**Thank you Carter’s for sponsoring this campaign. All opinions are my own.
When it comes to your baby, there are so many different things that you are told that your little one will need, and you will probably buy or receive all sorts of things that you will never end up using (that’s happened to me both times). But when it comes to the basics, I want soft, comfortable pieces from a company that I know and love. That’s why when I’m looking for baby basics, I turn to Carter’s. From simple white and striped bodysuits, to footie pajamas with the cutest animal faces on the bum, and hooded towels with sweet animal ears attached at the top – Carter’s has classic pieces that you will use over and over again for the first couple years of life.
I’ve included a few of my must-have neutral baby basics that every parent needs for their little one below….
- 3-piece Terry cardigan set // 2. 3-Piece Footed Pant Set // 3. Little Lamb Hooded Towel// 4. Cotton Sleep & Play // 5. 2-pack Babysoft Pants // 6. Original Bodysuits
Kid & Coe Zuma Barn from Juice Box Media on Vimeo.
A few weeks ago, we went to Malibu for a quick getaway. Dustin works out of LA for part of the week (every single week!) and being alone with the boys can get well, lonely…so we decided to surprise him one day by picking him and kidnapping him for a local getaway.
We rented the Kid & Coe Zuma Barn and it is probably one of the most amazing houses and properties that I have ever come across in my entire life. It was one of those places that was so amazing that I just wanted to everyone I knew to know about it!
Kid & Coe is a family friendly rental service that provides houses that are made for children. If you are traveling with kids, I can not say enough good things about Kid & Coe. Think, Airbnb, but designed specifically for family travel. All of the homes are impeccably designed and most importantly, made for families that want a home away from home.
Before staying with them, to be honest, I wasn’t so sure about the whole concept or how it would differ from any other home rental service. I figured my children are adaptable and I don’t need a rental home designed specially for them…or so I thought. When we walked into the Zuma Barn, the fridge and counter were stocked with snacks for us and the kids. There was baby shampoo and body wash in the bathroom plus a baby bathtub, there was a crib that they had brought into the kids room for us, a changing pad and wipes on the bed, and an entire playroom filled with books, toys and art supplies. Not to mention the huge yard that was basically a child’s dream come true. We didn’t have to bring anything other than clothes, we didn’t have to run out last minute once we had arrived to pick up something from Target that we had forgotten to bring, and not having to worry about anything made it feel so luxurious. It was like everything had been taken care of and all we had to do was relax and enjoy ourselves. Although there is so much to explore in Malibu, we pretty much never left the house because it had everything we needed.
****UPDATED**** Kid & Coe is offering $50 off for all of you!!! Just use the code ISOBEL+KIDANDCOE when checking out. The code will expire in 3 months on September 1, 2016 so make sure to book before then.
Illustration done by Melanie Burk
Welcome to Joshua Tree
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Chrissy Powers, and I took the boys on an adventure out to the desert town of Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is the site of a huge national park known for it’s rock climbing and hikes, and a handful of eclectic towns in the middle of a vast wilderness.
Here’s my guide on where to stay, shop, eat, and explore in Joshua Tree…
If you’re looking for a luxury spot in the desert, check out The Joshua Tree House. It’s a two-bed, two-bath 1949 hacienda resting just west of Joshua Tree National Park, close to the downtown. Check out my post on The Joshua Tree House for more information!
Jen’s Pirate Booty – We happened to be in town during the designer’s pop-up sale at her soon-to-be newest retail location. Filled with boho fringy dresses, desert hats, and gorgeous accessories this is one of the best place to shop in downtown Joshua Tree for women’s clothing.
Coyote Corner, Joshua Tree National Park Store – A great spot to find trinkets, keepsakes, and treasures to remember your trip to Joshua Tree. Great selection of toys for little ones and the friendliest staff ever.
Natural Sisters Cafe – This is a great spot for lunch in the center of downtown. Here you will find healthy smoothies, vegetarian sandwiches and burgers and vegan desserts.
Pie for the People – Delicious pizza that delivers when you don’t feel like strapping the kiddos in their carseats and going out for the night.
Country Kitchen – Right in the center of Joshua Tree is a delicious spot for breakfast food. Nothing fancy, the place was filled with climbers and hikers, and felt like a true diner. Anthony Bourdain even ate here and there is memorabilia and enlarged photos strung up to proudly to prove it. The service was pretty horrible; it was actually kind of comical like a Seinfeld episode. Our server was also the owner and the only one on duty waiting tables that morning and probably every morning….but the food made up for all her short comings. Oh and be prepared they only take cash but there is an ATM in the gas station next door.
Joshua Tree Coffee Company – Arguably the best place in town to grab a good cup of coffee in the mornings before heading out for an adventure.
Hidden Valley Loop Trail – A great place to explore with little ones. A one-mile loop surrounded by tall boulders, this hike is great for inexperienced hikers and children that just want to climb around. Also just walking around town and window shopping was fun for us with small children.
A few weeks ago, my friend, Chrissy Powers, and I took our boys on an adventure out to the desert. Two mamas, four boys, and nothing but dirt, cacti, and Joshua Trees. It was our first time visiting the town of Joshua Tree and it was such a magical trip.
