Making Christmas Magical in San Jose

I suppose it’s only appropriate I title making this Christmas a magical one, in Silicon Valley this year.

I keep reiterating this, but I feel the need to repeat it to get used to it actually happening. No snow, no Canada = a California Christmas. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be magical.

The husband, Alfie and I had a mini vacation last weekend and stayed at the fancy pants Fairmont San Jose hotel in the core of downtown San Jose, thanks to Team San Jose. Believe it or not there’s plenty of winter actives to be had, despite it being in Sunny California. Especially at night with Christmas In The Park going on now until January, 2018. We just so happen to go every year as there’s so much nightly entertainment while also enjoying those fun holiday themed refreshments. It’s a well-loved tradition for the locals, and for us now too. You don’t have to wait for sunset to go, though. Drop by Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park (S. Market Street, San Jose between San Carlos and San Fernando Streets) daily between 9:00am-Midnight to get your Christmas fill.

Our staycation evening started at Paesanos of Little Italy where we had supper. 

Can you believe — although I love pasta, I have not yet been to Little Italy, San Jose? Jeeze! Mistake on my part. Either way, I ate my entire meal (lol you proud of me?) even though baby spiffykerms doesn’t allow me to eat large meals anymore. It was too good I could not not finish it, you know? The place was bouncin’ too, by the time we ordered our meals, every single table was filled.

The fun didn’t stop with us stuffing our face with delicious Italian food and dessert; afterwards we went straight to the Nutcracker ballet, put off by San Jose Dance Theater. Incredible show, loved everything about it, but with the performance, we weren’t allowed to photograph it so instead I’m showing you what I wore to it. But it was my first Nutcracker and I’ve always wanted to see one during Christmas.

After the ballet we walked back to the hotel, with a stop at Christmas in the Park.

Alfie came with us, so he had a little taste of luxury staying at the Fairmont San Jose with us. We brought his crate since he loves it (seriously, he loves it) and would know something familiar from home — and he certainly made himself at home. Look at him trottin’ around the room. 

And the 11th floor room views were best kind. 

In the morning, we had a bit of brunch in the Fountain Restaurant, and some people finished the staycation off with ice skating under the Circle of Palms. How pretty right? California with an outdoor skate rink? Fantastic man. 

If you haven’t made it to downtown San Jose yet to see all the festivities, this weekend would be a great time to go too, considering they have a Craft Holiday Fair from 11:00am-6:00pm Saturday + Sunday. It’s located in South Hall at 435 South Market Street — it’s free, inside, and all the family can stroll through.

See? Tons goin’ on, and hey ya might even see me there!

Alfie, ownin’ it (like always).

If we can’t go home this Christmas, I’m glad we get to spend it and fill our hearts with holiday spirit with the Downtown San Jose attractions.

—————

31 weeks pregnant and wearing:
PinkBlush Peplum Maternity Top
Cuddl Duds leggings
Gym Bag from Tone It Up (circa 2014!)

PinkBlush velvet blazer (for the Ballet)
Red velvet sneakers

Team San Jose + Fairmont San Jose: Thank you for the lovely weekend staycation.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Babies

Disclaimer: Products in this post were provided for review in this Holiday Gift Guide feature. The affiliate links help pay for this blog – thank you. Don’t forget to check out the Holiday Gift Guide: Momma-To-Be

Oh my sweet goodness gracious. I cannot believe it’s only 9 weeks now until our February bundle arrives. The other day I noticed I could not reach down to put my socks on anymore and luckily my husband hadn’t left for work yet (I get cold! I need my socks! Lol!), so for the first time in my adult life, I had my husband put my socks on my feet for me. What a hilarious sight!

I have accumulated (what I think to be) a nice amount of baby goodies for our little fella, and I thought it’d be helpful to put it all into one nice gift guide for those new parents who are looking to buy for their youngin’s too. Read on for the ultimate holiday gift guide for babies!

-FOR SLUMBER-

DockATot Deluxe| I’ve heard from friends who have children that this is a must-have. There’s even add-on’s that will transition from sleep to play with a toy arch (which I’ll probably purchase!). It’s so soft, even Alfie wouldn’t get off it – he had a nice snooze in it one evening!

Gunamuna Gunapod Swaddle Sack| Basically a sleeping bag for your babies! Making nightly diaper changes easier to (hopefully) keep them slumbered as you change them. I hear some babies love to be swaddled and during those winter nightly diaper changes, I bet this would come in handy.

-NO NEED FOR EYES IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD-

VTech VM991 Baby Monitor| Who says it’s just for babies? I’m just sayin’ guys, I’m putting most of this stuff to use so far, months before baby comes. Ever since Alfie had gotten ill in late September we set up the baby monitor to watch him during the night times. It’s SO handy. At first it was kind of creepy because he just stared at it. Can’t wait to use it when baby comes though! It’s wireless, it’s HD, and has a tilt + zoom camera.

-FOR GETTING THINGS DONE-

Guava Lotus Travel Crib| I’ve briefly shown this on Instagram stories and on Twitter. But wanted to just tell how how fantastically travel-awesome this is. Considering we’ll be planning many trips back and fourth to Canada to have our baby meet his grandparents… this travel crib will be everything – it folds up into a bag that you can wear as a backpack.

-NOURISHING + CLEANSING BABYS SKIN-

California Baby| I talked about California Baby in my last Holiday Gift Guide: Momma-To-Be and I wanted to bring it back into this guide too, because it’s so perfect for baby’s precious (and potentially) sensitive skin. You can find the brand of products pretty much anywhere, so they’re easy to grab on the go when you’re out running a quick errand. Plus the range is so safe for both babies and parents. Try their Super Sensitive Skin line, the everyday lotion or their (unscented) Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash combo.

-SWADDLES + BLANKETS-

Aden + Anais| I knew as soon as I was pregnant I wanted to have some Aden + Anais goodies for my baby. They’ve been products I’ve always purchased for friends, and are such amazing quality that lasts throughout the years. And, because my husband is a 7x Ironman triathlete and I cycle on occasion, I thought it was only appropriate to get a ton of cycling based items from their shop. Let’s hope kiddo enjoys cycling as much as us, ha!

Little Me| A plush Dashing Dinos blanket + matching Dino gown that is perfect for when our baby is due (February!). Plus some newborn and 0-3 month clothing. I picked out mostly white/grey items because I can’t decide on anything else, plus it’s pretty gender neutral and so adorable. I’m thinking this item may be the ‘coming home outfit’. We’ll see!

-TINY + ADORABLE BABY CLOTHES-

Independent shops| Billy Bibs has some adorable unique handmade baby bibs, bows, paci-clips and more. Then we have Lou Lou & Co. (I received their newborn essentials bundle) which I found on Instagram – they have a weekly launch of different stock each week. So fun!

L’oved Baby| Organic onesies that I used in my pregnancy announcement photo way back in September! I can’t wait to use them on the little guy. They have so many fun patterns to choose from.

HUX Baby| An Australian brand with adorable bears as their mascot. The clothing is so soft, plus I’m pretty sure I *might* be the only one around here with the kid dressed in Australian clothes from HUX! It’s just too cute I couldn’t not share this adorable brand with you guys.

-LITTLE BABY SHOES-

Jack & Lily Shoes| My little California Baby will definitely be reppin’ Canada. I received a few pairs of adorable shoes from Jack & Lily, a Canadian brand that I’d love to support. Check out these maple leaf mocc’s… I posted about them here, here too, oh and here are the adorable green kicks too. OMG.

Mon Petit Shoes| Gonna be the best dressed kid on the block I dear say. The Oxfords are too cute to pass up.

S. Jordyn Buckle T- Baby shoes| So cute, right? Little guy has his first pair of high tops, and these are it!

-REPPIN’ CANADA-

Tervis| We got this adorable Ottawa Senators sippy cup and Little Canuck cup from the folks at Tervis. Won’t be used for a while, but I can’t wait to bust it out when it comes time! Alfie is named after an Ottawa Sens player, the baby has to be involved somewhat too!

-CAR SEATS + STROLLERS-

Britax| We have an infant car seats now for both vehicles which we’re super lucky to receive as review items. Endeavours Infant Car Seat is what baby is coming home in!  We also were sent their new 3-wheel B-Free stroller which just launched in October. I’ll be writing more about these two stroller brands in an upcoming post, so stay tuned on how I’m lovin’ them!

