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?

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Liebster Award

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Recently my little blog got nominated for not one, but TWO Liebster Awards by the very lovely Triona from A Little Londoner and super mum Becky from 3 Princesses and 1 Dude. I love both their blogs; Becky has 4 children but still manages to do SO many arts and crafts at home with them as well cook yummy Slimming World meals AND she has a great sense of humour – which shows in her posts on 3 Princesses and 1 Dude. Triona’s blog A Little Londoner is definitely one of my favourite blogs, I love her child-friendly and adult recipes, her reviews and of course the lovely updates on beautiful Amelia! I recommend both their blogs for other mums to have a read of, they are both on my reading list each day 🙂 And thank you both for nominating Expat Family Q8!

So what is the Liebster Award?  

The Liebster Award is basically a nomination from a fellow blogger who appreciates and enjoys your writing. It is something you should pay forward and keep it going similar to a chain letter.

The rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
6. Create a new list of questions for these bloggers to answer.
7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

11 facts about me:

1) I have 2 lovely children; Oscar who turned 3 a couple of weeks ago and Millie who is 9 months.

2) I have lived in Kuwait for 4 years with my husband. We are both from the UK (Liverpool and Manchester).

3) I see Kuwait as ‘home’ more than the UK now as it is the place where my children were born and the place where we have made a ‘home’ for them. Although I miss the UK massively and the little luxuries like British food, restaurants, different places to visit and of course my parents!

4) I love travelling and visiting new places. I’m hoping once the kids are a bit older we can visit a few more places on our ‘list’!

5) Before moving to Kuwait I worked as a supervisor in Iceland (the supermarket) whilst at University studying Tourism and Leisure Management.

6) My favourite food would be Chinese or Lebanese. And chocolate, obviously!

7) I started my blog almost a year ago now. It was mainly to ‘cure’ the boredom when we stayed in Kuwait last summer with Oscar was an energetic toddler and heavily pregnant with Millie. It was too hot for outdoor activities so I started to encourage myself mainly to do more stuff at home and force myself to find more things to do in Kuwait!

8) I am an only child. When I was younger I really would of liked a brother or sister, but now it doesn’t bother me so much.

9) My ideal ‘me-time’ would be spending a couple of hours on Pinterest! I am obsessed!

10) I love shopping. I could easily spend hours and hours at the malls here in Kuwait if I had endless pot of money! But I much prefer shopping in the UK as its much cheaper and there tends to be a bigger selection in my favourite shops in the UK!

11) Before moving to Kuwait the only thing I had cooked would of been some pasta and now I love cooking, especially stuff for Oscar and Millie.

My questions:

1.What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Favourite time of day would be mornings or nap time 😉 Day of the week would be the weekend and month of the year depends on if we are in Kuwait or not; whilst in Kuwait I love October/November time the weather is perfect. But in the UK I obviously love the summer months.

2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

I don’t listen to music often at home really but in the car it would probably be a Michael Buble CD.

3. What is one of your favorite quotes?

‘Remember the small things as they are often the big things’

4. Who would be your 5 dream guests at a dinner party?

My family 🙂 Oh and I wouldn’t mind Michael Buble there singing to us! 😉

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Lots of Michael Buble, Westlife and Elton John’s I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues as its mine and my husbands song 🙂

6. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?

I think it was the last episode of Derek that we watched a couple of weeks ago.

7. What is your first memory?

Maybe something from nursery days?

8. What story does your family always tell about you?

I can’t really recall any to be honest.

9. Whats the biggest fib you have ever told?

Hmm…i’m not sure!

10. Silliest/stupidest/funniest thing you have done when tipsy drunk? Do you remember it?

I’m not a silly drunk really and I haven’t had a drink for ages now!

11. Just Where IS Wally?

I have no idea!

The bloggers I nominate for the Liebster Award:

My questions to you are:

1) What made you start blogging?

2) What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

3) Have you ever wanted to live in a different country?

4) If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

5) What do you enjoy doing in your ‘me-time’ or free-time?

6) Whats the best thing about being a mum and the hardest?

7) What would be your ‘dream’ job?

8) What is your favourite song and why?

9) Whats behind the name of your blog?

10) Where would you like to be in five years?

11) Do you have any regrets?

Sorry if you have been nominated before! I look forward to reading your answers and seeing the award passed along to some more bloggers 🙂