Songkran, the Thai new year, is a legendary multi-day water festival that happens all over Thailand.  And lucky for us, the Thai new year afforded the hubby a few days off from work.  We decided to book a last minute Songkran holiday in Phuket.  Last time we were in Phuket we stayed at the Le Meridien.  It was a fabulous hotel, but we wanted to try a new place this time around.

The JW Marriott Resort & Spa had been recommended by a few friends so we decided to give it a whirl.  And, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The room we booked was spacious with plenty of room for a pack-n-play (not pictured – to the right of the king size bed) as well as space for Jellybean to play.

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Our days at the resort went a little like this …

We found it was better to go to the beach in the morning when the trees provided some shade and cover from the sun.  The tree swing was a welcome little perk and provided more toddler entertainment than I thought it would.  The beach was beautiful, picturesque and fairly quiet.

Private Beach at the JW Marriott in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

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When we were all beached out, we would head to the pool for a dip. I wish I had taken more pictures of the fabulous pool, however this one of JB really encompasses the pure and uninhibited fun our toddler had.  Another thing not pictured is the indoor kid area.  It was a great way to escape the heat, while also allowing JB some playtime.  She kept asking to go back to the kid zone … the hubby and I preferred the beach and pool!

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Hanging out at the pool was usually followed by lunch and Jellybean’s nap.  Having lunch pool side was fantastic.  Highly recommend the pizza, it was delicious!

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After Jellybean’s nap we usually went back to the pool and then grabbed dinner at one of the hotel restaurants.  There weren’t a lot of restaurant options within walking distance of the hotel, which was a bit disappointing.

The hubby got me a selfie stick for my birthday, which came in handy to get this fantastic family photo!  Yes, a selfie stick … ‘When in Rome’ (or, Asia in this case) and all that.

Family vacation JW Marriott Phuket, Thailand during Songkran | Life's Tidbits

Sunset View from the JW Marriott in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

It was a fabulous Songkran holiday!  The JW Marriott got a big thumbs up!  It was very toddler friendly, had a fabulous pool and an amazing beach.  My only complaint with the resort would be the food is just okay especially with a higher price point for food and drinks.

I would like to say ‘until next time, Phuket,’ but I don’t think we will be making it back to Phuket before moving back to the US of A.  Thailand has so many other amazing places we have yet to explore!

Signiture_Nicole

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Becoming a parent is totally life altering.  My pregnancy was spent reading, mentally preparing and buying things all in anticipation for the baby.  After 41 weeks of pregnancy, labor and delivery, my daughter was placed in my arms.  My heart melted and I was completely in love.

I now realize no amount of preparation could have ever prepared me for how much I would (& do) love my child.  There are, of course, the not-so-glamorous parts of motherhood that preparation plays no part in … like getting pooped on!  Believe me parents-to-be, you WILL be popped on.  =)

As we made the adjustment to life with a baby at home, navigating the waters of parenthood and attempting to get as much sleep as possible made the time passed QUICKLY.  Before I knew it the newborn stage was behind us.

Looking back through non-sleep deprived eyes, it’s easy to identify things I should have done (before and) after my baby arrived.

5 Things I should have done after baby arrived | Life's Tidbits

 

1.  Asked for and/or Accepted Help

There is a reason they say ‘it takes a village’.  While we might like to think we are super woman, hear me roar and all that … the truth is you now have a baby and simple things, like finding time to shower, become a little bit more difficult.

Family and friends want to help out after a new baby arrives, but asking for or accepting their help may be difficult.  I found myself not wanting to put people out by asking for help.  What I failed to see was that I wouldn’t be putting them out, and people are very happy to help!

If someone offers to help, ask them to bring over a meal, pick up a cup of your favorite coffee (coffee is an essential food group when sleep is so limited!), hold the baby while your shower, help you tidy up or just come over and keep you company for it little while.  Believe me, you will be glad you did!

2.  Nursed in Public

I know, this is controversial (for some) and people tend to lean one way or the other … there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground from what I’ve seen online.  In any event I was petrified to nurse in public and I’m not entirely sure why.  I’ve seen SO many moms nursing their babes and don’t think twice about it.  If I hadn’t been so petrified to breastfeeding in public then we probably would have gone out more (see #3).

3.  Gone Out More

Most of our trips out of the house were only for short periods of time.  In part this was due to having a winter baby and not wanting her to get sick at such a young age.  The other part was the fear of being in public.  What if she cried, pooped or wanted to eat (see #2).  The unknown variables were overwhelming to me and so we spent much of our time at home.

