Happy 100th Roald Dahl.Β 

One of my favorite all time authors growing up. I can still remember going to the library to check out his books to read. What I didn’t know until now is that he is British novelist and that makes it all the more special to celebrate his 100th anniversary here in London. He has sold over 200 million copies worldwide. #authorgoals

Also, Roald Dahl gives back too (What an inspiration as I give back from my alphabet books as well!).

  • 10% of all Roald Dahl income goes to their charity partners (e.g.specialist children’s nurses, grants for families in need, and educational outreach programmes).  If you would like to donate: Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity

My 3 favorite books of his (I didn’t realize Abigail has done the London inspired events with his books):

  • Matilda
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • The BFG

Currently going on in London is the #BFGDreamJars until August 31. It’s been awesome to see and watch how amazed Abigail is with each of them.  We’ve been on a mission to see some of my favorites from the 50 dream jars. We even put in a bid to own one of them since all the proceeds go to Save the Children and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.  Crazy, I know, but how cool would it be to have one?!

So, if you’re in London and looking for something to do while getting in some iconic spots and showing your littles about the book they read/watched, this is a trail to do! 

More about #BFGDreamJars here

πŸ“·: Obviously this is my favorite one and it’s so intricately designed.

Read by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Dress: Wren & James (I’ll tell you before you ask as I had so many compliments on this pinafore. Our little loves it and wants to wear it everyday. Nice, thick fabric with great stitching. This is in 4T so she’ll grow into it a bit more. 

πŸ“·: My little bookworm loved it and even found a hippo and the letter “A” for Abigail in this jar. You can guess where my bid went and what a dream come true it would be to get this.

Read by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Dress: Wren & James Bow: Honey Say

 

πŸ“·: Safe by: Ryan McElhinney

Dress: Hatley (they give back too!)

 

πŸ“·: I Dream of the Universe by Stephen Hawking

Dress: Hatley

πŸ“·: Innocence by HRH The Countess of Wessex

Dress: Wren & James

πŸ“·: Happy Jumble of Life by Sophie Dahl (the real life granddaughter of Roald Dahl)

Dress: Wren & James  Bow: Honey Say

πŸ“·: We went to watch Matilda earlier this year and A loved it. It was almost a 2 hour performance!  She loved the energy and singing of the kids. Well thought out musical and would definitely recommend watching. 


πŸ“·: Right before the show began. Recommend trying to get the seats with the extra leg room. 

πŸ“·: Of course you can’t go to the musical and know there is a Matilda inspired afternoon tea to top with this smart gal. We went to aftenoon tea with our California visitors – yes you get a free copy of the book and yes there are better afternoon teas to go to like what I’m going to show/tell you next! 


πŸ“·: donut lollipops were to die for along with these brownies not pictured. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired afternoon tea. I would say this is a super delicious high tea to go to if you’re into sweets (savory is good too!) and a fab presentation/spread.  More info here

Happy 100th to an amazing novelist! 

Cheers and thanks for reading. Xx

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36 Weeks Pregnant.Β 

My hubs always says it is only 9 months and I always have to correct him and say it’s actually 40 weeks which is 10 months of sacrifices. πŸ™„

Pregnancy the second time around has been a little bit more relaxing as I’m not stressing about everything and I feel I know what to expect when baby girl #2 comes. One thing I’ve been really focused on is making sure I’m showering lots of love and attention to my first – Abigail. 😘  We talk about baby sister a lot and what she will share and help me with to what she cannot eat or play with yet. It’s crazy at 3 years and 3 months what she remembers from these “deep” conversations we have. Love it.

We’ve been getting happy mail post for both her and baby so I always want her to feel extra special when mail is for her and she gets to wear it first.  She loves when I tell her baby sister gets it as a “hand me down.”

She loved happy mail post from Hatley since she adores wearing dresses and twirling like a ballerina or just busting a groove with finally good London weather (well one day at least). So, we have been going around town and just spending mummy and daughter time. β™₯️

I fell in love with Hatley for the bright colors and adorable prints and even more in love when I read their about us page. They support an orphanage in India called Open Door Mercy Home Trust – home to 22 boy and girls. How amazing to know they are doing this as giving back to the community is high on my agenda with my children books as well.

πŸ“·: Oh, Hatley you can even make my little dance in a smock dress.

πŸ“·: How cute is this blouse? She loves the horses and silver stripes on it. #toddlerapproved #hatley

πŸ“·: Superstar status

πŸ“·: This dress was hands down her favorite as she loves strawberries and pink. We’re on the Millennium bridge heading back home from Tate Modern.



πŸ“·: Fall collection is coming soon so be sure to keep an eye out for Hatley that also gives back – my kind of shop. β™₯️β™₯️

Mamas & Papas – what else do you do in preparation for the soon to be expired only child status? I would love to hear! xx

LOOKBOOK BELOW
I just couldn’t resist taking more pictures with these adorable prints from Hatley. They have women’s clothing as well and some are perfect for twinning with your little!  LOVE.


Cheers for now and don’t forget to stop and enjoy life’s little things (like lavender). 😎

Relaxing with Lavender.Β 

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 😟)


πŸ“·: 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. 🐝
  • 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 Β£2 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.

πŸ“·: Beetle hunting. Mission failed. They found bumblebees & snails instead. 🐝🐌

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

πŸ“·: On a mission to make her own lavender.

Product LOVES: A in one of her gorgeous dresses from this amazing shop: Ele StoryΒ πŸ‘€ 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). Β Mia HeartmadeΒ πŸ’Ÿ



Last thing before signing off – happy birthday to my Dad. We miss you everyday & the real reason we came to the lavender fields. β™₯️

Liberty London Love.Β 

I just can’t get over how these Liberty London flower prints got me and millions of other people swooning over them. They are too precious! Maybe I love it more since we live in London. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§β™₯️ More on specifically Flowers of Liberty.  

Currently, there is a lot of Liberty prints at uniqlo – I wanted to add I love their line called airism. Amazing, especially the bra camisole. Perfect length and so comfy. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to go back to wearing a bra! Sorry, #tmi ☺️

Shop Small LOVE

One of the first small shops (and she just launched!) that I found on IG that made Liberty print dresses was Madebyjay. She was a pleasure to work with and omg her packaging and details are wonderful. The dress came at a perfect length and my little loves it. We actually have matching prints but mine is a tank top from Uniqlo that she said the flowers are much bigger on my growing belly πŸ˜‚. You have to love that candid honesty in a kid. 

πŸ“· : cute buttons at the top to take on and off easily. It would be pretty awesome if it was reversible as its thin and perfect for warm weather. 

πŸ“· : if you’re really sweet, Madebyjay may even throw in a pair of bloomers. β™₯️

πŸ“· : Loves it with her cons of course. Ready to run amuck! 

Of course, if you give a girl a dress, you have to give her an accessory (just like giving a mouse a cookie πŸͺ). I’ll highlight just one bow shop that I love since she’s also an expat from the USA living in London like me! Her shop just opened as well and this mama couldn’t be more sweet. She also makes bow ties for your little dude too! 

Shop small LOVE: MaddieandMeLondon 

  • We got several items but my little got to them before I could snap some pictures. The last 2 before she insisted she open them. The headband will be adorable on baby girl – super soft. 

πŸ“· : twinning in their bows at princess Diana’s memorial playground. 

Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx

Mommy & Daughter France Trip.Β 

It was a little crazy to go on a trip without the hubs at 32 weeks pregnant but I did have some of my besties there so I guess technically it wasn’t just the bugaboo and me.

We took the Eurostar from London to Paris which is a smooth and quick 2.5 hour ride. The journey is pretty seamless so I would just advise getting to the station at least 1.5 hours in advance if you’re traveling with little(s). Oh, and if you’re preggos – you just may get special treatment. 😎

This trip was mainly just to visit the main sights since it’s pretty amazing now how Abigail actually remembers things at age 3 versus age 2. We did Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, walked along the Champs Elysees to shop, Versailles & Giverny (Monet’s house). Relatively pretty relaxing as we used both the metro and uber along with walking of course.

Thoughts traveling with a 3 year old (from my experience):

  • US people – get used to no toilet seat covers for your little (or yourself)
  • bring an extra change of clothes if you’re going to be out for the day
  • anti-bacterial wipes for everything they’re touching
  • ice cream is everywhere – this is perfect for bribing along with Haribo gummies. 😜

 

πŸ“·: Rocking it “Thriller” style even after having to go potty right before in let’s say not a toilet. 😁 What do you parents do when they say they have to go and there is not a toilette in sight? #pleaseshare

Product Review LOVE: EleStory

OMG, I can’t stop raving about the quality and details of EleStory dresses. They really bring out the magic in dresses and where you’re at. I received several compliments during the day about her dress and how she was twirling about in it. Love the linen material, length (this is toddler 2/3), and of course the flutter sleeves.

Product Review LOVE: TWELVElittle

We have the Companion backpack in Plus (shown above) and it’s the perfect fit. It doesn’t feel or look like a diaper bag but has the compartments for easy access to baby needs.

  • In my backpack, I was able to easily put in snacks, ipad w/kid cover, 2 changes of outfits, light jacket, sunscreen, lotion, medicine, coloring book/pad with markers, and of course some of my things with room to spare to go shopping.
  • Another perk is the hidden zipper section on the bottom of the bag to put dirty nappies or something you want separated from the rest of things.  Since right now it is just for my toddler, it has straws, napkins, and paper (things won’t bend in here).
  • Maybe it’s the OCD in me, but one detail I noticed is the 4 metal balls at the bottom of the backpack so the waterproof material doesn’t touch the ground.  How nifty is that?
  • Of course, not every bag is perfect so I would note if they’re making new bags, I would love to have one bigger compartment to put papers/ipad in and also it would be great to have the jacket hang on the side of the bag instead of inside (probably wouldn’t look as fashionable but it sure will save space inside).

πŸ“·: No Paris trip is complete without macaroons from Laduree.  We also had the pistachio milk shake and I was sure I was in heaven. Money well spent as it was also my last sweet I am to eat for this pregnancy now since I got the phone call from the hospital that my blood glucose level is too high. Buggers. πŸ˜“

Product LOVE: Bows!

I’m thrilled that she wants to wear bows and accessories in her hair so have found some amazing shops I support and love as they have the cutest prints and are well made. She doesn’t wear headbands so I can’t vouch for that, but future baby girl will be able to.

Mia_Handmade – her amazing butterfly designs have made me fallen in love with this shop and the mama.  She also has pom poms and my personal favorite genuine leather bows. LOVE.

Maddie and me London – who doesn’t love liberty of london fabric?  This American mom makes them and they are adorable.

James and Faye – I love the way her bows are made. They look so cute in Abigail’s hair. Well made!

πŸ“·: Versailles Palace was gorgeous! It was a cloudy day, but great for the girls pretending they were ballerinas in their dresses from Taylor Joelle Designs. What I would recommend is getting a golf cart (32 euros a hour).

Product LOVE: Bella | Ha shoes

These sandals are amazing and very comfortable (no joke!). What is probably the best part about this shop is they give back. With every pair of Bella | Ha shoes, it will help send solar suitcases to an area of the world in need. What is a solar suitcase?  It’s a portable, suitcase-like device that equips off-the-grid medical clinics with solar power so they can have light. Get your pair today! They can easily dress up an outfit.

πŸ“·: Giverny – what a cute countryside and home to Claude Monet. We decided to drive from Paris to Versaille to Giverny so we weren’t confined to the hours of a day tour. It was a nice drive.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to visit inside Monet’s house since Abigail had too much fun at Versailles and was still snoozing in the car when we arrived and by the time she woke up, Monet’s house had closed (6pm).

Product LOVE: Tiny Tinks

How cute is this doll?  We couldn’t be more happier with her.  Ours also came with a tutu but we left it at home as this traveling dolly didn’t want to get her clothes dirty.  There are different accessories you can add on and you can pick your colors to make your perfect dolly for your little. This will be a dolly she won’t let out of her sight as she also sleeps with her!

…and that wraps up our mommy/daughter trip before baby girl comes in August.

Cheers for now!