Monday, December 30, 2013

Baby shower for a best friend.

Large table for all of the mom-to-be's friends and family!
Earlier this month, one of my best friends Carrie and I threw a "shotgun baby shower" for our other BFF Sara. Sara and her husband Adam are expecting their first baby in May, and I couldn't go back to Singapore without knowing she was going to have a proper baby shower, that I could actually attend. Carrie and I had just three weeks to plan the baby shower, and the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America's FireLake Restaurant made it all possible!

Two of my BFFs: Carrie (left) and Sara (middle)
If you've never been to the brand new Radisson Blu at Mall of America, check it out... it's so nice! And if you ever need a spot to host a baby shower in the Twin Cities, FireLake Restaurant at Radisson Blu is the perfect place for a hassle-free event. They have a beautiful, spacious, semi-private room that they offer FREE of charge on Sundays, and it is spectacular and PERFECT for a baby shower... especially for a baby boy (which Sara and Adam just found out they are having)! The room is decorated in these gorgeous blue velvet curtains, and surrounded by beautiful distressed wood, giving this room a rich and contemporary feel. Our service was exceptional, and there was no minimum charge on food/beverages to use this room. Carrie and I hosted a much smaller baby shower for another one of our BFFs, Bonnie, and her husband Matt (they welcomed a baby boy in November), and this room is perfect for both small and larger groups. 

Berry smoothie "champagne" toast (sans champagne).

Our awesome server!

Buttermilk Flapjacks with Minnesota Maple Syrup.

Sausage Scramble Skillet.

Midwestern Omelet.
Parking was free and located right next to the hotel and restaurant, so you don't need to find parking in the Mall of America ramps or lots and walk a long distance. For Sara's baby shower, we had a set menu for guests to order from, and FireLake personalized the menu's for the mom-to-be! The food was very reasonably priced, and absolutely delicious. They have different menu options and price points to choose from, depending on how much or how little you want to have served. We paid about $20-ish per person, and that included a very large assortment of fresh fruit served on platters, individually selected entrees for each guest, beverages (coffee, water, juice, or soda), multi-grain toast served on large platters, and a special blueberry smoothie "champagne" toast (sans champagne) for the group. We had one server for our group of about 18 ladies, and he did a fantastic job keeping everyone happy. FireLake's chefs use local meats, freshwater fish, produce and dairy, which is something we all can appreciate, and our guests got to choose from organic egg dishes, buttermilk pancakes, bacon, and sausage, among other things. Both Carrie and I loved that we didn't have to lift a finger in the kitchen to host this baby shower. Plus, the food was served hot and we, as the host,s got to relax and enjoy the brunch! Does that ever happen at a baby shower when you host it in your own home?! Not for me.

Our high school girlfriends (left to right): Brittany, Kelly, Sara, Me, and Brittney.

Mom-to-be and Grandmas-to-be!

Mom-to-be with her sister Erin, Mom Debbi, and cousin Hannah.
There was also plenty of space in this room for the gift opening, and photos afterwards. When it comes to having an easy, classy, hassle-free baby shower that will really "wow" your guests and the mom-to-be, FireLake at Mall of America's Radisson Blu is the way to go. Sure it's nice to add your own personal touch when hosting a baby shower by making all of the food yourself, and decorating your own home in baby "themes", but you really can't beat the ease of hosting a baby shower at this new spot in the Twin Cities. No decorations needed, no food prep, no dirty dishes to do afterwards, no having to clean your whole house before guests arrive and after they leave, and if something gets messed up it's not really your fault;) 

IT'S A BOY! We didn't know this at the time of the baby shower:)

I have been completely satisfied with both of my experiences at FireLake at Mall of America's Radisson Blu, and can't recommend them enough when it comes to hosting a group event!

This little piggy by baby gund.

How cute is this little pig that my brother Scotty and his fiancé Holly got Linna for Christmas?! It plays the "This Little Piggy" game with each press of the pig's toes. They said they got it on Amazon, and it's called This Little Piggy by Baby Gund. Great gift idea for little ones! Thanks Scotty and Holly:)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reunited after almost 2 months.

Linna and I have been in the US since Nov. 1, while Papa Saigh stayed back in Singapore to work. This is the longest the three of us have ever been apart, so emotions were running high when Papa Saigh picked us up at the airport this morning. I was teary-eyed while simply looking for my husband at the airport. Linna kept saying "Papa is furry", because he grew a beard. So excited that our little family is back together:)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Total tennis pro.

Papa Saigh got Linna a new tennis racquet and tennis balls (a Dora tennis racquet of course), so I took her to the tennis court in Florida yesterday to "teach" her how to play. She's obviously a complete natural...


She enjoyed chasing the balls around much more than she enjoyed swinging the racquet.

"I got it. I got it!" - Linna

Now, to find some cute tennis outfits:)

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 holiday greeting cards.

For our second time, we ordered our holiday greeting cards from Tiny Prints. They've always offered some fun designs, and this year I feel in love with their "All That Glitters" line of holiday cards. We went with the chalk-board style, that had a gold glitter "look" on the back of the card, and a stripped-glitter design on the liner of our envelopes. Tiny Prints' cards are printed on a nice, thick paper, and we had the edges of our cards rounded. I was also a bit lazy this year, and had Tiny Prints print our return address on the envelopes. They looked really nice, and worth the few extra dollars. I ordered our cards when Tiny Prints was having a sale, and we ordered a large amount of cards, so we got free shipping on top of a decent deal. It's always fun to have the Tiny Prints package arrive at your home, all wrapped up in a cute blue box! I appreciate the ease of designing and ordering through Tiny Prints, because they literally do everything for you. I just had to pop in a photo, and add our names. You can get as creative, or as simple as you'd like!

The back of our Tiny Prints cards, and the envelope
liner is at the top left of the photo.

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Linna's first bowling experience.

How darling are Linna's little bowling shoes?!

We went bowling at Tuttle's in Hopkins Friday night for my mom's birthday, and Linna got to roll her first bowling ball down the lane! She LOVED it... for the first half hour. She used bumpers and the ball ramp, and after her first roll she was picking her own 6 lb. ball off the return, and rolling it down the lane. She would get so excited, not caring whether she knocked any pins down or not:)

Monday, December 9, 2013

2013 holiday gift guide.

Elmo's Little Library is a collection of 4 board books. A great first Holiday gift for little ones!
Price: $14.99

Good Night Little Me! is the latest book from I See Me! (a MN company). It's written by Jen Dewing, and beautifully illustrated by Mary GrandPre', the award-winning illustrator of the Harry Potter series. 
Price: $35.95
Our 2-year-old is a BIG fan of New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems' books. She received her first book ("I Broke My Trunk!") from her MeMaw and PeePaw, and we have quickly collected "I'm a Frog!", "A Big Guy Took My Ball!", "Let's Go for a Drive!", and "Happy Pig Day!" from the Elephant & Piggie Series. 
Price: $8.99

Pocoyo and his friends Pato, Elly, and Loula have many adventures together. Now, children ages 1–4 can join in on the fun with this boxed set featuring four board books!
Price: $10.99
The Cat in the Hat travels the world in the book "Hello My Baby" to learn about baby animals in this simple, sturdy board book with 30 fact-filled flaps!
Price: $5.99
Little Owl loves many things, but he does not love the new orange scarf his mom makes him wear. After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But after a trip to the yarn store, his mom has the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy. Find out what it is when you read Little Owl's Orange Scarf!
Price: $16.99


This festive and super soft clothing is made from 100% brushed organic cotton, so your little one stays cozy while on the move. Plus, Tumblewalla is a Minnesota company!
Price: $8.50+
Whether your child is crawling, learning to walk, or running all around, Pediped has a stylish shoe that fits comfortably and ensures healthy foot development. Our 2-year-old has been wearing Pediped since day one!
Price varies on style
We LOVE RUUM clothing, and they have some amazing deals online. Good news
for Minnesota parents... RUUM is now at the Mall of America!
Price varies on style
Elly is a Singapore company, and we can't get enough of their light-weight dresses
in these cute prints... especially when we're in the hot Singapore sun!
Price varies on style


Each package of the MAM 6+ Months Holiday Pacifiers includes two BPA-free pacifiers, and they come in fun winter themed designs, in assorted colors. The curved shield allows the pacifier to sit comfortably on baby’s face, and the soft silicone nipple stays comfortably in baby’s mouth. The surface and multiple small openings on the pacifier shield allow air to circulate and baby’s skin to breathe. This would make a great stocking-stuffer!
Price: $7.49
Unlike beach or play sand, Sand by Brookstone has special properties that make it soft and stretchy. Kids can build something big, something small, or just let it flow through their fingers. It's not COMPLETELY mess-proof, but much less messy than regular sand.
Price: $14.99
Whether parents are putting Stickerkid personalize stickers on their kids' clothes, or
kids are putting these stickers on their belongings, they are cute and fun!
Price varies on size, style, and amount
If you have a new baby or young child to buy for this holiday season, you can't
go wrong when it comes to Bumbo products. We started with the Bumbo Floor Seat
and Play Tray, potty-trained with the Bumbo Toilet Trainer, and our 2-year-old
uses the Bumbo Step Stool every day! 
As part of the Bumbo Cares program, Bumbo donates a portion
proceeds from every baby product purchase made worldwide, back into the community.
Price: $11.99 - $39.99
Watch this video and you'll see why GoldieBlox has becoming incredibly popular this year, selling out their
line of construction toys very quickly! In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math (and girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8), GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation.
Price: $9.99 - $29.99

The BeginAgain Scented Scoops Ice Cream Party Playset comes with six servings of ice cream that smells good enough to eat! Kids love to role-play with this set made from GreenDot, a MADE IN THE USA biomaterial made from corn.
Price: $24.00

We have been taking classes at Kindermusik with Kim in Chanhassen, MN since our daughter was an infant. We LOVE Miss Kim! You can give your child the gift of music this holiday season, and enjoy $10 your 2013 Winter/Spring semester by using the online code FAMILY when you sign up.
Visit the website for pricing information


Dropcam has been a game-changer for our family. It's a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service with free live streaming, two-way talk and remote viewing, that makes it easy to stay connected with places, people and pets, no matter where you are!
Price: $149 - $199
If you're looking for something different (and that actually works) to give your mom, aunt, grandma, cousin, etc., for the holidays, check out the new EMK Placental Radical Repair Eye CreamIt has new peptide technology that makes it a treatment for every eye-aging concern: It hydrates, combats puffiness and darkness, and smooths lines and wrinkles.
Price: $85
Marked Leather is a line of high quality, beautifully made leather goods in the Twin Cities. Designer Scott Loeser creates everything from gorgeous bags, to iPod and passport covers. This holiday season, Scott is giving back to the non-profit that helped him get his start in the industry, by donating 100% of the proceeds from his "Marked for Success" line, to Lifetrack.
Pricing varies from product to product
I found Georgie Designs on Etsy, and I just love their handmade jewelry! It's not very expensive, and the pieces are designed and made by a military wife and mom of two. The pieces are great for families who have fun names for parents and grandparents, like us (we call my mom "Nana")!
Price varies on piece
Some of the women in my family are big fans of Dr. Brandt beauty products, and my new personal favorite is the Detoxygen Experience. It's a two-step system that oxygenates and detoxifies to reveal glowing, revitalized skin, mimicking an in-office oxygen facial. You really can't go wrong with Dr. Brandt products, but I'm also loving the Glow Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracreme!

I can't get enough of these gorgeous, customized, distressed frames, and they are handmade by a woman in Minnesota! You name it, and Amanda Santala will make it. Any of the Infinity Frames would look gorgeous in your home, and they make an impressive holiday gift for family and friends! All of her frames are made of real hardwood too.
Price: $35+
We all have those super difficult people to buy for during the holidays, and I think these customized throw pillows by BuyAPillow on Etsy are a great solution! You can have basically anything printed on these soft pillows for under $40 (prices go up with larger sizes), and they use a zero-feel ink printing process.
Price: $39+
Cute company name... Adorable handmade frames by a Seattle mom... I'm hooked! No one likes to receive a family photo in a cheap Walmart picture frame as a gift, and these frames by Onkie Bazoobie are anything but that. These are quality frames that can be customized, and I am in LOVE with this blue wood print in the photo above!
Price: $18+

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our second macy's santa breakfast.

