Brunch’n at Bread Street

Normally when you think of Friday brunch it’s four hours of binge drinking, a bit of food to line the stomach and ending up throwing some terrible dance moves. As a new mum I quickly found out that not all brunches are a complete pi** up! In true Dubai style my 11 year old brother wanted to go to brunch for his birthday, & after hearing good things we decide to book Gordon Ramsey Bread Street Kitchen, located in Atlantis, The Palm. We were a group of three children, six adults and one baby, so we got to review the brunch from very different age groups.

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Bread Street is a very child focused brunch with children’s menus, a cupcake making station, a sweet/ice cream bar, face painting, drawing and a bouncy castle, Bread street also treat children to free access to The Lost Chambers Aquarium.

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The food was nice but very limited, starters are set up like a buffet with a selection of cold meats, salads, breads and cheeses, they also had a few dishes brought to the table like chicken drumsticks and sliders, the main course you chose from a menu which was either chicken/beef roast dinner, salmon or a vegetarian option. Later, they bring out a selection of deserts along the lines of eton mess,  mini meringues and ice cream, which I must say are very yummy!

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Face painting station
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Bad Spiderman or My Brother?

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Bread Street offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic packages, however the alcoholic package only allows red, white, rose wine, and one brand of bottle beer, Estrella. Unfortunately there is no bubbly option but you can purchase a drink of your choice for additional cost.

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Overall, I think Bread Street is a good brunch if you’re looking for somewhere laid back which the kids will enjoy while you “wine” down (excuse the pun), my brother said he absolutely loved the brunch and was the best day EVER, I personally thought it was great value for money, but I wouldn’t recommend going without children.

Friday Brunch from 12:30pm to 4:00pm
AED 335 per person with selected alcoholic beverages
AED 225 per person with non-alcoholic beverages
AED 95 per child

Front Desk: +971 4 426 2000
@BreadStreetKitchenDubai 

Ladies Day at Zero Gravity

When I first became a mum I started thinking about all things I wouldn’t be able to do, going out during the week, drinking far too much, going home whenever I like, laying in bed til gone noon and having undisturbed hangovers apart from the Mcdonalds delivery guy. It’s fair too say that these are things I very rarely do now (and I do not miss it at all), but I still get to do the things I did before but, just with an oversized nappy bag and endless toys in tow.

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Getting out during the day with a Isabella, is so important to me. I find it so much easier being out and about with Bella than staying in the apartment, she’s distracted from the different surroundings, you get to have an adult conversation and friends love to entertain her just while you drink a hot cup of tea. Last weekend Bella & I ventured out to Zero Gravity, Ladies Day. It’s held every Tuesday and gives free pool and beach access to well you guessed it…Ladies.

Zero gravity was the last place I thought children would be allowed to go but there was quite a few pushchairs and children down at the beach area, Zero gravity have a policy that doesn’t allow people under the age of 21 to sit around the pool area, children can still enjoy use of the pool and the oversized swan lilos, (if they get a chance between people getting their Instagram shots).

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Whether you’re going with the girls or your children, the atmosphere is pretty great, with the sun shining, summer tunes playing and splashing around in the pool or ocean. Beds are on a first come first serve basis so you have to get there early if you want the pleasure of a good spot, towels are included.

To book a spot at Zero Gravity Ladies Day, email: guestlist@o-gravity.ae with the subject line: ‘Ladies Day’.

For more information about Zero gravity visit:  http://www.0-gravity.ae

FRONT DESK: +971 4 399 0009
TABLE RESERVATIONS: +971 55 500 9111

Twitter.com/ZeroGravityDXB
Instagram.com/ZeroGravityDubai

Mum’s Know best with Seychelles Mama.

This week we’re leaving Dubai and heading over to the Seychelles where blogger (http://www.seychellesmama.com/) Chantelle lives with her husband Mark and their two sons, Arthur aged 3 and Freddie 18 months. Chantelle & Mark took the plunge in August 2012 to relocate from the UK to Praslin Island.

Over to our guest mama to tell us all about motherhood in the Seychelles…

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What made you want to move from the UK to the Seychelles?

Mark and I knew we wanted to move abroad.  As a teacher, his job was most likely to take us out of the UK so we started looking for jobs.  We laughed when we saw there was a job advertised at an international school in Seychelles, and said no way would we get it.  But, here we are!

What were your first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with your youngest, Arthur?