ChiccoThe Chicco Urban Stroller (a 4-wheeler stroller), we also got the Fit2 Infant and Toddler car seat to go with it which will go in my vehicle since it has a newborn positioner, has machine-washable (Italian!) fabrics, and is easy to use with one hand. I’ve already put this one together a few weeks ago. It’s hangin’ in the nursery with the Britax stroller too, ha!

-BABYS FIRST TOY-

Cuddle + Kind| This is our baby’s first toy! Hudson the Polar Bear (comes in two sizes). These are ethically produced, handmade dolls that give back to children in need. A wonderful cause with each purchase:  1 doll purchase = 10 meals.

-FOR THE NURSERY-

Grey rug with stars from Lorena Canal Rugs| Alright perhaps not a necessity, but a nice thing to have regardless to warm up the nursery room and have it be baby’s personal space. I thought this Lorena Canal Rug that we’ve been leaving in the kitchen (until baby comes) for Alfie, was a nice little addition to the somewhat gender neutral nursery I’ve been planning. Plus! Bonus! It’s machine washable and comes in 5 colours (it’s made in India, and designed in Spain). You’ll see more pics in my upcoming nursery tour blog post, eeee!!!

-FOR THE DIAPER BAG-

Bumpkins Wet/Dry Bags| I can only assume considering I haven’t had the chance to use these yet since baby isn’t here, that these wet-dry bags are for the somewhat-gross-to-me parts of having a baby. LOL. Poo blowouts on their clothes? Need a wet-dry bag to put them in cause I sure as heck ain’t gonna be carrying it around in the diaper bag alone. Useful!

Parasol Diapers| Kid is gonna need some diapers! Why not grab these Parasol one’s? It’s a subscription service so you’ll never have to go a night without running out of diapers and wipes. Plus, the patterns on them? Too cute.

-TEETHING LITTLE ONES-

Nintendo Gameboy teether| Probably a nostalgic gift for the parents but still fun none-the-less. Your little one can chew away on their old school Nintendo Gameboy as they get their first teeth. Bumpkins, you have some cool products!

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Holiday Gift Guide: Momma-To-Be

For those of you who haven’t finished their Christmas shopping, raise your hand!

I’ve always been a pretty eager one come time for buying gifts for my family, so don’t hate me when I tell you I’m actually finished my shopping. I’m the complete opposite of my husband. Haha!

Since this year will be completely different – we’re spending Christmas here in the USA as I’m pregnant and don’t think it’s the best idea to travel completely across North America right now, and secondly, Alfie is ill so we don’t want to stress him out at all with the long haul flights. I thought it’d be a nice idea to round up a Holiday Gift Guide for any Momma-To-Be’s out there who are expecting like me. I’m actually going to be doing two of these since I want to do one for Mom’s alone, and then a second one for the babies. Enough babblin’ on, let’s get to it!

-PREPPIN’ FOR THE HOSPITAL-

Hospital Bag Essentials| I’m organized when it comes to going anywhere, trips, vacations….hospitals to have a BABY. I’ve already collected a few things for the hospital bag, although I don’t plan to bring much since the hospital said it would be providing the diapers and, well, basically everything. So I’m going to definitely be packing my own pj’s though. I definitely want to have some comforts of home with me. I’m having a winter baby so I’ll be bringing warm flannel PJs with me: this Laura Ashley Boyfriend Sleepshirt with some leggings. Also bringing these Fuzzy Babba Slipper Socks with non-slip on the soles. Stylin’.

-FOR THE BODY-

Aveda| Aveda has been an essential in my daily life for over a decade. From shampoos to body lotions, it’s been put to daily use when I knew I was pregnant. Aveda kindly sent over SO many nourishing composition oils, and a huge gorgeous buttery thick tub of their stress fix body butter. I’ve been slathering it on my belly these past 7-8 months, just to keep things moisturized with all the stretching going on.

BellyBandit| This is for post-partum, but I did want to mention it. It wasn’t until a friend wore one that I knew what it was for. But it makes total sense, as you want to secure those insides and help guide them back into place! I haven’t worn it yet since you cannot wear these while pregnant.

California Baby| California Baby products aren’t new to me at all. In fact, when a friends child was younger I know her family used this brand (and perhaps still does). I received a generous shipment of the California Baby’s products from their Super Sensitive Skin line (see here!) — since I’ve had sensitive skin mostly my whole life, I do want to use something just as soothing on our newborn, too. You can find California Baby products pretty much anywhere. I’ve seen them at grocery stores, Sprouts, and Target too. The brand isn’t just geared towards babies either, it’s for kids and adults too. In fact I’ve already busted out the everyday lotion and the (unscented) Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash combo that I use primarily as body wash.

-FOR YOUR COMFORT-

DaVinci Owen Glider| So many restless nights to come ahead, I know of it — and hopefully rocking baby back to sleep quickly. The DaVinci Owen Glider and Storage Ottoman, Grey with Cream Piping is a gorgeous gift for any momma-to-be, on your list. I’m getting spoiled and one is arriving this week. I can’t wait to test it out and see it in person. Plus, I have a little fun somethin’-somethin’ to give to you guys as well, it might also be one of these DaVinci Owen Gliders too! ;) Oooo!!!

-FOR MEAL PREP-

Crux Slow Cooker| This slow cooker is LIFE. Can you believe I’ve never had one before this? I cannot fathom why I waited so long for one. You betcha I’ll be meal-preppin’ the freezer full for our meals this month, leading into January and February. It makes clean up a breeze too since the insert + lid is dishwasher safe.

Bella Copper Titanium Pan| Ain’t nobody got time for stuck on food on their pots and pans. I was sent this, and it’s definitely replaced our 5+ year old scratched up and dinged “nonstick” (it wasn’t non-stick any more lol) pan. Eggs every morning (for Alfie, doesn’t he sound spoiled? hee hee) slips right around in this pan. Goodbye old one! Also perfect for a quick cleanup with meal prep.

-BEAUTY ITEMS-

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush + Ilia Mascara| Mama needs to feel pampered too! Perhaps I won’t be wearing much makeup when the little guy arrives, but it doesn’t hurt to gift this to any new Momma. I love getting new makeup, honestly. Plus, these are so simple and easy to use products that are cruelty free. Don’t have much time? Dab on a bit of cream blush to the cheeks for a bit of colour, and apply a quick coat of mascara and you’re fresh faced and fancy free for the day.

-FOR NURSING-

Lamaze (nursing) PJs| I know these will come in handy come nursing-time after we get home from the hospital. Plus, yay they’re under $25 and feel so cozy on. Am I a cheater for wearing these already? hee hee!

Lamaze nursing bra + Lamaze nursing tanks| Who knew there was such a thing! Clearly I didn’t, and who knew it was a no-no to wear underwire bras when nursing. Huh! I’m already wearing the camisoles (such a great deal) under my tops for an added layer of warmth. Don’t judge me as being a Canadian who is cold in California December’s. I have low iron, ok? Lol.

Reuseable Nursing Pads| What I think to be an essential as an almost new-mom. Nursing pads! Bring them discreetly with you and there’s a two pack, ya know, for backups. They’re so soft.

-INDULGENT TREATS-

LOCCITANE Luxury Advent Calendar| The adult version of the chocolate advent calendars, except this time it’s with a gorgeous abundance of premium travel mini’s from LOCCITANE. It’s never too late to receive one of these in my opinion, including Christmas Day, or even during Hanukkah. The Advent Calendar features a selection of must-have skin care, body and bath, and hand care gifts. 

-FOR THE ORGANIZER-

Desk of Champions| I’ve always been a stationery lover through and through. I have a whole collection of unused notebooks sitting on my desk. But for those who don’t hve quite the collection like I do, perhaps you can get them this? I know for sure I go through tons of paper writing down lists (I will always be a paper list-maker rather than on my phone) of what I need at the grocery store, or even writing down my daily tasks.

Disclaimer: Products in this post were provided for review in this Holiday Gift Guide feature. The affiliate links help pay for this blog – thank you. 

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