Floating Trampoline!

Indoor Play Center!

We had to make 3 separate videos because there was so much to cover!

If you’re a parent to small children, chances are, you’ve been inside a play center. A giant indoor playground, so your little one’s can run around, climb and burn energy.

It’s huge

Some parents tag along with smaller children to help them navigate through the maze that is the play center. And some parents use this chance to rest and be still without doing anything- a moment of peace if you will.

Giant Warehouse building

We have been to many indoor play centers! But we prefer going outside in an actual Playground. But if you live in British Columbia, you never know what to expect from the weather.

Getting her trampoline socks

This summer there were a slew of bad forest fires across Canada and the US, making the air outside the worst it has ever been in 40 years!  The pollution level was equal to Beijing’s unbreathable air- it was just that bad.

Dog catching balls arcade game.

With the windows closed for over a week, and no sign of rain to help the situation, we decided one weekend to get out and drive to a Play center.

We have 2 near our house, but we felt we needed to try something new.

Enter Jungle Jac’s! About 25 min ride over to Port Coquitlam over the menacing toll bridge that my husband hates (out of principle). We were looking forward to it since it had good reviews and a large floating trampoline! Yeah that sounds like amazing fun!

Trampoline fun!
Not loving it.
The view from the trampoline!

The kids were not sure what to expect with a name like Jungle Jac’s (and I’m not spelling this wrong, Jac without a k).

Needless to say, you can see from the video, they had a blast!

But first, let me tell you something that kinda bothered me… It cost $60 to be there for 2 hours…yes $60 for 2 children to play and eat there- we brought our own filtered water from home because I don’t agree with bottled water. If I hadn’t, that total would have been $65.

Omera feeling nervous about going alone with Haytham.

So lets see why it cost this much shall we.

Unique fun!
First and foremost is that giant floating trampoline. I’m not kidding, you can see down through it to the floor below. Omera loved it (she’s a thrill seeker) Haytham didn’t. She saw that you can see down below but she jumped right in for the fun! You can clearly watch your kids from down below and honestly, it looks scary to me as an adult! But such fun! You have to purchase these trampoline socks at $5 each child or $2 if you get the bouncy castle package. We got the whole shebang! The Trampoline is suspended on the 2nd floor with NO netting below, so it’s literally floating in air. And you can see through the trampoline mesh to down below adding to the affect. It’s legit awesome!

Climbing up!

The bouncy castles are outside on fake grass, so no need to put on your shoes! The fox bouncy castle was one of the most unique castles I’ve seen! Areeb kept calling it a kitty or cat in the video, but no it’s a fox LOL

Fox King Castle!

There’s a Halloween or spooky theme laser tag area! It wasn’t closed for the time being, but kids were allowed to go in and run around there anyways. It’s like a maze in that section, but still a lot of dark fun! There’s even a small section where it’s just a glass floor, adding to the excitement. Haytham was scared mostly but still wanted to do this. He’s a strange boy.  Omera on the other hand is a trooper!

Kangaroo ride!

The play center area is a maze itself.  It’s actually unique because unlike a lot of other play centers, even adults can lose sense of where is what and how to get out. Areeb at some point couldn’t figure out how to get to a particular slide ( I should add that Omera had the right direction though haha)

The Wave Slide

They have  a wave slide, which is pretty cool affect when sliding down or watching others slide down.

A ball pit area where you can shoot balls between 2 forts- pretty fun if you play in teams.

Ugh how much money will this machine take from me!? lol

The arcade is $10 for 10 tokens which gets you about 5 games depending on what you play. It’s pretty flashy there and the kids both played a game that had them hitting a hammer to launch balls into a dogs mouth. It looked pretty cool. And you can exchange your tickets in for a prizes afterwards. Mind you the prizes for small amounts of tickets is not exactly great.

The Food:

Small portions…$5 for a small size frozen pizza isn’t exactly bad but not exactly good. We just got a small pizza and fries combo as a snack since the kids were getting hungry.

$10 for all this….

They do have  a wide range of goodies though, but if you have a family of 4 and have to get lunch there- be prepared to drop down $20 or more for food and water. You’re gonna work up an appetite! And don’t think you can leave the facility and have lunch outside and then come back- that’s not allowed. But that’s standard for most places anyways. For a quick lunch it wasn’t too bad.

Laser Tag,  Bumper Cars & Toddler Area

Toddler area is good size, and great for younger children. They even have a section with big building pieces made of soft material which is great because they can get tired having to lift and make things.

Tada! It’s Haytham!

I couldn’t get proper pictures of this since it’s so dark, but the Laser Tag area is great even if you’re not playing. It’s dark, spooky and a fun maze walk through! Watch the videos to see the kids chase down Areeb!

The kids were hesitant to go in there without Areeb. You can hear Haytham in the video fussing about leaving the Trampoline to go the spooky area. He loves spooky things but can’t do it alone. It’s actually pretty funny.

We didn’t do the bumper cars, simply because both Omera and Haytham were too small to do it.  Which sucks because they love those kinds of rides. But alas safety first. If you get a chance to do it, it looks fun, but seems like a lot of car squished in there.

Over all, it’s a great unique experience! I would go again if we were bored of other play centers.

Omera’s favorite part: The Trampoline

They have birthday packages, but be warned, the birthday package only gives you 1 hour….which isn’t the standard 2 hours you get at most places and at that price point, it doesn’t seem worth it for my young children.

