Category Archives: New York

Kitchen Stuff and Memory Recall

Our boxes and boxes of stuff arrived this past week! Hurray! It is a bittersweet feeling, having all of our personal belongings finally all under one roof….All under one roof…packed up in hundreds of boxes labeled office, toys, clothes and kitchen, waiting for us to go through them. We did a good job with the labeling and packing but no matter how meticulous we were, it is still an overwhelming job at this end. Poor Mr P just wants us to build his bed, the loft bed that doubles as his secret pirate boat hideaway – its hard to explain to this excited 6 year old that this bed will take a solid weekend to rebuild from flat pack.

I’ve been unpacking mostly kitchen boxes and clothes items. The clothes items take the longest to get through because they need to be washed. Even a box of clothes that seems as pristine as it was when the clean clothes were put in, need to be washed or hung on the line to air out at the very least. I’m enjoying having a wardrobe that has now expanded beyond just a handful of outfits. The kids have been snuggling their teddies and dollies, claiming new favorites from amongst the pack of toys – it’s like a second Christmas!

Unpacking the kitchen has been fun, I’ve been baking just because I now have all the tools and I can, making home made pizzas and recalling memories conjured up from glassware items and coffee mugs.

Cups from places I've been, cups that tell a story

I pulled  the Cafe du Monde mug from New Orleans out of the box and smiled fondly, recalling the wonderful people I met and the instant connections, the amazing learning experience and our evening on a second floor balcony right on Bourbon Street throwing beads at men walking by and shouting to them “Show us your moneymaker!” All mothers with young kids, it was definitely  a night to remember.



Can a Mom Have it All Working Night Shift?

Working nights is no joke. It is a double-edged sword in that you can enjoy your children by day while continuing to work  your brain and further your career by night but, and it is a big ‘ole BUT, how you manage your sleep and what little free time you have is an art form in and of itself.

Some have said working a night shift is the perfect solution for the mom looking to have it all…or is it?

My coffee date after a night of work.

When I left New York, I struck up a deal to continuing working back to the US with the advertising agency I was employed at. A fantastic and trusting team with wonderful flexi-time and work at home options, they were glad to keep me on while our family adjusts to our new life in New Zealand. We agreed that I would finish up with them by the end of January, in just a little over 2 weeks from now. I thought I’d figured out the piece to a puzzle many moms before me tried to put together. I would wake at night, work then stop when my kids woke, get Mr P ready for school, drop him off and spend the morning with Little Miss before she went down for her nap. Sounds like a good plan, no? Especially over New Zealand summer where the country sorta dozes off into a snooze while families vacation and businesses go on slow-mo.



What a Difference a Year Makes

The one thing you can be certain about in life besides taxes is change. Even when fear keeps you from trying new things, change is always just around the corner. A new day, a new work colleague, changes in what’s on offer at the local grocery store – changes sneak up on us and some are minute while others are life changing.

This time last year we were on an 11 hour train ride back from my parents in Montreal to our home in Brooklyn. Getting together with family over the holidays is always a mix of fun and exhausting. I sometimes wonder how we can all be born of the same blood – though we love each other immensely, their are just areas that we have to agree to disagree or else a conversation will erupt into fisticuffs. My parent, sister and I are good at ‘getting along’ these days – we evade, avoid and ignore. Don’t judge, it works for us!

Back to this time last year…We’d spent a blisteringly cold 7 days in the Great White North. Montreal had been hit by a crippling snowstorm, closing highways and forcing everyone indoors. Uuugh, though I was born and raised in Montreal I don’t think I ever really got used to the winters. With a record one day snowfall on the island, Mr BAM was out shoveling with my Dad everyday and even had to push my Dad’s car and sister’s car out of ditches.

Can your brain even fathom what 40cm of snow looks like? This is what it looks like from the warmth of my mom’s parlor room through the front window. This is what it looks like when Mr BAM tries to push my sister’s car free of snowbanks, while she spins her wheels from the driver’s seat.

