December 8, 2012

Easy Lunch. Shrimp & Pasta (Tossed with olive oil & herbs)

The other afternoon was just lazing around at home and noon is the time one feels the hungriest & then end up grabbing a chocolate bar or something full of calories. I had shrimps in my freezer and ended up tossing it up with whole wheat spaghetti. Pretty simple, quick, healthy but delicious recipe.

A winter afternoon & something warm & healthy

This recipe was made for two so you can increase the quantity accordingly.

You will need a cup of washed, cleaned shrimps. Just saute them in a tablepoon of EVOO. Add black pepper, salt, 1-2 tbsp chilli sauce (if you want) and lemon juice few drops.

Boil spaghetti/pasta any shape you like and after it is boiled toss it with 2-3 tbsp EVOO, too.

Now toss them both together, sprinkle thyme & rosemary. I also added mushrooms & cherry tomatoes. You can add corn or bell peppers if you like but keep it simple and light for a lunch time healthy snack.

Enjoy! :)

November 16, 2012

What should a four year old know...?

Hello dear readers, I know I have been away from blogging it is almost non-existent now. I do miss writing and sharing stuff with you all, people have started asking what happend to the blog...?!?

Well, frankly lack of time, travelling often and just being lazy in general is what has happened...Trying to get back in it but something or the other comes up...But still will try to update as often as I can! Join facebook group for updates also.

Was just going through a forum the other day, searching recipes and food to give to my 4 year old (picky eater! sigh!) and came accross a discussion where a concerned mother asked how much should my 4-5 year old know...know in the sense of ABC's and 123's, writing and reading.

It was quite interesting to read the replies where other moms started listing how much their child knew: "my 3 year old can write his name and ABC's and "my 4 year old can do algebra!"

And then I came accross this magical childhood really brought tears to my eyes and I wish more parents would start thinking that way and not make everything a competition and a rat race!

What should a 4 year old know?

We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.

So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.
  1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
  2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
  3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.
  4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
  5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.

But more important, here’s what parents need to know.

1.That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.

2.That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.

3.That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.

4.That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.

5.That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids.

Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay!

Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.

And now back to those 4 year old skills lists…..

I know it’s human nature to want to know how our children compare to others and to want to make sure we’re doing all we can for them. Here is a list of what children are typically taught or should know by the end of each year of school, starting with preschool.

Since we homeschool, I occasionally print out the lists and check to see if there’s anything glaringly absent in what my kids know. So far there hasn’t been, but I get ideas sometimes for subjects to think up games about or books to check out from the library. Whether you homeschool or not, the lists can be useful to see what kids typically learn each year and can be reassuring that they really are doing fine.

If there are areas where it seems your child is lacking, realize that it’s not an indication of failure for either you or your child. You just haven’t happened to cover that. Kids will learn whatever they’re exposed to, and the idea that they all need to know these 15 things at this precise age is rather silly. Still, if you want him to have those subjects covered then just work it into life and play with the subject and he’ll naturally pick it up. Count to 60 when you’re mixing a cake and he’ll pick up his numbers. Get fun books from the library about space or the alphabet. Experiment with everything from backyard snow to celery stalks in food coloring. It’ll all happen naturally, with much more fun and much less pressure.

October 14, 2012

SNL By Sofia Naveed Lari (Shopping In Karachi)

My love for good shopping and Karachi go hand in hand. I love shopping anywhere but shopping back home is what I (and most pardesis) look forward to!

My most favourite past time when visiting, any time I have on hands has to be spent on looking for good stylish pieces: trendy clothes, vibrant colors, the upcoming ever changing designs of Pakistan keep us Pakistani ladies quite busy ;) first the "lawn" craze and then all the catching up with the ever-changing fashion is quite a job! Phew!

Everytime I visit I find something new in the market. Browsing through I came across SNL by Sofia. A young, talented, bubbly designer who is not new to designing but gained a lot of loyal clients in a very short span of time. Her designs are not the typical stuff you will find hanging on every other rack. Each piece is unique and what attracted me were the colors: the bright & eye catchy color blocking, the patterns, the flowers.

Her recent "Chamak Patti" collection was also a hit...with a perfect blend of bright hues, stylish cuts, beautiful delicate necklines & buttons.

Since then I have been a regular client of hers and her work always impresses me :)

SNL's gorgeous collection is available at both BJP & Ellemint Pret, in Karachi. She also stocks at The Designers in Islamabad. Sofia also has a facebook fan page (SNL) & can be contacted at

September 29, 2012

Chewy, Crumbly, Dark Chocolate Cookies (NESTLÉ®)

When I think of food, I think of childhood... family meals, home cooked with love, baked goodies and best of all "cookie memories" revolving around cookies from my childhood days...chocolate chip cookies, chocolate filled cookies, creamy, buttery, coconutty, chewy and even plain milk ones. How do you like yours? Plain, thin and crisp, soft and chewy, with nuts, double chocolate chip or even triple chocolate ones (My personal favouite)

I always love to try out new cookies-Ben's cookies being one of my favourites out here in the desert. (must try their praline & triple chocolate ones!). But what is better than a home baked, chewy goodness. Iam the one with the mighty sweet tooth (or a sweet jaw if that would be a word). Husband on the other hand is more into dark and bitter ones.

So one fine day after watching (or rather drooling) over Food Network, I went to the kitchen and found a NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®  bag in the fridge and on it, was this recipe. If you're a fan of bitter-sweet dark goodness, this recipe is for you.

As I say, you can always play around with the recipe and add semi-sweet chocolate chips just to give it a sweet kick!

cookies ready to go in the oven

  • Prep: 15 min

  • Yield: 12 Servings



    • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels, divided
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup Nestlé® Toll House® Baking Cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    I got a little carried away and spread the melting chips, you can try that too!

    freshly baked


    • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
    • Melt 2/3 cup morsels in microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 30 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. Microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Set aside.
    • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in remaining 1 cup morsels. Drop dough by level 1/4-cup measure 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
    • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs and the tops have a cracked appearance. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes: 12 cookies.

    hmmmm can let go of all diets for this beauty!

    Originally published as Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies in NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®

    July 26, 2012

    Chewy Coconut Macaroons. (Paula Deen)

    This recipe is from Paula Deen on Food Network. Yes that is my favourite channel hehehe. Love all the recipes, the chefs, food network challenges and so much more.

    Was watching Paula Deen on food network the other day and she made these yummy looking macaroons. They are pretty easy and quick to make and ofcourse delicious especially if you are a coconut lover :)



    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a medium bowl, combine coconut, almond extract, and salt.

    Mix in condensed milk to form a thick paste.

    Fold in egg whites with cream of tarter.

    Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

    Bake for about 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

    Do not over bake.

    Couldn't take photo after baking took this one from Food Network.

    They were chewy and crunchy, we enjoyed them warm and also drizzled condensed milk and chocolate sauce on top to give it an extar kick (of calories-ahem!). Enjoy :)

    July 25, 2012

    Brands Just Pret (Shopping In Karachi)

    Today I will be doing a short post on one of my favourite shopping places in Karachi.

    Brands Just Pret: A multi-brand fashion house located in the well-known Dolmen Clifton Mall are opening their second store at Dolmen Mall Tariq Road in July and third store at Ibn e Battuta Mall in Dubai in August.

    They stock more than 50 designers who offer a large range of trendy clothes with many options of cuts & colors you can choose from. The designs are very practical & affordable. My personal favourite designers at the store include Nazish Hussain, SNL, Najia Malik , Change and Ayesha Somaya. Their staff is super friendly and helpful. Apart from the clothes they also offer designer shoes, bags and jewellery. They also offer online shopping which is a benefit for all the international buyers. For shopping online you can visit

    This is one-stop shop, grab and go kind of a place. Short of time? This is the place to go especially when you have to shop for Eid or special occassions, travelling and don't have enough time on hands.

    Happy Shopping! :)

    July 14, 2012

    When In Karachi... Food-Nom! Nom!

    It is always a pleasure going back home and visiting my home country even it is for few days. The pleasure of meeting family & loved ones. Catching up with old friends. The food and fabulous shopping, are things we look forward to, just to name a few.

    Home cooked meals, warm buttery parathas, mango shakes, halwa pooris, large breakfasts, heavy greasy dinners made with love by mom are ofcourse the top most attraction. Afterall no one beats moms handmade biryani and aloo gosht ;)

    But also eating out is one of Pakistanis favourite activity! This time around it was a pretty short trip. Mere 10 days and had so many things to do. With all the running around all over Karachi still managed to take out time to eat out once a day and a day purely for shopping. *Happy Face*

    Eating out & shopping is amazing in Karachi city. Though Karachiites are in constant scare of sudden strikes and unforeseen cicumstances but we have learned to enjoy in the middle of all the mayhem. We love good food and good shopping. Lately lots of new places have opened and I got to try a few in the short span. I have many favourites but will start with just a few to name which I also enjoyed in this trip.

    BBQ Tonite: All time favourite hangout for the family. We love the barbecue, the pooris, the breads, the drinks...everything! It is definitely our happy spot :) 10/10

    Kolachi:  An amazing place, beautiful view, ambiance and delicious food. A restaraunt belt on the seaside with so many places to choose from (and we did try 3) I liked this place the most. The bbq kababs and grilled prawns were well cooked and yummy, mutton karahi and paneer handi were simply yum! Service was oustanding. They do need to increase there desser variety but all in all loved the place and will definitely go there again when in karachi. 9/10

    Espresso: My sisters  & I love cosy cafes with good food for a quick bite after a hectic shopping trip. Espresso is our favourite gossip & catchup cafe for sure. I love their sandwiches and pita breads & the juices are good, too. tried cajun fish for the first time which was very satisfying. Their latest addition Mocha Mud Pie is delectable, too. 9/10

    Ginsoy: had heard so much about this place it was on my to-do list. The food was great, ambiance okay. The place is quite small and a no-no to go without reservations especially on weekends. And reservations do get mixed up (at times!) Soup was amazing, im'ma a big fan of hot & sour. Serving size was good too. Would like to go again. 8/10

    Cafe Koel: I come to you again and again for the "Shikanjabeen". So perfect for a hot summer day. I must admit Iam not too fond of the food but I love the ambiance and the whole feel you get when you eat there. There salads are just too tempting, tasty & healthy at the same time. This time around I just had a filling salad and my favourite drink, lovely time spent. 8/10

    Cafe Zouk: We have many good memories from this place. It is the place where my husband and I went out together for the first time, ahem ahem yes like a "date". The ambiance, the appetizers, soups, the food, teh drinks, the service: Everything is simply wonderful. The only reason we have been coming back since the past 7+ years.  10/10

    The photos are not very good quality (I usually tend to lose focus on clicking them when in Karachi, the food is so tempting!) Definitely looking forward to the next trip which will be longer. Lots more reviews coming up. Next up-Shopping in a short time!

    Do share your favourite places and experiences at these restaraunts when in Karachi :)

    April 29, 2012

    A Friends' Weight Loss Journey: 62 Pounds Lost..!!

    Hello Dear Readers!

    After my post partum weight loss story I had been getting many emails and requests by female readers especially youung girls to do another blog post: who are not married, pregnant, not about to have babies, have their kids but still stuck with those pounds and want to lose weight. Recently a friend lost quite a lot of weight. So much so that I couldnt even recognize her in the photos. She was always a chubby girl but a few years back she gained quite a lot, the weight piled on without her realizing it and she was almost 30 kilos over weight on her 5'3 frame at the age of 21...!

    Today Iam going to share her weight loss journey and how she dropped from 82 to 54 kilos...a whopping 28 kilo loss (and still going!) :)

    Shared by Sumaiya (Edited By Marium Noman).

    Summayia says "it was not just about losing the weight, it was also about all that you get: the glowing skin, the energy, the difference you feel "after" getting In Shape!"

    "I belong to a Kashmiri family. It's a famous saying here in Lahore, that we are supposed to gain weight faster and much more than ordinary people! ;)

    The same happened with me.As soon as I hit my teenage years, I started gaining weight quickly. By the time I was 18, I was about 65kgs on a frame of 5'3. At that time and age, I had no concerns whatsoever. I was young and pampered by loved ones. And as many "desis" must know our moms stuff us with food and say stuff like "Beta apki khanay peenay ki Umar hay" (these are the day to eat and have fun!) which eventually made me pile up more and....more!

    We moved cities and moved back to my hometown where I started my professional studies as a business student.. Once again, My parents were like "Darling just study and get a distinction"

    Like most of our loving parents in Pakistan, especially our moms love cooking tasty home cooked stuff full of oil and calories. Plus the food we get in our country is just too yummy to resist! I was always a big time foody. I loved good food especially Junk! I wanted an excuse to eat more and got that. I started eating out alot with my friends. We often used to call for Free University Pizza delivery for fun ;) Along with fried and full of fat famous Zingers, Shawarmas and the most Evil of all..... Garlic Mayo Fries :P

    Finally one day it dawned on me that I am getting bigger and bigger. I saw myself in the mirror, and I thought to myself ... who is this person? It was like, THERE WAS SOMEONE ELSE STANDING There! Months and years had passed and I never stood on a weighing machine. Finally one day I decided toweigh myself . And there it was...the moment of TRUTH....mocking back at me....the number....82...!!

