Where have I been?!

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Some of you may have noticed that my little blog has been REALLY quiet the past couple (probably more like few!) months. It’s been such a crazy few months since Oscar started school and I have been really struggling to keep on top of all the things I love doing and also the necessary day to day jobs like housework.

Not long after Oscar started KG I also started my home business, Kids Craft Kuwait which has been even bigger success than I ever thought and its been so much fun making lots of new products for it and hearing and seeing some great play activities happening from lots of people here in Kuwait – we even had two orders go international just before Christmas as gifts for family members! We also managed to take part in 3 Christmas/Winter Bazaars which were amazing to see lots of people who have been following our journey on Instagram since the beginning and meet them in person. Its been lots of fun so far but also, obviously its kept me incredibly busy and meant lots of very late nights and early mornings finishing orders. Unfortunately, Expat Family Q8 ended up suffering and I haven’t had the chance or the energy to update much at all. But this past long weekend I have been reading some of my favourite blogs and also found a few new ones and I realised how much I miss writing my blog! Even my Instagram has gone from posting 3 or 4 pictures a day to maybe one or 2 photos a week?! I have decided today that I am back on this!! I enjoy my blog far too much to just let it not exist anymore! I will make time during the day (or night!) to blog about our lives in Kuwait.

So, here I am….back again! 🙂

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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So, we have been a bit absent AGAIN! The past few weeks have been crazy. There has been a bit of a play dough factory going on in our apartment with Kids Craft Kuwait orders plus we took part in the The English School (TES) Winter Wonderland bazaar a couple of weekends ago. We have also been dealing with two bouts of chicken pox! Oscar first caught it a couple of weeks ago from school. Luckily he had it very mild and didn’t suffer much at all. The only thing was, he had to stay off school for 10 days until they cleared. And as he didn’t feel sick in himself, those 10 days were hard for us both! He was bored and I forgot how hard it was having both of them at home all day! It was lovely having the extra time with him but also at the same time his behaviour was rather off from being bored, i’m guessing so it was tiring! He went back into school last week and then Millie came up with spots! Sadly, she has had a bad case of it with lots of vomiting, upset tummy and lots and lots of spots! She barely slept for 4 days and was off her food and milk for 5 days! She seems to be on the mend now and is much more herself but i’ll be glad to see the back of this chicken pox!!

Oscar and my husband had a long weekend from school this weekend but with Millie having the chicken pox and feeling poorly we didn’t get up to much. We headed to the US Embassy Yard Sale and picked up a few books and toys for the kids and we also bought a car! It was a really good deal (I hope!) and i’m hoping once I get confident with Kuwait roads and with driving itself, then it will give me a bit more freedom and means I don’t have to rely on my husband or taxis to get me to places! I probably won’t be driving until the new year as i’ve got to get my licence sorted but i’ll probably need that time to pluck up the courage and confidence to drive here! I’m hoping by in the new year it means the school runs are easier, and I can get out to parks or to the Hilton with Millie in the mornings whilst Oscar is in school and we can go for playdates in the afternoons when Oscar finishes school. Watch this space…eek!

During the long weekend we headed out to Lulu in Qurain to do our weekly food shop and to my excitement (sad I know!) most of the Christmas food goodies are in! They have all the delicious UK chocolates like Thorntons, tins of Roses, Quality Street, Miniature Heroes etc, selection boxes, advent calendars, tubes of kids chocolates, candy canes and lots of yummy biscuits! Some of the prices aren’t too bad but some of course are complete robbery compared to what you would pay in the UK! But, needs must for some things! They also had Coles Christmas Puddings and Chocolate Puddings near the bakery section but for 4-6KD per pudding, I think i’ll be giving that one a miss! Upstairs they also have all their usual decorations, wrapping paper and lights….but also this year this have CRACKERS!! Crackers that are actually a decent price compared to some shops in Kuwait! I remember last year one shop selling crackers for 25KD?! Who would pay that, seriously?! Anyway, the ones in Lulu were around 4KD a box, some a little higher. They also had single pet crackers for those dog and cat lovers out there! We bought some Christmas goodies but not as much as we normally do as we won’t be in Kuwait on Christmas but we want the goodies for the lead up to Christmas and of course over New Year.

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Lunchbox: Day 104

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106Day 104:

KDD Cocktail Juice

Hummus

Cheese Spring Roll (from Lulu Hypermarket Cooked Food counter)

Arabic/Pita Bread

Jungle Animal Crackers

Teardrop Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Grapes and Raspberries

Supplies:

Blue Bento Lunchbox, from Pottery Barn Kids

Clear Pot with Orange Lid, from Mothercare

Green Silicone Cupcake Cases, from City Star

 

A bit absent!

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Good evening all! I’m sorry there hasn’t been a post of a couple of weeks over here. Things have been a little bit busy! If you follow us on Instagram then you may have noticed that I have recently started a little home business making homemade play dough, slime and other children’s craft and sensory play materials. It’s something I have been thinking about doing for a while now and I have finally pushed myself to do it. Not only is it something I love making and feel very passionate about, I also really think there is a market for it in Kuwait. So, if you would like, please follow Kids Craft Kuwait on Instagram to see our latest makes and we also have a website!

http://www.kidscraftkuwait.com

We also have all battled a cold over the past couple of weeks, thankfully all well now apart from a cough that Millie has that seems to be lingering. I also recently started doing some tuition of an evening. It’s really nice to be able to plan activities and be a ‘teacher’ again but also still have the days at home with Oscar and Millie.

And not forgetting, we had my parents visiting us last week. We had such a great week and Oscar and Millie loved all the extra attention and having fun with Nanny and Pops. I also loved having my mum here to help me out with some household chores too! We had some great days out;

Johnny Rockets 

Anytime mine or my husband’s  parents come to Kuwait and visit, we have a tradition of going for breakfast somewhere on Marina Cresent the morning after they have arrived. This time we visited Johnny Rockets and enjoyed a delicious but HUGE breakfast! We then headed into Marina Mall for a bit before relaxing at home for the rest of the day.

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The Hilton

You may have read on a previous post that we decided to get a Hilton membership this year. We had a Holiday Inn membership before the kids were born but decided this year to go all out and get a membership for somewhere ‘nice’. We decided on the Hilton due to the fact all the different children’s activities that are available and the huge (and beautiful!) beach. Its further away for us than the other hotels that provide beach club memberships but its the one we really liked. Our idea is to spend our weekends at the Hilton and maybe the odd afternoon after school. As the weather has been really hot lately, when we have visited the Hilton so far we have only stayed for a couple of hours in the mornings, when the temperature is at its coolest. But when my parents visited they got a couple of visitor passes for the day so we could spend the day at the pool and beach. It was a great day. The kids loved having Nanny and Pops in the pool with them and me and my husband loved having some time to relax in the pool or on the sun loungers for a bit without having to run around after the kids. We ended up staying there all day until about 4pm, it was really hot by the afternoon but we also wanted my mum and dad to get their money’s worth out of their day passes.

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Kidzania

Kidzania opened about 18 months ago but we’ve only actually been there twice. Mainly because Oscar has been too young until recently, and its a bit more expensive than other activities we can do. But after visiting this time during my parents visit, I feel like it was completely worth the money! When we visited Kidzania in May for Oscar’s 3rd birthday and although it was a great day, there was only a few activities or ‘jobs’ that Oscar was able to take part in as he was under 4. However when we visited last week they have now opened a lot more ‘jobs’ to children under 4, such as Pizza Express, Asnan Tower Dentist, the Sultan Center (as a shopper), Aquafina and lots more! I was really pleased that Oscar would be able to do loads more whilst we were there. He obviously needed a little bit more help with some activities than some of the older children but the staff were amazing – so caring and friendly. And lots of them took a shine to Oscar! I have to say my eyes filled up quite a few times watching Oscar be so independent but also seeing how happy and excited he was. Millie loved visiting Urbano’s House where they have a kitchen with play food, a living room with puppets and soft toys, a water bed and a bath with lots of balls in! If you haven’t visited Kidzania already, definitely give it a go! Its so impressive and the kids have a great time! Make your trip early in the morning though as by late afternoon the place is crazy busy and the queues for the different ‘jobs’ can take a while. It was definitely my favourite day of our Eid holidays, and i’m sure we will go again, maybe over the Christmas holidays.

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Funcity at The Gate Mall

The Gate Mall has been on my ‘to visit’ list since it opened but with it being in Egaila, and not that close to our apartment we have only just got round to visiting it this week. The mall itself is quiet impressive – it looks lovely and is really light and clean. The parking situation (which you may have read on a few other blogs) is a nightmare! Its like they built this massive 5-floor mall and forgot about the parking! The parking as far as I am aware is just some outdoor empty space that is shared with about 6 other ‘malls’ or shopping centres nearby! It wasn’t really much of a problem when we first got there (other than thinking how hot the car is going to be when we leave!) but by the time we were leaving mid-afternoon it was crazy! There were cars parked here, there and everywhere and of course blocking a load of cars in!

We looked around a few of the shops, but not many of them were shops I would normally shop in and a lot of them I hadn’t heard of! I was excited about the Holland & Barratt that I spotted near the food court, but it was a huge disappointment. I was hoping for lots of health style foods like what is sold in the UK but actually all it was was a few protein style shakes and tablets/vitamins (I think?!). And the shop itself was so depressing!! About 3 of each product on the shelf, lots of empty shelves elsewhere and no signs, posters or advertisements!

Near the food court in The Gate Mall they have children’s play place called Funcity. There are lots of arcade style games (similar to Future Kid or Magic Planet) and then right at the back there is a soft play area. I will be doing a separate post about the play area itself shortly.

The Gate Mall is not somewhere I would make the trip to visit again for the shops but I would probably go back to Funcity for a different soft play place to visit occasionally. Maybe if I lived nearer to it I would visit more often, but for now i’ll stick to the Avenues or Marina Mall I think!

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The Aquarium at The Scientific Center

As Thursday rolled around we visited an old favourite – the aquarium! Oscar wanted to go and see some animals and as its still a little too warm for the zoo, we decided to go to the Aquarium instead. Of course Oscar had a great time seeing all the animals and we took a little trip to the gift shop and bought him an Ant Farm (much to my disgust – eek!) and we had to get Millie a little something so Oscar chose a small monkey teddy for her. We also headed to one of our favourite parks; Rawda Park but after feeling the slides it was just still too hot for a park at the moment. Maybe in a couple of weeks! Instead, we kicked a ball around on the grass and got an ice cream from McDonalds.

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PLAY at Discovery Mall

Again, another favourite of ours! We have posted about Play in more detail before and you can read it here. Play is definitely one of my favourite indoor places for kids in Kuwait and if you go of a morning you can often have the place practically to yourself! The price of 5KD too isn’t too bad considering you can have some lunch at the food court and then pop back in again. We are really excited to here that there are two new Play branches opening soon; one at Boulevard in Salmiya and one at The Promendade in Hawally – so close to where we live!

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We had a great week with my parents, but as always it flew by too quickly! Now it will be 10 weeks until we see them at Christmas. I’m sure it will go by quickly though, as all the other weeks seem to be doing so lately!

What did you get up to during the Eid holidays?