Book Review: Look For Me

Look for Me by Lisa Gardner is the latest installment in the D.D. Warren series. I have been impatiently waiting for this book after reading Find Her. I thoroughly enjoyed Find Her, where we are introduced to Flora Dane, a survivor turned vigilante. Flora was kidnapped and held hostage by her captor for over a year, most of it trapped in a coffin-shaped wooden box. Hence Flora has demons, lots of them. She works with D.D Warren to find a missing college student in Find Her. In Look For me, the two unite again when a family of four is gunned down in their home and the sixteen-year-old daughter is missing.

If I compare the two, Find Her was a fast-paced thriller and kept me hooked from the first page. Look for Me starts out with a bang (literally), but I felt the story moved pretty slowly. Don’t get me wrong it is definitely a good read but I expected a page-turner. The story was not predictable but was also not unpredictable.

In terms of character development Flora Dane, is as broken as she was in Find Her. I would have expected her to move on and make amends. D.D Warren is a solid leading woman. She is a mother and is forever trying to find the balance between her work and life (I am sure all of us can relate).

Overall, this is as an easy read with enough twist and turns to keep me engaged. I love Lisa Gardner and I hope she will bring back Flora and D.D together in her next novel. If you are looking for a thriller with two leading women add this one to the list! Start with Find Her prior to reading Look For Me. Happy Reading!

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

Healthy Family Expo Vancouver 2018

I have a 2.5-year-old daughter and one day she is going to turn into a woman. One day she is going to question the way her body looks and doubt her eating habits. One day she is going to go on a diet, or maybe multiple diets. One day she is going to feel guilty about eating that extra slice of cake. One day she is going to get on a scale and define her self-worth based on the number she sees.

My husband and I, as her parents have a responsibility to teach her that the number on the scale does not define her. We have a responsibility to instill healthy eating habits and instill a positive body image. We are human and eating that extra slice of cake is not going to hurt you if it is done in moderation.

You have to start them young as they say! So a couple of Sundays ago, we took her to the Healthy Family Expo. It was held at the Vancouver Convention center with 1000s of exhibitors promoting healthy living. There were samples galore but also space for kids to be kids. Movement is part of a healthy lifestyle and there was plenty of that in 35000 sqft space. There was a rock climbing wall set up for older kids as well as Spring free trampolines. The toddler area had a tumbling gym as well as a bouncy castle. Needless to say, Zara had a lot of fun jumping, playing and snacking on healthy snacks! She also got to see her favorite, Daniel Tiger, and Super Why CBC characters live in concert.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always going to be something we are going to have to work on as a family. My hope is that events like the Healthy Family Expo will give help her move in the right direction. Have you been to the Expo? Are you planning on going next year?

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

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

Mom’s night out at Hotel Blu Vancouver

Self-care has become a household term recently, especially if you are a mom. Recently, I had a girlfriend come visit me from Montreal. Both of us are busy moms and desperately needed some time to be just ‘us’. We decided to book a night away for a staycation at Hotel Blu and get some much needed ‘girl time’. Neither of us had stayed here before but we loved the location and the reviews looked promising.

We checked in a little bit early and were pleasantly surprised how modern this hotel is.
Check-in was a breeze and the concierge desk texted me an hour later to ensure the room was to my liking. What service!!

The room was a good size with a king size bed, a Nespresso machine, and an automated concierge. We were on the third floor and had views of the city. Luckily it was a sunny day and we loved looking out to the hustle bustle of the city.

Here is video tour of the room:

The location of the hotel is perfect. We could walk to Gastown, Yaletown, and Downtown. Our first stop after check-in was drinks and oysters! Luckily the hotel is steps away from Fanny Bay Oyster bar. We were able to get in for happy hour and enjoyed some happy hour oysters and drinks. Next, we decided to head over to the BC Liquor store to grab a bottle of wine for the room while we got ready for a late dinner. With no kids to chase and diapers to change both of us were able to relax and put on makeup in peace.

We decided to head out to Chambar for dinner, again it was a short walk away. Both of us had never been to Chambar and let me tell you, dinner was quite an experience. Chambar is known for its brunch but the dinner menu was amazing. We had mussels and wine to start. I went for the lamb and my girlfriend tried the wild boar. We were there for almost 3 hours and the food was divine. The portions were large and we were stuffed. The service was amazing. We felt like queens for the night!

Checkout was at noon at Hotel Blu, so both of us slept in (the bed was super comfortable, like sleeping on a cloud !) and we took our time in the morning (something neither of us is used to). We wanted to spend the rest of the sunny day shopping and the hotel was kind enough to hold on to our bags until we were ready to go home. I loved Hotel Blu and would definitely be back.

This was the second time that I had been away from Zara without the hubby. And I have to say that it was nice to be just ‘me’ for a change. I ate, drank and shopped to my heart’s desire. I slept in (Hallelujah!!) !! Sometimes, that’s all you need, one night away to get some down time to feel refreshed and be a happier well-rested momma!

So mommas next time you feel like you need a vacation, just do a staycation and get to know ‘you’ again. What are your favorite spots in Vancouver for a staycation?

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

Book Review : The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a haunting tale set in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest, about a five-year-old girl that has been missing for three years, and the investigator aka The Child Finder, Naomi, who is hired to look for her. Here is the twist Naomi, has her own demons to slay. She too was once ’lost’.

Did I like this book? Yes! It was a page-turner and I read it in one day. The characters are rich and they develop the story. Naomi isn’t necessarily a strong woman, but she has witnessed things that have hardened her. She trusts no one, including herself. She is the leading woman in the story, but I felt that Madison, the missing five-year-old girl, was the real star of the story. Also, part of the story is narrated, by the little girl, as she experiences horrors she can’t understand.

This book will haunt you. It will stay with you for a long time. I hope that the author will consider writing a second book as I can certainly see it turning into a series.

I recommend this novel, but I will also caution you mommas out there, that even though this story is written beautifully, there are some sordid parts. I have read my fair share of some dark and twisted tales and this one is in my top five! Happy reading.

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

Book Review: Someone is Watching by Joy Fielding

Someone is Watching is the story of a young woman recovering and healing after a sexual assault. Bailey is an investigator and works with lawyers to gather evidence. One night, while she is taking pictures of a suspect, she is taken by surprise and assaulted. After the incident, she isolates herself from everyone and obsessively spies on a neighbor, who she suspects is her assailant.

The novel is written from Bailey’s point of view and paints a picture of her life before the assault and the drastic mental and physical changes after the assault. The story also delves into Bailey’s family history and upbringing and introduces some rich characters to the story. There are a couple of times, I wondered what the significance of these characters were but the author does tie it in nicely.

I loved the fast pace of this novel, and  even though there were a couple of parts that I felt were slow, overall the character development was done very well. Bailey, the protagonist is a likable character and the author does a great job describing how the assault turns this woman’s life upside down. This is a bit of a ‘dark’ read, but then again violence against women is a serious issue.

This is an older publication but I love anything from Joy Fielding and she hasn’t disappointed me yet. The ending, like all her previous work, is a twist and I did not see it coming.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller with a female lead and don’t mind the ‘dark’ subject of the novel add Someone is Watching to your reading list.

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

The story behind The Accidental Mommy

I get asked quite frequently about the name of my blog: The Accidental Mommy.

So here is my story and no it’s not what you think it is.

My husband and I got married in June 2011 and leading up to the wedding and honeymoon ( we went to Italy and Greece in Sept 2011), I basically pictured us trying for kids right a way. My parents had started hinting pretty much the day after the wedding that they wanted grand kids. In fact my dad brought over a book on Fetus development one night (awkward I know! )

After our magical honeymoon, Rj and I decided to wait. We were young and wanted to travel and enjoy our life. We didn’t think a baby could fit in to our life at that time.

Fast forward to 2014. For the last year we were trying for a baby. My friends were having babies and my parents were asking me when I was going to give them ‘the good news’. I was asked numerous times at work if I ‘liked kids’, and perhaps the reason I wasn’t pregnant was because I did not like them.

The truth was, we tried and I saw many of my friend’s struggle with infertility. I was seeing a gynecologist to determine if everything was in working order.

And then we had an epiphany! Maybe we weren’t supposed to have kids. Maybe this was the universe telling us to make a change in our lives and prepare to spend summers in Tuscany sipping wine. And I was good with this. Rj and I saw how stressful it was to go through the fertility treatments and the toll it took on people’s marriages. We didn’t want that.

So we made changes, we moved to the city into a small townhouse, from the burbs, and I changed jobs to move up in my career. We were going out, drinking, and enjoying our lives. Part of me was happy with this free life, part of me wondered how long we could do this for.

One typical day, Rj and I were both off and we had spent the day with friends. I had polished off a bottle of wine and was feeling pretty content with my life. We had a Vegas trip booked in the summer with a couple friends and we were looking forward to it. We loved living in the city. Our place was smaller than we were used to but we had purged and sold all our furniture before moving and we loved the location. Everything was going great!

But I had been feeling off for the past couple of weeks. Headaches, nausea, cramps, and exhaustion. So I decided to take a pregnancy test for FUN! I was so sure it was going to be negative that I barely paid attention to it.

The test was POSITIVE! I screamed and yelled for RJ to come quickly. He rushed upstairs in a panic. I showed him the test. We re-read the instructions. We were in shock. Rj decided to rush out and get another pregnancy test. Three tests later, all of which were positive, we were finally convinced that we were PREGNANT!

Once Zara was born and I decided to start this blog, I couldn’t think of a better name than The Accidental Mommy, my accidental journey into motherhood.

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