Today, I’m really excited to announce my partnership with in Too Small To Fail – a joint initiative between The Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. Their goal is to improve the development of kids in America (you can read all about it here.) Research shows that over 80% of a child’s brain develops before they turn 3 – so it’s important for parents and communities to spend quality time interacting with kids in positive ways. I’ve caught myself sounding like a dork talking to my toddlers because it looks like I’m talking to myself “this is our favorite park and wow! look at that big tree.” But the research shows that talking with your kids and giving them that eye to eye contact is what really helps them develop. I have been wanting to create some habits to make sure I spend more time with my kiddos so I’m setting a few goals on Go Mighty over the next few months. I’ll be sharing my experiences there. I’d love to hear if you have any tips on what kind of activities have helped you spend quality time with the kids in your life. (ie: Volunteer at their preschool, go to the park everyday, read together everyday, play games together, etc) I’d love any ideas.
Photo via my Instagram
A few weeks ago we attended Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It is hard for me to explain how special this event was. After two days of crafting, swimming, and playing, my kids were asking to never leave. The Ace Hotel is great for kids, but the Crafting Community team took it to a whole new level. Every detail of the weekend was executed beautifully, so that we didn’t have to worry about anything except for having more fun. From sunscreen and kids toiletries in our hotel rooms to healthy snacks for the kids nonstop throughout the day, these guys thought of everything. When we first arrived the boys discovered hundreds and hundreds of little Matchbox cars on the sidewalk. They had drawn a giant city out of chalk for the kids to race the cars on. It was little kid heaven! They also had hula hoops and colorful bouncy balls everywhere.
The crafting sessions were the focus of the event and they did not disappoint. The craft room was filled with so many beautiful, colorful supplies. So much thought and work went into each table, it was really impressive. Each project was led by awesome designers like Confetti System, Clare Vivier, and Kid Made Modern. At one point Moses was making a wallet out of duct tape and I realized the guy helping him was the designer Todd Oldham! After crafting we would head over to the pool for a bit and then eat before we would start all over again.
One special element of the event is that it really feels like a community. Each family’s photo is printed in the year book with their names and their family “theme song.” Since the event is over a few days we had a chance to have encounters with several new families and ended up making new friends. I can’t think of a vacation environment that fosters that kind of experience the same way. In the evenings there were lots of activities like Bingo, gourmet ice cream sandwiches, photobooths, button making, nightime movies in the pool, and a desert disco (a giant dance party!) The caliber of the activities and the quality and detail that went into everything was over the top. For example at the dance they played everyone’s family theme songs!
The icing on the cake was the canvas gift totes they gave us when we arrived. This bag didn’t have one thing that wasn’t beautiful or useful. Seriously, I am really picky about what I bring home since my apartment is so small and I brought back everything. Some of the items included: custom coloring and activity book, lots of art supplies from the Kid Made Modern line at Target, a pair of Converse (in each child’s size that they could custom color!), some Naef wooden blocks, a Target gift card, and snacks from Whole Foods.
The whole weekend I kept looking around and thinking, “Yes! Finally someone got it right!” Paul and I kept comparing the trip to a weekend at Disneyland and this was a million times better for parents and kids. We all made new friends, the kids were entertained, delighted and given a chance to do creative activities. The food was excellent, if anyone ever needed a nap we were 2 minutes from our hotel room. And on top of that we all had fun. I cannot vouch for this event enough. In fact I’m already planning on going back next year.
This post is sponsored by Crafting Community: creating immersive design experiences where families can play, grow and be together. But they didn’t ask me to vouch for it. Seriously, it was awesome.
Photos by Paul Ferney
Paul and I have been married for 8 years and with small children we just don’t get out much. I would say for us there are two major obstacles. The first is that childcare can be hard to find and expensive in San Francisco and the second is when we actually find ourselves with a free evening we end up going to the same few restaurants or seeing a movie. We both like going on dates, there is something special about a date where we talk and act differently. We just don’t make a lot of time to do it. So when HowAboutWe approached us about trying out their services for couples, I was very interested. If you haven’t heard of HowAboutWe, they started as an online dating site but have since expanded to include HowAboutWe for Couples – a membership service that gets couples out on tailored dates for 2, they plan the whole thing! It’s super fun to browse all the dates in our area and pick out the ones that sounded interesting. Paul and I love cooking together, so for our first date we thought it would be fun to try something new and take a pickling class (although, a tasting tour of the Ferry Building and trapeze lessons also caught our eye.) A HowAboutWe concierge helped to plan and schedule all the details of the date. The pickling class was really fun. It started at 8pm so we were able to grab dinner nearby beforehand. During the class we learned the basics of pickling and we each brought home two jars of our creations. I’m already looking forward to our next date (a yacht excursion!) If you’re interested in HowAboutWe for Couples, you can sign up for free to browse all of their dates. Plus if you’re a new member, you can get $50 off your first date by clicking here! (Expires 12/31/13.) Having someone take the planning element out of our date was huge and we loved getting out of our dating rut. Thanks HowAboutWe!
This post is sponsored by HowAboutWe for Couples: a service that gets people in relationships on wonderful dates, tailored for two.
Photos by Paul Ferney
I was feeling like I was in a major fashion rut last month and decided I needed some new outfits. Choosing clothes can be difficult because when I work I need to feel comfortable but I always feel pressure to try to look cute for meetings. Here is my latest “uniform” I’ve been wearing lately. I got this shirt from Golden Tote. I tried out their program for the first time last month and I really loved it. Basically, when you sign up, you pick out a few clothing or accessory items that you like and fill out a style profile. Then, Golden Tote mails you a tote bag filled with the items you selected – along with a bunch of surprise pieces. It was fun to see what their stylists picked out for me. I’ve been wearing this shirt nonstop for the past few weeks (see me in it here and here). It’s perfect for layering, so it’ll easily transition to Fall. I also really loved this Grecian Maxi Dress, which is still available if you want it! Golden Tote just launched all the new items for their September sale. I took a peek yesterday and already spotted a bunch of items that I’d love to add to my collection. It’s perfect if you are too busy too shop. (ps: red clogs from here.)
Here are a few of my favorite things on the Golden Tote site right now:
This post is sponsored by Golden Tote: a surprise shopping spree bundled up in a cute, canvas tote bag and delivered to your door.
Have you heard about the Crafting Community event at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs? Crafting Community is a laid back weekend retreat for families. It is a also creative retreat, so there are lots of fun, interactive workshops for kids and parents. The Ace is one of my favorite places and I cannot wait to take my family there again.
Here is the best part, Oh Happy Day is teaming up with our favorite striped clothing company, Splendid to give a reader the chance to win a trip for 4 to Crafting Community plus a $500 Splendid gift card! Entering is super easy, between today and August 30th, just click here to visit Splendid’s Facebook page and enter online. (Or, you can enter in store at one of Splendid’s locations. There will be a $500 Splendid gift card awarded to one runner up online and $100 gift cards awarded to runner ups at each Splendid location so there are lots of opportunities to win!)
ps: We made these mini pinatas favors inspired by the Crafting Community event. I love the idea of making unique party favors for each of your guests following a theme and fill them with goodies and surprises. Just hang them up on a wall and they double as decorations and favors to take home. Click through below for the complete DIY.
Click through for Mini Pinata DIY…