christmas tree picking!

last weekend we started off the beginning of the christmas season by dropping by our local christmas tree farm (battaglia christmas tree farm) to pick up a 🎄! we took elle here last year & so it was super fun to come back to the same farm to repeat the annual holiday festivities. she was definitely excited and had a blast picking out the perfect tree. 🙂 they also have train rides and reindeer rides (weather permitting) and we got to go on the train ride together! 🚂

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nutcracker!

hi friends!

i think this is my favorite time of the year… end of the year holidays… it always starts out with thanksgiving (which is my fave!!.. carb lover’s dream come true) and then all the magic of christmas to end the year! thanksgiving here in the bay area was lovely as usual.. we had a cozy family dinner with our family who was in the bay area at my parent’s this year and had a FEAST. i may be biased, but my mom is one of the BEST cooks i know and she makes amazing dishes that are very thoughtful and clean.. so even though i’ve been struggling with some intense gestational diabetes, I was able to have a full traditional thanksgiving plate (and keep my levels in check) and full heart this thanksgiving. it was also so sweet to see little e hanging out with her younger cousin during the dinner. this time in the bay area has been so needed. something about family time that heals all, you know?

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monterey bay!

hi friends, we’ve been spending some quality time in the bay area lately and it has been such a blast to rediscover childhood favorites through the eyes of my sweet little toddler daughter! this past weekend we had the chance to make a quick day trip out to monterey, california to visit the all time favorite monterey bay aquarium and check out a new restaurant! monterey bay/carmel area holds a dear place in my heart as we frequented many times growing up as a family and later when i would come back to visit as an adult with my then boyfriend, now husband. this past weekend i had the chance to invite my cousins along for some family bonding and my daughter had the sweetest time hanging out with her cousin and all her “friends” from the ocean! 🐟🦀🐳🐙🐡🦈🐠 tbh, the aquarium is one of my faves, but tickets are definitely not inexpensive so we ended up investing in a family membership. there are different types so definitely check them out and see if any of them are worth it! they are especially great if you are visiting with grandparents who happen to live in the area… we also liked the idea of an annual membership because even though we are not bay area residents we are in the bay area quite a bit through out the year visiting my family and love taking day trips to cities like monterey… so we knew we would want to be able to come back. most memberships pay themselves off after 2 visits and it allows us to enjoy our visit with our excited, yet young daughter without trying to cram in every exhibit or exhaust ourselves trying to spend the whole day out. for example, on this first trip with E, we spent a little over 2 hours really exploring the kelp exhibits (a fave), watching the penguins, meeting the octopus 🐙 (little e’s current sea creature obsession) and hanging out in the touch pools. we then decided to spend the rest of the late afternoon/evening walking down cannery row stuffing ourselves crazy with caramel apples 🍎 and candy 🍭😆… we also grabbed dinner at the cutest pizza joint just a short walk from the aquarium that ended up being quite the hit with both the adults and children! as always, here is a photo journal of our day trip!

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half moon bay

hi friends! a family favorite of ours is taking a day trip to half moon bay when we are in the bay area… it’s a place we’ve been going to for years since i was a little one and it has been so fun to take little e there with us now! today’s trip was to get lunch at sam’s chowder house – a very popular restaurant right off the coast.. try to make reservations if you can because it is always always always packed! after lunch we walked down to the beach and strolled along.. it was honestly the most gorgeous weather i have had in hmb in a long time and it made the afternoon so magical. little e also brought her little toddler bike and took that for a spin… we’re back at my parents this evening and enjoying a slow night outside in the backyard and just going through the pictures and reliving the afternoon. here is a photo journal of our trip!

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disneyland.

hi friends. we just got back from our final disneyland trip of the year… and im just sitting here looking through all my picture albums marveling at just how much fun we had this spring. thanks to the southern california resident pass we were able to enjoy the disneyland resort park SIX time starting in january…. and we are quite disney-ed out… BUT we had so much fun each time we went. you can check out my other post on california adventures for more tips&tricks, but today i wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from our disney adventures.

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little e on her first disneyland trip!

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