Family Friendly Activities in Lake Country, BC and Vernon, BC

We are officially entering Automn but I am still dreaming of this last summer!

This summer we had some amazing weather (except for the last couple of weeks of smoke!), and we decided to take advantage and go for a weeklong road trip to Lake Country and Vernon.

Today I wanted to share with you some of the activities we ended up doing. These are all family friendly and some even pet friendly as we had both our toddler and dog with us. I hope you get to check out these fun activities! And hey don’t let the cooler temperatures stop you.

1. Wine tasting: No road trip is complete without wine tasting. There are some great local BC wineries in Lake Country, BC. We visited two wineries on this road trip as we were short on time. Ex Nihilo was on our list of wineries to visit for a long time and it definitely did not disappoint. The grounds are of course gorgeous and they have a restaurant on-site that was packed. The wines we tasted were unique and we definitely ended buying a couple of bottles. They were also very kind to my thirsty dog as it was a super hot day.

Arrowleaf Cellars was another one that was on our list. The winery has a spectacular picnic area overlooking the valley and vineyard. We took advantage and sat out on the grounds, and enjoyed crisp and refreshing glasses of Pinot Gris and a mouthwatering cheese plate! My 3-year-old, loved the cheese and running around in the grass. We took our dog with us and he was able to lounge under the picnic table, catching crumbs that my daughter dropped! All in all, I found arrowhead cellars to be very family friendly as well as affordable.

2. The Kangaroo Creek Farm :We loved visiting this place! I don’t know why we have never been before. The farm houses, kangaroos, Wallabies, and capybaras as well as parrots, chickens and pigs. The admission is $10 cash for adults and children under 5 are free. The money goes to taking care of the farm and the animals. This was a very educational trip for my little one. It was great to see the animals roaming about and well taken care of. I was able to snap a picture of my daughter interacting with a Wallaby! Her favorite were the chickens and getting her face painted!

3. The BX Press Cidery and Orchard: This was our first time at a working cider and orchard. The cider is a family affair and the service was impeccable. The ladies entertained our dog and baby while we tasted some ciders. I have to say that the difference in taste was very apparent. This time around we did not get a chance to tour the facility but we will be back!

Autumn is cooler and the smoke is gone, which means now is the perfect time to head down to Lake Country and Vernon.

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Dear Zara: Letter to my Daughter on her 3rd birthday

Dear Zara

Today is your 3rd birthday. You asked for a yellow dress, a red bike and a birthday party with chocolate cupcakes with yellow icing. How could I say no!

You are getting so smart and have mommy and daddy wrapped around your little finger, especially daddy! You can talk now and the things you say amaze me! The other day you asked me if I am happy?

You love your cousins, Juju and Ava and all your Uncles and Aunts. You love to be surrounded by people and Your heart is open and loves without judgement! I hope you never lose that ability.

Your birthday is always emotional for me. On one end I can’t wait to see what you get up to as you get older, but on the other end I wish you were still that 6 pound baby, that slept on my chest. It is an honor to be your momma and to watch you grow. You have taught me more in these 3 years than you will ever know.

Thank you for choosing me baby girl. I love you the most baby Zara!

Love forever,

Your Mama

Book Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of hearts is a twisted story and has all the ingredients of a psychological thriller: a murder, a serial killer, and hidden graves. What’s different about it though is that the story, isn’t about the girl that was murdered or the serial killer, it’s about the victims best friend/serial killer’s accomplice.

The story revolves around Geo, who is charged as an accomplice to her best friend’s murder fourteen years later. Geo isn’t a bad person, she just made some bad choices and poor decisions as a teen. Geo ends up in prison and when she gets out, the murders have started again in her hometown and the ex boyfriend aka the serial killer has escaped from prison.

I should warn you that the story is pretty gory and there are some instances involving children that I had a tough time getting through.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, with fairly rich characters this is the book to read!

Whats on your reading list?

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Kamloops Wine Trail : The next BC wine destination

Kamloops has a special place in my heart for multiple reasons. Last month, when I discovered award-winning wineries in Kamloops, 20 minutes from downtown, I was ecstatic! Another reason to love this beautiful town, about 3.5 to 4 hours away from Vancouver!

There are 4 wineries in Kamloops, and I was able to visit 3 that were in close proximity to each other. It was actually our 7 year wedding anniversary and what better way to celebrate than sipping on local wine.

Sagewood Winery This was the first winery we visited and it quickly became one of my favorites. This is a family owned estate winery and when we got there the tasting room was packed! Once we got inside, we knew why! We had one of the best Rieslings we have ever had here. My hubby who usually stays away from the sweeter wines was immediately taken aback by the Riesling. Needless to say, it was definitely added to our Must Buy list. They currently do not sell in Vancouver, so you will have to visit them in Kamloops.

Harper’s Trail Winery was the first winery to open up in Kamloops. The setting is a picturesque vineyard, beautiful rolling hills, and open patio, to enjoy a glass or two of vino. They also produce Canada’s double gold award-winning Cabernet Franc! Their Rose’ was also amazing. We definitely grabbed some wine here. We also took advantage of the picnic tables on the property and took some beautiful insta worthy pictures!

