Category Archives: Raves

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling with Children

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So first I must thank my wonderful friend Lauren for telling me to put all my information stored in my head up on a post

First step to ease your mind about travelling with children is what form of safety and travel gear will you take? Car seats, Strollers, play pens oh My! Well if you are travelling to specific cities you may be in luck, because you can rent gear from two very reputable companies, and get this, they DELIVER the gear to your destination! Hotel, home, or airport! Whaaaat?!

This is important for people who are concerned when they rent carseats from car rental places, i mean they usually have the cheapest of the cheap, and lowest safety rated carseats. These two companies below, allow you to Choose the same britax you have at home or the city mini jogger if that is your stroller, allowing kids to feel comfortable too!

Their sites are: http://www.weetravel.ca (so reasonably priced) and http://www.coast2coastbabies.com (they only work in select US cities)

So that’s check one off of your list.

Next step is the Stroller you want to take (especially if the companies above don’t service your area). I think the city select is the best stroller of all time.It maneuvers with one hand and can go into any handicap washroom stall, folds easily and is a general lifesaver. When we had two small kids they would face each other and entertain each other. When they were tired it fully reclined, while keeping the canopies closed. It was as if they were in their own business class pods! It is a pricey stroller if you don’t have it but you can easily find them second hand online in great condition! The configurations available on this are just too good to be true. Now that my oldest is 6, he rides the boogie board on the city select and his brother is in the seat, and trust me for connecting flights it is a saviour to not have to run holding a child who cannot run as fast as you, when you can literally just push and run (i recently had to do this in the Vancouver airport at 4am, it was as if I got a bootcamp workout in!) I have no doubt I will be using this stroller for at least two more years especially for travel, which will mean that I’ve had it for 9 years!

cityselect

What to pack for the flight?

I have a simple rules for packing a carryon bag. I pack for a worst case scenario. I take a Carryon (wheelie suitcase) and my giant TokiDoki Juju Be soft bag (Starlet or Super Be which can later be used at my destination as a beach bag and a stroller bag.

starlet

starlet1SuperBe

For a baby in diapers: 3 outfit changes, 1 diaper per hours in transit, a travel pack of wipes, (not a small one but the decent size ones in case of a poop explosion) 3 snacks (milk and water if they are not eating solids) per hour of flight, and a way to wear baby and a swaddle blanket for them to cover their eyes like a sleep mask, while rocking them to sleep. My kids sleep with white noise and in the dark so if i cover their eyes on a plane its like the ideal sleep situation for them. Multiple pacifiers if they take them, and in case you lose them!!! No judgement if you don’t.

For a toddler: 3 outfit changes (i usually let them travel in pjs), 1 diaper per hours in transit, 4 snacks per hour (because chewing is good for their ears, especially if in pain). For entertainment purposes, their favourite digital movies downloaded on their ipads or portable DVD player, their headphones, and a little kid neck pillow. Also their favourite Stuffed toy. I also buy like a bunch of mess free colouring books from dollarama, and let them go to town!

For Mom: It’s probably wrong if I say little alcohol bottles, especially as my first item right? well it isn’t too bad, I have done it and will do it again, just to calm my nerves. In all seriousness; 1 change of clothes, ear buds, gum, and basically anything you need to look human and feel like a human and not just a walking Mom zombie! I take my makeup bag, and a headband and hair-tie. My favourtie thing I just found out about was wearing a giant cotton scarf (if you are still wearing baby they have nice baby wearing scarves that you can pull over yourself if you are feeling a chill.

For liquids, medicine, and easy access: I usually take two giant ziplock bags and keep one in my diaper bag. I take tylenol for the kids (who I wake up early, and let stay up late, and they almost always sleep on the flight) I give them tylenol and gravol, 20 mins apart with the last dose 20 mins before take off. I will justify this once, and only once. The tylenol is usually for the pain in their ears, I know by trail and error that this helps, because every time I’ve travelled with my children if one of them refuses the tylenol he is the child that screams their head off on the plane, because he cannot handle the pain in his ears! I also give them a dose of gravol, because they do get tummy aches, and motion sickeness in the car on a regular basis, and after one flight where both of them were screaming that they wanted to throw up every 30 mins, I will always keep liquid gravol ready to go and now it even comes in chewables so you can take chewables for the tylenol and gravol now and not have to worry about the liquid rules.

I also take extra strength tylenol, advil, and sinutab (if you get congested on a flight) for myself in my ziplock medicine bag and benedryl in case of a random allergic reaction. I also keep all the liquids and meds in that are in the ziplock in a Jujube fuel cell, along with two small spoons, forks, and medicine dispensers 2 of them in case one is sick you cant have them sharing (this has happened to me, I shit you not it almost killed me the stress)

Fuel Cell

When you have a baby or child you need to have a little wristlet like the JuJu Be Be Quick that I keep in the outside pocket of the diaper bag with the change bag. In it i have 2 diapers, baby wipes & disinfectant wipes (to wipe down all the seat handles and tray tables and anything your kids can touch because those things are nasty, and the last thing you want is to be sick from some random airplane bug at your destination) When you have the wristlet you can just grab it and the change pad and hands free go to the washroom.

