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What to do in San Diego with Kids

things to do in San Diego with kids
If you follow me on Instagram, you may be sick of hearing this, but last weekend the four of us went to San Diego! We made it a family road trip despite the train running conveniently from LA to SD because with an almost 2-year-old and almost 6-year-old, there is no shortage of stuff we need to pack & any road trip savvy parent knows, a snooze in the car is crucial to a good trip. Sometimes the kids and the grownups need a good siesta so I drove us down there Friday and let KW sleep. I’ve been going to San Diego on short Summer vacations since I was a kid. After my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer (when I was 17) we stopped going as a family, but I was lucky enough to hop in on trips with friends’ families and after college, I’d go with girlfriends and get wild before I settled down. Once KW and I started dating, we went together every year for NYE for like 4-5 years straight so it’s now a bit of a special place for us and we love going as a family. I’ve been there through every phase of life so far and had just about every different type of experience from Sea World to dinner cruises and we’ve settled in to a San Diego itinerary that fits our family and lifestyle now. With that, here comes my first post in a new ‘What to do in X with kids’ series! I figured since we do so many little road trips around CA with the little ones I would document our activities and kid-friendly restaurants we enjoyed in case you and your family need any ideas or recommendations with your next adventure.

What we did
We had a lot of beach time. I mean, 10 hours of beachin’ it. The primary purpose of this trip was to catch up with AZ friends who were there visiting family, so what better activity than a beach day? We are a officially beach family thanks to living in LA for 2.5 years now, but we all love being active so toys like balance boards (which luckily friends had one on hand!) are key. This one is a Goof Board, but I’ve also spent a fair amount of time indo boards which I prefer because I think they require more core stabilization and help prepare you for several board activities like SUP, snowboarding and long boarding. I found the Goof Board to be super fun and a great workout, but really ideal to practice surfing and I am so not a surfer (yet)! I am definitely not a balance board expert, but I think it is a blast to have one on hand no matter what your board sport of choice is. It was seriously a blast for the whole family — everyone was on it, even Gunnar.

1989 throwback swim suitLA family lifestyle blog

kid friendly restaurants in san diego

What we ate

For breakfast, I can ‘t recommend Isabel’s Cantina enough fro breakfast/brunch.   They have a kid-friendly menu (I mean, look at that pancake!) plus lots of creatively flavored mimosas for whichever parent is not DD. 🙂 The wait staff was amazingly accommodating and there is even a somewhat enclosed outdoor area out front that the kids can roam around in while you’re finishing your watermelon, cucumber mimosa. Maybe that’s just me? We did Gabbiano’s for lunch. KW picked it up and we ate it on the beach. I like it for it’s convenience, — it’s right by the beach. I get their salads which are not what they are known for. The pizza is apparently great, but I am gluten-free and they don’t have a GF option. I’ve eaten there since college and they are still thriving so it’s obvious lots of people like it plus, it’s uber convenient if you are staying near Mission Beach. If you’re GF try this pizza! It’s delicious. We had it for dinner before roasting s’mores with friends! On that note — did you know they now make rectangular marshmallows just for s’mores? Crazy.

On our way out of town the next day, we stopped at The Menu for breakfast. I had the acai bowl as I was craving one all weekend. I associate SD with acai bowls and theirs did not disappoint. Harlowe and Gunnar got down on oatmeal and yogurt (their favorite breakfast foods) and even shared some with the one-year-old seated in a high-chair next to us. It’s definitely kid-friendly, but parking can be tough so bring a stroller if you don’t want to carry your wee ones.

target ruffle swim suit

Where we stayed

I have no tips for you here other than to book your stay months in advance especially if you are going in July-August. This trip was planned with short notice and there weren’t many options near the friends we were visiting and we luckily got to stay on Mission beach at one of KW’s colleagues homes. Huge thank you to that family for hooking it up so we could go!

family lifestyle blog la

Did you really go to the beach with your kids if you didn’t take this picture?

la family lifestyle blog

Or this one? (I’m making that one happen!)

Wearing: pink suitwhite suit / olive maxi dress

KW and Gunnar’s matching swim shorts: 1st pair and 2nd pair. 

travel

Our Palm Springs and Arizona Trip!

mom LA lifestyle blog

  
Last week we went to Palm Springs for few days. We stayed in a Kid and Coe  house that we totally fell in love with. We are dreaming about buying a place in Palm Springs now for the kids to play at all the time. It turns out I have a lot more in common with the owner than our shared love of pink rugs and beautiful lamps; her name is also Bethann! Weird, right? Seriously, look at her place and tell me you aren’t drooling. The house is #decorgoals

We also went to Arizona to spend some time with friends and family. We experienced a killer egg drop at Open Arms Church in Scottsdale. Watch the video — it was the coolest Easter egg hunt I’ve ever seen. It was a little difficult coming back to LA after getting to hang out with so many of our old friends in AZ. I wish they would all move here! 🙂 It is nice to be back in 70 degree weather though.

What are you all doing for Easter? I hope it’s a great one! xx

 

travel

Staycation in Los Angeles

stacationLA

Last weekend we packed our bags and hit the road. While we love to travel, this family getaway was less than 30 minutes away. At 34-weeks pregnant, a staycation seemed to be the best way to get some quality family time and make a few more memories as a threesome. We stayed at the Residence Inn LAX and had a blast.

Family Staycation Ideas

With Harlowe’s wild mane, you’d think she’d been on a cross country flight, but nope! She’s just a Leo with a penchant for styling her own ‘do.

staycation1

After we checked in, we went to our room to change in to swim suits. The art throughout the hotel is LA themed with an emphasis on aviation since it was so close to the airport. Harlowe really liked that you could peek at LAX runways from one of the windows. We liked the full-service kitchen with residential sized appliances and table for four. We had dinner in our room that night, but in true-to-me fashion, we got food from one of the on-site restaurants. Who wants to cook on vacation?!

stacation 5

My husband takes most of the photos for the blog which is why he is never in them, but we managed to get him in one this time! Of course, he took it. Side note: this was his 2nd selfie ever. His 1st was also part of a trip diary!

staycationLA1maternity swimmaternity friendly swim suitharlowe swimming

Next stop was the pool. As a former swim instructor and coach, I thought I could definitely teach my own children to swim, but I was wrong. I don’t think Harlowe or I have enough patience with each other for me to teach her water skills. I ask her, “Can you blow bubbles like a fish?” and she’s like, “No, mom. You blow bubbles.” After a few failed attempts at coaching her through water skills, I decided to get her swim lessons outside of the family and reserved our pool time together for fun. It’s been easier on all of us. 🙂

LAXAX - Fire Pit

We had some quality time at the fire pit after our swim so we could warm up!

what to pack for staycation

My essentials for one night are pretty lean (by my standards). These organic cleansing towelettes from Acure are the best travel companions because they don’t leak and I can use them on the kiddo when she inevitably gets a little messy. I take them with me when I travel, run errands or go to the gym. No matter where I go, I like traveling with this Brush On Block. This one is great because there is no tint, so it’s another product that can be used on the whole family. I’m trying out this gorge ‘I’ll make you look amazing daily spray‘ and am not yet sure about it. My hair didn’t seem AMAZING after using yet (read: frizzy), but I’ll give it points for adorable packaging and note that I didn’t style it with heat tools after use, so it deserves another chance. 
staycation 6lemons make lemonade tee

We ended the day by taking Harlowe to see her first-ever movie in a theater. We saw Minions since it came out that day. KW and I were bored, amused and gluttonous (ahhh, popcorn!) while Harlowe was riveted. She loved every minute of it which of course, is all we wanted. When we got back to the hotel she fell right asleep… as did we.

Huge thanks to the Residence Inn LAX for a fantastic stay! Such a fun and relaxing trip!

What I Wore:

What Harlowe Wore:
outfit 1: Eberjey dress from Gilt, J.Crew shoes from ThreadUp
outfit 2: Rags to Raches romper
outfit 3: Kate and James tank, Old Navy shorts, Tom’s shoes

fashion, style, travel

From Where I Stand in Toronto

Toronto trip diary, FWIS diary, From where I stand bethanimalprintleopard dress for work, leopard at the office, dress for business trips

For many of us, the best thing about Fall is the fashion. And during a recent business trip to chilly Toronto, I definitely embraced all that is sartorially Fall. Colder weather meant tights, boots and scarves were on my packing list. Along with that came warm coffee sipped outside during a fire drill! Luckily (and miraculously) I didn’t spill a drop despite walking down 12 flights of stairs carrying a mug. It was way to early to part with coffee!

Wearing: BCBG dress via Twice (also love this Leopard dress) / American Apparel tights / Rag & Bone boots / Rebecca Minkoff tote 

Thank you for reading!

fashion, style, travel

My Travel Esssentials

traveling tips

 

In a few weeks, the family and I will be on a plane to Ketchikan, Alaska! Harlowe and I are first-timers (The Banker grew up there!) and I’m already wondering what to pack. She and I share one suitcase, so I pack lean and compartmentalize with lots and lots of organizers.

There are a few no-brainers for every trip:

1.) A  change of clothes in my carry-on, in case Harlowe gets ‘sick’. A mom seated nearby me en route to London was spewed on and carried no change of clothes. It was a very long flight for her.

2.) Water and chia seeds. I put chia seeds in my water whenever I travel to keep hydrated and energized. They are full of nutrients and keep you feeling full longer.

3.) Tooth brush in my purse. I find that having good dental hygiene during long trips makes me feel ‘fresh’ despite being pretty damn filthy.

The rest of my packing takes some planning. I’ve been eyeing these travel essentials for a while and might have to pull the trigger on one (or two) before our trip. ShopBop is having their Friends and Family sale right now, so I can’t afford not to buy something!

1. Karen Walker ‘Harvest’ sunnies

2. DL1961 boyfriend jeans

3. Jonathan Adler for Tumi suitcase

4. Tory Burch cosmetics case

5. Vince slip on sneakers

6. Tory Burch shopper

7. Jonathan Adler for Tumi suitcase

Use code INTHEFAMILY14 to save 25%. 

What are your travel essentials?