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Our Sassy Mamas share the best of 2014 and their resolutions for the new year!

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life

Welcome to 2015, mamas! We hope you had a fantastic holiday and spent some quality time with your family in the festive season. We sure did, and we’re still dreaming of mum’s home cooking and Christmas Day presents by the fireplace… but enough of post-holiday blues, with a brand new year ahead it’s time to get motivated and kick off the year on a high note with your new year’s resolutions for 2015! We caught up with a few of our Sassiest Mamas to find out what their best lesson learned / favourite family moment was in 2014, along with their top 3 resolutions for the new year. Whether it’s crossing off the Asia travel bucket list or picking up a new hobby, we hope this provides some inspo for you to create your own “must-tackle” list for 2015!

Best wishes to you and your family in the new year from all of us at Sassy Mama HQ!



EmmaEmma Dale, Managing Director & Co-Founder of Prospect global recruitment agency

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Make time for myself.
2. Delegate to my very capable team so I can spend more quality time with my kids and husband.
3. Inspire, lead and support my team.

My best family moment in 2014 was moving to Big Wave Bay and seeing a snake and wild boar in our garden. The boys feel like they live in a zoo now!


SarahSarah Keates, Sassy Mama Blogger 

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Quiet “the noise”, both external and internal and be kinder to myself (and not just others).
2. Remember that I have brains in my head and feet in my shoes, I am the captain of my ship whether seas are stormy or smooth and I can sail it wherever I please.
3. Eat less cake.

The most important lesson I learned in 2014 is that life is precious and fleeting, losing my dad very suddenly showed me that, and it hurt a lot. Knowing he had an amazing life filled with love, laughter and crazy times made it easier – I even found out he was mates with David Bowie, put on The Who and Led Zeppelin (among others) in the 70s. If anyone could teach me anything, it’s my dad: work hard, play hard, cherish your loved ones and if there’s an opportunity to do so – bloody rock out!


NicolaNicola Burke, Founder of Jetlag & Mayhem 

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Spend less time on my phone when I’m around my family.
2. Actually tick off some destinations on my travel bucket list, I did zero in 2014!
3. Speak with my friends and family overseas more often.

Funniest family moment in 2014: My kids are sponges and pick up on everything I say. This has resulted in my daughters repeating such gems as ‘oh sh*t I’ve lost my Barbie’. Another resolution to add then, curse less in 2015…



Jo(2)Jo Soo-Tang, Chairman of the HK Adventist Hospital Foundation

2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Spend more time cooking with my children as it’s a fun activity and we can meal plan together.
2. Attend a baking course as I really love to cook but baking is so difficult and it’s  always good to learn something new.
3. Spend more time with my girlfriends and hopefully plan a girls trip somewhere. This was last year’s resolution but it hasn’t happened yet!

I have learned a lot this year and I have chosen to remember quite a few pointers that frame my current life: surround myself with positive people ONLY, live life to the fullest every minute of the day and appreciate how important faith and hope are in this phase of my life.


AnnAnn Krembs, High School Librarian, Sassy Mama blogger 

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Throw a Christmas party in 2015.
2. Tame my opinions. Bite my tongue. Keep it to myself!
3. Try not to pick at my tweening kids’ pimples – I know, so naughty! Rather, teach them how to care for their skin.

Lesson learned in 2014: Don’t bother trying to learn how to skateboard! Yes, I can do it in my head, but leave skateboarding to my hotshot kids. Go for roller blading instead!



RuthRuth Benny, Head Girl,

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Get fit. This has been the same resolution for a few years but it hasn’t happened yet…
2. Learn to knit. My childhood interest has been re-ignited by my daughter and we’ll learn together.
3. Spend my 21st summer in Hong Kong NOT in HK. The plan is for three weeks in Taiwan and three weeks in the UK – can’t wait!




ShaunShaun Bernier, Founder and Board Chair, HandsOn Hong Kong

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Get my children to be more cooperative!
2. Get more organised – without driving my family or myself crazy!
3. Find a better balance (this likely means foregoing resolutions 1 and 2!)

Funniest family moment in 2014: Earlier in the year, I picked up my 4-year-old daughter from school one day. She was full of energy and very talkative. However, upon entering the crowded elevator in our apartment building, she became extremely shy. Someone in the elevator said “hi” to her to get her to warm up, but she said nothing back, despite my prompting her to say “hello”.

Once we reached our floor, the same neighbour said “goodbye” and I asked her to say the same back. Still she said nothing, likely because the elevator was still too crowded for her comfort level. As I walked ahead of her to open the door, she ran back to the closing elevator and yelled, “Peanut butter!”, and started laughing. I’m usually a stickler for manners, but I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

I have no idea why she thought to say this, but it still makes my husband and me laugh. After I told him the story, we often found ourselves jokingly saying it to each other or our daughter. Somehow, my now 2 year old picked it up and says it at least once a day at random to make us laugh. I love that our kids have a sense of humour at this young age and that this split second in time has become a lasting memory – and our family joke!


JacintaJacinta Read, Handmade Hong Kong

2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Slow right down. Me having a rushed soul is no fun for anyone.
2. Turn rest into an art form.
3. Rediscover what it means to enjoy life.

Funniest family moment of 2014: My 5-year-old daughter Layla must have overheard a conversation I had with my husband about selecting a guardian for her and her little brother Dylan – we were going to travel without them so thought it was an important measure to take. For the next few days she asked several natural questions about death and what would happen in different worst-case scenarios. The one that made me chuckle and also melted my heart was: “But Mumma, who is going to look after Dylan after I die?”

I am so grateful that they are the best of friends and if that is a dynamic I can protect/encourage as they grow and develop, I will count it as a great success. Family is forever and my siblings/in-laws/cousins mean the world to me. I hope the same for the next generation.


SakshiSakshi Verma, Oh Precious Images

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Lose my cool a little less. I tend to forget that my 7 year old is but a 7 year old.
2. Take out some “me” time every week. If I don’t think that I am worth some pampering, then I certainly can’t expect others to.
3. Develop and execute a new line of business related to photography, my first love. Stay tuned!

A household with two energetic boys (7 and 2) can’t stay “normal” or “bored” for long. Such was 2014. We love traveling as a family. We thought “we” did things the right way when our older kid travelled well, was great at restaurants, and was never too much trouble in long drives. With the younger one, things were, let’s put it mildly, different! Our little brat completes our family, but I now know that parents are not entirely responsible for a child’s personality. These little beings are born as who they are. Let’s not take credit for who they are! I, for one, have started judging parents a lot less!


NatalieNatalie Wong, Chief Inspiration Officer, Evie Skincare and Evie Consulting

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Go to bed at the latest by 11.30pm at least five nights a week (okay, maybe four!).
2. Spend more time in daily meditation.
3. Work less, play more! Spend more quality time with kids and friends, in that order.

Funniest moment of 2014: My daughter Olivia’s kindergarten homework assignment was to assign an animal to represent each family member. For me, she wrote, “My mommy is a pig because her favourite activity is sleeping.” I didn’t think too much about this (it’s only kindergarten homework after all) until I saw the teacher had returned the homework edited as, “My mommy is a pig because she is intelligent.” When I next had the opportunity to call her teacher, before ending the call I decided to mention that I noticed she had changed the “My mommy” answer. The teacher sounded uncomfortable until I explained that my daughter knows I never get enough sleep because I work such long hours, that the week prior to this homework assignment, she knew I had averaged 3-4 hours a night before completely crashing on the weekend – hence “Mommy loves sleeping” because she never gets enough sleep! The teacher sounded quite relieved, and I had to explain to my 5 year old not to tell people this anymore, because most people would misunderstand and think that mommy is helplessly lazy!


SoniaSonia Jackson, CEO, IROCO Design Ltd

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Be kinder to myself – with a full time job and three children, one of whom is only two, there is little me-time. In 2015, I must allow at least some me-time to run, spa, play the guitar and generally remember who I am. Even spending a little time each day dong absolutely nothing would be a huge start.

2. Enjoy every passing moment with the children – they are growing up so fast and I feel as though I am missing their magical moments. I want to appreciate that they are changing every day and want to spend as much of these moments together.

3. Bring back date night! When we moved to Hong Kong, my husband and I literally had a date night every Friday. Since we started our business together we have forgotten how to date! In 2015, I absolutely want this to come back again.

Funniest family moment of 2014: Children will say and do exactly what makes common sense – our 6-year-old animal mad daughter was terribly concerned that the cat was hot this summer, and so, quite intelligently decided to cool her down. Unbeknownst to us the poor cat was placed in the freezer, and fortunately it wasn’t long before a loud meowing could be heard from the kitchen. We couldn’t find the poor cat anywhere. Needless to say when she was asked where the cat was she answered ‘in the freezer’ and sure enough there it was – popped out cold, but fortunately not too cold yet!


KittyKitty Parkes, Sassy Mama Blogger

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. To give up sugar for January and cut down in general (I say this whilst patting in After Eights like there’s no tomorrow).

2. To run over 600km – that’s at least 11km a week. To put this into context, I probably ran about 60km in the whole of 2014 (this cannot be independently verified). But, I do now own a gorgeous purple-pink pair of Asics Gel running shoes!

3. To launch my start-up baby clothing business in the Spring, grow my ‘Do Make Create‘ crafting business and keep up my writing.

As David Brent said on The Office: “Keep up the doodling… Pipe dreams are good.”

Funniest family moment of 2014: We started off the year back in the UK. On a particularly cold wintry day we decided to take our 3-month old baby out for a walk in The Chilterns (a picturesque spot to the West of London). The ‘walk’ ended up being longer and more eventful than we had planned. First, we encountered rutting bulls (my husband said “they’re just playful cows and we’ll be fine to walk through the field”). They weren’t cows, they had horns and they were definitely charging towards us. To avoid the bulls, we had to take a route along the main road, across a small river and through a ditch, eventually coming out inside the Chequers estate (the Prime Minister’s official country home). The only way to go on was to climb over a high, secure fence to get back on the public footpath. There’s me trying to carefully manoeuvre myself and a small baby over a high fence whilst huge security cameras literally followed our every move! I was convinced they thought we were breaking in and so I kept repeating (for the cameras) that we were ‘definitely not breaking in’. We eventually got back to the car just before it got dark… Note to self: next time plan the route, take a map, snacks, water (always useful) and perhaps, a distress flare!


Ann-ChaAnn Cha, Co-Founder of Punch Detox

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Drink more water.
2. Tell my family I love them every day.
3. Treat myself to a spa retreat.





AngelaAngela Cheng Matsuzawa, Co-Founder of Punch Detox

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Learn Japanese.
2. Expand Punch Detox into new markets.
3. Take more vacation to myself to relax and rejuvenate.





RebeccaRebecca Jo-Rushdy, Brand Director, Baobae

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Not get too caught up with work and always keep in mind there is no job as important as raising my daughter!
2. Put 15 minutes aside every day for mindfulness meditation to help me stay centered and live in the present moment.
3. Try to get my sweet tooth under control!




AliaAlia Eyres, CEO of Mother’s Choice

2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. To worry less! Everyone we help at Mother’s Choice is in real crisis, so I tend to worry and it really drains my energy. I want to intentionally relax and make time to pray more.

2. To learn to say “no” more often. As a working mum, I am learning that the key to survival for me is having good boundaries.

3. To teach my children more about social justice and raise their awareness about our community. You are never too young to be a voice!

Funniest moment of 2014: I am learning that kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for! I remember telling my 3 year old son that “this is not acceptable behaviour in this house” and him calmly replying that he thought we should move…


FeFé Valvekens, Founder of A Day with Fé

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Slow down.
2. Be productive versus busy.
3. Become my children’s hero.

Lesson learned in 2014: It’s okay if I don’t have it all figured out!




KatKat Lau, Co-founder of Bespoke Parties, Sassy Mama Blogger

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Be kind to yourself, if some things don’t go the way you’ve planned, take a breath and keep moving.
2. Be more present and less busy – declutter life and make myself available for people and things that matter.
3. Learn to drive the streets of Hong Kong!

Lesson learned in 2014: Don’t be afraid to try something new! A year ago, Bespoke Parties was just a dream, an idea, an aspiration. If we never took a step of faith to pursue our dreams, we would’ve never had the joy and success of living out that dream today!

Family moment: Learning to let go and not get caught up in the comparison game! I’m thankful to have a healthy, happy and playful son who is growing at his own pace and time – with lots of personality at it too! He brings so much laughter and joy to our lives each day, we’re excited for what 2015 has in store for our family!


HesterHester Aba, Creative Director, Sassy Media Group

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. To travel more – I haven’t had many adventures the past few years as I’ve had little ones, but now that I think they can survive weekends alone (well, not alone – with grandparents!) I’m ready to spread my wings. On my Asia Bucket List are Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos for the year ahead.

2. Be more present – this will probably be on everyone’s list, but less phone time, leaving my laptop in the office rather than ignoring my kids while tapping away, and leaving my phone at home for date nights!

3. Working more yoga into my life… Shamefully, I think this was on last year’s list! It’s my favourite kind of exercise, so why do I head to the gym instead of making it to class?

My funniest family moment of 2014 was when my little ones showed me my foul mouth when driving with the colourful language they use while tooling around in their toy car – my 2 year old plowing headfirst into a wall and saying “shit” was a (funny) wakeup call for me!


MauraMaura Thompson, Managing Director, Sassy Media Group 

​2015 New Year’s Resolutions: 

1. Practicing the motto ‘Done is better than perfect’. I have a tendency to crave perfection which kind of means that things stay on my to-do list a lot longer than they should sometimes! I thank former That Mama Fe Valvekens for introducing that phrase to me (I once saw her post it on her Facebook page and instantly fell in love with the saying and now I am finally putting it into practice)!

2. This one is quickly becoming an oldie but a goodie these days. I just want to be able to let go of my phone and email for at least one consecutive hour each day and be really and truly present with my friends and family. So, if I am a bit slow in emailing anyone back this year please feel happy for me that I am making headway on my resolution rather than pissed at my lack of response!

3. Schedule more pampering sessions after bed time. I have done it a few times in 2014 and a post-bedtime mani is really so fab as there is zero mama guilt involved as my Evie girl is snoring in bed!

I have spent 2014 navigating the first year in Eve’s life and my biggest lesson learned this year is how much I have respected the mamas who have come before me. I feel like I spent a large part of 2014 really understanding how much of a juggling act this whole mama thing is and also realising that it is okay to struggle with managing it all. I also learned that there are some days you feel like you are mama, entrepreneur, wife (insert any title here!) of the year and then other days where you will feel like anything but. The key is to realise that those crappy days will pass and they won’t define who you are if you don’t allow them too!


Main image sourced from Pinterest

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