What I am thankful for this Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday to me. I did not grow up with it and was introduced to it when I moved to Canada. Younger me never really paid much attention to it especially as my family did not celebrate it. As I got older, Thanksgiving was all about turkey and pumpkin pie with friends. 

Now that I am a mother and in my late 30s, I am intrigued by what the real significance of this holiday is. I find the concept of ‘giving thanks’ and ‘counting your blessings’ so very important now. I want to teach my daughter the meaning behind this holiday. So I have compiled a list of what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1.  I am thankful for this country I live in. 
My parents could have moved anywhere in the world. I was a child so I did not have a say in where we were going to live. I am thankful that we came to Canada. With everything happening in the world recently, natural disasters and shooting rampages, I am thankful that I live in a country where this is not the norm. Canada is far from perfect, but I feel safe here. I don’t worry about being shot at while I am at concert or being stranded during a natural disaster. 

I am thankful I get to raise my daughter in this country.

2. My family

Families are not perfect. Every family has its ups and downs. I may not have a great relationship with my parents, but I am thankful for the strong relationships I do have with other members of my family: my brothers, my sister in laws and my friends.

I never thought I would meet and marry a man like my husband. We have had our ups and downs but in the end it has strengthened our relationship. 

I never thought I would become a mother. But I am so very thankful for the baby girl that has given me the privilege of being her momma. I get to wake up everyday to this beautiful smiling face, who thinks I am her whole world. I am thankful for the awe in my daughter’s eyes.

3. Roof over my head and food in my belly

I usually take this for granted. But there are so many people in this world that don’t have this. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I am grateful that my family and I have a place to call home. I am grateful that we have the ability to buy the food we want, without thinking too much about it. 

So this thanksgiving, as we are drinking our wine, eating our turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, take some time to reflect, and be grateful. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 


Bambini’s’ Playroom: The new kids on the block

The rain is back in Vancouver and it looks like it is hear to stay. My daughter is very high energy and on our days off together, I am always looking for places we can go, where she can explore, play and learn. In the summer there are a lot of options outside. In the fall/winter I am on the hunt for indoor play areas, preferably one near a coffee shop!

There is a new indoor play room that has recently opened its doors on Main Street called Bambini’s Playroom. This is there opening week and right now admission is free. Zara and I visited Bambini’s Playroom today and here is our review. 

First Impressions: We were greeted at the door by one of the owners, Amy. Amy is a mom of two, with 10 years of childcare experience. She took time to talk to every parent and child walking in the door.  She has a positive energy about her and you can tell that this is her passion project. 

The space: The space is fairly spacious and very welcoming. There is an arts table set up with paint and paper for kids to use. There is another table set up with alphabets  and a train/track set. The current theme of the room is ‘Camping’ and they have a tent with felt campfire logs set up for the kids to explore. Amy explained to me that the theme will change based on seasons. They are working on a fall season set up next. The space is also available for rent for birthday parties. 

How it works: The Playroom is designed for ages 0 to 5 years. Kids are welcome to explore, play and learn with parent/adult participation.  Amy, the owner engages with kids and helps them play and learn. Amy also runs a circle time for the last 20 mins before closing. 

Hours: Currently the hours are Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 4 pm. Sat 9am to 11 am( this Sat, Sept 30 is 10 am to 12pm)

Fees: As this is their opening week, all admissions are at no charge. Tomorrow is the last day. Generally fees are $12 per drop in. Or you can get a pass for 10 sessions for $90. Birthday rental prices are available on their Facebook page. 

Verdict: I love supporting local businesses. Bambini’s is a one of a kind play room for this area. It is a good respite from the rainy weather and I felt that my daughter was fairly interested in the toys and activities. She actually did not want to leave. I also like the fact that there is a caregiver on the floor, engaging with the children. The circle time was awesome and had the children pretty focused. 

I like that there is a age restriction. I have found some of other play areas that I have been to, that I always have to watch out for Zara to not be rail roaded by an older child.

My favorite thing about Bambini’s Playroom is Amy, the owner. She has a way with kids and the parents. She makes you feel right at home. I will definitely be back! 