    That was it! That was really an eye-opener. I ended my 4 years with a Distinction & a Medal . My family was super happy. Planned to start M.Phil and got enrolled. All of a sudden, a very untimely death occured in our family of my youngest Chacha (Father's Brother) who was very close to all of us. After that incident, I unintentionally gave up on food, for sometime. I was badly hurt & upset. After the initial stress, few weeks passed and as a result, the first few pounds slowly melted away. Even the first few pounds loss it was very obvious. I dropped down to 75 kilos.

    I started to feel a difference. Now the important thing here I'd like to emphasize is the MOTIVATION that made me Go! My motivation was the difference I felt in my body, the applause, the compliments, the WIDE OPENED eyes of people who once saw me at 82 kilos and just after a little reduction they were like WOW.... I have to admit...I simply Loved all the attention! I had never in my life been told I was looking "thin or slim" those were totally new words for me because I was always a little heavy.

    I started taking care of my diet and what I put in my mouth. First of all I said a big BYE to all the free delivery stuff, all junk foods shawrmas, pizzas, burgers, fries, all fizzy drinks+artifical fruit juices etc. I limited the desserts I ate. The next step was getting a treadmill, I bought one and started walking every morning for 30-40 minutes. I was not starving or on any "crash diets" and ofcourse the weight was piled on for soooo long, the process was "slow". So remember this process is slow in the beginning and you might not get obvious quick results but BELIEVE me, once the weight will go for good!

    I eat every thing but half the quantity of what I used to eat. I don't stuff my mouth anymore, I know when to Stop! I enjoy fresh vegetable and fruits more. My breakfast is the heaviest and healthiest meal of the day. No compromises on that. I intordouced myself to green tea. You all must know the benefits of that, too. Lunch was mostly salads, fruits aur veggies or any thing light cooked at home, but half the portion. Dinner should be the Lightest. But I never skipped dinner. Even if it was a glass of milk with a wheat cracker. Never go to bed empty stomach.

    Last and Very Important Tip: Dinner should be taken atleast 3-4 hours before you go to bed... That's a must.

    Just bring these simple changes in your life style and You Will See The Change!"  Stay Blessed x

    April 24, 2012

    5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

    Hello Blog Readers. Today will be sharing five favourite things out of my stuff Iam using right now. And also where you can also shop for them :)

    1. Lip balm Tropical Cherry-  Dry, chapped lips are very normal in the desert. Lack of water and dehydration causes it more. If you have a bad case of chapped lips you can use vaseline (original or cocoa butter) or olive oil/coconut oil, both are very moisturising for the perfect pout ;)

    Meanwhile these small lip balms in tins & sticks work good for medium to normal chapped lips. Especially ones with vitamin E and oils. I got this chic lip balm from London but you can find many lipbalms & butters at TBS in many flavours.

    2. Amor Amor Lotion by Cacharel. I simply adore beautiful scents. And Cacharel's Amor Amor is one my favourites.. If you havent tried it, you must now! It has a delicious fruity-floral scenet and I have been using the perfume since as long as I can remember but this small travel friendly lotion caught my eye at Bangkok airport. It's a small tube and I use it as a hand cream. It is super moisturising. Not sure if the lotion is available here but you can try Dubai airport and in-flight shopping :)

    3. Peppermint cooling foot spray: The body shop is one of my favourite places to shop from and I simply love their peppermint foot range. It includes soak, scrub, lotion & this spray. But this one's on top of my list. After all day running around, at bed time I just need a spray of this cooling minty spray and my feet instantly feel relaxed & refreshed and also moisturised. Available at The Body Shop.

    4. Beauty rush slice of heaven, VS body mist: The name says it all. The scent is heavenly and sweet. Perfect right after a shower. Available at Victoria's secret. (Kingdom mall, sahara mall, hayaat mall etc.)

    5. Sparkiling Berry Bliss. Body cream by Bath & Body Works: Berry in a tube. Moisturises perfectly. You can find it in any B&BW outlets in Sahara mall, Hayaat Mall etc.

    April 2, 2012

    Long Weekend & A Surprise! :)

    Husband went on a short trip and I was home alone with rayyan...we were missing baba badly so decided to party! ;) Watched animated movies, ate pizza & lots of mama bubba fun! :)

    Late at night DH was returning and I thought why not give him a small surprise, for a change. We are usually not into giving surprises to each other. Usually if we want to give something we ask one another and give it. First thing that came to my mind was cooking his favourite food, then i thought of ordering a cake but few friends suggested why not bake at home, it would give a more personal touch!

    Next the decorating part...Sadly you dont find lot of fun decorating stuff (easily) in Riyadh. On top of it, I was short of time. Now what to do? I had few candles, some colored paper and confetti...thought of giving it a go and came up with a small homely decoration.

    Didn't have to work very hard because my sitting area is red, black & gold.

    Red ribbons, gold confetti, candles and viola!

    Cooked his favourite food & baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

    Why not give your partner a small surprise soon? Without any reason or special occasion is even better! ;)

    Stay tuned for the recipe of the cupcakes. Will be blogging very soon.

    March 25, 2012

    Rainy day & A Creamy Dessert.

    Hello helloo....I know I have been away...been busy with in-laws over, and Rayyan is going through the phase of "I need mama 24/7 and I need answers to every question asked...with explanation!"

    Just the other day was a beautiful in Riyadh, rain and hail stones,...first it drizzled, then hailstones and then finally it rained...sadly all the laundry I did a day before was soaking wet even before I realized.

    I enjoyed the day shopping, a long drive and ended with a warm home cooked meal.

    I usually make up quick recipes using the stuff in my pantry. I cooked a nice chicken karhai and some snacks for rain. We usualy make fried pakoras, samosas and other savoury snacks back home but here I just got some from a local shop.

    I had to whip up a dessert and didnt have much on my hand so I just made this little beauty which not only tasted good but looks good enough to serve to guests.

    The base was crushed mcvities, then poured warm vanilla pudding, pieces of vanilla pound cake, pudding again, top with blueberries, whipped cream, sprinkled with crushed biscuit on top! Ready in minutes, delicious to eat :)


    March 10, 2012

    Oreos & Cream In a Glass.

    I had a dinner for few friends, a couple of weeks ago. I had the menu planned and desserts ready. Last minute I felt, I must make one more dessert. That's just me! Have to have a last minute addition to the menu. I am a big fan of quick recipes and very fond of desserts in a glass. You can use a small glass/serving bowl but not very big one, smaller portions look pretty in transparent glasses.

    I did a step by step guide on how to make this quick & yummy dessert.

    To start off I crushed and grinded Oreos. (put them in a bag and use the rolling pin or just put them in the grinder) Spoon a tablespoon each of crushed oreos in the glasses.

    The next step is the filling or the pudding. I used whipped cream mixed with Oreos (crushed pieces) & a little condensed milk. I put the mixture in the fridge for few hours and it thickened. You don't want a runny filling. You can add cream cheese to give it a creamy cheesy flavour and name it Oreo cheescake! ;)

    Use anything you like, even icecream! :)

    You can spoon it in the glasses, I tried to be neat and piped it.

    And here it is all creamy and swirly.

    Top it up with more grinded Oreos. (the same, used for the base.)

    Top it off with Whipped Cream (I used cream in a can-dreamwhip/reddi whip)

    Sadly I didnt take any photos of the chocolate I decorated on top (had no time!). I found this picture on the internet and it is what you can do to decorate your desserts. I used a mould, but I find thise piping chocolate and putting in the fridge to set easier.

    Finally it was ready to eat and this was what was left in the morning which my friend & I enjoyed the next day, for lunch! :)

    Feedback and comments are most welcome :)

    March 9, 2012

    Weekend Bites

    Eating out in Riyadh is itself an activity. Weekend comes and there is either a dinner with friends around the corner if not then we plan a family dinner. I am always on hunt for new places and delicious food. Have been to The Noodle House before and went there yet again to enjoy the cosy place and food.

    Located in Centria Mall, this place is perfect for a family night out or with friends. There are no partitions and cabins like most restaraunts in Riyadh. The waiters and staff is friendly. The service is quick and the food is good.

    Excuse the picture quality as photography in public (especially in Saudi Arabia) is not allowed.

    We started off with soups and Prawn bags with chilli sauce. The Chicken Corn Soup was amazing and not full of corn flour like we usually get in restaraunts here. Rayyan enjoyed it a lot. There was no kids menu but they say they will be starting a Juniour's menu soon, too.

    My favourite drink wherever I go is a lemon-mint refresher. I just love it.

    The options for the main course are not many (atleast for me, I feel the options are limited). They offer Dim Sum too. There specialities include: Beef teriyaki, chilli prawns, salmon, Thai chicken green curry, thai red prawn curry etc.

    I like Singapore noodles with chicken & prawns.

    My husband ejoyed Beef with fried rice.

    You can enjoy Noodle House in Dubai, Muscat Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait, Cyprus & Lahore.

    How has your experience at Noodle House been? :)

    February 28, 2012

    Travel Tales: Dubai Part 2, Shopping...!!

    I like my money right where I can see it - hanging in my closet. (SITC)

    In most women's lives, shopping is a hobby and for some it is a must.

    Women and shopping have a very deep bond. Some of us shop for what we need, some of us don't need an excuse and can actually shop till we drop. We don't need a special time or reason to shop but travelling definitely increases that urge!

    (*Disclaimer* : Photos used in this post are property of Food-Shop-Travel and may not be used, reprinted, or published without my consent.)

    As you all know DUBAI is one of the biggest shopping hubs in the world. People from all around the world come to shop there. The shopping festivals, duty free & the malls are amazing. Brands available are numerous and the options are abundant.

    My personal favourites are Dubai mall & Emirates mall. But I will be reviewing few more of the good malls in Dubai which I enjoy going to while Iam visiting.

    Travel Tip: If you are going to a shoppers paradise like London, Paris, Dubai, NY etc. pack light. Because there are chances you will shop a lot and end up carrying extra baggage especially when travelling with kids.

    To begin with; will start off with Dubai Mall. I call it the 'Queen of malls'.

    It is one of my most favourite hangouts when Iam in Dubai. I just love love love it. I can spend the whole day there because its not just a mall. Whether you want to eat, chill with friends, relax, watch a movie, want your kids to have some good indoor fun, shop, watch the majestic dancing fountain or go on top of the world! (Burj Khalifa)

    It has it all :)

    The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area. Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it is part of the 20-billion-dollar Burj Khalifa complex, and includes 1,200. Opened on 4 November 2008, with about 635 retailers, marking the world's largest-ever mall opening in retail history.

    The Dubai Mall has recorded a visitor turn-out of more than 60,000 tickets sold for the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre in the first five days, following its opening. The Dubai Mall hosted over 37 million visitors in 2009 and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week. (Source: Wikipedia)

    It offers more or less everything a family needs for a fun day out.

    Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo.

    Dubai Underwater zoo has many species of fish, including sharks. This is one of the photos I clicked (the view inside the tunnel). Well, frankly my heart did skip a beat when I saw these sharks swimming right on top of my head.

    Arabian Souk.

    The Arabian Souk has a feel of Arabia. They have built an area which gives you the feel of a true traditional 'souk' with a modern kick to it. I especially enjoy the 'Gold Souk', if you're interested in gold shopping, this is a must visit.

    Dubai Ice Rink

    Ice Rink is inside Dubai Mall. With world-class multimedia system including a 20 m × 10 m LED screen. The Dubai Ice Rink hosts parties, Learn-to-Skate programmes, figure skating lessons etc. It is nice to watch young kids skate. You can send kids for lessons or take one yourself.

    SEGA Republic:

    A 76,000 sq ft (7,100 m2) indoor theme park. Visitors can enjoy over 150 amusement games. Includes KidZania, which is like a small theme park for children, as well as SEGA Republic, a spectacular games arcade.

    Needless to say this is Bubba Rayyan's favourite part of the mall. He can spend hours in there and still leave crying! This indoor play area is beautifully made and has toys and games for all ages.

    Another amazing must see is the world’s largest dancing fountain, on an artificial lake. Next to Burj Khalifa. Simply Beautiful. The fountain dances (literally) on western music, arabic etc sometimes slow & romantic and other times jazzy. After a long walk in the mall it is a very soothing sight.

    Below is the view of the dancing fountain from top of the world! ( Top of Burj Khalifa)

    Reel Cinemas:

    On the second floor of Dubai Mall. Reel Cinema is a huge megaplex with more than 2,800 seats. It is the largest cinema in the region. It is mostly full on weekends especially for movies that are new and have good reviews you might have to reserve seats beforehand otherwise you will not get any availability. What we do is take tickets first, shop and eat and then watch a late night show.


    Dubai Mall contains has Galeries Lafayette, Debenhams, my favourite Bloomingdale's and many, many more!

    Mall of the Emirates:

    This mall is also one of the largest malls in the world. Mall of the Emirates, the ultimate leisure, entertainment and shopping resort. Located in the heart of ‘New Dubai’, it offers a full range of shopping, leisure, and entertainment.

    Mall of the Emirates features international brands, including department, fashion, lifestyle, sports, electronics and home furnishing stores and the largest Carrefour in the city.For kids it include a Magic Planet family entertainment area, a 14-screen multiplex cinema, the world-renowned Ski Dubai, a five star Kempinski Hotel, The Pullman Dubai Hotel, coffee shops and restaurants. (Source: Wikipedia)

    Mall of the Emirates is most famous for having a giant indoor ski slope with real snow. It is a must go when you're visiting for the first time . It is great to see snow in the desert!

    The mall is only a short taxi or metro ride away from the Burj Al Arab.

    Ibn Battuta Mall:

    The Ibn Battuta Mall is quite a long way out of town, past the Mall of the Emirates & past Internet City. But it is worth a trip if only to marvel at the architecture.

    The Ibn Battuta is also a big mall, with different themes (China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, Andalucia) based on the travels of a 14th Century explorer. Unlike other malls, the Ibn Battuta is all on one level, which makes it a long walk. The architecture is beautiful and worth appreciating.


    Gold, Spice and Perfume Souks. During the Shopping Festival, a Night Souk opens from 8pm-2am, selling everything from clothes to cosmetics. The souks are perfect to find souveneirs and other traditional stuff. There are many other souks in Dubai, if you are tired of malls you can ask the hotel reception for the closest souk and enjoy a day out in one of the traditional market place.


    Mercato is a small, Renaissance and Venetian-themed mall on Jumeirah Beach Road (JBR). It only has a limited variety of shops and restaurants. It is surely one of the most elegant Malls with its beautiful wall paintings of Venice and a complex facade. The look is Venetian and Tuscan. It has a very romantic, Eurpean look to it and the architecture would remind you of French, Italian and Spanish. Enjoy shopping or just have coffee and a long romantic walk.

    Dubai Marina Mall
    Right in the heart of Marina. Visited this mall while we stayed at The Address Dubai Marina. The hotel was attached to it and had a direct connection to Dubai Marina Mall. I enjoyed the whole day and beautiful scenic view. Like most big malls in Dubai its has lots of brands to offer including Bebe, Karen Millen, Juicy Couture, Guess, Bobbi Brown etc. It is a short walk from the nearby beach. Also has Waitrose Supermarket, a children’s play area called the Kids Zone, a six screen cinema.

    Dubai Outlet Mall
    I went to this mall aound 2 years ago. A friend of mine recommended it. It is also a big mall with baby sitting (play area) facilities. The mall is located in a portion of the Dubai Outlet City (DOC) located in Dubailand. It has shops to most major brands at very good prices. If you are looking for discounts and savings on brands this is the mall to go.

    Dragon Mart

    Dragon mart provides a gateway for the supply of Chinese products in the Middle Eastern and North African Markets, offering Chinese traders and manufacturers a unique platform from which to cater to the needs of this sizeable market. The 1.2 kilometre-long DragonMart is the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China.

    The 150,000 square meter dragon-shaped structure has 3,950 shops engaged in the wholesale and retail trade of a variety of Chinese products including home appliances, stationery, office appliances, communication and acoustic equipment, lamps, household items, building materials, furniture, toys, machinery, garments, textiles, footwear and general merchandise.

    With over 2,500 parking spaces, the shopping centre is divided into seven zones offering an array of high quality facilities for visitors and traders alike. They have everything from China including clothes, bags, household stuff, furniture, carpets, rugs, toys etc.

    Having been to China numerous times, I never really shopped for anything from this mall but if you want good stuff at a good price: dragon mart is a must go atleast once!

    No time for malli-ing? Dubai Duty Free offers an extensive range of quality products. From leather goods and clothing to gold and perfumes, Dubai Duty Free has it all. Last minute gifts, souvenir shopping, CD's, DVDs, Toys, Books etc. Who doesn't love Dubai Airport! :)

    These are places where I shop when I am in Dubai. There are many more malls, souks, markets and places to shop from but these are where you can mainly go and focus on. Especially when you are short of time and have to 'choose'.

    Happy Shopping!! :D


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