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PARENTHOOD | Mom's Don't Always Know Best

ParenthoodSunny ShumComment
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WOWZA, entering parenthood has been like a roller coaster ride. Actually more like a tornado, clearing everything in our paths, disappearing and leaving us breathless, confused and bewildered. Being a parent is a full-time job and yes that would be full-time for BOTH my husband and I. Like most new moms, I joined a lot of mommy facebook groups, I follow a ton of mommy bloggers on Instagram and for every 100,000 mommy bloggers out in the blogosphere, there is probably only 1 dad blogger (ok, a bit of an exaggeration but I'm trying to make a point). 

Parenting and learning to share the responsibilities with my husband was rough the first few months. Layer in sleep deprivation, dealing with Jekyll and Hyde changing emotions - My poor husband felt like he needed to walk on eggshells around me most days. It was hard for me to let go of the "mom guilt", thinking I had to do everything myself. I learned very quickly that I couldn't do it all on my own and a lot of times, my way of doing things was not always the best way and I needed a lot of help from my husband. My husband is the ROCKSTAR of all fathers and squashes all the traditional stereotypes of being a dad. Because of this, I have to say it - We have to give dads more credit and moms don't always know best. 

That saying "moms know best" is a load of crap because I actually feel like in a lot of cases, "dad knows best" and I'm totally ok with it! We've all seen that movie or that commercial where there is a man at the grocery store picking up diapers with a very puzzled look on his face. Or when the mom goes out with her friends for some girl time and cut to the dad at home with the baby looking all clueless. Sure, sometimes these moments can be funny and we have to be able to laugh at them from time to time. But both parents, not just the dad, experience these feelings of cluelessness and puzzlement. I'm just tired of these portrayals of father's that are basically telling us that the roles of mother and father are not interchangeable. BOTH parents play equally important roles in a child's life, not one more over the other.

Yes, we need to give father's more credit but we need to stop giving them credit for simply doing what they are "suppose to be doing". Like giving them praise for changing diapers. Really? You think that my husband, taking my son to the bathroom is a favor to me? Or when other people think I'm LUCKY that I can sleep in a little because my husband has decided to take on the early morning shift or has dinner ready when I return home from work. Or that he’s doing me a SOLID by taking our son to his art class while I go to the gym. Typically, mothers do all of this and we never get praised for it, can you imagine what that would look like? Absurd. 

Ladies, think about it before you say it, sometime it comes out automatically and it’s all well intended. But when we praise the fathers for doing what they are supposed to be doing, we fuel the fire and this stereotype. We are also undermining and devaluing the role father’s play in their children's lives and when it comes to their ability to care for our children. And to my husband, the rockstar dad - I won't praise you for all you do for our family, but I sure do appreciate the hell out of all you do for our family and love you to the moon and back. 

xo S

TRAVEL | Family Palm Springs Trip

Travel, LifestyleSunny ShumComment
On the plane! Baby was much more difficult to deal with on this short flight compared to his Toronto flight when he was 4 months old. YIKES!

On the plane! Baby was much more difficult to deal with on this short flight compared to his Toronto flight when he was 4 months old. YIKES!

Ahhh, anyone who knows us, knows that we love Palm Springs. It's a great place to unwind, catch some rays and take in some good food. It's been about over a year since our last trip and every time we go back, a few things change. For us, this was the first trip to Palm Spring with our son!

STAY - My husband found a great spot for us to stay called "The Twist". I believe it was an old 2 level motel that was renovated. They provide long term rentals as well. Location is spot on! Located in the heart of Palms Spring and within walking distance to shopping and food. It has a full kitchen and private patios on the lower level, both very handy when you are traveling with kids. There's a swimming pool, hot tub and also a couple putting greens to practice your golf. The Bootlegger Tiki Bar is around the corner if you fancy a drink in the evening and Ernest Coffee Cafe is also around the corner so you can get your immediate caffeine fix. 

Ernest Coffee

Ernest Coffee

The only complaint I have with the place is that the walls are as thin as paper. We could hear the people above us walking around as well as the neighbor that liked to watch TV really loudly. Also, a couple things I think that were missing from the kitchen: a strainer, peeler and perhaps a couple of baking pans or ovenware. Otherwise, they provided every else!

Baby enjoying the bed at The Twist. Also color co-ordinating.

Baby enjoying the bed at The Twist. Also color co-ordinating.

Practiced putting while baby was napping, wiht coffee in hand.

Practiced putting while baby was napping, wiht coffee in hand.

Family pool time.

Family pool time.

Catching some rays. 

Catching some rays. 

EAT - It's always nice to head back to some oldies and goodies like Birba, Workshop and Cheeky's. Sad to see that Jiao is gone, but it has been replaced by a rotisserie chicken place called "The Chicken Ranch" and they serve up locally sourced chicken and chicken every way possible from sandwich to salad. We hit up Norma's at the Parker but, to be honest, it's a very OVER PRICED brunch. But if you like to be seen and want to take some good selfies and pay over $100 USD for a meal for two people, Norma's may be the brunch spot for you. 

Arranging the sofa pillows at The Parker Hotel. 

Arranging the sofa pillows at The Parker Hotel. 

Two new places I would like to bring up and totally worth checking out:

1. Reservoir at the Arrive Hotel. Firstly, we went to Reservoir twice for brunch because we liked it so much. They also do lunch and dinner. You can get a really great brunch meal for under $13 (and the food was WAY better than Norma's). I highly recommend their Egg Sandwich and Savory Crepe. They have bocci ball and ping pong in the ground, which is part of the hotel. 

Photo by Paul Melo, at The Arrive Hotel

Photo by Paul Melo, at The Arrive Hotel

Photo By: Paul Melo, at Resevoir for brunch. Family friendly with high chairs.

Photo By: Paul Melo, at Resevoir for brunch. Family friendly with high chairs.

Photo By: Paul Melo, Bocci ball lane.

Photo By: Paul Melo, Bocci ball lane.

Anyone for some ping pong?

Anyone for some ping pong?

2. SO.PA is located in the newly renovated L'Horizon.  We decided to dine here to celebrate my man's birthday. All seating is outdoors and super romantic with fire pit and stringed lights and chandeliers hung over top. They serve up a seasonal menu with a Mediterranean flare. FYI - They do not have high chairs for little wee ones, but we were in at 6 pm (their earliest reservation) and they placed us in a nice booth and provided us with extra pillows. 

SEE - If you are looking for a peaceful place to walk, hang out and perhaps have a tea, you must visit Sunnylands. in 2001, Walter and Leonore Annenberg established the Annenberg Foundations Trust at Sunnylands. What they had envisioned and hoped for the place was for it to be "a place where intimate and solution-driven meetings could take place". The additional 17,000 sq ft building and nine-acre garden was added in 2009 and the grounds are immaculately kept and in the building, they have a small gift shop and show case a small collection of art. 

Every time we leave we miss Palm Springs immediately and we can not wait to head back. Until next time! 

 

xo 

 

S

Wasting some time at the playground in the airport before our flight home. 

Wasting some time at the playground in the airport before our flight home. 

TRAVEL | Mini Seattle Road Trip

Food, TravelSunny ShumComment

Where does the time go? My girlfriend and I went on a mini road trip to Seattle months ago and I'm just now getting this down on the blog. I'm blaming it on #momlife. When we found out Anthony Bourdain had a tour scheduled in Seattle we jumped on planning a mini foodie weekend getaway. This road trip was also the very first time I spent any time away from my son. It was GREAT but it was also very difficult emotionally and mentally. I didn't sleep well because of my anxiety BUT, I ended up having the most amazing time. It was nice to get away and stop being MOM, even if it was just for two days. To help us kick off our little road trip, Ford Canada was kind enough to lend us a sporty 2017 Fusion! 

Let me start off by saying that the new 2017 Ford Fusion, is a sleek looking car! I loved the color they provided us, I've always been a fan of this rich burgundy color because of its sophistication. It was fully loaded with all the necessities, power everything, heated and A/C seats (have you ever tried a car with A/C seats? It feels like a cool fan blowing under your butt), rear facing camera, plus more. It feels super sporty and there's a lot of power behind the pedals. But I do have to say, the rotary gear-shift dial took some getting use to because it didn't feel natural to shift gears by turning a dial. But all in all, this sporty ride was perfect for the weekend getaway.

Image By: Ford.ca

Image By: Ford.ca

The Bourdain show took place at the Paramount Theatre (which was just a short walk away from our hotel). His show was a one hour monologue of him sharing his brutally honest views and experiences on politics, food culture and travels around the world. It really felt more like a stand-up comedy show, as he opened his "Hunger" tour set by expressing his deep, deep destain for Guy Fieri. However, he loves and respects the following: Andrew Zimmerman, Alton Brown and Ina Garten. He also despises "housemade ketchup", Asian Fusion food and is on the fence about cupcakes. He ended his show with an open Q&A with the crowd where one guy asked, "What is the worst thing you've eaten". His reply, "Fucking Johnny Rockets". 

During the tour, he also launched his new cookbook - Appetites.

During the tour, he also launched his new cookbook - Appetites.

STAY - We stayed at the Palladian Hotel, located conveniently downtown. I'd stay again, the location is ideal, located to all the shopping and the Pike Market. The celebrity paintings and pillow shams in the rooms are a funny touch, although in the middle of the night kinda creepy. We had drinks one night and breakfast one day at the attached Shaker & Spear restaurant, a sleek, cozy environment serving up west coast flare. 

EAT - For the few days we had, we were able to pack in some great places to eat. Here's the hit list:

Upper Bar Ferdinand - For pre-dinner drinks we hopped over to the Capitol Hill area and found a delightful spot called Upper Bar Ferdinand. It has a Japanese farmstead kind of feel and they focus on small batch, family owned wines, sakes and beers from all over the world. Their food menu is tight; offering cured meats, local seafood, all sorts of pickled vegetables and a nice bread selection. Pretty much a dream scenario. 

Kurt Farm Shop - Right next door to Upper Bar Ferdinand is this wonderful little ice cream shop. We were on our way to dinner so we only had only a brief moment to jump in to take a look and the guy behind the counter was kind enough to provide us with some samples of their ice cream. All the products (including cheeses) come out of a farm on Vashon Island, which by the way, is a 15 cow operation. What's not to love about that! We also fell in love with their cow, Andy which you can see in all their marketing materials. 

Image By: The Kurt Farm Shop

Image By: The Kurt Farm Shop

Bateau - Created by genius restaurateur Renee Erickson and her Sea Creatures Group, Bateau is a meat lovers dream. Probably the best piece of Filet Mignon I've had in a very long while. The restaurant space is quaint, cozy, and is also attached to its sister restaurant Bar Mesuline. Bateau promotes whole animal cooking. They receive one cattle for the week and sell off every piece and part for their menu creation. 

General Porpoise - Coffee and doughnuts, two words that complete my day. Before we made our way back home the next day, we popped into General Porpoise (which is right next door to Bateau). Their doughnuts are made with fresh eggs from La Ferme des Anes chickens and are filled with seasonal jams, jellies, custards, and creams. They also make a top notch coffee and they rotate their roasters. For you sweet hounds out there, stopping into this gem of a place is a must.

Our tummys and taste buds were happily satisfied after this trip to Seattle. With sunshine, clear roads and a sweet ride that got us home safe, our hearts were full from a nice girlie weekend away. 

 

xo

Sunny

BEAUTY | My Current Beauty Round Up

BeautySunny ShumComment
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I've been needing some change and I didn't want to do anything too drastic to alter my current beauty regime. I know there are plenty of choices out there when it comes to beauty products (we can drown ourselves in all the product out there). I tend to try new things when the "need" comes up and for me and right about now, it's the post-pregnancy do-over phase. After having a baby, so many things about my skin and body changed, which meant making some adjustments to the products I use. Here's my current beauty round up:

1. Zo Medical Oilacleanse Cleanser - I've had to put some of my professional facial treatments on hold due to my pregnancy but I'm back seeing my main gal Rita from Pure Light Laser for photofacials and fractional treatments. I've changed up my cleanser based on Rita's recommendation and I'm really liking the Zo Medical Oilacleanse Cleanser for my normal to oily skin. My skin has been going through a lot of adjusting since giving birth (the raging hormones didn't help) and this clenser has really helped with some of the light acne I was expereincing. It's also not over-drying - I have an oily t-zone and I've found other products tend to dry out my cheeks too much. 

 

2. Davines Hair Product - I've been experiencing hair loss since 3 months postpartum and I've been doing EVERYTHING since to help my hair along. I've been told as long as I am still breastfeeding, there isn't much I can do. However, I am taking iron supplements since hair loss can be due to an iron deficiency (which I had while I was pregnant). A friend of mine read my plea about my hair loss and she recommended the Davines hair product line to assist with my problem. Lucky me, I do have new baby hairs that are growing in, so I am very thankful the hair is at least coming back.

The Davines Energizing Naturaltech line product has fragrant essential oils which help to combat hormone-related hair loss and hyper-production of sebum, which may be associated with it. I wash with the Energizing Shampoo, plus conditioner and then I apply and massage in a few drops of the Superactive Serum. 

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3. Ilia Multi-Stick - This one item is a life saver. It's not called the "Multi-Stick" for nothing, because it multi-tasks for me all day and all night, 7 days a week. The one must have product in your make-up regime should has to be this magical stick. "At Last" is my favorite color and it works well with my skin tone. It's a lovely muted, dusty rose (also the name of Adam Lavigne's daughter, ha ha ha), made of organic ingredients with healing properties of Vitamin E and shea butter. I use this on my eyelids, cheeks and my lips. Seriously, it's the super all in one stick for a quick and easy natural look. 

4. Bioderma - As a new mom, I have to admit...I have days when I am simply too tired to take a shower, let alone wash my hair. This is why the Bioderma Sensibio water cleanser is a go to. For those days when I am too tired to get my ass to the sink and use my Zo Medical cleanser...I quickly take the Bioderma, splash some on a face pad and wipe, wipe done - Off to bed I go. It's a no-rinse formula, great for sensitive skin, even removes water-resistant make-up and it's fragrance and alcohol free. 

5. Di Morelli - Sometimes your face just needs a little pick me up. I've added a skin brightener to my skin routine to provide my skin that healthy glow. Di Morelli Brightener is an oil-free serum that uses lactic acid, azelaic acid and kojic acid to enhance, brighten and improve the texture of the skin. I do not use it every day, I do the every other day application because I find it a little oily for everyday use for my skin. But if you have normal to dry skin, everyday application for you would work great. 

6. Nerium Firming Cream - I've been fortunate that my post-pregnancy weight has been manageable. However, even though my "weight" is coming down, my body still does not have the "strength" I had pre-baby. I am a long ways away from firming up my flabby tummy. It's going to take a lot of exercises to get my body back into shape along with some healthy eating habits. In addition, there are some products to help with the tightening of my skin. I continue to use my oils, but I've also added a good firming cream. I've been using the Nerium Firming Cream around some of my problem areas like my tummy and thighs to help firm and tone for sleeker, more youthful-looking skin.

Wow, this is a fairly extensive list. If there are any favorites you have, I'd love to hear about them!

xo

S

LIFESTYLE | 5 Products My Baby and I Share

Beauty, LifestyleSunny ShumComment
These Baggu happy face nylon zip pouches make me smile. 

These Baggu happy face nylon zip pouches make me smile. 

While picking up products for my little one, I realized there are so many items that I use for him that I love for myself as well. Gone are the days of buying certain things just for him and specifically for me. Several products in the market (for both moms and babies) all do the same thing and in some cases are made with the same ingredients. However, companies repackage them so that they can resell and distribute to different markets. To be blunt, same shit different pile. There are 5 products that I use for my baby boy that I love just as much. Here's to saving some money and not buying different products for the same end use. 

1. Aveeno Baby Eczema Lotion - My son does not have eczema, but he does get some dry spots every now and then due to his drooling. I also love this Aveeno lotion because it has a patented triple oat formula that helps soothe and moisturize delicate skin. My skin has always been on the sensitive side, so what's good enough for him is also good enough for me. 

2. Johnson's Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath & Wash - I've always been a bath person and as of lately, baths have become far and few between. So when I do get to take a bath I end up using my baby's Johnson's Bedtime Bubble Bath. I honestly love the scent, it has a special blend of gentle and calming aromas. It's hypoallergenic and it is also very gentle on the eyes. Does it help my baby sleep better? The jury is still out, however I feel pretty refreshed after my bath and I also get a nice little scent I can carry with me that reminds me of my babe. 

3. Baggu Nylon Pouches - I'm so in love with all the Baggu  nylon pouches. They come is super fun patterns and colours and a variety of sizes. I use them for just about everything - I store and separate all the baby's stuff like diapers, wipes, toys and snacks (the list can go on). I use them for my personal belongings like make-up, hair elastics and my OWN snacks. 

4. Aden + Anais Wash Clothes - We have a bunch of wash clothes but the Aden + Anais clothes are my favourite. They are made of 100% plush cotton muslin which are super soft and it features a convenient loop so I can hang them to dry between tub and shower sessions. Soft enough for my baby boy and also for mom. I now prefer using these to wash my face oppose to my traditional terry cloth wash towels. 

5. Love Child Organics Teefies - Ok ok, these were bought specifically for my son but I have to admit, I've had them as an emergency "I'm HANG-REY and I need a snack ASAP". Trust me, moms you will break down and have your baby's food because you are so desperate for something. But I don't feel bad at all! These Teefies are made from multi-grains (rice, buckwheat, amaranth and millet) and have no added sugar or salt. Amazing right? They are perfect for the teething stage because they have a great biscuit texture and dissolve easily. They do get a little sticky so make sure you have a wet wipe handy to wipe up those grimy hands and face!

 

What are some of your favourite things that you share with your babe? Please share, I'd like to know.

xo S