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. ♥️

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Road Trip to Cornwall. 

This is the last trip before “nesting” for baby girl #2. We opted for a road trip with our London buddies and had a blast – minus the cloudy/windy weather (really, July, come on!).

We left London and didn’t get into Cornwall until early evening since we just had to make a pit stop in Bristol for Costco – warehouse (heaven) of bulk goodies.

What stood out about Cornwall: 

📷: Love their honor system of paying for things along the road (just leave the money in a box and take what you want).

📷: Fish n’ chips everywhere. Our first Cornwall meal – super fresh fish of course. Why am I surprised?

Love the stone houses throughout the city (we stayed in an adorable cottage that really did a stellar job with upping the look n’feel of their IKEA furniture).

📷: Abigail couldn’t wait to see the moon and stars with this sunroof.

Anyhow, we promised the kids it would be about the beach on Saturday (rain or shine) so they got it. We did a stop at the Minack outdoor theatre (next to Porthcurno beach) prior and wow that is cool! Imagine watching a show outdoors perched on a cliff and hearing the Atlantic ocean water. Amazing and the stone seating had these cool engravings as well.

Misty and windy at Porthcurno beach – clearly overlooked once she saw the abundant sand. I would recommend this beach (lifeguard on duty) – nice sand, plenty of shells to pick, not too crazy waves, and water is gorgeous.

📷: Path we took from the car park. You can also walk down the cliff from Minack theatre.

📷:: Be inspired to take the plunge into the unknown. 

Saint Michael’s Mount – A must go!  If you go after lunch, you can probably walk across the path but looks like before noon  you would need to take a quick boat ride over (£2 adults, £1 child).

📷:: A serious historical sight to take in – Saint Michael’s Mount.

📷:: View from the top of Saint Michael’s Mount. Majestic!

📷:: View from Island Cafe (pretty good food & plenty of indoor/outdoor seating).

📷:: It’s crazy how the cobblestone walkway (approx. 500 metres) dries up quickly and isn’t slippery.

And that wraps up what we did in Cornwall. Definitely would say we missed many sights and probably staying at least 3 nights would be ideal for both driving or training to Cornwall.

#lovebooksbyAJ side note: Thank you so much for the orders for the 5 series (D is for Dinosaur, E is for Elephant, F is for Fox, G is for Giraffe, H is for Hippo). Dream come true. Get your series today for only $29.99 FREE SHIPPING. www.ajangsley.com 

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!

Take Me Back to Santorini.

The perfect end to our Greece holiday was definitely here. If you’re going for your honeymoon, romantic getaway, or babymoon like us, stay in Oia.

📷: View of Oia in the distance.

📷: A little light #lovebooksbyAJ reading before heading out.

We couldn’t have asked for a better boutique hotel to stay at for the last two nights in Greece. It’s called Ikies traditional houses. I will say it took a bit to convince the staff to let us stay there as I didn’t read the “terms & conditions” – no children under 13 years old allowed. Oops!

📷: Boatman’s house studio

Travel recommended product: Daylong sunscreen. Don’t we hate rubbing it in with our wiggling toddlers? This one goes on quickly and easily. LOVE.

We also chose to rent a car to drive around Santorini as it’s gorgeous, peaceful, and really quite the landscape. I would definitely recommend doing this.

📷: Bunch of restaurants along here with a great view. You can walk down from the cliff but it is a lot of steps!

📷: Sunset view with #nofilter

As always, thanks for reading.  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!