Kids, Shopping

Our “Baby” and Books. 5! Really? Already?!

Our Bubble Belly “Baby” is Turning 5?!  I can’t even believe this is coming. I know, I know. You hear moms say this all the time, while crying, “Where has the time gone?” Right? Kids grow so fast! You hear it all the time but when it is your own, yes, you really do tear up just thinking about it.

So my littlest is going to turn 5 next month. She is the funniest little 4 year old and such a “boss”, seriously the best little coworker/sidekick and I can’t even bear thinking about her turning 5 and moving onto her first year of school. I mean really, 5 is a BIG DEAL! It’s the beginning of an entirely new “era” in toddler life…and really, they are no longer considered true “toddlers” anymore when they hit this age. They are like actual little humans (ha, ha) and getting to the “big kid” stage. No more “T” at the end of their clothing sizes too, to further cement the fact that they are growing!

They are no longer just ours. They will soon belong to “The System”. Mamas, know what I mean? Of course if you are planning on home schooling, this step may feel a little different but if you do plan on sending your little “into The System”, this certainly can be a very difficult milestone for your little and likely more for you.

Although it is great and huge and for some mamas, perhaps it is something you have looked forward to because after all, I know there are times where the days can seem painfully LONG when you are living life with a toddler and perhaps multiples but I always remind myself every single day that it is so true that “the days are long but the years are short”.   kids-personalized-books-childrens-books-gifts

These precious years when it is just you and them and when their world revolves around just YOU seem to slip through your fingertips so fast, no matter how hard you try to hold on.

Anyway, I’ll keep this short for now as I know I will be here “crying” to you all again in a few weeks when her actual birth-day arrives. I truly will miss every single moment of my days with my Little. She is so EASY and fun and so full of energy. So full of love.

I love waking up to her and having her “rule” my days. I enjoy having to figure out how I can get things done at home and at the shop everyday with a little one demanding all my time.

She had already declared that she “is never going to school! School is boring! Mama school is way more fun!” even though she has never gone to school and I was lucky enough to be able to keep here with me at our little shop since she was born. She literally grew up in our little shop, rolling over for the first time, crawling, climbing, walking/running, galloping (she loves to pretend she’s a horse). She declared she will NEVER go to school when she heard she would have to be registered for school last year and reminds me every time the topic of school comes up.

However, just this week, a month before she turns 5, she walked around the shop and started to collect things that she thinks she will “need” when she starts Kindergarten. She said, “Mom, I am going to shop for all the things I need for school so you won’t have to worry!” Oh, my heart!!! I want to cry just thinking about it. First I was worried about how it might be traumatic on her first day if she was going to continue to not want to go. Now only a month from her turning 5, out of nowhere, she has started to prepare herself for school!

It’s like an emotional roller coaster. I am a little relieved but at the same time my heart is breaking just a little bit with each passing day, knowing she will soon not spend all her days as my little side kick here at the shop.

Her independence is already showing more and more and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for her new adventures but at the same time wanting to hold on to every single moment and slow time down now. I know the next few months will fly by and the new school year will begin all too soon.

With that said, the one thing that (I’m happy) won’t change is our bedtime routine. I am going to cherish our nightly routine as our days will certainly be forever changed once she is in school.

She still loves her story times and our bedtime reading. So although we don’t carry these lovely personalized books in our store, I wanted to share these with you all. There is a discount of 25% off today and tomorrow and FREE SHIPPING for purchases of $60 or more so check it out soon! There are so many choices and titles from which to choose. I’m definitely going to take advantage of this awesome deal!

My sister had purchased one of these for my middle child when she was just a tot. Both girls just LOVE the book so much and I remember how magical it was when we read it for the first time and they noticed that the book was personalized. It made the story THAT much more magical. We must have read this particular book with her big sister’s name a thousand times.

So to make our night time story routines extra special for my littlest, I am ordering FIVE personalized books specifically for her, for her 5th birthday. She is going to love having the books with her name and seeing how they come to life and are personalized for her!

This will be one of her favorite birthday presents, I already know it. I know out of all the things she will open, this personalized book will be one she will cherish and love, just like her big sister. We love books anyway and they always make great gifts. You can check them out here and see the magic that a personalized book can bring to your little ones life too!

Hope you enjoy it! If you do decide to purchase one, I would love to hear which one you get and how you like them! If you’re local, we hope to see you in the shop soon!

Cheers to milestones!


Fun, Uncategorized

Putting Your Best Face Forward

Always put your best face forward…

…well, maybe instead of forward, put it side ways?  Our Karl Johnson Silhouette event was another BIG hit!  Karl was amazing, as always, with his talent for cutting out silhouettes in the likeness of you and your little ones in under 5 minutes was amazing to watch.  Live.  One of a kind pieces of art that will be cherished for many, many years to come for all!

