Travel with Baby and Using the CBX Bridge

 

Olive and her new toy!

Before Olive, I always thought I wanted to be the parent that didn’t let having a child keep them from going places or traveling.  Once she was here I didn’t quite feel the same, which I’m sure any new parent can tell you happens!  I had wanted to go to Mexico City, or D.F. (del effey), until recently changed to la Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX.

My dad had mentioned of doing a family trip, something we hadn’t done in over a decade.  I scoffed at the idea really, “why would I travel with Olive”, I told him, “that sounds like so much work, she’ll be 9 months then”.   Conversation continued of the trip; he researched flights and hotels and I researched what traveling with a baby is like.  My dad came back with a realization:  if we fly out of Tijuana, the flights are half the cost of flights out of LAX.  The price was right, we would be going as a group of 6 (my parents, brother, his girlfriend, John and I) so they could help me with the baby and the timing was right for us celebrating my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and a friend meeting us there for a few days!

Flying out of Tj, requires crossing the border into the Tijuana airport and there are a few ways to do this: drive across the border straight to the airport and park there, have family drop you off at the border, walk across the US/Meixco border and take a taxi into the airport or using the Cross Border Xpress.   I hadn’t heard of it or ever flown out of the Tijuana airport but  there is a new bridge from the US Border that takes you right into the airport on foot.  Why is this more convenient than driving across the border?   Well, you can park your car on US side and avoid Tijuana traffic.  Traffic getting into the airport can be a pain, and more importantly, if you’ve ever driven from Tj back into the US… the traffic on la linea (the line) can be ridiculous.   Sitting in your car to cross the boarder can take hours.  We were already spending half the cost of the flights had we flown out of LAX so we didn’t mind the expense of the bridge.

We were filling out our entry cards about to enter CBX. 


The CBX bridge is only a few years old.  While planning for the trip I read many blog posts and yelp reviews about people’s experiences.  A lot of the early reviews were not smooth, but my guess is the longer it’s been open the better operated it’s become (there were some construction areas too, so clearly some areas are still under development).   The use and convenience of the bridge comes at a cost, of course (see their website for current ticket price).  You can buy tickets in advance, or just buy once you get there.  They also offer group tickets at a discounted price but these aren’t available for purchase online.  For 6 people (infants are free) a one-way group ticket is available for $75 and we purchased there.  The only disadvantage to buying there, I would say, is time.  For our departing flight there was no line to buy tickets so we bought our CBX ticket and filled out our travelers entry form hassle free.   We didn’t spend much time on the US side, but there is a cafe and a currency exchange there.   And for the traveler’s convenience there are luggage carts free to use.   One hassle with the luggage carts, is when you make it into the Tijuana airport, you have to exchange the CBX luggage cart, for a Tijuana airport luggage cart.  This created a short traffic jam of all of the other switching luggage carts and waiting for the elevators.   You can read plenty of details here about walking through the bridge.

Returning home and using CBX was rather smooth too.  Right outside of the baggage claim area is the CBX counter and entry point.  We purchased our family ticket and continued along the corridors making our way to the US customs checkpoint.  There was already a line for customs (mostly the people that were on the same flight as us) so this took about 45 minutes.  There were only 2 counters open and one line was going significantly faster than the other, so we waited in the longer line, saw the opposite line progress so much faster and then switched lines.

I love my sling!

Right before take off she was so hyper!

 

Young children on airplanes just sounds like an awful experience to most people.  For long flights I might agree, but to Mexico City it was just over a three hour, manageable flight.   Some tips I learned from many a mom bloggers on Pinterest: have baby suck on pacifier/breast/bottle during take off to prevent ears from plugging, buy a brand new toy and give it to baby on the plane, and pack plenty of snacks and food (obviously).   We didn’t carry on anything other than my purse and Olive’s diaper backpack because we didn’t want to have the hassle of carrying much while managing her.

I had my ring sling with us on both flights.  If you are taking a stroller or carseat with you, it’s left at the entry of the plane, so I had her in the sling to be ready to drop off the stroller.  We purchased this umbrella stroller for our trip.   A note on the stroller… I waited and waited to purchase it because we were weighing our options and then it was unavailable on Amazon!  But many stores price match competitors prices, so I went to BabysRUs and matched the in-store price (almost $90!) to the Amazon Price ($57).  Another great purchase we made in preparation for the trip is an additional canopy for the stroller.  Olive can have difficulty sleeping when there is too much stimulation.  We encountered this first when we went to Disneyland a few months back!  We would lay her in her stroller in hopes of her taking a nap, but with so much going on around her, she only napped well while I wore her in the sling.   The canopy is also Summer brand as the stroller, but it’s “universal” and will really work with any stroller (you can see it in action below).

Once on the plane I did give her a new toy!  I purchased two toys she had never seen before and gave them to her on the flight.  This really seemed to work!  Whenever she plays with something new, it keeps her busy for some time.