We always knew we wanted to have our kids outside of the UK so becoming pregnant wasn’t a total shock, although I admit we didn’t think it would happen quite as soon as it did!  We were really excited.  I have to say that we didn’t ever take a minute to allow ourselves to comprehend how big of a deal it was to be having a baby so far from our families and friends in a country we had only been living in for a couple of months!

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When you fell pregnant was there a part of you that wanted to move back to the UK?  

Short answer, no!  We briefly considered going back just to have Arthur but the logistics of that were crazy and the idea of Mark not being there for the birth was just not worth thinking about!

What is the maternity care like in Seychelles?

From what I gather, the system is based around the UK system in terms of when you have all your appointments, scans, tests etc.  I always felt really looked after.  As an expat I had to pay for a ‘maternity package’ but it was less than £1000 for everything (except my c-section) and I don’t pay anything for the boys check ups or immunisations now.

Did you feel more prepared and confident when you found out you were pregnant with your second son, Freddie? 

I think when I was pregnant with Freddie I didn’t really have time to worry about anything too much, Arthur was 18 months old and a continual bundle of energy for me to try and keep up with!

Just before I went into hospital I felt a lot more nervous though.  Knowing I was about to have another c-section was a scary thought.  Also, I was so nervous about how much Arthur’s world was about to change.  No idea why I ever worried about that though, the two of them are inseparable!

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What’s a typical day in the Seychelles with your family?

I imagine our weekdays are pretty much the same as families world over, the school run is the school run wherever right!?  Our weekends are spent doing more ‘seychelles’ type things.  We go to the beach, to the pool, for walks in the rainforest.  I wont lie, its beautiful!.  Of course there are times when we have lazy weekends and do nothing, but generally we try and take advantage of the amazing place we live as often as we can!

What’s the hardest part of being a mum?

Oh gosh, I don’t know where to even start with that one!!  I can’t believe how much of a rollercoaster being a parent is!  I think probably the hardest part is having to ‘adult’ all the time, sometimes my little darlings can reduce me to wanting to throw an epic tantrum but obviously that wouldn’t be okay!!

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How is life different living in the Seychelles compared to life back in the UK?

Well, I rarely step out the house with make up on here whereas I’d never been caught dead without at least some mascara on in the UK! Instead of going out for dinners and drinks, we socialise at friends houses instead.  I also think we socialise a lot more, that’s partly down to Mark’s job as headteacher.  We really do have a great community here though so we are very lucky.

In general pace of life is much slower here, while that is nice it can be a little annoying!!  Theres no direct debits so every month you have to go to the utility company to pay water and electric, to the phone company to pay your phones and internet bills, you get the picture!  You’ll very rarely get your whole food shop in one place.  I usually go to at least 3 or 4 each week to get various things, and of course no online shopping!!

What advice would you give to families thinking about moving abroad? 

If you want to do it, just go. Don’t over think it, or stress yourself out with the ‘what if’s’.  I’d also say give it a couple of years before you make any real decision on whether you like it or not.

To keep updated with our favourite Seychelles Mama, follow her on Instagram @seychellesmama

Tapped into Blacktap

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Every other day a new “IT” place opens in Dubai, so when I saw a flood of instagram worthy milkshakes and burgers on soical media, I knew I had to try Blacktap Dubai. Blacktap is located in Jumeriah Al Naseem next to Madinat Jumeriah, they have an indoor bar (smoking), main restaurant area and an outside terrace, Blacktap is open daily from 11am – 12:30am. The menu is made up of Craft Burgers, Crazy Shakes, delicious sides and a wide selection of beverages alcoholic and non alcoholic.

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Blacktap is very welcoming with a great sense of fun, however during Blacktap’s busiest days, you could find yourself waiting upto 40 minutes for a table. For their classic burger and a shake it would cost you 130AED, which I thought was pretty reasonable for Dubai prices.

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Crazy Shakes, 65AED 

Whether you want to take the kids for a sugar filled milkshake or kick back with friends while enjoying a dirty burger and a beer, Blacktap caters for all.

 

Times:                   11am – 12.30am

Location:             Jumeriah Al Naseem

Contact:               +971 4 422 9904 

Smoking:              Yes (only at the bar area)

Child friendly:     Yes

Parking:                  Free Hotel Valet

Social:                   @BlackTapDubai

 

 

 

Mum’s Know best…with Janet Scarborough

Janet Scarborough is a 30 something, expat living in Dubai with her husband Scott and their gorgeous 5 month old baby boy Leonidas Henry Scarborough.

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Over to our guest mummy Janet to tell us her experiences from finding out she was pregnant to meeting little Leo for the first time…

What were your first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant? Too be honest I wasn’t shocked, I knew it. Where I found out was more of a shock, there’s nothing quite like peeing on a stick in a not so ‘luxury’ restroom in South Africa after being on a week Safari through the bush.

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Did you have a good pregnancy? Others would say yes, I would say no. However my hair was luminous and I stopped biting my nails!

What was the hardest part about pregnancy? I just generally hated everyone, the beginning and the very end was the hardest part for me, the bathroom breaks 10 times a night and the restlessness…OMG! I was an absolute nightmare.

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What was it like when you first saw leo? Indescribable. I had a C-section with Leo so I was a little out of it from the epidural but I just wept while cut open on the table looking at this tiny person I had made, it was magical.

What’s it like being a mum in Dubai? It’s hard. You’re on your own here, with no family base and limited support, but I did find the expat mom community here in Dubai very helpful, and surprisingly supportive of one another.

What’s the hardest thing about being a mum? Self doubt & trying not to take what others say too heart.

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What’s the best part about being a mum? When I wake leo up in the morning and he gives me this huge smile like “Where have you been all my life” it’s the best feeling in the World!

Top 5 baby must-haves? Sleepy head, 4-moms mommaroo, muslin blanket & wine!

What advice would you give to other mums? To be supportive of one another even though you may not agree. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world and I feel as though women are hard on other women. There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting just do what you feel is best for your family and always trust you motherly instincts!

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One Month Of Mum Life.

Boom. I’ve made it through the first month of motherhood, one painful labour, three very stressful days and nights in the hospital with a poorly baby, a thousand nappies, a few tears, one flight to Dubai and thirty amazing days with my daughter.

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I’d like to say I’ve spent the last month living in my pj’s, on the couch getting to grips with motherhood but since Isabella arrived we’ve been non-stop.Midwife appointments, registrations (birth), applications (passport) and we’ve had lots of visitors; friends and family and meeting Isabellas daddys family who thank fully are all really lovely and adore the little lady (which is a great relief as could have easily gone the other way!)  We flew to Dubai last week, it’s taken a few days to settle but I can proudly say that I’m writing this next to a sleeping baby, in my pj’s with a glass of merlot and it feels like a little slice of heaven. Now, I could write paragraphs and paragraphs of what I’ve experienced in the last month but you’d probably read a few lines, get bored and zone out so I thought i’d break it down with just the important bits…

Labour is horrific, you think you’re prepared for the level of pain you’re going to endure but you have absolutely no fucking clue. My vagina twitches at the thought of it.

Post labour, is best explained as your own bloody horror movie. Ladies, it aint pretty.

Breast-feeding is really really hard, I’ve been breast-feeding for a month now and it’s only just gotten easier. The first two weeks we’re extremely painful when she latched on, it was that toe curling, punch in the stomach kind of pain. I highly recommend using nipple cream all day, everyday, every time you finish a feed or get out the shower slap it on, your nipples will thank you for it.  I also had mastitis (a blocked duct) which is very common in first time breast feeders, your boob throbs with pain, you get a fever, and just feel pretty shit and of course the best way to clear mastitis? Is for your baby to feed and clear the blockage OUCHHHHHH!! I have no idea how long i’ll breast-feed for, it changes on a daily bases but I’ve started introducing an afternoon formula feed just to give myself a little rest bite and a little bit of freedom.

If you need help, ask for it. Our first week at home, I had my mum sleep in the bed with us because I genuinely had no idea what I was doing, tie that in with total exhaustion and it’s bloody difficult to do by yourself. I had no clue how time consuming babies were and how the simplest of things like going for a shower, having a cup of tea, brushing your teeth or writing a blog post were going to become monumental achievements! Whether it’s your boyfriend, husband, family member or friend, let them help you, it will take the pressure off and keep you sane!

Babygrows, babygrows, babygrows. My opinion is you can’t have too many, I’ve bought Isabella so many cute outfits and dresses but she hasn’t had one on her back, mainly because they don’t fit her yet but also when they’re that small, I just feel like they need to be in cosy, soft clothes instead of stylish outfits which often aren’t so comfortable.

You’ll be late for everything, even if you plan to get ready hours before, you’ll be late.

Sleep when the baby is sleeping, I know this is well-known piece of advice but it’s true, there is nothing worse than dealing with a screaming baby while struggling to keep your eyes open.

