Happy New Years Eve!!

Happy New Years Eve to all of you!  I hope you are surrounded by loved ones and have enjoyed 2016!  We sure have.  ūüôā

Can’t wait for 2017 and all the hopes and dreams mike and I have.  Xoxo

Continue Reading

Dreams Do Come True


when i was in college, one of my biggest dreams was to be a writer.  that’s how i started blogging (first on Xanga~ remember that site??).  well…with LIFE and my fear of taking any risks got in the way and 11 years have gone by.  yikes.

anyway, most recently i started guest writing for an awesome blog called MomsLA! =)  it’s been the most wonderful experience and something that has put a pep in my step.  if only i could write full-time for blogs and focus all my attention to this.  *fingers crossed* to that someday happening.

anyway, here are some of the fun articles i’ve written lately. =)

Esther Blair: Moms LA Links

Continue Reading

Mommy Mondays: Best Ways to Celebrate Holiday Break with your Toddler


oh my, can you believe it’s already the END of 2016???  i cannot.  i cannot believe time flew by so quickly and we are about to ring in 2017.  wow wow WOW.


with winter break in full bloom, make sure to plan ahead and make the most of each day.  here are some fun ideas of what to do with your toddler!

  1. make a winter break schedule.  whether it’s to wake up, eat breakfast and go to the park each morning.  helping to set a WB routine will help get your little ones on a schedule they can anticipate and look forward to.  it will also help out mamas who aren’t sure how to fill in the day. some examples of routine activities (that you can always mix up): park, nature walk (to pick up rocks, leaves and cool objects), reading time, artist’s corner (drawing, painting, etc), library, and play dates.
  2. look up local winter activities that are unique to your city!  there are many choirs, plays, light ceremonies, etc at your local city center or main shopping mall.  these events are free to attend and always a fun way to celebrate the season with your little ones.
  3. ice skating!  santa monica and downtown LA, have festive rinks for kids of all ages and many activities near the area for you to grab dinner before or after.
  4. set up a few play dates with friends with a fun theme!  kids can decorate or create holiday crafts while mommies get a moment to relax and chit chat with friends.  some fun themes: making ornaments, gingerbread houses, or snow globes, baking cookies for gifts, etc.
  5. winter cleaning!  have your kids help clean out their toy boxes and closets with items they no longer wear/use and make a big trip to a donation center.
  6. volunteer at a local shelter or do something for the community.  even bringing your old worn coats and toys to a shelter would bring a lot of festive cheer to those receiving those once loved items.
  7. plan a few big day trips and/or staycations.  there are so many things in our cities that you don’t notice but tourists come hundreds of miles to see.  pick a community and make a fun day of it (visiting museums, restaurants, play areas, color-me-mine stores, etc).  you can even pick a fun, historic hotel to stay in or rent an airbnb near the beach for a few days of fun.  just sleeping elsewhere or spending the day out of your own comfort zone will make you feel like you’ve gone on a full vacay!  (one budget friendly tip?  camp out in your own backyard with hot dogs, s’mores and silly ghost stories!)
  8.  pick a few nights during the break for fun theme nights!  movie night with popcorn, pajama day, make your own pizza night, gingerbread houses, write letters to santa, make a list of resolutions for next year, etc.

hope these little ideas help you and your winter break!  i know i always procrastinate and then end up doing nothing, so breaking the days up really helps me take advantage of this time with Charlotte!

xoxo  Happy 2016 and Holidays Everyone!

Continue Reading

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours.  Wishing you all a very blessed and happy holiday! 

Continue Reading

B’s Annual Christmas Party

every year my friends and i get together for a white elephant holiday party with a theme.  


This house had all the things Charlotte and the other kids couldn’t get enough of: playground, sandbox, cement to draw on, ample room to run and play, and toys galore inside.  

Continue Reading

Santa Photo Fail at Ala Moana Center in Hawaii

took c to see santa again and well… the second time was just as epic.  hahaha. is it terrible that I WANT c to cry?   these photos of babies freaking out are just sooo adorable!  i couldn’t resist. ūüėõ

just like last time i proper c all week and morning.  then in line we talked about how she would sit on santa’s lap alone and smile for the photos.  and again, just like last time c cried.  Lol.  but this santa was sooooo sweet.  he learned a little Korean before we walked in so she would feel comfortable.  He also showed her his necklaces and was all around awesome.  

taking two santa photos in one year is definitely overkill but I wanted c to have photos with a Hawaiian santa too!!  Hahaha #firsttimemommyproblems.  he wears a Hawaiian shirt for goodness sakes!  ūüôā

one fun tip!  make reservations online and you get double the photos for free! ^^

here are some fun photos of our day ūüėõ

Waiting for Santa ūüôā
We took a bunch of good photos w me, c and santa but this one was just tooo cute not to have printed! ^^


Exhausted from crying.  ūüėõ

Continue Reading

Mommy Mondays:  Beach and Travel Essentials


I have become a champion packer these last week due to all the flights and outings C and I have been going on.  Since I’m on my own, I can’t always bring a stroller, purse, diaper bag AND C.  (she has been going through this “up-uh” phase where she hates walking and only wants to be carried.   Great for her, bad for my back and shoulders)

I’ve slowly mastered what the must items are for C this trip and I just thought I’d share for all you other mama’s traveling this holidays season!
1. Spray hand sanitizer by Honest

This is soooooo clutch.  I’m pretty OCD about life but when it comes to traveling… you just can’t predict what is going to happen. So this spray bottles goes a long way.  One random tip… I cut my foot pretty badly on a playground w C and had nothing for it.  I sprayed some of this on and tried to clean the wound as best as I could.  Luckily I had a rogue bandaid and this spray!   

2. Sunscreen

A small sunscreen stick or travel size for babies is soooo necessary.  You never know when the weather will be too sunny or you will be outside without shade or you will be at the pool/beach for wayyyyy longer than you had anticipated.  Carrying a small (or large size in my case) sunscreen for your purse isn’t a bad thing to have handy.  ūüôā

3. Wipes

Ohhhh man, these literally save my life.  I bring two to three kinds with me if I can.  A travel disinfectant one for plane rides and high chairs.  A small pack of water wipes for runny noses and dirty face needs and then Costco or babyganics travel wipes for everything else.  It sounds like over kill to set aside so much room in your bag for all these wipes but I swear I use all three every time I got out.  And when I can’t bring so many?   I usually just bring the water wipes since they are the most multipurpose.   If you need to disinfect something you always have the spray right?

4. 3-5 diapers

So normally I always just carry one or two in my purse when I’m out w C bc I know I have more in the car or diaper bag.  But when I’m traveling I literally consolidate all of that into one bag.  And when I’m traveling I always always stay out longer than expected and it sucks trying to find diapers when you are no where near a store or place that sells them.  I’ve learned that when I’m in travel mode, I always over pack diapers and wipes for unexpected blowouts and detours. 

5. Snacks/Pouches/Water

I’ve left the house with none of these before and we have totally survived.  BUT having these is pretty clutch when you can tell your little one is going to have a meltdown from hunger, thirst, boredome, whatever.  It’s nice to have a few back up options if you can’t readily get to food.  One problem I personally have is that I’m trying so hard not to give C bad food.  So when traveling, it is insanely challenging.  I want to grab what is easy and cheap but I always end up wandering around until I can find her some healthy, toddler friendly foods.  

6. Change of clothes/Jacket

I always bring a light jacket or sweater (in case I stay out later than expected) and/or an easy change of clothes (like a romper or dress).  I swear when I don’t have a change of clothes is when Charlotte has a diaper blow out or spills all of her food on herself.  Sigh.  I guess in the worst case scenario I can always buy her something on the go if I forget to bring a backup outfit.  

7. Small bag of essentials for me

I realized that I only need my ID, 2-3 credit cards, chapstick and my keys.  It is pretty rare that on an outing with my little one I’m going to need my full wallet and makeup bag.  I put all of these in either the drink holder of my stroller or in a tiiiiny slim bag.  

I throw all of these things into a bucket bag or tote bag or backpack and set off for the day.  I only bring one easy bag for the both of us and it is seriously the easiest way to travel.  I hope you all have happy travels this holiday season!! Aloha from Hawaii :). Xoxo

Continue Reading

Aloha

If you follow me on social media you already know that c and I are in Hawaii ūüôā

We are here visiting my family and it has been a whirlwind 36 hours.  Short synapse: I flew w c (the most active baby ever) on my lap for a six hour flight.  We survived but I am very very VERY tired.  

Here are some fun pictures from our last day and a half.  Please forgive me if my posts are a bit delayed until January.  ūüôā

Continue Reading

Life Lately

i meant to write about C turning 16 months but… she’s 19 now and well…this post went nowhere. ¬†lol ¬†surprised?

so instead of deleting these cute pictures i thought i’d just do an update on some really fun things c is doing these days!

  • she calls socks “ma mang” which is no where near the korean word for it “yang mal”. ¬†she taps her foot each time she needs it on her feet which is A-dorable.
  • she insists on washing her feet in the bath. ¬†she taps on it and says “ba! ba!” (correct word is “bal”).
  • C loves the piggies with the toys rhyme. ¬†she will sit down and wiggle her own toes and grunt your way. ¬†(aka… do it now human!)

(hm… this is a foot themed list…)

  • c LOVES shoes right now and is obsessed with wearing them in the house (which is a no-no). ¬†we let her wear brand new, unworn shoes around the house and if you even TRY to take them off for bath time or bed time~ a tantrum will ensue. ¬†it’s so stinking cute.
  • lately c is very possessive of things that are hers: book, blanket, etc. ¬†after bedtime stories she will INSIST that she sleep with a book and if you try to sneak it out of the crib with the lights off… she will burst your eardrums with her cries.
  • c copies everything we do~ even how my hand looks when i throw something away. ¬†she will see me do it and then she’ll practice it herself. ¬†i want to burst with love when i see that.
  • c plays in the bath now like a big kid. ¬†at first she played with the toys. ¬†but now she understands she can swim and move around in the WATER. ¬†it’s been awesome to see that light bulb go off. ¬†the downside is that baths are now an hour long and she never wants to get out.
  • c calls lucy “ma-mong” (correct word is “mong mong”). ¬†it’s ADORABLE and i don’t want to correct her b/c it’s just too darn cute! ¬†she also calls cats “ya-ong” which is the sound a cat makes in Korean. ¬†she looks for our neighbors cat every morning and makes the sound.
  • c hates having her hands dirty so she always looks to an adult when they are dirty. ¬†she tries to dust off her hands but it’s not enough~ she needs a wipe (good girl).
  • brushing her teeth is a big battle these days. ¬†at first it was easy to convince her that it was her turn, then my turn to brush her teeth. ¬†unfortunately… these days she has decided to only brush her own. ¬†why can’t i just force her to keep her mouth open while i brush her teeth? ¬†b/c she’s a very strong, wiggly toddler. ¬†sigh. ¬†let’s hope this part is just a phase.
  • c LOVES a good face cream. ¬†she sees me put my lotion/make up and NEEDS to do it too. ¬†i’ve tried to give her cheap lotion baby knows!! ¬†she only wants the good stuff. ¬†sigh. ¬†markel is gonna need to make lots of moulah to support her face cream habit.
  • c knows how to work each parent already. ¬†she knows i give in and she knows she can’t mess with mike. ¬†i try to leave her at sunday school each week and she FLIPS HER ISH OUT. ¬†mike did it this past sunday and she cried a little and then played the rest of the time with a pout on her face. ¬†um… EXCUSE me miss charlotte?? ¬†although… i’m just so weak when it comes to her!! ¬†i can’t stand to hear her cry or be sad. ¬†blahh.
  • c loves to play tug of war with lucy and sneaks her parts of her dinner/snack when we’re not looking. ¬†both very messy and out of this world adorable. ¬†they are true sisters. ¬†they fight allllllllll day but still can’t get enough of each other. ¬†c looks for lucy the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed. ¬†she even waves goodnight to lucy.
  • which leads me to…c’s WAVES! ¬†OMG kill me now… so freaking cute. ¬†she doesn’t know how to wave goodbye with you hand out and fingers only going up and down. ¬†she basically does palm up, hand down and then moves her fingers~ like she’s waiting for something to be put in her hand. ¬†i die over these “waves”.
  • she waves at the dog when she leaves for school and always looks for her when she comes home.
  • c is also just talking SO MUCH more now and i can see her mind processing as i try to teach her new words. ¬†she’s pretty cautious about repeating words until she’s more confident (which is so cute).
  • when we sing now, c will try to sing along in her baby babble. ¬†i DIIIIIE.
  • c is REALLY into tea parties these days and it’s SUPER cute. ¬†she loves putting cereal in her tea cups and “drinking” from them. ¬†lol ¬†i love the moments when i catch mike and c having a tea party in the corner on the weekends. <3

