Monday, September 19, 2016

5 Days in NYC with a Toddler

Sorry, we can't come to the phone right now. We're busy in NYC working, eating delicious food and exploring the city. Following me on Instagram @parkerproject to see what we will be doing for the next few days. 

On the agenda are stops to Chelsea Market, Black Tap Craft Burgers & BeerProspect Park, Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, Brooklyn Bridge Park, ChikaLiciousStatue of LibertyCentral Park & Katz's Deli...and wherever else our legs and noses lead us. Tania says we are going to split everything so we don't get fat [insert eye rolling emoji here]. I'm truly looking forward to experiencing all the sights and sounds of the city with my sisters and Parker. This is his last hurrah before starting preschool so we have to do it up BIG!

[Illustration by the amazing Jamey Christoph]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2016

Growing up, I remember excitedly marching around holding lanterns with my sisters while my parents sang traditional songs every Tet Trung Thu (Mid Autumn Festival). We would fight over who would get to eat the yolks from the moon cakes and have family and friends over for a big dinner. 

mid autumn festival, moon festival, asian culture, tet trung thu

Tomorrow night the harvest moon will be shining in it's full glory and we are planning to celebrate with a family dinner, paper lanterns and moon cakes! Passing these cultural traditions on to Parker makes my heart happy. Here are some ways you can celebrate with your kids.

*Watch this reading of the book Mooncakes by Loretta Seto which tells of the legend of Chang-E.

*Purchase mooncakes from your local Asian grocery store or bakery. If you're in San Diego, Ranch 99, 85 Degrees, Paris Baguette or Thuan Phat all carry mooncakes. Serve your mooncakes with a pot of hot green tea.

*Make your own paper lanterns using this easy tutorial from Handmade Charlotte.

[Photo credit Handmade Charlotte]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Outpost Summer Camp Recap

It seems fitting that I am posting pictures from Parker's time at Outpost Summer Camp on the last day of August. Summer is OVAH and I am ecstatic. Summer is great and all but I love Fall with all it's pumpkin-everything goodness and sweater weather. Let's give summer on last hurrah by enjoying these pictures of Parker from his first summer camp experience.

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

I'm not going to lie, summer camp caused a little anxiety for me. This was the first time Parker would be eating on his own and I was really worried. Turns out I had nothing to worry about and he had THE BEST time running around with his little camp friends and his counselor Miss Kelsey. 

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

One of my favorite things about Outpost is that they have an app where they post pictures of what the kids did throughout the day. All of the photos in this post are from the app. I loved being able to see the pictures and then hearing stories from Parker about the crafts projects that he worked on, looking for lizard eggs and making mud pies. The app also sent reminders about special events like sports day and tie dye day. It was very convenient!

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

[Parker and Kaden in their Soccer Shots jerseys for Sports Day]

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

[Superhero day!]

Parker had a great time at camp and the Merrell sandal tan to prove it. We will definitely be signing him up for camp again next summer!

san diego, san diego kids, summer camp, camp, kids activities

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Happy 33rd Birthday, Tuan!!

On this day 33 years ago my soulmate was born. Pretty major right? Happy birthday to my husband, partner in crime and best friend. I love you always. 


Follow me on Instagram @parkerproject if you want to see all the birthday shenanigans I have planned for Tuan!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tide Park Beach

A couple of weeks ago, while my hubby was downtown enjoying Comic Con, my friend Giao and I took Parker to Tide Park Beach in Solana Beach to beat the heat. I found Tide Park Beach listed on Red Tricycle's list of family-friendly beaches in San Diego. This beach is a true gem. There was ample free parking in the cute neighborhood by the beach entrance, most of the patrons were surfers and locals walking their dogs and there are tide pools at the north end of the beach to explore. It's a great spot to low tide. We were lucky that we happened to time our visit right because two hours after being at the beach, the tide started coming in and we had to migrate to the stretch of the beach that is right by the stairs! 

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

[Be prepared for a glute workout! The stairs are steep.]

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

[Parker is so lucky to have an auntie who is as loving and patient as Giao! I have the best friends.]

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

[Exploring tide pools. There isn't much sea life but it was still fun to touch small anemones and collect rocks.]

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

[Styling King Neptune.]

san diego beach, beach, san diego family

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bento Mania

Let's talk preschool lunch. The idea of having to pack lunch for Parker everyday is elevating my heart rate. What should I pack? Will he eat it? What if he doesn't eat and he gets hungry? These questions and more have been on my mind a lot lately so I sent myself down a rabbit hole to research on toddler lunches. After reading a lot of reviews and blog posts, the bento items below are the ones I want to purchase to make Parker's lunches the most appealing they can be. Yes, I know it's unnecessary to decorate food. Yes, I know I am making packing lunch more complicated than it needs to be. Yes, even Parker has told me I am nuts. But when have you ever known me to not be a bit nutty?

Bento Mania

Stainless steel thermo / CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter... / Kitchen gadgets tool / LunchBots Bento Trio LARGE All Stainless 3 Section Food... / YUMBOX Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Tutti Frutti Blue) for... / Bentgo Kids - Leakproof Children's Lunch Box (Purple):... / | Silicone Snack Bag Multi Use Snack Box Containers Ice Pop... / PlanetBox Rover Lunchbox- Black Carry Bag with Sports Balls Magnets / Thermos Funtainer 10 Ounce Food Jar, Blue / Safari Silicone Baran Divider - Fun Lunch Bento Accessories for Be... / Japanese Bento Food Pick 11 Vehicle Car Shape for Food Pick & Deco... / Japanese Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter Bear Rabbit Flower for Dec... / CuteZCute Bento 3D Food Pick, 8-Piece, Panda / Bento Lunch Box Cloth Bag Vehicles for Bento Lunch Bag / Microwavable Bento Baran Food Divider Sheet Set Eyes 18 pcs for Be...

After you hit up your local Japanese market (Daiso, Marukai, Mitsuwa) to stock up on supplies, follow these mamas on Instagram for additional inspiration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cyanotype (Sun Paper Art) Toddler Art

One of my favorite things to do with Parker is walk around our neighborhood to collect things. He collects leaves, flowers and bugs. I collect Pokemon. It's great! So I bought some sun paper and we used the leaves, grass and flowers that Parker collected to create cyanotype prints. Follow along as I walk you through our creative process. 

Materials Needed
Plexiglass the size of your SunArt Paper (the paper I linked above comes with plexiglass)

Step 1: Collect some treasures from nature and arrange them as desired on top of your sun paper. I used pins to secure everything in place because I didn't have plexiglass. Next time we do this project, I will definitely use plexiglass to secure everything in place. Learn from my rookie mistake! This step should be done in a room with little light. 

Step 2: Take your paper outside and let it sit in the sun for 2-5 minutes. 

Step 3: Remove everything on the paper. It will look something like this. Kinda spooky.

Step 4: Completely soak paper in water bath for 1 minute. When you remove it from the water, it will look something like this. Cool right?

Step 5: Lay the paper flat to dry. Once it's dry, frame it and decorate your home. I decided to add it to my bedside shelf. It looks very sophisticated for kid art!

I hope you enjoyed this art project as much as we did. I still have a few packs of sun paper and want to repeat this project with feathers!
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