BeQuick1

beQuick

Sometimes I used a second Be Quick for passports and a pen and any travel documents so that everything is in one place and I wear it until I’m on the plane, and then put it inside my diaper bag in a zipped up pocket.

One very important thing you need to pack: Confidence, that you can do it, and even if you don’t who cares, no one else on that flight paid for a private plane so they should know that babies will be babies, and if they don’t give them a death-stare! It isn’t easy travelling with small children but it is doable and can be fun, once you get the hang of it!

CHECKLIST: (you can screenshot and print this list)

  1. Call the travel rental gear places to set up the framework of your travel.
  2. Pick a stroller that will work for your family
  3. 3 outfits per child and one change of clothes for yourself.
  4. diapers per hour in transit depending on child (see above) _____________________
  5. 3 snacks per child and adult per hour
  6. quick grab wristlet (BeQuick) for diapers wipes and change pad
  7. Have a fuel cell handy with small cutlery (sporks) and medicine dispensers 1 per child, and all blister pills or bottles in a separate ziplock bag incase of a leak. You can also store baby bottles in this and it can clip around any diaper bag so that you are hands free.
  8. Be Quick (wristlet) with a pen, and passports and travel documents in it
  9. little backpack for toddler or small child with their headphones, tablet, stuffed animal and crayons and colouring in it so that they have it and they feel like a big kid. If your toddler is travelling with a paid seat they are entitled to their own carry-on take advantage of it. It will give them a feeling of independence, which you may be able to use against them, by saying; “Remember lets all be big boys and girls and use our manners and be thoughtful towards others on the plane” it’s worth a shot!
  10. Also in case of an accident you will need some good plastic bags to shove any soiled clothing into and then tie shut so the rest of your stuff doesn’t smell.
  11. for the above reason I also keep in that liquids ziplock bag in my carryon a little bottle of gain laundry detergent that i pour onto any soiled clothes
  12. One final tip, and this is for any traveller, I vacuum seal all of my carry-on suitcase items, and get a little hand vacuum pump. it saves on room, and I keep all of our clothes in them sealed when travelling to prevent ticks or bedbugs hopping a ride home with me. I know this works because they will die without the oxygen, because I’ve seen a dead tick fall out of a bag when doing laundry after vacation…because sometimes you forget to close the bag, but those suckers can survive the plane right home with after being vacuum sealed!

 

Hope this helps you. If you like it please feel free to share! Please also share any tips that you would like to share!! I’m always open for more advice in my storage of information.

 

I Dare you to be Happy

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I know so many women who are unhappy. I’m not talking about day to day happiness, I’m talking about deep down unhappiness. Like the stuff depression is made of. As someone who has been severely depressed and someone who has been working my way to happiness one day at a time. The biggest change I made in my life is to change my negative thinking. 

First step was to rid my life of negative people. I surrounded myself with only my friends and family I knew were good hearted and wouldn’t hold me back. I kept those around me that Loved me as much as I Loved them. Those ride or die bitches (both male and female)!  I will go into this in more detail in another post.

Then I made the biggest change. I stopped using negative words, not in my head, not out loud.

So if I didn’t want to do something with a friend or despised something it would come out like this: 

I Hate that = That may be suited for someone else

Yuck I would never go out with a bald guy = I like guys with long hair, it’s more towards my type.

Urrgh I don’t ever get what I want in life and everyone else gets it without as much work as me = Life can be hard sometimes but I will preserve like my friends who were in similar situations that have become successful. Maybe their path was smoother but I will savour mine when I get there, the bumps will let me appreciate it.

Simple steps to a positive life. 

Also watch more comedies, laughter is the best medicine of all to stay positive!

Xoxoxo

7 Online Shopping Hacks

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I shop for EVERYTHING online. 

Take that in…

Here are my steps:

1. Get a PayPal Account and add your credit card that gets you the most points for shopping. 

2. Get an EBates account. It’s a referral website that pays you quarterly for your online shopping. This month my cheque coming May 1st is 200+ CAD! That is more than I get paid (after taxes for one day of work) 

3. Have an Amazon, Walmart, and Well.ca account (if in Canada) and set up subscriptions (amazon and well) or Autosave (Walmart) for basics like toilet paper, paper towel, garbage bags, diapers wipes (thank God I don’t need the latter for the kids any more). Every month These sites send you a reminder that you have An order coming up to review. 

So go into your accounts on the site and confirm by comparing them to each other that you have the lowest price and order from the site that is lower, also check for online coupons (usually more on Amazon)

4. Before putting through any purchase online check to see if the retailer is affiliated with ebates. If you find the retailer there, click on their link from ebates to put your order through. 

5. One more step before you put through that purchase google ” (retailer name) promo or coupon code” and try every single code you can find before putting through an order. 

6. This one is more of an individual choice but I LOVE ebay for unique pieces or even etsy. I bought my kids identical light up sneakers for 20 bucks for 2 pair on ebay that their friends at school got from a kiosk in the mall for 40+ IDENTICAL! Because the ones at the kiosk aren’t name brand either just some gimmicky shoe trend that the kiddos are crazy about. I’m supporting an individual in China that isn’t trying to rip me off!

7. If you Live in Canada the best credit cards for points that is free is the PC Elite MasterCard. Hands down. Last year alone on my groceries (which i do in store) made me almost 2000 that I put towards my groceries, you can also save up and buy gift cards at Christmas for people, or even one couple made a mortgage payment with it! 

If you travel the SPG Amex gets the most value for your dollars spent towards hotel stays, but there is a fee. 
I’m not affiliated with any of these companies. I do love shopping with them, and I literally cannot go back to shopping in store anymore, lugging around those giantic boxes and bags from Costco or just parking there any day of the week! I hate it!  

Also if you are worried about fraud online, make sure you always use paypal. I can’t tell you how great they are with disput resolution. So many times I’ve had to deal with shitty sellers that didn’t send me anything at all or even say their tracking says I got it when I clearly didn’t (I have full HD cameras at my home and know all of my couriers). Also during the holiday season tip your couriers, this isn’t necessary but you know they save me from those in store shopping messes, making them some baked goods and a card with cash is my way of saying thank you (also my Nana was a Mailman for years here so I feel obligated to him)
If you like this post please share it, because I really want people to stop looking at me like I’m crazy! I’m literally making thousands of dollars per year on stuff I Have to buy!

In Love with The Shape of Me

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Before I had kids, I was between a size 00-3, which is still very strange to me. Anyway, I was probably at my healthiest weight right before I got pregnant mostly because I was working out everyday and gaining muscle mass, I was about 113lbs but still skinny fat. I had that pooch of extra skin around my tummy from my first pre-pubescent weight loss and I still had thighs that touched and I still had my bum!

Since having my kids it has been very hard for me, I developed a massive Seroma after both of my csections, and it would hurt to workout let alone attempt to get my old shape back.

Recently I’ve been around people who are obsessed with weight, and are so self deprecating it hurts me to hear them say the things they say about themselves. Here is the thing about me 40 lbs heavier than I was prior to having kids, and I’m pretty much “in Love with the Shape of me” most of extra 40 is on my hips bum and Boobs (after getting my seromas dealt with surgically). The older I get the more I realize what my body is capable of. 

Did you know I can do 100+ weighted squats a day and I do! Every chance I get. I can run around with my kids, I can keep them on their toes! I don’t know ver get jealous of another woman trying to better herself. I know that for me after having children I realized my body is intolerant of a lot of the food that I was eating. Now I eat and make food for my family that keeps us all healthy and happy and doesn’t have allergens in it for us. Like I crave salad, but by most people’s beauty standards I look like I crave cakes! Ha! 

I was a skinny fat judgy biatch before I had kids, who couldn’t cook to save her life! 

Now I enjoy my food, I savour it, I experiment and I do steroetypically love feeding my children food that they say is yummy or dee-licious. 

In the past 7-8 years I’ve grown so much in mind, body and soul I would NEVER want to go back to that miserable version of myself. My Body has produced 2 beautiful boys, it has scar tissue, scars, stretch marks,  Chubb-Rub on my thighs, muscles, curves, and tattoos for days and I don’t think I would change any of it!

When you start Loving yourself everything else really does fall into place!

My Thank you Letter to the Swet Shop Boys for Cashmere

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Heems: “His Family from India but Riz Pakistani, My Family from Pakistan, I’m Hindu Punjabi”

This describes my boys to a tee, from both my side and their Papa’s side. My boys are represented by the Swet Shop boys. This brings me so much joy, my boys are young and don’t know how important it is to have representation yet. They may not understand the importance, but they do understand that they are being represented now on the small and big screens and in Music. Right now their favourite song is Aaja, as it has been on repeat since the album dropped. In fact to be honest, I don’t get the same joy out of other music as I do from the Cashmere album as a whole.

