Parenting, Reviews, special occasions

Why Travel with Your Significant Other?!

Going on a short vacation with your significant other, allows serious growth in your relationship. Ever since our eldest son was almost two years old, hubby and I decided on having some time on our own – away from the usual parenting routine. We soon found ourselves booking a staycation for a few days, every summer, where we used to keep our little son under the care of his grandparents. As the years passed, and the number of our children increased, we reduced our break to a day or two. Still, as a couple, those short breaks helped in rejuvenating our relationship. However, this year, we decided to take our break to a higher level and headed over to Amsterdam for five days! I fully acknowledge that without the support we have, we would have never been able to achieve our goal. It is indeed very true that it takes a village to raise a child – and in our case our support system is even beyond that village! To that, we are so grateful!

So why is it essential that couples get some time on their own?

We are fully aware that sooner than we expect, our children will embark on their own and soar around the world. That is why, we need to establish common interests together so we enjoy ourselves when we are older and on our own. We are also aware that if we do not work on strengthening our bond as a couple, by time, the sparkle might lose its glimmer. Having this in mind, we both put whatever effort is needed to preserve the solid connection we have!

This trip allowed us to destress, renovate in new ways, and appreciate what we have established during those fifteen years of marriage. Further, it served as the perfect occasion to focus on being husband and wife instead of putting all our attention into being Mama and Papa.

Not having our children around us, broke up that parental routine making us closer to one another. We were more understanding and patient with one another. We could feel that it strengthened our teamwork skills, and mostly we had plenty of time to discuss new plans and clarify certain points of view. Sometimes you feel more connected when you’re away from your comfort zone.

As we freely roamed around the beautiful streets of the city, we enjoyed the uninterrupted closeness to one another. Moreover, once we left the hotel, we were completely disconnected from our phones and had the chance to live in the moment of just being with each other!

After all, this voyage has enhanced our emotional connection and cut the monotonous work and stress we endure all year long. It also provided us with enough time to spark some romance. The latter could be easily concealed after a few years of marriage, due to the endless parenting obligations.

What we also appreciated is the fact that we got to discover new things together. In addition to visiting A Beer Brewery, The Red Light District, and The Water Canals, we also got the chance of being educated together through the rich museums of Van Gogh, Anne Frank, and the Diamond Museum (to name a few)…

We also loved how Amsterdam presented a real example of a society which is composed of a variety of people who practice different forms of employment. At the same time, everyone is so welcoming and warm-hearted making tourists enjoy their stay.

Personally, I strongly recommend experiencing the world with your significant other. Not only is it an enriching experience for you as a person, it’s strengthening as a couple and can honestly take your relationship to new levels.

The indelible treasure engraved in the heart and mind when experiencing something together, can be everlasting. After all, any new sort of experience creates a memory that will be forever unique to the relationship between a couple.

Together, we have built up those great memories which we could hopefully go back to once we are old and gray!

What experiences have you learned through traveling with your partner? Let me know in the comments below!

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events, Parenting, Reviews

Review; Parenting by Connecting Approach

The talk with Tanshi2a that took place two weeks ago at Silkor in Abu Dhabi Mall, left the moms with mixed emotions of guilt, accomplishment, difficulty, success, and puzzlement. As Mrs. Anisa Al Sahrif, Conscious Parenting Educator and Social Entrepreneur, discussed a few essential tools that help in building a solid connection with our children, she also provided the audience with real life situations and examples from daily challenges we, as parents, face.

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Human beings are characterized by being emotional, and our emotions play a major role in our decisions and actions. In fact, understanding a parent’s emotions is as equally important as understanding that of a child. As per Mrs. Al Sharif, once we comprehend ourselves, we will definitely apprehend our children. Once we work on our sentiments, we are able to grasp our children’s reaction with more ease. Thus, we build an extraordinary connection with them.

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As parents and caregivers, we need to learn to accept that crying is a healthy way to process emotions. It allows our children to  let out their frustration and address certain needs – like having you around. A child might cry because of fatigue, hunger, or simply because she misses her parent’s presence. Mrs. Al Sharif adamant statement is that the more love and warmth we provide our child with, the more trust and cooperation we build.

