it out, right? These beliefs about gender that parents hold can result in a greater tolerance for anger and aggression when it comes from their sons rather than their daughters. Researchers found that more punitive action is taken when a girl hits her sibling or damages property than when a boy does. Children are very sensitive to these discrepancies in leniency so it is important to make sure you are dishing out fair and appropriate punishment to each child’s transgressions.

A fascinating hypothesis proposed by applied economics researcher Dennis Weisman is that sibling rivalry occurs because good behaviour doesn’t happen simultaneously. He uses a game-theoretic model to demonstrate why. Yes, you read that right. Game theory. Here is how it works. According to Weisman, a child’s for good behaviour receives a diminishing rate of return, meaning that with each additional ‘unit’ of good behaviour, the child receives a smaller reward from his parents. The marginal utility of good behaviour increases when his sibling has been behaving badly. So, if the first child is behaving well, the second child receives a smaller reward for the same behaviour. The incentive to behave well decreases and he is more likely to behave badly. Alternatively, he could reduce the total amount of good behaviour in the household by tattling on his sibling! Through these mechanisms, good and bad behaviour on the part of each child are produced in response to their siblings’ behaviour and calibrated over time to arrive at a good-kid, bad-kid equilibrium.

How can parents help to resolve conflict between siblings?

Let’s move away from technical analysis and think about how we can deal with sibling conflict. Understand that siblings are bound to argue. In fact, some sibling rivalry is good for honing your children’s problem solving abilities, negotiation skills, self-control and perspective taking, according to Signe Whitson, author of How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids and Teens. Having a sister or brother as a sparring partner can provide the perfect training for conflict management later on in life, be it at school or the workplace. Your goal as a parent should not be to prevent conflict entirely, but to teach your children how to handle conflict effectively and peacefully.

Research in developmental psychology has shown that children are motivated to engage in more positive interactions with a sibling when the quality of relationship with that sibling is good. When siblings feel greater affection for one another, they opt for less hostile approaches to disagreements.

To foster warmer relationships among your kids, choose novel activities that they can participate in together. They should be games or tasks that the older kids haven’t been exposed to before, so they don’t have an unnatural advantage over their younger siblings. A 2015 study revealed that when children play video games with their siblings, their affection towards one another increases. Surprisingly, their study also found that sibling conflict is actually reduced when boys play video games that involve combat or physical aggression with their brothers!

Of course, even the closest of siblings will get into fights occasionally. When your kids come running to you to settle an argument, here’s what you should do:

Help each child to verbalise his or her frustrations. You can do what counsellors call reflection of content, which is to paraphrase what your children tell you (e.g. “so what you are saying is that you are angry because your sister won’t share her imaginary cookies with you”). This creates the opportunity for them to not only express their emotions but to reinterpret them and evaluate them on a deeper level. Some times, it takes an adult voice echoing a childish complaint for your child to recognise just how silly it sounds.

Get each child to acknowledge his or her contribution to the conflict without pushing blame to any of the siblings. They will learn that they have to be accountable for their words and actions, no matter who “started it”. At this point, ask each child to offer an apology and a compromise to the other. This means that each child should be willing to give up something in exchange for what he wants. This isn’t a zero-sum game. You can show them that there is often a solution in which all parties can walk away happy, if they choose to open themselves up to their sibling’s point of view. By establishing a norm of give-and-take, you can increase your children’s social understanding and promote perspective taking and empathy, leading to more self-initiated conflict resolution in future.

#The Socialization of Sibling Rivalry | What’s Love Got to Do?

Sybil L. Hart

#Why Can’t I Be More Like My Brother? The Role and Correlates of Sibling Social Comparison Orientation

Alexander C. Jensen • Amanda M. Pond • Laura M. Padilla-Walker

#Associations Between Social Understanding, Sibling Relationship Quality, and Siblings’ Conflict Strategies and Outcomes

Holly E. Recchia and Nina Howe

Super Mario brothers and sisters: Associations between co-playing video games and sibling conflict and affection

Sarah M. Coyne, Alexander C. Jensen, Nathan J. Smith, Daniel H. Erickson