Some Serious Pampering at Argan Day Spa…

I am always up for trying new, exciting things, so when Argan Day Spa contacted me to try their services, of course I happily obliged.

I headed there not knowing what to expect, however I was super excited to know that one of the services booked for me was: A Moroccan bath!! I am Moroccan and I obviously know a thing or two about Moroccan baths, so I had very high expectation. However, my concerns were soothed knowing that the owner herself was Moroccan. I arrived to the Spa around 1pm, headed straight to their steam room, guided by a lovely Thai lady, with a gorgeous smile.

Basically a Moroccan Hammam (bath) is a bathroom with steam, where you can bathe, and scrub the hell out of your dead skin, using a glove that feels a bit like sandpaper. After applying the famous Moroccan natural soap, and leaving it for few minutes. You can then later resume your normal showering habits as usual (Soap, shampoo, conditioner …etc).

Once I got to the steam room, I immediately felt like I was back in time to when I was 5 or 6 years old, when I used to go with my mom every week to the “Hammam”. The lady applied the Moroccan soap so gently and I could smell the beautiful and natural smell of that fabulous soap. She then left the room and said that she will come back in 10 minutes, leaving me to relax with the steam to open up my pores. Once she was back, with her black glove, she got right into it. If you have never had a Moroccan Bath, you might be shocked and degusted with whatever is coming out of your body, but there is something absolutely satisfying about it: All the dead skin is gone forever, and you will feel so light and clean like you never had before. The tricky part is to know how much pressure you should apply when rubbing, you don’t want to be too soft, then nothing will come out, and at the same time you don’t want to be too harsh and hurt the skin. The lady who was taking care of me was so perfect that I had to ask her where did she learn all that from. To my surprise, she said that the Owner herself -Miss Fatima Hanine-, has personally trained her, along with the other ladies in the spa! Now that’s a fantastic sense of commitment!

She then washed my hair gently and applied a body mask that is very popular in Morocco, which consists of natural clay and rose water. It smells divine and feels like silk over the body.

Basically you just lay on a table and there is a wonderful lady who takes you on a full journey to Morocco to experience the real deal! She will blow your senses away! and believe me once done you will be addicted to this sort of natural, traditional yet luxurious and dazzling experience.

I then was taken to the massage room, where “Masha” was so warm and helpful- Please remember this name because I can’t recommend her enough!!- After I told her that my calves were very painful, (from all the standing, running, walking I do all day, everyday!), she said she will focus on them. She applied some pressure for few minutes, a little strong but she promised that this will help with the stiff muscles at the back of my legs. Once done I could already feel how light my calves were, and the pain was totally gone! It was such a blessing to finally walk without feeling that the muscles in my legs were going to explode!

After she finished she brought warm towels and washed away all the oil from the massage on my body. How amazing is that! I always hate to have to put back on my clothes, to an oily body, but this time I didn’t have to, there was no trace of oil, just a bunch of happy rejuvenated muscles! She also washed her hands before dealing with my super clean hair.. BONUS!!

I then headed to the salon, to blow dry my hair. Michele was so gentle and super quick, she finished my hair in less than 20 minutes, and it looked great. The Mani-Pedi station is next to the hair area, for now, but starting next month though the whole hair station will be moved to a new extension of the salon- that is currently ready and just being decorated- to fit the high demands of the salon. Also the owner –Miss Fatima- explained that because her main aim is to offer the clients the fabulous experience they deserve when they come to her Salon, she wants the treatment rooms to be as far away from the hair station as possible, so that there is absolutely no trace of disturbance in the air, hence the new extension of the salon was created.

There is also a whole section for men, that includes Mani-Pedi stations, Treatment rooms (massages and facials), and a hair section. Couples can book adjacent rooms that can be opened during the treatment so that they both enjoy the experience together.

For women into fashion, you can also find a wide range of stylish, colorful and very beautiful Moroccan dresses (Kaftans), designed by Miss Fatima herself and made specially in Morocco for her clients.

My experience was exactly what I have hoped for, exactly what every woman deserves. The service is fabulous, the owner herself takes care of the salon, so she makes sure everything is up to standard, which I admire greatly.

The Spa has been open since the beginning of 2013, at the lagoon-Amwaj, (Gate 7&8, First Floor).

For appointments you can call them: 16030888

Follow them: @argandayspa

 

Ouiam

 

“Hello! Come in!”

 

 

Last week, I ordered something from a home owned business. Few days later it was ready and my son and I passed by to collect it. We rang the bell and the person whom we ordered the piece from opened the door, and we were told to wait at the door step, to collect our order. To me there was nothing alarming about this, nor did I even think twice about the whole “waiting at the doorstep thing”, but my 3 years old little boy did. He immediately asked me: “Mama, why we weren’t invited to go inside”. I must admit that I had no answer to that, I mean people are free to invite whoever they like and this isn’t even someone we know, but nothing came out of my mouth, all I could think of is how my 3 years old little angel knows that doors should always be opened for guests, and guests should always come in. This must have been something he has learned in our home. He must have seen that we always invite anyone and everyone to our home!! Wooooha! My husband and I must have been doing it RIGHT! At that moment I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my son and myself too!

 

Being kind is something I always focus on, in our day to day life, with my son. Because to me, being kind is more important than how you look, how much money you make, what’s your race, religion or color! Being kind is what I pray my son will be known for. So I work hard on that, each and every day to instill this incredible quality in his soul.

When he asked me why we were not invited to come in, he was seriously confused, as if it was the most natural and common thing to do, whenever you open your door, and that’s what melted my heart then and every single minute after! The innocence with which he asked was absolutely precious, something that I sure miss in our world nowadays. We were all born innocent as my little man is now, yet somehow along the years, the experiences that shaped who we have become, the people with whom we crossed paths, the scars that our destiny made us carry, and the voice inside of us that fades with every passing day, all this and more made us become the people who can’t trust and who are sometimes unkind today.

I still have no answer for my little one, but I have loved his question more than I have cared to find the answer, his question made me realize that some things as simple as saying “Come in please” meant so much more that what they really are, it made me realize that I want to see the world through the eyes of a child, always and forever.

 

May he always open his door to everyone and anyone, may he keep trusting people even if they are unkind to him, may his eyes, soul, and heart stay forever young.

 

 

Ouiam

One Brilliant Place For Some Exquisite Food!

 

When you live in an island packed with restaurants, cafes, and eateries, and you are someone like me, you end up going to the same places over and over again, just because you want to avoid the dilemma that comes with too many choices. About 6 months ago, a friend of mine mentioned a new place called “Areesh” that just opened in the lagoon, Amwaj, with middle eastern cuisine, and she wanted to try it. So of course we headed there, not sure what to expect, first: Because the place just opened, and I have been disappointed way too many times with new businesses, either because their staff aren’t trained enough, or not familiar with the menu quite yet, then because I am not a big fan of middle eastern food, so I wasn’t really keen to go but … Why not…?!

 

The minute we entered, I found myself contemplating the décor, such a fantastic combination between chic and simple, with a touch of Fairooz and Jobran Khalil Jobran (Famous Arab artists from the glorious old time) in the background. The choice of colors gave it a modern look, yet the use of Arabic little details like the chairs, the tables, and the old tea pots gave it an authentic taste; but hey…. this lovely décor wasn’t going to fill my growing appetite. It was breakfast time, so we ordered some falafel, Halloumi cheese and hummus, with some tea and coffee. The food came in about 5 minutes, and it was absolutely delicious. The staff were so warm and welcoming. We really enjoyed our experience and since then we became great, loyal customers. So few weeks ago when this same restaurant contacted me to connect with the “Amwaj mamas”, I was beyond thrilled. Not only the restaurant had delightful food, but also a fabulous marketing strategy! They invited ALL the Amwaj mamas to a fantastic breakfast, to introduce them to this splendid corner, where authenticity and modernity go hand in hand.

 

I must say, even though I knew how good their food was, and how nice and warm their staff were, inviting 25 mamas along with their little ones is no joke. Moms with babies (and toddlers) have many needs, and when there are 25 of them, things can very much turn into a chaos!

