5 Months Ago. 

I can’t believe just 5 months ago we were living in London and traveling to all these amazing countries so quickly. I didn’t think I would miss living in Europe so much but I do – the ease of getting around without driving, getting a quick bite to eat, seeing gorgeous architecture with a snap of my fingers, or just hanging out at a park/cafe people watching with an afternoon drink. 🍷😎


📷: My favorite jewelry store, Boodles. It’s a British company so I just had to get a piece before leaving. I think Britain is missing me as much as I miss living there because I sadly lost one of the earrings the other day. 😥😥 #timetogoback #boodles 

Without a doubt, my hubs will always be Cali dude (although he can’t swim…yet) so our 2 year stint in London was a lovely break. Maybe in a couple years, another opportunity will come along and we’ll be out of the ‘burbs again. #fingerscrossed 

When we lived in London, we quickly abandoned the stroller for Abigail and she learned to walk everywhere and loved it. She walked 7 miles one day with no complaints. Rain or shine. 


So, now that we moved back to socal, I went on a mission to find the perfect stroller for me to use for Addison. 
My requirements: 

  • 4 wheels (at least 2 in the front to go up and down the escalator even though you’re not suppose to)
  • maneuver easily with one hand while holding a coffee 
  • baby A can face both ways
  • car seat friendly
  • not too heavy
  • easy to close without feeling like you’re going to pinch a finger

Easy right?!
I came across Kangaroo by Venice Child and fell in love. The colors, the simple design, versatile, and all terrain really caught my attention and not to mention it was founded in California (home again). 👍🏻


We got our Kangaroo last week and wow I can vouch that it meets all my needs. 

She can see the world just a little higher up and at 3 different inclines.



We can definitely easily manuever it one handed, easily close it, change the recline positions and oh my you’ll have to stop and chat with people on how styling your babe is in it. 


Most importantly, A loves it and makes sure it’s nearby. 😜

So cheers for now as baby A was snoozing in her Kangaroo by Venice Child while mama wrote this. 


P.S. The front bar can be removed. Also, when you’re packing away in your car, I found the easiest is to just take off the seat and pack separately from the bottom part. #soinlove

Fun For All – Lake Tahoe. 

Took a little bit of debate on where to go for a much needed family vacation with our fav’s, but we finally decided on Lake Tahoe. A lot of fun when your kiddos are close in age, the hubs are good buddies, and of course the mama is my good university friend (and bridesmaid!). #timeflies


📷: the crew (kids are 4 years old, 1 year old, and 9 months)

Lake Tahoe is a great choice since it’s only a short flight (approximately 1 hour from Orange County, CA) to take in the great outdoors, and also rotate with the boys to go to the casinos.

We haven’t taken JetBlue since we left for London so decided on this airline based on them flying out of Long Beach airport – small and nicely renovated airport plus a great price point. They knocked it out of the ballpark with lovely, efficient service, good drinks and snacks. Alcoholic beverages were $7 (good selection of beer). #jetblue #love

Got a rental car and of course had to do a stop at Costco – super close from Reno airport.

  • Traveler’s tip: Bring your own car seat if you want to make sure it’s clean! We also decided to buy another one we wouldn’t mind getting tossed around during transit.
  • Evenflo (toddler booster seat) 
  • car seat cover – this one is great (no wheels) and was only $9.

    After much thought into whether or not to get an airbnb, we decided to make it easy and stay at  Hard Rock this time around. It was “nice enough” since it was renovated a couple years back, spacious, good food inside, and a casino right downstairs.

    📷: Yes, she’s in Bebeaulait’s Muslin car seat cover & swaddle blankets. I love Muslin breathable fabric and highly recommend getting one for a car seat cover so your baby doesn’t get too hot in his/her car seat (also has a zipper to open/close if needed). Isn’t this print the cutest?!

    📷: Traveler’s tip – request a crib (they usually roll) instead of a pack n’ play – so much cleaner! Ask for some flat sheets/fleece blankets to place on the hotel room floor if you have a crawler in the house. Bring also a crib fitted sheet if you’re worried about their sheets on your baby’s soft skin.  P.S. Addison just pulled herself up for the first time here (9 months).

    📷: Across the street from Hard Rock is Edgewood where you can play golf. We took a walk there with the kids. It’s gorgeous!

    Day 1 – we went to Zephyr Cove to take in the lake and hang out at the beach.  We stopped at the market to get goodies.  They have grills there so we made s’mores!  Gorgeous and relaxing (not very populated) spot to play in the sand. I believe it was $8 per car. Oh yea, clean individual bathrooms.



    Day 2 we went bike riding around town and fishing at Sawmill Pond (kid’s fishing location).


    📷: Got a lot of questions about my carrier and I love my MiaMily carrier. So much more back support and a compartment to store a bottle, phone, diaper, keys, etc.


    📷: Caught 5 fish and brought them to MacDuff’s for them to cook 3 different ways! YUM! Pretty good deal as they provided salad and sides for $20/person. Get the bread pudding for dessert. #nomnom

    Day 3, departed Lake Tahoe and headed home. Sweet trip with our fav’s with a lot of memories always. The kids all got sick but hey what trip isn’t complete without that happening. 

    Cheers for now and thanks for reading. We love traveling with our kiddos and honestly it’s really not hard! #bringiton #travelwithkids 

    xx

    OMG, 22. 

    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.

    📷: Outside our balcony 💟 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!

    📷: 💟 cutest organic panda bear outfits from Turtle Dove London. Super soft material, monochrome patterns, modern, and a new shop. Love!

    📷: 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.

    📷: 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!).

     


    📷: 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.

    📷: See you later Mediterranean Sea. 💟: 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

    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!

    G is for Gorgeous Greece. 

    Athens

    Wow, so far Greece is what I pictured and anticipated. Athens is our first stop of our last big week long European trip as a family of three.
    Usually, before a trip, I love reading some “did you know?” facts about places we go – they’re great conversation openers so hopefully you share them. These are my top three: 

    • First Olympic Games: The first Olympic games were held in Athens in 776 BC.The first games as we know them were held here in 1896, the city then hosted them again in 2004 (venere). To note, all of the street signs of Athens had to be changed to include a Latin spelling under the Greek before hosting the 2004 games!
    • According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon competed for the honour of being the patron of the capital city, each offering a gift to gain favour with the people. The olive tree (given by Athena) was deemed more valuable than the water provided by Poseidon, so the city was named after her. It’s the world’s 3rd largest producer of olives! (lowcostholidays)
    • Greece enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine—or 3,000 sunny hours—a year (randomhistory)…oh so jealous with this London weather we have!


    📷: theatre (said the theatre originated in Greece)


    📷: heading up Acropolis (balloon courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe where we ate later)

    📷: amazing view at the top of Acropolis.

      📷: plaza where the flea markets/shopping is at. Pretty hectic, but not overwhelming.


    📷: national garden

    📷: chilling like a local.


    📷: delicious loukoumades (Greek donuts)

     📷: view from our hotel rooftop: Royal Olympic. Centrally located, but pictures were definitely enhanced with the “renovations.”  We had to hold the shower head to shower. Painful – hello dry shampoo!

     #familyselfie

    Cheers for now!