ok i could literally go on forever about all the cute things that are happening at this stage.  Happy Friday Everyone!!!  C and I are in Hawaii right now and eating our way through this gorgeous island. <3

Continue Reading

Santa Claus

Last year we took C to see Santa Claus and she was sooooo awesome.  Like not even a tear or an expression of fear.  This year I prepped her for over a week with stories and pictures of Santa.  In line we showed her how all the other kids were lining up for Santa, sitting on his lap and smiling for a picture.  She was very agreeable until it was her turn. Hahaha

Is it terrible that I was kind of hoping she would have at least one crying Santa photo?? Loll

C waited soooo patiently with all the other kids…

Until it was her turn and she realized, nope!   Not for her.  Hahahaha.  Although, this santa below  was not jolly or friendly… :T.  So she can’t be 100% to blame right??

C was piiiiiissed afterwards.  Hahaha.  No photos please >.<

This cheeeesy smile came hours later when she had forgotten all about bad santa.  Hahahaha

C and I are in Hawaii for two weeks and I hope that she will find the Hawaiian santa much more agreeable ūüėõ

Continue Reading

Family Photoshoot (part deux)

i’m not model, but i love a good photoshoot. ¬†esp when it’s with my family and the most awesome photographer EVERRRRR (Marinne Andres). ¬†our family took a second photoshoot session b/c it rained during our first one. ¬†we weren’t as prepared for these b/c well…it’s hard having a toddler. ¬†trying to even shower is a challenge on the weekends so…go figure we’re a little rough around the edges in this shoot. ;P

img_4651 img_4659 img_4697 img_4755 img_4879 img_4894 img_4920 img_4960 img_4972

Continue Reading

Griffith Park Train Ride and Horses

img_7910

on saturday we took little c to Griffith Park for horse rides and a holiday train ride. ¬†i swear i was more excited than she was. ¬†she was so blown away by everything she was seeing that she didn’t have a lot of expressions on her face. ¬†lol ¬†i love seeing that. ¬†i love watching her soak it in new things and process them.

below c is waving to the fake reindeer! ¬†ha! ¬†she has started talking SO MUCH lately and she loves to wave and say “buh-bieee”.

griffith-park-horse-track-9

c LOVES this lunch box. ¬†she insisted on holding it with her the entire train ride and walk around this area of Griffith. ¬†lately she has so much ownership over things and needs to claim what is hers: her blanket, her spoon, her backpack, her shoes, her seat. ¬†sometimes it’s a HUGE pain but for the most part i love seeing her individuality come out. ¬†i want her to be a strong, independent woman and as much as want her to always listen to me… i keep reminding myself that she needs to trust her gut and her choices.griffith-park-horse-track-10
griffith-park-horse-track-6griffith-park-horse-track-13griffith-park-horse-trackc went around this horse track 6 times (3 rides). ¬†she was VERY serious for most of it but then out of no where she would bust out laughing and raise her arms up in happiness. ¬†she screamed from her horse when she saw us (here’s her pointing at us below) while pulling the horses’ mane and kicking her horse (in a giddy-up fashion). ¬†sigh. ¬†i’m still teaching her gentleness but right now i LOVE her passion and enthusiasm for animals. ¬†it’s awesome. ¬†this should have been a scary ride for a toddler her age but she was SO brave and SO adventurous. ¬†=D ¬†#proudmommymoment

c loved this ride so much i can’t wait to take her back. ¬†this time with more cash (so she can ride longer) and stop by the carousel! ¬†it was closed this weekend so we weren’t able to go~ but i’d love to take her back soon.griffith-park-horse-track-11griffith-park-horse-track-5griffith-park-horse-track-14griffith-park-horse-track-2griffith-park-horse-track-4

Continue Reading

Mommy Mondays: Hawaii Here We Come!

img_4206

c and i are going to hawaii to visit my parents for two weeks this december. ¬†i am SO SO SO excited but terrified at the same time. ¬†it’ll just be me and c on a plane for 6 hours where we have to use indoor voices, not bother the people sitting 1 inch away from us, and sit semi-still in a tiny seat. ¬†oh, did i mention that we are SHARING this said seat? ¬†(bad idea…i know)

originally i got normal seats for us to and from hawaii. ¬†bbbbuuuutttt decided to change one of my seats to a comfort seat ($80 more) so that i have extra leg room (and space for c to be obnoxious). ¬†i am BEYOND scared for my upcoming trip and just really trying to brace myself for what’s ahead. ¬†if you nice people are on my flight and my baby goes batsh*t crazy…my apologies.

my brother (who travels back and forth a lot) has already taken our luggage for the trip. ¬†THANK GOD. ¬†so the only thing i need to worry about bringing are our essentials for the 6 hour flight. ¬†one carry on and one personal item will be filled with just C’s snacks and toys (and some benedyrl…don’t judge) for the flight. ¬†i bought a bunch of bags from Daiso and filled 5 up so that i could easily bring things out, yet have it contained. ¬†I thought throwing toys and activities into a huge bag (like a toy chest) would be a terrible idea so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this works. ¬†I also filled each “busy bag” with snacks and surprises to keep her occupied. ¬†I read a blog post that said when traveling with an infant, you need to break it up into 15 minute increments (the length of their attention span). ¬†um…. excuse me? ¬†so this 6 hour flight needs to be split into 24 increments where i have to come up with something to keep her busy AND not disturb the other folks on the plane???????? crap on a stick. ¬†i’m screwed.

my plan (Lord please let this work) is…

  • get to the airport at 615am. ¬†our plane leaves at 745am.
  • let C run WILD and be crazy and get out all of her wiggles.
  • get onto the plane a little early (thank you airlines for doing this) and wipe everything down and get all of our busy bags tucked into places that i can easily reach them.
  • we are in a window seat and i’m hoping to use the small space between the arm rest and the window to store my busy bags and supplies.
  • during take off c has to sit on my lap for at least the first 30 minutes without an electronic device. ¬†this is going to be hell on earth. ¬†i also need to give c something to suck on so that her ears pop. ¬†i have some toys + a sippy bottle for that time + an emergency lollipop if that doesn’t work. ¬†although…i think the sugar from the lollipop will screw me… sigh. ¬†she has NEVER sat in my lap for more than a few minutes so i’m sure forcing her to be quiet and sit in my lap for 30 is going to go VERY well.
  • after those 30 minutes (2 increments down), i will let c walk around for 15 minutes and look around (1 more increment).
  • then i’m PRAYING C will take a nap for 1.5-2.5 hours. ¬†LET’S HOPE. ¬†(about 8 increments) ¬†i plan to stand and strap her into an ergo while she drifts off to sleep and i can keep walking the aisles and not disturb our seat mate. ¬†once she’s alseep i’ll sit down and rest a bit.
  • when C wakes up, i’m sure she’ll want to get up and get some more wiggles out~ so up and down the aisles we’ll go again. (1 more increment)
  • then for the next TWELVE (yup, 12!) fifteen minute increments, i hope to go through each busy bag, show her a ton of shows on my phone, play games on my phone, let her walk around, and then go through the busy bag toys again.