Monte Creek Ranch I saved the best for last! Monte Creek Ranch is a working ranch overlooking the mighty Thompson River! The area is rich with history and the views from the patio were spectacular! They also have a restaurant in the patio where we were able to enjoy a delicious meal and the view. There 2017 Sparkling Reserve was one of a kind. It tasted like an expensive champagne, the right amount of bubbles and punch. I would love to grab just a box of that!

So there you have it! If you are looking for a wine tasting experience without driving too far from Vancouver, add Kamloops to your list of wine destinations!

I cannot wait to be back in Kamloops soon!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Family Friendly Things to do in Kamloops, British Columbia

My husband and I have been visiting Kamloops, BC for around 5 years. Over the years a lot of friends and family have always asked me why Kamloops and why not Kelowna or Osoyoos.

Kamloops has always had a special place in my heart. When hubby and I got together, we wanted to do some mini road trips and Kamloops was one of the first places we visited. Surprisingly, we were amazed at how short of a drive it is from Vancouver (3.5 to 4 hours) and how we always had a great time. We also announced our pregnancy to the world while in Kamloops!

Over the year’s, we have found some great activities to do, especially for a family with a toddler. Here is a list of our fav activities to do while in Kamloops:

Hiking: Rj and I are not big hikers but we found a trail with beautiful views that we could take the stroller up to on our last visit. We went to Kenna Cartwright Park with Zara on our last trip and she loved it. It was not a super long hike, but the view was amazing.

Pre-baby we have also been to Peterson park which is a bit more rugged.

Both of these are dog friendly.

Here is a list of all the places to hike.

Kamloops Wine trail: Yes finally Kamloops has wineries! There are 4 wineries in total and the earliest one opened up in 2012. I will be writing a separate post on my experience at the wineries, so watch out for it!

BC Wildlife Park– This was our favorite part of the trip. The BC Wildlife Park is a not for profit park and all the animals are usually rescued or injured and unable to survive in the wild. The animals have large enclosures and looked very well cared for. We saw Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Moose, Camels, and even goats. There is a playground and even a water park. There is also a volunteer-run mini train inside the park that takes you around. You can easily spend a full day here. The cost is around $15 and kids under 3 are free. If you have the Entertainment Coupon book, you can get in for, 2 for 1. This was definitely a highlight of our trip.

Have you been to Kamloops? What is your favorite activity to do in Kamloops?

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Zara’s favorite playgrounds in Vancouver

Summer is around the corner and days will be longer so we can head outside to spend more time in the sun!!

This gets me excited to spend more time with the family. Our favourite activity is to head out to a park where Zara can run around, and we can relax. Here is a list of our favourite parks in the city:

Steveston Village: We used to live close to Steveston Village pre baby and loved it! The park next to the community centre will not disappoint. The park has plenty of safe climbing equipment for unsteady feet, plus a real Trolley that kids can explore with parents. There are also slides galore and a water park in the summer. For the parents, there are tons of coffee shops and restaurants in the village to meet every single palate.

Creekside Park: This park is right by Science world and has beautiful water views. The park’s grounds are built of soft foam mats, making it safe, if kids happen to take a tumble. Zara felt super confident climbing up to the slide here! There is a large tunnel slide for kids 5 and up as well. For parents, Olmpic village is a short walk away and has a lot of choices for food and coffee. My favorite is Mario’s Gelato which is also close by. Craft Beer Market is also a good spot for lunch and drinks.

Trout Lake Park: I have written about Trout Lake in the past, but I just had to put it on our list of favorite parks in Vancouver! The park has slides of multiple sizes, a climbing orb, and a huge sand pit. Views of the lake are amazing! There is also an off-leash dog park for your fur babies. Coffee, snacks, and Gelato are available at the Circus in the Park.

What are your favorite parks in the city?

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

The Handmaid’s Tale: Why I am watching and you should too.

There are a couple of Tv shows that I have been watching religiously lately.

One in particular is the The Handmaid’s Tale. It is based on a book by Margaret Atwood and talks about a dystopian future where religion has taken over and women’s rights have been stripped. Women are not allowed to work or have bank accounts. Most women are barren. The very few that can produce children are enslaved and treated like cattle, their only purpose to bear children for their masters.

Sounds pretty crazy right? You think this can’t ever happen. Funny enough this book was written in 1985 by Margret Atwood and for a period of time it was banned.

Why am I talking about this tv show? Well it hits home for me. I come from a country that treats women like second class citizens.  I lived in a country where women were not allowed to leave their house without a male family member. Women were not allowed to drive. Women could work, but only in certain professions. Women were told to cover themselves, so as not to tempt the men. I was born into this and felt it was normal.

Now that I have a daughter, I am on hyper alert when it comes to gender inequality. I vowed to myself to never take my daughter to a country that looks down upon women. But I can’t stop things from happening in our own backyard. Yes, we live in a country that has given women rights. Women can work, drive, own property. But in the back of my mind I can’t stop thinking about The Handmaids Tale and what’s happening across the border.

I don’t particularly consider myself a feminist but the recent #metoo movement has brought a lot of truths to light. Women have been belittled, abused, and used for centuries. Yet we watch a show like The Handmaid’s tale and think of it as fiction. Is it fiction?

Parents of girls, speak up, unite, make this world a better place for our daughters!

Have you watched this show? What did you think?

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery