I swear since becoming a mom my purse has been taken over by all things Joey! If you ever need an extra sock or a package of fruit snacks I’m your girl! For 2018 I vowed to myself I was going to take my purse back over. I recently came across Cuyana and was thrilled when I saw all of their amazing pieces to help me set this resolution in place.
As many of you know we have been doing a lot of traveling for the launch of my book Naptime With Joey. Well, with traveling so much came more and more of Joey’s stuff in my purse. I wanted to share with you the amazing pieces from Cuyana I got to help conquer the chaos of “the black hole”.
Travel Case Set– This was one of the most exciting pieces I have! When thinking about what was important to me when organizing my purse was all of the items I needed to store. I love the small case for items like my lip gloss, rollerball perfume and compact mirror. This has come in handy so many times (no more hunting for that small item). The larger bag as been vowed Joey’s bag. I have refused to have floating snacks in my bags from here on out. The Crumb Kings have spoken! It is perfect for a couple fruit snacks, an applesauce packet and a small toy to keep her busy.
Mini Jewelry Case– When we travel I don’t like to put my jewelry in my suitcase. In the past, I would throw everything in a Ziploc bag and toss it in my purse. If anyone has ever done this then you know exactly what happens. I would usually spend about 20 minutes untangling the mess I had created. This amazing case has solved this issue. I love the top strap to store all of my rings and earrings!
Oversized Carryall Tote– I have always been the girl that carries 2 purses. When I am out with Joey I toss my smaller bag into a tote. This bag fit the bill and the budget. I am secretly hoping I get the black one for Valentine’s Day (hint hint, Allen). On a serious note though, this bag is made so well. I am not one that is careful with my purses because the reality is I am usually more focused on Joey than I am if my purse is touching the ground. If you are a mom you have to take this bag for a test drive!
All in all, I cannot express my love for my Cuyana items more! The durability is top of the line and the fact that everything coordinates and matches makes me so happy. I cannot wait to add to my collection of their items. Here’s to a happy, healthy and hopefully organized 2018!
Have you guys finished your holiday gift shopping? Since so many of you have been asking what our current favorite things are, I thought I’d post them here to give you some gift ideas! Most of these items are favorite things of Joey who is currently almost 20 months old. I’ve also added a couple things for parents. 🙂
NAPTIME WITH JOEY BOOK:
I mean, c’mon. I have to throw this one in there because it’s kiiinda my book haha! No but actually I’ve been hearing they’ve been great gifts for expecting parents, grandparents, kids (they love the pictures and playing I-spy with them) and also for white elephant gift exchanges. You can buy them at most bookstores worldwide as well as through the links below:
OK, who wouldn’t want this? Joey LOVES music and singing so this was such a great thing to have especially when we went camping recently and she entertained everyone with Bruno Mars songs. Allen and I are big karaoke fans so it’s only natural that Joey inherited the same passion as well.
This toy was incredibly entertaining for Joey especially right after she turned one. We would take it everywhere (we still do!) on long car rides and airplane trips. These days, she been able to actually put the buckles together by color when she wasn’t able to do that. What I do from time to time is hide the toy for about a month and then bring it back so that it’s kinda like “new” to her again. I’ve watched her play with it in the car for about 20 minutes straight once! Trust me, if you’re looking for a “helpful” kid-friendly gift to give, GIVE THIS TOY.
UNCLE PAULS’ PLAYDESK: (for those who live in Southern California only)
I asked our dear friend who can build all kinds of amazing wooden structures to make us a play desk for Joey. This is what we came up with! There’s a magnetic board on it as well as a little cubby hole. The great thing about this is you can add whatever you want to it. Lately Joey loves to color with crayons so we just set up her paper and crayons on this desk so she could mark it up any way she wants. You can read my other blog post about how to order one by clicking here.
Joey loves watching me put on makeup and when she started reaching for my brushes and wanting to play with my makeup, I looked up pretend makeup toys and found this. I got it for our flight to San Francisco and it entertained her for a good 30 minutes! Some of my friends said that they bought it for their toddler for trips as well and that they it was the perfect entertainment for their kids too!
So many of you have asked about these flashcards that we’ve been going thru with Joey every day. We love them! What I love about these are the pictures are very simple and clear to identify. It says that it is from ages 1 and up but we started around 15 months because she was still chewing on everything. Mudpuppy who makes these cards also make other things like puzzles which Joey also loves to play with and also other types of cards.
I can’t say enough how much I love our Nugget Comfort. We have a play room for Joey where she likes to play with her toys, read books and lounge around and we had been looking for something just like this Nugget Comfort. It’s not only super comfortable to sit and lay on, you can move it around as it comes in four pieces. If you go to their website, you can see all the different ways you can set it up.
Joey is so interested in markers, crayons and pens but the bad thing about that is she obviously doesn’t know how to color in between lines and so it goes everywhere! She recently marked up our leather couch with a Sharpie! One of our dear fans gave us this at one of our book signings and Joey has been loving it. Best thing about it is, there is no ink involved. Only water! This was also something we brought with us on air plane rides and also when we go on playdates to someone’s house. The way it works is you fill the pen with water and you start coloring the pages and the drawings magically appear!
We have several of these now because we realized Joey can sit for a pretty long time by herself just putting these puzzles together. I couldn’t believe how quickly she learned how to put it together on her own without my help. It’s pretty amazing how kids absorb so much knowledge so quickly on their own. We love gifting this to our friends who have kids because it’s not messy or hard to clean up. I think it totally beats iPad sorting games!
This gift is obviously for the mamas and the papas. This is my go-to camera for all video related things. If you’ve seen the recent “Banana Talk” video on my Instagram, that was shot with this camera. I love that it auto-focuses and that it has a flip screen so that you can record in selfie-mode. This also has wi-fi tethering so that you can download the images and videos you shot right on your phone! This would make a great gift to someone who loves to take photos and videos all the time but don’t want to carry a big dSLR around all the time.
If you’ve been following my posts Instagram, you’ll know that I LOVE Easter Ahn’s jewelry line. I wear my custom Joey necklace, bracelet and earrings everyday. She also designed our wedding rings. I’m obviously a big fan of her work. Her pieces make the perfect gifts for your loved ones because they’re high quality real gold (comes in White, Yellow and Rose), they’ll last forever and you can personalize them with a name or initial(s)! Easter also does custom designs for all types of jewelry and can create gorgeous engagement/wedding rings.
So many of you have been asking about this custom workbench that I asked my good friend Paul to make for Jo. I’ve always wanted to make her a busy board but wanted something a little different to put in our kitchen/living area without it getting in the way of things. The workbench design was perfect for us to put right under our kitchen countertop that way I can keep an eye on her while in the kitchen! She loves playing with the magnets and also putting them back in the cubby hole. I’m planning on adding some more features including a rotary telephone (if I can find one!) and other things that might peak her interest like buckles and zippers. I didn’t want to add them all at once because her interests change every day. Excited to keep working on this!
Rainbow Wooden Magnets can be found here. I do have you warn you that they are not the strongest magnets so they have a tendency of sliding down on this particular magnet board.
So I have great news! I asked if Paul would take some orders for you guys and he said he would! I know many of you wanted to get one so just read below to see how you can order one from Paul. You would get this same bench but can choose what type of features you’d like. All three designs do not come with the door lock or the light switches in these photographs. The three design options are below.
Just the workbench in the grey stain. (No magnetic board or cubby) – $120 (+$20 Delivery Fee)
Workbench with the magnetic board (No cubby) in the grey stain. – $145 (+$20 Delivery Fee)
Workbench with the magnetic board and cubby and white knob in the grey stain – $165 (+$20 Delivery Fee)
To place an order, please email Paul at CPKDesigns2017@gmail.com. The turnaround will be 1-2 weeks after payment is received. There will be a delivery charge of $20. After the Venmo payment is received, Paul will coordinate a delivery time that will work with you!
Please provide the following when placing an order:
Location (City) *Must be in Los Angeles or Orange County California
Must be able to pay through Venmo. Bench will be made after payment is received.
Please provide which Workbench design you’d like (#1, #2. #3)
We are so overwhelmed at how amazing Joey’s first birthday party turned out. It wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for these amazing friends & vendors who generously contributed to this party out of just love for Joey. Wow, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts (and our bellies!).
A SPECIAL shoutout to Rekindle Creative Co. and Julia who runs the incredible team. They were were responsible for putting together every single detail including florals, decor, planning & coordinating. You ladies ROCK! Check out more of their work at rekindlecreative.com.
Another BIG UPSto Wayfare for hosting this party at their beautiful coworking space. This venue was just perfect! Thank you guys!
In Korean culture, the first birthday of a child is celebrated in a big way because long ago before medicine wasreadily accessible, many babies didn’t make it past their first year due to diseases. So when a baby turned one, it was a joyous occasion. The tradition stuck and so the first birthday (aka Doljanchi) is celebrated in this big way. There’s no way I can do this every year haha!
Doljabi is a Korean tradition where the birthday child is placed in front of various objects that represents a certain future with respect to career or lifestyle. Typically the items represent things like Doctor, Lawyer, Scholar, Entrepreneur, Judge, Athlete or Performing Artist. We decided to pick unique occupations that were sort of inside jokes to me and Allen. Obviously this game is just a tradition and isn’t what Joey will end up becoming but we decided to keep the tradition but change it up a bit to make it fun. We had a planet toy to represent Astronaut, an In-N-Out hat to represent the In-N-Out District Manager, grapes to represent Sommelier, dining utensils to represent Michelin Star Food Critic and an American flag to represent POTUS.
Any guesses on what she picked?
Guests were given raffle tickets to place into the bucket of their choice. Joey picked the winning ticket and the winner received my favorite tote bag made by my friend Eunie. You can buy it here. Scroll down to see which item Joey picked!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked in and saw this. The backdrop was designed by Rekindle Creative Co. and built by Outsource It. Outsource It can design, built and install incredible woodwork. Check out their Instagram for more of their work here.
The venue came with tables which we used so we just rented white folding chairs from Create-A-Party Rentals. We decided to buy the table linens because they ended up being cheaper than renting them. I love throwing parties so I figured why not just buy them? Here’s the link to where I bought them.
We had a kid station with a color-in-playhouse which we also had at our wedding. Julia included some Minted artwork on the wall and a baby ball pit by Scandiborn. She also created a photo booth wall with a beautiful cactus wallpaper by Anewall. Click here to see more gorgeous wallpaper.
Balloon installation was done by Wild Child Party. How awesome is that?? If it were me, I would be popping them every minute putting it together and then I would give up. Luckily there’s talented people like Wild Child Party who can do it so perfectly. Check out more of their balloon installations here.
Okay so can we talk about this incredible front table for a minute?
Desserts were made by Merely Sweets who also made my wedding cake. These cakes were the same as the one at my wedding which is the Merry Berry Cake, my FAVORITE at Merely Sweets. They make everything from cakes to french macarons to cupcakes and even cake pops. If you’re in the Brea area, check their brick & mortar out here. You have to try their banana pudding! Here’s some more delicious eye candy for you.
In lieu of gifts, we asked for gift donations to the children of Olive Crest, a foster care and adoption agency based in the West Coast area. They are dedicated to preventing child abuse, treating and educating at-risk children and preserving the family. They are able to continue their work through donations and so this was the least we could do to show our support. California has the highest number of children in the foster care system in this country. Everyone can help and support even if you can’t foster or adopt a child. To learn more about how you can help, visit OliveCrest.org.
Rekindle Design had these beautiful custom logo signs made for our vendors.
Every party needs a little caffeine don’t you think? Especially if you’re a parent! We had En Route Coffee Co. come with their beautiful mobile coffee cart to serve us gourmet coffee all day. To book them for your event, visit their website at enroutecoffeeco.com or their Instagram. Thank you Eric & Hanna!
PopdUp+ served their delicious and unique seasonal iced drinks: Strawberry Shiso, Hibiscus Agave, Thyme Orange and Gooseberry Marigold. It was such a hot day so it was such a treat to have PopdUp+ there. We first found out about them at the LA Smorgasburg and fell in love with their drinks. You can find them there every Sunday at 10:30 AM – 6:00 PM. Go check them out!
Amazing right?? Amaze Bowls came and served us their beautiful and delicious acai bowls as an alternative healthy dessert option. I couldn’t stop staring at how beautiful the coconut bowls were. If you’re looking for them to cater your event, visit their page here. You can also find them at the LA Smorgasburg every Sunday.
Of course, we had to have In-N-Out. We only eat it like every other week.
We had the most amazing balloon artist and face painter for the kids attending. I’ve never seen anyone make balloon art as well as David makes them! If you want to book them, contact David Laura at eliteentco123[at]gmail.com.
We want to say thank you so much to all of our friends and family who have loved on our family, especially this past year, during Joey’s first year. It’s been such a rollercoaster of a year and we’re so thankful that we have such a supportive community. It really does take a village! Thank you also to our amazing vendors who generously donated your services to make this party happen. We don’t know how to thank you enough.
What a year it’s been. We blinked and then Joey turned 1. Allen and I are so humbled and truly grateful to be first-time parents and we thank God for every moment we have with each other, especially with Joey. Our words can’t even express just how much we love Joey and we pray that with all the love that she’s received, Joey will grow to extend that love forward and be even more generous, kind and gracious than those who have been for her and our family.
If you’ve seen the videos of Joey on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll know that Joey is such a curious gal these days, getting her hands on anything she can grab! And while she loves to play with her traditional toys, I thought it would be fun to get creative with some materials we had around the house. She already loves to go in the kitchen and pull down my hanging kitchen towels so I decided to go with fabric for this sensory activity.
I brought out a bunch of leftover fabric I had from her costumes for her to touch and feel. There were different textures from rough denim to soft cotton and scratchy sequin. Watching her notice the different colors, materials, and patterns on each piece of fabric was really entertaining. It was great to see her grab at the fabric, practicing her fine motor skills and strengthening her itty bitty hands. It seemed Jo loved the shiny sequin the most. 🙂
I loved how simple this sensory activity was. I forget how exciting it can be for babies to feel different textures because it’s all so new to them! This will definitely be an exercise to keep continuing with Jo!
It’s been 10 months of diaper changing, nursing, dressing you, cleaning after you, and carrying you everywhere. Yes, you may depend on me for literally everything right now but it’s me that can’t imagine one day without you. I’m the one that can’t get through the day without first dancing with you in my arms and kissing you a thousand times over. I can’t imagine a day when you’re not grabbing my face, pulling my hair or letting me tickle you with my nose until you shriek with laughter. I HAVE to hold you tight, bury my face in your neck and smell you in. I absolutely NEED to hear your babbling and cooing because it’s the music that gets me going. I just CAN’T comfortably eat until I know you’ve finished your meal and watch you clap happily when you’re “all done”. I CRAVE my playtime with you because not only is it my only form of exercise these days but watching you discover new shapes, colors and textures is better than any other kind of entertainment there is. I go to bed every night missing you and reliving all of our new memories we’ve made together that day and I get wake up in the morning excited knowing we get to do it all over again. I’m not sure when I’ll start getting used to you and when all these tiny moments will start to fade but something tells me you will ALWAYS fascinate me, inspire me and challenge me in new ways. I know not everyone gets the chance to experience this and all I can do is remain humble and grateful to live each day with you. To soak in every second that I can get with you and to live every day with you like it’s my last. Thank you my juicy dumpling for the best 10 months of my life and for loving me back. | Joey’s ballpit by Scandiborn, photo by Sunny Kim.
THREE. Treehotels. I love love love unique places to stay when traveling. Just found this site that offers the COOLEST places to stay…IN TREES! There’s a bird’s nest and even a UFO treehotel. They’re all in Sweden so I don’t know if we’ll ever make it over there (I wish!) but wow, this is definitely going on the bucket list.
TWO.Substitute bus driver
Thomas Mitchell from northern Tennessee was filling in as a school bus driver one day and saw that one of the students he was supposed to pick up had difficulty getting out of her house in her wheelchair and onto the bus. So guess what he did. He built her a ramp even though he barely knew her. This warms my heart so much. We need more Thomas Mitchells in this world. So inspired to pay it forward. [Article found here.]
Now that Joey can sit up by herself (and pull herself up to stand!), we’ve been introducing her to some sensory play, inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori‘s methods of encouraging babies/children to use all senses to study, learn and better understand their environment. You might’ve noticed in some of my videos of me feeding Joey that she likes to touch the food she eats and also feed herself. It can get a little messy but it’s definitely worth seeing the smile on her face when she discovers a new texture or when she realizes she’s in control of some of the things around her.
Some of the benefits of sensory play are:
– Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
– Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
– This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
– Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
– This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry)
For this particular sensory activity, we introduced her to pasta. The goal was for Joey to understand what it is to feel something slimy, warm and squishy. It was so fun watching her squeeze the pasta with her hands and bring it up to her mouth to taste. Turns out Moseby also wanted to be part of the action.
Joey’s bow found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Blondesinbows
Next we’ll be introducing another sensory play which will include different fabric textures!
THREE. Parenthood the TV series. I marathoned this TV series while I was pregnant with Joey last year and this week Allen told me that he wanted to start watching it too…which means, we’re watching it together again! I absolutely LOVE this show. It’s been really great watching it again being a parent now. Allen and I are really getting a kick out of some of the parenting drama that’s been happening in the show so far. The show does such a good job at showing parenting for what it really is and also inspires me to be a sensitive understanding mother and supportive friend to OTHER parents. I highly recommend watching this show!
TWO.Love what this company is doing! Click HERE to read more.
I came across this article and it is so worth sharing! Qmarkets, a global software company, spend a significant budget on thanking their contacts every holiday season. This year, they decided to use that budget to partner with a charity called Renewable World to provide renewable energy to the people of Lake Victoria, Kenya. This story was a simple reminder to me that giving, in any form, makes a big difference!
Hi, I'm Laura Izumikawa. I'm a stay-at-home-working-mama to Joey and wife to the funniest guy I know. My photos of my napping daughter dressed up as pop culture icons became viral one day and now I blog about our lives because it turns out, people want to know more about us which is totally crazy to me! Thanks for visiting!
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