Would I go back again, yes! I would, but only once in a few months. I don’t feel like spending $60 all of the time. Mind you once you purchase the socks, you don’t have to repurchase them again, just make sure you bring them.

The only rainbow right now.

Would I recommend it, absolutely!  If you are looking for a fun place to take you’re kids- go to Jungle Jac’s!

I like how they have a secured entrance and exist- so random people can’t just take off with your kids. I really really like this. They cut off your bracelets at the end when you’re leaving, and double check to make sure that the adult belongs to that child- I cannot express how important that is to me.

The bathrooms are a bit tricky, but clean. I would still recommend taking your own 70% rubbing alcohol (but I recommend that for anything). TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO THE WASHROOM if they are under 8 at ANY PLAY CENTER.

It does have a lot of blind spots, so for younger children, you do have to keep a better eye out for them, simply because the place is so large and tight.

Over all and this is like a first for me, 5/5. Yeah the cost is a bit annoying, but for what you get, it’s actually really good. Especially if you want to be there for like 3 or 4 hours. It’s great. Something for everybody!

Omera’s verdict:
Loved the Trampoline and Spooky laser tag. Doesn’t like so many kids in the play center maze, really loud.

Haytham’s verdict: Likes the bouncy castle and the arcade. Doesn’t like the trampoline.

Check out their website for details:

http://junglejacs.com/

See You Next Time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

 

Fusion Festival Fun!

The Largest Most Diverse Festival EVER.

There are 2 video’s! Please check them both out! 🙂

If you have never been to British Columbia Canada, but would like to come and experience the diversity and beauty of this incredible province; the Fusion Festival is the time to come.

With representation from all ethnic groups that make up Canada, people came together and blended into one amazing 2 day outdoor party! Everything from food, music, to culture can be experienced at the Fusion Festival.

Happy Fusion Kids!

This year we decided to take the kids. They weren’t sure what to expect from our description. They only understood that there would be food, rides and music.  When we entered, it was through the amusement park portion, We thought it would be best to do the rides first, to get it out of their system, so that they can focus later on the Fusion part!

There were many bouncy castles, a ferris wheel, different types of kiddie rides and this spinning ride that made my mind boggle! It was $1 for 1 ticket so not cheap and most rides called for about 5 tickets. The bouncy slide castle was 1 ticket 1 slide which had me feeling  ….

$1 for 1 slide! You have got to be kidding me!

After the bouncy castle it was off to the rides- which they loved. No complaints there! They also decided to conjure up the courage to ride the ferris wheel. Now I’m not good with heights- not like in a building, but in an open little carriage dangling high up in the sky held into place by some metal…hahahaha that sounds so scary I have to stop talking about it.

So high up!

But they had a fun time! Omera and Haytham were both really scared once it got up high, but they were so brave! I was really proud!  We decided after this, to start the fusion festival part! The first up, the Metis People display.

The Proud Metis People

For some it’s hard to celebrate Canada Day, given it’s not a pleasant memory for all groups of people. The ugliness is in the horrible truth that this country was once invaded, butchered and colonized. A entire race of people suffered the cruelty that comes from ‘making’ a country. Which is why the Fusion Festival is the perfect time to celebrate but also honor the Indigenous people of Canada- which was the very first stall we went to. You can’t miss the large teepee’s. They beckon to you to come and learn about the indigenous people and their culture.

It was a cultural eye opener for Omera. That people existed here before Canada did. It’s a hard topic to explain but I was honest. Canada is Indigenous land, it is nobody’s land but theirs. We are all immigrants- PERIOD.

Couldn’t eat the Poutine 🙁

French Canadian was our next stall- I mean obviously we’re going to get fries! I wish we could have tried something more there but unfortunately,  nothing was  Halal so we settled for fries. But the kids love fries so it’s a winner regardless. That was a quick small snack. We ate those fries while watching the amazing music performance on stage! Like wow. No joke, the video does not do it justice!

The music was amazing!

We had to make sure we got Haytham on the baby leash. Whatever your opinion may be on baby leashes, mine is that I want to keep my child safe. It’s a big crowd, there are a lot of people there and I don’t want to lose my first and only son. Of course he tried to baby flash as always, so there were times we just had to pick him up so he didn’t get flattened by the sea of people.

It was past lunch time at this point and the fries were only going to hold us off for a bit until we could find more treats!

Stall after stall of amazing places to see!

We forgot to take proper video of the food we tried- sorry was just too hungry to focus. Barbados was our first food stop- the flying fish! Oh my god, if you have never had this, WOW. The flavour was everything I expected – sweet, spicy, and just tender good fish!

As we ventured on, the crowd would swell up and down depending on what performance was happening and where. There were great performances playing all around, but since I was holding up Haytham and Areeb was holding up Omera nobody could hold the camera up >_< Sorry.

But my kids- they lit up! It was their first time watching something so incredible. Dancing, singing, sparkles in their eyes! It was well worth the pain in my neck holding up my boy.

These ladies had the whole crowd dancing!

South Africa and Ecuador had small performances at their stalls- which was a nice treat! We were able to just catch them, which was good luck on our part. Haytham was really into the music, he swayed his hips and tried to mimic singing like the artist. It was the cutest thing ever.

China was a bit bland. I sort of expected more zazz. I don’t know why, I guess since everything in China is so over the top in amazing, I honestly thought they might have a giant panda outside their stall. But alas it was a quick visit.

China wasn’t too exciting.

