Design Life Kids & My Picks

I’ve been getting a lot of questions on where I like to shop for my little kiddos. So I wanted to share one site that is always a winner for me. DLK also know as Design Life Kids. They have the best carefully curated collection of children’s fashion, accessories, toys and decor for the modern aesthetic loving family. Carrying brands like Mainio, Nor Folk, Tiny Cottons, Dumye, Mint Rhapsody and many more urban labels. Whether you are shopping for yourself or looking for a gift, you can always count on them for unique items leaving your wallet empty but your heart content. Here are my current picks from their site.

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Gifts for Littles

I absolutely love shopping for kiddos. They seriously have the cutest clothes and best toys. I wish some of these things existed when I was younger. Here are some of my picks for Christmas: Pom Pom Sweater// Wooden Play shapes// Soft Blankie// Creative Book// Boombox Speaker Dock// Beautiful Dolls// Apple Pouf// Apron Set with Tools// Comfy Shoes// Pom SlingShot// Wooden Jump Rope

 

 

HIP KID holiday gift guide

 

A Whirlwind of Emotions

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Happy Friday! Not so happy for me.

Taye started preschool three weeks ago and I honestly thought he would be getting the hang of things by now. This morning was one of the toughest days of them all so far. The last couple of times I dropped him off he would cry but not uncontrollably. This morning he ran out the classroom door and ran straight for the gate. As I walked over to console him and tried to walk him back in he was kicking and screaming, saying he didn’t want to go to school. This just completely broke my heart. My eyes welled up and I was ready to breakdown from frustration, guilt and all the other things going on in my life. As I watched him cry, all these guilty thoughts ran through my head, “Maybe he’s just not emotionally ready? What did I do wrong as a parent? How could of I prepared him more for this transition?” And the funny thing is he always seems to be the only child with separation anxiety. I look around and never seem to see any other kids crying which makes me feel even worse. When the teacher finally took him from my arms, I said my goodbyes and walked away without looking back. All I could hear was him screaming, “Mama, I want my mommy!” So what did I do when I got back to my car? I cried. Yup for the entire car ride.

I know I generally post light hearted things on this blog because I try not to get too personal but this goes to show that my life is not perfect and I’m definitely not  a perfect parent. [not that I ever wanted you to think that] I have to admit, these past couple of weeks has been really rough for me emotionally. I’ve had so many recent life changing moments that it’s been an emotional whirlwind. I mean when it rains it really pours. The hardest job in this world is being a parent hands down. It’s so hard to put on a strong face in front of my kid when all you feel inside is sadness and defeat. It’s hard enough to pick yourself up during rough times but to do it only when your kid is not around makes the process ten times tougher. What I don’t want is to let him see that I feel sad. Not that showing emotion is bad but I don’t want him to think in any way that he is responsible for my emotions. My job is to protect him and make him feel as if he has nothing to worry about. But how do you do that without sacrificing your own sanity? This is currently my struggle.

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The picture above is on the first day when his dad picked him up. He was all smiles which made me feel a little more secure. The picture above that was when we dropped him off that first day. This was obviously before the waterworks. Image 16 Image 3 Image 8After he finished his first day, Brad took him to the park and for Ice Cream as a reward for doing such a great job. I mean look at his smile, it’s so hard to see that my happy little boy is not so happy when I leave him. But it’s what we do as mothers right?! We have to be the strong even when we feel weak. I’m trying my best to stay positive because I know deep down inside all this pain right now is leading to a big reward. Lucky for me I have my husband by my side but to all those single parents out there [one being the strongest woman I know-my mom] thank you for doing the hardest job in the world alone and making it look so easy. i love you mom and sorry if I ever gave you a hard time. Ok I think I’ve rambled enough. Thank you so much for listening.

Have a great weekend!

Cabin Life

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Sometimes its nice to just check out from all technology and just live life. This past weekend we took the kids to our family cabin in Sonora. As kids, Brad and his sister would spend their summers and winters there. So it was important for us to keep the tradition going. This isn’t your fancy modern Tahoe house. It’s really more of a cute modest wood cabin that probably is no bigger than 600 sq ft but it has enough space and charm for all of us to create long lasting memories.

Taye will most likely be more of a city kid but we also want him to experience the more simple life without public transportation, cars, overpopulation, and internet. I like for him to be well balanced so he understands how to survive in a metropolitan city but also can tough it out in the woods. It’s so awesome to see the boys run around the cabin playing with dirt and their trucks along the hills and just getting dirty! We can’t wait for our next trip.

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[This little man was pretty excited. Can’t you tell?! He only asked if we were there yet about 10 times which made for a very long car ride at times]
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[on his walk with his dad, this kid decided to pick wild flowers for me. he totally knows what I love! my smile was from ear to ear when he walked through the door with those beauties]IMG_5006 cabin5

[introducing morning baby yoga with these mini yogis. just look at those downward dogs]

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[it’s the three best friends on the hammock. I would say little man is ready to be a big brother. look at the love he has for his cousin Evan. this pic definitely makes my heart smile.]Image 5 cabin3 cabin4

[at Pinecrest Lake doing some fishing and rock throwing.]cabin7cabin8[daddy teaching baby bear how to fish. he loved it but he kept asking where are the fishes. we also looked for frogs at the pond which is a first this city girl. who knew they were so loud. i heard they taste like chicken though. just kidding!]

