January 13, 2017

Baby Hera’s 2-Month Update


hera_2monthsBaby Hera is 2 months old!

Baby Hera’s milestones

The last eight weeks have passed by so quickly! At two months, Hera’s communication and motor skills have drastically improved. She doesn’t cease to surprise me with what she new things she learns every day. We are both learning about each other and so far, it’s been a great adventure. Here are some of the milestones she’s reached in the last month:

Interested in Complex Designs

Little Hera is interested in the world around her! She is starting to focus her eyes on bright, flashing lights, colors , and can track patterns with her eyes.  She seems to be very aware of her surroundings and spends a lot of her awake time “observing” the things around her. This month, we have spent a lot of time traveling around the house to give her a chance to become more acquainted with the world she lives in. She is not yet reaching for objects on her own but is receptive to soft textures.

A Better Listener

Hera has started to look towards the origin of different sounds, one of those sounds being mommy’s voice! When I talk to her, she turns towards me and sometimes graces me with her beautiful little smile. I am not sure how many emotion’s she has developed yet, but it’s nice to feel that she is smiling because she is starting to possibly understand who I am. She is also interested in sounds around her but unfortunately this also means that she is more sensitive to it.

Communicating and Imitating

Hera is starting to communicate! Her words still sound like mostly cooing and gurgling but she does try to engage me in conversation. She tries to imitate sounds as well. I can’t wait to see whether she says Mommy or Daddy first!

PicMonkey Collage

Baby’s Favorite Products

1.Aden+Anais Swaddles 2. Bright Starts Bouncer 3. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier
4. Graco DuetConnectLX Swing + Bouncer 5. Tiny Love Cozy Rocker Napper 6. Comotomo Baby Bottles
October 14, 2016

Relieving Pregnancy Anxiety


I am officially 37 weeks pregnant! My little girl is practicing her breathing, packing on a bit more weight, and getting ready to make her big debut. While I am more than happy to wait until my little girl decides she is ready to meet us, I am kind of getting tired of being pregnant. But, I have a reputation for being impatient and instead of trying to find ways to “induce” labor, I’ve tried to focus on putting good use to the few weeks I have left.

1. Chill but keep yourself busy!

A lot of moms around me have been advising me to take it easy, sit down, this may be the last time I may be able to spend time lounging around as much as I want. While I appreciate the advice and have been trying to rest as much as I can, I grow a little more restless everyday. I am so anxious to meet my little girl and “resting” just hasn’t been cutting it for me.

I chose to stop working at the start of the third trimester because I kept hearing all the horror stories of fatigue, swollen ankles, heartburn, and constant contractions. But unfortunately I have been so bored! So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought myself one of those neat headband making kits on Etsy and have been busy making adorable little headbands.


Pretty neat, huh?

So my advice is to use this time to pursue some hobbies, nothing that keeps you on your feet too long but something that does keep you entertained!

  • make something new: I’ve never really been one for arts and crafts because I can’t sit long enough to finish a project. Now that I am trying to spend less time on my feet and more time bouncing on a birth ball, making things have kept me busy. Try a new recipe, learning how to make something small off of Pinterest, or even making clothes or blankets for your little one.
  • record your experience: keep a journal logging your pregnancy or write a letter to your baby.
  • finish the nursery: take inventory and add things as necessary. If you have the energy, decorate!
  • keep in touch with friends and family: after the baby comes there might not be a lot of time for catching up with friends so take this time to meet up with a few, keep them inform, and spend some time together before the big day.

2. Pamper Yourself

Even though my birth plans are not set in stone, I am leaning heavily towards the natural birth route. While many moms can easily chose a route, I have had more trouble, mostly because I know that my pain tolerance is probably lower than most people. So, the last couple of weeks I have been working on being more in-tune with my body in an effort to encourage myself. “I can do it, it’s all in my head” I try to remind myself. I’ve researched as many forums as I can, hoping for a hint on how painful labor really is and what I can do to make it comfortable. Of course, there is no one answer and everybody is different.

However, after taking a childbirth class with my hubby, where we learned a variety of pain relief methods, I kind of got encouraged to try natural birth, at least to the point where I exhaust all of my natural pain relief options before jumping to the pain medication. I think that the great thing about the center I plan to deliver at is that they don’t try to enforce any one way. It is all about the safety of the mom and the baby. So, if I decide to get an epidural halfway, I don’t think I will get guilt-tripped by my doctor. As long as my little girl is healthy, I’ll do whatever I need to do.

In the meantime, I have tried to practice my breathing through a little meditation here and a little yoga here. Among a variety of pampering methods, my favorite one has to be: Lavender Essential Oil!

It is fantastic for relaxing, sleeping, mixing with coconut oil and giving yourself a nice belly rub. So far, it has been one of my favorite purchases.

  • take a walk: Explore new areas, try new restaurants, start or write in your blog!
  • take a bath: I am not a big fan of baths but now that my backaches are more of an everyday thing, baths have been a lifesaver. Add some essential oils or a nice (but safe!) bath bomb to make it a pampering experience.
  • get a massage: There are no spas in my area that focus on pregnant women but if you can find one in your area that does, book a few pregnancy massages or spa packages for yourself! I was able to get a few during our babymoon in Thailand and I must say, they were excellent!

3. Learn as Much as You Can

With new opinions, research, and ideas being developed everyday about childbirth and child rearing, there is always more to learn. While I can’t agree with everything out there, it is nice to be informed, especially when it comes to the liberties some hospitals take without the mother’s consent. In South Korea, birth is a mother-oriented thing but more often than not ends in a C-section, an episiotomy, and a two week stay in a postpartum care center.

Some of my favorite books so far:





How do you cope with the anxiety of an upcoming event?

August 13, 2016

Summer Beauty Favorites

Summer Beauty Favorites

Summer has kicked into high gear here in Korea and the humidity is killing me. I momentarily lost all interest in my skin. What’s the point? Any makeup I choose to wear usually melts off of my face by noon anyway. But with the hormones, the change in diet, and the heat, I needed to find summer and pregnancy-safe products fast.

Pregnancy and the weather has really helped me reconsider my beauty routine. Since I’ve got someone else to think about, much more thought goes into what I put on my skin. I read labels, I monitor my skin’s reaction, and I’ve even reduced my morning and nighttime skin routine from about 12 products to about 3 or 4. It’s been a big change for me and frankly not the easiest one. However, through trial and error, I have been able to find products that work for me.

The following list includes products that I have personally tried and had much success with. Is there a better or cheaper option? I’m sure there is but living in a foreign country makes my choices limited. The organic beauty movement has been a recent one in South Korea–a welcomed changed from all the “whitening” and “anti-aging” products that are a big part of the market. However, I have chosen to limit the Korean products added to this list because I am not too sure about the ingredient list. Here are my top summer beauty picks!

Aloe Vera Gel
Thankfully, I am not prone to sunburns. However, this summer aloe vera gel has been a huge help in helping me stay cool and helping my skin stay hydrated.

My Favorite: Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel
Highlights: Refreshing! Putting some on right before I sit in front of the fan or air con has helped me stay cool. It also soothes my skin and is great for massages.
Drawbacks: It can get pretty sticky.

Facial Water Spray
Water spray is all the rage in South Korea and you can usually find at least ten different types in any beauty section across the country. Facial water spray acts like a toner for the skin and most importantly, refreshes you and keeps you hydrated. It’s a welcomed sensation after sitting under the overbearing sun.

My Favorite: Evian Mineral Water Facial Spray Duo
Highlights: Great for travel, refreshing.
Drawbacks: None.

Coconut Oil 
Apparently you can use coconut oil for almost anything. I got on the coconut oil train relatively late but am a big fan of its smell and moisturizing properties. Coconut oil is popular with people who oil pull and eating a tablespoon or so a day helps keep the body functioning in top form. My favorite use for coconut oil is to keep stretch marks at bay and moisturize some rough patches of skin (elbows, knees). Cocoa butter would have been my first choice but it is relatively overpriced here 🙁

My Favorite: Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil 
Highlights: Great moisturizing properties, smells yummy.
Drawbacks: Taste is not the best, feels greasy.

Lightweight Moisturizer (Body) 
Moisturizing in the summer is a must. But, if you have combination or oily skin, you may find yourself feeling yucky at the thought of being suffocated by another layer of product. My skin reacts strongly to moisturizers in particular so I find myself changing often. Cetaphil is a great product for sensitive skin but while it is approved for use on face as well as body, I didn’t want to take any chances and use it strictly as body lotion.

My Favorite: Cetaphil Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion
Highlights: Great for face and body, good for sensitive skin, not scented.
Drawbacks: Amount is key. Too much leaves me feeling super oily, too little makes my skin feel a little parched.

A recent staple in my beauty routine has been a toner. My battle with acne started relatively early and throughout college and even the early part of my twenties, I struggled with getting things just right. With my first pregnancy, I anticipated horrible acne that I could do little to nothing about. Thankfully, I have been able to manage things pretty well with this toner!

My Favorite: Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner
Highlights: Lightweight, Calming, Easy to Apply, and Leaves skin feeling supple and hydrated
Drawbacks: None so far!

I will be posting a Korean beauty version of my favorite products in the near future. Drop me a line if you have a particular interest in mind! (best moisturizing products, best oily skin products, pregnancy-safe products, etc.)

What are Your Summer Beauty Favorites?

July 21, 2016

Second Trimester Essentials: My Super Foods!

I was blessed with second trimester morning sickness.

I say blessed because even though it is one of my most dreaded symptoms, I have really learned to live with it and prevent it. Furthermore, I’ve been convinced by those studies that suggest that morning sickness is a sign of a healthy baby. Before I got pregnant, motion sickness was always an issue. I could never enjoy reading a book or playing on with my phone in a car or boat without feeling like I was going to be sick. I envied people who could do homework or have full-blown texting conversations without a second thought. Imagine how much I could have gotten done with all that time I spend in a bus or a car!