We love seeing all the cute little faces during these events at our store!  It’s always a joy!

Thank you so much for coming out again, Karl!  It was a pleasure to be your host again.  I’m pretty sure everyone had a blast and now have great new art to adorn their walls with as well as great gifts in-hand!

Check out our FB page for photos and a video of from the event!

LIKE our page and/or sign up for our mailing list to be notified of our next event.  YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT ON ALL THE FUN!

Sign up for our mailing list .  Get PERKS and exclusive promotions, giveaways, discounts, and of course, priority notifications of all our fun events!

Food, Uncategorized

Avocado Toast: Worth the Hype?

So even if you’re not on social media “that much”, do not watch t.v. and don’t get out often (i.e. someone like me), you’ve undoubtedly heard or perhaps seen some buzz or numerous avocado toast pictures plastered all over, seemingly all of a sudden, as you quickly scroll through your SM pages or maybe even your email (avocado adverts popping up on the side bar), etc.

What is this “new” avocado toast craze that everyone is all excited about. So why all of a sudden and why is this considered “new” and is it really THAT good?!

Umm, YES! Well, and NO! Okay, so YES it’s really THAT good and NO, it’s not really new. I mean, I feel like I’ve been eating smashed avocado on toast since I was a baby so really, I don’t know why all of a sudden it’s been splashed all over the place like it’s something new but regardless, if you have been holed up somewhere and still have NOT tried it or don’t really know what it is, you definitely need to try it (that is, if you don’t gag at the site of mushed up avocados! I know some people who can’t stand the look and don’t care for the texture nor the taste). If you don’t have an aversion to avos and aren’t allergic, and would like a quick, easy to prepare, relatively low cost, and quick and healthy meal with only a few simple ingredients, give this a try.

Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner here is a very easy (as in no one can mess this up) and very basic recipe to start with. Then you can “graduate” to more ingredients and more complex versions and experiment with toppings (like over medium egg, turkey, smoked salmon, red onions and scallions & pine nuts just to name a few of our favorites).

Ingredients listed below are for about 6 servings (number of avocados will vary depending on how much avo each person likes on their toast):

QTY (3) Large Ripe Avocados

About 6-8 Cherry Tomatoes per person (halved)

Sliced Whole Grain Wheat Bread (Toasted)

Sea Salt (or Himalayan Pink is the best if you have it on hand)

Fresh Ground Pepper

Garlic Powder (optional)

Lime/Lemon (optional)

To prepare, cut open the avocados, remove seed and scoop out just enough for each slice of toast and mash it right up as you are spreading it onto each piece of toast. I do this to limit the amount of things to wash later vs scooping everything out and mashing everything together in a bowl. Or you can just use the avocado shell as a mini bowl and just do your mashing there.

Once the avocado is spread over the toast, sprinkle sea salt and fresh cracked pepper lightly over to taste. Add garlic powder and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime if desired.

Lastly press halved cherry tomatoes into the avocado and voila! It’s ready to consume. No other ingredients are needed. Some recipes call for extra oil and butter to mix into the mashed avo or butter for the bread but why add those extra unhealthy fats when you’ve already got enough good fats in the avocado itself? It certainly does not need it. If you have larger tomatoes instead of small Cherry tomatoes, just either dice them up or slice and place full rounds on top! Typically eaten open faced but you can add another piece of toast on top like a sandwich.

I literally made this in 5 minutes and it was gobbled up in about equal the amount of time and really, then the family was off and getting ready for bed 5 minutes after that!

I got super busy today so we had a late night and I really didn’t have time, nor the desire to make a full blown meal. It’s a school night for the girls so staying up much later waiting for dinner to be ready was not an option and I didn’t want to send everyone to bed with a heavy meal so close to bedtime (and that’s usually the case with take-out or delivery).

This just worked out as we already had all the ingredients and the best part was I didn’t need to break out any pots and pans nor worry about a sink full of dirty dishes afterwards.

It’s just an easy way to eat healthy and feel completely fulfilled and full without putting yourself into an unhealthy food coma, especially when you’re feeling hungry but don’t have the time nor want to feel like you’re going to go lie down with a brick in your belly if it’s going to be a late dinner.

