ZZZ in Style ..!!

 

Hello Friends!! How is your Saturday looking like?

Today I have something absolutely exciting for you all! Something that will make your eyes sparkle, and will take you few years back, wishing you could relive your childhood again!

Sleepee Teepee is a new concept that two fabulous women came up with few months ago, and it is the talk of town right now! It always makes me so proud to see women, and especially moms navigating through their own journeys, not the motherhood one, but one where they blossom and thrive as women.

The whole concept consists of having gorgeous looking teepees, with themes that you can choose yourself, delivered to your home, fixed and ready to take the sleep over shenanigans to a whole new level.

I met with one of the co-founders: Elizabeth Dadd, and had a little chitchat with her! Here is some of what we talked about:

How did you get the idea for sleepee teepee ?

Sleepee teepee was something I was seeing on Pinterest throughout the summer, while in Australia. With girls coming up to the the sleepover stage in life, I thought it would be great to offer them something they will enjoy with their friends in Bahrain.

 

How did you move from the thinking phase to the creating one? 

After speaking to some friends about the idea I found that there was a lot of support. I decided to join forces with a good friend of mine “Nikki”. We designed a prototype and our children lit up when they saw it! Seeing their excitement made us realize we needed to have other children experience this too. We spoke a lot about our concept and how we could make this product and service something Bahrain would embrace. Our teepees have been designed to be sturdy, child safe and of the highest quality.

 

When did you launch your business? 

We had our first booking in the beginning of October this year. The business is still very young.

 

How do you balance being a full time mama and being a working mama now? 

The idea that I’m working on something of our own really excited me. With young girls I am happy that they finally get to see mom work and do something she loves. Our busy periods are over the weekends so Nikki and I try to do as much as we can while our children are at school so they don’t have too much time away from us on the weekends. The work family balance has been nice as we have a lot of support from friends and partners.

 

What are some of the difficulties that faced you when you started? 

Creatively we wanted to create a teepee that was child safe and sturdy, design wise we changed a lot of things to make the teepee transportable, functional, beautiful and easy to store. We found the themes we wanted were hard to come by locally and started bringing in bedding from outside Bahrain.

 

How do you see your business in 5 years from now?

Nikki and I are a great team, and I think Bahrain has embraced Sleepee Teepee. We hope to be able to create a product that adapts to the times. We would love to expand the business into more than just hiring and selling teepee services but to include the options of party planning and party bags. We also would like to refine the business to include more sustainable and organic options and use only locally sourced items, carpenters, tailors and staffing.

 

Any advice you can give mamas/women, who have great ideas yet haven’t worked on making them their realities like you did, yet?

I’d say that its much better to try something now than regret not starting in the future. I would also encourage everyone to collect support and advice from their friends and work in a field they are excited and passionate about. There is a saying: “Do not deliver a product deliver an experience” and I think that rings true to all businesses, doing anything that makes anyone’s life better or happier is worth the trouble. “

 

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Elizabeth is a mama of two gorgeous little girls, she is so passionate about what she does, and the minute she starts talking about her new baby (Sleepee Teepee) a big smile lights up her face, and her eyes shine with delight.

 

More exciting news here ladies: Sleepee Teepee offers 10% discount to all Amwaj mamas!!!!

You can find sleepee teepee here:

Facebook: Sleepee teepee Bahrain

Instagram:@sleepeeteepeebh

 

Ouiam x

 

Bahrain Through The Eyes of a Mama! 

I have been meaning to write this post for the last two years but I guess as they say “when the time is right” …!!

So as everyone know I am a mom who lives in Bahrain. Some might not know that I also run the group “Amwaj Mamas”. A group of moms and for moms, where I organize fun, educational, and enjoyable meet-ups for moms and their toddlers. I started it about 3 years ago, shortly after Adam was born, with the help of my amazing friend Maria, whom I love dearly. Through this group, Adam and I have explored this beautiful island we live in, and enjoyed some of the most wonderful places that we didn’t even know they existed before! So today I decided to write a whole post and share the love!

I must add that none of the venues I am talking about today have paid me or asked me for my review, this is simply my experience and I would like to share it.

