Team Sassy rounds up all the tried and tested things we’re loving this October, including some must-reads, parenting advice in both book and podcast form, and a winning kids’ tv show
At Sassy Mama we love to gab with each other about our favorite new finds and hidden gems, from what to binge on Netflix to addictive podcasts and fun things to do with kids. Here we share with you our favourites and, of course, all opinions are our own. Sometimes we get invited to try out new products and experiences, and sometimes this is just stuff we come across in our daily lives. We are a diverse group of mamas who are shopping, eating, watching, and experiencing fun things with our families, just like you!
So if you’re looking for some quick pick-me-ups and inspiration, mama, read on to see what tried and tested stuff we’re loving this month.
Click here to see our past picks!
I recently enjoyed the “Mom in Translation” episode of the podcast Rough Translation. This is a heartwarming story about a mixed-race American family (the mom is Caucasian, the dad is Filipino-American) that gets posted in Japan for the dad’s job in the military. Their 6-year-old son feels a strong connection to the culture and insists on attending local school. It is a story of a boy’s instant connection to a foreign culture and a mom’s struggle to support him despite language and cultural barriers. I loved this story and feel that many mamas will relate in their own way. The episode is a quick 28 minutes, too.
A few months ago I was sent a jar of Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Cream Rescue + Recover (such a mouthful!), which claims to replenish the skin’s barrier against the effects of everyday stressors. At the time I had just flown back around the world on my own with two small children, so my skin was definitely in need of some TLC. I’ve been using Lala Retro religiously each night for the past few months and I really like it: it’s not greasy or overly heavy, but my skin has felt softer and I’ve actually had fewer breakouts than in the past. I also like that it’s vegan, cruelty-free and fragrance-free, with active all-natural ingredients like antioxidant-rich green tea (to fight the effects of aging), rare African oils and plant ceramide complex (to replenish), and omega acids to retain moisture. The packaging is also super cute and comes in my favorite color!
A 50ml jar of Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Rescue + Recover retails for $86; find it at Sephora.
If you haven’t already checked out the Australian cartoon Bluey with your kids – you are missing out.This show is just delightful! It centres around a family of Blue Heeler dogs, comprising 6-year-old Bluey and her little sister Bingo, plus mum Chilli and dad Bandit. For this Aussie, it’s pretty great to hear an unapologetically Australian accent on TV, but the family life depicted is decidedly universal. The kids are cheeky and creative (there is so much imaginative play in this show); mum and dad are playful and loving, but they also have jobs and chores to do. There are lessons to be learned, but not just by the kids — the way Chilli and Bandit get involved in their kids’ games is quite inspiring, and has informed plenty of play-acting games at our house (the hospital episode has been re-enacted many times over!). It’s also completely hilarious, and utterly joyful. I highly recommend it for kids ages 2-7 years old.
We bought Series 1 on Apple TV, but it sounds like it won’t be long until this show is widely available, with Disney Junior and the BBC purchasing the rights.
Image courtesy of ABC Kids Australia
I downloaded the book Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens just before leaving on holidays last week and it was a total page-turner. It’s a murder mystery that takes place in the marshes of North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s. I love a good whodunnit and since the book had been a New York Times Fiction Best Sellers in 2019 for 20 non-consecutive weeks I knew it would be very good. I’ve since started Little Fires Everywhere, a 2017 novel by American author Celeste Ng. It has been made into a forthcoming miniseries on Hulu starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. I loved Big Little Lies so thought this might be another great story. I have not been disappointed, I’ve – confession – been putting the kids to bed early just so I can get more reading time!
I really enjoyed listening to the audio version of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did), which I read to research the article How to Have HONEST Conversations with your Teens. This bestseller by British psychotherapist and Agony Aunt Philippa Perry is all about fostering good communication with your baby, young child and teen. Perry drops truth bomb after truth bomb and does so in a kind and non-judgmental way. If you find you have done any of the things she advises against, instead of admonishing Perry always has tips on what you can do to get things back on track, and highlights how it is not the rupture of your relationship with your child that is paramount, but the repair. Perry explains why all children lie and why you shouldn’t make a big deal about it; the importance of being a safe ‘container’ for your child’s emotions and feelings so they can safely share everything with you; and how to look for the feelings behind their behaviour (as all behaviour is actually communication). I highly recommend this book, especially if “parenting” books are not normally your thing. Like many expats living away from mums, aunts and grandmas, I really miss having kindhearted parenting advice from someone who has been there, and having Perry in my ear while driving was the next best thing.
If you’ve ever taken your children to the S.E.A. Aquarium you are bound to have seen The Royal Albatross. It is a 47m, 4-masted, 22 sail (!) super yacht that lives in Sentosa and is open to the public to enjoy unique experiences such as a romantic sunset sail or an evening dinner night cruise.
For years I’ve been thinking about trying it out and when we had friends in town recently we decided to hop on board. The sunset cruise includes a 3-course meal — definitely don’t have a heavy lunch as you are eating at 5:30pm which is a little early for my tastes but the food was enjoyable and well prepared. One of the highlights for us was the onboard entertainment, having been a little sceptical about having a singer on board we were blown away by her talent and really enjoyed the entertainment.
We were a little disappointed not to get closer to the city to see Singapore’s magnificent skyline, so don’t go for that, but the overall experience was fun and definitely unique. We were 4 adults, but, should you want to take kids, they can have a guided tour and learn a few things about steering and putting up sails and the adventurous can even do a mast climb if you dare!
Image via Facebook