Once we went in, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful the tables looked, the staff took extra care arranging the chairs and tables to make it easier for the moms to come in with their huge bags and bulky strollers. The kids immediately hijacked the place, and you know what toddlers do best? SCREAM!! Of course with 25 of them it was crazy, BUT the staff were so gentle and nice to them, they tolerated the noise, the banging, the loud chitchats between the moms- because the louder our kids get, the louder we must get- the crying, the shouting and screaming, I must say even I was surprised!

We each ordered our drinks: coffees, teas, and juices, which all came in beautiful cups and glasses. Then a cascade of middle eastern food flooded our big table. It was never ending yummy food! Everything,…. you name it: Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Fatayer, Falafel, Liver, Omelets, and Cheese. Everything was fresh and mouthwatering! Moms and kids enjoyed every single bite! The little ones also enjoyed the colorful balloons they were offered by the very thoughtful staff!

 

What caught my attention even more than the delicious food, was how attentive the owner was! He -himself- kept on checking if every mama was comfortable, and had that highchair she needed, or the coffee she ordered, or the extra chair she wanted. He was calling the waiters to fill them in with who wanted/needed what, and I thought this great attention to details was really exceptional!

All moms were astonished with the kindness and the generosity of the owners of Areesh restaurant, they were also amazed with how good the food was, and how nice and welcoming the staff were. It is definitely one of the best breakfasts Amwaj mamas were ever invited to! So a really huge Thank you to Areesh Restaurant, for your kindness, generosity and attention to details.

 

Areesh Restaurant is THE place for Authentic middle eastern/Arabic food. It is located at Amwaj Lagoon, entrance 6A (parking 5&6). It is open from 9:15am till midnight and they deliver too! So make sure you try it for yourself NOW!!!

Ramadan Special: Open for delivery, daily from 12pm-2am.

Areesh restaurant also have an app that you can use to place your order, and enjoy a 7% discount on all deliveries.

 

 

 

Ouiam

A Chunk Of Goodness: with Chanelmama

Question: What makes a mama happy?

Answer: A MASSAGE!!!

 

No kidding! What a massage can do to a mama is pure magic, it’s unreal! Picture this with me : One whole hour, with no “Mama, I want this”, “Mama I need that”, “Mama, Do this for me”, “Mama, Get that for me “! An hour of tackling all those sore muscles from all the standing up we do! A full hour of relaxation and wellbeing.

 

Few days ago, every inch in my body was yearning for a deep tissue massage! I could hear the muscles in my legs screaming and threatening to go on a strike! So I did what every responsible human being would do and I booked for a full hour of goodness, aka A MASSAGE!

 

Long time ago, I came across an Instagram account, of a place called “Mommy Wellness Day Spa”. I must confess the name was very intriguing, because first HELLO!!! I am a mom, then my wellness is ALWAYS very important to me; So I promised myself to go and discover how much wellness was this place ready to offer me. Fast forward, a year later (Yes it took me this long!), I finally made that call and was ready to be transported to heaven for one whole hour.

 

The place is located in Seef district, at the Courtyard Building, surrounded with restaurants, and cafes, so the perfect place to spend a whole afternoon!

 

With its shabby chic décor, the spa instantly puts you in the right mood for some very well-deserved pampering. The light green in the walls fills you with serenity, and prepares you for the magic that will happen behind the closed doors.

Oh! and did I mention that they have a small area for kids? So you can actually bring your little one with you, and someone will take care of them while you are having a fabulous time.

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Before we started our session, the masseuse (for the life of me I can’t remember her name), put some oils under my nose and asked me to breath 3 times, she did this multiple times during the session and I must confess: I loved it! There is something about smelling essential oils that is just comforting! She then started the massage, from my arms, which is very unusual, they always start with the legs, but I have to say that she targeted areas that I never even knew they existed, with different twists and different angles, and it was just AMAZING!!!! Usually whenever I get a massage, and the masseuse reaches for my shoulders, I always wince from the pain, but GUESS WHAT!! Not this time! I believe the new angles were super beneficial to tackle those knots gently, and effectively. Then she moved to my legs, and did the same thing!  It was amazing! She massaged every single inch of my body so differently yet with the very best results!

 

I felt that I have hit the jackpot when she went to massage my head, aaaaaaaaaand – wait for it…..- She washed her hands from all those oils before she touched my hair! Can you believe it? I don’t know about you, but every time I went for a massage, I always came out with greasy and oily hair, because while they do a great job massaging the scalp, all the oils from their hands find refuge in MY hair, and I hate it! So this time I was just over the moon when she actually massaged my hair with clean hands! Awesome!!!!

 

Honestly the price was super reasonable, much cheaper than the other places I have been to, and with much better service ( I mean the massage was just INCREDIBLE!)

 

 

The only couple of things that bothered me were:

 

  • While massaging me the masseuse left me for about minute, she didn’t tell me where she was going or even that she was going, then she came back with cold hands, Aghhhhhhhh!
  • The spa has a hair salon too, and it’s close to the rooms where they do the massages, so it is a bit noisy.

 

In general, my trip was a total success and I loved every second of my massage! I am definitely going back again very soon!

 

Ouiam

From Morocco To Oman With Love!



My niece arrived few days ago from Morocco, she is visiting us for few weeks. This is her first trip abroad, and to see the excitement on her face each and every time she sees or experiences something new amazes me. This actually reminds me of the first time I traveled from Morocco to Dubai to visit my sister, 16 years ago, and how similar I was then to my niece now, and how I have changed in so many ways and “Demoroccanised” (if that’s even a word) from when I was 14 till now!

 

You see, 7 years ago I married an Omani, and because I fell in love not only with him, but with his beautiful family too, I have embraced their culture, lifestyle, and all the tiny little details that make a person Omani! So now with this fresh dose of Moroccan breeze and goodness, from my niece, it’s simply hilarious (to me) to see that even though both countries are Arab, the differences are HUGE! So I have decided to write a post and include all the funny little things that my old self (aka Moroccan) and my new self (aka the wife of an Omani) do differently, just because my husband and his family are  Omanis.

 

1-      In Morocco Pjs are considered decent and official clothes, you can run to the grocery store, while wearing your Pajamas. I’ve done it many many times, yet now whenever I go back home and see people wandering around in the streets in their Pjs, I still chuckle and find it very funny! Pjs are also the official wear when at home, you would expect everyone to be wearing their pjs in their houses, so if you’re visiting someone, it’s just super normal to be received in Pjs! Now try to picture that happening here (or in Oman lol)

2-       In Morocco, if you travel to visit a family member and you are planning to stay in their home, you still need to take with you your towels, your shampoo, your shower gel, and every single thing you need. It’s just NORMAL. However, Since I got married, I learnt that wherever you go in Oman, friends and family think that it is their responsibility to stock up on these things for you, so no need to take any of that! Now whenever I go to visit, I barely even take any clothes with me lol

3-      FOOD: In Morocco we have 3 official meals, yet it seems like all we do during the day is eat! There is Breakfast, Tea and sweets at around 10am, Lunch, Tea and sweets at 2pm, Coffee at 5pm and Dinner at 9pm, and of course tons of snacking in between lol

4-       We have a place called “Hamam” (Bathroom in English, or as everyone might know it: Moroccan bath!!! It’s like a huge Sauna room, where you are supposed to take a shower and get scrubbed by a “Kiyasa”- A lady who will lay you down on a table, and scrub the hell out of you lol- So no matter how many showers you take a day, you still need to go there once every week to scrub all the dead skin and become “clean” again lol. I guess before I head to Morocco this year for a vacation, a trip to the Hamam is a must lol

5-       Contrarily to what every person in the Gulf region thinks, In Morocco Couscous is NOT similar to rice, we don’t eat couscous everyday! Couscous is just one of the many many dishes we have in the Moroccan cuisine. It is usually prepared every Friday in almost every Moroccan household though.

6-      If you are Moroccan and planning to visit Oman soon, please be aware of the language traps! Even though both are supposedly derived from the classical Arabic, you might want to think again before you say publically the following words: “barefoot” or “spoiled” in the Moroccan dialect, because they mean completely different things, and you don’t even wanna know lol, also when someone in Oman tells you: “Allah Ye3tik Al Afia” ” الله يعطيك العافية”، they are not really asking God to burn you in hell hahahahaha they are just asking Him to bless you with good health 😉 

7-      I don’t know about NOW, but growing up ice cream was ONLY available in summer time, there was no way you’ll see it when it’s cold and snowy outside. while here Adam and I (and pretty much anyone living in this area) can indulge in this luxury any and everyday! In the Gulf, ice cream is treated just like any other life necessity, you’ll always find it in supermarkets all year long .

 

I had a serious fit of laughter while writing this post, I hope it makes you giggle a bit too 😉

 

From a Moroccan married to an Omani, with LOVE!

 

Ouiam

She Did IT, And So Can You!!

 

 

Today’s post is a little different, it is something that I have been planning to do for a while, but life has so many ways of distracting you, I guess….

 

PS: This is NOT  a sponsored post!!!

 

As part of my efforts to support and encourage women who own, operate, and manage their small businesses, I have decided to pick a business each month and introduce the steel woman behind it. This month I have chosen a business that I have personally dealt with. When Adam turned one, it was something that needed to be celebrated! Not only because of the major milestone Adam just achieved, but also because of all what we have accomplished as parents, me and my husband. We felt so proud of all the things we have done the previous year, even though many many times throughout the journey, we were not even sure that we will ever get there. So a big birthday party was called for. Technically I love organising and taking care of all parties we host, but I was already a walking zombie, operating on too much caffeine and very little sleep. My plate was too full to take any more tasks. I came a cross DE PARTY DESIGNS on Facebook (aka google for moms), I contacted Dilu, who has replied promptly, with all the needed details, she also came over to discuss with me how I wanted this party to be like. After explaining to her what I envisaged for my son’s first birthday party,  I just waited anxiously for the final product. The party was a total success, without me going bankrupt, if you are wondering. The fees were very reasonable and totally worth it.


2 years later, I really want to introduce this very motivated, strong and successful woman to every mama reading my blog. To be an example and to also be a reference if you ever need a fabulous party but you have no time or energy to plan it 😉

 

Here is a little chat Dilu and I, had and we would like to share it with you:

Dilu: “I am a mother of 3 beautiful kids who are aged 16, 12 and 9 years. I moved to Bahrain 10 years ago, with my husband’s new job assignment; leaving behind my family and my career which I have been doing for 12 long years. I always believed that family should always stick together, wherever you go or whatever challenges you face in life, so of course I had to follow my husband.

Me: What did you do before Departydesigns?

I used to work in a garment / fabric buying office as a merchandiser and freelance Interior Designer.

How did you start Departydesigns?

After moving to Bahrain I used to work as a freelance Interior Designer, and I started my own page called: D Decor Homes, while writing articles for Interior Design websites like: Look4Design and Amazing Interior Design. With the passion for designing I knew I needed to do something more, something new and not very common in Bahrain. With this idea, I started De Party Designs, and started introducing Candy Table concept, with personalisation, for all the parties, mainly birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers …etc, going out of the box to create something new every time.

 

 What motivates you to do better every time?

Each and everyday I learn something new from my mistakes, and I want to make it better the next time. The recognition and appreciation towards my work, from people of Bahrain, make me do better and better every time.

 

Was it easy to start a business in Bahrain?

From the beginning I didn’t have any idea of how to start or from where to begin. But as always Bahrain and its people have been amazing to us, and have helped me by providing all the details on how to start up as a home based business, and then make it legalised as another step forward.

 

How do you balance work and family?

I’ve got three amazing independent kids whom have learnt to do most of their work on their own, and always help me to take my work stress out. Also my husband has been immensely helpful in both house-work and my work. He has been the fundamental help, for me to come this far. Even though I am a workaholic, I always make sure we both have plenty of time for our kids, specially towards their education. I also always make sure that I do not go beyond my limits, accepting events due to two reasons, One is : if it interferes with my personal life and my time with my family and kids. Second: I strongly believe whatever I do, I have to do it right and I should not accept many events just for the sake of money. If I can’t have enough time to prepare and deliver something great then there is no way I will commit.

 

What are your plans for the next 5-10 years?

I would love to explore and learn more about different areas and fields of events in Bahrain, as well as in the GCC. At the moment I am looking for more options for expanding my business. At the same time, I love studying about event management in different categories and I will be spending more time on that in the coming years.

 

 What will your advice be for women who would like to start their own business.

I believe if you have a passion for anything you should not hold it back. You need to come out and seek for possibilities of making it work. After living in Bahrain for many years, I have learnt that this is a beautiful country with beautiful people, who are always willing to help and lend you a hand to stand on your own feet. Go out and explore….!!!

 

 

Thank you Dilu for your time and for all the insights and advice!




Facebook: Departydesigns Dpd

Instagram @departydesigns.bh

 

 

 

Ouiam

Amwaj Mamas Meet: Mama Eat Glow

So this is a post where I am going to share with you one of the latest adventures of “Amwaj Mamas”. As part of our activities, the moms and I are always trying all these new places that we come across, and feel like it matches what we have in mind, in terms of fun, education, learning experiences and all the other components of a healthy childhood, that we want to offer our offspring. Recently we have been INVITED to “Mama Eat Glow” at the lagoon Amwaj for a healthy truffle making class, with our little ones. If you are a mother you will surely know how much kids love to cook or AKA “make a mess!!”, we also know that as parents, we are always keen to expose these little nuggets to healthy eating habits, which can be very tricky with the huge amount of processed, junk and rubbish food we come across on daily basis. So of course, 10 of us and our children went to Mama Eat Glow, last Wednesday morning, and had the pleasure to meet the owner and the master-mind behind “Mama Eat Glow”:  Maha, a mama and a woman full of ambition and ideas. Her goal is to spread awareness about how a healthy lifestyle can change your life to the better, and that healthy doesn’t always mean tasteless or flavorless food! It all started with an Instagram picture she posted back in 2012, of a bowl of goodness, and got many likes, that she started considering starting her own business, and to do all she can to raise awareness about healthy food.

 

The place is so bright and overlooking the gorgeous lagoon at Amwaj, I loved the décor, so simple, environmentally friendly, and very stylish! The staff were very welcoming and very attentive to our needs. Maha was such an awesome hostess! Making sure everyone was comfortable and having a great time.

 

Their menu is honestly a delight to look at, filled with all these great yummy options that would work with anyone’s diet. Myself, I am a vegetarian health freak, I like to stick to gluten free products when I can, and that is not always easy nor simple when you dine outside. Their prices are very reasonable too.  My favorite thing on the menu, I must say, is the Falafel Pistachio Sandwich, it is so tasty and light. The falafel are crunchy from the outside, yet soft and juicy from the inside, the beetroot Hummus is so rich in flavor, and the pistachios add a fabulous twist, a combination I would have never thought of trying at home.

 

The kids were very excited to see all the ingredients laid neatly in front of them, with gloves, aprons, hats and all what they might need. After getting the recipe for the delightful Date truffles (which you’ll find below), the kids started making their own, decorating them, and putting them in their own little Tupperware to be taken home with them. The truffles were exquisite, and to know that all you need is a handful of ingredients and a blender is AMAZING!

 

Here is what you will need:

 

Oats

Dates (pitted)

Coconut Oil

Cacao powder.

and a blender.

 

Put everything in a blender and voila!!! If the mixture is too hard add a little bit of water.

 

Every mama and every kid who have made it to the cooking class had a wonderful time, and we really look forward to planning more of these, in the near future, because as parents we are very responsible of what our little munchkins put in their mouths. Making sure that their food is healthy is our job, and if we can combine the “healthy” with the “tasty” then we most certainly have hit the jackpot!!!

 

Mama Eat Glow is located in the lagoon Amwaj, First floor, next to City Bank.

 

Ouiam