It will be amazing.

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What pregnancy taught me

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While waiting for my little one to make a fashionably late appearance, I’ve been looking over the last nine (nearly) 10 months and how far I’ve come, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, to hearing her heartbeat for the first time, to finding out I was having a girl, to feeling her first kick, seeing that first stretch mark, loosing all sense of dignity in front of your midwife and everything in between so I thought I would share with you some of the things I personally learnt about pregnancy:

It’s not as hard as you think, don’t get me wrong pregnancy is hard between nausea, weight gain, tiredness, fat ankles, mood swings, hormones, lack of sleep, stress and stretch marks, it’s a pretty emotional nine months but I promise you’ll get through it, you’ll be amazed how strong and independent you really are.

There is no perfect time to have a baby, I was far from the “perfect” situation when I found out I was pregnant (details are in my previous post) but if you really want something to work you will find a way, regardless of how much people tell you it’s wrong or how upsetting it is for everyone around you, having a baby is the one time where I believe you can and should be 100% selfish and make the decision for yourself. Those that truly care about you and love you, will come around eventually and if they don’t, look at it as an effective way to remove negative people from you life (ain’t nobody got time for that)!

You will become an expert at peeing in a cup.

It’s okay to have concerns, I didn’t even think I could get pregnant, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and had convinced myself that I would never have children and that no one would ever marry me because I was barren (I’m a pretty dramatic person). So since being pregnant I have been completely paranoid, I have had over nine scans (you generally have two) and have been to a day assessment unit twice, I’ve googled endlessly about all the things that can go wrong and I’ve driven my mum mad asking things like, can I eat this? Is my bath too hot? Did I workout too hard? I don’t feel pregnant today, is something wrong? She’s not kicked 20 times today? A high precent of the time you are absolutely fine but don’t sit there stressing and concerned, just ask, trust me you won’t be the first.

You will get stretch marks and you will cry, No matter how much oil you slap on that bump of yours you will more than likely get some form of stretch marks, it’s purely down to how quick you gain weight and if you have ‘that’ type of skin. You can defiantly minimise  the damage by using bio oil and adding coconut oil to your bath. I thought I was safe from getting my tiger stripes but BOOM, hit week 40 mate and that was it. I was depressed about them, had a good cry and then I got over it. They will fade and it’s a small price to pay really.

Do prenatal yoga.

Due dates are bullshit. Do yourself a favour, whatever your due date is add two weeks to that, the hospital will no longer let you go over 14 days of your due date. Then if your little one shows up before that 14 day period it’s a bonus because trust me (writing this from 41 weeks + 2) there is nothing more soul damaging than seeing that due date come and go.

Gaviscon will become your best friend. 

Natural induction is a myth, no amount of brisk walking, sex, nipple rubbing, spicy food, pineapple juice, stretch and sweeps will bring on labour unless your baby and body are ready.

maternity jeans are heaven.

 

It’s still so surreal, I have all of my baby things in my room. I wake up every morning looking at a pushchair, moses basket, baby clothes and endless baby products, I look down at my bump and feel her kicking the shit out of my belly and yet I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that there is a little person in my belly with a face, little fingers and toes, that’s going to call me mum. Honestly blows my mind. Women are fucking fantastic.

Enjoy it. 

 

Pregnancy & Yoga

Being 35 weeks pregnant, it’s become really fucking hard to find my namaste. Everything hurts, I feel heavy, emotional and the lack of sleep has well and truly set in. I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy (side effect wise) up until this point, I haven’t really been to any classes or groups, however one thing I have stuck to is my weekly prenatal yoga class.

Prior to falling pregnant I had tried yoga before mainly Bikram but I am far from a flexible “yogi”. A fellow pregnant friend of mine in Dubai swore by going to yoga throughout her pregnancy and found it really helped with her back pain. I had a little look online and found my local yoga centre ‘Wellbeing Yoga’ based in Brentwood, they host a wide selection of yoga classes and every Wednesday they hold prenatal yoga.

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I attended my first class at around 22 weeks pregnant and I loved it. As cliché as it sounds it gives me a full hour where I can leave all the stress, upset and over thinking at the door. I’m sure online you could read pages and pages of different benefits of taking part in prenatal yoga but here are a few benefits I’ve personally experienced:

  • Breathing – my instructor really focuses on breathing, and demonstrating the different techniques you can try to help relax as well as use when those dreadful contractions kick in.
  • Meet – I have very few friends left in Essex and even less that are pregnant or have children, so I really enjoy meeting new women that are at all different stages of the pregnancy and listening to all their different journeys.
  • Stretch – as any of my fellow preggos know everything gets tighter and heavier, so it’s great to focus of different muscle groups and stretch everything out (amazing for leg cramp too!)
  • Connect – it gives me a full hour to connect with my little lady with no disturbances, to focus purely on her and visualize what she’ll be like when she’s here.

So, whether you’re looking for time to relax, physical benefits or just a place to meet other mums to-be I highly recommend trying a class! x

 

 

 

 

What’s in my Hospital Bag??

This mummy to-be gig is the scariest, but most exciting adventure I’ve ever entailed  and every day I’m learning something new. However, I have one secret weapon in this process and it’s called…Mum.

As, she’s managed to keep my brother, sister and myself alive I have a lot of time for her advice and have a new found respect for the saying ‘Mum knows best’.

So, with her advice, mothercare’s hospital bag list (you can find it on their website) and a few of my favourite knick knacks this is my hospital bag list:

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FOR ME: 

  •  A BIG bag…I’m taking my yummy mummy changing bag as well as a hand  luggage suitcase (I suffer from over packing).
  • 2 x nursing nighties,  2 x nursing bra, set of pj’s, super soft tracksuit bottoms, 2 x nursing vest tops, maternity pants, dressing gown, socks and slippers.
  • Toiletries bag – Shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, flannel, make-up, make-up remover wipes, hairbrush, hair ties, deodorant, evian spray, nipple cream/pads, maternity pads (they look like kites!!) and a chapstick.
  • Exercise Ball
  • Breast feeding pillow
  • Iphone, mini speaker, earphones, charger and prenatal notes
  • Sweets, crisps, chewing gum and bottled water.

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FOR HER: 

  • 3 x baby vests
  • 3 x babygrows
  • coming home outfit (complete with fluffy hat and mittens)
  • scratch mittens
  • 1 packet of pampers newborn nappies
  • 1 packet of nappy sacks
  • baby wipes
  • 2 x dummies
  • 3 x muslin squares
  • cotton wool
  • blanket
  • her first teddy
  • Car seat (installed in the car, not in the bag).

 

And I think that’s everything, I’m sure there will be some last mintue changes when D-day arrives, if there are any items you think are a hospital must-have then please let me know! xx

Who is Blondeswhoblog?

When I initially decided to set up Blondeswhoblog, the blog was going to be about two blonde friends living in Dubai with our blog content focused on single life, going out, working out and enjoying our 20s. My life couldn’t be any further away from this at the moment. I’m currently living in the UK, unemployed, not done a serious workout since January, oh…and I’m also 34 weeks pregnant.

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The last 8 months have been a whirl wind of emotion with every aspect of my life changing. I moved out of my apartment which I lived in with friends, left my job and was trying to figure out how with very little savings and being in my early 20s, I was going to pull off being a single parent.

Rewind. I fell pregnant over Christmas 2015, I was seeing someone and it was progressing very quickly (not, lets have kids quickly) he was great and we got along very well, however for one reason or another it faded out and by the new year it had ended, just 4 weeks after meeting. I was a little gutted but accepted it, I had a skiing holiday booked with my best friend and things were good so I focused on that. On the lead up to flying off for a week of snow, beer and all the cheese fondue, I felt tired, emotional, chubby and my boobs hurt. I was laying in bed holding my boobs when the word ‘Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck’ rung through my head. I called the pharmacy and had them deliver two pregnancy tests (they do that), my roommate was in the shower and the other was at work, so I went into her bathroom, pee’d on a stick and starred at the little white windows, where two little plus signs began to appear.

Fast forward. I returned  from my holiday and told the dad to be, he was beyond upset as were both our families, and for just over a week, it was abortion, no abortion, abortion (in my head) I had an appointment booked and was just trying not to think about it (lies, I was thinking about it 24/7), I messaged my mum at 3am, unable to sleep and with a sickening feeling of guilt in my stomach and told her I couldn’t go through with the abortion.

Play. I’m  now 34 weeks pregnant with a little girl, lucky enough to have a very supportive family while preparing for her arrival and this is where our journey starts.

I plan for Blondeswhoblog to focus on the upcoming arrival of my little lady, embracing mummy life as a single parent, and tips/reviews on things I’ve learnt throughout my pregnancy and where our lives go next, there will also be features from friends and family with their lifestyles!