Road Trip.

The amazing thing about living in Southern California (the OC) is how you can go from beach time to the mountain w/snow in 1.5 hours. It is definitely one of the perks of living in socal vs. norcal (oh and Disneyland – did you know Minnie Mouse got her own star “finally” on the walk of fame?)

This past weekend’s adventure was renting a cabin in Lake Arrowhead to take the kids to the snow.  We prayed to the snow gods to give us snow in front of the cabin and it worked! Abigail had already seen snow and did all sorts of cool things snow related in Europe (dog sledding, ice fishing, reindeer sleigh riding to sleeping in a glass igloo) but Addison only got to see snow one other time in CA (which she hated). Its so different how these two are growing up so far but we truly do hope she will experience these unforgettable adventures in time once the 3rd babe is here and ready to travel.

Good times in Lake Arrowhead. Some tips!

  • Bring snow chains and read the manual on how to put them on prior to the trip or if your car even needs it.
  • Rented our cabin on AirBnb and loved it (message me if you would like the contact). It is perfect for 3 families very comfortably (one room has 2 sets of bunkbeds)
  • SnowDrift tubing park is overpriced and any adult that wants to go in has to pay $17/hr even if you’re clearly pregnant and just want to take a couple pictures.  Parking is $6 as well. The kids definitely tire quickly from walking up the steps with their tube so 1 hour is plenty of time! My suggestion would be to buy a sled and find a spot to go sledding…or clean out a trash can lid! =P

  • Lake Arrowhead Village is quaint and has an amazing view of the lake.  There is also some “amusement park” type games for kids too (e.g. go karts).
  • oh yea, I think I found the perfect mitts for littles under 5. They’re from North Face. They stay on well and can be velcro-ed tighter and looks warm! P.S. want to make sure you don’t lose them (these seem pretty hard to)?  Get ribbon and tie a knot to the hook of one glove and loop it through the arm of one sleeve, through the tag and then through the arm of the other sleeve to the other glove!

P.S. I can’t help but give a shoutout to Belly Bandit for their AH-MAZ-ING compression socks (new to their product line) and the BDA leggings. They were a godsend with the altitude and also keeping warm. The compression socks run to knee high and are too cute with 2 shades of grey and a beige color! For the BDA leggings, I was worried I would have to keep pulling up but I didn’t have that problem at all (this babe does sit higher up though). Both of these items are a #musthave for you pregnant mamas!! The socks are even cute enough to be worn not pregnant!! #checkitout

Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx

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Heart Spain. 

At 10 weeks old and half term for the kids, we decided our first flying trip as a family of 4 would be to Spain.

📷: Basilica de Santa Maria la real de Covadonga – situated up in the mountains.

But first, some travel tips. 

In no particular order for a new family of 4. Abigail (toddler is almost 3.5 years old) and Addison is 10 weeks old.

  • Ask if it’s a full flight so always gate check your pram and infant car seat. It could be an empty flight so you may be able to use the car seat on the flight free of charge.
  • Bring baby bottle cleaning supplies. To keep it compact, I brought a new toothbrush, sponge, and baby cleanser (we bought 3 bottles to use for this trip)
  • Muslin blankets since they are super compact, quick to dry, and much more easier to pack than fleece. Also, good to line bedding or other surfaces you want baby on.  My current favorite shop because of their adorable prints and super soft material are from Bebeaulait. They’re coming out with a new line mid November with Unikiki 2.0 Tokidoki.
  • Babywear! This made things so much easier especially in small restaurants, crowded places, or just historic places with no lifts. We used the ergo with our first but converted to the Miamily hipster carrier and are head over heels in love. The back support is amazing to walking around all day and our little falls asleep so quickly in it!  Plus, I love how they’re sitting on a seat and there is a zippered pouch to put some goodies in as well.  A definite must have if your babe likes to be held (who doesn’t right?)