This is our second year attending the Macy's Santa Breakfast at Ridgedale. We love this event, and are trying to make it a tradition, no matter who we're with! Last year, Papa Saigh and I were able to take Linna together, and this year MeMaw and PeePaw drove up from Mankato to have breakfast with me and Linna. We made some BIG progress this year when meeting Santa...

If you remember our photos from last year, Linna wanted nothing to do with Santa or Mrs. Claus...

Last year with Santa.

Last year with Mrs. Claus.

But this year, Linna even sat on Santa's lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas! It must be because she's SO mature... she is two years old now you know;) The hot buffet breakfast was delicious as always, and Linna really enjoyed the balloon lady. Not sure who enjoyed the balloon creatures more though... Linna, or MeMaw...

So bummed that we missed the face-painter:( Thanks for spending the morning with us MeMaw and PeePaw, and thanks to Macy's for making our experience magical... yet again!

Linna with her MeMaw and PeePaw (Papa Saigh's parents).

Mama Saigh and Linna, with her classic "cheese" face!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Don't sing mama.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I could hold my 2-year-old and sing to her. But now those moments are simply a distant memory, because Linna is clearly way too cool for Mama Saigh. Isn't this supposed to happen when they're like 10?! I refuse to acknowledge that it might actually be the fact that my voice is so awful, it makes her ears bleed. Celine, Mariah, and Beyonce... you can relax now, as I'm regrettably retiring the idea of my future career as a professional singer.

At least my husband enjoys my singing.

Oh wait...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The eye-patch is off.

Linna being examined by the awesome woman at
MN Lion's Children's Eye Clinic today.
Today, Linna had a one-month follow-up appointment at the Minnesota Lion's Children's Eye Clinic at the U of M Children's Amplatz Hospital. We've been seeing Dr. Sonal at the Singapore National Eye Center for a few months, after we noticed one of Linna's eyes drifting occasionally, and at the end of October Dr. Sonal suggested that Linna wear an eye-patch for two hours each day, in hopes of correcting her Intermittent Exotropia (AKA a Divergent Squint of misaligned eyes). Although I left our appointment a little frustrated today, Dr. Areaux at MN Children's says that Linna doesn't have to wear her eye-patch for the next three months.

First of all, the woman (I wish I would have gotten her name - she's in the photo to the left) that initially tested Linna's eyes today, was SO wonderful! She was incredibly patient and great with Linna. After a few tests and some eye-drops to dilate Linna's eyes, this woman re-checked Linna, and then sent Dr. Areaux in. I'm not sure if we caught Dr. Areaux on an "off" day, but I'm confused as to why he works in pediatrics. He seemed like he was in such a rush, and acted a little "annoyed" when Linna would show him her toys, etc. Although he was very straight and to the point (which I really did appreciate), he seemed as if we were inconveniencing him or something. I'm sure he was just really busy today with an overloaded work schedule, but seriously... when my 2-year-old shows you her toy cow... please act impressed. It doesn't take much effort. I'm sure Dr. Areaux is very good at his profession, and I DO respect his medical opinion, but he's not that great with little kids... in my opinion.

Frustration aside, I am happy that Linna doesn't have to wear an eye-patch for the next three months, until we visit again with Dr. Sonal at the Singapore National Eye Center when we leave Minnesota at the end of this year. Linna never really minded having the eye-patch on her face, but there were days when I would almost forget to put it on her (oops!). Dr. Areaux said that Linna is controlling her eye alignment pretty well on her own, and that we'll just have to follow up every three months to see if it corrects itself. He did say that Linna would most likely end up having to wear glasses or have corrective surgery if it doesn't get better over time.

Linna examining one of her toy's eyes:)

More testing. Linna did so well!

Although I'd like to believe otherwise, I'm not a doctor, so I am going to take Dr. Areaux's advice. In MY opinion, I don't think the patch helped Linna's condition, and I actually believe it made it worse. But maybe I'm just noticing it more. Who knows. If Dr. Sonal in Singapore suggests that we continue using the patch in three months, then we will. Dr. Areaux did say Linna's vision overall is great, so that made me relax a little bit. I'm sure you can see my frustration having to deal with two doctors in two COMPLETELY different countries. It is good to have more than one professional opinion! I guess we'll just have to "wait and see" on this one.

There was a lot to keep Linna entertained
while we waited for her appointment.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Starting to spell.

Linna started showing off her spelling skills in the tub tonight, until she apparently broke her leg...

I guess we've reached the "excuse" phase. PS, when she says "hi mama", it means she's working on a poo:-/

Monday, December 2, 2013

So this was monday.

Lately... this is my life...

Be jealous. 

In fact... be very jealous. This 2-year-old will one day make a lot of money as an actress. I believe at this moment, she was rehearsing the scene of a desperate teenage girl, trying to save her 6-month relationship. Linna is the lead character (obviously). Notice the real tears... and snot. She's nailing it.

Two-year-old tantrums... I'm over you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Llama llama holiday drama.

*** Congratulations SHERI EVERS GROSS! You are the winner of a 4-pack of tickets to see "Llama Llama Holiday Drama" at Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins, MN. Please email us ( with your address and phone number, so we can verify and get you the tickets! Thanks again for participating everyone, and stay tuned for another giveaway coming up very soon! ***

There's two ways to enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Llama Llama Holiday Drama at Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins, MN:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share the contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the "Llama Llama Holiday Drama" contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the city you currently reside in.

Two simple ways to enter, and if you complete both ways, you'll double your chances to win! You must enter by Thursday, November 28th at 8 p.m. to be eligible, and this contest is only open to US residents. One winner will be randomly selected to win four tickets to see Llama Llama Holiday Drama at Stages Theatre Company, which runs November 22nd - December 29th, 2013. The winner will be announced on this blog on Friday, November 29th, 2013. Good luck everyone!


This show is SUPER cute! I braved the first big snowstorm of the season this week, and took our 2-year-old to see Llama Llama Holiday drama. Although she got a little restless a couple times during the show, there was a song and dance number every few minutes to keep her entertained. Our favorite part of the show was the "Llama-Dazzle Parade". The characters were dressed in lit-up costumes as the theater lights were turned down, and SANTA even made an appearance!

Llama Llama holidays. Jingle music. Lights ablaze. How long till that special date? Llama Llama has to wait. A favorite chronicler of llamas, Anna Dewdney, has created another magnificent story around little Llama Llama, who has so much trouble waiting for anything. Stages Theatre Company presents the world premiere of this brand-new musical adaptation for its holiday audience. Run time is 60 minutes, on stage at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hopkins, MN.

Hopkins Center for the Arts
1111 Mainstreet in Hopkins, MN
November 22nd - December 29th, 2013
Tickets are $15
(952) 979-1111

Monday, November 18, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Disney on ice.


There's two ways to enter for a chance to win tickets to Disney on Ice presents "Passport to Adventure" at the Xcel Energy Center:

1. "Like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, and share the contest post with your Facebook friends (you must click "share" under the Disney on Ice contest post on our Facebook page).

2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, along with the city you currently reside in.

Two simple ways to enter, and if you complete both ways, you'll double your chances to win! You must enter by Friday, November 22nd at 8 p.m. to be eligible, and this contest is only open to US residents. One winner will be randomly selected to win four tickets to see Disney on Ice at the Xcel Energy Center, which runs December 12th - 15th, 2013. The winner will be announced on this blog on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013. Good luck everyone!


Embark on the ultimate sightseeing holiday with all your favorite Disney characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Daisy on a journey to the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King , The Little Mermaid , Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch. You’ll explore the Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage under the sea with Ariel and all her aquatic friends; tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Never Land; and travel to Hawaii to visit Lilo and Stitch. Enjoy upbeat music, your child's favorite characters, and exciting destinations. Show tickets start at $11 (plus taxes & fees).

Xcel Energy Center
December 12th - 15th, 2013
Tickets start at $11 (plus taxes and fees)