One last think I’d like to add is that travel with a baby can be stressful enough, try not to add on stress or anxiety to yourself worrying about everyone else on the plane.   The noise of the plane while in air is so loud, I didn’t think the baby noise traveled very far.  On the departing flight, my brother and girlfriend were on row ahead of us and across the aisle.  At one point they were holding and playing with her on the flight and Olive screamed and laughed.  From across the aisle I could barely hear her baby noises.  One last thing that worked out well for us… when picking seats on the plane for our return flight, I chose the seats at the very back of the plane; and for a couple of reasons, there is a bathroom at the rear and if the flight isn’t full, there are typically more empty seats.  It worked out perfectly because there were plenty of empty seats, that John and I had an extra seat and put Olive between us.

I still have plenty more to share, but to keep this post from becoming incredibly long, I’ll save it for next time!

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Trust


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been posting a lot about essential oils.  In February I became a Wellness Advocate.  What that means is I help others discover the power of oils and guide them with their everyday use.  There’s a whole team of leaders above me that act as a support to me and an online community where everyone is a support to one another.   When I bought my first kit I wanted to be committed to incorporating oils in my everyday life and I refer to the exclusive Facebook group myself when looking for recipes or tried and true oil uses.

Now I use oils everyday. In my beauty routine, cleaning products, on Olive, in the diffuser… the list literally goes on.  But last week I had a hiccup and didn’t reach for my oils first.

What happened?  I introduced cauliflower to Olive. She’s been great with solids so far, but cauliflower didn’t sit well and gave her diarrhea (baby tmi).  Then came a diaper rash. It quickly went from bad to worse.  I felt so bad for Olive and I just wanted her better as fast as possible.  I reached for the Desitin extra strength.   Instead of reaching for the spray I made for Olive of essential  oils, water and fractionated coconut oil– I made a desperate attempt.  We were diligent with every diaper change.  I was disappointed I didn’t see the drastic improvements I thought I should see with extra strength Desitin so instead I reached for Olive’s “Nalgas” (booty) spray.

Dramatic pause.

At the next diaper change Olive’s diaper rash  was drastically less red and much more improved.   Each diaper change she was progressively better and at a much faster rate than with the Desitin.

So here I am, a Wellness Advocate, championing essential oils and in this instance I didn’t trust them myself.   Now, you might be asking, why I would share this?  I’m sharing this because they worked faster than Desitin– and that to me is a huge win that every parent with a child in diapers needs to know! It’s a reminder to myself and to everyone new to EOs to trust in them.   I knew the oils would work, but my doubt in the instance was how fast they would work and I just wanted relief for Olive.

I didn’t reinvent the wheel when I made this spray.  Search diaper rash spray on Pinterest and dozens of pins with the same recipe appear.

Materials needed

Don’t make the same mistake I made. If you have a child in diapers, you need this spray!   It’s also multi purpose and can be used as a moisturizer or even bug bites.

There is still so much to learn!  Do you have a similar “win” in your experience with oils? If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact me!

– Karissa

Summer Oils

 

A few weeks ago I hosted an Essential Oils 101 class and a make & take immediately following.  We made after sun spray and beach wave hair spray.   I was excited to share the making of these two sprays because they’re going to be in every tote I carry this summer.   I referenced and adjusted existing recipes; one recipe direct from the doTERRA blog and the other from The Oil Powered Mom.     You’ll notice the doTERRA recipe is for an 8oz bottle but I adapted it to a 2oz amber bottle.   I’ll also note, when it comes to mixing up these sprays, you don’t have to feel restrained to the exact recipe.

If you’re wondering how to  get these wonderful, Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® oils, contact me via the contact page above!  You can also visit mydoterra.com/karissaraya to join and save or shop retail!

Let’s get to it!

I used 2oz amber bottles I ordered on Amazon.
12, Amber, 2 oz Glass Bottles, with Black Fine Mist Sprayers

Beach Wave Hair Spray

  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon doTERRA Healthy Hold Glaze
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 3-5 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 3-5 drops Lemon essential oil
    • *optional- because lemon is photosensitive, it can lighten the hair.  Natural hilights anyone?

Start with the sea salt and healthy hold glaze, followed by FCO and essential oils.  Finish by topping the bottle with hot water.  It’s important the water is hot to dissolve the salt and glaze.

After Sun Spray

  • 10 drops doTERRA Lavender
  • 10 drops doTERRA Frankincense
  • 5 drops doTERRA Geranium
  • 3 drops doTERRA Peppermint
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil  (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel (Trader Joe’s)
  • FCO and/or castor oil- castor oil has great skin tightening benefits

Simply put all ingredients in the bottle first, essential oils, vitamin E, and aloe vera gel.  Top off with FCO (or 1/2 FCO, 1/2 castor oil) and shake, shake, shake.

