Monthly Archives: August 2013

Quick Breakfast

Quick Breakfast

The first week getting back to the routine of school can get very hectic.

You might have a morning or several when you are so rushed and breakfast might end up on the go.

You definitely want to get a healthy start for your kids.

Don’t worry I got you covered with my delicious Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie!!


1 Banana
1 cup Soya Milk (You can use regular)
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (or honey)
4/5 cubes of Ice
Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings (1 cup each)

The best part is your kids will enjoy making them giving you some breathing space too!

Study Station Success

Study Station Success

Girls tucked in and fast asleep and my mind is so much clearer. Grabbed my cup of yogurt and sat in front of Jennah’s desk assessing the situation.

What should I tackle first?? The easiest naturally. All last year and summer Artwork removal. I decided what’s worth saving and what goes for recycling. I did go through them at the end of the school year but it seems I lost some of the attachment to the girls artwork.

Half way through going through the papers, art projects displayed and in folders I realized it’s taking way to much time. I decided to put them on the side and work on something else.

It’s time to organize the stationery. The containers I used were small tin buckets, small basket and small plastic bins.
Stationary desk
Tins: I put erasers in the extra small tin bucket. Pencils in the small tin bucket.

Plastic Bins: Colored Pencils in a plastic bin and markers in the other bin. I made sure I sharpened all the pencils with my electrical sharpener. A must have in our household with the amount of coloring we do!

Basket:In the small basket I put post it notes and small notepads, I use these for marking her assignments and for explaining things while studying.

After I cleared up any additional papers hanging out in the other cubbies of her desk I put a clipboard, whiteboard and an empty magazine holder for new papers coming back from school.

Now the laptop and headphones are neatly placed in the other corner of her desk.

I removed everything from the top up and it’s time to look at the bottom…. Yikes!!!

Do things crawl in our household? Why are their toys? Painting gear? Blocks? Crafting things…if I’m going to continue the list of what I found it’ll develop into a whole other post!

Obviously I had to spend a little extra time organizing homes for all these miscellaneous items. Painting and crafting on the painting corner, blocks & Lego with the rest of the blocks….etc
below Desk
All cleaned up down there for some leg room and a few empty magazine holders for my little second graders work.
I took a step back and felt proud of how neat the space looked, off course I’m not sure how long that would last but at least it’s a great way to start the new school year. Still I felt it was lacking something….I have to add some sort of personal touch.
Then it came to me, the cork board looked so plain…. I took the push pins and made the letter “J” for Jennah.

I’m sure it’s not going to last before all the papers take over but hey I had to have my touch somewhere!

The final look of an organized Study Space for Jennah, now she’s ready to tackle 2nd grade….you think?

organized Desk

Read the Part one of this post

Organizing day…..or not so much?

Organizing day…..or not so much?

7:00am Had my green smoothie and ready to tackle my day head on…… It’s organization day! It’s about going to school… So next on my list is “study space” and “clothing”.

7:45am I better get off the dining table put the iPad down and start….. Ok Before Picture of Jennah’s desk Check!

I think I’ll go shower now….. from the bedroom I shout out ” Jennah do your word wizard and reading, Zeenah clean up the mess!”
8:30am still hiding in my room after showering…. WHAT is wrong with me today?? Ok I’ll look at the old uniforms and see what fits Jennah, what’s to keep for Zeenah what to giveaway. Done! Everything goes to laundry. While I’m at it I might as well go through some of the closets and organize them too…. Happy to see that Zeenah has outgrown some of her clothes. More to giveaway and make space for new things.

10:00am Gotta get some work done today so I got on my laptop, check e-mails and make all my work calls. While the girls come in and out of my office…. delaying my every action. Nothing seems to be going according to plan.

1pm….. oops! gotta get started on lunch. What’s on the menu today? hmmmmmm after about 10 minutes of staring at the open fridge I decide Salad, Curried pumpkin soup, French Bean & Mushroom Medley, Rice with vermicelli. That should do it.