Little did I know the older and more mobile my daughter got the more difficult going out would be.  In retrospect, going out in public was not as daunting or difficult as I thought.  Though as luck would have it, be aware your baby will absolutely poop right as you are ready to leave … so be prepared – hehehe.

4.  Had Newborn Photos Taken

As I mentioned before despite all the research I did on newborn photographers, I never actually booked anyone prior to Jellybean’s birth.  After delivery newborn photos didn’t seem all that important.  I convinced myself all the pictures I was taking were enough, but the truth is they weren’t.  We have very few photos of the three of us during the newborn stage and had we done newborn photos there would have been plenty of cute shots of Jellybean and our little family of 3 (plus the fur baby makes 4)!

5.  Taken Time for Myself

I really struggled with the idea of being separated from Jellybean for the first several months.  Sometime after the 8 week mark my husband insisted I go get my nails done and spend sometime with a friend.  I somehow managed to tear myself away from Jellybean and headed to the nail salon.  After a little pampering and some girl talk I went home feeling rejuvenated!

So, what do you wish you had done after baby arrived?  Any lesson learns for those who are expecting?

Signiture_Nicole

It’s Friday!  I’m off to Krabi for the weekend with the family.  We are meeting my sister-from-another-mother and her husband there.  This is the longest I think we’ve ever gone without seeing each other (nearly 9 months) and I just can’t wait to see her face in person.  FaceTime is a fabulous thing, but the real deal is just that much better.

So for this week’s favorites we have, drum role please…

Despite my best of intentions I still haven’t finished my post on our trip to Chiang Rai.  We went to Chiang Rai in December … fail!  While working on the post this week I came across the photo below of The White Temple aka Wat Rong Khun.  This photo is absolutely one of my top 5 favorite photos I’ve taken since arriving in Thailand.

The White Temple in Chiang Rai Thailand | Life's Tidbits

About a month ago I went into Sephora to buy my go to under eye concealer. While browsing, a sales consultant informed me Benefit’s erase paste was much better than what I was using.  Though I was skeptical I allowed her to show me, and boy was I NOT disappointed.  Love this stuff!  Bye bye dark circles!

When I was in Koh Samui the other weekend my friend was rocking this sun hat.  I recently ordered it in pink, because Amazon doesn’t carry black anymore (pout!).  Either way she and I will now be twinsies next time we go to the beach together.

I don’t think I would do it, but could you give up TV for a month (or maybe more) and change your life?  And, while we are on the topic of television the husband and I have been devouring the latest season of ‘The Americans’. I’m super excited to see new episodes of ‘Casual’ are now available on Hulu.  What shows are you loving right now?

This article on give some useful advice about talking to your child about consent.  I really like how the author breaks it down by age group.

I’m guessing you’ve already seen this video on Facebook, but if not … United States of WOMEN!  Girl power, girl power!!! Enthusiastic fist pump (or insert emoji here)!

My favorite skinny jeans are currently on sale.  I’m pondering purchasing a new pair as the crotch in the ones I currently have are sure rip any time now.  My current pair of skinny jeans have lasted nearly 5 years!

Any favorites you might recommend?  Currently, I am on the hunt for a portable toilet seat (oh the joys of potty trainings!) as well as a superb homemade granola recipe.  And yes, I totally recognize how opposite ends of the spectrum those items are … all accredited to the mommy brain.

What are your favs this week?

Signiture_Nicole

When we first moved to Bangkok I was lucky to meet a few women who were willing to show me the ropes.  Originally I was looking for outdoor playgrounds, however the Bangkok heat quickly makes for a sweaty and overheating child.  It became apparent the more popular thing to do with toddlers in Bangkok is indoor play areas.

While there are other play areas in Bangkok, below are a few of our favorite places.  We rarely venture to play areas that aren’t BTS accessible as I’m always trying to avoid sitting in Bangkok traffic!

Indoor Play Areas for toddlers and children in Bangkok, Thailand. | Life's Tidbits

Molly Fantasy

Otherwise known as Kidzoona offers a mix of play options from play pretend (sushi bar, grocery store, pizza shop, etc.) to a playground amidst a sea of balls, a bouncy track and a large inflatable slide.  Not to mention, there separate area with a train table, blocks, magnetic toys, and more.  The entrance of Kidzoona is an arcade with Molly Fantasy and a merry go-round in the back.  The promise of riding the merry go-round is the only thing that will coax Jellybean out of the play area when it’s time to head home.

Location:  Ekkami BTS Station, Gateway Ekkamai Mall, 4th floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Molly Fantasy a great play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Molly Fantasy a great play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Imaginia

Imaginia subscribes to the learn through play concept.  It is home to a gigantic slide (that takes your picture on the way down!), a coloring/arts and crafts area, a wooden playground, a small library, and much much more.

Location:  Phrom Phrong BTS, Emporium Shopping Complex, 3rd floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Imaginia Playland at Emporium Mall in Bangkok Thailand. Great indoor play area for toddler and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Imaginia Playland at Emporium Mall in Bangkok Thailand. Great indoor play area for toddler and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Central World Indoor Play Area

Central World is so large one can easily get lost just trying to navigate through all the restaurants and shops.  The free indoor play ground has a variety of slides, a small rock climbing area, a seesaw and more.

Location:  Chit Lom BTS, Central World, 6th Floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: This indoor play area is FREE!

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Funarium

Funarium offers two play-gym areas, one for those under 3 and a bigger area for the older children.  This place isn’t lacking in things to do with ball pits, basketball court, a bicycle/scooter track, and daily sing-a-long shows.  Despite being under three, my daughter prefers the big kid area, which means I get to climb around with her.  I try to wear legging (instead of shorts) in an effort to protect my knees a bit.  

Location:  Short taxi ride from Phrom Phrong BTS, Emporium Shopping Complex, 3rd floor
Time Opens: 10am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Funarium an indoor play area for toddlers and young children in Bangkok, Thailand. | Life's Tidbits

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Playtime

The primary area of this indoor play area is a large play-gym, similar to Funarium.  There’s also a separate space with a sandpit, an area for those under 3 and more.  The space also include a cafeteria where a drink, snack or lunch can be purchased.

Location:  Short Walk from Ekkami BTS, Parklane Ekamai 3rd-4th Floor
Time Opens: 9am
Tip: Bring socks for everyone.  Socks are required for both children and adults.  If you forget socks don’t fret, you can buy them there.

Play Time an indoor play area in Bangkok, Thailand. Great place for toddlers and young children. | Life's Tidbits

Which of these play areas look most appealing to you? If you live in Bangkok any you might add to the list?

Signiture_Nicole

You know you have some really fun and amazing friends when they travel, literally, half way around the world to see you.  Three of my favorite ladies came to Bangkok for a visit and we took a side trip to Koh Samui.  It was quite a whirl wind having them in town and we really packed a lot into the relatively short trip.

After a jam packed day of sightseeing around Bangkok we jumped on a plane to Koh Samui!  We headed for the Chaweng Beach, which had some great reviews and did not disappoint.  The OZO Chaweng Samui was our home for the two day trip.

The pool was gorgeous, the beach front mandalas were heaven and the rooms, though small, were clean and very much met our needs for the weekend.  I would stay at the OZO again with the just the husband or for a girls weekend, but if we were to travel with Jellybean I think we would need to book a bigger room.

After grabbing a very late dinner we headed to bed!

KohSamui

Day 1: Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

Chaweng beach is beautiful and we enjoyed the day by hanging by the beach, swimming in the ocean/pool and indulging in a little shopping.

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The day was fabulous, but I think the night was truly a highlight of the trip.  We went to Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai) around sunset.  The Buddha was worth the short taxi ride.  After seeing the Buddha, we had a drink at Sunset by Angelina.  The view was picturesque and the drinks were quite delicious!

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We headed to Fisherman’s Village after our drink and walked in and out of the shops while we made our way to CoCo Tam’s.  The ambiance was super cute and fits the hangout by the beach vibe of Koh Samui perfectly.

Coco Tam's in Koh Samui, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

An important thing to note about CoCo Tam’s is it is not a restaurant so eat dinner before grabbing a seat for the fire show. We went to Restaurant Krua Bophut for dinner, which is right next to CoCo Tam’s. 

The Fire Dancer show on the beach starts around 10:30pm and is NOT to be missed!

Fire Dancing Koh Samui, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Day 2: Angthong National Marine Park Speedboat Tour

All of day 2 was spent on a speedboat tour of some of the small islands near Koh Samui.  Snorkeling at Koh Wao, a sightseeing hike at Koh Mae Koh followed by lunch at Koh Paluay and hanging on the beach as well as kayaking at Song Pee Nong beach.  It was a fun filled day!

Angthong National Marine Park Speedboat Tour in Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Song Pee Nong beach in Thailand | Life's Tidbits

It was a fabulous 2 days in Koh Samui.  The girls trip was a huge success!!  I hope the hubby, Jellybean and I make it back to Koh Samui sometime before we move back to the States next year.

Signiture_Nicole

 

 

 

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