The Girl with Seven Names

I finished this book – The Girl with Seven Names – last night and it opened my eyes to a world Westerners and even others in Asia will never fully know. This woman’s story (Hyeonseo Lee) is an inspiration to us all that we are one world. We may be taught hate by leaders but always think for yourself and let your own experiences guide you. Love prevails. Never forget that. Treat others with respect and know that faith in the good in people can change the world ❤️✌️

Her TED talk was said to be the best ever (even by Oprah) if you don’t believe me



A Model Baby

When Gianna was just over one year old (exactly a year ago actually) she shot her first product packaging and print job as a model for the company Lulyboo. She had a great time doing it and enjoyed her first day in front of the camera at a professional photo studio.

I have worked as a model since I was a teenager and it was amazing to see her so comfortable on her first photo shoot (I know I wasn’t!). The whole team was so wonderful and knew just how to work with a baby and make her feel at ease. We shot in San Diego, California and she had a great day.

Here is her ad for their Shopping Cart & Highchair cover. It is perfect for travel and even has a place for a tablet or phone to keep kids busy while you shop or dine if you choose to. You can purchase it on the Lulyboo website, at Amazon, ToysRus, Walmart, BuyBuyBaby, Bed Bath and Beyond and many more retailers.

(Photos from Lulyboo’s website)

 Since then she has done more shoots and enjoys playing to the cameras (and all of the attention) but this was her first professional modeling job and we will never forget it and the wonderful crew she worked with at Lulyboo.



Avocado aka Pear

In the Bahamas I have had some of the most amazing local food I could imagine.  The freshness and quality of the seafood is unmatched as well as much of the local produce.  Since it is a group of islands, things take time to get here (produce and meat not grown locally), but you can find some wonderful food right on the islands!

Having Endometriosis and a special diet because of it, I try to eat organic, hormone/pesticide free fresh food as much as I can.  I also try to feed my daughter and family this way. I am in luck because there is a lot available.  One major difference is my favorite (and my toddler’s) – avocados 🥑.  They are incredibly good for you and quite popular, especially lately.  Locally in the Bahamas, they can be known as “Pears” instead.

Being from California I was confused at first, but when I was told by friends what they were, I was excited to try them.  The local “pears” are roughly three times the size of American or Mexican Hass avocados naturally (much easier to make guacamole with! 😜). They are beautiful and smooth with a buttery creamy texture inside.  The flavor is a little more mild than Hass or Bacon but they can be used the same way (guacamole, on toast, with salad dressing, eaten alone, made into ice-cream or milkshakes, etc).

It is a good lesson for us all to give something new a chance (what I try to teach Gianna) – even with a different name – because you never know just how good different things can be, especially while traveling!



Miami Adventures

This week my family took a quick trip to Miami. We stayed in the financial district in downtown known as Brickell at one of our favorite hotels – SLS Brickell. It is perfect for doing business (many international consulates, financial and corporate offices are there) shopping, dining at amazing restaurants and it’s just a quick trip to the beach. The Brickell area is just over 1.19 square miles so everything is quite close.

The hotel is well situated and walking to the Brickell City Centre for some great shopping is easy (even with a two year old and a dog). The staff is amazing and so helpful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While we were visiting we found two wonderful restaurants fairly close by that have quickly become favorites. One of which is The Salad Box that is a perfect lunch spot (especially for the health conscious). You choose all of the ingredients you want to put into your salad (or wrap) and it’s incredibly fresh and healthy. They also serve soup (both daily specials were great) and smoothies. Perfect for a quick bite and even takeout or delivery.

Our other amazing find was Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe. They have a huge selection of gourmet Italian delicacies as well as a beautiful restaurant with a wonderful outdoor patio (with a wishing well Gianna was obsessed with). They serve fresh bread and a fantastic bruschetta and even have organic options available. We ordered the Penne Pomodoro (which they switched to angel hair for us because they are amazing!), “Gigi’s Eggplant Parmigiana” (and Gigi thought it was named for her), and the daily special of Ravioli Stuffed with Mushrooms and a Marsala sauce which was fantastic as well! The atmosphere is wonderful and a nice oasis in the middle of the city.

We did some shopping in the Brickell City Centre which has a great variety of shops and something for everyone. My favorite is Diptyque for candles and fragrance (their new Rose Delight for Valentine’s Day was a must for me – see my previous post about my love of Rose smell & a less expensive rose candle!) and a customary trip to Victoria’s Secret for their after holiday sale. Even as a Mom, sometimes we need something just for us! There is a Zara that has stylish clothes for kids (and adults alike).

Deciding what to order from room service on our patio at SLS Brickell

I have never seen such a dog friendly city.  There were so many furry friends of every shape and size. Multiple Starbucks, grocery stores and pharmacies (Publix, CVS, Walgreens, etc) are located within walking distance and between that and the numerous restaurant options a car really isn’t necessary. Between walking, Lyft, Uber and the automated MetroMover (the hotel also offers a house car for close trips for guests) everything is incredibly accessible.

If you are in the Miami area make sure to check out Brickell for a whole new kind of family travel adventure!




Monkeying Around

Some of the hottest toys for Christmas this last year were the Fingerling Monkeys. They are small little toy animals that make sounds and reactions based on your actions. They giggle, blow kisses, coo, and even fart and burp. Kids obsess over them and parents and other adults do too! Fingerlings are small so they are portable (great for travel) and have an on/off switch in addition to going to sleep after 5 minutes of not being played with.

When I saw these toys I set out to get one for my daughter for Christmas. I thought they were pretty fun, but I had NO IDEA how much she would love them! They truly are the toy of the year! Check out our new friends Bella & Finn!

Finn & Bella


You can get your own here and see how many fun actions and noises they will do!





Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: