Celebrating 100 days

About a week ago, we celebrated Baby Pizza’s Baek Il, which is a common celebration for Koreans marking the 100th day after a child’s birth. A long time ago in Korea when there were more childhood diseases, the survival rate for babies was low so it was a pretty big deal for a baby to make it past 100 days. It’s still commonly celebrated today and considered a birthday celebration. More than two years ago when we were celebrating Lil’ Pizza’s Baek Il, I remember feeling relieved as things started to get a little “easier,” and thought, “wow, I survived!” Yes, I know it’s supposed to be a day celebrating a big milestone for the baby, but those earlier months of struggling through as a first time mom made that monumental day a big deal not only for her, but for me too. So when I started to have a difficult time with Baby Pizza during her first month, I told Mr. Pizza that when we hit 100 days, I was going to do something for ME and celebrate! When that day came, I spent the afternoon with a friend eating good food and getting a massage. It was great to get away for a few hours from Baby Pizza and Lil’ Pizza and enjoy a slice of really good pizza. I told you, Mrs. Pizza really loves her pizza!

Baby Pizza’s Baek Il was pretty low key with dinner and a cake at my house with my parents. Still, it was a good day to just pause and see how much Baby Pizza has already grown so much!


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7 ways I want to be more like my toddler

We talk a lot about toddlerhood and all of the struggles that come along with it. Terrible Twos. Threenagers. Most of what we associate toddlers with are negative images – tantrums and tears, whining and frustration. I can’t say I haven’t fallen into that habit as well – Jackson’s behavior is hard sometimes, and the tantrums and meltdowns can be totally and utterly exhausting.

However, there are so many things about toddlers that are just wonderful. Watching him learn, seeing the language explosion, and listening to that giant, wonderful belly laugh are just a few of the things I love most about having a toddler. For all of the ways that toddlers are difficult, there are just as many ways that they’re absolutely amazing to have around, and lately I’ve been noticing a few things in Jackson that I wish I could emulate. So, in an effort to focus on the completely positive and absolutely amazing things about toddlers, here are 5 ways I want to be more like my toddler.

1. I want to slow down more. If you have a toddler or have ever spent any time around one, you know they don’t do anything in a hurry. Toddlers are all about doing things at their own pace, in their own time, and there will be hell to pay if you try to make them move at anything above a snail’s pace. I spend so much of my time running around, trying to rush through every little moment of my day that I rarely slow down and actually pay attention to my surroundings. I want to slow down like Jackson and see the beautiful things around me on a daily basis. Why rush through life when you can slow it down and actually experience it?

2. I want to be content with the little things. You should see the way my child’s face lights up when we’re at a restaurant and the waiter brings him some bread. Or how excited he gets when I tell him it’s time to go to school and see his friends. Somewhere along the way we seem to lose the ability to be absolutely thrilled with the tiny little pleasures in our day. Toddlers, however, are still overjoyed at the smallest little things – reading the same book we’ve read seven times every day for the last month still brings him just as much joy as it did the first time around. I want to spend more time being thankful and excited about the little moments in my day.


Why the giant grin? We’re outside and he has a hat. That’s about it.

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Feeling squeezed as part of the sandwich generation: Taking care of young kids and aging parents

I don’t know about you, but as a working mom with two young kids and a father with worsening Alzheimer’s, I sometimes feel as if I’m spinning a hundred plates in the air, and if one thing shifts in the precarious balance I’m maintaining moment to moment, everything will surely come crashing down all at once.

When I first heard about the Bee family moving to the Philippines to help care for Mr. Bee’s father, I really empathized with their decision. I’m sure many parents out there are struggling with similar issues. My own father is 65 but has been diagnosed with early Alzheimers since he was 60. Recently, his health took a dramatic decline, and my mother and sister found themselves really struggling with caring for him at home.

We are very fortunate in that we only live about 30 minutes away from my parents, but at times even that short distance felt like it was too far away. I found myself going to my parents’ home daily, and the commute and back-and-forth between shuttling the kids around to school and all of their activities started becoming an issue. We considered many options, such as selling our home and moving into their home, or selling their house and having them move into ours, or hiring a 24 hour caregiver. With my father’s current condition, the best option we have come upon is having our father in a memory care clinic close to our homes, and rotating shifts between all of us so that we can visit him as frequently as possible and still feel that we are a part of his life and care.

Honestly it’s been quite a painful and traumatic decision and one that none of us were prepared for. Although my father has had Alzheimer’s for several years, my mom had been convinced that she could somehow care for him by herself indefinitely. However, when he was not sleeping, eating, or taking his medications, and my mother was hardly sleeping and becoming ill herself, it became clear that we had to find a different solution.

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Where To Shop For Ethical Eco-Friendly Women’s Fashion

As I wrote awhile back, I’ve been making an effort to be a conscious consumer. I also wrote not long ago I am attempting to “streamline my life.” Both of these new efforts involve buying less stuff: simplifying my wardrobe, adding to it less frequently, choosing “quality over quantity.” When I began searching for alternative places to shop, looking for ethical, environmentally friendly businesses to support, I found there are quite a lot of options in the women’s fashion world. Companies that encourage this “slow fashion” philosophy (which is also picking up popularity in the fashion blogging world with all their talk of “capsule wardrobes”.) There are many social enterprises facilitating direct trade, fair trade, and striving to give back. So here I’ve organized the shopping destinations I’m finding most tempting, places to patronize when its time to add to my wardrobe, or better yet, buy a gift for someone else!

My mega-list of places to browse for ethical Fall Fashion and Holiday shopping:

Everlane  |  Threads For Thought  |  Tonlé  |  Mayamiko  |  Constant Simplicity  |  elegantees  |  Krochet Kids  |  Shift To Nature  |  People Tree  |  Fair Indigo  |  Prana  |  Fed By Threads

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Modern Teal, Gray and Orange Baby Boy Nursery

Today’s real nursery comes from Nadia, an Peruvian architect currently living in NYC with her 4 year old and 10 year old.

Name: Liam, 15 months
Location: Lima, Peru

I had so much fun creating this room for my sweet nephew. The room itself is small so we went for a simple, uncluttered, serene but modern space. My sister chose the color scheme: teal and grey with some pops of orange, and white furniture. When choosing furniture we were careful to pick versatile pieces that will grow with my nephew and could adjust to his future needs with just a few tweaks. We chose a Eames rocker chair replica and a crib that converts to a twin bed. We also had a dresser custom made {it was hard to find a dresser we liked in Lima} with a changing pad on top {strapped to it} to be used as a changing table.



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The WHO, WHAT, WHY On Capsule Wardrobes

what is a capsule collection_
I have put together a few myself and for Hellobee. They seem to be all the rage on Pinterest, am I right? As usual, something that should be super simple comes across as pretty complicated, so I thought I would take a few minutes and just break down the whole big idea around Capsule Wardrobes/Wardrobe Essentials.


I’m so glad you asked! It’s basically a fancy term for a closet filled only with items you wear constantly and can easily be mixed and matched. A small but very versatile wardrobe, which is based around classic items that won’t go out of style from season to season.

Okay real talk — you know how when you go to get dressed in the morning? And you always gravitate towards that favorite pair of pants or jeans and probably the same couple tops, shoes and dresses? Those few items you just want to wear all the time, your favorites that fit perfectly and make you feel good when you wear them? Then the rest of the stuff hanging around either gathers a bit of dust or gets forced into rotation. Well the whole idea of a capsule wardrobe is that everything in your closet is something you’d automatically gravitate towards and that can easily be mixed and matched between each other with ease. Make sense?

RELATED: Check out this Fall Capsule Collection from last year, versatile enough to still be perfect for this year.

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What We’re Packing… When Moving to a Remote Destination

Ever since Kristin wrote her series on living a simpler life, we’ve been trying to embrace decluttering. So once we decided to move to El Nido, we decided to get rid of as much of our belongings as we could, and then put the rest in storage. That’s what Mr. Bee’s parents did when they first moved to the Philippines over 20 years ago.

Then Mr. Bee’s parents asked us if we could throw away everything they’d been keeping in storage. That really put things in perspective for us. So we decided that this was the perfect opportunity to fully embrace decluttering and just get rid of everything we didn’t absolutely need. The few important things like pictures and paperwork, we could ship to my mom in California. Everything else would have to fit into four duffel bags (plus our carryons).

On the one hand the thought of not owning much is extremely appealing. On the other hand getting rid of everything we own in just one month’s time is a daunting task! But most of all, the whole process has made me really appreciate all the things about life in America that I’ve been taking for granted.

Pet Care

In El Nido, dogs are thought of more as animals than as pets. To give you an idea of what pet care is like there, a few years ago, Mr. Bee’s mom took her two dogs to the capital city on the island (6 hours away) to get them spayed by the vet there. The operation seemed successful at the time, but must not have worked because both dogs subsequently went into heat, ended up pregnant, and tragically died because they no longer had a uterus.

We’re going to try to figure out a better way to get Mr. Bee’s parents’ dogs vaccinated and spayed/neutered. But we also worry about rabies, especially with so many stray dogs living in the nearby jungle. While Mr. Bee and I will probably be ok, the kids are more likely to be at risk by petting an unfamiliar dog. Mr. Bee’s parents’ dogs aren’t vaccinated, so they could potentially get rabies as well.  We consulted our doctor about giving everyone in our family a rabies vaccine, but she warned that it can be dangerous to get the vaccine and she recommended against us getting it unless we’ve been exposed. So now we’re calling ahead to sure that the local hospitals there can give us rabies shots if anyone in our family is exposed (we will have up to one week after exposure to get the shots).

stray dogs in downtown El Nido. When I first visited 10 years ago, the dogs were so emaciated they were walking skeletons. With so many more tourists now, the dogs are definitely a lot more plump.

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