What happened to my organization plan? Can you believe it people!! The organizer/control freak is slacking off? How am I going to do this before our 3pm Swim playdate…. Conclusion I’m not!! Maybe after the girls go to bed?? Yes off course!! That would be perfect. Peace and quiet and I can take my time without little people stressing me out.

So lesson for today sometimes you get a day that you’re not on schedule…..don’t stress over it, just work with what you can. That’s why it’s always good to start early so you still have time to do it another day.

Phew!! I feel better now…..So stay tuned to see what Jennah’s organized desk looks like….

Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Ideas

There are 3 mains in any child’s up-bringing… Education, food and behavior. I think almost every parent fusses about food in one way or the other. Did the child eat? was it enough? was it healthy? etc etc etc??? Then off course there’s wanting to be “creative” so the child doesn’t get bored of the same food options over and over again. Staying in the theme of Back to School this week I’d like to share my equation for lunch box preparation.

My equation is fairly simple. Each lunchbox must contain a fruit, vegetable, snack item and a main. Off course you have to consider each child’s preferences and taste. Jennah loves and can overdose on Avocado and Cherry Tomato but Zeenah won’t touch it and will pick them out of her salad. On the other hand Zeenah will eat a full bowl of blueberries and cherries. As long as the children are eating healthy don’t fight their preferences and try not to force them to eat something they don’t like.

Here’s a list that I use for inspiration before packing the girls lunchboxes.
Apple   Pear Apricot Strawberry Blueberry Melon Watermelon
Grapes Cherry Peach Tangerine Mango Avocado

I have several techniques for the lunch box Vegetables, those that are just raw veggie sticks, cooked or in a Salad. Some that I use as a snack item and others would be consider more of a main such as the pasta Salad.
Carrot Cucumber Celery Cherry Tomato Broccoli Bell Pepper Cauliflower
Corn on the Cob Green Peas Green Beans Pumpkin Potato Chickpeas
Beetroot Edamame Snow Peas
Tabouleh Cucumber & Yogurt Pasta Salad Couscous Salad Bean & Feta Salad Green Salad
Coleslaw Green Peas & Corn Salad Mozzarella & Tomato Salad Shrimp & Avocado Salad



Pretzel Cheerios Goldfish Raisins Cheddar Cubes Dates Dried Apricot
Breadsticks with Humus Crackers Yogurt Cottage Cheese


MAIN. This list is the most variable between the lunch boxes, not only because of the girls’ personal taste but also the eating conditions. In Zeenah’s preschool they have the capability of heating the food for the children so I actually put “Real food” and not lunchbox food in comparison to Jennah. She has to eat whatever is in her lunchbox at the temperature it’s in. I’ll put all the choices and you can decide what works for you at the conditions of your child’s school or pre-school.

Turkey & cheese Pinar & Zaatar Chicken Wrap Peanut Butter & Jam Kiri & Cucumber
Pesto & Boiled Egg

Rice & Chicken Pasta & Tomato Sauce Chicken Noodle Soup Meatballs(dry)
Chicken Balls Popcorn Chicken Spinach Balls Chicken Drumstick Stuffed Potato Balls (Kuba)


Off course there’s always variables that affect your choices. Consider the weather…. if it’s really hot outside don’t put yogurt or shrimp in the lunch boxes, you really don’t want your child to come back with a stomach ache.

I really advise against putting juice boxes in children’s lunch boxes. First of all many contain too much sugar and you really don’t want them driving their teacher up the wall. Secondly, the children will most likely have it the first thing making them full before actually having any food. My girls take a refillable water bottle with them to school.


Another advice I would like to give is please consider using reusable containers. Many lunch boxes now have matching containers to go with them. Omit the use of sandwich bags. Not only will you help save the environment but you’ll also be saving some cash in the process. A great place to shop online is amazon for everything in o ne place, but if you would like to find things locally (Kuwait) I’ve found several places that have fun options. Most area Co-ops have great selections. In addition to Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket and Sultan Center. Pottery Barn kids & Teen also have fun options. My all time favorite is Centerpoint, such good choices, variety and very reasonably priced. For the more environmentally involved check out @d2e_q8 on instagram and Oleana Boutique online

Here are some samples of water bottles and Lunch box containers and sets I found at centerpoint.
Lunch Sets


Back to School

Back to School

I remember the last week of school like it was yesterday! I remember thinking “OH my God what am I going to do with the girls??” Well I survived, the girls are still somewhat civilized and we didn’t perish in Kuwait’s heat. Now we’re at the last week of the summer vacation and getting ready for school. Uniforms, supplies, back packs, lunch boxes and so much more to think of.

I’m dedicating all my posts this week to Back to School tips, organization and planning. First up is what’s your school year looking like?

Have you looked at the school calendar yet?? Most schools have them on their website so I suggest printing it out and take a look at the year ahead. Now if you have more than one child that go to different schools, like me, be sure to printout each school’s calendar.
Now the first step to staying organized and minimize stress is to stay on top of things. So go out and get a really good calendar. Something with enough writing space that can fit the whole family’s schedule. My favorite is the magnetic fridge calendar from Motherword. It’s got the perfect writing space for us all and the additional stickers to make it even more fun, who doesn’t love stickers?! It’s also a 16 month versus the usual 12 months. Really designed for mothers to put to good use.



A method I use when writing on the calendar is using different colors for each family member and combinations (ie Kids playdates together, Fawaz & I…etc). It makes it so easy to visualize for the whole family. I highlight birthdays and holidays in advance so that we can anticipate the month ahead and be prepared with gifts without stressing out about it at last minute. and most importantly in my life would be no double booking.


A very important thing to remember is “location, location, location!” It’s crucial to hang your calendar in a place that EVERYONE can and will access. This calendar isn’t just so you’re organized and informed but so everyone around you is on the same page. In my household the most traffic is in the kitchen. Some people have their family room or entryway as the high traffic space. I suggest you take a look at your lifestyle and decide accordingly as to where the “perfect” place for the calendar is. The additional advantage of the Motherword calendars is that they have magnetic strips that you can stick on the back to mount onto your fridge. If you do find a calendar you like that doesn’t have that you can also buy magnetic strips at most stationery stores.

The more you’re organized and prepared the more time you have to “Making Life Memorable”

Going Green

Going Green

After many fad diets, life altering eating habits, checkups and all that there is under the sun about weight loss I have decided to go green….. May have been talking about it and raving about not only its health benefits but also how it helps the metabolism, decreases appetite, detoxing the body and other advantages.

It first started when I was following “My Healthy Dish” the blog and instagram account @myhealthydish_ It was a real encouragement to see the transformation of what a few fibers in the system can do. Then the real investigation started with downloading several books and doing loads of reading. Now I added two more GREEN blogs. Simple Green Smoothies and Raw Family. There are TONS of blogs and websites that you can also find but I stopped myself before getting too overwhelmed.

The concept of green smoothies is fairly simple. 60% Fruit & 40% Greens and 1-2 cups liquid. A great instructional video is “How to Make a Green Smoothie” by Sergei Boutenko from the Raw Family. You can also check out many of their other articles and videos for inspiration.

The hardest thing I found in Kuwait was actually the “green” ingredients. The most common green that is used is spinach because it’s a little milder in taste and is masked very well behind all the added fruit. I used to see fresh spinach all the time at the Jamiya, Sultan, Lulu hypermarket but now that I’m looking for it it’s no where to bee seen. So I had to do some alterations what other veggies can I use and I found a list . So there goes another investigation of finding these other greens. Kale….hmmm what is it in Arabic? What does it look like? so here you see me in the vegetable section with my iPhone looking at pictures of these greens and trying to find them. It was really entertaining I’m sure for those that were looking at me. Meanwhile, Jennah and Zeenah kept stocking up on fruits for me and weighing them. So I substituted with what I could and off to the cashier with a cart full of fruits and vegetables and two hyper girls. Paid, bagged and buckled on our way home. Excited that the first thing I do in the morning was get my first green smoothie and no coffee.

For help on the greens here’s a list of what you could use. Spinach, lettuce, parsley, kale, chard, basil, cilantro, bok choy, celery, and cucumber. Mostly everywhere I read state that the darker the leaf the better the heath benefits. So other uncommon suggestions would be beet tops, celery leaves and strawberry leaves. One desperate grocery run I actually bought fresh horseradish because the leaves looked perfect…. that really made a Spicy breakfast for me. I added a few dates to the mix and it balanced it out.

I think I don’t need to tell you what fruits are because most of us have a general sense BUT…. Don’t forget to add Tomato and Cucumbers to that list… a misconception to many.

Finally the liquid part. The most common in recipes would be either water or green tea. Other options are Almont Milk, Coconut water or milk, rice milk or orange juice.

Some recipes and websites recommend things called “Super foods” these basically add additional nutrients to your smoothie. I still haven’t ventured into that area. Possibly because I anticipate that many of these items would be a challenge to find locally and it’s too hot for me to find out….maybe in October?

The amazing result of these morning smoothies is that it really suppressed my appetite. I’m not sure if its psychological or not but hey it works!! I do recommend it to everyone. Whatever the reason try to incorporate it into your daily diet. It really will make a difference. I think my next step is actually to try out the 21 day cleanse. I want to take it one step at a time and really get the hang of the green smoothies before diving into something that I might slip up on.


After 2 weeks of green smoothies and using my regular out-dated 10+ year old blender I was ready to step up my game. Many of the websites recommend the Vitamix blender. Which I’m sure is amazing but probably unavailable in Kuwait and I really wanted to just click a few buttons and have a good blender delivered to my doorstep. A Quick visit to Xcite App and 24 hours later my new blender with a special SMOOTHIE dial was delivered.



If you were debating and worried about the taste no need to wonder. The first time I made it the girls were so excited and tasted it and decided they wanted to have their own cup of green smoothie. It doesn’t taste green at all. I hope you decide to venture out and start Greening it soon.

My favorite recipe was Kale, celery, strawberry, blueberry, apple, peach, banana and green tea. If you’re a green smoothie drinker I’d love to hear your favorite recipe!

Quick Playdate

Quick Playdate

Sometimes your playdates happen without any pre-planning. Especially when your kids are as social and independent as my girls are. The summers are long and it seems the older they are the longer they seem. I have kept them busy with my own activities but they need some space and free will. As the summer is reaching an end and all the girls’ friends are coming back from their travels its time for 8am calls “are your kids free?” If you received such a call and need a quick menu for lunch Here’s what I made when 2 friends came over. Simple, quick and no fuss!

Lunch Menu:
Cucumber, Carrots and cherry tomato platter.
Vegetable Soup
Corn on the Cob
Baked Breaded Chicken drumsticks.

Viola! You’re all set.

Now you can sit back and relax and have fun with the kids. Highlight one major activity and let them have tons of free play. Our activity for the day was spreading a large sheet of poster paper and just letting them paint, paint and paint…..


Zeenah’s Special time

Zeenah’s Special time

Jennah got to spend the night at her friend’s house last weekend. Which slightly devastated Zeenah but I am determined to teach the girls that there are times you get to do things together and others where each girl has “her thing”. It’s a hard lesson for them to learn and understand at this point but I think we’re heading towards acceptance.

Just so that I can involve Zeenah I told her she could take her tooth brush, pajama and blankie to the playdate and when it was time to go she can do the whole bedtime ritual and sleep in the car on the way home. She was so excited about it and it made things run smooth. 5:30 am I hear her stomping her way to my bedroom and before I can open my eyes I heard “Now we can go pick up Jennah?” I had to explain that it’s waaaaaay to early and I have something fun we were going to do… we were going out for breakfast just the two of us. Something I’ve never gotten the chance to do because the girls weren’t apart so early in the morning. No we didn’t go out that early, I weaseled a few e-mails here and there while she kept occupied in the playroom until it was a decent hour to go out.

Zeenah bolted into her room to get ready the moment I said “Yala” she was super excited and giddy. She actually wore her fancy party dress. Then packed her little books, crayons and chose her favorite coloring book to keep her occupied at the restaurant. I was just looking and observing how the second child really misses out on one-on-one time. Something I would really like to find the time to do in the future.

Her choice for breakfast was Le Pain Quotidien at the Marina crescent (a family favorite). So off we were buckled up in the car heading on our way. Zeenah was full of stories real and imaginary. I just listened and giggled and we danced in the car, another family favorite.

setting up1

After being greeted and seated Zeenah didn’t waist any minute she started organizing her activities giving me a step by step run down of what she was doing. “I’m going to first take my colors out…. the green will go next to brown” It really felt like an instructional TV show. She was so precise in her every action.

The waitress came and as predicted Zeenah made her usual order of Egg white omelet with a side of blueberries. I was a little disappointed in the portion of her side but that wasn’t gonna stop our fun.

As we were waiting for our food to arrive Zeenah went through all her planned activities pretty fast…. coloring, reading, book puzzle and packing up right in time for her breakfast.







My Book recommendation for children is to get the small libraries as the one Zeenah was reading. For the really young children the colors and pictures are very entertaining. They come in a very neat box making it easy to carry around and store. Most fun is on the reverse of each book is part of puzzle that they can arrange. For older kids that are of reading age the laungugae is very simple with extremely fun stories. Bring a new level for loving books.

puzzle Collage

Stay tuned for my post listing these mini libraries and suggestions of where you can purchase them.

Soon it was time for us to go pick up Jennah and Zeenah was jumping for joy to see her sister.

We as parents are sometimes so involved in our daily routine that the time we spend with our younger children suffers because of it. wheather you have 2, 3 or more children take the time to spend one-on-one quality time with each of them. It really goes a long way with them and you will learn so much of who they are as individuals. After all “Making life Memorable” for those you love is what it’s all about.

CAP kids Art program

CAP kids Art program

Today I’ll be taking Jennah to her first class at the CAP kids art classes. I think I’m more excited than she is. I was happy to actually read about it on @whats_kickin.

The program duration is 1 month for twice a week, each session is 2 hours. The great thing is that the program is teaching everything about art. Techniques, artists and practical drawing too. I’m actually curious to see how the end result of their Art work. Hopefully it will light something up in Jennah and she can pursue it further…..but with school closing in I’m not sure if I’ll continue after the first month.

For those that are interested be sure to visit their website. They’re located in Life Center (same building as Eureka and Midas), Industrial Shuwaikh. I also highly recommend visiting their art library. So many books to go through and learn about artists and techniques. I’m planning to sit with Zeenah my 3 year old in their library and hopefully do some “learning about Art” while Jennah’s in class.

For those of you that are wondering how serious these classes are…check out the supply list we had to buy.
Art Supplies

Defintatly going to see some frame worthy artwork!! Jennah’s “Making life Memorable”

It’s a wiggly Tooth!!!

It’s a wiggly Tooth!!!

After the regular chaos of  my mornings has come to a calm and the girls are sitting and having their morning fruit snack, Plums were today’s choice, I finally got a chance to sit and do MY morning rituals of e-mails, Social media session, planning and organizing. Jennah, 6years and 9months, comes with a scared look on her face and says “Mama my tooth hurts”….. I looked and smiled and asked which one. She pointed to the bottom and I started my wiggle testing. Come to think of it I didn’t wash my hands before sticking my finger in her mouth…..OOPS! Sure enough I found it. I looked at her and said “Guess What!! your tooth’s wiggling” Something she’s been desperately wanting for the past year. And as a true descendant of mine she starts doing the “Victory Dance”.

And now the fun begins…..the Tooth Fairy is visiting our house for the first time. Lots to think about and so many ideas are rushing through my mind….First stop for sure to get some creative juices going though my mind. Next I’ll have to figure out am I doing money or a gift? Then off course I must incorporate glitter…. I love glitter and that is Fairy dust after all…..

My inspiration board and a few weeks to implement… Stay tuned for the DIY….

Tooth fairyinspiration board

Now that’s sure gonna Make Life Memorable!