What Surviving Summer Break Really Looks Like

Three months ago I wrote my blog post, Realities of Working From Home with a Child.  Summer has come and gone, and it is time to send my little Evie girl back to school.  We had adventures all summer; hikes, vacations, staycations, movies, playdates, and lots of ice cream.  Last week, as she started her new life in Transitional Kindergarten, I gladly sent her off. Mama needs some alone time. As I’m sure a lot of mothers can attest to, sometimes you just need a break.  We had some great times this summer, but I have come to the realization that this year was much harder than last summer.  She’s older and wiser, super active and lost interest in taking a nap in the day.  It’s a tough job, and it’s only going to get harder. For the first time, I find myself feeling that I don’t want her to […]

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Backpack Camping in Point Reyes National Seashore

Last year I had told myself on my birthday that I was going to do the California “Lost Coast” Trail as a birthday challenge for myself.  My birthday was in October, and I am not that far from the next birthday now.  Life gets busy, I can start to loose a little focus,  and sometimes those goals get a little further during the course that time. The Lost Coast Trail is actually where the people in charge of building California’s famous Highway 1 actually decided not to build.  Where the Highway known for its beautiful cliffside and coastlines, decided… “meh… this area looks a little too rough for roads”.  Where you actually have to shuttle a couple hours, or have two cars so that you can get from the start and the end of the trail.  It’s a couple days long and can take you on some challenging terrain… and […]

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5 Reasons to Celebrate the National Park Centennial

Can you believe that the National Parks turned 100 this year?  How crazy amazing that we even have these places of such unspoiled America to enjoy?  So, I know what you are thinking… “oh boy, Jamie, another post about National Parks?”  My answer is YES!  Since it is officially National Parks Week in America, I need to share some major things about the parks that you may or may not know. Balancing at Yosemite National Park at 3 years old. Celebrate the National Park’s Birthday with FREE ENTRANCE! Evie’s hike to the waterfalls at Olympic National Park. August 25th-28th is actually FREE for anyone who wants to go.  There’s actually a couple of free days for the NPS throughout the year but this weekend is special for the 2016 Centennial.  The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession […]

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Inheriting Adventure: The Origins of Ever Winding Road

The very first memory of my life was picking flowers in an open field as a gift for family.  After discussing the details with my mom, I came to find out that the memory took place on my uncle’s land on a trip to the Philippines.  I was two and a half years old, but the memory was so clear to me. As an adult, I know childhood memories don’t normally go back so early.  A young mind usually does a memory dump around the age of four so most people don’t remember much before that.  Maybe it is because we were able to time stamp that memory to a short three week span in my life that was spent doing something out of the ordinary, or maybe it was because that snippet of my life made such an impression on me. My parents both had emigrated from the Philippines in the ’70s.  They created a family of […]

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My First Timers Guide to San Francisco

Ever since moving to the Bay Area 8 years ago, I’ve had my share of visitors who have come in for a day to a couple weeks.  Every now and then, I meet someone who’s never been to San Francisco and just want a quick day or weekend to see the tourist-typical spots here.  I’ve passed along this information so many times, I thought I should share it on the blog. QUICK TIPS FOR DOING THE TOURIST THING AROUND SF   The Golden Gate Bridge can be covered in fog at certain times of the day, I think it’s mostly mornings and later at night, so check the forecast if you wanted to go out and see it. Seeing it from the Welcome Center is nice, but if you want to avoid weekend tourists, you can also get a good view from Chrissy Field too.   Alcatraz books up fast and […]

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Dogs Need Love Too: Toaster Time

With all the summertime adventuring, I wanted to also give a special day for Evie’s older sibling, Toaster.   He’s our “special” child who sometimes doesn’t get the spotlight so every now and then we try to plan some time just for him. I’ve always been a dog person, partially because I am so allergic to cats, but also because they are such loyal and lovable pets.  My first childhood dog was kept in a cage in the basement and played with us outside in the yard, but was never allowed to freely roam the house or be completely integrated into our lives.  Super sad, I know.  I knew when we adopted him that we wanted to try to take Toaster with us everywhere, but sometimes he’s not allowed or it becomes a cost issue. Traveling with a dog has become easier with airlines, but some of them do not […]

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Raising Kids to be Socially Conscious

Evie was about 1 year and 9 months when she first saw Black Lives Matter run through downtown Seattle on Black Friday. She was with us in a hotel lobby when we first saw news of the Baton Rouge shooting at 4 years old. It all seems like a little much for a little person to understand, but can you get in front of it all for them?  How can I as a parent keep open lines of communication for her to ask me about it without giving her more than what her little mind can take? There are many reasons that my husband and I support the Black Lives Matter movement.  This is NOT saying we don’t care about ‘All Lives…’ or even ‘Blue Lives…’, but that we understand there is a systemic injustice in the world and right now that has been around for a long time and it’s […]

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Hiking and Hot Springs in Olympic National Park

Now looking back to blog about it, it seems like we were out in Washington for waaaay longer than we actually were.  From family time at my cousin’s wedding to camping in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park, maybe I was a little too much from the kids to do a couple more days with me in Olympic National Park. I mean, I really wanted to take advantage of being out there with so many beautiful parks, but I could already tell it was starting to wear on the kids.  (Which in turn, starts wearing down all the adults too, so I guess the joke is on me). From Mount Rainier, we packed back into the car and drove about 4 hours to another gorgeous park in Washington.  Olympic is actually pretty special when it comes to the National Parks as it has a very diverse ecology.  From coastline to […]

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Disconnecting the Kiddos and Getting Back to Nature

After a whirlwind couple days of lots of family time for my cousin Sheena’s wedding, we were so excited to disconnect for a bit and enjoy some of National Parks in this beautiful state.  Washington has about 15 National Parks to enjoy; from biodiverse parks to Native American significance, to even a historic atom bomb park. TIP! For those who have so many options available to them, I would highly recommend purchasing a National Parks Annual Pass.  The pass itself costs $80, and this gives you unlimited park access (which some parks can charge up to $30 for this), one car entering (this can be anything up to $20 per vehicle), covers 4 people (for those parks that charge per person), and can even discount camping costs at some parks. Some parks are free, so I would consider where you are and where you plan to go before purchasing.  We […]

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Who Doesn’t Love a Good Family Out-of-State Wedding?

What’s not to love about out-of-state family weddings.  Especially if you have a large family as I do.  Of course, I miss them and I jump at most opportunities to see all of them, but weddings are on a different level for us. My family on my dad’s side has pretty large clusters of relatives all over.  Chicago, Toronto, and southern California are some of the larger clans and I have early memories of traveling to these cities for different weddings throughout my life. My cousin, Sheena (on my dad’s side), moved to Seattle a couple years ago and I was so excited because it just happens to be where my mom’s family lives, and she doesn’t have much family stateside.  Evie’s first time to this beautiful city was when she was about 2.5  years old, and she was excited to go back. It seems like forever since I’ve had some quality […]

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