maternity shoot preview


Last Friday, Reg and I headed out to a beautiful park in Walnut Creek for our maternity shoot. Our photographer Emily, from Emily Sara Photography is an incredible natural light photographer and we could not be happier with the images. Click here for a little preview!


let’s talk diapers

Good afternoon! I am really excited about today because 1. I have my maternity shoot tonight and 2. this post talks about something I am far too enthusiastic over—cloth diapers! I never really thought I would get this excited talking about something that is essentially a vehicle for pee and poop but ever since I found out I was pregnant I was determined to find out every thing I could about cloth diapering. Now I am not about to get all activitst on you. Yes, I love mama earth and the thought of more diapers piling up in landfills and not decomposing hurts my heart but that is not the only reason why I am so obsessed. I am frugal! And very stubborn. Also if you haven’t heard, babies are really freaking expensive.

Now, my mother attempted cloth diapering me when I was a baby but was quickly fed up with the messy folding, giant pins, and covers. She cautiously warned me that I would have enough on my plate when the baby is born so maybe that was not the best idea. My mother-in-law laughed at the thought saying I would last about a day. Then again, she told me I had cankles last weekend. Isn’t that sweet? My husband looked at me like I was crazy. My sister told me she would not be changing any diapers if I went that route. Determined to prove them wrong, I decided to research cloth diapering like no other and find a way to make it work for my family.

Here is what I have found:

On average, using disposable diapers costs a family about $1,900.00. On the high end, using a more eco-friendly disposable, you are looking at spending around $3,000.00 until the little one is potty trained. Of course that price all depends on how many times you change diapers and when the child is potty trained. But you get the idea! Then, if you have another child, you have to spend that money all over again. Yikes!

With cloth diapers, you can get all of the diapers you need for around $400.00, including washing costs. It should be noted that there are several types of cloth diapers out there with lots of different price points. For example, some cloth diapers can get as pricey as $1,600.00, including washing costs. However, you can use them for any other babies you may have in the future or you can even sell them when you are finished.



The cheapest route for cloth diapering is using prefolds with covers. Prefolds are what I like to call the OG of cloth diapers. They are usually a large piece of fabric folded (thus the clever name) into thirds, wrapped around your baby’s bum, secured with a clip, and then wrapped in a diaper cover. You could also layer the fabric itself into the cover and not use a clip (as seen above). You will need several different size waterproof diaper covers as your child grows but you certainly do not need as many covers as you do inserts.



Now, I was ready to go with the prefold option until I found out about the lovely world of one size all-in-one diapers by Bum Genius. These award winning clothing diapers are essentially the insert and cover all-in-one. The absolute best part about this particular style is that they grow with your baby so you do not need to buy a bunch of different sizes. Seeing as convincing my family to use cloth diapers was already a challenge, the fact that the simplicity of these sold them instantly says something. The prefolds…not so much. With the all-in-ones you basically wipe them clean of waste and toss them in your diaper pail, wash, and dry. No stuffing, no layering. Keep in mind these are a large cost upfront at about $17.00 a diaper but again, they will work for any other babies we may have. I added this style to our baby registry and we received about a dozen as gifts, which is a great start to our collection and may even be sufficient once he grows into them.



You see, the only downside to my beloved Bum Genius diapers is that they will most likely not fit my baby when he is a newborn. They usually work best for babies that are about 2 months old (unless you have a big baby). Luckily, Jill from Baby Rabies, my cloth diapering guru, has a great suggestion for newborn cloth diapers—rentals. For around $200.00 you can rent 24 Kissaluvs (highly rated) fitted newborn-sized diapers. Once you are done, you send them back and you receive your choice of a $100.00 cash credit or $110.00 store credit. Pretty cool, right? The Kissaluvs do require a diaper cover but since I decided on renting these months ago I added them to my registry and someone kindly purchased them for us as gifts.

Overall, I am going into this whole cloth diapering adventure really excited and hopeful but not naive. There are many other cloth diapering options and I picked the ones that I see working best for our family. I do have some disposables on hand that I received as gifts just in case. Plus, when we travel and are without access to a washer and dryer I will probably rely on disposables. But I feel pretty confident about my ability to cloth diaper my bambino. Am I freaking out about all the added laundry? Not really. I took care of enough babies to realize that when you have kids, you do a lot of laundry anyway.



As far as other diapering needs, I have a standard garbage pail I bought from Target lined with a Planet Wise washable liner for used diapers. I can even throw the liner in the washer with the diapers. Eventually, I plan on using cloth wipes but I am going to start slow. Until then, I am open to suggestions or helpful hints with cloth diapering.


P.S. Totally off topic but there is the gorgeous giveaway going on over at E Tells Tales. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. She is easily one of my favorite bloggers!

work it out

Before I was pregnant, I worked out pretty intensely. My husband has always been very active so working out was also something we did to spend time together. Whether I was taking a spin class, hot power yoga, or just lifting weights at the gym, I was always finding a way to sweat once a day. I love the way working out makes me feel!

Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I would not give up on working out altogether (unless my doctor recommended that I do) but I would have to scale back significantly on the intensity. I had to say goodbye to my beloved hot yoga, for instance. I was fortunate and my doctors really encouraged me to continue working out while keeping my heart rate in check (around 140 BPM). My understanding is that doctors will typically tell you to keep your heart rate under 140 BPM but I find that I can keep mine a bit higher and baby and I feel great.

At almost 32 weeks, I am excited about the fact that I have continued my workout routine pretty steadily. In fact, I find that when I am feeling a bit tired and “off,” a quick trip to the gym will immediately help me feel better. Other times, I recognize that I need to take it easy. It is amazing how in tune with your body you become when you are pregnant. I truly know the difference between craving a workout and craving a nap. I have to laugh, though, because when I am in my community gym, people often give me weird looks when I hop on the elliptical with my round belly–similar to the looks you receive when you wear a bikini in your third trimester. Good times!

So here is my typical workout schedule:

*Keep in mind this is what works for me and has been discussed with my doctor in detail.

4-5 days a week I use the elliptical machine– 30 minutes (alternating levels 5-8) with a 5 minute cool down (level 1).

Every other day I extend the workout a bit more. Some days I lift light weights (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions) all while sitting on a big yoga ball. Other days, I love Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD . The instructor has a soothing voice and the workout itself is a nice challenge. Plus, there are several options if you are short on time.

And my favorite part of my routine–lots of stretching!

I hope that I will be able to settle into some kind of exercise routine once my little guy arrives but I am going to take it slow and enjoy every magical moment.


dream baby shower

This past weekend, my family hosted the most incredible baby shower. While the shower itself was not a surprise, the details of the day were all a huge shock. My mother and aunt really took the time to think of Reggie and I as a couple and translated those likes and dislikes into a fun, whimsical day.

Not only was the event design beautiful but the people that attended the party truly made the event. I was reunited with family from the east coast and friends I had not seen in months. Both my girl and guy friends came to celebrate and even sat through the ridiculously long gift opening process. I am so incredibly lucky to have such amazing people in my life and I know they are going to love and support this baby so much.




















blue velvet cake!







All pictures taken by my beautiful cousin Sarah.


babymoon adventures

Reg and I both love to travel. Since we wouldn’t be traveling for a while–you know, given that we will have a newborn in around two months, we wanted to take one final big vacation before our son arrives. And since I have gained over 20 lbs (so far), all I wanted to do was float in the ocean on a beach in Hawai’i.

You see, Hawai’i has a special place in both our hearts. My husband is Native Hawaiian and despite the fact that his dad was in the Army and that moved his family around a lot, he still managed to make it home to the islands as often as could. After meeting his family and learning more about the culture, I became enthralled with Hawai’i as well. In fact, most of my research in graduate school covered the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement. So Hawai’i seemed like the perfect place to take one last vacation before our life changes. Plus, we both loved the thought of him going to our beloved islands before he is even born.

This time around we decided to stay in Waikiki. Usually when we visit Oahu, we stay on the North Shore because there are far less tourists and that part of the island is usually more quiet. Waikiki made a bit more sense for us this trip because we didn’t want to rent a car and preferred to walk everywhere, which is something you really can’t do on the North Shore. We really lucked out too. For Waikiki in April, the crowds were not bad at all and the whole trip felt really peaceful and relaxing. Staying at this beautiful place didn’t hurt either…

Sheraton Moana Surfrider


Built in 1901 and full of charm


Loved sitting in those rocking chairs during the evening, feeling the cool breeze.
Plus people watching was ah-mazing.



Gorgeous Banyan tree
This tree was originally planted in 1904 when it was only 7 feet tall.
Now it over 75 feet tall and spans the 150 ft. courtyard.



Private beach with crystal clear water.
Fun fact about me: I was so scared of swimming as a kid that I would scream if you came next to me in the pool. I didn’t swim in the ocean until I was 16. Now, at almost 27, you can’t get me out of the ocean. Seriously, I could swim all day. I didn’t even freak out when a baby sea turtle swam up next to me.


Clear view of Diamond Head


With delicious fruity (non-alcoholic) beverages


And a handsome husband


Followed by the face most people made when they realized I was pregnant…in a bikini. The reaction made me laugh but I owned it.

Part II coming up tomorrow…


to my mother


To the woman who taught me how to be the type of mother I want to be–a true mama bear that would do anything for her babies.


Thank you for giving me the best sisters anybody could ask for. I never laugh more than when the four of us are together.

Thank you for welcoming the love of my life into our family with such open arms. Your marriage has set an example of perseverance and commitment. I learned that true love isn’t always the easiest path but the payoff is unbeatable. I am forever grateful for that lesson.
Finally, thank you for being there throughout my entire pregnancy–to support me, laugh with me, and tell me when I just need to relax and trust my instincts. You are going to make a fantastic grandmother.
I wish we could have been together yesterday but I cannot wait to see you later this week for some baby shower fun.

time in a bottle

Please excuse me because  I am feeling particularly weepy today (ahhhh good morning pregnancy hormones) but this pregnancy is going by way too fast. It feels like I just found out I was pregnant and now he is going to be here in just 10 weeks.

Truly, I love everything about being pregnant–my round belly, how his kicks get harder each day, hell, even the nausea. All of those things remind me he is growing and is strong.  And the truth is, I am feeling a bit selfish. I like that we are so connected–like I am the only one that knows him at this point. Once he is born, I have to share him with the world and that feels overwhelming. Has anyone else felt like that? I can’t even imagine what it will feel like once he starts walking and talking. But if I focus on all of the what ifs, the next two months are going to be gone before I know it. So for the next 10 weeks, I am trying to truly enjoy each moment of this pregnancy and take it all in. Listening to Jim Croce along the way doesn’t hurt either…

i miss food trucks <3

In addition to visiting Bruxie , I had to make a stop at some of my beloved food trucks when I was visiting my family in Southern California. We have food trucks up here in the Bay Area but there are not nearly as many. Plus, I can never seem to track them down when I am in the mood! Back at home, my mom has become food truck obsessed and pretty much always knows where a group of trucks is gathered on any given day. I wonder where I got my love of food…hmmm?

This time around, she picked a great food truck gathering in Anaheim that had some trucks I really wanted to try! Here is what we sampled:



I have pretty much been in love with Greek food from the moment I tried it. In fact, my husband and I love Greek food so much that we went to Greece for our honeymoon! The food from Louks is so fresh and comes pretty darn close to the street food we ate while we were in Greece. Plus, the guys that run the truck are so much fun. They are dancing and just keeping the energy up the whole time. In fact, I started dancing while I was waiting for my food which was probably pretty awkward considering I am 7 1/2 months pregnant. I have no shame! 🙂


Speaking of no shame, here is my dad ordering his food. Here he is talking (which involves moving his hands really fast) while trying to order something that probably isn’t on the menu. He likes to “invent” things everything time we order at a restaurant. It is adorable, hilarious, and he usually gets his way.


One thing that is on the menu that is a must try has to be the Honey Feta Fries. These are incredible! The combo of salty and sweet is ridiculously addictive!


The beef and lamb gyro was delicious as well. I love that they put fries inside just like when we were in Greece!


My sister and I split the chicken burrito gyro which was significantly larger than the other wrap and came with spicy feta cheese and grilled onions in addition to everything that came with the regular gyro. I actually liked the chicken more than the beef and lamb which is hardly ever the case but seriously this was delicious and really fresh tasting! After trying Louks, I can definitely see why it is my sister’s favorite out of all of the trucks she has tried. Great experience!


Piaggio is the one and only Argentine food truck in Southern California. Love that! I had tried Argentine food a couple times in the past but this was my first time trying this particular truck. We only tried a few items but the ones we tried were fantastic!


My sister and I split the chicken empanadas which came with a side of chimichurri sauce. I absolutely loved these. The crust was flaky and the filling was flavorful. I particularly loved the chimichurri sauce that accompanied it because it added a light, cooling contrast to the hot flaky dough. Yum!


Next up was the the pulled pork sliders which were shared by Reg and my dad. They let me have a bite and the pork was juicy and accented nicely with that delicious chimichurri. Plus anything served on a Hawaiian sweet roll is a win in my book. I definitely look forward to trying more from Piaggio next time I am in the area.



I have made no secret on this blog of how much I love shave ice. Not shaved ice–shave ice. Very important distinction there. Shave ice is light and fluffy. There should be no crunchy pieces. Thankfully, Tropical Shave Ice gets it right.


I tried the Tiger’s Blood, Pineapple, and Lilikoi with ice cream of course. So so good. Fluffy ice and perfectly sweet syrups. Plus, the people that worked on this truck were SO nice and patient with our large group. I will definitely be tracking them down again next time I am in Southern Cal.

I highly recommend trying all three of these trucks if you are in the area!


baby name game

The most common question I am asked while pregnant is “do you have any names picked out?” In response, I tend to (attempt to) stare at my feet and mumble something along the lines of “we are going to name him when we meet him.” But that is not exactly true. We do have names picked out. I even have a favorite. I just don’t want to share it with anyone. You see, ever since I got pregnant, lots of “advice” is being thrown in my direction. And add in the fact that I am hormonal and extra sensitive, the reaction I get when I tell people the name is usually ends with me in tears. So, I stopped sharing.

Yesterday I broke my rule and shared our top names with someone and their reaction was pretty typical- very obvious distaste. And that was only after sharing one name! I wanted to cry. In that moment I decided to stop caring what other people think about the name. Not everyone is going to like every decision we make with our son. And we still will not finalize the name until he is born just to be sure it fits him but I do know one thing. I will stop the whiny, sensitive, dramatic reaction I have when people don’t love the name we picked. He is our son and whatever name we pick will be perfect for him. Because we picked it and because we love how it belongs to this amazing little man that we created. I can’t wait to meet him.