Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical

DECEMBER 5-10, 2017 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK IN DALLAS

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is in town and how great was it that on the night White Christmas opened North Texas FINALLY got some cold weather?!   It was a perfect night to see one of my all-time favorite Christmas musicals and it was a perfect show to launch me into the Holiday Spirit!

The musical is an adaptation of a 1954 motion picture White Christmas that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.  Everything about this critically acclaimed and old fashioned musical is magical – the music (Irving Berlin’s – need I say more?), the dancing is incredible (go just to see the top dancing and ice skating numbers) and the players are perfectly cast.   The sets are fun and the costumes are bright and colorful.  The show will transport you into another time and place where you won’t want to leave.

If you’ve never seen the movie or need a refresher – here’s the plot:   It’s the story of a song-and-dance team (former World War 11 army buddies) in the mid 50’s who find themselves putting on a show in a quaint Vermont Inn barn.  Meanwhile they are romancing the talented and beautiful Haynes Sisters.  Coincidentally their general in the war happens to own the inn and needs some help saving it from the banks.    Costars of note are Martha, the general’s sarcastic inn assistant (and love interest perhaps?) and his adorable and precocious granddaughter.  It’s all so 50’s and I love it.

The musical includes some of Irving Berlin’s finest songs such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters” (one of my personal favorites) “Blue Skies,” and the unforgettable title song,”White Christmas”.   Starring in the lead roles includes Tony Award-winning actress Karen Ziemba, currently on Broadway in PRINCE OF BROADWAY, who plays Martha Watson.  Sean Montgomery as Bob Wallace, Jeremy Benton as Phil Davis, Kerry Conte as Betty Haynes and Kelly Sheehan as Judy Haynes.  They are all a delight to watch perform.

 White Christmas is like a warm and fuzzy blanket that will wrap you up and make you fall in love with it all over again.   I didn’t even miss the old classic movie it was such a great remake!   Take your parents, your kids, or go with friends to see this Christmas Classic – you can thank me later!

 

DECEMBER 5-10, 2017 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change) are now on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Single tickets can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park box office Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NOVEMBER 14-19, 2017 AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL

Single tickets for the Fort Worth engagement start at $44 (pricing subject to change) and are now on sale. To charge tickets by phone, call 817-212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

#WhiteChristmasDSM  @dsmusicals |@DallasSummerMusicals

 

 

 

 

What are you thankful for today?

There is so much to be thankful for – family, friends, good health, prosperity but it’s easy for me to pick what I’m  most thankful for today.  Today is my twin sons 20th Birthday – on Thanksgiving this year!

20 years today I gave birth to twin nuggets who’s combined weight was a little over 5 lbs.  After 5 weeks of bed rest in the hospital they arrived 9 weeks early and spent the next two and a half months in the NICU under the care of the most wonderful nurses and doctors on the planet.  It was an incredibly stressful time where everyday brought new challenges and fears.  At at the end of their extended stay they came home where they grew, thrived, and secured a forever place in my heart.   I won’t kid you, having twin premature babies was a huge challenge but once they were home I never looked back (who had time?).   I can’t imagine life without these two.    They have been the greatest joy of my life and when they arrived I admit my world shifted and was never be the same.  My needs didn’t come first and I was happy to sacrifice everything for them.   Someone once told me that being a parent meant that you will experience the highest of the highs but you will also experience the lowest of the lows.  I hate to brag but I’ve experienced a lot more highs with these two boys than lows and for that I’m very thankful.

My husband and I have been blessed with two of the most loving and sweet boys any parent could hope for.  They are smart, fun, and hysterically funny.  Jack and Jared are fraternal twins and are different in almost every way.  It was like we got two for one – just brothers born at the same time really.  Different looks (a redhead and a brunette, green eyes vs blue,  and major personality differences and interests).  They have brought joy and laughter and amazement.  They overcame every fear the doctors had for them for being so premature.  God has been so good to us.  These two are our miracle babies for sure and I seriously can’t wrap my head around the fact that they aren’t teenagers anymore – they are 20 YEARS OLD!!  I’m not even sure what that will look like and if it changes anything.  I guess they’re like baby adults now – not 21 and not quite legal.

I am so proud of these two and that they are being pursuing their dreams in college.  They still come home for the holidays and they still call occasionally and ask me questions so I think they’re not quite grown (but I seriously think that goes on long after their adults – I still call my mother and ask questions!).  So Happy 20th Birthday Jack and Jared!   I love you both to the moon and back!

 

What are you thankful for the most this year?

Make Every Moment Count this Spring with Nature’s Recipe!

RPM pool
Chili and I are just hanging out at the pool enjoying the Spring weather and making every moment count!  I love my dog and I love giving him the best nutrition available with Nature’s Recipe! #naturesrecipe @naturesrecipe
 RPM - Nature's Recipe Chili (2)
 Is your dog picky like my dog Chili and you’ve run out of dog food brands that they will eat?  I am so glad that I have found a dog food that my dog not only loves but it’s very nutritious!
Nature’s Recipe:
  • All Natural Dog Food
  • Grain Free
  • Easy to digest
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No corn or wheat
  • High Quality Protein
  • Nutritious with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients

My dog, Chili isn’t a puppy anymore so it’s important to me that he eats an all natural and nutritious dog food that will help keep him as healthy and active as possible.   I highly recommend Nature’s Recipe for your dog’s health and his taste buds!  Get ready for your dog to lick his bowl clean like Chili does!!!  RPM NR Bowl 2

How do you keep your dog healthy and happy?  How are you making every moment count with your dog this Spring?

 

 To find out more details and where to buy Nature’s Recipe Dog Food go to:  https://www.naturesrecipe.com/

@naturesrecipe  #naturesrecipe

Disclosure: I was provided a sample of Nature’s Recipe but all opinions and photos are mine and subject to copyright.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dallas Arboretum Announces ZimSculpt, An Exhibition of Contemporary Stone Sculptures from Zimbabwe

Dallas Arbo Zulu Queen, Tafadzwa Tandi
ZimSculpt

April 15 to July 31, 2017

For the first time ever in the southern U.S., the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will present the international blockbuster exhibition ZimSculpt, a world-renowned display of over 100 modern Zimbabwean stone sculptures.  Several dozen contemporary Zimbabwean artists’ work will be displayed throughout the garden, much like the previous Chihuly and Gary Lee Price exhibits shown at the Arboretum. Known as Shona sculpture, these contemporary pieces are carved from various types of serpentine and semi-precious stone, often weighing tons, and can be as large as seven feet tall. This sculpture is the most collected form of African art that can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rodin Museum and in the homes of the Prince of Wales, the Rockefellers, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover and the late Michael Jackson.

 ZimSculpt is passionate about promoting the work of some of the finest Zimbabwean sculptors. Therefore, as part of the exhibit, artists and sculptors Passmore Mupindiko and  Aron Kapembeza will demonstrate their artistry by carving statues using chisels, hammers, files and sandpaper to create these works, while guests watch and learn about this art.

Dallas Arbor Playing With Mama, Dominic Benhura

Visitors may purchase any of the sculptures on display in the garden, as well as the ones created by the onsite artists and those in The Marketplace, located in Dallas Arboretum’s Pecan Grove. The Marketplace will be open to guests seven days a week and on Wednesday evenings, selling hand-held to medium size sculpture. Commissioned pieces can be ordered and made on site by the artists.

Dallas Arbor Attentive, David White

ZimSculpt, founded in Zimbabwe under the guidance of art collectors Vivienne and Joseph Croisette, believe ZimSculpt has become ‘the world’s premier exhibition of modern Zimbabwean sculpture.  Interestingly, Zimbabwe means “house of stone”, and the country has a long history of stone carving beginning with artists from the 1950s who taught their children how to carve sculpture from stone, with this knowledge was passed down to succeeding generations. The Croisettes work with about 250 sculptors to build their collection, and have held exhibitions in the UK, USA and Canada and have been invited to Bahrain and Dubai.

According to Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, “We are always looking for unique displays that will do well in a garden setting, and the magnificent contemporary stone statues will fit perfectly within our various gardens. We’re also thrilled that it will be the first time this exhibition will be featured in the southern U.S., thus attracting visitors from the area.”

Dallas Arbor Lullaby, Laknos Chingwaro

During the beginning of the show on April 29 and 30, the Dallas Arboretum features Artscape Reimagined, its juried fine arts and crafts show. The Zimbabwean artists will demonstrate their artistry as a part of the weekend’s festivities. Wolf added, “These unique art pieces resonate with roots from their African homeland. These statues are strong and delicate, stark and complex, contemporary and exquisitely handmade. Everything is done by hand at a high level with tools to carve these stones, and when guests see these artists chisel stone in person, they will see how much work goes into creating these works of art.

Dallas Arbo Elephant

ZimSculpt is supported in part by Dave Perry-Miller, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, and Neiman Marcus.

 For more information about upcoming events at the Exhibit and to purchase tickets go to:  http://www.dallasarboretum.org/visit/seasonal-festivals-events/zimsculpt

Let it Be – The Beatles Reunion Concert that Never Was

Let it Be 2

Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals –  LET IT BE 

Music Hall at Fair Park March 7-19, 2017

Whether you’re a die hard Beatles fan or not, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this musical production.  Annerin Productions brings you Let it Be, the reunion concert that the Beatles never performed but you wish they had.  This production truly is a celebration of  The Beatles’ music legacy.

 

The first half starts with the Beatles’ invasion of the US and their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan show complete with giant TV screens and screaming teenage girls.  Their ground breaking music evolution continues on to their epic concert at Shea Stadium, their psychedelic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Band phase and ends with the edgier Abbey Road.  Songs includes some of your favorite Beatles tunes such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Hard Day’s Night, Day Tripper, Twist and Shout and Strawberry Fields (and lots more).   These guys were still on top of the charts and going strong when they broke all of our hearts by breaking up.

Let it Be 5

Let it Be 6

The second half of the musical ignites our imagination of what if the Fab Four reunited for one more concert at John Lennon’s 40th birthday party – October 9, 1980. After a decade of being apart they come back together and perform Beatles’  hits  that were never performed on stage plus several of their  hits from their solo careers.  How is it possible that 4 artists could record so many great songs?  Here are some of my favorite songs from this imaginary concert (they’re all my favorites really):   My personal favorite Beatle George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun, My Guitar Gently Weeps, and My Sweet Lord, John Lennon’s Imagine and Back in the USSR, and songs from Paul McCartney such as Hey Jude, Live and Let Die, and Let it Be of course.  Ringo performs a few too such as It Don’t Come Easy and the crowd pleaser With a Little Help from My Friends.   This production conceived me that this band of 4 were truly musical geniuses.

Let it Be 4

The performers are spot on in appearance and musical talent.   They bring to life the Mop Tops with each performer demonstrating the Beatles’ individual personality through their voice and fun and quirky performances.  The costume changes are indicative of the times and each stage of their musical journey.

Let it Be George

Personally, I loved the evening.  I’ve never been to a musical where everyone knew all the words to every song.  The audience danced and swayed while The Beatles entertained us all once more.   Every song will transport you to a place and time when The Beatles ruled the world.  In fact, I believe that they still rule the world.  Beatles 4Ever.

Let it Be Jackie

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of LET IT BE, starting at $24.50-$119.50 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale at

www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Let it Be heads to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth March 21-26, 2017

Why I Want to Attend LEAP Summit Zagreb? #LEAPzg

AttendLEAPSummitThere are so many great ways to learn and sharpen your skills these days: you can read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch how-to videos on YouTube, and attend webinars, just to name a few. Why bother with the time and expense of attending LEAP Summit in Zagreb, Croatia?

If that’s your attitude, then you may be missing out on one of the best opportunities to take your game to the next level. LEAP Summit provides a unique learning and career building opportunities that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Below you’ll find 5 reasons why you should attend LEAP Summit and consider sending your students and employees to conferences as well. 🙂

1. Iron Sharpens Iron

“As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend. ” Proverbs 27:17 in the Bible. Stephen Covey also lists it as his sixth habit of highly effective people. To put it simply, “two heads are better than one.” Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. People bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table, and together, they can produce far better results that they could individually.

I always return from a conference with new ideas and approaches that make me more effective and efficient at work. When people begin to interact together genuinely, and they’re open to each other’s influence, they begin to gain new insight. Don’t be “a dull axe” while your competition is being sharpened by others.

2. Meet Experts & Influencers Face-to-face

While not every conferences offers you the opportunity to meet people that you have been following online for years, your chances are greatly improved when you’re sharing the same space.

Sometimes it’s about taking a selfie with someone who’s influenced you, or sharing a business idea with someone you admire, or making a connection that can lead to finding your next mentor. This will never happen from an online success summit.

3. Networking Opportunities

Social media keeps me connected to people who are both local and live and work far away. However, there’s no substitution for meeting someone in real life.15271832_1040722436038580_8717944597149496358_oLEAP Summit has opportunities for attendees to mix and mingle, form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones. Over coffee or lunch, you may make a connection with the perfect provider or prospect. At a breakout session, you may find yourself sitting next to your next customer or mentor. Or, if you don’t go, maybe your toughest competitor will be sitting in your seat.

4. Learning in a New Space

Remember that scene in Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams made his students stand on a desk to get a fresh perspective?dead-poetsMany businesses have meetings off-site because it’s easy to find ourselves in a rut. Sitting in the same chair, in the same office or in the same coffeehouse, can keep us from thinking of new ideas. Taking a break out of the office, sitting in a new space, can spark us to new approaches that will grow our businesses.

5. The Energy of Like-minded Individuals

There’s nothing like being in a room of like-minded people, who are willing to take time away from school or work to learn something new and want to “better” themselves.

When you sit at the Summit, you discover that you’re not alone in wanting to improve your skills and bring something back to your office or organization. That energy is lacking in all online learning channels, regardless of how much chatter there may be around a hashtag.

LEAP Summit provides a unique convergence of networking, learning and fun into a single package. It forces you to grow and challenge yourself. Oh, and it is in Zagreb, my FAVORITE capital city in the Balkans. Just read about what you can do and see!

4 Smart Coffee Spots for a Zagreb Coffee Break
Photo Journal: Secret Walks in Zagrebarium

Next Steps

All of this has been on my mind a lot lately, as I countdown to LEAP Summit Zagreb on May 11-13, 2017.

The primary focus of the Summit is on themes connected to innovation, entrepreneurship and business development, leadership, creativity, inspiring and life changing stories, success stories and career development.

Date: 11-13 May, 2017
Place: Studentski centar, Savska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Cost: 300 kn (~€40) – 1500 kn (~€200), depending on when you buy tickets!

Learn More & Register for LEAP Summit Now >>

What other reasons are there for attending LEAP Summit? What lasting impressions did it leave for you? Leave your answers in the comments below…we read every one!

Peace, Love, and Free Frozen Yogurt February 6th!

Yogurtland (3)

Free Yogurt for Froyo Lovers Everywhere!

Yogurtland “Raises a Spoon” to the First-Ever International Frozen Yogurt Day Celebration

February 6, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Yes, you heard me – FREE YOGURT!  Celebrate International Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Yogurtland!  The self-serve frozen yogurt pioneer, Yogurtland will offer guests around the world Free Frozen Yogurt and Toppings!  That’s right – at all locations!

 Each guest will also receive a Limited-Edition Hershey’s® Collectible Spoon for joining Yogurtland in its tasty mission to celebrate peace, love and frozen yogurt.  To help sweeten a delicious day, Yogurtland will feature a new Peanut Butter Cup frozen yogurt flavor made with Reese’s® and Hershey’s® ingredients, and the popular Chocolate Milkshake made with Hershey® flavor, also made with real, creamy California Milk.  These two chocolatey flavors will continue to be served at Yogurtland locations throughout the month of February.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to taste the new flavors and some old favorites!  

International Frozen Yogurt Day is sponsored by Yogurtland and The Hershey Company.

Find a location go tohttps://www.yogurt-land.com/locations  For more information visit http://www.yogurt-land.com    #YogurtlandIFYD   

Yogurtland Story

The Yogurtland Difference

Yogurtland today leads the industry with the best-tasting handcrafted flavors made from real ingredients. Separating Yogurtland from competitors is the company’s team of flavorologists who develop the proprietary recipes for the brand’s more than 100 different and customized flavors. Whether traditional or exotic, each flavor uses real ingredients sourced from their original locations. By controlling the entire frozen yogurt making process, Yogurtland has raised the standards for flavors and quality to new heights and much to the delight of millions of fans.

Naturally occurring calcium makes Yogurtland yogurt a healthful, refreshing treat. Fruit flavors are also fortified with Vitamin C. All of Yogurtland’s flavors meet the National Yogurt Association Criteria for “live and active culture frozen yogurt” and are produced in a kosher-certified facility. Yogurtland features non- and low-fat yogurt flavors as well as non-dairy and no sugar added choices.

Presently there are 320 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela

Losing Aaron: Remembering a Superhero from Afar

img_1978This past week has been filled with such sadness, and I am having a hard time finding words to explain why. It took my husband and I almost a week to tell our kids because our hearts were filled with such grief, such pain and such loss. On Monday, October 10, I was reminded about the greatest enemy in life – death. Eight years, I wrote about a sweet young boy, Aaron, who was diagnosed with cancer. For eight years, the world saw Aaron as a fighter, a beautiful soul, a force to be reckoned with and most of all the things, he is most definitely a hero. I say this because Aaron was the first person who I personally knew that had cancer. I really didn’t know much about sarcoma until I heard his mother tell me. Since day one, Aaron showed his strength – his super power.aaron-jadyndscn3272aaron-benUnfortunately, my family would moved away from Aaron and his family a few months after his diagnosis, but we followed his journey online through his parents’ Facebook profile, his Facebook page and also his CarePages.com page. Aaron was a funny kid. He was like any other kid…like my kids, except he had cancer. He didn’t let that stop him from going to school, playing football (and even attending Arizona Cardinal games // cheering for the Denver Broncos, too) and loved playing the outdoors – fishing, swimming or surfing. My family would be fortunate to see Aaron when he visited MD Anderson in Houston a few year ago.img_1981 I think the kids forgot that they were in a hospital, as they laughed, laughed and laughed some more. They ate sweets, talked about Minecraft and acted like zombies. Well, the boys did. 😉 This is how we will choose to remember Aaron – the 11-year-old super boy who defied cancer and is living life in heaven with Our Savior.

Rest easy sweet boy, you fought an unfair fight with the strength of a thousand soldiers, and you did it with grace. No more struggling. Enjoy your feast with Jesus. We love you, and we look forward to seeing you again.

During this time of grief, it has been hard for our family. I have to admit that this IS the truly the hardest part about living abroad – not being able to hug our love ones in good times and times of mourning. Fortunately, for Facebook, we can send messages of condolences. Other ways we learned we can be there for the family are:

Special Delivery
The next best route to communicate aside from the telephone is by email or through the post office. Consider sending a weekly card in the mail for a year — this will be appreciated in the weeks and months that follow the loss when many others have withdrawn support. Consider sending a note of remembrance with a sweet story. If you sense that your friend is having trouble with daily life, you could order practical help for her such as a meal delivery or cleaning service for a set period of time.

Memorialize
In the case of a death, you might consider finding ways to honor the memory of the person. Ideas might include making a donation to a non-profit organization or to the funeral costs, planting a memorial tree, or having a quilt made out of the person’s favorite items of clothing. Tributes such as these show your friends that their loved ones’ are still in thoughts of those around them.

Baby Registry Wishlist: What to Buy

baby-registryThis post was created in partnership with Baby Cubby.

Building a baby registry is overwhelming! Trying to register for a baby can be challenging, so we have put together a wishlist of “what we would tell our pregnant selves now” registry.

TOP 5

#1. Swaddle Blankets like these from Aden + Anais

#2. Front Baby Carrier like the award-winning Ergobaby

#3. Bottle Warmer like this one from Avent, which transitions well in to a baby food warmer too.

#4. Pack ‘N Play like this one from Nuna – don’t forget sheets – these are differently sized than crib sheets.

#5. Changing Table with dresser like this posh Babyletto

Here are some other things that you really need.

5 MUST HAVE

#1. Car seat that can be used to carry baby around, such as Graco SnugRide (always get new!). Remember to have this properly installed before you go to the hospital to have that baby or they won’t let you take him or her home with you. Oops. Extra car seat bases are handy (but not essential) if you have more than one car.

#2.Stroller that can push around car seat – we prefer the bare bones snap-n-go models such as this Graco stroller frame for the first 5 months. Advantage is that they are light and fit easily into the car (also great to borrow since it has such a short shelf life – thanks to Whit for lending me hers).

#3. Diaper Bin – We picked this Munchkin / Arm + Hammer Diaper Pail for maximum stink control; it’s easy and doesn’t require special bags. Inspired by my preschool, I’ve also individually bagged the offending poopy diapers and carried them right outside. Some folks use regular old trash cans and take out the trash every day. Up to you.

#4. Swing, bouncy seat, both – You’ll hear mixed reviews on these puppies, they are great to borrow because the padded parts are fully washable and some tinies don’t really groove with some models. My baby slept in his swing for months, overnight! This bouncer/rocker combo really does last through toddlerdom.

#5. Diaper bag – You actually can use an oversized handbag or a backpack for diapers and associated changes of clothes. But if you can’t resist this rite of passage, pick out a style you like. Consider features like whether it’s too girly to share, if it clips to your stroller, how heavy/ bulky, and how happy you’ll be carrying it when your baby weighs 18 pounds. Whitney liked her Skip Hop and I used little Pack-it cubes chucked under the stroller. It’s a totally individual choice.

Posh Items

#1. Bathtub – We recommend either the Eurobath or the First Years; the Eurobath is quite large and costs more but both are good for newborns to toddlers (we used the Eurobath for three years!). Winning a genius award, we plunked our infant and tub on the kitchen counter to avoid bending and kneeling.

#2. Link-a-doos toy clips handy dandy loops that hold little toys onto the car seat, stroller, diaper bag or high chair. Sometimes, they’re also a favorite chew toy.

#3. My Brest Friend nursing pillow – Love love this thing for early breastfeeding when there are never enough hands; you can buy new or borrow one and wash the cover. A Boppy is also pretty good and has a second life helping your baby with sitting and tummy time.

#4. Baby monitor – The trend today is video and there are too many models for me to steer you one way or the other. Audio-only is also fine. We like to see lights on the parent unit that show you a baby’s distress as well as broadcast it and a small and battery-operated so you can take it with you.

#5. Mobile for crib – One that moves and is interesting from the bottom (baby’s view); used for about 5 months but it could be the difference between showering and not. If you’re feeling crafty, here’s how to make one that’s personalized.

5 OTHER ESSENTIALS

Here are things to have on hand, so you’re not running out to the store for the first couple weeks when you should be resting and bonding.

