Road Trip.

The amazing thing about living in Southern California (the OC) is how you can go from beach time to the mountain w/snow in 1.5 hours. It is definitely one of the perks of living in socal vs. norcal (oh and Disneyland – did you know Minnie Mouse got her own star “finally” on the walk of fame?)

This past weekend’s adventure was renting a cabin in Lake Arrowhead to take the kids to the snow.Β  We prayed to the snow gods to give us snow in front of the cabin and it worked! Abigail had already seen snow and did all sorts of cool things snow related in Europe (dog sledding, ice fishing, reindeer sleigh riding to sleeping in a glass igloo) but Addison only got to see snow one other time in CA (which she hated). Its so different how these two are growing up so far but we truly do hope she will experience these unforgettable adventures in time once the 3rd babe is here and ready to travel.

Good times in Lake Arrowhead. Some tips!

  • Bring snow chains and read the manual on how to put them on prior to the trip or if your car even needs it.
  • Rented our cabin on AirBnb and loved it (message me if you would like the contact). It is perfect for 3 families very comfortably (one room has 2 sets of bunkbeds)
  • SnowDrift tubing park is overpriced and any adult that wants to go in has to pay $17/hr even if you’re clearly pregnant and just want to take a couple pictures.Β  Parking is $6 as well. The kids definitely tire quickly from walking up the steps with their tube so 1 hour is plenty of time! My suggestion would be to buy a sled and find a spot to go sledding…or clean out a trash can lid! =P

  • Lake Arrowhead Village is quaint and has an amazing view of the lake.Β  There is also some “amusement park” type games for kids too (e.g. go karts).
  • oh yea, I think I found the perfect mitts for littles under 5. They’re from North Face. They stay on well and can be velcro-ed tighter and looks warm! P.S. want to make sure you don’t lose them (these seem pretty hard to)?Β  Get ribbon and tie a knot to the hook of one glove and loop it through the arm of one sleeve, through the tag and then through the arm of the other sleeve to the other glove!

P.S. I can’t help but give a shoutout to Belly Bandit for their AH-MAZ-ING compression socks (new to their product line) and the BDA leggings. They were a godsend with the altitude and also keeping warm. The compression socks run to knee high and are too cute with 2 shades of grey and a beige color! For the BDA leggings, I was worried I would have to keep pulling up but I didn’t have that problem at all (this babe does sit higher up though). Both of these items are a #musthave for you pregnant mamas!! The socks are even cute enough to be worn not pregnant!! #checkitout

Cheers for now and thanks for reading! xx

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Mommy Daughter Trip

I’ve always said I wanted to have a special bond with my first born (lucky me, she’s a girl too!) and we do although she literally drives me bonkers day in and out. I can’t even imagine how it will be as she gets older. 😭

Abigail and I took our first mommy daughter trip to San Francisco a couple weeks back. I also had my closest high school friends and their daughters join us. How time flies, I can’t believe I’ve known them for at least half my life. We like to call ourselves “joy luck club” and I sure hope that happens with us growing old and sharing many more moments together.

My high school friends and I have been to SF many times, but this was the first sans boys and with one of our kids. Some highlights/tips of the short trip (Friday mid afternoon arrival – Sunday 3pm departure).

We stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites Fisherman’s Wharf for the location and it was a great choice to catch the tourist action by the pier. Holiday Inn has also upped their game and reputation in my opinion. It was clean, free breakfast, good WiFi, and spacious rooms. Good choice and cost! Give it a try – you’ll be pleased.


We too the BART in from SFO and was traveling in with 5 people. It may be more cost efficient and quicker to take Uber into the city. Each ticket cost $8.95 to get to Embarcedero. It also said it was going to Fisherman’s Wharf but nope, much further away. We ended up taking an Uber to the hotel from the Embarcedero stop which costs $28 (the Uber estimate from SFO – hotel said $60 approx). Lesson learned but we got some nice views of the city and architecture and layout of the streets of SF. πŸ˜‰

Β Before dinner, we stopped at Boudin’s bakery and get their famous and delicious bread.

Some more treats for the first night πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

πŸ“·: Cornology – Get the truffle parmesan popcorn! So tasty.

πŸ“·: Sotto Mare – definitely get the scallops! The sauce is so so yummy!!

πŸ“·: Sweet and friendly service at Naia but nothing to rave about.

Saturday was filled with exploring, seeing old friends, and of course eating some good grub. We got to see the sunbathing sea lions, Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, cable cars, and Farmer’s market in the Ferry Building is a must!

πŸ“·: Twinning in Old Navy flannel tops. It’s crazy how their personalities shine in this photo.

πŸ“·: Porchetta sandwiches right outside the ferry building is delish! You can’t miss it with the line. My friend from the JET programme.Β  That is definitely one program to remember with all the traveling adventures we had.

πŸ“·: Look, my 3rd is already here. #iwish

πŸ“·: Yummy dessert shop – Miette Patisserie

πŸ“·: A with her godfather who has this cool scooter for his hurt foot. They love their Uppababy too!

Dinner was definitely not something to even note along with their service but we had some fun company that Abigail remembers very well that Aunt Jennifer is so much fun!

Dessert at the Baked Bear topped the charts with a warm brownie topped with ice cream and heath bar bits. #amazing

We ended the night with the oldest (8 years old) doing story time with her buddies. P.S. my children’s board books are all 50% off on www.ajangsley.com πŸ“š They come with some surprises in there as a well so it’s a perfect gift! Also, I’ll be donating twice as much this holiday season to the charity listed in each respective book. Collect all 8 of my alphabet books! xx

πŸ“·: twinning pajamas from Hanna Anderson

Quick Sunday brunch at the pier and sandwiches from Boudin’sΒ (yes, again – I LOVE THAT PLACE!) before heading to our last stop – Lombard Street.