A child’s behaviour, Mrs. Al Sharif, explains is very similar to an iceberg. We tend to see only the tip of it, but we need to learn to look behind it in order to recognize and address the emotion that lies beneath. At the same time, as parents we need to learn to put limits in a way that gives them the space to experiment and make their own mistakes in order to build their personality and resilience.

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She continued to explicitly provide the attendees with a set of five main parenting by connection tools that can build that bond:

  1. Special Time:

For this tool, Mrs. AlSharif suggests that the parent sets a date every single day with the child. It can be anything between 3 minutes to an hour. Put an alarm to set a boundary, and let the child choose what she wants to do. It could be anything from doing experiments to jumping on the bed. Make sure to provide the child with much warmth and eye contact. She strongly encourages the parent to simply enjoy those moments with the child, promote laughter, and not to give advice.

  1. Playlistening:

In this spontaneous tool, Mrs. Al Sharif encourages the parent to follow the laughter and encourage the fun in their relation with their children. The child will always take the lead in these situations with the adult taking the less powerful role. Laughter has an incredible power to heal any hard emotions – exactly like crying. When a child is comfortable to express her feelings, the handling of emotions is achieved. In playlistening, it is advised not to tickle the child in order to leave the feelings of joy and laughter come from within the child. Apparently tickling a child results in having forced emotions which might result in negative consequences later on in life as adults.

  1. Setting Limits:

Setting limits with a child is essential for both. It is advised that a parent takes a minute to breathe before interfering with the trouble that is causing the child for having a tantrum or any kind of frenzy outburst.  A parent can learn how to stop off-track behavior with love, warmth, and respect.

  1. Staylistening:

Once a child’s needs are understood and listened to, the tension is released and the child can think. At the most challenging times, parents need to listen deeply and attentively. Once the issue is resolved the child can connect and ponder on the behavior that resulted.

  1. Listening Partnership:

Parenting is tough, and parents need to be supported. This tool is about processing our own emotions and understanding what triggers us as parents. Having a person who can listen to us, with no judgment and without offering any advice, is a great way that can help us identify and handle our own emotions.

In conclusion, a child’s neural pathways grow through love, respect, eye contact, and listening. All of these result in connection which is vital for parents and children alike.

Thank you Mrs. Al Sharif for this insightful talk which was an eye-opener to most of our attendees.

To learn more about the Parenting by Connecting Approach head over to www.tanshi2a.com or www.handinhandparenting.org

 

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PS: More pictures will soon be posted on the thehelicoptermommy Facebook page, so stay tuned.

Reviews

Iftar At The Palace

With the approach of the holy month, and like every year, the Emirates Palace gives me the pleasure to enjoy its exclusive media sneak preview of its Ramadan Pavilion.

The elegant service and palatial array of dishes ranging from traditional to mouth watering Emirati dishes and desserts left us tantalized with its perfection.

Moreover, the warm welcoming of the staff in general and the management in particular, create a special feeling of being at home while being served in the luxury of the palace and its refined hospitality.

This year the pavilion wore a new traditional design completed with modern touches. Soft traditional music filled the air making people converse properly and at ease. At the same time, sophisticated stands of dates and spices are scattered around evoking Arabian history and heritage.

Excitingly enough, in June 14, the same venue will be transformed into Emirates Palace World Cup Tent where football fans could relax in the cool comfort of the spacious tent during the hotly anticipated games. One would never miss a single moment of the action across the 7 meters by 4 meters humongous LED screens.

Thank you Mr. Cramer and Mr. Alaoui for having me enjoy those eminent moments in the warm niche of the palace.

Recipes, Reviews

Event Review; Piping and Shape Molding on Cupcakes

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What a lovely and successful event we had yesterday along with Sally Cake Away at Wilton Stores! We really enjoyed discovering our talents as we learned how to pipe grass, mold soft delicate flowers, and form cute bunnies using icing, fondant, and gum paste.

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Sally was helpful in guiding us through the steps as we set ourselves to some serious work. We had fun learning a few special tricks as each one of us added her own special touch to her art piece. Forming Mr. Bunny was a bit challenging, but with determination we had some cute results.

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In addition to all the learning acquired, the ladies won many prizes and received plenty of gifts. Patchi, Layan Emirates, O’cocoon, Racha Halllak Photography, Nails, Borders, and last but not least Wilton Stores have contributed in showering them with those amazing gifts and vouchers.

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Finally, each attendee left with a certificate from Wilton stating her productive participation in the workshop!

Well done everyone. You were such a boisterous group, and I cannot thank you enough for making our event such a success. You were all amazing, and I was delighted to see such hidden endowments amongst you.

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Cheers to more fruitful moments shared together!

For more pictures about the event, check thehelicoptermommy Facebook page and tag your friends to learn more about what we did!

About Life, Reviews

The Desert

Today’s post is not like any other post, and soon you will know why. I was looking forward to describing my feelings towards an experience which would take me back to the early years of my childhood, back in Arabia where I was born. Back to the desert which carries a unique daunting beauty in my heart. While some might see it as an empty boiling oven which could swipe someones’s existence in a few seconds, I personally, find its golden colors – especially at dusk – create a fantastical piece of art deciphering a land which is flat and barren with brownish orange sand merging into the purple navy blue skies!

In the Hussant family, our children are referred to as “les enfants du desert” by their cousins who live in France. Knowing this, a child of the desert cannot but admire its charm and oneness.

Moreover, I know that one day they will look back at those memories with nostalgia and sentimentally remember all the joy they have attained when we once lived in beautiful Abu Dhabi.

Last weekend, we planned on having a BBQ with our friends somewhere in the desert. However, with little Miss D’s sickness, I had to stay with her while the boys went with their dad and enjoyed their time on the warm soft dunes.

Since I usually discuss the topics which I write with my children, one of them got excited and suggested that he records down his experience about this trip. He wanted to describe his feelings and to highlight the importance as to why children should explore nature. What an amazing learning opportunity he has provided me with! I could not but proudly concede to his request! And this is what he wrote;

“The desert is known for being amongst the special places on Planet Earth which has its own mysterious secrets. Last Friday, my brothers, my dad, and I went to the desert with a few friends to spend the afternoon and have a BBQ. My sister D was sick, so mum had to stay with her! Anyway, it took us around an hour and twenty minutes before finally arriving to this beautiful place which was located in the middle of nowhere.

The reasons why I love going to places like that are the following:

  • In the desert, you feel free, and completely detached from the big stressful city that I get tired of after a certain moment. Moreover, such trips are exceptional as they allow me to explore the sensations of nature away from the brick houses, glass towers, cars, and pollution.
  • As an adventurous child, it makes me feel as if I am on a quest to find treasures. Actually, we dug a hole and found some crystals! Later when it started to get dark, we built our own fire and roasted some tasty marshmallows!
  • Out there, you can do whatever you want. We played football, Frisbee, and badminton. We even flew kites! I liked the feeling of having the wind blow on my face. Finally, sliding down and climbing up the dunes was awesome.
  • At the end of the day, I wished I could stay there for the rest of the weekend. I had sand in my hair and in my pants. I was very dirty but felt very happy as well.

I recommend such outings to everyone, even those who think that desert outings are tiring.”

Ramy Hussant

If you liked this post, please share it on your social media page and thank you all for your continuous support!

A special thank you goes to the dear friends who have taken those lovely pictures.

Reviews

Review: Morning Coffee with Forever Living

Our coffee morning at Leopold’s Nation Tower, was filled with a boisterous group of amazing women living in Abu Dhabi. We started off with a detailed presentation by Katy Holmes who came all the way from Dubai to inform us about the wonderful Forever Living Products, and talk about a possible business opportunity to such a unique group of supportive ladies.

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We, then, enjoyed a rich breakfast composed of eggs, croissants, and cheese along with fruit yogurt and of course coffee.