When I first got pregnant, I convinced myself that I was not going to get sick. Maybe this pregnancy would turn things upside down for me and I would be one of the few people that got little to no morning sickness at all. No such luck. Soon after I found out I was expecting, I was spending most of my time feeling nauseous, avoiding every smell, and looking for a toilet.

As long as I knew where the toilet was and how long it would take me to get there, I was good to go.

I dreamed about the end of my first trimester when I would no longer have to base my life around toilets and bland food. But, my second trimester came and no change.And along with my continuous second trimester morning sickness, I had to deal with heartburn, constipation, and being super hungry all the time. Oh the joys of pregnancy!

I had to deal with it. And thankfully, I can say that I am more or less morning sickness free from 20 weeks. There are a lot of “oh my God, I think I’m going to throw up” moments but I’m ready.

Eating was a big thing for me during my second trimester, here are some of the best foods that every happened to me during my weeks of hell.


  1. Lemons: Some moms go the sweet tooth way, I went the sour and salty route. While super acidic, lemon was helped relieve my nausea or help my super sensitive sense of smell. Spritzing myself with lemon scented body spray, carrying around a lemon (yes, I did that), or even cutting up some lemons when I was having a particularly bad day made all the difference for me.
  2. Watermelon: Call me crazy but I was never really a huge fan of watermelon. But when I couldn’t even drink plain water without feeling like I was about to throw up, my mom and a colleague from work suggested I try this. It is a life saver. And what’s more, with the summer in full swing and my body acting all out of whack, I could live off of chilled watermelon all day.
  3. Sweet Potato: Constipation is a painful but pretty normal part of pregnancy. No one really wants to talk about it since it is a little embarrassing but there is really nothing more uncomfortable than not being able to use the bathroom. Not being able to eat like a normal person only makes matters worse. Again, my mom recommended that I try eating sweet potato. I try to bake a few at a time and eat them like a snack, skin and all.
  4. Almond and Peanut Butter Snack Packs: For some reason, eating peanuts made me feel ill but adding a dab of peanut butter on a banana at work never bothered me at all. The Justin’s brand in particular comes in a great snack size and are easy to store anywhere. I would eat this with saltine crackers, bananas, apples, anything that I could manage to get down. It is full of protein and a great energy boost.
  5. Milk: A glass of milk was a life saver late at night when my heartburn was at an all-time high. It cooled me down and gave me enough comfort to sleep through the rest of the night.

My little one and I still have a ways to go before we met. But at least we can both have a little fun while we wait.


July 19, 2016

Guess Who’s Back!

Although it was unofficial, I ended up taking a longer than expected hiatus from the blogging world. I visited the blog many times with the intention to write something but ended up closing the tab and concentrating on something else. I guess that you could say that I lost my sense of purpose in blogging and was not really sure what direction I wanted to go in. Furthermore, with an upcoming wedding and more demands from work, I had a hard time juggling it all. Like usual, my inability to multitask effectively got the best of me and here I am almost a year later.

Anyway, enough with the excuses. The most important thing is that I finally got my creative spark back and have more time to continue doing what I love: writing.

Since my last blog post in late August of last year, a lot of changes have happened in my life.

How I spent my hiatus…

We had our wedding photoshoot! For those of you not familiar with Korean culture, it is common for the bride and groom to take a pre-wedding photoshoot to showcase at the wedding. In the end, you get about 700 photos and get to wear three different wedding dresses and a few casual outfits. Here are a few of my favorites!








We got two adorable babies! In October of last year, we took the plunge and got two cats. Although my husband is allergic, he has been a sweetheart about allowing me to have them and we have been working very hard to alleviate his allergy. The Russian Blue on the left is named Luna and the Abyssinian on the right named Honey Bread. While they are both a handful, they are my favorite little girls in the world.


I got married! On December 12th of last year, my other half and I got married. We had a beautiful ceremony in Seoul, South Korea in the company of around 280 friends, family, and acquaintances.

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We had out honeymoon! Due to scheduling conflicts, we were not able to have a honeymoon outside of the country but we did take a one week trip to Jeju Island.

13816891_10207043789396401_882962775_n For a couple of days, we stayed in the Bayhill Pool and Villa Resort in Seogwipo. Their honeymoon suite came with a private pool and although it was the end of December, we couldn’t help but take advantage!

I got to visit the Hello Kitty Museum!

But the real highlight of the last few months is…

We got pregnant! My husband and I are expecting our little bundle of joy in early November. We are ecstatic to become parents and are really looking forward towards the challenges of parenthood with optimism. Here was our official announcement (on Facebook)


I am currently a little over 24 weeks pregnant. There have been many ups and downs with the pregnancy but so far, our little girl (that’s right!) is healthy and doing well.

As you can probably see, I was quite a busy bee throughout the year but the one thing I do regret is not blogging about my journey. But no use crying over spilled milk. I am here, I am full of ideas, and I am so excited to be sharing my stories with all of you again.



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