Playtimes magazine gives parents a fresh and vibrant perspective on parenting in Hong Kong. Each month, you can look to Playtimes’ team of experts for the best advice on health, education, fashion and travel. Playtimes will keep you up to date with all that is hip and happening in Hong Kong – from cool new places to go, to the latest in great stuff for kids, Playtimes has Hong Kong covered.
Playtimes offers insight, suggestions and topical features from a parent’s viewpoint. It is written in an engaging style and presented beautifully. It is a must-have for every stylish and modern Hong Kong parent!
Louise Drake, Editor-in-Chief
Melanie grew up just outside of Toronto, where her passion for photography began at the tender age of ten and has not waned since. In 2001, a move to Hong Kong allowed her to pursue her dream job on a full-time basis and building her own studio became a reality. She loves to capture families, bumps, babies, teens and everything in between. Melanie is also passionate about travel and she takes advantage of every opportunity to see the world and capture her unique perspective of it from behind the lens. With 60 countries on the passport, she is heading towards her goal of visiting 100 countries. Melanie and her husband have two daughters, ages ten and 12, and they continue to be her source of inspiration every day. You can see samples of her work at www.melanie-adamson.com
Belinda had an idyllic childhood growing up on a farm in Cowra, NSW, Australia, with two siblings, riding horses, motorbikes and getting a country education. At the tender age of 17, she moved to the “big smoke” of Sydney to study fashion design and illustration. After a few years, she moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in advertising, working as a freelance advertising stylist on catalogues, print ads and magazines. Having worked with so many creative people and photographers over the years, it seemed like a natural progression when her family relocated to Hong Kong seven years ago and Belinda embarked on a new creative adventure: a canvas design project (belindabathimages.com). Nurturing her love of photography and travel, Asia has provided endless inspiration. Belinda spends her free time exploring this amazing city with her husband and two kids, and working on her new blog – www.stylebriefhongkong.com – with Ingrid Keneally.
Angela was born and bred in not-so-sunny England, where she spent most of her childhood years performing on stage, writing poetry and reading books. Her head was so buried in her books she completely forgot to apply to universities. In a mad rush, she copied a friend’s application forms and found herself studying information technology for three long and boring years. After two equally dull years of working as an IT consultant, she decided to ditch programming and head for the glamorous world of public relations. In 2006, Angela and her husband both found opportunities to continue their careers in Hong Kong. Shortly afterwards, Angela took on her most exciting and fulfilling, albeit challenging, role – motherhood. Angela now spends her days playing chef, driver, entertainer, nurse and teacher to her three children, and her evenings writing about the fun and fears of parenting.
Brooke grew up in rural Australia and spent most of her early days running around barefoot, playing dress-up and perfecting her mud pie recipe. After high school, Brooke hightailed it out of town and went off to university in the “city,” where she discovered the world, literally and figuratively. Some quirks of fortune, a few hurdles and several years later, Brooke found herself married and moving to Hong Kong in 2007. After a brief stint as an English teacher, she discovered that blogging and freelance writing fulfilled all of her potential career wishes while allowing her to stay at home in her pyjamas with her gorgeous little boys. While dressing up is a rare treat these days, she still enjoys going barefoot, and now makes mud pies with her sons.
Aquin was born in South India and moved to Nigeria with her parents when she was two years old. By the time she was 18, she had been to 13 countries and kept detailed journals about them. After graduating with a degree in international business, she transferred to New York, where she worked in corporate marketing and public relations. There, she met her map-obsessed husband, with whom she continues to explore places off the beaten path. They moved to Hong Kong in the summer of 2010 after completing an overland journey across 20 countries with their 18-month-old toddler. When she isn’t chasing after her two young boys, she dabbles in writing, and freelances as a marketing and social media consultant . Her most recent adventure was a 400-kilometre bike ride from London to Paris.