 

mamas and good patrons of the world… please pray for us. ¬†this is going to be a VERY rough flight and i’m very scared… wish us luck!!

(for ideas on busy bags, click here!)

pics from our last trip… =)img_4986 img_4988 img_4046

 

Continue Reading

Mommy Mondays: Best Places to buy Christmas Trees and See Santa in Los Angeles


for you super moms, i’m sure you’ve already done both of these things.  but for the blairs this year…we’re still checking these things off our list.  oopsies.

Christmas Trees:

  1. Home Depot in Marina Del Rey has a TON of awesome trees at discounted prices.  It’s like getting a tree from costco instead of an expensive city market.
  2. Shawn’s Trees on Palms and Sepulveda in Palms has Trees of all sizes and the cutest little reindeer for sale.  The prices here are a little higher than Home Depot or a big tree lot but the convenience in location alone is worth it.  We got our 6ft tree for $60 and love it.  They trimmed the bottom and branches and strapped it to the car.  Shawn’s is only a few blocks from or home so this was by far the easiest trip for us. 
  3. Take pictures with Santa at the Westside Pavillion!   This year they are located just outside of Nordstroms on the second floor.  Printed pictures and all the digital copies are just $40.  
  4. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at The Grove!!   This is THE place to take Santa photos but the lines are long and appointment times go quickly.  If you have a new little one or want to experience it in Los Angeles, check out The Grove!  

 

 

 

 

pics from last year!  i can’t believe c is so big already~~~

img_2571 img_2572

 

Continue Reading

Family Holiday Photos

OMG you guys…we just got some of our holiday photos back and they are too cute. ¬†i look AWFUL and fat, the weather was bad (it started to rain after like 15 min of shooting so we had to stop), but the ones we did get were REALLY sweet and adorable. ¬†Here are some of the photos from the day and some photos I’ll have to choose from for our Holiday Cards!

img_4375

img_4284 img_4288 img_4293 img_4300 img_4305 img_4310 img_4312 img_4328 img_4336 img_4344 img_4346 img_4364 img_4366 img_4374
we are actually taking more pics this Saturday because it started to RAIN during our shoot! booo for the rain but kind of a relief since i don’t’ love my outfit here. ¬†lol

this photog was THE BEST and she had the most awesome attitude.  if you guys want her contact~~ check her out!  Marianne Andres Photography

Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Recap

oh my i can’t believe today is FRIDAY! ¬†wowza, this week was crazy and went by SO FAST. ¬†it was filled with food, drinks, and LOTS of really fun family time. ¬†i even had the chance to have TWO meals with friends sans baby.

this was the first time mike and i spent an extended period of time with C at this toddler stage…and well…it was HARD. ¬†she¬†was not down with listening to us or playing nicely around the house. ¬†she was aggressive to lucy and her cousins and well…just REALLY pushed her boundaries. ¬†sooo mike and i had to think fast on our feet and enforce new rules and ways of parents. ¬†sigh. ¬†this holiday weekend taught us that we (by that i mean me) are way too lax on her and i need to be consistently firm so she knows WE are the parents. ¬†wish us luck!

anyway…here are some fun photos of our long weekend. ¬†i can’t wait for the christmas break in december~~~ i want to binge watch netflix + amazon prime shows! =P

Brunch at the Wallace.  SUCH a cute place in downtown Culver City!

img_4202 img_4213

fullsizerender-1

 

ladies night out!

img_4182fullsizerender
Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning! =)  It was fun to see daddy play~

img_4053 img_4056 img_4059 img_4067img_4055 img_4071 img_4090 img_4102img_4094 img_4095
img_4115 img_4117

img_4133 img_4162

i was eating so fast and so eager to dive in, this is the only shot i have of our dinner =(  oopsies.  mike made the most ridiculous mac and cheese.  YUMMMMMMMMMMMM~~~img_4160

img_4128 img_4178 img_4181

moments at home with C  <3
img_4194img_4188img_4206
img_4225

fullsizerender-2

img_4038

img_4046img_4044

 

Continue Reading