Camping at Tiwi Beach

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Jesse and I loved camping even before we had kids, though we do it much more often (and we’re way better at it!) now that we’ve got a family. One place we always loved camping was at Twiga Lodge, Tiwi Beach.

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If I’m not mistaken, this is the only place on the Kenyan coast where you can pitch your tent right on the sand. The campsite is really lovely, with plenty of shady trees and basic toilet and shower facilities. And you really can’t beat the view from your tent first thing in the morning!

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We love Tiwi beach for its shallow tidal pools. There are so many amazing fish and sea creatures to see inside! We always bring our goggles and waterproof camera to see what’s living beneath the surface.

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Another favorite thing to do at Tiwi Beach is to eat young coconuts – DELICIOUS. Our friend Idi at Twiga Lodge always helps us to get some, and opens them for us.

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We actually haven’t been camping at Tiwi Beach since we had kids, mainly because we thought daytime naps wouldn’t really be possible with the midday heat inside the tent, even in the shade. Of course, Sweetpea doesn’t take naps anymore, and most of the time Sugarplum has naps on my back in a wrap when we’re camping, so we may give it another go sometime soon!

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Looking at these old photos is making me nostalgic. We look like babies, don’t we? :) Camping has become such a huge part of our lives since that time, and I really want to get back to Tiwi and see what camping there will be like with our whole family!

Have you ever been camping on the beach? I’d love to hear about it!

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Climb BlueSky – indoor rock climbing in Nairobi

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During our last camping trip a few weeks ago, Sweetpea spent most of the weekend scrambling around the boulders by our campsite, and she was really good at it! This weekend we took her to Nairobi’s indoor rock climbing wall at Climb BlueSky, Diamond Plaza to work on her climbing skills!

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This place is pretty amazing. There are multiple climbing walls and overhangs, offering routes for beginners as well as hard-core climbers. One of the staff members got Sweetpea geared up in a harness, and off she went. I was so proud of her! Each time she went up, she’d go a little bit higher than she did before – and before long she was climbing right to the top! She was great at taking direction, and worked really hard to get her hand or foot to the next hold. She also quickly learned how to hold the rope with both hands and rappel down the wall when she was done climbing.

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The staff were really helpful, teaching Jesse how to safely belay so that he could work with Sweetpea as she climbed. They also helped Sweetpea navigate her ascent, helping her to decide where to place her hands and feet as she climbed higher up the wall.

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In addition to the regular climbing walls and overhangs, the rock gym also had a bouldering area (lower walls covered in holds with a thick foam mat at the bottom), a ping pong table, and a small cafe where you could get tea, coffee and snacks. This was a really great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. My only complaint is that they are not open in the mornings. We would love to go for mornings during school break!

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Jesse also had a blast, and really enjoyed some of the more challenging climbing routes. Even Sugarplum wanted in on the action!

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At the time of writing, a day pass at the rock gym cost 700 KSH each (same rate for adults and kids). This includes the use of a climbing harness, but does NOT include shoe rental. As long as you and your kiddos are wearing close-toed shoes, you don’t need to rent shoes.

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Have you taken your kids to an indoor rock climbing gym? How did they like it? 

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Fresh from the garden: homemade chard and ricotta tart

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We had a ton of rainbow chard growing in our garden recently, so I was working through every recipe in the book to make sure we used it all up! This was one of my favorites: chard and ricotta tart. Continue reading

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Where we wore, June 2015

Our local babywearing group, Babywearing Love Kenya, has a tradition of sharing photos of some of the places we wore our babies each month. Check out all the babywearing adventures our members had in June 2015:

Carrying my baby in a Mexican woven wrap...

Carrying my baby in a Mexican woven wrap…

Hiking at Mount Suswa!

Hiking at Mount Suswa!

Also hiking at Mount Suswa!

Also hiking at Mount Suswa!

Our version of "tandem" carrying the twins in Naivasha using a Manduca and a MeiTei!

Our version of “tandem” carrying the twins in Naivasha using a Manduca and a MeiTei!

At home with a cranky, teething baby...

At home with a cranky, teething baby…

Out and about in the neighborhood...

Out and about in the neighborhood…

Giraffe spotting in Naivasha!

Giraffe spotting in Naivasha!

At the beach carrying a 7month old baby! I totally love that I was able to be hands-free and enjoy my trip and walk on the beach...

At the beach carrying a 7month old baby! I totally love that I was able to be hands-free and enjoy my trip and walk on the beach…

Mama needed to make big sister's birthday cake, but little sister was feeling sleepy...

Mama needed to make big sister’s birthday cake, but little sister was feeling sleepy…

At the hip hop jamboree at YWCA in our good old stretchy wrap...

At the hip hop jamboree at YWCA in our good old stretchy wrap…

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Places I long to go, but haven’t been to yet…

We love to travel, and always have. Even since we started a family, we pride ourselves on still getting out there and seeing what Kenya and the region have to offer. Admittedly, since having kids, we are much more likely to go back to places we know and love than we are to strike out and try something new. There are a bunch of places that have been on my list for what seems like ages, yet we haven’t managed to reach them yet. Maybe by writing this post, I’ll inspire myself to make a plan and go!

Tandala House

Image courtesy of The Kenyan Camper - used with permission.

Image courtesy of The Kenyan Camper – used with permission.

Continue reading

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Brewing homemade Kombucha Tea

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I am falling in love with home brewing! I started brewing water kefir a few months back, and I loved with the light, lemony taste. Then someone offered me a Kombucha SCOBY, and I thought, “Why not?” Continue reading

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Camping with kids is easier than you think

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We’ve been camping with our kids since both of them were young babies. People always seem impressed, thinking that it must be so difficult. Believe me, it’s not! Camping with babies and young kids is much easier than you think, as long as you are well-prepared. Continue reading

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Kids’ drawings

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Sweetpea’s portrait of me… :)

Sweetpea has started to draw us pictures. They are usually family portraits, and they are adorable. Her stick-figure people drawings are so darling – usually with all legs and no body (or sometimes legs and a dress!). Continue reading

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The sadness of saying goodbye…

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One of the big downsides of living abroad is saying goodbye to wonderful friends when they move away. When you’re far from your family, your network of friends becomes your de facto family. And, in two weeks’ time, I’ll be losing some very close members of my family here in Nairobi. Continue reading

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Big news: I’m the newest contributor for World Moms Blog!

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I’ve been invited to become a regular contributor over at World Moms Blog, and my first post is up! It is an interview about motherhood, life abroad, and blogging – check it out here! (You might remember my guest post a few months back about finding a black babydoll for Sugarplum, which is what started it all off!)

World Moms Blog is a group of mom bloggers from over 20 countries around the world who write about motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. I am so excited to join their team and honored to become a part of this group of amazing international moms! Please click on through and check the site out – it’s such a great read for moms from all countries and cultures!

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