Health & Hygiene

#1. Nail clippers – The tiny nails of a newborn have to be trimmed more than once a week and it’s hard to guide those clippers. I recommend buying sharp nail scissors as well. Holden wore teeny mittens for the first 3 weeks of his life because we gave up on trimming the nails.
#2. Digital thermometer – you will likely be obsessed with how warm or cold your newborn is. If you tend to be a keep-track-of-everything type mom, you may write it all down or even graph it.
Washcloths – I don’t think there’s anything special about baby washcloths.
#3. Burp cloths – A pack of cloth diapers will do, but better are the ones that are found in the car washing section of a store like Target. You’ll want a stack in every room for the first 6 months.
#4. Baby Tylenol, Baby Orajel, Baby Mylicon, Gripe Water
#5. Baby shampoo and bodywash

Don’t Forget the Diapers!

#1. Newborn diapers – just one pack in case your baby is huge and outgrows ’em right away!
Size one diapers – a big jumbo case cuz you’ll need ‘em eventually.
#2. Diaper wipes – uber gentle for newborn skin… for the first month, I actually rinsed them of all chemicals before using. Whitney had on her list a Thermos for keeping water next to the changing table because she planned to use paper towels and water as instructed by the crunchy Berkeley hospital, but ended up being too lazy.
#3.Diaper bag sized container of wipes – to refill with wipes
#4. Diaper creams
#5. Purrell

Feeding the Baby

#1. Formula – Though this tip is controversial, we believe that even if you plan to nurse, you ought have some of this on hand in case of earthquake, fire, or other emergency.
#2. Formula dispenser – this handy item is for feeding on the go; this BPA-free one by Avent doubles as a snack dispenser for big babies.
#3. Bottle brush
#4. BornFree bottles – 2 sizes (4 oz and 8 oz) with nipples in sizes 1, 2, 3 and some soft sippy cup lids.
#5. Bottle drying rack

4 Things to Consider When Moving Overseas

moving_overseasMy journey overseas began exactly two years ago for me and my family. Living overseas in a brand new country is one of the few life experiences that changes you completely. You are never going to be the same person you were back at home. So much of what we do is taken for granted, and living overseas changes your perspective on life and how you live it – mainly because you start paying close attention to what would normally seem like mundane moments and strangers. Here are four things to consider if you and your family are considering moving overseas.

#1. FOMO. Suffering from fear of missing out.
As depressed as it sounds, FOMO is a real thing, especially with Facebook and Instagram. I mean, you are reminded how you are missing out on your family and friends lives and vice versa. You will want to be there for important moments like weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, and even funerals, but you can’t. Some of your friends will get annoyed with your absence, but it’s beyond your control because you’re on the other side of the world. The distance makes you appreciate your friends and family sooo much more. I’ve learned that if there’s anything in the world that brings family and friends closer, it’s distance – that’s also the true test of relationships.

#2. You become more aware.
Being transplanted to unknown places definitely heighten your senses in every way. As a result, you just become more aware of your surroundings – the people, the places and what is happening in your area. This starts to play out in your everyday life and in work. Awareness and attention to detail is never a bad thing. 😉 It is also true that you gain a better understanding on how the world looks at America. It is crazy how eye-opening some of U.S. weaknesses or challenges seem amplified when you live overseas. Maybe it is because the local people ask you a lot about why things happen in America, or they may ask you if you have the same view, as let’s say the president or people on the international news.

#3. You start to find yourself.
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s so true. You are never going to spend as much time alone as you do when living overseas. I am thankful that I can say with Romans 8:28 that God uses all things for the good of those who love him, even my times alone, actually because of these times alone, it has reminded me of my deepest spiritual need, who is Jesus Christ. You have to get over the stigma of doing things alone, like navigating an unknown territory with people not understanding you. You are going to face the most difficult times of your life, but you also come out stronger and develop an incredible sense of self identity and renewed purpose in life.

#4. I always knew I wanted to live overseas.
Whether it was through study abroad or employment, I just wanted to live overseas. I mean, I found my husband overseas, so I was bound to live here with family, right?! I don’t regret it a single day. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. If you’re even thinking about living overseas, I’d encourage you to GO. Run. Don’t walk.

Did I miss anything? Have you lived overseas? Please share you advice and experiences below!