📷: Miamily-ing it while hiking to the super blue waterfall in the Amescoa Baja Navarre

  • Resealable bags – so handy for snacks, small items, and for liquids not to spill everywhere.
  • Comfortable, quick to dry nursing bras. You just don’t know when it needs to be washed. My current favorite is the Bravado body silk nursing bra. It’s wire free and easy to mold to your changing body.  The material is great, comfortable to sleep in, and easy to snap the latch with one hand.  I wish I had known I can use this when I had the bump.
  • Bathing the littlest is probably the hardest when you’re traveling so we gave more so sponge baths on top of a hotel towel. Yes, bring a sponge! Btw – the sponges (inexpensive) I’m in love with are from Trader Joe and come compact until you stick them in water the first time. They’re orange colored and perfect for washing the face and body. We also love using our Momme 2 in 1 wash gel. I think it has really helped in clearing her cradle cap!

  • Most importantly, relax and have fun. You’re not visiting a 3rd world country just quite yet with your kids so you will be able to find something if you forget or need it.  

Below are some more pictures from our adventures in Spain.

📷: San Sebastian

📷: OMG – the pinxtos (similar to what we call tapas) are AH-MAZING! If you’re ever in this town, definitely visit this place. Pictured is foie gras and pork shoulder.

📷: Taking in the sights of Santa Clara island while watching Addison sleep with her Nuby soothie and dummy clip by MadebyJay.

📷: Picture perfect stay at the Eguren Ugarte in the Rioja Alavesa. Going on the lift you see the cave with wine barrels. WOW!

📷: Checking out the architecture of the Marqués de Riscal Vineyard Hotel in this region by Frank Gehry (Yes, he designed the Walt Disney concert hall among many others). 

📷: Visited the Cune Vina Real winery designed by French architect Philippe Mazieres. It was made to look like a wine barrel and also functional with the gravity installation to make wine. 

📷: Visited the coolest town ever – POO

📷: Bilbao was wonderful and everyone kept saying how it’s a very safe city. There are parks everywhere for the kids and of course tasty food! 

 

📷: Even Abigail enjoyed this place as much as we did!

📷: Guggenheim Bilbao (designed by Frank Gehry)


📷: our first selfie as a family of 4.

Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx

Father’s Day Love. 

This crazy jet lag tied to being 30 weeks pregnant is keeping me wide awake so I decided to share a little something more personal since it is also Father’s Day – my dad. 

My dad passed very suddenly of a heart attack almost 5 years ago (July 9, 2011). I will never forget that day hearing the news and just wondering how this could happen – he ate relatively healthy, exercised, and it just wasn’t fair.  He didn’t get to walk me down the aisle 4 months later, didn’t get to see more of the world as he had just retired, didn’t get to enjoy a full life of events with my mom, but the one thing that hit me the most now that I’m a mom is that his almost 4 grandchildren (my older brother has 2) will never get to meet their amazing grandpa. 

Abigail will never get to hear his jokes, witness his always calm demeanor, learn how to swim with him, eat Doritos nacho flavored and his handmade salsa, or spend weekends at the grandparents while mom and dad go places. What she will get are stories about him and that he is watching her from up in the sky.  Do you have any other ideas on what you would do with your toddler? 

What strikes me is how intuitive she is.  She knows him by name and has asked on numerous occasions to see him at 2 years old. How does she have such good selective memory already in knowing about one of her grandpas?! Toddlers and their thought process along with their never ending questions to find an answer.  Amazing – do you notice this in your kids?

This also always gets me thinking that our time is really precious and we should always value it for it can be taken with the blink of an eye. Take pictures/videos to capture the moment!  It can be tedious now, but you will love it later and so will your grandchildren (wow, that makes us sound old). 

On a lighter note, our Father’s Day present is a shadow box with four of the Marval comics Lego figures telling Ba-bee (Abigail calls her Dad this which is awesome since I called my Dad this too – in mandarin “Dad” is “baba” and sounds like we both just couldn’t get it right 😳) that he is her superhero. 

Because, I wish I could do it myself, but creatively can’t make it look as nice as what I picture in my head, we found this shop on Instagram called Namesake Gifts and she does some of the cutest things. Definitely, check them out for future custom gifts for those living in the UK. 

Care to share what your gift is and what you have planned?

📷: Abigail @ age 2. October 2015

📷: Showing off her counting skills. 

📷: Abigail @ age 1. 

📷: Abigail @ about 9 months. 

To my Dad, happy Dad’s day! I hope you’re proud of me and thank you for telling me to follow my dreams – becoming a children’s author is quite a milestone. 

Cheers for now and hope you all have a fabulous Father’s Day weekend.