Hiii! Soooooo its been a really long time since I wrote a blog post so I will be writing a fair bit in todays post and rambling on about various different things no doubt! Just as a side note please excuse the lack of photos – my phone is doing that annoying thing again where its not downloading older photos because of lack of storage and I need to figure out/have time to sort it out. I have been a bit quiet on my blog lately because honestly after coming back from LA I was exhauuuusted. And continued to be exhausted for about a month. It was jetlag combined with Anoushka’s sleep regression and maybe just me also doing a bit too much and it all sort of built up and ended up with me feeling super tired and deflated. I have never really had that before. I don’t need a lot of sleep as a person and I don’t think I have ever felt really properly tired but now I definitely know what it feels like. Some days I just couldn’t function properly and at first I tried to fight it but then I accepted it and realised I just have to do less. I can be quite hard on myself, I hate reaching out for help, and I want to be able to do it all but sometimes thats just not possible. One day I just looked at myself and realised I have two babies under two, a busy job, a husband I love more than anything (and I am always planning date nights etc so that we can have a bit of time for ourselves), friends, family, day-to-day obligations such as food shopping and cooking and nursery drop offs. The list goes on. I feel incredibly fortunate with all these things but it certainly keeps me busy and I guess I only just realised that its OK not to be able to do everything at once. I needed to accept that its ok to give myself a break every once in a while. So I have been quiet on my blog because I was forced to take a step back. Girls are back to sleeping again though now and I feel like myself again which is AMAZING!
I truly love my blog and the fact that I was able to turn a passion and a bit of a hobby into a job is such a blessing. I am still learning how to balance raising my girls whilst putting effort into my blog – the girls will always come first but I guess over time there will be a better balance. Motherhood certainly is a juggle. And I think its also only recently hit me that the transition from one to two is HUGE. In the beginning when Anoushka was a newborn literally all she did was sleep. So it truly didn’t feel that different to having just one child. But now she is about to crawl, she is awake much more (although she is in a solid routine now) and add to that the fact that Mila in the absolute thick of terrible two’s (although she isn’t even two yet and I have heard troublesome threes are even worse lol!) its definitely more of a handful now. I love my Instagram community and my followers so much and something I decided very early on with my blog was that I would always reply to anyone who messaged me. I was reading what @thefrugality wrote about how she had to switch her messages off because as a person she just cant not reply to messages and it became a bit overwhelming for her after having her baby but thats the thing – I am the same. I can’t not reply – I just find it rude and actually having conversations with my followers and connecting with people is something I absolutely love about having a blog. I have made real friends via Instagram and I love that. So for me having a break was more about slowing down – taking time off blog posts because as much as I love writing them they take a loooooong time to write (Ive been writing this for about a week lol) and just posting less on Instagram. And also about realising just how much I do love my blog – sometimes you have to step away to see just how much you miss something if that makes sense.
I do also wonder about the future of blogs. My blog is something that I started before I started my Instagram account and it was really just a sort of diary for myself initially. A way of writing down thoughts about fashion or life. Sometimes I talk about personal things. Motherhood. Sometimes I purely talk about fashion. I don’t think my posts have that much structure – I sort of write exactly how I would speak to a friend. My Instagram is much more visual. Yes I touch upon motherhood but the accounts I love are ones such as @mrsalice – her photos are whimsical and an escape from the every day and thats what I go to Instagram for. I like to keep it lighthearted most of the time however on my blog I talk very openly about my experiences often in much more depth. I got a message from someone last month who asked why I never show the tough moments in my experience of motherhood but she had clearly never read my blog because I am open about the good and the bad. I don’t like to moan- I am not like that as a person plus I sort of feel it isn’t fair for my girls. And there aren’t really any negatives for me – I love motherhood beyond anything but it is the toughest job for sure.
Anyways more about motherhood another day. Now lets talk about LA. As I said I learned a lot about myself after our trip to LA. It might sound silly but I really did. Both my husband and I have always wanted to continue to travel, to go to restaurants, to do date nights even though we have children. Don’t get me wrong – we are all about doing things for the girls and that always comes first. On weekends we take Mila swimming and to soft play areas, the park, playdates, museums – anything we think could be fun for her. But I do think its important to do adult things too. What has always made things quite easy for us is the fact that our girls are in the same routine and they really stick to it. Even on holiday. They nap every day at the same time for 2 hours. My most asked question is how do I get them to nap together and honestly I don’t know I don’t have any magic spells haha but I do love routine. So for example when we went to Nobu Malibu one of my fav restaurants we can sit there for 2 hours enjoying our food and the scene and the views and then they wake up and we can enjoy them. However another thing I realised on this trip is that its OK to not to everything. We don’t need to cram in a breakfast lunch and dinner every single day. Because that combined with lots of things for the girls ends up being not so much of a holiday lol. I guess its all about finding balance. But as I said in my Instagram post even after our crazy flight home, I will always continue to travel. Even with the crazy parts. These are the memories that we will always remember.
So now for the specifics. First of all the flight. Our flight to LA was a daytime flight but it was actually totally fine. I always feel like the flight to a holiday is fine anyways – you are all excited to go on the trip. You have energy. You are chilled out. When Mila was born we had a no TV/Ipad/Iphone rule – I don’t actually know why we decided on that but we really stuck to it for a long time. I have ZERO judgement about anyone else’s choices, but that was ours. However people used to tell us we might cave when we have a second. And we did. Not by much – she doesn’t watch TV programs often. But when you are flying an 11 hour long haul flight, its quite easy to decide that you prefer an easy life! Sad but true. Because she hasn’t watched a lot of anything she was in heaven – Peppa Pig marathon! But I think if you have a toddler you also just have to accept that you WILL be walking up and down the plane a fair bit. Its just part of being a parent and no-one escapes this. Mila is a very active (pretty wild) 22 month old and she needs to be entertained. We took sticker books, snacks, games but there is only so long that Peppa and every toy in the world works until she wants to explore and so then you just have to go with it. Anoushka was only 4 months at the time of travel so super easy and happy to sit in my lap and feed and sleep. So my husband and I took it in turns with Mila and it actually went by pretty fast. She had her lunch time nap and then went to sleep at her normal UK bedtime a little before we landed. Once we got our luggage and car sorted we woke her up and tried to keep her awake for the rest of the evening local time so she would get over her jetlag, Being outside definitely helped. Our house was by the beach so we went straight outside. And amazingly on the way there both girls adapted within a day. I bought some cherry juice which many of you recommended which is a natural melatonin but ended up not using it because she didn’t need it. The flight back was less fun haha but I am so over it now and ready to face the next flight (we have 14 flights coming up in the next few months so better get used to it.)
Lots of you have asked me where we stayed. I always prefer a hotel over a house or apartment. Always. Still do. For me going on holiday is all about staying in a hotel and not having to think about anything. And I love the Beverly Hills Hotel so much I think its my favourite hotel in the world – not because its the most luxurious (I mean it is luxurious but in an old school way) but I just love the vibe. Its so iconic. So we stayed there for a bit at the end of our trip. I also prefer West Hollywood as an area to Malibu – its where we always stayed pre-kids and the restaurants are better in my opinion and I love the vibe. However when you have kids you have to be a) flexible and b) realistic and staying in a house is just an easier option with kids. You have more space for them to run around instead of being in a hotel room (or two if your children are older.) We also took our nanny with us for part of our trip. I always want to be honest and when we only had Mila we never took our nanny on holiday but with two children we wanted to actually feel a little bit like we are on holiday so we made the decision to take her along. Its tough though because both my husband and I are super hands on and want to spend all our time with the girls so in a way its almost pointless to take her but then its nice to have the option just in case we want to do something just us (think the only time we did was when we did a soul cycle class together and a few date night evenings although often we took the girls along to those too!) So we rented a home through air bnb – and I have to say I was so pleasantly surprised. We rented a villa last summer in Puglia but it was through this amazing company so I knew the homes would be fabulous but with air bnb I had heard mixed things and was a bit worried. The house was literally on the beach in Malibu and was perfect. We went onto the beach every morning first thing and it was quite secluded and quiet but close to lots of restaurants and amenities (when I say close I mean a close drive because in LA you always have to drive.) I think thats another thing I wasn’t quite used to. We don’t have a car in London and I take taxis everywhere if I am travelling a longer distance (otherwise I walk everywhere!)- its so easy to put the pram in the taxi and if the girls are sleeping I don’t need to worry about moving them but we had to constantly take them in and out of car seats and that sometimes disrupted their naps (although Mila sleeps through most things.) I know that for most people this is normal but in central London you just don’t need a car. After a week in Malibu we went to the Beverly Hills hotel for four nights and it just is the best – and they are super lovely with children. We got a cabana by the pool one day which I loved as you can have privacy but still be next to the pool – so if you are staying there I highly recommend. And thats it really. It was a fabulous holiday and LA is definitely kid friendly in my opinion – lots of playgrounds and its just so amazing to be outdoors all the time.
And now for what many of you have been asking for, here are all the restaurants and shops I love in LA! And below I have also done a summary of all the clothes I wore or things that are similar – click on the pics to buy. xx
Calamigos Ranch (food not great and its definitely quite quirky but was fun for Mila.)
Geoffreys (we really didn’t love this but I know many that do!)
Malibu Country Mart – has a starbucks and a bunch of restaurants including healthy places you can get acai bowls and quick snacks.
Restaurants at Shutters On The Beach – one of my favourite hotels and they have two restaurants: Coast and 1 Pico.
The Ivy in Santa Monica – cute but prefer the original on Robertson.
Cecconis – one of my all time favourites for lunch and dinner
Spago – another favourite
Zinque – love this place its super cute for dinner
Gracias Madre – trendy vegan restaurant
Restaurant at Beverly Hills hotel
Provo pizza – amazing cheap eat pizza
Craigs – definitely worth a visit
Katsuya – used to be good but we didn’t go this time around so not 100% sure
Cut at the Beverly Wilshire
I have probably missed so many but thats a start! Restaurants are always changing but most of these have been my favs for many years. When it comes to shopping I don’t actually know any really secret spots in LA – I just always end up going to the same places. Melrose Place (has Zimmermann and other amazing stores), Robertson Boulevard (Intermix there is my fav!), Malibu Mart (also has Intermix as well as a bunch of other stores I love and its super cute to walk around,) The Grove (many highstreet stores) and Farmers Market next to it. Those are really my go-to places every single time and I stick to the things I know are good. As always if you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to write me! xx
Fav clothes from LA – click on links to buy.
Fav accessories from LA – click on links to buy.