We stayed at The Joshua Tree House, an amazing house that we found through Airbnb. When booking a place to stay on family-friendly vacations, I try to find places that they are not only kid-friendly, but are also impeccably designed, where the decor blends seamlessly into the surrounding environment of the location and you feel as though you have been transported into a completely different space. I not only want an adventure for the kids, but to feel as though we have escaped into a whole new world for a day or two. The Joshua Tree House was all of the above!
The house is located within walking distance of downtown Joshua Tree, but set back on enough land that you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The decor is just amazing and you can tell that the owners, Sara & Rich, have put thought into every single detail of this home. We basically didn’t want to leave the house and didn’t venture out as much as we could have because we enjoyed hanging around the house so much. It has a hot tub in the back that we all used after a long day of exploring and a huge front porch where we sat and drank coffee in the mornings while the boys ran up and down the driveway with the dump trucks that we brought collecting rocks and stones and other treasures.
If you have any plans to head to Joshua Tree, make sure to check this out: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/32694
Photos: Reality & Retrospect (site//instagram)
Bag // Buckets // Shovels
I have been taking the boys to the beach on my own since Gray was one week old. We live right at the beach and spend so much time in the sand and the ocean that I’ve had a lot of time to figure out what works at the beach with little ones and what doesn’t. Dustin works during the week so he isn’t able to join us, but the weekdays are our favorite days to go because it’s less crowded, there’s more parking, and sometimes we even have the entire beach to ourselves. And when I’m on my own, I want our trips to run smoothly so that we can all enjoy the experience without any frustration or stress.
Below are a few things I’ve learned that help make beach days with kids happy and fun without unnecessary stress…
Pack one bag that can fit everything
When you have kids, you need a lot of things at the beach. But that doesn’t mean you have to carry in ten bags – because that’s not only impossible, but it automatically starts your beach trip off with unnecessary stress. Lugging ten bags over your shoulder while you walk through the sand and try to keep track of your kids is just not fun. And there’s nothing worse than making ten trips back and forth to the car with your little ones in tow who just want to get into the sand and start playing.
We use just one bag, The Beachmate, to carry everything! The Beachmate system is a genius invention for anyone that takes kids to the beach. It is an all-in-one stackable storage system that organizes the whole family’s beach essentials in one bag that you can simply carry over your shoulder. Complete with durable buckets, shovels, soft cooler for snacks and water, and plenty of pockets for sunscreen, extra sand toys, wallets, and other essentials. The Beachmate system comes with a collection of stackable buckets that make for pretty epic sandcastles and can even be flipped over and used as lunch or snack trays. The Beachmate system will pretty much change the way you go to the beach with your family – trust me!
Put sunscreen on before you leave the house
There is nothing worse than putting sunscreen on in the sand. Sand inevitably makes it way into the sunscreen as I rub it in on my boy’s legs which is not a pleasant feeling and makes them want to avoid sunscreen altogether. Applying sunscreen before we leave the house, or even before we hop out of the car once we have arrived at the beach, saves the trouble of chasing down kids in the sand or accidentally exfoliating their skin.
Wear protective clothing
Holden has particularly fair skin and I really have to be on top of reapplying sunscreen when we are spending the entire afternoon in the sun. However, there are times that we are having so much fun or we’ve walked down the beach in search of sea treasures that I’m late reapplying. Therefore, to make my (and his) life easier, I always make sure to cover every inch of skin that I can in UV-protective clothing to prevent any sunburns. The boys now wear their wetsuits and sun hats when we go to the beach so that I really only have to worry about reapplying sunscreen on their faces, hands, and feet. Plus little kids in wetsuits are just adorable. And don’t forget to clothe yourself in UV-protective clothing as well.
Don’t worry about sand
Don’t worry about sand because if you do, it will make you crazy! I never understand the people that freak out over sand getting on their towels or blankets when they are at the beach with children. Little ones don’t meant to, but they are going to step on your blanket or inside your tent and get sand everywhere. It’s pretty much impossible to not get sand into every single nook and cranny when you are at the beach and guess what…that’s ok! It is just part of going to the beach. Let go of that and you’ll have an amazing time. Even when Gray was just a week or two old, it wasn’t fair to ask Holden to not get sand anywhere near the baby. I mean it really is impossible, especially for little ones. So I accepted that Gray would get sand in his car seat, there might be sand on the blanket where he was lying, or Gray might even sand in his eyes! But you know what, by acknowledging beforehand that was a possibility, I didn’t over react when it did happen. And guess what, we all survived a little sand here and there. The Beachmate towels are super lightweight and quick-drying which also means you can’t shake out the sand at the beach and leave it there, without dragging it all to the car with you.
Bring lots of snacks and water
All of the running, digging, swimming, and splashing makes for some pretty hungry kids. Pack more than you think you will need because there is nothing worse than getting to the beach to have one of your kids say the words “I’m hungry” and you realize that you don’t have any food with you. Also, make sure to keep plenty of water on hand because running around in the sun and sand can make everyone dehydrated.
***And because I want you ALL to have an amazing time with your family at the beach or lake or while you’re on vacation, you can now get 10% off your order at Beachmate by using the code MEMORIALDAY. Offer ends after memorial day weekend (Monday at midnight)!!! Don’t miss out…trust me…this bag will change everything :)***