 

Afghanistan is where we got some good good food. You could smell that BBQ all the way down. We honestly just followed that smell of barbecuing meat and corn. Yeah, watch the video and drool. It was very tasty! We got both chicken and beef kebabs – no regrets on that purchase. But there really isn’t any place to comfortably sit and eat. So we just sat down on the grass and fed the kids and ate. Still not a bad experience for us, because it was really enjoyable to sit there and watch people as we ate.

Afghanistan
Beef & Chicken kebabs~

Palestine. Holds a special place in my heart. Putting aside all politics, I simply was in awe with the magnificence of Palestine. Coexisting for thousands of years with 3 major religions- in peace. It is something I think that can be achieved again.  Christian and Muslim Palestinians showcased pictures, history and art from Palestine.

Had to sit down on the ground to eat.

Afghanistan, is where the grill was at! The art showcased through their clothing, pictures, paintings to jewelry- it was incredible. Much has been taken from Afghanistan, but the human spirit, the art, the religion, the love, the hospitality of these people remain INTACT in all it’s beautiful glory. Through wars, through colonization, through invasion, through it all; losing so much, they smiled. It was heartfelt. The food was warm and flavourful. The culture- incredible. If you haven’t ever tasted Afghani food- GO OUT THERE NOW AND FIND SOME!

The lady kindly did Haythams hands for free.

India is where the henna art was at! $5 per hand is pretty standard, and Omera really wanted to get it done. And of course since Omera got it done, Haytham wanted it done too. The lady was nice enough to do cute smiley faces on both of Haythams hands. They had beautiful clothes and items native to the different parts of India. People often misunderstand India to be a strictly Hindu country, it’s not. There are different ethnic groups, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists. With ethnicities ranging from the Chinese, to African to Spanish. It’s truly a melting pot like you never knew it. Its not a ‘brown’ country as some people think…

FIJI!!! My Mother land!

Fijian Islands. My mothers home. My fathers home. My home. Where I was born, my grandparents and their grandparents born. Brought originally as indentured slaves of the British. Home of the Bula, to Island vibes, to coconut trees, to the clearest bluest sea’s you will ever see.  It was so great to see that Fijian flag and so good to see a bula shirt. Brought back waves of memories and feelings. Omera didn’t really understand too well that I was from this place. She only understood that she was half brown and half chinese …a little heartbreaking. But it’s not that she means anything of it. She only understands this much right now. It’s okay. Once she saw those hibiscus flowers and a bula shirt, I like to think she connected.

Dancing time!

South Africa- had the best impromptu performance! Complete with some booty moves. Seriously these ladies have such skills and their clothes- wow the colours! I really wanted to get in there and get me a shirt, but I didn’t want to squeeze through their performance. Watch the video and be in awe! They even got another guy from a different stall in to join! It was awesome!

Jamaica is where the bombastic smoothies are! I have never had a bombastic anything and I will have to confess, I love it. So tasty! The kids really couldn’t stop drinking it.

Bula bula!

Ecuador, we didn’t get a chance to get in there and look around since they were doing a performance. I’m not sure what the song or the dance was, but it was very nice! Got the vibes of the crowd watching swaying their hips!

Germany. THEY HAD A ROTISSERIE OF PORK! LIKE HOW!?!? Oktober fest was alive and well kicking at the German booth! They had a large crowd just taking pictures of the wow that was going on there. We don’t eat pork so we didn’t buy anything from there, but it was still incredible to see.

Musical Instruments of Togo!

Togo is where Omera got to experience musical instruments she had never played before. They were instruments she had never seen, but somehow she just knew how to play it. It was actually pretty interesting to see the sparkle in her eyes trying to play. I wish we had more time in this booth, but alas, Classified was waiting.

The Lolas were playing in the background. I had never heard of them, but wow that live performance had me going on my phone and following them immediately on instagram!

Classified!!!

After them was Classified. Of course my kids didn’t know who he was, Areeb didn’t know either. HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW!!! HE SANG OH CANADA!! If you don’t know Classified, how are you even living your life normally? You just feel like putting your arms up and bobbing your head along! If my kids hadn’t started getting a bit restless about going back to the amusement park again, I would have stayed till closing. But alas, we left mid way through the large crowd to the amusement park.  He sang one of my favorites “That ain’t classy” – it’s literally a very classy song!

The Lola’s!

The kids got to ride again in the night with everything lit up! It was actually just the perfect end to the perfect day.

Messing around with the mist machine!

My kids got to try so many new things at the Fusion Festival. From their first ever ferris wheel ride, to meeting Metis people, to learning about cultures they didn’t know about, to somewhat understanding they were half Fijian. They also got their first henna tattoos, first concert, first Jamaican smoothie, first time meeting a Police lady, trying food that they weren’t used to; living and experiencing is what we can give our kids.

I like to think and hope that they will continue to grow and learn from other cultures. We are not all the same, but that’s why we try to learn from each other. So that we understand, accept what’s different and hold hands regardless of it.

The night ended with smiles 🙂

See you Next Time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

Omera’s First China Trip

The Model Baby

First of all, I’m sorry the quality of the video and pictures is so bad. We didn’t have anything else but our cell phones. Of all the things we packed, we forgot the camera…sigh…

In 2013, we needed to make a  business trip to China. It was a little bit of a predicament. Both Areeb and I needed to be present in China at the same time, but we had baby Omera with us- who was just under 2 years old at that time.

My Pookie Bear!

I wouldn’t ever hire someone to watch my kids while I wasn’t present, much less in a different country, no matter how familiar I was with that country and no matter how well I knew the people. The only people I trusted with my child in China were my parents. So we decided to take my parents with us to China for 2 weeks.

Hong Kong Airport

It was a bit difficult for my dad since he could only stay with us for 4 days, but my mother could stay for the full 14 days to help watch Omera so we could get our business stuff done.

It was a hectic trip, full of short notices.

It was going to be my parents first trip there, even though Areeb and I had been regularly going to China since 2007. Areeb doesn’t have any known relatives in China so it wasn’t like we were visiting his family, but even if there was, I would still take my parents. Omera is familiar with them and would be an easier transition for her.

We prepared and packed and headed to China. When we got there, there were some things I knew to expect. Looks was one of them. We are a mixed couple, Areeb being Canadian born Chinese (well only 75% Chinese) and me being Fijian born Indian. I sort of knew already, based on our previous trips that we were going to get looks, and I might be approached for pictures, as I had been in the past. But what happened, surprised even me.

Group of people staring at Omera.

Omera became a little star. People randomly surrounded her and would take her picture, and come up to see the “Chinese baby with the huge eyes”…needless to say, I sometimes laughed, sometimes got scared.

Shop owner came from a different shop to see Omera.

It was all pretty lighthearted. I found out that Omera had made it on to Chinese social media- weibo…a video and picture of her was floating around while we were shopping at Dongmen market. Which was both a little funny and a little nerving. I haven’t been able to find that picture and video again- I wish I had saved it at the time.

Ready to order her food lol

Omera adapted really well surprisingly. That first night, I was a bit worried since we didn’t have our normal cow’s milk, and instead I had powdered milk that I got especially for her. China has had in the past some problems with milk, and I generally was very careful with the food we ate and where we would eat.

On alert: Night One in China.

And then there was the fact that we were going to be in a hotel- very different from her ‘home’. I brought along her favorite pillow (yes I took a pillow across the world with me in luggage). And some of her toys and of course the soother.

The first day, she wasn’t too happy. She started to cry and saying ‘go home’…and I was like uh oh….She loved the plane ride there so I honestly thought she would be okay. She slept on me the entire plane ride and wouldn’t even let me go to the potty. She enjoyed the rough turbulence – some of the worst we ever experienced landing into Hong Kong.

The pillow I took with me to china for her and her Teddy.

We whipped out our cell phones and lured her with sliding and kids swimming youtube videos- it was the topper! She was lured in! She settled in with her soother, watched videos for about 30 mins and fell asleep calmly accepting that she was going to sleep here now.

After that we had no problems with her! She adjusted so well! She explored the city of Shenzhen and Hong Kong with us. She tried different foods and got to walk around and be a little star of China for a little while.

Napping after a long day of stardom.

14 days went by really fast! We were so busy that we just didn’t have time to take photo’s or really enjoy our time even though I wanted to show my parents around more. I intend to take them again someday. But my dad’s afraid of the shopping there LOL My mom loves to shop- I mean don’t we all.

Now Omera has a little brother who’s with her to take care of for our trips to China, and she is a really amazing big sister so I’m sure she’ll help me out again if Haytham’s being tricky!

See You Next Time!
~~Lazina ~ ~

Boat Trip During Low Tide

Centennial Beach Trip

What’s a great idea on a Saturday afternoon when you have nothing better to do with the kids on summer vacation? Well you go to a beach with a inflatable boat and have fun!

Yay! Boating!

Bored? Why not go Boating.

With the kids bored and the pollution finally dying down in BC (from the multiple forest fires), the kids were getting restless being stuck inside for so long. We didn’t know exactly how long this clean weather would last, so we decided better to make the best of it.

We bought a boat a while back from Walmart, and thought this would be a good day to try it out!

It should be like 2minutes with the compressor.

We had an automatic compressor ready, the life jackets, and swim gear all ready to go! Even snacks and water of course! Got into the car and headed to the beach, there was one thing we forgot to check. The tide.

Got to hand pump instead…going to be 20minutes instead

The first annoyance was the setting up of the boat. The boat didn’t have the attachment for the compressor, so Areeb had to manually use the pump to inflate the boat. Honestly, we should have made sure of that beforehand, but oh well, lessons learned.

The kids meanwhile were getting antsy waiting. It took about 20 minutes to inflate this boat.

Becoming a little nuts

On top of that Haytham, being the restless little boy monster he is, fell down and needed some extra love to calm down. Really, they were both super good kids for being so patient.

Fell down running around
patience paid off

We got the kids all ready with their life jackets. They were super excited about the beach and water! And when we got there….low tide…I mean LOW LOW LOOOW tide.

It was just barely ankle deep on us, and we walked out for about 20 minutes and still, just barely inches up from the ankle.  You could literally cross to the other side without the water ever touching your knees. The life jackets were useless and so was the boat. Regardless we aimed to make the best of it! So the kids went ahead and splashed about in the water.

Just barely knee deep for the kids

For those who don’t know centennial beach is known for it’s low tides and then high tides that creep up pretty fast. It was so low that it created these small islands that I was able to stand on and take some video.

No point Areeb wearing a life jacket. lol

I will admit…I’m not a water person. I like the beach, sand and air and atmosphere, but not the water. I literally hate seaweed physically and fish and other things swimming around my legs- just thinking about it makes me so uncomfortable. I also had a blister on the back of my ankle which stung so badly being in the water.

Even though I went into the water, I escaped out of there as fast as I could.

Chilling in the sea

The kids had a pretty good time though. Despite not being able to really enjoy the boat as we planned. They got to pick some shells, dig around, splash and even made friends with a little girl who wanted to be in the boat- it was super cute!

All done!

When the tide picked up, so did the cold air. We got the kids out, washed them down and got them changed. Of course they were hungry after the water play, so I had snacks ready for them for the drive back home. They were both really sleepy, and for the first time since summer started they went to bed at 8pm.

All in all, that alone makes this a successful trip!

Any family disasters at the beach? Please watch our video above and comment 🙂 Thanks again for reading and for watching!

See You Next Time!

~~Lazina~~

Trying Japanese Food!

The All You Can Eat Experience

We have a weird family tradition. Every Saturday, we drive to Richmond, where Omera has her Chinese Lessons, and than we head to a popular Sushi restaurant for lunch. It’s the same restaurant my husband took me to for every single birthday while we were married, up until we had our first child. I guess this could explain why I packed on the weight. T_T Yikes.

We haven’t been going to Sushi like we used to after Haytham was born. Time constraints, scheduling and how busy the restaurant got were factors in why we instead had lunch at the Mall or packed lunches- it was just easier in so many ways.

Birthday Girl!

But after 3 years of not really going there much, Omera wanted for her birthday, sushi. We had already had her birthday dinner, with cake, and a pretty busy day at the play center. I was pretty surprised. She said she wanted to eat her favorite, deep fried scallops and seafood fried rice. Not many kids in the West eat things like scallops and seafood in general, but my kids got the taste for it. I guess from their Asian roots. Which is great because it’s important they like things outside of meat and veggies.

Waiting For Our Food!

So we decided to go. It was 9pm at night, luckily it was a Saturday night. She was pretty excited about it. But I worried, it had been a long time since we went, what if her taste had changed.

Seemed I was worried about nothing, since she remembered the staff really well and the staff remembered them really well- including the owner Ray who seems to adore them! They are always getting little perks like ice cream and candies- which would be another reason why we didn’t go too often.

Remembers the nice uncle who gives them treats!

We let the kids bring their tablets just this once since it was a special day, Omera’s birthday! It wasn’t by choice honestly, I was just exhausted from all the things we did that day- ugh I’m getting old.

Tablets on the dinner table- ugh parenting fails.

But the first round was miso soup! So for those who don’t know, there’s seaweed in it often. And Omera decided on her own to just try it. We have always made a habit for the kids to at least try 1 bite. And I guess it’s become a habit for her now. So she tried it and ate it LOL I can’t even eat seaweed. Not surprising that she didn’t like it.

MISOOO

They chowed down on deep fried scallops, Vegetable tempura, Yam tempura, seafood fried rice, stir fried vegetables, veggie yaki soba, rolls of different types and of course the raw stuff.

The kids and I don’t eat the raw stuff, my husband is the King of Sushi. Seriously, I plan to post up his own video of him eating 22 pieces of Salmon and 6 pieces of tuna sushi; and than plowing down other things that were on the table….the staff would worry if he’s going to pass out from the over load.

Round 1 for Husband’s sushi fix.
The kids favorite!

Meanwhile, I stick to the rolls (not too many since there is so much sugar in that rice) to yam tempura and salmon terriyaki, the soups and the vegetables and yakisoba are my usual go to’s. Since we are Muslim, and this restaurant isn’t Halal, we still to the seafood. We started going to this restaurant because it was the rare Sushi All You Can Eat that didn’t have sake in everything, but they did put sugar in so you got to watch out for that.

My lonely 2 rolls.

Omera hasn’t yet mastered using chopsticks, but everytime we go or even have Chinese food at home, she always insists using chopsticks! I love how much dedication she has to learn it! Haytham on the other hand just plays with them like drum sticks!

Seaweeed!
Trying her best!

Overall, late night Sushi was a nice end to a busy birthday. Omera was very happy and so was Haytham. This won’t become a regular for us, but it was nice to have it again after such a long time.

Learning chopsticks!

Perhaps we will visit again sometime! Not soon thought…because that was a lot of food.

Please watch the video, like and comment with what your favorite sushi is! And of course Subscribe for more videos. Thank you very much!

See You Next Time!

~~ Lazina ~~

Cosplay, Anime, Maid Cafe!

Anime Evolution Day!

This day needed 2 videos. The first video is of our time at Anime Evolution and the 2nd video is clips of the performances. Both videos give you an idea of how fun the event was! So please watch and like both! 🙂

If you have never heard of Anime- you have not been living right all this time.

New Anime I have never seen!
So cute! So fluffy!

I’m not a die hard fan of anime, but I do watch some anime’s and love the characters and stories! Of course everyone watched Sailormoon! You weren’t a 90’s kid if you didn’t! I remember rushing home after school in my elementary school days to watch the next episode of Sailormoon on YTV! Those were the carefree good old days.

Sailormoon power!!

I wanted Omera to watch some of the  anime I’ve watched when I was a kid. But when I think back to Sailormoon- it was pretty violent. Of course it had brave girls fighting evil – pre-dating the Wonder Woman movie. But there is a lot of violence, themes of scary things, and death…which I think my 6 year old shouldn’t be desensitized to this early.

So I thought back to the different animes out there and she started to watch Magical DoReMi and some CardCaptors- I had to kinda stop her from watching Card Captors because it does get pretty scary and the main character does have her nasty points!

But Magical DoReMi is awesome! Cute themes of friendship, doing your best, being honest and helping others- CHECK CHECK CHECK!

Cute stuff!
More Cute things!

So when  I told her about Anime Evolution that my good friend from High School told me about, I was sure Omera would love it! So we bought tickets!

Vector 7! Such lovely and kind ladies!
Vectorish!

It was a bit smaller then the large scale Comicon or Anime conventions which was good because I needed this to be family friendly! We saw a life performance by 2 idol groups called Vector 7 and Vectorish!

The fans!
Dedicated fans!

And even had a date set with the Maid Cafe with our very own Maid Charlene!

Beautiful Maid Charlene!
Maid Charlene at your service!

We saw different stalls of the different anime, some of which I had never known about or seen so that was interesting! It seems anime has progressed a lot since my time! The kids liked a few things so we got them souvenirs to remember this experience! Haytham bought a couple of erasers and a sketch pad – he’s 3 and can’t write so I’m not sure what he’s planning for it LOL

Cute Stuffies!

Omera wanted a cute pink Alpaca! Which I thought was a sheep at first, but it was large and fluffy and super adorable! It was also $50, but since she’s an overall very good kid, and super helpful in my daily routine with Haytham,  I felt she deserved it. So I got it for her. In exchange, her payment back would be a couple of extra chores, which she agreed to so it wasn’t a problem.

My pookie bears having fun!
Happy!

Maid Cafe was a blast! We reserved Maid Charlene- my friend since High School to be our Maid. We got a giant cookie and giant piece of carrot cake and a drink. Areeb and I had coffee, while the kids only option was cream soda—yikes sugar load! The kids had a great time! And we got to play a game of Sushi Go! I had never played it before and lost spectacularily!

Cookie!!!

We had an overall great day! We ended it with a nice dinner in North Vancouver and a nice drive through Stanley Park 🙂

We look forward to what Anime Evolution has planned next year!

See you next time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

Illumination Night Market!

Fun Family Time!

The summer time is when we get the most out of family time. The kids are out of school, and there’s plenty to do. Of course, planning and coordinating with kids is a bit hard even so. Because kids are out of school, but the parents still have to work. And it’s a bit of a juggle balancing both.

Although Areeb and I have pretty flexible hours and we don’t work most of the day, we do need to work. Areeb especially works on 2 different time zones, and with the kids summer sleeping habits, it’s not easy. Most nights, Haytham gets to sleep at 10pm and Omera at 11pm- which greatly cuts down the time to work. But this just means we get more time to spend with the kids.

There are some night though, we need  to do something that burns their energy, but also is quality time spent together. Not just us standing and watching them as they run around the playground.

What better solution than the Illumination Night Market in Richmond. There are 2 night markets in the summertime in Richmond BC. We call it the ‘Old Night Market’, since this one has been around since forever.

It’s fun, the kids get to walk around eat delicious treats, see cute toys and play around. There are the water balls like the New Night Market, but this one isn’t as busy. You can actually get to the food pretty easily, and you’re not fighting a sea of people. Which is nice because I don’t have to put Haytham on a baby leash (which he calls his jet pack LOL)

This was our first visit since the summer started to this night market. The kids were hoping that the bouncy castle would be there again this year, only to be disappointed. When we went on opening night, it seemed disorganized, and the bouncy castle was still in it’s deflated state. Many of the stalls weren’t open or closed too soon, and the performance didn’t start on time.

It was a bit of a let down, but that’s okay, we still had fun though!

The food was a great deal. Our favorite stall is the Uighur BBQ, it’s been there for years and it’s our favorite! We always order the chicken and lamb skewers! It’s a must if you go there! You can’t miss it, it’s the only one blowing smoke into people as they walk to get food.

This year we decided to try the Taiwanese ice cream. And wow let me tell you, you get a lot. It’s shaved ice on the bottom with strawberry syrup, then vanilla ice cream with strawberry syrup and fresh cut strawberries on top. It’s a freaking bucket basically. Haytham got mango so his was mango syrup and mango slices and Omera got strawberry. Both were incredible and a lot to finish off for the 4 of us.

A bonus this year was the mascots! There was a random horse, a cute teddy bear- who were both the most hilarious mascots ever! Haytham went nuts! He basically thought they were giant living stuffies and attacked them both. They horse and teddy took it in good sport. Watch the video.

Oh and grover from sesame street showed up too! The kids really loved it and got to take pictures with him!

We played some games! Ate some food. Looked at some toys, walked around and had a great time! The kids were both tired and asleep by the time we got home. Which means, that the night was a success.

I want to end this blog post by thanking you very much for reading and also for watching our youtube videos!

See you next time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

SPACE ADVENTURES!

H.R. Macmillan Space Center!

At Omera’s Preschool graduation in 2016, there was a wonderful party at her school. There was food, balloons and a wonderful graduation ceremony! It’s definitely more for the parents than the kids, but they had fun too.

During Omera’s ceremony, the teachers went to all the students and asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. Some kids said they wanted to be firemen, nurses, doctors, teachers and even princesses. Omera was the last one. When the teacher asked her, Omera proudly announced, that she wanted to save the planet. She wanted to be an Astronaut.

In Awe!

2 years later, she is still firm on that. She wants to be an astronaut. Sometimes she says she also wants to be a baker too, but never anything other than an Astronaut. This love for space came from a field trip that she attended during her Preschool year. They visited H.R Macmillan space center. It inspired her. Learning about the planets and how people have been into space; and how they live up there and work on the space station. Some spark just lit in her!

It turned into space everything. She even insisted watching space shows and programs and wanted to learn more about how the different planets looked.

So one day after a half day at school, we decided to surprise her by taking her back to H.R Macmillan Space Center. They had a different show playing at the dome projector and a new show about stars at the live show. She was so delighted but a bit nervous, since the weight of how much it would take to be an astronaut dawned on her.  She saw the space center with different eyes.

Rocket Engine!

We weren’t allowed to take video or pictures inside the projector dome- which sucks. Because it’s incredible! You get live views of the different planets as they look at that time, not to mention a live view of different parts of space and stars. The kids also gained so much knowledge of how many planets are outside of our solar system.

The only small clip I have of the dome projector! It’s incredible! You sit back and look up at a 360 degree view of the sky.

As adults, Areeb and I learned a ton too! For example, NASA has actually found many planets that are Earth like beyond our galaxy. And they have mapped literally hundreds of other galaxies outside of our own, and even know about this one portion of space that literally has nothing but black space. Which was intriguing!

We also learned a ton about Stars and how Astronomers know what stars are made up of simply by the colours they emit. It’s honestly the best live show. It was informative and unique. A live experience with fun demonstrations. The presenter was also super hilarious! If you get a chance to watch our youtube video, watch past the ending credits to watch bits of the show! It’s great! I would have loved to post the entire show, but it was really long,  plus I think this way it will motivate people to go to H.R Macmillan Space Center and catch the space world bug!

Funniest presenter! But very informative! Watch our youtube video of him after the ending credits.

It’s all very educational and fun.

The down side was that a lot of the little gadgets weren’t working. And it’s super dark throughout the space center- and I forgot to turn on my night settings on my camera >_< A lot of the footage is very dark and fuzzy because of it!

Not really working properly.

They also don’t have a cafeteria- which sucks! Because if you come during a school trip thinking you could buy lunch there you’re in trouble. You will have to leave the parking lot and drive to find something. They have some vending machines with chips and chocolate, but don’t use the hot chocolate/ coffee vending machine- it’s watered down and tasteless. A serious waste of money.

There was also no table area where we could sit down and eat. There was seating space downstairs where the vending machines are. We sat down and had our sandwiches there, but it wasn’t the most comfortable with the kids.

Having fun with their interactive simulators.

But the upside was everything else, including a giant telescope that they have right next  door to the space center that you can specially come and star gaze from! Make sure you check the weather, if it’s good, head down and get ready to see space and the constellations like you never have before!

Prepare well for the trip. It is pay parking. Also remember to pack a lunch or snacks. But be careful to not eat around any of the exhibits.

Future Astronaut!

All in all, the space centre is both educational and fun! If you have kids, or even as adults, go there.  Pack a nice lunch, go out to the front by the giant statue of a crab (not sure why but there is) and enjoy Earth 🙂

If you would like to visit H.R Macmillan, visit their site.
http://www.spacecentre.ca/
1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9
(604)738-7827

It’s a great spot for families, tourists looking to see something they won’t forget and for kids. It’s a must if you’re in Vancouver! Please check their hours, as they do have different prices for age groups and holiday hours.

See you next time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

MUSLIM FOOD FESTIVAL!

Literally Time to Eat!

What comes after Ramadan? Eid! For those who don’t know what Ramadan and Eid are. It’s a very spiritual time for Muslims across the globe. A billion Muslims every year participate in what is revered to be a time of peace, self reflection, religion, community and most importantly, charity (zakat as it is called).

During Ramadan, we fast for a month- so from sundown to sunset, we do not eat or drink.  We eat and drink at sunrise, and then break our fast at sunset. This year was particularly hard, since it was about 18 hours of no eating or drinking. It was difficult to say the least. But we hold steady in our conviction to pursue God and his favor by giving away what we would have eaten or drank. That plays into the charity. After the month of Ramadan is over, Muslims then celebrate in the largest food festival on Earth: Eid.

I’m going to eat this jelly, because I can.

Imagine 1 billion people coming together and just eating? Yeah, it’s a party alright! It is a celebration of completing starving and thirsting yourself into being a more pious and patient person.

Areeb sneaking some snacks

If you have never known what it feels like for a person in a 3rd world country to go hungry for a week without food and water- well Ramadan is that reminder, that you should be grateful, that you should give back and remember those who cannot eat or drink. To thank God almighty, for the favors he has given you. You’re life may not be perfect, but you were lucky enough to be born a person who is wealthy enough to be reading this on the Internet.

Eid is the time for families to visit, to come together and share food, and love. To bless each other and to pray for those who have completed Ramadan and for those who could not due to health conditions or other circumstances.

Sharing is Caring!

Since I am Fijian born Canadian, our family does Eid a little differently than what other Muslims from the Middle East would consider normal. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually pretty cool- but tiring.

We go pray Eid prayer in the morning, come back home, deck out in our nicest outfits, prepare the gifts we will be presenting to family; and head on out! We go from family to family house, sometimes up to 20 houses when I was younger.  Sit and talk, and eat delicious food! You legit gain back whatever you lost during Ramadan (if you lost any weight).

Enjoying some Eid Candy

This time is a fun time for kids! They get what’s called “eidie”. Usually money or presents! They love it. Back in my day, I would cash in about $130. Not too shabby 🙂

Playing with Eid goodies.

This year though, we only did about 5 houses. The weather was simply too hot, and the kids were getting very sugared up and very tired. Haytham missed his nap and was over loaded on sugary snacks, but he did pretty well.

