4th of July

happy 4th of july everyone!!  i hope you’re celebrating this weekend with family, friends and a lot of good food! =)  i love themes and decorating for the holidays.  hehe thanks to target i get to do all that for a bargain!!  the flag, pen and glasses were like $1-$3 each.  teeheeeee

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4th of July Party Decor Ideas from Pinterest

Oh I love a good theme.  And Fourth of July is one of the most fun and festive!!! =))))  Here are some fun ideas from Pinterest.

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This is 33

Today I turned 33 and was so caught up with work, Charlotte and LIFE that it didn’t really feel like my birthday.  Normally I take the day off and get an entire day to enjoy this new milestone.  

I’m not sure what 33 will bring but it sure felt rich and lovely with Charlotte trying to swipe my cake and candles and mike cooking us dinner.  As crazy and messy as tonight was, it was rich with a family that I’m so lucky I have. 

I also spent several meals with friends and loved ones in my life these past two weeks.  During the craziest times I always forget the blessings I have around.  But looking through my sweet messages and pictures from this month I realize how much the Lord has blessed me.  

With that I can’t wait to see what 33 brings.  I hope it is full of blessings, vacations and new milestones.  :). Xoxo

My mom’s bday meal: sashimi riceflowers from a sweet friend

Someone thinking it was her birthday. Lol

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Mommy Mondays: Decluttering over Summer Break

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Summer is here and for our home, the chaos of the school year is behind us.  Over memorial day weekend I thought a lot about our home and how disorganized it had become since our last clean out (probably spring break).  I vow’ed to donate about 30% of our things that were going unused.  BECAUSE we have a TON of that.  We have so many “someday i’ll use it” items and “when i lose weight” clothes.  UMM…DONATE!  c gets SOOOO many gifts throughout the year that it’s impossible to keep it all.  PLUS when she plays with something, the mess is absolutely EVERYWHERE.

SO when looking through our home, I started with C’s stuff first.  I went through all of her toys and tossed anything she had outgrown (and we didn’t want to give it to our next child), anything with missing/broken parts, things that she no longer played with, items that were given to us in gift bags that served no purpose, and all clothing that no longer fit/were in good condition.  Just doing this freed up SOOO much space.  And what’s crazy is that now that C could see her own toys again, she started playing with ones that she had forgotten about.  (fun tip: I keep some old toys in the car so that she can play with them at restaurants/friend’s houses.  She forgets about them and then they are like new toys again!).

One last thing I try to do for C’s toys is if it doesn’t fit into the bins we already have, then something needs to go.  It helps keep our home from looking like a toy store, and it helps with C’s attention span.  She can’t play with 100 different things.  She only needs a 5-10 max.  Making everything fit into the existing bins has really helped us clear out space for new toys every holiday/birthday.

After going through c’s things we went through each room in the house (even the cupboards and fridge) and had piles and piles of things to throw out or go to donation centers.  We’re still in need of 1 or 2 more cleaning hauls, but we’re off to such a good start.  Items that no longer bring us joy or serve a purpose in our home are getting the boot!

With the weather getting warm and things slowing down at work, I’m very eager to get our home in tip top organization shape! =P  Hope these little tips and thoughts help you in your own journey to decluttering and organizing.

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Father’s Day Crafts from Pinterest

How cute are these????  I can’t wait to make some tonight with C for her dad and grandfathers.

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Everything You Need For Babies With Colic

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C had colic the first 8 months of her life and mike and i had NO IDEA.  doesn’t that just blow your mind???  we knew she was fussy and gassy, but every definition of colic we read said that your baby had to cry 3-4 hours at a time.  that was not the case for us, so we assumed she was just gassy.  UNTIL i listened to a podcast about colic and they hosts said that it was a TOTAL of 3-4 hours a day.  UM, YEAAAAAA THAT IS C!!!  i was driving when i heard it and i remember wanting to pull to the side of the road just so i could take it all in.  WHAAAT C HAS COLIC???

anyway, by the time i figured it out c was already like 6 or 7 months.  sigh.  ain’t it always like that…

well, i’m sharing this all with you today so that you don’t go what we did with c.  she was very gassy and spit up for 1.5 weeks before we figured out how to slow her eating and keep her upright.  once we changed those few behaviors, it COMPLETELY changed c and made us much happier (more sane) parents.

  1. you need bottles specifically designed for colic.  it allows air to go in and out of the bottle so that it’s not being trapped inside your little one’s stomach.  i loved the playtex ventaire, but I’ve also heard wonderful things about the dr. brown bottles.  AND one important note is that we used sensitive formula for babies with gas.  whenever we used a normal formula, c would be SOOO fussy and it showed right away.
  2. baby k’tan wrap.  c needed to be cuddled and held a LOT during the first 4 months, which is natural right?  i thought it was b/c she was in her “fourth” trimester, but looking back i think it had a lot to do with her gas and discomfort.  being upright made her feel better and helped with all the things that were going on in her body.  i like the baby k’tan at this age since it is less bulky and allows the baby to be wrapped against your body like in the womb.
  3. a reclined bouncer/bassinet.  these were CLUTCH for us.  when we couldn’t’ figure out how to help c, we did notice that she slept for longer hours in the bouncer.  we used to just feed c until she let us know she was done.  then we burped her and put her down flat.  after switching to the new bottles, we feed her in increments.  so we fed her a few oz, burped her, fed her more, burped her, etc.  after she was done eating, we held her upright or kept her in an upright bouncer so she could digest.  she stopped spitting up immediately once we made this change. (click here and here for ones we liked)
  4. gripe water.  sometimes burping and keeping a baby upright just doesn’t cut it.  we gave c gripe water after every feeding for a while and it kept her happy. no more fussiness, no more gas.  during the middle of the night if c woke up angry and crying hard, we gave her a little dose and she slept soundly the rest of the night.  mike also did these bicycle/leg exercise with her to get the last bits of gas out of her tummy/intestines.
  5. vibrations helped a lot.  the vibrations of the bassinet, recliner, car… all of those helped c when she was at her fussiest.

one nice thing to note is that as your baby gets older, their stomachs develop and they are less and less fussy.  by 8 months c was no longer suffering from gas but good ol teething and sleep regressions.  lol  JOY.

anyway, i hope our little life lessons help you and your little one if you’re going through the same thing!  colic is apparently a TOTAL of 3+ hours of crying in a 24 hour period.  not in succession.  so any baby that is fussy, spitting up a lot, and having a hard time lying on its back may be suffering from this same thing.  but never fear!  grip water and a reclining bouncer will save the day.

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Best Drugstore Foundations

I love full coverage foundation and I love the price tags that come with foundation at Target, Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens.  After a lot of trial and error, here are the three foundations that I love the most and fit my yellow skin the best.  There is nothing like a good foundation to really set your face for the day and make you feel bright and airbrushed.  As a tired mama~ I heavily rely on a good formula.
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And the best concealer is is this Maybelline one below.

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Review: JW Marriott Hotel in Dongdaemun Square, Seoul, South Korea

 

I stayed at this Marriott Location for a week while on a business trip with my family. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the people and the facilities. From the moment we checked-in to the moment we checked-out, everyone made us feel SO welcome. Our two year old daughter even got the royal treatment from staff with treats, gifts and playmates while my husband and I were figuring out the layout of the hotel, eateries and hotel facilities.

We had a few free days and Denny helped us to figure out where to go, what to do, what routes to take and what food/shopping we could do nearby. Stephanie printed out places we could go that were toddler friendly in order of what she thought would be best for us. They were SO SO helpful and they went above and beyond. Our trip wouldn’t be as comfortable or memorable without them.

The room we stayed in was incredibly spacious for our family, the executive lounge had the most incredible breakfast/dinner options, the coffee there~ to die for~, and the fact that the venue was connected to the mall, subway station, subway shopping, AND bus station was SO CONVENIENT. For the first two days we explored all of the things connected with the hotel and was able to make it back to the room if our daughter was feeling tired/fussy.

The restaurants connected to the hotel are all delicious. You can get fancy restaurant style on the 11th floor of the mall or you can go downstairs into the subway station area for authentic, less expensive eats.

The location of this hotel is also in the heart of Seoul so anywhere you want to go it’s only about $10-$15 away. I always asked the person outside how much a cab fare would cost from A to B just in case the taxi driver was shady. The fare was ALWAYS spot on from what the Marriott Staff member said it would be.

The hotel also does currency exchanges for you, so it’s SUPER easy and they don’t take a fee for doing so like at the airport or bank. There is also an ATM near the front desk/elevators where you can pull Korean Won out at anytime, usually for a 3% fee. SO EASY, SO CONVENIENT.

Our family had the BEST experience at this hotel. I cannot say more nice things about Denny or Stephanie at the concierge desk, as well as all of the staff we encountered. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Seoul, I HIGHLY recommend the Marriott for your one stop shop experience.

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Mommy Mondays: Tips for Getting your Newborn/Toddler a Passport

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OH EM GEEE.  Getting a passport for your little one could not be more complicated.  There are SO MANY forms and official copies of things that you need.  Mike was invited to go to Korea for a work-trip and although they gave us 3 weeks to plan, it was NOT enough time to get a passport for C by mail.  What does that mean?  You have rush everything, go in-person and wait in  LONG ASS LINES.  ugh.

I hope telling you about my experience will help you be more prepared and more able to get ish done in a timely matter.  In fact, even if you have NO PLANS to travel yet, just get a freaking passport.  It’ll take like 1 month and it lasts five years.  Doing this without any rush makes the experience way more pleasant.  I seriously thought I was going to have like 5 panic attacks, heart attacks and meltdowns.  I was SOOOO high strung during the last two weeks that I think Mike got a few more white hairs.  Eek.

ANWAYYYY…here are some tips to help you so that you don’t go through the same headache we did…

  • Get your pictures taken in advance.  There are tons of photo places and two pictures should cost between $8-$14.  If you go to CVS, you can find a coupon for $3 off online.
  • Make sure you have the right form.
  • When filling out the forms, use BLACK INK.  BLACK.
  • You need originals AND copies of everything.  Get it done before you apply.  You need the child’s birth certificate, driver’s licenses from both parents, passports for both parents, marriage license (just in case your names are different or you need proof at a later time).
  • Kids who are getting their passport for the first time must go in person.  You can either wait in a very long line at a local post office or you can make an appointment at a local regent agency.  But the local regent agencies require that you have proof of travel within two weeks.  During a day when your little one is off from school, trek over to a local post office with books, snacks, electronics and get it done.  Honestly, it’s a freaking pain in the ass but it’s so much better and easier to do with when you don’t have a time crunch.  Plan for it by taking the afternoon/morning off.  Because when you’re rushing at the regent agency and you’re leaving in three days…you want to DIE when they tell you, you are missing something.  (b/c that happened to us!)
  • Plan for the passports to take 6-8 weeks.  You can do all sorts of rush shipping and rush processing, but it’s expensive.  Getting a passport is like $110.  If you’re in a rush and you don’t care about money, you could go through an online service but the passport can run $300-$600.  Yikes.  Planning ahead ensures that you will not pay those exorbitant fees.

If you’re rushing to get your passport (like we did), you can LITERALLY get it in 2 days or the same day.  Although, same day is SUPER stressful and i would never recommend that.  If you’re rushing here is what to do…

  • Make an appointment ASAP.  Try to get the earliest appointment in the day and in the two week time frame from your trip.
  • Make sure you have your photos, the paperwork (in black ink), and originals & copies of all the important documents.
  • If you don’t have a birth certificate for your babe, it’s VERY easy to go down to the county or city court house and get a new original copy of the birth certificate.  In LA it’s $29.
  • Have everything organized and ready to go in a folder to hand in.  You need to have your appointment confirmation number on hand when you stand in line to go into the building and then again when you go into the passport appointment room.
  • If you’re appointment is at 7am (which is what I recommend), you stand in line for about 30 minutes outside of the buildling before being cleared to go into the passport office.  Since you and your partner need to be there with your little one, have one partner come a tiny bit later or let your little one run around during the long lines.
  • Once you get clearance into the passport office, you have to stand in another line.  If it’s 7am, then you don’t have a long line to stand in to check into the passport office.  But if your appointment is 11am-12pm then man…the line inside is VERY long.  Your little one for sure shouldn’t be there just yet.
  • Here is the trickiest thing~ you wait in line to get into the building, then you wait in line to check into the passport office (where they check your paperwork) and if the check in clears you, you have to wait AGAIN in the waiting room.  This whole waiting process can easily take 2 hours.  So make sure to bring enough things to keep your little one occupied.  The people are nice about letting you in and out of the room, but it’s a long day of waiting for your family.
  • Post offices usually don’t take credit card, but the regent offices do take them.
  • They keep the original birth certificate of your baby when they process the application, but they give it back when you pick up the passport.
  • Once you have all your documents submitted they will give you a receipt and let you know when you can come pick it up.  YOU MUST KEEP THAT RECEIPT!!!!  You need it to pick up your passport.  If another person is picking up the passport for you, you need to sign off on the receipt and give them a note with your signed permission.
  • When you go and pick up the passport, there will be a time that you need to come by and you are not supposed to arrive any earlier.  BUT YOU SHOULD.  The line to pick up your passport is insanely long.  Bring a book or a fully charged phone.  If you are late…man oh man… Make sure you give yourselves 1-2 hours to pick up the passport.

I never want to go through this experience again.  EVER.  It was so stressful I thought I was either going to have a heart attack or die from anxiety.  Next baby I’m going to take care of this passport while I’m on maternity leave so I have all the time in the world and NO TIME CRUNCH.

I hope this helps you all get passports for your little ones without all the headache and drama that we went through.

xo

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Zara Shoes for Summer 2017

Zara has THE cutest shoes.  They are on trend, budget friendly, AND comfortable!  Here are some of my current faves this season.

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4th of July Outfit Ideas for Moms & Kids

What did we ever do before Pinterest?  I’m planning out our 4th of July outfits and found some really cute inspiration photos for me and C!

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Beach Wear Idea from Nordstroms

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Summer is here and I for one cannot wait to live at the beach or at our friend’s pool.  Here is my go-to summer wear this year!

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and i’m obsessed with this perfect summer bag!  it’ll hold all of our family’s beach/pool essentials.

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