As you may well know I am Woman, Mother, Teacher and Canadian-Indian. For most of my life, I’ve had to find a balance between two cultures. I wanted so badly to do something in the Arts when I was younger, but at every corner I was discouraged by my Mother, and most of my family. I had the talent, I could play Hindi film songs by ear on my clarinet, and damn well too! I even auditioned to Etobicoke School of the Arts waaaay back in the day, by playing “I Will Always Love You” from the bodyguard as a solo piece on the clarinet. I remember that day being ecstatic that I got into the school, excitedly telling my mom who basically told me I couldn’t go to an Arts school, I had to focus on my studies. So my dream was crushed. Since I became a mother I swore whatever field my kids wanted to go into I would support them (minus the illegal stuff).

Since Riz Ahmed has blown up in Hollywood, my heart has been filled with Joy! Pure Joy! I will tell you why, because both of my boys are inclined towards the arts, both are under the age of 7, but I can see it. I see how much they smile and take joy in creating things, and listening to music. Music is my religion. So if I pass any religion down to them I hope that my Love of all Music from Johnny Cash, Queen, Tupac, and Swet Shop boys is passed down to them.

Riz MC and Heems quite literally represent me, they represent my boys, and they are carving a path with a wonderful and meaningful blend of rap and the beautiful sounds, rhythms, bass, ghazals and instruments of my youth, and their youth (since I think we are about the same age). They seem to have brought together their cultures. Something that I’ve been doing for so long, and still struggle to find a balance with. So I appreciate the balance that this album has immensely.

I have to give them so much love for this album, they don’t shy away from any of the touchy subjects. I tell anyone who wants to understand what it is like to live within the balance of two cultures, to listen to this album and take it in. I Love the album for the representation that I have never, in my 30+ years in life being born and raised in Canada have seen. They touch on everything uncomfortable, the TSA, the problems with flying while brown or Muslim. Having to constantly be harassed under the guise of being random in any and all airports or border crossings. When Riz Spits this;

I pray for my nephew, I pray you’re not antagonized by all the hatin in news and the shit they sanitize/Look Zayn Malik’s got more than 80 virgins on him/there’s more than one direction to get to Paradise.

That line, I mean that line speaks volumes. It shows the other side argument to the young men being converted over to those extremists. It shows that there is another path. There is more to life than being a sheep and following blindly. Not only for religious Desi people, even everyday kids growing up in Toronto, they will know that brown guys can do “Big Things” (like Heems says in one line) that are Different from what is expected of them.

“Ya you Rap but you should have been a Surgeon/What you care for, girl we still splurgin'”

Since this album came out, I have literally told EVERY SINGLE student of mine that is Desi to listen to it. I may get in trouble if it comes back to me but I really don’t care. It’s more important to me to spread the message that there are other avenues in life for Brown boys. You don’t have to go be an extremist, you don’t have to do the typical career path of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer. You can follow your creative side and you should, look at this album, this shows that you can do it.

I took in this whole Album and I mean I’ve listened to it non-stop, the whole album feels like a love letter to my youth. Now that my youth is almost gone, I feel like this will be one of those albums that brown kids in Canada, the US or England can see themselves in, and will easily become a classic for rap lovers like me.

“My only heroes were Black Rappers, so to me Tupac was a True Paki”

I feel like I have to add a Brrrup, Brrrup there with a two finger up in the air salute!

To conclude my Love letter, all I can say is thank you for doing big things, Riz, Heems, and Redinho. You are doing it for our gen and the next, because I’m raising my boys with this music, your music, so keep dropping Big, Big things!

Also I don’t know why, but Aaja, is just pure fire, the song, the video, Everything about it, magic, it is Perfect, the sorta old school Bollywood feel, it was just so bloody fantastic, magic, pure magic.

I had to share some fan art of someone’s that I loved for Aaja it’s from an artist

@drawing_mari

Going Grey

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Almost 20 years ago after my father’s funeral I noticed my first grey hair, that came in a patch of 7, right in the front of my head! For someone whose mother was anti-makeup and cosmetics for young girls this grey streak was a God send. It opened the flood gates to her allowing me to dye my hair, and literally I have been dying my hair ever since every colour of the rainbow!

For the last 7 years I’ve wanted to have pastel purple hair, but the fear of bleaching has stopped me. I do LOVE my hair so bleaching it to a platinum blonde just to dye it purple seemed ridiculous to me since my hair was already grey at the roots. Recently a chunk of my hair fried due to sun damage and I had to cut my lovely long locks to a little longer than shoulder length hair which is so odd from my usual bum length! 

After 8 months without colouring my roots I’m actually quite impressed with my reverse ombré purple grey job! I feel like as much as I’ve searched high and low I’ve only been able to find women my age growing out their grey hair with dark brown or blonde hair. I just want to offer this up to anyone who wants to do it differently, because I know I sure did.
I didn’t do this for attention, but the more I grow it out the people compliment me on how much they love it and how different it is. Younger women at first don’t believe me when I tell them it’s my natural grey, which I find cute 😊