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  1. Today
  2. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. When adult children move abroad with their children Imagine… You’ve invested years of your life, raising, nurturing and loving your child. You have watched her grow, watched her learn to make her own decisions, watched her succeed… and fail. You have held her hand every step of the way, cherished ... Read More The post The family left behind appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
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  4. Ingredients: 350 grams spaghetti(any prefer pasta) Sauce: 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 can(28 oz) crushed tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 yellow onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped 1/4 cup… Continue Reading → click the title to read more... View the full article
  5. I finally found a biscuit recipe that even my daughter would be happy with:) For those who look for recipe which doesn’t include any of the traditional ingredients like wheat flower, oats, eggs, sugar you might like to try this one: Preparation time: 15 min Baking time: 15 min Ingredients: 6 Tbsp Vegetable oil (I used olive oil) 1.5 cup Maple sirup 6 Tbsp Water 2 cups Amaranth flour 2/3 cup Arrow root starch 1 tsp Baking soda 1/2 tsp Sea salt 1 tsp Cinnamon 2 tsp Vanilla 2/3 cup grated Carrot 2/3 cup Raisins Direction: Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine all the wet ingredients and all of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add carrot and raisins at the end. Using a palm of your hand flatten the biscuits to 1 cm thickness. Grease the tray with a butter. Bake for 12-15 min until lightly brown. View the full article
  6. A smile is happiness you will find right under your nose – Unknown. I will not lie, it has been a trying couple of weeks and a time when I could probably have done with some extra reflection on the very many positives in our everyday life and yet, ironically this is when I am… Continue reading High Fives & Happiness: A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose. View the full article
  7. It’s all in the name. KitchenAid has been designing products for years that are supposed to make your culinary experience easier – and what could make things easier than a great blender? Five of the brand’s countertop machines have been reviewed here, so you can decide which Kitchenaid Blender is the right choice for you. We've covered a variety of models that vary in affordability and design so you're likely to find something for all tastes and budgets. Our Choice Product Name Our Rating KSB7068 Pro Line Series Blender 2 KSB1575 5-Speed Diamond Blender 3 KSB655C 5-Speed Blender 4 KSB560 5-Speed Classic Blender 5 KSB1570 5-Speed Blender **Click any of the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon or continue reading for our full comprehensive guide. Why go for a KitchenAid model? KitchenAid typically isn’t thought of as a top blender brand. They definitely make a wide range of blenders, but they aren’t typically of as extremely high quality and price-point vs Vitamix or Blendtec, despite their having been around for a solid length of time on the American market. They are better known for their extremely high quality mixers for baking. However, their blender lines offer a wide variety of affordability, design, and function as they try to appeal to the widest market possible. Feeling thirsty? Any of these KitchenAid models is capable of whipping up a perfect smoothie in no time at all. If you like the idea of buying a product from a brand that’s been producing quality products for decades, then a KitchenAid is one of the best ways to go. Known for producing reliable machines with a range of good color options and sleek, attractive designs, a KitchenAid might be just the thing you need. In addition - their wide range of pricing ensures that even people with a lower budget can find a decent blender that fits their lifestyle.​ What are the differences between the models? There are quite a few differences between the models; but this mainly comes down to the differences between the top-tier blender here, the Pro Line Series Blender, and the other models. The Pro Line is far superior to the other models, and so has much better specs in just about every way. KitchenAid has been remarkably consistent with the features across its countertop blender range. When it comes to the remaining blenders, they have very similar specs: similar motor strength, appearances, manual speed settings, crush ice setting, and warranty length. Kitchenaid Pro-Line Series Blender in Onyx Black The Pro Line Series Blender is an excellent move from KitchenAid; it features a step forward into the high-tier blender market, which is otherwise dominated by other brands. And it’s a perfect first step: this model has a massive assortment of features and few reported flaws. It rivals top blenders with its 3.5-peak horsepower motor, which is undoubtedly one of the strongest on the market, and means that it’s likely to be able to churn through anything. If you want to blend almonds into an effortless almond butter, you can easily since it comes with a tamper; if you want to blend a couple of rocks into a fine powder, you could probably do that too with this model (although we don't recommenced it). It’s extraordinarily powerful. It has enough strength to do just about anything. In addition, this model comes with a variable speed dial, a pre-programmed cleaning cycle, a well-designed flexible tamper that means you can easily scrape down the container’s sides, a 10-year warranty (see the manufacturer's website here), and an attractive design that also fits under the kitchen cabinet. It’s strong, attractive, and full of features to boot. The 90-oz container is sturdy and reliable; the blender is reported to be very quiet at its lower speeds; the base, switches, and dial are all die-cast metal and so likely to be incredibly reliable. It’s an excellent blender – I don’t hesitate in recommending it, because it has all the features you could want in a top blender and doesn’t sacrifice build quality to do it. PROS 3.5-peak horsepower Pulse function Attractive design Fits under the kitchen cabinet Variable 11-speed dial Pre-programmed cleaning cycle Noise-reducing technology Tamper 10-year warranty Excellent build quality CONS None! Check Pricing on Amazon KitchenAid KSB1575WH 5-Speed Diamond Blender with 60-Ounce BPA-Free Pitcher - White The Diamond is KitchenAid’s most popular model, and there’s a reason for that: it has all of the classic standards of a countertop blender, with some great additions. It comes in an incredible 21 color options (*availability may vary) – virtually every color on the spectrum – and has an attractive design that’ll make you want to stand it in your kitchen. It has five speed settings in push-button form and a pre-programmed ice crush setting, like many of the other models in this list. Its container is tall, so unlikely to fit under the kitchen cabinet, but it’s dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. There are few reports of poor build quality – and the warranty is five years anyway (according to the manufacturer, here) so any