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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hi all. if you have ever met me you know.. i’m a bit in love with the LA metro system. basically… long story short, when i first moved to LA for grad school i was bummed out that i didn’t live in a very metro/public transportation friendly city. (i mean los angeles is jus soooooo huge) but i am so happy to say that the metro system has really grown here and living in old pasadena means i live next door to a metro stop!!!! so.. i’ve really come to love hopping on and exploring LA as much as possible.. i’ll be sharing here my fun finds along the metro line.. mostly gold line as that’s what i frequent the most! 🙂 hope you all get to explore LA a little bit along with me car-free! 

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bento: toddler ed #1.

Ok, so some of you may know that I work in one of our nation’s busiest ERs when I am not at home with our sweet little e (read: 40+ hour work weeks). So prepping healthy meals for my toddler can be a bit of work and meal prep of any kind is a lifesaver for this busy mama. Honestly, I’m not the best of cooks so prepping meals is… hard. So today and going forward I want to share some of my tips & tricks i’ve picked up to help me pack a healthy meal for sweet e. The best way I’ve found so far is to utilize a bento meal for lunches.

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sunday breakfast: spinach pancakes.

sunday mornings as our sweet family of three is one of my favorite moments during our week. we try not to be in too much of a rush and take the morning together enjoying each other’s presence as all other mornings are basically a rush, grab, go kind of deal. recently, i read a post on the honest co. blog about spinach pancakes and i knew i had to try it. sweet e is a great eater but let’s be honest.. greens are just not one of her favorite things. so i adapted this recipe to get some veggies in this morning and and it was an hit all around the dining table!

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