Happy Birthday Zara: Letter to my Daughter for her 5th birthday during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear Zara

I want to write to you but I could not find the words. I hope when you are older and you read this you will maybe look back at this time and think how you never realized how bad it was. All I want to do is to protect you from what is happening outside in the world and what is happening inside our lives. You did not deserve this. You deserve a good life, the best life.

Zara’s birthday dinner at her fav place: Whitespot

You are 5 years old and smarter beyond your age. You understand more than you let on. You have taken everything that has happened in your short life in good stride. I wish I had your strength and your positive light. You always look ahead with light in your eyes. You feel things deeply just like your momma. And you love ferociously like me. You have a heart of gold and are opinionated and stubborn. When you believe in something you put your heart into it. Qualities that make me so proud of you.

It’s not Hawaii but it is a beach!

Last year your dad moved out. And I am so proud of how you handled that. You asked the right questions and it took you awhile but you have accepted it and you did not let it break your spirit.

2020 was supposed to be our year. We wanted to go to Hawaii and Montreal and maybe Mexico. But in March everything shut down. I thought initially it would be short lived and the world will go back to normal. But that didn’t happen. 

It has been 6 months since the world was normal. I tried to explain to you why you cannot see your friends, go to the park, or go near people. You said everyone was sick and that is why everything is closed. Somehow you came up with that by yourself.

Always smiling

I try to keep things normal for you. But we cannot do our normal outings. We miss going to our starbuck dates and you miss going to the grocery store with me. For you that was not a chore, you liked to pick out what we would eat. 

When you see people with masks you don’t even ask about why. Somehow you think it is normal. You asked me once why we don’t wear masks and I said because the doctor hasn’t asked us to. And you seemed to be happy with that answer.

You do ask me if I am sick or if you are going to get sick. I try to put your mind at ease and tell you that is why we wash our hands. 

You have lost so much in your life, and I do not want you to lose your innocence.

First hair cut!

Zara, this time has not been easy on me. And there have been multiple  times when I have lost it. And I apologize for that. I tried my best for you but sometimes you didn’t get the best of me.  

Through it all though the one thing that has always kept me moving forward regardless of the uncertainty of our future is YOU. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I have realized during this pandemic that I needed to slow down and really LOOK at you. The world before this was too fast. I was always rushing and lived in this world of ‘busyness’.  But  now I have been thinking about what I was busy with. The only thing that matters is me and you and our life together. 

I love you the most.


PS – Happy Happy Birthday my little Zaza

A letter to myself post Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear post pandemic Husna

When the World opens up I want you to remember some things and make some changes. You will not be the same person you were before and that is ok. This will change you and that is ok. 
You will be scared. Scared that things can be taken away from you. Scared that you will have to pause your life again because of an unseen danger. It’s ok to be scared. But that doesn’t mean you let the fear stop you from doing things you want to. Let the fear instead drive you to do what you could before.
Slowing down is important. Living in the fast lane isn’t for you. Slow down and savour moments. Don’t just let life fly by.

Move your body. You have discovered that moving your body feels good. It makes you feel strong and alive. Don’t stop. Running makes you feel like you are flying. Don’t forget that feeling. 
Call your friends and family. Sure texting is easy. But calling them makes a difference. So dial or video call your friends. Or better yet go see them. 
Cherish time. For a long time you wanted time to speed up. Somehow you thought life was a race. It isn’t. During the pandemic you had to pause your life. Life couldn’t move forward. But time did move forward. And you might have felt it was a waste of time. But it wasn’t. You learnt somethings about yourself that otherwise you wouldn’t. 
Hug everyone. Don’t ever take hugs for granted. And I am not talking about half ass hugs. I am talking nice long slightly awkward hugs. 
Thank everyone. That guy at the coffee shop that made you your Americano thank him. And mean it. The waiter at the restaurant that brought you your meal, thank him for treating you like a queen. 
Be Grateful. Don’t forget that there was a time when the world stopped. And everything and everyone you took for granted was taken away. Be grateful for everything you have. 
It will be hard when the world opens. It will feel surreal. It will be a different world but so will you. 

The 7 rules of dating a Single Mom

As I embark on a completely new experience of dating in 2020, I thought why not make a list of dos and don’t. Dating in your late 30s is different than your 20s. Add a kid into the mix and it definitely adds an extra element. So men if you are going to date a single mom start Taking Notes!

  1. Do not waste her time. Time is precious for a single mom. She could be sleeping, or getting her hair done. Or just putting her feet up and watching Netflix. But instead she CHOSE to spend with you. So make the most of it and don’t waste it! 
  2. Be honest. Don’t lie please. Because hey single mom radar is very sharp. If you are looking for a fun romp in the sack, just say that. Don’t pretend you are looking for a long term relationship or ‘go with the flow’ if you really just want to get in and out.
  3. Be flexible. She is on a schedule. So sometimes she might not be free for weeks. So if you are the kind of guy that is like hey let’s meet for an impromptu drink or coffee, highly likely that is not happening! 
  4. The kid always comes first. If you didn’t know. Now you do. No matter what the kid always comes first. She gave birth to life and is responsible for this life. So if your ego can’t handle playing second fiddle to a child don’t bother. 
  5. She is a strong ass woman. Count yourself lucky if she is interested in you. Yup you are lucky if she is spending any time with you. Raising a child is equivalent to two full time jobs. And she is doing this on her own. So yea single mom is Wonder Woman and Super Girl combined into one. If you can’t handle that don’t bother. 
  6. She is independent AF. If she is giving you time of the day that means something. Yea she pays her own bills, fills out those dreaded forms, and wipes her kids bum simultaneously. It might be hard for her to share her life with you. So just be grateful that she is. 
  7. Treat her like the Queen she is. Yea she is a queen, supergirl and wonder woman. Treat her like one. Woo her.  

Dating as a single mom is not easy. But here is the truth: raising a child on your own is hard AF. Sometimes we just want to let our hair down and just be US.

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Life update 2020

It’s been a while since I have written a post.

Last year my life turned upside down and my main focus was SURVIVAL. I am not out of the woods yet and I still have a long time to go.

I wanted to write an update post and share what is happening in my life.

The short story is that my husband and I have separated. I don’t want to share the reasons because that is definitely personal. The most important person that is effected by this is of course my daughter Zara. She is 4.5 right now. When my husband and I separated she was 3. So in way she is too young to really understand anything but too old to not notice the changes. I have tried hard to keep things simple and consistent for her. I also try to answer her questions truthfully. And the biggest thing for us is to make sure that she knows that she is loved.

I am in middle of navigating divorce and figuring out what that means for me and my daughter. The last year involved a lot of soul searching, self care and actually taking care of myself. I started to work out again. I do kick boxing at @30min hit. The goal is to feel strong and just to feel good as I am. I am learning who I have become- not just a wife and mother. I am still learning and I think that will be a long journey.

I also lost my beloved dog Puggles last year and we now have a new addition to the family! Her name is Zoey and she is blind in one eye. She recently had surgery to take out that eye. She is such a sweet pug. I got her from a breeder who wanted to retire her. She is the perfect companion for me and play mate for Zara.

The last year has taught me that the inevitable CAN happen. But I heard somewhere that there is strength in pain and that’s definitely my experience. Every day has it’s ups and downs but I am driven to move forward for my daughter.

Canada Berries Winery: Fruit Wines in Richmond, BC

Have you tried fruit wine?

I have been on the lookout for easy drinking fruit wine. Something I can drink chilled with or without pairing with cheese or food.

Recently my friends we’re invited to a complimentary wine tasting at Canada Berries in Richmond. It was about a 20 min car ride from Vancouver which was awesome!

We tasted 6 different fruit wines. All the wines are made with local berries in Richmond, have no added sugars and are vegan. I could taste the fruits with each tasting. Each wine is only 11 % alcohol, so it’s perfect for the patio in the afternoon.

My favorite was the Blueberry wine. It smelled like blueberry and tasted refreshing and satisfying. My friends loved the Blackberry. It was unlike anything you have tasted. You have to try it!

Give Canada Berries a call and book a tasting today. You won’t be disappointed!

Please note this is a sponsored post. This was a gifted experience but all opinions are my own.

My top 5 family friendly Christmas activities in Vancouver, BC

Christmas is here! Well not quite but it sure feels like it with the cooler temperatures and the Hallmark Christmas movies on TV ( ps I love these movies even though I know how they will end!).

There are a bunch of Christmas activities I am really excited about this year and was going to make a list of ones I wanted to hit this year. Then I thought why not share it with you all! So here it is:

  1. Glow Langley: I missed this last year! I am so excited to go this year as an #glowambassadorlangley. It is indoors, millions of twinkling lights, lots of opportunities to take fun pictures, kid-friendly activities, Santa, food, shopping, and a licensed bar! What more could you ask for! They are bigger this year and have a new theme, Glow around the World. Buy tickets early as this event was sold out last year! Starts Nov 22nd!
  2. The Stanley Park Christmas Train: I went to this last year as I got tickets from a friend. My daughter loved it! There is something magical about taking a mini train ride in the park surrounded by lights!! Buy tickets early! Starts Nov 29th!
  3. The Peak of Christmas on Grouse mountain: I have never been to this one but I am super excited to go check it out. They usually have live reindeer, Santa’s workshop, of course, hot chocolate, and SNOW! Perfect to make family memories. Starts Nov 23rd.
  4. Canyon lights at Capilano Suspension: I went to this last year as a team building activity at work and was mesmerized by the views and of course the lights! Bonus BC residents one time ticket gives you a yearly pass. Starts Nov 22nd.
  5. Lights at Lafarge: I went to Lafarge lake/park in the summer, but have never been at Christmas. Every year the lake sets up a spectacular light display at Christmas for FREE! So definitely adding this to my list! Starts Nov 24th.

What’s on your must-do list this Christmas? Share with me your favorite Christmas activities.

Please note that I am a Glow Langley Ambassodor. In exchange for my opinion I am compensated with tickets to the event. All opinions expressed are my own.

Beaver Lake Mountain Resort: A honest review

Oh summer! How I miss you already! Summer seems like such a long time ago, now that we have officially entered fall.

But it’s not too late to plan a trip out to a cabin and get one with nature.

At the end of July 2018, we visited Beaver Lake mountain resort in the Okanagan for a little R and R and some family bonding time with my sister in law, her hubby and my niece and nephew. This was our first time and definitely won’t be the last.

I was hesitant to stay at a cabin in a remote area with Zara with no WiFi or Tv! But I was pleasantly surprised how much fun we had. The resort had everything we needed to relax and be entertained!

For Kids

The kids had two playgrounds. One was for ages up to 10 and the other one was for younger babies. They also have a petting zoo which was a hit! We would grab our coffee in our to go mugs and walk over in the mornings to say hello to the animals. They had, bunnies, pigs, goats, and guinea pigs. The guinea pigs had just given birth and the babies were the most adorable things I have ever seen. The animals were well taken care off and happy to see people.

The lake had a small beach area with a designated swimming zone. The water was too cold for us adults but the kids loved it.

For Adults

I can honestly say that waking up every morning to the view of the lake instantly calmed me. You have to get a cabin on the lake! It is totally worth it! The cabin had all the cooking utensils you needed. It was a little cozy for two families but we spent a lot of time on the large deck. There is also bbq on the deck that we used as well.

We also rented a motorboat, that my husband used to go fishing in the lake. He didn’t catch anything large but I think it was more about the hunt. The kids fished off the dock and caught a small fish one day that we released back but the excitement on their faces was priceless!

The main office has an espresso machine with a cafe, so if you need a little pick me up, we were able to pop on over for a break. They also have a little store in case you forgot something.

The necessities: Groceries were down the hill about a 25-minute drive. There are some restaurants and a liquor store as well. We stocked up on everything on our way up so we wouldn’t have to make multiple trips.

WiFi is available on day rate per device. We did cave in and got it as my brother in law had some work to do.

The grounds: The grounds were in great shape. There is also a campground on the resort and it can get a bit noisy. So it’s best to get the cabins on the water further up the hill.

We stayed for 4 nights and loved every minute of it. It is a bit on the pricier side(we paid about $1100, for four nights, including the boat rental)

The cabins: The cabins are rustic log cabins. It is not glamorous but has everything you need. You bring your own sheets, pillows, and blankets or you can rent them. We stayed in Number 9 the wolf cabin. It has one bedroom, with a queen bed and bunk beds. There is also a loft with a queen mattress. The kitchen has a full-size fridge and oven. The living room has a sofa bed and large dining table. It was well laid out and comfortable. The cabins are also pet friendly!

Will we do it again? Yes absolutely! They do have some larger cabins that would work better for 2 families, that we would like to try. We are already planning our next trip back!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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

We are officially entering autumn 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