Baby shower favors, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Gift Ideas, GIFT WRAPPING, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Party favors, Party Organization

Gift wrapping, Gifts and Favors in Dubai.

Hello friends,

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I find myself struggling more and more to find time, between the various arty crafty projects lined up for Doodle Buddies and the favor company, Aspen House Gifts, that I have been working on.  Aspen House Gifts is purely a reflection and an extension of my love for creative design and presentation.

Kindly visit :-  Facebook Aspen House Gifts or Blog Aspen House Gifts, if you’re looking for some outstanding party favors, bridal shower favors, Baby shower favors, Wedding favors, Eid Favors or corporate gifts.  We specialize in personalized party favors, bespoke keepsakes and corporate gifts.

With an eye for design and a love for all things creative, each gift reflects your lifestyle and personality, complete with glitter, ribbons and innovative ideas.

Paper World Middle East took place between 2nd and 4th of March 2015.    Over the years, it has developed into my most anticipated event of the year. The marketing world showcases its products on the internet however, to have a proper glimpse and examine the product, meet the manufactures, distributors etc is an excellent experience. And a very rewarding one, at that !  It poses as a fantastic opportunity to meet the people of your industry and familiarize with the latest trends, virtually at your door step !!

If you were unable to attend this year, fret not. I’m sure you will indulge in the following photographs which cover some of the gift wrapping stores that were participating in the exhibition.

Boxes and bags !

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Party supplies.



Napkins, tissue paper.


Paper bags (Love the polka dots)

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Innovative gift wraps.

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Apothecary bottles.   A recent trend in the favor business.

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Pastel shades

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It was a pure feast for the eyes ! The colors, the presentation and the designs ! My next post will contain the other aspects of the exhibition.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment.  I really appreciate it and I hope you join me next year in visiting the Paper World Middle East.

Before you leave, just a quick reminder :-

You can subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‘like’ me or ‘join’ me on the various platforms below 🙂


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Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Window display

Ripe Market at Safa Park.

One of the most memorable experiences we had whilst Mum and Dad were visiting us, was the Ripe Market at Safa Park in Jumeirah.

Every Friday morning the Ripe Market hosts their food and craft market at Safa Park. close to gate 5. They host freshly produced, organic fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, honey, cakes, chutneys, gluten free items and a wide selection of yummy gourmet and speciality ingredients.





































The Ripe Market experience was an enjoyable one for the whole family. While the boys played at the park, Mum and me browsed through scores of well displayed stalls selling everything from fresh farm produce to arts & crafts and everything in between !! After Friday Prayer, Sam, Dad and the boys returned and we all ate a lovely Indian meal at the park from one of the stalls.

I loved the entire “happy” and “lively” set up, whether it was the lovely farm feel of the fresh produce market or the live cooking stations or the bright yellow drums and stools for sitting, or the art and craft workshop for children or the petting zoo for the little ones or several stalls selling handmade products and handicrafts.

I believe the entire concept is to promote a family-friendly atmosphere and to develop a love and respect for home grown or organically grown produce.

Be sure to carry a large trolley bag or cart !!

You’ll find plenty of creative and colorful ideas in the above pictures of how to decorate and display your products in a stall or a craft fair.

I’m sharing this post with all my friends at the following parties :-

Hope and trust you found this post informative and enjoyable ! Does your community hold ripe markets, farm fest, market days or such ? Please share and I’ll be glad to pop over and have a sneak peak !

Thank you for visiting me today ~ Please drop by again !


Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Something inbetween

Carrefour Promotional Prices !! Hoax or Coax ?

Virtually every time, I have visited Carrefour, I have had a dilemma to deal with ~ to buy or not to buy !!! 2 weeks back they were running a “dhs 5” promotion isle and although, this was meant to be an emergency visit to pick some washing powder and croissants, I landed up “browsing” thru this lovely colorful posters with dhs 5 displayed all over !! Before long, I was already shortlisting what I thought would be needed and what I could, perhaps, use at some later imaginery stage – of course you already know what THAT means !! Yes, that counter which is created just for the frugal likes of me, ready to display some delicious DIY and other haberdashery items. Ofcourse, I did not dive into the scam. I “tried” swimming thru it ~ while getting caught in just a few nets and traps. In the end, I came home with a “FEW” out-of-the-list items. I promised, myself, I would use these useful items at the earliest and I am holding onto that promise.


I love the clipboard with the coffee mug printed on it ! That, I have already put to use.
The “Shoes off sign, I love, and it is going on the main door. (Yes, for western folks, we dont appreciate someone walking into a spotless house with muck and stuff on their shoes – a cultural thing.
The staedtler pens ~ I absolutely love, writing and playing with striking colors rather than the boring black, blue and red. so there, now there’s plenty of colors to add some spark on my doodles.
Yes, ofcourse that kit with the hooks and frame holds etc is something, I already own. Well, maybe I own alittle more than 5 such pieces, but who doesnt know, just how handy they can be !!!
Pruning scissors ~ ofcourse, who owns a garden and doesnt have one. I did’nt and now I do. (so justified)
Glue sticks for the glue gun – I may have half a dozen packets of those, but who can blame me for picking just a couple more. Afterall I do use the glue gun a whole lot of the time.
The paint sponges ~ sometimes these things just disappear from the shelves in stores and when they do reappear, they are at a very high price so I grabbed some while they were at a great price.
The green wire cord was something, I dont exactly have a use for right now, but wont be long before I get my EUREKA moment 🙂

I bet, you can guess, just a few more wise uses for my new impulsive buys !!

I have linked this post to :-
Frugalicious Friday

Thank you for visiting me friends. Take care and happy shopping.

Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Something inbetween

Sharpies Markers in Dubai.

Is it just me or does no one know where to buy Sharpies markers in Dubai !!!

I googled it, and came up with a few folks, who have claimed that you could find them at certain hypermarkets. I have nearly half a dozen projects lined up for these markers so I started my own little hunt for these markers which quite as much spiraled into a HUGE MISSION !! Here are the places that disappointed me so :-

Carrefour hypermarkets ( Mall of Emirates as well as Mirdiff City Center )
Spinneys (Mercato and Al wasl road )
Geant in Ibn Batuta
Hyper Panda in Festival city
Magrudys in Deira City Center
Virgin in Dubai Mall
Hamleys in Dubai Mall
Book World in Dubai Mall
Dubai Library distribution ( Sheikh Zayed Road)
Ace Hardware ( you do get various markers there occasionally)
Farooq stationery ( Al Mamzar )

Now THAT is a HUGE search for these markers and I really doubt there are any more stores left for me to check out !!!! It is really surprising how such versatile markers are no where to be found in Dubai !!!

But ofcourse, if I have missed any reputed bookstore or stationery store, where you have bumped into them, please do let me know. For now, I have had to request my cousin to pop some over from UK !!

So yeah, my search turns up Zilch !! So dear crafters, creative folks and sharpies fans, Sharpies Markers are NO WHERE in Dubai !!!

Correction !!!

The following three Blog friends have confirmed that they HAVE bought Sharpies from Dubai :-

Nyla bought sharpies from WHsmith in The Dubai Mall

Areej bought sharpies from Paper chase at Dubai Mall

Nuweera bought sharpies from Art shop (first floor) at Beach Center (Jumeirah Road)

So the new verdict is that Sharpies are available in Dubai at the above locations !!

UPDATE ON 2nd Feb – 2015

Sharpies are available at Creative Minds

Ultra fine point – dhs 10 (single)

Fine Point – dhs 10 (single )

Chisel tip – dhs 15 (single )

They also stock packs as well.

Now what are you waiting for ??? Grab your wallet and off, you go !! 🙂

I’m so glad you’re visiting me today. I hope you’ll stay a while and browse thru my other creative adventures.

If you like what you see at my blog, you could subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‘like’ me or ‘join’ me on the various platforms below 🙂





Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai

Daiso in Dubai










One of the best things about Dubai is how so many cultures and nationalities live here so harmonously. Its truly a melting pot. People from all walks of life find a little comfort and alittle home here.  Its rare to find that in most countries.

We are also blessed to have several speaciality outlets here offering goods from specific countries. Daiso is one such a name. Daiso is a Japanese brand. And it is most popular becoz it is real value for money. Most of the items they offer are for dhs 6 !!!! How cool is that ??

I remember, nearly a decade back, my sister mentioned a store in Sharjah that sold everything from household goods to clothes for a mere dhs 5 !!! Today, Daiso has more than a dozen outlets in UAE, of which, around 8-9 are in Dubai, itself !!!!

I know some of my favorite garden accessories and plant hangers have come from there. I also remember buying nearly a dozen childrens’ aprons from there once, when I was having an art class for toddlers and I did’nt have any for the kids.

Ofcourse not to mention the hundreds of their craft goodies I have adorned my craft studio with. And dont even get me started on the storage solutions they offer !!

I love their small boxes with tiny lids and draws in them. Its always a joy visiting the isle with their earthen ware and their gorgeous miniature show pieces. Its one of the few places in Dubai, where you can get plain/unprinted plaques for decorating.

Ofcourse, I used to get nervous when the younger two boys would join me in my see-about, since the isles are generally too close and the fear of things being pushed and broken is nothing but total embarrasement. Thankfully I have never been put in such a situation by the boys.

Now that they are older, I am more careful and its even more fun going out with them. On my last visit, I picked some really colorful and adorable things from them including, some silicon cup cake holders, some doubledecker food containers, markers for filling wood scratches, these cute wooden stencils.

Check out some of the pictures. And ofcourse if I do visit them again in the near future, which I am bound to, I will update pics too.

P.S. Daiso has not paid me to write this post. Although I wont mind a “thank you voucher” ofcourse 😉
I love sharing with new visitors and friends what I find so fascinating in Dubai and hence these posts pop up, every now and then.
Thank you so much for visiting me today. If you found this post informative and helpful, please do write in and encourage me 🙂


Arte Fair stall., Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, My Favorite Stores in Dubai

Reading and Children.

the more you read, the more you know
the more you know, the smarter you grow
the smarter you grow, the stronger your voice
when speaking your mind or making your choice.
~~ Unknown

Hello friends, I know, I havent posted the remaining two posts about Oman. But I am prompted to write this post since an excellent Book sale has returned and I wished to share the details with you here.

Here in Dubai, we are blessed with some good book stores like Magrudy’s, BookPlus and even a cozy, Bookworm. However, Books are still quite an expensive affair.  I have always been an avid reader. I am not loyal to any particular author OR genre but i love to read.  And from a tender age, I tried to inculcate this habit in my boys by reading to them. However, I have noticed, as they are growing up, they are drifting away from this gift. I dont know, if its this particular generation or if its the electronic medium’s influence but they are reading lesser than what I would want of them. Its a little disappointing but I still keep trying and probably ~ will keep trying !  I have friends who constantly complain that their children are glued to the play station or the video games and I know, I am not, in a much different boat than them.

We have a library at home with nearly 300 books in them. But that alone does not warrant that they will continue to read.  You can expect children to pick a book and start reading, but there is alot more to reading than JUST READING. Understanding the characters, the subject, the plot, the place, the entire idea and the moral of the story are equally important. 

lost in his own world.

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading becoz,  you are already well aware of it and you will find it in several sites, however  I am sharing with you  a few pointers that I have introduced to my boys and that helps them understand, what is expected from them ( while and after) reading a book ~ gradually and steadily, I hope, it will be a part and parcel, of their reading practise.

  • I dont let any of the boys sit in their study room (where their laptops are closer) or their bed room (way too many distractions) ~ I choose a time frame when they are not too tired ie. definetly not immediately after school.
  • Read EVERYDAY !! Now dont think that has to be a book a day or a page a day or a chapter a day. It could be any book and it could mean, even a page of a story book, which could be continued the next day. For my youngest, I prefer shorter stories so that he could try and go half way the book.
  • As much as possible, I let them select their choice of book. ( Depending on their individual reading level ) ~ I only act as the facilator. But I like to pose questions in between especially, if they are later giving me a summary of the story in their own words. For instance :- What you liked or disliked? What did you learn from the story ? Did any situation make you laugh or feel sad ? What would you have done in a similar situation ? Would you like to read more books similar to this one ? etc
  • For my youngest, I still prefer books which have atleast a couple of pictures in the book so that he gets an image idea of the location and characters. It helps in building the imagination.
  • When the boys were younger, and I used to read out to them, we used to play games as well based on the story. I’ve always been good with mimicry so I would change my voice to suit the character. I remember, they used to love it when I mimiced with sock puppets and lollipop sticks as puppets to enact a story !
  • I have them keep a small journal with them where they can jot down the date, name of the book and number of  pages they read. Filling titles and pages, gives them a great sense of achievement while I can keep a track of who’s read what.  In addition, I let them write down any new 10 words and two idioms or similies as well.  This is a small exercise but I am begining to see the fruits of the hardwork. I find, their vocabulary improving gradually and I find, them using idioms and similies amongst themselves. 
  • And finally, on the last page of the journal, I let them write what they felt reading this book, why they think the ending was apt, and how they feel about the storyline. And if they would want to read it again. It really does not have to be a large passage ~ just a line or two.
Buddy ~ excieted over his new art book !

You can follow this link for creative ideas to making reading fun for your children here 

I would like to summarize few important points and also suggest some Dos and Don’ts of reading: 

  • Always read your content from a safe distance. Neither too close to your eyes neither too far away from your eyes.
  • Always prefer quality over quantity. Better to read one great book than hundred mediocre ones.
  • Understand properly what you have read and reflect upon it.
  • Don’t accept anything blindly that you read but think for yourself and try to understand the reason behind what’s been written.
  • Bookmark interesting pages for future reference. You never know when you will need them.
  • Sometimes it takes more than one reading to fully grasp some thing. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t understand a book in one reading. Maybe when you come back to it the next time, you will get it.
  • Focus completely on what you are reading. Don’t think about other stuff while reading.
  • If possible, create a favorite spot in your house for reading books. You will feel more relaxed whenever you are there.
  • And above all, enjoy your reading experience.