My aunts get together every year and do their Eid Open House together in one place. Which is extremely helpful. My kids remembered from the previous year that they have a kids station, with fun things to do and goodie bags! They could only focus on it! So it was our first house!

Auntys food spread was incredible! 🙂
The kids station!

For our Open Eid House, we did it at my wonderful mothers house again with my lovely sister in law. With the kids at home, I still somehow managed to make Korean style BBQ chicken with lettuce wraps. Strawberry rice krispies (I’m somewhat of a expert in making rice krispies) And coconut oil fried Chinese style chicken wings! My mom and my sister in law did the brunt of the cooking though.

Feeling hungry?
There’s more food.

They made beef curry, peas with potato curry, with puri (a deep fried small roti) Indian sweets like lado and barfee, to western classics like Lemon roll cake, macaroons made by “BakeTillYouBreak”, to berry cheesecakes made by my sister in law! Yeah, we went all out!

If you want to get cakes done, check out BakeTillYouBreak on instragram– this girl is only 14 years ago and crazy talented!

We did it outdoors again this year simply because it’s HOT OUTSIDE! We also decorated it festively!

Eid Mubarak- meaning Happy Eid!

Omera was patiently waiting for kids to come, but not many came.  Because this year our Open House was on July 1st- Canada’s 150th birthday….what were we thinking!? But still it was a fun night for the kids. They got to eat tons of junk food, and played the whole day outside. Omera even got a sleep over at her grandparents house.

By the end of the night, Haytham was so exhausted, he couldn’t last the 2 minutes it takes to drive from my mothers house to our home.

At the end of the night when I was reviewing all the footage, I regretted horribly for not changing the settings on my camera to do a better job of recording the night time sparklers fun! >_< Alas, there’s always next year right.

A box each of sparklers!
Haytham already used his sparklers with my mom helping him.

All in all, the food, the family, the sparklers and fun; it was a great night! Next year, I will plan better for sure!

Looking forward to Ramadan 2018 🙂

See you next time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~

HORSE RIDING BARN EXPERIENCE!

School Field Trip!

If you ever think back to fond childhood memories, I’m sure one of those memories will take you back to a school field trip! Fun and educational, just a great ol’ time and a marker of school experience.

After reading, watch the video above or click here to watch on youtube. We are going to do a Part 2 of the video, so subscribe and click on the ‘grey bell’ to get notifications on the next video.

Getting back to the field trip!

Omera attended a fantastic Montessori based school, First Choice. This preschool, after-school care, plus KG program is the best decision I have ever made. The school is run by 3 fantastic ladies, Brenda (the founder) Bal and Natasha. These incredible ladies blend true Montessori style of learning and teaching as well as good old fundamentals like drilling and testing. It’s honestly the perfect blend and in just 2 1/2 hours each day, 5 days a week, First Choice took Omera from knowing her basics, to grade 1 level when she was just 4 years old.

One of the other things these ladies do, is invest in quality time. And one of the ways they do that is field trips. It was because of First Choice’s preschools field trip when Omera was 4 to the H.R Macmillian space center that Omera decided to became an astronaut. That stuck to this very day. She’ll say baker sometimes, but for the most part it’s always astronaut- although lately she’s been saying Astronaut baker LOL

This year, they went to the Horse ranch, A & T equestrian Ranch in Langley British Columbia. This place was the perfect place to experience barn yard life, and how to take care of Horses.

Looking pretty nervous!
Patiently waiting!

Areeb took Omera, and I stayed home with Haytham 🙁  We really did consider for all of us to go, but Haythams a little fuss ball sometimes. He wouldn’t be able to understand that he’s not allowed to go on the big horses like his sister, which would most likely result in an epic tantrum- which would probably never end T_T.

Omera had never rode a horse before, so she was pretty nervous. She thought they would be pony sized but it turned out that they were actually full size horses! She was nervous, but so was Areeb since he wasn’t really used to big horses either.

Excellent, well trained, professional staff for sure!
Its Omera’s turn!

Needless to say, both Omera and Areeb had some bonding time at this wonderfully kept Ranch. Unlike some barns I’ve experienced in the past, this place took good care of the animals, really made good bonds with them, and also kept the barnyard poop free for the most part. The space was huge, with little ponies, but the highlight was for sure the Horsies!

Feeding Time! Again, excellent staff!

If you ever go, be sure to wear comfortable clothes, boots and bring a helmet if you want to ride the horses! It’s a ranch with horses, so there’s going to be some poop.

If you watch the video, you’ll see that Omera’s horse actually stopped mid ride to do the biggest pee of it’s life! It shocked Areeb and all he could do was half laugh/half panic as this horse went potty. 🙂

Having a pretty good time!
Still a bit nervous >_<

Omera had a great time, despite being afraid at first. But she got over her fear and even fed one of the horses. She and Areeb enjoyed a small lunch I prepared for them, and got to speak to the other parents and kids. So over all, a very enjoyable day for both daddy and daughter.

It was a stellar choice on First Choices part to pick this ranch! A&T Equestrian has riding programs, birthday parties, and even camps! And like I said, it’s not a run down place, it’s actually really nicely kept and a huge ranch!

Walking a cute pony!

It was for sure a memorable field trip! And we have the pictures and video to enjoy for years to come! I’m sure she will look back fondly to this memory and would be glad that she got to experience new things! 🙂

Learning some grooming skills.
Close up!

Visit A&T Equestrian’s site for more info:  http://www.aandtequestrian.com/

See you next time!

~ ~ Lazina ~ ~