And yes there is a Matchstick coffee pretty close by for us mommas who need the caffeine fix. 🙂

The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty rainy. So go ahead and visit Bambini’s Playroom on 4879 Main St. And don’t forget to take advantage of tomorrow, Saturday Sept 30th’s, free admission. Have a fun weekend!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. I am not paid by or affiliated with Bambini’s Playroom. All opinions in this post are based on my personal experience. However, Amy is aware that I will be writing this piece, so feel free to comment and share your experience, suggestions and I will pass them along to her. 

F**k the Chores Mommas

Some of you might have noticed that I have not been writing as often as I usually do. August and most of September has been very busy for our family. I have also not been feeling like myself lately. My energy levels have been low and I was struggling to get out of bed every morning. So in August, I took a step back and realized that I needed to give myself some time to breathe. I also admitted to myself that I need help. Life is too short to feel miserable and overwhelmed everyday. So I am slowing down a little and I decided to do less and be OK with it: 

  •  It’s ok if I don’t make my husbands lunch everyday. He is an adult and can prepare his own lunch. 
  • It’s ok if we have cheese and crackers for dinner (with wine of course), instead of my elaborate homemade meals. 
  • It’s ok to have takeout for dinner. 
  • It’s ok if every day and weekend is not perfectly planned. 
  • It’s ok if the laundry is not folded and still in the dryer. 
  • It’s ok to ask my husband to help me. He is my partner in this life and I don’t have to do this alone. 

It has always been tough for me to admit that I need help and even tougher to ask for help. But when your body is trying to tell you something, you need to listen. As moms we are always ‘on’. You always have an ongoing list in your head of things to to do. 

Recently I read an article that moms work an average of 98 hours a week! That is equivalent to more than 2 full time jobs

No wonder we are tired and exhausted. We carry the weight of the world with us and that is exhausting. So I have decided to focus all my energy on what is really important: my daughter Zara. She is growing up fast and if I am bogged down with laundry, lunches, and chores I am going to miss out on this time with her. 

So I am leaving the dishes in the sink, the clothes in dryer, ordering takeout and snuggling my baby for as long as I can. Screw the chores mommas! And enjoy your PSL! Happy Friday. 

Happy birthday Zara! Letter to my daughter on her 2nd birthday…

Dear Zara

Happy birthday my dear baby girl! You are 2 years old today. 2 years ago today at 10pm you came screaming into this world and changed my life forever. I still remember the day you were born as if it was yesterday. I was tired and scared and in so much pain. But I remember the exact moment I heard your cry for the first time and the sense of relief and awe that I felt when they put you on my chest. You were finally here!!

The past 2 years have flown by. You are my big girl now. You tell me every day ‘ I am not a baby’. And it makes me sad to hear you say that because I actually miss the ‘baby’ years. 

You are such a smart, caring and kind little person. I am so proud of the person you are becoming. You are stubborn (like your momma), but laid back like your Dada. You can count to 10 and sing your abcs. Your favourite nursery rhyme is Humpty Dumpty. You love Peppa pig and ever since you discovered Peppa, you call us Mummy and Daddy. You don’t like to see anyone get hurt and always ask ‘Are you ok?’. You love your papa Puggles the dog and kitty. I am amazed at how well you can communicate. You surprise me with your energy and positivity. Your laughter makes my heart explode with happiness. 

I wish time would slow down a little. It doesn’t matter how much time I spend with you, it is never enough. It hurts me deeply when you hold on to me in the morning and don’t want me to go. I want you to know that everything I do is for you to have a better life. It’s for you to have opportunities and choices. Everyday I can’t wait to come home to you. 

I want you to know that being your mommy is the greatest accomplishment of my life. I love you with all my heart and more. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. 


Mommy aka Momma 

Baby Zara at 4 days old

Zara at 1 years old

Zara Now (week before turning 2)

It’s my birthday! 

Today is my birthday. I am 36. I am not going to lie, the thought of getting older is not fun. I am getting closer and closer to 40….

