Sunday, November 13, 2022

Holiday: Visiting Santa's Tiny Big Town

 Santa's in Town

It's that time of year again and we were so excited to visit with Santa's Tiny Big Town at Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre.

It's a beautiful set up that's bound to get you in the holiday mood. With twinkly lights and Santa's helpers around, the kids will definitely feel the magical vibes. While they wait in line, they can enjoy lots of interactive games and activities. 

Each family gets time for a personal meet and greet and photos with Santa. As the mom of a three year old, it was so important to me that the experience was fun without being overwhelming and that we could take our time to let Liya warm up. Having an opportunity to speak to Santa without others around made this such a successful visit and Santa was so patient with all the children (of course).

During this interactive visit, each child will watch a short video that explains the story of the magic Christmas key before getting one of their own from Santa with some special instructions for Christmas Eve!

Santa's Tiny Big Town is now open to the public and runs until December 24th.
It's a magical experience you don't want to miss! 

Sign up at to reserve your spot and make a donation. All proceeds from this event go to support The Sick Kids Foundation
Vaughan Mills is a catalyst donor to the Sick Kids Foundation and to date they have raised over $800,000 for the charity. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Travel: Take Me to Pompano Beach, FL

Family Friendly Travel

I've had the privilege of travelling to Florida quite a few times as a child, young adult and now with my own family. This is a state I love to visit because of the warm climate, endless sunshine and pristine beaches. 

As a parent, I also love that Florida:

  • Is a quick flight from Toronto (about 3 hours)
  • Has all the convienences of home
  • Offers many different styles of accommodation- some with suites or kitchens
  • Has lots of family friendly activities

About Pompano Beach

On our last few trips we have explored around Fort Lauderdale and one of our favourite pockets is a suburb called Pompano Beach.

Pompano is a safe, family friendly area with a beautiful, newly renovated boardwalk for evening strolls. It's close enough to the action in Fort Lauderdale that you can take a quick Uber ride (15 minutes) to dine at some of the fancier restaurants or check out some nightlife, but it's also quiet and calm so you can relax. 

Pompano has some great amenities for kids such as the shaded outdoor playground, splash pad and lots of green space. With soft sand and shallow, warm water we also love to spend our time at the beach building sandcastles and watching the pelicans dive!

Pompano is an old fishing village so walking down the pier is a must while you are visiting. 

You can grab a casual bite at local hotspot Lucky Fish where you will be treated to live music on weeknights or if you are looking for a beachside dining with a view, visit our favourite- The Beach House for the most unforgettable chicken wings and a kid's menu that has lots of healthy options!

Don't forget to cap off your evening with a visit to Kilwin's Ice Cream Parlour for some old fashioned confections and ice cream made from quality ingredients!

Catch some of our highlights from our family visit here, and if you're planning a trip and have some questions, find me at @angeliesood

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Dining: Eataly Toronto

Mangia, Mangia!

This summer has looked a little different than summers of our recent past. We've stayed local and close to home (often hanging out in our backyard) and sought out little ways to explore our own city!

Living in the suburbs, I always love to head into the city because Toronto is so vibrant and full of beautiful boutiques, restaurants and green spaces. Venturing into the city always feels like a mini-vacation to me. 

Joined my friend Solmaz (@thecuriouscreature) for a patio dining experience at Toronto's Eataly. I love the ambience, fresh cut pasta and their grocery store onsite where you can grab a few things to prepare at home. 

If you visit, don't forget to try their cafe and gelato stand to cap off your meal!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Motherhood: Books to empower children

Planting seeds for the next generation...

As a woman, as a minority, as a daughter of immigrants - this moment in history is so important.

In 2021, the United States of America has appointed its first female, woman of colour, daughter of an immigrant as the Vice-president.

In the U.K., the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have left an oppressive system that did not treat them as equals due to race, class and background. 

In both these examples, we see women of colour in positions that matter, choosing to take a stand and make a difference. 

These are women who stopped and said, "I am speaking..." and refused to accept the answer "that's just how it is..."

I'm hopeful for my daughter,  because it means she lives in a world where women can do anything. They can rise up, use their voices and challenge systems that aren't working.

She will hopefully grow up in a time when where you come from doesn't dictate where you are going...

But above all I hope she lives in a world where character matters. Where little voices can make a big difference! And that's a lesson I want to teach her every day.

While conversations will definitely happen as she grows, at the toddler stage we turn to books to teach big lessons.

Here are some books we love to use to plant seeds of empowerment:


While there have been many positive strides over the years, there's still much learning and unlearning that need to take place as a society for us to see any true lasting change for the better. 

It's an uphill climb but we are committed as a family to doing the work to make sure the next generation inherits a better world.

Will you join us? 

Share your favorite books to help plant positive seeds of change in the comments or find me on IG @angeliesood

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

4 Restaurants to Visit in Toronto's Little India

Recently I had the chance to visit one of my favourite communities in Destination Toronto - Little India!

I grew up shopping here, so visiting brings back so many fond memories of my childhood.

One of the big draws for me is the delicious and authentic Indian cuisine.

Crispy samosas, flavourful daals, spicy kabobs - I love all the food!

If you're looking to explore the delicious eats in the area - today I'm sharing a list of my favourites. They are small mom and pop restaurants that have held a place in Gerrard India Bazaar for many years.

In case the pictures have you craving some desi food- all of these restaurants offer takeout and many also have delivery options as well. 

So let's get a taste of Little India!


One of the original restaurants on Gerrard St. East, Motimahal is known for the classics. Try their Channa Bhatura - spiced chickpea curry with fried and fluffy bread. You can also try their thalis, a traditional Indian mixed plate featuring a variety of curries, roti, rice and yogurt. It's also a great way to try a few different dishes off the menu!

Leela Indian Food Bar

At Leela you will find a mix of modern and classic dishes prepared in the traditional dhaba style, which means: they specialize in street food! Try the Cauliflower chaat and wash it down with a sweet Royal Falooda (best I've had in a long time)! 
They are on Skip the Dishes, so look out for them!

Lahore Tikka House
Lahore Tikka House is where you want to go if you're looking for tandoori meat dishes. Juicy chicken tikka, spicy kabobs and fresh garlic naan - they've got all the dishes to warm you up from the inside.

Desi Burger

A little restaurant with a large window open to the street, Desi Burger is one of the area's hidden gems. It's incredibly unassuming- aren't those the best spots? I'd go just to have a cup of their divine Masala Chai, but they are really known for their Pakistani style burgers, which are rivalled only by those sold on the streets of Lahore. You can't leave without a taste of their creamy kulfi - it's so good you may need to buy multiple flavours (don't say I didn't warn you).

If you're looking to spice up your life, check out these local, family-run restaurants for their take-out and delivery options. 

Let's support the small restaurants and businesses that bring so much vibrancy to our city.