Category Archives: Brown Suga Adventures

Family Getaway Fun At Viamede Resort aka My First Cottage Experience

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At the beginning of 2016, I had my heart set on taking a grand trip somewhere. Anywhere. I was in desperate need of a change of scenery, and I needed it fast. Unfortunately, life’s obligations had other plans, and my getaway wishes got pushed further and further down my list of priorities.

I thought all hopes for a family vacation this calendar year were dashed – until I learned about Viamede Resort.

Nestled on the shores of Stoney Lake in Ontario’s Kawarthas, Viamede is a rustic resort that has actually been around since 1885. In 2010, Ben Samann purchased the resort and transformed it into a delightful space for people who desire a getaway off the beaten path – literally.

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On a Friday evening in early November, HomieLuva, Little Magician, and I packed up our car and headed east to Viamede. At a mere 2 hour drive from Toronto, escaping the city isn’t that difficult – and the drive was actually a beautiful one for this chick who hasn’t been further east than Durham Region. Driving at night made us lose the effect of seeing the gorgeous fall foliage along the way, but there would be much more time for that through the weekend.

We arrived at Viamede, a large resort area consisting of a main building (housing the reception, individual hotel rooms, fitness area, and common lounge space called Club 1885), cottages, Boathouse Restaurant, and the jewel of the resort, the Mount Julian Inn. Upon check in, we drove back to our cottage – and I held my breath at the door.

Full disclosure – I’ve never been camping, never stayed in a cottage, and “rustic” is me sitting on my back deck overlooking my little grassy backyard. I didn’t know what to expect with our Viamede cottage – but I opened the door and breathed a sigh of relief. It was clean! And quaint! And cute! And comfy!

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We quickly settled into our 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom cottage (complete with living room, dining area, full kitchen and wrap-around porch), and welcomed our friends and their toddler daughter to enjoy the space with us.

What to do:

I figured that Viamede would be poppin’ in the summertime, but wondered what we’d be able to do in the latter part of fall. The little ones (and us big ones) had a ton of fun hiking, watching grasshoppers, and jumping in piles of leaves, and we spent a LOT of time doing just that.

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We got to kick back and relax with complimentary snacks and drinks at Club 1885, splash around in the indoor pool (connected to an outdoor hot tub), skip rocks into Stoney Lake, explore the nature trails, and had way too much fun on the outdoor playground (I still can’t do monkey bars).

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Back in our cottage, the 6 of us had more than enough space to allow the little ones to play, and allow us big ones to kick back with a drink or two once they went to bed. And when it was time for us to turn in? The rooms were spacious and the beds were deliciously comfortable. Wins all around.

What to eat:

Eating is one of my favourite pastimes, and Viamede didn’t let me down. Our first meal was at the homestyle Boathouse Pub, where we were treated to delicious burgers, fresh-cut fries, wings, salads, pizza, pasta, and more. The staff were extremely accommodating to my groups’ nut allergy and gluten-free needs, and the food hit the spot.

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The breakfast buffet (included in each guests’ stay) was probably one of the best resort/hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had. Incredibly fresh sausages, crispy bacon, grilled tomatoes, scrambled eggs, breads of all kinds, hash browns, yogurt, cereal, you name it. It was the kind of breakfast that you wish you could start every day with, and eating while looking out onto Stoney Lake set the perfect vibe each morning.

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For HomieLuva and I’s exquisite dinner at the prestigious Mount Julian Inn, we were taken care of by none other than Ben Samann, General Manager and owner of Viamede. We sat down to an utterly delicious 5 course meal (we could have also chose a 7- or 9-course meal, were it not for toddler time constraints) with fresh cuisine and accompanying wine pairings. And when I say fresh, I mean fresh. Mount Julian Inn and the other eateries on the resort make a point to utilize ingredients sourced right on site to create their delicious meals. From the fish to the Cornish hen to the asparagus to the quinoa bread to the poppyseed butter and hempseed hummus – pretty much everything you eat comes from Viamede’s farms. Our meal at Mount Julian Inn was intimate (only 9 tables in the whole place!), romantic, absolutely delicious, and complete with a little happy buzz from all the wine. A definite highlight of our stay.

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How to relax:

One of the things I was most motivated to do during my weekend at Viamede was to unplug and relax.

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I meditated each morning on the porch overlooking the green space and the lake, and wished I could recreate a bit of that peace and serenity back home. I was initially annoyed by the lack of WiFi in our cottage (don’t worry – you can easily get internet access at the main building) – but I eventually grew thankful for the opportunity to really disconnect. The TV had one sports channel, but a combination of our favourite DVDs, dope adult conversation,  and hilarious childhood imagination kept us well entertained.

Walking the grounds and nature trails really brought me back to a space of not having to rush, not having any time restrictions, not having to be anywhere I didn’t want to be – and instead just re-learning how to be present in the moment.  Also, traveling with children reminded us about the wonders of seeing things with new eyes – the magic of red, yellow, and orange leaves was renewed for me through them, and it was a pleasant, necessary shift.

Final verdict:

Viamede was the perfect getaway for us, at the perfect time. A place that can satisfy adults and toddlers isn’t easy to find, but we found it here. If you’re considering a family trip to Viamede, there are some things to keep in mind. Since Mount Julian Inn isn’t really a kid-friendly venue, we’re lucky we had friends with us, or we wouldn’t have been able to partake. And when we thought of our older tween goddaughter, we figured she might not enjoy a visit to Viamede in the fall – summer yes, but without the added water activities and ability to enjoy the sun and warmth, older kids might get a bit bored. All that to say, if kids are in the mix, timing is an important factor. We met people who were there to attend a wedding, a raucous girl’s group, and couples who were there for a romantic weekend – so Viamede definitely offers something for almost everyone.

Small details and areas for improvement caught my eye – making sure utensils and mugs are pristine in the common areas, extending the windows for lunch and dinner availability, perhaps working on the WiFi in cottages (or maybe not – there are pros and cons as I found), and closing off the opening between the indoor pool and outdoor hot tub during the cold months (the pool was a tad chilly indoors). Minor yet notable things that could have made a fabulous experience even better, but nothing that drastically took away from the weekend.

All in all, we had a wonderful time at Viamede. Our curiosity is tingling with thoughts of what a summer weekend stay would look like (access to the water? Bonfires at night? Seeing even more of the grounds?) so we may very well be back! But don’t let the time of year discourage you from planning a city escape – Viamede is open all year round, so you’ll be able to enjoy yourself no matter the season! If you go – let ’em know Bee sent you!

All in all – I might be willing to choose a cottage over a cushy luxe hotel from time to time, so I thank Viamede for introducing this city girl to country life.

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This post was sponsored by Viamede Resort, but all opinions are authentically mine. Special thanks to Ben, Laura, Deanna, and the Viamede staff! 

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Celebrating The ‘Modern Day Dad’ Through Word & Film

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When it comes to marriage and long-term relationships, you can sometimes fall into a trap of believing that you know everything about your partner. You feel you know their choices and can predict their actions with ease – then they turn around and do something that shakes up your view and makes you truly say, “Wow – I didn’t see that one coming.”

I am fully aware that this can happen in both positive and negative contexts, but for those of you reading, I hope more of the happy surprises come your way than the alternative. This recently happened to me, when HomieLuva told me “I have an idea to do a film,” then a few weeks later showed me an actual trailer for the completed piece.

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Modern Day Dad gives an inside view to fatherhood – particularly Black fatherhood – in today’s society. Fathers of all kinds (new dads, single dads, dads who have great relationships with their dads and ones who never knew their dad, etc.) use this space to talk about what they experience in this identity, and their stories are rounded out by featured children, partners, and professionals of various backgrounds. It’s an important conversation, and I’m so proud of HomieLuva and his team for pulling it off. Though I’m not featured in the film, I wrote a piece for him on For Harriet this time last year that spoke (and still speaks) to how I feel about him as a father:

Dear J,

On June 21, 2014, life as we knew it shifted, ballooned, and took on new shape. Our daughter burst into the world accompanied by the summer solstice sunrise, bringing with her the gift of new identities for the two of us. Taking on the roles of mother and father, we were immediately thrust into on-the-job training with this beautiful brown baby as our only guide.

Growing into motherhood has been incredible, but a hidden corner of my heart has been filled by watching you step into your being as a father. On one hand, I’m not surprised. If I ever wavered in my faith that you would be an excellent dad, we wouldn’t be here right now. The unexpected part of it all has been bearing witness to just how you’ve taken the baton of fatherhood and ran with it. Those before you stumbled and succeeded in their own ways, but this is your race to run, at your pace, with your unique stride.

You’re an “all in” kind of dad, and hesitation is not part of your process. Save for labour, delivery, and breastfeeding, I’d be hard-pressed to find any other act of parenting that you haven’t been able to do. Your fatherhood is more than presence—it is deliberate action and intentional love; a fertile soil where our daughter can take root and thrive.

You’ve become equal parts provider and nurturer. Building her crib is as important as smothering her with kisses in it each morning. You’ve taught her the wonders of soca music, and you’ve learned that detangling her hair is much easier with a wide-tooth comb when wet. From doctor’s appointments to daddy-daughter dates and everything in between, you’re in this 100%.

You spent six months as a stay-at-home dad. I’ve never seen you smile more, never heard you laugh more, never felt more appreciated once you understood the work required at that level of caregiving. Was it easy? No. Was it soul-fulfilling? You remind me everyday that it was. The proof is in the bond between you and her: the inside jokes you share, the way she settles instinctively into the crook of your arm and nuzzles into your neck, the way you look at her, then look at me and smile.

Here we are—June 21, 2015. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, which is fitting. No other day is better equipped to encompass the momentous celebration of our daughter’s first birthday and your first Father’s Day. While we rejoice and mark her first turn around the sun, I cheer for you, too. I was the daughter who wished for more from her father at times. I am the woman who hoped for a team player in this parenting game. Every day you give our daughter the love she needs, and you give me the partnership I desire.

Happy Father’s Day. It’s been a blessing watching you bloom.

Modern Day Dad premieres on Father’s Day, June 19th 2016 at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, and you can get all the details and tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/modern-day-dad-tickets-25044609100

Happy (early) Father’s Day to all the real ones, the hold-it-down ones, the I-learned-from-my-mistakes ones. I’ll be celebrating with some of the best dads I know at the Modern Day Dad screening, and I hope you’ll join us too.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Happy Birthday, Little Magician

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Cut the cake and and pop the champagne – 1 year of motherhood is in the books!

Little Magician’s 1st birthday went down last week. I was overcome with emotion and a touch of the flu, but still managed to pull off a great celebration of life with our family and friends.

In one year, so many cliched sayings and parables about time, motherhood, and love have proven why they’re continuously passed down from generation to generation. Now I see why they say “Kids grow so fast.” I see why motherhood is referenced as having your heart exist outside of your body. I see why the connection between a mother and child is one of the most powerful yet inexplicable things in the universe.

In one year, I’ve learned so much about myself, my daughter, my husband, and my own mother. I’ve begun to redefine and reshape things like success, family, marriage. I’ve reaffirmed my commitment to leaving my mark on the world and doing the work to help make this a better place for her. She’s filled me with a new fearlessness and added a depth to my drive – on those days where I feel like I can’t go any further, her presence has brought me a new reserve to dip into.

And what can I say about this little fireball who burst into my life on the first day of summer in 2014? She’s smart and dramatic and a comedian who also loves a good joke. She thinks she can do the same things as adults and kids older than her, and won’t believe any different. She has a thing for soca music and the trap songs her uncle plays for her (we’ve gotta cut that out soon), and has a newfound interest in Nina Simone. She hears music and she dances. She poops and she automatically props her legs up on the closest object to her. She sees me, and – most times- she smiles.

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I learned (too late) that moms on mat leave can get a discount on their car insurance. I learned (right in time) that those shoulder slits on baby onesies aren’t just to get them over their gigantic heads, but to give you room to roll onesies down over their bodies should you encounter an explosive poop situation. I’ll never forget how important it is to request a visit from a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital. I’ve learned so many things to help with the next first year (should a magical sibling be in the cards), but for now I remember how fast time goes and make sure to stop, smell the roses, and learn with and from the little magical being I have with me right now.

I’m grateful for this little online space and the new inspiration motherhood has given me. If you missed them before, check out some of my fave posts over the course of this journey so far:

My first letter to my Little Magician 

Facing post-partum depression

My breastfeeding experience

Little Magician’s first job

Here’s to the year that was, and the many, many more to come. Happy birthday, Little Magician.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

The ‘Single For A Week’ Diaries

March 17, 2015

Why did I agree to this?

HomieLuva and Little Magician are leaving for New York City tomorrow, and I’m sitting here wondering what I’m really going to do with myself for a week while they’re gone.

Sure – it’ll mean a few nights of uninterrupted sleep and a few days of zero familial responsibility, but at what cost? Despite what he says, will HomieLuva really going to be OK travelling with her and all her accoutrements by himself? And what is it going to be like when she realizes she hasn’t seen me for a week?

I’ve never gone a day without my little baby. I don’t like to go for too long without my big baby. So, a week? I don’t know.

March 18, 2015

I’m home.

I kept it together through the day and all the way to the airport. I parked, helped HomieLuva check in, and I was cool. But once I reached as far as I could go with them, to the point where travellers and non-travellers say their farewells, my fortitude cracked. I was crying, Little Magician was giggling, and HomieLuva was just excited to get to their gate.  “You’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll be back before you know it,” he said. I didn’t believe it, but decided to put on my best brave face for the long walk back to the car.

Instead of rushing back to an empty house, I went to a homegirl’s for dinner and a long-overdue catch-up session. I planned to leave after dinner. Then I said I’d go after watching Empire. Then I got a call from HomieLuva that they arrived safely, and I stayed to watch Catfish. Then I stayed a bit more until I figured I had overstayed my welcome, and finally headed home.

It’s quiet. Quiet seems weird, but here we are.

Little Magician ready for takeoff
Little Magician ready for takeoff

March 20, 2015

HomieLuva’s been good about keeping in touch, sending me pictures and videos, and putting me on speakerphone with Little Magician while retelling her reactions to my voice.  He’s having a great time catching up with his family, and she’s loving playing with her NYC cousins. The days seem to be moving slowly and I miss them – but I’d be lying if I said that the last couple of full nights’ sleep didn’t have a sista feeling brand new.

(Don’t tell Little Magician I said that, though.)

In keeping with the Me Time theme of being left behind while my loves take a bite out of the Big Apple, I decided to get my hair done. It felt nice (and a bit odd) to not have to rush home to take care of somebody, but it felt even better to come home with a beautiful head of hair that required no work on my end.

I grabbed some McDonald’s on the way home and was happy that I didn’t have to sneak it in the house, away from the prying, anti-McD’s eyes of my husband. For real though – what addictive agent do they put in those fries?

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March 22, 2015

This weekend really feels like a throwback to my days as a bachelorette who lived on her own and came and went as she pleased. Last night I got dolled up and headed to Yorkville to celebrate a girlfriend’s birthday, then slept over at said girlfriend’s place – watching TV, talking mess and cracking jokes – and I had a ball. Going out, staying up late, sleeping in…I used to just, do this?

This afternoon I recorded a video of myself talking and singing Little Magician’s favourite song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” and sent it to HomieLuva. He messaged me back to say that as soon as she saw it, she started laughing and clapping along. Then he messaged me to say he had to stop messaging me – when the video ended she’d cry, so he had to keep it going on repeat ’til she was satisfied. My baby hasn’t forgotten about me. Phew.

March 21, 2015

I haven’t felt this refreshed in forever. I don’t remember the last time I got this quality of sleep, so I’m soaking it up. Stretching out in the bed each morning makes me giggle with delight, so even though I miss cuddling with the boo, a lil bit of space ain’t never hurt nobody. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, n’ shit, right?

HomieLuva told me that Little Magician and her toddler cousin have been attached at the hip since they met. The videos and pictures definitely aren’t doing justice at showing me the new skills she’s learning and all the mischief she’s getting into, and it hit me today that I’ve really almost survived a week without her. A week in baby development is like an eternity – so I’m  excited to see this new and improved version of Little Magician when she comes home in a couple of days.

Until then..lemme stretch out a bit more before I get up for work.

March 24, 2015

So, I’m feeling a bit Beyonce-ish right now. I took some time to get my eyebrows threaded and got the best Brazilian wax of my life, and I’m a brand new woman. I swear I walked down the street in slow motion with a wind machine aimed in my direction.

HomieLuva and Little Magician are back tomorrow, and my brain is torn in two directions. On one side, I’ve gotten a bit too used to having Me Time all the time – doing what I want when I want how I want, with no one asking me anything, telling me anything, or needing me to feed/clean/entertain them. In true Taurus form, I love leisure – and once I started making the most of this alone time, I remembered just how much some indulgent self-care matters.

Then on the other hand – I miss my heartbeats way too much. I want to hug my beautiful daughter, hear her giggle, watch her sleep. And as far as HomieLuva goes…well, this Brazilian wax ain’t just for my enjoyment.

March 26, 2015

They’re back!

After a delayed flight and a bumpy ride home, my big baby and my little baby finally emerged from baggage claim to the arrivals waiting area. I made sure to give HomieLuva a kiss and hug first, then turned to greet Little Magician in her stroller – admittedly a bit nervous about what her reaction would be.

When the flight got delayed and everyone was ushered off the plane, HomieLuva and LM got a tour of the cockpit thanks to staff!
When the flight got delayed and everyone was ushered off the plane, HomieLuva and LM got a tour of the cockpit thanks to staff!

A slow smile spread across her face, and I imagined she was thinking, “Do I know this lady? Wait – I think I know this lady. YES! I know this lady!” Then she sat up in her chair (which I’d never seen her do before) and stretched her arms out to me.

The airport floor tasted my tears one more time.

I spent the evening cuddling with HomieLuva and watching Little Magician display all the new things she learned to do over the week. I showed him the permanent purple highlights I got, gushed about the fun I had in Yorkville, and vented about the minor and major annoyances that I wanted to share with him all week. He told me his solo travelling parent tales, the scoop on our NYC family, and – of course – how much he missed me.  I also told him about my awesome waxing experience too, but that’s grown folks’ business.

When I went to sleep last night, I had less space in the bed thanks to HomieLuva, and less sleep overall thanks to Little Magician hollering for a diaper change at 4am. All the same, things felt right, and my house felt like a home again. My week as a single lady showed that taking time for me is so crucial – but hopefully it won’t take another 7 days away from my family to remind me of that.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Canon Canada #BabyMoments Pt. 2

Just so ya know: This post was created in partnership with Canon Camera. 

I’ve been having so much fun playing with Little Magician and my Canon Rebel SL1!  I’ve also been loving the updated Baby Moments Facebook app – revamped this week with tons more baby picture-takin’ fun!

Our photo shoot continued with some great shots using tips from Stephanie Robin – the award-winning baby photographer who assisted with the creation of the app:

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Airborne: Grandma helped me out with this shot, hoisting LM up for an aerial shot. Make sure you have a toy on hand or you sing a song to keep baby’s eyes on yours for a great picture.

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Sleeping: A simple shot, but get different views by taking it from different angles and playing with the camera settings.

I’ve been addicted to the Canon SL1 since I received it. Discovering menu settings for creative filters like black & white and fish eye views have given me bang for my photo buck. I’ve been able to toss my camera in my purse and head out for the day, capturing great shots on the go.  I learn a new skill or trick every time I shoot with it, and can’t wait to see what other special moments I’m able to document! Speaking of special moments, I took some photos during LM’s first snow day! Here’s a shot:

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She was so confused by the snowflakes falling on her face – adorable!

The Baby Moments app added some cool features – you can now create personalized magazine covers with your little one, and also make beautiful birth announcement posters! Check out my little ‘Famous Baby’:

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Some photography tips I’ve learned:

  • Lighting is everything. Adjust your positioning around your light source and see how bright/shadowy your photos come out.
  • Toys are a photoshoot savior! Have them to keep your baby focused, or let them play and get some cute candids.
  • Get in and get out. I’m not sure about your little one, but LM isn’t a fan of doing any one thing for too long. Keep it fun and fresh, but keep your photoshoots short.

If you have a baby or know a baby, definitely check out Canon’s Baby Moments Facebook app – from the novice to the photography expert, you’ll find something there to help you create beautiful and fun photos of the special little human.

Now – what you all have been waiting for: the winner of the Selphy CP900 Wireless Compact Photo printer! There were so many great comments on last week’s post and lots of people chiming in on Twitter. It was a tough decision, but congrats to Sophia Campbell-Johnson! Please email me at bee[at]thebrownsugamama[dot]com to discuss details!

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and thank you to Canon Canada for the #BabyMoments fun!

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Capturing #BabyMoments With The Help Of Canon Canada [+ Giveaway!]

Just so ya know: This post was created in partnership with Canon Camera. 

Photo taken with the Canon SL1
Photo taken with the Canon SL1

If you’re ever lucky enough to pay a visit to my Mom’s house, it’s an inevitable fact that at some point in your stay, she’ll pull out a photo album and start sharing pics of yours truly – the good, the bad, and the ugly. While I loved being her photography muse, I never really understood the joys of snapping a zillion pics of one sole subject until my Little Magician came along. With the help of my trusty iPhone and Instagram filters, I’ve been able to capture some pretty cute shots – but thanks to the good folks at Canon Canada, LM and I are taking our photo sessions up a notch!

I recently received the new Canon SL1 camera kit (complete with 40mm and 18-55mm lenses and other goodies) and was introduced to Baby Moments – Canon’s new Facebook app. Created with the assistance of Stephanie Robin – an award-winning baby photographer – Baby Moments offers awesome photography tips to help you capture your baby in the best light! Dividing baby’s first year into quarters, Baby Moments gives you a variety of pose options and clear, simple steps to help you get professional-looking pics of your little one.

Could the SL1 really make this self-professed smartphone addict choose it over the instant gratification of my trusty iPhone? In short, YES.

The SL1 is a compact and common-sense camera – I’ve played with other similar models and found them too bulky or too complex to really enjoy. It’s easy to toss into a bag and go, which I really like. I also love the numerous shot settings, touch screen capabilities, and guidebooks that came with the kit, which helped me to navigate the camera quite easily.

After tinkering around with the camera and choosing looks from Baby Moments (Little Magician straddled the 0-3 and 4-6 month categories), I had fun capturing some awesome shots:

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In Your Arms: LM and I (aka Puppy Baby and Afro Kitty) posed for a series of Hallowe’en shots and had photoshoot fun in between the handing out of candy.

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Tiny Details: This girl has hair. LOTS of hair. Her grandma went to town putting in cute little comb twists, and I had to catch a pic!

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Baby Portrait: Umm. She’s cute. I know all parents say that about their babies, but…she’s mad cute. Tummy time sessions often end in tears, but this time it ended like this!

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Favourite Toy: Sophie the Giraffe is the Beyonce of LM’s world. Seriously – she cannot get enough.

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Big Smile: When her belly is full, her diaper is clean, and her nap has been had, Little Magician has smiles and laughs for days.  I also took some quick video of her with the SL1 to capture her giggles – there’s absolutely nothing like that sound.

Now, I’m no professional and I’m still learning how to work my way around getting even better shots – but I’m loving the results with the SL1! My smartphone is awesome, but the quality of the Canon can’t be beat. There’s something I love about holding the camera in my hands, adjusting the lens, and capturing the essence of Little Magician in high resolution. If it’s true that we become our parents, I’m well on my way to becoming that mom who pulls out the photo album when LM’s friends come to visit.

Canon’s really done a great job with the specs of the SL1 and with the creation of the Baby Moments app, but they didn’t stop there! Digital copies of photos are wonderful, but there’s something to be said about the value of tangible copies of those memories. Canon has given me a Selphy CP910 Wireless Compact Photo printer to give away, and I’m so excited!

via Canon Canada
via Canon Canada

Simply put, the Selphy allows you to print beautiful photos from your smartphone or tablet (compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows RT mobile devices) wirelessly! Printing photos in the comfort of your own home – or anywhere, since the Selphy is so lightweight and compact – has never been easier!

To win the Selphy printer (open to readers in Canada and the U.S.):

1. Comment below and tell me why you want to win the Selphy

OR

2. Click to tweet this message: “#CanonCanada & @BeeSince83 are giving away a Selphy wireless photo printer! Visit thebrownsugamama.com for details! #BabyMoments”

Want a bonus entry? Comment AND tweet!

I’ll announce the winner next week – good luck!

Canon Canada’s website

Canon’s Facebook page

Canon’s Pinterest board

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

How I Handled The 3 P’s Of Traveling With Baby

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The past 4 months (yes – Little Magician is 4 months old today!) of motherhood have taught me some incredible lessons – but nothing schools you like traveling with a baby for the first time. Whew, Lawd.

With family scattered across the globe, there was a clear understanding that the Little Magician World Tour would commence as soon as possible. We kicked things off with a trip to Miami for the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, and it was everything.

The Passport

Getting LM’s passport was a comedy of errors. The first place we went for her photos ended up not shooting infants. The second spot was ready and willing to take her photo as long as she wasn’t wearing white – and guess what Mommy dressed her in that day? Yup. White.  Luckily, we had an extra change of colourful clothes in her diaper bag, so that crisis was averted.

With the photos done, we proceeded to file her application. HomieLuva (my husband) completed it as the applicant and I filled in as the guarantor. All went well until I entered in my passport info and learned that MY passport expired the week prior. I. Freaked. Out. Did I just screw up her passport application? Then it hit me. Aside from thinking I couldn’t be her guarantor (in Canada parents can be guarantors, and you can be a guarantor as long as your passport hasn’t been expired for more than a year), it then registered that I needed my own passport for our trip. That story is a blog post all by itself.

Finally, everything got sorted out. The passport arrived (with the CUTEST photo I’ve ever seen, if I do say so myself), and we were ready to roll.

The Packing

Got a bunch of bibs? Check.

Got a bunch of onesies? Check.

Got a couple adorable swimsuits? Check.

Luckily, we were staying with family who had a car seat, stroller, playpen, and more waiting for us. We just had to pack clothes and other personal items, which made life much easier. Our airline allowed her diaper bag as an extra carry-on, so we ensured we had enough diapers, formula, and clothing in there to get us from gate to gate. HomieLuva almost purchased a pack of diapers, but we decided against it, knowing we could just buy a pack in Miami and save the luggage space.

Also, I thanked my lucky stars for baby carriers. We could have LM secured stowed away, leaving our hands free to handle two full-size suitcases, two wheeled carry-ons, a laptop bag, and a diaper bag. Did I mention I got a GREAT upper body workout too?

miamiairport

Continue reading How I Handled The 3 P’s Of Traveling With Baby

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Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.