They’re in #dotdotsmile dresses. Super soft and perfect for twirling in.

Last funny of the trip I want to remember was our little threat they would be sent to “timeout island” if they didn’t listen to us. Guess where that is!

#goodtimes and the perfect mommy daughter trip. I lost BUT #jetblue found my sunnies and that literally made my day getting it in the mail a couple weeks later. Surprised and so incredibly thankful for Jetblue! #shoutout

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays. This will be the last flying trip until baby #3 makes its debut.

Visiting the Homeland and Family.

Although I wasn’t born in Taiwan, I still consider it like a home since my parents had grown up there. They had a lot of good memories there and some of our family is over there.

I decided to take a last minute trip to Taiwan with my younger daughter to visit my dear aunt. She’s always held a special place in my heart so I knew I just had to take the trip during this time.

I’ve learned to pack smarter and know that international flights are usually more lenient on things (like an overweight bag) if you’re traveling alone with a child. Your bag shouldn’t be over 30 kg at most usually so bring an extra bag to take items out or be prepared with a nice sob story. My bag was clearly overweight from the booster seat, formula and fruit pouches I packed for this 2 week adventure with my super picky 14 month old eater, but I survived.

πŸ’Ÿ P.S. If you’re looking for a booster seat with tray that’s compact, I highly recommend the summer infant pop n’ sit portable booster. It collapses and you can sit it on the floor, chair and table top without worries of tipping over.

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aveling couldn't be easier with this amazing passport holder that can now store 5 passport inside. The company is called up and away and a must have with all the colors and inside pattern designs to store your important travel documents together.

If your child is under 2, request to get a bassinet. You’ll get way more leg room as well if she doesn’t sit in it. For international flights, 2 and under kiddos even though they’re not getting a seat they have to pay for 10% of your airfare just for using the air on the flight! πŸ™„

Since I’ve been to Taiwan so many times, I wasn’t planning to do much tourist stuff besides things that little A would perhaps be interested in. So, it was the gondola (which she opted to sleep instead) and the zoo. The zoo is nice and super cheap. In case you’re wondering, it was clean and very green!

We stayed near Da’An Park which is great to seeing some green space, go to the playground, and eat at some of the yummy places around. Our air bnb hosts were amazing and it was so easy to settle in. They even got the car service set up for us to take us to our apartment. If you want their contact, let me know! To note, there is also the MRT (subway) you can take into the Taipei for really cheap but I was just being lazy.

Anyhow, if you’re wondering if some place is good and you see a line – it definitely means it’s worth the wait. πŸ˜‹

My favorite street of grub has the infamous beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, mango shaved ice, rice rolls in an illegal street cart, and now best crispy suncakes. Google Yong Kang Street when you’re in Taipei.

A must to do in Taipei is getting a hair wash/massage. You can get for as cheap as 250 NT which is about $8! Omg. I found an amazing place called Famous. They didn’t cut Addison’s hair like I wanted but oh well just had to get her a bowl cut just once. Lol

This trip we also took a ride on the high speed train to Ping Tung to see my grandpa’s place of rest and his factory.

We also saw my grandma who’s 95 now and looking great. Her view is amazing and so serene.

If you haven’t noticed it was a US girl cousins trip (Abigail was sad to be missing out but we got to FaceTime everyday and it was some of the cutest moments I’ve had with her). What was that saying – distance makes the heart grow fonder? Haha

Part 2 of our Asia family trip was seeing my brother and his family out in HK for the weekend. It’s only a quick 2 hour flight over but Addison sure made it feel like a century. Good times.

Hong Kong highlights included Hello Kitty dim sum, ice cream, burgers, and a typical HK breakfast before catching my flight back to Taiwan to go back to California. It sounds hectic and it sure was when you’re flying two different airlines so you have to pick up your luggage and check back in so definitely have a suitcase that has four wheels so you’re pushing it and not leaning it over to pull. Samsonite has some fabulous ones.

Good times and Addison got to play at the Hello Kitty playground in the Taoyuan airport (next to gate C4).

Cheers for now and definitely drop me a note if you’re looking for more info! xx

Hamming in Hamptons.

Part 2 of our New York holiday ended perfectly with a gorgeous weekend in the Hamptons with our cousins. The iconic tall hedges and enormous homes was mesmerizing (so mesmerizing I forgot to take pictures!). 

We left the city earlier than everyone else so stopped at the famous Lobster Roll in Montauk from the showtime series, The Affair. Food was nothing to rave about but had a cute local ambiance to dining there. 


Did you know they have a Levain Bakery there too? Next to it is a good local seafood shop and the famous Goldberg’s bagels which I didnt get to try but heard it was delish! 


πŸ“·: Tried and true, you can freeze a cookie and when you’re ready to eat defrost and put in the oven for a bit and it’s just almost as good. 

We also went to the cutest and cleanest pumpkin patch ever – Hank’s Pumpkintown. Amazing fresh apple juice! 


Anyhow, I sure hope my kids are as close to my cousins as I am. #familyfirst 

 

Oh yes, wanted to add that at 14 weeks pregnant I went to Soul Cycle for the first time. Oh my gosh so tiring but survived with the good vibes and catching Brooke Shields when we were leaving from our class. I can now say I “spun” with Brooke. 😁

Cheers for now! Thanks for reading and yes this is a place you must visit – It must be even more lovely in the summer when it’s really pool and beach weather.  xx