It’s One Month. 

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. 

📷: 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! 

📷: Millie & Bee even sent this lovely card as well. 

📷: 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. 

📷: 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

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Relaxing with Lavender. 

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 😟)


📷: 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 £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.

📷: Beetle hunting. Mission failed. They found bumblebees & snails instead. 🐝🐌

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

📷: On a mission to make her own lavender.

Product LOVES: A in one of her gorgeous dresses from this amazing shop: Ele Story 👀 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).  Mia Heartmade 💟



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

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.

Mommy & Daughter France Trip. 

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. 😜

 

📷: 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).

📷: 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. 😓

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!

📷: 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.

📷: 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. 

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!

Love Freshly Picked. 

Who doesn’t need a pair (or several) pairs of moccasins? I’m a fan of the show Shark Tank – a show that can give you funding to dream big if you come up with that one idea/product that can make millions. This is also a franchise of the international format, Dragons’ Den from Japan.

How I wish my children’s alphabet books series could get on this show! 

This company called Freshly Picked caught my attention while on the show so I had to get a pair as Susan’s story is truly inspirational. Starting back in 2009 and growing so much since then with a following of 614k on Instagram and probably sales through the roof.  Wow!
I can easily say my 3 year old daughter loves her freshly picked. She currently has 2 pairs in London which she uses one pair for nursery (they switch shoes once inside) and the other is currently used in our flat.  I can’t wait to get the next step (hard soles) once her feet get bigger so she wear them outdoors all day long.

AND get this:

  • @10am MST May 25th
  • EVERYTHING in the shop will be 25% off
  • Lasts for 24-hours only

My thoughts of Freshly Picked. 



Love

  • She can put them on herself.
  • No left & right to have to worry about. Yay!
  • Incredibly soft from the beginning (no “breaking in” involved).
  • No stinky feet smell!
  • Toddler approved.
  • The sole gets her little feet imprints on there. Precious!

A little less love 

  • We have the “merci” mocs and the pattern is nice but not as soft as the brown mocs we also have. She definitely has a favorite pair.
  • Not exactly city appropriate with all the debris on the sidewalks and streets. Recommend for those living in the suburbs.
  • London rain and cold doesn’t go well with mocs unless you’re not OCD like me. 😬

  

📷: my little helper #lovebooksbyaj

Cheers for now and thank you for reading/supporting! Don’t forget about the sale on May 25th.

www.ajangsley.com