Monday, 30 December 2019

Christmas in Abu Dhabi 2019

This year due to moving jobs and apartments once again we decided to spend Christmas as a year in Abu Dhabi.  We were originally going to travel to a more wintery destination but as we moved apartments again in early December we decided it best to stay put.

We did Christmas in Abu Dhabi in our first year here - our children were very young and we hadn't had long to settle into our new life.  Our first Christmas here was a strange one.  I remember crying on Christmas Eve, longing for the sort of Christmas we were used to.  But when Christmas day rolled around we did have a really lovely day.  We did the fairly typical expat thing and went to Christmas brunch at the Westin.  It was a great experience and I am really glad that we did it but it was easy to forget that it was actually Christmas day, sitting outside at a brunch with everyone eating at different times.  Christmas in Abu Dhabi that year could be found with lots of Christmas tree lightings and with a visit to see Father Christmas in the Abu Dhabi mall but it was still very much something that you had to look for as, after all, we live in a country that doesn't actually celebrate Christmas.

Fast forward to this year and what a change! Christmas has been all around this year and we have had a super festive December.  I am so pleased and so appreciative of the fact that Abu Dhabi has embraced Christmas this year.  With Christmas songs playing in the malls, copious festive events and Christmas markets it really has been so much better than our first run up to Christmas in 2017.  We have taken advantage of many of the Christmas events that have been happening in and around Abu Dhabi.  Some highlights include the Yas winter carnival and the Galleria mall winter wonderland (so if you're here next Christmas you should definitely check those out).  We also throw in a trip to Ski Dubai (about an hour and 40 minutes from where we live) which was so much fun! We played in the snow and paid Father Christmas a visit.  We were already in the festive spirit so this was the cherry on top!

After playing in the snow and popping into iHop (The international house of pancakes for those of you that don't know) we headed over to stay on the QE2 which is now permanently docked in Dubai.  The children absolutely loved the experience of sleeping on a boat and the following day which watched the Peter Pan pantomime on board!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were fairly quiet affairs just us, delicious food and lots of present unwrapping!  We bought lots of delicious food from Waitress but got our actual Christmas dinner from Jones the Grocer here in Abu Dhabi. Apart from the dodgy gravy the dinner was absolutely brilliant - really tasty and there was turkey left over for Sam and the children for days! Sam even made his very own turkey curry!  The days following Christmas involved more fun, more playing, the odd cheese coma and lots of slow walks around the mangroves and to the park... bliss!

Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful Christmas... it was the quiet Christmas we wished for filled with lie ins, family time, playing and plenty of food! We missed friends and family at home of course we did but video calling helped with that. :)

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas,

Friday, 25 October 2019

Unicorn Cafe: A review.

If you have a son or daughter who loves unicorns (and you live in the UAE 🇦🇪) you need to read this post. 

Recently we visited the Unicorn Café on Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan St in Abu Dhabi.  Our daughter Posey is all about that unicorn life at the moment and we felt that both the children deserved a little treat.  I had heard about the café  a while back but had been told to hold off as they weren't quite set up yet and that their menu was still very limited.  Fast forward a couple of months and we were dying to give this place a go!

When you arrive at the café you are greeted with an array of pink and gold goodness.  It is definitely ascetically pleasing and it is easy to see why it is so instagrammable.  So if you are heading there for the 'gram' you won't be disappointed. 

The menu is only small and but there are some delightful unicorn treats to sample.  From a unicorn milkshake to a unicorn milk cake there are a fair few options.  If you are someone looking for a slice of savory with your sweet then there are a couple of options but if come on, if you're heading to the Unicorn café indulge yourself in all the sweet goodness.

When we went to the café we happened to be the only ones there - which was fabulous.  The café is very small however if you get there when it is quiet it is a pretty delightful place to visit.  Your little ones will definitely leave on a high (a sugar high) and you have the chance to take some lovely photos sitting on the café's indoor swing or sat in front of their beautiful flower wall. 

It is somewhere you would head every week but it is definitely worth a visit and would be a lovely place for an intimate baby shower or little girl's tea party. 

If you go and check it out let me know what you think :) 
You can check the café out on instagram - just search  

Thanks for stopping by, 

Another new start.

 It is October... how is it October?!  I am sat in my bed typing this and feeling good that I am finally picking up my blog again.  The last few months have been a little bit manic to say the least. 

We have now entered our third year of our adventure in the land of sand.  Posey is in year one and Lochlann is in FS2 (reception).  My husband and I had settled well into teaching out here and spent last year leading our year groups; responsible for the curriculum and progress of eight classes each.  Fast forward to now and we are in another new apartment, in a different area of Abu Dhabi and have changed schools too! Like I said the last few months have been somewhat challenging!

Although it had many ups and downs we did enjoy our time at our last school and we learned a lot but we felt it was time for a new challenge and hoped that this new school would be the school we stick at.  We have moved homes 5 times in the past 4 years - I would like to stay put for a while now (I have a serious distaste for packing).  I want our children to continue to grow their friendships and have a chance to feel settled.

We now live on Al Reem island which is much closer to the city than we previously were. A delayed apartment meant we spent a few weeks living in a hotel in the city which was far from ideal but these things tend to happen as an expat teacher (everyone seems to have a similar story).  Although I am not in love with the new apartment, we finally have a home again, we have three bedrooms now and we do have amazing views over the water.  It is taking time for us to get used to being in a new part of Abu Dhabi however now the weather is finally cooling down we are getting the chance to explore a little more.  Al Reem has a great communal park with a skate park which my husband and our two littles were very excited about when we decided to move.  We brought two skateboards back home from the UK with us so the children are eager to get out on those.

Changing schools has brought with it lots of positives but I am not going to sit here and say it was easy. I really dislike being the 'new girl' and have struggled to relinquish control.  My confidence was definitely hit as year group leader last year but in many ways I did really enjoy it and I believed in what we were trying to achieve.  It was always going to be a challenge to come to a new school and learn their approaches.
Posey and Lochlann however continue to astound me.  Yes we had tears and talks about missing their old school but overall they have coped amazingly well with the change. They are making friends, they talk to us about their day and their teachers are pleased with their progress.  For a while I was worried that we had made the wrong decision and that they needed the security of staying put in one school but our littles are tough and they've proven me wrong! :) I am honestly so proud of them both.

We are now coming to the end of October half term but it has been amazing to slow down and not think about school for a while.  To just be mama and daddy.  I won't say I am excited to return to work (who ever is?!) but I am feeling more ready to tackle this new half term.  I am not new anymore, I know my little class and I know my own children are thriving.

Look at how grown up they are now ... Holly and the not so littles should perhaps be the new name for my blog! :) 

If you're still here, thank you for reading my waffly post... I am definitely a little out of practice but it is good to be back!