The habit of reading good content daily will act like an exercise for your mind and keep you mentally fit and flexible. If you have never given it a try then always remember that it’s never too late to start a good habit.

In Dubai, Feline Friends also run second hand book sales. There are heaps of books in a good state and all for a good cause ! In addition to Times Center, they hold these sales at Mirdif city center, Arabian Ranches and Lakes community center. Ofcourse this not a routine. They put up posters and send emails to advise you, as and when the sales are held.

Then again, for those who are looking for brand new books at unbelievable rates,  I would recommend the Grand Book Sale by Pioneer Group.  This once a year sale is generally held at the Airport Expo center, however, this huge crowd-puller has returned this year at a new venue ~  Traffic in Al Barsha  (luckily for us) !!  Booklovers are in for a real treat becoz this year particularly,  it is a HUGE CLEARANCE SALE !!! which means the rates are phenomenally low !   Amongst the 50,000 + books are educational, comics, hobby,  short story books, novels, language books etc and a large section of Islamic books too.  The sale is truly a festival for readers !! 

yes, did you notice Sanjeev Kapoor recipe books ? They are for dhs 15 each !! Unbelievable !!!

The prices range in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15,25 !!!!! Naturally, I visited them on the first day and after browsing and drooling over the daunting task of taking ” just a trolley full of books”, Samie, joins me and yet another couple of hours later, another trolley full load of books are  presented at the cashier counter !!  I assure you, its not a hoarding tendency ~ its just that you dont get such fantastic books at these insane rates !!!

They are open from 9 am to 10 pm till 2nd December.  I would highly recommend that you visit them in the morning hours when the crazy rush is limited. 

Oh and BTW, I haven’t been paid to write for the Pioneer Group and neither am I related to them !!!! I am just a fortunate book lover who wishes for all of you to take advantage of the amazing prices of these fantastic books !! 

If you have trouble finding the place, please feel free to contact me.

I hope you benefit from this article and the information shared.

I am sharing this post with the following parties :-

Sundae Scoop
The Sunday Showcase
The DIY Show Off
Think Pink Sundays 
Addicted 2 Decorating
Nifty Thrifty Things
Twigg Studios
Brassy Apple  
Altered Box, Dubai, Makeovers, My Favorite Stores in Dubai, Something inbetween, Storage, Window display

Hoarding Ikea !

As an ardent crafter, one of my favorite places to shop for storage, furniture for the studio (or house) or even fabric, has always been Ikea. Everything about their concepts, design, simplicity and sophistication, fascinates me ~ as does half of Dubai !!  🙂

When Bilal was just a baby, I would take him in his stroller over to Ikea, which was then, in Deira City Center. I remember spending longer time in the coffee shop in the premises than shopping !  Loved their selection of meals and their coffee too. You know, suddenly, I just realized, this sounds like a promotional script for Ikea ~ Ok I promise ~ I havent been paid by them for reminiscing my beautiful memories !

Why dont I just return to 2012 !! Well, with more work order comes more mess naturally ~  and what does Naush do ???  Storage boxes/buckets/baskets etc ofcourse !  I couldnt have picked a better time ! I just know fate was favoring me or maybe hinting at me 🙂   You’ll never believe what I landed up with !  A huge load of these white, black, orange and green boxes had just arrived in the ” as-is ” section.  Naturally I took a deep dive and stacked as many I could on two trolleys. Hey, lets just face it, a mom and a crafter can never have too many storage boxes, right ??

Its been 3 weeks, all the boxes have found homes on the different shelves very systematically however, surprisingly, none of them have become homes to any of my crafting goodies ! Yes, I know what your thinking 🙂

A hoarder ! I think, there is a genetic connection between artists and mess. No matter how hard I try, my studio can remain pretty and presentable only for like a week and then, it breaks down again. I know, alot of you face the same predicament.

Truth be said, I think, I have a super large job ahead of me in cleaning, organizing and maybe even refurbishing the studio and perhaps thats why I dont want to open the pandora’s box just as yet.  

I do hope to fill these beautiful storage boxes and maybe even alter them alittle bit but for now, they are still waiting.

Here are my precious boxes.

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Linking this post to the following site for my crafter friends to know that these boxes can be used excellently for storage and organizational purposes.

Feature Friday~Spunky Junky