Whatโ€™s in the โ€œgo bag?โ€

It’s been long overdue for a post on what’s going on with this 38/1/2 weeks pregnant mama so I thought this would be a fitting post as I am just barely hanging on to the day to day life as a family of four. #pooped

I am definitely one to not overpack and sometimes forgets things but I like to think in this case my better half can always go home and get it if I am in dire need.

I’m bringing my leather Lilyjade diaper bag to keep my smaller items and a duffel for the rest. I got these Calpak & ohjoy packing cubes and so in love with the bright colors and what you can put inside. They’re perfect and love the zipper! Below (in no particular order) is what I feel are must haves at the hospital as a 3rd time mama!

  • Belly Bandit Mother Tucker corset
  • Depends underwear (who wants to ruin their own!) & pantiliners (they’ll have at the hospital but usually the really thick kind with no wings)
  • Outfit for baby to go home in – something with leggings since he/she will be going in a car seat for the first time.
  • Comfy outfit (2) – loose sleeves so they can take your blood pressure and buttons/zip up if you plan to breastfeed! I would just wear the hospital gown and then when it’s time to head home, change! Keep your own clothes nice and clean. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Socks to keep those little toes warm
  • Comfy slippers to walk around in and flip flops for the shower
  • Swaddle blanket for the babe (and to take pictures in!) we love ours from Bebeaulait. The cutest prints and oh so soft muslin material. They’re a definite must have.
  • Toiletries (if you have contacts, bring glasses as you’ll be up at random hours – go figure ๐Ÿผ).
  • Hydroflask so you stay hydrated with your choice of hot/cold water.
  • Some snacks because we know hospital food is oh so good.
  • Psst….and plenty of space in your duffel to sneak home some hospital goodies (e.g. diapers, formula)

T-11 days but hopefully sooner like today!! โ˜˜๏ธโ˜˜๏ธ

Cheers for now and thanks for reading.

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It’s One Month.ย 

Do you start your day with a list of things you’re going to do and wonder why at the end of the day you didn’t finish it? I’m currently on that boat with having a now one month old.

Addison is a tough egg to crack. She’s a super light sleeper and it sure has been a struggle getting her to sleep and then keeping her asleep. Painful is what I would call it so here’s to hoping month two is better in our flat.

BUT, at least she has some cute accessories from some amazing shops. 

๐Ÿ“ท: Hello world! I’m all smiles for mummy. 

Product LOVES (serious Liberty love!)

Mille & Bee – this mama gives back a portion of her proceeds from Liberty hair bands to a UK miscarriage association. Amazing! 

Made by Jay – baby and children’s clothing in Liberty print along with other cute accessories. She also knits shoes too! 

๐Ÿ“ท: Millie & Bee even sent this lovely card as well. 

๐Ÿ“ท: Product LOVE: Lorena Canals

2 words for the extra clean mom – machine washable. This sold me quickly and I’m in love with this rug. My 3 year old also takes her daily naps after nursery on it and insists she sleep on London. So, yes it is soft and thick enough for a toddler to nap on! 

On a happy note from one mama to another (sorry if you’re a male reading this!), 1 month post partum and everyone keeps telling me I’m looking great and what is the secret. Here goes (drum roll please):

Product LOVE: Belly Bandit

From maternity to post, Belly Bandit has me covered. I wore the upsie belly during pregnancy and it totally helped with back support and all the walking I was doing. It also had the hot/cold pack which was wonderful to use on the back as well.

After giving birth, I started wearing the bamboo belly bandit with belly shield and have been for a month now. It has been helpful as you can hopefully see and has made me feel better – now if the stretch marks would just magically disappear!

OK, now the true secret – ladies, I know you’re looking for the perfect black leggings – here they are – Mother Tucker leggings. I’m wearing them in a small.


Heading to check out the gorgeous London Aquatics centre by the late Zaha Hadid. This is pretty neat to check out if you want to visit Queen Elizabeth Olympic park (also across from the mall). There is a fun playground with sand for kids, the world tallest tunnel slide, water fun, and a river!  Worth checking out if you’re visiting for a week with kids! 

Quick note, the diaper backpack I’m wearing is from Jujube. They have a huge collection of styles and just launched a new selection. I must agree that their bag is light and a perfect fit for this mama of two so far. LOVE – the one I have is called the Black Widow from the Be Right Back collection. 

๐Ÿ“ท: Now, please give mama some sleep too.

Cheers for now and thanks for reading (would love if you subscribe – I promise I won’t “spam” you). xx

Home Stretch.ย 

OMG, 38 weeks pregnant and I should probably have my hospital bag packed and ready to go (along with bottles and baby products that go in the mouth sterilized and clothes/bibdanas/muslin blankies washed). Good thing my mum came in this past Saturday to help with my super chatty little bugaboo, Abigail. โ™ฅ๏ธ

Back to the hospital bag, I was finally able to talk to a doctor and nurse about the whole labor/delivery/after process (quite the waiting game at the hospital is what it looks like) and now I’m all set on what I need to bring/provide for baby girl NHS style.

  • Nappies
  • Hat
  • Formula
  • Clothes

Guess that’s everything (I won’t be needing a spare empty bag like the US). ๐Ÿ˜‰

To note: private rooms can run to ยฃ800/night but being in the hospital ward (4 to a room) is free. Earphones/plugs – hello, I will need you.

No worries on bunking with other Brits as I’ll still make our stay comfy with some key items below.

  • Lalabu soothe shirt – I can’t wait to baby wear my newborn. Also, they’re an amazing shop, they give 2% of all sales back to moms in Africa, supporting mom entrepreneurs through micro-finance. I can’t wait to use my shirt with my little as the material is so soft. They also just came out with new colors. ๐Ÿ˜
  • Belly bandit bamboo wrap – I recommend the bamboo material as its much softer and we’re so sensitive in that area with just giving birth. I also got the belly shield to apply oils and lotions since sadly I did not get the lucky genes of stretchy perfect skin to keep my wrap clean.
  • Small Stuff bibdana to keep baby clean and styling 
  • Thebobbinbelle Muslin swaddle and Muslin blankie – I can’t rave enough how this new small shop has the cutest designs.  This mama also does custom ones so definitely ask! The blankie is approximately 45″ x 45″ so something even my now 3 year old still uses.
  • Nuby breast pump – Oh so portable and looks easy to use. I know the hospital will provide a pump should I need it, but figured I will bring to get used to this new device.
    • Digital Breast Pump has won the 2016 Prima Baby Magazine SIlver Award for the best electric breast pump.

  • Anna Crochet Knit panda bear beanie – found this sweet mama on Instagram and she takes custom orders as I’ve been getting so many panda bear prints (monochrome love). If you’re interested, her email is anna.crochet.knit@gmail.com
  • TWELVE little changing pad – this one came with my diaper backpack and has 12 different animals on it to represent one year of the 12-year cycle based on the Chinese zodiac. The year the person is born determines their animal sign. Curious which animal you are? Check here.
  • Wubbanub hippo – Abigail loved hers so we figured we would get one for baby.  With the stuffed animal attached to the pacifier, it helps to not fall far away from baby
  • Motherlove nipple cream – I swear by this from Abigail. All organic ingredients. LOVE
  • Footed onsies – I even got zippered ones just to make my life a lot easier. 

Of course, even with the new baby girl coming, we want to make sure Abigail isn’t forgotten and always my #1 bugaboo. We took her out and about with a new dress from Petit Peony and she was ecstatic (she insists on wearing a dress daily – rain or shine). I hope this dress-loving toddler lasts forever. ๐Ÿ‘—

We are swooning over Petite Peony for a couple reasons that will get you to fall in love with this mama of three.

  • She donates to children from Room To Grow (I also donate 25% of my net proceeds from my F is For Fox book to this amazing non-profit! #lovebooksbyAJ)
  • Petit Peony‘s designs are a modern take on classic designs
  • This mama’s shop is in over 85 boutiques in US and was also just featured in British Vogue August issue. Awesome!
  • They only use 100% premium and organic cotton.

๐Ÿ“ท: Background of the Shard – the tallest building in London.

๐Ÿ“ท: I thought this would be my favorite #bfgdreamjars piece to bid on but looks a lot different live. More on the dream jar trail (see previous post).

๐Ÿ“ท: Walking the line on Tower Bridge

๐Ÿ“ท:: A little break at this cool and yummy establishment. 1st floor – tavern, 2nd floor – pizzeria, 3rd floor – grill.  We ate at the pizzeria and enjoyed a nice outdoor view with tasty food!

๐Ÿ“ท: Seriously, moms helping moms on getting a reversible wrap dress – two dresses in one. Stains be gone in a flash.

๐Ÿ“ท: Cheers for now and thanks for reading. xx

Relaxing with Lavender.ย 

Ah, the smell of lavender and the oils it produces. It helps in relaxing your mind and muscles. I’m hoping it will do the same for me at now 36 weeks pregnant with gestational diabetes. I know there have been articles about the safety of oils and after reading on babycenter, I decided it would be ok as I’m well into my 3rd trimester and it says it helps with lowering blood pressure (mine is a tad high ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ)


๐Ÿ“ท: She’s so ready for baby sister to come – loves to giver her hugs and kisses daily. Also, wearing the #upsiebelly by Belly Bandit here – so helpful for this big ‘ole belly of mine and walking we did.