Celeberating, birthdays in my 20s and in my 30s are very different. In my 20s, I celeberated August as my ‘birth month’. I was obsessed with my birthday. The morning of my birthday felt like Christmas! In fact, it was better than Christmas because I didn’t have to get presents for anyone else (side note I LOVE Christmas). It was all about the presents, new clothes, cake, parties. It was awesome! 

Fast forward to the present. My birthday is now just another day. But it is also the day I reflect on, one how old I am getting and two what have I done in the past year. It is the one day that I give myself a pat on the back for the things I have accomplished. So here are some things I have done in the past year:

  1. I went back to work, part time at an awesome organization (I am a Recruiter at Hootsuite). I don’t give myself enough credit but I am great at my job. It is not an easy task to work part time and keep up with a fast paced organization. 
  2. I started this blog in January 2016. I was wary of sharing it. I did not want to be judged. But in January 2017 I decided what the heck! There are others moms out there going through the same thing. So I hit the share button. Since then, I was selected as one of the Top 30 Vancouver mom bloggers for 2017 in Vancouver. For a new blogger like me who hasn’t been doing this for a long time and still learning, this is a big big deal! I am still in awe that I was selected. These are some very talented moms and it is an honor to be part of this group. 
  3. I am an anxiety ridden worry wart of a mom. From the day Zara was born, it was like a switch was turned on. How is this an accomplishment? Well it isn’t, but I think acknowledging it, is an accomplishment. Over the past year, I have tried to be less of a worry wart and more of a fly by the seat of your pants mom. The other day we walked by a splash pad. I had no swimsuit for Zara orswim diapers. But I decided to go for it. I undressed her and slathered her with sunscreen and let her run around. Old Husna would have been too scared to do this. So I will count that as an accomplishment. 

There is a big difference in birthdays before baby and after baby. It’s not about the parties and presents anymore. It’s about reflection and counting your blessings. At 36, I am finally starting to feel more like an adult. Do I miss the 20s? Yup definitely. Would I want to go back to it?  Not a chance in hell. 

Melia Puerto Vallarta – My Review

Today I am going to share with everyone my review of the last all inclusive resort we stayed at in June: Melia Puerto Vallarta. We booked the package through Expedia.ca and the trip was through Air Canada Vacations. We have been to all inclusive resorts in Mexico twice prior to this resort with my baby girl and we have also traveled sans kids. In my experience, this was by far the best resort we stayed at. We recieved amazing service from the minute we landed and were pleasantly surprised at the service and authenticity of this resort. I loved that it is a smaller resort and caters to locals. 

Check in: We had a taxi take us to the resort which is 10 min from the airport, so there was no waiting for a bus/shuttle. The taxi was included in the package. Air Canada vacations also includes VIP check in and check out so there was no line ups. Check in was super easy and smooth. And bonus, we were also upgraded to a room with an ocean view.

The room: The room was large with a king size bed and seating area. The balcony looked out to the ocean and it was wonderful to wake up to the sounds of the waves. The bathroom had a tub and shower and the water pressure was amazing!! The bathroom was large enough for us to fit our pack and play in for Zara. The room was stocked with water, pop and strongbow ciders (my fav!) Unfortunately there was no room service, but the snack bar was literally down the staircase. 

Food: I was very surprised at the food. We ate at the buffet quite a bit and and we were never disappointed. They always had fresh grill stations, tacos, and a pasta bar. We ate at 2 out of the 3 restaurants onsite where you had to make a reservation. The downside was you had to make a reservation every day in the morning between 9 am to 2pm, for that night. But, there was never a line up as we always went after breakfast. We tried the Italian and Mexican. The Italian was pretty good but the Mexican was amazing. All of the restaurants including the buffet had kids menus and options for gluten free and vegan dishes. 

Drinks: The drinks were not watered down, in fact, they used premium liquor. I stick to mimosas if I am going to have a drink at the pool and it was pretty good. Rj had the rum and was happy with it. 

The kids club: This was the main reason we picked this resort. They have a babies club for ages 4 months to 4 years. It’s a large indoor, air conditioned area with tons of toys and a sleeping area. The area also is video monitored and no one but the teachers and the kids are allowed in. They had at least 2 to 3 certified baby sitters in the center at all times. They had organized activities for the babies and the teachers were amazing. Zara was sick one day and we were notified very promptly. When we got there the teacher Anna, had taken her temperature and gave us run down on her condition. Zara asks for Anna to this day.

They also had a kids club for kids age 5 to 13 and they had calendar of different activities for them everyday. There was archery, crafts and kayaking. They also had a kids spa, that looked super cute and offered mini mani and pedi for young girls. 

The beach: The beach is small. It is a public beach. However, we felt very safe. And we always found beach chairs. It was never very busy.  And it was clean. There were vendors selling knick knacks and fishing tours but they were not pushy.  

The pool: The pool is not fancy and did not have crazy water slides for the kids. But it was always a good temperature. There were a couple of broken tiles, but the resort workers were continually fixing them. Zara loved the pool. 

The entertainment: The resort held nightly shows starting at 9:30. Sometimes they had kids shows staring at 8:30. The shows were a little late for us. After spending a full day on the beach and in the pool, Zara was pooped and could barely make it to the show. However there were a couple of nights when we did catch some of and it was very well done.

Overall, I truly loved this resort. It is not fancy. It does need some upkeep and maintenance as it is an older resort, but the grounds were beautifully kept. The furniture in the rooms is worn but again very clean. The food was simple, but authentic. This resort caters to families. It is not a party resort. So if you are looking for an all inclusive resort to go to with your family (specially with young kids/babies), consider the Melia. 

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are solely based on my experience. 

Vacationing with a baby: Part 4: How to ‘do an all inclusive’ like a pro

All inclusive vacations are awesome when you have a little one. For me the biggest thing I am looking for on vacation is to rest my brain. I don’t want to think about groceries, laundry, breakfast, lunches and drinks. If I did I would just stay home! We have been on three different all inclusive trips to different parts of Mexico since Zara was born. Over the past 2 (almost 2) years of traveling with Zara I have learnt a thing or two about how to ‘do an all inclusive ‘ with a baby.  Here are my tips:

  1. Get direct flights: Yes sometimes it’s cheaper to get connecting flights. And yes sometimes it doesn’t look that bad with an hour or two layover. Trust me when I say it is not worth it. We took one trip, where we had an hours stop over on a return flight. Zara was 9 months. It was pretty stressful. So keep things simple and say no layovers!
  2. Book a resort close to the airport: Out of the three all inclusive resorts we stayed at, the last one was 10 min from the airport. It made a huge difference. When we got to the resort we felt like we didn’t lose a day traveling. We were also able to have a pretty quick and smooth ride back to the airport on our return.
  3. Book a small resort: This is pretty crucial with kids. You don’t want to spend all your time walking to the beach or lunch and dinner. You just want to get there. You also want to be close enough so you can run to the room if you need anything. 
  4. Kids club:This is a must have. The first two resorts we went to had kids clubs, but Zara was too young to go. The last resort had a kids club and babies club. I checked the ages and reviews before we went and parents raved about the care. Zara had a safe fun place to go for a couple of hours, so that mommy and daddy could relax on the beach.
  5. How to eat at the buffet– A lot of people complain about the food at all inclusive resorts. I have a tip for this. Go for the fresh grill stations. Every all inclusive resort I have been to has them. Also, do not be tempted to fill your plate with everything. Pick a couple of items. You are going to be there for at least a week so you don’t want to get bored with the food.
  6. Room with a view and patio: I have mentioned this in my previous post. Pay the extra money and get a room with a view. On the last trip we spent a lot of time hanging out on the patio with a cider/wine at the end of the night while Zara was sleeping. 

I would love to hear what tips worked for you mommas on an all inclusive vacation. Please feel free to share my post and comment below. 

Next week I will be doing a review of the all inclusive resort we stayed at on our last trip. Stay tuned! 

Happy Vacationing!