Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hip + Urban Mom: Sharon Ng Hayes

I don't know how she does it! So I sat down with Sharon, our fashionista friend from The Backseat Stylers and asked her what the secret is behind successfully juggling life as a bean counter, blogger and mother of a beautiful two year old boy!

What's a typical day like in the life of Sharon Ng Hayes?

Hectic! I’m a Chartered Accountant by day, blogger by night, and mother to a very rambunctious little boy around the clock, so there isn’t very much downtime. I often find myself rushing to fashion events after work, sometimes even before work, and then hurrying home to see my family. It’s a tricky balance.

How do you juggle blogging at The Backseat Stylers, your career and being a mommy?!

Precariously. My son Austin and the blog were both born just over 2 years ago, and I’m still learning to juggle both of them along with a full-time career in finance. I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support I get from my husband Geoff. He helps in any way he can; sometimes that means being home with Austin when I need to cover an event for the blog, and other times it means editing a particularly important blog post.

Tell us about your neighbourhood and raising Austin in the city?

We live in a condo by the Harbourfront in downtown Toronto. Geoff and I both work within walking distance of our home, which is great – less travel time means more quality time at home. In fact, when I was on maternity leave, Geoff often came home to have lunch with me and Austin; we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we lived a train ride away from work.

There aren’t a lot of families with young children in the neighbourhood, but there are surprisingly some fantastic public facilities close by. There are three Ontario Early Years Centres in the area that are just a short walk away; Austin’s made quite a few little friends during “circle time” and free play there. He’s also a fan of walks along the Harbourfront, trips to Centre Island (the ferry docks are a short walk across the street for us!), visits to St. Lawrence Market, and reading groups at the local public libraries.

What are your favourite spots to hang out for family time?

Centreville on Centre Island is a lot of fun! Austin loves the rides and has no sense of fear. We also invested in a family membership at the Metro Toronto Zoo this year. We’ve been quite a few times already, and Austin never tires of seeing the elephants, lions and giraffes. High Park is always a hit too. Austin can’t get enough of the huge playground there, and really likes visiting the animals in the mini zoo.

What's The Backseat Stylers about?

The Backseat Stylers is a Toronto-based fashion and retail blog I co-pen with my younger sister Tara. We started the site over 2.5 years ago, and have been blogging about the most covetable clothing, accessories and shoes from across Canada and around the world ever since. We also cover fashion events in Toronto and post the very best street style our city has to offer.

Favourite places to shop?

Tara and I have done a lot of shopping together, but we’ve never had as much fun as we did in Hong Kong last year. Here at home, we like to mix fast fashion finds from Zara, Topshop and H&M with contemporary and designer pieces from The Room and The White Space at the Bay as well as TNT.

Any advice to give to hip + urban moms living in the city?

Whether you live in a condo in the city with no greenery close by or a house in the suburbs with your very own patch of grass, make the world your backyard. There’s so much for kids (and adults, for that matter) to see and experience, so get out there and start exploring!

Follow Sharon on Twitter @backseatstylers

Photo #3 courtesy of Emma McIntyre.

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