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As usual, and thanks to the raffle draw, many ladies were showered with beautiful gifts from Healthy Home Me, Zumba Lena, Ghanem Salon, Mama’s Garden, and Hunter Foods. Finally, each lady left with a mini-chocolate box from Patchi, a helicoptermommy mug from Layan Emirates, and a bag of Himalaya pink salt chips from Hunter Foods. Those pinks bags were specifically designed to support the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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I would like to take the opportunity and thank each and every single one of you for your endless support and continuous enthusiasm. I was also very pleased to have met new people, and I am grateful for all the learning opportunities I am receiving through you and through my blogging experience.

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Head over to my Facebook page to see the rest of the pictures, and tag your friends to know all about our productive morning.

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Love to all!

Reviews

Our Family Getaway; Tyre

Our family getaway in Tyre has left us with remarkable memories and learning experiences that were attained with pleasure. For our stay, we booked at the Al Yasmine Guest House and spent a lovely time there.

Al Yasmine Guest House: http://www.alyasmineguesthouse.com

We were sincerely touched with the warm welcome the staff provided us with. All five of our children felt free to explore the area, play around, and learn about certain animal behaviors. The whole setting of the resort takes you into a Mexican village where as a guest you are treated with generosity and hospitality.

As parents, we were longing for this tranquility and natural silence where the only sounds we could hear were the quacking of ducks, chirping of birds, and rustling of leaves. The greenery around with delicate colorful begonvillia plants scattered gracefully adds a heavenly lush to the whole scene.

The guest house offers many sportive activities that make a child and an adult enjoy their time together. There is a small playground for little children, a mini-golf, a tennis court, a ping pong table, a basketball hoop, a pool table, babyfoot, two pools, a double seat bicycle, and some horses. The twins were delighted as they fed the cute reindeers caressing them at any given opportunity. Finally, the most enjoyable activity for them was rowing the boat in the lake along the ducks and swans.

The Rooms:

We enjoyed an evening with the owner of the house who told us how, together with her husband, they have designed the rooms and the whole area to receive their children’s friends during the weekend and enjoy their stay together far from the hussle and bustle of the city Beirut. She even made sure not to include any Wi-Fi connection or TV service so one can really disconnect and profit from the peacefulness the House bestows.

On one side of the main house a number of rooms with ravishing mexican interiors are now accessible to the guests and our rooms were of no different. The cleanliness and honesty with which the employers work with are also remarkable. Little D lost her golden bracelet, and I was baffled when the housekeeper found it for us.

The food:

Al Yasmine Guest House offers a selection of a tasty and healthy Lebanese breakfast. In the evening guests have the choice to choose from the menu or have a delicious BBQ along with a selection of appetizing mezzah like fatoush, baked eggplants, spicy potatoes, and mutabal to name a few of my favorite.

Old Tyre:

Since I always aim at educating our children and have them attain general knowledge, we always make sure that we make any trip a learning opportunity. With this intention, we headed to the Necropolis El Bass in Tyre where we told them all about the rich history Lebanon has endured. From the Byzantium Era to the Romanian Vestiges, we walked along its colonaded road passing through whatever was left from those great dynasties.

We continued walking until we reached the huge impressive Hippodrome that used to seat 20000 spectators who gathered to watch the death-defying sport of chariot racing! Standing at the top of the steps, I felt I could hear their loud cheers and boisterous zest, but as I looked around reality hit me sharply knowing that such treasures are not taken care of. It is a shame to have such history stand alone, still with pride, but with a few who really appreciate it.

Along the road, and as we drove through the vast fields of fruit bearing trees, we pointed out to the children the different types that grew on the coast. It is a pleasure to see how even the twins could locate a banana tree and the boys identify the avocado tree!

As a mother, I always long to plan such trips with my family and I care about them learning something new out of it. Pushing them into appreciating nature, history, and be able to spend quality time together are challenging these days, so when it is done with fun, it lives in their memories forever.

I am glad that we have chosen the Al Yasmine Guest House as our relaxing getaway and would like to thank all the staff members again for making us feel that we were at home!

Do not forget to check the video below and to share this post on your social media!