♦♦ Taye’s beats for the weekend: A Sky Full of Stars-Coldplay

DIY Neon Fruit Swaddles

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Hi there! Are you ready for another DIY? I’m so excited to tell you all that I will be a DIY guest contributor each month over at Shop Sweet Things for the incredible tastemaker and dear friend, Jeanne Chan. [you can’t see me but I’m totally blushing, what an honor!]  We will be collaborating to bring fresh new projects to inspire you to get creative.

What new mom doesn’t love Aden & Anais swaddles and their adorable prints?! Jeanne introduced me to potato stamping and I thought what a great idea to make your own set. So today I worked on making a set of Neon Fruit print swaddles. It actually was super easy but does require a bit of time. You can use them to wrap up your adorable baby or gift them to a friend. If this sparks your interest you can get the full tutorial here.

I guess today is all about news! Please excuse any odd looking things or glitches on my blog this weekend. The Hip Kid is getting a slight makeover so be ready to come back next week for some fresh updates. And as you are reading this I’m enjoying some sun at our family cabin in Sonora. Whatever your plans may be, enjoy yourselves! XO

 

 

LINK LOVE 5.30.14


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[Left to right]

ONE: Always repining from this lovely lady, Myan Duong is a must follow on Pinterest.

TWO: Mother Mag is one of my new favorite web reads.

THREE: How to save $$$ When you’re broke!

FOUR: I’ve been writing lately to Beck, Morning Phase album.

FIVE: So glad Outerlands is open again and looking even better than before.

SIX: Mark your calendars for Poppytalk for Target collab.

SEVEN: Sarah from Smitten Studio is my blog crush of the moment.

EIGHT: My new summer staple from Everlane.

NINE: IGer tenthousandthspoon makes food look too good to eat.

Have a good weekend! ♥ S

The Hip Kid Grubs *Fish*

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Okay ever since I was introduced to this little secret heavenly gem of a place just a little ways across the GG bridge 8 or 9 years ago, I’ve been hooked. It was definitely love at first site for my tummy. I try to make it out here as often as I could especially when I crave crab. Not only is the food out of this world, the location is utter perfection.  Fish is nestled right in front of a spectacular waterfront in Sausalito making it a chill atmosphere. What more can you ask for on a sunny day?! The outdoor and indoor space makes it child and dog friendly too so its suitable for the entire family. Bring them all! Believe me this is not your regular seafood joint that’s stuffy and uptight. They have a passion for the oceans and rivers sustainability which always guarantees a fresh meal. It matters to them where their Fish are coming from and the manner in which they are caught. Wonderful dishes are created using small farmers and organic fruits and vegetables. Just two tips you must remember before heading out there. One: Get there EARLY. The door opens at 11:30 AM 7 days a week and the line starts forming at 11:00 AM. So if you are a late starter be prepared for a long wait. Second: It’s CASH only. Yes I know, if there was one thing that is completely negative about this place, this would be it. Although they do have an ATM inside their restaurant.

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[This is the outdoor patio and as you can see there are already people staking their claim on tables before they open. Beauty of a view right?!] fish1

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[My usual is the Crab roll or the Crab Louie. But some other goodies are the fish tacos, Saigon Salmon roll and the daily grilled fish. Oh and did I mention that the guacamole is really good too!]DSC_0044 DSC_0046 IMG_3954

[And they have a kids menu too for all the younger Seafoodies. Notice how my kid only cares about his fries. Screw the picture!]Image 3

[come on oyster get in my mouth]DSC_0048

[They also have a good selection of wine and beer on tap which comes in pint, quarts and pitchers.]DSC_0016

[And when you are done stuffing your face, you can take a stroll along the pier to burn off what you just devoured. Great spots for getting a little picture action in]DSC_0056 DSC_0084 DSC_0085 DSC_0092 Fish4

[My little dog lover enjoying his walk with his friends. I’m so lucky he is such a happy little man! P.S. I’m also guest blogging over at The Kim Chronicles today.]

♦♦ Taye’s beats for the day: June-Wild Belle

Product Love *EllieFunDay*

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A girlfriend of mine is expecting and I was looking high and low to gift her something meaningful. Through my search I discovered Ellie Fun Day by a husband and wife duo (Sarah and Elton Lin) .  I absolutely love their product and what it stands for. Ellie Fun Day designs amazing baby blankets that change the lives of marginalized women in India. Their mission is clearly spelled out on their website and their story is truly touching.  This is not your ordinary consumer product, this is a creation developed from compassion and love. Each piece is handcrafted with natural and or organic materials with care. If you are in search for a baby gift consider Ellie Fun Day. There is no better feeling than knowing you are supporting the right cause and giving a person a break who may really need one.

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Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays

I know they say that Summer is the season where most babies are born but man I feel like Spring is taking the cake. We are not even half way into the month of April and we have already attended 3 birthday parties. I guess my friends were all getting busy the last couple of winters. Taye loves his parties which is great news. His social skills have really developed in the last year and is getting more comfortable interacting with kids when we are out. He is definitely still on the shy side but it has vastly improved. Yay for Taye! But man once the kid gets comfortable he is such a ham! It’s great to see him having so much fun. Happy birthday to all you Spring babies.Image 2

[This is Lucas turning 6! I can’t believe what a big boy he is]IMG_3689 Image 3 Image 4 IMG_3690

[What an awesome birthday party! This lucky girl had a petting zoo in her own back yard. Taye is just like his daddy and is crazy in love with animals. So when he saw the chickens and pony he was beyond himself.]
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[chasing chickens. they were too fast for him but he gave it a good try]IMG_3740

[haha this cowboy was excited to have chocolate cake. can you tell?!]IMG_3734

[looks like the birthday girl enjoyed her cake too]IMG_3827

[here’s another Riley that had her super fun party at Junior Gym in San Mateo]
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T-beam-1 IMG_3832 Image 5 Image 6[and lastly celebrating everybody’s Jan/Feb birthdays. Taye Taye loves his great grandma!]

Cousin Love

Growing up I didn’t have any siblings or cousins close by to create fond memories with. I had to be very creative when it came to playtime. I guess that explains my wild and vivid imagination. [And kids: being a unique individual is a blessing when you get older!] Being the only child makes it a very lonely world sometimes. I remember always hanging out in front of the house playing with one of my only few friends, [Sparkplug] the cutest dog ever-well plus my two lovies now Lulu and Cutetip (RIP).  She belonged to the store owner next door. I would sit there for hours at a time. So I always told myself that when I start having kids of my own, I would have as many as I could afford just so they won’t grow up feeling alone.

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Taye is our only child right now but he is we are very lucky to have Jack [his cousin] so close to us. They are only 3 months apart and inseparable. [like Ben & Jerry, Batman & Robin, Dr. Dre & Snoop, Puffy and Notorious BIG] These two are more like brothers than cousins. One minute it’s all about love [hugs and kisses] and the next they are tackling or hitting each other on the head. Everywhere we go Taye asks if his cousin will be there. And every time they see each other, they greet one another with a big hug and this screeching sound like two crazy animals. It’s like their own secret handshake or something except it’s not made using hands rather their mouths. It also helps that they go to the same daycare too. I don’t know what they will do when they start different schools. I really hope they will remain close for the rest of their lives and have each other’s back. I love looking back at these pictures and seeing how these two trouble makers have grown so much. Next thing you know they will be driving cars and chasing girls together. Oh boy! I can already tell the next 10-20 years is going to be both scary and amazing.photo

[Taye Taye meeting his cousin for the first time!]319815_10150797499021469_723876468_12171281_922551620_n photo 3 IMG_0253 IMG_0295 IMG_4941 sm IMG_0899

[goofballs at daycare. I can see it already, these two are going to be pranking each other and probably their parents too]IMG_8114

[aww first trip to Disneyland together and won’t be the last. Hopefully they will still want to go together in 10 years]IMG_0888 IMG_1331 IMG_1764

[there’s just something so stinkin’ cute about babies in diapers and no pants. I love baby legs super adorable.]IMG_1072

 [place holder here! I will be inserting a picture of Taye and Jack in 10 years and 20 years. Stay tune]

In His Little Voice

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«i love how curious and bewildered he looks in this picture»

Now that Taye can actually string together full sentences, it’s been really awesome to hear him speak. You can actually carry a full conversation with the kid. The things that come out of his mouth continue to amaze us. Sometimes we will look at one another and think “uh-oh” he totally heard us and other times we have no idea where he gets it. When I’m feeling a little lousy I can always count on peanut to make me laugh and put a smile on my face. I cherish this age.

Every morning when I’m driving him to school, he asks, “Mama where is the dump truck today?” And I tell him I think he is at home sleeping. And every time he would correct me with, “maybe he is at another place working there.” I tell him he’s right and he confirms, “yeah I think he is somewhere else.”

One morning I woke up coughing and he started patting my back and said to me, “mama I’m sorry you are coughing. I think I got you sick. I’m sorry” Seriously I couldn’t stop hugging him because I was so proud of how compassionate he has become. Then he said, “let me call someone.” <<He pretends to call his doctor.>> “hello Dr. Simon. ok” mama he’s ready to see you now.

Taye loves helping Brad make coffee in the kitchen and to his surprise, the little man once again had something smart to say. “Appa don’t make a mess. You better clean up or mama will be mad.” Genius! I trained him so well. Little boss has my back.

Lastly, Brad came back from a work trip and in the morning when we woke up, Taye was surprised to see him in bed. He jumped on him and said I cried for you when you left. Brad said, “did you miss me?” and he answered, “uh-ha, I cried for you. I already told you.”

This kid never fails to amuse me and I love talking to him. He can crack me up for days!

[photo credits: his grandma]

Taye at 29 Months

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Lately I can’t help but shed a little tear each time I look at my little man. >>who is actually not so little anymore, he’s like half my size now<< He’s growing up too fast and my only wish is for him is to slow it down a bit. I want to just snap my fingers to pause this moment in time and selfishly keep it this way forever.  No more onesies, bibs or shoe booties. This kid now wears t shirts, pants and lace up shoes like a big kid. And it’s all about being Mr. Independent. It’s making me so sad. I look at him and see a mini version of my hubby which is super cute and such a trip.

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>> remember when I said in the beginning of the year that I want to keep it simple. Taye rode his bike to Kite Hill on a beautiful day and threw rocks down a hill. taking it back to the old school days when we did not have all the fancy toys and fancy places we are all spoiled by. just plain ole get out there and play with things in nature. and it’s FREE<<
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>>this kid loves walking the dog or should I say let the dog walk him. either way, they are best buds forever and ever, ever, ever….p.s. you will always be my bb and I love you to the moon and back<<

Riding All On His Own

 

^^Dear Taye^^

Today you actually rode your First Bike all by yourself. We didn’t need to hold you or give you a hand. You rode around the neighborhood and even waved to the neighbors. We also played the stop light game while you were on your bike. Pretty soon you will be doing tricks in our front yard. Words can not express how proud we are of you. You are such a brave little boy and today I grant you with the Badge of COURAGE, go ahead with your little bad self, you little dinosaur.

We love you ♥,

Mama and Appa

Rain Please Stay for a little while!

Happy Monday! Is it Friday yet?! It rained all weekend but we still managed to squeeze in so much in two days. Taye started coughing again and I was sure that we would be on house arrest and hanging out with a cranky toddler but luckily it seem to only be a little bug. [knock on wood] He’s still in a really good mood and down to do things which is the most important part. I was reading the other day and found this random fact: did you know that on average kids get sick up to 8-10 times per year? [I’m pretty sure that the majority of it happens during the winter season] That’s cray cray! I don’t remember being sick so often oh wait, come to think of it I was sick a lot but I just thought it was my weak immune system. Here are some great tips on how to keep your kids healthy on Parents.

I’ve been waiting patiently for the rain to arrive so Taye could rock his new Hatley raincoat and Native rain boots. Although I failed to get him an umbrella. He was shouting out “mamella” all day when he saw people walking around with umbrellas. So cute. This kid was super excited to play in the rain. He kept opening up his palms and catching it. He has yet to discover opening his mouth to catch it but I’m sure it will happen real soon. It’s amazing how much he can say and  how we can have a full blown conversation. His latest thing is “slow down, drive slowly mama, it’s dangerous. the car is coming. okay?!” I mean really, he’s a genius right? Oh and if I tell him not to do something, he looks at me and says, “ok mama I won’t do it. I’m sorry” This isn’t on all occasions like I wish though. What a fun age.

We even managed to get some alone time and do some cool things with our friends. Hopefully the rain decides to stay for the week and let the sun return for our upcoming three day weekend!

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[he loved puddle jumping and did not want to go inside even when it starting pouring]
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[I had this amazing salad last week that I tried to recreate. **chickpeas, cucumbers, granny smith apples, salami and cherry tomatoes with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. I got to say it was pretty darn close to what I had.]

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[we had a fun PaintNite date with another couple where we got to paint and drink at the same time. it was so much fun and I would totally do it again. The paintings above were the ones done by professionals and we were suppose to copy]IMG_3115

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[I’d say we did a rather stellar job. I think people would pay for these. wink*]IMG_3141 photo 1 IMG_3131 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[we met up with Kim Chronicles and her husband for some Korean food and Soju at Dan Sung Sa in Oakland. Great way to end the night with good food and great friends.]

Enjoy your week!

All About LOVE

Happy Friday! I’ve never been really big on Valentine’s [CHEESE] day because I believe you should tell/show people you love them every day.  But I’m not going to let my opinion stop my kid from loving it. He can form his own opinions of this day when he gets older. Here are a few ideas of what I do plan on doing with Taye and some are just too cute not to share Enjoy!

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Heart-Crispy-Treats-1 Succulent-Valentines-410x600 Printable-Valentine-Box-by-Amanda-Jane-Jones baby-sleeping-heart-balloons

♥ DIY crayons || Paper Flower Crown (this one is more for me) || Heart Crispy Treats || Succulent Valentines || Valentines surprise Box || Baby Pic ♥

Traveling with Kids

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We all love to travel but the idea of endless packing and the taxing journey to the final destination can make you second guess your initial decision to take the trip. Well you throw kids into the mix and you say to yourself forget about it. Believe me I’m no expert but I’ve traveled enough times with my kid to pick up a few good tips that I want to share with you to make all your travels stress free and worth it.

1)       Being hands-free is a must when traveling with kids. So forget all the pretty handbags or extra bags! Backpacks are my go to for traveling. You never know when you might have to make a mad dash after them so you don’t want to leave your bag behind. Also they are generally roomier to carry all your needs. And so much better for your posture. Get your little ones to carry their own toys and water in a mini one too. Here are a few that are still cute and won’t make you look like a school girl. [low, medium, high]

2)      Have your ipad or iphone equipped with pictures (so you can easily run a slideshow), videos and apps. My kid loves to look at slideshows and videos of past events and that usually keeps him busy for at least an hour. And don’t forget to bring their own headphones. [Apps I like: Endless Reader, Dino Dots, Tozzle]

3)      Snacks are essential for all my trips whether it’s on a plane or a car ride. You never know when they might get hungry so I like to have snacks handy. Also bringing your own not only saves money it also agrees with your kids diet. It’s hard enough to find places to eat for adults so it’s 10 times harder with kids.

4)      Get one surprise item for the trip. This could be a toy, book or stuffed animal. When it’s new they will likely be more intrigued. This should keep them busy for a few hours or if you are lucky the entire trip.

5)      I always have an extra set of clothes in my carry on. You never know when they will spill their drink or have an accident. Also this prepares you for any unfortunate flight mishaps like delay or cancellations. Also try to dress them in layers because you never know what the temperature on the plane might be.

6)      I would try to avoid too many suitcases or luggages. So I like to pack for me and the kid in one suitcase. If you have multiple kids pack them all in one case. This will leave you with less bags to manage when you are trekking around.

7)      Plan outfits by day and use big freezer bags to organize them all. You can also label them by name and dates. Makes it easy to pack and you can easily find things. This helps eliminate overpacking too.

8)      Arrive early and plan to be late. Let’s be real, it takes an extra hour to get out of the house than it would normally do without kids. So plan to be super early so you can actually get there on time. And don’t be surprised if you are late.

9)      Don’t forget to pack an emergency kit. It’s always good when traveling with small children to be prepared for any sick bugs they might catch. Include fever reducer,an antihistamine, an antibiotic ointment, and cough syrup for older kids. You can always consult with your doctor if you have problems figuring out what to pack before your trip.

10)   Attitude is everything! Don’t expect things to be perfect. There will always be an unexpected problem but it’s all in the way you handle and overcome it. Simply stay calm and move on. Make the best of all mishaps. If you start to stress than you kids will feel it too. Sometimes the best memories of vacations are ones that are not planned.

Happy Travels!

 

Storage Solutions

A recent project of mine is to organize and clean up the toy area in our living room. Lately I have been really into black and white storage. I did some on-line hunting and found a couple that I really like. The hard part is picking one or two. What do you think?

black and white storage

Noon Year’s Eve

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The days of us going out late till the break of dawn to drink and celebrate NYE is hopefully not completely over yet but definitely very unlikely. It will probably only occur once every oh I don’t know, never again. But just because you have a baby or toddler doesn’t mean it should stop you from ringing in the New Year. You just have to consider doing it at noon versus midnight. Last year we took Taye to the Bay Area Discovery Museum for Noon Year’s Eve. It doesn’t cost anything extra just the price of a regular admission and members and babies under 6 months are free. If you want to be really festive you can purchase a party kit which includes bubbles, beads, stickers, noise makers and more. It’s pretty damn cute because you can dance along to a DJ [DJ Mancub that is to all you party goers] that spins baby party tracks, do arts and craft, and experience a count down with a big ball drop at noon. [i’m not joking when I say BIG-just check out the vid below to see what I mean] I’m just sad that we are unable to join in the fun this year. But I’m not too sad because we will actually be doing NYE Mickey Mouse style. We are going to the happiest place on earth to celebrate. That’s right Disneyland here we come peeps!

Isn’t the picture above the cutest?! All these pictures were from last year. We asked them to take one together and they decided to pose like this with such swag. And as you can see they have killer views there for perfect picture opportunities. Now if the North bay is too far of a trek, don’t worry here are some other locations for great Noon Year parties that may be closer to you.

South Bay: Hiller Aviation & Museum Noon Year’s Eve ,or  Children’s Discovery Museum Noon Year’s Eve

East Bay: Chabot Space and Science center Balloon Drop

No matter where you may be we hope you have the best time! Thank you for all the support and visiting my little home within the blogosphere. I appreciate it so kindly and can’t wait to share more with you in the new year. From Bradley, Taye Taye and I with ♥, we wish you a healthy, happy and incredible new year. 2014 is going to ROCK!

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[such a **Rock Star**! ]IMG_0299

[DJ Mancub in the da hizhouzz dropping on the 1’s and 2’s]IMG_0301 IMG_0304 IMG_0305

[this is when Taye first started walking. he had a wide stance and a wobble to help him stay balanced. definitely a late walker but early talker! seems like just yesterday. tear!]IMG_0309 IMG_0311

[Hi there! Meet the other Ms. Riley. what is up with all the Riley’s with big chubby cheeks for days?!]IMG_0319 photo photo 2 photo 3

[these two always best buds and cousins for life!]

 

Merry Christmas with Love


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Did you get all your shopping done on time? I’m usually a really early shopper but this year was a little harder to get organized. It was down to the last minute but I managed to get it all done. I love love Christmas but it can be exhausting with all the traveling [especially with a toddler] and all the eating. And yet I’m up late now writing this post and catching up on my Ellen. Ha! I’m totally going to pay for it later today. In 6 hours my little peanut will wake up to discover Santa did come to our house, ate all the milk and cookies and left tons of presents. I can’t wait to see the smile on his face. The picture above was our attempt to take a family photo for the holidays. [why is it so hard to get a toddler to take pictures?!] Believe it or not this was the best one. I probably could of used a better photo from another day but I wanted to keep it real. So from our crazy family to yours, we wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Cheers,

Bradley, Samantha & Taye

P.S. I caught this awesome video on Jimmy Fallon the other night. So awesome!

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Exploratorium Part 2

 

There were so many things to see that I couldn’t stop taking pictures. We didn’t even finish walking thru the entire place. Here is part 2 of pictures from our play date. You can see part 1 HERE.

 

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[a little snack break for these two]
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[this art piece was made entirely from toothpicks and it took the artist 37 years to put together. boy he is super patient. If it was me I would of given up after the first time it collapsed] DSC_0641 DSC_0645 DSC_0651 DSC_0655

[the fog bridge is my favorite part of the Expoloratorium. super cool]DSC_0659 DSC_0661 DSC_0662 DSC_0666

[these two monkeys couldn’t stop running back and forth on the bridge]DSC_0668 DSC_0677

[dance dancing in the fog ♥]DSC_0679 DSC_0685 DSC_0687[goodbye see you next time]

♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Bittersweet Symphony-The Verve

[credits: photos by the hip kid]

Exploratorium Part 1

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Our little peanut is generally a very shy guy and although I see nothing wrong with that, I just don’t want it to discourage him from making new friends . I took him to a birthday party a few weeks back and as soon as we walked into the door, he looked at me, backed up and said “no mama”. I think he got that from Brad because lord knows when i was younger I was walking up to strangers left and right to chat them up. [well at least I was told that] Funny thing is now that I’m older I’m much more shy. So lately we’ve been trying to get him out and about on more play dates to help him become more social with other kids.

Last weekend we got together for a play date with our friends Chanelle and Andy. Chanelle actually writes The Kim Chronicles which is a lifestyle blog that shares snippets of her life with their baby girl Riley. Since it’s been below freezing in San Francisco lately [not literally I’m just being dramatic] we decided to take the kids somewhere in doors. Along came the idea of the Exploratorium. It recently moved to a new location and I think the last time I was there was more than 5 years ago. I wasn’t sure if Taye would be into it since he is only 2 but I was wrong. It’s actually a great sensory playful place for all ages. It’s ridiculously huge inside and so perfect for them to run around, explore and engage all their senses. Taye got really excited about the fact that he could actually touch everything. Also it’s great that they give SF residents a discount on the ticket price. And the fact that the location is set right next to the bay is already amazing in itself.

I had to separate the pictures because I got so excited and took a little too many.

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[this monkey sculpture is so much fun! you can tap on these drums and it makes noise and spins faster as more people bang on the drums]

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[look at Taye Taye playing hard to get]DSC_0515 DSC_0517

[hi there! I’m Riley and I have cheeks for days! so cute]DSC_0520 DSC_0521 DSC_0522 DSC_0526 DSC_0533 DSC_0538 DSC_0548 DSC_0555 DSC_0563 DSC_0567 DSC_0569

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[i felt like I was at some nightclub or rave in this room. they should do an adults only night like the Academy of Science where you can drink and party. i’m just saying]

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[cool infrared camera]ex3 DSC_0589

[by far one of my favorite pics of the day. such a happy boy]DSC_0593 DSC_0600 DSC_0597 DSC_0603

♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Bittersweet Symphony-The Verve

[credits: photos by the hip kid]

Gift Guide

Gifts for your guy

 

 

Gifts for her
 
>>one-Cuyana tote\ two-Sweet Nothing necklace\ three-Vintage Blossom notebooks\ four-Kate Spade watch\ five-Jo Malone\ six-Chevron glittens\ seven-Frends headphones\ eight-Madewell Bien sweatshirt\ nine-You are Beautiful Print <<

 

Gifts for the little Hip Kid
>> 1. Yarning Made heart throw\ 2. Pangea Mork chair\ 3. RH bookends\ 4. Twig Creative camera\ 5. Faas Berkeley Moccasin\ 6. Kira kids Boombox Bear\ 7. Land of Nod Easel\ 8. Wooden Kitchen Mixer\ 9. Steam Train Dream Train\ 10. Berenstain Bears The Joy of Giving <<

Holiday in the Bay with kids

Only 10 days till Christmas but there is still enough time to get your families out there and enjoy all the holiday festivities in the Bay area. Some are free and some can  cost a small fee but either way don’t let 2013 go without creating some memorable experiences. Here are some Bay Area activities I want to check out.

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::ONE>>SF Zoo Lights

::TWO>>Downtown Snow Fall

::THREE>>Renegade Crafts Fair

::FOUR>>Christmas with Walt

::FIVE>>Fairy Winterland

::SIX>>24 Holidays on 24th

::SEVEN>>Gingerbread Extravaganza

Yo Gabba Gabba Live

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The last time I went to the Paramount was to see Lykke Li. But now I go to concerts to see Yo Gabba Gabba. This is my new life. My first thought was that I was going to be stuck with a bunch of screaming kids for an hour. However, judging by the pictures and video, I think one of the screamers was actually me. I had so much fun I can honestly say that I will do it again.

I think it was definitely stimulation overload at times for the boys but overall it was a fantastic show. They really teach the kids about all good behaviors but doing it with lots of fun. Let’s see, what did we learn: eat your food, dance and shake it out, hug your friends, holding still, to give during Christmas and just to be a kid and have fun! [or in my case to be a kid if you are an adult]
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[note to self: don’t be a sucker when going to these kid shows. Brad bought these for the boys but didn’t realize they were $20 each until it was too late]
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[i think the hubby was more excited than Taye Taye]DSC_0469

[this video above sums up our entire night. just watching these boys so excited is priceless! ]

Our Christmas Tree!

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I can’t believe we just had Thanksgiving this past weekend and now it’s officially the month of Christmas! Is it just me or does it feel like the time between the two holidays seem to get shorter and shorter?! Man this year has really flown by. I absolutely love the holidays. The lights everywhere, the music, smell of the trees, special holiday flavored treats, all of it. And people seem to be a lot nicer around the holidays.

Every year we head up to Santa’s Tree farm in Half Moon Bay to cut down our tree. Yes [i know] not very green but the whole experience is just so much fun! Plus there is fake snow and a train ride that Taye loves. This time around I had to give Brad an extra push out of bed in the morning. He just got a new job and I’m so proud of him but the poor guy has been working 16 hour days for the last 2 weeks straight [even weekends]. So we almost passed on it this year but I’m glad we didn’t because it was such a beautiful day. Last year peanut was still in the ergo so I got to pick the tree. Since he is walking this year we told him he could pick the tree. Every time Brad asked him if he liked this tree or that tree, he would say, “not this one, it’s too big for our house”. What a funny little guy! Finally after walking around for 1/2 hour…he found our TREE! Now we just have to find time to decorate it..…..
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 On a side note: this year I decided to make the boys an advent calendar. I wanted to do one big enough where we could fit little trinkets and notes instead of the chocolate. And the bonus was all the supplies only cost me $40 from Michaels and Amazon. Oh yes that is my naked tree in the back ground. Like I said, we need time more time please….

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♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: All I want for Christmas is you-Mariah Carey

https://soundcloud.com/karentcb/mariah-carey-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-you

The Haircut

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Have you ever heard of a Chinese tradition where you have to shave your babies head? It symbolises the shedding of the birth hair (or sometimes referred to as “hair from the womb”). And supposedly it will grow back stronger, healthier and more abundant. Well since I’m half Chinese my mother has been getting on my case since day one to shave Taye’s head. I strongly believe in embracing your culture but this one was hard for me. [so was not showering for a month which was even harder. Needless to say I was a bad daughter and showered the next day. I know total disgrace.] My kid has the most amazing set of curls and I could never imagine him without his trademark locks. I honestly don’t know how he got them. The fireman maybe?! Totally kidding. I mean both Brad and I had wavy hair but nothing even remotely close to the Shirley Temple do that my kid rocks. If we were to dress him up in all pink he would totally pass for a girl from the back. Wait, who am I kidding? Everywhere we go now people say, “ her hair is so cute, look at those curls”. And I say, “thank you but she is a he”. LOL. I tried to hold out and let it grow out as long as possible but I had to give in recently. [tear] One day we were at the playground and when the wind blew I caught him sweeping away his bangs that kept covering his eyes. I felt bad so I decided to give him a trim. As soon as I cut the first couple strands, I almost cried. But after I was done, I noticed the curls were still alive and well, just shorter. Thank god I didn’t lose my Shirley Temple!

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[Look at those curls! It grows back right?! Yikes]

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[credits: photos by thehipkid]

Foodie Fridays-Potato Leek Soup

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when it starts to get cold outside i love to make potato leek soup. it’s actually really easy to make even though it looks so elegant. i like to disclose now that by no means am i a professional cook nor a good one for that matter but i like to pretend to be Giada from time to time to impress my family. i would call myself  an amateur, semi homemade, on the fly kind of cook. i usually spend hours seeking out the best recipes but never really follow them. i think cooking is more fun when the outcome is unpredictable. besides practice makes perfect. come on let’s be serious, it will never be perfection the first time around. and the best part about this recipe is that my little guy loves it! this is my go to recipe when i am craving for it. [the only thing i don’t use is the white wine] p.s. to my hubby if you are reading this i need to take a class in food photography. [wink wink!]

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[my version of a bouquet garni]

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[this is what the soup looks like before the immersion hand blender. i received this one for Christmas one year and it’s become one of the best gifts ever. i can’t live without, it’s a must have to add to your kitchen tools.]PL5 PL6 PL7[these bowls are the best for a less mess meal. look at this guy, that’s my kind of dinner date!]

[credits: photos by thehipkid]

Grandpa comes to visit

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last night Taye got to spend some time with his grandpa. my dad lives in North Carolina and we only get to see him once a year so this is really special. since Taye has been born, he has only seen him a total of three times. this is pretty hard for me considering i’m totally a daddy’s girl and not afraid to admit it. my dad is my hero. even with so little face time, peanut immediately fell into his arms. [my heart is so filled with joy and totally beaming ♥] i think kids are really smart and they can sense things. it was like he knew that this person means the world to me and so he loves him too. it’s great that Taye does not lose his connection with his grandpa even though he rarely gets to spend time with him. i’m so lucky because this kid has a heart of gold! this was the conversation between grandpa and Taye Taye during dinner.

T: grandpa are you full?

G: grandpa full [he speaks broken English]

T: where you live grandpa?

G: i stay at friends house

T: what you say grandpa?

G: laughing histerically

T: grandpa what your favorite color?

G: what you say?

T: what you like to eat?

G: hamburgers

T: hamburgers!? me too. giggles

i mean can that moment be any sweeter?! those two were having the time of their lives. after dinner, taye took his camera and started taking pictures all around the house. he was actually pretty good at it. although i think my dad has no more space on his memory card. at least now we know what to get him for Christmas. we plan on taking him to visit my family in North Carolina next year. i can’t wait for him to see the place i use to spend my summers when i was young.

♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Cough Syrup- Young the Giant

[credits: photos by thehipkid]

Has it really been a year?!

DSC_0361a couple weeks back Brad and i celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. i seriously can’t believe it, time has really zipped by! it hasn’t been the easiest at times but now that it’s been a year, i can honestly say we’ve become even closer. to me a good marriage is like your favorite dish that you make from scratch. you have this recipe and the first time you make it you follow it to the tee but you realize when you taste it, it’s not what you expect. you know something is definitely missing. so you alter the recipe by adding or subtracting a different ingredient each time you make it. and at every attempt you get better at it and  it starts to taste even better than the last time. then soon enough you’ve master the perfect recipe. as for us, i need a lot more practice at it. [years and years] i’m just really blessed that i get to take this journey with my two best friends, Brad and Taye Taye.

we got married at City Hall and had an intimate dinner at Brix in Napa. so as a tradition, we’ve decided that each year we will celebrate by going back to Brix on our anniversary. this time around we’ve decided to take peanut with us. if you have a chance take my word for it, go try their brunch buffet. you won’t be sorry.

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[someone loves to eat and loved that he was able to pick out his own food]

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[he tried a donut for the first time and he doesn’t know it but it is also his last for a while]DSC_0236 Image[chocolate makes everyone happy not just kids]

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[the hubby asked me to pose and this was my akward attempt to look sexy. classic dork move. i think i’m going to stick to being a mom]

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[my kid tries to copy my pose and does it ten times better. what a cutie!]DSC_0297 DSC_0305 DSC_0339 DSC_0348

[he makes us read the good night construction site book every night before bed. so when he found this bulldozer, he was beyond excited]

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[he said to me in this picture, “mama, i’m going put my hands in my pocket while i walk” seriously this kid makes my heart smile]PicMonkey Collage1 PicMonkey Collage2 BS_320 BS_313[just a couple of my favorite pics from our wedding]

♦♦Taye’s beats for the day: Sweet Disposition-Temper Trap

 

[credits: all photos at Brix by thehipkid

wedding photos by Onelove Photography

Dress by Sarah Seven

Make up by Hille Yung

Hair by Melisa Hall

Flowers by Lila B. Design]

Just One of Those Days or maybe three

 

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did you ever have one of those days where nothing is going right? well i just had about 3 of them and it should explain why i haven’t posted anything in the last couple of days. i’m so humbled by all the turn of events in my life recently. being a full time mom with a full time job and blogging is no joke. what was i thinking?! i seriously don’t know where people find time to do it all and i totally bow down to the women who can do it all. and to do it with such ease. calling all moms out there, if you have the magic recipe please share! the last three days i wanted to crawl up in a little tiny corner of my house and put my head between my legs. SUPER MOM, yeah right!  basically everything that could go wrong did and after one bad thing came another. i will spare you the details of my horrible days. let’s just say i wish there was more time in one day!

i wanted to do a fun post all about Taye’s Halloween but Halloween never happened.  i had all these things planned for the little man [halloween craft, halloween gifts for his little friends and trick or treating] but he came down with a viral infection. he had several spurts of fevers ranging up to 104 degrees. to see him so miserable was heart breaking. watching your sick child go thru it and know you have done as much as you could to help them but know it’s not enough really sucks! it is probably one of the worst things ever about being a mom. i wish i had a genie to grant my wish of making him feel better in an instant. this way he wouldn’t have to suffer. the poor guy had to witness all the kids trick or treating while he was stuck in the doctor’s office for an hour having test ran on him. ugh. so much for Halloween.

well to make it up to him, i’ve asked my neighbors to let us ring their doorbells tomorrow night so Taye could at least have a little trick or treating event even if it’s the day after. this way he doesn’t have to say he totally missed out. sorry if i’m rambling or being negative in this post. but as you can see its not always about amazing hip kid adventures because our world is definitely not perfect. we have our bad days too! [and plenty of them]

Image 1[lucky for us we took pictures of him in his costume before Halloween. we did not ask him to pose like that! it’s all Taye Taye]