If you visit the Oil Powered Mom’s recipe, you can see all of the benefits of each oil.  Lavender, frankincense, and geranium have great benefits for skin health.  Peppermint along with its numerous uses and benefits is cooling, which after a day in the sun when the heat is still radiating off of your skin is appreciated.   You can also store the bottle in the refrigerator for added relief!  My recipe is different because I added vitamin E and aloe.

That’s all folks! I’ll be sharing other oil recipes that I love and traveling with oils soon.  My whole immediate family, my husband and baby are all traveling to Mexico City in a few weeks.

What are you favorite ways to use oils in the summer?  Bug spray? DIY Sunblock?

Karissa

A Whole New Oil World

My experience with essential oils started at TJ Maxx.  I know, I know, you’re cringing.  But I found the Tisserand head clear and calming roller bottles and thought I’d give them a try.  I didn’t use them often, I just wouldn’t think of them first.

Photo from the second class Beth taught.
My first attempt to join the world of doTERRA was actually last year.  I picked up someone’s business card at Craftcation and she was a Wellness Advocate.  Little did I know that a year later…. I’d be a Wellness Advocate.  I actually never met up with this person.  We tried and it didn’t work out.  Fast forward to this year.  But first, let me to back track… Do you ever feel like you know someone because you “go waaaaay back”, as in, you’ve been following them on Instagram forever and you know their lives?  This happened a little like that.  I follow a bunch of Long Beach small shops and places I’d like to go, I never made it to her shop Salvage Life before it’s closing (sad face) but I saw Beth’s post about hosting an oils class.  I had been so intrigued but didn’t know where to begin or who to ask.  So I contacted her, we set a date and I hosted a class.   I was in.  Just hearing what Beth  had to say about oils and knowing that plants are powerful, I knew I wanted to share with everyone.  It was so easy to become so invested in being a Wellness Advocate while knowing that Beth and her team will help me and guide me, my oil gurus, so to speak.   This all happened in the last few days of February.  Beth taught a second class for me in April and now here we are in May and I am preparing to teach my own class in two weeks.

Lesson 1 in our #sloilbasics series. What are EO's? ******** Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. A given plant may have several chemical compounds and therefore each oil can be used for a variety of purposes. ******** Most plants are steam distilled in order to extract the oil, however citrus oils are expressed (using mechanical pressure) from the rinds of the fruit and therefore are less expensive since it only takes 45 lemon rinds to make a bottle of lemon essential oil while it takes 30,000 roses to make the same size bottle of rose oil. Prices of oils are determined in large part by the amount of plant material required to obtain the oil. ******** Essential oils have been used for 1000’s of years, Egyptian grave robbers used to steal essential oils and leave the gold, Hippocrates who is considered the Father of modern medicine, used Oregano oil in his practice. Essential oils are really having a come back right now and they are being studied more than ever! They are even being used in many hospitals. The pediatric office I take my kids to uses essential oils and I have several nurses on my Doterra team that sell and/or use essential oils. ******** I hope this was helpful! Tomorrow I'll be covering Why and How essential oils work with our bodies. #essentialoils #doterra #salvagelifeoils

A post shared by BETH GILES (@salvagelife) on

I got started with a Family Essentials kit.  It has the top 10 oils in 5mL bottles.  It’s definitely a great starter kit but I wish I would have started with the Home Essentials kit. It comes with the same 10 oils but the bottles are larger (15mL vs. 5mL).  Yes, it’s more expensive, but the much better deal in the long run.

Photo: A friend was experiencing sever seasonal allergies so I took some over for them to try.
I knew I wanted to learn more and share.  Upon ordering my doTERRA Family Essentials kit, I additionally ordered The Essential Life book, 1/4 dram oil bottles to give friends and family samples, and roller bottles to make my own blends.  I also ordered a few additional oils very soon after getting my kit: Clary Sage, Clarycalm and Balance.   More on those oils below.


I use essential oils in some way, every day.  I only wish I had started with them sooner because I know they could have really helped during my pregnancy and in the first 3 months of Olive’s life (colic).  But I truly believe everything comes at the right time that you are ready for them.  Had joined doTERRA last year,  I would not have met Beth and the rest of the team + support, which is SO important when using oils.


I’ll save the details of an intro to oils for the class I’m teaching (you’re invited if you’re local to Orange County!).  But I wanted to share the oils  that I’ve shared most and how sharing has been so wonderful.   I started sharing on Instagram that I started with oils and love them.  I got such great feedback and a lot of intrigued friends messaged me and were completely honest and open in telling me they struggle with anxiety or depression or stress or insomnia and desperately want help.  I researched and learned what oils were best and made sample roller bottles for them.   Every single person I’ve helped has only had positive results and it makes me so happy to see that they are having such great results as I am.

First, *disclaimer*: These statements have not been approved by the FDA.  I am no medical professional, just a Wellness Advocate.  I can not treat or diagnose you.  I am not replacing a medical professional.  All of these statements are for informational use only.   

Suddenly I was my family’s physician, and I use that word lightly.  Essential oils and what little experience I have with them does not replace the many years it takes to become an actual physician.  But suddenly I found myself reaching for oils rather than what is actually in my medicine cabinet.

My brother for example, woke up with a cold and at the first sound of sniffles I asked him if he was interested in trying oils and taking them internally.  He was totally up to it and I made him a “flu bomb”.  By the end of the day all symptoms of his cold were gone and he didn’t  get worse, he got better. 

Below are the oils I’ve shared the most with friends and family and why.  I hope you find this informational and if you’re interested in learning more with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Clarycalm: This oil is the “monthly” blend for women.  My body and hormones have all been in adjustment during this postpartum period and I’m still nursing.  I got this blend to use for my own hormone balance and calmness.  This blend is great for PMS and cramping, so I shared with friends that experience bad menstrual weeks.

Balance is my FAVORITE oil so far.  It’s a grounding blend and let me tell you, I frequently require grounding.   This oil works wonders on anxiety and has really helped me with my baby blues and daily sanity.   I have given this oil with so many friends and made soooooo many roller bottles.  I used up a 15mL bottle in about a month and shared with over a dozen people!

Breathe was the first (5mL) bottle I finished completely.  Which got me thinking, how such a basic instinct as breathing can be so difficult.  Interestingly enough, I shared this blend mostly with friends that have children.  It works wonders on kids with asthma or colds and even allergies to clear the airways. Think of this oil as the vapor rub of oils.

Clary Sage is long known to help in balancing hormones. It is great for menstruation and can be found in the Clarycalm roller.  I shared it with women experiencing menopause and I used it for myself for my hormone balance.  

My sanity blend is my daily go to.  I get flustered with Olive, when somedays her naps are only 30 minutes long and I feel like I get no baby free time or when it feels like I can’t get a handle on things.  I roll on the palms of my hand, rub my hands together and inhale deeply from my hands.  I inhale a few times and pause for a minute, eyes closed, and find my inner zen.  For real, I do that, then I carry on.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to oils, start here.   If you’re thinking, “hey, I want to learn more” or “hey, I’m ready to start with a kit but I have a few questions” or “hey, I want to order one oil or maybe a couple, but not a kit, what do I do” those are fantastic  questions.  Whatever you do, don’t go to Amazon and order essential oils (because there is no way of knowing they are indeed 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils) and don’t order doTERRA oils for retail prices when you can get them at wholesale prices with my help!


First, if you’re local to Orange County, come to my super fun make-and-take class!  Otherwise, we can meet IRL and talk oils or you can always email me.  You decide!

What intrigues you most about essential oils?

Karissa

Craftcation Reflection 

“Welcome to Craftcation 2017, here is your bible for the duration of the conference.  Be sure to check out the pop-up shop.  Also, have you seen my mom?”

The jungalow inspired decor at the registration table did not disappoint in the awe moment of walking in to the Marriott ready for Craftcation.  *I brought a few home at the end of the conference!*

2016 vs. 2017, still exhausted. 


Carry onward for a complete reflection. 

Continue reading

All of the Life

Photo by Cynthia Warden 

 

Since January of this year I knew I wanted change with the way I shared content.  I wasn’t sure where to start.   The last few months I’ve truly been surrounded by inspirational people that unbeknownst to them have motivated me to really get this change going.   Only a few days ago, the idea for the name of this blog just came to me and I decided to just go for it: create a new blog, new name, change my Instagram name, everything.  It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but it really feels like a big deal.

cropped-img_7685.jpg

Olive All of    //   la vida the life

Motherhood is a ridiculous rollercoaster you can’t get off of.

It’ll obviously be a big topic on my new blog, but definitely not the only or main topic.  I’m a firm believer a mother should retain some of her BC, before children, self.   I went in thinking of a name for this blog with a couple parameters.   I wanted to incorporate my daughter’s name because it could read as I love or all of, I wanted Spanglish because the mix of language is deeply part of me and I wanted it to be unique, obvio.   I think I hit the nail on the head.

I’m excited to get back to this.  Will it be a challenge with Olive in her infancy?  Definitely.  But I think it’s that challenge that will motivate me.

Next week I head to Craftcation for my second time.  Last year I was near the tail end of my first trimester, I was exhausted and could barely keep up with the busy conference (I took a lot of nap breaks). This year Olive and my husband will join me.   I’m so excited to see a lot of the crafters and makers I met last year and meet new friends, all of the energy at the conference is so positive it leaves you invigorated and enlivened for weeks.

Cheers to new beginnings.

Karissa