We headed out with another family to go to Mayfield Lavender Farm (1.5 hours away) on a gorgeous London day so it was worth the trip out to the “burbs.” I will note we went on a weekend and it was pretty packed so getting nice photos in can take a bit of time (it’s also quite a tourist spot with people dressing up to take pictures in the fields).

A couple things to note:

  • Fat bumblebees galore in the fields but they’re pretty occupied with the lavender so don’t bother you. ๐Ÿ
  • Sitting at the tables (only place to really sit) means you purchase cafe/bbq from the farm. No picnicking. Don’t worry, the food is good! They even have homemade lavender ice cream which I heard was really tasty.
  • Take the ยฃ2 tractor ride (sit on the right side when you enter to take pictures with lavender in the background) and if you’re real nice, the driver can drop you off on the other side and there are some greater photo opportunities with taller lavender.
  • Kids can have fun looking for beetle bugs (green bugs) with the jars.

๐Ÿ“ท: Beetle hunting. Mission failed. They found bumblebees & snails instead. ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒ

More on lavender (you can even make your own lavender oil from this informative read)

๐Ÿ“ท: On a mission to make her own lavender.

Product LOVES: A in one of her gorgeous dresses from this amazing shop: Ele Storyย ๐Ÿ‘€ She wil have mommy and daughter twinning dresses soon (Tutus already) which I can’t wait to get!

Of course, it’s not complete without a bow from this amazing shop with very well made bows (we vouch for the clips since that’s the only thing A will wear). ย Mia Heartmadeย ๐Ÿ’Ÿ



Last thing before signing off – happy birthday to my Dad. We miss you everyday & the real reason we came to the lavender fields. โ™ฅ๏ธ

Missing Cali.ย 

With summer finally here in London (I think it’s short lived as it says it will be raining yet again on Friday and Saturday), it’s funny the particular things I miss and wish we had in London. Who knew I would think of toilet seat covers as one of them? 

๐Ÿ“ท: LAX bathroom before flight back to London. 

I also think of good charmin’ toilet paper as well since I just can’t seem to find the perfect toilet paper in London. 

Target – oh man, how I love thee. Although my husband sure doesn’t miss this, I do. It’s seriously the one stop shop to everything along with great deals and the cutest things from marimekko to ohjoy. By the way, she’s got an amazing blog on DIY to pictures of her family to cute clothing to dress your littles in. I would jump on following her blog and just subscribe to get in your inbox. This gal is a serious inspiration and goal to strive to become a mom boss. โ™ฅ๏ธ


๐Ÿ“ท: ohjoy collection – love the alphabet line of course to tie in with my alphabet boardbook series. #lovebooksbyaj 

California Pizza Kitchen – my chain restaurant that I love way too much. Two must haves are the Sicilian pizza (if you’re a protein lover) and the delicious spinach artichoke dip. Yummy in everyone’s tummy – I swear. Ok, maybe not the super health conscious or anyone wanting to be remotely healthy. #cheatmeal

Water time – living in the ‘burbs, definitely spoiled with the abundant pools, splash pads, beaches and fountains to frolic in. 


๐Ÿ“ท: beach water fun in Cali #nofilter


๐Ÿ“ท: penthouse water fun in London 

Snacks – just to name a few I haven’t found in a normal London market (so many and we wonder why obesity is a problem in the USA ๐Ÿ˜ฎ)

  • Red vine (I hear it’s at Costco!)
  • Cheetos – flaming hots
  • Chex mix
  • Cheez-its
  • Goldfish
  • Lemon heads 
  • Tostitos – restaurant style (they’re the thin ones)

Am I leaving you with a case of the munchies now? BUT, don’t get me wrong either, I love London and all the adventures we can go on so quickly around Europe. Maybe I got overloaded with vitamin D yesterday and today and that’s why I wrote this blog or maybe I’m just missing Cali – soon enough we’ll be home as a family of 4 + reunited with our dog. 

Side note: currently at 35 weeks pregnant and feeling a lot better with the belly bandit upsie belly for back support and this growing belly (ultrasound said baby is at 5 pounds!). Bamboo soft wrap and comfy to wear with nothing digging into your growing belly. The other fabulous thing is it comes with a cold/hot gel pack that sticks into a pocket in the wrap to soothe your back – perfect for this “heatwave” here. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง #bellybandit 


Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx