Monster Bash

I feel like I shouldn’t even post this one anymore but it’s been typed out for a while now! Just haven’t gotten around to posting until today! The second birthday party (going back to September) was for a little guy, just turning 1! We drove out to a Community Centre in Richmond for this one – something I’ve thought about using for my kids as well but I’m still enjoying having our parties at home for now. A community centre is a great idea because they provide so many different big and bulky toys for the kids to run around with. They had several different types of bikes, a mini trampoline, a little ramp for the kids to slide down on a train with etc. This particular centre provided face painting, decorations and even took some pictures as well. They had tonnes of food and goodies for the kids and adults too. Also, instead of the typical photobooth option, there was a ‘magic mirror’. It’s more interactive, you can pick emoji’s to go on your picture, sign it, and instantly post it on your media feeds etc. If you’re in the lower mainland area, give them a call for your next event, they have some sort of promo going on right now too.


I was also excited because Raiya started playing with another girl there right away! I played some good for her and she ate it on her own. I kept watch but it was exciting to see her becoming more independent. I was telling Kawar that this is going to be a new beginning for us as she was just about to start pre-school which meant more independence for her too. I was busy with Zaiyn but it wasn’t as crazy because it was ok for him to run around and explore with the different toys. There was so much stimuli for him that he was soaking it in as well. I was trying to avoid giving him a cake pop but he managed to grab a hold of one from the table and bent the stick to put it in his mouth as he was unable to remove it from the trey it was perched on! He can reach tabletops nows!


We had dinner in Yaletown with another couple that evening instead of driving home. Despite the name, the Yaletown Brewery is quite kid friendly which made it easier to entertain Raiya with the activities they provide. Zaiyn was quite hungry and doesn’t care too much for really anything for more than a couple of minutes. I always order food for the kids right away, asking for it to be delivered as soon as its ready, hoping that they’ll be at least half way done before we get ours (because I’ve come to realize that hoping they’ll be done eating is just not going to happen!) I ended up giving him a food pouch at Kawar’s request, hoping that he’ll be preoccupied for a few minutes. He did finish it very quickly but it didn’t subside his whining. He just wanted to be let loose so he could run around freely.


As we were walking back to the apartment after dinner, it ended up being that both the men were holding my babies so I joked to the other girl that we should let them head back while we grab a drink…as we had joked about the girls and guys taking turns to watch the kids while the other pair went out. At that point though, the two of us did end up turning around, we headed to the Banter Room while the boys took the kids back to the apartment.  I ended up having an even greater night!
I tried a lavender Mojito. I had never had one before, I don’t know how long they’ve been in existence for as I don’t go out for ‘drinks’ very often (really, never). Given how long the lavender lattes and lavender earl grey teas been around for, I’m going to assume, these came out at the same time. I met some new people…this one girl, while she was talking, I probably cut her off – to tell her she has beautiful, flawless skin! Ends up being that she actually co-created and sells her own product online! I ordered two bottles (one for my sister) after looking at the ingredients they use. It’s a combination of different oils for radiant skin – her’s was so radiant! I was so impressed with her website and the packaging! They definitely set it up all very professionally! They had a promo ‘Sept15’ going on too so I’ll say I scored!

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I love spontaneous, random nights. They tend to be quite memorable and I love that my husband and I are so open to them. They create beautiful memories!

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Sand and Surf

Today, I was on my own for the day as my sister was in her conference. I did some shopping, got some ‘me’ time, wrote in my blog and just relaxed by the poolside.  During my self reflection time, I came to the realization that everyone changes over time.  Its a good thing, I know I have grown from my relationship with my husband and continue to develop with my children.  I take it positively because that’s what life is about, continuing to learn, change and grow.  During this trip, I realized that I was hanging onto the memories of my sister before she got married (most likely because that’s when we were the closest). She has also changed after getting married and more so when she became a mother as well. I found myself always hoping to get to spend time with the sister that doesn’t exist anymore.  I would see spurts of that personality come out from time to time and get so happy. Yesterday, I came to the realization that it’s not fair to hang onto that hope every time I see her as she’s not that person anymore…

They wrapped up the conference early, she was done by 2. I felt that we hadn’t really taken advantage of the fact that we were in hot, sunny and sandy, Laguna Beach! So we through on our (well, my bathing suits as she forgot hers – even though she messaged specifically to remind me to pack one – looks like she needed the reminder – I was going to message too but she already had).  We played in the ocean, the white sandy beach was amazing.  We naturally got exfoliated with the tide going back and forth.  When we had enough of getting thrashed around we went to the pool, hot tub and just lounged.

In the evening, the host had made reservations at two restaurants for the four of us. Food was absolutely delicious.  They were both Mexican restaurants.  You would have never known based on the decor and vibe. I’ve never seen any like them. Javier’s was such a cool place! Haven’t been to something like that in, I don’t even know how long! The host had seen the “Housewives of Orange County” there, the last time she went – just to put the atmosphere more into perspective.  It was an amazing way to end our trip.

Friday the thirteenth

We started yesterday off with a complementary breakfast – included with our stay. It was a good abundance of options, we got our tummies full before heading out for the day. We walked around town lots.  Walked along the beach. There’s so many cute little boutiques, it’s an artsy little town with good healthy, quaint food options.  Of all the days in the year, we got a matching tattoo on Friday the thirteenth! I had done some research beforehand as was planning to get it done while my sister was in her conference – the reason we’re in Laguna Beach.  When I showed her the design on the plane she had decided she wanted to get it done too. I got two done, one is matching with my sister and the other is of my husbands name.  I joked about this trip being etched on us forever – she actually laughed.

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We checked into Surf and Sand, our hotel for the next two nights. Walking around town that day, it was apparent this hotel is well known by the locals.  We got ready and had a very nice ‘meet and great’ type dinner. The company hosting had rented a private terrace for us – it was over looking the ocean. There was a man singing with his guitar. We had a private bar with unlimited, free drinks and a few different stations for food – a salad bar where the lady mixed our preferred salad options, a meat, cheese, grilled and raw veggie options, build your own tacos etc.  It was nice to socialize with random people.  We seemed to share the same view points on topics such as family dynamics.

La Casa Del Camino

So I’m in Laguna Beach with my sister right now.  She’s been passed out for a couple of hours and I’d been tossing and turning for an hour before I finally decided to grab my phone!

As always, I have an airport story so I’ll start from there. We were at Starbucks, across from our boarding gate waiting for our drinks when our names were called over the PA! Once I got my drink I headed over to board with both of our carry ons.  They made my sister drink wrong so she was really-making it.  The attendant said ‘it’s ok, she still has five minutes’ when I told her my sister is just behind me – I knew she’d be there before that – phew! As I made my way towards the plane, I was thinking people are gonna give me the stink eye for holding them up while I walk in with a coffee!  Thankfully, I don’t think anyone cared – we really weren’t even technically late! I started putting my sisters luggage up in the console and just threw mine up beside hers – she was in seat 3c while I was somewhere in the back. She got there just as I finished, she had a first class seat and asked one of the flight attendants if I could just sit by her! She said ‘sure!’  So I got upgraded to first class!! And took a seat across from her as if these seats were ours (mine) anyway. It was meant to be – one empty seat on the other side of the aisle from her seat.

Things were looking pretty great! But then we had to wait in the plane for an hour due to some storm (and some flangies jk). Since I was bumped up we got anything we wanted on the menu for free! We both got some wine, a turkey sandwich and some sort of a box (with a couple more things) and I got some hummus and crackers to go with the wine. That’s a lot of food for a 3 (became a 4) hour flight – especially when you had just grabbed some food to go right before boarding.

While on the plane, we chatted with a super sweet lady from the lower mainland area, the flight didn’t feel long even with the delay. As we landed our driver was waiting for us with sign of Gogi’s last name.  When we arrived at the hotel, it took me a minute to open the door to the Lincoln as it wasn’t a handle – it was a button! Quite nifty – very spacious car ride we had.

The hotel was initiated in 1927 but began renting out in 1929 – its old! When I saw pictures of it on the web, I loved how most of the rooms had a different set up.

Even though our room was Spanish inspired, the dark, carved wood reminds me of India.  I don’t remember seeing anything in Spain quite like this.

Upon check in the ladies at front desk gave us a complimentary card for some wine and a cheese platter. We took up that offer and that was enough wine for my sister!  For dinner we came back to our hotel because it has a good restaurant, ‘Kia Bistro’. We made it back just before happy hour was finishing (6:30 – in Vancouver ‘happy hour’ ends way earlier!) so I got a glass of red for half price and then they also were doing ‘small plates’ for half price with a drink – I picked the ‘petite filet mignon’ which came with some mashed potatoes and spinach. My dinner was only half price – not even, considering what I got!!  Less than $30!! – that was including my sisters meal!

We called it an early night, I could see my sister was exhausted – having to leave behind a sick infant who hasn’t slept well in days. In bed, we (really, just I) watched ‘Hard Time’ with Will Farrell and Kevin Hart. The only reason I even was familiar with this movie was because a co-worker had just mentioned it. It was pretty good – I didn’t like Will Farrell’s movies when he first began but his comedy has shifted lately and now he’s actually funny instead of annoying!  Anyway, I was getting pretty tired while watching it but then since I fought through to watch the movie, I was totally awake when it ended. I suppose it worked out well because I chatted with my husband before finally being able to pass out.

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Oh yes, when we came to our room, we were surprised with this bottle – my sister had told them that she missed my birthday…

 

 

 

 

Queens Park

This month felt like it was dedicated to birthday parties. We had one each weekend! We went to New Westminster for an 8 year olds birthday at Queens Park. It was the first time we’d been there and loved it. This place is quite big; the host was very organized in sending us a picture of the location, pointing out where we should be parking on a map. As we were driving through to our destination, we passed a baseball diamond, stadium and tennis courts. We needed to be close to the waterpark and petting zoo because that’s where the party was located. Yes, this place has a little petting zoo! They had goats, peacocks and bunnies etc. The kids were able to hold a bunny, if they wanted to as well. When we first got there the kids were all running wild in the water park. It has big massive trees throughout the area, creating shade for the adults, should they choose to seek shade in such hot days – like we were! The petting zoo was quite close too; all of the kids’ activities were concentrated in the same area. There was a playground, a concession stand and washrooms all within the vicinity which made things convenient. Once Raiya was done with the water, I changed her up into dry clothes so she could go play on the playground and climb some trees. The kids ate, went to the petting zoo and had some cake before heading home. With such a fun environment, it makes it easier for the parents to have a good time too!

Thankful

I’ve decided to do a quick entry for the Canadian thanksgiving. I am so very lucky and have quite an extensive list to be thankful for. However, on the top of that list is my husband! We have travelled to 11 different countries together, we bought our home that provides so much warmth, love, comfort and security. We have our two beautiful, healthy little kiddos…the list is endless. On this very day, eight years ago we moved back home together, you moved to Canada for me!

Before I moved to the UK I was in a toxic relationship. It had ended a year (maybe more) before I moved but at that point it was complicated – I’m not even sure when it was done. I was making poor decisions and was becoming someone I didn’t want to be. When my employer asked me to take the position in the UK, I not only took it as an opportunity to travel but also get away from this individual.
As much as I hated my experiences at that time, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It made me strong enough to go venture out into a new country half way across the world, away from my family. It led me to where I needed to be.
I met Kawar there, after getting married, I would sometimes worry that things are too good to be true. I would scare myself with the possibility that something really bad is going to happen because I’m so happy now. Then I would think that I’ve past the rough years, I deserve this, that’s why life is so amazing. I had those years to get to these good ones. Today I feel like those few rough years are insignificant. I have my husband by my side and we’ll be walking through life together. Maybe that’s why I appreciate, respect and feel grateful everyday.

Motherhood is hard, I sometimes feel that I have more difficult days than easy days. My kids are stubborn, demanding, clingy and love to whine and cry. When Kawar’s around, everything automatically becomes better, more manageable. We have a strong, solid, healthy beautiful and passionate relationship. He is my anchor who keeps me grounded and afloat when I start to feel like I’m drowning. I am so very thankful for having the years to ourselves before choosing to have children. They prepared us for the chapters of life with our little ones. I choose to believe it’s slowly getting better, because it is (Kawar may think otherwise). I still love my life, it’s not anything I could’ve imagined and I’m totally fine with that. You never know what your kids are going to be like so you really can’t be prepared!

To all the people that are out there, doing ‘motherhood’ alone, there is always going to be someone you can lean on, you are never really alone! You are powerful and I salute you.
To my husband, if you read this – I love you more today than I did yesterday! Couldn’t imagine that being possible 😉

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Captured by Raman Cheema photography. 37 weeks pregnant

Happy thanksgiving,
Xo

Pacific National Exhibition

This year, again, we decided to go to the PNE. As a kid, I remember going every year. At that time, we used to only go for the rides. It was something I looked forward to during the summer holidays. With my husband, we were mostly going for the food and now with our kids, we’re going for the fair. We took both our kids and the oldest of my nephews – his brother missed out because he was sleeping when the older one left the house with my parents. We went the day it was free entry for the 3 hour window which is right in the middle of the afternoon. It was ridiculously hot, something I was a bit worried about. We first grabbed some food (as it was lunch time) and that’s our indulgence. The kids got the refillable slurpee cups (more like towers) and shared some pizza. I got a kale salad and we made our way to the animal barn. I figured it’d be best to stay indoors for the first few hours, hoping it’ll be cooler when we’re ready to venture out again. The kids had a pony ride, they had one two years ago too.  It’s a rip off like all the food inside. It’s $7 for someone to walk the tiny horses in a couple of circles while your child has a seat on top. I joked to my husband how we’re paying for this while another niece and nephew get to ride these beautiful Arabian horses in large open fields for unlimited amounts of time and for FREE!  It’s all for the kids and they loved this version (as they don’t know any better…yet). They also (again) went through the little supermarket experience which I think is a super cool idea. They walk threw a maze like set up putting grocery store items in their baskets but first they learn where that product comes from. After seeing the same animals we decided to head out – and it was a bit cooler, probably couldn’t really tell much of a difference but thankfully it got cooler as the day progressed. We didn’t end up seeing the lottery prize home this year, we love checking it out but with Zaiyn on hand, we didn’t want the possibility of something breaking or damaged before we got to the exit.


We got wrist bands for my nephew and Raiya. We learned after the first year of taking her that she’s definitely a thrill seeker and loves the rides. She has no problems or worries, going on anything and will try everything. On the other hand, I was completely shocked to see that the one and only ride we took Zaiyn on was not his cup of tea. Kawar sat him on one of the horses on the carousel (of all things) and he wanted to get off! He loves trouble, excitement and adventure – being thrown in the air for example, and just any type of craziness really but he didn’t like the ride! I’m going to try again the next time we go to a fair though, he’ll be older. If he doesn’t like them that’s ok but we need to try again.


On our way out, Kawar pointed out that there was a ‘Toytopia’ exhibit happening that we didnt even know about! I’m pretty sure we could’ve spent our entire day at the PNE without even going on the rides. There was so much to see and do with the fair. We did end up going on the rides at the time we did because my nephew wanted to go on them. He’s caught on that if he tells Raiya about something he wants to do, he’ll basically nudge her to tell us – probably thinking that it’ll happen faster if she tells us compared to if he does.

The line ups werent too bad, some were long and some had barely anything. We tried to go stand in the short line ups hoping that by the time that ride was done, the long one would disipitate. It worked out farely well in the end. We ended up leaving later than we expected and the weather was still good. The kids had lots of sugar but probably burned it all off too. It was a great day.

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This picture was from three years ago – they had a super hero exhibit happening that year, we took my nephews then as well.

An Indian wedding

I’m still playing catch up from my summer fun… We had a very close wedding in our family this summer. I’ve already written about her bachelorette party and wedding shower. The wedding week was during our intense heat wave. We had a full week of having to get all dressed up in silks – our Indian outfits, make-up and jewellry. I opted to wear cotton for the less dressier days (as I prefer in western wear too).
This is Raiya after getting her nails done for the very first time! It was just a nail polish application.

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She also got Mehndi done for the very first time and did very well with it! No smudging! …unlike my sister who still hasn’t gotten that down yet.

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These pictures are from the ladies party…Raiya broke my camera when she fell off the very low stage…which is why ALL of my images on this blog have been from my phone camera.


This was before heading out to the wedding.

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The reception was in Seattle, we stayed the night there. It’s always fun to stay in a hotel for just a night. The kids went to the pool with hubby while I was supposed to start getting ready – instead I ended up doing my Aunts hair (mother of the bride) BUT in exchange my sister ended up doing my make up so it all worked out really well! I did my hair super fast – a quick trick if your pressed for time (as I always am) but still want to style your hair is to incorporate a braid. I did a deep side part, french braiding the smaller section (on the left side of my head) following my hair line, down towards the right side of my neck. It helped clean up my smaller hair along the neckline (my haircut is shorter in the back and longer in the front). I curled my remaining hair with a wand (also a nifty tool to have when pressed for time). Tucking the end of my braid under, I pinned all of my curls in a messy, low, side bun. This style literally took me minutes to do as I still had to put on my outfit and jewelery.

We saw the bride and groom taking pictures when we made our way downstairs to the lobby. It was just slightly embarrassing when the bride (my cousin) approached us once they were done to let us know that they’re just waiting for us to leave before they can make their way to the reception hall. We were ALL staying in the same hotel. They set up a group discount for the wedding guests as there was so many of us. It was about half (if not more) off the original price I had seen online before my cousin let us know about the group rate. It was especially great considering it was August – peak season!


We tried to party at the reception but alot of the time, we were just trying to get our children to have a good time too! They both were quite clingy but Raiya got alot better towards the end and was dancing by herself. We took turns holding both and then at the end, just Zaiyn. He lightened up a bit too and we were able to let him go for sperts. I know he was just super exhausted because it was his bedtime when we arrived at the reception. He had fallen asleep on the drive over too but woke up after an hour nap.

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I absolutely love the picture of my brother holding my nephew while he’s passed out so I had to share! I made a bed, arranging some chairs together but he woke up as my brother was trying to lay him down.

We went shopping at the outlets on the way home 😀 I needed new sandals!

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Rented the red car for Raiya but she’s super good with sharing – my nieces are sitting in it.

Sephora

I was in much need for some new products – the wedding was what drove me to actually make a trip to the store. I had even made a list of things I needed, to help me keep on track and not forget certain products! What I came home with and what was on my list was different but it did help. It’s hard not to go crazy and keep in line with the things I need – I try not to buy stuff I won’t use.
1. First of all, I wanted a liquid eyeliner – Kat Von D in black is the one I wanted BUT they were sold out! Obviously popular, but I can’t understand how they weren’t stocked with it. I guess it’s a catch 22 – something so popular should always be stocked but if its in demand it’s hard to keep on shelves!
2. I wanted dramatic eyelashes – picked up Samantha #7. I thought they’d be heavy while wearing them because they’re so full but not the case.

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I’m wearing them in this picture (and everything else mentioned in this entry)

3. I was looking for a deep blush, for years I’ve been using Estee Lauder as they have the best ones for everyday use. I ended up getting Nars – Dolce Vita. It definitely upped the game – I didn’t really need this, I do have other shades that would’ve done the trick. I also needed and should’ve gotten a highlighter instead! I had it on my list but never ended up picking one up!
4. I bought an Anastasia eyebrow pencil – Brow Wiz in medium brown. I’ve been using the benefit browzings for a while now but I needed something to define my eyebrows, I needed to create more individual looking hair to make them look thicker instead of just fuller. I’ve noticed that they’ve thinned out after having my son. I used the pencil to shape and then create individual hair before using the benefit cream product to keep the hair in place and then the powder to pull it all together.
5. Ideally I wanted to pick up some Charlotte Tilbury cream eye shadow. This used to be my trick when I was alot younger, I would swipe a similar colour across my eyelids and I wouldn’t wear any eye shadow as this shade would look like I’ve got three different shades (in the right areas) already on. Sephora doesn’t carry this line but I thought I’d get something similar. I also wanted something quite glittery and sparkly so I bought Urban Decay liquid moon dust eyeshadow. This stuff in particular, I liked because I can swipe it across my eyelid with the brush already inside. I can use lots or little, depending on which look I want.
I’ll need to head back soon again as I’m running low on my foundation – Nars, Syracruse. It’s a nice all over, light coverage. I might try a foundation stick now – Fenty. Also, almost finished my everyday nude lipstick – Mac, Glamour Era.

Here’s my little ‘helper’, she got playground time and some Purdy’s  ice-cream after my shopping was done.

First day of pre school

As I mentioned in a previous entry, my daughter has just started pre-school. She is my oldest. The rush of emotions I’ve been feeling the first week of classes are not what I was expecting! The first day of school, she started a week later than elementary schools began, my husband and I went to drop her off. We stayed with her for the first hour of a 2.5 hour class. This teacher chose not to do a gradual integration, possibly because she already began a week later. We were the only parents left at this point but as long as my daughter was comfortable, I didn’t care! I wanted her to know that we’ll be there until she needs us, I didn’t want to sneak out, I wanted her to know we’ll leave only when she is ready for us to go. I wanted her school experience to be fun and good. I do not want her resenting it, not when she’s just starting and has no idea what to expect. Once she gets in a routine of this (and she has already), I’m sure it’ll be less crazy emotions!


The second class, only I took her and I was in and out in 5 minutes! It was great, one of the teachers helpers had said when we picked her up after her first class that she did well so we should just drop her off and leave next time. I understood what she was saying but I also wanted to make sure Raiya was ok with me doing that. She wanted to play with Mr Potato Head, she sat down and began playing with it, I told her, I’m going to go and she was fine with that so that was it.  I came back to pick her up while the class was on the playground. She was playing with two other girls on a teeter-totter type of a thing. She jumped off when she saw me and came running, wanting me to play with her. As I was standing beside her on the playground, she asked another two girls (one of whom was wearing a Burberry dress on day one and the other girl, I had joked to my husband about, saying she can be friends with Raiya). This girl, looked so cute, she had pretty hair and her outfit and accessories flowed so nicely together. She was well coordinated and looked good! This same girl made my heart ache on day two! She made a face to my daughter when she asked if they wanted to play with her! Neither of them said anything so Raiya walked away. It hurt me!! I must’ve been shocked; I almost didn’t know what to say. I just told her that maybe they didn’t hear her. I’m pretty sure it affected me more than it did her. She began playing on something else but man oh man, I am not ready for this!
This may seem disconnected, and especially after the last post, I really feel like this shouldn’t matter but I’m sitting here wondering if I need to make sure Raiya dresses well! She does have cute clothes but she also now has play clothes! She has somewhat picked out what she wanted to wear, none of the outfits that I would’ve ever imagined for a ‘first week of school’ clothes.

Sometimes when I would take her to strong start before, I would dress her nicely but then I’d not want her to do half the things she wanted to do cuz I didn’t want her pretty clothes (or her) to get dirty!! At the same time, I want her to get dirty and explore, she’s a child, that’s what she’s supposed to be doing! I mostly cant even dress her myself anyway, she has total say in what she wants to wear (always pink!). I also thought I’d get to style her hair in lots of fun different styles but that hasn’t worked for me either! All of this is a bit scary for me. I am so terrified of her not making friends which, if you know my daughter would sound crazy.  I just don’t want her to not enjoy school, I don’t want it to be difficult for her.  She is definitely an outgoing girl, she can hold her own and she’s chatty! Now that she’s in school, I feel like I’m searching for that comfort, knowing that she is just fine. After day three, when I was asking her about school (I didn’t drop her off or pick her up that day) I felt like I was searching her eyes for any sign of sadness or anything negative while she was telling me about her day.
Ok…I keep adding to this post as I haven’t had time to publish it…day four was good! I’m getting the hang of this and I know she’s enjoying school!  I’ve even seen that particular girl trying to play with Raiya (looking back on pictures, she was on day one too).  I know there will continue to be minor things that make my heart feel a pang – that’s what motherhood is about.  I’m going to keep letting her wear what she wants, I just want her to be comfortable!  It’s just that so many kids are very well dressed in my neighbourhood…so are the moms…

I am just so very thankful that she is so loved, she is healthy and happy, in a warm, safe home and that is all that really matters!