I’ve shared quite a bit about my motherhood experience both here on my blog and over in my instagram feed (and these days on Snapchat as well). I try to be pretty honest without constantly oversharing. I try to be encouraging so other moms find a community of support and maybe solutions to something they are going through (or at least to see they aren’t going it alone). I try to be real. On some days the real me doesn’t get dressed until the afternoon, and only if I have to leave the house. On some days the real me has a hard time and there is a lot of anxiety. On some days the real me feels really good about myself and like I’m kicking ass as a mom. But after having three babies I at least have learned that I’m not alone. I know we all have hard days. I know we all feel like we’re doing a shitty job sometimes. But there was a time when I struggled really hard as a mom and I thought it was just me — like I was doing it the worst. Do you ever feel like that?Read More
You’ve heard the phrase “always a bridesmaid” — well, I’m the boy mom version of that. Always a boy mom, never a girl. And I’m ok with that, really I am (maybe 10% of me still dreams of a baby girl…) But as a blogger who gets to work with and learn about so many great brands, makers, and products I know what I’m missing in the cute girl stuff department. My best friend recently had a baby girl (after having two boys as well. Actually, I have TWO besties who had two boys and then had a baby girl!) so I revisited my favorite cute little things for baby girls list to send her. Then I thought, why don’t I share a whole baby girl gift guide on the blog and just get it out of my system 🙂 So, here ya go!
I love both of these brands for my boys and they wear them both often. But this hot pink hamburger onesie from Mamacase Prints is quite possibly my favorite ever. And the hair accessories, swing dresses, rompers, tights, and bubble gum pink striped blanket from June & January make my ovaries ache.
Yes, boys can wear Freshly Picked moccs. And my boys do. But they can’t (well, I guess they could, but it wouldn’t be the same…) wear the pink and gold heirloom moccs! Or any of the other super girly colors or prints that are all my favorites. I mean, aren’t these just the cutest!?
I use the onesie stickers and the memory book from Lucy Darling for my boys. But I have ALL the heart eyes for the girl versions! The pastels and the gold and the florals — they make this girly mama happy. A must have for any baby girl for sure.
I’ve been obsessed with the swaddle scarves from Coveted Things for, like ever. But this diamond stunner is perfect for a baby girl! Diamond swaddles are a baby girl’s best friend, you know?
One of my favorite baby gifts to give any baby are personalized wooden state rattles from Bannor Toys — I super love that you can include birth details to make for a wonderful keepsake. But my inner childhood princess is a little obsessed with their star wand.
Every time new baby products come out from the Oh Joy for Target line (from one of my favorite design blogger mommas, Joy Cho), it makes me wish I had a girl to buy it all for. Sure, there are baby boy things too and they are really cute also — Quincy has quite a lot of it. But the girl versions — the neon polka dots and patterns on the swaddles and clothes, and this flamingo lovey — are darling! Cutest lovey award winner in my book (the hedgie that Quincy has is adorable too and may just be in my baby boy gift guide coming next mont, hint hint!)
The best part is I’m giving a bundle of these away to one lucky reader. One of you will win:
- A $25 shop credit to Mamacase Prints
- $50 shop credit to June & January
- A pair of (in stock) moccs of your choice from Freshly Picked
- A onesie sticker and memory book set from Lucy Darling
- A swaddle of your choice from Coveted Things
- $50 shop credit to Bannor Toys
- Oh Joy for Target flamingo lovey
You know what else I love about these goodies? They are all made by momma entrepreneurs! How amazing is that!?
The giveaway runs from 8/1/16 through 8/6/16 and a randomly selected winner will be chosen and displayed in the entry widget below on 8/7/16. Enter below and good luck!
Living in Los Angeles, I know how lucky I am to be a mom in a city with great weather 95% of the time. And with great weather come lots of cool places to visit that are mostly outdoors. I posted these a while ago but many of you are new to reading so I wanted to revisit for any end-of-summer adventures you may be planning since these are still our faves. So here are my favorite family friendly places to visit in Los Angeles for those of you who live here or are planning a visit.
1. LACMA & The La Brea Tar Pits. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a great spot to visit for way more than art. Since it is in our neighborhood we’ve really gotten the chance to experience its full potential. You can grab a yummy latte or pastry at Coffee & Milk to drink while you watch your kids run around in the noodles. The noodles is actually an art installation that you can walk through and play in and everyone, young and old, loves to play hide and seek and take selfies in it. I have a taken a series of photos with Charlie in the noodles since our first visit there when he was around 18 months old, and with Calvin since he was in my belly, and shared them on instagram with the hashtag #charlielovestheyellownoodles so I could compare all of them over the years (or as long as instagram and hashtags are in existence). This is definitely my kids’ favorite spot at LACMA.
LACMA has an amazing program called NEXGEN, where kids are allowed to become members for free, and one adult is free with their membership as well, so we can basically go see any exhibit or activity that isn’t in a limited run (where you need to buy a special ticket). The LACMA campus is adjacent to the famed La Brea Tar Pits, so we walk through those to chat with the mammoths on our way to the museum. Charlie also loves to “climb the tree” and “roll down the big hill.” Basically there are about 50 kinds of fun in one spot, depending on his mood that day.
I love to visit the Children’s Art Room, where you can paint and make messes and someone else cleans it up! Because I have a car-obsessed 4-year-old boy, we also visit the Metropolis II exhibit by Chris Burden (it’s like a matchbox car city on steroids that runs for an hour on and then an hour off on the weekends and is impressive even to grown ups). We walk under what Charlie calls “the big rock” but everyone else calls Levitated Mass (I call it the Pisa of LA because tourists are constantly taking photos of themselves “holding up” the rock. Do it at your own risk of looking like a total tourist. But I did it in Pisa, and I’m sure the locals there think that’s lame too, so no judgement…) We also did a family photoshoot there just before I got pregnant with Calvin since it is one of our favorite places.
A visit to LACMA is never complete without a visit to the “pretty lights.” We like to play hide-and-seek and take photos, and if you have the chance to see it at night it is breathtaking (but we’re rarely out after dark with the kids – it’s the plight of parents everywhere). And then we hop across the street to have lunch at one of the many yummy food trucks parked along Wilshire Blvd before we walk home. The LACMA Cafe is also really good for lunch.
2. The Original Farmer’s Market & The Grove. I recommend that anyone visiting LA go to the Original LA Farmer’s Market. (It is over 75 years old!) You will find every kind of food represented. (Our favorites are Loteria, Charlie’s, and The French Crepe Company, but there are so many great spots.) It’s loud enough that your kids won’t bother anyone, and everyone can order food from wherever they want and then sit cafeteria style at one of the outdoor tables. There are also souvenir shops, coffee spots, and great people watching. Oh, and two beer & wine bars. Then walk next door to The Grove. The kids will love the Dylan’s Candy and the American Girl store, and if you go to the third floor of Barnes & Noble there is a children’s play area with lots of toys and books perfect for younger kids. Another huge hit with the kiddos—the koi fish pond with dancing fountains. There’s also a movie theater if you want to catch a movie.
3. Griffith Park. Griffith Park is great in general. You can hike, picnic, and play. But if you have kids, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round is a must-visit if you’re in the area. It was built in 1926, and Walt Disney used to visit with his daughters and was inspired to build Disneyland.
Both girls and boys will love the Travel Town Museum, located in Griffith Park. See retired train cars and engines, and you can even climb on a couple. There is a train ride and a museum. Oh, and it’s free (you can make entrance donations). It is perfect for both short or long visits, and is close enough to both the zoo and the merry-go-round that you could do them all in the same visit. We also frequently visit and love the LA Zoo, but if you’re visiting from a city that has its own zoo, you can skip it. (It isn’t the most impressive zoo I’ve ever been to.) But if you’d like to visit a zoo it is a fun place to spend an afternoon.
Finally, the gem of Griffith Park is the Griffith Park Observatory. The kids will love exploring and learning about space, there’s a planetarium show and one viewing a day is for kids 4 and under, and the views are hard to beat. The on-site cafe is great for lunch as well. There are also some great hiking trails that start/end at the Observatory. Even if you don’t want to do a full hike with little ones, they will love exploring a bit of the trail.
4. The Calfornia Science Center. A huge gem in the city is the California Science Center. With so much to do for kids of all ages, you could literally spend all day there if you want to. And the best part — it’s free! You do need $10 cash to park in the adjacent lots, but that’s nothing compared to what you get during your visit. There is just about every kind of activity you can think of related to science: from the human body to bugs, to sea life (with an aquarium), space, and of course, it is the home of the Endeavor. Definitely worth a visit.
We also love to visit the Natural History Museum, which is on the same campus (so you can walk over after visiting the Science Center without paying more for parking). But it isn’t free. If you’re local, I highly recommend a membership (it gets you into the Page Museum at the Tar Pits as well!). The dinos alone are worth a visit but there is a great butterfly pavillion (seasonal) and lots of other things to see as well (below).
5. Santa Monica Pier/Beach. My last pick is a hard choice because there are a few great beach locations with piers (Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, etc.), but I chose the Santa Monica Pier because overall it offers the most bang for your buck. Plus, it is the closest to the other locations in Los Angeles, and if you want to make it a day, its proximity to the Annenberg Beach House is perfect (another great spot on a warm beach day). There are fun rides, decent food, and beautiful views. Fun for all ages.
6. Santa Monica Airport
This place is a gem and so much fun for all of your plane-obsessed littles. You can park right next to the airport, walk up to the observation deck (just look for the elevator or stairs to take you up by the Typhoon restaurant), and watch small airplanes take off and land till your heart’s content. There are tables and chairs, so bring a lunch! Best of all, it is FREE and never crowded.
What are your favorite places to visit in Los Angeles? You can follow me on instagram or snapchat (I’m chandrafredrick there) for peeks into our family adventures and see more favorites under the #OLDsfaveplacesinLA feed on instagram.
Since everyone I know seems to be pregnant, getting engaged, or getting married right now (hello, baby and wedding season!), I have been reflecting on those amazing moments of my life. The last eight years have given me one proposal, one wedding, seven years of marriage, and the birth of three sweet sons — each moment involved a lot of time and planning and blood, sweat, and tears, but also lots of joy and love. Most of life’s amazing moments — those proposals, weddings, births — are the ones that make us sweat (figuratively and literally!)
That’s why I’ve partnered with Dove to share how we can embrace these amazing moments that make us sweat. If you haven’t seen the brand’s new Amazing Moments campaign, Dove puts its Clinical Protection Antiperspirant to the test during a real woman’s surprise proposal. And what happens in the film is pretty amazing. Too bad we can’t be as prepared for the tears as we can be for the sweating!
Some of life’s amazing moments are a total surprise. I’m someone who likes to be prepared for whatever those moments bring my way — from wedding planning and preparing for what I needed on my wedding day to registering for baby and packing my hospital bag. Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant is a must for every occasion. It has been tremendously helpful during my postpartum hot flashes and night sweats too (if you’ve been there, you know…) because it offers clinical-strength wetness protection and has ¼ moisturizers to care for skin.
How do you prepare for the amazing moments in life that make you sweat?
This post is sponsored by Simply Stylist and Dove but the experience and opinions are my own.
If you read this blog regularly or follow me on Instagram, you are probably well aware of our struggle with infant acid reflux with our third baby. It has been so so hard and I know that when I was in the thick of it I spent so much time online looking for answers. So I thought that if I shared our experience, the signs and symptoms that Quincy showed early on, and what ended up working for us that maybe I’ll help another exhausted momma out there googling for answers on her phone while she’s nursing like I did.Read More
Here’s to all the papas.
The ones who know how to pack lunches and wear the babies and lead the dance parties. Who take the kids to the park or museum or the zoo for the morning so the mommas can have a break. The daddies who take two kids in a stroller to the grocery store. The ones who change diapers and wipe butts. Who rock the colicky babies to sleep when the mommas can’t listen to any more crying. The ones who give baths and create adventures. The ones who teach the kids to sing James Taylor and John Denver and Queen and Michael Jackson. The ones who love the mommas even when the mommas aren’t so lovable. May you get a nap and 20 minutes in the bathroom without interruption. May you be allowed to watch at least the second half of game 7 in peace. And may the tantrums be minimal. Here’s to you.
And to the papa of my three beautiful boys. Thank you for being the best daddy I know. Because you do all of those things and more. So much more. We love and appreciate you every single day, even if we don’t always show it. I’m so glad you are my partner in parenthood, helping to remind me that every day is an adventure to enjoy. You help me a better mother and a better person. We all love you so much and are so so lucky to have you.
Happy Father’s Day.
How did I ever get so lucky?