Fast forward to a year later and Canada and New York are again under siege by the white fluffy stuff – minus 26 celsius last time I heard – colder than Mars and Antarctica! What the?



New Adventures in New Zealand

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice that I haven’t updated in quite some time. Some of you already know that our little family has made the journey back to our second home – New Zealand. See I was born in Canada, so I consider it my first home. I met my husband in New Zealand, had my first child here and even obtained my citizenship so I consider it my second home even though I’ve probably spent the majority of my adult life in this country.

Packing up your life and flying with 2 kids to the other side of the world is no easy feat, especially when the change happened quicker than expected – can you say less than 2 months?! I’m gonna save the details around our move for another blog post…or maybe even for a book, yes the details are that crazy that I  am seriously considering spinning it all into a memoir.  You see everything from the time I decided to spend a year in New Zealand way back in 1999 pre-birthing hips fresh out of University til now could easily fit into a book. From moving to Auckland from Christchurch just a month shy of the first devastating earthquake to moving to New York city and giving birth to my daughter and then returning to hospital with her just days later, the many celebs I met in New York and now the return back to the land of the long white cloud, there is a book in there somewhere!

the kids exploring their favorite rock on St Heliers Beach

My eldest said,

Mom, I like our new home. There is so much more room here than in New York.

And that is when I knew without a doubt, even though we all miss so many faces and places from New York, our little family is going to be just fine in our new home on the other side of the world.

Their will be some changes around here while I look at rebranding and sharing my new adventures in Auckland, but most of all I’m excited about just writing again. Besides running, writing is such a release for me!

In the meantime, seeing as the holidays are coming up I’d love for you to share your tips for traveling with kids.

Heck knows I’ve got a ton of tips after several 32 hour journeys with one toddler and then this most recent trip around the world with 2, but I’m sure you’ve got your own as well for train, bus and car.

Welcome back dear readers!

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Driving in New York is Easy with Kia Rio

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I had the pleasure of test driving a Kia Rio SX 2013, the latest sporty addition to this family of compact, fuel-efficient cars. Over the space of a week, I was able to see how a car could fit into my daily routine. Though Mr BAM and I have toyed with purchasing a car in the past, in this city of fast drivers and heavy traffic we are always a little unsure about buying a car while living in Brooklyn.

In our family of 4, Little Miss is in a front-facing carseat and Mr P has a booster seat. We like to travel around the 5 boroughs most weekends, and have actually still not visited many of the city’s best kid’s attraction because, well, we don’t have permanent access to a car! Heading the Bronx Zoo for example would take well over 2 hours by public transport. See why we need to seriously consider a car?



11 Reasons to Stay at Family-Friendly SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne

I recently had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday at the SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne. I can’t thank them enough for the complimentary stay and for being part of an unforgettable birthday. With just an hour and a half drive from New York city, it makes for a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is not always easy to find time for an extended vacation with the family, so getting away close by to the closest hotel to Sesame Place is a pretty good idea for a nearcation for a family of four with 2 kids under 6.

Elmo was waiting for us with a bouquet of flowers!

Here are just a few reasons why I’d recommend SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne for your next family-friendly stay.

1. Complimentary 24 hour valet service. This may not seem like a big deal when you have kids and are not likely to be out and about at all hours of the night, but trust me this valet service is more than meets the eye. As our very first point of contact with the hotel, the valet were helpful, almost like a mini-tourist desk. It is also nice to have free parking. The front desk staff was equally as friendly, but you don’t normally expect that level of service from the valet staff.

2. Did you catch what I said above, yep that’s right SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne is the closest hotel to the ever popular Sesame Place. Just park your car, put on your bathing suit and follow the path less than 10 minutes from the front desk to the Sesame Place gate. So convenient if you need to duck back for an afternoon nap so the kids can stay awake til the night time parade at 9PM and close the park with their favorite furry animals. We were happy to be able to stroll over to bed rather than deal with the traffic of everyone driving home. Less travel with kids that late at night, means less chances of a meltdown!

The heart marks the spot! That's how close SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne is to Sesame Place