Travelling with Children

Traveling with Children: How to Make it Fun

For many parents, traveling with children is difficult, especially if they are flying as part of their trip. Some parents choose to leave their children with another family member so they can go on vacation. This is certainly a valid option for some trips, but there are many benefits to taking your child with you on vacation. Not only is it a good bonding experience for your family, but traveling with your children, especially younger ones, has been shown to positively impact their intelligence. I know from my own personal experience, that flight time often offers up a time to communicate in an unhurried way. My phone is switched off, work gets put on hold, and my son gets my undivided attention for the duration of the flight. Our flight time becomes quality family time.

While there are many good reasons to travel with your kids, it is important you prepare in advance to ensure both your travel and vacation are a fun and positive experience for your family.

Bring Activities for the Plane
The hardest part about traveling with your child is keeping him, or her entertained on the plane. Nobody wants to be the parent responsible for a loud and restless child. Even if you are going on a relatively short flight, you must bring something to keep your child entertained. Keep in mind you want activities not only for the flight itself but also for the time you’ll spend in the airport. When you are traveling with children, you typically want to arrive early at the airport. Factor in wait and boarding time, and you may end up in the airport for an extra hour or two on top of however long your flight is. It is easy for children to get bored during this wait time, which can make them even more irritable once the flight begins. Other children may find the process stressful, so having activities helps to distract them. When my children were younger one tried and true activity that kept them distracted from the boredom of standing in queues at the airport was a good old-fashioned game of I Spy. And I always had a deck of cards in my purse for a few rounds of Snap or Go-Fish while we were sitting at the departure gate.

You want to bring an activity to occupy your child without disturbing any passengers nearby. Fortunately, this is much easier thanks to the number of electronic toys available. Consider bringing an iPod, Kindle, handheld videogame console, or a portable DVD player. Make sure to bring headphones so your child does not bother other passengers. Also, make sure the devices have enough battery life remaining before you board the plane. My youngest son and I enjoy trivia games. There are many free age-appropriate apps available to download, and it’s an activity both you and your child can play together.

Non-Electronic Options

Not all children want to play with electronic toys. Non-electronic options are just as viable as electronic devices. Coloring books are an excellent way of keeping artistic children occupied during a flight. Puzzle books and sticker books are also great options. Some children are comforted by having their favorite stuffed animal accompany them on the flight as well. Older children can also bring a book to help pass the time. The key to bringing a non-electronic toy is simplicity. You do not want to pack anything that is too large or overly complex.

Activities Are Not Limited to the Plane

For many parents, the biggest challenge of vacationing with a child comes in the evening. Adults have a much easier time decompressing in a hotel. Children are usually much more energetic, especially if it is their first time traveling. While it is good they are so excited about the trip, it can be stressful when you are all cooped up together and trying to rest. Even if you are lucky enough to have a child who is completely fine on flights, or you avoid flights altogether on your trip, make sure to pack a few activities to keep your child entertained during the slower moments of your trip. An interesting book you can read together is perfect for winding down the energy level.

Do Not Forget Snacks

Another useful tip both for traveling and your actual vacation is to bring snacks. Many children can go from being perfectly well behaved into having a temper tantrum if they are hungry. I’m not immune to becoming a little tetchy myself when I’m hungry! While you are traveling you may be able to stop by a restaurant or a store to get something to eat, but this is not always an option and can sometimes bleed into your vacation spending funds. Instead, carry small snacks with you. Crackers, fruit, and granola bars are all excellent options. If you are going on a longer trip, consider bringing a water bottle or juice box as well. Make sure you pack moist towelettes or compact hand-towels for cleanup.

Keep an Eye for Family or Children Days

A big concern for parents is finding vacation activities good for both adults and children. When you are planning your trip, try to prioritize locations that have family or children days. This is a great choice if you are planning a museum trip. Many children have a hard time in a traditional museum. Lots of museums counter this by having special exhibits specifically for children. These exhibits often feature hands-on activities to keep even the most energetic children entertained. These locations often have discounts available as well, usually in the form of reduced prices, but sometimes children even get in for free.

Factor in the Wait Times

One of the quintessential family vacation destinations are theme parks. There is no shortage of rides and games to keep your child entertained, but depending on when you are traveling, these activities may also have long wait times. For some children, this is not an issue. Others have a harder time waiting in line, especially if they are excited about going on their favorite ride. Some parks have special passes available where you go in a VIP line with minimal wait times. However, these passes can be expensive. If you know your child has a hard time with long lines, try and schedule your vacation outside of the usual vacation seasons to reduce the number of visitors at the park.

Like the plane or hotel room, you may be able to keep your child entertained with another activity while you wait in line. However, this is usually harder since you do not want to carry a bunch of toys with you into a park, and a line is just not an appropriate spot for certain toys.

Flexibility is Key

It can be frustrating, but when you travel with children you do not want to stick to a rigid schedule. With younger children especially, it is important to have a flexible schedule. Your child may end up enjoying the first location you visit and get upset if you try and go anywhere else. The opposite can happen as well, where your child is unhappy with a destination and wants to go someplace else. Bad moods can carry over for the rest of the day and put a damper on any other activities you have planned. It is strongly encouraged to plan out multiple locations or activities for each day, but do not be afraid to speed through or even skip things outright to keep everyone happy. Include your child in selecting the activities. Whenever possible, I offer my son a variety of options and find, more often than not, that he is more inclined to enjoy those excursions that he participated in choosing.

Nabila K products, curated from around the world, are always ethically sourced, cruelty-free and created without phosphates or parabens. Make traveling with your kids easier with Nabila K. For more information about traveling and all natural children’s products, join us on

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What I have learned in Japan

I love visiting Japan! The Japanese culture is rich and filled with traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Embracing simplicity, always being respectful, and learning to reduce stress are just a few of the lessons that I have observed on my trips there.

What I have learned in Japan

Lesson #1. Always Be Respectful.

Respect is at the center of Japanese culture. One of my fondest memories is when I went to a winter festival in Sapporo. There amongst the nearly 200 ice sculptures, all lit from within with lanterns and lights, were families with children. I found myself observing how they interacted with one another. While many other cultures tend to be more open, and let manners slide from time to time among their family members and friends, the Japanese are known for being more formal and conservative. Young children are taught early on about the importance of respecting their elders, possessions, and the world at large. I saw this in the way even the very young children politely asked permission before engaging with the various hands-on displays.

When speaking with some of the visitors who were from nearby areas, I learned that the early childhood lessons include always arriving on time, removing shoes before entering a home, and being considerate of others in every single social act. Additionally, you will see adults greet each other with a bow as a sign of respect. Titles of honor, including -sun, -sama, -kun, and -chan are also used to show respect. There is a wonderful embedded expectation within Japanese society that all individuals will act with an appropriate level of etiquette and decorum, especially when they are out in public.

Lesson #2. Waste Less to Create a Smaller Environmental Footprint.

Walking the streets of Japan can be a strange experience for Americans who are used to seeing litter clutter their favorite cities. In fact, many places in Japan don’t have public garbage cans. Instead, people will carry their trash with them until they have arrived at their destination, returned home, or have found a location with a wastebasket. The Japanese approach to waste has led to spotless streets and an incredibly efficient recycling system. As a whole, the country has adopted a “waste less” approach to creating a smaller environmental footprint. This smaller footprint is enhanced by energy efficiencies throughout the workplace and zero landfill waste policies.

Lesson #3. Cleanliness is Key to a Healthier Life.

Cleanliness goes hand-in-hand with respect in Japanese culture. To help promote a healthier life that stems from cleanliness, the Japanese are known for distributing wet towels before meals. Imagine my shock and delight when I purchased something and my cash transactions were completed with the assistance of a tray! The money is placed on the tray so that the customer and cashier do not have to touch hands, which is both an act of cleanliness and respectful consideration. The latter consideration can also be seen by the numerous people who wear surgical masks out in public. When I inquired about them, I was told that the masks are not to prevent catching a cold, but are typically worn because the wearer is already sick and does not want to spread germs to others. I found that this high level of consideration is just one of the many ways that the Japanese embrace cleanliness throughout their daily lives. It is not a bad thing to adopt in our own country, for sure.

Lesson #4. Live Longer by Eating Well, Meditating, and Walking Often.

Did you know that Japan is home to a blue zone? Blue zones denote areas in the world where a high proportion of the population live past 100. In addition to having a blue zone, a 2014 World Health Organization (WHO) report discovered that Japanese women have the highest life expectancy throughout the globe. The Japanese way of life can help teach us how to live longer by eating well, meditating and walking often. The latter mentalities are ingrained into daily life by eating small portions, preferring lower-calorie foods, and making time for tea to help aid digestion and promote emotional well-being. When speaking with a Japanese mother, I was told that Japanese children are taught these valuable life lessons at a young age. They are also encouraged to walk to school to help prevent obesity. Children and adults often combine exercise and meditation, enjoying and honoring nature on a daily basis through group and individual activities. While they aren’t immune to technology, and use it in their daily lives, they have found a way to balance that…definitely something I plan to incorporate in my own life!

Lesson #5. Reduce Stress by Finding Pleasure in the Simple Things.

In addition to eating well, meditating, and walking often, the Japanese have also discovered the joy in reducing stress by finding the pleasure in simple things. From meals, to drinking tea, to decorating a home or office, simplicity is embraced by the Japanese. Instead of rushing or eating while walking to work, meals are enjoyed in a relaxing environment. Rituals, such as preparing, pouring, and enjoying tea, are done with a pride that dates back hundreds of years. I have returned to Japan many times, and on every visit I’ve always made a point of enjoying a tea ceremony in a lovely tea house somewhere. The Japanese culture also has a love for nature that can be seen in their minimalist approach to life. This love for nature, coupled with enjoying the simple things in life, has led to a culture that is respectful, considerate, and mindful of the past, present, and future.

In conclusion, Japan has numerous lessons that it can teach us. The importance of respect, the ability to create a smaller environmental footprint by wasting less, the vitality that is created through cleanliness, the ability to live longer by eating well, meditating, and walking often, and finding joy through the simplest things, are just a few of the lessons that I have brought back with me from Japan, and some that I continue to incorporate into my life to this day. Which of the above seem like they might work for you? I’d love to hear from you and what you’ve learned from your travels!

Nabila Khashoggi loves to travel and share the exciting truths from her many years of adventure. This same care and attention is offered through her exclusive line of cosmetics, home goods, and travel items sourced during her many treks around the world.

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Stlyling Your Workspace

The Science of Styling Your Workspace 

I move around quite a bit. My desk is mostly the ‘on the go’ type. I dream of getting back to my space, and when I do, sometimes, weeks later, it’s just as I left it, a mess. It almost derails me before I even start. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one buried in desk clutter. When I literally spent 15 minutes looking for some stupid sticky notes, I knew something had to give. I mean, we sit at our desks for hours upon hours. Staring at a screen is almost inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be tedious. You don’t have to work in a cluttered workspace. In fact, your desk can be a place of peace and serenity, if you style it right. But you don’t have to go out and hire someone to help you untangle the mess on your desk. Here are some recommendations that were given to me. Believe me…they’re a game changer.

1. Clean Your Desktop Off Completely

If you’re like me and a lot of other people, your desk has probably accumulated a number of things you may not even need any longer. Papers pile up, trinkets appear out of nowhere, and wires seem to take on lives of their own. Before you begin styling your desk, clear it off completely. Working around clutter is only going to derail the process. Move stuff to the floor or couch or a side table, (or the bed… this way you are forced to deal with it!) then you can put them away or work them into your design as the process goes along. Avoid the temptation to take your arm and make a clean sweep of it all. Looks great in the movies…not so much in real life.

2. Prioritize the Big Stuff First

Which items must be on your desk? You’ve probably got a computer and mouse. Maybe you have an external monitor and keyboard, as well. Those big items are your anchor items. Place them in places that make the most sense for your body so you’re not sitting in an awkward position or straining to see your screens. Are you left-handed or right-handed? The answer to this question will probably affect the best setup for your personal desk space.

3. Choose a Theme: Utilize Office Organizers

I can’t say this enough: organizing tools have become my best friend. They keep clutter away, enabling me to enjoy my space, and they’ll do the same for you. Decide which items could be in drawers and which should be kept on the top of your desk. Keep in mind that the clearer you’re able to keep the surface of your desk, the less anxiety you’ll experience when you’re working away. For file folders that’ll live on the top of your desk, find organizers that store them upright. Anytime you’re working on making a space more efficient and comfortable I found that it’s important to use vertical real estate, not just horizontal surfaces.
Your theme can be anything from fun and wild colors to wooden accessories; the point is to make everything congruent so that it looks and feels like it all naturally goes together. This will help the aesthetics in your entire home or office fit together better, too.

4. Address the Clutter

At this point, if it hasn’t made it back onto your desk yet, because it doesn’t absolutely need to be there, don’t start stacking it back on now. Take time to go through the rest of the items you’ve placed aside. Do you need them? Can they be filed? Does anything belong in the trash or donation piles? Get rid of everything you don’t need and find organized storage places for the stuff that needs to stick around but doesn’t need to live atop your desk.

5. One Last Look

Before you plunk your laptop down on your desk and start hitting keys, take one last look. Take a moment to look to see if things may work better if you put them in a different position. You’ll be astonished at how much more efficient your work day can be when all of your items have a proper home. It literally took me the better part of a day working with an organization expert to come to terms with the crazy that was my desk…but, in the end…it has been well worth it!

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Nabila Khashoggi loves to travel and share the exciting truths from her many years of
adventure. This same care and attention is offered through her exclusive line of cosmetics, home goods, and travel items sourced during her many treks around the world.


French Secrets For A Happy Life

Lessons from the French: Elevate Your Lifestyle

Ever since I was an infant, my family and I visited the South of France every summer. My father loved the Mediterranean Sea and any country that bordered it. Later I lived there for quite a few years. When it comes to living life to its fullest, the French — particularly those in the beautiful South of France,— can teach us all a thing or two. And the best part is you don’t need a caviar budget to take these lessons to heart.

Pay Attention to the Little Things
Living in France, I soon learned one thing the French know for sure: You don’t need a big reason to enjoy the simple, daily pleasures of life. In fact, “big” things can get in the way. Instead of waiting for something special to celebrate, the French focus on turning everyday activities into something worth celebrating in a meaningful way. Typically, that can mean something as simple and transformative as indulging in a unique item, such as candles to light during dinner, or super-soft sheets for your bed, or something really unique you find in a small out-of-the-way shop.

Shop Locally
Scenes of French men and women browsing in outdoor markets brimming with colorful and healthy vegetables are among the most common images associated with French living. But you don’t have to go to France to have that same experience. Here in the United States, there’s almost sure to be a farmer’s market in your area, and most towns have at least one local patisserie — aka bakery — where you can enjoy a fragrant loaf of fresh bread, or maybe even buttery croissants. Not only will the food be fresher, but you’ll be supporting local businesses too. And if you really want to feel French, invest in a reusable net shopping bag (sometimes called a string bag or a fishnet bag), almost a necessity for most open-air market shoppers.



The French put a lot of stock into conversation — real conversation, about current events or other interesting topics. They recognize the value of meaningful conversation in creating and nurturing human contact. What’s more, they have conversations face to face, not just on social media. For most of us, tech — while convenient — has made our conversation skills just a wee bit rusty. To get back in practice, use family dinners and lunches with friends and work buddies to polish your skills. I grew up speaking French, but when out of practice it shows. Conversation, a two-way street, is a great way to practice a new language.

Cultivate your Own Style

The French fashion scene gets a lot of attention, but for most French people, their actual attire is a lot more practical and focused on comfort without sacrificing style. In Cannes and Paris, it didn’t take me long to see that the French aren’t swayed by fads; instead, they build their wardrobes around timeless pieces in top-quality materials that will look good year after year. The French take time each day to make sure they look their best because they know that helps them feel their best, too. French women tend to value a good, basic haircut that flatters their features — one that doesn’t require a lot of time primping, curling and styling. And they use one or two tasteful accessories to take a basic outfit from day to night without a lot of hassle.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make truly meaningful changes to your life. By taking the time to make even the smallest events more meaningful, by making the space around you beautiful, you can incorporate a little bit of the French lifestyle into you own corner of the world.

I love to travel and share exciting observations from many years of adventure. Hopeful you will see this translated into our Nabila K lifestyle line of exclusive line of cosmetics home goods, and travel itemssourced during many treks around the world.

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