Happy 2016!

My friends and I were debating what to do for New Year’s Eve this year.  My best friend usually throws a New Year’s Eve bash at her house with all our closest friends but this year I think we may keep it low key.  They are a 4 hour drive away and we just got back into Toronto.

Last year, I was in Time Square ringing in the New Year in NYC.  It was a last minute girls’ trip to the Big Apple so it’ll be nice to spend NYE in town this year.  Although I do love getting all dressed up while anticipating the count down, just the thought of being curled up in my warm PJs at home sounds pretty amazing too. However…I have the perfect New Year’s dress and it was $12.00 at Kind Exchange!  I don’t like spending a lot on a New Year’s Eve dress, especially since I usually only wear it once.  I guess I could always keep it for next year 🙂

Glittery NYE dress from Kind Exchange

I hope everyone had an amazing and relaxing holiday!  We spent a few nights in a pretty hotel room…thanks to both sets of moms and dads:)  It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday and get some R&R.  I got to sleep in and read until the afternoon!  I just finished reading #GIRLBOSS…and it was a quick and easy read so I definitely recommend it.  It’s a true story about a girl finding her calling in the online fashion world selling Vintage Clothing on Ebay.  It was such a luxury for me because my husband likes to be up at the crack of dawn so his day isn’t wasted but being in a hotel allowed him to relax and sleep in with me too.  Although his relaxing includes getting up (earlier than me) and heading to the gym at the hotel.
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One of my New Year’s resolutions is to always remember how fortunate I’ve been.  Not only am I surrounded by amazing friends and family but I’m so fortunate to call Canada my home.  This year I would like to welcome all the new Syrian families arriving here in Canada.  I have to remember my humble beginnings too.  Canada allowed my family the same opportunities they are giving these Syrian families!  We also left a war torn country and came with all the uncertainties each of those families are experiencing.  During this time, my father was reminiscing about our journey to Canada. When flying over from the Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, a wonderful family donated their children’s winter coats to my sister and I.  My parents tried to refuse but they insisted that their children had many more at home.  A Belgian musician sitting in first class slipped $20 U.S. in my coat pocket and another American family gave the same amount in my sister’s pocket.  She was only a baby and I was a toddler.  My dad wished he had the names or address of those kind-hearted folks.  We sat right behind the partition of first class.  They kept the curtains open and it allowed my father to converse with many of them in French.  During the time of the Khmer Rouge regime, my father had to conceal that he was educated.  A secret that could have cost him his life.  His secret about being able to converse in both English and French no longer had to be kept…what a blessing!

Their simple act of kindness became a part of the few possessions we had as we embarked on our journey to Canada.  It was also the driving force that gave my family the determination to become proud Canadian Citizens!

To pay it forward, we brought Christmas to the home of a new Syrian family.  My mom bought new small appliances, cutlery, cups and dishes & plates for the family.  While my sisters and best friend bought toys for the kids. We relayed the story about delivering our gifts to the family on Christmas day over dinner one night.  When my sister-in-law, Winnie, heard the story, she also wanted to contribute and she went way out!  It was such a touching and heart felt experience!  I hope we made their first Christmas in Canada a memorable one!

These gifts in the picture are all from Winnie (a few days after Christmas). She wanted to deliver them herself but that evening there was a huge snow storm so we delivered them for her.

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Our family loves spending the holidays together.  Last year, my sis Tiff got us the cutest matching onesies right before our NYE trip to New York!

This year we were twinsies with our besties!
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I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2016 filled with love, happiness and good health!!