Visiting the Homeland and Family.

Although I wasn’t born in Taiwan, I still consider it like a home since my parents had grown up there. They had a lot of good memories there and some of our family is over there.

I decided to take a last minute trip to Taiwan with my younger daughter to visit my dear aunt. She’s always held a special place in my heart so I knew I just had to take the trip during this time.

I’ve learned to pack smarter and know that international flights are usually more lenient on things (like an overweight bag) if you’re traveling alone with a child. Your bag shouldn’t be over 30 kg at most usually so bring an extra bag to take items out or be prepared with a nice sob story. My bag was clearly overweight from the booster seat, formula and fruit pouches I packed for this 2 week adventure with my super picky 14 month old eater, but I survived.

💟 P.S. If you’re looking for a booster seat with tray that’s compact, I highly recommend the summer infant pop n’ sit portable booster. It collapses and you can sit it on the floor, chair and table top without worries of tipping over.

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aveling couldn't be easier with this amazing passport holder that can now store 5 passport inside. The company is called up and away and a must have with all the colors and inside pattern designs to store your important travel documents together.

If your child is under 2, request to get a bassinet. You’ll get way more leg room as well if she doesn’t sit in it. For international flights, 2 and under kiddos even though they’re not getting a seat they have to pay for 10% of your airfare just for using the air on the flight! 🙄

Since I’ve been to Taiwan so many times, I wasn’t planning to do much tourist stuff besides things that little A would perhaps be interested in. So, it was the gondola (which she opted to sleep instead) and the zoo. The zoo is nice and super cheap. In case you’re wondering, it was clean and very green!

We stayed near Da’An Park which is great to seeing some green space, go to the playground, and eat at some of the yummy places around. Our air bnb hosts were amazing and it was so easy to settle in. They even got the car service set up for us to take us to our apartment. If you want their contact, let me know! To note, there is also the MRT (subway) you can take into the Taipei for really cheap but I was just being lazy.

Anyhow, if you’re wondering if some place is good and you see a line – it definitely means it’s worth the wait. 😋

My favorite street of grub has the infamous beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, mango shaved ice, rice rolls in an illegal street cart, and now best crispy suncakes. Google Yong Kang Street when you’re in Taipei.

A must to do in Taipei is getting a hair wash/massage. You can get for as cheap as 250 NT which is about $8! Omg. I found an amazing place called Famous. They didn’t cut Addison’s hair like I wanted but oh well just had to get her a bowl cut just once. Lol

This trip we also took a ride on the high speed train to Ping Tung to see my grandpa’s place of rest and his factory.

We also saw my grandma who’s 95 now and looking great. Her view is amazing and so serene.

If you haven’t noticed it was a US girl cousins trip (Abigail was sad to be missing out but we got to FaceTime everyday and it was some of the cutest moments I’ve had with her). What was that saying – distance makes the heart grow fonder? Haha

Part 2 of our Asia family trip was seeing my brother and his family out in HK for the weekend. It’s only a quick 2 hour flight over but Addison sure made it feel like a century. Good times.

Hong Kong highlights included Hello Kitty dim sum, ice cream, burgers, and a typical HK breakfast before catching my flight back to Taiwan to go back to California. It sounds hectic and it sure was when you’re flying two different airlines so you have to pick up your luggage and check back in so definitely have a suitcase that has four wheels so you’re pushing it and not leaning it over to pull. Samsonite has some fabulous ones.

Good times and Addison got to play at the Hello Kitty playground in the Taoyuan airport (next to gate C4).

Cheers for now and definitely drop me a note if you’re looking for more info! xx

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6 years later. 

I can’t believe it’s already been 6 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life. I won’t lie – it’s hard and we are constantly growing and sometimes not for the better. I sometimes forget that we need to also work on each other and not just keep our kids the first priority. Isn’t that nearly impossible? 

At least we started doing a monthly date night to focus on our relationship, try to keep our side comments to ourselves, and take a breath before really putting our thoughts out there. Easier said than done. #workinprogress. 

Anyhow, just a couple snaps from our engagement and my girls hanging out in the Big Apple. 






Have we changed? 

Hamming in Hamptons.

Part 2 of our New York holiday ended perfectly with a gorgeous weekend in the Hamptons with our cousins. The iconic tall hedges and enormous homes was mesmerizing (so mesmerizing I forgot to take pictures!). 

We left the city earlier than everyone else so stopped at the famous Lobster Roll in Montauk from the showtime series, The Affair. Food was nothing to rave about but had a cute local ambiance to dining there. 


Did you know they have a Levain Bakery there too? Next to it is a good local seafood shop and the famous Goldberg’s bagels which I didnt get to try but heard it was delish! 


📷: Tried and true, you can freeze a cookie and when you’re ready to eat defrost and put in the oven for a bit and it’s just almost as good. 

We also went to the cutest and cleanest pumpkin patch ever – Hank’s Pumpkintown. Amazing fresh apple juice! 


Anyhow, I sure hope my kids are as close to my cousins as I am. #familyfirst 

 

Oh yes, wanted to add that at 14 weeks pregnant I went to Soul Cycle for the first time. Oh my gosh so tiring but survived with the good vibes and catching Brooke Shields when we were leaving from our class. I can now say I “spun” with Brooke. 😁

Cheers for now! Thanks for reading and yes this is a place you must visit – It must be even more lovely in the summer when it’s really pool and beach weather.  xx

Take a Bite Out Of The Big Apple With Two Munchkins. 

Following your husband on his business trip to New York may seem like a good idea but it’s definitely a little tough. It wasn’t all smiles like the pictures show. 😜 

But, yes – I’m that mom that always says to bring and travel with your kids to show them the big world and everything out there. Experiences are so much better live. So, these two monsters definitely got to take in New York – the toddler way – it wasn’t at all like when I used to live here with all the HH, late hours out and about, and nice restaurants we ate at! #timeflies

We stayed at the Westin Grand Central – pretty nice and central spot to get around the city. They gave the girls little kid’s bags with goodies inside in hopes of keeping them quiet during their stay. The only problem we ran into was getting a fridge. Literally painful how many times we had to call front desk. 

P.S. we took a morning direct flight from CA (6 hour flight). It was easy for our 4.5 year old toddler but our energetic 13 month was a bag of tricks. No amount of milk and goodies could put her to sleep. She was just too excited. 

First stop was Cafe Zaiya for black sesame soft serve. Omg so good. Dinner followed shortly after at Vezza. You have to get the shroomtown pizza if you’re a mushroom fan – the best. Pizza is the classic New York style pizza with a thin crust. 

P.S. all my food links are usually to #yelp being my favorite app to use and I’m not just a taker, I’m also Yelp Elite! More reviews (usually short and sweet), go here

Amazing New York weather so we walked to seriously the best bagel shop called Ess-a-bagel. It was right by my old apartment when I lived in NY so had to take the girls there and we ate on the remodeled entrance. 


We walked on Park Ave to Central Park after a quick stop at the Plaza Hotel. There is a crazy big food court inside with lots of yummy eats. Definitely worth checking out. 


Central Park was packed as it was a gorgeous day. Too bad the fall leaves hadn’t happened yet (beginning of October) but beautiful nonetheless. 


Since we were already in the 70s and heading to the Children’s museum of Manhattan, we just had to stop at the BEST cookie bakery ever. Levain Bakery – you’ve fulfilled my preggo cravings. Thank you! 


📷: The museum was fun and not crowded (whew). It was surprisingly pretty clean and of course very interactive. Super good idea for the cold & rainy day. The girls are twinning in gap – It always seems I can find their sizes at Gap (they’re about 3.5 years apart). Any brands you recommend?

Weekend is now over and this is when it turns to just me and the kids (of course meeting up with friends and cousins!). 

Here’s a quick read along with pictures and recommendations (things to note) of the 4 days out and about in the Big Apple. They’re in order of how it played out since we know transporting 2 kids (plus gummy bear in the making) and one stroller isn’t exactly smooth sailing so you have plan so you’re not backtracking and uber-ing too much. 

  • Monday – We took the 34th Street ferry to DUMBO and it’s great!! Clean, good views, fast, and only $2.75 (kids free). If you’re looking for some trendy, hipster pictures – definitely come here. Family pictures would have been fun here but we will make do with kids twinning. 
  • We ate at Shake Shack for lunch, playground after, walked Brooklyn Bridge (the entrance is stairs – no ramp) to catch the amazing skyline, another playground before dinner at the absolute best pizza joint – Juliana’s. If you’ve heard/eaten of Grimaldi’s, this is actually the real original Grimaldi’s 🍕 pizza joint (Patsy Grimaldi sold the Grimaldi’s name awhile back to a customer). I was super excited to meet Patsy! Before heading back on the ferry, we had to have Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. So good! 





