Adding green to the room!

Looking back to all my previous blog posts about my house, I found a lack of green in my photos. And yes I really need to add more green decors in my house.

If you’re like me who is not so good at planting real plants, artificial plants (or silk plants) is really the best idea. Also, if you are a busy mom like mýelf, you will feel so thankful when you don’t have to spend time taking care a plant at all but still having that greenery looking house.

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When I was doing my mom’s room, I went online and searched for “silk plants” on both Amazon and Walmart websites. I immediately fell in love with all the choices from the brand Nearly Natural. I bought one for her room and she loves it. So this time around Nearly Natural is my top pick of course.

I picked one of the Dracaena in Wicker Basket and one of the Fiddle Leaf Fig In White Planter (same to the one in my mom’s room) to put in my small work corner.

They are carefully packed and shipped right to my front door. It took me a couple minutes to unpacked both of them. The leaves look so real (see photos below).

NearlyNaturalFloral also has a wide range of green decors such as silk plants, silk trees, silk flowers, silk arrangements, wreaths, garlands, swags, and much more. use code GET20 to save 20% off on http://www.nearlynatural.com

I’m starting to re-do my bedroom and will have a seperate blog post with all the details. I was thinking not to make this post but they are so beautiful and I couldn’t hold me back from sharing. Make sure to go check out this affordable silk plant brand.

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Stock Up and Give Back!

This is a sponsored post for Always

It’s truly the best feeling when you get to stock up for that time of the month while helping other girls to be as confident as you are.  At this point, you might have already heard of the Always Live #LikeAGirl campaign. If you have not, it’s a meaningful campaign from Always & Walmart to help #EndPeriodPoverty. I have talked about this campaign on a previous blog post. I also shared my experience about my difficult life 10 years ago in Vietnam. Be sure to read it! (provide link to post here) It is tough for me to think back but I think it is important to share because it relates to the Always Live #LikeAGirl campaign.

Period poverty is a real problem in the U.S. Nearly 1 in 5 girls have missed school because they can’t afford period protection. They do not just only miss school, but also the activities they love. And the side effects of missing out on their activities outside of school can be just as real.


These activities help build a girl’s confidence and skills, and missing out can limit a girl’s potential and opportunities far beyond puberty.

Always Live #LikeAGirl is all about helping girls stay confident by encouraging girls to stay in sports and to persevere through failure—both of which are key confidence boosters.

Always and Walmart are donating a year’s supply of period products to 50 teams in 50 states. Also, during January, for every purchase of a 3-pack box of Always Pads, Always will donate a pack to girls in need across the US. This donation will only be triggered via purchases from  smarturl.it/WalmartAlways during the month of January.

You can get involved and help, too! Simply go to smarturl.it/WalmartAlways to purchase a 3-pack box of Always Pads and Always will donate a pack to girls in need. It’s a win-win – you stock up AND help a girl stay in the activity she loves.

Stay Active #LikeAGirl

“This is a sponsored post for Always.”

When I was a teenager living in Vietnam, my family was having a terrible time economically. My mom moved to the United States when I was 15. She was moving with nothing but hope for a better life for her children. We, a 15-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, and a 9-year-old boy, were left with my dad who had never had that responsibility.

By that time, both my little sister and I were teenagers. Nobody taught us about what was going to happen when we grew from little girls to teen girls. By then, we were uneducated about having a period and we weren’t able to afford pads all the time. We were unprepared most of the times. It was a lot better when we got to come here to the United States and live a better life with my mom 3 years after that.

However, whenever I think back about those days, it’s terrifying to me especially since  I am amom of a girl now. I had tears running down my face as I was watching this video from Always Live #LikeAGirl.

The video brings me back to the memories of those days. I also used toilet paper when I didn’t have pads. I know the exact feeling when being unprepared. Everyone knows that being prepared and ready in any life situation is important, but in the case of having a period, it’s a lot more important for a girl.

Now I know it’s not only in my home country, Vietnam. Period poverty is a real problem in the U.S. Nearly 1 in 5 girls have missed school because they can’t afford period protection. The Always Live #LikeAGirl campaign is all about helping girls stay confident. Their previous campaigns have done that by encouraging girls to stay in sports and encouraging them to persevere through failure—both of which are key confidence boosters.

This year, Always Live #LikeAGirl campaign is aimed at keeping girls involved in the confidence-boosting activities they love—by helping tackle period poverty. Always and Walmart are donating a year’s supply of period products to 50 teams in 50 states to help #EndPeriodPoverty . With my real-life story, this campaign is so important to me. I’m so proud to be partnered with Always and Walmart to support it.

Let’s get her back in the action by sharing the new Always Live #LikeAGirl YouTube video and creating awareness of period poverty.

This new Always Live #LikeAGirl video is a must-watch. Everyone should watch it, especially if you are a teen girl or are a parent to girls.

Again, as a mom myself, I work hard to provide my daughter a wonderful life no matter which age she is. But life is hard, things may happen. I adore and 100% support meaningful campaigns like this. I highly encourage you to do so and spread the word about it. That one little act from each of us would mean so much for someone’s daughter.

Transforming a small dinning room

A neat and pretty dinning room is much more important than you can realize. As a busy family, dinning time is pretty much the only time we can sit down together as a whole family and we all adore that time of the day. That’s why I was thinking to make the space looks a little better.

Our dinning room was small and very messy 2 months ago. I’ve been slowly turning it into a brighter dinning room with the modern look. At this point it’s pretty much done. Only some decors needed for now. Let me give you a quick tour showing the before and after.

2 month BEFORE

This was our dinning room before I made any changes. It was just a place to store stuffs and that made it so messy.

The big table was belong to my mom and I had to convince her for so long so she would agree to get rid of it. It is huge which took all the space. And I just hate the color. I mean I was thinking about a white theme dinning and that old style table was not so matched.

So my mom finally let me switch it to the new dinning set. I bought the white mid century modern set from Costway and I can’t be any happier. I love the modern look of it. So does my mom and everyone else in my family.

My Smart Blinds is a smart home productthat makes life so much easier.

I also switched the old/broken blinds on the big window to My Smart Blinds and it’s just the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve never had to worry about opening or closing the blinds ever since it’s installed. I set the schedule for it to follow through the app on my phone. I can also control the blinds using my phone from a far distance. It uses solar system to power itself. So smart.

Then I added a kitchen storage so we have place to put all the stuffs that were always on the big table before. It is a beautiful white unit from the brand Nova Solo Furniture. I’m obsessed with how well it goes with everything else in the room. The more storage I have, the more happy I’m. I bet all moms out there feel just the same.

To add something cute on the wall, I got these kitchen wooden signs from Stupell Home. How cute they are? Stupell Home also has so many other signs that I think you guys might need to check out.

To this point I already feel so happy because I solve the problem of having more space while being so organized. Things were having their own places. And there are still so much of empty room. I also have room for those full with oranges foldable baskets right in the corner.

Those foldable baskets are from the brand Clever Made and are super lightweight. Plus, they are so afforable and useful, not only for at home. I also use them as grocery storage to put in the back of our car.

The lasted update was done this morning. I switched the old ceiling light. Yes I finally got rid of that old one. We installed this beautiful ceiling fixture from Kichler Lighting instead. It matches the entire room so well. It brings everything together and I’m so glad that this small dinning is now completely transform after installing this simple fixture.

FINAL LOOK

Again, I’m so happy I finally made our dinning room looks better. It’s a lot better in my opinion. But I do want to hear what others think. So leave a comment down below sharing your thoughts.

Lastly, here is the list of what I’ve mentioned above in case you want to check out these products.

  1. Costway dinning set (table and chairs sold seperately)
  2. My Smart Blinds
  3. Nova Solo Halifax kitchen buffet
  4. Clever Made foldable baskets
  5. Stupell Home wall arts
  6. Kichler Lighting ceiling fixture
  7. Misa’s highchair – Oribel

Kid Toys for Toddler

Gifting is fun this Holiday season especially buying gifts for toddlers/kids. As a mom to a toddler, I found it to be so fun and magical for them to open the gifts.

Below is my top 10 picks. Hopefully it is helpful for someone who is looking for kid gift ideas.

1-Mystery box with Kinder Surprise Eggs giftguide3I made this idea for my daughter’s 2nd birthday and it was so fun watching her digging the box to find toys. So I think I would do it again this Christmas. Instead of makeup toys, 15 pieces of Kinder surprise eggs would be perfect. This idea is fun while doesn’t hurt your wallet. I bet kids who receive this will totally love it.

2-Learning Recources Puppy Play setgiftguide2My daughter loves pets. This set is great for her. It is simple and cute. It would make the best first puppy set for toddlers 2+ years old. Learning Recources also has a wide range of toys for all ages.

3-SoulSlings Doll Carriergiftguide6For toddlers who love dolls!!!!! This is the cutest item. I love seeing my daughter wearing her doll using this carrier, just like a mini me. I also have a matching actual toddler carrier which is also from the brand SoulSlings. Adding a cute little lightweight doll is perfect.

4-Kidzlane Piano Matgiftguide4This is a super fun item for 3+ years old. My daughter is a little too young to enjoy all the fun but she loves making random music with her little steps. If you are gifting this to a big kid at 4+ years old, I believe he/she will love it a lot.

5-Playfoam® Pals™ Snowy Friends 12-Pack giftguide8This has been what my daughter watching on youtube. She LOVES seeing others playing with PlayFoam and I know she wanted it too. It is so fun and sastifying playing with these. Yes even I do get attracted. Each pack has a cute animal in it which is the extra fun. Great for family with 2 or more kids.

6-USA Toyz – Snap N’ Glow Trax Light Racer Setgiftguide5This would be the best for boys. Girls also love it, for example my daughter. She will needs to be a little older to play with it longer so I would say it’s great for 4+ years old.

7-USA Toyz – Unicorn Play Tentgiftguide7Now this unicorn little play tent is the girls favorite. It folds compactly just like the size of that box in this pic, and pops up beautifully and roomy. Adding a little unicorn plush toy is perfect.

8-Cubcoats 2-in-1 giftguide1This 2-in-1 stuffed toy transformss into a jacket. How cool is that? It would be the item that both kid and mommy will love. So convenient for on the go.

9-MiniDiva Reborn Baby Doll giftguide9This doll is in new born size and weight. It looks just like a real baby with soft silicone arms & legs. It is the perfect gift for 2+ toddlers who loves playing dolls. Use my code XMAS15% for 15% off.

10-WoomBike – Woom 1 for Toddlergiftguide10This is the very high quality bike for 2.5+ years old. It does say for 1.5 to 5 years old but I personally think my daughter will master it at 2.5 or 3. Love that the seat height is adjustable. This is the great gift for active toddlers.

Those 10 items above are listed in ascending price. Hope that helps too. Any of those items I mentioned is already on your list? Do you have any other item you think must be added in? Comment down below.

10 best gifts for new moms

Tis the season for gifting, everyone loves receiving gifts, especially those with a new baby at home , those who needs some cool gears to make mom life a little easier.

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As a mom myself with a 2 years old daughter. I have been using and experiencing so many of the coolest items made for mom and baby. Here I’m creating a gift guide especially for new moms, based on things I’ve been using or have used in the past.

I’m seperating 2 groups of gifts: Affordable Gifts (Under $100), and Fancy Gifts ($100 and Up). Gifting doesn’t have to be overwhelmed, anything below in my gift guide is very helpful and whoever receive these will totally love them and use them a lot. So no matter it’s pricey or not, let’s take a look closer to 10 gifts hand picked by me !!!

 

AFFORDABLE GIFTS under $100

 

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  1. Aucutee Fan White Noise Macchine

A white noise macchine is always a safe choice. This Aucutee one is my favorite since it’s a pure fan sound that is very comfortable. I did post a review about it on instagram. It is $30 on Amazon with Prime free shipping.

 

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2) Natural Spa Basket

A nourishing and complete spa experience awaits the body, mind and soul with this abundant and expertly curated basket of wholesome, all-natural, organic, dye-free bath and body essentials. This gift basket is perfect for self-care time. It’s $100 plus shipping. Use code AFFGT10off75 for $10 off.

 

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3) Mommy and Baby–Cute as Can Bee

A plush bee holds a collection of all-natural body care products from Burt’s Bees to soothe and nourish mommy and baby’s sensitive skin. Presented in a keepsake wicker basket, everyone will “bee” happy with this adorable gift. This basket includes my favorite brand Burt’s Bee products for both mommy and baby, plus a cute bee plush toy. This gift basket is $70 plus shipping.  Use code AFFGT10off75 for $10 off.

 

giftguide214) Trtl Travel Pillow

The genius travel pillow that everyone is talking about on youtube. They are super soft and hold your neck in a better position than a standard U-shaped travel pillow, while being half the size of a U-shaped travel pillow for easy carrying. Traveling especially traveling with baby is a challenge, giving this item to a mommy would make her holiday trip a little more relax. It’s $30, very affordable and reasonable.

 

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5) Mountain Buggy Bagrider

Speaking about traveling with baby/kid, this amazing luggage is a must. It expands to a 2-in-1 luggage/stroller so your baby/toddler can sit securely on top of it while you’re easily pushing it around. That is the smartest idea. This luggage is $100 on Amazon.

 

 

FANCY GIFTS ($100 and up)

giftguide136) VTech VM4261 – Video Baby Monitor

This $150 baby monitor has 170-degree wide-angle lens that captures the baby as they crawl, play and explore around the room. It comes with a high-resolution, 4.3-inch color LCD screen that can pan, tilt and zoom the camera from the parent unit. It also has soothing sounds and lullabies; two-way, talk-back intercom; and vibrating sound-alert on the parent unit. Overall, this one is a good one that mommy will love.

 

giftguide157) Tula Baby Toddler Carrier (in Blossom)

I’ve been using this carrier a lot. My daughter Misa actually loves being carried and lots of the times she asked me to wear her. So I totally amazed by babywearing. I have the toddler size since Misa is a big toddler. It is $169 each. For new moms with new born babies, I recommend getting the Tula Baby Standard Carrier . There are so many cute prints to choose from. The standard size is $139 each.

 

giftguide118) Dockatot Grand in Carrara Marble

Many moms swear by Dockatots. I doubted it. But then I got it when she turns 1 years old and I regret that I hadn’t bought it when she was born. It is amazing and surprising how much Misa loves it. I don’t have to say much about this since there are tons of great reviews and youtube videos about Dockatot. I have the Grand Dock and recommend it over the Deluxe size. It is pricey so I think go with the bigger size would be a lot better.

 

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9) Milo & Gabby Nap Mat

A set of sleeping bag/ nap mat is ideal for traveling with toddler. These adorable sleeping bags are designed to look like your child’s favorite Milo&Gabby animal characters, with useful details such as a removable duvet insert, detachable pillow and blanket, and a handy storage bag. These are also great to bring for preschool, daycare, and for overnight trips to grandma’s and grandpa’s. They are $168 each.

 

giftguide1910) JetKids BedBox

The one I show here in the photo is the classic one that is currently sold out. They have a new line with new colors and the same features which called BedBox® . The new colors are absolutely beautiful. They would make awesome gift for traveling moms with toddler. With this gear,  a standard economy seat is turned into a first class seat for children in 5 steps. You can click here to see how it works. This item is $200.

 

Those are the 10 items I believe a mom who receive them will be totally obsessed. Hope this gift guide is somewhat helpful during this gifting season. Also, this is my fist gift guide ever so hopefully you guys love it. Another gift guide for toddler will be up live Monday. Stay tune !!!

Moving to Phoenix soon and searching for house?

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Image Credit: Flickr Courtesy of Lauren Toper

Best Food Finds in Phoenix

More people moved to Maricopa County in 2017 than any other county in the entire nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reported recently. As the largest city in the county, many of those moves were likely to Phoenix. If you’re like so many others considering a move here, you’ve probably searched through homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ, and discovered some rather enticing gems at relatively affordable prices. But before making the leap, you might want to learn more about what else this area has to offer, including its dining scene.

 

Menus here feature everything from authentic Mexican and standard southwestern fare to modern fusion, international cuisine and just about everything in between.

 

For the very best food finds don’t miss these treasures.

Barbecue at Little Miss BBQ

There’s no need to travel hundreds of miles to Texas for mouth-watering barbecue, the state with the greatest number of BBQ eateries, with 2,238 according to a 2015 report. While Texas may be famous for its delectable BBQ dishes, Arizona is home to the highly acclaimed Little Miss BBQ.

 

A hot lunch spot serving BBQ Central Texas style, it’s only open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until sold out, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The juicy, tender meat is cooked with pecan wood, Arizona oak using Camelback Smokers, sold by weight and tossed on white bread, topped with jalapenos, pickles and onions. The sandwiches are served with house made potato salad and ranch-style beans, but you’ll want to save room for the smoked pecan pie – heavenly!

CRUjiente

Being so close to the Mexico border, it’s no surprise that Phoenix offers practically an endless number of Mexican restaurants, but of course, some are better than others, like CRUjiente. While you might think a taco is just a taco, Richard Hinojosa takes tacos to a whole new level, with all sorts of interesting, tasty twists. He makes traditional chicken, beef and pork tacos topped with the usual guac and other standard toppings, but he also offers many other unique takes on the taco, like lamb, lobster, octopus and Szechuan beef cheek tacos using beef that’s been braised for 36 hours. He presses his own tortillas using heirloom blue corn mesa and then flavors them with ingredients like dashi, cardamom, poblano, cilantro and Fresno chilis.

Restaurant Progress

Restaurant Progress is one of Phoenix’s newest offerings, with its doors opening in 2017. An instant hit with foodies, it specializes in small plates paired with creatively crafted cocktails that makes it ideal for a date night. The menu changes about every four to six weeks and features dishes like chicken-fried trout, pork belly and soy-cured watermelon. A few of the terms frequently used to describe the experience here among Google reviews include: “truly inspired,” “beautiful, slow food,” “impeccable service” “an instant classic.”

CIBO

Just about every city has a favorite pizza joint, and in Phoenix, that’s CIBO. Located downtown for over a decade, it’s housed in a historic bungalow and features just about every type of gourmet Neapolitan pizza you could ever imagine, with a choice of red or white sauce, along with delectable homemade pasta dishes. The Pomodoro Fresco pie, with mozzarella, basil and grape tomatoes, is considered the very best in the city.