Angelina was born in the now non-existent country of Yugoslavia to an Irish mother and Yugoslav father. They both worked in the travel industry and, soon after Angelina was born, embarked upon an expat adventure that took them around the world. Living and studying in various countries, Angelina became fluent in three languages and went on to get a degree in International Business. Her love for “all things digital”, however, guided her career down the technology path. Working for multinational corporations, she helped them develop their websites, build online sales and social media presence. Her current home in Hong Kong is her 26th, having previously lived on three continents, in seven countries and in 11 cities. She knows this will not be the last stop, but is looking forward to settling down… somewhere.
Stirling, in Scotland’s Braveheart country, was where Gillian grew up. An inquisitive, talkative, active child who didn’t like to nap when there was fun to be had, she quickly learnt to multitask, being known to do jigsaws, read, knit and watch TV at the same time, usually whilst eating. Her inquisitive nature led to a long career as a court lawyer, during which time, Gillian fell in love with Vincent, with whom she now shares life’s many adventures. A keen cook since childhood, Gillian has combined her passions for food and travel, frequently dragging Vincent round the globe armed with little more than a rucksack and guidebook. Calling Hong Kong home since 2007, she made a daring escape from the law a couple of years ago, opting to volunteer as an advocate for a local charity instead. Now Gillian happily multitasks as a domestic goddess and gym bunny whilst writing and planning the next adventure. Read about her travels, tiffin and exploits at www.gillianjohnston.wordpress.com.
Ingrid spent an idyllic childhood on the coast of New South Wales, Australia, in a rambling weatherboard house overlooking a river. Her mother was a fashion influence from an early age, designing and sewing her own clothes and many memorable dressing-up outfits for Ingrid, including one award-winning design based on the Spike Milligan character, Badjelly the Witch. Ingrid showed a talent for fashion styling early on, with a flamboyant gypsy phase (bright green headscarf and gold hoop earrings) being a highlight. No doubt it was growing up surrounded by beauty that inspired Ingrid’s love of all things lovely. You can view more of her styling efforts at www.stylebriefhongkong.com.
Rachel was born on a stormy night in Bristol in the south west of England, and grew into a quirky child who used to clean the bottoms of her shoes and hold her breath until she fainted. Aged three, she said she wanted to be a cow when she grew up (which, hopefully, did not come true!), but later settled for a career in journalism and has since worked for a variety of publications. Rachel loves travelling (which is strange, considering her extreme fear of flying) and has managed to pack a two-and-a-half year backpacking stint, nearly five years of expat living in Hong Kong, and as many holidays as practicable into her life so far. Married with two children, Rachel spends her spare time drinking too many lattes and planning her next escape.
Elle grew up in England in a little suburb outside London, dreaming about bright lights and the big city. She wasn’t aware then just how many cities she would get to experience. When she thought she might spend a life playing others, as opposed to writing about them, a drama degree took her north to Manchester. Playing second fiddle to the acting career was waitressing, which she performed in cities across America. After picking up a lovely husband in Taipei and then moving with him to London, Elle had decided writing about people was even better than speaking their lines (and actually let her pay the rent). Since moving to Hong Kong nearly seven years ago, Elle has interviewed top politicians and pop stars, Michelin-starred chefs and mums, and found that each has their own inspiring story. Her best role has been becoming Mum to Reia and Rafferty.
Katrina was born and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. She spent long, hot summers on the Murray River, often just floating downstream with the current contemplating her future. After backpacking through Europe, and completing a degree in Journalism, Katrina began a career in television news with a small network in the countryside, where the cameramen would play cricket in the studio during ad breaks. The big smoke soon beckoned and Katrina returned to Adelaide as a news reporter and anchor for Network Ten. She met husband Craig and two kids arrived before the family pulled up roots for San Diego, California. This was followed by a two-year stint in Las Vegas, and it was there in the neon desert where the last of their three daughters was born. Now residing in Hong Kong for the past five years, Katrina continues to write and is an aspiring author of books for young people.
Before arriving in Hong Kong in 2014, Freya lived in La Reunion, France, the USA and her native England, where she spent more than ten years working with journalists to promote the work of international NGOs. She has worked in public relations, both agency and client side, and has been the editor-in-chief of Playtimes since the beginning of 2015.