For those with kids who like to help, this is easy to prepare and relatively low mess; in one of the most basic forms, which is the recipe I’ve listed here, it only consists of 5 ingredients and it can be made and gobbled up in about 5 minutes and with no real dishes to wash! If only dinner could be this quick and easy every night! I know, not all kids like avocado (or tomatoes) but it’s worth a try, especially when avocado toasts takes very minimal effort to prepare and often when kids get to help prepare it, they are more likely to eat it than if it was just made for them. You can even cut the toast into fun shapes or cut it into strips or bite sized squares. Make faces on the toast with the avocados and tomatoes to help encourage little ones to take a bite.

Don’t forget, this same basic recipe makes for a great light breakfast and something very easy to take for lunch as well!

Here are some great facts and benefits to help motivate you to give it a go:

  • Low cost meal when made at home, that is both fast AND healthy
  • Avocados are basically available year round
  • Avocados are higher in Potassium than bananas. Potassium is something that is difficult for most people to get enough of in their regular diets.
  • Avocados are high in healthy fats
  • Avocados are high in carbs but most of that is fiber which is great to keep our bodies functioning the way it should! 😉
  • Eating avocados with other low fat plant foods can help in the absorption of antioxidants so it’s important to mix in a healthy fat when consuming foods high in antioxidents. People on low fat, plant based diets need a healthy fat in order to help their bodies make the most of the foods they eat
  • Adding avocados to a diet has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and lessen the symptoms of arthritis, amongst other health benefits

There are so many other benefits and I’m definitely not an expert nor a nutritionist so definitely check with your doctor or health professional for all the facts, recommendations for your particular health situation, and scientific data but all in all, avocados to me, are one of nature’s most perfect and incredible creations. It’s packed with so many nutrients, readily available (lucky for us here in CA too), it can be used in so many things from desserts to drinks, and is a healthy and tasty food to work into your family’s diet.

So if you haven’t tried avocado toast (or maybe you haven’t made it yet at home), give this very simple and healthy recipe a try and taste for yourself why there’s all the hype and seemingly newfound craze around Avocado Toast and let us know how you liked it plus what you liked best!

Comment, Like, Share! We’d appreciate it! For more fun, healthy, and kid-friendly foods and recipes, subscribe and follow us here, on FB and on Insta! For now, happy nom nom nom-ing!


The Bubble Belly Fam

Food, Uncategorized

Local Eats for Hungry Bubble Bellies

So we were busy working away last night and our friends from Prepped Kitchen came in close to closing time with a special delivery for us!  Say what?!  We were just about to wrap up another fun day at the shop and head home for dinner when we received an amazing delivery of some of the most delicious looking pre-prepped food!

When we say “pre-prepped”, we don’t mean old, icky, prepackaged commercially processed stuff that you remember seeing in the frozen section of your grocery store that you pop in the microwave.  We mean some pretty awesome culinary masterpieces, just placed lovingly and presented so beautifully in ready to “grab and go” boxes.  Convenient breakfast, lunch, & dinner to-go boxes that you want to just rip open the lids and dive right in and inhale everything without chewing.  Ha, ha!



Everything looked so good that even my Littles wanted to open everything up right here in the store but we were good and took everything home with us to try.  Here’s what was delivered to us:

  1. Bacon & Egg Standard with Cheese
  2. Grilled Steak & Goat Cheese Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
  3. Grilled Terriyaki Chicken over Rice

One important thing to know about this wonderful service is they only use healthy ingredients and the best locally sourced, organic, non-GMO ingredients in every dish!  It is a small husband and wife business and they are classically trained in culinary arts so their standards are high, which is GREAT for you and me!

This is such a wonderful way to get healthy and delicious food that is also sophisticated and makes you feel great on days you do not want to cook or have to pack all the kids into the car to try and get a decent meal at a restaurant.  Besides, we all know how difficult it can be to enjoy an evening out, let alone at a fine restaurant when you have little ones.  They usually can’t sit still for very long so enjoying a fine meal is usually out of the question, if you can even make it to ordering and waiting for the food to arrive.

So from what they’ve told us, Prepped Kitchen is moving from their current downtown Suisun City location to Vacaville, CA (We LOVE Old Town/Suisun City Waterfront District, by the way.  It’s the hidden gem of Solano County).  Prepped Kitchen will be delivering to Davis, CA (and the surrounding areas).  So definitely look into their services.  We know the sophisticated and awesome families we serve here at Bubble Belly will benefit from this amazing service.

Good luck on your expansion, Prepped Kitchen!

Have you used their service or tried any of their culinary creations?  Let us know by commenting below.   We would love to hear what you think!



The very first post from Bubble Belly Shop Lifestyle Blog
Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Journey Begins

blogging-office-workspace-2018Thanks for joining us on this journey!  After years of writing and also being in the children’s retail business and of course having 3 little ones of our own, we’ve done some pretty amazing things, gone on some fantastic journeys, made a TON of arts and crafts and DIY projects, gone through the ups and downs and ‘WAY UPS’ again of parenthood from feeding to sleeping (or lack there of), and of course shopping.  Trying to find things that are wonderful, whimsical, and special while trying to keep some semblance of a budget in mind as our family grew, we know these years can seem hectic and often times insane but these years are also short.  So it is our goal and passion to make everyday magical and special.  We want more.  We want unique.  We want fun.  None of the “same old, same old” and always, as much as we can, steering away from Big Boxes, unless it’s a big cardboard box in which we can cut out and paint and turn into a house or a train or a cave or stable or…101 things you and your kids can do or make with a cardboard box.

We’ve posted and shared everything from our fun kid-friendly crafts and adventures to awesome fashion for kids (naturally as our little shop in Downtown Davis, CA and our online store has been a complete labor of love for us for over 5 years now, almost a decade if you count when we first started the concept and design in 2008).

On our parenthood journey, we have always searched for and shared ways to get little ones to eat their veggies, eat more healthy as a family and also things to do to keep the little ones busy from day to busy-crazy-hectic day while all of us are learning and trying to stay sane.

We’ve shared these great tips, lifestyle and inspiration via our social media pages both public and personal and many have asked us, urged us and questioned why we still did not have a blog in order to share this with the rest of the world.  With much thought and initial hesitation, mainly due to the limited amount of “hours in the day”, as most of our friends, family, and fellow busy mamas can relate, we finally decided to give this blog thing a go.  And when we say “we”, “we” mean “I”.  Who knows when and if the Bubble Belly Hubs will hop on and share some thoughts too.  He’s not a man of many words…no pun intended but it was fitting…

Anyway, who knows if anyone will see or read this first post but at the very least, as this blog grows it will be a great way for “us”, as in “me”, to jot things down, post and share ideas and random thoughts, tips etc.  With that said, it also forced us to get our dedicated office space together and cleaned up a bit.  Since we moved into our new, old (very old) century fixer upper over a year ago, we have been way too busy to do much and have been slowly chipping away when we have the time and energy to fix up, remodel, clean this old house.  The office, well, had been just a big storage room with unopened and still unpacked boxes from our move of office and work/business items.  We used it as the office the entire year for our business but it definitely was not “IG picture” worthy.  Ha, ha.  With a retail brick and mortar business, online shop, and 3 very busy little ones (and an active PoPo (grandmother in Chinese), it often seems impossible to get a minute to actually sit down to do anything, let alone any “quiet” time to write.  So this is a good start.

It’s always nice to have a bright, clean, clear space to get our thoughts together.  The picture attached here is of our office in our century home.  It’s definitely a major work in progress but just some fresh paint, a new office desk (which is actually an old refurbished painted dining table), new curtains and some great reflective pieces on the wall (an ensemble of mirrors and candle sconce decoration), the space is ready for us to sit and do some tapping along the keyboard on some/many future late nights.  We’ve added the image here as it gives you a sense of our style and aesthetic; It’s a bit old world charm with some modern touches, like the red velvet upholstery on the office chair contrasted by some sparkly gold and silver of the mirrors and neutral grays on the wall, desk, and flooring.  We are eclectic but love “clean” and simple yet not overly “minimalist”.  We love spaces that are cozy and bright, places and fabrics that make you want to settle in and stay a while.  Old world charm with modern conveniences…like our Google Home.  It’s like a mini personal assistant.  As mentioned above, life gets pretty crazy and busy.  Having this little home “personal assistant” is a simple luxury.  It’s pretty awesome.  We would recommend getting one if you don’t already have one.

Now with this office and the start of our blog…as with all things in life, things gets busy and things will never get done if we keep making excuses or think it is “impossible”.  Often times, all it takes is just a small step and the “just do it” attitude.  Like today, we literally just signed up for our new blog account…as-in less than an hour ago.  There will be a bit of a learning curve but there is no turning back now!  So here we go!  Come along for the ride and enjoy this journey with us!

At some point we will upload and include a picture of our Bubble Belly family, just so those who are following along from around the world know who we are but for now, there will be no picture to share just yet.  The “New Years Annual Family Photo” that we intended to take and “thought” about months and months ago…well, let’s just say we’re “working on it”…

So what do you think of the new office space?  Also, how about that Google Home?  Do you have one?  Let us know what you think by commenting below!  If you enjoy and find value in what we share, please like, comment, share, and follow.  It would mean the world to us and of course, hold us accountable to keep putting the work in and let us know that we aren’t just sharing with crickets…xoxo

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton