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

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    Oh Dear, Gestational Diabetes. 

    What a bummer it has been to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 33. I used to eat whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted, but that has all changed drastically to not fail the test (4 times daily).

    It’s a little different from UK to USA so I’ve heard. For UK, the target glucose level (1) hour after a meal is 7.5 mmol/L and before breakfast (fasting) is 5.3 mmol/L. For USA, they calculate over 130 mg/dL as being too high. Also, I got tested at week 31 and looks like USA tests before 28 weeks.

    Back to the diet changes – wow! It’s like a tough battle of trial and error on what I can/cannot eat especially for breakfast.  I’ve figured it out so I can have peanut butter on wheat bread. Cut out the fruit and milk. Lovely.

    Meals have turned into nuts, eggs, minimal wheat bread/pita, japchae (Korean noodles), chicken, and sadly more veggies.


    📷: broccolini & bell peppers stir fried with the best soy sauce in the world #wanjashan – vegetarian mushroom sauce. This sauce is thicker and not salty so extra easy to cook without bringing out some sugar and starch from your cabinet to mix with your soy sauce.

    To add more salt to the wound, Abigail is now on summer break until September 6. This is definitely making the last trimester a little harder. I can easily say the 2nd pregnancy is harder than the 1st now since it is less relaxing and more outings with the little.

    📷: playdate with her mates

    📷: Day 1 at the park. She took a tumble shortly after this. Ouch.

    📷: Twirls on this dress from @peytonslane is a yes. Love this shop – check it out for some adorable patterns on her handmade products! And of course, rocking her Freshly Picked moccasins.

    Wrapping it up – I now understand what it feels like to have dietary restrictions not by choice. Dreadful, but thinking optimistically – it will hopefully be easier to lose the baby weight after baby is born.

    Cheers for now.

    First Day of Summer. 

    Well hello, first day of summer in London & worst morning ever.

    I’m not going to make my blogs a rant or vent session, but this one takes the cake as capturing it all with a huge bit of “sweet” in it.

    It’s June and yet another pouring rain morning. I had thought of uber – my favorite means of transportation, but thought “hey, it’s not too bad of a downpour and I save £5 which can be shopping money.”

    So, we both trek off with our umbrellas and holding hands. I’m also holding her big art folder which serves as a great belly shield from the sideways rain. Good times. 😡

    While crossing the street, Abigail trips and takes me down with her. Both of us are sprawled on the gravel! I immediately pull her up and ask if she’s ok. She’s fighting back tears and says she’s wet but ok. She asks me if I’m ok and then proceeds to ask if baby is ok. 😮♥️ Wow, did my 3 year old just ask about her future little sister? In the midst of the dreadful rain while she’s all wet with probably sore or bloodied knees, she thought of her little sister. I couldn’t have had a more proud mama moment and know she’s ready to be a big sister.

    Ok, well back to being a 3 year old – she couldn’t hold her pee in for the rest of the walk (.6 mile walk to nursery) and had an accident. Nothing like rain water and peepee to change her out of before 9am.

    I, on the other hand, have an swollen left ankle, cut up knees and 31 weeks pregnant. But, I think of the silver lining behind all this – this little bugaboo is ready to be a big sister. ♥️


    📷: Current favorite reads & toy (included in GH special edition set – size to scale!). #lovebooksbyAJ side note – thank you for all the orders. Keep it coming to donate more to building a school for Bangladesh children. www.ajangsley.com #giveback 

    She’s ready to give hugs. 📷: With her favorite big doggy, Buzz.

    She’s ready to push her around. 📷: With her gal pal in NorCal.

    She’s ready to play. 📷: With her nursery mate at the playground.

    She’s ready to walk to nursery on her own. Kidding!

    Product LOVE
    📷: Serious love for this shop – peytons lane. This mama from Texas handmade this and it’s adorable. The details down to the stitching and patterns chose are perfect.  Check her out!

    Cheers for now and hope your Monday is better than mine!

    On Cloud 9. 

    What can I say about being on cloud 9? I’m 30 weeks pregnant and enjoying the pregnancy cravings a little too much. Fingers crossed on gestational diabetes and how the test turns out since I’m above average and now I have to take the 4 hour test (I had to do this for Abigail as well).

    I would say the second time around I’m much more relaxed about everything. The must haves I swear by to have for baby are the following (based off my experience with Abigail):

    • Rock n’ play – it’s not necessary to get the auto rock n’ play (but nice to have) as it’s pretty easy to learn to sit on the couch and rock it with your feet (good exercise for getting rid of cankles!).  This is perfect during the day to keep them angled and actually helped my little nap much better.
    • Zippered footed onsies – I got the cotton ones from Old Navy and like them! Wait for a sale (now, tomorrow, everyday!).
    • Muslim swaddle blankets – the brand I used before was Aden & Anais, but I’m really digging Modern Burlap with their neat monochrome designs.
    • Burpy bibs by Aden & Anais – lived by them and it was the perfect size for putting on the shoulder to burp baby as well! This also soaked up drool perfectly and has a snap to hold the bib together.
    • Aquaphor – this has been my go-to for literally everything that needs a little “fixing” or moisturizing.  I know everyone’s skin is different so hopefully trying this one out first will do the trick.
    • Wubbanub pacifier – not only do they have the cutest animals connected to their pacifiers, but it helps keep the pacifier in their mouth when they are on their back. My little used it to both soothe and as a security “toy.”
    • Just born – terry wash cloths – any small wash cloths will do but these were the perfect size and to this day, my 3 year old uses them to wash her face and another for her body.

    📷: naptime in her rock n’play with her wubbanub giraffe pacifier at 6 months.

    New products to give a whirl from hearing about and/or I love to support up and coming businesses.

    • MiaMily Hipster Carrier  – the new generation has storage space to fit all the necessities (e.g. keys, bottle, diaper, phone) for that quick run out!
    • Dockatot (USA)/Sleepyhead (International) – raving reviews on helping your new bundle sleep well and give you some sleep as well! My first had some problems sleeping so hopefully this product will help.
    • Cosatto pushchair – OMG, can their patterns be any more amazing, bright, and colorful? They are also functional and light – what more can you ask for?
    • Nuby breast pump – I’ve been looking for something smaller than what I previously had and plus with a UK adapter and found this.  Also, it’s nice to note that the Nuby Digital Breast Pump has won the 2016 Prima Baby Magazine SIlver Award for the best electric breast pump.
    • Lil Dandlelion Bib-danas –  so soft and organic. They feel great and are super stylish (my 3 year old wants to wear as an accessory)
    • Lalabubaby soothe shirt – triples being amazing by being a nursing bra, soothe pouch (use instead of a carrier), and a stylish top.  Looking forward to wearing on the even quicker errands I have to run with baby #2.
    • TwelveLittle Diaper Backpack – I couldn’t resist and tested it out already and in love.  Not only is the Companion backpack padded, but the details with it are fabulous (e.g. 4 metal balls on the bottom of the backpack to avoid having the material touch the floor!) It also has the ideal amount of pockets and most importantly things all fit.
    • Dribble Dry – just got mine and it’s so soft! I’m sure my new bundle will love taking a breather from a bibdana and burpy bib!

    Product LOVE: North Star Knits 

    • I couldn’t stop myself and got two handmade crochet rugs from this small shop and they are perfect.  Perfect thickness and really shows the love put into these rugs. My little loves to take naps on them as well.  They are also machine washable but air dry so the shape holds.
    • Anna has many other designs and products she does (e.g. beanies, socks) so definitely check out her etsy shop by going to her website above. I promise you won’t regret it as she is a sweet mama to work with.

    📷 : northstarknits rug

    Any products you have that are must haves, please do share with me! I would love to know.

    Cheers for now!

    G is for Great Greece. 

    Part 2: Delphi & Meteora

    Simply amazing. Pictures don’t do these two cities justice especially Meteora and the majestic monasteries sitting atop these cliffs dating back to the 1300s.

    Delphi

    📷: On the drive to Delphi

    📷: Cute little town of Delphi

    Travel Recommended Product:

    • Bobble is our go to bottle for Abigail as it has a filter and doesn’t leak. Although, after looking at it’s website, I don’t see the small bottle that Abigail uses listed anymore (18.5 oz is what they have which may be a little heavy for a 2 year old). #bobble help!

    📷: Our guide at the Delphi Ruins


    📷: Finally warmed up a bit to not wear a jacket (end of April).

      


    Product LOVE:

    • This girl has to take off the bracelets while eating. We love our pineapple bracelet from Zopihi.  They have the cutest children’s jewelry designed in Austin, inspired by Maui.  The best thing about their products are they are lead, cadium, and phthalates free. Mums – go check them out!


    Meteora


    📷: Crazy wind makes a crazy #mombun


      

    📷: The Meteora – one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to the Mount Athos. More info, check out wikipedia


    📷: Along the drive in the mountains there were these stands – I wonder exactly what the significance is. Anyone know?

    Travel recommended product:

    • We are in love with our passport holder from Up & Away. It’s easy to hold the passports together with up to a family of 5, putting your cards in one spot, and some cash as well. If you travel as much as us, you can also stick extra landing cards in there! And, I can’t forget that you can choose from a variety of colors and patterns for the interior and exterior – keeping the jet setting family in style!  LOVE – make these a perfect Mother’s Day present. *hint, hint.

    📷: The town of Meteora. We ate at the Gardenia (pictured left) which was just OK, but as always friendly service.

    Product LOVE:

    • My little loves her Mini Melissa shoes – she thinks she’s walking the catwalk!  Definitely be prepared for how quickly they will get scuffed up.  Cool thing – they have this baby powder smell. No stinky feet for her!

    📷: We stayed at the Grand Meteora Hotel which was nice that it is new with a gorgeous view of the rocks. However, if you’re looking for strong wi-fi or pool after your hike around Meteora, this definitely isn’t the place for you.

    • Tip: I always read and write reviews from trip advisor.  I’ve found them generally pretty accurate for the hotels. Food wise – it’s definitely a hit or miss. 



    📷: view from our balcony

    Cheers for now!