OMG, 22.ย 

Abigail (3.5 years old) has now been to 22 European countries in the span of 2 years since moving to London. She’ll have some stories to tell but definitely iPhone pictures to share. Isn’t it crazy how tech savvy kids are?

This trip to Cyprus was a little painful since she was sick with a cough and probably a sore throat, but she toughed it out for the most part and only made it apparent she was just a toddler 30% of the day and wanted tons of cuddles from us.

We stayed at The Royal Apollonia for this holiday and we would definitely recommend it. It’s been renovated nicely and the hotel room floors are tile which makes it feel so much cleaner (plus, they provide hotel slippers!). We had a spectacular balcony view of the pool and Mediterranean Sea.

๐Ÿ“ท: Outside our balcony ๐Ÿ’Ÿ Already drooling at 13 weeks but this Frecklebaby bib makes my list as absorbent, soft, bamboo, and the cutest prints on both sides. But wait, imagine nothing dropping on the floor with the unique snap on leash for a teething toy or paci.

P.S. Use CODE: GIVE for $4 off any of my sets of books. Free shipping. Visit www.ajangsley.com 

 

Breakfast is included and there is a pretty yummy range of food to choose from so get there before 10:30am. Oh and parking is free!

๐Ÿ“ท: ๐Ÿ’Ÿ cutest organic panda bear outfits from Turtle Dove London. Super soft material, monochrome patterns, modern, and a new shop. Love!

๐Ÿ“ท: one down, one more to go.  

The pool. We went when the pools were not heated (indoor is) so it was pretty cold water. I think the ocean was warmer! They have their own beach which is great because there is also a jetty so the waves are not so big. Perfect for swimming in the sea.

๐Ÿ“ท: the kiddie pool (this is sectioned off and the adult pool with pool bar is next to it).

What was really sweet as I think we were also one of the few families with kids on the property was when the staff came at night for turn down service (they usually just give us chocolate) and gave us a jar of honey for Abigail’s cough. So thoughtful – thank you Royal Apollonia 

Visiting the capital, Narcosia, was pretty neat. We got to see more locals, have a typical Greek lunch, and do some shopping (no, we didn’t bring home a bird!).

 


๐Ÿ“ท: We had to get another Bebeaulait muslin infinity nursing scarf as she is constantly seeing Addison in it and wants to be just like mommy.

Travel tip: bring a scarf (muslin would be ideal since it folds up so compact in your bag) as it comes in handy in so many ways for you and your little.

๐Ÿ“ท: See you later Mediterranean Sea. ๐Ÿ’Ÿ: Thrilled to wear my Bellaha flip flops to see the world. This shop gives back to support infant and maternal health around the world. Win, win ladies – pretty and comfy sandals that give back!

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. xx

Advertisements

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

That’s My Sleepyhead.

Product LOVE: Sleepyhead / Dockatot

Oh wow, all the hype about the sleepyhead / dockatot rings true – I’m a believer now that it really creates a magic portable bed for my newborn to sleep soundly in.

FYI: the Sleepyhead is what it is called in Europe (and also where it originated) and Dockatot is the USA name. 

We got the Sleepyhead Deluxe and it’s perfect for our cozy little London flat as we only have 2 bedrooms. Who needs another crib when you can use this to approximately 8 months.  If you would like to see our flat/episode from House Hunters International, I finally got it posted on my website under sprinkles.  The hilarious bit now is seeing the comments that people post on there – so “kind” behind a screen, I must say. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


Anyhow, I want to note a couple things about the Sleepyhead and the already noticeable personality differences between the girls that make this product work for our family of four. 

  • My first loved her Rock n’ Play and being patted and rocked. Addison just wants to be held and not moved so Sleepyhead is perfect for her.
  • Addison was breeched until 38 weeks so I think being in this “womb” like pod is ideal as she absolutely loves being swaddled where Abigail hated it.
  • We realized from our travels with Abigail that we need to get a travel cot that is compact and light and not have to create a baby bed with a now extremely active toddler. The Sleepyhead fits perfectly what we are looking for. It is mobile to be in the flat and out. It will be easy to use for bed sharing, play pod, tummy time, sleep positioner, etc. 
  • With the tight quarters in our London flat, we have utilized all the space so having this has made it easier for us to move our newborn around quickly (but not with her in it!) and find a spot for her to sleep peacefully without a million kisses from her sister. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Muslin swaddle blankets LOVE to small shops (pictured above photo). 

  • Small Stuff – based in the UK with limited edition clothes and products for our little bears. This mama picks the cutest things.  We love our monochrome goodies from her at an affordable price.  
  • The Bobbin Belle – based in Florida, USA. Handmade blankets on my favorite Muslin material. This mama customizes and has so many colors to choose from (newest is oombre). I wish she has blankets in adult size! 

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. 

If you’re toying with the idea of getting a sleepyhead / dockatot, I would say hands down, “donut” worry, you won’t regret this purchase! 

โ™ฅ๏ธ Addison

    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

    Liberty London Love.ย 

    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. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งโ™ฅ๏ธ 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 โ˜บ๏ธ

    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 ๐Ÿ˜‚. You have to love that candid honesty in a kid. 

    ๐Ÿ“ท : 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. 

    ๐Ÿ“ท : if you’re really sweet, Madebyjay may even throw in a pair of bloomers. โ™ฅ๏ธ

    ๐Ÿ“ท : 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 ๐Ÿช). 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. 

    ๐Ÿ“ท : twinning in their bows at princess Diana’s memorial playground. 

    Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx

    Mommy & Daughter France Trip.ย 

    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. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    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. ๐Ÿ˜œ

     

    ๐Ÿ“ท: Rocking it “Thriller” style even after having to go potty right before in let’s say not a toilet. ๐Ÿ˜ 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).

    ๐Ÿ“ท: 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. ๐Ÿ˜“

    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!

    ๐Ÿ“ท: 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?  Itโ€™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.

    ๐Ÿ“ท: 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!

    First Day of Summer.ย 

    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 ยฃ5 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. ๐Ÿ˜ก

    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. ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ™ฅ๏ธ 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. โ™ฅ๏ธ


    ๐Ÿ“ท: 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 #givebackย 

    She’s ready to give hugs. ๐Ÿ“ท: With her favorite big doggy, Buzz.

    She’s ready to push her around. ๐Ÿ“ท: With her gal pal in NorCal.

    She’s ready to play. ๐Ÿ“ท: With her nursery mate at the playground.

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

    Product LOVE
    ๐Ÿ“ท: 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. ย Check her out!

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