problems are likely to fall under KitchenAid’s responsibility anyway. This model, however, is the weakest in this line-up; it has a 550W motor (roughly 0.7-peak horsepower), which makes it incapable of doing many of the harder tasks a blender should be able to do. However, most reports are that this is a strong and powerful blender; so this weak motor may not necessarily be as much of an issue as specs would indicate. PROS Pulse function Attractive design Pre-programmed ice crush setting Made in 21 color options (availability may vary) Dishwasher-safe components 5-year warranty CONS 550W motor Tall container No noise-reducing technology No inbuilt cleaning cycle Check Pricing on Amazon KitchenAid KSB655CER 5-Speed Blender with 56-Ounce BPA-Free Pitcher and 24-Ounce Culinary Jar - Empire Red The KSB655CER 5-Speed Blender is a simple, classic countertop blender. It’s got many of the features of a run-of-the-mill blender; it has a pulse function, five speeds activated by push buttons (stir, chop, mix, puree, liquefy), a pre-programmed crush ice function, and the choice of two colors: black and red (*availability varies). The base is die-cast metal, so it’s likely to be long-lasting. It comes with two containers: a classic 56-oz blending container, and a smaller 24-oz jar. This model features two staples of KitchenAid products: the Intelli-Speed Motor, which senses the contents of the blender and adjusts blade speed accordingly, and a soft-start feature that draws food into the blades slowly at first, so that it’s more likely to blend smoothly. Where it fails compared to higher-tier models is in the fundamentals of what a blender should be. Its motor is a weak 0.9-peak horsepower, probably not strong enough to perform many of the more intense blending tasks, and lacking compared to other blender models. It’s good enough to deal with liquidy blends, like soups or maybe even this Snickers-style thickshake, but I doubt whether it has the required strength for even its pre-programmed ice crush setting if there's too many solids in the mix. In addition, the container is very tall – too tall to fit under the kitchen cabinet – and there are some user reported issues of poor reliability when it comes to long-term activity. Because the limited warranty is only 12 months (see the manufacturer’s website here), these issues are likely to arise after the warranty is expired – so if you’re concerned about these reports, you may want to consider an alternative model. However, this blender could still be a great pick if you're on a budget.​ PROS Pulse function Attractive design Pre-programmed 'crush ice' function Could be a solid pick on a budget CONS 0.9-peak horsepower Tall container No noise-reducing technology No inbuilt cleaning cycle 12-month limited warranty Check Pricing on Amazon KSB560 5-Speed Classic Blender The KSB560 5-Speed Classic Blender is indeed a classic blender. It has similar specs to the KSB655C 5-Speed Blender, with a few small differences, and as such it has a similar rating. It has five manual speeds that can be accessed by buttons – stir, chop, mix, puree, liquefy – and one pre-programmed crush ice setting. It also has the classic KitchenAid Intelli-Speed Motor, which adjusts the blade speed automatically with the blend consistency, and the soft-start feature that helps to draw food into the blades. The 56-oz container is sturdy plastic and the base is die-cast metal, both of which are likely to be highly reliable. One of the major benefits of this model is all of its color options; it comes in 11 different colors (*availability may vary), so you’re sure to find a shade that fits right in with your kitchen color scheme. Unfortunately, it only has 0.9-peak horsepower, which is definitely on the weaker end of the blender spectrum, and so is probably incapable of taking on harder blending tasks. Unlike the KSB655CER 5-Speed Blender, it does not have an attractive design – and its container is too large to fit under the kitchen cabinet, so it’s inconvenient in size. It also has some user reported issues with the blade assembly, which may come loose after moderate use, and is may be incapable of being repaired. Because, like many other KitchenAid products, this model comes with a 12-month manufacturer warranty , this issue is likely to arise after the warranty has expired, and KitchenAid will not be required to repair it. However, if you need something in a pinch, that's affordable, and can get simple blending jobs done, it still might be a good pick.​ PROS Pulse function Pre-programmed 'crush ice' setting 11 color options (*availability varies) Could be a solid budget pick CONS 0.9-peak horsepower Unattractive design Tall container No noise-reducing technology No inbuilt cleaning cycle 12-month warranty Check Pricing on Amazon KitchenAid KSB1570ER 5-Speed Blender with 56-Ounce BPA-Free Pitcher - Empire Red The KSB1570 5-Speed Blender is a tidy, simple machine. It could be considered run-of-the-mill; certainly, there’s little to stand it apart from other models. It has an average design – nothing special – and the choice of four simple colors (*availability may vary). The container is too tall to fit easily under the kitchen cabinet, so it should be disassembled for storage. It has five manual speed settings that can be activated by pushing buttons, and one pre-programmed crush ice button. Like the other models in the KitchenAid range, it has Intelli-Speed Motor control and a soft-start feature. The capacity of this blender is a bit on the smaller end at 56 ounces and the jar is BPA Free plastic. However, given the fact that it just does the job for a decent price, it is one of Kitchenaid's best selling blenders on the market. PROS Pulse function Pre-programmed 'crush ice' function Four color options (may vary by retailer) BPA Free Plastic CONS Small capacity No noise-reducing technology No inbuilt cooling system 12-month warranty Check Pricing on Amazon So which should you go for? The best blender is undoubtedly the Pro Line Series Blender . It stands out far above the rest in terms of specs and features: it has the highest horsepower, the most attractive design, a pre-programmed cleaning setting, a variable speed dial, a tamper, and the longest warranty. It’s hard not to recommend this model – it goes so far above the other KitchenAid blenders that it almost seems like it was created by a different company. No reported issues, no weakness in the motor, no too-tall container; this is a machine that can truly rival a Vitamix ! The post Best Kitchenaid Blender Review: Which Model is Right For You? appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  8. Ask any Abu Dhabi resident which is the best Ladies Night in the capital and the unequivocal answer will be Iris. Wednesday nights at this Yas Marina venue are always fully booked and come with an almost certain guarantee of a … View the full article
  9. Water, water, everywhere – I did wonder if yesterday was April Fool’s Day when someone told me that there are plans to transport an iceberg to the UAE and melt it in order to provide fresh, clean drinking water. But apparently not, http://gulfnews.com/…/firm-to-tow-icebergs-from-antarctica-… as I frequently say, only in the UAE. Summer is on its way – it’s a fairly mild 37degC outside at the minute (it is only 11am) but the mercury is rapidly rising and there are a few signs that summer is round the corner: 1. The water in the toilet cistern is hot, which is quite odd at the best of time but even more peculiar when you use it straight after someone else and the bowl is steaming. 2. Similarly, you have to fill the bath from the cold tap and if you forget there’s a half hour wait while it cools down as there’s no cold water anywhere. 3. You have to put your jumper on when you enter a building, and take it off to go outside. The AC is my classroom is, to put it kindly, temperamental and sounds like an aeroplane taking off. It’s also extremely cold, even when set at the maximum 22degC, meaning we spend the whole day turning it on and off and alternatively sweating and shivering. 4. You can wash your bedding and put it out to dry at 8am and it’s dried, ironed and back on the bed by 9.30am. 5. The ants come inside to cool down, although we are now getting to the point where they stay outside regardless as the temperature in the house during the day can reach 30degC. 6. You never open the curtains for fear of letting the sun in and can’t wash the windows as the water has evaporated before you’ve had a chance to wipe it over. 7. The pool is empty, except for visitors, until 6pm when it’s suddenly full of people trying to cool down and freshen up. 8. The roads are very quiet and people are already talking about their summer ‘escape’. Us? We’re staying til the end of July! See you all in August. View the full article
  10. Never one to be outdone – it’s been a good week in the Kelly household. Firstly, on Monday I received a message to say I’d won a fabric bundle in a prize draw. One of the quilts I’m making (they are called BOMs, Block of the Month, as you get a new block to make every month) has a ‘link party’ where you post your finished block on their website and each month one of the entrants wins a prize. Well I’ve won April’s draw and have a bundle of fabric winging its way from the States to my parents. I thought it better not to have it sent here as the chances of it arriving are, let’s face it, less than the square root of dilly-squat. I know it might not excite some people, but as I’ve turned into a fabric addict (replacing the sugarcraft obsession), it’s doing it for me. So that was win 1. Then yesterday Gary had an email from ERNIE saying there was good news about Gary’s Premium Bonds. Win 2. And a very happy bunny he was too as it’s the first win he’s had on his Premium Bonds since we got here. Until about 30 minutes ago when the air was filled with shouts of ‘I don’t believe it, you can’t let it rest, you just can’t be outdone, can you?’ and other similar endearments one says to one’s wife of 20 years. Never one to be outdone, I’ve had two emails from ERNIE, both of which contain good news. Happy days Renting property – a piece of advice for anyone considering moving abroad; do not, under any circumstances, rent out your family home if you have any attachment to it, or any desire to move back into it at some point in the distant future. Sell it and buy a couple of smaller, rental properties that you have no ties to. We thought our first tenants were a dream, no problems, no issues, until they moved out and we discovered the garden hadn’t been touched for 6 months, the paintwork was wrecked and the en suite toilet didn’t flush. Oh, and the letting agent thought it had been handed back in good repair. But then the same letting agent also wrote on the inventory that the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom is lino (it’s Amtico) and the flooring in the dining room is engineered hardwood boards (it’s also Amtico). And so started a ten month saga to get repairs completed and the house made good whilst dealing with a new tenant who, understandably, wasn’t happy that the toilet didn’t flush and they couldn’t use the garden for the first 8 weeks as it was more like a jungle and by the time it was finally sorted, it was too wet to go outside. Last week Gary started to count how many emails had been exchanged with the agent who, I may add, is paid for a fully managed service, and the only decisions they have ‘managed’ so far are to allow the tenant to install a satellite dish without our permission and in breach of the contract, arrange two non-emergency repairs without our permission and then charge us for them, again in breach of the contract, and employ (and pay) a sub-contractor who, quite frankly, was useless and still hasn’t repaired the toilet. Gary lost the will to live when he reached 100 emails. We’ve now submitted an official complaint. I’ll keep you updated. View the full article
  11. Driving – At last, a law to end to something stupid that we see daily; children running around in the back of cars when they are travelling at sometimes ridiculous speeds on the roads of the UAE. When Will first saw this happening, Gary said to him that people who didn’t belt their children into a car seat obviously didn’t love and treasure them. Not sure why it will take 3 months to come into force. Mind, if the window tinting allowance is now going up to 50%, will anyone ever see the children still dancing around in the back of a car? http://www.thenational.ae/…/seatbelts-to-become-compulsory-…and if, by any chance, you do get caught, no worries, most major banks now allow you to pay your fines in instalments. http://gulfnews.com/…/pay-your-traffic-fine-in-instalments-… Shopping – pricing here tends to be a bit random, 29AED for 160 Tetley teabags, 2AED for a kilo of local cucumbers but 25AED for an imported one, and last week I picked up 4 jars of Aero hot chocolate for 5AED each, usual price 15. I refused to buy pears that day because they were 10AED a kilo and had been 5 the week before, but at the same time bought 4 sticks of rhubarb for 25AED. I can safely say, however, that even if it means I never eat a cherry or raspberry in my life again, I will not be paying these prices. Abu Dhabi the safest place on earth – http://www.thenational.ae/…/abu-dhabi-is-the-safest-city-on… I suppose it just depends on your definition of ‘safe’. View the full article
  12. Pre loved goods – I’ve had a bit of a clear out this week and sold a few bits of cake decorating stuff. It’s been in the cupboard for the best part of two years and all I’ve used are my smoothers, a few Christmas cutters and a Garrett frill. The Patchwork Cutters have gone really well – I had 30 sets –and the first lady who came to see them (she took about half) asked why I didn’t decorate any more. To be honest, the materials are so expensive, and other people are selling cakes so cheaply that it’s not worth my time. It’s quite therapeutic to be honest, and those of you who have lived in the same house for more than 10 years, I’d definitely recommend it. Gary would tell you that I’m a bit of a hoarder (this from the man who, this week, has produced not only a floppy disk but a floppy disk drive for me to show my class in our ‘History of the Computer’ topic lesson!), but I am getting better and the idea that at some point in the future we’ve got to ship the contents of our home back to the UK definitely makes decisions easier. A bird in the hand and all that! Brunch – some of you will have seen this as we posted ‘Live from the Viceroy’ last week when we went for our anniversary meal, but for those who didn’t, we went to the Yas Viceroy last Friday for Brunch. To be honest, we’re not big Brunch-ers; some people go every two or three weeks, but for us it’s a special event. Beside the cost (if you do a full price Brunch once a month for a year you could have a week in Italy instead), if you partake of more than a few sherbets the whole weekend is a write off. The selection wasn’t as big as some of the other buffets we’ve been to, and the service was a bit slow to start with as everyone arrives at the same time, but the quality was excellent and the sweet room was delicious, including the frozen liqueurs; a ball of cream with a squirt of Baileys in the centre, frozen with liquid nitrogen then served on a macaron with extra liqueur poured over the top. Yum! View the full article
  13. Happy Easter – Easter isn’t a holiday here so it’ll be a bit weird going to work on Sunday (last year Easter fell earlier, in the spring holiday). Unless you’re Gary who is working for a company which, for some unknown reason, has declared Easter Sunday a company holiday. It’s alright for some. Camel racing – there’s always something new to do in the UAE. We’ve been talking about going to see some camel racing since we got here, but it’s usually so early in the morning and so far out of town that we’ve never made it. But last week Gary saw racing advertised at Dubai Camel Racing Club. It’s another of those things you’d only find in the Emirates, a top class race track built for the sole purpose of racing camels a few times a year. As an aside, we drove past the Dubai Rugby Sevens Stadium to get there; that’s a rugby stadium built to be used once a year for a four day event. Anyway, the camel racing was early morning and mid afternoon. So we tootled on up to Dubai, stopping at Shake Shack for lunch. For the uninitiated, Shake Shack is a burger chain similar to Five Guys. Gary and I both had the ShakeMeister, a burger topped with cheese and deep fried shallots. It was delicious, but at 177AED (£40) for three burgers, two portions of fries, two Cokes and an iced tea it should be! And then onto the camel track. It was amazing. Until 2005 children as young as four were used as jockeys but a change in the law, led by the Crown Prince, means that robots are now used. Trainers bring the camels up to the start, even this is a race as the quicker you get your camel out of the waiting area, the closer to the rail you can position it. They are fastened to a rail which is then raised and the camels race. There is no betting and there were no Emirati woman, racing being a male sport. But the most surprising part was the owners. Just before the start of the first race, half a dozen G Wagons pulled up alongside the race track. There was a flurry of photography as the occupants emerged and greeted each other, then they got back into the cars. Along each side of the track was a road and when the races started, the G Wagons and a load of other SUVs started racing along the roads, lights flashing, horns blaring, to follow the camels. It was incredible, and as entertaining as the race itself. I think I’ve said before that low number license plates tend to belong to VIPs, and anything under 100 is likely to be royalty. There were obviously some pretty important people there; the lowest number we spotted was 4, and with a prize fund of 150 million Dirhams, camel racing is definitely the sport of Sheikhs! VIPs – speaking of VIPs, you end up pretty immune to them when you work in a school. In my class I have a child from a very influential family and across the school we have a good cross section from the higher echelons of Emirati society. And you know what? Most of them are ‘ordinary’ people. Walking through the mall last week on the way to Shake Shack, a chap coming towards me looked familiar. One of the children with him waved at me, I waved back as I’d taught her last year and we carried on walking. At which point I realised who he was, a member of the ruling family. How refreshing to see a Sheikh out on a Saturday afternoon with three children and not a nanny in sight. I bet they were on their way to the camel racing! View the full article
  14. Golf – As you know, Will has been having golf lessons for about 18 months now, and not to be outdone, Gary has also taken it back up and they’ve been having lessons together. He gave his clubs away when we left the UK but, fortunately, my dad keeps a set here so he’s been able to make a start although I suspect some new clubs may be on the cards as their instructor commented that ‘these were good clubs – in their day’. Part of the attraction of the hotel in Sri Lanka (besides the ‘Bride goes free’ offer) was the golf course and the free golf. Mind, the course was full of hazards, and not just your usual water and bunker type of hazards. No, these were more of your peacock, lizard, tortoise and monkey type of hazards. Wedding anniversaries – believe it or not, it’s our 20th wedding anniversary next week and whilst that wasn’t a reason to go on holiday, it definitely influenced our choice of hotel. Picture this. Coming home from school one afternoon, I’m greeted with ‘how do you fancy Sri Lanka for a holiday?’ ‘Lovely,’ I reply. ‘Great, because the Shangri-La has an offer where the bride goes free. It says it applies to special anniversaries as well so I’ve emailed them to ask if we can have the offer over the spring break and they’ve said yes. Not only is the room half price, but we get 50% off all food and drink, and Will eats free anyway as he’s under 12. Flydubai flies to the local airport and they are cheap – what do you think?’ Well, what is a girl to do? He’s currently looking for another offer for the beginning of the summer holiday where he can pull the same stunt again! Sri Lanka – the holiday (once we got there, see last week) was fabulous, and the hotel was lovely. Very much a work in progress; it’s only been open two years and they are still ironing out a few issues, but very restful and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. As part of the ‘Anniversary’ package we had a basket of fruit every day and a bottle of fizz on arrival. Will had sushi and ice cream for breakfast every day and it was a real treat to have a cup of tea not made with Lipton’s Yellow label. We ventured out to visit two National Parks where we saw elephants, monkeys and peacocks (there were hundreds of peacocks) and once to go to the local temple and into town. As Gary put it, ‘birthday limousine for the wife – a tuktuk – nothing’s too good for her!’ and of course, we had to visit the obligatory fabric shop where I bought several lengths of batik fabric. Each was about 800 Sri Lankan Rupees and as there are 180 to the pound, they were extremely good value. I now understand why there are so many Sri Lankans here in Abu Dhabi, working in very low paid jobs. The country is still very poor; we stopped by the tuktuk driver’s house to pick something up and it was a single room for him, his wife and his daughter. The fee for two hours in a tuktuk was 1500 Rupees, less than £10, and the driver seemed embarrassed at asking ‘so much’. Likewise, the suggested payment for a caddy for 9 holes of golf was 1000 Rupees. £6 for two hours work, and as it was casual, there was no guarantee that there would be any work the following day; the first day we were there, Will and Gary had the entire course to themselves (well, except for the peacocks, the monkeys and the turtle). Speaking of turtles, one of the highlights of the holiday was seeing a turtle laying her eggs on the beach. Will is very rarely lost for words (wonder where he gets that attribute?) but even he was awestruck. The countryside was beautiful, and for us, seeing such green surroundings is a real treat. It does rain though. One night it absolutely poured for several hours, making it impossible to go out. It was a shame that that was the night of the welcome drinks and so we arrived in the Lounge rather than making our way, wetly, to the Heritage Village. Unfortunately, no one had told the staff in the Lounge that this was the alternate plan and we did have to feel sorry for the poor waitress who firstly gave us a menu and then offered us a beer or an orange juice when Gary asked for two gin and tonics. After a bit of toing and froing (one of the things that needs developing – if you’re holding ‘welcome’ drinks, a member of management to ‘welcome’ people is often a good idea), our G&Ts arrived, and very nice they were too! There was a huge range of children’s activities on offer, including mocktail making, and Will is now a dab hand at making (and drinking) Virgin Mojitos. Bottoms up! View the full article
  15. Ingredients: 1 kilo potatoes, washed 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon dried basil flakes 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika 3/4 cup water vegetable oil for frying Procedures: Part 1 1. Cut potatoes into thin slices,… Continue Reading → click the title to read more... View the full article
  16. I am a big fan of batch cooking! It really works for me as I either use the left overs for my lunch next day or lunch box for my daughter or I freeze it for the “days in hurry” when my only option to have a healthy food is to “defrost it”. This recipe is great example of “batch cooking”. Same chicken used ones for dinner and lunch next day with different sides. Cashew crusted chicken with creamy asparagus Preparation time: 15 min Cooking time time: 15 min Ingredients for chicken: 500 g chicken breasts 1.5 cups cashew nuts 1 beaten egg salt pepper Ingredients for creamy asparagus (2 portions) 40 baby asparagus stalks 2 cups of sliced white button mushrooms (or any other of your choice) brocoli (optional ) 2 crushed garlic cloves 3-4 tbsp of double cream salt pepper fresh thyme (optional) Direction Preheat the over for 170 C. Cover the chicken breasts with a beaten egg firstly and then with cashew meal and taste with some salt and pepper. On the pan fry each side for about 2 minutes. Then move the chicken into the oven for about 10 min. Meanwhile stir-fry mushrooms first for about 5 min and then asparagus. Stir together for about another 2 min (add a parboiled broccoli if you wish) and add some crashed garlic continue to stir fry for another 1 min. At the end add the double cream and taste with salt and pepper. MY TIP: Save the chicken left overs and you can use it in your salad next day. View the full article
  17. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Taking your children on holiday abroad With spring in the air this time of year is when people’s thoughts turn to their summer holidays with families and children. Sadly, what brings excitement for many families, can be a source of tension and disappointment for others with separated parents who struggle ... Read More The post Travelling with kids – the legalities appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  18. This is a new post from Expat Child by Carole Hallett Mobbs Expat Child - Moving overseas with children. Relocation advice. Choosing the right neighbourhood abroad In your home town, it’s relatively easy to identify the areas you’d rather avoid when you’re planning to move house. You can ask people, you can drive around and look at the upkeep of properties and gardens, you can search for clues on social media ... Read More The post How to find your new home overseas appeared first on Expat Child. View the full article
  19. So grateful for every testimonial my clients write for me. Thank you Martina choosing my prenatal yoga program for your second pregnancy. It was a pleasure to meet you and to watch your little one to grow. I wish you all the best! —————– I decided to join a prenatal yoga program to stay fit during the whole pregnancy. I can say it helped me in many ways, such as sharing with other mums or mums to be feelings and thoughts about this phase. I really appreciated the benefits of yoga to both body and mind such as balance, flexibility, strength..it really helped to prepare for to the birth. Eva is a very empathic teacher, she follows the mood of the group, inspiring personal improvements, which come shortly. “ Martina B., Abu Dhabi, Al Zeina View the full article
  20. It's the time of the year to get out there and get a gorgeous tan but what many people do not know are the hazards awaiting for them from our beloved warm sunrays. The most dangerous hours are the mid-day hours where the sun is high in the sky so it's better to go out early or late in the day. Snow, water and sand can reflect light onto your skin so even sitting in a shaded area for long hours can get you burned, so minimize the time of exposure. Thick clouds can reduce UV radiation, but thin clouds do not provide much protection. Sunburn, too much sun and tanning beds can increase the risk of melanoma and children are at higher risk than adults. It is better to get a tan by exposing your skin for limited times over a period of 2 weeks than exposing your skin to UV radiation for many hours in one day. In very fair-skinned people, UV radiation starts becoming harmful after about 5 to 10 minutes. While in dark skinned people it's about 30 minutes. The following can help you determine what type of skin you have: Skin type I: Pale skin, freckles, burns very easily, hardly tans Skin type II: Pale skin tends to burn, only tans a little Skin type III: Occasional sunburn tans well Skin type IV: Rare sunburn, naturally dark skin By Dr. Alya Al Shahbander Specialist Dermatology Bareen Hospital
  21. Coming soon! The post Vegan Mushroom Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss! appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  22. Situated on a prime location on Dubai’s most popular beach you’ll find the Amwaj Rotana. Offering 301 modern rooms right in the heart of Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR) and all the action on The Walk. With a 2km stretch of … View the full article
  23. Infertility is when women cannot get pregnant after having unprotected, regular sex for six months to one year, depending on her age. Infertility may be caused by a variety of conditions. Both partners should be investigated together for possible causes of infertility. Couples trying to conceive should be aware of signs and symptoms of infertility associated conditions. This will facilitate early detection and treatment. Symptoms in women: The main symptom of infertility is not being able to become pregnant. About 85% of women are able to become pregnant within 12 months of trying. The remaining 15% may need some type of treatment to achieve this goal. Women may or may not have any other symptom of infertility or other associated conditions. There are many health conditions which can result in difficulty in becoming pregnant. Symptoms of these conditions are diverse and depend on what is causing infertility. Changes or irregularity in the menstrual cycle may be a symptom of a disease associated with infertility (e.g. polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, reduced ovarian reserve). Painful periods (dysmenorrhea): Women may experience some back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping during periods. This is considered normal. However, excessive pain during periods and may be associated with conditions such as endometriosis or pelvic infection. Some health problems associated with infertility can cause hormonal changes leading to skin conditions such as acne and hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin. Some women may experience hair loss or thinning (alopecia). Changes in sex drive and desire. Weight gain. Milky white discharge from nipples unrelated to breastfeeding (e.g. high prolactin hormone levels). Pain during sexual intercourse. Symptoms in men: Male factor is the cause of infertility in about 30-40% of couples. Male infertility is most commonly due to abnormal sperm parameters (e.g. low sperm count, low sperm motility, poor sperm morphology) which are easily detectable by a routine semen analysis. In up to 10% of men, infertility may be due to the total absence of sperm in the semen (azoospermia). Most men with infertility may not have any symptom at all or the symptoms may be vague. They may go unnoticed until a man tries to have a baby. Some symptoms include: Problems with erections and ejaculation. Small, firm testicles. Changes in sexual desire. Changes in hair growth. Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles. When to See the Doctor Arrange an appointment to see your gynecologist or a fertility specialist if you are under 35 and have been trying to get pregnant without success for a year. Women 35 and older should see their doctor after six months of trying. As an initial investigation, blood tests and ultrasound imaging will be performed to discover why you are having trouble getting pregnant. A sperm analysis can be done to check for sperm count, motility, and morphology. Further testing will be requested if needed to determine most appropriate treatment. By Dr. Erdal Budak Specialist IVF Fakih IVF Fertility Center
  24. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse (for couples over age 35, the time is reduced to 6 months). Dealing with the challenges of infertility can be very difficult for couples to face. Infertility can cause significant stress and anxiety in a relationship. The cause of infertility in a couple can be due to either the male partner, the female partner or it may never be identified. Regardless of the underlying cause, it is an issue that the couple faces together. Fortunately, with surgery, medications and assisted reproductive technologies many couples are able to overcome this obstacle and are able to become pregnant and realize their dreams of becoming parents. Often while couples go thru the journey of fertility treatments they are plagued with the concern that the fertility drugs with all of the benefits will also cause cancer. Fertility drugs are often used in three ways: To suppress ovulation, to stimulate the ovaries to produce many eggs and to mature the eggs. The class of drug used to perform these actions are hormones. These hormones also have an effect on tissues in the breast and other tissues in the female genital tract. These effects may be noted clinically by the patient in many ways including breast tenderness, pelvic pain, and vaginal discharge. It is important to note that these systemic effects do not mean that these drugs are causing long-term negative effects or cancers. A large body of research has been conducted to identify whether there is a causative relationship between fertility medications and breast/gynecologic cancers. In 2016, after reviewing all of the current data, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a statement providing a guideline for patients. They reiterated that infertility is a known risk factor for developing breast, invasive ovarian and endometrial cancer. However, based on current data, there is no indication that the baseline risk of cancer with infertility is increased in those who undergo fertility treatment. There is some data to indicate that there may be an association with borderline tumors of the ovary and fertility drugs, but to date, there has been no specific drug identified. Based on these findings patients can feel less anxious and proceed with their treatments without worrying about developing cancer. Due to their history of infertility, they should be counseled prior to undergoing fertility treatment that they should undergo cancer screenings. These evaluations should take into account all risk factors including age, family and personal history. The goal would be to identify any existing cancers prior to hormonal stimulation, which would possibly worsen undiagnosed cancer. In addition, diagnose disease prior to pregnancy to avoid having to undergo cancer treatment while pregnancy. After completing fertility treatment and childbearing, due to their increased risk of developing cancer, they should continue to undergo age-specific cancer screenings for a lifetime. By Dr. Marcia Schmidt Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF Fertility Center
  25. Waring is a well-established brand with a good history of providing effective machines, and Waring Pro is the model’s shift into an improved assortment of machines. If you’re looking for a Waring model, all of these are great bets; read on to discover which is the best for your particular needs and budget. Our Choice Product Name Our Rating Price 1 Waring Pro Blade (KB500BK) 5 / 5 CHECK PRICES 2 Waring Professional Bar Blender (PBB204) 4 / 5 CHECK PRICES 3 Waring Megamix Commercial Blender (HPB300) 4 / 5 CHECK PRICES 4 Waring Professional Food & Beverage Blender (MBB518) 3 / 5 CHECK PRICES 5 Waring Professional Kitchen Blender (WPB05) 3 / 5 CHECK PRICES When it comes to blenders, we highly recommend Vitamix or Blendtec based on our personal experiences. These companies are laser focused on building the best blenders and have rock solid lengthy warranties to back them. However, if these two top-tier blenders are out of your price range or you simply want something different because it goes with your design style, a brand like Waring can also be a good choice which is why we wrote this guide! What are the differences between the models? Surprisingly, there are two delineations in the Waring Pro’s model list: three of these models (the Bar Blender, Food & Beverage Blender, and Kitchen Blender) are very similar, while the remaining two are very different in every way. *The three similar models have identical designs, which according to the manufacturer are all ‘waterfall style’ and based on the classic original Waring from 1935. They only differ in their color options, which are all distinctly different: the Bar Blender comes in black, white, red, and metallic black; the Food & Beverage Blender comes in stainless steel and copper; and the Kitchen Blender comes in chrome, brushed chrome, and red. Since there are very few other differences between these three models, the color you’re after is an important consideration when choosing between them. (*Please note that colors may vary by retailer) Have you been missing pesto? Make your own! These three models also have similar motor strength, between 390W and 350W, and are all changed between low and high speed by use of a switch on the front of the model. None of them have pre-programmed settings and they all have tall glass containers that are dishwasher-safe. Two of the models have one-year warranties; the warranty of the other model is unknown (we were unable to locate it on the manufacturer website or elsewhere). When it comes to the two remaining models, they are very different. The Blade is the top-ranked blender in this list; it has a much stronger 1500W motor, an inbuilt pulse function, and a variable 10-speed dial that helps you control your machine much more carefully. The Megamix has 1-peak horsepower but apart from that is very similar to the other three models. Both have unattractive, plastic-based designs, with plastic containers. The Megamix only comes in silver, while the Blade comes in black, red, and silver. Neither has pre-programmed settings. What are your priorities? When it comes to choosing which of these Waring models suits you best, you need to evaluate your priorities. If you want a model with superior motor strength, say because you’re planning on crushing ice or making macadamia butters, you’re going to need the Blade – it’s the only model on this list that can do it for you. Healthy vegetable soup is only the push of a button away with these models. If you want something with an attractive design, choose either the Bar Blender, the Food & Beverage Blender, or the Kitchen Blender; then choose which color you’d like best from the different colors on option for each model. If you’d like variable speed control, to better control the speed of your blades, you’re going to need the Blade – the others only have the choice of two speeds, rather than a dial you can turn to choose between 10 different speeds. Waring Pro Blade (KB500BK) The Waring Pro Blade is probably the best blender in the Waring Pro range because of its superior motor strength, its inbuilt pulse function, and the choice of ten different speeds to choose from. Unlike the other blenders in this list, it has a motor that exceeds 1000W – substantially, in fact, since it’s 1500W – and this is comparable to some of the top blenders on the market. Because of this it’s going to be pretty good at blending up hard objects, including crushing ice, and its motor is going to be less stressed by hard work, meaning it should last longer. It also has an inbuilt pulse function, something that isn’t shared by many of the other blenders in this lineup, and that makes it especially effective when it comes to blending things that need high levels of specificity. Its 10-speed dial also helps with this; you can control precisely how fast the blades are turning, rather than relying on just ‘low’ and ‘high’ settings like the other Waring Pro blenders. Unfortunately, this design does have the most unattractive design of all of the blenders on this list. And despite its increased horsepower, it doesn’t have the pre-programmed settings that other top blenders have. It’s an ideal blender for if you want a lot of power and a fair amount of control, but you don’t care about how your blender looks or the presence of pre-programmed settings. PROS 1500W motor Pulse function Variable 10-speed dial Three color options 48-oz container CONS No pre-programmed settings CHECK PRICES Waring Professional Bar Blender (PBB204) The Professional Bar Blender is one of three in Waring Pro’s range that are very similar, and the other two are listed below. All of them share very similar designs, very similar motor strengths, and very similar specs in other areas. The Professional Bar Blender is ranked higher than them for a few reasons: its superior color options (*varies by retailer) and its increased usability. It has four color options: red, black, metallic black, and white. This is the most color options of any of the blenders on this list, and it’s great if you have a specific vision of what kind of blender you’d like standing in your kitchen. Its design is a classic design, and like the other two similar blenders it’s based on the original Waring blender from 1935. It’s a classy, appealing blender. It also has somewhat increased usability over the other similar blenders because of its lid, which has a stopper that can be pulled out so that you can add ingredients while the blender is going - like if you're making a plant-based aioli like this one. This stopper also doubles as a measuring device to make adding ingredients even easier. However, this model only has a 390W motor, which is substantially less than the top blender and weaker than most of the blenders on the market. It also doesn’t have any pre-programmed settings, so it has to be used manually, but you can choose between low and high speed settings for greater control of your machine. PROS Classic design Four color options Dishwasher-safe 40oz glass container CONS No pre-programmed settings 390W motor CHECK PRICES Waring Megamix Commercial Blender (HPB300) The Megamix is a mid-range blender with some good specs. It has a 1-peak horsepower motor, which is the second-strongest of the models on this list, and as a result it’s stronger than the following two models. It only comes in one color – silver – and on the whole its appearance is a little unappealing. However, whether this is important to you will depend on what you’re into. The container is 48-oz and made of plastic, but is also dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. It doesn’t have any pre-programmed settings, like the other Waring Pro models, but you can choose between low and high speed settings. PROS 1-peak horsepower Dishwasher-safe components 48oz container CONS Unattractive design No pre-programmed settings CHECK PRICES Waring Professional Food & Beverage Blender (MBB518) The Food & Beverage Blender is one of the three Waring Pro models that is very similar, and it and the following Professional Kitchen Blender are almost indistinguishable. Both have the classic Waring design from 1935, complete with 40-oz glass containers that can hold five cups of liquid. It has two color options – stainless steel and copper – so if you have a stylized, highly designed kitchen, these color options are probably the most attractive on the list. It has a one-year warranty, which is industry standard (aside from Vitamix and Blendtec), and you can choose between low and high speed settings. However, it only has a 390W motor, and also doesn’t have any pre-programmed settings. PROS Classic design Two color options Dishwasher-safe 40oz glass container CONS No pre-programmed settings 390W motor CHECK PRICES Waring Professional Kitchen Blender (WPB05) This model is very similar to the preceding one, with two differences: different color options, and a lower watt motor. Both models have classic designs, inspired by the original Waring blender from 1935, and both come with tall 40-oz glass containers and one-year warranties. Both of them have dishwasher-safe components and both of them come with both high and low speed settings, which are switched between by use of a switch on the front of the blender body. However, this model has three color options – chrome, brushed chrome, and red – which are different to the other model’s. It also has a somewhat weaker motor, at 350W compared to 390W. This isn’t much of a difference, but it could represent an actionable difference in each model’s blending ability. Neither is likely to be very effective at blending hard objects, so if you’re planning on making liquidy blends then either could be good for you. PROS Classic design Three color options Dishwasher-safe 40oz glass container CONS No pre-programmed settings 350W motor CHECK PRICES So which is the best? Because three of these five models are very similar, it’s easy to see that the frontrunner is the model with superior motor strength, improved ease of use, a pulse function, and a variable speed dial – and that’s the Blade. It’s miles above the others on this list in terms of effectiveness with blending, and the variable speed dial makes it much easier to control exactly how fast the blades move. It’s good enough to compete with many of the other better blenders on the market, so if you’re after a Waring Pro, it’s the model to go for. The post The Best Waring Pro Blender: A Comphrensive Review appeared first on Thrive Cuisine. View the full article
  26. Ingredients: 3 cups uncooked macaroni(elbow or shell) 2 pieces chicken breast 2 cups evaporated milk 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large onions, minced 3 pieces hot dogs, sliced 1 medium carrot, sliced into strips 8 cups water 1 tablespoon vegetable… Continue Reading → click the title to read more... View the full article
  27. In today’s modern, educated, liberated and fast-paced society, the most “in” thing is “Stress!” And if you aren’t stressed, it must mean that there is something wrong with you! Sounds funny, but true! Realistically, we all should know that stress is not a good thing for our bodies in general, it can have a significant impact on your fertility. For some women, chronic stress can affect ovulation by altering signals to the hypothalamus, the center in the brain that regulates some of the hormones that control ovulation. Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of some hormones, such as adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol, which can inhibit the release of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). This is responsible for the release of sex hormones. Subsequently this may suppress ovulation in women, reduce sperm count in men and lower libido in both women and men as well as a decrease in general fertility. It also causes the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility to occur. This has become such a common issue that they we have a name for it, "Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction”. (Again, looks fancy and "in") So, if you have been trying to conceive with no results, some facts are very important to consider: pregnancy is much more likely to occur during months when couples reported feeling "happy and relaxed". It was less likely to occur during the months they reported feeling tense or anxious. Even you are pregnant, trying to carry a pregnancy to term during stressful times places the fetus at risk. The body knows this, which is why it creates an environment that is basically inhospitable to conception. Generally, a stressed person is an unhealthy person. People living with a high stress level are typically overly tired and filled with nervous tension which may cause them to choose poor dietary and lifestyle habits. So basically, the "in" factor should be “out!” Reducing Stress for Fertility If you have had fertility tests performed and have found that there is no medical reason for your infertility, it is time to evaluate your life and determine how much stress you have. Of course, you may not even have need for an evaluation. You may know you are stressed. In that case, it is time to start defeating that stress to help your fertility. Stress relief should be a part of every couple’s conception plan, even if they are going through IVF. How to Reduce the Effect of Stress on Your Fertility (I know it’s easier said than done, but no harm in trying :) Reduce the stress in your life. This is so important on many different levels. It will not only help your fertility and health but also your quality of life. If your job is really stressful, (the most common reason these days) maybe begin to look for a different job or occupation. If that is not possible, some of the tips below might help you to deal with your stress differently than how you currently are. Change how you react to stressful situations. When faced with an ongoing stressful situation there is only one thing you have control over - how you react. Pay attention to that. Getting control of how you react will have a big impact on what happens inside of your body when a stressful situation presents itself. This takes some attention and practice. Try and relax. Feeling stress about it is not going to change anything. We can’t have everything in life .So look at the positives; surrender and let go the negatives. Make sure you are getting enough sleep Get an adequate amount of exercise daily Meditate Start practicing Yoga Consume natural, calming herbs and supplements Acupuncture Remember, how to be good to yourself and love yourself. Few smaller, easy tips: Try journaling. Setting down on paper how you feel can take some of the pressure off. It’s a way to off-load concerns you feel uncomfortable sharing. And you can shred the pages or throw them out, a physical act that contributes to the effect. Couples should act as if they were dating again. Set aside time during the week to go to a movie. Take a dance class together. And put a time limit of 20 minutes or so on pregnancy discussions. Fertility talk that goes on and on can make matters worse! Get individual counseling or group support. A woman struggling to get pregnant needs someone who can empathize. Counseling can be an outlet for feelings of confusion, sadness, and frustration. Group support is particularly helpful for women who feel isolated as a result of infertility. Rethink your attitude. Thinking "everybody else gets pregnant so easily" only causes distress. Change it to "If getting pregnant was so easy, there wouldn't be fertility clinics." Recognize pessimistic thinking. Don't just try to relax because you think that it's going to help you get pregnant. But do relax just because it feels good, because it's comfortable, and because when you do feel good, you're healthier overall, and that can never be a bad thing for conception." So, take a deep breath, relax and be happy; think positively, surround yourself with positive and happy people, spread happiness and then start the beautiful journey of motherhood and life :) By Dr. Varsha Anand Specialist OB/GYN Fakih IVF Fertility Center
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