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Centre: I came across this great place through social media, I have reached out and the owner/manager was incredibly kind and helpful. Since then “Amwaj mamas” have paid this place several visits, and until now we have never been disappointed. It is an activity center, where kids can play and have fun, it also has a great lounge/ café area, for moms to chill and have a great cup of coffee (or a milkshake yuuum!), while the kids are having some great fun. Tel: 17700412
  1. Ready Get set Cook: The first cooking studio in the island and I believe the only one. The staff are so helpful and warm, always welcoming us and our children with a wide smile, which makes us feel at home. The concept is to let the kids experiment and cook easy and delicious goodies. It is located in Sar Mall, Open from 10am-1pm and 3pm-8pm. Tell: 17000260
  1. Salon 5 Amwaj: While I realize this isn’t a place for children, I am absolutely sure every mama deserves some pampering. The staff are absolutely wonderful! I have taken my son with me so many times, and he actually loves it there. You can’t always have the luxury of few hours by yourself when you are a mama, so in this place you can have that, while having your little one with you. Salon Five is located in Amwaj, by Costa coffee.
  1. Messy Tots: A studio where the little ones can unleash their creativity and imagination. Ashley, who runs the studio (aka her house’s backyard), is very attentive and always making sure the kids and their moms are having a great time. You can Text Ashley on 32130715, or have a look at their Facebook page “Messy Tots Bahrain” . The session is 1 hour and it is 5bd.
  1. Pizza Express: This is the ultimate spot for a Friday lunch, where parents can enjoy a wonderful Italian meal and the kids can enjoy the experience of being little chefs. Kids can make their own pizzas, they also get their little juice box and a choice of ice cream or cake at the end. Pizza express is located at the Lagoon- Amwaj, next to Starbucks.
  1. Inspire Bahrain: We have been going to the toddlers’ drum classes for the past few months. Lydia, the instructor, is phenomenal! She always manages to get the kids’ attention (even though we are really talking about toddlers who are all over the place most of the time” Tel: 39047734
  1. Ya Salam (In Budayaa):  I first heard of this restaurant because of the bad reviews it had for their food, then one of the moms suggested to meet there one day with the kids. “The play area is amazing!!!” that was her reply when I told her about the bad reviews, so of course, off we went. There is a very cool play area and moms/dads can actually sit and enjoy their meals RIGHT THERE, while the kids played. It was absolutely amazing! The first time we stayed about 5 hours because Adam was having so much fun, and of course the moms were enjoying their time too, because for the first time they were having conversations that didn’t have to end abruptly because of the kids. The food was surprisingly delicious, I always have the Falafel sandwich and it’s the best I have ever had.
  1. Birds Kingdom: I am a huge fan of this place! First of all because it is in Amwaj, so very close by, and we can pass by anytime. The play area is fantastic, Adam loves it, and the managers are so kind and attentive, they are also parents so they really tend to the needs of the moms, dads, and kids. It is located in Amwaj by Al Osra supermarket.
  1. Jones The Grocer: A fabulous place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with your little ones. The staff are absolutely amazing, so nice to the kids, and will make sure to make your dinning experience great! They have a “mommy and me Monday” where they have special offers, they will also give you a 10% discount if you mention that you are a member of “Amwaj Mamas”.
  1. CHAOSS: Adam and I really love this place! We both enjoy it so much. They hold Gymnastics classes for toddlers, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 10-11:30am, and it’s 3bd. Tell:17592096
  1. Sports Training Complex: We first went for the football classes they were offering for toddlers, but then realized that they have tons of other classes even for moms. Tell: 77060777
  1. Magy French Tutor: A French class offered by Magy, a French teacher with years and years of experience. The first time I went with Adam, she told me that Adam will have to go in by himself and that parents are welcome to stay in the waiting area; after hearing this I was a little anxious as Adam has NEVER left my side, but I wanted to give it a try. She approached Adam gently yet with confidence, introduced herself and asked him to join her, which he happily did and I was left outside in awe lol. I really like the way she teaches, she respects the kids’ wishes, and doesn’t force them to do anything. Adam loves it too. For info you can Whatsapp:33330676
  1. Peekaboo Kids: Since I gave birth I was always in the lookout for stores with quality items for kids: Clothing, swaddles, toys…etc. Then I met the wonderful Georgia, the woman behind Peekaboo Kids, an amazing mother who totally understands the needs of moms and kids. They are located in Saar mall, and if you mention that you are a member of “Amwaj Mamas” you get 15% off your purchase.

I will be making another post like this one very soon because…. well let’s face it, the amount of the awesome places with the incredibly warm and welcoming staff, can’t just fit in one post.

Ouiam

The Wisdom Of White Papers

Do you remember when you were little? Do you remember how much you knew, how much you trusted, how much you loved, how much you laughed and how much you cried? Of course you do!  Because those were the days you were still close to the doors of knowing… The doors of miracles and mystery.

Everyone says children are born like white papers, and it is our duty as parents to fill those papers with whatever they need to grow up. We teach them to talk, read, write, and to become successful in life; But did anyone try to learn things from those little minds instead of teaching them?

As a kid I believed in clouds and rainbows, I believed I was brave enough to conquer the world, to fly and to be free.  I also seriously believed that I had a hidden talent in understanding animal’s language.. Yes I did. I stayed hours with cats having conversations about life and death. I believed there was always a secrete door, I just needed to look for it harder, I believed I was strong enough to face the world. Suddenly all this believing stopped .. and I grew up! I learned to be afraid of tomorrow, and to never trust strangers, to doubt my own capabilities and skills and to stop asking questions. Yet they say growing up is the best part of life! We grow up and forget the best things we ever knew. We grow up to become boring and scared. We lose our simple selves and become a complicated work in progress. And even though we all secretly know this and long for the days we ran barefoot and laughed at silly jokes, we never  really admit it. We even help our kids grow up and we take them far, far away from that door of knowing and of miracles!

 

Why can’t we let our kids guide us, and show us the way again? Why can’t we learn from them to love and believe in each other again? Why don’t we let them teach us to laugh when we feel like it and to cry when we are sad? Why don’t we stop and look at the stars when they do? Why don’t we look at simple things and be amazed by them again?

 

I think we will learn greatly if we did!

 

Ouiam

 

World War 3!!

 

 

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At the park, two little boys playing cheerfully together, life is great… Oh wait what was that? Toddler number one snatched a toy from toddler number two, and world war three just erupted!

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A playdate going really well, till the little boy decides that sharing wasn’t good for him, and that toy is the one thing he’ll hold onto as if his life depended on that!

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  • “Honey, that toy was with your friend, you should give it back to him”
  • Nooooo!! Crying, screaming, kicking and again world war 3!

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You, your little angel, at another playdate, and this other toddler who keeps on snatching the toys from him! The first time you understood that these are kids and that’s what they do, the second time you run to your child with another toy hoping he’ll forget about the first one, the third time, you run to the other boy and ask gently yet firmly to give the toy back to your son, the forth and last time……. That’s it!!!You had enough! You take your son and it’s time to go back home!

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Who doesn’t know all the scenarios above, who hasn’t lived something similar at least once a week? I thought so! We all have been there. We might act and react differently but we all stress, think and overthink, panic, and maybe even get pissed!

 

I have been in so many of these situations, I have gone through all the above yucky feelings. I left playdates because I thought it was too much to handle, I stopped seeing some other moms because their kids were too …hmmm …too much to handle. Then one day and in the middle of one of those yucky situations, I thought “Hey sit back, relax and watch!” A boy took a toy that Adam was playing with, Adam took it back, the boy screamed, cried, pushed Adam away, and ran to his mama. The other mom looked at me as in “Aren’t you gonna do anything about it???!” I smiled and did exactly what she feared I would: NOTHING! Two seconds later, Adam brought the toy back, the other boy  smiled, and went on playing, singing and giggling! I wasn’t encouraging my son to be a mean boy, if that’s what you re thinking, No, I was letting him go through his battles on his own. He can talk, he can say what he wants/needs and so can the other little boy. When I get up, freak out, run to my son, I will mirror those feelings to him, he will think that it is a really big deal, because that’s exactly how I made him feel, while think about it, IT IS NOT! !

 

From that day forward, I try to stay comfortable as a mom and as a mirror to my son’s feelings. “Adam had the toy, the little boy has the toy now” no big deal. I don’t try to distract him, because that will only  mask the problem , it will not fix it. If he cries, then I acknowledge his feelings and give him space to explore his emotions.

 

So far so good, right? NOW the real problem I face is with the mothers not the kids. You see the kids get their strength from their moms (dads/caregiver), they follow their leaders (again: mom/dad/caregiver), so when I am calm, comfortable, and not stressed they react the same way. However, some other moms who lovingly always want to protect their little nuggets, might be a problem. The looks I get when I don’t interfere are horrifying! They might think that I am a bad mom and that I am not disciplining my child, while I am actually doing just the opposite; I am teaching my child and possibly the other child too, some very precious problem-solving skills. I am telling them that it is OK to figure out a solution to the problem by yourself. I am there to watch and guide only if they needed my help, things like “Do you need me to help you give the toy back?”, or if my son keeps on reaching for that toy: “I see you keep on reaching for that toy, so I am going to stop you” again calmly, nicely and without the hint of anger or judgment. I am there but I am chilled, and observing and most importantly ready.

 

The journey of these little human beings has just began. The world is a big scary place for them, they are frightened by all these new emotions they deal with every day. They are trying to grasp as much as they can but boy is it hard!! The learning process will never end, and in parenting there is no clear cuts, no right and wrong, but we try our best. Today it might work and you might think that you’re nailing it as a mom, then the next day might be the worst day ever. What has helped me tremendously is to always keep an open mind, try everything, even if I am not really convinced, and see what will happen… You will be surprised! When kids have the freedom to explore the world they become more independent and more confident and sometimes they take the lead and that’s fine too. I learn a lot from my son and every day with him is a teaching experience.

 

How about you? What kind of moms are you? How do you react in one of these situations? I would love to know!

 

Ouiam

Today Is Not The Day…

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Today is not the day! I pick up my laptop, stare at the blank page in front of me, and I see words jumping.. so many of them, I can’t really keep track! I think of the priest who was killed today by the 19 years old boy, and I don’t know whom should I feel bad for? The man who went to heaven, (regardless of who he was, he still was killed today), or the little boy who lived in hell and will remain in there for a while.

I think of change and how it is always good for you. Sometime it scares you, so you try to stay away, you push, you resist, because you don’t want to try new things, you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, and most importantly you are scared to be rejected. A friend once told me that in life you will be rejected many many times, so make them count! But being rejected is not something you want to accept easily. It is not something we want at all! Rejection and the shame and guilt that follow are unwanted friends, who when they knock on your door, you switch off the lights, and you silence your phone, and you sit in the dark waiting for them to leave, thinking that you’re not home. How do you ever make peace with this awful friendship? That painful feeling of humiliation and distress? I say get a vaccine! Yes ! you know how they do it right, they inject you with a small dose of the same pathogen you are trying to protect yourself from, they might even do it multiple times to get it right. Well I say do the same thing with your fear of rejection! Put yourself in situations where you will get rejected (gently and smoothly), few times and Voila! Will it work? did I try it before? I don’t know, I haven’t and I am just sharing few thoughts in here!

 

I am also thinking of how the year has past and I have really managed not to buy anything I didn’t really need. OK let me explain to you; Last year I made a decision not to buy anything at all (unless I really really needed it), and this comes from an ex-shopaholic, who used to spend most – if not all- of her time checking out shops, malls, outlets, etc. So yes I did it! It has been more than a year and guess what? I feel great! I have never felt so light and so right at the same time.So while staring at the blank page in front of me, I smile, I give myself a high-five, and I promise myself to write a post about just this!

 

I think of the little things that go by unnoticed, yet tracked down by a child, who takes time to see the unseen and read between the lines, and when I say a child, I don’t only mean kids, I also mean those very few people who kept the child within and never grew old! The shadows and how fun they really are, the bread that looks like a pillow, the bird who is king somewhere, the stones that melted and told stories! You see I live with a child, or two, if you count the one I never let go of, even though I am thirty.

 

I think of how good change is for you… Oh wait I did think of that 2 minutes ago, so I go back to staring at the white page and I wait!

 

I think of the mother who carried her two dead children yesterday after a car crash, and my heart sinks! I think of the morons who drive like maniacs and I get upset! I think of the souls who said goodbye to loved ones because someone was having too much fun trying to shift gears and see how far they can go! I think of this sad world and where is it taking us, but I also think of the sun and the bright moon tonight! I think of the stars and the smiles and the laughters. I think of babies cooing somewhere, and women shedding tears of joy meeting their little angel for the first time. I think of  teenagers who passed their final exams and how bright their future seems to be. I think of God and how merciful he is!

 

But mostly…I think today is not the day to blog….. Or maybe it is…What do you think?

 

Ouiam

Because You Are Awesome..!

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Somebody told me today that I inspire them…..and the first thought that came to my mind was: “No freaking way! I can’t be inspiring, I am just an ordinary person, leading an ordinary life”. I had to repeat those words few times to realise that something was very wrong with that reasoning of mine! The words didn’t resonate well with the symphony of my brain. A red flag popped up, a loud beep disturbed the serenity of my mind! Why am I underestimating myself? Why can’t I just say: “Oh Thank you!” and tell myself: “Yes I am!!”. It seems like we judge ourselves so harshly, that we can’t even accept compliments anymore! It is not about being humble and modest, it is almost like we don’t want to believe that we are good, great, fantastic, wonderful human beings! We have a very hard time accepting that we are good-great- at what we do! Here, I wouldn’t take the blame alone, I’ll have to say that this must be related to the pressure we receive from our environment , with the illusion of perfectionism that invaded our lives and homes. Everybody wants to be perfect, because the community we live in has made us believe that in order to survive, we need to be perfect. We want to be perfect because everybody else is perfect (or at least trying to show us that they are!). We want to be perfect because this is the norm, because we have to, we must be perfect! Perfect mothers, perfect wives, perfect daughters, perfect friends…etc. We are killing ourselves trying so hard to be the best at everything, and it never seems to satisfy us, the more we do the more we need to do! Please don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being perfect, but there is nothing wrong with being just OK too! We should be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and smile,  give ourselves a pat in the shoulder or a high five, and say: “Well Done!”. We should be able to smile and say Thank you, when someone gives us a compliment! We should be able to give compliments to other people too, and tell the wonderful people in our lives that they inspire us, without feeling threatened or insecure, just like the beautiful person I talked to this morning did!

 

Actually this whole day was a lesson, an eye opener for me! Just few hours before I got that incredibly sweet compliment, I met a very sweet lady, who looked me in the eye and said: “I think I am not a good mother!”. My hear sank and I felt tears rushing down! No MOTHER EVER should say these words! NEVER! Every mother is doing a great job, no matter what the society say! You nurtured that little angel 9 months inside of you, you bared childbirth and your body did the most magnificent thing ever! You breastfed that little miracle, you woke up every two hours for a year or two or three…! That is more than enough for you to be “mother of the year” every single year! that is by definition, the greatest thing in the world! You are a good mother, you are a great mother and no one should ever make you feel anything but that!

 

So please everyone reading this post, please do me a favor, when someone gives you a compliment, smile, node, say Thank you, and accept it… believe it! Because you deserve it! To the mothers reading this, please DO NOT let anyone shame you, or make you feel guilty in any possible way! You are awesome and you should know it! Who cares if someone out there doesn’t agree? Who cares really? Remember… smile, nod and say Thank you! Because you deserve it!

 

Ouiam

Less Judging..More Supporting Please!

 

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The other day, during one of the many “Mommy & me” meet ups we organise, and while in the middle of a very interesting conversation, the mother doing the talking stopped abruptly, her face went blank, as she frowned, and asked me a question that starts like this: “Why is Adam still………. ?”  I usually don’t discuss Adam’s routine, and almost never fall for the judgmental questions every mother seems to receive.  I believe that every family does what works best for them, and should never pay attention to the comments or criticism coming their way, however other people don’t seem to agree with that. The community we live in has these strict rules and regulations, that if you don’t follow, you will be shunned, rejected, and you will be subject to a great deal of judgment. Especially when it comes to motherhood. And what is even more surprising, is that most of the judgment comes from WOMEN, other mothers, just like you and me!! This covers so many areas, from the way you choose to raise your kids, to the way you choose to dress them, feed them, educate them….and the list is long!  Anyways, and back to my story, before replying, I still found myself in a state of uncertainty, and even though the person asking didn’t mean any harm, she still managed to make the ghosts of doubt and guilt creep into my head. It was only a matter of few seconds before I got hold of myself and responded calmly, explaining that we have a certain way of doing things that works perfectly for us, and we don’t intend to change anything for now, making sure the conversation ended right there.

You see, I always considered myself as a strong passionate human being, whose actions are based on deep thinking. I always trust my guts and I am always happy with the outcome of my choices and decisions. I wear the badge of motherhood so proudly and when it comes to Adam’s life, I do nothing randomly, everything I do comes as a result of a great research and a great deal of deep thinking and reasoning! However, this person still managed to make me doubt myself, even if it was just for a few seconds. How about the millions of other women who go through this cycle of judgment, criticizing, and scrutiny, every single day from their families, friends, and environment? This was the very first time I realize that sometimes you can’t just shut your ears and pretend that you haven’t heard that stupid remark, or just change the subject with a smile on your face; sometimes their words are not whispers that get lost in the air around you, they are loud and truly disturbing, that you just can’t ignore them.

We are still very far away from cheering to what’s different and applauding what’s unique. Some people still believe that there is one set of rules that should be applied on all of us, that we all should think, act, and live the same. How can we change that? How can we convince everyone that a mother, a woman or any human being for that matter, already leads a very stressful life, so why add to their misery? I believe the only true power we have, as mothers, is to raise our kids to be different. Raise them to appreciate diversity and respect it. Raise them to become passionate, understanding and kind human beings. It is a great responsibility but the outcome is fascinating. If every mother plants the seeds of compassion, sympathy, and empathy in her kids, the world will be a better place. But for now, somebody needs to come up with some great invention, like a small device that you place on your wrist and would beep every time you say something disturbing, mean, or just an inappropriate remark that would make the other person uncomfortable! I sooo would buy this device! In fact, I would by thousands of them and distribute them for free to every single person I know!

Ouiam