  • Tuesday – Because of the time change (3 hours), the kids got up st 10am. Yay for me! We did dessert before lunch with getting some shaved ice from Sweet Moment and then pork chop rice at a local hole in the wall joint (just ok, so won’t blog about it) since we were already in Chinatown. 
  • Super nice day so we walked through Soho, downtown, and union square before getting to my cousin’s place. Abigail couldn’t have been more thrilled to be reunited with them. 


  • Wednesday – we went to the ever so popular Totto Ramen (it is basically this one or Ippudo). Both yummy! After that, we went to the coolest park ever – Riverside Hippo playground up in the Westside (they have super charming brownstones).  Thank you @minicitybabes for the rec! 
  • We topped off the afternoon with treats from Doughnut Planet. P.S. we decided to take the bus up and probably not the best idea with a stroller as it looks like you generally have to fold it up. They are definitely not like the London buses I’m used to! 




    📷: she could feel how tired this bus ride was making me. 😂


    • Thursday – I wanted to take the girls to see the famous #NASA Enterprise space shuttle and tell her this is what her grandpa did for work. Not sure if she got it, but she did think it was really cool to see all the airplanes, submarine, drones, and space shuttle. We headed to a very late lunch at Gotham West Market which is perfect for an indecisive group to meet with all the different food choices. 
    • Of course, an afternoon isn’t complete without dessert – cookies specifically so went to both Schmackery and Amy’s Bread (close to each other). We also got Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles to go to meet up with my cousin that picked up Momofuku Milk Bar for me. Yes – it’s the great cookie test for my favorite cookie bakery. Winner goes to Levain Bakery!!! 





    💟 P.S. we used the Uppababy lightweight stroller on this trip and loved it. It sits higher up so babe can just sit in there at a table instead of a  high chair. It’s also nice and narrow to fit through tight spaces. Stands up when folded but I still have to master closing it quickly with the button and pushing the sides together. Overall, definitely worth it as you can recline for your little and yes she slept in it several times. #win

    Anyone want to follow this schedule? It’s doable and amazing when you can have sweets to consume. It would have been a lot nicer with a glass of wine to top each day off. 😂🍷

    Cheers for now and part 2 of New York coming soon. xx

    Love My Skin Care.


    With having 2 kiddos and another bun in the oven, I knew I had to take better care of my skin.  I heard a lot about Korean skin care making your skin glow and looking considerably younger and thought I would give it a try.

    As if by magic and Facebook knew what I was thinking, a sponsored post from Saranghae popped up.  I read more about their products specifically the ingredients and it caught my attention.  They use active antioxidants from plants and flowers, mushrooms, and ginseng (natural ingredients!).

    I got the 5 step bundle and you know as moms, we really don’t have that much “me” time if we want to get somewhere on time so 5 steps along with makeup sounds rough. But, don’t think that because it is so worth it! 

    The 5 steps of Saranghae. 

    1. Saranghae Nourishing + Moisturizing Cleanser is a gentle, water soluble, botanical based oil cleanser that removes make up, oil, micro-particles and toxins while hydrating and nourishing your skin at the same time.
    2. The Saranghae Deep Radiance Essence + Serum is designed to penetrate your outer epidermis layer and deliver crucial nutrients like antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins directly to your living cells. Lovingly crafted with 10% Phellinus Linteus (Sang Hwang) Mushroom extract, plant based placenta, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, the result is a skin that efficiently heals and regenerates every moment of every day.
    3. Saranghae Firm & Lift will decrease the formation of free radicals and reduce damage due to oxidative stress by up to 220%. Our powerful but natural blend of antioxidants, amino acids and regenerative peptides will deliver astonishingly smooth, supple and quite simply beautiful skin while diminishing age spots, redness and visible signs of aging.
    4. Follow after with Focus Renewal Eye Serum to restore vitality, diminish wrinkles, visibly lift and firm and brighten the appearance of dark circles around the eyes.  It is formulated with Phellinus Linteus (Sang Hwang) Mushroom Extract, adenosine, vitamin B3, elastin and collagen.
    5. Once or twice a week, use Saranghae’s Elemental Essence Mask.  It is a unique, lightweight, micro-fiber material with a blend of Asian botanicals that helps calm inflamed skin, enhance the natural contours of the face and maximize brightness. Spa day right at home! 

    Flash forward, exactly one month later and I’m especially loving the serum and creams.  They’re doing wonders on my skin.  It definitely feels softer, more hydrated, and doesn’t make my combination skin feel oily/shiny.  If you’re worried about a strong fragrance smell, this very light and refreshing smell is very calming.  I would definitely recommend and I think each set will last close to 3 months from me using it 2 times a day.  The mask is great too – I’ve “accidentally” fallen asleep with it on. #momlife #tiredlife

    So if you’re lazy like me and think using 3 different bottles of moisturizers is too time consuming, stop right there – it’s possible to moisturize in under 1 minute. Check out my video with my 4 year old daughter. P.S. I only had one take to do this since I didn’t want to “over moisturize” her face. 😜👧🏻

    Cheers for now and thanks for reading about a beauty product recommendation for your skin. #momapproved 

    To learn more about Saranghae or to shop their products visit www.lovesaranghae.com

    www.facebook.com/lovesaranghaeskin

    www.instagram.com/lovesaranghaeskin

    www.pinterest.com/lovesaranghae

    www.youtube.com/lovesaranghaeskin 
     

     

    Picked Up a Growing Little Gummy Bear. 


    When you get married, people start asking when you’re going to “start a family.” After the first comes, people start asking when they’re going to get another sibling. For most, this usually comes and then you think the questions will stop since this generation we think two is plenty with how expensive housing, day to day expenses, and finally university is. 

    Oh no, wrong! The questions don’t stop if you’re adding an addition to the family.  

    After Addison, I toyed with the notion of having 3 kiddos but just didn’t think I would have the patience and energy since I’m literally drained everyday. I also wanted to go back to corporate work life when at one of girls went to public school. Guess life has a different calling for me for at least another couple years.  

    The scoop. 

    I’ve been using Bellabeat since I lived in London and loved how it tracked my sleeping, activity, body (period/pregnancy), and stress level so I realized I was a bit late from the tracker. So, I used 2 Clearblue plus/minus pregnancy indicators on different days and it came back negative. Breathe of relief, but still no period. So, on the anniversary of my dad’s passing (July 25), I took another Clearblue test with a digital indicator. 

    Pregnant. 

    Tried again later in the day and it still read the same. Pregnant. 

    Awesome…well the reality didn’t sink in until I went to my family doctor, my new obgyn who is awesome and the wait time isn’t bad (whew!), and two ultrasounds later where the heartbeat is strong. Conclusion – yes there is a little gummy bear growing in me. #omg

    My dad had always wanted a family of five so I’m glad to see he’s living vicariously through my growing family. Now all I can pray for is that I have his patience, strong and loving character to focus on the family first. 

    P.S. I’m posting this close to 12 weeks pregnant and most go “social media” after first trimester. But, for those that know/hung out with me, if there isn’t a drink in hand something is wrong so I had to spill the beans pretty early on or I would be stuck at home driving the fam crazy. 😂 Below is me telling them yet again to snap a shot. 


    📷: @freshlypicked are seriously the most comfy leather mocs. Abigail is wearing the @freshlypicked sandals which she says are soft and pretty. #toddlerapproved 

    Cheers for now. Thanks for reading. xx

    Room2 love. 

    Dear Addison,

    Now that you’re 1, a lot of changes are and will happen. You’re hopefully going to be off the bottle soon, you’re hopefully confidently walking soon, and most hopeful (for us) is you enjoy not being in our room and don’t ever come back until after 7am! 

    We know you need the presence of someone else in the room and so does your sister so we thought we would ship you to her room. It was a piece of cake to do with the Joovy Room2 playard. A much bigger portable travel playard and so much nicer to look at. It’s nearly 10 square feet of space, mesh windows, elevated off the floor, and has a padded mattress. You can even order a waterproof fitted sheet. 

    We also tried sticking your dockatot grand in there because you absolutely love drinking your milk in there and taking short naps in there, but when it’s bedtime, we take it out so you have plenty of space to move around freely which you do while snoozing. It’s like you’re dancing in your sleep. 


    📷: 3 little girls all in one room. 

    Flash forward to a little over a week later and I’m to the moon thrilled to say you have adjusted to your new room and love sleeping in your new Joovy room2. Surprisingly your cries don’t wake Abigail up at all, but hopefully this will stop soon as we are working on getting you off the need for a bottle during the night. We’re currently lessening the ounces you’re getting as well as giving you a “dream feed” before we go to bed. Fingers crossed. 


    We have Joovy to thank for this amazing comfortable Room2 playard that will get plenty of use throughout our house when mommy needs to do her chores or needs to put you in “jail” because we’re hopeful one day you’ll make it to your own room or we’ll just get you and your sister a bunk bed! 

    P.S. Joovy has tons of other products from strollers to bottles. They’re well made, stylish and modern for the everyday family. #joovy #family


    📷: 3 little girls all comfortably sleeping the night away. 


    Cheers for now and thanks for reading!